So what has happened since my last post? Lots. My life is more or less split at the moment doing two things: work, and spending time with Chris (and other friends, and family).
In June, Chris and I went to Kei and Tifa's wedding in Rockport, MA. It was a lovely ceremony in an absolutely beautiful New England town. After the ceremony people had a chance to hang out, and then there was a party at a bowling alley. The following day there was a Chinese banquet in Boston. Not the typical wedding, but I am finding more and more often I enjoy the non-traditional weddings more than the traditional ones. I didn't see nearly enough of the brides, but such is typical of weddings. However, I had a great time meeting up with many Smithie friends. A little over a dozen of us rented a house for the weekend and were mostly all together and so had more time to chat and hang out than we otherwise would have had. I think my favorite part of the weekend was on Sunday evening after many of the other people had left and Chris, Aprille, Ellie, Dan, and I went for a walk around Rockport. There was window shopping and ice cream and walking out on the breakwater (well, I did), finished with a walk in a little park (with a pond and swings!). My friends approved of Chris, and Chris go on with everyone. He was even threatened with death if he ever hurts me....which means he has been truly accepted.
The weekend after this, just to contrast I went to a coworker's wedding.
Aside from these things, this summer I did work launching sondes as I do every summer and working on my dissertation. On July 11, I passed my proposal defense. That means my dissertation has been approved! So I have been busy working on it. Mostly I did data analysis this summer, but I plan on presenting results at AGU and AMS in December and January respectively, so now I'm starting to write things up/make things presentable. I'm not as far along as I intended to be at this time, so we'll see if my original plan to graduate in May holds, but I am making good progress. I will post some results once I have my brain meats in a more ordered state.
And then there is the prospect of jobs. I don't want to think about that, especially since I have no idea if I will graduate in May, but I know I need to start looking. MEEP! However, the sooner I have a real job and real health insurance so I can have a real doctor again the happier I will be. (And yes, Howard is being Howard again. No, I will not go into details.)
In September, I took Chris home with me for my cousin Bryan's wedding. To be totally honest, I had no idea how my parents would react becase, well, I've never brought a boy home before. (I've never had a boyfriend to bring home before). It turns out I didn't need to worry. My parents acted exactly like my parents. There is mutual liking between them and Chris (huzzah!) as well. Chris also met much of Mum's side of the family at Bryan's wedding, but he also met Joannie and spent a day with Rory, too. The three of us went apple picking and then attempted to go mini-golfing only to be foiled by it being closed. (Curse you, non-posted fall hours!) That day we at least had solace of getting to be home in time to spend time with Mum in the evening, only to be twarted by a clogged toilet. (Really, it wouldn't be a trip home without a least some minor disaster.)
While we were in the apple orchard, I asked Rory what he thought of Chris, and he told me "You don't need my approval." I said, "I know that, but I would like it just the same." In typical Rory fashion, he answered "He's all wrong for you, he's too tall."
While home, I showed Chris around some of my favorite places from my childhood. We went to Fort Knox, where he recognized the hall he painted me and he ran up two-step alley per Mum's instructions. We climbed up Great Pond Mountain where I showed him the view (and then we climbed down it, hand in hand). I showed him Craig's and he waded in a little bit, even if we didn't go swimming. We went to the ice cream parlor in Bucksport (just made it - they closed for the season on the second day we went!), and I took him to Red's in South Portland. We went to Portland Head Light, and we walked out the breakwater at Spring Point, and I showed him the "other fort" there. We went to Bug Light and "Ka'Beech" (the little beach up the street from Dad's house).
Just recently, Chris met some of my other Smithie friends while helping them move. (He's such a nice guy!), and we had Cassia and Rebbecca of the War Mice over for food and games. Other than that, we went to the Ren Faire - followed by dinner - twice this fall (both times for birthdays of mutual friends). Chris bought me a beautiful dress (which I wore to Bryan's wedding), and I bought myself a pair of hair sticks which I love (but have not yet worn to any events). Seriously, I love the hair sticks. I love them so much I bought a pair for a friend. There have been lots of moments of just hanging out with friends.
I haven't done much creative lately, as my energies have been directed at other things. That is one thing about having a boyfriend: I have yet to find a complete re-balance of my time for work, creative projects (read: writing), and necessary things like exercise and laundry. I'm sure I'll figure something out, but in the meanwhile my writing has been on a bit of a hiatus. I have a couple of crafty projects going (no, I cannot tell you more!), but sadly no writing. Everything I've attempted to write lately I have just immediately torn to shreds. Therefore, I am taking a bit of a break from any major writing projects. Besides, I have a dissertation to write. Of course, I still *think* about my stories all the time - I just haven't managed any quality output of late so I am waiting a bit on that.
So, to summarize:
1) I am making progress with work, which I never feel is fast enough but is still progress so I'm feeling OK overall. I still have no idea what kind of jobs to start looking for, except I don't think I want to teach at a large research university. Howard still is throwing the occasional curve ball, but at this point I'm pretty Zen about those.
2) I wish I were writing more, but the creative side of me seems to be on hiatus at the moment.
3) Chris is the most amazing boyfriend I could ask for. Things are very, very good between the two of us, and the relationship has been progressing smoothly. He's come home and met my family, and there is approval on both sides. Honestly, there is nothing I can ask for in a relationship I don't currently have (Well, okay, he's not a mult-millionare or anything, but those aren't things I'd ask for....they'd just be bonus perks :P)
So overall, life is good.