Wow, so much has been going on, and I keep putting off updating because it feels like such an insurmountable task. But I might as well begin somewhere.
Tonight is my first night back in class after a glorious 5-week break. I feel I made great use of that time off: I little relaxing and a lot of traveling and fun stuff!
I spent 4 days in Baltimore in the middle of this month and it was so great. I got to spend time with my best friends and hang out in my old neighborhood which has only gotten better since I left, despite the fact that, well, *I* left :) Jacob flew with me and stayed with his friend in DC. We were all able to meet up one night for a Nationals baseball game which was fun despite a few snags in the plan. I loved having Jacob meet those girls. It was like completing a circle or something.
I spent last week in Denver at a research conference. The conference was ok; it really catered toward people working on research for higher-ed foundations, and not activist foundations like the Sierra Club. So I found bits of information useful, but overall I decided not to worry about retaining every useless word. I really loved having the time to explore a new city and spend some alone time. I did a lot of reading, a little shopping, and a LOT of working out. I'm to a point where working out is something I enjoy doing and I was grateful for the gym in my hotel! After being gone, first in Baltimore and then in Denver, for two weeks, I had a renewed appreciation for my little life in Tampa. I am happy to be home.
I just got a roommate! Her name is Melanie and she is really sweet. I think we're going to do just fine living together. She has a pug named Lilo, but Lilo is currently staying with Melanie's parents. Lilo hasn't met my girls yet, but we're confident that everyone will get along once they establish they're little puppy hierarchy (let's be honest, how much choice does a 6-month-old pug have anyway??)
I have been dating Jacob for about 3 months now. He's really wonderful beyond words. We connect in the most important ways and he makes me laugh more consistently than anyone I've ever known. I can't believe I can even say that so emphatically, but it's true! We have a lot of things in common and I feel like the things we enjoy doing together are limitless. I am truly just enjoying the time I get to spend with him, and I hope he'll stick around for a while :)
I'm still chugging along at the Sierra Club. The pay is not great by any standards, and layoffs are talked about all the time which isn't encouraging. Plus, the FL staff is so limited that I feel very isolated from the rest of the staff sometimes -- most of the people I "work with" on a regular basis are in San Francisco. While I'm losing momentum and motivation in the job, I have two great bosses who I love and who know about my ultimate goal. So for now, the job will do, while I finish up my certification.
This is my last semester at St. Pete College! If all goes right for me, I will be employed by the Hillsborough County School system in January. This may not be possible and I may have to wait until next fall, but I am really aiming for a January start. I have been doing very well in school and am already confident that I will walk away from the program with a 4.0 and wonderful references.
Lastly, I still have one of the kittens. It's kind of a sad story, but Angus (formerly changed to Jack, now back to Angus) has been returned to me not once, but twice. Both times have had nothing to do with him, just foolish people. The first girl returned him to me at 5am the morning after she took him home. She took him home at 8 weeks old, the night after his spaying surgery. He was probably sore and away from his mom for the first time in his life, and she couldn't put up with a bit of crying, so she gave him back to me. The second person was an acquaintance of mine from the dog park. She really wanted a kitten, but was moving into a new house that needed work. I agreed to keep Angus an extra month while she worked on the house. Well a month turned into two months. Her "tab" piled up as I took Angus in for all his shots and fed him, etc. By the time she took him, she agreed to pay me the $125 in reimbursement for those expenses (all receipted). Well after having him a week, she told me she wouldn't give me more than $50. I told her that that wasn't really fair after I had done her a favor and had incurred these expenses under the agreement she would pay me back. I offered to let her pay me in installments. She wrote me back the next day and said her dog had tried to bite Angus so she would just bring him back to me. Yeah right. She never gave me a dime. So the poor little guy, the sweetest kitten I have ever known in all my cat-loving years, is back with me. It breaks my heart because it takes all the willpower in me to let him go each time, and I have to keep going through it over and over again. I would love to keep him but I am not in the position to commit to another animal. Please pray for Angus to find the right home soon. He SO deserves it.
Ok I think that's about all! I'll try not to let so much time pass between entries. That will make both the writing and reading easier :)