Where Will This Summer Lead You?

June 2019

picture of Petco Park at night

Baseball: a favorite summer pastime in San Diego and all over the United States. (Photo: A. Saita)

We’re now weeks away from the official start of summer here in the northern hemisphere. In theory, we should slow down and spend more time outdoors enjoying our natural surroundings.

Everything is supposed to be lighter during summer months—the days, clothing, meals and ambitions. As such, our consumption of media often takes a hiatus from heavy material, too. That’s why this month I’m recommending content that left me smiling (and one bonus that didn’t but is worth passing along).

 An ordinary guy with an extraordinary talent

[watch] I put this documentary on as background noise while tending to some dreaded paperwork. The pile of papers remained, mainly because I was so enrapt by this film. The cinematography is not compelling, but 2017’s Perfect Bid: The Contestant Who Knew Too Much reminds us of the power of commitment and peculiarities of luck. We celebrate those dedicated to mastering a mainstream craft—like musicians, athletes and chefs—when there are superstars among us in far less visible roles. In this case, a California math teacher explains how he came to accurately guess the price on almost every item on the long-running game show The Price is Right.

A more ‘object’-ive view of our world

[listen] Once Game of Thrones ended, so did my favorite podcasts dissecting each episode. I needed something novel to replace them. That’s when I remembered Everything is Alive. Each episode is an unscripted interview with a common object—a can of cola, a bath towel, a balloon and even a grain of sand. Each interview is infused with humor on a higher order than your typical comedy program. And, each show lasts less than 30 minutes. A win-win in my book.

The agony of da feet

[read] There’s always some trepidation running in a major road or trail race due to different variables, such as weather, diet, injuries, hydration, training disruptions, etc. But some races also have time limits, and this delightful feature in The New York Times talks about those who fail to make the cutoff. You’ll smile as you learn what it’s like to be swept up by the straggler bus, even if it’s at someone else’s expense.

Learn not to follow

[bonus read] Is your upcoming vacation itinerary influenced by something you saw or read on social media? Then you need to read this article from Mother Jones about the destructive force of social media influencers when they promote natural attractions as backdrops. A pretty filter and trick photography often mask the hordes of tourists who now crowd once-idyllic locations and disrespect these environmental gifts by leaving behind their waste (in all manners). Please don’t let that be you.

Thank you for reading this,