dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pained, pained, pained

jumbled list

1. I put in earrings after not wearing any for months. It didn't take too long.
2. The puja food included jalebi, which is a strange dessert that's kind of rubbery and very orange. I like it. There was also some carrot halwa that had too many raisins in it.
3. Went to mental health place to fill out Medi-Cal paperwork.
4. Walked at Effie Yeaw this morning--saw lots of deer and wild turkeys. I sat by the river and worked on a letter and got a little sunburn. (Doesn't Effie Yeaw sound like some kind of a replacement for a curse word?)
5. Had "I Palindrome I" by They Might Be Giants stuck in my head for a day. "See the hands of my offspring making windmills" is one of the many reasons I love them.
6. Kitty's favorite thing to do lately is looking out the window. That and pooing on the floor.

Ramakrishna puja

Tonight was Ramakrishna puja.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

green rooibos

Erik got a box today too. He ordered some green rooibos, impossible to find in Sacramento. We know where to get it in Berkeley (Elephant Pharmacy), but they've been out the last two times we've checked. He's happy he gets to drink some tonight when he gets home from work.

sugar rush

It all began with a craving for vegan marshmallows. It led to a purchase from Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe. And today my package arrived! I knew it was supposed to arrive today, so I waited for the knock of the UPS delivery person. Finally it came.

The box was hard to open. Everything was well-packed and undamaged.

The first thing I tried was the Old Fashioned Carob Glazed doughnut by Nutrilicious. It was so good. I tried to save half, but I didn't succeed.

Then I tried a marshmallow by Sweet & Sara. It was squishy and marshmallowy and very sweet. I tried another. Definitely squishy and marshmallowy and very sweet. I hadn't had a marshmallow since I was...16 years old? Or maybe did I make some exception after that? I can't remember. But it had been a long time.

Then I tried the vanilla lip balm made by The Merry Hempsters. I read a review saying it would not be very vanilla-y, and the review was right, but I like it.

Everything has been put in the fridge for safekeeping. It's mostly candy, another doughnut, and a vegan mac & cheese mix.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

vegan coconut carrot rice pudding

Today I made the vegan coconut carrot rice pudding from Vegan Lunch Box. I don't actually have Vegan Lunch Box--I used to have it out from the library, but I returned it long ago. I happened to find the recipe online, after some searching. So I made it for us for dinner, and we weren't too impressed. It wasn't what I was expecting--I was expecting something like Indian food dessert. This tasted way healthier. I guess that's why it's considered a main dish rather than a dessert. Oh, but the recipe calls for brown Basmati rice, and I used regular old long grain brown rice. So maybe it would have been yummier. Yeah.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

walnuts, Ghost World, garlic press, speakers

I got these walnuts from Trader Joe's that are already broken up so it's very convenient when I want to bake something. The other day I baked some pumpkin carob chip cookies, and they turned out as tasty as always.

Last night I read Ghost World, and today I gave it four out of five on Good Reads. I liked it very much though at first the characters seemed so abrasive. Other reviewers said how realistic it was and "When I was 18, I was Enid," but I have never spoken that way with my friends. I guess I'm a...lightweight? Prude?

I'm in the middle of making some baba ganoush. The eggplant is cooling. I broke the excellent garlic press making chili the other day, so all we have now is the substandard garlic press.

Wrote a letter to my friend G in Japan. Went to the Carmichael library and got a Ibrahim Ferrer CD we're listening to right now. Got a pair of freecycle computer speakers that have good sound but very quiet. I wonder why so quiet? They're not small.

Friday, February 20, 2009

fava beans

Tonight I got two pounds of fava beans through freecycle. I had been looking for fava beans and was about to order some online because I couldn't find any at the co-op or Whole Foods. But then today there was this offer on freecycle, and I was the lucky winner. So I'll make some ful.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

picture introduction

Here are some pictures Erik took on his hike today.

witch's butter with spiders

Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa

brown fungus

Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa

bright leaves

Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa

pumpkin scones, phone rings, CD, vitamins, bad dream: a letter

Dear World,

Last night I made pumpkin scones from a recipe Erik found in Student's Go Vegan Cookbook. We were not too impressed. They tasted kind of boring, kind of good. But the texture was too cakey. I expect my scones to be a little more like a biscuit, a little crumbly--Erik suggested flakey. These were like cookies, almost--cakey cookies. But not in a good way. Anyway, we followed the recipe very closely except we left out the raisins / craisins, and I made them smaller than the recipe suggested.

Lately the phone's been ringing off the hook. I don't answer it, and whoever's calling doesn't leave a message. (I'm the kind of person who lets the phone ring until the answering machine answers it and then listens to hear whether it's someone I like, and if it's someone I like, I pick up.) I assume it's telemarketers.

Today Erik is hiking with his best friend T. They're going to Cataract Creek. I've got a pot of beans on the stove and plan to make some pumpkin carob chip cookies with the leftover canned pumpkin from last night's scones. I've washed the dishes and talked with my sick friend P on the phone. I'm listening to a CD I made for my friend H--I haven't seen her since making it the other night, so I'm listening to it, and I'm thinking maybe I'll make a copy for myself because I really like it. It's a more peppy mix than I would usually make because H is an energetic, peppy person.

1. Genius of Love -- Tom Tom Club
2. Close to Me -- The Cure
3. Come On! Feel the Illinoise! -- Sufjan Stevens
4. The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades -- Sufjan Stevens
5. Concerning the UFO Sighting -- Sufjan Stevens
6. I Am Stretched on Your Grave -- Sinead O'Connor
7. Hit -- The Sugarcubes
8. I Left the Grounds -- Innocence Mission
9. Nashville Parthenon -- Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
10. Scattered Pearls -- Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
11. This Must Be the Place -- Talking Heads
12. Please Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s) -- Los Campesinos!
13. My Year in Lists -- Los Campesinos!
14. This Year -- Mountain Goats
15. Raid on Entebbe -- Mountain Goats
16. Why Can't I Touch It -- The Buzzcocks
17. Rip It Up -- Orange Juice
18. The Bridge I Burned -- Elvis Costello
19. Lost City -- Ghost Mice
20. Pictures of Pandas Painting -- They Might Be Giants
21. Clap Your Hands -- They Might Be Giants

I guess I ruined the surprise, if she reads this, and sometimes she does. But she won't know which H I'm talking about. Unless she realizes how peppy she is.

Later other friend P is coming to pick up the manuscript I finished editing last night, and I don't think he's dropping off a new one--I think we're All Done. But he'll have more work for me proofreading transcriptions in a month.

Yesterday we bought some vegetarian multivitamins at the co-op. Erik got a terrible headache and feels worried it was the vitamin he took, so he didn't take one today. He said he'd try again, though, on a non-hiking day.

Today I've received many emails. This happens sometimes, as if you, world, decide I've been too isolated and decide to send me lots of attention.

Tomorrow I have annual paperwork at my mental health place. I'm stressed about it. Then Saturday I have a doctor's appointment, seeing my shrink, and I'm nervous about that too. Then Tuesday I have my eligibility appointment, and I'm really, really nervous about that. So I'm a creature of anxiety, but no one would understand why unless they knew the effect bureaucracy has on me, and how I feel when I'm not being treated like a person.

Last night I dreamt I accidentally sent an email to everybody in my yahoo address book and it was very bad. That makes me want to go through my yahoo address book and delete some people.

So, that's my news. I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying your Thursday.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

truck miracle

We ended up taking the truck somewhere else for its smog test, and it passed! So we don't have to worry about getting a diagnostic and all the trouble of qualifying for the assistance program.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

my day in words

Today we went to the bird refuge. We saw egrets, a heron, different kinds of ducks, and tons of coots. It was rainy and windy. It's still rainy and windy.

Then we went to IKEA. Something special happened: we went in for one thing and came out with one thing. The one thing was a wooden dish drainer. Actually, I looked at dishtowels (a weakness of mine) but none were my type. And I would have loved to find an inexpensive umbrella. But they didn't seem to have any.

Then we went to the library where I got two Tori Amos CDs and an Iron & Wine. And a Cat Stevens.

Then we went to Trader Joe's and got lots of produce though Trader Joe's is not known for its produce.

Tonight I made Erik a bell pepper sandwich for dinner. Then we had spinach salad with fake bacon bits. Then we shared a large square cookie. Tonight P is coming over to pick up a manuscript and deliver a new one. Erik is going to T's place to play video games.

I'm stressed out about the truck. Aamco has a special going on where they'll find out why your check engine light is on for free. So we're planning to bring it there tomorrow morning. They open at 8, the nice woman told me, and don't do appointments. I really wish they did appointments.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Howl's Moving Castle

I forgot to blog about this movie, which we watched in three installments and finished yesterday. (I like watching a movie in pieces this way--it gives me time to really think and digest it.) Howl's Moving Castle is made by the same people who did Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service. I liked it very much, though there was definitely some hokiness, like the ending. Also, it was a little confusing. The rules of the universe they were in seemed shifty, but I can't talk about it without giving plot elements away. If you like children's movies or anime at all, I suggest this one. We found it at the library.

book life

Well, I finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle this evening. Now I've got that feeling like, "What do I do now?" I remember when I was a kid acting in a play, and then the last performance of the play was over, and I would get a terrible empty feeling like the whole goal of my life was no longer. It's a 600 page book. I have a poem that says something like, "This way we fit 50 lives into our one life." That's how I feel about novels.

Erik's been reading me The Scarlet Letter, but I don't like it. We finally skipped through the intro because I found it boring as heck. But I still don't like it. We might switch to Crime and Punishment.

I got graphic novel Ghost World out form the library--might start that. And I got a book called Student's Go Vegan Cookbook or something along those lines. Erik wants to make the baked seasoned fries.

injury, Shaz, failed library attempt, Goodwill

This morning I stepped on a little piece of a dish that didn't get swept up after the dish broke. It went into my heel, just a little bit. It didn't hurt too bad, but I hate getting a cut on my foot.

Then we went out to lunch. We went to this new Indian-Pakistani place that's in a horrible location. Oh, I mentioned it yesterday--it's called Shaz. When we got there, the "closed" sign was on. But a man showed up and motioned to us that it was open. So we parked and went in. We were the only eaters there. It's a huge warehouse-like room. A young woman seated us, and we looked at the menu. I was super disappointed that the menu she handed us didn't match the menu that's online. My planned order was all messed up--the main thing I wanted was baingan bartha. But it wasn't there. We ended up getting veggie samosas, tandoori paneer, aloo ghobi (cauliflower and potatoes), garlic naan, and paratha. The food was all totally yum. But the owner kept talking to us. We're the anonymous diner type. She asked us what we thought of everything. I was too shy to bring up my disappointment about the menu. While we ate, two other couples showed up, so that's good. I think they're going down. But we took a flier about their grand opening. They're having a bounce house and everything. Sadly, I think it will be poorly attended. The location is just bad. But for their grand opening there's a buffet on the cheap side, and we might go.

Then after lunch (Erik had chai, and they brought it to him in a little white teapot), we tried to go to the Carmichael library, but the lot was full. People were illegally parked on the street. We thought about parking illegally for a while but gave up and left.

Then we visited the Goodwill on Arden. This was the first time we'd been there since it reopened. The clothing there is completely disorganized, and there's no way I'm going to go through every women's shirt there searching for something my size. But I found some pink stationary for a dollar. Some of the prices were high (I looked at a lot of dishes), for a thrift store, but the stationary's price seemed fair.

vegan ginger carrot cake, moong dal

Last night I baked a cake while Erik was out playing video games with T. It's my vegan ginger carrot cake that I've made many times only I leave out the raisins entirely and use soymilk instead of apple juice. This time I put in extra ginger, and I grated the carrot finer than usual, and I think it's the best cake I've ever eaten in my life. Erik thinks so too. Well, back when I ate chocolate my mom made me a kick-ass brownie nut cake. But I'm trying to say this carrot cake is really good!

This afternoon I made some dal. It's moong dal. I followed the recipe except I doubled it and added tons of garlic and ginger. It's easy and so good. It's much like a soup we used to eat all the time known as sacred soup which is basically the same thing only with red lentils and it's made in two different pots rather than one. This new recipe is easier. Anyway, it's the kind of good that grows. The more you eat, the better it gets. I really recommend this dal to everyone.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

almond milk

I got some almond milk last time we were at Trader Joe's, and we tried it today and really like it. Mildly almondy. I think it would make great pudding. I don't particularly enjoy the taste of soymilk. Wanted to try hemp milk, which we saw at Whole Foods, but it's super expensive.

happy Valentine's Day

Yes, I got my medication yesterday. So I don't have to think about all that until my eligibility appointment on February 24th. Actually, I have annual paperwork on the 20th and a doctor's appointment the 21st.

Anyway, I made some vanilla pudding yesterday. It turned out great. I ate the first serving warm. It reminded me of oatmeal but without the oats, which makes sense because the basic ingredients are the same--soymilk, maple syrup. I liked it cold better. Erik liked it better than the carob versions.

Right now I'm waiting for P to come pick up his manuscript and deliver a new one. This project is almost over. Then I think we'll deposit some checks at the bank and go to farmers' market. Farmer's market? I know there's more than one farmer, but farmers' market looks bad. I finally found peace about how to punctuate women's writers group. I decided it should be punctuated like women's studies.

We thought about going to lunch at a new Indian-Pak place called Shaz and using Valentine's Day as an excuse, but then we remembered I have choir practice at 12:15. Kinda plunk in the middle of the day there. So I think we'll go tomorrow, or Tuesday.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today I went with P to the county pharmacy to get my medication. It wasn't there, but they said they would make it up for me, to wait an hour, but P needed to give someone a treatment at 2:30, so we're going back when she's done. I have a special blue pass to jump to the front of the line, and I'm worried about using it, worried about getting into trouble with impatient waiters. Not waiters like at a restaurant but like at a county pharmacy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

happy Abe's birthday or something

It turns out today is a county holiday anyway. The county pharmacy is closed.

fallen apart

I planned to describe the visits in some detail, but I lost my resolve. Last night we went to Maalouf's and had some delicious Lebanese food. This morning I'm cold, and I've been reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I'm burning a CD for my best friend E. She was supposed to move on to her sister's house today, but she got sick, so she's staying at her hotel another night. So I might or might not see her again before she moves on. Plans have shifted.

Yesterday afternoon I spent trying to get my medication. The story is too long, boring, and frustrating to tell. This morning E and I were going to go to the big county pharmacy to see if they would give me my medication, but she's sick, so it's not happening. I don't have transportation there--the truck is riding rough, and I don't trust it. I have never taken the bus here in Sacramento and feel too fragile to try for the first time this morning. I have a therapy appointment at 12:30, so maybe after that I'll feel strong enough to try taking the bus. I'm scared of getting stranded somewhere and having no one to call. Erik is working.

So I feel that things have fallen apart. If only our work was regular and steady and not in intense short periods. I wish we had had the truck fixed by now, for example, which could have happened if we were regular people. Or if Erik had a regular job, maybe he would be able to take tomorrow off to bring me to the county pharmacy and help me fight for my medication (it's come down to that).

Yesterday was really rainy, but today it's gray out but no rain. That's good because I don't have an umbrella--we had one, but it's lost. I need to get a new umbrella. Certain things Need To Be Done, but they're always postponed. When Erik is off work next week, we'll be able to do certain things. We have no work again until February 25th.

Living feels really difficult right now. I don't think it's that I'm depressed, just overwhelmed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the big visit day one

My best friend E is in town. Yesterday we went to lunch at a vegetarian place I had never been to before called Sunflower. It's in Fair Oaks. We had a heck of a time finding the place. We asked three different people for help after our google directions failed us. Once there, we waited in line to order. It was good people watching. I got falafel and a banana-peanutbutter shake. The shake was a religious experience. The falfel was like a salad. The inside is very small and was full, so we sat outside, and it was cold.

Then we went to Vedanta. I showed her around the garden. She took pictures of an egret and of statuary and of me in a bare-branched fig tree. (I didn't climb the fig tree--I was standing within its branches.) She had been there before in the summer years ago. We ran into P, so it was nice that she got to meet E. I showed her inside the temple, and I showed her the harmonium, which was fun--I played her a scale, and she got to play a few notes too.

Then we went to McKinley Park and walked a little bit around the duck pond. We saw pigeons, mallards, wood ducks, a cormorant. Seagulls. She was surprised they were so far inland. We sat on a bench in the sun and talked.

Then E dropped me off at home and went to her hotel room to settle in and rest a while.

Next we went out to dinner at the nearest Indian food place. We spoke of many things. We stopped at the Indian store next door so I could buy some red lentils. Then we came over to my apartment and sat at the table writing a little bit. We made lists of the things we don't know. We brainstormed things she could make a zine about. I got some good ideas too. Maybe I'll make some one-shots.

Now it's morning again, and we have no plans for the day other than to have picnic lunch this time to save money. It doesn't look like rain at all, so we'll have time at the park. Today and every weekday until Monday, Erik is scoring outside the home. Yesterday he spent with his best friend T playing video games.

Monday, February 09, 2009

every letter is a love letter

Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: Great God, grant that twice two be not four. -Ivan Turgenev, novelist and playwright (1818-1883)

This quote from the word of the day made me think of one of my favorite other quotes, which is "Every letter is a love letter." I thought I made this one up, but then I googled it and saw that others before me had thought of it too.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

and to all a goodnight

Well, I worked on minutes for hours, did some other Samiti business (emailing), finished editing P's manuscript and called him, screwed around on facebook for a few, went for a walk at the park, went to the co-op for some supplies, and that was my day. I did about zero cleaning. So I'm hoping to scrub the kitchen floor tomorrow and well as clean the top of the fridge--that's where I keep my spices. Anyway, silently wish me luck or retro-luck.

happy cleaning day

Well, yesterday was busy. In the morning I scored SAT until choir practice and the memorial service for the old man who died. I stayed to sing with the choir and for one memorial speech then left early. Erik was in the garden, so I got him, and we came home for lunch. I prepared some for the board meeting. Then I went to the board meeting. I was a little early. I took copious notes. I ate some soup P heated for me. (She had made it for the potluck, but there was tons left over.) Hugs all around. Then I came home and crashed. I was asleep by 7. I slept eleven and a half hours. Then in the morning I scored SAT for just over an hour, until my project ended. I got in my minimum number of hours, and my stats are pretty incredible.

Today I need to type the minutes, edit other P's manuscript, and participate in major cleaning day.

Friday, February 06, 2009

mint carob pudding

Today I made mint carob pudding. It wasn't that good. The peanutbutter carob pudding was way better. I'll make that again.


I'm feeling stressed out about a number of things. The biggest thing is the board meeting that's taking place tomorrow afternoon. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm supposed to take notes, but I don't know how detailed my notes are supposed to be. Tonight after samiti, M gave me a bunch of stuff--envelopes, letterhead, stamps, a binder, two small notebooks, one large legal pad. A ream of recycled copy paper. There's stuff for me to read, but I feel too tired and overloaded to read. By laws, whatever they are. Articles of incorporation? I have no idea what these things are. Well, I just glanced through what it says on wikipedia, so I have some clue.

Meanwhile, Erik is at his best friend's apartment, and they're playing old video games. I guess I'll go to bed because I'm too tired and overloaded to edit P's manuscript. He didn't number the pages this time, which makes things harder. I'll have to berate him about that.

Erik did some really wonderful cleaning today. The kitchen looks way better. Sunday is big cleaning day, though. Then Monday my best friend E is coming to visit Sacramento for three nights.

I've been getting some great mail. Today--a letter from my only friend in Bishop, a letter from my zinester friend in Sacramento, a postcard from a stranger.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

rainy, windy

Tonight I was supposed to have women's writers group, but my friends are sick and tired, so we canceled, which is fine. Now I have the nice feeling of nothing to do all day (except for SAT scoring, of course). Tomorrow night is women's religious group, and then Saturday I'm busy all day--memorial service in the morning, board meeting in the afternoon.

Last night I put about 20 CDs on my hard drive, so now I have lots more to listen to.

I haven't even started on the manuscript my friend P dropped off for me three days ago. Oops. Busy reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Last night there was some war. I don't do war, and I ended up skipping a few pages having to do with torture.

Yesterday I got a great letter from a stranger with a zine trade. He drew a fire extinguisher. I love the zine he sent: Why Is Your Work So Sloppy?


Last night for the first time I made some gravy from a packet--just add water. I whisked it all together in a pan, and we ate it over potatoes. I didn't care for it, but Erik liked it a lot. It's made by Hain.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

vegan carob pudding

Last night for the first time I made home-made vegan pudding. It's made with cornstarch, soymilk, vanilla, and maple syrup. I made it carob flavor, and I thought it was great. (Erik's not really into carob, so it wasn't his favorite, but he still liked it.)

Next I want to try making the same carob pudding but putting peanut butter in it.

I used something like this chocolate pudding recipe only I used carob powder instead of cocoa powder and mixed the cornstarch with a little water before adding it to the pan.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Tonight I made quinoa for the first time. Looks like the number one pronunciation is KEEN-wah, according to Wikipedia. It was hard to wash it because the grains are so tiny they wanted to go through my fine strainer. But I rinsed it twice just in the pot, and cooked it up, and I like it. I just tried it with earth balance and salt. Erik likes it too. It has a lot of protein in it, and amino acids, and other valuable food things, but it's a lot more expensive than rice, I think. So we probably won't get it a lot. The first time I ever seen quinoa, my friend M brought a dish of quinoa salad to samiti. I don't remember if I tried it--I think I did. It definitely has a nuttiness. It's good. But I need a finer strainer. The Wikipedia article suggests cheesecloth--I don't have that.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

my day in food

This afternoon I made some lentil soup. It has lentils, water, an onion, a carrot, salt and pepper, garlic, ginger, and a bay leaf. It's very good. We had it with some leftover rice. Before, I never cooked with carrots because I thought I hated mushy carrots. But I was wrong.

And then tonight I did something I had never done before in my entire life: I made potato salad. And it's really good. I microwaved the potatoes instead of boiling them. Then I diced them and mixed them with malt vinegar, lots of salt and pepper, vegan mayo, and green onions. It's everything I like about potato salad without the thing I hate (celery).

the drunk people

The drunk people seem to be still drunk!