Five things I still haven't done this summer

Summer comes at you fast, and as this issue of The Grundy Register goes to press, it’s already almost August. I get a little wistful thinking about it, but then I realized that once you enter your mid-20s, the season loses most of its luster unless you’re a teacher. Plus, football is only a month away!

           

Throughout my life, I’ve been notorious for planning to do a lot of things every summer, failing miserably at doing them, rinsing and repeating the cycle. Well, I’m here to report that I haven’t broken the habit, and in honor of this dubious feat, I’ve devised one of my patented lists of things that I was totally going to do but didn’t. I have a great excuse, I swear.

 

Watch a baseball game- It’s not just that I haven’t been to a baseball game this summer. I haven’t even watched a single one on TV. I managed to transition from a ‘watch every Cubs game or listen to it on the radio’ guy to a ‘check the standings once a month’ guy in a rapid span of about three years. But even so, Kellie and I used to go to Iowa Cubs games, and we’ve failed in that regard, too. We’re busy, okay?!?

 

I’m just becoming a ‘movie’ guy, I guess. Since the Cubs won the World Series, I can’t claim eternal misery anymore. Plus, watching Wyllo play t-ball is way more fun.

 

Leave the state of Iowa- I’ll finally cross this important milestone off my list when we head to the Ozarks next Friday, and I recently came to the sad realization that since I graduated from college, I can count the number of out-of-state trips I’ve taken on one or two hands. Warning to anyone considering going to journalism school and working at a small town paper: you won’t get many days off, and you’ll be lucky if you can afford a full tank of gas and a hotel room once you finally get one.

 

Go to a non-kids movie in theaters- Another feat I’ll check off my list Friday with the debut of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood!” The world-famous gore and witty dialogue enthusiast is one of the few working directors I’ll pay to see whenever he puts a new film out, and he hasn’t spoiled himself with a superhero movie—yet, at least.

 

Tarantino is incredibly controversial for his depictions of violence, revisionist history, his past association with Harvey Weinstein and his love for a certain word that white people shouldn’t say. But he has yet to put out a boring movie and, perhaps even more importantly, he’s one of the last true students of film who makes films.

 

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie and centers on Los Angeles just before the Manson murders and the death of the ‘60s. It’s like Tarantino looked into my brain, studied my interests and made it just for me.

 

Eat some sweet corn- “Rough planting season, eh?”

 

Pro tip: if you’re a reporter in Iowa covering the caucuses and you want to start a conversation with a local who clearly knows you just flew in from Manhattan or Washington, D.C. and don’t know the difference between Des Moines and Dubuque, just kick it off with this sentence. And try to avoid tweeting anything even mildly disparaging about our beloved home state, or we will hunt you down and #cancel you on the Internet. You’ve been warned.

 

Seriously though, it’s about time for some sweet corn on the grill. Anybody know where I might be able to find that particular crop around here?

 

Swim in a pool- I used to be a lifeguard, and I used to walk around shirtless without feeling like a beached whale. Those were the good old days. My wedding is only 14 months away, so if I eat perfectly healthy, jog every day, lift weights and drink nothing but water, I’ll look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by then!

 

It’s a nice thought, at least.