Monday, July 31, 2006
We went to Whole Foods for garlic, brown rice, to look at their tea and eat the cheese samples--we ate three! My favorite was a gouda very sharp and lovely. We ended up buying some corn, a cleaning brush. I eyed some fresh pineapple but didn't give in, too expensive.
I feel happy with life and happy for freedom and change.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
So I have been out a lot for days, and I'm happy to again go back to my hermit lifestyle starting this afternoon.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Erik's nature photography blog
Some good desert views, mountains views. I'll ask him to put in titles so a viewer can know the locations--he may or may not listen to me.
I'm interested in this list about how to work for peace, non-violent action.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
carrot cake ice cream
Things are so quiet otherwise. I've written and received letters, Erik reads to me, I research socialism. We struggle with the heat. Life is a blur.
But tomorrow, we're scoring CSET, and Friday too. Then Saturday is a retreat at Vedanta when the swami from St Louis comes. We signed up for the whole day. Our life will be very full of people soon, for a little while.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
This is a totally easy way to swap some postcards! Very fun, like pen-palling with less time-investment.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sunday is for struggle
But when the power was out, it was so quiet, like camping, to hear the birds in the early morning.
Today's high was 111. Yesterday Erik went hiking with a new friend from the grading factory. Sunburned and sore but happier for the time in nature.
I've been reading Victorian-era letters and learning about the different types of cheese.
We went to vespers and spoke with swami. He gave us ginger cookies, and we signed up for the retreat that's next week with the swami who comes every year from St Louis who Erik likes very much.
Here are the foods I'm living on in this incredible heat.
* vanilla yogurt
And the usual, though I refuse to have my tea hot and put it straight in the fridge.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
First of all, the collective-ness is special. It's very progressive and hippie in that way.
Second of all, the tradition to is eat your pizza on the median, and we did! We found a shady spot on the grass and munched away, watching cars go by and people cross at the crosswalk.
Third of all, there was a piano player and bass player making jazz in the restaurant for everyone standing in line. I don't normally like jazz--my moto is that it's a lot more fun to play it than to listen to it--but this was pretty good. And defintiely an A for effort. I mean, live music is one of the reasons to live.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Today we went over to the bay again. The most wonderful part of our trip was when we visited Green Gulch Farm. It's a soto zen place. They grow organic veggies and supply famous San Francisco restaurant Greens, where we've never eaten, but we want to.
Green Gulch is awesome, and we walked for a long time through their buildings and then into the gardens and then by the fields. The farm is located in a little mini-valley right by the ocean. It's right by Muir Beach.
I bought a mint plant. A nun told me that even though the bookstore was closing, I could still buy a plant by putting the money through the mail slot. So I did.
Isn't this a fabulous shot of rhubarb Erik took?
me resting on a pallet
Thursday, July 20, 2006
So I went to the doctor for a little oppression: she chided me for gaining 3 pounds. The thing is that I think the "nurse" who weighed me rounded--I gained more like 2 pounds, which I don't see as a real problem.... She chided me and patted my shoulder at the same time. I hate my doctor, who is not a real doctor. No mention of the fact the my blood pressure was great (my blood pressure being the whole reason I was there) even though I hadn't taken Lisinopril for a few months because my perscription had run out.
Insulting fat people is going to do nothing but keep fat people from going to the doctor when we need to. I wish I wasn't so shy or I would have said something. I also wish I could just let it go, but it goes on the pile of things I'm angry about.
Also on the pile is those creeps in the RV who have been camping at the Dairy Queen right by our apartment complex. Yesterday afternoon there was a yelling, barking altercation with bad words and loud noises. "Will you call 911?" someone asked, but I don't think anyone did.
At any rate, the RV is stil there today. I tried calling the Dairy Queen twice this morning to complain, but no one answered, and I don't even know what to say--I guess ask them if they gave those RVers permission to be there and if so for how long. Help.
I applied for a job today, an editing job in the bay area. I actually feel pretty qualified for this one. So we'll see.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
what Wednesday is for
Erik and I listened to the introduction of a translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead involving our admired and trusted Trungpa Rinpoche. Read by Richard Gere.
I'm reading Never Hit a Jelleyfish with a Spade, and it's funny.
Today's only supposed to hit 102, but Saturday's supposed to hit 111.
I had a nice cheese sandwich on Acme herb bread. I'm eating salted sunflower seeds, which are wonderfully delicious.
Erik's feeling unstructured about his unemployment. This morning I wrote some book reviews and a poem "the power struggle stage of an adult relationship."
Yesterday we went to the craft store looking for beeswax for soap making, but all they had was a huge brick super-expensive packaged for candle making, and all I need is about four tablespoons of it--the worker said I should try a beading store. I feel craft stores are making a killing, marking up these raw materials as high as they can, so that making your own is no longer even thrifty. I would need to keep my own bees....
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
But we had nice food at House of Curries formerly Naan and Curry on College near Ashby. And we had fun walking on the pier and taking pictures of the art and one another in the wind--I will post some later. In the evening, Erik sat at the Bekeley zendo--then we went to Oakland, and he sat again! He's so zen. Ha ha ha ha ha.
I am reading Gary Young's book No Other Life which is brilliant prose-poems. Today we're going to the library and to pick up a freecycle soap-making kit. Yay. I wrote letters yesterday. And we got the perfectly world-class bread at Acme to eat today.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
It's 70% Indian people. It has an odd history--it's where the dodo bird lived. It wasn't inhabited by humans until the 1500s.
Anyway, the swami from there is very kind, warm, has a wonderul smile and a nice hat. We heard his talk in the morning, and then he was at vespers and gave us a little concert afterwards because one of his skills is singing. And he did sing very beatifully, first rate.
It feels miraculous to not only learn of an unknown country but to meet someone from there on the same day. It's like a dream. He was almost promotional, trying go get everyone to come visit.
So that's pretty much all we did today. I learned that brown rice cereal gives me heartburn. Erik read to me. I had some delicious blueberries in the morning.
the people who should leave
At night, I was wiped out. Today at the Carmichael Vedanta place, a different swami than usual is speaking, the swami-in-charge from Vacoas, Mauritius. I have no idea where that is, but I think we'll find out.
I got some things really bothering me. One is that for about a week now, some people in an RV have been boondocking at the edge of the Dairy Queen parking lot right up against our apartment complex. They're too close, and I don't like their noise. I felt we had enough neighbors already without getting more. Before, I felt a spacious and happy feeling in Dairy Queen's direction because of the trees there. And now I feel that direction is problematic. I wish they would leave.
There are holes in the fence caused by children vandals, and that's given the urban campers easy access to the apartment complex's backyard. Last night around ten they borrowed the hose, which was loud, and they have a barking dog that's loud too and woke us up with other night when there was a barking-yelling altercation that scared the heck out of me.
Anyway, I really wish they would leave. Either Dairy Queen gave them permission to camp out in their parking lot, which I doubt, or Dairy Queen's just oblivious and doesn't care, which seems more likely. I imagine they move from location to location, relying on people's reticence, staying until someone gets furious enough to kick them out or call the cops, which doesn't seem fair, though in a way I admire the effort to escape the tyranny of rent.
Friday, July 14, 2006
extra-fruit banana bread
Also, I stirred the batter right before putting it into the tins--at the last possible moment--so as not to waste the fluffiness caused by the little bubbles caused by the levening agents. Do you get my drift here? So the bread rose more than usual since I had not destroyed the little bubbles while putting the batter into the loaf pans.
Let me just tell you the recipe.
HIPPIE VEGAN EXTRA-FRUITY BANANA BREAD
* 5 mashed over-ripe bananas
* handful raisins, handful chopped dried apricots soaked in boiling water for half an hour and kinda smooshed up with a fork
* tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
shake of cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder (does that seem like a lot? that's what my recipe says, and it's what I do)
Combine wet and dry at the last possible moment. Cook in two loaf pans, 350 for 40 min. Inserted knife comes clean.
Nuts would be good, like a cup of walnuts broken into little pieces. And you could do chocolate chips or carob chips instead of the dried fruit. But then you might want to add a little sugar to the batter to compensate for the lack of fruit.
And you would probably want to oil the loaf pans for easy bread removal, but what I do instead is line the pans with aluminum foil, and then I just wrap the loaves in the foil that baked in, and the foil doesn't stick to the bread at all, for some reason.
ask a ninja
LM: Dragon's blood?
E: I'm going to have to ask someone about that, but he might not get back to me right away.
LM: Like a ninja?
E: Honey, do you think apple & spice tea is almost like Dragon's Blood?
E: Just without the iron?
The Indian-Pak place played some very bad pretend-Blues american music, which is just wrong, so we ordered our food as take-out. They didn't have what I wanted to order--Panner Tikka Masala and rotis--so I got Chicken Tikka Masala instead, with rice. The sauce is good. But I think I'm going to write them a letter about the music.
I made some good banana bread two days ago--it happens to be vegan. It turned out great though we don't have any nuts. I'm going to make some more. I might put in some finely chopped dried apricots I happen to have. Or maybe some raisins. I'm trying to change into a person who likes raisins.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
But I said I couldn't write to god because I think of her as either an amorphus cloud of detached intelligence or a compassionate Indian woman who wouldn't get my jokes. I told her I write for a friend who's intelligent, makes me feel safe, understands me and wants to, wants to hear what I say.
In reality, there's a formula for who my audience is at any given moment. It's...
the person I love most,
who I'm not related to,
other than my husband and my best friend.
So basically my non-family #3. How romantic. If you're not related to me and not my husband or best friend, it could be you, or it could have been you, or it might be you one day.
But I was talking to another friend yesterday on the phone, and we were talking about love and crushes. He was saying how he gets crushes once in a blue moon and telling me how that seems right to him because you would never want to say, "Well, the one I want the most doesn't want me, so I'll go with my second choice." No one wants to be the second choice.
I was saying "uh-huh" and being very supportive at the time, but something contrary to say did burn within me unsaid, and it was like: People are so different from one another. Any ranking of people is absolute ridiculous because just like you can like cherries and grapes it's not going to hurt grapes' feelings that you like cherries. I've got a different kind of love for everyone I love.
This morning I went for a little walk. I watched a Pavement video. I did my own sad version of flaming someone's glowing review of Ulysses on myspace, which didn't feel good, though I never know how I come off. Maybe not as mean as I felt. Because I really hate Ulysses.
And I drank some pomegranite juice and did some zine stuff. Wednesday is a test of my patience.
Yesterday I walked around the corner to make eight copies to compensate for the eight that the Staples machines messed up, and I liked it there when a dressed-up man wanted to interupt and the worker wouldn't let him.
Hi, I'm important because I'm in dress-up clothes. I am better than this woman who was here first.
I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to wait your turn in the name of justice.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
For about a year I loved blue cheese salad dressing. Now I don't like it anymore--it was a fad.
I also ate apricots my friend A gave me from her tree. They are deliciously tasty.
For breakfast I had organic strawberries and leftover popcorn. I washed dishes twice. M called. It's not supposed to even hit 90 today, so I'll live.
I started a new journal today. The old one I wrote very small, and it lasted me two years.
Erik will be done with his project at the grading factory any day now, and he needs it bad. He becomes a zombie every day, and when he gets home and walks to our apartment door, he comes alive again. He deserves a medal. All the sad factory workers who sacrifice themselves to pay rent deserve the medal known as fair pay. There's a reason the work is temporary, and as soon as he's laid off, he'll file unemployment.
Monday, July 10, 2006
a good Sunday in Berkeley
Then we went to Elephant phramacy, which is sort of like a dream-store with some cute stationary almost all recycled or not made from trees, lots of good soap, free water to drink as you walk around, lots of loose teas. This excellent soap was on sale, and I bought many bars of it: brazil nut, pecan, linden, verbena, cucumber. So now we have soap for months.
Then where did we go? We went to the Cody's on Telegraph, and they're about to close. Their last day is today--all the store is 20% off. I bought many postcards, lots of art ones. And I found a book for a dollar that I had been wanting very much and never thought I would find. Poor Gary Young got remaindered. Our teacher in grad school Jim has a blurb on the back.
Then we were going to Vedanta for vespers, the Berkeley Vedanta, but it didn't happen. The door was locked at the appointed time. The accouncement board said SUMMER RECESS--maybe the swami isn't home.
So that was too bad, but we were starving, and we picked up my dear R for dinner. We went to a different Naan and Curry than Erik and I had been to, the one on Telegraph. We spoke of all and nothing. And then we went to a cafe too for more talking not too cold, but I was cold, because I had not brought a sweater since Sacramento is so hot beyond all thought of sweaters.
Then we took R home and went home ourselves, arriving home at 10:30 or so, and we put the fan in the bedroom window to cool the room down to 90 and went to sleep. It was a wonderful adventuresome day, and we didn't even have time to go to the beach or to Long Haul Infoshop. I always think we'll run out of things to do, but quite the contrary.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
heat and loss
I had a student who worked for the post office in Folsom. She was nice, older, sat in front, and told me stuff about her life. I embarassed her one time though when she said she was bringing the pies for Thanksgiving dinner.
"How do you make your pastry?" I asked, because pastry is important to me.
"I don't," she said. "I buy the pie crusts already made."
I felt like it doesn't really count as making a pie if you don't make the crust, but I felt stupid to have made her feel stupid, and that's probably why we didn't stay friends even though she liked Wide Sargaso Sea.
Friday, July 07, 2006
This morning we woke up at a quarter to 5 and talked a while in the dark. Then the sun was coming up. Then the sun was up.
We were planning on going to Berkeley tomorrow so Erik could sit at the zen center and so I could make some copies at a place owned by humans, but he's got a sore throat, so maybe he's sick. He says at work lots of people are sick, like the person who sits right next to him.
I had a bad dream I was talking on the phone with my high school best friend Melly in the backseat of my parents' truck, and then the truck started to drive by itself, with no key in the ignition. I had to figure out how to stop it, but the brakes weren't working right, and I had to push with all my weight to get the truck to stop. By the time I did, I didn't know where I was. In a strange neighborhood by a dark alley.
I've been having variations of this dream since as long as I can remember. The first one when I was about four--it was me and my brother in the backseat of the car, and no one was driving. The car moved through a dark parking lot. I was panicking.
I would imagine these dreams have something to do with control. Powerlessness? Fear of the future, maybe? Like the big wave dreams, but different from the dirty water dreams.
When a plane flies overhead, one of the cars in the parking lot, its alarm chirps.
Erik and I have Flickr sites now. Here's mine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lauramarietaylor/.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
It's was by Manlove, which google maps thinks is Madlove. It was at an elementary school. I was looked at oddly by teachers leading lines of well-behaved little children. Am I really that funny-looking? I guess so! Fat, in tye-die and cut-off shorts and clogs.
I did great except when I almost ran a stop sign and had to slam on the brakes, causing the recycle to shift loudly and an empty mayonaisse jar to fly forward and land at the feet of my non-existant passenger.
When I arrived home, I had the reward of going through someone else's stationary collection. A lot of it is not so great, but I obtained a few very nice things: the art cards, and some terrible 80s die-cut? laser-cut? white stationary with which to afflict my friends and loved-ones. Lots of Christmas cards, some of them in braile!!! Way too many "get well" cards--I don't think I've ever used a get well card in my life... Too many thank you notes also. If I really feel thankful, I'll write a letter.
But lots of birthday cards--that's useful. The envelopes were almost all seperate from the cards, and nothing was organized, so I sorted them into piles and tried to find an envelope for everything.
Tonight I'm going to Indian food with a friend from the grading factory who I am so happy to see. So another new thing I'm doing is driving myself somewhere twice in one day. I guess I'm a driver now....
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Melissa Spence Gardner
Kinda remind me of Jim's Journal or King Cat. Or like The Assassin and the Whiner. My favorite kinda thing. Makes me wish I could draw....
making stuff, faith
This quote reminds me of me and Erik's feelings about art, how we value intuitive as opposed to analytical, how the artist needs to get out of the way. There's a buddhist idea of Big Mind that reminds me of the collective unconciousness. Your intuition knows more than you do, so let the intuition speak, which requires bravery because you experince having less control.
That can happen with playfulness. Some people think what's playful is unimportant, but I think what's childlike and seemingly light can actually be deep, but without all the trappings and solemnity that are often shorthand for "this is important." Just because something's serious doesn't mean it's good.
But I'm getting off track. This quote also shows my feelings about god, which are so often god-as-metaphor. When I say god, I usually don't know what I mean, but god can always be an idea: the best part of you, or an intelligence that can seem to move through you, or an actual force or being "out there" that you can call upon for help. I talk about god all the time though by some people's definitions, I might be an atheist! Though I don't want to be an atheist: I want to believe.
There's an ad campaign right now on Sacramento billboards for some church (Methodist?) with a picture of a dandelion gone to seed, half blown, and it says, "If you can wish, you can believe," or something along those lines, and it always makes me think. Can faith really be so simple as that? I get cynical and think what they really mean to say is, "If you can wish, you can come give us your money." Are they making religion too easy in order to recruit the skeptical like me, for their own financial benefit?
I think the ad is trying to make us remember when we were little. Some childhood proto-religion like if you pray hard enough, you really will get a red bike for your birthday, and of course, you don't get the red bike.
Well, I've entered territory more thorny than I intended for a fourth of July morning. I wish independence to everyone. To the degree that you enjoy.
Monday, July 03, 2006
the third of July
Erik made us a dinner I like very much involving pretend beer brats which we call "beanerism." It's basically a pretend sausage sandwich, traditionally made on an onion bagel, but today on onion rye bread, with mayo and lettuce. Oh, it's just lovely. The crunch of the toasted oniony bread with the spicy softness of the pretend sausage. The way the mayo unifies it all. This is a pinacle of comfort food in the Taylor-Lundgren household.
He's depressed, not the super-bad kind. He's sitting right now. He has tomorrow off. I'm going to finish up the last few envelopes of this calender and get ready for the next projects.
Today I finished a letter to K and sent enough mail to choke a horse. Luckily, no horses were harmed in the creation of this blog. (But imagined horses. Sorry.)
Today I wrote something about class that I don't know what to do with--it's an essay but reads like a prose-poem sometimes--I'll probably put it in the next zine. Or maybe I'll make a whole zine just about class and publish it anonymously. As I get into more and more personal territory, I feel the need to disguise myself.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
chickens are us
And we saw the chickens before and after. I will try to remember to bring the camera and take a picture next time. The chickens are very good looking. We call them fowlen. As in, "There's the fowlen!"
We made a big breakfast for dinner. I had been craving pretend sausage, so we got some. We had potatoes, so I made hash browns too. We ate on the living room floor, with juice, and felt very comforted and well.
I got "this year" by the Mountain Goats stuck in my head, particularly this part.
I played video games
in a drunken haze--
I was 17 years young.
I had a thing when I was a teacher that I hated when my students ended their paper with a quote. I was big on contextualizing quotes as opposed to dropping them in, like smart parachuters from another country come to save the paper. And these feelings on my part are so deep that I could not even end a blog posting with a quote. Thus this paragraph.
So good night, my dears.
We stopped for a small meal or large snack. I had a lovely open-faced shrimp sandwich--lovely with the lemon juice on the shrimp and the generous dab of mayo. The bread wasn't good though. And we shared some apple cake that was apple-pie-like and lovely though the custard was poor.
I went to bed strangely early last night--before it was even dark, even, with my wedding ring on, and the nite-time rituals forgotten--which means I was up at 6 this morning.
I get so many calls on my cell phone for someone named Amber! And one day-before-yeasterday was from a British woman who reminded me of my grandma. "Who am I speaking to?" she asked, and usually I would never answer such a question, but because she was an old British woman, I did. So let that be a lesson to you.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
This morning Erik slept in. I had enough of waiting and woke him up at 9. We went to the craft store so I could buy some string for binding ELM #38. It was hard to find among all those fake flowers, trim, safety pins, needles, yarn. "I know how much you love the craft store," I told Erik, "So I don't want to make us leave until you're ready." This was sarcasm that made us laugh.
The worker asked, "Will that be all?"
I said yes. She put it in a bag. "Oh, I don't need a bag," I said.
"Oh, you don't want a bag. Thought you might like one, to keep it clean!" she said.
Later, remembering this, I wished I had said, "I like it dirty," because craft stores make me feel that way. Wholesomeness makes me want to say something inappropriate.