dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Saturday, January 31, 2015

and then it dawned on me

I like getting up early and waiting for the sun.  I remember this previous Novembers when I was doing National Novel Writing Month.  I would bundle up and sit at my computer and just write.  Then the sun would come up.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sufjan Stevens

I was really tempted to spend a small fortune on tickets to the Sufjan Stevens concert for me and Ming, but I lost my nerve.  It's money we don't actually have in that we need to save up.  But I have never seen him in concert.  But it would be a huge place and maybe uncomfortable and maybe not fun. 

I told Ming that Sufjan Stevens will probably live a long life and there will be other chances.  Hope it's true.

John Dobson

Gmorning, friends.  We got some pretend buffalo wings from Grocery Outlet on a whim.  Ming wanted them, and this morning he cooked them up.  I ate one bite and said no.  They are nasty.

Yesterday was a rest day, not to be confused with an arrest day.

The secret project is moving along nicely.  That's what Ming said to tell you.

Oh, yesterday we found my dvd of A Sidewalk Astronomer.  It was stuck between two books on my bookshelf.  Ming's watching it for the first time.  It makes me a little weepy because I loved John Dobson and remember when he was alive, but now he's dead.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

squash from Milt

busy busy

Yesterday we spent in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco.  We had lots of fun.

First I hung out at Taste of Denmark for a few hours.  We saw our friend A again.  We talked about a variety of topics. 

Then we went to SF.  We parked near St Martin de Porres and walked around the block.  Then we went inside.  There were tons of people eating foods and just hanging out in the garden area. 

I did dishes.  Ming passed out bread.  Then Ming swept.

After our short time of work, we went to coffee with our friends K and J.  We talked about a variety of topics with them too, but mostly Catholic Worker stuff.

Then we drove back the East Bay.  I got some boba from Purple Kow.  "This is the best drink I have ever tasted in my life!" I declared to Ming.

Then we went to the library to pick up A again.  I forgot the Echo has four doors.  I thought I needed to get out for him to get in.  Like with BOB who only had two doors.

We gave A the option of vegan sushi or my favorite Pakistani place, and he chose the latter.  We chowed down on some baingin bartha and paneer tikka masala and rice and roti. 

As Ming drove us home, I slept.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Yesterday we went to our favorite taqueria to split a breakfast burrito and apparently a ton of chiles caught on fire because there was a lot of smoke and people were coughing.  At first other people were coughing and I was like, what's the big deal?  Then the smoke got to me.  I started coughing and sneezing. 

The smoke was terrible yet delicious.  Eventually I had to leave.  But Ming didn't react as badly as I did.  It was weird all the people coughing and sneezing.  It was funny but bad. 

I was reminded of how if you burn poison oak then happen to breathe the smoke you'll get poison oak in your lungs.  Luckily I recovered.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Today we went to Lollicup.  "Is this just going to be a glorified Quickly?" I asked as we pulled up.  Turns out my drink was blindingly sweet and lacked nuance.  So yeah, it was a lot like Quickly.

But the walls were painted amazing colors.  So I photographed Ming.

There was a Ms Packman game but the quarter slot was jammed so we couldn't play--bummer.  There was Tekken 3 as well.  "Do you want to play?" I asked Ming.  He wasn't sure.

magnolia in Berkeley on Sunday

Monday, January 26, 2015

peace vigil

This morning we went to Ming's friend's farm.  I was indoors--I made hummus and did some other food prep then read.  Ming was outdoors working hard weeding then putting some posts into the ground. 

Then we had lunch, about eleven of us, and it was good.  There was even cake because it was two people's birthdays.  It was a chocolate cake.

Then we came home and suddenly decided to go to Beale Air Force Base to peace vigil.  We saw some friends and enjoyed life.  I personally did not get flipped off.  So that was nice. 

Our friend T argued with a cop for a long time.  I thought they were going to arrest her.  Then the military police talked to her and said she was okay where she was standing.  T is one of the gutsiest people I have ever known, and I wish I could be like her, but I gotta be like me.

the Omni, Alchemy, the Krishna temple

Yesterday we went to Berkeley to see Ming's mom.  I wrote letters and read books at a cafe.  I had been hoping for a phonecall that didn't come.

Then we went to the Omni in Oakland to cook with Food Not Bombs.  It was fun because I liked the people and the activity.  I also like the space.  But it was dim.  The light had gone out and they had to make do with a different kind of light that was inadequate. 

I was grating carrots and got my thumb a little bit which didn't hurt.  Ming first aided me. 

Then we went with our good friend A to this worker-owned cafe called Alchemy.  I drank some tea that tasted like nothing.  They had coffee.

Then we went to Longhaul Infoshop and hung out for two hours.  I enjoyed it.  I ate some crackers. 

A few Sundays ago we went to the Krishna temple, and we liked chanting but left for the talk.  Last night--it was Sunday again--we did the same.  This time our friend A stood with us, which felt better.  Last time he was across the room.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

all the news that's fit to print

This morning we went to Central Library to get this book on politics in the Middle East--I'm enjoying the book--it's serious yet humorous.  It's memoir.  It's called How to Make Peace in the Middle East in Six Months or Less: Without Leaving Your Apartment.

And my friend M texted me saying he was at his favorite cafe, so we went over there.  We had fun talking and then I wrote half a letter and a whole letter and wrote in my journal.

My favorite drink there is a decaf mocha Thai which is made with sweetened condensed milk.  It's so sweet and delicious all the way through.

Friday, January 23, 2015

good mail day


My gmail theme is Planets.  It shows the sun, though, and our moon, so it's not just planets.  It's really cool to see the space images and remind myself that I live in the universe.

The image changes every day.  Ming and I are trying to figure out if it's based on the names of the days of the week.  I think it shows the sun on Sundays, for example. 

I wish somebody made a chart of the days of the week and which celestial bodies they correspond with on the Planets theme because I don't know which planet is today.  Jupiter?  Oh, it is.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

the ravens

"Are the birds still mad at me?"

"It's because of your hair--they don't trust you.  It's because you're a hippie.  Goths hate hippies."


"Isn't it obvious?"

"But I'm not a hippie."

"You're a queer death rocker?"

"I did like the music last night."

"Me too!  Let's be queer death rockers."

Butch vs Femme then Bitter Fruit

Last night we went to a punk show at the Press Club.  It was said to start at 8, but the music didn't start until 9:30, so we stood around for a long time.  That was kind of frustrating, but it was so novel to be in a bar.  I drank grapefruit juice, and Ming had two Cokes.  We talked and Ming told me a story about a starfish.

First up was Butch vs Femme, a Sacramento band.  Their sound never seemed to gel.  They didn't seem to work together very well.  But I liked them.  I liked the person who fronted the band.  She had a beautiful voice, though most of the time she was yell-singing, so the beauty of her voice wasn't pertinent.  I liked the intros to the songs, which were feminist in nature.  I mean, it wasn't possible to hear the yelled lyrics, but from her intros, we knew.

I liked the singer's hair, which was dyed half pink, half blue, and she wore it in pigtails.

Butch vs Femme's last song was a cover of Bikini Kill's "Suck My Left One" which seemed to energize the crowd somewhat, and people sang along to the chorus. 

Then we waited a while for the next band.  We thought about leaving.  It was getting late.  But Ming wanted to hear at least the first song by Bitter Fruit.  So we stayed.  I had heard a Bitter Fruit song online.  It was called "Rainbow" and I wasn't too impressed.  It sounded like a typical punk song with nothing special about it. 

But I'm so glad we stayed.  The lead singer of Bitter Fruit looked somewhat like a satyr.  He sang in a varied style with some yelling and some screaming.  He danced very appealingly sometimes as he sang.  He had so much energy, and I admired him a great deal.  I understand why people get starstruck because I idolized him almost instantly.  I liked his hair too, which was long and wild, and his beard which came to a point.

Bitter Fruit has been classified as queer death rock.  I don't really know what death rock means, but I guess it might have to do with the screaming. 

The lead singer played guitar, but there were two other guitarists too.  Both looked Asian, while the other two band members were white.  I liked the woman's backup lyrics and was amazed that the yelled and screamed lyrics were actual words that they had agreed upon beforehand. 

Sometimes the sound was an amazing mass of sound.  It was so loud that I felt the soundwaves going into my body, and I was a little hard of heading afterward. 

I'm doing a poor job of explaining Bitter Fruit's excellence.  I was transfixed with a smile on my face.  It was a religious experience to me.  I felt close to the divine. 

Their confidence and skill were deeply appealing, and their sum was greater than their parts.  It was just as good music should be.  They worked together to make something truly beautiful.

But I wasn't interesting in buying their cds because it seemed like something that needed to be live.  The raw energy, the whole experience. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I lived with a Soto Zen Buddhist for 12 years.  He was not a Soto Zen Buddhist for all that time, though.  Anyway, he meditated every day, and I had a strange relationship to it.  It kind of drove me crazy.  I know it drove the cat crazy. 

Meditation is really good for people, though.  For the persons doing it.  At times I've thought I should meditate.  I've done it a little.  More than most, I guess.  I've done it enough to know I don't like it.  So does that mean I shouldn't do it?

Well, I like it for about five minutes, but I don't know if five minutes even counts.  For a while I was doing morning pages and meditating every morning first thing, and I liked it.  Then travel happens or some kind of distracting event. 

Today I was talking with Ming about our sleep schedule.  Should we let it get really early again, or should we try to be in sync with the rest of the world?  It's easier to do early morning things in the early morning.

Anyway, I checked out a book called Quiet Mind from the library today.  It has an essay in it by Ed Brown, and I love Ed Brown.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sacramento love

My to do list is very long.  But we're home, and there's enough time to do the things we need to do. 

First up tomorrow is the DMV because we don't have the right year tag, which is confusing.  Did the Echo's previous owner not really register her?  So weird.  But we got an $80 ticket for it.

But we're tired.  Traffic traffic.  Gnight. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

this trip

1.  played cards a lot and lost
2.  was annoyed / intrigued by strange dog behaviors
3.  too many cookies
4.  played Draw Something for hours with Mom
5.  partied like it was 1999

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Guest Blogger

Today we are in the hometown of Laura-Marie. Yesterday morning was a conference call of Nevada Desert Experience focusing on checking in and planning of our upcoming events: Shut Down Creech ! and the annual Sacred Peace Walk. There were a number of national Council Members from across the West Coast in attendance.

The agenda of the Shut Down Creech ! event was discussed and can be found here: ShutDownCreech.blogspot.com . We also talked and refined the Sacred Peace Walk schedule, which can be found here: NevadaDesertExperience.org/programs/2015/peacewalk2015.htm

"That blog post is boring. You should delete it all."

"Oh Ok"

"No you can keep it. Dialog interjects some life into it, then talk about the cookies."

We just saw chocolate chip cookies made. Delicious.

fluffy decorations

We traveled to my homeland for my bestie's 40th birthday.  Last night we went to her party.  There were no balloons.  But there were these yellow fluffy things that looked sort of like huge marigolds.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

bead knotting

Tonight I went to a bead knotting class and made this bracelet which I'm very happy with.  It was fun to learn something new, but I was surprised at how it was kind of DIY.  The bead knotting tweezers helped, but I think we mostly all found out own ways of making it work.  (Or not making it work, in the case of the people who couldn't get the hang of it very well.)

My only fear is that I trimmed a tail too close on an end and my knot under a bead tip will fall apart, but we used glue, so I think I'll be okay. 

But I like the colors, I like the stars, and I like the knotted look.

sun buddies

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

this evening in a list

1.  breakfast burritos
2.  what to do with those squashes
3.  closing out the library
4.  drinking imaginary grapefruit juice at the imaginary bar
5.  hella nighttime

presents for my bestie in origami boxes

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

office supplies are better than reality

I got some nice pens. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

spicy sunflower sauce


I made this delicious sunbutter sauce that's like peanut sauce but you don't cook it and it's got no peanuts in it.  This is how I made it.
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
You're probably reading it and are thinking like that's too much acid, and you're right--we put in too much lemon juice.  But it was really good that way.  But next time I think we'll try it with less.

We ate it with brussels sprouts and broccoli and rice.  So yummy.

bird thing

Last night in Berkeley we went to a Krishna temple and chanted and danced.  It was fun.  Then someone gave a talk, and I was annoyed by what he said about a prostitute and Christianity.  What he was saying seemed simplistic.  So we left before prasad, which was fine.  When you gotta go, you gotta go.

This morning Ming gardened near Rio Linda, and I hung out at a strip mall.  It was okay.  He picked me up at McDonald's.  That's not somewhere I have spent much time...

But during my two hours of wait, I finished reading a book on vandwelling, texted some people, wrote three letters, and started a fourth. 

It's warmed up here like spring. 

I went to the bead store to pick up some things for the bead knotting class I'm taking on Thursday, and there was a little bird in the store.  It had flown in through the open door.  Then it freaked out and flew into the window, trying to escape.  The worker picked it up and put it outside.

Later I heard her tell the story to another worker at the store.  She said when she got the bird outside, it realized she was holding it and flew off.  I guess it was just stunned.

Why do birds get stunned when they fly into windows?  I don't understand.  I guess their bird brains react to a hit by being stunned, which temporarily freezes them.  But then they recover abruptly.  I guess it's a bird thing.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Today I have been well.  That's a lot.  People around me are harmed and in crisis and pain.  I pray for their relief.  I pray like someone who knows how to pray.

Tomorrow we're going to Berkeley to see a good friend and make photocopies and eat delicious foods.  Stuff like that. 

As for now, it's bedtime, so goodnight.

something weird

We went to the car wash and had our car washed.  I had never done that.  It was weird.  But we wanted to get the salt off.  From being in South Lake Tahoe and driving in snow.

I walked to the Iraqi bakery down the street and had a falafel.  I bought fresh diamond bread and some labneh.  I bought corncake.  I was needing some comfort and abundance after meeting with my lawyer. 

So yesterday I had therapy, and my therapist said my lawyer called her.  She needed some updated information.  She needed to know why I can't work on an assembly line stuffing rags.

I've had a hard few days, but I will be okay even though at Trader Joe's this morning, a leaf blower blew dirt all over the Echo.  The dirt stuck to the dew.  Our car is covered in dirt, and I'm thinking about complaining.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

at South Lake Tahoe yesterday morning

Note the frosty sand.  We had frosty fun.  Actually, we couldn't walk very far because the beach is owned by different people in different parts.  But there was no one else there.  We could have run around in circles.  But we just walked ten minutes or so and left.  It was cold.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

free breakfast

I was really impressed with the continental breakfast at the hotel this morning.  They had Vegemite and Marmite.  Wow.  They all kinds of syrups for coffee.  They had instant oatmeal and bagels and English muffins like crazy.  They had some kind of dessert bread and bananas.  They had orange juice and milk.  Coffee, tea.  It was fun.

The worker asked us what our plans are for the day, and I said, "Nothing special.  Just go to the beach."  It's cold out but not as cold as I expected.  In that splitsecond of decision making of how to answer his question, I didn't know how to say we might go back to the library!

At the library yesterday I read this big vegan cookbook called Isa Does It.  The recipes looked delicious.  I want to make the angel hair with olives and brussels sprouts right away.

And last night we went on a candy run to the Raley's.  We are such early birds that we usually don't go out at night.  We also bought yogurt, and Ming got expensive juice.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

the smell of snow

Guess where Ming and I are?  We took a spontaneous trip to South Lake Tahoe!  So here we are.  I am feeling happy.  We're staying the night at an inexpensive hotel.  So far we have...

1.  eaten Italian food, something we almost never do
2.  drunk ginger limeade from a vegan cafe
3.  gone on a walk including under a bridge
4.  drunk coffee and read / written
5.  visited the library
6.  checked into our hotel

There's snow on the ground and a little ice.  I like the snow and fear the ice.  Our little Echo took the hills wonderfully.

It's fun to be somewhere new.  Ming has never touched Lake Tahoe, and neither have I, so we will today or tomorrow.

Oh, I wanted to mention on our walk I felt like I was going to slip and grabbed onto the nearest plant, which unfortunately for me was covered in fine thorns, but it doesn't hurt anymore.  Also, it smells good in Lake Tahoe.

"Does ice have a smell?" I asked Ming.  I feel like I can smell the snow.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Guest Blogger strikes again

Me again !

I apparently love guest blogging.

OK Now really the next post will be by the regularly scheduled blogger.

I love the Venus of Willendorf

Guest Blogger

Guess who ?

Today we went out to Milt's Pleasant Grove Veggie farm. Just gave him back a waxed cardboard box and some canning jars that he had given us delicious food in. He gave us in return some green bulbous squashes. Maybe we will roast them :)

We did more getting-rid-of-stuff tasks, including giving a bunch of art supplies to the Yisrael Family Urban Farm (where Ming often volunteers gardening) but for fun we ate a regularly wonderful breakfast burrito for dinner. Tomorrow we are also for fun traveling to South Lake Tahoe to see the sights. I am dressing warmly for the cold weather adventure.

Laura-Marie feels validated as the Venus of Willendorf. The story goes she pulled out her knit hat to show me the vivid colors at the base of the weave then, in figuring out how to show off the colors, pulled the hat over her face, thus looking like the Venus of Willendorf.

Tune in next time for the regularly scheduled blogging program.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

kumihimo class review

Yesterday I went to a kumihimo class at Capital City Beads.  It was fantastic though I was nervous.  It was a Christmas treat from a friend--she paid my materials and the class fee.

I did great.  The birthday bracelet I made for a friend is beautiful.  I will post pics after I give it to her.  It's red with rainbow.  It turned out too long, but I hope it's okay.  Maybe we can switch out the clasp for a smaller one.

I liked the instructor, and I would definitely go to other classes there.  The classroom was upstairs in a small room and they had a space heater going.  It was the Capital City Beads breakroom.

The bracelet I made out of a material they called rat tail.  I don't know what it consists of, but maybe satin?  But I don't know what satin is.  But it's smooth and almost slick. 

Afterward I shopped for materials for another two bracelets.  I'm excited about kumihimo though I am not that happy about using glue to put the clasps on.  I don't know how trustworthy the glue is.

Also, the rat tail is expensive.  They sell it by the foot.  Each bracelet costs about...five dollars to make, depending on what kind of clasps you use.  That seems expensive to me.

But I bought some fine dyed hemp cord that's smaller in diameter than the rat tail.  I'll try making one out of that in shades of green.  The hemp is less expensive, which surprised me.

I left the class tired from concentrating but happy, and it was fun to do with a friend.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

new ring

My new ring came in the mail yesterday.  It's a clauddagh ring, and I have wanted one like it for a very long time.  It was $2.99 on Amazon with $6.99 I think shipping. 

I like its looks but am unimpressed with the quality.  If you click on the pic and look at the right side of the heart, there's a weird line.  Also, the band is the thinnest band I've ever seen on a ring. 

Yet it's beautiful and great.  They shipped it in a small padded envelope, and it probably cost $2 to ship.  Anyway, I don't know what to think.  I guess I'll live with its imperfections.  I was deciding between it and a $26 one. 

consumnes river preserve

This morning we picked oranges but there were not very many. 

This morning we dropped off packing peanuts at the UPS store, made a few photocopies, and snacked at Freeport Bakery.  It was our first time trying their acorn cookie.  The brownie was better.  We actually went for a slice of vegan chocolate cake, but it's special order, so they don't keep any on hand for slices.

Yesterday we went to Consumes River Preserve to see the sandhill cranes.  There were a few flying in.  Last time I was there (more than a year ago) there were hundreds.  It was beautiful there.  I love it there.

Friday, January 02, 2015

pretend sour cream

I'm going to make some Hungarian mushroom soup later, and I thought I'd make some pretend sour cream so I wouldn't have to buy sour cream, and I happened to have a cup of raw cashews, so I soaked them overnight.

The blender we have is not so good.  But Ming helped me--I'd just cut my thumb opening the bottle of apple cider vinegar.


This morning we walked to the co-op for an onion and ended up getting $15 worth of groceries, but it's anti-depression Friday so we got a good deal.  Everything's a bonus 10% off on first Fridays.

I'm binding zines, writing notes, and enjoying life.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

phone booth

vegan black-eyed peas

They're delicious.

pound of black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
five cloves garlic
olive oil
tons of spinach
earth balance

Boil the beans in water, covered.  When they're done, take off the lid and boil more until a lot of the water is gone.  Put in some salt.  Taste.

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add it to the beans and stir.  Saute the spinach till wilted.  Add it to the beans and stir.

Simmer everything together for a while.  Then dish some up with a pat of earth balance on top and some extra salt if desired.  Enjoy.

your silence will not protect you

I have a new year theme.  Last year's was Never In a Hurry, which served me so well that I would like it to be my life theme, or maybe my decade theme.

But my new one for 2015 is Your Silence Will Not Protect You.  It's a quote.

I even ordered a bumper sticker that says my year's theme--it hasn't arrived yet.  I need to figure out exactly what it means to me.

This morning when we went to Safeway to buy black-eyed peas, a worker bumped me when he took my handbasket.  That's a pet peeve of mine, and should I have said something?  I want to speak up for myself, but I don't want to be a jerk.

So I need to figure it out, which is fine.

I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you. -- Audre Lorde


At 1:30 am we tried going to Safeway for black-eyed peas but they were closed.  So we tried the other Safeway, but they were closed too.  Curses.

There was ice on our windshield, but the weather says it's 34.  I asked Ming how that could happen.  He said something about dew point, but we think he's mistaken.

Oh, I am clumsy and knocked one of the small pumpkins off the railing.  It fell to the ground from where we live on the second story and broke into three pieces.  I went downstairs to get it and sniffed at it.  Smelled delicious.

holiday letter to you you you

Dear world,

Good morning.  I'm wishing everyone a bright and beautiful new year.  2014 was my best year yet.  I have high hopes for 2015. 

Here there were midnight fireworks to mark the new year.  I feel under-prepared for 2015 as if it was a camping trip and I forgot my sleeping pad.  It's uncomfortable.  But I hope I get used to the hard ground under my hips. 

That was a silly extended simile.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Yesterday we spent in Berkeley.  We went to see Ming's kids and make photocopies.  We also got boba and walked a little ways on the pier.

Discussed whether Paul Baribeau's "Boys Like Me" is self-indulgent and other great questions.

Now I'm listening to Sufjan Stevens Christmas music and enjoying life. 

Some highlights of 2014.

--the ceremony of Ming and Laura-Marie in the desert April 18th
--the reception May 3rd in Sacramento 
--all of Sacred Peace Walk 2014
--heard good music
--enjoyed seeing relatives
--said goodbye to BOB and got the spiffy Echo
--enjoyed therapy
--read some good books
--made some good zines
--enjoyed the library convention where we tabled at the zine pavilion
--strengthened friendships and made new friends
--writers group
--serving with Catholic Worker in Las Vegas
--wrote some good letters
--blogged almost every day
--strengthened and became more myself
--my birthday

The list could be almost endless.

Thanks for your love, readers known and unknown.

always your Laura-Marie