Tuesday, July 02, 2024

"Together Again"

A dear friend gave me tickets to the Janet Jackson "Together Again" show, so Big A and I went. It was a trip. (Also a trip: how much Janet Jackson there has been in my week!)

Oh, how I adored "That's the Way Love Goes" as a young 'un. It used to be a whole mood. And being at the show felt like being in the 1990s again. I could kinda see the crowd as the teenagers they were years ago. And though we're all very different (I lived on a completely different continent back then), the music gave us all a shared context.

Anyway--it was a terrific show: four costume changes, lots of medleys, updated lyrics and riffs, cool dancers... and the opening act was Nelly (he of the "It's Getting Hot in Heeeere" track so beloved by my mom)! 😂🤣

Pic: A pre-show ussie of me and Big A.

Monday, July 01, 2024

what I heard

1) "When you do coke it's not supposed to make you black out, right?" Person I'd stopped to check on in the bus shelter. They were crying and I couldn't walk past them without asking if they were ok. I didn't know the answer to their question, but I tried to see if they wanted to go to the hospital. They didn't. Ultimately, I did just walk away.

2) "Those deer out there are like good friends. They just hang out in my yard all day." Person with a huge Trump flag in their yard when I marveled at the 25 or so deer just sitting in their yard. I'd pulled up warily to ask for directions and was a bit taken aback. I don't know if I thought a Trump supporter would just randomly be shooting deer in their backyard or what.

3) *zombie noises* This was Nu after dinner. Max seemed to think it was the fun-est thing in the world and followed them around with heart-emoji eyes.

4) "Mr. Melancholy and his 'lunages'." A line from I Saw the TV Glow, which Nu was watching while I worked. Nu and At had already seen it together when Big A and I were in Arizona and liked it a lot. Turns out the line was "Mr. Melancholy and his luna juice." Umm. Yeah. Either way, I didn't get it. I think it's one of those things where you have to pay attention.

Pic: We've been going to Pride parades for years at this point, but I think I started giving the kids Pride presents only during the pandemic. Here, Nu and At are trying to figure out the prisms they got this year; Max thinks At, who'd stopped by for dinner after a shift at Chipotle, smells delicious. 

Sunday, June 30, 2024


We didn't want to say goodbye, but we did. TJA was going to leave after breakfast, but we kept putting it off and it was lunchtime before we packed up her car for the drive back. On today's walk, while I was telling her about the four-leaved clovers I'd found... we found two more! 

Pic: The Red Cedar on the other side of the Spartan Stadium. Right after I passed this point, my phone was playing a Janet Jackson song and I got a text from TJA which was just... another Janet Jackson song. In retrospect, I guess it's not such a big deal--we're both from that generation--but I was so delighted by what seemed like a magical coincidence when it happened. Like the way we'd burst into goosebumps randomly because of something one of us had said.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

holding on to love

Spent all day with TJA, who's visiting for the weekend. And it was like having the perfect visit (beer garden, walks, talks, puppy times, thrifting, falafel stand, book store, massages, Thai food).

We were young mamas together, and now our youngest ones are nearly grown, and our sisterhood has held. My only worry before TJA arrived was about holding my tongue about Dave Chappelle to whom she's very close and about whom I have opinions. But even that came up at dinner and we both said our earnest pieces and then we just held each other tight for a long time.

I'm afraid I've neglected my little family though. Nu had plans with a friend, so they were ok. But when I texted Big asking when he'd be ready for dinner, he texted back "Two hours ago" with a tongue-out emoji. (There were leftovers from Friday's dinner and he's a grown-up in a house with a stocked pantry and freezer so no real harm done though.)

Pic: TJA and me in the tea garden; pic by Nu.

Friday, June 28, 2024

arc of return

we're warm enough already
(in the midst of a heatwave)
this discomfort of embrace

if by night you were a city
dawn finds you drawn tight
more neon than moonlight

with this morning on your mind
you check your trust, our tracks
and you look back you look back

Pic: TWO four-leaved clovers I found on a walk with Max and Huck. Here's to good luck!

Thursday, June 27, 2024

an unexpected red carpet

We took a 40% pay cut when Big A moved his job back to Michigan (I always count it as worth it!), so we've been discussing selling the house to downsize. (It does make me sad, but also... there are way worse fates in the world, and our dilemma pales in comparison.)

We've been holding off as Nu is headed for their last year of high school, and it would be too disruptive to move to a different school district at this point. 

It's worth noting that when we moved to this house, there were six humans (both kids were home and my parents lived with us for six months of the year). This house would be way too big for just A and me. On the other hand, we love this house and its happy memories so much and would be happy to stay here until the kids move us to a retirement home. We'll have to see how things shake out. 

Speaking of retirement homes, Nu told us with a straight face at dinner that when the time came, they'd be putting us in different homes because "you two together are too much." Both Big A and I pleaded and offered all kinds of silly bribes, but no--it will have to be different homes. I mean... I know it was meant to be funny, but it made me really sad to imagine living out my final days without A. And I was already in a bad place because of a sad book (Catherine Newman's We All Want Impossible Things).

Pic: Our walk through South Campus was disrupted due to construction. The construction crew has kindly put down a reddish tarp to indicate the detour, and it looks for all the world like an unexpected red-carpet experience.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

up and down and all around

The writing group didn't meet today... but good news about two conference acceptances. I'll chair the panel on narrative medicine; and I'm really excited about the panel I organized, titled, "If You Build It, They Will Come: Critical Feminist Practices for Campuses, Communities, and Campus-Community Partnerships."

I think we've finally finished edging the pond... but there have been some work-related woes, so we may be putting the house up for sale if things don't turn around. I'm determined to enjoy it while we're here!

I loved Sandwich so much, that I downloaded We All Want Impossible Things right away... and it's just so sad, I don't know that I can go on.

A long walk with Big A with the weather app predicting no rain as we set off... and then after we got to the halfway point, it began to rain. Oh, well, I'm not actually made of sugar.

Pic: A family of geese out on an outing.

hanging in there/hanging by a thread: a week of random things I thought about with A in the hospital

Wednesday, July 10:  Big A's healthcare team doesn't have a clear way forward, so neither do we. But I found the buttons to move his...