Sorry for the long absence; it's been quite a transition period! I am fully moved in and functioning at the new place. I like it a lot, and the neighborhood is indeed turning out to have much more in the way of shops, stores, restaurants and coffee shops, etc. Zoey and I haven't found our ideal walking route yet, but we're working on it. The commute to work is better than imagined - maybe a few minutes longer but feels similar and very doable.
It was a LOT to try and move and then travel to Oregon the following weekend. Yowza! I would not make that choice again. But it was the only weekend that worked if I wanted to get a trip in before my Christmas visit. Drove eight hours Thursday eve and arrived at 2am, then eight hours back Sunday late afternoon, getting in around midnight. Non-stop busy in-between, seeing my aunt, uncle, cousin and family, going to the Duck game on Saturday, and spending time with my mom. My brother warned me that she was not doing too well and became tired very easily, which was true. I was able to pick up some lunch and grocery items she needed, which felt good. I did not necessarily plan this to be an update about her - I will write more later - but will mention she has one more line of treatment, which is to receive immunotherapy drugs that are still being tested. Apparently, they have shown promise with skin cancer, which has similar properties to my mom's type of cancer. In conjunction, she may receive some sort of enzyme treatment. I don't fully understand it and don't think she does yet either, but she had her first treatment last week so praying for the best.
The family is actually here this weekend for the Duck game with Cal (I did not know they had this planned when I planned my trip up there but it's nice to hang out two weekends in a row, especially right now), which happened last night. The seats were apparently pretty expensive and included the ability to go to club level. That was probably the most fun part - hanging out prior to the game at a table in the very nice club area and talking. Many times, I don't feel engaged with the all-family conversation topics, but we had some interesting exchanges about memories, politics, and current events (talked about medical marijuana for example, and that maybe my mom should try it), as well as one-on-one conversations. It felt more connected than usual. The game was fun to watch, too, and the Ducks took over after the first half, wining by a large margin. The one part I did not enjoy was when my sister dragged me and our sister-in-law up to this douche-bag's "box" in the upper level. I think she thought it would be fancy and have lots of great food/drink but it did not. The view was great but the company left much to be desired, as the guy was a big schmooze-y cheeseball. Oh well, I guess we went up there for my sister, as she had a good buzz going and wanted to socialize. After the game, I had an interesting, but nice, ride with my mom in a pedicab to a nearby hotel where our car was waiting. Everyone else walked but it was too far for my mom, and I offered to ride with her. You kind of feel like a big anchor on the poor guy's bike, but I guess he does it a lot and is in good shape. Tonight, we are meeting for dinner at a steakhouse in San Jose, where they are staying.
Another piece of news to report is that I found out last night that I did not get the full-time counseling job I interviewed for in Santa Rosa. I don't think I even mentioned the interview - yeah, that happened during the week after I moved, before my trip to Oregon! I felt good I was one of 10 chosen to interview out of 65 applicants and was able to pull it off at the level I did. It could have been a little stronger in parts, but overall, I did a good job with the teaching presentation and interview questions. In retrospect, however, though I felt my rapport with the interviewers was strong, they seemed to have already made a decision. Maybe it was one of their current adjunct counselors or someone they knew personally, or maybe someone who interviewed before me just knocked it out of the park. In any case, I am disappointed but slightly relieved, as it would have meant finding a place up there and moving again in the next couple months. I heard there may be a position coming up soon in Alameda where I live.
There is more to say about the house and my new housemate. For example, he has yet to stay overnight here since I have been here, but has been coming by quite a bit and he and his boyfriend stayed here the weekend I was in Oregon. I have had a couple meals with them and enjoy hanging out with the two of them together as much or more as hanging out with him by himself. His partner kind of mellows him out, it seems. The odd thing to me is that my housemate (J) has gone through chaplaincy training and worked as a chaplain, which would seem to involve intense emotions, yet he seems to have intense emotions that can overwhelm him. Maybe that's not strange - he is human after all - it just catches me off-guard when it happens. Like when the three of us were at dinner the other night, and his partner said something about how it was nice to go through this ritual at an event after his first partner and mother had died. After a minute, I commented that I felt a little sad thinking about that because my family doesn't really seek out those kind of meaningful rituals or even talk much at that level. J then became flustered and tense and said, "We can change the subject now!" Which we did, but it was quite abrupt. I'm guessing he still feels a lot of grief about his long-time partner passing away - I think it was a year and a half ago or so. I'll post more about J and settling in later, as well.
I am going to sign off now to take Zoey on a walk, then head out to buy my niece a birthday present. I have been keeping up with your blogs for the most part, though just got internet going here at the new place a couple days ago. I will be able to post and comment more often now. Exciting birth news from Jenny! and lots happening with Nell and Abby and others. Sending good thoughts.