Mary Anne Mohanraj

Journal

August 23 -- 11:48 AM

These are new in my garden, Abyssinian gladioli, aka peacock orchids. They're not orchids at all, but rather an odd variety of gladiolus. These pictured are actually Roshani's -- mine are mostly not blooming yet, except for a few that got kind of rain-soggy and don't look their best. I'm still thinking about how best to plant them -- I did a bunch of small clumps, and that ended up kind of weird -- they send up lovely tall green leaves, more than knee-height, which last for months before the flowers appear. So I had all these odd spiky patches in my garden. I think I'm going to try grouping them more strongly next time, and also putting them a bit further back. Not sure. Will have to think about it, but meantime, they sure are pretty.

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August 23 -- 11:48 AM

These are new in my garden, Abyssinian gladioli, aka peacock orchids. They're not orchids at all, but rather an odd variety of gladiolus. These pictured are actually Roshani's -- mine are mostly not blooming yet, except for a few that got kind of rain-soggy and don't look their best. I'm still thinking about how best to plant them -- I did a bunch of small clumps, and that ended up kind of weird -- they send up lovely tall green leaves, more than knee-height, which last for months before the flowers appear. So I had all these odd spiky patches in my garden. I think I'm going to try grouping them more strongly next time, and also putting them a bit further back. Not sure. Will have to think about it, but meantime, they sure are pretty.

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August 23 -- 11:41 AM

This time of year, my garden is in kind of a steady-state -- not much new happening day to day. But it's still a pleasure, going out and picking a dahlia, and bringing it in to cheer up the kitchen. :-)

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August 22 -- 9:17 PM

I'm almost done with my summer of rewatching all of Voyager. It has definitely been a spotty ride -- some highs, a bunch of lows. But I will tell you, I am a complete sucker for stories of finding a way to communicate with a home you thought you'd lost. "Message in a Bottle," "Hunters," "Pathfinder" -- these are the episodes that made me cry like a baby.

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August 22 -- 9:56 AM

Spent much of yesterday working with Neha on putting up the collaborative South Asian diasporic photography exhibit at the Ward Gallery on campus. We have some terrific elements -- these large panels from SAAPRI, a mix of history and photography, and photos from UIC students, faculty, and the Chicago desi community -- Rasaka's Yoni ki Baat performance, Trikone Chicago's Kalakranti performance, a portrait of Neha Gill, Apna Ghar's Executive Director, and more.

The theatre photos are so vibrant, but I think my favorite part are the old photos that people scanned and sent in from their family albums. So many of them had their parents posing with their first American cars -- it's funny, but also poignant. And the SAAPRI exhibit has fascinating quotes from early immigrants who wore saris daily to mark themselves as 'not black' -- if they didn't, they faced housing and other discrimination.

Preston Merchant's photography will be added in a week, making the exhibit even better. There's still a fair bit of text to pull together and install, but I think we can get it done by Monday. Mostly, though, I'm really happy it's getting done. Huge props to Liz Thomson, formerly director of AARCC, who was a champion of this project at various points when it seemed unclear whether it would get done. And thanks to Neha for working a long, long day yesterday!

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