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November 15, 2011

Still searching for a more consistent presence in my relationship with WordPress. For today, I have decided to add a few photos of my colleagues at the “I Have a Dream” Foundation here in Boulder County.  The first two pics were taken during our retreat in Allenspark where I believe an old building/church/Pope hot spot burned down yesterday.

The excellent picture above is of all the new staff/AmeriCorps members prior to our reflection walk around the lake (in the rain).

Does the “funny photo” — which is popular among the kids these days — need any introduction? Hiding in the background, under the umbrella, I obviously don’t know how to be funny on command. The rain is a little more prominent in this shot. Later, I’ll try to add the exceptionally unique “jump photo” from our AmeriCorps retreat in Buena Vista.

(Photo Credit: Casie Zalud)

Here we are, all fancy-shmancy, at the Dream-Maker Luncheon where food was consumed and money raised to help support the newest class of Dreamers. Lora has this great hand-hip sway-thing going on, and I look like someone has stolen my teeth.

See you next time: same bat time, same bat channel!

The New Food Network “Star”

August 29, 2011

This guy. This guy. Jeff Mauro. The self-styled Sandwich King. The “Balls on the Roll” guy from the food truck episode of the next food network star 2011. I just googled his name and apparently there is at least one guy at BuddyTV that enjoys, or did enjoy, Mauro as a personality chef, but I just can’t get around his “winging it” attitude and how anyone at Food Network thought that he was a good fit for a network that tends to be doing less and less with its new “stars” and “shows.”

I’ll admit that there is something about the network that still captivates me–it is probably the food, and the fact that I’m always hungry; maybe chopped, which I sometimes enjoy–but I can’t figure out how this guy, Jeff Mauro, was sufficient enough, in personality, technique, and show idea, to win that drawn-out bore of a “challenge” show.

I got a new slogan for you, Food Network: Welcome to Food Network, Where We Turn Any Regular Joe into a TV Chef, and any TV Chef into a Regular Joe. If I wanted to watch myself cook, I would put mirrors in my kitchen. And. And. If I’ve got time to make a gourmet sandwich. Why? Sandwiches are best utilized as leftover experiments, as means of cleaning out the fridge and using up that loaf of bread.

new look for South Dakota Review

August 5, 2011

Check out the new look for the South Dakota Review on its website. The journal’s Spring/Summer 2011 Double Issue is out/coming out really soon. If the cover art is reflective of the literary content, then it looks to be a wildly exciting issue.

Here is an old look: an 1886 railroad map of Dakota.

D.C. // American Indian // Air and Space Museum

August 5, 2011

After gawking my way through the Library of Congress for hours, I maneuvered around the capitol building, past a group of paramedics huddled around a young woman who had apparently fainted from the heat, and sidestepped numerous people posing for pictures. I was headed toward a body of water and a series of statues depicting various military heroes/battles where I eventually found a squirrel lounging beneath a shade tree.

The plan was to spend a little time at the Library of Congress, take a tunnel (which wasn’t that interesting) toward the Capitol Building , and then continue south (I think) down the mall, stopping by the American Indian  and Air and Space Museum’s before hopping the Red Line back to Crystal City and my uncle’s house. I was hot, because, if I haven’t mentioned it in a previous post, everywhere I went last summer was enjoying the hottest day of the year when I rolled into town. All the concrete. The city traffic. Hot air pluming from all the politicians and lobbyists and tourists. Combined, these factors made a short walk down a hill quite uncomfortable, and I was lacking water.

After saying goodbye to the squirrel and employing restraint when passing the shaved ice and hot dog carts, I stopped off at the American Indian Museum for a quick glance and some hydration. What I found was a smorgasbord of American Indian foods in the cafeteria. They had foods from all corners of the Americas: Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, and more. Some sort of guest chefs were hanging around the cafeteria, getting samples from other chef’s creations, and after observing their selections and fumbling through my own hunger desires – and let me tell you, it took me way too long to decide – I picked up some fry bread with honey and cinnamon and a mole plate with chicken and beef. I ate my food, drank a couple bottles of water, and flipped through the American Indian cookbook I picked up in the bookstore for about an hour. It was a much needed rest as I could tell I was quite dehydrated.

The photos below are of the outside of the American Indian Museum and of some of the interesting exhibits in the Air and Space Museum. It’s not much, but then again, I wasn’t really taken aback by the Air and Space setup. Had I been ten or twelve, back when I was really fascinated with planes and space travel, I would have dug the experience much more. The museum was by far the most kid-populated place I had been during my time in D.C. In addition, I hope to add some photos of the food I took with my phone at a later date…once I get them uploaded.

Tonight, try some fry bread. Trust me, it is delicious…or a mole, if you enjoy a multi-ingredient endeavor!

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adventures in (w)allpapering

July 29, 2011

I ran my fingers along the edges of three books this morning. Compared the paper weight and gloss of four grocery store advertisements I found on the kitchen table when I woke. There were papery thin slices of sharp cheddar on my egg white & avocado English muffin. There is a film on my coffee. Half of my house is paper. Junk mail. Health Insurance notices. Student Loan deferment updates. Student Loan interest updates. Weekly pull-outs from the Columbia Daily Tribune. Free weekly pull out from the free weekly county newspaper. Grocery sacks and boxes. Notepads from Binswanger Glass, Barton Mutual, Eagle Auto Glass, Progressive Insurance. A manual, wrapped in plastic, that demonstrates the proper care of a new vacuum cleaner my dad purchased, not from Wal-Mart–which sells paper, is made of paper, looks good and large on most paper–but from a local hardware/appliance store, which also sells paper vacuum bags and looks teeny-tiny on paper. We used to have this great yellow, flowery wallpaper in our kitchen. Bright, fresh, & reminiscent of spring and cliches of what a kitchen could look like (on paper), what a family could look like (on paper), what a childhood looks like in a memory (now on paper). Now we have a paper-white paint on the walls, diaphanous green curtains that block just enough light, and a wall-paper border with leaves, which I am just now noticing even though it has been up for the better part of eight years, maybe more. I can put most anything on paper. Rocks glasses that are sweating from the heat of summer so as not to leave a ring. A name, number, and address that I will lose purposefully, then wish I had it back a few daysweeksmonths later. A status update for my father when he comes home to let him know I’m riding my bike, walking dogs, at the store, figuring out what it means to be grown up at 29, still humbling myself, still “checking myself when it comes to emails” as requested by B—, not apologizing for my intensity and dedication, for my desire to study English and writing, for the fact that I have “never had a real job,” for being a good teacher of writing even though I’ve “never had a real job,” for thinking he would ever ask me to apologize.

I wanted to play golf today, and play for score (that I would’ve kept on a card), so I would not check my email or phone every hour to see if anyone decided to follow up regarding the jobs to which I applied (and want to work). If I wrote my motivations out on paper, maybe I would hold to them more. Be more active. Play golf for score. 100 sit-ups a day, 100 push ups a day. Ride bike further in evenings. Mark it down. Make yourself uncomfortable when considering your limits. Walk dogs in morning. Find people to be more active with. Have more sex on soft cotton sheets. Just sign-up for a gym membership. Fill out more applications. Rewrite/revise your resume one more time. Do the same for your cover letter with each job. Write more songs. Sing more of your own songs. Finish your screenplay like all the other people who need to finish their screenplay. Write another poem and feel happy about the world, man. Write a poem for all the academics out there picking lettuce and canning vegetables. Find out if you are an academic. Get yourself out of the way when writing about yourself. Only smoke one cigarette a day, and do it after you have worked out. Don’t eat anything after 9:00. I’m gonna need a bigger notebook.

These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making me thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are MAKING me thirsty. THESE Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making me thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong RICE PAPERS are making me thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making ME thirsty. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are making me THIRSTY. These Banh Trang Mekong Rice Papers are MAKING ME THIRSTY.

On television, people talk when they show someone writing in a notebook. Take country music videos. Blake Shelton is writing some lyrics in a notebook while you hear him singing his song. Sometimes they are turning calendars to imply time passing. It’s about time to turn the calendar. I wish we could turn the calendar to October and cooler weather, at least that’s what the almanac says. My dog, Sunday, just came from the basement, looked at me sitting in the kitchen, shook herself, and went to the living room to lay on the couch. My dad would say she’s going to poop, which maybe she is, but I highly doubt it. She usually gives me a distinct and short rorw-rorw, like she is doing now, when she needs to go outside. Now she has put her front legs on my leg and is “rorw-rorwing.” I just whistled as she walked into the other room. We must go outside, so I don’t have to use any paper products to clean up after her. There’s enough paper out in the world without using it on my pets, too.

Yet, there is room enough for a business card from a woman at my door asking if my father is at home. He is at work selling insurance. She was ringing our doorbell to sell him insurance. At least she’s out there trying to make some paper out of paper. I ain’t making shit off this blog.