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Pop Rocks: Alternatives During the Most Boring Time of the Year

ScarJo in Lucy might be one of your only decent movie options over the next two months.
ScarJo in Lucy might be one of your only decent movie options over the next two months.

Beginning July 5, we enter the worst part of the year if you want to be entertained. From the first week of the year's seventh month through approximately Labor Day in early September, prepare yourself for boredom. Sure, this is the traditional time of year that most people go on vacation or spend time with family and friends, but what about on those regular days when you have nothing going on? What about a random Wednesday? What the hell are we supposed to do?

Because, let's face it, when it comes to the world of entertainment, we are all out of luck.

Movies

One of the best retreats in the summer is a cool, dark movie theater. Unfortunately, most of the big summer film releases have already happened. Beyond Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (God, help us), the summer blockbuster season has largely ended. That doesn't mean that there aren't decent movies yet to be seen, but the number will now dwindle to nearly nothing unless you're into cartoon films or The Expendables 3 (ack!).

Recommended Alternatives: Lucy and Guardians of the Galaxy could be very interesting, but a safer bet is streaming some old movies you've never seen before. Try on some Hitchcock for starters.

Television

With fall sweeps still months away, all we have to look forward to is a bunch of rejected shows trotted out during the summer in hopes they might catch on or reality TV. Oh, sure, Bachelor in Paradise sounds AMAZING (if by amazing, you mean awful), but this is the time of year to turn the TV off and look for another form of entertainment...or binge watch series you've never seen before.

Recommended Alternatives: It might be tempting or even entertaining to watch every episode of Dexter in a single week, but maybe try reading a book. No, I'm not joking!

Fine Arts

Whether it's art exhibits or the performing arts, this is normally down time for many organizations and museums. It's hard enough to get people to go to the opera without vacation and amusement parks taking priority for most families. There are plenty of good ongoing art installations worth checking out, but you'd be hard pressed to find a good musical or dance performance before this fall.

Recommended Alternatives: Take a class. Maybe you could create some art of your own or learn to dance or be a better cook. And it makes you an active participant instead of just a bystander.

 

Even John Singleton can't kill the summer doldrums.
Even John Singleton can't kill the summer doldrums.
Photo by Tom Haggerty

Music

This might be one of the few areas of entertainment that is active in the summer, but so much of it is at festivals, sometimes hundreds of miles from home (like Pitchfork or Lollapalooza or the Gathering of the Juggalos -- you know you wanna). And if you are living in Houston, you will struggle to find enough options to keep you entertained on the regular.

Recommended Alternatives: See some local music. You might be surprised just how good local musicians are and it gives you an excuse to hang out in bar without seeming like an alcoholic.

Sports

World Cup will be over soon and then we are left with baseball, but these are the dog days of the season well before the pennant races begin. By the time the end of September rolls around, all four major sports (plus soccer) will be rolling, but until then, you'll be hard pressed to find much worth watching in the way of spectator sports.

Recommended Alternatives: Play some sports yourself. Listen up, chubby, this is the time to shed some weight before the holidays set in and there isn't a more entertaining way to do it than through sports. So, go shoot some hoops or toss a ball around. You'll be healthier and happier for it.

Holidays

Unless you are really into Senior Citizens Day, the holidays available to you after July 4 and before September 1 (Labor Day in 2014) are non-existent. That means no three day weekends or "official" days off for nearly two months. That's a pretty tough stretch.

Recommended Alternatives: Go on vacation. Let's face it, this is one of the reasons everyone does it at this time. Join the crowd and take some time off.


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