It has been a lovely fall in DC. Autumn is the best season in this city: summer is too damn hot, winter is grey and bleak, and spring is filled with pollen. Temperatures this week have been in the 70s, great biking weather:
I managed to get out on several hikes this fall, but did not go backpacking in West Virginia like I usually do. I did make it to Sugarloaf Mountain and Old Rag again with friends. Old Rag seems to be getting more and more challenging every time I hike it…
Speaking of hiking, I recently retired my old Jansport backpack and Ridgerest inflatable camping pad. Both were about 25 years old, and had been with me for two summers in Alaska, through my college years, Peace Corps in Kazakstan, Oregon, and the Mid-Atlantic Appalacians. It was sad to see them go, but the pad was full of leaks, and the pack was heavy, outdated and took up too much space. I was mainly using it to store things in, but never brought it out. I put them to rest to disappear out on the magical curb of disappearance.
I think another reason I was saving the old pack was…just in case someone else would need it. I think when I came out, and came to DC, I had this vision of having a rugged hiking boyfriend that never panned out. Either the boyfriend did not hike, or most of the time there was no boyfriend. Acquired wisdom later taught me that a hiking bf is not a requirement, but a nice plus. You have to take what you can get, if you can get it at all. I have a newer pack now, and assume if there is a guy who wants to go camping with me, he will have his own equipment.
There was a woofy beardy guy who went with me this year to Old Rag. But he had just broke up from a long relationship and was clearly a mess, and/or simply not interested in me. Numerous attempts at interest were rebuffed with the usual DC excuse, “I’m busy.” Which was too bad because the sex was really good [the first time] but then the second time was awkward. And like my great uncle Orlow might have said as he was raising coonhounds: “If the old dog barks up a tree and a squirrel doesn’t fall out, she moves on.”
Halloween was meh. My brain was occupied by financial issues over the holiday when I discovered the temp job I’ve been working at isn’t enough to pay my bills. It’s likely to go permanent by January, but until then I need to find a way to earn extra dough. That’s going to be the reality of the modern workforce as salaries continue to drop and costs of living go up I’m afraid. It’s how I saw most people get by in Portland, and unless you are a CEO or Director of a nonprofit or agency in DC, multiple jobs will be the reality in larger cities like DC, NYC and SF. You will have to work all the time just to get by.
But I like my temp job. It’s a nice place to work and they keep me busy doing content management and even some writing and research. It’s nowhere near what I could be doing, nor is it in the natural sciences. But after three years of this job instability shit I am ready to settle down and take what I can get. That and I recognize a good workplace when I see it. It’s the places you _don’t_ see jobs advertised on Idealist and the other job sites that are the good places to work. The ones you see posting frequently are the ones you should avoid. In DC it’s EPA, Nature Conservancy, Discovery, AARP, and Pew Charitable Trusts. Always see job postings with them, never hear good things about them. Anyway, I have to make it through the holidays and I should be good by January if things go well. Until then I need to find an evening or weekend gig to keep me afloat.
Tonight I am going on an age-appropriate date! He is 48 – I am 44. I like Daddies but lately I have been dating guys much younger than me, because these days all the kids like Daddies. I find that hilarious. When I was in my 20s nobody would give me the time of day, and lately I’ve been getting a lot more attention than when I was in my 20s. But I want to check out those around my age too, as we may have more to relate to. He has a beard and is woofy too, of course.