Like a Leper Messiah*

February 13, 2018

The girlchild is currently observing lemurs in the middle of cellular nowhere. I might hear from her on Thursday. I’m kinda glad she’s far away, because there are apparently no showers. I am looking forward to lemur pictures though.

Meanwhile back here, I managed to walk the dogs yesterday on my day off…this does in fact feel like a great achievement. It’s hard to get those walks in when I’m dealing with meetings etc. after work and the sun goes down so early. This is one of the few walks where we haven’t seen coyotes yet…

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Oh, I know they’re there…they’re just not in my face, so I’m reasonably OK with it. I try to avoid sundown, best I can.

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The green popped up from the little bit of rain we got two weeks or so ago.

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There’s still water in the stream…

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And there’s more and more of the weird cones protecting some plant that’s supposed to grow here. Makes for a strange landscape sometimes.

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But it tired the assholes out, so that’s good. No barking at night. Some cranky snapping at the cat. He misses Midnight.

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We all do…

I finished a quilt…this is BirdFoot. It’s ancient, like 2007. We watched Hidden Figures (good!) and I sewed the sleeves on. I’ll get it photographed the next time I go in to the photographer.

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I probably kept track of how many hours were in it up until it became a quilt top, but who knows where…in a calendar I tossed years ago? Yeah, probably. Oh well. I can estimate based on stuff similar to it, luckily.

I started ironing late…

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I did a lot of things in the sky. Not all of them. I still need to pick some more purplish fabrics for the last little bit.

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I did get into the 300s though…not quite halfway, but close. Next up is flesh, and that’s time consuming.

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Here’s everything used so far…and the pile to be cut out.

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Today’s gonna be a really long day, but it’s all good…I’m going to have work in another show and I need to go get a piece from another artist. Long story. Maybe later. There’s no rest for the already busy, apparently.

*David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust


Dancin’ and Singin’ and Movin’ to the Groovin’*

February 11, 2018

So I drove my quilt 45 minutes north of here yesterday and then drove another hour back (same distance, welcome to traffic), and while I was driving, an entire drawing populated itself in my head. I’d had a vague idea of it before, but it was flat out laying down lines and spaces during the drive, to the point that I don’t remember a good chunk of it (let’s hope all the safety parts of my brain were fully engaged). So when I got home, I could start working on one of the things that needed working on, or I could sit down and draw.

Well. Um. So even though I have a to-do list 17 miles long with some pretty damn important things on it, this was a compelling drawing, so I sat and drew for about an hour before we left to finally see The Last Jedi

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I did pencil in general shapes before I started, because the overlaps on this thing are numerous. So that’s about an hour of drawing.

And then when we came home from the movie and dinner, I finished it.

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Maybe another hour. It felt really good to get it on paper. So that’s that thing…I can plan all I want, but sometimes, I just have to do what my brain wants. I blow off what my brain wants when I’m working and when I need to grade things, so it seems fair to let it have its way sometimes. And now I have a drawing from it.

Here was the Oceanside Museum of Art yesterday…there was an artist’s talk going on, I think, but the quote on the building was cool…not that you can see it that well in a tiny picture.

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Luckily, it’s part of the installation with the wall above, so you can see the quote and its explanation by the artist, Marcos Ramirez, on the page associated with Undocumenta, one of the exhibits that just closed in the museum.

I finally took a decent picture of this so I can put it on Etsy. It’s 11″ square.

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It’ll be up there in a little bit.

And today? Today I actually have to do the things on my list. Like a lot of them. But that’s OK. I got a drawing out of it yesterday. I’m good.

*Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music


Mahna Mahna*

January 23, 2018

So the girlchild got stuck in Paris for about 5 more hours than she was planning, which sounds like an awesome thing, unless you’re stuck in the airport and haven’t slept in 24 hours or more. She just left for Madagascar, 11 hours long, but she has the whole row in the airplane to herself…I suspect as soon as they hit altitude, she’s stretching out and drooling sleepily for as much of that as possible. It’s a horrible feeling, not being able to lie down when you’re that tired. So sometime tonight, I’ll hopefully hear from her again.

Meanwhile, I’m sick. I guess your body holds off all the crazy sick around you (all my students are sick) until you release some of the stress by putting your kid on a plane…and then that’s it. Not true, actually…I must have been exposed Friday or Saturday. Oh well. It was gonna happen sometime. It’s not the crazy flu everyone’s been having…feels like a bog-standard cold. Woo hoo! While teaching! And setting chemicals on fire! I was so tired yesterday that I forgot to go to the chiropractor. Unfortunately, because I think I needed it.

Instead, I cleaned up all the girlchild’s leavings…we had boxes and plastic wrap and those stuffed-with-air bags that Amazon uses. I sorted it all and recycled most of it. And then went around finding her left-behind bags and water bottles and all the stuff she borrowed from my dad that she didn’t take with her (she did take a lot…just not the 20-year-old lotion…Dad, if you’re reading this…I threw it out. It smelled really awful. I’ll buy you a new one.). And I did some grading and some school tasks. I even made dinner from scratch, but it turned out weird. Dunno why. Probably did something wrong. I’m not an awesome cook like she is.

Then we watched Ghost in the Shell, which was OK…still don’t know why they cast white people in Asian characters…that shit is stupid.

It’s been a while since I worked on the SJSA blocks, and I’m almost done with the last one…

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Gotta decide what to do with the gunshots…

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It was really cold last night…

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Simba is super cranky at the moment. All his favorite people left and he’s stuck with us. We don’t sit still enough for his liking.

Girlchild texting me from over the Atlantic Ocean…

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No such texts on this flight…batteries are dying.

So there were a few small changes I needed to make to the commission drawing…I re-angled the “perfect”…it was bugging me…

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The original poem was about a boy…but this quilt is about a girl…so one request was to change the two gendered words…

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And then these screws are like what is used in scoliosis surgeries (and perhaps other back surgeries), but they weren’t exactly like what was used in hers, so I had photos of the screws to change them…

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So I did…I just cut out the space and put new paper in and redrew…just a few things…

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Easy fix…

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Straightened out…

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And then, I numbered…because I couldn’t stand it anymore, not knowing if I stayed within my own boundaries. I knew I tried, but I often suck at that.

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Because the piece needs to be under a certain price, I aimed for something the same size and complexity as one of the bathtub quilts, because they are under that price. I figure cost by keeping track of my hours. It’s the only way that makes sense to me. Some big quilts have fewer pieces (which affects the time) than some smaller quilts. So I can’t do it by the inch or foot, like some quilt artists do. This works for me. Plus keeping track of that shit for the last 15 years or so has made me better at estimating time.

Not perfect, just better…

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I wanted to be under 800 pieces…and I was! A miracle.

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Now just waiting for the final OK and partial payment, and then I’ll get started. I set up the contract so that they can refuse the quilt at the end if they don’t like it, but I still get a percentage, so I’m not working for nothing. I don’t think it will happen, but I want the new owner to be happy with it and I want to be protected in case they aren’t…so this was what I came up with. It’s hard for someone to look at my black and white drawings and get a good idea of what the quilt will look like. I have a better idea in my head, but I haven’t even colored it out or anything. That stuff kind of comes as I’m staring at the drawing and the drawers of fabric. It’s a very intuitive process.

Also just waiting to know the girlchild is safe on land again…that’ll be a longer wait. I’m excited for her but also nervous. I didn’t sleep much last night because I would wake up and see if she had texted that she had left…because I was worried she would fall asleep in the airport and get left behind. Mom worries, right? Because she’s a capable and amazing adult and she will be fine. Looking forward to seeing her pictures and hopefully reading her blog.

OK, taking my snotty self to school, where, I’m not kidding, I’ll be setting shit on fire. Stand back! I should take a hairband, huh.

*Cake, Mahna Mahna


Warm…

June 19, 2016

It’s warm here in my part of town, hovering around 100 degrees, although they say the “real feel,” which is the sweat dripping down my back, is 110 degrees. Ugh. Love summer out here in non-air-conditioned land. All the animals are flat and splayed out. I don’t blame them.

I worked most of yesterday, and will continue that today, as much as I can…waiting on a decision between style guide and opinions. Apparently not everyone works all weekend. Shocking!

I got no Wonder Under done yesterday, although I could have…but I decided to draw instead. I was driving and this drawing slammed full-force into my brain. You could almost feel the impact. I have a couple/several shows coming up that I need to make work for this summer, and so they are always floating up there in the netherwhere that fills my brain, percolating in a smelly corner, fires fanned by crazy-ass artistic fairies who form images and then squish them together until they are almost fully formed. So I drew. And this isn’t really it…this is the practice drawing…

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For one thing, the real one needs to be big, and this is the 9×12″ sketchbook. So I’ll do it again and stretch it out. I think the largest figure does actually need a head. And more of a torso. And something in the background. Maybe. But it’s the first official drawing of Summer 2016. So that’s cool.

I drew it while watching the second of the Somm movies about wine sommeliers and winemaking. I liked the first one better.

So here was my view most of yesterday (and continuing into today…).

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As time went on, the cat got longer and more into fondling the keyboard and the mouse…not helpful. Right now, she’s covering the number pad and blocking half of the mousepad and trying to whack my hand every time I touch the mouse. Must be warm…

Boychild decided to teach Simba about the pool…Calli already knows how to cool herself off…as is apparent…

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Simba was not thrilled, but did know how to doggy paddle (apparently some don’t). But then got out and rubbed his entire body in dirt. So he got his first bath from us right after. Apparently that was also traumatic. And exhausting.

The heat certainly does suck energy out of you. OK. Back to work. I will resurface for Father’s Day dinner and then see if I can get some of that Wonder Under done, despite the heat and the workload. I can’t actually finish the editing without a definitive answer, so that’s OK. It’s good to have an excuse not to work all night.

And maybe I’ll get another drawing in there too…


Feminism? Or Not.

April 30, 2016

I started this post two years ago and was collecting links, but really, I should just let it go out into the world…as I tell you about the new show I’m in, Feminism Now. It’s not the 1st, 2nd, or the 3rd wave…it’s just what we are now, and if you’re a woman and you think you should get equal pay and not get harassed when you’re on the internet or out in the real world, for any reason…your clothes, your looks, whatever…then as Maisie Williams offered up, it’s not that you’re a feminist…”I also feel like we should stop calling feminists ‘feminists’ and just start calling people who aren’t feminist ‘sexist’ — and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist. People get a label when they’re bad.” And I don’t care if you’re male or female or identify somewhere else, if you don’t agree that it should be as equal as we can get it? Then you are sexist. You are making it worse for everyone with your attitudes. Knock it off.

Here’s the announcement for the show…the opening is May 14, 6-10 PM, at Gallery D in Barrio Logan. It’s during the Barrio Art Crawl, so there are about three galleries just within walking distance of Gallery D and others close by.

email invite

I have two pieces in the show about being a single mom and what that looks like…one from 2011 and one from 2016…the updated version.

This is an interesting article about sexual harassment and geek culture by Dr. Nerdlove.

Here is an interesting article about the role women’s magazines played in the beginnings of feminism. Because I used to read mom’s magazines, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, etc. when I was growing up. And they do make you question how you’re doing it…I’m Womaning Wrong is the basic message I got out of it.

Here is an article about feminism and comics, another issue…”For me, a feminist comic is one in which female characters aren’t just a plot device providing male characters with an opportunity to react. They aren’t a thing to be rescued, fucked, killed and discarded. Feminist comics show women as people, not tits and ass whose stories are only interesting if they’re sexy.” –Casey Gilly, providing a list of 15 feminist comics. And yes, there are way more than what’s here, and I love that we are now seeing choices out there for girls and women to read…because we ARE reading comics and watching sci fi and playing games, and y’all need to get with the program and respect us.

Here is a page Lucy Knisley did about nerd girls.

Here is a BuzzFeed article by Kristen Radtke called Let’s Draw Naked about why we should have more depictions of women drawn by female comics doing things normal women do…so boys realize how normal those things are and stop calling us names for being normal. And now let’s add in ideas of sexuality and trans and gender-queer and accept those in comics and stories and gaming and movies.  And even in toys for kids. The whole Star Wars Where’s Rey? issue. Seriously people. Do you HATE us?

Here is an article about a Gender in Comics panel at San Diego Comicon 2014…and I love the comment that Laura Hudson (writer, “Wired”; former EiC, ComicsAlliance) makes,  “If you’ve grown up in a situation where everything is about you and is catered to you, I think there is a degree to which equality can be perceived as oppression,” said Hudson. “If you’re used to having everything be about you, to some degree, and then suddenly it’s not, I guess in a way you perceive that as oppression.” And in recent discussions about all the superhero movies and how they portray females…sure, some of them are STRONG, but then they’re dead. Or being saved by Thor. Or whatever. Hudson continues, “If you work in the bell factory long enough you stop hearing the bells. I think super hero comics has stopped hearing the bells for a long time, but now you have other people coming in from the outside and [the gender issues in super hero comics are] very apparent. Having the Internet, having these other perspectives that are suddenly in front of us and are not subject to gatekeepers and are far more able to be heard exposes a lot of [these issues].”

Here is a blogpost about how to figure out if you’re a feminist. If you’re still reading, you probably are. If you clicked off and are now swearing about hairy women who just need a good fucking, well, you’re gone, so I’m not talking to you anyway. That’s the problem with talking about feminism…the ones who really need to hear it aren’t listening. Well, except for the boys who THINK they’re all pro-women and talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk. Their actions show them to be what they really are. They WANT to be feminists, but they don’t have enough empathy with women to actually BE one. By the way, this blogpost is funny. It’s not a test or anything.

Here’s an article about why feminism needs men. It’s fucking annoying, honestly, that we can’t just say, HEY, you fuckwads are doing it wrong without men having to support it for it to be real. There’s one of the major things wrong with society Right Fucking There. That said, if you’re a man and calling yourself a feminist and ACTING like it too (because you can’t just say it, you have to show it), then thanks. At least you’re not one of the bad guys.

Oh shit. Don’t accuse me of hating men. I don’t. I hate power trips and sexism and violence against anyone and I really hate that like over 60 million girls don’t have access to a decent education Just Because They’re Girls. That is truly fucked up. But I don’t hate men. Because feminism doesn’t mean hating men. It means hating privilege and inequality and violence and stereotypes and all that. Are you really gonna say you’re pro all that stuff?

Here’s an article about Anita Sarkeesian and the whole sexism in video games issue. If you’re a man who thinks there’s no problem here, wow. You need to be a woman for a month. Maybe then you’ll get it. In fact, that’s one of the things that drives me nuts. Men who don’t think there’s a problem. Way to downplay my existence, asshole. Why not speak up for women’s rights and deflect some of the rape and killing anger that has been directed at women who dare to criticize the gaming industry. Because I look at all those games and I know I don’t belong, simply because of how my people look when I log in. Even the book from Cory Doctorow, In Real Life, the young girl gamer picks an avatar who is much much skinnier than she is…and why? Because we know you don’t want to look at us any other way but cute and pretty and laughing at your jokes.

It’s not like there haven’t been new links about sexism in the last two years. I think I just got really overwhelmed by the negative vibes towards feminism…especially with politicians and tampons and Trump and pregnancy and my growing invisibility because I’m not a hot 25-year-old (wait. I never was a hot 25-year-old). Coming up next…my women’s art group is doing a show on Sexism in the Art World, and yeah, we’re going after Comicon as well. Because if we keep yelling, maybe y’all will stop. Or start making it all equal. Like it should be. So posting this now…with added content.


My Brain Is Like a Rampant Bunny

April 13, 2016

I have two mornings this week when I have to be at school early for meetings, which just throws me off. It makes it harder for me to fall asleep, and then my overactive workaholic brain wakes me up a full hour early to make sure I don’t sleep through the alarm (silly brain, I never sleep through alarms), and then I can’t go back to sleep. I’ve tried telling my brain how counterproductive that is, but then it blames the early wakeup call on the local birds outside my window. Also under your control, I argue…with my brain…which doesn’t ever freakin’ listen to me.

I will pay for this lack of sleep later, for sure, on the busiest day of the week. Unfortunate really, but whatever. We bully through it. We soldier on. Both good words for how I get my brain to keep going when it doesn’t want to. Years of practice with middle-schoolers? Maybe. I spent two days fighting to get them to do what I needed them to do, and then I gave them a similar assignment yesterday, and I must have broken through some wall, because they were dead silent and working. Still had to repeat instructions about 70 times for the kids that didn’t pay attention AND can’t read them (proof that I could write poetry about boogers and ear wax in my instructions, and only 5 kids would ever see it).

My brain is still like a rampant bunny, bounding through tall grass, sometimes moving uber-fast to get away from predators, and sometimes stopping to smell the daisies. I can’t get it to focus at all, but at least I have plenty of projects lying around to distract it. Although then it just gets over-interested and I can’t get it to mellow out and go to sleep.

I started with cleaning…I put all that stuff in the boychild’s room because it would force me to clean it all up before he came home. So I filled that trashbag hanging off the door and piled up some other stuff in logical piles.

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Not that you can see logical piles from here. You’ll just have to trust me. That yellow bin is empty though and can now go away. It’s circa 1985 I think…and not in great shape. It certainly held a variety of crap, most of which was just that…crap. Like samples from a flower-pounding session I did with the kids. Man those were ugly. Tossed them. And a ton of quilt patterns pulled from magazines that I will never do. That goes way back. Recycled those puppies.

This the bookshelf that has been blocked for years. I have bags of tie remnants to sell too. Back to eBay. I hang a lot of stuff off of there that probably doesn’t need to be there…quilt tops I may never finish. Blocks for quilts I’m not even working on.

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Kitten had a rousing game of find the lizard on the window. Really. You can’t see it? Because the only reason I knew it was there was because she was batting at its foot…it’s hiding behind the center bit. You can just see its fingers/toes on the left side where she’s looking.

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Or not. Then I quilted. I found it rather frustrating. I really just wanted to be done, but thread breakages abounded. No fun.

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I got about halfway around. I still need to do the hill as well.

Then it was 11:30 and normal people would have gone to bed, but I knew my brain wasn’t ready, so I drew instead.

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Cried all the way through the episode of Call the Midwife where Jenny…oh geez, don’t wanna ruin it for you. It was sad. Well and hormones. Because it probably wasn’t THAT sad. Notice that damn lizard is in my drawing. Can you see where? I don’t know what to say about that. Except that’s how I draw. Brain wanders, plops on paper.

Damn, I even graded last night and wrote an extra blogpost on here and another blogpost for someone else. Maybe that’s why my brain was in overdrive. Too much stimulation, getting stuff done. Plus I need to get some exercise in this week, but it won’t be today…dual meetings and then book club. Hopefully I’ll be able to come home and just go to bed. With my book. For next month’s book club.

By the way, I saw Deadpool over the weekend, and yeah, it was violent, but hysterically funny, except when it was being sad, but more importantly…Wade is a stitcher! He made his own costume…over and over again…and the character Blind Al, played by Uhuru from Star Trek, is my favorite.

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I get a little irritated with the goody-goody attitudes of some of the superheroes, like Thor and Captain America, and it drives me nuts how much the movies blow off good female characters who aren’t wearing slinky bras to kill bad guys with, but this guy is kinda fun. And he sews. Can’t be all bad.


Bringing the Brain On Line

July 27, 2014

Not the most effective use of my time yesterday. Mental breakdowns never are. The plus is I seem to recover fairly quickly now from the parts where I shake and can’t focus. Thank meditation for that. And the help of some friends who say the right stuff, remind me that I am OK…remind me that just because one person in the world believes something about me doesn’t mean it’s right.

I tortured my son and ex by dragging them to the Cornell San Diego barbecue, mostly for me, really, but also so the boy might recognize people who live near him. Not that he will use that info (but all my college friends are yelling Road Trip!). He’s disdainful of the process, and actually came up and asked why the other older students made a point of telling the kids to wash whites separate from other colors, because we don’t do that at home (it’s true, we don’t, although I was raised doing that). I reminded him that the colors of his college include RED. Which RUNS. And makes everything white turn PINK. His dad admitted to making that mistake in college. Boychild wears no white, though, so he’s probably OK.

I tried to work on bindings in the car, but the curvy roads were making me sick. I wanted to get two done yesterday, but had to settle for one…Bird No. 7

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Can’t remember what the other name is for this one.

For one thing, I also quilted a bit (not a lot) on Mammogram

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It’s piled up to keep cats off it.

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I finally found the purple fabric I needed for the birds…it was hiding under something else, of course.

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I knew it was here. I hate that my brain is still pulling this shit where I’m staring right at something and I can’t see it…I lost the teabag squeezer (probably there’s an official name for that) the other day and was going nuts, but it was right where it should have been, except up an inch or so on a pile of stuff. Right in the wide open. I don’t even understand how I couldn’t see it. OK, I know…because my brain was playing games. I can’t find my turquoise hand-sewing thread either. I’m sure it’s somewhere. Oh shit. I know where it is. Fuck. Dumbass. OK, I know I’m not a dumbass…I just need days of processing time now. Hard to know how much of that is age, hormones, or depression. Or a revolting combo of all of them. The big part of my brain is just not available on a regular basis. I send a messenger down there, into the deep hole, and sometimes the messenger comes back and sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes the message is so garbled that it’s useless. And sometimes 24 hours later, the location of the turquoise thread pops into my head.

But in order to manage some of my crazy, I called one friend and emailed another, and we ended up going to see Boyhood

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Which was interesting, although I was more interested in the mother character. It was an interesting concept, although the boy was not very engaging in the first few years. He was much more interesting when he aged and had more mature opinions, and certainly, being about to send a boy off to college, there was some relevance there.

I can’t seem to get my brain working on finishing the stupid pile of small tasks that would finish the living room remodel. Which means my bedroom is a disaster. And now apparently a bunch of teenaged girls are coming to spend the night tomorrow. OK. Well. There’s some motivation to move it along. Or just shove it all in my bedroom and close the door. Whichever seems to make more sense. Taking care of myself is often a collection of behaviors that others do not understand. They don’t get that I’m dragging my brain along with me, behind me, and sometimes it’s strangling me by trying to dig its feet in. Recalcitrant asshole.

More car time today…sitting in a meeting too. Four more bindings. Today. Done. Really. Maybe then my brain will come back on line. Ha.