I Got My Head Done When I Was Young*

Well here’s a Saturday that is just WIIIIDE open. Until 3:30, when I have to leave for the next 9 or 10 hours and somehow wear/bring/change into appropriate clothing for three different style and weather-exposure events. I seriously can’t even get my head around that. What do I wear to an art opening, then a bonfire, and finally a house party I’m crashing? Jeans and a black t-shirt seems appropriate for all? Maybe? Addition of some warming attire that can be shed, because as a woman of a particular age, I heat up too much inside? Yeah. I’m thinking. So there’s that.

And I had this plan to go to the gym this morning, to get back into that routine, but I got this email last night that says that it’s KIDS DAY at the gym. Oh holy hell…lots of free games and kid stuff…there will be 700 people there, no way in hell. Sigh. I suck at life sometimes. I do have grades to do…they’re due Tuesday. I’m taking one assignment with me to the meeting tomorrow, so I left that one. I graded one and a half last night. I’m sitting here now, about to do all the makeup work, thus frustrating those kids who will wait until Sunday night. There’s one other paper assignment I need to get done, but very few kids did it (it was a makeup test). So there’s all that.

What do I really want to do? Stand here.

IMG_3839 small

For like the next 4 hours. Seriously. I’m hoping to do some of that today anyway, since I started really late last night, due to the grading. I haven’t gotten very far…about piece 180, I think. I stopped last night around midnight because I was going to be good and go to sleep (I didn’t). Although this is probably one of the most boring phases of the quilt for those watching me, it’s one of the relaxing parts of the quilt for me. OK. Wait. Most of them are meditative in one way or another. I think that’s those artistic brain waves. I welcome them.

IMG_3837 small

But just tracing around things that are already thought out (mostly, because I have to decide what goes under and needs an overlap and what doesn’t. OK. That’s actually a lot of thinking, but it’s very focused thinking.).

So this guy was hanging out and precipitated a discussion of the differences between lizards and geckos and whether or not the ridges on the tail were one for every time he lost it (he obviously has a new tiny tail there).

IMG_3836 small

I could not figure this out online. I suspect not. But I thought it would be cool if that were so…like the rings of a tree or the rattles on a rattlesnake.

I finished the intriguing book I was reading this week, Future Home of the Living God, by Louise Erdrich.

futurehomeofthelivinggod

I started reading Erdrich when I was in college as part of my comparative literature degree. I have a bunch of her books from those years, and then as I’ve noticed books coming out, I read more. This one was totally not what I expected, and I loved it. I mean, I’ve always loved her semi-fantastical family woven into Native stories, but this one went sci fi, and that’s almost always a good thing for me. I was able to ignore most of the science questions (I still have lots!) simply because hell, we really don’t understand a lot about all that extra DNA. The only disappointment for me was that there was a letdown at the end of the book (not giving story away)…I wanted more, of course, and maybe that will come or maybe that’s just it. I didn’t see a connection to The Handmaid’s Tale while I was reading, but I guess I can see it now, just in that there’s a reproduction problem (which we know will probably happen) and because of that, shit happens. I’m waiting for the dystopian novel that takes that story and has women taking over because of it, but I don’t know if that’s happened yet. Interesting idea of how paranoid our society might become if women can’t pop babies out on demand (we can’t now either, but there’s enough doing it that it doesn’t seem to be a problem).

ANYWAY…on to the next book. I love reading. Have I told you I love reading? In fact, it’s hard to look at tonight with three THREE social events without thinking, I wonder if I can just bring my book with me? Um. Probably not.

Simba needed loves last night. He got them.

IMG_3835 small

Although he looks somewhat perturbed by it in this photo.

OK…finish the makeup grades, then get thee to the light table. Eventually make a decision about clothing and get the hell out of here. I do have some free passes to the Visions opening tonight…I keep forgetting about that. If you want one, email me and I’ll meet you out front? I know, that means (a) you want to go, (b) you live in the San Diego area, (c) you’re not already a member, and (d) you read all the way down here to see this in time. Sorry. I suck. Just remembered. I think I’ll take them with me and just hand them out to passersby or something. More eyeballs! I’m actually really looking forward to seeing this piece hanging…

K Nida 0009 small

Not Less Than…part of the Things That Matter exhibit opening tonight at Visions, and then traveling to a variety of places that I should know off the top of my head! Whoops. Working on it. Check the Current Shows page. I’ll get it updated next. I swear.

*Blur, Song 2

The Haiku of Exhaustion

I was too tired last night to even write the Haiku of Exhaustion. I seriously had the whole thing written in my head, but I fell asleep while meditating, and then I decided that multiple nights with less than 5 hours of sleep needed remediation. Intervention. Luckily my brain went along with it, because god knows I’ve thought that before, and my brain doesn’t always put sanity first. But I slept…hard…and well…until Kitten wanted to pee. But that was in the morning. And I had slept…the sleep of exhaustion. Meanwhile, I can’t remember the damn haiku. Maybe I dreamed myself writing it. I’ve dreamed myself writing novels before…dreamed the entire plot and outline and writing it and then woke up and lost it all. I’m probably a pretty amazing person in my dreams.

I drew tonight…

Dec 7 13 063 small

I drew at the South Park Walkabout. Yes. I went by myself. I went Christmas shopping and actually managed One Whole Item off my list. I ran into a friend and her family and got to answer the question of “are you here by yourself?” with clarifying questions twice. I held it together…although at one point I said something about being alone forever. I hope that’s not true, but it’s not off the table…that’s for sure. I did correct myself. I guess you’re never alone when you teach middle school. You’re never alone when you have kids…even when they move out. You’re never alone when you’re a cat lady in training. So there we are. Plus in my head, I might never be alone. Yes, her eyes are crooked. I was drawing in the dark…

Dec 7 13 061 small

I was drawing at the Station Tavern. One of the pluses of being alone, dammit, is that it’s easy to find somewhere to sit at restaurants where there is never room for two. The waitress asked if I was alone too (I guess I need a shirt…or a hat…or a sign…yes…yes, it’s just me…alone…thanks for reminding me). Then I got glared down by many bearded hipsters and their leather-clad vixens for taking up space at the table. Whatever, bitches. I was here first and I’m not taking up that much room.

Dec 7 13 062 small

Yes, that is Hipster Santa awkwardly flipping you off. That was what I was drawing to the glaring people. Let the old lady eat her dinner, people. It’s her treat for the month. She deserves it. Be nice.

The food was good. I brought half of it home. I felt OK. Then I got in the car and sobbed the whole way home. Whoops! Oh well. Shit happens. In my case, tears happen. Move on. I came home, built a fire in the fireplace, meditated, and started writing this post in that room (it’s warmer than this room…I’m in my office with my sweatshirt hood on my head, wishing I knew where my fingerless gloves were right now.).

So tonight was marginally better than last night…I cut out fabric pieces last night for a whopping 17 minutes (OK, that’s more than I did today). Work stuff got in the way…work holiday party. Sigh. Such a complicated thing, my work existence. Yes, the eyelid is still twitching. The last two weeks before break…brains are mush. Grades. Sigh. Wish I still had that mental buffer against work issues that I had back in September. But now our team has been approved for the first round of one-on-one computers, rolling them out in February or so. Deep breaths. I’ll get my head around it during Winter Break. We’ll have tablets for monitoring the kids and their work. And somehow magically everything I teach is going to migrate to the web. In three months or less. Yeah. And the Easter Bunny still exists. Santa too.

Today was gym, rain, soccer, rain, and errands, and yelling, and wow. Girlchild’s whole game was in a monsoon, I think.

Dec 7 13 040 small

OK, this was in between monsoonal bursts…there was one before the game even started. I went and sat in the car and graded during that one, only coming out about 5 minutes before the game started. Then we had about three downpours in the first half…

Dec 7 13 043 small

But I stitched through them.

Dec 7 13 045 small

I didn’t stitch much. My hands were cold and I was trying to keep stuff dry. I had the big umbrella, but it’s not made for rain…only sun…so it leaks. And then the rain was going sideways for a while…

Dec 7 13 048 small

It’s really a miracle I wasn’t more soaked through…

Dec 7 13 051 small

It’s blurry because of the rain. The monsoonal rain.

Dec 7 13 054 small

The girlchild made a really nice left-footed shot at the goal…she’s on the right with her leg in the air. Everyone is looking towards her, and I can’t figure out where the ball was.

It was cold and wet, but at least I wasn’t in the mud like some people.

Dec 7 13 058 small

I’m in charge of laundry. Away games they always wear white. Nice. The friend I saw at the Walkabout said Martha Stewart would have a recommendation for removing the mud stains from the socks…they do always seem to come out of the shorts, but not the socks (different materials). Sigh.

Anyway, they won. This is a pre-official-high-school season tournament…two more games next week and then semis and finals on Saturday, which ought to be interesting, since that’s the extended family party. Not looking forward to that either. Except I’ll get to grade or stitch in the car on the way up. Sometimes I have to focus on the little things that please me…like Christmas lights…

Dec 7 13 059 small

Which is my favorite part of this season. The trees and lights…

Dec 7 13 060 small

I draw those lights all the time. Seriously, they’re in lots of my quilts. I tried to explain why once, but I don’t really know why. The mood? The color? The shape? The long string of them that can be wrapped around things? Don’t know. They’re just there. I don’t think of them as sinister, but as safe. Happy even? Maybe. I don’t know that I can qualify anything as happy.

I finished a book today, The Round House by Louise Erdrich.

the round house

I’ve always liked Erdrich’s books. Most of this book was amazingly good…there was some drifting off into history or something that lost me for a while today. It deals with conflicting federal, BLM, state, and Native laws regarding rape on Native land (or land that has territory issues, as in the book, where literally take a step one way, and it’s federal law, a step the other way, and it’s not). Her books aren’t happy, but there are happy moments. There are also tragic ones and painful ones, but there is always a good dog. It was a good book.

I like to use the cover of the book I actually read when I post about books. Strangely anal, I know. Whatever. I read it as an ebook, too, so even less relevant. So that’s the cover I had. Then I saw this cover…

the round house 3

Interesting. The snake? The tree? The religious connection…tenuous. I do like the graphic quality.

And then there was THIS cover.

the round house2

This is my favorite, although probably also not relevant. The book is about the plight of raped Native American women, but told from the perspective of a 13-year-old son of a rape victim…so the cover is good, but? I don’t know. Maybe relevant. I have now officially caught up with all the Erdrich books I had missed in the last 8 or 10 years. I need my reading app to tell me when my favorite authors have a new book out. It sort of does, but I have to remember to click through. And then I don’t like to list a bunch of books in my To-Read list…I don’t know why, really. Because I’m afraid I will end up with a giant list of books to read and no time to read them? I do have a list…it’s on my phone. It’s just not in the app. I have to think about that…consider why I’m resisting using that function. It might be really useful. Maybe.

Anyway. That tired sleep thing is back. I got no art done today. It was a lost day. Not really, because I did a lot, but the art centers me. So I will have to make time for it tomorrow. Wow. Tomorrow just laughed at me. It doesn’t think I can do it. Well, fuck you, tomorrow. I’m a stubborn old bitch and now you’ve gotten me pissed off…so there WILL be art tomorrow (hopefully more than 17 minutes of it, but you never can tell). Sleep first though.