dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Sunday, September 30, 2007

manuscript update

Well, I finished putting together a manuscript for that contest today. The cool thing is that I didn't have to send in a hard copy--I just emailed it as an attachment. I called it Lion Children, which is a phrase from one of the poems (can two words be a phrase?). I don't know how I feel about it--I like all the individual poems a lot, but I don't know if they hang together as a book. At least I tried.

the bracelets

This is the first one I made.

This one is simple and rainbow colors.

This one is earth tones.

news from the guacamole festival

Today I worked on a poetry thing for a while--it required that I go to the office supply store and make some copies--it's a poetry chain, and it's kind of complicated to explain, but the poems that are passed along are evaluated by other participants and can end up included in a zine.

Yesterday I baked an apple crisp--the topping is delicious, but the apples are for the most part not soft enough. I stuck a fork in it to test it, but I was mistaken about the results. It's good anyway. But I forgot the cinnamon. Next time.

I've been making a lot of guacamole--the avocados my mom bought me at Costco all came ripe at the same time. It's delicious. I'm experimenting with different variations with every batch.

Last night we watched the second-to-last episode of The Prisoner, and it was just too intense and violent for me. I barely got through it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Erik at the protest

There's Erik on the right. Picture stolen from http://www.sanfranciscolovesburma.blogspot.com.

super remarkable day

Today Erik went to San Francisco to attend a protest having to do with Burma. This was his first ever solo trip to the city, and he wore red and protested with other Buddhists in front of the Chinese consulate.

Now he's shopping in Japantown and will have lunch at our favorite Indian place in the world, Chutney, and bring me home something.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...I went to a chain craft store this morning for beading stuff! I am a beader now! I made my first bracelet this afternoon--it's pink beads with silver spacers, very pretty--I will post a picture later if I can get Erik's help with the digital camera. My best friend E told me that beading is easy, and I'm glad I listened to her, because it is.

Then I was on my way to the post office when someone let me know I had a flat tire. Yep, it was flat. I did my post office business anyway, figuring that I had already been driving on it, so if the rim was to be destroyed, it was already destroyed. Then two more people told me about the flat tire, and I was getting weepy and shaky from being yelled at by strangers. I prayed and drove right to the Goodyear tire place that's around the corner.

And guess what? They're all out of tires the size that my Blazer requires, so they ordered one, and it will be in by tomorrow afternoon. They put on the spare for me for free, and I am very grateful.

In conclusion, it was too much excitement in the morning and now the right kind of excitement with bracelet-making. I am halfway through my second already.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Erik rearranged the livingroom furniture while I was at my volunteer job, and it takes some getting used to, but I think I like it. I have a slightly different view out the window from my computer.

He just took apart the broken boxspring and got it all into the dumpster. It's one less thing to possess.

I made tomato sandwiches for dinner while he read me a Moomin story about the Moomin family getting woken up from their winter hibernation for Christmas, which seems like some sort of dangerous emergency, from the way everyone is preparing for it.

Erik said the tomato sandwiches are good, but I disagreed--spoiled by all the garden tomatoes my friend A gave me during the summer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

park, fixed

This morning we went for a walk then to the park where I read two and a half zines (all good) and Erik wrote as we listened to a track meet or something like it happening at the school that's adjacent to the park. There was a DJ announcer, and he played songs like "Celebrate Good Times" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" to rile the kids. It was more entertaining than irritating.

Good news--I fixed Word. I used the help to help me figure out that there's a check box that somehow got unchecked for vertical scrollbar. So now I don't need to worry about finding a new word processor anymore.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the trip, errands, ice cream

Erik and I had a nice weekend away. Everyone was kind to me, I got to spend time with my parents, brother, nieces, and nephew. I got to see a loved aunt and my best friend E. Delicious meals were consumed. We went to Avila Barn to visit with goats and other animals, including a cow who ate whole corncobs from my hand.

Home again, this morning I got lots done. I had my permanent crown put on, so now I'm a queen forever, and my dental work is entirely finished. I got medication refills. Erik deposited checks while I did that. We dropped off the car at the mechanic. We went to Baskin Robbins so I could get my free ice cream scoop of the year. I chose butter pecan. It was fun to eat ice cream in front of Whole Foods. Erik looked at the newspapers while I went inside to check whether our favorite brand of scones, Sconehenge, had shortbread in today--it did not.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kitty problem

Last night Kitty woke us up like usual to go out, and then I heard the neighbors having a conversation downstairs--this was 2:30 in the morning. Erik went back to sleep, but I was feeling paranoid that the neighbors' conversation was about us and Kitty, upset about how Kitty wakes them up. I imagined them confronting us angrily and got worried and agitated. I got up, which woke Erik up, and he talked to me soothingly for a while, saying how we don't know that's what the neighbors were talking about, and if there's a confrontation, that would be okay, and we would try some new methods of keeping Kitty quiet. Erik suggested that Kitty's voice is high, and maybe the neighbors don't hear it at all--when we hear the neighbors, it's the man's deep, loud voice that we hear. We've never heard the woman. Erik's arguments comforted me, and I was able to go back to sleep.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Something really weird happened with Word. I lost my right scroll bar. What should I do? Erik uses the gmail word processor. Maybe I could find a freeware word processor that meets my needs. But so many people require, for example, sending a resume as an attachment, and I would assume that Word is the standard.

fetish, carrots

The best thing that happened today was seeing my friend A for tea. She gave me two presents: a book and a little fetish. She said someone gave it to her, and she's passing it along. This is one of my favorite kinds of gifts.

This evening when I made Erik's fried rice, I put a grated carrot in it, and he liked it very much, so I'm happy there's one more vegetable I can feed him.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

hegemony, 31

Hegemony is probably the most important word whose meaning I can never remember. Maybe this time it will stick in my mind. The dominance of one group or individual over others.

My birthday was excellent this year. I got tons of good wishes from loved friends and relatives. I feel cared for and supported. The cake turned out good, though the frosting is not my favorite. We had happy birthday rituals. Erik made me the most adorable Moomin card. I'm not really pleased to be 31, but I figure I'll give it a try.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

flowers, mantid

I chickened out and didn't have it in me to confront Trader Joe's management about the feather in my spinach. We just did our shopping. I got birthday flowers--some Lisianthus, the sticker says.

This morning we went to Vedanta and pulled weeds with my friend P--the most interesting thing that happened was when we saw a pink praying mantis. I looked for pictures of something similar on the internet and couldn't find one.... P suggested that it was an albino.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

a feather out of place

The big news of today is that I was stir frying some spinach for lunch and found a feather in it. The spinach was the pre-washed kind in a bag from Trader Joe's. We figured the feather was clean and ate the spinach anyway. Maybe that was dumb. I don't like to be a trouble maker, but I thought I would bring the feather and spinach bag in to Trader Joe's when we go there tomorrow. Maybe they should know. I have macabre thoughts about this, such as "I feel sorry for the person who bought the spinach bag with the rest of the bird in it."

This morning I went to the Vedanta garden to sweep the steps of the Shiva mound and ran into my friend P. I helped her with some heavy weeding for a couple hours. It was sunny but not too hot. I took a break and ate some grapes right from the vine. I was the person with the shovel, loosening weeds, while P was the person on her hands and knees getting most of the weeds out. I also piled weeds into the greenwaste can and smashed them down, so many weeds that the can became the heaviest I have ever pulled, and I pulled it all the way to the area where greenwaste cans wait for trash day Thursday. It kept righting itself, it was so heavy, and I strained my muscles as I pulled.

Last night I baked some vegan cornbread. It turned out very sweet (probably too sweet). It's sweetened with maple syrup. Its vegan-ness is special because usually eggs hold cornbread together. It's made with whole wheat flour in addition to the corn meal. The recipe called for fine corn meal, but the co-op only had medium, so I used medium, and that was fine.

I got a form from disability today that asks really difficult questions--difficult because the questions are geared toward regular people who worked regular jobs. (I've worked only strange little occasional two-day jobs for quite a while now, as well as jobs running 12 days straight scoring SAT essays.) Erik's digging through paystubs to try to find information.

Monday, September 17, 2007

birthday prediction

What's the difference between scattered thunderstorms and isolated thunderstorms?

men's clothes

Well, Erik is job hunting like mad, and he's applied for a few things, but no interviews yet. He doesn't have appropriate interview clothes, so I thought I would ask some friends for advice, especially my friend R who is so smart about the world and reality. Also, she works in a clothes shop. She's given advice, and my friend K has too.

Today we went to Target on a mission to find out Erik's sizes, but they didn't have his size in anything. The jacket fit around his shoulders and belly, but the sleeves were too long. The pants were too long also--the shortest size is 30, but he evidently needs a 28. He didn't even try on the shirt because he knew what would happen--the sleeves would be too long on the shirt too. We've come to the conclusion that Erik is short. He's 5' 7".

I can't remember what's next--I guess we need to buy pants in the size available and have them hemmed. As for shirts, maybe Men's Warehouse would have something right. But I'm scared of setting foot in there. Maybe a Big & Tall store would have shirts that fit in the belly but with shorter sleeves.

Do I really want to expend all this effort when he doesn't even have an interview yet? We would need to buy shoes also. Add to all this how much Erik hates shopping. After looking around at Target, his reward was a trip to the video game area, where he played a platform game and a tennis game while I waited patiently.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

neighbor, manuscript

Our next door neighbor moved out. One day I walked past his apartment and noticed the blinds were open and the place was empty. The next day, UPS delivered a package. It's been sitting there since.

I've been getting together a manuscript for a contest. There's no entry fee, so I figured, why not? Erik looked through my thesis and put post-it notes on his favorite poems. I'm just typing them up and will fret about order later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

found rosary

Yesterday Erik and I went for a walk and passed the Catholic church that's near our place, St Ignatius. I saw a rosary in the bushes and picked it up. It was beautiful, with pink beads, and it was broken and dirty. It must have been there for a long time. Was I the first one to see it there in the bushes, and how did it get there? We thought up possible situations: that some one was fed up with Catholicism and tossed her rosary on the way out. That a ghost had put it there. That a little kid was playing with it and forgot it there. None of our answers seemed right. I put it back where I had found it, and we continued with our walk.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

maybe it's fall

I love this wind.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

to the dump

We succeeded in folding the mattress in half, stuffing it into the Blazer, and taking it to the dump. The dump was kind of cool--smelly but cool.

Also in the news, we went to the co-op for water. On the way home, Erik referred to the water jugs as our Aquatic Amigos, which made me giggle.

old bed

Still trying to figure out what to do about the old bed. I called a company that hauls away junk, and their minimum fee is $100. That's too much. Erik is talking about stuffing the mattress into the back of our Chevy Blazer. It's too long and too wide to fit, but Erik says if he bends it--actually damages it--he might be able to make it fit. We called the dump and found out that dumping a mattress costs only $15. So after breakfast I think he's going to try that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

new bed, disability call

Tonight we got a new bed through freecycle. It's a futon with a memory foam topper. We're not sure how we feel about it yet. It's very soft compared to our old bed. It feels strange to sink in.

It's confusing to know what to do with the old bed. We got it from beside the apartment complex dumpster over a year ago. So maybe we should just put it back there. But I'm afraid of getting in trouble with management. So maybe we should put it out in the middle of the night when everyone's sleeping and no one will see. Or maybe I should find out how much it would cost to get the old mattress and boxspring hauled away legitimately.

Today I got a call from someone at state disability asking for more information, processing my form. It sounds like everything is good. She's sending another form in the mail having to do with the part time work I've done since the claim began.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

, originally uploaded by ELund.


, originally uploaded by ELund.

Here are some flowers I pointed out to Erik with curly petals.

cocao tree

cocao tree, originally uploaded by ELund.

Here are little flowers growing directly from the trunk.

garter snake

garter snake, originally uploaded by ELund.

Here's the snake with the golden stripes.

dudleya brittoni

dudleya brittoni, originally uploaded by ELund.

My favorite succulent--all these plant photos are by Erik, taken at the Berkeley botanic garden.

Mudpot at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Here is the mud pot I so loved at Lassen.

Friday, September 07, 2007

a day in Berkeley, some good mail

Yesterday we went to Berkeley for monthly free day at the botanic garden. We looked at gorgeous plants, and Erik took pictures. We saw a small snake at the pond (on lily pads). It was black with golden stripes. We looked at dawn redwoods and skipped the roses. We enjoyed the carnivorous plants, the arid house, and the tropical house, as always. We looked at some corpse flower plants.

Then we did other Berkeley things: we bought bread at Acme, read books at Cody's, and bought soap at Elephant, our favorite drug store in the world. I made a small run of the mental health zines because I had depleted my supply.

Today I got three zines in the mail: So Sue Me, Aubade #3, and A Jacks. I had Erik read me A Jacks twice. Erik also read me the first short story in a new Moomin book, Tales from Moominvalley.

death dreams

Last night I dreamed that I died. My spirit floated into the air and through the ceiling. Then something happened, and I needed to live again, so my spirit went back into my body.

Then I dreamed that I died again. The afterlife wasn't scary, but it was filled with lines that everyone had to wait in. It was much like regular life but with more bureaucracy. I heard a rumor that if you wanted to get reincarnated, you had to fill out a form.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

dental update

I took two pretend Tylenol and took a nap, and when I woke up, I felt a lot better.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

This morning I went to the dentist to get a crown. It cost more than $900. I feel like my mouth has been through hell. My gums ache, there's a bad taste, and the temporary crown feels strange and dirty. Being responsible is really unpleasant. But I know it's better than the alternative.

Yesterday Erik and I went to Lassen Volcanic National Park on a whim. I was feeling down, and it was a good way to get me out of the house. The best thing about the trip was seeing a geothermal vent that looked like a crater, filled with bubbling mud, making a strange grumbling sound and spewing warm steam that smells like sulfur. The crater is about four feet across, and there are other geothermal vents nearby, but not the mud pot kind. I had never seen anything like this before, and I had worshipful feelings--I had to restrain myself from some strange worshipful act. I think the smell was pleasant, though Erik finds it disgusting, and we agreed to disagree.

So that was the first stop. Then we drove through the rest of the park. We visited a small green lake called Emerald Lake where I leaned against a nice warm rock. Emerald Lake is special in that it doesn't have any streams coming in or out, and it's green from algae that lives there because the water is warmed geothermally.

We saw other lakes and stunning views of peaks and ridges and lots of conifers. I bought postcards near Lassen peak. We were at a high elevation--the road went up to more than 8000 ft. We took a walk at Manzanita Lake, and I was patient while Erik took a lot of pictures.

Then it started to rain. It had been months since we'd seen any rain, and it made us very happy. There was thunder and lightning--lightning in flashes. On our way out of the park, we stopped again at the Sulfur Works. I was very cold and wet with rain, but we paid one last visit to the geothermal vent that had so impressed me. I stared for a long time so I could see little bits of mud being thrown into the air by the spewing gases. Then some other people showed up and I moved away to let them have their time alone / sacred fun with the mud pot.

We tried to think up a name for it--Erik had some good candidates, including Cal the Cauldron--the one that made me laugh a lot, Scaldie--and my favorite, Thermie. I rejected all of the names as disrespectful.

Our diet was poor--we ate potato chips from the gift shop, granola bars, and tortilla chips for dinner. The drive home was long, and the rain had lasted for only a short time within the park. We got home at about 10.

Today there's a fire. The light is orange, and there are little bits of ash in the air. It's been a comfortable morning, but it's supposed to get up to 95 today and 98 tomorrow. Tomorrow we're planning to go to Berkeley for free day at the botanical garden.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Krishna puja day

This morning I went to Vedanta to make garlands for the Krishna statue in preparation for the puja tonight--there's a time in the ceremony where Swami puts the garlands on the statue, and it's sort of dramatic and special. So I was happy I got to make the head garlands--three of them--here's a picture of Krishna from a few years ago so you can see.

It was me and the woman in charge of flowers J, as well as my friends D and V and my good friend P--all of us threading flower heads on dental floss with big, thick needles. It was fun and sort of like picking peaches and plums a few days ago--a very real thing to do, somehow vivid and an authentic experience.

This afternoon I was feeling down and Erik took me out to Whole Foods for some grocery shopping then to the Davis co-op. We enjoyed being out and getting lots of veggies for a big stir fry, which turned out delicious: cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, ginger, garlic, green onions, and tofu with soy sauce over rice.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

roses, buff, peanutbutter cookies

Today I helped decorate for the Krishna puja. This evening I wrote an autobiographical poem about the experience.


I stood in the sun
pinning fake flowers
to the railing of a short bridge.

Two friends
decorated the gazebo
with fall leaves, more flowers,

and golden things.
It was 100.
I burned the back of my neck.

First I tried to twine
the garland three times.
Then it would run out,

I discovered.
At least it was symmetrical.
My fingers ache from the pins.

One fell into the pond--
with a “plunk” it was gone.
It might have been eaten by a fish.

I once trailed
the tail end of a garland
in murky water

then hoisted it up
and picked pond scum
from a fabric white rose.

This morning we went to Staples so I could photocopy my disability paperwork and buy some tape and white out--well, I messed up the white out purchase. I bought "buff" thinking buff was a synonym for "matte" as in "has been buffed" but I was wrong. Oops. It's a brownish white. Why the heck didn't they call it "buff out" then? Or "off-white out"?

This evening I made peanutbutter cookies in lieu of dinner. I halved the sugar and used whole wheat flour for the flour--they turned out delicious, and I can't imagine them sweeter.