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I didn't get the mail from my mailbox yesterday so today I got a birthday card from my parents. My mother picked it out (pink!!11eleventy!! boy, is it pink! With sweet poetry!!) and wrote it, of course; she always has. Her handwriting hasn't changed in a definable way, but suddenly it looks like an old person wrote it. She's called two or three times this week. I think it may be partly because of my birthday but it's also because she needs reassurance. Despite her earlier assertions that Daddy's doing better, she said yesterday that he's gotten noticeably worse since I saw him last. She said she found him the other day sitting in the chair in the bedroom wearing his boxers, socks, a t-shirt, and two heavy outerwear jackets. During the conversation I mentioned that I thought he was more confused when he is really quiet; it's like he is afraid if he says anything someone will notice how confused he is. Mother's response is that he's like that most of the time now. She said a friend suggested that she talk to their doctor; he might decide they need to take away Daddy's driver's license. Mother said "It would be awful if they did that; it'd just kill him." She did say that she exercises control and has decided not to let him drive on days he's particularly confused. I was relieved to hear that, and mentioned that while she's concerned for his mental well being if they take away his driver's license, she also has to consider her safety and that of others on the roads. The thought that he's worse off now than when I was there but is driving now scares the crap out of me.

On Saturday I had an appointment with a psychiatrist about my disability claim. I think it's about the Social Security one, but I'm not totally sure about that. This was triggered because of one of the meds I take. One of the first questions he asked was my age; when I told him he said "That will really help your claim!" I burst out laughing. "I'm glad it's going to help something!" He actually acted like he thought I might be approved. I remain unconvinced, but boy, that'd be something. People who have seizures and are legally blind have to fight to be approved, but I'm going to get it? I suppose it's remotely possible that different areas have different analyses, but on the whole, I think not.

I'm working on an assignment for the Humanities class. While poking around the other day I found a photo and brief bio of the teacher and damn, it has helped me a lot. Very strange how I need a picture in my head of who I'm writing for, but it's definitely true. Even writing this journal I have a sort of mental composite of readers. Anyway, the homework is to create a subject guide. We need to specify our target audience so she can gauge how well we have tailored our recommendations. I chose "quilting" as my topic and public library patrons as my audience, and damn, I am going to have trouble limiting my selections. In addition to "getting started" and patterns kind of sources, I also want sections on different styles (including art quilts), history, collaborative quilts and regional variations. Damn, these things are beautiful. I hadn't counted on the research having quite such a strong effect of making me want to quilt. Just what I need-- another art to pursue. I haven't quilted for years-- not since I made a panel for the AIDS quilt for my architecture school friend, Scott Hallam. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to zoom that image and I don't have those photos on my computer. My favoriet square on his panel shows a beach scene at night with lace for the froth at the edge of the waves and a satin moon and seed bead stars on a black silk sky. The text around the block is a quote from Scott: "The only problem with sex on the beach is that sand gets EVERYWHERE." Heh.

And so this gets more cheerful towards the end, I had a great time yesterday shopping at the art store with the J-half of [livejournal.com profile] zihuatenejo. I am pulling her to the dark side.... er, make that, "teaching her to be even more finicky about her drafting techniques." We had also hoped to get some egg tempera paint, but the store doesn't carry it; we'll have to order online. Le sigh. No instant gratification on that score. After shopping we had breakfast (midafternoon-- yay!) and were both gloriously unhealthy. Yum, I say, even if corned beef hash does look like dog food, and we both agree it does. Still, yum.

So. Back to quilting books.
luciab: (Default)
And a great day in the afternoon, too. Actually the morning was a little slow-- I kept wanting to go take a nap. I managed to keep moving, though, and get a few things done.

I had lunch with [livejournal.com profile] nikulai at the Cafe Zen in the American Tobacco Historic Distric campus. Cut for urban architecture burble )

After lunch, feeling rejuvenated (the S'bux grande mocha may have helped on that, too) I went to class-- it was not bad. I didn't feel quite as overwhelmed as I have sometimes. On the way home I was thinking about next semester and what classes to take. Two are required so they're not the issue. One of the things that someone mentioned is that the NC Museum of Art has a library. Thinking about that made me realize that I haven't been to the museum in a coon's age, and there was nothing I had planned to do after class.... so I stopped. Cut for art stuff )
luciab: (Default)
Another too-long delay between posts. Sigh. How on earth to balance between doing something to write about and having time to write? It’s kind of like working overtime so you have extra money but then not having time to enjoy it.

I had a plan for the last week or two. See, now, that may have been the problem. Nia, for one, says that “plan” is a four-letter word and the mere existence of a plan means that it will fail. (Sounds like some of that really advanced Physics, about stuff not existing unless you look at it….) Anyway, I decided that I would try to have Gisele’s AoA scroll done by Crown, and to encourage that goal I planned to stay with her in DC and day trip Crown. This plan expanded, as plans are wont to do, to include an extra day or two in DC for me to see a museum or two. By the beginning of the week it was obvious that the scroll would not be done in time, but I was still trying to balance getting more done and having time in DC. I haven’t spent any time there seeing museums since I was in high school, and believe me, I wasn’t really looking at the exhibits then, so I figured I had plenty to see.

I wound up driving up on Thursday so I’d have all day Friday to amuse myself, and then Gisele and I could go to Crown on Saturday. Uh-huh. I amused myself, alright. I trekked from one end of the Mall to the other as fast as my short little legs would carry me, so as not to waste time that I could be spending in gape-jawed joy, looking at one thing or another. I am interested in so many things…. What to do, and which to do first? I considered Natural Sciences or Air and Space, but was rapidly dissuaded when confronted with all the rug rats that were waiting in lines to get in. I was feeling fine when I left Gigi’s Friday AM, but by the time I was halfway down the Mall I had a dull ache behind my eyes and was seeing double. A disconcerting feeling, that. That made the idea of sharing huge echoing spaces with screaming kids even less enticing.

The walk was long enough, and the migraine hit hard enough that I found myself musing on All in My Head by Paula Kamen, a book about living with chronic pain and disability. She makes the point that no one wants to see themselves as being disabled, and lord knows that’s true. Getting cross-eyed sick from just walking, and not even on a sunny day… well, hrm… maybe this isn’t so exaggerated after all. Crap.

Herein follows a description of the rest of weekend, including comments on Art and Architecture. (Please note the caps. Heh.) Read more... )

Monday saw me discover downloading music.Read more... )

Something that I’ve really realized more strongly than I suspected is that I seem to be approaching that line between Extrovert and Introvert, if I haven’t already crossed it and left it in the dust. If I don’t get plenty of alone-time, I get pretty damn cranky. Lately I’ve been in a really good mood and have been very productive, but damn. I was feeling stressed on Monday when Tuneless Boy upstairs started “playing” and “singing.” Believe me, I use those terms advisedly. Historically, I’ve been indulgently amused (though catty) about his lack of skill, and even admired him for enjoying himself so much and trying so hard. Monday I had no such tolerance. I had to leave the studio, because he practices directly above that room. I had plenty of work to do in other rooms, but I kept sticking my head in the door, hoping he’d follow his usual pattern and only play for about 5 minutes. Nope, he picked Monday to have a longer attention span than usual. His current fave seems to be Bob Dylan. You might think that would give him an advantage, since Dylan can’t sing either and many of his songs tend to be rather tuneless. Nope, he just sounds downright drunk and wanders ever farther off whatever passes for a tune. “It ain’t pretty” doesn’t begin to cover this subject. Wow.

Well, that pretty much brings me up to date on what’s happened in the last few days. Now to go out and do more stuff to write about.

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Susan Arthur

February 2011

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