Showing posts with label COVID-Vivid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-Vivid. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

one celebration at a time...

Happy International Women's Day!

Here's a pic from the annual MacCurdy House International Women's Day tea celebration today. I think it's the first one we've had in person since 2019. As always, great conversations and solid community building.

(Yes, I know it's Holi today too, but I got home so late from work... the plan is to celebrate it on Saturday when more of the family is home anyway.)

Saturday, February 11, 2023

trains, complaints, and all the feels

Last week when At was here for dinner, we watched White Noise, the new film based on Don DeLillo's 1980's novel. Earlier this week, I was shocked by how presciently that movie mimicked this week's train derailment in Ohio... I was pretty weirded out by how the news photo of the derailed cars looked identical to the movie scene with derailed cars. It turns out that some the people affected by the Ohio derailment actually acted in the film?!? That's a bit too 'life mimics art' for me.  (Also: our house is close to a train track, so my interest in these calamities tends to be emotional rather than rational.)

Today, I left the fam after Nu's Boss Day Sushi dinner to do drinks and a movie with girlfriends... I don't think I've done that since early 2020. I had dessert instead of a drink as I'd been working since 5 am and thought I might fall asleep if I had a drink. Guess what? I fell asleep anyway--it's difficult not to in those super comfy reclining seats. But that's ok. Being silly and chatty and loud was the point anyway--all that I got to do. 

Pic: Huck, Scout, Big A, At, and Nu in the rumpus room when I said goodbye to them.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

so long, farewell

Yellow Springs goodbyes are always hard, but a forlorn farewell committee baying and glaring morosely when we're just going to fetch takeout is a bit too much.

We're in YS for a long overdue Christmas with Grandma Sue and Grandpa John as they had Covid at regular Christmas time. 

Pic: Scout, Huck, and Izzy wondering if they'll ever see Big A and me again.
 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

double bubble

The reflection of the graffiti doubled how colorful that patch of the bridge looked as L and I came around the bend, and it reminded me of Laura Gilpin's poem "Two-headed Calf." 

L hadn't heard of this amazing poem, so I found it on my phone and read it to her with my voice breaking at the end.

Then we finished up our walk and I headed into a day of meetings meetings meetings meetings.

And some good news from this week: two poems  accepted to an anthology of pandemic-era writing, and also accepted--an academic book proposal that the editor who wrote back characterized as "gentle and kind."

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

great starts

My friend Oindrila Mukherjee's novel "The Dream Builders" was launched today. Here she is with her fabulous book and a cake version of it too. After the launch, reading, Q&A, book signing, and helping with clear up, we hung out with tapas and wine, celebrating until late with her local and Atlanta friends. 

I got home after midnight, and hung out with Scout and Huck for a while (they were the only ones up), too tired to actually go to bed. It's after 1:30 now, so I really should get up and go to bed as I'll have to wake up at 5/5:30 to help Nu get to school...

The first day of classes went well. For the first time in a while I don't have the same students in more than one class, so it felt very liberating to make the same silly icebreaker jokes without feeling like I'm repeating myself. Ha. 

(Oh... and I was one of the few people who was masked at the book launch. One of the guests who'd come from Atlanta, and WHO WORKS AT THE CDC, said they put away their mask because no one else was wearing one, but now that I was masking they felt more comfortable...  then they pulled their K-95 with a flourish and wore it. What the what?!?!)

Thursday, December 15, 2022

long + dull

It's not the temperatures I mind at all. The lack of sunshine might kill me though. I'm looking forward to the solstice so I can feel the edges of daylight lengthening its way into Spring soon

I've been awake for 24+ hours now... I woke up from a post wrapping party "nap" at 11 last night and have just stayed up finishing up the gift sorting and wrapping and "evening out" family presents so everyone gets the same number of  "presents" (five--down from eight last year). The presents are themed, so I can just move things around until it looks like everyone gets the same number of packages although the actual item count may vary. My kids won't care if one of them seems to get more, but this such an ingrained habit now. 

Drove in to work today and puttered around doing homey stuff--took some Christmas treats to my favorite offices on campus, watered my plants, cleaned my office, swept, dusted, tidied. Decluttered my desk and swapped out some table lamps. A colleague needs stuff for their new home, so it gave me some incentive to be ruthless about anything I'm not actively using. Finally got to straighten that one picture that hung crooked and drove me crazy. It wasn't in "my" bay, but the neighboring modern languages bay, which usually always has people in it--so I'd held off until today. Created a chatty nook just outside the English Bay by pulling together abandoned furniture in the hallway--it's a very nice focal point as one comes up by the east staircase now. Tidied up the English Bay sitting area, retired the old periodicals and copies of the college newspaper and arts journal, and rearranged student informational material. I've been told a couple of times that I should let housekeeping or student interns do this stuff rather than do it myself, so it felt good to do all the things without making people uncomfortable. I was such a good little elf. When people come back things will seem neater and nicer even if they can't put their finger on it. 

I got home to everyone (Big A, Scout, Huckie, and Nu) napping. I listened to old Tamil film music as I made us a gingery soup and cheesy corn muffins (jalapeΓ±os on top for the grownups) for dinner. I was happy to see Nu eat. He's been home sick for a couple of days: negative for Covid, but the poor baby had a fever and was miserable. He was finally well enough to go back drag himself to school today though. Winter break starts tomorrow, so thankfully, there'll be additional time to relax and recover more fully. 

Pic: A week's worth of cloudy days in the forecast. As dull as today's post!

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...
 

Monday, November 28, 2022

dear diary,

Messy, turbulent reentry into the work week today = not a single photo taken. I'm trying hard to stay calm and remind myself of all the big, small, and daily crises people are facing so I can look beyond the forgotten deadlines and damaged expectations cluttering up this last week of instruction. I always forgive these, but staying compassionate does feel challenging sometimes. Mantra: I'm neither the target nor the source of all this; I can let it flow past me. 

Small successes in getting budget approval for books to gift to our capstone students; workshopping final projects; two important sets of e-introductions--a DEI one (SJ-EM) and one for our MFA (SS-WA); finishing up the last of Thanksgiving by folding the pumpkin gravy and the roasted veggies into a sambhar; and a truly lucky and important breakthrough in my CASA case (like OMG, it was mind blowing, and I now know exactly how to frame my report) . 

Went to work with sunrise; headed home with a sickle moon in the sky. But that's ok + these days are short. Dinner with the fam, a snooze with my Scout, and then to bed. (I stayed till Big A fell asleep and then crept out of bed to read... memories of doing this every day with the kids when they were littler made me smile. Guess I do this still with Scout and Huck daily...)


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 24, 2022

thankful

These once baby people set the table and set us up for a good time. 

We usually do some version of saying what we're thankful for--sometimes filling whole sheets in alphabetical order. This time we went around the table taking turns with the alphabet. I  was very embarrassed when I got a bit stuck on "O." 

Also, I was a pill trying to edit people's choices: "say you're thankful for "Dad."" Thankfully, my family loves me and thinks I'm hilarious. 

And then, my darlings started with an abecedary of insults... we couldn't think of anything for "G." 

Later, a quick walk down the street, crisp with leaves and fragrant with neighbors' wood stoves, to join LB and TB's riotous feast where we saw old friends and lots of new people. At was a bit of a rockstar what with their appearance in Michael Moore's Substack and what not. And then everyone piled into the car to take At back to their place. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunday stream (of consciousness )

Woke up slowly this morning, enjoying the darkness, then a quiet sunrise, then my tea, and meditation before having to talk to anyone.

Some quick chats with my India fam and early-rising friends and then on to the day in earnest. 

Despite my no-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving rule, I've made progress on a couple of adopt-a-family and some welcome boxes for refugees. Less altruistically,  I ordered some tees and stickers for the fam at TeePublic. I'm blanking on what to get people this year--I don't think people actually need anything and I'm tired of things not being used. I'd rather give to causes--the kids really seem to appreciate that more than anything else, anyway.

Nu changed his mind on going to UU so I headed out there by myself today. NB, one of Nu's friends, did the reading for all ages beautifully--signing as they read. So for a while there were two people signing in ASL on the dais, and it was very balletic. I really do want to learn ASL. I wished Nu had come... to see NB and also because it was apple cider-cinnamon donut communion day. Also really--what could be more "real Michigan" than revering apple cider and cinnamon donuts?

An afternoon visit to the Broad with RS and LB, for the Zaha Hadid retrospective where--surprise--my UU pastor was also there. Back to mine for tea and a debrief with R and L and then on to dinner and cuddles with Nu, Scout, and Huck. 

(I CANNOT WAIT FOR BIG A TO COME BACK ON WEDNESDAY.)

Looking ahead, I'll be back at work tomorrow, where the semester is beginning to find closure. I'm so chuffed when we get to this part of the term and students are finding their feet with research work and my job seems more supportive than instructional. 

Pic: Our group at The Broad Art Museum this afternoon. 

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.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

getting by

Lots of obstacles lately, but I'm getting by with lots of help from friends and family.

And also, a bit of my internal Pollyanna and my mantra that things "could be worse." 

I'm grateful this weekend to EM who reminded me that the spate of stress in the last few months "is not normal." And to BSL who told me that while my gratitude was great, I shouldn't "minimize what is happening" to me either. Noted. (I am really tired of sounding and seeming like such a downer these days though.)

Big A is hanging in there, fending for himself, and ordering delivery. Still sick.

Pic: BSL and I had to scramble over these fallen trees in Sanford Woods. It seemed metaphorically connected to this post. 

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.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

"L(ove)" Notes

  • L and I were both feeling feeble and fragile (L is post-Covid and I'm post-Covid-shot) so we went for a gentle stroll in the woods behind L's house. I thought this turn in the river was absolutely breathtaking. 
  • L is just the best at sharing her view and the river--she lets the whole street keep their kayaks in her yard.
  • Also, when I called my mom this morning, I got a whole carful of aunts and uncles, which was fun. When I told my mom that I was sick from the Covid booster, she said, "Oh, you did that? We're not even wearing masks over here, everyone is fine." My mom does her own thing, so I didn't say anything. However, when I archly relayed this story to L, she rightly pointed out that *I* had had a bunch of people in my house for pooja a week ago and that everyone has their own magical thinking about Covid. She's not a friend who always agrees with me πŸ˜ƒ.
  • Nu needed some extra kindness today, and L was the one to give it to him when he brought L some salad for dinner.

Friday, October 14, 2022

a lost day

Me and my disproportionate Covid shot reactions. Ha.

I woke up at my usual time to make Nu breakfast, and then fell asleep on the sofa.

Then I went to bed for the rest of the day.

That's it. That was my whole day.

Pic: Sanford Woods from earlier in the week.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

"there and back again"

Usually our hikes are fun and funny excursions, but a couple of times this week, Big A and I have come back from our trip to Sparty mad at each other. It's always the same thing too: he thinks we should all move to Milwaukee; I think not. 

I get that I make a fraction of what he does, but I'm actually the one who enjoys their job. Plus, Nu is halfway through high school (muddled though the experience has been); At is close by (at least for now); and Scout and Huck are comfortable where we are now (and how much they'd enjoy the yard was one of the reasons we moved here).

On the other hand, I miss him; I get how tedious the travel to and fro is for him; and I know having a second home and travel/commuting adds to our expenses...

Anyway... 

Nu and I got our boosters and flu shots. I'm not feeling like a zombie yet!

Pic: Fall color along the Red Cedar.
 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

"hit me with your best shot"

Today was gray and rainy and full of work. But yesterday was a lovely hike with LB and RS heading west along the Red Cedar. It was my first real hike with L since her bout of Covid, and I loved it so much.

And now we're at midterm break.

I scheduled my Covid booster shots and flu shot, but am a bit sad knowing I'm about to lose at least two days of midterm break to my usual severe post-vaccination response. That sucks so bad, but it's the responsible thing to do. Perhaps I'll reward myself with a massage next week. 

And also, Big A encouraged me to get it now because he's home until Monday and "can take care of me." πŸ₯° (And then he ruined it by saying usually all he has to do is periodically poke me to make sure I'm still alive. πŸ™ƒ)

Saturday, October 01, 2022

celebration worthy

I loved how yesterday turned out... after SD and I got dressed in our saris, we waited about ten minutes wondering if anyone would show up at all. 

Then suddenly, it was nonstop chatter, laughter, dance, and dandia... seeing conversations and connections develop between my friends from different parts of my life.

I did all the saris in this early group... and there were at least two more groups by the end of the night. 

(Speaking of the end of the night--it was orchestrated by SD--oh, how I love SD--turning off the music and thanking people for coming. πŸ’—πŸ˜‚)
 

boop

Some days are just about Huckleberry sticking out their tongue and trying to boop you on the nose.  That's all I have in me today.