dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

mysterious vegan caramel sauce

This morning we helped a friend move a few things.  Then she took us to lunch at Loving Hut.  Oh, before then we watered the garden and went to a small farmers market for much fruit.  There we ran into M, who has a farm, and we bought a lemon cucumber and an heirloom tomato from him, to eat on the spot. 

In the afternoon we went to Roseville.  We had a hell of a time finding a particular museum.  We arrived 15 minutes before closing.  I bought two postcards depicting California rock art.  The museum had paper cups and water in a glass pitcher. 

Then we went back to Baagan, where I got ice cream made of only bananas.  It was tasty, with the vegan caramel sauce.  How do they do that?

Monday, July 30, 2012

what a world

Today we shared a piece of tres leches cake and a kimchee quesadilla, if you can believe that--at the new Korean BBQ place down the street!  Both were delicious.

4th Ave Collaborative Community Garden

I love this abandoned cabbage.

I am intrigued by the cob bench.

How can purslane have such leaf size variety?

Oak Park walk

I want a master's degree in dust drawings.

It's the season for naked ladies, my favorite flower.

Here is a peach tree with few leaves.

Here's someone's stripper pole.

And a phone booth for you.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Laura-Marie in prayer

This Nevada Desert Experience newsletter has info about the Sacred Peace Walk and a picture of me I'd never seen before.  Hurray!


Thursday, July 26, 2012


Dear world,

Today my best friend E sent me a meticulously researched email about bassoons for sale and rent all over the country.  It was very sweet and informative.  Tomorrow I have phonecalls to make.

Today I finished one poem and wrote another.  I got some great emails in addition to the one from E, like one from my mom, one from a new friend, one from an old Icarus friend, one from an anarchist...  Actually, those last three people are probably all anarchists.

I've been craving gandules.  I want to go to a Mexican grocery store and look for these pigeon peas.  I also want refried red beans.

I hope you're having a good day, world.

your inhabitant,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


After the fair, we went to Roseville, to a vegan restaurant called Baagan.  I had a bowl of delicious dal and a peanut butter cup smoothie.  Both were superb.  Ming had a cup of the same soup and a veggie sandwich.  We talked about activist stuff and had a hard time understanding each other.  Then we cuddled on the couch, and I was cold because they had the ac on so high.  It was really fun to go to a new-to-us restaurant and to support local vegan food.  I wish to go other days of the week to try other soups (they have a different soup every day of the week).

our day at the fair

Yesterday we went to the fair.  How was it?  It was fun.  First we saw the livestock pavilion.  I got a thrill from being near the cows.  I love their hugeness.  And I liked the goats.  I saw a type of goat I didn't remember seeing before: Oberhasli.  They're gorgeous.  We read some informative displays like a map with pictures of the different kinds of goats.  Did you know Lamanchas come from the US?  They do.

We also saw the arts and crafts.  We saw our friend's mom's quilt, which won third place in its division.  I love it--it's made of ties.  I thought it was the most innovative quilt there. 

I liked some of the art.  There was an artist's statement beside each artwork, and they were interesting to read, but maybe distracting from the art.  I guess that's a dilemma.  My favorite work was probably a photo depicting the madonna and child.  The mom was modern-looking with a sparkle halo, and Jesus was a doll.  It was beautiful.  There was also a funny sculpture with a phonograph that played music that was a pretend reading of some pretend artifacts.  And little statues of uniform black puppies alert and listening.  I like art with a sense of humor--not necessarily ha-ha funny but stimulating in an off-balance way and poignant at the same time.

Oh, and there was a sculpture of a child's white dress with negative messages embroidered on it.  That was evocative and moving. 

What else?  We saw birds.  Ming read facts about pigeons for a long time.  We saw baby chicks.  We looked at rabbits.  It's sad how they're going to be killed.  I didn't know rabbits got that big.

Other highlights of the day were at the farm: we saw soybeans growing--I had never seen them before.  They flower weird.  And we saw cotton blooming--I had never seen that before either.  Some bell peppers were ready to eat, and someone said he was going to pick one and eat it for lunch then, "Just kidding."  Later I saw him walking around with a half-eaten bell pepper in his hand.  He was munching on it.  Ming told me it was food for the food bank.

At the farm, there was a place for buying fruit.  We spent $2.50 on a bowl of ripe, delicious fruit.  Then we came back later for another bowl.  There were fruit washing stations.  They were great.

As for fair food, Ming had a waffle cone.  I just had the fruit.  I kind of wanted a funnel cake--I've never had one before--but I know it would probably make me feel sick.  Then my brain got full, and we left. 

Luckily, we had found an excellent free parking space, and our truck was still there when we got back--hurray!  We had a two-for-one coupon, so it only ended up costing us $12 total to get in.  I think it was worth $6 for me to feed my mind something different.

Monday, July 23, 2012

super melon

I was at a Middle Eastern market yesterday with Ming.  A friend was late meeting us there for lunch, so we looked at the foods for sale for a long time.  I ended up buying a package of Egyptian-style super melon seeds for $4.19.  I can't figure out how to eat them.  I ate some whole but there was too much fiber.  They're like pumpkin seeds but smaller and thicker.  I tried to crack one open to eat just the inside, but the inside is too small.

What is a super melon?


Looked at bassoon on ebay and got sad.  Will I ever play again?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

truck dump

I have taken many pictures of our work, but this picture of the truck dumping the mulch into the driveway is my favorite.

today's harvest

Look at all those cherry tomatoes!  Also one purple beauty bell pepper, some basil, some tarragon, two echinacea flowers, and some yarrow flowers too.

real realness

Last night we went to a tiki party.  We wore Hawaiian shirts we bought at the thrift store.  We stayed for a long time and talked to many people.  We did great.  It was at the house of the person whose yards we're redoing.  People complimented our work.  My friend K laughed a good, true laugh at something I told her about the fall of man.  It was great to see her.  She was married to the sea.  I don't know if they're still married today.  She wore a nautical ring.

This morning Ming asked how my cranberry juice was, and I told him it was extra-real.  I'm still trying to figure out my criteria for authentic experiences.  They often involve nature.

But nature's too hot today.  I think the high is 98.  And I hope it's cooler where you are, friends.

Friday, July 20, 2012

my day in a blogpost

Today I shoveled wheelbarrows full of mulch.  I also wrote a letter and drank tea and ate vegan Ethiopian food, which was delicious.  I met a new person.  And I was given a cute little succulent to keep on the front porch.  I talked on the phone.  And I had oatmeal for breakfast with slivered almonds, soymilk, and plums.  The end!

edit to add:  They were sliced almonds, not slivered.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


My bestie got out of the hospital today.  Always a reason to celebrate. We're eating tofurky and cucumber sandwiches and resting up after another day of work at our friend's house.  We ate pretend ice cream and real ice cream earlier.  Bought bread.  This flax seed spouted wheat bread is pretty good.  And that's what I have for you today.  Tomorrow we mulch.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Hello, friends.  We have been busy working on a friend's yard.  Ming's weeding, sheet mulching.  I cut back some ivy, pried staples out of a fence, moved a maple. 

Also, I have been having arm trouble.  All that means less computer time.  Thanks for being patient with me. 

Today I didn't work.  I just kept Ming company while he worked.  I also made things to eat and went on two walks.  I wrote six letters, if you can believe that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

beetle, bell peppers, basil harvest, purslane

I saw this large beetle on an echinacea flower.  Ming took a picture.

Then Ming took another picture as it flew away.

Here are two purple beauties.

This is today's harvest of much basil for our neighbor, chives for our potato salad, and some cherry tomatoes underneath.

I dug up another purslane to plant in the purslane container at home.

home garden happenings

Yesterday at Whole Foods we bought this cute little organic lemon verbena for $2.50.  Today we planted it in the new garden bed in our backyard.  We planted it in the far right corner.  I have seen lemon verbena bushes get huge, and I wanted it out of the way.

Here are three little pumpkin plants also in the new garden bed.  Actually these are three little clumps of pumpkin plants.  Each pair of leaves is actually one seedling.

Purslane we planted in a container since it is invasive.

Ming's luffah plant is doing much better!

And here are two eggplants from the garden bed closest to the building.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

our brief trip to the central coast

We went on a wonderful trip.   Here's Ming at Avila Beach on our way home.

 Here's us at Goleta Beach on Friday.  Picture taken by my best friend E.

In Santa Barbara we went to the courthouse and the mission.  Here are some over the door skulls as seen from the cemetery at the mission.  Oh, I love them.

And here's a succulent and cactus garden in pots on some steps.  We paid $5 each for the mission tour--I forgot that my favorite thing to see, the chapel, is free.

Here's a closeup of the strangest succulent.

And here's the beautiful pink-purple one blooming.

And holy God, there's a wikipedia picture of the chapel.  I knelt to pray and could only think of the Lord's Prayer, which is okay.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

sad zombie garden gnome

Yesterday we were in the garden in the evening--or maybe it was the day before--and the gardener of the neighboring plot was there tending his garden.  I was watering.  I saw him harvesting tomatillos, and I asked him, "What do you like to do with your tomatillos?"  He said he bought the plant on a whim, it was his first time growing them, and he didn't know what to do with them.  I suggested salsa, and he said maybe.

I almost told him, "I wrote a poem about your sad zombie garden gnome," but I thought that would sound weird.  I considered telling him about my blog so he could see the picture too.  In the end, I chose not to bring it up.  One of life's big questions--when to risk it and when to play it cool.  Maybe it would have made his day, or maybe he would have considered me a danger to myself and others.  You never know.

cow of plenty, Suswara story

Lately Ming and I have been talking about a sacred wish fulfilling cow called Kamadhenu.  Please click the link below to see a beautiful picture.  I especially like the way the cow is lactating on the shiva lingam.


There's a story that's important to me that I first heard from my swami.  Let me tell it to you.  Suswara was a poor hunter with a family.  One day he's hunting a deer that leads him deeper and deeper into the forest.  He never kills the deer, but he gets lost and the woods are full of wild animals, so he climbs a tree.  He is too hungry to sleep, so he stays up all night crying and plucking leaves off the tree and letting them drift below.  In the morning he dies, and he's immediately taken to heaven, all sins forgiven.  There Shiva explains that there was a shiva lingam at the base of the tree.  All night Suswara was watering the lingam with his tears and offering bael leaves to it as he fasted.  Also, it was Shivaratri.  All this is to show how generous and forgiving Shiva is.  Even if you worship him accidentally, it works.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

first potato

Here's our first potato.  We grew it from an eye.  We grew it in a milk crate.  Ming dug it up today, and we haven't eaten it yet, but we love it.


I forgot to say that one of my friend's goats jumped onto our truck, leaving hoofprints all over it.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Oroville Chinese Temple

Yesterday we went to Oroville to see an old friend and her two kids.  Before seeing them (and their animals) we visited this Chinese temple.  Here's the big bowl out front.

Here's an offering thing in the main temple where people have left coins, candy, trinkets.

Here's a closer shot which features pink rose earrings where the rose part is made of ribbon--I had some like this when I was a kid.

Here's the bamboo by the drinking fountain and near the moon room.

I loved the shadow puppet heads.

Can you guess which one's my favorite?  Yes, the sad green-faced demon.

And here's some dragon art.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

plants and neighborhood art

 Here are the eggplants growing here at home.

We saw this morning glory on our morning walk.

We saw this beautiful trashcan too.

The marigolds were so cute this morning that I couldn't help but take a picture.

Here are some fruits growing on our potato plant.  I heard they're poisonous before I took a bite.  

Here's the purslane Ming found growing in our garden.  Today I dug it up!

Friday, July 06, 2012


Yesterday Ming was on a weeding spree, pulling up handfuls of clover, and he pulled up some yarrow too.  I saved these flowers from the mulch pile, and aren't they cute, by the kitchen sink?


This is not my picture--it's a wikipedia picture--of purslane.  What do you think?  I wanted to grow some, but then I learned it's an annual.  It's a weed, but it's edible and has a lot of good nutrients in it, and I think it's pretty.  They're selling it for $2.50 at Whole Foods, but I saw some growing in sidewalk cracks down the street.  Maybe I should dig some up.

name that plant

This is growing in a landscaped area down the street.  I love it and don't know what it's called.  Any ideas?  The segment-ness reminded me of Mormon tea, but that's not it.  Looks like a reed, but it's not growing in the water.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

red door, tall cactus, twin agaves

Here's a door that has interested me for a long time.

Here's a cactus in the guerrilla garden.  I took a picture of its beautiful bloom but--camera fail.

As I took this picture of these agaves, a passerby asked Ming what I was photographing.  Ming explained how tequila and agave nectar are made from agaves.  It was a plant proselytizing moment.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

my potato salad

Should have taken a picture of my potato salad.  It's so good.

the juice of half a large lemon
a small amount of vegan mayo
much fresh oregano

Also in food news, Trader Joe's gots vanilla soy yogurt in a largish container.  It's so good too.

hear ye, hear ye

Henceforth the entity formerly known as M will be known as Ming.


Our corn's getting big.

Here's a statue my parents gave me years ago.  This morning Ming and I planted it in front of the herb spiral.  What do you think?