We also brought along basics like clothes and toiletries (enough to take to Prague if we don’t get to go back to Los Alamos).
Eleven years ago (I was fourteen), my priorities would have been very different. I would have taken these:
The same Bunny given to me after my dad died
A t-shirt from the *NSYNC concerts I went to recently
VHS tapes of Star Wars original trilogy
CD of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles
I didn’t have as many sentimental items when I was younger. I think when you’re 14, you tend to place a lot of value in things that aren’t necessarily worthless, but that you think define you. When I was that age, *NSYNC, Star Wars, and the Beatles defined me. Now, what defines me are memories shared with people who have generously given me a little time out of their lives. Friendships and familial relationships have really turned out to be the things that matter to me.
I don’t do this often, but I feel like interacting. Ask me questions or tell me something- even something strange. TMI Tuesday is almost over, but I do enjoy a TMI story… bodily functions are still hilarious to me, at 25.
An attempt to update you all on what’s happened with Joe and me… I was writing up a giant blog post (full sentences and everything) and then the fire came.
Moving to Los Alamos:
Joe was awesome and carried everything heavy for us
Drove up with two vehicles; my sister’s van (carrying most of our stuff) got a flat tire and added three hours onto our drive up
Hung out for the first time at the Coffee House- AMAZING, YUM.
Work at a new Starbucks:
Having to convince people I know my stuff is annoying
I come from a store with a 97% QASA (cleanliness/safety) score… this one’s gonna take some work to get there
A bad day gets worse:
Worried about work relations with a certain shift manager, I leave only to see a massive plume of smoke over my new town
Went to do laundry and took photos of the smoke in the meantime
Started refreshing websites about fire obsessively
We go to dinner at one of Joe’s friends’ place and I’m a total bore because all I can do is stare out the window and be distracted by the smoke cloud
"Voluntary" evacuation is called for, so Joe and I pack and wait for a mandatory evacuation order.
I stayed up late last night worrying about the fire and had to take Tylenol PM in order to get to sleep. I constantly hoped I’d get a call from work saying I could take part in the voluntary evac. No dice.
Got up this morning and went to work.
We gave out free brewed coffee to anyone who asked, and all first responders got any drink they wanted for free.
The whole thing was driven home for me when I gave away a free coffee to a woman and she was so touched and worried that she broke down and started crying.
Mandatory evac call came at 1:45. We had several (an excessive amount of) people at work so we closed quickly and threw out all expiring items.
Joe and I were gone by 2:15, already packed from the night before. He gathered up the cat as we closed down the store. It was not difficult getting out of Los Alamos. Everyone knew what to do and was responding calmly.
We drove to Alamogordo- a five hour drive in work clothes and with a stressed out cat. Now I am watching “The Nanny” reruns.
This is worth your time. See how you do and send it on….
This test is not an easy one. The website reports that college educators average about 55%. The average citizen averages about 49%.
I got 20 out of 33 right
You answered 19 out of 33 correctly — 57.58 %
You answered 12 out of 33 correctly — 36.36 %
You answered 21 out of 33 correctly — 63.64 %
You answered 27 out of 33 correctly — 81.82 %
25/33 - 75.76%
24/33 - 72.73%
I got 30/33 right—- 90.91%. It would have been 31 if I hadn’t changed my answer on the last question. Economics was scary, but if you just reason your way through how questions were asked, you could deduce the right answer in most cases.
But on the YouTube Channel she has, the time on the video is set to 0:09/1:13 which (knowing Jo) is probably a subliminal message. If it is, then I think it’s a date. And If it’s a date, then it’s September 1st, 2013. Well, that date happens to be James Potter II’s first day at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“Demon’s Run, when a good man goes to war.
Night will fall and drown the sun,
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise.
When a good man goes to war.
Demon’s Run but count the cost.
The battles won but the child is lost.”—Doctor Who, A Good Man Goes to War
By now, you may have heard rumblings of this, but here is the full story of how Joe and I are leaving Las Cruces.
I have been living in Las Cruces since 2004, nearly seven years’ worth of college and summer jobs. I got my Bachelor’s here in 2008, and just before that happened, I met Joe. He and I have been together since his second month in New Mexico (he’s from Oregon, if you haven’t picked that up by my photos yet), and have been inseparable ever since. We got married in December 2008, and our fates have been tied since then.
I have been endeavoring to write my Master’s thesis for over two years now, which I’m not really on top of. Nonetheless, I am still “in school,” although I am all-but-thesis, needing no more classroom credits in order to finish my degree. Joe, when I met him, was embarking on a 5-year program that was a joint Master’s-Doctoral program in the physics department at NMSU. The life of a NMSU physics grad assistant means one must obtain some sort of research position in order to get out of the hell that is student teaching. Joe linked up with his advisor in his second semester, and has been afforded a lot of opportunities to work at Los Alamos National Labs and study abroad regarding fuel cells.
Well, thanks to federal budget slashing, fuel cell research was cut back in a big way. The research Joe was doing allowed him to work number-crunching out of his office in Las Cruces (five hours south of Los Alamos, where tests took place) while I worked here at Starbucks and attempted to look busy with my thesis. Unfortunately, without a renewed grant on Joe’s group’s research, Joe was looking all around for anything but a teaching gig. As a result of his time in Los Alamos and his good rapport with his advisor, he has been invited to work in Los Alamos at least for the duration of his doctorate (he just achieved his Master’s) degree on lithium battery research- whatever that is.
This means we need to move up there NOW, though. He already needed to be up there this entire month in order to tie up loose ends on his fuel cell research, and so he’s gotten us an apartment. Here’s a walking video tour Joe recorded rather quickly:
It looks small, but I am excited for us to have our own place, and new walls to decorate. I even have some small improvement ideas (such as constructing wooden panels to be painted underneath that bathroom sink to hide exposed pipes).
Anyhow, that leaves a few more questions, unfortunately. Do I keep working with Starbucks? Short answer: Yes! I actually have been enjoying my job a lot lately, and they have a Starbucks in Los Alamos that is only open until 8pm. I spoke with the manager this morning, and he sounded really pleased that I wanted to come up. The only caveat, and I warned him of this, is our month-long trip to Prague. Do I still get to go on it and be employed? Simple answer: Probably. Starbucks is really accommodating, though he does need people very badly during the time I’ll be gone. It sounds like everyone is going to be very easy-going about this, but it’ll only take one “no” from any of the two managers, two district managers, or people at the Starbucks leave of absence office to make this not work. So cross your fingers for me.
I hope that explains it all for you. After we come back from Prague (July 10-August 10), we will be permanently in Los Alamos, continuing our search for higher degrees and serving coffee to the good people of Los Alamos.
First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.
I need to do this more often:
This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.
If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.