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

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

stable


Big A is back; my back feels better; got cards and presents in the mail; a few visits (and presents); did our third session of family therapy; ordered in pizza; read together; watched Bob's Burgers (with Nu) and Station Eleven (after Nu went to bed); got my aunt's hopes up about a visit home; celebrated the end of the Kelloggs' strike... 

A long day... the longest day of the year... and it was cozy and a nice balance of Christmas with other good things.

Pic: multiculti altar w/ nativity scene

Monday, December 20, 2021

"O Christmas Tree"





I waited for At to come home to bring the tree up from the basement, because that has been an At and Nu thing for years now, and I'm not ready to face the reality that he doesn't live here. And At sweetly did bring up the tree last week when he was here for dinner. 

But our old tree wasn't working for me... or working really--many of the lights were out and it was small and tippy. So Nu--my hero today--set up this tall, skinny tree and helped me decorate it. 

It'll be such a surprise for Big A and At! We've left the personal ornaments out for people to put on themselves. And that may have to be a Christmas Eve thing. Maybe do this post-Thanksgiving in the years to come?

Sunday, December 19, 2021

trance


it's like breezes open my mouth
to pour in 
salted happiness

but how well do I know myself?
sleep (do not) want to sleep

so tonight becomes a cartwheel 
of love on sliding sands

the glow of my amma, dad, uncle, 
aunt, and sister at a bonfire

the rap of waves half a world away
in harmony with my heartbeat

and here's me waiting for something 
wild    to wish me goodnight

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Pic: Picture of sunrise on the beach (Bay of Bengal) from a trip mom, dad, and Chelli took to visit VM and AA. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

in sight

the blizzard blooms 
in afternoon sun 
windows burn

but not the tree-line 
held in my mouth
like t e e t h  

unraveling the bridges
they can reach 
like breath

answering the songs
of late at night
dog choirs

we cannot yet speak of  
how meaning carries
across    species

I begin to see in silence 
how I understand
no thing

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Pic: Surprise snow overnight--on cue for Nu's first day of Christmas break. 
Notes: We're rethinking traveling between Christmas and New Year to see grandparents. And there are rumors that school may be online in the new year. (And yes, someone forgot to bring summer's pillows in again.)

Friday, December 17, 2021

cake chart


A celebratory dinner for my friend AI's successful phd defense. On the table: A big dish of biriyani and sides. 

I was so proud of the (store-bought) cake, which said "Congratulations, Dr. I." Obviously, I gave AI the "Dr." part... At got the "Atul" part, Nu got the "Con" part (which they thought it was hilarious because they'd been a sneaky con artist recently). 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

bell hooks

Not bell hooks... and not at just 69...

I've learned so much from her since my first feminist theory class and I've always had her work in all of the classes I teach.  Students love how easy and joyous her work is and how richly rooted in love and community. I gave copies of her All About Love: New Visions to lots of people just last Christmas, including At who fell in love with it. 

(And I had to talk myself out of being irritated by people who used uppercase to spell her name in their canned tributes although it felt so disrespectful; and I have to look away from the early death of another black activist; and I'm sitting with Kaye Wise Whitehead's "It is sometimes hard to imagine being in a world when the geniuses of your time are no longer in it.")

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

more perfect (re)unions

Big A is back home after interviewing in Buffalo, NY where the chair kindly took this picture of him in front of the first unionized Starbucks in the USA for At, our little socialist. (Not sure how to tell it apart from the zillion other Starbucks facades in our universe, but...)

At was (predictably) thrilled and whooped. He'd been sending clips of the crew receiving the news of their winning votes and saying things like "I'm so proud of the Starbucks' kids" as though he's their uncle. At is 22, so this makes me chuckle.

I got grades finalized, welcomed the return of our internet, and had a nice long chat with JG who stopped by for a visit. We have an idea for a piece about disability and body horror (and humor?) that I'm eager to revisit.

Our chat ended abruptly because I had to go pick up Nu from school--I've been doing school drop offs and pick ups with Nu since our main road has been impassable for the school bus. But... we spied the bus on our way home today. I'm glad it's back, but I'll miss car chats with my Nu.

Monday, December 13, 2021

next time


chants sink their laments
into my lungs
like a monk, time now slips  
me memories 

people and love and times 
away, unavailable   
I meet myself falling down 
now into stories

now is evening in the world
although inside 
the starry core of my body  
it says 2:00 am

who knows if I'm really early--
or simply very late 
what shall do with myself now
I have broken time 

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Pic: I add one snow-globe to my Christmas collection every year. This year, I found these adorable friends exchanging gifts and then I FOUND SAME FIGURES AS STUFFIES! I lamented not having tiny babies who would be delighted with this find, but Nu--very kindly--really stepped up their game. 😁🤗

Sunday, December 12, 2021

"an ill wind"

Behold the deceptively calm beginning to a messy weekend. 

Yesterday started out at 56° and was supposed to drop 20° over the course of the day, so L and I went down the Red Cedar early despite the wind advisory. The gusts were intense and at one point we thought we were going to get swept into the river. And then we got rained on and sleeted on although there was nothing about that in the weather forecast. 

I planned a hot shower as soon as I got home, but first there was kids' breakfasts and then something else came up and before I knew it, the power went out. I paid for my delay with a dry shampoo and an ice-cold shower before the water cut off. And although I got gussied up, as I already lamented, I didn't get to see Hadestown.

The wind brought mayhem to Hagadorn--signs, traffic lights, and electricity poles were down--like on the ground. BWL said power would come back at 8:15 yesterday, and when it didn't we shrugged and got some extra blankets and cuddled up with warm puppies. All night long I could hear utility vehicles and sirens and workers (bless them). 

Big A's off for a series of job interviews, and wanted us to go to a hotel, and I was making arrangements for At to house Nu for a bit, but the power thankfully came back in the evening. I'm freshly showered and can finally feel my fingers and toes again. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

a sad story without pictures

Pictured: Here's me at 1:00 pm all ready to go see Hadestown at 2:00 pm, just waiting for Nu and Big A to get their coats on so we can all walk over to the Wharton.

Not pictured: me at 1:15 when Nu and Big A decided it was too cold to walk and that we should turn around and take the car instead.

Also not pictured: me at 1:20 when we collectively realized that the reason we hadn't had power since 11 am or thereabouts was because there was a downed wire across our street. Also realizing this made it impassable for us to get to the Wharton.

Also not pictured: me at 1:25 begging Nu and Big A to walk to the show through the church grounds.

Also not pictured: me at 1:30 begging them to let me go to the show by myself at least.

Also not pictured: L and T trying to help me find my way--blocked at every turn by police and utility vehicles (if not by downed wires).

Also not pictured: me at 1:53 giving up.

Friday, December 10, 2021

"It's beginning to look a lot like..."


The first holiday cards of the season have started to arrive. I guess it's time to put away the cards I've had on display from last year now?

But seriously, it was lovely having this display up by the family altar all this last year... cards would randomly slip out of place and give me the pleasure of retrieving and reading them all over again.

Not exaggerating when I say they helped to keep me going in 2021.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

newsy



O, hello... it's me... with my adorable furry assistants... trying to be the best new effing co-chair of NWSA's conference in 2022 I can be. (Still not enough writing as I noted in March, but this is huge for me and I hope to learn a lot.)

In other news, I took great pleasure in letting fam and friends know that a Trader Joe's is coming to town--about 2-3 mins away from us. I foresee Big A biking over there for last minute groceries instead of Whole Foods. 

And in other gentrification news, I'm watching with horror--via friends and FB--the intersecting mesh mess of schadenfreude, transphobia, and anti-blackness in the latest Dave Chappelle vs. Yellow Springs clash.

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Pic: We're all looking at Big A.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

"love's the only engine of survival"


All I have in my camera roll for today is this cluster of birches right outside the horticultural gardens getting ready to weather winter...

But they evoke for me a reminder that we started family therapy today. Our goals are to be better parents, help Nu feel like they can come to us with anything, feel supported in their gender transition, and not run scams on their schoolwork.  

It was just me and Nu today as Big A is working in the faraway place. Our therapist is insightful and wonderful. Nu was honest and articulate and I was so proud of them. I really couldn't have asked for a better first (telehealth) session.


Sunday, December 05, 2021

the week that was

 


and I didn't have the energy to say anything 
since it was also
the last week of classes
the first week of Big A's new job
and so it goes.

I must note that Oxford, MI, the latest in the annals of school shootings, is an hour from us. I keep feeling lost after Parkland or after Sandy Hook when I kept the kids home until I had to send them back in the new year. And I'm realizing I've done this with varying intensity for the entire span of my children's public school lives.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

my eyes are... out here?

Vulvae and "no one needs a douche" stickers from my student's WGS symposium station this week. 💓

Today, I spent the morning interviewing students for scholarships and...

It was demoralizing that a couple of potential students with great GPAs, neurotypical presentation,  pre-med intentions... just wouldn't make eye-contact with me. 

And I understand these are teenagers who've spent close to two years mostly seeing people virtually or masked, but this was not about that.

I interviewed with a (male, white) colleague, and at every question, even if I had been the one who asked the question, they'd look earnestly at my colleague while they answered. One student who was otherwise equitable at dividing their time between interviewers, focussed solely on my colleague while describing their football success. 

I checked with my colleague to see if he had noticed it too--and he had. He said he'd tried to look at me while they were answering to model etiquette. (To no avail, apparently.)

I guess I'm lucky this doesn't happen all the time, but c'mon kids!

Friday, December 03, 2021

"both sides now"


I found this on the internets and what a perfect way to mark this last day of class... for the term... for the year... for the academic year, in my case. (I mean I start with an 8:45 am meeting tomorrow and will interview students for scholarships on Saturday, also starting at 8:45 am, but...)

I remember a school teacher friend in YS announcing that they would be turning off their morning alarm for the next three months. I won't--I'll still wake up at 4:30/5:00 alarm or no, but counting my sabbatical and summer, I won't be in a classroom until September of 2022.

And of course, all that self-congratulation aside, I know I will miss the high of being in the classroom. My students did SUCH MAGNIFICENT work on their WGS symposium work today and everyone who visited loved it too. And there were student visitors who were disappointed that the course wouldn't be offered next term and their interest made me sad I wasn't going to be teaching next term... 

So... you know, like the date, the day went both ways. 

And apparently, we're in for a week+ stretch of palindrome days.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

"one is a lonely number"


Big A is far away and I'm sitting here at midnight, anxious and sad... 

But I'm not gonna lie--the day was glorious. It's been SO LONG since I had the house to myself and though it was mostly grading and work and meetings and LORs, it felt luxurious. 

It's in the details and small tweaks to the day... like planning to have lox for dinner with Nu. Somehow it's Big A with his Jewish heritage who can't stand lox, while Nu and I LOVE it.

Speaking of my human kids--it's difficult parenting one at a time. Kind of lonely, actually. I had eight years with At before Nu came along, and now that At is 22 and in his own place, I get these years to focus fully on Nu. I keep telling myself this, but both Nu and I miss At and I don't think Nu likes being the sole focus. Ha. 

At least the puppy kids are accommodating and making pillow forts forever.

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.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

for you too may have / questions about this story


                                                                             
                                                                      the tongue a knife probing                                          
our mom didn't tell this story 
till she was safe home again
how traveling to Chennai 
in the rains--she said--they 

                            the cleft palate of memory 
couldn't tell which was river 
which was road... and then 
went skidding into a ditch...
thanks to the gods--she said--

                           the smile tucked up in secret
thanks to all the gods some
villagers were passing and
they were kind and pushed
our car back onto the road  

                            the lips nudged into detail
then softly: but... they said
some mean things in Tamil 
like uncle is a terrible driver 
who shouldn't have a big car 

                             the gummy words murderous
even more softly: aunty and I 
were in the car, so they said
look at those fatty gundechis
just sitting on their bottoms

                             the mouthful of arguments
But I still told uncle we should 
reward them, give some... thing?
But he said no, that wasn't fine 
they might ask for more next time

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I know the generosity of Tamil people well. When I was pregnant with At, people would keep offering me food even if all they themselves were eating was a paper cone of sundal or peanuts. I am beyond horrified-ashamed-saddened that my family didn't offer anything--payment/a ride/money for coffee-tiffin to the people who may have saved their lives in the middle of a cyclone. (The cheeky, irreverent humor checks out too.)

Friday, November 26, 2021

post-prandial

Went on a hike with Big A while the grandparents hung out with Nu, Scout, and Huck. We headed to Baker Woods and weren't gone very long, but we were the only ones there and it felt like a different world. 

Later, we packed up the grandparents with snacks, cider, and one of the flower arrangements from yesterday's table, and waved our goodbyes as they headed back to Ohio. 

Then a long soak with Big A, a great heart-to-heart with Nu, + snacks + old sitcoms + naps.  

It was the perfect chaser to yesterday.