dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Icarus planning

Last night was the meeting of my women's writers group. We sat on H's porch with candles. It was beautiful. I was feeling shy and didn't talk very much. I wrote about February.

Yesterday in the morning I met my new friend J for the first time. She and I discussed starting an Icarus group here in Sacramento. We also got to know one another a little bit. I like her a lot.

Here is some Icarus text from their website.

The Icarus Project envisions a new culture and language that resonates with our actual experiences of 'mental illness' rather than trying to fit our lives into a conventional framework.

We are a network of people living with experiences that are commonly labeled as bipolar or other psychiatric conditions. We believe we have mad gifts to be cultivated and taken care of, rather than diseases or disorders to be suppressed or eliminated. By joining together as individuals and as a community, the intertwined threads of madness and creativity can inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world. Our participation in The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness.

new hat

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Monday, February 25, 2008

beautiful beautiful

Today we came home from our trip. Kitty was fine in our absence. Tonight I wrote back to some people and did my DBT homework. Erik is out seeing some documentaries about Palestine. I'm wearing the beautiful hat and scarf my mom crocheted for me during our visit.

Friday, February 22, 2008


This morning we're going on a trip to Santa Maria. I made some cornmeal blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and they were really good. What was I going to tell you? Oh, I laid out the zine last night, but then when Erik got home from hiking, he proofread for me and found a bunch of typos, so I need to do some repair work. We need to get going or we won't make it to Santa Cruz in time for lunch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

20080221 Arriving at Sky Trail

20080221 Arriving at Sky Trail, originally uploaded by tspauld.

Here's Erik's friend T's picture of Erik hiking today.

Old Pine Trail

Old Pine Trail, originally uploaded by ELund.

purple flower

Here's a picture Erik thinks isn't good enough to upload to his flickr account.

tires, thrift store finds, hiking

Yesterday Erik noticed that one of our tires on the Honda was down to wire. So we went to the tire shop around the corner for four new tires. We only needed three, but they had a deal, and four was actually cheaper than three. I hate those deals and wish they just had fair prices on everything.

We also ran some errands, which included two thrift stores. Erik got some hiking pants and a pair of jeans, and I got a pair of black flats that I've needed for a long time so I can wear some black dress up clothes I have. The shoes fit great and seem unworn.

Erik's hiking today at Pt Reyes with his friend T. I don't know what they plan to see--maybe waterfalls. It was spring for a while here, but now it's rainy like winter again. I hope it doesn't rain on them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I cooked up a double batch of broccoli soup this evening. Erik cut his finger while chopping the onions. Then I baked some pumpkin carob chip cookies and finished issue 43 of the perzine. For reals finished this time. Now I need to lay it out and copy it and bind it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

mental health

A new friend J and I are talking about starting an Icarus project group here in Sacramento. She and I are set to meet on Thursday. I'm really excited about this. We're going to talk about how to get the word out.

Meanwhile, I feel as negative about DBT as ever. The p-doc Saturday was hyping it, but I dread it every week, and I think about quitting every week. Erik thinks I should. "I don't want to be a quitter," I said.

Last night I had a terrible nightmare of people being captured by aliens who were going to force the people to work. I woke up feeling ill with fear. Inventory went much better than expected. I was out of there by 2.


My p-doc appointment Saturday went well. He's fine with me going off my most expensive medication, and we're going to keep an eye on me and make sure nothing adverse happens.

Today is inventory at the bookstore where I volunteer. I've been dreading this since I first heard about it weeks ago. It's supposed to end at 5--I'm doubting we'll be done. I plan to use Erik as an excuse, that I need to go home and make him dinner....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

good recipes

This person seems to eat like I do.



Last night I got a phone call from a very important person from my past. I hadn't had any type of contact with her in about 14 years, but I never stopped thinking about her. She's a violinist and lives in Santa Barbara. She plays violin freelance, mostly at weddings. She lives in a trailer park between two old deaf people, so she can practice at four in the morning. I found out how her sister is doing and that she's no longer in touch with her dad (which I'm sure is a good thing). We talked about Argentina and a skateboard I have her a long time ago. I told her something I still felt guilty for all these years, and she didn't ever remember it.

All night I dreamed about her. The phone call was like a dream. She told me, "My cell phone battery is going to run out, so don't think I hung up on you," and the battery did run out when we started talking about Morocco.

She gave me her address, and I'm going to send her a zine. I know I won't be able to resist writing her a letter too.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

oatmeal peanut butter chip cookies

Yesterday I made some oatmeal peanut butter chip cookies. They turned out super delicious. I amended the recipe by using whole wheat flour, all brown sugar, took out the craisins, compensated by adding more peanut butter chips, changed the cookie formation method....

Here it is.

oatmeal peanut butter chip cookies

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. butter, softened
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 c. regular oats
3/4 c. peanut butter chips
1/8 – 1/4 c. soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl and mix well. Place brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, vanilla, and egg in a large bowl. Beat until well-blended. Add flour mixture, oats, and peanut butter chips, stirring until ingredients are well-combined. Add soymilk if mixture seems too dry. Form dough into cookie-shaped blobs. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

feeling good is good enough for me

I found out that my caseworker is on vacation--she'll be back Wednesday. Meanwhile, I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow. I'm definitely going off my most expensive medication, and I'm worried about how the doctor is going to react to that.


Today I got some great news. Microcosm is going to publish an excerpt from functionally ill #1 in the 2007 zine yearbook. They're publishing the part about my intake appointment at my mental health place. I think that's a good choice.

Yesterday I got some bad news in the form of another bill from county. I now owe them more than $700. I don't know yet whether the fee waiver I asked for last month will happen, but it hasn't happened yet.

So I'm having a vigil today, waiting to see if my case worker calls me back so we can do another fee waiver form.

Lately I've been really enjoying Trader Joe's Greek yogurt. It's a little more expensive than regular yogurt, but even the nonfat is so thick and creamy.

The other day we got some other great news: Erik got an offer to score an additional project with Pearson, the company that we score SAT for. It's almost a month long, so that means more money.

Today I worked on Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine #43, and it's really almost done now. I wrote an introduction and a couple more book reviews this morning. Now all that's left is proofreading everything and getting final approval on Jo's letter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

a call

My friend Kelly asked me to spread around this request. So just in case anyone reading makes a transgender or genderqueer zine or knows of one, here's the info.


My name is Kelly Shortandqueer and I edit a zine called Trans(in)formation, which includes a resource list of zines written by transgender/genderqueer zinesters or that have transgender/genderqueer content. I’m currently working on updating this list since I know a lot of the information from the previous edition is now outdated.

I am looking for zines that are currently being published as well as titles to include in the “archive” section. Please pass this on to whoever you think might be interested in being included. The information that will be listed for each entry (as applicable) includes:

Zine Title:
Number of Issues:
E-mail Address:
Zine Description:
Most Recent Issue Published:

The deadline for any updates or additions is April 1, 2008.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thanks so much!

kelly shortandqueer
PO Box 13559
Denver CO 80201

mostly yesterday

Last night there was a meeting of my women's writers group. I brought in those four poems for imitation, which was a great way to get us writing. Temple is a lively place. Two strangers came up to me--one handed me a colorful postcard for his art show, and another handed me his business card. That second guy was kind of creepy--he kept talking even though he was clearly interrupting. I don't know how to not be polite. He fancies himself a psychic--he told us how he predicted a tsunami. I left both the postcard and the business card behind.

Today I have Tai Chi, which I'm not looking forward to--after all yesterday's out time, I would like to just stay home and read. But I know Tai Chi is good for me. And I need to go to my mental health place anyway to pick up medication. I just hope it's there. The county pharmacy changed its refill request line to automated, and there was no way for me to remind them to send the medication to my mental health place. Maybe they don't need to be reminded.

I read a great zine called Lily Liver. It's poems. I want to email the woman who wrote it and tell her my favorites. "Godpoem for my Mother" is the best.

Yesterday afternoon I baked a new coffee cake, and I gave large rectangles of it to the women of my writers group last night.

Yesterday morning I had DBT for four hours. I don't like to do anything for four hours.

Monday, February 11, 2008

how the puja went

This morning I went with my friend P to the Sarasvati puja. It was beautiful. My hair still smells like the Nepalese incense and the Sandalwood Flora incense.

There were a dozen women who attended. Afterwards we had a delicious prasad lunch. I ate little, but it was filling.

Something new is I had my forehead anointed for the first time. Also, we all did an interesting mudra. I met a few people and heard some heavenly singing.

I'm dreading DBT tomorrow. Maybe that means I need to quit.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

our future president

Tonight I heard Barack Obama's voice for the first time. Erik played me a speech from the internet. He sounded different from how I expected.

Whole Wheat Coffee Cake

Tonight I made some coffee cake for the first time. I was worried it didn't come out right, but I looked at coffee cake pictures online and saw lots of variation. Also, taste is most important, and it tastes delicious. Here's the recipe I'm using.

Whole Wheat Coffee Cake

· 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
· 3/4 cup brown sugar
· 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
· 3/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 cup butter
· 3/4 cup milk
· 1 egg

· 1/2 cup brown sugar
· 1/2 cup chopped nuts
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9" square baking pan.

2. To make the cake, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

3. Add the butter, milk, and egg. Mix well.

4. Spread half the batter in the prepared baking pan.

5. To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and melted butter.

6. Sprinkle half the topping mixture evenly over the batter.

7. Spread the remaining cake batter over this and sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping.

8. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

That's a lot of salt, isn't it? Originally this recipe called for shortening, white sugar, and used half whole wheat flour and half white. I amended it. Originally it made 16 servings too. Yeah right!


Erik got up at 4 this morning to score SAT. I was up at a regular time and got in an hour before we scored out. So it's all done, and we have our lives back. Tuesday Erik starts a one week job scoring CBEST.

Friday night I ended up skipping samiti. Last night I went to a puja for Swami Brahmananda. The choir sounded good. Very few people came.

Tomorrow there's a special puja for Sarasvati. It's not at Vedanta--it's at someone's house. I'm going to see if I can get a ride with P.

This morning we went to Trader Joe's. We got everything: clemintines, broccoli, hummus and pitas, cereal, bread, eggs, three kinds of yogurt, soymilk, tortillas. It was fun. I've been feeling happy.

Friday, February 08, 2008

home body

Last night someone at our apartment complex--a resident? the maintenance man?--was using a miter saw until 9:40. It was super loud. I used ear plugs.

Erik's done SAT scoring--he maxed out his hours. If there are still essays left on Sunday, he'll work some more.

I have samiti tonight but feel like curling up in bed with a book. I'm really enjoying Woman: An Intimate Geography.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

good reads

I'm on Good Reads. Haven't done much with it yet.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

good idea

Erik came up with a new theory about who who banged on our door that fight night. He decided maybe it was the crazy lady from downstairs, and she knocked on our door five times so angrily because she thought the new neighbors lived here. That would explain it.

loaf pan coffee cake recipe

A friend's having a birthday, and I've been thinking about what kind of cake I want to bake for her. The celebration will be only three people, so I want the smallest possible cake. I was thinking a coffee cake might be good, one made in a loaf pan, because that would be small. So I've been researching coffee cake loaf pan recipes and sort of getting overwhelmed the way it's easy to, when researching on the internets.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

a bad fight

Last night there was a bad fight at the apartment complex. The new neighbors got into an argument with the crazy lady. (The crazy lady is a mentally ill person who lives downstairs. She used to have an orange cat. I don't know what happened to it.) There was yelling, door slamming, and profanity for about two hours. I think someone called the cops at some point, but it didn't do any good. Anyway, I thought it was all over. Then about 10:30 someone clomped up the stairs and started pounding on our door. I was terrified. Erik and I were in bed with the light still on. We ignored it--they pounded about five times. Then they gave up and left. We heard them mutter, "Chicken shit." We don't know who it was. It could have been the crazy lady. But we think it's more likely that it was the new neighbors. But the pounding sounded very angry, and I don't know how anyone could be mad at us. We were totally uninvolved. Maybe they were mad at us for being uninvolved?

At any rate, I'm worried about today, what to do if someone confronts us. I'm worried about walking through the apartment complex to our car, and I'm worried about someone knocking on the door too. What should we do?

Also, there's laundry to wash. I guess we should hold off for a few days and see if things calm down.

Monday, February 04, 2008

what I'm reading

A long time ago, when I was in grad school, Amy Gerstler gave us a set of poems to read and probably talk about--I don't remember talking about them--and one of my favorites was by Elaine Equi. So I was looking for it online, and I found out she has a new book out, Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems. Is it new? I just checked, and it really is. Anyway, I'm halfway through and really like it. I got it on inter-library loan. One of my favorites so far is "Ambien."


What did I just--
did I just ask you? What
did I say? I said that yesterday?
I thought I dreamt--
it also seems like milk,
something about milk.
I must have broken it.
That's Nutella on the light switch?
I should never answer emails after midnight.
Those are definitely raisins on the floor.
Never, never again.
I'll just take my pill and go right to sleep.
I'll wait until I'm already asleep to swallow it.
Wait, did I just take a pill?
You were here.
Did I just go into the other room?
Did you see me do that?

Last night Erik read me a scary fairy tale. It spooked us. The ending was ambiguous. Today during our walk I said it was like Blair Witch Project (which I have never seen). I told him that I wish I was still a teacher so I could bring that story to my class and make them talk about it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Life is SAT scoring. Erik sits in his blue chair, listening to nature tracks, with Kitty sleeping on his lap. Sometimes Kitty snores or twitches in his sleep. Erik absentmindedly pets him.

The house gets messier and messier. The laundry goes unwashed. Letters are unanswered. Emails are ignored. The letters pile up on my desk, and I look at them but feel 100 miles away from picking up a pen and replying. The only thing I use a pen for is keeping track of my hours. Here's what that looks like for today.

8:53 - 9:03 10
12:50 - 1:40 50
1:59 - 2:57 60
4:38 - 5:08 30
7:02 - 7:18 16
7:24 - 7:39 15

Sometimes a kid will say something funny, and we'll laugh, but when I miss a check set, I feel like crying. It's a dejected feeling, and there's nothing to do with it. There's no one to be mad at. My boss is somewhere on the east coast, and I don't know who he or she is.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I do the same things over and over again. I can't believe it's Saturday again. Choir practice was fine. We sang a lot of songs, songs for three pujas. I don't care for all the Shiva songs--they're fast and not very artful or nuanced. They bounce along, jolly.

Erik and I went for a walk. It was cold and rainy but not raining. Blah blah blah blah blah. I should try to make you feel what the walk was really like. I was in a bad mood. I told Erik, "I hate everything." The wind blew my hair around. Erik said, "What about those trees?" And I hated the trees too.

Something new is that I've been eating chocolate. For a long time I thought I had an allergy or sensitivity, but recently I tried white chocolate again, and I'm perfectly fine. I plan to move on to milk chocolate and finally dark and see if I remain okay.

Friday, February 01, 2008

floss blog

Today I scored for just over three hours. Also, I went to the library to pick up three books I had requested. I'm reading one of them so far, Smoke by Dorianne Laux, and it's just brilliant. It's poems. I made Erik read some of them out loud to me, the ones I liked best. The first section is poems about death, my favorite. "Death Comes to Me Again, a Girl," "Trying to Raise the Dead," and "How It Will Happen, When" are the best.

The Somatherapy workshop I attended on Sunday made me want to floss my teeth because it made me want to take care of my body.