Showing posts with label World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World. 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. 

Monday, July 04, 2022

reaching the threshold

it was always difficult for children
dangerous even 
if you know of a place where it isn't
please share it 

we may sway in decision, hover in hope,
curve like prayer,
ache to follow rumors as if they're friends
inviting us to hurry

but we won't know how--or if--we let go
of mourning
our feet full of splinters, tracing love over
fragments of safety


_____
It's the fourth of July. We didn't have plans because we were supposed to be in YS. Also: things don't feel very celebratory anyway--it feels very What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?  This lines up with the memes that say: "Fourth of July has been canceled due to a shortage of independence" or "Frankly I don't think America deserves a birthday party this year." And then the news worsens with reports of mass shootings in Highland Park and Philadelphia and fires in Fort Worth...

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.

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!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

We're Back!

Relaxed, grateful, dusty, tired, frizzy, checked out, appreciative, super-tan, and worldly. Feeling all those things on this first night back from our week in Spain. 

It was exactly half the family (Nu, Big A, me) on the trip, while At stayed home with Scout and Huck. We (OBVIOUSLY!) invited At too, but he was kind of busy with organizing. We joked that At is afraid of being seen as the Bougie (not Boogey) Man. 

Feels so good to have Scout and Huckie curled on my feet, Big A on the other sofa, and the human kids in their beds upstairs...

Tomorrow I will work on Nu's educational, health, and therapy care, drop At back to his apartment, get ready for Big A to start his new job in WI come July, and catch up with ALL the work stuff I put aside for a week. 

But... right now feels... so good. 

(I'll update the past week from my travel journal as #LaterPosts when I get a chance.)

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.

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. 

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.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

"bookstores, beverages, and besties"


A slow, quiet (bit sad) day for me today. But I saw this post this morning and have been thinking of "bookstores, beverages, and besties" tours all day.

I'm craving travel and people I haven't seen in a while and don't know how much longer I can hold out.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

into the metaphysical

This list of ten "scenario spoilers" that was published in an issue of Wired in 1997 has been making the rounds my social media lately, and it is fascinating how many (all?) of these bullets are applicable to us 25 years later.

#9 "An uncontrollable plague--a modern-day influenza epidemic" is of course the one that grabs the most attention. I'm reading about the start of our pandemic in the middle part of Louise Erdrich's The Sentence and it feels so eerie reliving the fear and deficit of information in early 2020. 

Also eerie, reading this novel at 2:25 am when everyone else is asleep because there's a very insistent ghost in the book. 

I should probably go switch the load of laundry I started in the basement a while ago. 

But I've watched enough horror movies and I'm no one's fool.

Friday, June 03, 2022

moment of Zinn

Sometimes I peek over the edge of the abyss with my kids and feel their outrage, earnestness, and helplessness all over again. I am proud of their empathy and compassion... and also, I worry about how difficult their lives are becoming.

My annoyingly (probably) long email signature has forever quoted Zinn: “Human beings are not machines, and however powerful the pressure to conform, they sometimes are so moved by what they see as injustice that they dare to declare their independence. In that historical possibility lies hope.” 

I want to continue to hope... to act in "however small a way" in the service of what we all deserve. And if that means supporting my kids in the difficult choices and services they want to contribute to the world, then so be it.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

all empty and all full

The city has emptied out--what with the end of the MSU semester, graduating students, and the long Memorial Day weekend ahead of us. 

I was on my own for dinner tonight, so after I fed Scout and Huck, I had a whole column of pistachio baklava and about half of a small watermelon. 

I regret nothing.

Pic: The largest solar carport in North America had just three parked cars on this morning's walk with L. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

net tossup

It never fails. Every time, the wonderful Mel over at Stirrup Queens selects this blog to highlight in her Friday Roundup series (894 and counting!!), something from another part of my life gets published. Sure enough, Mel picked Monday's Mother's Day Blues for her roundup today and this NWSA statement about the leaked SCOTUS decision went live.

I have a slight case of triskaidekaphobia, which prickled to life when Mel noted today was Friday the 13th in her blog post today and my uneasiness really sprouted with the news that At had tested positive for Covid. Nu tested negative, but I had him stay home from school too, just in case. 

(Also testing positive for Covid, scads of people at this Emergency Medicine conference of Big A's. Only about 30% are masked indoors, so it's not a surprise, but given what these folks do for a living, what the ever-loving what?)

Anyway, to sum up: I hate that I'm so far away when the kids are in crisis but am SO glad we're headed home today. And also, this article about how Friday the 13th isn't unlucky, but can tap into powerful female energy was very interesting and gave me more than an idea or two.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

tiny parade

Somehow as if by magic, I've reached the end of my to-do list for the WEEK (letters of recommendation, internship placements, proposal invitations, assorted email catchups, course planning preps).

I took myself off for a long walk to celebrate and, as if just for me, the city shared a tiny parade. The last person you can see in the picture is the last person in the whole parade. 

I don't know what this parade was for, but I remember reading that it's super easy to throw a parade in NOLA (complete with police escort and marching band)
 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Hola from NOLA

I'm in New Orleans with Big A who is conferencing. 

It's 90 degree weather, gulf breezes, views from our 34th story hotel room on Canal Street, remote work, and long walks by myself during the day... and hotel bars, takeout, and hangouts with Big A in the evening. 

We might be the only people masking in the hotel (full of emergency medicine doctors because of the conference) like at all, and were a handful of people masked in the airport and on the plane. 

This is absolutely non essential travel for me, so a part of me is puritanically and vindictively whispering that if I get Covid because of this trip, I deserve it. But right in this moment, I'm having fun.
 

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

"work it real good"

A working lunch--which I couldn't eat. Shouldn't people serving a set lunch make meat, croutons, nuts, and other things people cannot/might-not-want-to eat add-ons rather than plate it all together? (Sorry this is a bit of a pet peeve; I don't eat meat and my kids are allergic to nuts.) 

But I got some oars in at lunch. And I shared this article about faculty exhaustion, which is important because everything about the last three pandemic years has been additive and nothing has been moved or withdrawn to make room for the extra stuff we've taken on.

Got some other campus work done, delivered flowers and cards to two young admin colleagues who finished their M. Eds, took flowers and card to MB who'd had shoulder surgery, and then set off for a long walk-and-talk with JG. It was the perfect, fluffy-cloud day for it--and as always, my mind is clearer after I get some JG time.

At various points I also got to collaborate on an NWSA statement on the Roe opinion and then I really got into Lauren Groff's Matrix. This is a book that kept showing up in my recommendations, and I kept resisting because nothing about the title or the book cover indicated it was about MARIE DE FRANCE and a HISTORICAL NOVEL--I'd thought it was sci-fi!!! Loving it, BTW.

Pic: The bike trail in Alma with JG. 

"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 unio...