Monday, May 14, 2007

Busy, busy, busy. I'm working a WHOLE lot more hours for TAB Services now; I've already typed 10 or 12 transcripts this month. And they're getting longer. I have two due on Wednesday - one is 33 pages and the other is 47. They're already typed and at the editor. She'll make needed changes and send them back to me, then I'll make the changes and send them in. It takes a lot of discipline to sit and type for hours at a time -- discipline I don't have! If the quality of the audio is good, I can get a good rhythm going, but some of the audios I've had lately are really bad. It's up to the court reporter to make sure the microphones are positioned correctly. However, sometimes you just can't hear either the attorney or the witness. Sometimes someone is shuffling papers, a lot of times they speak while the other one is still speaking, and many times also they just plain mumble. Plus, depending on the deposition, you have to be familiar with either medical terms (if it's a worker's compensation case or an insured person who had a car accident) or legal terms (if it's a criminal case). It seems like an awful lot of time to put in for only 80 cents a page. Of course, the advantages are working from home. And the disadvantage is -- you're working from home. You know, the place that's way too close to the refrigerator when you're just sitting for a lot of hours each day. Need I say more?

Let's see. Oh, the really big news. We're moving! As much as I want to stay here in beautiful Ramat Beit Shemesh, we seem destined to be part of the "settler movement." Lest that sounds scary and ill-advised to you, I'll just say this: it's probably not so wise if you're thinking totally rationally, but if you believe that this land was given to us (the Jews) by Hashem, and if you believe that all's fair in love and war (meaning even if you don't believe we have the G-d given right to the land, we at least won it fair and square -- every other country in the world has the right to keep lands they win in wars), then the land belongs to us and is legitimately a part of Israel.

Kochav Yaakov is a nice-sized yishuv just 6 miles north of Jerusalem. After a lot of deliberation and ALMOST jumping into buying something we really couldn't afford (but really, really wanted because of our deeply-felt American convictions that we totally deserved and were entitled to have a big house that we could fill with all kinds of things we don't really need because we still haven't learned to control our need for gashmius - material possessions), we found the only piece of rental property currently available in the entire yishuv. And it's perfect for us! A young couple own the house. It's a 3-bedroom on a nice-sized lot with a huge fenced yard on all sides. They built a 2nd story on top to rent out; many people do that to help with the mortgage payments. The family who live on top don't get to use the yard at all; they go up a flight of stairs to their front door from the street. I'm not sure they even have a back door. The couple who own it are living in Kibbutz Chofetz Chaim for the next four and a half years while she goes to nursing school. They may not even move back to Kochav Yaakov, so we can probably stay there a long time.

The street is very close to the mikolet, small grocery store. And David called me tonight from the class he's taking at the Nefesh B'Nefesh office to say that a woman who lives right across the street from our new home is in the class with him. She and her husband are a little older than we are; their daughter and son-in-law made aliyah this past December from Baltimore - and we had met their daughter in Baltimore on our Farewell Tour just before we made aliyah! Small world. In fact, we taught her daughter how to play mah jongg -- and both mother and daughter play! Two thirds of a mahj group already! If that don't beat all.

Before I sat down to write I had so much to say. But now I can't think of anything else. Perhaps because it's 11:15 PM, my allergies are driving me crazy, and I've been working like mad all day. I think it's time to say goodnight.

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