My cousin’s wedding happens to be the weekend before our last family reunion. What do I do when my boss only lets me take off one long weekend?

JR: One weekend off and your choices are either a cousin’s wedding or family reunion?  Your cousin will probably get married again, and there sure as heck will be another family reunion. Take a pass on both and strike out on your own.

JW: Skip the wedding; this is your excuse. Weddings are the worst, and now you’re free at last!

JT: That’s very kind of you to be stuck between two family events for your weekend off of work. How about this … I bet your cousin won’t be attending the family reunion, since they’ll probably be on their honeymoon. If they’re celebrating their honeymoon at the family reunion, you all need to start questioning your “closeness.”

Our kids have summer activities almost every day. How do I convince them to make time for family without making their activities seem unimportant?

JR: Say, “Listen, kid, we aren’t going to make swimming lessons today. Instead, we’re going to the lake, where you’ll really learn how to doggie paddle.” Helpful and a veiled threat!

JW: Develop an elaborate scheme in which there is no way to succeed, then they will be ultimately grounded for doing something wrong, and thus they’ll have to miss some of their activities. It’s all mind games, son.

JT: Is George Jr. signing himself up? Maybe just don’t sign them up for so many activities and make them choose. Then they’ll spend the rest of their lives regretting not picking ballet… I’m talking about a friend, of course.

I love going to concerts in the summer, but I don’t want to break the bank. What are some ways to enjoy live music without putting a huge dent in my bank account?

JR: If scores of people who appear not to have a dollar to their name can follow Phish and Grateful Dead around for decades, you can find a way. You might have to eat cheese and avoid showers all summer, but you can do it.

JW: There are tons of local and reasonably-priced music events in the summer. Some are indoors, some are outdoors. Mainly, if you take travel out of it, everything becomes reasonable. That just means extra booze money, and now you’re back to square one.

JT: Save up for your favorites. Who do you want to see close? Who do you just want to have ambiance at? If you’re me, the big one is the 15-year anniversary of Puddle of Mudd in Sioux Falls in July. I wouldn’t spend anything less than $75 to have “She Hates Me” screamed at me from inches away.

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