dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Thursday, December 31, 2009

two weird things that happened at the park

1. After I walked I was sitting at a picnic table reading a zine when two cops pulled up. They were driving a large POLICE truck over the grass. The one in the passenger seat said to me, "There's been a report of someone shooting a gun here. Have you been here a while?" I said yes. "Have you heard anything?" I said no. "Obviously you're talking to me--your music must not be on very loud," he said. Then they left, and I saw another police car on the street.

2. While Erik was jogging a news person with a camera man asked, "Do you mind if I interview you?" and asked Erik some questions about vacation time. Erik said how he scores standardized tests and doesn't get any vacation time, and the interview was short.

hand gestures

I found this wikipedia entry about hand gestures pretty fascinating.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

one more thing

A nice person at the Portland library asked me to send five copies of functionally ill 4, 5, and 6. She was going to pay me, but of course they're free. I told her that 6 doesn't exist yet but will soon, and should I send what I've got or wait and send them all together? She got back to me and said she actually wanted five copies of 3 and 4 and "becoming bipolar" which is 1. So I sent those today. I used the automatic postal machine, which was easy.

I feel honored that Portland library wants my zines and I hope people read them and feel better. Okay, goodnight.

reading list by Miranda July

Erik also found for me this essay by Miranda July (I love her).


comics by women

I'm totally stoked Erik found for me this list of comics by women!


park day

Today we went to the park so Erik could run and I could walk. I was reading and writing at a picnic table after my walk. I've gotten to a really exciting part of Island of the Aunts. You know in a novel how at some point usually the shit hits the fan? I really don't enjoy that point much--I think the beginnings of novels are my favorite part. I could be wrong about that, though.

Someone asked me, "Is there a pond nearby?" and I told him, "On the other side of this big building."

I've been working on an amazon order. My grandma sent me a check for Christmas, and I'm going to buy myself a book called My Baby Rides the Short Bus and an album called In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.

two things that pissed me off today

1. I was waiting for that book, and it finally arrived! But the person who packaged it lacked common sense. She didn't bother to use enough paper and left the corners exposed. Not like it got beat up in the mail and the corners busted, but she actually wrapped it that way! What a jerk! Not only that, but she taped the paper onto the cover. I'm not super particular about my books--I don't expect mint--but putting tape on a book is just not done. In fact, in the PaperbackSwap instructions, it specifically says not to do that. Oh well.

2. A librarian was rude to me. I had trouble downloading a CD from the catalog, so I asked her for help. She told me they don't have CDs available for download from the catalog. Like, does she think I just made that up? We came home and I asked Erik for help and we were able to download it. She needs a lesson in how to be nice to people and a lesson in what services her library offers. Anyway, I listened to the first three songs on the CD and I don't like them at all. (It's the Clumsy Lovers.)

media mail

I requested a book from PaperbackSwap that should have arrived by now, but it's not here! I'm hoping the holidays slowed down the mail and it will get here maybe today.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I've been researching sprouting lately. I hear it's very nutritious. I'm having trouble finding some info that's super easy to understand for a beginner. I got caught up in a site called Sproutpeople that seems extensive yet the writing style (or maybe the site's organization) doesn't work well for me.

Today and tomorrow Erik's working outside the home. I slept in until after 9 this morning. My shoulder is still hurting at times but not as bad as yesterday. It was hard to sleep on my left side, and I slept on my back sometimes, which made me snore, and Erik woke me up.

Rainy here. I need fresh ginger if I'm making mushroom curry for dinner. We have so many excellent foods my parents gave us at Christmas time that it's difficult to know what to make. I mean there are so many good choices.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

comics, shoulder pain

Today we kind of felt like crap the way we do the day after a trip. But we went to the park so Erik could run and I could walk. It was really nice to be out. I got cold and went to the car for the last few minutes of my reading / writing time. I wrote in my journal and read ButterSword comics that the nice ButterSword makers sent me in the mail. I love them and will pass them along.

Today I finished I Saw You and read all of Neptune. I also started Island of the Aunts, which is fantastic.

I hurt my shoulder last night while I was sleeping. I'll be fine and then suddenly move my arm or cough or turn my body, and my shoulder suddenly shoots a terrible pain, and often I curse. Often there's a little sound that accompanies the pain, like a popping sound. I think I damaged my shoulder joint somehow, and it's very unpleasant. I hope it heals soon.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

back in Sac

We're home from Christmas travels. My parents gave us lots of wonderful food and other gifts. And friends sent wonderful gifts in the mail too! I loved spending time with family and my best friend E. Did some good cooking and baking. Now I don't have anything to do until New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

vegan sweet potato chocolate chip cookies

I had this recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies but one time I made it with canned sweet potato instead of canned pumpkin. Today I made it with fresh sweet potato, and it turned out great!

Here are the ingredients I used this time.

cup mashed sweet potato
cup vegan sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg replacement
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
tbsp vanilla
a little soymilk
cup vegan chocolate chips
cup broken up walnuts

Here's my method.

Scrub two sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork, and microwave until they're done. Let them cool. Cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. Mash. Add the sugar, oil, and egg replacement. Stir. Dump in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir. Add the vanilla and a splash of soymilk so you get the dough to be about the texture you like. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Bake at 350 for 8 1/2 minutes on greased cookie sheets.

Monday, December 21, 2009

holiday busy

Today we went out in the afternoon. I finished my Christmas shopping. I wanted to get my dad's gift kind of last minute so it would be fresh. We went to Cost Plus World Market for Dad's gift, Best Buy for CD-Rs so I could make a CD for someone, a walk at the park, the library. Also we went to the post office, which of course was a madhouse, but the line moved okay. I needed to pick up a package that wouldn't fit in the mail box. They tried delivering it twice and threatened that if I didn't come get it at the post office, they would return to sender on December 24th. So I felt I had no choice. Erik had trouble parking. The lot was full. I kind of hate my post office. I figured while I was there I might as well buy some 98 cent stamps (for sending letters overseas).

In the morning I wrote a couple long emails I wanted to send before Christmas. And in the afternoon I burned that CD and wrapped what few presents I bought. Then I baked / cooked. On twitter today I noted that I made four new recipes in two days. That must be a record for me. Cooking makes me happy.

I never finished Christmas cards--I sent most but not all. I figure I can send them late and they'll be New Years cards or just let it go.

mixed pea curry

Tonight for dinner I made a new dish--mixed pea curry. It's made with a ton of veggies! I got to cook a rutabaga for the first time.


Here's how I made it.

can garbanzo beans
cup frozen peas
3 tomatoes
large sweet potato
4 small carrots
small rutabaga
2 medium onions and a small one
large handful broccoli
2 tbsp tomato paste
olive oil

tsp ancho chili powder
heaped tsp turmeric
tsp ground cumin
tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 inches ginger
12 cloves garlic

Peel the tomatoes. Cut them into fourths. Peel the garlic and ginger. Grate the ginger. Peel the rutabaga and sweet potato. Dice small. Dice the carrots too. Boil the rutabaga, sweet potato, and carrots in water for about 10 minutes (until they're almost soft). Thaw the peas. Chop the onions. Add the broccoli and tomatoes to the boiling veggies. Boil another 9 minutes. Make sure the veggies are all soft. Drain them, reserving the water. Mash them with a potato masher.

In a new large pan, saute the onions in olive oil until they're done. Add the ginger and press the garlic into the pan. Add the cumin seeds. Saute a little while. Add all the spices except the garam masala. Saute. Add the mashed veggies to the onion pan. Add some of the cooking water, enough so it's plenty wet. Add the tomato paste. Mix. Add the peas. Add the garbanzo beans. Add the garam masala. Mix. Simmer a while. Add salt. Taste. Serve.

This was so, so flavorful that it was hard to eat! It's very good, but you know how when a food's really rich you only want a little bit? It was like that, kind of. I should have had it with rice, but I was too lazy to heat up the leftover brown rice that's in the fridge from yesterday.

Erik's out at a Buddhist thing and hasn't tried it yet.

new banana bread recipe

I don't know why I wanted to try a new banana bread recipe, but I did, this afternoon.


Here's how I made it.

tsp apple cider vinegar
soy milk
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup vegan sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 small overripe bananas
tsp cinnamon
cup walnuts broken up small

Put one tsp vinegar in a measuring cup. Add enough soymilk to equal a fourth a cup.

Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add oil, vanilla, sugar, soymilk mixture. Mix. Dump on top the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon. Mix. Add most of the walnuts.

Heat the oven to 350. Oil a 9 x 9 pyrex. Put the batter in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top.

Bake for 25 - 30 min, until a knife comes clean.

We like it very much--in fact, it's mostly gone. It came out with a great texture. The buckwheat flour was an unusual choice, on my part, but I've been looking for ways to use up that buckwheat flour. Maybe it could have used a little salt. It's not very sweet at all, but I like it that way. (I halved the sugar.)

I thought about putting chocolate chips in, but I wanted to save my chocolate chips in case I make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies tomorrow.


New Sacramento public library site for people my age (not much there yet).


Sunday, December 20, 2009

icarus call

Today I did something I had never done before. I did the monthly Icarus conference call. It was just two of us. I was super-brave. I tried not to think about it too much before dialing. I expected there would be about 10 people and I would just listen. But I ended up talking an awful lot. It was good! We talked about zines, penpalling, local organizing, the weather.

vegan mac and cheese

Tonight for dinner I made vegan mac and cheese. If you look at this recipe at the link I provide, and when you're reading it and you get to the "1 tbsp salt" and alarms go off in your head, don't ignore those alarms! One tablespoon of salt would be--uh--insane.


It was so tasty but so "bad for me." I guess I shouldn't use past tense because we still have a truckload of it.

pound of pasta
1 1/2 cup of unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup melted earth balance
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 block of tofu
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp ground ancho chili

Preheat oven to 350. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, mix the liquid ingredients. Add the solid ingredients. Blend (I used a hand blender because that's what I have). Put the cooked pasta in the largest pyrex you have. Spread most of the sauce over it and mix. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Erik and I both loved it, but it's a hell of a lot of oil. Next time I might use regular paprika instead of the smoked paprika and ancho (I didn't have any). And it was quite salty enough.

I don't know what to do with the leftover sauce.

mushroom masala

Today for lunch I made the super-delicious mushroom curry that I linked to last post. It turned out perfect, all I'd hoped. Here's how I made it.

olive oil
box of mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
two small onions, diced small
two inches ginger, gated
about eight cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tbsp tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water
about three fourths of a large diced bell pepper
half a can of garbanzo beans
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garam massala
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ancho chili powder

Saute the onions in olive oil until they're about done. Add the garlic and ginger--saute. Add the spices and salt--saute. Add the tomato paste mixture. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper and enough water to make it wet. Add the garbanzo beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes? Until the veggies are done. Serve with rice!

Erik liked how the mushrooms were whole. I would have cut them in half next time if he didn't say he liked that. I don't normally enjoy bell pepper much, but this was just perfect. Will definitely make it again! Want to double it next time. And it's really good for you too.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


SAT scoring ended yesterday. So I'm free until February. I should be very happy. How am I feeling? Kind of overwhelmed by the holidays.

Today my uncle R called me--he's in Sacramento. I don't normally answer my cell phone when I don't recognize the number of the person who's called me, but I answered--we were at Trader Joe's.

Then my mom called when we were at the library. We were in the poetry section. I don't know what Erik was looking for. I had wanted something by Colette, but their only book by her was the one I've already read.

I still need to buy one last present (for my dad) and wrap a present and package up some stuff that will go in the mail. I have a list of things to do here--housework got neglected during SAT, so we need to clean up a lot.

Today we bought a bunch of veggies. I bought a rutabaga for the first time. It was expensive, too. But we got it at Whole Foods, so that makes sense. We got the other veggies at Trader Joe's. Tomorrow I want to make a mushroom masala recipe.


onion bhajis

Tonight I made onions bhajis from this recipe.


They didn't really turn out. The recipe calls for 5 small onions, and I think I used more like medium onions, so the ratio of batter to onion was off. I wanted them to be kind of crispy, but they came out limp. Also, the flavor wasn't my favorite--they just tasted like coriander seed. Oh well.

(One of the things that excited me about the recipe is that it uses buckwheat flour.)

buckwheat pancakes

I made buckwheat pancakes for lunch yesterday, and they were okay. They wanted to burn, though. (I actually burned one of them and ate it anyway.) I don't know if it's because of the buckwheat flour, because the recipe I used had no oil in it, or if I was just being a dunce about the heat.

Friday, December 18, 2009

print quality problem

I might be done writing functionally ill 6, but I printed out a draft for Erik to read, and the print quality leaves much to be desired. I don't know what to do. I wish I had a friend in Sacramento who uses OpenOffice and has a good printer and could print it out for me. I mean the final draft.

Arrested Iowa Meat Packers Live in Legal Limbo

I read a really interesting article about some women in Iowa who worked for a meat place and their workplace got raided and some of them got arrested and have been wearing tracking devices on their ankles and aren't allowed to work. So this church is helping them. They might get deported.


buckwheat flour

I read buckwheat's a good protein, so I bought some organic buckwheat flour last night at Whole Foods. It was kind of expensive. I want to make some pancakes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

still sick

Today we went to McKinley Park where I walked and Erik ran. Then I wrote in my journal and wrote part of a letter to my new friend J in San Diego. There was a weird guy throwing a knife over and over again at a tree. He made me really uncomfortable. Later when he was walking away, I saw something in his hands that looked like a small boomerang.

An unpleasant new thing for me is strange feelings in my legs when I'm trying to sleep. I feel like I have to move my legs. I have this urge to move them, and it's very unpleasant if I don't. I was hoping it was just happening because I'm sick. But I talked about it with my friend A and she said it happens to her too. She said calcium's supposed to help. Yeah, I'm sure I'm not getting enough calcium.

Meanwhile this stupid cold lingers. I thought I was nearly well, but today my nose is all chapped again. Last night I lay awake coughing, trying to sleep, for a long time. I asked Erik to estimate, and he said an hour. It's hard for me to tell time at night.

I read a really sad poem today by John Updike called "Dog's Death."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

dinner tonight, park this afternoon

Today for dinner I made spinach and tomato salad with walnuts, acorn squash with earth balance and salt, and sauted tofu. It was a really nice dinner. Later I want to have leftover vegan carrot ginger birthday cake. I finally baked yesterday, and it turned out perfect, best ever.

Today we went to the park. I walked and wrote a letter to my friend L in LA on pink paper. Some girls came up to me--one wanted to use my phone. "What for?" I asked. "To call my dad," she said. I agreed to it but told her she needed to dial the area code. Her friend talked to me about the fountains in the pond. We listened as the other one talked to her dad. "I'll be home before dark," she promised. They were very sweet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

baby dragon

It seems obvious, but it was only a couple days ago that I came up with Kitty's new name of Baby Dragon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

day after Erik's birthday

I've been sick for a few days now. I think it's Erik's cold, but he didn't have a sore throat, so it's kind of confusing. Last night my throat hurt so bad that I worried something was wrong, but it didn't feel like that today, so maybe I'm getting better. Today I napped for two hours and had fitful dreams. I haven't been well enough to bake Erik's vegan carrot ginger cake. Meanwhile I hope I'm not eating too many of the carrots. I've managed to meet my three-hour-per-day SAT scoring goal every day, so yay for me. I've stopped eating bananas (they were giving me heartburn--I like them kind of green), but I haven't stopped buying them, so we have a ludicrous quantity. That's okay because I always like to have overripe bananas on hand for making vegan banana pancakes. I don't know if I should stop putting "vegan" before the name of every dish I make, but I figure I might get new visitors to my blog at any time, and if I leave off the "vegan" then they won't know. I don't have the wherewithal to break my ideas into paragraphs today, so sorry about this.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Yesterday I read all the ButterSword webcomics on this site. I found them funny and fun.


Friday, December 11, 2009

dizzy again

I've been having this dizziness for two weeks and have been trying to figure out why. My most recent theory is that I'm spending too much time on the computer. Maybe I hold my neck funny? Another idea is that my diet's screwed up. Maybe I am not doing a good enough job being home-vegan--I am missing some nutrients, or the lack of protein is catching up with me. It's hard to say. Maybe I should eat kale or something.

Today I got a super-special letter from my new friend in Australia. She has beautiful handwriting.

Other mail is a postcard from this fabulous girl in Canada who is sending me a postcard almost every day! What did I do to deserve such fabulousness?

I made rice and lentils and used a ton of cumin and it's excellent! Usually I use mostly curry powder, but I lost the curry powder in the freezer.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Yesterday I was productive. I made vegan black bean sweet potato chili in the afternoon, and it turned out fantastic. I tripled the recipe because of the amount of beans I cooked, which was correct--last time I underspiced it, but this time it was very flavorful.

SAT scoring starts today. Erik was up early to score, but we forgot the window opens late on the first day, so after he got up at 4, he came back to bed and got up again later.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

quinoa flakes

I've been considering that I might need more protein in my diet, so I decided to get some quinoa flakes for making hot cereal for breakfast. But in Whole Foods I compared the nutrition charts and found that creamy wheat has about the same amount of protein in it, which is confusing. Quinoa flakes are a lot more expensive, but I bought some for experiment's sake, and I just made some for lunch. I put earth balance and turbinado sugar and some soymilk into the finished product, and it was okay--not as good as creamy wheat. Different.

apple crisp

I made a really great vegan apple crisp on Sunday. I had more apples than I thought I did, and the pyrex was almost overflowing. We bought some vanilla Rice Dream to eat it with, quite a treat.

Monday, December 07, 2009

sad face

No snow.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

holy Moses!

Supposed to snow in Sacramento tomorrow!



Turns out it may be good that I didn't make it to Samiti Friday night because P called me Saturday morning (Samiti's at her place) saying she was really sick with a cold and canceling choir practice Saturday afternoon.

But Erik's sick with a cold he thinks he picked up at work, his in-person work. He needs to get better by Tuesday when he has more in-person work. Then SAT scoring starts up again on Thursday.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


axel: figure skating jump
axle: thing that connects two wheels

Friday, December 04, 2009

my day

Got a new tire, deposited checks, picked up medication, got stuff and paid fine at the library, proofread 55 pages, and didn't make it to Samiti.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

quinoa salad experiment

I have all this wonderful organic quinoa my mom got me from Costco. Usually I make it with veggie broth and eat it with mashed avocado and salt (or shoyu for Erik). Sometimes I saute some tomatoes and garlic and put those on top for Erik with some green onion. And that's been the extent of my quinoa repertoire. So yesterday I was researching quinoa salad recipes. Basically, put whatever you want veggie-wise in there with some dressing of olive oil and lemon juice, or olive oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper.

So this morning, thinking of dinner already, and with a bunch of leftover quinoa from last night's dinner, I cooked up some asparagus in little pieces and squeezed the juice out of the two sad lemons I'd had on the kitchen table for a long time and put in some olive oil and salt and pepper. I tried just the quinoa part, and it tasted mighty lemony yet boring. I don't think Erik's going to like it. So I'm trying to think of something else to put in. A tiny bit of raw garlic maybe? Or a tiny bit of raw onion cut up very fine? Maybe I should research some more. I don't have any broccoli or raw bell pepper. Maybe I could put in some jarred roasted bell pepper? Maybe that'd be good.


Erik called and said he got to work perfectly.


Yesterday Erik got a flat tire. He was at work. So after work he called AAA and had them fix it. They were quick. So the spare is on the car--we weren't able to bring it to a tire place last night. Erik didn't want to take the car to work this morning because you're not supposed to go over 55 (or is it 50?) on the spare. So he took the truck. This truck is an old Chevy Blazer my parents gave us when we lived in Bishop and needed two vehicles for work. We don't need it anymore, but we haven't been brave enough to try to sell it. It has some problems. We drive it very little. Once in the summer we drove it on a hot day, and it drove really rough. It seemed like it was about to die many times. Ever since then I haven't trusted it. So I'm a little nervous about Erik taking it to work, but it started up okay.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I've gotten really dizzy a couple times today, and yesterday in the morning. Afraid I'm getting diabetes. Sad face. We're going to get up early tomorrow morning so Erik and I can go for a walk before he's off to work.


New zine I want to submit to.


vegan mushroom gravy

Last night I made some delicious vegan mushroom gravy to go with mashed potatoes.

mushrooms cooked with garlic
Earth Balance
two cups of water
veggie broth cube
nutritional yeast
pinch of sage
soy sauce

I think that's it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

zine overload

On Kitty's chest some of his fur is matted. I think it's his old age showing--he's not grooming himself as well.

Yesterday I finished transcribing, and now I have some time off. In a few days P is coming to pick up the foot pedal and drop off a check. Then in a week or more I'll have a ton of proofreading to do.

Yesterday Erik hiked with T near Pt Reyes. They saw some interesting mushrooms (and T got poison oak).

Today we went out to my favorite cafe, Naked Lounge. I wrote a letter and drank some delicious peppermint-based tea and read Fun Home, which I love. We went for two short walks. We went to the co-op where we bought co-op treats like kale chips, vegan cookies, a coconut bar, lemon and cherry soy yogurt. They also had some maple candy, which I love.

Yesterday my new friend J in San Diego sent me a package of about 20 zines from years gone by. It's a very thoughtful gift, and I need to get reading.