Week Six of Summer

Week 6 sketchesWell the Holiday weekend has come and gone and I for one am always thankful for the return to a normal work schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I love three-day weekends, but last week’s schedule was particularly altered due to weather. Monday there was a freak rain storm that knocked the power out. We were let out early in between showers, which was an oddly fun way to start the work week. Then Tuesday we were without power for a couple hours in the morning. Then regular days Wednesday and Thursday. Cue end of work week and a randomly fun Fourth of July.

Friday was a day fueled by whims. Randomly I drug out my rollarblades. Shockingly I knew exactly where they were, despite not using them for the last five years. Although, in all honestly, I did store them in the garage just last year when I was moving in, so it isn’t all that impressive. The rollarblading went shockingly well. I didn’t fall once. For me that is quite the accomplishment. I don’t have stellar balance and I can’t break. RollarbladingA match made in heaven, right? There were several close calls but I stayed on all eight wheels. To help facilitate this I made a bee-line to the elementary school parking lot and J4 roller rinked it. Just went round and round listening to my music until I was ready to slowly and carefully make my way home. Rollerblading across train tracks is not the easiest thing. All-in-all the first go went so well I went again this weekend, only the second time I sent to the high school parking lot (well high school when I went there, now it’s the “intermediate” building – or something like that). It’s a bit bigger and close to the middle school and new high school so I can just go from lot to lot. A much smarter idea for me to stay off the streets.

I also started a quilt this weekend. Because why not? I’ve had some of my shirts from high school cut up and ready for ages and this weekend I got them all sewn together. I still have several steps left (Trim, back side and edging) but somehow it feels like I have a lion’s share of the work done. At first when I put ‘Make a Quilt’ on my list I figured it would be one of the things I didn’t accomplish. A bit more optimistic about it now.

Besides the fun things I did my mother and I also got more work done on the basement remodel (which was fun too). We built a couple of columns, walled the closet, put in some trim and some other random patching projects. Not to shabby if I do say so myself. Every step we take brings us a bit closer to completion. The nice bit about what we got done was these were areas we were putting off until we had time to really think of solutions. It was as if our brains had been mulling over the problems while we did the other work because when we sat down to talk it through it all just fell into place. Thank you brain.

Oh! I’m also kind of proud. My new writing venture (qfreewriting.wordpress.com) is going well. Is it brilliant writing? Of course not. It’s all quick, rough draft quality work. However, it’s fun to do, so I’ll be keeping that up as best I can. Links to the first week of writing are below. I think what I like most about the prompts is that sometimes they take a turn that even I didn’t even know was coming.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five

Daily Writings: July 1 | July 2 | July 3 | July 4 | July 5 | July 6 | July 7

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt (started)
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music from a different country
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)
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Week Five of Summer

June is over! I can hardly believe it. Summer is a third of the way gone and boy is it flying fast. I’ve completed 23.5% of my summer to-do list (although, if you take into consideration I realistically only thought I’d get half my list completed, I’m 47% done).

Urban Exploration

This week started with an impromptu romp around Gilbert. Gilbert is a tiny town in the middle of Iowa. I went to primary school there and have since become a resident. After my mother and I did some basement work on Monday I decided to walk around the town. It was half-past nine so nothing too terribly interesting was happening while I ‘explored’. I did have fun doing a lap around the track. Yup, I actually put ‘fun’, ‘track’ and ‘lap’ in the same sentence. Granted, I did the lap barefoot. Sure running barefoot may not be brilliant, but running in Toms would not have been a good idea either. Also, it’s just so squishy. Any who, my favorite part of the walk was when I was a block away from my house and I realized this random pine tree had lit Christmas lights on it. I don’t know who did it, because it is right by the co-op, but I like them.

Christmas in JunePerhaps the decorator was just getting ready for ‘Christmas in June’ a couple days early? I argue this only because I drove past a couple days ago and the tree wasn’t lit. I didn’t necessarily see any lights on it either, but it was dark. We celebrated at my office by listening to Christmas music all day. Although we all agree that it’s too bad we can’t listen to Christmas music more often, after the eight hour binge, we decided we are all set for awhile.

Sand VolleyballBetween scheduling and rain outs I hadn’t made it to any of our sand volleyball games. That all changed last Thursday. The lemons, again united, had a blast losing all three games. That isn’t sass. We did have fun. It’s hard not to have fun at sand volleyball. It is innately so much more chill than regular volleyball. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season! We had one more player that wasn’t there but this Thursday, I think, we’ll all be truly united again. Unless I’m forgetting something, which is likely.

Foreign MusicA fun part about being office DJ is that my coworkers get to enjoy my musical whims as well. For instance, this summer we have replaced ‘Free Choice Friday’ (where I would ask a coworker what they want to listen to and inevitably they say “oh I don’t care”) with Foreign Friday. Yup. We’ve gone international. Last week we listened to the spotify mix Entro to Hungarian Pop which introduced us to a whole slew of new artists. Certainly more than the three we had started the summer with. Our mix of Sigur Ros (Icelandic Rock), Julieta Venegas (American-born Mexican singer) and Toe (Japanese group) has grown considerably. You can never have too much music, right?

Weekly SketchesThe thing about summer is, no matter how much you have during the week, weekends are also packed. This weekend was no exception. Enjoyably we went up to my sister’s in Minnesota to celebrate my nephew’s third (three and a half actually) birthday. Although getting there was tricky with roads closed for flooding, once we got there it was perfect. Breezy so the humidity wasn’t terrible, and the rain stayed away until after the party. It came down by the boat load as we drove home, but at least we weren’t washed away while eating cake. Then, before I knew it, Sunday passed in a wink. With the storms in Central Iowa taking most of yesterday’s attention, we are already to Tuesday (and subsequently July). With July brings a new endevor. Now that I’ve been able to keep up my daily sketching, we’ll see if I can add writing to the mix. However, since I don’t have many interesting things to say, it will come in the form of responding to creative writing prompts. I decided to create a separate blog for that (qfreewriting.wordpress.com). That’s it really. Let the summer march on!

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music (from a different country)
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

Week Four of Summer

A slow week in regards to crossing things off my list, but life is more than lists. This past weekend I hosted a murder mystery dinner at my place and if that isn’t a fun thing to do in the summer (or any time really) then I don’t know what is. Originally scheduled for the beginning of March it was delayed by a blizzard (only I would think the weather would be favorable that time of year in Iowa). I was excited that we were able to make it work this time around. Granted it didn’t work for everyone’s schedules but I’m inclined to guess this will be a repeat event.

My friend really embraced the fact she was the guilty party.

My friend really embraced the fact she was the guilty party.

The premise of this particular game (‘Til Death Do Us Part) was we were all in the Cayman Island’s celebrating the marriage of Blaine and Bitzy Barnacle. Nope, I’m not making those names up, they were all pretty great. Tragedy strikes and someone is murdered right before the reception. I wont give the actual solution away (which would just be rude) but through the twists and subplots we all arrived at our various theories. In the end I think only one person accused the right person. That matters little (although massive kudos to him) because in the end it was just a blast to sit around and have fun with my friends. Especially since this isn’t something we normally do.

SangriaOh! In preparation for the dinner I did accomplish one of my to-dos. I decided, it being summer and we were in the Caymans, I’d make Sangria. I have my art teacher’s recipe and seeing as how it’s so good, I’ve never tried another. Beside that though, not a lot of new stuff. Another wonderful week just relaxing and enjoying the longer days. Just last night I realized the sun was STILL out at 9 so I decided to go out on the porch to do my daily sketching. Week 4 SketchesI swear, I forget how the sun works because I don’t remember it being light this much. Part of the joys of living outside the Tropics I guess, large variation of hours of daylight. I can’t imagine how it is for Canadians (or really anyone that far away from the equator). I think I’ll add it to my bucket list to experience the Summer Solstice in a northern country…or contrarily the Winter Solstice in a southern country. Either will work. The Winter has the added benefit of breaking the winter tedium of the Midwest.

Until next time
~Q

Summer Series: Intro | Week One | Week Two | Week Three

Summer 2014

  1. Nap in a Hammock
  2. Have a Bonfire
  3. Play Sand Volleyball
  4. Visit an Iowa Winery
  5. Go to the Zoo
  6. Eat Sushi
  7. Go Stargazing
  8. Christmas in June
  9. Rainy Day Picnic
  10. Make a Summer Soundtrack
  11. Visit a Bed & Breakfast
  12. Ride a Carousel
  13. Go Camping
  14. Watch a Baseball Game
  15. Harry Potter Non-Stop Movie Marathon
  16. Radio Silence (no music, tv, computer or phone for 24 hours)
  17. Watch a Movie Outside
  18. Go Roller Blading
  19. Go to a Concert
  20. Go Wading
  21. Go Bowling
  22. Make Caramel Apples
  23. Meal Over a Fire
  24. Launch a Firecracker
  25. Urban Exploration
  26. Have a BBQ
  27. Make a Quilt
  28. Blow Bubbles on the Porch
  29. Play Bocce Ball
  30. Go People Watching
  31. Fill the Tank & Drive
  32. Make Wind Chimes
  33. Draw a Landscape
  34. Go Berry Picking
  35. Take a Weekend Trip Alone
  36. Paint a Canvas
  37. Do Yoga
  38. Make a Meal using only Farmer’s Market Food
  39. Spend the Afternoon on a Riverbank
  40. Watch a Sunrise
  41. Attend a Street Market
  42. Listen to Rock Music (from a different country)
  43. Picnic in the Park
  44. Start a Wish Tree
  45. See a Drive-In Movie
  46. Make Sangria
  47. Go for a Hike
  48. Go to a Fair
  49. Make a Banana Split
  50. Sketch Everyday
  51. Give to Others (donate old clothes to charity)

I Have No Memory Of This Place

ImageThis morning I awoke to find myself in a new place. Or perhaps and old one since it seems ‘broken in’. On the dresser next to the bed there is a book with a cell phone shoved in to mark a page. Almost as if the person was reading late into the night and got so tired they grabbed the first thing their hands touched. Drawers are left ajar, same with boxes, as if the person who opened them needs not to worry about someone else seeing the contents or running into them. My eye leaves the immediate area and focuses out into the rest of the room where one of two book shelves traps my attention. I arise to look at the books. The shelf is filled with fiction books, mainly dividing into either the fantasy/science fiction genre or mystery. Whoever belongs here spends a great deal of time being somewhere else (mentally). Above the shelf is a ‘wrought iron’ inspired rod that coordinates both with the bed and other pieces scattered about the room, as if the person who lives here likes the classics. However the black tie with lime green polka dots hint as something more. Clearly there is a person who lives here that has multiple fascinations (sketchbook on the bedside dresser filled with half completed sketches and a notebook filled with indecipherable half notes).

Fun prompt today that is quite timely. Just yesterday I rearranged the apartment so somethings are in my room that weren’t in there before, like my second book shelf and computer. To be honest the redecorating began Friday night and still isn’t done. Mainly because I’m easily distracted and not the most diligent. A lazy weekend of slowly moving stuff is what I’ve doomed myself to, but it’s such a bast!

Pleading the Fifth [Daily Prompt]

Today’s Daily Post made me chuckle because it’s such an inane thing. However a question I hate to be asked is the casual ‘how are you?’ that is prompted after you see someone in the morning and have already said hello. I got this a lot when I worked for a bigger company. I’d pass someone in the hall and here’s how it’d go down:

Them “Morning”
Me “Good Morning”
Them” How are you?”
Me “I’m good, how are you?”
No response because they are halfway down the hall.

When passing someone there is really only time for a call and a response (and maybe another call) so instead of asking how you’re doing perhaps say have a good day. Same amount of time without the added benefit of leaving the person you’re talking to hanging. 10_SketchIn fact, this type of thing has become a pet peeve, it even made it into my sketchbook as a pet peeve.

That’s it. So as silly as it is, the question that I hate to be asked is ‘how am I’ because in the  past I’ve been asked it SO many times by people who don’t really care (and in turn wouldn’t listen or respond when I asked).