Things Don’t Feel Right Over Here*

June 24, 2017

Yesterday we had a nice hike planned, and it started out that way, but didn’t end so well. I almost wasn’t going to write about it, because on some level, to me at least, it’s embarrassing, but realizing that first of all, I do write about a whole shitload of my personal experiences on here because it helps me process stuff and get it out of my head, and second of all, I really have nothing to be embarrassed about…that shit happens and I should try to see the interesting and the good in all of it. That’s how I’ve been trying to roll for the last few years, and I should just keep on keeping on.

So we started the hike and I was fine for quite a while…it was Sunset Trail, planning to come back on Big Laguna, up near Mt. Laguna off Sunset Highway. I’ve done portions of this hike or exactly this hike maybe 5 or 6 times, so this is not a newbie thing. I was fueled by one of the boychild’s really tasty apple cheddar scones (Smitten Kitchen, amazing taste)…

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It was warm, but no warmer than other hikes. We had expected it to be a little cooler though, based on the weather apps.

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There was a wide variety of seedheads to wonder about…this one was huge.

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And beautiful views, although lacking the partial cloudiness that had also been promised.

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I took a photo here of both kids about a year ago…

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And here as well…

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I was still doing OK here. I had plenty of water and was moving slowly because of the heat, but I was moving.

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Here’s Water of the Woods…no cows this time (boychild says they were just beyond here to the right…)

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Certainly more water than we saw last year…which is partly why I wanted to come up here…to see water in Big Laguna…

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Going up the hill to the second section of Sunset Trail…this is where I started to really feel the heat…

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But I was still OK enough to see and photograph wild strawberries.

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And then sometime after that, in the next mile, my body revolted. I’ve had heat exhaustion before, but this was pretty bad. I started a new medication earlier this week that probably contributed to this…it causes dehydration and dizziness. I’d had one bout of dizziness early on after starting the med, but was fine the two days before, so I wasn’t expecting my body to just stop. But stop it did. Every time I stood up and tried to get another few 100 yards, I would feel like I was going to fall over. At some point, the boychild and I decided to call…so that’s my helicopter. I got lifted out to a local park where they evaluated me. After some cool air and rest, they released me to my promise to get electrolytes in me and that the boychild was coming back to get me…which he did. He hiked back and got the car and came to the park for me.

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I had 5 Forest Service guys, who helped out and trained a newbie on how to assist a heat-exhausted hiker who had plenty of water (I really did…this is where the med was an issue), then 2 guys with the helicopter, 3 in the ambulance, and a paramedics truck with 2 more guys in it. Another newbie was training in the ambulance. I’m glad I provided them with a willing victim on which to practice.

One of the best parts was the helicopter ride…there was no door, but I was strapped in and holding on with both hands. Pretty awesome…although as he landed it in the park, there were 17 people recording the landing with their phones. Oh yeah. I thanked everybody, except my own body, which wouldn’t follow directions. Came home, called doctor, and she pulled me off the medication. Seems that’s not what it’s supposed to do, shockingly. I’ve drunk a ton of fluids and I’m still nauseous and headachy…it takes up to three days for the medication to get out of my system.

I’m often frustrated with my body’s inability to behave. I’ve been diabetic for 15 years now and I try to deal with it the best I can, but it’s frustrating as hell some days. If you’ve seen my piece Fully Medicated, you can see the issue’s been around for a while…

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Yeah, that’s the second penis-free quilt that AQS pulled from their exhibit last year…all about managing medications and how they affect your body. I would love to be medication free, but it doesn’t happen. So I’m back to a previous medication now and trying to find a better balance, whatever that means.

I will hike again as soon as I get this shit out of my system. Although now I’m nervous about it, worried my body might fail me. No matter how stubborn and persistent my mind is, my body needs to be well enough to follow through.

I did finish Block 9 of Folk Tails last night though. This is not the 9th block I’ve finished…just Block 9. I think it’s the 7th one I’ve finished…

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This looks like the 6th one I’ve finished, but there’s another half-done double block lurking somewhere…not sure where. Attached to something else probably.

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This is Block 10. A bigger hippo this time.

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I have two nights stitched on here as well…mostly two different blues on the left, filling in the herringbone stitches with fly and straight stitches.

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On Thursday night, we did an artists’ talk at Sparks Gallery for the Allied Craftsmen show…

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It was interesting, although it would be nice to have more people show up. It is downtown though, and a Thursday night. It was nice of them to host it. The best part was hearing fellow artists talk about their work and process…sometimes what we do overlaps and sometimes it doesn’t. Turns out I’m a planner (didn’t used to be…and I wanted to do one this summer that wasn’t planned…not sure that’s going to happen at this rate). But you probably knew all that by watching what I post.

OK, so I have work planned out for the next few days. I’m hoping the nausea goes away and I feel more like myself soon. I’m hoping the new med gets out of my system and lets me exercise without feeling like dying. I’m hoping to get back out on that trail and next time pass by that meadow where the helicopter landed and keep on going, strong as I ever was.

*The Roots, Don’t Feel Right

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Far from This Opera for Evermore*

May 11, 2017

Somewhere about two months ago or so, I must have run out of Wonder Under, the fusible stuff I use when I make quilts. I’m sure somewhere in my head was a reminder to buy more, a reminder that fell into a back corner of my brain, pushed out by more highly prioritized items, like buy cat food, sleep more than 4 hours a night, and don’t forget to do the laundry. That’s unfortunate, because when I finally made it home yesterday after testing (Day 1 of state-induced hell), a team meeting, a union meeting, AND book club, I was looking for Wonder Under to trace the new piece…and not finding it. Ugh. Argh. Crap.

So I found what I could…

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Which was little bits and pieces and one larger piece. And that larger piece is pretty beat up. But it’s better than nothing, right? It’s not like I have time to go to the hell that is JoAnns for more. I have quilts to pick up from the photographer today, plus apparently I’m going to have to try to fit a vet visit in…I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna work, but both dogs are still sucking on toes even with cones on. I had to involve my ex, the dog whisperer last night, to deal with Mr. BiteyFace because of the cone.

So I will make do with what I have. Despite exhaustion again last night (sure, it’s an every night thing at this point), I traced for almost an hour, until my SIL called to discuss…well…never mind what she wanted to discuss, but it was one of the more amusing phone calls I’ve had lately. Lots of discussion of the shitty jobs we had in college and right out of school, as well, though…which is something to keep in mind as my own kids job hunt. Nobody had a great job out of college. I worked as a temp for at least a year. Shockingly, degrees in art and comparative literature don’t have great job prospects. Things they don’t tell you in college.

Anyway, you can see what I did get traced…I think I’m in the 100s. So another night, probably tonight, I should be done.

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I do have to put on at least one quilt label tonight and figure out hanging hardware for a drop off on Saturday.

I did more hand…almost filled in now. Well, if you ignore that huge space at the bottom. Maybe I’ll fill that with Xs or seed stitch.

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Saturday’s drop off is for this show, opening May 27, 6-9 PM.

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Here’s the other side of the card, featured All Stacked Up in My Head, the piece that needs a label and hanging hardware.

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It’s one of two pieces I’ll have in the show. I won’t be at the opening, but my work will. It has a better social life than I do.

One thing I’m looking forward to today? Kids are done with testing at 12:30 and then we can go OUT to lunch. I know that seems like no big deal, but as a teacher, we never go out to lunch because, well, lunch is 30 minutes long and that includes shooing kids out of the classroom, heating up your food, and peeing for the first time in three hours, so it’s a fast thing, not a leave-work-and-travel thing. First, though, we do need to survive Day 2 of testing, a challenge in itself. Lunch will be well-deserved.

*The White Stripes, Seven-Nation Army


Read the Lines in My Hand*

April 20, 2017

AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK.

OK. Yeah. Better. Nope. Not really. Realizing how many things are on the to-do list while simultaneously realizing how little time there is to do them. My right eye is twitching again. It’s not supposed to do that on break. And it doesn’t seem to matter that I got a ton done yesterday…today it has multiplied into a monstrously larger amount, I don’t even know how. Part of it is trying to manage four different shows (maybe more?)…finishing work, putting labels on, suspect I need to go shopping for slats or dowels, plus shipping them off…gotta get all that done today and tomorrow. Plus the parentals are gone, so I have their dog on top of mine. And I’m supposed to be deciding what quilts will be in my solo show in July, because I need to know by next Friday. Aack. Double Aack. I have some that are definites (including the one I haven’t finished, oh shit), but I’m blanking on some of the others. Not sure. Need it to fit with the title. Maybe. Maybe it all fits. Who knows? I can’t wrap my brain around it right this minute. Realizing that this weekend is busy as hell, all of a sudden. OK, the realization was all of a sudden…it’s been booked for months.

All I can do is start banging through the list, as always. This is how school stuff doesn’t get done, though…because I’m trying to finish the personal stuff…and that doesn’t even include my original Spring Break goals of finishing all the weeding (ah ha ha ha) and figuring out where all the quilts should be stored and getting my bedroom chaos under control. That shit’s just not happening at all.

So. I got up yesterday and graded one of the longer assignments. Then I started cutting, and I did that for about 4 1/2 hours…

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And then I was done. So 9 hours plus total, I think. And my hand isn’t even that stiff. Good deal.

I had two dogs on the couch with me for most of it…not sure why. I know I’ve been the most boring owner ever this week. Sorry guys.

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Then the third dog showed up and the shenanigans began…

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I ignored them and went on to sorting the pieces out…

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And then came in here and started ironing…

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I am doing all the stuff around the bathtub first…it seems easier that way…

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Well, this tree wasn’t really easy…but it was logical…sort of.

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And I got the cat done after midnight…and that’s where I stopped.

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200 pieces ironed down…only 500 to go. That was my goal for today…I think. I’m not sure I can pull it off though. I have 5 quilts to pull from the pile, check all of them for labels, put labels on those that don’t have them, ship 3 to one location, put 2 in a pile for another location, and then there’s another that’s still in a box that needs to be shipped back. Each batch, I need to look up what else needs to be sent…artist statement? Slats? Return shipping? Who knows. Pain in the ass. Except the work is gonna be out there, so that’s a plus.

Two of the pieces are in this show…which will be up until July 10, I think. The piece on the right is mine, and there will be another smaller piece of mine in the show. I won’t make it to the opening though…it’s free, but you need to register. I think that gets you a free wine ticket though, so you should go.

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And then I’m in this one…but I’m not sure whether it’s just the one piece on the announcement or not. I should be at this opening…

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Anyway, wasting less time here and trying to get everything done without panicking. This is the part where my counselor tells me I must like being overwhelmed because I keep getting into that space. WTF. I don’t know how NOT to get there. Sigh.

*Elliott Smith, Miss Misery


Again. As Usual.

May 18, 2016

Busy day yesterday. One car in the shop. Got a ride home and the second car’s battery was dead. Got that replaced, then drove out to UCSD to pick up a dog that needed a home…this is Simba…

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A very tired Simba. I’m sure coming here was probably a bit overwhelming. Another dog, cats, a yard. He’s been pretty good about it, although I don’t think he’s eaten anything yet but two chicken treats, and it took a while to get him to go to sleep in his own bed.

He needs some shots and to be neutered, which girlchild will handle when she finally gets home.

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Simba showed up because of the girlchild and one of her friends…and it’s funny, because I just had this conversation with the boychild, who would love to have a cat, but can’t have one in the dorms and doesn’t want to get one until his living situation is more stable. And sure, shit happens. You could have pets and then have a stroke and be in the hospital for months. So have a plan for that. We have multiple backup plans for pets in my small family circle here in San Diego. And I suspect most of my friends know (from past experience) that I take rescue animals most of the time. Some of my best pets started out as an oops that some kid picked up outside a grocery store, a freebie that couldn’t be in the apartment or whatever.

Anyway, between the car and the puppy (because he is still a puppy), I didn’t get any art done. I was so exhausted by the time I got through dinner, I couldn’t focus. So I eventually went to bed.

However, I have some photos from a couple of openings I went to last weekend (there were 4 in two days…I actually missed the 5th one due to exhaustion).

First of all, I went to the Allied Craftsman show at Sparks Gallery, in downtown San Diego. I know a few people in the show, so I wanted to document for the two groups I’m in with them (I still have to write posts for those two blogs…tonight!). But I also saw this artist at the show…by Alexander Arshansky, this is Native American

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His work is very detailed…this is Born in Fire

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His work was upstairs in the gallery, separate from the Allied Craftsman show, but definitely a joy to look at.

You can see all the Allied Craftsman pieces on the Sparks Gallery website. Here are two quilts that were in the show, the one on the left by Viviana Lombrozo and the one on the right by Charlotte Bird (who is in one of the groups I’m in).

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Below, in the middle is Jeff Irwin’s Circulation, flanked by his Pump and Vanishing Point plates.

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I photographed other work, but it’s for those blogposts. I’ll link to those here once I actually get them written.

Then I went over the the Cohort Collective’s show at Subtext Gallery, also downtown. The show is called Tiny and the pieces were all…small. These are all by Dolan Sterns, Creatures of Dirt

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They seem to be on old metal lids, apparently done in white out and ink.

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Stearns is a skateboarder and usually does much larger pieces…on walls. Like the whole wall.

There were two pieces by one of my favorite fiber artists, Jaclyn Rose…this is I-breathalyzer.

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And Leave the Way You Came In

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Then a new artist for me, Christopher Konecki…this is Last Glimmer (of Hope)

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He has a wide variety of work…this is Staying Inside on the left and a side view of the other one.

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And then he and Spenser Little teamed up for some great little pieces…this is Cat on Leash

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Mermaid Bubbles

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And my favorite, We Used to Write Love Letters

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A detail of the wire work…

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Then Spenser Little’s wire work…this is Multiface

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Mini Deity Number 2

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His larger deities are bloody amazing; the detail is boggling.

This is Mini Deity Number 1

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And the back side of Schizophrenic on Coffee Multiface

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It’s amazing how little line you need to convey expression. The Tiny show is up until June 10. It really is a tiny show, but there’s a lot of value in seeing it.

Well. Art tonight? Maybe. We’ll see. I’m a little buried at the moment by life. Again. As usual.