Nightmare in Michigan!

A west-side family suffered a night of near-tragedy Saturday when their daughter fell ill and doctors feared for her life.

The drama began when Little Cinderella could be not awakened, despite it being Pancake Day and the pancakes being chocolate chip. Her mother, Queen Elsa, took the child to see Dr. Barbie, who performed a complete checkup and pronounced the girl to be healthy. However, Barbie was called to Little Cinderella’s side after the child returned home. Barbie had her admitted to Hayloft in the Playskool Barn Hospital, where she was attended by Nurse Olaf.

After being discharged, she was admitted twice more before the night was over. She was treated with new medicine from Mexico in the shape of greenery from a train set and had open-heart surgery, during which a broken piece of her heart was replaced with a good piece.

At lat Little Cinderella recovered in time to celebrated her birthday with her relieved family. She marked the occasion by eating chocolate cake and rolling in the buttercream.

 

Have you guessed yet that Nana was babysitting? As well as directing the health care drama, I guessed that Prince Wednesday in her Daniel Tiger book would be appearing in the Halloween Parade dressed as spinach (no), a rabbit (no), or a clump of mud, the funnest thing I have ever said in her life of three years.

She’s a cutie.

Bad night last night, but I feel fine now. I’m going to the gym later — that should help. I had hoped to start Chapter 2. I just need a first sentence…

This coming weekend, my children will celebrate their 36th birthday. Where have all those years gone? I wish Mike were here. It’s always hardest on holidays. He’s been gone seven years now.

Buster continues to cause trouble, although Alix did follow my suggestion and rearrange the living room to make it more inclusive. He spent my babysitting night playing video games with his friends. If he played alone, I would worry more, but he is interacting with his pals. There was no fighting — at least, none that I had to witness — Saturday night.

I begged off my little job today, because of my lack of sleep, and then overslept, which is the reason I got the job in the first place. I need more working out! And more reasons to haul my butt out of bed. I dreamed I was wearing leggings, but could’t figure out what top to wear.

The dog needs to go to the groomer, as do I. I’m getting my hair done Wednesday, thank God.

Mike with birthday kids
Happy birthday, kids!

1st day at my “job”

Yesterday I spent the day at HIGH (Helping Individuals Go Higher), a program at Wayne State founded to help homeless college students. The office is in an incredible mansion, beautiful woodwork and a grand staircase. At first I was OK, even though I had to watch umpteen videos about making videos. I got signed up to follow most of the program’s social media platforms, except Instagram. I got bored when I got to Instagram. Then a little chica led me around the office demonstrating the copier, the laminator, the binder (but not the coffee machine, which would have been helpful) and gave me a scolding because I declined to be checked out on the various cameras. She said, very seriously, that if the official videographer weren’t in the office and something came up, I might be sent to make a video.

Maybe if the zombie apocalypse came — no, I’d be too busy running away. But she was cute.

Anyway, after that I started to hate the job. I knew that would happen: I’ve hated and wanted to go home from every job I’ve ever started. Probably going back to my Burger King experience. There’s always a point during the day when I want to leave.

Then in the afternoon I was asked to check one of the students’ writing. I felt like myself again. Constant mistakes. I actually had to stop and ask her what one word meant. (She was trying to write “co-align,” which I don’t think is a word.) I did a lot of work on two pieces of writing and could have done a lot more. I don’t know, was I meant to rewrite the entire thing? I opted not to.

None of the social media posts were recent. Maybe they use Instagram for most of their posting, because there isn’t much anywhere else, not even the blog. I wonder what the kids are doing. It’s important for the program to spread its news as far as possible. I’ll look into it a little more tomorrow.

It’s what I wanted: a nice office where I can wear my office clothes and never work nights, weekends or holidays. I work 9-5, which means rush hour, but you be patient (and pee before you leave). I JUST WISH THEY WERE PAYING ME!!!

Trench with water up to knees
Great War British soldiers in a flooded trench.

This is not the job I want.

Today I had a guy come and finish the bookshelves. It turns out that Buster and I could never have finished them ourselves. They had to be glued and hammered together. Anyway, now I can clean up some of the piles of books that are presently on the floor and the dining room chairs. The living room should look positively airy without all these books.

My writing group meets tonight, my Meetup group. I submitted the first half of “Wendy.” The first comment I got came from a guy who didn’t understand the structure or the setting and suggested that the story come with an explanation in the form of an introduction. Thanks, dude, but it has to stand or fall on its own. And you just didn’t get it. Hopefully someone else will. They are all very bad writers, but that doesn’t meant they won’t be helpful critiquers.

I sort of wish I weren’t going there.

Next week I start working out with my new trainers Tues. and Thurs. So, that makes four days I have a reason to get out of bed. On Fridays, I will have to make up something. Buster was coming here every two weekends. We agreed that once a month would be good enough, but that means another Sat.-Sun. I have to find something to do. I will miss him terribly. Last Sunday I wrote seven pages of “Tin Soldiers.” I sent my critique group — the good one — the original 2-1/2 pages of what, apparently, was a second draft. I don’t remember writing a second draft. I think I should print out the entire version I gave to the novel seminar I went to, the one where my poor novel was shredded. And deservedly so, which is why it hurts so much.

The central questions remain: Why does Emmy run off? That’s obvious to me. She has nowhere else to go. She can stay and be a servant at her present landlady’s, or she can go into the convent and take the veil. Why does she pretend to be Edwina? Because she’s not old enough to go to be a VAD as herself. WHY DOES SHE WANT TO BE A VAD??

And what hospital does she go to? That $150 book I ordered got canceled. Turns out they didn’t have it in stock… The things are rare as hen’s teeth, so they just plain sold the single copy they ever laid their hands on. I can get one for $300 — do I dare? Is this novel worth that amount of money? If I don’t get a job, I will be living on a dime. No money for tickets, no money to travel. Right now I have that money, though I would be smarter to save all the extra. I am saving some. But I want this book very badly.

If only I could find a job. I’m hoping that I make enough of an impression on the president’s wife who founded HIGH that she will find me a campus job… Well, it could happen! Meanwhile, the ineffectual hunt goes on. When I get back from Roanoke, I will throw myself into the hunt more vigorously, and maybe I will even dare to try for a copy writing job. Go to Kelly Services. Anywhere.

Maybe, maybe.

 

Buster weekend

Buster is here. We spent about eight hours watching a dystopian kids show from Britain. I told him it scared me when the bad guys show up, but we just kept watching. I finally sent him to bed at nearly midnight.

We got the new printer. Epson, on sale for $59, but the ink is shocking, of course. We got it set up together, but the wireless network isn’t working. Guess we’ll have to connect it manually, or use a cable. I’m sure it will be great once it’s going. Adding hardware is always a pain. Nothing ever works without requiring you to screw around for half a day. I’m glad I don’t need it for anything, though I do want it. In other irritations, the dishwasher leaked all over the floor and now has nearly 3 inches of stinking water in the bottom. Perhaps it’s merely clogged? I found a description of how to unclog a dishwasher, followed by how to clean a dishwasher. That will give us a project for tomorrow.

I asked if he would mind switching to once a month. He carefully said: If that’s OK with you. Probably he’s not disappointed, but I wasn’t sure. Still, asked the question, got an answer. I can’t start pressuring him to reply in another way. That’s as bad as asking him: What are you thinking?, which I think I have done twice in 13 years, so feeling pretty good about that.

He says school is going well. I never ask him about his grades. He knows Alix tells me. Sometimes I have given him lectures about them, but I try to be the quiet place, a place set apart from his daily life, where no one yells at him. Not that I never yell at him. I have a terrible temper.

Just not as bad as Alix’s.

Busy Bee came over for a few hours this afternoon to drop him off. I have done a good job of choosing toys and books for her. Also, I let her get into the Nutella, so Nana’s is a house worth visiting. We did watch TV, but she is a TV girl, comes from a TV household, and I can hardly criticized when I’ve just watched eight hours straight with Buster.

No work on “Soldiers” today. After the first three pages came out so well and so easily, I got kind of scared. Maybe I can’t really improve upon it the way I hope. Maybe my goals are not realistic. Too soon to give up.

This is Saturday. I have to keep reminding myself. Tomorrow we are having a good breakfast, fixing the printer, fixing the dishwasher and loading the car for Goodwill. I need to get a lot of stuff out of here — every one of the jigsaw puzzles, for instance. There’s not much chance I will ever work another one, unless Busy gets into it, and then I can always buy her a new one.

 

Back to WWI

Hand

I decided to rewrite “Night Soldiers,” getting more accurate to the period and putting more emphasis on the mystery. I started with a much more detailed description of the drowning. I want to try for a more original use of language in descriptions, better similes and so forth. When I get stuck, I’ll pretend to be Hemingway and rewrite the last sentence again and again. I don’t know that he actually did this, but it sounds like a good idea, anyway.

My nails are too long for typing — a stupid problem, but troublesome all the same. Now I’m started, I don’t want to stop and cut them.

Maureen recommended printing the manuscript out again and re reading it. I can only remember the big set pieces, none of which satisfies me. Maybe the in-between parts are better than I can recall.

Unfortunately, the printer has stopped working. For some reason, the computer no longer recognizes it. I had to go to Kinko’s on Tuesday to print out pages for my Meetup writing group (Good Lord, are they ever terrible).

I think I’ll take Buster with me to buy a new one. He can help get it connected. Or I’ll get him to do it himself. It will be a good learning experience.

I’m going to stop expecting him to come over every other weekend and propose that we just get together once a month. I don’t know what Alix will say, but I bet he will be pleased.

I woke up depressed this morning after last night when I felt so positive and hopeful — unfortunately that was mania, not real life. I’m keeping to my decision to hire a trainer. I think it will make a huge difference in terms of energy, focus and just to have the company. I want to go six weeks; that’s how long it take to get into a habit. My mother used to say, “You can stand on your head for six weeks if you have to.” I’m not sure how that was meant to be helpful

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Starting with a trainer should help me reverse my sleep cycle so that I can get up and blog or work on “Night Soldiers” instead of staying up till 3 and waking up, slowly, at noon. I need to eat now. I did have breakfast at 10, then I went back to bed. So that was a long time ago, food wise.

I bought a fancy Here-are-the-ingredients-and-instructions-ready-set-GO meal. It serves two so I will have to eat it twice, even if it sucks.

I got Kathy some raspberries, but I’m not sure when I can see her. Maybe Monday? I need to get a locksmith and take Mocha to the vet — I think his ears are infected again.

And I need a handyman. I just need light bulbs for him to install and smoke detectors, and then I can hire someone. I miss Roger.

I wonder what all I will have to do this house in order to move out of it. I can’t imagine how I will be able to sell it to make enough money to buy another house, but I don’t want to rent for the next 20 years.