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

Thursday, January 13, 2022

in and out of the woods

We made a decision yesterday about Big A's university offers after our tromp through the woods. We mulled over the same series of circumstances and determinants and possibilities we have for weeks now and decided to go for the offer closest geographically and to his dream position. 

It means he'll spend 50% of his time in Milwaukee with the coming academic year.

Yesterday, L kept texting little things to show she was thinking of me, I had a good cry with my mom the day before that, and today--I told people at work so we could start brainstorming strategies to make single parenting possible in the Fall when I go back to teaching.

Monday, January 10, 2022

sunrise


Sunrise over Lake Michigan on the Northside of Milwaukee (Atwater Park, maybe?). This was just lovely although the rest of the day was a drag. 

If we could afford to live overlooking the lake, I might move. But we can't, and I won't.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

sunset




A beautiful sunset over a stretch of industrial sludge outside of Chicago.

We're headed to Milwaukee to check out one of the places that offered Big A a research gig... and I already feel like nothing good can come of this trip.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

a better next year


Everyone told me not to do any work over the break: I took their advice; I'm bored. 

This week--with its radio silence on my work email--reminded me how much of my workday is responding to scheduled events and corresponding about projects. I'll need to shift out of that mode over sabbatical so I have something worthwhile at the end of it. I really, really, really need to get in the zone with my writing projects. 

Despite the seemingly universal experience of having 2020 drag and 2021 sprint, I think I ought to compartmentalize more effectively after two years of practicing pandemic panic. That's going to be my big goal for 2022. 

Drove up to the office today to collect some books, water my plants, pick up mail, etc. and I had a lot of time to reflect. (Also feel like I'm on the verge of a big cry--but that could just be from loping through Bewilderment and being too tired to cry at 2 am or whenever it was that I finished it.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

anew

A new Nu... or a new hairdo.

They found this particular style by googling "emo boy hair." I think Nu makes it look great! Big A took them to the Aveda Salon--I bristled at that since I go to Supercuts. 

But I had a long day at work, and Big A took care of Nu's salon trip, and eyeglasses prescription, and picked up Subway for dinner. So it's all good.

 Big A starts a new job tomorrow--it's not as far away as Texas as I feared, but still a pretty long commute.

Monday, November 29, 2021

inhale/exhale


For lo, 

there is snow and there is light 

(and I have to allow myself extra time to get to work) 

but how beautiful...

I don't remember if this made me catch my breath or if I let my breath go...

but I smiled so big.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Maple moment

I cross four rivers to get to work (Red Cedar, Looking Glass, Maple, and Pine). It's the sunrises and sunsets on the Maple that are the absolute best, and DST has all that gorgeousness waiting for me on my way to and from work. 

Not like I'll forget any time soon, but I set up my camera to take a pic as I crossed the Maple this morning for the memories. 

I know I keep on yammering about taking a deep breath of beauty, but here we are.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

honors


A lovely and successful honorary induction and such a thrill to celebrate in person with a community of like-minded book nerds again. 

Lots of pictures with students and their families for my imminent Goodbye Mr. Chips years, and lots of ziplock bags so students could take the extra hors d'oeuvres with them.

But it leaves me with less than ten hours to commute home and get back to campus for my 8 am meeting in the morning... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

what we got


Big A went to Boston to accept an award and all I got was this cute and fuzzy picture!

It was a sudden trip so there was some scrounging around for childcare coverage, but things worked out fine. I found myself getting a bit antsy as one meeting after my fourth class of the day ran past 5:00 pm, but... I got home by dinner time, got everyone their dinner, and got all the kid and puppy cuddles I could handle. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

ahead of me


Got to work so early there was no one else around... the sun's pretty high in the sky in this picture, but so is the moon. It turned out to be a long day at work, leading to some disappointed texts from Big A because I'd promised to be home by 6. 

But there was barely time to sit down between committee and student meetings all day. So at 4:30 when the last meeting was finally done, and I'd even managed to reach two dear students who've been down and out of touch this term, and I had just two more emails to send off, I cleaned my office thoroughly. (Because I was wearing--what my science colleagues called--my 1970's-style ENG. prof. dress with the tie collar? Who knows!)

I watered all the plants, trimmed, weeded, took tons of papers to the shred-it box, dusted, swept, and looked longingly at the armchair I'd installed in my office when I moved in... back when I thought the life of an academic involved hours of reading and looking out of the window. Ha. Some day it will come.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

a-maze


I'm sorry I couldn't take any pictures of the amazing sunrise over the Maple River as I drove to work. I couldn't get a picture of the amazing combination of sunset-moonrise-full-moon as I made my way back home either, and for the same reason--I was going at 80 mph... I have to make do with a lingering look and what the kids and I used to call "a deep breath of beauty."

The picture I do have is this post-four-classes, end-of-the-day domestic-violence-awareness <<< labyrinth, which became a meaningful moment to pause and reconnect with some wonderful people (KC, SG) who do the hard work in our community. 

Oh, and I got to ask Loretta Ross about Dave Chappelle later. I know her as a reproductive justice activist, so her work on calling-in culture is new-ish to me.

Tuesdays have become Subway days at home, so I ate my sub while watching a show with Big A and the puppies and then took a snooze with them before Nu's bedtime too. Off to "proper" bed now.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

404

 


Full day: 10+ hours of teaching and grading and meetings and approx. 2 hours of commuting...

And it's now 3:18 am and I can't stop reading Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Help.

(I liked his All the Light We Cannot See too although its very eurocentric depiction of WWII irked me. This one, OMG, is incredibly lush and includes wide swathes of humanity and historical times.)

Friday, October 01, 2021

Parkinsonian expansion

I guess Parkinson and his insight about work expansion remains valid. 

But in a more neutral way, now that I'm on campus so much, a lot of work gets done at work instead of after dinner. Time feels a bit less scramble-y because home/work demarcations feel more natural. Plus I get to see and be around more people, which is me at my happiest.

I still do work things after dinner, on the weekend, in the middle of the night, etc., but it's freeing to know that I spent 8/10 hours working already, so if it doesn't get done, it ought to be perfectly acceptable.

Being at work lets me get at all the stuff that gets shoved aside--like the graduation gift I'd gotten for a colleague in financial services and was finally able to hand deliver yesterday (months late...).

Pic: I thought I was taking a picture of flying geese as I walked across campus... but look, guys: No geese! Lovely blue sky, anyway. 

Thursday, September 09, 2021

sonnet on a commute

the road is a ribbon feeding on itself 
a dream snake

the car is an empty room but for me
the sun glares back 

sultry beyond windows and stealthy  
in the soupy day

I'm wondering if radios will play on 
at the end of the world

as I watch my future burning like fuel 
past lonely road kill

the road keeps coming, a stream of poison
being sucked out of me

my family knows my day from my absence
I pick up the distance and go 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

a loss

 



<<This snarky joke was made by a person I admired when they got Covid a week ago. This in itself was surprising as they were vaccinated, advocated for masks, and seemed so careful. 

I am in major shock from hearing that they succumbed to Covid yesterday. State lines seemed distance enough... not sure how to handle this eternal distance. 

RIP, amazing one

Monday, August 02, 2021

bits of the day


Out early today to Alma for a seminar/workshop and it was so good to see and be with people--many of whom I haven't seen or been with for a while.  A few people were wearing masks indoors and although we're nearly 100% vaccinated as a college community, I wore mine too out of respect. 

Work, work, work, and then I headed home with JG on the phone to keep me company on the commute home. 

Low: Heart heavy with the looming eviction of millions of families in the middle of a pandemic.

High: Hearing The Foo Fighters' cover of The Beegees' "You Should be Dancing" live from Lollapalooza on the radio. Apparently it's something they've been doing for a while? Anyway, it was the bit of disco silliness that helped me get through the day.

Pic: An early bird posing for me with their accessory worm (yesterday at the Horticultural Gardens).

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

long day's journey...

L and I were absolutely transfixed by how different Baker Woods looks in just a week. The last time we were there, we saw a mess of ramps and lots of wildflowers, but the trees hadn't greened yet. I was excited for L to see it because I'd hiked at Baker with BS this weekend and was storing this up as a surprise to savor all over again with L. 

Headed up to Alma afterwards for meetings and things with At. He DJ-ed a podcast he wanted me to listen to about the Cuban revolution and and hearing about Meyer Lansky aligned nicely with segments of The Godfather Part II, which I'm watching bit by bit with Big A. 

Back home, we made dinner (last week's leftover rice, +beans, +a bag of 'power blend' veggies in a stirfry, a big green salad, and a mango-blueberry-orange fruit salad), set the table, ate, talked over music, and cleared up in just under 90 minutes--At called it "efficient." Nu headed to bed early after a few rounds of cards and the puppies and I napped together for a bit until it was time to send Big A off to work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

onwards

Not justice and not even accountability--but a gruff reminder from the universe that progress is possible when we participate in all the ways we can witnessing, filming, challenging, protesting, sacrificing, mourning, writing, reliving, watching, feeling, waiting.... 

I was on my way home, but had to pull over to the side of the road when the verdict was read out. 

Later, driving past Ithaca, I watched a police car speeding down a side road parallel to the highway until it disappeared. 

Felt surreal.

[Mural: Aziz Asmar in Idlib, Syria]

Friday, April 16, 2021

a nothing burger

 


A big day and I'm drained--I have nothing left in me to share. 

But this picture on family chat made me chuckle. 

These three had headed out to bring back some Impossible Burgers (there was an ad on tv), but the Burger King on Grand River Ave was just not there. How did we not notice? 

Apparently, it has been gone since August?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

simmer

I'm stopped at the traffic light at on my way home and it turns into a wait for the slowest train in the world to pass.

There's a rap on the window and At's face beaming down at me. I unlock the doors, he pops in, I hug him so hard. He takes off his mask; I tell him to keep it on; he's all "but we're vaccinated;" and I'm all "you haven't had the second shot yet." Then he's referencing something about Bill Gates and vaccines--maybe this? 

I begin laughing because it's so random--and as I told him, in a couple of days I'm going to think I dreamt this whole sequence of things.

And I'm laughing because I'm so relieved to see and hold him on yet another day when to be the mother of a brown-skinned man is a day for a slow simmering fear.