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

Friday, November 13, 2020

The stuff of horror

Tomorrow is Diwali and I want to get this down in the hope that I will be able to set it aside for a little bit. I've been carrying it around since yesterday when I read a thread on Mona Eltahawy's Twitter (since then, I've seen a few news outlets calling it the "Kashmore Tragedy"). The details are so horrific I can't say them out loud without choking and I don't really think I could pass it on to anyone else.  

But the story keeps going around in a loop in my head, knotting now and then around the old nodes: the precarity of being a single mother; how difficult it is to love and grow a girl child in this fucking patriarchal world; the horror of captivity and unending rape; lives where people move across the country for a job that pays about 250 dollars; knowing people are out there victim-blaming--saying things like 'bad choices' and 'where is the father?'; what care and support are available to the mother and child; why support wasn't available to them previously; the courage it took for the mother to go to the police instead of prolonging the cycle; if the police treated her with respect; the bravery and compassion of the ASI (assistant sub inspector?) using his wife and daughter as decoys to catch the rapists; were the ASI's wife and daughter given a choice in the matter; worried for the ASI and his family now that his name and likeness are all over media; knowing there's so much more abuse I'll never even know from within safe spaces in families, communities, and professional + emergency services. Why are so many men/humans such trash? 

On the Enby parenting group, one parent recently asked what our own lives might have looked like if we had the freedom of gender choice we support for our children. I know I've always wished for genderlessness, especially in professional settings. And in so many other settings, I'd have loved the possibility of having what Wanda Sykes calls a "detachable pussy."

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Believe in open-minded people

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in our Presidential Speaker series (via Zoom) tonight and here's my question and his response.

How do you decide whether or not to engage with someone who may put you in a position where you have to argue for your humanity/human rights?

Well, remember there are people who are close-minded and people who are open-minded. 

So someone may believe in voter fraud, and you may bring them some sources and say: there is no significant voter fraud. 

And they may say: [I] don't trust your sources

So you ask them: Ok, what sources do you trust? 

And you go and find material from those sources and they say: I don't trust those sources anymore

Those people may have closed minds. And when a person's mind is closed, I try to not spend my time on them unless they are really close to me. 

I'm going to spend my time with the open-minded people. 

Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Start of Something

Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights cakes got made (and eaten); a neighborhood celebratory bonfire was attended; toasts were made; picnics were packed and consumed. I'd say the new regime is better already. Ha.                                                                                                                                             But seriously, we need to do better. Marianne Williamson (of all people!) sounds the call in Newsweek: "Now a battle will rage for the soul of the Democratic Party. And well it should. It's been needing to happen for a very long time."

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Ding-Dong; Be Gone!

Where were you? I had just finished interviewing prospective students for scholarships, when Big A showed up with a grin, and Nu and I knew right away. 

A bit anticlimactic ultimately--I blame CNN's rampant use of the thesaurus for two days of headlines (Biden on the cusp, on the verge, on the threshold). On the other hand, it solidified B's lead well beyond conjecture and allowed saner Trumpers to back away (?). Don't know; don't care RN TBH.

Here, Scout is tired of election news as the rest of us watch Vice-President-elect Harris and President-Elect Biden's speeches and marvel at decency and parseable sentences and earnestness on the podium. 

Big A teased me about my (presumably wide-eyed) gawking--but no shame here. Who believes in America's possibility more than an immigrant, after all? Lots and lots of work ahead to be sure, but now there's a chance where before there was only survival. 

Friday, November 06, 2020

And Another One

This is the other snake--from yesterday. Today has been very homebound. But also, today is yet another repeat of yesterday. 

Is it possible to be full of nervous energy and simultaneously enervated? Yes, yes it is. Time to call it, CNN!

I was kind of glad to have a planner full of class and meetings at hourly intervals all day, so I could go from one to prepping for the next. I may have rambled at a few of them (two nights of low no sleep will do that to me) and then the internet was all cute and hide-and-seeky-y. But I managed. The day is done.

But I've done so little at home today except find time to cuddle with everyone for comfort. We're still eating pizza from yesterday... I mean after all, Big A did order four pies for three humans. 

Nu and I had planned to make another batch of the awesome "Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights" cakes we made on election day. We gave/swapped so many away and Nu and Big A want more. As they reminded me, they want more, they want more, when you like something, you want more! But the baking will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

"Zero at the Bone"

I met one of Emily Dickinson's narrow fellows this morning, while out with L. In fact, we met two. 

TBH, I thought the rest of the day would hold more excitement, but it was just a pattern of waiting, a fever of refreshing between class work and meetings, and ultimately not much else.

I was nervy all day--too nervy to make dinner--so we got pizza from Jolly Pumpkin, vegged, and watched an ep of The Queen's Gambit--and lo, all of this was good, but I kept checking Twitter for something better.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

"Global crises can only be solved globally."

And some other gems to "make our planet make sense" from Ambassador Andrew Young at the UN's Past, Present Progress event. 

An obvious statement, yet so deserving of amplification in these times. 

Sometimes one forgets how things used to be. It gave an added urgency to discussing the new ENG civic discourse and social justice pilots today with AP.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Get Well Soon!"

This sweet, sad piece of found art:
 see it here; and hear about it here.

And while on reading--this article on ambiguous loss (from earlier in the year, but I found it just last week) really helped me.

Friday, September 25, 2020


How can it be... that at an academic workshop... of over 30 people... in the 21st century... 

It seems I'm the only person of color?

Friday, August 07, 2020


A low-energy day--I didn't even get out for my afternoon walk with Big A. We did what we call a Downton (walking around our own grounds à la  Downton Abbey, haha). And then I made a clear-out-the fridge ragout for dinner as my Imperfect box arrives tomorrow.                                                                                                                                                  We're in a shameful place that all the world sees; that's true. But today I needed McSweeney's to laugh in my face at the idea of making sense. Not to pile on people sending kids to camps, but if you're up for for a self-deprecating laugh along, Carlos Greaves compares children's activities in the pandemic to reopening Jurassic Park"Given these great stats, I think it should be pretty clear to everyone that reopening the Jurassic Park Academy for Young Paleontologists this fall is the right move. Sure, a few kids have been mauled this summer at our popular sleep-away camp, Camp Triceratops. However, a hands-on learning environment that comes with hiking throughout our vast preserve remains an invaluable experience for the kids — an experience that far outweighs the occasional mauling. Plus, keep in mind that children are far less likely to be killed by velociraptors, mostly because they are too small and bony to make for a satisfying velociraptor meal."

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Pranams to Elder John Lewis

I found out late last night, but everyone was asleep...  I got some reminiscing and comforting in when Big A woke. Eighty seems too young, then I think of how young he started.

At ran out asking me if I knew while I was outside watering the plants--it was a pure "I need my mom" moment. We talked for a bit and...

Nu inherited At's copies of March.

Planning for some "Good Trouble" in the days ahead and making comfort food to share with L and T today. Rest in Peace; Rest in Power.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Anti-Capitalist Walk-Talk

It was At's turn to walk with me today, and we ended up in hammocks after 20 or so mins, because it had gotten quite hot again. Our resident socialist was discussing the cultural theorist Mark Fisher, whose chapter titles are whimsical and full of possibility: "What if you held a protest and everyone came?" "It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism."  But I guess I didn't know the jarring reason why Fisher's writing stopped.

And also, I'll confess--my darling boy's Jesus of the Naxalites mien charms and alarms me in almost equal measure and for different reasons.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Food (related) notes

These are the first of At's tomatoes and he has high hopes about serving them with breadcrumbs and mozzarella whenever they he happens to be ready.

I watched a few eps of the new Masterpiece/PBS orientalist fantasy Beecham House--somehow simultaneously overblown and underdone. William Dalrymple is a historical consultant on the show and it's directed by Gurindher Chadha, but despite those two it's really, really bad. I got so irritated almost immediately that the hindi dialogue gets mentioned but not translated e.g., "X speaks in Hindi"--What did he say?! How could it not matter?! Anyway, it inspired "Anglo-Indian" elements at dinner prep time--the peach chutney, ghee toast, and curry-poached cod came together from whatever we needed to use up before our Imperfect Foods box arrives tomorrow and the steamed veg was tongue-in-cheek homage to stereotypical Brit cuisine/me running out of time and imagination.

At dinner, it got us talking about trips to England (especially last year's "Cosmopolitan England" Spring term trip) and all the good meals we've eaten there (some straight out of Sainsbury's). I miss travel.

Thursday, July 02, 2020


Summer--like snow before--
remakes my world into
an unknowable

In the vines' arch embrace
Leaves bloom, pat me
as I pass in lashes
of love

It seems you dream of
us in the wake of
these whispers--

Voices that are right, ready:
Justice is late in coming
but protest is already

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Oh hey, look: a pic of At and me in the same frame. We're at a meeting with Senator Gary Peters' office making a case for us (the U.S.) to pay our U.N. dues and reinstate our membership in the World Health Organization.

BT made a point about how she and Peters were Alma grads and although both of them are before my time, I beamed as though I had personally handed them their diplomas.

Sunday, June 14, 2020


MSU Horticultural Gardens

Some quality rambles with L and Big A today, fixing the world's problems and some of our own...

It's getting really noisy and people-y outside and I was glad to be home when it was over.

Buried myself in books all day so I didn't have to be on FB or Twitter--

Yes, I'll have to catch up and educate myself... but pretty certain it'll all still be there tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A Long Way from Home/Normal/Ideal

 Big A is in front of the tree;
Nu and At are in the foreground...
for the kids, their first time out of the house since March!
NAACP march to the capitol today. We heard several stirring and compelling speeches; the youth speakers were especially impressive. I wish this time our momentum results in change that will support rather than punish BlPOC.

And I wish I could say it felt good after, but I came home and fell apart: I had a thunderstorm-induced headache, cried because an article had to be changed from MLA to Chicago style, and  couldn't even rouse myself to make dinner... At made grilled cheese for himself and Nu,  Nu fed Scout and Huck, Big A got some delivery, I ate a tub of colorful chips... everyone survived.

I feel like I did a A LOT of railing, crying, and whining (mostly to a very kind and listening Big A), and the kids seemed to play a lot of video games and sang a lot of "It's a long, long way to Ba Sing Se"--ostensibly to cheer me up.