Official Title #3764

November 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nanowrimostats

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

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


Timed Frustration

November 12, 2014

I ran out of time. You’d think with a 4-day weekend, it wouldn’t be possible for me to run out of time, but when you spend 20 hours or so grading, plus a hike, plus trying to plan for the week when you have a sub one day, and all the new class changes with the new trimester…it’s not surprising. It’s just frustrating. At 11:20 last night, I was folding fabric (I did manage to buy the binding fabric yesterday, even though I couldn’t get to the point where I was putting it on, which is where I was SUPPOSED to be yesterday). I did not try to continue quilting after that for a variety of reasons…first of all, I have the wrong thread. I went out to the store to get more yesterday morning (after they drew blood from two different places, thank you very much, yes, I drank my bottle of water…that’s why I’m going to pee on your seat in a minute if you don’t get on with it.). I had the number of the color, but apparently they are now selling two different weights? And I didn’t notice? And I got the wrong one? And it’s super fine (and I don’t mean that in the 70s way), so it’s breaking all the time (rhyme that: super fine, breaking all the time…nice, eh?), plus I don’t know if I can tell the difference on the quilt or not, but FUCK.

So I was doing all these tiny little squiggles (OK, I know they could be tinier, but they’re pretty damn small and very time-consuming…my fault of course).

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And really, I’m pretty close to done, being up in the tree section. But NOT done. And today is a bitch. It will be a bitch. There will be very little time in which it will not be a bitch (do not predict bitchiness. Predict Lack of Time. I predict Lack of Time, which may lead to bitchiness on my part AND the day’s part, but I cannot predict that. Maybe someone will bring me a donut and that will reduce said bitchiness. Ha! That’s not enough. I think someone has to come hand me a winning lottery ticket for said bitchiness to be truly removed.). Fucking big-ass giant sigh of frustration.

WANT TO FINISH QUILTING.

I don’t want to go to school. I want to finish this. But I’m a big girl, so I will do my job…which today involves sheep hearts. MMM MMM GOOD.

Cats are no help.

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Yes, she’s lying ON the quilt while I’m quilting, and complaining as I move it. Although they do answer when I talk to them. Saw girlchild for maybe 2.1 minutes yesterday. Said maybe 10 words to me. I talked to my ex more than her. Hell, I think I talked to the ladies at the quilt shop more (they wanted to see my quilt, I warned them about the nudity, they hesitated, said something about “in the name of art”. Not sure if theirs was a positive response…whatevs. I’m not doing it for the likes of you.).

Frustration. I’m running out of time. I need to get this thing done and to the photographer and I need to start the next one. The have-tos are starting to pile up. This one is done. Essentially. I think that’s the problem. In my head, it’s done. Why isn’t it REALLY done? Damn reality check.

OK, so I’m mood-managing this week. Turns out (after lame-ass blood withdrawal yesterday) that my thyroid is yet again out of whack, and I have like ALL the symptoms. Blame my crazy moods on that stupid nonfunctioning organ in my neck. Doctor in two weeks. Then she can fix THAT, and my elbow and my toenail and maybe my life, because that’s a giant clusterfuck. Is there a prescription for that?

PROS: NaNoWriMo. I rock baby. See, I can do one thing right. I’m over 21,000 words. I wrote another 2400 yesterday…got on a roll. Started on the bike, did a little on the elliptical (harder to type on the elliptical), came home and did more while dinner was cooking, and then while I was eating, holy crap, it just spilled on out of me. And the first kidnapping has happened, which leads up to the second death (well, really, there were 8 other deaths, but that’s different…they happened before the story started). I’d really like to do one of the write-ins that are local, but I can’t fit one into my crazy schedule. All the flash write-ins are on Sundays, and I don’t have a clear Sunday ever apparently. The night ones that I could go to are all far away, like La Jolla. Ugh. Long way to drive to write. And maybe writing in public ain’t my thing (except now I’ve done it in meetings, at the gym, in an airport). So whatever. The story progresses. There might even be an ending in my head at some point. You never know.

Speaking of endings. This. It needs to end so I can go to school and make seating charts. Because I live for that moment. Yup. I do.


Somewhere to Land on Occasion

November 10, 2014

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

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More about that later.

And then I graded and graded and graded some more…

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

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

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

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

Grading, though. Fuck me.

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

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

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

And here’s her Houston recap…

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

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


Apparently Crazy Ass

November 4, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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So I quilted for an hour almost…

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

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

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

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

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


Deep Breaths…Again…

October 29, 2014

I stitched a baby tonight (yes, I started writing this last night). I stitched mammary glands. Not very realistically, but whatever. It’s like Picasso meets Richard Scarry. I stitched a tattoo and some arms. I did a female face.

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I didn’t start until really late, because I went to the gym and then spent more than an hour trying to plan to be gone for two days, just for school. I had to write 4 pages of instructions and load three files on my website, and I still don’t know if it will all work. The timing sucks for being gone. Then again, it always sucks. I wonder what it’s like to be a nonteacher and go on vacation or take a long weekend. Being a teacher, it just seems like punishment sometimes. And I still don’t have next week figured out. I also spent some time searching out photos of the quilt that will be in Celebrating Silver, the SAQA exhibit opening at Houston like right now. I set up 3 posts…now just pictures, words to be added later, probably starting tomorrow, because I haven’t been able to show the whole thing until the opening. I’ll be in Houston Thursday afternoon with mom, hopefully in time for the SAQA meetup. I’ll be at the artist’s tour on Friday. We leave early Saturday morning. Yes, we kamikaze Houston. Three million quilts, four million vendors, and we basically do it in a day. It’s a little insane.

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The back.

Tonight, I shoved my head deep into the next book and exercise and art, because the school day was so incredibly frustrating, I wanted to scream. My team agreed…kids aren’t listening. Tomorrow is the test and the entire unit is due (yes, I will be grading for days), but apparently none of that is important. I’m seriously going to run out of the classroom throwing papers wildly about. Either I will be relieved after they take the test…maybe my lecture today kicked their asses? Or I will wonder why I do this job.

Deep breaths. Walk away. Enjoy two days off. Of course, I have to survive tomorrow first.

Ironically, I keep saying Deep Breaths to myself, and we are finishing up the respiratory unit.

I found my sketchbook. I sorted through my stitching for stuff to do on the plane. I’m going to wear lots of black. I will need to bring 5 pieces of electronic equipment and all the chargers. I plan to start NaNoWriMo on the plane Saturday morning.

Girlchild rocked her second take on the SAT…I’m so proud of how she’s handling this college stuff. Except for when she freaks out on me. Seriously. She’s just motoring on, finishing essays, making decisions, asking for advice, doing what has to be done. Thank god. Now I feel like I can send her off. I counseled (seriously, that’s what it was) another parent of a friend of hers the other day, 20 minutes in the gym, interrupting my workout, because he’s so freaked out about sending his oldest (a girl) off far away…and I kept telling him, “But that’s what you have to do. That’s what they need. She will be fine.” Over and over again. Because most of them will. A few will flip out or do something really incredibly stupid that negatively affects the rest of their life, but most of them get through and even excel. It’s alternately exciting and terrifying and even depressing, as you realize they don’t ever really come back…that the babies you had and sent off will come back as competent (mostly) adults who will have their own lives. Although then they will text you for two hours about what to wear in snow. Apparently it’s my fault his daughter wants to do a year abroad; she heard me talking about it and now that’s on her list. He was bitter about that, but I think it’s really important to send our American brats off to the rest of the world to get a clue.

OK. So I think I’m ready to face today (Wednesday now, for real, in the morning, parent meeting in 45 minutes)…despite what my students might throw at me. I’m ready to go to Houston, but I have to tell you, I’m not ready to talk about that quilt. I guess I need to get there by Friday…the talking part, not the Houston part. I’m being squawked at by a small black and white psychotic cat. I’m not really awake (oh god, wait until tomorrow). I need a serious infusion of caffeine. And deep breaths for getting through the test. Deep breaths for just getting through.


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.


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