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

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

"a more perfect union"

Today At watched as the local Teamsters served management at his workplace papers indicating that At and his fellow workers had signed union cards; the National Labor Review Board will now conduct an election. He sent us a picture and said management was "pissed." 

It has been exciting to see the slow build to At's organizing--first it was just conversations with a fellow nerd, then more scripted check-ins with other colleagues, vetting different unions, trying to get a super majority of his colleagues on board--even roping me in to talk to an older south-asian colleague in our shared mother tongue.

When he first said he wanted to unionize his fast food place, I have to admit I thought it was a bit of a pipe dream and definitely did not think he and the other young people would make this much progress in under a year. Shows how much I don't know. Fingers crossed for their NLRB election. 

Pic: At made this button a while ago; now that things are public, he can finally wear it. 

Sunday, July 03, 2022

what could be

One more day at the reunion, and then we left for home a whole day early as Nu is (and hence we all are) in the midst of an unrelated crisis.

We managed to fit a lot into the 24 hours we were in YS, though. Peaches yesterday for reunion drinks, Glen Garden for flowers for Big A's mom with whom we were staying, Toy Company and Dark Star to keep Nu occupied, planned hangouts like the one pictured, and of course all the random running into old friends and neighbors. 

It's difficult not to feel a bit of nostalgia for the YS years and wonder...Will we ever move back there again? What might our lives have been like if we'd stayed?  

Saturday, July 02, 2022

mellow

In Yellow Springs, OH for Big A's high school reunion. I casually thought it was the 20th... but no it's the 30th!

Since we lived in YS (2008-2012), some are my friends too. But as the outsider, I was surprised by how much people remembered from 30 years ago. Everyone remembers Big A's infamous exploits (he'd have gotten juvie for his Ex-Lax cookies for sure these days!). But people were also saying to each other how kind people had been, how someone was the big sibling they didn't have at home, how they'd been made welcome although they were new in town. 

It was definitely a taste of the old YS--all the once high-schoolers in this picture from progressive, hippie, biracial, LGBTQ families or living near families who were--growing up in an environment like that must have been so formative for them. What it must have been like to take all of that for granted... 30 years ago. The person who went into the army right after high school said how he was asked if "gays should be in the military" and that he'd responded "gay people have always been in the military, maybe you didn't know it." These people must have pushed change in the world outside of their bubble.

Also: we've been having a bit of a tough time at home because of some teen behaviors/choices/consequences--this was a good reminder that high school isn't forever, and hopefully, we will just remember the mellow highlights in a few years.

Friday, July 01, 2022

Scout = Love

Surely no one deserves this much adoration... but it feels like Scout is giving me credit for being such a grown up today: getting Nu to multiple doc appts., taking multiple meetings, being supportive to Big A as he moves into his new office in WI, and rescuing all the plants in my office. 

Or maybe Scout's commiserating because I almost got my Bluey back. Bluey got busted when I hit that poor deer back in February, and has been in the bodyshop for a month (parts shortage, delay, etc.). They called to say Bluey was ready, but when Nu and I drove off down the street, all sorts of warning lights began to flicker--so we went back for a recheck. 

In any case, I needed an extra dose of love today, and Scout was right there for me.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

normal...

Nu is completing all the school assignments he missed when he was sick, and JG very kindly consented to be interviewed for the "life in the 1980's" segment. 

We'd had a gnarly start to the day where I suspected I'd have to take Nu to the E.R.; so I was particularly glad with how fun and normal the rest of the day actually turned out--first a long visit from JG and then winding down with the new season of Umbrella Academy after dinner.

Plus I updated details of vacation week as #LaterPosts!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Barcelona 1

Woke up in our futuristic space station-themed hotel room to a view of aeons-old surrounding hills. Big A watched a YouTube video to figure out why we were going around in an unproductive loop on the Eurail online pass--and he figured it out! Smooth sailing through all our other train reservations after this.

We had an early guided tour booked for La Sagrada Familia. Nu and I left early and walked around while we waited for the tour to start and Big A to show up after getting our train tickets. The tour started. Big A was in a taxi, but not there yet. When I asked the tour facilitator if we could wait a few minutes for Big A, I was told "He has lost his chance." I suspect we'll be quoting this for ages. 😂 I made up my mind to ask the tour guide a bunch of questions to delay our entry into the cathedral so Big A could join us. And then I screamed because someone ran up to me and whispered "Boo" in my ear. Big A!

La Sagrada Familia was more than I had even imagined. Even Nu was impressed. My sister remembered right away that I used to pore over a coffee-table book on Gaudi twenty years ago.... that's how long I've been waiting to see this. But nothing could prepare me for this ongoing, gaudy, excessive, earnest eruption of construction. And they have plans and reliefs all over the place, but the entire thing is a bonkers celebration of whimsy and religious fervor. 

It was a hot day, and we'd spent much of the morning outside, so after a tapas break we piled into a taxi back to the hotel for a siesta. While we were chatting with the driver he said that his favorite place in Barcelona was Park Guell, which was on our list for that afternoon--that made everyone in the taxi super happy. Post-siesta, however we found that tickets for the Park were sold out--so we peeked at what we could from the outside and headed to the beach. 

Beaches are my happy place, and the Mediterranean was particularly blue and mysterious. We left pink Big A in the shade of the promenade and Nu and I spent a long, long time walking on the pier and sitting in meditative silence by the waves. We had gotten news of the overturning of Roe and the possible domino effect on other personal protections at the start of the afternoon and that was weighing on me. Then began a string of texts from friends urging me to show up at the state capitol to protest.

It made me feel out-of-touch and selfish, but we had reservations for dinner, so we went. It was a small, earnest place that served us course after course of delicious, farm-fresh food for over three hours. And while we were wishing At had come too, he sent us a sweet picture of him at lunch with Grandma S who's visiting Lansing for a Banjo workshop

#LaterPost

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Madrid

Madrid is lovely--ringed by trees and hills and very pleasant 62 degrees. Our hotel room was ready by the time we showed up at 10 am and we were showered, changed, and ready to sort out our Eurail reservations at Atocha Train Station by 11. The Eurail stuff took longer than we anticipated although people were helpful--sadly none of us speak Spanish well. Big A nobly offered to stay in line and figure out the reservations while Nu and I took in the city. 

So Nu and I hopped on a tour bus. Sadly, I have to say the official tour of Madrid didn't speak to me--all the triumphal arches, statues, and royal excess were too redolent of deeply-layered colonial trauma for me. Then Nu fell asleep with his head on my shoulder. I enjoyed that and the evolving 20th century architecture of Gran Via and the bustling outdoor markets of the Mercado San Miguel where we hopped off to look for souvenirs.

By the time we met up with Big A at the hotel, no one had the energy to go out to dinner, so we felt silly, but ordered from the McDonalds around the corner. 

#LaterPost

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

To Madrid

When American Airlines wouldn't accept digital copies of our Covid vaccination cards, I thought this somewhat last-minute trip would be canceled. But after an onsite, expensive, and anxiety-inducing rapid antigen test and two hours of scurrying from test center to check-in counter with contradictory and unclear instructions, we finally came into possession of our boarding passes. 

And it's always good to know we don't have Covid. An uneventful flight with lots of beautiful and brilliant sky vistas. We'll be in Madrid by morning.

#LaterPost

A tiny celebration (and an 'away' message)


Here's everyone! 


Happy reunion/belated Father's Day/end of current job contract, Big A.


I'm going sans laptop for a week--so I'll do #LaterPosts from my journal next week. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

Trust me, there are fireflies

I haven't seen L in a while so I headed down the street after dinner for a hug and to update her on all the stuff going on. And omigosh--there were just so many fireflies out and about. L said they'd been out for a week now...  I guess I've been such a shut-in, this was my first time seeing them this year. 

So although my picture looks like unrelieved night, there are a few some sparks and sparkles here and there. 

I may have taken that as a sign.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

tiny celebrations

Loved this Louise Erdrich quote; I needed a reminder of sweetness and hope today. Life can be sweet even if it isn't so every minute. My reminders for today, yesterday, and tomorrow:

At UU today I learned that Opal Lee "the grandmother of Juneteenth" was 89 years old when she started the campaign to make Juneteenth (today!) a national holiday.

Last night when I called my dad to wish him for father's day, we talked for longer than usual, because he could hear me better than he has lately. That felt so lovely.

Big A will be back tomorrow, and we'll celebrate his Father's Day the day after that.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

"An Evening In India"

Not sure if that was foolhardy or plain foolish, but in the midst of all the ongoing drama I decided to go ahead and host the "Evening in India" fundraiser anyway.

Honestly, I didn't have the energy to cancel it and communicate with the eight people who bid $80 to sign up, and then have to find another date that worked for everyone, and then I'd have that date looming on the horizon. It seemed easier to just go ahead and make the four-course meal I'd promised for today. 

So I did.

I was on my feet all day and didn't have time to think about anything but taste and temperature and coordinating time. (And unwrapping and arranging the desserts, which I got readymade at Swagath.) 

And then I had a blast writing a menu and talking to a room full of people I don't know very well. 

I'm so weird.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

downer alert

Nu was in the E.R. overnight again. This time Big A was home--I felt so thankful about that. Should I be thankful for anything when my child is in the E.R.? Is that stupid? We're trying all over again to surround Nu with the care and support he needs. 

Along with the roof ruckus, came the quick death of my garden--perennials like lilac, phlox, hydrangeas, hostas have all been squashed flat. All the annuals--coleus, begonias, geraniums--ditto. If they'd asked me to move my precious plants ahead of time, I would have found a way to do that. Somehow the peony bush seems to have survived. Yay? Friends think the perennials will come back next year... Yay, I guess. 

I keep thinking the garden looks like devastation and that I'm devastated. And then of all things, I worry I'm exaggerating my feelings. Things are worse in the world and could be worse here too. There's nothing to do but get through.  

Pic: My flattened garden. Just a few weeks ago, I was so hopeful about starting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

"all for freedom and for pleasure/nothing ever lasts forever"

I sang so much Tears For Fears as a kid--I got hooked on "Everybody wants to Rule the World" like everyone else and then got pretty lost in the deep tracks of their discography.

So when KB invited me to go see them in concert, I said yes. It was wonderful! I got to sing along to all my favorites, and Garbage whose song "Stupid Girl" I was near addicted to, once upon a time, opened. 

What I couldn't shake was the surreal sense of time and age--all around me I could see people like myself and I could see us all as kids when the songs first came out. We still loved the same songs, but were different people with different lives all these decades later. Curt Smith looks like an older version of the boy in the video, but Roland Orzabal (whose name I had to look up because he was the one I didn't have a crush on) looks like a completely different person. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

and that's (not) a wrap

I came home to the roofers hard at work with Tyvek wrap around the front of the house too. Older pictures I've posted show we've had that bright blue tarp up on the back roof for a long ass time

And while we've looked forward to this day for over three years, nothing could have prepared us for the all-day hammering, trampled garden, and glass from the skylights everywhere. (Thankfully broken skylight glass is clumpy and cubed like car windshield glass--not slivers.)

And now we hear the roof beams are rotted and need replacing ($$$). Plus they need to be ordered and that will take time. I know there's a crying jag coming my way any time now.

Monday, June 13, 2022

"it ain't over till it's over"


The end of the night came in the early hours of this morning. We were so tired and sweaty from so much time on the dance floor in the LA heat. The playlist was both Indian and Mexican (like my cousin the bride) and very... energetic.

Memories of our silliness and shenanigans are making me smile on this very long flight back to Michigan where I will resume my very responsible parental persona on arrival.

Pic: Photo booth with my baby cousins


 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

fuzzy

So much talking: a mix of nostalgia, memories, and future plans. 

(This included an all family summit on how do we solve a problem like the Nu. In my book, there is no problem, but I know this came from a place of love, so I listened and made the right noises.)

My memory of this day is as fuzzy as this pic, but I remember feeling so loved.

#LaterPost

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Sari: this is special

An early pic from the Henna and Sangeet part of the wedding before we got our henna done and before the rehearsed and unrehearsed singing and dancing got underway. 

I managed my sari ok. Nicole, you asked--and it really is six yards of fabric wrapped, pleated, tucked into a petticoat, and held together by safety pins. I did make the rookie mistake of not putting my shoes on first, so my sari (I'm in the center by the pillar) is not 'floor level' unlike the other saris in the picture. 

My favoritest part of this is how my favoritest aunt is just holding my hand so close because we've missed each other so much these last couple of years and it felt so good to be reunited.

#LaterPost

Friday, June 10, 2022

cherry picking

I mean Nu is literally picking cherries here 🤗. Between the squirrels and the rain, we didn't get any cherries last year, so Nu decided he'd get in there even as our cherries are just beginning to turn pinkish. 

And... Nu got offered the job he interviewed for at the mall yesterday! He says he was interviewed by two "older ladies" (this was defined for me as "20s or 30s" LOLOLOL) with "great energy." He'll start in July. He's so chuffed that he landed his first job interview ever. 

In other child-related news, in an unexpected development, I'm experiencing a sense of calm post At's car accident now that he's taking the bus everywhere. I didn't realize before how much his driving and his driving while brown status weighed on me. 

I'm about 70% packed for my trip to LA tomorrow. I'm gone for just two nights and Big A is fully capable (and better equipped by training) to take care of convalescing Nu, give Scout his meds, etc. but it still feels weird to leave. I'm ostensibly headed to my cousin's wedding--earlier than planned since the date has been changed due to a cancer diagnosis in the family. That sadness--and the superficial stress of making sure I remember the zillion things I need for my saris--are on my mind. I suspect my cousins and I will revert to being our silly childhood selves when we actually see each other.


Thursday, June 09, 2022

interview day

Nu interviewed for a job at the mall today. It amuses me no end that along with all the nineties fashions, hanging out at the mall has been coming back in vogue for this generation too. 

Nu thinks the interview went well, Big A took him to the mall as I had a couple of meetings. When we mock-interviewed yesterday, Nu was kinda amazing. I mean, I asked him the standard "why do you want to work here?" and he responded that he likes to help people and would like to be the small interaction that might light up a person's day. I wanted to hire him on the spot. 

Despite the 90s nostalgia, I think we're doing better as a society. I didn't worry even once about how Nu's quirky aesthetic would be received. This is so different from my SIL's experience when she used to wear a blue mohawk. 

Pic: Big A's portrait of pre-interview Nu.

wild as me

night sticks in my throat growling, waits to see  what we pounce on next life slips by in a canopy  of breath, exhaling time ...scattering n...