I suppose it was just inevitable that I would experience burn out, post show. What with working three weeks solid, between the show and my day job. The funny part was, that the other artist who was there didn’t view it as work. But, he basically hung out, sneaking beers, while experimenting with camping equipment, so that may be why. For me, needing to be ‘on’ for so many hours, answering questions about my work, my process, about me, was exhausting, even if the overall vibe was positive. I suppose it should be no surprise, that when I was watching my gallery yesterday, I had the thought how I was temporarily done with art. Talking about it, looking at it, analyzing it, just done.

I also am done with the news talking about how we’re at a year into this pandemic. If I hear one more news story about “where we are now” I’m gonna throw something.

I know it could be worse for me personally, and I should count my blessings, but that knowledge just further annoys me.

Anyway, today I need to get things done that need doing. Like more laundry, as seemingly I am running out of clean jockies again. Later, I need to do my emissions for my car. And at some point I need to scrub down the bathroom and change the cat’s litter box.

I have already broken fast, which included taking my morning pill, which may help my mood.

Things I plan to also do today, that are for me, are to photo my new balaclava for the web, and trim my hair/ do the weekly grooming. Neither of which are things I would necessarily “Like” to do, but need doing, so I’m putting them into the “doing it for me” category.

Off to tackle my hair, and grappling hook toenails.

*ETA*

So I managed the grooming. I am shorn, shaved, and clipped. I also managed my emissions without much fuss, as they have really streamlined the process dramatically since I last went, presumably due to COVID. I managed to take photos and upload and all that other online stuff with the new art balaclava. Laundry done, folded, and put away. All that’s left is deep cleaning the bathroom and making dinner. Not really a ‘me’ day, but, this stuff needed doing, so *shrug*. One day I’ll have a personal assistant, and maid. Until then, there’s sh*t tah do.

Hit the ground running

Posted: March 1, 2021 in Uncategorized

It’s Monday, and in a couple hours I will take part in that virtual training that I found so problematic.

I think we both caught a cold, as we’ve both been sneezing tons. That or it was as a result of being exposed repeatedly to natural gas fumes. Speaking of, I need to send a message to the gallery owner about that. Since while the other artist didn’t notice it, we both, again, felt dumb and like sh*t last night, despite going outside plenty during the day.

Yesterday, during the last day of the show, I got a request from management for pictures from my show, so they could write a blog post about it for those that couldn’t make it to the show. I of course said yes, because self promotion is what I’m about. I’m ok with this.

I also heard back from the other department manager about the p/t mount making position that I expressed interest in. It would be a lot of work, working two department, but why lie to myself, the job I currently have is pretty hard on my body, it has an expiration date. Plus the mountmaker pays more per hour.

Tomorrow is work, then hopefully the day after I will have an opportunity to get my emissions done so I can renew my tags.

Fortunately, I remembered yesterday, to write the check for my dues at the gallery and drop it off while I was there.

Basically, what I’m taking the long way of saying here is: I’m quietly trying not to freak out about having too much to do.

It will all get done, it’s just a bit overwhelming on the heels of my show. Which I really shouldn’t be freaking out about that, as it’s done, and over with. But, that’s how I deal with stress. I shunt it off until later, then the chaos ensues after the immediate threat has passed.

Off to edit photos while I wait for the other half to get done with his meeting, so he can check if teams properly installed on this laptop, so I can use it for my meeting later.

*ETA*

Meeting/ training complete. I participated, if not a bit aggressively even. But I participated and brought up issues that exist, while offering solutions, without engaging in gratuitous back patting.

I also managed to edit my resume and write a new cover letter, and apply online for the mount maker position. *shrug* We’ll see what happens with that. Not gonna think about it any more now.

At this point I shall kick back and attempt to watch Judge Judy before I make rolladin for tonight’s dinner.

Off to it.

Where we find our friends

Posted: February 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

It’s funny, a few years back we went on our ill fated Vegas trip, where nobody, and I do mean NOBODY, attended our celebration of being together for 20 years.

I was a bit surprised by the fickle nature of people I deemed friends and family.

This art show has been like that, but more positive, in that, I have had lots of people actually show up. Something that has NEVER happened in the 20+ years I have been showing my works. The majority of which have been: work friends.

None of the folks that I have known for 20+ years, none of my extended family, none of them have come by to show support at my show.

I suppose this means I need to rethink who I consider close friends, and who is just an acquaintance.

I guess I should shed those friends who I knew before I socially transitioned, who knew me by my girl name, who still occasionally call me by my girl name, despite it being nine years since I revealed I would be called Hart forever henceforth. My modern day friends all know me as Hart, and accept me for who I am.

Anyway, deep thoughts over this morning’s tea, as I get ready to head out to the last day at the gallery.

The hell you say

Posted: February 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

Today has been a strange day.

Starting with an email with various worksheets for our upcoming institution wide training designed to help with racial inequality and equity, that I am to virtually attend this coming Monday. We need to have a working camera on our laptop, as we will be breaking off into groups to discuss the content revealed in our worksheets. The worksheets that ask things such as your sexual preference, your religion, your gender identity, and your ‘ability’ (I can only suss this out as to mean: are you disabled in some way)

I was pretty uncomfortable about this, and not a little bit outraged.

I get it, it’s to show the White, Christian, Cis, Het, able bodied folks that they have privilege in comparison to those who do not fit those parameters. I don’t care. I do not intend to ‘out’ myself to a bunch of random people I have never met before (as lest we forget, this is for the whole institution, not just my department) for the sake of a job, that let’s not forget, decided to follow the strict letter of the law deeming us non-essential, and NOT working in a high risk environment, back when cases in our state were at 6K a day and we were seeing at least 600-800 people a day come through our galleries.

To say I was salty when I composed my email to management, saying these things, would be an understatement.

I got a response within the hour, saying what I had expected. Which was that I didn’t HAVE to divulge the fact that I am a Bipolar transman who is also a practicing Pagan, and that the worksheets were just for our reference and would not be turned in, and blah blah blah, focus on things you have seen in the museum instead. Like I said, about what I expected. I already said I would participate the way I deemed fit, so, we’ll see what happens come Monday. So there was that.

Sitting the gallery was interesting, after a drive there which saw me watching some curious behaviors of my fellow drivers.

The good:

I got a couple new IG followers after several women came in and LOVED my work. They went on in depth about it, and requested my social account info. My QR code failed miserably, but fortunately I was there to give them my insta handle.

I also got a write up of sorts from one of the other members who had the significant other who went on about transpeople, how GLBT used to be about equality but now it’s about special treatment, and of course posing the question of ‘why does everyone have to put such labels on themselves?’ on opening night. He is an art teacher at the college I graduated from and I recognized the hackneyed use of art theory attempting to analyze my work, talking about the other, the gaze, and female empowerment. But it was positive, so I won’t bitch too much, and there were also pictures, so, yay.

The not so good:

The gallery has a natural gas smell to it. I’m assuming there is a leak. Especially after today, after spending last night breathing in the fumes, to five hours today, leaving me reeling and almost passing out when I bent over, dizzy on the drive home, and almost falling over when I came home and took off my boots. I’m still a bit dizzy an hour later. I do not look forward to tomorrow, which is the last day of the show.

But I did get a lot of knitting done on a new balaclava, and finished the one I had started months ago. So not all was lost.

Do you swear?

Posted: February 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

The other half has meetings this morning, thus I am hanging out in the living room making no noise until it’s time to do the weekly shopping.

I must say, it never ceases to amaze me how people relate to me these days (these days as a masculine female bodied person, not those days where I was trying really hard to be cis). One taboo I like to play with is: swearing.

Naturally, I don’t swear at work, or with coworkers, as that’s just unprofessional. I physically can’t do it. It evolving from the need to go from a sailor to a mild mannered seamstress back when I worked for a very small business with the straight laced boss who liked to keep close tabs on me. I have managed to sew through my own fingertip and not even utter a ‘oh darn’ about it. I am that well trained.

And to be honest, as I’ve gotten older, I just don’t swear as much. I still say grossly inappropriate things occasionally, but that’s just part of my innate charm. So much so that when I’m not at work, or in the house, I forget that I am a female bodied person, and with that comes certain expectations.

Namely that I don’t say offensive things nor swear.

I had all but completely forgotten about this taboo while speaking with a fellow artist about my work, while the other artist I am showing with was hanging out. The artist asked how I went about part of my process without ‘fucking up’ what I already had. I replied that I did so very carefully, but that yeah, there is always the possibility that I may fuck my piece up. At which point the other artist nervously tittered at my words.

It’s been an issue since I was young. Where an artist associate once asked me why I had to swear so much. Like I had offended their sensibilities. Which is ironic, as I know their mother, and she swears all the time. At the time I didn’t think of it as a gender thing, but more of a propriety issue.

Anyway, as I get ready for the last weekend sitting with my art, I think on this. And how swearing has seemingly become taboo again in our society, especially if you happen to have a female body. I think it’s funny, personally, and it makes me think how I need to swear more often.

Snow day and birthday cakes

Posted: February 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

It snowed over half a foot last night. Fortunately I had the day off already, as I woke to work emails saying ‘business as usual’ and other emails telling me the trains had 45 minute delays due to a mechanical issue.

I was supposed to do my emissions today, but seeing as how my little hatchback wouldn’t even get out of the unplowed parkinglot, I don’t think that will be happening. Instead I already started some laundry (I have been handwashing underbritches for about a week now) and will be making orange marmalade with my time. Sometimes the universe forces you to take a day off.

Not much else to report. Work is work. This weekend is the last weekend of my show. Sunday I strike my gallery after hanging out from noon till five. Hopefully the lady who bought a piece will come by during that time to pick it up, along with the other person who I may be trading a piece of jewelry making equipment for yet another piece.

Watched a couple good films lately off Amazon Prime “Archive” and some other movie that had to do with forest spirits, both done in 2020, which was a surprise. I’ve found many of the movies I have watched lately, that I enjoyed, have been released in 2020.

While finishing up breakfast, I saw on my feed that the owner of the shop that refused service to a transwoman is coming up for trial. When I first began speaking on the subject, I thought I knew where I stood on the subject. Namely, that people have the right to refuse service for whatever reason, and as a result people can choose not to use their services when it comes out that they are a hatemongering asshole. But then I think back to the history of the gov stepping in on such matters, namely when it comes to businesses refusing to serve customers on basis of their skin tone/ ethnicity. Where would we be as a society if we just shrugged our shoulders and said “You can’t stop people from being an asshole if they want to be.”? So I am torn.

And on that heavy note, I go play with wet laundry.

It’s an artist’s prerogative

Posted: February 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

Last night was a bit rough, in that I just couldn’t process all the good feedback I got about my show, and my art. I don’t know how wildly successful people do it without going insane. Oh wait.

Today, I’m feeling pretty ok, with a hackish feelings chaser. Prompted, primarily, by my driving here and there, gathering supplies for that frame project of mine. I feel so bad, that I have spent about $100.00 on supplies for just one piece, that I doubt if it will be as well received as my tin pieces. But, the thought of it makes me happy. Even if I have A LOT of work ahead of me if I want to do it right, vs making it look like I just hot glued a bunch of sh*t to a frame and painted it gold. Which is kinda what I am doing, but a bit more classier than that. Like I will be resculpting new heads for the fashion dolls, because they are rubber and won’t paint well, plus, hair. I also will be filling the hollow pieces with plaster of paris so they won’t bend when touched, which would crack the paint. Not that I anticipate people poking the frame, but, well, you never know. As one guy went on about my work last night, particularly the craftsmanship, I pay attention to these details. I want my works to last, not be disposable.

Anyway, enough about art. I feel like that’s all I’ve been talking about lately, and to be honest, I’m burning myself out about it. It was nice to get out of the house, if only for a couple hours, doing something relatively frivolous.

I had hoped to do laundry when I returned, but someone was already using the machines, so that’s a no go.

I see my PDOC later, see being the operative word, as I more than likely will video chat on my phone, which I hate because I look like a big floating head, and worry I’m making the other party seasick by moving around too much.

Tomorrow we have a virtual quarterly training. It’s an all day affair, which sounds grueling. Then actual work the day after.

At some point this week I need to get my car’s emissions done. Which will be weird in a COVID world. I didn’t think the smogging places were open. We’ll see on Thursday I suppose.

I have lots of administrative things to do as well, such as balancing my checkbook so I can write the check for my member’s dues, renewing my trade name, and registering with the online portal for the OBGYN. Also I need to schedule my dental checkup, as it’s time for that as well. I am feeling rather bratty about all of this, but, will inevitably get it done.

Other thing of note: I may be getting a rolling mill for my workroom in trade for one of my pieces of art. Which would be neat. No idea where I’ll put it, but I’ve been wanting one to use to emboss metal for my jewelry pieces, for years now.

And that’s all I got

Where do you get your ideas?

Posted: February 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

Sitting my show has been interesting, and rather reinforces the observations I have made about people interacting with art in general. The men who have looked at my work have been all about the nitty gritty details about my work. The how is it done. What size nails, the thickness of the tin, things like that. The women also want to know how it’s done, but are more into the thought process, or the ideas part. And I got asked by both genders, how I got my ideas in general. Interesting.

Yesterday was pretty good at the gallery. Lots of people came in, including a couple friends, and a work associate. And I managed to make a sale of one of my mid sized pieces at the last second before we closed. Which left me pretty chuffed on the ride home. I’ve sold pieces from this series before, but this was the first time to a stranger, at full price.

Today I am killing time before heading off to the gallery once again. I’m feeling rather bratty about it, as it’s my seventh day working without a break. But I’ll just have to console myself with the fact that I have tomorrow off. Which inevitably will be a whirlwind of things that need doing ™, leaving me more drained than had I not had the day off at all.

I would say I should take a more zen approach to sitting the gallery, and enjoy the down time, which I have been filling with German lessons and knitting on a new balaclava. But the gallery is stiflingly hot, and smells faintly of gas, which errantly makes me worry about asphyxiating, which does nothing for my general anxiety.

And this is all I have to post on this snowy Sunday

I’m not used to being ‘bored’

Posted: February 20, 2021 in Uncategorized

Last night was painful. The three of us artists, hanging out in the too hot gallery that smells faintly of natural gas, with only seven people coming through to look at the art. Painful.

I have a little over a half hour until I head out to do it again. This time I remember to bring my knitting, a book, my water bottle, and a dill pickle and peanut butter sammie for when I get peckish. Some friends might be stopping by today, so we’ll hope that happens to pass the time.

I’m not used to such large swaths of time doing nothing. I don’t enjoy it. Especially when there are things at home that need doing ™. But this is only three weekends out of my time for the sake of my art. I can manage that.

I managed to do what I could before we left for the gallery yesterday afternoon. Namely doing the weekly grooming, which didn’t get done last week for the same reason, namely being, needed to watch my art. I also managed to hand wash some britches when we got home so I wasn’t bare bottomed this weekend.

Otherwise, my art seems to be received relatively well. I had one lady, who had come by thinking another artist was opening, and very rudely said to someone on the phone how she didn’t know who this other guy was (the other artist showing in the space), tell me I was insane when she realized what my art pieces were made of. I know. I’m a bit anal retentive, it’s part of my charm.

Fortunately, I can switch into work headspace when questioned about my art, despite having mild panic attacks all night long. The mask combined with the heat and gas smell were just overwhelming at times, after having spent the last 32 hours in double masks at work. Anyway, it’s good to be able to turn off my panicking brain and go into customer service mode without much fuss.

I am wearing an old jewelry piece I made specifically for going to college. It’s a leather cuff with a copper plate riveted to it, that has an old Charles Addams quote about the chaos between a spider and a fly. Reminding me to be the spider.

Off to have a bit more tea before taking off for the day.

A little bit of inspiration

Posted: February 19, 2021 in Uncategorized

This week, while being long, with my spending three of four days in the same gallery, I also had some inspiration. For either a single piece, or perhaps a whole show. Inspired by some of the sh*t I overhear in the galleries, about the art, and more importantly about the goddamn frames. Big, gold, gaudy, and a monument to excess. I personally hate them, and am tired of every show having to answer questions about them. I always tactfully tell the visitor how the frames are meant to protect the painting, are regularly changed out when the painting is bought by another patron, lots of times to coordinate with interior decor, and that no, we do not track provenance on them like we do the actual art because THEY DO NOT MATTER. I know that the appraisers on Antiques Roadshow cream their pants at an ORIGINAL FRAME!!! But in the museum world, we really don’t care as long as you don’t touch it. Anywho, three guesses what my new art series is about.

As you can probably tell, I’m a bit saucy this morning. Probably because I need to ‘work’ this weekend. Having to watch the gallery/ shmooze people about my art this evening, and this weekend. As I have people who said they’ll be stopping by all this weekend. I had hoped to take Sunday off, but no, someone said they would be coming by on Sunday too. I do have Monday off from all sorts of work, with only an appointment with my PDOC, but still, makin me grumpy.

Speaking of PDOC, my ‘scrip ran out yesterday, and the nurses who were supposed to renew it, along with fighting with my insurance to get them to cover my dosing, apparently, didn’t. Fortunately I have an old bottle of my old higher dose med in the medicine cabinet, so I can take that until, probably, Thurs, which is when I’ll have my next day off and can pick up my ‘scrip from the pharm. Not thrilled about this, but at least I have options.

I also, at some point, probably today, need to do laundry. As I borrowed jockies from my mate today, rather than go bare bottomed.

Otherwise, I finally got an appointment about my lady parts, which alternately hurt, then don’t, with another doctor. Only downside is I need to wait about a month for my initial exam. I suppose I have no option but to wait, so patient I must be.

I’m a bit nervous about tonight, after last Friday, when the other gallery members were loudly talking about transpeople wanting ‘special rights’ and how they didn’t ‘like labels’. I am so very sick of hearing that shite thinly disguised as the transphobic garbage that it is. I remember uttering similar nonsense in my youth, “But whyyyyyyyy do you need to label yourself like that maaaaaaaan?” I see it for the garbage it is. Anyho, I’m a bit nervous there may be a replay tonight. I am, lest we forget, the newcomer, and need to prove myself to the group. Maybe I’ll bring a sixer to share.

Also, another thing of note, yesterday I while not technically misgendering someone, I misgendered someone. I say that, as when they changed the name they went by at work, I directly asked them what pronouns they wanted to be addressed by, they said “She/ they….for now”. Now mind you, this was this past summer, but I haven’t heard anything different since then from them. But, yesterday, without thinking, I called them she while referring to them with my other coworkers. I didn’t catch the difference until one of the other coworkers called them, them, when referring to them in the same conversation. I feel so utterly terrible about that, like I had been caught talking smack about them behind their back. I need to do better. But, this also makes me appreciate all those who I associate with, being respectful of my pronouns, especially when it can be rather hard to change old habits.

Off to practice my German lessons