Drop it Like it’s Hot

Happy Summer Everybody!

This past Wednesday was the summer solstice, which marked the first official day of summer. Yesterday it hit 97°F in good old Westbrook, CT and thank god we have a/c here at Old Glory. Due to the scorching heat, here is a list of the best things to do when it’s hotter than hell:

1. Wash your car. Cool down and save ten bucks by hosing down your car!

2. Take a walk to your neighborhood library. Even if you’re not in the mood to read, libraries offer pretty decent music and DVD collections. Plus, they have air conditioning!

3. Start a water fight! Whether you use water balloons, water guns or buckets, a water fight is a great way to cool down while exercising that competitive edge.  This family even created a water park in their own backyard!

4. Go ice skating.  Ice rinks provide a chilly haven where one spend hours of fun gliding around on steel blades.

5. Make your own popsicles! Fill an ice cube tray with any assortment of juice. Cover the tray with saran wrap, aluminum foil will do in a pinch, and poke a tooth pick into each cube. As you put them in the freezer, bask in the glorious rush of cold air from that dear icebox of yours.

6. Kill a few hours in the wonderfully air conditioned movie theatre. There are lots of great movies coming out this summer like Spider-man and Batman.

7. Check out local museums to learn new things in a cool, air conditioned setting.  Also, most libraries offer free museum passes.

8. Finally, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, make sure to drink lots of water! Possibly out of this awesome Ninja Turtles water bottle.

Have any other summer pastimes you want to share? Leave a comment!

Happy Sunshine!

Come on, Irene! Hurricane Party Must Haves and Playlist

I moved to South Beach exactly three days before Wilma hit. I watched the storm from a high floor at the Marriott South Beach, as waves and rain raged surfers hit the beach, and cops followed soon after to keep them out of the water. Only in Miami. Spent a good amount of time the next driving around the next day to view the destruction. Hotel Victor had become Hotel ictor, palm branches and telephone poles were down everywhere, I saw broken hurricane impact windows, and there was a huge crack in the front of my building that made it look as if my balcony was about to fall apart. We didn’t have power for ten days, although it was back on Ocean Drive within 48 hours. Living in Miami for the next four years, I learned a lot about hurricane preparedness. As important as water and flashlights are, the crappiest part of the hurricane and it’s aftermath was boredom and  bad attitudes. Entertainment is needed. Also alcohol. For your pleasure, and with a little help from our awesome Facebook friends, I have compiled below a playlist of storm-themed songs, a drink recipe, and some other sanity essentials. Enjoy, and most of all, stay safe!

Drink of choice: Dark and Stormy


¼ lime per drink

4 ounces dark rum ( I like them strong, like this storm is supposed to be storm, but usually the recipe calls for 2 or 3 ounces)

Ginger Beer (try to get one with real ginger)

Fill glass with ice, squeeze lime over ice and drop in glass, pour in rum, then ginger beer, garnish with more lime if you like.

Misc Must Haves:

1. Board Games and Playing Cards

2. Extra propane for the grill

3. A pan you can use on the grill to boil water, fry eggs, etc

4. Portable DVD player

5. Car chargers for phones, etc

6. Print books, for when the iPad or kindle runs out of charge.


Pre Hurricane Songs:

1. Anticipation – Carly Simon

2. I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones

3. I Hate Everyone – Get Set Go (For supply shopping)

4. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Öyster Cult

Hurricane Songs:

5. Rock You Like A Hurricane – Scorpions

6. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

7. Shelter From The Storm – Bob Dylan

8. Box of Rain – Grateful Dead

9. Who’ll Stop The Rain – Creedance Clearwater Revival

10. Riding The Storm Out – REO Speedwagon

11. Rainy Days and Mondays – The Carpenters

12. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – R.E.M.

13. Like A Hurricane – Neil Young

14. Riders On The Storm – The Doors

15. Tuesday’s Gone – Lynyrd Skynyrd

16. Make You Feel My Love – Adele

17. Run To The Hills – Iron Maiden

18. Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen

19. A Cold Wind Will Blow Through Your Door – Bill Ricchini

20. Run To The Hills – Iron Maiden

21. She’s Like The Wind – Patrick Swayze & Wendy Fraser

22. Gimmie Shelter – Rolling Stones

23. Stormy Monday – Allman Brothers Band

24. The Tide Is High – Blondie

25. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan




Scrabble Day


Even Darth Vader likes Scrabble!

Tomorrow is National Scrabble Day. Scrabble was created in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts.  With 200,000 acceptable words and thousands added every five years or so, the possibilities are vast when you sit down to play. Personally, it is my favorite boardgame, requiring not only a large vocabulary but strategy. My three best tips are:

1. Make the best use of double and triple word and letter scores and the letters with the highest point value.

2. Play defensively when you can’t do anything else. You may not be able to get that triple word score, but you can block your opponent from getting it.

3. If you have terrible letters, swapping the tiles in the hopes of having a better word for your next turn can be more fortuitous than taking the turn and getting a low word score.

There are more ways to play now that ever, including Words With Friends, one of the most popular mobile gaming applications across many OS platforms. In Words With Friends, which is the same game/rules as Scrabble you can challenge friends from your social networks or strangers across the internet. The licensed Scrabble application for the iPad is also a fun new way to play.

Scrabble purists, however, prefer the original board. There is something about manually rearranging the letters as you figure out your next move, and shaking and picking the wooden tiles.

Happy Scrabble Day everyone!