Just Chill…

June 8, 2018

Interesting virus I have. I was spacey and not feeling well on Wednesday, but yesterday I felt mostly OK. Today? Nope. Not. And I’m almost out of meds. Stupid. Because I thought I was getting better. How? It’s the end of the school year. No one gets better at the end of the year…we just get worse and worse and more and more miserable until someone releases us from the hell that is the last week of school with kids.

So let’s think positively. In one week’s time, there will be no students in my classroom. I will be cleaning my classroom out so I can leave early (well, after a team meeting). Then I will have the REST of the day off. On a Friday. While other people are at work. I will be able to pee WHENEVER I WANT. Oh man. That was lovely to type. I could even NAP if I wanted to. At the end of the day, I will not have to work another 2-3 hours to try to get caught up on grading and planning because I don’t have enough time to do that at work. I will not have any extra meetings after school to take up my time and energy. I can just hang out, finish my book, sit in the sun, whatever. In fact, if I needed to run an errand, I could do that, instead of trying to fit all of them in over the weekend. Yeah. I might have the brainspace to actually draw something (it’s been a while guys…very frustrating).

I’m trying very hard not to think about the jury duty part. Because thinking about it stresses me out. And the 3, possibly 4 days of school-related meetings before the end of June. Not thinking about those either, although I should at some point remember to print out all the crap I need for those.

Yup. I keep talking myself out of the crazy. (or do I?) Kitten is not sure.

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She’s been hiding since Katie arrived.

So I had a stitching meeting last night and I actually did some embroidery, but I forgot to take a picture of it. I’ll be doing more tonight, so hopefully I’ll get a photo at some point of two-nights-worth of stitchy wondrousnous.

Then I ironed for a bit. A short bit. I was tired. Still am, who am I kidding? I got the big cat ironed together and a cloud and some raindrops and honestly that might have been it.

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I don’t remember being particularly amazing last night. Although it might be amazing that I got anything done at all, honestly.

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It’s coming.

Meanwhile, two of my quilts are in Texas this weekend with the Threads of Resistance exhibit, and apparently those behind this curtain (including mine, of course, due to the penises included plus boobs and uteri, dontcha know) have caused a minor kerfuffle…

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Some part of me wishes we never had to have this sign, but at least they’re not pulling my work from the show or calling Fox News (been there, done that). You can check out the whole very amazing exhibit in Arlington, Texas, at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo…plus check out the people who are shocked by our work. Smile at them and nod. Say “Bless their heart” if you need to .

OK, early meeting…last one of the year, I hope. Then teaching HIV and AIDS. Then gaming (long day…). Then this weekend, I finish grades and hopefully get some free time to just chill. Hopefully.


All the Roads We Have to Walk Are Winding*

March 7, 2018

Well. So. I can finally quilt this thing. I have not been as efficient as I sometimes can be. Not sure why. Lack of rice krispy treats I think. That’s probably a good thing now that I think about it.

I’m finding school frustrating; you may have noticed. I think we work hard at giving kids the supports they need to think without giving them the answers. I’m frustrated at the moment with the lack of try I see. I know, I know, they’re 12. Try is hard. It’s hard for grown adults to get up off the couch and do something every night. It’s not hard for me, really, because I like it. I like it better than the couch. I guess I’m wired slightly differently. I’m OK with that.

So I did tutoring and talked to kids who just didn’t get it. There’s one girl who goes to tutoring every day and does hardly any work. It’s just social. Better than home? Yes, for some kids, school is safer and better than home. OK. Well. I will bury my frustration and keep trying. I’m the adult in there, so I should be able to do that.

Meanwhile, I came home, cooked dinner, ate, and watched some X-Files…sewed some more balls on…see! Progress! I’m doing one color at a time. It’s relaxing.

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No, that’s not parmesan. It’s all my pins. Although it’s cracked. I need a new one…pin container that is.

So I cleaned all the tile floors after dinner and then pinbasted the quilt. I only clean floors when I need to pinbaste or trim quilts…

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Lying around on the ground pinning at 10 PM is the best way to end your day.

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I had a hard enough time getting up off the ground.

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Wow…that’s some foreshortening. No way is that boob that big…

My work made it into Textile Fibre Forum…part of the Threads of Resistance exhibit…

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It’s always interesting to hear someone else write about your work. I didn’t make that piece with the thought of Adam and Eve, but I do see how everyone sees that.

This quilt, Rooted in America, made it into Fantastic Fibers, hallelujah. I’m so glad this piece is going out in the world.

Especially right now…

From last night’s episode of Electric Dreams

Great version of that song.

*Cat Power (and Oasis), Wonderwall


I Can’t Control What I’m Going Through Now*

January 22, 2018

OK. Well the girlchild is on the first of three planes over the next 36 hours or so. She comes back in 104 days (she actually goes back to Boston, not San Diego, but that’s way closer than Madagascar). Hopefully she has what she needs. Certainly we tried to make sure she did.

She was in here, the office/studio, last night while I was sewing, practicing her French. She can introduce her husband and her sister (she has neither) and ask where the bathroom is. She should be fine.

Me? I’ve been up since 4 AM and have work with 150 7th graders today. I will be fine. I went a whole year and a half where I only slept like 4-5 hours a night (that is actually more than I got last night, honestly though).

Her bag is only 51 pounds. There’s a backpack in there, a tent, a sleeping bag, and a ton of useful crap. I think.

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Sending her off. She does not want me to take her photo this early in the morning. I don’t blame her…but there’s proof I got her in the TSA line.

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Last night, I guess my brain finally stopped stalling and let me finish the stitch down.

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It did not take long…only about an hour over what I’d already spent on it.

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Two hours and 13 minutes total…so short on a little quilt!

So then I found some backing fabric…I was going to use something extra and ugly, but I used the full width of a batik for the front, so honestly, batiks are usually the widest…I couldn’t find anything non-batik in the stash that was wide enough. It’s OK…this was a background for some other quilt.

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I don’t usually lay them out on the studio floor. I used to iron on it…hence the holes here and there. But this was small enough.

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Pinned down…ready for quilting. Maybe tonight? We’ll see. I should have graded something yesterday and I didn’t. Too wired.

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Someone posted pictures of the Threads of Resistance show at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. The show is there until February 18. I think we’re behind a curtain again…Tanya Brown’s piece hanging with mine (presumably pooping is an issue for little kids to view? Not sure.).

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Mine always hang together. I’m not even sure they like each other. They’re all feminists though, so that’s OK.

OK, I’m going to make myself go to school and make sense, or get some shit done, or something. Certainly with both kids gone again, I have fewer excuses. Just those in my head. The commission piece will come back in a bit…so I should be efficient and get the other binding on that other quilt…and get this small one quilted and bound, so I have something done in January. That would be a good plan. Do some of the drawing that’s kicking around in my head. A Frida Kahlo-esque piece of the girlchild is in there…the boychild as well (they love it LOVE IT when I put them in my stuff. Absolutely. Sarcasm there. Lots of it.).

*The Alarm, Strength


You Put the Load Right on Me*

November 13, 2017

‘Twas a productive weekend…I finished grading 2 or 3 assignments, didn’t finish a bunch of other stuff, hiked a mountain, cut out a ton of Wonder Under, and replaced the headlight in my car (with help). That was an achievement.

We started late…the goal? Clevenger Canyon South, apparently 4.3 miles (a fact we questioned multiple times), on a day that was supposed to be cooler than it felt. The wonder of San Diego is the temperature can be quite warm in the mountains, even in November.

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We climbed a lot in the first mile…and if you’d told me I was hiking to that rock (and beyond) that you can see on the ridge, I might have given up. But no. We kept going…

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Looking back here on the trail we’d been on before going down into the canyon, where it was obvious one of the fires had gone through here (2007)…

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So this little guy…I just about stepped on him. He never rattled…he never even moved. I noticed him, yelled snake, moved my foot further along than I had been planning, all in a matter of seconds. Yes, I realize we’re lucky he didn’t strike…because that’s a baby rattler and he wouldn’t have known to only dump some of his venom in my calf. It would have been an interesting hike, I guess…

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From further up, the canyon is down where the green is, although there was still no water.

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Evidence of burn even on the rocks…

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Looking to the north…

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And to the south…actually, my car is way way down there…

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This was our goal: two metal chairs bolted to a boulder.

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And a view to die for. Well. Not die. But we were glad to get there…

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It ended up being 4.65 miles, mostly up for the first 1.7 miles.

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And the way down was super fast. Yes…we were to the left of that rock most of the way to the far left peak. We didn’t do the last 0.2 miles to that peak. We had the view already.

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Poles were helpful on the way down. The snake was gone on the way down.

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More evidence of burn…

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And then this was delightful…just remember that what looks like a scary dive bar on the outside houses a lovely bar with cool refreshing drinks and snacks on the inside…

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Then last night, I did some feather stitching on this, above the righthand eye.

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And I cut out a bunch of this…while watching a show in Icelandic. I think I’m semi-fluent now…

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I think this was actually the night before…

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There’s more of that in a bit, but these photos are from the Threads of Resistance exhibit, which made it to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Minneapolis, Minnesota over the weekend. As always, I’m behind the sign…

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And the curtain…

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I kinda wish they wouldn’t hang the signs on the quilts…

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But I’m in good company back there…

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So I’m a woman of a certain age…who knows if and when I will ever have another period (NOT complaining), but the app updated and now it ignores perimenopause completely. I find this highly amusing.

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And kind of a metaphor for women of my age (ignored). Whatever.

I graded more videos yesterday…at 3 minutes per kid, it takes a while, so I poured a hot cup of tea and grabbed my stitching, so I could listen better. It worked.

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I got the hippo done and part of the sun…

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For some reason, this month’s stuff is taking forever to stitch down.

Puppy was tired…but he wanted to be near me and my Wonder Under…

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Sometimes more near than others.

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I did about 5 hours of cutting out yesterday and 2 the night before, so I have a hefty chunk done…ahead of schedule.

Speaking of schedules, I need to get my butt outta here and to work. More progress tonight, I’m sure.

*The Band, The Weight


I Was Feeling Part of the Scenery*

October 14, 2017

I totally forgot that I have two quilts at PIQF this weekend…so go check them out. They are part of the Threads of Resistance exhibit…

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Thanks to Ellen November for the photo…she confirmed that they are not hidden away as well. The Mancusos are kind of used to me I guess. I wanted to go up for this show, but this month is a crazy asshole and that’s not happening.

Speaking of crazy assholes…

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So last night, I was ready to sew the binding on, and I realized I had an issue on the back. I should have cut the backing bigger than I did…oh well. So I thought about how to deal with this…because honestly, it’s on the back, so who’s gonna care.

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The quilt police and I are not on speaking terms.

I put the miles of binding on…

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And then the sleeves…and added a little piece of the background fabric under the sleeve, into the binding seam, so it would cover the small piece that would show.

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No one is gonna know…I’ll hand stitch it down while I’m sewing the binding and sleeves down. Problem solved!

Then I went to watch that band I always watch. Crashed their event, bought a glass of wine, then mooched the second one (the table I was sitting at was totally empty). And started drawing. Damn, I miss drawing. Need to shove that into my schedule. I keep saying it and it doesn’t happen.

The wildfires in Northern California are on my mind…

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I try to stay out of the newsfeeds, but stories about animals being rescued or still being there after everything burned, or old couples holding onto each other in swimming pools all night. Aargh. The fires aren’t fully contained, evacuations are still happening, the death toll will surely rise. So freakin’ sad.

And I have 17 errands to run, 3 hours (at least) of hand sewing, and at least 5 hours of grading to do. There we are.

*Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill


I Hope They Didn’t Get Your Mind*

July 15, 2017

Kitten! It’s really hard for me to type when your head is on the keyboard!

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Apparently I didn’t pay enough attention to her yesterday, because she is very very close to me. Honestly, a little TOO close if you ask me. I have very demanding animals. Simba just wandered in here looking for girlchild, but she’s not here right now. He did his soft demand bark, which usually means he needs to go out…but no…what he wants is for me to locate girlchild and bring her back to him.

So today is a big day for my art…two pieces opened today in Threads of Resistance at the New England Quilt Museum. Both of mine are behind the beige curtain…

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Here are Work in Progress and Absolutely Nothing hanging with My Body, My Rules by Sue Bleiweiss.

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The show is traveling through the end of 2018…you should check it out.

The next cool thing is my Nida Powers opening tonight and artist talk tomorrow, all a little nerve-wracking for the introvert in me, but I will survive.

Meanwhile, the garage…here’s the before picture. You can’t tell from here, but the pile of crap in the middle is as big as a large SUV. Chaos reigned here…

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We’re still not done (you can’t see the driveway here), but the pile in the middle is gone…most of what’s there is school stuff that needs review or delivery to school, a bed that will be sold or junked, and some art I’m trying to decide how to store.

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We took over 10 bags to the thrift shop yesterday, the haz waste appointment is set up for next weekend, and the e-waste that’s on the right side is going today. Then CraigsList for the rest (or a junk pickup if we have to). I could screenprint in here again if I wanted to. I could probably get a car in here if I needed to (not right this second, but when I get done). Boychild has been an incredible help. It’s a real relief to have this done.

Now I need to do a similar task in my bedroom.

Girlchild just pets dogs. She’s not home for long, so we’re OK with that.

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She did go to Ikea with me yesterday to find fabric for my new classroom bulletin boards. I needed one piece of fabric for each unit…so I picked the cheapest stuff…

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Except for one I really really liked. Should be fun…very graphic stuff.

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We did dinner and ice cream out (I never get ice cream)…and then came home and I cut stuff out for three hours…Simba was overjoyed!

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Not really. Eventually Kitten came and sat with me (she really needs attention some days)…

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At close to 12:30, I had this much left to cut out. That’s another hour at least, so I quit.

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Too bad. I really wanted it all done yesterday. Didn’t happen. It might today.

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I need to shower, do the e-waste…debate another opening that is in the middle of the day (ugh), make sure I make it to my own opening…but otherwise, I might have time to sit and cut some stuff out. And then sort it. So when I do get back from the mountains, I’ll have fabric and stuff ready to go. Crap. That probably means I need to clean the studio too. Aack. Sigh. OK. List done.

This has been the last two weeks…I clean the garage and I make art and I try to fit all the other crap in around it. It’s not ideal, but I am getting shit done, and that’s always my goal in the summer.

*Milky Chance, Stolen Dance


I Feel Summer Creepin’ in*

June 16, 2017

I do have to be at school today…my room is a disaster and my co-teacher’s room is even worse, because we piled up all the new equipment and materials in there by unit, so we could try to organize it today. And plan a bit. We’ll see how that goes. My left eye is still twitching like a bitch (not enough sleep yet) and I have no voice again. But that school year is done. Out. On the ground. It wasn’t an easy one. With no state curriculum, we planned from scratch…and now we have to go back and fix it all.

I got home yesterday and the bank had shut down all my accounts again. It took a short while this time to get it all worked out, but I think the problem was Western Union, which we used to get money to the girlchild, because she needed cash for a car and her bank has no branch locally. But the bank has been remarkably unforthcoming and unhelpful. I finally got access to all the old statements (not sure what the issue was really) by filling out a Gallup poll about my experience that the bank sent me. Hello businesses…just saying sorry goes a long way, but it doesn’t fix stupid practices.

Usually after school is out, it takes me at least a week to be really efficient. We only get 8 weeks, which I realize sounds amazing to y’all, but I just got an email about the professional development I have to do…so if I do that before the year starts, that’s 7 weeks. Plus I’m working for the next two weeks, so that’s 5 weeks. I use this time to catch up on all the stuff I can’t do during the school year, because school sucks up holidays and weekends like a dehydrated puppy. Technically, including weekends, I have 55 days before I have to be back. It does not sound like enough. I know people with other jobs are completely jealous, but just come do my job for a couple of weeks and tell me how you feel about it then. Because it is different. I know that because I did your type of job for the first 13 years…and then I freelanced for a while…and now I’m a teacher AND a freelancer. Ugh.

There are days I wake up or go to bed wishing I could just be an artist full time. I know I can’t…I can’t afford it, obviously. But it would be sooo nice to be able to make art every day without all the other stuff. So the three breaks I get each year? I really try to carve out huge swathes of art time in them so I don’t go crazy. I figure if I’m going to work a job that beats you up so badly, I should be able to have the rest of the time for me.

Yeah. Mostly the first week I’m braindead though.

So I got home and the Threads of Resistance catalog was here with my two quilts and statements…really nicely done.

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These two quilts were made right after one another…I think that’s how the tree ended up in both.

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For those keeping track, I think there are 8 or 9 penises (penii?) between the two quilts. I will not be at the opening for this, because it’s the same day as my Visions opening…

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But maybe I’ll get to see it somewhere. Who knows?

So my mom has been amazing and has booked an Airbnb space for the boychild’s college graduation, which yes, is almost a year away.

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Ithaca is tiny…there’s not a lot of options. It will be my parents, the girlchild, me, and my ex, so it had to be big enough to sleep all of us. Now he has to graduate. (He will.)

It was my quilt class night, so I took all the blocks for the Don’t Shut Up community quilt I’m working on…so I could use Susan’s skills and ingenuity to deal with some of these crazy blocks. The wonders of dealing with quilt blocks from non-quilters…

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We tore some apart, sewed some together, and tried to trim others. Fun stuff. You’ll be seeing more of this over the next two weeks. I have a seam ripper injury from last night though…

I finally pulled this out…did two lengths of thread for the last two nights…on the left side again. A yellowish thread with French knots and lazy daisies in the cretan stitch, and then a pinky-purple thread that turned into green…I did lazy daisies and then some French knots around the other yellow stitches.

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Then I sat there on the couch for a long time, trying to be motivated to do anything. I finally got up and traced.

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I’m almost done. Another hour? At most. Lots of big sweeping sky pieces that use up large pieces of Wonder Under. Seriously, I think there are only 40 pieces left to trace. I’m glad I had this prepped and ready to go, because even though I should really be working on other stuff, I can’t get my head around any of it right now. I will HAVE to pretty damn soon, but I’m OK with yesterday and today being lost days for art and copyediting. Saturday though? Saturday I gotta get my act together and be a freelancer.

Midnight expresses her feelings about that. And being hot.

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Sweet fat kitty. OK. Going to school…but no kids makes that easier. I’m wearing my Ms. Marvel t-shirt on the off chance superpowers might help me today.

*Tom Petty, Mary Jane’s Last Dance