Written by Jake Romm
Summer means vacation, vacation means beaches, and beaches mean reading. Beach reading is often associated with mind-numbing page turners — those books which are found in the thriller or romance stalls at airport kiosks. While certainly fun to read and good for a relaxing afternoon on the beach, these books often leave something to be desired when it comes to intellectual stimulation.
If you’re looking for a different type of beach read, this is the list for you.
1. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
This Russian novel, finished in 1940 by Mikhail Bulgakov, is a definite sleeper pick for a great beach read. While the devil showing up to Moscow during the reign of Joseph Stalin may not seem like the funniest of plots, this book is a surprisingly light and hilarious read.
The novel is largely episodic – splitting time between descriptions of the devil and his cohorts (including the giant, trash talking, black cat Behemoth), playing practical jokes on the Moscow elite (some more sinister than others), and the more serious and challenging sections about Pontius Pilate.
2. Among The Thugs, Bill Buford
With the World Cup in full swing, it’s time to read up on your soccer. Even if you’re not interested in the history of the sport, tactics, biographies of players, or even soccer in general, Among the Thugs is still a worthy read. No book better captures the extremity of European (specifically English) soccer fandom.
Shocking, funny, engaging, and informative, Among the Thugs follows Bill Buford and his real encounters with soccer hooligans (more dangerous than they sound) throughout Europe, including the riots at the 1990 World Cup in Turin.
3. Matterhorn, Karl Marlantes
This critically acclaimed debut from ex-Marine Karl Marlantes is a gripping and powerful Vietnam War novel. The novel follows Waino Mellas and Bravo Company as they build a base on a hill code-named “Matterhorn”, only to be ordered to abandon it.
The second half of the book centers around their struggle to retake the hill from enemy hands. At times gruesome, this novel is not for the faint of heart. That being said, you will not be able to put this book down.
4. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
Everyone knows the movie, but few are familiar with the book that it was based on. Mario Puzo’s epic novel about the Corleone family is every bit as entertaining as the film. You all know the story, but the novel provides more plot-lines and much greater insight into both the major and minor characters.
5. All The Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy isn’t exactly known for writing “light reads”. His novels almost exclusively take place in bleak and hostile landscapes and his sparse punctuation makes them slightly difficult to read. Once you get acclimated to his writing style however, All The Pretty Horses is a quick and engaging western (although it is a bit dark).
It is a classic coming of age story replete with romance, knife fights, and lots of horses. The first part of a trilogy, it sets the stage for an expansive western that is equal parts beautiful and devastating.
Get Your Relaxation On!
Of course, finding the free time to go to the beach or get some reading done is fairly difficult. Everyone has their responsibilities, so let Seva Call help you thin the to-do list. We can help you take care of any outstanding home repair, car maintenance, or a variety of other needs in a matter of minutes – leaving you more time to relax and catch up on your reading.
Written by Marianne Zhao
On July 4th in 1776, the members of the Second Continental Congress signed the final document known as the Declaration of Independence. With this declaration, the thirteen colonies became the United States of America. July 4th has grown to become America’s biggest non-religious holiday, and its form of celebration has grown as well.
Here’s a bit of history as you lie down on summer grass or the beach, preparing for the exciting booms and sparkles of fireworks.
1776 - John Adams writes to his wife: “[July 4th] ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more”
1777 - Although July 4th was not an official holiday, many Philadelphians celebrated the anniversary of their nation’s independence with bell ringing, gun firing, and candle lighting.
1783 - The Revolutionary War is over, and July 4th is more celebrated in various areas. Parades, speeches, military events, and fireworks were added to the celebrations.
1941 - July 4th is proclaimed a federal holiday by Congress (finally!).
Present - People truly embrace the Red, White, and Blue with clothing, party themes, desserts, barbecues, picnics, beach vacations, and of course, FIREWORKS. The extremity of July 4th celebrations has grown over the years, and we have tried our best to honor John Adams’ wishes of Pomp and Parade.
Seva Call wishes you a happy 4th of July, and remember that we are always here to help for any last minute celebration needs. Just visit our website to submit a request for a party planner, party rental, or air conditioning repair.
Written by Marianne Zhao
It’s almost that time of year for a day filled with the smells of barbecue, ice cream, sunscreen, and bonfires and the sounds of fireworks echoing into the night. That’s right, July 4th!! This holiday not only celebrates the independence of the United States of America but also encompasses the relaxation and fun that comes with summer and family. If you want to do something a little different this 4th of July, here are some quick and easy party ideas you can try:
Decorations: It’s all about Red, White, and Blue
- You can’t go wrong with colored tissue paper streamers: they look great both inside and outside the home!
- Paint your flower pots red, white, and blue for a nice festive theme in your backyard
- Decorate your grass with white stars: cut a star shape into cardboard for a stencil. Lay the stencil on your lawn and spray the grass with water. Then use a flour sifter to fill the shape with flour.
- Use blue or red glassware (pitchers, cups, glass bottles).
- Many dollar stores sell various sized flags. These can be placed anywhere you like for a 4th of July feel!
Food: Get creative
- Watermelon is great in the summer, and to make it even more festive, you can carve your festive designs or words onto the watermelon, just like a jack-o-lantern (try: July 4th or stars).
- Sticking with the fruit theme: a fruit bowl consisting of blueberries, strawberries/raspberries, and bananas/apples. You can take a white rectangular plate and create the American flag with the different fruits.
- Serve fruit punch (red) or Gatorade (blue); you can have these in clear bowls or clear dispensers.
- You can never go wrong with a USA-themed cake or party platter!
Enjoy your holiday!
With these ideas in mind, we hope you have a perfect 4th of July! (Don’t forget the fireworks!) And remember that if you are swamped with a busy schedule or just want some help planning your party, Talk Local has the best party planners for you. Check us out here.
Stop the tweeting — and relax your thumbs for a second! The Northern Virginia technology Council has nominated Seva Call for their Hot Ticket Awards for the second straight year. That makes us sort of a big deal (twice).
Once again, the fine people at NVTC want to recognize Seva Call as a regional technology company with “great vision, the ability to implement and deliver, innovative management approach or star-quality charisma.”
“We’re ecstatic that we have kept up our trend of being a hot company in the DMV,” says Seva Call President Manpreet Singh. Seva Man was much less articulate.
“Alright, alright, alright,” he exclaimed in his best McConaissance impersonation.
Having one nomination for such an award is special, but two?! Now it’s time to go for a three-peat! Keep up on our 2015 Hot Ticket nomination run, and use our Hot Ticket nomination-worthy service here.
Written by Ezra Schwartz
Your dad has always been there for you. Whether he was playing catch with you for the first time, or dressed as a princess, enduring your tea party, he’s always been around to put a smile on your face. Even if he didn’t want to be there, even if he had work to do, even if there was a game on, Dad was always there to do what you love.
Which is why the most important thing to do this Father’s Day is to return the favor and spend time with Dad. Sure, you can still buy him a tie, watch, grill spatula, or any other cliched gift, but what Dad really wants is your time. Here are 5 ways that you can bond with your dad on June 15th, and make it the best Father’s Day he’s ever had.
5. Spend it Outdoors!
The wonderful thing about Father’s Day is that it takes place in mid-June, the ideal time for outdoor activities. Whether this means going to the beach, having a picnic in the park, taking a hike in the woods, or just having a nice barbecue, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather.
4. Make His Favorite Food
Whether your dad was the one who cooked in your house or not, he will definitely appreciate a meal with his favorite dish. It might mean going out to a fancy restaurant, or staying in and cooking yourself, but either way, it is a gesture that your father will love.
3. Go to a Baseball Game
What better bonding activity is there than baseball? For over a century, dads have been taking their sons and daughters out to the old ballgame. It’s a classic way to spend the day, and if he loves the food at the park, this one can combine the previous two tips!
2. Bring Your Kids!
While Dad may love spending time with you, chances are he loves spending time with your kids, as well. This day is not only about cherishing old memories, but about creating new ones, and there is no better way of doing that than with the new generation. Dad loves his grandkids and they love him, so whatever you do, be sure to bring them along!
1. Just Do What He Loves!
You know your dad better than we do, so you know best how to make his day perfect! Dad has something that he loves to do, and whatever it is, just do that with him. Even (and especially) if that means just sitting on the couch with a beer and watching the game or his favorite movie, make sure that Dad can do what he wants, and make sure to do it with him!
Whatever you do this Father’s Day, make sure that everything is working in the house. That wouldn’t be fun if the TV, computer, or air conditioning didn’t work. You can also make sure that the lawn looks perfect, and that all of Dad’s Sunday chores are done.
We here at Seva Call would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there! Thank you for all that you do!
Written by Marianne Zhao
June, the lovely month when the flowers bloom and the weather is ideal for days spent at the pool and outside. June also happens to be the month of National Gardening Exercise Day (June 6th to be exact).
What is this strange holiday?
Well, although it’s not as well known as July 4th or Labor Day, National Gardening Exercise Day is important to those who value the outdoors and personal health. It celebrates gardeners who want to stay in shape, combining aerobic movement with tending to plants.
If you fall in the category of an aerobic gardener or just want to hear more about this intriguing holiday, here are some typical activities done on National Gardening Exercise Day:
- Stretch before heading out into the garden (it is important that your muscles are warm)
- Alternate your movements; raking, mowing, weeding, digging, etc. Change it up every 15 minutes or so
- Add physical challenges:
> squat while hoeing or weeding (be careful if you have bad knees)
> lunge and weed (don’t forget to switch legs)
> sit and weed (use your upper body to twist and stretch)
> don’t bend from your back, bend from the knees!
> remember to alternate your balance from left to right
How will you celebrate?
If this holiday shows you that you want to get in shape or add some new things to your garden, but you want to hit the gym and leave the gardening to a professional, Seva Call has a wide network of personal trainers and landscapers. Submit a request at www.sevacall.com and get connected in seconds. Hope you enjoy this unique holiday!
We are now welcoming our 7th Texas city into the Seva Call network, and it just so happens to be the 7th most populated city in Texas: Arlington. Arlington is unique, like any city, having its own infamous landmarks and a certain culture to call its own.
For Arlington, there is the original Six Flags, aka Six Flags Over Texas. The city also boasts its unprecedented bowling culture, being home to the International Bowling Hall of Fame, the United States Bowling Congress (how cool is that?), and the International Bowling Museum. Seva Call is excited to explore this incredible city, and most importantly, is excited to help accommodate the many people living in Arlington.
What Seva Call Does for Arlington
If you don’t already know, Seva Call is a company that helps ease the process of finding a service such as a plumber, handyman, or even massage therapist. We know that in order to find a service that you rarely have to use, you probably Google some keywords and make sure a company is credible based off of ratings. Then, you need to call and schedule appointments, and this could take some time and get frustrating. By shortening the process for you with our own algorithm, Seva Call enables you to be matched with a specific service provider that fits your schedule and needs. To see how it all works, you can check out this short video.
You’ll find that in just 90 seconds, you will receive a phone call from Seva Call connecting you to just one service provider on the other line. Chances are, this company we connect you to is the one you end up working with, and all you had to do was fill in a simple request form!
Arlington, we are ready to help you save a call, with Seva Call.