I Like the Rock Cycle.

I was supposed to go to book club last night, but somewhere in the middle of the union meeting, where I realized it was STILL going on, I also realized how tired I was and how many essays I still had left to read, and the responsible teacher brain took over on both and said, Self…stay home and read the things, even though they might kill your brain, because that will make the next week easier. So I did. I didn’t finish a whole class, though. At some point, somewhere after the mermaid commentary (I’m not explaining it…just know that a kid went off about how one teacher is not a mermaid in the middle of his essay about what happens to the mass of a candle when it burns.), my brain said, oh hey, fuck this, you need a break. I read essays until 10:30 PM, so I don’t feel bad. I also went to the store and got stuff for lunches for next week, at least the first part of it, and ingredients for the boychild to make the cookies I need on Monday for school. We give the classified staff food because they take care of us, although there is one staff member I would like to NOT get any of the foods, but I can’t manage that and it’s a pretty petty thing to think this time of year.

I thought it. I didn’t do it.

Anyway, 6 more essays for that class, another 14 for the last one. Oh jesus. I might not finish. I WILL FINISH. Meanwhile, another student is telling me how I should be able to grade his makeup work before progress report grades are due, because all he can think about is himself and he has no idea what I’m staring at. Hopefully I do not go off on him today about his misunderstanding of teacher work loads. I worded a slightly irritable email about maybe turning it all in the FIRST time so he wouldn’t have to beg me (this is not the first time), but he won’t get it, because 12. Selfish. World revolves around me.

I wish the world revolved around me. I’d have clean floors and…wait. That’s all I can think of right now. Hmm.

My sub plans also are written now too. Mostly. I think. I had one sub cancel and another one came in. He’s a math whiz, so tomorrow that will not be helpful at all, unless he also loves the rock cycle. I hope he loves the rock cycle. I do.

Anyway, tomorrow, at this time, I will be sitting in an airport, ditching school. This is cool. I’m not very good at ditching school, as you might know. It’s easier to never be absent. I hate writing sub plans and dealing with behavior issues afterwards. I don’t get sick much, so that helps. Really, it’s only travel at this point. As I get older, I’m sure there might be other shit that makes me miss days. Hopefully I’ll get more comfortable with it. Here’s Calli warming my butt while I write sub plans.

She’s good at that.

Here’s Simba trying to persuade me to read more essays.

I almost quit so many times. Persistence!

Here’s Calli continuing to rest while I grade.

I need to write some sort of matching or Bingo game about how to write a CER to help these kids. I don’t know where to start. I’ll figure it out over break. Maybe.

After 10:30, I came in and read all the crazy stuff I got in email today, including two acceptances to shows, which is very cool. Two pieces are going to the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, California, opening January 18…Climate Goddess, which has never been seen anywhere…

Part of that is because the space is small and they needed small work. I don’t have a lot of that.

The other piece is Sweet Delicious, which was made for another show and is based on a poem I wrote…

The other show I entered is called Art Quilts and is at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, in Sebastopol, CA. You Pollute Me has been in a bunch of shows.

So that was cool news, all in one day.

Then I ironed…gave her a face and hair.

And then did the stuff in the middle and the space cat…

So now it’s all ready for a background. Except my first idea won’t work with the fabrics I picked. I went through my stash, and what I need are 4 different 26″ squares for my idea to work. But I only usually buy half yards, so that’s less than 26″. The other pieces I had were from my stash of backgrounds, so I had bigger pieces. Sigh. I think I’m going to have to go shopping. I know basically what I want. Then I can iron it all down. I can pretty much guarantee it’s not getting stitched together tonight though. So I’m behind again. Accept it. Sometimes stuff takes a long time to do, eh? I’ve done better in the last week in terms of artmaking…over 9 hours, vs the week before with only 5 and a bit, and that was with vacation time in there. I’m about 10 hours into the ironing. Almost there.

The eucalyptus trees started dropping these. They’re pretty on the mud.

Do you think my fence needs work?

Dad says it just needs a few replacement boards. Can you see how high my eyebrows are right now? I don’t think he’s seen it in this state yet. Maybe this month. Before the bushes start coming back.

OK, go to work and keep reading essays, while kids make amazing rock cycle comic pages and are totally on task and focused, and don’t flip out because I’m going to be gone tomorrow. And so is their history teacher. And in 8th period, their math teacher. It’s Friday the 13th too, so you know that’ll be a thing. Maybe Freddy Krueger will be my sub. That might motivate them. Plus I bet he likes the rock cycle.

Doesn't Look Like Much…

Well it’s humpday. My brain is confused by days. As a teacher, I should have this down. What day is it? I write it on the board every day. You’d think I’d have a clue. This week is weird, though. I’ll be out on Friday, so I need sub plans and a video explaining shit. Plus packing and laundry and grocery shopping. No worries. Two meetings tonight. Not sure how all this will get done.

I have two more periods of grading this hellacious assignment. Grades are due Tuesday, less than a week away. I’m in Portland for three days. Grading will happen on the plane and in airports, but I don’t want it to happen once we get there. There honestly won’t be time. A stressful trip but hopefully a fun one too.

The sunset last night from the chiropractor’s office…

It was prettier in person of course.

The kittens went off to their spay surgery location last night…spay today; we’ll see them on Sunday night (well, the man will see them tomorrow night). Apparently one really didn’t want to get in the cage at the foster location. Awww. We are no longer fostering by the way…they’re ours. Because they were gone, though, Kitten came out to explore her favorite thing this time of year, the Christmas tree. Yes, it only has one ornament on it. I’ve been busy.

Really, she just wants to eat pine needles and throw them back up. It’s a strange ritual.

I graded until about 10:30 PM. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that today with the two meetings. We’ll see. Maybe I can grade some in class, but I doubt it.

Then ironing…I so want to be done with this step, but life is busy. I got everything ironed except the last head…

And the center bit…and I laid out all the 800s…but to keep ironing would have put me well past 1 AM, so I stopped at midnight. Ish. Sleep is a thing I need. So I have a head to do, the center bit, and the space cat, about 72 pieces. Then I need to figure out the background, which is a bigger deal. Because I have no idea what I’m going to do about that. Maybe give up and go shopping on Thursday after work. I wanted to piece this background and this was going to be the perfect piece for that, and it might still be, but I haven’t had the time to see if I can pull it off. Too much time being responsible and shit.

Oh yeah, she’s headless…

Here’s some loose bits that will hang out around the women…

A spaceship and a monarch butterfly. You know, like you do.

Look! That’s all that’s left…

Doesn’t look like much because it’s not. I might not go to book club tonight. I might do this instead (shhh). Or I might get out of the first meeting too late anyway to traipse all the way across town.

It’ll all get done eventually. Even decorating the tree. Cleaning the girlchild’s room (she’s coming home in 10 days, 15 hours, and 18 minutes. Give or take. Winter Break. It’s soon too. All good. Really. OK. Off to NeedyTown. We play a game today. It’ll be OK.

Which Way Is Up…

When I’m ironing a quilt together late at night, the little tiny voice that remembers how tired I will be the next day is very quiet. It’s overwhelmed by the art brain, which is stomping around and excited about what happens next and why can’t we just finish it now and WTF is up with your needing a day job what happened to us being starving artists. Yeah. So sometimes I don’t hear the little voice until it’s late and sometimes I don’t hear it until it’s REALLY late. Luckily last night was just late. And I did see the clock. And I realized I had a parent meeting this morning. And I just didn’t care. Last night. This morning, I care a little bit more, although I’m functional. Art brain is muttering about how we could have FINISHED the ironing last night (always true. Not always smart.). It’s OK. We’ll finish tonight. We’re close, it’s true, but not close enough.

Speaking of close, while I was grading, somehow I ended up with this…

She made it hard to type, but how can you resist? Sweet (bitey asshole) baby. No really. She is a bitey asshole. Her sister will confirm. “I want to clean your ear. And then I want to bite it.” Eventually Nova left. No bites.

But first, a requisite family photo…

Nova definitely upped the weight gain last week. They’re getting spayed tomorrow. Hoping they’re both OK. We won’t see them again until Sunday night. I think we temporarily named them Flower or Sweetness (on the left) and Butthead (on the right) last night. Significantly different personalities.

I was trying to grade through all that. All that was after spending about an hour and a half standing in pharmacies, arguing with my medication insurance company about their fucked-up stupidity…always fun. Eventually solved. Someone lost or stole my meds in Compton, so they never showed up…getting short-term replacements is a Pain in the ASS. It doesn’t matter that your doctor approved it. Your insurance company needs five levels of approval and at least one Giant Fuckup on their part before they’ll OVERRIDE. I apologize to everyone in CVS last night who heard me go off on the LAST person I talked to. Love insurance. Really. Mostly. Sigh.

I gave up on grading after 5 essays. Between the residual holiday party annoyance, the pharmacy irritation, and kitten interactions, I couldn’t concentrate any more. Which sucks, because ideally they’re all done before I leave, and I’m less than halfway there. Ugh.

I ironed. It was 10 PM. It was fair.

Yeah, that’s upside down. See previous comments about which way is up. Because I don’t know. Figure 3 in progress, new iron…

It’s large. Probably more likely to hit the floor.

I need an iron that knows how (and when) to levitate.

Figure 3 is done…now comes the fun part of trying to make Figure 4 fit everything together.

Hard to do…I got a start on her, but she’s missing some chunks. I did make it work though.

No holes! My original background choices aren’t going to work, I think. Too much dark in the figures to go on a relatively dark background. I’ll have to think about it. And go through the stash, because I’m probably piecing it. I don’t have time to go buy anything new, so it’ll have to be pieced.

Anyway, that’s after today’s day at work, which includes a lab and managing the sweet dipwads who haven’t finished all their work. Plus tutoring. Where the kids who don’t need it show up and the kids whose parents are forcing them to go show up and say they don’t want to work on science because history is easier. Then when I walk away, they go back to whatever game they were playing that I can’t catch them at. Yup. It’s December and progress reports are coming.

I Killed an Iron…

Happy Monday! I know. It’s Monday. I’m trying a positive attitude. I actually did OK this weekend and am feeling OK about going into this week. Not awesome, but OK. As always, I’m tired. I’m behind in grading. And the floors are dirty. What’s new? I know, right? It’s not raining. That’s a plus. Today’s classwork is a known thing. Also a plus. The lab is tomorrow. That will be harder, but it’s a pretty easy lab. I’m only working 4 days this week…at school…because I’m ditching school for a day to go to Portland. Why Portland? No good reason. We had a free flight that needed to be used before the end of the year, so we picked somewhere relatively close. Honestly, if we sit in the Airbnb for the whole time, it will be OK.

So I did a lot of artmaking this weekend…I think that’s why I’m feeling OK about it being Monday. This was Saturday afternoon…

It was a delightful afternoon. I gave myself about two and a half hours to iron.

It’s a great form of meditation…

Kitten break. They finally got big enough to be spayed…it’ll be this week, mostly while we’re gone. Poor babies.

These are the 200s, all laid out for ironing.

This thing is going together pretty easily. Here’s the start of Figure number 2…

Saturday night, we had the man’s work party, on top of a downtown building again.

It was OK. Snacking food is hard for a diabetic. There was gambling AND a murder mystery AND a masquerade. Seemed like a lot. The man won pizza socks. Lots of them.

Sunday was slow-moving, like my dad in his truck, carrying a lime tree from a friend’s house that is about to be sold to my house where it will live in the ground quite happily. Hopefully.

I grocery shopped, did laundry, and even graded. But I ironed for another 2 hours. I actually killed my iron last night…

I’ve dropped it multiple times, super-glued the base back together twice, but this was The Death of It. Seriously, pieces went flying. Everywhere. It’s gone.

Luckily, I keep a spare.

Kitten interaction in between things…

That’s my leg, Luna.

Kitten (the real Kitten) likes to hang out while I iron.

Sometimes right in front of the screen. There’s Figure 2, getting ironed…

Then she has eyeballs and she’s right side up.

The hardest part of this quilt might be deciding which way is up. This will be the third quilt this year where I’ve had that issue.

Starting on Figure 3. That’s where I had to go to bed.

I won’t be done tonight, but I’ll be close. Stitchdown by the end of the week. Then hopefully quilting next week.

Here’s my top nine on Instagram for 2019. Interesting…two aren’t quilts and two are old quilts. But that’s OK.

And one has no face. That’s just weird.

OK, today is the festive (not) forced holiday party at work for 2 hours. Shoot me now. Then I can come home and iron to my heart’s content. Well, I have a grading goal, but THEN I can iron.

Earned It…

I guess today’s post should be been titled ‘We Survived’, since we managed to get through the zoo field trip yet another year. I do actually like this field trip…I have just a small group of kids and it’s mostly not stressful…once you’re actually on the bus. We aren’t actually there a long time, so we always miss some of the animals…

Somehow we always catch the flamingos. Oh yeah, because they’re by the entrance. Then I take a survey of the group as to what they want to see… and then we head that direction…

I had mostly girls this year with a couple of boys I had to add on at the end. They were pretty good, even the two guys…

The one who whines all day in my class did not do so on the field trip.

I don’t know if that’s because he was in a smaller group or because all those girls intimidated him.

Either way, I don’t care. He behaved. It went well.

When we got back, there was the requisite amount of running around and returning nurse stuff, cafeteria stuff, dress-coding a kid (duh on the short shorts sweetheart), finally eating lunch, then ‘teaching’ my 8th period (here’s a video. eat the foods. be quiet. don’t bug me.) as I cleaned the classroom, and then did duty.

I got home and ingested caffeine. It started to rain. Then I headed out to an artist talk. I was pretty tired.

Which is why it looks like I’m praying to my phone in the photo…came home and ate the ordered pizza, graded an assignment with this guy…

And straight up? Went to bed. Three hours early. So tired.

This morning was a not-relaxing (but good) pilates class, some food, some reading (book club meets Wednesday and I haven’t finished the book…luckily, it’s short). I showered, petted this little (not so little) beast…

And these two…

Who have now flipped their growth spurts…Nova (on the left) gained more than Luna this week. She’s still smaller, but not as much.

I have about 4 hours now of an afternoon, rain falling, gloomy skies. I think I’m going to iron for a while. I should grade some essays too, but I don’t feel like it. I’ve earned some art time.

We Survived…

Today we take a bunch of kids to the zoo. Hopefully we don’t lose or damage any of them and they all come back with us. Well, you know, our classes are big this year…we wouldn’t miss a few of them. No really. It’s usually a good field trip, one I enjoy, even though I currently feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. My team rocks, though…they’ve handled a good chunk of what’s going on today, which I appreciate. I, however, will be carrying about 17 epipens and inhalers in a backpack, along with 149 permission slips, just in case we have to call a parent or guardian about a kid. I feel like that could be automated, but what do I know. Nothing, by the way…I know nothing.

I stayed late last night for an hour-long parent meeting, plus the last bits of field trip stuff. Came home way too exhausted to deal with going to the gym (too bad…I really wanted to this week). Plus I was supposed to make dinner, so timing was an issue.

I started grading the horrible assignment last night…made it through about three of them before my brain shut down. One of those three was actually pretty awesome. One could have been awesome. The third one was the ouch. I’ll keep working on them. I need to get through them before next week. I don’t want to take my computer with me at all. And grades are due about 36 hours after I get back.

This weekend is busy. Not horribly so, but enough. I’m tired. I’m always tired though. The holidays are demanding. I’m looking forward to the girlchild coming home and having a lot of time for art. I will have grading to do, of course, but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

After dinner, after talking to the girlchild on the actual phone, after doing some work, I sorted the quilt pieces…only 8 boxes because there are only 800 or so pieces in this one…

This part doesn’t take long usually. I had some assistance? Not really. Luna is incredibly curious about Kitten.

Kitten is less interested…

Although she didn’t do as much hissing as before, and I played with both of them at the end of a long ribbon. So there was some staring at the little one, who played like a kitten. And they’re all fascinated with the Christmas tree. So I think there’s hope. We’ll see.

It took about 48 minutes (which included cat interactions) to sort all these…

Then I came into the office and cleaned up a bit so I could iron. I made it through part of the first torso and all the stuff behind.

That’s about an hour’s worth. More tonight, hopefully, after the artist talk I have to go to. It’s going to be a long day.

Here’s some of the drawing stuff I’ve been doing for school…I did a worksheet for a video and website we wanted the kids to go through…

I don’t know if doing this is ever worth the amount of time it took.

This is an assignment we have them do with lyrics of a song about the layers of the Earth…

And I finally got the cover page colored…

Space cat! Yes, I needed a lot of coloring time this week. It’s good. Next week is a lab and then more coloring, and then I’m ditching school for a day. Hopefully I will be well for that, because I’m surrounded by sick people at the moment. I can’t afford to get sick. I don’t have time. Nobody ever has time…that’s when it’s mostly likely to happen.

Wish us luck. This could be newsworthy. Hopefully not. Last year? Oh, last year, when our bus driver took the wrong turn (she was a newbie) and couldn’t figure out how to get us on the freeway without getting hit…oh shit, it was scary. We survived.

I Like to Color…

Another early morning. The parent didn’t show yesterday. I got an angry parent email this morning. Yesterday I called a parent and now I will be meeting with them after school with their kid so I can explain all the stuff that’s in the email we send out and that she gets, but she needs to see it (I’m actually totally OK with that one…it’s just the timing that’s rough). The meeting today is with the principal, so as long as he shows up mostly on time (he’s got littles), I’m good. At some point, we need to finalize the field trip stuff today…yesterday at 9:00 PM or so the texts started, trying to get groups fixed and wondering how we aren’t gonna end up burning the whole zoo down and letting all the animals go. I think I know which chaperoned group will do that too. They’ll have my phone number. Minor issue. I can almost guarantee one of the teachers will be making their group race across the zoo to grab that one kid who can’t deal. It’s possible all of us will.

But it’s the zoo! And outside. And not in school. So tomorrow should be cool. Once the buses leave school, a sense of relief hits and you know you can get through the rest.

Until then, things are tense. I have a good team. They help. I need another brain, but that’s not a team thing.

Here’s the current unit cover page in process…

I need to color it today. Plus the other thing we did yesterday. Lots of coloring at the moment. I like to color.

Yesterday after school, I went to a neighborhood gathering…the house above me finally sold (again). They’re retiring to Mexico and a young family with a baby is moving in. So we’re surrounded by screaming. The boychild and I will respond with music and whatever else keeps us sane. We’ve said all along that house is not kid friendly…and I wonder how a young family affords it, but I guess I was a young family here 21 years ago when we moved in. That makes three families with kids…as they get older, maybe they’ll be able to dog-sit. You never know. My neighbors call me an enigma because they never see me. I imagine they are all talking amongst themselves at tea parties and cocktail parties while I work into the late hours. Plus I don’t garden much.

Anyway, it’s change. No more cigars! I hope. That smell. Ugh.

OK, so after all that, I graded the rest of an assignment (grades are due again in less than two weeks) and then cut out the last of this…

FINALLY. I’m so frustrated with the lack of progress on this. But it’s OK. It’ll be fine. It probably won’t be done until Christmas. It’s not the end of the world. It took almost 12 hours to cut out all the pieces. I started on November 26 and finished last night. I really wanted to be done the week of Thanksgiving, plus have the whole thing ironed together that week. HA! Oh so funny. I will sort pieces tonight and hopefully start ironing it together. Friday night is questionable for that…got an artist talk plus it’s our anniversary of meeting each other, me and the man, so we’re going to celebrate that. Then his holiday work party is Saturday. I’m hoping to get some ironing in on Saturday anyway, but there is still a major assignment looming over me. Sunday has us moving a tree (don’t ask). Next weekend, we’re in Portland. Strange timing…but it’ll be fine.

There was lots of kitten activity last night…Nova is totally about to attack Luna’s tail…

They play really well together…

And then we had Luna sleeping on Simba…lots of belly rubs for Simba so he didn’t freak out.

We had a cat, Midnight, who he just loved, so we’re hoping he can love these cats too.

Calli is bigger and clumsier…but she also sleeps a lot, so she’s been walked on a bit…and sniffed.

She’s still pretty scary though…which is funny, because she doesn’t really care about cats. She is a little bit frightened of their sharp bits, I think.

You have to watch where you sit, walk, stand, step, and lie down right now. There are kittens everywhere.

Anyway. They’re nice. Although we all have stab wounds at the moment, mostly from Luna. Kitten still hasn’t really warmed up to them…although they mostly stay in one half of the house and she mostly stays in the other half.

OK. Meeting. Need to make lunch. Need to figure out all the pieces for tomorrow. I know I’ve forgotten something. Need to take deep breaths. Need to make art at the end of it.