Today 22 years Ago I Was Not at the Gym

Back to the gym. Trying to remember this habit before school fucks it all up. That’s true of eating right, getting enough sleep, and having personal time.

I was not here 22 years ago. I was at the hospital. The girlchild is 22 today! Wowza. She will be here tomorrow, but is enjoying a music and arts festival in San Francisco today.

I have so many awkward pix I could post of her…mostly screenshots from her Insta stories. Um yeah. I think I’ll wait until tomorrow and post something she won’t hate. Or maybe a birth picture! Oh yeah. Not even digital. So old school. Looking forward to having her home. Bought a bunch of kale and avocados.

Yesterday was school all day, even after I made it home. So much to do. But there’s a rough idea of what needs to happen.

We have a white board. This is good.

Going back is hard though. Never ready. I can get into my room next week, which is good because nothing is done.

I stitched a little at my stitching meeting…this number 9 and the last one I’m designing.

She doesn’t have a name yet.

And then I wanted to be done cutting stuff out.

That was the goal anyway, and I could have stayed up and finished, but I’m trying to train myself for back to school, plus I had a ton of stuff to get done today, so I needed to be up relatively early (not early really…but I’m not a fan of mornings).

So I only cut for a little over 2 hours…up to almost 11 hours total.

There’s so little left, but I really wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have a video call today where I can finish and then sort them hopefully. I still need to copyedit, edit a video, and clean a lot of things. No biggie.

And Then It Got Better…

Well. When your stress levels are high? Organize your photo files. Seriously. Your brain will start to shut down and refuse to stay awake. It’ll be like, this is the most boringest thing EVER. Which explains why my photo files are NOT organized. Like from 2014 on. It’s patchy. The J months are a mess. I mean, I organize every day I download stuff, which is pretty often because of this blog. But then they stay in those daily folders. I prefer to have all the photos of a quilt together, all the animal pix together, etc. But then when I’m looking at a photo of a box of trimmed quilt pieces from 2014, I have no freakin’ idea which quilt it is sometimes. So then I’m staring at the quilts I finished that year and trying to figure out which one I was working on in June 2014. Pain In The Ass. Then again 2014 was kind of a fucked up year. And then it got better.

That’s my mantra for the last 13 days of the school day: And Then It Got Better.

Staff meeting. Shorter than usual. Slightly stressful to think about some of the stuff for next year. Back to no food or peeing for 3-plus hours in the morning. Not ideal. Sigh. Although my co-teacher has to run across campus twice in that time, so I guess at least I don’t have that. It will all be fine. It’s a long way away. (Not really) The plus is that the meeting got done early, so I could kamikaze to the quilt store and buy binding. It’s in the dryer, so I don’t have a picture. I remembered to turn the dryer on at 12:30 AM. Electricity is cheaper then anyway. I hate our new electricity usage plan. The times I’m home and awake are the most expensive. It totally fucks over anyone with a standard day job. It’s not even cheaper on the weekends. So I’m constantly doing laundry at 9 PM at night. And I can’t cook dinner except during those hours.

So I got binding fabric…because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go until Friday, and even that might be questionable. I did quilt last night…although I had 17 thousand things to do first. As always. I hooped this one…

She’s going to travel with the store for a while. You can get her pattern (and others) at Global Artisans…rumor has it that kits are also available. I’m designing 6 more over the summer.

Oh yeah, before I ever did that, I walked dogs…and myself…and the boychild.

The weather was a lot cooler than I had expected…

This dove…just sitting there.

The plants are still crazy tall…

But not tall enough to hide the two guys getting naked in the brush. Um. Guys. There’s poison oak down there. Hmmm.

Well. We tired her out.

That was while I was quilting. I only have one section left to quilt and then the background…not much. I should be able to finish tonight. Then trim and bind. This week! The next three days are full of school work though…four different meetings before and after school. Ugh. (And then it got better)

Here’s the quilt waiting for me…

Morning light on the backing. First I’m going to go teach the remainder of the pregnancy stuff, plus do tutoring. Then I’ll get the rest done. Last night, both eyes were twitching. Too much. Too much. Breathe in and out. Deeply. Slowly. Shit. I don’t have a plan for homeroom. Fuck. OK. Off this and onto the job stuff.

I Can’t Operate on This Failure*

I’m ready to be Australia. Well. Except for some of the crazy bugs and spiders. Y’all can keep those. But let’s hand in all the guns. I think the biggest obstacles are the politicians who are more worried about their jobs than their constituents. No automatic or semi-automatic weapons…can you really argue that we need those? You do realize people in Australia can still own a gun, right? There are just strict rules for how and what. I have no problems with strict rules. Can you argue that your right to protect yourself is more important than my approximately 3,300 students’ (over 15 years) right to live? Or the 58 people who died in Vegas? Or the 49 who died in Orlando? Or any young black man wearing a hoodie?

The plus is that I finished stitching down the anti-gun quilt. Let’s be clear…my quilt is Anti-GUN. Because we don’t need them. Not in the numbers we have them. Not for what they’re being used for. Not. I just (in less than 5 minutes) contacted my three federal representatives. Told them to stand up and create legislation and keep fighting for it until it passes. Start there. You can do that.

This is who stares at me on the way home…after I pick her up…

IMG_8215 small

She wants to know why I’m not petting her. And then why I’m not throwing the ball faster.

IMG_8217 small

Still working on the eyeball in the top right. It doesn’t look like much right now.

IMG_8219 small

Then I stitched. Well, I made dinner first. And finished my book…The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. I liked it. And then I read some Goodreads reviews and felt bad for liking it. And then decided those people had no lives and I was allowed to like it. So there.

Stitching things down…

IMG_8222 small

Sometimes I really hate America for its aggressive patriotism. I’ve been told so many times to LEAVE because I don’t agree with the majority…and I explain that is why we are here…because our ancestors didn’t agree with the majority and needed to flee…so we took over someone else’s country in a particularly nasty and violent way (somehow it was our inalienable right? I don’t think so…). So I mostly write off anyone who tells me I’m not patriotic when I object…it’s the core part of our country. I’m allowed.

IMG_8223 small

Ah…this thought bubble. Why do people shoot other people up? Anger? Hate? Fear? Core emotions…that mature brains can learn to manage.

IMG_8224 small

In a society that appreciates that. Yesterday, in the assignment we’re doing in class, I had told each class “no weapons” for their element superhero. One class started to argue…and I turned and said, “Really? After Las Vegas, you’re going to argue that you need weapons? Solve the problem without them. That’s what I want to see.”

Seriously. America. Solve the problem without guns. Do it. You know you can. We have some of the best brains in the world. Use Them. If you’re a politician scared for your job, then GOOD. Do it anyway. It’s worth it.

I did finish the stitch down, just short of 6 hours.

IMG_8225 small

The face of gun violence here in America…tonight I’ll sandwich it and pinbaste it…maybe even start quilting. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I started reading a book about violence in Africa. Maybe I should look for something lighter after that.

*Tears for Fears, Pale Shelter

Laughed as My Body She Lifted*

So the dog is feeling better…she finally ate something this morning. That’s a relief. Although she’s back on meds. I’m currently negotiating with the two cats in my office. One doesn’t understand personal space apparently. They’re semi-squealing at each other. Really? Knock it off.

Yesterday was too long and stressful, although I was efficient until about 10 PM. Then it all fell to hell. Not surprisingly. I guess I’m not Superwoman. Oh wait. I already knew that.

I’m back up early today for another meeting. I’m not sure why some people assume everyone functions in the morning. I do on here, but this is light and pictures and words typed on a keyboard. I don’t have to really talk to anyone except in my head. I did a lot of that yesterday, talked to people while I was driving around to all the things, chiropractor, vet, and an art meeting. Ugh. I’m not happy about a couple of things at school and it’s dragging me down. I know my counselor would say to knock it off and I’m trying, but I’m just not happy about it at the moment.

Ahh…sigh. Just ignore for now. Get shit done. Hope the rest disappears or changes.

I finally sat down around 10:30 or so to cut stuff out…

IMG_7957 small

Yeah. You’d think I would have finished. And I thought about it. But I was really tired and knew I had to be up early today. So I tried to be a responsible adult. I have 12 1/2 hours into the cutting. I suspect there’s less than an hour left in there. It’s busy today and tonight, and grades are due soon, but my plan is to finish cutting those and then sort them so I can iron tomorrow night.

Now that’s exciting, isn’t it? I think so. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting to hear if I have to make another piece sometime before January 1 (it’s not on my calendar! And I don’t know how I’ll pull it off if I have to…). And I’m waiting to hear about a show. And I really just want to run away to somewhere kinda cold and rainy or warm and tropical and just make a bunch of art while someone else teaches science and grades a million things and cleans up dog vomit and tries to manage a bunch of people. Is that an option? Nope. Probably not.

*Natalie Merchant, Wonder

There’s Not a Line Here That Goes with Anything*

Today I am dressed like a ninja. Don’t get freaked out. I’m just wearing all black, which I actually do fairly often. BUT…today is the last day of school, I have the same kids for 3 1/2 hours, and I woke up this morning with my voice completely gone.

Oh yeah. Laugh your ass off. I did. Silently. More like my chest moved in a laughlike manner.

So yesterday we took the 7th grade bowling (this is so NOT like taking the skinheads bowling, if you’re old and hip enough to remember that song)…

IMG_5377 small

There you are…

We have this newish washing machine, and every time I accidentally brush up against it, it turns on and sings a little tune, at which point I tell it to fuck off. I’ve done it twice already this morning.

So after the field trip, we have this lame thing where we end up with kids sitting in our classrooms for almost 2 hours until they can go home. I’ve always thought this was idiotic, much like moving the field trip from the last day of school so kids can experience graduation, one of the most boring events of anyone’s life, is idiotic. But we do it. The first hour was horrendous. So the second hour, I laid down some rules, and it was fine. The field trip was fine…well, as always, exhausting…but definitely better than last year or the year before. All those are good things.

I’m apprehensive about this morning though. Seriously so.

I had a union meeting after…so an exhausting day followed by a meeting. The last one of the year is sometimes in a bar with free food and one adult beverage. Yup. We earned it.

These were clouds painted on the ceiling. I quite like them. Might incorporate them into something.

IMG_5379 small

Came home and went to book club, because I really liked the book and wanted to see what others thought…the book we were assigned was The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, but it was good enough (once I got through the letters part, which I didn’t like) that I read the sequel, Stiletto, which I actually think is way better.

The-Rook-Dan-OMalley-380x285

I immediately went looking for Book 3, but there’s no mention of it yet. The Rook was his first book…so maybe this is it. I hope not. He certainly set it up for a continuing series. Amazing world-building in these two books. Plus the dichotomy between supernatural powers (however weird-ass they might be) and bio-engineered powers. Although I’m still trying to figure out the reality of the main character in the first book…is she a new person or was her brain just wiped? I need that explained.

I came home and tried to get my head around the upcoming art entries…having gotten another email about another show coming up for one of the groups I’m in. For some, I can use existing stuff, assuming it comes home in time…but I need to potentially make 5 quilts before the end of the year. Ha! OK. I’m getting my head around that.

Then I traced stuff for a while.

IMG_5386 small

I didn’t have the brainpower to draw by then. Boychild and I talked about music too. And graduation…how to get everyone there. I think we might be camping out for a few days. Yeah, and there was a FaceTime event between me, my SIL, the girlchild, and the boychild…involving three phones and an iPad. Very impressive tech skills.

OK. So today has a social event after school plus quilt class…and I have to go in tomorrow to clean up all the chemicals that 8th grade dumped on us. But otherwise, I’ve almost survived my 14th full school year. Awesome sauce.

*Camper Van Beethoven, Take the Skinheads Bowling

Let Me Take You There*

Well I’m head down (and ass down on the chair) on grading stuff. I even resized the photos for today’s post (yeah, it’s Sunday, but I had an early up and get going, so I’m trying to take advantage of the day and get my work done), and then I forgot to write. I’m taking a break from grading right now, because it’s hurting my head, realizing that I have to rework how we teach one thing that we do all year, because so few of our kids can do it, and we’re more than halfway through the school year.

Anyway. My goal is to do grading now so I can do art later. I started a drawing last night and I’m going to have to restart…but maybe that’s later today. It’s mostly in my head at the moment.

img_2624-small

The world is still pissing me off. Not surprisingly. I solve that by signing petitions and sending emails to my stupid state senator and postcards to the people who need them, and then supporting kickstarters and artists who are making resistance art and donating part of their proceeds (or all, if they’re into that…I think artists need to make a living too) to good causes. Plus making art myself. And continuing to yell out that this shit is not right. Freedom of the press, dammit. Even if you don’t like what it’s saying. I love my country right now for all the parts who are protesting, devious as some of them are (the CPAC Trump/Russian flags…what genius). This is what my country does when there’s a dictator in charge…what you read about in the dystopian novels. This is what we are. We are unfortunately also the stupid stuff. It’s the yin/yang. Can’t have the good protest without the stupid.

I did Friday and Saturday’s stitching yesterday…The tree trunk/branches are done, I think. I might add some more twiggy stuff tonight.

img_2623-small

And before that…I’m stuck with both dogs this weekend, due to my ex being in Boston with our daughter. They needed some exercise yesterday, so I went to Sweetwater to see how bad the crowds were.

img_2599-small

The bridge was all about photo shoots, as far as I could tell…one down at the far end, and then two more when we came back. Weird.

There had definitely been rain out here in the past…I don’t usually walk here, because there’s too many people and bikes, but also fewer coyotes in sight during the day because of that…

img_2603-small

It’s pretty damn green this year…

img_2607-small

Went to the bridge so we could see the stream below…

img_2611-small

Simba likes to stand in big grass.

img_2613-small

We saw another trail camera…but this one had a card explaining it.

img_2615-small

So I emailed her…because she had a bobcat picture and I wanted to know where the fuck THAT was. But also she asked about trail data from hiking apps. And I have that.

img_2616-small

Although yesterday we only did 2 miles. I’ll go back, maybe even tomorrow, and do a longer walk. Until I can go back to the other one with fewer people. I’m not a people person, I guess. I like to be out in nature without humanity mostly.

Anyway, so many art-related things crowding my head today, and work has to happen. I want to finish tracing the other piece today and start cutting it out, but also do that other drawing. Plus I think I’m getting sick…knock on wood. I’ve been healthy for a good long time, but so many students ill is a hard one for even a strong immune system. Gonna go take some more vitamins. Ugh. I don’t have time for sick.

*Led Zeppelin, Kashmir

I Follow Where My Mind Goes*

Brain muddle. Good description of where your brain goes sometimes, right? I’m sitting here trying to write artist statements for two pieces that aren’t even done. There are days when I can’t explain what I HAVE done…today is apparently not the day to try to explain what’s still unfinished and largely exists in my head.

I didn’t get home until late last night…I’m a union rep, so those meetings just seem to go on forever. And then the parental mail and check up on their stuff. In good news, though, educating children went a little better yesterday after the previous day. I had to be mean to some kids, but that happens sometimes. I think I need a baby gate for one of them. Or an exercise ball (she wouldn’t sit on it).

So I didn’t get started on anything artistic until late. I thought about drawing on the nightstand, but I really need a new thick Sharpie for that. So that’s on the to-buy list for today, along with more milk. Too bad I can’t get those in the same place. I need a general store. Grocery stores don’t cut it. Maybe Target. I was just there Monday night, desperately buying a pair of headphones that didn’t turn out to be so desperate (still a good thing, though, because both of mine stopped working on the same day). I need to finish proofing the coloring book too. That came out of nowhere…this is why my phone calendar is so full of stuff.

So no drawing…I still needed to finish cutting out the pieces for the quilt portion of this thing…so I did that. And then I sorted them. There’s only 200 of them. Well, there’s more than that because I misnumbered, but close enough.

img_9242-small

Ideally, after that, I would have gone to my studio and started ironing, but it was after 11 and I was tired. Ugh. This is such a tiring year. So I didn’t. I’m starting to panic about the timing on this project. And trying to write a statement! I need to go back and read the organizer’s info and make sure I’m talking to that. I know I did mentally in the beginning, but I don’t have a clue what I was thinking way back when. In May or June.

Calli distinctly does not give a shit.

img_9239-small

Sometimes I wish I could be her.

OK, but I do better if I think this shit out. I need to iron down this quilt top, which will probably take 2-3 hours…mostly because I have to figure out attaching the sheet with the body on top of it. Then I need to do stitch down, which should take less than an hour. Then sandwich and pinbaste it, which ought to be interesting, because of the sheet again. I think this is why I keep delaying work on this…it’s an engineering problem. My SIL asked me last night why I don’t do 3D work, like make a person and stuff them, and all I could think was “because Susan Else rocks it and I can’t think like that.” The construction throws me. But I like it when this art group I’m in makes me think outside my box.

So I’m up to maybe 4 hours. Then it needs quilting. This is where I can cut time if I need to…but let’s say at least 2 hours. I’m not binding it for this show. I just want raw edges. In fact, raw should be in the statement. So I only need 6 more hours. I have Saturday, most of the day…I have Sunday, a little. So maybe that’s my goal…is to finish the quilt part of this thing by Sunday night. Then I can draw a little at a time all week on the nightstand, varnish it on the 24th (shhh…I’m taking the day off), and it should be dry by the opening.

No Problem. I Got This.

Really. I just needed some mental space to place all that work time. Now I can concentrate on sticking to that schedule…

*The Psychedelic Furs, Love My Way