And That’s Fine…

Oh my, it’s hot. I know some of the hot is my body deciding it wants to be on fire, but the rest is just summer. And it’s not even really THAT hot compared to what it will be in August and September. Turning a fan on helps. Not wearing clothes also helps, but is less socially acceptable. Calli (the dog) thinks going in the pool helps…she’s probably right. That’s the one I always forget to do.

I’m currently listening to a podcast-type thing that I paid for to help me control my hours at school (or on school, because I do a lot of it at home) tell me how to delegate the shit in my classroom. Sigh. OK. I hear you. They do more work so I can do the important stuff. I have a hard time giving up control of some things. I know that.

I went to the gym yesterday. I love the gym. I love having time to read. I love to exercise (I know, weird, huh?). I love the air conditioning. I’m trying to make it a habit again. It used to be. It was easier when other people weren’t dependent on my being home to cook or to cook for. So I’m going to have to figure that out this school year. The gym needs to fit in somewhere. Somehow. I do need to remember to either eat right before I go, or take food with me. My blood sugar started crashing while I was there. That’s two days in a row where in the past, I could just be hungry or skip food and it would be OK, but now, I get really low blood sugar, then eat to manage that, and feel dizzy and like shit for an extended period of time afterward. Not good. Don’t do that again. I sometimes have the same problem with dinner…like I need to eat, so I either have to try to find a snack that won’t blow up my blood sugar, or I need the person who’s cooking to get on with it. It’s not usually a problem, but sometimes it is. I’ve gotten my A1C down to a good number, but I’m still working on the nighttime blood sugars. It’s hard. My body doesn’t always behave logically. Annoying. So my goal today is to eat lunch on time. I’m cooking dinner, so I’m in charge for that one. Good plan.

I didn’t finish all the errands yesterday. I actually left the house and did a bunch and came back and realized I’d forgotten one (sigh). Today I have 5? Potentially 6? Six. I just wrote them on a post-it. Here’s how you don’t forget them.

I’m still waiting on the final version of the book I’ll be copyediting…starting next week, I suspect. I’m running out of days before I go back to school…like always! I hate that. Summer is a discombobulation. I swear, all these cats do is sleep.

Tough life.

Yet when it’s morning and they want their breakfast, I’m not allowed to sleep. Bastards.

I am working on this every night. I am not marking anything. The words are getting bigger for no reason at all. Geez. HATE is really big. Ironic. Or not.

I need to be done by the end of August. I should be able to do that. I also spent a few hours cutting shit out…hopefully more of that today.

I want to be done today. Girlchild is texting me about having to give up her California drivers’ license for a Masschusetts one. It’s sad for her. It’s sad for me too. I’d rather have her in California, but that’s not where she is right now. Stupid shit makes me cry sometimes. This summer is like the worst for that. Sigh. Random tears.

OK. Here’s what’s done so far…

I cut one partial yard (about 3/4s full) and another yard, I did about 2/3s. I’m not doing the math. I have 2 full yards and a 1/3 of the other one to finish. First? Six fucking errands. They are all purposeful. I wish I didn’t have to do all of them, but it is what it is. Then I will come back and bingewatch television while cutting shit out. And maybe if it cools down enough, I will walk a dog. The old lady? Sigh. Maybe we will do a short walk with both dogs and then a longer walk with no dogs. IDK. I want to go out and walk and the dogs are always my excuse, but it’s really fucking hot and I’m supposed to cook tonight. So there’s a timing issue. I’ll figure it out. It’s fine. Apparently my phrase for the summer is “It’s fine” or “And that’s fine”. I’m not sure either are true. What I really mean is that it’s annoying but I will handle it. It takes a lot longer to say that. It’s fine.

Shoefly, Dragonfly*

Strangely I felt yesterday like the cold had wandered off, but today, it is back and in my face. More specifically, my nose. My sinuses. My head. I think I will remember to take the cold medicines with me today to the design conference. I’m still processing Day 1 of conference. I wonder where everyone sits on the spectrum of How Do We Fix Schools? I’m definitely down at the anarchy end. I don’t have a solution in mind. I just know in my mind that the whole system needs to be blown up and redesigned. This committee I’m on has some interesting people on it…some people I think were required to be on it. Some I wonder…but that’s a different conversation. Here’s the poster my table designed and I drew…

Like I said, there’s a place to start. I want more community in there. I want more about the flexibility…and that’s the hard part to design.

It does mean I’m up early again today for Day 2, but yesterday was good…I came home exhausted, but managed to finish ironing all the pieces down on fabric for this quilt…it took 9 1/2 hours total…so many of my current quilts have rainbows in them.

Oh yeah, before I did that, I finished editing the Patreon drawing for June and posted it to my small community of supporters. My goal eventually is to put all these drawings into a coloring book, a nice one with heavy pages, heavy enough for pens! I love pens. I don’t really color, but I like the idea of coloring. I guess I color with my quilts. I’m hoping to build the Patreon community enough so that I can fund the coloring book with it. Then give those members a hefty discount…

I used a whopping 120 colors of fabric in this little quilt…

Usually the smaller the quilt, the fewer the fabrics, but all the different variations of greens I needed…and browns…hyped the numbers up I guess. Those two middle boxes are all green and brown. I’m hoping it looks good. It’s hard to see it in my head sometimes.

Then I started cutting them out…I got a pretty solid start.

Stuff that’s cut out on the top left, stuff to go on the top right, and the inevitable weird pile of trimmings that I save until the quilt is done…just in case I need a tiny piece of something. I actually spent about 3 1/2 hours doing artwork yesterday, despite being at “work” all day, because I didn’t have to come home and process anything. I didn’t have to grade or plan or answer emails related to work.

That’s good. That’s what I’m aiming for next year…at least some similar plan. Less time at home doing schoolwork. More time making art.

OK, so today we are back to the improv (yeah, it’s weird…just go with it) and hopefully some more design talk and thought. Then home to walk the dogs and cut more things out. Maybe also some planting, although that can wait until tomorrow I think. I’ve been slowly dealing with art group stuff as well…posting things and organizing photos. I have a show to enter, I need to send my kid some money for July, and I need to prep the next blogpost for one group I help manage online. I didn’t look at my to-do list last night. I’ll do that tonight as well. Or maybe I’ll take it with me for down time at this conference. We’ll see. I do need more tea…that’s for sure.

*Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River

Got Love Make It Go*

I feel like I ran a marathon yesterday. I’m gonna run another one today, but it will be much shorter. Hallelujah. I also finished the book that was due to the library last week and loaded three more onto the iPad. One is due in 8 days and it has over 700 pages. Can I do that? I doubt it. I mean, sure, I’ll be on break as of tomorrow after I check out, but I have a quilt to work on and about five different things I’m doing over the weekend. Not relaxing yet. Although not grading is a blessing. I’ve been reading this teacher stuff about how to reduce my work week, and although I already do a lot of it, one of them talks about setting two LONG afternoons a week and grading, and then don’t do it the other five days. I’m not sure I can pull that off. We’ll see.

We started yesterday with bowling…

Two hundred and eighty kids, about 9 teachers, some number of chaperones, lots of pizza, some soda (for some, way too much soda), a whole lot of bowling balls and shoes, plus games in the other room. Then we came back and have to try to get kids through two periods of class…we just put videos on and bribe them with food and water and try to get them to chill out. I was trying to clean up my room. At some point, I was so tired, I slipped and realized I needed to stop climbing on counters to take stuff down. So I sat down for a while. Spaced out. Had a conversation with a kid about how I wasn’t going to talk to her about whether or not I had a boyfriend.

The awards ceremony was an hour after school got out. I managed FINALLY to type up the list of old chemicals for disposal (it’s only taken me almost 2 years to do that). So that’s 5 boxes out of my classroom. And I gave away all my water because I needed the cupboard space. Which is fine. It’s not like I’m keeping it for a reason. Awards are nice because those are the amazing kids and you get to tell their parents how amazing they are and then check out the little brothers and sisters for what’s coming next.

Today we have kids for about 2 1/2 hours or so. But we have to stay locked up in our rooms during graduation. So we just hope kids won’t show up. But they do. I have more stuff to take down and put away…so I’ll do that while they watch promotion on the screen. Ideally, I’ll have most of it put away today, so tomorrow will be quick and easy. Unless I need to meet about planning. We’ll see. I have 700 pages to read, you know (maybe I should take that with me today? Nah. I do that sometimes and I never get to just sit and read. Of course. I teach 7th graders. Who am I kidding?).

This is exactly how I felt when I got home around 5:45 PM.

I did nap for about 15 minutes. While trying to read. And then I realized I had stuff I needed to do. You know what blows up my blood sugar? Carrots. I love carrots. Fuckers. Or it’s exhaustion and stress. Hard to say. Because this morning, it was super low. Sigh.

Then I spent over an hour fussing with the next Patreon video. It’s me drawing. It’s only two pieces of video, not even fussy, but I wanted to add titles and have them disappear, so I had to learn how to pull the effect away from the video so I could edit it. So much of what’s online when you Google app-specific answers is from previous versions, so it doesn’t help. Now I want to add music! So I need that man I live with to make me some…but he works, so I don’t know when that will happen. My Patreon people may get a bonus video this month while they’re waiting for this official one.

So I didn’t start cutting stuff out until after 11 PM.

And I wanted to be done. So I stayed up too late. Of course.

As you can see, Simba was very invested in my finishing. Which I did. It took 4 1/2 hours to cut them all out. Not bad. Sorting tonight? I hope. Then clean up the studio for the next round of picking fabrics…one of my favorite parts. I’m looking forward to that bit. I’m really looking forward to 57 days off. Well. There’s 10 days I won’t have off of work. But I’m getting paid for it and it’s for a good thing, so that’s OK. I might not think that when I’m having to get up early next week, but for now, it seems OK.

*Sublime, Santeria

It’s About the Fact That They Go

I have a piece in Form Not Function, which opened last night…Womanscape

I got a couple of comments last night from people who had seen the show and loved this piece, which I appreciate. I loved making it. It started as a drawing way back in 2010 or so, then turned into what I thought would be a really long triptych (in my head), and then last summer, I redrew the parts into this. And it didn’t get into a variety of shows I entered it into (as always), and then it got in here. And that was good. Really, it’s not about where they go…it’s about the fact that they go.

So I’m staring at this piece and the comments and trying to figure out what the big piece of summer 2019 will be. Summer 2018 was remarkably unproductive on the art front. Having jury duty for an entire month hanging over your head does not help you make work. Or me at least. I’m thinking I will do a smaller piece when I finish what I’m working on, because I don’t have a drawing for a larger piece yet. I have a bunch of smaller ones. Plus it’s good to have some smaller pieces on hand. It’s also good to have some smaller pieces with no nudity in them, but I don’t think I care about that right now.

First though…I need to finish this one. So last night, I cut the last of the pieces out.

Here they all are, with the trash I save until I’m done ironing it together…

And then I found a bunch of boxes for sorting…

And I sorted them…

Total cutting time was 10 hours and 10 minutes. Sorting took a whopping 40 minutes. It always feels longer.

I want it all ironed together by the end of the weekend…maybe even into the stitch down. I do have to grade stuff. But I already did one thing last night…

That’s me grading 51 videos with furry assist. I actually stitched and cut stuff out while watching these. I don’t think I can iron and watch though. I have another 50 to go.

I need to finish that drawing for my Patreon, plus a bunch of other stuff. I need to wash and iron the finish embroideries and send photos to the official peeps. I need to grade more stuff and clean up around the pool and clean floors. I need to buy some frames and some art supplies.

School was rough this week. We did reproductive anatomy and puberty, plus two days of testing, all on very little rest and relaxation. So this card in my box after school on Friday was needed and appreciated.

I love you too, guys…even when you’re being jerks. You’ll grow out of some of that. Next week is more puberty, plus menstruation and ejaculation and pregnancy. Woo! Oh my. Right now, I’m going to take my shower and then make another cup of tea and come in here and start ironing things together. I want to do that. So I’m gonna.

Before We Get Too Old*

It’s Friday before a 3-day weekend. Today I teach about puberty…an exciting time in our lives that we’re eternally glad has ended. We had two days of testing, which is exhausting for our kids, but tiring for us as well.

I feel what she’s feeling. And this one…

Well, that’s a skill that will help her in her future (don’t worry…she was done with the test by then). We have a week off before the next batch…so that’s a good thing. Meanwhile, I’m trying (but apparently not very hard) to get grading done. And so many other things done. Nothing is done.

My co-teacher and I mapped out the plan for next year. We’re still piloting new curriculum, which fucks everything up. But we have a rough idea now, which makes me feel better. This will be our 4th year of trying to revise for NGSS, and it’s hard. Not the content part…but the flow and the curriculum…

We think pretty damn hard about what we teach…sometimes probably too hard. Anyway, this thing will come out again. And get revised. And made electronic. Not yet.

After school, my chiropractor told me he’s not accepting my insurance any more, because they suck. So I can pay more and go less often, or go find the 4th chiropractor in as many years. Sigh. I can’t deal with that right now. Put on to-do list. Moving on. Came home and exercised. It seemed to be the right thing to do.

Then I edited the 2nd Patreon video…it went up this morning. I am doing two a month…I might do a short third video, another public one, for the beginning of June, to try to persuade more people to be patrons. I started the drawing for the patrons as well…but didn’t finish it. I had the idea while driving to the chiropractor. It’s going well. It should be done by the end of the weekend, easily.

Then I stitched for a little while…

And after I cleaned the dishes and sat back down, I started cutting. I wanted to finish last night, but I’ve been so tired…I went to bed early instead.

The top box is all that’s left to cut out. Tonight I’ll finish and hopefully sort the pieces. Then I can start ironing…probably not tonight though. I won’t be able to show the ironing process yet…it’ll have to wait until July. Although I will probably record some of it for the Patreon…since it’s private, it doesn’t have the same rules of not showing things.

I’m really looking forward to putting it together, but on here, I guess you’ll be watching me embroider and draw. I’ll try to do more of that. Or there will just be lots of pictures of the furry beasts.

That one looks cranky.

*Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars

There’s Always Time Until There’s Not

Apparently Pinterest thinks I like bread and cheap date ideas. I’m not sure what to think about that. I mean, I do like bread. It’s true. But I don’t think I’ve searched for cheap date ideas. We’re pretty good at coming up with those on our own. Some not so cheap. I’m sure Pinterest has some sort of formula for trying to engage with me. It mostly fails…because it just gives me “pins that are like yours”…well, there’s only so many recipes for that one thing I wanted that one actually needs. So fail.

I am still jet-lagged or tired from life in general or I went into this trip exhausted…why did I think I would get LESS exhausted? Yeah. This weekend is looking pretty sweet. The sleeping part anyway, which I still suck at…I went to bed early last night and then couldn’t fall asleep anyway, despite the exhaustion on the couch. I should have napped there…like father, like daughter? I think he sleeps in chairs more than in beds.

I had all this stuff I was going to do after school yesterday, but I got poured on leaving school (without a jacket, because it’s May in Southern California for goddsake why is it still raining?), so I went home and changed into pajamas instead. It’ll all happen today, I guess. We have another day of testing today. Yesterday was OK. Long. Tiring I guess. I’m trying to get stuff graded and put away. My co-teacher and I tackled the prep room and got it mostly handled. My room is still an issue, but there’s time for that. Of course, there’s always time until there’s not.

The rainbow later in the evening from my house.

It was bright and beautiful.

I came home and cleaned and labeled and ironed and packed up a quilt for a show opening June 8, Indoor/Outdoor at the Athenaeum Arts Center in Barrio Logan. It’s a cool space and looks to be a very interesting show.

Then I dealt with email and online stuff, graded some stuff, talked to the SIL, embroidered a little on the new one…

Which is probably the strangest of the 6…and then cut stuff out for a while.

There is progress, but I’m not done. I want to be done by Friday, so I can start ironing together.

I say I don’t know what I’m going to work on after this, and that’s true, but I have some smaller drawings that are ready to go, all enlarged and numbered and begging to be quilts. So that’s probably the best way to go. And then I’ll have some mental space to draw an abortion quilt. Because I think that’s next. I like to pick really popular topics that everyone can get behind. Rolls eyes. I pick what pisses me off the most. Or makes me cry the most. Or worry the most. Or all of the above.

So there’s that.

I have some pictures from the trip that didn’t make it into the blog before, because WordPress on the iPad is a cranky bitch, that’s why. (Much like me? I heard that. I own that.) We had breakfast at a nice little place with an outside-by-the-river seating area, and this was my tea. That cup fascinated everyone. That is not a cheap cup.

But it is fascinating.

This is the house we stayed in. I just realized they had solar. Huh. I didn’t see the front much.

I did hang out in the backyard…

In fact, I did a drawing MOSTLY out there and documented it (sort of) in a series of videos that will be the next Patreon video…here’s the drawing itself…

So I talk about my sketchbook and how I decide what to draw and all that. It’s about 4 or 5 short videos that I will edit into one. Hopefully tonight. I’m really hoping the jetlag backs off a bit by tonight.

A picture from moving the girlchild’s stuff…this is the lovely elevator that only things can go in…

And these are Canadian geese and babies from Walden Pond.

I realize if you live back east, you see these guys all the time. I don’t. They are very cool. Plus babies. And the water reflections are fascinating too. Yeah. Art brain is whining about wanting to draw. She’ll get to do that this weekend, if not sooner. My patrons will also be getting a drawing from me by the end of the month. Which is like next week.

OK, so another day of testing and at least getting to have lunch from off campus and to hang out with the teachers I never see because we don’t have the same lunch, but the first 4 hours are a pain and you’re not able to pee until an adult shows up to cover your class (somewhat awkward). I don’t know what the hand signal for that is…but seriously. I’m looking forward to summer for many reasons, but mostly for being able to pee when I want to. The wondrous world of teaching…

Tonight? Work on video, finish cutting stuff out. Or get closer to it anyway.

Feet They Hardly Touch the Ground*

More signs that I am not functioning correctly: I tried to condition my hair this morning before washing it. I did something else weird, but I’ve already forgotten it. Normally, I wouldn’t worry too much about lack of brain power at the end of the school year, but we are doing state testing today, so I don’t really want to fuck that up. The plus is that I don’t have to talk all day like I did yesterday, and I was probably super rude to the counselor who called and wanted to slow talk a very simple request while I was in the middle of explaining seminal vesicles and prostate glands, and I just needed to know in 3 words or less WTF you actually needed, not having a conversation right now. Sigh. I was zen last week. I’m too tired to be zen this week.

Because of that, I came home last night and didn’t bring any work with me. I hit 12,000 steps before I ever left my classroom, and then went to tutoring. We still had to do the grocery shopping, which meant having the mental capacity to consider what to cook. Too hard. Picked easy stuff. Sometimes you just have to get through it. I have a 3-day weekend coming up, so that bodes well for sleep. I don’t have a free Saturday until July though. Seems problematic. Oh wait, I think the 22nd of June is free. WTF. Oh well. More worryingly, I need to finish this quilt. It does have a deadline and I got nothing done on it over the weekend. So that’s a priority. Over grades even. They’re due later, I think.

So after dinner, I pulled out the 5th Earth Mother embroidery, the one I was working on during graduation ceremony 2 and 3, and then on the plane in the dark, because I knew I was almost done with it…and I finished it. It needs a wash…seriously…all that dog/cat hair.

It took about 5 1/2 hours, so a little longer than the last one. Not sure why. Just because. As far as selling these, it’s hard to do that without underselling my time. I have a formula. It makes this thing expensive. Do we pay artists appropriately for their time? Because the hours up there don’t count the drawing time and the time picking threads or buying the fabric, or the cost of the fabric…I didn’t have to buy the threads, so that helped, but normally you would. Plus time to wash and iron and trace it on there and all that. So it’s really probably more like 9 hours. A day’s work. What is that worth to you?

Just curious. I know the money part never works out.

I did start the last one. It shouldn’t take long…a little bit at dinner each night.

This guy…

Had a tick. That shit is scary. I missed these guys…

And my whacker cat, who slept with me last night and is seemingly more mellow this morning. Maybe. She didn’t whack me anyway. Yet.

And then I cut stuff out for an hour before I had to drive to the airport to pick up the last two of our party.

Yup. Still exhausted. Went to bed before midnight. Didn’t help. More cutting of these tonight…I have a long weekend and I want to get the quilt ironed together by the end of it. Plus I have some Patreon stuff to do this afternoon, so there’s that. And another drawing I haven’t finished. All that. Off to school.

*The Police, Walking on the Moon