Showing posts with label Diary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diary. Show all posts

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Six on a Sunday

*     Pic: Just a silly picture Nu and I took the other day. We like squirrels. And we like how this one seems to have claimed a local church. 

*     Speaking of church--UU was one of our first stops  today. Nu is helping in the little kids' room instead of doing R.E. with his own set and liking it. Also, the MI Lieutenant Governor was at the service and everyone waved to him. Singing has been back for a while, and I'm loving it.

*     Between meeting CF (massage) and BES (dinner prep) and EM (birthday celebration) in person this weekend and  marathon text threads and FaceTimes with the cousins, fam, and friends--It was a rather intense social weekend.

*     On the other hand, I did a TON of work today with new students. It's a Sunday, but then it's the start of the semester and they're new and seemed a bit lost, so... 

*     All the syllabuses and diagnostics for tomorrow are uploaded on Canvas. So there's nothing left to do but get some sleep, hope the documents stay stable, and look forward to tomorrow with that classic first-day-combination of jittery excitement and flustery edginess. 

*     Bye-bye sabbatical!

Friday, August 26, 2022

que sera, sera

I didn't realize how much the Chipotle union election was weighing on me until I woke up this morning with the worry lifted off me. I'm so happy... and relieved it went well. I don't know how I would have begun to console At and all those other young people, if things hadn't gone right. 

Some tangential stuff has been so sweet... from colleagues messaging to say they heard At on NPR; his old YDSA colleagues chuffed with success; my family, friends, and students trying to connect this to me, etc.

So a day of relief. But my body has been tense and tired for a long time. Last week, I'd booked a massage for myself for today. I remember booking it and wondering what state of mind I'd be in when I got to go in: Would I be happy? Would I be crushed? And here's what I said to myself: Whatever will be, will be; I'll need this either way.

My kids' teachers would often make them write letters to their future selves--this massage felt like a present from my past self. 

Pic: The offering I took to the temple the day before the election.

P.S. It seems I jumped the gun on International Dogs' Day--it was today not the day before yesterday.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

HUGE exhale; halellujah

At and his coworkers did it! They are now the first unionized Chipotle (and possibly first labor union at a fast food restaurant). So proud of this very young crew for accomplishing something so historic and moving the needle in the direction of solidarity and justice. 

We've all been holding our breaths because At really poured himself into this effort and sacrificed a lot. (We've all missed him for months at this point as he worked himself ragged with food service, unionizing, and DSA leadership.) So I'm so glad this thing that is good for the world happened AND I'm happy that At's dream came true. 

I'm still catching up to all the media attention this is getting with Bernie Sanders tweeting about it and At quoted as "union organizer" in this Washington Post article

(Just last year I was worried about his "impromptu gap year;" he's done more than I have in any one year.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

dogged

I heard today is "National Dog's Day." Happy Scout and Huckie Day! 

I'm not sure if these guys know they're dogs, and I'm guilty of treating them like eternal toddlers, but I'm always happy to celebrate everything. (I used to get At and Nu those "Every Day is a Holiday" calendars for a few years, and there were some pretty wacky celebrations for a while.)

Big A sent me a heads up this morning that there's a mysterious illness that has killed dozens of dogs in Michigan. Turns out it's a parvovirus. Usually my babies are fairly isolated from other doggies, but I'm taking them to the veterinarian tomorrow for their shots, and that's making me anxious. 

(I'm also anxious about attending opening convocation tomorrow, meeting my new first-year advisees, and making it back in time to take S and H to their doc on time.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Day #1 Notes

Nu woke up early and was ready for school in plenty of time. But still too nervy to take a formal "first day of school" pic, so this is what I got as he headed for the school bus. (Pic okayed by Nu.) I guess we're out of practice; Nu napped for hours after getting back from a 4-hour school half-day.

It was a busy work day for me made passable by good work friends and their side chats, emails, calls, and also genius gifs and memes they made themselves. 

At the end of the day, it was nice to hang out out with Big A (even if only on Portal) and he was happy to find and open up his Boss Day present (which I'd hidden in a cabinet while we were in MKE). Scout and Huck predictably got excited for treats when they heard Nu and me sing the "Boss Day Song" (which is just the regular "Happy Birthday" repurposed). I think they're beginning to recognize Big A's voice on the Portal and think Dada "lives in a box now." Or at least that's the understanding we've assigned to them.

And finally, I have a new CASA case with four children--it sounds daunting and difficult to take on at this moment... but I keep thinking how much more difficult for the kids themselves... And so I will.

Monday, August 22, 2022

just another manic Monday

This picture was shared on the college's social media, so I suppose it's ok to share. I was going to joke about looking for me on the far left in this picture... but I can actually espy myself (it helps that I'm so brown and am wearing a mask).  

No one at work said a thing about my facial piercings, which I took as a sign that people either didn't notice it or were too freaked out by it. I miss besties KB, JG, CF being at work because they would totally have blurted out questions... and it would be fun coming from them.

Long day: lots of new info and expectations for the upcoming year + some initial prep for a travel course over boxed lunches with CC.

Then I took care of my babies. Nu wanted to spend a couple of hours at the mall with a friend (I counted mall-walking as exercise today); drove to At's Chipotle to morale boost the unionizing crew with some old-fashioned conversation (all the "Union Strong!" orders I'd been placing via the app for $1.67 chips kept showing up with my name on it--unsure of that's a glitch or corporate interference); and now I'm curled up with Scout and Huck. Scout just did his happy sigh, so all is right with the world in this moment.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

up! ahead!

We're back!

And that was both the last trip and the last weekend of the summer before school starts.

Fall Conference starts tomorrow, Nu goes back to school on Tuesday, my opening convocation and At's NLRB election are both on Thursday... It's quite a week, so I went ahead and booked myself a massage on Friday.

Then I can spend the weekend getting prepped/psyched for the start of term.

Pic: Nu and Big A at the Milwaukee Museum of Art.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Going West

Nu and I took the train to see Big A in Milwaukee. Their beach is lovely, and the city has a lot to offer, but I've just been such a hater all trip long because it's not home and Big A has to spend so much time here. If I were a smarter, more grateful person, I would be thankful that Milwaukee has the perfect ER research job for Big A.

Anyway... 

Big A was so excited for our visit and had arranged a full day of garden and museum visits and a fancy dinner out. But I've been so full of tears and tantrums that we only just made it to the art museum and then got carryout from Shake Shack (I got the mushroom burger) so we could go back to the apartment for some more moping. 

I'm in that terrible place where I know I'm behaving badly, but can't seem to do better. An absolute delight.

Friday, August 19, 2022

also new...

Sometime last weekend when I was taking stock of the summer (and its disappointments) I woke up one morning convinced that what would make things better would be (a) a Costco membership (b) a piercing. 

I managed to talk myself out of the Costco--I think we'd be in danger of wasting food if we bought in Costco quantities. But the feeling about the piercing didn't go away...

And so I made an appointment. When the time came, I wanted to wimp out, but Nu said I was already old and not getting any younger and if I wanted to do something I should do it now.  It was the best advice. 

(Nu also came to the appointment with me, helped me choose jewelry, and held my hand when I wanted...)

And now I have bilateral eyebrow piercings.

I like them.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Okay, this is new...

RH, an old student I've kept in touch with via FB, sent this screenshot for reference and wrote to say he's been contracted to write for a game called Wildsea and that he based an NPC (non playing character) on me. 

To say I'm grateful to be remembered is an understatement. 🥰 And then I was very moved that my character is a teacher/mentor. 😭

It was only when I attached the screenshot here and looked at the name again that I realized that the character Dorma Laspra's name is a composite made of the beginning syllables of each of my two first and two last names. 

🥰 😭 🥰 😭 🥰 😭 🥰 😭

I'm kinda crying now, in case you couldn't tell. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

s/unlit

In the midst of mounting excitement about the start of the new school year, it was a shock to hear two people who'd been at the college died unexpectedly on Monday. I didn't know either of them very well, but I knew of them; I feel their loss. 

Tall T, a student who graduated about five years ago was a basketball star and while I never saw him play, I knew him from his work in the admissions office, met him when he accompanied new students to my office, and appreciated how he helped me troubleshoot software problems more than once. I am particularly grateful for the way he tried to reassure me that these problems happen to everyone. I can see his smile as he says we shouldn't worry about it to me and the students we were assisting. I hadn't seen him in a few years, and it makes me sad that now I never will. I'm sad his smile--that used to dawn slowly, indulgently--is no longer in this world somewhere...

J worked in the janitorial department--I don't think I ever met her, but her four kids go to college here and E, her oldest, was in my environmental literature class. I remember J through the concern E had for the chemicals her mother was exposed to on a daily basis. So this is a tenuous connection, but that's how I met her--through E's words; that's how I held her in my head, my heart, and classroom. 

I'm grieving for T and J and their families. Death is so weird in its finality... and yet we're such a small community that every person presence reverberates in us all. 

Pic: Huge and droopy sunflower

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

only connect


so open that door 
or open this book
I open my mouth 
wait for an answer 
                           ...answer always already  
                           the knocking of my heart
                            promises folding around  
                             surrounding me like love
                                                               ...love you, for I love you 
                                                                 and I know how I love you
                                                               every one of you, I know you
                                                               can remind me of no one else 


Pic: Picnic at KV's... so many generations of women and children. I appreciated this lovely summer afternoon with Nu: destressing, snacking, reconnecting, and cuddling babies. (It was especially welcome after an all-morning, in-person meeting for our departmental re-visioning.)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Easy like Sunday...


A sweet, fulfilling, and unhurried day from UU in the morning to yoga in the evening. Weekend chores completed, some prep for the weekday started. 

Some things didn't happen--Pride got rained out on Saturday, grocery shopping didn't happen today... we did get Insomnia Cookies delivered both days though 🙃.

My sense of content is overlaid by the knowledge that there's a train ticket back to Milwaukee on Big A's phone for tomorrow.

And that Nu and I start school next week. I should remember to do weekends like this when we're back. 

Pic: (secular) stained glass at UU Lansing. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Sir Salman

Really unsettled today by the stabbing suffered by Salman Rushdie, whose brilliant and provocative work is the basis for whole disciplines. I and hosts of others made academic articles/positions/reputations based on his work. And he was always so amiable and cordial every time I met him. 

I'm not a fan of his later work, recent politics, or aspects of his personal life (I stopped buying his books when he supported Roman Polanski), but I cannot forget how breathtaking and eye-opening Midnight's Children was when I first read it or how poignant Haroun and the Sea of Stories was when it came out ... I remember thinking I didn't know you're allowed to do this with language... I didn't know you were allowed to write about this... 

I hope he makes a full recovery. 

Back in 2006, I copied this extract from an article in The Telegraph:

It has not escaped his attention that living under a fundamentalist threat was once a solo occupation for him. Now we all are.

"That's true," he says cheerfully. "And I think we all are in the end making the same choice that I made all those years ago which was, you just have to get on with your life. You know, in the end, that is all you can do."

Wordle to the rescue

 Wordle scores are really worth nothing, but somehow they turned out to be super important to me this summer. 

This summer has been a time of disruption: Big A's new job in a different state (WI since June-July); Nu's health (ER in May and June, outpatient all July); stalled house and roof repairs (since May and ongoing). I want to acknowledge how these big things led to lots of secondary issues: I got no significant writing done, my garden and garden plans were obliterated, bills are mounting, ditto anxiety, and on and on. 

Wordle to the rescue. Turns out that at least once a day, I can control and solve something. And Big A and I use the same starter word, so there's an unofficial competition. I currently hold the family crown for solves in the least number of moves--solving over a hundred games on the third move. I see my stats and give myself a moment of applause.

Monday, August 08, 2022

adult-child

In my head At may be a baby/toddler/kid/young adult... but in actuality, he's 23; an adult. And  relationally speaking, also my child. Navigating being loving and supportive without being intrusive has been something I've been conscious of working on for a while now. 

Parenthood's most persistent fear has been about losing my kids (to disaster/ill health). So it was horrifying to read about another take on this loss in the pull quote on this article about parent-child estrangement in The Atlantic: "you can be a conscientious parent and your kid may still want nothing to do with you when they’re older." 

The article then goes on to say that there are usually reasons for parent-child estrangement even if it has to do with how the parent and the child see the past differently. 

Very yikes. A cautionary tale, I guess, but what can anyone do about the past anyway?

Pic: Eyde Woods; The Red Cedar River muddy post rain.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

safekeeping

some nights still ignite memory
for surely, the before times have now ended 

these are the final days of now
we'll yet, plot a way forward at lines's end

to hearts that can highlight us
even if, the burning map descends over us

I can turn my back to the bullets
my friends, like a coward or a rebel or a child

Friday, August 05, 2022

unexpected sweetness

When we dropped Big A off at the train station the other day, I noticed a huge new sports complex on Service Rd., so I took L and Nu to see it on this morning's walk.  

Except--by the time we marveled over how quickly the complex had gone up and commiserated over how we wouldn't be able to traipse over the fields as a shortcut as we used to--there was a very long and slow train stuck on the tracks blocking our way home. 

Thankfully, Nu suggested we go to Chapelure, and thankfully, I carry a credit card on the little pocket on my phone so we did. Coffee for L, tea for me, a three-course breakfast for Nu, a chance to sit on the patio and pretend we were in Paris (Nu had a croissant), and it was an unexpected treat on an ordinary Friday morning.

Pic: When LB and TB came over for dinner, they brought this arrangement of flowers from their garden. It's arranged in a sundae glass and has two straws it it. So cute!

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

haphazardly

I sent a 15-second loop of the Red Cedar flowing under the Spartan Bridge to the family chat, because I felt we could all use it today. 

*

I walked A LOT today: four miles with Nu, two miles with Big A after Nu's medical appointment and my NWSA meeting, and then another four miles by myself because I felt kind of jumpy and wanted to tire myself out. 

*

SD, my dear friend of 25 years who lives in DC and was going to spend the rest of the week with us here, had to postpone her trip due to a Covid exposure. But we already have a new date and new plans: she's going to come in the last week of September and maybe visit one of my classes, so I'm excited about that. 

*

An unlooked for bonus is that I'd arranged for small dinner parties tomorrow and the day after to entertain her. Those gatherings are still happening, so it'll still be somewhat convivial around here.  

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

(Work in) Progress

I was blown away when I saw this de-construction of progress, and am pinning this for myself and everyone I know. I hope I remember to refer to it when Nu feels he's backsliding or At feels he's stagnating or students feel overwhelmed.

[It fits perfectly with how I'm hating on civilization and our definitions of progress right now because I'm rereading Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.]

Big A is in town, so we did a "Books and Burritos" night, going to the bookstore and swinging by At's branch of Chipotle. It's At's Boss Day, so we'd planned it around surprising him... he was more like taken aback. Later he texted: "Sorry I looked bad and was so stressed." That very nearly broke my heart. Their NLRB election date is 8/25; we're all crossing fingers and holding our breath...

all set to start

 Navaratri celebrations tonight! "Take homes" (snack boxes and gift bags) and our miniature magic forest "Golu" are read...