dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My friend H loaned me Wicked, which is about the wicked witch of the West. It's cartoonish and good. I love witches, especially imaginary ones. And I've loved this particular witch since I was a kid.

I'm listening to Persuasion by Jane Austen on a little device I got from the library--I think it's called a Play-a-Way. It's like a little MP3 player but it's loaded with only one book. It's unabridged, and I'm on chapter eight or ten. I like it. Not sure what else I think about it. I guess I'll know when I'm done.

And Erik's still reading to me The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf. It's my second time with that book, and I forgot a lot.

And I'm still slowly reading Off the Map by Kika Kat and Hib Chickena as well as a book of poems called Love & Solitude by Edith Sodergran.


I missed a note in my package of zines to review for Zine World, missed the note saying my deadline was March 10th. So I'm only halfway done. Got an email yesterday from the person who runs it. I hate being irresponsible. So that's what I have to do today.

We're making messy rice for breakfast, which will actually be more like brunch, and I'll cook it five minutes less and see what happens. Also, I turned the heat down a little lower--to more like 2.5 on the electric range than our usual 3.

messy rice

Erik's been having the allergy attack from hell--we were up during the night.

Yesterday we made Messy Rice from the Veganomicon, and it was delicious, but it burned on the bottom. I need to figure out what I did wrong. I guess I needed to cook it less time. I assumed 40 min because it was brown rice, but it's brown jasmine rice, and maybe if I look at the package it will say a shorter time.

SAT scoring is over. We have nothing to do today. Maybe we'll go out to lunch to celebrate our anniversary, something we didn't do during SAT.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

peppermint punch

Today I worked on a series of poems about jobs I've had. I like what I've come up with so far. I have a habit of rushing things because I like to be done, but I want to try taking this slow and maybe writing more.

Tonight I made chickpea cutlets from the Veganomicon, but instead of making them in cutlet form, I made them in nugget form. They turned out super great.

SAT scoring is almost over--tomorrow's supposedly the last day, but they haven't been updating us. Erik's planning on getting up at four in the morning tomorrow to get some hours in.

I asked Erik what I should call this blog post, and he suggested "deers and mice." Then he said "peppermint punch." I choose the latter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

what Friday feels like

Today Erik is working a one day in person job, so it's just me and Kitty home scoring SAT. Since Erik's not here, I get to listen to music. It makes scoring so much more pleasant. My speaker / headphone jack on my computer is still all static-y, so I burn myself CDs to listen to on the boom box. Just now I burned myself a CD of mostly Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and singles by the Cure. Earlier I was listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's first album, and the more I hear it, the more I love it.

Yesterday my friend H was having her car worked on--her mechanic is near our neighborhood--so I went to visit her while she waited, and it was fun to hang out at the deli. She was on her way to Oregon. Kinda wish I was on my way to Oregon! Project's supposed to score out Sunday. Then we have about a week off before North Carolina starts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

this is just to say

I'm doing okay. Erik is doing yoga, and I'm going to bed. Night!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The fava beans we bought online a long time ago came shelled, but these fava beans we got through freecycle were not shelled, so this morning I spent about an hour and a half removing the shells from two pounds' worth. I had Erik read to me for a few minutes of that time. He's probably not working nine and a half hours today, so that was okay.

So for lunch we had ful very plain--just beans and salt. Future meals will have garlic and probably onion in them. And lemon juice.

Monday, March 23, 2009

River Song Meditation

This morning my old yoga teacher Beth Johnson emailed me about her new website, and I thought I would mention it on my blog. I loved Beth's yoga class, and I stopped going when it was difficult for me to afford it. Beth and I talked about working out alternate arrangements, but that never came to fruition. I still think about yoga and how good it was for me, but I haven't gone in years now. Beth is a great teacher--she's gentle, genuine, present, funny, kind, and skilled. I would recommend her to anyone, especially as a teacher for beginners.


edit to add: The link's not working, for some reason, but you can cut and paste.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I just learned about IndieSacramento! It's a craft festival in May of local vendors at a park downtown at Q and 15th from 10 - 3. I am so going!

anniversary, static, soap, etsy

Yesterday nothing interesting happened except that it was our seven year wedding anniversary, and Erik was scoring for nine and a half hours, so we didn't go out to lunch or anything--at night we did a ritual that I designed, and it was brilliant.

There are two things I would like to report. The first is that the sound on my computer is still screwed up. It's all static-y, and nothing I do stops the static. Just now I was listening to some music anyway, so desperate, but it sounds like crap.

The second is that I had some free Revolution Money Exchange money, so I bought some soap on etsy! And it's so fabulous! Homemade soap. I bought two bars. The first I'm using now--it's unscented and uncolored and has oatmeal and I think some spices in it. It smells great, like soap, and it makes a wonderful lather. The other bar is uncolored and butterscotch scented. Both bars are vegan. I bought them from someone called Dennis Anderson.

Do you know about etsy? It's a wonderful way to buy things from people, mostly handmade things. I think I first learned about it through zines--some people sell zines there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

cat cold / cat allergies

Kitty's been sneezing for a week. I would think it's a cold only he hasn't been out to catch one. So maybe it's allergies.

vegan peanutbutter fudge

I woke up yesterday morning wanting to make peanutbutter fudge. So yesterday I researched a recipe, found a super easy one, and today I made it. It's so good but not a health food whatsoever. There are no nutritionally redeeming qualities. I guess there's a little protein in there, but mostly it's fat and sugar. So it's dangerous medicine, and I wish I was seeing friends soon and could bring them some. I hadn't had fudge in maybe 15 years?


Yesterday was my first day wearing shorts since last fall.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

what happened to my mail

Posted by Picasa

This came in a "we fucked up" plastic USPS bag.

new writers group person

Last night was women's writers group, and we got a new member S. She's funny and laughs loudly. She's quirky with language, kindhearted, very verbal and demonstrative, two years older than I am, and some of her hair is pink. I hope she'll email us her story soon. She brought some poems I never read, which I regret. I was quiet but hopefully not too quiet. I'm bringing her some zines next time.

I brought blackberries, and H brought a vegan pie. It was coconut, lime, and I think some other flavor too. It was very good, especially the coconutness.

SAT scoring began this morning. It's warm out--I'm very comfortable in shorts. I got some zines in the mail from Australia a few days ago called Fergus.

Irish breakfast tea

Last time we were there, Trader Joe's didn't have decaf fair trade organic black tea, so Erik recommended decaf Irish breakfast tea as an alternative, and I think it's really good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Erik's mouth

Erik didn't go to the dentist for more than 10 years, but I finally convinced him that it was the responsible thing to do because it's better to know what's going on in case there's an emergency growing. We got some introductory offers in the mail, and we live right by a lot of dentist offices. So we picked the best offer--free exam and x-rays with a paid cleaning of $75--and he went. It turns out he has a few small cavities that are nothing much to worry about. He also has a cracked filling and a cavity by that filling that could use some attention. Also, the dentist wants Erik to have his wisdom teeth removed, which I don't think makes any sense because they're not doing anything. So Erik's not planning on going back.

the trip to San Francisco

Yesterday morning we headed out. First stop was Half Price Books where we sold about 30 books. It was good to get rid of them. I bought some pretty notecards with a picture of sunflowers on them and a Nancy Drew journal--both were very inexpensive. Erik was looking for a textbook that wasn't there.

Then we went to Berkeley for lunch. We ate Indian-Pak food at House of Curries. The food was delicious, better than usual--the bangan bartha wasn't as hot as it usually is, so I didn't cry.

Then we went to San Francisco. We took the Embarcadero BART stop and went to the Ferry Building. It's full of interesting shops and restaurants. We had tea at a tea place, and my herbal infusion was the best herbal tea I had ever tasted. We looked at specialty groceries. I saw some beans I had never seen before called Pope's Beans. But my favorite thing to do at the Ferry Building is to sit out back and look at the water and the boats. So we did that. Little kids chased pigeons.

Then we headed to China Town, where we walked around hoping to find City Lights Bookstore, but we didn't have directions--oh well. We went into some shops that I found irritating and overwhelming. We walked through a park full of men playing some game with little, uh, tile things. I assume it was a gambling game.

I wanted to be early getting to Union Square so we could rest a while, which we did. Then I found S at the Cheesecake Factory. It's on the 8th floor of the Macy's building. We shared a warm hug hello. Talking with her was pretty easy. Erik and I split a pasta dish and then split a piece of cheesecake (Dulce de Leche). S had a monstrously huge salad, so big she took a picture of it--she was about to eat about a fourth of it--and ate half a piece of blueberry cheesecake. She taught us many differences between the US and Australia. She said blueberries were a very American food, for her, and so is cinnamon.

Then we were going to take her to the Ferry Building, but it was too long a walk for her, and she was only wearing flip flops, and it was getting cold. So we walked her to her hostel instead. She took a picture of us, and Erik took a picture of me and her. We shared a warm hug goodbye. So it was a good visit.

Then Erik and I went back to the Ferry Building to use the bathroom and so I could look at the water and the boats some more. We took the BART back to Berkeley.

Overall, it was an exhausting visit, and I don't plan to do it again anytime soon. We go into SF only rarely because I find it too much, but I did good, this trip, except for some mild panic in Chinatown. And some discomfort on the BART.

Monday, March 16, 2009

happy Shit Day

Today was called Shit Day. We planned all the stuff we didn't want to do for this day. For example, Erik had his first dentist appointment in more than 10 years. I did mass Medi-Cal forms. We got the oil changed. Erik started the taxes. That kind of day.

But it's good to have stuff done. And tomorrow we're going to San Francisco so I can see my Australian penpal S. She's visiting the US for a month or something. And she's in SF for six nights.

I am tired beyond tired, so goodnight, moon.

We Are All Accelerated Readers

This is my favorite song today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

no entry

I wish I was the kind of person who knew how to use her cell phone to take a picture and then get the picture onto her computer for a blog post, because I wish I had a picture to show you of what I encountered today on my usual walk. I always go down Arden to the Catholic church, through their parking lot and into an alley, through the alley and into a smallish housing development that's nice and quiet (except for that one time I almost got attacked by a little dog). Well, today I got to the smallish housing development, and there was a big Neighborhood Watch sign up! And tacked next to the big Neighborhood Watch sign were some smaller signs saying "No trespassing" and "No soliciting" and "Private property"! Can you believe it? So I turned around and left. I don't see how it can really be private property--it's not a private road--it's a county road, as far as I can see, and I don't understand how they can say they own the sidewalk. So I feel indignant and angry--walking through a smallish housing development is not a crime! I wonder what happened to trigger the putting up of this sign. At any rate, it gives me a yuckie feeling inside, and I'm frustrated because it's so hard finding a place to walk around here! Alta Arden is a busy road with no sidewalk--they're busy roads, around here. I wish this part of Sacramento wasn't so car-centric.

Fair Oaks

I had been feeling cooped up. So after choir practice we went to a vegetarian restaurant called Sunflower--it was my second time there and Erik's first. We got tasty food and ate it at the park. This was in Fair Oaks--in Fair Oaks, there are lots of feral chickens, so at the park, we saw seven or so, and at one point they were surrounding us at our picnic table. I love to watch them and listen to them cluck. Then we went for a long walk on a bridge across the river and on the bluffs and through a small woods and then in a neighborhood, where we looked at houses and yards and flowers. This was just the stimulation I needed, so it was a super fun afternoon.

In the evening when we got home there was some mail waiting for us. I received a letter from my friend H who lives in Sacramento--she's a zinester and makes Dreams of Donuts. I also got a zine from someone named Byrd the Starfish--haven't read it yet. Our friend J on the East Coast sent us a gift subscription to a music magazine called Paste, and it arrived--it includes a CD, so we listened to that. I wrote back to H.

This morning Erik left for hiking at 8, and I slept in until 9:30, so church wasn't even an option, but I haven't been going Sunday mornings--I've been going to choir practice and pujas only.

Tomorrow is a day we've set aside for doing things we don't want to do: taxes, additional Medi-Cal forms, oil change--I need to call county about a bill. I don't know whether we'll get it all done.

Then Tuesday we're supposed to go to San Francisco to see my penpal S from Australia--she's visiting, and she's supposed to call me so we can talk about it, but I haven't heard from her yet--maybe she'll call tomorrow. Erik loves San Francisco but is not so keen on going.

Friday, March 13, 2009

chewy carob-raspberry cookies

This afternoon I amended a recipe from the Veganomicon, the recipe for chewy chocolate-raspberry cookies (I don't eat chocolate). They turned out perfect--rich, dense, heavy, and bursting with flavors. Something about the almond extract, I think--I would say that's the secret ingredient. They come out nearly black--they look like briquettes.

manzana chili verde

Yesterday in the morning we went to my mental health place to pick up medication. We waited an hour. The nurse apologized. I was happy my medication was there because last month, it wasn't.

In the afternoon we went to to co-op for lots of ingredients. We bought jalapenos, poblanos, two yukon gold potatoes, a large yellow onion, a large jar of tomatillo salsa, elephant garlic, granny smith apples, and a large green onion. We also bought avocados, tomato paste, couscous, fake bacon bits, and soy yogurts. We brought our cooler with an ice pack and put some of the perishables in there.

Then we went to McKinley park where Erik ran and I walked. It was very warm, and while I was walking, I wished I was wearing shorts. Then when I sat in the shade reading and writing, I got cold. So it's still an in-between time.

Then in the evening, Erik decided to make the dish we had bought all the ingredients for: manzana chili verde. However, it took a long time, and I helped him by readying the garlic, coring and slicing the apples, reassuring him about the measurements of the potato chunks and pepper slices he cut, stirring the pot, and other small tasks. I had found some old corn tortillas in the freezer, which I thawed under running water and patted dry and warmed in the microwave. So when we sat down to eat, we had a hearty, fabulous meal, and the best thing about it is how different it is from the way we usually eat. It was like going to a restaurant, Erik said. Another good thing about it is the fact that there are leftovers. The recipe is from the Veganomicon.

When I was a kid, my mom made my dad chili verde kind of often, I think with pork, and I'm curious about her recipe and how different it was from the recipe we used for ours.

At night I went to women's writers group--it was two of us at Temple. We looked at poems, wrote--she drank tea while I drank hot soymilk with a shot of caramel (they didn't have almond). Next week we're meeting again and hopefully will have a new person!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

me in the shawl

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Tonight there was a puja for Chaitanya, and something wonderful happened. My friend V gave me a shawl she brought me back from Nepal! She came home from Nepal a while ago, so she had it for a long time, but her husband has been sick, and she's been super busy with him at the nursing home. The shawl is deep black with a colorful stripey pattern at the edge. I will see if Erik will take a picture tomorrow.

Coincidentally, my friend B asked me about my om bag. "Where did you get that great bag with all the oms on it?" he asked. I told him the bookstore--"Our bookstore?" he asked. I said yes. He said he hadn't seen it. I told him, "You never go there!" He said, "You're right." I asked, "Have you ever been there?" B lives in the monastery but has a problem with his leg that keeps him from getting around very far. He told me he'd been there once.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

cards, visits, audio

Yesterday I went to my friend H's place, and we made St Patrick's Day cards and spring cards using her stamps--she has many. She made a heart stamp so we could use the hearts to make clovers. I went for simplicity and came up with some nice color combinations, like purple on lavender and orange on yellow. I love my friend H, and her happy energy makes me feel enlivened. I enjoy the way she tries to feed me and makes me tea and listens to me and makes room for my quietness.

Then in the afternoon I went over to my friend P's place where we spoke for hours. The longer we spoke, the deeper our conversation became. I sit on the sofa, and she sits in a recliner. At some point she gives me water to drink and offers me snacks--our visits follow a format. We ended up speaking about death. She said she's ready to go at any time. She's 74. We spoke of our friends who are getting old (in their 90s) and one who has cancer, and what would happen when they die. We spoke about me and my mental health troubles, which actually made me uncomfortable, but maybe it was good. We talked about how all mental illness is on a spectrum, and how mine isn't too bad. I gave her issues 2-4 of functionally ill, which I'm a little nervous about. When we parted, we said "I love you" to each other and shared a nice hug.

This morning I got a sweet email from my friend J saying he was seriously enjoying the mix CD I sent him. I went to listen to some music, to hear again what I sent him, and my headphones had a lot of static. I reported the problem to Erik, and he tried to fix it. He tried different headphones and did other things, but he couldn't fix it. So I burned a CD to listen to on a boom box.

I've been writing the St Patrick's Day cards and spring card to send friends, and I like it. And I'm sending zines around to people I owe them to, like I always do, and that's good too.

Today I'm seeing my friend A at the Peet's we always go to. I've had this pain in my upper back for days now. It seems to get worse while I sleep then improves slightly throughout the day. Sometimes I take ibuprofen.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

happy daylight changings time

Yesterday I went to a free Saturday clinic to get a prescription for my blood pressure medication. The people were nice. One even offered me some water. I was seen quickly even though I didn't have an appointment.

Then we went to Southside Park. There were almost no people there exercising. There were a lot of people by the children's playground, though. I talked on the phone with my mom and wrote a letter to my best friend E after walking.

Friday, March 06, 2009

nothing much

Last night was women's writers night. There were only two of us. We read "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop and wrote about things we'd lost. I came up with a couple things I like.

Yesterday I got out from the library a three CD set of love songs by the Magnetic Fields. I've listened to some and really like them. I also got out a Cure CD from 1981 called Faith. None of the song titles is familiar, but I tend to like their old stuff, so I'm kind of excited about that too.

Today we went to Howe Park and I walked while Erik ran. Then I wrote a letter to my penpal R in Cumbria. The sky is blue today with big fluffy clouds. I have two meetings this evening for samiti. It's going to take five hours, and it will be hard for me to be around people that long, but there was no other way.

This morning I made oatmeal with almond milk instead of soymilk, and it was so good.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Did some major cleaning in the bedroom today. Threw a bunch of old stuff away, and got together some other stuff for Goodwill. Still lots more to do.

Kasbah last night was awesome. We watched someone smoking a hookah through the window. They were out on the patio. We were inside eating some delicious falafel, baba ganoush, hummus, olives, labneh, and sweet potato fries with delicious hot creamy sauce. The conversation was relaxed and intimate. The light was dim. Driving on the freeway in the pouring rain felt dangerous, but we were fine.

Today we went for a walk by the American River. It was good to be out, but I was in a bad mood. I got two books and a CD that were waiting for me at the library: The Phantom Tollbooth, Tuesday, and Bjork's Debut. I'd heard great things about Tuesday, but it wasn't my cup of tea (it's a picture book, a fast read). Erik started reading me The Phantom Tollbooth, and I'm not that into it so far. I prefer the other book he's reading to me, The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (my favorite novel for years).

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

teeth, hike, hookah lounge

This morning I got my teeth cleaned. The dentist came around to say hi. I never know how to respond to their small talk questions. He remembers my job. He said he always sees me walking with Erik and honks at us, but we ignore him. I think he was just kidding, but I wonder.

Erik is hiking Mt Diablo. It's raining a lot. I guess they're getting soaked.

Tonight I see my friend H for dinner. We're going to a hookah lounge, if you can believe that.

Monday, March 02, 2009


I would like to review a vegan candy I got with that shipment of junk food I ordered from Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe. The candy is called LauraLee's Original Peanut. It tastes like the inside of a Butterfinger or actually more like the inside of a 5th Avenue, if you've ever had a 5th Avenue. It's really, really good: flakey, crunchy, sweet but not too sweet. The version I got is four ounces and two servings, 250 calories each.


Last night I was writing a letter to my penpal in New Zealand when something happened that had never happened before--Kitty bit me! He bit me twice. It was very gentle. I was shocked. Erik said it was affectionate and googled it. He read that it could be affectionate or could be a sign of boredom.

outage, cultural exchange, lentil soup, hand soap

Today we tried going to our home library and it was closed because the power was out. So I couldn't pick up the books and CD that are there waiting for me.

We did the Medi-Cal application. It was a lot easier than we thought it would be. We watched little kids play while we waited in line. "What language do you speak?" one mom asked another.

She replied with a word I didn't understand.

"Where were you born?" the mom asked.

"Ethiopia," the mom said.

"How interesting!" the first mom said. She didn't know what to say. It was a mini-conversation taking place with quite an audience of bored people.

I made some heavenly lentil soup. It has onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, salt, pepper. Doesn't sound very good, does it? But it is!

I found out that the complete line of method products is vegan. I decided to buy some liquid hand soap for the bathroom because for some reason bars of soap fall apart. And I did some research to find out that it's vegan. It didn't say so on the bottle, but it says so on the website.


This morning OpenOffice won't open. I have some files in there that I really need access to. So I hope it starts behaving soon.

edit: It works now.

yesterday and today

Yesterday we went to the Crocker, which is the museum that I think of as Sacramento's biggest. They have free admission Sundays from 10 - 1. We went to see the Buddha exhibit and took a turn through the rest of the museum too. It was fun.

Today we're going to the Medi-Cal office to finish the application process. I feel nervous about it.