I have been retired now for nearly four years. It has not been an easy thing to adjust to. I am used to hard work and constant thinking on my feet. Yet I have been mostly confined to the house and unable to do much beyond write and drive my kids to the many places high school kids need to go. I don’t really have trouble keeping busy, but I need to do something to reconnect to the outside world beyond the bedroom door.
I have been teaching myself to cook. These muffins are strawberry flavored and only require milk added to the mix, no eggs to crack and shell pieces to pick out of the batter. I have also been learning the hard way how to burn the crap out of pans and muffin trays. And… learning how to clean burned pans… but obviously not very well.
I have been getting to know the oven quite well. We talk about life and muffins and heat and baking times, and she is constantly beeping at me to warn me when things are about to burn.
She has also been giving me writing advice. She got me talked into not burning my bank account any further by investing in publishing services. Those goobers are mostly just money-grubbers in a dying industry. My novel Stardusters and Space Lizards was thoroughly baked on this blog over the last sixty eight weeks, and so I needed to finally take it out of the oven. This I did through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. The book was formatted and put together in publishable form in a matter of days. You can find it here on Amazon… My Book. Page Publishing still has my novel Magical Miss Morgan in page formatting after over a year and a half of working with them. No way are their services worth the money I paid them. They work slowly and dangerously incompetently. I would sue them to get my money back, but it would cost me more for a lawyer than what I paid them. So far with self-publishing I am only ten dollars in the hole, the amount I spent on copies of my own book.
But as the stove pointed out heatedly, the kitchen and computer are not actually getting out of the house and meeting the world again after three and three quarters years. And the chances of income from muffins and writing are slim. So I also made a plan to be an Uber driver. I got carefully signed up and prepared. I was finally able to download the Uber driving app last weekend, and this weekend I finally felt well enough to try driving for money. So last night I got in the car and connected with a potential passenger, my first ever Uber drive.
Of course, this is Mickey we are talking about here. Nothing in my little life ever goes smoothly, especially at the start. If things were perfect, I would definitely be worried that something was seriously wrong with the universe. So, my first passenger was a guy who needed to be driven to the 7-Eleven to buy beer. And naturally, I couldn’t find the place to start with. The Uber computer-voice lady kept wanting me to download something in the middle of giving me directions. She also wanted me to turn left and drive through a fence. But when I finally did turn in to the apartment complex and realized that I was in the wrong section of the complex to pick up my passenger, I quickly corrected my error and found him. Computer-voice lady kept telling me to turn the wrong direction, so I listened to my passenger to make the proper turns and got him there on time. My car, however, overheated in the parking lot. Now, that isn’t entirely accurate. It has a faulty heat-sensor that registers overheating whenever the car is idling and heat is reflected back up from stationary pavement under the car. I had the thing in to the dealer for the recall fix twice, and the replacement chips are just as defective as the original chips. And, of course, I have been notified about the class action lawsuit, but because it is not a life-threatening malfunction, it may be some time before that is resolved. So, I rolled down the windows and turned the car heater up high and reduced the heat the defective detector detected. The drunk guy got back in the car with his beer and I successfully took him back to his apartment, his girlfriend, and his party. I got a five star rating for the trip. But I cut the night short. I earned $4.oo total for the evening. It wasn’t perfect, but I was finally out in the world again. I was earning money again. And I got to discuss the perils of diabetes with a drunk guy whose brother had juvenile diabetes. Life is good… some of the time.