Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Good Feeling Gone...

Anybody remember that part from FINDING NEMO... Dory and Marlin are down in the bottom of the blackest sea, and they see a light, and they get all happy, and then they realize that the light is attached to a giant ugly-fish that's going to kill them and eat them with pain?

Marlin's line? "Good feeling gone..."

Yeah. That's what work has been like for the last two days.

My computer crashed yesterday during my movies, that I had played so I could finish my grades. When it came back up, it had eaten four sets of grades for four classes.

We were supposed to have an inservice yesterday. Our principal was sick, so everybody went, "Oh, Goody! We can catch up on GRADES!!!"

Someone at the DO chose yesterday to put us on another server. No time to enter grades in the computer. Any writing I would have done would have gotten eaten. I stayed here and graded essays for my AP class for two hours when I could have been playing with my kids. The AP essays weren't worth my time.

I got observed today while trying to review grammar with kids who didn't understand the concept in the first place. My god, that's humiliating--sort of like coming out of the bathroom with your skirt shoved in your panties if you know what I mean.

So here I am, in the bottom of the deepest, blackest part of the ocean, and the big fish of 'weep at your gradebook apathy' is about to eat me and kill me with pain. Good feeling gone...

But wait...

Tonight? Tonight I'm going to pop the baby into her 'pumpkin bunting' and then in the stroller, the toddler in his "Lightning" costume, and watch Kewyn try to invade the homes of all the nice people giving him candy. I'm going to get home and see what the older kids have done about decorating the porch for Halloween. They carved pumpkins last night--without my help. Trystan tried to make a Harry Potter pumpkin, and ended up with an HP over a toothy grin with cavities--he held it out to me and said, (In all innocence, I swear to God!) "Hey mom, look at my Harry Cavity!"

He wants to sit outside and hide and scare the older kids. NOt the little kids, he keeps saying, just the older ones who won't really be scared.

Good feeling back--and if that big ugly-fish of apathy don't like it, he can bite me...if he can catch me:-)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Touched a Pig!!!

Okay, first things first.

The first thing is that, thanks to blogger, which wouldn't let me edit my last post, I'm sure you all think I'm an ungrateful little shit when that couldn't be farther from the truth. I had added a paragraph that said, in no uncertain terms, THANK YOU ALL for your words of support and encouragement when I gave my inner five-year-old a voice the other day, and then, when I attempted to publish it (like, immediately after my first publishing) my blogsite shut down, and wouldn't let me publish even as I added my own comments to my own post. Talk about a confused computer...sheeesssh! Anyway--thank you--you all made me feel so much better I can't even tell you, but in an attempt to do just that, I have only mostly happy things to talk about today!

My children have said or done the following things in the last week:

**Bryar ran up to me the other day, flushed with the heady arousal of new poetry and important information, and said, in all sententiousness, "Mom, have you ever heard of a man named Edgar Allan Poe?"

**Trystan told us this morning that he wasn't eating Special K cereal anymore. Why? "Because mom...it has germs in it!"

"Germs?" Mate and I echoed blankly.

"Yeah--see--it says here on the box. Made from wheat germs. Isn't that gross?"

**(This one needs a picture--which just failed to upload. *sigh*) Anyway, we went to visit Auntie Wendy, who just got her house painted, along with various other home improvements and who has a number of horses and some pot bellied pigs. The picture featured Kewyn feeding the pigs a big dog's milkbone, but the best part (not caught on digital images) was the cave troll, jumping up and down and shouting "I touched a pig I touched a pig I touched a pig!"

**And the baby was just cute.

(Oh...soccer game? Bryar's new team lost to Bryar's old team 3 goals to 0--I don't remember any stinking soccer game.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Five Year Old Sleeps Tonight...

And the 39 year old isn't far behind her...

Long frickin' day! I'll go into it in a second, but first, I'd like to thank ALL of you for all of your words of support during my 'life sucks' temper tantrum in the last post. For everybody who said nice things to try to make me feel better--it totally worked, and I'm a little embarrassed and very grateful. Thank you...thank you for reading my blog and thank you for being nice people and just thank you.

Now about this long frickin' day...Seriously--and it all started last night.

Last night, I was trying (fruitlessly) to clean the kitchen, cook dinner (those gourmet frozen pizzas with 'safeway' on the label) and maybe get Arwyn a bath, when my best friend called. Now this is going to sound cold, but she lives alone--very alone--and often when she talks, she's just rehashing her day the way you would with a spouse, or a child or someone who had to share space with you, and just like with a spouse or a child, sometimes your eyes glaze over. And thus it was with me, so when she said, "...and I need to knit a shawl for my sister's wedding so could you help me pick out a pattern tonight..." my alarm bells were sleeping peacefully, and didn't hardly ring. They should have.

Shopping with Wendy is a nightmare. Looking through my patterns with her was like that same nightmare, but in my own home and featuring my own sacred texts as a centerpiece. "I want this, but in a different color. But...I like this pattern. But in a different color. Can I make it in a different color? I hate working with this yarn. But I like this pattern. But in a different color. But it can't go over my hair--I don't like the tie on this one though. So what do you think? But I don't like that. Does this yarn come in silver? Because I like this pattern, but not in the bronze." For forty-five minutes this went on, and with every repetition of the theme, one thing was becoming painfully clear. This would not be me, telling her how to make the shawl (an alarming prospect in itself--remember, I teach for a living...it would be like bringing insurance home to sell to your children) this would be me, MAKING the shawl. Because this is the same Wendy that I wrote about earlier, the one who knits from the right needle to the left needle through the back loops while throwing the yarn, and while, it is all very zen to not bother her with details when she is making something like socks or a scarf with no pattern (that she knows of) and no pictures (that she knows of) where she can't see how her knitting changes the inherent look of the pattern, but, remember that above conversation? Imagine that same conversation, for three months. Except, instead of "Can I get it in a different color." It would be, "But it doesn't look like the picture. But I can't knit different. But it doesn't look like the picture. Why doesn't it look like the picture? I don't understand what you mean by 'through the back loop'--why would that change anything?" Ad Nauseum. I'd snap like lounge lizard--seriously--you'd see the headlines Insane Woman Kills Best Friend with Whoopty-12 Needles, Proceeds to Knit with Entrails. The carnage would be indescribable, and I'm just not into spending the rest of my life in a rubber room with no sharp pointy objects, so, yes, I did the passive aggressive thing wherein I took on a task I wasn't really asked to do, but passively-aggressively bullied into, and now I'm bitching about it without confronting the perpetrator of my misery. You're all welcome--I'm more sorry than I can say.

So after going to Michael's (and I've become enough of a color-slutting yarn-snob that this felt like the final insult) to discover (just as I predicted) that they didn't carry Lion Brand Glitterspun (Julie, I can hear you barfing from across the continent) and that we had to special order it, I stopped for a snack for Bryar's soccer team, came home, and fell promply asleep in front of Numbers. And I thought that this would be the end of the bad part of the weekend.

This morning, Mate and I were laying in bed, Kewyn between us, watching the weekly Scrubs marathon, and I was thinking, awesome... Bryar's got two soccer games, I've got time to go weigh in...we might be able to clean house in between...and, holy shit... "Mate--it's nine-thirty isn't it?"


"Kewyn's supposed to be at gymnastics right now."


I weighed in--turns out I'm still fat. We went to Bryar's soccer tournament. They got their asses kicked through two games. (Poor coach--middle of the second half of the second game he goes 'It's official girls--we're getting killed!') We've got one more game tomorrow, and then we have time to confront the larvae on the celing before they drop into my mouth as I snore. Like I said--the five year old ain't the only one sleepin' tonight.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Spanking My Inner Five Year Old

Bad news first, reflection second.

I will be unable to publish BOUND until January, which means that it will probably not be available until February/March.

I'm sorry--I know that there are a couple of people who will be crushed, but we just can't afford it and the fact is, we're doing birthdays for two children and Christmas for four children between now and January--we should be broke, or we are not spoiling our children near enough to perfection.

Didn't I sound all grown up just then? The truth is, I am disproportionately devastated.

I had not realized until Mate told me that we just couldn't do it, how much of my time and energy and sense of self-worth I had poured into an endeavor that, truly, does nothing to contribute to my family. The idea of having to put off any sort of reward for that work hurt me in unanticipated ways.

I cried all night. I felt awful for this--Mate felt bad, and it wasn't his fault. He didn't spend too much money on yarn or books this year--I did, and I have no one to blame but my own scatterbrained fiscal management, of this I am sure.

But...but work has been horrible--I haven't been able to leave even my most well behaved class to do their work for more than three minutes without having to make them stop throwing spit wads or talking or stealing (yes stealing) something small and stupid from my classroom. I feel powerless, impotent, unqualified for a job I usually adore and wherein I usually feel accomplished and useful.

But...but the house is a pit. We have larvae crawling on the celing from an as of yet unidentified source--and although I've tracked down as many cracks and crevices in the kitchen as possible, I am sure that somehow, somewhere, I am to blame for this crawly manifestation of my own domestic inadequacy. There is not one room I can walk in, not one, where I am not tripping on a toddler's toy, an adolecent's back-pack, or my own damned shoe. I can't remember the last time I vacuumed, and my bathroom would overgrow a petrie dish like those maniacal little twelve pronged amoeba in the movie Evolution. The last place I need to be spending time is at work, in the half an hour of peace I give myself before I go home that sometimes turns into an hour, slaving over what amounts to hope and a pipe-dream, when I should be holding my children or cleaning the crumbling mortgage that houses them.

And yet, I can't make my five year old, the screaming toddler inside of me, stop bawling. I can't. It's more spoiled than the cave-troll, and twice as stubborn, and it wants it's voice to be heard and it wants BOUND on the market where people will praise me for it, because it is starving for praise in ways I cannot fathom.

When I get feedback from my books, I don't feel powerless or impotent or inadequate. My students (a select few) read the books and love them and admire me for them, and my inability to get them to actually open a book and do 6th grade level work doesn't seem to matter any more. Most of my praise comes electronically--no one can look at me and see that I've been a failure at my diet for many years now and unless I give them pictures, no one really gets a clear idea how awful my crappy house really is, and it certainly doesn't matter that I'm pushing forty and that I have yet to learned how to be a grown-up.

When people praise my books I feel giddy with my own potential, and intoxicated on my own value. It's more addicting than any drug and a more potent, sensual, throaty and tantalizing siren aria than any nasal nattering towards fiscal responsibilty--in fact it's singing now. It's begging me to find a way to work the books, when I know that I can't, it's howling my name, insisting that BOUND is good, and real, and more complex than anything I've done before, and shutting it out is like stuffing beeswax in my ears and trying to make myself work on mundane tasks while I know the music of heartbreak is vibrating through my soles even as I walk.

My inner-five old is screaming to hear the pretty music, and I've got to find a way to make that brat shut up, because my real children need me more.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

One Day More...

Okay, Blogger belched big time yesterday and swallowed my entire post--I've never been so grateful for a computer taking a dump in my life, because it was more self-indulgent crap about how much my job sucks, and, truth be told, I'm tired of hearing it and I'm living it, so I was glad to spare everybody else out there!

I worked some on the baby sweater last night (anybody remember that? I started it in, like, August? It's a good thing I sized it up...unfortunately, I think I sized it to fit Arwyn NEXT August, but, hey, she'll get some wear out of it this year...) and it was a welcome change. I love baby socks. I love baby hats. But I'm on my 4th set of 9 now, and it's starting to feel like the SAME baby sock and baby hat, so I'm taking out a few other projects (a pair of socks out of Cherry Tree Hill Yarn, the baby sweater, the baby dress, yeah, I've got some UFO's...) and trying to make some FO's.

Of course WIP's aren't a problem... it's been getting cold enough to wear my scarves--I've got about ten, most of them made with bright acryllic yarn--and the kids are begging for me to make them something... I kind of like doing this, although I usually charge them, just so they don't take it for granted--of course, EVERYBODY has a preference...the good news is that it's a place to use my acryllic yarn:-)

I'm liking my kids right now...I sort of had a long talk with myself about finding the joy in my work again...even if I want to do something else, I've always had a joy in my students, in teaching, and some of it came back today. Part of it was watching my 2nd period get nuts about 6th Sense-- a lot of them hadn't seen it before, and suddenly, the light went on. "Oh...foreshadowing was when they gave us hints that Bruce Willis was dead!" Lights on, concept home--it was a nice moment. The other good part came when my 3rd period watched the end of Last of the Mohicans--they were so into the end of the movie--and event though Michael Mann has completely lost his mind and cut the Clannad song out of the end of the director's cut (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I played it for them via a complicated arrangement of i-pod, boom-box, and tape translator, and they liked it. (I played it for my 4th period DURING the part it should have been on in the first part and they REALLY liked it. What kind of drugs would you have to do to think that cutting that song was a good thing?) But they liked it--they loved it, in fact. (My gang kids especially like the bloody hand-to-hand combat. Maybe now that one kid who got expelled from summer school for weapons will only find it necessary to carry knives instead of guns too.) Anyway, they liked it. They loved it. And I suddenly feel like I didn't share something with people who delight in crapping all over me. Much better feeling, trust me.

Of course, all of this unbounded optimism might be because a cautiously positive thing happened yesterday. About a week ago, I called both the agencies I sent my manuscript to and asked for a note on my progress. I got a call yesterday apologizing for the wait and telling me that they just hadn't gotten to the manuscript, but that they were working on it. I know, I know--it's nothing, really, a courtesy call. However, for the first time I don't feel like I'm shooting T-shirts into the stratosphere out of an air-gun, with some logarithmic chance of getting them back or having anyone else getting them and appreciating them. That one phone call makes my whole endeavor that much less random, and that's a good thing.

So, for those of you familiar with Les Miserable, you've got two songs to choose from:

At the end of the day you're another day older, and that's all you can say in the life of the poor...


One more day. One day more.

The weekend's in one more day. For teaching, I've had one day more:-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

just so full of myself...

I went to the Yarn Harlot's blog and fell in love with the sheep and composed this...

I'm just so full of myself I could burp me!

I like that sheep.
That sheep likes me.
We experience synergy.
It's short lived.
He's no fool.
He knows all
I want is wool.
I like that sheep.
This we know.
Because he's made of Me-ri-no.
Thank you sheep
Who eats and spits.
You make it possible to knit.

The End

During a GOOD movie...

It's movie day today. I know, it probably sounds like I show lots of movies in my class, but in truth, I show maybe 6 all year. That's once a grading period plus a couple of progress reports--movies have helped me make a loooooottttt of deadlines. Hey--a girl's gotta do, right?

Anyway, the hard part about watching movies is that because we control our little universe, we usually watch movies we love. This is bad, because the little bastards shit all over the movies we love best--it's like teaching To Kill a Mockingbird all over again. Anyone who has tried to teach that book to a group of underachieving 9th graders can tell you about heartbreak--you start out with all of that sweet optimism and by the time you're done you're practically screeching "This is literature you little bastards, now shut the (*&^ up and LISTEN!!!" And notice how I didn't say the word 'read'--no, no, if you want them to be exposed to literature, you need to shore up your best Orson Wells/Casey Casum voice, suck it up and read the whole damn thing out loud. They usually tell you that you're the best English teacher they've ever had because you do that, and you smile weakly and remember back when you read your own damned novels because you could and you gave a shit and you wonder from which black hole all those teachers in those movies like Dead Poet's Society and Stand and Deliver sucked their time so you could have some too, but you're too sad and too disillusioned to use that time for the students, you'd rather write and dream about writing and making a difference except the *&^ers that have the power to distribute your books to the masses give less of a shit about your books than your students give about their last literature assignment. You'd have to see my grade report to see how truly depressing this is.

So I'm showing The 6th Sense, which is one of my all time favorite movies--I'm showing it because they totally don't get foreshadowing. I can barely hear the movie among all of the whispering, the clanking of empty gatorade bottles and the 'I'm not talking but I'm communicating wiht someone else in the room' noises.

And I'd probably quit and become the world's fattest waitress (but not most over-educated--you'd be surprised at how many waitresses and bar tenders there are with masters degrees) except...except...

Except a kid gave me a cd that probably saved my life in truth and in metaphor on Friday, and another kid gave me a Tristan & Isolde poster and James Franco is smoldering at me and he's HOT and a kid walked in with a Sacramento King's Poster because he saw me wearing a sweatshirt last week and...


And deep down they're children, most of them, (the ones who aren't complete psychopaths and gang warriors and on drugs or just mean because they can be...) and sometime this year I will read a story or show a skill (even if it's yarnwork) or say something (Goddess help me, not always the stuff I want them to hear) that will stick with them and seem important.

I hope so. God, Goddess and other I hope so. I hope my only contribution to this profession isn't what I put in print when I'm wishing I'm not here.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

During a bad movie...

Okay, so the whole family is watching Kicking and Screaming and I'm blogging. Should tell you something about the movie...

Anyway, still recovering from yesterday's complete exhaustion, and I'd like to give a huge shout out and hanks to Tam-Tam who literally saved my life yesterday... I was sooooooooooooooooooooo dragging my fat white ass around the classroom yesterday--truly so tired I couldn't focus, and Tam-Tam had made me a cd--I know she was disappointed I wouldn't listen to it in class...the truth was, I was too tired to focus on the music, the kids, and breathing all at the same time. I put it in the car player, on my way out of the parking lot.

That goofy, loopy little song at the beginning of the cd (kiss me kiss me happy happy sweetest kisses just like candy...) is probably the only reason I remembered to pick up the kids and stayed awake to get them home--seriously, thanks Tam-Tam--I couldn't have made it through the day without you.

And speaking of yesterday, it turns out that two of the six kids who got arrested and (maybe) expelled for the gang fight in the vp's office (again, not exaggerating) were my students. Since that one kid that the rest of the staff (with my help) has dubbed 'the f***ing psychopath' has gotten transferred into someone else's room (fortunately a very assertive male--that kid tried to intimidate me, I think he thought it would be easy because I'm female) I almost feel safe.

Anyway--my daughter's team lost badly this morning--I'm thinking that any soccer game before 10:30 am needs caffeine--I don't care if they're 11, we're hitting Starbucks on the way to next week's game.

I've finished my 4th pair of socks and am working on the hat in order to greet the flood of impending babies. We've added another baby to the list. Only 5 more pairs of socks and hats to go. (Every now and then the irony of this endeavor hits me--my own department didn't get me a baby gift for this last pregnancy. $%^$ing men.) The socks are hella cute--they're done in this dk/sport weight merino...so color saturated, they're gorgeous.

And now, to my final thought--if it can be called a thought--you know how we have to type those goofy letters in order to comment on other people's blogs, right? Aren't those letters randomly chosen by logarithm? (I learned that term from the TV show, by the way.) Anyway, shouldn't, if we're choosing stuff at random, shouldn't we eventually randomly end up with a real word? Just sayin'...

I'm gonna write a lot this weekend--BITTERMOON has totally captivated me. And maybe this one can be read by 7th graders...maybe not...still haven't written those scenes. (Imagine wolfish grin...) I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

**&^ing Sadists...

Okay, we've already established that sadistic prickweenies abound--especially in my profession. Today, they've officially gotten to me--I think they're giving me cramps. (Of course, that could be my menstrual cycle, but I'm unreasonble and cranky today, and I'm going to blame the sadistic prickweenies. Go ahead. Challenge me on this.) Today, because it's my blog and I'm feeling like a big, water-retaining, sleep-deprived, over-taxed, pissed off witchipoo with bad hair, I'm going to make a list of the sadists who've made my life a nit-bitchy well of absurd crapism. (But first I'm going to truly, sunnily, and sincerely thank Roxie, whose review on my book yesterday was pretty much the brightest ray of sunshine of my day. You're awesome, sweetie--I'm sending you chocolate by telekinesis, as soon as I develop that ability... okay, okay...now back to my rant...)

And the top 10 sadists that are giving Amy Lane crap in this lifetime are...

** My adorable baby daughter who is so cute and so grateful for her bottle during the day that I"m finding it impossible to stop expressing milk in the mornings and during lunch. That's 2 hours of sleep a week I'm giving up, not to mention knitting time during lunch, just to give her one bottle of real stuff during the day instead of powdered formula. Considering how much chow she eats besides formula, I'm convinced there's some sort of endorphin in her smile to make me keep doing this.

**The laundry monster, that eats up ten minutes of every timed-out morning because it refuses to vomit out one lousy stinking pair of jeans for the cave troll. I don't care what you say, that thing has been next to the bed so long, it's sentient.

**My oldest daughter, who gave the Cave Troll the new copy of Over the Hedge at 8:00 last night, giving us the unhappy choice of A. Letting him stay up and watch it or B. Wrench him away kicking and screaming at the injustice of it all. We chose option A. We're bad parents. He went to bed at 9:30 last night and was a zombie this morning--but at least we didn't have to play the bedtime game for an hour. Did I mention we're bad parents?

**The group of self-rightous pricks who sat in my staff-room today and bitched about the horrible things that went into fast-food and how evil it was to need caffeine. If I wanted to know what was in my food, I would learn how to frickin' cook, and if I was a spineless, ball-less, self-serving, self-satisfied, arrogant alcoholic too self-involved to commit to a person, puppy, or profession then I'd be a dumb-shit man too goddamned stupid to figure out that it's out and out dangerous to tell a menstruating woman that caffeine is BAD FUCKING THING!!!!

**The ugly hand of fate that decreed that there would be a gang-war on my campus today, mandating that even the most irritating little bastard can not be sent to the office because they are trying to file police reports and clean the blood off the nurse's office walls. (Sadly, I am not exaggerating.)

**The Time Bitch, who has chosen this moment to suck the red out of my hair and replace it with gray, and now, with four kids and a full time job, I have to make the decision if I'm going to suck it up and start dying my hair for real now, or if I should just go gray. (If anyone's waiting in suspense for the answer to this question, you need to know that I have no fewer than four different shades of permanent hair dye in my closet. I'm just waiting for the resolve.)

**Mate--because he has King's tickets and he really wants me to go, and I'd give an entire mammary right now for just two hours more sleep spread out over the next three days.

**The agents listed in the writer's market, who don't return your packets, don't return your calls, and essentially live to taunt those of us who don't live in New York with their coolness and the fact that fat teachers from California will never know the secret handshakes that will let them in.

**Knitting magazines. There's always a cooler pattern and a cooler yarn that I will never have time/money to use. Damn them all, may they proliferate and grow.

**The mucking fuppet who stocked the vending machines in the staff lounge because why, in the name of the four unholy she-demons of PMS would you, in workplace that's over 70% female, choose NOT TO STOCK ANY GODDAMNED CHOCOLATE!

*whew* I'm going to McDonalds for now for a chocolate cookies, a giant soda, and a quarter pounder with cheese.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Okay, so the cave troll was up at 4:30 this morning, crawling into bed with us and then poking at our faces to see how long he could do that before we snapped and beat him. We never did beat him (although the less sleep we get the more likely the event of that actually happening...) but my usually twisty personality kinked another turn around the old normalcy pole today... and I'm not the only one...

Cave troll's insomnia was apparently caused by a reluctant bm (don't let the doctor spock parenting books fool you--50% of a child's moods can be discerned by whether or not they've had a good poop or if the whole tanker is wedged in the channel so to speak) so the little goombah got up manically and was jumping up on the bed chanting "jump jump jump jump" like some sort of demented exercise video, occassionally landing on his father, who was stoically pretending that he wasn't going to have to wake up and help me wade through the morass an early waking toddler automatically makes of my morning. "God, Kewyn, you're such a little maniac!" Mate grumbled. ("jump jump jump jump jump...") "Could you try not to be such a psychopath?"

Imagine a sudden pause, and a bright eyed, manic-dimpled grin. "I am a PSYCHOPATH!" crowed my toddler triumphantly. Remember--this is the same kid who only speaks when he really feels he has something to say. Well that word apparently resonated because he was shrieking it with glee on the way out the door this morning. "I'm a little PSYCHOPATH!!!" And Mate and I followed blearily in his wake, along with precious adorable sister who was very upsot at being slung in the baby basket to leave because she fell asleep at 6:30 last night and slept in 'til 6:30 this morning and was wondering who in the hell had deprived her of her "I'm the most important person in the world" time.

So I get to school this morning, and I manage to keep a semi-professional face for my 2nd period, but by my 3rd period, I'd completely lost all sense of perspective, and these kids got a 20 minute raving lunatic monologue about the wierdness of family life that dated back to potty training Trystan with cheerios and rebounded to how it freaked Kewyn out to put perfectly good breakfast cereal in the icky place.

It was the quietest that class has been since school started and they thought they'd have the same teacher for more than five minutes at a stretch. (We just changed around 20% of our schedules. 9 weeks into the semester. For the 5th time. We're lucky the kids don't catch on to the fact that the administration is just running the computers like hamsters running a wheel and that all purpose has been lost for most of the staff... oh, wait...I think they know...) But I was mid rant to my 3rd period, and then to my 4th period, and caught them watching with bemused eyes and realized that this was it. Sleep deprivation had done it's worst--I was no longer a teacher, I was a stand-up comedienne...and a slightly off-kilter one at that.

In short people, "I am a PSYCHOPATH!" God bless the little goombah anyway...he may be the only one who thinks I make sense by the end of the day...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pure Rhyme and Sweet Reason...take a vacation.

My kids are watching Jaws right now. Isn't there some sort of moratorium on how long that damn movie can go on scaring the hell out of complete adults? Apparently not, since my first book featured a girl getting grabbed by an underwater ookie thing and I thought that scene would help me work out my 'swimming where I can't see my feet' fears, and now I'm prone to completely freak out for no apparent reason in the middle of a lake. I"m also known for claiming to feel fish where there are (supposedly) no fish to feel. They're probably eels.

I finished a super thick scarf on whoopty-twelves today. Whoopee. Another FO--funny how, when you lost your infatuation with your materials, your pattern, and your whoopty-twelve needles about two weeks ago, FO doesne't seem to stand for Finished Object anymore...just saying.

My husband bought me a ball winder--to replace the one my daughter dropped and broke, and I'm torn between awaiting it's arrival with breathless anticipation and dreading having to sort my stash into meaningful piles as opposed to just running my fingers through it blissfully which is what I'm doing now. (Everyone picture a female Homer Simpson going "Merino Wool...errglllgllllllllllllll"

Speaking of Mate--his B-day present to himself with my blessing, permission, and wistful yearning to have known enough about to have ordered by myself is on its way. I feel marginally better about that i-pod/ball-winder thing. NOt much. Marginally. Christmas is going to have to be hella good. (Of course, his after-Christmas gift last year was an X-Box 360--I do admit he's been paying back a little X-Box karma...)

I had a logical converesation with Kewyn about the shower today--he stopped cringing against the wall like a concentration camp victim (an image that hit even closer to the nerve by his short-cropped hair) and just started whining about "no wash hair" which he did even in the bathtub, so my guilt has receded just a little bit. Not much. Just a little.

I have a new Agent listing on it's way to the house... (Writer's Market, whatever) and next week, come rejection package or no rejection package, I'm going to send out another rejection package! (Most of you understand what I mean, right?) Anyway, the web-designer for another author offered to set me up with a forum on that author's site--I think I'll take him up on it. I write kind of a specialized fiction...I don't want sweet grandmotherly knitting types looking up my books because they think I'm such a sweet, family oriented young teacher and getting all flushed and upsot when they hit that first sex scene because they didn't realize I was that kind of dark and twisty girl. (Stephanie, Roxie, Rae, bells, Julie, I'm kidding. Pleeeeeeeeze don't convoy down here and beat me to death with your whooptie-twelves, IT WAS A JOKE, I swear!) But I do need to find another forum to get the word out, since the agent hunt seems to have come to a brick-wall halt.

So now for the interactive portion of my pictureless, linkless blog...

First question--speaking of eels, does anybody out there listen to the rock group the Eels? They've done a couple of tracks for the Shrek Movies and for the movie Holes but the Nor Cal radio stations don't do anything actually 'alternative' unless they can make money for it, which sort of makes their music, uhm, mainstream so besides Novocaine For the Soul (which, again, I really liked) I haven't heard anything else. But I have an i-pod and I'm dying to fill it, so someone let me know if they like their stuff or not.

Second question--is the name 'Ajahn' (soft 'j' sound, like in Jean-Paul) too close to the name Adrian? I only ask because Adrian was a major player in my first series, and I have a character that I really like who is developing in BITTERMOON that I want to call 'Ajahn', but if it sounds too close, I'll call him 'Jahnny'.

Third question--we bought Kewyn a Lightning McQueen car costume today, and let him run around Target as we shopped shouting "I am Lightning". Did that bother anybody? Tough. He was so damned cute I couldn't stand it.

And to conclude this terrible bout of brain ping-pong, everybody remember the immortal words of Dory the Fish. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming... Unless you're an ookie thing like an eel in a lake that DOESN'T play alt rock, in which case you can make like a Finished Object, and leave me alone...

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Okay, so I'm sitting in my classroom, listening to my best friend the breast pump as I do every lunch, and the group of boys who routinely trash I mean use my front ramp for lunch was talking the way boys do. They're not a bad bunch--9th & 10th grade, mostly, and if they're not the Valedictorian set, they're not the "I'm just here to make a drug deal so back off" set either--in fact, they're my favorite kind of kid--good hearted, slightly goofy, and more interested in an interesting class than in making perfect grades. I can hear their chatter through the open window, letting the perfect October breeze come in (but with a curtain and a dark room, so they can't see inside) and I hear one of them say, "Man--you wanna go skydiving? Now that's a waste of a perfectly good airplane!"

Writing is like that.

I'm writing a book for my kids. Or it was going to be, but it turns out my brain is just frickin' incapable of writing for anybody but itself. So now I'm writing a book that my kids could read that won't embarrass me or get me arrested for foisting pornography on my children. And it's freaking me out.

Where do I draw that line, people?

My first book, VULNERABLE, had, well, lots of swearing and lots of sex. I told my Advanced Placement students I had written it--some of them, ordered it, which was fine, as long as, I told them, their parents would be fine with it. In an AP class that's not a problem. They read it. They TRULY loved it. (I know this, because I didn't let them use this book for anything having to do with a grade. If a kid reads a book they're not graded on and THEN praises it, that must be a pretty good book to them.) A few kids a year since have read the book--and have loved it. One of them who read it got it from another teacher who read it, much to my flattered embarrassment,

Two weeks ago, that student's little brother came up to me and asked for the name of the second book, WOUNDED. He told me who his sister was and told me she wanted me to sign the second one for her, and I was, again, flattered. Then he told me that he read the book two years ago in 8th grade, and suddenly, I wasn't so flattered.

I was flabbergasted.

I wouldn't let MY eighth grader read that book. Of course, Trystan takes things literally, and the book is too old for him, and the vocabulary is too advanced, and the idea of discussing the stuff that happens--not just the sex-- makes me nauseous with the whole 'teaching as parenting' thing, so that's probably not a good example. How's this. I wouldn't let my SEVENTH GRADER read this book until she got to be an 11th grader at least--and she's in the advanced classes. And I'm a pretty liberal parent, basing much of my judgement on the trickier questions of parenting on the "shame is bad, information is good" rule of thumb.

So what do I do with this new book?

I mean, a lot of it is NOT sex. In fact, most of it is not sex. Most of it is action, adventure, a little thematic preaching (forgive me--my oldest son just got to the point where the F-word is a big deal--no, not the one I like, the one that rhymes with truck, the other one. The ugly one that rhymes with maggot, and I can't stand it that he thinks that this is okay. If I can write a book that makes him not use that word and all of the prejudice that goes with it, it will be worth the time and effort) and a sweet, "wait for me" kind of romance at it's heart. But what about that other part? I mean, it's there--I can't deny it's not. I can play the "lights go down and we all know what happens" game for much of it, but if I don't write the whole scene, at least in my head, I don't know the nuances of how the characters behave afterward, and that makes for shallow writing. But I don't want to dump that on my kids, either.

So where do I do the big 'dump edit' where I cut out the scene and put it on my 'director's cut' document that I will publish on my blog for the lucky ones who really want the dirty stuff?

I'm just borrowing trouble, I know--although the book is almost entirely plotted out in my head, I'm only on manuscript page 85 of what promises to be another monster sized manuscript (at least in the self-publishing world) so I have lots of time to make that choice. I'm just musing here, playing the 'when will I' or 'am I a bad parent because' or 'what makes gratuitous and what makes necessary' kind of game...and the kids never really have to read it, although I did promise, and it was an important promise, and I don't want to break it...I mean, it's a hobby at this point, right? It's only important to me? So it's not worth this angst, this musing, this fretting like a sore tooth, is it?

Who knew writing sex scenes could be so much like skydiving? The trick is knowing how not to waste a perfectly good airplane.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On an exceptional peanut gallery, and why I shouldn't do math...

Okay, first off, hats off to Roxie!!!! I need to do links, I know, and I'm typing from work so I don't have the web address, but Roxie got out and rustled up some interviews and some publicity for her FANTASTIC book--http://www.amazon.com/Sanna-Sorceress-Apprentice-Roxanna-Matthews/dp/1425938388/ref=sr_11_1/102-5899518-5354526?ie=UTF8--Sanna, Sorceress Apprentice, and she got an article written about her, and I am soooooo proud and happy for my internet friend that I almost danced a jig in the kitchen for her last night when I got the e-mail. She gives me hope as an independently published author--and makes me feel just the teensiest bit guilty about being dark and twisty because my books are full of dark and twisty things and she has such a sunshiny, wonderful soul that her book glows without them.

Secondly, I'd like to give a shout out to Juliehttp://samuraiknitter.blogspot.com/ for doing a knit-along--it looks really interesting and she's very talented and anyone who hasn't seen the jacket she'll be walking you through will be left breathless.

Of course Lady in Red and Rae get kudos just for being teachers--power to the sisterhood, y'all... we all share in the pain... and to tam-tam for passing my class and laughing at my jokes...

And now moving on to address bells and Stephanie--both of whom I love to death in a strictly electronic way, and who had a little disagreement yesterday about math... I thought I'd clarify my stance on this controversial subject... because I think math is great--I really do.

For knitting and people way smarter than I am.

Would you like some examples of Amy Lane math? (Or Shanny Mac math, depending on who I am today?)

I once yelled at my son because he had seven pairs of pants at the beginning of the year, ripped holes in the knees of two of the pairs, out grew two more and, dammit, should have had five pairs left to choose from.

My husband frequently tells me we have a hundred dollars left in the bank at the end of the pay period, and I think that's enough to buy milk, gas, fast food for three days, an outfit for the baby, diapers and yarn.

I have yet to figure out that buying books from amazon.com actually decreases my income.

I still believe that I only spend 2% of my yearly budget on craft supplies.

I have yet to add my daughter's request for yarn into her allowance because it makes me all headachy.

Although at last count there were only six people living in my house (and two of them don't eat much) I keep buying groceries for ten. And running out of food.

I have no fewer than 4 calendars in my classroom. I NEVER know what day it is.

I passed college physics by writing word problems to explain how I WOULD get the answer if I knew how to do the frickin' math.

I keep telling people I'm thirty-four. And believing it.

I once started the flared portions of my daughter's sweater sleeves three inches late because I added 3 and 2 and got seven. It's okay though, I made the same mistake twice.

However, as bad as I am at math, I can't beat the California education system in sheer ineptitude, because only a smog-vomited brain-shot prickweenie would think that thirty-six kids in a classroom is not too damn crowded to teach.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Things of little note...

I'm not feeling too articulate today--I'm sort of pouring a lot of myself into BITTERMOON...but I did have some bizarre and tiny things I thought I'd share:

* The baby is singing. No kidding--she chews on her hands, smiles winningly (is there any other way?) and goes La la la la la la...la la la la la... I know every kid does this, but she does it better than any kid I have at this moment. (The older kids are too self concious to just belt out their la-las...alas.)

* Kewyn talks. Not a lot--he's like his father that way. But he does talk--he says "my stick" and "my pig" and "my dinosaur". I know he's three, and I've heard him make totally complete sentences and he loves to read, but really, since Trystan, Bryar, Mate and myself all interpret every grunt, including the one that says 'look, I'm leaving something disgusting in my diaper and you know that's your job to deal with', I don't think he really sees the need.

* Bryar has friends. This is a big furry deal--last year she was the kid that the bullies decided to hate from the moment she got off the bus. We told her to keep hold of her smile, have a good attitude, and things would change. She got two phone calls last night from kids we've never met--we were so happy for her. Now we have to go meet the kids and their parents...that sort of joy is short lived.

* Trystan has learned that nakedness is not to share with the family. (For those of you who've read the archives, you know this is a big step.) I know this because when I walk in on him in our ONE BATHROOM (still a problem, people, don't doubt it), he covers his wee-ness with one hand. I'm grateful--although his pediatrician just asked me if he'd hit puberty yet and I had to tell her "I'm so glad I don't know the answer to that question...I hope he can continue to hide that thing under only one hand.!"

* Mate is...well, hecka cute. You've seen the pictures... a lot changes over twenty years, but hecka cute is not it.

* I've started Yarn Club here at school. *sigh* I told them they have unlimited access to my yarn stash (the stuff I've moved from home to school--all acrylic, it makes me feel better about getting rid of it somehow) as long as they make something for charity. But now I have to teach them how, and I've got to tell you, my patience is mighty thin these days.

Sometimes I think I should have taught math--I hate math, but at least I wouldn't have taken things I loved and made them onerous to think upon... then again, occassionally, the students see the light and that thing I love is magnified about a bajillion, with chocolate sauce. Maybe I'm just not destined to know math.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cinnamon & Roses

(toh) Okay...I'm superstitious, so I'm sticking with three pictures of my beautiful children on a spectacular fall day... The fair was fantabulous... the day was clear and bright and the sky was that color of blue that cracks your heart clear open and lets dreams in. The picture of Kewyn from the night before was also classic--Bryar dressed him up as she was trying on her dress and said "Mom--look at my Prince Charming!" And Kewyn, who only talks when he needs to, looked at me and grinned and said "I'm Prince Charming." When I'm old and senile and keep thinking I'm living forty years in the past, I hope that's one of the tape loops that keeps playing back in my decaying brain ferment.

The older kids were wonderful--Trystan is wearing a Knight in Shining Armor costume I made him about three years ago, two days before Holloween using the last yard of shiny stuff I could find at the fabric store--he kept getting waylaid by Faire people who wanted to talk--and he was shy and charming when he spoke as only Trystan can be. (He can also be a 6' , 250 lb. walking advertisement for my ineptitude as a parent, which is why those charming moments are so especially treasured.) Bryar's only dark moment was when she chose the matching red three headed dragon puppet to complement her little brother's blue one (he spent a giddy hour wielding that thing and shouting 'rrrrooooarrrrr', which totally justified the price of admission AND the dragon) and then she decided she should have bought something to wear instead. She and Kewyn played dragons this morning, and that buyer's remorse completely disappeared.

Princess Arwyn Star did what she always does--attract admirers. One such, a Faire employee, actually vaulted her stand to come and coo at our little bit of royalty. Twice--the second time she called for her friend to come see the perfect baby she had told her about. I was sort of in awe--I mean, I'm pretty sure all of my children were this beautiful as babies, but Arwyn seems to be attracting more than her fair share of attention.

Mate put to use his pewter beer mug (and bought a belt and a matching loop to hold it) and was genial and forgiving, especially as I dug into the wallet to spoil the children. I should have thought about alcohol years ago. My friend Wendy was...well she is spectacularly beautiful and doesn't look close to her age, but she...she dreams. She dreams as we all do when we're single, about meeting Prince Charming (not the 3 foot version) and seems to think he lives to haunt Ren Faire's, and was most disappointed when he didn't show. The day was so lovely, I was hoping he would, just for her sake.

Besides these moments, there were two moments of twisted surreality that made the day what it was, though.

The first was at the beginning, when one of the costumed roughs slung his arm over his wench and entered the fair... he was wearing a cloak and trousers and leather armbands and a hat with a plume and leather bootsw with pewter accoutrement and...well, not much else, and his chest and his arms and the band of muscles leading down to the band of his trousers...let's just say my heart beat a little (a lot) faster when I saw him, not so much for the physical presence of beauty but for the sheer insouciant sensuality and daring of such an outfit, and my brain, already greased by the clothes and the breeze and the lack of sleep (our little princess didn't sleep much in the hotel) slid into BITTERMOON so quickly I almost couldn't see the reality in front of me, and just like breathing I was watching Ajahn (whose name might change--it's a little close to Adrian for my peace of mind) sit out on the steps of the library, wearing just such an outfit, and watching Torrent approach with a hooded longing in his eyes. And suddenly, the faire became an odd time of duality for me...much of me, my heart and humor, was their, with my children, enjoying the day, but a part of me, the part that kicks in when I'm in traffic or staff meetings or knitting without the tv on, was writing, and BITTERMOON, the book I was working on for my children, became mine at last...of course its a little more sensual now... but it won't be out for a year and a half... and I can always edit.

The other thing that happened involved perfume and my own dogged detrmination to lay claim to who I am... let's just say that when I asked for a scent that said "I may be a chubby mother of four on the outside but I am also exotic and dark and interesting on the inside" these nice people did a little bit of mixing and came up with cinnamon and roses. I was deeply wounded. Cinnamon and roses? I write trashy vampire novels, for sweet wool's sake! I hold the staff record for dropping the F-bomb at innappropriate times! I hold my own (most years) at a very challenging teaching environment, and have gone toe to toe with administrators I thought did not take my job seriously! All of that, and I smell like my grandmother's bridge club? And then, to make matters worse, my husband liked it. And so did my kids. And so did Wendy. And I was aghast--where was the darkness? Where was the little bit of twist that makes my inner life such a surprise? Because, I'm telling you-cinnamon ain't it. (I've never been a big fan of perfume that smells like food anyway.) But everybody loved this smell--everybody. And I've always been a big believer that people's perception of you is your fault--if they think I'm a foul mouthed ass, well, maybe I have been. If they think I'm smart (and you'd be surprised the number of times in my life when I've tried to hide that I'm not stupid) well, maybe that's such a soul-bone part of you that God just didn't mean for it to go and cower in a corner of your personality...and here I was, being gifted with the scent of cookies and roses, without a vampire or a pan-sexual sidhe lover in sight. It was mortifying. I almost didn't buy the perfume, in spite of the fact that it was turning Mate on in a big way. But then, I remembered--I am in charge of who I am. I had the people cut the scent with amber--which, by the by, suggested all that dark twisty stuff and still didn't kill the essential me-ness in the rest of it. I am amber. I am also cinnamon and roses--we have to live with what the good Lord gave us, after all... (And thank you Goddess for the good sense to see that:-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nuggets of Goodness

Okay... looking over at my last post, I realized a few things:

A. I should be shot for typos alone.
B. People who don't know me probably think that I have no middle ground. It looks like I'm either up up up, or homicidally (never suicidally) depressed. I was searching for an explanation to this and it occurred to me--we write about not only what we know, but also what is interesting. If I produced acres of blog about Sacramento Traffic Patterns, not only would you people fall asleep, but someone might come and stalk and kill me for being criminally boring. I do assure you that I go for whole seconds at a time without a trapeze swing from manic to depressed--I even have conversations with my husband that would need the phonebook to spice them up, but instead of trying to bore you into believing me, I'll focus on some good stuff--or at least marginally funny stuff, or at least the stuff that keeps me from dropping trou, mooning NHS and telling everyone therein to kiss my fat white ... nevermind.

Following are some nuggets of gallows humor from the chicken in Chicken Run who would have to knit herself a noose in order to accomplish any act of true desperation. For the record? I don't have that kind of time.

* I caught a parent who had been one of Satan's victims during back to school night last night. (Lady in Red, forgive me, you've heard this story already.) Anyway, the poor woman wanted to know if I was going to be like Satan, and make her son re-write his papers six thousand times without offering any clear direction sas to what, exactly, was the problem. (Again, forgive the typos--I'm not toh today, but my keyboard keeps freezing, making it near impossible to fix the errors I do see.) Anyway, I thought about the sheer immensity of making my students re-write that much, and the thought almost dizzied me. "No, ma'am, to be honest, I don'thave that kind of spare time." I said, trying for tact. "Excellent." The woman said, "I'm so happy to hear that." I guess I'm happy to oblige.

* A darling misunderstood creature left a note on his desk (literally on--but nothing a bottle of Fantastic couldn't handle) alluding to the size of my (admittedly) sizeable ass. This initially depressed me, but then I realized something. (Insert evil giggle here.) The little bastard didn't count on being the only kid in that desk for three periods. I've got him dead to rights, and I hope he has to tell his mother.

* I totally nuked a lesson about Ben Franklin by mentioning the fact that Franklin was bi-sexual--and that he liked his female mistresses older. When we got to the part about his precepts, and the one on chastity, they couldn't understand how he could even be a great statesman if, in their words, "He did the nasty with men." Now the reason I mentioned it was A. to get their attention--not much does. B. Because our GSA is now defunct, and our school is so redneck homophobic, that anything I can do to further the cause for gay-rights and against prejudice of anysort, I try and do--the fact that Franklin was bi, is, I think, sort ofcool. Anyway, I was terribly depressed because their minds all closed like a fucking steel trap, and suddenly the kids were (literally--you have to know this damned class) screaming at me about how awful he was and how they wouldn't listen to anything he said. There was two minutes left in class and I said "I totally pity you guys. YOur worlds are so small--there's such a big exciting universe out there, and your little minds will never see it." I don't know if this is good or not, but I actually felt the pity (as opposed to the simmering anger) that I was espousing. I must have grownup a little when I wasn't looking.

* (For the record, my blogger froze up on me last night, and I'm trying to get back into that 'little nuggets of goodness' mode...hard to do when you're running 15 minutes late and have a truckload of paperwork on your desk, but, hey, I am a pessimistic optimist, I can do anything...) Anyway, back to Franklin and let's move up a period, because I love my fourth period intensely, and they were totally cool with the Franklin thing... and when we got to the bit about chastity, I suddenly, in the face of their open-minded bemusement, found the perfect 21st century words to define Franklin's attitudes towards sex-- "All he's saying people, is don't let the little head do all the talking!" They laughed (but not uncontrollably) and then one girl piped up, "But that doesn't mean he doesn't get to have his say!"

Bingo. It was awesome. Now I just need the ghost of Ben Franklin to come back and scare the crap out of my 3rd period and my day will be complete. (He must have, because today I'm having my 3rd period translate three of his precepts, using the above anecdote as an example, and they're working in *relative* quiet. Go Ben, go!)

* And on the cave troll front? I am thrilled to announce that one of his parents taught him a swear word--the big one, rhymes with truck--and, hold on to your drawers, IT WASN'T ME!!!!!! Mate was doing the bathroom (still gutted, btw) and he cracked a piece of drywall and shouted said word, (for clarification, I think I used it somewhere earlier, but I'm not in that kind of mood right now...) and he's got this fabulous, deep, carrying voice, and from four rooms down Kewyn came chanting... well, you know the word. He forgot it the next morning, but this incident has had a salutory effect on our language use, because Kewyn is the consummate parrot, and unless we want him to go around repeating this word for the grandparents (one of whom, we must remember, actually taught this word to me, for sweet irony's sake!) we can never repeat the word in his hearing again. Let's see how that works out, shall we?

And it's a new day, and my kids are walking in, and the whole fam damily is going to the Ren faire this weekend in Gilroy and (hold on to your knickers...) we got two hotel rooms, and the kids auntie Wendy (not really my sister) is going to stay in their room. I'm almost faint with joy.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nagging little questions...

I'm home today while the baby gets her shots etc., and trying to not be totally exhausted and get some housework done...ha ha ha ha ha...that's a good one...me, get some housework done... anyway, my brain is sort of doing the jumping-bean in a ping-pong thing and I can't settle down to my original rant on why the California education system is butt-f--ing stupid and so are all the people shouting 'test scores test scores test scores' like those zombies in the mummy going 'Imotep, Imotep' and anyone who has any real personality starts mumbling 'Imotep, Imotep...' just to not get pulverized. I think I may get back to the rant later--it's always on the backburner...

But back to my nagging little questions:

Why is there always an hour wait to get shots for children? I don't understand why they would push more well baby appointments through the doors than they pointy needles and poor nurses to give the shots.

Why are we testing kids on more grammar than their teachers know? Put six English teachers in a room and run them through the 11th grade state standards on grammar and they will look at you funny and say "why in the hell does anybody need to know that shit?" And these are people who have masters degrees and write novels and articles and crap--for criminies sake who needs to know the slippery difference between a 'that' used as an adjective, a pronoun or an adverb, as long as there's a few other words in the sentence to clarify things.

What kind of flavor-crack do they put in hummus? Seriously--so addictive, should be illegal--garbanzo beans alone could not do that.

How does a two year old get in-freaking-somnia? Seriously--I'm pulverized. Last night I just gave up, made him snuggle with his father (because I can not sleep when someone's touching me) and hogged my side of the king-sized bed. He needs to work it out and go to sleep. For serious. For real. I dosed him with motrin this afternoon just to get him to take a nap (well, he appearsw to be sick too...I'm not that bad of a mother...)

Why does a toddler's snot run in perfect even white-green rivers right into their mouths? Don't answer that. Erase it from your heads.

How do I overcome my addiction to sock yarn? (Like anyone tuning into a blog called 'a-yarning-to-write' would want to figure out an answer to that question--I might as well ask about overcoming and addiction to that pesky oxygen drug!)

Why can't we seem to take more pictures? My precious little one is growing up before my eyes...it hurts me to think about how big she's grown between bad snapshots.

Who do I have to drug, sleep with, or kill to get a freakin' agent to return my damned submission packets? Seriously? And since I put my blog address on my query letter, if any of you are out there, you're welcome to answer...and although the unflattering photos of me are totally accurrate, I will point out that I'm perfectly capable of sucking a golf ball through fifty feet of garden hose. All right, forget I said that. That was crass. Forgive me. But seriously--can you smell the desperation here? (And I swear by my Mate that I was only kidding...)

What kind of disaster is my classroom in right now? Last time I left it to a sub, the damned sub responded to my warning about my awful classes with a sweet little note about how "an organized environment tends to minimize the chaos" (i.e., my classroom was messy.) In the wake of that note was a classroom that was trashed, new text books face down on the floor, and a candy box that was, HELLO, short forty dollars short in candy... my first written sub complaint in 14 years, people...no one pisses on me in my own damned house.

Why test scores, people? Why in the name of all that is holy and some things that aren't, do we have to stake the futures of our children on tiny lead dots on a scantron? Of all the crimes our leaders are guilty of, turning education into a game of connect the dots is possibly the worst and most costly crime of all.

And, the last question of them all... can I stuff a nap in here between the blog and taking the daughter to soccer practice? I'd sure like to try!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bryar Blogs...

Well, it was a terribly long day--our birthdays usually are. Mate, Bryar and I have the both good and exhausting fortune to share our birthdays with Alexa, my mother, and her sister Teresa. Alexa does not drive, and my grandparents are getting much older, and for my mother's birthday, I took her to lunch with grandpa and Teresa, and then we all drove to see grandma in the hospital as she recovers from a series of surgeries. It's a lot of driving--and a lot of trying to cram months of living full lives into a few moments of visiting--and by the time we were done I was in the 'near tears' stage of exhaustion. I did manage a true smile once, towards the end of the drive, though. Trystan gave me a (very gentle) sock in the arm and said 'out of state'. I looked and saw that the car ahead of us had Minnesota plates and a Papa John's Pizza marquee on the top, and said "Wow...think that pizza's gotten cold already?" I got a chuckle from Trystan, and felt not quite so bad about dragging my children hither and yon in pursuit of family.

Anyway, my amazing daughter Bryar has written a play--I was so impressed by the play and by the fact that it is very funny, that I told her that for my birthday, I would post the play for my blog. I'm extremely proud to do so. Everybody give it up for Bryar Rose, and her very 21st century take on the faery tale that spawned her name:

Sleeping Beauty
: Remix
Narrator: Once upon in a place far, far away there ….

Sleeping Beauty: Ya’ll I do not live far, far away You’re in highland avenue caaaalliiifoornia. Man, and I am right next to you, say get it right!!!!!!!!!

Narrator:(A little annoyed) OK! That was where a royal babe was born, and on this day she was cursed by an Evil witch….

Evil witch: Mr. N, I’m not going to be called Evil witch. I’d rather be the Beauty devil. OK!!!!

Cinderella: Which story is this?

Narrator and Witch: IT’S Sleeping beauty!!!

Cinderella: Ok, OK I just wanted to know.

Narrator: (rolling eyes) Let get on with the story. The Beauty Devil cursed the child with a monstrous curse that one woeful day she will touch a rose and go into a deep, deep sleep for a hundred a year. But then a good fairy set an enchantment.

Good fairy: I doooo noooot waaaaant to be called the good fairy. I’d RATHER BE CALLED THE SWEET SISTA….

SHAKESPEAR: Is this the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet?

Good fairy: are ya’ll from the sixth-teenth century?

SHAKESPEAR: Of course I am.

Good fairy: you’re in the wrong century--It’s 2006!

SHAKESPEAR: Thank you kind ma’am.

Good Fairy: now back to you narrator-- the sweet sista is ok right?

Narrator: (losing his mind) That said, she would have to sleep until a kind prince came and kissed her upon the lips. So when the young princess turned twelve she pricked her finger and fell into a deep sleep. There was a prince that was noble…..

Prince charming: I don’t want to be prince charming I want to be …..

Pinocchio: I’m prince charming. * His nose grows*

Narrator: (irritated) Pinocchio get out of the story. Prince Charming what were you saying?

Pinocchio: *sighs* Ok.

Prince charming: I’d like to be prince perfect.

Narrator: *sigh* Okay. Fine. There was the noble Prince Perfect who wondered what was scaring the people in the neighboring kingdom. When he entered the kingdom he saw a gigantic dragon.

Dragon: I am so tired of being called gigantic drrraaaagggon I’d…….

Hansel and Gretel: *very swedish accent* YA what a story is this.

Narrator: *nearly ready to blow flames * It is sleeping beauty!!!!!!!

Dragon: I’d rather be beauty dragon.

Sleeping beauty: * half asleep and oddly outside the castle* beauty is in my name too.

Evil witch: beauty is in my name Double too.

Prince perfect: So sleeping beauty do you want to kiss. *smacks his Lips*

Sleeping Beauty: *sleep Talking* and they lived Happily Ever After.

Good Fairy: What are you doing here?

Evil witch: I don’t care what I’m doing here. What are you doing here?

(Evil witch And Good fairy get into a magic Fight.)

(Prince Perfect starts trying to kiss sleeping Beauty.)

(The dragon Starts trying to beat up Hansel and Gretel.)

Narrator:(obviously angry) LET ME FINISH!!!!

Every one: (stops talking completely silent) Ok

Narrator:* scans the room sighs and opens book* The Prince saw a gigantic dragon. So he did what was right, he fought the dragon. He won but he was about to drop. The good fairy saw this Prince and helped him to the top. When there he kissed the young princess and they lived happily ever after.

Every one: How did sleeping beauty get in the castle so fast?

Narrator: Why do you ask?

Every one: because she was a sleep.

Narrator: * Puts face in hands* I have no idea.