All posts by Mary Anne Mohanraj


“Kavi Acca, come here! Kavi Acca, read book! Kavi Acca, Kavi Acca, Kavi Acca…”
I am dying of the cute. Right now, they’re actually both demanding her attention, and one wants to be inside and one wants to be outside and they both want Kavi Acca to read them books, and she knows she’s supposed to keep an eye on the outside one, and she’s totally confused about what she’s going to do. Sharmi has told Kavi that she can make an executive decision as the Acca to either be inside or outside, but Kavi says that she’s tried that, but they won’t listen to her…
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Blast from the past

Oh, it is a little surreal seeing old friends again after long absences. I’m glad people are staggering their arrivals somewhat, so I have time to actually talk to them. Tonight, Kira Berman arrived — only briefly, as she’s going on to a conference for a few days, and then coming back for the party. But we got the chance to catch up a little bit at least. It turns out that you can download quite a lot of your life in half an hour.

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Okay, I think I’ve finalized the dessert table list. Although I reserve the right to drop a few of these if I start feeling lazy / harried. And I’m planning to draft Karina, Sharms, and Kat into icing sugar cookies with me on Thursday, because that is fussy and time-consuming.

Sri Lankan cashew milk toffee
Sri Lankan love cake with cashew, crystallized pumpkin, citrus and rose
Dark chocolate cake with chili-chocolate buttercream
Lemon layer cake with lemon curd and mascarpone
Pink champagne cake
Key lime cheesecake
Iced sugar cookies
Ginger shortbread hearts
Berried angelfood cake with whipped cream
Chocolate and vanilla cupcake tower (store-bought)

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“These people are members of a community that care about where they live, so what I hear when I’m being yelled at, is people caring loudly at me.”

— Leslie Knope, Parks and Rec, episode one

(I’m getting ready to be invested as a library board trustee next week by starting a summer re-watch of Parks & Rec.)

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My mother’s mother had nine children
and at twenty I didn’t aspire to quite
that many, but certainly four or five or six.
I would somehow fit them in between
writing books, teaching college, and a
fabulously complex love life.

When my serious boyfriend didn’t want
children, I didn’t take it seriously.
Maybe I wouldn’t stay with him, or maybe
he would change his mind, or maybe
our mutual girlfriend and I would raise
children together and he would live
in a little apartment nearby and visit.

By thirty-two, it had gotten serious,
and we’d broken up over it, more than once.
Over other things too, but in large part
it was the kids thing. He moved to Chicago
and I stayed in Salt Lake City, spent most
of a year crying and writing, writing and crying.

In the end, we couldn’t bear to be apart.
He flew out and convinced me to join him
and for a year, he tried to want children
and for another year, I tried not to. We failed.

When, at thirty-five, uterine fibroids turned out
likely not serious, but possibly fertility-
threatening, I cried for two solid months.
One day, I woke up crying; he drove me to work
crying. I pulled myself together enough to teach
my classes, and then he drove me home, crying.

After that I told him, I guess I have to have kids.
I’m not breaking up with you, so it’s your choice.
Stick around if you want to. I started researching
adoption, which turned out to be expensive.

After a few months of saving, he said if I was going
to do this kids thing, he’d rather I did it with him.
So at thirty-five, I had a daughter, and at thirty-
seven, I had a son, and now she is turning ten
and I’ve been with the boyfriend for twenty-five years.

The numbers don’t really add up the way they’re
supposed to, but they do accumulate beautifully.

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Our local Democratic Party has been bringing the governor candidates to Oak Park, which I really appreciate. I was out of town for the last pair (Kennedy and Biss) — need to watch the recorded video. And I was coaching Kavi’s game while Ameya Pawar was speaking, sadly — I had really hoped to make it in time for him. He’ll be at L!ve Cafe soon, though, and I’ll be going to that.

I did manage to catch Pritzker, and I have to say, for a billionaire, he didn’t seem half-bad. He was certainly saying all the right progressive things; his policy seems on point. And he presents very well, so I think he has a good chance of being able to win voters (esp. with the help of all that money, of course).

Well, we’ll see. I’m going to go see Pawar, and research the other candidates more, and at some point in the next few months, will likely make my pick for my preferred candidate, with the plan of putting in some significant time supporting their campaign. Hosting a fundraiser or two, organizing Oak Park door-knocking and mailing, etc. and so on. My campaign is over, but there’s plenty of Democratic work to be done between now and 2018. Time to be a good foot soldier for the party.

(Also pictured here, library board member Matt Fruth, setting a good example — he was there with his babe-in-arms, asking tough questions and holding the candidates to account!)

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Soccer game

She’s growing up so fast. I can’t even. We didn’t win the game today, but we did score two goals, and more importantly to me, Kavi was able to run for more of the game, and had more fun as a result — she actually managed to stay with the ball enough to make a couple of good passes, getting it away from the enemy. (I’m probably not supposed to call the other team of little girls the enemy, am I?) Kavi’s excited about her increased capacity, and is going to keep up with her little daily jogs around the block.

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