dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Friday, March 31, 2006

white brownies, l33t

I have this white brownies recipe which of course I amended--to include half whole wheat flour and half brown sugar. And I put in hazelnuts instead of almonds because I hate hazelnuts, and white brownies is for Erik only.

And I always wanted to put in half vanilla extract (the recipe calls for almond extract only), and today I actually had to, because my cute little brown bottle of almond extract got used up before the teaspoon was full.

So we'll see if he likes it--I licked the mixing spoon and liked it very much. It was a week ago he requested them, and he requests particular foods so rarely that it's sad it took me so long to make them, but I'm now redeemed.

He's been working so much--today's his 18th day straight? Though last weekend was half-days. And no sign of stopping. I said, "You could just keep going until you get sick," and he agreed! I meant that as sarcasm!

I've been saying, "This is the wettest winter I've ever lived through," all winter, and now it's spring, and looks like it might become the wettest spring I've ever seen. Today there was thunder and lightning with a pouring rain. It's raining now too but more reasonably. Well, I could say it's pourning now too, but not buckets.

You don't know how badly and for how long I wanted to know what l33t means.


Thursday, March 30, 2006


Sometimes, when I hear someone’s getting married for the first time, I think, “How cute. A practice marriage.” I feel cynical. The best way to prevent divorce is to not get married.

False marriage--a struggle of one person using another, or mutual destruction, with a pain that drags on and on--is the commonest misuse of life that I can think of. In a situation of so much intimacy, the deepest damage can be done, between two who promised to be so good to one another. But how many people really have those skills?

Culture gives so much credit to those who can tough it out. But I give credit to the people who can take care of themselves. If everyone got out of their hopeless situations, so much energy could be freed up to do good for the world.

I thank god I never had children, and I thank god I had a good friend to help me out of my painful and false first marriage.

When nothing's fun anymore. When it disgusts you to sleep in the same bed together. When he won't listen to you anymore. When you constantly feel you're trying to put something together as it's constantly falling apart. When your sanity is compromised by trying to be good enough and brave enough for him. When your patience wears through.

domestic violence

Last night I was up late writing and heard a sound outside that gave me a chill. I went through "What's wrong with that animal?" to "Oh my god, that's a kid" to "Oh my god, that's an adult." Just the most bone-chilling howl, then a slamming door and screaming shouts. I froze and kept listening. I stared at Erik, whose sitting was interupted. It's the moment where you're moving toward the phone to call the cops and say something to yourself like, "Okay, one more howl and that's it."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

tomato paste

I got this organic tomato paste which is my new secret ingredient for everything. I love an intense cooked tomato flavor. The nice thing about this tomato paste is how it's in a cute little jar. I add a spoonful here and there, like to Erik's eggs, or to some broth I'm simmering ramen noodles in. It's just a lovely versatile thing to have around. The brand I got from the co-op is Bionature.

fresh yarn

Brilliant brilliant brilliant essays here. I'm going to submit something.



My four-month period ended a couple days ago. It's so nice I don't have to think about it: life is more convenient. So hopefully I'll have a cycle now.


Did you know I hate cilantro? Well, I do. And I joined a support group.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

10th grade: my first modem

My first modem was 300 baud and given to me by my friend Scott so I could call the local BBS from my Commodore 64. I'm too embarassed to say the names we went by there, but if you ever thought my email address was stupid, that's why. I was 14!

The BBS had a certain number of lines. I think a maximum of 8 people could be on it at a time, though it got more and more upgraded as the years went by. And now it can be accessed so nostalgically from the web, and people make ASCII pictures. You know what I'm talking about! Or not, depending.

What was the purpose of this BBS? Well, originally it was gay. By the time I arrived, it was defnitely gay-friendly but no longer gay. It was for chatting. There were set conventions, and the same abbreviations that I see in emails today. I remember lots of brb, ttyl, ttys, btw, and affection within asterisks. *hug* Nowadays I still want to use astericks for emphasis--is that standard? I don't think I ever did "lol." That is my pet peeve of life, so intense a pet peeve I won't even discuss it! Next paragraph!

The BBS was a staging ground for connections among geeks. Only geeks allowed! It was a tight commnuity. Everyone knew everyone. Lots of relationships formed and dissolved. Lots of potential for friendships, and enemy-ships too. The relationships I made there didn't last. Only my friendship with Scott remains.

Even at the time, 300 baud was slow. I used that modem to access two local BBSes made by friends also--message-based ones as opposed to chat. "How can you connect so slow?" they asked, and I would say, "300 baud is about as fast as I can think." I didn't mind it. I was patient. They were at 1100 baud or whatever--I can't remember the number.

It was the kind of thing everone made fun of, but came back for more. It was a way to connect.

As an adult, during grad school, I belonged to one very small message-based internet BBS. It was populated entirely by men except for me and one other woman. The men were brilliant and very, very nasty. A few were first-rate writers. I spent a lot of time there, but eventually the nastiness of the men drove me nuts, and I quit. I loved their brilliance but got so tired of the bickering and misogyny. I posted almost never. I've spent many hours and years watching men and listening to them talk.

On the internet I've never been to a chat room. It seems like the whole world is just too big. How could you get to know anyone? It must happen--maybe I would like it. But I like my life now, and I know how chatting can suck a person in.

Mostly, I see it as a waste of time. In my experience, it just kills hours and hours, and it's never very meaningful or deep. Even if it's flirtatious, the people are somewhat interchangable. I don't want to see people that way, the conversational equivalent of badporn.

But when I was a kid, I had nothing better to do. For a 10th grader, it was fine.


This morning the front right tire looked low, so we decided we should go to the gas station rather than our walk. So we got gas so the air would be free. Life felt so real and right. The wind was whipping my skirt around me, the cloudy sky looked so full of promise, and I thought it was such a shame to go home to read and write all day, and Erik to go score Arizona for $10.50 an hour. What a waste of youth, health, and life. So we toyed with the idea of just driving to Santa Cruz to talk all day. But as you can see, I'm home.

The construction is so loud today, but I have a book I really like Toast by Nigel Slater. It's a memoir with food and sexuality. His feelings for food are so intense. And he grew up in England in the 50s or 60, it looks like, so I have very few similar foods, but it doesn't matter.

Husband insult of the day (after it took him five minutes to get ready):
You women are all the same!

9th grade

I was scared to go to high school because my eigth grade science teacher Mr Brickey strongly cautioned me with ideas of being a big fish in a small pond and going to high school I would be a small fish in a big pond. Why was he intentionally scaring me? He thought he should prepare me. He must have had a bad experience.

Ninth grade, I was in a freshman world, but I had Melly with me, and she was always so brave. She was brave enough for two. I had been to university already. I was unusual.

My guidance counselor discouraged me from taking foreign language my freshman year. Obviously she had no faith that I would go directly to a four-year, because I would need four years of foreign language for that. I'm still mad because it's not right for someone to make a judgement like that. I can't think of what she based it on other than my looks and demeanor.

I was kicked out of my honors English class when my teacher asserted that Shakespeare's plays were written in old English. I was furious that she was making shit up and asserted adamantly that they were written in modern English and that old English you can't even read. Rather than sending me to the principal or vice-principal, I was sent to my guidance counselor. And so she hated me even more.

I was friends with the kid who made Ventura High School's Reality Press Weekly, started my own zine the Ugly Aardvark, and had a lot of pleasure with that though it was horrible at the beginning. But I had a lot of energy, and it was a godsend. We were all starved for creative freedom, and even a bad zine is wonderful for an oppressive place. (Or at least it was valuable before everyone had the internet.)

It wasn't until a couple years had passed and the Ugly Aardvark made some nastly allegations about discrepencies in sports funding based on the ethnicities of the players that the administration got really pissed. The white tennis players got new courts, while the Mexican runners were running on an ancient track in need of repair. And the principal's daughter played tennis.

I'm still so mad about these things after all these years!

Anyway, that's how I looked in ninth grade.

cala lilies

Erik saw cala lilies but didn't know their name. Trying to describe them to me, he said they're white and showed me with his hand the cup-funnel shape, and I knew right away. They grew thick and wild by the side of our house in Tanglewood. When I was little. I would play in them every day.

I hate cala lilies, but my feelings are more complicated than that. I think I hate them but respect them also. So maybe I'll change my verdict to they don't sit well with me.

They're definitely not subtle. Maybe one day, we can be friends.

Monday, March 27, 2006

breakfast revelations

1. When you rush the toaster, no one wins.

2. All's well that is well.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I only like to listen to new music by myself because I can't handle feeling my feelings while also thinking about someone else's. I listened to a new Mountain Goats song today while Erik deposited my last unemployment check. I am going to make it / through this year / if it kills me.

Erik likes my singing. I think it's good in its own way. A few weeks ago I got a new friend at vespers, who sat in front of me, and afterward, she complimented my singing. I laughed in her face. I'm so rude.

My voice is weak, but my ear is good, so I can stay on pitch, but there's no breadth of sound. But it's me.

"You can't know if her 'you' was plural or singular," I told Erik. But I was so rude.

At vespers tonight, my friend P wasn't playing--it was my friend J. I had no idea she played. It was perfect.

My favorite song is that last one I want to photocopy so I can sing it by myself and memorize the words, but I never know what's allowed and what isn't. I could have my own little vespers every night.

a joke and two walks

I found three quarters on the bed and gave them to Erik. If you're trying to pay me for sex, it's going to cost a lot more than this. But all his money is mine, so he couldn't pay me in money.

Yesterday on our walk down Professional, I found a card of trivia from a Star Trek game in the gutter and asked Erik all the questions. He got them all right except the last one. Then I stuck the card in a twining vine.

On our walk today, the Professional sign blew in the wind, which felt dangerous. I said it would be a horrible way to die, decapitated by the Professional sign. Decapitated by capitalism. It's dentistry row over there, with some day spas thrown in. And the oral surgeon with such a high-class waiting room where I got my wisdom teeth out for a thousand bucks last year.

Anyway, the trivia card was still stuck in the vine, and we were surprised. Maybe it fell and someone like me put it back in.

poblano discovery

Everyone says you need to roast poblanos to take off the skin. This is standard procedure if you're making chile rellenos.

But! I made a discorvery! You don't need to. This roasting and peeling is a step you can skip with fine results if you're using the poblano chile just as a regular veggie. I did it yesterday and this morning.

I feel so happy because they have such a nice flavor, and roasting them is such a pain, but now I can use them more. Mild as bell peppers but with so much more personality.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


"What do you think of this transition: furthest-more."

"I think I love it."

"It comes in the paragraph after furthermore."

"Then I think it's brilliant."

Husband insult of the day:
You're so resentful of reality.

unemployed again

Two days of work are two days too many. I'm so happy to be unemployed again. Yet I can see the good result of getting out of my own head a little. Perspective, breath.

The word of the day is ecumenical. It has religion connotations and refers to the whole earth.

Friday, March 24, 2006

fake titles to Algerian music

Erik likes to entertain himself making up fake titles for Algerian music, and this one's called "No Health Insurance for So-Called Adjunct Faculty is Bullshit." Another is "Guess Who Colonized Our Country. Then I Moved There, and All I Got Is This Lousy Unemployment. How Jacked Is That?"

"I don't know what this one's called," he said. "I think it's called 'I Tried One of Those New Motorized Toothbrushes, But I Got Really Dizzy.'" Maybe this is funnier if you can hear the songs.

I was on the phone with a Special Someone and talking about idealizing people. I told her how Robyn once gave me a paper clip that I kept for four years. It was so embarassing that I didn't want Erik to know that. But he does, now. I'm pushing the envelope of marriage.

It looks like "colon-ized." Are you sure there aren't two l's?

I said, "Rolf Harris is goofy--don't put Rolf Harris on there." He wanted to put on some schoohouse rock, which I adamantaly denied. "It would be funny the first time. But you want this to be a tape he can spend a a lifetime with!"

what I saw

Today we went to Fry's after work to buy some tapes because we want to make some tapes for Jeff because he only has a tape player in his car. And like the people who don't have cell phones, we're the people who don't have a CD burner anyway.

At Fry's, I saw a bumper sticker that make me so sad: a new conservative marriage bumper sticker. This one is yellow and black, as opposed to the red and white one I'd been seeing. It has stick figure man, stick figure woman, and stick figure kid between them. I told Erik we're not really married since we don't have a kid. And I cautioned him not to get a sex change or we'll be in violation of bumper stickers.

At work when I took a walk, I saw a vetch blooming early in a no-man's-land between parking lots, hemmed in by chain link fences, by the wild tomato plant I loved so much last year and actually ate some of its tomatoes. The huge mounds of freeway vetch aren't blooming yet by the 80 by the Watt exit, our exit.

It was nice to have my dear with me at mutant tree, but they train us like mad, and he was in the other room, so we only took one break together anyway. But it's just good to have him near.

I was wearing shorts under my skirt today and yesterday which makes me look even fatter than I am, and it reminded me of when I was a kid and had to wear a dress to school every day and had to wear shorts underneath if I wanted to play on the monkey bars, which I did.

But that's a very safe feeling to have so many layers of clothing. I didn't have to be so careful how I sat. However, nobody probably knew I was wearing shorts under my skirt and just thought I was sociopathic or some kind of scoring ho. Come to think of it. But screw that.

It's so hot in there in the afternoon and cold in the morning. I kept getting the impulse to take off my shirt, both afternoons. Which is how you know you stay home too much. The mind toys with the idea. Well, if I were wearing a sports bra, it would almost be okay. But I'm not really playing soccer here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

mutant tree CSET

Today and tomorrow I'm scoring CSET at mutant tree. The new thing about it is that Erik is doing it too, for the first time, so I get to adjust to having him there for the walks I take on my breaks and for lunch. He will be anxious today, like anyone would, starting work at a new place. And it's hard for me to see him anxious, because I rely on him to be steady and stable for me.

Anyway, it will be different to be Out all day as oppsed to lately being In all day. And I'll earn some money and hopefully do some writing. I always write there, during the training. I feel moved to discuss some particular things that I've learned about myself lately. I'm thinking of making an issue of the zine that's all dark stuff.

Last night I dreamed we moved into a house with about 40 other people. Included was a huge wealthy Latin-American family. The place was our last choice and seemed to be haunted. The shower would turn on by itself, hot water only.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


problem, self-esteem

This morning my DSL wasn't working. I panicked like an addict, tearing through drawers for the installation CD and disturbing Erik's ability to sit. When I act just like my dad, it scares me.

I called tech support. The worker said, "My name is Adam, maam." I'm like, "Yeah right your name is Adam! It's Sandeep!" But I didn't say that. He was so competent and even complimented me when I remembered my IP address for 10 seconds. Anyway, DSL is working again. I need to file my notes so I can reset the modem myself when this happens. The scanner does the same thing, from time to time. I don't know why--maybe it's entropy? Power sugres?

I had an idea of making a little notebook where I write down all the compliments people give me, and then when I feel like shit, I can read some. But the feelings of self-worth are supposed to come from the self.

Anniversary celebrations were perfect. Not so hyped as to be stressful, but not so ignored as to be non-existant. Our flowers are beautiful, and dinner was lovely.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Today’s our four-year anniversary. Yay!!!! We get to go out to dinner and buy flowers.

Last night we slept on our new bed for the first time. It was luxurious.

Last night was the annual meeting. Swamis from Berkeley, San Francisco, and Portland came. I’m quite taken with the Portland swami (this was the first we ever heard him speak) and want to move there even more, now. He’s funny, animated, and very warm.

The first part of the meeting was so boring that I started feeling destructive. I remember what it was like to be a student wanting to carve stuff in the chair just for entertainment purposes.

Then the part where the swamis speak was so interesting but I still had the boredom-chemicals in my body and couldn’t pay as much attention as I wished I could.

Afterward I thought it would be prasad puja-food, but it was cake and ice cream. We rejected the cake and ate ice cream outside because I’m too claustrophobic for the little room, and Erik was shaking, it was so cold. I said sorry but laughed.

Someone said, “It’s so nice to see you here,” and then said, “Young people!” Oh, she’s talking to us, I realized. “Thank you.” I’m so bad at talking to people I don’t know. Erik says she meant, “It’s so nice to not have just us old people who came before the 70s.” The devotees are dying off faster than new ones are coming, or at least that’s how it looks in Sacramento.

The period I’ve had for four months suddenly became a bit excessive a few days ago. I’m uncomfortable and sick of it.

Last night I dreamed a variation of the teaching dream I’ve had at least 50 times: I walked through the door and realized, “Oh shit, I forgot to prepare a lesson plan.” I decided I could just wing it because it was only the second day of class—the second day is still easy. Brainstorm what good writing is! Read aloud from homeworks! Explain the first essay!

Then I looked at the clock and saw it was 10:20, but my class was supposed to start at 10. “I’m so sorry,” surprised they were still there.

Monday, March 20, 2006

bed bed bed

We got a bed by non-traditional means. I felt leery of it, and it sat unused for more than a week. But yesterday Erik set it up in the bedroom. I love to lie on it starting out the window at the buds on the sycamore tree outside. They're so beautiful when they move in the wind. I'm still not ready to sleep in the bed--we're still sleeping on the floor in the livingroom. But I take steps toward it and lie on it in the day.

Monday again, rainy again, sad, writing a lot. Blogger was acting funny yesterday and I couldn't post photos, but if it's better today, I'll update Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine.


Sunday, March 19, 2006


I have a new lease on life. I think it's a one-year lease.

There's this cheese I love. It's organic sharp cheddar from Trader Joe's, white. I thought it might be too strong for pizza, but it's not. We did about three-fourths mozzeralla, one-fourth this sharp cheddar and wanted more. So next time I'm doing more the opposite porportions.

The question is: how do you balance the need to be vulnerable with the need to take care of youself? My answer is to be careful but not too careful, and be willing to admit when you were wrong.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


This morning I was holding my mala when it broke. It's hard not to see something like that as symbolic. Religion's confusing. Erik says it's not good to idealize anybody. But religion seems to be all about idealizing somebody. Anyway, I could tie a knot myself or ask someone else to fix it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I have been...

*lying in bed for hours right between sleep and being awake, listening to my voices--today one said, "I smell like water"

*monitoring the construction--they move mounds of different dirts from one side of the lot to the other

*listening to the same Innocence Mission CD over and over again--Glow (the yellow one)

*washing dishes once or twice a day

*eating all the fruit.

Erik's working all weekend. The project's behind, the bosses are getting panicky, so they extended the hours too.

But there's an air show Saturday, and jets were flying at work today and doing tricks. He said he liked them, and I was amazed.

"They're for killing people," I said.

"Not these ones."

"Do you know much money they cost?"

"I don't like them in a pure way."

"Do I know you?"

Nobody wanted to come in from break. The thing is, I heard them too, like thunder this afternoon. They woke me at a moment I had drifted off to sleep.

I will be so glad when the airshow's over. I will be so glad when the project's over.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

on the rez: Linnea

I had this student I loved the best. Her name was Linnea. (It wasn't.) She was a third grader and smart as a whip but with ADHD or some such brilliant-person affliction undiagnosed.

She was the one who said she was allergic to cake and then pretended she was sneezing. Getting her to do her homework was an interesting battle of wills. I was like an unskilled parent trying to get a kid to do the chores. I remember her beautiful singing of "If I had a million dollars" as she dawdled. She charmed me, and she was the best.

"I notice something different about you today," she said, "You're wearing earrings." And one time she notcied I had a ring on my right hand as well as my left. "Were you married twice?"

I liked her best friend too. Her name was, hmm, I can't think up a good fake name for her. We were happy in our group of three. We were all pleased with our roles. The best friend didn't mind being the sidekick. We were all quite well.

Then one day I lost my temper. I got just about furious and over stepped the boundry of the ways we would usually play. I mean, I got pissed enough to just walk away, ignoring her pleading to come back, which of course wasn't dangerous or anything--other teachers were around. It just felt dangerous emotionally.

The next day, she was sulking, and when I spoke with her, she was surprised and seemed skeptical. "I thought you didn't like me anymore," she said.

"Of course I still like you," I said. "I can get mad at you. You're still my special person."

So then we carried on where we left off. Of course, she was extra good for a little while. Like maybe 15 minutes. Then it was back to her tricks, which were part of everything. I told her best friend that she was my special person too, but we all knew what we meant.

It was Linnea who kept me from quitting for months. Of course I knew a lot of information about her home life, and I felt I was important as a source of stability. But eventually I did quit.

Then after a while I came back for a visit. "LAURA-MARIE!" she yelled, and ran to fling herself into my arms. "I FORGOT ALL ABOUT YOU!" she said.

As I hugged her, through her hair, I said, "I didn't forget about you."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

the great discovery of yesterday

bowl of vanilla yogurt + generous tablespoon of smooth peanut butter = yummy snack

Why did it take me 29 years to think of this?

Monday, March 13, 2006


Here's a view out our front door at 12 Utah St.

Sierra Wave 2004

A weird thing the clouds would do there called the Sierra Wave.

things change fast around here

Today's my first day in quite a while being a stay-at-home-mom to myself. So far, me and I have messed around doing not much of anything but trying the new pretend egg salad recipe (made with tofu boiled in vinegar water)--it was pretty good, but missing something.

Today's official Catch up on Letter Writing day, so if you're Matt, Eva, Stephanie, or Kirsi, you're in luck.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mt Tom 2003 or 2004

This is a view of Mt Tom in Bishop, California, where we used to live, on the other side of the Sierras. This picture was taken from a vista point on the 395 near Paradise, I think--on the way to Mammoth. After a good snow.

Mt Tom was like a friend to everyone, the landmark, and we lived at the foot of it in Rovana, a small mining town whose mine closed. We could see Mt Tom from the bedroom window. Rovana's streets names' first letters spelled out vanadium. Our house was white, uninsulated, and had an old-style heating system. Rovana's a thousand feet higher elevation than town, so we were at about 5100 ft. Isn't this a nice picture?


I decided I'm not going to work Monday. Writing about it helped me decide. I'll help the family in other ways, like making Erik's lunches and keeping things in order. Staying sane is the best way to help my family, really. Erik explained how if I'm not well, then all our time is taken up trying to keep me functioning, so it's better to be well.

Today: thunderstorms, vegetable management, vespers at 6.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

the weekend's dilemna

I'm trying to figure out if I should go to work Monday. The grading factory is the least-favorite of my three jobs. It makes me feel like "sticking sticks in my eyes." I've met some very nice people there, and it pays $10.50 an hour (the lowest rate of all my scoring jobs). The supervisors yell, and I often get a panicky, trapped feeling there. Then I come home from work and cry, and I want to quit every single day.

If I don't go, I think I'll lose my unemployment because I'll mark on my form that I refused work. My unemployment is huge because the income window it's open upon was the most lucrative moment of my life, when I was teaching three classes fos Los Rios, teaching one class online for Cerro Coso, and evidently scoring for two different companies. Don't ask me how I did that!

Today in the mail I got a jury duty summons thingie, and that further complicates my descision a tiny bit, because I know from Erik doing it that the grading factory will write you a letter to get you out of jury duty. That's really not a big deal because jury duty, as far as I'm concerned, and I served on a jury one time in Santa Barbara, is way better than working.

It's mostly a question over mental health vs money. Erik says not to go. I probably won't go. I'll still score SAT at home, and CBEST and CSET at mutant tree when the time comes.

But the dilemna (which Erik told me how to spell) is making me feel ill and want to do nothing but lie in bed pretending to sleep, mostly hiding. However, Erik made me go out, and the sun felt nice.

Wallace Stevens joke

Q: What should you do if someone tells you that the only emperor is the emperor of ice cream?
A: Call the roller of big cigars.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I have Plan B

My appointment was for 11:20, but the place was packed, all chairs filled. In the waiting room, everyone's bored and staring at everyone else, like on a bus. I feel they don't like my looks. It's that I'm out of style? Or my skirt says I think I'm better than them? Or they're just in a bad mood, so their looks are unloving. I read a Sacramento News and Review. Erik did sudoku. He's the only white one in the room lots of places I take him. His blond head stands out. He might be the man, but he's gentle and out of it.

This place has three waiting rooms. The first has a fish tank you can look at. The second is a little cramped. The third has a bed-thing and some interesting displays about birth control methods available and a poster map about abortion rights throughout the world--the different countries are color-coded. I've read it all.

First they were confused thinking I was there for a follow-up after using the abortion pill. The woman dimmed the lights and had me on a table next to an ultrasound machine before she asked why I was there, and I told her. So she sent me back to waiting room #3 after having me pee in a cup for a pregnancy test. We chatted a little waiting for the results. I didn't feel like I could relate to her. She was speaking to me from TV world.

I waited again, I waited some more, they put me in a room, and I waited another 15 minutes there. It was 1, and I was feeling waves of anger and waves of okay. I wrote in my journal. Finally the nurse practitioner was wearing a purple headband scarf. She didn't give me any trouble for being fat: they are so awesome there. And three dozen free condoms, and a Plan B pack just in case. I feel powerful.

She would like me to go on a progestin-only birth control pill for women who are breastfeeding or have high blood pressure. "Why have I never heard of this?" I asked. I assumed the effectiveness rate must be low, but she said 98%. She asked me if I wanted to try it, but I said I needed to think about it. I really don't want to go on hormones ever ever again.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Yesterday we went to Santa Cruz for Sri Lankan food, a visit to their lovely hippie grocery store Staff of Life, and nature fun at Big Basin St Park. Erik was in the mood to "hold forth," and I liked hearing his postulations about ecosystems in particular.

At the grocery we got some interesting things, like some organic decaf mango tea for me; some malt balls covered in a yogurt-confection rather than chocolate, also for me, which are awesome; and five bottles of my new favorite salad dressing, which is nowhere to be found in Sacramento. I guess Sacramento is just slow.

At Big Basin we took a long walk and didn't see or hear other humans the entire time. At a stop-off, sitting on some rocks by a little rapids section, I wrote a letter to Romy while Erik sketched some plants. It was a good trail along a creek. Don't you love those creek trails? I made up a joke.

Q: What do you call a trail that you don't like?
A: A trial.

That would be a spelling joke, I think. Boy do have trouble with dairy vs diary etc. Brian and brain.

Suffering from some incapacitating anxiety since last night, trying not to let it incapacitate me. I made an appointment at the women's health clinic to talk to someone about this 3-month period I'm having, at my mom's request. Good daughter.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Here's the salad dressing I'm currently in love with.


I'm guessing 1984

On my dad's side (the white side) I was the oldest grandchild. My brother was second. Janelle, the one pictured between us, was third. I always thought she was holding a feather, but now I'm not so sure.

I loved those popcorn-cranberry garlands we made a few Christmases, even though I pricked my finger on the needle.

This photo is a two-in-one because that's me on the sheft as a bonus.

Was I good? Oh yes, I was very good.

the bitch in the house

I'm not the type of girl who likes to solve problems by buying things, but we bought a sound-making machine in an attempt to solve my problem with the apartment complex's noises. That's a short-term solution. Longer-term ones include to following:

*moving onto a farm with Paul and Sparky, current favorite choice, but contingent on someone finding the farm
*moving closer to Vedanta
*moving to some outskirt rural town like Winters or Galt
*doing job searches for some other city we'd like such as Berkeley in order to move there.

I need to take some of this dissatified feeling and turn it into action that might lead to a change.

Today a clerk at Staples teased me, which gave me something to think about. His teasing was much funnier than he knew.

I had a book out from the library The Bitch in the House and didn't start reading it until this morning (it was due yesterday, no more renewals allowed). It made me feel excited and confused.

Erik, Kitty, and I are all depressed. So we ran errands and had a "feel like crap" party which means I don't even attempt conversation or make my usual threats like, "Talk to me or you'll be in deep trouble."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Point Reyes National Seashore

Today I wanted to make issue 35 of the zine and do some Sacramento things, but Erik wanted to go to Point Reyes, so we did. It was our first time.


It's a big place with a variety of plant communities! I thought it was going to be like Point Lobos, for some reason, which is rocky and foggy. But it's not. It's got conifers, sandy beach, lots of ranches and pasture land, and some wet canyons.

We saw cows (some with beautiful big udders full of milk), elk (there's an elk preserve), deer, farm dogs, farm cats, chickens, ravens, crows, red-winged black birds, a starling, turkey vultures, some hawks, and a little hawk-like bird I think was kestrel.

We saw ferns, oaks, whole fields of bush lupine (not yet in bloom), dudlyeas, California poppies, mustard and radish, cala lillies (which I actually hate--some got loose, evidently), monkeyflower bushes, and lots of gorgeous plants I don't know the names of, like some sweet little blue cup flowers, something that looks like locoweed but with red-pink flowers, a tendril vine that might be a native grape.

We got lost on the way home in the dark and had to do some creative navigation, which I don't mind. It's not the first time the map-book my mom got me at Costco has gotten us out of a mysterious area.

At home, I'm still very irritated with the noises of the new neighbors. I feel off-kitler and emotional. In some ways, my mind is really in the past, as I process the past anew, for various reasons, including contact with people from the past, which happens a lot with myspace, for example.

Also, everything with work is up in the air, for me, and Erik's starting at the grading factory Monday. I want a place of calmness to function from, but everything seems unsettled and fast-moving. I need to find some peace. Being out today I was able to do some thinking and wrote a letter to Ellen. But peace is hard to find.


My local best friend in jr high and high school was Melly--brilliant, blond, and athletic. She played soccer, ran cross country and track, and played tennis one year. Mostly she was a runner.

I loved her and was devoted to her. Yet there was a lot of conflict too. I would neglect her badly, spending time with whoever I was in a relationship with. She was in AP and honors classes, while I was not. She was great at math, while I was not.

So this was my crew, in a way, but I was the part-time member who would come and go. Amanda and Tara mostly tollerated me, I would say. But senior year, all four of us were in journalism together. We ditched classes a lot together, Melly being the one with a car.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Counting candles this looks like 17, and it looks like German chocolate cake, which would have been an abnormal birthday cake choice--brownie nut was normal, back then (now it's carrot).

Despite my laughing smile, this was not a good year in general, was it? It's hard to speak generally, which is what living in the moment is good for. A rushed birthday ritual in a dark decade. But I really loved that dress!


This one is of more modern times, me and Alex. I spent a lot of time here in front of the Old Little Theater--smoking cigarettes, waiting for my next class, reading, eating lunch, talking with friends, waiting for a ride.

It was where I went when I wanted to talk (as opposed to the Secret Smoking Spot, which is where I went when I wanted to be alone or was feeling cranky).

There's a concrete ledge good for many people sitting. And there's a payphone, and a view of the back of the dining commons where I worked two years. For a long time, there was just a small yard of dirt up against it, but then around 1996 some landscaping occurred.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

birds, moving

Today we went to the Cosumnes River nature preserve. We saw a great horned owl sitting on her nest through the spotting scope. That was a treat. We saw the last of the cranes on their way out. They were kettling, which means flying in high circles, getting ready to go, giving a cry now and then in case any of their buddies were down on the ground and wanted to migrate with them.

We got to use Erik's new binoculars. Paul said they were good and liked the strange way of focusing. Anyway, it was lovely, but we foolishly neglected to pack sandwiches, so after spending a couple hours with our friends at the visitor's center, we could only go for a short walk because it was well into lunch time. The highlight of the day: hugging Paul. I haven't met anyone so lovable in years.


Afterwards we went out to lunch at this place we got a free $25 gift card for Macaroni Grill. It was fine. I have a thing for fettucine alfredo, and it was good. We have leftovers.

New neigbors downstairs--we were spoiled for a long time with the happy privacy. Someone has just sneezed about 20 times in a row, and boy do I not like knowing that. I want to move now that spring is here and the kids are outdoors being loud again. Erik puts it best when he explains how they treat the whole apartment complex as their living room.

But I'm super-confused about whether we should move within Sacramento or move to a new town. It's hard to make a commitment. I mean, I would like to try putting down some roots here, but I'm afraid.

Maybe we should move wherever Ellen is because I need a best friend near me. Or maybe we should move near Santa Maria to be closer to my parents, brother, and little nieces. But the area lacks some things we need. Maybe we should go up to Portland, where a couple friends are, and it sounds great there. We also love Santa Cruz, but the housing isn't good. Too many choices, and no one choice stands out as remarkably the best. Let me know if you have an opinion on this.


I don't remember 1977, but I wore this yellow dress the day I turned 1. They say I was a happy baby.

Young Scholars Summer Program 1991

I'm in the middle, wearing my security sweatshirt, with the classic photo hair positioning.

My first summer away from home at the Young Scholars Summer Program was suggested to me by my 8th grade English teacher. It was six weeks at UC Santa Barbara, and I was 13. That's how I went to college before high school, which was a good idea in general because it made me as mentally and emotionally rich as possible. But it ruined me in other ways, like having the finest wine first, so you can never enjoy the cheap stuff.

But this picture is the second summer, when I was 14 and back for more. I went to the beach many mornings, and no one else was there. I didn't wear shoes.

Fantastics include...

My friend for many years Huy Ngheim, the tall Asian dude on the left, who called himself Lord Percival Solis, made me listen to Nine Inch Nails, and once wrote me 40 page letter.

My dear teacher Robyn Bell, peeking somwhere towards the left/middle.

John Kim, the Asian dude second from the right, who held my hand one night as we walked home from Goleta beach, though I'm sure he didn't "like" me, which is confusing.

And my dearest best friend then and now Ellen.

Others in the photo include Huy's sister Cathy, physics student Bill Hammond, and Jerry Wong of the UTSC (Used Toilet Seat Cover Club). I was friends with many young physics students, all boys, and don't ask why, but we would play Sonic the Hedgehog late into the night. Really, they would play, and I would watch, which is a pattern continued throughout my life.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Grandpa smelled like cigarettes and beer. His eyes were watery.

One year, he gave me a necklace--a heart-shaped pendant of pretend diamonds on a golden chain. I think he gave the same one to some of my cousins.

if I was Gandhi

The apartment complex would be one finely-tuned organization with weeky meetings. We would own the washer and drier. We would overthrow the landlord. And I would move away in six months.


Good use of puzzles.

Complex decisions best left to your unconscious, study finds

Thursday, March 02, 2006

focus group

Today I was at an all-day focus group. I guess I'm not supposed to say what it was about. But I got free foods, earned $150, met some nice people, and used "proximal cause" in a sentence. In a nutshell, I was analyzing arguments all day, which is not a bad way to spend a day. Easy money.

This morning I got my first rejection slip since I started submitting poems again--it was through email. Submitting only to journals I care about makes it more painful when they reject my poems. I'm not sure I can keep doing this.

After my focus group, which was at the Clarion Hotel downtown, we went directly to Trader Joe's and got some of the lovely onion rye bread, black grapes, eggs, mushrooms, and other delicacies for good meals at home.

We're probably going back to Santa Cruz tomorrow because I'm hankering for another walk and another fire. I guess it depends on the weather report tomorrow morning, if it's supposed to be raining there at night.

Paul and Jenny are working the nature center Saturday, so we'll probably go over there to watch hummingbirds fight over the feeder.

I post a drawing I made of Erik years ago.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


My parents' dog, the most beautiful three-legged pit bull I've ever known.

what I really think

Erik has anxiety problems to the point where he starts shaking if he has to use the phone. He has almost no social needs. In fact, he could go days without speaking to anyone, no problem. He needs me, he needs his dad, and he likes our friends but seems to have no need to be in contact with them. If you call our house, you can be sure that the one answering the phone is me.

Midwestern-ness, guy-ness, a mild form of autism?

His specialness often drives me nuts. I'm honest and very clear about my feelings, which means I say / yell stuff that others would be in deep trouble for communicating to their partner. But his response is usually to laugh.

Today's insult:
"You're like the kid who eats the hot dog out of the bun and infuriates the mom."

Yesterday's insult:
"Every belief you have that you haven't thought about is wrong. All your old beliefs are total and complete shit."
"How does that feel?"
shared laughter

He never has to be afraid of what I really think because he knows it. That's the specialness of me.


Erik took a picture of the plum blossoms for me. Posted by Picasa