dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

source for waxed thread

Best friend E told me about this site where she used to buy her waxed thread.


really fall

This morning, for the second morning in a row, dental trouble has kept P from coming over to teach me how to transcribe. This morning he's in pain because they pulled a tooth, so he took drugs. Poor thing. So now we've rescheduled for Friday. Meanwhile, I'm up and dressed earlier than usual and want to go out, but Erik likes to write at home in the mornings. I've had my cream of wheat. It's really fall now, and my feet are cold, but it'll be in the mid 80s again soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

pudding success

I made the best pudding I've ever made. It's vegan chocolate coconut pudding, made with coconut milk. It's got a wonderful texture, velvety smooth. And it's got a simple yet deep set of flavors. I guess my only complaint is that it might be too sweet. I will try less sugar next time.


Today my friend P was supposed to come over and teach me how to transcribe interviews for him--he's having pain in his arm, he thinks tendinitis--but he had to go to the dentist instead. So he's coming over tomorrow morning.

Last night was Peace Water puja at Vedanta. I almost left after the singing. I haven't been feeling well for a week. But today's nice and cloudy and cool out, so maybe my moods will improve.

Monday, September 28, 2009

birthday picture

Sunday, September 27, 2009


At first I really didn't like my new string. It's made up of two strands, while tea string is only made up of one. It's harder to get the string through the little holes, and also the knots don't tie as tight. So I'm having to leave longer string-ends so that the readers can tighten the knots if needed. So I kind of hated this string and rued buying it, but now I'm used to it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

happy Durga puja

phone fixed

Today another worker came to fix our landline. She had to replace the jack. So now our phone works, and our dsl is way faster. Yay!

I went to Joanne's for some string because I'm all out of tea string and hemp string. I hope it works okay. I thought about buying bamboo string, but I decided on cotton. I looked at the hemp string, but it was expensive.

Tonight's Durga puja. I need to figure out what to wear.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

recent history

Yesterday I had jury duty. I was never sent to a courtroom--I spent my whole day waiting in the jury assembly room and mezzanine. They let us go early, for which I am truly grateful. I wrote six letters.

Today we went to Berkeley so I could photocopy all issues of functionally ill. I made 1520 copies total. I made 40 of each zine. Some have been out of print for a while, so it's nice to have them all again. Someone requested the whole set, and that's not unusual, so I thought I should have them all on hand again. Someone else--a person who runs a distro in London--sent me $40 for shipping and copies so he can stock functionally ill, so that's a reason to make a bunch of copies too.

We also went to a little beach near the marina, went stationery shopping, spent time at Acacia in Tilden Park near Lake Anza, had our usual Indian-Pakistani food. I'm exhausted.

Tomorrow we need to be up by 8 because a phone worker will be here any time between 8 am and 6 pm. I have Durga puja tomorrow night, one of my favorite pujas of the year, and I need to settle down and get in the mood.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This evening when I made my daily call to the courthouse, I found out tomorrow morning is my time to report to the courthouse for jury duty. I have to be there at 8. Tonight I've been obsessing on logistics--Erik has to give me a ride. I'm looking at satellite photos on google, drawing myself a little map of the area--Central Library and Cesar Chavez Park are nearby. Our landline is not working, so I have no way of calling Erik if I get done early, so I'm going to give him my cell phone and hope there's a payphone I can call him from. I wish there was a specific loading zone where I can be sure Erik will be able to drop me off and pick me up. A few years ago I had jury duty at this same courthouse, and I don't know why I don't remember.


Last night I opened mail saying I got Medi-Cal but that my share of cost per month is more than $2000. This is based on their calculation that we make more than $52,000 a year, absolute bunk--it's difficult to calculate our monthly income because of the erraticness of our work schedules. So workers who try to calculate it fail. As things are, I will only be helped if I have to go to the hospital for some reason. I could try to get them to recalculate our income, which would result in our share of cost being something like $1000 a month instead, which still won't help me pay my $400 a month medication bill.

home safe

It was an excellent weekend of apple tasting, goat viewing, food eating (mostly Mexican food), and quality time spent with family and friends. I got some really wonderful presents: a MP3 player, homemade photo notecards, an Alice Notley book, old fashioned candy, mini-notecards with sunflowers on them, a homemade hat and scarf, stationery from Germany, stickers, washcloths from Finland, a necklace made with paper beads, a beautiful brown notebook, Costco food, apples. My family and best friend E and penpal M in Finland spoiled me. Oh, and I got a check from Nana. Need to daydream about what to spend that on. Thanks to all of you.

I was so exhausted from the long drive home (got caught in road work on the 46) that I went to bed at 8:30 last night and got up at 6:30. Kitty kept us up a lot in the night, which is the new norm.

This morning I've been wrestling with the MP3 player. It thinks it's full when there are only about 100 songs on it--the package says it's supposed to store 1000 songs. I lack the skills to figure out how to fix it. Maybe Erik can fix it for me.

I got so much mail while I was gone--I should have counted how many pieces of mail. More than 12. Letters, birthday cards, zines, a mix CD. I haven't opened it all. I got $40 in the mail from a person who runs a distro in England wanting to carry functionally ill--they sent the $40 to cover my copies and postage. I was shocked. (Originally they'd emailed asking to carry functionally ill, and I said no because I can't afford the shipping--so they've overcome my reasons. Still a little worried about how to fill out the customs form.)

This morning we went for a walk early. It's supposed to hit 99 today.

Friday, September 18, 2009

home alone II

This morning I packed for our trip this weekend. For lunch I got inspired and made pasta with sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and peas, with olive oil and salt and pepper. It was good. I hadn't been cooking much at all lately (living off sandwiches, cereal, yogurt, cream-of-wheat), so I was surprised.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today I got a call from my friend P wanting me to make a flier for her. I needed to take stuff from two different PDFs and put them together. So I did that. So now I'm a flier-maker, I guess.

home alone

Car passed smog. I've been tinkering with spam subject lines trying to get poems out of them. It will take some time for me to decide. I think the mistranslations I've been doing with my best friend E have prepared my mind, somewhat.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

vehicular angst

Today we brought the car to a mechanic to get an oil change and smog. I'm waiting for a phone call. I'm nervous it won't pass.

Meanwhile, the truck is running rough. We drove it around this afternoon. We took it to the library, where I got a bunch of CDs and a couple books. I started reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley. It's funny. And I'm listening to some rare 10,000 Maniacs tracks off Campfire Songs.

Nothing makes me nervous quite like waiting for a mechanic to call. And the fact that we have to take the truck there to pick it up amplifies my fear.


Brads can be used for binding a zine. All the brads I've seen in my life were golden in color and a certain size, but in researching for this blog post, I've learned that they don't have to be golden but can be any color and can have decorative thinkiedookies on top. It's like a post but the post splits into two halves that can be pushed apart and bent to keep the paper in place. Well, it's really hard to explain, but it's a simple concept once you actually see a brad in use.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Frida Kahlo at age 16

Dirty Love

I got a beautiful zine in the mail yesterday--it's called Dirty Love, and it's by Erin. Haven't read it yet. It's got a red cardstock cover and is bound with little brads.

Listening to Elliot Smith's XO. My friend J in Chicago who's sent me a lot of music over the years picked the two best songs off the album for me, which is nice, that I got to hear those tunes earlier, but I wish all the songs were that good. Well, maybe as I listen more I'll change my mind about which songs are best. Right now the favorites are "Waltz #2" and "Oh Well, Okay"

Monday, September 14, 2009

mail art project: words

I think this is a fantastic project of gathering favorite words of different languages.


full day

Yesterday morning we walked at Howe Park. Strangely, there was a huge yard sale at the park. We took a quick look at the items for sale and saw nothing of interest. Almost no books.

Then in the afternoon we went to the bird refuge near Davis. We saw and listened to a lot of blackbirds, Canada geese, egrets, a hawk, a kite, a cormorant. I wrote two letters.

Then we were starved and needed dinner, so we ended up going to Kathmandu Kitchen in Davis, a Nepalese place. I had been to the Sacramento one (I guess there are two?) and found the food to be commonplace and insipid. But the Davis location is very different--the food was great. I had malai kofta, and the sauce was delicious. Erik and I shared. He get a veggie sampler which included five little dumplings called momos. It was very good. But we were seated close to another table and had a hard time feeling socially comfortable. They were talking about going to Israel a lot, and Thailand. But it was still good. It was my birthday dinner.

Then we went to the Davis co-op and bought some interesting foods and some stationery. I got large containers of soy yogurt, which I had never seen before. I think that's less waste than the individual cups? I got some small expensive tomatoes that are supposed to be very good. I got a honeycrisp apple. Erik got some chocolate-covered espresso beans. (I used to love those, when I was a teenager and ate that sort of thing.) I got some cute recycled birthday cards and some postcards, one of Frida Kahlo as a 16 year old I had never seen before. Looked for it online so I could post it here, but I can't find it--maybe I need to scan the postcard.

We got home and went to bed almost right away because Erik had to go to work this morning. He's working Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Friday. I have that manuscript to proofread for P--I'll start that today. I slept in until 9 this morning, which is odd, but I've been doing that lately.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Today we met P at the downtown library so he could give me a manuscript to proofread. We sat and talked quietly at a table near the periodicals. He wants to be able to make movies and is taking a class in Final Cut Pro. He's buying a Mac, a camera. Also, I donated some zines of mine to the new zine library.

Then we went to dinner at Kaveri. The naan was kind of tough. The sauces were delicious. I loved gulab jamun for dessert.

Tonight I'm exhausted for no good reason. It rained this morning, which makes me happy. Fall is maybe in its way.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Last night at two in the morning someone was singing outside, but not a regular kind of singing--it was vengeful, somehow. I put in ear plugs.

Tonight Erik and I went to an art opening. Erik's best friend T has some photos up at a gallery downtown. There was wine and cheese--we partook of neither. I had some veggies, some hummus, a cookie. It was fun to look at all the art and stand around. There were lots of photos of fireworks. Lots of flowers. Some of Mono Lake. Regular lakes with mountains.

Yesterday and earlier today I was feeling wired in an unhappy way, but I feel better tonight.

lizard poem

My friend H asked that I blog this poem that I wrote last night in writer's group, so I will gladly.

Ode to Lizards

Dry skinned,
earth creatures,

I have seen you
on rocks
and fences.
I have seen you
do lizard
push ups.
I have admired
your scaled backs
and clawed feet
with tiny
lizard toenails.

When I was
a child,
I tried to catch you,
baby lizards,
the little charmers.
And I have seen you
with missing tails.
I have seen lizard tails
on the ground
without lizards,
still flopping.

you remind me
of the earth's
dry promises--
tree spirits,
your delicate jaws
opening and closing.
Your eyes
in the sun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I remember how weird Joanna Newsom sounded to me at first (and now she sounds like a friend).


Might rain on Monday--trip out. Supposed to hit 102 tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

keeping it together

Today I went in the morning to Vedanta to do the bulletin with P. It was fun. Swami gave me a cookie and one for Erik.

Then we had a big internet problem and it took about an hour to fix. I had to get on the phone with a tech support person who wasn't the best at communicating. I missed her saying that one of the password letters was supposed to be uppercase, which caused trouble. But we got it fixed!

Phone line's dead again, though.

I tried calling county health to reschedule my appointment, but I couldn't get through. I tried for hours. I finally got through to be put on hold at 3:03, but my dentist appointment was at 4, and they hadn't picked up before 3:50, so I had to hang up.

The dentist was okay. I hadn't had a filling in a long time. I think I'm a good candidate for some kind of pre-dentist sedation, but I have no sedatives. Just about lost it--didn't lose it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

shit day

This morning I had a dentist appointment. I got lectured about flossing, etc. The dentist found a chipped filling, so I'm going back tomorrow to get a new filling. It's going to cost $210. Yikes.

Then we went to the post office so I could send a CD to G in Scotland, which means I needed to do a customs form, but it was packed there, line out the door, so I got the form and filled it out and left.

Then we went to primary care pharmacy to pick up my medication. I pulled number 843 when they were on number 791. So I had to wait through 52 people. It was actually fine. We stood outside some, walked around some, sat at a table in a side lobby, stood in a hallway, and finally stood in the big waiting room, walked up to the window, got my medication, and we were out of there.

Then we went to the bank to make a deposit and to the other post office that's less crowded. There I sent the package and bought stamps.

Then we went to the library. I had a LINK+ book out, and it costs $115 if you lose one. I was really worried because the book has all kinds of writing and highlighting in it. I was worried they'd charge me the $115. So I showed the worker, and she wrote a note, and hopefully I won't have to pay for it.

Erik said today I had three tests (dentist, county pharmacy, LINK+ confrontation), and I said I passed.

Monday, September 07, 2009

or something like that

This morning we went to Howe Park and got some exercise. The pond shore was lined with fisherpeople. I worked on a letter to my penpal K in Finland (asking her if she's tried tar-flavored candy or ice cream) and looked at blackbirds. Lately I've been enjoying Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister which I got out from the library. Last night I talked on the phone with an old friend S for almost an hour and a half. We spoke of Fourth of Juplaya, exes, religion, a very large microcomputer, a dumpster fire, popcorn shrimp.... I've been working on some poems that are no good and hope to get them out of my system and write some good ones. Someone hit our truck and bent the license plate. Erik says it's a misfortune magnet or something like that.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Today at the park a creepy man hit on me repeatedly even after I told him I'm married. I need a plan for if this happens again. He told me he goes to McKinley Park about five times a week, and I hope I never get accosted by him again.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


This morning after choir practice P told me she gave my latest functionally ill to M to read, and M was incredulous. I guess it was the anxiety stuff that amazed her. P said she hoped it was okay and that she thought about calling me but didn't. I said it was okay.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I got a message on a penpal site I belong to from a stranger who had searched for feminists. He wanted to talk politics. So I talked politics with him a bit, and it was okay. I started getting to know him. Today I went to write back to his latest message, and his profile had been deleted. He never gave me his email address or home address, so I have no way of reaching him. He seemed unhappy, and I hope he's okay.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

de Young museum

Yesterday we went to San Francisco to the de Young art museum. First we drove to Oakland to get on the BART from there, but the particular Oakland BART station we went to was not the way we remembered it, and we couldn't find a parking place, so we ended up driving back to Berkeley to the place we know, Ashby station, and parked there to take the BART from there.

Riding the BART was fine. Then we got on MUNI light rail, but we got going the wrong way on route N. After a few stops Erik realized we were going the wrong way. So we got off, but on the way out the doors closed on me, and my left hand got bruised.

Then we got going in the right direction on MUNI and arrived at Golden Gate Park where the de Young is. We walked to the de Young. We passed by California Academy of Sciences with its special plant roof.

At the de Young, security guards asked us to open our bags, which seemed pointless because they didn't actually search them, and told Erik he had to carry his backpack by hand, not on his back. Wonder what that rule is about. So as not to bump into people with it?

There's a big Egyptian exhibit going on at the de Young, but it costs full price to go there, so we skipped it without much thought. (Yesterday was the first Tuesday of the month, which is free day. Admission's normally ten dollars for an adult.) We looked at some indigenous art that we liked a lot: human and animal figures, masks, whistles, pottery, spirit boards, shields, daggers, some art made from human skulls. Then we looked at a little modern sculpture and quite a few paintings. I've included a Sargent painting Le verre de porto (A Dinner Table at Night) that Erik and I like a lot.

Then we went to the gift shop where I bought postcards. Then we took the MUNI back to the BART and the BART back to Berkeley and drove to House of Curries for dinner where we got our usual, but the rice was not as tasty as usual, which put me off. And then we drove home and talked the whole way.