dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Sunday, March 30, 2008

at my parents' house

I'm not using firefox, so pardon me if my spelling's atrocious.

Today my mom cut my hair. Then we went out for breakfast at El Pueblito.

Also, I found a $20 bill on the ground. We bought Chandler strawberries. They're delicious.

In the afternoon, my mom and I went to Avila Barn to look at goats. We bought Erik a cherry turnover and bought me some lovely caramels with almond pieces in them.

And we went to Avila Beach, where we walked the length of the pier and walked on the beach, looking at rocks and talking. Then we got Chinese food.

Yesterday I couldn't see my best friend E because she's sick. But we talked on the phone until my cell phone battery was about to die.

We had lunch (falafel) with my friend S and his girlfriend and two kids. That was brief because the boy had a soccer game.

But most of the day I hung out with my dad. He was converting a welding machine from elecric to gas. At least I think that's what he was doing. We went to the hardware store together to get some electrical connector things. It was the first time I'd been in a hardware store in quite a while. I wanted to take some paintchips, but it was such a small hardware store. I didn't feel like I could. We talked about my brother and death.

My mom is crocheting me a tote bag made of plastic bags, which I'm calling a bag bag. I'm reading To The Lighthouse for the second time--Erik's reading it for the first.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

happy doesn't have to have an ending

Yesterday my friend A was in town. I went to lunch at a Mongolian BBQ place with her and her husband and their two daughters. The older daughter wasn't eating, and the husband was anxious. So A was worried about them, and I was too. But I liked sitting next to A and talking to her a little bit.

Then we went to Davis. I watched the kids while A was with the doctor. I was outside the car, and the kids were in the car. The little one happily played. For example, she crawled into the driver's seat and pretended to drive and stick CDs in the CD player. The older one and I talked for half an hour. She told me about karate and birthdays. I asked her if she wished she had red hair like her sister.

Then we drove back to Sacramento. We went to a Peet's so A could get some coffee. The kids got dessert treats: a large chocolate chip cookie and a scone. Then A took me home. We hugged goodbye in the Dairy Queen parking lot. I worried that the crazy lady would espy us and wish us ill.

At night there was a meeting of the women's writers group. We three walked to Naked Lounge. On the way, the H whose house we meet at stopped to pick up trash and touch plants and smell flowers. She made us wish on dandelions. I told her, "You're so good at liking things."

This morning we needed to jump the truck because the battery was dead. But when I got into the truck to try one last time, I got it to start. So we drove to Trader Joe's for eggs and bread and bananas, and Erik stayed in the truck so we could leave it running so the battery would charge. Then we went to the library so he could look for tax forms, but they didn't have any. We ended up getting forms at the post office.

So today he did taxes while I worked at the bookstore. And he's done. I'm very pleased with him.

Something bad happened, though. I got a bill in the mail yesterday from county. It's for all my medication from April through November 2007. It's for more than $2500. Erik and I were shocked. But I called my caseworker today, and we'll do another fee waiver form and see what happens.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Last night my friend A was in town because of some doctors appointments. I got to meet her new friend S. They picked me up, and we went to dinner at a Thai place. My yellow curry had a delicious sauce, but the veggies were underdone. I liked meeting S because she is very nice. She asked permission then touched me on the nose. And she gave me a good hug goodbye though we had just met. I have warm feelings about her.

And it was good to see A. She was downright chipper, being around S, and I felt like we were teenagers together. The good news is that A will be back for more doctors appointments tomorrow, so I get to see her again. We're supposed to eat Mongolian BBQ in West Sac.

Scoring CSET was painful at times, but I survived okay. I had caramels to eat. Lunch with T was good: I like him. He's a very serious person. We sat under the redwood trees and munched our catered food. Yesterday was Mexican, and it was pretty good. Today was wraps, and I didn't care for them.

I started reading a book today that was recommended to me by my friend AJM in New York via her blog things to do while waiting for the unattainable. It's called The Emperor's Children. So far it seems like a movie I would never want to watch. But I'm going to stick with it at least a few more pages and see.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Today starts a two day job scoring CSET. Something new is that Erik's friend T is scoring for the first time. I'm wondering about sitting with him at lunch and how it will be to have him around.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happy Easter

Last night I went out to dinner with my friend H. We went to The Old Spaghetti Factory, which I had never been to before. I liked the pesto dressing, but my salad's lettuce was limp and seemed unfresh. My pasta dish was pretty good but monotonous. (I brought about a third of it home to Erik, and he thought the same.) The vanilla ice cream was nice. I liked the high ceilings and dark wood. Our booth was private. We were seated right next to a...trolley car? bus? I don't remember--some type of vehicle that had tables in it. In the distance we could hear a loud party that sounded like a game show. And throughout the meal, we heard a few "happy birthday"s being sung.

Anyway, the company was first rate. We talked about our families, past relationships, and a ticket H got a few weeks ago and had to pay in Woodland though it was unjust.

We were celebrating H's birthday. I gave her some soap, a copy of my book, and a really pretty card in pinks and purples with fine glitter showing an Indian woman with her Swadhisthana chakra demarcated. I wish I had a scanner--I would have scanned it to show.

This morning I thought about staying in bed, but I went to church because it's Easter and I wanted to see my church friends. A lot of people showed up--the choir was full. For some reason, I thought we sounded like we were shouting. Afterwards I sat on the veranda chatting. Prasad candy was chocolate eggs rather than the usual See's. I got a big hug from P and we wished one another happy Easter. She was wearing a shirt of pastel colors and her pretty white skirt.

Then I came home and went for a walk. I wore my new shorts--it was my first time wearing shorts outside since last summer. I walked by the Catholic church. The parking lot was packed. I saw a tiny chihuahua that looked at me cautiously then made little bark sounds as I got near.

Erik's hiking today at Mt Diablo with his friend T. He said they might be back late and not to worry. I told him to be careful and make good choices.

On my walk I didn't bring my wallet. I had a complicated fantasy that I would get hit by a car, and since I didn't have any ID, no one would know who I was, and Erik would have no idea where I was. I thought about if I died and he had to come identify my body. I imagined myself in the hospital, if I was able to speak and told them to call him, and he arrived to see me in the hospital bed hooked up to so many tubes and machines, and I said, "Stay with me." Does everyone have fantasies like this? Next time I'll bring my wallet.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Last night the Sri Chaitanya puja was good. Not that many people came. I was agitated by something: there was a chant for Sri Chaitanya that Swami had the core men devotees read out loud all together, and it bothered me that no women were allowed. Any time the men are afforded a privilege, I get filled with angst and think about how I don't belong there and should leave and never come back. That's why I avoid satsang: the men sit at one table and the woman sit at all the rest. It makes me sick.

Erik and I were supposed to go observe a live action Mage game this evening, but it was canceled, which is actually fine.

I dread work Monday--we have a two day in-person job scoring CSET. Then we go back for a one day job scoring a different CSET project on Friday. I haven't been to that place in a long time. When I was on disability, I didn't have to go.

Trying to think of something not cranky to say. I've been working on some poems lately. It feels good to write. I wrote a little poem called "outage" about the power outage we had in January. And I'm working on a longer poem about my friend G. I think the third section's got to go, so I need something new to stick there. I like to be in the middle of something.

Friday, March 21, 2008

happy anniversary

This morning we went for a walk through Santa Anita park and the residential area behind it. On someone's front lawn we saw two turkeys. "Whoa," I said. "What?" Erik asked. Then he saw them. There are no wild turkeys around here, so they must have been pets. They looked very calm and content.

Then we went to lunch at Thai Basil. It's our six year wedding anniversary. I had a green curry with eggplant and tofu. Erik had a mushroom dish. We talked about friends, philosophy, identity, social networking sites.

Today I got some super-good mail. My friend A in Hillsboro send me a letter, a CD she made me "spring mix," and cute pictures of her little boy.

Erik's upset about his unemployment forms. He's scrutinizing and saying bad words. It's unusual to see him pissed. Now he's pacing around in the kitchen. I think he's going to make some tea.

Tonight there's a puja for Sri Chaitanya. I think I'm going to skip practice and just show up to sing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Last night I watched part of a movie with Erik. It's called The Taste of Tea. I liked the little girl.

Today we got a book in the mail, written by our friend Matt Schwartz. It's called Blessings for the Hands.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We went to McKinley park today, for a walk. I couldn't stand to walk around here or around Howe Park again. McKinley park has a duck pond. And a library. We went in so Erik could look at their CDs and DVDs. We got a CD of Indian and Pakistani music--it's good. Lately I've been so bored with my life. So it's good to try what's new.

In the afternoon we went to the thrift store. I got a pair of shorts and a pair of jeans. Both fit very well. I also got some zine-sized envelopes.

For dinner I made bean burritos and guacamole to eat with chips. This was tasty.

It's overcast but warm. I just finished reading a chapbook called Blind Grave Robber. I'll write a review for the next Erik and Laura-Marie. I've started reviewing zines for myself. I like how it's for my own zine so I don't have to live up to anyone else's expectations. For example, I can be as brief as I want. I can be idiosyncratic. Also, ELM is a useful reference. So now I'll have a record of all the zines I read too.

I asked Erik if he thinks I'm eccentric. He asked how I would define eccentric. I said that was up to him. He decided it's when someone lives their life disregarding culture's rules (I can't remember exactly what he said). "You're not answering my question," I said. So finally he said yes.

But I brought up the idea that in order for someone to be eccentric, there needs to be something quirky about their demeanor or their appearance. He said then no, I'm not eccentric.

I have a church friend named S who likes to wear unmatching socks. She is very, very thin. She likes to wear headbands. And lately she's started sticking flowers in her hair, beneath the headband, so they stick straight up. S gives the longest and mostly cuddly hugs of anyone I know. And she is very eccentric.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Well, I finished the book. "How do you feel?" my friend A asked.

I said, "Moved. Like crying but not crying."


This morning I sent out a shitload of mail. If you're waiting for something from me, maybe it went out. But there is still more to prepare. So maybe it didn't.

After the postie we went to Trader Joe's and got a lot of foods. Most remarkable was the quantity of yogurt. Also, we bought onion bagels. It had been years since we bought bagels, and I'm trying to figure out why. They seem so wonderful.

I remember when Erik and I used to go camping a lot and always ate bagels for breakfast, untoasted and whole. They were so substantial and comforting to hold in the hand. And they made us full.


Yesterday Erik was hiking with his friend T at Pt Reyes. I went to church in the morning and then took a walk in the wind. I got a creepy comment from the crazy lady downstairs as I passed her door. She said, "Man, I don't think you're blind." So I thought about that all throughout my walk. And when I came home, I took the other staircase.

So after that I spent the day alone. I'm on page 106 of The History of Love now. It's brilliant.

So we have today off--we have this week off before new projects start. I feel free. It's cold again, which is fine.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I've started reading a novel called The History of Love at the recommendation of my friend and favorite ex-student C. I just got attached to the main character when it switched main characters on me. No fair! I'm only on page 38. I like it so far. But I'm not much of a novel person. We'll see.

park day

Yesterday my friend A came to visit with her daughters and her husband. Her husband wanted to go to a Sacramento junkyard for a certain car part. So A and I watched the kids play at the park for a long time. There was a cold wind blowing.

You'll never guess what. Another kid asked me to put her in the swing! Again, it was a kid on the large side considering the smallness of the swing, and I had a hard time hefting her.

This time I argued for a bit. "Then how are you going to get down?" I asked her.

"You can take me down too!" she said.

Finally that's what happened. This time no embarrassed mom came up. I guess I look trustworthy.

I loved seeing my friend, and they were good hours well-spent. I liked being outside and the authenticity of it all.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Katie's interview

My friend Katie got interviewed, and she even mentions me.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

soul, turn the color of love

Last night was a meeting of my women's writers group. There were only two of us, which is fine. We met at a nearby Peet's, and I brought a Lorca poem, "How the Pope is Chosen" by James Tate, and "Iceland" by Dorianne Laux.

I haven't been sleeping. Last night I was awake for hours. I took an allergy pill to try to knock myself out--not sure it did anything. Maybe I've been listening to too much music. I've definitely been too social--I need to spend a few days alone (which isn't possible).

My new favorite song is "Ashes to Ashes" by David Bowie. I want to hear it over and over again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Story of Stuff

My friend Dan encouraged me to see this movie, and I encourage you to see it too. It's only 20 minutes and did not make me cry.


It puts consumerism into perspective, shows where it comes from and how it's perpetuated, tells about use of resources and toxins, tells about true costs. It's really good to learn these facts and be reminded of important ideas. I want to live a life that's not about buying things.


I am in love with Greek yogurt. It's at Trader Joe's. The screwy thing is that the plain nonfat is the same color and shape container as the plain whole milk. So I was trying to buy the nonfat and got the whole milk on accident. I kid you not when I say that one serving of the whole milk yogurt has 20 grams of fat in it! What the? Anyway, I thought: I bought it, I might as well eat it. And it's so good. It transcends yogurt and enters some other realm, and the only thing I could compare it to is cheese. It reminds me of ricotta cheese. I put a bunch of honey in it. And I'm eating only a little bit at a time. It's my dessert of the day.

Yesterday I saw my friend A for tea, not the A who lives far away, but the one who lives in Sacramento. She's the mom of my mechanic. She's a birder and smokes and reads a great deal. She loves dogs. She's an introvert like me and a very good listener. We talked about medication, friends, writing.

Erik triumphed over the router. Did I tell you he shaved off his beard? He looks so young, now. He looks about 20.

router problems

Erik's wrestling with the router. I've been scoring and listening to They Might Be Giants. There's been a musical renaissance around here. I rediscovered the whole concept of headphones.

Today's my first Tuesday since quitting DBT. I got so brainwashed there! I'm a little bit emotional about missing it for the first time today. Furthermore, I'm worried about the facilitator calling me. I guess I'll stop answering the phone. Not that I usually answer the phone. For the most part, the only person who calls me is my mom, and she uses the cell phone. (But we have to have a landline for the DSL, and we have to have DSL for our work.)

Yesterday I went to the post office and verified how much stuff costs to send. The scale told me that sending both zines at once only costs 58 cents after all.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ramakrishna puja

This morning was Ramakrishna puja. A lot of people were there. But the choir was thin. But we sounded good anyway. I liked to see the beautiful clothes the women wore. Afterwards we had flower offering. The line was super long. There were so many people that I only took one flower.

Afterwards we ate prasad lunch. It was tasty. I was social, chatting with a new person and old friends.

Now I'm working on notes to send out with zines as Erik scores and I chat with my friend A. And as I listen to Sufjan Stevens.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Today I saw someone walking down the street wearing a santa hat.


Last night at samiti--first of all, I got a good parking place. It was a smart idea to come early. There's a very old woman named W who has been staying at P's house. So she was there. And a little boy who lives upstairs was visiting. So I walked into a busy place. He showed us stuffed animals and a toy car. He said I could play with the car.

M gave me Indian clothes--a dress, a long matching scarf, and some strange pants. It's salwar kameez. I really like it. Mine is shades of orange. It's made of synthetic material. It actually fits, which was a big surprise--but it's a little tighter on the belly than I would like. Maybe I'll get Erik to take a picture of me wearing it. Now all I need is a nosering.

The car ended up costing us $150. Something happened to the driver's side brake caliper. A piston leaked? Which caused something to turn? It's pretty upsetting to have this happen just a week after the brakes were fixed. We ended up getting it towed through AAA--it was a mile over our allowance, so we had to pay ten bucks for that. I can't believe the allowance is only five miles.

I've scored very little SAT so far. Erik's been working nine hour days. Almost all the zines are bound. Now it's time to start writing letters. Yesterday I wrote an important letter to one of my oldest friends G. He lives in Scotland and teaches philosophy at the University of Glasgow (crap--I spelled Glasgow wrong on the envelope--I spelled it Glascow). He was my teacher at UCSB when I was thirteen. I'm so far away from the world of philosophy now.

Yesterday afternoon I met with my caseworker to do the fee waiver form. For some reason, she had us fill it out in the lobby. She seemed to be in a big rush. I asked her about changing my medications back to generic, and she said only my doctor could do that. The problem is that I don't have an appointment set up with my doctor. His schedule isn't in the computer yet, whatever that means. So I think it will be a long time before I can get new prescriptions.

At samiti last night V told us stories about Shiva. They were very funny and engrossing. She told us about Shiva's first wife Sati and how when she died Shiva carried her body around for a long time.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Last night when I was driving home from the puja, the brakes started making a bad sound. We just got them changed, so it's not the typical "you need new brakes" sound--it's a truly bad sound, and I got scared about the brakes failing me as I drove. I guess I should have pulled over. But I kept going and got home okay, but I'm too scared to drive it to the mechanic. So I'm going to call Z and explain to him the situation and see about calling AAA to get it towed?

Meanwhile, I have an appointment with my caseworker at 3:30 this afternoon to do another fee waiver form: I got another bill yesterday. We noticed this time that one of my medications had been changed from the generic to the name brand, which is about five times more expensive. So I need to see about getting that changed back.

The tonight there's samiti, but I'm scared to go to P's house because they changed the guest parking at her apartment complex. I'm thinking I'll go early, when there should be parking, and get an okay spot.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


SAT scoring started today. I've been binding a lot. I bound all 75 functionally ills, and now I'm starting on the 100 Erik and Laura-Maria Magazines.

I forgot to say that the copy place we went to yesterday was really good. I love the machine I used--it was super fast. The paper cutter was sharp (as opposed to the Staples paper cutter, which ripped some of my pages).

I work at the bookstore this afternoon, and then there's a puja tonight, Shivaratri.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Paper Source

In Berkeley on Monday, Erik and I went to a store I really like called Paper Source. I bought a few recycled paper birthday cards and some fine point Sharpies--I specifically wanted purple but was really impressed to see that they also had brown.

zine update

Today we went to Copy Central and I copied both Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine #43 and functionally ill #3. I feel pretty good about both. ELM #43 has a lot of poems in it, and I know most people don't like poems very much, so I don't think it will be the most well-received issue ever, but I like it. As for functionally ill #3, I have some dissatisfaction with it, but it's been so long delayed, I decided to finally be done with it, to stop being so perfectionist. So I'll be binding for a few days. I plan to send letters with the zines, so I won't be mailing all at once, which is nice. It costs 58 cents to send just ELM and 75 cents to send both together. I got a stamp donation from my best friend a few days ago, which is helpful. An acquaintance who runs a distro is sending me a check soon. Months ago my friend R sent a donation in a red envelope. I say something welcoming donations on the back of ELM #43, and I'm hoping some people decide to contribute. The other day Erik was telling me how he thinks I should start charging, but I really want to keep them free. When I get orders in the mail, people sometimes send a few dollars. Anyway, it feels good to have new zines again.

quitting DBT

I've decided to quit DBT. Last night I was lying in bed feeling polluted from the day's meeting, and I decided enough is enough. I hated it yesterday, and I hate it every time. It makes me miserable. At this point I've given it a fair chance, and the cons just outweigh the pros. It's not a problem with DBT itself--the program is very good. It's just this facilitator--I can't stand the way she runs group. I feel unsafe there and very unhappy. She has major control issues, and I'm super sensitive to that. The room itself is uncomfortable. It's cramped. The lighting makes me feel ill. She specifically wants us to sit a different place every time, which drives me crazy. I resent the homework, but if it was just the homework bothering me, I would keep at it. I can't stand the way we're denied certain words. We can't use good, bad, should, shouldn't, fair, unfair, right, wrong, why, but, never, or always. I don't like the way it feels to have my language so carefully monitored. It's not done in a playful or caring way--it's very strict and authoritarian. I can't stand the way the facilitator can't be trusted. She says one thing and does another. There's no accountability. The clients are powerless, and the facilitator is all-powerful. It's just a bad situation. I've definitely learned some things and appreciate that. But it's not enough to keep me there. I have a penpal in Idaho who was talking to me about this, and he thinks I should do things that make me happy and that use my talents. He thinks I should be in more groups like my writing group. I agree.

And Erik supports me in quitting too. He's been wanting me to quit for a month. He sees how it makes me feel and doesn't think it's worth it either.

So even though a couple other friends are very pro-DBT and my psychiatrist is very pro-DBT, I'm quitting.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

zoo, tea, Berkeley

Saturday I had a really good time with K at the zoo. We ate gardenburgers and flower salads. We saw tigers, lemurs, birds, a wallaby, monkeys, giraffes.... We had good conversation. I watched her parallel park in a very small space. We bought birthday presents for two of K's friends: a book of trees and a water whistler.

The tea party Sunday was easier than I thought it would be. It was me, H, and 12 of her gamer friends. I was the only non-gamer there, and I felt honored to be the exception. I found the people friendly, funny, and witty. There was a lot of laughter at the table, and good feelings. The tea and food were delicious. I met a few people, got invited to go to a Ren Faire with them, and got invited to come to an open house night. Being social leads to being more social.

The trip to Berkeley yesterday was good too. I liked being at the marina. Erik and I had lunch at a very expensive restaurant: Chez Panisse Cafe. It's a place we're been thinking about for years, and we were intimidated yet pleased to finally eat there. We bought bread at Acme. We shopped at Elephant Pharmacy. We forgot the originals at home, so we couldn't do the photocopying. Maybe we're going back Wednesday. SAT scoring starts Thursday, and everything changes then.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

social life

This morning I woke up wanting to go to church, only to be disappointed that it's Saturday.

Yesterday I saw my friend A. It was only our second time getting together. She lives far away.

She came with her two daughters, who are two and I think nine. We went to the park and stayed past dusk. We saw bats and some young hoods trying to hurt the bats. Then we went to Indian food at Kaveri. I was a little worried about how the kids would behave, but they were delightful. Dinner was delicious. Then we went to Trader Joe's. I got tortillas and pitas only. A tried to pay for these. I resisted. She did treat me to dinner, which made me feel good. When I thanked her, she said, "Any time." I like her more than I have liked any new person in quite a while. We have so much in common but some fascinating differences too.

It was my first time meeting the older daughter G, and I was worried about this. But it turns out she's really nice. She talked to me. I watched her ride her pink scooter, and she showed me where she'd decorated it with stickers. Both girls look very striking--stunningly beautiful. The younger has red hair, which gets comments, but none that I heard yesterday.

A funny moment was when I was standing near the swings and a kid ran up. "Can you put me in there?" she asked. She wanted into one of the swings for little kids. I thought about it and said okay and lifted her into the swing, though she was a bit heavy. "Now will you push me?" she asked. I thought about that and started pushing her. Then her mom came up, and the girl requested that her mom push her. The mom said sorry and looked embarrassed.

My favorite moment was sitting on the bench together while A read my zine functionally ill #2. That's the one with an octopus on the cover. She liked it.

Last night, home again, I reread it--it had been a while. I realized that I mention my voices quite a bit, which is weird, because they're such a tiny part of my life. I'm afraid I give the impression that they bother me a great deal, which isn't true at all.

It was a super nice visit. I was really quiet, but I hope the more I see A, the more I talk.

Today I'm having lunch with my friend K at the zoo. Tomorrow is high tea at a tea place in old town. I was supposed to go to Girl Movie Night also, but they canceled the Daria movie, so I'm not going.