Holding It in My Head…

September 19, 2014

So I’m done with that heinous task, the cutting out of 1070 pieces of Wonder Under. Total, it took 7 hours and 23 minutes. I’m noticing my estimates are fairly accurate in terms of hours, but not so accurate in terms of days. I think that’s because I overestimate my ability to blow off everything else. I forget about sleeping and eating and peeing. That shit takes time. It took me 5 nights. I did 3 hours yesterday. The shortest day, I did 40 minutes. Last night, I had quilt class, so I cut out for an hour and a half, and then I came home and decided I wasn’t going to bed until I was done. I even thought, only briefly though, that I should sort them all last night too, but I decided that was crazy talk. Because it was. It was after midnight when I finished.

It will take me another hour to sort them, so I’ll try to do that this afternoon/evening, depending on what other tasks arise. I really need to grade assignments. I was going to type ‘papers,’ but a goodly portion of what my students turn in at the moment is on the web, not in my hand. I finally got Google Classroom! Yay! I don’t know if it will solve all my problems, but it might solve a couple. Now I just need to find time to set it up and populate classes, which is complicated by the fact that more than half my students don’t have names in my Gmail. Which is maybe Hapara’s fault? Or Google’s? Or probably it’s just a planetary shift issue and will adjust when the magnetic poles flip and I become Queen of the Hinterland.

I am NOT sarcastic.

So finding time to grade stuff has always been a problem for me. I’m debating letting my teacher’s aide grade warmups. The girlchild does, when she has time (she has no time at the moment, and did not clean up the living room yesterday when I asked her to because Math. That was the answer. I don’t understand how Math can stop you cleaning. Art? I can understand that, but not Math). I can’t have him grade anything that requires me to check for understanding, though, and warmups are sometimes like that. Girlchild knows to hand me papers that trouble her. I don’t know. I can’t decide. Sigh! Poor guy; he has been very patient with me. I think I scare the crap out of him sometime…I wonder why certain kids want to be my aide. It can’t be fun.

Anyway, here’s the finished pile of very exciting, artistic, tiny little pieces of Wonder Under.

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You wish you had some of this. Admit it.

This means fabric tonight! Which yes, means I did manage to go to Rosie’s yesterday afternoon and pick out background fabric…

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This bright blue/purple called out to me. Some others called out to me as well, so I stood there and stared at the fabric that called and half closed my eyes and visualized the drawing imposed on the fabric, and then started coloring it in in my head. If it’s blue, am I using a lot of water in the quilt? If so, what will that look like? What things in the drawing are touching the background? What have to lace their way across it, like the trees I do? How will the contrast work? Trees can be problematic…browns tend to be medium range for trees (at least when I do them), so if the background is too close to a medium range, the tree won’t be as obvious. Same with dirt. Sometimes that’s a good thing…sometimes it’s not. What about the leaves? What about the main figures in the quilt? Will they show up well or fade into the background? What do I want them to do?

To the casual quilt-shop observer, I’m meditating in front of a row of bolted fabric. Well, you’re kinda right. It is a form of meditation. Using my brain to process the image. Who needs a fucking computer?

Yes, I also bought some other fabrics, some light/whites for eyeballs and fingernails (seriously) and two Halloweeny fabrics with anatomical hearts and skeletons and the like. I thought Rosie’s looked pretty empty of fabrics…maybe because Market is coming up? I don’t know. Lots of empty shelves. It disturbed me. I’ve been going to Rosie’s since I started quilting in 1987. That’s a long time…and yes, it’s my favorite San Diego store. There’s a quilt store closer to home (it’s actually moving further north, but will still be about the same distance) that I rarely frequent. It’s not got a lot of fabrics. It caters to class-takers, those that like to buy rulers. I only have two rulers. Actually, I think I have a couple more than that, but only because people give them to me. I’m still using the same two rulers I’ve had for probably 25 years. I don’t cut a lot of straight lines. I don’t take any classes really either. At the opening last week, someone offered me a brochure for a local art facility that does classes, and I’m thinking, um, yeah, I’m kinda past that stage. I might take a mural-painting class or a graffiti class at this stage in my life, but I don’t need to do a whole lot else. I’ve already done it.

So I’m trying to be excited about the next stage…it’s usually the hardest AND the most relaxing stage of the quilt…picking fabrics. It’s definitely the most creative, after doing the original drawing. I’ve been trying colors out in the drawing in my head. This one is pretty easy. Some are much harder. I can see this one pretty clearly though. So hopefully that will make it easier. Realistically, there’s social stuff I could be doing in the next week (I actually went searching for some), but I can’t. I need to get this done. I don’t have money to go do a lot of stuff either, so it’s better if I don’t. If I can get 3 hours done tomorrow and another 3 on Sunday (my goal), then 5 during the week…if I get too tired for the ironing portion, I can work on cutting things out instead. I’m still aiming for Sept 30 to be done with fabric and ready to iron. Gasp.

It’s nice to have a plan. Unfortunately, as we know, it will get blown up at some point, but at least I try. I’m being very hermit-like and antisocial trying to get this thing done. That part is depressing, but it’s necessary at the moment. When it cools off and soccer mellows out, maybe I can start hiking again. I would go next week, but am buried in meetings and a back-to-school night. Can’t really hike by myself at 9 PM.

I think it’s Friday. I’m onto the next part of the quilt. I made progress. Holding that in my head for now.

Dead Ends

September 18, 2014

Sometimes I feel like the days are running into each other. I woke up this morning, no idea what day it was. No clue. Couldn’t tell Wednesday from Tuesday from Thursday. Then the girlchild got into the shower, so that narrowed it down, but only slightly. Do I have school today? Do I have to get up? The alarm hasn’t gone off yet, and she could be up early for soccer, so that didn’t help figure the day out. My brain is so foggy in the morning from dreaming, from the REM sleep that surrounds me because I went to bed too late. I should really do something about that, but I have a hard enough time getting stuff done when I sleep this little…I know, not a healthy decision, but…I’m at my most awake from about 10 PM on.

So the end of the world happened yesterday: my mom texted me. She’s been anti-text for so long, I was seriously confused when I saw it pop up on my phone. Amusing.

I went to yet another technology training yesterday, a new app we’re piloting in our district (I’m still trying to figure out if I care enough to use it, or how it might be useful, because if we don’t pay for it, then I’ve dumped a lot of time and resources into it for nothing), and the official district people were there, not IT exactly, but the computer experts from the teacher realm, so I showed them my weird Google/Gmail issues…and they admitted that I am cursed. Google really does hate me. I have confirmation. Seriously, it is behaving badly. I have one more thing I can try, and then? Well? I’m left twisting in the wind, I think. But I do wonder if my Google Classroom issue is related to this. I did slam her assumption that I was using another Gmail account and that’s why none of it was working. Yes, I realize the majority of teachers are not very tech-savvy and do stupid shit like that all the time. I’m not one of them sweetheart. I understand which account I’m supposed to be using. I sat next to her WITH my computer and went through and told her to tell me if I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t. They admitted my freak status.

Well then. Moving on. She also tried to blame it on my using Firefox at school. I had tried Chrome, but a couple of the district websites don’t work on Chrome, so I switched back, per the instructions of our former tech genius. I use Chrome at home, though, and it didn’t work there either. So I switched into Chrome and showed her that. Sigh.

The pros from yesterday? I packed up the damn quilt and will ship it this morning. I was focused, although really tired. The heat is getting to me. So that was one thing off the list. I’m working on some of the other things today. I’m going to go get the background fabric today after school, I think. Maybe. If I can pull it off. Store closes early…would have been smart to do it yesterday, but after being at school for 10 hours, I was kinda done. I haven’t decided what color the background should be yet. I tend to pick darker colors because I do a lot of flesh-colored quilts, and they pop on the dark. I don’t like pure black…it tends to read really flat. I prefer dark blues, greens, and purples. Occasionally I push it with a pink or orange background (the orange one is hanging in my office right now, waiting to be completed). I had to schedule it on my calendar. Otherwise I might forget. I’ve been editing my calendar daily, pushing the things I didn’t get to onto the next day every day. SAD! I completed 2.4 tasks yesterday. I really needed it to be 3, but I lost time to getting the ex back to the soccer field after he drove the dizzy girlchild (didn’t eat enough, I think) back after soccer and then I had to go get her gas for her car. I think I’m going to put my foot down on that one. Calculate the gas she uses and just give her the amount. She can fill the damn tank. Yes, I know. Of course she can. It’s just easier sometimes to do it myself. I’m working really hard on delegating this year (my teacher’s aide really appreciates this).

I did more of this…again…

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but only an hour. Yes, that’s a TARDIS in the background. That’s my worry, though…that I’ll only get in an hour of ironing a night, and it’ll take about 10-12 hours, and that’s way too many days. So Saturday and Sunday are important. I have class tonight, so I’ll get a couple of hours of trimming in. I’m at 4 1/2 hours now, but I have most of two yards left to cut, so probably another 3-4 hours. Too many days! But I have grading every day and lesson plans. I can’t ignore all that. I’d like to. Not an option.

I’m also trying to put some of the house issues on the front burner. I told the girlchild yesterday that I needed an hour this weekend (she freaked) to straighten up/clean the house. This after we couldn’t find anywhere to sit and eat dinner, mostly because she just dumps stuff everywhere and never picks it up. A week or so ago, I picked up everything on the couches and put it in a bag and hung it from her bedpost in her room. I’m going to need to do that again, I guess. I keep looking at the house and realizing the boychild will come home in December and I still will not have finished cleaning up from the remodel. My bedroom is still hoarding central with stuff that has no home or that I need time to process. The living room still needs some stuff done so we can put everything away. I don’t know how to push that higher on the to-do list. I run out of time and energy. The thing that screams the loudest is what gets done. Art screams really loud.

Anyway. I’m frustrated at the moment. By everything. Dissatisfied. Not happy with what’s there. Overwhelmed by some things. If the weather cools down a bit, I think that will help. If I can get the girlchild to help out a bit, that would also be useful. If I can get all this Wonder Under done, that might help too. Giant sighs. There’s a path out of this. I just can’t see where it starts. I keep running around and finding the start of a path, but it dead ends in cactus. Or a hole in the ground. Or up against the wall of an ugly building.

Sitting on It

September 17, 2014

It’s OK. All the crap from yesterday is still here, but I am sitting on it. Like you sit on your younger brother when you’re trying to keep him from running away. It’s squirming around a lot and trying to hit at me and yelling for mom, but mostly I can keep it down. I think if I keep getting shit done and keep meditating and keep exercising (oh holy endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, I worship thee), I might be OK. Did you know that some plant spines and insect venom contain serotonin, causing pain to those that are stung or poked? And some seeds have serotonin in them, causing diarrhea, making the body expel them quicker? Did I tell you I’m writing a sci fi novel about a plant/animal hybrid? I need to know more science to write this book. Seriously. What was I thinking? If it were fantasy, I could just make shit up and pretend the fantastical science backed it up, but in sci fi, it’s gotta be semi-believable.

I’m still doing this…

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It’s taking a long time. Not really. I’m some number of hours in. I don’t know how many. My phone does, but it’s way over THERE. I know I didn’t start until 11, because I was grading papers, after meditating, after eating dinner, after going to the gym, after detention at school. I didn’t do a whole lot else. OK. You’re right. That’s actually a lot.

Fucking balance. Never to be achieved.

It was very hot here yesterday; car registered 106 on the way home from school, after 4 PM. We had a freak rainstorm in the area that hit the house and downed big branches (nothing hit the house), but it barely rained at school, a whopping 2.47 miles away. Today is supposed to be cooler. I wonder if the weather is messing with my mood. I was drained at the gym, unable to muster any emotion at all, but cried all the way home. I often just stand back from that part of my brain and watch it, confused. WTF? Get a handle on it, Kathryn.

I’ve been looking at my schedule, trying to fit a hike in, but there just isn’t time. Too many meetings, tutorials, trainings…the timing sucks. When my brain is doing its worst, I have very little time for social stuff too.

I miss my boy. The girlchild is home so rarely, and when she is, it’s better than it was over the summer, but if she’s hot and tired and I’m hot and tired, there could be screaming. Mostly, though, we are like two ships passing in the night. I see her for 10 minutes before she leaves for soccer. Sometimes that’s all I see. And if I have to spend 3 hours on the computer trying to post things like this…the post about the opening Saturday night…then I feel guilty for not hanging out with her. And she complains too. At least the boychild was around most of the time. If I was lonely, I could go bug him. He mostly tolerated that. Now I have to think that it’s three hours later there and I probably shouldn’t be texting him at 1 AM his time.

Anyway. Busy at school. Busy making art. Busy trying to catch up with all the stuff that needs doing that I never have the energy to actually do, which explains the house.

Even the cats were having issues with the heat.

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Actually, Midnight was mad because I took the table runner off the coffee table, because girlchild left her cup of water on there (again) and Midnight rolls around a lot on the table, just stretching her body out and eventually knocking everything over and pushing it off onto the floor, so the table was sopping wet when I got home and I had to wash everything and dry it off, so her table runner was gone. So she picked the floor to roll around on instead.

OK, my to-do list is calling…it’s a lab day and I need something for homeroom and something for my teacher’s aide to do. I have a list for after school as well, after the training I’m signed up for to learn more tech stuff that will only work half of the time (seriously, that’s what happened yesterday…Google disappeared things and disconnected people and Edmodo acted like a spoiled brat and then Gmail got into it with me and acted like a crazed loon. I’m done.). I’m really looking forward to that.

I guess people like me never really master technology. We fuck with it until we can get it to mostly do what we need it to do, but it’s really lurking around the corner in the dark, waiting for a chance to jump out and knock us down. It was designed by techy boys, and I haven’t had great luck with them either, so it’s not so surprising.

More Wonder Under tonight. No fabric tonight (which reminds me, I don’t even have a background fabric, so I couldn’t pick fabrics if I wanted to…but now I need to schedule a trip to get the background fabric…argh.). First surviving the day.

Shit. And Fuck. Deep Breaths…

September 16, 2014

I woke up this morning hoping that last night’s mood had wandered off in the still-sweltering heat or better, that a predator had jumped it from behind and torn it limb from limb. Even that it was lost in the streets somewhere, no GPS, unable to relocate me, find my brain, continue to wear on me. I don’t even know where it came from…it snuck up on me, as I persuaded myself that this art rejection was not crucial, that technology isn’t out to get me, that I can in fact finish all the things I’m supposed to finish and be allowed to make art and maybe even exercise and meditate and eat. Maybe.

But no. ‘Tis not to be.

The first assumption is hormones, those beastly chemicals that rule my world. Look at the calendar. Do some calculations. Fuck me. I don’t do calculations. I look at an app and it does it for me. What it can’t do is predict all the other factors: stress, lack of sleep, who’s demanding things of me, what stupid shit I will have to take on because of other stupid people, teenagers, did I mention stress? And I’m wondering about the effect of our new minimum days at school. On Monday, we push the kids through shorter periods, which confuses my brain and blood sugar, so we can have an hour of collaboration. Which we did, but my food schedule gets off and that doesn’t help. And I was frustrated by technology limitations, and went down to my room to complete a task I was told would take 15-20 minutes, and after half an hour, was so frustrated I was on the verge of tears. I am not stupid. I know how to use help menus. I know how to read. But it wasn’t working.

Hey, any time something at school (insert work here?) gets so bad that you are tearing up? Leave. Go home. Change what you’re doing. So I did, but got a call as I was leaving that the girlchild’s dog had disappeared (damn pool guy’s dad who doesn’t close the gate behind him). It’s OK. She’s dumb, but smart enough to run to the other house, where my ex found her. Sigh. And this morning? I just caught her chewing on the girlchild’s senior photos. Which cost a million bucks. Luckily, I got them before she did major damage. Sigh. So she’s lying on the floor behind me and she knows I’m pissed off at her.

I had this dream last night that girlchild was picking out Christmas presents for family members and she had them all piled up in the store, and I kept telling her to check the prices, but then I had to leave to be somewhere, and she was going to check out at the register, and when she handed the receipt to me later, every item on it was over $100 and one was $515 and one was $212 (where is my brain coming up with these prices?) and I almost had a heart attack with the total. You don’t need to check Freud for that one. Just the most recent bursar bill from Cornell.

No pictures today. Do you want to see another pile of trimmed Wonder Under? I don’t. I managed 40 minutes of cutting last night. I think my plan of being on fabric by Wednesday is fucking delusional. And I’m supposed to be doing a million other things too. Filling out forms, shipping quilts, grading papers, reading the three books that are due back at the library (how I cause myself stress over that, I don’t know.), picking a day for my formal observation at school. I hate this shit. Hate all of it. Just want to come home and have it be a different life for once. Pack up all my stuff and move to some island with a bunch of pygmy goats and pigs and one horse who isn’t too big and boisterous. Then I can pretend I’m in one of those novels where I am totally isolated and NOT surrounded by people, and there is someone who delivers supplies every two weeks or so and it turns into one of those gothic romances I used to read when I was in 6th grade or so, where there’s no sex, just heaving bosoms and breathy statements of love and support and the horse comes in and whinnies in a supportive manner.

Sigh. Even that would irritate me today, I think. Fuck the guy yesterday who told me I could do that computer thing in 20 minutes flat. Fuck him for making me feel stupid. Better…fuck ME for making me feel stupid. It’s OK. I know who can help. I have a plan.

So when I get like this, I know I have to take action to keep it from becoming worse, from taking me over. I need to be efficient today, despite the over-100-degree temperatures. I need to not let anything get to me, even though I have to go to school and teach 150 7th graders how to do technology, AGAIN. Even though I have to commit to an observation date with a screwed up calendar. I will go to the gym, the air-conditioned gym, with my book (that was due last Saturday) and I will make my body behave, even if my brain can’t. I will meditate, because although it makes me cry (still, yes…even when I don’t talk about it, it still happens), it also helps with these moments, the ones where the stress and unhappiness inside me are ballooning out, trying to tear out of my chest. And I will pack up that damn quilt so I can ship it tomorrow, and I will fill out whatever damn forms I need to fill out and I will cut out Wonder Under for at least an hour.

And yes, at this rate, I may not finish cutting out Wonder Under until the weekend. And then I will work Saturday night and Sunday morning to make sure I have a good start on the fabric part. Because ideally, the fabric is chosen and trimmed by September 30. (choke) OK. That’s my goal. You can’t always realistically reach your goals. At the moment, I don’t seem to be able to achieve any of them. All right. Dear universe, dear brain…I’m not happy with either of you, and in true Kathy fashion, I will be fighting your shit. You can make me scream, yell, cry, fall down and kick my feet against your crap, but I will still fight it.

Meditating that shit right now.

Peace Through Scissoring…

September 15, 2014

Hid myself in the gym yesterday. Nice and cold. Reading my book. Peaceful. Achieving something useful.

I came back home and tried to finish tracing Wonder Under, but the girlchild needed more water before her game, so I packed up and headed out into the sweltering heat earlier than I wanted…only 100 pieces done. Like it’s cooler in my house (it’s not. It’s the 7th pit of hell here.).

I spent the time before the game writing…this story I’m writing has a mind of its own. I read the last paragraph I’d written and didn’t remember writing it. Trance writing apparently. And the story is writing itself in a direction I wasn’t expecting. I’ll have to figure out if that section really belongs. But for now, I’m going to keep writing. Sex scene and all. My goodness. Who knew?

Soccer in 100-degree heat…it doesn’t look so bad in photos…it’s not like the flames of hell are on the field.

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The girlchild made two goals and they won the game…4 bottles of water later. I even left her my water. A mother’s sacrifices…never appreciated.

I left the game early for the Fence/Barda opening at Art Produce in North Park, so I missed the end…

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The opening was nice, lots of people and interactions above and through the fence. Here are my two birds outside the bathroom.

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My friends showed up and hung out…we ate and had a good time. Thanks y’all. I do appreciate you.

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Things have changed a lot since we originally installed, but I think it works. The American and Mexican sides of the fence are definitely different: one very formal and one very loosey goosey. Strangely, the installation process was flipped…we (the Americanskis) were very methodical in installation, even though things moved around. The Mexican contingent is still delivering pieces, somewhat due to border and vehicle issues, but their side is very formally presented, while ours flows and hangs and moves.

There’s my house on the right…and the birds I helped hang in the windows.

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You couldn’t walk in and find the Kathy Nida piece. There were no uteri, no boobs. It’s not like that.

Anyway, so it was a good opening. There are more events associated with this exhibit and another opening. I’ll post as we figure that shit out.

Once I got back, I was determined to finish tracing pieces, no matter how late, no matter how much wine I had ingested. I finished up around 11:30 PM. It took 11 hours and 38 minutes to trace all the pieces, about 1080 total.

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Today it’s over 100 degrees again, and I keep looking out at the clouds, hoping they will bring rain.

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They didn’t, but hopefully temps should drop tomorrow. It’s still in the 80s and it’s 10 PM. Ugh.

I’ll start cutting Wonder Under out today…tonight…right now, I’m dealing with school stuff, designing an online assignment on food and another on zombies. I graded a bunch of things using the iPad, which was nice, because I could watch PBS on the computer and grade on the iPad, although it would be nice to have some sort of a notes function in Edmodo to use while I’m grading things on Google Docs. Maybe a rubric I could click on or something. Wish I were technological enough to design the stuff teachers actually need. Maybe it’s all in Google Classroom and I just don’t know it yet.

Anyway. I’ve meditated and it’s time to Wonder Under…although I don’t think I’ll be done by Tuesday night. Oh well. That’s because I worked on other things.

Like I sewed the binding on the LAST of the bird quilts. Well, I thought it was the last of the bird quilts, but apparently someone else wants another owl.Sep 14 14 067 small

Yeah, but do they want a WHITE owl or a PURPLE owl, or an owl of an entirely different color? And can they wait until December? Because I really really need them to be able to wait that long. Rainbow Fucking Owl.

I finished Owl 2, Bird 15 today. It actually still needs a label…

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But assuming she still wants it, it’s a goner as of Thursday. I might do cats next. Not for a while though. I’ve got stuff on my plate.

I spent only an hour cutting things out…

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They were a pain in the butt. I was tired. It was hot. Damn, it still IS hot. And although I definitely should be asleep, I’m not. Because. That’s the way I roll. Badly and with limited rest. My goal? To finish the Wonder Under trimming in the next two nights (could be an issue) and start ironing fabrics Wednesday night, so I have something to cut out on Thursday night at quilt class. If not? Maybe I’ll trace one of the smaller quilts I need to work on as well.

But there’s progress. The progress gives me some peace. I feel it in my chest, like someone took a deep breath and gave me all that oxygen. Like there’s something in my head that feels the scissors tracing around the edge of each piece, analyzing how each piece should be cut out, with the minimum of Wonder Under and fabric waste, but not so much time and energy on the cutting out that it borders on the crazy. I did meditate tonight: once with the Headspace app and the nice British man, and once with scissors and Wonder Under, a careful trimming of the good from the bad, a metaphor for how to live, to cut out the shit, the crap that was thrown at you, the bullshit that people make up in order to excuse their bad behavior. Yeah. So I cut that. And tomorrow I will cut more.

Wonder Under meditation. I should charge admission.


In My Head…

September 13, 2014

I’m a little frustrated at the moment. I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find my camera cord, which the last time I looked, was hooked up to this computer. That was 36 hours ago. So apparently someone broke into my house, left the TV and computers and iPad, but stole my camera cord. OR…I have a teenager here. And she was obviously doing something here, because my iPad charger was in the living room, and she doesn’t use my iPad…so someone was here who has a newer iPhone than she does and they needed to charge it. And then they must have done something with photos on my computer and taken the camera cord off the hub, and then I don’t know what happened. And I can’t ask her, because she is currently taking the ACT. So the photos, lame that they were, because YES…I am still tracing that fucking Wonder Under…cannot come off the camera until the cord reappears.

I’m a little irritated. I don’t mind their using stuff…just put it back when you’re done and tell me what’s going on.

Sigh. I’m tired and it’s hot and I’m not happy. I traced for over an hour last night and only got like 40 pieces done, because they were all long hellishly twisty tree branches that had to be finagled onto the Wonder Under around each other, with multiple decisions of what overlaps what, and at the end of a long day, my brain was rebelling. I finally gave up. So yeah, I still have almost 200 pieces to trace today. I’m OK with that. My daytime is actually mostly open at the moment, except for some major school stuff and going to the gym. I can’t trace in the morning anyway, because the light table is in full sun and it’s bloody hot over there. It’s supposed to be over 100 degrees today (yes, our summer hits in September) and I’m not looking forward to hours of sweating…the gym is air conditioned, so I will go do that and then come back once the sun has hit the overhead mark. Maybe by then, someone will be able to tell me where my camera cord is.

Found it. Another 10 minutes of “Where would she put it down if she happened to be walking around with it, which why on Earth would she be doing that, because it doesn’t fit her camera?” On the couch, under her bag. Much as I will miss them when they’re both gone, there are moments when it seems it might be a lot less stressful and annoying to have no teenagers in the house.

There have been a lot of meditative moments in the last 36 hours, with school trying to kick my butt and me kicking it back, to getting yet another art rejection (dammit…but not unexpected…just frustrating), to dealing with the Wonder Under last night, to this morning’s cord situation. None of it’s major. It’s just all building up and sitting inside me and I need to meditate it out. Or exercise it out. Or something.

These are the branches that were getting to me last night…

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It didn’t help that I was tired. And I’m almost done. I just wanted to be done last night. It’s OK. I’ll be done today. I’m thinking I can cut them all out in about 7 hours, so maybe by Tuesday night? So fabric on Wednesday? Let’s ignore the fact that I need to do another bird binding (only one left). And school. Let’s definitely ignore that. Like yeah. Totally.

Here’s a shot from the top of Cowles Mountain on Thursday night…

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Just throwing that in there. Totally randomly.

I didn’t get more done last night because the girlchild and I went shoe shopping. I haven’t bought new shoes in over two years and wanted some boots, and she had a giftcard to a store that is usually a million miles away, but they just opened one near us, so we went. And we found old giftcards we hadn’t used for a restaurant out there, so we used them for dinner. And I didn’t end up with the shoes I wanted, but I got something else. Whatever. And then I came home and was even more tired. But I spent time with her and she was in a good mood and it was all good. So there. Because I barely see her all week. Today, she is gone all day, pretty much. She has the ACT, then goes straight to the game she’s coaching, and from there to the game she plays in. I’ll see her there briefly, because I’m bringing her water, but I have to leave early for the opening of the Fence/Barda exhibit. Ships passing in the night. She said that I come home and she leaves five minutes later, and that really is what happens. So I’ve held off on adding more book clubs to my list, because they all meet the nights I have her, and then I don’t see her at all. And much as I enjoy talking about books with smart people, I miss my kids.

Anyway. I’m almost awake now. Really, the brain doesn’t handle sleep well. Waking up even less so. I’m going to eat something and go to the gym with my book that was due at the library yesterday (it’s not the only one that was due yesterday either, and both have holds on them), and I’m going to enjoy the air conditioning there, and then I’m going to come back and finish tracing stuff and maybe do some school stuff, and go to the girlchild’s game and the opening, and it is a full day, at least…with plenty of purpose…and the fact that I feel less than something at the moment is really all in my head. Of course, that’s where ALL the good (and bad) stuff happens…in my head.

Keeping Track

September 12, 2014

I don’t know what the fuck You’re doing right now, probably sleeping unless you’re in the other half of the world from me, but I know you know what I’m doing. Oh yeah, baby. I’m tracing tiny little pieces into Wonder Under. I’m not curing cancer or delivering damn babies. I’m getting a tan from my light table and smearing my hands with synthetic lead, while you quietly snore, happily curled up in a nice bed, dreaming the dreams of the contentedly asleep.

Imagine Rambo or Chuck Norris being art quilters, and that’s kinda how I felt last night. I needed to finish tracing one section, a logical section, but I had hiked earlier, just a short one, and I even meditated like a good girl, but I had to psych myself up to finish that little bit. I wanted my 200 pieces last night. I was tired after 100. A normal person would have stopped after 100 pieces, brushed her teeth, taken her meds, and gone to bed. I guess there’s no question in my mind about my normalcy. Or my sanity. But I’m getting close to the end on this task. I’ve worked on it every night, just like I planned. I was a little light on pieces Wednesday night, but I knew Back-to-School Night would probably kick my ass, so I was pleased to even get 100 pieces done that night. I’ve met my goal every night. The fact that I’m too tired to keep my eyes open right now, even though I need to leave for school in 20 minutes…that’s OK, right? That won’t be a problem tonight?

Huh. Yeah.

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Because never-ending photos of tiny Wonder Under pieces are really interesting.

Here was my hiking crew last night, a fairly large group. The dog was a sweetheart…

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Her name was Luna. She had her own light on her collar for when we came down the mountain in the dark.

Cowles Mountain is one of the most-hiked mountains in San Diego County, I think. The front path…I’ve been up and down it probably 50-100 times. So has most of the county. It’s way too crowded, but more importantly, there are way too many people who don’t know hiking etiquette and are completely rude and annoying. Hog the path, run past you and almost run into you (the runners are often the worst ones out there), leave your dog’s poop in the path, break the trail. So we hike up one of the many paths on the back of the mountain. The other plus with that on a hot day like what it has been is that you’re in the shade for most of the hike.

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We got up to the top around 7, just in time for the sunset, although it wasn’t particularly spectacular.

This is facing southwest, with Lake Murray in the middle and the ocean in the distance..oh yeah, and trashcans in the foreground. Mostly people use those.

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There were lots of people at the top. Kids do this hike; it’s only 3 miles round trip on the main trail. This is facing east, a little southern-facing…my house is in that direction.

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And this is northeast.

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I prefer a little longer hike, but honestly, the shortness is probably the only reason I got anything done last night. I was definitely on a roll, though. Not watching the clock. Just tracing the next piece. I’m in the mid 800s at the moment. The male figure is completely traced and all I have left is the tree and everything hanging in it, about 210 pieces. It doesn’t sound like much, but the tree is cranky to trace…all those curvy branches that are overlapping. I’ve been tracing for 9 hours and 17 minutes. I had guessed 10-11 hours, and I think that’s pretty accurate. I can make guesses like that now because I keep track of my time using an app, and I can go back and estimate based on similar-sized quilts, or quilts that are about the same level of complication. It’s nice to be able to do that. I can budget my time better that way, motivate myself to get the next step done. I think I would have a really hard time getting a 2000-piece quilt done at the moment, so I’m glad it didn’t go that high. “It”. Like I have no control over it. Well, sometimes it feels that way, that the art brain is just doing her thing and I have to try to rein her in occasionally.

I’m going to have to try to finish this later…I have a staff photo this morning and should probably get there on time for that (eh…).

Later: it’s not even 11 AM and I have officially reached my quota of drama for the day. Meditating now. Finishing Wonder Under later.


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