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

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. 

Monday, May 02, 2022

"the sense of an ending"


It was such a solid workday. The six of us worked from 7 am figuring out and finalizing conference details with no breaks except getting up to stretch on the hour. Even lunch was making notes and sharing docs over sandwiches. 

At lunch, one of the servers asked what we were up to and when I told her we were arranging a huge women's studies conference, she said she wished she'd taken a class when she was in college... in the 70s. She remembers the fight over ERA and how it laid the "foundation for everything." So I was telling her about the Mrs. America show on Hulu, and her name was Sally--so we sang a bit of "Ride, Sally, Ride."

At the end of the meeting I was so tired, especially as there was a lot of new (to me) software and platform-ware. I went back to my room caught up with the fam, and napped for a bit. 

Those of us from the meeting still in town met up for a great dinner at a small Somali restaurant where they gave us a private booth because we were the only women there. This was my first time meeting in person (all of our other meetings had been on Zoom) so there was a strange mixture of familiarity and the excitement of sharing some of our favorite stories about ourselves. 

We were still joking and laughing at something and calling goodbye to our servers as we were walking out of the restaurant, and then we started to fall silent as we passed the TV on the counter and each of us silently read the blithe chyron stating there was a leaked "Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade." 

___________________________

Pic: Sharing on family chat the fancy welcome swag bag the hotel gave me when I checked in and the uninspiring view from my room.

Monday, April 25, 2022

bedtime story

I mean at some point we're going to have to talk about why I'm awake at 2:22 AM, goofing off like a goof... when I know I have an alarm set for 5:30 AM so I can do my green tea and meditation time before the high-schooler wakes up at 6:00 AM for their morning cuddle and breakfast.  

And this is not at all unusual--I've been averaging between 3-6 hours of sleep for years now... and put like that, I'm worried there's going to be some spectacular comeuppance for this. 

In some ways I'm a perfect candidate for fractured sleep because I have family from other continents and time zones--so no matter what the time, I have people on hand to have heart-to-hearts and to text links to hilarious songs like Rowdy Baby (no babies were harmed in the making of this video). 

But also Big A works nights, so we're usually texting and chatting about stuff and keeping in touch and being silly as well. And if he's home, his sleep schedule is messed up by working nights, so I'm hanging out with him then too. And tonight At seems to be up and feeling chatty and is sending me Langston Hughes poems about Lenin and I sent him that clip of Paul Robeson singing to Scottish miners (cross cultural solidarity is my favorite and my boy knows me). 

Anyway, this will all work itself out, or won't. If I'm going to be up all night anyway, I feel like there ought to be a cuddly baby to keep me company at least 😁. 

Pic: The Red Cedar was flooding its banks on our walk yesterday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

mantras of discernment

When I told JG that At was taking a gap year, she told me it was a good thing--"a time of discernment" is how she phrased it. And it helped me so much--I would it mutter this mantra to myself when other people like Big A or my mom were frustrated by At's plans. 

A few weeks ago a friend's kid said something disrespectful about At's job. We don't disparage people based on their jobs in our family, so I was really taken aback. And then I was really sad about it for a while--At is a kind, funny, and brilliant person and the comment made me see that none of that would matter to some people. When I shared this with Nu, Nu gave me the best mantra of all: "That's not on him! That's on them!"

"That's on them!" is the perfect riposte to so many things now. I'm sure that At's decision to postpone grad school is scary for me because of my immigrant trust in education--where would I be without my degrees? But as my Nu taught me, that's on me

I had a long car ride with At as we were out on an errand yesterday, and I have so much clarity about what he's doing and I think he's absolutely making the decisions that work for him right now.

Pic: Early morning hike with L at Baker Woods.

Saturday, April 09, 2022

din-din dinners

Nu's friend is over for a sleepover this evening and my friend/colleague SS and their Connecticut family are too. I wondered what the two highschoolers and SS's new college kid--all of whom had never met before--would have in common... But in less than 20 seconds they were talking, arguing, and enthusing about books and shows the three of them had read/watched. I guess that's what books and show do--knit us a common experience. The three of them are off in the rumpus room watching Princess Mononoke with the puppies. I needn't have wondered/worried.

I rarely take pictures of our dinner party table because it feels discourteous to my guests--the food is for them, not my camera. But SS's spouse did. I loved making them a feast (90% of it vegetarian). Just this morning, I read an article on hosting dinner parties Modern Mrs. Darcy linked to with mounting dismay. I agreed with most of the bullets (don't clean before--clean after, make a ton of food, accept help, and so on). But don't change the menu?! No desserts requiring silverware?! That seems like a recipe (ha) for monotony. And contrary to the article's advice, I already have counters cleaned/clear, boxed lunches for guests and fam, and am now off to spend more time playing board games. 

Friday, April 01, 2022

upcoming (re)union

A short lunchtime stroll to Luckie St. and MLK Square yielded this vista of daffodils and fountains.

Bought myself chocolate and a plug with a USB port (the hotel is so old it doesn't have USB ports to charge my phone) at the CVS and headed back. Traveling with just a backpack means I never buy/pack superfluous stuff anymore.

SO READY to get home tomorrow and see my three youngest (Nu, Scout, Huck).

And SO EXCITED for the successful unionizing effort at the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island. Do other people's family chats nerd out about things like this too? This news forward was the one text that received hearts amongst all the little bickering about whose turn it was to empty the dishwasher (while I'm gone) yesterday. #Atlanta

Thursday, March 31, 2022

so much shining

Proud of students who really seem to be coming into their own in a way I've missed. It's a combination of having done a great job presenting, being in a new city, attending other panels, learning, and networking with peers--so basically why higher ed has conferences in the first place. There should be more opportunities for students to share research. That is all.

Friend and colleague LV and I have resurrected the "the ten-minute chat" from their grad school days--you think it's going to be a ten-minute chat, but it ends hours later. I didn't know this term before, but I treasure this ten-minute chat format.

While the shine of student success and renewing bonds are legitimate, the shining in the blog title is more Stanley Kubrick than anything else. The elevator at this ancient Sheraton lets us off outside Room 402, we then have to walk past 84+ room doors before we get to ours. Really not a fan of this at all. Yikes. #Atlanta.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Dinner and... an essay

At the end of the evening after hosting a proper sit-down dinner party after ages, there was a sense of accomplishment. Yet even as I was getting ready to send a friend pictures of his kid petting Scout... I could read text notifications from my cousins. 

One cousin had texted that their parents had had a house fire and that aunt and uncle were ok; another cousin seems to be trying to get a family in the Ukraine to safety, but only the mom had a passport. 

How we live our lives in the presence of ongoing tragedies is rationally irreconcilable with our good intentions and thoughts. Mari Andrew's essay, which Mel at Stirrup Queens pointed me to, is a wise consolation: "Someone has always clinked a cocktail glass in one hemisphere as someone loses a home in another while someone falls in love in the same apartment building where someone grieves. The fact that suffering, mundanity, and beauty coincide is unbearable and remarkable."

Perhaps someday I will be able to reach her conclusion that "The world feels so sharp and crooked right now. I, for one, am at a complete loss, and my feelings are all over the place—as they should be. But I'm appreciating my little moments of bliss like energy bars for the road ahead, and embracing my sadness in all its wisdom."

Pic: Nu and Huck paying attention to stories about the E.R. from dad.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

puppy snuggles and cricket memories

It was national puppy day, I think? I'm late as usual. I love this one with Huck's arm draped around Scout's shoulder... they're both lying on my feet (of course!),  which is why I couldn't get a fuller shot.

I've picked up the contradictory habit of watching movies in episode-length segments (it goes nicely with my other weird habit of watching multiple episodes of a show at one go). 

Anyway, finished watching "83" (in about four segments) and enjoyed how much old cricket lore came back to me as I watched it. It's a typical underdog sports story, and bit overdone in some parts, but I enjoyed it and yelped in surprise and delight when the real Kapil Dev made a cameo appearance.

Some of the nicest days in my childhood were when "pavillion" tickets to a match (passed on by cricketeer uncles/dad's work/well-connected family) showed up and we'd be allowed to skip school to spend all day at the stadium. Being stuck at school when a big match was on was the worst: kids these days don't know the painful suspense of finding out the score from the tuck shop radio or having to depend on friendly teachers who could bring us the latest from the teachers' lounge TV.

wild as me

night sticks in my throat growling, waits to see  what we pounce on next life slips by in a canopy  of breath, exhaling time ...scattering n...