Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

"as bright as ten million suns"*

Ganesha Chaturthi today (basically, Ganesha's birthday)! I'm not super religious, but I do find joy, peace, and solace in celebrating the rituals I was raised with.

It was a teaching day, so I moved pooja until after work. I always fast on Ganesh Chaturthi until I can break my fast with the pooja offering, so it did mean that I fasted all day. It was extra interesting because I brought pumpkin cake and almond pastries to work to celebrate. 

But I survived hunger (and temptation), came home, made dinner, made a prasad-and-fruit-plate for pooja, had a peaceful pooja, and a nice dinner (and later cuddle) with the fam. 

#AdventuresInPracticingAMinorityReligion. There's a new Michigan bill that would make more minority religious holidays official state holidays. I appreciate how considerate that is, but also, the religious observances in Hinduism are so numerous, I doubt it it'll make more than a dent. Ha.

* Title: I love the sloka that compares the brightness of this god of beginnings to "ten million suns."

Pic: Huck and Max planning to take naps on me. (And yes, we got a third couch for the rumpus room so we can all sprawl a little more.)

Saturday, September 16, 2023

kindling

I needed something. I can't be Mx. Congeniality at work, earth + den mother at home and then all mopey all the time on my own time. 

So as of today I have a new book (Zadie Smith's The Fraud), a new show (Sweet, Kaaram, Coffee), and a new language on DuoLingo (French, which I took last in high school) to help me reset my spate of mopey days. 

Big A is taking a pre-work nap after our lovely meal with AH and SD and Nu is off to movie night at a friend's. I have the house to myself for the first time in what seems forever to cuddle with Huck and Max and kindle something new to get me out of my rut. 

Pic: Max + the firewood and kindling we got out of the two trees that fell into our backyard in last month's storm. When life gives you downed trees, make firewood... or something like that.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

take it easy

Already slowing down as I promised myself. And taking it easy. Theme sound tracks courtesy The Eagles; and also from Kadhalan (I'm always trying to translate this song and its references for my kids).

UU this morning after many weeks... Big A came with me, Nu didn't. I guess that at nearly 16, they get to decide if they want to go services or not. I always swore I would let my kids decide what religious practices they wanted to adopt, and I guess I get to show I meant it. I'm grateful that they're happy to do all the culturally relevant stuff like rakhis or Diwali... for now, anyway.

Nia at UU was water-themed and lovely. Also lovely was being able to add drops from the sea at Pondycherry to the communal column of water. The quiet moments brought a lot of thoughts of Scout and tears. I wonder if being away from UU was less about Nu wanting to sleep in and more about me not being ready to sit in silence with my thoughts.

After months of forgoing massages, I think l've got a schedule set up with RR who can make house visits. I hope I honor this commitment of wellbeing, time, and $$ to myself. I'm remarkably low maintenance with hair (Supercuts) and products (drugstore) so splurging on massage makes sense in my head. 

 Pic: Max, Huck, Big A, Nu, and At. Dinner with the fam! I miss At the burly labor organizer, but love the new look too. I pulled my chair away from the table this time to get Huck and Max in the frame.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

game on

Saturday is chore day around here, so after I watered and tended to the zillion (rough estimate) indoor plants, vacuumed, put away laundry, and cleaned, Big A and I set off for what we thought would be a long, chatty walk. 

If we'd been the least bit interested in American football, we'd have known that MSU had a home game today. After a summer of basically having all of campus to ourselves, we were startled to see a football stadium's worth of people pouring out of every street and building. I mean, it's their campus, not ours--but it didn't stop us from feeling somewhat affronted. Ha. 

And then I decamped to go do things with friends. As Nu hugged me goodbye as I was leaving, they dolefully asked if they were having dinner without me again (I got home late after student activities yesterday too). I felt momentarily guilty, but Nu and Big A take any evening I'm gone as a mandate to order junk food they love, so I know they actually have a great time. 

I had a great time with two sets of girlfriends too. 

Pic: We're pretending to be mannequins because we were all dressed up and there was this empty storefront. It's too bad the glare ruined the concept a bit, but I still love how fabulous the voluminous salwar suit my aunt gave me when I was in India looks. 

Friday, September 08, 2023

cool summer

Things I love RN:

* IYKYK: Current tube of mascara that's at the perfect level of sticky (not fresh-out-of-packaging watery or time-to-retire dry).

* FTW: Big bags of brussel sprouts--they're just mini cabbages, aren't they? They seem to never go moldy and that means I can find something fresh to slice into stir-fries or salads even the day before I absolutely need to grocery shop.

* JIC: This weird hack--lace undies about two sizes up. They look cool and are cooling--I loved post-partum mesh undies, and I love these. 

* TBH: The easy grading options on Canvas. I'm so current with grading right now. (And also so much love for my FYS students who are being real champs about transitioning to college.)

* FTW: Lavender oil--I'm using it for hands, face, hair, laundry, and bathroom counters. Also cookies.

* OMG: Officially, there're still two weeks of summer left!

Pic: Smores with students after the faculty meeting that went on until 5:30 today.

Thursday, September 07, 2023

my busy-ness

All my teaching days feel long this semester, so I'm going to stop thinking/saying that because it's not helpful. It is super helpful that Big A (and Nu) have dinner ready and the table set by the time I walk in through the door though. ๐Ÿ’—

I'm grateful for the vacation weekend and a super busy social weekend coming up, but it does make everything feel a little more breathless and non stop. I'm going to prioritize some quiet and relaxation next week. (Promises, promises.)

I finally started giving people the gifts I brought them back from India and I feel like such a September Santa. And I finally washed the suitcase of clothes from my India trip. For the record, I returned nearly a month ago--but at least the backlog is getting addressed? Also: I'm all caught up with early grading and I managed to tuck in a walk with JG (and even VV who joined us halfway) into today--so yay me?

Pic: I'd planned to use a pic of Max post his first haircut today, but Maya proposes and Max disposes and all that--so instead, here's a picture of Max back from his latest "project" in the backyard.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

celebrations

It's EM's birthday! It's my dad's birthday! AD is in remission! It's a blue moon! It's a blue moon and a super moon! It's raksha bandhan! 

After work, I was in and out of the house all evening taking soup to AD and pastries and presents to EM (whom we celebrated over dinner last week). Many folks do all this commuting everyday with their kids' activities and sports and... wow. It's a lot.

Our rakhi days are different from everyone else's. This year, only Nu is wearing their rakhi on their wrist; At is wearing theirs on their ankle (work doesn't allow bracelets), and Huck and Max are wearing theirs on their collars. The kids--human and canine--have been tying on rakhis and promising to protect each other for as long as I can remember. But the years are distinct. This is Max's first; we missed Scout. I looked back at last year's celebration, and it feels like a different pandemic world!

After dinner, we called my dad to serenade him with birthday songs and then went outside to look for the blue super moon. My city kids (pointing at a distant streetlight) "Is that it?" (Face palm.)

We finally found it later and higher in the sky--so, so lovely!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

crashing

Opening convocation today. The energy was a bit off without families in the stands, but clapping students into college life through a faculty gauntlet is still fun. 

Also a ton of meetings; I crashed hard at my seventh meeting of the day at 4:00 pm. I was so afraid I was going to fall asleep right at the conference table, I started to rearrange the stickers on my computer.

At came to dinner and when I was dropping them off at their place we got caught in a terrific thunderstorm: trees falling onto the road, tornado warning, the works. Visibility was so bad as the rain was just sheeting across the windshield--there was no way to tell where I was driving, if the river had flooded etc. And nowhere to pull over safely either.

Terrific crashes in our backyard too, I guess morning will show us the damage.

Pic: Before the storm--Nu, Big A, & At at dinner; Max and Huck are under the table. We're planning a trip to a state park for Big A's big birthday in two months!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Day One

I'm sharing Nu's first day of school pictures with so much hope this year, may the universe be good to this child. On FB, I wrote: The tee says "gloomy," but the smile seems to say "ready." Hopeful!

I watched from the end of our driveway as Nu chatted with bus stop friends and the bus showed up on time. When the bus doors close, Joni's always in my head singing "and a big yellow school bus took my little baby away." Mostly icebreakers and fun at school today, apparently. So far, so good.

For me: A detox/day off. I hiked with Big A this morning (eight+ miles) and we took a long soak. Then a CASA meeting, puttering around with online work, house chores, ordering stuff online for other families needing stuff for back-to school, a call with an old student, etc.; pokรจ delivery (Nu's choice) for dinner.

Pic: Screen-grab from my FB post. Each time someone wished Nu, it felt like a blessing.

Monday, August 21, 2023

full

Such a full day! I was on the road for sunrise, sunset, and sickle-moon-rise.

We're officially back at work as Fall Conference started today. And I'm so full and excited from seeing everyone after summer break and catching up and being introduced to new people and talked into new committees and and and... It hasn't been quite like this since the start of the pandemic... Being with colleagues and friends is not something I take for granted anymore. I may have sardonically shared The Chronicle's "First Faculty Meeting of the Year Bingo card" on the group chat, but I sincerely and nerdily love my work.

A lot of the socializing took place over three meals on campus, so I'm feeling pretty full on that count too. 

Pic: Walking back to my car after the all-campus picnic.

Friday, August 18, 2023

chances are

the tide seeks
greedily by the river 
it could leave us hanging

or help us lose--
then we're all swimmers
reaching away, trying to speak 

until we choose 
the suck-slide of undertow 
waves keep a beat--like trauma

go ahead, tell me
how many people we are
allowed to be before any ending
-------------------------------------------------------------

Didn't go to book club today--just didn't feel it was ok to be indoors with other people. The book was Bonnie Garmus's Lessons in Chemistry--I found it both alarming and twee and can't tell yet if I liked it. 

Also in OMG: L and T stocked us up on food--soup, pierogies, grape leaves, chicken salad... I'll not need to cook for days.

Pic: A very swollen Red Cedar with Big A. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

un-doing

Baby steps today: Just one meeting, a tiny handful of emails, a short walk, an easy meal. I keep reminding myself of my spectacular relapse after I overdid things earlier this week. 

Easy does it. 

Unrelated: I can't stop thinking about the food situation with my parents, sis, and BIL. I knew they had let some household help, including their cook, go during the early stages of the pandemic. What I didn't realize is that now everyone just orders food online and then they eat separately and at different times. So all they're eating--sometimes even at breakfast, and almost always at lunch and dinner--is restaurant food. Each one according to their own schedule and by themselves. 

The worst part is that the food is frequently limp, unappetizing, and unsatisfying by the time it arrives, so it seems people eat more than they would otherwise. My BIL won't even enter the kitchen, my sis is too busy with her job, and my parents are too old, so this isn't a problem with an obvious solution. I made soups and stir-frys while there (for the kids mainly, but there was enough for everyone) and everyone acted like it was the most amazing food in the world (although it really wasn't!). My sister takes such good care of my parents and I didn't want to be a dick; so I didn't say anything. But mealtimes were such a time of togetherness growing up and I feel so, so sad that it's not the case anymore over there. 

Pic: Look! A medieval-looking turret on our way to get Big A some coffee at Biggby! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

so it's like that

India's Independence Day! 

This afternoon, after working diligently on syllabuses and stuff, I took a second SUV-load of stuff to the donation center--all the stuff from Big A's Milwaukee apartment. I hope someone else enjoys the nice toaster and placemats and towels and sheets and Apple TV stuff. Big A started his Michigan job while we were in India, and I'm so glad for us to be under the same roof now. And to be able to give away this stuff that was sitting in the garage.

I made a big pot of soup with turmeric, ginger, garlic, and tons of veggies because I wasn't feeling so good. In fact, I felt like I had when I was sick last week. Big A who had been incredulous that no one had given us a Covid test, gave me one... and... that MF-er lit right up. 

So we had Covid and gave it to other people. I feel so gross about that. We've been masking everywhere, since we got sick, so hopefully we've been able to limit the spread. I don't feel too sick, but I've been too upset about my public health fail to work. Have been watching Made in Heaven, my mom recommended it after we saw an ad for it on a billboard on our way to the airport.

And the Crumbl cookies I picked up because I was on that side of town gave Nu an allergic reaction. Whomp, whomp. Not a complete winner of a day, for sure. 

Friday, August 11, 2023

out...

Somehow I didn't sleep a wink last night. I guess my sleep schedule is officially fucked in every time zone. 

Anyway, I was up because At dowloaded the new Salman Rushdie--Victory City--on my phone and it mentions people and places I'm connected to (my dad's family claim to be descendants of Krishna Deva Raya's palaiyakars/poligars). I'm finding Rushdie's alternative retelling and the female protagonist spellbinding.

I did sleep for a few hours this morning after packing. When I woke up, I walked in on my mom and Nu watching Taylor Swift videos in the living room--it was adorable. Then it was a quick trip to the temple, delivering a small present for the flower-seller friend's toddler, calling everyone to say goodbye, and the beginning of saying goodbyes at home. Mom and dad rode with us to the airport although non passengers aren't allowed to enter the airport, and it was SO tough saying goodbye. I always thought Scout looked a bit like my dad, and my confused mind is really making a mess of things.

We're now through airport security (which was long, slow, and overly thorough) and at our gate at last. I pulled out my credit card for the first time on this trip when I tried to buy the kids a snack at Starbucks, but they wouldn't accept foreign credit cards (this is an international airport, so I'm mystified). 

Pic: At and Nu: the hungry and passed out edition.

Saturday, August 05, 2023

living loud

When Big A texted at 10 past midnight to see if I was still up, I texted this picture of family waving back at him--it's only ten past midnight, everyone's still here! 

You won't find Nu in this picture because it's late and they'd had their fill of social interaction. 

And you won't find At in this picture because their fever had spiked and they're in bed after we went to the hospital earlier in the evening for a consult, tests, and antivirals. (There's a chance it could be dengue, although we haven't been bitten by a single mosquito, and of course it could be Covid--either of which could complicate things by a whole lot.)

I've had some lovely conversations with my dad on this trip thanks to his amazing new hearing aid. This morning he was telling me about a sib who died in infancy and their family dog who died from grief soon after (that's the family story, anyway), and I started to cry about Scout. My dad was upset about making me cry, but actually, it was such a relief to be able to do any of this--talk to my dad, talk about Scout, hear a story I've heard 10,000 times before, etc. 

Pic: Part of my loud and lovely family. The sheet of paper in VM's hand is a blueprint for the big family reunion being planned for next year. (Bangalore)

Friday, August 04, 2023

here we are...

Altogether!
 
We always talk late into the night and wake up at dawn; there's always jokes, and teasing, and stories we've all heard a ton of times and laughing a lot for no good reason. 

And it's about being so looked after that people will do things that might seem silly. My aunt was worried that the cooks would absent-mindedly use mustard (At is allergic) that she took all the mustard out of the kitchen and put it all in her bedroom! Of course, we kept teasing her about it all day.

Pic: Dad, At, me, AA, VM, Nu, mom, and sis. 
I'm in a formal saree because I'm headed off to give a talk at Stella Maris, my undergraduate college in Chennai!  At is a bit under the weather today (hence the mask).

Sunday, July 23, 2023

"it'll grow back"

I know that everyone in India will love my babies no matter what, but also... I want them to look nice on the visit. 

So I (very cautiously) broached the idea of a haircut with Nu, who hasn't been to a hair stylist in over two years. They'd cut their own hair a couple of times since then, but not recently. 

When I called the Aveda salon that Big A and Nu use to make an appointment, there was a lot of back and forth and then they asked me if Nu was "biologically male or female." Whereupon I gave them a piece of my mind and hung up. I could have handled that better. But it's fucking hair! Why should it matter?! 

Anyway, I checked in for this morning at the Supercuts nearby (it's the place I use) and off we went. 

I must say, Nu's choice of cut is a bit complicated--the laidback TikTok teen who models it in Nu's reference video has a rattail mullet and sides shaved in an undercut. When we got to the Supercuts, the stylist was an older South Asian woman in a hijab. NGL, I wondered if she'd balk at Nu's choice of cut. But she just cheerfully set to work. At the end of 30 minutes, Nu had precisely the haircut they wanted and I relievedly tipped a 150%. Haircut? More like hair cute! (Ok, I'll stop.)

Nu and I were to go to dinner with AK and AK, but the restaurant closed early (Sunday!) so we met at home to polish off the leftovers from yesterday's feast. I excused Nu from the table, but they chose to linger for hours. Do the AKs know what a huge compliment that is?!

Pic: Baker Woods with L early this morning. This deer was most interested in our chat. 

Note: Pre haircut we were joking about how it's only hair and it'll grow back... and wondering if a hair salon called "It'll Grow Back," would be popular.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

trumpets!

Ok. So proud of myself today.

I got the chapter done this morning. Twenty days late, and Big A eyes glazed over when I summarized it on our walk yesterday, and the editor hasn't seen or approved it. But at this moment, I think it's a good first draft. 

And then in the afternoon, I single-handedly shopped, cooked, and (six hours later) served a fancy four-course Indian meal for the UU fundraiser. I think this is my fourth year of doing this "Evening in India" thing, so I have the menu, prep, and production down to an exact science. I like to pretend I'm running a restaurant--do other grown ups do this too? ๐Ÿ˜‚ A couple of guests remarked that they were so happy to get in this year because they'd tried to bid on my offering for a couple of years but the bids went up so quickly. I said something self-deprecating, but I preened a little bit on the inside when I heard that. 

 Pic: Trumpet vine flowers to go with all the self-trumpeting. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

a forgotten summer list

Between the travel and deadlines, I totally forgot to make a summer list this year...

But summer things are still happening anyway. At a breakneck pace these days.

We're entertaining for the next three days (three very different things), have houseguests the weekend after, and then it's off to India... eep.

And as Nu said dolefully: when we come back from India, summer vacation will almost be over. I wanted to redirect and say we ought to enjoy the moment and that we have a whole month left, but NGL--I lowkey feel the way Nu does too.

Pic: Big A, Huck, and Max roasting veggie dogs.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

summer fullness

Still frozen in the same place on the writing project--convinced that I'll be satisfied if I work on it for just another 24 hours. Perhaps it's time to send it off to the editor and let them tell me what I need to fix?  Perhaps it needs to live in someone else's brain for a while.

In the afternoon, I took myself off to HS's annual garden party, which, as always, was a treat. An unexpected treat was the live jazz band that set up in the dining room and was absolutely fantastic. 

The last time H.S. had their garden party was in the year before the pandemic... it was impossible not to reflect on how much has changed since the last time and simultaneously feel that familiar sense of return about so much else.   

I feel so replete with flowers, friends, music... and food. So full of food: The whole afternoon repast at HS's, then dumplings and stir-fry at home, and then a second dinner as Nu wanted a pizza snack but only if I would share it with them.

Pic: A partial view of HS's beautiful garden. Someday I will have a beautiful garden too and deer won't eat it.

an unfolding

I have been dreaming of people invisible mountains I exhaled  into existing twisting, quickening and though  short-lived as grass, are seeds...