A Saturday With Wet Feet

The YMCA Frostbite Swim Meet

Drawing of ed on the edge of the pool with a stopwatch

Drawing of a nervous man. Is he holding a bucket and a piece of cake? Or a stopwatch and a clipboard? It depends on which of my kids you ask.

I volunteered to do timing at my kids’ swim meet this weekend. It was -2° outside. But after entering the Y in my Inuit costume, I changed into shorts and a t-shirt to brave the tropical pool room. I wish the kids could learn to swim without splashing. I’m like, “Hey kid. I’m giving up my Saturday to help out at your race and you thank me by launching eight ounces of pool water onto my foot? You’re lucky I brought a change of socks.”

Timing for the prestigious Frostbite Swim Meet is tense. I kept saying in my head things like, “Okay, this is a 200 meter race. That’s eight lengths. Okay, he’s on his sixth length, I think. Oh crud, my lane is in the lead! I can’t look at the other timers to see if they are getting ready to hit the stop button. Okay, okay, I will try to discern if he is setting up for a flip turn or a reach for the wall. I HOPE THIS TWERP DOES FLIP TURNS!” I needed muscle relaxants by the time my morning shift was over.

Villain Illustration

A drawing of 5-year-old Lydia looking cute and happy, but with tiny fangs

My rendition of “Villain” for IllustrationFriday.com

I swore I would never interact with illustrationFriday.com again. Last week I made an illustration for the theme “Work.” It was late Thursday evening, and just as I was uploading the drawing to my blog, some jerk at IF changed the word to “Villain!” It was way before midnight!

Tonight I was working on my drawing when my 16-year-old, Helen, said, “It’s 10:15, Dad. You have to upload that thing in the next few minutes.” She was cheering me on as I rushed to scan it, upload it to my blog, and submit it to IF.

I made it! We cheered. Now I am so worked up, I cannot sleep.

You were good to me this week, IF. I might hang out with you again sometime.

People Illustration

Many kids hugging a dog and each other with a bike in the background

My rushed, unaltered sketch of “people”

It was Thursday night at 11:58pm and I was about to scan and upload my “People” themed illustration to the illustrationfriday.com web site, when my daughter came to me and said, “I have to do these math problems before tomorrow.” I turned away from my goals and my dreams and helped my daughter with her geometry. Someone was asleep at illustrationfriday.com, because the word of the week was still “people” after mid-night, and I was able to rush my drawing into the ether.

Today, I did some of the shading I didn’t have time to do before uploading yesterday. Which do you think is better, the one above, or the one below?

Little kids with a dog. The figures are shaded with cross hatching

My people illustration with a little shading.

Ode to Peanuts

Sketch of peanuts

When I am sort of wishing I could think of something to draw I often default to drawing the pile of snack foods sitting nearby… because there are always snack foods nearby.

I think I can blame my peanut addiction on my father-in-law, Roger. Whenever we are together late at night, he brings out the salted-in-the-shell peanuts. Now, I’m hooked and I cannot go to bed until I have had a handful. These peanuts had to stand still and pose while several of their less fortunate comrades were eaten by the artist. I might have spared them completely, but I think my children ate them later.

Bike to Work Week 2012, Day 5

You Complete Me

My Claire recently asked me, “Dad, are you going to put up a drawing for the last day of Bike to Work Week?”

I told her how I had made a fifth sketch, but life had gotten away from me and I did not get around to putting if on the web. Here it is now.

Squirrel Biker

Another tree hugger saving the world by shopping on a bike

You are thinking, “But Ed, why the squirrel? You hate squirrels.”

Yes, why include the cute squirrel character when everyone knows that squirrels are evil garden seed eating bird food thieves? It is true, but this squirrel does kind of fit in with some of the cycling characters I sketched last year and featured in a Facebook photo album. He is like an actor who plays really cute characters in movies, but is a total jerk in real life. You should like the sketch, and hate the species. Oh yeah, and ride your bike everywhere!

Bike To Work Week 2012, Day 4

Riding a bike with flowers

Riding one-handed is a little tiresome, but holding a box of pretty pink flowers staves off discouragement.

When I ride home from work with a box of flowers from the Western Horticulture Club plant sale, people smile at me. Try doing that in a car, and see how many smiles you get. No, there is just something about a geek on a bike with flowering plants that makes you smile.

When I used to ride over to Aunt Ruth’s house pulling my lawn mower behind me, I didn’t get many smiles. Mostly I saw people shooing their young children into the house. Yeah, there’s just something about a geek riding a bike while holding onto the handle of a lawnmower that makes you uneasy.

Bike To Work Week 2012, Day 3

Three bikers eating

I did my part to make a dent in the provisions at the YMCA's Bike To Breakfast event.

I invited some friends to Bike To Breakfast at the YMCA this morning, and they ate like birds. We got there and no one was eating. I thought, “I’ll break the plastic wrap and start the buffet line.” I ate a bagel and an orange, then a tiny muffin, a banana and another bagel with peanut butter. Altogether, my three friends only consumed three bananas and a tiny muffin. I shall not list their names, to protect them from embarrassment. You see, When a biker shows up at a buffet, the folks serving the food should feel a sense of awe at the quantities of food being consumed. As a group, I think we were not as amazing as we could have been.

Still, I really enjoyed the camaraderie, dining with friends by the bike racks. Thank you, YMCA, for feeding the bike geeks.