It's officially August in Washington, and that can only mean one thing. Everyone who has a lick of sense has left town. So naturally, yours truly is holding court in a very empty office while her colleagues are on vacation/taking comp time from a conference we hosted/attending the International AIDS Conference in Mexico/generally naffing off as one should do in the summertime.
So I thought I'd take a quick break from dusting my desk, sorting my inbox and refreshing FaceSpace every 12 seconds to give you a quick update on how I've been pissing away the better part of the summer.
We just got back from a long-overdue trip to Maine to visit the family up there. And there is a lot of them. This was the first time Mark had been, and he asked how many Shepherds he was bound to see. There's a solid 13 proper Shepherds, and if you take into account various other names attached to the Shepherd Familias, it quickly gets to about 30 people. Many of whom live in the same little town. We were lucky to have mild weather, and gave Mark a true Maine sampler by whisking him off to the mountains for a dip in the lake, then off to the coast for a spin in my Aunt's tugboat, and then an all-out lobstah dinnah with steamed clams and blueberry muffins. I think he made a good impression. Plus, my "little" cousins (who in actually are well over 6 feet tall and range in age from 13-17) are now of an age where we can all hang out and talk to each other as relative equals, rather than having the big kid-little kid dynamic in the way. So we naturally set about bonding over raucous rounds of Rock Band, quickly dispelling any threat of there ever being a Shepherd Family traveling act like the Von Trapps. Ayuh.
Otherwise, I finally got my butt out on the highway. It's not been something I'm particularly proud of, but I kinda missed the "learn to drive on a highway" chapter in my general experience. Before I left home, I only ever had to drive on rural Bucks County roads, which when you think about it, are way more dangerous than any multi-lane highway. But then I moved to New York, then DC, and relied on mass transit. But at the age of 27, it became clear that it really was time to get over it. So I've been cautiously exploring these strange new corridors they call "the Beltway" and "I-270" and "West Virginia." Scary stuff. But hopefully, I'll soon be a fully-functioning adult who can actually play an active role on road trips besides navigator and DJ. Though I've become quite good at that over the years.
So anyway, if you see me on AIM or such during the day, it probably means I'm desperate for human contact, so give me a holler!