Feb 23, 2011 3 comments

It seems like forever since I've written anything in here.  I'm having a hard time focusing.  Since I came back to town and started up work again in January, this year has been the most stressful year in a long time, possibly ever.  I don't know.  Everything keeps going wrong.  The past few weeks I've felt like I was drowning.  I think it might calm down soon but who knows?  All I know is I'm not ready for field work.  I'm actually kind of not looking forward to it.  I went to dinner with some coworkers tonight.  A bunch of them are in town for a computer training that we're having this week.  Matt is home with bad allergies, and I am sad for him.  I hope he feels better soon.  His birthday is coming up. 

Silver City

Feb 11, 2011 2 comments

I'm in a grumpy mood right now and am starting to think about all the things I don't like about my life, past and present.  So I'm just going to vent for a while about the crappy parts of my trip to Silver City.

At the end of last year, my boss decided I should go to Silver City every month to meet with my coworkers down there.  This annoyed me.  How come I have to go down there and they don't ever have to come up here?  That's what I thought.  It's not entirely true, because they do have to come up here in two weeks.  Not to meet with me, though.  We're all having a training that they have to go to.  I'm just a secondary thought.  So I didn't go last month because I had other stuff to do but I went this week. 

On the way down, I went through Hatch (famous for green chile growing) to avoid the snow in the mountains.  From Hatch, I was going to go to Deming but there was a grass fire and the road was closed.  So I had to go all the way down to Las Cruces and then back to Deming that way.  After I got to Deming, it took another hour to get to Silver.  So I was on the road for over 6 hours.  It was really great.  Lots of fun. 

Luckily, there was a still a little bit of light left by the time I got to my hotel, and it wasn't cold, so I walked to Wendy's to get a salad for dinner.  My hotel was nice, but the whirlpool that I had been looking forward to was broken.  Very disappointing. 

That night, I took out my contacts and there was a huge rip down the middle of the right one.  And I, being a genius, did not bring an extra pair or my glasses.  I had a really hard time seeing the next two days and I was really nervous about being able to get back to Albuquerque. 

On Wednesday, one of my coworkers suggested I call my eye doctor to give me my prescription, and then I could pick it up at Wal-Mart.  But my stupid eye doctor would not give me my prescription because it had been over a year since my last eye appointment.  I begged with them, trying to explain my situation to make it seem as pitiful as possible.  But no luck.  They would not give in.

I decided to schedule an appointment with the Wal-Mart eye doctor.  Lucky for me, she was in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Unlucky for me, the first open appointment was February 28.  That just would not do.  I told the receptionist it had to be tomorrow or nothing.  She said there might be a cancellation.  And sure enough, there was.  By 6pm the next day, I had a new prescription, and more importantly, a new pair of contacts.  So at least one good thing happened to me.

Honestly, my whole trip wasn't that bad.  I had some good food, went out for drinks, and I really think we got a lot accomplished while I was down there.  Sometimes I think I'd enjoy my job more and have a better social life if I was down in Silver City.  But on the other hand, I'd be in Silver City.

I just wish some people would realize how inconsiderate they are being.  I know that's random, but it's what I'm thinking about right now.


day twenty-one: a photo of your favorite place to eat

Feb 6, 2011 4 comments

One of the best things about Albuquerque is that it has a very diverse range of food types and restaurants.  In other ways, it can become a challenge to decide where to eat.  Matt and I often resort to listing them, "Okay, do you want Mexican, Italian, Asian, American, Mediterranean....?" And so forth.  But since I don't have all the time and space in the world to list all of our favorite restaurants, I am limiting it to our top 3 Mexican/New Mexican places, which we recently decided upon one day.  So without further ado...

Number 3

The main reason we like Monroe's is because it has a beautiful patio with a fountain and birds fluttering around here and there, so we usually go when the weather is warmer.  Their food is good, but there isn't that one thing on the menu that really makes it stand out from other Mexican restaurants.  One thing I really like is that they have rotating specials, but they don't post them to their website so it's always a gamble as to what they are, although they're usually good.  The service is kind of interesting.  Waiters aren't assigned to a specific table; instead, they all go around finding out who needs refills, their check, etc.  It's a pretty good system because it means there's usually someone around to help you.  The owner is sometimes around as well.  He's really friendly and it's easy to tell he really cares about his restaurant.  During busy times, you can often find him out in the parking lot directing traffic.  He's cool.  The service is usually pretty consistent, especially when he's around, but sometimes it's slacking a little.  If you order Mexican food (they have some other things too), you get complimentary chips and salsa.  It's usually freshly made, but occasionally we've gotten cold chips and salsa that's close to going bad.  Altogether, though, it's pretty good.  Oh, and there's also a fish tank that we like to look at after we pay our bill.  It's always fun to see if there are any new babies swimming around.

Number 2

We had a tie for second runner up, the first is La Salita

La Salita is actually more New Mexican than Mexican.  Everything is always covered with cheese and it always tastes good.  We've ordered in and to-go and it is consistently good quality.  Everything on the menu is great, but the two things that stand out most to me are their tacos and chile rellenos.  The taco meat is seasoned perfectly to give it a distinct flavor, the taco shells are always fresh and crispy, and it's covered in delicious shredded cheddar cheese. MMMMM!!!  So good.  The rellenos are authentic New Mexican style and they're the best of their kind that I've had.  The batter is perfectly crispy and the cheese is oozy gooey goodness.  They also give out complimentary chips and salsa.  Their salsa is served warm and is a mixture of their signature red and green chiles.  This is probably the place we go most often, since it's the closest to where we live.  The manager knows our names.  Haha.

The second, second runner up is Los Cuates

Of all the places mentioned so far, Los Cuates has the best green chile, hands down.  What makes it so good is that it is roasted instead of steamed.  It tastes the best this way and is classic New Mexico.  Roasting green chiles is one of the best smells ever.  Their carne adovada is also really good because it is served in chunks rather than shredded, which is how La Salita does it. (However, their tacos have nothing on La Salita)  They are also the only place I know to get a really good Navajo Taco.  The service is pretty spotty, and it takes a long time to get refills, boxes, and the check.  The last couple times I went there, I was with Matt and his sister and they put us on a high top table, which is small and doesn't have much room for three people to spread out.  It's also a little cold in there.  But we really like the food, which is enough incentive for us to keep coming back. 

Number 1

And the winner is....

This place is a-maz-ing.  The food is a little different from the previous places, since it's more of a Mexican grill style than it is New Mexican.  On their menu is items like steak served with poblano mashed potatoes and calabacitas, a variety of fish (including my favorite, mahi mahi) and chicken dishes.  They have an excellent chile relleno made with a poblano pepper rather than a green chile.  And they make their own margaritas.  Oh my gosh.  So good.  We've only had poor service once or twice, and in those cases I blamed the waiter and not the restaurant.  As you can see, they have a patio with a western view overlooking the city and extending all the way to Mount Taylor.  They're located right next to the mountains and the building is attached to the tram, which takes you to the top of the mountain.  It's a bit pricier than the other restaurants I've mentioned, but honestly, not by that much, and it is so worth it.    

And that's it!  My top three (well, four) Mexican restaurants in Albuquerque (actually, more like in all of New Mexico, because once you get out of Albuquerque, it kind of goes downhill... sorry other NM cities, but it's true).  If you managed to get through all my ramblings, now you know where to go if you are ever to visit our lovely city.  And if you got hungry and gave up halfway through reading this, well, I don't blame you.

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Snow Day

Feb 1, 2011 2 comments

The snow arrived in Albuquerque around 4pm last evening.  I got out of school, made a quick run to the grocery store, and hid in my apartment for the rest of the night, in hopes of a snow day sleep-in the next morning.

No such luck.  The weather hotline informed me that there would be no closures or delays, (but drive carefully!) so I gave myself some extra time and headed out into the snowy world.  It took about 45 minutes to get to work.  It usually takes 25.  Not horrible, but still.  When I arrived at 7:45 am, hardly anyone was there.  My boss was, though. He's always such a go-getter. 

I spent the morning un-installing ArcGIS 9.2 and all its extensions in preparation for installation of ArcGIS 9.3 so that I can actually use the new O Drive (see earlier post for that info).  Apparently, an old PLTS extension compatibility problem was causing all the to-do with that issue.  I'm not even really sure what PLTS does, though I feel like I should know (?)  Anyway, so, I'm in the middle of un-installing crap when the office manager comes by and says the office closed at 11.  It was 11:30 at that point and I couldn't really stop what I was doing so I stayed there until noon to finish up, then went home (or to Matt's house, rather, because it was closer and he had food). 

I don't really understand the point.  What exactly was accomplished by having people come in for 3 hours and then letting them go back out into the snowy madness.  I could have woken up late, brewed some tea, and baked blueberry muffins all day.  But no.  I am living the American dream.

Granted, we don't have A LOT of snow.  But we have enough wind and ice to cause some damage.  And man, is it COLD!