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

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On the road again...

Okay-- so the deal was, the family and I went on vacation last week, Saturday to Friday, in San Diego. You saw that.  We went to the zoo, we went to the ocean, we went to the movies--all was fun, and then the ride home in which I overdosed on water additives and saw sound.

Then, we had two days-- Saturday and Sunday-- during which we did Easter, hid eggs, cleaned the house, dyed eggs, took my mom out to lunch, came home and cooked dinner, then hung with children.

Then I packed to come to Portland for a writer's conference at Dreamspinner that starts on Thursday and I can't wait to be at--and, yes, once again, there is driving.   This time, I'm driving with esteemed editor, Gin Eastwick from Canada via Germany, and friend and DSP Goddess, Julianne Bentley.  We're in Julianne's car, and she's doing most of the driving-- mostly because I think I scared her a little, which, well, we're all still alive.


So, some things I've learned from the last time I chatted, in which I had learned not to overdo it on the MiO:

*  There is no good way to travel on your period.  Yes, world, I said it.  Now you know.  Saying.

*  That being said, traveling with smart, funny, interesting women is always a good time.

*  Watching Julianne discover a roadside attraction is like watching a kid discover the circus.  Gin and I would go out of our way a hundred times over to see her drive through a tree again.

*  Driving through a tree really is cool.

* Hwy 1 is beautiful-- but not to be hurried through.

*  If you don't like the weather on the Northern California coast, wait five minutes-- it'll change.

*  Rain + windy road + twilight = stressed out driver.

*  Don't try not to eat chocolate or red meat when you're on your period and on a road trip.  For sweet fuck's sake, something's gotta give.

*  I could listen to Gin talk for ours-- she has a Canadian accent, and it's been semi-neutralized by Germany, but every now and then it sneaks out and attacks me with joy.

*  Glass beach is cool on so many levels-- from tide pools to rounded glass to the big something that might have been a tractor that turned into a rock formation.  Dudes… go.

*  Confusion Hill is confusing on many levels, not last is why we visited.

*  Holy Jebus… did I forget to buy a brush when we stopped at the pharmacy?  (This is not necessarily something I learned, but something I just remembered while typing on the blog.  Oi.)

*  Snoring gets you a room to yourself.  It's not fair, but, well, it happens.

*  There are NO, I repeat NO gas stations between Ft. Bragg and Cave Junction-- that's like, sixty or so miles.

*  If you're traveling down a dark, windy road, and there are no gas stations for sixty miles, the last thing you want to see is a road called "Butcher's Knife."  Hello, Sam and Dean, come save us now!

*  There is no such thing as internet on Hwy 1.  Just kick back and enjoy the scenery.  There is plenty of that!

*  When in doubt on a road trip, sing!  (With any luck, someone will sing as beautifully as Gin does, and she'll take over :-)

*  There will always be some music you can agree to.  There is no way there's not.  It's a statistical impossibility.  Play mix tapes until you find it.

*  Even after spending an enforced week with my family, plus a family holiday, I still miss them fiercely.

*  Even after spending an enforced three days w/ Julianne and Gin, I'll be thrilled to see them even more at the Dreamspinner Press conference.  We arrive in Portland tomorrow!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fucking Dragons

A note or two about this post.

See, the incident happened last night, as we were driving back from San Diego--and I thought it was hilarious, of course, there may have been extenuating circumstances, but we'll get to that.

So anyway, I was lying in my own bed, (yay!) and the dog was licking his balls, and it was keeping me awake.  Both the dog and the ball licking-- so there I was, lying in bed like this: 0.0, thinking about how I have to leave again in two days time, and the dog is never going to forgive me.  Not only that, but thinking that I have to, among other things too numerous to mention, go get the dog flea treatment because I don't think he started out licking his balls, if you know what I mean.

So I decide to get up and write this story-- maybe, I get some writing out of my system, and I'll be able to go back to sleep.  But I want a picture for it, right?

And, for reasons--again-- you'll see shortly, I decide to google "vibrating eyeballs".  For the record, don't ever do that.


Because apparently if you have your filters off, vibrating anything can only lead to porn.  Serious, hardcore porn.

I was not aware, and that's saying something.

So, okay, wasn't thinking about sex but now I am and unfortunately not the hot kind or even the healthy kind, because HELLO internet, but now I still need that picture.

So I google "eyeballs."  For the record?  Don't ever do that.


So now, I'm like THIS:


And I still haven't told my story. 

And I'm definitely not ready to go back to sleep.  So I find the picture of the cat tripping on LSD because it's one of my favorites and very appropriate, and now, faintly traumatized, I'm ready to tell my story!

So, did ya wanna hear the story?  

Okay-- so here's the story:

So, you know those MiO drink supplements?  (And, for the record, if you're going to google "MiO" make sure you spell it right.  There's apparently a Japanese porn star named Miyo.  She, uhm, does things.  Many, many things.) 

Anyway, so, on the way back from San Diego, it was my turn to drive.  Mate usually does all the driving, and I was a little sleepy-- long trip--so I was like, "I'm gonna need sugar and energy, yo!"  So, the MiO energy booster stuff, we had it.  I added lots of it to 2 liters of water.  And then another 16 oz bottle.  

And about an hour and a half later, I had to pee. 

I realized I had a slight… wobble to my extremities as I ran to the bathroom and back to the car.  A rather excited wobble, as though I had not done nearly enough jumping jacks and laps around the Chevron station in the past hour or so, and I had to get right on that.

"Mate," I said, pulling out of the pitstop to the left of middle of nowhere and back onto I-5, which is the middle of nowhere, "Exactly what was in that energy booster I just drank copious amounts of?"

He looked at the label.  "Uhm, potassium, ginseng, some B complex vitamins--"

"And that's it?"

"And caffeine.  Loads and frickin' loads of caffeine!  Why?  Are your eyeballs vibrating?"

"I can see sound!" I crowed manically.  I giggled too.  Probably not reassuring in your driver, now that I think of it.  

"It's got 60 ml caffeine per serving-- you must have had about ten servings in all that water!"

"WHHEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!  Get outta my way people, mama's gotta pee again!"

"It says energy booster-- what did you think was in it?"

"I had money down with myself that it was at least three parts cocaine!"

"Let me know when the crash hits--I'm gonna wanna drive."

"Oh yeah.  Will definitely do that."

And, sure enough, when the crash hit-- at a Carl's Jr. in Patterson--I practically face-planted in my fish tacos.  

But in the meantime, man what a ride!

So, now you see why I wanted the vibrating eyeballs.  *sigh*  It would be so much less traumatic if the internet could read my mind!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Okay all--it's been a busy few days.  I've tried to blog, but, well, I'm trying out the little tablet computer--and I have to say, as a workhorse, it sort of fails, although it is portable as hell.
Anyway-- between Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo and a day spent just getting lunch and yarn and swimming in the resort pool (and that last one seems to be what the kids think we came for!) I have some pictures, and some snarky captions to share. 
Now, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may recognize the snarky captions.  But some of them are missing, and I'm tired and the internet is being stubborn, so I'm going to blame the tablet thingy whether it's the tablet thingy's fault or not.
But while I'm cursing the tablet thingy's shortcomings, here's some pictures of my week:-)
Yeah, I look like a sleepy hippopotamus, but remember the last zoo?  I am BAD ASS.

The ass of a chillaxing polar bear.  Carry on, puny ozone destroyers, carry the fuck on.

Seriously, seven hours at the zoo?  Where's the frickin' POOL?
Post-coital bonobos. Because Goddess was merciful and we caught them 10 minutes after the great bonobo orgy.

Have you ever waited for a lunar eclipse while watching Singing in the Rain?  Well, now I have too.
If you think he looks surprised, wait until you see his sister.

And if you think her brother looked scary behind the controls of the helicopter, watch the hell out, cause she's gonna fuckin' kill us all.
Mom, this is the expression chimpanzees make when they're happy.

Folks, these are the pictures I pull out when he's driving me bugshit.

She looks so thoughtful, doesn't she?  It's amazing the depths that Judy Moody will give you.
How much wood could a wood duck fuck if a wood duck could fuck wood.

Fucking worship me, puny humans!  Bow before my greatness, or I shall stand in front of your tour bus and preen in the chrome bumper, forcing the security guard to venture forth in greatest indignity and shoo me with great weaving of arms!
Chicken has found her spirit animal.  He is the sun bear.  He naps in the sun.

Let me out, you assholes, let me ouuuuuutttttt!!! 
I picked the best souvenir from the air/space museum EVERY
 Monkeys, meet gorillas.  Yeah, there's a resemblance.

 Pretty Birdie want your fingers?  Oh, yes he does!
Okapi.  Cause they're frickin' COOL!

 I am one of a zillion birds.  What makes me special?  I POSE!

And phew!

Yes-- it's a lot.  It's so much, in fact, that although I have moar pictures to go, my baby computer is having a tantrum and not dealing with them.

That's okay. 

We go home tomorrow, and then I leave again on Monday.  More blogfodder (and, well, Easter shall provide even MOAR) is always a good thing :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Songs from San Diego

Okay-- honestly, I was just thinking there are none.  Songs, that is.  But we are having some adventures, and that's always awesome.

We got in last night, after Mate did most of the driving (and I did a considerable amount of knitting) and a drop at Pea Soup Andersen's.  Now I'll be honest-- there really is only one thing to eat there: the pea soup.  Which makes it really puzzling that Zoomboy wanted to stop there AGAIN. But Mate and I enjoyed our soup, and, well, we ate ZB's untouched cheese quesadilla because we felt bad about the two times he'd sent it back.  It was Squish who noticed something, uhm, different about the rest of the clientele: "Mom--they're all old people!".

And, yes, it has become like The Nut Tree used to be-- older people who remembered the place from their childhood make it a stop between Nor Cali and SoCal. So really, unless you're there for the soup and the tchotchkes, there's no other reason to stop.  Except, well... you know.  The picture and the memories.

And today, we picked up Chicken and went to the sea.  (Where she could be Chicken of the Sea!  Heeeeeeeeee!).

We didn't spend long there-- just until ZB and Squish got cold.  Took about an hour. Then Chicken took us to Beef & Buns (where Rhys Ford had taken her) and we really loved it.  Parmesan tempura fried zucchini.  Saying.  Anyway-- we might possibly have made it to see a movie but for two things.

The first thing was that I smacked Mate's head with the Minivan hatch.  Yeah.  No shit.  Weenie move on my part-- he ducked his head in when I reached up to slam the hatch down, and, bam.  Anyway-- sometimes a big ouchie, no matter how impermanent, will make you remember things like an eleven hour trip behind the wheel the day before.  That, and Chicken actually had to do homework.  We decided lunch and grocery shopping and a trip to the beach pretty much wrapped up our ambition for the day-- we came home and napped.  Which was sort of luxurious, really.  Napping.  I mean, I'm a fan.

Anyway-- Chicken's friend Stevie is watching the animals-- she told me that the Chiwhowhat probably got a walk today with his little friend (her own dog, Gibby).  I'm happy to hear that-- it would me my little guy is having as much fun as we are :-)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Help me Internet, you're my only hope!

So, in what is amounting to a curious scheduling clusterfuck, Mate has put a family vacation right in front of Dreamspinner's conference in Portland, and then has managed to schedule all sorts of things for him right in front of it.

Which means the last two weeks-- Squish's birthday, Chicken's visit, laundry, the house sitter, the car maintenance, the children, have all been pretty much on mom.

There would have been a time when this sort of snafu would have sent me screaming for the yarn store, but I've matured since then.

I bought shoes online instead, and had them rush delivered.  If you want to see true pornography, check my house tomorrow, when I'm slobbering over a pair of orthotic walking clogs and some flip-flops with the soles of heaven.  It won't be for the faint of heart.

Anyway, less than a week after Squish's b-day, we're leaving the house in the house sitter's capable hands (and she knows our animals, so that's nice!) and taking off for San Diego.  Where we will do somewhere between diddly and squat. I think Mate's entire focus is on a vacation where we sleep, visit the ocean, and lounge about.  We may visit the zoo.  I am a little at a loss-- who is this Mate, and what are his inner motivations?  However, since I am actually going to need to work-- I have a deadline barreling down on me like a shotgun shell--I think it sounds like a perfect compromise.  Yes, I shall be working, but I shall be working someplace after swimming in the ocean all day and eating stuff I didn't cook.  Excellent idea for a working vacation-- if I can watch the kids have fun from a warm spot on the sand, I'm in.

And as for Squish's birthday-- well, she had a lovely time.  One of the best parts, for me, was that her two big presents were an electronic game and a Hello Kitty doll.  And that she and her friends, after the novelty of the dance game on TV faded, and the electronic game went away, stayed up past midnight with dollhouses and dolls and played their little hearts out.

Because some things should never change, and 8 year old girls and dolls are one of them.  (Boys too-- yes, they're CALLED action figures and Legos, but we all know the truth-- creative play is creative play, and when it's done right, it's completely universal.)

And Zoomboy-- who is in dire trouble for State report related reasons--made us love him in spite of his delinquency by tying his jacket on as a toga and making the girls call him "Dobby".  Now see, on the one hand, that's a little creepy, but since he was fetching their water and juice and helping them dispose of their paper plates all night, I'm gonna give it a go from "creepy" to "sweet".  Cause, yanno, Dobby.

But our family is not as gregarious as some, and I have to admit, after the people went away, we were pretty happy.  We had a mostly clean house to ourselves again, and our relief knew no bounds.  The animals may appear to be the most tuckered, but don't be fooled-- Mate was vastly relieved to have all those strange people out of our house.

And then, of course, Mate went MIA immediately afterwards with a series of obligations and previously scheduled moments, and I've been typing by myself ever since.  I could be bitter, but since my next business trip is going to be made longer on purpose by a road trip (instead of a flight) and a trip to an alpaca farm with my knitting peeps, I figure I can cut him some slack.  If I can manage to finish my story and go on vacation, I'll be a happy girl, really, because a trip to the beach with my family and to Portland with my peeps?  I am spoiled indeed!

But first I have to scale the mountain of laundry, find the cat box (hidden during the party!) and go shopping for Easter (important because Zoomboy has no clothes that do not fit him like he's clubbing.)  And then I have to tell Zoomboy that no he can't read until he does his homework.  And remember that it was those words and those words alone that made me want to run away when I was ten.

And, yanno, somewhere in there research WWII, the Liberator pistol (which is just the stupidest thing I've ever heard of-- the OSS air dropped one-shot pistols into France because WHY?) and what life was like for the returning veteran in 1947.  (I suspect it was a shade less as sucktastic as it is for returning veterans now, because congress was slightly less of an ass-pickling jar of dead flies back then and actually took care of their veterans--but I digress.)  Oh-- and prepare for RT, because right now, about all I've done is order swag and cut some pictures out of magazines for my panel with Cassandra Carr, Marie Sexton, Tara Lain, and Z.A. Maxfield. Okay… I've thought about what to wear too… that's always important.  (Yes and no.  I think I'm going to have to seriously cut down on my idea of the man's T-shirt with the spiffy saying as a wardrobe staple.  Yeah, I know-- it's depressing for me too.)

And even before the laundry, I have to go Easter shopping, for serious and important chocolate bunny reasons.  And maybe nap a little cause I think I'm repeating myself.  And definitely meet Mate for lunch, because sushi.  And revel in the fact that it only took two trips to the car service and hours out of two days to make my car not frightening for the big trek across the central California desert.  And oh crap finish the baby blanket I want to have with me when I go to Portland the week after next!

And, well, apparently business as usual here-- and if the aliens aren't going to take me away, it looks like it's up to me.