Finally Ironing Myself to Fabric…

September 21, 2014

I met my goal. I ironed for three hours. I was really tired and had to rest twice. It makes it sound like I’m running a marathon (kinda am). Brain power needed to color pictures in head and find appropriate fabric colors is apparently quite a large amount. So after soccer and the gym, not much brain power left. Plus haven’t slept much lately. Keep fucking stuff up because of that lack-of-sleep thing. I slept finally Friday and Saturday nights (well, minus middle-of-the-night freakouts), but I feel more tired right now than on school mornings, when I only have 5 hours.

Probably I should avoid ironing myself into the quilt. Hard to do when I’m tired already.

Both kids are texting me this morning. So it’s quiet, but people are talking. Weird, huh? I haven’t had enough caffeine to deal with either. Too much information crossing.

So I started by cleaning up this space yesterday…

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Because that’s where I lay out the Wonder Under pieces while I’m trying to figure out what to iron them to…I was trying to get that done before the soccer game, but it never goes the way you want, does it?

I managed to get a pile of fabrics on the ironing board…

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(moved from one place to another…very efficient) and then later got them into piles by color and realized I have way too much fabric at the moment. I know that doesn’t make sense. I do keep buying fabric, but I don’t buy a lot at a time, and mostly it gets used up in backgrounds and backings and bindings and sleeves, but apparently I’m still adding more than I’m subtracting…something to do with how little of a particular fabric I use at a time? Or they are breeding.

So I didn’t start actually ironing until 9 PM.

Not particularly efficient sometimes. Really. I had all day. I’m not sure what happened.

Well, this happened…

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They won 3-1…and they made all 4 goals (whoops). Between drive time and having to be there 45 minutes early, I usually lose 3 1/2 hours per game. iPhone Sep 21 14 066 small

Girlchild headed the ball into the goal, her first header goal.

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She did the happy dance. The ball on the right comes over and she’s the one in red in front of the goal. Right in front of the goalie and her white-shirted teammates, who probably blocked her getting to the girlchild. Yes, I forgot my camera at home, so these are all phone pictures.

Then we came home and there was some of this…

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Because Katy needed it apparently (apparently her name is not spelled the way I thought, and she used to be KatyGirl, and that was way too much)…

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Or girlchild needed it. Hard to say.

Once she was gone and it was quiet again, I set up the room the way I like it…so I can see the drawing while I’m picking stuff out…Sep 21 14 007 small

and because apparently I have to have something underfoot and Calli was at the other house, Katy stepped up and laid her chubby little body out for me to step over. She is pretty mellow, though, and will not freak out when I step over her. She will follow me out of the room 700 times though if I leave to get my tea or pee.Sep 21 14 008 small

It’s not ironing unless I’m stepping over a dog. And piles of crap. You’d think I could solve the piles-of-crap issue.

I ironed for a while, got into some fleshy bits, not sure if I have enough of these fabrics for the larger figures…Sep 21 14 009 small

Guess I will figure that out the hard way. Yes, I’m still watching Star Trek. It really is awful dialogue at the moment, The Next Generation. I keep almost bailing on it, but I love Picard too much to leave him.

It’s amazing. I have so many flesh-colored fabrics and I keep coming back to the same ones, time after time. I try to branch out, but trying to get tones that go in a nice range is difficult. This one’s too brown, this one’s too pink, too peach.

This is what I’ve used so far…grays, reds (there was a heart), lots of pinky colors…

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I only got about 185 pieces ironed last night…actually, no, it was more than that because I was pulling from other bins for the scales…

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I stopped because it was after midnight, I was tired, and the next two things were very complicated birds. And I don’t know what color I want them to be. I could go for realism or crazy. Tempted by crazy. But still trying to color it in my head. Probably going to wait a bit before I start. Maybe. Blue and orange? Purple? It’s gotta pop on the background…

Anyway. It’s progress. Three more hours of ironing is my goal today, but I need to grade things too and grocery shop and plan for the week, so that could be problematic. In fact, I just went off and emailed the parents at school, because the kids have an assignment due tomorrow at 9 AM, and I suspect by my Edmodo stats (which I can unfortunately check on my phone, my iPad, and my computer) that many have forgotten. Of course, the app keeps crashing, so who the hell knows? Ah yes. 57 out of 140 submitted. Sigh. That is unfortunate. Easy to grade if they don’t turn it in, though. Man, that’s cynical.

The transition to technology is not without its issues. OK. Moving on with my day. Might be awake enough to deal. Hard to say.

Why Nothing Gets Done

September 20, 2014

Mornings are not my friend. They do not wake me kindly with a massage to the tight muscles in my back and shoulders. They don’t bring me a cup of tea and leave the blinds closed until I’m ready to open my eyes. They slam in, like a pissed-off mother of a teenager, pull the windows open and start yelling. Saturday mornings are sometimes worse than workdays, because I FEEL like I should be able to wake slowly, later, without any noise or stress, but there’s this thing called soccer and another thing called a teenager, plus an extra dog is visiting (and this doesn’t even count the 1:42 AM wakeup when the girlchild’s cat threw up in her room and she turned all the lights on and started screaming “GET OUT!” and sobbing…ah yes…who needs nightmares?). Waking up, morning slapped me across the face and screamed “What the FUCK?!!!” I think the adrenaline rush has finally stopped. Girlchild made it out in time for her soccer game. It will be tough for her in college, waking up on time. Her roommate might have to take over my job of opening the door and saying, “Um…shouldn’t you be getting UP?”

Anyway. I’m up now. And not caffeinated enough. I don’t think it’s possible for me to be caffeinated enough.

So when I went to leave the house yesterday morning, the front door handle, which has been cranky for over a year, but we’ve cleaned it and oiled it and talked nicely to it (and sometimes not-so-nicely), and it’s held itself together….well, it finally broke…

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Yes, the door is dirty. Amazingly so. I cleaned it. And I tried shoving the handle back in, but it won’t stay and it’s obviously got issues and it was on my list of Things I Should Fix But Will Probably Wait Until They Break Irreversibly, so at 6 PM (after being screamed at for about 45 minutes by the girlchild), I went to Home Debit. It was already on my list for school reasons, so although I hadn’t eaten dinner and I had to stop at the library to drop off two books that were a week late, but I READ them dammit, and I was still weeping from being yelled at again by unreasonable teen, I walked into Home Debit with a purpose. Unfortunately for me, the one handle set I wanted was set way back on a shelf that was over 6 feet off the ground and because it is Home Debit late at night on a Friday, there are no staff. I thought about it for a while, then crawled up the shelves monkey-style. Twice. Because there are two doors and two handles and presumably they should match. Well, I don’t really believe that, but I do know that (1) I will eventually move out of this house and will need to sell it and buyers like matchy matchy and (2) these things are bloody expensive and I don’t want to have to buy them again. So I climbed the shelves twice, clinging on, while some 30-year-old guy watched in some level of amazement (god forbid he offer to help, he who is over 6 feet tall and could probably use his monkey arms to reach just fine…I miss having the boychild around).

Of course, I still had to come home and make dinner, and by then, girlchild was somewhat remorseful. It’s hard to explain to her why what I said is not what she thinks I said, and she says I don’t mean it when I say I’m sorry, and I guess on some level that’s true, because I didn’t say what she thinks I said so I can’t possibly be sorry for it, and you can’t just say, “I’m sorry you thought I said that…” I swear, sometimes my home life is just like my life at school. I need a break from all this. I really do.

So after dinner and cleanup, I headed into the dark entryway and dark outside to try to fix the damn door. Which I was fairly successful at. Except for a couple things…like that hole.

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Fuck. Sigh. I’m not going back. I remember what was there, for sale, and I didn’t like the ones that would cover that hole (my mom says, but Kathryn, they would cover that hole). Fuck. I can cut a piece of wood to semi-fit the hole, glue it in, wood-fill the sides, sand it down, and repaint the whole door, which needs it anyways. BECAUSE I HAVE TIME FOR THAT. For now? It stays like that. Oh yeah, the other issue is that the instructions are very vague (they are pictures, no words) about how to make the bottom stay in place. But it was after 9 PM at that point and the light was bad and I was tired and frustrated. Did I do the other side?

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Fuck no. Not yet. There better not be another hole (there’s probably another hole). And now I need to copy keys as well for all the people who keep coming to my house to get stuff and leave stuff. And the door isn’t really staying shut, but I’m hoping that’s because I haven’t put the other side IN yet, but who knows, because really, I’m not a repairperson…I’m an artist. Sigh. I’m really not good at this stuff. I can follow instructions and I can wing it enough to make a lock fit in a hole that it doesn’t quite fit into and I can do things like patch and paint and tile and wallpaper and fill and sand and spackle. But the fussier stuff is not my forte, never has been. And yes, to repaint the door, I’m going to have to take it all off again. Whatever. I know family members whose names will NOT be mentioned who would do all of that in the weekend, strip the doors, repaint, install new hardware correctly, and it would all work. I’m lucky to get a door that opens and stays closed. Mostly.

So I was really hoping to start picking fabrics last night, but I didn’t know all that was going to be on my plate. So after all that AND meditating (sorely needed after all that), I started sorting Wonder Under…

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I sort them by 100s…makes it easier to find what I need. I try to number logically so that ironing them is also a logical process, but sometimes ironing will require me to work out of multiple bins at the same time.

It took about an hour. And I was tired. So it was hard.

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Not really. It was just difficult. Because of the tired.

I have 50 minutes before I have to leave for soccer, so I’m going to try to straighten up my fabric-choosing space. I have this thing underfoot at all times…

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This is my parents’ newish (fat) dog, Katie. She actually looks kinda svelte in that photo. She likes to be right near me. Anyway, hopefully when I get back from soccer, I can do some fabric stuff. Although I need to go to the gym and grade papers too (not at the same time). Sigh. I thought about two or three things I could do tonight that would be artistic or semi-fun or interesting, but I really can’t afford the time (or money…the bursar bill for Cornell came for the boychild’s health insurance, required, and I’m running a bit tight at the moment), so I’m persuading myself that it’s OK to go all weekend without talking to anyone but furry beasts. And the television. And myself. Yes, that’s depressing.

This is why nothing gets done. I have a to-do list that I keep adding things to, but I’m adding at a higher rate than I’m crossing things off, and if I keep doing that, then you will be able to cremate me with my to-do list and maybe I will get it done in the next life, because all my lists are now electronic, so my reincarnated self can easily pick up where I flailed and left off.

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.



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