That was quick!
I gave a call to the local AIDS charity (which for this small city is actually a pretty huge foundation with many branches and services) to see if I could volunteer. I called and left a message with the volunteer coordinator giving my name and number, citing my ability to speak spanish fluently, and suggesting that I am interested in long-term volunteerism. I thought I'd get called back on Monday or whatever. I was called within 10 minutes, sent to one of five second-hand retail shops where I learned they generate approximately 1/3 of the revenue for the main foundation. I was sent to a second shop where they desperately need someone FOR THIS SUNDAY who has cashier experience and is Spanish-fluent. Within 2 hours, I was on board!
I'm really looking forward to being in contact with people again. Science can be very lonely sometimes. Sometimes I come into contact with only one other person all day. Today that person was Ben B. "Bad" Ben is the other Ben. He's a riot and the only other gay person I worked directly with since I was a Starbucks barista. I miss "bad" Ben. He's gone on to bigger, better places. Anyway... I'm looking forward to making friends with other gay folks. It's actually harder than you think, even here in Palm Springs, if you don't go to bars or clubs.
On a sad note, one of my partner's good friends was in a very bad car accident on New Years. She broke two legs and her back. We don't know how badly yet. Her nephew, who was in a car seat, was killed. To add insult to injury, this occured just 3 hours after her medical insurance expired.
I hate leaving off on a bad note. Just treasure your life and try and do something to make the world a better place, if you can- however small that may be.