Life. A Moodfucker. News at 11.

October 23, 2014

Hey, did you see me fall into that hole Tuesday night? Or maybe it was during the day…yeah, it definitely was. I don’t know why. OK, I didn’t know why. I was actually all excited by the lesson I was teaching, because I basically had one kid at each table open up a new Google doc and then share it with their table, and then I handed them a rubric, yelled GO!, and ran away. Everything they asked me I turned back on them. Check your research. Ask someone at your table. Wow, that must really suck. Yeah, you have to work with people all the time when you grow up. I need you to work with your coworkers. There was some screaming, some lambasting, some frustration, but hell…yesterday? Yesterday I saw the product, and they were WORKING. Like TOGETHER. Because they HAD TO. It was a revelation.

Now we’ll see today what it actually looks like, and I totally lied about whether I could see what kid made what correction. I think I could, but I’d have to go back through all the revisions, and I don’t have time for that. Maybe I’ll have them write a reflection about the process and their partners, and then I can see who did nothing. It’s just like the corporate world! Or teacher world! Where you have one staff member who whines a lot and gets everyone in trouble. And another one who never does anything. And the bossy one. And the one who gets it done. And the one who goes home and does all of it and then comes back to school and their teammates are pissed off at them because now they have nothing to do (OK, that never happens in the real world…nobody gets pissed off in my world when that happens. We thank them and promise to do it for them next time, and then hopefully we follow through.).

Anyway, you’d think with a lesson like that, I would have come home with stars in my eyes and a smile on my face, but no. Hormones or thyroid or just bad depressoid brain, it’s been haunting me since the hike on Saturday, or maybe earlier, probably earlier, and I just keep trying to push it away and get shit done. Interesting that getting shit done isn’t helping. Well, it never really does. There’s just more shit to be done. So I fell in that hole, the one that holds on to me and makes me cry all the fucking time and lurks around corners and attacks when you’re not even expecting it.

So Tuesday night sucked. It sucked so bad I didn’t even try to make art. I graded papers, I got tired of that, I went to bed with my book. Which is a murder mystery. About the South. And racism and bad hinky shit that the KKK and worse did. So it’s real cheery. Yesterday, I was obviously still wearing all that on my face; I could tell. But the kids were still doing their cooperation thing, so that got me mostly through the day, but sometime in the morning, I realized part of the bad. And this really sucks, because October is my favorite month of the year. The weather is that in-between stage in Southern California…still super hot some days, beautiful blue skies, then chilly enough for a sweater the next day. There’s the promise of holidays and vacations looming, there’s Halloween, there’s soccer coming to an end. It’s just a nice month. Except 12 years ago yesterday, my life blew up into a million fragments in October, and then I thought I had it all put together again and got my month back, and then I didn’t. And it was somehow harder the second time around, the second time it all exploded. I still haven’t put that back together again. Because I had gotten to a point where I could get past October 22 without much of a thought, because my current life was enough, it was good, I was OK with it, but now it’s not, so the ouch is back, the pain is back, and it SUCKS. And I carried that all day yesterday, once I realized what the heavy was, and it’s still here today, because it still is. Here. I have this elephantine memory that never forgets the bad shit.

It didn’t help that I didn’t see the girlchild at all on Tuesday. I saw her a little more yesterday, but mostly she just screamed at me. I know she’s stressed with school and college apps…her first interview is today and there is proof that she is my kid…the interview isn’t until 4, but it’s a long way north, so she’s leaving right after school (like 3 hours early) to make sure she’s there in plenty of time. She has homework, and all she would do after school is go to Starbucks and do her homework anyway, so it’s just a farther-away Starbucks (or equivalent), but I’m like…oh yeah. I would totally do that too. I would be totally early, just in case.

And then last night, Dr Who was making me cry. Or life makes me cry and I just blame it on the closest TV show.

I tried to do a better job yesterday of taking care of myself, although I don’t know that going to bed early and reading a book is NOT taking care of myself…I just know it didn’t make me feel better. So last night, I meditated (because I had just been screamed at for explaining reality)…and cried through the whole thing. So much for achieving equanimity, or whatever the fuck I was supposed to be doing in my head during that 20 minutes. And then I stitched…

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for a while…I’m a little over 4 hours in. Those are knees above…and a bottle below…

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And at some point, I thought, “You could finish this step tonight. Totally. It wouldn’t take much longer.” True that. It wouldn’t have taken more than another hour. But it was already 11:48 PM, and I really need to work on sleeping enough each night, and that’s not how you do that. So I didn’t. I left it for tonight.

Because I know that some of my mood is affected by how much sleep I get, although if I get too much, I really don’t sleep, and then I’m more depressed the next day, so there’s some balance, some fine line…and some of it must be related to blood sugar; I’ve been having lots of lows lately. Like almost crashes but not quite. So many things that can fuck with my mood.

Life. A Moodfucker. News at 11. Or in my case, 2 AM.


Fight Uterus. Teach Illness. Stitch Legs.

October 21, 2014

Aargh. I’m working my butt off at the moment, between my job and my art. It’s good, because I’m getting stuff done, but it’s bad, because it feels like that’s all I do. Yesterday, I worked at school from 8-4:15, then came home and worked another 2 1/2 hours on grading. Then I stitched stuff down for another hour. That’s not really balance, is it. Girlchild is on a rant of huge proportions about college apps. I irritate her just by existing at the moment. Hell, sometimes I irritate myself just by existing. The house is still a freakin’ disaster because of days like yesterday, where the only house-related thing I achieved was to divest the girlchild’s bathroom of all empty shampoo containers and to pack up the door handle that we decided I didn’t need, so I can take it back to Home Debit. I know I have the receipt. Now I just need to find it.

And everything hurts. Girl parts are vengeful in some way. They behave for days at a time, and then they screech at you like the world is ending and they’re on fire. Imagine trying to stand all day in front of a herd of middle-school kids while your uterus contracts, doing its JOB (structure and function, the basis of what I teach), and the kids are whining because they have been sitting too long (10 minutes) in front of a computer that isn’t GIVING them answers like their teacher used to do (really, it was easier for them, wasn’t it? OK, I was never the answer-giving teacher though), and I’m getting irritated because someone has forgotten their password for the 17th time and they didn’t write it down and I have to try to reset it, which is a pain in the ass, while trying to make sure Jimmy and Johnny don’t play Angry Birds all period (I have an app that watches all their screens, but I have to watch the app…although honestly, if you just PRETEND to walk around with a tablet that has the app on it, it doesn’t really matter; they assume you’re watching them. Very amusing) all the while yelling “Key Words, People! Key Words! because they don’t know how to figure anything out)…and meanwhile, my uterus is trying to win some muscle contest, almost killing me in the process. Yes, you’re an efficient little beast, my dear organ of reproduction, but it seems like you hold it against me when I don’t use you for your intended purpose. Let me make it clear. More babies? Not happening. So get over yourself and behave like the adult you are. You don’t really want to go through that whole babymaking thing again. You just think you do. Get over it.

All that. And art too. I made this pact that I was going to draw once a week, every week, and then I forgot to put it on the calendar, so I missed it last week, so I put it on again for Sunday night, and it still didn’t happen, so now it’s calendared for every Friday night, and its name is Draw Dammit. Hopefully I’ll continue that. If the calendar yells at me. I need an owl…the Hogwart’s owls that dropped those screaming letters…hey, I just Googled “harry potter screaming letter owl” and got what I needed…they’re called Howlers and when you open the envelope, it howls at you until it’s done, and then it erupts into flames. That’s what I need. One of those every Friday night. I love Google by the way.

Meanwhile? Stitching down…

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I’m 3 hours in (see the cat behind the machine? Annoying.). All that’s left is the man’s legs and head, half a bird, and all the stuff in the tree: probably two more hours, honestly, so I really should be able to finish pinbasting by Saturday night. I should check the stash of batting…I think I have a piece big enough. God knows I have enough bits and pieces.

So Sunday night (no, I didn’t post Sunday night or Monday…too tired still), I had this cat in the drawers…

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She chose green. I didn’t want to clean up all the fabrics until I finished ironing everything down, which I have now down, but now I just don’t feel like cleaning, which is unfortunate, because this room is a disaster at the moment.

Then I had this cat on the ironing board…

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Which IS clean at the moment (a brief lapse on my part). They don’t like each other (actually girlchild is just to the right of this picture, because she was ALSO in here, but she’s not a bitchy cat)…and at some point, they realized they were in the room together (hey, can you see the big pile of batting on the shelf up near the top? That’s all SMALL pieces, because I MAKE SMALL pieces? No, because I’m a hoarder. Not a bad hoarder…just a minor one. I do go through the pile and toss pieces that would only work if I made quilted postcards, which I don’t.

Yes, my brain is rambling all over the fucking place, because my UTERUS is contracting like a bitch and I can’t think straight. But I am going to go to school and teach middle schoolers about respiratory illnesses today, and if some kid whines about ANYTHING, a demon will rise from my mouth and devour them, and then all the other kids will be silent workers for the rest of the period. Right?

So here are the two cats (and all the mess)…hissing at each other.

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Because I need more drama? To their credit, mostly they avoid each other. Midnight (the lower cat) is a sweetie. Babygirl has channeled Satan.

I have lots of pictures of Babygirl, because she inhabits my office/studio, which is where I am most nights at some point or another, usually after 10 PM. So when normal people are going to bed, I’m moving to the work area to keep going. Sometimes she appears quite sweet and adorable…

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which I think is how she reels in prey…like my teenaged son.

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If you don’t feed her fast enough, she whacks you with her paw, claws extended.

And the cats are the reason I always pile my quilt top up on the machine…

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So they can’t lie on it. Because they will. It’s not a very exciting thing to write about at the moment, stitching down. Pretty much, I turn Star Trek on really loud and adjust the zigzag and drop the feed dogs, and go around every single piece. My brain spends most of its time trying to figure out what Picard said and where to stitch next without having to restitch over what I’ve already stitched. Add in the psychotic machinations of my uterus, and it’s just fun fun fun all around. And the mood that comes along with the uterine games? Yeah. It’s not good. Whatever.

Seriously. This stage will be done soon and I’ll be on to the quilting. I have to get caught up with work too, though, because Houston is next week and that’s going to mess with my workload a bit. And grades are due a week after I get back. And I have a show to take down and a bunch of other stuff to deal with. Buried is an understatement. One day at a time. Today? Fight uterus. Teach illness. Stitch legs.


I Was Tired…

October 19, 2014

Yeah. I know. I missed a couple posts. I was really tired. And sick. And then I went on a hike, which made me tired again. And sick is still hovering, though mostly only at night. And when I’m tired. And when you hear me talk. Anyway. Hopefully I did enough sleep catchup in the last few days to last for a bit. Still missing a big chunk of my working voice though. Oh well.

The good news is that I finished ironing everything down on Friday night (yes, I went to Sea World with 180 kids and then came home and went shopping with the girlchild and THEN I ironed).

This is what the tree looked like after I pulled it off the ironing sheet…

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See why I was scared to do that? I untangled that thing about three times Friday night, trying to get it to fit on the background…because all of the quilts for this show are supposed to be the same size, which I have a really hard time doing. I can easily do a range, but god forbid I draw the piece so that there’s some leeway on each side. NAW. Let’s make it go RIGHT to the edges.

Yeah, I know. My fault. So I cut the background with about 2 inches to spare on the horizontal and vertical measurements, and then made it work. Maybe. We’ll see when I go to trim it.

And then I put the whole mess on the floor and started putting the parts on to make it fit…and that’s where I have to stop showing pictures. You’ll have to wait until January, when the show opens. Here’s the bottom…

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I had some issues with the batik bleeding again. I’ll have to figure out what I want to do about that…you’d think I’d remember to use that stuff when I wash it, the Retayne…but I always forget. So either I’ll be using pencil or pen or something to handle that. More work. Oh well. Maybe next time I will remember to wash it special.

I was going to be all gung ho after the hike Saturday morning, but it kicked my butt (yeah, hiking while getting over being sick all week was maybe not a great plan, but I really did need to get the fuck out of the house and into nature, so I just did it), so I didn’t get anything done Saturday afternoon. And then girlchild had night soccer, where I graded…

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We were missing a bunch of kids for a variety of reasons, so even though they should have won (they’ve beat this team before), they didn’t…

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And the girls basically had to play all 90 minutes, so girlchild went down with a calf cramp after getting kicked there…

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Thought it was her knee for a minute…dammit…never going to get her through a whole season! But just a cramp. She’s fine today. But we didn’t get home until after 8, and my brain was in a mood, so I fed it and made it meditate. I haven’t been meditating enough, because honestly, a lot of the time when I’m doing the art stuff, it does the same thing for me as meditation, focuses my brain, calms me, gives me some mental strength. But last night, I just felt unfocused and cranky and tired, so I did it. And it was good.

So I came in and did the final step of the ironing down…totaling the ironing out at 15 hours and 18 minutes (my estimate of 15 hours holds!). And then I started stitching down. I wasn’t going to, because I was still tired, but I really wanted to get a START on it. Because Sundays are notoriously bad for artmaking, due to the grocery shopping and the prepping for school and the hanging out with parents. I usually don’t get to do anything until late at night. I wish I were more efficient in the morning, but it really is the only morning I can just space out and make English muffin pizzas for breakfast and hang out and not have to DO anything or BE anywhere. Yes, I’m hanging out with myself (actually, girlchild was here this morning early), and that’s often depressing, but whatever. Someone claimed they were going to “laugh at the loneliness” once, and I thought it sounded like bullshit then and I still do…you don’t laugh at loneliness. You stare at it for a while and eventually you just embrace it, hold on to it tight, and if you can make it go sit in a closet for a while because you’re hanging out with friends or family, or because you’re at school, or because you’re in the artspace and haven’t come out yet…that’s awesome. But mostly, you can try to ignore it or yell at it or just accept that it’s there and hold its hand…but laughing at it is kinda stupid. It’s not gone because you laughed at it. I laugh all the time. It doesn’t make it go away. It’s still there, staring at you. Stupid depression. Doesn’t help. Stupid hormones. Also don’t help.

Stitching down…

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one of the more boring parts of the quilting process. I know that to stay on schedule, I have to keep MAKING a schedule. So I look back at the Celebrating Silver quilt, because I’ve been basing everything on that one (about the same size and number of pieces)…so I’m guessing 5 hours to stitch it down, another 2 to pinbaste, and about 14 hours of quilting. I want it pinbasted by Saturday night. Quilting starts Sunday? I should remember I have some obligations this week…maybe.

Anyway. Progress. It’s always progress here at Kathy Central. If I keep running forward, then the bad shit can’t catch me, right? Naw, sometimes it’s pretty fast and I’m hiking with dead legs (that was yesterday going uphill…dead legs). Now I’m going to be running forward into the 70 million errands I need to run today in order to be ready for the week. And you wonder why I’m so tired.


Normal or Weird

October 17, 2014

How you know you’re PMSing: Something Worf says on Star Trek: The Next Generation makes you cry.

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Yeah, dude. I was as shocked as you.

So it seems like a good time to take 180 or so 7th-graders to Sea World. Plus I’m still sick. I think I relapsed yesterday. I had two people tell me on the phone that I sounded worse than they thought I should sound after this many days. Whatever. I only have to talk a little today. I’m not going to be the yeller today. There’s usually someone who has to yell at all the kids and chaperones to get them on buses, and that’s usually me (you can think of that what you will). I’m bringing a change of clothes because I’m going on the rides with my kids, and if I get wet, I am not sitting in wet clothes for the last two periods of the day. One of my admin can cover my class for the three minutes it takes me to change.

Yesterday, we had giant chaperone snafus that eventually all worked themselves out, and meanwhile, the girlchild is texting me that Grandpa stole the door handle (he did). By the end of the day, after quilt class (I just took birds for embroidery…I couldn’t handle any other level of organization of a new project…I’m too much in the middle of this one), I came home and ate and booked a trip! I know. Not far. A friend finally harassed me enough to come visit her (and my quilt, which is hanging in her house) and all her noisy kids (who are much like MY noisy kids, but younger). I will only be there for 36 hours and it’s not until February, but it’s something. I keep trying to do all the somethings that build a life, so the parts that suck don’t suck as much. That is still the very very hard part.

But on the Not Suckage side is that I have finally finished ironing pieces together…I fought the tree last night for an hour and a half…I was going to quit once I finished ironing all the objects together and on the tree…

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But then there were a few leaves just lying there, and they looked so simple to do that I thought…fuck it. It’s not that late (you should go to bed early…you’re sick and you’re going on a field trip. Why? I won’t sleep anyway. So true.). So I ironed all the leaves…

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Which took a bit longer than I thought, and then I had to do the Sit in the Chair and Mellow Because Your Brain is on ArtFire thing before I could go to bed.

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But it’s done. Thirteen hours (still need to iron it onto the background, so I think the 15-hour estimate is still accurate). I’m scared to take it off of this, because nothing’s really connected like it is in the bodies, which are all folded up in a box right now, waiting for the background…and the background is tonight! Wow. I’m on schedule. I had food poisoning, a nasty cold, three art openings last weekend, a chaotic two weeks, and I am still on schedule. It’s funny, because I’m looking at the picture above and thinking, holy crap, that desk is a mess. If anyone who didn’t know me well came in here, they’d think I was a total slob (I am kinda…not that I wanna be, but it just entropies to that. Yes, I know entropy isn’t a verb. Whatever. I’m making up my own damn language this morning.). But really, what I should be thinking is, Yo, Kath. You’re an artist and you retreat into this amazing place where after you work a 60+-hour week teaching kids about respiratory system parts and function, you come home and you make art (AND dinner). That’s pretty amazing. If people aren’t amazed by THAT, and they’re focused on your inability to contain the piles in your house? Fuck ‘em.

I’m sure at some point over the weekend, I’ll clean something. I usually do.

One of the questions on a dating site was Which would you rather be? And there are two answers: Normal and Weird. (No combinations allowed. One or the other.). I pick Weird because I am. If weird is the one who makes art until 1 in the morning on a school night, if weird is the one who draws at the dinner table, if weird is the one who sees a drawing in her head in the middle of a conversation with a 7th-grader about robots…then hell. I’m weird. And I don’t want to lose those things. And I know they’re not normal.


Awkward Foreign Accent

October 16, 2014

I’ve been having bad dreams, careening around steep mountain roads in a minivan, I’m not driving, mom is and sometimes other people are, and they’re fishtailing around corners, sometimes fully spinning around before regaining control and continuing at an incredibly fast rate down the hill. My stomach’s in my throat for most of it and then I wake up…and I eventually fall asleep again and I’m right back in the same place, starting over again at the top of the hill, someone else driving, holding onto the oh-shit handles and not screaming, because there isn’t enough air. That was Tuesday night.

Last night, it was lights in the eyes; I kept waking up thinking someone was flashing lights in my eyes. You know that crazy jump of your heart when you wake up terrified? It was that about five times. Scared the cat once.

I didn’t start ironing until late, and I knew I’d have to be up really early this morning for girlchild’s doctor’s appointment, so I told myself I was going to bed before midnight. It was pointless, because then I tossed and turned for at least an hour before finally falling fitfully asleep. My sleep app says my sleep was only 79% effective last night. I’m not sure which is worse…only sleeping 4 hours or sleeping crappy for longer? I’m not sure I got 4 hours last night.

I worked on the man’s head…

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It was pretty easy to put together. The gender symbols throughout this piece…I purposely picked a fabric with computer code jargon on it for the male and typeset letters for the woman.

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Think of that what you will.

The tree was a pain in the butt. First of all, I needed two of the ironing sheets to get the full width, but the other one kept falling off the ironing board.

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Then I realized I had fucked up on the cutting…the top two branches were supposed to be different fabrics, but they aren’t (I left that mistake). The continuation of the top right branch, though…totally wrong fabric, so I had to recut that one. Same with below…there’s a piece of branch on top in the middle that is the same as the one below, but the ones on either side are different (like they’re supposed to be), so I had to recut that one.

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There she is in all her glory.

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See that’s why I do them. Because now it looks cool. Now I need to do all the things that grow off of it and hang off it. Not a small amount.

I only have about a third of my voice this morning. That wouldn’t be a huge problem, except I am a teacher. I did wonder yesterday, because I ran a lab about gas exchange (blowing carbon dioxide into an indicator to make it change color…they were very excited) and my voice was necessary, so I overused it, and now it’s barely here. I think I can do today. They’re doing research. I do have to talk in the beginning. Ugh.

A kid wore this to school the other day…find the typo.

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Amazing. Yeah, I notice shit like that. All the time. In emails from the district office (bad practice in a school district). In emails from political locals. In books. Everywhere. TV ads seem to be better edited. Maybe you get better editors when you spend more money. Apparently there’s something wrong with me because I notice those things.

I blew off grading yesterday evening to finish my book…Orson Scott Card’s Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

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I think it’s official. I’m done with Scott Card. We read this for book club for November, because Thanksgiving. And Columbus. Get it? Sort of. I know. I’ve read most of the Ender’s Game series, which I liked at first, but got bogged down with in Xenocide. His writing…it took me a while to figure out what the issue is. He’s deep into histories and politics and details of all that, but relationships? They’re dealt with in like one sentence. “Tagiri decided she liked Hassan and they got married and had children” and all of a sudden, 30 years have passed and we’re on to the next stage. It’s very separate from human emotions, which is strange, because he doesn’t leave those out…but there’s just very little feeling in all of it. Even when the two main characters meet after a bunch of years, there is a brief moment, and then we’re on to explaining the rest of the story. It’s an interesting story, sure, but it’s dry, and I had a hard time with the long middle of it. But he’s planning a series, and the next one is about Noah’s flood (he did actually have a theory about that in this book). I bet he’s Asperger’s. I found this quote from one of his books…one I’ve actually read, I think: “He would always speak the language of the heart with an awkward foreign accent.” That’s it. He doesn’t know how to write about it. I think. Good topic for book club discussion (if I remember in three weeks).

Anyway. I know I haven’t posted any book reviews in a while. I’m still reading; I’m just not writing about them as much. I don’t know why. OK, have to get out of here. Need a title. Dammit.


Man Parts

October 15, 2014

So yeah, I’m known for my naked women. I’ve actually been making art with female nudes since college, so when people get all freaked out about it now, it just fucking confuses me. This is year 29, people. Get over it. Putting clothes on people puts a whole ‘nother meaning into it. I like the idea of universal ideas or personal experiences being shown through the naked body…and my bodies aren’t just naked…they’re god-damned see-through. You can see parts in there! So then you gotta wonder about why I show SOME parts and not others. I wonder if there’s any significance to that (just a hint on that…sometimes no. Sometimes I just likes to draw the inner gutlike workings.).

Anyway, occasionally in my checkered past (and my checkered present), I draw the male figure. I have to admit that usually it’s because I’m pissed off at them. I’ve had some significantly bad experiences with males (shit, should I admit that online? Oh. Well, I guess if you’ve read this blog at all, you probably figured it out. I’m sure it’s all my fault.), and bad things often end up in my art. I try not to make it all bad, though. I’ve got some reasonable males in my life. Mostly. And some of the jerks have redeemed themselves. Mostly. Maybe. But mostly I focus on women because that’s my experience, and most of what I draw is me, my experiences, my ideas. Because, like, I’m the artist. Duh.

Anyway. For the upcoming Expressions in Equality exhibit (which will be at the Visions Art Museum in January), I chose gender equality…because I draw so much about women and women’s lives and women’s rights…I wanted to try to do this. Because despite society and all the dumbass stuff I’ve been reading lately from men who feel a need to proclaim that Men Have Needs That Women Don’t Understand (oh sweetie, we DO understand; we just don’t agree.) and certain political groups’ desires to have control over my woman parts, I do honestly wish/hope/almost believe that there is such a thing as gender equality. I have a whole post that I’ve been working on about this…but it’s chock full of stupid stuff society does and says to demean and fuck over women. And I really shouldn’t be writing ANYTHING about gender equality while I’m watching episodes of Big Love…because it just pisses me off.

So drawing this…I had to be in the right frame of mind…and yes, I warned the curator up front that there would be a penis. Because if I’m going to continue in this vein of it being universal woman…it has to be universal man, and he’s not wearing boxers.

Someone once asked me if I knew how to draw naked men. Um. I get the weirdest questions. I have done life drawing for years. But yeah. Because I have STUDENTS to show me…

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I actually critique their drawings…we get lots of them. It’s the age. For one like that, I always tell them it’s someone who has never seen one before, because that’s not what they look like. That kinda freaks them out, because it’s usually the boys drawing them.

Anyway, so now that you know what the typical day of a middle-school teacher is like (I was gonna put science teacher, but the other teachers on my team get the penis drawings too), know that I am building a man figure now…

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And I’m almost done. Yes, I go to the office with my briefcase full of money NAKED. It’s a metaphor people. (Someone will make a comment. I know. I don’t care.) The real key is that I ironed last night. Yes, I’m still sick. But this ironing/art thing is important. I’m getting there. I’m in the early 800s, so about 250 pieces to go. I’ve been ironing for about 10 1/2 hours, so still on time with the estimate. So being sick the previous night didn’t set me back too badly. I think I can do it. All the poor guy needs is a head, and then I’m up in the tree…and I have to decide how best to iron that, because branches all over the place can be a pain in the ass. Plus all those leaves and hangy things. And at some point, I can’t show you this any more, because I’m supposed to wait until the exhibit opens. We’re getting close to that point.

I’m just glad there’s progress. Work is such a bog at the moment…too much work, too much planning, spending time dealing with union stuff. I was at the school board meeting last night, all in red, like everyone else (we packed the room), because they don’t want to pay us. Last year, the raise got eaten up by health care costs. Probably on purpose. We took pay cuts. Health insurance is going up again and our district doesn’t want to cover any of those costs.

Damn cat again…

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She looks pissed off too. Probably because I bopped her on the nose when she tried to settle in among all the laid-out quilt pieces. What is it with cats and fabric? I just have to sacrifice small piles of it so she can shed all over it.

Anyway. Head tonight. Tree tonight. It’s getting exciting. Sort of. Not TOO exciting.

OK, I had to edit this to tell you that WordPress suggested I tag this post with “naked women”. Really, WordPress? Does that SEEM like a good idea? Technology can be so fucking stupid.


How Art Doesn’t Happen

October 14, 2014

First, make sure the artist is getting sick. And she’s been fighting it for a week, so a week of sore throats and feeling sorta off, and then she thinks she’s better, and all of a sudden, in like 10 minutes, once the kids get out of the classroom, BOOM. That’s it. The virus kicks her ass and takes her down. Really. It was that fast.

So then, our faithful artist comes home (after a long meeting) and sprawls on the couch with tea and a bunch of seating charts, because she needs to adjust seating, and it takes an hour, because she’s trying to think it through, and fuzzy head. Thinking bad. Meds. Must take meds. Drink more tea. Because her evening is not over. Oh no, it has just begun. A fundraiser for soccer at some dive grill in Lakeside.

OK. I can do this. I need to eat and this way I don’t have to cook. Girlchild comes home from soccer and they go…and it’s loud screaming chaos, a million people and some crazy ass woman screaming throughout the room, yelling out raffle prizes (we don’t want any thanks). Order food. Think I’m OK. Eat. Help girlchild with the Democratic Party platform (she is the Democratic candidate for her history class this year…her brother was the Dem campaign manager last year, which pretty much sums up their personalities right there…BUT, he did help her via text with her platform). Head for home, feeling tired, but not uberly (not a word) sick.

Come home, help more with platform, can’t remember what GITMO stands for (whatever…I know lots of things about the world, but I also know how to Google when I can’t remember shit), but I feel somewhat perturbed that I know more about ebola than I do about Hong Kong…although if you know me, that makes sense.

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Your photo today courtesy of girlchild’s Homecoming crew…at least they have fun…and there was no art, so no pictures of art. Because I didn’t do any.

Sitting on the couch, sprawled really, trying to find the motivation to get UP and iron. Really. You can do it. Standing up. Fuck no. Too tired. Too sick. Slam. OK. Think it through. I did think. I thought I could push myself through, but I remembered that it was only Monday, and that I have a whole week of school to get through, and what I really need is to get better, especially since my school day today will start at 8 and go to 6 PM. So yeah. I went to bed. At like 10:30. Seriously. That’s how you know I’m sick. And I slept for about an hour. Before the food poisoning from the dive grill fundraiser decided I should be up again. So I guess at least I’m glad my body is efficient. I was only vomiting for about 45 minutes and then I was done. And I went back to sleep (good thing I went to bed early, eh?).

Giant sigh.

I’m OK this morning. Well, the cold is still here. I still have no voice. My nose alternately runs and stops air from entering my body. But otherwise I’m fine. Cranky, but fine. Just yelled at a cat for sitting on the back of the chair. Yelled at the dog for eating underwear (that’s legit, folks…she eats a ton of that…not mine, but the girlchild’s, because she leaves it everywhere). I’ll probably yell at some kids today because they’re gonna be sitting there, staring at the words, wondering how to READ without actually READING. Because that’s an issue. It tries my patience. And yet I still assign the occasional reading assignment (OK, more than occasional). Like I’m trying to torture them. The LAST reading thing I gave them was about zombies and was a comic book, so you’d think they would have appreciated that. Naw, the same kids who won’t be reading today weren’t reading then. Parents…please please please, make ‘em read. It’s OK. Today is also phone call day. Have the kids call and ask parents to remind them to sign their failed assignments, so I know the parents know…although it seems like some of them must not care. Your child brings home a progress report with 5 Fs on it? And you don’t do anything? Don’t contact teachers? Don’t wait on me…I got 140 of them…feel free to contact me, because I have a list, and I can only get through one or two parent meetings a week, and I already have three for this week.

Yes, we have a list of kids we need to assist, of parents we need to contact, and yesterday, we full on admitted that we can’t do all of them right now…so we prioritized. Which ones could we help the most, which ones needed the most assistance, which ones were MORE LIKELY to actually benefit from our assistance. So your kid with his 5 Fs? He didn’t get very high on the list, because he doesn’t seem to give a shit, but mostly because of you…because we haven’t heard a word from you, we haven’t seen you at back-to-school night, last year’s teachers didn’t beg us to push for testing or meetings, no one cared about your kid…and we CARE, but we only have so many hours in the day. We’re buried this year, trying to implement blended learning and one-on-one computers on a daily basis…and we need you to get on the phone or email and stand up for your kid. Do some of the work. We can’t do all of it. You brought this child into the world…why don’t you care enough to follow up when he’s failing? Yes, I know there are many answers to that, and many of them are endemic to my school population, but we also have great parents who are on top of things and paying attention and doing their job.

Yeah. That’s what I’m taking to school with me today. And hopefully, by 6, when I get out of the school board meeting where I have to show up dressed in red so the school board realizes we’re pissed off that they won’t cover our health insurance increases and they won’t give us a reasonable wage out of the huge chunk of money they got from the state, hopefully when I’m done with all that, I’ll be well enough to make some art.

But first I need to cough up a lung.


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