Summertime Blues

I may be a sucker for top 40 Billboard hits and the occasional Justin Bieber song, but I actually grew up around quality music. My dad, who worked as a New York City taxi driver in college, spent much of his youth listening to different radio stations and attending weekend concerts. Before I’d learned to drive, he chauffeured me around Scotts Valley with his favorite tunes on the radio. Because he disliked my musical preferences (aside from Snoop Dogg), he never allowed me to man our Sirius Radio station during car rides. With that, I learned to appreciate his playlist, which consisted of Jethro Tull, The Ramones, Cheap Trick, The Doors, Supertramp, Frank Sinatra, The Beastie Boys, Chubber Checker, and a dash of The Beatles, among many others.

In summer 2005, he introduced me to Blue Cheer’s “Summertime Blues,” which is catchy in spite of its woe-is-me lyrics. Though the song itself is more whiny than sad, the title is the only thing that can accurately capture my current mood.

This is how it goes at the end of every summer, especially after my birthday. During childhood, I eagerly awaited my July 25 birthday but slipped into melancholy after it took place because that special day meant the start of the following school-year was right around the corner. Back-to-school commercials had already invaded my television set, the local K-Mart had set up a school supplies booth at the front of the store, and picture day informational cards had been mailed to my house. Late July is a reminder that summer is a fleeting season.

Even though I’ve been out of the SV school system for half a decade, I still experience the summertime blues during the final days of each July. Last year, I got the summertime blues at the end of the month because I hadn’t yet locked down a D.C. apartment. I’d deleted my Facebook because I was embarrassed about my ambivalence and lack of structure.

A year later, I’m on the right track but morose nonetheless. For one, I’m continuously being left. In college, I frequently said goodbye to people for trips and new experiences. My friends said they felt abandoned when I went off to Paris for summer 2009, Cannes during summer 2010, and D.C. after graduating.

Now, I’m the one who stays put as others move on. Though I love my D.C. life, I don’t particularly like bidding farewell to friends.

As I explained yesterday, the Daily Caller summer interns have packed their belongings and are heading back to where they came from. It’s hard to believe they’re all taking off, as it seems they just arrived. I adored the spring 2011 Caller interns as well, but because I was so miserable about the cold weather, I couldn’t be as friendly and cheerful around them as I was with the summer interns. I swear to you, I’m a different person every season. This terrifies me a great deal. Seriously, check out my January blog entries, they’re very disturbing.

Anyway, a half dozen interns had their last day today. The majority of them will finish out the next week, but I know the atmosphere will be different without everyone as a unit. In mid-May, I remember the office became cramped and stressful because of all the new interns, but now I can’t even imagine what the newsroom will feel like without them. I got so used to the overcrowded space and constant chatter that the new-found silence will surely be unsettling.

What will I miss most? Laughing with Amanda about the mysterious, sullen James Franco doppelganger who works at the private investigator firm down the hall. Singing J.Lo’s “On the Floor” with Amanda as a way to cope with uncomfortable silence. Awkward elevator moments with Nikki. Field trips to Shake Shack in DuPont Circle. Michael Mayday wincing and jumping out of his skin every time that insufferable J.G. Wentworth commercial appears on T.V. Nikki giving Kurt a lame pick-up line every morning. The transcription and blurb help. Alexa’s hilarious creeper stories and awesome style. Elise’s indestructible enthusiasm. Chris enduring fake advances from the other female interns. Alyssa creating brilliant, creative slideshows daily. Liz defending her home state of New Jersey numerous times a week. The intern book club that was heavily discussed but never debuted. “Harry Potter” debates. Sitting down with Ameena to place each staffer into a Hogwarts house (HUFFLEPUFF ALL THE WAY).

I’ll also never forget the moments they came to my rescue: Ameena chatting with me until 3:30 a.m the night I appeared on Anderson Cooper’s RidicuList because I was too anxious and scared to sleep. When I broke down into hysterical sobs earlier that day and Nikki and Katie dragged me to Starbucks to talk me down. Nikki telling me my eyes are prettiest when I’ve been crying. Elliot giving pep talks and advising me to cut the bad men out of my life.

Luckily, some of the interns have another month at TheDC, so I’ll have more time to chat with these bright folks. We really had a wonderful, hard-working group of interns this summer and I’m truly heartbroken to see them go. Their departure also has some horrifying implications: Fall is near and the sunshine’s days are numbered.

Remember when I said I used to have dreams about heat, sun, and warmth during the worst days of the winter? Last night, I had a nightmare about cold weather.

In my dream it was summertime, yet I glanced out the window and noticed a snowstorm, gloomy sky, and white horses frolicking through frosted trees. Considering it was July, I couldn’t understand why D.C. had turned into Winter Wonderland. In my dream, I consulted a friend about this unnatural occurrence.

“It’s not actually snowing right now. You’re looking forward into the future,” she said.

In a nutshell, I’m worrying about winter long before its arrival. I’m preparing for the worst too early. I’ve stopped enjoying summer because I can feel it winding down. Additionally, I’m concerned about Winter Laura, an embattled, frozen, somber individual who repeatedly asks herself why she relocated to a chilly part of the country. From early December to late April, each day is a struggle for Winter Laura, who barely musters the energy to brave the blistering cold for the obligatory walk to the metro. During these months, I’m often too miserable to step out of the office for lunch, so I inadvertently lose weight. At the end of winter, I visited my brother, who commented on my tiny frame and jokingly asked if I was using coke to get slim.

“No, I’m just too cold to eat!”

The winter benefits me career-wise, as I refuse to get up from my chair or step out into the cold. On the other hand, it’s detrimental to my social life and sanity.

I’m hoping winter 2011/2012 won’t kill what’s left of my soul. Thankfully, summer 2012 really picked up my spirits, and the heat actually motivated me to dress up (in my own northern California way). I wear sun dresses, skirts, and sandals all the time because they remind me of when I lived in warm locations year-round:

Sundress in Italy!

While we’re on the topic of goodbyes, it’s been nearly a year since I had a tearful farewell with Crystal, who wished me luck before many of my big moves. In summer 2006, she woke up early to see me off to college. Last year, she came to my house the night before I relocated to D.C. We were both sobbing that evening, mostly because we could finally see that adulthood had come to collect us.

Things are different a year later, as she’ll be visiting me in the nation’s capital next week! There won’t be any crying this time, unless of course it follows intense giggling. We have a habit of laughing until our eyes water, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will happen to us several times during her stay.


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