I came across this previously published installment of my “Steven Spills” for PULP and actually found it fairly relatable to where we are right now in life, gay culture, gay fashion and our queer year 2013 in the Coachella Valley. Remember this was published in 2011 and could be a bit behind on today’s current news but still a fun read. May the magazine Rest in Peace among many other rags and mags that the Internet killed. Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day. Let’s remember when…
PALM SPRINGS SUMMER 101 (original publish: 2011)
Ah, summertime and the living is easy… and quite warm at times! As the sun heats us all up and makes some of us wonder why we live in the desert with the extreme heat, how does one deal?! The very thought of summer conjures up memories for me of attending summer school (twice) during my teenage years. The first time I missed cheerleading camp and the next I wasted my time not skipping school and getting my GED, instead. I’ve never applied to a job that has once required seeing my high school diploma. But there I was, killed down going to summer school for failing Algebra 1 twice because the football coach who taught the subject was too sexy for me to concentrate. Yes, that’s my reasoning. Seriously.
But here today, how and where does one escape from the inevitable heat that’s ahead?! Sure, it’s not that bad right now but get ready people! During my first summer here it was near 120-degrees and I thought I was going to melt. We’ll see what Momma Nature has in store but guaranteed it will be hot, scorching at times and ridiculous with a thickness in the air. It’s time to start dodging for trees with shade to park your car under and please don’t leave your pet in the car. I do have Animal Control on speed dial in my iPhone and I love using it. Try me. Make sure that your cars also have coolants in your transmission and a shade reflector that is trimmed to fit your front windshield. People become ruthless when deciding where the shade of a tree will be and when. Be smart, too! Think it through.
We have two fabulously privileged Jack Russells and they love the water. Splashing in the pool, swimming after a floating ball and any aquatic chaotic activity entertains them and knocks them down so they rest peacefully for the rest of the day. Keep your dogs’ fur and nails trimmed for healthy growth and easy towel drying afterwards. If they swim a lot think of getting a moisturizer for their fur for afterwards. We use Aveda Brilliant (yes, that’s what I said), an emollient finishing gloss on their fur and it prevents our boy’s dry skin that normally wears him out. The water that may accumulate in their ears can be removed gently by a cotton-covered cue tip and even ear-cleaning solutions wouldn’t hurt if administered immediately after each entry into water. And again, I can’t stress enough. Please Note: A cracked car window does not a comfortable setting make for puppy. Try sitting in the car without the air condition running and see how long you last!
The summer is hell on automobiles. Focus on taking care of your car. No coolant equals no air condition and a bad tranny, err, I mean transmission. A solid running car can get you away for weekend escapes. But where?! Even day trips can give one a sense of peace and retreat from that un-Christian heated swelter outside. The beaches are a thought like Black Beach in San Diego for you exhibitionists. Laguna Beach has the offering of Newport Beach and some serious shopping. Want some real culture?! Hit it to L.A. and take a gawking gander at the Malibu surfer boys and the always-entertaining boardwalk. (On a side note, Krispy Kreme is at Ontario Mills and yes you can bring me some back.) Venturing to Idyllwild or Big Bear and even a trip up to the Palm Springs Tram will always pull the temperature down a good group of degrees. Drive safe, gas up and get away if only for the day or overnight.
To have been in the Coachella Valley or the desert for that matter during one of our summers is to know you do everything in the morning. It’s the coolest time of the day since even at night it is often 99-degrees or more during our peak months of July, August and September. Grab the sun block and use it. However, if you don’t want to use it then you better make an appointment at Dr. Make Pretty’s offices at Contour Dermatology who just celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Congrats Tim and Lee! And by all means, if you foresee yourself wearing flip-flops and I encourage you to, please have a pedicure happening. Re-hydrate yourselves! Water is best. Your skin will look amazing.
Everyone this side of the yellow brick road knows that June is big time full-blown Gay Pride in most cities commemorating the Stonewall riots. Los Angeles carries pink triangles and sings Lady Gaga’s entire Born This Way album from June 10-12 at the Christopher Street West festival in West Hollywood. Up and down Santa Monica Boulevard one will find fashion fierceness realness with queens in skinny jeans and shirtless inked-up bears from Silver Lake. Heading north, the LGBT tribes gather in San Francisco on June 25, 26 to kick up their rainbow petticoats and celebrate their place in the world. San Diego Pride boasts being the fifth-largest in the United States and brings all things gay together for their parade on July 16. All queer-ventures provide pleasures to the eye, pride without prejudice and are each worth the weekend gay-cation.
But if you don’t want to or can’t get out of town, what can you do to beat the heat?! For me, when I’m not working we’re inside the cool house then to the pool then back into the chilled home, and repeat. There’s not a lot of out-and-about happening since many people travel away. Catch a movie! Slide into an afternoon feature and relax in the comfort of their iceberg theatres. Now I’m not encouraging you to sneak in “healthy” snacks. That’s just not the way one does things. But… always remember chocolate melts in heat. The air is also cranking at World Gym so you can grab a workout or just a protein shake and soak up the refrigeration. With the twenty-nine pieces of new cardio equipment and the summer specials running at the gym to get your heart rate moving, it’s a nice place to enjoy chilling out after getting worked up.
And you got to eat to keep up your strength! But where?! Many of the local restaurants have found that staying open for business even during the hottest of summer months has proved smart in years past. The ones I’ve spoke to said they’ll be providing great service and food as long as locals continue to dominate their spaces. It would be hard for me to fairly say go here or there. But I can encourage everyone to keep our local merchants and restaurants going by grabbing your girlfriends or husband and make a night of it out in the scene. From an early breakfast with friends to brunch by the pool or dinner under the stars, summer dining can be delicious. And the freezer aisle at the grocery store feel pretty cool, too!
At the end of the day we all can be assured of a few things about the summer intensity that is on the heated horizon. First, pop on the Weather Channel for a few minutes and listen to the weather forecasts from other cities. The heat will come and many will complain locally, me included. It’s part of our dialogue and it’s obvious. But it too shall pass and then we’re reminded for the bigger percentage of time why we live here. It’s gorgeous in Palm Springs. You adapt to the heat like others deal with the snowy cold. I’m writing this on an unseasonably breezy cool May morning. A bird whistles nearby and I’m hopeful that Mother Nature is as kind tomorrow as she is today.
2011 © The Bottom Line