dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Wide Awake

This morning I walked to Morse park. I brought a backpack with some breakfast in it, a notebook, some zines. I read zine Mistaken for Straight by Chantel G, which was well done, and wrote her a short letter about it. I enjoyed listening to the birds chirp, and it was good to be out and get some sun. I saw magpies. There were kids playing at the play structures on the other side of the park but otherwise almost nobody there.

Erik's sick. Last night he had a fever, though I don't know how high because the thermometer is long lost. He's working today, unfortunately.

I listened to a Bright Eyes CD called I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. On it is the first song by them I ever heard, the song that I heard on a satellite radio station called The Coffeehouse during the long trip, the song that made me want to hear more of them. I like the quality of the lead singer's voice, the way it sounds like he's about to cry all the time. Lots of good new music lately.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

you don't have to fuck people over to survive

image by Seth Tobocman
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big change at the lib

Well, it feels like a big change. They put in three new self-check machines where there used to be one. (This is Arden-Dimick, our main library but not our favorite.) They're putting the requested CDs out on the hold shelf. Before, they were behind the counter, I think because of theft. But now they're out, available for self-check. LINK books are still behind the counter. They have only one worker working the check out counter, and if you're just checking out a book, they direct you to the self-check machines. Someone offers to teach you how to use them.

Today I had to wait in the line kind of a long time because the person in front of me had something complicated going on. And I was returning a LINK book, so I needed a receipt. I also had a LINK book waiting, so I couldn't just use a self-check machine. Oh, and I needed to pay a fine. I guess it's possible to pay fines online now by credit card, but I wanted to break a twenty.

So it feels really different now, and I assume it's budget cuts, and now they can have less people working there. I think it's sad. I like the workers who work the check out, and it's colder to use the machines, though they are nifty.

When we were there on the weekend, there was someone sitting in a chair near the entrance--she had a sign saying something like, "Library Help." I didn't make eye contact. I assume she was a friends of the library volunteer, there to take some pressure off the workers?

Listening to Of Montreal. It sounds kind of like the Beatles right now. The album is Gay Parade.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

bailed again

Today I bailed on another book, Love and Other Near-Death Experiences by Mil Millington. It was funny at times, but it started to resemble a sitcom, and I just didn't have any motivation to go on. I only liked the main character--none of the other characters appealed to me at all. Mil has obviously found a lot of success, and I wish him all the best (I've been a fan of his website for years).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This morning I thought about walking to the nearest park, Morse Park, but I decided I would get too hot on the walk back. It was already 9. I just took a regular neighborhood walk.

This morning I proofread 20 pages of P's manuscript. I worked on some poems. I listened to The Milk-Eyed Mender by Joanna Newsom--I love it.

Lately I've been taken with Trader Joe's vegan chocolate chip cookies. They're 170 calories each. This morning I had two for breakfast. It's difficult to resist them. I haven't been baking my own cookies lately. But maybe I'll make some no-bake chocolate haystacks someday soon.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Last night during the 40 minute sit an alarm went off. It was distracting. After a while, someone fixed it. I did fine meditating for 40 minutes, which surprised me, but maybe the alarm distraction helped the time pass.

The talk was good. Jim talked about a Dogen quote he likes.

This morning I've been taking care of business. I made an appointment with Primary Care, which was hard to do. Now Erik's eating guacamole and chips for breakfast and watching news on the internet. It's supposed to hit 102 today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

he announces he bounces

This morning I went to the second half of worship and all of choir practice. It was the first time J did worship with a microphone, and it sounded terrible. I think anyone hard of hearing should just sit up in the front row. There's no need for amplification. Wonder whose idea that was.

This afternoon we went to Temple coffee. It was fun to be out. I worked on a letter to my penpal K in Finland. Then we went to Central Library. I browsed the "for sale" books, something I like to do to get ideas of what to read. I looked at the music and didn't find anything. (Recently I've requested CDs by the Shins, Bright Eyes, Sarah McLauchlan, and Of Montreal inter-library loan. Can't wait.) The library closed on us. I checked out Ella Enchanted, which was highly recommended by a friend. It's a kids' book.

Now I've got rainier cherries, and Erik made me a sandwich for dinner. Listening to a summer mix by my friend R in Portland. Just finished reading Narcolepsy Press Review IV 2009. Tonight we're going to a talk at SBMG by a zen guy we like named Jim Hare.


Yesterday there was an all-day retreat for my women's religious group. A nun from the San Francisco Vedanta Center gave a talk. We had chanting and singing too. The chanting's in Sanskrit, and I'm not sure which language the song was. There was also food, mostly Indian food. I liked best the halwa. I got to talk to an old friend who I hadn't seen in a long time, S. She is truly wonderful and vibrant. She works with the mentally ill. She wears two different colored socks. She does kundalini yoga. She's very, very thin, and when I hug her I can feel her ribcage.

All this happened at M's house, which is large and partly an Indian music school. Then we went over to P's place, where the shrine is, so the nun could see the shrine. There were less people, and we had more food (water melon and ice cream cake) and more conversation. We sang happy birthday to V. Her husband died while I was away on my trip. He was old and in hospice.

I have strong feelings about the nun. I feel a great deal of respect and reverence toward her. She and I shared a few words. But she didn't say goodbye to me when she left. Maybe I had been so quiet.

When I got home, it was after 6:30, and I had been picked up at 8:40. So it was a full day of people, food, and sound. P congratulated me on how well I survived it all. When I got home, I checked my email, put in earplugs, and went to bed.

Erik got home at 9:30. He went on a strenuous 15 mile hike with his best friend T.

We've been talking more about moving to the bay area. Maybe it's a dumb idea while California has a 10% unemployment rate. But Erik's going to start checking craigslist every day.

A little kid is crying loudly outside.

Friday, July 24, 2009

poetry reading

Last night we went to a poetry reading at Luna's. The room was full of energy and life. The three featured readers were real performers and seemed so comfortable with the crowd. One was my friend R and the other two were from San Francisco. The place was packed, and Erik and I stood the whole time (there were no available tables). I got an orange juice, and he got a mint iced tea. The poetry was loud. The reading started at 8 and we were a bit late. We left at 9:30, when it was time for open mike. We had to come home so Erik could go to bed for work this morning. It's also good for my health when I keep my sleep schedule. I got to meet my friend R for the first time. I've been sending him my zines in the mail for years now. He hugged us, and it was very nice, but I was anxious, and I fled. I have a habit of doing that when I first meet people (fleeing) and I'm afraid it makes a bad first impression.

I remember when I was a teenager and went to poetry readings all the time in San Luis Obispo. I was accepted by the adults I read with, and they valued me. It was a very supportive atmosphere. I was so lucky to find it. The scene here in Sacramento seems much larger and more overwhelming. I'm afraid my poems are very tame compared to what the men were reading last night. I'm afraid mine wouldn't fit in.

Months ago Erik and I tried going to a poetry workshop held at a community center downtown and didn't have a good experience with it. The comments I received about my work didn't help me improve the poem. They just left me feeling traumatized, which must have been partly my fault. Erik didn't bring a poem but got into some kind of battle with some other men there about theory, I guess, a very subtle battle. Big egos in the room. Maybe it was just a freak occurrence and wouldn't happen again if we went back. But I've been too scared to go back. I think Erik should return without me, bring some haiku and see what they have to say about it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


That weird bite on my leg is going away.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A while back I promised a picture of me wearing my new necklace that I love so much--here's me at my brother's wedding.

deer skull at Colorado rental house

driveway at Colorado rental house

google chrome

I downloaded google's Chrome, a web browser. Erik says he loves it and that it's faster than firefox. The first thing I tried to do with it was find some art for my desktop. So I found a painting I liked and right clicked on it, but there was no "set to desktop" option. I aborted mission and used firefox. Since then I've used it for some searching with fine results.


Erik's working outside the home today through Friday. I've been going through my mail and listening to a CD my penpal A in England sent me (waiting music for her wedding). I cleaned up a bit. At 4:30 my friend P is dropping off a manuscript for me to proofread.

I wrote a letter to a non-profit that has an office one street down from ours, asking them for office work. I need to get my resume together and really decide whether I want office work before I send it. I have an old resume that I feel lost about. Maybe I just need to cut a bunch. My ex-therapist was telling me I should make a skills-based resume. But I don't know if I feel up to revamping the whole thing.

Some kind of bug bit me on the leg, and it's made a huge welt. It's been there for a couple days now, and I really wish it would go away. There's a red oval about an inch wide and then a pink oval surrounding it about three and a half inches wide. It itches like crazy, but I'm not scratching. I've considered taking a Benadryl--I happen to have some for sleeping purposes and have never used them. But I don't want to conk out.

I haven't read any livejournal since I got home from my trip. There's no way I can catch up, so I'll just begin anew.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

home again

Friday night my parents and I arrived in Santa Maria. Erik met us there, and it's an understatement to say that it was so good to see him. I visited with my best friend E on Saturday. We went to Nojoqui Falls. Then Erik and I went to dinner in San Jose at one of our favorite Indian food restaurants. Then we got home after 10. It was very hot in the apartment--it's been in the 100s here. Today's supposed to hit 103. Now I'm catching up on emails, and I have a stack of regular mail to open. The apartment needs to be cleaned. I want to get rid of a lot of stuff. It felt so right to live with few possessions during the trip. I would like to pare down.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

mostly carrots

Tonight we're in Texas, on our way back to California. I swam at the hotel pool, and hopefully tonight I'll sleep like a log. We stopped for dinner at a restaurant called Portbella Grill in Elk City, Oklahoma. I got a pasta dish that wasn't so great. My side of veggies was mostly carrots (orange ones and yellow ones, strangely enough). I'm all out of books to read, finished Kafka on the Shore yesterday. I have Playaways but don't feel like reading a book with my ears right now. Maybe tomorrow I'll get bored enough to just give it a try. My dad's been listening to a satellite radio station that plays all acoustic tunes, and today I was shocked silly to hear "Bright as Yellow" by Innocence Mission. They also played cover "Wonderful World" by Innocence Mission. (That used to be my favorite band.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

in Missouri

Tonight my parents and Nana are watcing a baseball game. I've been reading Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. Today we went to see Granddad's grave and ate at a meaty buffet restaurant in Salem called Stephen's Steakhouse. I liked the mashed potatoes and the bread. Last night I saw fireflies for the first time, and in the day I saw a cardinal. I had never seen fireflies on tv or anything and had no idea they were like that. I thought they'd be really faint and that their lights stayed on and imagined them flying around together like a school of fish. I had no idea they'd look like embers flying up from a campfire without the fire, or like a hallucination--they're really something. Almost bedtime. It's dark in here, so I'm typing in the dark.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

last night in Colorado

Today we went to a place called The Malt Shop for lunch. We had ice cream, and my younger niece got sick on the floor and outside on the sidewalk. I had to clean it up because my mom has a bad knee and a bad ankle and can't get down on the floor. I almost got sick myself.

In the evening we went to my brother's house for dinner. I ate a frozen vegetarian meal they happened to have leftover from when other family was in town. It was pasta with veggies and pesto sauce. It was okay. We sat together outside and looked at the view. Then everyone went inside but me, and I wrote in my journal about everything that was happening: the dog Lola snapping at me, things people said, remembering my chat with G earlier in the day.

Tonight there's a wind blowing through the house, making the curtians fly. It's our last night in Colorado. Next stop is Elk City, Oklahoma--I keep wanting to say Oklahomo, which is probably what their rivals call it, whoever their rivals are--maybe Texas?

Erik has a successful hiking /camping trip to a Lake Tahoe. I've been able to speak to him on the phone a few times. They had a campfire and everything, saw a bear.

We're trying to put this house back together after staying here for a week. I never really unpacked, but I have a load of darks in the washer.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Being around little kids is exhausting. I'm sensitive to noise and conflict. Their needs are so big, and their moods are so extreme. Today I got left alone with a crying three year old. We ended up playing trains on the floor in the living room then did a large dinosaur puzzle. Now Dad's watching news on TV and I need to retire. Waiting from Erik to come home from the museum--he's visiting the De Young today.

more reading life

I've been reading Bud, Not Buddy which is good and reminds me of Huck Finn.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

reading life

Right now I'm home alone while my parents spend time with their grandkids elsewhere. My little nephew W doesn't know me from Adam. He's cute and sweet. We had him for a few hours today. He took a long nap, and my parents and I sat on the porch talking quietly for a long time.

I started reading Tuck Everlasting today and will probably finish it tonight. It's a young adult novel. It's okay.

deer head

Here is the deer head in the living room of this house we're renting for a week in Colorado.

new bracelet

The other day, on the drive from Flagstaff to Colorado, we stopped in Four Corners and I got this cute bracelet. I'm afraid the photo is poor. It's got beads and juniper berry seeds. I'm super charmed by the juniper berry seeds. It was three bucks. At Four Corners, my mom seemed to want to take my picture at that precise four corners place, but I was not into it. The woman I bought the bracelet from was so nice to me. She put it on me and told me about the juniper berry seeds.


Yesterday was the wedding. I had a lot of social anxiety, but I did okay. This morning I have some time alone before kids show up. I should wash the dishes. The owners of this house keep their hunting dogs here, for some reason, and they bark a lot in the night.

Last night I started the young adult novel Holes. I don't like it so far and might bail. Still reading Welcome to Lizard Motel. I'm thinking about sending it to my friend A when I'm done, because he's so interested in kids' books and in kids.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

safe in Colorado

Hi, friends and family! Here I am in Colorado. Today's the day of the wedding. There's a whole-day itinerary. I am not going to the breakfast, the parade, or the water slides/setting up. I am going to pictures, the wedding, the reception....

Last night we slept here. The night before we slept at a hotel room in Flagstaff. I got some postcards. Saying goodbye to Erik was tearful. But I've been fine so far.

Here in Colorado, we're staying at a rented house for the week. I like the house, though there's a deer head in the livingroom. Another quirk is the crucifix in the dining room. I have never been in a house with a crucifix. It makes me sing in my head the Freddie song, if you know what I mean, from Nightmnare on Elm Street. There's no cell phone reception here. Sad face. But Erik can call me on the house phone. Only problem is the battery only lasts a few minutes (it's cordless). So there are challenges to overcome.

Last night my little niece M stayed over here. I had my earplugs in and didn't hear when she fell out of bed in the morning. She is very sweet. This morning they painted their nails. Last night she tried on all the clothes my parents bought for her. Also, my mom brought out some glowing bracelets they plyed with. M is scared of bugs, so I caught a moth for her and put it outside. But when I opened the door, another moth flew in.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

the trip begins

This morning I finished packing, and we began our drive to Santa Maria. We stopped in San Jose for lunch. We had delicious Indian food there.

Then we stopped at Avila. We went to the pier and saw the sea lions. We went to Avila barn and visited the animals. I got bit by a duck and then a goat. (Didn't break the skin, but did feel bruised.)

Then we arrived at my parents' house. We had sandwiches and nectarines for dinner. I tried on a dress for the wedding that my mom had bought for herself but decided against. It fit, and I'm planning to wear it. My mom told me about the wedding. There's a whole-day itinerary. We watched Jeopardy.

I forgot to say that my friend CN in Minnesota made me a beautiful necklace and sent it to me in the mail. I will post a picture of myself wearing it as soon as I'm able. It's brown and knotted with square wooden beads.

We're leaving tomorrow morning at 8. I'll have to say goodbye to Erik. We'll arrive in Flagstaff in the evening and stay a night there at a hotel. Then it's off to Colorado.