Well, the time I'd normally spend blogging and reading blogs has been filled with looking at cars, or looking at houses in Dallas or Portland. We can't decide on a car and haven't yet determined a city.
Jrex wrote back to each institution with the changes he'd like to see in their Letter of Intent (LOI). He's still waiting for the response from Portland (the guy there is SUPER nice, but tends more toward benign neglect. Though, to be fair, Jrex asked for a third option for lab space and that takes a bit of work to figure out what's available.). The woman who's the director in Texas is PUSHY. Really, really nice, but the kind of nice that a mother can be where you want to tell her to just back off. She knows that we're waiting to hear back from Portland before we make a decision. We both want to live in Portland, it's all dependent on whether they can meet Jrex's requests. My prayer is that it would be clear either way: they hit a slam dunk and we both feel peaceful about picking the big P, or they flub it and we can take that as a sign that it's a move south.
I've been researching the neighborhood we liked in Dallas (trying to build up emotional padding in case that's where I end up). The local public elementary school sounds really cool. It's mostly Hispanic kids, but it has an active PTA. In the past few years they've raised over $100,000 for arts in the elementary school. Dance, orchestra, sculpture, art class, and individual music lessons, all available for K-6. In addition, the PTA welcomes parents who don't even have kids in the school. They set up baby play dates and Mom outings. So, we could potentially tap into a great network there (which is a small bit of comfort if I don't get to tap into family...)
There's also a great fair trade store. Plus folks in that neighborhood started A Better Block. They took over a section of a busy street for one day. Using borrowed trees and shrubs from landscapers, they terraformed a block with bike lanes, turn lanes and trees on the sidewalk. Along the edges they put café tables and chairs and brought in bike stands. As a result, stores did more business and visitors were happily surprised by a part of town they thought of as 'blighted'. It's a movement that's been spreading around the country: a way for urban visionaries (and rebels) to share their dream and get others to buy into it.
It's hard to stay invested in work at work when all I want to do is surf the web and research each city. Ah well, the future will come fast enough without me trying to drag it here sooner with my fretting.