Green's Hill-Amy Lane's Home - News

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's not a block...

Well, the wedding was beautiful yesterday--I'm not exactly a church person, but they had this lovely side-by-side interweaving of Sonnet 116 and that verse from Corinthians that EVERYONE reads during a wedding (Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is love...ringing bells?) and it was something only an English Major/minister's daughter & son (as the bride and groom were) would have thought of and I was very appreciative. Of course I burst into tears when the bride (who is pretty spectacular looking when she's wearing jeans and a sweatshirt) walked on the scene. I mean, who doesn't?

Of course, Mate and I being the complete doofuses we are had to jet out of the reception early. Part of it was to get the kids, the the other part--the embarrassing part--was that we hadn't had any lunch. So we hadn't had any lunch but there was all this chocolate lying around the car, and on the way to the reception, we stuffed our faces with chocolate. And then we actually LOOKED at the program and saw that the reception was a dessert reception. By the time the bride and groom got there we were woozy and queasy with sugar shock--and feeling stupid, too, because we'd been looking at the program all through the wedding, but how stupid were we not to stop at McDonalds for some damned protein, right? But seriously, we were both fighting the urge to hurl--and, again, the kids. Grandma's babysitting service only extends so far, right? So we said hello to the bride & groom--the bride, who is naturally gracious anyway, made me really feel as though my presence was important--don't you just love those people? She's like, 25 years old, but when I grow up, I want to be Danielle! Anyway, on we went to raid the nearest drive-thru. And that's when it hit us.

Elk Grove, CA, is the city of the freakin' damned.

What city that can call itself a city doesn't have a McDonalds? Seriously, in five miles of road we spotted two Carl's Jr., one KFC, (on the wrong side of the street), a Burger King (gag) and not one McDonalds to be seen. The funny part was, that after we finally agreed to a C.J.'s, we were cruising along, I was knitting a garter bias scarf for the student who DIDN'T offer "not being a bitch" as his incentive (he just said he'd be really grateful), and there was this peaceful silence--the kind couples who've been married for a bit can allow to descend--and suddenly Mate speaks:

"Look. We're at a freeway onramp with no fast food to be seen. I hate Elk Grove. I don't want to live here." It was such a non-sequiter that I don't think I stopped laughing for about ten minutes.

But Mate isn't the only one to pop a one-liner in the past few days.

We were on the way to Mate's mom's in another one of those peaceful silences, when suddenly, the Cave Troll Speaketh:

"Look, mom. Cows. I like cows" And then there was silence as Mate and I looked at each other and giggled helplessly. Who doesn't like cows?

MY friend Wendy, delivered a good line, along with a kick-ass family gift today as well. The family gift was the game 'Rock Band'--have you people seen this? YOu can hook up a drum set, a couple of guitars (including the one from guitar hero) and a microphone into your X-box 360 and, holy crap, you're a rock band! The guitars and the drums are pretty easy. You hit the color coordinated key when the color comes up on the screen, and hullo, you're playing. The vocals? Well--let's just say that the Rolling STones 'Shelter' is harder to sing than it seems when you're belting along with the car stereo, and for some reason, no one can stay on pitch with 'should I stay or should I go' but the guy who sang it in the first place. The funniest moment was when the Cave Troll had a mongo melt down because mom was trying to do vocals and HE wanted possession of the microphone. So I was singing into the microphone while he was screaming at the world at large...(Ooooohhh...childre...it's just a shout away, it's just a shout away...) and the family was cracking up because I got 89% vocal precision with the preschoolers' nuclear holocaust going on just inches from my ears.

Anyway, the funny line came as we were making our people (mine is named 'Amy Lane', and I gave her fantastic boobs and a humongulous ass--I would have made her middle thick, but the program didn't work that way, so she's got this tremendous va-va-voom body. I was very proud.) And we had to pick a band name. Wendy choise 'Yu Suk' because that way, for all our practice runs when we really sucked, the crowd would scream 'You suck!' and we could take that as a compliment. We thougth this was tremendously hilarious, until the Cave Troll kept pointing the microphone at us and saying, "Hey--you suck!" We made Auntie Wendy promise to take all the heat for that.

So it was a good day, all in all...and the title of the post? Well, I'm still writing Rath's creepy-assed character, and I don't wanna. I'm gonna knit instead. And then, when all the kids are sleeping? I'll confront that bastard where he lives...his compartmentalized mechanical heart. So I'm not writing BmoonII right now--but it's not a block.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm taking a chance...







And trying to load more photos. I sort of had a brainfart today--it completely escaped my attention, in that floaty vacation way of catching up on sleep and slogging through a constantly trashed house--that today was my day to blog. At first I was all into that whole 'blogging without obligation' idea, and just blowing off the day, but then it occurred to me that, karmically speaking, it would be a good day to try to load pictures. I mean, the blogging gods gave me a break with my last post, and, lets face it, I'm due. I've got quite a few pictures of naked children from a rolicking game of 'mommies and monkeys' that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I got the feeling that people were uncomfortable with naked children--not on their own account, but from a perfectly reasonable fear of child predators out there, and so I'll refrain. I can only say,

A. You're missing out, because Ladybug's pudgy little nakedness ranks a 10 on the cuteness scale, and
B. If any child predators are surfing for naked children on my blog, they will be sorely disappointed, because I just can't get pictures loaded often enough for a good view.
Besides, my children are not good targets--they bite, they scream, and they kick. And that's people they like.

And besides that, well, I'm a movie away from finishig a pair of sort-of-fingerless mitts for Ladybug. They're sort of fingerless, because I made them long enough for real mittens, but I didn't close the top, but I did make a button closure, so they can close if she needs it. I also put a button on the back of the mitten, and a hole on the back of the top of the mitten (yes, I will try for pictures when they're done!) so that you can fold the mitten down so pudgy little fingers can wiggle and function, and button it so the top of the mit stays out of the way. And, of course, I left the thumb open--that's very crucial with a self-pacifying Ladybug.

And I've written ten pages that I'm really proud of on Bitter Moon: Part II, Triane's Son Reigning. As soon as Part I is out, I'll post some more teasers--book people seem to like that:-) I'm enjoying writing Eljean--he's a flawed character. He's not heroic, and he's not always truthful or straightforward, and he is very bewildered by the world he finds himself in and doesn't always deal with it in a flattering way. He's also horrible at keeping secrets and terrified by pain. In short, he's exactly NOT the sort of person you want to know all of your biggest secrets, and yet he's the person who accidentally stumbles upon the things Torrant and Aylan, our two heroes, need the world NOT to know. I've enjoyed writing him immensely--he's sort of a stretch. Next, I get to write from the villain's point of view, and I've always sucked at that, so that's also going to be a stretch, and all in all, this book is so delicious that I can only hope (here's the prayer now, everybody say it with me) Holy Goddess, Merciful God, Let it Not Suck. Amen.

And speaking of books? I'm enjoying Roxie's newest, Sanna and the Dragons with a profound sense of gratitude. Roxie has such lovely, visual prose, and her characters are warm and real and fine. She needs to be absolutely the newest thing in YA books, and in a perfect world she would be, because the YA lists are so full of angst and pain and terrifying things--I looked at Chicken's Scholastic book list, and there was a book that my students have read called 'Crank' about a girl who splits her personality to be come a promiscuous junkie, and it starts with the kid doing lines on her father's coffee table, with dad and his bimbo-du-jour. I mean, come ON! 'Crank' makes the Scholastic Top Ten, and 'Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice' can't get the time of day from an agent? The world is just not fair--I personally would rather my kid read lovely, amazing prose about a brave, self-actualized, strong and willful young woman with a sense of duty and play and usefulness in the world, than bad prose poetry about the evils of drug use. I know for a fact that 'Crank' would give her nightmares, while 'Sanna' gave her hope--and really, isn't that what we'd like to teach our young people? Hope? Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now. 'Sanna: Sorceress Apprentice' and 'Sanna and the Dragons' are awesome fantasy, and money well spent. Thanks, Roxie--my vacation is much more enjoyable thanks to your book!

And I've got two photos loaded, and I'll give up now in thanks and try some more with the next post. The first picture is making cookies--before the mix-master blew up, and the second one is Christmas day, with CaveTroll in his new Buzz-wear, and Ladybug in her pretty pretty princess dress and a jacket I knit for her when she was a fetus that finally fits now. It's just as well, because I used Lion Suede, and I hated the stuff and it's the only thing I'll ever make that would look that good with that dress.

Ciou! I'm off to find the coordinates of the wedding of a friend of mine (Danielle--she comments some times. One of the loveliest, most tolerant and sound-hearted people on the planet, I'm so thrilled for her I can't contain myself!!!) Chicken was laughing at me because I found the card with the website on it (for the coordinates, of course) and I was doing some sort of bizarre victory dance that looked like a headless chicken being zapped by electricity while dying from cyanide poisoning. She seemed to think it was funny. Bye!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It was gonna be a photo issue...

But the damned thing would only let me upload one photo, so it's gonna be a lotta fiber instead.




First, a picture of Ladybug in her Paton's self-striping yarn hat with a bright blue flower. Yes. I am the only person in North America who doesn't think these colors are too loud.

But that brings me to what I did for Christmas--or rather, birthdays.

You see, we used to gather to celebrate everybody's birthday in my mom's family, and then grandma and grandpa got sick and we adults got so old that birthdays weren't all that exciting and we sort of stopped. But that didnt' stop me from thinking about my Aunts and Uncle (and their S.O.'s) and so, starting in June, I've been making stuff--just random stuff, thinking about their birthdays. What I ended up with was the following:

*two pairs of socks (including the chicken toes pattern--which, alas, I have no completed photos of. Not that it would matter. Fucking Blogger.)
*three ladies scarves--the Noro Sportweight was my favorite, (simple feather and fan) but the Tonalita crocheted has to be my favorite for instant gratification. It's a LYS staple--12 dc across, with chain 10 loops at every end. The Tonalita is this really decadent self striping yarn...prrrrrrrrr..... Also included was that fluffy color block one that I managed to post not too long ago--remember, it was draped on Chicken?
*two gentleman's watchcaps--one of which was done in leftovers from Big T's camoflauge socks. He liked that cap so much he put in a request. I'm gonna see what I can do!
*And a pair of Dashing handwarmers made in this really awesome tweedy warm wool whose name I forgot.
*Oh yeah...and two men's T-shirts, because I needed ten gifts and I only had eight.

So I gathered aunts, uncle and so's and had them do a white elephant thinger--it was sort of fun! It would have been more fun, but my aunt barb was a bit put off ecause she's sort of a stickler for a schedule (for good reason this year--her mom fell down the stairs and ended up in the hospital the day before, and she was planning to return to the hospital to visit after dinner) but once I made it clear that she got to pick a gift for her wonderful mum, because being hurt on Christmas Eve trumped my flaky aunt carol who just didn't show up, auntie barb perked right up. That, and she got to pick a T-shirt for her son with the Beatles on it. I mean--pretty much, she won all around.

Anyway, it was the wierd relative with a yarn fetish, doing something obscure and strange, but all in all, I felt pretty good about it. And I was rewarded for my pains by a GORGEOUS yarn bag and a gift certificate to my LYS. (Barb got me for the gift exchange this year--she really rocks:-) It was pretty funny, because when I visited my LYS proprietor today, she said, "Yes--when your aunt told me it was for you, I thought 'I could have recommended needles and yarn and so many things. But the gift certificate will cover all of that, so it was okay!"

Anyway--there's my fiber content. Really, I think you all would have preferred pictures of the kids.

If it ain't broke...

It ain't ours.

Do you all know the movie 'Cars', at the end of the first race, where Lightning McQueen had blown all four tires and just barely finished the race with his tongue? Or how the Millenium Falcon kept dropping shit off of it, until Han Solo just piloted that baby in for a landing?

Yeah, Christmas was like that.

I didn't really blog about it, because we were, well, DEALING with it, but as C-day was rapidly approaching, uhm, everything broke--the mixmaster was sort of a scratch on the surface. In addition we had Mate's car, the sink, the bank account and my back--which was thrown out on Saturday (probably from hunching over my desk too much while my body just got bigger from stress eating).

We powered through--Mate spent most of Christmas Eve morning trying to fix the plumbing (it's still a no-go) but eventually we just piled into the crap-mobile and went to my parents for Christmas Eve and then to my mom's family for Christmas day, and the holidays were wonderful--the kids got everything they wanted (although even mom had to admit that Santa overdid T's yearly dose of sweaters, socks and underwear. What can I say? IT WAS THE ONLY THING ON HIS LIST that he didn't already get for his birthday!!!) And most excitingly, Santa got the family a Wii. I myself was surprised by this purchase (see some of those things that are broke) but what can I say? Santa lost his mind, and the kids were THRILLED. (And, let's face it, the family Wii more than made up for the total lameness of T's other gifts. It was somewhat vindicating.) My back was almost normal yesterday, and, well, Mate is taking the car in this morning. After I go to the store for milk and top ramen, which is all we'll be able to eat until January 1st. The good news is, we got enough movie gift certificates for Christmas to ensure some fun between now and then, and our dvd collection (already pretty large) was increased by a goodly amount, so we have things to do while we're huddling in the house, hoping the foundation doesn't crack.

We did get some pictures, which was nice, and if I can load one pic, it's going to be the one of Ladybug in the dress that mama gave her. I didn't do this with Chicken--I would buy the pretty velveteen dress, and take pictures of her in it, but I wouldn't put it on to wear. Then I met a friend who just let her kid wear the pretty velveteen dress all the freakin' time. And it hit me--it's sort of like a toy. I mean, the kid loves it, it makes her happy, why not let her play with it? Or spill crap on it and stuff? Anyway, blogger's being slow and I've got to go buy food for the masses, but you WILL see my pretty pretty princess in her black velveteen dress with the petal pink skirt if I have to actually learn how to use my computer to get it to you!!! (And eventually, as Goddess is my witness, I will get to watch all of Howl's Moving Castle with Chicken. It's become her own moral imperative.)

Anyway, it's funny--things are still broke, our bank account's still dry, but my children are happy and so am I. Christmas--you can't stop it, you might as well ride the wave.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Well...the post itself isn't gooey...

But the cookie making was a sticky mess.

My daughter informed me on Thursday that her best friend was coming over today to make cookies. Excellent--because on the day after finals, three days before Christmas, that's what I'm gonna wanna do. Actually--it wasn't bad.

The old mixmaster was sort of doomed from the start--you don't even want to know what I had to clean off it before we started cooking, (Mate wanted to know when the last time I'd had it out had been...I asked him how old the Cave Troll was, and told him to add three years), and eventually it did blow up. You think I'm kidding? There I am, frantically knitting like a madwoman in the living room when both girls start shouting, "Don't touch it, Cave Troll, it's starting to smoke!" But after we took it outside and consigned it to the briny deep, things chilled out. We broke out the hand-held, and fixed the broken cookie recipe--see the following conversation for details:

"Are you sure that's enough flour?"

" Yeah mom, it's plenty."

"Are you sure? It doesn't look like enough flour."

"Trust us, mom--wait...what is it doing! AUGGGGHHH!!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE COOKIES!"

And when we were done, the results were reasonably edible. I've still got a hat to finish and presents to wrap and crap-all else to do, but Christmas baking may be stricken from the list. And I've got the pictures to prove it! (Except it's been an hour and they still aren't loading onto blogger, dammit!!!) *sigh* I'll try again tomorrow!!! Keep at it, my darlings...only two more days of Holiday cheer before the big C-day...and then, my favorite day of the year. December 26th--the Christmas coma...nothing but leftovers and playing with toys in the rubble. *ah*, family:-)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Letters to Fictional People

Has it really been three days since I posted? Where o' where has the time gone?

I'm still ass-deep in alligators...but I keep bashing the fuckers on the nose and they're starting to chill out. It looks like I might be out of here at 3:00 tomorrow (our deadline!) after all--yaw-freakin'-hee!!!!

I'm planning on a nice gooey post w/pictures (if I haven't offended the blogger gods too much) sometime this weekend, but in the meantime I've been thinking about letters to Santa. It was never a tradition at our house--which is too bad, because I think writing letters to fictional people is a lot of fun...and to that end, I've got a couple of letters I"ve been composing in my head over this past week. I thought I'd share:


To the Parole Officer of that poor kid in my 5th period class--

Dear sir,

I understand that you are trying hard and zealously to keep the world safe from spacey young men with an IQ of my scrawny four-year-old's weight, but is it really necessary to pull J out three days a week for a drug test? The kid is homeless, hungry, broke, and not particularly bright, for heaven's sake, if he's got the cash to do weed, by all means, let brother do a little weed because if anybody needs a break from reality, it's this poor boy who wouldn't harm a fly because he wouldn't think to catch it. Send him some food and a clean sweater, but stop making him go crosstown to piss in a cup during my fifth period class.

Thank you so much,
Amy Lane

And while I've got the attention of the local police force--

To all parole officers everywhere-
Gentlemen,

While I again, acknowledge that you are trying to do your jobs, if there is any possible way for you to stop cracking down on the thugs with the 2% in my class during finals week, I would be so damned grateful I don't think I could express it in words. Seriously--this kid hasn't been to my class all semester, I've got a room full of kids who have a snowball's chance in a cheap freezer, and your problem has just become their problem in a big way. Have a seminar, do a camp out, make them shine Santa's gnarly boots--something, anything, but stuff them in a room with people who can actually read and have some hope...pretty pretty pretty please?

Thank you so very much,
Amy Lane


And on the subject of common sense--

To the young man who rode his bike in the dark across the overpass crosswalk against traffic while I was looking over my left shoulder to see if I could turn right against the light--

I almost killed you. Because of you, I will drop dead five years to the day before my husband, and my four year old has another reason to shock the relatives with another fun term that rhymes with SMOLY TRUCK!!! Get some goddamned reflectors, learn some traffic laws and get your ass home before it gets dark or your life expectancy is even worse than mine, you moron.

I mean that sincerely
Amy Lane


And now, on a lighter note...

Dear Jensen Ackles and Jared Padilecki--

You are both dear sweet boys and talented actors, but if you insist upon invading my dreams, I would prefer you invade my night time REM sleep wherein I am eighteen, nubile, and single. Thank you both, and I'll see you both tonight...no, no, not one at a time. Both of you will be fine. Thanks so much again.

Amy Lane


And since we're talking about romance...


To the paper towel dispenser in the G-wing bathroom--

Is it really necessary that I buy you flowers, chocolates, and massage oils in order to get you to put out? Seriously, I spend more time romancing a cheap piece of plastic with bad gears than I do seducing my own husband--for craps sake, either give up the ghost of the horny old bastard that possesses you or fall off the goddamned wall!!!

Thanks so much
Amy Lane



*whew*! Glad I got that all off my chest...I might have to write a few more of those later...in the meantime, may the holidays be merry, bright and pretty. We're going to look for Christmas lights tomorrow night--too much fun for both short people and tall people alike. Hot chocolate, carols on the ipod, et. al:-)

Monday, December 17, 2007

A snarfed meme

Oh bugger...I just accidentally published this when I wasn't done...if anybody read it between that first nanosecond at 5:37 Tuesday night, and when it was accidentally published (I'd guess about 5:55) uhm... all those other answers were Netters--I hadn't put in my own answers!

Anyway, I'm up to my asshole in alligators...finals, knitting, and Christmas shopping, oh my! You all know the drill--and to that end, I'm copping out...I mean doing a meme... but, hey, it's Christmas! What's more Christmas than a Christmas meme?
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? A joyful and complete mix of both.
2. Real or artificial tree? Real, hand cut by Chicken and the Cave Troll--with a little help from my parents.
3. When do you put up the tree? Sometime before T's B-day (12/12) and after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take it down? Sometime after New Years and before Valentines Day
5. Do you like eggnog? Fat, sugar and a cool name--what's not to like?
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My dad's old F-stop guitar. I never learned to play.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? No--I'm too confused about faith to have a nativity scene.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Mate. We're always broke at Christmas and he always insists on martyring it out..."No presents for me...we have no money." This year he's up to his armpits in jeans and underwear.
9. Easiest person to buy for? The short people. Walk into a Toy store and start chucking stuff in the basket.
10. Worst Christmas present you ever got? Alexa (my real mom) gives the worst--but it's not her fault. Besides mental illness, she also has to deal with busses that come and go from what I call 'Crack'Ho blvd.'.. My family has gotten a lot of bags of cheap mints, shampoo, hollow plastic barbie dolls for the boys--that sort of thing. It's funny, though--we always love these things. It really is a case of 'the thought that counts'.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I have a semi-famous Christmas letter. This year we're sending a DVD that the kids made, featuring some great pictures and done to songs they picked out. Are you ready? AC/DC, Back in Black (T), Simon & Garfunkle's 'It's all happening at the zoo' (Chicken) and Styx, 'Renegade' (Chicken). I was so proud I bought Dire Straits on iTunes to expand their repetoire!!
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Black Friday
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? It's a definite possibility.
15. Favorite thing to eat on Christmas? Ham and garlic mashed.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored:-)
17. Favorite Christmas song? Carol of the Bells--and this really pretty one by Sting on one of those Very Special Christmas albums (The Angel Gabriel)--oh yeah. And Bruce Springsteen's version of Santa Claus is coming to town.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Depends on the year.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?
20. Angel or star on top of tree? This year it's a star. It used to be a glitter star ornament that we suspended over the tree, but it sort of lost it's glitter.
21. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? A family present on Christmas Eve, but Santa comes overnight, so we have Christmas carnage in the morning.
22. Most annoying thing this time of year? Commercials, lack of money, lack of time, a desire to knit every cold kid a scarf...23. Do you decorate your tree in any theme or color? Mmmhmmm... Early American White Trash with Kids.
24. What do you leave for Santa? Cookies and Chicken. (Mom usually cooks chicken on Christmas eve--Santa likes fried chicken leftovers.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Apparently...

The Cave Troll didn't think I gave him a good enough story in the last entry. About an hour after I hit 'publish post', Ladybug and the Cave Troll were doing predictable yet unmentionable things with the slinky Needletart sent us so long ago. Mate told him to stop, and then, because Cave Troll needs to know the why of things, showed him the little divot in the corner of the wall where the paint was chipped.

"Holy shit!" Exclaimed my four-year old in surprise. "Can we put a band-aid on that?"

When Mate was done laughing, I assured him, most vehemently, that 'Holy Shit' was T's expression, and not mine. (And then we laughed some more, because we are bad parents and it was fucking funny!!!!)

PMS, Canned food, and doing the Monkey...

I went to school today (Sunday) and sat in the 40 degree cold and graded papers, battling my resentment the entire time. But my students deserve some effort too, so I guess I'll call it good.

Other than that? I've got a whole bunch of little to chat about... where to start...where to start...

* Big T asked if he could bring some canned food to his school's canned food drive. NO problem, I said...and then he asked for more, and then some more and I finally said, "Okay, just make sure we have staples left. You know, soup, tomatoes, that sort of thing...." And so my profound surprise when I went to make something and discovered that there were no tomatoes in the entire freaking house. "How could you!" I ranted, "Didn't you realize that we don't have any tomatoes for me to cook?" And then my son smiled, the sweet, sly, rancorless smile. "I know," he said sweetly. You know, until that moment, I had no idea how much he loathed tomatoes?

*Immediately after her bath, Ladybug went scrambling over to our bed and climbed up, butt-nekkid and dripping wet. I scrambled after her, but the ginormous laundry monster got in the way, and she sat up at the head of the bed, laughing her wet-baby ass off. "What do you think you're doing!" I asked, exasperated. In answer, she stood up and started dancing, swinging alternate hands over her head and jumping up and down in time. It was quite obvious to all that she knew exactly what she was doing. She was doing the Monkey.

* Chicken has become a woman. Sort of--she started her monthly bleeding ritual, anyway. In response to this, Mate was a wee bit put off. "Oh gees...the hormones," a haunted look at myself, "the mood swings...how are we going to deal with it?"

"Relax!" I snorted. "She's been practicing for this moment since she was two years old." Even Mate had to concede that this was true.

* The Cave Troll has been nuts about Christmas. Every morning when he wakes up he says "Merry Christmas, mom!" Every night, the kid who can't wait to get home, asks me to take him around the block so we can see who has their lights up. He's been a terrible pain for most other times, moody, defiant, irritable--you know, Cave-Trollish in the extreme. But that's okay--because being woken up every morning with a big kiss and a "Merry Christmas" makes all that other stuff worth it.

* I was putting away groceries and trying to figure out when this house got so small when I remembered how big it seemed when T was 5 and Chicken was 3 and we moved in. And then I remembered the two other people that had moved in after that and I tried to imagine how much room we'd have if it were still just the four of us--and how much money as well. And then I got all sad and decided that floor space and refrigerator space and a retirement fund were for the weak and uninspired. (If you have these things, don't point it out--I will not be able to contain my jealousy and then my tender moment of anti-materialism will be shot to hell.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

The most stressful break EVER.

In light of my "submitting Bitter Moon" triumph, and the incredible avalanche of crap that I have waiting on my desk, I decided to be a grown-up, and take a break from my pipe-dream for a week and a half. i.e. NO WRITING. Bitter Moon II is officially on hiatus. No writing on it. No thinking about it. I shall throw myself whole-heartedly and passionately into the job that pays the bills.

My Aunt Fanny.

Don't get me wrong--I haven't written. I've devoted my nights to knitting (my babysitter is leaving on Monday, so I have to finish 'Fetching' and a hat this weekend) and my days to...

Well, pootering about. I don't know how I can just sit here, up to my elbows (LITERALLY) in paperwork, and surf the net randomly for a half an hour before I remember that, HELLO, I have to grade these papers and complete this final. It is a mystery to me. So, not only am I not getting any of my shit done, I'M NOT GETTING ANY WRITING DONE EITHER! And you want to know what's worse? The writing is threatening to consume my brain. I almost called a student 'Aylan' today, and considering how homophobic my student body is, and how homophobic that character is NOT, this was a gaffe that could get me lynched when the book comes out. (Yes, some will read my book. Sometimes, having them talk to me about the books is better than the royalty check, For. Real.)

I'm seriously going to have to forward my final to my house so I can finish it and run it off this weekend. I would take the stack of papers, but I know from experience that the damned final has a better chance of getting done.

And in the meantime, I'm going to have to put on my garlic necklace and paint a blooded cross upon my chest to keep me away from the world's deadliest time vampire--the Internet! Who knew?

(btw? T appreciated everybody's good wishes. He really does have the sweetest smile when I tell him these things:-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blur, Song 21

I may or may not have said this before, but when Big T was born, he was blue. I'd heard about babies coming out blue, but until I saw that terrible slate-skipper blue mottling his perfectly fat baby limbs and torso, I never knew the truth of it, and I never knew what fear was. There are few things you want to hear less after having a baby than the words "breathe, baby breathe."

But breathe he did. That early trauma has never really left him--the 'electrical short' that makes up his communication handicap is a product of those few moments of awful stillness, but really, all of Big T's strength comes from his absolute fearlessness when it comes to taking his next breath.

Big T has plans. He is going to get a degree in computer animation. He is going to work for Pixar. He is going to move far away from me, because he knows I love him and I would just jump on the excuse to travel. His teachers say he is always polite, always working, and always a joy. I could have told them that--but I could also have told them that it took hard work, on everybody's part, to make the smiling, thoughtful, ever-so-terribly earnest boy that we all love.

We used to have to haul him out of the grocery store--over our shoulders--when he was a toddler. (He weighed 70 lbs. and was the size of most kindergartners.) We could not make him understand that the copy of Aladdin that they had there was not the copy we had at home. We could not promise him a reward at the end of the day for good behavior. We could not bargain, could not reward, could not pull his attention elsewhere. All of those good mommy-diversion techniques that work so well with most children (the Cave Troll included) did not work for him, because they involve words, and he had none. Those were hard times. Those were "I suck. I suck. I suck as a parent and I'm never going to be able to take this child in public again," times. Those were, "No, he can't have a balloon at the restaurant because the last time we did that he lost the balloon and cried for three days," times. Those were, "I just hauled my child kicking and screaming out of the mall, spanked him and sent him to his room, and really all I had to do was let him say good-bye to his old shoes before he wore his new shoes and I"m going to hell for this," times. I do not know how my son got to have such a resilient heart, because those times certainly hurt my soul.

His soul is still bright and shiny. He has been turned down for dates, (ouch), betrayed by friends who did not recognize his fine-ness, (ouch) and told that he could never join the military because his disability said so. (Ouch.) He has developed shyness, when before he had none, because he realizes that when you are 6'3" and your speech is not clear, people fear you, and underestimate you, and avoid you.

He still smiles at me every day when I get home, and he and his sister take turns overwhelming me with what they did in school. He can not stop talking about MacBeth, because he knows I know the play by heart, and I am doing everything I can to remember that I may have read it a thousand times, but he is sharing it with me for the first time, and everything for him is a wonder.

This morning, Ladybug came charging into the bathroom with her nightgown hiked up to her thick little waist and her diaper nowhere to be found, shouting "I gotta pee I gotta pee I gotta pee!!!" Her dad and I exchanged looks, Mate held her over the potty while she grinned up at him with gaping baby-teeth (there was no peeing involved--we think she understands the concept of the throne, but not of the duties thereof), and then he put her down and let her flush. She said, "Thank you," and ran back out of the bathroom.

Because T was first, we knew to take that moment in stride. Because T was first, we knew to be suitably impressed by her communication skills. Because T was first, we knew not to be frustrated because she got in the way of our morning routine.

Because T was first, we knew to be thankful for everything that happens after that first, precious breath.

Happy Birthday, Big T. You will never know how much I love you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lunch Time With All of You...

It's official. I'm overwhelmed. I looked at my last post, chuckled a little, and then realized--it's not funny. With the exception of the knitting, I still have to do ALL OF THAT in the next seventeen days. And really, who wants to skimp on the knitting?

The good news is, the book is READY for submission tonight--and I'm getting tremendously excited. I sort of missed out on the excitement part when I was done the first time--it was like, "Oh, well, yeah, but it's not REALLY done because I have to finish Part II." Except, well--Part I ain't bad! I should take some time and celebrate Part I! And I plan to. I"m going to knit! (Those fingerless mitt's for Chicken are almost done!)

Yesterday was the Big T's Birthday--I don't have photos for you, because, well, a bunch of teenagers sitting in your living room playing video games are just not that exciting. But T, bless his social heart, really does not have time to get together with his friends and 'hang'--and he LOVES video games. Of course, this too is an example of mom dropping the ball--I had no candles for T to blow out! He ended up blowing out the Cave Troll's #4 candle instead--I so totally suck, but T didn't mind. I love that kid! (Of course I love him anyway, but, seriously, how cool is that?) Anyway, my sister brought one of her sons--the other one was sick--and we had a nice visit. Actually, this is a fairly rare occurrence--we never get a chance to chat, and it was, you know, almost like a new blogging buddy, it was so much fun to talk to her! I'd forgotten non-hostile adult conversation--WOW!!!

And speaking of conversation, this is how bad it gets during the holiday season--me, and my second period. Only one of us will remain standing:


Me: "I need you guys to be quiet..."

THem: "Man, we weren't even that loud..."
"Yeah, she doesn't want us to stop talking--she wants
us to stop breathing!"

Me: "You're damn right, and when you turn blue and fall out of
your seats, you're doing it right, now get to work."

On the plus side--11 more days to go.
On the minus side--21 more days of work to squeeze into that amount of time.

You guys will have SO much fun watching my head explode!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

And if I warp the space time continuum...

Thank you all, I'm feeling a little less cranky and a lot more human, now that I actually devoted some time to knitting and finished the first three sections of the third edit. In fact, I'm feeling like I can actually plan for the next 3 1/2 weeks without losing my mind...shall I run some numbers by you?

2 days--this is how long I have to finish running over that 4th section to accept or reject Tink's editing. She's trying to run a 'that' intervention on me, but, like the true junkie, I find I need the 'that' patch--I can get rid of about 2/3rds of the offending over-uses, but some of them, I just can't part with. Anyway, in 2 days, I submit the whole works to i-Universe, and I can forget about the damn thing for 4 weeks, when I get my galleys. In 4 weeks, I might be human again--who knows.

2 weeks--this is how long I have to grade a ginormous stack of papers, enter a page worth of grades for 5 classes, write 2 finals, and generally wrap up my semester. But, what the hell--it's work. I mean, really...how important is that paycheck? (You're right--I've got to get my ass in gear!)

10 days--this is how long I have to knit my day care provider a pair of 'Fetching' and a matching hat before she leaves on her Christmas vacation. It doesn't sound like too much of a stretch, but, then, see all of the above.

13 days--this is how long I have to finish a pair of socks for my TA and knit 'Fetching' for my other TA. It doesn't sound like much of a stretch, but, then, see all of the above.

17 days--this is how long I have to finish a scarf, knit two men's hats, 'Dashing', ruffled fingerless mitts from the Sandi Rosner book, and a hooded poncho. In this time I also have to get the kids' pictures taken, write the Christmas letter, assemble all of my addresses-AGAIN-address the cards, send them, finish my Christmas shopping, wrap the kids stuff, decorate the house and throw my oldest son a birthday party. I also need to coordinate family events, celebrate with the short people, remind the tall young people that they're still kids and we're still a family, and make sure everybody's dreams come true on a Tuesday morning 17 days in the future. It doesn't sound like too much of a stretch, but, then, see all of the above.

7 months--this is how long I have to finish Bitter Moon II: Triane's Son Reigning. I'm 124 pages in, and the first book is about to go to press. This, I think I can do, but I'm going to have to put it away for the next 17 days. I've having withdrawals already:-)

So--I know the Harlot has tried to warp the space time continuum with limited success. I think we need extreme measures. Cloning anyone?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Your Attention Please:

Amy Lane is interupting her usual moment of blogging, editing, and surfing the net randomly in order to stay awake to hover in her knitting corner, snarling rabidly at any unhappy family member who attempts to get near her, talk to her, or otherwise glom onto her otherwise overtaxed personal space.

She will resume her regular rounds of mommy-hood and poorly edited, incoherent ranting tomorow.

In the meantime, should you spot an over-aged, over-weight woman with squirrel-in-a-clothes-dryer hair laying on her stomach with her thumb in her mouth and clutching a 1/2 knitted fingerless mitt to her chest like a wooby, please remove the fork from my ass--it is obvious to all that I'm done.

Better blogging tomorrow!

Amy

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Goddess bless...

Okay--I just tried to load a hella precious photo of our Lady of Bug, preening over her little Cindy-Lou Who palm trees in her hair, and I couldn't do it. But the story is also hella precious--I can give you that instead:

Little Cindy Lou Palm Tree got groomed by Chicken on Thanksgiving morning, and her hands immediately moved up to take out her pig-tails. As quick as I could, I swept her into the bedroom to check out her new 'do' in the mirror--as soon as she saw it, she asked to be put down. We put her down and she took my hand, walked to the computer and sat, as pretty pretty princess as you please, and waited while I took a bijillion and three (+ a crap one of me!) pictures of her with her hair. She's let Chicken do her hair ever since.

In other news I've got a pair of Chicken Toes socks on the FO list--I could try for pictures but I'm not optimistic. Next up, worsted weight fingerless mitts by the score. (Or at least an even number, because, like, you usually use two.) I've got three patterns, Fetching, Dashing, and one from a book whose name I can't remember but most of the patterns are pretty simple (i.e. lame) and the only reason I bought the damn book was for this really cool fingerless mitt pattern. I don't know, people--I've been looking at what you people create, and is anyone getting to the point where we look at pattern books for ideas, but really couple of stitch dictionaries, Anne Budd's book of numbers (as I think of it) , and a crap load of graph paper are really all we need? Yeah--I thought so. It could be my fault--I keep such exalted knitting company. You guys all blow me away. (Strikke-along news? It's still on the back burner. Suddenly IT has taken over, and instead of making this pattern a part of IT I am now putting it off until after IT so that I might enjoy something difficult and finicky without the deadline.)

On the job front? Well, I had a yearly update with an administrator--the good kind. I'll call the guy 'Jimmy' for the sake of privacy, but he's the best kind of administrator--he was GREAT in the classroom and works his ASS OFF as an admin, and he believes--sincerely--in things like student rapport, classroom autonomy, and supporting your teachers through the crap times. I love him dearly--so dearly that when he expressed surprise that I hadn't been put on his 'review list' after my last review administrator moved on, I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was because the prickweenie put a target on my back. He was, however, sympathetic about the assholes (my word--Jimmy is a classier guy than that, and he sincerely likes his colleagues) in my department, and pretty much told me to forget about them. "We still have autonomy on this campus, whether or not they want to believe in it. Don't worry about it--you are always working for the kids."

I love him. I love him I love him I love him--in a purely non-sexual way that would not preclude throwing myself down in traffic to save him so that he might go on to do much better things. I told him--almost tearfully--that the ten minutes in his office was the highlight of the week. I did not tell him, because I was running late, that he very possibly saved my life, or at least my career. Seriously--good good thoughts to this man, he is one of the freakin good guys.

There are a few things though that we won't talk about tonight--and all of them are related to my faulty genetic code being perpetuated through the ages. Here--I'll give you a taste:

1. The cave troll and Ladybug laughing their asses off on the way to work this morning. I looked in the rearview and saw that he was dumping milk from her bottle onto her head.

2. I left the short people with Chicken this evening to take her brother to karate lessons. When I got back, the Cave Troll was running around 1/2 naked after a trip the the bathroom, and Ladybug was chasing him squealing "poop poop poop".

3. After giving Ladybug a bakery cookie that I had purchased for a staff function tomorrow, I put the whole plastic container of them on the counter while I was bathing the Cave Troll in the sink. Do you know what I heard next? Suffice it to say that' it's a good thing I bought a back ground box of cookies, and my family, who all firmly believe in the 5 second rule, is gowing to be packing on the lbs. from a staff sized helping of butter cookies.

4. Chicken's psychotic cat must now sleep on my chest. (Psycho kitty, ques quese...run run run run away...)

5. I'm totally cracking up, even as I write this, because Mate's beloved King's have actually won a freaking game, and Mate is jumping up and down in the living room cheering. (*hee hee hee*) Freakin' goober. Goddess bless him.


I had a GREAT teaching day today. Goddess bless us all.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Book News...

First of all--thank you all. Periodically I melt into a big nasty scum puddle of pity, and you all never fail to wade through me and remind me that my spine is intact and I will walk again. Words are small things to the enormity of my gratitude--thank you.

I got some sleep this weekend--I've been living on five hours a night. It's not enough. I could use more, but a nap and a couple of lie-ins to 8:00 am help. I try not to whine about being tired a lot, especially when my exhaustion is due mostly to my own driving obsessions, but when you're spending a lot of your computer time blindly wandering from site to site because you can't focus your attention on what you SHOULD be doing, well, you know your body is trying to kick your mind in the ass. Which leads me to the post title, and the book news!

So, as for the book? Well, I'm not sure if I mentioned that I took Tinkingbells up on her offer to edit my final draft--she has been AWESOME and GRACIOUS and has been doing a bang-up job. Between Needletart, Roxie, Lady-in-Red ,Aerk, and Tink, I may be able to clean up a stunning manuscript for you all. The people who have been so generous in their praise and support deserve only the best. Anyway, I was trying for a December 5th submission, but I think I'm going to aim for the 10th instead. The kid who kicked out my cover picture (AWESOME. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. This kid has great things in his future besides just being able to brag to his fellow inmates in G113!) is going to do a map for me for the inside front cover--I'm thinking maybe I'll ask if they can use it as a wall-paper on the back cover as well because the map was an afterthought but this kid's talent is too awesome to just blow him off. Anyway, I'm almost done with my third (!) edit of the 1st quarter, and I didn't want to sap Tinkingbells too much--she has a VERY busy life, too,--and so about two days after I get back the 4th quarter, I'll submit the msss. And then it's going to be me and BmoonII and the big Christmas IT until I get back my galleys. I can only hope the galleys are perfect, because all of this striving perfection is going to sap my galleys proofing BUT GOOD.

Anyway--I got Roxie's new Sanna book, and I'm so excited to read it, but, obviously, I've got no time for something I really want to savor. I've propped it up here, behind my computer, as incentive for Christmas vacation, when I can forget about MY writing for a bit and throw myself into someone else's writing--I can't wait!!!!

You know, I haven't posted pix in a while--I'll have Chicken run around the house and snap some stills of us being on the eggplant spectrum of the animal world...it's not exciting, but it's what we do.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lie lie lie...

Remember that Simon and Garfunkle song, "The Boxer"?

"In the corner stands a boxer
and a fighter by his trade,
and he carries a reminder
of every glove that laid him down
or cut him 'til he cried out,
in his anger and his shame
I am leaving Iam leaving but the fighter still remains..."

Some days teaching is like that. Some days the constant assertion of your will on the the unwilling seems futile and worthless. Some days, trying to accomodate every personality in your classroom, trying in vain to care for every mean-spirited emotional vampire, trying to make sure the little bastards don't spill your art supplies in hidden corner or throw polluted candy in the candy bin you use to help them study, and trying to correct their HORRIBLE writing samples makes you hate the world.

What is the use? The little shit who put his already licked candy back in the bin is so completely self-involved that he thinks this action reflects badly on ME. Does he realize that he has effectively degraded what was left of his humanity into a pile of spittle and sugar? Probably not. His mother just tried to convince me to give him his make-up work from his seven days of suspension, so that he can make up a 14% grade in 3 weeks of class. When I replied, "Uhm...what would the point be?" Her response was, "So we can help him succeed! I anticipate your future cooperation."

Would it be professional to scream "Fuck that--I tried to help him succeed for the first month of school before it became clear that his presence in my class was an insult to the kids who gave a shit?" Would it be helpful to refer the kid to a personality replacement clinic? Would my loony-toons insurance (i.e. free mental health care provided by the district) cover my ass if I cracked this little asshole a good one across his face and told him to get the fuck out of all human habitation and live naked in the desert so as not to offend sentient beings in the area, like the cockroaches that live behind my cupboard?

And then, because my whine-fest is in full swing, I get home and say, with as much dignity as I can muster, "I'll call for pizza if someone does the dishes."

Big T tried to get his sister to do it. I said (and too my shame this is a direct quote) "I don't give a shit who does them, as long as it isn't me, and as long as I don't have to cook."

That was four hours ago. Ten minutes ago T finished a semi-crappy job on the kitchen and was affronted when I didn't thank him for doing the dishes.

Please, God, let him not be one of the obnoxious little fuckers out there making some other poor woman's life miserable by being criminally obtuse. (I swear, if he wasn't such a terrific kid most days, that thought alone would be enough to make me want to invent a time machine just so I can go back to my dumbshit 24 year old self and scream "Prophylactics, you stupid moo!!! You don't want that swimmer to win!!!!" )

I just got back from a walk that was so damned cold I could see my breath and feel the chill on the skin of my back. When I got home, T was still (grudgingly) doing the dishes, and I couldn't make myself go inside. The cave-troll would be there, wanting to cling to me, Ladybug would still be screaming from her crib--she can scream for 'mommy' now, when she's so tired she can barely stand but still doesn't want to go to bed, Chicken would still be there, wanting to talk to me when all I wanted, all my being was screaming for, was to be left the fuck alone. I'd sit down and knit, if I didn't know there would be two kids and a cat, glomming to my body within minutes.

I'm bone dry inside. I mean, I have the weekend, and the Christmas lights made me smile, and I did take some solace in the idea that I made Bells pee herself laughing (:-) and that MamaDuck contacted me from the Harlots' blog and she's a fun person to talk to (and if nothing else I made a sale) but I'm running on such low emotional reserves. The drunken midgets have been clinging to me unmercifuly in the morning, and that feeling of futility, of not enough time in the day and not enough of me to to go around is growing to soul crushing proportions. The Cave Troll is on my lap even now, past his bed time, saying "mom mom mom mom mom mom mom" even though his father has fallen asleep in an effort to get the little boyshit to bed. (Lucky bastard, I might add.)

There are women who do this better, aren't there? I hear about them. I read stuff they've written. I know out there, some woman has four kids, a stunning hobby, and a career that isn't barely hanging on by a thread. We're supposed to be able to make this work--I know we are. And we're supposed to be able to do it while beating the laundry monster back with something less potent than a 500 volt cattle prod--but I can't. I just can't do it. I'm knackered. For tonight, for this moment, I am beaten, and the world has won.

And I hear that Simon and Garfunkle song... I stayed out in the breath-taking cold to hear the end of it as I prayed that T would finish the dishes so I wouldn't have to talk to a soul as I came in the house. (Fat chance, right?) I was listening to "The Boxer"--you all remember it? The last words of the song...

"Lie lie lie...lie la lie...lie la lie lie lie lie lie la la la la lie..."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ten random things...

Ten random things about me that you will probably wish I'd kept to myself...

1. I almost graduated from college with a masters degree instead of a BA because, although I had 20 units more than I needed to graduate, I had too many units in English. They had to re-name a graduate English course in sci-fi as 'humanities' in order to get me to squeak through.

2. Including my present job, I've held 8 jobs. I've, uhm, been fired from three of them. (Me?)

3. Mate and I were eighteen when we met, 19 when we started dating, 20 when we moved in together, and 21 when we got married. I've been sleeping with this man for more than half my life, and I still totally resent the fact that the cave troll keeps trying to sleep between us.

4. Our 'clean pile' of laundry is approximately 2 1/2 feet x 3 1/2 feet x 6 feet--that's more than a cubic yard of laundry. I haven't seen the rug in that room since I was on maternity leave with our youngest child.

5. I've named two of my children after knight's from Arthur's Round Table, one of the girl's from a fairy tale and the other one from Lord of the Rings. If they ever change their names in rebellion, it's going to be to something like "James" or "Mary".

6. I've saved every response the yarn harlot has ever sent me from her blog. I've saved a number of e-mails from you people, too--I don't take friends for granted.

7. When I was seven years old, I came home and found that my stepmother had cooked the pet rabbit for dinner--it was a Bohemian dish called 'Bomachke'. Dad and I hadn't actually eaten meat for MONTHS (we lived on Top Ramen)...it wasn't bad.

8. I've owned a cat (of one sort or another) since I was three.

9. When I was Ladybug's age, my dad used to party with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.

10. I have the world's crappiest, most schizophrenic, weirdo, hard-to-read, psychotic genius handwriting of anyone I have ever met. When I was in high school, I wrote a 24 page epic poem that RHYMED and I made five people--two of them distant relatives that I've met, like, three times, read. You will never know my shame.

11. One of the worst things I ever did that I never told mom and dad about until later was go out into a storm when I was supposed to be staying with my crazy friend Wendy because it was too wet to go out into the worst fucking flood of the last 25 years. (1986--look it up.)My crazy friend Wendy kept horses at friend's house, about six miles from where she was working as a nanny. A boatload of unfortunate horses were drowned at the nearby fairgrounds because no one had let them out of the stalls, and she panicked and HAD to go check on her horses and there we were, driving her big blue mercury lemon into water so deep, the lamas at the nearby Snooty Lama company were swimming over the damned fence. The Mercury Lemon died, and we had to walk three miles to her horses--I was in my bare feet (having worn dumbass-kid shoes to school that day). You don't know who your friends are until you drag each other three miles in thigh (or waist--she's short) deep water singing songs from Miami Vice.

12. I"m really bad at math. (But you knew that:-)

Monday, November 26, 2007

The 300?

I wanted to do something big and nutty for my 300th post--you know, a contest or some sort of deeply introspective and brilliantly pondering work that would make the bells of humanity tone foreverandevermore amen.

But really? I'm not in that sort of mood. About the only thing I have to report is that I'm not a total mean-assed wank-bitch, as I thought I might be.

You know that phrase, "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy?" Well, it turns out that I apparently am very sincere about it. It seems the grand royal prickweenie is sick--he's been sick on and off for a year, and instead of handing his post to someone else for a while, or staying at home and getting better, he has invested his energy in what we have come to term "Seagull management"--you know, when someone comes in, makes a lot of noise, craps all over you, and then leaves? (My husband got the phrase from Intel, but it applies here.) And for the most part, I looked forward to Prickweenie's hiatuses from work with a sort of mingled relief...I mean, I was glad he was gone, but not so happy that he had to be in excruciating pain to go away. And today, as a colleague who works closely with the Prickweenie described his symptoms, I had a moment of conflict. "Yay--he's going to be gone for the next month...wait...wait...ugh. NO. Not happy. Truly." It was an epiphany--I had nothing but negative feelings aimed at this person for so very long that I hadn't really thought well enough of myself to quite believe it. But it's true. I REALLY WOULDN'T WISH PAIN AND SUFFERING ON MY WORST ENEMY. Shit. What kind of bad-ass am I? I can't even bring myself to make a good karma/bad karma platitude. I just feel for the guy, period, the end. Well Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Prickweenies--I'm not a bitch and he's not Satan and where the hell are we now?

I'll tell you where we are--we're in a world where two kids who were supposed to be friends are, in a flash, ready to throw down for real because one of them grabbed my car keys and pretended to throw down in fun. We're in a world where my best kids are my worst talkers, my smartest kids have the worst grades, and the things I think are the most important to teach are the things that I'm supposed to ignore because I can't quantify them.

I'm teaching in California--I'm obviously in hell.

Except when I"m writing. When I'm writing, the world makes sense--when I'm blogging, I'm not a bad person. When I'm crafting fiction, there is a circular and harmonic resonance in the world that reality seems to lack--I've always said I've seen the divine in fiction: there are patterns we put in there, both on purpose and coincidentally that give order to the text, and it seems as though if we, as flawed humans, can do that in writing, then a cosmic consciousness would have no problem doing that in the world as a whole.

I sometimes ask myself if I shouldn't give up writing--blogging, fiction, whatever. I ask myself if the cost to my family and my career aren't too great to bear. But today, when blogging, I realized I wasn't a bad person (well, not entirely, anyway.) And John Gardner didn't call the poet a 'bard' or a 'scops' in Grendel--he called him a 'shaper', because his sounds shaped the world.

So maybe there's something sublime to say in my 300th post after all. Maybe all this introspective crap has been my winding consciousness finding its way to something I suspect you all knew.

300 is not such a big number after all. I can talk WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY more than this.

Manana!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wii-search complete.

No--not my Wii-search, thank gods...

Let me start from the beginning. Six years ago today, my buddy and I embarked on a bizarre quest. We both hate shopping. Neither of us regard it as a sport. Neither of us are 'girlie girls' who go shopping for the helluva it and a cool sale on lipgloss. We are both working mothers, with a sarcastic sense of humor and no fear of the F-Word. At the time, we both shared a debilitating Starbucks addiction, which I have since kicked (with a little help from my spastic sigmoid) but which I indulge in on Black Friday, with my buddy, in celebration of our anniversary.

This is the day we shop.

I can't explain it--neither of us are actually the type. But six years running, the black of the morning after Thanksgiving has found us, bundled up and cuddling our eggnog lattes and elbowing our way into the crowds. I remember the year I'd had the Cave Troll--he was about two weeks old when we did this, and at twelve o'clock (after six hours) I was nearly in tears because I was exhausted and hormonal and my boobs were as big as Volkswagons, but still, we soldiered on. In fact, every year has had it's quests, it's 'must have toys' it's, 'oh, that's hella cute' purchases, and it's 'I'm such a total weenie' moments, and this year was no exception--let me hit the highlights for you all, so that you might understand:

6:00 am--she arrives and pries me from the Cave Troll's gnarled fingers in my shirt. He's afraid one day I'll walk away and never return--go figure.
6:30 am--we take one look at the Starbucks line in my neighborhood and head for a different shopping venue than we usually use, in order to take advantage of something called 'Bad Ass Coffee'. Bad Ass Coffee has closed down. We find another Starbucks.
7:00--we walk into the entrance of Toys R Us and walk smack dab into the back of the line which wraps around the store. For the next hour and a half, we lose our minds in kinder-spoiling mecca. I've blocked it out. I don't usually remember everything I've bought for them until it's time to wrap.
9:00--on my way to the register, the pretty young thing talking into the news camera looks at my basket and says, "That's a LOT of presents!' I grunt, 'Four kids'. She looks busy, so I don't elaborate that most of what's in my basket is for the younger two. It's still a matter of shame--I see no reason to alert the media.
9:15--still running on coffee and enthusiasm, we head from the first level of purgatory to the 5th--Target. I traditionally sort of lose it in Target--not necessarily my mind, but my focus. I do know that on more than one occassion my friend caught me standing in the middle of an aisle, gazing mindlessly off into space and knitting. I seem to recall buying a lot of clothes for Big T--but that's okay. Underwear was on his list.
10:30--barely escape Target with our lives, and I foolishly think we're home free. It is then that the true Wii-search begins. Three Game-Stops and one Radio Shack later, we have our schtick down. We walk into a place and ask the greeter if he wants a good laugh. By this time, they're looking pretty haggard, so they're game, right? Then she asks for a Wii and I ask for Guitar Hero III, and by golly, we have spread some freakin' Christmas cheer. We retreat to the sound of hearty guffaws.
11:00--We try to go to lunch at a place called Kinders. Kinders is out of business. After the 'Bad Ass Coffee' thing, I suspect my friend of deliberately sabotaging businesses in order to make this day weird. Anyway, over a lunch at Wendy's, she comes up with A. A plan to invade Costco looking for the elusive Wii, and B. The term Wii-search, which totally cracks us up. I go to use the bathroom, get caught in a daydream about the next book, walk out of the women's bathroom and turn straight into the men's room. When my friend--who has seen the whole thing-- asks me "What in the fuck are you doing, dude?" I reply, with dignity, "I'm turning left."
11:30--We go into Costco. The plan is, I hold her place in the customer service line while she runs around the store to see if it's worth it to run the customer service rigamorale to go shopping cardless if they have the Wii. The catch is, the customer service line is so short, I end up giving my spot to six different people while I'm waiting for her to come back with the news that no, they have no Wii. They are, in fact, Wii-less.
12:15--I have no idea where we are, but I do know that I've spent an unlikely amount of money at the Sport's Chalet for clothes for Crazy Friend Wendy. Besides my buddy, Wendy is the only other person I know skinny enough to get clothes at a place called 'Sport's Chalet'. Anyway, my buddy is she's talking about the fact that she needs to stop at Staples because she has been forced to Scrapbook in order to consolidate her family memories. If you knew this person you'd recognize that asking her to craft in any shape of the monster is like asking Monk to jump in a kid's ball pit after a clue. It's highly distasteful, but because she finds it necessary, she's going to do a stellar job. So she's talking about how it's too bad she doesn't know where Staples is when I thump the window with my finger and say "It's right there." She almost stops traffic screeching to a halt to see if I'm right.
1:00--I am in, of all places, a kitchen supply store. I forget what she bought there. I blocked it out. The entire place screamed to the world that I am unfit as a parent, a wife, and a chef. I prefer to forget this episode.
1:30--We're at her parents house (this is the friend who has just lost BOTH her parents, sadly enough) but she's hiding her kids' presents in the vacant house as well as waiting for a friend of hers to come get some of her parents' old furniture. We stand quietly and watch as her friend's brother screws with the ratchet strap that's holding the furniture in the truck. Both of us express relief that we will be nowhere near that truck as it takes off.
1:45--We're at our friend's house (the one who just got married) collecting her mail. My friend has to call up the bride because this is harder than we thought, and while she's talking to the bride, she asks if the bride's other buddy still works at Sam's Club. It seems that the Wii-search has not died the death I had assumed it had.
2:00--She drops me off at home. I hide our packages in the minivan. I still don't know what we're going to do with them. I assume they will find a temporary home in the garage--but it's going to take some doing.
3:00--She calls up and insists that Big T wakes me up from my much needed nap. Her exact words, "Wake up, you weiner--the Wii-search is complete. And you left trash in my car."

Until next year, Amen.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why I don't tell you guys what I cook...

Happy Thanksgiving, first of all! My link button is still missing, otherwise I'd give you a link to Roxie's new book--a thing I, for one, am especially thankful for. Besides being a constant, inspirational source of support, Roxie is one helluva writer--and her character, Sanna, is a spunky delight and I'm so thrilled to be able to meet her again!

And speaking of being thankful, besides the obvious--family & home--which I never cease being grateful for from the bottom of my toes, I am also, today, supremely thankful for the all of you. I could not ask for a better bunch of people to talk me down from the Crazy Woman Writer tree, with the branches of Fucking Neurosis. The words of support yesterday were much appreciated...and I can now, for the first time in months, leave the book where it belongs--in the computer and not taking over my head--and since we're going visiting for Thanksgiving, I'd say that's where it belongs.

And speaking of visiting--people have been sharing their recipes, and it's so generous of them and I feel like such a complete loss as a human being because I've got nothing to offer in return. Then I thought, 'Hey-I actually DO cook for Thanksgiving--I'm warming up my stuffing right now.' But there's a reason that this doesn't actually register in my head as a recipe. Let me give you my uhm, recipe, and I think you'll understand.

You will need:
Onions--as many as you like.
Celery--a bunch, chopped
Four rolls of safeway sausage. Any flavor.
Uhm, six, eight, twelve, two boxes of stuffing. I was cooking for two families--I forget how many we used. Stove top, Mrs. Cubbins...I just threw them all in together.
Boulion cubes. This year, it was as many as Ladybug could unwrap before I stopped her.
One small bag of brown sugar.
1/2 a clove of garlic
Garlic salt & lemon pepper

Step one--Fill pot with water. Throw in bullion cubes, brown sugar, chopped celery and the garlic, crushed. Allow to boil, turn down, keep warm.
Step two--cook the sausage. When sausage is cooked set it aside, chop the onions and cook them in the sausage grease.
Step three--dump all the boxes of stuffing into a bowl. Dump the sausage and onions on top of them. Dump as much of the broth (and all of the celery) into the bowl until the stuffing is moistened to your taste. Mix well.

Throw the resulting glop into a casserole dish and cook with foil, or use it to shove into a dead bird and cook that.

And that's my own personal recipe for sweet & spicy stuffing.

Rachel Wray I ain't, although I did crochet the Martha Stewart poncho for an aunt once. It's as close as I'll ever come:-)


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm grateful for my lovely family, my psychotic life, and all of you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

60 pages, 3 more posts, and 1/2 a baby sock...


Okay--I admit, I've been a bit distracted lately. And getting to visit my friends, I mean blog, has been much harder--and much more infrequent--than it should be. I've been staying up late, getting up early, neglecting the housework, and spending as much time on my ass with kids on my lap as humanly possible, and still, (STILL!) I feel as though I am not accomplishing enough as a teacher, a knitter, a writer, or a mother.

But I'm about to hit a milestone or two, and not only am I starting to get excited about them, I'm finally starting to feel like that mean-assed scorpio moon is about to stop going retro on my fat-white-posterior, and starting to swing my way.

* I have 60 pages more to edit in BITTER MOON, Part I, and I even have a sucker I mean victim, I mean volunteer to edit my final draft via computer--thanks, Tink! One more person I'll gladly add to my free book list, and if I can get this puppy into iUniverse by Dec. 5th, then I'm looking at a January release date! It's good that I'm so stoked about this--The Little Goddess sales are in their characteristic Thanksgiving slide towards oblivion, and that always depresses me, but not today. Today, I'm very close to a brand spankin' new finished product. Now comes the part where you all coax Amy Lane out of the Crazy Woman Writer Tree with the branches of Complete Fucking Neurosis--everybody with me? You remember the prayer? "Merciful Goddess, Holy God, (everybody now!) PLEASE LET IT NOT SUCK!!!!!" Amen.

* If you count the old blog address--the one I bailed on because the rabid little bastards from last year invaded my blog (I don't want to talk about how I was partially responsible...damn, how naive could I be?), and I do count those, because basically I'm the same goofy person I was then, just with a shorter url, I'm 3 posts away from my 300th post. Yee-ha. That's 300 whines, 300 ''count your blessings", 300 boring kid stories, and, I'm sure, 1800 different uses of the 'F' word and all it's brethren. Now THAT'S an anniversary to remember!

* I'm 1/2 a baby sock away from a complete finished hat/sockie set for the buddy w/the shower on Saturday. I'm proud--I may finish it tonight, or maybe tomorrow, but it doesn't matter--it will be done in plenty of time for me to shop for a gift of something that will fit NOW as opposed to 18 months for now. I don't know what to tell you. My sense of baby gifts is mortally skewed. I'm also going to be working on a boy hat for a boy nearing a year old, for reasons known to me and Lady In Red--the little nipper had an unexpected penis, and didn't get to wear his official "Mum's Weirdo Yarn Friend" gear, and really, since his big brother got a blanket, I think he missed out. I think he really really needs a hat. Because Christmas is coming and I'm in freaking denial, that's why.

Oh yeah--the Cave Troll and I were playing with i-Photo--can you tell? (And why blogger should choose to load these photos tonight, when it has ignored me so happily in the past, I cannot fathom a guess...)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quick Question...




Say, if someone has had a gauge accident and has produced--just for the sake of argument, mind you--a hat that would probably fit a two-year old (because it is a wee bit too big for my 20 month old) when someone (won't say who!) has to give this hat away at a baby shower on Sunday thrown by a colleague who has no problem giving me five months notice on the gender of his impending baby and then throwing the shower three months early...

Say if this had happened, and then I...I mean someone...proceded to make matching gauge accident socks, would it be acceptable to just throw a size label on these items, and pretend that, uhm, the perpetrator of this gauge disaster actually MEANT to do that?

Just wondering...

And, for your enjoyment, a picture of Ladybug, a picture of socks, and a picture of the puffy-yarned scarf modeled by a very reluctant chicken. In case you all thought I'd stopped knitting.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weird...

I had to go to a wedding this weekend, all by myself.

Seriously--I"m feeling very LuLu Adventure, here, because I am two hours away from home, in a hotel room, without another soul who needs me, needs to talk to me, or wants my attention.

You'd think, that with all this quiet I'd be giddy, terribly excited, able to string more than three sentences together in my head at a time. I mean, as wacky as my life is, this should be a repreive or a luxury shouldn't it?

I'm lonely. I'm bored. I want my family.

I haven't attended a wedding without Mate since before we were dating. (Oh crap, that's 21 years ago.) All last night, I kept looking for him to say something, make a comment, make a joke, touch his hand. After my first glass of wine (I only had three, well spaced--I just couldn't get plastered if he wasn't there as my safety net) I went into the bathroom, called him on Chicken's cell phone (mine has prematurely given up the ghost, sort of like one of Chicken's pet rats) and cried all over him. There might be a reason that in a year and a half of blogging, you've only heard tell of five glasses of wine.

And now, having packed while Mate and the kids were getting ready to go to Chicken's end-of-the-year soccer party (the reason Mate didn't come with me...chickens and other grunion come first...) I have forgotten my brush, forgotten my toothbrush, and woken up an hour after I'd planned. I'd wanted to be out of here at first daylight, so no one could see my frowzled trolll-breath self sneak away. And now I'm wondering if I could miss all my colleagues (the bride used to teach at our school and has since moved on to greater glory in the district. She's still wonderful though--as a bride she was frickin' gorgeous, and a dancing machine. I hope she's sound a sleep--and has some tylenol nearby--as I type this.) if I just go back to bed and sleep off that last glass of wine.

And I'm remembering that scene in BOUND, where Green is alone in the hotel room and he gets the 'psychic wake up call' from Cory that she needs him. I'd written that scene after Mate had spent a couple of years doing a job that required business trips, and he'd always sounded so lonely when he was gone. (I, of course, was a neurotic freaking mess. Not to mention that if something bad was going to happen--leaking roof, sick cat, sick kids, car trouble--it always happened when he was gone.) And now, in my first hotel room, all to myself, I know exactly what Green was feeling. I got that scene just right--I can't be home soon enough.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

*sigh* Yeah, I know.

The pictures are sideways, but I'm so happy to have pictures at this point, that I'm not even going to question it. I tried to load a picture of my tats, since that's going around, but alas, blogger quit at two... (I tried to load two more pix of the party, as well, but, well, two was all I was going to get...) I'm sure there is something simple stupid that I'm doing wrong, but right now, I prefer to stay with the theory that the machine hates me and leave it at that!





Anyway, I thought I'd throw some random shit that's happened (most of it mildly amusing) and then, instead of a preview of Bitter Moon II, I'd just give you a little more of Bitter Moon I, and that way I wouldn't feel like a ginormous plot spoiler, but I could still preen a little.

So, here we go--random shit first:

I was the recipient of a drive-by de-stashing, and my students are very very grateful--Thanks, Rae!!!! (It was great stuff--real yarn that they don't usually get to see outside of the specialty store. They are, of course, clueless to their quality windfall, but someday they will know...)

The yarn and the kitten. Okay, you all remember that terrible pic of yarn carnage that I posted...the really pretty kaffe fasset sock yarn, right? Well, after the first skein bit the dust, I went and bought another skein to replace it. The mate to the first skein disappeared and I hung my head in my hands and thought "Fingerless mitts use EXACTLY that much yarn!" And then, the other day, the psycho kitten pounced leapt, and got the hell out of the living room, and there in the center of the living room was...the vanished mate to the first skein. It was like magic. Fucking cat.

Things Ladybug can say: Open that! (Usually chocolate.)
I want! (Usually chocolate!)
Mom take this take this take this! (trash from the back of the car.)
Stop it! (Usually her brother.)
Chiquita! (Definitley a dog, any dog, they're all Chiquita.)
Kitty!!!!!!!
Kitty come here. Come here. Come back kitty. Come baaaaaccccckkk!!!! (They're psychotic but they ain't stupid.)
Eat. Eat. My bite. Eat.
Night night.
No.
No eat!
No night night, no night night!
By'r. (Chicken's name in Ladybug-speak.)
Mooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm.....
Daddy.
No mom, want dad. Dad. Daaaaaadddddddddyyyyyy!!!!

And we'll just stop there.

I have finished this big, random blocked puffy-yarned harlot-ribbed scarf. I love it. I am, of course, giving it away.

Big T is still freakin' big. And now he's shaving and has a unibrow. Things are not shaping up for a smooth 'dating years' entry.

Chicken and math have been having constant problems. I've tried pointing out that this is not a marriage, neither is it an egalitarian relationship. That hasn't stopped her from trying to file for divorce.

Work is heart breaking, and it's not the grown-ups this time. I just won't go there.

But I will give you this--here's that excerpt I promised you, and do let me know how you like it! Roxie & Needletart, feel free to comment on my choice, and everyone else--enjoy!!!!


Excerpt from Bitter Moon I: Triane's Son Ascending


Later that evening, Torrant found himself, Cwyn, Starren, and Yarri, all in the family room playing dice games with Aylan. When they’d turned for home, they’d last seen Stanny and Evya, the little girl with the flyaway dark who could not seem to leave Stanny be, even though he wasn’t the richest, or smartest, or most handsome young man in the village, dancing comfortably near the wilding bonfire. Roes and Aldam had apparently reached…d├ętente. They had been dancing by the bonfire, looking in each other’s eyes as though dancing would not be the only thing they planned, but their wilding was by no means a certainty. After seeing that their older children had seemed to resolve their own romances with neither trauma nor heartbreak, Lane and Bethen had, with sly smiles and blushes, asked Aylan and Torrant to take the younger ones home before disappearing completely. Aylan had remarked in Torrant’s hearing only that it gave him hope, watching the two of them disappear like frolicking children.

“Since you won’t bunk me, maybe someone else will want to when I’m not young and pretty anymore,” he’d said dryly, and Torrant had socked him solidly in the arm.

“You’ll always be pretty, you wank,” he’d snapped, hoping Cwyn couldn’t hear him and repeat the word, “And you don’t bunk anyone during the summertime anyway, so I don’t know why you’re whining!”

Aylan stopped walking so abruptly that Starry, who had him by the hand, actually outpaced him and yanked on his arm before she realized he’d stopped. At her look back, impatient and wry in all of her seven-year-old glory, he kept walking again, but his look to Torrant was sideways and thoughtful.

“And if I did?” He asked quietly after they’d entered the house and sent Yarri with the younger children for games.

Torrant looked up from where he was lighting the lamp, and noticed for the first time in a while how Aylan’s razor cheekbones cast shadows against his cheeks, and how his full lower lip pouted, and how even in the lamplight of the summer, his eyes were so blue they were purple. “If you did what?” He replied, knowing the answer but wanting to hear Aylan say it.

“If I did bunk people in the summer… there’s no Trieste, I’ve left no one, girl or boy, pining for me—if I did take summer lovers, here in your family’s home…”

“What?” Torrant asked, trying for all innocence, but knowing that his heart was thundering in his stomach and below.
“Would you say yes?” Aylan took a step closer to him—close enough that Torrant could smell the sweat of both of them, and the dust. Instead of being unpleasant, it was animal and compelling and he wanted it.

“Tonight, while the world is a-wilding around us?” Torrant all but whispered, suddenly wanting his friend so much his skin swelled with it.

Aylan took a step closer just as Torrant stood up, and still Torrant had to look up into his eyes, and still they were beautiful and his friend was magnetic and Torrant was iron. “Yes, Torrant, while the world is a-wilding around us,” Aylan whispered roughly, his voice begging Torrant not to toy with him, “Would you say yes if I asked you to my bed?”

The moment thudded between them, and again, and Torrant knew both of their bodies were bursting and aching with the thing they wanted but had denied themselves for four years. He took in his breath to answer, and at that very moment, when he would have leaned forward, to touch his own sensitive lips to Aylan’s finely sculpted, exquisite mouth, Starry ran in and jerked Aylan’s hand, oblivious to the currents around her.

“Come on Aylan!” She pleaded, and as always, Aylan was helpless to deny her anything at all.

“Yes, Littlest,” he murmured easily, “Just let me grab the berries from the cold-box, and we can snack as we play.”

When he looked up again, stricken and exasperated, Torrant had moved towards the doorway, and was looking back at his friend with good natured longing and complete understanding in his eyes. “Yes, Aylan,” he said softly into the cocoon of silence that still seemed to throb around the two of them, “If you took lovers in the summer time, this summer, I would be happy to fall into your bed.” He smiled then, the crooked smile with the crinkled lip, and the smile tortured Aylan as much as his next words. “It’s too bad that you don’t take lovers in the summer.”

Aylan’s sigh was mighty and frustrated and relieved, because Torrant had taken the choice from his shoulders when he wasn’t sure what he would have chosen, and together they went into the front room to play rounds and rounds of innocent games with children and to retire, each to his own bed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Guess how old...

The Cave Troll will be on Thursday. Bless his little heart--we were in the car the other day and he said, "Mom, I have Percy, and Thomas, and Molly...but I don't have Toby..." And then he started to sing, "Happy Birthday to me..."

Well, of course a Toby was the number one thing on our list of things to get him!!! (Actually we gave that honor to his best friend's mom...there are priviledges granted with being asked to haul your tribe to the park on your day off...)

I actually had this post already yesterday when we got back from the party, but blogger took a giant plotz. I think I know how I screwed it up though, so I'm ready to try again, and this time, I've got more better things to say about everybody's favorite Cave Troll.

For example--

The Cave Troll, whom is more OCD than a child born to two compulsive slobs has a right to be, announced his impending presence with contractions that were ten minutes apart. No more. No less. Ten minutes apart. For four hours, I had spine-cracking contractions every fucking ten minutes, until Mate stood up, said, "Fuck this shit! (that's a quote!) I'm calling your mom and we're getting the hell out of here." Mate doesn't swear nearly as much as I do--I was very impressed.

When the Cave Troll came out, they had given me some very good drugs...I mean VERY good drugs. I didn't realize how stoned you could be and still function until I clawed my way out of a dead sleep for a contraction they felt on fricking Mars, and they said 'Mrs. Lane, we're going to burst your water now.' I said, "Be ready to catch." And then I fell asleep. He was born on the next contraction--they said, "Push hard...WAIT, NOT THAT HARD!!!!" It was too late,. As he was coming out, he scraped his face on my pelvic bone--it looked like we shot him out into a frying pan on his face--two brick red eyes, and a bruise around his entire nose/mouth area. We would have 'oh, boo-bood' the kid to death except he had other problems. HIs blood sugar was low and they didn't believe me when I said I was in labor so they didn't have time to give me the strep drugs so there was that strep worry and basically he spent five days in the NICU before we brought him home. For those of you who have ever gone to a hospital in labor and returned without a baby--for whatever reason, and whatever length of time--you will know something of that awful suspension of your life. It was only five days for us, but I know people who had premie twins, and it was two months, or the unthinkable which I will not talk about today because this is a happy post, but I can tell you that there is a special sort of forlorn desolation about a pristine nursery with no baby to fill it that can not be made whole until there is a shrieking, pissy little person taking up that space.

His third day in NICU, Mate and I were caught in traffic on the way to feed him, and they had to take him out of the premie ward for a moment--he was, in their words, "showing those premies what a fully developed set of lungs sounded like." It was obvious that when he got home, he would fit the description of 'shrieking, pissy little person' with all of his organized soul.

And he has. He craves structure, order, and much like that big melon headed child from 'Family Guy' seems constantly to be plotting ways to drive his mama out of her noggin. This morning we got to the babysitters just as Brenda herself drove up. Brenda knew the drill though--he's got us both well trained. She hopped through the door first, let him ring the door bell and run over to the porch chair to sit, and then she opened the door graciously and said, "Hello, Cave Troll...good morning!"

His brother has to do much the same thing every afternoon when we get home.

He still insists on a bottle because his sister drinks from one, but he really prefers a straw. He wants to make sure his sister is included in everything, mostly so he can either get her in trouble of beat on her when he needs to. She's plotting revenge already. He's the only member of the family who couldn't stand to lose a few pounds, and he's the only member of the family who plugs the toilet every time he poops. He's the only member of the family who does not talk compulsively, and the only member of the family who started out enunciating every word with the precision of a tiny exacto knife. He means every thing that he says. Chicken is his favorite guardian, and Big T the person he is most likely to fight with, and he has mama's number every day on te way home. He knows that I will stop at McDonalds for chocolate milk and a useless piece of plastic every damned day. And he says 'Thank you' when I lay down with him to go to sleep, right before he closes his eyes.

Whe he got his Toby train he said, "I luuurrrrve Toby" with the same infatuation of a teenaged girl saying "I lurrrrrve Jensen Ackles" and with probably more sincerity and fervor. This morning when he was lamenting that we couldn't set up his train in his room he said, "My room is messy. YOu need to clean it. I'm sorry, mom, I made it messy."

He wore the Spiderman outfit he got for his birthday down to his nap, a little pint-sized spidey, sleeping under our flowered comforter. I love him more than words can say.

Yesterday was a good day, a party in the park, us, grandparents, and one family with two boys and a girl from Chicken's soccer team (which is how the Cave Troll and the boys got to be the bestest of best best friends) and they played until they were dropping in their shoes. Ladybug, especially, had a fantastic time, and we've finally discovered that this one set of sounds that sounds like "ouindat!" actually means "open that". She tends to say it when we're holding chocolate. Mate blames me.

So he'll remember the party--the 'pentata', the trains, and, most especially (thanks gramma & grampa) the Spiderman outfit.

Please blogger, load these pix! (Blogger didn't--I will try another time. *sigh* They were so damned cute it's not fair. But, I should add, that the cat walked on my computer while I was typing this and left the following "fkggggggggggggggggggg". Julie, I think he was trying to call himself a 'fucking feline' and spare us the trouble.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meme Sunday

Roxie offered a meme, and I took it!

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Ladybug, the Cave Troll, Chicken & T
2.What were you doing at 0800? Pretending to sleep...Mate let me go back to bed and my brain was too busy to really sleep...I cuddled up and plotted my book.
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Uhm, same thing I was doing at 0800....
4. What happened to you in 2006? Gave birth to Ladybug, finished BOUND, published WOUNDED, got to work part time.
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? "C'mere, Ladybug, let's snuggle...."
6. How many beverages did you have today? I'm dreaming of MacDonald's diet coke right now.
7. What color is your hairbrush? Orange and purple
8. What was the last thing you paid for? Babysitting
9. Where were you last night? At a King's game with Mate--they won, yay!
10 What color is your front door? Ugly!
11. Where do you keep your change? My ashtray and the bottom of my purse
12.What’s the weather like today? Cold, clammy & constipated.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Rocky road, always.
14. What excites you? Writing, knitting, Mate, a night alone with Mate and the Cave Troll in somneone else's bed besides ours, new books and hopes for the future.
15. Do you want to cut your hair? Gods yes!
16. Are you over the age of 25? I was 25 when I gave birth to my 15 year old.
17. Do you talk a lot? How much is a lot? Yeah--I've developed this chatter thing to make people laugh. It sucks when you're dealing with adolescents and they don't even give a courtesy laugh--makes me work harder on my chatter.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Ugh.
20. Do you make up your own words? Yup! It's one of three skills I actually possess.
21. Are you a jealous person? Yes. Absolutely.
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Amy (Sadly, she is affiliated with the aforementioned Steve--we don't talk much anymore.)
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kathy
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? My what?
25. What does the last text message you received say? I don't know, but I could probably have my kids find out.
26. Do you chew on your straw? Chew on it, roll it between my fingers and pop it, use it to clean my ears, use it to play with the cats, whistle through it...
27. Do you have curly hair? I prefer to think of it as a rabid squirrel in need of a solid thrashing.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Target to buy the Cave Troll's b-day stuff and presents.
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Name a student, any student.
30. What was the last thing you ate? A hot dog.
31. Will you get married in the future? In my next life I also plan to be married, having found the state highly satisfactory in this one.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? "Waiting"--it was hilarious!
33. Is there anyone you like right now? I'm madly in love with Torrant and Aylan, my two characters in Bitter Moon.
36. Did you cry today? Yes--I'm going to excavate the kids room for the Cave Troll's b-day party. The mess in there would make anyone cry. .
37. Why did you answer and post this? Because I adore Roxie and I forgot to do a meme from Lady in Red and generally it seemed like an easy way to blog today and, well, I'm hella lazy.
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
Catie
Lady In Red
Needletart (because I haven't seen you post in a while, darling:-)
Tinkingbells
Knit Tech

Should I post an excerpt from B-Moon II before B-Moon I is out? Just wondering....