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

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Smitten


I was nearly up to Sparty when Big A texted me asking where I was and then called me (because I didn't see the text). 

He sounded so sad; I asked him if he wanted me to come home right away. And he said please, so I turned around* and began to run** home. 

(*I didn't really expect him to accept my grand offer. **And I really couldn't run all the way home. Just sprinted here and there. Ha.)

It's not my story to tell; all I can say is I'm so glad there are doctors like Big A out in the world.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Sweet Meh-mories





One child sets the table; the other punches them.

And then they both stomp around shouting "Where the food go/Where does the food go?" until it becomes a chant. Not sure if they're asking where the food went or where the food should be placed. But they're laughing too much to tell me. Then it becomes a song and somehow even after many, many hours on my feet, it really seems infectiously funny rather than annoying. Eventually, the table is set; Big A gets some photos; we eat. It's "the best Thanksgiving meal ever/really knocked it out of the park" for the 10th or 11th year in a row. All these dorks are nothing but kind.

There was an aborted game of You are a Liar and another of Coup, and the Criterion edition of The Gold Rush and more of L's pumpkin pie and Big A's whipped cream. Repeat.

So grateful. Really don't know how I would make it without these two and the rest of my crew. (11/26/2020)

Friday, November 13, 2020

The stuff of horror

Tomorrow is Diwali and I want to get this down in the hope that I will be able to set it aside for a little bit. I've been carrying it around since yesterday when I read a thread on Mona Eltahawy's Twitter (since then, I've seen a few news outlets calling it the "Kashmore Tragedy"). The details are so horrific I can't say them out loud without choking and I don't really think I could pass it on to anyone else.  

But the story keeps going around in a loop in my head, knotting now and then around the old nodes: the precarity of being a single mother; how difficult it is to love and grow a girl child in this fucking patriarchal world; the horror of captivity and unending rape; lives where people move across the country for a job that pays about 250 dollars; knowing people are out there victim-blaming--saying things like 'bad choices' and 'where is the father?'; what care and support are available to the mother and child; why support wasn't available to them previously; the courage it took for the mother to go to the police instead of prolonging the cycle; if the police treated her with respect; the bravery and compassion of the ASI (assistant sub inspector?) using his wife and daughter as decoys to catch the rapists; were the ASI's wife and daughter given a choice in the matter; worried for the ASI and his family now that his name and likeness are all over media; knowing there's so much more abuse I'll never even know from within safe spaces in families, communities, and professional + emergency services. Why are so many men/humans such trash? 

On the Enby parenting group, one parent recently asked what our own lives might have looked like if we had the freedom of gender choice we support for our children. I know I've always wished for genderlessness, especially in professional settings. And in so many other settings, I'd have loved the possibility of having what Wanda Sykes calls a "detachable pussy."

Thursday, November 12, 2020

"Stare at each other like TV"


Probably one of my favorite lyrics right now, and not constantly in a romantic way. Sometimes it's the little ones I want to stare at... also trees.

In other news, Covid cases have been spiking on campus, so I'm moving everything online especially as students are being encouraged to go home. It's so disheartening after so many have been so vigilant and careful. And my classes were going to share research presentations next week too. Anyway.

Like most people, I feel I've normalized some stuff like going to the store, getting massages, etc. because it felt nicer not having to worry for a ninth month. But we ought to be worried

This story about a smallish wedding reception (55 guests) leading to "three separate Covid-19 outbreaks that infected 178 people, putting three into the hospital and killing seven more" where "none of those who got seriously ill or died even went to the wedding, and many lived 100 miles away" is a sad and awful unsnooze call for me. I don't know that I could live with being the cause of someone's decline+/-death in this way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Believe in open-minded people



Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in our Presidential Speaker series (via Zoom) tonight and here's my question and his response.

How do you decide whether or not to engage with someone who may put you in a position where you have to argue for your humanity/human rights?

Well, remember there are people who are close-minded and people who are open-minded. 

So someone may believe in voter fraud, and you may bring them some sources and say: there is no significant voter fraud. 

And they may say: [I] don't trust your sources

So you ask them: Ok, what sources do you trust? 

And you go and find material from those sources and they say: I don't trust those sources anymore

Those people may have closed minds. And when a person's mind is closed, I try to not spend my time on them unless they are really close to me. 

I'm going to spend my time with the open-minded people. 

Monday, November 09, 2020

And the leaves are gone

Just two weeks ago, we had this.

Another busy day, but busy like treading water and informed by sadness every now and then. 

I keep getting messages about students being on "medical leave," which is code for "tested positive for Covid," so I'm worried about them. In one class, it's all the students to whom I've had to mime pulling up their masks as reminders, so I worry too about what they did when I wasn't around and who else might have been impacted by all of this.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Start of Something

The 
Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights cakes got made (and eaten); a neighborhood celebratory bonfire was attended; toasts were made; picnics were packed and consumed. I'd say the new regime is better already. Ha.                                                                                                                                             But seriously, we need to do better. Marianne Williamson (of all people!) sounds the call in Newsweek: "Now a battle will rage for the soul of the Democratic Party. And well it should. It's been needing to happen for a very long time."

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Ding-Dong; Be Gone!

Where were you? I had just finished interviewing prospective students for scholarships, when Big A showed up with a grin, and Nu and I knew right away. 

A bit anticlimactic ultimately--I blame CNN's rampant use of the thesaurus for two days of headlines (Biden on the cusp, on the verge, on the threshold). On the other hand, it solidified B's lead well beyond conjecture and allowed saner Trumpers to back away (?). Don't know; don't care RN TBH.

Here, Scout is tired of election news as the rest of us watch Vice-President-elect Harris and President-Elect Biden's speeches and marvel at decency and parseable sentences and earnestness on the podium. 

Big A teased me about my (presumably wide-eyed) gawking--but no shame here. Who believes in America's possibility more than an immigrant, after all? Lots and lots of work ahead to be sure, but now there's a chance where before there was only survival. 

Friday, November 06, 2020

And Another One

This is the other snake--from yesterday. Today has been very homebound. But also, today is yet another repeat of yesterday. 

Is it possible to be full of nervous energy and simultaneously enervated? Yes, yes it is. Time to call it, CNN!

I was kind of glad to have a planner full of class and meetings at hourly intervals all day, so I could go from one to prepping for the next. I may have rambled at a few of them (two nights of low no sleep will do that to me) and then the internet was all cute and hide-and-seeky-y. But I managed. The day is done.

But I've done so little at home today except find time to cuddle with everyone for comfort. We're still eating pizza from yesterday... I mean after all, Big A did order four pies for three humans. 

Nu and I had planned to make another batch of the awesome "Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights" cakes we made on election day. We gave/swapped so many away and Nu and Big A want more. As they reminded me, they want more, they want more, when you like something, you want more! But the baking will have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, November 02, 2020

The Future



At was briefly in town so he could deliver his absentee ballot to the drop box. !YAY! Also, it's the second of the month and hence his 'Boss Day,' so he got even more extra hugs and presents and picked dinner (mint chicken again). 

Because he's the best big sib ever, he roped Nu into researching all the school board candidates. I love this picture of my human babies so serious and so oblivious to me.

This morning at a student-vocation discussion, the lack of students' "grit" was generally mourned. I dissented--this generation's lives are challenging in a way ours never was.

(Scout's tail behind Nu's chair as he petitions for more pets, lol.)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

My Panel / My At

To be clear, my colleagues and I did not fight about cancel culture and statues--but we did deliberate.  

Yet apparently, it didn't stop people from watching the panel discussion as though it were a prize fight at the MUN House (per At). If I look amused in the top right corner it's because At was asking some cleverly self-deprecating question online. The corner of the laptop abutting the screen is his! Togetherness! Yay!

(OMG, I love that fellow. I have to admit, I lost all professional composure when a late arrival rehashed the "statues are history" tack in Q&A and At's deadpan riposte on the event chat was: "I got my history major by staring at a bunch of statues.")

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Peak Peek

I think we're at the peak of color this week. Added bonus was a blue sky, no grey midwestern 'dome' today!

Paths are crisp and crunchy; we're still inundated with tasks and deadlines; everyone seems to be holding their breath for next week.

Had a lovely chat with At, where he updated me on some health stuff and impressed me with the proactive and grownup way he had advocated for himself. 

Later in the day, another chat with At, this time a boisterous facetime with the younger sibs. And then a lot of heavy discussion with Nu over dinner prep and dinner being a sounding board as they excitedly invented their character for the D&D party BS is starting Saturday. (Bless BS!!) It's the most animated Nu has been in a while, and reading the D&D manual introduced them to a lot of words they didn't seem to know (diminutive, arcane...).

I planned to class prep alongside Big A as he watched some cycling videos after dinner (these are just as impossible for me to understand as the unboxing craze all the kids were about a few years ago!) but I set aside my laptop for 'just a few minutes' and fell asleep on top of him and had to start all over again.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Mask slip



L and I left super early for the river view yesterday so we wouldn't run into unmasked exercisers. (We mostly didn't--there was a game this weekend so that probably helped as well.)

L and I have been a bit performative and obnoxious with our mask reminders lately. But I think I made L a bit upset with me (haha).

We met a big black bear of a standard golden doodle, and I fawned over the happy, tongue-lolling darling (from a distance). After puppy and human had passed us, L asked me archly if I'd noticed that the puppy's human wasn't wearing their mask. 

I hadn't. 

Oooop?

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Golding

I just typed, "I wonder if golding is an adjective..." 

(Big A has turned off the wifi for some maintenance, so I can't check online, but there's no squiggly red line so at least it's a word? If "greening" is a Spring time word, "golding" ought to be an Autumn word!) 

Anyway, I feel "golding" best describes both the turn of the woods and my delight. 

A long giggly conversation with my Chelli around 4 am*, then a little snooze, an early morning hike with L (from whence this photo), and then a long day on my feet doing necessary stuff that had been displaced by this past week of deadlines. Some of Big A's birthday dinner and cupcakes dinner to L, and then a leisurely dinner with the fam. Very minimal discussion board monitoring, some class prep, a handful of student emails, and now to curl up with my N.K. Jemisin. 

* AM, Chelli's old classmate and now a mutual friend, had forwarded a video of George Baker singing "Paloma Blanca," apparently a song Chelli and I used to bug her with. It's amazing how the song reached us at all (perhaps through VM who sailed a lot in those days?), and we were amused that we didn't even know what the title meant, but would just belt it out anyway. Hilarious.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Aglow

An earlier than usual morning ramble with L yesterday, and then this odd, technicolor surprise when we rounded the MSU greenhouses. We took picture after picture under the tolerant eye of the MSU police parked outside.

And apropos of yesterday, I want to remember how the thought of going to the interview without seeing L made me so panicky... L is everything I imagined the USA to be, and I'm lucky the universe brought me to her in 2016, the most disconsolate point of my American dream. 


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Day Before Deadline

Greyyyyyyy day, and I'm still on the laptop finishing up a couple of things... 

But the memory of a snuggle with this scaly giant yesterday, the card and chocolate-chip cookies BS dropped off, and the proliferating heart emojis via text will keep me going... 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

These shoes weren't meant for walking

My shoes; At's socks
But as I put my lunchbox, and my briefcase, and my purse into the passenger side of the car and as I was beginning to take off my jacket before walking around to the driver's side to get in and finally get home, the car door shut on me and beeped like Knight Rider. My purse with the key was right there on the passenger seat, so I didn't think I could be locked out. But... Oh, I was. I tried the trunk, thinking I could crawl in, but it wouldn't open either. I couldn't go back to my office (my keys were in the car); I couldn't call AAA or Big A (my phone was in the car); It was nearly 8 and I was hungry and tired and couldn't get a snack (my wallet was in the car). 

So I walked over to At's (I'd just been thinking I hadn't seen him since Nu's birthday... and writing that I realize it's been less than a week, but it has been a long week!). He tried the door too, but nothing. So we made the call, and Big A got on the road to bring me the spare key, Nu in tow since it was dark and I didn't want Nu to be home by themselves. (Big A initially demurred about having to drive all the way, and I was instantly mad thinking about all the times I drove into NYC with little At and Baby Nu to get him after a late shift at Bellevue. But he quickly did the right thing, and no one got yelled at. Ha.)

So an hour till reinforcements arrived, and my sweet At offered to feed and water me and sit with me on the MUN House porch (outsiders aren't allowed into student housing to minimize Covid exposure) to keep me company. But I was too keyed up, so I asked if we could walk around, and borrowed some socks from At, and we did. I kept telling him he should go back to work on the delayed deadlines and midterm extensions, but we kept walking and talking, and then Nu and Big A were there, and there was a teensy family reunion in the Heritage Parking Lot. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Monkey Mind




I've been lighting a candle for morning meditation lately. It helps, but of course my "monkey mind" still has random thoughts jumping in and out. 
 
Today these two things kept popping up: 
1) bits of a student essay in which they despaired of the election and worried that they may be stripped of the right to marry.
 
2) the look in an advisee's eyes when I ran into them in the hallway. Their eyes were crinkly from smiling (behind their mask) but the eyes were tired, sad, and trying hard to be brave. 

Clearly, work/home separation doesn't work very well with teaching.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Happy 13th!


Look, it's John Lennon turning 13! Ok, It's Nu  😍 😍.

Cupcakes (Tuptakes) by dad; special, surprise, overnight, 18-hour visit by sweet sib At; breakfast pudding by me; calls from all the grandparents, aunts, and great uncle and aunt (VM and AA).  Also--a special "picnic in Paris" themed birthday Zoom with beret-ed friends drinking Perrier and online tours of the Louvre yesterday; Culvers' for dinner by request today; bunches of presents over the weekend; and now they're spending some birthday cash on the internet. 

Happy birthday, my brave new teen!  😍 😍