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I liked it.

Overall, I enjoyed my first wowps experience. I enjoyed being behind the scenes. Time/score was fun, and though I had never done a coat check in my life, it was fun doing that, too. Less fun was scrambling back and forth to/from my house to be the replacement DJ finals night, but meh. It worked out. Due to volunteer stuff, I missed most of finals, but I'm pleased that Denise won. She's a good example of what should be successful in slam, as are all the wowps winners thus far I'd say.

I wish I heard more consistently awesome poetry from many of the poets in prelims, but that's true for every national event, so that's not anything special to think about. The stronger poets easily stood out, and we know who those were. Though I will say I heard poems from Meg Waldron and Lauren Yates for the first time this week, and am a new fan. The other awesome poets I already knew from before.

Amy David's "Pussy" 3 min was a standout piece from prelims. Cheryl's "Put it back in!!!" piece is brilliant on multiple levels. Lauren's hip hop grammatical critique piece was spot on and fun. Meg's melting pot poem was just truth. Fucking relevant and hilarious truth.

I'm also really glad to see Abbie Shain do so well at Last Chance. She's gonna be famous.

As part of the host city, I wish our pretty substantial audience had been more evenly divided between the prelim venues, as I anticipated that problem a while back. Kieran's is the only place we do Minneapolis slams, so I doubted that people would think of IPR (I had never even heard of it). And security there was no joke (You couldn't get to the bathroom without someone letting you in. Jeez). Oh well. At least finals was well attended. At least one person said finals was her first slam ever. What an intro :)

Aside from the IPR attendance issue and a couple of other minor bits of silliness, I haven't heard much in the way of bad things happening. I'm relieved. It was a nice weekend.

On a personal note, some very important conversations and connections occurred that needed to, and I'm grateful for that. And hanging out in the lobby til 6 am was well worth the following day's drowsies. Music and poems and hugs. Yes.

So yeah. That's in the books. Not sure if I can make NPS but if not, I had a good fill of poem community for another 12 months or whatever it turns out to be.


So, about this Write Bloody Thing...

At some point you may come across the video I posted as a Write Bloody finalist. Here's the favor I ask, just so I feel better about this process. If you see this video and like the actual poem in the video, click "like". If you like me in general but DON'T like the actual poem in the video, please do not click "like". If you feel moved to share the video with others, I'd love if you included this request along with it.

There. I feel better now. Cheers.

Food project.

Starting next month, I've made it a goal to try making a different dish for myself once a month. Every month, until (arbitrarily chosen) May. I also give myself one freebie if one month I'm not feeling it, but I'd make that month up in June. Thinking about what I'd make, I'd like some suggestions.

Before Laura even says it, yes I know I'm picky. So don't feel bad if I don't try one of your suggestions. That said, I'll say upfront that I'm not a spice lover. A little is fine, but that's it. The only pork I eat is pepperoni. And since the oven in this house is kinda janky, I'm focusing on stove top stuff for the time being. My favorite dish is lasagna (therefore, pasta and red sauce and non-pork meat and cheese is awesome). My favorite dinner veggie is spinach. I dislike squash and sprouts. I love mashed potatoes, but only with good gravy.

Finally, dish suggestions that won't break $40/$50 are preferable, as well as stuff that doesn't take more than an hour. Hope that narrows down stuff for you. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

PS: Recipes are not necessary, but I'll keep them in mind if you share any. I like having some wiggle room when I cook anyway.

my bud needs an NPS roomie

Janelle from Boise wants to come to NPS, which is awesome. She asked me if I knew anyone looking for a roomie. So if you are, or heard about someone that is, let me (or her) know. Thanks!

WTF, James?!

I'm listening to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" right now. And as usual, my favorite element of the album has been James Jamerson's bass lines. It's been that way for years. But only today did it actually upset me to listen. This is because in the three week period that they recorded this album, Jamerson was battling alcoholism. Honestly I'm not sure if he was actually "battling" it, but if he was, he lost a few rounds. Therefore there were a couple of songs that he wasn't there to play on, because he was passed out somewhere. The bassists that filled in did good work of course, but now I'm hearing what those songs would have sounded like with Jamerson. I'm having a "WTF, James?!" kind of moment. Thought I'd share. If you're curious, the songs he did not play include "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)". If you're familiar with his style, you can hear the difference. Ah well. I guess on those songs, Marvin can be the star.

black eyed peas

I just reacquired Elephunk, via amazon. I forgot how good it is. In fact, it's so good that seeing them now actually depresses me. It's just wrong.

question mark.

Here's a reason I've thought of to not move down south. They are getting more snow, which isn't an issue for me (I do dig light snow) but I've reason to believe they don't know how to handle it. Hell, even New York doesn't have its plow system worked out, which is absurd. If I want to live in a snowy place, I'd stay where I am, because they're good about plowing quickly, though it's a pain to keep moving my car around. Anyone have a comment on this? This is a potential deal breaker.

on being mad at God

For years I've heard some say that either they don't believe in a god, or they despise whatever god there is. That in itself is fine. We have our own minds for a reason, so we can work our own stuff out. But there's one reason that I'm not down with. It's when people say, "what kind of god would allow horrible things to happen to people?" I've decided that this particular expectation of God is logically impossible. The same god that gives us free will is the one that watches us apply that free will however we want. And yeah, that often has horrible results. Let's take violence against children. One might say "If God loves us, why would he allow a child to be kidnapped, violated and killed?" That basically sounds like this person wants God to give the kidnapper an instant heart attack, or give the child superhuman speed just long enough to elude the kidnapper. The God-induced heart attack removes the free will of the kidnapper, and the super speed escape upends the biological consistency of what it means to be human. (Unless, of course, we're just talking adrenaline. Which I'm not.) From what I understand, God didn't say, "I give you free will to do what you choose...unless I don't like it, at which point I will stop you." We can't have it both ways. When we're blaming God, perhaps we could instead blame the human heart that allowed such violence to occur. So for the record, I do believe in a god that loves. And I don't think this god is a dick for the things humans choose to do. I think sometimes humans are dicks. And I don't exclude myself from that list.

reading is cool, but...

it's less cool when I tell people how rarely nowadays I read a whole book and realize I've just lost major intelligence points. It strikes me as an odd double standard in terms of the arts. I've gotten more scorn on the topic of books than I have about any other art form. I doubt I'm the only one that's experienced this. It's as though some still believe literature is the ultimate litmus test of how quickly someone can bore us. How much witty repartee can we exchange if we're not quoting Oscar Wilde, right?

There's a pretty simple reason that I don't read many books. I am generally more moved by sound and visuals. This generally translates into music and film. And dance. I used to read a bunch, and maybe one day I will again. But I feel that since I don't judge folks for not knowing their Hendrix, or how Nina Simone, Mississippi Goddam and a zip gun are connected...those of us that aren't huge readers should be cut some slack. School me on the difference between sound mixing and sound editing in film. Let's debate about who the unsung heroes are in string quartets. Explain to me how African dance is largely based on the concept of polyphony. Then I'll be less annoyed when I'm lectured on how I missed the point of A Tale of Two Cities, which I gotta say, is boring. My bad.