Posts tagged with personal:
Here’s something random to read for your Monday.
One of the number one reasons I don’t mind staying in my current job is my boss; confusingly, he’s one of the number one reasons I want to leave. Let me get the nice stuff out of the way so I can rail on him. He has offered to pick Joe and me up from Albuquerque before, at 2am. He has driven me to the laundromat when Joe was out of town. He invites Joe out to play basketball and drink beer (in order to help him socialize). He can be complimentary of me without being a creeper.
I try hard to make this job about coffee sometimes, though, and he rolls his eyes at me. Today I went out on a limb and tried a pairing I’d never done before (truffle fries and Sumatra, a dark Asian blend). It didn’t work for him— mainly because he doesn’t like truffle fries OR Sumatra, and he was kind of a dick to me about it. I thought at least I’d get kudos for trying something different; the other guy at the store who actually cares about drinking black coffee (as I do), seemed cool with trying a different pairing and pleased with it. Anyway, my boss tends to spend a lot of time telling us “y’all are special,” meaning he thinks we’re idiots. Sometimes he just says we’re idiots. He makes me feel crummy.
In other news, I went on a run yesterday and today. I much prefer swimming, and I really wish I was one of those healthy, magical people who loves running, but I don’t. I’d rather throw a football, hit a tennis ball, or shoot hoops. My swimming has been improving steadily, but I haven’t been in a few weeks, so I was expecting not to be able to run well yesterday. However! I managed to run probably 70% of my standard run route yesterday (rather than walking, which I usually do about 50% of the time). Today’s run was inspired by yesterday’s, but didn’t go as well. I have a few reasons why I think that’s so: yesterday, I took a two hour nap after work and then went running… today, I went right after work. Also, my left foot is absolutely killing me these days (due, I think, to work shoes a half-size too small… damn ordering shoes online), and today it was throbbing by the end of my run! And finally, yesterday, I was accompanied by Joe, and today I was solo. Of course, I feel better for having done it, but wish I’d rested before my run.
When I was in undergrad, I was thinner, but I didn’t really exercise. I know that I also didn’t eat well, but I did eat less. I worked at a frozen custard shop, but still didn’t gain that much weight. So I’ve been trying to drum up what has been different since then. I think reproducing whatever diet I had then, in addition to picking up more cardiovascular exercise, will help. What happened?
Well, mainly, I met Joe. I’m not saying I got fat because I got happy (though that was true), but Joe genuinely opened me up to a lot more food. I never drank anything but mixed drinks; he got me into beer and wine, which are consumable on a much more regular basis. So, more alcohol. Also, I started eating more regularly. I would often forget meals back then, because I wasn’t all that hungry after a day of little activity. Joe is active enough that he can insist upon at least three square meals a day. I know I should eat more, smaller meals to improve my metabolism, but I honestly feel better and less disgusting after only two meals a day.
My other main hurdle in weight loss is that I can’t really have fiber in my diet. It’s getting beyond frustrating. I think I need to see a nutritionist.
It’s been really delightful showing off our wedding photos from last weekend. I think I might put a few up here, just for kicks, now that our website and Facebook page have gotten more visible. I am chomping at the bit to take more pictures now. Who will sit for me?
I’m so glad spring is finally here. It took way too long this year. We’ve got buds on the big tree just outside our apartment windows!
Random thoughts, because I am having them, and no one is posting on the internet (except Rob Lowe, on Twitter), so I am going to write them down now.
- I finished listening to “Dune” last week, and have now seen Children of Dune (with a young James McAvoy) at least five times. I went on to read Wikipedia summaries of what happens, which I’ve done before, but now that I know the characters a lot better, I think it is even more ridiculous. Especially the stuff KJA and Herbert’s son wrote. As a kid, I loved KJA’s stuff for the Young Jedi Knights novels, but now I’m realizing… eugh. Anyway, all this reincarnation business with the gholas seems out of control. My favorite part in the description of what happens to Leto II in the final book is that he gathers up the seven remaining sandworms, steps inside them (???), and then they descend into the ground. What the hell even…?
- I have spent ALL WEEK worrying about this photography thing, and trying not to oversaturate people, while still leaking bits of it for the couple and their family to see. So it’s a bit of a surprise to me when people who appear to spend all day on Facebook act like they have no idea that I am “doing photography,” so to speak. Today, I go to the bank and offhandedly mention that I took photos last weekend and that’s how I know the wind was so crazy, and the teller with whom I am friends on Facebook is all, “Oh yeah, you’re a photographer, huh?” I guess I’ve personally oversaturated myself with it, because I was shocked there for a second that she would have no idea. Here I was, thinking I was being a nuisance on Facebook about it, and she’s either not noticed or is playing it cool. Okay, that paragraph made no sense, I’ll grant you. I’m a bit tired.
- Bought a new Wii today online. Also have two new work shirts and a Starbucks-branded fleece on order, which means I don’t have to wear nice jackets that smell like coffee steam.
- I should’ve gone to sleep 15 minutes ago.
- Have you not been oversaturated enough? Check out StripesAndSpots.net, which I revamped last night, and the latest post, featuring a few of our wedding photos!
Wow! What a weekend. What was already a long, tiring, frustrating week (seven straight days of work; the last five of those were opens that had me up at 3:15AM), was capped by a flurry of adventure in photographing my first wedding, ever. The absolute, defining factor of our day was the New Mexico spring wind rolling through all of the places we were supposed to stop and take photos. The bride was a trooper, though, and it was a rewarding experience.
Before I get any further, for those of you looking to see wedding photo highlights, they’ll all be appearing on the Stripes and Spots website and our Facebook page. I may put a few here, but the bulk will be elsewhere. I’m currently in the process of backing everything up and uploading the unedited versions before I get down to work on picking out the best ones.
I got off work on Friday at 1PM and immediately packed the car and drove south. I got the oil changed on the car in Pojoaque and then attempted some shopping in Albuquerque before meeting up with Kathy. We had designed some business cards earlier in the week, and we stopped at a copy shop near UNM to get them. The guys apparently had struggled with printing them all day, even taking another 20 or 30 minutes on it after we got there, and were very good to us despite the hassle. They charged us less than $5 for 60 business cards, so we practically gave them a 100% tip.
I sent Kathy home to pack while I waited for the cards to be done, and then it turned out that my key wouldn’t start my car! I started to freak out. I’ve been cleaning the car out regularly, getting it washed, making sure it’s all ready to go for this trip, and then this happens?! It’s done this before, so at first, I kept my cool. Then things got a bit scary after ten minutes. At about the twenty minute mark, I called Kathy and asked her if she could come get me. At the same time, a young family man named Carl walked by and asked if I needed help. He thinks I need to replace an ignition circuit. Eventually, he turned my steering wheel to point straight, and then the key turned just fine. The rest of the weekend, I made sure to straighten the thing out, and the car started without any problem.
Also, the drive to Alamogordo was very windy and dark. We managed to stop at the Food Network-famous Buckhorn, which is where Bobby Flay challenged a local in his green chile cheeseburger cooking abilities. We got there 10 minutes before close and even though we were so late, they were especially accommodating and the owner himself chatted with us about Alamogordo. We made it back pretty late to Alamogordo, but my mom was still up to greet us.
After waking and cleaning myself up, my mom knocked on the door and told me she had orange danish rolls out in the kitchen for breakfast. This is when I know my mom is predicting a big day for me. For most of my life, she has made these for me on the first day of school, or the day of prom, or my wedding, or a big orchestra concert. That meant a lot to me.
Kathy and I headed out a bit later than expected. When we got to the hair studio where the women were all getting gussied up, the bride’s (Nicole) sister and one of the bridesmaids almost had complete hairstyles and makeup. We got to hang out for several hours with the bride, her bridesmaids, sisters, and mothers of both bride and groom. The interesting part about taking photos at this point was that some of the women (specifically, the mothers) did not want to have their transition documented on camera. We got what we could of the transitions from normal people to ~FABULOUS~ people in a cloud of hairspray.
(In the middle, Kathy and I left to buy bits of clothing, as we’d shown up in dresses and the wind was kicking up enough that we knew we’d need outfits that included pants.)
We followed the bride to a hotel room they’d reserved for the sole purpose of preparing for the wedding. Ladies, here’s a tip I learned from this experience: verify that your room will have a lot of mirrors if you’re going to do this! The maid of honor was awesome in calling reception and demanding they do something about this. I’m sure this helped Nicole feel like everything was being taken care of, on an otherwise hectic day. We got dress and shoe pictures. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a bar across the window for the curtains, so we didn’t get the light coming through the shot, as I’d have liked. We took many detail shots, as her dress had a lot of beading.
We then headed out to Bosque State Park, which I never visited in the seven years I lived in the area. I really ought to have, and I encourage those of you in Las Cruces to check it out! Unfortunately, the wind was now at nearly unbearable speeds. We met up with the groom, groomsmen, and the couple’s two boys, Jack and Miles. Jack is four years old and just a treat to be around. Miles is two, and was a bit of a pill, largely due to the wind. Her husband, Chris, is an “artist type,” and we had a good time joking around with the guys.
We really wanted photos down by the trees of the Bosque, but with the wind made it ridiculous to be out in the open. We took the men out into the open, but considering the hours we spent on hair and makeup in the morning, I felt terrible getting the women out in the wind. Also, a favorite scarf of mine shows up in a lot of the photos on the bride, as I gave it to her to attempt to protect her hair from the wind. In the end, she let it all pass over and we even took pictures of the bride and her maids walking toward the camera. There was a point where the boys came running out to us, and we got great photos of it- I even managed to get a shot of the younger one starting to trip. He then managed to fall flat on his face and bust his lip open. Kathy and I set aside our cameras, a form of taking a knee, and then the groom insisted that this was the memory and that we needed to be taking pictures of it. We nervously laughed, and Kathy acquiesced.
I’m not 100% pleased with this part of the day, as I wasn’t able to get all the shots I wanted. Nicole kept apologizing to us for the wind (as if she could do anything about it), but I was the one who felt bad. There were so many great shots we could have taken, with combinations of the wedding party all together, but I felt it would have been unreasonable to keep them there any longer for photos. Everyone was on the verge of being miserable. I know that the photos we did get were good, at least, but I’d have liked to compose a few more.
We then drove to the Rio Grande Winery, where the wedding would be taking place. There was an advance crew of folks there who had obviously helped with other wedding setup, and they were adjusting the plan with the wind in mind. The ceremony was supposed to be out on a grassy, stoned patio in the open, but all the tables were instead moved to the brick patio against the building that was protected more from the wind. Our photobooth, with ombre streamers for a background, had been destroyed and dismantled, so yet another photo op was set aside.
The ceremony took place at about 6PM, when the wind was beginning to die down. They still went out on the grassy part of the patio, and it was short and sweet. Kathy used a shorter lens and stayed nearby, while I stood in the back with my longer lens. I didn’t waste any time standing where I needed to, but there were a lot of other folks standing and holding up cameras and phones, which didn’t allow for perfectly lined up shots. I know I still got some good photos. Right after the wedding, we took family photos. Unfortunately, not everyone was happy to be taking them, and one of the sons wasn’t even in the pictures as it was considered a bit of a hassle to get him outside for it. One of the bride’s sisters also did not want to be in the pictures, which was sad (she’s at a particularly self-conscious age). Nonetheless, we tried and got a few great ones (I love the photos we got of the groom and his family- they hammed it up for us).
We stood around and got photos of everyone we could right afterward, and walked around to take photos of the tables full of guests. We finally got a glass of wine each, which loosened us up big time. We got some dinner too, which was just amazing after our long day! We then picked up our cameras and took photos of the reception. After this, it wasn’t particularly structured for us. I can say I was really pleased I bought my external flash; it did amazingly inside and under the patio. During dinner, we listened to mariachi, and when it got later, there was a local oldies rock band that played. Dancing was a bit under-attended, and our photos of it came out less than ideally, as it was out under the dark sky (nothing to bounce my flash off of). I also took pictures of the wine glasses at the bar, and the vintner asked me to email him those photos. The wine did a few wonders for me in that I got more comfortable taking random shots without asking, and I got to chat with other guests.
It was a pretty fun night still, from the attendee’s point of view. As a photographer, I was a little frustrated we didn’t get more group shots. As soon as the wedding was over, the bridesmaids all covered up in jackets and the groomsmen scattered to hang out with different groups. It wasn’t their fault; again, it was just not my desire to get anyone out in the wind. Anyhow, we left around 9:30PM- about half the guests had left at that point, and we had to drive back to Alamogordo.
I woke up at 8:10AM and said to myself, “I can do better than that,” and went back to sleep. I slept until 10:45, and woke up feeling more rested than I have in weeks.
The ongoing list of cooking items Joe and I have made it this far without:
- Tart pan
Will amend and address over time.
My big news right now is that I got an email from my long-time advisor at NMSU and all-time favorite professor a couple weeks ago telling me that there’s an option for people like me to finish my Master’s degree. When I say “people like me,” I mean us poor schmucks who made it all the way through the Government Department graduate program’s coursework but somehow hit a wall around thesis/internship time. I hit both of those walls in a matter of two years.
I’d like to stop right here and say I was a pretty damn good student while I was chugging away through coursework. I was the kind of person who you wanted in on your group, who was very involved in campus life, and who loved hanging out around the department. My first year, I was so gung-ho that I would hang out in my office until 9 or 10PM even though I was about to get married and had just moved into a “just-us” apartment with my awesome fiancé. Granted, I also spent a lot of that year throwing my all into Model United Nations and traveling to China for a conference. My second year was even worse in how much time I spent dedicated to Model UN as head delegate and teaching my own class (international political issues, for the curious).
By the end of that (a six-year run if you consider the fact that I went straight on to grad school from undergrad), I was a burn-out. It has been quite sad, really. I’ve been Starbucks for two and a half years since those first two in grad school, and in that time, I did spend a semester or two languishing in Las Cruces, pretending I really cared about my thesis.
I didn’t. I don’t. I love that I chose an actor within the presidency whom I still find fascinating, but I couldn’t bring myself to write any further on the chief of staff. There’s really not enough information available beyond personality profiles by newspapers, and I needed much better access to those who held the position or knew people who held the position to interview. I did a full-length interview with the former highest-ranking civil servant at the Office of Management and Budget, and he told me he’d see who else he could get me in contact with. The guy was in his role for years and years, saw the inside of the Roosevelt Room more times than he could remember, and had plenty to say about those who worked for Bush II. However, he didn’t do that. I never heard from him again, and my scent went cold. That’s that wall with my thesis I was talking about.
I wrote several versions of my prospectus, a research methods chapter, and a historiography, all of which could be considered full chapters for my thesis. I also wrote papers on the topic outside of the proper thesis itself, which I had hoped would later be included in my thesis. But I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I have applied for positions now for three years in local and state government, stating that I am “all-but-thesis” on my Master’s degree, but I began to feel guilty about that assertion once I’d realized about a year ago that I probably wouldn’t bother finishing the thesis.
Last fall, I got an email from my advisor reminding me that it wasn’t too late, and that I could still do the internship option. Internship option? I’d never even considered it. I could just go intern for some organization and then write a 50-page paper on how it went. Easy! I mentioned it to my mother, and only a week later, she called and said she was with someone who could provide me with just such an opportunity. I won’t say whom (but I may have mentioned it before on the blog). I met with the man who would be my internship advisor in his nicely located Albuquerque office. I told him I was able to help out however he needed- he just had to instruct me when he needed me to. He had me do one project: create a program for an event.
Then I stopped hearing from him. He was so enthusiastic when I first met with him, that I thought he had just gotten busy with something, and he had. The 2012 election season is a big deal for someone like him. Okay, I get that. But then after that, I still didn’t receive a lot of emails. Now part of this had to do with me: I was not registered at NMSU as a student last semester, but I told him I would be in the spring. If we could do the work over the late fall/winter/spring legislative session, I could get the credit in the spring. It was going to be a serious financial burden for Joe and me if I tried to register so late in the semester last fall. The internship advisor didn’t seem to want to understand, though I sent him like, three emails detailing what was going on! Then I kept emailing and eventually, he emailed me in January after a month of silence saying, “Hey sorry it didn’t work out! Hope you can still volunteer with us in February for a day at the legislature!” WTF? NO. I responded essentially saying, “Let’s make this work. I NEED TO SO I CAN GET A DEGREE.”
What does he care if I get a Master’s? He only has a Bachelor’s and he’s got a job in a skyscraper.
I wrote the worst message to my advisor then, saying I had to give up. I was sorry I was disappointing her, and that it really was awful that I couldn’t finish before she retires this year.
Well, have I told you how much I love my advisor? I do. She was a journalist traveling through Iran by herself in the late ’70s. She and her husband only got married after being together for decades, even building a house together, just because it’d be convenient for long-term benefits. She has a beat-up old RV that she and her husband and their friends take to go wine touring and then pass out inside so they don’t have to drive home afterward. She watches The West Wing and The Colbert Report. She has a wicked sense of humor. When she travels, she doesn’t just go to Paris, though she’s done that- one of her crazy trips she took was on the Silk Road, where you have to go through central Asia and get special visas. Basically, she is awesome. Maybe next year, I do something for her for Galentine’s Day.
Anyway, her latest awesomeness was in making sure that those few of us who had “slipped through the cracks,” so to speak, could complete degrees before she retires. She emailed me and told me about this “third option,” which is invitation-only, and the requirements fit me to a T. I have had a few stumbling blocks along the way (BASICALLY MY ENTIRE INSTITUTION MAKING IT RIDICULOUS TO SIGN UP FOR A CLASS THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY), but today it became official. I have been re-admitted to NMSU. I have been registered for Government 598. I have filed my degree application. I have paid all fees therein. I even emailed my advisor two of three documents I’d like to use for the “third option” track. I finally feel excited to get a degree again!
I haven’t been as interested in blogging in the last week, and that is a shame! I guess it all started when I did some crafting last week for work, and stopped cooking. For some reason, I guess I think you guys would be more interested in my cooking than my crafting, so I haven’t posted any photos of any of that. I don’t know why… some of the crafts came out particularly cute! One of the projects is for Joe for Valentine’s Day, and I can’t wait to show it off once it’s ready.
My cooking has dropped off mainly due to a crisis with my hands. As I’ve documented here many times before, in food service, all the hand-washing combined with dish washing and steam wand sanitizing (in Starbucks’ case) has led to dozens of tiny cuts all over my fingers and backs of my palms from dryness. We recently found out our sanitizer strength at our store has been fairly high as a result of having the wrong plastic piece installed by some outside technician, which we can’t fix ourselves. Anyway, the sanitizer is particularly harsh, and all the cuts have made it so I don’t want to do dishes at home. Joe likes to “soak” the dishes, so when I ask him to do them, it can take hours- if not days- for him to finish! This means I don’t have enough clean dishes or empty counter space to cook more. I wish we had a dishwasher.
On that note, I’ve spent the evening researching the history, types, and processes behind cheese. I have a few different leftover bits of cheese from all of my mac and cheese experiments, so now I’m snacking on some great quality parmaggiano-reggiano, havarti, and roquefort blue. I think cheese-making prior to modern biological understanding of bacteria sounds horrifyingly dangerous, though there don’t seem to have been any major cheese-related deaths or plagues over the millennia… so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic.
Joe got his first job interview, in a place I didn’t mention in my previous post about moving prospects. He’s applied to something like 20 different positions throughout the world (I can say “world” because he’s applied to one in Melbourne, Australia!). Anyway, he’ll be interviewing with Lincoln Labs at MIT in Boston in the next few weeks. It’s not ideal, only in that it’s not in his current field (materials science), but I think we could definitely be happy with him there. I could definitely live in Boston! I could even be a Red Sox fan, though I’m not sure I could ever bring myself to root for the Patriots.
I’m in a state of flux with my health. After a couple months of prednisone, I’ve practically begged my specialist to get me off of it. My face has gone totally bloated and is always reddish. Joe noted the other day that my face looked “bumpy”. Thanks. Anyway, that combined with the lack of fiber means that I feel fat all the time. My doctor acquiesced, and I’m on an aggressive tapering off of the steroids, which means I have been experiencing some serious grumpiness and aches. That brings me to fitness. In the night last night, I awoke (after possibly ill-advised beer drinking, but hey is was the Super Bowl and stop judging me) with unbelievable pain in my knee. To a lesser extent, I had a stiffness in my wrists, which made me sure I was suddenly having arthritis or something. However, after all the pain basically disappeared within an hour of getting up and moving around, I’m convinced it had to do with a combination of alcohol-induced dehydration/swelling and the prednisone. I also went swimming for the first time in over a year on Saturday. I was disappointed in that my recovery time between laps is horrid (hey, I’m at 7,000ft okay?), but Joe even noted that my technique is decent, so at least I can focus on the cardio/respiratory aspect of swimming.
As I posted the other day, I’m really excited to see Eric Clapton in March. My birthday is the 13th, and he is playing with the Wallflowers on the 14th in Phoenix. Joe and I will be driving over on the 13th (I imagine, unless I get lucky and am off work by 1pm on the 12th) and hanging out with his brothers, who’ll be attending the concert with us. The tickets went on sale forever ago, but being in the boonies of New Mexico, I never hear about big concerts… that being said, we’re going to be in nosebleed seats. I imagine that won’t be too big of a deal, though. Anyhow, ERIC CLAPTON. Today I was shocked to find out that several of my partners have no idea who he is! Agh!
I’ve finally become a pseudo-New Ager, having invested in a couple vials of essential oils. I always think they look like such a waste of money- especially considering they are sometimes $25 for a couple ounces of oil. Ridiculous. However, with all my hand issues, I decided to give replenishing oils a shot. Turns out… they work. I got bottles of my two favorite herbal scents- lavender and rosemary. My hands have returned to softness. I also put a few drops of each in my palm while my hair was damp, and now my hair is super soft and smells pretty heavenly, too.
Well, on that note, I think you’re all about caught up.
I’m ready to live somewhere new. This morning, I got to chatting with my cousin, who has temporarily lived in New York and England before, but mostly stuck to Illinois. He has lived in North Carolina for a few years with his wife, and he ended the conversation by saying he was off to get some barbecue. That is, I’m assuming, just part of life in North Carolina. The new way of life that one gets by moving to a new place really appeals to me. I’m really proud of the New Mexican way of life- just expecting green chile to be available everywhere, being able to make outdoors plans without much likelihood of inclement weather- but I want a new one.
Joe and I are likely to have a change in about six months. He’s finishing his doctorate this spring semester (don’t ask about my graduate work; the internship seems like it’s falling through), and he’s begun applying for post-doctoral opportunities in three main places: Oak Ridge (Tennessee), Chicago, and here in Los Alamos.
My ideal spot would be Chicago. I’d get to go back to Illinois and live close to where I originally came from, see family (my godparents live in a suburb even!), and old friends who moved there. I’d get to live in a city with all kinds of different weather, opportunities, and I might even become a regular Second City event attendee (a dream of mine). Also, I’d be nearer to Rahm Emmanuel and Chicago politics, which intrigue me to no end. It would be a completely different way of life; one I’ve always dreamed of. I want to live in a major metropolitan area with public transportation and pubs and pizza.
My next preference would be Los Alamos, just because I’d be near family and friends still, we’d live in the mountains, and I could probably quit my job and pursue whatever I’d prefer because Joe’s pay would be a lot higher (LANL post-docs pay particularly well). As a result of my medical bills, Joe seems to think it’ll be better for us for now to keep renting, but we’d at least be able to look into renting a house. That means we could look at expanding our family (pets and children alike). A future here would be alright.
My least favorite, which if I choose to be void of all hope, we’ll end up at, is Oak Ridge. They’re the other major national lab, and they do a lot of the same work Joe does. My main objection to Tennessee is that it’s right there in the Bible belt, and we would not be living in a metropolitan area. At least in Los Alamos, I don’t feel stifled by religion (though it is surprisingly popular in a town full of scientists), and at least if I was in a city, I wouldn’t have to worry about being stifled by any one group. Also, I’m not crazy for the climate in Tennessee (hotter and wetter), though at least we’d be in the mountains.
That all being said, if we moved to Tennessee, I think I would like to learn a southern way of life. I’m sure it could be charming. The pay there would be comparable to Los Alamos, so I could make a home there, too. I’d rather learn to live a more coastal southern way of life, but I’m sure the forests of Tennessee would also grow on me, especially in the fall. Ultimately, I’m deciding I can handle it anywhere we go, because I want these new experiences. I feel like moving northward to Los Alamos was a soft start- learning to be away from close family and friends, but not too far, and being in a new place by ourselves.
My first experiences abroad put into perspective the fact that I do, in fact, have issues with culture shock, even though I want so badly to experience new cultures. China with Model UN in 2008 really stunned me with how “unclean” the whole place felt, and then the same happened when we went to Cyprus on our honeymoon just a couple months later. It wasn’t until we lived in Prague in 2011 for a month that I really adjusted to life abroad. Joe got it right: the Old World is going to have a layer of grime, that I’m not used to, living in the western United States. Now that I know what to expect, I can’t wait to get out of the country again.
What I’m saying there is that I am apprehensive about a new place and new people because I’ve had rough experiences in the past. At least I can expect to handle them with a bit more grace, though, this year. If we move to Tennessee, I’ll probably learn to love country music more. If we move to Chicago, I’ll probably suffer every year with the Cubs. If we stay here in Los Alamos, I’ll become even more devoutly a New Mexican. I can handle it all. I’m ready for it now! So… hopefully the next few months fly by (with the exception of March, because it is my favorite month and my birthday is a palindrome this year: 3/13/13).