dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Friday, May 30, 2008


Work today was okay. As Erik and I drove away afterward, I said, "It's like it never happened." One of the supervisors brought in a rhubarb pie he baked for us last night, and ice cream too, and both were a delicious treat. I got to talk a little with the woman who gave me her haiku zine last time. She and I have things in common.

The mechanic called today. He said he didn't know Erik was coming, Tuesday morning. I guess he forgot, or what I considered a plan he considered only a possibility. At any rate, it took him three days to call me back. I don't know how to feel. He said he would do it, to call when we're ready, but the truck has another car parked right in front of it, almost touching the bumper, and it would be really awkward to double park then try to get in there with jumper cables. So I'm hoping that car will move.

Erik says we should just wait and do it next week. We have next week off. I would rather do it sooner than later. The only problem with his "call me and I'll be there in five minutes" plan is that he doesn't answer his phone. So if we get the truck jumped and we're ready to go over there, and I call, he probably won't pick up. Sometimes I wish we had a regular mechanic with regular hours who is always there during regular hours and keeps appointments.

It's a confusing situation because we originally got this mechanic because he's the son of my friend A who lives here in town, but since then, my friend and her son have become estranged. So Erik and I wonder if he wishes we would get lost.

Tomorrow we're going on a trip to the bay area to see relatives: I will get to visit my nieces and nephew and maybe see my brother. And I'll for sure see my parents, who are paying for our hotel room. I haven't stayed at a hotel since going to Atascadero with my friend P maybe a year ago. I love my young relatives and need to spend time with them before they move away next month. But being around little kids stresses me out, so I need to be very brave.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

me and Kitty

Posted by Picasa

cat update

Kitty's had fleas for a while now, but today we finally gave him the noxious treatment. So he's become persona non grata around here. We're wary of that wet patch on the back of his neck.

raisin update

I used to hate raisins, but now I think they're okay. I would never seek them out. But if there are some raisins in my oatmeal cookie, I'm fine with that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

just so

I got an email from someone in Portland saying he wanted to buy 10 functionally ill #2s from me at wholesale for Portland libraries. So this morning I made another small run of functionally ill #2, and I've packaged up 10 plus one of #1 and one of #3 as bonuses. So I'll hopefully send those out tomorrow.

I have a friend who's thinking about getting an octopus tattoo, and so today I sent him a photocopy of the octopus page of my ancient symbols book. I just happened to have a photocopy of this page minus the octopus that's on the cover of functionally ill #2.

Today I worked at the Vedanta bookstore, and I will work there again tomorrow. One of the other volunteers is out for a couple weeks, so today I covered one of her shifts. I actually get stressed out being there even though there are few customers. I think I've mentioned before how there's no cash register, so all the sales tickets are filled out by hand, and there's incredible room for error. Everything has to be just so. And I've been chastised for error.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I checked my myspace page, and it had reverted back to the previous song. But I think I fixed it now.


super happyday

Today I got some news that left me ecstatic yet skeptical. I called and finally got through to someone at county billing, and she said the $2500 bill I was sent was a billing error. She said she would erase it, and that if I got any more bills, I should call her.

What do you think? I think it's wonderful, but I also don't trust them.

Also, in the happy news, today was a fabulous mail day. We got our economic stimulus check from the government. I look forward to depositing that. And I got a bunch of other good mail, like zines from Florida and Maryland, a letter from a penpal in Australia, and a letter from a penpal in Idaho.

Good feelings around here. To celebrate, we went to lunch at Maalouf's. I got labneh and spinach pies, while Erik got a falafel sandwich. It's served with olives and pita bread. Erik actually ate an olive and said he liked it. My dream is coming true.

Monday, May 26, 2008

sari shopping

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Lake

I keep forgetting to say that I have a new song up at my myspace page, and if you haven't already heard it, I think you should hear it.


It's "The Lake" by Antony and the Johnsons.

cauliflower not nopales

This morning instead of church, Erik and I went to McKinley park and walked. Then we sat talking for a while by the dunk pond.

Then we went to the co-op, and I got some nice vanilla lip balm.

Then we went to the big farmers market downtown under the freeway. We looked for asparagus, but the guy charging $2, the asparagus looked very poor. I should have made the second lap and bought some from the people charging $3. But I forgot to make that second lap. Anyway, we got some tomatoes and green beans and cherries. The cherries are only so-so. Kind of watery.

Then we went to the dollar store. We got organic cherry tomatoes, organic romaine, some broccoflower, cheese crackers, cookies for Erik, and some nice pens.

Then we went to the thrift store. We got Erik two pairs of pants and a pair of shorts.

Then we went to the library. Erik got tons of CDs. I think he's going to use up all the hard drive on my laptop ripping CDs.

Then we came home and did laundry. Oh, I forgot to say that at the farmers market we also got some fresh basil, and now I need to figure out how to use it. And I also forgot to say that at the park, we walked by some people who were smoking pot.

So for dinner I made a dish. It's a nopalitos dish, but I made it with cauliflower instead of nopales, and it was so tasty. Here's how you make it.

cauliflower not nopales

1 head of cauliflower chopped in bite-sized pieces
1 or 2 onions chopped fine
2 to 8 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 oz chili powder
(I don't know what 2 oz looks like, so I just dump a few tbsp in)

In a medium-large pan, saute the onions and garlic in a generous amount of olive oil. Cook the cauliflower however you like (I microwaved it). Saute the onions and garlic for a long time. Then let them rest for 10 minutes. Add the flour, water, and chili powder. Cook until the sauce thickens quite a bit. Then stir in the cauliflower and serve with warm tortillas.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

more visit

Yesterday my good friend A was in town again. Her husband's car broke down, so she had to bring him to work. We went to Indian fabric stores to look at fabric. She found some she liked for making a costume for her belly dancing recital. Then we went and visited their old house, where G was born. We drove on bumpy dirt roads. Then we went to Indian food for din. I had already eaten, so I just had a mango lassi. Finally, we came to the apartment so A could measure me with a fabric tape measure. She wants to buy me clothes for my birthday. When they left, the little daughter E threw a fit. I guess she didn't want to go back in the car? She made lots of noise, and I felt very, very sorry for her. It pains me to see her suffer. Little kids have a hard time with their feelings.

Today it's raining, strangely enough. I slept in very late. Now my neck hurts. The heat wave is officially over.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

a special visit

Yesterday my friend A came to town, and the big surprise is that she came without her kids! This was only the second time ever that I had seen her without her kids. We went to Maalouf's for lunch--Maalouf's is Lebanese food. Then we went to A's doctors appointment in Davis. I actually went in with her to see the doctor as if I was her relative. It was very sweet. Then we went fabric shopping. I had never gone fabric shopping as an adult. Then we went to the apartment, and I showed A my photo album. It was fun to look at old pictures. Then she showed me her three saris which she ordered online. One of them I really liked, the dark red one, and A wrapped it around me. I felt special to be so adorned.

Then today was day one of a two day outside-the-home job scoring CSET. I had a hard time, especially in the morning. I felt lethargic and stupefied. We need to go to bed early again tonight. I wrote in my journal and started a letter to E, but it didn't come out right, so I'm scrapping it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Buddha puja

Tonight was Buddha puja. I went to choir practice at 6. I was the only person who showed up on time. For some reason, everyone comes late.

Then we had a break. I went to the garden and ate loquats. I talked to Erik on my cell phone.

Then we had the puja. It was kind of fun and kind of tedious. The singing went okay.

Afterwards, I was shaking Swami's hand, and he told me to take home some prasad for Erik. I said I would. Then P said she was thinking about Erik the whole time. (This is because Erik is Buddhist.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

I don't trust myself to remember anything anymore

Tomorrow, tomorrow being Tuesday, I have to work at the bookstore--Thursdays are my usual, but I had to trade with V (because I have to work on Thursday and Friday at a not-at-home job). So I can't forget!

wishes, horses, beggars

Tonight Erik's at a Buddhist meeting. I'm tired early. I posted at The Icarus Project tonight after not posting for months, I think. I got someone wanting to trade me zines, there.

Erik's prompt scored out this morning--mine will score out tomorrow. We spent some time together just doing nothing, which was nice, to the say the least. I read him the first few pages of Trout Fishing in America. My best friend's ex best friend's brother changed his name to Trout Fishing in America. I told Erik, "The least you can do is read it. The most you can do is memorize it."

Erik made up a new name for himself: Shiver Dog. He made up that name after I was biting his ear.

Also, not tonight but yesterday, we made up a new game that goes like this. "I'm going to pinch you until you say 'ow.'" "Ow." I wanted to try to draw a comic of this for candy or medicine, but I can't draw. But I want to keep trying to think of something to draw for candy or medicine.

Some people outside are being loud. I wish people would be loud in the privacy of their own homes. Or better yet, I wish everyone were as quiet as I am. (If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.)

Today we finished watching a DVD of an old movie adaptation of Anna Karenina. We got it from the library. It kinda sucked, which is fine. I got to eat popcorn. But now I think when I read Anna Karenina again, I'll have those actors in my head. We'll see.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


This afternoon I realized that I forgot a doctor's appointment. I was supposed to see my psychiatrist Saturday morning and totally forgot. It was on my calendar and everything. This has never happened to me before. I guess I need to call my mental health place tomorrow and try to get another appointment.

Today we went to the downtown farmers market again, the one under the freeway. Didn't find tomatoes this time, but we got plenty of asparagus. We paid $2.50 a bunch, and later found another booth charging only $1.50 a bunch. But the people we bought the $2.50 asparagus from gave us an extra bunch for free, which was nice.

Lately I've been writing things for other people's zines. I was asked to write something for my friend Katie H's forthcoming zine called something along the lines of The House I Grew Up In. So I did that. Then I was asked to write a "first" piece for my friend Mike Baker's zine, so I did that too. (Haven't heard back from him since sending it--maybe he doesn't think it's good enough, which would be okay--I tried.) And I was asked to write a depression piece for my friend Dumpster Mouse's zine Against the Flood #2, and I did that too. It feels good to be involved in other people's projects and to help. I know if I was doing a comp zine, I would be worried about getting other people to contribute. Next up, my friend Carrie McNinch asked me to write something for her food zine Food Geek. That one will be hard. I need to read my old Food Geeks to remind myself what kinds of things are in there.

Today was cooler--high 90s as opposed to low 100s. I appreciate it--much more comfortable.

I want to say something about the Obama speech in Portland that attracted 75,000 people. But I don't know what I want to say. I guess that I noticed. Erik is quite the Obama fan. So it's good news, at our place.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

the heat

I notice my blogging's been sparse. I think it's the heat. I'm still getting used to this crap. This afternoon when yahoo! said it was 97 outside, the clock in the livingroom said it was 87 in here. That's with the air conditioner blasting for hours and hours. So 87 is still pretty hot, and I wish the air conditioner was more powerful. We have a plan to rearrange the livingroom a bit so that my desk will be more in the path of the air conditioner's wind.

Current SAT session's supposed to score out Tuesday. We have an in-person scoring job Thursday and Friday. So we hope to do the rearranging on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday I want to see if our mechanic will put a new battery in the truck. Yep, it was bad after all.

Friday, May 16, 2008

thelalatheory etsy store

This is the etsy store of one of my best friends Katie H. She sells her own zines there, as well as a new book of poems called Obsolete: An Alphabet of Poems Inspired by Dead Words.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

summer begins

Today it's supposed to hit 103, so today is the first real day of summer, for us. We're testing our new way of using the air conditioner, which is to use it before it's needed so the room is cooled to begin with. Our electric bill will be very high, but it's worth it.

Also in the news, California's supreme court ruled in favor of same sex marriage. Yay! I'm happy about any victory for equal rights. I'm very curious about what will happen next.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

terrific sticker

This morning on our walk, Erik and I were passing through the Catholic church's parking lot, which was full of cars--I thought maybe there was a funeral, but we saw some people wearing jeans with colorful shirts, so probably not--and there was a bumper sticker on one of the cars that said, "People are terrific! Life is wonderful!" It made me laugh. Erik noted that "terrific" shares a root with "terror," and he's right.

So I've been googling it, and it seems to be a portion of another bumper sticker having something to do with Louisiana. In that version, it's "Business is Great! People are terrific! Life is wonderful!"

Monday, May 12, 2008

robots obey what the children say

Erik is out at a Zen meeting, and I'm listening to my favorite They Might Be Giants songs. I just ran out of internet.

This morning I went to Vedanta to work with P. Rather than our usual gardening, we were working on sending out bulletins. I was in charge of the folding machine. I also stuffed envelopes and sealed some envelopes with glue stick. Usually she does bulletins with J, but J's brother is in town, so she's spending time with him.

P and I were working, and J peeked her head in. She was looking for someone other than us--looking for Swami, I assume. Then we heard her introducing her brother to someone in the hall (Swami, I assume). But it hurt my feelings a tiny bit that she didn't want her brother to meet us too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

blend in for a minute

This morning, Erik and I went to the big farmers market in midtown. We got tomatoes, avocados, asparagus, and onions. I've already eaten one of the tomatoes, and it was super tasty. (I made myself a tomato sandwich for lunch.) I really want to get out of town, but going to the midtown farmers market was sort of close?

the lyrics in question

I decided to paste the lyrics here in case anyone would like to help who doesn't already know the song.

We didn't sleep too late.
There was a fire in the yard.
All of the tress were in light.
They had no faces to show.
I saw a sign in the sky:
Seven swans, seven swans, seven swans.
I heard a voice in my mind:
I will try, I will try, I will try.
I will try, I will try, I will try.

We saw the dragon move down.
My father burned into coal.
My mother saw it from far.
She took her purse to the bed.
I saw a sign in the sky:
Seven horns, seven horns, seven horns.
I heard a voice in my mind:
I am Lord, I am Lord, I am Lord.
He said: I am Lord, I am Lord, I am Lord.
He said: I am Lord, I am Lord, I am Lord.

He will take you. If you run,
He will chase you.
He will take you. If you run,
He will chase you
'cause He is the Lord.

'Cause He is the Lord...
Seven swans, seven swans, seven swans,
seven swans, seven swans...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

quick question

Do you know in the song "Seven Swans" by Sufjan Stevens the line "She took her purse to the bed"? Do you have a reading of that line? Erik has the idea that she (Mom) is taking her purse to the bed in order to kill herself--she's going to swallow some pills that are in the purse. He thinks this because "She took her purse to the bed" follows "My father burned into coal."

I think Erik is being really pessimistic about that line, but maybe he's right. I have no idea why she might be taking her purse to the bed. Maybe you have thought about this.

two projects

Tonight I started working on a project I'm doing with my best friend E. She is having me type up some old papers of hers for archival purposes. It's fun so far.

Today at choir practice, P handed over a tape of a Shiva song that I'm going to write music for. I guess that would be transcription.

These projects are both good reasons to live.


If you'd like to see way, way more paintings by my favorite painter, here's a link.


Frida Kahlo

This morning I looked at some art while I waited for the phone call. No comment about the cigarette--this one's probably my favorite.

the phonecall

This morning I had my EDD interview. The worker was difficult, and the questions were too. She wanted dates I didn't have, just like I imagined. I had a hard time holding in my tears until it was over. They probably get lots of criers. It's really hard to be questioned in that way.

But the bottom line is that she believed me when I said I didn't intentionally lie on my form, so I don't think I'm in trouble. It's only three weeks, and I don't think we'll even owe any money. It's just a question of whether the funds I got those weeks should come from unemployment or disability, and my benefit amount for each was the same, so it should come out even. I wish the call didn't even have to happen. But it's over now.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I worked on the layout for Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine #44. So far it's just a bunch of reviews and a bunch of poems.

I read a zine today that I liked. It's called Frothy. (There's a review of it in ELM #44.)

I'm almost out of Frida Kahlo notecards. I had 12--now I'm down to one.

I'm really scared of the EDD phone call first thing tomorrow morning. I don't know what to say. I don't know what kind of trouble I could get in, what kind of trouble I need to talk my way out of. But I do know that I'm not good at confrontation. So please pray for me.


When I said I hadn't had a day off since April 6th, I was totally wrong. My calendar deceived me. I'm sorry if I alarmed anybody. I had a couple days off between North Carolina and Arkansas. Erik was still scoring North Carolina, so my days off were still in work mode because he was still working. But I was really off.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Saturday I bought some very tasty asparagus at the farmers market, and I love it. I finished it off just now. I like to chop it into bite-sized pieces and saute it in butter, then put salt on it and eat it.

Today a new SAT scoring session started. I'm glad to be on the project I know best. However, it's hard to work so many days in a row. I haven't had a day off since April 6th. Wow.

Today I got a letter in the mail that scares me. It's from EDD, and they're going to call and interview me on Saturday morning between 8 and 10. I called this afternoon to say, "I'm not currently receiving any benefit--what is this about?" and they said it's about when I was getting disability and unemployment at the same time. Sounds bad. Of course, I never intended to get both at the same time. And I don't think I ever did. Erik says to just do my best and answer the questions. I think they're going to want dates and facts that I just don't keep good enough records to provide.

I got some tomato soup from Whole Foods. It's organic creamy tomato soup by Imagine, sold in a box. I don't like it much--too much celery. I prefer the butternut squash soup I got from Trader Joe's, also in a box--it has a certain perfuminess that was at first off putting (reminded me of the smell of laundry detergent), but then it grew on me.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Weave Magazine

Maybe something to submit to.



Last night was women's writers night. We did an activity I brought where we each chose an evocative phrase or sentence written by children and used it to write a poem or story fragment.

We also did a found poetry exercise, cutting out words from old magazines, and we ran out of time. I didn't know it would take so long.

I was edgy and uncomfortable. I don't know why. But I like H's cat, and it was good to be around people. I ate some blue corn chips.

Today's my last day scoring Arkansas. Tomorrow we start SAT. SAT pays more and is easier. However, I forgot how to score it, but I bet remembering will be easy.

Yesterday morning Erik and I took a walk at the park, and I was seething with misery for no actual reason. This morning I slept in until 9, strangely enough, and feel at peace.

The battery went dead on the truck again, we think from letting it sit so long after the last time we jumped it. So we're going to jump it again today and drive it around a lot and then not let it sit so long ever again.


I write to record what others erase when I speak, to rewrite the stories others have miswritten about me, about you. --Gloria Anzaldua

Monday, May 05, 2008


, originally uploaded by ELund.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


dudleya, originally uploaded by ELund.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

at choir practice today

P and I didn't discuss it beforehand, but I thought from the look in her eye that she would ask me to practice the Sunday morning worship songs, and she did. So I played on harmonium, leading the choir as they sang. I made one mistake, but it went unnoticed.

Really, I wasn't leading them in that the choir has sung these songs so many times, over and over, that they don't need any direction.

I was terribly nervous, but I lived. I wonder if she'll ask me to play at worship tomorrow morning. I don't think I want to. But hopefully the more I do it, the easier it will get, and I need to be prepared for the weekend she'll be away.

So, it was my first time playing Ya Devi and, uh, that other one I forget the name of, with other people around. I think my speeds were a little off. But I will just go with the choir's speed and hopefully be okay.

just everything

Last night was Samiti--I almost didn't go. I was feeling so edgy from a long day of frustrations. Work was really hard.

So Samiti was just like usual. I got to see my older women friends, and I got to be in their world for a while. Sometimes I wish their world was more of a place for me. At party time, I hover at the edges, and no one talks to me. It's like they gave up trying. When we meet, they say hi and ask, "How are you?" and some hug me and kiss me. We do love one another. But the actual communication isn't there. So much of my life is closed off from them--in way, I can't blame them. I don't have grandchildren to talk about. I don't know their old friends. My voice doesn't feel valued. My voice is unknown.

I wish I could tell you all about my project scoring Arkansas, but so much of this job is confidential. Well, I'm sure it's sharable knowledge that each paper is assigned five scores: content, style, sentence formation, usage, and mechanics. So there are so many opportunities to err. And each paper is going to take a long time. The pay rate is relatively low--the lowest I've ever been paid scoring for this company--which is ironic because it's the most difficult scoring I've ever done. I finished training this morning, so I finally start live scoring today: scary.

Last night my best friend E called while I was at Samiti, and I called her back at 10:30, which is my bedtime, and we talked until 11:15. It didn't feel like long enough. She's been having trouble going off some medication and needed some communion. I was happy to have some communion too.

Today I feel like thrift store shopping--we need a couple bowls--two were lost. And I want to look at and not buy some nicknacks. I just feel the need to see some material representations of everyday life. I'm researching everyday life.

Also, I don't know if it's still asparagus season, but I want to go to the farmers market and see if I can find some cheap. I don't know if I'll actually allow myself to do these things. I have choir practice also. I need to score.

I think I forgot to report that I practiced harmonium the other day, and I hadn't forgotten anything. Those two months I went without practicing--it's like the time never passed. I was very pleased. I'm practicing Sunday morning songs because when P is away during the summer I'm going to play Sunday morning all the songs. So I need to do some practice runs with the choir--maybe today?

Erik never got invited to score Arkansas, so he's vacation boy. It's nice to have him doing the chores. Right now he's meditating, and I'm listening to some Mountain Goats on headphones, the MP3s that are on this site. "Warm Lonely Planet" and "Going to Bridlington" are my favorites.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

wind blew all the power lines down / watch where you step if you go walking around

Erik's been emailing his dad every night before bedtime. It's a nice pattern.

I've been up and down. At the bookstore this afternoon I had no customers and not even my usual visitor R. I saw him right before my shift started, though, and he told me about seeing a lizard on the path. I don't always know how to respond to him. I'm afraid I come off as uncaring or sarcastic when in reality I'm earnest but lack grace.

I was happy to get no customers. I wrote in my journal and chatted online with A and with Erik. I stared out the window again and looked at leaves again. It's amazing how much can change in a week.

Erik's project scored out today, so he's free. He hasn't been invited to score Arkansas. My training is heinous. I don't know if I'll qualify. It's an interesting challenge. If I don't make it, that's fine.