Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sibling love and work, work, work

Lisa sent this picture of Morgan and Kegan and titled it "Sibling love." To my mind, Kegan looks a little . . . well, cautious. He had just had his first haircut. I figure I can show off my Houston kids once in a while. As a baby, Morgan looked just like her dad but now she favors her mom, and Kegan looks a lot like his dad did as an infant. I told Colin a friend of mine had a new grandchild named Morgan, and he said, "Yeah, a lot of people are using that for boys." No, no, I said, this one's a girl too.

Busy days. Getting hit with a statistical project to trace where our books are sold (title by title!), a grant proposal to be refined, and notice of an academic support program review to be written next year almost sent me into retirement today. Those Scots were looking better and better. I hate doing things at the last minute, and the grant is due Tuesday, so, to me, this is last minute and I'm still "refining" and struggling with budget. Hate it! But I do think we have a good proposal. As for the title by title analysis, while Melinda was nodding sagely and saying she could do this, that and the other electronically, I was groaning. She reminds me I am left-brained, which I guess is a compliment, but not suited for such picky work--she loves it.

Last night Betty and I had our weekly dinner. I had visions of a nice rare sirloin burger at Cafe Aspen. Not just any burger--it had to be one of meat good enough to eat quite rare. But at the last minute, Jordan and Jacob came by--she was not dressed for Cafe Aspen and wouldn't have taken Jacob there anyway, so we went to Hofbrau. Jacob was his most charming self, all smiles and flirtatious looks, generously sharing the crayons and dipping his French frie (the same one over and over) into everyone's ranch dressing. Betty loved it.

So tonight I thought I'd get my good burger. June, my dean, was taking visiting authors to dinner and invited me. The local author, host of an interview program on campus later this evening, said he'd choose a restaurant, and somehow I convinced myseslf he'd choose a new but good local burger joint. He didn't--he chose the Mexican food place I like least of all in town. Maybe I can get that burger tomorrow!

The author being interviewed tonight was James Donovan, whose new book is A Terrible Glory, the "definitive" book on the Battle of Little Big Horn. Since I did a novel titled Libbie about twelve years ago, I know something about Custer and the massacre--and Libbie whose mention tonight earned me a nice mention of my title. That battle is one of the most complicated military stories I've ever heard, and there are many details Jim admitted we can't be sure about. But he gave a balanced interpretation, and I was most impressed by his grasp of the many facts of the battle and of Custer's career. I still disagree with him on one point--I do think Custer was arrogant, but as one friend said after the program, maybe you have to be in order to be a military leader. Wow, could I run with that one in today's politics, but I will let it lie quietly.

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