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SUMMER RULES is a series where we ask people to share with us how they’re staying safe and sane during this very different summer season; from mask suggestions to soundtrack selections, we’ll take a peek into how others are making these challenging times work.

Today we’re joined by one of our absolute favorite humans of all time, Haywood Turnipseed Jr.; the stand up comic recommends laughter, sangria, Bob Marley and more for maintaining balance during Summer 2020. Read up on all his top tips, and be sure to tune in to his appearance on our IG Live (@brightestyoungthings) tonight at 6pm ET; he’ll be speaking with Matt Jackson about how to keep the Black Lives Matter momentum going a month in. (Incredibly important dialogue, don’t miss it.)

How do you usually feel about summer, as a season overall, and how do you feel about THIS summer, by comparison?

I love summertime; my sons and I all have summer birthdays, and it’s usually a good time of celebration. This year we’re not able to do anything major, so it’s been more of a time of reflection. Summer to me is about chillaxin’, and preparing for fall, and winter seasons’; that’s been heightened this year for sure. 

What is your summer shaping up to look like?

Busier than I thought it would be; when the pandemic originally surfaced and quarantine began everything seemed to pause. Now that restrictions are beginning to ease, we’re prepping for teleworking, virtual learning, and virtual performances.I’m spending a good amount of time familiarizing myself with technology that makes it possible. 

Is there anything in particular you’re actually looking forward to this summer?

Going outside; going outside as often as possible.  

What are some of your tips for staying safe and sane right now? 

Keeping a good sense of humor, along with a heightened sense of awareness; Something that makes you laugh releases chemicals in the body that relieve stress and lead to overall improvement in the immune system, so be sure to laugh whenever you can. There’s a proverb that states ‘what soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul’, and a good laugh for me is like a good shower; refreshing (LOL).  

Go-to summer wellness practice advice? Any spots in particular that have been helping you on that front?

We do a lot of walking, and hiking; Carderock is a cool spot that we go to. The DMV really has no shortage of trails and areas that you can check out and experience many things. A lot of the trails feature stops that were on the Underground Railroad, I’m not sure what’s open due to the pandemic, but that’s great stuff to check out. 

Where did you get your mask from? And what, aside from that, has been your more or less go-to summer uniform?

My wife, Tracie, got our entire family masks through Amazon; she has a prime account. She got them to fit her, me, and the three kids, who live in the house. We each have two; they’re washable, with a space for a filter for increased protection and minimal obstruction. Before that I would wear a bandana, or a too small t-shirt wrapped around my entire head with only my eyes exposed; it looked silly, but it helped fulfill some superhero fantasies that I had.

What (if anything) are you reading right now, and why do you recommend it? (Alternatively, just share a favorite book.)

I finished up ‘The Four Agreements’ by Miguel Ruiz; it’s a good ‘guide-to-life’ themed book, and seemed to be what I needed to know going into quarantine. I’ve been reading a few books to my kids; ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho , and ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ by Norton Juster.

Do you have a go-to summer hang-out recipe that still works for a socially distanced gathering? And/or just a favorite general summer recipe that’s still a go-to, even now?

Cooking out, grilling, is summer. Grilled watermelon is something that I’ve gotten into recently, with grilled fish, and a veggie kabob. I like the grilled watermelon as is, but you can add cilantro, or feta cheese and herbs for a refreshing summer themed dish. 

What about a great summer cocktail or mocktail recipe?

Sangria; My wife’s recipe uses rum, wine, champagne, and strawberry simple syrup. 

What’s on your summer playlist this year, or are there three songs that are permanent summer favorites for you?

This summer I’ve been blasting ‘Run The Jewels’ latest album, particularly ‘Ooh-la-la’; it’s the perfect song and video this summer. And Bob Marley, this year would have been Marley’s 75th Birthday and summer doesn’t sound right to me without Bob Marley’s music. It’s as timeless and as important as ever was.