Steph and Susie are seeing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this afternoon at one of the dollar theatres with a friend of theirs. Steph’s solo went quite well at the Unitarian Church. The choir sang “Arise! Arise!” and Steph sang soprano, and was praised zealously by one and all. (The closing hymn, “Raghupati,” was fun, although I didn’t think I’d like it. It was in transliterated Sanskrit, a prayer that Gandhi and his followers chanted every morning. Steph says that they do it often in the Dances of Universal Peace she attends, so it wasn’t alien to her at all.)
After lunch at The Happy Greek, I went back north to Ace Hardware and bought the Liquid Wrench I have heard will unstick my typewriter. With my Pete Townshend typing technique, I can’t have a machine that can’t keep up with me. When my dad was between high school and college, he worked as a copy boy/runner for The Daily Intelligencer, the newspaper of his home town of Wheeling, W.Va. He said that when he was there (1946-1947), he would have to go down to the composing room to drop off copy, pick up galley proofs, etc. The paper at that time was typeset with molten lead and Linotype machines, and the mark of a good Linotyper was that the operator had to stop and let the machine catch up to him, but not be so fast as to create a jam, which would cause molten antimony and lead to come spraying up out of the machine like Old Faithful.
I’ve been amazed by how many of my fellow State workers moonlight–all of them out of necessity. One guy in my office works at night as part of a janitorial service, cleaning offices, etc. My fellow transcriber worked at J.C. Penney for a long time, although the last Christmas season pretty much did her in. As much as I have tried to avoid it the past three years I’ve been a Statie, I think–by necessity–that I will have to join their ranks. I’m applying for a job at Andy’s, a carry-out just north of campus. (When I first quit drinking, I was afraid a job like that would be just asking for me to relapse, but it wasn’t. An E-mail pen pal chided me for being in a “Sam Malone” situation–a recovering alcoholic owning a bar and working there. Two different situations–in a bar, there’s an open tap, so it’s harder to monitor how much stuff is disappearing. At a carry-out, everything is inventoried, and it has to balance with what was sold. So “slipping” would be more trouble than it was worth.)