dangerous compassions

I call you / from the comet's cradle

Monday, July 31, 2017

what's a heart for, but to break?

In my dream, Ming got more chocolate gelato instead of lavender for me.  "Dream fail!" I told him.

I saw that a little girl aged 8 climbed Kilimanjaro and my first thought was, "Some people have way too much money."  Is that fair?  I asked Ming, "How much money do you think it takes to get your kid up Kilimanjaro?"  We think it would take a lot.

I was reading how "clean eating" is giving people eating disorders and thinking how people are going to get eating disorders for whatever reason anyway.  Ming asked me to send him the article.

I wrote a poem yesterday about some Fresno chiles and the friend I would like to give the chiles to.  I've been thinking about Jahaddhatri, gravity, John Dobson, and forces.  Oh and that guy who accidentally worshiped Shiva.

I burned the tip of my right index finger this morning making breakfast.  Ming was craving grilled cheese.  I keep looking at the stingy red oval.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

dinner ideas

Yesterday I survived the party--without throwing sand at anyone, as Ming says.  We were the first to leave, but we stayed an hour and forty-five minutes.  We ate veggie burgers, potato salad, olives, crackers.  We talked to a few relatives.  We hugged some hugs.

What was my reward?  I kind of had a reward beforehand--a few bites of Ming's chocolate gelato.  Wow, it was good.  I want to go back for lavender.  But I wish they had a smaller size.  Microsize.

I need more ideas of foods to make Mom.  She eats meat, but she is flexible, willing to eat what Ming and I eat but with a sausage on the side.  We went through a gandules craze for a while.  I made some veg in a peanut sauce over rice, but now I can't think of the recipe.  It was delicious.

I made a sweet potato soup with coconut milk.  We would need sweet potatoes and spinach for that.  I made curried greens with beans.  Would need creamer for that.

What do people eat, anyway?  Ming and I have a lot of sandwiches, normally.  Ming eats a lot of simple salads.  He's obsessed with romaine.  I bought some lentils.  I can make lentil soup.

Roasted root veg is good.  We have beets.  Well, let me know if you have any good ideas.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


This morning we bought organic potatoes and pickles and olives for Mom to make potato salad for the party.

Then we went to Costco to pick up the cake.  The balloons on the cake are big blobs of frosting.  The twins are 2.

Yesterday in SLO we went to the art museum, which is free.  Ming and I argued about some photos of a disabled daughter--I called him cold-hearted.

I liked the words next to a painting--they said the guy painted nature where something is not quite right.

That's how I feel about this blog post.  Picking up a cake is fine.  But something is not quite right here.  I think I feel edgy.  I had trouble sleeping last night.  I feel frustrated.

But the party doesn't start till 3.  Last summer there was a fiesta party which was so upsetting to me, I decided not to go to any family function ever again.  So it's a gamble.

Friday, July 28, 2017


I'm at the place I go when Ming's doing yoga at Shine.  I wrote a letter this morning to my friend A in Albany, emailed a couple people, trying to diversity.  I tend to put my eggs in too few baskets.  One of my lessons this lifetime is...not to do that!

This morning I saw some relatives.  Ming did yardwork for them for a little while.  Yesterday he painted part of a fence.  He was excited to wear a tyvek suit.

Oh, my sweet little geek.  You have to admit.  Tyvek is pretty cool.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Eileen and the In-Betweens

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Let me tell you a little story.  I was going to take a yoga class at a studio that was new to me, years ago, always a daunting thing because I'm afraid they'll be like, no, you can't take yoga here--you're too fat.  Someone was giving me a ride, and I was looking for the studio's name above a door.

I saw a farming equipment fastened above a door and thought it was a yoke.  I thought, "That must be the yoga studio because yoga means 'yoke' as in being yoked to God."

Of course it was just an antique store.  The actual yoga studio was around the corner.

What is the moral of that story?  I am overeducated, yoga studios are under-decorated, words fail?  Choose your own moral.

Last night I dreamt a zombie was following me.  People were being arranged on huge staircase.  I knew the zombie, a small bald man, was seated at another area and thought I might be safe.  A woman asked if anyone had a hat because the sun was shining on her face.  I said I would trade places with her for a while.  I asked her to move her apple because I didn't want to sit on it.

What is the moral of that story?  Look for a higher place to stare, don't be afraid to trade places, don't sit on strangers' apples?  Words fail.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jerry Zawada


This morning I went to chair yoga.  I like my body and it works well.  I didn't get a hug from the teacher this time, which was a little sad.  Lots of people were trying to come in the door for the next class.

Yesterday morning at my aunt's house I played piano a little bit.  Felt both good and anxious at the same time.  Then we washed, rinsed, rolled, and halved lemons from her tree while Ming did yardwork for my uncle.

Oh, I already posted my lemon pic.  Forgot.

Been writing lotsa poems.  Enjoying friendship.

Ming is the best spouse because he does dishes, loves me, is endlessly patient, supports me, drives me around, hefts and unhefts my suitcase, opens doors, smiles, is devoted and loyal, gives me freedom, listens, cares, and is not a fucked up person.  Yay!

Monday, July 24, 2017

crafts, lemons

Sunday, July 23, 2017

all the dead commentators lift their heads

There's a sentence from a Rumi poem, something like "You say the first line of the Koran and all the dead commentators lift their heads."  I tried googling it and can't find it.  What the fudge.  It's from my favorite Coleman Barks book, Like This.

Ming's sleeping lightly.  I would sing quietly along with this music and he would wake up, stir, fall back asleep.

Today we went to the Obon Festival.  I caught a few minutes of taiko, which was my favorite part.  While my relatives were still parking.  The crowds stressed me out.  It's hard work, being a person.


Yesterday evening I txted with a friend for an hour who I had never txted with for an hour.  It was fun, and fun is underrated--especially when we talked about grackles.  He'd had a pet grackle named Ruffles who liked to eat bees.

People are liking the book.  So far like four people, but that's four out of four.

It's 6:11 and the world is waking up.  I can smell morning coming through the open window.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

egged on

Our car got egged last night.  Ming feels worried it might escalate.  We think it's our bumper stickers.

"Do you want to take off our bumper stickers?" I asked Ming.  He said no.  It's probably the TRANS LIVES MATTER one.

"Damn republicans!" Mom said.

Friday, July 21, 2017

new book: keeping the x


This was a fun project, writing xmas poems to one another for seven years. Ellen collected the poems, prompts, email bits about the process, and we drew drawings to go with the text. It all turned out beautiful. Thank you to Ellen for a gorgeous handmade book!

what happens in Goleta stays in Goleta

Yesterday we did yoga again and I got sore.  Ming got sore.  He wanted to go to an evening class to get the hair of the dog that bit him.  I said he should only do yoga once a day.  I said his body needed to recuperate.  Maybe I was projecting.

"The solution to yoga?  More yoga!" I joked.

I got some wonderful emails this morning.  Glasgow, Las Vegas, Goleta.  Thank you, friends.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


chair yoga, mythological figure, turtle bracelets

So we have done chair yoga twice at Yoga Shine in Nipomo.  You may think chair yoga is easy, or chair yoga is not real yoga.  You would be wrong.  We have a great teacher.  She goes fast, but the class is only an hour.  She's trying to cram a lot of yoga into a small amount of time.

My favorite part of class is the teacher hugging me at the end.  You know me.  I'm crazy for hugs.  Also today during Shivasana she pushed on my shoulders and touched my forehead for a while.  Love it.

I got an email this morning from someone very important to my past.  He is like a mythological figure at this point.  Someone who changed my life in a big way.  I have known him since I was 13.  He lives in Scotland now.  He was my philosophy professor.  I think he wants me to worship him more.

Will I participate, collaborate, play along?  I talked to Ming about it.  I want it to be a happy thing.

After yoga I told Ming I was loose as a baby.  My body feels good, and I feel healthy.  I hope I really am.  I'm afraid diabetes is inevitable.

Now we're at our favorite cafe, and I have jasmine bliss kombucha.  Ming has new shoes.  We're wearing our turtle bracelets and all is well.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

rogue dream

Do you ever have a dream and are like, that dream couldn't have come from my head?  Like someone else's dream got in your head somehow.  That happened to me last night.  Or maybe it was from a past life.  It was a war dream.

Today we're traveling south to see my bestie and pick up the books.  Hurray!  Will announce the book release soon.

green tea extract

I don't know if it's the green tea extract or a coincidence, but I am having trouble sleeping.  Is this what I wanted?  It's kind of nice.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


This morning we went to yoga class.  It was my first yoga class in years.  It was chair yoga.  I loved it.  In the past my back has sometimes tightened up during Shivasana, but my back feels great today.

The teacher didn't bat an eye at my fatness.  I was the only fat one.  I thought it might be distracting to have Ming there, but it was fine.

Afterward the teacher and I hugged.  It was her birthday.  We sang to her.

They said it was their biggest class ever.  But the space is large and I didn't feel cramped at all.

Also in the news, I bought some vegan green tea extract at Trader Joe's.  My energy level is so low, and sleeping 12 hrs a night is getting old.  So maybe this will help.  I took it for the first time a little while ago.  Wish me retro-luck.

Monday, July 17, 2017


every day

Yesterday it was hot, for here.  We went to our favorite cafe in SLO.  I wrote some letters and drank mango iced tea.  Ming had grapefruit kombucha and sweet potato fries.

In the afternoon, Ming went to yoga class.  I hung out at a Starbux.  I guess I wrote more letters.

Tomorrow I'll go to chair yoga.  Will it be us with a buncha elders?  I'll let you know.

I have a new philosophy of walking slow but further.  I have been doing the neck and shoulder stretches that A taught me every day.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Yesterday in the morning we went to a park.  As we drove back to the house, a big truck passed us really fast.  We thought he was in a huge hurry.  Then at the intersection we were stopped at a red.  When the light turned green, the guy in the big truck yelled "Donald Trump!" and sped off.

He sounded like he was in pain.  It must be our bumper stickers.  I've had a lot of things yelled at me from big trucks.  Ming seemed to be more curious about it than I was, wondering what he meant.

My thoughts were more like, it's a red town in a blue state.  Of course he's angry and hurting.  Feeling threatened by trans people and worried about Audre Lorde.  He doesn't think the only solution is love.  Maybe he thinks the only solution is force, or money, or domination.  I wonder if he'd admit it.

Mom said he was just a white person in a big truck.  She asked if we flipped him off.  I said we ignored him.

In the afternoon we went to the AG farmers market.  The Asian-American guy who's at the end gave me a green pluot to try.  It was tasty.  We went into an apothecary store and bought a salt spoon, which we needed.  We looked at herb books.  Ming looked up the healing properties of yarrow.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

cat midwives

Here at the undisclosed location, the marine layer is lovely.

Last night we went to dinner at Plenty on Bell in Los Alamos.  It was fun but all their dishes were not vegetarian.  I ended up getting the grilled cheese, which I wonder if it was the kid's plate.

In the night I had a dream I was reading this article about a group of feral cats who became midwives for other animals.  When I woke up, I laughed.

Friday, July 14, 2017

miles and miles and miles and miles

This is Ming's record of how much I drove yesterday.  I drive a little now.

creepy animals

More shit hit more fans, this morning, and I think I lost a friend.  But you know what?  There are other fish in the sea.  Lower-drama fish.

I talked to J, who comforted me, telling me about my integrity and how actions speak louder than worms.  Words, I mean.

We went to the store where Ming bought grapes that don't have spiders in them.

It reminds me of the saying...They'll forget what you said, and they'll forget what you did, but they'll never forget the way you made them feel.  Or that time you put ants in their bed.  I like that one.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


full of light

We've had automotive trauma.  But let's forget about it.  We're at the barstow panera.  I drove the last 20 miles or so.  I did great.

Yesterday our friend A came over, the massage therapist.  We talked in the kitchen, messed around in the garden.  He uncovered many plants buried in weeds.  It was like a metaphor.  He found yerba buena, and I was excited.  He took some for his own garden, pots on a patio.

There were so many grapes on the grapevine.  We harvested them.  They're good but the bunches were full of small spiders.

Then he worked on my pinched nerve.  I had to really trust him.  He taught me some stretches.  We talked about breathing.  He's a bhakti yogi, full of light.  He chants Hare Krishna, wears a mala.  We are on the same page.

I asked him what his necklace was.  I thought it was Don Quixote.  "Today, Hanuman," he said.  He asked me what goddess was my necklace.  I told him the Virgin of Guadalupe.

"I love her," I said.  He didn't know what Hanuman was holding in one of his hands, and I guessed chamara, a ceremonial yak tail.  It looked like that.

R was fixing the swamp coolers.  He went to the store and got some of the mat material.  He cut it to size, climbed on the roofs.  The sky was full of pink clouds and god light.  Later, when it was dark, lightning flashed again and again.

A thought it was going to rain.  I didn't.

What an evening.  J was there too.  We gave him an oregano leaf to try, a yerba buena leaf.  He sat on a milk crate.  He's an elder now.

I was up late, overstimulated and hearing voices.  Then we got up around 3 and left home at 4:22.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

the potholder

Our car, Doug said he fixed it, but it had a horrible smell, bad fumes, and we returned it to him.  He did the other injectors and we picked it up.  It was fine for a few miles.  Then there was a bad fuel smell again, and it started lurching while idling and decelerating.  The check engine light came on.

So he said to bring it back, and Ming's returning it to him at 8 this morning.

It's been a rollercoaster of happiness when it's fixed and pain when it's broken.  I just want to have a functional Echo again and get out of town.

But it rained a little yesterday with thunder, and the day before too.  It's only supposed to be 104 today.  Much better than 112.

I made the new Catholic Worker job zine.  I have some of them bound.  I hope everybody likes it.  It's called the potholder.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Things are fluxy again.  The car might not need a new engine after all.  We are still stuck in Vegas.  Yesterday there was a little rain and thunder.  It cooled off to 101, which felt great--how strange.

A former friend who unfriended me months ago wants to be facebook friends again because he's looking for a place to stay.  I feel incredulous, and my heart is closed.

Do I want to have a closed heart?  No.  Do I want to protect myself?  Yes.  I haven't read his message yet.

Well, I should go outside while it's still in the 80s.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Our sweet little Echo's engine is kaput and we are trying to figure out what to do.  Once it's a decent hour, Ming will call our regular mechanic Doug to see how much he'll charge to put in a new or used or rebuilt engine.  If it's too much, we'll junk the car and buy a new one, is the idea.

I feel overwhelmed.  I also feel sad and in pain.  Ming says cars represent freedom.  I love / loved that car.  I don't want to go through the stress of buying a used car and all that fear from carrying around $4000 cash and not knowing if we'll get robbed.  You know?

So I feel crappy.  I tried dancing this morning for exercise but could barely get moving.

Meanwhile there are two fires burning in my homeland.  Mom has to deal with bad air and lotsa ash.  And my bestie near Santa Barbara might be evacuated.  They could see the flames from her parents' bedroom window.  She is an archivist and has lots of stuff that's dear to her.  So it must be terrible to try to decide what to evacuate with.

Ming's got his new trilobite shirt on.  "Are you ready for tons of people to ask you, 'Is that a horseshoe crab?'" I asked him.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

purple purse

Here's a pic of my purple purse from the swap meet.  I love it.  It's small.

automotive trauma

The fuel pump was not the problem, or else there are multiple problems, because they changed the fuel pump and the car's still broken.  Seems more broken than before--it's only running on two cylinders.  Sounds really bad.  We've already racked up $436 and they seem far from done.

Yesterday evening our friends J and G gave me a ride to the Radical Mental Health Collective meeting.  It was really nice of them.  Ming ended up getting a Lyft.  The meeting was fewer people this time.  There was no food.  I didn't have the easel.

But we got things done.  We took a picture.  There were some hugs.

Now we're waiting for the mechanics to finish fixing our car.  Poor little Echo.

Saturday, July 08, 2017


We are stuck at a Pep Boys waiting for them to finish changing out our fuel pump which I am not even sure is the problem. But they say they are sure. It's been four hours. I give their waiting room air conditioning two thumbs up.

Friday, July 07, 2017

cool cool

Yesterday we went to the library for a couple hours.  It was nice and cool.  I wrote letters and wrote in my journal.

Now's breakfast time and we don't have good breakfast foods.  We will only be here two more days.

Thursday, July 06, 2017


Yesterday in the afternoon I got really hot and suffered, lying in bed with two fans blowing on me, wondering if I was going to die.  It was 92 degrees in our house, with both swamp coolers going.  I needed a way to get cool but was at a loss.  I got overheated in the car when we turned off the air conditioner because the car was accelerating sluggishly.

Then I dozed a little and felt somewhat better.  Got up and ate some dinner--english muffin, yogurt.

This morning Ming has gone to serve the hungry with Catholic Worker.  It's hotdog day.  There's lots to do, like folding appeal letters.  We have peace vigil at 9 and then I have a doctors appointment then Ming has one.

I was in a drugstore and a little larva bit me on my wrist.  It was like a ladybug larva but white with green, I think, as opposed to black with orange.  It hurt a little.  Since then it's been itchy.  It's been three days.  The spot you can't even see something's wrong, but there's a bump if you feel it with your fingers.

Today's supposed to hit 112 again.  It's bad to be home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


We left the undisclosed location at 4:25 this morning.  I drove for an hour in the morning, on mostly-deserted road.  We got home at 12:45 this afternoon.  It was a good trip.  I was anxious coming home, but it's okay here.  It's hot but I'm living.

We're doing NDE stuff, summer appeal.  I played Duolingo.  I didn't play for months and lost my progress.  But I'm catching back up.

Fireworks are going off in the distance.  We saw the dogs that live in Freedom House.  One was shaved.

I found one last typo in the letter.  It's ready to print.

bon voyage

Yesterday I was reading the free magazine that I was given at the used bookstore in Lompoc for June.  I was looking at book reviews and noticed a book by someone I went to grad school with: Maile Maloy.  She is the sister of Colin Maloy, who is the lead singer of the Decemberists, a band I like.

Always shakes me, to see the success of my classmates.  She's a proser, so it's not like we were littermates.  But we were there at the same time.  The review was very positive.

Ming is going in and out the front door, hopefully not waking Mom, as he packs the car to get us ready to go.  We will leave soon.  I'm anxious about home and going home.

Last night I had dead people dreams.  There were murderers leaving dead bodies around, but if you let them sit long enough, they might come back to life.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

dog happy

Yesterday we roasted potatoes, carrots, and golden beets.

Today Mom and I sat in the sun.  I'm eating Taco Works chips, a local delicacy.

Tomorrow we return home to Las Vegas.  We have appointments, meetings.  We need to pick up meds.  We'll see community.

Lola is still here.  My brother is picking her up tomorrow.

It smells like swiffer in here, which smells sort of like glass cleaner.

In Lompoc at the farmer market, a worker said, "Have a nice fourth of July."

I didn't reply.  "You doing anything for fourth of July?" she asked.

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," I said.  Just kidding.  I said, "We're trying to keep the dog happy."

"Oh, I hear ya," she said.

Monday, July 03, 2017

never in a hurry

I am uncharmed by children.  Some screamy preschool-aged kids were at the next table and I was just waiting for them to leave.

We are at our favorite cafe after an ordeal at Western Union.  I'm not sure why my feathers got so ruffled.  Maybe because I was in a hurry.

Mom painted my nails purple with glitter and they're pretty.

I gotta email some people.

Mom also mended the holes in my purple shirt that I got from passing through a passage made of barbed wire.  One of those passages that cows can't get through.

Sunday, July 02, 2017



Arroyo Grande succulent wall

Lompoc flower fields


I've been researching local chair yoga and tai chi classes.  Found a couple.  We are leaving town for Las Vegas on Wednesday.  So when we come back.

Ming's out walking Lola.  He was chipper this morning.

I wanna cut my nails and ask Mom to paint them.

It's nice and cool out.  That's about it.

Saturday, July 01, 2017


It's kind of amazing how many farmers markets we go to.  The corn guy likes to talk to Ming.  Yesterday, Lompoc.  Today, Arroyo Grande.  I bought a cucumber and put it in my purple bag.

Today we had Thai food with my mom and aunt.  I liked my curry with mock duck.  The music was terrible smooth jazz, but the conversation was okay.

In the night I had a bad dream about cops.  Now Ming is sleeping.

We pulled weed seeds from a pink blanket.  We borrowed the blanket years ago and used it on the ground, but it got full of stickers.  Also some stain that we don't know where it came from.  The stain came out entirely in the wash, but the stickers didn't.  So Ming and I stood outside in the sun pulling the stickers out of the blanket for a while, quietly.

He put the stickers on a piece of tape so they wouldn't escape and stick in other things, like carpet.

Anyway, my brother bought his dog Lola over.  She's old and has to take pills.  She peed on the carpet in Mom's room.  I said maybe Lola's losing her marbles, and is she the age of losing her marbles?

I have a story about Lola.  Maybe I'll tell you tomorrow.