Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I did have an 'Older but wiser' moment last week--I was so proud.
Until this year, our procedure for entering tardies included an entry in a tardy book, a phone call home, an e-mail, and a triplicate document for detention. Yes, that's right. In a simple four step procedure, you too could initiate a consequence that students didn't give a rat's ass about--so mostly I didn't. This year, it's easy. When I'm taking them roll, I mark them tardy. You heard me. One click. Instant consequences. Be still my heart.
Anyway, I'm still catching grief for number of tardies in my room. I don't know why. I mark the kids tardy. I notice they're tardy. I tell them they're tardy. I stand at the door most times and say "One-click tardy." Maybe it's because I don't scream at them. Maybe it's because even though I am following procedure, I could still give a rat's oozing ass. They're tardy--it's usually not personal. I honestly don't give a shit--I'm doing my job.
But there I was, standing outside my room saying "One click tardy. One click tardy." When my dept. head looks over and says, "Hey, Shannon, don't forget to mark those kids tardy!"
I screamed "NO SH..." And then something happened. At that very moment a big steel partition dropped between what my brain was thinking and what my mouth was saying. The hamster that powers my brain had finally gotten off it's fluffy ass and pulled the cord, pushed the button--whatever the hell he had to do, he schwacked that puppy down, and he even took the time to grafitti a message on the front of it in green paint. It read: You are a TEACHER, dumbass."
So that's where it stood. "NO SH..." They say well behaved women seldom make history and it's true--I will never go down in history as the bitch who shouted "No shit, SHERLOCK!!!" across the quad. But then, I do get to keep my job.
So that's it--I'm 41, and I'm bought. But there's an upside.
I dropped Arwyn off at the babysitters, and she ran for her box of toys. "Sweetie," I called, "C'mere, Ladybug--don't you want to give mama a kiss?"
My kid shot me a smile of such radiance, it took my breath away, and then came over and turned that beaming face to me for a kiss.
"Oh, Ms. Lane," said Brenda, the babysitter, "That was a bought smile. A smile like that, and you're bought for life."
Being bought for my birthday--not bad. Not bad at all.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Your result for The What type of MAN turns you on Test...
Jen B--if you're paying attention, go take the quiz. I'll know what you're thinking. Me too.
Okay--some other tidbits to add from this morning's signings that were too cute--
A. The Cave Troll wore a blanket with fangs so he could be a Little Vampire for Rebecca-- she was so thrilled! It was her very first Cos-Play!!! (She got a picture too! Guys--seriously--go to the www.little-vampires.com site --you'll be totally charmed:-)
B. Ladybug was very sad. The man next to us (Eric Goldberg) drew her a nice picture of a rather famous rabbit. Then he gave her the picture with the rabbit's voice-- which, yes, he did in the movie, Looney Tunes: Back in Action. She brightened, giggled, and hugged that picture all day.
C. Billy West was there! No time to chat, but we at least saw him in person!!!
Phew. After that we drove 30 miles the other way, did some visiting, came home, ate takeout, and vegetated in large quantities. I'm tuckered. I'm trying to catch up with everybody but it might not happen until tomorrow!!! Sweet dreams!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
B. Bring Big T and Chicken on day two and have all your friends show up! (YAY!!!)
C. And no one else. (Awwwww....)
D. But tour the convention center anyway! (YAY!)
E. And have one of your most irrepressible friends and her adorable, buoyant, happy mother go chat you up to a celebrity-- Erin Gray and then have you give a copy of your latest release (Bitter Moon I) to said celebrity. (*swoon*)
F. Run into, bump into, walk over, amazing, talented or famous people at probably every turn, including Doug Jones, Richard Hatch and Eric Goldberg . ( Eric Goldberg, btw, was the coolest, shyest little gentleman--he drew the Genie for T when we bought his book, and when Chicken went "Mooooooommmmmm! Why didn't you have him draw Marvin the Martian, he very graciously added them both. Nice guy. Has brought awe and joy to millions of people. You'd think that sort of magic grew on trees, our city was so cavalier about his presence, but I got to meet him so it's all good. )
G. Did I mention running into people? Yes. LITERALLY, in the case of Wil Wheaton , I actually RAN INTO HIM. My friend and her mother chatted him up, and then asked him if he could sign my son's program. Most of the signatures were $20, whether or not they were on an 8x10 glossy or your grandmother's bum (I assume--I'm pretty sure no one was asking for that) and I don't know what Jenny and her mom said, but he agreed to sign T's program. T has been a HUGE fan ever since he saw Stand by Me, and so have I, actually. (And having just looked up his stats, I don't feel like quite such a dirty old woman thinking that OMG, he really is a full-blown hottie, bless him!) Of course I also watched him be Wesley Crusher and the dead kid in Toy Soldiers. So when I rounded a corner and he turned towards me and there I was, suddenly face to face with him, I did a full blown Geekess: "Omigawd." I think that's about all I said that was coherent, because the hormonally dominated hamster powering the wheel in my head went *beep beep beep Professional Hottie Alert* and passed out. It's a good thing he was signing T's program, because if I'd had to open my mouth to be witty or charming, I would have drooled on myself. Sad? Yes. Fun? Omigawd!
H. Sit next to Rebecca and James, the Little Vampires people who are nice, fun, and so sweet as a couple that they absolutely have to make it in this business--they were made to be a success. Good people should be able to make a living making their dreams come true, you think? (I know all of you should.)
I. Be there with Phil and Margaret from The Gilded Bat who really want you to succeed and are as in awe of literature and talent and the goodness of the human race as you are. Except more so.
J. Have REALLY good and amazing friends come to support you--even if they're the only ones who come (and they were) they made the whole thing worth it: Eric, Marcus, Jacob, Jean, Michelle, Jenny and Susan, you may or may not see this, but you all totally rock. Jean and Michelle, Friday night at the Gilded Bat was amazing, Eric, Marcus, Jacob--seeing you guys there made me feel a lot better as a teacher, even if I'm always totally anonymous as a writer and Jenny and Susan--DUDES! You introduced me to Wil Wheaton and Erin Gray!!!!!
K. Come home and tell Mate all about it. And then wish he'd been there. The big kids came with me and the little kids stayed home with Mate. *sad* Poor Mate. But lucky, lucky me:-)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Chicken had a wonderful birthday (as she told me) and enjoyed her dark and twisted graphic novel as well as her special copy of Nightmare Before Christmas. This morning, she came out to me in a new pair of jeans (purchased this weekend) and said, "These are a little baggy, but I'll grow into them."
I said, "I hope not--I don't think you're getting any taller."
She said, "Shit." And walked back into her room. Go 14!!!
Big T was complaining about his little brother--Cave Troll needed discipline, dammit, and T wouldn't stand for his antics any longer! Now, I don't usually pull out the Big T chestnuts--T's little kid years were made difficult by his communication handicap, and you just don't do that to a kid who has spent so much serious effort making himself a fine young man.
But I couldn't let him badmouth his little brother, either.
By the time I was done telling T about some of the shit he'd done to me as a 2-6 year old, I think he was ready to get a vasectomy at 15. Go me!
Would you like to hear? There are some good ones!!!
* When he was five years old (and about 85 lbs), his pre-school IEP (Individualized instruction plan--I forget what the E stands for) read "Student will limit the number of tantrums involving throwing himself on the floor and screaming to two a day." Of course, by the time he was six, he'd completely extincted the behavior (thank Goddess!!!) but still, when his teeny-tiny 5'2", 110 lb. 1st grade teacher read his IEP and then actually SAW him in person, she told me she about plotzed her pants.
* When he was four years old, his Auntie Wendy took him and his little sister to a MacDonald's play structure. When it was time to leave, she said, "Don't you want to go home to see mom and dad?" T, seizing on the last thing she said as a way to communicate started screaming "NO DADDY NO DADDY NO DADDY NO DADDY" so vociferously that one of the women at the MacD's wasn't going to let Wendy take Big T home. She seemed to think his father beat him.
* He was completely potty trained at six, but wiping was still a little beyond him. He'd go into the potty, take a dump, and then scream "MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!! COME WIPE ME!!!!!!!!!!!" Across the house. I'd get to the bathroom, and he would have assumed the position--hands on the bathtub, ass pointed my way. As I told him, these little moments frequently reminded me of my place in the universe.
* When he was five, he had an emotional plutonium meltdown in the middle of Safeway's produce aisle. It had been one shit-kicker of a day, mom was just EXHAUSTED, and there he was, screeching like a siren next to the fucking cantaloupes. I couldn't help it. I burst into tears. All of the women there--and it was around five o'clock, there were a lot of them--gathered around me and hugged me, saying things like "It's okay, dear, we've all been there." Big T, realizing that MOM was getting all the lovin', and he was getting JACK sniffled his little ego together and sat in the cart to pout. It was, as far as I recall, his last nuclear fusion moment in the grocery store EVER.
* When he was out six years old and his sister was napping, mom had the bad judgement to fall asleep as she sat on the couch, crocheting (I knew how to knit at the time, but I was firmly entrenched in the other camp.) When I woke up there were two strange kids in our house. Big T apparently ran outside and flagged down a couple of ten-year-olds from crap-all knows where, and then dragged them inside for snacks. It took us years to explain why this was bad.
So now he knows (and you know) why, no matter what the Cave Troll comes up with, Big T doesn't get to say jack-diddly-shit about it. As far as mom's concerned, it's karma.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I think the fact that this one's coming strategically before my book signing says something about my rather tangled psyche--I"m planning to ignore it. It too shall pass.
Other than that--if my head cold passes tonight (as I feel it may do) I could pass for human tomorrow--good thing, I've got an annual evaluation meeting. I'm starting to dread these for an entirely new reason. It used to be, "Omygod, I suck as a teacher, they're not listening, and the admin will fire me!!!" (Because, uhm, that happened--not because I sucked as a teacher, but because the dumbshits hired me pregnant. I know that this is the reason I was fired because, as I was waiting for my first review, I HEARD THE SECRETARY TELL THE RECEPTIONIST THAT THE DISTRICT OFFICE WANTED ME GONE BECAUSE I WAS PREGGERS. Fun times.) Now, I'm pretty sure I don't suck as a teacher--although, I have to say the last couple of years have really tested that 'I'm good at my job' theory. I'm still pretty sure I'm good at my job--in fact, there are some days I'm absolutely positive I rock at it--but there are a lot of days (thank you Vainglorious Prickweenie who no longer works there!) that I think it wouldn't matter if I could teach a parrot how to do higher math, I'd still piss the world at large off because I'm fat, loud, and female. I know that this is possibly irrational, but at the same time, I also know I've dropped some balls this month. I've missed some meetings. My grades are not as up as they should be. A lot of shit that gets mentioned gets a faintly cross-eyed stare from me and a 'Uhm... we're doing that now?' There's a whole new discipline process that, frankly, has me boggled. And to make me seem slightly flakier, just when I had the 'get to work during my prep period with a fair amount of time left during my prep period' thing down, my babysitter moved, and now I'm lucky to get there with 1/2 my prep period left. I'm working on getting us out of the house earlier, but just like semi-trucks, kids neither stop nor start on a dime.
I like our new administration at this point. I really don't want to let them down.
And honestly, I'm so ambivalent about where I stand educationally right now. Do I want to hammer test results? Do I still believe the shit I used to? At this point, I'm spending less than 2 1/2 days a week on literature and writing--I'm pretty sure I believe that should be a completely different ratio, but we get 'test prep test prep test prep' hammered into us--for the best of reasons, and I'm just so torn. And I'm too, well, torn in different directions to be torn about this. I don't think I've got the brain pan left to make a rational decision about what I want to do in my classroom that is not based on succumbing to the pressure from the powers that be. So I coast along with a weekly schedule that used to fit my needs just fine, but now I'm not so sure. But I'm not sure how I want to change it either.
Wow--this post turned into a major drag, didn't it?
It shouldn't be. Tomorrow we are celebrating Chicken's 14th birthday. I've done big gooey posts for her in the past, but, true to her party this year I'm going for simple and sweet and adorable in her birthday post. We're having pizza and cake, per Chicken's request, and then we're settling down with her favorite movie and b-day present for a family evening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Odds are good she'll be wearing a white bra underneath her boy's T-shirt, will have subdued her own personal rabid squirrel in the family pony-tail, and will give me a hug and a kiss and a 'thanks mom--it really is exactly what I wanted'.
I adore my Chicken--may we all get through these next few years well, and may she let me call her Chicken for many many years to come:-)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
It's not actually the one I'm wearing this weekend--it's more like the 'new and improved version'. But it's still lame. And it's still mine:-)
(And there should be a back to it, as well:-)
***edited to add--if you click the link, you can actually see the back--I went and made sure it was there:-)
*Chicken was bra shopping--or rather, she was in the changing room and I was showering shit to try on through the door. Not a soul was in that section of the store, and I'd knock on the door and say, "Can I give you something?" And she'd make me wait until she was fully dressed. Now really--how am I going to humiliate her and keep up Oprah's ratings if she makes me do that? Anyway, I gave her two perfectly sensible bras, and she told me 'Moooooom... all the other girls have the ones with the pretty colors..." So I went looking for the 'trendy bras'. Seriously--when did it become fashionable to put teenagers in candy colored bras? Was it when the bra became acceptable outerwear on television? We didn't find an acceptable 'trendy bra'--I'm hoping because she's too sensible a girl and recognized that anything 'trendy' was also damned uncomfortable, but I'm still a little bug-eyed from the 'My Little Pony' underwear for adults to breathe a sigh of relief.
* Chicken has also finished VUNERABLE. Which she gave 5 stars. And, (and I hope my gut-rotted amazon.com troll is reading this, because maybe it will leave me alone for another two months!) she also read WOUNDED. Which she gave 3 stars. I'm a little confused as to why--her claim seems to be that since Cory has two man-gods and a towel boy in the sequel, she doesn't get to be depressed that her first boy-friend blew up. I told her that anybody gets to be depressed that their first boyfriend blew up, and she wasn't too keen on the towel-boy in the first place. She still had no sympathy, so there, amazon.com troll--I'm not afraid to hear criticism, even from my own Chicken. Whom I will now sell to mean gypsies with poor hygiene and no cable tv or internet. Because I'm mean like that.
* For those of you with children who have seen Spongebob Squarepants, this next part is gonna crack you up. Everyone else, bear with me. The short people were watching an episode this morning in which Spongebob trained his pet snail, Gary, in a race against his snail sweetie, Snelly. The race ended badly, because Gary blew out his eyeballs, but it featured Spongebob jumping up and down screeching 'Go Gary, Go Gary, Go Gary!!!' while the poor slimy animated invertebrate oozed sadly along a track. The episode wrapped up, we sent them outside to get in the car, and when I got out there with my keys, (there may have been a two minute 'where-the-fuck-are-my-keys' gap in there, I don't remember) Ladybug is crawling on her hands and knees around the car on the driveway, while Cave Troll is jumping up and down screaming 'Go Gary! Go Gary! Go Gary!' Maybe I didn't do it justice, but really, it WAS high hilarity at its finest.
* And to finish up... we stopped at the LYS today, just Ladybug and I, and while I was looking around, Ladybug was quietly playing in the toy area Babetta has set up for short people such as her granddaughters and, well, Ladybug and Cave Troll. Another mother came up to me and said, "Wow--she's so good. She's amazing!" I smiled and said 'Thank you' while privately thinking that it was pretty weird--she was usually one of those annoying children pushing the fake shopping cart up and down the yarn aisles while throwing skeins in. (I love Babetta--she thinks this is cute, but I'm usually plotzing until I can turn that boat around!) It turns out that it wasn't weird--it was perfectly natural. Ladybug's morning dump was waiting for me in her diaper when we got to the car.
* All that, and a panicked e-mail from a friend saying, "Hey--aren't you supposed to be signing books this week?" I actually checked the on-line flyer before I sent back, "No--it's next week. But we can throw my panties in the washer now." I mean really--that's a pretty full Saturday, right?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The day got better--I got a nap--but mostly all I had for the blog tonight was bitching and moaning about crap-dumb shit that doesn't need to be bitched and moaned about. Besides, SUPERNATURAL was on, and Dean is back, and I'm having Jack&Teague-gasms in the wake of getting to watch Jensen again. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Jen-----sen. *ah*
So I'm copping out. I was working on RAMPANT, and enjoying the hell out of it and going slow and making it count, and I thought I'd share. This is Cory, discussing theology--enjoy.
This chilly, clear Saturday night, I was sitting in the Goddess grove with my laptop, working quietly with Marcus, discussing the offspring of the gods. If God created humans, and Goddess and the other (the chaotic one) created the sidhe, and Goddess and God’s creatures created the shape-shifters, we (or rather me, I was the one wondering) what happened if the 'other' paired up with humans. The Goddess declined to do it—she bore God’s son and called it quits. The other, though… well, given the proclivities of the sidhe, he must have been one horny son of a bitch—what happened when he boffed Betty Cheerleader and had himself a rip-snortin’ good time? Considering he is the ‘other’ precisely because he is chaos in god form, I’m reasonably sure he’d leave the rubbers in the desk drawer, but what then? I mean, I’m sure the little bastards didn’t pop out and scream ‘I’m the son of chaos, change my diaper, bitch!’ but other than that, why hadn’t we heard of more little demon spawn, running around setting the nanny’s hair on fire? I'm serious. Enquiring minds want to know.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...
52% Intrigue, 44% Civilization, 57% Hedonism, 92% Spirituality, 74% Romance, 62% Crowded, 35% Busy.
It's the Holy Land for you!
You were very difficult to place. You like civilization and humanity, but you don't really fit into the system, because you don't want to be just another cog in the millwheel. We almost placed you with a very nice Gypsy family, but then we noticed that you'd rather maintain your purity than sully yourself with the sort of mischief and immorality that a Gypsy lifestyle would provoke. Having narrowly missed that fate, we send you instead somewhere a little more... holy. Maybe you'll become a Templar?
Let's drop you into Palestine at about the tenth century. You live in a nation steeped in ancient religious history. Politics, religion and warfare are dangerously blended in this part of the world, but your answers indicate that you're willing to go with that. There's no other place in the world that compares.
Try to steer clear of the occasional dust-ups. Or not.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
This was week six.
Last night, the Cave Troll had a grand scale melt down about whether or not he would sleep in our room. Mate went toe to toe with him on this matter, and since they both woke up in the Cave Troll's bed, I'm calling that one a draw.
This morning, we all felt like shit. Nobody had any sleep. Everyone over the age of 12 was an inchoate soda junkie, zombie walking through dog-shit alley to the next fix, cruelly located in the garage. This evening, I called a halt to the madness. Chicken slept through soccer. Big T did his math through karate. The short people are in bed before nine o'clock and I'm willing to back that up with plenty of bottom swats to make it happen.
There will be peace in this house if I have to dose every jacked up one of us with benedryl.
Except Mate and I.
There was a reason he wanted the Cave Troll out of our room, and it had nothing to do with sleep.
That, too, is essential to life, and I refuse to apologize for needing a little sumpn sumpn now and again. The old adage is true, people--if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Words to live by, right there, no shit nor shinola amen!
On the good side of things? My times at the convention have been narrowed--I'll be signing books at the Land Beyond Horror/Sci-fi convention in Sacramento, at the Scottish Rite Temple, from three to four in the afternoon, next Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th of September.
Can we all say SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just for me? Nobody will be there for me besides my peeps--you all know that--but I'll get to say that I had a signing, and that just rips my panties off and sets them free. (Okay--probably too vivid a visual, but I'm flying a little on five pages of pre-11 pm RAMPANT, so I'll let it stand!)
So, it is week six, and it will get a little worse before it gets better--but we're still standing. Or sitting. Or snoozing. Or something. Canyagimmehallelujia? Amen.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
And about my own errands? Well, there was grocery shopping (of course) and convincing Chicken and Big T to clean the little people's room (Chicken) and clean out the can cupboard (Big T). You may think that Big T had it easy, but since I've been calling the 'can cupboard' the 'spider cupboard for months, I'd say that Chicken was the one who got off lightly. But beyond that, my other errand was apparently getting butt-fuck-lost.
Chicken had a meeting at Freeborn Hall in Davis with her ambassadorship people--now I know where Davis is, and we found our way onto the tremendulous vastness of the UCD campus, and we were reasonably late as it was. But... but following the little computer generated map for the campus itself? Completely defeated me. The little kids were asleep in the back of the car because Mate was, well, waiting for the mud to dry and according to the map, Freeborn hall was two blocks away from the parking structure... and we hadn't the FAINTEST idea where to go after that. None. I'm not too stupid--I can usually navigate, although my sense of direction is iffy at times--but in this case, we couldn't read a blessed thing. And not only would we be trying to navigate, we'd be trying to navigate on foot, for about 1/2 a mile with short people in tow...and we didn't have the SLIGHTEST FUCKING IDEA WHERE TO GO. I wasn't going to give up so easily--really. I drove back the way we'd come, looking for a sign--I mean, the place was called 'Freeborn Hall'--it's not like it was gonna be a portajohn on the back forty, right? And then we saw our exit, and Chicken stuck her hands in the air and squealed 'WOOOOHOOOOOO!' and we came back home and had ice cream, a tuna sandwich and a nap.
After my Dad left, of course, because they were still (you guessed it!) waiting for the mud to dry.
And that's it--I'm wiped. My weekend has been a hazy mirage of soccer games, trips to Lowe's , trips to the gym, a blessed hour at the yarn store, finishing a pair of socks (WOOHOO!), grocery shopping, and a clusterfuck of a drive to Davis, apparently to have ice cream in Citrus Heights. And don't forget--waiting for the mud to dry. Things may have been a little less hazy, but this morning at five-thirty a.m., the Cave Troll crawled into our bed and started touching my face every ten minutes saying, "Playhouse Disney, mom. Playhouse Disney." About the time I was starting to dream about selling him to Gypsies (who looked like little purple lemmings, btw, because, Hey! I really WAS dreaming!) Mate got up and took him into the front room and Ladybug took his place. She was a better sleeping buddy, but by then, the damage was done. It was seven-thirty on a very busy Sunday, and we were up and my brain was mush and my disposition slightly south of a hungry bear with diaper-rash and a squirrel allergy. The Cave-Troll, btw? Is asleep as I write this. Lucky him.
I do have one exciting thing to add, though-- a fan of the Little Goddess books e-mailed me this weekend. She said she was watching an episode of House Hunters this weekend, and apparently one of the sisters in the episode was reading--you guessed it!--VULNERABLE. Huzzah--exposure on a nationally viewed media! I'll just sit back and wait for the agents and publishing companies to besiege me with offers of riches and fame, thank you very much. It will be something to do while I'm waiting for the mud to dry.
(Oh yeah--I made another T-Shirt It's lame, but it will be worn for the signing:-)
Friday, September 12, 2008
And the results of my unofficial survey are...
We're all a translucent combination of dark and bright, raising ourselves to the heavens and sinking with quiet finality to the depth of the mortality pond.
Groovy. I'm not the only fulcrum on the scales--I like that:-)
So--it's the end of the week. This week, I've had two back-2-school nights (Mine and Chickens), one orthodontist appointment (Mate drove) and two late nights for Mate (to make up for missing work on the other things). My brains are crispy fried, with a little bit of cinnamon sugar, thank you, and I'm appalled to say that, with the exception of some editing on Bitter Moon II, I've written a whopping six pages. That's it. six. the end. Finito. Crap.
I'd be totally panicking right now, but I popped out three pages in 1/2 an hour today, and realized a couple of things.
A. The rest of the year won't be this appallingly busy. It never is. There will be balance, and things will settle down.
B. This is not a race. Thanks to my friends who have reminded me (and you would be surprised how many there are. Okay. YOU wouldn't, because YOU are all part of them, but I am because I'm me) that this is not a race and my head will not explode if I miss a deadline. I won't even be fired. Really, I'll just have to write it up in the website with an explanation, and so far, Amy Lane afficianados seem pretty tolerant of things like the fact that I"m writing for quality and story and not quantity and nit-picking punctuation perfection, so I should be good. If I have to hold on to Bitter Moon II for a little longer to make it better, people would rather 'better' than 'now'. If Rampant gets released next fall instead of next spring, my family would rather 'mom' than 'Amy Lane, deadline maker extraordinaire.' It is all copasetic.
C. Bitter Moon II does not suck. I sent out a raw manuscript and got comments. I'm pretty sure that was my intention, so I should be happy with the results. If nothing else, I've had to think about the things I've written and be absolutely positive they've achieved their goal. The process only make me better.
And now that my navel is completely examined, X-rayed, and chem-paneled, lets move on to lighter subjects, shall we?
'Bones' started it's season. It rocks.
The pilot of 'Fringe' was on. Also rocks.
'Burn Notice' is nearing its season finale. Rocks everywhere.
Heroes is coming. ROCKS AHEAD!
SUPERNATURAL IS PREMIERING NEXT THURSDAY. Don't call me, e-mail me, talk to me or touch me from 9:00-10:00 Pacific Standard Time, because I will snarl, rip off your face, and chew on it contentedly as I go back to my bestest best favoritist tv pleasure in the world right now. *sigh*
See what I mean? Sometime, somewhere, the world will be in balance!
Oh yeah--I'm actually knitting too! But right now, I've got to go get Chicken from school, so more about that later:-)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I have recently rediscovered The Eels--and this song called 'Novocain for the Soul' just came up on my i-Pod. LOVE it. You all remember it, right? Life is hard. But so am I. First you're born. And then you die. Novocane...for the soul. It's ultimately a pessimistic song, but the pessimism is just SOOOOOO funky and creative, it perks me right up. So does the song 'I hate everyone.' So does the opening from 'Les Mis.' So does 'Rubber Ducky' from Sesame Street. Yup, that's right. I just put 'I hate everyone' side by side with 'Rubber Ducky'.
Do we see the dichotomy?
We were doing this word in class, and it occurred to me that I tended to live in this word--all because of the sentence that I pulled out of an orifice. "All of my friends are either optimists or pessimists--I'm constantly in the middle of a dichotomy."
After I pulled this sentence out of said orifice, I cleaned it up and sprayed on a shitload of disinfectant, and took a look at it.
Holy crap it's true.
Let's talk e-buddies first.
I've got Roxie, who writes and reads wonderful, fun, stories--yes, some bad, gruesome things happen, but there is ultimately a smile on the reader's face and a belief that good will triumph and triumph MIGHTILY! There is an underlying belief in Roxie's stories that love, good humor and hard work can bring people together if only they will embrace goodness with their whole heart. It is not a 'blithe, carefree' belief, it's a belief born of a full life, with some real rough spots and a true wisdom of what those rough spots can teach us.
And I've got my e-buddy LW, whom I love, but who hates everyone. (Well, mostly everyone. Well, probably especially me, now that I've dragged her kicking and screaming out of lurkerdom--sorry, sweetie, you were just such a perfect example, and I can't resist them.) LW is essentially a good person--she is kind, fierce, dependable, and funny. But she has her own wisdom born of rough spots and it's a much more bloodthirsty sort of wisdom, and I can totally get on board. (She's invited me to her wading pool of doom when we both get sent to hell--I told her I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO there.)
I totally identify with them both. I am both an 'I hate everyone' person and a 'Rubber Ducky' person. I'm a 'back away from my sharp and pointy metal teeth' person and a 'let me knit you socks for the hell of it' person. I'm a 'We need to forgive our enemies' sort of person and I'm a 'As long as we see them die kicking and screaming in a pool of their own blood' person.
I'm sort of a dichotomy.
I pointed this out to Chicken. I said, "I seem to have a lot of friends on extreme sides of the dark/light scale."
She said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "I have friends who are pure forces of good and kindness and happiness in the universe..."
And she said, "Like Ladybug and Big T."
I raised my eyebrows--she was right. "And I have friends who are on the side of good but they are considerably darker and pricklier and..."
"And like me, Mom. Or like the Cave Troll."
And I said nothing. I just opened and closed my mouth, in complete surprise.
So there you go--that is me. I'm the vertical bar in the middle of the T-chart, the triangle point in the middle of the scales, I am Libra, hear me waffle.
And the reason this seemed relevant is that I just got back Roxie's (AWESOME AND THOUGHTFUL) notes. She's a little unhappy about the darkness that seems to consume the end of the book. There is an (ultimately) uplifting message at the end, but, like a (VERY) good editor, she is asking if all of that sturm and drang and pain and darkness is worth it.
And I'm sitting in the middle of the T-chart thinking, is it?
Because I can see it both ways. I can see it 'I COULD re-write this with a happier ending.' and I see it, 'Life his hard. And then you die.' And so I try for the middle.
And that's my debate right now--and I'm going to chew over it for quite a while. For those of you who have seen 'stranger than fiction', you know that suffering may make first rate fiction, but it doesn't necessarily make for a happy or sane fiction WRITER.
So, while I'm mulling it over, how do you folks stand on the T-chart? Pure dark? Pure light? How does it affect your reading? Do you likes you a good cry? Do you NEED that HEA? At one point does unrelenting suffering become 'not a good read'? I'm mulling right now, although I'm pretty sure most of my major editing decisions are made--I'd still like your opinion. It's one of those things that knocks about between the dark side of the T-chart and the light, in the space that defines my stoned-ferret brain.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Lies I've told by omission:
To my department head when he wanted me to nail tardies, dress code, and eating in class:
"Absolutely--I'll do my best to nail tardies and dress code. Yup. Tardies and dress code. I'm right on board with that. Tardies. Absolutely. I'll definitely nail tardies." (Sorry, guys, it's hard to ban eating in class when I'm the one feeding them.)
To my husband when I saw the red-light camera flash, but I was pretty sure I was in the intersection already.
"No, sweetie--there SHOULDN'T be a ticket in the mail. I was just asking. You know. If you could see the camera flash. And not get a ticket. It was a question."
To Chicken, after her one goal at indoor soccer, when I was out in the car changing the Cave Troll's diaper. (Two years ago.)
"I know--you got a goal. That was AWESOME!"
Lies I've forced myself to believe so I can tell others in the name of being a responsible adult:
To my children when they realize they've left their homework elsewhere, stubbed a toe, forgot a meeting, omitted a phone call I wanted desperately to receive or allowed their younger siblings in their rooms:
"No, sweetie--it's not good to swear."
To my husband, on the two year anniversary of our gutted bathroom:
"It's okay. I hardly notice it's gone."
To people who ask me on the forums:
"It's just a troll. Doesn't bother me in the least. No--I don't dream about hunting trolls down with a harpoon and disemboweling them as they sit at their computer chortling--that would be cruel, like gutting a chinchilla for it's fur. Chinchilla are nasty, vicious little vermin? Really? No--it never occurred to me that that makes them of more use to the world than internet trolls."
To my children during dinner last Thursday:
"Potatoes cooked in bacon grease with extra bacon IS a vital source of nutrition and vitamins. Naw--hardly any fat at all. Really--approved by Better Homes & Gardens, I swear!"
Lies I'd tell if only I had the chance:
To my ex-principal, who not only killed the creative writing class but lost the paperwork two years running when I tried to get it reinstated:
"Oh yes--I'm being interviewed by John Stewart on education, politics, and the importance of fantasy fiction. I'LL BE SURE TO MENTION YOUR NAME!"
To my current principal, who likes me and supports me in every way, but whom I'd rather surprise with my success than freak out with a moral dilemma:
"I'll be absent for a kid's doctor's appointment--it's not like I'm getting interviewed by John Stewart or anything. As IF!."
To my department heads whom I both adore and support, and irritate the crap out of but not on purpose because I like and support them:
"Well yeah, I'll mention you if Stewart asks. But don't worry. I'll be sure to BE KIND!!!!"
To John Stewart if only he'd read my books and interview me:
"Gees--I'm so excited to be here. I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS DREAMED ABOUT BEING ON YOUR SHOW!"
Friday, September 5, 2008
Work is good. The kids are starting to get squirrelly, but honestly? With a three day week so soon after the start of school, I'd be squirrelly too! Someone from a sane district asked me what my DO was thinking with that schedule, and I had to answer honestly, "They weren't. They're totally and completely retarded. They have been for fifteen years." I'm sure I've offended someone with that answer, but we've been doing this for years and I've yet to figure out why. This same person also said, "Why don't you have it in October, where there's acres of calendar without a fucking break." (Okay, I think the phrasing was mine. 'Acres' is certainly an unusual word choice. Either way, it's a damned good question.)
Roxie is done with Bitter Moon II--and I'm doing the happy anxiety dance. She says it doesn't suck, but that there ARE too many weepy men, and I know exactly the scenes I'm going to edit to make that no such a problem, but I'm still worried. I seem to have lost complete objectivity for this one and I can't explain why except to say this is really the culmination of a two year project, the first year of which produced the first volume. Again, considering only 100 copies of book # 1 have sold, it's really a labor of love, but I really do think it could be one of the best things I've ever written.
Speaking of which--Jack & Teague is doing REALLY well--I've gotten a lot of feedback on it both on my amylane email and on amazon.com and I'm terribly excited. Most folks seem to feel that it's either a great howdy-do to the characters they loved on Green's Hill or it's a great teaser to make them buy Vulnerable. I am pleased--I really loved the guys, and now others do too!
Oh yeah--I got my books! Now we're ass deep in books that I can only hope I sell. *sigh* It's always something!
The short people are EXHAUSTED. The babysitter told me that Ladybug is just so sad without her older brother during the day, and that she gets a 15 minute nap before I get there after lunch. I feel so bad for her--and she is totally sucking my time. I don't mind too much, but I can't knit or write with her on my lap, and so not much is getting done. (Okay, I lied--I'm 40 pages into Rampant--yippee!!!) I have the feeling that when she gets used to Cave Troll not being there, she'll be not quite so needy--at least I hope so!
Oh yes--and this was fun. Apparently, one of Chicken's classmates is reading 'Vulnerable'. I was really excited about this until Chicken (who has been asking to read the book for months) pointed out, "Yeah, mom. And she's a FRESHMAN. Just like me. A FRESHMAN!." So I made a deal with Chicken--if this peer tells her that the book had 'too much sex' or 'too much swearing', then she has to back off. If this peer tells her that 'it was great, I just ignored the other stuff' then Chicken can read Vulnerable.
Oi! Donna Lee (whom I adore!) was talking about how wonderful it is to have grown-up daughters. I'm looking forward to it--honestly. But getting her to that point may kill me after all!
And that's about all... oh wait! I started a new scarf. Cave Troll wakes up every night to sit on my lap for ten minutes, so I started a scarf for him to 'help' with. He sits on my lap for five minutes and holds my hands. It's very sweet--if I'm lucky, I can have it ready for his 'All about me' week:-)
And gymnastics and soccer tomorrow (Chicken's first game.) Cave Troll played again tonight--he stayed in three quarters. They like to put him in, because it looks like he's doing something, but the truth is, he's like that Labrador Retriever in Dexter's Lab--about all that's going through his little boy brain is 'get the ball...get the ball... LOVE THE BALL!!!' And in between, five minutes of playing with his own shadow. The thing is, he's the second tallest kid on the team. He's also the youngest. He's the only one who is still four, and not only is he still four, he'll be four until November. He really is the baby on the team--but he can chase that ball for HOURS!!!!
Anyway, that's all, folks:-)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
* I can't figure out if it's going to be a good day or a bad day when it starts off with a porch present from an adoring feline. (In Ladybug's words, 'Icky nasty dis-GUST-ing!')
* Big T is the treasurer of the drama department. When I got all mom-geeky on him about this, and asked him why he didn't tell me sooner, he said, "Because, Mom--I don't like drama!" Smart boy!
* Does anybody know of a learning disorder accompanied by weird fingers and toes? I've been checking out the Cave Troll's digits, and they are oddly angled and at gentle odds with human symmetry--sort of like his blessed little soul.
* I have an FO--YAY! I fogot to take a picture--BOOO! It wouldn't matter because I never post pictures anyway--MEH!!! (I finished the baby sweater I massacred...I mean modified. It's your basic cardi-hoodie from the Yarn-Girl's kid's book, but I added a cable and didn't add QUITE enough stitches to have it completely button in the front. Which is okay, because I forgot to add button holes. I settled for a big button and a loop at the neck, which is good, because 1 year olds mostly don't sit still long enough for you to button all the way up anyway. Just wrap-em tight and throw-em in the car.)
* I have decided that after fifteen years in this wretched profession, I have a bladder courtesy of Pavlov. The bell rings: Third period, time to pee. (I figured this out yesterday when the bell rang during the teacher's meeting. Suddenly, it was time to pee. Fucking bell.)
* I brought home this cool book called Gallop that has pictures that really look like they're moving. I discovered that, in an emergency, either one of the short people would throw the other one under a bus for a cute tchotchke and a promise of time on mom's lap. I'm so proud.
* After last night's homework, I can't wait until it's time to do 'The Scarlet Ibis' with Chicken. If either one of us are near our periods, it's going to send Mate screaming from the house for chocolate and French fries and the idea that women are out of their fucking minds.
* Speaking of Chicken, we gave away TWO sweaters that I made for her in the past and she decided she didn't want anymore. In return she got to keep the winter coat grandma lent her when she went to Australia. And a jumpo portion of guilt for not wearing mom's sweaters, that I plan to pull out at every possible moment. (One sweater looked AWESOME on my mom and the other equally awesome on my Crazy Friend Wendy--but now I"m on the needle to make that abandoned Homespun nightmare in crisp-fry-your-eyes red.)
* I went to talk to my Grandma this weekend--it appears that the government has finally released the list of people who served in the OSS during the war, and she was very proud to know her name (and grandpa's) was on that list. She was also proud of a friend (who recently passed away) who wrote a book of humor about the OSS and the military. Apparently the book used to be held up in front of 'newly minted' recruites and used as an object lesson. "Don't ever let this happen again!" I wish I had met the guy--I think we would have gotten along.
*And...I'm out. Time to go home and try to lay the short people down for a nap. Dammit, they need to sleep because I need to sleep--why don't they udnerstand that? You'd think they were egocentric narcissists, and I don't know WHERE they'd get that trait from, do you?
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
(i.e., I read Truman Capote's 'A Christmas Memory' out loud to her, and we were both sobbing too hard at the end of it to be of use to anyone. Love that fucking story...seriously. Love it to pieces, it's one of my favorites. Fucker makes me cry every time--it's a good thing I'm not teaching freshmen anymore!)