I Know You Better Than You Fake It to See*

It’s Friday. Maybe you’ve noticed. Short weeks aren’t necessarily easier weeks (and the only short part was the part with the kids in it). And I’ve been blowing off schoolwork all week, so I’ll actually have to grade something this weekend. It’s three days. I guess I can do that.

My students are trying to figure out the difference between solids, liquids, and gases. Yesterday, I sat and listened to one class argue about whether liquids were wet or not…I like to just let them go sometimes. And this is where they went.

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I love that stuff. Chemistry is not my favorite subject to teach…I’m a life science person. But the new standards mean I don’t teach much of that. Chemistry is good for labs though and for making them question everything they know. Today we’ll continue with that. Fun stuff.

Still doing herringbone. Closer to done.

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So I enlarged the drawing I’ve been working on…I did it at 200% and 250%, because I wasn’t sure how big to make it. I generally do the larger, but I need to stay within a cost constraint on this one, so bigger becomes a time and cost issue. So I taped the 200% enlargement together, because it looked doable. Sometimes the pieces are way too small. I added space on the top and will need to add a little on the left side to center it…but even with that, I’m still looking at an image size of about 35″ x 43″…which is right where I want to be. So that’s good. Lots of water in the bottom of the piece…

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I still think I’m replacing that head. We’ll see. It’s not quite right.

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I have cut off and replaced heads more than once in the past.

I have to admit that I didn’t get much done last night. I was tired and did some cleaning, put the wrapping paper away, which meant reorganizing the whole damn closet (not a 5-minute project). And I tried to go to bed a little earlier. So I could have done more drawing, but more standing? Probably not. Long day. Another bunch of errands after school. Too much.

So when I went to bed, Kitten was on Calli’s bed. And Calli is too scared to lie down with her.

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Mommy. That thing has sharp points. So Calli lies down on the floor. Now I know Kitten will end up curled in bed next to me, so I tell Calli that. Sad face Calli.

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Kitten looks over at her even. She wouldn’t mind sharing the bed, but Calli won’t do it.

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Big Golden Retriever scared of a chubby little cat. Funny stuff.

So weekend plans: art openings and maybe the Star Wars movie and some gaming tonight and some sewing stuff down and finishing the drawing and maybe getting started on that quilt and hanging out with the kids and probably desperate crazy shopping for the girlchild’s trip. And grading. It’s a good thing I have three days, eh?

*Smashing Pumpkins, 1979

She’s Got a Carburetor Tied to the Moon*

Ah patience…I have so little of it at the moment. Probably related to sleep too. Each night it’s easier to fall asleep and stay there…mostly from exhaustion, I think. Better than the insomnia of earlier this week…or the crazy nightmares. Although watching Stranger Things and Fortitude before bed might not be the best choices. They definitely show up in the night.

Yesterday’s professional development could have been done on our own…seriously. Did not need help with that. Annoying. Plus I spent 20 minutes on our spy program (we can watch what the kids are doing on their computers) trying to get one class back on task. The class that had a guest teacher in there. A teacher who was supposed to be keeping them on task, off games and YouTube videos. So we’re gonna have a discussion today of job skills. How is what you did yesterday with the guest teacher in here gonna look on your resume? How will you explain your behavior to your boss? We’ll see how that goes. Sigh. Double sigh. Don’t pull me out of my class for stuff I can do on my own. I’m still irritated by the conversations we were having. I think people who aren’t in the classroom have no idea what some of us talk about all the time to our students.

ANYWAY. It’s not a shocker that certain parts of my job annoy me. I loved Tuesday when kids were first googling things like plasma and chemical reaction. I had interest then. Hopefully that will continue through all the labs etc. Enough for them to question what’s happening and try to figure out answers to problems.

I’m back in a routine of coming home, petting all the furry things, reading for a bit if there’s time (I’m trying to make time. I like to read.) or racing to exercise. Then dinner, whether I’m the cook or recipient…a bit of stitching after eating…and then art of some sort. I realize I will soon have to do some actual schoolwork during that time. I’m avoiding it this week. Seriously avoiding it. For as long as possible.

Routines are good for some things…they’re how I get art made almost every night. My brain is trained for that after-dinner thought…what am I gonna work on tonight? Now because I’m getting a little more tired every night, that gets harder as the week goes on. Last night, I was zoning out way too much…I didn’t start art until pretty late. But I started.

I did work on this after dinner…finished Want and started that giant J.

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More subtle herringbone. This one is so much easier to sew. I wish I’d started with it…I wouldn’t have procrastinated so much.

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I had couch companions…

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That kept changing…that one really wanted to be ON me, but 20 minutes of gentle persuasion put him over there. After he scared off all the dogs. Smallest animal in the house. Mostly benign, unless you’re prepping food in the kitchen. Then he’s like a food-seeking missile. Annoying.

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More slow drawing. I’m at the need-to-enlarge stage. Guess I’ll toss it in the car and see if I can find time for that after school.

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I’m having fun with the background I think. The non-human parts. There will be more…not a lot more…but a bit on either side, I think, and more up top. Enough to fit in a quote and some space stuff. Have you seen the new pictures of Jupiter? Pretty awesome stuff. Maybe this needs a Jupiter. A new discovery of something that’s been there all along. Definitely a sun and some stars. Yes, it’s a quilt about a kid who had scoliosis surgery, about all the metal in her spine now…but it’s also just about being in the world, being a part of it. The mom made a comment to me early on about how 100 years ago, her daughter would probably have been in a wheelchair…and this surgery allows her to do more of what she wants. Plus she got taller! I should figure out how to add that. I would love to get taller all of a sudden. I’d probably bump into things even more than I already do. Anyway…I wanted there to be a lot of joy in existence in this piece. Not heavy…but joy. Trying to get there. I’m actually considering redoing the head on the right. We’ll see. It’s bugging me, so I will probably have to do that.

Anyway, I can’t do that until I go to school for an early meeting today and then get through all the discovery stuff in classes and who knows what else is on my to-do list. I’m back to 4 or 5 reminder lists and calendars to make sure everything gets done daily. I just typed “enlarge dwg” on my calendar and it autocorrected to “enlarge dog”. I don’t need to enlarge the freakin’ dog. Then the kids come back tonight, although I won’t see them until tomorrow. Hopefully they had fun. One leaves next week and one the following week. I do miss them this week, even though the stress levels go up and at least one is cranky on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s me!

OK, early meeting. Prep for lab. School brain in place. Art brain go sit in a corner and ruminate for a while. You can come out later.

*Beck, The New Pollution

Well, You Don’t Know Me, But I Know You*

I think the puppy must be about to burst. He’s been refusing to pee since the rain started. On Monday. I carry him out and even put him under a tree, but no. He’s wide-eyed, trying to escape back to dry parts (aka the house). I think he must be voiding himself somewhere unknown, like while I wasn’t watching, he’s learned how to use the toilet and is just badmouthing me in his head as I put on his leash and try to persuade him out into the bushes. Luckily, the rain is supposed to stop today. It’s not like we didn’t need it…we just didn’t need it in such large amounts in a short period of time, as the mudslides north of here attest. Timing is everything.

So really, Simba’s problems are minor in the bigger picture. He’ll poop somewhere, sometime. That part is guaranteed.

Yesterday was the first day back with students. They were pretty zoned out by the end of the day. So were the teachers. We started a new unit, so I got to draw and color with them. It was probably all any of us could handle.

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I had tutorial after school, so I had exactly zero brain by the time I fought the weather home. I read for a bit even…the book club book for February is kinda big, so I started early for once. I don’t always make it to book club, but I always read the book.

Then I made dinner and did the stitching I usually do afterwards…just a little a night. This is a closeup of what I finished the night before…

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And last night. Not sure I have the right variegated thread for the last word. Maybe I’ll go balls out with a teal or pink. Who knows.

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Then I really wanted to finish ironing this smaller piece that’s been rolling around my art spaces for months now.

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It only took another hour or so…ironed everything down…

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Pulled a leftover piece of background I had lying around (that’s the plus with doing smaller pieces)…and ironed the whole thing down. Easy peasy.

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Now she’s ready to be stitched down…sometime later this week? Maybe.

Then back to the drawing board. A little slower last night…brainpower reduced by day job.

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Land…water…there’s going to be space above, but I need to enlarge the whole thing to do that…or maybe just copy the top and tape it to the next page? But with this one, I think I need to see the whole thing. We’ll see. More tonight. The work day will be shorter…so that should help. We have to sit through some professional development (again), so that’s annoying.

Anyway. I see progress, even if it’s small.

All the animals are missing my kids…who are visiting cousins in Seattle. They are so in my face this morning too, because they had company yesterday, but today, will be left again all day. I feel bad for them…wish I could take them to school, but that can’t happen…too many kids with allergies. Plus Calli would pee on them in her excitement. And Simba might bite someone, because he’s an antisocial dick sometimes. And the cats are pretty unpredictable with humans.

OK. This headache and I need to go to school now.

*Laurie Anderson, O Superman

I Have No Struggle*

Evaluate the three weeks you had off from work. You got one major quilt done. You could have done another smaller one, but your brain stopped working some time last week. You trimmed and cut bindings and sleeves for two other unfinished projects from a million (aka 10+) years ago. You graded 4 of the 6 assignments for school, leaving one for your TA and one because you didn’t feel like doing it over the last three weeks. You didn’t grade any of the late work. You planned and booked most of your Spring Break vacation. You ate many meals with other people, you washed a lot of dishes, you moved all the crap from the driveway up onto the deck, where it belongs. You read about 6 books. You dyed a bunch of stuff that’s been lying around for years (not 10 this time). You hiked 4 or 5 times, one good long one and a bunch of shorter ones. You did some hand embroidery and some drawing, but not a lot of either.

Well I always figure I must need the braindead time if it happens. It means I was using up too much of the brainpower before break and was probably really stressed out (I was…). So I guess it’s a necessary thing. There’s no point in looking at the break and thinking, ah shit, I did it all wrong. I did what I needed to do. So that’s the way it goes.

I spent most of yesterday wishing I was still in my pajamas but instead I was driving around with the girlchild, trying to figure out what she needs for Madagascar…around 3:30, I finally set up for the fabric dyeing that I meant to do in the morning. No, not beer pong. Not the cup game…

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I have no in-progress pictures, because I didn’t want dye all over my phone and besides, it got dark. Seriously…I did the last two big pieces in the dark. Oh well. I’m not a precise dyer by any stretch of the word. I did a whole pile of underwear in black, then 6 pairs of socks to replace all my holey ones, plus hair things, because mine are all stretched out, and then there were two t-shirts in there that I forgot I had, plus two or three pieces of old embroidered linens that I was going to do something arty with, and at the last minute, I tossed in a pair of leggings I got in a sale box of stuff you don’t see beforehand because they were a color I’m not really fond of, so I just overdyed them colors I actually like. They have to sit for 24 hours and I’m out tonight, so I’ll wash them out tomorrow morning probably.

I need to buy new gloves though, because the right one leaked massively…it doesn’t actually look as bad in the photo as it does in real life…in real life, I have leprosy obviously.

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I’ve washed twice with Reduran with some change in color. I find shampoo is also good. My other hand is tinged green and so is one toe. Going back to school with discolored hands is always fun. The kids freak out. I’m looking forward to that. That’s fun.

So I finished the first of the SJSA blocks finally…that was a lot of glue. The next one doesn’t have as much glue. I don’t want to do buttonhole again though, even though it’s the most obvious…so I’ll think that through I guess.

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I combined the back of the skeleton with the metal…that is a lot of detail. But I like it.

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And it will be enlarged. Need to draw more today if I can. I don’t know that I need the pelvic girdle…I just drew it so I’d have a basis for the coccyx. Which I then didn’t draw. Duh. I was braindead.

I’ve been working on scheduling stuff a bit more logically…I do keep multiple calendars and schedulers, both online and paper and whiteboard…but I like paper because I have to think about it more. Like what CAN I actually get done. It might not last, but it’s working for now. Next week is a bit messy. Welcome back to school. (OK, it’s not messy on paper…just in my head. I haven’t filled in the paper yet. You should see last week.)

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I watched some Madagascar documentary stuff with the girlchild. There’s some wacky beasts living there. It’s nice to see what everything looks like, even though they’ve only shown nature and a little bit of humanity. It was animal sleepy time though.

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That was the last official sleep in of Winter Break, I guess. Up not early this morning. Ordered meds…and damn, I am glad I have decent insurance…usually I only pay $10 for three months worth, so this one and one other are more expensive (no generics). I seriously think American insurance and pharmaceutical companies need to figure their shit out though…because if I had to pay full price for the whole year, that would be $3600 and I just wouldn’t be able to take it…and I have another one like that too.

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The system is jacked up. This is not a new medication…I’ve been on it off and on for 10 years. Why the heck does it still cost so much? The other one, my insurance company keeps sending me notices that there’s a generic and suggests I take it. I did…for 5 years…it doesn’t work any more. But they don’t care about that part.

Anyway. Like I said, good insurance. Makes me scared to retire ever though.

So today, I have a meeting and an opening to go to, plus some other stuff I gotta get done; I actually drew more on that page last night. Tomorrow I get ready to go back to school…at least physically. Mentally, we’re never ready. Ready for all the noise and decisionmaking and headaches and meetings and trying to get kids to do stuff they don’t wanna do. At least we have a few 3-day weekends in the next two months…those help. I really do feel totally unprepared. Sigh. Oh well. Gotta do it anyway. (It would probably help if I looked at the school calendar to see what’s happening next week…but I promised myself I wouldn’t do that until tomorrow. Brain needs time. Give it time.)

*Zion I, Coastin’

Maybe We Could Find New Ways to Fall Apart*

No post yesterday due to hiking activity. This is not a bad thing. In typical Kathy fashion, though (and it wasn’t my fault…the book had the wrong mileage), we went further than I had planned. The plus is that my heel, which has bugging me on and off the last few weeks, did not hurt too much on the hike, and it’s fine this morning…meaning it’s probably due to one of the pairs of shoes I wear on a regular basis. Not the hiking boots though I think, or it would hurt today. Anyway. More shit to worry about, right? Foot pain sucks. I was in a boot cast for 6 months once and had multiple really long needles inserted in my heel. Don’t wanna do that EVER again.

So yeah, dragged the kids out to Santa Ysabel to hike the loop on the east end. The Coast to Cactus book claimed the larger loop was 4.8 miles. Which it is…as long as you don’t hike BACK to the car. Minor issue guys. So that was 7.6 miles or so instead. Which was fine…we’d been considering going further along the trail anyway…so we just didn’t do that.

There were a lot of cows out there; it was a gorgeous day, warmish but not hot.

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There are apparently wildflowers in spring, so hopefully my other hiking companion will agree to the lower part of the hike in April or May. We’ll see.

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We did see deer from afar…they saw us as well…

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And a coyote up on a hillside (not this one)…

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Beautiful oak and pine trees, some climbing up up and up (and then back down seemed much steeper than up, strangely)…

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Lots of long vistas…

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And cows. Apparently the trail headed north through these guys and we missed it. So we went off road for a bit, following something that we thought was a trail. Hallelujah for hiking apps that show you where YOU are and where the TRAIL is. Yeah.

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Wait. There’s the coyote. Bonus points if you can see it.

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So it made sense to traipse across this hill toward the trail…easy to do on these cow-trimmed meadows. Not so easy through forest.

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And back past majestic trees that survived the fires.

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Hikes are awesome, but they kick your butt for the rest of the night…although I did go to my stitching meeting.

Girlchild and I went to get our hairs cut (and hers dyed) for the new year on Wednesday. I always stitch while I’m waiting for hers…I finished this block…I just had a little to do on the sheep.

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So this whole 4-square is now done…

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In fact, all of this is done…although I don’t think this is how they fit together…

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And there’s another batch of blocks I have stitched together that has some finished stuff on it too. I’m not even halfway though. So there’s that. I have one more block for April, I’ve already done May, and June is all stitched down…just needs embroidery. I think I’m stitching the wool down on July too. This is what I do at meetings (that aren’t at school…because apparently that’s not appropriate) and places where I know I have a long wait. So yeah, if I needed to take you to the emergency room, I’d be grabbing my stitching bag. I hate being bored. I need stuff in my hands.

So Wednesday night, I worked on drawing things for this new piece, which is a commission for a woman whose daughter had surgery to correct scoliosis.

I’m not ready for a real drawing yet, but it’s weird…I like drawing things that I know how to draw…so if I’ve never drawn it, I draw it a few times to get it under my hat, or something like that. So I need to put the metal in a scoliosis surgery into the piece, but the metal is on the back of the skeleton, on the back of the person. So I’ve never drawn the BACK of a skeleton. I do aim to be sort of accurate (I’m not totally nuts, so completely accurate is not happening)…so I started with that. Then I was looking at all these surgical pictures (oh yeah, that was interesting, but kinda terrifying), so I was drawing the metal bits, what I could see from X-rays and other pictures. Then I was trying to figure out how I was going to put a human figure into this…and I’m still debating this, because I like the organs and innards, but if it’s from the back, the face is difficult and you can’t really see organs very well, and if it’s from the front, you can’t see the metal. So I’m still struggling with ways to portray what I want.

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So there will be more of these. I was gonna draw last night, but life got in the way. It does that. It’s OK. Tonight…totally. Really. Some attempt. Or maybe this afternoon on the deck…because today is my last official day of vacation (ugh!) and I refuse to do schoolwork.

Crazy dogs…

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I’m still working on these…I’m not particularly fast. And now I’m going backwards…doing all the dark purple letters with a hot pink buttonhole stitch.

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I still have two more blocks…gotta get going on that. Make myself do that every night instead of the stitch-a-day thing.

I had my stitching meeting last night and worked on this guy…Palestrina knots all the way around him. I’m supposed to fill in his whole body with running stitches too. He’s cute though.

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However much I want to stay in my pjs all day today, I have a couple of places I need to go, plus I’m doing a dye day…I have underwear and socks that need dying. All my old dyed socks have holes in them. I dye the underwear because the stuff I like comes in these packages with some heinous underwear colors. So I just overdye them to colors I can stand. The blanks have been sitting around the house for at least a year, probably two, so this is crazy. Just DO it! Plus I have some plain white fabric I can dye for quilts…so I’m gonna do that too. It’s a great day for it. And it’s harder to do once I go back to school.

I’m gonna miss being on vacation. Even though I’ve spent most of it flailing around like an idiot. I am way more artistically efficient when I’m teaching. Sad but true.

*Fun., We Are Young

Some People Call Me Maurice*

Well, luckily I’m not one of those people who looks at what happens the first day of the year and decides that’s how the whole year is gonna play out. Sigh. I’m definitely in a mood though. Late start on this today…had to get up and buy cake mix to make a birthday cake for the kid who is camping in the middle of nowhere to avoid a birthday dinner. Whatever. And my grandma died yesterday. I knew it was coming…but that never really makes it easier.

Grandma would have been 108 this month…I know she was depressed and tired of her existence, but she was still active up until a few months ago. This is one of my favorite pictures of her. She was beautiful, sassy, and funny. I was supposed to go visit her last week or this week, but couldn’t get anyone to go with me. I knew she wouldn’t recognize me, so I didn’t really want to go alone. But it’s probably better to remember her like this anyway.

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The boychild was supposed to check in with me. The girlchild finally texted him. I guess unless the bunnies learned how to use the phone, this is proof he was alive.

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Although this morning, he sent me this…so at least we know he’s seeing cool stuff.

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Girlchild and I took the dogs on a long walk…

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More for us than them, I think. Lots of people out on the trail on the first day of the new year.

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Although not a lot on this portion…

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I felt a need to hike all the way out to this thing. They REALLY don’t want us on there. It’s so tempting because of that.

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More weird landscapes in the wildlife reserve…

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The weather was nice, not too warm. The dogs were fine, although Simba had to sniff everything.

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Here he is conked out on the girlchild. He’s getting supremely spoiled.

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I finished grading the big school assignment and input all the grades so far. I have two assignments left, one of which I’m leaving for my TA. Then there are 70 emails with makeup work. I don’t have to finish those this week. I could. But I don’t have to. Tomorrow, I have two hours of professional development as well. Whoopee. Hopefully it will be useful. I did get to choose what I wanted to develop…although honestly, as an introvert, I’d rather stay home and do it. Just give me the damn slides with links and let me do it by myself.

I’m still pushing thread through glue on this. A sharp needle helps. I’m amused by the spacing at the end. I’ve only done the lighter purple letters. I’m debating using orange or lime green on the dark purple letters. Then I have two more blocks to finish. I’m not particularly fast at this.

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I’m doing that in the evening instead of the stitch a day…I’m not doing that again. It was cool, but I’m done.

Then I sorted all the pieces for the little quilt that’s in process.

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I’m going to work on that a bit today, then do some drawing, maybe try to grade the one last assignment, and go to the gym. Finish my book. Put all the wrapping accoutrement (no, WordPress, you don’t know how to spell that) away. I’m making a cake. Mail my holiday cards. That’s about it. I’m sad…about grandma, about the boychild being gone on his birthday. This is the first birthday I’ve missed with him. 2017 was the first birthday I missed with the girlchild. I guess that’s when they’re really grown up, eh? Or antisocial.

I will try to work through the sad today and turn it into some sort of artistic achievement day. Because. That’s best.

*The Steve Miller Band, The Joker

Time Won’t Heal This Damage Anymore*

My brain woke me up early this morning…once at 3:31 AM and again at a reasonable hour. It’s in overdrive. What woke me up? Whether or not I need to buy batting. And then remembering a comment someone made on my blog about a podcast done by ex-gang members (Without Your Permission…most interesting thing I’ve heard so far, “kids with hope don’t join gangs.”). I started listening to that. It makes me sad. Text from my daughter this morning asking about the kid in the hospital…who hopefully will survive. Into what, though? And then bogged down by this thought of white women voting for Trump and Moore and a whole host of other things that hurt them, and they don’t seem to care or know or I just don’t know what it is? Fear of change? Being given the power they deserve? Or they just don’t believe accusations of pedophilia or the plain old crazy that comes out of Trump’s mouth. They keep invoking Hillary, but Hillary is not our president. She’s not in Congress or the Senate. She’s not passing tax laws. She’s not outlawing actual vocabulary, she’s not denying climate change or science or getting rid of National Parks. She’s not doing everything in her power to destroy our world, our freedoms, all for the sake of corporate money. Trump and his henchmen are.

So why invoke her? I guess it’s easier than arguing FOR what this current administration stands for.

So then I think, deeply, about my white woman friends…because yeah, I’m a white woman and I have some white woman friends. I’m not brunching or tea-timing with them though. I do stitch with them, but none of them voted for this crazy. They all marched with me last year in the Women’s March AND the science march, and we’re marching again this year…at least that’s the plan. I make art, I yell a lot, then I think, which white women I know would be OK with all this? Well. I know a couple. I know at least one didn’t vote for Trump, but she does agree with some of the stuff that’s happening. I don’t know why. I don’t know that I can change that. I think they’re pretty clear on my stance. I honestly don’t know how to approach the conversation in a way that might promote change in their minds. I really don’t. Their defenses are up. Mine probably are too.

So that’s something to consider. Find more hope for my students so they don’t join gangs and have conversations with my more conservative white woman friends so they change their votes, their ideas, I don’t know what. Teach them critical thinking (ironically, one of them thinks I don’t think critically…). Fucking sigh. That’s a list and a half weighing me down.

It’s true. I don’t vacation well. My brain gets weighed down by this stuff. The NRA hosted at the White House on the anniversary of Sandy Hook. WTF.

And this…you’re going to OUTLAW WORD USE. Well. If that isn’t fascism and a dictatorship, I don’t know what is. Because honestly, there’s a scientific definition for fetus (it’s one of the things I teach during sex ed), so let’s just get rid of it. Because the baby inside is the same as the baby outside. If you believe that, fine. Let’s take that baby out and see how it does without mom’s support. Right now. At 12 weeks. Let’s go. Oh wait…you don’t want that? Because YOU KNOW BETTER.

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The thing I love about America and the people who live here is their diversity. For our vulnerable members, these are not entitlements; they are rights: the right to live and go to school and have food and shelter and be safe, no matter what color, gender, belief system, background, or country of origin, whether they are the mother of a fetus (an actual scientific term) or transgender, or any other label we use to divide people instead of bring them together in their humanity. Our decisions should be science– and evidence-based, not based on archaic ideas of what society should look like, not based on guesses or the Bible or any other book of faith that doesn’t question, test, analyze, observe, and change with the times…because science does all of those things. And although science can solve many problems (if you’re really against it, put your damn phone down and stop the Tweeting), at the core of this is the heart…in our hearts, we should know that telling the CDC to stop using valid vocabulary in its communications with the people they serve is a step in absolutely the wrong direction, a step toward all those dystopian novels we read where the government is out of control, forcing people to exist in a limited space that disallows our natural human creativity and care for others. We don’t make amazing discoveries in that world. Nothing is cured, no one is saved. I don’t want to live in that world.

I saw an opening in my schedule to request blocks from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Kids made these blocks and they need stitching. So once I finish my stitch-a-night thing, I’m going to do these for a month. Or however long it takes. I’m a little concerned about that E on the right, but whatever.

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I really like this one.

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And it’s not like I have a shortage of thread. So each night, I’ll pick a strand or two and stitch these down.

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Little steps. I can’t overthrow anything at the moment.

We hiked with the dogs yesterday…dragged them through plant matter.

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The pool of water up top is gone…

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They needed it. I needed it. More of this.

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Then back to here and moving some shit around and finally sitting down for an hour and a bit and stitching stuff down.

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I’m going fast. I need to be done. Like maybe today. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

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I was days and days behind on this. I last worked on it on Monday. We went out and listened to a band for a while, but then came back and watched some Walking Dead, so I did 5 nights’ worth, all in the bottom…to fill in those empty spaces.

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Fifteen more nights on this.

I did a little of the stitch-down on this too…the houses are done, the warthog is half done, the tree needs to be done…same with the sun. Not sure if there’s other bits I’m missing. Need to look through the bag and see what’s left. Then it will be ready for embellishment.

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I think the hippo has stuff on it. I should figure that out. I also want to pin down all the circles (buds) on the Bird Crazy quilt, so I can start stitching those down. I need some long binge-watching episodes, but not until I finish this quilt.

This morning, though, I’m trying to clean up the house enough to finish what little holiday decoration I’m gonna do. Then grocery store and stitch for a while. While thinking about gangs and white women. And batting, because that’s what woke me up first.

*Linkin Park, Faint

Day after Day I Get Angry and I Will Say*

Hey, so sometimes a thing pops up and you think, hey! That’s cool. That’s really cool. Social Justice Sewing Academy is one of those things. When I was on the web last year, around the time our newest president reared his ugly head, I found the Instagram of a woman, Sara Trail, who was making banners for protests. She had posted patterns online (I think I wrote about her back then). Turns out she works with a group of kids, the Social Justice Sewing Academy, helping them express their ideas…wait, not just IDEAS, but ACTIVIST IDEAS…in fabric. And sewing. I think this is awesome, and they want to expand the program, so there’s a Kickstarter here. Watch the video, read the stuff…just looking at the art they make (their Instagram is @sjsacademy) makes you wanna back them. These kids deserve all the help they can get; I would love to see a program like that down here. Yes, I backed it. You should back it too…not only because it’s fabric, or even because it’s getting the younger generation into fabric, but because these kids have a lot of great political stuff to say and we should expand that to more voices, diverse voices. We’re gonna need some young, strong, loud voices to fight some of the shit being thrown around. She focuses on kids of color, kids who need a voice even more than most. Go. Look. Watch.

More on the eyeball…watched a movie and graded shit last night…

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But sewed two nights of Whites of Your Eyes first…

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Weird puppy…

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So I broke two needles last night AND stabbed myself in the finger with a knife (OK, that was while making dinner and was just lame, but it still hurts this morning). I don’t exactly know how I didn’t see that safety pin, but it’s nice to know the needle can pierce it. Or is it?

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The second needle broke…I don’t even know why. It was not an auspicious start. I think both broke in the first 10 minutes and I swore prodigiously, and then I got my rhythm back and got about an hour and a half of quilting in.

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I didn’t want her to have a weapon, but I wanted her to be able to stop him, to hurt him, to catch attention. So octopus tentacles. Best I could do.

Most of the male figure is done…just his head and one arm, plus the thought bubble…

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And then start quilting the background. Remember not to quilt the background in tiny little squiggles…because there ain’t no time (nor necessity) for that. Start seriously considering the next quilt, because it will be big too…about this size…and it doesn’t exist except as the beginning of a drawing and a list of ideas. Not that it’s a bad thing…drawing it will be nice. No, it’s not a happy topic…still…but it won’t be guns. I don’t know why that makes a difference, but it does. Because I feel like I can make changes about climate but not about guns? Who knows. Because one is nature and what we’ve done to it and one is human nature and that worries me more?

I do have an opening coming up on November 16 at the Rose Gallery at Francis Parker School…three pieces will be in that show, one never-before-seen (except here). The opening runs from 6-8 PM. It’s a really nice space…plus school kids are gonna see my work! OK, I had to do no nudity on this show, but it was worth it.

OK…to the day job, then the night job. Go back that Kickstarter. You know you wanna. And it’s totally worth it.

*Violent Femmes, Add It Up