The last few months have been more than a bit crazy but also more than a bit fantastic. I will now describe in succinct detail my life and adventures since the end of June...
For the fourth of July, I volunteered at and extremely enjoyed the Festival for the Eno, a local festival whose proceeds go towards the Eno River Association. In exchange for a few hours of selling soda and juice to the wonderful attendees, I got free entry to an excellent day. They have vendors, SUCH good food, a ton of music, and lots of hands-on activities and informational booths. Plus I got to see one of my favorite local bands, Lost in the Trees, play a great set:
I also moved to a brand new, gorgeous house with my BFF Katie. I have no pictures of the house. Why? I don't know. They will come sometime soon, including at least one picture of Katie's insanely lovable dog, Foxy.
In the middle of July, I met my Girl Scout troop! I'm co-leading a group of about 13 or 14 twelve-year-olds. They are a group of smart, independent, individual, wonderful human beings who I absolutely love. For the sake of not being creepy, I'm not going to post pictures of them on the web. Just imagine awesome girls. That is what they look like. I'm helping out with running meetings, planning events, and lots of fun little stuff. We're going to do a FANTASTIC Earth Day event this year that the girls are going to be in charge of. The ideas they've had so far are amazing! A large number of them are also thinking about getting the Silver Awards, so I get to help advise them on that. It's like a PhD but... fun...
The next big thing was my BFF Viki's stunningly beautiful wedding. Behold the gorgeous bride:
Hahaha jk that's a horse. But Vik's in the background. Here she is for reals, with two fine ladies:
It was beautiful, I got an awesome brunch, and family drama was kept to a minimum. Viki was a fantastic bride and wedding planner :)
I got to spend an awesome day with my girl scouts at the beach. We swam a ton, saw an aquarium, and ate some mighty fine pizza. Success.
Then, KAPOW! I went to Angleterre with my beau-friend, Matthew.
We went to Dorchester, Dorset, Lyme Regis, Chesil Beach, Exmoor, York (where Matt lived), LONDON! Oh and... ROME!!! Matt totally surprised me with the awesomest graduation (his graduation from his Master's that is) present ever from his parents: a trip for two to Rome! For some reason he chose me rather than his graceful, well-behaved girlfriend. For that I will always be thankful.
Altogether, we saw a gajillion gobsmacking things... The highlights were Thomas Hardy's cottage and grave (both of them-- one in Dorchester and one in Westminster), Cerne Abbas (heh... look at the picture), Roman ruins, older ruins, lots and lots of farm animals (weeee!), the Cobb (go read Persuasion or The French Lieutenant's Woman if you don't know why that is so exciting), amazing museums, all the big sites in London, ALL THE BIG SITES in Rome, and the Royal Albert Hall. I could keep gushing, but really I am only making you jealous.
One of my favorite-est things, though, was the Roman Cats... There is a little park of ruins where people used to just dumb stray cats :( And then these awesome ladies came together to take care of them! So now the ladies seem to be taking care of most of the stray cats in Rome. There are stray cats EVERYWHERE, and people are always feeding them. These ladies were AMAZING and the cats were so adorable. It was sad because many of the cats had been injured when they were literally thrown into this pit of ruins, but the ladies get a lot of donations and are able to really take care of them. If we had been there longer, I would have volunteered. As it was, I donated a ton of money. The picture below is me with this one really sweet old cat-- they were basically making her as comfortable as possible until she dies. I went over to pet her and she jumped up on my shoulder for about 5 minutes, and then ran over to eat some food. The lady said she barely ever ate, so I definitely teared up a little. I'm amazed we didn't come home with a cat!
It was the best trip ever with one of my most favorite people in the entire world. And we ate caprese almost everyday. It is what makes life worth living, friends.
The start of a new school year! But first, JETS: we went to the preseason Ravens-Jets game... The Jets lost, the Ravens fans were buttmunchers. Nuff said... Also, how about Mark Sanchez? I am in love with him and planning to be married by the end of the year... We'll be heading to the Jets-Jags game in November, and I simply cannot wait. JETS!!!
Rather than doing any work, I just kept driving back and forth between Durham and Baltimore. My darling boyfriend was living in Cumberland with his parents for a few weeks to finish up his Masters thesis, so we met in Baltimore for another marvelous wedding-- his cousin Dan and his (now) wife, Elise. They were beautiful. But more importantly, despite a middle of the night fire alarm at our hotel followed by 3 hours of waiting in the lobby, Matt and I looked good...
Matt and his SUPER FANTASTIC WONDERFUL mom, Lisa, forced me to buy a real girl dress and real pretty pretty princess shoes. I was glad I cleaned up so well and had such good people to help me do so.
Then it was my birthday!!! I spent the night with a few close friends and some champagne. It was nice and low key, which might be a first for my birthday.
In other September news, I got to lead my first Girl Scout meeting. It was hectic, but enjoyable. OH and the girls made me birthday cards!!! It was soooo sweet.
Then I was sick for about two and a half weeks and was extremely unproductive.
I got myself fully trained as a cat volunteer at the Animal Protection Society of Durham. It's a fantastic organization that not only provides shelter to animals and tries to get them adopted, but also does a huge amount of outreach. On that note, GET YOUR ANIMALS SPAYED OR NEUTERED. NOW. If you are not doing it because it is expensive, there are often low-cost, subsidized options available. Contact me and I will look them up for you. If you are planning to breed your animal, please consider the HUGE number of homeless pets that are euthanized EVERY DAY before you add to the number of pets in the world-- and take potential homes away from those in shelters. Finally, if you're thinking about getting a pet PLEASE at least consider a shelter animal. Those are pets that need loving and a good forever home.
I adopted my cat, Annabel, from APS almost exactly a year ago, and I'm so happy to be giving back to that shelter. Especially because I basically get to play with cats whenever I'm there!
THEN MATT MOVED DOWN HERE. He is still getting all his furniture settled, but the living in sin is going extremely well. He's looking for a job, so if any of you have leads for Durham jobs... you let me know ;) Again, pics of the house to come...
The busy beehive of the Girl Scouts participated in a local Diwali fest-- four of them danced in a show-- and the Buddy Walk, a great event put on by the National Down Syndrome Society. It was fun and the girls got to help out a good cause.
I also got to see (and host) one of the best bands in the entire world, Wye Oak. If you like music, listen to them and see what you think. If you don't like music, THEY WILL CONVERT YOU. Andy and Jen were great, even though poor Jen was a bit sick. Also, in case I didn't mention it, AN AWESOME BAND SLEPT IN MY HOUSE. I felt like a patron of the arts. It was neat.
And that about catches us up on the major events of my life! Coming soon, the awesome environmental stuff I've been up to!!! You can't wait and I know it.
Previously, this was a blog mostly to harass my poor friends and family with the details of my life. Don't worry-- that will continue. However, I'm also going to use this as a terrible forum for dialogue about green tips and eco-revolutions. Hopefully it will be helpful and entertaining...