dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Friday, April 28, 2006


Tonight we said goodbye to Paul. I got two hugs--Erik got zero. Driving home, he said he was jealous. I said, "Because he hugged me, or because you didn't get any?" He said the latter. I said, "That's just gender trouble."

We talked to his chicken Sparky. He showed us where two mourning doves made a nest in his hanging planter in the back yard. There's one baby chick, and a parent is on the nest at all times--they take shifts.

He showed us his camping equipment, including the flames of two stoves, one he made, a Pepsi can stove, which I said is brilliant. He told us about his method of backpacking 20 miles a day for ten days, but he did 25 miles a day and arrived two days early.

He took a picture with a camera he bought in 1979 when he went to Alaska. "Do you want to know how old I was in 1979?" I asked. He braced himself.

He served Erik homemade lemonade. And he had to kick us out. We would have stayed forever.

This morning I was a hair's breadth from not going to work becuse I was panicking from the moment I woke up to about half-way to work, when I calmed myself by writing in my head. Bad dreams. But it was a relatively easy day, because we finished up topic one and trained on topic two, which is easy.

Tomorrow we're getting up early to make the five-and-a-half-hour drive to my parents' house. Too much is happening.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

what CBEST is

CBEST is a test teachers have to take in California to prove they have the ability to write okay and do a little math. I took it years ago to get an adult ed credential, because I was going to teach adult ed for the county, which happened only briefly before the budget took a dive. I had been concerned about the math and checked out a book from the library to study, did some practice questions with Erik, even memorized a couple formulas.

Anyway, I passed easily. It's so easy that it's sort of meaningless, but not everyone passes, so I guess it's a good thing, to weed some people out, though whether a PE teacher should have to be able to write an okay essay, I'm not sure. What if someone has only been in the US a short time and their English isn't great, but they could make kids run laps just fine? Well, I have biases against PE in general.

Today was a hell day, no training, so it dragged on and on. I was almost in tears by about 3. I asked Erik for some comfort. It's super hot outside, summer already, and I couldn't bear to really walk much on our breaks. I can't believe I have to go back tomorrow.

Driving home, we saw anti-gay protesers again at the same intersection, only this time it was people with signs rather than a decorated truck. One of the signs said, "Don't silence Christians!" another said, "First amendment!" and another said something derogatory about gays, I don't remember. I flipped them off again, but my window was rolled up this time, because the air conditioner was on. I don't think anyone saw, but I should probably stop that anyway.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

43, 43

When the amount of emails in your inbox is equal to the amount of emails in your spam folder, your life will be in perfect harmony, and you will be free.


Today I flipped off this anti-gay propoganda truck. It has a picture of two guys kissing on it, within an "anti" glyph. I have flipped off other people in jest or discreetly, but today, it's so warm, I actually had my hand out the window, but I think he didn't see. KEEP SODOMY OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS it said, or something like that. I'm not a believer in violence, but when I see stuff like that, I daydream about how I wish angry mobs would make people too scared to spread around hate.

Personally, I like seeing pictures of guys smootching. Do you know this quote, "Any culture that would rather see two men fighting than two men kissing has something wrong with it." I don't think I'm remembering it quite right....

This was CBEST day #1, and it was okay. I have Erik seated at my left, which we had to manage ourselves, since no one remembers the married couple who doesn't share a last name.

I ate a lovely peanut butter taffy named Mary Jane with a very nostalgic wrapper.

We had veggie sandwiches for lunch I found quite nice but Erik found sub-standard. And potato salad that I found horrible and Erik professed to like--I don't actually believe him! I teased him a bit about that.

It made me remember this German potato salad my ex-mother-in-law would make with bacon in it. I don't think I ever ate it because I didn't know her until I was about 16, and I stopped eating mammals when I was about 15, but that sounds nice. Otherwise, I would need hard boiled eggs or olive in my potato salad, if I were to eat more than a mouthful.

I have two word things to tell you. The first is, did you know discreet and discrete are two different words? I didn't.

The second is a new word we learned at work today. Erik showed me. It's "moreovertheless" and means I need a transition really bad.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I was reading about disassociation online. From what I saw, I think it's only a problem if a person starts doing it before they're nine. I wouldn't have started before I was 10, so I think I'm cool. I also learned there's a relationship between it and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Last night Erik told me he can tell when I do it, too. He said it looks like I'm eavesdropping. My attention is elsewhere. Very interesting.

Yesterday I found myself doing it on the phone. I called this yoga center for information about their Friday night kirtan, the woman I was speaking with was being clingy, and I found myself "going elsewhere" and asked myself, "What am I doing?" then "Oh yeah, I'm on the phone, someone is talking to me." I was listening and responding the way I was supposed to with a tiny part of my brain and just hanging out with the vast majority.

I've always been good at multi-tasking. When I was a kid I would watch TV, talk on the phone, and do my homework at the same time.... Having an intense conversation while answering Jeopardy questions. I have become a lot less sharp as an adult. I used to memorize a phone number after hearing it once. Now I could dial it 20 times and still not know.

A special someone says she thinks it's the SSRIs making us dull. Or maybe it's just age. I don't mind too much because I can still do what's necessary.


There's this guy who graduated the same class as me in high school. He was a runner and was always around, yet we never spoke. I knew who he was and thought he was mean, irresponsible, and creative, probably, but not in my social circle.

Like myspace is good for, he saw my profile and messaged me through myspace, where we started a conversation that's lasted weeks. It's so strange this person is now a friend. In the same town and school we were strangers, and now that we live in different states, almost 30 years old, we can talk.

Yesterday I got his zine in the mail. It's more loose than mine and seems to ask the reader to use a different part of their mind to make the connections among concepts. I like it, and I'm grateful.

I have a hard time making friends--it's not impossible, but it takes me a while. So it's much easier to reflect on the past and see what good people are there who might like me again. I always think everyone's dance card is full, but there's often room for one more if the one more is good.

Monday, April 24, 2006

dead heads

Did you know I collect postcards? I got this one yesterday for a dollar, which is my upper limit.


Pardon me as I do just the thing I hate, which is blogging about blogging.

First of all, I made a mistake and had all these comments I didn't know about because of how I put it on moderated but didn't enter an email address to be notified about the comments, so they stacked up for over a month, and I'm sorry if you felt I was ignoring you or didn't care about what you said. It was just a user error on my part, and I fixed it.

Second of all, I changed it so anyone can comment, not just people with a blogger account. I had just left it on their default, but I think they're motivated selfishly because it's in their best interest for them to push people to get get blogger accounts, which is what I did months ago originally to comment at a friend's site. Which was actually for the best.

I liked not having any idea who was reading, and the way my mind works, the less I think about audience, the better. I mean, there's always an ideal audience. Writing to my husband, someone I'd like to impress, god, or my best self.

But I think it's only fair that anybody could say what they want to, and if I don't like it, I'll change it back. So say anything. And I would like to thank you for reading since it encourages me to write and then the more I write hopefully the better it gets, and then I can be a proser when I grow up, maybe. (Okay, end blogging about blogging.)

The project of the day is drinking a lot of water because I'm dehydrated, washing dishes, and doing those things that get neglected over the weekend. CBEST starts again Wednesday, which a special someone was saying should be CWORST, and I feel like Wasn't I just there?????? I was! This is the first CBEST for Erik, and there's only one huge room, so we'll be together.

after concert

We went to Long Haul Infoshop on Shattuck--it was my first time in an infoshop. I had a bag filled with about 25 zines I'd received mostly through trades that I didn't want to keep. And three of my own.

So I spoke with a very nice woman who is the zine archivist there. We chatted briefly like, "Oh, the person who makes this one lives in LA and also makes Food Geek," and "Yeah, I think he stopped making this because he had problems with his health," and "This one's made by a really nice woman up in Canada." If you know me, you know I'm super-quiet, but the older I get, the more I understand that this makes people uncomfortable, so I go to the other extreme sometimes when I'm scared and chatter quickly.

The infoshop was having cafe night and a movie, so it was busy with people. Would you think I was lying if I told you that Erik and I were the only people there who weren't wearing black? We don't look the part. Me, at least I don't shave my legs, you know. Erik felt stared at.

Afterward I asked him, "How does it feel to be so square?" and he said, "Rectilinear." And then I said something about rectums, of course.

On one hand, such a crowded, cluttered, chaotic place makes me skittish. On the other, this infoshop was my dream-home of radical people with values and activities totally differently-focused than normal life of buying things.... I hope one day we can live in Berkeley, or some other very alive place, and I will help run the infoshop, and I will be so happy and finally have the community I've always longed for.

So I donated those zines, which was a great feeling, because they had been weighing on my mind for a long time--of course, I wouldn't just throw them away, but I didn't want to leave them just anywhere, and at the infoshop they would be appreciated and enjoyed, hopefully.

Then we went for a walk. Berkeley is my favorite place to walk in the neighborhoods because the yards are so well-done. We stopped often to smell roses or lemon blossoms.

At dinner the place was packed, the music was loud, and the food was lovely. When I'm somewhere that overwhelms me, I tend to disassoaciate, or I think that's what it's called, where you retreat into yourself and pretend everything that's happening isn't really happening. Sort of pretend it's just a dream? I do that when I'm freaked out, or when I know I could freak out, and it saves me. Indian-Pakistani restaurants at night in particular. Crowds in general, which I avoid unless I have good reason to override my aversion.

Erik got high on free chai, and it was a wonderful day despite a difficult morning.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


We had lunch at our third-favorite restaurant in the world, and it was very delicious. Then Erik was nervous about the time. But I wanted to see my dear R, and I won. She was working, and she took a ten, which was actually a 20, and we walked and talked and sat on a bench by where kids were playing kickball, and we told secrets. I love her, and I'm so lucky she understands me just perfectly.

So then we had 15 minutes to get to San Rafael from Berkeley--no problem! Erik was impressed with the bridge we crossed. I like smaller and more dangerous-looking bridges, personally.

He thought we were going to a huge, uh, stadium or something. Ooops, didn't tell him it was at a bookstore. Well, you would think I was exaggerating if I said it was one of the better two hours of my lifetime. We weren't late. Wah! is beautiful. I mean, my absolute favorite kind of beauty. I couldn't even discuss it without sounding like the hoakiest person alive, but I will say she has a stillness to her that makes me feel really calm and safe.

The concert was like a religious service but with more dancing. I felt all my life's musical training had culminated in being in her audience. I chanted my little heart out. There were long gorgeous songs of building intensity until everyone was sort of ecstatic. It was like drugs but with more clarity.

And one English song I didn't particularly care for in the middle, like a break. We were all there for the hindu stuff, Mother freaks. She is quite. She's nuts about Amma. Well, I'm nuts about Wah!

Interesting to see the crowd, interesting to have such a new type of religious experience, interesting. There was the grinning sittar player, the nonchalant tabla player, the older dude on harmonium who seems to be her husband or best friend, and the young, blond guy on keyboards--I loved her most of all. It was very worth the price. I thought it was going to be just her and a guitar. I don't think there were enough people in attendance to even pay their hotel and transportation. I wanted to tip her.

Erik sat almost the whole time. He doesn't chant at all. But he was such a good sport. He got me water. It was just over two hours and felt short. My chair was uncomfortable. Otherwise, this is something I would have done much longer.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


"I'm ready for you to tell me what's good about the world."

"Trees. Look at that tree."

"That tree? It looks horrible. It's been topped."

"No, no, well, not that tree. Those ones over there."

"They're all in a row. They look stupid."

"Okay, the sun. Can you feel the sun?"

"Kinda. A little bit."

"Doesn't it feel good."

"A little bit?"

"Okay, how about we get a table, and they bring our food, and you take a bite of bhengan bartha."

"That's good."

"Well, we're going to do that tomorrow."

"That's good."


Today I looked at distos a lot. There's this place I sent #32 to, Sweet Candy, and I went to their site and didn't see it listed, so I was concerned, so I emailed and found out that they had sold out, which is why it wasn't listed. But I wish I had been contacted for more. I wish someone had noticed it sold out and said, "What a nice zine, I would like the next issue." However, most zines come out way more infrequently than mine. Mine is extreme-often.

So anyway, I was looking to see if I could find one small enough that I could be noticed and with someone running it who is a lot like me in the likes-department. My main distro Sweet Pea I love very much, and Lisa's taking down the website for a month to fix it up. She and I have taste in common but some taste not in common. I would love it if I could have a distro that I felt really "gets" me and wanted to stock Inside and in Real Life. Maybe that's too dreamy to hope for.

I had a furiously angry morning, crazy crazy, dizzy and listing. I found myself saying things to Erik like, "Thank you--you are dismissed." I couldn't handle the simplest conversation. I'm not even sure how the day passed. I know we went for a walk, and I made that wonderful lentil-rice dish again.

editor admits it

Came upon my old rejection / acceptance binder. Here's my favorite rejection.

Friday, April 21, 2006

quietly happy

I went to Vedanta wearing jeans to protect my knees because I knew I'd be knealing in dirt. First I stopped in at the auditorium, a horrible name for it, to pray. I pray for peace every time. I love being alone in there, when the lights are off, and my shoes off, sitting in the front row. I sat until my breathing was entirely calm. I put my forehead on the floor three times, which is all I allow myself. And I left quietly happy.

Then I got a wheelbarrow and wheeled it to the front, where I pulled weeds for an hour. Swami doesn't like the morning glories, but I do, so unless he asks me to, I ignore them and just pull the bad weeds, like ugly feral grains, crabgrass, baby oak trees, and prickley nettles, which didn't hurt at all, even though I didn't have any gloves on.

It was cloudy then sunny then cloudy. I picked huge weeds clinging tight into the ground and little tiny ones that could have been well-picked with tweezers. I saw a spider, some bugs, and an aggressive worm that was coming right for me, behaving less like a worm and more like a true animal. I said, "Go away! I don't like you! Go away!" and pushed some mulch at it.

When I got hungry, I wheeled my wheelbarrow to the scrap pile and dumped my weeds. And I washed up, picking mud from underneath my nails, and peeked in the library to see if there was any sign of Swami. I wanted to tell him no one ever updated the calender online, but he wasn't around. So I ate some teething biscuits in the truck and drove home.

the discomfort of 1984

Third and fourth grade I was in the same class, a third-fourth combination, and had the same teacher. He was a man. His wife taught second grade and directed school plays.

The school was private and christian, and I went for almost two years. The last quarter of fourth grade, I transferred to public school for the first time, Alice Shaw, where I went only that one quarter because then some lines on a map were redrawn, and I was suddenly in the district of Patterson Road, where I went fifth and sixth grade.

Mr Fakename I don't remember too well--I remember being intimidated, being told I was wrong about gravity, and a strange speech he gave us one day when he was angry.

I'll bend over backwards for you. But I won't fall. Because I'll only go so far.

This was an interesting extended metaphor that dazzled my little eight year old brain. Mr Fakename was pretty angry. At what, I couldn't tell you. And he later became the principal, didn't he?

The school was bordered by a mortuary, cemetery, and hospital, which wasn't lost on me. Every few days, out to play on the playground, I smelled bodies being cremated, and which unnerved me, to say the least, and I didn't discuss it with anyone at the time.

But a few years ago, I called up the Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary and asked them about it. Yes, the nice gentleman told me, they did burn bodies there every few days, around 1984. Yes, there was a distinctive smell.

So that's how I spent third and fourth grade. Later the school was bought by the hospital, so hospital stuff now occurs in the room where I learned the concept of fractions.

I was in after school care since my mom worked at the preschool, which was downstairs. When it was hot lunch day, if I forgot my money, Mr Fakename let me go to the preschool and ask my mom for it.

Sometimes the brighter girls were pulled out of after school care by teachers who wanted help grading papers or putting corrugated cardboard borders on the bulletin boards, and I was often chosen.

Sometimes I was chosen by Mr Fakename, and one day, he gave me a Lifesavers lollipop, cherry with a white swirl in it, and told me not to tell anyone. I knew there was something creepy about a "don't tell anyone" request made by a man to a little girl. This didn't sit well with me either.

food fascination

Informative, exciting, lots of pictures. This is very creatively awesome.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

American River walk

We saw...

* big black velvety butterflies with dots of color on the back edge of their wings

* hyper little white butterflies

* robins

* quail

* starlings

* swallows

* Northern flickers!!!!

* a dog

* a ladybug

* a green lacewing

* huge California poppies

* vetch

* lupine

* thistles

* oaks

* nice vines.

We walked on some mud slick as melty frosting. I fell once and didn't get hurt. We saw two newly-dead minnows in a puddle. The flood waters have half-receded.

I realized I was being overly binary about entertainment. It doesn't have to be that art for money is bad and art for no money is good. I'm sorry.

Erik thinks maybe entertainment is okay sometimes. I'm still thinking about it. If I really like some music, for example, it's not entertainment anymore and becomes authentic experience. So it's just where you draw the line. And arguments about semantics aren't interesting, are they.

I have a predilection for dismissing things completely. Like I hate grades and think they're all bad, all the time. And I get fed up with things like that, I just hate them unreservedly. Grades, money, fashion, etc. A bit extreme.


I have about 20 penpals. They are all women except one man, who is named Jake, lives in Montanta, recently became a trucker, and is one of the best writers I've ever known, though his spelling is so bad that I sometimes have to get Erik's help understanding what he's saying.

Having penpals is comforting because I can speak with people, whenever I like, in a wonderfully reasonable, long-winded way, and ask lots of questions. Letters are beautiful, physically, to hold.

I think making a zine and making a blog are good because you can be your own media, with an agenda of communicating reality as opposed to making money, and even if only very few people view the media, it's better than nothing.

Letters, zines, and blogs are all of a piece. I make sense as a whole. When other people don't make sense, it drives me crazy.

I like watching animals and becoming more like them: authentic and immediately honest. I like being outdoors when not a lot of people are around.

I like paying attention. I don't like entertainment because it strikes me as a distraction from real life. And real life is stuff like sleeping, sex, cooking, conversations, tea, watching animals, and washing the dishes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


We walked in the morning, we walked in the afternoon. My SAT prompt scored out, and I couldn't be more pleased.

I wrote a letter to my gentleman friend in Arcata who, it turns out, is 87. He likes meat and potatoes, good soda or beer, and lemon merangue pie. He was telling me how a wedding ring can mean different things at different times. If issue 34 inspired such reflections, I can't imagine what 36 will do.

Erik's been instructed to call the anouncement line tomorrow after 9 am. The place is immoral. I can't believe how they treat their workers, and unemployment didn't accept my explanation of refusing work because they yell at us. I don't think being yelled at is in the job description, dudes.

Lately Erik's boss brought them egg-shaped cookies for easter, and doughnuts too. If you have to do it, Terra Nova's not bad, for the boss, but bad for content. I could score 700 books a day. When I get bored I speed up. Or see how many letters I can write. And which TLs will let me get away with it.

But that's all in the past, and I won't dwell on such things. Today, the air is sultry and redolent. The sky's turning pink, and it's supposed to start raining again Friday!!!

shocking: British goods at Safeway

Last night we walked over to Safeway at dusk, a special trip for normal things. For example, almond extract. And the cottage cheese I love, Knudsen, which is the only cottage cheese worth eating, bar none, and it's not sold at my usual places. And some epsom's salt for long baths. They say it's supposed to counteract the symptoms of asperger's, but it hasn't worked for Erik yet--the magnesium is absorbed well through the skin, when for some people, it doesn't absorb well through the intestinal wall. And we found those things, as well as some hoisin sauce I wanted.

What shocked me was when I took a walk through the ethnic isle? aisle and found Devonshire cream, McVitties biscuits, and Heintz salad cream in the new British area! And mushy peas! I don't know why Sacramento would be the only Safeway to get a British area, more like the only to get a Hmong area, so I advise you to visit your local Safeway/VONS/whatever the hell else they own, and get yourself some treats from across the sea. The prices were pretty good too. I didn't see any Marmite. But some nice teas you would like if you insist on those British teas.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


After such an angry morning, I have had the most lovely day. I made this wonderful lentil dish for dinner, a variation of this rice and lentils dish, doubled, with jalapenos, garlic, lentils, rice, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, curry powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It's so good, hot but not too hot.

And then I baked some eggplants and just made some baba ganoosh out of them, which I am eating with a spoon, no pita triangles necessary. It's so good, and I'm very pleased. This is eggplant, tahini, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a little flax oil--I sneak flax oil into just about everything.

Yesterday I made this rice with garlic and fresh herbs in it. I sauteed the garlic and raw rice in olive oil and then put in the water and salt. And after the 20 minutes (this is an old bag of white rice my parents got me from Costco), I put the herbs in there and put the lid back on to steam the herbs a little, so they wouldn't be quite raw. It turned out very well. Tons of fresh rosemary in particular.

Erik's prompt scored out. Mine's supposed to go until tomorrow night, which is fine. And they didn't get the books scanned in Monterey, so Erik's got tomorrow off work the grading factory, and he'd like to leave town, but I'm still scoring, and he's going to write and have a little sesshin instead.


When you want to say "cute" but you're afraid the person will take it wrong like you're being condescending, you can say "endearing."

Commenting on people's blogs lately, I find myself wanting to say "I loved this" but wondering if I should be more specific because the person won't believe me.

SAT scoring should end any minute now.


Every time I cook some jalapenos for Erik, I start sneezing and get this deep cough, like jalapeno fumes are toxic to my lungs, and my left eyelid has swelled strangely. So I am going to lay off the jalapenos.

We took our car into the mechanic for new tires this morning, and a turn signal light, and wiper blades. One had disassembled itself in all the rain. I should have gone to the doctor also because one of my medications is about to run out, and the pharmacy used its threat stamp SEE YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE NEXT REFILL, but I just couldn't bear it.

Erik has the day off because the books aren't loaded in Monterey. He's scoring SAT intently. I'm angry, angry, and angry angry angry.

Monday, April 17, 2006

gas tank

Today I drove us to the library. I had a wonderful memoir to pick up--it was the last day they would keep it on the hold shelf for me. It's pure poetry, and I admire it--another memoir with food--The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber.

But this is more rich and real a world--Toast was sort of dreamy and more fragmented. This is a vivid and complete world. Both are first-rate. (I want to be a memoir writer when I grow up.)

I had been worried about the truck because a couple weeks ago we notcied the gas cap on the asphalt, and that meant one of three things:

Someone had taken off the cap just to mess around, to siphon out gas, or to put something nasty in the gas tank, like sand or piss.

So I was a little worried, but it started fine. We filled it up and wanted to wash the thick dust from the windows, but there was no washer thingie in the soapy water containers, so we wet paper towels and washed the windshield that way.

And driving to the library and back, the truck ran beautifully, so I think nothing nasty was put into the gas tank. I'm so happy I have insuanace on it again because now when the SAT is finally over, I'll be free, and I want to go to Vedanta and pull weeds.

emotional depth

Slept in two hours this morning, lovely. It stopped raining as the weather report said it would.

Dreamed I was having a conference with a student who had turned in a horrible paper. Whole sections were just copied from the internet, and he didn't even bother to fix the font. I was trying to explain to him why this wasn't okay. I said he could rewrite it and I would average the grade he got (an F) with the new grade. But I hate letting kids rewrite things, when really if you're going to allow it, you should allow it for the whole class, and that would be so much extra grading. Reason number 42323 I'm no longer a teacher.

It's very quiet today. The kids must be back to school while the construction crew's still on holiday.

Toast was overall the best memoir I've read perhaps ever, but the last 20 pages were just not of the same quality as the rest of it, and I wish they'd been cut. However, this is not the first time I've said such a thing, and I'm thinking lots of people have this problem of where to end a story. I think he in particular wanted to show his start as a chef, some kind of career continuity thing, which wasn't necessary, because it's a book about childhood, and once his dad was no longer in the picture, the emotional depth was lost.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

dinner: Andy Nguyen's II

Today I drove us to vespers, and we glimpsed a chicken at the place where we always see chickens. Only the white one was to be seen.

My dear P gave me a hug for Easter. Jesus' picture was all decorated with flowers on the altar. And more people than usual were present. It was nice, and afterward Erik kept saying how much he liked it, but I don't know what was so different. I got dressed up a little, just for fun.

Then we went to Andy Nguyen's for dinner, and it was a delight. Remember how I said they have books for sale? Well, I was wrong--the books are free!!! Erik took two. They're Pure Land. And I took this cool card about the size of a postcard with a dharma wheel on it, showing enlightened beings on the top and the hungry ghosts at the bottom left. Animals are at the bottom right. But it's in Vietnamese, I think.

Anyway, dinner was lovely. Erik liked it as much as I thought he would. Service was slow, but we weren't in a hurry. My fake meat was delicious, so salty and flavorful and nice-textured. And my bland noodles were very wonderful for accomodating sauces: the sauces were good. My black mushrooms kinda freaked me out, so I just fed them to Erik, who has no Asian mushroom issues. He fed me a little of his brocolli, which I always appreciate.

A good time was had by all, except the unwell woman who barfed in the bathroom, which made everyone edgy. Everyone's checking everyone else's facial expression to see if we're supposed to make fun of her, feel sorry for her, or something else.

There was another strange moment, when suddenly the voice of a man was booming from somewhere near the ceiling. "God's talking to me, and he's not speaking English," I told Erik.

He said, "I hear it too."

I said, "That's good." At first I thought it was a cell phone. He thought it was a parade outside, the voice coming out of a bullhorn. Ultimately we decided it was a lecture being played for the benefit of those in the kitchen.

We're going back ASAP after studying the take-out menu diligently.


This morning, I drove a bit, and Erik gripped his handrest. I thought I did a great job. But it was raining, and he's used to being the driver. He wants me to be more self-assured by being more independent, and learning to drive is a start. But I refuse to go on the freeway, which would be required, for a trip of any substantial distance....

Wal-Mart was closed for the holiday (I was going to use that gift card I got), so strike that until further notice. We deposited checks and bought vegetables. Cute little orange bell peppers, large red bell peppers, a remarkable quantity of jalapenos, brocolli, tomatoes, oranges. Sour cream, some pasta sauce that looks good and was very inexpensive.

Yesterday I made him some pasta he really liked. It was whole-wheat, and I put some flax oil, olive oil, parmasean, basil, garlic salt. He raved. Crazy boy. Write down the recipe, he says, and I say no, I'll remember.

Mi familia is playing "hide the eggs" and giving big Christmas-like presents to my nieces. My dad is going to BBQ. I wish to god (Jesus in particular) that I was there.

But I'll be pleased to finish Toast today. He just kissed his first boy.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Things I have learned this week

* The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Tom Saywer.

* Huck Finn was a runaway slave.

* There is never a chance to not change.

* The KKK is a focus group.

* Important changes in life allow one to either become successful or fall to the abyss of doom.

I prefer the abbess of doom.

Today has felt very strange. The world seems filled with gray silence. We went for a walk, and everything was quiet. I lay in bed reading Toast and looking out the window. I napped twice.

Erik made me popcorn, and I scored a bit. The roses are beautiful. I'm boiling four eggs seeing as it's Easter-eve. And I'll make some Deviled eggs to eat like some kind of tradition tomorrow.

I feel the world is doing something wonderful without me.

I was anxious this morning but okay this afternoon. Certain times of day get bad. For about a year, it was 7 every evening, and now it's about 10 every morning, or more like two hours after breakfast, whenever breakfast is.

Tomorrow we have the day off on account of the holiday, no bosses at the HQ, and who knows what we'll do with the freedom.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Cheese that's solid (in a sandwich or just straight) always seems more healthful than cheese that's melted (pizza, for example).

When we're at Whole Foods and there's a cheese sample, I go for the biggest chunk.

I think the only cheese I ever had that I didn't like had a strong goat or sheep taste to it. All others, I've loved, but dry is best. The drier, the better.

It's one of the few foods I really have to restrain myself from, for the reasons of saturated fat and expense. If I had my way, I'd eat it three times day.

And that's one of the four reasons I'm not vegan, the other three being butter, eggs, and cream. Oh, and I really like yogurt too.


I'm so excited Wah! is going to be in San Francisco next weekend, and I want to go see her so bad, and Erik will let me. I'm trying to figure out which show--probably the Sunday afternoon will be best for driving reasons.

And it's so nice all these people from my past saying hi through myspace. I've been chatting with this guy who I don't think I ever had a conversation with during high school, but he was always just there, and he was a runner, and my best friend was a runner, so we had peeps in common. Nowadays, he's very nice. It comforts me, this reassurance from the past.

I looked through everyone 29 - 35 who went to my high school and saw SO MANY guys in military uniforms, and even more women with babies. Not that there's anything wrong with babies. But it's clear what the people my age from my hometown are up to, and I'm so not doing the same things. Oh, also, guys with their trucks. "Hi, here's me and my truck. I'm buff." I shouldn't speak so ill of the dumb.

P and I had a long chat last night, and he was telling me about Mormon history and some war and this and that.

Yeah, they went down to Mexico and got a bunch of pot.
What did they do with it?
They did what everyone does with it!

I was saying probably the women were not allowed to smoke, and he was saying they had to cook, clean, take care of the kids, and roll the joints.

He was applying for ranger jobs three years, and I'm so happy he finally got one. We're going to help him move some stuff into his van. He's moving the weekend we're going to be in Santa Maria, so we're going to help him the Friday before. It's sad he's leaving, but we saw him only rarely, and I can care for him from any distance.

My scoring stats are the best I've ever had, and I got kicked out the other day to messenging, and it brought a tear to my eye, the earnestness of their thankings. They give a bonus for, um, what do you call it, accuracy. So this thanking isn't empty. Either this is an easy prompt, I'm lucking out, or I've developed a psychic link with the rangefinding committe. Hopefully the latter, so it will last.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

birdwatching from bed

Me and Kitty like looking out the bedroom window at birds. Sometimes he meows at them. Not me.

Today: a starling and a scrub jay.

The starling's beak was so yellow it was almost orange. It would scrape its beak on the twig it was standing on, and kind of twitch--not really twitch, but you know when birds are sitting on a branch, and they're not still. Jerky alert movements.

The scrub jay was just hopping around. I marvelled at the length of its tail.

The kids have been around and are loud today, since the sun's still out, and it suddenly struck me that they're on spring break, when I had been confused like, I know all these kids aren't homeschooled. Why the hell aren't they at school? Loud skateboarders doing tricks at the Dairy Queen parking lot.

I'm writing things I don't know what to do with. Like where to put them, too many options. Today I wrote an essay called "family" about a queer topic. I guess they'll go in the zine, and the next one will be limited edition also.

I got another comment on my other blog that's neutral-nice, which is good, and by a person whose blog I know and very much like, so that's cool, and maybe I'll hang in there. A special someone said just to save it all up and publish books of it. I'm limited by my patience level. Immediate is easy.

But I printed what she said and taped it to the back of the front door, which is where I put things I'm trying to convince myself. Memorize the encouagement.

Andy Nguyen's

Last night I was so excited to have dinner with one of the rare people who is younger than me but seems older than me because of how I admire her.

We went to Andy Nguyen's Vegetarian Restaurant, which is locally famous, and I had been wanting to go there! I'd never had Vietnamese food in a restaurant.

This place (at the corner of Broadway and 20th) has pictures of Buddhists on the walls, books for sale, calming music playing, and my dish was called Four Noble Truths rice platter. Very special place. And my fake meat was so amazing. It had a crisp edge--what attention to detail. K's dish, which she let me try, had fake beef, and it looked so realistic, and hers was more spicy than mine.

A homeless person outside called me a queen, which I don't know if that's an insult or a praise. Maybe just a neutral observation.

Today I went for a short walk when Erik left for work. I felt something strange, and I realized it was the sun shining on me. I had to be careful not to step on some beautiful gray slugs that were gliding across the sidewalk.

However, it's supposed to keep raining every day until Monday. So we can look forward to Monday's mostly sunny.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I have some natto in the freezer you could have. It was the result of a semi-dare by a Japanese penpal. Yes, she's right--it does have a stink smell. And forever it will be precisely that to me. A terrible stink smell.

She told me most people like it, but some people don't like it, over there, and it's considered very good for the health, cleansing the blood? Am I remembernig this right? I do know that certain teachers would require all the kids to eat it. And some of the kids would cry and cry. Like some teachers here might make all the kids drink their milk. And then the kids would barf, and the teacher would be sorry then! Well, probably that doesn't happen much anymore. Here.

Anyway, the above link has a lovely picture of the sticky strands of material that are formed when natto is stirred.

cute new stamps


crops of the americas

Don't get me started about beans! Posted by Picasa

my other blog

I have another blog that I've tried to keep anonymous. It's where I put more personal things, about sex and marriage. I started it a couple weeks ago, not knowing what I was doing or what my intent was--just to try it out.

And recently I worked on promoting it a little. Promotion has never been an interest of mine, so this was new--it's all new, speaking honestly about sex in particular. In some ways, I'm progressive, and I’ve done things others would only dream about--in others, I'm very repressed. Though lately becoming less repressed, which is what the other blog is about.

Last night I got my first comment, and it was mean. I was told that I should leave Erik, shame was heaped upon me, and the unknown commenter was, for some reason, disappointed with me. The whole idea is really odd, because someone needs to have an investment to be disappointed, and I don't see how a stranger could be invested. Anyway, the person spoke in clichés, and I don't have a great deal of respect for their intelligence.

What I’m doing is a little out of the ordinary, and I can’t expect a casual reader to understand, especially out of context. The way I summed it up is that it’s not really one-handed reading. And if someone comes to the site expecting that, they’re going to be approaching it with the wrong mentality.

I thought I had something unique to share, as an honest person on my particular journey. And with some writing skills. My goal wasn’t to be like the other sex blogs, though maybe I could fit into that category for convenience and promotion’s sake.

But the comment still cut me to the heart. I’m not one to comment rudely. As far as I’m concerned, there are as many websites as there are fish in the sea, and if you don’t like mine, then move on.

It’s been talked to death how the anonymity of the internet makes people do and say things they never would in real life. And I think this person had some anger that they wanted to get out on me. Or they wanted to feel big by telling me what to do. Or something. I know how it can feel, to imagine you have superior knowledge and want to do the world the kindness of sharing it. I’m conceited that way too.

What it comes down to is that I’m very thin-skinned, and my impulse was the scrap the whole thing. Instead I set the comments to moderated.

Is being thin-skinned a problem or an asset. When it comes to mean comments, it’s a liability. Conflict is basically the whole reason I quit teaching, the whole reason I started going to my last therapist, something that scares me very much, and has to do with ancient angers.

The problem is that any insult I suspect is true. So even if the person speaks in clichés and I don’t think they really understand what I’m doing or where I’m coming from, something in me still believes they’re right.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

holy shit

Gas price is up to $2.69 at our nearby Arco.

where I blog from

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I got this ten dollar gift card for Wal-Mart in the mail for doing a product test. So now I have to go to Wal-Mart, a place I have never shopped in my life. I'm kind of excited.

I've been in a Wal-Mart once before, with my parents, the one in Santa Maria. I asked my mom to buy me a lip-balm, and she did. So I have contributed to their empire.

I finished off this bag of lemon cookies that taste just like these cookies we would eat from McDonald's when we were little. The taste is the same, but the texture's different. Anyway, the sentimental value is good, but I won't buy them again. If I'm going to risk my health and well-being by eating refined sugar, it has to be really really good.

Not reading, but writing. Scoring essays, trying to be a good wife, but I'd rather nap than anything. Last night, a terrible fight.

I've been thinking about anger and where it comes from. I know where a lot of mine comes from, and from so long ago. When a person is powerless and abused, they can seem so submissive at the time, yet get so pissed later on. You'd think there'd be an expiration date.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I am...

* doing very well stats-wise this SAT scoring session and not working too hard

* pleased about some mail I got today from Apolina and Jeff, art and music

* procrastinating calling the car insurance to get insurance on the truck

* mid-dish-washing all the weekend's dishes

* sleepy

* functioning well this afternoon after an anxious morning

* pleased looking at baby pictures of everyone having babies and getting photobucket or dropshots and telling me the urls so I can look at the babies.


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Sunday, April 09, 2006



I got the strangest letter in the mail today from some Jehovah's Witness. It was signed "A Caring Neighbor." Well, it came yesterday, but we didn't check the mail until today.

My spell check died. I thought I was becoming a spelling queen. Then I realized that tyoitokhkse was suddenly a word. Weird!!! Some dll file gone, I think. That would explain some typos....

We're in the bad habit of waking up about 4 am and talking for two hours before going back to sleep. This morning: sex rads, bisexuality's threat to capitalism, and much, much more. Very emotional conversations wearing out my emotions.

Yesterday I copied issue 36, and my favorite guy was working the copy area, and he was busy doing something, so I didn't go up to him to be rang up (wrung up? rung up). And then he called to me, as I walked away, "I'll ring you up." I was so pleased. He saved us $30 by charging us way less than he was supposed to. And I welcome any opportunity to inspect his forearm tattoo. He's the guy who a few issues ago was so impressed at my ability to use the machines. We have a special bond. He reminds me of me.

I couldn't for the life of me remember what fool password I used for my timesheet last time, because they make you change your password every freakin' time, and so I wasn't able to do my thing last night, and I have to fill out an exemption timesheet? That's such a pain. I don't trust them as far as I could throw them, and I can't throw them at all.

Vespers tonight. Our orchid bloomed!

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I made some really nice spaghetti sauce, nothing terribly authentic, more like my mom used to make when I was a kid, but without the bell pepper or sugar, and with three handfuls of TVP instead of the meat. It's just delightful, very comforting, and easy. We ate it with whole wheat organic spaghetti from Trader Joes though I could have gotten away with conventional because of the TVP.

Kitty did well at the vet in that he doesn't ever, ever scratch or bite when he's mad. He just howls his sad "you're killing me" howl. Poor, poor Kitty. He peed in his carrier. The vet was conflicty and wanted us to go the usual route. Erik spoke a little, which is really rare for him, to speak with strangers, but when it comes to Kitty, he will.

And he's in a horrible mood, hating everything, and it worries me to see him so. But he needs to read The Economist, sit more, and have more tea probably. Personally, I need to go for a walk. It's not raining at the moment.

At the puja last night, it rained steadily, and I was having so much anxiety that I could barely, barely make myself stay. But then the second half was better, when I held Erik's hand. We got to sing my favorite song from vespers, and half the room was singing--I think that's everyone's favroite song, as well it should be, because everyone's in love with Holy Mother, to put it bluntly, I would say, seeing as Ramakrishna was a Mother freak, and so we all are.

But the puja was for Rama, and it was pretty well-attended considering how people are about going out in the rain at night. Especially older people, I'd say. No offering after.

The samosas were as good as always. Our Spanish friend Filistino is gone, like he said he would be, off to stay on someone's vinyard until his visa expires and he has to go back to the EU, which is okay. He was telling us how it's like one big country over there now. Crazy.

Friday, April 07, 2006

after the puja

Swami stood on the brown tiles,
socializing with his homies,
and he stood near enough
that we could overhear everything.
Sometimes it was in English,
sometimes it was in Bengali,
and I think that was his gift to us,
that we could overhear everthing,
because we love Swami, or I do,
and I could just overhear him forever,
just look at his shoes,
wonder if he does his own ironing,
and remember the way he looked when he was young,
which we saw on the DVD, forever.

ancient text tells all

I always thought Judas was just doing what he had to do! If Jesus needed to die for our sins, and he needed to get turned in, then Judas is the hero of that story.... With a smootch and everything.

Lost Gospel Revealed


Last night I laid out issue 36 and got overly-focused as I tend too, have to get up and pace a bit. I like that feeling, though it's selfish to keep us up past our bed time. So it's all done except a few of the little decorative things, but tonight's a puja, so I don't think I'll be able to copy it until the weekend, which is fine, since I don't have the envelopes done anyway.

My four-month period I was so glad was ended left me for only about five days, and now it's back like nothing ever happened. Yesterday I was having strange pains in what seems to be my left ovary, so maybe I ovulated? My body has me feeling so unamused. And it's difficult that all of modern medicine is so close yet so far. So close in space but so far in posibility because of money. US healthcare system is seriously f-ed up to me. Birth control is so primative. If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament etc.

At least my prompt is okay. These kids need some new examples, though. I hated reading Great Gatsby, and I hate reading self-serving summaries by 17-year-olds even more.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I was waiting for Erik to finish reading the anchors so he would take a walk with me, and I wanted him to hurry up because it was getting dusky out. I had the front door open a little, hoping this would encourage him?

I hear a little sound of a bell. A little jinggly sound. I like it. And I saw Kitty eating his food at his food dish. Then I saw Kitty was looking small. And then I saw it wasn't Kitty! It was a guest.

"Go!" I yelled. "Go!" She just looked at me and kept eating.

This is the sweetest most skittish skinny gray cat with short hair, not fully grown, that belongs to the evil people and gets terrorized by the children. She seems unfed too, by the exctiement of her munching at Kitty's food.

Erik picked her up and put her outside. I giggled a lot. He opened the door, and she was right there, wanting back in. So I took a handful of Kitty's food and put it outside for her to eat. And she did.

I went out on the porch and didn't look at her. Just listened to her eat. crunch, crunch That was the excitement of the day.


I applied for a job being an editor in Berkeley. I'm unqualified. Yet I think I could do very well. Edit some textbooks. Wish me luck.

Not raining today.

Paul's moving to Arizona!!!!

bad dreams

I was a kid and the wrong shape. But I didn't notice. I was round, and they put me in a round room. Someone tried to warn me--she claimed to be have been me in the past life. She bothered Erik and I said, "Just don't listen to her."

Then someone promised to protect me, but she was actually with the other side. I was captured and forced to undergo surgury without anesthesia. I had to be taught to walk again.

I was carrying around too many things, like two small containers of someone's liver and part of someone's brain. A pretty girl wanted to eat the brain to get prettier. I said, "Go ahead, please do."

I had to be places at certain times, but I didn't know where, and old people had to be comforted and placated with gifts and finding stuff for them. A special someone was crying, and I had to tell her it was okay and try to distract her. She wasn't her true age.

So something's very much bothering me, and I guess it's mostly SAT scoring, which will be available at 10. I don't know why it's such a big deal to me, but it is. I just want to go back to bed.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


"Unusual" has an unusual number of "u"s in it.

Today we went to the library where I picked up My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday and Toast by Nigel Slater, which I'd had to return because I had it out too long, and I'm so happy I get to finish reading it!!!!!

Then we went for a walk at the park, and nobody was there, and everything was so wet and lush. Erik lectured me on some Buddhist topic and I said "uh-huh" a lot. Nobody knows that boy is such a talker.

Then we bought groceries, especially eggs, bread, tofu, that organic sharp cheddar we love, avocados, and bananas. And I got yellow flowers that are so cheerful.

Kitty did something strange today. I wasn't feeling well and lay down on the living room floor, my head on my zafu, and Kitty decided he wanted under the covers. The only problem is that I didn't have any covers on me. He did his, "Let me in," meow and was really peeved when I wouldn't. I giggled, and Erik said I should try to let him into my shirt, but there really wasn't room. And he left disgruntled. So now I know that Kitty has a fundamental misunderstanding of getting under the covers, which we actually refer to as "going into the cave."

This is similar to how he seems mad at us when there's bad weather outside and seems to think we could change it if only we tried hard enough. Just a fundamental cat misunderstanding of reality. His brain is, like, the size of an almond!

Kitty did something else strange today. He was sleeping in bathroom, at the foot of the toilet. I have never, ever seen him sleep there before. Erik thinks it's a flea-avoiding strategy. Like the fleas haven't colonized there yet. So he can get some chill-time.


Arizona scored out yesterday, and Terra Nova starts tomorrow, so Erik has today off, and we might or might not go to Santa Cruz, though it's pouring, of course. SAT scoring starts tomorrow and is supposed to run through April 17th, though I suspect the 15th.

Kitty's going to the vet on Saturday for a flea birth control shot though the receptionist pushed the usual.

I downloaded Miranda, but it looks too complicated for me--I liked the idea of many IMs in one. But it logs me out after a few minutes, and I don't know why, and I can't figure out how to change the settings. I'm just not crafty. But I might be able to do yahoo IM through that, sketchily, and I downloaded ICQ. Do bots mine for ICQ numbers? I won't post mine here in remote case.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
--Bertrand Russell

It's a rare listener who will hear what you're really saying. I like writing letters because it's an uninterupted stretch of time where I can say whatever I want, and hopefully my way of speaking can get into someone's head, and they can learn how to hear me.

There's nothing I want more than to be understood. And what I have to say is different because I don't allow a lot of the standard influences.

Listening to me takes skill, intelligence, and patience when I'm long-winded. I'm so lucky there's a brilliant handful of people who give me this.

Monday, April 03, 2006

the long non-fiction

It's not as long as I thought it was.

But 36 is just about done unless I want to pick through and edit some more of Erik's letters to his dad.

long puddles

We took a dusk walk, and I was so glad it stopped raining for half an hour.

I wasn't feeling well for a couple days, and I think it was the cookies, even two. And we had ice cream also, which I can do only if I'm careful. I've been reckless and unstrict. But it's so nice to indulge and pretend there are no consequences.

I've been working on something long non-fiction which I think is going into issue 36, and will make it bigger than any other, but I need Erik to read it and make sure it's good. I write it loose then try to edit it really tight, and maybe it's overly-tampered with. I just don't want it to be boring. If he reads it out loud to me, that should help.

But Andre loved the letter I wrote about Ellen, which gives me hope that I can do it well. (Just pretend they're all letters to Andre.)

the argument

We have this fight when I get pissed off that he's been doing the same things to piss me off for six years.

"I never should have gotten together with you! You were never ready!"
"No, I wasn't ready. But I would have died."
"Maybe you should have died!"
"But we belong together."
"You're a child! You don't belong with anybody!"

That's when I started laughing and couldn't stop. And he started crying. Argument broke down into a hugging conversation and reconciliation on the living room floor. Then we went to bed, listened to the rain, and talked ourselves into sleep-deprivation. But I get to nap at my convenience, while he has to score papers about where kids go to be alone.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

tax day

Swami is so cute when he sings to himself in the hall. He didn't give us cookies today. It rained the whole time, and I had a religious experience feeling of light around my head when I closed my eyes while I was praying. Well, that will make a person feel like bowing and putting their forehead on the carpet. But when it's over, I always want to bolt. And vespers was more people than I'd ever seen, Indians. P was playing again, and we shared a loving wave.

The music isn't really written correctly, and a person has to go a certain number of times to understand the idiosyncratics. Some of the stuff that isn't written down at all I can't sing because I can't remember it since it's not in English. But I learn more every time. Going is like sitting--just do it over and over again, and the pattern will make its own meaning if necessary.

Erik's doing taxes. He's so level-headed and not going crazy at all, like I used to go crazy in previous years when I didn't trust him and did them myself. But how ironic that I was the one who messed up, and thank god they caught my error and gave us the difference. "Don't let me forget the renter's credit," he said, and we got a credit of some kind for paying so much interest on student loans.

I'm working on other projects! I never know what anything will come to, but just let myself. I have no idea how this day passed. We didn't even go anywhere, just the postie, and I sent a package to Beth. But I don't think daylight savings is going to really mess me up since I don't have to be anywhere at any particular time.

my favorite lawyer joke

Two lawyers were walking along, negotiating a case. "Look," said one to the other, "let's be honest with each other." "Okay, you first."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

medium Chinese

We finally got three bags of the frozen organic wild mushrooms someone's been wanting for a week.

We had Chinese for lunch--the first we'd had since House of Nan King in San Francisco, with Gavin maybe a year ago, which was so good but so sweet.

Anyway, this place we went, Jumbo Seafood down by the Japanese market, was somewhere between a waste of money and pretty good. My fish in black bean sauce needed about twice the sauce, three times the garlic, and twice the ginger. Stingy, or unskilled, or something.

Erik inadvertantly ordered something with pork in it--oops. We wanted a Sam Woo experience and didn't get it, but it was better than upscale, ecclectic Chinese would have been, which we were also considering, something like Frank Fat's.

Trying to learn about online anonymity, I downloaded Tor. I'm in over my head.

Husband insult of the day:
You keep trying to give me my own cat!

expensive watch

Erik's reading the Popular Science magazine, which comes free, and told me, "Guess how much the most expensive watch is. Just guess!"

"I don't believe it. However much it is."

"One point five million dollars," he said. "It has sky and moon charts. But for that much, I'd rather have an observatory...."

I used all my power to get him to take the weekend off, since SAT scoring starts on the sixth. At the grading factory, they're offering pizza and raffles to encourage weekend work, which if there was a union, as there should be, would be a scoffed-at joke.

He says there should be a union--I say, "Go ahead." We want to benefit from one, but we don't feel moved to dedicate our lives to it.

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. - Simone Weil