Friday, March 28, 2008

Jacob gets the idea

At twenty-two months, Jacob has the slightest inkling about the potty. He's obviously been watching his mama, not his father, because he backs up to it and wants to be lifted up to sit. He sits very seriously for several minutes and then raises his hand for you to lift him down. Of course, he's fully dressed the whole time--and I seriously doubt he's peeing in his diaper while he sits there. But, hey, it's progress!

Jacob and I were supposed to dine alone tonight, but Jordan's plans changed and she stayed for dinner. I defrosted a chicken breast, floured it, sauteed, then sauteed shallot, chive, parsley, and tarragon in butter and olive oil. Some chopped tomato went in, then white wine and chicken broth, and I let the the sauce thicken. Really good. We had broccoli, blue cheese salad, and baby artichokes. The latter were a bit of a disappointment. I've been wantingto try them for a while, but the leaves didn't have much meat on them and the hearts were tiny and hard to get to. I'll settle for an occasional splurge on a regular artichoke. I asked if I could give Jacob a Girl Scout thin mint cookie but Jordan pleaded exhaustion--she didn't want to stay up with a baby swinging from the ceiling at 10:30.

What a week! Starting with a stomach virus was probaby a bad sign. Then there was the grant proposal, some misunderstandings with the editors of the proposed series (thankfully, those were easily and pleasantly resolved and we ended up on the same page), then catalog copy came and had to be proofed instantly and prices finalized for the fall books--once you put it in a catalog, you can't change the price because . . . well, it just causes all kinds of you know what.

And then the dissatisfied author I thought I'd mollified came back to haunt me. He had written a nasty letter to the provost, saying that I ran off everyone--authors, editors, booksellers, even the garbage man I suppose--because I was so quick to offend. He contended that I was running the press like a fief (isn't the word fiefdom?) and ruining it and that many local historians were working on texts they wouldn't bring to TCU Press because of me. Since we publish a lot of local history, that came as great news, and in my anger I wanted to call and demand the names of those writers. I know he's misguided, distorting things, taking out his anger in an unprofessional way--but it's still worrisome. Knowing about the letter before I read it, I woke at 4 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. I refuse to let someone like that rob me of my sleep, my peace of mind, or my sense of myself as a professional!

Often I dread slow weekends, but I'm looking forward to this one. I'm finishing that coffee house novel that I like, and then I have two Robert Parker novels. One of our fall authors is Parker's publicist and offered today to send me anything I wanted to read--wow! Tomorrow I'll shop, Sunday I probably go to church, and that evening Sue is coming for a glass of wine and I promised appetizers. Hmmm, deviled eggs with smoked salmon sounds like a place to start. Usually when I'm home alone on Saturday I cook something wonderful, but I have so much in the icebox--half a hamburger from today's lunch at a bistro, pieces of my chicken and Jordan's from tonight, my ever-present smoked salmon. I'll have to think of something to make me feel creative.

Or maybe I'll get to work on the Scots in Texas again.

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