First, a writing update–I have a new essay up on The Good Men Project. When I first found that site, I thought they’d be a good fit for that piece, which is a few years old now. Turns out they agreed. In fact, they accepted it and told me they found it moving within a few hours of my submitting it. Meanwhile, the work I do for CBS Local OnTopic is gonna be coming to an end, which is a bummer because it was the best of my paying writing gigs. So now I’m on the hunt for another.

Speaking of hunts, I’m still on the hunt for a new job, too, although I did get a good annual raise and am being given more responsibilities. My parents have subtly advised me to stay, and I get where they’re coming from–the work is stable, I’ve gotten a raise every year I’ve worked there, and they apparently like me. My solution is the same as it’s been, which is to go ahead and explore other opportunities but just be really picky. Nothing more than a half-hour away, and no pay cuts unless it’s a dream job. And even then, only a small pay cut.

I still have a good bit of vacation time left–another perk–and took two days off to go to Ohio with my parents for the dog’s annual cataract checkup. I spruced the place up a bit, picked us up a quick lunch, and we hit the road early Thursday night. Duke still makes an amusing travel companion, although this time he was kind of restless. He got up a couple times in the middle of the night, and of course he still doesn’t like it when someone leaves the car or hotel room without him. The solution to this is to either take him outside at the same time we want to, say, get food or go to the pool, or to distract him. My mom and I slipped out for breakfast Friday morning and just took our food up to the room, and while he was begging her for sausage, my dad snuck out unnoticed to get his own.

The vet appointment went well. His eyes are about as good as expected three years post-op, and aside from his diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are under control, he’s in good health. When it was done, we hit the road and headed back home, where I spent the rest of the day plus Saturday just kind of hanging out. It was nice to have a day in, especially after a day or so of travel. It allowed me to get some shit done and devote time to some fun stuff I haven’t had much time for lately.

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