The Sun’s Zooming in*

November 6, 2018

Go vote. Now. Unless you’re like me and you already did…dropped the ballot envelope off at the library on Sunday. Everyone associated with my house has voted now. Good stuff. May the force be with us.

I’m at home. Grades are done, unless those two girls with non-working websites email me before I leave for the ultrasound. I did in fact get up early to eat and drink stuff before the deadline. We’ll see if it helps. I then tried to go back to sleep, but no. Dogs. Cats. Brain awake. So much for sleeping in. I suck at it.

I do still have grading to do…it never ends. I have to write sub plans for the days I’ll be in Boston. But what I really want to do, besides walk the dogs, is finish ironing.

I started late again last night, mostly because of grading. Ready to pick out flesh…I went through all 6 boxes of pink and finally found the right transition between 4 and 6 in the last bin.

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I laid out all the fleshy pieces…

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And I started ironing them down. It’s a weird puzzle I do…

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How do I save the most fabric but fit all the pieces on there? Like that.

It was after midnight and I looked at the clock and thought, ugh. Gonna have to be up early. So I left the last two fabrics for this morning.

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The box is getting fuller.

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So that puts me in the 600s, but I have all the innards and hair to do. Mostly bones and cardiovascular stuff. So that’s also this morning. Or afternoon.

This was yesterday in class…

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We’re piloting a new unit and it’s difficult. Mostly because I don’t have access to all the electronic stuff, and then my kids don’t either, plus I keep getting myself absent, and this curriculum is not at all friendly to guest teachers. Or to taking a rest from talking, for that matter. Lots of direct instruction.

Anyway. I’m going to shower and NOT eat or drink anything for a while and then go get this thing done so they can show me a picture of the alien in my gut. And then work and iron and all that stuff.

*The Clash, London Calling


Three-Dog Late Afternoon

October 20, 2018

Weekends are for catching up on sleep. For catching up on errands, although I did a pretty good job of that on Thursday. For catching up on grades, unfortunately. And hopefully for a little free time and relaxation. I’m going to see the Visions exhibit this evening…looking forward to that.

But before that, I gotta wake up. Ugh. My head.

I walked the dogs again on Friday…by myself this time…

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I took them over three miles, trying to tire them out. It worked. Tired me out too…but then I’d already had a long walking day at work. The kids played a rock cycle game and I always have a few who need me to walk them through it. It went well otherwise though. My legs were dead by the time I got to the dog-walking part of the day, but it was good for all of us.

After dinner, I eventually persuaded my legs to stand up again. I didn’t trace for long, because I didn’t realize how late it was…but I’m in the 300s now. I wanted to be much further along, as always. So tracing is on my list for today as well. A nice big fat chunk of it please.

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I sat for a bit…Satchemo love…and Simba putting up with the cat.

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Who knows whether he likes it. He always looks nervous. That cat has sharp pointy bits.

Anyway. Art tonight, by other people, hopefully making my own as well. Same for tomorrow. I’ll never get caught up with grading anyway.

Happy birthday to my dad, who is hopefully still in Spain (if he’s not, I don’t know where he is)…he’ll be home soon, and then his dog will be at HIS house, making all the caterwauling noises that she makes. Plus walking the dogs will be easier.


Exciting Piles of Wonder Under in My Future

October 18, 2018

‘Tis early. My brain is fog. Or oatmeal. Not sure which. Oatmeal is stickier. So that.

Yesterday’s lab was much mellower than the previous two days. Maybe that’s because I’d done it before? Or because it was more like direct instruction instead of their reading instructions. Reading is always an issue for us…so many language learners.

Calli had to go to the vet yesterday, more pee issues, but at some point, the boy decided the little one needed some exercise. There’s playing that happens when Katie’s not here, but Katie has toy issues and Calli has jealousy issues, so we hide all the toys while Katie visits…which sucks for Simba.

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He likes toys.

Calli isn’t allowed to play because she’s a bully. She gets sticks thrown for her outside. Katie doesn’t actually fetch anything…she just tries to herd everyone who is fetching. It’s a pack of dogs…not just two.

After dinner, I didn’t do any grading. I figure I will do a bunch today. I took the day off to sit in a waiting room hopefully for not too long. But it means I’ll have some wait time there and here at home, so I can get a chunk of grading done.

So I started tracing pretty early last night. I was starting to think I was totally OK on time with this, but then realized I’m going to Boston and I don’t know what’s happening with Thanksgiving. So I panicked.

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I traced for about 3 1/2 hours and got two yards mostly filled…and another one started.

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I’m only in the mid 200s though. They were fussy pieces to trace. So I’m a quarter of the way through and it took about 3 1/2 hours. So another 10+ to go? I’ll do some tonight (maybe today? Although right now, a nap sounds lovely) and some tomorrow night, but that won’t get me done. We’ll see.

Anyway, gotta get out of here. Exciting piles of Wonder Under in my future.


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


Control Is Not Convinced*

October 10, 2018

Trying to shut off teacher brain long enough to write…it’s trying to figure out a problem for today. It’s like listening to my students argue. Geez, just shut up a moment. We’ll be fine if you be a little bit quiet. Or not.

I have a meeting after school today and I’m trying to decide what assignment I can grade at the meeting. It has to be low maintenance or I can’t hear the meeting at the same time. I take notes to send to my people, so I have to be able to hear. Which means my teacher brain can’t be distracted by other shit. So not complicated, but needs to get done. Hmmm. I have until the end of the school day to figure that out. That’s not even the problem that was distracting me. That one woke me up at 2 AM and niggled. I hate niggling.

You know how you say yes to something and then you wonder why you said yes, why you decided this made sense, and you know why, but all of a sudden it’s a pain in the ass and you don’t want yes to be the right answer any more. It still is the right answer, but yes now means something the size of a football stadium and before it was much smaller. Like hold-in-your-hand smaller.

Anyway. That’s my brain at the moment. Highly distracted. I try to bring it back into the art world each night. Some nights I am more successful than others.

I did not finish the binding last night. I graded until almost 10:30 PM and then I wanted to tape the full-size drawing together, so that’s what I did. It took me 30 minutes to stand up to do that, but it’s OK…I eventually got there.

Here’s my weird-ass collection of pictures from yesterday…from the redacted poem we did in class yesterday…

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About layers of the Earth, not pizza.

To the parking lot on the way out of school…two crows and their very dead friend, the gopher. They were picking at him when I drove up.

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Weird.

To cutting and pasting the enlarged drawing together…I did 200%. And then added paper on all 4 sides so I could see the whole space.

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Much easier to visualize now. Although I won’t probably get to it tonight…got a union meeting AND book club, and book club is many many miles away and somewhat complicated tonight. Ugh. I’m not really up for complicated and far away, unfortunately. We’ll see how I feel after the meeting. Actually, I shouldn’t give myself that out…because I won’t go if I base it on how tired I am after the meeting. It’s a new location and it’s different so I’m weirded out by that. I guess. Ugh. More caffeine. Go to work. Think later.

*Peter Schilling, Major Tom (Coming Home)


I Need Coherence…Not Gravel

October 7, 2018

I don’t usually write on Sunday, but I feel like I actually achieved things yesterday, so writing about that makes me feel better. Hey! I achieved things yesterday! OK, that’s it…I’m done. Not really.

I did grade a lot yesterday, lots of school-related stuff got done…for instance, we’re doing this landform project and we have these cards we are going to use, and for some reason, we decided coloring them seemed like a good idea, so we started the teacher’s aide on that, but she was taking forever, so then we tried to speed-color them on Friday and failed miserably, plus apparently I don’t know how to color, ironically, so I brought the rest of them home and speed-speed-colored them yesterday, so I can deliver them to print shop Monday morning to be laminated. For Wednesday.

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Don’t ask why we do this shit to ourselves. It just happens.

Then I had an art meeting, and art meetings always include food and wine, and this was the wine I had. I love the label. It kind of reminds me of the coloring I was doing.

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Maybe next we should graduate to wine labels.

This vehicle parked at the art meeting.

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These are my people.

Came home and graded more stuff…Simba doesn’t lie like this naturally. I’m pretty sure the boychild was pulling things out of his fur and then just left him there.

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That tail is a disaster. He won’t let us comb it, so I just cut knots out when I remember.

So I graded until 9 PM or so and then I was done with that assignment, so I went in and finished quilting…it was about another hour and a half…lots of thread breaking, or it would have been less. Quilting in between the tree branches was kind of a pain.

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It took a little over 6 hours to quilt her. Then I swept the floor and laid her out to be trimmed.

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It took a couple of tries to get it right, but there she is, all ready for binding.

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That should happen tonight, I suspect, or maybe this afternoon if I am really organized (I don’t feel organized at the moment). Oh yeah, and we walked the dogs in there somewhere too. After art meeting with wine and food and before dinner.

This was Friday night, when the boychild kicked all the animals out of his personal space, so they invaded mine.

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Well, except for Kitten. She doesn’t like the others. Sometimes I don’t blame her. And I bathed the Golden as well. Busy day, really. Today will be another…more grading, groceries, school stuff, and hopefully some quilt stuff at the end. I need to start getting my act in gear on the next drawing. It’s rolling around in my head like a destructive boulder that keeps losing small bits. I need coherence…not gravel.


Planet Earth

September 26, 2018

I dunno what I did, but now I can’t even get on the internet on the computer, so I’m writing this on the iPad…it’s fine, although my pointer finger gets tired. I have a tiny keyboard for it somewhere, but that requires even more thought than trying to find the network security key, which is NOT the same as a password, despite the similar feel to the words.

It’s going to be short today anyway. I have an early meeting plus a packet to make for a kid who’ll be gone for over a week (sigh…so frustrating…parents just want a packet, but that means I have to find or make stuff to replace hands-on curriculum…at least this parent gave us a heads up. The other kid asked for work yesterday for the next week. No chance.).

Last night, I blew off everything and went to see Rachel Ignotofsky talk about her new book, Planet Earth.

She previously published Women in Science and Women in Sports, plus her Etsy site has all the prints and T-shirts I want. I am refraining from buying everything.

She’s fun and creative and perky and loves talking to kids, and her next book is Women in Art! I’m excited…plus the new book is all about ecosystems and biodiversity and saving the world, which I can totally get behind. And she merges art and science in an engaging and beautiful and fascinating way.

I think I just went all fangirl. I had her sign both my books. And then I came home and found out I got into Quilt + Resist at Woman Made Gallery…a gallery I’ve been trying to get into since I was an adult artmaker. Rooted in America is heading out again, this time to Chicago. Good news, that.

And I also got into the Surface Design Association Exhibition in Print, so it’s been a good week for notifications. I don’t know which one will be in the magazine. But I’m looking forward to finding that out.

Well hopefully when I get home, the computer will connect to things. Tonight I work on grades and art. Last night was cool and inspiring…now back to work.