Your Ignorance Is Showing

February 9, 2017

It’s after midnight. I’m not gonna finish writing this tonight. But it’s in my head, and I straight-up know I won’t go to sleep until it’s out. Simply put, I’m in a mood…I’m pissed off at all the political crap that’s bombarding us on a regular basis. The stupid decisions that aren’t seeing the big picture, the world view. I’m irritated by having to deal with a president who is only barely more mature than the majority of my students. I want to bitch slap all the…well, shit, most of them are Republicans, so I’ll start there…who want to get rid of human rights and instead promote racist and sexist propaganda. Who think it’s OK to put people in charge who don’t understand science, whether it’s climate change or homosexuality, mostly I think because reality scares them. Who want to destroy the environment so they can make money. Dammit I remember Los Angeles in the 70s and not being able to take a deep breath. Who think China made up climate change. Who think the Department of Education is only for rich white people. We don’t need to educate poor people, right? What the hell? I keep thinking, “Your ignorance is showing.” Did I tell you my meditation app has an SOS setting? For when you need 2 minutes of meditative thought because a bunch of men are refusing to listen to an intelligent, educated, ELECTED woman read a letter about human rights…that men were allowed to read later. I’m boggled by that…absolutely boggled. I listened to a mom tonight almost in tears about her worries that her daughter’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan, for those with learning disabilities) would be scrapped by the incoming Education Secretary. Well yeah, because that shit is going by the wayside…along with a million educators’ jobs. And 8000+ EPA jobs. (Who are we making great again? The great unemployed masses?) And the dumbass ignorant rants from my state senator about immigration issues. And others who think a wall will stop the drug trade (wow. really?), let alone that Mexico will pay for it. Or those who think vouchers will be good…why? Because they’re rich white people. And that’s who vouchers benefit. If you don’t have money, your school choices are what you can walk to…they can’t just up and move to La Jolla. DeVos’ assertions about school ratings are so damn IGNORANT that you just want to invite her, as another teacher said, to come stay in my house, in my reality, come to my school and sit through a week, AT LEAST, of my classes. I’m not a shitty teacher because I teach in a Title 1 school…I’m in a Title 1 school because they need me there. Try, just try, to understand the social background of my students and realize that some of them are just glad to come somewhere that feels safe and has food on a regular basis.

And this doesn’t even touch what happens when the stupid decisions and dumbassery start a war. Because that’s looming.

I know for most, I am preaching to the choir. And many of you are feeling as torn apart and stressed by this as I am, and it’s not because I’m a fucking snowflake…it’s because idiots are damaging the world I live in…for me and for those I care for. So I will keep yelling until the pendulum swings back (fast please), because this is not acceptable. And the country I live in allows for protest…it was built on it. So if my rant offends you, so be it. This snowflake (I am so NOT a snowflake) doesn’t really care if you’re offended. I want to know WHY you’re offended, simply so I can probably say, again, “Your ignorance is showing.”

Meanwhile, protest art exhibits and concerts are proliferating, which I think is great. I love listening to the whiners, the ones who think we shouldn’t make MEAN art or PROTEST art because they had to suffer through the last president so why don’t we just shut up. Yeah. They can bite me. “Your ignorance is showing.” I’m making art. I really need this quilt done so I can make 17 more. Like now.

OK. Now I’m going to bed. I’ll write the rest tomorrow…

So I didn’t finish last night, but writing that helped me sleep. I had book club last night, and near the end, when we were done with the book and a few of us were just chatting, which turned into that up above, there was this guy at the bar, maybe 30 years old, and all of a sudden he yells out something like Fuck De Vos! or something, and then apologizes, and then lays out a very well-designed plan for taking care of all this chaos…something about using the government to become a trained assassin and learning how to change his identity with their help and then going out there and “taking care of” anyone who was an issue…sigh. I think there’s a movie about that. At the time, we’re all joking about that as a solution, but we’ve all thought about it, because there doesn’t seem to be a calm rational way to change what’s happening. But sitting around and waiting for the ninja warrior to take out key players in the chaos is probably not a good or healthy plan.

So I’m choosing the art resistance mode…here’s a call for entries for one of the resistance shows popping up…

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I already have work for this one. So if you follow me for my cool quilts, hopefully you realize that most of them have a message, and it’s about women’s rights usually, although sometimes it’s just about being female…which apparently now is a lesser thing again, making me clearly remember being told multiple times that I was imagining a conspiracy against women a few years back. Imagine, My Ass. Your ignorance is showing…and in that case, it was a liberal…but still a rich white male. And if they say it doesn’t exist, honey, well then you KNOW it doesn’t exist, right? My ass. Did I say My Ass?

I came home, and you know, I worked an almost-11-hour day yesterday for school alone, plus an earthquake/fire drill and then a fire NOT drill…so I stitched. Not very much…the lighter-colored fly and lazy daisy stitches on the right. Not sure why. It just happened.

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I’m actually not sure there will be enough space on this for 12 months of stitching. I think I decided 12″ square was enough…We’ll see. That’s 39 days of stitching there…326 to go?

And then it was 11 PM, so I came in and quilted for an hour. I got the skull done…

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And the ribcage on the outside of the arm, plus part of the arm.

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I was hoping to finish that whole section, but it was late. So I wrote the screed above and went to bed, although it was probably 1 AM by then. And I’m up early again today for yet another official meeting, possibly one where I’m told to make nice with another employee…but I don’t know that anyone can make me do that at the moment. If you’re in the school system and not serving my students? Because? Then I’m not really interested in making nice.

I’m looking forward to coming home tonight and finishing the outlining at least. There’s not much left. I really need this to be done…not because I have a deadline (I do), but because there’s so much else that needs making and saying and yelling and drawing, and I’m going to keep saying it until it doesn’t need to be said any more. I don’t actually believe that will be in my lifetime, dammit, but I’m still not going to give up.


Don’t Let the Days Go By*

December 29, 2016

So I seriously overestimated how long it might take to trim the Wonder Under, which is cool, because now I get to start ironing to fabric today. And I didn’t even think I’d get that far yesterday. Around 8 PM, when I was still grading chemical reactions quizzes, I was sure I’d be cutting Wonder Under into today. OK, well, I guess technically I DID cut into today, but I did it in the middle of the night. Until 1:30 AM. Yeah. And then dogs were up early today, so I’m on less sleep than I’d like, but honestly, it’s more sleep than I get on an average school night.

For some reason, I thought grading the quizzes yesterday was a good idea. I think I just wanted to get them out of the way. Now I only have two assignments left…one quick and easy one (that’s today’s) and one bitch of a fucker. Yup. That one is waiting in the wings. I walk by it and shake my head. I’ll do it…but I won’t like it.

Someone asked me yesterday why all their teacher friends were posting at the beginning of break that they were done with their grading…and I’m still grading. For one thing, my co-teacher and I have basically given up almost all of our prep periods to planning this year, since everything is new and we have zero curriculum from the state or district. So that’s time-consuming as all hell. We also don’t use a lot of multiple-choice stuff, because honestly (at least for me), I don’t think it really shows an ability to think critically. We would have done it with the last quiz, with a short answer or two, but the school takes the kids’ Chromebooks before break, so we had to do it on paper. Dammit. Yeah. Timing. Sometimes it sucks. There’s also a bunch of online questions we do as short-term assessments…honestly, if we don’t give them something to focus on as a goal (answer this question), they often won’t finish anything we give them…it’s frustrating. And those take time to grade. It’s not that they’re lazy…they often don’t have parents who value school or education, or they have parents who are illiterate or close enough to it. If you don’t see education as a way out of wherever you are, then you certainly aren’t going to teach your kids to value it either. You’re going to buy them that new technology for Christmas even though they’re failing every class. When they tell you math is hard, you’re going to agree with them, instead of encouraging them to keep trying.

But I keep teaching, even as we face an incoming administration who thinks the 10% of kids in private schools whose parents can afford to send them there have more rights than the 90% of those who we have to take, who we can’t kick out when they don’t achieve or when they behave badly. I don’t know how many kids I’ve taken into my classroom and managed over the years who were kicked out of charters because they didn’t fit what the charter wanted…good grades, hard worker, well-behaved. Yeah. I get the ones who need more help than that. And I teach them. Every day. Please make my job harder with your ignorance. I saw a Facebook acquaintance post about how deVos must be a good choice if all the teachers’ unions were up in arms over her…it was difficult not to respond to his ignorance…living in his rich white community…with no insight to what teaching is actually like, to how difficult some days are to just keep them all from catching on fire…let alone to get them to actually learn something, even if it’s just how to think. His kids have motivation to learn…from him. He is completely clueless as to what it looks like to teach in a low-income public school with limited funding. Why we let politicians be in charge of schools, I just don’t know.

So with that in mind, I’m just gonna finish grading…because for whatever multitude of reasons that I’m not done, it’s gotta get done. Next year will be easier because of all the work we’ve done this year. And that’s something to look forward to in 2017.

That said, I still have quilts to make before that happens. It took a total of about 8 1/2 hours to trim all the Wonder Under…otherwise known as about 12 episodes of Supernatural (OK, I watched some other stuff in there…).

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You get to see my socks and pajamas in that photo…1400 cut pieces in the bin on the right…trash on the left. This morning, I’ll sort them (that will probably take over an hour, maybe close to two)…I’m waiting for the girlchild to leave, so I can watch something besides cooking shows while I’m doing it. Then I’ll grade the short and easy assignment, and then do college financial aid crap. I bought two background fabrics yesterday (couldn’t decide), so I’m ready to start picking fabrics…except the studio is a disaster area at the moment, so I’ll need to do some straightening up. I haven’t even put away the fabrics from the last quilt I finished. OK, so that was only two weeks ago, but still.

We went out to dinner last night…good stuff. Italian. Crazy girlchild face.

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Dogs when cold will cuddle. Briefly.

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But first I need to eat. Did I draw yesterday? Nope. No time. Grading took forever. I’m good at doing the have-to stuff first before the art stuff…unfortunately sometimes. I do need to try to draw too today. OK. The to-do list is made…let’s see where that goes.

*Bush, Glycerine


Saying It’s Not a Catastrophe*

November 17, 2016

I think my brain just stopped. I woke up to news (again) of internment camps and registries, woke up too early because I have to be at school to help with a rewards breakfast, probably for a couple of Muslim kids, as well as other types of kids…honestly, if we’re going to do internment camps and registries, let’s start with those who kill the most in our country: white males with guns. OK. Once we have that camp going (which probably includes a goodly number of my neighbors and even probably my dad, although not my brother, hallelujah), THEN we can talk about the next largest group who kills people here in the United States. And just a clue…it’s still not Muslims. How does any of this make sense? Is there a white male politician internment camp being planned? I say we pick a state who wants them and put a wall around it. I’m pretty sure I could write an fairly entertaining dystopian (except NOT so unreal and in the future at the moment) novel about this.

I know I’m not the only one waking up every morning at the moment dreading what’s being reported next. I guess there is solace in that. I’m gonna go hug some kids today…ALL of them. I talked to one kid yesterday who hates (with a passion) the US military. You know why? They bombed his town. He lay in (under?) his bed at night listening to glass break and bombs fall, he heard how our soldiers talked to his people, and he hates them. I don’t blame him. We had a good discussion. He doesn’t hate America. He doesn’t hate all Americans. He just hates the military. He’s incredibly intelligent…and I talked to him about finding a place for that anger…about processing it. Meanwhile, very few kids want to say the pledge of allegiance still, and there are days when I feel the same way about it. You want white supremacists and women-haters and Jew-haters and Muslim-haters and let’s just break it down here…HATERS in charge. I don’t get it. I won’t pledge to that.

I made art. Slowly. Tiredly. I went to the gym and the chiropractor before that…so it was already late. I keep forgetting how much I like the gym. I should remember that more often.

You may not know that I have to escort (with flashlight) two dogs outside multiple times a night. They’re both scared of the dark, and one doesn’t like water either (sometimes that shit falls from the sky). I’m not sure I understand why she likes to stand in the ferns, but she does. She’s not peeing. She’s not doing anything but standing in them.

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Weird dog.

Here’s all the fabrics I used last night…lots of browns. I just realized I cut out all the dirt except for the dark part around the hole, and I put all those fabrics away. Dammit. I was tired last night.

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And I didn’t even use that pink one on the right. It was too much trouble to put it back though. I need to install a light under the desk so I can see the fabrics under there better. Home Depot trip in my future.

Here’s everything I’ve ironed down. I haven’t gotten very far…I’m in the 100s. But it’s taking me forever. Deciding which browns and grays…I stared at the grays for about 20 minutes last night trying to find a lighter brownish gray to go with the other two I’d already picked…this for a mole who is about 2 inches across. Sometimes my brain doesn’t work well. It probably didn’t matter THAT much, but eventually I found a third fabric that worked.

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Today is a long day…and I’m not sure I’m ready for any of it. Too tired really to handle it well, I think…and yet I will have to. True for all of us, I guess. Although if you’re one of those who is currently fist-bumping the air over the internment camps, I’d tell you to piss off, but maybe, really, maybe what you should do is come visit my classes for a day. And meet some of them. And tell me why those kids (or their parents) deserve to be harassed. Or you can just quietly decide to stop reading my blog. I really don’t care which you choose.

*Aimee Mann, Humpty Dumpty


This Is Not My Beautiful World…

July 8, 2016

I am so disheartened by the country I live in at the moment. Although having lived elsewhere, I know that it probably doesn’t matter where you live…there will be things that humans do that I will just be entirely incapable of understanding. I hear anger toward other…but as a teacher, I have often had students who are other (insert group name here), and I know from experience and years of teaching biology that we are all the same, just a tiny tweak of DNA. It just makes me want to weep to think of one of my kids, my students (because they ARE our kids for some short period of time, and we always continue to think of them and wonder if they are OK), being hurt or killed because of this crazy stupidity we call Protection, Right to Bear Arms, Vengeance. Whatever. It’s anger. It’s fear. And it’s not necessary. We are no longer in a predator/prey relationship, trying to survive against nature. Now we apparently have to survive against ourselves, because other humans are out to kill us, harm us. Stop trying to find a scapegoat. If you have anger toward another group or people or gender or whatever, then it is you.

And I know that most who read my blog are not. And I don’t know how to get this idea across to the angermongers. I can’t even imagine if one of them is President. How that will roll. Art is supposed to help with this, but I know none of them will all of a sudden look at a piece of art and arrive at a revelation.

This world we live in. I just don’t get it. Why people think it’s OK to act that way. I just don’t get it.

I have to work this morning. I’m trying to find the right mindset. I object to having to push all this…sadness…away into a corner of my brain so I can continue to copyedit. But I have to…to survive. At least to pay the bills. And continue to ponder how to get across to the increasingly crazy killers that they need to stop. That it would be a better world if they did. David Byrne’s song…Once in a Lifetime (OK, it’s Talking Heads…not just David)…this is not my beautiful house…this is not the world I want to live in. Not my beautiful world. I hate not being able to visualize a solution…besides get rid of the damn guns. I wish we could just do that. A start. See where that takes us. Because this is just crazy.

Back to my regular blogpost…but know all that is still in my head…running circles around any attempts I make to live a normal life.

I had my monthly stitching meeting last night, and Julie brought a thread (OK, she brought bags of thread) that she thought might work for the flower stitching…

Because here’s what 13 of them look like on the left (OK, I didn’t really count, damn you)…half of them are that magenta color, and half are purple. Half have the silk velvet center and half have a cotton center that is a similar color. And I think there are two different colors in the body of the flower. But I had no more of the pink thread. As it was, I had to pick a near color for the flower and the center…so in the whole quilt? I don’t think anyone will notice…

And if they do, it was on purpose…to let the evil spirits out…right? Fact is I finished stitching everything and there was an empty space that bugged me. So I filled it.

Now I can back it and quilt it and bind it (well, except I have no working sewing machine, unless I go pull the old one out). And no time to quilt it. Minor issue. It’s still done. Ish.

Then I was working on the other birds, the last three, at the meeting…

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I had already finished all the background stitches in the beige/gray color, so I added feet and stitched around the eyeballs. I just found all the eye buttons when I was cleaning off the couch the other day. Who knows how long they’ve been there. Years. So all the decorative bird embroidery is left.

Meanwhile, I am still…STILL…cutting stuff out. I’m almost done, if by almost, I mean less than 10 hours. Because I did 3 hours last night, and there’s still a chunk left to do (14 hours in so far). Here’s the trash pile…a huge amount of fleshy bits.

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See…this is what’s left. Of course, you can’t see how big any of the pieces are that need cutting when they’re upside down…I do know that top two are all crane feathers, so not huge, but not tiny.

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This is everything that’s cut out…the box fills…slowly.

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Side by side…the to-be-cut on the left, the already-cut-out on the right…you can see progress.

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So yeah. I have to work. And run some errands. Stuff that guarantees my paycheck. And let the part of my brain that is always trying to solve problems wander around up there and attempt to find peace. For all of us. Wish I could see that.


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.

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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.


Vacation Rant…

November 21, 2015

Late today. Ya know why? Cuz it’s vacation. That’s why. Hallelujah, because even though I still will have to work almost every day over break, at least I can do it in my pajamas on my couch (OK, well, not every day, because I’m going to my brother’s house and I don’t know where I will be grading there. I just know I will be grading.). I think every goddamned idiot and politician (oh wait, those might be an intersecting group) who thinks teachers are overpaid, money-grubbing child-haters should come teach in my class the week before a holiday. By themselves. On the same bathroom schedule we get. And then go home and grade all the shit we grade. Yeah. That. Fuckers. I think half my team (or more) hit borderline exhaustion by the end of day Wednesday. And we got up and taught for two more days.

I worked corporate. This does not fucking compare. At all. My job is physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually exhausting. I haven’t been a teacher all my life. I have many years of experience outside of education. I’ve worked in the corporate world as support staff AND as a professional, and I’ve also been self-employed. This job kicks your butt.

So I deserve this week AWAY from the classroom. Don’t kid yourself that I won’t still be working. I will. Some manage to not work all break, and I know that’s what I need, but I can’t afford it right now. I’m aiming for that for Winter Break. But that means busting my butt a little right now.

Moving on. I got up this morning when I wanted to. Well, after Kitten woke me up to inform me of the imminent rabbit invasion. I calmed her down, explaining that a single rabbit was not going to take down our kingdom. And then went back to sleep, trying to make up a few of the missing 2 hours a night from the last three months of teaching (that’s 140 hours short right now…gonna take me a while to catch up).

I finished tracing Wonder Under on Bathtub 5 this morning…

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As you can see, it’s all piled up, ready to be cut out, except for the cat butt on the sheets. If you have cats, you know they must inhabit all of your projects. I eventually got her off of them, but she swiped her claws at me, so I gave up on trying to cover the light table again. Eventually she’ll go take a nap and I can clean up after her.

Both cats desperately need more attention apparently than I am giving them…

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Both of them stalking me. It’s too bad they don’t really like each other. They used to be OK, but not after Babygirl. Oh well.

As you can see, it is a beautiful day in sunny Southern California. It’s supposed to hit 90 degrees. So I’m heading for Seattle and snow, and kind of panicking about clothes and shoes, but whatever. I’ll take a big sweatshirt and complain a lot to my sister-in-law, and she’ll give me shit for having thin blood. Damn straight. I live in So Cal for a reason.

So artwise, this week might be a bit of a wash. I need to go to school tomorrow to finish grading all the cell models that were turned in. I’m hoping to finish cutting out all the Wonder Under by tomorrow night. Then last night, while trying to fall asleep, I half-dreamed moving all the drawers around in my office so that the colors I use more would be more accessible. Luckily, I recently replaced all of them, so it would be pretty easy to just pull drawers and move them. But I’m not progressing quickly on the rest of the clean up. Because I’m never bloody home! Or I’m grading. Or I’m exhausted. So I didn’t leave much time around the house this week to get shit done. Oh well. I’m looking forward to hanging with my lovely family! OK, my crazy family. So I’ll probably get some drawing in up there. Although, my big sketchbook doesn’t fit in my luggage. I’m thinking of a trip to Michael’s to get a medium-sized one. I have a lot that are 9×12″ and the one I draw most of my quilts in is 14×17″. So something a little bigger. I think. And smaller than the big one. If I can find a coupon. Found one. Love the internet. Really, I do. I also ordered a small keyboard for my iPad so I can type up some stuff on the plane. Can’t use the work computer for that. I may have a bit too much tech. It’s possible. But it makes some things so much easier and faster. Unfortunately, there is no tech at the moment that can help me get the studio straightened up. It’s just gotta be me.

I have to say one thing about the refugee situation. I honestly think many Americans have lost their humanity, that they are so backwater in their NIMBY attitude, in their fear of everything government, the military, and politics have brought down on us, that they cannot even see the fear and hardship in the eyes of the adults that are coming over from Syria or wherever, but if they can look in the eyes of these refugee children and still be assholes, then I don’t want to live in the same country as they do. My America is not those people. I hate what we project to the rest of the world sometimes, and this is one of those times. These are the kids I teach. You hear their stories, you see how small some of them are from not enough good food, and you know the shit they survived, and for anyone to think these people are terrorists…hell, I live in East County San Diego…we have some big fat white terrorists brewing right here, some true crazies. We grow our own. And they call themselves Christian. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush say they think we should only take the Christian refugees. What the fuck? I don’t care what your religion is…don’t use it as an excuse to turn away people who are starving, terrified, and scared to death. We take them in, we take care of them, we teach them, we help them. That’s what America is supposed to be about…hell, that’s what being human is supposed to be about. If you don’t believe that, then there is something seriously wrong with you. I’d like to think the students I have hear me talking about acceptance, about not hurting each other, about the biology of ALL humans, and they will grow up with that in their heads and hearts, not the hate rhetoric that I hear every day on the news. My Muslim students don’t hate like some of the Christians I’ve heard from do. They just want to be safe and warm and be able to learn without bombs falling on their schools.

That’s my rant. I’ve spent too many days listening to this shit and shaking my head at the crazy. You don’t like it? Don’t read my blog. Easy.

OK. Now I can be on vacation.


Taking Care of Myself…

November 7, 2015

I would love to report numerous small quilts bound and ready for hand-stitching, since I know Mad Max: Fury Road arrives from Netflix today, but no such luck. I went to a big contemporary art show last night, just a quick runaround to look at mostly big brightly colored crap with some bits and pieces of nice. A group I’m in has a booth there. I could have been in it, but I don’t work particularly small and there were 11 artists there, so not much space…and even then, very expensive.

Then I came home and graded. I had one period of a very nasty assignment. Well, I thought it was a perfectly reasonable assignment, but apparently their brains left the building and they forgot that living things are made of cells and things inside cells must by definition be smaller than cells or they won’t fit. So I spent the last 24 hours bleeding red pen all over these papers, hoping they would get it. Might be a waste of time. It’s been a rough week for our team. Not a lot of work completion. Frustration with trying to get kids to turn in makeup work. Wondering why the parents are so checked out. Dear Politicians: You can’t have any accountability for teachers until you get parents to buy in and be a part of the team. There’s no way I can make a kid give a shit when the parents don’t. Occasionally I’ll get one that rises above it, and I hope more of that happens in high school and college as their brains mature, but 12-year-olds? Not happening. Stop threatening me with accountability if you’ve never been a teacher. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. This is not a job where if I work harder, magic happens and kids produce. Some kids are just checked out. I can work my butt off trying to get them to check in, but sometimes it just won’t work.

So my goal this weekend is not to look at school stuff for as many minutes as possible. I have two art openings tomorrow and some relaxation time scheduled for tonight. I need to do some cleanup in here too, try to move more stuff from the boychild’s room. If I can get the bookshelf restocked with whatever was on it, then I can move the larger furniture/storage pieces out of there. The chaos is bugging me.

I also want to get more of the small quilts done and maybe start tracing Wonder Under on Bathtub 5. Here was the original drawing back in April…

Apr 21 15 001 small

You can see the owl in the top right is like the one I just finished. I added stuff below and in the top right. I also had to add some lines to break up the edge of the bathtub, so I wouldn’t have to find a piece of fabric big enough to go all the way around the bottom, like I did last time. Big white and off-white pieces of fabric for bathtubs…the last one had more bathtub showing. This one doesn’t have much. Not as much water showing either. But these two huge rugs on the side. Gotta wonder what I was thinking.

That’s the key though. When I draw, I’m not thinking about the production or how much of a pain it will be. I’m just drawing.

This is one of those days when I want to pretend that I am not a teacher at all, that I don’t have a frustrating week of microscopes ahead of me (actually, my co-teacher gave me an idea about how to manage the frustration and I’m totally going to use it, because otherwise, some kids will take 5 days to look at a newsprint e under the scope. And that’s just wrong.). I’m going to act like the end of the trimester doesn’t even exist. I’m going to turn off the teacher part and let the artist part just ramble. If I can.

That’s the other part that drives me nuts…when people complain that teachers don’t care about kids and that’s why we won’t (insert crazy-ass comment here about spending more hours than we already do unpaid or something about how THEIR husband doesn’t get paid overtime, which is nuts, because I don’t even get paid what their husband does and I work monster hours at this job). I care way too much about my kids. Even the assholes. And yes, there are assholes. And I tell myself repeatedly that a 12-year-old does not become an asshole without parental (or guardian) involvement or environmental shit, that they are still redeemable, that the parents aren’t doing their jobs. I care even about the assholes. And I spend hours calling home and putting together makeup work and getting in their faces or encouraging them or whatever it takes to get them to stop sitting there and actually DO something. I don’t care? My ass. Fuck you. My job is not a corporate job. I’ve had one of those. I know what that looks like. This job sucks it out of you. And if you let them, they will take even more time. I had about 20 student emails last night, panicked. I had a parent yesterday blaming me for her son’s computer not working, demanding that I fix it, or excuse her son from the assignment they left until the last minute. I just walked away from all of it. I answered one email. I ignored the rest. Most of them didn’t need anything anyway.

Yeah. Today. Going to gym. Straightening things. Putting stuff away. Playing with fabric. Hanging out. Not school. I have to be able to go back on Monday and be in a better mood about it. I just have to. I have to take care of myself…