Friday, February 26, 2021
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
I see the river has flatlined
I did not intend, I did not
think to do it on my own
to on my own
run: around, out, away
As if the sun floats belly up
and if I can do it, my darlings
if I can do it, why can't I?
Why can't I
check: list, mate, out
(Red Cedar, MSU Riverwalk)
Reading students encountering Laura Mulvey, Hanif Kureishi, and Shauna Singh Baldwin, introducing a new class to invitational rhetoric, referencing an old student's lesson plan involving the 'Red Rover' game... everything felt like a fresh spring--at least in my soul.
By the time I got home to little Nu, the 'sad' part persisted, but the 'mad' part had melted away.
Monday, February 22, 2021
I've managed to limp through my to-do lists: grades, student updates, and class prep are done. I even got outside, and it was chilly and windy enough that it numbed my pain about Nu for a bit.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Finished Oona Out of Order--which was meh at best, and frequently irritating--but I grew to care about the characters after all although I didn't care for their idea of gentrification as a beneficial development. Started Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings. Again. I couldn't get into it when it first came out and I remember being roundly castigated for it by world lit friends. I've been humming and channeling a lot of Bob Marley (because I MISS my mom so much) recently, so I'm giving Seven Killings another go. It's intense.
Also intense, Judas and the Black Messiah, which I watched with Big A. Fred Hampton--especially how much he did at so young an age and how much he could have gone on to do had he not been assassinated has been a trigger for me--but the film was oddly heartening. Especially as Akua Njeri and Fred Hampton Jr. seem to have been such a central part of the film's making.
I disengaged from most work all weekend. And something that helped was that I didn't get a single work email! Is this everyone deciding to institute strong boundaries since we work from home so much these days? On Friday, which was a "Reading Day," I sent out an inquiry on behalf of an advisee and my senior colleague reminded me to "take the day off." Knowing everyone is doing it, and that it would be rude and interruptive not to, makes it so much easier for me. I still have some grading to catch up on, but hope to get it done by Tuesday when I will have to face people in real time again. That's not magical thinking, although I did wish on the beautiful and magical wishing tree BS gave me this weekend.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Lots of support from Nu and Big A who told me they were proud of me. That was unexpected and felt SO NICE! Also, when I was being hugged by those two, I was surprised anew by how much taller than me Nu is now--their face is still such a Baby Nu face!
We liked the vegan dinner I made today (a nicely-sauced stir-fry of Impossible meat and rice noodles topped with mint, julienned peppers, and shredded cucumber) a new-ish, Vietnamese-ish palate with our usual ingredients. We watched a bit more of Korra, (which is sad, neoliberal apologia compared to ATLA) and will probably finish the series this weekend. What's next for us? Perhaps Schitt's Creek, which we've tried twice but can't seem to get beyond episode 4 or 5. A colleague-friend said maybe we should just start from season two, and perhaps that's just what we'll do.
I don't remember going outside today; it's still freezing with snow up to my knees. I did spend some time in the tea garden where we have everything from floppy paperwhites and ratty poinsettias from Christmas to the cyclamen showing up to say, Spring, suckas. The cyclamen gave me such a pang of nostalgic yearning for Greece where it would grow even in the rockiest niches. And apropos of that tiny synaptic nudge, that super-insistent song the sisters taught us in school, "Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted" started playing in my head. I think I'm trying.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
But for now I get to see Big A do his thing in the basement--and it's a way more accessible spectatorship. (And not just for me, he has quite the fan club globally and at work.)
* I've been calling him "Basement Biker" and the song version is basically just "Paperback Writer" plagiarized for my own snarky purposes.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Friday, February 12, 2021
Yes, I am almost lost in
this small, intimate forest
from the supermarket florist
(carnations I bought myself).
I embrace their candy beauty
how gracefully their economy
aligns ( just so you know--
they must have cost <$7.99).
I address their bodies with
eye caresses, knowing the dears
may last for weeks--or for ever
(if you're counting in flower years).
Thursday, February 11, 2021
But... I'm all caught up in class, fit in about seven different student meetings (everything from honor societies, to MacCurdy, DEI, and Honors Day), got in a quick visit and hugs with At, drove home listening to the impeachment case, ate the egg sammies Big A made for me (the rest got Culvers per Nu's Boss Day request), celebrated Nu, hung out with Scout and Huck, ate a ton of chocolate... all of it satisfying different points of my soul.
A full day of meetings tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 09, 2021
Pre-pandemic, it would have been a day where I talked myself into showing up, because canceling three classes over flu-like symptoms would be "weak." But in the pandemic, it was the responsible thing to do, and I talked myself into assigning asynchronous work and emailing an FYI to my chairs in ENG and WGS.
I'm likely experiencing side effects from the first Moderna shot I received yesterday. But what if it isn't? What if that doofus, with his mask worn as a chinstrap who came up to talk to me at the store this weekend and was so upset I told him to back off, gave me Covid already?
I ended up monitoring the important stuff and sleeping a significant amount. But up until about 4:00 pm, I felt a fair amount of anxiety from knowing I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Then I peeped Big A and Nu taking a walk in the backyard with Scout and Huck, and the day shifted into home-mode.
*Everyone uses "WFH" to mean "work from home," but it'll never not look like an abbreviation for swear words to me.
Monday, February 08, 2021
Sunday, February 07, 2021
Long run (for me, i.e. 5 mi.), Challah from L, marveling about Fred Hampton with At, sleepover with Nu and the puppies last night--those are some of the highlights. The rest was work--finally got acceptance letters and contracts out to the poets we'd picked last week.
Big A is at the end of a longish break (12 days) from work in the ER. He's been working--on papers and paperwork--but he's been home and it has been extra cozy. We were reminiscing about how "when we were younger" and he worked in the ER so much more, a break like this would invariably start with a giant fight about something inconsequential. We seem to have gotten better about managing hopes and expectations and overall, we're just... kinder to each other.
Saturday, February 06, 2021
I loved seeing all these robins vacationing chirpily--for a few moments it took me out of subzero temps and deadlines.
(Then my fingertips began to freeze in my flip-top mittens, so I decided to stop taking pics and honor my South Indian heritage by hurrying home and staying in for the rest of the day.)
Friday, February 05, 2021
Thursday, February 04, 2021
from the brutality
of everything we
carry, when only
fragments of story
are ours to control
We know we are every
-one, belong every
place, matter some
-times in epilogue
James R. Kincaid, an English prof. at USC, has been writing in The Slate, and practically everywhere else, about how we are given to autom...
(Sorry to have been so solipsistic--although The Yunus Nobel and the Desai Booker provided the much-needed antidote to that : ) I have b...
Friends and old neighbors shutting it down in honor of John Crawford. _
At had us pose for this pic up at Aunt R's place on Lake Huron so he could put it up in his dorm. "Don't tur...
Sunlight. arrogance sees, sleeps Now i understand: every thing you say. In the dark. heartbeat dee...
Today is the birthday of the best sister in the whole world (mine:)! Happy, Happy Birthday, Chelli! [AA, my favorite aunt in the whole wor...
Yesterday at lunch with the awesome Pied Piper and an accomplished, pioneering writer whose anonymity we shall preserve, Piper turned to me...
She knows that the child and his friend --another child-- read her words. She hides small messages of hope and love ...