dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Sunday, May 31, 2009

it's a cool, cool summer

Mid to low 80s around here as far as the eye can see. I dig it. Not bad for June.

spring cleaning at the martial arts studio, zines

Yesterday morning we went to Sacramento Bushido-Kai to do spring cleaning. Erik and I cleaned the mats, which took the whole two hours. It was fun and pretty hard work. Other workers did vacuuming and washed the windows and the mirrors, removed spider webs, and other stuff I didn't really see--washed the door frame, for example.

Then we spent the rest of the day at home. We made chickpea cutlets. I read zines. I printed out all of Erik and LM Magazine #45, and Erik read it out loud to me, proofreading. It's your standard Erik and LM Magazine--lots of poems, some autobiographical essays, book reviews and zine reviews. The zine reviews got no contact info, which I've had one reader complain about in the past, but I guess everyone knows how to use google.

Today Erik is hiking. I plan to make all the edits on Erik and LM #45 and do layout. My friend who says she'd make a cover might or might not come through, and if she doesn't, I have a plan b.


Here is a mandala made by Jack Cheiky based on one of Erik's photos.

Friday, May 29, 2009

vegan lemon cake

This evening I baked a vegan lemon cake, and it's delicious in its lemoniness, moist, sweet. I used white whole wheat flour instead of regular and used half brown sugar, half white sugar. It came out perfect. I didn't know whether to make frosting, but we tried it and agreed it doesn't need frosting. This was my first time baking a cake other than a carrot cake in years. It took about half as much time as a carrot cake.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

without the song

This morning we went to McKinley Park and walked together--then Erik ran, and I wrote in my journal and wrote a letter to C in Bishop. Afterward, we sat together at a picnic table, and some bugs were scaring me, so we moved to a bench by the pond. We saw baby wood ducks, lots of turtles, Canada geese.

Now Erik's washing dishes, and brown basmati rice is cooking on the stove for lunch.

I'm in the middle of The Magic Orange Tree, which is a book of Haitian folktales. I retold one about an evil spirit fish to Erik, and he liked it though I didn't remember the little song that's repeated throughout so I couldn't sing it for him.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

reading frenzy

This morning I called a worker in Oakland about Medi-Cal forms, and she said to just put them in the mail. I was all dressed up with no place to go, so we decided to go out to Fair Oaks and see the feral chickens. Erik wanted to go to the riverside and write.

So we headed out to Fair Oaks but stopped on the way at a small but very beautiful, peaceful botanical garden. I wrote a letter to my penpal R in England. Erik perambulated. A photographer was there doing a photo shoot with a woman, her dog, and her umbrella. She brought bags full of fake flowers with her and stuck them in the bushes to make it look like they were blooming.

Then we stopped at Rudolf Steiner so we could use the bathroom and so I could look at cards at their bookstore, but the bookstore was closed for inventory. We saw the resident cow, which was nice.

Then we went to the riverside. We walked and sat. I wrote in my journal. There was vetch blooming all over the place, which I love.

After the river, we went to Sunflower and got lunch. I got the nut burger, while Erik got the mushroom millet burger. We split a chocolate peanutbutter shake. We ate at the little park by Sunflower. An adorable black chicken with white cheek wattles stayed near us and made adorable little clucking sounds.

Home again, we started watching Year of the Dog which I got from the library, but we couldn't stand it and jumped ship. Then we read a lot. I finished reading a book of poems called The Heaven-Sent Leaf and got halfway through French Milk before bailing then read all of a graphic novel called Shortcomings.

Got an email from our old friend A from grad school saying he and his two sons are going to Yosemite last week of June and maybe we'll camp together.

Monday, May 25, 2009

lemon bars as they are

The vegan lemon bars aren't as good as "real" lemon bars. Well, they're different. I was feeling so nostalgic about the lemon bars of my past, I wanted them to taste exactly the same, which of course they didn't. The crust is the same, but the lemon part on these vegan ones is more like a lemon jello. The consistency is different. Also, I don't think I have a 9 x 13 pyrex, so I used a 10 x 14 or whatever it is. So they were flatter than when I had them in the past too.

Anyway, today is Medi-Cal forms day. They were actually due in 10 days, the letter says, and 10 days was May 23rd, so we're late. I plan to call tomorrow morning and ask if they meant 10 days from the date they were sent or 10 days from the date they were received, and if I can hand deliver them in Oakland instead of sending them in the mail. So Erik and I might be going on a daytrip tomorrow.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

vegan lemon bars

Today I made vegan lemon bars. We haven't tried them yet--they're supposed to chill until 9:30. They were so much work. If I had understood how much work, I might not have undertaken the project. When I was a kid and made lemon bars, I thought it was pretty easy, though it is a two-step process, making the crust first. I guess using agar agar is kind of a pain.

It was my first time zesting lemons. When I was a kid, I just left the lemon zest out. It was fun. Erik helped. I got a good method with a potato peeler.

The laptop has started making weird sounds. We need to bring it in somewhere to get it fixed--I'm sure it's the fan.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

karma yoga day, secret ingredient, almond meal pancakes

This morning at karma yoga day, I worked with P--we trimmed some vinca on the sides of the path on the Shiva mound. I dug up some vinca that was growing in the wrong place and transplanted it some other place where we need more--hard work with a big shovel. I watered that area. And we talked.

Then was lunchtime. Some beans were stellar. I asked B what he used to season them, and he told me his secret was a mix of sambar spices. So I plan to go to the Indian grocery and pick up some sambar spice mix.

Another star was the brown betty. I don't know what fruit was in it--rhubarb? Well, that's not a fruit, but you know what I mean.

Then choir practice was canceled for lack of attendance. Erik was at the fair. He came home, and we took a nap. We were both exhausted.

Then I made some almond meal pancakes that were a failure. Well, we ate them, so I guess they weren't a complete failure. Erik said something like, "No more random recipes off the internet." I noted how the maple syrup seemed so, so sweet because the pancakes weren't bread-like so the syrup didn't soak in. What caused the failure was probably the fact that I used egg replacer rather than eggs. Sometimes egg replacer works--sometimes no.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Tonight Erik's going to a concert at the park to see his friend D for the last time before D moves to Oregon.

Then tomorrow Erik's going to the fair with T while I'm off at karma yoga day. I will be pulling weeds with P from 9 to noon and then eating lunch at the temple and then choir practice at 1:30. Long day--water was supplied last year, but I should bring my own just in case. Luckily, it's not supposed to be too hot. It will be comforting to spend the time with P.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


My friend A--different A--has said she'll make a cover for me!


I need a cover for Erik and LM Magazine #45. Last time I asked my artist friend A to make a cover for me, and she had a few months to do it, but she smoked too much pot, and it never happened. So I ended up making it myself with some art from old Science magazines. Now I'm all out of ideas.

Talking with Erik about buying a MP3 player so I can have some music with me on the trip. He has a little $50 shuffle. That's one gig, which would be fine with me. I think it's 240 songs. Alternately, we can see if a portable CD player we have still works, and I could bring CDs the old fashioned way. Erik's charging the batteries.

Tonight I made buckwheat noodles (soba) and broccoli with soy sauce and hot sesame oil. It was very good. Then I was still hungry, so I ate the leftover cold broccoli with vegan mayo and ketchup. Cold broccoli with mayo is a favorite combination of mine (which most people would probably find revolting).

just lately

I guess I can't say much about it because I'm sworn to secrecy, but the yogurt taste test was pretty fun. It didn't take long, and I liked the yogurt. So I got a free snack, and got paid $30.

Before that, we went to the park. I wrote letters while Erik ran. I had already taken my daily walk in the morning.

Then we went to Whole Foods for water and some ingredients. They didn't have agar agar flakes or arrowroot powder, which is a bummer, and I guess we need to go to the co-op for those. I want to make vegan lemon bars from The Veganomicon. Oh, I need lemons too, but I'm not sure how many. When I was a teenager and made lemon bars, I always used bottled lemon juice.

This morning I spent two hours reading FML, a site I just discovered. I like anecdotes, so it's up my alley.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

more Medi-Cal

The other day I got in the mail something from Medi-Cal, a form that's 15 pages long about my daily activities. Not looking forward to filling it out--they actually sent two, so I guess I need to do it twice. It wouldn't be so bad if there weren't so much anxiety wrapped up in it. Still thinking I've got a snowball's chance in hell. I have 10 days to get a packet back to them.

Tonight after Erik gets home from work, we're planning on going out to the park, and then I have a yogurt tasting study downtown that I'm getting paid $30 for. Not bad for half an hour's work.


This afternoon I baked chewy chocolate raspberry cookies from The Veganomicon using cocoa powder, and I've eaten four of them. I feel totally fine--no anxiety, no reaction at all. I guess I can be a chocolate eater now. However, I find that I like the carob version of these better! Maybe it's because I had the carob version first. It was chewier. Maybe I just messed up this batch? They're more cakey than chewy.

Also in the news, I wrote a letter to Georgia Governor George Perdue today, asking him to commute the death sentence of Troy Davis. I've sent emails, but this was a paper letter.

I've got Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine #45 all arranged the way I want it on the computer. Now I need to finish editing the reviews and have Erik proofread the whole thing, and I'll be ready to cut and paste and print.


I hadn't uploaded anything to my flickr account in years, so I added zine covers today.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


SAT scoring is over!


Yesterday I made some sweet potato soup with sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. It's good, but I'm hoping it'll be even better second day.

edit to add: Smells great, broth's great--sweet potatoes are still boring.


Yesterday I researched all the playaways in the Sacramento library system--there are more than 500 of them, and I looked through each title to find ones that strike my fancy. A playaway is like a MP3 player but it's loaded with a single book. That's how I listened to Persuasion a month ago. I'm thinking of what I'd like to bring to listen to on the trip because I don't think I can read in the car--car sickness.

Anyway, I found tons I'm interested in. I ordered for now A Country Year by Sue Hubbell which is six hours, and something called Rapid Spanish which is only an hour. For the trip I think I'll try to get Madame Bovary and/or Reading Lolita in Tehran. Those are 11 and a half and 18 and a half hours respectively, which doesn't make much sense--maybe Madame Bovary is abridged, which would suck. Anyway, those two appeal to me most. A lot of the books had interesting titles or were by an author I'd heard of, so I ended up looking at synopses on amazon, and I learned some stuff. For example, I'm really interested in reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, but I would want to read it on paper.

voting day in California

Can't forget to vote.

Monday, May 18, 2009

sad face

Project was supposed to score out late this afternoon, but it's 10 in Iowa, and we're still going.


Looks like I'm going on a trip with my parents the first two weeks of July, and the weird thing is that I'm going without Erik. He has to stay home for a couple different reasons. This will be my first trip without him other than a one-nighter I took with my friend P a couple years ago. I think it will be very hard, and I will cry sometimes, but I think it will be worth it because I'll get to attend my brother's wedding, get to visit with my nieces and nephew, and get to spend time with my Nana, who I haven't seen in...more than 10 years? She lives in Missouri. Nana's getting old, and it will be really good for me to spend some time with her although it will be difficult sleeping on the floor in the livingroom--I mean not having a room of my own to retreat to. Looks like when we're visiting my brother, I'll have my own room because my parents will rent a house.

So this has been occupying my thoughts since yesterday evening. At first we were trying to figure out a way to do it with Erik coming too--we would have had to board Kitty. But then we realized Erik would have to give up his unemployment while we were away, and that's $600 we just don't have.

I'm excited about the trip and wish it were tomorrow instead of a month and a week away. I feel ready. Hopefully I'll still feel strong and stable when it's time. When we were talking about it this morning, I cried for a while just thinking about it, and I know there will be more tears, but it should be worth it. I want to think of myself as an adventurer who can be independent and travel and do things, and I'll have my mom to comfort me. Hopefully the stress of travel won't make people too snappy. And hopefully Nana's air conditioner works well. I've decided to compromise my diet because I don't want to make Nana cook vegetarian food for me. I will go back to eating fish and fowl just for the trip, and just when I have to. What else? I think I'll need to wear shorts, so I'm planning on shaving my legs, something I haven't done since I was 17 years old, but my dad especially can't take the sight of a woman with unshaved legs. So that's another compromise. But I can do that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

taking a break from scoring in the dark

Gave Erik a haircut and beard trim last night. He looks clean cut. Before, he looked like a wild mountain man. Now he's ready for in-person job Tuesday.

I made some pasta last night, white pasta from costco my mom bought me last visit. It's so good. I had mine with vegan margarine and salt. And broccoli on the side. Erik had his with broccoli mixed in and garlic and the heavenly local olive oil.

We're scoring SAT in the dark because it's so hot and our apartment is like an oven. Keeping the blinds closed seems to help keep things cooler. But it's like being in a cave.

Hoped to wake up early enough to walk this morning. I thought I was doing so well forcing myself awake, but then I looked at the clock and saw it was 9. Dreamed Erik and I drove our car off the side of a cliff, and while we were falling through the air, we kissed and said we loved one another and goodbye.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Got a call--psychiatrist appointment's canceled! They're not scheduling new appointments--I'm supposed to get a letter within a month.


I see my psychiatrist tomorrow morning. I want to talk to him about anxiety and about how I'm probably losing my services July 1st. Erik and I have been thinking about that. My most expensive medication is so expensive. But my parents have offered to help. We really don't want to try to change anything when what I have in place is working so well. On the other hand, maybe it's working so well because I'm actually fine and don't need any medication at all. It's the crazy person's dilemma--am I really crazy? Do I really need all these little pills?

The most important thing is not to forget about the appointment. That's happened once before, and then as punishment I had to go to something called Med Group before I could get a new appointment. (Med Group was actually fine, but I showed up an hour late for that, and it was a miracle that the guy who runs it would talk to me when I came so late.) I don't think of Saturday mornings as doctor time, but all my appointments with him have been Saturday mornings.

I typed up something about my anxiety for the psychiatrist, and it's scary to give it to him because the last time I typed up something for a doctor and gave it to him--that was my first psychiatrist, Dr N--he wouldn't read it and made me feel dumb. A version of what I typed is going to be in the next functionally ill, which might not be out for a long time, but at least I'm working on it.


I joined twitter today. Good thing? My username was already taken. But I have a backup username.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Turns out the Earl Gray I've been drinking from time to time in the afternoons is caffeinated. Almost the whole box is gone! I thought I had a sensitivity to caffeine, but I guess I was wrong. This changes everything! Well, not really. I still plan on avoiding it. But this probably means I'm okay with chocolate too. I could become a chocolate-eating person.

100 Word Life Plans

A friend sent me a link to this website of brilliant prose poems.


yoga, writing, hot

Yesterday I had yoga. I decided I'm coming to too wide of a stance when doing warrior, triangle, etc. Or maybe it's good for me when my muscles are so exerted they shake. The neighborhood where the yoga place is is very beautiful with amazing gardens. Erik goes for a walk and writes haiku. I wish to walk in that neighborhood too. Since we've been scoring so much lately, there hasn't been time.

This weekend the yoga studio has an open house with all free, slightly shorter than usual yoga classes. I plan to go.

Lately I've been working hard on Erik and LM Magazine #45 as well as functionally ill #5. It's really emotional writing. Night before last I had a hard time going to sleep.

It's supposed to hit 103F (39C) on Sunday. I guess I should be grateful it didn't start sooner. Oh, but then it's going back down into the 80s for a while.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today I walked to my mental health place to pick up medication. Surprisingly, it was there. I was proud of myself for being out by myself in the warmth and wind. The walk isn't long but is difficult because of busy streets and a lack of sidewalks.

At my mental health place as I waited I read We Are Not Machines #2, which is a discussion of technology and how it affects memory. It's very good. Do you remember me talking about a guy who used to be a teenage fighter pilot / astronaut / movie star / astronomer / olympic athlete? He was there. I guess he just hangs out in the waiting room. He left and came back and stared straight at me for a while. I don't know why. But he didn't try to talk to me.

I worked on Erik and LM Magazine #45. I'm writing some stuff about moving and jobs that may or may not be interesting. It's stuff I think about a lot, so hopefully my readers won't mind.

Work is okay--my stats have improved. Tonight for dinner I made chickpea cutlets, and they turned out great as always. Just now I heard a pop and the tinkle of glass and asked Erik to go look and see if it was our truck, another window. It wasn't.

Monday, May 11, 2009

new postal rates today


I haven't had a caseworker in a few months. My old one left. I have been calling every so often to see if I've been assigned a new one. Finally this morning I spoke with someone who told me they weren't assigning new caseworkers until July 1st. Also, he asked if I have Medi-Cal because if I don't it looks like I won't get services after July 1st.

So when I see my psychiatrist Saturday May 16th, I need to bring up the fact that I'll probably lose all services July 1st and need to get off my super-expensive medication to find something less expensive. I also want to bring up the anxiety I've been having. Don't know if there will be time for both.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

weird guy

Tonight we took a walk near dusk. On our way back, we encountered a man who said, "Why, hello! Are you having peace today?" or something like that then asked, "Wanna go church?" and Erik thinks he then said, "Wanna kill people?" which adds a whole nother dimension to the conversation. But I disagree.

Have'a Corn Chips

Last time we went to Whole Foods, we bought two bags of Have'a Corn Chips. Poking around online I read a little about them.


Turns out there used to be an om symbol on the bag. Heck yeah! It disappeared after September 11th--coincidence? I guess they don't do interviews. I remember we first got Have'a Corn Chips from a natural foods store in Mammoth Lakes, California. And we fell in love.

But a commenter on the OC Weekly post reminds us that corn and soy are big GMO crops. I don't know how I feel about GMO foods--definitely would rather avoid them. GMO foods is one of the things I should know more about.

Anyway, we ate them with guacamole. I made guacamole for dinner last night and lunch today. Then Erik finished off the second bag with some green salsa just a little bit ago.


Last night was Buddha puja. I was in no mood to go, but I dragged myself there, had some nice hugs, a couple small conversations. I do like it there.

This morning I've got peanutbutter oatmeal and need to score. My stats are bad, which makes it harder.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

problem never solved

Waiting for a fight to end so we can go to Whole Foods for water. I know it would be so much easier if we just drank water from the tap, but it doesn't taste good. Listening to a song off Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's second album Some Loud Thunder, but my audio is messed up and it's all static-y (problem never solved). Today SAT scoring started, and I can't bear it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

more beaches

Tuesday we went to Shell Beach, where we walked on the sand, watched surfers, looked at small crabs in tidepools, and sat in a sea cave. I felt happy.

Then today we stopped at Avila beach on our way north to Sacramento. We walked at the pier, and I sat for a long time, feeling my hair being blown around by the wind, looking at the water and at boats, just thinking my thoughts. Then we went to the Barn, where we saw some animals. The cow wasn't there, though. I wonder if she's hamburgers or what.

The drive home was grueling. We decided to take the 5, which was a big mistake. Even though it's faster, it seems much longer because it's so abysmally dull.

Home again, it's good to see that Kitty is fine (he doesn't even seem very mad at us).

octopus at Avila pier

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 04, 2009


At my parents' house--my mom's at work, and I have laundry going. Erik is riding the exercise bike and watching a Lord of the Rings movie. "My precious!" etc. He turned the sound down so it wouldn't bother me too much.

I just ate the best mango I'd ever tasted. We bought it a week ago at a Japanese store in Sacramento called Oto's. It was big and juicy and sweet, beautiful yellow and red colors on the outside and pure ornange within. I chewed on the seed.

This morning we went to Guadaulpe beach. We walked then sat on a diftwood stump, looked at pelicans, started out to sea. I worked on a letter to my friend M. Erik wrote haiku. It was foggy, and we had the beach to ourselves except for some fishermen we couldn't see. I wore a hat and then my jacket's hood over my head so my ears didn't get too much wind.

Last time we were at Guadaupe beach, the wind blowed the sand so hard that I couldn't leave the car. Today it was much more habitable. Tomorrow we plan to go to other beaches, and maybe Erik won't exercise so we'll have more time.

My mom has eight huge boxes of mushrooms, and we plan to saute them and freeze them in packets.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

choir and Samiti stuff

Today I had choir practice. I got teased. "I heard Laura-Marie speak yesterday!" S said.

"How was it?" L asked.

"Magnificent!" S said. Then S said she should call me Moni, which means silence, but I don't know what language. I don't know what part of India she comes from.

After choir practice, I sang a cappella with B. It was beautiful because Ar Kano Mon is one of my favorite songs, and Gaya's River Feast though in English is a good one too. Those are the two songs we're singing for Buddha. B and I both have such quiet voices that I think it was good for us to hear ourselves.

Then there was a board meeting. I took minutes. Tonight I sent some emails and typed up the meeting record and just worked on Samiti stuff because tomorrow Erik and I are going out of town.

Friday, May 01, 2009

women's health

Today I had a doctor's appointment for 1:50 and was seen at 4:30. It was an experience in perseverance. I kept repeating to myself, "But it's free." The kicker was when the person with the 3:00 appointment was called in ahead of me. I wrote a complaint letter in my head to amuse myself. But it's free. This place does abortions, and there are three waiting rooms. The first two are uncomfortable, and the last one's nice. (The whole experience is like a weird dream.)

me at Pt Reyes yesterday

Pt Reyes

Yesterday we went to Pt Reyes. The most exciting thing that happened was we saw whales. I was sitting on the beach, gazing out to sea, when I saw something large edge a little bit out of the water. At first I thought maybe it was a rock. Then I realized it was behaving like a dolphin but much larger, and it must have been a whale. I called Erik over, and we watched together. We saw some spouts. Later, when the whales were far away (they were moving left to right along the coast), we saw some fins. Maybe flukes--maybe side fins? I don't know. It was our first time seeing whales, and we wonder what kind they were.

Otherwise at Pt Reyes, we hiked a short hike to Chimney Rock, but once we got to the spot, we couldn't figure out which rock was chimney rock. None of them looked really chimney-like. We saw wild flowers: blue-eyed grass, wild irises, California poppies, lupine blue and yellow, radish, mustard, and lots whose name I don't know. We saw beautiful cows. We saw ravens. We saw humans and a cat.