dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Monday, December 31, 2012


Today we went to a Catholic Worker House.  We saw the peace pole, saw the chickens, knocked quite a few times, and nothing.  No one was home.  I've called five times now, over the past few days, and no one answers.  So it's confusing.  We left a note under the door and on the truck.  So maybe they'll call back.

Then we went to the beach.  My favorite part was lying on the sand, looking at shells and rocks.  But it got cold in the wind.  

olive oil tasting

I forgot to tell you that at the farmers market the other day, I was looking at someone's olive oil and he offered me a taste.  "Of the olive oil?" I asked.  He gave me tastes in little plastic cups.  I sipped the smallest sips.  I liked the fruitier one.  I felt a little guilty because I had no intention of buying his olive oil.  But I know they like their booths to look busy, so we were doing him a service just by standing there.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

vegan banana bread

Today we baked some vegan banana bread.  I didn't have my usual recipe, so I used a new one.  I followed it well except for I used all brown sugar--I couldn't find any white.  And it sort of burned.  It was sort of burning and I took it out and it was still raw inside!  So I turned the heat down to 250 and let it sit in the oven for a while like that.  And I checked it again and it was cooked.  So I guess the moral of the story is that molasses burns.  But it's got a good flavor otherwise.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

our adventures in food

Today I tried some mango habanero salsa at the farmers market because I had never heard of that kind before.  It was orange and hot. 

Today we went to the beach and walked to the end of two piers.  We also saw some animals at a barn and didn't buy anything.

Oh, but at the farmers market, we bought some delicious prunes and oranges.  And we bought a few books at the dollar bookstore and mall cookies.  Not chain mall cookies--mall cookies specific to here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


present from Finland

The package, my joy, and writing the thank you note.

Thanks, M!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

word of the father

This morning we did Christmas stuff.  I got lots of great presents--stationery, stamps, rice, useful gift cards, handmade washcloths, a purse kit from Finland.  We gave some great presents too--love letters, a zine, jordan almonds, a kalanchoe from the rare succulent shop in Cambria. 

There are enchiladas in our future, and vegan tamales, and hugs from family members.

This verse of my favorite Christmas carol is new to me, and I am roughly in love with the title of today's blog.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing!
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Today lots of stuff happened.  Some of it was bad.  For example, the lower radiator hose got detached from the engine of our car. 

Some of it was good--for example, cuddling.  Also we did Food Not Bombs bread pick up for the first time in quite a while.

It's been raining a lot, which I like.  We got mushroom compost today.  That was fun.  We ran into our friends P and J at the mushroom place.  We talked for a few minutes before parting ways.  P noticed the gray in my hair.

So over all, it was a pretty real day.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

my life

This morning there was biscuits and gravy as well as quiche with some kind of meat in it, which was disappointing because the gravy had meat in it too.  I had a biscuit which left a waxy feel in my mouth as well as half a banana and some strawberry yogurt.  I also had something I thought was going to be chocolate milk but it had coffee in it, which was confusing. 

I got my foods--no toast station today--and an old Hmong woman gestured me to a seat.  I didn't know why she was telling me where to sit, but I acquiesced.  It was a mostly-Mexican table.  I listened to women speaking Spanish as I ate.  Next to me was a more white woman looking at newspaper sale ads. 

Some chocolate cake arrived, and someone at my table got up to get a piece, and then someone else at my table got up to get a piece, and I wanted some but figured I'd had enough sugar for one morning.  So I put my dishes away and left.

Then Ming and I went to Chase to close my old checking account that I shared with E.  The worker was nice and tried to get me to keep my account, as expected, but I was strong.  She also tried to get me to apply for two credit cards. 

Then we did other stuff that may or may not interest you.  For example, we went to Wells Fargo so I could deposit two checks.  I need to figure out what to buy myself for Christmas from Nana, which is happy.

I worked on an ATC for my bestie's birthday.  I had therapy.  We went to the laundromat.  Our apartment complex's washing machine has been broken off and on for a long time. 

And that's my life.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dear Abby poems

These poems knocked my socks off.  I love found poems!


free breakfast

Okay, this is the last post I'll title free breakfast for a while.

Today they were giving away stuffed animals.  At first I thought they were used and didn't get a ticket or stand in line.  Then I saw they were new.  I picked out a bear wearing a greenish blue sweater for my neighbor's daughter.  I don't know what she likes.  There was a cute dinosaur, but I decided to go for the normal. 

today's foods:
--oatmeal, plain mixed with flavored
--red grapes
--strawberry yogurt
--chocolate milk

No toast station today.

And it was weekly food giveaway at the church down the street, not to be confused with food bank giveaway that's once a month.  We got in line early.  Then our neighbors arrived. We got animals crackers, lotsa bread, some meat sticks and fruit pies (which we gave to the neighbors), hummus, trail mix, eggs, broccoli, strawberries, and asian pears.  Oh, and a creme puff.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Ming's sister bought me mochi with peanut butter inside, and it's delicious.  Mochi reminds me of rice candy.  I told Ming so, and he said rice candy is sweeter.  I concurred. 

I downloaded the March 2011 Ghost Mice album.  I had to wrestle with the files to extract them.  I was going to buy it on tape but changed my mind.



I don't have any sisters, but Ming does.  She was in town today for some paperwork, and we saw her.  We had Mexican food.  And she bought us mochi. 

Last night it froze.  When I walked to free breakfast, I noticed the frost on the plants.  I forgot to tell you last post that when I got to the front of the line for the warm things giveaway, the nun who runs the place was there.  I talked to her for just a moment, and we hugged each other.  It's not every day that I get hugged by a nun.

free breakfast

I think it's funny to title all my posts lately free breakfast.

today's foods:
apple and cinnamon instant oatmeal, one packet
apple slices
strawberry yogurt
blueberry toast with pretend butter

Today they were giving away warm things.  I have a stamp on my left hand to indicate that I was given something.  They had blankets, dollar store gloves and socks, and handmade hats and scarves.  I chose a set of the latter and wore them home.  Very colorful.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I wanted emery boards.  I required about one, but at the dollar store they came in a 36 pack.  Ming said they're good sandpaper.  So maybe he'll use them.  Anyone need an emery board?

My friend in Pittsburgh said painting your nails is grounding.  So I bought some nail polish in shades of green, blue, and purple.  Ming expressed concern about dollar store nail polish.  He said something about flakes of lead. 

But I got RiteAid nail polish too which was on sale 75% off and was just more than a dollar.  I don't have faith it will have less lead. 

And I got nail polish remover at RiteAid and cotton balls at the dollar store. 

Why am I telling you all this?  I am about to paint my nails for the first time in my adult life.  Depending on how we define adult. 

free breakfast

--plain oatmeal that I put pretend butter and strawberry jam and diced apples into
--strawberry yogurt
--orange slices sliced differently from usual
--two pieces of toast with pretend butter

Monday, December 17, 2012

free towel

Yesterday we left Santa Maria in the morning and stopped at Avila for a walk on the beach.  We looked at rocks.

Then we stopped near Cambria to see the elephant seals.  It was Ming's first time seeing them.  Pictures don't do them justice.  It's good to hear their vocalizations and see them move.

Then we did other stuff.  We stopped by the Naan 'n' Curry in Concord for dinner, for example.  It's different from House of Curries.  The tea isn't free.  But the tea is better.

This morning I dragged myself to free breakfast.  Someone was walking down the street carrying a boxed crock pot, and I thought that was strange but didn't think much of it.

Then when I got to free breakfast there was a line where there isn't usually a line.  "Stand behind that woman," the volunteer said.  Seemed like there was some kind of giveaway going on, and I just wanted breakfast, but I stood in the line.  There was a piece of paper with pictures of different things you could have.  I thought maybe it was a raffle and am not interested in raffles, but when asked I said I wanted towels.

So they gave me a ticket and told me to hand it to a woman across the room in a santa hat.   I waited there for a while.  Then I went upstairs where there was a room full of stuff to have.  The towels were the least valuable thing there.  But I didn't want cookie sheets, a crock pot, or anything like that.  I chose a light green towel.  It was tied up with beautiful cream and gold ribbon with a washcloth of the same color.

Then I got breakfast.  Fruit of the day was watermelon, which I don't really care for.

today's breakfast:
instant oatmeal, one maple and brown sugar, one plain
strawberry yogurt
two pieces of under-toasted toast because I got impatient

Saturday, December 15, 2012

the lost blog post I just found

note: This is from Tuesday.

This morning we went for a walk for an hour.  We almost got to Stockton and Broadway.  We were looking for a particular church where there's a food bank food giveaway second Tuesday of every month.  But I forgot the name of the church, and I thought if I saw it I would remember, so we walked more than a mile looking for the church and didn't find it.  So we turned around and walked back home.

What did we find?  Conversation, the pleasure of moving through space and time, holding hands.

Then in the afternoon Ming needed to attend a class near where I used to live, so we went there.  I thought the class would last a long time, but it was just an hour.  I was in Safeway buying a few things when he called to say he was done.  I had been to Joanne's for baby pink embroidery thread too.  And the dollar store, where I looked at soaps and all manner of things but bought nothing.

At night we went to the food bank food giveaway.  We got apples, butternut squash, a leek, a head of iceberg lettuce, some rainbow chard, other fruit, a little milk, and some canned goods.  We also got some half and half.  I guess I'll put it in some soup at the end.  They tried to give us a ham and we said no.  We were the 200th family to get food.  We all had numbers. 

happy tamale making day

Today was tamale making day for my extended family.  It was the first time I went in about 15 years.  It was Ming's first time making tamales. 

I liked tasting the masa for the vegan tamales that Ming and I made.  I liked a walk we took on this trail through a eucalyptus grove.  I liked tacos for dinner, and I liked dessert.  But my brain is overtaxed and I'm tired.

I'm so tired I feel dissociated.   When I talk, it's like I'm hearing someone else talk.

Sorry I didn't blog for a week.  I actually wrote a long post Tuesday night that I never published.  It was about going to the food bank food giveaway for the first time, how nervous I was.

I will say goodbye for now and hope to blog again soon.  Bye!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

our table half

Berkeley zine fest

It's not called Berkeley zine fest, but I wrote a lot of letters yesterday at the fest and always called it that because I couldn't remember the actual name.  It used to be Easy Bay Alternative Press Book Fair, I think.  And now it's East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, I think.  This is its third year.  I tabled its first year, and I attended but did not table last year.  This year, Ming and I tabled.

It was run by Rock Paper Scissors and Tomas of Rad Dad.  We arrived early but were greeted warmly by Tomas, who has always been so nice to me.  I can't remember how he and I met, but it was years ago through zines.

Tomas showed us our table, which I thought was in a good spot, at the edge of the room.  We were next to a poet on one side who had just books and broadsides, and an illustrator on the other side who had a comic about a rabbit who gets lost in San Francisco and a lot of full color postcards.  Both neighbors were very good neighbors, and it was a pleasure to sit beside them.

I was amazed at how well I did at the fest.  After tabling in the summer at Portland Zine Symposium, I swore I would never table again.  But I did great.  I met some wonderful people, including poet Ian Kahl, who I had corresponded with before--I wrote a review of his book Anxiety Is a Rambling Dagger on my zine review blog.

After the fest, Ming and I spent a couple hours with Ming's kids--we had Indian food and ice cream and shopped.  It was a good day.

Friday, December 07, 2012

free breakfast

Friday is egg day.  They have scrambled eggs.  It's crowded.  Today there were pancakes too.  And the toast station was closed.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

free breakfast

This morning at free breakfast they gave us bean and cheese burritos.  I'd never had burritos there before.  They have been playing Christmas music lately, and it leads to a festive atmosphere.  Today two tables sang "Jingle Bells" together, and I smiled. 

Also, lately if you ask for oatmeal instead of cold cereal, they take a huge container of dry oatmeal and scoop out a portion into your tray, add hot water, and a few days ago I was offered cinnamon but today was not.

There's sugar but they don't keep it out--you have to ask for it and get two packets.  Sweet&Low is kept out, and Splenda--yuck.  On the sign saying you have to ask for sugar, there's something about being healthy and a picture of a bag of sugar with an anti sign over it. 

I asked for hot water today for my tea and asked for sugar because I wanted some for my oatmeal, but then I ended up putting cranberry sauce in my oatmeal.  They had cranberry sauce in the toast area instead of jam.

So I have these two packets of sugar and don't know what to do with them.

Monday, December 03, 2012

personal political

Here's cute pac man graffiti on the sidewalk by Las Vegas Catholic Worker.

Here's the sign for Las Vegas Catholic Worker house.  I love the little c.

Here's one of several boards with messages on them at the Cesar Chavez national monument in Keene. 

desert hike

Here's a dead Joshua Tree.

And there's Ming on the trail.

tree strawberries, luffah, cherries

These are tree strawberries on the ground at church.

Here's the luffah we grew.

Ming made the decorative cherries on top of this Thanksgiving pie.


We were in Las Vegas for a week.  Before that we were in Santa Maria for Thanksgiving.  As of twenty minutes ago, we're home.

1.  I was making soup from a mix.  It said to simmer it for two hours.  I was in the office on the computer, and when I came back to the kitchen, the wind had blown the door open and blown the flame out on the stove, so my soup wasn't simmering.

2.  We were hiking in the Mojave desert, from a road up toward the mountains, and we were on a trail.  Wind blew all around.  Suddenly I saw a small tornado coming toward us.  "It's coming toward us!" I said.  And then it hit us.  The wind was terrific, and grit was abrasive on my face.  I closed my eyes and leaned toward Ming for shelter. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012


I finished my novel in the afternoon on November 30th. When I checked my word count, I was at 50,444 words.  I won!  I was and am very happy.  Thank you for your love and support, friends and family.  Now I need to edit it.

Never has such silence been seen on this blog.  So thank you again, this time for your patience. 

I am at an undisclosed location.  I attended two board meetings and my laundry is drying on the line.  My jeans need another hour or so in this wind.  Life feels good.