I Can’t Feel a Thing from My Head Down to My Toes*

July 11, 2018

I keep thinking I’ll get so much done, but then reality kicks me in the head. I did quilt. I did draw. I even walked dogs. All good things. I also drove 2 hours to pick up a quilt and went to the chiropractor. And made dinner from scratch. Still all good things. I did not finish the quilting. I didn’t even finish the outlining. That’s OK. I’m going to do more today. There’s progress…

Although, even though I checked the back for missed stitchdown areas, sure enough, there were three I fixed yesterday…the octopus tentacle was just one of them.

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Where the pin is. It’s OK. It happens most times.

Then quilting the rest of the legs, above the knees…

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Then the dogs earned a walk…and it was cooler (although still humid) yesterday, so we dragged them out to our regular place. I’ve seen the stinky melons on this vine, but don’t remember the spiky balls. So many plants around here have spiky balls for protection…

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And I don’t think I’ve seen these out there ever. It’s weird, because I was just there maybe a week and a half ago…so maybe the bushes were there, and the extreme heat made them flower?

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Lovely cloudy skies…cuts down on the temperatures. Not so today.

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And wild roses…not sure I’ve ever seen them blooming here. But they were beautiful.

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I made dinner…it was lovely. No seriously, it was. I’ll be eating leftovers tonight before book club…for a book I read over a year ago and don’t remember (I just wanna hang out with my book-club mates before school comes back and screws up my schedule). Then I finished all the orange balls (fly stitches) and started on the pink balls (bullion knots).

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Second to last set of balls.

Then back to quilting, up into the torso, which was a bit complicated.

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Uterus done (it’s not a vajayjay, people). Stomach, liver, intestines (it’s not pornography…it’s parts).

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Full view of that section. I have the upper torso, arms, and things floating around. Not a small amount left, but not hard.

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OK, quilting is never really HARD…it’s just time consuming and I’ve got a hard time sitting still sometimes. Like now. Hence the walk in the middle of quilting.

When it’s late and my co-housemates all go to bed, they prefer it if I’m not quilting. Apparently the WHOP WHOP WHOP noise of the machine with my music loud enough to cover that is disruptive to sleep. Who knew? Luckily, I have another project in process, so I moved into the living room to work on the drawing. I seriously haven’t started drawing before 11 PM on this thing most nights. It’s too hot in that room. I need to buy another fan. I used to have it in a certain place and it was easy to unplug and move. Now I share it (what!) and it’s not so easy to move. So a new fan would be smart.

Anyway, I had decided that the mermaid sea mother needed a viewpoint, but I had already drawn in that space. So I could use liquid paper, but then when I trace, there are multiple lines that show up with the light and it’s confusing. Usually that’s what I do, but this was a fairly straightforward cutout. So I did it.

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Then inserted paper behind and drew the earth.

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I added a few more things to the plastic trash.

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And then broke up all the water spaces. It looks really complicated, but I just needed smaller pieces of fabric for easier ironing. Lots of dead fish. But I think the ocean section is done. Although looking at this, the space under her arm looks empty. I need to visualize a sand fabric back there…it will be fine.

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Then while I was driving to Oceanside yesterday to pick up my quilt, I had some ideas for the last figures…definitely a breastfeeding woman. Faceless though…standing for many women? I guess. There’s another one on one of the other waves that I didn’t ink last night…she’s just in pencil.

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Here’s the whole drawing (ish…the top is falling off the back of the light table). As you can see, I’m getting there. Also penciled in is a volcanic area, and I need to put a skeleton in. And then maybe a bird or angel or something? Still considering that. Cherubim? Yeah. Maybe.

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This will be a fun one to explain. It started out as one thing and morphed into 17 other things and I think all I can do to explain it is to call it my brain on politics right now. It feels really bad. Although the Thai soccer players are out! That’s good! Distract me from judges and laws and stupid policies and tweets and everything else. We can’t look away…we don’t dare. But Shee-it. So this quilt is that. All that.

I spent about an hour this morning going through upcoming shows and deadlines and organizing for them. I don’t know if I’ll be able to enter everything I want to, just because I have a finite number of pieces available. But at least I have an outline and some organization for that. I do need to iron fabrics for the two little ones though, because they’re supposed to be done in 11 days. OK, stop hyperventilating. It will be fine. They’re small. You could finish both of them in about 2 or 3 hours if you wanted to. Shush.

What I need right now though is breakfast. And then once I finish the legal stuff I have to do today, then I can quilt all afternoon. It’s warm, but there’s a breeze…and two fans in here. One day at a time. (don’t think about the school stuff you have to organize before Friday. Shush.)

*Genesis, That’s All (so I had this significant other who used to give me shit for some of the music I listen to, and this is one of the bands he shamed me for, even though Pandora picked it this time. But I like Phil Collins…and his bald head…and his earnest voice. So I guess it’s a good thing that SO is out of the picture.)


All You’re Giving Me Is Fiction*

July 10, 2018

So the good news is that I’m released from jury duty all this week, so once again, I feel like I have to get EVERYTHING done this week. No really…car fixed, will done, chiropractor (oh hallelujah on that one), shipping stuff, calling back on insurance stuff, all the crap I never have time to do during the school year. But also, art. Because that shit needs to get on with it. Funny, I have people tell me all the time how prolific I am, but I’m sitting here staring at some deadlines instead of dealing with them. So I have calendars and white boards and to-do lists that remind me, and I look at them and then panic. I also have a task manager that tells me how LITTLE I’ve gotten done, when you consider that I am not going to work every day. I can’t explain that. I know that the pressures of school force me to be very efficient in how I work, and during the summer, my brain kinda rebels and refuses to behave appropriately, which is probably something that I need. So sometimes I just roll with it.

Hi Calli. Speaking of someone who knows how to roll with it.

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Yes, I was hanging out in the boychild’s room with the dogs and the boy’s foot. NOT WORKING.

Then I came in here (two fans still on…it’s not as hot, but it’s humid, and my hot flashes have ramped up majorly in the last month…I can’t stand it sometimes, I feel like I’m on FIRE. Before you tell me how they will go away, in my family, they don’t. My grandma had them until she died at 83. My mom is 77 and still has them. This is my world.)…and I finished quilting this fucker.

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Too many years. Not even anything amazing. Just something I did while watching kids play soccer. All it needs now is a binding fabric.

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Apparently I didn’t buy that in 20-whatever when I put the borders on.

Then while watching the TV after dinner, I did 3 or 4 more balls. There are only 3 or 4 more of the orange ones. I’m getting there.

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I figure I’ll be done with balls by the end of July, and then I’ll sandwich this one too. Aack! Never gonna finish quilting everything. Get one thing out of the pile and put another thing in it.

Speaking of quilting…I did start quilting this one, just the outlining. It’s small, so it shouldn’t take long.

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I’m actually hoping to be done with it by tomorrow, so I can buy binding for it and the other one at the same time, then get binding on and do some handsewing? Maybe Thursday? We’ll see.

This guy likes the sliding glass doors outside my studio. The cats like that he likes that window. They find him fascinating.

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I kind of do too.

So at that point, it had cooled down somewhat and I headed back to the light table to work on the big drawing, which needs to be done this week too. It’s close…

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I’m finishing up the water section…then I’ll finish the land section and put some stuff in the sky. I’m looking forward to all those things. The art things.

But before that, I need to go pick up a piece of art up in Oceanside. Long drive, but it has to be done. At least I can do it…I find the whole thought of not knowing what I can plan for each day very anxious-making. So when they release me from the jury duty for a chunk of time, I feel very relieved. I like having control of my time over the summer, since it’s so hard to do during the school year. I’m sure there’s something psychological in that, but whatever. I’ll take each week I can get…although now I worry that they’ll try to assign me to a trial in the last week, which they can do (thus extending the service time an additional two weeks, which puts me right into the start of school) and then I have major scheduling issues, because I pushed everything on either side of the service dates. But whatever. Let’s revel in this week and get some shit done.

*Neon Trees, Everybody Talks


Conversations Are So Difficult Right Now

July 8, 2018

Sigh. I tried to have a conversation yesterday with someone from “the other side” (I don’t believe there are only two sides to anything…especially in this case, because she seemed to believe she was a feminist, as do I, but there were some other things going on…) about feminism. She claimed there were “Real Feminists” (her term) and they didn’t resort to pussy hats and calling themselves nasty women (um. We didn’t start that. We just took it away from the Orange Trumpet). I asked for her definition of real and fake feminism, because honestly, if you believe in equal rights for women (and for that matter, all versions of gender, as we only barely understand them), then I think you’re a feminist. You can be a quiet feminist. You can be a loud proud and in my face feminist. You can be somewhere in between. You can be a male feminist. You can be all kinds of feminist. I didn’t even know about the WAVES of feminism until a few years ago…apparently if you’re part of the 2nd wave, they hadn’t yet figured out that there was more than one wave. Not that it matters to me which wave you are in…as long as you are in the same body of water with us…so honestly, your politics, your voting history, your life existence doesn’t really matter to me, as long as your core belief is in equality.

I think I was a feminist the first time I realized that male artists were “more important” than female artists (they aren’t…you know that’s why I put it in quotes). So that was when I was about 11. Maybe younger. That said, I have a pussy hat. I don’t have a problem with being lumped in with the nasty women. I make art that seems to be in your face, although, honestly, I don’t make it with that purpose in mind. I get accused of it a lot…of trying to shock people with my art. I honestly don’t care if you’re shocked (I do want you to examine WHY you are shocked). I don’t make art so I can stand on a hillside in front of a million people and yell through a mic a bunch of really inappropriate things that upset people. (like I’ve never ever done that. unlike some people.) I make art because that stuff is in my head and it upsets me and angers me and I need to get it out.

I’ve always shown my art because I think it helps our world for (a) those who believe like me to see that there are others out there with similar feelings and build some consensus around that, but also (b) those who don’t believe like me to see other viewpoints and hopefully work around their prejudices or misconceptions or even brainwashing that there are other ways to view issues and the world. If you’re an artist, I don’t care if you show all your work, show some of your work, or show none of your work. That’s your deal.

I’ve used naked people in my art since I was in college (so that’s over 30 years, folks…not new to this rodeo), because I’m more interested in the core of people, the insides, the body shape itself than I am in clothes and the assumptions we make with what we put on people. I’m not trying to shock you. I don’t think nudity is shocking. I don’t think blood or childbirth or breastfeeding or penises or vulvas or uteri are shocking. If you do, that’s about YOU. Walk away if you don’t like it. I will do the same for you. But maybe stop a moment and try to figure out why you’re having that reaction. Don’t stop when you get to the part where it’s a naked person and that’s WRONG. Why is it wrong? Because it makes people do things (I personally think that’s an excuse, but whatever)? Isn’t that about those people? Nudity in itself is not wrong.

If you’re bringing sin into the argument (especially if you’re putting sin on a brand new baby), then you have to admit that religion is informing your reaction. Then maybe walk away? Or…talk to me: “My religion is telling me that this is shocking because of the nudity.” Then see? We can still have a conversation. I say, “Oh, well I don’t believe that, so you can see I didn’t mean for this to be shocking.” And you can say, “Well, I don’t like it. It shocks me.” And I can say, “OK, then. Well move on. Maybe we can have a conversation about something else…like why a pussy hat makes someone a fake feminist? Or where to buy the best fabric locally?” But there’s no need to be defensive about your answer. Just give me an answer. Not angry, not yelling, just an answer. And if I don’t agree? Agree that we disagree and we both (at least right now, right here, in America) have the right to our differing beliefs and feelings…

I do have a hard time with people who voted for Trump and claim they are feminists, but I’ve heard from a few that they voted for him because in general he supported their beliefs…but there was no one who supported all their beliefs. So they let their feminism trail behind on that vote. I can understand that. I’ve had to make similar decisions while voting…to pick my battles…which sucks, but is political reality. I just happen to have like zero things I agree with Trump on, except maybe Space Force. Space Force (pew pew) is an awesome idea. (OK, you know I’m joking, right? Except I really do like exploring space.)

So I will try to keep having conversations, but when someone else uses the term “Madonna lovers” to describe fake feminists, I have to laugh, because the first thought I had was of the singer, because honestly, I’m not a fan of religion FOR ME. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind. It works for some people…some very good and respectful and loving people. I know some of them. But some people use it as an excuse to do some really evil and prejudiced things in the name of their religion or their god(s), and I don’t appreciate that. Don’t start wars because you think God told you to. God told you to get along. If you’re gonna quote him, then follow him.

I tried. I stopped engaging in the conversation, because she thinks I’ve made her a target, and I didn’t mean to do that. I wanted to know what the fuck she was talking about with “Real Feminists.” Because she seemed to think there was a set of rules for that, and I don’t agree. I’ll keep trying. I’m not giving up on communication. I’m not even sure what a fake feminist is. I know there are women who claim they are not feminists, but they appreciate not being raped or beaten with no repercussions, they love driving their cars and going shopping without a man’s permission, they like to vote, they can make choices about their bodies, they can choose to be the most feminine, lacy, home-cooked meal, princess of the kitchen that they want to be (hell, anyone can CHOOSE that, even men)…so I’m not sure why they think they aren’t feminists. Maybe there should be a reality show where those women go back to before we had the vote, before we had rights, or to countries where they DON’T have what we have here in the United States. Maybe then they’d get it.

Double sigh. Moving back to art…which has nudity and uteri and maybe a penis (not in the current one, sorry y’all). Not because I’m trying to shock you. Go back and read it again. Engage in a conversation with me. Don’t just sit there and fume over something that’s only happening in your head.

It’s still hot here in San Diego. That said, it cooled down over 10 degrees and there was a hint of thunderstorm activity (it rained for 14 seconds), so that helped. Kitten has been living in the sink (it’s the coolest place in the house)…

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There’s yesterday’s baby thunderstorm…more noise than product (ha ha ha…wait a minute, I’m still talking about the Prez).

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I did finish the stitch down…with two fans on me. One was on my face and one on my body. Too damn hot. Lights off (hard to see). My lights in here give off heat, unfortunately. I should fix that.

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In the middle of sewing, I had an art group meeting down at Bread and Salt…I love the murals that keep popping up…and this one, melting, was appropriate.

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Then back to stitching…I didn’t have much left.

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Somewhere in the middle of all that stitching, I saw this. This morning, I redid my fridge whiteboard calendar for the next 5 weeks…and the first day of school is in that last week. NOOOOOOOOO. Yeah. OK.

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I don’t have any money to spend right now, but eventually I’ll have to do all that too.

Here’s the back of the stitched-down front…

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I always check the back to see if I missed stitching anything down. Sometimes I catch it here, before I change the needle out, but usually not.

It was hot enough for a bunny to sprawl on the driveway…we debated putting water out for them. Then we get mosquitoes though. Ugh. Solutions? I hate maintaining fountains (I suck at maintaining fountains. And the water heats up so fast. You see me dumping ice cubes out there all day, yeah? Maybe.

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So before he moved the glass, it was better…there was a horse on the left and a brontosaurus on the right. You can still sorta see them. (yes, I see things in beer foam. I see things everywhere.)

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We came back from (air-conditioned) dinner and I did four more of the orange balls. It was way to hot to have the wool on me, so I quit after four. I think there are 9 or so left.

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And at the meeting, I did more of those coral-colored flowers. They are tiny and cool, but a pain in the ass.

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I also noticed that in the quilt that Sue Spargo did, she stitched French knots all over the wild dog. I like that. But I don’t know if I have enough of that thread to do that, so I’m going to wait until the end? And then probably forget about it. Not sure how to make sure I remember? Maybe write it on the instructions for the last month? That would be smart.

I wanted to draw last night, but I drank too much water and my belly got unhappy and then I got tired and I just couldn’t deal with anything else. I’m hoping to do better today. I know I don’t have jury duty tomorrow, but I have to call in again tomorrow night. One day at a time…one more medical appointment conquered tomorrow, and then hopefully I’ll get Tuesday off as well, because I’m supposed to pick up a quilt and go to the chiropractor (I really need that one)…but we’ll see. Meanwhile, I just need to make art like I’m never going to get any more free time, don’t I? And keep conversing. I’m not writing off the human population…I often want to, and I’m sure they feel the same way about me, but I’d really just rather live in a peaceful, respectful, caring world that doesn’t kill people for their beliefs. Crunchy hippie. I know.


It’s Too Hot…

July 7, 2018

Ugh. Heat. Smashing my brain cells into headache cells. Yes, I drank water…like 8 gallons of it. And then immediately sweated it back out. I don’t have air conditioning, people. We open windows or close them, then put fans on, then drop a bunch of animals in the pool to cool them off. Including human animals.

So this was the car before I drove east home…at which point, it said 112 degrees. I think the official high in East County was 111 degrees, so I’m sticking with that.

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I spent about 4 hours with my co-teacher (a) catching up, (b) complaining about school and shit, (c) sitting in air conditioning, and (d) actually doing school planning.

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We managed all of Unit 1 and a good start to Unit 2. We might meet again, depending on the federal court shenanigans that are my summer existence. They called (the Feds) and left a truncated message on my phone that just said “(s;dlkfrag) Federal Court. Thank you.” Um. OK. Apparently if you pick up (who picks up on numbers they don’t recognize?), they remind you to call to check your status. Dudes. Abide. It’s on my fucking calendar.

Anyway, one more day will get us some wiggle room in August and September, which we will probably need.

Here’s the coffee place’s fancy Insta wall…very cute. They had a mild cactus theme. S3…not quite in Mission Valley, but on the eastern edge of it, which is probably close to halfway between our houses.

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Plus they had science! This drink changes color when you dump the lemonade in it. I have video.

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Sitting on a metrics worksheet, while the computer in the background shows little plastic animals, as we try to decide if they will fit in our graduated cylinders…like you do.

So at home, it was really really hot. The house was cooler than outside because the windows had been closed all day, but even then, the cat who is always hidden was lying in plain sight on the linoleum floor.

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Eventually she moved to the bathroom sink, her preferred hot spot locale.

Boychild took the big dog in the pool. I took both of them in. Little one doesn’t like water, but he didn’t struggle. They have too much fur for that.

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And in this heat, they dry almost instantly. Hey, it’s only supposed to be 104 degrees today.

So we watched Black Panther last night, and I thought it was way better handled than Wonder Woman. I can’t speak to the POC issue, because I’m white, but the women were appropriately clothed for their jobs, were strong and outspoken and smart (his sister!), and I really liked how that was handled. Although still the patriarchal issue of the king passing his power down to his son and men fighting, with strength being the key to winning. Why couldn’t the queen take over? As I age, shitty representations of women in books and movies become even more obvious and annoying. Oh yeah, and in government. As we watched, I embellished balls…orange balls…but only like three or four of them because this is a WOOL quilt and it was still 90-some degrees after 8 PM.

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And then I was looking and thinking, hey self, there’s only two other colors when you’re done with this one. Aren’t there 6 colors? There are not. There are only 5. So I have finished 2/5s of the balls. Good to know. Plus no worries about how I don’t see another color, because there isn’t one. Thank woolly goddess. Going insane here. And here’s the other insanity…I’m close to done on the quilting of that other applique quilt, and then I was going to quilt the wool one that has been pinbasted for two years, and then this one will probably be done this summer and will also need quilting. Like I have time for that, because yesterday I finally looked at the calendar and it’s getting tight. They can’t put me on a trial…I won’t finish the two quilts I need to finish (damn, plus the two little ones that are supposed to be done by the 22nd. Ha! Oh dear. My brain needs to go into overdrive, which it totally can’t, due to the heat).

Anyway. So there’s that.

Sometime around 11 PM, I was finally able to come in here, point two fans at me, and stitch down. And you know what? The fucking tension was fine.

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Sometimes that shit just drives me nuts because there’s no rhyme or reason to what works. Sometimes the spool needs to be horizontal, sometimes upright, sometimes through the metal thing, sometimes not. Sometimes tension is at 3, sometimes it’s at almost zero. I just can’t figure it out. Temperature based? Maybe. In which case, the machine likes it hot and uncomfortable.

So today? I have an art-related meeting, I’m going to try to finish the stitch down, I’m going to take a totally pointless shower, because I will be sweating instantaneously afterward. I haven’t had enough sleep, I have a massive headache, and it feels like there’s sand in my eyes…luckily it will just continue to be cooler in the next few days, the fire east of us is mostly under control, and I get to hang with art friends this afternoon. So those are good things. And maybe the federal government will release me next week too. Maybe. Or maybe I will have jury duty and then come home and be totally efficient afterward! It could happen.


I Turn to You, You’re All I See*

July 6, 2018

I didn’t get up early enough yesterday to write. I had to rush around dealing with animals. I went for my annual mammogram which was quick, easy, and painless. No really! It was. So I was convinced I’d have to go back in because they did it wrong. They also gave me this hairband for free. Apparently hair was getting into the scans and freaking out the radiologists, but they can’t reuse the hairbands.

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So I tried to give it back, because you know, medical waste, reduce costs. But no. It’s mine now. We squish your boobs? You get a hairband. And everything was fine. Cleared until next year. Thank you.

Simba tryna make friends. Or just clean Calli’s nose. Hard to say.

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Satchemo sleeping on my quilting chair. So I didn’t quilt for a while, because…respect for cats.

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Eventually he left…this is actually the 4th of July…I finished the quilting around everything…

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And then I started on the background…

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And then I took a picture of these beetles mating.

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And went back to working on the background.

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Sewing around these embroidered trees was a little hairy…

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Then we went down to Campland on the Bay for the show…this was the view behind me. It actually got cold eventually.

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I do know I would never ever camp here…they’re packed in like sardines. It’s crazy crowded. And a lot of people who are not necessarily my tribe…I can handle it for an evening, but all of those kids are gonna be up at 5 AM…right next to your head. No way. But it was fine for the evening…I finished the wild dog, although I need to comb his fringe.

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And then I finally started doing these crazy flowers…I’m on the July blocks? I think? But the instructions for the flowers are in the January instructions…which live in a notebook. So I finally took a picture of the instructions, then read the two sets of instructions (because it’s not exactly the same) like 300 times, and then did it and went OOOOHHHH.

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Like that. So I have about 30 of those to do. I think.

This is the man doing his best impression of an old man telling you to get off the lawn…he was looking at the view behind me and all the crazy shenanigans people were getting up to when you’re at an urban campground in San Diego on the 4th of July.

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I just tried not to look. Although I faced that way so I could duck when the kickball was headed toward me. Plus so many ways to desecrate the flag…and I don’t really care about that, but oh my eyeballs. At some point, you just laugh and shake your head and be glad you get to leave at the end of the concert.

Later that night, behind me were a million people and eventually about 5 different fireworks displays, which was cool…

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It’s still not as cool as having them right over you though. It was a good show. The food was eh. Remember that for next year.

Girlchild asked me for a picture of us from when she was little. I sent her this…

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Mom on very little sleep…looks like Thanksgiving (jacket, up at the mountains), so she’s about 3 1/2 months old. Ugh. The tired years.

Not that I sleep well now.

So yesterday, after the boob squishing (yes I know my brain is all over the map. Welcome to Kathy on Summer), I went to a friend’s air-conditioned house yesterday and had a hot flash from hell (I’ve been having lots of them in the last few weeks), so she had to turn a fan on me as well. And then I got cold afterwards because menopausal bodies are fucking insane. But I was trying to do stitchdown on this quilt. Because I started looking at the calendar again and I’m being fucking inept this summer.

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But my machine’s tension was being a cranky ass bitch. So I kept having to stop and rethread and try to persuade it to work. Very frustrating. I did get almost halfway up (basically I’m about to do the uterus). So that was good. But it’s so freakin’ hot today, I don’t know if I’ll get any more done. I do sit at the machine with a fan right on me, but ugh…doesn’t feel like enough. If I ever remodel this room, maybe it will get air conditioning. Maybe. Except SDG&E wants us to reduce electricity use today (it’s supposed to be either 106 or 109 degrees, depending on which weather app you look at).

Last night, I finally got some balls done…in fact, I finished all of the second color, which was the Pekinese stitch. So that’s 2 out of 6 colors done.

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Then I stared at the colors that were left and tried to decide which one was orange…and started fly stitches…

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Seriously, the one next to it? Not orange. Blush. Ugh. Or maybe the pink one is blush. No, I think it’s pink. I don’t even know what the 6th color is. Whatever. No one but me (and Sue Spargo) will know. So not important.

Then my brain was hot and tired. But I didn’t want to not use the time. I feel like I’m losing time. So I stared at the blank sections of that drawing that’s been sitting on the light table for a long time, then figured out where to put the first line of waves (I’m taking two separate drawings that were put together in a long horizontal thing and I’m sort of stacking them and then adding and taking away).

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Then I traced in the female figure, the hand, and the oil drums from the old drawing. There’s more going in…most of this base drawing is getting tossed though. And I have to decide where the bottom is and what’s going on the hill above it. There’s a couple of issues going on in the drawing…obviously some women’s issues, but also environmental. Currently it’s named Womanscape, but I don’t know if that will stick. Remind me when I don’t remember what I called it.

OK, today I am working for a while on actual school stuff, and then going into survival mode from excessive heat. I do have a pool…I wonder if I can put the sewing machine on a float. Except there’s a foot pedal. Hmmm. I need an engineering brain for this shit.

*Coleman Hell, 2 Heads


Need to Be Out of Here

June 26, 2018

Well. I need caffeine delivery at my training. They are nice. They feed us lunch. They bring us snacks and extension cords that don’t have a third prong hole. There’s plenty of water. We can pee whenever we want (trust me, for teachers, that’s a major issue)…but there’s no coffee or tea and the day was long. I don’t sit for that long normally either…like unless I’m on a plane. They had us stand up a few times, but I need a long walk and more caffeine. I’m even willing to bring my own milk and tea bags, if they’ll just give us hot water.

So if you’ve never heard of National Board Certification for teachers, it’s not an easy process. In fact, it’s a monstrous pain in the ass…but doable. And I think it’s useful…not only as a way to focus on how one teaches and picks resources and handles assessment and feedback and differentiation (which is hard), but also to protect teachers from crazy administrators (they’re out there, along with the crazy teachers and the crazy parents). They talk about creating teacher leaders, which kinda cracks me up as I look around the room…there’s some crazy people like me in there, and then some high achievers (English, we’re looking at you), and some who had no idea what they were in for, but it does take all kinds. The teacher leaders I’ve dealt the best with are those who work hard, think about kids and curriculum all the time, reflect all the time, and are willing to share information. Science doesn’t attract a lot of teachers who like to follow rules, I’ve found…there were only two other science teachers there, and I’m betting one doesn’t show up at all today and the other one is only going to show up because she thinks I might be able to help her. And I might.

Anyway, today will be longer. And harder. And I need to find caffeine. Or another thermos.

What else did I get done yesterday? Not much. I watched the window fall out even more…

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Fixing it Thursday.

I sewed Pekinese stitch on three balls. THREE.

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And then I ironed. Eventually. It was late.

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The face…I ironed the teacup separately, same with the leaves…the snake, I did right on the hair. I don’t worry too much about being exactly in the right place for that. It’s not overlapping anything it needs to cover.

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The camera and the eye were separate…easier to see where the pieces need to be when I do it that way…

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Then onto the face. Cool. I like it.

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She’s really pale…which means she’ll pop on a dark background.

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I’m almost done with the ironing of the bits. I wanted to be done last night, but I got home and was tired and tried to deal with some stuff, entering a show, finding an old poem for a show…now I need to make the art to go with it, because I committed to that show. Whoops! Nah, it’s OK. I have to do two small pieces by the end of July too. I cut out some small pieces of paper to take to my training, in case I feel like drawing, but that’s hard to do with total strangers sitting next to you and watching everything you do. Plus I don’t know what to do on such small pieces. The big drawing is still sitting on the light table, waiting for me to start something…anything.

But I was in bed around midnight, because I knew I had to get up even earlier this morning…gotta fight traffic. If I get called on jury duty, it’s downtown. Talk about fighting traffic. Ugh. Not looking forward to that. I need lots of sleep over summer break…to make up for how little I sleep during the school year.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll finish ironing tonight, maybe even get it ironed to the background? I only have about 60 pieces to go, if that. And they’re big and easy…no fussy little face parts. Then I’ll have to finish quilting the other one so I can do stitch down on this. That won’t take long…but it will take SOME time. This week is so packed.

There was a video made of the Things That Matter Preview Exhibit…my quilt and I are in it…this exhibit is up at Visions Art Museum through July 8…and then the full exhibit will be in Chandler, Arizona, in November.

I don’t think I’ll be able to make that opening…pretty sure I’ll be hanging with the girlchild in Boston…but I hope I’ll see the full exhibit at some point.

OK, need to be out of here…in so many ways…


Whole Days Turn into Holes in My Mind*

June 25, 2018

Sigh. Well the universe said hi yesterday. With a rock. It’s interesting (I was gonna say funny, but it’s funny strange, not funny ha ha, so maybe it’s not funny at all)…it doesn’t matter how much I plan money out for summer break, there’s always something that throws a wrench into that plan. I guess in the scheme of things, this is not a biggie…it just had shitty timing. We were driving home from the grocery store yesterday and drove past a guy weedwacking a slope, and his machine shot a rock right through the side window of the car. Shattered it. Now thinking back, with about 12 hours of processing, I guess we should be really really glad we were almost past when that rock shot through, because it would probably have damaged a person if they’d been in the way. I still haven’t found the rock in the car. A chunk of the shattered glass below has now fallen out…on the driveway and into the car…

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Just from opening and closing the door and the hood…the hood because the next thing we had to do was jumpstart the Honda, because its battery was having issues (we don’t drive it enough with the kids gone). And then I drove that down to the gas station and filled the tires, put gas in it, cleaned all the windows, because I have teacher professional development today…so I can’t get the other window fixed until probably Thursday, the guy wasn’t insured but said he’d pay for it (if he gave me a real phone number and actually has $400), and my insurance won’t cover it because I carry a high deductible to make insurance cheaper. I hope he’ll pay some of it though, because I don’t get paid in the summer….so it makes bill payment a little challenging sometimes. Especially by the end of August. I can’t order stuff for school until after the credit card cycle is done for July so I won’t see it on a bill until September, when I have a paycheck.

Anyway. I’m trying to find somewhere cheaper than the first two I looked at, but they want a 4-hour window of time to come fix it, and I can’t just leave a car with a hole in the window in a parking lot…so I guess it’ll be driving the Honda for a few days. I just tried the Honda again this morning to make sure it would start and it did. I guess that’s the universe too…

So that kind of blew my afternoon up a bit, trying to get information from insurance and glass places on a Sunday afternoon, with both neighbors throwing parties…we had kid noise on one side and bad cigars on the other. Fun stuff.

I did eventually iron…I was going to draw, but the afternoon kind of clusterfucked my head. So ironing was easier…bird and heart. I’m not sure how the bird will play on the background…I might need to add something behind it…we’ll see. I can’t remember if I was holding fabrics up to the background or not. I think it’ll be OK. The background is pretty dark.

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Then a phone and the pills in the stomach…plus all the rib details…

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With dinner, there was some more stitching on balls…

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Three of them. My average no matter what? I thought these would be faster, but apparently not.

Then back to the ironing…lungs and heart…fussy little beasts.

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And the left arm, down to meet the squeegee.

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Then I rolled all of that up so I could do the top section…the right arm.

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Next is the head and then all the stuff in the sky above. I think I have about 170 pieces left to iron together, and then obviously I need to put it on the background. I might get to all that tonight. Since I can’t fix the window.

Kitten told me it was time to go to bed (it was after midnight…she was right…)

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But that mockingbird. Pillow over the head. Gotta pack up for this meeting…call my car guy and see if he has a recommendation for glass replacement. Text the gardener. Meditate.

*K.Flay, Giver