All Good

So every break I have, I make a to-do list. I used to always do them on post-it notes, then graduated to a typed list that I rarely looked at, but that had sections for art, house, work, etc. I’d print those out sometimes. Then I tried electronic to-do lists, which worked for about 6 months, but I don’t even look at them any more, although I use one to keep track of the meetings or trainings I’ve been to, because my district sometimes fucks up on those. I’m currently using a bullet journal type of listmaking, which includes the month, the week, and then some more general pages that have specifics on them…like I always seem to have an art ideas or art in progress page, and also one for Spring Break vacation trips. Although that’s usually a messy planning page and then a neater one for when we’re actually traveling that has all the reservation numbers and addresses and weird shit like that…the stuff you actually need while traveling. But since Spring Break isn’t for another 118 days, I think I can wait on that page for a bit. 

This break is no different though. I have a list of 7 assignments that need grading, the largest of which will probably take me at least 10 hours. Some of them will take a couple of hours, and at least one, maybe two, will take less than an hour.

I have a quilt to finish. I finished tracing Wonder Under on it last night, finally. Nine yards total. 21 hours and 46 minutes to trace 1559 pieces. Calli is very helpful in this process.

So I finished that after midnight, but then my brain was wired, which is funny, because it was notoriously asleep at gaming before that…

Cosmic something or other. I’ve played before but remembered absolutely nothing. It’s a good thing I don’t care a lot about winning. I’m not that good at strategy games. I just play to go out in a blaze of glory.

What else is on the to-do list? Drawing every day. Cleaning house. Some yardwork/gardening. Reconsidering Patreon again. I go back and forth on that one. Probably I’m going to try it and see how it goes. Maybe. Read ALL the books. I love to read. Exercise…hikes! Dog walks! All the things that fell off my list when the time changed and it was so dark and the school meetings were taking over my life. Ugh. Eating vegetables again…but can’t do that until Monday afternoon. Ugh. Sleep. Didn’t get enough of that last night. Was so wired, I ended up cleaning things last night so I could move the Christmas tree back in the house today. So it was about 2 AM when I went to bed. Then puppy is barking this morning, so I’ve a tiny bit more sleep than a normal school night, I have a headache and can’t take Motrin, and today is the All White Food day, which is better than tomorrow, which is All Liquid Day. It will be over soon! No more food restrictions. Looking forward to it. And the rest…drawing and relaxing and yeah, I’ll grade at some point, but not yet. But first, to cut out all that Wonder Under, which hopefully won’t take another 20-some hours. I’d like to be done soon and then ironing! I love the ironing. Get that done before Christmas…ironing by New Years? We’ll see. My plans always get fucked by reality, so accepting that is part of the process. But making a list helps. Today? Christmas shopping, a movie, some white food, reading a book. At least. All good.

Keep the Night Light on Inside*

OK, so I started tracing this quilt on December 3. That was a Monday. It’s now almost 2 weeks later (and holy hallelujah it’s a Friday) and it feels like forever that I’ve been doing this. I seriously thought I’d be done last weekend and cutting stuff out by now, but no. Apparently big pieces take a long time to trace. I’m 21 hours in. And not done. COULD I have finished last night? Yes. I could have, but I would have been really really short on sleep today instead of just really short, and that’s just a mistake going into the last day of school before break…a day that includes an assembly and a major assignment being due. I don’t want to (a) kill anyone or (b) burst out into tears. Both are a possibility. Yesterday I achieved hysterical laughter. 

I’ve done a good job of working on the quilt…about 13 1/2 hours each week, on top of my crazy job that has me sitting at the district office for hours after school. So I’m not feeling TOO bad about it. The first week back after Thanksgiving Break, I only got 7 hours in. But I wanted to be further along. I’ll get there. I guess I’m worried about the second shingles shot next week. The first one kicked my ass. I barely got up off the couch after work. Anyway, knock on wood for good results. Or nothing at all! That would be awesome. 

Anyway…I have about 50 pieces left to trace. Yes that’s it. And I have gaming tonight, so odds are I won’t be doing them tonight. Unless an anti-exhaustion miracle occurs.

I don’t know how many of these yards I have filled up at this point…like 6 or 7? Who knows. It’s a pile over there and I’ll figure it out at the end. I’m kinda scared to look at it.

Tomorrow morning, I’m going to sleep in…then finish tracing, do some Christmas shopping, wish I could eat vegetables (seriously, who thought this was a good idea…you want to clean out my intestines, but you clog them up with white food). Sleep some more. Actually, the reason I didn’t finish tracing last night is because I graded a whole assignment first, so it would be done before break…or before today, so those kids who are sitting there pretending to be done with everything would have something to do, because inevitably, they’re the ones who didn’t turn in their warmups. Here’s hoping they get the hint.

My team gets me…

Early Xmas gift. Do I wear those socks to school? If I’m wearing boots that cover them, then yes, yes I do. 

So! The pros of today are my ugly (actually, I really like it) holiday sweat(er)shirt, shorter classes due to assembly, staff breakfast that includes our team’s bagel bar (white food! I can eat it!), and the fact that I won’t have to go back there for three weeks. All good things. (The current minus is my gigantic headache and the fact that I can’t take Motrin this week either, bastard pigdogs). And once I get past the colonoscopy and the shingles shot next week, let’s hope the family stuff is chill and fun and relaxing, and if it’s not, that the food is good and the wine plentiful. And sleep, glorious sleep. May we all be blessed so.

*They Might Be Giants, Birdhouse in Your Soul

The World’s on Fire and It’s More Than I Can Handle

Dear crack in my car windshield: I don’t have time for you. Go away. Seriously, why do you have to be so needy (first-world problem, right?). The post office also…you could have knocked on the door to get that signature, but no…you dropped that slip in my mailbox so I would have to go to the post office a week before Christmas. If you wanted to see me, couldn’t it have been in November? When the lines weren’t crazy long? But no. It has to be now. And today is Pajama Day at school, so wherever I go before or after school, it’s gonna be in pajamas. I’m that person. So don’t assume when you see a person in pjs wandering around the grocery store looking for the family pack of Oreos that it’s someone who hasn’t done their laundry and is having a craving. I don’t even eat Oreos. It could be a middle-school teacher on Pajama Day. It’s PART OF MY JOB dammit to wear pajamas today. I’VE GOT SPIRIT. YES I DO.

I came home to the ex and the boychild putting up lights. Yay! I love lights.

Yeah, I might get old someday and just leave them up all year, because I can.

I had a meeting after school, but got home at a reasonable hour, so I made it to book club, which turned into a psych session and general discussion of female tropes and depression and people’s reactions to depression. ‘Twas good. Although I think I agreed to read 2 more books in a series and meet again in January. That might have been a little crazy.

My food restrictions meant I couldn’t eat there. Nothing worked. So I came home and ate white food. My gut is so tired of this. Annoying food. Calli was happy to see me.

Eventually, I was ready to trace. I really did think I might finish last night. That is SO FUNNY. I traced for almost 2 hours, but only got 100 pieces done. Sigh. 19 1/2 hours in. Still not freaking done. Only 200 to go. I wish I could say I’d finish those tonight, but I can’t guarantee that. Certainly I’ll try. I also have to figure out the windshield and the post office…since I am at work during all the hours when I could solve those two problems, I’m gonna just table them for now. I even channeled that stupid commercial with the soccer mom who can’t miss a game and the guy comes out and fixes her windshield in a parking lot, but I’m not sure I can get away with taking 32 middle-school kids out to the school parking lot while he does that..let alone on a walking trip to the post office, tempting as though that would be (can you imagine? Oh hell no.). So those will have to wait. 


And yes, the kids at school were antsy as hell yesterday. But today I get to wear pajamas to school, so I’m good. Please don’t ask me about grades or Christmas presents or my to-do list for break. 

*Sarah McLachlan, World on Fire

All That She Intends*

So many things in my head right now, mostly because I think I just woke up and I’m still dreaming about making a to-do list. You know you’re in trouble when the dreaming brain is trying to help out. Plus I’m not sure eating all white food is helping. Or whatever it is that I’m eating. No fiber. Ugh. 

Anyway, so I’ve been tracing while watching (listening to?) episodes of National Geographic’s Genius series on Picasso, whose work I’ve always (shockingly, I know) loved. And yes, he’s a womanizer, and that’s not OK, but watching the stuff about his art and politics is interesting. It flips back and forth between his younger years and the ancient ones…but the most interesting is when they focus on when he thought he failed as an artist, or he thought it was great and everyone else saw failure. He was persistent, his style changed over the years, he grew. It’s unfortunate that he perpetuated the stereotype of male artist as user of women. That’s not something we really studied in my college art classes. 

I do remember being fascinated with this painting…

Yeah. It’s still fascinating. 

Yesterday, the girlchild clued me in to the fact that none of my other web pages were showing. Fixed it! Apparently just because you had them before doesn’t mean WordPress will continue them into a new theme. Annoying, but fixed. 

So three hours of tracing yesterday. After a morning meeting and tutoring after school, plus braving Costco before Christmas…I refuse to work when I get home, not on school stuff. So I went back to tracing snakes, which are a pain in the butt to trace. So many little stripey pieces. Ugh. 

And trying to figure out the overlaps. Pretty sure I did it wrong somewhere. Which snake is on top? Not even sure any more. MAYBE IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Satchemo is incredibly helpful during this process. 

I eventually kicked him off. It’s LEDs, so it’s not even warm. But he’s a cat, so he has to sit on it.

So much Wonder Under at this point. So many pieces. So many hours. I’m over 17 hours in and not done yet. See Picasso in the background?

Three hours last night. I’m in the mid-1200s. About 300 pieces to go. I have a union meeting tonight and then I’m supposed to go to book club, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it. Too tired already. I did read the book…but I’m not sure I have the energy to traipse all the way across town and be functional. I might rather trace. I so want to be done!

Anyway, we’ll see. Being social is hard for me this time of year, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it. Art over social life? Sheesh. I’ll pick art every time.

*Fuel, Shimmer

Legs Up with a Book and a Drink*

So this guy…

Made both dogs freak out at the top of their doggy lungs at about 1 AM…and then it had the balls to sit there and stare at me, offended that I disturbed its bug-eating. It wandered around out there for a while, making Simba lose his mind. Sleep was a challenge. 

No worries. Who needs sleep? This was my view while tracing last night. 

Calli gets sleep. No wonder she doesn’t mind barking her head off in the early morning hours. She’ll get to do this all day. Gives you a good idea of how big the drawing is. No one can sit on the couch without getting poked in the back of the head with drawing paper at some point. 

I have way too many yards of Wonder Under started as I try to trace all the big pieces in Figure 4.

I made it to piece 1076. I thought I’d get further, but big pieces take longer to trace than little ones. I’m in the snakes that make up the hair of Figure 4. I have about 500 pieces to go. Slow going really.

Who thought snakes would have so many pieces in them. I traced for almost 3 hours last night. I didn’t grade anything. Too tired at the end of the day. Plus my principal made us do a holiday rap. Brain power zero. 

This is what it looks like when Calli needs to pee and I don’t stop what I’m doing fast enough.

She is pitiful. 

Today is Gondwanaland. Exciting stuff. It is, actually, but I need more sleep to really enjoy it. Meetings and tutorial on top of it. Getting there, though. Four more days until break and real sleep. 

*Squeeze, Is That Love

On Little Sleep

I’m not sure who thought an early meeting on the Monday of the last week before break was a good idea, but it wasn’t me. It’s probably the same type of person who thinks touring a school for academic reasons makes sense on the Friday before break. These people are insane. I think I slept last night, but I can’t confirm it. I’m sure this week will be fine. Luckily, we have pajama day in the middle of it…any excuse to wear pajamas to school will automatically put me in a better mood, especially when I have a meeting at the District Office right after work. Score!

I worked a lot all weekend, school and tracing. Mostly school. Shocking, I know. Looking forward to putting that down for a bit over break. I am taking one large assignment home with me on Friday, but maybe the rest of it won’t be as bad. A girl can dream. 

I didn’t use to even try to make big quilts during the school year, but I gave up on that years ago. Last year at this time, I was making a big quilt…I was further along, though, because I had to be done by January 1. Not this one! I have a little more time. So after I worked all Saturday morning, I traced for a bit.

It’s still really boring for y’all to look at. But it’s all I’ve got.

Is this better? I had to make cookie dough Saturday and Satchemo is very convinced that everything that happens in the kitchen is all about him. He also likes the sink.

That grumpy face IS his face.

Oh yeah, and the man’s holiday party was on the 15th floor overlooking downtown. That was a nice place. 

So we did that. 

As the designated driver, I did have the ability to come back and do some of this. 

I am a woman on a mission here. Not really. I just want progress to keep happening, so I keep doing, plus it makes my brain feel better. 

Sunday morning grading…61 emails from students to manage, including one 19-page screed from the night before…because instead of doing your work, you should be making excuses for why you didn’t do it. Sigh. Calli’s got it right. 

I wish. She continued it at my parents’ house at night…she always lies right behind my mom’s chair, so mom can’t get up. 

By dinner time, I had graded all the 61 emailed assignments, a whole ‘nother assignment while baking and frosting cookies for staff today, and started a third assignment, plus managed some calendar stuff for school.

So I totally could work on Wonder Under when I got home. 

I have two yards completely full…

And then four more yards that are in process…one can only take relatively small pieces. The last piece only has three larger pieces on it that wouldn’t fit on any of the other pieces. 

There are lots of larger pieces in this quilt. So there’s a lot of wasted space on the Wonder Under. This always offends me. 

But realistically, the stuff is relatively cheap and I shouldn’t be bothered. I’m in the 900s, on the neck of the 4th figure. The arm is done for Figure 4. I think there’s only one arm on that one? Can’t remember. I’ve got 10 1/2 hours into the tracing. I hit the halfway point, which is nice, but I probably have another 10 hours to go. Maybe less? These are all pretty big pieces, so they take longer to trace. The 5th figure has some tinier details in it. We’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll be done with it this week sometime, although there’s three nights with 2-hour meetings or so, plus tutoring, plus I’m already tired. But that’s my plan. Finish by Friday. Start cutting them out. Ready to iron to fabric next week? Yeah. 

But first, school. On little sleep. Good combo.

Generalized Panic

I am trying to type this as a cat repeatedly walks in front of the computer monitor, sniffs at my breakfast, and finally lies down on the mouse…foot on the keyboard, tail flicking at me. ‘Tis the cleaning hour and I am in her way. She’s whacked me once already for trying to handle the mouse. Let’s see how far I can get before I need to mouse something. Sweet thing. Not. 

Plans for the weekend? Grading shit. Prepping for school. Tracing Wonder Under. Baking cookies. Trying to finish the holiday shopping. Laundry. Groceries. Generalized panic. If I alphabetize them and go in order, I get to bake first. Then panic. Seems reasonable.

No really, I’ll start with grading because it hurts and I should get it over with, like pulling the bandaid off. Then I’ll give myself a break and do some tracing. Then there’s a holiday dinner tonight, so I should figure out what the hell I’m going to wear, because I  might need to wash something black for that.

Yesterday, the kid at school who’s been driving me bonkers and says everyone hates me and I’m a horrible teacher…well, I helped him get his sticky ball off the ceiling and didn’t kill him in the process, and he hugged me. And then came by later and fist bumped me. Because just when you think you can dislike them and write them off in your head, they remind you that they act like assholes because there’s shit going on in their lives that they can’t control and you can help them with that…maybe…so yeah. Dammit. 

So I came home last night with the goal of game night at the house…something different than sitting on the couch and watching television or whatever…so Settlers of Catan with the three of us (and all the animals)…

Two of us had played before, but it was a long time ago. Boychild won (of course). We’ll play again though. 

This was the sky when I got home…

Probably the sunset western view was even better, but I can’t see that from my house.

I saw this on the drive home and was all excited about a snow leopard table until I realized they probably weren’t attached. 

Sad really.

Dogs while gaming…this is Calli when there are no big booms from the sky. 

Poor dog…Thursday night was hard for her.

Simba is kind of a dork. Please scratch my belly.

My belly is waiting for YOU.

Had to save him from that…I think Calli stayed on that couch the whole time we played the game…

I finished sewing all the bits on this…the last of the September blocks? I think? 

There’s a loose monkey that goes somewhere after some of it is sewn together. Same with another hut, I think. 

Then I traced, but only for about an hour. I did some grading last night too. 

I’m barely in the 600s…not even halfway through. I’ve got about 7 1/2 hours into the tracing so far. In the last 7 days, I’ve worked on this quilt for 10 1/2 hours. Good to know. 

I have a couple other projects coming up, one of which will fit into this one’s time space, which is fine, because it will be Winter Break by then. I’m working with a prison inmate on a piece…I picked a word (relationships) and he is making a collage/painting that is related to that and is writing me about that, and then I will get that and add to it. I can use fabric or whatever I want (I’m probably using fabric). And then I will send it back to him and he can continue it or whatever. It’s a prison art program called Project Paint. Anyway, I have no idea what I’ll be getting…but it should be interesting, and you will see it here. The original artist can donate the work to Project Paint and they can sell it to fund more materials for the program. So there’s that. 

But before I can do any of that, I need to grade some stuff…so that first.