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by Brian Clarey

10 BEST THINGS I WISH I HAD TIME TO DO THIS SUMMER

RANDOMLY COMPILED BY BRIAN CLAREY

FLOYD FEST

My old college roommate says that summer is over after the Fourth of July. Out of habit I fight him on this assertion, but it’s kind of true. The rest of the season will whip by in a blur; before we know it the kids will be back in school, twilight will creep into the afternoon hours and the grind will begin anew. But there are a few things I’d like to do before autumn takes over, and it looks like I may not have the time. Floyd Fest, happening this weekend in Floyd, Va., is one of those things.

The lineup includes Galactic, Matisyahu, Garage a Trois, Jackson Browne and a slew of others I’d love to catch. But it’s not gonna happen.

A DATE WITH MY WIFE

Not that my summer has been so terrible. It’s been awesome actually, with lots of time spent with the kids and at the pool. But family time is not the same thing as time spent as a couple with my wife, and I don’t think we’ve been on a single date together, just the two of us, since school let out in June. I’d like to book something with her before the clock runs out.

PINBALL TOURNAMENT

The Lost Ark in Greensboro is holding its monthly pinball tournament Friday night at 7 p.m. I played in the last one — unspectacularly, though I made it to the second round and I’ve been practicing as much as my schedule allows. But I will be out of town by the time this issue hits the streets on Wednesday on a family trip to New Orleans, so I will be unable to make it. Maybe in August.

GO TO NEW YORK

Yes, I am headed to New Orleans this week on a long awaited and well deserved family vacation. But usually we take a drive up to New York to see my parents, go to the beach and hang out with old friends. I’m optimistic that there will be enough summer left when we get back to arrange another of these trips.

EXERCISE

It’s funny: Every year I look forward to the end of school so we won’t have to endure the daily grind that begins at 6 a.m., wends its way through dinner and homework and ends in exhaustion. But even though the kids have lighter schedules, we may actually be busier in the summertime. I vowed in June to resume my exercise regimen once summer began, but it is a promise I have not been entirely able to keep.

OUTSIDE PROJECTS

I’ve got a short story rolling, a few thousand words of a novel written and another sketched out, plus I have a storage space with an awful lot of copies of my first book, The Anxious Hipster and Other Barflies I’ve Known (available at Amazon and brianclarey.com!), awaiting distribution at readings I have not scheduled. I’ve been reluctantly pushing these projects back all summer.

ROLLER DERBY

Greensboro Roller Derby is awesome, though admittedly I’ve only been to one bout. I missed the Star Wars-themed one earlier in the summer, and the next one is on Aug. 4, though details on the website are marked TBA. If I can find the time, I will be going.

MOVIES

I’m slowly catching up on the big summer blockbusters. I caught The Avengers almost a month after it hit theaters, and we brought the kids to see Brave just a couple weeks ago. But I still need to see Prometheus, the new Batman and Spider- Man films, Ted and Rock of Ages, preferably on the big screen. I’ll take a pass on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer and the Katy Perry movie, thanks.

A LONG STORY

I’ve been kicking around an idea for a YES! Weekly cover story that will entail an impossible amount of research and time for reflective thinking. With my current workload, family obligations and need for regular sleep, I just don’t see how I can get it done.

LEARN TO PLAY MORTAL KOMBAT

It sounds silly, I know, and the Xbox version of this game came out months ago, but we picked it up just a couple weeks ago and while both of my sons have become proficient at it, I have yet to even try it. My 9-year-old (soon to be 10) has been requesting that I sit down with him and learn how to crush spines, break jawbones and otherwise pulverize opponents. I must make time to do that soon.

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