We Will Run Away to Another Galaxy*

Well one meeting down, one meeting fell off the calendar…only four to go. Only four more days of these lab stations too. All the tests are graded, too, so progress! Woo! Yeah! Sometimes I think I need a cheerleader. I’m feeling a little curmudgeonly lately, a whole lot of Get off My Lawn when I don’t even have a lawn. Deep breaths. Look further out. This weekend will be painful but hopefully cool anyway. Then after that, only a week until two weeks off. A deep breath.

I barely slept Sunday night, so by the time I got to the 2-hour staff meeting about feedback (sigh. Really?), I was almost braindead. I seriously couldn’t even string a coherent thought together. So of course that’s what they wanted me to do. Nope. Totally checked out. We had conversations, but like I said before, now, in March, two weeks before Spring Break, is not the time to have a conversation about feedback with our students. Because there’s a lot of feedback going on and not a lot of it sinking in. I love watching videos of kids who totally take feedback and do something with it. I don’t know where that school is. I’m still trying to persuade them that they should put a space after punctuation so they don’t look like illiterate idiots. Maybe if I paid them $100/space they’d do it. Cynical much?

Yeah. My attitude needs an adjustment. An adjustment where I can sleep in post-coyote puppy howling and then pee and eat when I want. An adjustment with no staff meetings.

So I draw during staff meetings. This is small, like 5×7″ I think? I like the lacy bit of roots on the top of her head.

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This one’s probably not done…but since the sole purpose of these is to keep me awake and from standing up and yelling shit about how we already know this crap, why can’t we talk about stuff that would really help, like reinstating teams on campus.

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That plus 1 thing is something the chick in charge of the meeting kept saying…”+1 their learning.” My head banging on desk.

I left school. I ran two errands. I came home. I put everything away. I dealt with all the stupid Monopoly pieces from the grocery store. I’m one piece away from winning a million dollars. It’s OK. I know I won’t win. I did get a free bag from Shutterfly with my own photo on it. Yes, I put one of my art pieces on it. The baggers at the grocery store haven’t said anything yet. I ate dinner. I made really good carrots first. Then I ate them. Eventually I started handsewing binding on again. I got about 3/4 of the way around, minus the sleeves, but I kept stabbing myself in the same spot, so instead of being smart and finding those cool finger protector things that stick to your finger so you don’t have bloody holes in them, I decided to switch over to tracing Wonder Under…in the hope my callus would develop further.

Seriously, though, I’m almost done with that quilt! Exciting stuff. Need to email photographer. Sigh. When am I home long enough to get it to him? I need to put a label on it too.

Wonder Under continued…I’m in the high 400s I think. So only another couple of hours on this. Which is good, because if I have any chance of finishing it, I need to work faster.

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As always. Work faster. Work harder. I won’t be able to do any of it the second week of Spring Break, because I’ll be camping and freezing and hiking and driving and freezing. Should not have looked at those weather reports. Should take long underwear on this trip. Maybe I’m too old for all this camping stuff. Nah.

I shared this video of the Feminism Now show at Shoebox Projects in Los Angeles. I have to laugh at both the mispronunciation of my name (typical, so nothing to freak out about) and calling my work a tapestry. Sigh. Nah, a tapestry is a weaving. Mine is definitely an art quilt. I can’t remember what I called it in the labeling though (certainly not a tapestry, but if I called it fiber art, which is what I usually do in non-fiber shows, then I guess I understand the confusion). She liked it at least. This show goes to Sweden next…

Tonight? Finish binding and sleeves? Trace some more Wonder Under? Yeah. That seems fair.

*MAGIC!, Rude

Light Strikes a Deal with Each Coming Night*

Well I can’t say I made art yesterday, but I sold some. So I guess that counts. Certainly it’s good news, although amusing in some ways, since I really need the money right now to pay for college fees, and because the show is traveling, I won’t see the cash until both kids have graduated. Oh well. Life goes on. Plan a vacation for 2019? Maybe.

The Goddess of Never-Ending Chaos sold at IQF in Houston yesterday…it will still travel with the Tranquility/Turmoil exhibits, but at the end, it will go on to its new owner.


So that’s nice. I’m happy. I wish I’d been able to be there for the opening and to meet the new owner, but such is life.

In other good art news, the exhibit I was in last May, Feminism Now, will be traveling to Stockholm, Sweden in May 2018. Yes. We plan that far out. So that is also cool.

My piece, And Then There Was One, will be part of that show.

Kathy Nida Quilt

Meanwhile, I really need to find time to make the next quilt. I’ve started thinking about the work for my show at Visions next July. I have one drawing sitting in my head, waiting for time to draw. Like. It’s fully drawn in there. Seriously. But the piece I’m tracing right now is due quickly too.

Meanwhile, grades are due for school, so that’s what I’m doing all weekend…basically until I’m done. We took 240 or so kids to the zoo yesterday…


Which was exhausting…yes…but fun. I forgot the sunscreen…luckily, it’s November, so I am just a bit pinky red.

Let sleeping bears lie, I say.


This guy. I threw the ball 40 times this morning before he gave up. I felt bad for him after two nights of my being gone at openings.


And now I’m grading while he runs around outside, barking at anything that moves. Also lying in the sun.

OK. Back to work. Art is in my head, but unfortunately, not on the radar. Hopefully tomorrow night. Otherwise, I think every teacher I know is grading shit right now.

*Iron and Wine, Each Coming Night

It’s Not an Empty Room…

Sleep, glorious sleep. Occasionally you get a night where your head hits the pillow and stays there, no flopping about, no weird noises in the middle of the night, blessedly snoozing through until a normal waking time, no alarm waking you out of a weird-ass dream that drops you into a waking world, unsure of reality. I got that last night. And part of it was the rain that came Thursday night and washed away that damn mockingbird. It wasn’t out last night either, so maybe it’s moved to warmer, dryer climes. I’m cool wit dat.

I’m posting late because I had two quilts to deliver this morning for a show that opens next weekend, Feminism Now, at Gallery D in Barrio Logan. I also picked up my copy of the catalog…they are only $20, cat-approved, and full of feminist art from the US and Sweden, which is where this show will travel in 2017.

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Midnight thinks it smells nice. You’ll have to show up to the opening to see the two pieces. I made the second one as a response to the first one, only 4 1/2 years later. And my life 4 1/2 years later is much different. New relationships, kids gone to college, making even more art than back then. I honestly think the art is my healing web, what connects all the broken pieces of me back together. I get lots of questions about how it feels to have both kids gone and then how does it feel to have both of them coming back…good, but temporary. I know it’s only 3 months, not even that for the girlchild, and this might be the last summer I see both of them. OR…like many of my friends, they’ll move back and never leave. But I doubt that. I actually had a conversation with my counselor about renting a room out to someone…what that might look like, and is it something I could even handle (as I’m sitting here in my office, getting ready to finally clean some floors a good month after they started needing it, and blasting music. Plus the house smells like bacon. And my parents’ dog peed in the hallway. That carpet just needs to go. That’s the second dog of theirs that’s peed there, and then there was Babygirl, who considered the space outside my door her pissed-off litter tray, because I wouldn’t let her in there at night.). But OTHERWISE, it sounds like an idea. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but at some point, it might be necessary.

I didn’t make art yesterday. I came home from gaming and finished this…


Great book. Hysterically funny and yet right there on top of mental illness and other crap that fucks with you. Sending it to the girlchild. She’ll giggle on the plane to her cousins.

“You don’t have to go to some special private school to be an artist. Just look at the intricate beauty of cobwebs. Spiders make them with their butts.” Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy (she says her dad said it though…)

Honestly, all I want to do today is sit on the couch and read. But I have to work my butt off…not to make cobwebs unfortunately. I’m behind in grading again. I’m not sure how, but it has hit a level that makes me start to panic. I keep a list of assignments in a task manager, because it helps me organize and remember to grade the online crap, but also because I really enjoy checking it off and watching it disappear when I finish it. Weird, I know. But whatever. I have another book I started reading this morning. I just want to curl up with it dammit.

Sigh. And then while I was driving to deliver those quilts…

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(here’s my packing up…dehairing and cutting dowels etc.) I realized what needed to go in the space of the torso in the large drawing I’m doing…and it’s not a cute animal or a nice plant. San Diego has an increasing homeless issue here, and the problem is not just the growing number of people who are living on the streets in tents (if they’re slightly luckier) or boxes or not even that, but also our responses to them, as a local agency fills a space under a bridge where homeless folks used to shelter with sharp pointy rocks so they can’t, or a government agency does sweeps to clear areas of homeless encampments, so they have to go somewhere, people. We can’t ignore it and push it out and try to make it invisible. We need to feed them and house them and employ them and clothe them and medicate them (when possible). We need to CARE for them.

And I don’t know how best to do that, because I don’t have thousands of dollars or resources or anything but a sense that we suck. Because we often do. Anyway, that’s what’s getting drawn in there, somehow. Haven’t quite figured out the how and specifically what. I just know what it should be. A homeless woman framed in an Earth Mother who does provide shelter…safe and clean and dry and warm. And then I go back to having extra space here, but knowing I can’t afford to feed and clothe, let alone care for any more people than I already am. But maybe that will change. Who knows. I’m just thinking, not doing yet. Realistically, what would that look like? I don’t come home from work with extra energy for taking care of more people. Yeah.

So I’m gonna go work for a while, and then maybe I’ll read. Because I should be allowed to do that for a bit…and not just work for hours each day, right? Or maybe I should just fill one of those rooms with foster puppies and kittens. Then go lie in there for an hour a day, letting them romp all over me. That would be good. Anyway, it’s not an empty room yet. So thinking…and drawing…

Attempting Wake-Up Maneuvers

So the not-sleeping catches up and whacks you in the face. OK. It whacks me anyway. I napped after work yesterday. That’s it…I’m officially an old person. What I love is the cats climb up on the couch with me, flanking me. I set an alarm, because I didn’t want it to be like last time, when I lost 2 hours to nappiness and then couldn’t fall asleep at night. I’m already having issues with that. So 40 minutes later, I was all groggy (hey, I set it for 25 minutes and then it went off, scaring all the creatures on the couch, so I went for another 15…then the girlchild was texting me and I attempted wake-up maneuvers). And I didn’t really feel like doing anything, which is too bad, because I always have stuff to do. And I didn’t feel like figuring dinner out either. I probably had enough leftovers for lunches and dinner last night, but the potatoes were MEH and I had eaten that for lunch and hell, what I really wanted was to be physically transported, no WAIT, I wanted the waiter at Himalayan to be able to walk through some sort of transport thing that put him in my living room to take my order and then to bring it to me. But not to wait around and stare at me, wondering why I can’t get my butt off the couch.

That’s when I got up and ordered more tea, because I’m running out. It took me a good two hours and some fakeout of a dinner menu (it’s always OK to have salad and Brussels sprouts), plus staring at my phone and the telly for a good long time before I could function. Part of that is what I taught yesterday, which was kind of a performance art, relay race of neurons and action potentials. I spent a lot of time running around the room yelling “DO IT! DO IT!” and “SEND IT BACK!”. So if you’re thinking teachers just sit at a desk (I don’t really have a desk for such activities), imagine the yelling and the running instead. Today will be a nice quiet video viewing of brain structure and function to counteract the running and screaming of yesterday. The one day you could have the superintendent walk in and you’d be totally OK with him seeing the real live crazy of Nida teaching science? Yeah. He didn’t show.

So when I remember that and the not-falling-asleep of the night before, I guess a nap is warranted.

After that, I finally got my brain to function and finished cutting out all the Wonder Under for the new quilt, which is temporarily called Fishface, just because I had three drawings out at the same time, and I needed something that would tell them all apart. The other two are Totemwoman and Spiralwoman. I already have a quilt called FishWife, so it could get confusing. She’ll have a different name at the end.

There’s all the pieces…about 2 1/2 hours of trimming Wonder Under.

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Then I sorted them. This quilt is gonna go fast, I think.

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Compared to the last one anyway. And I still wasn’t tired. Because I’d had a nap. So I sat down with the drawing from the weekend and tried to finish up the torso a bit so I can copy it. And I think I’ll toss it in the car today and go enlarge it and start drawing stuff for real.

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Like real size. This is already big. And I’m not sure that heart is gonna stay. There’ll be a heart, but the chest/upper torso is off. So maybe I’ll cut it off a couple of inches up into the drawing and then redo the chest and heart full size. Usually I enlarge 200-300%, though, and this head is already considerably bigger than the last Earth Mother, so maybe I won’t? Or I’ll rethink the rest of the body? I’m not sure.

I got good news last night that two of my quilts will be in the Feminism Now show at Gallery D in Barrio Logan. The opening is May 14 from 6-10 PM. If you haven’t been, it’s part of the Barrio Art Crawl, so there are a few studios in the area of Gallery D, plus other studios, like La Bodega Gallery and the Bread and Salt Gallery, in the area. I’ll post a link closer to the time.

This is the smaller piece that will be in the show (currently out for professional photography)…

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And the larger piece it connects to will be there too. The smaller one will travel to Sweden (date/location TBA) with the exhibit, and then hopefully there’ll be another exhibit in Los Angeles or down here in San Diego, once the Swedish exhibit closes.

Yeah. I really need to go to school. I had to meditate to fall asleep again last night, so caffeine will be a necessary part of the day today (it’s what’s for breakfast! and lunch! and dinner!). At least I’m making progress, even if I have to nap in between the job and my real life.