NYE was pretty quiet. We went around the corner to my sister's house, munched on heavy hors d'ouvres and watched Dick Clark. I was home by 1AM and asleep by 2, but even though it was quiet, it was nice.
I guess it's time for an update on the family. Sean got a ticket back in September for underage drinking (he's only 20). He was definitely drunk, but he wasn't driving or anything, just walking home from a friend's house about 4 blocks away. The cop who ticketed him was actually someone he'd gone to high school with. Anyway, the result of the ticket was 15 days active jail sentence or 9 months of supervised probation with a 9PM curfew, 2 mandatory AA or NA meetings a week and $150 in probationary fees a month. He got tired of the probationary restrictions and turned himself in to serve the 15 days instead. He should be home in about a week. He also decided not to go back to school this semester. He thinks it's a complete waste of time when he doesn't even know what he wants to do with his life. He's supposed to start a job towards the end of January working with a brick and stone mason. Let's hope a steady job and a few weeks in jail will give the kid a better outlook on life and teach him a little responsibility.
Kelli getting ready for graduation from HS. Her senior project is almost done, and she presents next week. If everything goes well and she gets passing marks, she will be all set for June. If not, she goes back to work and gets a second chance to present in April. She wants to attend East Carolina in the fall, but I'm pretty sure I have her talked into going to the local community college for two years and then transferring. She just isn't emotionally ready for a school the size of ECU and living away from home. She won't do anything for herself, and expects me or her boyfriend to take care of everything for her (and that includes things for the baby), so I really can't expect her to be able to take care of herself in a setting like ECU. I'm hoping a couple of years of community college will help her get prepared for the real world, before she dives into it headlong.
Erin has decided she wants to change schools. She's very disappointed with the experimental school, and I have to admit that I am too. By this time, midway through her 2nd year, she should have been preparing to take all college level courses that are geared toward her area of interest (cooking and restaurant management). Instead, she is taking advanced math and science courses that are way beyond her (Calculus, Physics and Marine Biology) and we were told a few weeks ago that she won't be able to take any cooking courses, or business or restaurant management courses at all. This completely defeats the purpose of this school. She was supposed to be able to graduate from high school in 4 years with the equivalent of (around) 2 years of community college or vocational school credits so she could get a decent job straight out of high school. The whole purposes of this school is so kids who don't want to attend a University after high school have an alternative that doesn't lead to minimum wage burger flipping or to more school. I think their experiment failed. Erin plans to transfer to the regular high school, where she can at least take some vocational courses and take business math and accounting instead of university track maths. We'll just have to take things as they come and see how it goes when she transfers.
Jeff is ... well same old kid. He's looking forward to starting high school next year. He's been playing Sax for two full years now and he's happy with the instrument. He plans to play in the band next year, and he's looking forward to marching season and the competitions they'll be attending, and he got a preview of the music they'll be playing for marching season, and he seems pretty excited about it, but he can't remember what it's called so I have no idea what they'll be playing yet lol. He's been researching music scholarships and trying to find schools that will give him at least a partial scholarship for music, have a decent football program (and therefore a marching band program), and offer a field of study that he likes and that he's interested in. Let's hope he sticks with it.
Kairi is growing like a weed, and she is the funniest, most independent kid I've ever seen. She's 19 months oldand she is all the entertainment I could possibly want. She has a very large single word vocabulary, and she adds new words and phrases every day. Her latest is "that's scary" or "I'm scared". She can actually hold a conversation with you, if you're willing to interpret her single word responses into full sentences. And she has no difficulties letting her know what's on her mind, especially if she thinks she's right and you're wrong.
She loves music too, and sings along with the songs she knows best. Right now her repetoire includes all the songs from "The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", "21 Guns" by Green Day, "Everlong" by Foo Fighters and a handful of Nickelback songs. Riding in the car with her when the radio is on is more entertaining than most of the shows on TV right now.
As for me? Well, I'm still out of work with no prospects on the horizon. I'm doing pretty good in school, and while I'm not at a 4.0 any more, I'm still keeping above a 3.5 (the 2 B's last term killed my dream dammit). I was invited to join the Golden Key Society, and I think I'm going to do it. If nothing else, it looks good on a resume. I've been fighting a cough since before Thanksgiving, and it refuses to go away. I'm pretty sure I've got either bronchitis or pneumonia, but a doctor visit just isn't in the cards right now. I'm hoping that I'll have enough money left over at the end of this month to be able to go to the clinic and get some meds to try and clear this up. Cross your fingers for me. The heat situation isn't helping here either. We haven't had heat this fall or winter. I had the furnace guy in three times and he insists that the furnace is working fine, the problem is in the gas lines coming into the house. But I've had the gas company out here twice, and he swears there is nothing wrong with the tank or the lines. So I'm at an impasse. I have an electric heater in the living room, and a kerosene heater in the den/kitchen area, but the fumes from the kerosene heater make my cough 100x worse and teh electric heater never gets the room any warmer than around 50*. I've got heavy drapes hung over all the windows and doors, and I've sealed everything I can with plastic sheeting, but it's still damned cold in here most of the time. I've been avoiding housework even more than usual, because it ould mean get out from under the blankets I've been cocooning myself in. Even the baby is willing to sit still wrapped in blankets because she's cold. (And yes, that's in her vocabulary too).
That's pretty much my life to date. I've made a few afghans, and some hat/scarf/glove sets recently, for family and friends, and I'm thinking about posting photos on Etsy and taking orders. One of the other girls who was laid off shortly after me is doing that, and she's making a decent amount of money. Enough to keep her and her daughter in groceries anyhow, so it's an idea. I've gotten a lot of reading done too. First book for 2010 is A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau by Carolyn Morrow Long. It's a bit dry, and while there's a whole lot about the legend, there is very little about the reality. And the reality that she lays out is done in a very confusing way. Sometimes it's hard to tell if she is talking about Marie Laveau or one of her ancestors. And she is inconsistent in her use of names throughout. It's just very confusing, and not informative enough to make up for that.
I think I've written enough to make up for my 4 month absence now, so I'll just wrap it up and say I hope you all have a 2010 worth celebrating.