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

Monday, February 06, 2023

un-Monday

It felt a bit like I was playing hooky today. 

After I dropped Big A off at the train station and my precious Bluey car off at the dealership for battery updates, L picked me up and we headed to Ted Black Woods for a hike. It was beautiful but super icy, so I was glad L had brought trekking poles for us to use... they saved me from wiping out so many times and made me feel like an all-weather champ. I'm wondering if I should put trekking poles on my otherwise empty birthday list...

I was back by 10:30 to hold meetings and work online for the day, so I got some stuff done. But I did spend nearly two hours stressing that the courtesy shuttle wouldn't pick me up in time for me to pick up Nu and then panicking when it didn't, so there was wasted time. The driver who finally picked me up in the nick of time was third-generation Lebanese and I enjoyed our talk about diasporas. (I asked him about the audio book he'd turned off when I got in--books are such a passport to conversation!)

Back home things fell into dinner, kid time, and class prep mode, but it still feels like an atypical Monday and a bit unsettling. It's not helping that I can't stop humming Young the Giant's "The Walk Home" with its lonely heartbreak and its messy homage to the wind telephone.

Pic: L's sneak pic of me using her poles at Ted Black Woods.

 

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

"a good-good day"

We've had such a grey start to the year, so when I saw the sun come up this morning, it already felt like the start of a good day...

Then... I acted on my impulse (and the lovely Nicole's encouragement) and auditioned for Sistrum, the Lansing Women's Chorus today. I'm in! (I think they take everyone who wants to sing 🙂.) 

And then... Big A signed the contract with a Michigan-based hospital! It'll take him until the next academic year (July) to transition out of Medical College of Wisconsin, but he'll be back at home full-time after that! Huge pay-cut and all, I'm so ready for this!

Pic: Sunrise through our only eastern window. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

no balance

Morning: A long visit with the CASA kids I advocate for.

Evening: A long dinner with At, Nu, Scout, and Huck.

My heart sore from thinking about Tyre Nichols calling for his mother. 

My back sore from shoveling our long driveway free of snow. 


Thursday, January 19, 2023

five pups tonight

I spent many hours on the sofa in post-pizza and post-teaching lassitude this evening, accompanied by Scout (at my hip) and Huck (by my feet) and Floof (on the bannister). The fourth pup is me ("Pup," "Puppy," and "Princess Puppy Dog" have been nicknames from different loved ones--one of whom has a birthday today). 

The fifth pup is in this poem by Charles Simic (Simic died recently and I've been thinking of this poem about how we don't deserve dogs--or war--a lot). 

On this Very Street in Belgrade

Your mother carried you

Out of the smoking ruins of a building

And set you down on this sidewalk

Like a doll bundled in burnt rags,

Where you now stood years later

Talking to a homeless dog,

Half-hidden behind a parked car,

His eyes brimming with hope

As he inched forward, ready for the worst.

 

Saturday, January 07, 2023

alignments

At came to dinner and a cuddle (pictured) today. 

Because I'd just posted about cuddly Scout, It reminded me how despite being different species, our babies Scout and At are alike and Huck and Nu are alike. 

If we moved up a generation, Scout, At, and I are alike and Huck, Nu, and Big A are alike. The way we act, respond, our temperaments, almost everything. The first set tends to be smiley, gentle, tender; the second set tends to be serious, ferocious, and staunch. In a crisis, you want the second set--they're the ones who'll stare people down (Nu), stick to a plan (Huck), and bark orders (Big A). 

Not sure how much of this is true, how much of this is forcing some absolute structure on to truth, and how much of this is pure family myth-making and mythology. 

Anyway, it was a good cuddle, and I'll have to make it do for a while. Next week, At is off to "a cabin in the suburbs" with some college friends.
 

Friday, January 06, 2023

school friends

I'm glad it's this way. 

Lunch date with JG hosting and KB visiting this afternoon. JG used these pretty bracelets (mine serendipitously matched my sweater!) as napkin holders and after we'd all exclaimed and immediately put them on, someone claimed the bracelets had sisterly solidarity power, so we smushed the bracelets together to activate.

I want to always be this way, with dreams and silliness and love. With KB wrapping a Prince magnet she found in the airport for me in colorful magazine paper, with JG calling me as I drove home to talk some more and keep me company. For being able to share details about my family's tough year, and to have plans for road trips. 

We're not "school friends" formed in the crucibles of elementary/high school/undergrad/grad school, but each of us arrived at our teaching institution in different decades and found each other. I'll always push back against the rhetoric of "we're like a family" in the workplace, but work is where we meet our kin(d) sometimes. I'm grateful for all of this.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

the long arc (a poem for Scout)

I keep walking backwards 
from want to hope
they tell me I use 
"hope" to cope

my pulse beats with regret 
and distress though
it's true they too 
worship hope 

I know I keep disappearing
into a gratefulness
parroting prayers
to survive

remembering to thank ancestors 
(the ones that petted wolves)
who knew love would
arrive as you 
------------------------------------------------
Pic: Scout the champion snuggler... his arm over my leg 😍

Sunday, January 01, 2023

this day doesn't have to mean anything about the year to come...

I'm reminding myself that nothing about today magically repeats 364 times. 

On the surface, lots of sweet things about today: a long hike with Big A, another hike by myself, a long chat with my baby sis, a small hangout with LB and TB, a long bubbly soak with Big A, a sweet treat delivered by L, dinner with the fam, a travel board game after dinner, and puppy + human cuddles throughout. 

But... I had also wanted to fit in some yoga, which didn't happen and I never even made it to the month-long online "Binders" writing workshop that started today. It was as though the unrelenting greyness of the cloudy day we had here seeped into everything I enjoy.

Also, I'm still in my reread of Anna Karenina and (a) I want to be done and reading something else especially since... (b) the love affair has dwindled into depressing territory and... (c) I still glaze over when Levin goes on about cooperative farming (sorry about that to the socialists in my life). 

Finally, I got a rejection on something I'd submitted via Submittable. I was sad for a while, then I just went ahead and submitted to two other places. I do hope I can keep that kind of obstinate energy going all year long. 

Pic: Playing "Around the World." Quite challenging! Nu won this evening's game. I better go commit some flags to memory before we play again. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Farewell, 2022

A good last day with two long walks with LB and BSL to round off the year. 

A raucous dinner time with Scout and Huck underfoot, and Nu, At, and Big A at the counter for parathas--the person waiting for me to finish the next paratha were in charge of running a round of Truth or Dare. Some calls to grandparents, the traditional new year presents (calendars and something inspiring), a few eps of Joe Pera... and then At was off to a show with friends, Nu was on with friends online, and I joined PM's write-in for the new year on Slack (where I started and abandoned a poem based on PM's prompt). 

And then, as Big A, Scout and Huck napped inches away from me, it was 2023. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

in the plot to continue

here I am safe, fattening on whatever I can find 
remembering what it used be like out there 
the hunger spreading like an empty field 

where I kept making the same skeletal mistake 
over and over like the single kernel from 
which whole fields once generated 

greater than any winter ripening is the beauty
of appetite, my favorite part of the future 
formidable as seeds springing up 

Pic: A plump red cardinal; MSU Riverwalk with Big A.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

a "class" picture

My capstone students did such great work on their finals this week. 

I look forward to all the conference presentations that are going to evolve out of their work here over the next few months...
 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

outtake

I used the 20 minutes At stopped by (while on a call!) to get everyone into matching holiday jammies for an impromptu shoot so I could start working on the holiday card. 

I usually have so many pictures for the card and calendars, but this year between Nu's hospitalizations, Big A's "commute," and At being so busy, I just haven't been taking as many photographs as I usually do. 

Feels like this year went by really fast too.

Pic: Beginning of the video we shot; I'll grab a frame later for the card. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Five on a Friday

1) Worked on finishing yesterday's leftovers and bought absolutely nothing today as usual. 

2) (I don't judge people who Black Friday since learning, that for many families, it's a chance to buy things that may otherwise be outside the budget. Also, I think my fam's at a different place as we've reached a stage where neither kids nor grownups need a lot. Yes, I may previously have been judge-y about going straight from being thankful to buying more crap the very next day.)

3) Exactly one month to Christmas now and I think I have a good idea of what everyone is getting. I may add a bookmark or sticker here and there, but for the most part I think it's handled. 

4) I was invited to a conference in Alexandria (Egypt!!) and I think I'm going? It's in March so there's plenty of time for things to get canceled/for me to flake out and change my mind. But I've always wanted to see the pyramids, so I've said a tentative yes.

5) Pic: Lots of early morning walks with Big A now that he's here. Yay!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

strike to the heart

I was on an early morning hike with L as the rest of the workday was all meetings all day. 

When I glanced at my phone to check on time, I saw At had texted to say that he was going to be supporting striking Starbucks workers (#RedCupRebellion) on the picket line and had invited the fam to come too. I thought his text said 10-5, and was relieved because I could truthfully tell him I was going to be super busy... but then I saw he'd said 5-10... 

So I put on some snow boots and headed out on foot to the East Lansing Starbucks and hung out with At (whom I've missed so much especially since I went to Minneapolis and missed our weekly family dinner) and also his comrades for a while. They seemed to have lots of support via friendly honks.

At was in his canvas jacket and had shaved his impressive beard (bad timing as Nu said); I haven't seen this avatar of At's since HS, I think! I suggested a warmer coat and better gloves for outside work and offered to get him some from home, but he refused (even as he visibly shivered). So I reined in the rest of my mom prattle to just be there in the moment with my idealistic, altruistic, accomplished (and shivering) child. 

As we stood in the storm catching mouthfuls of snow as we talked, At remembered an anecdote (him in elementary school, in a hoodie, littler kid scared of him; I de-hoodie him and kiss his cheek, I ruined his cred). He said he'd been mad about it then, but thinks it's cute now.

Cute Pic: At's DSA colleague took this one. I love that At's sign says "All I want for Christmas is Solidarity" and mine says "Solidarity."

Monday, November 14, 2022

a Madrasi madcap history in pictures

One of the many, many reasons I love going to NWSA is because SR and I have been taking pictures in hats/headgear and calling it our "Madrasi Madcap series" because both of us have Madras (now known as Chennai but not while we were growing up) connections.

We hadn't been able to since 2019 as the 2020 conference was canceled and 2021 was online only. So we got back to it this year: it feels good to have fun.

In other news, I feel better AND continue to test -ve for Covid. Also: was reunited with all my loves and three of my classes yesterday, took Nu to the dentist, bid Big A goodbye for a week, and just generally jumped right back in to post-conference life. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

limbo

On my way back home. Here's a view from the airplane--Minneapolis below, serene and radiant cloudscape above, and me in the middle.

I have a hoarse throat (too much talking/Covid); a headache (not enough sleep + lots of stress/Covid); and back and body aches (too many books from the book exhibition in my backpack/Covid).

I'm double KN-95 masked (just in case) and there are no tests available at the airport. So I guess time and the Covid tests sitting in the guest bathroom at home will tell.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

that's all, folks


This is it: the highlight of my day/week/month...
I'll remember her kind and complimentary words forever.

Pic: with Angela Y. Davis. #NWSA2022

Friday, November 04, 2022

"look for the helpers"

Scout and Huck aren't really helping here while I'm trying to fit some yoga into a crazy-busy day. 🥰

And also, Mr. Roger's message for kids isn't really the best thing for grown ass adults...

But I've been so lucky with helpers lately whether it's EM shouldering more of our collaborative work than she needs to, people at work cutting me a whole lot of slack around after-hours responsibilities, all the people reaching out in support, or Nu making the best sandwich I've ever eaten (for my Boss Day today).

Things might not be great right now, but everyone in my life understands and is trying to help. I'm so grateful for that.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

it was going to be a good day

The roofers are finally gone/done (for now at least). So I did hours of yard work to celebrate the removal of the scaffolding that killed my plants. After living under tarps and boarded up skylights since June, it was glorious to clear up the tea garden and hang out in the sunshine with Scout and Huck.

Then Big A called to say he was sick and then it turned out he has Covid--again. (He'd had it May 2020 when he went to help out in NYC.) I kind of want to go to Milwaukee and bring him home, but he thinks he should quarantine in place.

Now I can't think about anything except how he's there all by himself with no one to help.

Friday, October 28, 2022

muses... musings...

StephLove commented that it must be inspiring to live close to some beautiful woods. It's true. I'm lucky to live so close to Sanford, Baker, and Edy. Even bounded by arterial roads, apartment complexes, and campus buildings--once inside those woods, everything else falls away and it feels like pure forest bathing

Every year, I can't stop taking pictures of fall woods! This is Baker Woods with L yesterday. 

It was cold when we started out and all I had on was a cardigan (I wanted to look presentable for the meeting I had scheduled soon after our return), but L marched me back into the house so I could get my puffy walking coat. That was a good decision. I once cried when we were out walking because I was cold, so L has been a bit vigilant about making sure I am warmly layered since then.

We swung by the Horticultural Gardens to see the brick installed in honor of LB and TB's wedding anniversary and did a small loop in Baker woods before heading back home. Then meetings, prep, Nu, Scout, Huck, etc. But that hour in the woods stayed with me and filled me.

I was supposed to host BSL and EM for pizza and a movie tonight. But after teaching, independent study advising, a ton of paperwork for Spring term + the honorary induction, and a nearly two-hour long faculty meeting that did not follow a clear agenda, I had the beginnings of a headache and had to bail. I'm so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. 
 

how CAN the kids be alright?

Nu had just raised their hand to answer a question in Spanish class; I'd just landed in my office and poured myself my first cup of tea....