dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the cat who

Yesterday I ran into the Walking Man again, and this time we had an actual conversation. We shook hands and told one another our names and everything. He tried to impress me by telling me all the places he's lived and traveled. He's nice.

Yesterday Erik and I finished the popcorn mystery we had been reading, The Cat Who Played Post Office. We got it in a freecycle box of random books. On the shelf we found The Cat Who Came to Breakfast, probably from the same freecycle box, and we plan to read that next.

Monday, October 29, 2007

breasts, the road, the Walking Man

Yesterday I went out with my friend H. We met at the rose garden in McKinley park. We had lunch at a Nepalese place and got hot drinks at True Love Cafe. Then we went to a gallery called Cool Cat to see the documentary I had been looking forward to for weeks--it's called Breasts, and it consists mostly of women talking about their breasts. I really suggest it. Afterwards we had a discussion, and though I didn't speak, it was a dream come true for me, because for all of my adult life I've been looking for a feminist group to participate in.

Next month we're watching Private Dicks, which is the same type of movie but with men talking about their penises.

For weeks there have been notices on our street saying no parking on certain days because of road work, and the dates kept getting pushed back. Well, today they seem to be doing the bulk of their work, and I hope they'll finally finish so we won't have to worry anymore about whether our vehicles will get towed if we leave them on the street the wrong days.

I wanted to go to Vedanta this morning to do some gardening, but I was too afraid of the street being closed when I tried to come back, so instead I went for a walk. I ran into the man known only as the Walking Man, and he had a miniature conversation with me. He wished me a happy Halloween and said he sees me walking a lot with my boyfriend. (Erik and I have been married for five years, so it's funny to hear someone refer to him as my boyfriend.) I said that I see him walking a lot too. He wears a blue Mickey Mouse teeshirt often.

I think all the people who live in his house are mentally ill. That's the only reason I can think of--none of them have jobs, but they don't appear to have any physical ailments. I think they're on SSI and live together in abject poverty. The Walking Man collects CRV bottles and aluminum cans as he walks, and I've seen him turning them in at the recycling place across the street.

For a long time the Walking Man and I adamantly ignored one another. In fact, he seemed to hate me. Then one day I cautiously waved. Since then we've had a waving relationship. Today when I saw him I smiled really big, for some reason, and maybe that's why he decided to have the miniature conversation with me.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I think I got a firefox virus! I keep having pop up windows open for various sketchy sites. I thought that was an Internet Explorer thing....

Meanwhile, I'm still sick--I was up a lot in the night with a terrible gagging feeling and had to drink water to make it go away.

I haven't been cooking or baking lately, but I made guacamole yesterday. For some reason, I can never remember my perfect guacamole recipe. So it's always an experiment. I didn't like this particular batch so much, but Erik did, and that's what matters.

Yesterday I got a mixed CD in the mail called Music for a California Girl from an Idaho Boy from my favorite Idaho boy. It doesn't have any Ghost Mice on it, but he promises to send me a whole Ghost Mice CD soon (I've never heard them and feel curious).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today's supposed to hit 84F (28C)--funny weather for the end of October.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I went to the regular grocery store for pomegranate juice and cough drops--they have Ricola, but not the brown kind I had in my youth--only lemon and cherry. I got lemon (because it has echinacea in it).

Then I went to the library for Vegan with a Vengeance.

My friend L called while she was driving on the freeway, and we talked about how we're doing and about our dream of buying a house together.

I'm listening to Beowulf on tape.

I'm reading the Bruno comics my friend H lent me. Loaned me? Lent me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

another glitch

The apostrophe problem came back! You will notice my lack of contractions.

Also, I cannot use "copy" and "paste." My clipboard does not seem to exist.

Of course, the oldest glitch is still with me--my taskbar does not work--nor does my start button--so I have to use control-alt-delete to toggle among open windows. Not having a working start button causes other problems too, like it is hard to get to anything. If I do not have a shortcut on my desktop for something, it is difficult to access.

This contractionlessness makes me feel so stiffly formal.

molasses cookies

This morning I baked some molasses cookies. They're lighter and cakier than usual--most of the cookies I bake are dense and compact. They have a delicious flavor.

But I didn't eat many because I'm sick. I've had a sore throat and runny nose since yesterday.

Something really weird happened with my computer. In firefox, whenever I used an apostrophe, a search window would open up. So basically, I couldn't use any apostrophes as I typed emails. I tried restarting the computer, and the problem went away.

This is Erik's first day back at the grading factory. SAT scoring ended yesterday, so I have nothing pressing to do.

Yesterday I visited with my new friend H. She told me about the games she plays (Mage, Changeling, and Gamma World). We talked for two hours. I like her for her intelligence, quirkiness, attentiveness, compassion.

Friday, October 19, 2007

acorn squash

Lately I have an insatiable appetite. I think it has to do with the stress of SAT scoring. Also, it might have to do with the fact that I halved my dose of one of my psych meds. This wasn't by choice--my psychiatrist messed up and prescribed the wrong dose. I don't see him again for another month. (Last time I saw him was August 18th--next time I see him will be November 17th.)

I've been reading a zine of journal comix by a gentleman named Shawn Granton of Portland, Oregon. It's engrossing. Maybe I should say that in the review. I've also been reading Found II, which is due back at the library on Monday.

My best friend in town P is sick with a cold, and I'm waiting to come down with it myself. Today I ate an acorn squash and hope the vitamins will protect me.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

feminists are sexy

Fem­i­nism was linked to health­i­er heterosex­u­al rela­t­ion­ships for wom­en, they found, while men with fem­i­nist part­ners re­ported more sta­ble rela­t­ion­ships and great­er sex­u­al sat­is­fac­tion.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

applesauce cookies

These cookies are not very sweet--as you can see, there's no sugar besides the sugar in the applesauce. However, there is a lot of butter. So they taste buttery and spicy, a good combination.

1 cup applesauce
2 eggs
½ cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp allspice or nutmeg
1 cup oats
generous ½ cup nuts

Mix, drop on greased cookie sheet, cook at 350 for 8 to 10 min.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

more baking

Today I baked applesauce cookies. They're even more delicious than I remembered. I used some government applesauce from back when we lived in Bishop and got commodities.

Life is scoring SAT essays. I did four hours yesterday, which is unheard of. Today I did just over three.

Yesterday I got a packet of zines in the mail from Zine World. I peeked, and the packet is substantial. I'm not ready to start reading and reviewing yet.

It rained today. That's my favorite, other than snow, but it doesn't snow here.


My third-favorite band They Might Be Giants respectfully requested that I post this link to their new video The Mesopotamians. I watched and enjoyed it.


Monday, October 15, 2007

my chili recipe

A couple months ago Erik bought a package of seitan at the Davis co-op, and we had never had seitan before. Yesterday Erik realized that the seitan was about to expire, and he asked me to cook it up, so I decided to make some chili, after the inspiration of the chili cookoff.

So I did, and it's first rate. I included a large onion chopped somewhat fine, dried garlic (all our fresh garlic was bad), a can of tomatoes, a can of black beans undrained (so then I didn't salt it), the chopped up seitan, and spices, including chili powder, cumino, and pepper. The seitan is kind of bland but has a nice meaty texture. The chili is addictive. It's initially delicious but then it gets more delicious as you eat it, like magic.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I won the cornbread competition! There were only two cornbreads entered. I was told a secret--that the other cornbread was actually made from a Marie Callender's mix! So it just goes to show that (1) vegan food can kick ass and (2) home cooking can too.

I was surprised only two cornbreads were entered. I thought cornbread is so much easier than chili, so there would be lots of cornbreads. I was wrong. I also thought someone would bring a heavenly cheesy version of cornbread, a hot jalapeño version, or even the concoction known as Corn Thang, which is so yummy and horrible for you. I was wrong again. If this fundraiser happens again next year, I will probably do a cheesy cornbread, not so healthful.

There were three vegetarian chilis, and I tried all three. One had Soyrizo, fake beef bites, beans, and corn in it--that was my favorite. One was an Italian version of chili. It was really good too--it came with cheese to sprinkle on top, and it included white beans and garbanzo beans. The third veggie chili was made by my friend K's boyfriend N. It included fake sausage and Fat Weasel beer. It was the hottest of the three and also delicious. But the Soyrizo chili won best vegetarian, and I'm glad. K said that one was really close.

It felt like a party the whole time, and I'm not good at parties. I knew very few of the people there. So I had some difficulty. But Erik came and kept me company for the last portion of my time there. He ate vegetarian chilis, and we chatted as we waited for the winners to be announced.

The peanutbutter oatmeal cookies I brought were enjoyed too. Not all got eaten up, but most did.

Friday, October 12, 2007

how cookies can solve a problem

Last night Erik was up until 3:30 in the morning teaching himself copy editing notations and marking up the five page manuscript sent to him by the gaming company he applied to a month ago. It's good of them to give him a chance rather than just rejecting him outright for not having experience.

Today I delivered it to the UPS within my default Staples--the gaming company supplied an overnight envelope. Then I went for a walk, and it started to rain on the way home, but I didn't get too wet.

I read one and a half Lynda Barry books yesterday (all of Come Over, Come Over and half of The Greatest of Marlys) trying to pick which one to loan to a friend and then just for the pleasure of it. So my mind was in Lynda Barry world. Hers are my favorite non-zine comics (though I also love Jim's Journal).

I'm afraid I'm making too big a deal out of this cornbread competition and a secret part of me wants to win and will be disappointed when I don't. I hate competing because it brings out a very immature part of me. Not immature in the sense of knocking over the checkers board, but immature in the sense of crying easily.

Somehow the competition will all seem less important if I also bring cookies, so I plan to. Bringing cookies to a party, it's risky to try something new, but I have my mind set on a new peanutbutter oatmeal recipe.

All the cookies I bake are so hippie and nutritious. I don't even have any white flour. I'm afraid nutritious cookies are not the general crowd pleasers. So hopefully the peanutbutter oatmeal will taste nicely decadent.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I ship

Here's a picture my penpal M in Finland sent to me, the bracelet I made for her.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I went to the library for the Chicago Manual of Style, but today all the libraries are closed for training.

Then I went to my place of worship looking for P, but she wasn't there. So I sat by the Krishna pond meditating. It was cloudy then sunny. I looked at little birds and an orange koi in the pond. I was sitting on a wooden bench, comfortable, staring at the grass.

Then I went to Whole Foods for more corn meal.... It was less than two dollars, and it's always a miracle to get out of Whole Foods spending less than [fill in the blank].

comfort food, a test

Today I went to Trader Joe's for maple syrup and baked up a big ole nine by thirteen pan of cornbread, a trial run of the way I'm going to cook it for the competition, doubling the recipe.

Considering the peanubutter cookies I baked last night, the oven's been seeing a lot of action lately. I like to bake when I'm stressed. Also, baking produces comfort food, but like I told my friend H, I don't want to comfort myself too much.

I've been listening to The Innocence Mission's We Walked in Song daily since receiving it, getting to know it, and I think it really works as an album. For my tastes, it's first rate.

Today Erik got UPS express mail from a gaming company wanting to test his editing skills in case they might like to give him a job that he applied for weeks ago. Wow, I need someone to edit that sentence for me. Anyway, I opened it, which is how I know what was in it, and saw that they require a certain style of editing with the standard proofreading marks, and I'm pretty sure Erik doesn't know them, so we'll need to go to the bookstore to pick up the Chicago Manual of Style, and he'll have to teach himself the proofreading marks in 48 hours, which is how long until he has to send the test back to the gaming company. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

new friend

Yesterday I met my new friend H. We went to a coffeehouse in Sacramento called Temple. Next time I'm planning to loan her some Lynda Barry comics and something by Virginia Woolf, probably To the Lighthouse.

Learning about a new person is kind of daunting. Just getting used to a new person's facial expressions and ways of moving--it's a lot to do. She and I have been talking through email for months, so I already know her textually.

Lately I have been under so much stress that my neck hurts in ways it has never hurt before. Last night I dreamt I went to the chiropractor (something I have never done in real life), and he was teaching me a happy song, only I didn't find it so happy. One of the verses was about catching a fish with his son, and I just couldn't relate.

some music, a competition

Today I listened to Funeral by Arcade Fire. I had read stellar reviews, and what a pretty cover. It wasn't my cup of tea.

Now I'm listening to Picaresque by The Decemberists. It's more my thing. I read great reviews of this one too. I got both from the library, inter-library-loaned from teen sections. Am I being young?

Saturday is a special chili cooking competition at the home of my friend K, a fundraiser for her Burning Man camp, the Pancake Playhouse--they make thousands of pancakes every year. Anyway, I plan to participate in the cornbread part of the competition. I will enter my vegan cornbread with no refined sugar and not really hope to win. I'm thinking of bringing cookies too.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

banana bread, baba ganoush, another new monitor

This morning I baked some banana bread. I remembered the nuts this time, and it turned out dense but good.

This evening I made some baba ganoush. I think it's the best I've ever made. The eggplants (from the dollar store, by the way--I stopped by for eggplants and mailing tape) were nice and heavy, gorgeous as always.

We got a new monitor this evening through freecycle. It's got two very faint horizontal lines in the picture. Otherwise, it's great: crisply clear and much larger than the old, little one that Erik and I picked up by the side of the road.

I finished my SAT training today. Scoring starts the eleventh.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

carob chip cookies

I made the recipe on the back of the carob chip package--I should have been suspicious when it called for molasses--the cookies turned out good, but not what I was expecting. You can barely taste the carob chips because of the molasses. Also, the recipe calls for wheat germ while all I had was wheat bran, so I didn't follow it quite exactly. Next time I plan to make a plainer recipe to let the carob chips be the strongest flavor.

Can vanilla extract go bad? I had an ancient bottle of it in the cupboard and decided to toss it. It smelled strongly of alcohol, but I think that's the way it's supposed to smell.

Today Erik is hiking in the Sierras with his friend T. It's cold here, so it's probably really cold up there. We didn't have any winter gloves, so he took work gloves.

Listening to favorite songs off Sufjan Stevens' Michigan.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

new stone bracelet

great quote I read this morning

If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

new wooden bracelet

monitor, cornbread, barber

This morning my monitor died. It had been going "fftz, fttz" every once in a while for about a month, and the screen would flicker when it made that sound. Well, this morning it "fftz, fttz"ed a lot and then turned itself off and wouldn't turn on again. Erik investigated a verified that it was dead. Then he hooked up the monitor we found by the side of the road with a "free" sign on it. So that's what I'm using now, and it works, but it's sort of small, and we don't know if the resolution is good enough for SAT scoring.

Last night I made some vegan cornbread but modified the recipe--I halved the maple syrup and compensated with more soymilk, and it came out moderately delicious.

This morning we went for our usual walk and stopped by the craft store then stopped by the barber so Erik could get his first paid haircut in years. He looks good.

Monday, October 01, 2007

lotsa links today

Today my Amazon order came. It included the new Innocence Mission CD We Walked in Song and a book, 52 Projects by Jeffrey Yamaguchi. Both I have just started, and both are brilliant. These goods were brought to me by the person I refer to as Nana, my last remaining grandparent, my dad's mom V.

Also today, Erik and I went to what's rumored to be Sacramento's biggest, best bead store, U Bead It. Yes, it was fabulous in there. I got two kinds of small wooden beads, some small pinkish glass beads rectangular, and some small oval stone beads, all very pretty, and I made a bracelet already from the natural colored wooden beads--I'll see if Erik will take a picture. It's just simple--I like simple best. (All these gorgeous beads that will make tons of bracelets for less than 12 dollars. And now I've been there once, I know what's available, and the world is my library.)

Also today we went to the library and got what I had requested, including Found II, which Erik read for an hour this afternoon lying on the livingroom floor.