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

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's not a block...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm taking a chance...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It was gonna be a photo issue...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it ain't broke...

It ain't ours.

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

Yeah, Christmas was like that.

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 23, 2007

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

But the cookie making was a sticky mess.

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

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

"Are you sure that's enough flour?"

" Yeah mom, it's plenty."

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

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

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

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Letters to Fictional People

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

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

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

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

Dear sir,

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

Thank you so much,
Amy Lane

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

To all parole officers everywhere-

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

Thank you so very much,
Amy Lane

And on the subject of common sense--

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

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

I mean that sincerely
Amy Lane

And now, on a lighter note...

Dear Jensen Ackles and Jared Padilecki--

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

Amy Lane

And since we're talking about romance...

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

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

Thanks so much
Amy Lane

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

A snarfed meme

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

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

Sunday, December 16, 2007


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 14, 2007

The most stressful break EVER.

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

My Aunt Fanny.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blur, Song 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lunch Time With All of You...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 8, 2007

And if I warp the space time continuum...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Your Attention Please:

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

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

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

Better blogging tomorrow!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Goddess bless...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Book News...

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

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

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

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

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