dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Thursday, November 30, 2006

something tangible to show for two hours

Tonight we went to Tower to look at CDs and books very discounted. It made me sleepy. I got a copy of The Waves so Erik can read it to me out loud. I got Morrissey's Ringleader of the Tormentors, and a Luna CD for Erik, Bewitched. And a present for the niece who will be 4.

Tomorrow we're going out of town for my mom's 50th birthday, so maybe bye for a little while.

Sleepy, so sleepy I'm getting glimpses of dreams which give me twinges of disorientation. There's a man carrying a box by the river, but the bank of the river is made of bricks. Someone is late and hurrying, but maybe by the time they get there, class will be over. The architecture is much more complicated than it should be considering the size of the space. It must be lunch time, because everyone is waiting for something and staring out across the water. Those kinds of dreams.

new candy

I have fallen in love with a Halvah bar made by Camel. (I would like to scan the wrapper for you, but the scanner's still not friends with the computer.) I had one months ago, which I found at Staff of Life in Santa Cruz. Then last week I got one at the Sacramento co-op. I hope they're becoming more common.

Anyway, it's lovely candy with only a little sugar. My most recent one was vanilla. It's subtle and velvety. It's like the middle of the butterfinger but more fine and fatty, sesame tasting instead of peanut butter. So good. It requires a great deal of self-discipline for me not to eat the entire bar at once. I break off little portions and savor.

Four ingredients: sesame seed, malted barley syrup, egg whites, and natural vanilla flavor.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

a trip to the doctor

This morning, it was so cold. P picked me up at 7 and took me to the county clinic. We had to wait for a long time in a large waiting room. I watched everyone: the black woman with lots of cleavage and the huge wooden cross. The Mexican woman with long, long hair. All the men with broken right arms. The jittery white woman who didn't sit still and kept folding and re-folding her jacket. The young white guy who spilled soda on the floor, and it looked like a puddle of pee.

Then I was given paperwork and sent upstairs. We waited there for a long time, as I filled out forms: my name and address and date of birth over and over again, with different additional information every time: social security number, income, ethnicity, stuff about Erik.

So someone processed those forms, and I was sent downstairs again, where I had to wait some more. But that time, every chair was filled. I watched a thin Asian couple with their cute toddler-baby. The baby looked so bored. At first, he seemed very sick, the way he was holding his body, with his back arched and a spaced-out look. Then he shifted and seemed fine, which was a relief. I watched the mom play with him, and they spoke in a language I couldn't recognize. They gave one another bites of crackers.

Then I reached into my bag and pulled out a neon yellow plastic alligator that I had been given many years before. For some reason, this alligator had been with me for four moves--it was given to me by an ex-cousin-in-law. Last night I thought I would bring it with me to put in the toy pile or near the magazines, but this waiting room had no toys or magazines, just a TV in the corner blaring news and later The Price is Right, which I refer to in my mind as The Price is Wrong.

So I gave the alligator to the little boy, and he looked at it and touched its ridges, its toes. The mom tried to get him to say thank you. I watched him play with it for half an hour. Then he went to sleep in his mother's arms, and the mom tucked the toy between two parts of the stroller. When it was time for them to go in to the doctor again, the boy woke up. "My alligator!" he told his mom, and she handed it to him. He clutched it tightly, and I watched him roll away.

"You've done your good deed for the day," P told me. Meanwhile, P was doing her good deed of the day by bringing me to the doctor, and it was a lot more valuable than a plastic alligator.

So we were lucky the entire visit lasted only three and a half hours, but I have to go back next week to do many more forms.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

just some nice kale

Erik took this last time we were at the Berkeley botanic garden.

through this year if it kills me

Today I made envelopes out of a roadside wildflowers calendar and a See's catalog. That's probably the most interesting thing I did. Erik and I ate pasta for dinner on the livingroom floor with a candle lit.

"Do you mind if I use Holy Mother's candle?" he asked.

"Do you mind if she joins us for dinner?" I asked. It was whole wheat spaghetti with sundried tomato pesto and extra toasted pine nuts on top.

Then we tried this onion dip I made with plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and it was surprisingly good, with toasted whole wheat pita bread.

I packaged up some zines. I listened to a Smiths song I had never heard before, and one by Fake Problems, a band in Florida my friend MM likes. And a new-to-me Sufjan Stevens song about Jesus in the clouds, so beautiful and easy to love. Sufjan Stevens is healing kind of like Innocence Mission. I am the weirdest combination of rational and religious I ever saw.

Kitty had some petting frenzies today. He gives the irritated, insistent cry, "Myeh!" I ask him if he's a good boy and tell him, "I know about you, I know about you." He's lucky he's so good looking.

I napped two hours in the afternoon, so the insomnia is officially over. It's getting below freezing here. Tomorrow morning I'm going to the doctor with my friend P.

Monday, November 27, 2006

not much

Today I practiced choir songs, especially my favorite ones, doing the tricky sections over and over again. I wrote a letter to my cousin S and another to my poet-zinester friend in Australia. I stared out the bedroom window at the red leaves on the sycamore tree and watched the changing sky and changing light as the clouds did their thing. I chatted on the phone, washed the dishes, ate pitas and hummus, and calmly welcome what life hands to me.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


This morning I woke up from a full night's sleep after a week of insomnia, so I was happy. We went to Fry's, where Erik got some stuffs he's been wanting for a long time. I went to choir practice, and we bought groceries also at Trader Joe's. I did some birthday / Christmas shopping for nieces online.

I'm ready for a new Virginia Woolf book and thought we had The Waves, but Erik couldn't find it.

This photo of crops he took at Green Gulch in the summer--it's my desktop right now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

merry Christmas, then

This morning Erik drove me to Goleta to see my special someone. I also got to hug and bond with her dad and brother. These people sustain me. If I ever feel ready to throw the towel in, remind me to go to that house the day after Thanksgiving.

On the long drive home again, we stopped at another Sri Lankan place in Santa Cruz, Malabar. The food was heavenly, but people were packed, and I get edgy when my chair's being bumped over and over. The food was divine, but I got a to-go cup for Erik's chocolate chai, and we fled. We need to go back when it's not Friday night. The lighting was nice. I had Kofta Colombo, while Erik had Tempeh Goreng. I was initially attracted to the Saffron Curry Ravioli, but then we decided to both go the more Asian route and then share.

We listened to Bjork's Post and Luna's Penthouse in addition to our usual diet of Innocence Mission and Hindu devotional music. Erik's trying to decide whether to go to work tomorrow, because they're having extra work, but if he does, I won't have a way to get to choir practice.

Parents gave us lovely food to take home: turkey, fry-ups, some apple pie though not homemade, apples and grapes from a store, small apples from the tree in the backyard which are sweet, so I won't eat them, but Erik will.

It's Christmas time now, so merry Christmas, but I need to buy presents fast because most of my peeps have December birthdays. I'm behind.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving day

There is a certain order every year. Sometimes pies are made the night before. In the morning: sausage rolls, which are breakfast sausages wrapped in pastry, and we snack on them while we're cooking. Also, Mom boiled eggs and made toast with an incredible amount of butter. I asked Dad if sausage rolls are a British thing.

"Not that I know of," he said.

"It's kind of like a mini-pork pie," Mom said.

"See, the sausage rolls in England are different," Dad said, and left the room.

I helped with sausage rolls, and I made the pumpkin pie middle. I watched Mom roll pastry. I washed green onions for the stuffing, held things, scooped things, folded napkins.

Mostly I played with my nieces. I liked going up and down the sidewalk with M in her umbrella stroller and made a song.

In her stroller,
she likes to roll over
the plants and cracks,
the plants and cracks!

I liked when J had me and Erik in the little playhouse and kept reassigning our roles. "Okay, you be the momma, and you be the daddy, and I'll be the sister." She curled up on our laps when she was the kitty. She pretended to be the ice cream man and took my order over and over again. A chocolate popsicle cost 1, while a Big Stick cost 80.

Mom made bread in the morning, and I watched her kneading it on the counter. It was getting so hot in the kitchen, but she didn't want to open the door so the rolls wouldn't fall.

I enjoyed the roasted potatoes more than ever, this year, which I broke open and salted on the inside--so crisp and flavorful on the outside, creamy within. The stuffing was very good, though Mom said it was not cooked long enough, and the celery didn't bother me. I liked the Brusseles sprouts, olives. The Yorkshire pudding wasn't as oily as I like, but I appreciated everything. I rocked myself on the porch swing and felt the wind.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

safe travels and good thanks

Last night I had a fabulous time at a party. When have you ever heard me say that? It's because the party was small and the conversation first-rate.

So, we're off today for family visits. We hope to stop for Sri Lankan food in Santa Cruz on our way.

For lunch I have had the most amazing peanutbutter soup imaginable. My Thanksgiving has already begun.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Someone whose opinion I really trust has told me I need to do this, so I'm obeying her!

Technorati Profile

Monday, November 20, 2006

most social weekend of recent memory II

I haven't been sleeping. Instead, I've been listening to "Golden Boy Peanuts" by the Mountain Goats and "Chocolate City" by Parliament. They are a first-rate combination.

Yesterday and the day before I had a new record-breaker for most social weekend of recent memory. I met a new friend, went to a lively meeting, had tea with another friend, and Indian food for lunch with yet another. I went to worship Sunday morning and vespers Sunday night, with all the chatting and hugs that those events entail. And a long phone call with someone in West Virginia on top of that.

I'm hoping to nap today, and get my strength again for a couple more events, then the trip to visit my homies for the holiday. Wish me luck or retro-luck, dear peeps.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

super-momentous DIY

Today for the first time I have put my hair up using a binder clip. There's no turning back now.

Friday, November 17, 2006

communication folded in half

Today I wrote the biggest letter I have ever written, or ever seen for that matter. It's on 12 x 18 paper. It looks lovely.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

just a regular day

Today I was reading about the person who burned himself to death recently in Chicago to protest the war. It's both depressing and interesting--I went to his website to read the "mission statement" he wrote.

SAT scoring's supposed to end today. Saturday morning workers are coming to weatherize our apartment for free. We have lots of errands to run and things to do, and Erik might go hiking this weekend, one of the days, with his friend T.

I got together a submission this morning, of nine small poems to a small journal that does poems ten lines or less. I got some zines together to send out to some people who requested them. It's overcast and cool. This morning I walked to the nearest mailbox to send some mail--a birthday card, bills, some zines--and slipped in mud on the way home, did not hurt myself. Life's quiet when that's news.

Trying to perfect my eggless egg salad recipe. Today's version was a little bland but still good. The previous try was over-spiced, which is why I went the other way this time. Maybe I should just make it bland and rely on nice crackers.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

religious restaurant's wastefulness I participated in

We got a postcard in the mail from a fast food place called Chick-fil-A, a coupon for a free chicken sandwich, and we were hungry and decided to buy one on the way to the co-op. We did the drivethru, and it was good--we split it--but we would never buy fast food. I warned Erik beforehand, "Even if this if the most delicious chicken sandwich you've ever eaten, you will never have one again." He said that would not be a problem seeing as he's mostly vegetarian.

It has pickles in it, is the strange thing--chicken and pickles. It was really good but not what our bodies want us to eat. The outrage-thing was the five packets of ketchup the drivethru worker added to our bag. We didn't want even one, let alone five. And I didn't count the napkins, but at least those can live in the glovebox and serve as tissues. My point is the incredible amount of waste, how much trash is created, all for the convenience of it.

Then at the co-op, we ran into my dear friend A, and made lunch plans for the weekend. It was wonderful to block an aisle chatting, after startling her with my "excuse me, ma'am." I recognized her from the back, her very distinctive wild red hair and distinctive slouching gait.

SAT scoring session's supposed to end way early, so we can be people again soon. I have choir practice tonight and plans tomorrow night too, happy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

math problem

This morning there was a beautiful large starling on a branch outside the bedroom window where lots of birds like to perch, and a squirrel likes to sit too. It made cute sounds and flapped its wings in that helpless-looking way--it looks almost like shrugging--before flying off quickly.

If you flipped three pennies, what are the odds that they all came out the same?

1 in 3
1 in 4
1 in 8

I know I have heard answers to this type of question many times, but I never know who to trust. My ex-best friend Melly, who majored in math, would know. Where's Mel when I need her.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

my homemade address book, the necessity of miso

A year or two ago I made myself an address book out of grocery bag paper. It was bound with three staples. But today the cover / outermost page started coming loose, so I took out the staples and redid the binding, this time with thread, a total grown-up type of binding that real artists use. I'm stoked. But I didn't use a needle--I used an awl. It looks pretty good, and I think it will last for a long time.

I'm very fond of the thick brown paper of grocery bags. I have all my addresses and phone numbers in pencil so I can erase and since the paper's so thick and sturdy it's very forgiving. I'm not accepting any more friends whose last names start with W, S, M, or G. I have room for one more T. Ha ha ha.

Today I spoke on the phone with my Special Someone, which is enough to make any day Special. I went to worship in the morning and vespers at night. Erik scored a lot of SAT. Kitty was moody, demanding, and confusing. I've been weepy but okay.

I made some seaweed soup for my dinner. It was a good try but a little bland. I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that miso is no longer optional. I need to read up and accept miso into my life.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

happy heater day

Tonight I decided to stop being such a miser and turn on the heater. It was getting down to 55F in the bedroom at night. We are so crazy like this because in Bishop we had a $300 heating bill one time. And it snowed there, and our house had no insulation. So anyway, we got used to being cold.

But I have turned the heater up to 65, and it's bunring dust. I opened a can of guava fruit, but it has a texture like a pear, grainy, so I'm feeding it to Erik, who likes pears.

Today I had a nice choir practice. I had a strange evening nap, which threw me off entirley. I've been craving Thanksgiving dinner and wrote a letter to my cousin S.

Erik's done something funny. He put my computer monitor on the floor and is scoring from the floor for posture variation, sitting on his sitting cushion. It's a few days into the Novemeber SAT scoring session.

My mouspad did something funny, which is that it started to leak. It had a squishy wrist rest, and disgustingly, it must've broken. So I threw it away.

And Kitty did something funny, which was expressing interest in Erik's guava. Erik gave him one piece. Kitty wanted to lick it but not eat it.

Rainy here, and I would like more please.

Friday, November 10, 2006

where I've been

Dude, where've I been? I've been working. I pity you people who work full time. I was scoring CSET for two days, and now I'm scoring SAT.

Actually, this very moment, I'm trying to figure out how to convert miles to kilometers. What do you multiply by? Don't worry--I'll find it.

I found it.

note: 1 m = 1.609344 km

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


the ballot, not the bullet

I'm here to remind you to vote, unless you're really conservative, in which case I'm here to remind you to forget to vote. Ha ha. Just kidding.

This morning Erik and I took our lavendar envelopes over to the church across the street and got stickers in return. Beforehand, we wrote a poem about it.

to vote in the morning

--I suppose
I should put on some clothes.
we're going to the polls.

Later we were referring to our ballots as our babies. We always get absentee ballots and then don't send them in on time and hand-deliver. This was our first vote voting in two different parties. He switched back to Democrat a few months ago. It reminds me of a Wallace Stevens poem-portion, stanza V of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Mine goes like this: I do not know which to prefer, the purity of ideals, or the possibility of actually winning an election. I will not tell you which party I belong to, but I'll give you a clue if that it starts with the letter G and ends with socialism.

Monday, November 06, 2006

behind schedule

I hit 5000 words on my novel today. I like it, but I don't know if anyone else would, and I might need to cut a whole, um, side-thing. And I don't know if it's really a novel, because it's not really fiction, but it is fiction-ish.

Anyway, there's a chance I might catch up. But Wednesday and Thursday I'm scoring CSET at NES, which I'm dreading. It's always like starting over there. Two day projects are the pits. Not to insult arm pits.

Yesterday I was craving rainbow sherbert and got a kid's scoop at Baskin Robbins. "Can a grown up get a kid's scoop?" I asked the boy.

"Sure," he said. So I paid my dollar fifty and ate it with a little sample spoon, feeding Erik bites, as we shopped at Whole Foods. It didn't taste like the rainbow sherbert of my childhood, maybe because there was no blue in it, or it wasn't Thrifty's, or my tongue is different now.

See, I shoulda used all this in my novel. Bye again.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Japan Town

Yesterday we went to Berkeley for lunch and bread, and then to San Francisco's Japan Town. It was rainy and lovely out. We looked at beautiful stuffs. I got some nice stationary:

"I'm out of my mind with loneliness. Stay with me."

"My pleasure is giving water to a flower every morning with favorite gardening goods."

Erik got some tea-related materials. It was very stimulating to be in a different kind of place, and we had Japanese curry for dinner. But sort of too stimulating. I had to say to myself, "Everything's okay. Keep breathing." Sometimes I feel really cautious when I'm afraid I'm intruding on another culture's space. Sometimes I really want a tranquilzer before heading to the city.

But driving was fine. We didn't take any wrong turns or get lost, which gives us faith we might try driving in San Francisco more. Before, we parked elsewhere and took the BART in.

Maybe I will scan some stationary if I can get my scanner to work. Things haven't been 100% since the great computer troubles of a couple weeks ago. I suspect the power supply's many little plugs might not all be plugged in properly.

Last night I had a nightmare that I woke up from crying out. Today I'm staying home and hiding before another out-day tomorrow. It's rainy again but not supposed to rain tomorrow, which is good considernig everyone who's coming from out of town for Jagaddhatri.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

national novel writing month begins

This morning I started my novel. Whoa.

This morning I also went to Vedanta again for more weeding, which was fun hard work. The rains are supposed to start tomorrow. We might go to Berkeley tomorrow or Friday, not sure.

Saturday is a puja, a very special one, where the choirs from San Francisco are coming to sing, and we'll serve prasad lunch. I got recruited for the lunch line.