Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Friday, November 25, 2022

Five on a Friday

1) Worked on finishing yesterday's leftovers and bought absolutely nothing today as usual. 

2) (I don't judge people who Black Friday since learning, that for many families, it's a chance to buy things that may otherwise be outside the budget. Also, I think my fam's at a different place as we've reached a stage where neither kids nor grownups need a lot. Yes, I may previously have been judge-y about going straight from being thankful to buying more crap the very next day.)

3) Exactly one month to Christmas now and I think I have a good idea of what everyone is getting. I may add a bookmark or sticker here and there, but for the most part I think it's handled. 

4) I was invited to a conference in Alexandria (Egypt!!) and I think I'm going? It's in March so there's plenty of time for things to get canceled/for me to flake out and change my mind. But I've always wanted to see the pyramids, so I've said a tentative yes.

5) Pic: Lots of early morning walks with Big A now that he's here. Yay!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

gathering


At is headed over after his meetings and will spend the night here.

Big A is on his way home and will spend a week here. 

This is the part of the holiday I absolutely love. Nu, Scout, and Huck are pretty excited too.

Pic: Screenshot of a text from Big A. That isn't Huckie in the car, it's Mr. Flooferson (a stuffie the family gave Big A as a silly gift for his birthday last month).

Monday, November 14, 2022

a Madrasi madcap history in pictures

One of the many, many reasons I love going to NWSA is because SR and I have been taking pictures in hats/headgear and calling it our "Madrasi Madcap series" because both of us have Madras (now known as Chennai but not while we were growing up) connections.

We hadn't been able to since 2019 as the 2020 conference was canceled and 2021 was online only. So we got back to it this year: it feels good to have fun.

In other news, I feel better AND continue to test -ve for Covid. Also: was reunited with all my loves and three of my classes yesterday, took Nu to the dentist, bid Big A goodbye for a week, and just generally jumped right back in to post-conference life. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

limbo

On my way back home. Here's a view from the airplane--Minneapolis below, serene and radiant cloudscape above, and me in the middle.

I have a hoarse throat (too much talking/Covid); a headache (not enough sleep + lots of stress/Covid); and back and body aches (too many books from the book exhibition in my backpack/Covid).

I'm double KN-95 masked (just in case) and there are no tests available at the airport. So I guess time and the Covid tests sitting in the guest bathroom at home will tell.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

that's all, folks


This is it: the highlight of my day/week/month...
I'll remember her kind and complimentary words forever.

Pic: with Angela Y. Davis. #NWSA2022

Friday, November 11, 2022

"women, life, freedom"

More NWSA: An embodied dance-exploration inspired by Hafiz, a raucous in-room party with trays of Hmong food, a surprise visit from my bestie KB, and a day full of panels where I just learned SO much... 

But the standout of the day, for me, was the panel on the Iranian Women's Protest/Revolution. The panel organizer had assembled a stage and a screen full of Iranian activists and scholars who provided historical context, cultural parsing, and commonsense advice (keep up the solidarity, don't speak over or for Iranian women). 

There was a Zoom bomber who tried to disrupt the proceedings, and there were some harrowing moments before he (yes, it was a he) was booted out. It reiterated how these rallies for equality are prone to disruption through mockery and malice... and in so many places with violence. Which is probably why the Iranian slogan resonates: Zan! Zendagi! Azadi! (Women! Life! Freedom!)

Pic: Panel on the Iranian Women's Protest/Revolution.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

the Hill

Terrific first day of NWSA in Minneapolis! I feel like we've been working on getting it off the ground for nearly a whole year and it's such a thrill to see it take off. At this point, this fabulous convention has momentum and doesn't even need me... it's quite a thrill. 

Got to see both Anita Hill and Angela Davis today. The Anita Hill conversation was sobering (she has no remaining faith that SCOTUS will rule fairly). It also made me think about coming to political consciousness with the events of 1990-91 and how it must feel to have a lifetime of wonderful work always evaluated in the light of one's sexual harassment. 

At the book signing, I wanted to thank her for being a role model for people everywhere and how much her example guided me through my own Title IX mess, but the line moved too quickly. Thank you, Prof. Hill. 

Pic: Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Anita Hill in conversation. 

full, fulfilling

Woke up after an hour and something of sleep (I went to bed after 4 am) feeling relieved and thankful about the elections--especially in MI, but lots of other reasons to celebrate too. 

There were 18 trans and non-binary state legislator candidates around the country and some of them won. The youth turnout was tremendous: students at U of Michigan, MSU, and other places made news by staying in line to vote even though it got really late. Wes Moore, AOC, Lucy McBath, Rashida Tlaib, Ihan Omar got elected/reelected.  But mostly--it could have been so much worse.

I'm always surprised that these contests seem so close--I mean it's like cuddly puppies + gooey cookies on one side and hateful detractors + dumpster fires on the other. The choice seems... obvious? As Zack Bornstein's tongue-in-cheek tweet summarizes: FASCISM IS DEAD IN AMERICA AFTER DEVASTATING LOSS 49.-49.3. Nevertheless, it felt wonderful to share the election news with Nu over breakfast, be happy about it with assorted neighbors, respond to a string of similarly ecstatic texts, and plan a neighborhood bonfire to celebrate. 

Big A and I made a checklist of things we wanted to do together and got almost all of them checked off. I leave for Minneapolis and NWSA early tomorrow and he'll leave for work the day after I return on Sunday so there was no time to waste. Both of us took meeting calls on our hike with our headphones on... but we still got to hold hands.

Pic: MSU Red Cedar Rapids w/ Big A.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

it was going to be a good day

The roofers are finally gone/done (for now at least). So I did hours of yard work to celebrate the removal of the scaffolding that killed my plants. After living under tarps and boarded up skylights since June, it was glorious to clear up the tea garden and hang out in the sunshine with Scout and Huck.

Then Big A called to say he was sick and then it turned out he has Covid--again. (He'd had it May 2020 when he went to help out in NYC.) I kind of want to go to Milwaukee and bring him home, but he thinks he should quarantine in place.

Now I can't think about anything except how he's there all by himself with no one to help.

Monday, October 17, 2022

autumnal

Long (good!) teaching day. It's like clockwork: midterm comes around and I realize I love my students. Things have been difficult at home this year, so I worried I wouldn't be able to connect... but Whoomp, There It Is! "I'm taking it back to the old school/'cos I'm an old fool." I'm glad to know my heart still works.

Big A is back in MKE; Nu hung out at a friend's until I got home; roofers didn't show again; I got to see At on a live podcast last night; Nu and I got most things checked off our list today. There are some yays in there. 

Pic: Scout calling Nu to come in for dinner.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

"there and back again"

Usually our hikes are fun and funny excursions, but a couple of times this week, Big A and I have come back from our trip to Sparty mad at each other. It's always the same thing too: he thinks we should all move to Milwaukee; I think not. 

I get that I make a fraction of what he does, but I'm actually the one who enjoys their job. Plus, Nu is halfway through high school (muddled though the experience has been); At is close by (at least for now); and Scout and Huck are comfortable where we are now (and how much they'd enjoy the yard was one of the reasons we moved here).

On the other hand, I miss him; I get how tedious the travel to and fro is for him; and I know having a second home and travel/commuting adds to our expenses...

Anyway... 

Nu and I got our boosters and flu shots. I'm not feeling like a zombie yet!

Pic: Fall color along the Red Cedar.
 

Saturday, October 08, 2022

blessed ordinary

every now and then something I've seen
thousands of times surprises me--
like blue skies, clouds

then it's as if I dreamed this stuff up
I'm so electrified I hardly know 
where to begin

now that it's all here in front of me 
unbelievable, extraordinary,
eternal like salvation

suspended like a noisy happiness
I'm tripping as if I can give--
of myself to the miracle

_____________

Pic: Skyscape as EM drove us home. I'm back and delighted to be alone for another day in a blissfully clean and quiet home.

Friday, October 07, 2022

the knowing

the moon a face outside this window 
almost fluorescent, hovering outside 
of the day

I find I am alone in this encounter
though voices may bloom through
an open door 

they knew me before I had a history
or even a story... even when I stayed
just the same 

the moon, the day, the door... waiting
for me, uncut by memory, they know
that I'll show

Pic: Lafayette street art pic from EM.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

people all over the world

Our roundtable went well. It's part of a larger project, so it was great to know that other teachers were interested in having this conversation as well. 

EM and I treated ourselves to a poke bowls for dinner and then headed off to our rooms for quiet time. I'm loving my grown up quiet time.

But suddenly I started thinking about how my fam is currently spread out across three states (me in Indiana, At in Michigan, Big A with Nu, Scout, and Huck in his apartment in Wisconsin) and sleep fled. 

And then I started thinking about my parents on the other side of the world in Bangalore, my sister on her vacation in Goa, my mom and her sisters heading off to Pondycherry for the pooja soon, and so on and so on... I stayed up for a a long time. I'm hilarious.

Pic: Big A's pic of the pups in bed in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

tripping

Taught all my three classes today, then drove back home, packed for about 25 minutes, took two meetings back-to-back from 4-5 pm, bid hurried goodbyes to Nu, Scout, Huck, and Big A, and was on the road with EM by 5:08 pm.

We're off to Purdue U to present on our transdisciplinarity and pedagogies of hope project at a roundtable. Since that's a mouthful--we usually refer to it as our "Hope-O-Calypse" project. 

We asked: "How might humanities scholars understand the meaning, nature, and strategic value of hope in an increasingly dystopian world and disrupt the prepackaged narratives of capitalist constructions and military-energy regimes? We consider a range of theoretical and pedagogical approaches to the question of how our fields of study might develop concrete strategies to help people (including our students) understand the enormity and complexity of these problems while simultaneously equipping them with ways to respond with agency rather than despair."

Anyway... here we are... EM and me... saving the world (or at least trying to)... riding off into this yolky sunset.

Monday, October 03, 2022

happiness in ten minutes or less

I was just about to drop At back to his place in Lansing after dinner when Big A showed up from Milwaukee. 

It had been so long since all of us have been together... So after hugs and hellos, I grouped these five around my reading chair so I could take a picture.

(Huck loves being picked up, Scout hates it.)

We got ten minutes together, and I have a picture that makes me happy every time I look at it. 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

hard first step

Titled "Out of Reach," this installation really spoke to me. 

It's part of this year's campus-centric Art Prize and the student creators indicate that it's a representation of accessibility issues in our world. 

How many things are impossible because that first step is so insurmountable...

And then looks like procrastination, intractability, or delinquency...

It's a good reminder that I am an elder in this world and can reach out when people don't show up. (Just in case it's because they can't show up.)

Also it seemed so faraway when we postponed the visit in August, but now SD is here! SD is here! SD is here!

Friday, September 23, 2022

"I saw the sign(s)"

A midday stroll with JG today and this was her front yard when I drove up--a veritable forest of election lawn signs! It includes at least two of our colleagues from work too. As always a lovely chat and I left feeling loved and full of ideas.

Back home lots of hangout time with Big A whose "Boss Day" it is and whom we'll have to  return to the train station and thence to Milwaukee Saturday morning. 

All these trips to the train station really remind me of residency days when Big A worked at Bellevue and I'd put two kids in the car to pick him up at the Summit train station. Seven-year-old At used to call those trips "midnight adventures." 

Now here we are again 16 years later, thanks to the magic of there somehow being 25 Emergency Medicine residencies in MI and only 2 in WI. We've come up with a plan (wish?) to renegotiate his contract for the next academic year... And although all of it is a long ways off, it's a hopeful sign on the horizon. 
 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

look up

I had to run an errand on the far side of town and found myself getting dejected by it as I always do... the houses seem to be falling down a bit more than normal, the cars seem rustier and noisier...

And I say this as someone who lives in a house whose roof has leaked for at least three years and has not been fixed although roof-work started [... and stopped] at the beginning of summer and as someone who drove a car with a busted-up headlight for nearly six months this year after my 'deer incident' as there were no replacement parts available.

But I know it's not really the same thing. My dejection is because how that is yet another nudge about how we live in a world of inequity, recognizing how huge this is, and coming to terms that it's not something I can ever begin to fix by myself. 

And then on my way home I came to this crossroads (It reads: ML King Jr. Blvd and Malcolm X St). That made me smile so big because sometimes I talk myself through social situations by asking myself if I want to do it "like Martin or like Malcolm?"

Dr. King's uncle was a local Lansing pastor and Minister Malcolm, of course, grew up in Lansing. A gray-ish day and an unexceptional photograph, but a good reminder of a moment that lifted me up.

Friday, September 16, 2022

five Friday yays

Got a shoutout from the wonderful Melissa at Stirrup Queens... that always makes my week!

Finished up work for the week--even got in a couple of things ahead of deadline (to make up for the things past due). 

Nu and I got home around the same time. We're watching Riverdale together per Nu's request. It's so over the top, we keep laughing--so I guess that's the good part. 

A quick dinner prep and then off to the train station. Nu DJ-ed through the train delay and then finally we got Big A home. We'll have him for about 36 hours.

Pic: Big A and Huck who are bestest pals reunited. 

simply

A cold day, but beautiful.  Walks with some of my favorite people: L, Big A,  me... Pic: An icy Red Cedar River