July 15, 2010

Oh happy day!

Jrex got home Tuesday night from his LA trip. I picked him up from his lab and brought the mutt along. While waiting for him to finish up inside, the dog and I wandered the hill behind the lab while I chatted with my sister. I love my sister. I like that we get each other's humor, we challenge each other on stuff without hard feelings, and she's also a designer--so the bitching about clients is entirely mutual.

We'd just hung up when Jrex called me. When the phone rang, I headed for the stairs that lead to the back door he usually exits.

"Hey, I'm heading outside. Are you ready to go?"

We were at the top of the stairs as I agreed. He continued in a very tired voice, "Do you need me to come up to find you?"

I laughed, "Jrex, call your dog." I saw him standing with his phone down below. He turned and called for her. She was in such shock that she hesitated in quivering ecstasy before bolting down the stairs to jump all over him and try to lick the hair from the top of his head (ok, slight exaggeration).

His chats with the heads of the centers in Portland and Dallas had gone well, he has interviews at each in August. This morning he chatted with the head at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Looks like they have money and want to fly him out as well. Vanderbilt doesn't have money and neither does Jrex yet (grant money to do research), so they are going to see if they can squeeze water from the stone, but it doesn't look likely.

It's great to have him home. It took a long time for us to weave our independent streaks into an interdependent relationship, but at this stage of our relationship, it is a bit like an amputation when he's gone.

The good news for me is that people have given Jrex wonderful birthday gifts: Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, and his sister just gave him Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. YUMMMMM...


Totally off topic... I just found a hilarious site filled with cartoons about life in the digital world. Click here to find out "How to suck at Facebook".


Rachel said...

Wow, he has so many options. It must be kind of nerve-wracking to know you could end up anywhere.

Love the FB link. Ha! So true.

OTR sister said...

You handled my challenge very gracefully. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the two marvelous blogs.

Regarding Ann Arbor. While that could seem like exile among primitive westerners to Jrex, I can assure you -- from experience -- that the university community at Ann Arbor is a shining outpost of civilization in the midst of a sorry State -- much as U/TX is at Austin. I encourage you both to keep an open mind about both the University of Michigan and its community.

I once had a phone conversation with a law school friend -- a New York attorney who lived in suburban Connecticut -- who had flown to Tulsa for a meeting. He called me at my home, which was then in Oklahoma City. He made a scornful remark about culture in Oklahoma City.

I retaliated, "Sure, once or twice a year, you and your wife can go to the Met. We have nothing to match that. But, I have much better access to cultural life in Oklahoma City than you do in surburban Connecticut. While you have the whole New York cultural scene available to you, that's mostly theoretical. It's too remote, too much effort to get both of you there regularly, so you sit home and watch TV.

"In contrast, our cultural life is quite accessible. I'll match you concert for concert, play for play, sports event for sports event."

That's how it is in Ann Arbor. The cultural life is so rich you can only sample a bit of it. It's extremely accessible.

Example: In 1944, my parents took me to see Othello. With Paul Robeson and Utta Hagen.

I was ten, too young to realize the significance of what I was seeing -- a black man kissing a white woman on stage in the United States in 1944. I went to sleep. But, that production is an example of the quality of available fare.

Your designs for the baby shower were, as we might have expected, at genius level.

OK, genius, here's a puzzler for you. How would you do the following?

I have two figurines that are dear to me, each about five inches high. They are Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, Disney figures from Pinocchio, Walt Disney's second feature-length cartoon.

Somehow, Jiminy had broken off at the knees. He has a large body on skinny legs and leans forward dramatically. I had Gorilla Glue to mend him and was working late at night. It was easy to apply the glue, but difficult to get the broken pieces to match.

I got him together and stood there holding him, hoping to get a quick bind. Didn't happen. After two minutes he still came apart.

How could I get him in a situation where he could be firmly clamped together for 24 hours?

I pondered and prayed.

Then, the answer came to me -- sand.

Sand was readily available at 213 Orchard in Cincinnati. We had play sand in the basement to make rich-lime mortar. That was 2,400 miles away.

A dozen blocks away was the beach on Puget Sound, but it was late at night and I was dressed for bed. What could I use in place of sand?

I prayed and pondered.

Coffee. But, I didn't have a lot of coffee. I needed a spacious container to get Jiminy in and hold him in place with one hand. I took a rectangular, 4" deep, piece of plasticware. I put Jiminy in, held him at one end, and put all my pill bottles in the other end as filler. Then I poured in the coffee.

It worked perfectly.

Jiminy's knees are now knobbier than before, but he's intact and the two figures stand proudly on my bathroom sink.

What about the coffee? I hated to throw away $4 worth. So, I poured it all back into its container. I reasoned that any flakes that made contact with the glue became part of Jiminy.

mary said...

Yay for the multiple leads! Thanks for the blog link on FB. HiLARious.

Inkling said...

The crab cakes in the How to Cook book are yummy. My girlfriend's kids love the brownie recipe in it too, though they turn out differently every time for some weird reason.

I get what you mean about feeling like an arm is missing when your husband is gone. We've only been together 4 years over here and we have zillions of differences to figure out still, but it does feel like I'm missing half of me when he's out for a few days.

It was an awesome visual to imagine Muttola licking JRex to the point of hairlessness. Made me smile.

I'm praying about the place you guys end up - that it becomes a good home for you both, that you both still have outdoor adventures you can enjoy, and that a good community of people forms around you quickly.....even if it's Texas. =) Yeah, Michigan is lovely. I lived in Northern Indiana for 6 years and then worked a summer in Michigan and a resort/camp by the lake. Probably my favorite summer ever in some respects. They just don't have mountains. But maybe there's grant money available to tie in JRex's research with occasional trips to places like Squamish or Joshua Tree. ;)