Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catching Up Again

Hello, everyone. How are you? It's been quite a while since my last entry.
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Truthfully I committed myself to playing an on-line war game called Travian. You have Romans, Gauls or Tuetons, and you build villages, and make alliances, and attack other alliances. Somewhere along the way I started out as just a player. I chose to be a Gaul, only because I read all about them once upon a time when I was writing about them. Fascinating people. Anyway, before we got too far into the game, I found myself running a wing of one alliance. We are currently in end game, which is too long and too silly to explain. It's taken more time than I ever expected, and I promise, I will never do this again. Ed got me involved. He played for a few months last summer, but then quit because school was more demanding. I should have followed his lead.
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Now to update you on all three of my children and the world that is mine: First off, Ed finished his second semester at U.C.L.A. (the University Closest to LaGrange Avenue), as he did his first semester. He earned 4 A's and one B. The B came in the same subject as the semester before, and that would be math. We applied for a FAFSMA grant, and he has been approved. He is still 'kind of' looking for a job. Some how, some way, he will have to come up with the money to pay for his books and to get him to school daily. This semester most of his classes will be at the main campus. Last year he never left town.
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In February Jon finally paid off his education with the 'pumpkin patch.' To celebrate, he threw a kegger. He found out the hard way how much beer is in a keg. I also found out who has a drinking problem, and who doesn't. Jon had a disagreement with his friend, David, that night. They pledged that their friendship was over and that they would never talk again. When I woke up at 6 the next morning, I found David sitting in the kitchen with his arms about the keg. Becki's boyfriend sat next to him. Chris was sober. David was wrecked. I asked them why they were still here. Quite drunkenly, David informed me that there was still beer left. Chris finally drove David home. We haven't seen David since that night. Jon is not interested in rekindling their freindship. The next day, Jon dumped out a lot of 'skunk' beer.
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He left his job at the 'pumpkin patch' a few weeks ago. He said the stress was way too much. A few months before leaving, his company had hired a new dispatcher. According to Jon, this guy was a jackass. Jon lost his regular route to someone else, and had his two days off moved. Apparently the man had screwed someone else over, and promised the better off days and the regular route if the person would stay. Jon quit. The dispatcher promised him all kinds of benefits if he'd remain. Jon said no. He is currently driving for a window manufacturer. Jon says that his new job is great. He still drives for long hours and is bored out of his mind from time to time. There's a lot less stress, his longest trip so far took 3 days, and he's off every weekend. Better yet, this is a Union job.
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He and Gloria are still hot and heavy, and maybe moreso. Gloria got a promotion that has moved her out of her neighborhood. She loves her job, although it requires longer hours.
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She's not doing well in other aspects of her life. Her parents went away for a weekend, so she decided to surprise them by having work completed on their home. The contractor drove a pick up truck. The day he started he had a long piece of wood protruding out of the back of his truck. When he backed out of her driveway, he drove the wood right through the driver's side window of her car. It destroyed her door as well. She's temporarily driving Jon's car while he's out of town.
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Now Becki is another subject. I'm ready to explode. This last semester of school looked like it would be her ruin. Her grades were sinking and she was hanging around with this 'boy' who had once dated Crazy Ann. Strike one. He has several other strikes against him as well. He's a musician. He has long hair. He was laid off from work and not actively looking. He has a child with another girl friend. He's 3 years older than her and he smokes.
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Now let's turn this around. Becki pulled her grades way up and graduated with the best grades she ever had. She even won 2 scholarships, one with ROTC, and another from her high school. Neither come to much, although every little bit helps. When we met with the financial aid officer at her college, we found that not only did she get the FAFSMA grant, but because of the Stimulus, she's qualified for other money. We were told that she would have to mortgage at least $8,000 a year when we first sat down with the financial aid officer last year. This year, it seems that with the scholarship money she received, and the extra grant money available, we might not have to find a loan for this year. We just might be able to pay the balance off on a payment plan. Now she's thrown herself into two activities, one being school and the other being a diet. Oh and Christopher, her boy friend, is really a nice guy. As I said, he stayed behind to care for David and make sure he got home that night.
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Last weekend we threw her a graduation party. Wow. What a party. I put it together in the blink of an eye. I rented the park district meeting hall from the next town over, and I put together a knock out menu. Because my favorite caterer retired, I had to find a new one. The guy I intended to hire never answered my calls. 'Screw that,' I figured. Instead I hired three catereres. We had an international buffet. We had sausage lasagna and spinach lasagna, and an antipasto tray from an Italian restaurant; lo mein, beef fried rice, egg rolls, pot stickers and crab ragoon from a Chinese restaurant; and a variety tray, refried beans and rice from Tenotchitlan. I bought a decorated chocolate cake from the bakery I used to work for.
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I asked a friend of Ed's to make me a mini sweet table. Yellow is a pastry chef. I gave her $100 and told her to make me a white or yellow cake and whatever little goodies she could come up with. Spend $50 on ingredients. She came up with a few ideas.
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Ed and a few other friends spent the two days prior to the party with Yellow and her boyfreind. Ed said he reminded her a few times about the party. He called her the day of the party just to check on how she was doing. "So," he said, "You're ready. Right?"
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"Ready for what?" she asked.
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"The party."
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"Is that today?"
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"Ah, Mom," Ed said when he finished his call. "You do remember that Yellow has ADHD, right? (Ed and most of his friends have ADHD.) You know she might forget something. Right? I think we have a problem....." He went on for the next ten minutes about how she has ADHD, and it looks like she might have forgotten. He reminded her like 3 times. Over and over, he said. He asked her if she was ready. She kept saying, 'no problem.' And she forgot. And he was going to really kick her a.... How could she forget about this? He reminded her. Damnit all..." He started slowly and before you know it, he was so upset I thought he'd do something desparate.
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It took forever before someone came along to pick us up and get us to the party. By the time I got there, most of the family had arrived, as had the caterers. At one end of the room we had all kinds of good food. At the other end we had two cakes, mini chocolate-cherry cupcakes, tiny squares of toffee flavored fudge, Rice Krispie treats with Oreo on one tray and broken pretzels and chocolate chips on another, and lemon blueberry muffins. The entire table was covered with pans of treats. And right next to that was a card to Becki from Yellow and Matthew. I just wish I had taken a photo of Ed's expression. He looked so silly.
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The party happened on the last day of the CrossTown Classic. Now if you followed my blog since AOL, you know what that means. I even brought a TV with us. It didn't work too well, so we followed the game via cell phone. Now my friend, George, my S-I-L, D, my husband and my son, Jon, and his best friend, Eric, are all Cubs fans. What a game. They went inning by inning, hit by hit. By the time I caught up to it, it was 6 to 6 in the bottom of the seventh. It was at the Cell, so the Sox were up. Nothing happened. Not for four more innings. We were all on edge until someone got up and knocked the ball out of the park in the 11th. Okay, I'm not sure about that. It was the eleventh, and someone scored. Sox won 7 to 6. I knew it ended when my B-I-L, C, led everyone in a rousing chorus of 'Go, Cubs, go. Go, Cubs, go....." C is a Sox fan. It might be the only thing he and I ever agreed on. Mixed marriages can be hell. What makes it worse is that in the long history of the CrossTown Classic, the Cubs and Sox are tied at 66 games each. Sometimes I honestly think this has been was planned.

1 comment:

kbear's heart 2 said...

Thanks for the update! great to see you again. glad life is going well for everyone!~kbear