This is why I've never tried to do any blog program that would require me to write every day: I just can't be consistent on a daily basis! It's the same principle as my cleaning program: clean when company is coming over but the rest of the time, not so much.
ANY way. We're in Dallas. Jrex is in the room doing research for his 2nd round of interviews tomorrow at S0uthw3st3rn. I came up to the executive business center to print our boarding passes and then started jonesing for a fix of the blogosphere.
This is going to be a tough decision. The good news is that Dallas isn't so bad. It's a big city with lots of amenities. Tons of art museums and festivals. Lots of friendly people, great restaurants and things to do. We'd even have some built in community via Jrex's friends from Hopk1ns. Last night we had dinner with the wife of a guy who used to be in Jrex's lab. He was out of town visiting Stanford while we were here with his wife. Ironic. She's a petite, fiesty woman who works remotely and has only made one friend in the five years she's lived here. (That made me nervous if I work from home, but she's much more of a hermit than I tend to be.) Originally from the NYC area she could compare things to areas in terms we could understand, "They have a neighborhood they call the 'West Village', but that's a joke compared to the real thing." Jrex chimes in, "Yeah, but the West Village doesn't even measure up to its own reputation anymore." She's someone I could call to go out to see weird independent movies, or to go for a hike or for food (since she's married to a scientist, she's also a 'married single' woman, like me).
We drove around with the realtor for a couple hours both yesterday and today. I'd picked a wide range of properties around the city. It gave us a good sense of neighborhoods and what we might like. It also showed us that we'll likely pay as much here as we would for a house in Portland. It would probably be a bit bigger (it IS Texas after all), but not much cheaper. Somehow we thought we'd find an amazing bargain house here, but the ones in that price range were SCARY. Apparently the soil here is sandy clay or something and houses can settle in very twisted ways. If you don't consistently water the soil around your house (yes, you have to water your HOUSE) then the difference between wet and dry spells is so extreme that the ground expands and contracts and ruins foundations. So some of the houses had floors where you could put a ball on the floor and watch it roll downhill. None of the homes have basements.
When I heard that I exclaimed, "Oh, so they must not have tornadoes here!" The realtor laughed, "No. I guess you're supposed to hide in your bathtub." I responded, "That sounds the same as what they tell you for earthquakes in California. I think they just say that so you'll think you have a plan."
We went to church this morning. I wanted to get a feel for Christian community here and to have some time to try to tune in to whatever the Lord might want to say. It was a good time. Via the internet I found a young, hipster church that meets in a warehouse in an inner city area. It's not 'it' for me in terms of a church, but it was fine. I was able to hear some stuff from God and that was great. I asked him, "Where do you want us to be?" and the first thought that jumped into my mind after I asked was, "With me." It felt like the Lord's humor (and direction) to me. I sort of got the sense that He has good things in store for us wherever we end up. When I told that to Jrex, he nodded. I think he's had the same sense.
That leaves us in a good, but tough place. Neither option is the be-all-end-all, neither is a home run, but neither is awful either. I guess it will come down to whichever institution makes the better offer. In January he goes back to NYC alone for a second interview there. We keep joking that NY will be the dark horse that comes from behind, but it's really a long shot. The good news for me is that I'm not in despair or afraid that Dallas would be a prison exile for the rest of my life.
Tomorrow we're having breakfast with the head of the program (at 7 AM. Uncivilized medicine people wake up at the crack of dawn and think that's normal!). Then she'll drive Jrex over to do a day of interviews while I drive around and check out the climbing gym and see if I can find cheap cowgirl boots for my sister.
That's all for now, y'all!