Thursday, April 26, 2007

Another Day

Today I feel good. I got off work 3.5 hours early (chemical spill!), cooked tostadas for dinner, and am currently watching Gray's Anatomy. Tomorrow I will buy my plane ticket--to return to MS to get R and our stuff. I will be going the Friday before Memorial weekend, and by then I should have enough "annual leave" to still get paid for the day. (Yay benefits!)
I've been saving these random pictures for your viewing pleasure. Here are my kitties (Nabi at top, Reina in middle) and sister's kitty (Luna at the bottom). Don't let the peaceful picture fool ya, they're not exactly B.F.F. but they are slowly warming up to each other.
This is a view I just can't get over. This is what I see when I walk out of the front door of Wallymart. It's strange how familiar all wallymarts feel, and when I'm heading out the door, I still sort of expect to still see Starkville... not the mountains! :)
Finally, this was taken the Friday after Easter--I know, a few weeks ago. I just needed to show R that I wasn't kidding about the 1-2 inches of snow I had on my truck!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

From the Corner of My Eye

A heap of rocks, to the east of town.
Put together by a massive movement of continental plates.
Southern fingertips of the great Rocky Mountains. She is Sandia.
Sun rising in the east, bright rays are her crown.
And, as the sun sets, solar rays from the west set the mountainside on fire.
She glows red--and certainly resembles a "watermelon."
But not on this day. A thick layer of whipped cream clouds drips from her peaks.
She is sad and deep purple. Even the speckles of fresh snow cannot cheer her up.
Today they are grey and wet.

This town:
Tumbleweed caught under an oversized-SUV fender,
Crossing guards holding signs and escorting kids across the intersection,
On the radio, songs play in spanish.
Grafitti decorates the sides of every other building
Some of it is quite beautiful.
Every 5th car on the road has a dent,
Fender-benders happen every day.
Sun rising over the eastern mountains,
Which are dark and gloomy on cloudy days.
Clear skies invite the balloons up for a hug,
Passengers in the little basket risk life and limb
For an unequivocal view of the city.
A hot dog stand on the corner,
Reminds me of New York,
But, shouldn't this vendor be selling green and red chili,
Or maybe frito pies.
I'm not in Mississippi anymore.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Commute

Good morning! So, blogging is still sporadic, but it appears that Sunday will be my best day. And, since Reina has decided 6:30 am is the best time to... um... use the bathroom (eww! stinky)... I think morning blogging will now become my thing. I finally found my wireless connection in the house (fortunately, on the recliner in the living room) so it's not as bad as it could be.
I have a ton of pictures, but not much to say about them. So, I'll mix up my regualar text with the pic descriptions. (Oh, and thanks so much for all your comments! Although I'm not blogging much, I do get my comments in my email and I check that several times a day.)

Every morning I drive from Rio Rancho to Albuquerque. As the crow flies, it's probably 5-7 miles. Following the legal roads, it's 15. This is at the top of the hill just outside of my parent's neighborhood. Way off in the distance you can see the skyline of downtown Abq. I can even just about pick out the exact building where I turn to go to work.

When I hit the road on time, that is, by 7:00 sharp, I get to experience a beautiful sunrise. As far as sunrises go, I've never been especially interested in watching... the sun... rise... but watching it come up over the mountains makes my day start out a little bit nicer.

I drive through part of Corrales, the part with backyard vineyards and horse corrals. With a strictly enforced speed limit of 30mph, I have ample time to observe the small vines and playful horses.

Sometimes I see a hot air balloon or three. That morning there were actually three, but the 2 already up were so far off that they didn't really show up in the picture. In fact, I had to take this picture 3 times to get it this good!

Then I hit the traffic. This little road is the worst of my traffic--especially if I leave the house late (even just 5 minutes). The constant stop-and-go is so frustrating (and bad for my brakes)!
I do actually work downtown, and I have to drive through here, too. The building are mostly courthouses and "municipal buildings," but they're very pretty--all stucco/adobe-like and very new and clean.
Work is going great and I was actually really, really busy last week! I'm learning to enjoy (and appreciate) my weekends. I signed up for a bank account (old bank was regional to the SE). And, I miss R like crazy! We're down to less than 4 weeks until he comes here, so that makes me feel a little better. I'm doing good here with the family (although getting used to dad--who is so different than R--will take some time). It's hard for me to imagine how different things will be once R does get here. I mean, I feel comfortable and everything, but I just know that something is missing without him. I think it will actually feel like home when he is here to make it feel right.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Trials of The Day

Okay, so I have some really interesting pictures to share with you... and I was very excited to show... but as my parents still have dial-up, and little sis is mooching of the neighbor's wireless, I don't know when (or if) I will get them up here! This makes me a little sad since we've been to some extremely impressive open houses, the animals are having great interactions--caught on camera, and I actually woke up to an inch of snow on my truck!
But, they say Patience Is A Virtue, and so this must be a test of my patience. Not that I'm willing to wait around hours for my pictures to upload, but that I will have to be satisfied with the idea that maybe one day I will be able to post pictures again.
What's more, I really miss reading your stuff! I have to use little sis's laptop to browse the web at a speed that will not put me into a coma, and her keyboard is missing the Control key, the mousepad is possessed, and for some reason I keep ending up "back" a page. I do have a computer in my office, but I doubt that your blogs (as entertaining, enlightening, and innocent as they are), would be considered "appropriate" internet material on a network hosted by the State of New Mexico.
So, please stick with me. I promise that I'm still here. And, hopefully one day soon, I'll be able to convince my mom that wireless internet (the kind R and I will happily pay for) is not such a terrible thing!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

It's Been One Week

After completing my 3rd full day at work, I find myself extremely exhausted and ready for the weekend. This is the first time I've had a "real job" that required me to complete a full 8-hour shift (10 hours if you include the commute). By the time I get home around 6, all I can think about is crawling into my too-small twin bed and going to sleep! Of course, I make myself stay awake until at least 9--to eat dinner, help little sis with homework, and be otherwise "social."
Let me go back to last week...
We left Starkville around 8pm on Friday and made it into Albuquerque around 3:00 (4:00 MS time) on Saturday. The drive was okay and only slightly eventful. Nabi decided that she needed to use the litterbox approximately 10 times during the trip (okay, that wasn't entirely true--it was probably closer to 20). I had to stop and clean the litterbox at each gas stop we made, but it wasn't so bad, I guess. She alternated her time between prowling around the truck, sitting in my lap, and sleeping in her kennel. Guapo was very well behaved and only spent an average of 10 minutes sniffing everything in sight when we took him out for the potty. Birdy spent the whole ride covered with his blankie hanging from one of the hangy-thingys in the back with Guapo--the only time he started squawking was when Guapo poked his nose under the blankie. Reina was pretty wonderful. We started getting extremely worried about her when she went the whole night without using the litterbox. Actually, she didn't use it at all until we were already in Albuquerque (and only 30 minutes from mom's house)!
We had pretty good weather for the first half of the ride, but by the time we made it to the Oklahoma border, we ran straight into the cold front that was moving across the country. Once we reached Amarillo, we were getting hit with sleet and possibly some ice on the roads. We had a very close call with some kid in a 4Runner who couldn't keep it under control. Somehow he ended up skidding across 4 lanes of interstate and nearly made me clip his back bumper! Saturday found us extremely tired, but we managed to crawl out of bed and drive around town with the family for a few hours. We even had a little snow storm!
Sunday we attended church with gramma and had a nice time at her Easter Cook-Out.
Very early Monday, R flew back to MS to spend some time with his family on the coast (I already miss him like CRAZY). I hung out around the house, made a trip to wallymart, and cooked dinner for the family. Tuesday, I had every intention of sleeping in, but was woken up by the stirrings of an active family. By 10:00 I found myself walking laps around the mall with gramma (I prefer to call it long-term window shopping and NOT exercise). She treated me to lunch and let me pick out a few new shirts for my new job. I made another trip to wallymart (oh, the joys) and cooked dinner again.
Wednesday was my first day at the NEW JOB and I am happy to say that I think it's going to be okay. I can't say yet that I love it--I mean, all I've done yet is get introduced to like a million people (okay, maybe only 100) and get thoroughly confused in the labyrinth of halls, labs, and offices! I have my own desk and computer (in a shared office), the others in my lab seem really nice, and the Dress Code is CASUAL (I mean, you just don't know how happy this makes me)! I will probably spend the next 2 weeks or so getting acquainted with the lab equipment and standard protocols, and hopefully after that, I will begin work on a project of my very own.
I am absolutely shocked by the looooong commute (Holy Crap! 45-55 minutes to go 15 miles!?!?) and by how exhausted I am when I finally do make it home. I never realized what this whole 8-5 (1hr break) work day was all about! For those of you who have been doing this for years: How do you do it? How long did it take you to get used to the schedule? At least I have a space of my own and am allowed to write emails and stuff (although this blogging stuff will have to be done at home).

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Starkville Is

Main Street. Many little shops, restauarants, and night hot-spots. MSU pride is shown with window paint, balloons, and waving flags. Site of the annual Christmas Parade, Bulldog Bash, and community-wide cook off.

Good Food. This is Mugshots, located at the west end of Main Street. In my experience, these are the best burgers, evah! From the sourdough bread to fresh red onions. And OMG! the beer-battered fries! Sitting on the upstairs balcony watching cars go by. Waving at the little kids, sipping on sweet tea, chomping down on humungous burgers...

MSU Activity. This was at the Super Bulldog Weekend cook-off last weekend. It's a competition thing, but then they (most of them, anyways) give away the food!! I ate 4 pork sandwiches and a plate of chicken tenders, YUM!

NOTICE: We're hitting the road tonight and should be in NM by tomorrow night or Saturday morning. But, mom & dad still have dial up, so I don't know when I'll be posting again. Also, we have a lot of stuff to do this weekend and I'm sure I will want to spend every waking moment with R, so I might just not have the time. Just know this--I WILL BE BACK!

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Little CJ

Okay, here she is in her current state of repair. R has been telling his mom about the Jeep, but hasn't been able to show her any pictures. So, as much as he teases me about this blog (Why'd you put that on there?), he asked me to put these up.
Over the past 4 or 5 weeks, we've been going back and forthh between internet shops and our auto parts store trying to get the brake parts.
Back in the beginning, all he wanted to do was take the tires off to paint the hubs. From day one, I knew it wouldn't be that easy. He found a few one very bad brake drum and decided to replace it. He also "accidently" got air in the brake lines--which required new brake cylinders since the previous owners didn't have them right. Since he was breaking (ha! how'd you like that pun) the whole thing down, he decided to check the wheel bearings, which also needed replacing. The parts ordered online came in very quickly, but the little things from our auto parts store kept getting mixed up and we would wait days and days to get one tiny little thing in!
Finally, last weekend, he got them all put back together. And, they even work! (Of course, I never doubted him!)

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Birthday Party

Last Monday was R's 26th birthday, and we had that party the Saturday before. I've had so much other stuff going on, that I just never got around to putting up the pictures. There are a lot of good ones, but they're all of people you don't know, and probably wouldn't be interested in seeing... so... here are 2 that I like.
We had a pretty good turnout--around 20 people (that's awesome for hermits like us)--and everyone had a fun time. We had exactly the right amount of food (nobody went hungry AND we weren't left with tons of leftovers) and all our friends got along (it's always interesting to see how friends from different "social circles" will interact--mom says it's a demonstration of our character that our friends will find things in common and have fun with each other).
I surprised R with a cake (complete with the appropriate number of candles) and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him! Nobody minded the melted wax that was all over the cake (it takes a little while to light 26 candles, you know) and they all thought the little army men were a "cute idea" (although I have used the idea on a previous birthday cake--about 4 years ago)!

The next day, R discovered the bag of extra army men (tanks, barbed-wire fences, and flags included) and set up his own personal "battle" on the coffee table!
Who says we have to forget kid-fun when we "grow up?"

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