Every Single Night They’re Driving Me Insane*

December 4, 2017

Copyediting project is done…it officially took a week longer than I wanted it to take, thanks to the wonders of Microsoft Word. Field trip is a giant clusterfuck of bitchslapping. No worries. I may quit before then. Wait! No. Meditate. Get all mindful on that shit. Seriously. I can pull that mindset up WHILE I’m getting and answering texts about the buses going to hell in a handbasket…after 10 PM on a Sunday. I’m still stressed about it this morning, but I realize I can’t afford to quit. Yet (whoa! Growth mindset before a full cup of tea…if you don’t know what I’m talking about, well…you’re probably fine without it. And you’re not a teacher.).

I finished the copyediting and sent all the files after 10 PM, if you’re wondering how functional I was yesterday…the answer is, not very.

It got done. That’s what matters.

Kitten actually came out and briefly hung out with me in the office, all by herself. It’s been a while since she’s done that. Cat interactions are still somewhat fraught with drama here.

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I title this, “Things that need washing”…

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Yeah, he is a bit of a freak.

More flowers on the right…probably gonna have to move on to something else soon.

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Then once I was done (and yeah, I graded and did a bunch of other school stuff), I started ironing again…

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And realized I’d ironed these two onto the wrong fabrics. The gray should have been on the one in my hand…the tree was supposed to be green. Except I decided I liked it gray. I did re-iron the other one, because a volcanic cloud of ash probably isn’t very green.

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It’s interesting, though, because I’d noticed that piece before when I was cutting and when I was sorting, and I was trying to figure out what it was, based on its shape and color, and I couldn’t. Well now I know why. (and yes, I usually do know what they are based on shape and color.)

Right side done.

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Then I started on body parts…super light against the white teflon sheet, but will pop against the dark blue background. I honestly didn’t get very far. I was pretty tired.

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Less than 200 pieces in…but not by a lot.

As it is, I wasn’t in bed before 12:30 AM. More tonight…hopefully with no school stress (ha! yeah right.). Seriously. School needs to back off and be nice. I don’t want to get sick before break, and increased stress affects the immune system. Sigh. Like I have any control over what goes on at work. Official observation, field trip, grades due, 2-hour staff meeting, plus the two weeks before Winter Break, which deforms the 7th-grade mind in a way I just can’t understand…it takes a strong immune system to survive all that. Y’all should thank a teacher sometime in the next two weeks. They need it. Maybe buy them dinner and a drink as well.

The two sides…the body goes between them…

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Seriously looking forward to some more of this tonight. But right now? That Dream Police song is stuck in my head…dammit…

Now it’s stuck in yours too. Say thank you.

*Cheap Trick, Dream Police


Don’t Pay No Mind to the Demons*

November 30, 2017

Copyediting is almost done (yay!)…it seems like I will never be done with cutting pieces out though. I’m sure that’s not really true, but some nights, it seems like I don’t really get much done. Tonight should be better…quilt class will give me a bigger chunk of time. Of course, I could come home any night and blow off all other responsibilities and just make art…wait, I do that already some nights. Certainly I haven’t brought any schoolwork home this week, unless you count printing new rosters. I had to add one kid and delete two. It was very time-consuming.

Anyway, the copyediting will hopefully be out of my hair sometime in the next four days. I potentially have another project coming up, but I’m still debating that one, and she may balk at price. We’ll see.

I’m waiting for this flower stalk to just burst out…it’s been getting taller and taller (no middle-school jokes here guys…I get those all day long)…

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I did more flower-type things on the right side…

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I may just do those all the way down. OR! I should do a flower stalk from an agave in here maybe. That would be cool…

This dog. Seriously. She sleeps in the weirdest positions…

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And this one. He was not happy that I was copyediting instead of throwing the ball for him (no worries…my co-dog-minder took care of that later)…

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I only did a few hours of copyediting…I’m on the second readthrough. And I’ll do a third, because I’m finding some mistakes in the second read. I hate that. But I worked for this guy before and he seems to like what I do to his stuff, so we’re good. But if I do it too late, I know I’m missing stuff.

Then I started cutting…this is a pile of fleshy pieces for the little heads and arms on the top of the larger head…

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I don’t cut the super tiny ones out until I’m ironing, because I lose them too easily. But here’s a pile of all the stuff I cut out before I started in on the bigger flesh pieces, the ones from the larger figure.

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At some point, Simba threw himself on my lap and refused to just lie next to me.

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So it’s hard to see progress…but you can see I did get into the larger flesh pieces. What’s left to cut out is on the right…

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I think once I get through the big fleshy pieces, I probably only have a couple hundred pieces to do. So hopefully tonight we’ll see some significant progress. I’m unlikely to be able to mentally copyedit (well) after 10 PM…and I have quilt class until 8, then dogs and dinner, so I suspect I might try to do one section (but that’s how I miss the mistakes). So I’m thinking 3 or 4 hours of cutting instead. We’ll see.

Yeah, even Simba thinks Calli sleeps weird.

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I have to laugh. I’m expecting some art notifications in the next few weeks, and one came a day early, a rejection. I wasn’t expecting anything but a rejection from that one, but I keep trying. It’s an art gallery, but they have taken fiber art in the past…just not mine. The one I was supposed to hear about yesterday hasn’t sent anything, which sometimes is a rejection, right? I hate when they do that…but I suspect it’s just that they didn’t get done, based on previous interactions with them. There’s another one this month that I really want, but I won’t die if I don’t get it. I never do. Rejection is reality. But I did have two friends send me a link to the same entry notice…one they both thought my work was good for. And it probably is…and because I got the one rejection, I definitely have work I can enter! See…one door closes and another one opens. Sometimes it takes a while…but that’s OK. I keep making and the world takes some of them and not the others.

OK, visitors AND a lab in class today. Prepare for chaos. Tomorrow too. Don’t even ask me about next week. I might over-react.

*Phillip Phillips, Home

This Is Reality

November 28, 2017

Ah the frustration of technology. Nothing went well last night, except dinner. Dinner was a piece of cake. The computer, the copyediting, Microsoft Word (I know, but there’s reasons we use it)…all a clusterfuck. Straight up. I have a plan for tonight when I get home…but it’s gonna be a pain. And that will be after school, after tutoring, my worst days usually, Tuesdays suck. Sigh. Giant sigh. It’s fine. It will work. It will all be good. Or I’ll have to start over and I won’t make any real money on the job due to time lost. That’s reality for you.

I did cut stuff out, but only for about an hour and 45 minutes. Not what I wanted. Oh well. This is reality again.

School wall…

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Ahhh, staff meetings. Do your staff meetings include how to behave when there’s an active shooter? Maybe they do. That’s reality.

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Some flower stitch that’s not done, over on the right side. I’ll finish it tonight with the second strand.

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It was cold, so I got the big dog. I had the little dog earlier, but the big dog is so much BIGGER. She was quite happy to sit there while I cut out pieces.

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So yeah, I’m not sure an hour and 45 minutes really LOOKS any different. I can see where the flesh pieces are in the to-be-cut box (they’re usually the largest pieces), but I’m not really there yet. It takes two pairs of scissors. The larger ones are supposed to have this spring thing in them that reduces hand fatigue, and honestly, although I could feel it Sunday night after doing 4 hours of cutting, I was fine the next day. I guess that’s a good thing.

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The smaller ones are for all those tiny cutouts I do. And if it’s a really small piece, I just toss it into the box uncut until I’m ironing…means I’m less likely to lose it.

All this is moot, though, until I finish cutting all those freakin’ pieces out. I’m 8 hours in, probably still less than half. But I’m progressing. And I should be honest. When it’s cold and I’m cranky and the world is full of assholes and stupid computer programs that like randomly reformatting shit without your input, I like sitting on the couch with a warm dog snuggled up against my leg, meditatively cutting out piece after piece while watching TV. It’s relaxing. Move the scissors, follow the line, finish, toss it in the box, pick up another piece, evaluate how best to cut it out, move the scissors, follow the line. There’s a place in my life for that level of simplicity.

Everything Looks Perfect from Far Away*

November 22, 2017

My efficiency was compromised yesterday by life. And my eyeballs. And the girlchild, who sobbed into the phone that she just wanted to come home. Well. That made me cry. I do miss the little fuckers. Big. They’re bigger than me. Anyway. I copyedited, I hiked, I ironed. That kinda sums up the day.

This is what copyediting looks like. Hallelujah for that raccoon, let me tell you. He makes me smile every time I look up. There’s a window above that and another one to the left. But I didn’t get as far as I wanted yesterday, because there was a girlchild incursion.

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So I sent her lots of pictures of these guys. Although I couldn’t get both of them to sit picturesquely, dammit.

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Then I did a 4-mile hike in the dark. It was a bit of a challenge, just because there were lots of rocks and no visibility. Yes, I had a headlamp, but I was having some issues seeing anyway.

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But since it was in the 90s yesterday, at night was the only way I was gonna hike. So I’m in this hiking group, but they changed the rules to make it more active, so you have to go on one hike every 6 months to stay in the group. I begged the leader last year to leave me in, but I suspected I needed to do an actual hike with the group soon or I’d be booted. It’s just hard with my current schedule to find something I can do. After work is difficult…most of the hikes I would do are on the day I do tutoring, so it’s already a really long day.

So I went to the top of Black Mountain in the dark. Hence no good pictures. Four miles total…not bad for a Tuesday night.

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Apparently she does this one all the time. I’d do it again…but I wouldn’t get there in time for after work. Too much traffic.

I came home and vegged a bit with this freak…

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And girlchild FaceTimed again, now calmer and more decisive…this face is because she misses the dogs. Simba sucks at FaceTime.

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I did iron last night…but not as much as I wanted to. Hikes tire me out. But there’s Midnight ironed down with her wings…

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Damn I miss that cat. I made a mess again.

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Got up early this morning to talk the girlchild through part of her drive to her brother…found the dog eating student warmups…luckily I’d already graded them.

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Then made the dough for rolls (need to deal with those), plus brine for the turkey (mine is cooking Friday), talked to girlchild some more, talked to SIL, finally showered, my eyes are so tired right now, but I need to go make the rolls and then copyedit. Or go to the store (damn) or drop my book at the library. I graded a little bit this morning…I need to do more of that too. Ugh. And it’s dry and 95 degrees today. My body is rejecting all that. I want a nap.

What I really want is to FINISH everything. Yeah. Not happening. Gonna try to finish grading the one assignment, finish the first readthrough on the book, and iron all the pieces down (that might be a stretch). Today. TRY. I said TRY.

*The Postal Service, Such Great Heights

There’s Still Time to Change the Road You’re on*

November 21, 2017

So I spent a couple hours last night worrying about the girlchild, who was on lockdown in a dorm where a robbery took place at gunpoint. Because we need guns for protection, right? Because if anyone else in that dorm had possessed a gun, a whole lot of people would be injured or dead right now. As it is, everyone was fine, although I think both girlchild and I (and quite a few other parents and students) had the shakes for a while. But please don’t ever say to me that you have a right to carry a gun. Nope. You don’t. Not unless you’re a cop…and even then, I have misgivings because so many of our cops are racist and/or reactionary.

Anyway. That’s done.

I did some lazy daisies on the right that look like bull heads.

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And then I ironed all those inner bits and pieces…here’s the layout for the heart and arteries…

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And the pile of fabrics I went through last night…another 3 hours or so yesterday.

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I’m up to 13 hours in the ironing…with about 400 pieces to go, I figure. It’s not been quick, that’s for sure. Here’s just one of the reds in the heart/arteries section…

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Lots of pieces ready to be cut out.

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And all the fabrics I’ve used so far…

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I’ve been working to 1 AM and then falling into bed exhausted. The nighttime hours are better for this, I find. I did copyedit during the day yesterday…more of that today. I haven’t graded any assignments since Sunday, and I need to do some of that too. So I’m probably not going to finish the ironing today…can’t really blow off the moneymaking part of my week yet. I need to get significantly further along. I do have most of today (I’m hiking tonight), all of tomorrow, a few hours on Thanksgiving (mostly nighttime probably), and all of Friday. But I’m realizing it’s never enough. This quilt has to be done and photographed in less than 40 days. I can do that…but the copyediting has to be done in less time than that, and I have to deal with school. I can’t just push that off. Where do the hours go? Staring at fabric, I think. Mostly. And dealing with dogs. Stupid stuff like eating and peeing. I made lasagne from scratch yesterday…but that’s 3 more dinners on top of last night’s. So that was a good thing.

Sitting here watching a hummingbird on the flowers outside my office window…supposed to be in the 90s today. November, my ass.

OK, so shower, eat, copyedit. Consider venturing out for the chicken broth I should’ve bought on Sunday for the turkey I’m making for myself. Gotta make some rolls too. Should do that tomorrow…

Now get up and go.

*Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven

Now That We’re Here, It’s So Far Away

November 20, 2017

Today I have to work for real. I did grade yesterday, but today I need to start the copyediting project I took on. But first? Chiropractor and Costco. I might need assistance getting out of the latter. Shitty timing for that, after seeing the grocery store yesterday. I always forget about the crazy food shopping that happens before Thanksgiving, now that the girlchild isn’t here for the day. She’s the amazing cook, where we had to drive to like 4 different stores finding all the stuff she needed, plus some desperate Thursday morning shopping trips. Can’t say I miss that, but I do miss having her around and cooking.

So when I get done with that, I’ll come home and read and correct until my eyes blur. Maybe I’ll stop before that. We’ll see. I’d like it done before I go back to school. But I also want to get done with the ironing…so balance. Speaking of balance, I took an art workshop yesterday…I did a lot of printmaking in college and soon after, but then I leaned into the fabric and fell in. But this was nice…I had an idea going in, so I did a rough sketch on paper, remembering to flip the word and letters…

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Drew it on the rubber eraser stuff…this is way easier to carve than linoleum…

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Carved and ready to ink…

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Not bad…probably haven’t done this for 20 years…

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Maybe these are my Xmas cards this year (although I need more)…

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Then two nights’ worth on here, mostly doing more feather stitches on the right around the eye.

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And finally in to the ironing. I had to find all the little-head pieces and iron them to the same flesh run as before…

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Here’s all the pieces that were NOT flesh-colored but shoved in there…eyeballs, hearts, arteries, lungs, etc. I had to go up to piece 948 to get all the heads and arms picked.

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But I don’t have 950 pieces ironed down…I gotta do all those inner pieces…

Here’s just the pile of arteries and heart parts.

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At the parentals’ for dinner, I finished sewing down the wonky sun and started to do eyeballs and nostrils.

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The wool stitchdown on this set of blocks seems to be taking forever. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I did the last one? I don’t remember.

These two slept on the back of the couch last night for quite a while together.

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I did iron a ton of pieces last night…you can see the pile on the left…and the pile of fabrics on the right.

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I still have all these innards to deal with…

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I did some of the teeth and eyeballs and tongues, but not much else…just the hair on the little heads. So there are fewer piles than there were before.

Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far.

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Calli this morning…glad to be in the house with a HooMan.

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And her little brother, who wants to play…

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I did actually start this post this morning, but then went to the chiropractor visit and a hell trip to Costco (should never go there near a holiday)…and then I started the sauce for the lasagne, ate lunch, and started copyediting before I remembered I’d never posted this. Whoops. Oh well. I’ll work for a while and then assemble lasagne and then maybe iron tonight. I love the ironing. The delving into color boxes to the deep back where there might be a fabric that hasn’t seen the light of day in a year, just to toss it into this quilt. Fun stuff.

*Staind, So Far Away

I’ve Gone to Ground*

July 1, 2017

Oh brain, mush brain, brain with few thoughts, brain that is still making my left eye twitch like a motherfucker. Oh brain. Stahp It.

So the plus is that it’s apparently Saturday and I finished the copyediting project…sent it off to the author this afternoon, about two hours ago…and then paced crazily around the house, trying to focus on anything at all. Nope. Not happening.

It’s apparently July too. So that’s a thing. June was a freakin’ blur. Still have three community quilts to finish. Tomorrow. Today I am done with shit I have to do.

Yesterday, I copyedited…I went to a beach bonfire in between two sessions of staring at tiny letters with new glasses, which caused a weird 3D thing in the middle of the computer screen…it’s still doing it, but I figure I’ll get used to it. I quit copyediting at around 11:30 PM because my left eye was vibrating too fast for me to be able to read well. Sign of tired eyes? You think?

Then I did a bunch of purplish and pink lazy daisies in the bush on the bottom right, to fill in the empty spaces.

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Then I did nothing. Eventually I managed sleep. Got up this morning and went back to the computer for more. Meanwhile, boychild and the ex worked on cleaning up animals…Simba got a flea bath, Calli got combed. I think Simba’s getting fleas removed here…it’s been a bitchy year for fleas…

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Then the boychild washed both cats, brave man.

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The cats have an appointment next week to hopefully get a prescription flea med that will work better than what’s not working now.

I ordered new quilting gloves, Machingers, the other night, because I realized my old ones were getting really gross and dirty with the pastel and stuff that’s all over the community quilts.

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I usually replace them about once a year anyway…so it’s time.

Kitten recovered from her bath…

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That’s what old pieces of smallish batting are for, right? Covering papers so wet cats can lie where they like?

Then I eventually made it back to numbering this…

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Yeah, it’s more pieces than I expected, and yes, I added the damn spaceship. I’d like to think aliens aren’t adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but maybe they are. So this one is ready to trace, as soon as I get the community quilts done. Let’s not talk about what else I need to do next week. Let’s just have a little happy dance about finishing the copyediting. Now I can pay the mortgage in the summer. No paycheck after the one I picked up yesterday until the end of August…it’s always a rough time of year. I’d like to say that I want more copyediting work, but if I don’t get a few weeks off, I might go nuts. Been working way too hard. Need some time with art and books and drawing and regular exercise and spacing out. Please.

Oh yeah, and here’s a video of me talking about my Quilt National piece, Beyond the Concrete…it’s a little zoomy around in blurry space at times, but just look away if you get motion sickness and listen to my crazy voice…I especially love where it froze on my face for the preview here…I’m singing along to some song, ooooh ooooh, surely.

Ooooh ooooh oooooh.

*Zero 7, Destiny