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

Saturday, January 08, 2022

"little talks"


1)    This past week, I've had some tough conversations with Big A (diminishing family time); Nu (screen time and schoolwork); At (patchy/magical Covid protocol) so I'm glad Scout thinks I'm just the greatest. 

2)    B.E.S. asked if I would officiate at their wedding reception... I love B.E.S. (student>colleague>friend) and am beyond honored... but also have also have no idea how to go about it. 

3)    Scheduled a professional WGS talk in March--I'm more confident of doing alright with this.

4)    Lots of phone calls this weekend--in the absence of real meetups, these are the talks I love best!

I do not like this song, but since titling this post, it's my personal ear worm.

Friday, January 07, 2022

"Powerful beyond stage and screen"

My parents were such huge fans of Sir Sidney Poitier, they had us kids watch all their favorites on VHS. 

I must have thought of them as documentary, so imagine my horror and surprise when I got to the USA and realized that racism hadn't been neatly resolved decades ago.

But in these past decades, I've come to appreciate what an amazing trailblazer he was even "beyond stage and screen" as Bernice King notes. 

Rest in Power, Sir.

__________________

Vaguely related: I gave At this this Desmond Tutu apron for Christmas and the Rev. died the very next week; At gave me this edition of In the Heat of the Night and now Sir Sidney is no more. How jinx-y are we?

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

anniversary

 


Yup, the anniversary of the most insane and scary thing I've witnessed in real time is tomorrow. 

Anyway, Jamie Raskin's book about this week last year is in my checkout cart--but I'm not sure if I'm ready to read it. 

Just his brave interview on Fresh Air nearly crumbled me. 

I am still not over Tommy Raskin (I may never be).



Wednesday, December 29, 2021

the writing on the trees

night always comes to inherit earth
light follows faraway--hopefully

from emerald to ash the borer hies 
pressing leaf into shadow

tearing through wood with a reason
writing hieroglyphs in hunger

seeming a cousin to cave scribbles
as madness is all to madness 

would you go on a walk with me
through seasons of damage

we can bless the falling of pillars
whittled from feral feasts

recorded on stoic skin and bones
etched into fasting flesh

for every time we've been reduced 
by some primitive scrawl of loss 

___________________________
Pic: I had to step across this tree trunk, which lay in my path in Baker Woods. And it looked like there were some primitive cave-painting-type etchings on it. A Google image search taught me that this is what damage from an emerald ash borer looks like.

Monday, December 27, 2021

up and down

So many of my Lansing/MSU friends have started using this screenshot as their profile picture, so Nu and I had to watch Don't Look Up, which is the usual Adam McKay genius with many, many moments of cringe and chuckles. It's kind of an allegory for climate change, but works great as a read on the pandemic too. 

Speaking of which, Big A felt a bit symptomatic and we've quarantined him. We tried to order home tests, but of course nothing's readily available. I asked around, and the lovely SH who was saving some for the baby shower let me have a couple. 

He tested negative, but perhaps it's too early? I mean does one have to wait a while? This feels like taking a pregnancy test the day after sex.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

post-jolly

Still coming down from Christmas jollities, TBH. 

A couple of Boxing Day visits, but Nu felt a bit stretched thin, so we canceled another visit and headed home to cuddle up with puppies and veg in pajamas. 

I'm calling this Christmas a success. There was a moment on Christmas Eve, when the kids were poking holes in the books (On Tyranny Graphic Edition) I meant to send them to bed with, when I panicked hard about what to do if they didn't like any gifts the next day. But things were Hallmark-perfect on Christmas; all is well.

As I shared with people at Zoom UU this morning, Christmas with an adult child is an evolving celebration. I've been taking notes on how other people are navigating change, and my favorite one is where people go off to some place sunny--I can see that being Big A and me someday. 

Right now though, I'm off to watch the last ever ep of Insecure, which I've been hoarding as my secret Boxing Day treat.



Tuesday, December 21, 2021

stable


Big A is back; my back feels better; got cards and presents in the mail; a few visits (and presents); did our third session of family therapy; ordered in pizza; read together; watched Bob's Burgers (with Nu) and Station Eleven (after Nu went to bed); got my aunt's hopes up about a visit home; celebrated the end of the Kelloggs' strike... 

A long day... the longest day of the year... and it was cozy and a nice balance of Christmas with other good things.

Pic: multiculti altar w/ nativity scene

Sunday, December 12, 2021

"an ill wind"

Behold the deceptively calm beginning to a messy weekend. 

Yesterday started out at 56° and was supposed to drop 20° over the course of the day, so L and I went down the Red Cedar early despite the wind advisory. The gusts were intense and at one point we thought we were going to get swept into the river. And then we got rained on and sleeted on although there was nothing about that in the weather forecast. 

I planned a hot shower as soon as I got home, but first there was kids' breakfasts and then something else came up and before I knew it, the power went out. I paid for my delay with a dry shampoo and an ice-cold shower before the water cut off. And although I got gussied up, as I already lamented, I didn't get to see Hadestown.

The wind brought mayhem to Hagadorn--signs, traffic lights, and electricity poles were down--like on the ground. BWL said power would come back at 8:15 yesterday, and when it didn't we shrugged and got some extra blankets and cuddled up with warm puppies. All night long I could hear utility vehicles and sirens and workers (bless them). 

Big A's off for a series of job interviews, and wanted us to go to a hotel, and I was making arrangements for At to house Nu for a bit, but the power thankfully came back in the evening. I'm freshly showered and can finally feel my fingers and toes again. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

"It's beginning to look a lot like..."


The first holiday cards of the season have started to arrive. I guess it's time to put away the cards I've had on display from last year now?

But seriously, it was lovely having this display up by the family altar all this last year... cards would randomly slip out of place and give me the pleasure of retrieving and reading them all over again.

Not exaggerating when I say they helped to keep me going in 2021.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

newsy



O, hello... it's me... with my adorable furry assistants... trying to be the best new effing co-chair of NWSA's conference in 2022 I can be. (Still not enough writing as I noted in March, but this is huge for me and I hope to learn a lot.)

In other news, I took great pleasure in letting fam and friends know that a Trader Joe's is coming to town--about 2-3 mins away from us. I foresee Big A biking over there for last minute groceries instead of Whole Foods. 

And in other gentrification news, I'm watching with horror--via friends and FB--the intersecting mesh mess of schadenfreude, transphobia, and anti-blackness in the latest Dave Chappelle vs. Yellow Springs clash.

-------------------------------------

Pic: We're all looking at Big A.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

for you too may have / questions about this story


                                                                             
                                                                      the tongue a knife probing                                          
our mom didn't tell this story 
till she was safe home again
how traveling to Chennai 
in the rains--she said--they 

                            the cleft palate of memory 
couldn't tell which was river 
which was road... and then 
went skidding into a ditch...
thanks to the gods--she said--

                           the smile tucked up in secret
thanks to all the gods some
villagers were passing and
they were kind and pushed
our car back onto the road  

                            the lips nudged into detail
then softly: but... they said
some mean things in Tamil 
like uncle is a terrible driver 
who shouldn't have a big car 

                             the gummy words murderous
even more softly: aunty and I 
were in the car, so they said
look at those fatty gundechis
just sitting on their bottoms

                             the mouthful of arguments
But I still told uncle we should 
reward them, give some... thing?
But he said no, that wasn't fine 
they might ask for more next time

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I know the generosity of Tamil people well. When I was pregnant with At, people would keep offering me food even if all they themselves were eating was a paper cone of sundal or peanuts. I am beyond horrified-ashamed-saddened that my family didn't offer anything--payment/a ride/money for coffee-tiffin to the people who may have saved their lives in the middle of a cyclone. (The cheeky, irreverent humor checks out too.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

in the news (and not in a good way)

 




Today was a lovely scramble to finish early prep for the feast tomorrow, welcoming grandparents and a bonus puppy, and day-drinking + eating cake (Big A's citrusy-pistachio masterpiece) for breakfast and lunch.

I'm thankful this isn't last year. 

But as a colleague's tweet reminds me, some of that is just my/our ennui and exhaustion with the pandemic and things aren't really going so well. 

Our state leads the nation in new cases and the lede photo for this NYT article, about the morphing re-formations of the pandemic, is from our local hospital system.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

pooja-fun

I'm heartsore I cannot be in Pondycherry ("is it full of ponds and cherries?" baby cousin A asked once) tomorrow. 

The pooja is tomorrow, but I bet everyone's already assembling now--finding empty bedrooms, screeching helloes, making plans, and having so much fun for Kartika. As Big A reminded me so helpfully yesterday, it is unlikely that I will ever be able to be at Kartika pooja because it's such a busy time in the academic year. 

We usually did the big festivals like Diwali and Pongal at home or with the other side of the family, but the November full moon festival was always the big event for all the cousins on my mom's side. For many years after I came to the U.S., my favorite aunt would sweetly save the turmeric-soaked wristlets for me to pick up on my next trip home, but I haven't been back in years at this point. The nostalgia is hitting hard this year.

Baby cousin B has been sending pictures on cousin chat to keep me in the loop. This picture has so many of my favorite things--the sea, the little Ganesha temple, the tulsi maadam, the new swimming pool, the effortless green everywhere... Gah. I just wish I could be there for at least 24 hours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

the soft dark


Darkness feels deafening tonight. A student at Nu's school has been missing since last week. I do not know this young person or their family, but many of my local friends do. When I asked Nu if they'd seen the missing child recently, they said that they hadn't "in years." That was such a stark reminder that disappearance comes in many forms. 

I caught a picture of this close to full moon through our skylights just before bed--darkness, shadows, dead leaves, and all... it was nevertheless a kind reminder that in an another part of the world, huge numbers of my family are gathering to celebrate the Karthika full moon soon.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

change of plan?



Haven't vetted the veracity of this, but apparently there's a dog school "in Canada" so dogs don't have to stay home alone, and this appears to be their school bus.


BRB. Going to check if Scoutie and Huckie feel like running away with me.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Shanti Bhavan

This is near Bangalore where my sister is... An amazing story of students overcoming--honestly--unimaginable odds. Here's one:

     "The mango juice tasted funny.

That's how Kusuma started her personal essay when applying to U.S. colleges this year.

Kusuma was then 3 years old. She had 2 older sisters. They lived with their mother, who was raising her 3 daughters on her own.

The family traveled from village to village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, hiding from money lenders who often threatened them with violence. "For years, I had struggled alone, desperate to feed my kids," says Kusuma's mother, Yashodha.

After a long and tiring day, her mother offered all three girls the juice. Then she drank some herself.

"My sisters and I happily gulped it down, ignoring the tingling sensation on our tongues," Kusuma wrote. "I remember my mother was crying, and after we finished our juice, she gave each of us a kiss and told us to go to bed. I woke up in a hospital bed with a tube in my throat. Later, I learned my mother had laced the mango juice with pesticide in an attempt to take our lives and her own."

Sunday, November 07, 2021

discord

for I serenaded the sun today
my mouth a tunnel

                       didn't think of Kapernick's knee
                      then Chauvin's knee
                                                 
for the wind refuses to be silent
as it flicks its tail

                        can't think of Kapernick's knee
                    then Chauvin's knee

         for the war becomes metaphor 
                            only when revolution is near

                             don't think of Kapernick's knee
                    then Chauvin's knee

         for this is a poem that kills poets 
        --whose ghosts live forever 

                            for it thinks of Kapernick's knee
                    then Chauvin's knee
                            

________________________________________
Pic: sunrise and tea on "fall-back" Sunday. 
I wore my hair in a braid and was clearly trying to juggle other strands here as well.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

"a fair day's work"

 

I stole this pic off of At's Twitter this morning...

and find myself looking at it all the time...

Not sure why (I mean he looks so good and so grown up but still)...

Even Ammama, his #1 fan, doesn't get it. 

But At used to love Capt. America, and I think my brain is seeing his circular UAW placard as a mashup of Capt. America's shield.

"Capt. America but make it union"