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Friday, November 30, 2007

Lie lie lie...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ten random things...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2007

The 300?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, November 23, 2007

Wii-search complete.

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

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

This is the day we shop.

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

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

Until next year, Amen.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quick Question...

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

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

Just wondering...

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

Sunday, November 18, 2007


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 15, 2007

*sigh* Yeah, I know.

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

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

So, here we go--random shit first:

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

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

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

And we'll just stop there.

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from Bitter Moon I: Triane's Son Ascending

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 12, 2007

Guess how old...

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

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

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

For example--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meme Sunday

Roxie offered a meme, and I took it!

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

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

Friday, November 9, 2007

Day Off

The Cave Troll had six zillion melt downs this week, and Arwyn got called on being 'princessy' three out of four days in the week. There was really only one solution:

A day off. They slept in, and Ladybug got to sit next to me, singing the Powerpuff theme while I caught that last ten minutes. I remember when my other kids were this little, and I had just gone back to work--I used to just power them through these stages, and pray that I was doing the right thing. It wasn't much of a decision, because Mate was still in school and I was the main breadwinner and I didn't have tenure. I remember crying all the way to work a lot more then than I do now, so I guess the Mental Health Day really does serve it's purpose.

Anyway, I've made breakfast, taken steps to clean the kitchen, blown bubbles and read books and given lots and lots of hugs. If I can just shake that nagging desire to go to the far away LYS for some more of that squishy rainbow yarn (it's so loosely spun it's almost roving) that the kids love so much, I might be able to keep the Mental Health Day all about mooching about the house and watching the same @#$%ing movie 6,567,983 times in a row. (Disney's 'The Wild'-- if it wasn't for the fact that Kiefer Sutherland's voice is making me horny and Eddie Izzard's is helping to keep me that way, I'd say it's the worst movie ever made.)

Anyway, the only bad thing about giving yourself a day off is that you become the world's most boring human: no book stats to report (sales are so slow I'm thinking that the entire 'Amy Lane' market has been tapped and I might as well give up now), no English weenie teachers to talk about...just me and the house grunion, fighting a multi-front war against detritus. If it wasn't for the pscycho-kitten attacking my feet, I'd say we were all dying of boredom.

Of course, the truth would be closer to the fact that we're catching up on our sleep. I'll try for some WIP & FO pix...and maybe some charming pictures of my goombahs and their boogers (because there isn't enough filth on the internet as it is...) but first I'm gonna see what sort of crap is under this row of chairs in the back of my kitchen...

And the only way I'll report back on that is if it's an acceptance letter that got lost in the mail. We all have our priorities, after all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Boogers, redux!

My friend was just over to visit--I showed her Chicken's post with the pictures, and whilst I bathed Ladybug, she perused other blog entries. She hit the one where the Cave Troll told me that what he had eaten was most definitely NOT deodorant and said, "Cave Troll--did you eat BOOGERS? How gross!"

I was not in the room, but by her account, he said, "No-its not gross. It's boogers!" And then he pulled one out and showed it to her.

I'm going to hell for procreating, I just know it!

But otherwise, I have another FO--I'm not even going to try to show them to you, because Big T's been wearing them all day, and honestly, I'm afraid the camera would break from the odor. Suffice it to say that I finally finished Big T's camoflage socks--go me! Today, I started immediately on the hat/sockies set for my co-worker--it's in this sockyarn that's SOOOOO very beautiful...soft rose, soft blue, soft's like water colors. LUUUUUUURRRRVVVEEE that Cherry Tree Hill sport-weight.

And other than that? I was going to talk about Fed Ex...but all I can seem to come up with is "The fucking Fed-Ex fuckers fucking fucked me a-fucking-gain."

*sigh* Obviously I just don't have enough distance from the crimes of the incompetent fuckers at Fed Ex to even blog about it. I'll get there. I'll whip up a blazing post that cooks them at their desks as they sit, without even knowing why or what or how, but in the meantime, suffice it to say that from now on, I'm going UPS.

But, on the work front, I do have some of my mojo back--my snarky department head, after dealing with some pedagogical differences during a work-meeting (yes. the pompous asses in my department really did use the words 'pedagogical differences'--that wasn't me making fun of them.) saw me going to the bathroom and said sardonically, "No, Amy--don't go. We're gonna have a group hug before this is over."

To which I replied, "My toddler has eaten all the pit stop in the house and I haven't worn deodorant in a week. You really don't want to get that close to me."

*smirk* Yup--there've been some set backs, but the mojo is still there.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Whew...Now that I don't have to worry about THAT for a while...


Chicken took care of putting photos in the blog--of course, not that I prefer to be seen on the www with cat-butt in my face on a daily basis, but, well, now that you've seen how the family is growing (and isn't the family resemblance between Mate and T remarkable?) I can ramble on about nothing and not fret about the fact that blogger hasn't downloaded pictures for ME for weeks, and yet Chicken can just dump, like, five all in one day.

And really, besides getting some illicit reading time in (Kresley Cole's A Hunger LIke No Other...mmmmmmm. Tasty.) I haven't done much. His royal prickweenie came in today and after noting that in spite of the two week backlog of lesson plans tacked to my wall, I didn't have TODAY'S particular lesson plan available (I was absent Friday--I do them after school, sue me!!!!) he smiled, flickered out his forked tongue, and slithered away. Uhm, can we all say it in tandem? DU-UDE! I hope he comes by tomorrow. I'm watching a movie.

Anyway, Roxie (bless her!) reminded me to count my blessings, and I did want to say that although I'm not very vocal about it, I do count my blessings. In fact, sometimes I AGONIZE over my blessings. You know--I have so many blessings and just enough dubious gifts that I'm not sure where the controlling force in the universe wants me to invest my very limited time, sort of agonize? But I never forget that I'm lucky in that I have these sorts of choices. Ever. (Thanks, Roxie--it's probably very positive to actually hear that voiced, and Donna Lee, one very sweet birthday spring chicken, has lamented that there might not be enough niceness in the world. I wanted to do my part.)

And other than that? Hm. I finished my travelling socks. For those unaware, the traveling socks have been with me for about 3 months--I ONLY work on them at stoplights, lunch and staff meetings. You'd think that, with my short attention span and generous stash, I'd be happy to send the generous portion of leftovers (Schaeffer's Anne) on to someone else, like I do, but I must have some sort of deep and abiding torch for these colors--they're gold and wheat and purple--you know, fruited planes and purple mountains majesty sort of colors? Anyway, unthinkably after three months, they're still turning me on. I may make Ladybug some socks--or even a friend some fingerless mitts. But first...

But first I need to stick my tongue out at the Knitting Goddess' flaky younger sister, the Baby-knitting Goddess, who did the following to me: After shamelessly nagging my co-worker, Cael (the nice young man who took the picture that managed to make me un-frightening) to by all the gods at once, TELL ME what the gender of his impending baby might be, and TELL ME when the baby was due, told me both: It's a girl, dure in February. Which means, to me, that I can start the sockies and hat right after the Christmas dementia and strikke-along has faded from memory. Of course, that was before my morning e-mail when he TOLD ME that the shower is in frikking NOvember, right after Thanksgiving. Dumb ass men--do they think we knit in our sleep?

By the way--if I had a wee bit more time and computer savvy, I'd totally glom Bells' "Stash without guilt" button, because these are deep and lovely principles that I totally would love to abide by. As it is, I just have to let that main idea float across my addled brain pan every now and then so I can gaze covetously and lovingly at my yarn boxes and hiss "mine, my's all mine..."

Someday, I will take pictures again...probably of Ladybug running gleefully down the hall with a roll of deodorant in one hand and a hand knitted sock in another...


Sunday, November 4, 2007


So you may have noticed that Chicken hijacked the blog this morning...but since she covered the important things (sleepy children, sleepy mum, wacko cats, most triumphant soccer victory) and she managed pictures--something I haven't given you for WEEKS, I'm going to let her run with it!!! I'll be driving my own blog tomorrow--in the meantime, enjoy:0)

its 8 am and im thirteen so i can't type right

today iam here to show you the whole family at 6am and i am not going to use capitalsand good grammar because the CHICKEN is here today. i have one of mum, one of dud, and acouple of the siblings. lets wait for the pictures to down load......................ah there here look observe watch


GEEEEToooffffff my hand!!!!!! gordys on the table so now i write with one hand.i won a soccer game yesterday 3to1 that pretty good because we played them three time. huh gooday.........
man i really can't write to day.hope yor able to read this zzz.. xzztr.zrz..

Friday, November 2, 2007

Mean Assed Scorpio Moon...

I have to thank Coach Susan for that appelation, by the way--thinking in those terms has actually really helped me through the last couple of weeks...

The kids making me feel useless? There is a mean-assed scorpio moon moving through Libra--it will pass.

Fucking prickweenie is screwing with me and the school district is peppering me with inane bullshit? Fucking mean assed scorpio passes, they;ll forget my name.

I realize that I"m spending more time digging through clean laundry than with my little people? That mean-assed scorpio moon again...I will have time to fold again when it passes.

My eyes are too burnt-pit tired to edit Bitter Moon at night? Too many meetings after school to write that scene from B-Moon II that (no shit!) I've been waiting a year and a half to write? That mean-assed scorpio moon passes, and I will get a chance to nap.

The kids get a hold of my glasses and the *&^%*&^&*&^%$$#%kitten shreds my hose on my way to my friends mother's funeral? Yeah. It figures. Fucking moon again...

And as much of a cop-out as it may seem to blame everything on the mean-assed scorpio moon, the fact is that it's really just a poetic way to voice what I have always believed: If you can buckle down and endure for a while, eventually, you will be able to thrive.

I don't talk about my amazon sales anymore--it took a while to learn, but finally no one knows better than I do how truly meaningless those dumb assed numbers really are--although that doesn't stop me from checking them at least four times a day. (narcissist much, Amy Lane? No thanks, I just was one...) I was just in a mean-assed scorpio slump there--the two sequels slid down to the 500,000--they're NEVER that low. And I just cut my check-the-numbers addiction to twice a day, and...

And they just jumped up. And as superstitious as I am, and as much as I dread seeing my friend through her mom's funeral (there's a lot of us there--really I'll just be a face of support, but it means a lot to me that I can be there for her...) I'm taking this as a sign. Maybe it's desperate--I just said the numbers were meaningless--but I've been looking for a sign, and after I got the call about her mom, well, I've been looking for a sign for her as well. My friend has had some seriously hard times in the last few months--but she also married an awesome guy who makes fuckhead her ex look like...well, fuckhead the ex and nothing more important than that. My friend is neither superstitious nor optimistic--she doesn't look for signs in the universe and she doesn't think anyone up there is looking out for her. But I am superstitious. I do have faith. And I figure, that if my mean-assked scorpio moon can lighten up for something trivial and stupid, like book sales or freaky-assed felines with a crap sense of timing, or...or, well a morning to hold my children like I haven't been able to in a while, well...maybe whatever cosmic force has been spiking her Dr. Pepper of life with Draino will also lighten the fuck up and let her enjoy her new life and her new husband and her family.

She's strong. She can endure. And I"m superstitious enough to hope for both of us. So maybe, for both of us, this mean assed-scorpio moon will eventually pass.