Showing posts with label Body. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Body. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2024

busy for a Saturday

Huck and Max were a bit lonely today. 

Nu was hosting six people for a sleepover and was way too busy for the littlest sibs. Amusingly brusque, as a matter of fact. It was a little glimpse of Nu as a host or perhaps a parent.

At was in Chicago for the Labor Notes panels. From the pic shared on family chat, I thought At was wearing a retro pantsuit--no, she was rocking a retro skirt-suit.

Big A was off to his 36-miler Barry Roubaix after a muffin-centric breakfast of champions.

And I was off to commencement--probably the happiest day in the academic calendar. I always clap for each of our ≈400 graduates, whether I know them or not. And then after the ceremony, we form a gauntlet for the graduates and it's just such a thrill and such a treat to see so many familiar faces from over the last four (or five) years and celebrate their big step up... and get goodbye hugs from some of them.   

Pic: In my robes for commencement. It always feels like I'm cosplaying as a medieval English cleric. Nicole had suggested angling up for full-length selfies. I guess this is an improvement from my previous selfie attempts as you can kind of see my plaid pants, but I need longer arms.

Friday, April 19, 2024

the kids are better than alright

I love how the the student protests on Columbia University's west lawn have grown despite the 100 arrests yesterday. I'm so moved by their celebrations of both Shabbat and Jumma this evening and exhilarated by the way the repression by school authorities is inspiring students on other campuses (UNC, Boston, CUNY, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, OU) to protest in solidarity.

Our own At is away in Chicago as an invited speaker at the Labor Notes conference. One panel is about "building a multigenerational movement for democratic unionism" and another is on "rebuilding the worker movement" by "salting" from the inside. At the Labor Notes conference, two anti-genocide protestors were arrested and then "de-arrested" after other protestors stood around the police vehicle and chanted for over two hours.

Pic: In the meantime, I attended (boo!) a fairly corporate event, but it was necessary and they were earnest and made me this personalized charcuterie board. (I don't eat salami (if that's what it is), but everything else was delicious.)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

what we are built for

in the days when the kids were smaller
and my parents younger
and they lived here 
six months of the year
                                the only time I'd get mad at my dad
                               (my mom and I squabbled
                               every other week
                               or so)
                                                was when he'd look at my husband getting
                                                 ready for a training run
                                                 and declare he wasn't
                                                 "built for running."
                                                                                 my dad... my corporate bigwig dad
                                                                                 had two secretaries once, but now 
                                                                                 dutifully transcribed stories 
                                                                                 the grandkids dictated 
                                                                                                                       my dad who titled himself the president
                                                                                                                        of the fan club our sweetly narcissistic
                                                                                                                        toddler so desired...
                                                                                                                        that dad
was telling me my husband--who 
was spending hours running
every day--was unsuited
to running
                                But dad. I'd say--he's run marathons
                                what do you mean he isn't
                                built for running? And on 
                                and on we'd go.
                                                            my dad had had polio when he was five
                                                            his withered left leg still hurts, his
                                                            uneven legs (like these lines)
                                                            limp every step
                                                                                    but that dad didn't care how his body was built, he 
                                                                                    had "persevered" to become the captain 
                                                                                    of his school's soccer team and cricket
                                                                                    team and wrestled in college     
                                                                                                                        so it didn't make sense then, but now I think
                                                                                                                        he was saying my husband wasn't built
                                                                                                                        for running hours every day when
                                                                                                                        I needed help with our kids

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

"bad idea, right?"

More meetings today, including two terribly fraught ones... including one in the boardroom where 99% of the portraits on the wall are of old, white men. But between prep meetings and debriefs and hallway chats and phone calls about these two meetings, the day went quickly. And all too soon it was academic social time where our very small group (at one point just our provost and me) made a good showing at trivia (although I will always want to kick myself for not coming up with "Echo" in relation to Narcissus). 

Pic: I've been taking more selfies than usual because I have to document wearing non-pants in academic settings for a challenge ("Skirtathon"). And I suck at taking them... how does one do a full-length selfie? I wanted to share the beautiful pattern on my (thrifted)  Rachel Roy dress here. 

Another bad idea is that inspired by all the beautiful ensembles people have put together for the challenge, I went on ThredUp and ordered a bunch of blazers. Blazers. When I already have too many. When the weather is warming up. When I won't have to wear formal work clothes until nearly September. Face-palm.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

coming along

After we dug a bigger pond in December, the weather got wintry, so we didn't get to work on it. But yesterday, we wrestled the pond liner (it weighed over 300 pounds!) into place and started filling the pond.

Today I spent nearly eight hours pulling the liner tight and anchoring it with dirt. This involved digging a trench alongside the outer wall, lifting and folding the liner, and then shoveling the dirt tight around it. I counted it as today's workout. 

Nu was with friends and Big A is in Milwaukee, so it was just Huckie, Max, and me. But it was SUCH A LOVELY DAY, it felt like a blessing to be outside.

It still looks pretty messy and I still have to find a way to edge it so the pond liner is hidden under more natural elements. Sometimes garden projects take years to look pretty, but I'm not known for my patience.

Pic: The sun smiling on my labors. I love the heart-like indent at the top of the pond. MSU dorms in the distance.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

so very sari

I've been meaning to wear more saris to work, but it is almost always too cold during the teaching year in Michigan. But today was Honors Day, and I wanted to honor all the hard work by students by dressing up for their presentations + had to judge a set of awards + attend a child advocacy event + head to the fancy awards dinner later. (AND IT'S ALSO MY BOSS DAY!) 

So a sari it was.

Five yards of chiffon held together by some optimistic pleating-tucking into a petticoat, two safety pins, and prayers. It all held together great, but I did have to wake Big A up to button the back of my blouse for me. I have no idea how anyone could do that without help. 

Pic: My sweet colleague CP took a full-length pic of me in my office, crouching on the floor to "make me look taller." 💗 The sari and blouse came from my sweet aunt when we were in Bangalore last year. I may or may not have posted this on the secret Skirtathon page Sarah mentioned.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

I'm just over here

...with Max's heart-shaped schnoz, reading everything I can get my hands on, and grading all the things because it's that time in the world and in the semester.

I'm also taking hope from the "uninstructed" voters in Wisconsin today. I am not alone, and I hope our politicians will listen to us. In the meantime, there are people to love, work to do, and Arabic to learn.

It was an easy day today, overall--the peskiest thing was spending an hour in the car to drop off "meal-train" food. Usually, it would take 20 minutes, but the family had requested it at 5, so I got enmeshed in rush-hour traffic. 

Pic: Max (and Huckie behind him) keeping me warm, soft, and sane. 

(Forgive the lighting... Big A and Nu like a red palette for the rumpus room lighting. It's a bit like being in The Shining in the evenings.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Poetry Hour: Mosab Abu Toha

I tuned into the Mosab Abu Toha event for an hour or so during a convenient break between classes and meetings. 

It was an amazing outpouring of solidarity and poetry. He read from Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear and talked about the new sounds he could add to his titular poem.

Pic: A friend grabbed a screenshot of me in a tile right next to Toha's. Something to treasure.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

polish and stories

Pic: The GFs got together for nail polish. (I'm the one bottom center with clear polish.) 

On the surface, everyone is okay. But as we talked, things about relationships, kids, jobs, coworkers, health, hopes, family, holidays, parents, and fears, kept coming up. And laughs. Plenty of laughs. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

seeing red

Lysne Beckwith Tait, founder of Helping Women Period, presented to my WGS students today. She also set up a "menstrual products petting zoo" in class for people to check out. As she rightly pointed out, when menstrual cups, discs, and undies are in packaging, it is difficult to figure out if one would be comfortable using them.

I absolutely love the story of the growth of the organization--it started out after a conversation with friends and now influences, advocates, and educates--it was instrumental in repealing our tampon tax last year, for instance. Lysne's book Instigator: Creating Change Without Being the Loudest Voice in the Room comes out later this year, and I can't wait!

Pic: Saying goodbye to Lysne in the parking lot. Of course, the Helping Women Period van is red. Mid-cycle red.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

companion song

desire turning into decision 
at once terrifying, free
I am moved

into the path of turning knives
their rhythms familiar
I am here

afraid of turning the page
my mind un-scrolling
I am opened

like a hinge into the world
I've been here before--
I return once more
Pic: Max and Huck, my writing companions, snoozing in the sunshine.

Monday, March 04, 2024

I march forth

It's only my fourth year of knowing my birthday doubles as "March Forth Day," but I'm carpeing everything I can out of the diem. 

It's the Monday after break, so there was tons to do. Plus, I had to send an overdue change of schedule postponing everything to both the publisher and editor. But I owned up and did that like a grown-up. Then I found some time to take myself out for a long walk and a long soak and read for an hour amidst my plants. 

Evening was dinner with the fam at Ruckus Ramen, and then back home for presents and cakes (pistachio-raspberry-lemon + a Whole Foods Chantilly cream with fruit as At is allergic to pistachios.)

I am ever so grateful for every minute of this. 

Pic: At's friend H took this picture of us (Big A, Nu, me, At). H also drew me a "three-legged cat" for my birthday, which I know I will hang on to for a while because... memories. 

Friday, March 01, 2024

Five thoughts and things on Friday

1)      If yesterday's post was blessedly whine-free about Gaza, it was because I whined on FB, where I've mostly absented myself since October, instead. And then my people stepped in full of strength and sympathy and support. How can I not believe in the potential of this world when I'm surrounded by so much kindness and love?

   2)     Almost too much love. Just kidding...

  3)     But actually, I was late getting home because a workplace chat went on and on and then late to book club because Big A kept on prolonging our soak-and-chat and late getting home to dinner because there was pre-birthday cake and jollities at book club and then late for a friend's pooja because the dinner I made (couscous salad with almonds, felafel, and a ton of veggies, + the spicy feta dip a book club friend insisted I take home) was amusingly deemed merely "a side" so Big A got some shawarma wraps to top it off. At that point, I decided it would be best just to send my regrets to the pooja people. And so I did.

4)      I also got all the plant care, cleaning, and settling done today so I can take the rest of the weekend off to relax and luxuriate in birthday love and prep for reentry into the work week. 

5)       Pic: A snapshot of my very whiny FB post. Soc med circles are so weird. I bet if this was on Twitter, someone would have told me to STFU already.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

in solidarity

Overwhelmed by the sacrifice of Aaron Bushnell, which I had barely begun to process yesterday.


What an empathetic, sincere, radical, and idealistic soul... What a lesson in being true to his conscience and his long history of mutual aid. He had recently been deployed to Israel as a U.S. airman, and I want to question why we're getting involved in the fighting rather than the peacemaking too.

Speaking of which, nearly 100,000 people in Michigan voted "uncommitted" today to challenge U.S. complicity in the Palestinian genocide... the goal had been to get 10K votes. I dislike how the media has painted this as an "Arab-American and Muslim" issue when it's really a humanitarian issue. So yes, Dearborn, which has a large Arab-American population, voted approx. 75% uncommitted, but Washtenaw, which has no significant Arab-American presence, also voted approx. 25% uncommitted. I don't have numbers for Ingham where Big A, At, and I voted. The "Listen to Michigan" campaign was started just about three weeks ago, so this is impressive.

Aaron Bushnell's sacrifice and the uncommitted votes are also a hopeful sign of humanitarian solidarity and moral clarity for me. It is difficult to go on day after day knowing we're actively vetoing ceasefires and sending arms to kill civilians but having to act like everything is normal.

Pic: I was at work today, and wanted to get a closeup of the "touchstone" LK made me--it is actually beautifully planed wood with copper insets that are almost like constellations. But then I got a bit distracted by the sunlight filtering through my office plants. The "toys" are a miniature Freedom Rider bus that KB gave me from her visit to the Legacy Museum and an auto-rickshaw my mom gave me after Nu and I had an adventure in one last year. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

that's what they said...

I love when we're at dinner and random stuff comes up. Hilarious accidental texts, work wins and woes, getting into AP classes, general advice in both generational directions, stories about parents, "do-you-remember-whens," hair compliments, everyone making the same joke about Nu's American Idiot tee at different times, Huck and Max going crazy for samosa wrapper crumbs, everyone finding different ways to warn me not to succumb to AI-generated grief tech to deal with the anniversary of Scout's passing, plans for the week, the barely-contained excitement about my upcoming birthday... 

I love these people so, so much and am so grateful for this life with them.

Pic: A big, squeezy hug at the end of dinner. Nu, Big A, At.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

on a break (Winter Break)

It was so rude of Big A to cheerily text me "one more year" on New Year's day and then explain that in 2025 Nu would be off to college. I swear he has been dreaming about child-free living (precisely what I dread) for a long time now.

But we're on Winter Break at work and Nu had all-day plans with friends, so Big A and I took off by ourselves. We walked to the Breslin Center to watch the MSU women's basketball team post a 93-57 win over Rutgers, detoured to the horticultural gardens to see the orchid show, and then ended up at our favorite Sushi place before walking home to Huck and Max with our leftovers. I have to admit it was pretty nice and I can see us doing some version of this for a few decades after the kids are independent. 

Pic: I gave Big A matching Spartan hats at Christmas and promised to go to a game with him (he loves basketball). He got us tickets for a women's game because he knew I'd want to support the women's team. 

Saturday, February 10, 2024

seven on Saturday

1. Happy Lunar New Year! At a New Year celebration lunch this afternoon, EM told me we're supposed to rest today and do a minimal amount of work tomorrow. I can do that! 

2. The kids got little red envelopes of cash. I'm so touched when work friends and family friends treat my nearly grown-ass kids like their own niblings.

3. I got a nice ramble with L in Baker Woods today. It has been weeks since I hiked with L--She said she missed me, and I asked if it was my silliness she missed. "I missed all of it, Maya." She said diplomatically (and lovingly!). 

4. I got a long walk with Big A--it was grey and windy, but we did a "Super Sparty" and it felt nice to be able to stretch my legs after sitting at my desk all week.

5. At came to dinner tonight so I gave the kids their Valentine's Day presents a bit early. When will they be too old to get V-Day presents from me? I hope never.

6. In a first for us--we're now mooching off At. They subscribed to the Criterion Channel and logged us in on the big TV so we can watch it too. I like all of it.

7. Pic: The Red Cedar is kinda plain today. But the mallards are enjoying it and so are we.

Monday, February 05, 2024


We made it back to Michigan! Haven't seen the kids yet as I'm currently in the hospital waiting room while Big A has his exploratory procedures. I hope to see Big A's doc in a couple of hours for some answers/counsel. 

Big A was asked not eat anything for 36 hours, so I've been fasting alongside him in solidarity. We're totally going to demolish a brunch on our way back home. 

Pic: From yesterday--we're kind of wearing matching shirts! Out on the balcony of our hotel room with the brilliant azure sea and the El Arco rocks in the background. (I'm wearing my heavy winter jacket in the hospital's waiting room today.)

Thursday, February 01, 2024

"the days are long"

Cabo, San Lucas. 

Our wristbands are an open sesame to restaurants, bars, pools, clubs, spas, and tons of activities. 

All we've been doing is taking long walks together, carrying margaritas back to our room, napping, and figuring out our next restaurant every couple of hours.

And then when Big A is resting, I'm grading, monitoring my online class, liaising with colleagues, and answering emails.

I guess I can do this! (For another couple of days!)

Pic: We have funny elongated shadows!


Monday, January 29, 2024

the sisterhood of the caring hearts

I turned in my CASA report today ahead of my deadline. (I feel like a true grownup for not waiting until the last minute.)  

The kids in this particular case are very young and also extra affectionate and it's truly a delight to be around them. I couldn't meet the kids during the day because we were hosting a campus visit for one of our Writing Center Director candidates, so I met the kids at their therapist's this evening. While I was getting an update from their therapist, the eight-year-old and then the five-year-old came up to tell us that we looked "just like sisters."

It made both of us chuckle because their therapist is a very white lady with short hair and we look nothing alike. And then the kids looked a bit confused we didn't agree. The only thing the therapist and I have in common is that we are both safe adults who show them love and care. I wonder if that made us look "just like sisters" to these little ones who don't have enough safe adults in their lives.

Then that thought depressed me for a while. Kids deserve so much more.

Pic: I was invited to jump this "Ninja" course. I don't think I got it right even after many patient demonstrations.

puppy condo rules

Although I don't spend much time in there, our puppy "condo" is one of my favorite spaces. Max and Huckie dislike being in the...