How You Should Have Fun This July

Go see:

RED 2premiers July 19.

Total Film

Dame Helen Mirren is an ex-covert ops agent who kicks butt in the name of world peace. That's all I should have to say to get you to see this. Since some of us have no idea what this movie is, I'll extrapolate: as a die-hard fan of the prequel, RED (Retired and Extremely Dangerous), I cannot wait for the next action-packed chapter. It has the same all-star cast as the first installment, plus the stunning Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the inimitable Anthony Hopkins to boot. This will be worth the $10+ ticket to see on the big screen.

Legends of Summer Tour, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z. Kicking off July 17 in Toronto, ON.

JustinTimberlake.com

What could be better than seeing "Mirrors," and "Suit And Tie" live? Seeing it AND seeing Jay-Z live. Don't worry, you don't have to trek all the way to Canada if you can't travel too far. The unstoppable, perfectly matched duo will be stopping in major cities all over the country.

Go read:

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris.

NPR

It comes as no surprised that Sedaris's latest book made the top 10 Indie Best-sellers list for non-fiction titles. The guy could write about grass clippings and any Sedaris fan would peak through the first ten pages, just to see what he could have possibly come up with.  NY Times literary critic, Janet Maslin, says that the bits of "oddball minutiae" in this book are like "rasins to Rasin Bran." If you want an easy, quirky and wickedly witty read this summer, Sedaris is your man.

Bad Monkey, by Carl Hiassen

Goodreads

The last time I read Hiassen was Skinny Dip, a dryly hilarious satire on the American condition of being married to a felon. That's a thing right? With Bad Monkey, Hiassen slathers his canvas with a picture of ambition, greed, and completing a project for the mere sake of feeling useful, even if it gets us killed. Andrew Yancy is an ex-detective whose new life as a restaurant inspector is interrupted by a dismembered arm that was fished out of the water by an unsuspecting tourist. The freak accident is, fortunately for us readers, not an accident at all. You won't regret seeing how Yancy embarks on the largest, most ill-advised citizen's arrest ever. Not to mention, Maslin recommended this on her list of Beach Reads.

Watch these:

So You Think You Can Dance, already airing.

Aceshowbiz

We hear about it each year and many of us think, oh, it's just American Idol with ball-changes. This is a misplaced reaction, and that opinion is wrong--yes, wrong. Dead wrong. Sure, there's the voting thing, which is unnecessarily dramatic, but the performances will move your body on the couch like strings on a puppet. We especially love it because of all the endorphins (happy cells) that dancing releases in the brain. The top 20 have already been picked so you've got to tune in now to see some stunning performances. Even if you don't need no stinking endorphins, watch this clip and tell me you don't want more.

The Newsroom, premier date: July 14

TheSubstantive

If there's any show that will make you want to become a reporter, this is it. The cast, loaded with the likes of Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Olivia Munn, delivers amazing performances and convinces viewers that no other actors would be better suited for the roles Aaron Sorkin created. The show follows a fictional news show in light of real events. If anything, it portrays an extreme picture of professional news people against their personal lives. The drama is cut nicely with doses of humor. The show is only in it's second season, so catching up won't be a problem if you need to. In fact, I'm jealous that you have a whole season to plow through like one, epic episode.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?, premier date: July 16

Deviant Art

Like wine, comedians get better with age. Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochri are coming BACK, and as is evidenced by the sneak preview of the new season, they've still got it. Drew Carey is busy with The Price Is Right, so the hosting shoes will be filled by Aisha Taylor, and I'm not mad about it. Taylor has proven her comedic chops with her role as Agent Lana Kane in Archer, the cartoon comedy about a dysfunctional spy agency. I'm excited.

Listen to this:

If you need a fantastic summer playlist, you should check out what HooplaHa rounded up. If you want to dive into an album of one band's jams, then I recommend the following albums in case you missed them:

Grinning Streakby Barenaked Ladies, released March, 2013

Target

Even if you're not a Barenaked Ladies fan, you can bob along to their latest album. Their signature 90s rock style is not lost, yet the sound they started with has definitely grown and made room for the millenials. "Odds Are," already on Megan's list, "Limits," and "Did I Say That Out Loud?" are particularly suited for a wider and younger audience. The rest of the album will surely call up memories of "It's All Been Done," and "One Week."

Modern Vampires of the Cityby Vampire Weekend released June 2013.

Raven

If you ever wondered what Vampires might sound like in the 50s, I have the answer! Or rather, Vampire Weekend just created it. A wonderful blend of retro and Indie sounds will have you cruising down an evening road with the windows down, air pushing your bangs back. For lack of a better word, the album is just plain cool. All vocal alterations, like auto-tune, are clearly intentional, creating an effect that puts modern technology in the anachronistic marriage of Indie pop and 50s rock. The choruses of "Unbelievers," and "Step" will absolutely get stuck in your head.

Nom on this:

Celebrate National Hot Dog Month with an epic hotdog.

blogchef.net

My other, equally fabulous intern, Tom, created the most epic list of hot dog recipes on Earth for Memorial Day celebrations. Seeing as how July is the month of the hot dog, you probably want to try at least a few of these one-of-kind renditions of an American classic.

Enjoy the Tour de France with a French wine.

French Institute Alliance Française

We all deserve a glass of wine after a day of work. Invite some friends over to turn on the Tour de France, and pop a couple corks to enjoy some R&R. The race has already begun and will end July 21, so it's not too late to tune in! And it's never too late for a good Pinot.

Dan's Coffee Runs Bring Warmth To Chemo Patients and Staff

Coffee and a smile are sometimes the best medicine. When Dan Dewey's father was being treated for cancer, Dan found himself following a routine in a situation which needed a little perking up.

Thus began what has become known as "Dan's Coffee Run". Every Thursday morning, Dan does a special coffee run for the staff and patients at the Michigan Cancer Institute in Bloomfield Hills, bringing Starbucks Coffee and a lot of smiles to the patients and providers at the cancer treatment center.

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This Organization Feeds Their Entire Community

If you are a kid and your bed is a lumpy, old couch or a cold, hard floor and you leave home for school without a regular breakfast, you will not excel in your classes. This daily struggle is shockingly common in many areas of the country and it sets many children on a downward spiral at an early age that is difficult to recover from. This is where Meals By Grace is making a difference.

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Anonymous Authors of Love Letters Uplift The Lonely

While it is exciting to see the bold type of a newly arrived email from an old friend or the pulsing dots of a long awaited text, there is still something special about the arrival of a hand written, stamped envelope in your home mailbox.

For those who are facing personal difficulties, adjusting to new circumstances, or just feeling isolated, the physical experience of handling a letter, opening the sealed side of the envelope, and sliding out a beautiful card brings the thrill and anticipation of contact with another person, something they may been missing for long time. Fulfilling this need is at the heart of an inspiring organization called "The World Needs More Love letters".

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A Father, A Son, And A Hockey Fan’s Dream Come True!

Coca-Cola, Shaw's Supermarkets, and the Boston Bruins have teamed up to make one lucky Bruins fan's dream come true. After purchasing a Coke from Shaw's in the New England area, contestants were encouraged to enter for a chance to win a "Player for a Day Experience" with the Boston Bruins.

The lucky winner's name is Mark Karolkiewicz. Mark has been a Bruins fan his whole life and even though he had the opportunity to be a Bruins Player for a Day, he selflessly gave the prize to his son Eric Karolkiewicz, also a die-hard Bruins fan!

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Dancing Away From Illness And Onto The Stage

The hall lights dim…..a hush comes over the audience … the command "places everyone" is given… there is a palpable stillness in the air as the first notes of the opening piece float out of the speakers and hover above the stage…. the curtain rises with a whir … the lights come up… its time …

These are the moments a performer lives for. The hours of solitary sweat and toil practicing their craft in sparse, small rooms, are the dues required for the joy of putting their skill and craft out there for an audience hungering for something special and moving.

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Singer, Poet, Activist, Lupus Survivor - Shanelle Gabriel

"Rock out...live your life....live your art!" This was Brooklyn, New York native Shanelle Gabriel's response to her diagnosis of Lupus, an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system, that usually fights infections, attacks healthy tissue instead.

Shanelle first noticed something was off when her fingers turned blue and hurt in the cold and she could not seem to shake the feeling of fatigue no matter how well she slept. After being diagnosed in 2004, Shanelle decided that her health would not be something that would limit her success.

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NFL Player Mentors Kid Dealing with Mom's Cancer

For families with a member who is battling cancer, life can seem lonely. The trials and tribulations of such a scary disease can be very intense—how could anyone who hasn't gone through them understand?

Walk With Sally is an organization founded to provide loving support to children whose parents or siblings are fighting cancer, and they helped make a very special match between two people who could understand one another's experience personally. Will Svitek, a former NFL professional, lost his father to cancer when he was just 31. He joined Walk With Sally for the express purpose of mentoring youngsters who were struggling in similar situations. That's how he met Rocco.

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These Fearless Freefalling Females Will Amaze You

Did you know that today is Women Rock! Day? To celebrate and inspire, we found a special group of women who are doing what they love as they defy gravity and perform breathtaking aerial acrobatics thousands of feat in the air!

This group is known as the Joy Riders and they aren't afraid of much. The all female, international skydiving and base jumping team fall through the sky for fun. They represent joy, passion, inspiration, and work to motivate their audience to go after what they want most in life.

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