Living

What did you blow off this summer?

Summer’s over. (Sigh.)

And it went by so fast, didn’t it? (Double sigh.)

Was there anything you wanted to do but didn’t get around to? Maybe you ran out of time. Maybe you just forgot. Or to be blunt: What did you blow off this summer?

We approached unsuspecting pedestrians in Westport to get some answers. To soften the blow of our post-summer reality check, we also gave folks the chance to blow bubbles and/or blow into a pinwheel that they got to take home.

So long, summer. Hello, honesty.


Anne Vieux

22, Kansas City

and

Neal Dazey

23, Kansas City

Anything you blew off this summer?Anne:

I didn’t cook enough. I didn’t make enough salsa.

So you let down the salsa crowd?

I did.

How about you, pal, what did you blow off this summer?Neal:

I wasn’t able to travel much. No swimming. That’s about it.

What about something in the constructive department — a project or something that didn’t happen?

I’m generally better at deconstructing than constructing.

Can you deconstruct us right now? What’s happening right now?

Not a whole lot.

That’s very accurate. Anything else, Anne?

I was going to build a tabletop garden for my balcony, and that didn’t happen.

Why not?

I was painting in Italy.

Good excuse. Couldn’t this guy here have helped you out?

He could have deconstructed a table, probably.


Eve Singleton

40, Kansas City

Fess up, what did you blow off this summer?

The only true thing that I had planned over the whole summer was to brush up on my Spanish.

How did that go?

Every time I looked at the Spanish book, I was like, “OK, I’ll do it tomorrow. OK, I’ll do it tomorrow. OK, I’ll do it tomorrow.” And tomorrow never came. So that’s really the only thing I blew off — that and my kids. I blew them off, too.

Really?

Well, they’re 19 and 18, so, you know, they’re not worried about me anymore.

They can blow bubbles on their own time.

That’s right. I love blowing bubbles, too, almost as much as my kids.

Anything you want to make sure to get done next summer?

Actually, I’m going to go visit my parents. They live in South Carolina. And I’ve been here for like 13 years. I haven’t seen them since I left home.

You wouldn’t want to blow that off.

Right, so that’s a definite plan. I’m going to take the great-grandkids to see them before they croak.

Great? Grandkids?

Yes, can you believe it? I’m 40, and I have two grandchildren.

You don’t look it.

Thank you! You’re so sweet! I might take you home.

What about the man in your life?

Man, skip him. You talk good to me.


Darrik Getz

17, Shawnee

You can tell me, what did you blow off this summer?

I actually blew off several things. My friends and I wanted to make a movie. We always talked about it and planned on it. We actually wrote out scripts and everything. We just never really got around to doing it.

What kind of a movie?

We wanted to make a scary movie. It was going to be kind of like a “Jeepers Creepers” thing.

What was the reason for not getting it done?

Laziness.

I see.

We’re teenagers. We’re lazy. It was easier just to chill somewhere than to actually go get all the stuff and start filming.

Were you going to be in the movie?

I was going to be the lead role, the character who was supposed to save everybody in the end, I guess.

Well, I guess, you shouldn’t have blown that off.

I suppose so.

What else?

I’m interested in fashion design. And I was supposed to go down to the Crossroads District and go to some independent designers and see if I could do internships there. But I never got around to that, either.

You were too busy not doing the movie, right?

Yeah, right.


Lisa Ngo

17, Shawnee

Despite the best of intentions, what did you blow off this summer?

Actually, having fun, because I’ve been working all day, six days a week — and on Sundays I’m with my family. So it’s kind of hard to fit in doing something with my friends only at night. And I’ve got a curfew. My parents are really strict.

What kind of fun did you forgo?

Going swimming. Going out of town, probably.

Where do you work?

This nail shop at 56th and Troost. My family owns it, so I work there.

Oh, I get it. You really can’t get out of that gig.

Exactly, because my parents need me, but at the same time I kind of like to make money. I’m trying to save up so I can move out when I’m 18.

Did you try any excuses on your parents?

Yeah, on Friday nights I did try some.

Let’s hear one.

I would be like, “Mom, I have to go to this baby shower.” I’ll just lie.

Do your parents appreciate the sacrifice you’ve made?

Probably not, because they want me to make money. They don’t want me to be a bum on the street or something.


Jessica Strong

48, Kansas City

Was there anything you just blew off this summer?

Between working two jobs, I did pretty good. I followed through on everything I promised myself that I’d do.

Then I’d call you a solid citizen.

I’m just energized right now.

Do you only associate with people who do everything they intend to?

No, not really. There are some people that I know who sort of drop the ball every now and then. But it doesn’t affect me.

And there’s not a single thing you dropped the ball on this summer?

Well, OK — my fault — I was going to join the Rose Society, and I just didn’t get around to it. It was my goal to do it this summer for my mom’s memory, but things just got really busy and hectic. Before I knew it, it was September and I hadn’t done anything.

Why did summer seem to last forever when we were kids?

Well, when we were kids, we didn’t have to worry about anything.

What do you have to worry about now?

Ah, let’s see: Bills, rent, money.

Blow it off!

I can’t blow it off, because if I don’t pay things, I’ll get a thing in the mail or a phone call.

Don’t answer the phone.

Yeah, well, I’ve tried the pretend-I’m-the-maid thing, like I don’t understand English. But after the first two times, they sort of know it’s me.

Do you have a plan for your pinwheel?

It’s going to go in the garden. And the wind will blow off all the bad stuff.

What’s the bad stuff?

Anything that’s coming toward me that’s negative. It’ll just blow it out of my way, and I won’t have to worry.


Josh Rohr

20, Kansas City

I do kind of want a pinwheel.

I think we can help you out with that. How about blowing some bubbles?

I’m not a big fan of bubbles.

I’ll blow the bubbles, you blow the pinwheel.

Sounds like a deal.

Now what did you blow off this summer?

Kick flips.

What’s that?

Skating.

Oh, you’re a skateboard guy.

Yeah, well, I’m attempting. I’m an aspiring skateboarder.

So what’s a kick flip?

It’s basically the trick right after an ollie. It’s where you make the board go sideways. I tried and didn’t master it. I was more into stalls and pop shuvits and impossibles.

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

We should probably get off the subject.

Ever hurt yourself?

All over, in places that I don’t even want to talk about.

Well, then we won’t.

Thank you.

Can you skateboard with a pinwheel?

Probably.


Melissa Merriam

30, with son Luke Merriam 6 months, Overland Park and Donna Jacobson 35, Lee’s Summit

Hey, Mom, what did you blow off this summer?Melissa:

We blew off about everything, so we could have a fun summer and go play in the park. And Mommy has two jobs, so we didn’t clean our house. We didn’t do anything.

Luke, what did you blow off this summer?Luke:

(silence).

I couldn’t have said it better myself. What about you, Donna?Donna

: I blew off spring cleaning.

In the summer?

Well, it rolls into summer. I make a list of what I need to clean from top to bottom.

What was at the top and what was at the bottom?

Dust.

Luke, do you have any dusting tips?Luke

: (silence)

Was that pretty much your take this summer, Donna?

Yeah.

Well, summer’s not for cleaning.

Right. I spent it at the pool with my niece and nephew, so I can’t complain.

You didn’t blow off the pool then?

No, I did not.

Which is why you still have such a glowing tan?

Exactly.


Brian Gallmeyer

33, Overland Park

What did you blow off this summer?

Over at my friend Madeline’s house, I blew off getting the back porch completely finished.

Did you get it half finished?

Somewhat.

Would you say maybe 25 percent?

About 30.

That’s not so bad. Was she appreciative?

Kind of. She wished it would have gotten done. But since it didn’t, she’s going to tolerate it and work with me.

What else could you ask for?

I could ask for more time in the day.

How about something just for you that you didn’t do?

I didn’t take the pontoon around the lake. The weather was gorgeous for it, and I just happened to blow it off.

But how come?

Really no good reason. I don’t know why I didn’t do it.

Congratulations! That’s the essence of blowing stuff off. Because you have no idea why it didn’t happen, right?

Correct.

You’re completely clueless.

Correct.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

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