Monday, August 11, 2008
I'm back in Houston. I was going to say, "I'm back home," but after seeing my wife for the first time in over a month and having a very nice day out with her Saturday, I can't really speak of being "home" until I've found a job up there and moved back in with her. As much as I like Houston, this trip has really driven it home to me that Houston is definitely part of my past. I'll miss it, but I really want to move on.
Until Friday evening, when some late-arriving good news on a promising job-hunting lead I'd nearly given up on arrived, the job-hunting aspect of the week was more on the disappointing side than anything else. A biotech job fair (held at the site of next year's OCON) may have yielded another lead, but a second job fair had nothing to offer me, and I had to stand in line for half an hour to find out!
If I hear about a job fair in Boston on a day I happen to be there anyway, I'll consider going, but I won't go out of my way to attend anything I can't get a list of participants in it again. That said, job fairs are only part of my job-hunting strategy. I suspect that contacts with recruiters or my own research will lead to whatever I end up doing.
So Saturday brought a much-needed break to both of us. My wife is at work by eight every day, and often doesn't get home until around nine or ten. She's running on fumes by Thursday every week.
We did manage to meet an old friend -- the one who first introduced us -- and her husband and daughter at the venerable Jacob Wirth Restaurant Friday evening. Afterwards, we returned to my wife's apartment, where we were going to stay in and watch a movie -- but proceeded to zonk out instead. I regained consciousness long enough to turn out the lights around two in the morning.
Saturday -- later than we wanted after she got caught up in something unexpected at work -- we met at Copley Square and finally got to enjoy each other's company for the day. We ran a few errands together, which walking through a charming city like Boston made much more enjoyable than it would have been in Texas. Then, we wandered through town a bit, ending up at Public Garden and Boston Common, had a very nice dinner at another Boston institution, and saw a movie we were saving to see with each other. We were back fairly early since I had to catch a morning flight back to Houston, but we both definitely needed that day.
Here are a few shots I took, roughly in chronological order. The shot of Copley Square in front of the Boston Public Library -- well worth visiting on its own -- is from an earlier solo jaunt there. When I finally took my wife's call Saturday morning, I found myself walking straight ahead on the sidewalk through that scene, as it were, towards the T stop to meet her!
Mouse over images for descriptions and click on them for detail. I love how the height of the modern office buildings puts the spire of Trinity Church in its proper perspective!
I read somewhere later that Boston Public Garden was designed to resemble an English garden, which probably explains why I was immediately reminded of a trip to London awhile back when we got there!
Once we got to the other side of this pond, I even encountered a very odd tree (below) I'd previously seen only in England. These shots are, from left to right, (1) of the outside, showing the distinctive "upside-down" growth pattern of its branches, (2) of its shady inner canopy with plenty of standing room, and (3) its foliage.
Does anyone out there know what this kind of tree is called? It is fascinating.
Oh yeah. The title! It's getting late now, but I was originally going to ponder my future as a writer, given the radical change from the "two" alternatives I incorrectly saw myself as having before my wife matched. Boston, with its cost of living, puts me firmly on what I call the "Charles Krauthammer track": full-time career and writing on the side.
I don't have many answers yet. Life will be very different. When I can write and for how long will be heavily dependent on my future work schedule as well as my wife's activities. Be that as it may, as a writer or not, I will enjoy many things about Boston. This pictorial just barely begins to scratch the surface.
I can't wait to get up there for good! That is home now, and as a writer, I am eager to get out of my present holding pattern.
P.S. L.B. informs me that the mysterious tree is a weeping beech.
Today: Corrected typos, added P.S.