Can’t Dig Out

Well, brain, thank you. I appreciate your dreaming about grading. Because it’s not enough that I have to DO the grading when I’m awake and WORRY about it when I’m doing other things that don’t seem as important…you need to make me stress over it in my dreams. Nightmares? Perhaps. I’m currently listening to a podcast about daily, weekly, and monthly lists to get shit done too…something I actually do. It doesn’t tell me how to get done the stuff I don’t have time for and don’t want to do. It’s OK. Well, actually, she says that if it stays on the list long enough, you probably don’t need to do it. That’s an interesting thought. I can roll with that. It probably explains a lot of things around here.

I’m really tired this week. I’ve even been going to bed about 30 minutes earlier every night. Getting up early yesterday was annoying because then the parent didn’t show up. So now we’re rescheduled for next week. Great. Fun. Thanks.

I’m a little worried about today and Monday’s assignment. Our kids are not the best at getting stuff done. I’m thinking of a card on Monday that they have to complete as a table…with maybe three questions on it. I didn’t even finish the video yesterday. Sigh. Haven’t finished grading the units…almost! Haven’t graded last week’s homework and today they’re turning in more. I’m gonna panic soon. (see why the brain is dreaming like that?)

OK, it’ll be fine. The podcast just used the phrase “can’t dig out” to describe October. Oh yeah, baby. That’s it. Totally.

I made it to the second opening of the Metamorphosis show last night, but only part of me because I was so tired. There were fewer people there, so I got to see the work better. It was nice. My friend took this picture…

Where I look as tired as I feel. Seriously.

At some point, I’ll post the whole show. I’m not sure when.

I came home, ate late, finished some art stuff, answered an email, and then took the extra 57 minutes to finish cutting pieces out.

It took a total of 14 hours and 41 minutes to cut all the pieces out…and another 47 minutes to sort them all into 100s…

Yes, I did that after 11 PM at night. Hence the tea. But it’s done, so when I’m finished working tonight, I can iron. Well, the room is a mess, but I think it won’t take long to get it all cleaned up. I’m looking forward to this stage. Plus I need to make a video for this weekend. Maybe I should have done some stuff at all the openings I’ve been at…oh well. Brain is not good right now. Hence the need for to-do lists that keep track of my brain.

Tomorrow I drive to LA…kamikaze trip to see my cousin. Then back for grading and ironing. Maybe a date night in the middle of all that.

Kitten was out and friendly last night…no dogs. It’s nice to see her out. OK, school. Apparently I need to grade. My brain says so.

The Trees Will Bend*

I got up this morning and both Kitten and I were looking around for Satch. Hard for the non-awake brain to remember shit…like where I put my phone and the fact that a cat died. Sigh. Kitten…it’s hard to explain it to her. She’s been coming out more, but she’s still super cautious, looking for him around the corners.

I’m up early for a parent meeting…plus I need to get my class in order for today. We’ll have two teachers out on our team, plus my science co-worker is out, so there’s some chaos on campus. Yesterday had a bit of that as well, the day after the mood-checking lesson, some people (mostly 12-year-olds) had forgotten how to behave. This is a hard year for behavior, certainly. It’s just nonstop. And parents don’t seem to be helping.

Tonight is the full opening for Metamorphosis, the Mingei/Allied Craftsmen exhibit at City College downtown. I’ll be going down with one of the other artists, hopefully to see a bit more of the exhibit. Maybe I’ll get a picture of me with my art! Hopefully to see all the students in there too. It does make for a long day, though. Yesterday was a union meeting, plus the gym. I really enjoyed having time for exercise and reading my book, plus I posted a few things students had done on my teacher Insta account in between weight machines. I’ve been lax with that. And I haven’t been able to figure out how to link it to the correct Twitter account. There should be an easier way. There doesn’t seem to be, though. Technology…making an intrusive mess since 1990. Or so.

I was hoping to get the cutting done last night, but I had guessed that pile had more pieces in it than it looked like it had, and I was right…

He did sit by me for a little while. He’s fussy about couch sitting. But you can see why it took longer…them’s some fussy little pieces.

This is after two hours. The pile on the right is all that’s left…

But it’s probably another hour. Maybe less. So tonight. And then I’ll sort them. Does that mean I could be ironing Friday night? It does. That’s nice. Because I’m running out of time. Sound familiar? Yeah. I know. Every time. Iron it together, stitch it down, quilt it, bind it. Deep breaths. This is how I roll.

Another view of Swallow Me Whole in Beyond the Surface

I love that piece.

Boychild has been chopping away at the backyard bushes, trying to make sense of them, plus retain the not-view of our neighbors as much as possible. Need to work on that part, I think.

He’s still walking around with a boot on his foot…hopefully the toe is healing. There’s a hike at the end of the month. Plus I miss our weekly dog walks. I’m freaked out about trying to take the dogs out alone with the coyotes who have been around.

Anyway, need to leave. Go to work. Keep my cool. Get them through it. Hopefully.

*R.E.M., So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)

Especially the Breathing…

It’s such a quiet house without Satch. Kitten is still running around like he’s here, looking around corners, refusing to walk down the hallway with me for her breakfast (I’ve carried her to breakfast since we had Babygirl, so that’s a long time…hard habit to break, I guess.). I encouraged her, but she squawked at me and wouldn’t move, so I went back for her. She and Satchemo didn’t get along very well. There were some moments when he wasn’t chasing her and she wasn’t trying to whack him. It’s hard when you introduce adult cats. We haven’t been particularly successful with it. Unfortunately. I did manage to persuade her to come out last night, because the dogs were gone.

Like this is a safe place…she’s hung out here before…

Glowy eyes and all. Mommy’s light table is safe ground.

Eventually, she came down on the couch…a rare occurrence…

And she’s blurry because she wouldn’t stop moving. Of course, there’s already talk of fostering cats. I’m not sure that’ll work with her. She’s not the most tolerant of cats. We’ll see. We have a friend who rescues cats, so that’s why the conversation is happening. I think she might be OK with kittens…other adult cats, probably not so much.

Anyway. We’re going to be OK. We know we gave him good views of hummingbirds and geckos, and lots of pets and love. It sucks that his last week was so yucky, but it’s hard to know when to say goodbye to them sometimes. Probably true of people too, but we have fewer choices about when to stop trying to fix them.

I got another piece into a show, local this time. This is Finding Peace and it’ll be at The Studio Door in Hillcrest, opening November 2, from 5-7 PM.

It’s the Best of FIG exhibit…I had to laugh, because there were size restrictions, and I think my best work is larger than the size restrictions. And I told him that. I do love the bathtub series, though. So that’s OK.

I got home late last night, after tutoring and chiropractor. I watched Bat TV (the bats off the deck), I cooked dinner, and I graded science units for a while. After yesterday’s mood check thing, where I totally reamed the counselor on campus (this woman needs a middle-school reminder), but managed to get the principal to pay for a bunch of triple beam balances as a pay-off for my irritation (um, OK. I’ll take that). Seriously, how does an ex-teacher not understand how I do not need to be in charge of all the counseling shit? Because she only had 25 students and I have 164? That’s not a good excuse. I know kindergarten teachers work their asses off teaching all those subjects AND potty training etc. I do not know what this woman’s problem is. But it’s done now.

Last night, finally after all the grading (still not done), I started cutting stuff out again.

I’ve been cutting for 11 1/2 hours…not nothing. But I’m almost done…I can see the bottom of the box…that’s a good thing. Could I be done tonight? Maybe. Looks are deceiving. There are a lot of small pieces in there, landscape stuff. It might take a while. But maybe. I can do maybe.

Lab today. My co-teacher did it yesterday. Apparently there will be lots of confusion. Great. I love confusion. I’m gonna deep breathe all day and then sit at a meeting and then hopefully go to the gym. That’s the plan. Especially the breathing.

At Peace…

A really sad day yesterday. Poor kitty. Satchemo is finally at peace. Hard day for the rest of us. I prefer to remember him well…

In my stuff, sneezing in my face, claws in my leg, begging for food, silent meow. That’s 4 cats we’ve lost in less than 5 years, I think. All older cats. It’s been rough. It’s a weird house now with only one cat in it. Don’t know how long that will last.

Ironically, we are doing a Check Your Mood presentation in science today all day, so I’ll be sitting through that, checking my own mood, which is sad and slightly weepy. Yesterday, I had a few kids offer me free kittens. Strangely, it’s always the kids who are the loudest, most needy bastards who are ready to go find you a kitten or beat someone up for you. I guess that’s how you know you have a connection with them. At my old school, they wouldn’t have asked first…they would just have shown up with one and handed it to me at the door as they walked in. That’s how I got the pet tarantula (no, I didn’t put my hands out for that one…be aware that a 7th grader with closed hands outstretched toward you is never a good thing). I’ll sit and grade all day while the counselors present. I have a lot to get through.

In good news, my dearth of SAQA exhibits has ended finally. Each Piece Belongs got into Opposites Attract and will be traveling to Australia in the spring.

Hopefully they’ll hang it right side up. Better make sure it has a label on it. I shipped the two sold quilts to Texas yesterday. Hope their owner enjoys them. I’ll miss them, but it’s good to be able to pay off the big ugly bills.

One of my art friends sent a picture of Swallow Me Whole at Beyond the Surface in St. Louis, MO…

It looks good. It was a good quilt to make…no theme, no show in mind…just make what’s in my head. I really just want to stay home today, take a mental hell day…wait, a mental HEALTH day, draw all day. That would be nice. Not an option. OK. Noted. Like yesterday, boychild texted me a picture of a jury summons, because the universe sucks. It’s for November, when we’re in the middle of a huge project that’s full of labs that I really really can’t leave for a sub unless we want explosions. So you know what I’m doing on my first day of Winter Break? Two days before Christmas? Getting my ass up early and going to the damn courthouse. What I will need by then is a break. Hopefully it’ll be one day because no one will want a trial right before Christmas and then I can go on my break. I can’t push it out to summer…it’s too far. Fuckers. I want to go see my kid too, so hopefully going to be able to do that at the end of Winter Break, if she doesn’t come home. We’ll see.

I did grade last night. One kid’s doodles led sad us to K-pop and weird Korean animations. It was something to watch to keep our brains from being sad. Then I cut stuff out…

It doesn’t look a whole lot different than it did before, but I’m out of the body pieces and into the background…so there’s a lot of bigger pieces that cut out much faster than the small ones. I’m still not close to done, I think, but maybe after tonight. OK…off to the workplace…

Dichotomy of Existence…

Hi. Long weekend. Not long enough. The dichotomy of my existence. I spent about 3 1/2 hours at school, trying to get caught up on grading. Well, and I set up the classroom for today. I need to remember to do that every Friday, although I had a good excuse last week. I got through one full class, one of my big ones (OK, three of them are big and the other two aren’t really small) and then about 2/3rds of the way through another one. Tomorrow, there’s a presentation in my classes that means I’m not teaching, but I have to be present, so I’ll be grading through that…think I can get through two more periods, if I’m lucky. That leaves one more…not sure when that will happen. I also graded warmups, finished the previous week’s homework, and did all the makeup work from last week. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

I do feel really tired this morning. Not a good start. Oh well.

I posted last at the morning opening of Metamorphosis. From there, we had a meeting for that art group, then I came home, headed for school, came back, and then went off to the dive bar where the man’s band was playing Saturday night.

There’s usually nowhere to sit, which was fine. I had to wait 30 minutes in line for the bar, because one of the bar staff hadn’t shown up, so I got two. It was easier…

I drew for a while before they started playing and at the very beginning of their set…

Then I danced. I needed exercise. Too much sitting. I can’t explain the drawing. I just did it.

We were home reasonably early, in bed reasonably early, slept in a bit, still tired though.

Satch is still with us, but it’s not looking good. There was some hope if we could get him to eat, but that hasn’t happened. Although he came out to see me this morning…

And he still purrs when you pet him. Unless he’s mad that you made him take meds. I think it’s time, sweet boy. Funny to call him that. He’s kinda been an asshole. But sweet in his own way.

Calli sat with me on the couch for a while. I had given up on grading and was finally doing art stuff…

I did that for a couple of hours after packing up the box with the two sold quilts.

There’s still a lot left to do…so another couple of nights, I’m thinking. It’s relaxing, meditative, I guess. First I have to go to work and grade a lot more shit.

Quickly…

This is quick. I need to leave. Oh wait. I really need to leave. Never mind. I’m bringing it with me. Openings that are only 14 hours apart. Hence my headache. No wine at the last one. Nothing but coffee and yogurt at this one. Ouch.

So this is from last night’s opening of That’s What She Said…Artists Speak Out, at the Martha Pace Swift Gallery in Liberty Station. This is a Feminist Image Group (FIG) show and is up until January. There’s an opening every first Friday that I’m going to try to be at, so plenty of time to see this show.

I have two pieces in the show…this is All Stacked Up in My Head…

At some point, I’ll get an official post up for this one…not sure when.

I came home late and graded and went to bed, got up this morning and drove to another opening…Metamorphosis. This is Allied Craftsmen, another group I’m in, with the Mingei Museum, which is currently under construction, so the show is at the San Diego City College Art Gallery until December. This is the member preview…the real opening is Thursday from 5-7 PM. I’ll be there too.

My piece is way down on that wall.

I’m staring to lose track of where everything is. That’s Womanscape.

I also found out yesterday that Swallow Me Whole won 1st place in the Surface Design Association show Beyond the Surface…so that’s cool.

Meanwhile I need to grade like crazy today, hopefully engage in some actual art making time, and go watch the man perform. Exhausted already. Plus still have a sick kitty. It’ll be fine.

It Either Will, or It Won’t…

It’s been a rough week. Yesterday…had ups and downs…ups that remind you of how it can be. We did the cover page for Unit 2. We kinda know each other now, more than before. The kids drew, and I rolled my chair around to work with every table, stealing a colored pencil everywhere I went. I started up front, with the kids who don’t do anything or are off task or just plain don’t understand, but I made sure to make it to the back tables too. They’re all seated by their homework grades at the minute. It means some days I want to kill the front tables, but then I look back, and there they are, all the kids who work their butts off, working their butts off, staring up at me. Yeah. I’m good. And honestly, checking in with some of the knuckleheads was good too. I still have this one boy’s look in my head. For the warmup, I stole something from my co-teacher…”I wish my teacher knew…” and he had written about how nervous he is all the time. And he’s this big adult-looking kid who’s always either half asleep or something, and he’s got this sad look on his face, and now I worry even more, because how do I fix that? I don’t. I work with it. Aargh.

One way I know this year has been a rough start is that I never finished coloring my Unit 1 cover page. I’ve never NOT finished. Ever. So I was gonna finish Unit 2…and I did.

OK. There were a million other things I could have been doing in the classroom, but honestly, sitting with the kids and coloring with them was the best thing…both for me and for the group and for the individual kids. It was good. Plus in 8th period, this kid is showing me his drawing from across the room, and I’m trying to figure out WTF it is and I think it’s toes, and I’m trying to figure out what toes has to do with chemical reactions, and he’s a super needy kid and has this look on his face and I just lost it. Laughing so hard I’m crying. It’s OK, he didn’t mind, and I gave him a side hug and said thanks for the laugh, you might pick up some extra credit off that. My god it was awful. Still chortling on that one.

Satchemo is still with us, but he won’t eat. The hardest part of owning pets is knowing when they’re done…when there’s nothing else we can do.

Especially when there’s no warning.

I spent some time with my stitching friends last night…I took something easy and brainless to work on. It’s what I needed.

This is Sue Spargo’s Folk Tails block-of-the-month from 2015. It’s the third quilt of hers I’ve done. They are a nice filler for me. I don’t have to create anything or think about it. I just follow someone else’s instructions and do it and it’s relaxing and not stressful. I haven’t gotten much done on this all year because of all the embroidery patterns, so it’s nice to get back to it. It’s slow. But that’s OK.

I came back from stitching, entered a show, made food for the opening tonight…oh yeah, there’s an opening tonight in Liberty Station. I’ll be exhausted, but I’ll be there. And I have an opening tomorrow too. It’s going to be an interesting few days. So many things to do…so little time. Tonight is What She Said…Artists Speak Out, in Liberty Station, located behind the Solare restaurant, the Martha Pace Swift Gallery, from 5-8 PM. I have two quilts in that. And then tomorrow is the Mingei/Allied Craftsmen show Metamorphosis at City College Art Gallery. I have one big quilt in that. The Mingei is under construction at the moment, so they’re doing stuff in other places.

Then I sat and cut for an hour and a half. It doesn’t look like much…the pile on the left is done.

The stuff on the right still needs to be cut out. I honestly don’t know when I’ll be doing that. The man has a show Saturday night. I have a hundred things to grade. Well. Technically, way more than that due to the shitload of students I have. Woo! Love it. Ugh. Seriously, this weekend hurts to think about. Openings are cool, but when I’m stressed like this and just want to get work done, it’s hard to do what feels like wasting time. I’m considering taking a chair and stuff to cut out tonight. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’ll be sleeping in on Sunday. Trying not to think about the cat or the workload or how it will all get done. It either will or it won’t.