You Got Your Manipulations*

Checking things off the list. The copyediting is done and sent back to the author. I should’ve finished it a week ago. Oh well. He gave me plenty of time…and I still turned it in two weeks early, so that’s a plus. It’s also off my shoulders. A big plus. We managed pine-needle piles this morning…made some more compost-y heaps on the front not-lawn and prepped the trash can I use for the compost bin with more nicely damaged pine needles. I am not ready (at all) for the start of school, although I have most of my supplies…the ones I know I need, anyway. I’ll figure it all out next week. As always. I’m tryna be chill.

I did stitch some bits down yesterday…and emailed the photographer today, trying to reserve him, forcing myself to pick an end date that is all too soon for finishing this thing. I have enough batting and backing here to pinbaste tonight, which is the plan, after finishing the stitch down and getting the girlchild to the airport. Then quilting…quilting will take a while…here’s Kitten not helping with punctuating dialogue. I hate punctuating dialogue, in case you were wondering.

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Yesterday’s stitch down attempt…a mere hour after the all-day school conference and before girlchild’s birthday dinner.

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I couldn’t handle any more after that. Quilting…will take probably about 20 hours or so…and binding another 8 or 9. And I have two weeks. OK. That’s doable. Ignore the day job and the hike I’m going on. Really. OK. I can do this. I need to finish the stitch down this afternoon though.

Hear that, Kitten? This afternoon. Kitten is lying on my Quilts=Art=Quilts acceptance…

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You Pollute Me will be at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center from Oct 27-Jan 8…check it out.

There’s actually no nudity in this quilt. It was originally made for a really nice gallery in a private middle school. It’s still a cool quilt though.

Anyway, I need to do some stitch down. I have 4 hours until my airport pickup…girlchild going back to Massachusetts. I’m going to stop looking at my class rosters and stressing out. I AM. Seriously. There’s no point.

*Tonic, If You Could Only See

Sigh No More, Ladies, Sigh No More*

Up with the sun. OK, maybe not quite. I honestly don’t know when the sun comes up until I’m waking up significantly BEFORE that. I’m not a morning person. I’m not even an 8 AM person. Never have been. I do it all the time, get up early…I’m just not happy about it. I went to bed early last night knowing I’d have to be up even earlier than I am on a regular school day, just so I can get to the church on time (OK, that sounds totally wrong if you know me…just know, the first event of the day is at a local church, which yes, I object to…so much for separation of church and state.). Some kid is dropping me off. A teacher friend will ferry me to school. Another kid will pick me up. I don’t wanna try and park with the throngs. I hate throngs…unless I’m dancing at a concert. Then throngs are good…until they spill their beer on you.

WHOA. So philosophical this morning.

I have my computer, my sketchbook, my weekly journal thingie (bujo), my iPad with a hefty book on it that I’m really into and would rather be reading than doing just about anything else, and some snacks, all packed in my bag. I’m ready. Have I told you how much I hate forced professional development? Yeah.

With the new school year starting, teachers set resolutions…we do them now instead of in January. Well, some people do them both times and I often do neither…but my resolution for this year is patience. It’s hard for me to be patient. But the book I’m copyediting right now (and hopefully finishing this weekend) is all about traumatized kids in the classroom. I’m pretty good at patience with most of them…certainly in the beginning of the year. Adults? Not so much. So patience. With the process, with the demands on my time, with kids, with dogs, with cats, with my own children, with my parents, with the bagger at the grocery store (I’m really always patient with them). Patience. Remind me of that some time in October. I’m going to need it.

I had some tasks for yesterday…first, ship these quilts off to Missouri, where they will be in eXtreme Fiber Art at the IdeaXFactory in Springfield. The show opens September 7 and continues through October 26. I’m looking forward to seeing photos.

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It’s nice to be invited into shows. This is my second this year. I’m waiting for my Quilts=Art=Quilts rejection…they’re old school and still send by mail. I know those on the East Coast got theirs two days ago. I’m expecting mine today. Oh yeah, it might be an acceptance, but I just assume rejection so I’m totally thrilled if it’s not. OK, so that’s kind of cynical…but I’ve entered a shitload of shows over the years and been rejected plenty of times.

Kitten will be happy for me. Once she gets her belly clean.

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Or she will be totally sympathetic for about 4 seconds before she whacks me for petting her wrong.

Then I copyedited for a while, finished the first run through finally. And then did more on the stitch down. I’m just short of 4 hours in…

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I finished the entire water area, the volcano, and the brick wall on the left side. So maybe I’m halfway through? Hard to say. I did mean to get more done yesterday, but we went to our annual Shakespeare play last night…in Balboa Park…

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I swear I post this picture or some version of it every year. We ate in the park beforehand and then saw Much Ado About Nothing

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Which I liked. Better than a history anyway. We got home late and I was tired. Plus I knew I’d have to be up at the butt crack of dawn (probably not really…now I’m going to have to look up sunrise…oh damn. I was up before dawn. Fuck me.), so I went to bed (gasp) before midnight. Welcome to my tiredness. Tonight is the girlchild’s last night here, so we are going out for her birthday dinner. Tomorrow I have all day (and night…the man has another reunion gig and I can’t crash those…well, easily anyway) to stitch, so my plan is to get it done and then pinbaste this fucker and start quilting by the end of the weekend. Because then all my days are gone. FOREVAHHHHH. OK. Overdramatic much? I am actually. Sigh.

*Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

I’m Gonna Make Your Head Burn*

Hey guys, you remember last year? And the year before? And the year before that? That damn mockingbird is back…and it’s right on my fenceline, so it’s loud as hell. I don’t know how anyone else sleeps through that little fucker’s delightful song (seriously, I saw it the other day and was trying to decide how to catch it and move it to another state. Where no one lives. Except other mockingbirds.). I’ve been wrapping a pillow around my head to deaden the noise, but the beast gets through double pillow layers. I tried earplugs one year, but there’s some weird balance between my ear canals and my nostrils that doesn’t work when one of them is plugged up. God damn, he’s loud. Get a woman, you bastard! Or babies! Or whatever it is that’s making you talk to the whole planet on my doorstep.

School is survival mode at the moment…we’re doing the last few days of the sex ed program, so it’s all about STDs starting today. I’ve had a few questions in the question box about the TV show 13 Reasons Why, so I’ve been watching the 2nd season. Ugh. I know it’s trying to deal with the issues, but some of it is really hard to watch at the end of the school year. Or ever. I can’t decide if it’s just really heavy-handed because it’s adults making assumptions about what kids go through, or if it’s just trying to hit ALL the possible issues, telegraphing ALL the warning signs so we know what they are. It’s obviously targeted at a younger crowd than me…but maybe in teaching middle school, I never escape some of the crap in my head that was so inherently middle and high school. Like never-wanna-go-back middle and high school.

Anyway. It’s progressing…and I made it through grading about 17 websites last night before I quit. I got a bunch done at school, but the 17th one started talking about Reagan, and I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with the plastics industry or the biosphere, so I gave up. Like please stop writing random answers to fill the space because you didn’t actually read the article or watch the video I asked you to read or watch. Grading shouldn’t involve swearing at the computer repeatedly. I have to be done by Monday…I think I’ll be OK. Hopefully.

On the way to work yesterday…I often think I should have business cards for my editing job so I can hand them out to the guys standing out at this allllllley. Or not.

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Puppy sleeping on me as I finish up dinner and try to figure out the rest of my evening.

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Back to the ironing board! I finished the mountain/land area and then did a jellyfish (purples) and this octopus below…

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Then I’m looking at this section and trying to figure out why there’s two sets of hands on that leg. I mean, I drew the damn thing…what was I thinking?

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It’s OK…I figured it out. I often put hands on the skin of the main figure…it’s like who has a hand on her, who makes a mark on her, not necessarily always in a bad way. Think of your kids…they leave a mark. Speaking of kids, one started her summer job yesterday and hopefully will (a) find her rain gear and (b) keep enjoying the job. It sounds interesting so far. If you see her tramping through the woods around Waltham, Massachusetts, wave and give her chocolate. The boychild is apparently seeing the US and might be kind enough to check in with locations and/or pictures every few days. Or not…and then I’ll just sit here and worry that I haven’t heard from him. Typical mom brain. But when I travel now, I always tell someone where I am. From the year my parents went off on a trip and left no itinerary and then my dad’s brother died and I couldn’t reach them. Or the other year when they left and their dog was really sick. Anyway. He’s out there. He might like chocolate too.

I started picking out the flesh stuff…I picked fabrics anyway, and started choosing pieces, but it was already midnight at that point. I know how long bodies take to pick out, and this is not a small body, so I saved it for tonight.

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After tutoring. Last tutoring of the year! Oh hallelujah. Maybe I should NOT do tutoring next year? Sigh. I know it’s what’s best. I hate it, but it’s what’s best.

Here’s what I’ve used so far…you can see the jellyfish purples at the top of the left box.

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There will be so many more colors by the time I get to the end…

I woke up this morning to Kitten sharing the dog bed with Calli.

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It makes Calli nervous, so when she notices, she gets up and lies on the floor instead. Kitten is watching birds and bunnies outside. She’s the one that pushes the slats so she has a little window.

OK, so steady progress on grading and ironing. Both should be done sometime over the weekend…although two night meetings this week will affect that. Meanwhile, off to school and STDs. Hey there’s the one thing I don’t think I’ve seen on 13 Reasons Why…YET…

*Adele, Rolling in the Deep

Every Single Night They’re Driving Me Insane*

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*

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

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*

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