Sturdy Up Your Heart*

May 20, 2017

I’m frozen again. It’s 95 degrees out there. But my brain. Frozen. Too many things on the list. Dogs have been to the vet…one is now coneless and fancy free…the other is on more meds, a bloody abscess cleaned out, and still a conehead. Fun stuff. The washing machine died (again…it died last August too) last night while trying to finish up the boychild’s bedding. I really don’t have the time to deal with that right this second. Maybe tomorrow afternoon? I just don’t know. This might be an online thing. Trying to decide if it’s worth trying to fix again (I never actually fixed it last time…gave Sears the money to fix it and then spent 4 months trying to get the money back because they said my husband let them in the house and they fixed it. Interesting. I have no husband. Or male who lives here at the moment.) or whether I should just accept that the last 9 months of forcing it to work, even though it was apparently unfixable, was better than I thought I would get. Write that shit off. Because buying major appliances when I have no paycheck during the summer seems like a good plan? Fuuuuck.

Deep breaths. The list is long. I will get through bits and pieces of it, a little at a time.

There’s the nervous conehead at the vet. She gets all freaked out.

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And on the way home, she wouldn’t shift over to give the puppy some room…

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Don’t squish your baby brother.

I’m typing now with this one lying on the caps lock. I keep shoving her over.

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I did do some stitching last night…two nights’ worth on the stitch-a-day…it’s about all I did. I was so exhausted. I’m better today. Got over 8 hours of mostly OK sleep. I really needed it.

I stitched a (dammit…just forgot the name of it) feather stitch in blue and then straight stitches in the purple vine, and then put in a few French knots and a stem stitch under the eyeball to finish the thread. Then I did a pink lazy daisy in the feather stitch and straight stitches off the purple vine.

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Filling space. Plus trying to relax. Then I graded for a while. I’m so incredibly behind, it’s not even funny. Trying to catch up. Frantically.

I did work on this at gaming…

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I did the frog and started the grass…plus the symbol on the tree. Still debating going back and adding bullions to the outside of the tree. Then this one is done. Not taking it with me to Ohio.

It’s funny, I’ll be frantically stitching while gaming, trying to keep myself calm (not) and awake (that works). Stress levels are a little insane at the moment.

I woke to good (but a little scary) news this morning. Both the pieces I entered into Threads of Resistance got in.

This is Absolutely Nothing, originally in an exhibit called Women at War

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And this is Work in Progress, from the exhibit Expressions of Equality.

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These were made one after the other…hence the tree showing up in both…I wasn’t done with that imagery apparently. Much like the bathtubs I keep doing.

So yeah, I didn’t have time to make new work for this show, but I do often roll in those topics anyway. There was a climate change one I wanted to enter, but it was like 2″ too big. It’s all good.

So why is it a little scary? Well. So. A few of my quilts have upset people’s sensibilities. And these two have about 10 penises between the two of them, plus yes, full-on nudity, and one is NOT very nice about how I feel about the way women are treated in society.

So. I guess we prep for the media storm this time…because some of these venues could be an issue. The plus is I know the group that organized this show has my back. Most of them have supported me in the past with personal messages or posts online. So I’m feeling OK about opening some eyes, or getting those heads nodding up and down in agreement. And I know the Mancusos will just invite the press in…still think I should get a kickback on their ticket sales if I make the news again.

The show opens July 15 in Lowell, Massachusetts, at the New England Quilt Museum. And then it travels through 2018. Or longer. So check it out.

Now I gotta get through this to-do list or I’m gonna go crazy.

*The Beautiful Girls, La Mar


Let’s Put Our Heads Together and Start a New Country Up*

May 15, 2017

Well whatever crazy internet thing that was going on has dissipated. My blog hits are back down to normal. Hello normal! Nice to see you too! I often forget there are people out there reading this (hello boychild! I know where you got that photo you sent to the girlchild!). Mothers’ Day. Sheesh…some holiday taken over by the media folks that messes with my head. It’s hard to have them so far away…and looking at pictures of them, trying to decide what to post, well that doesn’t help. Oh well. Moving on…I did get a long FaceTime call with the girlchild at my parents’ house…

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Wherein she tried to explain the chaos of her living and working situation for the next two-three weeks. She still has one final to finish. Then at least two jobs. And living out of a suitcase for a while.

Here’s the photo I found, from 2004…both their hairs are completely different now. OK, well, hers is similar, minus the dorky barrettes. Ages 7 and 8 about…

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And the girlchild posted this…I am just not going to explain it.

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Just to say, well, the kitchen is still a mess and I have a cow costume in case you ever need to borrow one. (And that’s not my wine.)

Yesterday, I found time to weed for a while…the rains this year have kicked my landscaping butt. I was watched by this bunny for all the time it took me to fill one of those big recycling bins. Yes. One.

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That was about a third of the front yard. I didn’t even try to pick the grasslike stuff. I’m gonna weed whack that part. Sorry bunny (he lives under that deck).

In the house isn’t much better. Kitten jumped up to dust this with her paws. Right? That’s what she’s doing up there? Sigh.

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I had three days to catch up on this. I did finish the hand with one of the days, filling in with stem stitch and doing some cross stitches over the seed stitches below. Then I finished the bush to the right of the hand…only half the leaves were done. Then I did some blue fly and lazy daisy stitches in the pink below the bush.

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Back to filling in empty spaces. Still haven’t hit the halfway mark. Embroidery is relaxing though.

Then I retraced some of the pieces (old Wonder Under sucks…which is why Saturday found me at JoAnns with my 50% off coupon buying a new bolt of the stuff), cut them out, and sorted them. Only three bins.

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So easy peasy. Ironing tonight? One would hope. There’s some cleaning that needs to go on in here, the studio. In fact, that’s often the only thing that gets cleaned…the areas where I make art…the entryway floor so I can lay out quilts…etc. Oh well. I do my best.

Also, one of the shows I entered (notifications haven’t gone out yet), Threads of Resistance, posted all the entered work, because it’s an important exhibit even if all the pieces can’t be in the show. You can see the work here. There’s a ton of work, so there will be a ton of rejections…but the work is all out there for viewing. I’m interested to see how what they pick might differ from what I would pick…how to show all the possibilities of resistance with a clear, consistent show that doesn’t violate copyright. That’s a hard one.

OK…working my butt off today and then coming home to be an artist. Oh wait. I’m always an artist. Obviously not a gardener or a housecleaner. I suck at both.

*REM, Cuyahoga


Your Ignorance Is Showing

February 9, 2017

It’s after midnight. I’m not gonna finish writing this tonight. But it’s in my head, and I straight-up know I won’t go to sleep until it’s out. Simply put, I’m in a mood…I’m pissed off at all the political crap that’s bombarding us on a regular basis. The stupid decisions that aren’t seeing the big picture, the world view. I’m irritated by having to deal with a president who is only barely more mature than the majority of my students. I want to bitch slap all the…well, shit, most of them are Republicans, so I’ll start there…who want to get rid of human rights and instead promote racist and sexist propaganda. Who think it’s OK to put people in charge who don’t understand science, whether it’s climate change or homosexuality, mostly I think because reality scares them. Who want to destroy the environment so they can make money. Dammit I remember Los Angeles in the 70s and not being able to take a deep breath. Who think China made up climate change. Who think the Department of Education is only for rich white people. We don’t need to educate poor people, right? What the hell? I keep thinking, “Your ignorance is showing.” Did I tell you my meditation app has an SOS setting? For when you need 2 minutes of meditative thought because a bunch of men are refusing to listen to an intelligent, educated, ELECTED woman read a letter about human rights…that men were allowed to read later. I’m boggled by that…absolutely boggled. I listened to a mom tonight almost in tears about her worries that her daughter’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan, for those with learning disabilities) would be scrapped by the incoming Education Secretary. Well yeah, because that shit is going by the wayside…along with a million educators’ jobs. And 8000+ EPA jobs. (Who are we making great again? The great unemployed masses?) And the dumbass ignorant rants from my state senator about immigration issues. And others who think a wall will stop the drug trade (wow. really?), let alone that Mexico will pay for it. Or those who think vouchers will be good…why? Because they’re rich white people. And that’s who vouchers benefit. If you don’t have money, your school choices are what you can walk to…they can’t just up and move to La Jolla. DeVos’ assertions about school ratings are so damn IGNORANT that you just want to invite her, as another teacher said, to come stay in my house, in my reality, come to my school and sit through a week, AT LEAST, of my classes. I’m not a shitty teacher because I teach in a Title 1 school…I’m in a Title 1 school because they need me there. Try, just try, to understand the social background of my students and realize that some of them are just glad to come somewhere that feels safe and has food on a regular basis.

And this doesn’t even touch what happens when the stupid decisions and dumbassery start a war. Because that’s looming.

I know for most, I am preaching to the choir. And many of you are feeling as torn apart and stressed by this as I am, and it’s not because I’m a fucking snowflake…it’s because idiots are damaging the world I live in…for me and for those I care for. So I will keep yelling until the pendulum swings back (fast please), because this is not acceptable. And the country I live in allows for protest…it was built on it. So if my rant offends you, so be it. This snowflake (I am so NOT a snowflake) doesn’t really care if you’re offended. I want to know WHY you’re offended, simply so I can probably say, again, “Your ignorance is showing.”

Meanwhile, protest art exhibits and concerts are proliferating, which I think is great. I love listening to the whiners, the ones who think we shouldn’t make MEAN art or PROTEST art because they had to suffer through the last president so why don’t we just shut up. Yeah. They can bite me. “Your ignorance is showing.” I’m making art. I really need this quilt done so I can make 17 more. Like now.

OK. Now I’m going to bed. I’ll write the rest tomorrow…

So I didn’t finish last night, but writing that helped me sleep. I had book club last night, and near the end, when we were done with the book and a few of us were just chatting, which turned into that up above, there was this guy at the bar, maybe 30 years old, and all of a sudden he yells out something like Fuck De Vos! or something, and then apologizes, and then lays out a very well-designed plan for taking care of all this chaos…something about using the government to become a trained assassin and learning how to change his identity with their help and then going out there and “taking care of” anyone who was an issue…sigh. I think there’s a movie about that. At the time, we’re all joking about that as a solution, but we’ve all thought about it, because there doesn’t seem to be a calm rational way to change what’s happening. But sitting around and waiting for the ninja warrior to take out key players in the chaos is probably not a good or healthy plan.

So I’m choosing the art resistance mode…here’s a call for entries for one of the resistance shows popping up…

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I already have work for this one. So if you follow me for my cool quilts, hopefully you realize that most of them have a message, and it’s about women’s rights usually, although sometimes it’s just about being female…which apparently now is a lesser thing again, making me clearly remember being told multiple times that I was imagining a conspiracy against women a few years back. Imagine, My Ass. Your ignorance is showing…and in that case, it was a liberal…but still a rich white male. And if they say it doesn’t exist, honey, well then you KNOW it doesn’t exist, right? My ass. Did I say My Ass?

I came home, and you know, I worked an almost-11-hour day yesterday for school alone, plus an earthquake/fire drill and then a fire NOT drill…so I stitched. Not very much…the lighter-colored fly and lazy daisy stitches on the right. Not sure why. It just happened.

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I’m actually not sure there will be enough space on this for 12 months of stitching. I think I decided 12″ square was enough…We’ll see. That’s 39 days of stitching there…326 to go?

And then it was 11 PM, so I came in and quilted for an hour. I got the skull done…

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And the ribcage on the outside of the arm, plus part of the arm.

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I was hoping to finish that whole section, but it was late. So I wrote the screed above and went to bed, although it was probably 1 AM by then. And I’m up early again today for yet another official meeting, possibly one where I’m told to make nice with another employee…but I don’t know that anyone can make me do that at the moment. If you’re in the school system and not serving my students? Because? Then I’m not really interested in making nice.

I’m looking forward to coming home tonight and finishing the outlining at least. There’s not much left. I really need this to be done…not because I have a deadline (I do), but because there’s so much else that needs making and saying and yelling and drawing, and I’m going to keep saying it until it doesn’t need to be said any more. I don’t actually believe that will be in my lifetime, dammit, but I’m still not going to give up.