There's a surge of updates, so here's my piece.
I just came back from Louisiana-and-surroundings to try to help, where I went with Flame and two friends from work. Including the drive, we had six days to lend our services however we could, and they were pleasantly full of frustratingly senseless running around. We filled out all the right forms, and contacted a dozen other organizations besides, but all our leads fell through. The morning after flopping ourselves into a motel at the end of the 18-hour drive, we discovered the Louisiana BP crisis command center in Houma, LA, and slid into a training at the last moment. For the next four days, we peddled our training to dozens of contractors, broke into two or three "bases", almost got hired to pick up oil, almost got to volunteer at a wildlife rescue group, and ultimately were unable to help in a single way. Almost everyone seemed excited to have volunteers, and then told us to contact the same three numbers to actually get started. We're going to write up something more thorough in the next week about what we learned.
The day I went back to work, I gave my two weeks' notice, narrowly dodging a promotion to project manager. Apparently it's a good time to go, because every possible organizational change is currently being made. I'm relieved to have my imminent departure known, and my pile of work seems lighter now. Flame and I are going to have a joint Going-Away, Tag-Sale, Flame's-Half-Birthday party in a couple weeks, do some frantic packing and re-painting, and head to California on the 23rd. We'll be in wine country, with my family, for the weekend, San Francisco for a day, Seattle for two days, and Vancouver for three. Flame's father feels guilty for not bringing her on a trip to see the world cup (he got tickets for giving a talk), so he's bankrolling movers for us when we get back.