dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Julie Heffernan

This morning I had to run an errand.  Then we went to the Crocker.  It was a family fun day and loud and very crowded.  But we were able to view some beautiful art, like Julie Heffernan.  That was some of the best art museum art I'd seen in a long time.


my new theme song

This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Ain't gonna make it shine,
just gonna let it shine.
Ain't gonna make it shine,
just gonna let it shine.
Ain't gonna make it shine,
just gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Monday, December 30, 2013


The food was so hot I worried it would damage me.  But I am unscathed.  Today I need to do some annoying things, like make a dental appointment and try to get my mental health place to communicate with social security.  It's a pain.  And I'm thinking I want a soup pot, to spend the money Nana sent on that.  A large one with a glass lid.

The sun came up.  Thanks, sun.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

misir watt

Dear world,

Be careful with berbere spice.  We just made misir watt and I think it's the hottest thing I've ever eaten.  I got down about a third of a cup of it.  With rice and yogurt and soymilk to mitigate the heat.  Tears pouring down my face like a waterfall.  Anyway, it's a delicious food but I shouldn't have put three and a half tablespoons.  I should have started slow.  I thought I was all tough.  Wrong!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

disturbedness in relation to pot size

Someone stole this large pot we had sunchokes in.  They dumped the dirt and absconded with the pot which was blue-gray in color.  Ming's greatly disturbed.  "It was a huge pot," he says.

"So if it was a smaller pot, you wouldn't be so disturbed?" I ask.

"Yeah!  Because it was like two feet in diameter!  Maybe it was like two and a half feet."


I found my calender!

Friday, December 27, 2013


How early is too early to go to bed?
We were talking about this with my parents.
Does it vary based on age?
Is it a moral thing or just logistical?
Is it no big deal?
Oh, to some people it's such a big deal.
I'm going to bed!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

time + space


Another Christmas survived.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

merry Christmas, Nana

Here's my new shoes on our cooler.

Here's Mom's new slippers thanks to Nana!

Here's Ming in the hat and scarf Mom made him.  He should be warm now.

blue is the warmest color

This morning we are making Mexican wedding cakes.  They are in the powdered sugar rolling stage. 

We shared presents.  I got some amazing and wonderful things.  Parents seemed to like the things we gave them too.  I wrapped their presents in an old map of Nevada.  I got towels, a Doris book, a vegan cookbook, a little mp3 player, candy from England.  Ming got a beautiful hat and scarf my mom crocheted for him.  They're blue. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

deck the halls

Here's me with my favorite Christmas tree ornament, gladly the one-eyed deer.

new scarf

Mom made this scarf everyone thought was silly, but I love it.  Also she bought me new shoes which are purple.  Pics to come.

cookies and plants

This morning we baked snickerdoodles for my dad and made some without cinnamon for me.

Here are some plants from the garden we planted Mom for her birthday right after Thanksgiving.  They've grown a lot!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Corti Brothers

Today we went to Corti Brothers for a secret holiday thing.  And they had berbere spice too.

We're about to go on the trip and are eating up some foods from the fridge.  We made peanut sauce for the broccoli. 

"What should I blog about?" I asked Ming.

"Three bags of bread from bread pickup.  Um," Ming said.  "That I read and liked your Nano Wrimo."

"Anything else?"

"That your calender's lost, and as soon as you find it, you'll let the world know."

Saturday, December 21, 2013

orange sutra

"Did your headache come from hitting your head on the thingie?"

"What thingie?"

"Oh, you lost your memory!"

"What did I hit my head on?"

"The window on the back on the truck."

"No, I don't think so.  I thought you meant I hit my head on an orange."

thanks, sun

The big scratch on my arm and bags full of oranges in the kitchen attest to the fact that yes, picking oranges was the best part of the day, and what better way to celebrate the solstice than to worship spherical orange things.


It's one in the morning but I'm up.  Today's highlight might be picking oranges.  I'm hungry.  Ming's been to this person's house to pick oranges before but not me.  That is all.

Friday, December 20, 2013

new herbs

Yesterday we went to Talini's to see what there was to plant in bed four.  We found some sage and some chamomile.  The sage was large and $5, a purple sage clump.  The chamomile was less.  When we took it out of its pot, its roots swirled round and round.  We planted them and hope they'll survive winter.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

it's okay to ask for help

There's this person who spare changes at the light right by our apartment.  His signs say BE SAFE and IT'S OK TO ASK FOR HELP.  I like them.  Today his signs were round, something I had not seen before.

just checking

Do you ever read your own blog to see how you're doing?  I do.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

today in brief

1.  did stuff I didn't want to do
2.  did stuff I did want to do

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ming with kids

delicata squash

Delicata squash is my favorite squash hands down.  You can eat the skin, and it has the most delicious flavor when roasted.  I roasted some small ones for lunch yesterday, and we ate them with rice.  I cut them in half, scooped out the seeds, cut them into crescents, put them in a corningware dish, sprinkled with olive oil and salt and granulated garlic, and baked uncovered at 350 for a long time without stirring.  It would have been a good idea for me to stir, but it was fine.  I was making the brownies at the same time, which I thought might be a problem, but it wasn't.  Baking them at a higher temp would have been okay, but I kept the oven at 350 for the brownies.


Monday, December 16, 2013

how they turned out

More cakey than brownie-y but still very good.  Ming likes them.

more vegan brownies

I'm trying this recipe but with coconut oil for the oil but less oil and some apple sauce and less sugar.  And walnuts on top.  Oh, and twice the vanilla.


this morning's cuddle fiction with non-fiction


Once upon a time there was a ukelele that was haunted.  It was haunted  because its player died while playing it.  So what the ghost in the ukelele wanted was for someone else to die while playing it so that...this is a horrible story.  Abort story.


Once up on a time there was a flower, and its name was Stinky.  Stinky was hungry, so it went in to the kitchen to make some oatmeal because it was morning.  It made some oatmeal for its lover too.  Its lover's name was Smelly.  They were both flowers, and they were both like us only flowers.  The end!

"Which one was Stinky and which one was Smelly?"

"I was Stinky, of course!  I'm the only one that makes oatmeal!"

"And that's why I'm Smelly?"

"Smelly is not a punishment name!"


Once upon a time there was an animal named Crayfish, and it was a crawdad.  It lived in a creek behind a little boy's house.  The little boy had curly hair and freckles.  He would get pieces of bacon and catch the crawdads.  I mean Crayfish.  And then we'd put them in a box and they would be our pets.  Then we'd put them back in the creek.  So basically the crawdads were having a horrible time, but we didn't know because we were little kids.  But the mom gave the little boy the bacon, so she must have been okay with it.  The end!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This morning we had breakfast with friends at Fox & Goose.  I don't think they give out free postcards anymore.  It was fun.  One of our friends drank beer.  If I drank, I would have had a hot buttered rum.  But I don't drink.

Then we went for a little walk and dropped off some stuff for E at his place.  That was fine.  We bought him some instant backpacking meals from REI and some tamarind candy.

Then we went to the Grange for a holiday fest.  We talked to someone selling musical instruments.  We talked to our friend's mom who makes quilts.  We talked to a friend and another friend who are artists.  We met someone who told us about Nicaragua a lot and showed us pictures.  That was fun too.  We bought a little whistle.

Now we're eating rice and taking it easy.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

announcing functionally ill 17

Oh wait, I never announced the new zine.  This issue is about therapy, rapid cycling, body image, disability, dreams.

atheist billboards, malfunctioning cell phone dream, prayers for rain

Gmorning.  We played tin whistle together, and it was fun.  Now it's too early.  It's still dark out. 

I awoke from a strange dream about traveling with my parents and trying to dial 911 on my phone but the numbers wouldn't press right.  I tried taking out the battery and putting it back in, but that didn't work. 

Today we have choir and bread pickup.  I think we'll be okay. 

Last night we prayed for friends and for rain.  "Do you think it will rain tomorrow?" Ming asked.

"I doubt it," I said.

There are a lot of atheist billboards that have popped up around town.  I can't decide how I feel about them.  Lots of people probably hate them.  I don't know where I'm situated.  I think it's fine but seems like a waste of money--people will think however they think about the atheists, and wouldn't the money be better spent other ways? 

But you can say that about anything.  How can I buy nailpolish when people are starving?  Most people do stuff like that all the time.  How can I make zines when people are starving?  Well, I do.

Friday, December 13, 2013

tin whistle II

Ming's tin whistle is kinda fancy and was not in tune with mine, so we went back to the music store to get a matching one for me.  His is green and mine is blue.  I used to hate blue and am learning to like it.  So this is a new thing for me.

This morning we Christmas shopped for the two people we Christmas shop for, and it was fine only World Market is no longer stocking what Dad likes so I don't know what to do.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

tin whistle

I've been playing tin whistle lately.  It's fun.  My favorite song is "Hewlett."  It has pretty trills.  But this morning I've been looking up Christmas music and playing that.  My favorite is "O Come All Ye Faithful."

Yesterday I went to group, and I liked it.  We have not made the crustless pumpkin pie, but there's no rush.  It got down to 26 this morning.  Hope the plants are okay.  Yesterday Ming put down some straw. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

gardening and Catholic Worker

Yesterday we worked in the garden.  We sheet mulched half of bed four, which entailed putting down cardboard and emptying the done compost bins onto it and putting down a large bag of soil.  We broke up some mushroom compost that had been just sitting there for a long time and distributed it as mulch in bed four and bed six.  Well, that doesn't sound like a lot of work, but it was great to get it done.

I think it's time to get rid of the bushel basket I've had on the landing for a long time.  It was really windy the other day and blew onto the front lawn.  It's not doing anyone any good, though I like it.  "The bushel basket on your landing belongs to the poor," is this morning's version of, "The coat in your closet belongs to the poor," which is not quite the same thing.

Yesterday Ming and I were talking about this bit from Don't Call Me a Saint, a movie about Dorothy Day that we watched two nights ago, and I loved it.  I love Dorothy Day and will never be Catholic but may be a Catholic Worker. 

There was this bit where a man was telling this story.  Here's the story.  A man in the soup line was telling him how he killed the ice man, who was after his wife.  I think he killed him with an ax, or his own icepick or something?  The speaker was like, "This is the kind of person we helped at the Catholic Worker house."

So Ming and I were talking about it, and would we be shocked to hear that story, and how would we react?  We said we'd react with a straight face.  It's horrible, but anyone can do that sort of thing, whether poor or not.  Violence is everywhere.  And if it was a fact of his life, it was over and done with.  I said something about my feelings about prison notwithstanding, if he'd done his time, it was over with.  And even if he'd done his time not in prison, but just thinking about it, maybe he'd done his time.

It depends on how he said it too, if he was bragging and if it seemed like he would do it again.  I guess if he seemed to be a killer still, I would stay away from him.  But most everyone has horrible things in their past.

A soup line is an interesting place.  When Ming and I serve with Las Vegas Catholic Worker, people bring their little kids sometimes.  I have encountered rudeness but never violence.  I have had a guy mad at me for not giving him enough food in his bowls.  He thought my servings were too small.  If you get the bowls too full, they can burn their thumbs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Oops, forgot to blog yesterday.  I wrote a letter to my friend AL on a huge piece of paper.  It still didn't seem big enough.  I'm starting to think it's not the paper's fault--it's me!

I have vegan apple crisp in the oven.  It smells great.  I used half coconut oil, half smart balance.  I think that was a good choice.  I tasted the topping and it was delicious. 

We have laundry in the drier.  It froze so much last night.  The sidewalk was slippery with ice, in one part, this morning when I walked to free breakfast.  I held onto the fence. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

east bay day

Yesterday we went to Berkeley to see Ming's kids and mom.  It was fun but hard.  We got brunch.  We got hugs. 

Then we and Ming's mom went to the zine fest.  It was super crowded.  I saw some acquaintances: the runner of the show, an old penpal, someone I see at all the bay area zine fests and chat with about his stuff.

Then we went to the farmers market and looked at everything curiously, gave some money to the buskers, tried stuff, bought a few things.  Olive bread, dried cherries, date rolls.

Next the three of us got some coffee at a Peet's. 

Then Ming and I left for Sacramento where we needed to do bread pickup for Food Not Bombs at 5:45.

aren't the gandules beautiful?

Saturday, December 07, 2013


Woke up from a nightmare about zombies and didn't want to go back to sleep right away.  So I'm up.

I wanted to tell you about our trip to Red Star International Groceries in Elk Grove two days ago.  I was amazed by the interesting foods there.  We bought some dried gandules, my favorite bean.  I had never seen them dried, only canned.  We bought some delicious tamarind candy in a cute little transparent plastic box.  We bought a snack made of corn for Ming.  It was fun.  But they didn't have what we went there for: harissa and berbere spice.

Later that day we went to Whole Foods where there were six different types of harissa!  But no berbere spice.  I guess fewer people want to make Ethiopian food.

It's okay.  I'll order some berbere off the internet.

I have a new idea for how to make Erik and Laura-Maire Magazine anthology.  It's to eliminate as much material as possible and make four sections of it.  I was confused about how to do that layout, but I think this will simplify things.

Friday, December 06, 2013


Woke up from a bad dream and feel horrible again.  It's so cold.  But it's 10.

I played tin whistle for a while.  It was fun and I marked my favorite songs so they will be easier to find next time I play.  It had been years, though.

I got these teacup stickers AL sent me.  Working on a long letter to her. 

Ming made me rice for breakfast. 

That is all.

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Cold here.  I hope the plants didn't die.  I love our collard tree--I hope it's okay.  Ming harvested some leaves last night to be our consolation if it does die.  I bet the chard is gone. 

I wonder if all Sacramento's citrus is gone now.

Yesterday I felt horrible, but today life seems way better. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

back to Sac

Home safe from travels!  The trip was uneventful.  Ming did great.  Home there is a lot of mail still to open.  Lots to take care of.  But I reactivated my etsy and all's well.

Monday, December 02, 2013


Mom and I made this soup, Nutty Sweet Potato Soup with Harissa and Spinach, which is simmering right now so we haven't tasted it yet.  Couldn't find harissa around here, so we just put in some hot sauce.  A tablespoon of Cholula.


Sunday, December 01, 2013

not vegan

I searched for a vegan crustless pumpkin pie recipe and couldn't find one that didn't use flax eggs or egg replacer or tofu, got overwhelmed, gave up. 

Then I told Ming I gave up, and he suggested I find a recipe that has eggs in it since we're at my parents' house and there are eggs here.

So I searched again and found a simple recipe including eggs and thought it probably wouldn't turn out because we were using an actual pumpkin and it seemed stringy.  We tired microwaving it longer.  I tried mashing it with a fork...then looked for Mom's immersion blender.  I ended up mashing it with a pastry cutter and Ming's help. 

So we made the pie, and it cooked for an hour.  I guessed at the spices because it called for pumpkin pie spice.  I had no expectations.

But we cut into it just a few minutes ago, and it's delicious. 


holiday time

1.  cake baked
2.  crustless pumpkin pie in the oven
3.  Sufjan Stevens Christmas music--both sets!
4.  laundry
5.  dishes

today's the day

Good morning.  I have been having a wonky sleep schedule, and I don't know if I should let it be or rage.  I was falling asleep before 7 last night and up just after 4.  It's not in line with the sleep habits of the people around me, but maybe I should give myself a break.

This morning I was like, what do I do now that national novel writing month is over?  I have this spare energy and need a new project.  Any ideas?  I have the Erik and Laura-Marie Magazine Anthology project that I set aside.  Maybe I should pick it back up.

Today's the day to clean up because parents are coming home from their vacation.  Today's the day to clean out the fridge and clean the bathroom and sweep the floor.  And bake a cake.

Last night I sang Ming the "If I knew you were coming I'd of baked a cake" song.  He's known about the idea but not the song.

And that's all as of 5:20 am.