dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

yellow beauty

The last thing I said to Erik before he left on his hiking trip yesterday was to take me some pictures of wildflowers, so here's one, which I think is in the pea family.

looped in the loops

him: You're so cute.

me: I know you are, but what am I?

him: So cute.

me I know you are, but what am I?

him: I don't know how to get out of that one.

me: Control-Alt-Delete *or* Control-Openapple-Reset.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

is it really so strange?

him: I can't help the way I feel!

me: How do you feel, honey?

him: Like imitating Morrissey.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

ask a silly question

me: I have a question for you.

J: What.

me: How does it feel to be so cute?

J: Good.

Dad: I find I don't have a problem with it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

petting my hair

J: Did you take a shower?

me: I took a shower while you were taking a walk.

J: Your hair is wet.

me: I don't like to use a hair dryer.

J: It doesn't hurt.

me: I just don't like them.

J: My mommy does that to me. You should just try it.

me: There's no need.

J: Then your hair won't be cold.


niece 1: I can't hear you!

Mom: I can't hear you either!

me: I can hear both of you.

at my parents' house

My mom's making albondigas, and we're watching episode after episode of Super Chicken. Last night the baby woke us up five times. She's very cranky today and had a screaming fit while my mom and brother were in the shower. I keep saying to Erik, "Aren't you glad we don't have kids?" My mom says the baby isn't always like this, but she always says that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

exhaustion III

Today I gardened with P in the afternoon but didn't last long. I got exhausted--dizzy, nauseated, headachy. Maybe I'm sick.

Erik's been reading me a fabulous mystery by Dorothy Sayers called Witness of the Clouds. I've been making bracelets and enjoying myself.

But tomorrow and Friday we're scoring CSET. And then this weekend we're going out of town.

from this morning

him: What do you want to do about breakfast?

me: Eat it. What do you want to do about breakfast?

him: Hide the idea of breakfast.

*long gaze*

me: I don't know how well that will work out.

Monday, January 22, 2007

report on the Ed Brown talk

Erik had a fabulous time at the talk last night. It wasn't as crowded as we thought it would be. He got there in time. Ed Brown was very funny and put lots of good ideas in everyone's heads.

As for the sitting, Ed Brown gave some instruction at the beginning and read a poem at the end, so it wasn't a full 40 minutes of silence like I imagined. Maybe I would have been okay. There were a lot of chairs, but Erik brought his own zafu and sat in a regular sitting posture. It was held at the Koyasan Shingon Temple on U St.

Now he's off hiking again with T, this time redwoods, and I have nothing to do today but water the Shiva mound.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

obeying the cat

Tonight Erik's at a talk being given by in important zen dude Ed Brown. I kind of wanted to go, but then he told me that there's a 40 minute sit, so I said, "Have a nice time!"

Instead I went to vespers like usual and felt shy. I left right afterwards, which is unlike me, lately. My keys jingled in the dark as I walked through the parking lot. Everything seemed so sad, all of a sudden.

Kitty wants in and out every five minutes. He wants to be petted, but not on his back--only on his head and neck. He glances up at the ceiling (he's afraid of the ceiling fan). He eats a mouthful of food and slinks off to the hall.


Last night the puja was beautiful, but the choir sang only two songs. Prasad afterwards was delicious: cashews, dates, an apple slice, and rasmalai. I chatted with friends, and it was a lovely, cold evening.

Today I read a graphic novel American Born Chinese which has some great mythology about the monkey king. I liked it.

I've also been reading (slowly) the chapters my friend P wrote of a nursing textbook. Erik's still working on War and Peace.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

gorgeous coast rocks seascape

From Erik's most recent hike, my new desktop.

while I made his breakfast

me: Saxophones should be banned from the face of the planet.

him: Maybe they're not bad in certain jazz songs.

me: *steely look*

him: I recant.

me: You can't recant.

outgoing messages

Today I'm sending out a ton of mail. I got three books requested at PaperbackSwap, which is great because my credit there were getting low. I made two CDs for my dear C. I'm sending out an essay to my special someone and a friend S in San Diego. And I'm sending mental health letters to four people who should have had them a long time ago. (Mental health letters talk about my recent interactions with county mental health and where I'm at in the whole process.) I'm pleased to have done all the packaging.

Today there's choir practice and a puja. It's free yoga day, and I hope to make it to one class (they're only an hour).


Friday, January 19, 2007

vivid seascape

One of Erik's most brilliant from yesterday. I love the greenish water. What a gorgeous view....

my apartment complex is a shithole

Today we washed some laundry, and when I went to hang it on the line, I saw that the clotheslines had been cut. The kids here destroy everything, and I'm surprised it's taken them this long to destroy something so useful. I was sad and wanted to move, like I often do, but moving is so expensive, stressful, jarring. So we spent the $2.50 to dry two loads, and that's a loaf of bread right there. I guess I'm still sad.

Last time we hung the laundry, I saw a Playboy by the fence, damaged from the rain, and thought about throwing it away but didn't. I just feel sorry for those kids. I couldn't decide if they would be better off or worse off without their pictures of naked women and did nothing.

Trying to think of something good to say.... Erik got paid today. I owe about 25 zines to various people, and I look forward to the day when I can make some copies.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

fabulous food blogs

Awesome candy blog. I eat very little candy but love reading about it.


Also awesome (though ugly-looking--it looks like a fake site, actually, like if you type "mysapce") snack site. Fascinating reviews!


Also reading this Asian food blog (of food I would mostly never make because it all has meat in it) with some charming ESL.



exhaustion II

Today P and I finished the Shiva mound for real. I made a commitment to come water every other day for two weeks, in hopes that will get our transplants through their vulnerable time.

P showed me how to work the sprinkler, and we pulled some privets. Then we helped J muck out a quantity of stinky dead plant matter at one of the ponds. "Where are my noseplugs?" I asked, and they talked about how their sense of smell isn't very strong anymore, now that they're old. I pushed and pulled heavy greenwaste cans. I fetched things. I got all muddy.

This evening much of my body aches, and I'm definitely not going tomorrow. P is going to organize the choir music binders and doesn't need help.

Tonight's the Marxism talk I wanted to attend, but Erik is hiking again, and maybe he won't be home in time. And maybe he'll come home with his own exhaustion.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'm so tired from gardening today that I can barely stay awake. My back aches from the shovel. When I close my eyes, I see dirt. I dug twice as many holes as the other days. I had a lot of energy, for some reason. But now it's gone.

Soon I'll go to choir practice and sing until my lungs feel nice.

Anyway, here's my new desktop, a picture of mussels that Erik took yesterday that I deeply love.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

days are real

Today I got a zine in the mail Conscious Defect #4 from someone in Santa Cruz, and something from a different Santa Cruz zinester who makes my favorite zine Return the Gift.

So it was a good mail day. Also, I went to my friend P's house in the afternoon. We worked on her puzzle, and her friend SHH came to practice piano, so we listened to that for an hour.

Tomorrow we're going to finish the Shiva mound. Swami said he wants the groundcover to go all the way down to the path. Third time's the charm. I'm getting handy with a shovel.

Erik hiked with T again today, this time near Pt Reyes. Home safe and sound, looking at his gorgeous photos.

My special someone called, and we talked for a good hour: a trip she took to see a castle and elephant seals, new friends mentioned, Spanish class, mental health progress--just talking. I know sometimes the questions are less important than just hearing one another's voices. It's a visit, since we can't be together in person. I feel safe and supported.

My dear S has gone four days without smoking, and I feel so proud of him. Even if he doesn't maintain his quittage, these four days are real, and no one can take them away from him.


Monday, January 15, 2007

winter in the garden

Today I dug lots of holes for more transplanting. It's fun to work with P because we talk while we work. Also, it's just a nice time of year in the garden: quiet, not hot, no mosquitoes. Just peaceful feelings in the afternoon light. I listen to roosters crowing in the distance, and squirrels scamper nearby. The plants we're working with I found boring at first, but I'm starting to see them as beautiful.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Erik did some really helpful cleaning while I was gone, and then I freecycled some old sewing books I'd had just sitting in the pile in the living room for months. It feels good to have them gone. I don't even sew--they were in with a bunch of books I got from another freecycler.

Now we're eating pasta with pine nuts. He's hiking again tomorrow with T at Pt Reyes, and they're going to look at tidepools.

It's been a dry, cold winter so far.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

speedy delivery

This morning after worship I chatted with friends and then took the pot of coffee down to the bookstore, and guess who was working there? The woman who retired yesterday. Old habits.

"You don't look like you retired!" I said.

"Oh, well, I am!" she said.

"I guess you retired a little bit."

"I retired from responsibility," she said.

"I've heard that's the best way," I said. "So now it's only for fun."

"Yes," she said.


Bison bison

Did you know I have a thing for buffalo? Well, I do. This is my current desktop.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Marxism and disability rights

There's a talk Thursday night about Marxism and disability rights.


I went to a talk a few months ago on Marxism and feminism put on by these same people, and it was just first rate.


satsang is Saturdays

One of the two women who run the bookstore at Vedanta is retiring, so today the usual Saturday morning satsang was in honor of her. Someone made her favorite foods for snack, we all signed a card, and she was given a present (but she didn't take it out of the bag, so I don't know what it was--I suspect a shawl). Swami said nice things about her. She was smiling and happy.

The readings were on Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi. The woman retiring (who is Indian and more than 80 years old) told us how she touched Gandhi's feet a long time ago after a prayer meeting he held in India.

Someone brought two big boxes of fresh oranges from their tree, to give away, and I took plenty.

Last night I was half an hour late to Samiti, but it was good. Today Erik's hiking with his friend T somewhere near San Rafael.

I took a sun bath. Kitty's being demanding and moody. He licked my thumb.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

media reform

The National Conference for Media Reform is this weekend.



Thursday, January 11, 2007

free yoga

Not this weekend but next weekend, the 20th and 21st, there's free yoga at the Sac Yoga Center.




Today's the five-year anniversary of Guantánamo Bay's opening. In case you needed another reason to puke.

amnesty international link

aljazeera link



Today I had a meeting with Swami in the library. We talked for half an hour. I found out Vedanta's stance on abortion (that it's up the individual) and homosexuality (there is no stance at all), so I can move forward. I asked about some translations of particular words, and about fine points of contention, like whether Holy Mother is really considered an avatar, and what the significance is, of avatars, in a non-dualistic religion. I think he's learning to communicate with me, and how to see me as I am, which is good.

He forgot the things he told me to do last year, so I didn't get in trouble for not doing them. And I think being young, I'm given extra license. Maybe he doesn't think much of me, so there's no urgency.

Then I went to the Safeway across the street, intent on buying a dozen eggs, but I changed my mind and bought a loaf of bread instead. For lunch, I had a cheese sandwich, and it was really, really good. All of us who have bread are so lucky to have this miracle substance.

At the puja last night, coincidentally, the three men who usually sing in the choir were all absent, so it was a women's choir.

I have "The Transfiguration" by Sufjan Stevens in my head, and I was lying in bed with Kitty in the sunlight.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

free speech war protest

This morning I was also excited by these photos I saw at this site for free speech war protest.


All these photos are from there.

I was really proud of my city-mates, as these two are from Sacramento.

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the ACLU is pleasing me

Switched to the new Blogger today. Hope everything's glitchless.

I was delighted to hear this morning about the ACLU trying to make it easier for men in California to take their wife's last name, hyphenate, or name-meld. As things are now, it costs $300 for a man and $50 - $80 for a woman.


I'm not particularly into working hard for men's rights per se, but I'm completely into equality and sane marriage, so this is wonderful news.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

the whole world is your own

Today I got through to unemployment, and the worker and I communicated well--learning to understand his thick accent was a pleasure. I have a benefit, and it will almost pay rent, which is helpful.

I spoke with the new mechanic, and he says something needs to be fixed that will cost $1000, but it's not pressing, and he's just going to disconnect it for now, which is fine, and change the oil--so we'll have the car back this evening. He remains incredibly nice, and when we talk, he feels like a friend. Is this how the mechanic / driver relationship can be?

Listening to the squirrels play on the roof (it's quiet today). We're going through the Vedanta oranges quickly. I'm incredibly grateful for the beautiful fruit, and true friends who are encouraging me today with warm, caring emails.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I have fallen in love with mankind

Today I tried to get through to unemployment all day. It wasn't the best. I edited some music I had transcribed, and I was happy to find some mistakes to fix. I picked up a freecycle photo album that I was disappointed to see only has five pages. Freecycle's a gamble, and I'm not a betting man.

Tomorrow night I'm going to P's house to help her start a puzzle. Wednesday I have an appointment with county health that I've been looking forward to for a long time, and there's a puja, one of the most important of the year, for Vivekananda.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

robot parade

me: Am I unnerving you?

him: No.

me: How about if I play "Robot Parade"? Will that unnerve you?

him: Yes.

me: May I unnerve you?

him: Yes.

mercury calculation

Yeah, I know the smart thing would be vegetarianism, but this seems helpful if you're going to eat fish. We used to it figure out if Erik could eat tuna fish and salmon in the same week (yes).


rock wall with lichen and moss

This is my current desktop, a photo Erik took last hike.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

don't overwhelm people

Today I drove the truck myself for the first time since we jumped it and got it running again. It's a little rough going into second gear but otherwise just fine. I drove myself to choir practice today.

My truck is like an old friend. I like the vantage point a foot or two higher than the car. I like the way it smells and the rumbling motions, the little squeaks. I like the way it responds and handles so differently from the Civic, which is comparatively so fast and darty. But the truck is substantial and feels solid (even though it's actually more likely to roll).

The truck only has a tape player, and there are certain tapes I keep in there and hear over and over again. I like that about it too. There's a quirky way the windshield wipers come on at the slightest nudge, and the turn signal gives only the faintest sound, so it's easy to leave it on. It takes a couple tries to start it when it's cold, and I drove it on the backroads to and from teaching when we lived in Bishop. I associate it with freedom, solitude, taking care of myself--open spaces and cows.

I'm always thinking of titles for plays, and this morning I thought of Don't Overwhelm People, a play in 19 acts. I told Erik, and he said it would be better Don't Overwhelm People, a play in one act that lasts 19 hours, with 5,011 characters and five stages. We laughed for a long time, and that's one of the reasons I love him. Today's our seven year anniversary of being officially together.

Friday, January 05, 2007

moving materials from one place to another

Today I made CDs for three friends and worked in the garden with Erik and my friend P. We transplanted some groundcover from one side of the Shiva mound to another. I dug holes--Erik dug up groundcover--and P watered and planted. It was fun even though it was cold out with a cold wind.

The car's started making a new sound, a whirring sound, almost like white noise. I have no idea what it is (not the brakes, not like any belt I've heard), but it's running just fine. I called our new mechanic today, and he told me to bring it in next week. The mechanic is the son of my friend A, and she said he does good work and charges a fair price. He was really nice on the phone.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

quiet day at home

This morning we took a long walk. Then we gave Kitty his flea killing treatment. In the evening, I've been making a tape for my dear MM in Florida. She recently got her driver's license, and her car doesn't have a CD player, so she requested tapes specifically. It's fun thinking of what she would like, but if she doesn't like They Might Be Giants, she's going to hate side A.

My friend C sent me a link to her yoga vacation photos, which are fabulous, and Erik started War and Peace this afternoon. Personally, I never got through it because the peace is lovely but the war's very boring. Trying to think of one more sentence and not coming up with anything but a paradox.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

very well, thank you

Today was great for getting stuff done. Erik finished the letter to our landlord asking for a rent credit to compensate for the unjust towing of our truck--we photocopied some paperwork and put it all in the mail. Also, I wrote a letter to my friend A in New York, and Erik sent a letter he had been working on to his dad. We did laundry. We jumped the truck, drove it around to charge the battery, got rid of the recycling that was in it, put some new gas in, and got the oil changed, so it's functional and mostly trustworthy at this point. And we got flea medicine for Kitty from the vet. And I went to choir practice. Add to all that some cooking, cleaning, and reading, and it was quite a day. I feel productive and happy.

At Vedanta there was a huge heap of oranges in the produce give-away area, so I took a big bag full. It's good to have fruit.

I'm reading Women Who Eat edited by Leslie Miller, and it's enjoyable food writing. Tomorrow's supposed to rain.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

report on the dinner

Erik's hiking with his friend T somewhere near Napa Valley. I hope the fresh air is doing his soul good.

Last night dinner was my friend J's treat, so all the fretting about money was unnecessary. My eggplant dish was dramatic visually but tame gustatorily. The restaurant I won't say much about except that the bathroom sinks were made of woks, which I would give an A for effort. Anyway, the company was good, and being out with friends lightened my mood.

Oh, and the serving was so big that the uneaten portion that I brought home fed Erik generously.

Today the sky's gray-white with clouds. I've been reading zines and enjoying the quiet.

Monday, January 01, 2007

a movie, a peek, friends, and a book

Erik's sick with a headache and hoping a warm bath will help. I'm enjoying the new year. Last night at Vedanta, we saw March of the Penguins. I thought it had its good and bad points. I liked getting to know a little about emperor penguins, but I thought they should have gone into a lot more detail and slipped in more facts.

Anyway, I don't like movies generally and felt the need to get up and do something after about 20 minutes, and I did. I took a little walk to the recycle trashcan to recycle our steel pineapple juice cans. I peeked into the kitchen windows and liked what I saw--old-fashioned cabinets, everything painted white and clearly not remodeled since the place was built, very lovable. The spice jars on the wall. And women can't go there because it's part of the monastery, so it's interesting to see a place that I know I'll never enter.

The actual program was very nice. For some reason, I didn't get tired at all, though our usual bedtime is around 10:30. I think I was excited for the holiday and doing something different. Also, I had spoken to a new friend for the first time, and talking on the phone makes me hyper. The new friend S is very lovely to speak with, and I hope our friendship has a long life.

Tonight I'm going to Chinese with my friends from Vedanta P and J. We don't have the money, but I couldn't figure out how to say no. Anyway, I haven't had Chinese in ages. I looked at the menu online and plan to get some eggplant.

Erik and I started reading The Waves by Virginia Woolf this morning. It's insane, and I love it. It's one long poem so far. It reminds me of a strange experimental play. There's a reason Woolf's my favorite proser.


Every blessing to every being in the world.