Are You Listening?

I was gonna write about how to help me practice for school starting, like go ahead read what I wrote, then ignore it all, and then write me stupid questions that are easily answered by what I just said. Because I’m realizing I don’t have any patience for that right now, and I need it. And that’s with the people I deal with all the time. What am I going to do with 140 12-year-olds who don’t listen? Must build patience. Now.

But really, all of that is irrelevant when you think about all the kids starting school with one or both parents deported. I’ve had students with deported parents before and students whose sleep was fucked up by the cops raiding their apartment the night before and students whose parents got arrested, and they shockingly have a hard time learning. They often have a hard time giving a shit about school. They sometimes have behavior issues as well. None of this is surprising. I don’t understand why the business owners are not being held accountable in these raids. I mean, I guess I do understand, but it’s not right. As I’m copyediting a book on how to help traumatized students, as I work in a district full of traumatized students, it really makes me angry that as a country, we are traumatizing kids. This is not a short-term trauma for some of these children. We are damaging them. It’s wrong. Many of us know it’s wrong. Most of us are here because our ancestors thought they could have a better life here. Why are we so angry that people still see the US as a better place to be? That should be positive.

OK, well I still need to think about school. I’m trying. First I need to copyedit. Today at least…

First, here’s the girlchild at age 6. With a dog. She’s always with a dog. This was Missy, my parents’ previous dog.

She did karate until she decided she didn’t like making boys cry. That might have changed.

Boychild and I cleaned yesterday…floors mostly, but I also had stuff stored in the girlchild’s room that I needed to go through. I made it through part of it, but some needs sorting and I don’t know what to do with some of it still. I just moved it into my room. For now. I also made it to the gym. That’s a good thing.

I finally got a chance to watch Amanda Palmer’s video for Drowning in the Sound

The song itself makes me cry. So does the video. I was making dinner while watching it, so after dinner, I needed to draw.

It feels good to just spill that out. Seriously, that’s about 45 minutes. Sometimes it’s quick.

Then I finished cutting out the last few pieces of the newest quilt. I only needed another 30 minutes, sadly.

It took a total of 11 hours and 15 minutes to cut all of them out. I can’t remember what I thought it would take…somewhere between 10 and 15 hours.

Then I sorted them…

This is not the hard part. It’s time-consuming, but helpful later. There are a lot of pieces in the 300 and 400 boxes, because that’s where the majority of the misnumbering happened.

The next job is to iron them together, hopefully starting today. I just emailed my photographer to see when my real deadline is, which could be an issue. I’m thinking about 15 hours to iron it together. I want it done before we go to Arrowhead. Copyediting, ironing, and going in to school. Plus girlchild. OK. It’s fine. I don’t need to sleep.

My cat. In the green bin.

I finished my first Patreon video for August as well, which is good. I’m trying to stay on task with the to-do list.

Guess whose butt I’m scratching?

Oh yeah.

So girlchild comes in tonight, as does one of her friends. I have a bunch of errands to run, a ton of copyediting to do, some laundry, and hopefully ironing. I should wrap the girlchild’s present. That would be smart. OK. Plans. Get on it.

Stupid Scissor Rules

Well. That was a weekend. I’m so glad I planned it though. I remember thinking, ah, no, you’re going to Boston the following weekend, it’s May, which is always a clusterfuck, LA is a pain in the ass, you’ll have to get somewhere to stay, blah blah blah, all the things you say when you’re trying to talk yourself out of something you really want to do. But I didn’t. Amanda Palmer was great. Amazing. A performance more than a concert, but riveting. Even though I knew some of the story, I hadn’t heard it from her, and that made a difference.

We drove up to LA, found our hotel, which was within walking distance of the venue, and hung out for a bit…

Hanging out looks like this after driving up to LA. Then headed out to get dinner early, because…well…so I joined Patreon originally to support Amanda Palmer. I had been reading her blog and she talked about it and I checked it out and went HEY. This is a thing. This is how we as a society support musicians and artists the way they want to be supported. This is how we back their projects and encourage them to do new things, better things, things that may not be very commercial, but are very much what we want to see. So I joined. And one of the things about her Patreon is she wants to hear from us and see us, so she sets up a photo shoot before every show. Ours was here…

And we needed to be there by 5:45. So we ate early…at Mikkeller…

Which has great art…

So we were at that park, waiting for AFP to show up and the security for the park? the buildings around the park? kicked us out. Because we were gathering on the walkways. They left the homeless guy on the lawn, but a bunch of liberal, semi-strange-looking people is definitely a danger to humanity.

Amanda showed up and talked to us…

Which was cool. There are many needy people who are fans. She is good to them, very patient. Much more patient than I would be.

I wish we’d had more time to walk around and photograph art around the area, but really, after the photo, we went back to the hotel for about half an hour and then headed to the venue…

The Ace Hotel is an old theater that’s been converted/adapted.

The inside is completely amazing…totally over the top…this was taken after we all left…

Our seats were in the lower balcony to the right. It was good.

She talked a lot, played a bunch of songs, there was definitely ukulele…it was emotional, sometimes painful, and funny on top of all of it. An amazing show. Four hours plus of amazing. It must be exhausting to do the show. I wanted the needy people to be quiet, but they never are. She handled them well. There are times to respond and times to ignore. I was worried the man would be bored, because he wasn’t really an AFP fan in the beginning, hadn’t heard anything since the Dresden Dolls, but she talked a lot about music and being an artist, and I think that dragged him in. He liked it. I loved it…it was a very personal experience, despite the hundreds of people and not being able to get through the bathroom line. It was worth the 5 hours of driving and getting not so much sleep and going to an iHop on Mother’s Day (oh hey, mistake) and not getting much work done and all that.

I did a drawing, but I don’t have the energy (or time for that matter) to get up and photograph it (find it first). I’ll do it later.

Yeah. Cool. Totally worth the trip.

I came home, rushed through all the errands, graded 96 emails worth of makeup work (ha!), came in here, and started ironing.

I was supposed to record the last bit for my Patreon video, but I forgot. So tired. So I’ll do that tonight. I wrote it in the calendar. After dog walking. It’s on the list.

I am nowhere near where I wanted to be with this quilt. I cut out nothing on the way to or from LA, because I did all the driving. I was too tired in the hotel. I’m about halfway through the 400s after last night, but that’s still about halfway…no, probably less than that. So I’ll have to decide if I want to bring it to Boston and cut stuff out. I can’t cut on the plane (stupid scissor rules). I could cut at three different graduation ceremonies though. Ah? Thinking about it. I have traveled with stuff to cut out before.

Anyway. It’s a busy week. I’m going to get done whatever I can. I’d like to be done with the ironing, but I can’t guarantee that. I can only try.

And oh hey…next weekend, we’ll be here…

to see the girlchild graduate. She matches the trees and the flowers.

Which Parent Will You Be?

Neck is still messed up. Call to chiropractor today. Same with the pool. Whatever. I survived yesterday with about 300 people saying or singing happy birthday to me. I think 6th period was the most melodic AND in tune. Fourth period was just screechy and although 8th period was a nice volume, they only knew three notes.

I sat through a union meeting and drew this…

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I have two drawings in my head that are Big Heads (way bigger than this…the sketchbook is probably 6×9″). Need to find time for that.

Then a quiet evening with pizza, Walking Dead, and my sofa companions, some more needy and some more verbal than others. Then I did the dishes and put the dishwasher stuff away, wrote an email to my union people about what happened at the meeting, moved a bookshelf (17 other pieces of furniture had to move first), and finished putting fabric away. While I was doing that, I remembered Amanda Palmer had posted on Facebook about a new song, a serious song, not a last-minute plinking of the ukelele (not that I mind those), and I scrolled through until I found it…listening to the song, I read the story behind it, which is sad, of course. But this part got me…photo of babe in suitcase while she tries to finish writing a song all night. Being an artist AND being a mom…two of the hardest jobs to juggle at the same time.


And I like that…“you are either going to be the person who stayed up and wrote the song, or you’re going to be the person who went to bed and didn’t write the song.” I don’t care about the boring fucking parent side, but I guess I was always the one who stayed up and made the art. Who made it despite parenthood and divorce and all the other crap. I think that’s the artist’s drive, the one that woke me up around 2 AM with this vision of a drawing in my head. Anyway, the song is good…see link below for the story and the song. I read it while I listened, which I think is the best way to do it.

Amanda Palmer: Machete

So in the light of being that person, the one who stays up late to have her other artistic life, here’s what I did after 10 PM last night. First of all, the damn Wonder Under is being an asshole. Here are all the released pieces.

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So when I’m ironing, if a piece doesn’t have the web on it, I do this kindergarten-level pattern matching. It has a pointy bit here, it’s long and skinny there, and I try to match them up. If I can’t, I trace a new one. It is a rancid pain in the ass. It’s like an online intelligence test.

Here’s the first 100 laid out.

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I honestly didn’t get far, through the 50s and into the 60s I believe. Tiny little pieces and a tired little brain. But I started and that’s what matters. Now I have a plan for the next few nights. This is one of my favorite parts of the quiltmaking process, picking out the fabrics. The piece isn’t even colored in my brain. I just stare at the drawing and imagine it in a variety of colors as I’m picking stuff.

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It’s a little crazy actually. The background is on the left. The stuff I’ve used so far is on the right. This drawing is small enough that right now I have it just sitting on the ironing board. Easier to see what’s what, cuz that’s some tiny-ass pieces.

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I got to a stopping point and was trying to straighten other stuff up in the studio, when I realized I had a piece of dowel that would work for the SAQA auction piece I bought last year and hadn’t hung yet. I cut the dowel, stuck eyebolts in, and then realized it was REALLY tight. The sleeve was tight against the piece…making the dowel bulge out…

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It’s hard to see in this picture, but look on the left, where you can see the bulge of the dowel. I hate that. I always leave room in my sleeves so that won’t happen.

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So I ripped the bottom edge of the sleeve and repinned it.

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And then I’ll sew it down where it belongs. So I can hang it up with all the other art that needs to get hung up.

Wow. Tired. Sore. But looking forward to that late night tonight when I can hang with the fabric again.