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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things Mate Believes In That Make Me Believe In Him

* That our children can do anything.

* That the Timothy Zahn post-Star Wars trilogy was REALLY GOOD.

* That science fiction and fantasy are good for growing minds and bodies.

* That my books will someday be super-successful.

* That he'd rather be happy than rich.

* That he'd rather work hard than be dirt poor.

* That a softball game once a week is good for the soul.

* That I'm right 90% of the time I think I'm right.

* That I'm right 50% of the time I think I'm wrong.

* That the rest can be forgiven for the sake of humanity.

* That sex with someone you know and care for can be a lot of fun.

* That sex with someone you don't know or don't care for is probably uncomfortable, awkward, and weird.

* That he's having so much fun with that first sex option that he has no interest in trying the second one.

* And besides, he believes I'M actually hot MILF on the hoof, so why bother.

* He believes that our sons are smart.

* That our daughters are strong.

* That all of them are good.

* And all of them are beautiful.

* He thinks that making it to soccer games, karate lessons, orthodontist appointments, dance recitals, and gymnastics are important parts of being a parent.

* But not as important as ditching all of the above when homework is at stake.

* He believes there's a higher power in the universe.

* But he's not all that convinced that She's particularly interested in our everyday comings and goings.

* He likes it that way.

* He believes the first Star Wars trilogy was unbeatable.

* But the second was important to the storyline.

* He believes that I'm not wrong--Anakin and Obi Wan actually DO have more chemistry than Anakin and Amadala.

* He doesn't hold it against me that I put that thought in his head.

* He believes that bringing dinner to him while he's playing WOW qualifies me for sainthood.

* So does changing a diaper when he's having a WoW event.

* And that tuna salad the way I make it is the food of the gods.

* He believes a big house should have a dog.

* That chaos is better than quiet.

* That our children have a better childhood together than he did as an only child.

* That the quality of their childhood is important.

* That everything I knit is 'cool'.

* That I'm brilliant when I make cables and sweaters that fit.

* That yarn is worth the money. (Although maybe not so much of either would help us a lot.)

* That my LYS is a haven.

* That my friends are important.

* That his friends are important.

* That dinner at my parent's house is a treat.

* He believes that tickling is fun.

* That toy lightsabers are cool.

* That watching a movie a thousand times just helps you get to know it better.

* That movies are literature too.

* He also thinks I'm smart, even though my eyes glaze over at certain things.

* He thinks I do this on purpose (I don't) but he forgives me anyway.

* My husband believes in integrity, in kindness, in family, and childhood.

* He believes in love and hard work and in love.

* He believes in me.

(Luv U, Mate--even when it's not our birthdays or Christmas.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

And this just in...

Ladybug just came up with her favorite purple-spangled costume skirt to put on. I told her, "No, honey--you wore it all day yesterday, it's stinky!"

So she came back into the room with the same skirt. It's all wet. In her other hand she has a container of deodorant. She says, "Here mom, no stinky. Make no stinky no more."

I was laughing too hard to refuse.

Okay, whatever...

It's not that things have gotten less hectic around here--we've had two back to school nights and a dentist appointment this week-- it's just that I started drawing the line at shit that drags the little ones out in the 105 degree heat.

Example? Picking Chicken up from school. No, I don't make her walk (it's a long ways) but she chose to go to a different school than her brother--we told her fine, but she has to make some sacrifices. Like waiting until her brother gets home to watch the little kids before I go to get her. She's also started to walk home from soccer--it's a mile, exactly, and I think that's fair. I also bailed on a department meeting (for one of the back to school nights) and T is getting to karate about once a week. Dance is right out. Sorry, can't do it--maybe later, when soccer is not quite the six-headed monster it is now, thank you very much. And this has given me time to bitch about total fucking weirdness.

Example? My PWT ticket. I PAID THAT FUCKER--I even have (get this, it never happens to me!) PROOF! I made copies of the ticket and I have copy paper in my check register (why I have this I have no idea...) but I can go into court and prove that I've made a good faith effort to send that fucker in. Just because they lost it is no reason to BILL ME MORE THAN $1100 DOLLARS TO FIX IT. Fuckers. All of them. I show them no mercy.

Another example? Rolling brown-outs. We had one today. First everything went dim, and then, in an effort to lighten the power load Mate unplugged the computer. At the exact moment he did that, everything--air conditioning included--died a violent death. Without missing a beat, Mate stood up, executed a perfect bow, and said, "And with that, I bid you Adieu!"

For more? (And this was hilarious!) Phil, the guy at The Guilded Bat (who can be forgiven for not liking Bitter Moon I that much because I don't insist that everyone adores me. Much.) wanted to make sure that Cory in the Little Goddess series doesn't become a thigh-spreading Mary Sue like some other characters in the PNR world. I assured him that RAMPANT was not about losing control so much as it was about the reasons to maintain it. He said good, because (in his words) otherwise, the next book would have to be called TUMESCENT and the one after that would be FLACCID. I've never laughed that hard in a book store, sweartadog.

And I had a thought. We need a sign, a universal signal, that says, "I am about to do something socially unaccepatable right now--pay no attention to me." This would make things like gas, belching, and choking on water SO much more convenient, you think?

And the children (who aren't annoying me that much) and I are about to go swimming after we pick up Chicken--because there are some things to get into a car for, when it's 106 miserable fucking degrees outside.

See ya at the pool!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weird Day

you are violet

Your dominant hues are red and blue. You're confident and like showing people new ideas. You play well with others and can be very influential if you want to be.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

Okay-- according to my 'color quiz' my saturation level is 'lower than other people's' and since I'm to the teeth and eyeballs with my own children (yes, the ones I so adored not two days ago) I'm wondering if I'm not more of a screaming yellow than a soft violet.

Okay, SOMEONE went back and read back blog issues, and there was a discussion, and eventually I thought that this should be said aloud: My curmudgeonly and grumpy colleague who appeared to be a complete shit last week was actually kidding. He wasn't wearing his kidding face--I couldn't tell. I've said before that this guy and I interact more like family than like professionals (possibly because I'm not all that professional, even when I'm on my best behavior.) Anyway--big brother apologized and little sister stopped sticking her tongue out at him, and now he's the bestest bestest big brother in all the world. And he promises that if we're all nice to him and don't jump on him with sharp and pointy claws, he may actually comment... someday. I told him we'd fawn upon his exalted presence like dogs fawn on hamburger. We shall see.

About work--one of my students came up to me and started talking about the books HE is writing. I LOVE creative kids. I sometimes feel like I do what I do, just to have conversations like the one I had with this kid--he started telling me all about his plot and his characters and asking me if it hurt to kill people off and if sometimes your people did things you didn't plan on and all I could think of was, "Now THIS kid deserves to be the next Stephen King--without the drug addiction and horrific life-changing accident, of course!" Damn, I wish I had time to start up the Creative Writing class again. (Yet another thing the last guy in charge stole from me. Fucker.) Another kid--a Little Goddess fan--came bounding in to me. I know that she reads yaoi, so I didn't feel like some sort of freak-pimp-porn-pusher when I said, "Hey--I just published a story on my web..."

"Oh yeah. I read it. It ROCKED!!!" And she was so excited--she REALLY loved it. So Jack and Teague are, so far, looking as though they'll get some more play. I'm thinking when I'm about 1/2 done with RAMPANT, I'll take a break and write the next installment. I love these guys--Teague especially, I think. I love the 'Wounded Warrior' (doesn't everyone?) and Teague is so very Alpha in his damaged, self-protective little heart. LOVE him. (Okay, does that mean I'm in love with myself? I hope not--then I'd have to stop writing, because me in person? Just not that interesting.)

Okay--speaking of interesting. I need something interesting to put on a black T-shirt to wear to the signing. So far, I've got "Back off! The man-gods are MINE!" (Cory) and....that's about it. I need a quote from one of the characters that totally catches people's attention, so I can put the list of books on the back. Since I'm not going to get all kitted out (you know, like Anne Rice) I'm thinking the black T-shirt and black jeans is the way to go. (Although I'm toying with the idea of punking out my hair--just sayin'.) Anyway, if you can think of anything Amy Lane-ish (or Cory-verse-ish) to put on a T-shirt, let me know!

And since I don't want to discuss irritating offspring, that's about all I've got. That, and in the first 12 pages of RAMPANT, the following analogy was used: "I fell from the sky like lead shit from a helium duck." Oh baby, I'm back!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Half-Assed Hash

I actually made a dish we called 'Half-assed hash this weekend'-- and since today is going to be totally random, I thought I'd start off with the recipe.

*** Half-Assed Hash:

Ingredients: 1 bag of frozen tater tots, 1 small bag of shredded cheese, 6-8 hot dogs or smoked sausages, chopped up.

Brown the tater-tots on a cookie sheet, throw them onto a skillet with hot-dog pieces and bag of cheese. Stir until it is unrecognizable. Serves six, barely, with some help from other shit from the fridge.

Peoples, white trash ain't an income, it's a state of mind--and anyone on a diet should run now and jump on a scale. Odds are good you gained three pounds just from reading that list of ingredients.


Ladybug got a hold of a an entire cup of chicken bullion cubes tonight while she was in the bathtub. She wasn't just bathing, she was marinating.


Ladybug has discovered that not only does she have a voice, she can boss us around. She will crawl into my lap and give me orders, like 'Feed me," "Watch la la la", or "Tickle me". Most of the time we do what she says--it's sort of the same thing we do with the cats. If we don't do what they want, they will sit on our face and whine until we do.

***Cave Troll

The Cave Troll has been going to Kindergarten. Every day, he comes home, and we ask him about school. Everyday he gives us the potato face, and we can only tell from minute changes in his behavior (a willingness to read, for example, or the ability to count to 20) that he is not actually watching television for four hours on the government's dime. Today, Big T asked him for the umpteenth time, "How was school, Cave Troll."

"Would you stop saying that?" Came the response. Apparently, in this case, silence is support.

***Big T

We were watching the last hour of LotR:RotK the other day, and Big T was holding Ladybug. He likes to lecture during movies--probably because I've been explaining them to him since he was very small--and he was lecturing to her for twenty-minutes straight. Until I realized that she hadn't been saying a word in her defense. It was because he'd bored her to sleep. It's that English Teacher gene--what can I say?


Keeps threatening to tell her friends that I write gay porn for a living. Little shit.


Brushed his teeth for no other reason than to kiss me goodnight. I'll keep him.

***Book News

Thanks, Kenda!!!!
People really seem to like it!!!!
And Roxie, it's on it's way!!!!
And this is where I'm going to be signing books in a couple of weeks, providing iUniverse gets it's ass in gear and sends me some FUCKING BOOKS!!!!!

Okay now--Bitter Moon II is going to Roxie, coming back to me, and then going out to Bonnie. Holy Goddess, Merciful God, let it not suck.

*whew* And that's all folks!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jack and Teague are Go!

I repeat, Jack and Teague are a GO!

Please check out YEARNING: A GREEN'S HILL NOVELLA FEATURING JACK AND TEAGUE on the website--and let me know if you like it!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's not procrastinating, it's blogging!

Okay--my foot hurts--not that this is a reason for blogging instead of working on my list of book to-dos but I thought I'd mention it. My fasci-whatsis sprung a plantarr-somethingus and sitting at the table to type is just not as much fun as it usually is.

Anyway, on my roster for today? I print out Bitter Moon II to send to Roxie and Needletart--huzzah!!! huzzah!!! HUZZAHHHH!!!! I'm really looking forward to having someone else read this--I'm sincerely hoping it doesn't suck... in fact, I have a bone deep feeling it might actually rock, just a little, but I don't want to be prideful about it, so I'm not going to mention it again. Tomorrow, I send it to them (along with some gift yarn of appreciation:-) and hope that they enjoy it. I will NOT mention the stomach torsioning anxiety that accompanies this act, because if they don't enjoy it, that puts them in a TERRIBLE place of having to tell me gently that my prayers have failed and it sucks. I will accept their words gracefully (don't I always?) but I worry. You know that. I always worry.

My children's child-care lady (my former student) is embarking on a second career as financial advisor and so she came by today with her teacher and made Mate and I feel completely inadequate about our money-management skills. What can I say, people, I've got my retirement in yarn? I mean, it's funny to US, but I'm not sure if the rest of the world gets it, you know?

And as for the children--The Cave Troll had his first soccer game yesterday, and I sweartadog, it was funnier than Monk! Seriously--Cave Troll was like Ferdinand the Bull. "You want me to look over there? But the sun is over there. Can I look at this clump of grass instead? No? Why not? You want me to come in? No? You want me to chase the ball? That ball? That ball going into the goal? Oh--was that bad? What do you mean guard the goal? I don't understand this thing called 'guard' that you are talking about. Can't I just chase the ball? I CAN? Oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy...let me chase the ball! What do you mean kick it? Weren't those other kids doing that? You know--the ones in the other uniforms? I mean, kicking it away from them would be rude, wouldn't it? No? Oh-wait. The ball's in front of me now. Should I kick it? Really? Okay. They're all looking at me. Should I kick it again? Well...if you insist. They're still looking at me...should I do it again? Oh. Okay--everybody's chasing me now. That's good. Now they can kick it--I was getting tired..."

And so on. The fact that he runs like a guy in a Tinkerbell suit doesn't help. (Okay, my original analogy was WAYYYYY more offensive than that--but his elbows are up around his ears and his wrists and hands are flapping all around--YOU tell me what he runs like!) I mean, seriously--high comedy, at it's finest.

And as for Ladybug--she finally got her nap yesterday. She would have gotten one today, but the Cave Troll was being a Big Butt about it, so they're a couple of spazznados, ripping up the universe with their tiredness--fun times!

And otherwise? We're tired. We're tired and it's the end of week 1 for them, and week 2 for me, and I know it's going to get worse but... but we survive, don't we? We always do! I've got an entire paragraph of Rampant written--this is a big breakthrough, because once I have the first couple of pages down, I can do my 'filler time' writing. It's getting that first little bit on the big white page that's always daunting, so those of you excited about the next LG book can rejoice! And I'm going to post the Teague and Jack story on the website this weekend--can I get another HUZZAH? Amen:-)

Oh yes-- as long as iUniverse gets off their fat asses and sends me my umpteen copies of my books, I have a book signing with The Guilded Bat at a Horror Convention in September. But more about that later okay?

(*coyly*) Bye...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And on a lighter note...

First of all--thank you. Your good wishes, your response to my last post was beautiful. There really are no words for that situation--you all made me feel like my words weren't too lame.

Second of all--I've got 10 minutes to see if I can download some Disney photos--cross your fingers!

And, while I'm waiting to see if THAT will happen...

OMG--people, I'm so overwhelmed. Would you like to see my schedule? It might help to show you why my posts are about to become the definition of random:

Get up at 6:00 a.m. Check e-mail, get ready, leave house by 7:10. (No cutting that first hour of school anymore!)
Leave school at 12:30, get home at 1. When I get home, Mate has picked Cave Troll up from school, and he is puttering around at home after lunch.
(Everyday BUT Thursday) put kids down for nap at 1:30. Wake them up at 2:45. On Thursday, we leave at 1:30 to go get Chicken because she has a short day. Every other day, we go get Chicken as soon as I can herd the fish out to the car. Get home at 3:30.
M/W--Take Cave Troll to soccer practice at 5:00. Stay there for practice. On Wednesdays, Mate will be taking Chicken to dance on this same day. Between 6:30 and 9:30--rustle up some grub, clean maybe the kitchen sort of, give baths to the short people, talk to everyone all the time while I'm trying to write and if I'm lucky, take a walk. Ten O'clock, sit at computer and work. 11:00--sneak to the television to watch a Cold Case re-run and knit. Fall asleep at 11:10, get up to shower at 11:30, get to bed at 12:00. Repeat for the day.
T/Th--Take Chicken to soccer practice at 5:00. Get home, do fuck-all, take Big T to karate at 6:15. Chicken walks home from practice.
Friday--Cave Troll has a soccer game at 6:00.
Saturday--Chicken has a soccer game sometime before 2:00 p.m. The Cave Troll and Ladybug have gymnastics at 9:30 a.m.
Sunday--Clean house? Are you shitting me? I'm fucking sleeping!

Seriously--I'm worried about the writing--that hour after school was really wonderful--if I can't get the kids to take a nap when they're supposed to (and so far, Ladybug is on a nap strike. She's turned into a totally different child, and not in a good way, either) my writing is going to totally take a hit and I'm trying not to spend precious energy panicking. I'm ready to print out BMoon II and send it out--FINALLY and the Jack & Teague story is ready to put up on the website. I've got my finger poised over the keyboard to start writing RAMPANT--and I'm worried that it will be done in the Spring like I thought it would be, and I'm disappointed beyond words.

*sigh* I'm also sleep deprived and I haven't had a day of rest in three weeks. All this angst might be gone after a good nap--someone let me know where they sell those, because we're fresh out!

(One picture posted--yippee!!! Maybe you'll get to see the trip one pic at a time!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

I forget just why...


Listen, children:
Your father is dead.
From his old coats
I'll make you little jackets;
I'll make you little trousers
From his old pants.
There'll be in his pockets
Things he used to put there,
Keys and pennies
Covered with tobacco;
Dan shall have the pennies
To save in his bank;
Anne shall have the keys
To make a pretty noise with.
Life must go on,
And the dead be forgotten;
Life must go on,
Though good men die;
Anne, eat your breakfast;
Dan, take your medicine;
Life must go on;
I forget just why.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

When I was in seventh grade, my best friend was Cheri Smith. We both got good grades and loved reading and and singing and had sleepovers and talked on the phone forever and read the same books and both despaired of ever being thin enough. She had the most beautiful voice. She also wanted her braces to come off more than I wanted my period, and since my body was just as immature as my mind, that wasn't happening soon. She'd already started her period, and I was horribly jealous.

The Christmas break during seventh grade was pretty awesome. She stayed the night one night--how wonderful! The Friday before we went back to school, we met at the cheap theaters by accident, because our parents had independently decided to see see the Muppet Show while it was still at the cheap theatres. She had a sore throat that night, but we loved the Muppet Show anyway, and laughed and laughed and wanted to sing all of the songs because they were wonderful.

That Monday she had died of Toxic Shock Syndrome, and I was devastated. She was buried with her braces still on her teeth.

She was not my parent or my sibling or my spouse, but the terrible disappointment, the terrible shock of thinking "I had made plans with this person that included tomorrow and now there are no more tomorrows ever," has stayed with me to this day.

I've spent much of my adult life trying to hardy up my soul in order to survive that terrible disappointment should it happen to me again. If Mate was an hour late from work, I prepared myself for his death. If one of the children stopped moving in my womb, I prepared myself for unimaginable loss. If my father coughed during my last visit, I prepared myself for sad news later. Not that I really EXPECTED the worst to happen--I just wanted my soul to have accustomed pathways on which to journey, so I would never, ever again feel same tissue between the world and madness rip into shreds like I did that day I came home from school to an empty house and screamed desolation to the four bare walls.

You can see that in my writing. There is a line from MacBeth, about Malcolm's sainted mother in which she 'died, every day she lived," meaning that she prepared herself for the afterlife and thought about her spirituality, so that death was a somber companion and not a terrible enemy. I've taken that to heart for most of my life. Adrian could never have died if I hadn't wondered what it would be like to survive a terrible loss. Cory and Green could never have continued if I hadn't made plans in my own heart for how I would do the same thing.

Now, flash forward thirty years, and I am still a little shy IRL and I still treasure my flesh and blood friends, but now I have less time for them because I've surrounded myself with family that I treasure above gold and possibly even above my own health and sanity. So the few friends I have--brother, a phone call, an e-mail--it's like Christmas.

There is no analogy for getting a phone call and hearing a friend's voice and expecting Christmas on the other line, and getting a funeral instead.

They had been married almost exactly a year--and he had loved her so very much. I have few memories of Barb's husband--she was busy with him, as I am with my family, but it didn't matter because I was so excited for her. I remember their wedding reception, just scant days after her father passed away, and how he was so very anxious to make sure her friends were comfortable, and how he took care of her--water, food, a smile, a hug. I remember her very best friend's wedding reception--just weeks after her mother passed away. She couldn't dance because she'd injured her foot, but he wrapped his arms around her and they just swayed, and they were so very happy.

It was all going to be good for Barb--she had dealt with so much, and done it so gracefully, and Russell was her most excellent reward.

During their two years together they had made plans for his house in the twisting red-dirt hills of Nor-Cal. Huge plans. Fifteen dumptrucks of dirt and an above ground lap-pool + a master bath with a spa plans.

During the memorial service, everyone marveled at how much they had accomplished. Everyone cringed at the barely framed master bedroom, a horrendous testament to how every plan she'd made in the last two and a half years had included him, and how he was no longer going to be there to see them fulfilled.

The house was overflowing with people, and (cliche of cliches) so much food. And nobody had a single useful thing to say. She wore her husband's shirt--it featured Wallace Shawn from 'The Princess Bride'. It said, 'Inconceivable'.

There was no other word.

Lady in Red and I worked pretty hard all day--we got there early, cleaned the house, took shifts in the kitchen dealing with the plethora of food, and then were part of the clean up. (By this time my feet hurt at an ibuprofin level, so I sat and watched. I'm lame. I admit it.) By the end of the day we were tired, sweaty, angry--Russell's ex-wife sees no reason to keep their son in Barb's life. The cruelty of that decision is un-fucking-imaginable-- and we'd heard the godsawful story of the freak accident that had taken Russ away, twice. It didn't get better--any story that involves a stuck accelerator line, malfunctioning seat-belt and an asshat of a CHP officer who confuses the deceased with a drug-dealer is not going to get prettier or any less horrifying with retelling.

And we were so baffled, so very very baffled on the way home. A world that could do this to good people--inconceivable. There was no lesson to be learned. There was no silver lining. There were no prepared pathways of the heart that could make sense of this and give her strength. There is no truism that will help her get through it. It's going to have to be her and guts and her children. I watched her make her children dinner--'so much food' and they wanted anything that WASN'T on the table. They're it. They are what will get her through. And they're so small, and it's such a terrible burden, and all I could think was, "I couldn't call all week. By the time I got the phone and it was quiet, it was ten o'clock. I was dozing in my chair. My life was too much for me, there was nothing left." She had family and she has friends, but eventually it's going to have to be her shoulders, and they've dealt with so very much.

And maybe someday, it won't seem like too much to carry, but not now.

Wait--I lied. There was one thing I learned from the day. If you are ever in a place where you can choose between dusting the home of the recently deceased and scrubbing the bathrooms, scrub the bathrooms.

Every goddamned picture had Russell and Barb, happy together. It broke my fucking heart.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm ba-aack!!!

Sorry folks--my internet has been down. (I don't know why. Mate fixed it--that's all I ever need to know.) Hence, the lack of Disney photos, although Chicken tried valiantly two days running.

Unfortunately, I've got SOOOOO much to tell you, and such a short time to do it. I'll stick with happy things again today--not because I'm an emotional coward, but because I want to do the sad stuff right--although I will clue you all in about the weirdness of my last post. On Wednesday, I was in the middle of a really fun rant (which I will resume today, I think) when my friend--the one who remarried a really wonderful man after being married to Fuckhead the Filanderer and then lost both her parents-- called me.

Her husband--the one she'd been married to for almost exactly a year-- had been killed a car accident.

I'm still stunned. Too stunned to write anything, too stunned to think about what I want to say--too fucking heartbroken to want to say anything, although I think tomorrow, after the memorial service, I may have my shit in a can about it. This won't be the last time I mention it--but right now, I just want to give a news update, bitch about a grumpy colleague, and blather on about nothing. Hope you all don't mind?

News update:

School started this week. I still love my students--not sure how long that will last, but right now, I'm totally honeymooning. They're a sweet group--so far, even the sophomores. For instance, I was building 'Masterpiece sentences' the other day--you know, list a bunch of interesting nouns, a bunch of interesting verbs, and then put them together. Then add cool adjectives. Then neat adverbs. Then prepositional phrases. And keep going until you've turned 'The cat sat.' into "My daughter's psychotic wackoid cat spazzed out over the older cat, did a flip, mooned the rat, and sat right down gobsmacked on my daughter's face as she was sleeping." Or, you know, something like that. Anyway, I was doing sample sentences on the board--and since I had about a zillion ants take over my room, I figured I'd use the little beasties, and turned, "The ant mused." into "The pre-deceased ant mused." The kids all wanted to know what a 'pre-deceased' ant was--so I pointed out a couple of the little bastards climbing on my desk. "See these ants?" I asked them. They all nodded. BAM BAM BAM BAM!!!! I killed them all dead with the flat of my hand and then said, "Those ants WERE pre-deceased. Now they are DEceased. Do you understand now?"

They laughed their asses off, and I was charmed. A class that laughs at my jokes--holy shit, I didn't know such an animal existed.

But now for the shitty part. I told that exact story--a story which made my husband, my children, and a friend at work totally crack up, I might add--to a group of people in the lunch room. The curmudgeonly colleague--the one whose room I invaded to complain about fucking up, looked at me sourly and totally killed the buzz for anyone else inclined to laugh.

"That wasn't funny. You haven't told a funny story in six years."

And the hell of it is, he wasn't kidding. It was actually pretty damned cruel, and I'm wondering, "Holy shit--what did I do now?" I'm sure I did SOMETHING--I mean, people aren't just that petty for nothing, right?

Anyway, there's more!

There was a brouhaha in which we almost had to re-enroll the Cave Troll in another district because they put him in the PM class instead of the AM class--after I'd totally rearranged my life around him in the AM class I might add. That took some years off my life and some time out of my day! And then there was shopping for school and shopping for clothes, and six nights of soccer a week, and Chicken getting put on another team and... and... and...

Holy shit, it never stops, does it?

We had opening day for soccer today, right? All day--I snuck the little ones out early to get them ready for a BBQ at my parents house (which I have to leave for in five minutes so I'll make it quick) and we're all exhausted. Seriously--Ex.Haust.Ed.

Tomorrow? I'm doing memorial service all day, while Mate does more shopping and an Australia reunion for Chicken. I'm getting seriously panicked. I might not have time to write this year, right when it's taking off!!!

But on the plus side? I got to watch the Cave Troll play soccer today--which is always a crack up. It's like sending a puppy after a mechanical ball. "Gonna get the ball... gonna get it... love the ball... the ball is my FAVORITE THING.... Hey, wait...there's a flower. Pretty flower." At this point, the coach goes in, turns his shoulders towards the other puppies, yells in his ear and gives him a shove. "Gonna get the ball...gonna get it... love the ball...the ball is my FAVORITE THI...OOOOHHHH look... bounce houses..." And so on. I could watch him do that and laugh all day.

But that's the short of it, and I've gotta run now. I'll probably post seriously tomorrow--or, if I'm still wrecked, I'll show Disneyland pictures. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Disney

Okay--while I'm waiting to see if my pictures will post, I'll give you some random stuff that made us laugh:

1. The Cave Troll went 'dying bumblebee' on us at the end of the days-- you know--he'd be running in random loop-de-loops with heavy steps, threatening to make every pause his last moment before he collapsed in a heap. Now THAT'S a happy Cave Troll.

2. The lady who played Cruella de Ville was hilarious. She took one look at Ladybug and said, "Oh, look--it's Ariel's little sister! I'm having dinner with your big sister later. We're having sushi!"

3. We LUCKED into a spot to watch the Pixar parade, which was, btb, totally worth it. The kids sat so close they got squirted with the waterguns, and bless Disney for thinking about that anyway!

4. The Cave Troll totally dissed Mr. Incredible in favor of Wall*E. We don't know why he did that.

5. Ladybug got to RIDE RIDES! After last year's terrible disappointment at Six Flags, watching her light up when she slid in next to us was something special.

6. The sound of relief you heard sometime Friday night was when we all got on the 'Soaring over California' ride. All of those people being lifted off their sore feet. AAAAAHHHHHHHH.....

7. Mate, determined to make all of us milk the last fucking drop out of those high-priced passes drove us to the very last Disney show on Friday. As we were hobbling our way back I told him sourly that the push to see 'Fantasmic' felt like some sort of punishment. He laughed evilly. Bastard.

8. During Fantasmic (which is, as always, totally worth the sore feet) Ladybug fell fast asleep. She slept through the light show, the loud music, and the fucking cannons. Mate and I laughed our asses off.

9. The Pooh ride has no line whatsoever, and it's totally worth the trip to the park to watch the small people go apeshit over Pooh. (You want the pooh? You want the pooh? You can't HANDLE the pooh!!!)

10. I sat on a bench waiting for everybody BUT Ladybug get off of splash mountain (she was both asleep, and, alas, too small) and knit. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to knit--it was day one and no one had busted me for the size 1 bamboo needles in my backpack. Anyway, I listened to three different couples speak in three different languages neither English nor Spanish. So cool.

11. The 'Playhouse Disney show' made the short people dance like squishy little spazzticles. THAT my friend is why you drag them through the fucking park two days in a row.

12. Ladybug thinks all big cats are 'Lions'. Since this is one of the places Chicken got her name--when she was little, all meat was Chicken-- I fear for our future. The Cheetahs in the wildlife park didn't give a fuck one way or the other, though. And they were pretty cool.

13. Mate's favorite moment was listening to Cave Troll scream like a little girl on Space Mountain.

14. Big T's favorite moment was watching Ladybug on Pirates of the Carribean.

15. Chicken's favorite moment is going to be downloading the pictures tomorrow. Because I'm making her, that's why--Mate's minimal internet use is once again hobbling my downloading capabilities, and now that I've got the pix in the computer, I can set her loose.

16. The beach was beautiful--Big T went body surfing for two hours. Chicken and I went to call him back and ended up spending 30 minutes of our own doing the same thing. I want to go back for that alone. I just asked Chicken and she said this was her actual favorite moment too. Big T heard her say that and changed his vote.

17. "Mom, I like the meerkats, but they make me sad because Flower died on the show and that totally sucked."

"That's okay, Chicken, I think they fired the writers."

18. And, finally, coming through Bakersfield on the way home and smelling the lemon-scented cowshit, I came up with the world's stinkiest pun.

"Did you hear about the fertilizer company that developed a way to make fertilizer withOUT cow poop? They put vegetable matter in their patented 'sure-locking' compressor to create the same effect without the methane gas. They call their produce 'No Shit Sure-Lock'.

Okay now, everyone hold your nose and run away screaming--Spider Robinson says that's the best cheer a pun can have.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The pictures are for celebrating.

Okay-- it's late and I've had a helluva day, but I haven't forgotten my promise of pictures from Disneyland. They're not downloaded yet--I did managed the sweater (hooray!) and I've asked Chicken if she would load some Disneyland pix tomorrow--I figure that she'll have more time, and she'll be on when there's less internet traffic as a whole--cross your fingers, it just might work!

And as for the rest of my post? Well--we're going to leave it at pictures for the moment. I've got TONS to say--but things both good and bad--and the bad sort of has me stunned right now. So we'll celebrate that I've got some pictures on the blog, FINALLY, and we'll celebrate that we had a wonderful vacation, and that the new year started out well.

And we'll celebrate that all of the petty crap I was going to blog about is exactly that. Petty crap. And today is not a day for blogging about petty crap. I'll talk about the other stuff tomorrow--hopefully after Chicken posts some of her favorite pictures, and we tell you why we've re-named her psychotic cat 'Dead Kitty'-- and then I'll tell you why I'm not going to bitch about the small stuff tonight, because the reason sort of sucks, and I don't want to post it right now because it's about a friend of mine I've blogged about before, and I don't want to blast her business on my blog before the folks who would like to know in some other way have found out through a better avenue.

So know that all is well. Know that the short people have been wonderful and that the tall people are maturing at a terrifying clip. And tomorrow I'll give all sorts of details. But not today.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

How To Pull a Vacation Out of Your Ass in Three Easy Steps

Step 1: Mate says, "While we're in So-Cal, let's go to Disneyland for two days." I, being very sober and financial minded, nix that proposition, but let Mate keep the hotel we've booked on the way to San Diego, as sort of a stopping point.

Step 2: Right before the Grapevine, realize, "HOLY SHIT! We've told the short people we're going somewhere fun, and THEN we're going to pass Disneyland on the way to the hotel, and THEN we're going to stay in a hotel saturated with Mickey Mouse, et al, and THEN we're going to drive two hours to Legoland? Parents have been thrown in jail for mental cruelty for less.'

Step 3: Mate gets on the computer and has his people knock over a liquor store in Monaco (I don't know--YOU explain where we got the money for a two day pass to Disneyland!) and we take the kids to Disneyland. But not without some emotional repercussions. Shall I enumerate?

Repercussion 1: We really didn't have the money. We both knew this. We gave the older kids twenty bucks a day, said, "That's food and souvenirs. We eat the granola bars in the backpack, we fill our bottles with tapwater, and we soldier on." And they were great--really great. On day 2, we ate at 11, got there at 12, and at nine o'clock, Mate finally caved and said, "I"m starving and I can't wait until we leave. Let's eat!" And people--I didn't hear one word of whining. They knew we had pulled a rush job and changed all our plans-they were just so happy to be at Disneyland with their little brother and sister that they would put up with anything--even starvation and scant souvenirs.

Repercussion 2: We were so wiped after two days, that the wild animal park--which was supposed to be the big furry trip crown jewel, was really just one more hike though the heat. And they were tired. They were so tired that when we got back to the hotel about half an hour ago, they just wanted to play quietly with their Mr. Potato Heads (I said 'scant' souvenirs, not NO souvenirs!) and take a bath. The end. With any luck we'll make it to the beach tonight, and I have a promised yarn crawl tomorrow (there are a lot of yarn shops on the way home--I'm hitting a couple of them, mostly to look. And to ask for stuff that shows I know my shit--like Cherry Hill Possum Sock and Wool in the Woods.) But that's it, the kids are toasted, mom & dad are toasted, and I start school on Monday.

Repercussion 3: Yes. We did. We just killed the fucking cat so the short people could go to Disneyland. We're such total hosers, I don't know why they gave us a license to reproduce.

And that's the short of it. I'll give you some more deets on my next post, because there were some really lovely moments--revenge by Fantasmic, sleeping toddlers through cannon shots, and four year olds on Pirates of the Caribbean all figure prominently, and if you all can still stand me after the cat thing, I think you'd like to hear the rest! I'll try for pictures, but the problem with blogger is not the picture compression nor the way I do it--it's that Mate (or the kids) and I are always on the internet at the same time. When I upload pictures, either A. I kill his WoW character or B. The pictures don't post--the internet decides which, and mostly lately, it's been punishing me--probably because I have the smaller, least powerful computer. I'll try to hit the net when it's just me and the pix, but no guarantees!

Off for sandwiches on the beach!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

If you see the signal...

Attention everybody:

I"m about to get locked into a mini-van for long stretches of time with two high school students, two pre-schoolers, and a surly mate. Should I actually be able to contact you with a cry for help, send motrin, ex-lax, diet-coke and percoset to an undisclosed location in the moral wilds of so-cal immediately.

May the Goddess have mercy on us all!

(back on Monday. Fucking blogger--it better let me post pictures!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A friendly warning

Should any of you accidentally inhale toxic mold spores from alien foot-fungus buried for years in stacks of cocaine marinating in pig urine, and think you may yield to the temptation to see "Chimps in Space", do yourself a favor: Shoot yourself now. The death will be quicker and cleaner, and odds are good the devil has too much taste to show the movie in hell. (Whereas the folks in heaven might possibly believe that since it was a G rated movie, it would be a nice, spiffy, clean choice for the little nippers.)

Seriously--while Ladybug was charmed by the Ooh-Aahs, if the movie had been just a tiny bit better, it would have been downright bloody fucking awful. I can't wait until they're old enough to take to Batman--sometimes, the older kids really are more fun:-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This & Thats...

Thing the first:

Ladybug speaketh--she says, "Crap", "Damn" and "Shit". At first we thought she was babbling, but once we figured out what it was she was saying, Mate was jumping up and down with agitation.

"See!" He crowed. "The little shit's been cursing at me for WEEKS!"

Thing the second:

I'm done with the Green's Hill short--I really like it. It's M/M, erotic, and a little raw. My characters are tough guys, and it just does something to me when the softest line in the story is "I love you, you dumb motherfucker." Roxie, let me know when you're ready for it, darling, and anyone else who would like to take a look, give me input, and, uhm, maybe some ideas of what to do with it? I've got some ideas that I'll run by you next time, but right now? I'm at a loss.

Thing the third:

I need to go back to work--I couldn't access my documents, and besides playing with the new software and figuring out what in the hell I was doing with it, that was the thing I went on campus for. (That and decoration. The kids helped me with decoration and I have to go fix it. At present, there's a line of words that says "WE CAN Be HEROS" slanting upwards at a 45 degree angle. Nice.) I also have to print out my new quotes--I've got some good ones this year:

TWO HITS: REVENGE (Big T's contribution)





And another one I've forgotten, that I was really proud of:0)

Thing the 4th

I've been going to water aerobics all summer, and the older women there are always impressed by the fact that I knit while I wait to stop dripping. The last time I was there I was working on (what else?) a sock, and the yarn had gotten really snarled. This one woman came up to talk to me and she was... well, hyperactive. I mean, seriously fluttery. And as I was knitting, she saw the snarl, stuck her hands in my knitting bag, and started to pluck at it, like a bird at a bug. I kept talking to her, feeling a little like she had invaded my privacy...I mean, I got the same feeling when my stepmom fixed my underwear in public when I was fourteen. But then I was ready to pack it up, and she smiled at me sweetly and gave me back a perfectly un-snarled little puff of yarn.


Thing the 5th

The Cave Troll has discovered boogers. Wonderful age. Why did I have children again?

And we're going on vacation next week, and then I'm starting school--if you don't hear from me for a while it's because I've run screaming from a hotel in San Diego, with my hair on fire and my panties in a jumbo sized bunch. If you all could explain things to the authorities, I'd be much obliged.

Thing the 6th

Thank you again for your good thoughts about my student. It's going to hurt a while--but you all really helped. I thought it bore repeating, simply because I've learned never to take things for granted. You know, like friends.

Love you all--

Shannon McClellan/Shanny Mac/Amy Lane

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who's the real me?

First of all--thank you. Thank you all--I was so shaken by Marvin's death, and I know it's going to sneak up and chomp on my ass every now and then--especially when school starts. But you all were wonderful--I could feel the good wishes, and it meant the world to me.

Next-- some fun I snarfled from Roxie--(love Roxie, really needed the fun:-). I figured I'd let you guys decide which one is more the real me.

The Recipe For Shannon McClellan

3 parts Flair

2 parts Impishness

1 part Uniqueness

Splash of Creativity

Limit yourself to one serving. This cocktail is strong!

The Recipe For Amy Lane

3 parts Flair

2 parts Mania

1 part Delight

Splash of Wisdom

Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice