I Feel the Chemicals Kickin’ in*

October 17, 2018

I left school yesterday and went to an art opening instead of straight home. It was a good choice, even though I’d walked so much during class, dragging trays of sand and water back and forth from the classroom like some sort of crazy piece of construction equipment (couldn’t the robotics class make me something that would do this?). And tutoring where this one girl I was trying to help with the most confusing math website ever, and I would ask her questions and she would say “No English” but she knew enough to tell me she speaks Pashto. OK. I can’t do that. I tried German and Spanish and she looked sadder and sadder, and I stared at the math website, trying to figure out what it wanted, but it made no freakin’ sense. Teacher fail.

Today is another, different lab, this one with crayons and hot water (could be a mistake…nah, it worked pretty well last year). We’re frantically trying to plan the project that starts next week. I feel buried and overwhelmed. Still. Ugh.

So the art opening was at Grossmont College and is up until Oct 26, and includes two artists I like, Cheryl Tall, whose piece here is Casa de Manos

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I never made it back into the room with her work to take more pictures…you’ll have to go check it out. Very impressive.

And then Gloria Muriel…whose mural art has been on here before. But this is a tiny little watercolor drawing. This is Deer Memory.

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A much larger piece, Woke Up From a Mayan Dream

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And Florentina, which is smallish and beautiful.

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Despite my exhaustion, it was a good stop to make. Home to an empty house (well, there were cats and Katie)…I graded stuff for a while. And then started numbering this thing. I took a break in the middle to check in with the musical guy who lives here (he eventually showed up after practice)…but then finished up before bed. I wanted to be under 1000 pieces, just for my own sanity (there is a deadline on this thing), and I was.

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991 pieces. Unless I fucked up somewhere and double-numbered something or skipped a whole bunch or just didn’t number it…all of which I do on a regular basis, so I don’t know why I set such importance on that number. But 991 pieces it is. It sounds more doable than 1001. Just barely. It’s a place from which I can estimate time.

I’m also hoping that I numbered it more logically than usual. I did all of the background and then the body and then the swirls of water. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

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I did try not to overembellish things…keep it simple. Well, for me. I didn’t need to put all the lines in the turtle. I didn’t need to put more lines in the hillside. A bush can be just one color. I can simplify flowers. Then I do the deer’s eyes and that all goes to hell in a handbasket.

She’s not huge…about 38″ wide by 60″ high? Something like that.

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Anyway, I can start tracing Wonder Under tonight. Then there’s probably 10-12 hours of tracing to do. Maybe by the end of the weekend? Hard to say. Depends on the next few days…

Oh yeah, I got my staff ID yesterday. Mine is better than yours.

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Really the best part is when I have to use it to get a teacher discount and I pull this out (or any of the last three) and the cashier tries not to show their hilarious dismay. Yup. That’s the best part.

OK, let’s do this day.

*Neon Trees, Animal


Well You Done Done Me In*

February 4, 2018

I’m sitting here staring at the television in my office, wondering why it’s still here when I never watch it. I used to all the time, before Netflix and Amazon Prime and everyone else putting shows on websites, like PBS. The only reason that the TV is still there is because it shows the time, and I’m pretty sure I could use that space better than I am. But that’s part of my larger plan for remodeling this room, a plan that is growing in my head, but will still cost more than I can deal with, I suspect. I can plan for years, though…so I’m good. Interestingly, the TV is not even currently showing the time (well, it’s the VCR below it), because dad turned the power off last week and I haven’t cycled everything on to put the time back on there. Ugh. It’s not even useful for that right now.

Yes, easily fixed. But every easy fix takes time. My to-do list for today is huge and deadly because I took time yesterday to go to the zoo for the first time in a long time WITHOUT 170-300 7th graders. It was much more relaxing. Although our field trip is coming up and I need to warn my team about baboon penises. The new Africa exhibit is awesome, especially the baboons and lemurs (the fossa was asleep), but those penises are gonna freak out my students no end. Lion balls too, although those are honestly less in your face.

There were lots of baby animals around…mom had her hand wrapped around this baby’s tail…

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This guy is actually a dwarf…his teeth amused me.

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Lots of penguin swimming capers…fun to watch them up close.

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Bai Yun came out to say hi.

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And this baby did the dance from Footloose right up against the glass until he settled down and waited for mom to catch up.

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Polar bears have really big feet…

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And they are definitely carnivores…that’s a meaty bone chained to the wall so we can see how freakin’ big they are.

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Dromedary with a stick…saw an elephant with a stick too. Apparently that’s not just for dogs (OK, this guy is probably eating the stick or cleaning his teeth)…

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We spent about 3 1/2 hours there and did 5 miles…not bad for a Saturday afternoon. Being members now means we can do this more often. I’m looking forward to going back with fewer people there, that’s for sure. Most annoying part about the zoo is the humans.

We went to a new place for dinner and were greeted with a Gloria Muriel mural (with some other guy, probably Alex Banach, since he’s done other murals with her). That dragon has hops in his scales. I was amused that the logo for the place was a dragon but there’s duck all over the menu. Maybe they should have chosen a different mascot.

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Then came home and cut out two yards (ish) of Wonder Under. It went fast…more tonight, I think.

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This week is busy at night, but I’m hoping to get the Wonder Under cut out and start picking fabrics, although that means I need a background. Crap! I totally forgot about that. Will have to see what I have in my stash, or add a trip to the fabric store to today’s to-do list. We’ll see. Teachers never get the whole weekend for fun without paying for it some other way…too much to get done in one day, that’s for sure.

*Jason Mraz, I’m Yours


We’ve No Time for Later*

December 27, 2017

It’s interesting…when I don’t have a specific project to work on (yet), my brain just fails to work properly. Maybe that’s being on vacation too. I did work (on grading) for a good huge chunk yesterday and will probably do that again today, if just to finish this stupid grading assignment. That will take me down to just a couple, plus checking all the desperate emails that came in after kids realized I had posted their progress report grades but there was nothing they could do about them. I don’t really understand that logic, but I’m not 12.

Don’t get me wrong, I have 17 thousand things I could be working on. I have three (count them!) THREE pinbasted quilts, one art one and two not-art ones, that I could work on. I have one art quilt that is at the fabric-trimming stage, and if I got my act together, I could probably finish it this week. I really should do that. It would be a good use of my time. I’m kinda rebelling against “good use of my time” at the moment. I have about 4 blocks-of-the-month in various stages of completion (and I did work on one of those for a while, both on Christmas Day and yesterday). I could be drawing every day, all day. I haven’t drawn at all. I did finish a book, The Power, by Naomi Alderman.

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Interesting take on the possible reversal of power if women were in charge instead of men. Apparently testosterone is not the problem…it’s just power in general. She may be right. It’s an interesting story nonetheless.

The girlchild gave me all the ingredients for a Moscow mule (or 17). I love the owl cups and will use them for milk and cookies as well.

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My main only squeeze gave me a drawing by one of my favorite mural artists, Gloria Muriel…this is Lilith

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Christmas dinner was tasty, although I only managed to photograph the cheese plate. I loved that bean dip…gonna make more…

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Simba was spoiled for attention…

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Calli was patiently waiting for ball-throwing activities…of which there were few.

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See Simba? Asleep now. My parents petted him to sleep.

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I cannot explain this picture…

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Girlchild cooked it all…

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See the damn puppy again?

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I came home and did some sewing to fill in spaces on the left again…trying to sort of flatten out some of the edges, so I can use it as a centerpiece for a crazy quilt maybe.

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Still debating that. Meanwhile, I pinned 96 spots on this Sue Spargo quilt from 2013…which has been pieced for over a year. It took me that long to put the green border stem on and deal with the spots.

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There are 5 colors…I started sewing on the darkest ones. I think there’s about 19 of each color, so I’m going to be doing this for a while. It’s very meditative. And then they need to be embellished.

Boychild gave me fabric for Christmas. Well. I dragged him to the quilt store and made him pick some fabrics out, because he drew my name for the Sunday night party. I picked the red and white one…he did the rest.

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I like adding fabrics to my quilts that other people have picked. It widens my range. I’m sure I pick the same types of fabrics over and over.

Then I ironed and dehaired the big quilt for the photographer yesterday morning. It had a lot of hair on it. Damn cats. Really need to clean the floor in here before I start the next one.

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Then I graded and went to the gym and graded some more and made my own dinner because everyone was gone and read my new book, which is also good, and then did more on the left side…

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Satchemo not helping with photography.

And sewed on more dots. Yeah. Forever sewing on dots. Spots. Whatever.

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I wish I could say I have a plan for today, but I do not. I’ve been trying to plan our Spring Break trip, which is a pain in the butt. I need to grade more of those projects, just to get them out of my hair. I need to finish the Christmas holiday cards and send them out. I need to find some focus, but honestly, I’m OK if that doesn’t happen until next week some time. I’m obviously in need of some down time.

*Frou Frou, Let Go