When the Weather is Right

May 10th, 2008

So here we are in transition period between winter and summer known as spring. Its the time of year when the weather from one day to the next is as unpredictable as ever. One day it can be perfect with temperatures hovering in the mid 70s without a cloud in sight. The next day can be cold and rainy. With the variable conditions it compels you to make the best of the nice days and do something outside or update your website. So not knowing what tomorrow will bring in the way of weather, we present our favorite things to do when the weather is right. (Note: This list does not include obvious summer activities, as we’re talking about the period before summer arrives.)


1. Drinking…outside– Over the past three week’s I’ve had the chance to enjoy two marathon outdoor drinking events. The first was the Ball State College of Architecture and Planning end of the year celebration and the other was obviously the Kentucky Derby. I have no doubt that such marathon outdoor drinking should be an Olympic sport. Don’t get me wrong. Drinking anywhere is never a bad thing, but the experience is only enhanced with a Sam Adam’s Summer Ale in hand enjoying the great outdoors knowing the cooler is packed with ice and more cold ones.

2. Cornhole– Outdoor drinking does not and honestly should not be a solo event. Continue to make the most of a beautiful day by setting up the boards and with your free hand (remember your beer is in the other hand) grab the bags and toss cornhole. I generally take the competitive approach and play for keeps, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Cornhole is one of the most relaxing games around even if you’re not that good. Just be sure to adjust for the wind…and drunkeness.

3. Softball– Long after your glory days of baseball are over its time to move on to the old man version of America’s pastime, softball. Nobody said this too can’t involve drinking. Though I will admit the stakes are much higher considering whats involved: large, hard balls and heavy, metal bats. After being cooped up all winter theres no better way to stretch the legs. Sure you might pull your hamstring and be sore for the next week, but remember its just spring training. Grab everybody around and head out to the field. You don’t even need a full squad as you can play opposite field outs or just have batting/fielding practice.

4. Putt-Putt– I don’t get the kind of joy and relaxation out of real golf as most people do. I don’t like the idea of hitting a tiny ball into a small hole starting 400+ yards away. I’d rather take the tiny ball into a small hole idea and start from say, 20 feet away, and put my superb geometry skills to use at the same time. And with putt-putt its almost expected that you show up drunk. Best of all you don’t have to worry about the cart, losing your ball in the tall stuff, or any of the other bullshit that comes with real golf. Plus the sport is very conducive for gambling.

5. Going to a Baseball Game– I try to go to my fair share of baseball games (college, minor league, major league) every year, but I find it hard to convince myself to go when its 90 degrees outside with no chance to escape the blazing summer sun. To combat this I try to go to a handful of games early in the season when the baseball might not be as crisp but my ability to watch with be top notch. And its almost as I meant to bring this full circle because as you guessed, this also involves drinking outside.


1. Go for a walk– This is probably a 1a and 1b situation. I’d naturally prefer to play bags with my friends but thats not nearly as easy as taking a walk. There’s nothing better than realizing its nice out and throwing a pair of flip flops on and stretching the legs. When you’re in college you have to do this … its nice out and there’s class so you’re forced to take walks … as soon as you’re stuck at a desk for 9 hours you realize how awesome that was … random walks during the most beautiful days. Occasionally if its slow sometimes I even sneak out of the office and make the time up at night, but then you miss happy hour, so you’re basically fucked no matter what.

I’d also like to take a moment to remember “the Path” … which was perhaps the ultimate walking apparatus. It was destroyed for the construction of new buildings and parking lots, but it lives on in our dreams and memories.

2. Play Bags– If you’re like me you have a ridiculous leg kick for your bag throwing motion, like the d-train to distract your opponents. In my case my opponents are much better than me and they beat me any way, but someday I’ll win a game of bags against one of the do-wells. If you talk to someone not from the midwest about bags they get confused. Then you try and clarify, you know … bags? bean bag toss? cornhole? Well now you’re a fucking hick in their eyes because you’re trying to explain how much fun it is to play this game of tossing bean bags back and forth. And you explain, you know its the middle of the day on a thursday, you’re done with classes for the week and you want to hang out and drink some beers in the middle of the day but you’re not an alcoholic and its super nice out. The solution is obviously bags. They still look at you strange, hopefully I’ll find a place to build a set this summer and show ’em what’s up.

3. Play Catch/Softball– This would be my primary supporting point in a paper about why Jesus is a good friend / roommate.

Me: “Hey you want to play catch?”
Jesus: “Sure”

Then he basically tolerates your horrible tosses without much complaint. The same goes for softball when you have a group, its super fun and you get that awesome competitive vibe while spending hours upon hours outside.

4. Squirt Guns/Water Balloons– As bad as it sucks to be a target of such attacks, you have to admit its always fun to toss some water balloons or squirt someone down. Luckily water dries and damage is typically minor.

5. Yardwork– If you’re a pencil pusher like myself … and the phrase “figures lie and liars figure” applies to your work … well then there is something refreshing about doing hard work. Its only fun once in a while but there is a definite sense of accomplishment and one of the greater rewards in nature. The smell of fresh cut grass. It was kind of funny, the day before greg pitched this topic, I stood at a window and smelled the fresh cut grass. I’m sure I looked like I was trying to smoke out the window or something but wow … great smell.

What’s your favorite activity when the weather is right?

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