This week really felt like the turnover to fall. I couldn’t be more excited. Summer has felt actually LONG for once, instead of flying by like most years, so I feel like I got enough of it and am ready for a change.
Along with fall comes steady routine, which has already felt great. Last week was my first week of work and on top of a real paycheck again, I also fell right back into super productive mode. I finished a commission, caught up on all my mailings, and submitted the first sketch (full color!) for my new book cover to my publisher, all on top of a full work week. I also have been eating really well again instead of just eating out all the time and eating “for fun.”
It feels so great to be active (started up my crossfit from home routine, and started having an 11 mile daily bike commute), while eating well. When I’m at work, I also actually remember to drink lots of water, which I never do on days at home.
Routine has also shown me how nice it is to live in a group home again. I’ve come home from a long day of work knowing that Rover has been with someone most of the day, to a kitchen where everyone is making dinner and catching up. My work day isn’t totally solitary right now, since I’m with the babies but also their parents are in and out during the first month, but it is close to it, so coming home to friends, instead of an empty house, feels nice.
The first week with the babies went well. Baby Asa is a little dream, has a really consistent schedule and a really easy going personality, for a 10 week old. Baby Will is older, five months, and veeery active! He’s going to be a handful, but he’s a happy little handful so it’s not so bad. He’s definitely going to give me a lot of exercise though, I can already tell.
Asa’s family has two huuuuge dogs. This is Theo, the more social of the two dogs. He’s a big ol baby.
I came home from a pretty long work day last week, in which Will chose not to sleep for most of the day (!), to find two songs written and recorded by Mikey, just for me. It was super sweet and the songs are great, of course. Mikey writes some of my favorite music.
It’s a little bit of an adjustment, though, because he moved here when I had nothing but free time, and we didn’t see much of each other last week. He still has a lot of free time while he’s looking for a good job, so we’ll be a little off balance for a bit. We were able to spend a night in a coffeeshop working on projects. He worked on designing his resume and I worked on the new book cover.
I had a sort of late night ahead of me to meet the book cover deadline, so I came home from the coffee shop sufficiently caffeinated and made myself a late night snack. I can never quite get the number of kernels right…
Last week I also spent a good amount of time getting my studio set up. I was able to move into it on Sunday, so I set to work trying to get a little organized and decorate as well. It was fun and feels so nice to have a dedicated work space again, especially with all the mailing I have to do for the book. No more giant stacks of envelopes and books all over my bedroom.
On Friday night, after the work week was over, Mikey and I had a date night at Dock St.
Then we took Rover over to Drexel Park which has West Philly’s best view of the city skyline.
Saturday morning I worked on commission at Mikey’s, and he listened to the mixes for his bands new LP that’s about to come out, and took notes for things that need to be adjusted.
After we both finished our morning projects, we headed over to my house for lunch on the porch.
Saturday lunch on the porch.
We made a big delicious salad.
and Rover was living the dream.
Back inside, I worked on book stuff (filling orders, soliciting book stores to carry the book) and Mikey worked on the Ambulars LP cover art.
My two spaces. I live on the third floor of a really large row home. There are two other bedrooms on the same floor as me. We have the whole house.
In my workspace.
We spent the whole day working on stuff, and then went to see The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Union Transfer. They were really great, but it was a huuge sold out show. We watched from the balcony. Then we headed over to Goldilocks Gallery to see Merchandise, who clearly pulled influence from Jesus and Mary Chain, but it was a small diy show and it was fun and full of energy. It was cool to see the difference.
Merchandise. It was really rad to see this band because I had never heard them before and ended up being really into them. That’s always a pleasant surprise. It was also cool that the show was in this space because there isn’t much of a loft gallery show scene in Philly as far as I’ve seen or been a part of, at least, and that had always been a big part of my experiences in Chicago and Baltimore. I hope this space keeps doing shows.
Sunday was another full work day. Mikey and I talk a lot about how interesting it is that not everyone spends all their free time working on projects they care about, but how we feel like there never isn’t work to be done. I wonder if we could turn that mindset off if we wanted. I’ve always felt that way and have always been filled with projects and hobbies that feel just as important as “scheduled work.” We did get some good lazy hang time in too though.
Which is what I took photos of, because it’s more fun to look at that photos of us staring at computer screens.
We did make a killer lunch of leftover soup and kale, roasted beet, avocado and feta salad, which we ate on the porch.
and hung out with roommates on and off throughout the day.
All in all, after a full week back at work, it’s confirmed that I feel much more settled, productive, and on top of my game, when I have a regimented routine. I make much more use of my free time when I feel like I have less of it. I was really busy and productive during my month and a half off, but it was a stressful, less efficient form of productivity. I got just as much of my art stuff done in this week than I did in two weeks full of free time. Brains and motivation are weird.