dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Saturday, February 28, 2015

mother of god


I'm at this retreat place.  I'm enjoying it but need lots of breaks.  It's possible to be social for 14 hours straight, here.  That's not for me.

We went for a short walk this morning on the retreat center grounds.  We'll go for a longer one this afternoon, or I will, during the movie.  I don't want to see the movie.

Listening to music quietly, digesting breakfast.  I signed all the cards to the political prisoners.  I kept it brief.

There are more than 70 people here for the Pacific Life Community retreat.  I am friends with about 10 of them, but I'm making new friends too.

Friday, February 27, 2015

god graffiti

leg two of this road trip

Yesterday we went to Guadalupe beach.  It was sunny and windy.  Some fisherpeople.  Lots of waves and seagulls and pelicans.  Some ducks I couldn't identify.

Last night we went to a clothing store to return some jeans Mom bought Ming for Christmas.  They had poor pocket material and were getting holes already, the pocket where he kept his keys, so we exchanged them.

I have had a mega-dose of tv and was losing it yesterday.  My long sleep pushed my reset button somewhat, so I am okay this morning.

Today we head north to the Pacific Life Community retreat in Menlo Park.  I don't know what it will be like, but I feel like little is expected of me and hopefully I can take breaks.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


This morning I woke up worrying.  I cuddled with Ming's sleeping body.  It was still dark.  Then the sun came up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

fear list

I am annoyed with the constant tv that's playing at the undisclosed location.  It drives me crazy.  Also the dog drives me crazy.  He still barks at me.

Today we'll go for a walk and to the farmers market.  Yesterday we went to see my bestie in Goleta.

I am stressed about too many things.

--my student loan (they need more documentation before processing my income-based repayment)
--the Social Security hearing that's happening in mid-March
--doing lunches for Shut Down Creech and not knowing if people will help
--pleasing the lunch eaters
--lunch budget
--the final walk through for the apartment moveout
--the tv driving me crazy
--the dog driving me crazy by barking at me, sniffing me, etc
--Dad barking at the dog
--the going-away party and are we supposed to decorate and how about music?
--packing and getting rid of things
--saying goodbye to friends
--whether all the stuff will fit in the trailer
--fear of snapping at the friends who will help us
--fear of losing it
--getting services in Las Vegas
--getting a psychiatrist before my meds run out
--paying for car registration in Nevada
--desert insects
--desert summer
--if a jerkish person comes to live with us
--lack of control

Okay, that's enough for now.  I will list more as they occur to me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

skateboard art


Monday, February 23, 2015


Ming's new name is Mr Mackerel.  I'm blogging on my phone so I don't know if I spelled mackerel right. We arrived safely at the undisclosed location. 

"I'm disappointing my fans," I told Mr Mackerel. So he encouraged me to blog for you. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday's to relax

This morning I went a friend's home for brunch.  He made us sausage with veggies and fried up some polenta too, which we ate with syrup like pancakes.  He has a different eating style than I do, though we have similar dietary preferences (he's vegan and I'm mostly-vegan). 

Then in the afternoon, Ming and I went to a bracelet making class at Capital City Beads.  I did poorly.  Ming and I used faux leather.  The knotting was tricky for me to figure out, and I was the slowest one.  I don't really like what I came up with, but it was good to be with friends.  It was kind of a birthday party. 

We are broke, having spent a lot of money on moving expenses.  Too much. 

Travel for the rest of the month through the beginning of March--then two weeks here, then we move. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

love / loss

Today we're giving bookshelves to our friends.  Our friends are renting a truck to pick them up.  We already moved Ming's spiffy folding bookshelves to Las Vegas.  These three tall wooden bookshelves will not make the move with us.

I thought nothing was holding me to Sacramento, but I see now that a ton is.  Yesterday we saw my church friend V.  She gave me a beautiful shawl from India.  She's 76, she told us, and will move soon too.  She can't do anymore the things she's been doing. 

My beautiful V--was this the last time I'd ever see her?  So much love, so much loss.

Friday, February 20, 2015

no more things

Too much to do, too much to pack, too much confusion and unknowns.  People say to take it one step at a time.  People say to relax.  People say to break it down into easy chunks.  Maybe I need to make some lists.  I wish I had a cute little egg timer so I could do things for 15 minutes with a cute little egg timer.  I think I just want a cute little egg timer to keep me company.  But in the end, that would be one more thing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

farm day

Today we went to our friends' farm.  I sat in a farmhouse by myself for a few hours writing letters and reading.  A soft cute orange cat was nice to me. 

Then we had lunch, four of us.  Ming and I ripped greens into bite-sized pieces.  I seasoned and heated some canned beans.  Our friend made salad dressing.

The same cat that was nice to me was mean to other people.  We talked about Nevada Desert Experience and what we're getting out of it when the WWOOFer asked.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

false advertising

I was making organic mac and cheese from a box for dinner.  I was reading the box as the pasta cooked. 

"It's comfort food you can rely on," it said on the side of the box.  It also said something stupid about kids.  I wonder what percentage of mac and cheese is made for kids. 

But I was thinking about the people who write copy for food boxes and what a sad job that is.  Could I do any better?

The picture on the box showed orange mac and cheese, but it turned out white.  Wtf.

the drone at the park

The other day Ming and I were at McKinley Park taking a walk.  Someone in dressup clothes with a name badge was flying a drone.  He would fly it straight up, high into the air, and down low again.  It made me really uncomfortable.  It had a whirring sound, and I didn't like it above our heads.  Lots of people stopped to watch it.  I wished there was some kind of rule about no drones at the park.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Yesterday we went to Berkeley.  There were mishaps, none of them serious or dangerous.  Missed connections, misbehavior, miscommunication. 

We had fun too.  My favorite part was sitting at Longhaul Infoshop with Ming and our friend A, drinking warm beverages, enjoying the quiet space before it opened.  It felt really good to stare at the curtains and talk or not talk. 

Another fun thing was running into a peace walker friend at Sconehenge. 

I wish I took pictures.  I wish I had something to show you. 

We're helping with two big events and are busy with logistics: planning emails, trying to figure stuff out.  When who's arriving where, who's doing what with whose help.  Numbers and promises.  Ming and I are doing lunch.  But there are a lot of unknowns. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

writer's group

Today at writer's group Ming wrote an amazingly cute story about a goat with a broken horn.  A carpenter bee takes up residence there.

Strangely, my story had goats too, though the goats in mine were offstage.  I actually wrote some fiction, something I almost never do.  I felt like I was cobbling together bits of reality / my past / things I'd read elsewhere in a clumsy fashion.  And then I was worried it sounded like a romance novel.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


This blue-haired woman was yelling, "Happy Valentine's Day, Daddy!" to a man who was walking away from her.  I thought it was fine.  Then I realized the woman was crying.  She said it again, and the man turned around and threw something at her really hard and really fast.  I thought it was confetti, which was confusing.  She kept following him, crying, and saying happy Valentine's Day.

It looked like confetti, but it was actually rice.  Cooked rice, Ming tells me.  He was walking on the sidewalk right after it happened.


This morning we walked to the co-op for kombucha.  There were heart-shaped scones.  We bought a lemon poppyseed one to share.  Turns out it was not my preferred scone style.  It was cakey--I prefer crumbly. 

For an early lunch I made burritos: refried beans, soyrizo, and onions in Trader Joe's tortillas.  So good.  But there's gotta be a way to make soyrizo ourselves way cheaper. 

Ming read to me from The Secret Garden.  I like Dicken's baby lamb.  This book is pretty good but repetitive.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vegas friend

That's the compound where we'll live.  That's our friend J-Ra showing off his dread.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

home safe

This morning we left Las Vegas at 3:30.  Our friend J got up at 3 to make coffee for us.  It was nice.

The drive home was uneventful.  We stopped at a Denny's for breakfast and many gas stations for bathroom breaks.  I slept a little and dozed a lot.

It was a weird fast trip and I don't know what to do with myself now.  I feel like celebrating, but that tends to require money, and we spent all of ours. 

I've decided to goof off and try to relax.  But I'm looking at the calendar to see what's next.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

the only solution is love

Well.  Mission successful.  We are hundreds of dollars lighter and the majority of our stuff is in a storage unit in North Las Vegas.  My stuff occupies a small space in the storage unit.  Ming has a lot more stuff.  Ming did almost all the loading of the truck and strapping things down and arranging.

We had three Catholic Worker friends help us unload the truck, and the mood was light.  We were singing and having fun.

We returned the truck and all's well.  Made dinner for five here at the compound.  The roasted brussels sprouts were a hit.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

do not

Monday, February 09, 2015

winter grapes

inside outside

Last night all night I was thinking about the load we're taking down on Wednesday.  Tomorrow Ming gets the truck, and he's scared to drive it.  I'm scared on his behalf. 

I got a letter from one of my two prisoners penpals who's in solitary confinement up in Pelican Bay in Crescent City.  He is very nice and wants more zines.  He sent me his picture and explains in the letter that he's standing like that (with his hands behind his back) because he's in handcuffs.  It almost made me cry.

I penpal with some people who I have no idea what they look like and they have no idea what I look like.  But I'm considering sending photos to my two prisoner penpals because I know they'd like to see what I look like.

But I feel kind of contrary about it like why should it matter?  I can't decide.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

thank you

Omg, packing is not my favorite.  I gotta go through all my clothes today and be brutal. 

It's raining, which I love.

Yesterday we spent in East Bay.  Ming helped his mom.  She said she loved me. 

We saw a friend and went to this party at the Omni in the evening.  We helped cook the food.  Actually all I did was cut up some fruit for fruit salad and chop some garlic for the beans and green salad.

This morning we went to the grocery store.  As we were checking out, someone said, "It's pouring."  We all looked out the window.

In the parking lot someone asked us for change, and I said no thank you.

Friday, February 06, 2015


I was just at a cafe writing a long letter for two hours.  It was good until some loud cops showed up and sat near me.  They said chilling things. 

I ate a brownie and drank water.  It was so humid my water glass dripped water everywhere when I drank from it.

I'm going crazy from sorting and packing.  That part of my mind seems done. 

But tomorrow we'll have fun in the Bay Area again while Ming helps his mom.

Thursday, February 05, 2015


We are working hard on our secret project.  Well, I will tell you what our secret project is.  We're moving.  Next week we take a load down to our new exotic location to put in storage.  Then in another two months we'll move for real.  I am sorting through zines and books.  I need to sort through clothes too.  I am trying to lighten my load.

It's a beautiful cloudy day and will rain a lot this weekend, is the prediction.  Feels sort of like winter again, winter for here.

I'm listening to a cd I made a friend.  The first two tracks were skippy, but maybe it was dust?  I flicked a fleck of dust away and it's playing fine now around track seven.

We can do it, friends!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

comfort / discomfort

1.  I'm reading this book by this person who used to be my friend.  It's making me sad because I miss her.  But it's a really good book.

2.  Lately I want to eat ramen.  But I know it's not good for me.  I don't use the seasoning packet though.  I season it myself with nutritional yeast and salt and some pretend butter.  It's the ultimate comfort food, more than mac and cheese.

3.  This morning I went to a cafe with friends.  They were working on their laptops while I wrote letters and read the aforementioned book.  One friend snapped at the other.  Then they made up.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


Oh, world.  It's me again.  How are you doing?  I am doing flippin' exhausted.  Today Ming and I went to Davis to see a kid and to Berkeley to copy a zine and see a friend.  It was a long day.  Now it's time for me to go to bed. 

Night night and talk to you tomorrow,
River Victor

Monday, February 02, 2015

Coffee Garden

I never blogged at a cafe before, but here I am with my Christmas Chromebook.  I feel like a hipster.

Oh wait I can't be a hipster.

I'm at a cafe with a cookie I haven't touched.  I didn't really want the cookie--I wanted the least-expensive thing so I could sit here for an hour and a half.

This morning I was at the Rio Linda McDonald's drinking a decaf coffee for two and a half hours while Ming gardened with friends.  It was actually okay.  I wrote three letters and read some essays by a former friend who I miss a lot.  She published a book.  It feels voyeuristic to read it, but I am.

Some guy named James hit on me.  He introduced himself to me and asked if he could give me his phone number.  I said no thank you.  I am way too polite.  He left the McDonald's to smoke a cigarette and came back in.  He sat at the table next to mine and just spaced out for a while.

"You're a nice lady," he said out of the blue.

"Yeah," I said.  I am a nice lady.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

squash inside

It smells like a cucumber inside!  We're cooking it up right now.


Yesterday we did small things.  We went to the library and walked around the park.  I hung out at Coffee Garden, reading and writing.  We did bread pickup for Food Not Bombs.  I played Draw Something with my mom.  We intended to go to to the co-op for nutritional yeast and never did.  Maybe we'll do that today.

I'm trying to sort and throw things away and figure out books to get rid of and how.  Selling them is such a pain. 

I've been keeping my inbox really empty, writing back to personal emails quickly.  It's good but strange to have an empty inbox.  At least the "primary" tab is empty.  The tab for mass emails and promotional emails is overfull.  

Cleaning my desk, I found some Eastergrass seeds my penpal from Finland sent me.  I never grew the Eastergrass.  So what do I do with the seeds?  I feel like someone would want them, but I don't know who.  I could send them back to her, but they probably cost less than postage.  I guess I'll just throw them away.

Everything is a decision like this.