...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Friday, August 10, 2007

New contest: Win the Hottest State soundtrack, and read the book you lazy summer slacker

I am generally a really upbeat person but I can't help myself -- I truly despise heat coupled with humidity. This is why it is good that I don't live in, say, Georgia or West Virginia because I would be the most grumpy person you know all through the month of August. Plus my hair would be very frizzy.

I am rambling about hot weather as a seamless tie-in to my newest contest: two lucky winners will win a soundtrack+book prize pack for the upcoming Ethan Hawke film The Hottest State. My first listens have been very enjoyable - it's a fairly mellow and eclectic collection, and features the superb songwriting of new Fuel-favorite Jesse Harris. When forming the concept for the film adaptation, Hawke and Harris delved into the collection of 80+ songs that Harris had penned over the years, and then enlisted a dream team of folks like M. Ward, Feist, Bright Eyes, Cat Power, Black Keys, Willie Nelson, and Emmylou Harris to record them. You can stream the entire record here and then pop over to see the full tracklisting on their MySpace.

The movie is based on Hawke's book (I didn't know he wrote), so the two winners will each get a CD soundtrack plus the book for good end-of-summer reading as you lay by the pool and perfect that tan that will have to sustain you as the last vestiges of summer slip away.

So depressing, I know, stop it.

I'll pick TWO random winners from all entrants by next Friday August 17th. If you'd like to win, please leave me a way to contact you (or promise to check here to see if you won, and then email me if you do) and answer this question:
What is one of your favorite hot weather/summertime memories? Random, funny, serious, whatever - it just has to effectively include that "hot" business. Godspeed.

From the soundtrack:
If You Ever Slip - The Black Keys
It Will Stay With Us - Jesse Harris

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At August 10, 2007 5:33 PM, Blogger Stephen Kuykendall said...

I really enjoy Hawkes writing, you should check his stuff out, very cool vibe and writings style to it.

Growing up in and around the desert in Arizona half the year was hot and or felt like summertime. This could be one reason I'm mostly nocturnal, only coming out at night when the heat was manageable - Driving around with the windows down and the music playing with the milky way visible above. That and the wonderful desert monsoons more rain and lightning than you can handle every night for a few weeks every summer. good times.

Thanks for the info and music as always.

At August 10, 2007 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to make this a two-part answer, one hot, one favorite-summer (with, I hope, extra credit for being about Colorado).

Hot: Riding in the car in Southern Oregon when I was a kid, I could guess the temperature within a degree or two by putting my hand out the car window. In those days of no airconditioning (at least in the vehicles my family owned) 105 degrees was hot but bearable. At about 107 the air blowing on your hand felt burning. At 110 you gave up and mostly rolled the windows up because the breeze was worse than no breeze.

Summer Perfection: In Summerville, Colorado, 8 miles up out of Boulder, a mile or two below Gold Hill, right at the curve in the road next to old lady Trask's house (if I remember her name correctly), there was a vollyball net. Summer afternoons you could sit there with a cooler and a volleyball and the Mountain People(tm) would stop and chat and soon you'd have a pickup game of volleyball going.
Contact: anonym0use-at-aol.com (that's a zero, not an O).

At August 10, 2007 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Favorite "hot" memory: As a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in northern Cameroon, it routinely got into the mid 120's (but it was a "dry heat, ha!). One day two other PCVs and I got the brilliant idea to race from our villages to the provincial capital (Maroua), which was pretty close to the middle of all of us. The kicker was it was going to be by bike. Being 75 km from Maroua by a dirt/sand road, I was expecting this to be tough, so convinced 2 others to ride with me to share in my suffering. We left at 7:30 am during the cool part of the day (mid-90s). By the half-way point, we had already finished the 7.5 liters of water we had and had to buy the only 2 liters of bottled H2O in the village. At this point we knew we weren't going to beat the other 2 so started to just have fun, climbing on broken down bulldozers, rocks, etc. About 10km or so from Maroua we finally stopped to relieve ourselves. My urine was syrupy and glowing. If I wasn't so worn out and dehydrated, I would have thought it was funny. Finally, we reached the bar we were meeting our friends at. Obviously we were the last to arrive and had to buy the first round as a result of the lost bet. However, it was worth it as a beer has never tasted so good.

Even if I don't win, thanks for the book recommendation. I'm getting low on things to read.

Contact: stooser118-at-yahoo-dot-com

At August 10, 2007 8:35 PM, Blogger Chase Abner said...

I grew up the middle of five children. We lived in a double-wide trailer in southeastern Kentucky. Mom insisted it was a "modular home." Trust me. It was a trailer.

In the summer, we would all be out playing until the Appalachian humidity would deplete the last bit of our energy. Fortunately, we had central air conditioning, but only a few of the vents blew with any force. We'd race in to get the best one, throw a blanket over it and make for ourselves a personal arctic tent. I've never been colder.

At August 10, 2007 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walking a couple of miles down to Manhattan Beach during the heatwave/blackout of 1977 and pulling up some rock.

Listening to the horseshoe crabs scratch around and the water slap the rock I was on, with a vigilant ear for the legendary water rats. Simultaneously thrilling and peaceful.

At August 10, 2007 9:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! anon is debs

At August 10, 2007 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather, my favorite summer memory is this: I had just turned 16 and bought a toyota pick up truck. In one of those incredibly rare days, it was actually hot in San Francisco. All my friends had dogs and needless to say, they were hot, too. So, I put a tarp in the back of my truck, filled it up with cool water and let about a dozen neighborhood dogs frolick in the moble doggie pool. I still look at those photos and it make me laugh. So, there you have it.

F.J. in South Pas, Ca.

At August 11, 2007 4:54 AM, Blogger Philco Brothers said...

Ethan Hawke wrote a book?
That's hot!

At August 11, 2007 11:55 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

ok my favourite summer memories involve the water gun fights, and being a little mischievious. with it being so hot, my brother and I would often take to the sprinkler to cool down. my favourite memory, was the moment when i pinched the hose, and asked my younger brother to look closely at the sprinkler to see what was wrong with it. letting the hose go to spray in his face.. hehe, was precious, every single time.
thanks for the book recommendation and the music! contact: musicbaby7_@hotmail.com

At August 11, 2007 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this post and once again for this fantastic blog which is one of my five homepages :)
loved Jesse Harris' work with Norah Jones

em my favourite summer memory is probably around two weeks last year where the sunshine here in Scotland (notoriously rainy) came out everyday and we went down to the meadows with a crate of beer and cider, some friends and our dog and played with the frisbee and had some American football plays
Cheers, Finn

fintin @ hotmail.com

At August 11, 2007 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a softball fanatic so my hot weather summertime memory involves playing massive games of softball. Oh yeah and there's one particular day in Clearwater, Florida that comes to mind where I was at a softball tournament for four day all together. I drank gallons of water and Gatorade through the course of the day and into the evening. I'm not sure of the exact temperature, but it was in the 90's and I played 6 softball games all ready, some coed games and some men's games. There was one more game scheduled for our men's team against a team from Baltimore that won the whole thing the previous year. Okay, it was a night game so it wasn't as hot as it was earlier in the day, but I was still on my feet and ready to play game number 7 after a hot and humid day. My team flipped a coin and said heads we play the game and tails we just give them the win and go back to the hotel and drink beers in the beer garden at the hotel. Come on, tails. Anyway, it was heads and we took the field.

The team that we played were all 6 foot 3 inches plus and were probably ex-major leaguers. Lets just call them the Orioles because I forget their team name. The Bad News Bears from New York were playing these pros from Baltimore. I think they wanted to spot us some runs or bat the other way at the plate to make it more even. I'm exaggerating, but you get the picture. We started the 7 inning game and it's tight through the first 3 innings. It's 4-3 us and there's two outs and a ball launched to our rookie center fielder who makes an absolutely stunning Willie Mays behind-the-back catch. The Baltimore guys are shaking their heads in disbelief that the game is even close. Comments are being made that our catcher overhears behind the plate basically putting us down because we were all under 6 feet tall and couldn't hit home runs with our eyes closed like they could.

It's the 5th inning and we're still winning 7-6. The 6th inning arrives and we trade a few runs each and it's now 9-8.

The last inning is here and they're the home team so it's the bottom of the 7th and the score is 9-8 NY. One out. Two outs. There's a pop-up to our coach,the shortstop and he makes the catch.We beat the champs from last year, a game that we almost never played. If tails came up on the coin flip, we'd be half in the bag by now.

It wasn't all great news though. After celebrating our upset victory, we all grabbed rides back to the hotel and since I didn't have my wits about me after 7 games of softball, I ended up driving back with let's just call him Brakey. After all those games, the last thing I needed was a ride back with someone who tests his brakes evey 10 seconds.

All's well that ends well though. I got back to the hotel a little wobbly, but safe and there was even a beer or too left for me by the time I arrived at the hotel. A half hour later, I was asleep.

At August 11, 2007 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooooh, how fabulous!

Favourite hot summer memories have to do with my summer in the Amazonian rainforest... falling asleep in hammocks listening to the monkeys, bathing and doing laundry in the river, fishing for piranhas (take that, you nasty little fish!), sweating like crazy (small price to pay for my first acne-free summer since puberty), picking fresh guavas, drinking guarana, enjoying a tarantula infestation.... (Pardon me while waves of nostalgia break on the shores of my memory.)

I'm a faithful Fuel/Friends reader, so I'll know it if you randomnly choose me. (^_^)

At August 11, 2007 2:13 PM, Blogger Patsearcher said...

Favorite hot memory: Little League All-Star baseball in late July wearing hideous polyester uniforms while catching in 100 degree weather. And then winning the game.


At August 11, 2007 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On an unbearably warm summer evening in South Florida, my girlfriend and I stripped down to nearly nothing, hopped a fence, removed the rest of our clothing and skinny-dipped in a golf course community's private pool. Of course, security arrived shortly afterward and found us hiding in the pool behind a bush. Forced to leave, we asked the security guard to turn around so my girlfriend could get into her one piece of clothing - a short Detroit Red Wings hockey jersey. I then put on my boxers, and with our heads held high, and her tugging down on the jersey, we marched out the gate. The guard took down our information, and we were forever banned from the pool. But fortunately this was Florida, and all it took was crossing the street to find another pool to escape from the heat. And maybe the next security guard won't pretend he doesn't wish to be young again.


At August 12, 2007 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going waaaay back, but everytime I hear Alanis's "You Learn," it immediately brings me back to YMCA summer camp at the naval air base when I was like 10.

We'd hang out under the pavilion after lunch, working on our gimp skills. The cobra was my favorite, for anyone keeping track. When it was nice out, we'd play four square for HOURS. If there was some rain, we always had nock (?) hockey tournaments to keep us entertained. That year I made the move in our swimming time from a minnow to a fish. I never quite made it to flying fish, but nonetheless. It's weird how vivid memories from 10 years ago can be. I still remember people. Pam was queen of four square, Leslie wanted to summon the dead (WEIRD) and Sam was astonishlingly well mannered. All this, and I can hardly remember where I put my keys when I get home.

Man, I want to be 10 again. I don't think my friends now would take as well to playing Red Rover in the grass.

For contact info, I'm at itzd at yahoo dot com.

At August 12, 2007 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in South Mississippi. Last night the heat index was 100-plus at midnight. My coolest memory was the dead of last winter, when it was 35 degrees, and some freak called our newspaper's reader line to ask: What happened to global warming?

At August 12, 2007 12:13 PM, Blogger SaraJane said...

I lived on the outer banks of North Carolina for a couple of summers during which time I was doing some acting, namely in the play "The Lost Colony". This is an outdoor drama and my character was one of the queen's ladies in waiting. The costumers did their best to make everything authentic, so in addition to having to wear a corset(!), my dress and petticoats weighed a good 50lbs or so. Not only that, but between scenes I had to move set pieces while wearing it. Did I mention this was NC in the summer? Over 100F even in the evenings at times (which is when we did the show). I don't know how we didn't drive the audience away from the sheer smell of our sweat to be honest.

We'd typically leave the theatre close to midnight and being the fabulousness of the outer banks, we all lived pretty much right on the beach of the sound. On full moon nights especially, a bunch of us would gather on the beach and watch the stars. August always brought the meteor showers, which we could see so clearly from the lack of so much ambient light that most cities have. There were nights we'd go skinny-dipping to cool off. It was almost like having stars sprinkled in the water - there were these tiny things (I still haven't a clue as to what they're called) that would sort of glow when you disturbed the water like thousands of tiny pieces of glitter.

This particular summer was over 10 years ago now. Memories of evenings like this still warm my insides and make me glad that I don't have to work outside in the heat anymore. ;)

At August 12, 2007 11:02 PM, Blogger Brent said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At August 12, 2007 11:09 PM, Blogger Brent said...

Beyond the obvious memory of the occasional skinny dip, I remember this:

I was working at a camp in Gunnison, CO the Summer of '01. The town is set just at the western foot of the Rockies, a short 30 minute flight from Denver (in a puddle jumper). One night that a bunch of us counselors all had off, we piled fifteen people into a Jeep Cherokee, stopped at a gas station for logs and matches, and then we drove as far into the mountains as we could take the car. Leaving the car at the dead end of a dusty rocky road, we got out and hiked another hundred yards or so. Once we found a nice flat place we built a bonfire and opened some bottles.

This was the first time as a Kentucky boy that I had ever been to Colorado. And being that high up and that far away from any city lights, I was absolutely in awe. The sky was so cluttered with stars it was as if each one was standing in another's light. It was truly breathtaking. I seriously had no idea that you could see so many stars from Earth with the naked eye. After passing a bottle around the fire for a while, a shooting star streamed across the sky leaving a gash of stardust behind, severing the milky reflections of the countless other overzealous cosmos.

So we talked, we drank, and we watched the stars fade into morning. Without question one of the most memorable nights of that summer.

you can get me at: bcdo_2000@yahoo.com

At August 12, 2007 11:43 PM, Blogger resuri said...

guam is a constant 85 degrees of super-humid goodness. when i was 13 or 14, the naval base flew in a couple of helicopters full of snow, probably from japan or somewhere. while i was getting ready to jump on in along with the 50 other kids, my older (by two years) sister nudged me and shook her head, reminding me not to be greedy, nodding her head in the direction of our little brother and sister, aged 5 and 3 respectively. Squatting on the ground on the edge where the snow melted into the grass, Dominic tentatively took a handful of snow, clumped it in his little fist, and looked up at us and giggled. it was the first time he had ever seen snow.

this memory came to me amplified when, years later, while at law school in Buffalo, my mother and i argued over the phone about whether or not I really needed snowboots.

At August 13, 2007 9:27 AM, Blogger RightArmJesse said...

Favorite hot memory: in 1987 a buddy of mine and I spent five weeks traipsing (sp??) around the Greek islands. Neither one of us spoke a word of Greek other than Yasu (hello) and Ouzo (more of that licorice stuff that gets me drunk, please). One day we took a boat from Santorini to Paros and when we got to Paros it was so f-ing hot. I mean like the cockroaches were looking for a place to go swimming hot. We spent four days thinking that Paros was somehow the most sweltering of all the Greek islands, until we called our friends who lived in Athens to tell them about it and they called us idiots, telling us that the whole of Greece was in the midst of a massive heat wave. Temps around 120 degrees with over 90 percent humidity. The whole time, we thought it was the island. Yes, we were that young and stupid. But what tans we got!

Contact: jesse-at-rightarmresource.com

At August 13, 2007 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Standing out in front of my rented house about two months ago with a girl who I thought was going to become the love of my life, only to have it tragically fall apart a few weeks later. I know that sounds sad, but there is no substitute for that original feeling, where you meet someone who is changing your life and you have all the time in the world to enjoy it. I know, it sounds very "Grease". But anyone that has had a Summer fling knows what I'm talking about.

cs - SD - chrisg040@gmail.com

At August 13, 2007 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a friend and i were smoking atop rfk at the tibetan freedom show in 99 when we see these ominous green clouds, moving much faster and looking much dark greener than clouds ever should, headed straight for us. after just staring in silence for about 30 seconds, at the same instant i started saying "odds of death, 90 percent" he starts saying "tell my mom i love her." it's a happy memory only in that it's a good example of how alike we think, or that we're kindred spirits or some shit. it's summery cause we both survived with just sunburns.


At August 14, 2007 4:30 PM, Blogger THE MERKIN MAN said...

Well, once in the hottest place on earth -- Washington D.C., a popsicle fused to my face.

nuff said.

At August 16, 2007 5:01 PM, Blogger Concrete Circles said...

favorite summertime memory: playing hardcore kickball in the rain and acting like a 5 year old.


At August 16, 2007 5:23 PM, Blogger Julez said...

We did a family driving trip from Arizona to Michigan in the summer of 1983. I was 11, my brother was 13. Destination: my Dad's high school reunion and the first time we'd ever gone back to see his family (they weren't close). Anyway, on to the 'hot' part. They were having record highs throughout the midwest, I remember there being heat-associated deaths on the front pages of the states we passed through. Being a tweenager and a teenager, my brother and I of course latched onto the drama and the misery of the heat. Since we were Arizona natives, we had never felt humidity like we were experiencing. My Dad had bought a fancy Mercedes Benz with leather seats (perhaps to impress the family and former classmates? I don't know!). My parents had the A/C on but just high enough where it cooled them off but left us sweating in the backseat. We still joke with them about how they would stick their hand in the air (on their side of the car) and tell us to stop complaining, they could feel it was cool. Of course their hands were right in front of the vents. Meanwhile we peeled ourselves from the seats at every pit stop. We didn't think we'd survive (tween/teenager mindset), but of course we did only to tell the story years later :-).

On a sidenote, when we got to Michigan my 20-something cousin taught me how to drive. I thought he was the coolest guy ever. Also, my Dad did not keep that Mercedes long, I'll have to ask him about that someday.


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