Last Sunday Before…

August 18, 2014

Sunday morning. Last Sunday before school starts again. Newest teacher mag says that to make this year the best, I should already be dreaming of summer vacation. Next year’s summer vacation. That’s just thoroughly fucked up. I don’t think that’s healthy at all. I mean, there are quite a few vacations BEFORE that. Although, I guess my looking at artists’ residencies is a form of dreaming about next summer.

So there’s no traffic driving up to the OC, which is kinda miraculous. We get here after quite a bit of sniping on both sides (my patience is seriously stretched at the moment), and realized I forgot my damn chair. Yesterday the second backpack strap broke, which makes it a pain to carry. I was going to fix it (again) last night, but forgot until about ten minutes before we were supposed to leave this morning. But I remembered! Sewed both of them up, but shattered a needle doing it. Good thing I wear glasses, because the pieces flew everywhere.

I even moved the chair out into the entryway so I wouldn’t forget it. Yup. Forgot it. At least I have my chair for bleachers…better than nothing. And there was toilet paper in the Portapotties. This is also a miracle. Will they never cease?

Deep breaths. I’m pretty sure we only have one game today, so I won’t have to be here all day like yesterday. I’m banishing all the bad thoughts. Really. Over there. Sit down and shut the fuck up.

This really is the blog of a depressed single mom artist who is trying to figure out how to NOT be the first one and be MORE of the last one and I don’t get to do anything about the middle one. Because they’re almost raised at this point and although their dad was here and paid mostly when he was supposed to, parenting has been a singularly lonely and unsupported thing. I mean yes, people drive the kids places and drop them off here or there, but the real crap, the down and dirty of it…it’s all been on my shoulders and I’m tired. I really am.

I guess that’s how we know it’s time to send them to college. Too bad the girlchild has to finish high school first. Not really. I need her still. Probably will need her even when it’s time for her to leave.

This license plate seen on the way to the soccer tournament yesterday. I NEED THIS. Because it’s true.

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Arty soccer photo. It was better but then one of her teammates ran in front of her. I still kinda like it though.

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Yes, more soccer. Only one game yesterday, but we were gone for 5 hours. Better than the day before, when we were gone for 11 hours. They lost all 3 games. There are some issues, not the least of which is injuries.

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I cut out the other two birds last night…this one was fairly similar to the original…

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Calli was underfoot the entire time. I had to go out into the living room to persuade her to follow me out of the room so I could come back in and move the ironing board. Twice.

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The second version of the owl is different, though…purples.

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And then I sat, late into the night, and cut out all the pieces.

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It didn’t really take that long. Although it was after midnight and now it’s morning and I have to leave for school in 14 9 minutes. Tonight I’m hoping to iron them together, but the girlchild is having her wisdom teeth pulled this afternoon, and as a single parent, I know better than to assume everything will go to plan. OK, I guess ALL parents know that (at least the smart ones do). Plan, but realize your plans will be fucked. Because that is the way it is.

I should take a picture of the floating house too…because it’s turned into a giant cat toy. Or not. I don’t know what to think about it. Girlchild was disturbed about my hanging worry dolls off of it.

Tired. Not ready. Never am. Why change? Accept.


August 17, 2014

I spent pretty much all day on a soccer field today, which explains the dehydration, the sunburn (despite multiple applications of sunscreen and the use of an umbrella), the 65 pictures of soccer playing, and my mood in the evening. Girlchild can be difficult to manage when she’s hot, tired, sweaty, etc., and all of those things happened today. I weathered most of it, but it wore me down, and by the end of the day, there wasn’t any strength left in me.

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I had some moments of depressoidness today, moments when it was quiet and I wasn’t distracted enough from the inner workings of my disturbed little mind, the bit that keeps nattering on about all the things I’ve done wrong and how none of them will ever be right…you know, the standard depression fare.

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I spent the hour before the first game and part of that game writing…writing this weird-ass science fiction story that just spills out of me when I turn it on, sputtering like a barely used faucet, words flowing out in big gouts of semi-literate paragraphs. I wrote about 1500 words in that hour plus. We’re out of the woods and back into the city, storywise. It’s good.

OK. I don’t actually know if it’s good. I’m just writing until I’m done, and then I’ll put the editor hat on and go back in and kick its ass. Then and only then will I read it for story. Actually, I’ll probably let other people read it then. It could really suck. Who knows.

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The team lost the first game. It was very hot out there. The picture above, the girl on the other team was hooking her arm through the girlchild’s elbow, and when the girlchild swung her around as she got the ball, the other girl tried to get the ref to call a foul. He did. On her. BOOM. We then spent an hour in a chilly Panera. Much nicer, except for all the noisy people. I read. I wrote a little more. We went and bought water. I got yelled at, but not seriously.

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Then we sat on the field waiting for game number two. Still hot. Sleepy. Napped a bit. Read. This is where the brain started wandering. It started thinking about life a few years ago and what it was like and all the stuff I’m missing and that I’ll never have again and trip! There you are. In the damn hole. Drag yourself back out. Tell yourself to be in the fucking moment. Watch the weird seed pods floating balletically (it is TOO a word) across the soccer field, feel the (ultra) warm breeze waft across your face (and dry your eyes out). Deep breaths. Traffic on the south Interstate 5 is finally clearing up, so we might get home in a reasonable time frame. POSITIVE FUCKING THINKING BABY.

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Then girlchild made a goal, which was good, because she is more likely to be in a decent mood if she is successful at something (shocker, that. Must be genetic.). The photo above is right before the goal…she actually had to kick it past the goalie and then come around with her left foot and bend it (not like Beckham) into the goal. Which she did.

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I stitched during the second game. Not a lot. I really wasn’t in the mood. Sometimes it all seems very pointless.

I talked to people. I tried to be sociable. I tried to shut up the bad parts of my brain with all the wondrous seed pods and warm breeziness. SIGH. And then I got yelled at in the car on the way home. So I turned the music up and cried a bit all the way home.

And after dinner, after I heard the litany of why girlchild is so stressed, which I can’t possibly understand (seriously, she said that), I decided to do what I wanted. Yes, I’m fully aware that school starts in four days and my house is a disaster and my lesson plans are questionable. I know all of that. I also know that BALANCE is what I need and that means the only really good thing I learned last year is that even if I am so depressed I barely function, I can do my job and come home and make some sort of art every night and I will survive. So I should keep doing that part. I should not bury myself in my job, because although it can be very fulfilling, it also sucks my soul out of my body and spits it out in a sewer. Art? Not so much. It tends to be much kinder. It is a better place to be.

I’ve got 5 birds to get done by September 1. Well, two birds HAVE to be done by then…here’s the first, another one of the doves…

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I pulled the original picture up on the iPad, but couldn’t figure out what fabrics I’d used, so I winged it.

Because there’s a shortage of fabric in my room? Yeah. I didn’t think so.

The dove and a new version of the diving bird will be at the Fence/Barda exhibit that I’m involved with at Art Produce Gallery in North Park (San Diego), which opens September 13.

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Both will be for sale at that venue…which means I need to finish them slightly differently and not spend too much time on them, because I don’t get all the money.

I got this one cut out too, but it should already have a home…

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Two more to do tomorrow. I did this one slightly differently too. Can’t always find the original fabrics. Lots of fabric in here.

Anyway, I think I fought off most of the depressoid stuff…at least, if I go to bed now, I have a good chance of leaving it here instead of bringing it to interrupt my sleep, which is what happened this morning. I could have used the extra hour of sleep, but no…my brain does not allow it. Anyway. I’m trying. Know that I’m always trying.

Plans Shmans…

August 4, 2014

So much for planning to quilt, eh? Sheesh. I don’t think I even started quilting until almost midnight. Oh wait, I lie. I did 17 minutes and 51 seconds before I went to the girlchild’s soccer game. So no, I didn’t get much done. I was tired too. Maybe an hour and 15 minutes. That just sucks. It means I am on a mission today. I am going to quilt my ass off. I would take a picture right here of my ass before and after so you could see it, but I’d probably get in trouble for that. It does help that I have no car today…one needs fixing and is mostly undrivable and the other one has been bogarted by the girlchild.

Here’s some highlights of things that were quilted Sunday…electrified monitors…

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Lots of octopus tentacle suckers…

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This is what it looks like all piled next to the sewing machine…it’s a really LONG piece, so shoving parts under the machine to quilt in the middle is a pain in the ass.

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She’s all done though. Down in the water.

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I’m almost done with the water section and I’ve done the two larger things on either side of the main figure. Today I’m going to hopefully get a good chunk of the torso done. Seriously, I’ve got somewhere to be tonight, but otherwise I have no excuses. Well, I do have lots of other things I should be doing as well, but I’m blowing them off. Here I am telling you that I’m blowing them off, so no, no shelves in the living room, no hanging art in there, no starting my lesson plans, no getting that other drawing done or doing anything with the 5 birds that now need to be done or that house thing, no clearing all the living room crap out of my room, and certainly no yardwork.

I am trying to do at least one GISHWHES item a day. Yesterday involved Legos, and despite the boychild adamantly refusing to be part of anything, wow. There he is. On the floor. Aged 18 and playing with Legos. Now he didn’t try to build a lot of novel stuff like the girlchild and I were doing, but whatever.

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Again, photos of these challenges will go up when I’m allowed to do that (maybe next week?). And yes, me (age 47), my daughter (17 next weekend), and son (18) were all playing with Legos for at least an hour. There is nothing wrong with that. Calli was remarkably useless. At one point, she tried to eat Hedwig (you can see the small white thing about 6″ from her nose), but then she just gave up and slept.

Soccer was interesting, in that another almost-fight happened. Fun stuff. Girchild was funny, said something about how they’re all almost 18 and this is how they’re behaving? Like a fight will help? Love that kid.

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When they go to head the ball, they all close their eyes and leap into the air. The ball often misses all of them completely. Interestingly, the ball hit girlchild’s head and she headed it into the other player’s head. Yes, it all sounds very dangerous. Because it is.

This flew over.

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I don’t know why I took a picture of it, but it came out better than the other 72 soccer pictures I took. Sad but true.

OK. My ass. Quilting. Because if we’re still looking at my original plan of finishing tomorrow, I have about 15 hours of quilting to do in two days. HA! Laugh all you like.


Head’s in a Weird Space…

August 3, 2014

I’m sitting here at midnight on a Saturday listening to the rain pour down through the trees outside my office window. It’s been so warm the last week, and although it is still warm (and now abnormally humid for San Diego), the air has that rain feel to it. It’s nice. It feels good to my heart. Deep breaths of that rain air. Makes up for a long silent day of sitting on soccer fields and not feeling connected to anything or anyone. It’s a tournament weekend, obviously.

I really wanted to get a lot of quilting done today, but soccer was not helping with that. I realize I could send my daughter, who drives, off to these games by herself, but this is her last year in high school, the last year she’s home. Plus it always irritated me that my parents blew off most of my sports events once I was old enough to drive. Her dad has his own club team this year, and all the games are conflicting and at totally different fields, so he’s showing up for about half her games. She needs someone there. And she? She really does.

I did quilt today. I wanted to do 4 hours. I did 2.

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This quilt is so detailed and complicated to quilt. I’m still down in the water section, although I’ve started one of the things that sits on the water on the left side…I still have to finish the seaweed, fish, and water on the right side. I’m still sticking to my 20-hour estimate though…

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I just may not get 20 hours in total by Tuesday PM. At this point, that would mean 5 hours each day, and I just don’t think I can pull that off. We’ll see. I’m a little obsessed with this art stuff.

Still raining. So nice to hear.

I have to admit, it was a hard day today. I wrote sci fi for a while before the first game, only a thousand words or so. I’m stuck in this place where I want the science to be good, but I don’t know enough about it to make sure that it is. I will have to deal with that at some point. I kinda wish there was a plant scientist sitting right next to me sometimes. I write comments to myself (I’m using Google Docs to write), reminding me to check this scientific process or vocabulary later on. Right now, it’s probably more important that I just write.

That is what my document is called by the way: JustWrite.

Girlchild had two games today.

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She also broke up a fight in this one. First time I’ve seen the girls almost come to blows, and she yelled out in this deep voice to get them to stop…I recognized that voice. It’s the one I use at school when I see a fight about to happen. Or when the kids are just getting out of hand. Deep. Guttural. They pay attention. It worked. The ref? Sigh. Take control, man.

So one of the things that started today was GISHWHES (The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), which is a goofy image/video scavenger hunt with over 150 items. Teams of 15 people work to get the images and videos uploaded over a week’s time, and many of them require some feats of magic, honestly. I’m part of a Geek Girls Meetup group (yeah, laugh at me. I am one.) that had I think 9 members willing to play, and then we were combined with a group of college girls out of Illinois. This is the stuff that Old Kathy loved. I’m not allowed to post pictures of my items until after the event closes, but I’m saving them. I’m trying to do one a day, although there are some we will try to do as a local group maybe? I tend to pick the more artistic ones (shockingly), but there might be a duet between the girlchild and I, if I can figure out how to pull it off. She sings better than I do, but I have heart and soul. Or something.

She totally is willing to assist, but the boychild is adamantly against helping in any way, shape, or form…which is funny, because it’s totally a college-kid kind of event. Anyway. This is who I am. The wacky creative sort that can figure out what condiments mix together to make flesh colors. Not to mention, we have a lot of Legos.

Please try to figure out how many people are in this photo. I count 7 legs in the pile-up. That seems wrong.

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We won one and lost one…

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It rained for most of the second game. It RAINED. In San Diego in August. So fucking delightful. I put sunscreen on for the first game, because I will fry in overcast skies, but for the second game, that’s the umbrella and my stitching underneath it. Humid and warm, but wet…

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I’m not actually getting much done on the birds, because she’s playing a lot of the games…lots of injuries on the team at the moment, so more opportunities to play. They played the team she used to be on in the second game, which was a little weird…

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And unfortunately, that’s the game they lost (by one silly goal). If they make it to the finals tomorrow, they will probably play them again.

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Because my brain is not working properly again (fuck me. When DOES it ever work properly?), I thought we’d have time to go home in between the two games and we really didn’t, so we found a weird little Starbucks with crappy Wifi nearby and ate lunch and hung out there. I wrote a little, read the worst book ever (I have to write a review later), and filled in the GISHWHES chart we made so that we could each sign up for specific tasks. By the way, if you know a friendly professional barista in the San Diego area who wants to conspire with me on an artistic activity, let me know. I’m not a professional.

After the second game, I was a good girl and went to the gym. And there are games tomorrow. And maybe tomorrow I can handle the Lego task for GISHWHES. And quilt for 5 hours. I haven’t talked to another human being since 4:42 PM. That’s the stuff that drives me bonkers. I think I already spend way too much time in my head for that shit to be healthy. In fact, the girlchild was trying to listen to an audiobook on the way back from soccer, and I was talking, and she got all irritated because she was trying to listen to the book, and I told her, “Hey. I have no one to talk to until tomorrow…19 hours or so from now.” She felt bad and talked to me on the way home. I wasn’t trying to guilt-trip her. It was reality. I really didn’t have anyone else to talk to. I needed to quilt. I also needed some human connection before I went into the cave that is my antisocial silent world. Talking to the cats and the TV doesn’t count.

Tomorrow? More of the same. Head is in a weird space. It may never come out.

Kicking Gratitude’s Ass…

July 21, 2014

I’m trying to tie my brain down to writing at the moment. It’s like a balloon floating around the room. Grab it and pull it down.

At counseling, we talked about trying to shut the part of my brain up that wants to be sad, or more like can’t get out of being sad. I’d hate to think I actually want that, but I do seem to have a hard time shaking it. There are about a million gratitude rituals online. It’s kind of annoying when you’re depressed to see all of them and realize, yes, you should be grateful that you have food and a house and the internet and enough fabric to make your crazy art quilts. Yeah. I know. I get that. But we decided I might be able to shut that brain part up by throwing those gratitude things at it…like, hey! You have nice new carpet and a freshly painted living area (see, that part of my brain starts freaking out about putting everything away, and I don’t blame it, because that’s a pretty overwhelming THING looming over me. So I do a little every day, and boychild follows me down the hall and just picks stuff up and helps me, not a word.). Walk in the house and tell yourself how grateful you are…narrow vision, so you don’t see any of the piles or mess. Because that just fucks up the gratitude right there. (Are people who are doing these gratitude things just like total Pollyannas? I don’t get it.)

So yesterday I managed to keep badness away (mostly) with distraction and distance. I’m never sure if those are healthy. It seems like I’m not really dealing with my feelings and issues when I just push them further away. Not dealing with YOU. Go AWAY. I distract you with a book, with words.

So today, I realized it was sinking, the mood, that is…sinking like the Titanic, with all the pretty boys slipping under the water to save the pretty girls. Yup. So I said to myself, “Self, as the bad things assault you, bring up something good.” Now this was not easy. I hate grocery shopping, and I had to really work at the positive thoughts in the grocery store. Brussels sprouts were a positive thought, but then the pork chops tried to drag me down, so I had to boost myself with a dose of cornmeal, brand-new box, no bugs. And when they didn’t have the pita bread I normally use, I psyched myself out about all the positive aspects of the NEW pita bread. Look…it’s BIGGER. For less money. But then the cost of grapes pulled me back under until she told me I had saved $16 using the online coupons. Damn. OK.

I swear. My brain can be really dumb. It’s really not. It’s sitting over there, ankles crossed, leaning up against a column in the store, arms crossed on my chest, giving me that look. “You think I don’t know what you’re doing? It’s not working.” Fuck you, brain.

You know it’s bad, though, when you start crying on the way home and you start telling yourself, “but you have a car full of groceries,” and THAT makes you cry harder? Wow. That’s evidence of depression winning out over those gratitude rituals. Again, I keep saying this…depression, she’s a bitch and she doesn’t give a shit about your internet memes. She’s gonna kick your ass. “I’m thankful for…” Oh shit. Fuck that. Just grab another book, or meditate some more, or draw, because that’s all that really works. I’m grateful for my ability to draw knives stabbing into eyeballs, because that’s how it feels every day. At least I can communicate that.

You know me, though. I’m a bitchy fighter myself. I’m in numb mode again…after crying all the way through one of the quilted birds…

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I don’t know why. I just was having moments in my brain of pure unadulterated waves of sadness. So. I guess quilting equals crying? I kept trying, “Oh look, you’re almost done with number 8! You can do bindings tomorrow and maybe be done with these things next week sometime.”

Yeah. That didn’t help. I did another quilted hill on this one…it shows up more than the other one because of the lighter fabric. I seriously don’t know how I quilted this. I couldn’t see, I was crying so hard. What the fuck? Just turn that off. You can’t tell me there’s a gratitude meme that will kick that ass.

Then I did number 9.

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Holy fuck. This one kicked my butt. I think the thread broke about 20 times. I don’t know why. I tried many things.

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Swearing did not help. I did some funky quilting on this one too. I just breathed deep, tied off where it broke, and started again. There’s really no point in getting all hung up on thread breakage. It happens. It’s not karma (don’t fucking believe in karma). It just is. It happens. Don’t stress about it. Clean stuff, replace stuff, rethread. Then move on.

Just one more bird left. Hopefully tomorrow. Then trim them all down and try to find binding fabrics. I have two meetings in the next week where I can get a lot of hand-stitching done. It would be smart to have them ready for that. The smaller ones are at about an hour and a half of work, and the larger ones have hit almost 4 1/2 hours.

I went to the book club meeting today that was voting on all the books for the rest of the year. I’m not sure why, since my vote seemed mostly useless. I really went to vote against the biographies (not a fan) and the books I’d already read. Yeah. Well, I think they’re reading three books I’ve already read (that’s what comes of being 20 years older than most of them…I’ve had more TIME to read all those books…there was actually an argument about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance…now I think I need to reread it.) and there’s at least one biography. It’s OK…this is the meeting that is hardest for me to actually attend, especially in the Fall, so I’m not that worried. I stitched through the whole thing. I started stitching because my brain was wigging out. I did about 60 french knots. Forgot to take a picture.

There was also soccer…

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(Please tell me you don’t think the other team’s uniforms are as weird-looking as I thought they were…reminded me of band uniforms).

Luckily, they didn’t get into the semifinals. Oh wait, am I supposed to say that out loud? Probably not.

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I really wasn’t in the mood for multiple games today. She did well again today. I think she’s getting her soccer legs back on the ground…

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I’m glad. Now I just wish she would do her dishes without squawking about it and get her summer homework done. And clean her room (if I’m going pie-in-the-sky, I might as well go all out).

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Yeah. I know. Whatever. This picture? We nicknamed this tournament the “sluts and skanky hoes tournament.” There was a lot of swearing, pushing, pulling, grabbing, and generally bitchy behavior…amusing because it’s not like this is the World Cup, ladies. Get over yourselves. Why get injured before the real season? So the girlchild is in fact whacking that girl in this photo because of whatever shit she was pulling beforehand. She’s a bit vindictive.

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There was definitely some physicality in this tournament.

She has college prep camp all week, with college coaches coming to watch them practice and play. But she doesn’t care about any of the schools, even the one I suggested as a backup school…so whatever. We have next weekend off, then we have another tournament. Hate the summer because of all the tournaments. Luckily the next one is not a traveling one…that’s the one AFTER that. Hate sitting in hotel rooms and having to go to dinner with all the parents. There is this one mom who has known me for ages and constantly calls me Kathryn, which I associate with being in trouble with my mom. I’ve tried to tell her to call me Kathy, and she just hasn’t processed that request. It’s like she goes out of her way. OK, I know she’s not doing it on purpose. I keep meaning to say, “Hey, just call me Kathy,” but I think I HAVE already done that. Sigh. It’s just how I feel about the whole traveling-with-the-team experience. Between spending time with the girlchild when she’s tired and cranky without any buffers (her dad will be at another tournament with HIS team) and spending time with parents who can only talk about their girls’ prospects in college soccer, it just makes me want to scream and rip my hair out.

So yeah. Fun stuff. I think I need an outlet for all my emotional crap. Oh wait. That’s my art. Or writing. Or the blog.

I should be drawing tomorrow night…hopefully. Finishing that gender equality piece. Finishing the birds and putting bindings on them. Then starting the quilting on the other two. Seriously, just get it done. There’s where the brain needs to focus. Cry while you’re doing it, if you have to…but just do it. Gratitude? I’m thankful for my over-functioning tear ducts. They keep everything hydrated.

How to Spend a Weekend

July 20, 2014

This is not recommended: it’s a soccer tournament weekend, so there’s lots of driving back and forth and sitting on fields and a lack of mental space. Tournaments put me in a weird frame of mind. It’s like a stasis. Can’t get anything done.

Girlchild is doing OK, playing full time now. She’s still trying to get back into shape, and her back gets sore.

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I wrote most of yesterday’s blogpost while waiting for this game to start.

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Then we came home, and I decided to pinbaste the Menopause quilt, because I had a chunk of time. Plus I wasn’t sure I had enough batting, so I thought I might need to go shopping. I knew I could piece a backing if I needed it. Luckily I seemed to have tons of batting (when was I efficient enough to do that?). My entryway is still a disaster, but I just shoved all the paint and carpet out of the way, and laid the backing and batting out on floor…

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Then I laid the top out for pinbasting…

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I know some people don’t pinbaste, but I can’t spray in the house…don’t really have anywhere else to lay it out flat. It works for me at the moment. Here’s the pinbasted face…

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So now it’s ready for quilting as well. I used one of my handdyed fabrics for the backing. It wasn’t very nice anyway, and I’m using up fabric. That’s not a bad thing.

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Then I got Bird number 7 quilted; I actually put a hill in there in the quilting, although you can’t really see it.

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I started number 8, but didn’t finish. Then we went back to soccer…

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This is a college showcase tournament, so all the college coaches are showing up to watch the games, but girlchild’s not interested in the schools that are showing up, so we really don’t care.

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I stitch birds while I’m there…the other birds…

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It’s interesting how the games don’t matter much any more. We just want her to enjoy the game..

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Then I spent 3.5 hours at a writing workshop. Boba tea is too sweet. I need to write more. I don’t know when (or if) I’ll be ready to have other people read what I write. I’m so inured to reactions to the quilt art. It’s such a core part of me, but if you don’t like it, I really don’t care. I have to make it. The writing is the same way as I’m doing it, but the convention seems to be to have people read chapters etc. At some point, I’ll probably get there if I keep writing.

I’m sitting on another soccer field this morning writing this, listening to the other parents chat about their kids and their summer and college plans. This is one of the places I feel most alien. Not so the writing workshop. Not sure what that means.

Girlchild and I reviewed 7 options for tonight’s dinner, and I think we’re flying to Paris this afternoon. Well, we wish we were anyway. We might have to revise our plans…

I Had Cement for Her…*

July 1, 2014

I cannot find my head. It’s lost in a book somewhere, or under a pile of things to be filed, or perhaps I left it in Google Docs where I’m apparently writing a story of my own (best to wish you aren’t in it). It could be on a soccer field with the girlchild’s flipflops or in the hotel room in Corona where I left my nail scissors (dammit). It’s not here, though. It’s not engaged in anything. It’s performing tasks as told, based on a list. I guess the list is logical: Keep working on getting the living room done. Keep working on getting the big quilt done (and then moving on to the next logical step in the quiltmaking process). Keep checking things off that are supposed to get done. Keep reading, just take up the next book in the pile or the one that’s due back to the library next or the one that has to be read before the next book club meeting.

I’m stressed. I know that. There are many things that I am juggling and I don’t feel good about it. There is no relief when one is done, when it is retired from the juggling horde. It seems every time I get rid of one, two take its place.

Where is the part of my life where I lie by the pool with a drink and birds chirping and a nice book in hand? Having an intelligent conversation with someone I enjoy? Feeling at peace with the world, content, happy with my lot in life?

Fuck me. I really suck at this.

I think I need to find more time for exercise, meditation, and drawing. Funny that. It’s vacation. I should have plenty of time. I know I don’t have any peace…not much at the moment. Even ironing tonight gave me fits…

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So I didn’t do a lot of it. I’m hoping to do more tomorrow. Hopefully I will feel less tired and more successful at crossing things off my lists. This is part of a leg…a sorta crazy chaotic leg. It will make more sense when the stitching outlines the appropriate bits.

I think what I really need is a new life. Still. All year I’ve needed that. I keep trying to make one, but it just doesn’t work out. I think it’s because I’d just rather stay home and draw or read a book or make another quilt. Even those don’t make me feel good, though. It’s escapism. People are just not in my current life formula.

Escaping your own existence. Seems like a bad TV mini-series. I don’t have the clothes or makeup for that.

Girlchild tells me every time she sees the sign at the grocery store for the shingles vaccine, she reads it as “singles vaccine” and is confused. “Dammit,” I say…”I forgot to get that when I was younger. That’s the source of all my problems right there.” She tells me to shut up, but laughs as well. She doesn’t like it when depressed mom comes out, even when she comes out making jokes about herself…which honestly, is probably the best way to be at the moment. Sure it would be great to just magically slough off the depression, but failing that (and that does fail, by the way, don’t wiggle your pretty little nose at me and tell me how if I just SMILE, everything will be fucking perfect), this is better than the alternatives. Really. It is.

So. Today was the last day of the soccer showcase, driving up to Pomona yet again…

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Girlchild stepped on a bee. Because she was barefoot. Because she left her flipflops way the freak over THERE and mom had to go get them. After the bee incident. And then there were tears.

Today was the day I finished two of these guys…

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I think that means 11 out of 30 are done. Not great, considering these are from last year. Whatever.

I listened to 10 parents talk about their kids’ college plans. Poor girls. So much pressure. I try to minimize that. I gave birth to a stress monkey, so I tell her I know she will get in somewhere decent and she will be happy wherever she goes, and she freaks out about it, because her brother got into an Ivy and that means that’s what she wants. I don’t know if that will make her happy. I don’t think it would have made ME happy. Then again, I have such a vague memory of that emotion…when it touches me, that feeling, a reminder of that feeling, because I don’t have it now, it just hurts and I cry. I know a college wouldn’t have gotten me there. Hard to tell that to a teenager though. They basically don’t listen to a word you say.

I worked on these guys…

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They are closer to done than they were. In fact, a couple of them are almost done.

I also finished this book…


in fact, if I had read less, I would have gotten those damn birds done, but my brain, it was in that bad place (spending three days dealing with soccer games, parents, and girlchild’s related moods will do that to you, unless you have a magical outlet, a rejuvenating place that brings you back to normal)…so I read instead. I’ve always been a Stephen King fan. He messes with his characters like no one else, and this detective story is good, although somewhat formulaic…King-style, though. I still really enjoyed it (and read it really fucking fast, so there).

I’m not sure reading horror is the best treatment for depression, but neither are rom-coms or YA books half the time either. Or 90% of what’s on the telly. I seem to do best with fantasy/sci fi, but even that’s a stretch sometimes. No books that remind me that at one time I had something approximating a life and now, well, now I don’t know what I have. It’s not really there, ethereal and sad, but insubstantial, feather-light in the hands. Whisks away before you can close your fingers on it. It’s not even real.

Cat puke. Laundry. Bills. Mold. Those are real.

Today’s blog title is brought to you by my favorite poet, writer, thinker ever…e.e. cummings…


Seriously. Reading him is the closest to happy I get at the moment.


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