Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, July 31, 2022, or: Waving ‘Goodbye’ to My Least Favorite Month of the Year

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“Then came July like three o’clock in the afternoon, hot and listless and miserable.”Allie Ray, Holler

Well, here we are, on a sunny midsummer morning in Florida, bidding goodbye to not just another weekend, but the scorching, humid, and often stormy month of July as well.

Last night I ended up watching Apollo 11, director Todd Douglas Miller’s 2019 documentary about the first manned mission to land on the Moon. I bought the Blu-ray with Miller’s 93-minute film back in July of 2019, and since a digital copy code was included in the package, I watched it on Amazon Prime rather than from the physical disc. (Sure, I sacrificed some of the sharpness of the video image, but sometimes it’s a tad easier to stream than it is to go to my room, look in the shelves, and retrieve the movie or TV show I want to see on disc.)

I must have started watching Apollo 11 at 8:30 PM, because when it ended and I turned off the TV and the Roku device that allowed me to access my Amazon Prime Video account on the family room set, it was slightly past 10 PM. I briefly considered watching another movie out in the family room, but I dismissed the idea, went to my room, and watched a documentary on Netflix till I got sleepy and went to bed.

“God, it was hot! Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.”Rachel Caine

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I don’t know what exactly I will do this Sunday. It’s not even noon yet – as I write this, anyway – and it’s already 88°F/31°C under partly sunny skies, and the heat index is at 97°F/36°C. The forecast “actual” high for today is expected to be 97°F/36°C, so I am not going to venture outside unless I must take something out to either the recycling or trash bin. It’s so hot out there that you can feel the heat of the sidewalk through the soles of your shoes; walking barefoot outside in the Tampa Bay area today is probably not a good idea.

“A person should always be willing to adjust for a rainy day. That was a good attitude in all of life, but was a reality to the way of life for those residing in Florida.” M. Reali-Elliott, Summer 20XX

See that sidewalk? In July, it’s so hot that you can feel the heat of the sunbaked cement seeping through the soles of your shoes. (Photo by the author)

I was born and mostly raised in Florida, and I have lived in this state for most of my life, so the Sunshine State’s weather is not a novelty to me. I know that it’s supposed to be hot and humid in the subtropics and that a mix of high temperatures, dazzlingly bright sunshine and a good chance of rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon come with the territory, so to speak.

For me, the problem is that with the passage of time – no matter how much conservatives and the oil industry try to deny it – the world’s climate has changed drastically, due to human activity in general and more specifically to our dependence and overuse of fossil fuels like oil and coal. Since the 2000s, when I first started paying close attention to weather and its effects on people and property, summers have gotten hotter, tropical storm activity has increased, and seawater levels are rising, placing inhabitants of islands like the Maldives in the Indian Ocean at risk of seeing their homes and businesses go “glub, glub, glub” as the seas reclaim low-lying islands as the icecaps melt and sea levels rise.

Coral Estates Park, Westchester, Florida, as seen in Google Maps in 2022.

I used to love summers, especially when I was a young boy of 10 and 11. I lived in a nice neighborhood (Coral Park Estates in the Miami area suburb of Westchester), and I had a group of friends with whom I played outdoors with from 10 in the morning till eight at night, with breaks for lunch and dinner at our respective homes. It was hot then, too, and there were plenty of rainy, stormy days when I had to stay in my house reading a book or playing with my toys.

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“That’s when Poppy kissed me. I didn’t have time to get ready. She just kissed me there and then, right on the lips. It felt lovely. I wasn’t even scared this time. It was warm and not too wet. I didn’t get any tongue. Her breath smelled like Orange Tic Tacs.”Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English

And, as I mentioned in Musings & Thoughts for Friday, July 29, 2022, or: Wait, Wait! Do You Mean to Tell Me that July is Almost Over?, I had a girlfriend for much of my “tweens” between November 1972 and March 1977. We went to each other’s houses frequently during summer vacation whilst we were together, and we used to enjoy long make out sessions that involved lots and lots of kissing. (We did not have sex; I was totally clueless about that topic till I was 12 or so, and even when I learned about that, I never dared try to even cup her breasts over her tank tops or blouses, much less try to go all the way. But I was a good kisser back then, and so was she.)

When I lived in South Florida, I often waited till early evening to go for walks in the summertime. (Photo taken on June 5, 2014 by the author)

With the passage of time, especially once I acquired my first personal computer in 1987 as a 24-year-old college student, I became less outdoorsy. Oh, back in Miami I went outside for walks in the evening and even hiked to the Miami International Mall or the Mall of the Americas – the two closest big shopping centers to my old townhouse – because I hated taking the bus there, and every so often I’d go to the beach with friends or relatives who had flown in from Colombia to visit. And, of course, when I had my dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Mary Joe Cacao, I had to walk her three times a day come rain or come shine.

Here in Lithia? Not so much. I know I should get off my office chair in my room and get some fresh air and exercise to stay fit and healthy, but it’s fucking hot outside in the summer, and I hate how the heat from the sidewalk goes through the soles of my shoes and warms my feet more than I would like. Besides, walking alone in a neighborhood where I have no friends is not the same as walking in a familiar environment where you know a good percentage of your neighbors and you’re friendly – or at least on good speaking terms – with many of them.

At least I have quite a few movies and TV shows on home media (DVDs and Blu-ray discs) to watch if I get bored. (Photo by Alex Diaz-Granados)

“We love films because they make us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also they tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.” Nina LaCour, Everything Leads to You

I have at least a few options on how to kill time on this last Sunday of July that don’t involve going out into the furnace-like heat of the “great outdoors.” They are:

  • Find a quiet spot in the house – not my room – and read one of the books on my TBR stack
  • Watch a movie on the family room TV set
  • Stay in my room and either game or waste time on social media
  • Watch a movie on my small 4K UHD TV set
  • Do some housekeeping chores in my room
My friend Thomas Wikman wrote a loving tribute to his Leonberger, Bronco. (Photo by the author)

Well, this brings us to the close of another post in A Certain Point of View, Too, Dear Reader. I wish I could have written something with more substance, but I don’t have it in me today. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

2 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for Sunday, July 31, 2022, or: Waving ‘Goodbye’ to My Least Favorite Month of the Year

  1. Thank you Alex for showcasing my book again. I appreciate it. The weather is certainly a bit too hot. Here in Dallas it is in the 100’s again. A couple of weeks ago it was 109. It’s been super hot most days since the end May. Great Britain saw it’s first 40 centigrade temperatures in history (well since they started recording) and 40+ Celsius was reached in whole lot of places. I was at London Heathrow when this happened and they could not keep the airport cool. It was a lot of irritable staff and travelers. It was very hot in France too. That’s where we were going, for our nephew’s wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And yet, conservatives in the U.S. and UK insist – to please their donors in the petroleum industry – that everyone is imagining that the globe is getting hotter and that liberals are fearmongering to put the oil companies out of business.

      I hope your visit to Europe goes well, Thomas.

      Liked by 1 person

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