22 July 2016

Summer Heat

Here are some summer pics for you to enjoy. 
How are you holding up in the heat??

The sunflower seems to be enjoying the heat.

Even the clouds seem to press downward to avoid the heat.

Unless of course the clouds are gathering for some evening rain action.

Bees keep right on doing what they do best.

Even the rocks seem to be cracking under the pressure of a dry, hot summer.

Speaking of hot, almost time to make another batch of kimchi.

15 July 2016

Culinary Catastrophes

Some kind of flower that was probably tastier than my dinner.

Has this ever happened to you - You go out to a restaurant, order an average meal with the rest of your friends, and when it comes, something is just... off about it. I am always the lucky one in the bunch that gets the mispackaged, wrong ingredient, somewhat out of kilter meal. There's a lot of things I can't eat, so I don't go near them. I'm not picky, really, but sometimes I just want to have an ingredient left off my food. 

Take cilantro, for example. I'm one of the people that thinks cilantro tastes like soap. But I love Mexican food. So I ask for it without cilantro. Usually if there are a few flakes of it in the food, I'm okay. I'm trying to build up a tolerance, since it seems to be integral to Mexican cooking. I got to the point where I can eat a dish with a sprinkling of cilantro on it. Good, right? 

So tonight we go out to a Mexican restaurant, I order tacos al pastor. I figure it would have some cilantro in it. No big deal. My dinner comes, and my poor tacos are covered with two fistfuls of cilantro. Man sized fistfuls. My tacos looked like a green Irish field. And it was mostly stems. I can tolerate chopped up leaves, but stems taste more like a soap dish than anything I've encountered. I spent five minutes picking my tacos reasonably clean. Ate them with a few leaves. Washed them down with a margarita I had the foresight to order. Debated a second margarita, but decided it was only a one margarita catastrophe. 

It wouldn't have been so bad, but for lunch the office ordered sandwiches from a local deli-like place. I got the red pepper hummus with cheddar, avocado mash, cukes, lettuce and tomatoes. It looked okay when I unwrapped it. After a few bites I grew suspicious and opened it up. Sure enough, my red pepper hummus sandwich had no hummus on it. And the piece of cheese was the size of a strip of jerky. I was basically eating a salad, on bread. Not what I envisioned for lunch. 

So my day is 0 for 2. Even the margarita couldn't put the day's culinary input in the win margin.  The only saving grace to the day was a wayward peanut butter cup and a strong mug of chai tea. 

How has your week been, food wise? 

01 July 2016

The Periphery Bounces Back - From Iowa

Old Capitol building on left, Iowa City, Iowa

The Periphery returns after spending 10 days in Iowa City, attending classes offered by the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Much was learned about poetry and how to craft it, including prosody; the line, metrical feet, scansion, diction, when and where to break a poem (it depends), end stopped and enjambed lines, when to use which (it depends), syntax and sentences . . .

It was a wonderful learning opportunity, and I met many new and interesting writers. There was a chance to attend lectures by the other workshop teachers, a writerly gathering place with great coffee and pastries, the opportunity to remember what green looks like -- Wyoming is a bit dry and dusty at the moment. Classes were held on the University of Iowa campus, and I got reacquainted with walking everywhere. It was enjoyable to do, despite the humidity. Our hotel was a stone's throw from the Iowa River.

I traveled with my friend Katie, and we had a great time exploring new restaurants, meeting new people, and communing with other writers. The workshop treated us well, giving us a welcome dinner, a social get together at a local book store, a dinner dance, and a nifty t-shirt to wear or messenger bag to carry our books in.

Speaking of books . . . why yes, I did come home with a few. Maybe around *mumbles* ten or so.
Some books on craft, some books on poetic criticism, more than a few books by recommended poets. All geared toward keeping that poetic momentum going. What have I been doing since I got back? Why editing poems, of course! While I thought revision was important before, I'm doubly sure of it now.

If you write, and want to learn to write better, it's definitely a place to go. They cover classes on fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, memoir, creative non-fiction among others. Classes had lots of homework to reinforce what you learned, time to do it, a class limit size of 12 and a chance to workshop your piece with other writers. There are so many classes available over a month's span, I might just have to go back and take some more!

Setting sun through carved balustrade.

10 June 2016

Images on the Periphery

Life on the Periphery is going to take a little break from the Internet. Here are some pictures to keep you entertained. Meanwhile, keep cool out there!

Missouri Buttes and Devils Tower under cloud cover.

Here I am, preparing to go around the bend!

Max and Merlin preparing for a Saving One Life walk. Notice Merlin's bandana is already filthy.

Flashback Pic - Riding Nightwind.

Flashback Pic - Riding Lemon

June visitors to the lilac bushes.
The Dynamic Duo starring in "Walk This Way".

03 June 2016

A Birthday Poem (With Zombies)

Butterfly on Lilacs

So here it is, June 3rd and along comes the birthday of Allen Ginsberg. I love the poem 'Howl' for how dense the language is, and how long the poem sustains this. In honor of Allen Ginsberg's birthday, I present an excerpt from 'Foul', a riff on the old classic. With 88% more zombies.

by Constance Brewer

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by starving, naked zombies, it was hysterical how they dragged themselves through suburban streets before dawn looking for a brain fix,

empty-headed corpses yearning for a tasty connection of white and gray wrapped in dura matter,

whose lipids and neurons and glial cells are but fodder in the supernatural darkness of the soul of rotting flesh floating across the top of open-sore craniums

who attack mindless in waves the haven and see other Romerian zombies staggering on shambling, putrid limbs,

who pass on recruiting at universities with discolored eyes not wanting to hallucinate Sartre and Camus from feasting on the flesh of philosophy majors,

who were reanimated from the academies for crazy - pushing obscene odes to the density of the skull,

who cower in infected rooms in long underwear, saving their medullas in wastebaskets and listening politely to the Terror through the wall,

who got decomposed in their tender graves returning through reanimation with a desire for middle-class flesh from New York,

who ate cerebellum like candy or drank cerebrospinal fluid in death, or purgatoried their tissues night after night

with bad hygiene, with infection, with waking nightmares, rotting teeth and rotten nails,

incomprehensible screaming of shuddering crowds at the light-in-the-mind staggering past cases of Bartles & James, illuminated by the motionless soldiers in riot gear

Payless shoes on detached feet, shuffle through cemetery dawns, wine-drunk survivors fleeing over the rooftops hiding behind storefronts joyriding with cricket bats ignoring neon blinking traffic lights, as they roar over walking corpses and smash the apocalyptical plague upside the head . . .

(. . . Original Poem- Howl by Allen Ginsberg)