Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So I was upset, and I spent all day yesterday trying to process that three minute conversation and decide what to do next. Also, I watched a documentary called The Boys of Baraka loaned to me by my friend B--it was okay. It made me think about some things I don't normally think about: bad poverty, crime-ridden ghettos, boys.
Then this morning I went to Vedanta at 8 to meet with Vedanta friends to go to the Bay area to see Amma. The day exhausted me--lots of waiting, but it was all worth it to get that strong hug and feel her whispering a mantra in my ear. I was elated and dizzy and shaken, in a good way. I was standing outside when she arrived, and I saw her in the car--she looked just like in the pictures, smiling a great big smile.
Tomorrow we're going on a journey, like many people must be doing, the day before Thanksgiving. Erik wants to take the 5. I need to decide what my vote is. So many decisions lately, and things to worry about. It will be good to get out of town for a few days, but we always worry about Kitty.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
the chant before you eat
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam,
Hari om tat sat.
The choir sang two songs--"Eight Stanzas to Bhavani" and "Nanya Spriha." I think we sounded great.
Swami was there. He was wearing his light orange Swami clothes. He sat in the same chair he always sits in. Before we ate, he led us in prayer: a chant called "Om Brahmarpanam." The food was great.
The other most interesting thing I remember from the recital was a sweet Christian song sung in Cantonese. Something hard to forget was a complete, dramatic performance of "Rhapsody in Blue."
Over all, it was a fun experience with a great crowd, but I had a hard time being in a small space with so many people for a few hours. I was glad to leave.
the picnic visit
Then we went to Oroville's Chinese Temple. Our favorite thing was the large round doorway to the Moon Room. My other favorite thing was all the clothes--there were mannequins wearing old Chinese clothes and old white people clothes. I found both fascinating. I'm not the kind of person who's into fashion at all, and I don't pay much attention to my own clothes (most are hand-me-downs), but these old clothes fascinated me.
The puppets were really cool too, but I only caught a glimpse of them--we had to run to the park where we were meeting A and her kids. So we met A and her kids--Erik left to take a walk by the river. We had our picnic. A brought lots of sandwiches, including egg salad sandwiches, but they had celery in them, and celery is my bane. They forgot their cookies too! So we were without cookies, but only for the time being.
After the picnic, the kids played in a large round sandbox that has a water spigot in it. They seemed to have a great time, and the little child got her pink Hello Kitty dress soaked. She liked running through the water, splashing.
Then we went to A's house. I wanted to meet the animals. So she took me in her truck, the 15 miles that take quite a while to drive because a lot of it's twisty turny. Also, some of it's on dirt road. So we got there, and I met the cats, the dog, and the three horses. I pet one of the horses (the old small one) and fed a carrot to another.
Then we ate a lot of cookies. The older daughter had baked carob chip ones especially for me. They were so good.
Then we went down to the creek, which was dry, but it was very nice to take a little walk in the woods. It was getting dark, and I felt that it was getting close to the time we were supposed to meet Erik. So we got back in the truck and drove the 15 miles to town. We met Erik at the park. I was surprised he hadn't been kicked out because the park closes at sunset. As A and I hugged goodbye, a truck pulled up and honked at us very persistently. It was the park person kicking us out.
It was wonderful to go to a new place, to see my friend and her kids, to spend time in nature, to eat good cookies. I'm very glad that Erik gave in and took us to Oroville.
Friday, November 21, 2008
talk, picnic visit
Why do social egalitarians argue for public goods rather than market-based approaches to meeting people's needs? In his talk, Myers will discuss the role of political philosophy in policy debates, the core values of the broad social egalitarian tradition, and ways in which to reassert those values in contemporary politics.
I know that description is really abstract. I just asked Erik to summarize the talk last night in his own words, and his summary is abstract too: "Ideas held in common by the socialist philosophical traditions." It was very educational. I learned the history of some terms, and I learned what's the difference between a liberal and a socialist. I learned how our own government has some socialist elements, but no one really talks about it (public roads, public parks--my favorite is public libraries). He talked about what socialism has to do with the recent big news stories of the economic crash and the presidential election. And he talked about how we talk about core values, like he would ask his class, "Do you believe murder should be illegal?" and "Why?" and they couldn't answer.
Anyway, it was a really good talk, and the question and answer period afterward was great too. I'm grateful to the Sacramento Marxist School for existing and putting on such fabulous events for free.
Today Erik and I are going to Oroville to visit my friend A and her two kids who live in Bangor. We're meeting at a park and having a picnic. I will stay with A and the kids while Erik goes out to a trail in the woods somewhere to hike a little bit. It will be my first time seeing A on her turf--always before, I would see her in Sacramento, or in Davis when she would bring me with her to Davis for doctors appointments. I'm excited and nervous. We're meeting them at 1. Erik and I plan to go a little early and look around. It will be my first time in that area.
For the picnic I made a fake meat sandwich for myself. I'm bringing to share bananas, carrots, sunflower seeds, nuts, and two kinds of cookies. The cookies are McVitties Digestive Biscuits that I bought at the pan-Asian market the other day (British cookies, but the labels for these ones are printed partially in an Asian language) as well as some fabulous cinnamon sugar cookies made by an all-vegan company that's here in Sacramento.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I also got a stuffed envelope from Don Wentworth, my friend who makes the Lilliput zine. He had some really nice things to say to me, and a great surprise is that he wants to reprint a one-sentence poem I had in Erik and LM #44. It's called "roadside." Of course, I will say yes. He also sent Lilliputs, but the mailman stuffed them in the mailbox in such a way that they are no longer in mint condition.
I also got from Microcosm my copy of 2007 Zine Yearbook that includes an excerpt from functionally ill #1. The package got damaged in the mail--it split, and the postal service taped it shut and put the whole thing in a plastic bag for me. So the book arrived intact but with a gouge in it.
Summary: excellent mail but poor handling.
I can't think of what to call this blog post because the table saw is too loud
Erik came with me to write in the garden while I entered data. He was happy. Then we came home for lunch--then we went to town for Music at Noon. It was chamber music. There was a singer for some of the songs singing opera-style. There was a flute. And there were violin, cello, piano. I don't usually like flute, but it was okay.
Then we went to P the oral historian's place so I could drop off the manuscript I finished proofreading, but I forgot it. So we stood in front of P's apartment complex for a while, talking about many things. He teased me about apologizing for teasing him, which is a long story, but it made me laugh and made everything okay.
Then we went to Western Feed to buy a cat toy my friend K told me about--it's called the Cat Dancer. We actually bought two--a regular one, and one to affix to the wall so Kitty can play with it while we're not home.
Then we went to SF Market to look for food or drink containing tamarind--Erik heard something appealing about the powers of tamarind, so he wanted some, and we found a tamarind drink and tamarind soup base.
Upon returning home, we tried out the Cat Dancer, and it did indeed make Kitty dance. Yay!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
my day in list
5. little park in Fair Oaks
6. Rudolf Steiner College bookstore
7. Christmas presents for niece and nephew
8. avocado sanwiches
9. Howe park
10. Tipping the Velvet
11. less depressed
Monday, November 17, 2008
no one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful
Then we went to the California State Library so Erik could look at some haiku journals. It was a strange place. For example, no pens are allowed. I had to write letters in pencil. I worked on a letter to my cousin S and wrote to my Italian-Japanese friend G.
Then when we got home, I had two packages waiting for me, but one of them was empty. Its contents had been lost in the mail due to improper packaging. I emailed the company and hopefully will hear from them soon that they will resend the products. I was really upset about this because included in the package were two Christmas presents. So if they won't resend, I will be without two gifts. Conflict is very stressful for me. Erik says it's not conflict yet.
Then P called wanting to see if I could go practice with her at a senior apartment complex. She needed to play on a real piano so that when she plays on L's real piano at the recital on Saturday it won't be totally new to her. She needed me to go with her to turn the pages. So I went, and it was good.
This evening Erik is at a Zen event. I proofread until I couldn't concentrate, and now I'm going to bed.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I am a cliche
prop 8 protests
Saturday, November 15, 2008
vegan cheese, vegan ice cream
For a long time, since before we were home vegans, we've bought this heavenly rice milk ice cream made by "Good Karma"--the loved flavor is Carrot Cake. It has little chunks of carrot cake in it. Something interesting about it (it's orange) is that a serving includes 50% of a person's RDA of Vitamin A.
how it went
This morning we went to the protest against prop 8. It was different from how I imagined it would be. I actually didn't know what to expect. It was like a rally, with songs and speakers. We chanted very little. What do you want? Equality! When do you want it? Now! I liked the chanting best.
Erik said there were very few counter protesters, but they had big signs. I tried not to look over there.
I expected thousands of people, but Cesar Chavez Park wasn't even full. It was interesting to see the cops on horses.
Then we went to P's apartment to drop off the manuscript I was proofreading and pick up a new one. We talked in P's living room for a long time. We talked politics and talked about his oral history work and looked at books. He told us stories. He gently teased us, which made us laugh.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I talked to P about the proofreading--he called. He said "take your time" but suggested Monday as the day to exchange the proofread manuscript for a new one.
I guess I'm leaning toward the latter. I'm just about sick of the table saw and wish the workers would finish fixing the empty apartment. It's been more than a week. The pile of refuse (including a discarded refrigerator) in the middle of the courtyard is just not appropriate--surrounding it with caution tape doesn't make it okay. So many times--mostly during loud arguments or while loud music is playing for all to hear--I've wished we lived somewhere decent, but it saves so much money not to move. And I'm attached to the views from the windows. This is the longest we've ever lived somewhere, the longest I've ever lived anywhere since becoming an adult.
To continue this whine, I'll add that I can't take a shower because the water is turned off and on at random intervals. I guess I should just pretend I'm camping.
Yesterday we ran lots of errands. At Trader Joe's the worker asked what we're up to this weekend, and I answered honestly that we're thinking about going to the protest tomorrow--the big protest of prop 8. But I said I was worried because I thought it would be huge. She asked if I had been to any of the other prop 8 protests--she had been to four, and she said they were very calm and not scary. So that encouraged me, and I think we're going to go. My question is about parking--I think a thousand people are going to be driving there (in addition to the thousands who will show up on foot).
beans and rice
Thursday, November 13, 2008
newsletters, park, talk, manuscript, reviews, protest
In the afternoon Erik and I went to Howe Park so he could run and I could walk. Then I worked on a letter to my friend C in Kansas that's getting long.
In the evening we went downtown to a community center to a talk put on by the local Marxist school. It was about the economy, and we learned a lot. Two of the people at the talk were people who I met the day before at the protest.
Yesterday our friend P who's an oral historian dropped off a manuscript for me to proofread. It's a manuscript of an interview. I plan to do most of that tomorrow while Erik's at work--he has a one day in person job scoring CSET.
Today there are errands to run, and I need to review the last zine for Zine World and submit the reviews and try to figure out how to enter some info from them into a database. I wasn't able to figure it out last time and gave up in frustration. But maybe this time I'll see if Erik can help me. My reviews are due the 15th.
The 15th is a big protest downtown against prop 8. I'm thinking about going, but I'm kind of scared because I think it's going to be huge, and I'm not good with crowds. Maybe I shouldn't go.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It was held at the Arden Fair mall, probably Sacramento's largest mall. We stood on a street corner.
There were only a few negatives. I guess someone yelled, "Yes on 8!" at us, but I didn't hear it. And someone said, "War! War! War!" as he drove by. A teenager flipped us off. I thought there would be a lot more negatives, so I was pleasantly surprised.
I was holding a sign that said "Bring Them Home" and most of the time I was also holding a big American flag with white peace signs on it instead of the stars. Toward the end I got tired of "Bring Them Home" and flipped my sign over--on the back was a peace sign.
I think from a distance the flag I was holding looked like a regular American flag, so that was probably an interesting combination. You know how conservatives are more associated with the flag than liberals. I think my message was that peace is patriotic.
I went with my friend H. She is in Code Pink--she runs Sacramento's Code Pink. She made a sign that said "Will Dance 4 Peace" and danced a lot. She was and is adorable. At one point she was dancing in the median. So then a few cops on motorcycles came over, and one of them told her she couldn't do that or she'd get a ticket.
I really liked being at this protest. It was nervous-making for me to meet so many new people, but they were friendly and kind. After the first half hour or so, I felt pretty comfortable. I plan to go to more protests.
Saturday is a protest about prop 8 at city hall from 10:30 to 5:30. We're thinking about going to that, part of it at least. I would have to miss choir practice. Saturday's prop 8 protest is part of a nation-wide campaign to repeal prop 8. In case you don't know or can't recall, prop 8 is the gay marriage prop which won, banning gay marriage in California. My friends and I are very opposed, and I guess we're not alone. Law suits have been filed, and maybe it will be repealed.
In other news, our prompt is supposed to score out today, which is so early it's unheard of. So I should be scoring right now, but I thought I'd take a break to blog.
Monday, November 10, 2008
an update from the scoring life
We found out today that our project's going to score out early, earlier than usual, which is unfortunate. I'll try to work extra each of the remaining days to get my hours in.
My mind has turned toward Christmas. I have figured out what I want to get just about everyone. Or I already have it.
Been thinking about buying a new computer too. I guess it's not a good time, but we'll see. My old one is a real clunker.
Tomorrow I'm going to my first protest. At least I think it's the first. It's a protest of the war. I think it's put on by Veterans Against the War. My friend H is going to bring me, and we'll stay for only an hour because she needs to go to a job thing. She's a job seeker.
I skipped church yesterday. The puja Saturday was beautiful--I like nothing better than to hear the nuns chanting. I love those nuns.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
But I'm comforting myself with The Decemberists' "Red Right Ankle" and drowning my sorrows in apple crisp with pretend vanilla ice cream--I made the apple crisp over the course of a few days, coring, peeling, and chopping the apples two at a time. They're the Braeburns that we got at the apple farm near San Luis--they went soft, so I thought I should bake with them. We didn't have the pretend vanilla ice cream, and we needed groceries anyway, so I made a Trader Joe's run.
There I saw some Indian people--an old mother in a sari, a young mother in western clothes, and a little child. I recognized the old woman from Vedanta. Her daughter said hi to me. Then I heard her tell her mom, "She's a Vedanta person." The old woman looked at me. She had a tikala on her forehead and didn't seem to recognize me. I felt embarrassed.
Tomorrow is Jagaddhatri puja. That's our center's biggest event, maybe. I think of Krishna puja as the biggest, but really, Jagaddhatri puja probably is. Sixty people are expected to come just from San Francisco and Berkeley. We have our puja: our choir sings, the men's choir sings, the nun's choir sings. Worship is performed. Then we serve lunch. I'm on the lunch-serving crew. Erik's upset about me going at all. I won't be able to work tomorrow morning. But I'm going to try to do some work in the afternoon and evening to make some of that up.
What I like best about Jagaddhatri puja is something Swami said a couple years ago: that Jagaddhatri is gravity, what holds everything together. So we have a day to worship gravity, which is my favorite thing. Hinduism doesn't suit me perfectly, but it's facts like these that make me stay.
Today I got a letter from my friend J in New York. She's been in the hospital for almost three weeks now. She's had to spend more time in the seclusion room for having a crisis. She thought she might get out for Halloween, then thought she might get out for election day. Anyway, she was able to vote absentee ballot. I'll write back to her tonight.
Yesterday I saw my friend P. She's playing a Mozart sonata at a recital on the 22nd, and I'm going to turn the pages. So we practiced. I made a couple mistakes, and she made mistakes too. We'll practice again Thursday. After that she wanted to see if I could help her do something on the computer, but I wasn't able to help. She told me that just knowing I couldn't help helped. Then we sat in her livingroom and talked for a long time. She told me stories about the past. Some of them I had already heard, but I didn't remember all the details, so it was good to hear them again. She told me about her first job at a terrible nursing home where she got fired for getting one of the residents an ice cream cone. P is 72, so she has a lot of memories. We talk quietly and let silence fill the room, sometimes. We like to sit quietly together.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
There's some construction going on in our apartment complex, and someone's got a table saw going at seemingly-random intervals. Last night I started using ear plugs. They don't block out the noise entirely but definitely dull it.
Yesterday we went to our favorite thrift store Thrift Town in Carmichael to buy Erik some clothes. He got two pairs of jogging / hiking pants, three sweatshirt-type warmnesses, and a pair of shoes that he'll wear for running. I looked for clothes for myself and found nothing. There was a pair of dark purple jeans I was interested in, but the original tags hadn't been removed, so they were selling them for $20. Probably wouldn't have matched any of my shirts anyway. I'm on an earth-tone color scheme: lots of grays and browns.
Cold here--I mean, if you're in a "real winter" place you would scoff at my saying it's cold here. But it's been down to 59 degrees in our apartment (our clock has a thermometer). We're stubbornly refusing to use the heater. This morning I'm bundled up in warm clothes including the thick green scarf my mom crocheted for me last visit.
Library Journal review
In addition to discussing physical illness, zine authors write about their mental problems. Laura-Marie's series reveals her experiences with bipolar disorder, explaining in precise detail what the voices in her head sound like. The first issue follows her pursuit of professional help and the question of whether to take medication and what kind. In issue No. 2, she describes going to her initial exam, her doctors, and her decisions about drugs. Issue No. 3 serves as an update, with added information about the types of therapy (e.g., dialectical behavioral therapy and somatherapy) that she tries.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
happy election day
This morning it was 7:45--I was lying in bed half-asleep, when someone knocked insistently at the door. Erik answered. It was someone who needed bus fare trying to trade some milk and cereal for three dollars. Erik didn't know what to do but took the cereal and give him three dollars. "We're vegan," he told the man, and the man laughed. It turns out the cereal is Trix, something we'd never eat, so we're trying to think who to give it to. Erik said the man at the door might have been a neighbor--not sure.
Yesterday I saw my friend H. It was raining--pouring at times. We hung out at her apartment, drank tea, and watched Me and You and Everyone We Know. I cried only a little at one part. Then we went to Davis for a poetry-music-art event at a cafe called Delta of Venus. On the way, we got rear ended. I waited for a long time while H and the other driver talked. The poetry-music-art event was good. I enjoyed the music best. Where I was sitting, I couldn't see, so it was odd to be so near but not seeing. The band was two acoustic guitars and some kind of percussion instrument. The music was sung in Spanish, and some people danced. The poetry read was in both English and Spanish. The event had to do with art and democracy, war protest. It also had to do with Dia de los Muertos. I liked the energy there and friendliness though in general I'm not comfortable in groups. It was kind of crowded. If there were plenty of room, I would feel safer.
Yesterday Erik hiked with this friend T. They were at Cataract Creek. I haven't seen pictures yet.
This afternoon I'm working at the Vedanta bookstore--I traded shifts with V because SAT scoring starts Thursday. R is going to train me on how to burn CDs of lectures off the Sacramento Vedanta website.
I've been writing letters like mad--I have a stack of mail waiting to be sent. It's because I owed a lot of people letters, mostly zine friends, and I have this big to do list. So I've been crossing things off.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Last night I went to bed super early (I think 6?) and slept all night. I guess I slept 12 hours. I guess being social tired me out.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Jeanne, If You're Ever in Portland
Very rainy here. I have a headache. Yesterday we went to McKinley Park so Erik could jog. I read my mail and wrote a letter to my friend J in New York.
My to do list ended up having 47 items on it, but I've taken care of a few. Tomorrow I'm having tea with my friend K, and Monday I'm seeing a movie with my friend H--we're watching it at her place, one of my very favorite movies: Me and You and Everyone We Know.