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This post is going to take forever to load, so while you’re waiting, pour yourself a beverage of choice, then kick back and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Moi? I’ve been keeping my head down, rereading the Foreigner books by C. J. Cherryh at a rapid clip. (I’ve just started Deceiver, which is #10 of 16, with #17 to be published in April — which is the purpose of the exercise.) But mostly, this week, I’ve been working (as in “earning money”), and popping Aleve like candy so I can sleep.  It’s going to take at least two weeks of hardly typing at all for my hands to settle down again, but needs must when the devil drives.  Baby needs to pay her car insurance. . .

I’ve been doing “general” transcription for that jive outfit in San Francisco.  The last job I did was an hour and 47 minutes of interview, which topped out at 54 pages.  Took me two days to do it, and I made a whopping $1.035 per page.  Because I couldn’t get it finished before 6 o’clock Saturday (the end of the pay period), I won’t get paid for it until Monday week (22nd) which means my car insurance payment will be a bit tardy.

My total output for the week is 92 typed pages since Monday (on top of 27 years of typing at a dead run for 5 days a week or more, on top of scarlet-fever-provoked autoimmune osteoarthritis of all my finger joints . . .)  And my mom can’t  understand why my hands hurt.  It doesn’t seem to bother me to type blog posts … (It’s the difference between typing maybe 1000-1500 words in a day at a leisurely pace versus 15-20 pages pedal-to-the-metal in a day. Duh!)

(And not just mindless copy typing, either. I have to listen to it first, and somewhere between my ears and my hands, spoken language has to be transmogrified into written language, then get capitalized, spelled and punctuated correctly before my fingers can do their little happy dance . . .  After a day of transcribing, the first page of reading is like shifting a rolling car into reverse without benefit of clutch. . .)

Never mind that I’m typing now, I’m just waiting for the Aleve to kick in, betimes listening to Rhapsody (and marveling at how seamlessly Alison Krauss’ and James Taylor’s voices blend).  Two of my favorite singers, singing that great old, crying in my beers song:

Didn’t go to knitting group this week because after 12 pages Monday and 15 on Tuesday, I wasn’t in the mood to use my hands for anything but holding a book and turning pages, and that rather gingerly.

Monday, I finally finished the fifth of Harveys Bristol Cream I bought last July.  Just belting it on back.  I’m going to work a little more next week so I can get myself another bottle, a little treat.  In the meantime that’s one empty bottle to start my bottle stash.

When I get six empty bottles, I’ll be able to make a batch of home-baked amaretto — once I can come up with the moolah to buy the ingredients, that is:  It takes a fifth of apricot brandy, a fifth of peach brandy, a quart of vodka, a big bottle of vanilla extract, a big bottle of almond extract, not to mention whole cloves, stick cinnamon, nutmeg, and six cups of brown sugar.  It also takes a really big pot and the better part of a day, but it’s a great way to stink up a house, and the recipe makes six fifths.  It ages wonderfully if you leave the spices in when you bottle it.

The musical selections included free of charge in this post for your delectation and amusement are all from a 240-song Rhapsody playlist entitled “Cache” wherein I have collected all my “greatest hits.” It ranges from Queen (Does your lead guitarist have a Ph.D. in astrophysics, hmmm?) to Richard Wagner (not that far a stretch actually, when measured in their respective distances over the top), from the Beachboys to Bette Midler, and from Herbie Hancock to Eleftheria Arvanitaki. Tunes that are all over the map genre-wise like a load of buckshot.

9 Chickweed LaneWhile we’re on the subject of music, this little gem from Brooke McEldowney.  Here’s one for the “I bet you didn’t know who actually wrote that,” for the hard core Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy crowd:

And other assorted goodies and what have you.  If you’re up to it (it makes me cry every damn time), you might check out this little beauty, as well.  Give yourself a Valentine’s treat that is nonalcoholic, nonfattening, and non-comedogenic, but which is not guaranteed to be non-habit-forming . . . just kick back and listen.


*опять – opyat, Russian, meaning “once again.”