She Totally Confused All the Passing Piranhas*

You know what’s annoying? Every time we make some sort of laminated card thing for class, where every table gets X number of cards in a bag and then they have to do stuff with them…every single damn time, we end up with cards getting lost. We laminate them because we want to reuse them every year, but middle-schoolers basically guarantee that we will have to first of all, count every damn bag out (this is what a TA is for), then figure out what card or cards are missing from each bag, and then make X number of extra sets to fill in the blanks. I hate that shit. It’s an organizing nightmare, and we don’t have time for it. At all.

Yes, there are only five days of school until Winter Break. I thought I was getting this huge copyediting job this Tuesday, and I knew break was going to be difficult. Hard to find time for art, because I would have to work. And both kids are coming home. But then that job got pushed out…again…I think that’s the third time. And now break is free (well as free as it ever is…still gotta grade). So that’s a bit of a relief. I’m trying not to think about how I’m going to do that copyediting job without any vacation time to focus on it, but whatever. I’ll deal with that when it actually shows up.

Meanwhile, our students are going bonkers because it’s almost break and Christmas and all that. I did remind them that not everyone does Christmas. What?! Their shock was evident. The bonkers kid behavior is not pleasant. Teachers do not enjoy that. I guess the fact that they will have to take home progress reports next week might help, but not based on what I’ve seen in the last week.

My patience is worn thin. I know it, at least, and try to make myself relax as much as I can, both during school and after school. I feel like all I do at school is hug kids and wipe tears some days, and I’m not really the mama bear on campus. So you know they’re desperate. I’m the one you come to for sex ed or weird science questions…

Anyway, so I was motivated last night to get through grades (I still have about 100 emails to deal with), so that took a few hours. I also wanted to get a tree, but last year, I got zero help from the kids in decorating it, and I also knew I didn’t want another big tree, because between having my (not elderly…they’re not…but knee surgeries etc means they shouldn’t be down on the floor trying to make the tree stand straight) parents help and doing it myself, plus the puppy…I’m pretty sure he will just want to take all the ball-shaped ornaments and destroy them…so I knew it needed to be up off the ground and smaller. I can’t put it on my light table, dammit, because I need that. So I have this desk that I’ve wanted to clear off for a while. It has a pile of crap (they always do) and the third computer in the house, one that’s never used. So I unhooked everything and moved it around, clearing the surface.

And like all trees, within about 5 minutes of getting it up there, one cat appeared.

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The next one was not far behind.

It was still not easy to get everything out of the garage…I start thinking about what needs to happen before I get really old (I barely got the Xmas decoration box down without braining myself). My SIL said I should separate out all the kids’ ornaments this year into one box for each kid (she’s already done this, and her kids are 5+ years younger than mine) so that when they do move out, it’s not a pain to figure out what’s what. That would help. Smaller containers too…and not on the top shelf. But all that means trying to clear out the garage, which just terrifies me. It does need help.

Now did I get lights on the tree? Hell no. Too tired. Ate dinner, finished some section of the grading (probably 4 or 5 more hours to go, unfortunately)…and then sat down. Within seconds, I had Simba and Midnight competing for lap space. He used to bite her, but then I started praising his boisterous ear cleaning, which Midnight actually seems to like. So now he does it all the time. Her ears are very clean. Sparkling even.

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But none of this behavior is conducive to my getting anything done. She eventually settled on one side…

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With him on the other. Room for the sketchbook. Awesome.

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At some point, I realized I was too tired to draw, though, so another early night. Trying to stay well and get what I need. It’s a difficult balance. Today especially…going to an educator meeting to prepare for the next four years of attacks. Mind-boggling looking at the people being chosen to lead us, people with no experience in reality. One of my high-school classmates posted some idiotic statement about the new Secretary of Education, that she must be good because the teacher unions were going nuts. Sigh. So yes, I refrained from bitch-slapping him, because I reminded myself that he was ignorant. Many people are. And if you think deVos is a good choice, come spend a week in my classroom and see what it’s really like. I have to deal with enough clueless people at my job (OK, most of them are 12, but not ALL of them). You should educate yourself before you spout nonsense. And the attacks on science annoy me too. No one on any governmental science committee should NOT be a scientist. Fire their asses. They’re incompetent and ignorant. Should be a good meeting.

But here’s where I got last night. I think I’m ready to enlarge this part and add to the top and bottom…well, and sides. Yeah. Which means not sitting on the couch, unfortunately…but whatever. Puppy will miss me.

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Midnight will just try to sit on the drawing. She vomited on the last one. That was nice. Yeah. And I think I have three social things tonight, although one is with total strangers, crashing another company party (actually I think I’m allowed to crash this one). I’m going to take my stitching to the educator meeting to keep me calm and focused.

As far as finishing the drawing, I think it’s going to be a few days at least. I might get time this afternoon, but I doubt it. And I draw better at night for some reason…so if I finish grades, Sunday night? Anyway, maybe I’ll be tracing sometime this week? I hope so. I want this one done by the end of Winter Break. Seriously. That’s crazy, of course, but it’s what I want. Maybe I’ll be uber-efficient on vacation for once. You never know. It could happen.

*The Presidents of the United States of America, Lump

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