Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back To Civilization, Back To Packing

Yesterday evening I returned from our annual field season in the Black Hills. We got in rather later than I expected, in part because we spent the night further away than initially planned, and we had troubles getting on the road early and keeping our gear strapped to the roof of the van. Getting in late interfered with my evening plans a bit. One of my good friends moved to Alabama this morning, and last night was her last in State College. I initially had plans to have dinner with her, but that fell through once I realized I wouldn't be able to go out until after 8pm. So, instead of dinner, I had to settle for meeting her for a drink, which wasn't a bad thing, I would have just liked to spend more time with her before she took off.

The ride back from South Dakota was long and tiring, but I'm pretty well satisfied with how the field season went as a whole. We had more stuff and more people coming back than it did going out, and we worked some kind of magic that defied basic principles of physics and packed in more stuff than should ever go into a maxi van. If you consider the fact that some dead animals came back with us (they rode on the roof) along with a few hundred pounds of sediment and gear, it's a miracle we fit people in there.

I'm realizing more and more that it is well enough time for me to be moving on. My adviser has a new student that requires more attention than me, there new undergrads who are getting all the new and exciting experiences, and I feel like an old fart who has hung around for too long. I need something fresh and new, and I'm ready to move.

I'm excited, anxious, and yet somewhat sad about moving. I'm trying to coordinate a group dinner before I leave, but it doesn't seem to be working out. Apparently the only good night for me to have dinner is terrible for everyone I know. I've gotten no positive responses on dinner for Thursday, but I do have some alternate lunch plans that will hopefully make up for it. I realize people are busy and have a lot going on, and I'm trying to be mature about it and not take it personally. On the other hand, I am moving across the country and won't be seen for a very long time. Some people get surprise going away parties, or dinners thrown for them, etc. etc. Not me. I'm the kind of friend who organizes nice things for others, not the other way around.

I'm trying really hard to not let disappointment get the better of me. I don't want to leave any loose ends with friends, so to speak. Maybe dinner plans will work out, and tomorrow night I'll feel much better, and I'll be more positive about moving on.

Tonight's goal is a fairly straight forward one. I need to get the food in my pantry sorted out into one of the following categories: not mine (and let the owner of said food deal with it), eat this now, give away, or throw away.

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