Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Done In and Dogged Out

LOL! If it’s not one dawg it’s another.

Well, that’s not funny, given how sick poor old Cassie has been.

Actually, Cassie is presently somewhat better, other than having come completely unhouse-trained. She now poops and pees wherever and whenever she pleases. Fortunately, it’s usually on the pee pads I put in her favorite locales — something that’s getting pretty pricey, since I have to pick up and replace four to six of them a day. But sometimes it’s on the bathroom or bedroom rugs. Yay. At any rate, she doesn’t appear to be feeling as bad as she did.

Which is not to say she appears to be feeling well. I’d guess she’s running at about 80%…maybe 90% on a really good day. Whatever happened to her doesn’t appear to be about to go away.

Meanwhile…hoooboy!

Last night Ruby started barfing spectacularly. She apparently ate something that made her good and sick. It soon became apparent that this was not a life-threatening thing…but by “soon” we mean sometime after midnight.

Ruby and Cassie both are in the habit of “harvesting” mummified oranges that fall off the trees and dry up, often after having been chewed out by the roof rats. They bring these crispy treats into the house, hide them in the bathroom, and crunch them up into crumbs. What a mess to clean up!

Well, they’ve never made either dog sick before, but apparently this time one of them did.

The real concern, though, when a dog starts barfing, is that we have some nut cases around here — apparently among the drug-addled vagrant population — who have been known to throw poison treats over people’s fences, thereby killing their dogs. It’s a strategy used by burglars, but neighbors have reported having small, harmless dogs targeted. So given both dogs’ corgi-esque love of yapping, of course an unexpected, apparently reasonless barfing attack causes some worry.

By 2 or 3 in the morning, though, her stomach calmed down and she seemed OK. Come the light of dawn, she was fine. Fed her hamburger (cooked) and rice this morning and again this evening: she seems to have recovered.

I, however, have yet to recover from the three-hour night. 😀

Today I managed to get a new chapter of Ella’s Story on-line. Not quite by the self-imposed deadline…but only a day late. Since no dollars are concerned, we need not add the dollah-short part.

But this was accomplished, I’m afraid, not by actually finishing the chapter as conceived, but simply by spotting a natural pause and cutting it off there. Between the sick dogs and my natural laziness and a general feeling of overwhelmed-itude, the truth is I’m not applying myself to this project for the enough hours a day to make the required progress. One of the things it illustrates, though, is how amazing those late 19th-century and early 20th-century writers were, in their ability to produce novels on the installment plan. Dickens, for example…and Poe, I believe, among many others, would write segments of novels for periodicals. And of course, they had deadlines, just like a journalist does.

Having amused myself as a magazine journalist for a good 15 years, I can assure you that a journalistic deadline is one helluva lot easier to meet than one that requires you to make stuff up and then turn your imaginings into something believable. Or at least more or less readable. A workaday magazine or newspaper article pretty much writes itself, growing like crabgrass out of your interviews and research online and in print sources. A piece of fiction? Not so much…

To my intense annoyance, I discovered that somehow WordPress had disappeared Chapter 11. I know I put it online, because I remember the images I posted with it, and because those images still lurk in the “Media Library.” So I had to reconstruct that, yet another time-killer.

One advantage Poe and Twain and Dickens and all those had over us wretches in the Digital Age is that all they had to do was write the damn stuff. They didn’t have to publish it, too. They had…oh, does anyone remember them?…publishers who edited and typeset and designed and laid out and illustrated and proofread and printed and distributed their work. Today those who imagine they will find great fame in self-publishing have to do all that themselves. And none of us is qualified to do all those things well.

Not by a long shot. Nor does having to devote half to three-quarters of your time to jobs you don’t want to do and aren’t really trained to do leave enough hours for you to do what you do want to do and what maybe you’re good at: to write. I am so very tired of spending hour after hour after hour in digital ditz! Just to create a table of contents for the 33 chapters I’ve put online in Ella’s Story required me to do 297 mind-numbing, repetitive, tedious computer operations today. That’s not counting the typos, which in having to be redone probably expanded that number by about 10 percent.

I un-friended the FB writer’s group I’ve belonged to for the past two years or so. That was too bad, because each week they give you a chance to publish some magnum opus…which has conveniently allowed me to publicize my emittances with some regularity. Haven’t noticed any increase in sales, though.

What I have noticed, however, is this 7th-grade mean girl they’ve picked up. She’s very, very nasty. Today she took aim at me. My response to that is simple enough: fuckyouverymuch. I don’t hang around where I’m not wanted, so off I went. That, we might add, will be one fewer electronic time-suck. I don’t know whether organizers of those groups try to moderate them, or if they even can — this one is quite large. But evidently someone needs to.

And now for something completely different… Did you know that you can still read books?

No, I mean real books, the things shaped like boxes with this hinge-like strip along one edge to which pieces of paper are attached.

The Brothers Grimm

Couple months ago, I’m at the Costco and I happen to spot this old-fashioned-looking hardback with an embossed cover and gold-leaf print: Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales.

WTF!?! Last time I saw that book, it was at my great-grandmother’s house in Berkeley, back in another century when normal people could afford to live in Berkeley. It is a beautiful little production, published by some outfit called Canterbury Classics, out of San Diego. Gosh.

So for old time’s sake, I bought the thing. Stuck it on the nightstand and went off and forgot it.

One evening I started browsing through it and was reminded of what a hoot the original Grimm’s tales were. This is great stuff! And perfect bedside reading, when you’re so tired you can barely lift the dogs onto the sack. They’re very short, pretty light (in a strange and sometimes not-so-light way), and none of them require a sustained attention span.

So the other day I’m back at Costco and what do I find but a whole SLEW of these Canterbury Classics! Hot diggety! How can I leave them alone?

Yes, I know: Impulse Buy Hell. But hey: how often do you get to buy embossed hard-cover books with gold-leaf print all over them?

Grab Bulfinch’s Mythology and, by god, the original Thomas Burton’s Arabian Nights.

This stuff is too, too good. It is going to keep me amused for weeks. Maybe even months.

And so, to bed…

Images

Ruby the Corgi Pup. © 2014 The Copyecditor’s Desk, Inc.

The Brothers Grim: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=165364

Frontispiece to Burton’s Arabian Knights. By Adolphe Lalauze (1838-1906) – A plain and literal translation of the Arabian nights entertainments, now entitled The book of the thousand nights and a night Vol. 1, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11033095

Author: funny

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