Happy Veteran's Day! No matter how you feel about the current war, please do thank them. They've served our nation with their lives so we can enjoy our freedom.
On the writing front -- I've given up on NaNo. It's not that I hate it or anything...well...maybe. But ultimately it just wasn't working for me. The current project requires a bit more thought from me, esp. because I'm dealing with a brand new world and characters. Besides, I can't write the middle section unless I'm fairly satisfied that the opening's more or less on the right track. Why? Because I don't want to throw away the entire manuscript and start over. So currently I'm trying to get down about 1,000 to 1,500 words a day, five days a week. I'm not aiming for a super clean first draft, but I want to be able to keep a big chunk of the storyline and so on. Already I cut about 1k from the opening I wrote during my NaNo attempt because it was just...bad. So I've started a new progress table (see below):
Moving on to general life matters -- DD asked me about my dwarf hamsters. Shiro and Kuro are doing great. Hero Material and I spent over $100 on new cage expansions and toys for them on Sunday. They have tubes to nowhere, two wheels, a heated nest, a wooden arched bridge, a new feed box, a sand bath, a litter box, hanging wood blocks they can chew on, etc. They're so happy in their little heated nest unit because it keeps them very warm, esp. in winter. Japanese apartments don't have central heating, so it can be fairly cold at night. (May is convinced I'm going to be one of those hovering mothers who's going to spoil my children rotten.)
Some pictures --
A brand new water dispenser:
A newly decorated old cage (contains: a heated nest, a water dispenser, a toilet paper core, a sand bath, a litter box):
An expansion cage / secondary unit (contains: two wheels, a water dispenser, a wooden arched bridge, a new feed box, hanging wood blocks, an L-tube):
Two wheels (one new, one old):
Tubes to nowhere (they connect the cages actually):
A bonus pic -- Kuro in her brand new litter box!
Speaking of Kuro -- as much as I find Shiro and Kuro adorable, I have a small...err...issue. The problem is that I cook, and sometimes even after a vigorous washing with soap, my hands smell a lil like food, so Kuro -- she's the glutton of the two -- nips or just outright bites my fingers. But she climbed onto my hands last night and sat there for a bit. So for that, I'll forgive her for trying to eat me. I even wrote a haiku dedicated to my hamsters' uber-cuteness:
The haiku critiquer told me that maybe I should expand my imagination since mine only described something as it was. Maybe next time I'll write about the man-eating Kuro.
BTW -- The Big Three begging for $50 billion from the U.S. government made the headlines in Japan. Japanese people are astounded that the Big Three want to use $25 billion out of the amount requested on health care.
I'm usually against bailouts in general, and I'm not sure if throwing money at them is going to solve the real reason why they're so cash-strapped: they are losing market share, and their operation is extremely inefficient.
The Big Three seem to believe it's fashionable to blame the subprime crisis / credit crunch for their cash problems, but even when the economy was doing great, the Big Three weren't raking in dough the way Toyota, Honda and Nissan did. Since Ford has just decided to ramp up its gas-guzzling F-series truck production (hey, the gas price fell!), I'm not convinced that the Big Three will use any of the money to build more fuel-efficient environment-friendly cars. Also I don't think the Big Three will be able to survive even after the $50 billion bailout. Why? Because they can't force people to abandon their Japanese and German cars and buy the Big Three cars. Legislating people to buy American cars would be the least American thing to do, and unless the Big Three can make stylish, fuel-efficient and reliable cars that American public wants to buy, they will continue to burn cash at an exponential rate and ultimately fail. There's a reason why Deutsche Bank downgraded GM target price to $0.00 / share yesterday.
Finally, I'll leave you with a haiku I wrote a couple of weeks ago in my Japanese class. The topic was seasonal joys.