dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Saturday, October 31, 2009


happy Halloween

Yesterday my friend A was in town. Her family was seeing a show. But she didn't want to see it, so I got to spend a few hours with her in the evening. We went to the co-op and shopped. She wore a beautiful brown sweater. We bought chocolate, kale chips, balm, red quinoa. Then we hung out at my place, sitting on the living room floor, talking. It was very nice.

Today was Jagadhatri puja. It's a big event at my church. The nuns and devotees from San Francisco and Berkeley come over and join us. There's a lot of singing and chanting. The choir sounded fabulous. We sang "Ma Twam Hi Tara." Then was lunch. I was on the lunch crew. I enjoyed dishing the food.

This afternoon we went to the downtown library. Erik read Science while I wrote a letter to K in Finland. I was exhausted from the morning.

This evening I tried making a dessert. It's usually made by combining peanut butter, honey, and milk powder. I tried combining peanut butter, agave nectar, and soymilk powder. It just wasn't the same. I didn't use a recipe--I just combined the ingredients so the final product would roll easily into balls and taste sweet. I wasn't too impressed, so I added some vegan mini chocolate chips. Still wasn't too impressed. Maybe I'm misremembering the excellence of the original version.

We bought organic lollipops at the co-op in case kids came trick-or-treating, but no kids yet. Erik's doing yoga. I bought a sugar pumpkin at Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago and don't think I'll carve it. I promised Erik I'd use it to make vegan pumpkin curry soup.

I haven't heard from P in a couple days. I'm waiting for an audio file of the oral history interview he conducted on Thursday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I love quinoa

Today we went to McKinley Park so Erik could run. I walked and didn't have any trouble with my left calf cramping. It seems random. Then I worked on a letters and listened to They Might Be Giants kids' music.

Tomorrow my friend A is coming to town. I'll get to see her in the evening. Her family is going to an "on ice" show, but she doesn't want to go.

Today I finished a transcript and emailed it to P. So maybe I'll have tomorrow off. It depends on whether P emails me the audio file of the new interview he just did today.

Also in the news, quinoa has a ton of protein in it. Tonight we had it for dinner with avocado and broccoli.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

taking a break

I got some eggplants and lemons at the dollar store, so I can make baba ganoush, which pleases me. This morning I read some of I Can't Keep My Own Secrets, a book of six-word memoirs by teenagers. I read most of the one by adults and liked it a lot. It's sort of like postsecret.com, voyeuristic and personal. Right now Erik's washing dishes, which makes it hard to transcribe because of the noise.

oatmeal cookies

I made vegan oatmeal cookies that turned out very flat and big. They had a good flavor, but their shape wasn't right. It was a recipe for a mini-batch that I doubled, so it was enough cookies for one large cookie sheet. But they got so big and flat when they cooked that they covered the cookie sheet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

sore throat

Hope I'm not sick. SAT scoring ends tomorrow. I'm just about at the end of my rope. "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on." But then when I'm done I'll have a ton of transcribing to do.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


It occurs to me that cowrie shells aren't vegan. I need some nice wooden beads.

more hemp

The fight is over, but people are talking loudly outside. I guess I could put in ear plugs to score. But it's almost time for Erik to get the laundry.

Meanwhile, I'm making great progress in the hemp department--I'm skilled at the square knot chain, and I even figured out how to get the cowrie shells in there. What I don't understand yet and need to learn is how long the pieces of hemp need to be to make a finished product of a certain size. The thing I just made is too big to be a bracelet, too small to be a headband (I was going for a headband).

Also, I don't understand closures. The kit provides large beads which are supposed to be hooked on a hemp loop. Pretty sketchy. Also, the holes in the beads are too small for the hemp to go through, so I couldn't use them even if I wanted to. There's got to be a better way.


A fight has erupted. I can't score while fighting is going on, so I'm working on my hemp project. This apartment complex is so low class.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My mom gave me some kits for making hemp bracelets and necklaces, two of them, years ago. And the other day my friend H gave me a shitload of hemp twine. So I decided to try to figure out how to make a thing called a square knot chain. I've got a helpful diagram. So far I've tried about four times to make a square knot chain, and every time it looks more like the picture, so I think I'm improving.

Yesterday I made myself a headband using hemp twine, just finger crocheted. I used an elastic pony tail holder to give it some elasticity. Finger crochet is fine, but I would rather have a square knot chain, which is more solid.

Friday, October 23, 2009

a living

Today at Trader Joe's I got some beautiful little organic tomatoes. I like the orange ones best.

Tonight we watched Napoleon Dynamite. I thought it was really well done and sometimes funny, but the uncle kind of ruined it. Next I want to get Nacho Libre out from the library. I guess it's made by the same people.

I got a message from P today telling me many different things I need to do differently when I'm transcribing. I feel like giving up. I also feel like crying. I thought I was really good at it. Maybe P's not the best boss. Before my sentences were too long--now they're too short? I just can't win, so I don't want to play. But it's a living.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today I had a doctor's appointment. I was nervous for about 24 hours before the appointment and am still not feeling well. I've been nauseated. Maybe I'm not eating appropriately. I need more veggies and less heaviness. So I got the prescription I needed.

We're nearing the end of SAT scoring. Sunday's supposed to be our last day. I'm having a really hard time making myself score today with all this anxiety. P is supposed to send me a new interview to transcribe today--he's going to send it as an email attachment.

I've been really tired lately. Two nights ago I went to bed at 7:30. I don't know why.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

not time to put away the shorts yet

Supposed to hit 82 on Friday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the plans i've made up until now

This blog is very personal, very raw, very good writing. I suggest it to any of you.


Monday, October 19, 2009


Scoring, scoring. We went to the park so Erik could run and I could walk. I met with P by the duck pond so I could give him back a CD with an oral history interview on it. I touched the stars on the collar of his jacket. He used to have one, but now he has two. He was promoted. He shook me while telling me a story of being shaken by an Irishman in Ireland at a football game. I have never known P to be a fan of sports, so I'm surprised he was at a game. I was also surprised to be shaken. It made me laugh. Later I read the Poetry Now zine he gave me. None of the poetry excited me, though I was open to that. Oh, and P complimented my necklace, which nobody had ever done before. It's a necklace my friend C in Minnesota made me, and I'm just crazy about it.


Yesterday at Whole Foods I got a vegan doughnut. They cost 99 cents. You put the doughnut in a little brown bag, so when you check out, you have to tell the checker what it is. I announced it was a vegan doughnut, and the bagger had a reaction. "Those vegan doughnuts are so good!" she said. I felt embarrassed because I have had them a few times and know how good they are. "Yeah, I've had them, and they're really good," I said. "They're way better than regular doughnuts," she continued. "I haven't had a regular doughnut in so long, I don't remember," I said without thinking. The bagger seemed really turned off by my comment, and I felt embarrassed again, like I'd been bragging. I got the feeling that she thought she was better than me. She left abruptly, without putting the bags into the cart, and I felt weird about it. I don't like grocery store conversation.

It's raining. I love the rain, and Erik's scoring essays with a blanket on his lap and around his legs.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Happy Dawali! Happy Kali puja!

Friday, October 16, 2009

vegan magic shell

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Tomorrow someone's coming to inspect the apartments. It's a bank--the landlord said something about the bank wanting to make sure their loan is secure. Erik thinks the apartment complex is the collateral for a loan? I don't understand it, myself. All I know is that I'm super anxious. I'm planning to go to the park while the inspectors are here.

SAT scoring started today. I made banana almond cornmeal pancakes for dinner. They were really good.

M in Brooklyn called last night. He talked with Erik for about an hour and with me for about 40 minutes. He always asks about what I'm writing and what I'm reading. I never feel like they're good enough. I think he wants me to write poems a lot. And read poems a lot. But I go through phases where I can and can't, and that feels out of my control.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This morning we went to McKinley Park so Erik could go running. The ground was in some places covered with dropped leaves, dropped branches from the storm. It started raining pretty hard. I went to the car and wrote in my journal while Erik ran. He got soaked.

This evening I made broccoli soup. Erik peeled about 15 cloves of garlic for me. It turned out pretty good.

Today I sent 60 zines to my friend E in London for his free zine distro. I'm happy to have done that after thinking about it for weeks. I'll feel even happier when I hear that they arrived safely.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

work crap

Today I got an upsetting email from my friend P. He said he'd attach a document telling me about more problems he's seeing in my transcribing, but the attachment didn't come though (he must have forgotten to send it). I feel defeated. I've worked so hard.

Meanwhile, it's SAT training time. I'm doing great so far. Tomorrow at 10 pm I have to have all the training done.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Today we went back to the same thrift store where we got the cord yesterday because today they had a 50% off everything in the whole store sale, and Erik wanted a stainless steel frying pan we saw there yesterday for $19. I looked and couldn't find it, but then Erik was able to park and came in and looked too and found it, in a totally different spot from where it was yesterday. Good eye!

Today we went for two walks. I'm trying to take care of myself with all this anxiety. Enjoying the cloudy weather, but tomorrow it's supposed to storm. I'm helping P with the bulletin though maybe that's dumb considering how much I have to do. I said, "Two hours aren't going to make or break me."

bez naslova (no title)

bez naslova (no title), originally uploaded by Petrovic.

My friend P sent this art to me along with two others somewhat like it--love them! Erik does too. They're wonderful as objects. Haven't put them up yet.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

happy coming out day

Today we went to two different thrift stores looking for a power cord for the freecycle VCR and lucked out, found one. We also ran some errands. I paid almost $300 for medication (not including the expensive one which is $688 and I'm not buying it). I transcribed a lot. Still haven't gotten the feedback I need from P, but he's feeling confident that I did a good job. He sent me some photos today: a large praying mantis on his friend's arm, a tattoo I actually like (I tend to dislike tattoos) of a sandhill crane, and a gorgeous oak. I'm tired. I planned to start training tomorrow for SAT, but maybe I'll wait until Tuesday? That just doesn't sound smart. But I'm so sad the season is upon us again. Oh well.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

paper cutter, wonderful shampoo, BBQ chips

I finally heard back from P about the transcript--he was unhappy about a formatting issue. But Erik fixed it, we hope, and so all should be well, but P hasn't listened to the interview while reading my transcription yet, so I still haven't received meaningful feedback. I'm concerned I might have edited out too many false starts. Meanwhile, I'm 26 pages in to the new one, and I don't know if I'm doing it right. I'm frustrated.

Today we got a freecycle VCR to replace our one that died. But the person couldn't find the plug. Erik needs to see if we have a plug that would work. Otherwise we might need to go to Radio Shack?

Then we shopped--I got a paper cutter for six bucks from Big Lots that I hope will work well enough to justify spending six bucks. I have wanted a paper cutter for about ten years now. It was in Big Lots' scrap booking area. I also got some ground cinnamon and ground cumin. Some cruelty-free shampoo that smells wonderful. Some vegan (of course) kettle chips, BBQ flavor. It's rare that we have chips.

Now it's getting dark and I never went for a walk. I skipped choir practice too. I just couldn't bear the thought of being in a room of people, being social. I just couldn't do it. I'm overwhelmed by little responsibilities too--letters unreplied to, zines unread, stuff lost.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Today I've been trying to finish up the transcript I've been working on. It was my goal to finish today, but I was proofreading all afternoon and realized there was no way. Tomorrow morning I'll do my final listen--I'll listen to the interview as I read it and make any little corrections, the whole thing through.

Erik made a new yoga CD and put a bunch of Beastie Boys on it. It's amusing.

I made a grave error today at Trader Joe's. I bought some Ak-Mak thinking it was vegan--oops. It's got honey and butter in it.

And my checker made a grave error in giving me my change. I tried to correct him, but he insisted, and I hope he doesn't get in trouble when his register is $20 short.


I can't stand it, I know you planned it
I'm gonna set it straight, this Watergate
I can't stand rocking when I'm in here
'Cause your crystal ball ain't so crystal clear

So while you sit back and wonder why
I got this fucking thorn in my side
Oh my God, it's a mirage
I'm tellin' y'all, it's a sabotage

So, so, so, so listen up 'cause you can't say nothin'
You'll shut me down with a push of your button?
But you, I'm out and I'm gone
I'll tell you now, I keep it on and on

'Cause what you see you might not get
And we can bet, so don't you get souped yet
You're scheming on a thing that's a mirage
I'm trying to tell you now, it's sabotage

Our backs are now against the wall?
Listen all y'all, it's a sabotage
Listen all y'all, it's a sabotage
Listen all y'all, it's a sabotage
Listen all y'all, it's a sabotage

I can't stand it, I know you planned it
I'm gonna set it straight, this Watergate
Lord, I can't stand rockin' when I'm in this place
Because I feel disgrace because you're all in my face

But make no mistakes and switch up my channel
I'm Buddy Rich when I fly off the handle
What could it be, it's a mirage
You're scheming on a thing, that's sabotage

chili report

I got some dried black beans from Whole Foods and cooked those up to make Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili. Beans cooked from dry are so different from canned beans, so it's a whole new food, and my bean-to-the rest of the ingredients ratio was off, so they're under-seasoned, but they're still so so delicious.


Yesterday I transcribed a lot. Then in the evening we went to McKinley Park, and Erik ran. I met my friend P who gave me another CD of audio to transcribe. Erik ran until it was dark and then some. I walked around the duck pond then sat in the car writing until it was too dark to see the paper very well.

Today I've been screwing around on facebook and replying to some mail and listening to music. Time to get back to work.

The Mountain Goats


My friend J posted this link to facebook this morning, and I was moved to tears to see one of my heroes succeed on TV. You go, John Darnielle!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

shut in

I didn't get any vitamin d today. I transcribed like crazy.

I woke up this morning with a headache that's still with me. But I took something, so maybe it will go away.

I want more sweet potatoes and black beans so I can make more of that lovely chili.

Monday, October 05, 2009

sweet potato black bean chili

I spent all day processing the news of the morning. I called the pharmacy where I get my blood pressure medication and found out that my most expensive medication will cost $688.84 there. I made a bunch of other phone calls. I'm waiting to hear back from some people.

Meanwhile, I made some delicious chili. It's called Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili.


I didn't peel the sweet potato but otherwise followed the recipe. Oh, and of course I left out the cilantro. I am not a cilantro person. Anyway, I had to force myself to stop eating it. At first I felt unsure about it, but the more I ate, the more I liked it. The seasonings are very good. And my favorite thing about it other than the seasonings is probably the sweet potato.


Today I went to county pharmacy to pick up my medication and was told I would no longer be able to get it there since I got Medi-Cal. (I found out that I got Medi-Cal, but my share of cost is more than $2000 a month based on their misunderstanding of our income.) The workers at the pharmacy told me that the county pharmacy is only for people who have no insurance, and Medi-Cal is insurance. They said I need to go to a regular pharmacy and have them call county pharmacy to get my prescriptions transferred. Meanwhile, I happen to know that a regular pharmacy charges hundreds of dollars more than county does. So we're screwed. I called my Medi-Cal caseworker and explained the situation and asked what would happen when we went to the regular pharmacy to try and get my medication. He kept explaining the concept of share of cost. I get the idea. What I need to do next is call a regular pharmacy and ask if there's a discount for people with Medi-Cal. That's all I can think of. My Medi-Cal caseworker said it's possible to refuse Medi-Cal--I can't remember how he phrased it. I would be better off without it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

the fantastic story of my megaphonic day

This morning we went to McKinley Park where Erik ran and I walked then read The Complete Persepolis. I'm almost finished with it. I was kind of afraid of the creepy guy who kept hitting on me a few weeks ago, but there was no sign of him. I had an edifying morning.

Then in the afternoon I worked. I transcribed for a few hours. Hopefully I'm getting faster. I just got off the phone with my boss P. He said over email that he lost a long email to me, so I was worried about what it might have said, so I called him, but it was no business, all pleasure. He's trying to get me and Erik to become nature volunteers at the Cosumnes River Preserve. I think it's very kind of him to think of us, but I don't believe I'm interested in making a commitment like that. The training is five or six consecutive Saturdays, which is impossible for us because of our work schedule. He also talked to me about a movie he might make, and about the pain he's been having since he got a tooth pulled.

Erik's been writing a lot. Sitting, writing, and yoga or running every day. Vacation life. It will all end soon. He's working outside the home scoring CBEST Tuesday through Friday and then SAT scoring starts again the 15th.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

comic book shop

Today we went to the comic book shop. It's 24 hour comics day! So there were a bunch of people there making comics. I don't make comics--not yet, anyway. But I love those who do.


I'm a transcriptionist now. P finally was well enough to come over and teach me how to use the foot pedal and everything. I think I'm good to at it. But it requires a great deal of concentration and discernment. Meanwhile, I've got a case of the nihilism blues. Choir practice, pharmacy, a walk--maybe the walk will help.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Erik's photo of ripples

Erik's photo of lichen

Erik's photo of more lichen

Erik's photo of the lake bottom

Erik's photo of Dardanelles Lake

strange mail

Lots of zine review zines publish my address and zine info, so I get letters from strangers, some of them prisoners. This letter came to me from a prisoner. There are two stamps on the backside too. So it comes out to 44.
Posted by Picasa