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)

sechs, sei, sex, sé, seis, six unique/different/unusual things about me

Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

  1. I know that if I hit my right wrist against the base of my left palm my middle finger ‘wiggles’ longer than the middle finger of my left if you do the opposite. My hypothesis is that it’s a result from breaking my third metacarpal in high school (or was it the proximal phalange). Perhaps the fact that I know that is the odd thing.
  2. I read, a lot, and lots of random selections. My coworker’s husband dubbed me the literary one the first time I hung out with them. Likewise they had a friend from Australia visiting and it came about that I was reading a biography on Catherine the Great. The only thing the girl could ask was why. When at first I didn’t have an answer she gave me a very odd look. Then I recalled the original reasoning and that seemed to placate her. The reasoning was still shaky, but apparently I had to have some tenuous reason.
  3. I am a published author, sort of. In high school I submitted a piece of poetry into a competition and it was accepted into that year’s anthology of young poets for our state or region. I don’t think I even have a copy anymore and vaguely remember the poem being quite silly.
  4. At age sixteen I was well versed in parliamentary law. Although it may be a dying system I actually competed in an event to display how well I could conduct myself in a business meeting. It’s probably a good thing I had this training. Although it bugs me that not every meeting I go to is run this way, it has trained me to somewhat keep my tongue in check.
  5. I always have to pause before I say the word subtle. When I was in school I had issues with spelling (that still persist to this day). So, as instructed, I would sound the word out in my head. However subtle was one of the words that I wrote much more often then I said. So when I say that word aloud, if I’m not careful, I pronounce the ‘b’ despite the fact it is suppose to be silent.
  6. I am training for a 5K obstacle course (called a Foam-K or something like that). Although hundreds of people participate this event and there are several events around the States it may not be exciting or that unique but I am terribly excited for it. I think it’s the only way I would actually run. I detest running, it brings back flashes of my junior high track coach following us in her car as we ran on the gravel roads in February (or was it a snowy March). I was always in the rear so I got to be good friends with her grill.

*bonus* as the title of the post may allude to, I have always enjoyed listening to other languages. I would often go to the library and get language tapes. Although I can only speak English, to this day I enjoy listening to them.

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!

I resolve to use my napkin

I feel that New Year’s resolutions fail partially because the person making them resolves to do something thing that isn’t in their nature, it’s a vague resolution, or both. For example ‘I resolve to work out for an hour everyday’ or ‘I resolve to be healthier’. The first is doomed to fail because it can be quite an undertaking to go from never working out to committing to 7 hours each week. The second is so nondescript that the sheer ‘nothing to go on’ – ness of it would make it broken in about a week.

With that in mind my buddy Allie and I set out to make some resolutions. As we brained stormed we tried to focus on various parts of our lives. In the social we discussed perhaps adding ‘date more’ or ‘put yourself out their more’ (for me). Those were nixed though. For starters they go against my nature (as much of a social creature as I am, I don’t really have the confidence to go out to a random place by myself  and strike up a conversation with some random person). Then there is the vagueness of the addition of ‘more’, going just once would be ‘more’ but wouldn’t really change me like resolutions are challenged to do. Thirdly they would rely on outside force to do something I try to avoid when making my resolutions.

In the end we both agreed we had to make quantifiable resolutions if we wanted any hope of meeting them. Although a couple of mine go against my nature (and one relies on outsiders) in the end I’m fairly happy with the list we came up with. Without further ado the list numbered in no particular order:

  1. Read three non-fiction books (I pretty much only read fiction, it’d be nice to diversify a bit).
  2. Participate in 150 minutes of active living a week.
  3. Learn to juggle three balls (eventually I want to be able to juggle pins. I have these old juggling pins as decorations in my guest room and they call to me).
  4. Write for fifteen minutes every day (blogging alone will guarantee that but I would like to journal ‘more’ too. Especially since my memory is particularly sieve-like).
  5. Go on ten day-ventures (originally when I started this blog I had aspirations of exploring Iowa, well this is the year it begins).
  6. Set a budget and stick to it (my only non-quantifiable one, but hopefully the money I’m able to set aside as a result will be quantity enough).
  7. Win a volleyball game. (This is a bit of a cheat since I am on a team of nine but hopefully, hopefully this one will be met in January. My volleyball team (the bruised lemons) has gone down a level so we’ll actually be playing people at our skill level. However since we got dangerously close to winning one of our tournament games I think this resolution is quite attainable despite having to rely on others).

Resolution NapkinThere you have it, my seven quantifiable resolutions for the New Year. Written, quite fittingly, on the back of a napkin. In an attempt of accountability I kept my buddies and she kept mine (she kindly sent me a pic of it though). Other resolutions that crossed my mind were learn guitar (which I am going to try but I’m terrible at keeping time and I’m teaching myself to play Hendrix style. Always brilliant, that’s me), learn Italian, or cook three ‘proper’ meals each week.