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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

In Case You Wonder Where I Get My Dialog...

So I walked into Chicken's room while she was reading this morning in order to molest her cat-- “I don’t like you, kitty. I don’t like you at all... Garlic and butter...that’s the only way you’re good...” (Don’t ask me why I started to say this, but it’s my little kitty ritual, usually said while I pet him and get in his face.)

“Mom, stop picking on my cat!”

“I’m not picking on your cat, I’m macking on your cat!”

“Well get away from him, you old cougar, he’s mine!!!” smack “Hey—why’d you do that!”

“If you’re going to call your mom a cougar you’d better make sure your big butt isn’t right there to smack!”

“Go away, I’m reading one of your dirty books and I just got to the good part.”

“Great—I’m gonna go cook and eat your cat!”

“He’ll kill you first, now get!”

"Here, kitty kitty... I've got some garlic for you, you big furry hat-to-be..."

In case anyone wonders what it's like to have a fourteen year old? I think it only works when that's your emotional age anyway.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Halt the Lame!

We made it! My friend Barb and I managed our yearly Black Friday trek this morning, and, surprising enough, it was fairly sane. There were a few reasons for this:

A. Neither of us have money. (Yeah, I know--join the rest of America.)

B. We were going to ToysRUs for specific people on our list--for the first time in three years, not ALL of our children were getting a lot of stuff from ToysRUs. Big T and Chicken were getting most of their stuff from other places. Her daughter is getting a big gift somewhere else (ruff!) so she was mostly shopping for her son and stepson.

C. We've sort of got this thing down by now-- yee-freaking-ha for us!

D. My foot hurt. And my arm hurt. Because I'm old and have ituses, that's why! (Tendonitis, fascaeitus, over-forty-itus). Seriously, in the middle of Target I realized I had maxed out my available funds (it wasn't hard, trust me) and that my foot hurt. So I checked out, ordered her a coffee and me a water, knit for a while, and when she was done we sat down and talked for half an hour--and actually visited, which we never get to do during these things. In spite of the incredible deals I think I got at Toys-R-Us, and the fact that (her protests to the contrary) I thought she was about to throw down with the blonde family who cut in front of us and pretended they didn't, the talking was my favorite part. (Of course, if she HAD decided to throw down, I would have waded in. We would have had plenty of time to talk in county lock-up, but, as I pointed out to her, decidedly less money to spend on the children. She told me she had no intention of throwing down, but she hadn't slept in three days and was pissed at the Toys-R-Us people for being assholes about the insane fucking lines, so I don't know if she saw herself as clearly as I did. She was a little psycho.)

So yes--poverty halted the lame, but the lame went gracefully. A little visit was infinitely worth the fact that I'll be returning to the madness in a week. It is the season for friends and family, and although I've never told her this, THAT'S the reason I brave the crowds, the thrown elbows, the redneck line-cutters and tiredness every Black Friday. It's our day--and I'm thankful that the lame was halted--I got to sit down and share it with her. Yay!

And then I came home and took a nap and woke up in time to... do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I sat down and watched television and knitted and went in to watch television with the little ones and nap and came back to watch television and knit...
Yeah, I know-- poor me! I seriously haven't done that in a LOOOOONNNNGGG time. I couldn't do it every day, but some days, it sure is a balm to the soul--and the sole, since the reason I didn't come home and do dishes was the same reason I didn't wander another store for no good reason. My foot hurt. It's weird how much that massive inconvenience seemed to be a blessing today, isn't it? Of course, tomorrow when I'm screaming at the kids to do dishes it won't seem so cool, but tonight? I'm good, baby. I'm good.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sey, I Heart Skoob--But I HATE Wal-Mart!

Chicken has been making bracelets like mad--she found a bag of cheap plastic letter beads in my 'home from school' stuff and went to town. Bracelets with names, bracelets with ages, bracelets with slogans-- "Arwyn", "Five" "I 'heart' Supernatural" (for mom) and, also for mom... "Sey, I 'heart' skoob!" Well--even Chicken gets crafter's dyslexia on occasion!

So, in order to encourage this activity, I went to Wal-Mart for some more beads--thinking this would be a $10 purchase at most, right? A ten-spot to keep the short people and a tall person happy--that ain't bad, right?

Yeah. I'm not gonna tell you how much I spent on cheap plastic beads, but it wasn't $10. @#^&*^$ Wal-Mart.

The good news is, Roxie, gracious goddess of reading minds and times and knowing EXACTLY what we need when we need it, sent us the perfect plastic bead receptacle for Ladybug-- a glittery, glamourous, goes very nicely with last-year's-Christmas-gown evening bag--she loves it, Roxie--she really loves it!

And other than that? We've made 5 pies (baked 3) and are off to distribute today--so this is, by necessity, a VERY short post.

But I"m thankful to make it. I'm thankful for all of you. I'm thankful for Mate who is sleeping and my children who are currently driving me crazy, and I'm thankful for the family scattered over Placer County to visit.

I'm truly grateful for all of it--my life is really blessed. Take heed, Goddess--I'm not taking a damned thing for granted. Ever sweet breath is appreciated, as it should be!

Longer post tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Want some Cheese with that Whine?

Yeah--I whined in my last blog post, but I'll tell you the truth--*Twilight* was the BEST movie I ever knit through.

Seriously--it was supposed to be set in the Pacific Northwest--lots of fog, right? Lots of foggy lighting, lots of pale, pretty people and head shots--it was the best lit movie EVER!!! If I'd been watching a movie set in the Sahara, I couldn't have had better lighting to knit by--it was AWESOME. I finished 1/2 the ankle of a sock. I'm so pleased.

And I've learned that you CAN look constipated AND pretty too--because the guy who played Edward did it very nicely. There's hope that on those *off* days, I might not have to worry about having my face in a big knot. It turns out, that sort of thing is very attractive.

And Peter Facinelli is STUNNING as a blonde!


In all seriousness, I really enjoyed the movie. I sort of saw the movie in the same way I read the book--using my 14 year old brain and my 41 year old brain.

In my 14 year old brain, *Twilight* is a lovely and moving story of true and absolute unchanging love being discovered when you're *snork* 17. Because when you're 14, that's the age at which ALL good things happen, you're absolutely sure of it, that's why, and nobody can convince you otherwise, ever. In a way it's sort of wonderful, revisiting that sort of faith, you know? I think that's why so many adult women love the series--it truly is an innocent look at love. And love should be anticipated with a certain amount of ethereal beauty--when you're grown you can know all of the nuts and bolts and grit and dirt that go into a good relationship, but the thing that keeps you working for it after all really IS the moment when the sunlight hits your beloved and you see all of the world's perfections in his smile. (Don't laugh--it happens to us as adults--you can admit it!!!) That sort of glory really does deserve a sexy soundtrack and some really nice trees in the background--I'm totally on board with that.

In my 41 year old brain, I'm sort of wondering if Bella doesn't resent being this guy's hobby-pet--you know, like an attractive chinchilla or something that needs to be frequently saved from predators and can be very tempting to eat with garlic and skin for a nice hat and some gloves? I'm also appalled at how eager she is to just become a damned vampire, because everyone knows your looks fade after 18 or 19 and a woman is no damned good after that. (Really--41 and fat? I should just jump in front of a bus or something!!!)

Fortunately, I was able to shut up the 41 year old cynic and remind that heifer that, after all, she DID find her (so far) one true love when she was not much older than Bella, that they DID have a rather rocky courtship during which her beloved Mate had some moments of asshole filled with lots of moments of redemption. I also remembered that, if my daughter loved the books, I was not going to be the person to shit on them. I've had plenty of people--including teachers, my parents, and professionals I work with shit on the books I read or the books I write and all it really did was diminish my respect for their ability to see the good in things and the truth in the fantasy, which, as I've said, is something I read for.

So I watched the movie, caught my breath, wondered if I'd ever look that good constipated, and generally enjoyed myself. And, as I said, I knit half a sock.

Then I came home and edited to my heart's content, fairly secure in the belief that comparing my work to Twilight was like comparing Tunafish to Peanut Butter and Jelly. Yeah, they both make wonderful sandwiches, but they smell WAY different after a couple of weeks.

And other news?

There is none. I took the little kids into Toys'R'Us today, to see, you know, what sort of toys they want before I go shopping? I was very proud of this plan, by the way-I felt so prepared.

Uhm, as it turns out, Ladybug wants the girl half of the toy store.

The Cave Troll wants the boy half.

I think that, once again, they're going to have to settle for whatever the hell catches my fancy at dark-thirty a.m. as I navigate Black Friday in the throes of my mother's Turkey Coma to beat all Turkey Comas.

Gotta lurve the holidays!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recovery Day

That's what today feels like... lots of napping, lots of letting the short people run around in circles while I zone off and try to get some editing done...

The most imaginative thing we've done today is try to figure out what kind of food the kids were.

The Cave Troll wanted me to 'nom nom nom nom nom' on the back of his neck, and he kept telling me he was a grilled cheese sandwich. I asked him if he was melty and crunchy and buttery, and he said no, he was just tasty! So I asked his big sister what *she* thought and she said, "He's a chicken wing!" And Ladybug? "She's a dumpling!" (I love the dumpling thing--my Uncle Paul from New Jersey told her she was a 'dumpling', and it's stuck! Something about those little dimpled thighs and that 'I'm way cuter than you' smile--she's a dumpling!)

Which I guess makes Big T potatoes and Chicken a salad, right?

Which is fine, because THAT makes Mate 'steak'. Mmmmmmm....nom nom nom... lurve me some steak!

And other than that? I've got nothing. I've seriously been spending all my time editing... and there IS a chance I can send Bitter Moon II to the publisher in early December. I'm sooooo happy--as I edit it, I'm sort of falling in love with it again--and I can honestly say it's the first time this has happened in the editing stage. Usually, by the last edit, I'm ready for a book-divorce--as it turns out, you can't divorce them, you have to become a polyorthographist... Okay, I made that up. Would it be a polybibliophile? A polybiblioorthographilist? A dumb wacko heifer married to her books? Help me out here!!!

Oh yeah-- one more thing.

I stopped by a craft fair today, and I felt sort of horrible. I never thought I'd be one of those "I can do that" people, but as I was looking around at all the stuff at the fair, I realized that I had quilted, I had beaded, I still knit and I still crochet and sweartadog, that was 75% of the crafts there. It was true. I really CAN do that.

How depressing. I don't have the time to do ANY of it, but I don't want to spend fifteen dollars on a @#$%^ fake-fun-fur beaded purse, either, and that's what Ladybug really set her sights on. *sigh*

And Chicken is forcing me to watch *Twilight* tomorrow. I don't know what to think about the movie--or the book. Two years ago it was harmless enough--it seemed like a sweet romance, a little overhyped and, well, sort of bland which is what most best-selling stuff strikes me as. No real bite, you know? I don't know why PNR and UCF and m/m romance and Stephen King grabs my heart strings and plays (or yanks) until my heart sings or bleeds or screams, but I know that usually it's the fantasy that moves me and the bestselling whathaveyou that leaves feeling a little cheated. Is it that genre fiction is unafraid to just fuck up your innards? The books already know they're the red-headed bastard stepchildren of books, so they might as well tell the truth as they see it, like the spurned drunk relative at the family reunion? Maybe I'll never know...

But my true ambivalence about the book didn't really start until people started comparing it to *Vulnerable*. I mean, *Vulnerable* was released nearly a full year and a half earlier--I think it's safe to say that my idea was my own, and since I'm still pretty damned obscure, it's also safe to say that Stephanie Meyer had never heard of me or my little series when she wrote her own. I am safe in my surety that the two books have nothing more to do with each other than a first person heroine who falls in love with a vampire, and that plot is a dime a dozen.

But I don't think *Vulnerable* is a common book, and I have to say (and I've said it before, in different places) that the petty, green-eyed kitten who lives behind my eyes is having a nasty claw-fest field day with my hanging brain-ganglia, because, although the amount of fame Ms. Meyer has scares me stupid and I would never want it, I sure would like to be able to quit my day job. I would also dearly love to hire a copy-editor so that dear friends could read my books straight out of the gate, no errors included. I would REALLY love to know that my next book will be printed, no questions asked, no balancing the grocery money and Christmas on my next royalty check to hope for the best.

I wish Ms. Meyer and the unbearably pretty cast of *Twilight* all the best--I do. And I certainly am not near ready to throw in the towel on this book thing--I have so many imaginary places I want to go and share, and my Little Goddess has four more books at the very least, in which to play out her interesting life.

But I'm going to be a little bit sad and a little bit jealous, and as Cory Kirkpatrick would say, "Fuckin' sue me. I'm human."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gotta give it up to Knittech...

She sure can do those lists! Have you read them? They're all written in a straight line, and they're usually hilarious, and they're just a list of things--irritating or wonderful--about her day.

I love her lists.

I sat down to blog tonight and was thinking, "Gees, I sure would like to just do a list," and then I remembered all of the other times I did lists, and I just sort of nattered on and on about a topic. I think this explains a lot about my grocery store buying habits, as well as why I never just go in and 'edit' what I've been told is wrong, but have to edit everything in between as well. I'm just not a very linear thinker--which is too bad, because this is DEFINITELY a linear thinker's world.

Which could explain why my department head probably wishes I would melt, thaw, and resolve myself into a dew right now.

See, it all started when I missed two department meetings in a row. The first time I just completely forgot, because, well, it was September. (You all know September, right--I mean, two kids in soccer, three birthdays, school's beginning, camel races, aliens landing, chaos? September?) The second one I was all planned for--had the babysitters (yes, plural--one for the Cave Troll, one for Ladybug) and the ride for Chicken all lined up. And then Ladybug's babysitter called and said Ladybug was sporting a fever--and no more department meeting, right?

So this last department meeting I was bound and determined to go to.

It was going to be a stretch--Ladybug was going to have to be there, and Chicken was going to have to wait for me to arrive, but I'd be there. And then Mate e-mailed, and I had to go pick up the Cave Troll BEFORE I picked up Ladybug, and the Cave Troll had already had one ride cross town, and then there was another one to go get his sister, and he didn't get his quiet time or his nap time and as a whole, was living up to his name. Anyway, so there we were, me and the short people in the department meeting, and they were NOT in top form. The Cave Troll dumped a bottle of water on my foot and Ladybug didn't stop talking once. And in the meantime, I was being grilled like a trout about my curriculum this semester (in a good way--it was, apparently something everybody went through, only I hadn't been there for the process). Anyway, let's just say that the kids were so bad that after I was bbq'd like filet-o-carp, my department head said, as dryly as possible, "You don't have to stay for the rest of the meeting."

I fled. I would like to say I fled with dignity, but Ladybug was dropping coloring supplies as we went and I had to keep going back for them and then I'd try to hold them and she'd whine and then I'd give them to her and she'd drop them and as a whole, the royal family we were not. So we dragged our sorry, whiny, disorganized Lane family asses out of Mr. Trick's room, and the last thing my department heard me say was probably, "C'mon, guys, we've got to go get Chicken." I really said 'Chicken', too, I didn't use her real name, which might have made me sound a tad less insane.

So I came to sit down to blog, and all of a sudden, I wished I could write in a straight line like Knittech, because being a straight line person suddenly sounds as heavenly as being a grown-up sounds to an eight year old.

But I don't think I'll ever know.

(P.S.--And this has nothing to do with anything at all, except, if you heard a loud, piercing RABID FANGIRL SQUEAL last night, around ten p.m. Pacific Standard Time, that was me, swooning over Supernatural, because Dean Winchester finally spoke about his time in hell and he CRIED!!!! You all know how I feel about those tough-as-nails weepy men, right? First he got a love scene that made me sweat all over--in front of the teenagers too, it was embarrassing, I almost sent them to their rooms so I could slobber in peace-- and then he CRIED!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG... I'm going to be quivering over that episode for at least a month. Which is a good thing because there's no new episodes until Jan. 15th. It's a good thing I kept the last 5 on the DVR, because, well, did I mention OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG? *happy sigh* Excuse me, I'm going to moon over my rabid fangirlgasm now... it was just swell.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome to the Monkey House

The problem with trying to do work at home is that all your coworkers are insane.

It all started as I sat here and edited Bitter Moon II. I was actually enjoying myself, and I looked up and saw that the Cave Troll had no pants of any kind. There he was, bum-winkie-nekkid, yelling at me about his hot-pocket being too hot.

I told him for Sweet Triane's sake, go get some damned pants on.

He ran away--I don't know why I assumed he was going to comply.

A few minutes later, Ladybug was looking for him and I went to make sure that, you know, he was no longer bumwinkienekkid, and I found him. In our bed. Bumwinkienekkid. Giving himself a, well, small favor, as it were.

I screamed and threw some pants at him and stalked in here to pretend I had never given birth, but alas, the illusion was short lived.

It seemed that while he was giving himself a favor, his little sister was giving his dinner to his big brother.

Now, Big T has never been the sort of kid to look at a gift hot-pocket not going into his mouth, as it were, but Ladybug can be quite persistent when she wants you to eat, so I didn't hold it against him.

The Cave Troll did. The Cave Troll yelled and writhed on the kitchen floor (thankfully clothed by this time) and screamed and screamed and Chicken came in to see what all the shouting was about. When she heard about the last hot-pocket, she turned to her little sister and admonished, "Bad, Ladybug, baaaaad!!!"

Ladybug was unrepentant. She stood, one hand on a cocked hip, one hand holding a tiny plate with the last bite of hot pocket in the entire house. "I'm not bad!!!" she said smugly. Then the little shit shoved the last of the hot pocket in her mouth and aimed her full cheeks at her despondent brother. "MMMMMMmmmmmm... goooooooood hot pocket..." she garbled.

I put my face in my hands and laughed maniacally and for a moment, a sweet, sweet moment, pretended this moment in motherhood was fiction...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Because this is my life...

I got home today and there were two packages--for ME! There was 'Elfhunter' from my friend Archer (C.J. Marks) and there was (oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!) 'Sanna Meets Dauntless SwiftSure' by none other than our very own Roxie--YEEEEEHHAAAA! So there I was, in my office (the bathroom) doing my business ('nuff said) and about two chapters in (bliss--on so many levels, you have no idea...) when there was a barge at the door.

It was the Cave Troll.

He had a pillow over his head, and he was screaming "I'm a cake, mom, eat me!!!" before he toppled backwards into the clean clothes, giggling like a maniac.

Within fifteen minutes, he was asleep on the couch, twitching like a hound dog after a long hunt. (Down apparently for the night--he hasn't woken up yet, and it's after 11 p.m.!)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my life--it ain't bad, but it sure ain't normal!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet boy, very hyper...

(The Cave Troll, Mate, & Grandpa Pete light candles.)

It was a rough day housecleaning, and it seemed as though every time we got a break from the short people, they were getting into something worse than what they were doing when they were driving us crazy.

Example? The Cave Troll disappeared for fifteen minutes when we yelled at him about climbing on the couch (which was upside down so we could vacuum under it.) When he came out of our room, he had a big bump/scrape ON HIS HEAD. Where it came from, he never said! (Yes, it rhymes... and I may filk about it later, but right now, I just wonder what fell on his noggin!)

Ladybug spent much of the day driving us apeshit as we tried to clean the damned house, and when she disappeared? Well, let's just say I found her trying to redecorate the freshly cleaned bathroom. In brown.

Nevertheless, the house eventually got clean, the pizza eventually got cooked, and grandma and grandpa and Auntie Wendy & Uncle Craig eventually showed up and showered the Cave Troll with gifts. His favorite was from mom and dad, who, in spite of a fiscal crisis of, well, national proportions, managed to dump collateral into a Bat Cave. Huzzah--we're broke, but he's happy.

I was going to try to go for a picture of Ladybug with a blue-icing face, but I'm counting my blessings that we got the Cave Troll with his dad and Grandpa Pete--lighting the candles on the cake. A moment of peace, to show that yes, I have, once again, not scarred my young by my inept handling of his social life. Huzzah for me! And Huzzah for my Cave Troll, who is amazingly like Mate in his ability to be pleased with very little, and his willingness to be sucked into a little big of escapism for a very long time. I'm a little tired and not quite in a 'waxing rhapsodic' about the little troll, but as far as little troll's go, he could be my absolute favorite. The kid wants a 'hognkes' (hug & kiss) from mom every time I leave the house--seriously, doesn't everybody need that sort of love? I'm very grateful to get it--and he's just damned cute besides. I, of all people, know that never lasts long enough.

As for the rest of the day, I managed to make a phone call to a friend (Hey, Needletart!) and since everybody has gone to bed, I've been editing like mad. As soon as we recover from the Bat-Cave Expenditure, and, well, Big T's B-day, and that pesky Christmas thing...well, it will be publishable. I swear.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A long string of weirdness...

***The Cave Troll is 5 today (11/15)--tomorrow I will do a big gushy B-Day post, but today, let me leave you with this.

A young man in my 3rd period came into class with a lot of balloons yesterday. He is handsome, quiet, and subversive--he talks quietly a lot because he's done with his work about three or four light years before the other students, but he doesn't raise his hand because he doesn't like a lot of attention. He came up to my desk to offer me a brownie, and I said, "Heya, Ter--what's with all the balloons, is the fourteenth your birthday?"

Ter flashed a couple of killer dimples and said, "No, it's not today, it's tomorrow--the fifteenth."

Aha! I thought. There IS something special about the fifteenth of November--if nothing else, it seems to produce a lot of kids with gorgeous brown eyes and a killer set of dimples!

***I managed to finish a pair of socks today--huzzah! Only six or seven more projects to complete before I feel as though I've won at Christmas. Julie will be so proud!

***Chicken's last regular season game happened today. It was a tie--hey, that's the closest thing to a win we've seen all year!

***I got my last Harry Potter reserved sock yarn--it's in the Harry & Ron colorway, which I chose instead of Harry all by himself. You all know me--Harry Potter isn't nearly as good by himself as he is with his friends--I believe that.

***Needletart, bless her bless her bless her, finished her SECOND round of editing on Bitter Moon II. Of course, I can't open the attachment now, but that hasn't stopped me. With her notes in mind, I've actually OPENED that file on my computer and started to read the damn thing again, and I've noticed two things:

A. I'm picking up on a whole lot of errors I missed beforehand. With any luck, by the time I open Bonnie's attachment, between the two of us, we will have covered all the problem spots--yippee!!

B. (And may the Goddess not strike me down for hubris here) It's very good. This one hurt--you all know that. It hurt, it ripped my heart out and then I revised it and that ripped my heart out and then I edited it and that about killed me and it just plain old fucking hurt. But on my umpteenth read-through, with a little space between me and all that angsty pain, it's good. Could very well be the best thing I've ever written. Could be the worst, too, but I don't think so. I think the pain made it special, and isn't that a kick in the ass.

***I tried twice to mail a package to Canada today. I failed because why? Because I'm a lame-o dipshit, that's why. I copied the damned Canadian zip-code wrong, and I deserve to have to make a third trip to the damned post office. FUcking H. Seriously--that's all it came down to, one lousy fucking H.

*** (Some of you have heard this before--I just couldn't let it sit in my private e-mail.)

The following message went out on our staff e-mail this week regarding a student's cumulative file folder:

Re: Jane Smith-- If anyone has her cum please send it to the office.

Uhm, you do NOT want to know what a bunch of emotionally immature English teachers did with that e-mail. But I bet you can guess.

***I went shopping for the Cave Troll's toy today, for his birthday. One of the things that came into my hands as a serious contemplation, was a big Batman wingspan with a mask and gauntlets and everything. I almost got it. I'd picked up the rather large package and was visualizing the Cave Troll trying to maneuver our small house with his five-foot wingspan and hearing him screech "I'm Batman!" at the top of his little voice and loving it! And then I saw the fine print: This is not a flying toy.

Picture, if you will, a little cartoon thought-bubble, going up above my head: The Cave Troll, Batman wings extended, plopping off the roof of the house like surprised cannon shot.

Very carefully, I put the toy back and got him something else instead.

And that's all folks--I'll be back tomorrow with Cave Troll pictures!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rumors of my pregnancy are GREATLY exaggerated


Okay--it all started when I asked for time off-- last year. And I did a little paperwork and the time off was approved and vague, mysterious things happened in all bureaucratic layers above my head, and this year I came back to school and VOILA! I only had three classes.

Or so I thought.

Last year something else happened--we switched our pay-check schedule. We went from getting our paycheck on the 30th of the month to the first of the month. Sounds like no big deal, right?

Well, it shouldn't have been.

The 30th of August I got my 1st of September paycheck--and it was for full time. Because the significance of the paycheck date COMPLETELY eluded me, I thought it was my last summer full time check, and that the next check would be *sob* MUCH smaller.

It wasn't.

This tipped me off. AHA! I thought. Something vague and mysterious in the upper echelons of bureaucracy didn't go RIGHT, it went WRONG!!! I went into Human Resources, and all of my fears were validated. My campus thought I was part time, but my DISTRICT thought I was full time. Panic. Despair. (In my case) EXTREME irritation.

Two things had to be done.

The first was, I had to pay back 40% of my first month's pay check. Since the rest of my paychecks weren't getting any BIGGER this has made for a rather icky introduction to part time. (If you all hear me whining about money again, you're going to scream--I can tell!!!)

The second was, I had to become 'legally' part time. This was tricky--the school year had already started, and we couldn't just white out my contract and pen in the right numbers--it seems that's sort of frowned up on by auditors. The solution was, they would simply put me down for having a partial (40%) leave of absence. But this has to be cleared by the board, so it went on as an agenda item.

"Lane: Request Leave of Absence"

Uhm, for the record, the last two times I requested a Leave of Absence, it was to give birth.

Which is why, in her polite, erm, PANICKED way, Lady in Red was the third (COUNT 'EM, THIRD!!!) person today to ask me if I am, once again, pregnant.

I am not. Thank the Goddess. I'm just broke, and that's enough for now!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've got more than nothing and less than something.

I'm afraid I'm going random style today--sorry. I've been trying to dredge up something coherent all day, and it just isn't flying. Brain on sludge--talk to me after Christmas!

* I hate my 3rd period class. A lot. Someone VANDALIZED A FUCKING DESK today--I caught it in time to wipe that thing clean but after searching umpteen back-packs I didn't find the damned pen. Fucking kids. I know which asshole did it, too, but I just can't pin it on him and I'm SO tired of this shit!!! I had a vile thought today--I thought I was GLAD that fucker is failing--and I AM!!! And do you know why I can't feel guilty about it? I can't feel guilty about it because even if he takes my class again--hell, even if he takes 11th grade English four more times, he will not have wasted any more of his life force than he has wasted for the rest of us combined during the LAST FOURTEEN WEEKS! (*kicks table*) AUUUUUUUGHHHH!!!!!!!! I'm pissed all over again. Shit.

* Ladybug keeps trying to be a cat. She crawls on the back of the sofa, sits at our feet, crawls up on my chest and lays on top of my knitting looking at me and saying *meow* (I am NOT kidding!) What's sad is that it finally hit me how cute this is--I mean, how seriously damned cute. And I almost missed it because I was fantasizing about rolling someone else's kid in honey and leaving him for those big fucking red ants in Indiana Jones Nuked the Fridge. Yup. It's official. I've hit the place where I hate my job again.

* Big T's school had a lockdown this morning while T was taking his ASVAB because some idiot brought a weapon to school. I think I should keep that imaginary anthill ready-- T might need it.

* I'm knitting a big honkin' acrylic guilty pleasure with sockyarn. Seriously--brought out the whoopty twelves and went for it--and the scarf is just cruising! Easy Christmas present for a muggle--I'm down with this bad mama!

* The short people had a riot going to bed tonight. I just thought I'd throw that in for color--it helped to top off my mood like whipped cream and a formaldahyde cherry!

* I'm reading--seriously--I've finished almost two books in two weeks. Ten years ago, that would have been nuthin'. Today, it's like fitting into my skinny pants!!! I miss reading for pleasure--it used to be one of the things that kept me sane, which nowadays, I think means I'm not sane in the least. (I'm sure the surprise that I'm completely loony-bo-batshit has most of you just glued to the floor, doesn't it?)

* Eric my old student visited me today. There is something wonderful about having someone who laughs at your jokes and doesn't judge your, uhm, alternative lifestyle erotic paranormal romance (read: gay werewolf porn) as anything other than thoughtful entertainment come and talk to you. It's like having a friend in real life--it's occurred to me that I don't have may of those. I really am an internet geek--ah, well. It was bound to happen.

* Eric's visit meant that I missed the yarn-club meeting at school. On the one hand I'm bummed--some nice people there. On the other hand, the EXTREMELY judgmental colleague who finishes every sentence I utter with the words 'Yarn Geek' as though it's funny--you know, like taking your favorite book and adding 'in you pants to the end'--"The Great Gatsby--in your pants!"--anyway, I wasn't forced to visit her. I was relieved. She's really mean.

* I would like to lose weight, but I have to stop using cheese as a main ingredient and cookies as a diet supplement. I'm sure once I do that, everything else will follow.

* I remember this time last year--I wrote the post about the Mean Scorpio Moon. I can feel this time of year in my gut and lungs--and it is mean. It's vicious, it's hopeless, it's an astrological tantrum in my bones. All I ask for is the strength to not just hunker down and endure, but to turn around and snarl in the face of the gnawing hopelessness and chew some sinew from the things that piss me off. Canya gimme a little grit and gumption, Goddess? I knew you could--amen!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Like a festering boil...

(Okay--random kid cuteness, because no one was on the other computer and I could!)

First of all-- Waiting-- So far, so good! (ismarah, come... join the dark side...) Seriously, so far, folks have enjoyed WAITING, and I am, well, pleased. Very very pleased. Keep the comments coming--they do give me hope! (And since the iUniverse site is down and I have NO IDEA what my sales have been for the last three months, I'm thinking hope is a good thing!)

Second of all--Overheard in my classroom today:

"Ms. Lane, what's a metaphor?"

"You're a Junior, Grintan (not real name), you should know what a metaphor is."

"I can't find it in the glossary."

"Look at the questions under Jonathan Edwards."


"We spent two weeks reading him. Or rather I spent two weeks reading him while you spent two weeks sitting at your desk, standing on your book and tracking drool."

"Does he tell me what a metaphor is?"

"Are you kidding me that you don't know? It's a comparison between two unlike things. Edwards compared God's wrath to an arrow, thirsty for your blood. He compared our sense of safety to a spiderweb trying to hold back the boulder of death. You remember what a metaphor is now, don't you?"

*The cross-eyed expression of a siamese cat ensues"

"Don't you? Come ON Grintan--I KNOW who your teachers have been--I KNOW they all cover metaphors--and I KNOW they do a bang-up job of it! You MUST know what a metaphor is."

"'s a... a..." (his friend whispers) "A companion of two things that are like each other."

"A. Comparison. Of. Two. Unlike. Things."

"But what does it mean?"

"It's a figure of speech. The author compares the thing he's talking about to something imaginary to make you feel the real one emotionally."

"What's imaginary about a spider-web?"

*deep sigh* "Okay, Grintan--if I say the sun rose like a scoop of orange sherbet in a bright blue bowl, what kind of day is that going to be?"

"A yucky one. I hate sherbet."

"WORK with me here!"

"A sticky day?"

"We're talking MOOD here, Grintan!"

"A...a...a...GOOOOOD day?"

"Uh-huh. And if I said the sun rose like a festering boil on a cave troll's stinky ass, what kind of day is it going to be?"

"A fun day? A funny day? An interesting day? An IMAGINARY day?"

"A STINKY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!"

"You don't need to yell!"

"Do you understand now?"

"Understand what?"


"I don't get it."

*Bell rings* "Have a festering boil of a day, Grintan..."

*sigh* And THAT'S why I don't talk about school as much as I used to...

Edited to add:

But on the upside, this also happened:

I found a little hermit crab puppet from Monterey Bay Aquarium the other day--three fingers, one for head, two for claws--and I came up with a voice, a weird little personality, charmed the short people, and for the hell of it, brought it to school today.

I pulled it out of my pocket, said a few things as "Louie the Crab", and watched, amused, as the big strong high school students got intrigued and interested by the goofy little puppet.

But the best part is my third period, which seems to be obsessed with my drug-free status in College. And there I was, goofy little puppet talking to the class, and one of them stood up and said, "Oh come ON, Ms. Lane--you can't TELL me you ain't smoking SOMETHING!!!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No More Waiting:-)

WAITING is up on the website--except there's sort of a labeling problem. (You know when you're reaching for chocolate and you get cheesecake...yeah, hate that!)

Sometimes when you pull it up, the sidebar under 'Amy's Writings' says 'Yearning*' and 'Yearning'. The one WITH the *asterisk is *really* WAITING, not YEARNING! Sorry about that--fucking computer glitches!

Anyway, as always, if you enjoy the stories, let me know about it!!! The free stories are sort of keeping me all excited and in the game--I'm like a weird narcissistic imagination monster that feeds on feedback..(more more more nom nom nom nom) Anyway, I MAY turn out one more story before RAMPANT is in the editing stage, or I may save the rest of Jack & Teague for when RAMPANT is done, I'm not sure, so do let me know how we like the guys. So far, people are really enjoying their company;-)

Oh yeah--I participate in the forums on, and on one of them we write 'filk' (fake folk songs) whenever it moves us. Let's just say I was challenged sort of to write this one...and I thought I'd share it with you all!

Young Trystan Bard was a greedy lad
Wasn't nothing he gave up he didn't wish he had
Not just toys, not just clothes not just shoes had he
He didn't want to give up stuff that should just be 'let be'.

There was no known limit to his avarice
Common sense wouldn't give way to grown-up advice
Like 'you're not losing treasure whenever you flush,'
Or, 'There's no golden value in your diaper of mush'

But the worst thing the young lad ever wanted to hold
Was the giant booger attached to his nose with a cold.
O Trystan yelled loud when dad put the boogey in trash
So he opened the can and went through the stash,
Ignoring the grown-ups screaming "Omigod,that's so gross!
Kid PLEASE don't stuff that booger back in your nose!"

Well Trystan's grown up now (I call him 'Thing 1')
And he's learned to lose boogers after their time in the sun,
But we've never forgotten that moment of "urg!"
When the kid tried to reattach that giant booger!

True Story. Very gross. No lie.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Slowly becoming one with the cosmos...

Okay-- the dragon in my blood that was 'Waiting' has settled down to brood happily over 'Rampant' again, the election is over (Go Obama!!! California--shame on us. Shame on us all) and the Christmas madness has not quite begun. I'm almost ready to join the human race again.

Or I would be if this pesky 'falling asleep over the keyboard' thing would stop happening! I asked Mate why it seemed I was always tired--his reply, "I don't think we're getting enough sleep," didn't SOUND sarcastic, but it can't be that simple, can it? I have the feeling I'll find out tonight--after 1 1/2 hours of tweaking the hell out of my neck to 'snuggle' with the short people as they watched a movie, I'm once again in danger of typing seventy-eleven rows of 'dddddddd' and thinking objectively that it could be the best I can do! (True story--did that last post seem a little disjointed? Now you know why!)

I've been trying to put together my thoughts for a blog post, and I've only got a couple of things--none of them profound.


Uhm, Harry Potter Sockyarn--I've got two skeins on reserve, on in my stash, and if it wasn't for the fact that they didn't have a Hermione colorway, I'd have to say I'm a fan. (Of course, Schaeffer did have Hermione colored!)So check it out if you haven't--it really is the ultimate in yarn-geekdom! Btw? I got Ron, Harry & Ron, & Dumbledore-- but Lupin was a close second, and, of course, Harry all by himself:-) (I still don't understand how they have Tonks but not Hermione... did they even READ Harry Potter?)

Did I mention shame on California? I did, but it bears repeating. And, as John Stewart just pointed out, how ironic that we've now passed an initiative to treat our food chickens more humanely at the same time we passed something to treat our real people less like real people. My faith in humanity might be slipping a little--I'm just too tired to tell.

Oh, hey-- I may get to teach Creative WRiting next year! Or at least they're putting it back on the books--the Vainglorious Prickweenie yanked it the year he came into power--in spite of the fact that the whole basis of the fucking class was to READ LITERATURE and dissect it by LITERARY CONCEPT and then APPLY THE CONCEPT (for those of you who know your state education standards, you can see the education standards just built right in here) the fucker decided that he would yank it, ask for a re-write of the standards application and ignore the paperwork the two years running I bothered to send it in. Anyway, my beloved leader in power now, who I will try not to let down, has looked me in the eye and said, "This is me, Amy, telling you, I WANT YOU TO TEACH THIS CLASS." I almost wept. Maybe my own personal high of getting to teach something I think I'm pretty good at and that I believe in, (as opposed to 'test taking 101' which, let's face it, our core curriculum has devolved into to some extent) has actually worked to restore some of my own faith in humanity. It's November--trust me, I know what I say when I tell you that the student honeymoon is over, and a little faith in my mission to the world is very very necessary!

And in chatting with a counselor about the paperwork, I got to talk about knitting and that was fun too! The counselor (whose daughter bonded with mine by saying the magic word 'Twilight') has just gotten nuts about knitting--but she almost made herself truly nuts to the point of UFO for life! She wanted to knit a 'beginner's lace scarf', so she cruised some of the internet sites and found Knitty--which we all agree is a very good thing. Then she pulled up the 'Waving Grains' scarf and brought me the pattern and said, "I want to do THIS!" which we all agree could be a very BAD thing. But she looked at the pattern for a while and then came to me and said, "You know, I think that might be a little difficult for me!" I was SO relieved! I didn't want to kill her enthusiasm, but Goddess, did I see some pain and suffering in her future! So we're looking for some easier lace patterns, and I think I may want to show her the joys of the basic feather and fan--so versatile, so simple, so perfect for the beginner wanting to step up:-)

And a shout out to Andrea, who left a comment here yesterday--and an answer to everyone else who's wondering:

Bitter Moon II is, to all intents and purposes, done. Because I had no money in the bank account when it was completed, I figured I'd take some nice folks up on another round of editing while I was waiting for my bank account to get a little fatter, and it looks like I might be able to release BMOON II in the winter, around my usual book-release time, so, YAY! Those of you who HAVEN'T shouldered the burden of this poor book's miserable birthing process will get a chance to read it in January. (Those of you who have, well, your copy will be coming in the mail:-)

And 'Waiting'? Well, I've spent the week tinkering--and unless Littlewitch or Galad have any notes for me (Galad was pretty sick and it was Littlewitch's birthday, I really just sent it to them as a pick me up, no notes necessary!)-- the waiting should be over for 'Waiting' tomorrow! (Which, btb, is also when I plan to update the website with all this info as well.

And that's about all--the kids are still cute, the husband is still wonderful, and in spite of my continuing dreamy-eyed exhaustion and the blind answer to the roaring of the dragon in my blood, I'd have to say I'm grateful. I've had some rather blunt, painful reminders that health and contentment are fleeting--some gratitude is definitely in order and I hope the gods are listening. Thank you for my loved ones and our health and happiness--they are a lovely gift.

(Oh yeah--the Cave Troll turns 5 next week--WOW!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Doesn't ANYONE stop talking?

I have officially remembered why I went to part time.

I had a staff meeting today--didn't get home until 5:15--the short people were... well...

Amazingly talkative.

I spent two hours on the couch with my squishy Ladybug kitty and a cowgirl and a kid who needed to look at a Wal-Mart catalogue and a kid who needed milk and a kid who needed dinner and then needed a hotdog and then needed to sit on my lap and one who wanted to enact a dentist appointment (where three out of four went with their father) and one who wanted to touch my knitting and one who wanted to show me toys and one who wanted a story book...

I really only have two kids who fit on my lap--you all know that, right?

OI! I finally lost my temper--ENOUGH!!! And threw the shortest, squishiest one in her bed. The bony angular one fell asleep within a minute and a half afterward--in our bed. And I thought the noise would stop.

I mean--I'd done a major re-org on two classes to get them to shut up--and they did. My 3rd period asked me for a reason to read the Declaration of Independence in the same breath (I'm not shitting you) that they asked me what I voted on Prop 8--I told them the answer to both--again in the same breath.

They were absolutely silent. But they were the only ones.

There was a meeting, there was other teachers, there were voices in my head--none of it stopped, not once.

And then I got home and nobody stopped talking--it was very weird. Even after the short people went to bed, Big T wouldn't stop talking.

Weird. Weird. Weird.

And now, everyone's asleep but me, sitting alone, working quietly on my Noro Landscape scarf (this simple and almost poetic blend of a simple stitch pattern and yarn the color of a November day--Interweave Crochet Winter issue) and finally, FINALLY it's quiet.

I must say, even weirder.

(btw--my favorite refrigerator magnet of all times said "When it walks out of the fridge, let it go!" What's yours?)

Oh yeah--this was my first choice... (Donna Lee, I totally snagged this from you, and I bet you're laughing uproariously at the moment!)

My last choice of designs, btw? Teacher.

You Should Be a Social Worker

You are deeply caring and empathetic.

You are able to take on other people's problems as if they were your own.

Sensitive and intuitive, you understand human emotions well.

Helping others gives you the most joy in life. You feel like it's your purpose in life.

You do best when you:

- Have a lot of responsibility

- Greatly impact someone's life with your work

You would also be a good philanthropist or stay at home parent.

Monday, November 3, 2008

*Warning* I'm about to talk politics and religion

I'm sorry. I really am. I know most of you will forgive me, but I may alienate some people. I don't like doing that--I really don't, but what's that quote by Martin Luther King Jr.? Our lives begin to end the day we stay silent about the things that really matter? Yeah. That.

One of the issues going on the California Ballot tomorrow is Proposition 8. Proposition 8 would make gay marriage illegal. Now, the thing here is that a similar ballot already passed in California--and the California Supreme Court overturned it.

I have no problem with them doing this.

I've been teaching the Declaration of Independence for the last week--Thomas Jefferson's original version vs. the one that the committee eventually passed. Did you know that big HONKING chunks of Jefferson's original work were cut out in the one that finally got ratified? Uh-huh. Including a paragraph and a half expounding on what a total shit the king was for instituting the evils of slavery to the new colonies. Mmm-hmm. Do we know WHY that section was ripped out, leaving slavery as a big fat canker sore bleeding our country for the next 88 years? Anyone? Mmmm-hmmm. Because the mob-rule of economics prevailed. More votes for keeping slavery in than for removing it, and so, well, an entire race was SCREWED, and racism is cheerfully propagated for the next 200+ years. My point?

The mob does not always know what is right.

Yup. You heard me. Democracy is checks and balances, and the reason we put people in the supreme court is because we assume (hope, pray, beg) that their devotion to reason and law will balance the complete proliferation of fuckheads who vote out of fear, bigotry, and the short-sighted devotion to all things the day before yesterday and no things five years from now.

It's a thin hope, but I think it was rewarded when they voted down the first law against gay marriage. The mob voted, reason prevailed.

Well, the mob is back. They are on every street corner waving signs funded by the religious right and screaming 'Honk if you want traditional family back!' (As a member of a traditional family, I'm wondering what makes these people think it ever went extinct. I'm also wondering what makes my family so much more interesting or valid than anybody else's family. I am reasonably certain that the kid in my class two years ago who was being raised by the two dads had a lot less dirt in his corners and dressed better than my children. Just sayin'.)

The signs are EVERYWHERE.

For a while I wondered, you know, why the YES signs were so much more prevalent than the NO signs, if the NO side was winning. Then my husband (who is a little more economically savvy than I am) explained that there was church funding in the YES corner. Well of course there was. And who is going to fund the NO side, really? I mean, it's not like gay couples have any more money than straight couples to go out, print up a shitload of signs that say YES I HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXIST, and then stand on street corners looking bewildered, beleaguered, and (well, I would be anyway) PISSED OFF!

So there you go. The mob again. Trying desperately to rule.

And for what? I mean, I've attended church with my English credentials intact--I've always said that many people's first crack at interpreting literature was church, where the pastor gives the scripture then the sermon based on whatever part of the scripture he damned well pleases. I've heard the one bit of scripture--one, mind you--where Jesus actually addresses homosexuality, and, uhm, I really wasn't impressed.

I mean, my pastor wasn't a great interpreter--at least the last guy wasn't. He was a very sweet man with a lot of faith but not a lot of imagination, and his sermons tended to boil down to, "So, what Jesus was saying was that he IS the savior. Jesus is the SAVIOR. JESUS is the savior." Uhhm...yeah. I listened to those scriptures with my thinking ears on, and there was more to it than that.

Jesus was in an absolutely shitty political position. He arrived, the people IN his camp wanted a warrior, the people OPPOSED to him wanted to prove he was a fraud, and Jesus--well, it appears he mostly wanted us to be decent to each other.

I've made my religious ambiguity fairly public. I've got a lot of different, radical, probably blasphemous ideas about religion, but if you check the holy book (if you don't have one on hand, I understand there are a lot of them in hotels. Because a lot of sacred things happen there, I don't know!) I think you'll find that Jesus was repeatedly being accosted with questions asking him to define the RULES OF RELIGION. As in, Hey, Jesus--what is the RULE OF RELIGION for prostitutes. His response was, well, the nice lady washing my feet with her hair deserves compassion and respect. They didn't particularly like that. And then there was, Hey, Jesus, what is the RULE OF RELIGION for someone who violates the Sabbath for healing. And jesus said, uhm, well, I just healed someone on the Sabbath, was that bad? And so on. The guy was repeatedly being asked to put the articles of his faith into a nice labeled box, complete with color coding and file markings--you know, X offense will get you so many years in hell, and Y offense will get you so many MORE years in hell, and if you complain, you'll never get out, and we'll take away the amenities.

The thing that was cool about Jesus was that his responses were pretty ambiguous, but they usually boiled down to the following basic concept:


And, yeah. Again, I'm not exactly a poster girl for church and most churchgoers probably think I'm going to hell, but, uhm, I think that's why they crucified him.

The mob said, "We can not deal with someone who does not quantify good and evil. It scares us to decide how to be nice to somebody we don't understand. Compassion without some sort of extrinsic reward does not compute. KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL."

So, uhm, yeah.

I sat in my chair yesterday with the sliding glass door open, listening to the mob screaming and the horns honking in the rain. The noise was coming from over a mile away. It occurred to me:

These people, these 'Christian people' were the same people who would crucify Christ all over again.

They want their good and evil quantified. Christ made ONE (translated, out of context) remark about same-sex relationships being like blending fiber (while probably wearing blended fiber himself, mind you!) and the fearful, the 'put my good in one box and evil in the other' people, said, "Aha! That means it's evil!"

They ignored a crapload of Gospels in which the poor guy literally DIED to tell us that treating people with compassion and dignity was pretty much key to the whole shebang and said, "No, seriously, the key is, not shagging someone with my same genitalia."

Now these people screaming outside on the corner of Sunrise and Greenback in the rain are probably a mixed bunch. Some of them may be deeply moral, highly thoughtful people who have searched their souls for the answer and have decided to simply rely on the religious traditions they find comfort in to make their decision for them.

But you can bet your ass, some of them will come home, kick the dog, slap the wife, and eat an orphan's kitten for breakfast, then defend that particular lifestyle choice with, "Well, at least I'm not a faggot."

And it doesn't matter--because once they started screaming for blood, once they called upon their government to shit on human rights, they ceased to become individuals and became a mob, and just like the mob 2000 years ago they have forfeited compassion and human dignity in favor of prejudice, bigotry, and destruction.

And it's not like they SEE what damage they're doing. Odds are, if they feel that strongly about it, they don't have a big assortment of gay friends. (Okay, SOMEONE is coming out of the woodwork to prove me wrong on that one. If I can concede that it can happen, will you concede, "Okay, but not often?") And many of them probably don't have to stand in a classroom with an adolescent screaming things like "FUCKING FAGGOTS NEED JUST DO WHAT'S FUCKING RIGHT" and explain that hate speech is wrong and discrimination is illegal. I mean, if the government says it's okay to be a narrow minded bigot, why isn't it okay to scream hate-speech or beat up the poor skinny kid minding his own business who just LOOKS like he might be gay? Our students don't see the difference, and, well, if mom and dad devoted so much time for eliminating rights for these people, well, beating the shit out of them can't be such a bad thing. So for a lot of this mob, they get to scream for blood and shit all over the constitution and basic human rights and not see the wreckage they leave in their wake. They can just cast a vote and be smug that they have done their 'Christian' duty.

Uhm, yeah. Human race hasn't learned much in 2000 years, has it.

Holy Goddess, merciful God, forgive us, once again, for leading your innocent children to slaughter.


(Okay, folks--next post will be favorite refrigerator magnet sayings or something light and definitely not political and not religious. Again, my apologies, especially if I have offended anyone-- Amy)

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Okay-- here's the pictures! I know, I know, one of them is sideways--and don't enbiggen them because it shows you what you've always suspected: My children are possessed by Satan and have the red-eye to prove it!

But it doesn't matter. Possessed or saintly, they're mine, and as I said before, they're hella cute:-)