dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Friday, August 31, 2007

plum picking, lunch out

This morning we went to Vedanta to pick plums first thing. It was fun. We didn't need to get a ladder--we picked only the plums we could reach and filled a basket.

Then we visited P, who was raking near the Krishna pond. Then we did some sweeping.

For lunch we went out to a place called Thai Basil that's won the reader's award for best Thai restaurant in Sacramento several years in a row. We both got a delicious green curry with tofu and eggplant. That particular Thai Basil (there are four, I think) was abandoned--we were the only eaters there the entire time we were there.

Erik's reading me both the Moomin book Moominsummer Madness and DH Lawrence's The Rainbow, and they're pretty different! I asked, "Do you think the whole book will be this depressing?" after a particularly well done but depressing chapter of The Rainbow, and Erik said yes.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Guru Nakak

This morning I went to Vedanta to sweep the steps on the Shiva mound and washed the statue a little bit. Then I swept in front of Guru Nanak's shrine. When I was about to leave, I saw my friend P. I talked to her for an hour while she weeded. Then someone newly living there R needed someone to hold his ladder while he washed windows, so I did that, which made me nervous. Someone had picked peaches, so I took some peaches home. That was my whole morning.

Erik went hiking today. They took a wrong turn and had a hard time on the trail, so they're not home yet, but Erik's called, and they're okay.

In the afternoon I went to my friend P's house so I could help her with some music she had transcribed--she needed me to listen to the tape and verify that her transcription was correct. It was, so we were happy, and we talked about everything that's going on with the people we know, everyone who's in poor health, changes in who's running the bookstore.

My stamps came today, so I can send out the zines tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Moomins, lentil soup, Chi Gong, heat, stamps

Yesterday we went to the library and got some Moomin books. Erik started reading to me Moominsummer Madness. We like it for its humor and quirkiness. In some ways its reminds us of Winnie-the-Pooh, in other ways Pippi Longstocking. The Moomins live in a lighthearted world, and I would like to be more lighthearted.

Yesterday I made some lentil soup. It's a little bland but good. We ate it for lunch. I'm not liking onions so much lately, so we made it without onions: just regular green lentils, canned black lentils, garlic, salt, pepper, tarragon, cumino, and canned tomatoes.

This morning Erik taught me his Chi Gong sequence. I found it a bit boring, but maybe I wasn't in the mood. I will try again another day.

Today's supposed to hit 104. I have the air on already though it's 7:30 in the morning, preemptively.

Today I expect the delivery of my 58 cent stamps so I can send out the rest of the zines.

Monday, August 27, 2007

apple crisp, heat, zines

My friend K encouraged me to look up an apple crisp recipe, since that's what I seemed to be trying to make. I had tart apples left and made some apple crisp with oatmeal, butter, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, sugar--it turned out absolutely delicious, though baking was a dumb thing to do in the 90+ heat.

Wednesday's supposed to be 101, Thursday 102--it's another heat wave, and we plan to leave town Thursday--Wednesday I'm doing a focus group in the evening, downtown, for seventy dollars.

I have almost all the zines ready, in addressed, sealed envelopes--only a few are left, waiting for me to write a letter to include. It's only 9 and I'm too tired to communicate straight--good night.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

baked apple slices

Today I did the usual churchie stuff. There was worship and then a social time and then choir practice. It was good.

I've been working on the zine--more binding, and addressing envelopes. It's a lot to do by hand.

I'm making some baked apple slices with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. It smells really good, but it's watery. I'm cooking it in the microwave, stirring every five minutes, and I didn't expect the water that's in the bottom of the square pyrex pan.

I want to make some lentil soup for dinner, but I don't know about the time.

My dear friend M in Finland sent me a card two days ago with a metal Moomin in it, and I've made it into a pendant to wear on a necklace. It makes me happy.

Friday, August 24, 2007

day home

Today Erik's hiking. If you read my blog regularly, you can guess who he's with and where he went. Kitty's driving me nuts! He's meowing all the time.

I'm making the new zine. I'm at the collating stage right now. I made a small pre-run at Staples a week ago, so I would have zines to hand my mom and the friends I visited on our trip, but this is the main run. There's only one typo I've caught so far: I say "kid's" when I should say "kids'"--a minor mistake.

This morning I went to Vedanta. I swept the Shiva mound's steps. Then I went for some cutters and cut some sprouts from a stump. I ran into my friend P, and we talked and worked together. Mostly I sat in the shade while she weeded, and we caught up on one another's lives.

Then I ran into B and asked him if I could pick peaches. He said sure and gave me some bags and instructions. "There's a saying," he said. "It's 'Treat a person like you would a peach.'" Am I remembering that right? I like it, at any rate. So I went and picked some peaches, and by that time it was 11:30. The sweat poured off my brow. I picked six grocery bags, but not completely full, because B told me they're too delicate, and only have two or three layers.

Swami is in Portland right now, and I hope he's having a good time there. I wish I were in Portland, sort of. But things are good here. I'm happy to have a day home after so many days away.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

travels with Erik

Tuesday I saw my best friend E in Santa Barbara. We went out to Indian food for lunch, went to Park park to look at plants and turtles, went to Goleta beach for a walk on the pier, and talked at her place. I taught her two of the games Erik and I like to play: situation game and five things.

Then Erik and I got dinner at La Superica and ate it at Goleta Beach. It was delicious. We came home to my parents' house and watched the rest of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I enjoyed.

Wednesday we drove home to Sacramento, stopping in Santa Cruz for lunch and a trip to their fabulous grocery store Staff of Life. When we got to Sacramento, it was 97, and I didn't appreciate the heat.

Today we needed to leave the house before seven because we needed to get the car off the street because of some construction, only the construction didn't happen, so we didn't need to move the car at all, but we followed through with our day's plan anyway. We went to the park and took a walk then headed to county pharmacy to pick up some refills. Then we went to Berkeley so I could copy the new zine. Also, we went to Acme for bread, had lunch at House of Curries, browsed at Cody's, and walked the pier there. It was very windy. Then we hunted for a nearby park and found a mini one called Horseshoe park. We wanted to write, but it was too windy to do anything but sit on a bench and look at boats.

Back in Sacramento, it's 98 degrees now. Again, I don't appreciate the heat and vow to move away before next summer.

Monday, August 20, 2007


This morning we went to Montana de Oro and walked down a trail along the cliffs and then went down to a beach, where Erik looked at tidepools, and I sat on the sand and looked at handfuls of sand, seeing the different rocks and shell bits that the sand consists of. It was fun.

Then we went to Morro Bay. Erik took pictures of the big rock. We went to the British import shop for some bicuits for me and candy for my parents. I got a call from my mom saying some housesitting instructions. (I get so few calls--I feel a little excited when my phone rings. Well, usually it's set to vibrate.)

Then we went to a museum gift shop, where I bought postcards and we asked a docent about the strangely titled rock layers at Montana de Oro. She couldn't remember why they look that way, but she gave us a brochure.

Then we went to an oak preserve in Los Osos, but by that time I was out of steam, so Erik walked for a few minutes while I wrote in my journal and read The New Times.


Erik and I are taking a mini-vacation housesitting at my parents' house. So far so good--yesterday I got to visit with my nieces and newborn nephew, as well as my parents and brother. This morning my parents left for Las Vegas, and I saw them off.

Today we plan to go to a beach--not sure which one--and in the evening we'll see friends for dinner and another friend for after dinner.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

an arugument, an application

There's an apartment complex fight going on. Women are yelling loudly at one another and saying lots of bad words. They're arguing with the crazy lady. I think they're new and don't know how pointless it is to argue with the crazy lady.

Erik needed to make a photocopy of his state job application, so we went to Staples, but they were closed. We went to Office Max, and they were closed too. So we went to Longs, but their photocopy machine was out of order. Our old scanner won't work with the new computer because its driver is incompatible with Vista. So Erik's going to try to photograph the application.

appointment, encounter

My appointment this morning was good. Some of my medication got changed in ways I like, and my doctor wants me to go on disability. I don't know if that will work out because of how I've worked little jobs since my diagnosis. But he filled out his portion of the form, so maybe it's worth a try?

After the appointment I was feeling agitated and went for a walk--on my walk, I ran into my dentist. Doesn't that sound like a dream? It's actually not a coincidence since my dentist-choosing involved investigating dentists within walking distance. I asked, "What are you doing here on a Saturday?" and he said he does paperwork on the weekends, that he's there seven days a week. I said, "Bummer," but I guess that's the life he wants--he must be rich. His waiting room is decorated in a nautical theme, and I wonder if he does boats. This dentist insists that everyone call him by his first name because last name is too fakey. He's tall, young, and reminds me of my brother. I trust him with my teeth and trust the hygienist too.

Friday, August 17, 2007

name change

I changed the name of my food blog from "why I'm fat" to "what I eat." But the url stayed the same.

The goal with the food journal is to be more aware of what I'm eating without getting food obsessed. The goal is to be light hearted about it and just document. But I've learned something already: when I feel agitated, I have the impulse to eat to calm myself down. I didn't know this about myself. "Like a pacifier for a baby," I told Erik.

I wanted to change the name so it wouldn't seem that I'm beating myself up. I'm really not. Part of the irony is how fat I am while not eating fast food, not eating ice cream, potato chips, or chocolate. I might eat more cheese than the average person, but I'm hoping that's counteracted by the lack of meat.

a park, a zine, and Saturday plans

This morning we went for a walk in McKinley park. We looked at roses in the rose garden and went twice around the duck pond. It was fun. We saw ducks, geese, crows, pigeons, people, dogs.

I finished the new issue of the zine. I need to fix a few typos, lay it out, and copy it. I'm thinking tomorrow I might make a few copies at Staples and then do the real run in Berkeley next week.

Tomorrow morning I see my new pdoc. Tomorrow Erik's going to an all-day retreat with Ed Brown, an important figure in his school of Zen Buddhism.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


The Dishes Fairy didn't come today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ways of speaking, mail, crawdads

I'm thinking of starting a food journal blog called Why I'm Fat. Somehow I found this idea very funny. Actually, I would love to read someone else's food journal because I'm fascinated by this kind of minutiae.

Erik knew how to spell minutiae, which impresses me. "You passed the test, baby!" I said and felt like Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the end when Charlie wins.

I hit the mail jackpot today. I got two real letters, two notes, and two zines--I read and loved both zines today: Call and Response #2 from my Italian-Japanese zine acquaintance Gianni Simone, and Hatching Mister Sister, which was a gift from my dear friend J.

One of the letters was from my cousin S and sheds some light on the great prison visit fiasco mystery.

There's a new saying around here. When you don't know the reason something happened, you say, "It's a FM." I learned it from my relations. It stands for "fucking mystery."

Today Erik was hiking in the Sierras with his friend T. I went to Vedanta and talked to my friend P while she gardened. Something surprising happened: we saw two crawdads. I hadn't seen a crawdad in a long time. They weren't in a pond. They were walking about in the sprinkler sprinkles, pincers poised for pinching.

Monday, August 13, 2007

a half hour sit

Tonight I went with Erik to his zendo to sit and then hear a talk. Sitting was torture because my right leg fell asleep, and I knew it would be really hard to stand up when the sitting period was over. I was right--I almost fell over. Other than the leg problem, the half hour wasn't too difficult. I wish it were okay to rearrange one's body. In this type of Zen Buddhism, a person is expected to remain perfectly still. In the dead silence of the room, every movement is audible.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

new person

Yesterday my nephew was born. He's healthy at 20 inches long and weighs 7 pounds, 12 ounces, if I remember right what my mom told me on the phone.

Why do we always say a baby's measurement and weight? Maybe because there's nothing else to say. We don't have words to describe him yet, so we use numbers.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

white brownies, mushroom risotto, a fair

Yesterday morning I baked some white brownies for Erik. He likes them.

For dinner I made a pretend mushroom risotto that turned out pretty good, very rich.

Today I've been reading. Later we're going to a Japanese culture fair at a Buddhist church downtown.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

green plums

Today I worked on issue 42 of Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine, read The Fear Book by Cheri Huber, and read about six zines from my zine pile.

I finished the interesting green plums I was given at Vedanta. They were delicious, and the skin wasn't sour.

I emailed friends and talked on the phone with an old friend L.

I called county pharmacy and found out that the three needed prescriptions are ready for pick up at line A, "A as in Adam," so I'll do that tomorrow morning first thing.

Erik and I are reading Amanda Cross' mystery The James Joyce Murder, which is fun.

My monitor is slowly going out. Every once in a while everything goes fuzzy, and there's a little sound.

Monday, August 06, 2007

happy Monday

Today is Erik's first day back at work after two weeks away. Today is unseasonably cloudy and cool. I've been doing things that are too boring to talk about involving prescriptions, faxes, and case workers.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Yesterday we went to Susanville to visit my cousin S who's in prison there, but something mysterious happened. It was like a bad dream. "I dreamed we drove a really long way to see my cousin in jail, but then when we got there they told us to come back in two hours, and we did, but then everyone got to see their person but for some reason we didn't get to see ours. Then at 2:30 when visiting hours were over, a guard finally brought him, but it was too late, and we waved, but he didn't see us."

Today I went to church and choir practice. We went to Trader Joe's and the postie. I'm depressed but Erik kicked me out of bed, so here I am blogging.

Also in the news, I have a nephew who's probably getting born today. It's very windy here and not too hot.

Friday, August 03, 2007

they are night zombies

Dang, I say the sentence a lot, "Today Erik is hiking in the Sierras with his friend T." Well, that sentence applies again today.

I've been amusing myself at home: catching up on emails, napping, reading my own writing, listening to my favorite songs from Sufjan Stevens' Come On! Feel the Illinoise!--at the moment, the zombie song--here are the lyrics.

They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhhh!

I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Logan, Grant, and Ronald Reagan
In the grave with Xylophagan
Do you know the ghost community?
Sound the horn, address the city

(Who will save it? Dedicate it?
Who will praise it? Commemorate it for you?)

We are awaken with the ax
Night of the Living Dead at last
They have begun to shake the dirt
Wiping their shoulders from the earth
I know, I know the nations past
I know, I know they rust at last
They tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot

I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
B-U-D-A! Caledonia! S-E-C-O-R! Magnolia!
B-I-R-D-S! And Kankakee! Evansville and Parker City

Speaking their names, they shake the flag
Waking the earth, it lifts and lags
We see a thousand rooms to rest
Helping us taste the bite of death
I know, I know my time has passed
I'm not so young, I'm not so fast
I tremble with the nervous thought
Of having been, at last, forgot

I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Ring the bell and call or write us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Can you call the Captain Clitus?
Comer and Potato Peelers! G-R-E-E-N ridge! Reeders
M-C-V-E-Y! And Horace! E-N-O-S! Start the chorus

Corn and Farms and Tombs in Lemmon
Sailor Springs and all things feminine
Centerville and Old Metropolis
Shawneetownn, you trade and topple us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Hold your tongue and don't divide us
I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S! Land of God, you hold and guide us.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

the month

Happy August! It's one step closer to fall.


Today we went up into the Sierras. We saw beautiful lakes. I wrote a letter to my friend M while Erik went swimming at Wright's Lake. (I was too scared to swim--I'm afraid of leeches.) We sat in our camping chairs for a few minutes by Dark Lake. Then we took a quick look at Ice House Reservoir. It was healing.

Tonight I went to choir practice, wrote a couple overdue emails, and need to go to bed early because I'm working tomorrow, a one day job scoring a CSET writing test.