Working at home at the dining room table during the kids' school vacation... ben is next to me with headphones on, taking an online tutorial in something called Flex. He has a job interview next week, which is good news even if he doesn't get it, since it indicates there ARE some jobs out there somewhere.
Last night I drove to Connecticut and back after work in a snowstorm to retrieve my laptop, which I left ta my aunt's house when we all visited on Monday. Also visiting were her son (my cousin), daughter-in-law and their four kids (5, 3, and three-month-old twins -- I'm tired just thinking about it). Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, I've reconnected with the part of the family as well as various college and grad school friends, a significant number of whom have also been laid off recently. While this is scary for those of us affected, it's also somehow comforting knowing we're not alone. It sort of sucks when you're out of work by yourself for whatever reason while the world goes merrily along without you.
One extra perk from this recent trip (or trips) was that my aunt offloaded a whole bunch of family history/geneology stuff onto me. My gradnfather and his father were into it and collected all sorts of records, geneology charts, diaries, etc. I'm not that into geneology for its own sake; we all have a family tree, and I think it's only interesting if it turns out that one or your ancestors had a story that's interesting, objectively speaking. The problem is that usually you can't get at these stories through just the birth and death dates, land records, etc. But the diaries loook promising. One of them is written in that antiquated fountain-open handwriting that makes it look like it dates from the mid-1800s if not earlier. Still, there's a lot of crap to wade through, so who knows when I'll get to it. My aunt, uncle and cousins never really did anything with it all. But hey, I have an advanced degree in journalism 'n stuff, so maybe I can craft the hundreds of tedious pages and yellowed photographs into a compelling multimedia narrative. Unless the people being documented were actually extremely boring, which is a distinct possibility.