So the girlchild is sick. It’s two days until a week-long vacation, and I am surrounded by coughy, sneezy, leaves-her-used-tissues all over the house, which the dog then tries to eat, so I have to touch all of them to either throw them away or get them out of the dog’s mouth. And THEN. Then she drinks out of the milk jug, straight out of it, right in front of me, like she doesn’t even care that she’s bombarding ME with all those germs on levels that I don’t even need to consider. Her response? “Um. Sorry? We live together anyway.” She’s like the worst roommate ever. I come home and she’s already left for soccer, and all the clothes she’s worn are all over the floor, and when I come back from the gym, I find her smelly soccer socks, shoes, and shinguards sitting on the couch where I would like to sit and draw, and it reeks.
Bad roommate. Except she’s my blood. I did give her some grief yesterday when she finally came home, but she’s SIIICKKK. Sigh. I guess my plan for break is to be sick as well (pounding vitamins, washing hands as I speak). I don’t have time to be sick. I have two hikes to go on, 13,000 words to write, a quilt to get significantly started. I can’t be sick.
So there’s the drawing. I came home after delivering my quilt to the photographer and I was exhausted. So I tried to read, but fell asleep on the couch (probably I’m getting sick) and woke up to a cat lying on me. It’s a risk in this house. Happens all the time. I only had like 30 pages of my book left, so I finished it (It was good by the way…the last in Lev Grossman’s Magicians series). Then I started trying to draw, and here’s why I don’t keep track of time on the drawings. When it’s not going well, when I’m having a hard time getting it out of my head or solidifying it in there, I just stare at things…mostly at the paper, but also at the TV (Blacklist, James Spader is truly evil in this show, and yet not), or a cat. Or the white wall, annoyed by the fact that I haven’t finished doing things in here, like hanging art. So I did a lot of that. I have “four hours” into the drawing, but I’d bet that only half of that was actual pen or pencil moving on paper. And if you’re going to count the staring-at-the-paper minutes, you should also count the minutes when I’m thinking about the drawing when I don’t have a sketchbook in my lap, and that’s quite a few more hours. So yeah. Pointless measurement there. No real start and stop. Fluid.
But after I made dinner and girlchild finally showed up to eat (and sneeze and cough and moan and leave used Kleenex everywhere), I went and wrote some more story (she’s kidnapped! It happened early! I said 5 PM and then I kidnapped her early! Don’t ask. My brain does what it pleases.), and when I came back to the couch, the snotty thing had gone to bed (without even saying good night) and I was able to do a significant piece of the drawing. Because before that? I was just staring at the paper for a long time.
It is unfortunately not done. That said, I think it COULD be done with about 20 more minutes. I don’t HAVE 20 minutes before school though. And I was going to go copy it after school. SO. I could take it to school and instead of doing grades during prep, I could finish it. And then copy it after school. But I don’t like taking my sketchbook (the big one) to school. It’s just…it’s got stuff in it that the students would be shocked by, and it’s big and hard to hide, unlike the one in my bag. SO. I could just ditch out of school as soon as the bell rings, come home and finish it, and then go copy it. Probably means I’ll be putting it together at class, but I think I can do that. OR. I could stop writing this and go finish it, except mornings are not good drawing times for me. I don’t know why. My brain is primed for late night. Right now, I’m still trying to wake up. Apparently I can write half asleep but I can’t draw. Two different parts of the brain. The rambling wordy bit can vomit shit up all the time. The drawing part needs more caffeine. And wake time.
But this is where I’m at…
Like I said, not much left. Trying to keep it simple so I can actually finish it in time. Yes, the DNA hand showed up again. So did the tree. I really like the pile of people, of MEN. Yup. Standing on Da Boyz. And there’s pencil between her legs because I’m not sure about that part, but it’s there to remind me to think about it. So I guess I really need to wait until the end of the day. Yup. Plus I’m going to have to add to the top and sides a bit so I can put more leaves in. But not much.
Another thing I’m doing, which I had heard about back in September or October, is Coursera. If you haven’t heard of it, they are college classes you can take for free (no credit) or for credit (pay!) that are offered on a wide variety of subjects and from a huge number of participants. A friend (Linda!) emailed me about one she thought I would like about how plants use their “senses.” It sounded interesting, so I signed up for this class taught by a professor at Tel Aviv University, and I’m about three weeks behind starting, but since I’m not taking it for credit (unlike some of the kids in there), I don’t care. I also don’t care that I’m not acing the quizzes, because I’m listening to his lectures while I’m writing the book. And when he says something really interesting or confusing, I flip to the tab running the video and I rewatch that section, and sometimes I take notes (right now, my post-it says “auxin” and “Barbara McClintock”), but mostly I’m just listening for stuff that I could use in the book or that might make some things make more sense. I’m still boggled by this article about plants that can “hear” caterpillars eating them and respond chemically. They recorded the sounds and played them near another plant and it responded in kind. This is awesome science, and helped me write the section where the plant talks to the main character. Yeah, my science is a little out there, but I don’t think it’s as out there as I originally thought.
Anyway. It’s interesting enough and I’ve done two weeks of work in two nights (well, I didn’t do it WELL. I got a D on the quiz, but whatevs. I’m not taking it for reals.).
So. Progress on all levels. And two more days of school to survive. If you’ve never been in a middle school the week before an upcoming vacation, even if it’s only a week off that’s coming up, it’s like there’s a full moon. They wig out all over the place and do amazingly stupid things, because they think it’s not going to follow them after break. Which is only a week long. I’m with them, though. I want to be on vacation too. I just don’t want to be SICK on vacation. Grr. More vitamins. More handwashing.