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

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Health Care

Yes, I usually save my politics for Twitter, but I'm tired--for reasons I'll explain later--and a little punch drunk and pissed off.

I'm a soccer mom. A SOCCER MOM. There's a lot to hate the GOP for, but right now, what I hate them MOST for is making me involved in politics when I'd rather be SOCCER MOMMING goddammit. For real.

Anyway...

I have two adult children, living on their own, paying rent, car care (one of them), food, utilities--you know. Basically being grownups. In the last two months I've had to take them both to the ER.  Chicken because she fell down the stairs and cut her knee open, and last night, I spent three hours in the ER because Big T had an asthma attack and needed a chest X-Ray and a breathing treatment.

Big T is fine--but, of course, with the health care so big in the papers, it did make me really grateful for the fact that my kids are still on our health insurance. The ER copay for each kid was only $100.

Yeah. Only.

Nearly twenty years ago when we were applying to buy our house, we had to clean up one little matter of credit on our record-- $180 because I took my son in because he was crying and he must have an ear infection, dammit, right? What he had was a cognitive disability that nobody took the time to diagnose, but we didn't have health insurance at the time, and--24 years ago--$180 was the running fee for a kid in the ER.

And we couldn't pay it.

We dodged creditors for YEARS because until Mate got out of school, we flat out didn't have the goddamned $180.

I am well aware that "only" $100 would level my kids right now. They couldn't pay the actual fee on their own--they'd have to be billed, and then they'd be dodging that creditor for years until they found some semblance of financial stability.

I've lived without insurance and with children.  I lost my first teaching job because I was pregnant with  Big T when I was hired. Since Mate was still working restaurant work and going to school, we ended up on Medicaid when I got pregnant with Chicken. Do you know happens when you go into a hospital with Medicaid to have a baby? Well... first they condescend the SHIT out of you, and then when you give birth they ship you out ASAP. I know that they try not to do this anymore, but I walked into the hospital at 7:40 in labor with Chicken and gave birth at 8:19 pm. We were out the door at 10 a.m. the next morning. Frankly, if it had happened with ZoomBoy, he'd be dead. He became non-responsive after 14 hours and they had to feed him through a tube in his nose. Yes--poor health insurance WOULD HAVE killed my son.

But I digress. (Face it--I ramble--it's nap time for Amy, because getting to bed at 4 a.m. is not as easy as it used to be.)

What I'm saying is that health care is immediate. It's real. It's worth calling your senator for. It's worth not forgetting.

God, I want to be a soccer mom again and only a soccer mom. But I am a soccer mom and a college graduate's mom and a minimum wage earner's mom and a dancer's mom, and the mom to people who have to breathe and live in this world. (And yes, climate change and pollution ties into EVERYTHING too.  Yesterday was a spare the air day. He had an asthma attack because he works next to a mechanic who pumps a lot of crap into the air. Go figure.)

I have to stay involved, at least until I know that if my son has to go to the ER without me, he can afford to pay the bill.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eight of Wands

So I leave for RWA at the asscrack of dawn on Tuesday, and I am currently... overwhelmed.

Things to do:

Dye hair.

Do nails. (This has turned into a family event, much to Mate's chagrin.)

Grocery shopping for family.

Last minute shopping for me.

Soccer meeting for Squish.

Trip to the fair so kids can perform.

Find dance costumes and shoes so kids can perform.

Finish an incoming edit.

Have 20K on current project.

Walk the dogs, do the laundry, fold the laundry, decide what I'm wearing.

Find my good shoes.

Prepare and send out my blog tour for Red Fish, Dead Fish. 


Pack.

Guys.

I'm so going under.

The kids keep trying to talk to me and I'm a million miles away.

Anyway--

I'm going to leave you with a story of Mate and why he's awesome.

I was talking about my current project, and all of the things I wanted to write and how I wanted to market stuff and how I wanted to branch out and... and I started hyperventilating because consequences beget consequences and you have to deal with those consequences and even more consequences happen...

It's terrifying.

And Mate said, "Stop it. Just write the story. It's like freaking out in case you win the lottery. Nobody wins the lottery and if you do win the lottery it usually ruins your life. Just work every day and play and enjoy yourself. It'll happen--or it won't. We'll be fine."

He's a wise man, my Mate.

But he's wrong. I already won the lottery.  I married him.




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nobody's Mouse But Mine

So we got back from vacation and the dogs forgave me...

But my computer mouse didn't.

It didn't work. I mean... DIDN'T WORK.

Because of my computer set up I was bent over double over my console and going back and forth between an ergonomic keyboard and the touch mouse on my laptop.

I mean, I could do it--and I was even getting good at it, but my back was killing me.

And about five minutes ago, as I was sitting down to my computer to blog (wondering, "Hey, what am I going to blog about today? I saw Spiderman Homecoming again and it was AWESOME.") when  I reached automatically for my mouse...

AND IT WORKED.

I almost cried.

"Mate! MY MOUSE WORKS!"

He looked at it. "This isn't the same mouse."

"No," I said, because the other one had been red. I didn't realize it was red until now, with the little black one, but yes. It had been red.  "It's... wait. Which one was my mouse? Why did the mouse change? Where did the mouse go?"

"Well, since Chicken was here watching the kids, I'm assuming she accidentally switched mouses. So, you know. That's yours you got back."

And now I feel bad. I didn't recognize the non-identical twin. But it's okay--the mouse apparently forgives me...and OH BABY, DID YOU MISS ME?


Monday, July 17, 2017

Boxes

Gonna ramble.

First of all, people want to see me in Orlando (see yesterday's blog) and I think that's fantastic! I can't wait to meet folks at the signing! Wheee!

Second of all, I've never been thrilled with boxes.

Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. 

Yeah--most people remember that Emerson quote wrong. They think it's "foolish inconsistency"--but that's not what Emerson is saying. He's saying that we really fuck ourselves over trying to keep EVERYTHING THE PERFECT SAME ALL THE TIME.

In short, boxes aren't great.

Most holy books have inconsistencies in them. People start wars over whether or not they should be read one way or the other--so essentially a book who's entire purpose is to tell people to be nice to each other, give back to the earth, feed the hungry, educate the poor, respect the personhood of all persons becomes a tool of violence and oppression.

People want rules: I want to get away with as much as possible without being thought of as a bad person. Give me rules, and I will obey the rules and nobody will think I"m a bad person but I can still bully people on the internet and be judgey as fuck about people not me and think that mental illness and teen pregnancy and opioid addiction will never happen to me because I checked all the goddamned boxes.

But the fact is, sticking to those rules may be easier, because a person doesn't have to think, but it means that following the rules leaves the world at large at the mercy of people who DON'T WANT TO THINK. Like the people who believe, "Hey! This list of rules says homosexuality is BAD. If I'm not homosexual, I am not BAD, so I can be a complete and total vile ass-worm to anybody homosexual, and I am GOOD."  Now, I obviously don't feel that way, and people reading my books aren't going to think that way and that's fine. But what about people who think LGBTQ rights are GREAT, but adhere to progressive rules with the same zealotry as the redneck adheres to his fundamental church. "Hey, this list of rules says only idiots get pregnant as teenagers, so that must mean it's BAD. Since I had MY children in perfectly planned accord with my income level and support team status, I must be good, so I'm going to be judgey as fuck and a total assworm to anybody like that, and I am GOOD."

Which isn't good at all.

It's substituting one list of rules--one set of checked boxes for another--and then doing the same damned thing. "I have checked all the boxes, so I am good, and I can be a total twat to anybody who doesn't match this set of boxes."

When we were in the classroom, we were told to have a few general rules-- For example "Respect people's time"covers everything from "Don't talk when the teacher is talking" to "Don't ask dumbshit questions when other people have real ones," to "Don't be tardy and if you ARE tardy don't make a big furry assed deal about it that interrupts the whole goddamned class." You don't need to make a giant list of boxes to check if you have a generally good idea in place of the list of boxes. And that way, the kid who sees that someone set fire to the bathroom isn't going to be afraid of blurting out, "HEY OMIGOD THERE'S SMOKE!" because the teacher will send them to the principal's office before pulling the fire alarm.

In fact, it often seems like long specific lists of rules are made specifically to let people like politicians and dirty cops and people like Anne Coulter (who is a vile assworm) get away with doing and saying horrible things to people--like, say, shooting unarmed citizens and then saying, "But I was using a department accepted protocol of racially profiling to determine my life was in danger from a twelve year old with a candy bar in his hand."

It's like, "Hey-- that wasn't on my list of unacceptable boxes--I'm still a good person and can't be held accountable because YOU DID NOT TELL ME SPECIFICALLY THAT KILLING AN UNARMED PERSON OF COLOR WAS BAD IF I GOT CAUGHT DOING IT."

Which is, of course, totally evil and unacceptable vile fucking bullshit.

But that whole box thing--it does give people an out, particularly those who don't like to think, don't like to monitor their own morality, don't like to assess whether or not their hurtful behavior should have any internal consequences even if the external consequences are, shall we say, sorely lacking in depth and appropriate severity.

And the more one side (the left) sees the other side doing it (the ultraconservative dickweeds who want to kill the press, steal our health insurance, starve the children and enable the rapists) the more they feel justified in doing it themselves. For every politician going, "Hey, nobody is going to hold me accountable for this NRA kickback I'm getting to let my own citizens blow themselves up," there's a left wing troll screaming in someone's face about what should be a simple difference of opinion and not a blood-letting matter of extreme and dire proportions. And while the troll's actions aren't as dire as the crooked GOP's willingness to ignore moral bankruptcy, they don't make the wall of good we're trying to build any stronger.

I'm just saying--goodness is simple. Goodness is forgiveness. It's the strength to say, "I don't think that's right," and to do something to right the wrong. There is no requirement for being horrible to people, in goodness. It's EVIL that comes with all sorts of boxes checked and arguments made as to why being a shitty person if just fine because the boxes were checked, right? Legally it's all hunky dory! Ethically we're great!

I think Christopher Moore said it best: Feed the hungry, heal the sick, educate the poor. How hard is it to fuck that up?

Or was it Jesus who said that--different words, same meaning?

Or was it Mohammed?

Or Buddha?

Boudicca? Athena?

I'm sure it's out there somewhere, in a zillion different quotes.

Here's mine:

There is no list of checked boxes that can make us right if we still behave horribly to our fellow man. There just isn't.

So there you go.

Rambling, incoherent, and probably destined to piss people off.

But I bet this one's hard to put in a frickin' box, right?


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Necessary promotions

Okay--so, we're all home safely and, frankly, for the last two days, have been made of sleep.

Seriously--I had no idea how tired we were, but after yesterday--and two naps!--I thought about it, and it took us seven hours to drive from Monterey--most of it was traffic. We stopped and played at the beach for a good three hours--long enough to toast all of us crispy pink and by the time we were home?

So. Tired.

Anyway-- today has been mildly productive work wise, but it was 107 today. The dogs had to settle for a morning drive as we went to start Chicken's car. By 9:30 it was too hot for their little paws on the pavement.

All that being said, once we got home, I had an ack! moment of "ACK! I LEAVE FOR RWA IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!"

And of course, about four days after I get home, Red Fish, Dead Fish is out, so I figured, since it's going to be bit of a rush (I've got a blog tour planned--something special that does NOT entail me talking about, well, me!) I would get all my balls-walls advertising out today.

So... Here we go.

For those of you in the Orlando area (and I know some folks!) there is going to be a book signing for RWA--the little thing up there tells us it's 3-5 Saturday night, and it gives details. This is a charity book signing, which means your money for the books goes to literacy programs, and I'm pretty sure it means there's only a nominal fee (if any) to get in. I'll be there, with my spiffy new flag (this is a note to myself to bring it--I keep forgetting I'm leaving the state, and I have to bring book stuff, and omfg I have to wear ACTUAL CLOTHES and not shitty jean shorts and tank tops.

So, yes-- the charity book signing. If you can make it, odds are good I'll be wearing clothes. Whoopee!  (Note to self: Buy hair dye, get nails done, get toes done, and maybe wax the unibrow, I am trying not to look like a troll in public. Done.)

Okay-- so whew! There's the first thing off my promo list. Check!

The second thing on my promo list is Red Fish, Dead Fish,  which is now available for presale HERE AT AMAZON, and also HERE AT DREAMSPINNER  I should have details for the blog tour up here before I leave for Florida-- let's cross fingers, yes?

And the third thing was just a reminder that Manny Get Your Guy is out, and that so far the feedback has been pretty good.  I start the fourth one in the series-- A Fool and His Manny this month, so all of the excitement is keeping me in the groove--the Channing/Lowell/Graysons are not quite over yet, and I'm ready to celebrate. Don't forget--The Virgin Manny is the first in the series, then Manny Get Your Guy, and, as of May, we'll have Stand By Your Manny.  I had to write all that in a row, because the titles. Could you not just DIE?

Anyway-- there you go. Promotions away. I'm so excited--are you?





Thursday, July 13, 2017

Room Mates

Monterey has been lovely--I've done a lot of instagramming/twittering/FBing about it, so basically I'm all over social media about my family vacation.

So I'll leave you all with this moment.

We stopped for clam chowder after our second day at the aquarium, and then walked to Pinkberry. The store was full so we carried our fro-yo up to "bus circle" of the aquarium. That way Mate could finish his fro-yo before going to fetch us the car.

We were talking about Chicken watching the house--and how she was freaking out being alone at night.

"Yeah," Mate said. "Good call on getting her to room with her brother. Lots of independence, lots of not being alone at night."  He shrugged sheepishly. "I've never lived alone."

Well, no. This is true-- we moved in together after living with parents and grandparents, at the ripe old age of twenty.

But I am feeling old at this moment.

Iron is low, arthritis, fasciitis, and sciatica are high.

"You'll have a chance between sixty and eighty," I say, laughing.

He looks stricken. "Sixty? That's ten years."

"Okay-- sixty-five. Maybe seventy. All I'm saying is make sure you pick the next dog."

"Sure," he says sullenly. "I'll have Squish pick it out. She'll get it."

"No," I say. "The dog is for YOU."

"You're not getting it," he repeats, looking stubborn. "Squish will get it."

"But it's your dog, because I won't be there for it."

"And Squish will get it."

I stare at him, trying to do math.

Oh.

"So, you mean, she'll inherit the dog."

"Exactly."

Oh.  "Okay. So maybe we'll never live alone. Either of us."

"That's my plan."

"Seventy," I say. "Maybe eighty."

"That works for me."















Monday, July 10, 2017

Rayna's present

So I am down two baby blankets-- but that's okay. I had to stop and make this adorable shawlette (it's a Lion Brand pattern found HERE) for my friend Rayna.

Now, I know I'm putting this on broadcast, but Rayna is too damned busy to read the blog, and the reason she's too damned busy to read the blog is that she's been in med school to become a Physician's Assistant, and has been for almost two years.

I'm a little in awe of Rayna.

During her sitting classes, she would chat with me on FB, and while I knew then her life was going to get busier and she would have less time to talk, I miss her already now that she's up to her elbows in, well, human parts, actually, judging by our recent convo.

But I"m proud of her.

She's one of the people I knocked around New York with when I went there two years ago, and she's been my no-nonsense cheerleader and just an all around amazing person while accomplishing this REALLY IMPORTANT thing.

So, she has ninety days to go and I made her a thing. I'm giving it to her at RWA, and maybe she'll see this before then (I can't keep a secret to save my life) and maybe not--but either way, for those I owe baby blankets to, this is what I've been doing for the last two weeks--I hope you don't mind.

Part of the reason it's Rayna's is the purple, btw.

I started it and thought, "A thing this bright, it COULD be a baby blanket!" and then I wanted to make it bigger (it says shawlette) and I had about 3/4 of a skein of purple sock yarn and... it was so pretty. The colors are off because I took it at night, but there is a little bit of purple in the multicolored part, and little bits of multi in the purple part... they set each other off, and I love it.

I hope she does too.

Also--I'm bragging a little-- because I finished TODAY just in time to start something completely new for my vacation, which is SO REASSURING. I hate being in the middle of a project when I leave--SO MUCH PROJECT to haul around. So this was like "yarn win!" all around.

For some reason I've been on a crochet kick--but then, that's the nature of bicraftuality, I guess. Some days you feel like nuts, somedays you don't... (and feel like shawlettes instead :-)

Also--let's hear it for Squish who models for me even when she's ready for bed and her hair is in her face and she doesn't feel like it.

Oh! And the dogs--Mad World was on the radio when I started the car--they both wore their emo faces to get into it. The funny thing was that on FB, everybody was just infatuated with Jonnie's little tummy.

Dogs are adorable--so true. Too bad you can't see the little sad blep Johnnie gave when I took the picture. (My camera takes multi-frame pix, and sometimes that's why you're looking at something blurry--there IS a clean frame in the pic, but I don't know how to isolate it yet. Anyway, there was a blep. Trust me.)

Blogging may be erratic in the next few days--everybody stay safe, stay cool, and hug each other!




Sunday, July 9, 2017

Small things...

Okay-- I admit it.

Haven't done much in the last couple of days.

I mean, I finished Bobby Green, edited it and submitted it-- that was something. And I got a lot accomplished on a shawlette I'm working on--crocheting--for, I think, a friend who is going to graduate from physician's assistant school very soon.

I folded clothes, picked up a prescription, bought coffee...

And oh yeah! Saw Spiderman Homecoming, which I ADORED. That kid who played Peter Parker was charming as hell, and my own awkward teenager who loves science and frequently trips on his own feet thought it was AMAZING.

So that was something, right?

But mostly, I gave my foot a rest and just sat.  Even when I was folding clothes, I took my time.




It was sort of excruciating--for me and the dogs. Not that I could have taken the dogs walking on Friday and Saturday anyway--it was super hot, and not really good for dogs to be on concrete later than nine-thirty in the morning.  So seriously-- if there hadn't been trips for coffee and Mate hadn't taken me for pain medication (which I've been trying to get him to take, because he sprained his knee)   the dogs would be seriously depressed, convinced that I didn't love them and that there would be no more walkies forever.

*sigh*

Poor babies.

They're almost right.

We're heading out to Monterey for the next couple of days. Chicken is house-sitting, but she needs to be at work early--and it's too hot to walk much later. Frankly, I'll be lucky if my anything in my house is left undestroyed and unchewed on.  (Excuse me, I'm going to go hide my wooden needle for reasons.)

Anyway-- I think I'll be up for driving and walking during vacation, and I'm pretty happy about that.

And although I'll be breaking paper on my next project tonight, my deadline isn't anywhere near this moment in time--I can relax, just a smudge, while I play with my family. (Don't talk to me about RWA though-- that's going to be a bit of a pinch.)

So there you go.

Me. Doing nothing.

Was sort of awesome.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Interesting thought...

So, about three weeks ago, I had a fasciitis flare up.

I did what my people do and rubbed some dirt on it, cut the dogs' walk short but kept walking, kept aqua exercising, and only when I was home allowed myself to sag in any chair I could find.

The flare up faded, but I somehow screwed up the muscles in the back of my leg.

Yes, I literally sprained my ass.

Thigh, calf, ankle--all hurt. Lots of Motrin. Still hurt.

Called the doctor, who said, "Hey, I don't even know you--go take some blood tests, okay?"

*whine*  Yeah, sure, I took some blood tests--which all came back GREAT, btw, as in my blood sugar went down to regular, NON pre diabetic levels, and for a whole minute I was proud and excited until I realized hey, I hadn't lost a motherfucking pound.

Anyway-- in the meantime, the strained muscles went away, but last night, my foot started to hurt.

Really frickin bad.

Wake Mate up to go get me Motrin so I could walk to the bathroom to pee sort of bad.

This morning was my scheduled doctor's appointment, and I swear I almost turned around when I stopped to get coffee because driving hurt so bad.

I didn't--I limped into the doctor's office, and a bunch of stuff was discussed, including my ROCKING TEST SCORES which show I've been doing GREAT on my diet, except, you know STILL GODDAMNED FAT.  (I'm not a little bitter about this in the same way I'm not a little bitter that HRC isn't my president right now. We're talking THAT LEVEL of cosmic betrayal here.)

Anyway, the doctor did an interesting thing.

I was expecting a prescription--which I intended to mail order because I didn't want to walk to the pharmacy, and I expected a lecture on the weight, and hey, see the bitterness mentioned above, but what I did not, positively NEVER expected was that she would order me an injection of Toradol to ease the pain I was experiencing RIGHT THE FUCK THEN.

I cried.

Oh my God--in my entire history as a patient, no doctor ever did a thing to put me out of my immediate misery without judgment or hesitation.

Not. Once.

It went into effect as I was driving home. It still hurt when I walked, but I wasn't in tears when I drove, and God.

Oh my God.

Just one day without pain.

The injection didn't start to wear off until later tonight, and in the meantime, I was a good girl and elevated my feet and even used an ice pack (and ate cookies because I was still miserable about the weight) but dude.

If she can put me out of my misery for just a day--I just might be on board this doctor's train.

I'm saying.

Damn.

I think all doctors should maybe make pain relief a priority, don't you think?


Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Duck



Okay, so we went to the pool today, and ZoomBoy took over the music selection for the drive.

Just... Okay. Welcome to my world here for a little bit.

Here I am, driving along, and...



Well, you can listen for yourself.  The duck was my favorite. I went off on the duck for five minutes in the driveway at Del Taco. I was like, A. I woulda killed the fucking duck. Just lopped off his head. Duck for fucking dinner. Served. And B. If the goddamned duck was going to drive that poor man so batshit crazy, the least he could do is ask for a beer. Cause after that damned song I need a fucking beer.

Word.



Anyway-- so, four songs in, and I commander the damned phone back. If you need me, I'm going to have a Boxer Rebellion/Milky Chance/Linkin Park/Greenday/the Killers/Bruce Springsteen marathon in my head.

NO MOTHERFUCKING DUCKS, GUMMI BEARS, OR HAMSTERS ALLOWED, thank you very much.



Jesus, is angst rock too much to ask for?