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

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 😃.
  • 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." 🥰 (And then he ruined it by saying usually all he has to do is periodically poke me to make sure I'm still alive. 🙃)

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. 💗😂)
 

Friday, September 30, 2022

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight!


"Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are ready for guests!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

(peek)

I'm not ready for what people call "peak colors" and "peak fall" yet, but this tiny peek is okay by me. I've kinda missed the outdoors.

I haven't been on any long treks recently. L, who's the person with whom I've hiked the most in the last three years, was quite sick with Covid and I couldn't bear to be on any of our usual paths without her.

However, Big A (my second-best in this regard) was here on another 36-hour visit today, so we went for 'a full Sparty' at a very brisk pace and solved all our summer problems (theoretically at least)!

Pic: The Red Cedar with hints of yellow and red in the bordering foliage. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Six on a Sunday

*     Pic: Just a silly picture Nu and I took the other day. We like squirrels. And we like how this one seems to have claimed a local church. 

*     Speaking of church--UU was one of our first stops  today. Nu is helping in the little kids' room instead of doing R.E. with his own set and liking it. Also, the MI Lieutenant Governor was at the service and everyone waved to him. Singing has been back for a while, and I'm loving it.

*     Between meeting CF (massage) and BES (dinner prep) and EM (birthday celebration) in person this weekend and  marathon text threads and FaceTimes with the cousins, fam, and friends--It was a rather intense social weekend.

*     On the other hand, I did a TON of work today with new students. It's a Sunday, but then it's the start of the semester and they're new and seemed a bit lost, so... 

*     All the syllabuses and diagnostics for tomorrow are uploaded on Canvas. So there's nothing left to do but get some sleep, hope the documents stay stable, and look forward to tomorrow with that classic first-day-combination of jittery excitement and flustery edginess. 

*     Bye-bye sabbatical!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Day #1 Notes

Nu woke up early and was ready for school in plenty of time. But still too nervy to take a formal "first day of school" pic, so this is what I got as he headed for the school bus. (Pic okayed by Nu.) I guess we're out of practice; Nu napped for hours after getting back from a 4-hour school half-day.

It was a busy work day for me made passable by good work friends and their side chats, emails, calls, and also genius gifs and memes they made themselves. 

At the end of the day, it was nice to hang out out with Big A (even if only on Portal) and he was happy to find and open up his Boss Day present (which I'd hidden in a cabinet while we were in MKE). Scout and Huck predictably got excited for treats when they heard Nu and me sing the "Boss Day Song" (which is just the regular "Happy Birthday" repurposed). I think they're beginning to recognize Big A's voice on the Portal and think Dada "lives in a box now." Or at least that's the understanding we've assigned to them.

And finally, I have a new CASA case with four children--it sounds daunting and difficult to take on at this moment... but I keep thinking how much more difficult for the kids themselves... And so I will.

Monday, August 22, 2022

just another manic Monday

This picture was shared on the college's social media, so I suppose it's ok to share. I was going to joke about looking for me on the far left in this picture... but I can actually espy myself (it helps that I'm so brown and am wearing a mask).  

No one at work said a thing about my facial piercings, which I took as a sign that people either didn't notice it or were too freaked out by it. I miss besties KB, JG, CF being at work because they would totally have blurted out questions... and it would be fun coming from them.

Long day: lots of new info and expectations for the upcoming year + some initial prep for a travel course over boxed lunches with CC.

Then I took care of my babies. Nu wanted to spend a couple of hours at the mall with a friend (I counted mall-walking as exercise today); drove to At's Chipotle to morale boost the unionizing crew with some old-fashioned conversation (all the "Union Strong!" orders I'd been placing via the app for $1.67 chips kept showing up with my name on it--unsure of that's a glitch or corporate interference); and now I'm curled up with Scout and Huck. Scout just did his happy sigh, so all is right with the world in this moment.

Friday, August 19, 2022

also new...

Sometime last weekend when I was taking stock of the summer (and its disappointments) I woke up one morning convinced that what would make things better would be (a) a Costco membership (b) a piercing. 

I managed to talk myself out of the Costco--I think we'd be in danger of wasting food if we bought in Costco quantities. But the feeling about the piercing didn't go away...

And so I made an appointment. When the time came, I wanted to wimp out, but Nu said I was already old and not getting any younger and if I wanted to do something I should do it now.  It was the best advice. 

(Nu also came to the appointment with me, helped me choose jewelry, and held my hand when I wanted...)

And now I have bilateral eyebrow piercings.

I like them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

only connect


so open that door 
or open this book
I open my mouth 
wait for an answer 
                           ...answer always already  
                           the knocking of my heart
                            promises folding around  
                             surrounding me like love
                                                               ...love you, for I love you 
                                                                 and I know how I love you
                                                               every one of you, I know you
                                                               can remind me of no one else 


Pic: Picnic at KV's... so many generations of women and children. I appreciated this lovely summer afternoon with Nu: destressing, snacking, reconnecting, and cuddling babies. (It was especially welcome after an all-morning, in-person meeting for our departmental re-visioning.)

simply

A cold day, but beautiful.  Walks with some of my favorite people: L, Big A,  me... Pic: An icy Red Cedar River