Peace Through Scissoring…

September 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I spent only an hour cutting things out…

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

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

Wonder Under meditation. I should charge admission.

 


In My Head…

September 13, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Just throwing that in there. Totally randomly.

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

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


Keeping Track

September 12, 2014

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

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

Huh. Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And this is northeast.

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

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

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


Google My Sanity

September 10, 2014

I spent all day teaching kids how to cut and paste on a computer. How to find things in Google Docs. How to open files and get things out of the trash (actually, I’m not sure I’ve figured that one out for Google Docs yet). I figured out how to do superscript by the end of 4th period (in Docs…I know how to do it elsewhere, but my computer and theirs are different, so there were some issues). Don’t raise your hand and tell me you can’t find the file when you damn well know you threw it in the trash. DUDE. Seriously? Ask the real question…Ms. Nida, how do I get it out of the trash? The plus with Docs is that they don’t have to remember to save anything. The plus AND minus is that they can mess with color and fonts on their answers…why do they always pick a font that is illegible? In yellow? The plus is that in Docs, I can change it all back. Google hates me at the moment though, as I am still not allowed in Classroom, so tomorrow should be interesting when they hand all these files in. What was more amusing was Google temporarily crashing this morning, as every device and app I had shut down. Yes, I had a backup plan. But it came back up quickly. It’s sad when I am using THREE devices at a time, plus poking around on the kids’ devices, in order to teach a class. Seriously, I had the Mac, my iPhone, and the Nexus tablet (school-issued). I left my iPad at home, because I don’t want it to get hurt or lost. So I have the kids watching something on my Mac through the digital projector, I’m emailing the APs on my phone, and I’m using the tablet to send documents to the kids’ Google Drives. You have to be semi-impressed (only semi-, because I wasn’t the most efficient today). It’s a major learning experience, but I’m actually kind of enjoying the change. Make them do everything. Make them prepare a report and send it to me. Make them create notes. I don’t have to be standing up at the front of the room so much any more. I can be directing it, but letting them do it all. It’s kinda cool.

I had to write about 700 words on the board as instructions unfortunately, because (1) kids don’t listen and (2) Google’s not as user-friendly as it should be. I love that the digital natives (my students) are not as tech-savvy as the media purports…they can’t handle finding a file with their own name in the title, let alone clicking on an icon after I’ve shown them the picture. On the one hand, the tech can be lots of fun and very positive to use. On the other hand, training them to do things that I do in my sleep is a pain in the ass. My goal is that they can do this by December…I can assign and demo a lab, expect them to complete it, and have them prepare the report in Docs and hand it in to me without all this crazy fuss. Are we there yet? Fuck no. But this damn science classroom is flipping onto the web. It surely is. And I’m running along after it, trying to get it under control.

Anyway. It’s a challenge to get through days like this, even though it was mostly successful…and then when I’m driving home, there’s a deep emptiness inside. I need something else that I don’t have. That hole is wearing. I keep thinking if I just keep going, making, working, cleaning, whatevering, it will eventually go away, that empty feeling. I will be OK with life as it is and find joy in moments. Sigh. Not there yet. It just seems shallow sometimes. Like I’m just on the surface of my existence…the deeper part of it is hidden, inaccessible, even lost. Not sure what to even do about all that.

Nothing I guess. Nothing for now. Keep doing. Making. Drawing. Reading. Being.

So I traced another couple hundred pieces tonight (found another 10 unnumbered pieces). I’m at the halfway mark in tracing now…which is cool. I have to really fight my brain to keep tracing though. I’m tired at the end of the day, and I went to the gym as well, so working for another 2+ hours feels difficult. I’m 5 1/2 hours in…Sep 9 14 001 small

So I guess my 10-11 hour estimate on the tracing step was fairly accurate. This is the view of Downton Abbey on the TV while I trace…no, I had not finished watching the last season. I save stuff up for a long time sometimes.

Meanwhile, while I was tracing, both kids were texting me, one from a third of a mile down the road, the other from New York, both complaining, although the girlchild was mostly complaining about the boychild, because they were texting each other as well. Apparently the piano arrived today. You’d think he’d send me a text thanking me for sending that fucker, but NO. I get complaints about how the bars for the hanging files are too long, even with the grooves you use to shorten them. I suggest tool usage. There are no tools. I suggest finding the maintenance guy (I am always friends with the maintenance guy) or asking the RA, but no, that is not acceptable. I suggest road trips to Lowes or Home Depot, but that is also impossible. IMPOSSIBLE. Sigh. Excuse me while I drive a toolset to Ithaca. I’m slowly weaning him off me, I think. I really feel like a suite full of intelligent boys should be able to figure this out. He was obviously in a mood, though. Granted, it was after midnight. But a THANK YOU for shipping crap would have been nice.

Have I mentioned that I am not psychic? This has apparently been an issue for others. Expecting me to be so. Fuck you. I’m not psychic. I listen. I pay attention. I just can’t always know what’s in your head if you don’t say it. Stop telling me all the ways I’m doing it wrong too. I can’t possibly be doing EVERYTHING wrong.

Mega sigh. Girlchild thanked me this morning for cleaning out the clogged toilet…again. I think the plumber is on dad’s list right now. My list is a challenge. Girlchild and are going shoe-shopping later this week. I need some shoes. Plus I have back-to-school night tomorrow night, so I will deserve it. Seriously, I haven’t bought any shoes except flipflops for over two years…maybe longer. Purple leather boots it is. For the boychild. I’ll ship him those with the pliers and screwdriver that he had in his drawers at home but didn’t take to college with him because they weren’t his. But they’re IN YOUR DRAWERS, so I can’t possibly know that and use them, so you might as well have taken them with you.

MAJOR FUCKING SIGH. Seriously. I need to go dancing or camping or anything with a large group of people who will make me laugh. Like I have time for that. Or money. I was pondering the counselor’s comment about my depression being gone. I think she’s wrong. It’s better, but it’s not gone. I took 4 online quizzes, because they are accurate predictors of everything under the sun, and THEY all said I was still depressed. Someday I’ll take one of these quizzes and it will magically tell me I am no longer depressed and I will throw a party. You’re invited.

Pro: The damn quilt is getting done. Ignore the Con. The cons are annoying. They need to go for a walk and get over themselves. Fuck the cons. Throw them in the Google trash, since I don’t know how to retrieve anything from there anyway.


Preparing for Hell in a Handbasket

September 9, 2014

I’m trying to stay on schedule with the new quilt. I know for a fact that at some point, the schedule will go to hell in a handbasket. Some major thing will happen that will completely suck up all my time and I will fall behind, so the better I am NOW about trying to make up time, the better off I will be later. So I traced Wonder Under for about two hours last night while helping the girlchild fill out the Common App for college…aargh…I feel like I should be able to copy all the pertinent info over from the boychild’s app, like the exact date of my divorce. I looked it up last year, and since it’s significantly different from the separation date, which is seared in my memory, I can never remember the year. It didn’t matter by then. They asked for stuff I don’t remember having to look up last year, like the address of the school in Wales I attended for a year. So the ex was on speaker phone while watching the Chargers lose (as always), girlchild was on the computer, swearing at the app, and I was tracing Wonder Under.

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It kinda looked like this, except she was sitting over there. The light table is not a small thing. But I absolutely love it. It’s so incredibly convenient for what I do, so much easier than what I was doing before.

I got over 200 pieces done, so I’m now in the mid-300s. That’s good progress. If I can do that every night (questionable?), I’ll be done Friday night. Then cutting out the pieces? Maybe another three nights? Hard to say. I do actually have teacher duties and art events this week, so I might have to adjust.

I try to fill in as much of the space in between pieces as possible.

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The girlchild has a much different college-choosing process than her brother. I don’t actually know what his thought process was…I just know he eventually had a list. She had a list from all the mail she got, locations she wanted, a bunch of internet searches, and other random info. Then she talked to a college counselor, and got some more names (but also got kinda pissed off, because the counselor gave her a chunk of schools she really didn’t want, like religiously affiliated schools), and then last night, she finally did this…

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Yes, there are like 21 schools on those post-its, but she knows she needs to get down to about half those. Some she just needs to research a bit more, like the UC schools…I suggested she pick two, but she’s having a hard time deciding which two. She has a couple uber-reacher schools…she probably doesn’t have a chance of getting in, but she really would like to try. So we’ll see. The plus is that she’s not leaving it until the last minute, like some relative of hers who is now at college (cough cough, her brother, cough). Needless to say, the stress levels around here are somewhat charged.

To counteract those stressful thoughts, I present this…

Gish_Diploma

My GISHWHES diploma…I do love their sense of humor. If you can’t read it, “In recognition of the personal sacrifices and dedication demonstrated by shocking the world with public art, kind deeds and generally being an unapologetic weirdo.” I think that’s my life philosophy. I probably need to work a bit more on the kind deeds. I think I will print this out and hang it next to my credential at school. I did not choose to hang my credential at school. It was done for me, by the way. I get kinda tired of explaining why I teach science when I have so much painting/literature experience (and really, I was never much of a painter).

We had an incredibly long staff meeting yesterday. The new school year has brought us Monday Minimum Days, presumably for collaboration with co-workers, although that hasn’t happened yet. But once a month, instead of collaborating, we start a staff meeting at 2:45 PM, the worst possible time in the world for my brain, which turns into mush between about 2 and 5 PM, and then it potentially can go on until 4:45. Shoot me now. I know how my brain works, though, so I draw. My last principal, I avoided drawing, because if your eyes were not wide open and trained upon him, you would be chastised the next day for your lack of attention, so if you consider the eyeball-straining scene from The Clockwork Orange

clockworkorange

That’s kinda how it felt. Anyway, this new guy seems better…so I drew. One of my co-workers requested a cat. I glared at her. She glared back and said, “I know you know how to draw them. I’ve seen you do it.” True that. But I wasn’t in the mood for just a cat…

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Just so you know, because some people feel confused by this, drawing just occupies the part of my brain that otherwise causes trouble by falling asleep or spacing out. It actually allows me to concentrate BETTER on what you’re saying. I’ve always had a hard time convincing other people that I know how my brain works, but I do.

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It started with a hand on fire. Anyway. I may need to draw during collaboration days as well, based on what’s been happening in my department, which has two new teachers, both female, who may shake things up a bit (not a problem, personally).

Because of the heat here, when I’m working on stuff in my office or at the light table, I am followed by the living creatures who inhabit my house. They like to lie underfoot.

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This is better than where she was before, which was about where I was standing. I persuaded her to move over so I could actually use the light table.

Or under ironing boards so they can’t be moved.

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Eh. I do not rule my house. Pets do.

I’ve been under some reading stress lately too, which conflicts with my ability to get art done. Apparently every single book I had on hold at the library will be coming in within the same two-week time period, even though some have been on hold for over 6 months, as I was number 723 on a list of 5,000.

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I actually already finished two that came, one that was almost 800 pages. And I’m sending back the audio book, because I don’t concentrate well on those. I did not mean to get the audio version (whoops), so I re-requested it as a real book, with pages and all. I’m perfectly OK with waiting longer for that book at the moment, because I’m going to have a hard time getting through all these. Only two are book club books. And you can’t renew these, because 700 people after you have holds on them as well, so if I go over the due date, this explains my increasing fines with the library system. Pay for college? Pay my library fines? Hard decision to make.

Anyway, last but not least, here is a link to a blogpost I wrote for FIG, the women’s art group I’m in, about the installation at Art Produce opening this weekend: The Fence/La Barda exhibit

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And a picture of the flying junk-mail birds I helped install.

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And now I need to go to school and try to figure out a way to deal with Google docs without using Google Classroom, because they still haven’t figured out how to fix that. Sigh. Nothing is ever easy. Yes, I could have them all SHARE their files with me, but apparently Classroom has a really easy, efficient way to do that, and I’m not allowed to have easy or efficient at the moment. So I’m winging it. Ha ha. Birds. Winging it. OK. Need more caffeine.


It’s Like Magic…

September 8, 2014

Have faith. I just texted the girlchild about that. Have faith in yourself. Be confident. She’s worried about colleges. She’s worried about her scores, her grades, getting into a good school, not being extraordinary. Hell, most of us aren’t extraordinary. We’re not making miracles. We’re not even keeping the house clean (I speak for myself). I love that she wants to BE extraordinary, but I do think you have to be realistic sometimes. And getting into college is probably the first place where that happens. It’s gonna be a rough 8 months. I have faith in her. I know she’ll get into a good school that will give her what she needs. But my definition of a good school might be different than hers at the moment. And I long ago came to terms with my non-extraordinariness.

I started tracing Wonder Under tonight, after going to Shakespeare with the girlchild and my ex, Two Gentleman of Verona, shorter than most Shakespeare plays, but amusing. So I started late and didn’t get far, about 100 pieces in…

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Again, figuring about an hour per 100 pieces, 10-11 hours on this stage. It’s really warm here, so I’m lucky I’ve got LED bulbs in the light table, so no extra heat. I’m going to need to do more than an hour a night to stay on track, especially when I look at next weekend’s craziness. I’ve been invited to a variety of social things lately, and mostly, I am just hunkering down to finish this quilt as quickly as I can. There’s a few things I’m trying to do to stay sane, hiking mostly, but there’s a funky balance between needing to be alone to make art and not wanting to be alone all the time. When I’m out with friends, my brain gets increasingly stressed and worried about the quilt and getting it done, and I can’t enjoy myself. I did OK at the play, because I realized it was probably the last time…unless we manage July or early August next year, before everyone goes off to college.

I spent some time today with a new group talking about science…I’m apparently highly underqualified. No science degree. I do have a brain in my head, though, and use it to read fairly often. So I can hold my own.

And then I spent a chunk of time on another soccer field…

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The plus is that I think this is the only weekend with two games for the girlchild…so I might actually get some quilt stuff done, and then there’s the house stuff I still need to handle.

Her team tied…should have won, but a random penalty kick and a substitute goalie didn’t help…

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It’s going to be a difficult season for the girls. Not sure that’s a bad thing. Is success sweeter if you have to work for it? Maybe.

I have a piece in this show opening in early October…

ShadesofPassion

It’s my local SAQA group. Despite the title, there was no nudity allowed. That always makes it a bit difficult for the likes of me.

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I’m hoping to be at the opening on the 10th, although not at 5. Maybe I’ll drag the girlchild along with me. She got mad at me again today and I lost it. I can’t say anything right, and when you haven’t talked to anyone else for hours upon hours, it’s really difficult to deal with teenaged irritation without getting upset. She said she was sorry, but…I guess my sad is just right there, ready to spill.

I’m too tired to write anything of substance. That’s probably OK. You can borrow some words from some of my other overly wordy posts and pretend you’re reading them here. You can just think depression blah blah blah, and art blah blah blah and make time for balance blah blah blah and tired again blah blah blah, and there we are! A post! It’s like magic.


You Can Draw, Kathryn…

September 7, 2014

So there was all this sneezing and snot at school this week, and even though I tried not to touch papers too much, one of those snotty little beasts got me sick. The thing is, I felt like crap this morning, and even came home from the girlchild’s soccer game and slept for an hour (although that could have been the less-than-stellar sleep from the whole week finally catching up to me), and although I AM sick, I am not REALLY sick. Knock on wood. Because maybe tomorrow will be way worse. I’m spacey, I’m a little achy. But I’m not really really sick. I even bought the good drugs, just in case, but haven’t needed them. Yet. So yeah. I can make meth in my backyard now. A very small amount. Breaking Bad? Not so much. Assholes on that show. I stopped watching…couldn’t deal with all the assholes.

Until maybe tomorrow I will be OK. Anyway, I canceled the hike I was going to go on tonight, because I felt like crap, and then I tried to get a bunch of stuff done, like finally entering Quilt National (donating my money to them, because I’ve only gotten in once). Then I got an email about the quilt for the local show, and there isn’t room for it any more (sigh…then why oh why did I spend time working on it at ALL, because I don’t have any time to spare at the moment. AARGH.), so I gladly folded it up (it has a binding and a sleeve now…needs a bit more quilting and some hand embroidery and it’s done, but who the fuck cares? I don’t.) and persuaded myself I could draw tonight.

You Can Draw, Kathryn.

I actually penciled a bunch of stuff in, because I didn’t want to fuck anything up at this stage…

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When I’m drawing to size, it’s really better to NOT be using a lot of white-out. It’s hard to see through all those lines when it’s upside down on the light table. So the bird had some loosely drawn pencil lines and then I went in with the Sharpie and drew it final. I don’t follow the pencil lines exactly…they’re just a guideline. And I was looking at some of my old bird drawings for this one…but I had to really fight the desire to add more detail. Because it needs to be done by mid-November and there’s already a fucking shitload of detail on it.

Here’s things floating in air…

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with a tree to be drawn afterwards. Something about the couple being connected by the tree. They ground it. Wish they could ground me too. Ground as in feeling attached to something…not grounded like you’re not allowed out because you fucked up.

And eventually the tree and leaves got drawn as well.

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This thing has been in my head for so freakin’ long. I don’t know what my problem was. It took about 4 hours tonight to finish the drawing and number it…maybe a little longer than that. An hour was numbering…it’s at 1067 pieces…it could have been A LOT worse. Really. I was afraid of another 2000-piece quilt needing 150 hours to complete. I just don’t have that many hours free between now and mid-November…not if I’m gonna leave the house for anything else but work and soccer.

So I’m a little relieved. Still freaked out because I’m behind schedule, but it’s numbered now, so I can start tracing Wonder Under this week. Maybe 11 hours for that? I’m hoping. So I should be done by the end of the week? Maybe? This week’s a little bitchy.

I can at least get started.

I wanted it traced and cut out by mid-September. HA! OK, so that’s technically about 9 days from now. I’m thinking that’s pushing it, but at least I have a goal. Six hours to cut it out? So 17 hours of work in the next 9 days. Uh huh. With a Shakespeare play, back-to-school night, and an art opening. Uh huh. It’s possible. I don’t really need to sleep. I’m not very good at it anyway.

I’m also not very good at numbering. I missed the toes on the left…so they are all 362a, b, etc. through i…

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I think those are the only pieces I missed, but I’m sure I will find more later.

Sometimes I wonder about my art practice, about how to explain it to someone who doesn’t know me. Like, yeah, I number all these pieces and trace them with all the overlaps and it takes HOURS and no, I’m NOT crazy, why do you ask?

Fuck me.

I am more than a little bit crazy.

And this little bit will be fun, because I need to have like 10 flesh-colored fabrics in a color run to pull this off, I think.

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OK, I think I can do it in seven. Maybe. I love those hands, by the way. They are nice. A dream for me. Holding hands. Sigh.

The counselor says I am no longer officially depressed…just lonely. Huh. Not sure what the difference is. It feels the same. And it’s pretty sad to be lonely when you have someone who actually lives with you at least part of the time…although, she’s a teenager with a social life. Sigh. I’m really not doing this life thing right.

Anyway. It’s progress on this fucker. I’m glad of that, because I was starting to really hold that stress in my gut, and that’s not a good place for it to be. I just needed to get past that hump and move on.

Girlchild had a freakin’ early game in Coronado. Plus: it’s the beach, so it was cool. Minus: it was a long drive very early in the morning. Plus: we were back home fairly early.

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They lost. Badly. Probably not a plus. The parents were dumbasses. Seriously. The dad next to me yells, “Get a foot on it!” and the girl’s name, and she looks at him like he’s fucking insane, because she didn’t think of that already? I don’t yell a lot…just encouraging stuff when the girlchild makes a goal. I graded papers and watched her fall.

 

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I thought she did pretty well though…

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Certainly, there was a lot of heading the ball…although the one below? I think the girlchild was not involved, but how can you NOT put that picture in?

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At least the ball is in SOME of the pictures.

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She hates it when I take pictures, because none of them make her look beautiful. I personally think she looks pretty amazing, but I’m her mom.

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Tough little beast. As we get closer to sending her off to college, despite all the yelling she does, I’m gonna miss her.

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Three soccer games in one weekend though? Huh. That’s a lot. I skipped the one where she was coaching the under-10s. Mostly because I hadn’t eaten.

Anyway. I just realized how late it is. Time is kind of difficult when I’m drawing for hours upon hours. And not talking to humans. Seriously. Last human communication? Around 4 PM, I think. That was the grocery-store checkout lady. The one who put the fruit in with the cans. She was nice, but…my fruit does not appreciate her.

Anyway. Whatever. I’m making the art, but not necessarily doing the life thing right. I’ve never been good at that. And someone fucked up my ability to deal. So there we are. Moving forward. Making the art. Because otherwise…what would I be doing? No one knows.

Note to self: Music is not helping. Stop trying to find songs that make you feel better. You suck at this late-night mood transformation. It’s just going to suck for a while. If you’re lucky, “a while” will not be forever.

Sigh. I’m just glad I’m moving on to the next stage on this quilt. I thought I was never getting there.

 

 


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