So Close

December 18, 2014

So. Dog. Sigh. Boychild says he wishes he saw him one last time (he comes home tomorrow). I petted him a long time the last time I saw him, the day before. So. That’s all you can do. We’ve lost so many animals over the years, because we take them in and they don’t live long, and some people don’t like that part of it so much that they won’t have any, and I figure they had a pretty good time of it while they were with us. Ivy only lived 6 years, and no, I haven’t replaced her. Considering doing that when the second kid goes off to college. We’ll see.

Today is the day all my students have to have their major project turned in. I did it all online (almost), so I should have almost no paper turned in. That part is seriously awesome. No need to come in over break and grade a bunch of lame posters and one good one. Granted, I haven’t finished grading their science journals, because I’ve been having to hold so many hands in class (“Google it!”), and I still don’t have a great solution to the video issue (not even technology!), but every year is a learning experience. Every Fucking Year. No seriously…one of the things I love about teaching is that I’m never bored. I often joke about getting a job that I don’t have to bring home with me (and won’t wake me up at 2 AM with technology-related nightmares, like the last three weeks), but I would probably be bored all day.

Anyway. There’s two more days. I think I can survive that. Two days, two soccer games, one dinner out, one plane arrival, some 100 pieces, not even, that need ironing.

Seriously, if I hadn’t been tired last night (and as it is, I went to bed WAY too late), I would have just kept going. I wanted to just keep going. My brain couldn’t handle it. Some parts require more brain power to iron together than others, and this part was one of them.

I started late, though, because I came home from the gym and the girlchild had some holiday dessert item all over the kitchen, so I had to wait dinner prep until she was almost done, and then she took over, but we didn’t eat until almost 9.

Then someone really really wanted attention last night.

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Actually, two things: I think she wanted my tea (she likes tea) and the iron was warm. So yeah. Mostly about her.

So I ironed…started around 10:20 PM. Yup. I work late. Kind of a workaholic, if you haven’t noticed.

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And I got through the legs, abdomen, right arm is done except for a vein/artery thing and a tattoo, left arm needs fingers…then the lung/heart combo in the middle is where I got tired. But that and the face is all that’s left. Seriously, it’s not even 100 pieces…

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That’s all there is. It would have been another 45 minutes I think. But I also knew that I couldn’t get it ironed down to the background last night, so I would be ironing tonight ANYWAY, so I thought it would be OK. Although I have a soccer game, a holiday dinner, and then I have to make stuff for tomorrow’s holiday breakfast. So I will be starting late again. The tired will catch up soon.

Eight hours into the ironing. Toldja the second half wouldn’t take as long. Well, it will probably be another 2 hours with the background stuff. It’s a little fussy and takes time, although this one is all one piece, basically. Not like the last one, where the tree drove me bonkers. OK. Wait. There’s another tree with things hanging off of it. Damn. Those suckers are a pain to get laid down right. Who keeps drawing those fuckers? Someone who doesn’t like me?

It is true that I never think of how hard it will be to MAKE when I’m drawing it. Never crosses my tiny little mind.

Oh well. I don’t have to think about that for another 13 or 14 hours. Actually, I really really want to avoid all the project-turning-in drama at school and stay home and iron. But I won’t. Because I’m responsible like that. And a little crazy. Plus I want all those damn journals graded before break. So close.


I Wanna

December 12, 2014

I wish I had pictures of girlchild scoring two winning goals earlier this week, but I wasn’t there. Her aunt and uncle from the UK got to see it though, so I guess that’s OK. The high-school soccer season is difficult, because all the games are during the week, and some of us work! Although, as a teacher, I do have SOME leeway after my contract hours end (although some weeks it doesn’t seem that way). My students were complaining that I wasn’t staying after school for help on the project they’re working on, and I just straight up told them I needed to go to my daughter’s game, and I told them how I missed her goals and they understood that. Put it in their terms. Mom missing kid’s game. Then they ask me if I’ll come to THEIR games. Sigh.

I’m going to start ironing tonight if it kills me (and it might). And I’m going to get a ton of grading done this weekend (also might kill me). Sometimes I get home and I just can’t start anything. I just want to sit and read a book and drink a cup of tea and pretend to be a normal person. I know normal people don’t have drawings churning in their heads all the time, they’re not constantly trying to juggle what is essentially two fulltime jobs. But when I write it that way, I’m OK with not being normal. Yes, it would be lovely to be a fulltime artist, to get up in the morning and stroll into my studio with my steaming hot cup of tea and survey my domain, to make art for 6 hours and not worry about the growing pile of grading or rewriting curriculum to kids who can’t read or write in any language.

But I know from experience that I don’t actually MAKE more during the summer and winter breaks. I do more concentrated hours for short bursts, but I don’t have artmaking stamina…and it’s possible that if I did it for longer, I would develop that…but realistically, it’s not in the cards for me to be able to quit work and make art fulltime. I’m so incredibly jealous of those who CAN. Although I’m sure many of them are bogged down by the business end, having to write books or teach to pay the bills. And many can’t stay focused on the work, even with the extra time. I might be incredibly more efficient because I know I HAVE to be focused; time is so limited, I don’t have a choice. I wonder if having a less-demanding job, one I didn’t have to carry home in that big black bag, if that would help. If it would be better to go back to being a secretary/report writer, who left the office at 5 and took nothing with her, and then came back at 9 this next morning and continued what she’d left on her desk. I did that for quite a few years. I can’t pull it off until the kids are out of college, but then? Maybe I can have a normal job and be an artist for more hours with less crap coming home.

But I was bored as a secretary. And teaching’s not boring (most of the time). It’s frustrating and mind-blowing and tear-inducing and joyous and goofy and soul-crushing and love-full (not a word, I know), all at the same time. The kid who comes and sees me every day for his hug. The girl who annoyed the crap out of me ALL LAST YEAR has to continue to annoy me this year. The kid from 2 years ago who stopped by after high school got out. None of that happens when you’re a secretary (well, unless you’re a secretary in a school). I wonder sometimes if the kids know that some days it is just as hard for ME to be at school (when a drawing is kicking around in my brain, when I want to be ironing something together) as it is for THEM. I’m not admitting that to them. But it’s true.

Fuck. Damn life. It just fucks with your brain.

I am seriously looking forward to three weeks of down time coming up. I wanna make art every single fucking day. I wanna get enough sleep. I wanna go on a bunch of hikes. I wanna hang out and laugh and goof off and be normal…just a little bit.


I Will Get There

December 9, 2014

First of all, it’s late. I’m tired. I thought about going to sleep about an hour and a half ago, but I think that I was really reacting to the boring-ass shit I was trying to do on a computer that is so fucking slow that I want to bang my head against the desk, even though I know it will hurt more than my head already does. But first of all, there was this…night owls vs early birds

I love the ASAP Science videos by the way. They’re great for kids and I love them too. These guys are fun. And there’s science!

Anyway. If you haven’t figured it out…I’m a night owl. I know. You’re shocked. I mean, it’s gotten worse over the years, or maybe not? And the boychild? Yeah. He’s the same. So’s my mom. The girlchild naturally is in bed by 10 PM most nights, although not always asleep. Same with her dad. My dad is another early guy. And they say it’s genetics, but I wonder if it makes sense to have a night owl married to an early bird. Does that work? My parents seem to have figured it out. Then again, they’re both deaf, so maybe they don’t realize where anyone is at any given time.

So I should really go to bed, but my stress levels are in extreme mode at the moment, so I’m staying up to write this, drink a glass of wine (teeth grinding…there are a few things that work…and alcohol is one of them…and I ALREADY exercised, people), and then I’ll hopefully be calm enough to go to bed. I’m listening to the NPR podcast Serial, which is sort of a spinoff of This American Life. I’ve never really gotten into podcasts, although I’ve had several recommended to me. I guess it’s like listening to the plant course I’m taking on Coursera. I just listen while doing other stuff. Like right now, I’m listening while I type. I’m starting to think I should write a diary so someone can find it when they find my dead body. Oh wait. I already write this. Damn. LOOK UNDER THE PORCH. Oh yeah, I don’t have a porch.

You know I don’t write everything here, right? There are some things that are JUST in my journal. Or my head. Or somewhere else. Damn, I miss drawing. I need to draw this week. I’m losing it. I didn’t do any art the last two days. I’m so fucking close to finishing this step on the current quilt…but I have this major project at school that I’ve done in December for the last two years, but this year, I’m putting it all online, using Google Sites and Google Classroom, but the real problem is the learning curve. I’m pretty smart at technology, but Google isn’t always user-friendly (shhh…don’t tell them). I’m never sure how things will work until I try them, and it could be absolute fucking chaos in my class for the next 10 days. WHOO! Like I can deal with that. And I can’t get my head screwed on straight for school as it is…way behind on grading, and about to have major projects turned in. Makes me want to crawl into bed, put pillows over my head, and hum loudly with my fingers in my ears. LALALALALA!

Haven’t written the book in the last few days either. Supremely overworked and distracted. Been cleaning and moving stuff around and trying to find places for everything and solve all the problems.

I will get there. Wherever there is. I just don’t know when. Or how. What’s new?

This is what being an artist looks like. What being a mom looks like. What being a divorced mom looks like. What being a divorced artistic mom looks like.


Kicking It Back…

November 29, 2014

So yeah, I’m back. I’ve actually been here all along, but as I’m sure you realize, that whole holiday-with-family thing kind of eats up your free time. So I sleep even less. And at 1:30 AM, I’m not willing to START writing a blogpost. And mornings have been fraught. So here’s what happened.

On Wednesday, I spent a lot of time cutting out Wonder Under for the new quilt, which is for a theme of Women at War, with interpretation pretty open as to what that meant. I’ve felt like other people have been coming after my uterus and everything within and around for quite a while, despite some nice-guy misogynists telling me I was imagining it. I mean, what the fuck do you know as a privileged rich white man? Best thing you can do as a man? Admit that you mostly don’t have a fucking clue what it’s like to be a woman. You might have an inkling, but otherwise: Not inside, biologically, with periods and pregnancy and mood swings and menopause; not outside, trying to walk somewhere in public, dating, safety, being perceived as an object, wearing the wrong thing, whether you’re showing stuff off or not, it’s always wrong. Not breastfeeding, not being the mom, not with society’s expectations. I’m not saying being a man doesn’t have similar issues; I just think there are more “acceptable” options for men (in terms of what society believes). And I full-on admit I don’t understand what it’s like to be a man. Some men have some of a clue, but mostly it seems not. The better men are understanding even when they don’t understand.

So the drawing was full of all these stereotypes and yet she stands tall on a pile of men. Because every man came from a woman, y’all.

Anyway, my rampant feminism aside, I need to get the quilt done in the next…um…5 weeks. Yup. So speedy mode. Midnight? Not helping…

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Licking my elbow does not help me. This might even have been the night before. It looks awfully dark. It is! It’s Tuesday night. I sit on the couch and watch all the stuff I have saved on Tivo…

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If girlchild is still awake, I have to watch her stuff. Some of her stuff is also my stuff…top box is pieces, bottom box is trash…in case I drop pieces in it (which I often do).

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In the late afternoon (because I had to run a thousand errands), I managed to finish cutting and sort them all into bins by 100s. This is a smaller quilt, so there’s only 8 bins! A miracle.

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Of course, I also did the two birds that need to be done in December, so that was two more bins.

And then because this time of year isn’t crazy enough, girlchild and I hiked Iron Mountain in the dark with the group I often hike with.

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She wanted to show she had conquered the mountain.

That night, I realized I would need to clean the office up a bit to be able to cut fabrics out. I hadn’t put everything away from last time (and honestly, it’s a disaster area in here anyway, because all my school stuff lives in here too). So I had drawers open that cats had slept in and fabric piled everywhere…

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I like a fresh start. Plus I need that table cleared off because that’s where I put the Wonder Under pieces.

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And one section of the floor, I think the cats had knocked a bunch of stuff down (they get a bit rambunctious sometimes), so I needed to clean that up. Finding floor space in here has been a priority this last month. Two feet at a time, people. Two square feet is all I ask.

I had a ton of fabric to put away, both from the last quilt and from Houston, so I started by stacking by color, because everything in here is stored by color, except for the ones where I can’t figure out what color it is.

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That was about halfway through. There were some issues with storage. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I use…it is not enough.

And I found this from a million years ago, from an Ellen Anne Eddy class.

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Hand-dyed silk velvet plus thread-painted fetus. You know, like you do. That may still be in here when I die.

So at that point, it was Thursday, and although girlchild does most of the cooking, that means I get stuck with the cleaning (and then she complains that she can’t find anything because I moved it…from the couch to her bedroom), and I also cook a few things and I constantly try to clean up in the kitchen, which drives her nuts, but I can’t stand having to do it all at once.

So this picture is about 10 minutes before dinner is served. She’s making gravy. The fire extinguisher is out because she spilled turkey juices on the stovetop and it got in the box where the controller things are (technical term) and short-circuited something, and for a few minutes, we had loud popping noises and big sparks and electrical fire smoke. So yeah. A typical Thanksgiving…

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The wine? Well. Obvious. See fire extinguisher. Especially after loud pops and sparks. And no, it’s not fixed yet. It’s actually not top on my list at the moment. The rest of it works, I got everything cleared off of there because of the fire danger, and I have other things that are more pressing. No really, the sink is completely clogged and getting fixed this afternoon, so I can finally do all the dishes. THEN I will deal with the stove.

Thanksgiving was small this year…just my parents, me, the girlchild, and the ex…

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Guess he has decided Brits can celebrate that holiday…food was good, of course…

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She makes a mess in the kitchen, tries to set the house on fire, but it always tastes good.

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And yes, we’re still eating it. Ex came over last night and took away two platefuls of food. Sent a bunch home with my parents as well. And then we realized girlchild wouldn’t be around next year to cook.

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Shit. I think we’re going out. I do cook. I just don’t want to spend that much time cooking for so few people.

Or dogs. I don’t feed dogs people food. Dogs LIKE people food.

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Oh yeah. Pie and pi. All good.

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Once the food was all eaten and I had cleaned up as much as I could with a nonworking sink, I finished cleaning up the studio (ah, much better)…

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Hung the new drawing where I could see it, assumed the background fabric I had would work, and started the next fabric-picking adventure…

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I don’t know what YOU do when chock full of tryptophan. I told you I was a bit crazy.

I picked all the stuff on the bottom…

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And then started thinking about the fleshy issues…a pile of 7 or 8 bodies that I need to be able to distinguish from each other? Need at least two sets of flesh runs…

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Luckily, they’re pretty simple bodies, so I don’t need the usual run of 7 fabrics or so. Although on the right, that’s the run for the main female figure, I think. The stuff on the left was the first of the male bodies.

Friday morning dawned nice and clear, and soccer was first on the agenda…of course.

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Girlchild decided to play for another team, because hers didn’t get into the tournament they wanted. Luckily, it’s local, because we have a game a day.

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I graded papers (ah, back to reality) and watched her run around and score one goal…

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They beat an Alaskan team 5-1. I’m sure that team was a little hampered by the over-80-degree weather. Then I came home and helped dad do some yard things and went and bought two trees with him to block off that big open space that has been there since April? March? Don’t even remember how long. I need to go out there today and dig holes and trim off dead stuff and be a responsible homeowner (my neighbors will be thrilled). And I went to the gym. See, this is where time goes. But at the gym, I wrote…yes, I’m still writing. The story’s still not done. And I finished my book (the one I was reading). And these were good things. And then I traced some more Wonder Under for another piece, a small one that’s been lying around for a good long while…

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Of course, technically it has nudity in it, so it can’t go into any of the shows coming up that need smaller pieces. I’m tired of making things FOR something, though, even though I don’t mind the themes that I’ve been in…sometimes you just have to make the stuff you WANT to make. I’m getting a wave of that feeling coming on…strong. I traced this also because I was watching something on Netflix that I couldn’t watch in my studio and I wanted to finish the episode.

Anyway, then back to the studio…where I kept going on the pile of flesh…

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Which is taking significantly more time than I usually take, mostly because it’s complicated to figure out what is overlapping where, and to make sure I have all the pieces for that body, and that the fabrics don’t overlap in the wrong way.

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After 4 hours of ironing, I am barely in the 200s. The plus is I should finish the pile of bodies today, so it will go faster after that. I think. I hope. Because remember how I said I wanted to be done with the ironing by the time school starts again? And there are two more soccer games? Plus I have to plan for school, because hey, we do have to go back there, despite the scary adrenaline rush I get when I think about it? I calculated grades yesterday from the stuff I had graded so far after break. It’s possible I should just quit teaching right now. I’m an absolute failure.

Sigh. So. And on top of all this, I slammed my finger in the door and I keep reopening the wound (bandaids forever!), a Golden Retriever is currently trying to play ball with me, my kitchen looks like a hurricane hit it, and the fish at school has probably died because I keep forgetting to go over there and feed it. Girlchild has applied to her first college, boychild got food poisoning on Thanksgiving from something (he did not have turkey dinner), and I’ve been living on deviled eggs for three days (I’m not sure that’s a bad thing).

This time of year just kicks my ass. So I’m going to kick it back by making lots of art. Yup. You can’t stop me.

Here’s Aug(de)mented Reality 2…for some post-turkey amusement…

Yeah, it’s goofy. Goofy’s OK sometimes.


Official Title #3764

November 16, 2014

Can’t title things today. Brain offline. So my view last night of the world was this…

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Yes, Glee…don’t judge. It’s light, it’s easy, and they sing. And their entire life experience is so far removed from mine that it doesn’t bother me. Everything else that was on Tivo felt really heavy and dark or light and fluffy and I decided I couldn’t handle it. And much as I’d been loving Star Trek lately, that means watching on the computer and fighting the tiny mean black cat for the chair, and my body was having an issue with being female yesterday (actually, it continues today…another symptom of the thyroid giving up the ghost), so I was in some pretty extreme pain and trying to sew. On the couch was better than in a chair that is only vaguely comfortable on a good day. It was fun. Really. And by fun, I mean, I got through it. Working on that needle-poke callus on my right middle finger now.

I spent all day yesterday (many hours) at an educational tech conference. It was long, but there was one very good workshop I went to and I think I saw the light! Or I have a bunch of new ideas about how to do something online that I have previously done on paper. But I only have three weeks to implement it, and that might not be enough. And I’m not really sure what I’m doing. See, that’s what you want in a teacher…someone who is willing to change it up by the seat of her pants. I want the kids to learn not only the content, but to stretch beyond it and be able to use it elsewhere (some of us have been teaching common core the entire time we’ve been teaching), AND I want them to be tech-proficient (beyond Facebook and video games) AND I’m willing to put my butt out there and hope it all works. So much of the admin and the petty bullshit we deal with as teachers is what chases creative teachers off. I’ve seen too many of them leave because of the shitty pay and the job uncertainty and the harassment by parents and admin (and kids sometimes, honestly). Those of us that tough it out, we are some level of crazy, yes. Luckily, I got the email address of the presenter, so if I have major issues, I know where he works (not far from here).

So that sucked up a huge part of my weekend, and today I’m at the Salk Institute (I always pronounce it SOCK…and then point to mine) to get trained on their DNA kits so I can check them out and do cool experiments with my kids. So it’s a weekend of school stuff that I didn’t get paid for, which again, underlines the crazy. This is what teachers do. If you are one of those people coming after my pay or my pension or my “vacation time” (I don’t get paid for the summer, people), then realize this is what we do. We lose an entire weekend to stuff that benefits OUR STUDENTS. And we do it for free. Because it benefits our students. I am doing what’s best for the kids. It would be nice if the politicians would do the same.

And this morning, I’m trying to persuade my body that it can go to the gym, despite its current tendency toward hemorrhaging (wow, a word I really can’t spell without help). Because I know I will feel better, but ouch. Ouch. And OUCH. Plus how do I staunch the flow long enough to actually be there? These are the fun questions perimenopause brings to you: How much black clothing do I own? How many menstrual devices can I use at once to avoid a wardrobe issue? How can I get better pain meds so I can actually stand up? Seriously, when the alarm went off this morning, I was curled up in a tiny pained ball yelling (probably a good thing the kids aren’t here) until that wave stopped. I think childbirth was easier…at least it seemed like there was a purpose to it.

If that’s all TMI, then you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog anyway.

So yeah, I’m almost done with this quilt, which feels a little weird. I really like the quilt though, so that’s good. And I’m ready, I think, to draw the next one this week, so I can spend all of Thanksgiving week cleaning house (whoo!) and starting that one plus a few smaller ones I promised to make (three. I promised three. Please slap me around a bit, because I am crazy).

I did write a little of the novel at the conference yesterday, and then I came home after dinner with friends (a slightly contentious dinner, interestingly), and I wrote some more. Today (in the story) is when the big bad shit starts to hit the fan. More people are going to die…not because it’s fun to kill people off (although it will be fun to kill ONE person off…yes, I have revenge fantasies at times), but because the deaths are going to highlight how dangerous it is for our heroine and why the Government Must Be Stopped. I’m really not a raging anti-government person, makes me sound like a cultist, but in this story, they aren’t nice or good. They’re bad people. They started out OK, but you know, lost humanity, lost perspective, blah blah blah.

I honestly don’t know if the story will be finished by the end of the month. I’m fairly certain I’ll hit 50,000 words, though. My stats from the NaNoWriMo website…

Nanowrimostats

I was over 28,000 words yesterday. I’ve had a couple of lighter days, but then kicked ass on days afterwards, so the story never stops flowing from my brain. It’s more that I get too tired to write. As I’m writing, I wander off into random shit and then find myself sitting there with my eyes closed and my fingers on the keyboard. Friday night was a little like that. I should have written before I did the binding, and I kept MEANING to do that and then not doing it, and so when I wrote, it was midnight. And I woke up with a start at some point (and honestly, at that point, I gave up, short for that night, but I had a cushion from earlier in the week), and when I read it the next morning, it was a whole different kind of writing. It wasn’t Bad, but it was Different. I left it. At this point, I’m just trying to get the story out. I’ll go back and revise later. I know it needs a ton of work, if just for basic editing and continuity. Did I tell you that Book 2 (not a sequel to this one) is poking at my brain too?

Anyway. I’m a few steps closer to getting my butt out the door to the gym. Need to eat and finish the tea and then gird my loins in black and cotton absorbent things. I know exercise will help, so I am going to do it, even though I’m tired and have lots of stuff to do before I go to the science thing. Sometimes you have to do what’s right for your body or brain, even if it’s not easy. Motto of my life, I guess. I personally don’t think there’s a guarantee for easy, and I’m not even sure easy is the best thing. If we never stretch or challenge ourselves by dealing with the hard, then I think we are never as strong or amazing a human being as we could have been. That said, I could do with some easy for a while. Bring it.


Somewhere to Land on Occasion

November 10, 2014

Wondering where I am? Me too. I feel like I fell into some sort of time warp and I’ll never be allowed out. It’s been days and days of grading and very little else (oh yeah, I did go on a hike)…

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More about that later.

And then I graded and graded and graded some more…

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When I got tired of the grading (and the cats sitting upon the grading), I folded the fabrics from Houston…there they are…

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Lots of pinks. Strange that I have so many pinks when I am really the anti-pink.

I did write over the last few days. It was a little light on Thursday and Friday, due to exhaustion, but Saturday and Sunday, I was back to over 2,000 words/day, so I’m over 16,000 words now for NaNoWriMo. Pretty good. There’s some scary action about to occur. I might even know what everybody’s name is at the moment. I finally figured out I needed to update the character list and keep it open so I could check it. As it is, some people have really lame names (Dr. Blank…paging Dr. Blank). This writing thing, it’s such a freakish thing for me. OK, YES, I know, I write all the time, but there’s no logic to this, no plot, I’m not trying to get somewhere or point something out. I don’t have to make any fucking sense, you know…it’s a blog, not the Bible.

Anyway. I’m keeping up. I’m a week in and I’m keeping up. That’s a good thing.

Grading, though. Fuck me.

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See that huge pile? That was the Unit 2 journals. Holy crap. Makes me want to crawl in a hole and give up teaching. Plus I’m missing one. Ought to be interesting. Grades are due Tuesday. My goal is to finish inputting everything tomorrow morning and then I can quilt! Freedom! Well, until I have to lesson plan for the day I’m out this week. Seriously, I’m supposed to be at a training on a 3-day school week. Who thought that was a good idea? No one knows.

I have to admit to having been in an absolutely rancid mood for days. The hike helped, but I’m back to feeling like I live a loser life and my job is trying to kill me. Minor issue. I’m sure I’ll get over it. It would help if I finished the quilting tomorrow, of course. Wish me luck.

This is Margaret Fabrizio’s video of me talking the day before the video you saw before, which was the artist’s tour. This is part of the Quilt Alliance interview…

And here’s her Houston recap…

You can see why I want to BE her when I grow up. It’s also interesting to hear about Houston from someone who had never been there. I did have a good Houston experience this year. It was positive. People were nice. I felt supported. When I said something about not being able to get my work into the IQF show, that only SAQA would take me, someone said that I belonged there, that I belonged to SAQA. They would take me in. I don’t need a tribe…but I do need a place to land on occasion…a place for my art to be appreciated.

Maybe that’s true of the rest of it too…I don’t need a tribe; just somewhere to land on occasion.


Apparently Crazy Ass

November 4, 2014

Hello very furry cat tail that is dipping into my tea. Please removeth yourself.

I’m juggling. Grading and dark coming earlier and school stuff and a dead black widow and a tire that won’t behave or maybe it’s the tire pressure monitoring system, who the fuck cares, just make the light on the dashboard with the exclamation mark go off. I served dinner at 9 PM last night (but I served it, and it was healthy and made from scratch. So there. And there are leftovers. So double there.). I only graded two periods of tests instead of all three (at least I got through two). I was determined to quilt, because goddammit, how am I going to finish the quilting by Saturday night if I don’t actually QUILT every night? So let’s ignore the fact that I was still awake at 1 AM and that my body on non-Daylight Savings time believes it should be awake an hour earlier, and honestly, so does Kitten, so there’s no point in trying to sleep longer. In fact, amusingly, my body seems to think it’s being allowed to sleep in, so although it had barely more than 5 hours of sleep, it feels better than normal, because it’s an hour later. Or earlier. Or something. I’m sure it will all even out in a few days, but for now, it’s what’s keeping me moving.

And you know what? Dumbass subs who leave no notes as to what happened at all (apparently he wrote a referral on an entire class?)? Give Up Now. Or stay out of my class. Really, there was less chaos returning to the classroom after two days gone than I thought there would be, but that was mostly because I put it all on them, made sure that all the responsibility lay squarely in their laps. Oh, you didn’t complete the work on Friday? So sad. If you don’t have it done by Tuesday, you will be unable to do the required assignment that you only get one day to do. Oh, your class doesn’t know how to plug in the Chromebooks? Y’all can write it down on PAPER…that archaic substance that frightens you so much. So sad. Other classes will be on Chromebooks today. You are not so lucky. Maybe you will learn from this. Or not.

My team is in Bitch Mode. End of the trimester mentality, but more like where we would be in March, after Trimester 2. Not sure what’s up with that. I just know it feels crappy. Teachers blame themselves when the kids don’t perform, even when they know kids are making choices to do so. It makes you feel like a failure. No one likes that.

So that’s why I need to lose myself in quilting at night. I need a place to rest after grading all those tests, a place for my head to go where I have control over the outcome…or at least more control than I have over 140 12-year-olds.

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So I quilted for an hour almost…

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I really like those hands. I’m 6 1/2 hours in and almost done with the outlining.

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I just have the tree left, and I’ve done some of it. Then I can start quilting the background, and honestly, not very much of the background shows. Then binding and trying to figure out what to do with the bleed spots. Almost there. Still need to draw the NEXT one. No pressure. OK, lots of pressure. Crazy-ass pressure, honestly.

I’m also writing the novel again, burying myself in plant/animal hybrid genetics and escaping from the government and chemical responses and how people might die. Weird stuff. I’m doing NaNoWriMo, where you write 50,000 words in 30 days in November. I wrote on the plane on Saturday morning, I wrote in LAX’s tiny little offshoot terminal where we were stuck for four hours, I wrote on my computer, and I wrote on the iPad while sitting in a meeting (hey, it kept me awake and I was actually listening.). I’m over 6,000 words in three days, so I’m doing OK. I’m trying to stay ahead of the 1667 words/day that will definitely get me there. It’s nice to have the website tell me that at the current rate, I will finish 5 days early (unlikely in real life). It gives me a cushion for the days I can’t get much written. And the story is progressing! I wrote 7 new characters in and promptly killed them off! Good times.

Anyway. I am busy. I might need a break soon. Meanwhile, here’s the video my mom took of me at Houston explaining Awakening the Crone…there’s a Quilt Alliance video too, but they haven’t sent me the link to that yet.

Apparently I invited everyone to take me out to a bar and explain myself. You know, like you do. Yeah. Apparently crazy ass.


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