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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Oh, Guess What I Can Do?

Now, I know this is going to come as a surprise to some of you, because I don't post about it that much, especially lately, but sometime in the last ten years (get this!) I. Have Learned. To KNIT!!!

Now don't let it shock you or anything--and I know you won't really believe it until you see it, so, to that end (are you sitting down?) I. Have. Pictures. Really--pictures of knitting, on the internet. Be still our beating hearts.

Of course, the pictures are pretty crappy, because the Cave Troll took them... (at least I'd like to pretend he did--it's no secret I have the most craptacular pictures on the internet) but you can see that, besides the self-striping vanilla socks that have been my stand-by stoplight project for almost a year (if you count the better part of a pair that got stolen with my i-Pod), I have indulged in an orgy of casting on...but first, a word from my pushers...I mean enablers...I mean dear, dear internet friends who have sent me yarn from afarn...(No, that doesn't really work, does it...) Anyway...

To the left front of the chair you will see a wound skein of Queasy Iguana and an unwound skein of STR in Monsoon, both from Rae, who, in a green word, ROCKS OUT LOUD. The Queasy Iguana (dyed by our Samurai, of course) is going to be my next CO--Chicken has asked for fingerless mitts, and I aim to please.(It's too bad they're going to end up in her closet or as rat-bedding, but at least I can say I made them, right? Oh yes...we do have another future addition to the rodent graveyard--but since Lullaby is a very sweet rat, who has shown no inclination to pick our noses or bit our toes--behavior other, more deceased rats have exhibited--we are not going to mention her final resting place out loud.)

To the right, on the side of the chair, you will see that our very own Needletart has, in addition to the EXCELLENT picture of Cory's tattoo (which I'm going to frame and hang in the place of Peja Stojakowicz, who no longer plays for Sacramento), and a skein of pima cotton so gorgeously green that I'd swear my main character was named after THAT YARN, and not the color found in nature, also sent me one of her wonderful sock kit bags--with a little emergency knitting kit that is just perfectly includes a measuring tape (on the side of the bag) a crochet hook, little scissors, and a...dollar bill? When I asked her what the dollar bill was for, she told me that it was a measuring device for socks--I assume for when to start the heel, which I thought was completely ingenious! And, of course, if the sock isn't working out, it will buy chocolate, which is also ingenious!!!

Thank you, my dearest of internet friends--I'm like a little kid when I get your packages--I can not tell you enough how much your kindness (and sense of humor) has enriched my life.

Now, you are wondering, what in the Sam Hill is the rest of that shit? (Hey--I have to keep that R rating, right?)

Anyway, I have, in my typical summer Cast-On orgy, begun a number of projects--now I always finish these, but some of you may remember the dress I cast on in August that I cast-off in April... it will take a while...

So we the very very left, a pair of socks from the Nancy Bush book 'Traveling Socks'--they are done in Mountain Colors, Mountain Goat--I highly recommend it. It's like knitting with the wool equivalent of swiss dark chocolate...I actually had to put them away because I just stopped and got hypnotized by the wool. Right above those are, you guessed it, Monkey Socks, done in Claudia's HandPaints--colorway, 'A Walk In The Woods'--and, again, I'm besotted. Then there are the self-striping vanilla socks (which I must finish because I'm beginning to loathe them, just because they've been around for so long) and, in the middle... an alligator sweater for the Cave Troll. I'm designing it myself, and I'm so thrilled with the way the colorway worked out that I'm pretty unliveable when I work on it. (See that purple, dear? It matches the purple in the variegated...doesn't he look like he's swimming in his own little swamp? Doesn't he dear? Why, I'm just damned good, really...) Now you understand what I mean--hubris like that is gonna get me bitch-slapped by the knitting Goddess, but good... but that's okay, because the back of those alligators is a rookie nightmare of weave-ins and floats that are too damned long... let's just call them my little bow to my own humanity and leave it at that.

All that, and a scarf that's 1/2 done (I guess I'm saving the other 1/2 until Christmas) and you see that, yes, I can still retain the word "knitting" on the blog. My favorite LYS enabler will be so proud:-O)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Okay, whoever said "Survival is a series of near misses," should be shot at--and missed, of course. As long as they hear the bullet whoosh by their ears taking a little hair with it, being missed and having to live with the wet pants and the Niagara Falls heart is the entire point.

To totally freak you out, my least painful near-miss of the day was the 45 pages of text I've written in the last week--yes, 45 pages--that I thought my computer just swallowed and shit out as a low-rad radiation burst. When the Yarn Harlot talks about 'black spots in front of her eyes' and 'have me a little lay down on the kitchen floor' that just ain't bullshit and chocolate sauce, that's literally what it feels like... those 45 pages were some of the most painful, the most intense I've ever written (and yes, even that horrible event, the one no one talks about at the end of the first book, that counts!) and the thought of having to live through that again was like... it was like having to go back to my best freind's funeral in the seventh grade, that's what it was like, and I didn't think I could do. I honestly saw all five-hundred pages (so far) of the entire book being put into storage while I went back to the Cory-verse and licked my wounds.

So now you're all asking what in the name of Honor, Compassion, and Joy could top that little almost-disaster?

I'll give you four guesses...odds are, you only need one because he's done it to me before, on this very blog.

The Cave Troll. Holy Goddess, my sweet little Cave Troll went missing in Wal-Mart today, and...

And I did not keep my cool. I'm famous for keeping my cool--no shit. We lost chicken when she was six at the San Francisco Zoo--my friend said, "It was awesome, man--you sent the boys on a search pattern, you sent me on sweep, and you went off on the weird-ass tangent that she was most likely to follow and you found her!" Of course, my panties had a very bad day that day, but my friend didn't need to know that. When we lost Cave Troll at Monterey Bay Aquarium, I kept my cool. I sent Mate one way, the older kids the other way, and we all met at the information booth downstairs, where he was drawing pictures. Another bad day for the panties, another day where mom looks like she's tough as nails.

Today I lost that whole rep for keeping my cool. I can't explain it. Maybe it's because I hate Wal-Mart. Maybe it's because I hate THIS Wal-Mart--it's the Wal-Mart near where I work, and it could be I just have a mucking buckload of crap feelings for the area because I hate my school with the burning passion of a thousand suns. (I expect this feeling to fade by August. Really.) All I really know is, the minute I saw the little badger hauling ass for the electronics department with his usually on-the-ball sister NOWHERE NEAR him, my stomach dropped to my bowels, my bowels turned to water, and my internal panic alarm began to deafen all reason. When I went up to the customer service people to have them help me, the greeter had found him.

He was wandering outside as she snagged him.

When he saw me, he ran up and I picked him up and hugged him fiercely, and he smiled at me--"Mom, I was lost!"

And I burst into tears--not 'Oh thank God!' tears, more like, "Oh, Holy Heaven, I know you almost let the big bad happen to me and I can only sob in relief" tears, and suddenly he wasn't smiling anymore. Cave Troll ain't stupid--he knew that mom was UPSET, all in capital letters, and that running away from his sister was a baaaaaaaaad thing to do. And all I could do was hold him and cry.

And again, I can't explain it. Maybe it was lack of sleep. Maybe it was the familiar surroundings--bad things have happened to me in this community. Sometimes the people are the best in the world, and, as I learned this year, sometimes they are the type of people who will let a toddler wander into traffic while they sneer at the parent who let him get away.

But that wasn't who they were today, and I can only be grateful.

Now excuse me, I seem to have soiled my armor.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Don't Talk To Me...I'm Not Communicating Right Now...

I actually said those words to my son yesterday--I felt bad, but I'd just finished not one but two papers for my on-line classes, and more 'reflection' was not on my to-do list. Hell, it wasn't even on my 'able-to-do' list. And to that end, I'm going to postpone the 'blog retrospect' meme that I got tagged with. It's not that I don't want to answer the questions, it's just that, right now, I don't want to answer the questions. Too much introspection makes Amy a very cranky bitch, thank you very much.

Part of it is that I'm working on a really intense part of Bitter Moon right now...I'm loving this chapter so much I'm tempted to post it, but...but it's really intense. I'm there a lot in my head, and it's sort of a freaky place to be right now--being in my head as I ponder how I've matured over this last year as a writer...let's just say, "Oy!"

I'd rather talk about Ladybug instead.

Ladybug his starting to talk--in fact, she's starting to talk on the telephone. Yesterday, we heard the following side of her conversation:

"HIiii....uhm...ooozah...oozah ezah, Me. Izzah. Byeeeeee...."

We thought that was really cute until we pressed 'off' on the phone and realized she'd pressed 'talk' before she had that conversation. Goddess knows, whoever she was talking to, that was probably swear words in their language.

One of her other words is "kweeta". At first we thought that this was short for 'Chiquita', the dog, and we were proud. Then she started saying it to the cat, and we thought that she had confused Chiquita's name with 'kitty' and we were even more proud. Then she started saying it to her brother, and we realized that it meant 'come here'. And we laughed our asses off.

And for her final trick, Ladybug can announce ownership. "Me. Me. Me." You know what that means? It means "Mine. Mine. Mine, give it to me, or I will emit a piercing wail that will create bleeding in your ears and confusion among small animals. Do I give a shit if it's a chainsaw? I think not." She can throw herself on the bed in the accompanying gesture of "I hate you all and I'm going to run off and sleep with a gangsta-rap-band roadie now just to spite you." We are glad she has all of the appropriate family genes, but since we've seen this pose before with Chicken, we are unimpressed.

I've sent out several packages--one to a guy in Texas who's probably going to rip my book to shreds, one to a guy in Texas who adores my books and is going to market them in July, and one to a friend who should be getting hers today. I love doing this--it makes me feel like I have something to look forward to, when they say, "Thank you, I got it!" It does make your day a little brighter yes?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lookie lookie lookie...

OKay, you have to rotate it 90 degrees, so it's vertical instead of horizontal. I was telling Needletart that the only difference between her imagination and mine were East Coast/West Coast things... we're used to big ol' granite rocks scattered everywhere 'like a giant's marbles' so when I said 'a granite foundation' I imagined a big ol' granite boulder... and West Coast oak trees don't turn colors. (East Coast people, I know that's a mind-blower...) But I don't care--she did a fabulous job and I love it to pieces!!! (LIR, we saved it in a file and worked okay, but I couldn't figure out the rotate thing...)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lake Monkeys...

We went to the lake today, and it was great... (can I end the blog there? I'm tired. No? Details? Oh, oh yeah...writing for pleasure...I know how to do this...)

You'll have to forgive me...I'm taking 12 units online and it really sucks. I'm trying not to resent it too much, because all teachers in California have to do these units, but, seriously, when I do the reading and answer the questions I'm left with an overwhelming feeling of 'Why am I wasting precious computer minutes doing this again?'. Book people, I have to tell you, it's seriously cutting into my writing time--I'm only at pg. 475, and I'd hope to be to pg. 500 by now. (In case that sounds joyless, I actually have plot points in my head instead of page numbers, I just don't want to give too much away...I don't really count pages as in 'I did that!' I count pages as in, 'I'm getting closer to this part I really want to write...') I have to give a shout-out to Samurai for being my interview guinea pig--she's been awesome. (She may not realize it, but she doomed herself to my harassment by her profile--'Culture shock doesn't even come close'--I saw that, and was asked to interview someone about culture and she just popped into my mind.)

Now where was I...oh yeah... the lake. You've all heard the Johnny Cash song, "Folsom Prison Blues", right? Well, right by Folsom Prison is Folsom Lake--I've been going there since I was very little, and anywhere between one time and twelve times a summer, we pack up the whole famn damily and go out to the water. Last year was the exception--Ladybug was really bug-sized last year, and between the flaming red hair, blue eyes, and lizard-belly white skin, we assumed she would burst into flame when the sun touched her. After a month of playing naked in the kiddie pool, we came to the conclusion that a little bit of sun-block and a hat would kind of fix that whole 'combustible baby' problem, and the spf swimshirt helped. She's lying on our bed right now, sucking on her thumb and telling the world that she's not really ready for bed, she just looks half dead with exhaustion. That's what happens when you take maniac babies to the beach and they have a great time. Cave Troll doesn't look quite so tired...but he is being awfully mellow. (He saw Surf's Up for the second time this weekend while I distributed bookmarks--he can say the word 'Spectacular!' followed by "aaauuuugghhhh!" and for those of you who have seen the trailers for the movie, this is freaking hilarious.)

But back to the lake. I didn't realize when I was a kid, but it's where poor people go to party in the summer. The funny thing about this is that it's in the middle of some of the most expensive homes in the state--and that includes L.A.. The beach is decomposed granite, with lots of nickel sized fools gold floating around to step on, and the floor of the man-made lake is...well, it's full of holes and squishy sand and considering the number of kids running around in diapers you can only hope it's sand and driftwood and what have you. June is like the only month to go, because too early and it's colder than a brass monkey's blue balls, and too late and all the water has been let into the American river and you have to brave meat bees and three football fields worth of stinking hot sand in order to swim in turbid water if you're willing to brave the stanky knee-high squish before you get there. But today, it was perfect--the water was a little low, the weather was a little cool, but the cave troll played in the sand and the baby played in her 'boat' and then the baby flopped on us and laughed in the water while the Cave Troll played in the boat, and the big kids played with their brother and sister and then frolicked like fat and sleek river otters in the crowded lake. Dad spent part of his time in the water, and a whole lot of time sitting on the beach going 'ahhh...I'm not in a cubicle'.

We had a good time.

Now, I have some thanks that are overdue, but I do have a reason--I wanted to post the picture with the thank you because the picture ROCKED and the person who made it rocks harder and I'm so grateful... but I'm also hopelessly inept, and my computer time is so limited... so I'm going to give Needletart a shout-out for sketching Cory's tattoo... she did a fabulous job, and I'm thinking about having book plates made up with her exact design. If nothing else, I WILL figure out how to post the darn thing on the blog so you all can see it. Thank you, darling, a thousand times thank was really wonderful to see, and even more wonderful for you to guys, I'm gonna figure out how to show it to you, I promise!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Complicated Instructions...tag!

Okay, Knittech...lessee if I got this straight...

Type my birthmonth into wikipedia, write down two historical events and one holiday that happened therein, and tag five friends...

Did I do it right?

*In 1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar. In the British Empire that year, September 2 was immediately followed by September 14.

*World War II started on September 1, 1939 with Adolf Hitler's invasion of Poland. It ended on September 2, 1945 with Japan's formal surrender.

*Caligula (Roman Emperor 37-41) attempted to rename September Germanicus after his father.

*In Japan, Respect for the Aged Day is a national holiday celebrated on the third Monday of September. Autumnal Equinox Day is also a national holiday.

And... I tag...

Well, anyone who wants to do it, actually, but I'll list some names to see what we get...

Needletart (who always likes memes)
Samurai (because she likes history)
Netter (cause she got to go to the aquarium today)
Bells (because she's in Australia and might get something different just because...)
Bunny Queen (because I want her to keep visiting)
And Roxie but only if she wants to--I know she's very busy and she's not really into the whole 'tag, you're it' thing...

Okay--I did that without knittech's helpful links, but I keep freaking my husband's computer out by typing too fast--I'm trying to let the nanogremlins sleep for a little while--btw, my husband runs WOW on this thing every night--a mega-gagilion bites of technofat in that program, and does he freeze up this behemoth? noooo...but I TYPE to fast and it turns on me like a rabid hamster. There is no justice.

Now I get to do hurt neurotic little kid for the home crowd--you've all seen this before, you're welcome to turn away.

I got my 2nd bad review on amazon...I'm up to 28 now, (27 if you don't count the one I wrote myself when I was sure nobody else would ever read the book) and so far that's People who like me: 25 People who hate me: 2 and I should suck it up and be happy, because those ain't bad odds, considering how much I manage to piss people off in my normal life. But I'm gonna sulk a little, because, well, it's what I do, and indulge in my new bookmarks--they're gorgeous (to me) and anyone who wants two (there are two different designes) can send me a SASE and I'll send back. (Or, heck, just send me your address, because, yes, I am that vain...) After I send a whack of them to Texas (where they are planning a display in my honor next month, lest I get too invested in my sulking) I'm going to put them in the Borders and Barnes and Nobles around here--I forgot my website or to put 'available on' on them, but that might actually help me out, because the reason I'm getting no love from my publishing company (so they say) is that I have no 'channel sales'--that's sales from book stores and distributors, as opposed to internet sales. So, I figure, I put these things in book stores and see what happens. (Like, you know, rabidly angry grammar nazis storming the store to get their money back because of the typos and sentence punctuation...sorry...sorry...I'm not sulking anymore, I remember now...) So, the bad review is out of my system, (or it will be if I get a few more good ones to sort of push it down on the page) and the good news rocks!

I'll live. I always do!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Good Morning to You Too...

"No, I don't know where Spiderman is...where did you put him last? Sweetie put it, down, no, give, don't lay on the floor and, I told you, I don't know where Spiderman is...well, where did you put him? Is he where you found Chicken Joe? HEY, IS SOMEBODY BURNING ENLISH MUFFINS OUT THERE? No, I don't know why she's making that noise. DON'T TOUCH THE COMPUTER, DAMMIT, I HAVEN'T SAVED!!! No, you can't have the toothpaste either...put it it to, no, Acting. Who knew it ran in the family? No--don't worry, she's fine. She's just making that noise. CAN SOMEBODY GET HER A DIAPER? No, I don't know where Spiderman is. Go get a diaper. What do you mean no? You can't run around naked all day. It's seventy degrees out--no, no pool yet. And I'm not out there. Well, I'm not out there because you people won't let me finish. No, no, Ladybug, get up off the that a hairball stuck to your diaper? HAS ANYONE LET OUT THE DOG! Give her back her kitty! Yes, that's nice...kitty is toddle, no, go on out the door...oh, good. You found a diaper. That's great. Now put it on. Yes, darling, that's why they're called pull-ups., no, don't sit on my lap...not, get DOWN... and you, get off the floor...AND PUT THAT DOWN.


And how was your morning?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In case no book people are out there...

you can look at this instead...

Your Power Element is Water

Your power colors: blue and aqua

Your energy: deep

Your season: winter

Like the ocean, you evoke deep feelings and passion.
You have an emotional, sensitive, and spiritual soul.
A bit mysterious, you tend to be quiet when you are working out a problem.
You need your alone time, so that you can think and dream.

Attn: Book People, Here's Your Chance

Unfortunately, it's not going to last long...I've got to put the order in by tomorrow. idea for bookmarks (I get two designs) is this--the cover picture of VULNERABLE for one bookmark, and the cover of BOUND for the other design, each picture dissolving from the top of the book mark to a complementary color on the bottom (black, of course, for VULNERABLE, and copper green for BOUND). Instead of having the titles of the books on the picture itself, I would have instead, a quote--one different quote for each book mark. I was going to go w/the cover of VULNERABLE for the book plates--and another quote.

So that's three quotes I need from my own books. I have ideas (did you doubt it?) but I was wondering if anyone out there had other, better ideas...

So, if you read this quickly, and have an opinion, let me know--because the Goddess alone knows I might bollux this up if left to my own devices...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Things I'd show you if I could hook the camera up to this computer:

1. More naked babies in the pool. YOu can't get enough of that.

2. The partially completed back of the sweater I cast on for the Cave Troll. I'm so proud of this unlikely set of colors that I can't live with myself.

3. The purple tulips that Mate got me for our anniversary...18 years and counting...

4. The i-Pod that I didn't really surprise him with even though the way I could afford it w/the computer repairs really was sort of a surprise. (It is a long story, and so convoluted that words actually fail me. Let's just say it involves a large loan to a horse farm and Crazy Friend Wendy acting as the father's day/anniversary fairy, along with the bad placement of a gift bag waiting to be filled. See... if you guys can put all that together you're better at this than I am.)

5. The gift certificate to the yarn store that I can't find right now and it's killing me.

6. A tape of Ladybug 'talking'--too cute. Seriously...I want to tape it and play it back when I'm old.

7. My lap-top, languishing without a keyboard. (*sob*)

8. Big T, because he's been a great kid:-)

9. My husband, cracking up over the Yarn Harlot's post last week, because it proves that she's as bad at math as I am, and he's wondering now if it's a knitting thing. (Ironic, considering how much most of us need to use math to knit...)

10. A couple of house-monkeys running around in diapers because they keep running out to the pool and back in (with supervision, of course--'kids outside!' is our new summer warcry!), and we just get plain tired of putting real clothes on them.

11. My proud face as I look at my three new reviews--one on each book. You might also see how large my head has's not like my family can stand in front of the tv as children anyway, it's getting out of hand. (Props go out to Roxie for two of the new reviews...thank you darling, you totally rock!)

Also, Sora, Donna Lee--so glad to hear from you both! Sora, you'll enjoy this: I talked to the guy in Texas who's going to feature me for next month's book club--he's going to get me (hyuk, get this!) an AUTOGRAPHED COPY of Sunny's book...and he's going to ask her if she got her idea from me... I'm just a mess of trippy giggles about this whole thing, really I am...


Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Gift of a Day

Okay, so it's been two-thousand and six degrees outside all week. Except today. Today it was...

Gorgeous, beautiful, 90 degrees maybe...

And I'm thinking, the Goddess loves me. She really really loves me. Why, you ask?

Because today was recital day. Chicken takes dance lessons and Cave Troll takes gymnastics from the same lady--JoAnna--whose Kids'R'It franchise pretty much corners the market in low income, see your kid in a tu-tu and love it opportunities here in Sacramento. Seriously, she charges PEANUTS per month, really loves kids, and her kids love her so much that many of her graduates hang out and teach their way through school. Kewyn gets twisted like a pretzel around the gym mat by the same two guys I watched grow through the last 10 years, broken arms, acne, long hair and all. And every year she has a GI-FREAKIN-NORMOUS recital in the Grant theatre. For those of you who don't know the area, Grant High School is not in a great area--and the theatre is so damned old you feel a little leery sitting underneath the balcony. The air conditioning was installed five years ago to EVERYBODY'S intense relief, because recital day is always perilously near or on my wedding anniversary--June 17th--and the odds of it being eleventythirteen that day are considerable.

It was eleventythirteen yesterday. It will be eleventyten tomorrow.

Today, the day we were packed like salmon in that humid, sticky theatre with the overwhelmed air-conditioning, swapping Ladybug's limp, exhausted, confused little person between us as she broke a nap every time we broke into applause, today of all uncomfortable, zany, I have five-thousand things to do including dropping T off at a family reunion and getting flowers and recital gifts and hauling Ladybug where she didn't want to go and standing in line in the un-airconditioned allway, today of all was 90 degrees outside, and liveable inside, and the Goddess does love me, sometimes, she really really does.

Tomorrow I will stress about my computer (which may not be as dire as first suspected), and the fact that I've got a class I haven't even OPENED and the fact that I need to see a printer about bookmarks and the fact that I've been plagiarized when I'm not even famous (not that this is a bad fact, I"m sort of tripping out on it!) and on a thousand of other things, because we all know that's what I do.

Today was gorgeous. Chicken actually forgot she hated the world for putting her on that goddamned stage and she DANCED...(no smile, but there was music in her movements and I was PROUD). The Cave Troll provided serious entertainment because he was made first in line because when he's in the middle he tends to skivv off until he's last. Brother, was he confused to be first--you had to see him...the spotters change position for the first person in line--they go from the position for, say, spotting a front roll to the position for spotting a head stand, and with the little ones, they're all kneeling or sitting on the floor. Cave Troll walked up to his spotter as the guy was changing position, and having know idea what he was supposed to do, he lay on his back with his hands by his ears (back roll) and his knees in the air (front roll) and looked at the kid for help until the poor guy picked him up, moved him like an action figure, and stood him on his head with his feet waving around the guys ears. I was in hysterics, and Mate wasn't far behind me.

And Ladybug, despite the discomfort, didn't cry once.

So let's hear it for summer days that aren't eleventythirteen, and for kids who work with their hearts in their feet and music in their muscles, and for babies who sleep with their eyes open because the stage is the best tv ever, and for teenagers who go to family reunions so that all of your relatives can tell you what wonderful children you have.

Sometimes, the Goddess really does smile.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Not cute...not cute... (and SQUEEE!)

Okay, you know how cute it was that Arwyn wanted to play with my computer?

She broke it. I didn't think she could, since I started closing it when I left it on the table--and we started parking it way back where it couldn't get pulled off.

Apparently laptops are very sensitive to, well, squishing. And she squished my laptop until it died.

I'm in's like hearing about the three year old that killed a baby kitten by 'loving' it too much.

My beloved laptop...oh, baby, did you ever know how much I loved you? (Yes. I think I told it many times...we had an intimate, private relationship, that laptop and I...)

Anyway, if you don't hear from me that often for a week or two it's because fighting for the family computer is like chickens fighting for feed...and I may be the biggest chicken but that just puts more space between me and the damned corn, and when I do get my time at the wheel, I need it to take those damned classes. (Boring. Have I mentioned they're FREAKING BORING!!!).

*sigh* And the little laptop squishing terror shows about as much remorse as a cat who has accidentally smushed a seems to her as though, if we loved a piece of electronics that much, we would have hidden it under the bed or in the closet or somewhere she would never know it existed. The idea that we might want to every USE it has never occurred to her--I mean, wouldn't that just get in the way of our cuddling time? (It turns out that Ladybug is very cuddly...I like my babies that way...and it certainly works in talking mommy out of being mad about a stupid, useless laptop.)

And about the SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A very nice man named David Reamer e-mailed me from just outside of Austin, TX. It seems that his readers really like me, and he was wondering if there were any way I could help promote myself to his book club next month. I mean, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. At this rate, there will be no living with me... Anyway, he asked for (of all things) book plates!!! So, I was thinking that I might actually have either book plates or book markers printed up, and I'd send them to all of you who've already had regular book plates sent and this time I'd go first class for Louiz, since mystery post has apparently lost her package and someone in the Netherlands is enjoying her knitting magazines, book plates and...(yes, there was something else in her box but it was supposed to be a surprise, dammit!) and I could put them in with Roxie's WONDERFUL manuscript along with a few (nope, not gonna tell...) and then some to Needletart (but she doesn't knit a lot of socks...ooops!) and you all will have to excuse me, I have children to tend and a printer to find...

And, alas, my husband has a laptop to replace. At the expense of his father's day present, dammit, and that maybe that's the one thing that can dampen my high...

Mate deserves his own i-Pod, dammit. *sigh* I may have to put the printer on hold...

(Oh...btw--there was some speculation among Mr. Reamer's readers that Sunny, author of Mona Lisa Awakening, killed off one of her male leads by following my example...I haven't read her yet--she's on my to-do list, but is there anyone out there who has? I'm curious, that's all...I mean, it would be sort of a crappy trend to start, you think?)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Proof that Yarn is All Things Good...

Today promised to be a bitch of a day.

Errand 1: Get Bryar her dance clothes. They don't make big girls dance clothes on any corner of our red-neck of the woods, so we had our choice of a store in Rocklin (about 20 minutes away) or a store in Sac (about 30 minutes away) and I decided we would try Rocklin first.
Errand 2: Get another baby pool. The dog ruined the last one. Since we were going to be right next to K-Mart anyway, I figured we'd go to K-Mart.
Errand 3: Get the Cave TRoll's hair cut. He was starting to look too much like his nickname for comfort. Since we were going to be in Rocklin, I know of a 'Kids Hair Cut Place' (cars for chairs, videos, lollipops, toys to play with while waiting) in Rocklin. I know about this place because it was RIGHT ACROSS from my 2nd favorite yarn store. (It's my second favorite because, even though it has more floor space, the nice, late middle aged ladies in there are often appalled by the small, lollipop wielding kind-hurricanes that I drag in my wake. They would rather I were also in late middle aged, and could leave them at home.)

I was set--I had an agenda, and in spite of the fact that it was 85 degrees at 9:30 in the morning when we left, I was sure I could accomplish it.

Then, disaster strikes. The dance store does not have ANYTHING we need. Oh crap. My whole agenda is set in ROCKLIN, and the idea of clawing through traffic and schlepping an increasingly cranky Ladybug out into what was soon nto be 102 degree heat was soooooooooo not attractive. Well, I figure, I'm here, I might as well get done what I could get done, so to K-Mart we went. We bought three baby pools--count 'em, three... screw the effen dog, she can swim if she wants too, we've got another effin pool in the wings. We also bought toys to sustain the kinder-canes through that miserable journey down to Sac.

Chicken needs a mention here--I was frazzled and stressing and the little ones were making me nuts, and as we were leaving K-Mart, she said, "That was a happy place--there were lots of nice little old ladies there." She's not a bad kid, in spite of the blue hair. (I bought her the dye, I should know:-)

Anyway, next stop, Cave Troll's new do...he's so good during this...he just sat and rocked in the car and watched his video--he didn't say a word the entire time. It freaked the hair-stylist out a little, if you must know the truth. And then we turn to go. Except...Filati's is RIGHT THERE and I DON'T WANNA GO TO SAC and it's RIGHT THERE, and I tell Chicken, hey--we're going to do a drive-by yarn-buy, and suddenly what do I see?

Capezio's Dance Supply Store, that's what I see.

No shit. It's four doors down from Filati's, and buddy, I'm so there. They had it--they had everything we needed, ($107.00, thank you very much...) and I NEVER WOULD HAVE SEEN IT if it hadn't been for that physical need to go fondle yarn.

Which I did--it took me two and a half minutes to pick out a skein of Colinnette Jitterbug, and the elegant, late-middle aged woman behind the counter took a look at me with Ladybug under my arm (she was struggling!) and the Cave Troll who was headed for the buttons and suggested I might want to try a drive-thru yarn shop next time.

I didn't mind. All good things come from yarn--I'll never doubt again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm free...

You know that 'Who' song? I'm free (nenner nenner nent, nenner nenner nenner nent) IIIIIIII'''mmmmm free (nenner nenner nent, nenner nenner nenner nent) and I'm waiting...for follow me? Yup... that was me, singing at the top of my lungs as I emerged from our front office today...yeah, you heard that right...TODAY, Tuesday, ostensibly the third day of my freedom...

The story is actually pretty damned, nobody was coming to fix my computer, why do you ask? Oh...well, the whole school is going down for two need to take your stuff (!!!) to the District Office to enter your grades. I do. I feel like I'm being choked to death by small fingered fish, but I do. And then I get there, and two weeks of my Junior class data is lost (!!!) and just when we figure that out, the server goes down.

So I had to come back today. I was so stressed last night, I came home, did a unit of my school work (which ask the most upbeat, brainwashed professional what they think of their CLAD classes and the most positive response you'll ever get is, "Well, at least I got mine over with.") knit, walked, knit some more and then, in a final desperate move to get rid of my overriding need to choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately deserved it, I broke out my favorite stash and sat around and FONDLED it for an hour. It was private time, but very effective as stress reducer, so I thought I'd share.

And today, while Chicken was (thankfully) away getting some chips from the vending machine--she was there to go book shopping afterwards--some young, fresh faced kid took a look at the server to see why my 3rd period was doing that 'EX then lose my data' thing and when he came back he said, "Do you know that you're set to save data every 20 days instead of every 10, like everybody's because you're missing two crucial's only you know why your system is like this?" I burst into tears, and he (looking supremely uncomfortable) says, "Have you been having problems all year?"

To which I replied, "Do you have any idea what it feels like to be gangraped by your technology for a year?"

"No ma'am, I really don't..."

I told my administration about that little conversation, and they looked embarrassed to know me. That's okay, because I'm embarrassed to work there. I figure we'r even.

So, Chicken and I went book shopping--extremely satisfying...until Mate spots the bill. Then it's duck and cover time... but he won't be too know it's going to be dire when I'm forced to fondle my stash...

But, hey, on to REALLY COOL STUFF!!!

I have no pictures but I will... Rae sent me some yarn...some ribbon yarn and some suede yarn (that the students will fall all over themselves for... I love stuff that I can make for my students that makes them think I'm a rock star...) and some (ooohhhh joy oh joy...) Socks That Rock (which I have NEVER tried)in the colorway 'Monsoon' (just the name makes me feel at home!!) and some Samurai's Fibery Goodness in the colorway, 'Queasy Iguana'. The 'Monsoon' may just hang out and get fondled during stress times, but the Queasy Iguana is probably going to be a pair of fingerless mitts for Chicken. She's sort of already put her "igh-no-feh" on it. (Middle school speak for 'I'm too cool to like it but I still like it'.)

So that came yesterday, just when I was about to slit my wrists with a pair of plastic play-dough scissors out of sheer frustration-- couldn't have come at a better time...I put it in the stash to fondle and made the kids clean off the table so I could wind it immediately...all the better to pounce on the little yarn cakes and devour!!!

And as for my second kind of cool thing? Okay, I was wandering the internet last night, (waiting for Mate to stop invading some poor Alliance outpost and come to bed) when I stumbled upon my book name in an unusual place. (Yes. I am an egomaniacal narcissist--why do you ask?) Some ingenious soul kept track of the top ten selling fiction books at the self-published labels--and I was #6!

I was totally surprised, because, well, i-Universe hasn't given me any of those nifty little labels they have that would make it easier to publish--best selling, editors choice, readers choice--that sort of things...the idea that I'm in the top ten for fiction seemed... well, where did this guy get his information? Was it accurate? How did he know?

So I asked i-Universe if it's true. They haven't gotten back to me.

That's okay--it's probably a sweet fiction, and I have no idea how my book got on the list, but still, that's okay.

Because until i-Universe gets back to me, I'll just pretend that it's true.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Recipe for Chocolate Tuna Fish

If you count the old site, which I do, this is my 200th post... and we're getting dangerously close to my blogoversary too...I'm okay with that...

Anyway, Bells did a silly thing--she asked me for the pattern to Chocolate Tunafish and then said, "No's okay...but I promise to make them, honest..." Isn't that cute? I mean, do you really tell an egomaniacal narcissist "Hey--that's great--can I have more?" and expect that to just be ignored? With the way ...I respond to flattery, I think not.

However, as you've seen, my pattern writing skills, uhm, reek. I'm going to do my damnedest--I'll try to make it look just like those patterns you see in the books, only, well, not confusing...but you've all got a pretty good idea what my brain looks like, and you know it's not pretty--if anyone looks at this pattern and goes, "'s not, you know the word, 'sane'?" I fully expect you to tell me, okay? (ANd then blame the little person in the top photograph... she's an easy patsy...)

The Pattern For Chocolate Tunafish

Materials--50 gr. fingering weight yarn. (The originals were done in Regia Bamboo Color, but since the yarn color was the reason I called them 'Chocolate Tunafish' in the first place, I'm thinking you guys with better taste will make better picks.)
4 7 inch dpns, size 1
4 4 or 5 inch dpns, size 1
scissors, yarn needle, etc.

Gauge 7 st. per inch, stockinette (this is approximate--I just know what I knit with fingering wt. on size 1s)

Twin Leaf Panel + p2 relief stitches

Rows 1,3,5,7 p2, k10, p2, k10, p2
Row 2--p2, k6, ssk, return the resulting stitch to the left-hand needle and with point of right-hand needle pass the

nextstitch over it and off needle; then sl the stitch back to the right-hand needle (this is "ssk and pass"); yo,k1,yo,p2,yo,k1,yo, sl1--k2tog--psso, k6, p2.
Row 4--p2,k4, ssk and pass, k1, (yo,k1) twice, p2, k1, (yo, k1) twice, sl 1--k2tog--psso, k4, p2.
Row 6--p2, k2, ssk and pass, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p2, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, sl 1--k2 tog--psso, k2, p2.
Row 8--p2, SSk and pass, k 3, yo, k1, yo, k3, p2, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, sl 1--k2tog--psso, p2

Single Eyelet Rib

Multiple of 5 stitches (It's usually 5+2, but I put the + 2 on the Leaf Panel with another + 2)

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7--k3,*p2, k3; rep from *.
Row 2--k3, *p2, k3; rep from*.
Row 4--*k2 tog, yo, k1, p2; rep from *, end with k2 tog, yo, k1,.
Row 6--Repeat Row 2
Row 8-- *k1, yo, ssk, p2; rep from *, end with k1, yo, ssk, p2.

Okay...let's see if I can explain this without sounding like dark matter. The usual Eyelet rib pattern is a p2, k3 (and variations thereof) affair. But I put a p2 on either side of the leaf pattern, so the Eyelet Rib part starts and ends with k3 and the variations. If I've totally confused you, let's see if I can fix that w/the rest of the instructions.

CO 64 st on the 7" dpns. Arrange 26 stitches on the first needle, 18 on the second and 20 on the third. (You don't want to know how many times I had to do that in my head.)

Work 6 rows garter stitch (for 3 garter ridges)
Then, on needle 1, work Row 1 of the twin leaf panel.
On Needles 2 & 3 work Row 1 of the Eylet Rib
Continue working both patterns in the round until the cuff is as long as you like--my version of Chocolate Tunafish had 4 inch cuffs, but that was on request of the person I was making them for. Of course, remember, more cuff, more yarn, and I used ALL of the 50 gr. for the pair.

When the cuff is complete, it's time to work the palm and thumb gussett, so here we go.

Left Mitt--Thumb gussett

Work Needle 1 in Twin Leaf Panel pattern, then work Needles 2 and 3 in stockinette for one round.
Next Round--Work Needle 1 in Twin Leaf Pattern, k 4 stitches of needle 2, place a marker, M1, place a marker, knit rest of needles 2 and 3.
Continue to work Twin Leaf Pattern on needle 1, and stockingette on needles 2 and 3, while at the SAME TIME Making 1 right after the first marker and right before the second marker every THREE rows. Do this until you have 23 stitches between the markers.

When you have 23 stitches between markers, on the next round, after the Twin Leaf Panel, knit first four stitches of needle 2 onto needle 1 (just to get them out of the way) and then knit all of the gusset stitches onto the shorter dpns, co 2 stitches to needle 3, join, and knit the thumb to desired length, then work another six rows in garter stitch and bind off.

Join yarn on 7 inch dpns after the thumb, and continue working in pattern until desired length. (Leave a long tail when you join so you can stitch up the gap left by working the thumb.)
Finish by working Row 8 of the Twin Leaf Pattern, and then working six rows of garter stitch (3 garter ridges).

Bind off!

For the Right Mitt--Finish working the Twin Leaf Panel on Needle 1, then knit 34 stitches from needles 2 and 3, place marker, M1, place marker, k 4.

Work the rest as for Left Mitt.

Okay--remember--all flaws in this pattern are Ladybugs. Really. Truly. For real.

Such and such...

I'm gonna throw some photos on this post for the halibut, and then, I'm just gonna natter away for the same reason...

Sort of a nothing weekend, actually--take kids here, go do that, go buy this, internet yarn buy, yarn shop yarn buy... and then, wonder of wonders, actual KNITTING in a filthy house with a thousand other things to do and two feet of papers waiting for me at work...

And ask me if I give a rite ship because ah, Goddess, this yarn... I've said it before, but sock knitters, I'm telling you, for instant gratification, Mountain Colors, Bearfoot--it's sport weight and it's so fast and lovely and...(everyone look away, I'm having a fibergasm, be back with you in a sex I mean sec...)

Anyway, I'm cruising along on BITTERMOON--in fact, I've actually gotten to page 462--sadly, no end in sight.

It's hard--the more I know these people, the more I like them and want to write about them, and then comes the agonaizing... (many of you have seen this before--you can skip this part if you'd rather...) oh, gods, what if it's boring? Does it suck? Is there enough action? Is there enough (too much, definitely too much) sex? I can't get rid of the sex, my kids are just going to have to woman up and deal but how do I market that? Am I getting preachy? Is this family as interesting as I think it is? Oh, gees...did I make my point? More description... I've said it before (on the Harlot's site, actually!) but writing is like ripping your brain out your ear, turning it inside out, beating it with a meat tenderizer and grilling it to perfection before letting people you (often) don't know cut it into little tiny pieces and digest. (Hey... what's for dinner...oh, damn... it's mom's brains again... but today they look like Taquitos!) In short, painful and embarrassing and something it's really hard to talk intelligently about--sort of like hemorrhoids, really. Okay. Writing is like brain hemorrhoids--I think that's about as low an analogy as you can get.

Well, really, except for my adorable children and a picture of chocolate tunafish (my husband insisted I put them on my ginormous stomach, btw--he said that made the best picture--forgive me, I believed him, but he may have just been trying to get me to humiliate myself on the internet...) I'm sure you'll all agree that this blog entry has been a piece of wierdness...

Hope you enjoyed!

Friday, June 8, 2007


I cannot tell you all how frustrated I am to be here, at school, blogging when I could be at home, with my children doing the exact same thing.

The students are gone, graduation is over--I got to take tickets at the gate, which was good on the one hand because I got to A. see kids I hadn't seen in years as they came for their siblings/cousins etc. and B. leave early enough to get Chicken from her recital rehearsal. On the other hand, I didn't get a chance to see MY students, the kids from my 6th period class that I REALLY ADORED, (the other ones would just avoid me...) after they got their diplomas. That's really an awesome time to see kids--there is a lot of hugging going around when they know they've made it.

So, graduation is over, but I am here. Why? (Somebody guess...I know you'll get it...)

Yes, you guessed it boy and girls! My fucking grading program decided to have one more ginormous laugh at my expense, and I haven't been able to enter any of my final projects or notebooks or finals or extra credit for an entire fucking week. My room is about clean--my desk is all that remains, but I can't really clean it right now because it has two feet of papers on it and I'm at a loss. What in the fuck do I have to do to get the hell out of this cesspool until August 13th? Anyone? God? Goddess? Oueant, Dueant, Triane? Hell, Zeus, Hera, Athena, Thor, Freya, Geoff god of Biscuits, ANYONE know how I can leave the sand trap that is my job for my allotted mental health hiatus? Because I am at a complete loss--I've told all of my administrators, I've put in fix-it tickets, I've wept copiously...none of it seems to be working. (Except the weeping--I felt much better then...) And I'm wondering if I'm in some sort of surreal copy of reality where nothing I've done all semester has no actual value... oh, sophomores all tanked their finals, no, no, that's for real...

On the good news front... (must.maintain.optimism...) I got another plaque! This one says "Most honorable AP teacher, class of 2007." I cried with this one. A lot. And, to be fair to the day, it has not been entirely wasted at my desk, writing (yeah, I know, a day writing is NOT a day wasted--but it sucks when it's here and not home). No--two of my most excellent boys came by and we went out to lunch with two other teachers and had a great conversation about everything...some of our best moments are unscripted, yes? I enjoyed myself immensely.

Then I came back to an unfixed computer and the knowledge that my children were still taking their naps in day care and I wanted to weep...this is so unfair. Of all things, I NEED, almost physically REQUIRE the act of getting the hell out of dodge... and it's not happening and I want to cry.

(Breathe, breathe, breathe...)

Okay... I just thought of a reason I don't want to be home.

The Cave Troll has developed this very unhealthy enabling/co-dependent relationship with the think I'm kidding? This morning, she wandered around the house, looking for stuff to destroy (she's such a little goddess of destruction, I'm not kidding!) and the Cave Troll, (get this!) followed her around with an empty ice chest so she could reach stuff she ordinarily couldn't get.

Can you believe that funky bullshit? It's not enough that we had to chase HIM around the house when he was doing this, now we have to chase the BOTH of them while he helps her out? Great gobs of gooseshit, people, Mate and I are in soooooooooooooo much trouble... sitting in my classroom writing doesn't look so bad now, does it?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bad Spellers of the World, UNTIE!

Yeah--I know, it's an oldie/but/goldie-- but it's still funny.

And now it's on a wooden plaque that I put up by my clock--green, with a gold border, very nice, but that's not the best part.

The best part is the signatures on the back from four of the best kids I may ever have taught (of course, at the end of the year, they're ALL the best kids I may ever have taught, but since I'm very sincere every time, I guess that's okay.)

They said wonderful things. They said my class was important. They said they liked my books (the one that read them--it's not, after all (!) a class requirement.) They said I taught them essential skills--and not just knitting (yes, two of them said that specifically--they were my field trip kids to the yarn store:-).

In short, they said "Thank You."

Do you know, no one ever thanked me for building the damned AP program in the first place? I've been running a student recognition program for six years, through 3 administrators, and only one of them has ever said 'Thank You'. (No, not the current one...ssshhhhhhooooccckkkkkkkkkkkerrrrrr.)

But I have signed pictures and cards--and now a plaque--from students EVERY YEAR that say thank you. How is it that middle-management only learns to be gracious to the people it thinks will do something for THEM? I hope these students never lose this quality, this graciousness, because it has made one battle-scarred veteran look forward, every year, to another killing ground.

Bless them, it makes it worth it, every damned year--even this one.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Cave Troll Still Rules... he's been even more obsessed with ruling the world lately, but the Cave Troll proved that we all dance to his tune in spades this morning.

He's been fastening his own car seat--it takes a while, and actually helping him earns you nothing but bloody eardrums and heightened blood pressure, so I got in the front of the car and knit a few rounds on a sock while I was waiting. I saw that he was done, put the knitting down and started to back out of the driveway. I was stopped by him shrieking at me.

"What did I do now?" I asked, fairly exasperated because, let's face it, Mr. I-control-the-universe is NOT a picnic to live with.

"Yarn...yarn mom...pick up yarn...." In the rear view mirror I could see him doing the time honored "I'm pretending to do something mysterious with pointed sticks" gesture, and so I picked up my sock from the seat next to me, and suddenly the noise stopped.

"Yarn...need yarn mom," he said with serenity, and so I was allowed to drive away, holding my sock at the ready for the next stoplight, when I usually knit.

Little Man knows how to run a Universe, that's all I can say.

Monday, June 4, 2007

On Chocolate Tunafish and Toxic Lemonade...

Hmmm... various things to talk about today... and about five minutes before I face plant into the laptop and fall asleep... (living a life of QWERTY, definitely...) so I guess I'm just going to have to random my way through it...

Okay...about the title...

I finished the TA's fingerless mitts...and if the camera hadn't run out of batteries, I could retrieve pictures for you, and prove, once again, that I occassionally knit. (I called them, if you recall, Chocolate Tunafish.)

I finished the socks for the girl who doesn't like me as well--she was actually more appreciative than I'd anticipated--said thank you, put them on her feet...and proceded to wear them with her flip-flops, hence warping my carefully grafted toe forever and ever amen. They are called Toxic Lemonade, A. because their colors are bright yellow, pink, and orange (very -ade type colors) and B. because they are for one of my toxic 6th period kids...except (and here's the real news) I no longer am very angry at these kids.

Oh, yes, they are everything I said they were yesterday-- but the thing is, when compared to the kids who, as the year winds down, are not only NOT toxic, but who have actually thanked me or touched me in some sweet-hearted, inspired sort of way, they're really such a small consideration. All semester, they've been looming in my mind as this giant boulder in my path to educating the rest of the students. Apparently, they were more of a really nuisancy sort of rock--everyone tripped over them, everyone stubbed a toe or something, but after that, we really don't remember them much.

Of course, I'll remember them because I've learned some valuable lessons from them--but the rest of the students? They have all told me, in several ways, that my pathway to education was interesting, with some fabulous scenery, and that damned rock will be crushed by a lorry eventually. (Love that word, Louiz!!!)

Oh yes--and on the health front? Well...

Nothing, really. I managed to beg, wheedle, and cajole my test results out of someone, since my doc apparently went on vacation, and the results were...nothing. So, the fever went away, and my doc is okay with me I guess, and the bleeding went away, and the internist told me, "Well, I guess you COULD have another colonoscopy if you want one, but do you really want one?" I told him that, in case he was wondering, the answer to that question is always an unequivocal NO!, which means apparently, no snaking the drain for me--huzzah!!! So I guess I'm fine, and apart from now having to build up my wind and get to the strength I was at before, it was like I was never sick. Have I mentioned I'm starting to distrust doctors as much as I distrust every other authority I deal with? Go figure...

Oh yes--some more folks have visited--Thanks guys! Pipney Jane, Bunny Queen, and Jools--seriously--I'm all aflutter that you stopped by--and a little embarrassed that you were all here as I was just UNLOADING (and not as grammatically correctly as I could have hoped for, either--revision is an art, not a guy named Art on too much coffee...) Usually, guys, Mt. St. Vitriol is a nice place where children play and you can picnic with impunity...I hope I didn't scare anybody off.

And I've only got one final (that's 2 hours) with my abominable 5thperiod class. In the words of Monty Python, "There was much rejoicing!"

But, I will be a bit busy, so, while I usually post every other day, if I don't get back to you all until Friday, no worries, yes? You'll know that I'm taking care of business, kicking ass and taking names, and figuring out what to knit next. (I do have some longstanding WIPs on the needles now--I'm not entirely deranged:-)

And then, with the exception of 12 online units and 4 off-the-hook children, I'll be a free woman. For 8 weeks. Well, you can still gimme hallelujia, amen.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

A refreshing change from the eruption...

Your Brain is Purple

Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic.
You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.
Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Greetings from Mt. St. Vitriol

*Note--the following "Thank You's" are ironic "Thank You's" and are in no way to be misconstrued for the real thing, which is what I offer all of you who bear with my terrible ranting. Thank you--seriously--I mean that one.

Now, on to the rant...

As you all know, this year has been the most hellific, hellacious, hell-heinous years on the professional front that I have had since, I don't know, the very first group of students I had as a student teacher chewed me up, shit me out, and walked through my plop on the lawn in dagger-sharpened cleats. I believe that, aside from the exhaustion and the hormones which I knew walking in would hinder my professionalism, that there are a variety of sources to thank for the conflagrating skin-less nerve-bundle that has become my professional confidence this year, and I think these people/things/sharts-from-the-lowest-toxic-slug-south-of-the-last-rock-in-the-lowest-pit-of-hell deserve some recognition for being pulsating pustulating green-ly festering open lesions on the cancerous boil that's risen on the primal ooze that squishes between a demon's ass and his teeny-tiny shriveled and hairy testicles.

Here we go...

***I'd like to thank the technology that my administration forced me to be dependent upon for breaking down eight to ten weeks out of each semester. The humiliation of having to pass six A.P. students with grades in the toilet will go away in a few years, but the psychic scars of being bent over my cluttered-to-capacity desk and gang-raped by a defective computer, a mis-matched grading program and a sadistic server while my students watched me weep will be with me forever.

***While this was happening, I'd like to thank my insensitive, self-rightous, condescending administrator for saying helpful things like, "You need to take ownership of this situation. It can't all be the computer's fault." Yes. It fucking can.

***I'd like to thank the malicious, malignant, sheer stinking, slimy, and toxic evil, mother and daughter moo-cows that made my life a cesspool of pain this year. This one is so huge, I'll have to break it down a little.

***I'd like to thank the daughter for defying me, lying to me, blaming all of her absences on basketball, shrieking in my classroom whenever she entered tardy (excused by her mother or basketball coach, of course) and stealing my candy.

***I'd like to thank the honorless heifer of a daughter for starting the letter that went to administration accusing me of innappropriate conduct--I'd especially like to thank her for reading it to all of her friends in every class she and her other friends had for effect. I'd loooooove to thank her for the fact that it was 70% lies and 30% truth-taken-out-of-context. And most particulary, I'd like to thank her for talking about it loudly with her mother in the library, while the two of them cooked up enough bitch to choke a manatee. I think she generated enough bad karma with this action to need to be careful crossing every street and every bridge for the rest of her life--but she's so craven and ignorant, she'd probably blame the speeding bus for the red light she was violating.

***I'd like to thank my administration for giving me vague hints of what this document contained, never asking me if any of it was true or to put it into context, never visiting my classroom to see what it is that I do and why we might possibly be talking about sex in an English class, and setting me up for the remainder of the hell-spawn's cronies to have this document hanging over my head like a fucking sword of Damocles for the rest of the year. I did eventually say fuck them all and taught the way I always would, but I will never forget the fact that, to my administration (and to someone who calls herself my friend) I was apparently indefensible--and therefore left defenseless. Thanks a lot, people, for showing me that thirteen years of good service and six years doing justice to a program I built from the ground up in hardpan has earned me all of the respect from my admin of a kleenex used to wipe up Satan's boogers. You rock. Truly.

***I'd like to thank the caustic, acidic, pernicious, venomous, spawner-of-demons who encouraged this behavior and shrieked like a banshee on steroids until the administation caved to her outrageous, trashy behavior and gave her precious persecuted angel a B in the class (which she had for about a minute) instead of the D she fairly earned because they didn't want their ears to bleed.

***I'd like to thank my administration for not getting some fucking earplugs, a set of ovaries and a spine, and then ponying up and telling this cow that her kid acted badly, we had it on paper, and her grade suffered from her bad behavior and lack of attention to what was required. Her daughter was a nightmare who took advantage of her mother's position on campus and her own position as an athelete. Hooray--that has apparently earned her a full ride scholarship because that is EXACTLY the kind of person we want to celebrate in the world of academics.

***I'd like to thank the nightmare's cronies for dangling that sword of Damocles as often as fucking possible. I know they are supposed to be children, but for this little clot of people to sit and talk through my classes while twenty-five other people were working REALLY HARD to pay attention and to gain something valuable from my classes because they were riding the coat-tails of a despicable act was unconscionable. They are eighteen, they had all the power, and when a group of adults wants to fuck you, they can fuck you. These kids had the power of adults and the judgement of and conscience of seven year olds, and I got fucked.

***I'd like to thank my department for neither noticing nor caring that I spent the latter half of the first semester looking like microwaved cat-barf and the latter half of the second semester looking like boiled dogshit on a stick. It's nice to know people care.

***I'd like to thank the head vainglorious prickweenie for yanking the program I built from it's first idea right out from my feet. I paid for the training for this program by myself. I've been telling the kids it's easy to keep them in the class because for a while it scared so many kids we almost lost the program. I worked my ass off to make an English AP program in a school in which doing your homework is considered declasse to the highest degree, and I succeeded, and he listened to the crazy little children and didn't ask me a fucking thing and pulled my program out from under me without the courtesy of a 'by your leave' or a 'because of...'. When will these people learn that if you are not allowed to defend yourself then you start to assume you are not worth defending. I am worth defending motherfucker, you just need to let me know what the fight is about.

***I'd like to thank the scheduling gods for making sure that my security guards know more than half of my second, third, and fifth period classes. That was great, guys...can you give me something that will inflame a hive of bees and a map while you're at it?

But wait...there's more than one kind of thanks I need to give out. While I'm giving out thanks, I'd like some sincere ones to sound...

**Thank you, honestly and truly, to the fifteen kids (count em!) from my 6th period class who GOT EXCITED about me signing their yearbooks these last couple of days. After the weirdness of this year, it really was an honor that I dreamed not of.

**Thank you to the kid who wrote the nice poem about me for his poetry assignment. Thanks to the other kid who thanked me for making him do it, even though he really didn't want to.

**Thank you to my earstwhile department head, who, after hearing me bitch bitterly about the dissatisfaction I experienced teaching grammar for the sake of test scores and my vows to never let administrative pressure do that to me again, looked at me sincerely and said, "Yeah--but you went outside of your comfort zone. That was really brave." He meant it. For that alone I forgive him the microwaved cat-barf thing.

**I'd like to thank the assorted kids who came up to me on Friday (in different classes) and high fived me because they were getting me next year, and they were really glad.

**I'd like to thank the kid in 6th period who told the aforementioned hell-spawn that I was "the Kobe Bryant" of teachers. That was really important to me. You have no idea.

**I'd like to thank security for looking around and saying, "Yeah--I know A LOT of your kids--it must have been a fun year." I felt like the world's worst teacher--it helps to know that I had help being ineffectual and helpless.

**I'd like to thank my aid for continually telling me that these kids acted horribly in their other classes too, and it wasn't just my fault.

**I'd like to thank the girl who made a blanket for project Linus--actually, I'd like to thank ALL the girls who made blankets for Project Linus. But the one who made 12 of them with her mother, and the one who made one even though she didn't feel she did a good enough job and even though she thought it turned out badly, but still really wanted to give back--that was really brave. Thank you.

**I'd like to thank my 'Yarn Thing' sistas for keeping me sane--you didn't let me think the worst of myself, now I'll always think the best of you.

**You all out there--I've already thanked you. You need more. You need foot rubs, chocolate, and free yarn. All I've got is thanks...take all you need.

**And in the end, I'd especially like to thank Mate and the kids...all of you, you help remind me of why mandatory sterilization would be a really bad idea.