TMI Questions: Memorial Day Weekend – The Official Start of Summer


I don’t do these TMI posts from Sean at Just A Jeep Guy every week, but on occasion, I see a topic that I can’t resist. Since I’m looking so forward to this summer for so many reasons, this one was a no brainer. I had to answer the questions. I hope you enjoy my answers.

1. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance but it also signifies the “Official” start of summer. What are your plans this weekend?

Today is the last day of school. We finished our last exams yesterday, and today is just a teacher workday, so not so bad. No students unless they have to retake or make-up exams. Friday night will be a date night with the new man in my life, which will be loads of fun, even though we’ve decided that it’s best to slow things down a bit.

With school out, I will spend the weekend packing for my cruise. We leave on Monday (Memorial Day) and will return to port on Saturday May 31st. What a way to start the summer! I’m not for sure what I will be doing the rest of the summer, but when I get back from the cruise, I plan to continue exploring my new boldness (something I plan to do on the cruise as well).

2. What is your most and least favorite thing about summer?

My favorite thing about summer is…wait for it…NO STUDENTS. No real surprise there. I love teaching, but if the students need a break from school, teachers need more of a break from them.

Living in Alabama, my least favorite thing about summer is the heat and humidity. I hate that when you walk out the door, you break into a sweat. The only relief is the pool outside and the air conditioner inside.

3. What do you think of when I say “Bar-B-Que?”

When I think of Bar-B-Que, I think of the Fourth of July. Each summer when my granddaddy was alive, he barbecued pork ribs over a large pit of coals, mopping it with a blend of butter, salt, vinegar, and water. Inside my grandmama would be making the barbecue sauce. She and my mama disagreed on this, but since mama was grandmama’s daughter-in-law, she deferred to grandmama. Grandmama’s barbecue sauce was a mix if store bought barbecue sauce and ketchup. Mama made hers completely from scratch: ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. She never had specific amounts (Grandmama did with hers), but mama went by taste and instinct, and it was always delicious. However, what made it real barbecue, is that the barbecue sauce has to be added at the end of the cooking process to candy a little on the meat. Adding sauce after, is just not good enough.

By the way, along with Bar-B-Que, you need coleslaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob cooked on the grill with barbecue sauce added at the end just like with the meat. Of course there needs to be sweet tea and homemade lemonade. And there must be myriad of deserts with sometime around mid-afternoon the ice cream churn is brought out for some old fashioned homemade ice cream.

That’s what Bar-B-Que means to me: good family, good food, and good fun.

4. What is your favorite summer food?

My favorite summer food is cold fried chicken. It brings up wonderful memories of family vacations. Mama would get up early on the morning we’d leave and fry a chicken and out it in the cooler. When lunch time rolled around, we’d stop and eat the fried chicken cold with potato chips and a Coke.

As for overall summer foods, I tend to like colder more refreshing dishes, such as sushi or even a pasta salad. There is a particular bacon and ranch pasta salad I love to make with chicken, broccoli and carrots added to it that is so filling, yummy and refreshing.

I also love a good cold sandwich. When I lived in Mississippi there was a little restaurant called the Spicy Pickle. I used to love to get their sandwich called The Med which had chicken, feta, kalamata olives, cucumber, pepperoncini, red onion, lettuce, tomato, Greek dressing served on ciabatta bread (I always requested no olives or tomatoes though). Served with a cold spicy pickle spear, a bag of chips or pasta salad and a sweet tea and you had a wonderful and refreshing lunch. Sadly, the location in Mississippi closed and the closest location is now Houston, TX, but luckily, the sandwich is easy to replicate.

5. Are you is swim suit shape yet?

No, I’m not, but who the fuck cares. We have the bodies we have and we should take pride in them. I plan to work on getting in swim suit shape this summer, but it’s not a quick process.

6. Given the choice, which do you prefer: ocean, lake or pool?

I prefer a pool. Lakes and rivers are full of snakes. I hate snakes. The ocean has sand, which gets in a lot of unpleasant places. The pool is clean and refreshing. So I prefer the pool. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love to go to the beach, but the pool is also much closer.

7. Which summer blockbuster movie are you most looking forward to seeing?

“Maleficent,” the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty,” sounds the most promising. (I’m also hoping to see Captain America and Spider-Man 2.) The description of “Maleficent” sounds like a good movie:

A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

8. Summer reading: What? Recommendations?

To begin with, I plan to read Country Mouse and City Mouse by Amy Lane, The Romano and Albright books by LB Gregg, and Husband Material and The Accidental Cupid by Xavier Mayne. Once I get those read, I will probably read the Maze Runner series.

As for recommendations, I would suggest the two Brandt and Donnelly mysteries by Xavier Mayne, Frat House Troopers and Wrestling Demons. The Men of Smithfield collection by LB Gregg is also a fun read. I tend to suggest light reading over the summer.

I might read some more serious books over the summer, such as the newest Donna Leon book, By the Book, which I am currently reading. Maybe even a good history or two if I come across one.

9. Vacation Plans? If you can’t, what would you do if you could?

Besides the cruise next week, I am tentatively planning maybe a trip to South Carolina and/or possibly a trip to Orlando. I’ve also considered a trip to St. Louis over the summer. It’s halfway between where a dear friend of mine lives and where I live.

If I could choose anywhere to go on vacation during the summer and money was not a problem, I’d love to go to Europe. I have a friend touring Norway right now, and the pictures he’s sent me back look beautiful. However, if I had my first choice, it would be Italy or Greece. I’d also love to go visit a dear friend of mine in Hawaii. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I’ve only heard great things about it.

10. Did you ever have to go to summer school?

Um, no. I’m The Closet Professor. It should be implied that I never had to attend summer school. However, during graduate school, I did sometimes take summer classes, and I’m officially one of the teachers qualified to teach summer school at the high school where I teach.

Sex on the beach?

I think it’s a tasty drink.

And if you want real sex on the beach, you might want to try Pensacola Gay Memorial Day Weekend 2014.

Florida’s westernmost city, Pensacola is near the tip of the state’s northwest panhandle and has long had a reputation as a religiously conservative Navy town as well as a popular family resort area. If this doesn’t sound like an obvious destination for gay and lesbian travelers, it isn’t – at least most of the year. But in late May, during Memorial Day weekend, Pensacola is the site of one of the nation’s larger GLBT gatherings, a combination gay circuit party and regional gay pride event. The dates of the four-day Gay Memorial Day Weekend party are May 22 to May 26, 2014, and as many as 150,000 attendees from throughout the South are expected to attend this year, which features some brand-new parties and events in Pensacola Beach.

Here’s a look at 2014 Pensacola Memorial Day Weekend – check out the official calendar of events for more details:

As it has for many years, the city’s popular – and very fun – gay nightclub, Emerald City (406 E. Wright St., 850-433-9491), hosts a series of Pensacola Memorial Weekend parties, beginning on Thursday night and lasting until Monday evening (these include everything from the opening party on Thursday to an underwear party later in the weekend).

The main daytime events are the Splash Beach Fest celebration, held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am until 7 pm at an 11,000-square-foot pavilion in Pensacola Beach at Park East, a little over a mile east of Portofino Resort and Spa. Admission is free (you must be over 18), and guests are advised to bring tents, cabanas, and beach gear, but food, cocktails, and beer will be available. Each of these three days, there are parties during the day led by top DJs. The biggest nighttime event is be Saturday night’s WAVE Beach Party – it takes place from 10 pm until 4 in the morning. You can purchase tickets to WAVE Beach Party online or in person at the gate or the Memorial Day Weekend welcome center.

Pensacola’s other fun gay bars (such as the Roundup and The Cabaret), restaurants, hotels, and shops fill up with gay folks during Memorial Day weekend. The organizers of the Emerald City parties have GLBT-friendly hotel information on Pensacola (preferred properties include the Hilton Pensacola Beach, Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach, Paradise Inn Pensacola, and Pensacola Beach RV Resort), and you can also find more GLBT information on the region at Gay Grassroots Northwest Florida. Other resources of note include New Orleans-based Ambush Magazine.

For basic travel and tourism information on the region, you can also look to the Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. But think of his organization as a general guide to the area, not as a supporter of the event – the organization makes no mention of the Memorial Day Weekend party on its site, nor does it provide any information specifically geared to gay and lesbian visitors.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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