I’m headed into my first month of being at my new job, maybe not so new. But still there are things that I learn everyday that are considered new. Like the fact that I will be traveling with my boss to a couple of conferences in 2023. First is our bi-annual program meeting, we are after all sponsored by NASA and this fiscal year that particular meeting will take place in PUERTO RICO! Am I excited? Just a little bit, I mean I haven’t left the state of Texas for any reason other than when I got this job in the next state over.
My commute has gotten a bit easier now that I’ve gauged the time and how long it takes me to get to the office. Well, that is unless I’m crossing the Anthony Gap and there is a rush of concrete trucks slowing the traffic to a near stop. There are rock quarries on both sides of the mountain, one on the Texas side and one on the New Mexico side, both owned by the same company. And when I see these trucks start pulling in front of me I’m cussing up a storm like a sailor or Marine who just got their weekend pass taken away. They are big, slow and full of loose rocks that can damage a car’s windshield. So needless to say I’m not happy when I see one of these trucks, let alone when they heard together like big huge bison on the highway. Which was the case last week and counted 16 of these monsters holding up traffic as we got to the two lane road near the interstate.
Speaking of Texas and New Mexico, there are some things I’ve noticed that well, make me glad to be a Texan and some that make me realize Texas needs some serious improvement. One thing is that the cost of living in New Mexico, especially in this town/small city is about 4% higher than in El Paso. The gas prices, food prices and the cost to rent and own a home is definitely higher. So, I don’t ever fuel up in NM because it’s cheaper to do so back home. That’s one bad thing about NM is that the cost of everything is much higher than it is just 39 miles down the road. Texas one, NM zero.
One good thing is that here, no store has plastic bags, none! You either bring your own reusable bags or you buy paper bags for about ten cents each. I was shocked when one day during lunch I took a trip to the local Target store and had to pay twenty cents to buy two paper bags for stuff I bought for my office. I admire that really, they banned plastic bags because of what they do to the environment, NM one, Texas two.
Friendly People in What My Dad Called A Tree Hugging State
Another thing I notices right away when I got here is that everyone here is so friendly. Seriously my second day on campus I walked around and everyone from students to staff said hi to me. I was completely in shock as the other unnamed university it was people walking looking towards the ground, ignoring one another and being rude when it came to parking. Here the culture is so different and very palpable the very minute you encounter someone here. NMSU one, University of Hell zero.
Friendly People but Not Friendly Drivers
When I started driving to work in a different state I also noticed the difference in how Texas and New Mexico drivers drive. I’m bias here so I’m going to be brutally honest and say…..New Mexico drivers drive like complete shit. Yes, I said that because it’s true, especially on the highway and that’s where I see the biggest difference. I see a NM license plate in my rearview and I get out of the way, they are maniacs and I had only heard of bad NM drivers in the past. Not really seen it for myself until I began to commute for work. I also notices a lot of people from El Paso driving to Las Cruces for work, we notice each other on the rural road we have to take in between the mountains and on the highway once we hit I-10. Then we’re all bombarded with NM license plates speeding past us in a whoosh of whatever color car they are in. Even the 18 wheelers can be seen yielding to these maniac drivers and letting them by to avoid “the face” when they pass you. And by that I mean, that horrible, seemingly I’m late to work get out of my way so I can get there on time, you drive too slow face. Even my boss who has only lived here for about 15 years says NM drivers are horrible and that when he drives to El Paso he can see the difference. Also let me just mention that I grew up thinking that Texas State Troopers were out to get every speeding motorist on the highway. If you saw a DPS car or SUV in your rearview mirror you were pretty much screwed. New Mexico State Troopers are way worse, I’m talking they gave a new meaning to the word “speed trap” and that’s why I drive the way I do, I’ve seen so many people from El Paso pulled over on my way to work it’s not even funny. But I suspect it has to do with how NM drivers drive, so it balances out. So welcome to New Mexico, the Land of Entrapment. So Texas three, NM two.
TXDoT vs. NMDoT
So here’s what I noticed in the two states and their department of transportation, and apparently their maintenance of the roads and everything that is connected to them. TXDoT seems to have perpetual construction happening, I mean LIKE ALL THE FUCKING TIME! There isn’t one part of El Paso’s highways that aren’t under construction. There’s even a t-shirt one can buy that says “El Paso highways, under construction since 1972.” Although I couldn’t find an image to include here, I’ve seen several people around town wearing one. Anyway, it seems as TXDoT is always fixing something, making it newer, better or after their done, tearing it down and starting all over again. Then there is NMDoT, it seems they start things and finish and move onto something else in a totally different part of the city. NMDoT seems reliable, fast and stealthy at that. For example, on my first week commenting to work I noticed a huge pot hole on one of the over passes before my exit to get to campus. I avoided said pot hole but low and behold the very next day, it was FIXED!! Whereas in Texas pot holes live for months at a time getting bigger and bigger and causing vehicle damage along the way. And then when they do fix them, they only last maybe a week or so and the pot hole has resurrected itself and returned with a vengeance. Also, roadkill patrol, NMDoT has one and TXDoT sadly does not and I ask myself why? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Texas is the roadkill capital of the world. But New Mexico comes in a close second. The only difference is that in New Mexico you don’t see roadkill for more than one day on the highway. In Texas…….it BECOMES PART OF THE HIGHWAY. Which is sad if you think about it, but I won’t go into the logistics of that, ya’ll know what I’m talking about. So Texas three, NM three.
New Mexico has a female governor that advocates for women’s reproductive health, has apparently balanced the state budget and is sometimes seen on campus. Texas has an idiot……Texas three, NM four.
Yes ladies and gents JMR is back just like my dear friend Heather predicted. Only I was ready this time (not that I wasn’t last time but after being ghosted twice I told myself I’d have sure fire plan of defense) so when he did show up I wasn’t the sweet, endearing and lovable girl I have been in the past. It was a Friday after work one day and I was looking forward to the weekend. As I got home I went to my mailbox to retrieve my mail, walked around my front yard and pick up a few weeds to throw in the garbage as I passed my garage door. Then I went inside to go change, wash my face and have a fucking beer because it was a hell of a long week. As I gave my cat some cuddles (that he didn’t want of course) and fed his fat ass I heard my doorbell. I went to my phone to see who it was and low and behold, there JMR stood with a dozen roses and smile on his face.
Instead of opening the door I used the speaker on my doorbell camera and asked what he wanted. He said he wanted to talk to me and I said no. I told him that I wasn’t in the mood to talk and that I wanted him to just go away. He stood there and then looked straight into the camera and said “Huntress, look I know your mad and I know I fucked up but that’s why I’m here. Can we please talk? I want to take you to dinner so that I can explain some things about myself and then maybe you’ll understand.” To be continued…….
Until next time……this is the Huntress, saying…”Don’t be a Moth Around a Dim Yellow Bulb, Be a Moth to a Flame, Make it worth the Burn!”