dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Thursday, September 30, 2010

night night

Today in San Francisco we met up with my Australian penpal S. We ate Indian-Pakistani food in the Tenderloin. Then in Japantown I got beautiful postcards of sunflowers with Mt Fuji in the background. We did great riding the bus.

Home again, the air conditioner is behaving strangely. We reset it, which doesn't seem to have solved the problem. Sad face!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love Is a Mix Tape

I got 50 pages in and bailed. I liked some things about it, but two thirds of the pop culture references are lost on me, and the speaker's lively, but it reads like a cliche. It reminds me of a zine but a zine I've already read a few times. Sorry.

eta: It kind of reminded me of The Smiths' Meat Is Murder by Joseph T. Pernice but I preferred the Pernice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Old Joy

This evening we watched a movie called Old Joy. It's a very beautiful film. Two guys go camping together. Thanks to our new friend A for loaning this movie to us.

Also, we made broccoli bulgar soup. It tastes kind of good, kind of boring. We made it and it was way too thin, so we added another cup of bulgar wheat, simmered it for another 20 minutes, let it sit for a long time, and it thickened up.

We've been listening to the new Sufjan Stevens album Age of Adz. You can hear the whole thing. My favorite song is "Too Much."


Monday, September 27, 2010


This morning I called the clinic to make an appointment, and I was super lucky because they had an afternoon appointment available. So I went in and got my prescriptions and all's well.

Tonight was writers group. We met at Temple Coffee. We were all not in the best of moods. But I like being around my friends, and we shared some loving hugs. H brought us mini pumpkins to celebrate the beginning of fall.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

elm 48

This is the new Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine. It has good wizard poems in it, so you should read it. Hit me up!

heat wave

It's supposed to hit 99 tomorrow and 98 the next day. Not funny!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

life management fail

This morning I went to a poverty clinic to get refill scripts. Only they couldn't see me, and they wanted to make an appointment for October 30th. Meanwhile, I have two days worth of blood pressure medication left. I need to try to make an appointment at the other poverty clinic that charges $40 and where the doctor is a raving egomaniac and I am afraid of her. Not having health insurance sucks.

Friday, September 24, 2010

happy Berkeley day

Today we went to Berkeley and I photocopied Erik and LM Magazine 48. It was satisfying.

Later, at Tilden Park, I wrote letters. I wrote to J in Australia, R in Berkeley, S in Santa Maria, MM in Florida, and L in Los Angeles. I felt kind of manic, over-writing. But then I did some reading and felt more balanced.

Driving around Berkeley, I saw a bumper sticker that said THANK YOU FOR NOT BREEDING. It made me guffaw.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

happy fall

Today we saw Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both have their pumpkins out.

Today we checked out Fun Home from the library for Erik to read. It was possibly my favorite book that I read last year.

I read a stat that juice drinkers are 76% less likely to develop Alzheimer's. I always thought juice was just empty calories. I actually avoided it. But now I will drink the OJ.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kathmandu Kitchen

Today I was feeling sad. We went to our favorite park then to Davis where we ate at my favorite Nepalese place. Then we went to the Davis co-op and looked at cards. We walked down the ice cream isle and I noticed they have It's-Its. I almost bought a mint one, I so longed for them. But that would have broken my home-vegan vow. So I bought a mint Rice Dream ice cream sandwich, and it was so good.

C died

My friend C died on Sunday night. I hadn't seen her in a while--she was living in a nursing home. I should have visited her when she was in a hospital a few weeks ago. But I didn't want to bother her. I can't believe I'll never see her again. She had cancer. I want to sing with the choir at her memorial service. I want to sing for mother season too, so I need to start going to choir practice. I took about six months off choir, but I guess I'm going back.

My best memory of C was one time when she touched my feet. It was after a meeting of our women's religious group, before she left early. No one had never touched my feet like that before. It's a Hindu thing.

bon voyage

Our decentest neighbors are moving away. Last night when we passed by their door, their tv was on the floor and almost everything was gone. It will be sad that the good natured boys will no longer be around. And I hope whoever moves in after them is non-problematic. Wonder where they're going--I hope they're moving into a nice house somewhere.

Monday, September 20, 2010

happy birthday to me

We're back home safe from a weekend away for my birthday. I'm 34 today. Yesterday we ate carrot cake. Today I saw my old friend J--we ate a late lunch.

I'm sick of men telling me who I am. I'm ready to throw the towel in on half my relationships. But L called today, as Erik drove us home, and that was nice, though it was hard to hear her because of the noise from the road.


Yesterday I saw my best friend E. We went to Natural Cafe for lunch then to the park to sit on benches talking and to walk around the pond. It was beautiful. We spoke of children, They Might Be Giants songs, friends, how to cope with nervousness.

Saturday night we saw S and J. We went to S's place where they were rolling coins. Then we all sat in the living room talking, mostly about their trip to Burning Man. S went through the rebirthing tube. J rode on a topless teeter totter. S wore a camo tutu.

Saturday afternoon I saw my aunt who recently moved from Los Angeles to Nipomo. We went to her new house, and she gave me the tour. It's an amazing house with lots of room. She showed us the fruit trees in the backyard. In her bedroom I saw someone was reading the new Barbara Kingsolver novel. So yesterday my mom bought me a copy at Costco, and I'm going to give it a try. It would be nice to talk to her about it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Urban Dictionary word of the day: etm

Latin abbreviation for the literal translation of "and shit", specifically, "et merda". Just like "etc." (and so forth), "i.e." (that is), and "e.g." (for example), "etm." can be used to abbreviate "and shit".

At the farmer's market I got tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, etm.

I was just taking care of bills etm. before he came over.

Friday, September 17, 2010


This morning I chatted with my friend A in upstate New York. She told me she likes to pretend rock climb. I had no idea.

Then I chatted with my friend J for an hour and a half. He lives near Chicago, and we talked about music, family, religion. I asked him (he's Christian and a youth pastor and even guest preaches at his church sometimes) if he thinks it's end times. I told him about how once I was at a youth retreat and started bawling during prayer and all these strangers laid hands on me. It's a vivid memory though my eyes were closed.

So I didn't get the dishes washed. Erik worked today and yesterday. I went for a walk and saw all the shopping carts at the bus stop, a guy with one leg, a guy with herbicide tanks strapped to his back, a black plastic plate. I smelled the juniper shrubs. I felt the wind hitting me and a gust when a huge truck passed by. I heard the usual traffic.

When I checked the mail, I found some beautiful art by JoyEliz. It's Day of the Dead themed. It's a colorful skull with swirls.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My friend A in England referred me to this feminist website that looks good.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


When Erik's sorting lentils and finds a rock, he says, "I found a rock!" and I say, "Yippee!" or something like that.

Today we went to a music at noon concert that we didn't like so much. The Bach was good, though.

Today we got a ton done. Erik got the oil changed, he's doing laundry, and we grocery shopped. And we went to thrift stores too. We bought a bamboo cutting board that I don't know about--it's round. That will take some getting used to.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

bird bath

A Stellar's jay is taking a bath in the lake, photo by Erik.

side view

Another Stellar's jay pic by Erik.

front on

Here's a Stellar's jay photo Erik took.

zine reading at Wrights Lake

Today we went to Wrights Lake. I sat at the lakeside writing letters for three and a half hours while Erik hiked to Smith Lake via Grouse Lake. Here's a picture of me reading a zine at the picnic area post-hike.

Monday, September 13, 2010

tale of the chicken haters, thrift store finds, ant-sized objects

Today we went to Fair Oaks and walked by the river and sat by the river. I worked on my letter to E and listened to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I saw a tree full of egrets and saw when all but one of them took off in a flock. It was beautiful.

Then we got lunch at Sunflower. As we waited for our food, we observed a couple sitting outdoors at a table--they evidently hate chickens. They shooed the chickens away with great anger. Erik says one of them kicked a chicken. And I personally witnessed one of them spit on a chicken. She would blow in their faces to scare them away and progressed to spitting. I was disgusted and pretty amazed that anyone who hates chickens so badly would eat at Sunflower, which everyone knows is overrun with feral chickens. (Two women with a baby in a baby carrier sat down at one of these tables, and the one left with the baby shooed the chickens away too, but in a humane and normal way.) So we left and ate our lunch at the nearby park. Earlier I asked Erik if I should even blog about this, and he said yes. "Why not?" he asked.

"Because it's so negative," I said. And I'm angry to think about it again. Sorry if I pissed you off.

Then we went to one of our favorite thrift stores where I found a great pair of green corduroy pants for three bucks. Considering the jeans I already have, I think I'm all set for fall and winter. Erik found a great pair of hiking pants for two bucks. They're nylon and convert into shorts.

This afternoon and evening we did some fantastic cooking. I made Middle Eastern potato salad with caraway seeds and parsley and mint. It's so good! And Erik made Middle Eastern lentil stew with vermicelli and fresh basil. Boy was this food delicious.

I wrote a letter to L in Los Angeles and wrote some reviews for ELM 48 and replied to some threads on We Make Zines.

There's this art project having to do with collecting ideas of objects that are the size of an ant, and I posted on facebook asking people to name an object the size of an ant. I got quite a few replies, so I'll send those along to the artist when I feel people are done replying.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

butterfly man

Today we went to the park, and I didn't get a cramp in my legs when I walked the dirt track. Then I worked on a letter to E and listened to All Delighted People.

This afternoon I cleaned my desk, or I half-cleaned my desk. Then our friend M called. His big news is that he's moving from Brooklyn to Portland, Oregon. He'll be there in March, and he says we can stay with him when we visit.

Cleaning my desk I unearthed about 20 zines that I need to read, stuff people sent me unbidden or that I traded for.

When we were at the Jack London museum in Napa, Erik's best friend took a picture of the cover of Call of the Wild in Hebrew--it depicts (among other things) a colorful butterfly man. I love it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Tomorrow is the birthday of one of my very favorite people on this earth. God did good when she made you, Beautiful.

brown betty

Today I went to church to help P do the bulletin. Swami gave me some Brown Betty to take home, two servings. It was too salty, but I liked the apple part. P and I went over minutes for the board meeting that I missed. P was not well. She needs a vacation.

Today I got a package in the mail from my favorite Finn. Thanks, M! I will save it for my birthday.

This morning we went to the park. Everything had a strange clarity. I felt I was seeing everything in a detached way, like I was from another planet. It was odd. But I think I'm pulling out of this bad mood.

Friday, September 10, 2010

for rent

You know that mulberry tree that got massacred a few weeks ago? They didn't cut the trunk down--they left the trunk standing. Today we saw the landlords put a FOR RENT sign in the tree--it looks like the massacred tree's for rent, which is strange. But the deep wrongness of it all is perfect for this apartment complex's fucked up-ness. There's an apartment on the second floor with a bunch of dog shit in front of it--it's been like that for at least half a year, from back when the puppy lived here. So they want people to come live here but massacre trees and leave dog shit around and the laundry room's filthy. But yeah, people should come live here!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

did you cut your hands on me?

On Sufjan Stevens' new album, one of the songs has a line, "Did you cut your hands on me?" that comes to mind sometimes. The next line's, "Are my edges sharp?"

vegan meatballs

Today I bought some vegan meatballs from Trader Joe's. I'd heard of them and decided to try them. So I made spaghetti with jar sauce and cooked the meatballs (they come frozen) in the sauce. Somehow the meatballs absorbed all the sauce. But it still worked out.

I've been feeling horrible. That has nothing to do with meatballs. My anxiety's through the roof and all I want to do is hide from the world. I can't handle any of my responsibilities. I guess it's okay to be just a mess for a while.

Romance Is Boring

Wow, I didn't know Los Campesinos! came out with a new album in January. My library system has six copies, and they're all on the shelf. In five libraries it's in the teen section. At McKinley, it's in the children's section. What the heck?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

end of summer

Today we went to Napa to see Erik's best friend and Erik's best friend's girlfriend. We toured the valley, or maybe it was two valleys. We visited a Jack London museum where I bought beautiful postcards. We saw Mission San Francisco Solano. A jackass gave us trouble with T's state parks pass.

On the way home, it rained on us. I guess summer is over. Back in Sac, there's water on the roads.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

bad tooth news

This morning I went to the dentist for a check up and cleaning. I've been having some cold sensitivity in one of my teeth on the lower left. Well, it turns out I cracked a filling somehow. Or I cracked two fillings. The dentist tells me I need a new filling in one of them and a cap on the other. The bill will be about a thousand dollars.

I have no idea how I managed to crack two fillings. The dentist was really surprised that I don't remember an event.

I think the dentist I go to is expensive. I'm going to try calling around.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mr Smith Goes to Washington

Today we finished watching Mr Smith Goes to Washington. I was really glad when it was over--boy is the ending sudden. It's kind of interesting as anthropology. Erik tells me it's from 1939.

Today I made broccoli soup. It's addictive. Erik wants to try putting bulgar wheat in it next time. I'm all for that.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

SF Zine Fest 2010

I woke up excited! We drove to the Oakland BART station and parked. We took BART to Embarcadero and then got on MUNI metro, N line, to Golden Gate Park. First we ate Indian food for lunch. (I'd called my friend J to invite her, but she was already having lunch with different friends.)

Then we headed to the zine fest! I was excited knowing that eventually we would run into Jen and MC of ButterSword fame. We entered the Fair building and turned right. One of the first tables we got to was Fritz Bogott. He was doing something very unusual, selling his zines in a peculiar way. The zine we "bought" was Untold Tales: The Giant Rat of Sumatra, and we bought it for a drawing of a pelican. All his zines were being sold for drawings. He provided photos of the animals he requested drawings of, in case you needed some visual aid. Then, when Erik finished the drawing of a pelican, Fritz offered to take Erik's picture with the drawing. Erik declined and just signed the drawing. The whole time I was giggling, giggling.

That was the first zine I obtained during the fest and the first one I read. I like it a great deal though some of the subject matter is disgusting. I like seeing the way the speaker and other main character interact.

Then we moved on. I saw many interesting zines and bought very few. Eventually as we moved through the room we got to a table with ButterSword zines, and I looked up, happy to see MC, recognizable by his bald head. We greeted one another with joy, and I felt relieved. We spoke. Then Jen showed up. We all spoke. There were smiles and laughter. MC and Jen kept giving me things, like Plant Life comic strips printed in full color and Zine in a Can: Survival Version with a colorful pompom on top. They're so creative and very nice people.

Then we looked at many more zines. I did buy two zines on building community, maybe my favorite topic, DIY or Don't We one and two. That person wrote me a receipt.

Then was the biggest surprise of the event: I met Marcos, the maker of Map of Fog, one of my favorite zines of all time. I said, "Are you Marcos?" and he said yes, and I said, "I'm Laura-Marie! Do you know who I am?" and not only did he know who I was, he had a quote from me written big on a piece of paper on his table, my review of Map of Fog that I wrote for Zine World a year ago. I felt honored and famous. We chatted for a few minutes, and I bought two copies of Map of Fog to give to friends. I can't decide which friends, though.

I also ran into John P of King Cat fame. I had met him at a zine fest years before. I gave him functionally ill 7 and uncomfortable. Unexpectedly he gave me a zine in trade, a chapbook of poems, and I read those last night and this morning--they're definitely good. The chapbook is On Ruby Hill.

I went to a talk by Jesse Recklaw on publishing. I got an overview of publishing from Jesse's perspective, and that was valuable to me. Unfortunately, my phone wasn't on vibrate, and I got a text during the Q&A, which made a sound, and we ducked out. Some of the people asking questions didn't seem to be making sense--it was as if they hadn't been there for the talk. Erik and I came away from it with very different understandings of the gist of the talk. I felt like Jesse was saying don't DIY period and that zines are a bad idea. Erik felt like Jesse was saying DIY on zines but don't DIY on books. On the drive home we discussed this and Erik kind of convinced me that his perception is the correct one.

There's a collective called Rock Paper Scissors that's collecting zines for its zine library, and they had a deal where you donated a zine and then you got your pick from some free zines she had there--they were duplicates from the library. I picked up a Burn Collector, which I've heard great things about.

Oh, and I met Mae Undead from Gimme Brains Distro--she was wearing a big bow on her head, and we spoke briefly. On her table there was a file of free zines, and I picked up a few, one by Kelly Shortandqueer and a Fuzzy Lunchbox.

After a couple hours of zine festing I met my friend J out front. We talked for a few minutes before she left for the screen printing workshop. Then Erik and I went back to say bye to Jen and MC. Then we left! Back on the MUNI bus and back to BART. We went to the Ferry building so Erik could look at a certain type of electric tea kettle he's interested in.

Then we went back to Oakland station and got our car and drove to Berkeley where we had dinner at the somewhat expensive vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude. Our server neglected us in favor of a table of more people right next to us, and we were going to get dessert, but he gave us the dessert menu and disappeared. We got frustrated and decided to skip dessert and paid and left, leaving a slim tip. My raw vegan lasagna was good for the first few bites but lacked variation (it was almost all raw zucchini slices) and I could only eat half of it. Erik's raw vegan enchilada was delicious--he gave me bites--but there was only one, and it was small. Anyway, we're not planning to return. We'd been there once before. The foods have funny names that starts with "I Am" like I Am Radiant. My dish was I Am Fabulous. Erik's was I Am Elated.

Then we drove back to Sac. I still wanted dessert so we went to Trader Joe's for their vegan cherry chocolate chip ice cream, which I want more of right now.

I realized that after I do something that scares me, I want dessert. It's like a need to treat myself for doing something hard. Same thing happened after the zine reading Thursday night.

All in all it was a wonderful day, and I look forward to next year's.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

SF Zine Fest day

Today has been incredible. I have a sack of zines, full like Santa's sack of toys. I will write more about it tomorrow.

Friday, September 03, 2010

SF Zine Fest tomorrow!

We looked at MUNI maps and are figuring out how to get ourselves to Golden Gate Park for day one of the San Francisco Zine Fest tomorrow. I'm meeting three friends there, people I know through the mail and are meeting in person for the first time. Excited! Nervous! Happy.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

All Delighted People

I've been listening to Sufjan Stevens' new EP. The more I hear it, the more I like it. It resists the intelligence almost successfully. Luckily, you can hear the whole thing online for free.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

zine reading

Tonight there was a reading at Avid Reader in Davis, a zine reading, and I was the first reader. I read "crisis" and "shame" from functionally ill 7, though I cut a few paragraphs. The event was organized by Tomas of Rad Dad, and it was nice to meet him. It was part of a zine tour that will culminate in the San Francisco Zine Fest this weekend.

What I read may have been the most serious thing of the whole reading, but people laughed at a few parts anyway, which surprised me.

I had to be very brave, and my hands were shaking, but I did it. I showed up and was heard. It was my first reading since the year 2000 during grad school.

Also in the news, we got our annual gift from the company we score for. They sent us BPA-free plastic coffee mug things. They're white with green lids.