Monday, June 27, 2011

A change.

It's been suggested to me, by parties wise and compelling, that perhaps one reason that I rarely post in my blog here is because I've kept a narrow focus in the last year--Andrew and me--and a broader horizon might free my creative thoughts. Rightly so! Most of 2009 and 2010 did revolve around our great adventures of deployment, college graduation, marriage, and at last, settlement in Las Vegas. But now I'm halfway through 2011 and life is far from what I ever imagined for myself.

First of all!
I'm living in Las Vegas, in the westerly part of town known as Summerlin. We live just down the street from my job, and in walking distance from some beautiful residential areas. We're about two or three miles from the edge of the city, so if you continue down Sahara Avenue long enough,
you'll run headlong into great sandy mountains. It's a very peaceful area, with lots of green and lots of healthy, naturally-derived allergens from flowering trees, and most of the people we encounter are laid-back and jolly. Unlike our old apartment,
which was in North Las Vegas--(start typing "north las vegas" in Google and one of the first suggestions is "north las vegas ghetto")--where we had horrifically loud, rude neighbors, lived near scary projects and a full-on Mexican ranch-slum full of farm animals not a quarter mile away (no kidding), and where we were scared of being mugged at every turn. But hey, rent was really cheap. So what if you had to drive past a crime scene every once in a while? Friendly North Las Vegas indeed.
But when, after three solid months of the dirty business of job-hunting, I found a job in Summerlin (and our nice neighbors had my car towed), we decided it was time for a change.
So to Summerlin we went.

I'm working as a diamond grader, and I enjoy my job more than I can describe.
I have my nose in a microscope all day, and I adore it. Every weekday, at 6:30 AM, I curse fluently and roll out of bed, then wrangle myself eventually to drive the two minutes down the road to the laboratory, where at 7:22 AM my fellow lab rats and I queue up outside the security man-trap. At 7:26 AM we jumble
inside and tuck into our desks with our large mugs of coffee, and by 7:35 AM, the safes are opened and the stones brought in.
Oddly enough, as precise as these times seem, the whole place is relaxed and full of laughter. My coworkers can cheer me up in no time at all, if I've arrived wearing my cranky pants that day.
Tim always has a supply of chocolate on his desk ("Kit-kats are always better when they're
frozen."), Jenn daily has a new invention idea to share ("Pocket Piggies, guys! Million bucks right there!"), Richard has a muttered joke or Stepbrothers quote ("Chelsea, did we just become best friends?? YUP!"), or Sandra a protestation that "I'm not a panda just because I'm from China!" and many others. There's about 20 people in the lab proper and I daresay I like them all.

Besides, the job itself is really fun. It's... hard to describe, but it's geology combined with artistry combined with geometry and light refraction combined with solving 3-D puzzles, and yet... all of that sounds really weird and boring, but my job isn't at all. Here's a picture from my lab, of the actual back of the head of one of my actual coworkers:

On other fronts, Andrew is grand. He's coordinating a job with a private security contractor right now--lots of details, arrangements, planning to be figured out still. I think he misses the military in many ways (though in many ways he's glad to be completely free of it!), so this job will be good for him. More details to come on that front as we know them, because once he starts working on this job, alot will change in our lives again!

Oh! One last thing. We have a baby cat friend.
His name is Vivi von Chupacabra Longcat, and he's now almost 4 months old. Vivi loves to
snuggle on necks and he loves to play with chapstick tubes, bugs and everything he's not supposed to play with, like Xbox cables and refrigerators. His favorite foods include broccoli, butter, and shampoo bubbles. He's a good little guy :)

I intend to be more dutiful in my updates from now on! Let's see how well that goes :) Until next time, cheers from Las Vegas!