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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

'Nuff Said...

Oh--and the second regret?

I regret that I left that brand new skein of Kaffe Fassett Regia Sock Stretch out, because the kitten was none too pleased to be left alone all weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

One for the road...

Well, sometime this weekend, Mate and I will turn 40 (I rarely know what day it is...I'm thinking it's Sunday for me and MOnday for Mate, but I'm never sure...) and I'm tired enough and worried enough about the *now* that the passage of time--both behind and before--is not bothering me. Wait until Ladybug starts school, and then I'll have my sweet little nervous breakdown, right?

Anyway, I've had a couple of oddball and entertaining dealings with the young in my profession to keep my mind off of my advanced decrepitude, and I thought I'd share with you--sort of my Happy Birthday gift to you, so to speak, before we go spend ungodly amounts of money at the Ren faire in Gilroy this weekend. (Although I'll probably get all weepy about b-days on MOnday for you, because, after all, it is Mate and he's mine, and I get to faun all over him--it's a perk!)

Hm... lessee...the least impressive one first.

One of my OLD students from last year asked me to make her a scarf for her birthday. I just came up the ramp and there she was, politely asking me to make her something, please, because she was turning 18 and she wanted it. As forward as it sounds, it's at least 1/100th as insulting as the guys in the class hollering, "Hey, if I give you $5 would you make me a pair of socks?" And so I agreed...they really don't get the difference between knitting and crocheting, but I know that crocheting is QUICKER and that a dc ch-1 mesh thingie with some ruffles at the ends is not going to kill me (in fact, I finished it last night--about two hours after I brought home the yarn) and, well, hell-- she asked nicely. That's gotta count for something. So, my first student project down, we'll see how many more to go...

And then there was my TA, a young Hyrcan god from the old country (Russia) who wanted to see if he could shock me. I'm usually pretty unflappable. "So...Do you know that movie theater on Watt Ave.?" He asked the other day, as the class was working and I was consuming my milk and cookies for 4th period. (I do this every day...)

"The X-rated one?" I asked, eyebrows up.

"Yes--well I was in there the other day, and there in the front row were three elders from my church...the ones who preach the most against pornography...I thought that was funny." (Is this story even true? Don't know, and at this point, don't care. I'm being entertained and enjoying it.)

"Uh...Alex, did I miss something...what were you DOING in this theatre?"

"Oh--I was buying flavored condoms because I don't like the taste in her mouth after she goes down on me with the plain ones."

So after I finished snarfing milk and oreos out my nose, I told him politely that this was TMI, and that we needed to keep our conversations school appropriate. He told me that she preferred the chocolate and mint ones, and then promised to keep things on the level after that. I laughed about this all the way to the staff room, where my stiff-necked colleagues rolled their eyes at me as though I were some sort of deviant for thinking this was beyond hilarious, and asked why I hadn't referred the kid for crossing boundaries. Hey--he stopped when I asked, which is more than I can say for 99% of the kids who cross the line. Besides, I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

And finally, the *aww shucks* moment.

One of my students, a very sweet, bright kid who looks like a miniaturized version of most white folk's nightmare of a hispanic gang member (long braids, T-shirts, tough looking demeanor) told me that I'd had his brother, Sal, in the past. "I'm sorry, A'," I told him. "I don't remember--if he came in I probably would."

A' came in the other day, hungry because he had been too busy during lunch to eat, so I'd offered him a pop-tart from my store, kept just for that occassion. He turned and looked at me and said, "Hey--you're nice." In a very matter of fact sort of way. "No I'm not," I replied dryly. "I'm a mean, heartless bitch--remember that." He just smiled, and repeated, "No, you're nice."

And suddenly I was back about four years. There was the tiniest, most frightened looking little Junior in my class, then, who was actually more pregnant than I was, (The Cave Troll was born in November.) I managed a quickie blanket for her on her last day, and a short, assertive, sweet and bright kid with a lot of A's features (had I known A' at the time,) said, "Hey--you're nice."

"No I'm not--I'm a total bitch, just ask any of the girls sitting in that corner," I'd griped in return. (Rough class that year--not as rough as some, but not my favorite bunch by a longshot.)

"No," Sal replied. "You're nice."

Happy Birthday to me, I guess. I am, after all, nice.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to fix a broken "Sposta."

Well, it's been a breathless two days at school, a sort of "I'm talking most of the class and people are coming in during lunch and I've got a meeting afterwards" sort of two dayd, and, with the a/c out in the Lane family crapmobile, it's been a "claw your way through traffic with the windows open in the 95 degree heat" sort of commute. So when Mate said he had to work late tonight and I was on for dance lessons w/Chicken...

Well. My "Sposta" shorted out.

I mean, technically, I was "sposta" get home, do the dishes, shuttle Chicken w/the young-uns, pick up dinner for the older-uns on the way back, and, in general, be a good citizen, and I think if the a/c hadn't gone fukyabyebye I might have achieved that state of activity usually reserved for chickens after beheading and before actual brain death. But the a/c DID go fukyabyebye and there WAS a new pile of purchases from on the table, and all of a sudden, there I was, llying on the bed, chin deep in unfolded laundry, and armpits deep in the newest Charlaine Harris while the little-uns laid on me and watched a Disney movie. I don't know what the big-uns were doing, but I suspect it was school related, so good on them.

Now see? Does that sound like a woman with a good-working "sposta"? I mean eventually it flickered on. I washed the young-uns, put the most evil and destructive one away in her wooden cage and left the older, more indestructible one at the tender mercies of his *ahem* kind older siblings and took off for sustenance (because my brain matter was too decayed to make so much as a quesadilla or open a can of chili). But after hunting down and killing a couple of burrito bols, it became painfully obvious that the "sposta" was still a little busted, because my uncle and his son (only a few years younger than Chicken) were also at the great Chipotle hunting ground, and I found myself talking to Phil like I hadn't done in a while...and I enjoyed it. So what if the Cave Troll was watching Monster's Inc for the billionth time while I was gone--he needs to take notes so he knows to laugh at the monsters when the root out from under his sister's crib and start eating his toys.

I mean, I haven't seen Phil in MONTHS...and I would have just blown off that chance to talk to him if I hadnt broke my "sposta". For that matter, I would have missed out on a really excellent Charlaine Harris book (for those of you who like Harper Connely and Tolliver Lang, there's a spoiler coming right about here--

SQUEEEEEEEE. Enough said.)

And I also would have missed out on Ladybug, just leaning against me with her juice box, completely content to chill and have her hair stroked, with the Cave Troll resting his chin on my hip, both of them entraned by Mike and Sully and the hidden lives of scary monsters.

And now I'm wondering if my "sposta" didn't short out because it's been like a lightbulb left on too long...I mean, that's what happens when you burn something out, right?

So tomorrow, I'll wake up and hustle to my expulsion hearing bright and early, leaving the young uns with Mate, and then I'll come home and probably mooch around the house on my stolen sub time and nap in my knitting chair intermittently while feeding and hugging the little uns. And when the big uns get home, my "sposta" will be all charged up and ready to go, and I'll be good with that.

Maybe, sometimes, we just need to give the damned thing a break before it breaks on us, right?

Yeah...I think that could be one of the most important rule in the owners manual for care and feeding of the modern human "sposta", don't you?

Monday, September 24, 2007


First of all, Happy Birthday, Chicken!!!

I'm not going to do a whole post on her--mostly because it would embarrass her very much, but I am going to say the following:

1. I have taught the young Paduan well--she's a sarcastic little shit, and if she doesn't cut it out, we'll have some very satisfying skirmishes during the next five years.

2. She's beautiful--she doesn't believe it, she will NEVER believe it, but I think she is as beautiful now as I did when she was two. Except now she's housebroken which is a definite plus.

3. She's going to do frickin' amazing things--like go away to school and travel the world and become something that makes craploads more money than either her father or I do. And even if she doesn't, we will still be proud of her, because I know whatever she choose in life it will make her happy.

4. She's the best big sister a mom could ask for--not only does she play with the little ones, she likes it and she's good at it, and her siblings adore her to the nth power...seriously--what's not to like?

5. She's one heck of a cartoonist--and someday, Vapy and Voi (her two cartoon characters who blow each other up in chemistry and get lost in the mall) are going to be as famous as Dilbert. And then she's going to make lots of money and buy us a nice house someplace where it's always 75 degrees and we can retire. So really, she's a good investment all around.

She is 13 today...heaven help us all, the kid who's had PMS since she was two years old has entered the teenaged danger zone, and Mate and I are about to be living with the original Katie Kaboom. (Animaniacs...AWESOME show!)

And now, my old fat body is just WIPED from her weekend... Saturday's schedule looked a lot like my Tuesday schedule--and it seems as though my feet are now seriously complaining about not getting a day off... I've been gimping around all day, and it's damned hard to be 'mobile' in a classroom when you can't take a step without wincing in pain. NOt that the little fuckers have cut me a break, either... man, I'm doing better this year, but the crowd hasn't improved much... (And, of course, once I wrote this, my 6th period just came through an assignment with shining colors...feh! They do that to me just to get my guilt river running.)

Anyway, when I took Chicken and her friends shopping, I found myself buying for the little ones--the Cave Troll was very taken with his Tigger and Pooh dolls and his sweatshirt, and for Ladybug? Well, inspired by the Samurai, I got her some baby crocs, w/charms...I wish I'd taken pictures, because she's so damned proud it just makes my heart hurt... she also enjoyed the Tinkerbell Halloween costume... at last, at last, she has something to rival her brother's dinosaur costume in cuteness. Her royal ladybug-ness is satisfied--imagine 'princess wave' here.

One of the fun things about the b-day party is that my parents came on Sunday night and brought my nephew, and so Chicken got to have lots of people singing "Happy Birthday"--the really funny thing was that the Cave Troll and Ladybug insisted that they got their turn at the candles. Opening presents was not such a big thing, but they damned sure wanted to blow out the candles...GOTTA love this age!

And that's about it--I get to go to my first expulsion hearing on Thursday--yippee? It will be an I'm not sure I can legally blog about, but if you've been following along, you should remember the student I'm talking about, so you already know the particulars...he tried to take out two administrators, and is (according to every teacher I've talked to) a complete psychopath...I think if we don't win this one, we'll be sorry!

OH yes--one more thing. I just pulled this stat off an discussion site, and I thought I'd share. The thing is, VULNERABLE has sold nearly 1000 copies--I'll know exactly how many in about two months (they're about two months behind on i-Universe.) Anyway, 1000 copies doesn't sound like much--until you look at these stats.I just wanted to thank everybody who has bought a book, and bless you all who have told me that I don't suck, and generally astound you all with how sad it is, that the world does not read nearly as much as it, perhaps, should.

For the books published in 2004,

79% (950,000) sold less than 99 copies

96% (1,150,000) sold less than 1000 copies

98% (1.175,000) sold less than 5000 copies

This is a lump total of all books, fiction and non-fiction, from small presses to giants.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Week 6

First of all--thank you, everybody. I mean seriously--how can I possibly stay in my perfect little puddle when you all rally to remind me that I have a spine? Thank you--your comments meant the world to me on what was truly a crap day...

Now, about that crap day...

Does everybody remember the "Sponge-Bob Backpack" incident from last year? Uhm-hm...this is week 6 of the new school year. The critical week. The week where all meltdowns are not only possible, but probable and, I'm starting to think, necessary for good mental hygiene. Maybe it was simply kismet that that slough of reviews hit the fan this week... you know, Murphy's law--the universe kicking you when your defenses are low, that sort of thing. But I'm pretty sure I'm stronger than I was yesterday, on most days of the year. Maybe not--maybe my thin skin is an asset for writing and a weakness for publishing...but I'm done thinking about it. Besides--after yesterday's post, the world went on to show me just how much weirder life could get.

Remember how proud I was that I got my book, etc. sent out via Fed/Ex? Okay... (and this would have had Samurai climbing the walls with her teeth--in fact, I heartily wished I could have teleported her here, because she could have gone into the Kinko's and raised a serious stink, and I could have sat back and laughed my ass off...) Anyway... the package was supposed to go from me, to Roxie (Oregon) to Needletart (Pennsylvania) and back to me (Sacramento). There were three shipping labels, all ready and prepared. Which shipping label did they choose to schwack on the package first? Why, that would be the shipping label that sent the package from Pennsylvania BACK TO ME HERE IN SACRAMENTO. So I got home yesterday, and there was my package--having safely survived the trip from Natomas to Citrus Heights, which is basically my commute every day. But it's okay though--for real. I went to fix this (egregious error) little problem, and the guy behind the counter of the Citrus Heights Fed/Ex said "Isn't that yarn in there with the manuscript?" Uh-huh. "Can't that, like, squish down?" Uh-huh. "Then why is it in such a big box?" Damned if I know. "Well, let me put it in a smaller box--it'll cut your shipping cost in half. I'll just have to call those people in Natomas and tell them to go back to shipping school!" Yes, there is such a place, and given my level of actual organization, may I wish all my enemies so thoroughly cursed. I didn't even need to raise the demons of incompetence karma myself!

So there was that. And then there was this--I went to pick up the grunion from day care yesterday, and there was Ladybug, with a book. "Read!" She said, imperiously, chubby little finger pointing at the picture.

"You want me to read?"

She scowled, stubbing that finger at the poky little puppy. "Read Dog!" She commanded. And she continued commanding for the rest of the night--we've been reading in shifts, because, dammit, the queen of every-freaking-thing insists and we obeyed.

So there was that.

And this morning, there was my unusual wake-up call. YOu know it's gonna be a weird one when your cat wakes you up by tongue kissing you at 5:30 in the morning. And for the record? Dennis Quaid the cat? He has breath that could topple an evil undead sanitation engineer with a specialty in porta-johns from 50 yards away.

Uhm? EWWWWWW!!!!

And on that note, I'll leave you to your weekend, when I'll be shuttling three giggling tweens to the mall and the movies in honor of Chicken's induction to the planet, 13 years ago on the 24th. Goddess have mercy, week 7 is here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Another crop of reviews are coming in for VULNERABLE and they're freaking me out.

I can't read it. I can't. I thought I was all over this, but knowing it's out there is just freaking me out. I got a 3 star review yesterday--(one of two, now) but I had to laugh at that one--she complained about all the sex, and I'm thinking "what a way to boost sales!" Anyway, I can't read this next one. How am I going to do this? How am I going to keep writing when this shit just ruins me? I thought my skin was getting thicker...I thought I was getting all insouciant about getting hammered by complete strangers for stuff I thought I'd already apologized for, but I'm not.

I got the 3* review yesterday--there was a student in the room. I saw that the review number had increased, and I moaned a little...right in the back of my throat. And then the physical stuff started. The palms started to sweat, my chest got tight, I had this absurd urge to cry... I HADN'T EVEN READ IT YET!!!

"What's wrong Miz Lane?"

"Review," I tell her briefly, and she nods her head in sympathy. That was for a 3 star review that complained about the sex.

Now that I know this one is two stars, I've got a class room full of kids and I know that in order to function professionally, I can't read this dumb thing--it would wreck me for the day.

I've explained this to them--I've told them all about getting the reviews and how it terrifies me--I tell them this so they know that I understand that getting their work critiqued is not a picnic. I'm always very careful to give them a strength that they can be proud of, besides some things to work on. I'm always very careful to emphasize that this is a rough draft, that I understand that there are extenuating circumstances, and that they will have a chance to improve their work.

I can't explain that to people reading VULNERABLE. I mean, I HAVE explained it, but now it feels like I'm whining and I can't do that anymore. And it shouldn't matter. I feel good about VULNERABLE. It's my first book--there are flaws, but I think it has moved people in a really wonderful way. I think every book I've written gets better--that's all you can ask for in a writer, right? I think this last book (BITTER MOON) is going to kick ass. I think the sequel to it is going to rip your heart out and serve it to you on a gorgeously colored textured ceramic platter, and make you glad you ate it, because it's your heart.

But these things are by no means certain--and my certainty grows weaker with stupid things like a slough of crap reviews, and I wish that were not so. Men can do this. I've seen men get crap review after crap review, and something about the functioning of their ego works so that they just keep believing in themselves until other people do. It's harder for women. We're not geared that way. We're geared to self-reflect, self-improve, self-criticize.

I hate that sometimes. I really do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Thanks for the info, Catie! (The kitty is Gordon Lightfoot O'Henry... aka Gordy:-)

BTW--Today is Tuesday. Mate has softball. After work my schedule looked like this:

3:30--leave work, go to Kinko's, arrange to have mansucript copied and shippted.
4:15--leave Kinko's, pick up kids.
4:30--go to McD's for traditional chocolate milk and cookies, as well as mom's mandatory 'stay awake home' diet coke.
5:15--after clawing through record traffic, pick up Chicken from home, drop her off at soccer, and return home.
5:40--let the little ones out of the car for 45 minute break.
5:55--sit down for three minutes, which is one minute longer than it took the little kids to run outside and get their clothes wet and nasty.
6:15--put Ladybug in the sink for a bath
6:30--go pick up Chicken, take T to school to decorate for homecoming (most days it would be karate), stop at fast food for crap-all to eat, and come home.
7:15--arrive home, give Kewyn a bath in the sink (because he asked)
7:30--family eats standingup and wandering around the kitchen
8:00--me and little kids lay down for 15 minutes & watch some little kid television
8:15--Chicken asks me in to watch Eureka (it was taped)
8:20--Mate gets home
9:00--Mate goes to pick up T, I put miniature tornado in the crib
9:30--I reprise "Sunshine on my shoulder" for the billionth time, along with the ABC/123 song from Stop the World I want to get off--it's the only way the Cave Troll will sleep.
9:30 to present--free time--knit & blog & fight sleep, because, damnit, I don't get much of this time and I'm going to enjoy it.
10:30--Wait for T to take his #$%^ing shower so I can go to bed.

Notice the bags under the eyes in the above photo? Uhm-hm...

Blame it on the wind...

Ask any teacher, and they'll tell you that they dread the wind. I've heard every theory from negative electrons to sinuses to pollens as methamphetamines, but the fact is, when a wind crackles through through our smoggy little valley, getting a class to settle down is like putting a spur under a horse's saddle, sitting my ginormous ass square on the leather, and telling that beast to calm the fuck down. If I ever actually said, "Calm the fuck down", of course, I'd never get silence again. I just wish the standard forms of address-- "please be quiet", "please calm down", "you all understand what silence is, right?", "I'm waiting on you all", and "who do I need to send out next?" are simply not working.

I blame the wind on their skittishness, I blame the wind on my children's fractious unhappiness, and I blame the wind on the complete possum mad assholes who decided to go ten miles an hour for no plausible reason except the voices in their own distorted craniums TOLD THEM to go ten miles an hour today for three miles straight. (There was no accident. Why are they all going ten miles an hour when there's no goddamned accident?)

I blame the wind on my sudden, unhappy, unhealthy addiction to to three MacDonalds chocolate chip cookies that I absolutely must have every day.

I blame the wind on the four totally useless computers lodged in the back of my classroom, and the fact that we are expected to come up with lesson plans that involve these computers and then make sure kids are not touching the computers even though one of them has been officially 'on' all day. (I tell my students that these are 'virgin' computers and that they need to imagine a giant white 'chastity belt' surrounds them a foot away--and that one of them may be 'turned on', but it's still 'untouched.') I blame the wind for the fact that we tried this ten years before, and now we're being told not to get upset that our imput was neither solicited nor welcomed when we tried to explain that it didn't work then and things had not changed now.

I blame the wind on Ladybug's sudden will to wake up during unhappy moments at night and need fifteen minutes of sitting on us before she'll go back to sleep.

I blame the wind on my inability to laugh during my 6th period class when they totally disrespect me for the five zillionth time.

I blame the wind for the eight (count 'em!) broken light tubes in my ceiling, making my little portable room as dim as my 5th period students.

I blame the wind for my sudden urge to go tearing down the street screaming "I'm done I'm done I"m copying and shipping BITTER MOON today!!!!"

So maybe the wind is to blame--but not always for the bad stuff, now, right?

Oh yes--
I do not blame the wind on the Cave Troll's need to lecture me on not "stepping on the dog poo-poos in the garage"--but I thought I'd mention it because he does hand gestures and everything when he says it and it's a total crack up.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It's been a while since I've been tagged.

And thanks, Shelia, for breaking the peace!!! (I'd link to ya, baby, but that part of my tool bar is still bye bye...)

Anyway, I tag anyone who wants to do this...from what I understand, it's name poetry with your middle name... as Amy Lane I have no middle name--I was going to do a thing where you all helped me make up a middle piece for my pen name, and we can still do that, but for now, I'll do my real middle name.

My Aunt Teresa is a pretty incredible person. She has various personal ailments...but I only know them by whispers in the house because her sheer force of personality and wonder has left any physical problems in the dust of her charisma. I love her (and my Aunt Monica and my Uncle Phil and his wonderful wife Barb) to little tiny pieces, but the reason I bring up Teresa is because I was named after her--but not exactly after her. My mom was probably just as leery of saddling a young-un w/family history in a moniker as I've been, so I got the modified version. No one can ever pronouce it right, but it's just 'Teresa' without the 'a'.

Tag, I'm it:

T--Tired. (Four kids and two jobs...yeah, it figures.)
E--Emotional (ya think? I mean, you've been on the emotion coaster w/me, y'all, I think that word works...)
R--Rotten (at housekeeping and cooking and generally to the core:-) Either that or "Riffing, Rhyming, or Ribald..." take your pick.
I--Irrational (Did I mention my 3 star review? Do you want me to get started? No. You don't. Why? Because I'm a total nutjob and I need to be ignored. Yes. This one works.)
C--Clueless. (Seriously--have you ever felt like the world got the really sophisticated George Cukor joke, and you were still laughing at someone's striped socks?
E--Easily Entertained. (Hyuk hyuk... striped socks...hyuk. And knitting.)

So, that's me-- Amy TERICE Lane... Or whatever you want my middle name to be... if anyone has a good idea for that, btw, I'm open to suggestions.

(btw? It was a gorgeous day to watch Chicken's soccer team lose... but lots of time outsde--very lovely. Oh yes--Chicken is in the middle of using my MacBook in the way in which it deserves to be used--she's putting together a movie of Simon and Garfunkle's "The Zoo". Why that song, you ask? Because The Cave Troll was demanding a song about animals on the way home the other day. We had to stop and get Chicken from school, and I think he wanted me to sing Old MacDonald, but see 'Clueless' from above, so I had her look that song up on the old ipod. She loved it--it made her day. Howzzat for teachin yer kid kulcher?)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Loose Ends...

Well, I was going to blog about what a giant pit my house is, but Mother of Chaos did it better and first, so I'll leave that alone... I was going to talk about finishing the monkey socks (yay!) but I already pre-bragged a week ago. Thrill gone. I was going to blog about that massive intestinal verm who did a drive by wormshit on donna lee's blog--but she's trying very hard to ignore him as he deserves (and you're so much classier than I am, darling!) that I'm going to allow her to out-class me (an effortless exercise for a beloved sunrise of a person) and only mention intestinal wormshit in passing.

I was going to post the test everyone else is doing--I ended up as a Midnight, which means I'm eccentric, and I'm very proud of that because most of those tests tell me I'm a very beige sort of person and Midnight sounds mysterious and really cool. Unfortunately I still have no idea how to use the Mac--yes. I am that sad. I turn on my computer, check my e-mail, check my blogs, check my standings and then write. The end. Do you know this thing takes pictures, and I haven't even figured out how to send them? The learning would take ten minutes...(three times--I am an idiot, after all...) but then, it would be so cool. I have monkey socks to show you? Turn on the computer and show the picture. Have I done it? No.

In fact, if this little wandering day of mental health has proved anything to me, it's that in order to achieve a little mental health and clarity, I need a lot more days trying to achieve it. I spent about an hour cleaning the little kids' room. I need another three hours to make it usable to anyone but little kids who like wading armpit deep in stuffed animals and happy meal toys. I sorted Ladybug's old clothes. I realized there was stuff in that basket from when she was six months old--who does that? I cleaned the floors in the kitchen and living room. You can't tell... they're trashed all over again from little kid incursions.

Anyway. I think it's the end of the book blues... I'm ready to print out my 1st draft, and I seem to remember this from other 1st draft moments... I'm sick of the book--but I'm not ready to let it go. I'm done with it--but I have more shit to add. I'm ready to start the next one--but I want to recover from the last one. It's a very uncomfortable feeling, all in's the sort of feeling that has me wandering from room to room, picking shit up in one room and putting it down in another... all in all it's a good thing Ladybug has melted down once an hour, insisting I sit down with her on my lap. It makes me sure that this day really was for her and her rotten brother. (Yes--they've been grumpy and fractious and sad--and no, one day alone isn't going to take care of them either.) I'm also starting to see the serious toll that my 2nd job has taken on my family. It's enough to make me want to quit--give up writing all together, but sometimes I think I'm like Cory, my heroine. If I don't use my power, I'm going to explode, so I might as well suck it up and use it and deal.

Oh...but I do have a funny/happy moment--sort of. You know those Bertie Botts Many Flavored Beans? Yeah...Ladybug fed me a bacon and earthworm sandwich today. Ssssswwweeeeettt!

And anyway, that's what days like this are for...a lot of napping, some foggy introspection, a chance to check out other people's blogs... (I missed you all so much!) and lots and lots of hugs...

And on those fronts, I'm a success:-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fried Knitter Brains, ala mode

Okay... I remember replying to one of the Yarn Harlot's blogs about writing with the idea that writing was like ripping your brains inside out through your ears, tenderized forever, then thrown on a barbecue to be dissected, sampled, and bitterly critiqued by the mean judge on Top Chef.

If that's true, then editing is like having the left-overs minced, mixed with eggs, sugar and fat, then deep-fried with churros and served with ice cream.

I think this last book has fried my brains stupid, because I can think of either nothing to blog about or everything to blog about.

On the nothing front?
I've got 3/4 of my edit done. Yee-freakin' haw.
I made myself cry today with a particularly poignant moment in the book. I'm relatively proud.
I've got bags under my eyes you could put a tag on and ship to France. Well, it is that time of year.

On the everything front?
Today when I was mid-book report spiel, a kid bolted from her chair, stuck her head in my giant trash can, and yacked up stomach acid that originated in her toe-nails as the class and I watched horrified, half-expecting her feet to start sticking straight out and spazzing like a cartoon character. Uhm, that was a first.

The Big T got ditched by his cooperative learning group in drama because he's different. Sometimes my own self-involvement submerges itself in greater subtler sorrows...this would be one of them. But he's a tough kid--and better socialized than most of the kids in his special ed class, and I think his sweet, glass-fragile soul will refuse to shatter. I, on the other hand, am traumatized. Fucking kidshits--I know for a fact this act will come back to haunt them.

I have back to school night tomorrow--in case any of you are thinking that we teachers look forward to standing up in front of the entire parent populace and pimping our classes to parents who are sure we are picking on their poor widdo gang-members and destroying education with our cynicism...well, no. Not a picnic. I dread it every year. (And yes. I AM destroying education with my's part of the great plan of middle-management overthrow to anarchy, why do you ask?) Seriously--there will be some great parents out there--and I'm pretty sure that until last year, that would be all that I would expect to run into. Now? Now I'm putting on my lead-lined big-girl panties because I'm sure somewhere out there is a razor toothed bitch-on-pumps who thinks I've done her baby wrong. What a difference a year makes...

I've had to pick up two kids after school in the last two days. This turns what is normally a 1/2 hour commute after I pick up the young-uns into a one-hour or sometimes 1 1/2 hour commute (if there is, for instance, a ginormous accident in the intersection RIGHT BEFORE YOUR HOUSE causing you to turn around and go two miles out of your way, that is...) and the young 'uns are so damned exhausted it hurts. We're having ginormous melt downs every morning and I'm declaring Friday Young 'Un mental health day and taking the day off. It's kind of a bummer--I've been on a roll--I probably could have lived without it, especially because I'm taking one on te 28th (Mate, the kids and I are taking a Happy 40th to us kind of trip and making it a 3 day weekend.) But they're really tired, and their childhood is too short to burn them out because of my dumb-assed drive.

And that's about it...if you don't count the fact that the Cave Troll just ran in wearing my capri jeans over his head and pulling the waist out like a hula-hoop. I mean, damn, if that's not an exit line, I don't know what is.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I must blog before the outage!!!

Seriously--I was going to do this angst-filled middle-aged return to teen mother/daughter dysfunction (my mother, not my daughter) and then I saw the deal saying "outage at 11:00" and suddenly I was posting without rhyme nor reason. Pavlov had nothin' on the internet, I'm telling you...

About the mother/daughter dysfunction (without the angst...) I'll make it quick--

We went to get my kids, and I mentioned that for our 20 year anniversary (we have two years to go) Mate and I were thinking either

A. Have a huge-ass reception at a hall and everything and a D.J. with mor e people than came to our actual wedding. (Mom's reply to this? "You had lots of people at your wedding." Yeah, mom--80 people, including the bridal party--it was as route. Really.)


B. Ditch the kids with her and go to Europe. I was really partially kidding about that last one--I was looking at Ladybug as I said it and I couldn't bear the thought of leaving her for a month--even two years from now, when she's a little older. But suddenly my mom was giving me all sorts of grief.

"I didn't go to Europe until I was..." *In your forties, mom--just like I'm going to be.*

"But all my children were moved out..." *Except my sister, mom--and she had a baby.* And you took her and the baby anyway. And didn't have enough money to help me with my college tuition for my last semester of student teaching like you promised. So we put it on credit cards that we're probably still paying off. (Didn't say that last part. But yes. I'm still bitter.)

"But you'd have to leave the children..." (Like I said, I wasn't all pro on this--but her arguments were starting to hurt my feelings. It was a lot of 'Do as I say and not as I did and obviously enjoyed.') *Mom--you left us with Grandma for weeks at a time!*

"But not when you were this age!" Ladybug will be almost four!

"Well I'm not going to keep them--that's just what you get when you have small children!" I looked around the porch, where my four children were watching this with interest. I mean, I always knew she hadn't approved of the last two--she was very population control in the 60's, and I just went and blew her whole philosophy with my ginormous family. I barely got a congratulations when I told her I was pregnant with Ladybug. She babysits maybe once every three months--and usually only the tweens--she only lives fifteen miles away. The day before I had caught an earful about the last 15% that Cave Troll isn't potty trained, and now, suddenly, I was being punished. *Bad Amy, you had too many kids, that's it, no Europe for you. I'm not going to catch you when you screw up this time...nope, you're on your own now.* Because, you know, I don't know what it's like to have kids, right? I didn't understand sacrificing for my children when I dropped out of the Master's program, or when I leave my babies with a stranger so I can earn a living for the lifestyle they deserve? Was there some part of the child-bearing experience that I missed the first time around?

I could go off in excruciating detail about my family and about how badly I haven't screwed up in comparison, but what it really came down to, as I turned around and walked off the porch and into the house so my big fat mouth wouldn't royally fuck me up, was that my life choices were unsatisfactory, and so were my younger children, and that was just a cross I would have to bear on my own.

Ladybug is currently whistling through her Dora straw cup and reading a Thomas book while wearing a diaper. She wants me to read to her. I'm going to go do that, and remember how exquisitely my life doesn't suck, and how living with my choices can be a wonderful thing.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Imagining Something Fun... Needletart told me to 'go out and imagine something fun'... and I almost shot back, "I don't need to--my mom's taking the kids on Saturday night!" But then I thought, 'Mmmm...better not...Fate IS the only cosmic force with a tragic sense of humor, right?' (Thank you Kenneth Brannagh for the quote, btw...)

Ugh...I hate it when I'm right.

I mean, lets face it--me and my husband, alone? My imagination was having a better time than a vamping hardbody in an adult toy store... and most of you have read the know I'm not a slouch at stocking the adult imagination department. I mean, no kids? Yeee-freakin-haww, right?

Yeah... the only problem is, the kids may be gone, but there's still three of us here--you had to know Aunt Flo would stick her ugly nose into my business, because DAMN, that bitch can't stand to see a couple of married people have any fun.

*sigh* It's okay. We had fun anyway. We went to a steakhouse for dinner (Tahoe Joe's) where Mate made the stunning observation of "Neither of us have wedding rings realize, that without the kids, that just makes us look like two losers out on a date."

"Speak for yourself!" I replied with what little dignity I have. "I dressed up."

"Your bra strap is showing."

"Well damn, honey, get this loser some steak!"

(Spoiler alert here--they're absolutely rabid about that sort of thing on the forums, I'm taking notes...) Anyway, we went to see Harry Potter V, (I had already seen it, but Mate hadn't) and it is much more poignant after you've read the 7th book and can look at each other and say "Damn...everybody in that last shot but Harry is dead by the end.

And then we went to the book store where I bought two really cheap books on stuff that could be termed research if you write what I do...and then we went to all the 'search for this book' computers and searched for Vulnerable so my name would be up all over the store. (Two losers on a date--I did mention that, right?)

And then we stopped at the Rite-Aid for feminine protection and a half-a-gallon of Dreyers Rocky Road ice cream.

Imagine something fun--who needs to, darlin'--we're obviously living the high life right here!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Aren't they lovely...


Mostly it was a totally shit day, all things considered...

I don't want to go into started with babies who didn't want to leave me, and then I got to school and felt stupid, inadequate and detrimental to the mental health and well being of the students I love (most of them...there are a few who should get lizards in their beds, shoes, and shower sponges for their work today) and for the moment I don't want to talk about it.

Writing is going okay--I apparently lost a lovely bit of about 6 pages during the great computer changeover, and apparently actually writing as opposed to proofing is so much more inspiring that this could be the one thing that saved my sanity. That and the pictures, which I'm importing right before I go pick Big T up from karate.

Anyway, expect a pair of socks to FO before the weekend (yee-ha...I'm beginning to seriously regreat the Great Sock Cast-On of the summer of '07...I need some worsted weight and I need it NOW!!!) and that will make two FO's in about two weeks and I intend to reward myself with a crocheted baby blanket and some writslets for Chicken... who, by the way, was the driving force behind the costuming in the following pictures. And as for 'Baby Driver'? She did that all on her own... all I added was the sound track from Paul Simon (sung of course--she seat danced in time:-) and the camera.

Maybe tomorrow I'll tell youi all how badly I suck at my vocation. Today, I'm toodling off singing "They call me baby-driver..."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My apologies...

To my fellow co-workers...

You see, the thing is, all the men were talking. I tried to talk once, and I got shouted down, and so I picked up my sock and zoned out and watched the clock click off twenty minutes between the time I got shouted down and the time the men in the department realized that THE WOMEN HAD STOPPED TALKING. And to their credit, after that, they sort of tried to give us a voice--they're really not bad guys, nor do they try to be chauvinist prickweenies. Most of the time they're like all English majors--really freakin' opinionated and passionate about what they do. But it was too late--by the time our dept. head went, "Uhm, Amy Lane, what do you think about X?" I had already scrawled the following on a spare piece of paper, and I was so proud of it (and the alliteration, thank you all very much) that I just had to share with you all:

Preachy posturing prickweenies
Pissing in the pond.
Whining whistling wankers
Whacking with their wands.
Rotund rebellious regressors
Ripening with wRath.
Turbulent testes terrifying
Tiny egos in their path.
I'm dodging deathly dung-demons
And dying by degrees.
Oh Goddess give me grace and strength.
Somebody help me. Please.

*snork* Okay. I'm all over it now...

And now, a word or two about the pictures from last night:

1. I don't think Chicken ever used that toothbrush again...the cat likes chewing on it way too much.

2. The Cave Troll slept in that dragon suit last night (we just got it yesterday) and the only reason I got him out of it this morning was by pointing out it wouldn't fit in the car seat.

3. Ladybug was so upset at not having her own costume (we will have to find last year's Elmo under our bed) that Chicken dressed her in a (very!) old fairy princess get up--under her pajama shirt--this morning. I had to explain to the babysitter why she was still wearing pajamas and a (very!) old pink-lame tu-tu. All in all, still sort of precious, or maybe that's just me:-)

4. Mate has a secret crush on Gordon Lightfoot O'Henry (the gray kitten) because little Henry snuggled up to him on his very first night. Mate was flattered--the kitten got to stay.

5. That box that chicken and the Cave Troll are in is part of a five piece set of collapsible fort pieces that is worth every freakin' penny. Easy to get out, easy to put away, priceless to watch the little ones make their own little habitrails--I highly recommend one to anyone w/a young-un that must stay in the house because it's eleventy twelve degrees outside.

And, uhm... that's about all. Ciou!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Try for two...

Maybe 3.... (You probably can't see, since the picture was taken at night, but the buttons on the hoodie are fish!)

No more words...

I've got almost the whole first quarter of the book done w/the first edit--it's kind of fun going back and seeing the beginnings and realizing "Hey--I DID have plan..."

The only negative is the same negative I have at the end of any book. No more words... just a big, tranquil, sleeping blank space where there's usually a herd of random people, mouthing off, making love, raising their children, establishing thematic sequences...that sort of thing. Anyway, now that all of my secondary personalities are taking a vacation, I've got thanks for all of you (your e-cheers were really heartwarming--thanks and thanks and thanks again!!!) and some pictures...since I haven't shown you my children growing in a very long time. So, here they are, a random selection of my beautiful ones--including the kitten, who is a holy terror in his own svelte gray way. Oh yeah--and a sweater I finished on the fly for the Ladybug... I mean, because it is sort of a knitting blog...right? (Except the sweater's having trouble publishing... oh well... I'll show it again when it's cooler outside--and Ladybug is wearing it...)

Sunday, September 2, 2007


I'm done.

I didn't do the monkey, actually. I sobbed quietly in the kitchen for a good ten minutes--it's that kind of ending. (Romancing the Stone, anyone? Except I at least had toilet paper.)

Anyway, I'm 75 pages into the first edit--and for the record? 715 (+ or - a few pages as I edit...) 715 pages that make up part 1 of what was supposed to be a medium sized Young Adult novel... and, well, you all know how the 'Young Adult' part turned out.

I'm boggled, I'm exhausted, I'm proud, I'm anxious, I'm already anticipating writing Part II (which is already plotted out, btw.)

I'm knitting a lot this weekend, with a couple of naps.

I"m planning my mittens for Samurai's strikke-along.

And I'm re-reading my own book with the time honored prayer, (you've all heard it before, we can say it in unison now,) Oh Goddess, may it not suck.