Showing posts with label Commute. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Commute. Show all posts

Friday, December 02, 2022

wildest dreams: Taylor, Judy, Betty, Nu

Nu had to come to Alma with me to see the dentist, so there was a lot of Taylor Swift on our commute. I really wish I could have scored some Taylor Swift concert tickets as a Christmas present for Nu, but the online lines were interminable and the price was prohibitive--more expensive than any present I've ever bought anyone, probably. After a point, I just gave up.

But one of Nu's other dreams came true today--he was able to spend some time with Judy and Betty--MB's brindled mice. Nu has always loved mice--until today only in theory and as stuffed animals--and was amazingly gentle and confident playing with them. Judy and Betty--named for the sisters in White Christmas will retire from their work as lures for the kestrels MB is banding--so their job is to act cute and tasty--at the end of Jan. At which point, MB would like to offer them to Nu as a present.  It'll be an uphill battle convincing Big A, but Nu and I together can be pretty formidable. (I'm terrified and ick-ed by mice, frankly; but Nu enjoys them so much.)

Pic: Nu with Judy.

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...)


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. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

gathering


At is headed over after his meetings and will spend the night here.

Big A is on his way home and will spend a week here. 

This is the part of the holiday I absolutely love. Nu, Scout, and Huck are pretty excited too.

Pic: Screenshot of a text from Big A. That isn't Huckie in the car, it's Mr. Flooferson (a stuffie the family gave Big A as a silly gift for his birthday last month).

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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

one big (and lots of small) thing(s) done

The honorary inductions went beautifully. The student EC-led ceremony was perfection and my behind-the scenes-work paid off in a seamless and stress-free way. 

That's one big thing off my calendar--after the NWSA convention is done next week, I'll have so much less on my plate from a work standpoint!

I scheduled a ton of meetings after my three classes because I was going to be staying late for the induction anyway (five meetings actually: one social, one committee, one curricular, one NWSA, and one financial). I'm proudest about the financial one. I now know how to file an expense report versus hoping someone from the financial office will rescue me--not even dreading the filing deadline tomorrow, because it's already all done!

I went to work in early morning mists and drove home with a brilliant half moon. At had hung out with Nu while I was at the work thing. So I got to see and hug all four kids when I got home. (I'll never stop wishing this happened every day.) Then I chatted with At as we folded his laundry and I dropped him back to his place in Lansing. Time to relax with a big bowl of biriyani (I made it 24 hours ago for At's Boss Day today) and whatever bad show I can rustle up. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

tiny, new habit

A new-ish thing I've been doing with Scout and Huck--early morning walks. It's just 20 minutes, and it's a multitasking beauty. It lets me make sure that Nu's walk to the school bus stop is a bit safer + see that Nu gets on the bus, I get to see beautifully starry skies, and of course these guys love it! There's so much excitement from the moment I pull on sweats over my pajamas and clip their leashes. 

If we pass by the bus stop at the right time, Nu'll say hello to Scout and Huck and they'll get so excited about it because it's IN THE STREET and there are OTHER KIDS!! After the big, yellow school bus takes Nu, we race home. Then... 20-mins later, I'm on the road to work.

But I get to do one fun thing with the babies before the to-do list on my calendar. 

Pic: Scout and Huck and their mid-morning snooze. My day didn't look like this... but this is certainly the dream.

Monday, October 31, 2022

barely a boo

Such a quiet Halloween around here! I just got these jack o' lanterns out in time. We usually decorate the intervening week between Big A's birthday and the day, but this year Diwali was in that week too, so I decided to go v e r y slow. 

At was at a conference, Nu was going to "couples-costume" it with a friend but then they decided not to. I wore one devil's horn at work (half devil, half child in a tongue-in-cheek literary ref). 

It was raining this evening on our quiet street and we got NO trick or treaters. 

Boo.

(Perking up now close to the witching hour watching [via YouTube] fabulously costumed students doing a funny and spooky concert in the college chapel. Looks like a totally full house over there.)

Monday, October 17, 2022

autumnal

Long (good!) teaching day. It's like clockwork: midterm comes around and I realize I love my students. Things have been difficult at home this year, so I worried I wouldn't be able to connect... but Whoomp, There It Is! "I'm taking it back to the old school/'cos I'm an old fool." I'm glad to know my heart still works.

Big A is back in MKE; Nu hung out at a friend's until I got home; roofers didn't show again; I got to see At on a live podcast last night; Nu and I got most things checked off our list today. There are some yays in there. 

Pic: Scout calling Nu to come in for dinner.

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.
 

Thursday, October 06, 2022

people all over the world

Our roundtable went well. It's part of a larger project, so it was great to know that other teachers were interested in having this conversation as well. 

EM and I treated ourselves to a poke bowls for dinner and then headed off to our rooms for quiet time. I'm loving my grown up quiet time.

But suddenly I started thinking about how my fam is currently spread out across three states (me in Indiana, At in Michigan, Big A with Nu, Scout, and Huck in his apartment in Wisconsin) and sleep fled. 

And then I started thinking about my parents on the other side of the world in Bangalore, my sister on her vacation in Goa, my mom and her sisters heading off to Pondycherry for the pooja soon, and so on and so on... I stayed up for a a long time. I'm hilarious.

Pic: Big A's pic of the pups in bed in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

tripping

Taught all my three classes today, then drove back home, packed for about 25 minutes, took two meetings back-to-back from 4-5 pm, bid hurried goodbyes to Nu, Scout, Huck, and Big A, and was on the road with EM by 5:08 pm.

We're off to Purdue U to present on our transdisciplinarity and pedagogies of hope project at a roundtable. Since that's a mouthful--we usually refer to it as our "Hope-O-Calypse" project. 

We asked: "How might humanities scholars understand the meaning, nature, and strategic value of hope in an increasingly dystopian world and disrupt the prepackaged narratives of capitalist constructions and military-energy regimes? We consider a range of theoretical and pedagogical approaches to the question of how our fields of study might develop concrete strategies to help people (including our students) understand the enormity and complexity of these problems while simultaneously equipping them with ways to respond with agency rather than despair."

Anyway... here we are... EM and me... saving the world (or at least trying to)... riding off into this yolky sunset.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

a bit of the rainbow

 Made a couple of soups early this morning for a baby cousin recovering from meningitis. I had to drive two hours to Toledo to drop them off, so Big A came along to keep me company... I'm almost all talked out at the moment.

It's my 'Boss Day,' and I got... Subway. What can I say? I love those sandwiches! 

And somehow, it seems we're almost midway through this semester.

Pic: Not quite a whole rainbow, but a bit of one... I'll take it. 

Monday, October 03, 2022

happiness in ten minutes or less

I was just about to drop At back to his place in Lansing after dinner when Big A showed up from Milwaukee. 

It had been so long since all of us have been together... So after hugs and hellos, I grouped these five around my reading chair so I could take a picture.

(Huck loves being picked up, Scout hates it.)

We got ten minutes together, and I have a picture that makes me happy every time I look at it. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

hard first step

Titled "Out of Reach," this installation really spoke to me. 

It's part of this year's campus-centric Art Prize and the student creators indicate that it's a representation of accessibility issues in our world. 

How many things are impossible because that first step is so insurmountable...

And then looks like procrastination, intractability, or delinquency...

It's a good reminder that I am an elder in this world and can reach out when people don't show up. (Just in case it's because they can't show up.)

Also it seemed so faraway when we postponed the visit in August, but now SD is here! SD is here! SD is here!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

diminishing

Every morning as I wake
swimming with dreams
wrestling with the dark

our world is ready to stack
before me, crisp towers
of lists and leftovers 

from the night behind me
and so I enter the strange 
thing that is the day 

like an all-you-can-eat buffet 
the return of my appetite 
some bright miracle




Pic: MSU's spirit rock in honor of the Iranian women's protests. The highschoolers walking out over Virginia governor Youngkin's anti-trans policies, a lunch-time walk-and-talk with AK, my capstone students brilliantly knitting news with readings... I am grateful for decency and beauty showing up in this world.

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. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

"I saw the sign(s)"

A midday stroll with JG today and this was her front yard when I drove up--a veritable forest of election lawn signs! It includes at least two of our colleagues from work too. As always a lovely chat and I left feeling loved and full of ideas.

Back home lots of hangout time with Big A whose "Boss Day" it is and whom we'll have to  return to the train station and thence to Milwaukee Saturday morning. 

All these trips to the train station really remind me of residency days when Big A worked at Bellevue and I'd put two kids in the car to pick him up at the Summit train station. Seven-year-old At used to call those trips "midnight adventures." 

Now here we are again 16 years later, thanks to the magic of there somehow being 25 Emergency Medicine residencies in MI and only 2 in WI. We've come up with a plan (wish?) to renegotiate his contract for the next academic year... And although all of it is a long ways off, it's a hopeful sign on the horizon. 
 

simply

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