dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Thursday, February 28, 2013

oh and

This evening I was chatting online with E and he said he was bleary from scoring so much, and I said that when I was a kid, my Granddad and maybe Nana would call dog shit "bleary."  But I tried looking it up online like urban dictionary and no dice.  So then I thought maybe they were really saying "blurry."  But no, I think it was "bleary."  Does anyone know this use?


I got this wrist mala with a Buddha bead off etsy.  It's pretty but smells really strongly of perfume.  The etsy post said something about sandalwood.  I want to take you a picture, but that will have to wait till morning. 

This morning we waited in line for an hour for food.  It was okay.  There was a little drama involving someone not wanting someone else to pet their dog because they don't want it to get used to people.  And a dad and adult daughter yelling at each other in passing. 

But there were nice things too, like the islander woman who asked us to hold her place in line because she was tired of holding her big baby.  The little kid who wanted to steal the other little kid's chips, who wanted a bell pepper because she thought it was an apple, who ate a big strawberry.  Or when I asked the guy in front of me where he was from because his accent had been puzzling me for months, and he said he was from down the street. 

There's lots of crap that could be talked about our neighborhood, but the one thing you could never say is that it's boring. 


Yesterday art therapy involved dance and other body movement / facial expression stuff where people were looking at me, and it was really hard. 

I'm eagerly anticipating March.  We have a lot going on in March. 

But I want to honor this last day of February.  Thanks, February. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ming with blossoms

Here's Ming with blossoms on a recent neighborhood walk.

mystery plant

Today I finally photographed this mystery plant that's growing in our garden.  Ming doesn't remember it.  Any ideas?

jasper beaded earrings, red coral earrings

I made some earrings this morning and listed them for sale on etsy.



I haven't sold any earrings on etsy yet.  But I enjoy making them, and maybe one day I'll get my lucky break.

solar panel bug

I have this toy bug.  My friend R in Pittsburgh sent to to me.  It has a solar panel on it, and it lives on our kitchen table.  At a certain time of morning, as the sun shines in the larger kitchen window, the sunlight on the solar panel gets warm or direct or intense enough, and the bug begins to vibrate.  It makes a funny buzzing sound on the table.  Sometimes it vibrates off the table.  But today it's staying in place.  It looks really weird.

Just now it vibrated itself into the shadow of a banana.  So its fun for today is over.  It will have fun again tomorrow morning.

seed library

Yesterday I boiled some ravioli, and when I dumped the pasta water in the kitchen sink, a mason jar was in the sink, and it cracked. 

We've been busy.  We went to Home Depot yesterday for chicken wire--which they called poultry wire, for some reason--and picked up some seeds and plants too.  I want to grow chamomile but suspect there might be some chamomile seeds in the seed library at Colonial Heights library.  I need to check.  I don't know how the seed library works, but I would guess I need to harvest some seed from the chamomile flowers after they grow to replenish the seed supply.  That sounds like a pain but maybe good to learn how to do.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I finished reading Calling Dr Laura, a graphic memoir.  I loved it.  Anyone who likes graphic memoirs should read this book.  The drawings are beautiful, and the speaker is so likable.  It's about someone who goes to a psychic and gets told that her dad, who she had been told all her life was dead, is actually alive. 

On the other hand, I tried reading another graphic memoir, one with a great cover, and I really wanted to like it, but the speaker is obnoxious and the perspectives are so mainstream.  It's about getting diagnosed and living with bipolar disorder.  I have avoided that kind of book, and maybe for good reason.

butternut squash parsnip soup

The butternut squash parsnip soup turned out pretty good.  I gave some the neighbor and he seemed to really like it.

two smallish butternut squashes
one large parsnip
one large onion
three cloves garlic
olive oil
better than bullion

Have Ming peel and cut up the butternut squashes for you.  Cut up the parsnip.  Dice the onions and mince the garlic. 

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until they begin to brown.  Add the veggies and water to cover.  Add about two teaspoons better than bullion.  Simmer for...20 minutes?  Maybe longer like 30?  Until the veggies are soft.  Blend with an immersion blender.  (I tried just mashing with a potato masher, but it didn't work.) 

Put some in a mason jar and bring downstairs to your main neighbor who has already cooked dinner for everyone.  (He BBQed us veggie sausages we brought down for him and fed us rice and corn.)

Note that this recipe comes from my friend K though I don't know if I did it right.  When she told me the recipe, I was paying attention but might have missed something.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


The mung dal turned out really delicious yesterday.  It's so good I wish we made more.  But I think I want to make dal with red lentils next time and see which one Ming likes better.

The kitchen faucet has started making a weird sound.

Ming is chopping up a butternut squash for me so I can make soup before the parsnip we bought goes bad. 

I think Ming's fixing the faucet now.

Friday, February 22, 2013


"How's it going in there?" I asked.  "Are the beans expanding?"

"Can't tell," Ming said.  It's oniony in here.

new book

Today we gardened at our friend M's house.  We did some sheet mulching.  I like shoveling mulch.  And I consider ripping tape off cardboard boxes one of my skills.

Right now we have dal simmering on the stove.  It's mung dal.  I'm really tired.  I've been working on fundraising for Sacred Peace Walk 2013.  I had therapy.  Some of the mung beans are old.  Old mixed with new.

I've been writing poems.  They're really talky and discursive.  I don't know how I feel about them.  Too long, I guess.

But I got some very exciting mail today.  I had been waiting to hear from a certain famous poet, Michael Hannon, for months, and when I got home, I found he's sent me his latest book.  I read the whole thing.  It's great, Mortal Poems.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

turquoise bracelet

This morning we got some good foods at the church.  We listened to lively conversation as we stood in line for an hour.  People behind us were talking about landlord / slumlord problems.  One who won't fix the leaking roof, for example.  Then four people cut in line right in front of us.

This afternoon I went to a bracelet making workshop at the women's center I visit almost every day.  We all chose a kit.  Then we assembled them.  With the leftover beads, we made earrings.  I had to string my bracelet three times.  First time the wire was too short.  Second time the guru made a mistake while showing me how to crimp my bead and broke it.  Third time worked.  It's not a type of clasp I would ever choose--it's the toggle kind.  Well, I'll take a picture.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

selling earrings on etsy

I'm thinking about selling earrings on etsy.  I don't know if I want to open that can of worms.  If I do, I will need some supplies like jewelery boxes.  And I will need to stand in line at the post office more.  But what if I do great and it becomes a business? 

The reason I even consider it is that when I buy beads for making earrings for myself, I have to buy them in much larger quantities than I need.  So I have all these leftover beads.  And I might as well do something useful with them. 

I made a list of pros and cons with Ming and I think I'm going to do it. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

affirmations zine

I made a small zine of affirmations.  It's all addressing the self.  I'm on my third draft.  I need a pen that makes a finer line.  I need to stay away from the edges so it will photocopy right.  I think I'm going to call it words from the self to the self.

This morning I went to free breakfast then came home and wrote a poem about the morning's breakfast.  I like it though it's weird / because it's weird.

The fishtank is gone from the porch.  It was a mystery where it went.  Ming asked our main neighbor, and he didn't know.  Finally Ming asked the next door neighbor, and he's taken it inside.  Some of the fish died, and he had been attached to the fish.  So it was sad.

Yesterday we went to see our friend P.  She taught us how to sing the harmony for "Fairest Lord Jesus."  It was fun.  Then we talked and she showed us the puzzle she'd been working on.  It's 2000 pieces.  She's done the mountains and sky.  All that's left, basically, is a huge forest.  Seems impossible!

Monday, February 18, 2013


I made these earrings that look like vajras.  I think they're pretty.  They're made with silver-plated beads.  


Yesterday in the morning we went to church like usual.  I didn't want to go, really, but I was glad we did, afterward.  My friend M was there.  And Swami did worship, and it was good to see everyone. 

Then we went to a bike shop looking for a locking bike chain only not a chain but a metal material encased in plastic.  We found one for a better price than the other places we'd checked.

Then we went to mass at St Francis.  I had been feeling like going to mass.  It was the first Sunday of lent.  I liked the readings, and songs were pretty good, and I liked getting blessed.  The person who blessed me seemed nervous.  I think he was new. 

I bought another parsnip in hopes we'll make the butternut squash soup I want to make.  Maybe I should just cut the squash in half and bake it.  Then make soup with it.  That way we wouldn't have to peel it.

Originally I planned to make mung dal for the potluck last night, but we ran out of time, which is why I made the quinoa and gandules dish.  So I have some mung beans waiting to be made into something delicious.

And I'm tired all the time and type messy.  Need a walk.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

quinoa and gandules

I made a dish called quinoa and gandules.  It's got garlic from the garden and earth balance and better than bullion, along with the quinoa and gandules.  We took this food to a potluck tonight at the Grange.  We said hi to friends, and it was very crowded there.  We left before the presentation.  I wasn't psyched out well enough to endure.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

strawberry pie

Here's our strawberry pie cooling on the kitchen table before it goes in the fridge.  I guessed at how much a quart was, and I guess that was good enough.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

the mother lode


This morning at food giveaway, we ran into the person I'm tutoring, which was a strange coincidence.  He was helping to run the show.  We waited for almost an hour in line, and when we got to the end, at the produce area, they were giving away whole flats of strawberries.  He offered up an entire box, and I laughed.  I said I could make a strawberry pie, and someone said I could make a lot of strawberry pies.  So we ended up taking a box, and we've processed half of them.  We're going to freeze some, and eat some plain, and make strawberry pie.  Any ideas for what else to do with them?

hard work

Yesterday I tutored my new literacy learner for the first time.  (My last one disappeared.)  I'm teaching him how to read.  He's too advanced for the level one books we have.  He reads the stories easily. 

It's hard for me to concentrate so carefully for that long.  Ever since I started tutoring it's been that way.  I was a writing tutor at UC Santa Barbara.  It took all of my mental energy, and afterward I needed to do nothing for a while.

After I tutored, we ran a few errands and finally got a much-sought vegetable brush so I can brush these homegrown carrots that are really dirty.   

Then we went to Pinkberry for a Gender Health Center fundraiser.  We ate delicious frozen yogurt and saw friends.  I got overstimulated--it was really loud in there.  Came home and lay in bed in the dark for a while. 

Art therapy's going well.  Yesterday we expressed anger and fear in our art.  It was hard work too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

oh and

I harvested some mustard flowers from the flowered mustard greens that nobody seemed to be eating.  They're pretty on my desk. 

mushroom happy

Today we went to Talini's for a Greek mountain tea plant.  I am so excited to grow it!  We also picked up a six pack of pea starts.  And some bean seeds. 

So then we went to Trader Joe's (right across the street) for produce and fake meat.  Then we went to our garden plot downtown to plant the Greek mountain tea--we put it where the hated celery was.  So I hope it will grow sweetly and wild and overtake any bad celery roots that might be there in the ground. 

And we planted two pea plants there at that garden.

Then we came home and ate burritos with refried beans and soy chorizo and bell pepper for lunch. 

Is this TMI?  Here's the exciting part.  We went into the backyard and planted three more pea plants, which was fun, harvested some carrots and ate most of them on the spot.  I ate some late pea pods off the plants from a few months ago.  And I ate some broccoli flowers from the broccoli that never really got harvested. 

Okay, here's the really exciting part.  Remember how we went to this place where they grow mushrooms and got some mushroom compost, a month ago?  Did I tell you about it?  Anyway, we spread free mushroom compost around the garden, and mushrooms started coming up.  We mostly ignored them.  But today I harvested some fresh ones, washed them, fried them up in olive oil, added salt, and we ate them.  They were so good. 

"I have never had mushrooms fresher than these," I told Ming as we stood eating them in the kitchen.  And I was happy.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Today we got some sandwiches and BBQ chips at our favorite deli and took them to McKinley Park where Ming did a good deed of helping two white geese get water at a drinking fountain. 

What is that saying?  No good deed goes unpunished?  Right when Ming was done helping the geese, they spotted me with the sandwiches and chips.  They started honking and came straight for me.  They stood close, wanting our food, and I told Ming, "If they bite my butt, I'm going to be mad."  Then they started biting my butt.  So Ming tried to stand between me and them.  They hissed at him. 

And that's the story of how we got attacked by domestic geese. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

fiber arts fun

Yesterday we went to the craft store to buy earring making stuff.  It's overstimulating there, and I'm always happy to leave.  But I got some gorgeous beads and findings and a tool I need. 

So afterward we went for a walk at McKinley Park, and by chance there was a weaving show there.  I loved seeing the baskets people had made.  I loved looking at the woven tea towels. (I have a thing for tea towels.)  I liked seeing the clothes people had made.  I was not so into the looms.  I shyly appreciated seeing the people spin with the spinning wheels, something I don't remember ever seeing before.

But the highlight of the trip was a visit with Franco Rios, a DIY fiber arts person.  He showed us a cardboard spinning wheel he'd designed and made himself using less than $5 worth of materials.  It sort of looks like a record player.  He was spinning wool into yarn there.

He talked to us about finger weavings he likes to do on the bus and showed us a beautiful red and white one.  He showed us a bag making project he was doing using synthetic yarns.  It was a pleasure to talk with him, and he told us he has the design for his cardboard spinning wheel on the internet, which I think is a very good deed, that he'll share his design with the world.

So here's his blog, which I'm still exploring myself.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

jewelery making

Today I went to an earring making workshop at the women's center.  It was fun and frustrating at the same time.  I made two pairs of earrings to take home and one for them to sell at a jewelery show.  I have fresh in my mind how to do it, but I'm afraid I'll forget it all tomorrow. 

I like doing things with my hands and making beautiful stuff.  But concentrating on tiny things exhausts me in a unique way.  And instruction was minimal, but someone there was really encouraging.  I'm signed up for a bracelet making workshop in two weeks.

jumble of news

Yesterday was the second meeting of the art therapy group I'm attending.  It's fun.  I'm working on functionally ill 15.  It's far from done, but it feels good to write.  I'm making cornbread for breakfast, which is totally different from cornbeard.  The former is a tasty treat.  The latter is a strange medical condition where someone grows a beard made of corn.  Sorry to pull your leg.  This morning I got an email from a friend who said she was in Spain and needed money.  It was obviously a scam, so I emailed the members of our women's religious group to warn them.  It's day eight of a SAT scoring session.  And that's my jumble of news. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


This morning Ming harvested our first cauliflower.  I cheered.

Monday, February 04, 2013

moon head

Tonight we went on a Trader Joe's veggie run in preparation for tomorrow's big event.  And we juiced all the lemons our neighbor J gave us and drank some lemon juice mixed with water.  They are meyer lemons, apparently--the lemonade doesn't need sugar.  Ming did laundry.  I went to the first meeting of my art therapy group.  I made a gorgeous collage that I can't show you or anyone outside the group for 10 weeks.  It's me and Ming made out of text going into a blue glowing cave with colorful arcs of color around us.  And Ming's head is a moon.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

happy birthday

Today was a puja for Swami Vivekananda's 150th birthday.  Ming and I sang in the choir.  It went great.  Afterward we ate prasad lunch.  We got to sit with important friends and talked about a special rock, what P wrote her dissertation about, Ming's name and origins.  Now it's time for me to work.

Nerve Lantern call for submissions

Good morning, readers.  My best friend Ellen edits this publication, and I offered to post a call for submissions here.  Please share with anyone you know who writes performance texts or texts about performance.


Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature

is now accepting submissions for Issue 7!

Deadline: July 1, 2013

Nerve Lantern is a journal of innovative performance texts and texts about performance, published by Pyriform Press and edited by Ellen Redbird. Past contributors include: Anne Waldman, Carla Harryman, Kevin Killian, kari edwards, Michelle Ellsworth, Michael Basinski, Camille Roy, Akilah Oliver, Bhanu Kapil, Jena Osman, and Sawako Nakayasu.

The forthcoming Nerve Lantern 6 is shaping up to be a fantastic issue and is slated to be released sometime in March 2013.

How to Order

Friday, February 01, 2013

bamboo bike cart

Couple of days ago Ming realized his bike cart had been stolen, and today, just now, our neighbor gave Ming this homemade bamboo bike cart.  A different neighbor knocked on our door and said, "Santa came!" and Ming went downstairs to look.  Then he came up for me, saying, "You gotta see this."  So I took a picture while we marveled at our neighbor's generosity and kindness.  Thanks, J.

gift of lemons

Yesterday we went to Oakland to see a friend who lives in Maryland.  We had fun.  My favorite moment was at the Oakland Museum of California when we were writing on this huge outdoor blackboard with chalk.  I like leaving messages. 

I picked up some cute paper things at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse for less than $2 though that is sort of a dangerous store for me.  I get dizzy from the vast array of stuff.

When we got home, we found a neighbor left a gift of lemons on our porch.  "What should we do with all those lemons?" I asked Ming.

"Make lemonade," Ming said.  So I think we will.

white bean salad

I want to make this vegan white bean salad.  The amount of olive oil seems high, and I can't eat raw onion, but otherwise I think I'll follow the recipe.