We’re in for Nasty Weather*

I’m debating taking light bulbs to school. For one thing, I think I bought a bunch last year and they are in the prep room somewhere…I just can’t remember where. Second, right now, the skies are clear and blue…which is what I need for today’s lab. But I know a storm is coming in and that clear blue isn’t going to last. But will it last until 3:15 or so? Because that’s all I need. These are the weatherperson skills I need…predicting when the clouds will roll in. My weather app shows partly cloudy until 7 pm. The other app I look at is showing clouds at 11 AM and possible rain starting at 1 pm. Huh. Well. Better go find the lightbulbs.

OK. I’m back. Lightbulbs in a bag, just in case. My job is weird. Today I will get in about 15,000 steps before I ever leave school…just because of a lab. Plus I’m watching for rain. Because photosynthesis and rain aren’t really friends. Especially with 7th graders.

Anyway, so yesterday…I made it to the gym, even finished my book. I’m making it through the assignments that need to be done in the next week or so, slowly though. I finally got to draw at 11:25 PM. Maybe I should’ve gone to sleep, but since it took me a good long time to fall asleep, I think I made a good choice. I was tired…but the brain won’t shut up. I couldn’t get comfortable…too hot, too cold, too flat, head up too high, cat down by feet in just the wrong spot. Someone snoring…well, eventually that stopped, so that helped. I love all the beasts in my bed…they just don’t help me fall asleep.

Anyway, progress on anything is slow…no quilting last night, just the drawing. It was easier to focus on…

I was looking at one of the other drawing fails last night for hair ideas, but I didn’t focus on the hair in the long run. I’m not sure what I want to do with the hair yet. One drawing has what looks like lightning; the other has kelp. So I focused on finishing the dirt, because I was going off the original on that…mostly.

So that part is done anyway…oh yeah, and I added a tree to her arm…

And she’s fully rooted now.

First appearance of a pillbug in a Nida quilt. Exciting stuff. Anyway, I realized that I didn’t have to finish quilting the big quilt before I start working on this quilt. There’s no imminent deadline for finishing the other one. It’s just that I usually do. Otherwise things go unfinished, and apparently, as I age, that irritates my Art Brain more and more. Finish ALL THE THINGS. Which is not a bad philosophy, if it makes sense. I have two art quilts that are decidedly not finished and may never be. So there’s that. One only needs the binding done…the other needs paint. And lots of it. Even that might not save it.

So I could finish this tonight…but here’s today’s schedule: parent meeting at 8, prep the lab (mostly done) before school starts at 9. Teach all day at a crazy running pace, hoping for sun and no rain, then a 2-hour meeting at the district office about curriculum, and book club an hour later. That one might very well fall by the wayside…which is too bad. I like book club, I like talking about the books we’re reading, and I’m on the third book in that series because it’s good. And I need the socialization outside of my job. But exhaustion will probably win out. We’ll see. Then after all that? Am I making art? I hope so. But I’m already running on less than 6 hours of sleep. Ugh. I think that’s the top thing my doc wishes I would do: sleep more. Why? I’m really bad at it. I lie around wide awake a lot as it is. Then she’d like me to exercise more. So would I, but life gets in the way. OK, though, it’s time to get out of here for Task 1. Then art at the end. Goals.

Oh yeah, I got into a local show…#rrrr Reduced, Restricted, Reserved but Resilient, showing at The Front in San Ysidro. It’s the 12th Annual Dia de la Mujer Art Exhibition. It’s a really nice space. The opening is March 7…more to follow.

*Talking Heads, Burning Down the House

And All the Papers Lied Tonight*

Hmm. Cold weather (for us…remember my blood is thinner than you icy folk). Rain clouds still looming. So my weekend so far has been very focused with bursts of art. Mostly because I stayed up until 2:30 AM last night…well, wasn’t it technically this morning? Because Art Brain was drawing and I didn’t know how to get her to stop. I didn’t have work as an excuse to go to bed. Probably why I feel a bit groggy this morning. Because someone still got up at 6 to go to work and I definitely heard that. Ugh. That’s tomorrow morning. I will go to bed earlier tonight! Art Brain? You listening? I’m not kidding. We need to go to bed early tonight. Seriously.

Yeah. So. Saturday I quilted some…like 2 hours’ worth…nah, only an hour…

But I started on all the fussy little bits in between heads. What a pain in the butt.

Then we went to an art/music thing called A Ship in the Woods…it was a bit of a drive, weather cold, plus a shuttle service to get us in…it’s a house up in the Escondido area with a huge yard and a lot of art stuff filtered around. A band was playing inside. There was art inside as well. Mostly I just wanted to see what it was like, but I had also seen a piece by one of the artists, Kyle Ranson, so I was interested in that…this was on the outside of the house, made up of smaller pieces of wood.

Fascinating…

Another one inside…

And outside…those are ceiling fan blades…

Makes you want to redo your house so your neighbors run screaming in the other direction, don’t it?

It’s a nice space. I’d go back when it’s warmer. And there was more performance or outdoor stuff going on. Like summer maybe. We’ll see.

Yesterday dawned with pretty blue skies and big fluffy white clouds, with a cat sitting in a box. Yeah. There’s art stuff in there. She doesn’t give a fuck. She’s sitting in it anyway.

Chaos reigns. The skies eventually grayed up and dropped down upon us.

So I went back to quilting…the VAST EXPANSE of crap around the edges.

I did at least 2 hours yesterday. Or only 2 hours…depending on how you look at it. I’ve made it around the whole sun and down one side. There’s a significant amount of quilting left. At least another couple of hours, I think. I’ll be working on that today, and also going to buy binding fabric.

I graded in the afternoon and evening…late into the night, trying to get caught up…while watching a documentary about feminism.

From that, I started drawing. Because I wasn’t ready for bed…I was watching the last 15 minutes of the doc, because I’d finished grading. On Friday, I had copied the first drawing that I’ve been trying to redo for days, enlarging it 200 and 250%, to give me a choice.

I wasn’t sure which would work best.

I thought I would just tape it together and then go to bed.

By the way, 250% was the better choice. So I knew I wanted the core of this drawing, but it needed some major changes. I was going to leave it until today, but Art Brain took over. Yes, it was already past midnight at this point.

I said, I’ll just trace some bits and THEN go to bed…

I don’t know why I listen to Art Brain when she’s like that. I traced some more, but then opened up the other sketchbook so I could see the other fails…and pull from them as well.

One of the things I wanted was the shoulders above the ground…

Art Brain on a roll…

It’s not done…but I did finally take a break on it.

The ground is next…and the hair…and whatever is above her head. I don’t know what that is yet. Maybe that’s tonight…but not that late. Not if I have to teach tomorrow.

Today is more grading…a dog hike…some fabric purchasing. Laundry. I need clean clothes for sure. And I don’t know what else…I should shower first…

*The Psychedelic Furs, The Ghost in You

I Know a Place That’s Safe and Warm from the Crowd*

Why did I not get much done last night? Well, we got to sweep water out of the garage and then move some stuff around because of that. I sat down to read for about 30 minutes, a new book, and that time expanded. Because books are more interesting than grading assignments. Then Valentine’s Day, we go to the total dive we had picked out to avoid the nice-restaurant crowds, and their cook hadn’t shown up. Hmmm. So we drove to dive-ish bar number 2 and ate.

After all that, all I had the mental space for was trying to draw the start of the next quilt. AGAIN. I’m trying to enlarge (and slightly change) a drawing I already did and kept thinking it would be easy, but my brain and fingers aren’t cooperating. Every single face has been off.

Here’s the original (too small and not quite right) drawing…

I want to fix what’s on the face a bit, and then have her shoulders above the dirt, and do something totally different with her hair and the sky. So really, it would be easier to redraw it larger and then fix it there. But I haven’t been able to get the face right…

Attempt number 2 has some things going for it, but I don’t like the shape of the nose at all…or the hair.

Although it doesn’t look as bad in the light of the morning. Sigh. Nope. That nose.

Attempt number 3…didn’t make it past this stage.

Nose is wrong. Eyes too small. Mouth wrong.

I’m not usually this fussy. I usually just go with whatever I draw, figure it’s fate or something.

Attempt number 4…

Fucking A. So I like how the face is going, the stuff ON the face, but totally hate how long and narrow it is. Eyes are too small, needs a forehead.

So I’m debating going to the copy place and just enlarging the first one, but then putting it underneath a larger piece and tracing what I like. Because I really like the eyes and nose and mouth in the first one. And I’m trying to repeat that and maybe that’s not worth this much time. So I think I’m going to toss the smaller sketchbook in my bag and hit the copy store after school.

Other things: I’m sad about Opportunity, the Mars Rover…I’m sad about the wall and people’s obsession with that instead of solving the other problems with immigration. I had to take Benadryl last night to deal with the stupid post-CT rash from the contrast dye…it’s not going away without help. So this morning, I’m totally groggy (on one of those damn things). And it’s a lab day, so that ought to be interesting. I’m glad that the rash is somewhat better. I’m sad that Monday is the last day off of school for the next 8 weeks. I’m going to totally enjoy the fuck out of Monday then. I’m glad the heavy rain from yesterday stopped before the garage totally filled. I’m superglad that years ago, we put everything up on shelves and off the floor. I’m also glad that the branch that fell off the tree in the backyard onto the very spot where Calli likes to pee did not hit her or the house or the deck. Yes, trimming that tree is on my list…when I get the other crap paid off that needs to be paid off. I’m incredibly glad today is Friday. And I can see blue sky this morning. I’m also glad that I found some of my more expensive diabetes supplies on Amazon. Fuck the pharmacy man. They gougin’.

All right. Off to school. Gonna steal some of the boychild’s Spring Roll Bowl from my Monday night dinner (’twas good) for lunch. It’s spicy, so hot flashes will come…but they’ve been coming anyway. Oh yeah, and yesterday I got a llama. Or an alpaca. I love it. I bought the flowers…our special-ed kids are doing these pop-up shops for coffee every week, and added flower delivery yesterday…

Very nice job on the teacher’s part…oh yeah, I got a chocolate from one of my special ed kids. He can be very nice. I guess they all can be. Laughing about that. Good thing to remember today I guess.

*The Lemonheads, Into Your Arms

More and More Complicated

I am functional at the moment. My eyes are open. I’m showered and fully clothed. I even have apples and oatmeal in front of me, ready to eat. The cats are fed. My lunch is packed and in the fridge. My brain, however, is hovering on naptime. Serious naptime. You know that feeling when you’ve been on a plane for like 10 hours and you feel totally squished and too upright and twitchy and all you want to do is LIE DOWN. With a pillow. On your side. That’s kinda how I feel right now. Which is really unfortunate, because I have to go to work and then a union meeting afterwards, so that’s like hours of Not Lying Down and No Pillow. Ugh. No fun.

Last night, I graded a bunch of things, and I ended up with half a TV show I wanted to finish watching before going off to quilt, so I tried to redraw this again.

Nope. Sometimes I start over and over again until I get it right. It’s still the nose…and the mouth. The eyes are better. One time I started about 5 times until I got the first eye right. I really needed a better pen too. This one was old and dragged on the paper. It needs to flow, run wild, move like water across the page. Double nope. It didn’t. So I’ll try again.

Finally off to the quilting…

The Figure 3 head has a bunch of pollution-type stuff going on.

Previously, Kitten had whacked me…hard…three holes in my hand. Not sure why.

So she sat over there and refused to look at me. Calico cats are definitely clear about “You’re doing it wrong.” Although I was trying to get the computer mouse and not doing anything to her at all. So there’s that.

Cat done. Head done…

That’s a big head. I did start this Big Head series way way back. I had a few quilts that were just head and shoulders, but huge. I had less detail in my quilts back then. I seem to be getting more and more complicated. In so many ways!

So my new thing is to stop quilting and then my brain is wired so I have been organizing the photos on my computers, moving them into appropriate folders. I have stuff going back to 2014 that is not organized. There was some shit going on then that made it hard to look at certain months of photos, but I figure I’m well past that dumbassery now. But then I can’t stop organizing. There needs to be a logical stopping point and it’s usually doing an entire month, but that’s a lot. So I went to bed too late (AND I didn’t even finish the month). Plus sometimes it’s hard to figure out which quilt I’m working on if it’s just Wonder Under or pieces of fabric. So then my brain is engaged again and that’s not a good thing. Sigh.

Right now I really want to go back to bed. And then draw. Neither is happening. Oh well. They will eventually.

Dreaming of Water…

So I have no running water. Apparently my pipe way way way down the street, but AFTER the meter, so it’s my problem, is broken…has been probably for days. Not that we could tell here, unfortunately, so I probably have a $3000 water bill coming that I don’t wanna know about right now. It’s interesting because the neighbor down the street widened our private road when he built his place, and in doing so, moved my pipes. Like 2 years ago? And that’s the road that’s now broken with my pipe underneath it. Working on getting some info on that, because seriously, I don’t think they should be breaking if they were installed correctly, but more importantly, I need water. I took a shower at my parents’ house, because I have to go to work today, like a normal person, although there will be two people here who also might need water at some point. I’m hoping the plumber calls back soon…because I’m leaving for work in about 20 minutes.

Yes, my stress levels are a little sky high at the moment. It’s a lab day at school too…so lots of management and behavior checks, plus reminding them NOT to pour all the water into the sugar. Ah chemistry. Plus we’re supposed to be going on a hike with a group tomorrow morning, and I’m trying to decide whether to cancel. I don’t want to, but I might have to.

I found out about the leak while I was at my monthly stitching meeting, getting very little done…

Seriously, I did the stems/leaves under the lion and next to the house. And I didn’t even finish. Stress does not help me stitch. Stitching helps with stress.

I came home and meditated (in real life, I actually did, because generalized deep breathing was not helping)…I did some school stuff too, because yeah. That never stops. And it’s not like I could fix the pipe right then anyway.

After meditation, I couldn’t quilt. That requires a significant amount of motor control that I was missing, but I needed something to try to shut up the panic brain, the one that’s trying to fix everything (just STOP…you can’t DO anything right now)…so I started trying to draw the larger version of what I need for the next quilt.

I briefly debated just enlarging the existing drawing, but there’s things about it that I wanted to change, so I went bigger and different, but not a lot.

But the new nose really bugs me and now I want to change the hair too. I’m going to try again. But not right now…right now, I’m going to go to work and attempt to function without exploding, and hopefully at some point a plumber will get involved and maybe even fix this clusterfuck. Who knows.

That’ll Do

Ah yes, dogs and rain. One dog doesn’t mind, trundles out in all weather, although needs a friend when it’s dark. She gets scared. The other one runs out, pees as fast as possible, sometimes still on the pavement, then yips to come back in and refuses to be toweled down. Kind of an asshole. The other hides when it’s raining, pretending he doesn’t really have to go out for hours on end, until he’s desperate. Totally an asshole. This morning, the good one, the one who doesn’t mind weather, had a poop fail. Gaack. My morning, nauseated. Oh well. I don’t really need to eat breakfast. Oh wait, yes I do. The little one, the one who hides, ran out and did his thing with no complaints. He must have been desperate. The other one, who’s leaving tonight (the cats will appreciate free reign over the house again…reign, not rein, right? In this case?), did a lot of barking and scratching at the door. The rain will stop soon and hopefully that will help.

Yesterday was a mess. The lab went well, although rushed because we had short periods. We’ll catch up today. I came home and went to the gym, which is good, but it kicked my butt for getting anything else done apparently. Well, not entirely true. I did a bunch of computer stuff, booked a hotel for our LA trip in May to see Amanda Palmer, excited about that. Sent the girlchild food money on her school account. Very exciting that. Sent out a bunch of emails about photos for an exhibit I need to put on a blog for an art group. Finished my book. Well, that was at the gym. I meditated. That was good. I might have fallen asleep quicker? Or that might just have been how tired I was from not sleeping the night before. Worried about a student. Can’t do anything about it, of course. I’ll worry until I know something, and the fun part about that is that I might never know. I still worry about this kid I had when I was a student teacher in 2001. Seriously. I wonder if she’s OK. Can’t remember her name, but I still wonder. Worry.

So did I make art? Well, sort of. I was trying to let my brain stop running like it was on fire, so I reconciled the daily calendar, which was a clusterfuck until around 10 PM…up until then, I had one thing crossed off and 72 things clamoring for my attention. I moved some stuff further off than today, talked to the guy about some things and moved them into a different list, and just plain old moved some to the weekend. Sigh. And then I drew. I knew I couldn’t make any progress on the quilt last night…not enough time or energy. I needed a good 2-hour block (maybe tonight?). So I drew a little picture…

Still working out the ideas for the next quilt…this drawing stuff helps quiet my brain down.

I wish I could sleep like this guy…

I don’t think he worked very hard yesterday, but here he is. He probably has fewer responsibilities.

OK. Well so yesterday wasn’t a great day for achievements. Today can be better. Just don’t think about the 2-hour workshop after school. Today I pinbaste. That’s my only goal. Well, and eat right, drink plenty of water when I have access to a bathroom (problematic), have healthy conversations with 12-year-olds, get some grading done, and drive safe. There we go. That’ll do.

It’s All Possible Right Now

‘Tis Saturday morn and the wind comes and goes, some large droplets splash down between the tree branches, always hitting my glasses. Seriously, they never miss. I hear the sounds of a big dog slurping an entire water bowl up, which means she’ll need to pee soon, and the whisking of the last 4 eggs in the house. Boychild must be making breakfast. Note to self: buy more eggs. My breakfast? Triscuits and pub cheese with horseradish. I can’t be bothered to be more creative. No eggs too. My blood sugar is some weirdo anyway. It doesn’t behave the way it’s supposed to. At some point, I’ll have to go back to the doc to figure that out.

Yesterday was exhausting. I’m not sure why. Maybe just because it was Friday. I had to prep Monday’s lab ahead of time…probably better to be prepared anyway. This chemistry unit is high maintenance…the kids are engaged, fully, but it’s a mess to clean up and a pain to set up. We try not to do labs three days in a row…it’s too much. Put a weekend between them. Or a day of something else. That said, they did awesome with the Oobleck…very few issues. I’m glad.

I worked when I got home…got through one assignment and inputted about four. This is the weekend of work, for sure. I need to get closer to caught up. That’s the plan. It’s supposed to dump down rain, so that should help.

Grading happened on the couch with this little one grunting in his dreams…

The little gray one trying to climb into my lap or onto the computer…

And eventually settling down. Boychild fed me something that looked like it would be weird from the ingredients, but as always, was quite tasty. That’s when my blood sugar went whackadoodle though, by no fault of the meal…it was well below the carbs I should have been able to handle. So I got on the bike and continued to read my book for 45 minutes or so. After that, I was too damn tired to do any sewing. That’ll be later today.

I did draw though.

Because I didn’t want to feel like I hadn’t done anything dammit. I hate that feeling. I’m not going to have that feeling today. First I’m going to shower like I’m leaving the house. Then I’m putting my pajamas back on. Then I will grade stuff and prep for next week, followed by finishing the stitch down. I might venture out. You never know. It is supposed to rain a lot, but whatever. I need some plants. I might do that. I might even do another drawing. It’s all possible right now.