Showing posts with label Conversations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conversations. Show all posts

Sunday, October 17, 2021

tai-chi and trains and triangles... o my

UU again this week; it's getting serious. 

Dropped Nu off at OWL, <<< checked out the tidied up community garden, and headed inside with my covenanted name badge and all. Still no singing, but we were asked to hum along today and that was nice. Even nicer was the surprise tai-chi as embodied worship mid-service. 

I filled out my pledge card for the year and started a new notebook for jottings--for notes on hymns and ideas and such... but today also for a nascent grocery list so I'd stop obsessing about food supplies and pay better attention to the sermon. 

I really did need to pay attention: the guest minister asked us to turn to a pew neighbor and say "welcome to the love train" (pretty cheesy, I agree); but I thought he'd said to say "welcome to the love triangle" and was too confused + embarrassed to say that enthusiastically.

Friday, October 15, 2021

pillow fort

 

Huckie got quite a workout moving things around in the rumpus room today.

I too got months of errands done. They've been literal weeks of being too tired to cart things over to the P.O. with all sorts of procrastinating rationalizations--it'll be crowded because it's Monday/Friday/lunch hour etc. I ended up there on a Friday at lunch hour and there was one person ahead of me--the person being served. 

Also me: freaking out because there was a poster advertising Ursula K. Le Guin stamps. They didn't have any, but I can get them online. And I will, watch me.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

suburbia, hedonia

I did have periods of intense industry--checking midterm submissions, prepping and arranging next week's new course, letters of rec., emails, etc. Nevertheless, today felt like the midterm break I'd been looking forward to... It's the ninth day of Navaratri, so it's Ayudha Puja and traditionally a day of contemplation rather than action, anyway.

Long-anticipated trip to IKEA with Big A for some shelving in the basement. Everything gave me intense nostalgia for when the kids were younger and used those plastic dishes and had those stuffies and cuddled in those bed linens. Then we transported everything back and discussed immaterial stuff like how I have a summer and winter wardrobe but nothing that delineates spring or fall... while we took a decadently long soak together. 

Nu had D&D club so we got to pick them up late and then some more soft family time. Tons of to-dos and errands tomorrow.

And I've been trying to write a poem on Babur, but it just isn't coming together...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

the kids are alright



I know everyone is flagging from ennui and exhaustion. But my kids students are awesome despite it all. 

I'd re-shared the menstrual products drive my CASA director shared with me, and they decided to amplify it by putting it on the front page of the college newspaper. 

😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Saturday, October 09, 2021

adventures in bringing up a teen

 



I got permission to use this picture. But... I mean, it's pretty anonymous anyway, no?

Birthday weekend trip to Hot Topic (a.k.a. acc. to Nu as "my natural habitat") and the Halloween store.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

in the war for trans existence


Big A's claim to show-biz fame is that he was in a play with Dave Chappelle. A middle school play. That he got kicked off--Big A not DC--for being mouthy. 

I liked the Chappelle Show, I loved Block Party. When we moved back to Big A's old hometown in 2008, I remember being faintly star struck about seeing DC everywhere. His older kids were in At's range, his youngest is a year behind Nu. Then he became just one more familiar face; it helped that he and his wife E were unfailingly kind to everyone. E "loves" when I post FB pics of the kids; I swoon when she shares pics of award shows. 

But I haven't watched any of his Netflix specials after the first one--it just didn't even seem him--not the funny Neal Brennan Chappelle, not the kind Yellow Springs Chappelle. I vaguely remember a joke he told on the the first one about two gender studies profs he has coffee with regularly and how all he's thinking about when they're talking is that he'd like to fuck them and I kind of checked out after that. 

And now the constant TERF war. RainOfTerra's tweet thread broke me and then I messaged LA (possibly one of the afore-mentioned gender studies profs in YS) around 5:15 am with a link and asked if she or anyone else could reach out to Dave. Her reply started with "Ugh, Dave." and ended with "So I will share this and see if any of Dave’s friends can speak to him in any way he can hear, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope."

And I wish I could do more.

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.)

Sunday, October 03, 2021

"children are the future"



A pre-sunrise grocery run for the biriyani At requested; a gray and misty sunrise hike with L; and then I went to UU this morning after 18 months away. Nu is in OWL this year and there's in-person service again. Sadly, reduced services: no singing, no physical greetings, no collection baskets.  I had about 45 mins between the end of services and OWL pick-up, and I found these <<< urban woods behind the church buildings to tramp around in. 

If you'd told me six months ago that I'd be happy on the day At moved out into his own apartment, I'd have questioned if you knew me at all. But I've increasingly been looking forward to this actually, as it's the best thing for him to start adulting on this impromptu gap year of his. Except... here we are on moving-out day, and it's close to midnight, and there's a growing pile of stuff by the door... and the child is still here.

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 30, 2021

too chicken

 




I'm too chicken to actually go into L and Nu's chicken coop (or you could say it's too chicken-y out there for me). 

But I just had to say hello to Ms. Margaret Hatcher (extreme left, looking directly into my camera).

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

the trip comes for us

(for L.B.)

by the time my thoughts arrive
helloes and hugs have played
our homophony

these trees nod their approval
and bird guardians sing 
of missing you, friend

Really, we could have climbed 
mountains today, survived 
whispered catastrophe

colonizing futures, monopolizing 
resolutions, our airy gestures 
perfect as finger-paintings


_______
Hike with L in Baker Woods after ages! I was catastrophizing, L was decoding and problem-solving. We mostly talked about changes to Big A's contract and how he may be working in Texas for a few months. I was actually so excited when he first told me because I have fond memories of visiting my Chelli in San Antonio, but soon realized he'd be going because it's a Covid hotspot right now... and...

Monday, September 27, 2021

swaha

clouds thick as suspended hopes
flame singing without words
where do we go from here
friend, there's only now

remember the last time we were 
here, you asked if I had always 
known about sacrifice--
it's how we survived 

this fire I built inside my head 
tenderly lifting all the love
and dread I have tended 
to replay, "let go"

Saturday, September 25, 2021

"boys' mom" note

So apparently it's National Daughters' Day, and my FB feed is full of lovely people posting about their lovely daughters and I'm loving it esp. as I no longer have daughters this year. (The kids have made Huckleberry an "honorary bro" so I now have four boy-kids.)

Nu has had a cold for a couple of days and spiked a fever last night, so we headed for the drive-through Covid-test this morning. They couldn't find Nu's health records and I was quietly panicking because I thought it was because I'd decided to leave the sex column blank, but it turned out that my tired brain had given them the wrong year of birth (I gave them At's!!). I can't wait to see the AMA's recommendation that sex be removed from birth certificates universally accepted.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

the daily socialist


At news: He's not doing that MSW at MSU this year; he's working at Chipotle; he's moving in with a friend he made through DSA next week.

Note 1: I like that his new roommate is a librarian; the roommate likes that I'm a gender studies prof.

Note 2: It seems like At still loves using Mark Fisher as an intellectual tagline.

Monday, September 20, 2021

worry


"I'm sorry," said the stove repairman who's been fixing our stove since June--"nothing's going right, is it? I hope your day gets better."

I guess he heard Big A and me have a furious, whispered conversation about Scout and/or heard me sobbing in the stairwell.

Anyway, I spent hours at the veterinary E.R. with Scout today. Tons of tests later, we still have no clear answers. But they gave us a bunch of meds; I hope they help.

Pic: Sculpture outside the E.R. (I forgot to take a pic of Scoutie.) 


Sunday, September 19, 2021

"the next time you want me"

Phoebe Bridgers singing for me as I soak and relive some recent conversations about... of all things... Pet Sematary. (You know, the Stephen-King-novel/movie where beings buried in the "Pet Sematary" come back to life but are disappointing and different and zombiefied.)

First I had a general epiphany about how nostalgia-fueled decisions to go back to the way things were rarely go well. "Going back" to places, people, whatever... never goes as planned. Perhaps that's the true moral of Pet Sematary. It came up in some conversation with Big A. And then suddenly because we'd talked about Scout's health, he was trying to get me to promise that I would never clone Scout. An option I'd never considered before but seemed tempting. But Big A rightly made the point that Scout is his own person and cloning disrespects that etc. OK? OK.

I was telling the kids this over breakfast some day this week, and I don't know if they appreciated their parents' deep thoughts. But they immediately started a tally of who in the family would put people in the pet sematary. Apparently neither human kid would. According to them, I totally would. And their dad--well... apparently he has a strong sense of medical ethics and wouldn't. But... he'd still probably put me in the pet sematary because he's so attached. And then, they riffed, when pet-semataried mom starts stabbing people and stuff, he'd be all patient explaining things like "Puppy, remember we talked about not stabbing people?" 

For a conversation that included so many deaths, including my own, that last line in its authenticity still makes me chuckle out loud.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

people-ing

A long walk-talk with KB yesterday; I begin to feel I can handle the world again.

Early morning chat with my sister; figuring out all the things on our list for this year--many of them impossible without a passport (which I don't yet have as everything's so backed up). But she makes plans seem possible anyway.

Midday yoga in the forest with Nu and L on either side of me; a sort of peace washes over me.

Garden party at our place this evening; the comfort of sharing food with CF, SB, SD, and AH and others. 

Talking to strangers on an FB Golden Doodle page about Scout's difficulty walking; lots of new things to obsess over and bring up with doc/E.R. visit in 48 hours.

Baby cousin K and her partner J arrive tomorrow; I get to spoil them. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

thinking of...

My teaching day started with standing in line at Groovy Donuts at 7 am and went well as days with donuts tend to. 

But after dinner I found out that DP, a student dear to me--someone I had known in class and on several committees as a joyful, thoughtful, and compassionate citizen--had been hurt badly. 

I am hopeful they and their family will heal, but the description on their GoFundMe site is truly horrific and I keep thinking about all the unnecessary pain and fear they've experienced. 

Flashes of their smile on the Zoom of this year's Kente stole ceremony and images of them waving to me as they stood in line for their diploma keep coming back--will keep coming back--to me. 💗

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

chatter


the length of our conversation tells in years 
origins of jokes, quarrels, and empathy
reflecting back, blinking back

the image of us making our way into a future
it's a test--and if you ask me, of course 
I'll tell--I'll tell you everything




-------------------------------------------
A day remarkable for the amount of work and the number of things I got off the pending to-do lists. 

It was also the day of our Ganesha Search. I had to work on Ganesh Chaturthi, which was last week, so today the kids and I did the annual tour of all the Ganeshas in the house (several in each room) to clean and decorate with kumkum and kalanchoe. The kalanchoe isn't traditional, but fit some of the tiny Ganeshas perfectly. 

Also a day when we had some tough conversations with two different roofers--none of our work-arounds will actually... work and it's going to cost many times what we'd anticipated or saved for. UGH.  

And then a spectacular late-afternoon breakdown when Big A used the "D word" and the "C word" to describe and discuss Scout's sudden hobbling slowness and lethargy. The kids asked tentatively over dinner what it had been about and were naturally very dispirited... so Big A began clowning. 

Pic: Radiology Gardens from this weekend. I love their reflection pool.

Monday, September 13, 2021

instant classic


I smile every time I look at this picture of mom and her siblings weak with laughter (I bet it was something my uncle said) at my aunt's 60th birthday weekend.

And I love that this picture was taken by my baby sis who dutifully took tons of pics because I couldn't be there.