Friday, October 10, 2008

Spaceship Excellent

A few weeks ago I posted about the Spaceship Excellent concert I went to. They finally posted the video on Youtube, though it is a bit disappointing. They tacked Flagstaff onto the end of their Roswell video and made it seem like it all happened in Roswell. There is also almost no footage of me dancing with my free hugs sign, though there is about a second of it. They did include me hugging the lead singer on the street. I didn't even know they were filming at that point. Anyway, here is the episode.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Poetry Haiku #1

Cool! I won the slam.
I did cool poetry and
Everyone approved.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Excellent Day

This morning I went to a peace march with my "free hugs" sign. The march itself was a lot of fun, but I didn't actually get that many hugs. After hanging out at city hall for a bit, I decided I would head out. I hadn't walked a hundred yards, and a man in a NASAesque jumpsuit, got a hug, and asked me of I like music. When I told him he did, he told me that Spaceship Excellent had landed in Flagstaff.

"The Spaceship Excellent?"

I had seen these guys on YouTube. It was rather surreal to see them in real life. I hadn't ever heard their music, but they were on the internet, how could they be bad? It took me some time to find them (though I did give some free hugs on the way) When I did find them in a local taco shop, they had recruited about four people from the peace march. I spent the next two hours dancing three feet from the band, my free hugs sign in hand. There should be a video up on their website soon, and I will post it here.

I think this free hugs sign is changing me. I never used to dance. I have resolutely refused, to move from the wall at several parties. Maybe it was just because I didn't have to worry about what to do with my hands; maybe it was because this music was so easy to dance to; maybe because I was only a few feet from the band, but I would never have done the things I did today a year ago.

I have decided that I will do my free hugs thing on Thursdays when I only have one class. This free hugging business is quite addictive.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Best Day Ever

I normally don't smile very much, so I was worried, that I wouldn't smile at people. Who wants to hug the frowning guy? I feel like I've been smiling non-stop for the past 8 hours. My face is sore.

I showed up about an hour before the angry man said he would be there. I wanted to avoid making it seem like I was only there to oppose him. I walked to my post and held up my sign. About three seconds later a guy walks up and gives me a hug. I was hugged by a guy on a unicycle. I was hugged by about five people at once. And for every person that hugged me, ten walked by and smiled. It was those people that made this day amazing.

When the angry man showed up his wife looked at me and said, "The same demon spirit on every campus, free hugs. Why don't you hug Jesus?"

This made me very happy. Firstly because I got a response. I was hoping that they wouldn't just ignore me, though I would have had a great day even if they never showed up. Also because it means that people have had the same idea as me. These hate-mongers go to campuses around the country, and at those campuses, someone doesn't just yell at them, or ignore them, but actually takes productive action.

After the angry folk had been there a few minutes, someone from Student Life shows up and tells me I have to go to their other free speech zone, because this one is reserved by the religious nuts (well, she doesn't use that term, but you get the idea). Of course the other free speech zone doesn't have the same foot traffic, and foot traffic is necessary to my cause.

Fortunately there was a student organization fair nearby, so I asked the Peace and Justice group if I could go stand by them. Interestingly, though there was more people, I got less hugs. Even the number of people that smiled decreased. After thinking about it (one of the few pastimes a free hugger has other than smiling and hugging) I figured it out. All of the booths around me, made people pay less attention. They just wanted to walk by without someone handing them a flyer they wouldn't read, or try to make them sign something. Many people just didn't see me. Those people that did assumed I was part of a club. They wondered what I was trying to make them think or believe by giving out free hugs. A crowd had begun to form around the angry people, so I decided to relocate.

I stayed across the path from them, only occassionaly crossing over to get free hugs from the hecklers/spectators. After awhile I decided to be a bit more bold with my free hugging. The angry guy had already refused a free hug, but his wife had not. She was talking at the moment, so I walked over and asked her if she would like a free hug.

She told me it would be innappropiate for her to hug anyone other than her husband. She then went on to say that Jesus that would not go around giving out free hugs. I told her I thought he would, and she started quoting bible verses. But I plan to combat her. I have some bible verse of my own.

Ecclesiastes 3:5

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Acts 20:1
And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.

Genesis 29:13
And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.

Genesis 33:4
And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.

Genesis 48:10
Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

I may have someone else read these, so I can maintain my lack of confrontation. I won't be able to stay for as long tommorow, as I did today. (I was there for over 8 hours today) But if one person walks by and smiles, then my effort is worth it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hugging Hatred

Today on campus, there was a very incendiary, very hateful, "Christian" man. He espoused every hateful viewpoint you have heard Christians espouse. He shouted, condemned the gay students to hell, mocked those disagreeing with him, and was overall angry hateful, and close-minded.

Though there were exceptions, many of the students responses were inspiring. One girl in particular sticks out in my mind. She had been on several Mission trips and had helped bring dozens of people to Christ. She and a few others did one of the bravest things I have ever seen. They prayed for this man.

In the midst of all this hate (even some of the students were being rude to him) they showed a compassion that is little seen among today's people. In response to all that this hateful man said, I said "You're wrong, but I love you!"

He is going to be back tomorrow, and was planning on making a sign with those words, but I decided on something simpler. "Free Hugs" There is going to be a lot of hate at this gathering tomorrow, and I intend to bring some love into it. Though I wish it was, this idea is not an original one. A man in Syndey came up with it first, and it has sparked a worldwide movement. For more information, just google "Free hugs"

I'll be sure to post more after tommorow, and when I get my sign done, I'll post a picture of that.

Edit: Here is my beautiful sign.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Observations Haiku #3

Doing laundry blows
Hot air onto my clothing
And it really sucks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Observations Haiku #2

All day spent reading.
My weak eyes are quite weary
Reality: blurred.

College Haiku #1

Early Sunday morn'
Mixed Blessing. Peaceful reading,
Dining hall still closed.

Observations Haiku #1

Are words on dumpsters
Devalued by where they live?
Or diamonds in rough?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flagstaff Haiku #1

Such nice bus drivers
I get on returning bus
"Hi again" she says

Vegetarian Haiku #1

I haven't been blogging a whole lot lately, so in order to encourage myself to blog more, I am altering the format. I am going to try and post at least 1 haiku per day, about my life, or my thoughts, or maybe about something completely random. I may still post other things, but this will at least get me focused back on blogging. So without further pointless rambling, here is the first haiku

Vegetarian
Changing my palate, so that
French fries are gross now.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ablic Right

No this is not an obscure philosophical ideal. It is not the latest fantasy novel, and it not a foreign word. Perhaps it will make more sense in context:

Ablic right ame intion dowment the liber and eved int who had advocate begar owning convent off the.

Makes perfect sense now, doesn't it? No? Well, what if you heard it spoken aloud by a talented actor? i.e. myself.

Ablic Right - Keybr.com

I'm sure you can tell me what this means now can't you? Are you sure? Well I suppose I will have to tell you. In my stumblings about the internet I discovered Keybr.com. This site is intended to help you practice your typing. But I find it is worth so much more than that. Perhaps it is simply because I am such a Shakespeare nerd, but saying the words that the program produces, is endlessly entertaining.

A beautiful combination of Jabberwocky and Shakespeare I could almost see this site being used as practice for actors. Try saying the words with emphasis and meaning, when true meaning doesn't even exist. I would ramble on about the alternative uses for this site, but I can't think of any more and the advocate begar is calling.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Spoony Adventures of Faldwin the Bard

Single serving microwavable soups. Seemingly a convenient for college students to get food without having to make the arduous hike to the dining hall. However, the designers of this product overlooked one important element necessary to the consumption of soup: spoons.

If they truly understood the college student, the manufacturers would have included a small disposable spoon in the package of soup. But alas, it was not meant to be. When I first realized that my collection of single serving microwavable soups were useless without that critical utensil, I immediately began to scheme. My first plan was to use some other implement in lieu of a spoon. But pencils lacked the scooping capability, and the top of the package of soup, was too unwieldy to handle. I needed something that combined the holding properties of a bowl, with the ergonomics of a stick. After a few unsuccessful trials with bamboo and coconut shells, I realized that only the genuine article would do.

But where to acquire it? Most stores require that you purchase several spoons at once, often with matching forks, and knives. Disposable utensils were out of the question, being an environmentally conscious bard. And so I turned to my last resort: burglary.

The aforementioned dining hall overflowed spoons, forks, and cutlery of all kinds. I had often seen some of this precious stainless steel, being thrown away by accident. Being an environmentally conscious bard, I couldn't allow such waste. So at my next visit to the dining hall, I cleverly avoided all stews, soups, and ice creams. Nothing on my plate required a spoon. But when the time came to get my utensils I took one nonetheless. My steely prize "accidentally" fell into my knapsack, and I went on my merry way.

Now one might think that my troubles were over, now that my prize had been obtained. But the single serving microwavable soups are not equipped with heating devices. Not having a microwave, I took the elevator down from the sixth floor of my hall, to the first floor kitchen. I put the container in the microwave, and calibrated it properly. But I wasn't wearing any shoes, and the tile floor in the kitchen was cold, so I left the microwave to heat my meal in peace, and went up to get my shoes.

I head back down to the first floor, only to realize that I do not have that one important element necessary to the consumption of soup: a spoon. So back up the elevator I go, into my room, to search for my spoon. I soon realize it had been in my pocket all along. So, I go back down the elevator, remove my soup from the microwave, and eat it. It was delicious.

Friday, August 22, 2008

14 Boxes

Or more accurately, two suitcases, seven cardboard boxes, two backpacks, one garment bag, and a footlocker.

I am leaving for college. In only a few hours I will pile all that stuff into a rental car I still think will be too small, and depart for Flagstaff, AZ. I am going to be attending Northern Arizona University, to study elementary education. As my mini-bio the left says I hope to become a teacher. But I'm not thinking that far down the road just yet.

All I can think about now is college. I get to live on my own, do what I want, eat what I want, and go to bed when I want. (Not that I haven't been watching anime into the wee hours of the morning already) Having a roommate should be interesting. I've shared a room with my brothers for most of my life, but this is different than that.

I would wax on more about the philosophy of home, and travel, and moving on in life, but the rental car is here, and I must load it. Here is some college tios from the point of view of the wisest group of people in the world: ninjas!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nationals Wrap-up

Before I went to the National Poetry Slam, I said that it was a big party disguising itself as a competetion.  Now having gone through the experience, I see that it is so much more than a party.


In June of this year the Slam community lost someone great.  Her name was Shannon Leigh.  I never knew her, but last year she wowed everyone on the individual finals stage.  She took third place, but many say she was robbed.  Everything that I have heard about this young woman is amazing, and I am sorry I did not know her.


The grip of capitalism cannot be escaped, even after death.  It is very expensive to die in this country.  So many people bought, Tshirts, CDs, and books of poetry by and for Shannon.  There was such an outpouring of support, for this young woman, and her family.  Almost immediately after she went into a coma a Livejournal community was started, and continued after her death.


People say that the slam community is like a family.  I saw that evidenced everywhere Shannon's name was mentioned, and even when it wasn't.  We didn't just lose a poet, and friend.  We lost a sister.


Shannon was not the only phenomenon that opened my eyes to the beauty of this event.  On Wednesday night, two of the people from Mesa announced their engagement.  I cannot think of a better place to propose than the National Poetry Slam.  I cannot confim anything, but there have been rumors that they will either get married, or repeat their vows, at next year's Nationals.


Everyone you talk to about the National Poetry Slam will tell you this, but it really does have the atmosphere of a family renunion.  Everyone knows everyone, and even though I knew hardly anyone it was easy to talk to people, and make new friends.  Poets are great people.


I can never fully explain what the National Poetry Slam is like.  It has to be experienced.  The ony thing that I know is that I want to go back next year.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Nationals Day Last - Charlotte Wins

Finals night was amazing. There was poetry that made you cheer, and laugh, and stand on your feet. There was poetry that scared you out of your wits it was so beautiful. There is a reason that these teams were here. The four teams were Boston, NYC, Austin, and Charlotte. Charlotte won last year, so I was rather disappointed when they won again. But it was an amazing show. An amazing experience, and I'm glad to have been a part of it. Tomorrow I will post a general summary of Nationals as a whole. See you then

Nationals Day 5

I didn't go to any of the day events this day. That probably had something to do with the fact that I was out till about dawn. Then I went grocery shopping. I bought some bagels and granola bars. I had lost my bagels, but then I just found them behind my laptop. The laptop that has hardly moved since I checked into this hotel. They were clever, but they have been found, and I have taken my revenge.


Obviously a last and a second to last ranking was not good enough for Team Tucson, but it's okay. In the words of my very wise team member, we served as the foundation for this event. Without us, those at the top of the pyramid would have nothing. I went to a semifinals bout, which had a whole bunch of awesome poetry. After the semifinals bout was group piece finals. The top twelve teams with the top scoring group pieces, that were not in semifinals competed.

Some of the poems were amazing. The writing was really good, and the movement and group interaction made it better. Phoenix did really good, as did Honolulu, and New York Urbana. However the whole evening was not jaw droppingly awesome. Cleveland did a piece that was more experimental theater than poetry. Chicago's team... There are no words to describe it, but I will try.

They did a poem about sperm. About ten lines into it several dozen people burst from back stage, hands behind their backs wiggling and swimming through the audience. The crowd went wild. People were on their feet. They had recruited every person they could, most of them on other teams to contribute to this spectacle. No one heard most of the poetry in the middle, but no one really cared. When it was over people began chanting "12! 12! 12!" If anything deserved that impossible high score, it was this.

Now obviously this broke nearly every rule in the book. So the poem was not even scored, and immediately disqualified. But again, no one really cared.

The only thing left to happen now is finals. The finals bout will apparently be between Louder Arts, Charlotte, Austin and Cantab I really hop that Louder Arts wins. They are from NYC, and have some of the most impressive stuff I've seen. I will post details about who won, and how, when the finas actually happens. Until then you will just have to speculate.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Nationals Day 4

Sorry I neglected to post this day, but here it is now and day five is on it's way. The first thing I did this day was go to the Hustle panel, intended to teach poets how to get more streams of income. I didn't learn a whole lot, but the panel was moderated by Taylor Mali. Being a bit of a fanboy, he was much of the reason I went in the first place.

After that was the nerd slam. I had been looking forward to this one since I found out about it's existence. Unfortunately I did not get to perform, but listening to the trivia was fun, and I heard a lot of good poetry. I also got a consolation prize because they ran out of time and didn't draw my name. They gave me a big stack of comic books to add to the ones they were giving everyone else. So I'm going home with this:


That night we had the late bout, so we got to see some poetry before us. The poetry was awesome, even though the lights, the sound, and the judges were all screwed up. But one out bout started the judges giving 2s left, the lighting improved, and the sounds we could deal with. I won't go into all the details of the bout, but basically everyone did an awesome job, and Team Tucson came in 3rd of four teams.

After the bouts I went to ciphers. Wow. Just wow. I did the gnome poem, about how the garden gnomes are taking over the world. in the middle of the poem, a security guard walks by and I start following her, screaming about how all the lawn ornaments are conspiring together. It wasn't my best performance, but it was definitely the most fun. I didn't get to bed till about 6 in the morning. Speaking of ciphers, I am off to one right now. I will post Friday's events tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wins, Losses, and Who Really Cares? - Nationals Day 3

I woke up at 10:30 this morning, to go to the classics reading. I had a great time getting there (one way streets and artsy architecture are confusing) At the classics reading I read every single piece of classic poetry that I had with me, or memorized. There were only about seven people in the room, so we all got to read a bunch of stuff.

After that I walked down the street into a pizza shop, bought a slice of pizza, stole their pen, and wrote 23 haikus. The haiku showdown was in an hour and I didn't bring any haiku. I then proceeded to get knocked out in the first round. Now I have all these cool haiku and no one to share them with. I need a cipher.

That night Team Tucson had it's first bout. I drew the fourth slot for the first round. Kelly did a poem about her brother going off to war. In the second round we through a group piece about booger eating. I didn't write the poem, but I'm in it. That poem got the best audience reaction of any other poem at that bout. It also got the lowest score. An excellent combination in my mind. So many people commented about that poem after the bout.

We ended up getting fourth place out of four teams, but we rocked all of our poems. We made all the right decisions about what poems to throw up. Everyone on the team including myself was very happy with what happened.

At midnight I competed in the Decathlon Slam. This event is very difficult to describe, but what is most important to know is that it has very little to do with poetry. There was a food eating round, a sit-ups round, a trivia round, and even a round where you had to kidnap an erotic poet from the erotic reading going on at the same time. The winner was almost always completely arbitrary. For example I learned in the trivia round that nudity was banned from the National Poetry in the year Chicago. There were several rounds that were won by the moderator, a man in a Mexican wrestling mask. The competition was a team one, and by the end of the ten rounds my team had won none of the rounds. As such we were declared the winner of whole slam.

Before I sign off I will grace you all with this haiku that no one but me has ever seen before. You should be honored.

Paradoxical prejudice
The accessible entrance is locked.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Metaphorgasm! - Nationals Day 2

I woke up early this morning in order to go and do something called Walk the Talk. Instead of an elaborate opening ceremony poets had the opportunity to perform poetry in the community. I signed up to go perform for senior citizens. I unfortunately did not get to do the poem I had hoped to do, but I still got to do some poetry, and the whole idea behind doing poetry for the community is an excellent one. I only wish they had promoted it more. (There were only five of us performing for the seniors.)

Then I went to orientation, got some info, and this awesome shirt.


Then I went out to lunch, had some udon noodles, which were delicious. Then we went grocery shopping. With no fridge and no microwave, I somehow ended up with this fiendishly healthy batch of food.
  • Granola Bars
  • Raisins
  • Applesauce
  • Graham Crackers
  • Bread
  • Tuna
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Strawberry Preserves
  • Bananas
  • Apples
I also bought a reusable bag to carry it all in. I feel so damn responsible. Of course I had pizza for dinner. After that went and watched Mesa's bout. They didn't do so well score-wise, but the poetry was all awesome. Then I watched another bout. One of the poems in that bout had the beautiful word that this post is entitled. It pretty much captures that night. I really want to perform poetry now. We have a bout tomorrow (Or rather later today, so I will post the results of that as well as my various activities of the day.
This is Faldwin the Bard, signing off. Good night Madison.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nationals Day 1

Approximately 24 hours ago the skies of Madison exploded in a torrent of rain, thunder, and lightning. Of course I slept through it. But that storm was a excellent start go an excellent day. I slept in, and then took my time packing, and checked out at 11:00. I then watched a movie, ate a burrito, and watched another movie. At which point I checked into my hotel. A great morning. Made especially great, by the fact that morning ended at 3:30 in the afternoon.

One of my team members then spent 40 minutes introducing me to loads of people. I am sure that one of them will remember me, but I will have forgotten them, and their will be much awkwardness.

I then took a nap on the floor, which was great, despite being on the floor. Then I went, and had dinner, talked to more poets (We had a facsinating discussion about cow udders) Then I went to kick off party. I maintain that the only reason we found that party was because of this beautiful creation of mine:

The kickoff party was great. I talked to a whole bunch of people. Met a whole bunch people, many of which I will probably forget. We then went back to the hotel. I started this blog post, but then I was interrupted by another of my team members informing me that I would not have to sleep on the floor, and proceeded to fashion a bed from two seats and a cusioned bench. I will end this blog post with a picture of that bed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Adventures in Wi-Fi

It is relatively easy to set up a Wi-Fi network. It is also relatively cheap. As such many businesses offer free Wi-Fi for their customers. It is such a cheap and easy thing that there is really no excuse for charging for it.

The Tucson International Airport has free Wi-Fi. Several hotels between Chicago and Madison have free Wi-Fi. However Chicago Midway Airport decided to go against what everyone else is doing and charge for access to the internet. Because of them I spent two hours wandering about looking at people getting their luggage back. My bags are heavy. If I ever get arthritis, I am blaming you, Chicago.

Edit: 100th blog post. WOOT!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How It All Works

In approximately 2 days several hundred poets will descend on the unsuspecting town of Madison, Wisconsin. Those poets are traveling to this town under the guise of a "competition" So that outsiders can understand the nature of the event it is filled with things like judges, scores, winners and losers. But we the poets know that none of that matters.

The poetry is only happening at the same place so that more people can hear it. The only purpose of the competition is to raise the quality of the work. The only purpose of the winner is so that outsiders will feel that something has been accomplished.

The National Poetry Slam is a big party pretending to be a competition. Not only is there competitive bouts, but there are open mics, theme slams, workshops, and countless ciphers. Here are a few of the events I am looking forward to.

Nerd Slam - This has been on my list ever since I found out it existed. I have poetry for this. I am sure to meet so many cool people there. (By cool I mean at a similar level of nerdship as I am)

Okay, I lied there is only one in particular. But I am sure to be going to lots of different things. Here is a list of all the events that will be going on outside of the main competition.
http://nps2008.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=31

Here is an explanation of how the competition works for those of you who happen to care:
http://nps2008.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=71

I plan on taking my computer with me to Madison, so I will be blogging throughout Nationals. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Recordings Revamp

This entire summer I have been working on all of my poetry, both the writing and the performance. I realized recently that many of the recordings represent the piece as it was many weeks ago. So I have re-recorded, and replaced several of the tracks. I also have a new poem. In favor of search engine optimization (If you don't know what that means don't worry about it) I have posted each new recording as a separate post. I have also updated the playlist that you get when you click on "Recordings" Most of the rewrites are minor, however "Woman" had been changed into a group piece, and had significant work done to it. So has "Make a Joyful Noise" for those of you that knew it outside of this blog.

Enjoy the poems below.

Make a Joyful Noise

Make a Joyful Noise - Faldwin

Woman

Woman - Faldwin

Conspiracy

Consipracy - Faldwin

Girlfriend

Girlfriend - Faldwin

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Team Tucson 2-0 Part 3

Sunday night we had a show at the grill, but that was rather unremarkable.  So I will waste no time talking about it, and move on to Tuesday's event.

Tuesday night at the UA poetry center the Tucson Slam went head to head with a group of academic poets from the University of Arizona.  When performing our own original work we won, but it was in the bonus rounds that they really shined.  There was a cover poem, where each team chose a poet to recite a work of classical poetry.  Our representative had a finger puppet of the poet she was performing.  Surely that would ensure our victory, but they had this really long poem that was performed beautifully.


Their was also a round where we had to give them a copy of one of our poems and they had to read it.  They handed us this poem that had these gigantic variants in font size.  Everything from inches high, to millimeters small, the poem just looked imposing.  But our team member rocked it.


We handed the all male team a poem entitled "Redfoot Woman"  an identity piece about female sexuality, and sexuality in general.  The refrain of the poem is "I am redfoot woman"  But the person they chose to do it, did this incredibly silly rendition, and they truly deserved that win.


Then came the final round.  We had been told at the beginning that the final round would be a limerick round and we were to write them about the other team.


We had this amazing limerick about the guy that read Redfoot woman.  Their was some random thing about oral sex.  We won all was well, and we made some decent money too.


Now all we have left is one practice, and then Nationals.  I plan on blogging through Nationals so stay tuned.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Team Tucson 2-0 Part 2

So we get home from Mesa at about 5:00am. I found out that I act drunk when I am really tired. I am only 18, but people kept asking me if I had been drinking. Go figure.

So on Saturday night we had another show (For those of you keeping track at home that's 3 shows in a row.) This slam was like every other slam except Team Tucson was the feature. We all rocked it, but there was one moment which sticks out in my mind.

I am in a group piece that talks about why kid's eat their boogers (hilarious poem, I wish I had written it) Everything was going well until we approached these two lines.
Would we have evolved this behavior without justification?
Would children cling to this habit just to make parents angry?

The first line belongs to the woman who wrote the poem, the other line is mine. However as she said her line, what came out of her mouth was:
Would children cling to this habit without justification?
I still don't know how it happened, but somehow my brain went into overdrive, I realized that she had switched the line up, and somehow managed to come up with the perfect line to follow that one:
Would we have evolved this behavior just to make parents angry?
Call it a poetry miracle, or great feat of mental maneuvering, that was the best way to mess up a line.

The rest of the night was a really awesome slam. Loads of cool poets were there and the ones I thought were good were advancing for the part. The judges were feeling harsh that night, but that gave me an excuse to boo them loudly (which killed my throat. Not that I had to worry about it, my poetry was done for the night.

The after party was fun, and all in all it was a great night. I'm going to wrap it up here and give more details about the later events in future posts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Team Tucson 2-0

I happen to have the privilege of being a member of the Tucson slam team. So far we have had two shows, and two competitions. They were all awesome. But as those few words hardly qualify as a blog post I will expound.

On Thursday we had a show at the loft, but I already ranted about it's awesomeness, so I will move on. The next day the whole team, and our coach's girlfriend piled into a minivan and drove up to Mesa. They had requested our presence for a bout. This was the first time that any of us chose out poems on the spot. It is good slam strategy to pick your poem based on the poem that went before it, so that is what we did. There was a great deal of awesome poetry, but we ended up just barely pulling ahead. but it is not what happened during the event, but after it that was truly magical.

The venue was essentially an alley with some tables. The entire slam the wind was blowing and their was lightning and thunder. The threat of a monsoon downpour was always imminent. But the clouds held. Then the slam ended. Mere seconds after we got all the expensive sound equipment inside the clouds erupted. Any other group of people would have ran for shelter, but we are poets.

Both teams ran about the rain, splashing in puddles. I even got up on a table and did the "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet. Then one person spoke up, and said the one thing that excellently summed up the situation

"This is the perfect date. It's pouring rain. He's doing Shakespeare. She's in her underwear. I'm soaking wet. And it didn't cost me a thing."

As this post is getting rather long I will save the descriptions of the other events for later posts. So stay tuned.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Macbook

As I type this post I have one dvd ripping, two torrents downloading, and one seeding. My old computer would have been stopped in its tracks with all this going on. But I have a new macbook. 2.1 Ghz of raw apple awesomeness hums beneath my fingertips. Every day that I use this amazing machine I am impressed by something new. I left town for awhile and left my laptop on with the lid closed. So it was in a sleep mode. For 24 hours it slept in my dresser drawer. The power only drained by 10%. That's not sleep, that downright comatose.

iPhoto is a joy to use. I have got several other cool programs like Handbrake, to rip DVDs, or Qumana, so I can blog when I'm not connected to internet and just upload with one click once I have a connection. Front Row is a great multimedia experience. I realize this isn't particularly interesting, but I just need to rave a bit about my new baby. Which, I just realized, needs a name. Thoughts?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Better Than Sex

You know when you wake up in the morning and the first thing that pops into your brain is the amazing thing that happened the night before? And then you lay in bed smiling, trying to remember every detail. No, I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about poetry.

As most of you should know, I had an event at the Loft last night. The night began with a competition between some local poets, and the entire Phoenix slam team. They all came down from Phoenix to compete. A summer's worth of practice will do wonders for your performance and your poetry. The team dominated and one of them went home with the prize.

Then came our feature. After months of preparation, Team Tucson was about to showcase their work in a public venue. A group of people from my church were there. The amazingly awesome Team Phoenix was there. It was time.

The first poem was a group piece. I wrote most of it, and I performed it with someone else on my team. We had never done it for a crowd before. Group pieces are so much fun.

After a few more poems I was up again, this time with an individual piece. I knew this piece well, and there were only a few minor edits. What I had really been working on was performance. That performance was without a doubt, the best performance of my life. And one simple fact helped it on its way to greatness.

There was no mic.

A microphone had always tied me to one spot. Limited my movement. My feet had to be planted. But without this limitation I moved. I had never practiced that poem without imagining a mic in front of me, but the movements were easy, and so much fun. As I came to the end of the poem, I noticed a short stool in front of me Without thinking, as my words began to crescendo to the bellowing ending, I stepped up on the stool, raised my hands and roared to the audience:

"The world is doomed!"

Who needs sex when words can make you feel like that?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Irony

I realized that is rather ironic to follow such a serious post about sacred pilgrimages, with a funny (I hope) one about nerd sex. So instead of attempting to overcome the irony I will simply embrace it with this ironic translation.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Team Tucson Send-off Show

Saturday, July 26
7:00 pm
Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, 1730 E Speedway
$5 donation

Open slam at our home sweet home, poetic newcomers going head-to-head with local
heroes. Hosted by emcee extraordinaire Chillin Da Conscious Poet and featuring
pieces you've never heard before from the Tucson Slam Team! Show up early to
get on this list, have a delicious dinner, and save room for dessert--tonight
only, a portion of the money spent on food will be donated to Team Tucson.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Annoucement of my Intentions

Every year approximately 150,000 people depart on the Pilgrimage to 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku. Most people these days take one of the many available bus tours around this Japanese island. However, a small, but growing number choose to undertake this 1400 km journey on foot. This pilgrimage travels to 88 temples, in a circular path around the island of Shikoku. You end at the same place where you began. The only difference, is you are sorer, smellier and hopefully, wiser.

I don't know how I am going to do it. The logistics of getting a hold of 5,000 dollars and two months away from my life are rather complicated. From where I'm standing they seem impossible. But I know that nothing is impossible. There is always money to be earned, and time is there if you make it. I don't know when, or how, but I do know if. I will walk the Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku. Now that my intentions are made public, it will be much harder to back out them.


For more information on this pilgrimage check out www.shikokuhenrotrail.com
Today's cookie goes to the first person to tell me what the sedge hat of the Shikoku pilgrim represents.

Friday, July 18, 2008

3.14 Ways to Have Hot Nerd Sex

Many people seem to be under the impression that nerds don't get any. What people seem to forget is that nerds come in all genders. If you and your geeky girlfriend needs some ways to spice up your sex life here are 3.14 tips.

1) Use a textured condom and roleplay Klingon lovers. Especially effective if she likes to bite.

2) Roleplay is great, but Cosplay is better. Nothing turns on a girl more than reenacting the lemon fanfic your wrote when you were sixteen. Those giant hair spikes can do so much more than make you look awesome.

3) For the S&M nerds, roleplay as OSX and Vista ("You've been a bad OS, haven't you? You need to be punished.")

3.14) Just before penetration, these five syllables alone are sure to drive her wild.
Kame Kame Ha!

Anyone else have ideas. Cookie for the best one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Silver Screen Slam at The Loft

Date: Thursday July 24th
Time: 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Place: The Loft Theater, 3233 E Speedway
Admission: $5
Details(taken from Facebook event description):

Bring your best poetry performance pieces and battle it out with other cinema-loving slam-sters in hopes of snagging the coveted “Slammie” Award for Best Poet (and a $100 cash prize)!

We’ll hold two performance rounds, featuring a maximum of eight poets, so show up early to sign-up and ensure your place in film/poetry history. Judges will be selected at random from the audience, and points will be awarded after each performance. The highest point average after two rounds takes the $100 cash prize and the "Slammie" trophy. Bonus points will be awarded to anyone with a film-inspired piece, so start re-watching your favorite movies, pronto!
Doc Luben will be your cinematic tour guide through all the slam madness, so be prepared! And since we’re a movie theater, we’ll also be screening some amazing experimental short films throughout the evening, to make sure ALL your senses are stimulated.

But that’s not all … our featured performers of the night will be the talented members of the 2008 Tucson Slam Team (Lindsay Miller, Teresa Driver, Kelly Lewis, Faldwin, and Mickey Randleman), in one of their final appearances before leaving for the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin, taking place August 3-9.

The $5.00 admission to The Silver Screen Slam will help raise much-needed funds to send the Tucson Slam Team to compete in Madison … so don’t be shy about donating a little extra cash in order to help our team bring Slam victory to the Tucson poetry scene!

Cookie: Today's cookie goes to the person who RSVPs for this event in the comments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

International Fame

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I was recently on the Slam Idol Podcast. Because this podcast is relatively popular, I decided to see if it boosted my traffic at all. About a month ago I started tracking this blog on Google Analytics. I didn't check it much because I figured that I wasn't getting much traffic and most of it was just from people I know in real life. When I logged onto the page I was greeted with loads of useful information. While I'm not getting tons of traffic, much of my traffic isn't local, and much of it comes from people doing searches. Here is the list of countries that have visted my site, ranked by number of hits.
  1. Unites States (33)
  2. United Kingdom (8)
  3. Canada (4)
  4. Spain (4)
  5. Finland (2)
  6. Isreal (2)
  7. Denmark (1)
  8. Germany (1)
  9. Pakistan (1)
  10. Mexico (1)
People have also arrived at my site thourgh various google searches. Here are some of the more interesting ones
  • masochist poem - This search landed two vistors at my Masochist Motivation post. I worry what sort of people are coming to my blog. One of these hits was from Denmark. A Danish poet masochist, sounds like an interesting fellow.
  • the evils of televison - This one is not so much interesting as exciting. This seems like it would be a pretty popular term to be searching.
  • poems about threesomes - This is anther search that worries me. Maybe I should write a poem about a threesome so that this searcher will be satisfied.
  • cinnamon roll food poems - I never would have imagined that this would bring up my blog, but this obscure search brought the user to my post about my triumph over a machine.
  • girlfriend poem - How awesome is this? I'm sure loads of people search this looking for poems they can pretend they wrote, to impress their girlfriends.
I think because I have the word "poem" in my title people get my blog when searching for certain kinds of poems. I knew I made the right choice when I changed the title from "Insert Clever Title Here"

Now despite the fact that I have all these visitors I have hardly any comments. So I have decided to reinstate the cookies system. For an explanation, go here. Today's cookie goes to the best foriegn language post. I know you foriegners are out there. It doesn't matter what language. It doesn't matter what you say. If I'm impressed you get a cookie.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Japanese People Are Amazing

I have heard many people tell me that the Japanese are very polite. They have a very formal culture, and rudeness just has no place in it. I believed them, but it was never really cemented for me until I requested a guide map for the Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku. For more info on that go to www.shikokuhenrotrail.com. I was so impressed with the response that I sent them a thank you letter. Here it is in it's entirety:(The characters at the bottom mean "thank you" in the most sincere and formal form)

To Whom It May Concern:
My name is *Insert Real Name Here* and I recently requested a copy of the Pilgrimage to the 88 Sacred Places Guide Map. From my experience with other organizations, I expected to wait several weeks for my package to be shipped overseas by traditional post.

Imagine my surprise when my package arrived only one week later by Express Mail International. According to the packaging, you not only spent more than many organizations would consider necessary, so that the package would arrive promptly, you shipped it out the day after I sent my email request. At this point I am already very impressed, and I have not even opened the package.

However, the surprises did not end there. When I opened the package I saw a sheet of white paper. I expected some sort of printout detailing my request. Instead there was a letter. Not a form letter, as shown by the broken English, but a short letter written for my benefit only, thanking me for my request. The letter also informed me that you sent two copies of the Guide Map. Not necessary, but impressive nonetheless.

When I explored the contents of the package more fully I found that you had also sent two copies of a Shikoku Travel Guide with information more suited for a tourist, than a pilgrim. That information will certainly be very useful if I ever visit Shikoku with less time than would take to complete the pilgrimage.

Let me say again how incredibly impressed I am with your organization. You have impressed on me a lasting image of kindness and dedication that I'm sure will be further reinforced when I visit Japan.

どうも有難うございます
*Insert Real Name Here*

Friday, July 11, 2008

Slam Idol Podcast

Several months ago I submitted the infamous Harry Potter Erotic Fan Fiction to a poetry podcast. This podcast is different than most of them in that it is formatted as a contest. Once all of the entries have aired, the listeners vote on who they think is the best. The winner might receive amazing prizes beyond their wildest dreams, eternal internet fame, and untold riches. Or they might just win a t-shirt. I forget. You can listen to me here:
slamidolpodcast.com
(a word of warning if you don't know the poem. It is very sexually explicit. It is also very funny.)

If you are coming here from the Slam Idol Podcast, welcome! You may be my first visitors that don't actually know me in real life. You already know what you heard on the show, but let me tell you a few of the things that Simon left out. I am currently part of the team that will be representing Tucson at the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin this August. *pauses for cheers* Also the double l's in "Ocotillo" are pronounced with a "y" sound. So it is pronounced: "Ocotiyo" So there.

Another thing that many of you may not know is that I am going to college this fall at Northern Arizona University to study Elementary Education. I also do not plan to walk to the National Poetry Slam or sleep on the streets of Madison. Words may be cheap, but they are not free. In short, I need money. There is a Paypal link on the left. If you don't want to give me a donation (All donations made for me to go to the National Poetry Slam are tax deductible, really) I may be able to do something for you. I know a lot about computers, teaching, anime, and I'm a pretty decent poet. If you are willing to pay for any of these skills send me an email. Okay, shameless begging is over now.

Since this podcast thing I can pretend I have an audience now, so I will probably be blogging more often. I have run out of clever words for today, so I'm am going to sign off now. Farewell!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Triumph



Man has triumphed over machine. The trophies I hold in my hand are the proof. You are confused, but fear not, there is tale to be told.

I was at the UofA Library on the computer and left for a bit to get something from the vending machine. I put my money in the machine and make my selection. This machine, in all it's cleverness has a device that blocks the food from the place where you collect to the food. This barrier only slides back during vending. So, I have put my money in the machine and the barrier is retracting. Once retracted, the food begin to move forward. but my cinnamon roll is exceptionally large and is trapped. Before I can say sugar coated, the barrier moves back into place, leaving me with no money and no food.

Well, not quite no money. I have a five dollar bill, but those are useless at such machines. I realize that the only way for me to get my food is to purchase the item in back of it. I know that any hungry college student will realize the same thing. But I am out of change. Not wanting my money to go to waste, and have someone receive two treats for the price of one, I begin running. I got to the student union, purchase a 25 cent chocolate and run back to the machine with my change.

My food is still there, dangling, but held firmly in place. I put in more money and select F8. My cinnamon roll falls, and much to my delight, something else falls after it. Behind my cinnamon roll was a row of carrot cakes. I now have three treats, the satisfaction of victory, and something to blog about.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Photoshopping

Just posting a little photoshop job that I did for the Ocotillo Poetry slam. I may using it for their website, which I am building.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Highschool Graduate Seeking Work

I don't know how many people read this blog, but it is certainly less than the number of people that read the resume section at Craig's List. Nevertheless I am going to repost what I posted there, here. My email is faldwin@gmail.com if you are interested in contacting me about my services.

I have about six weeks free this summer, from June 23rd to August 1st. I can be available before then, but the schedule gets complicated, but I will try if you want. I need about 800 dollars to help pay for me go to the National Poetry Slam In Madison, Wisconsin. If you would like to give me 800 dollars I would be eternally grateful, but as that is extremely unlikely here are some of the things I can provide for you.

I know a quite a lot about computers, so if you need a techie I'm your man. I can build basic webpages, work with MS Office and Windows, a little bit of Mac and I can type about 30wpm. I could set up your computer, even teach you how to use it if you want. I know a lot about how to work with various internet applications, so I could run your website/blog/forum. If I don't know how to use it there's a good chance I could figure it out.

As I mentioned before I am a poet. If you need a slam poet for your event, I would be happy to oblige. My poetry has a narrative/declamatory voice, rarely including rhyme or consistent meter. In other words my poetry is more about what I say, than how I say it. However, I still put a lot of thought and purpose into my delivery, because I write my poetry to be heard. Keep in mind that much of my work contains language and content that may be considered objectionable. I am also good at reciting the works of others. So if you want me to lend my voice to classic or modern works I can do that too.

Another of my areas of expertise is teaching. I plan to be a teacher, and have acquired significant experience in this field, for someone of my age. I can tutor your child in all manner of subjects, and I can even work with adults. If I know it, then I can teach it.

I may even be able to do something else. If there is something that you need done, send me an email and we'll talk. I am pretty open-minded.

Despite being open minded, there are certain things I will not do. These include, but are not limited to:
Doing anything illegal, immoral, or dangerous.
Doing anything of a sexual or romantic nature (I'm not that attractive, really)
Working extremely late at night.
Working on Friday or Saturday nights.
Producing work for you to claim as your own.
Working for free.

So if you are need of a poet, teacher, computer nerd or anything else anytime within the dates of June 23rd to August 1st (or before if you are willing to work with my schedule) please don't hesitate to send me an email. You don't have to provide the whole sum, but anything you can do to help out would be much appreciated.

You can donate money, or listen to some of my poems at my blog here:
faldwin.blogspot.com
(Click on “Recordings” to hear the poems)
Hopefully this will result in some interesting work that will help with my sticky financial situation.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer

This summer should be interesting. I have a whole bunch of things I would like to do, and I have no idea how many of them I will actuallly accomplish. But with any luck I will accomplish something.

Firstly, I am on the poetry team that is going to the National Poetry Slam in August. So I have practices and fundraisers for that. This is probably my first priority, but it's not going to take up all of my time. My other "goals" for the summer include the following.

There is an anime club at NAU, so I would like to get caught up on Naruto episodes, before the summer is over. I have about 70 episodes left of Naruto, and then there are about 70 or so of Naruto: Shippuden after that. This is a rather ambitious goal, but one I hope to at least make significant progress on.

After I get back from NAU Freshman Orientation, I would also like to get a job. This trip to Wisconsin for Nationals isn't going to pay for itself. That, and I would like to have a little money for college.

Which leads me to my departure from this house. While I'm not leaving forever, I would like to have a good idea of the location and status of most of my possesions. I have a bunch of books I haven't read, and I don't want to get rid of them. But I also would like to finish LotR this summer. I finished Fellowship a while back, so I'm re-reading it, and then moving on to the other two.

Then we have the novel. I haven't touched the thing in weeks, and next November is looming. I would like to have at least completed one viscious edit before starting on another novel. I may have to resume my schedule of early rising so that I can actually work without distractions. I've only done about 15 pages of 600 so far, so that is also a pretty ambitious goal.

I also would like to try to get a story published so that book publishers will look at me a little more seriously.

I also have a gew goals that are not progressive, but are still on the list. I would like to get a decent digital camera and take pictures downtown. I would like to recite poetry during a monsoon storm. And I would like to write a poem about tucson or the desert in general.

I'm going to try some progress bars here, to motivate me. Wish me luck on my ambitious summer plans!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh Yeah

12:00 am. Walking down Grant Road. Singing Irish Drinking Songs. Sober.

Best Memorial Day Ever.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Evils of Television

This is not a rant about how television should be banned from homes. This is a rant about how television should be banned from my home.

As you may know from my last post, I am incredibly behind on my homework. Well now, I am even more behind. I had a full schedule of homework planned for tommorow. But I failed to realize that I would be incredibly exausted by the end of the day. I didn't get home until midnight on Wednesday, because I was meeting with the poetry team going to nationals. So I got home and slept for 2 hours. It took me thirty minutes to get going after that. I then spent a full hour reworking my schedule (Which wouldn't have taken so long, if Google Calendar would cooperate.) It was then 6:00. My brother turned on the television, and I ended up watching tv for three hours.

Now I need to rework my schedule once again. I may not get to play Oblivion until school gets out next Friday. I may also not be blogging here until then. I think I may even take Freen(my computer) off of my desk so I can get some work done.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Masochist Motivation

After many weeks (or was it months?) my computer has finally returned from the black hole that is my brother's school. A long time ago the motherboard died. So we had to order many new parts, but I ordered some of the wrong parts and we had to get more parts. Then we needed to buy an operating system. All of this needed to be installed, at my brother's school, where he has little to no time to do it. But his computer teacher is an expert and we wanted his guidance. But now it has returned, faster and more powerful than it ever was. The upside to this is it can now play Oblivion the way it was mean to be played.

Oblivion is a fantasy role-playing game, that has awesome graphics. But of course those awesome graphics require an awesome computer, which we now have. Previous to this upgrade we had two options for playing the game. We could play it on "Low" which, while it didn't look great, was at least passable, and allowed for some level of immersion. But there was the slight disadvantage of having to play at 5 frames per second . The other option was "Very Low". This allowed a very playable framerate of around 30fps. We could even turn up the resolution, and add distant landscape. The only thing that we lost was lighting effects. Immersion is instantly destroyed when it is as bright as day, even at night, and even in caves. Cave crawling was a lot of what I did, so my game experience was essentially ruined, because I could stand going back to 5fps. So I stopped playing. I played Morrowind for awhile becuase the graphics were better, so I could get something like immersion. But reading everyone's dialogue is just not the same as hearing them say it.

But now Oblivion has returned. It can be played at "Medium-High" And I'm not playing it. My brothers have been taunting me with stories of waving grass, and imposing towers in the distance, but I have stayed strong. I am behind on my homework, and I have decided that I will not play Oblivion until it is caught up. I have a plan that should have me caught up by Friday. I'm off to put it into my calendar. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Free Comic Book Day

I have decided to do today's blog post in a slightly different format. If you are not aware of my Free Comic Book Day Quest, then scroll down to the previous post.









Friday, May 2, 2008

A Quest

For many years the comic book community has celebrated its holiest day. When Stan Lee stumbled across the following lost verses of the bible, the world knew that action had to be taken.

Thou shalt do all that in thy humanly power, to spread the good news about the holy medium of comick books
The sabbath that precedeth the second sabbath of the month of Maye, shall be a holy daye above all others.
This holy day shall be dubbed "Free Comick Book Daye" and shall be observed as follows:
The chosen few with the power and responsibility to create great works in this holy medium shall produce a comick specifically for this holy day
The Temples of Comicks shall give away these great works, along with any others they deem appropriate, without the expectation of recompense.

The catholic church refused to accept that there were really fifteen commandments. So the comics community acted without the support of the church. The publishers, producers, suppliers, retailers, and distributors all met and Free Comic Book Day was created. This is the seventh year that it will take place. In honor of this momentous occasion, I have planned a quest.

Tucson has four establishments participating in this holy day. I plan to travel to all four in a single day. I have no car, so I will be taking the bus. It is Saturday, so the buses do not run as often. But I have studied the schedules. I have a plan. I will succeed. At the end of my quest, I will have great tales of my journey. Watch this space tomorrow around five, for those stories.

May your spidey sense always tingle,
Faldwin

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Poet's Moment

This email is to inform everyone who might care, that this week I am going to be on the KXCI mini-program, "A Poet's Moment" This short program showcases one local poet a week, and this week that local poet is me. The show is on five times during the week. The times listed below may vary by a few minutes, so if you are planning on listening I would reccomend turning it on about five minutes early. You can listen at 91.3 FM, or if you are not near a radio, you can listen online at this link:
KXCI Stream

3pm Wednesday
8pm Wednesday
8am Saturday
2pm Sunday
10am Monday

Sunday, April 27, 2008

WOOT!!

I will be going to the National Poetry Slam to represent Tucson. That is all.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

To Lighten the Mood

The hour draws nigh. My slam is tonight. Yes I am afraid, but that is a good thing. Fear is a powerful motivational tool. So to further embrace the fear, here is the scariest video in the world. I want to buy one of these.

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thoughts Before the Slam

As many of you already know I have a poetry slam on Saturday. But this is not any ordinary slam. These are the finals. Twelve poets will compete in a three round, no elimination slam. The scores from all three rounds will be added up for each poet. The four poets with the highest cumulative score go on to represent Tucson at the National Poetry Slam. I haven't wanted anything this much in a long time.

I know that the point is not the points, that the point is the poetry. My mind knows that, but no one bothered to tell my gut. Normally with poetry slams I want to do well, but only for the sake of the audience, and the opportunity to read more poems. Now I not only want to do well, I want to do better than eight other poets. I'm not a competitive person, which is why I'm freaking out, because I'm forced into a competitive mindset. I remember Logan Philips telling me that nervousness and excitement are the same emotion. But that is not what I'm feeling. Its not nervousness. The only word I can think of is fear. A huge "what if" hovers over my head. I don't want to think about what will happen if I don't make it. I don't know if I'll be able to support Tucson team if I'm not in it. I know that sounds awful, and I hope I won't feel that way, but I don't know.

Last night I had a dream. It began as a great dream. I was watching a new anime series. It was amazing. The art was breathtaking. The plot twists had me jumping out of my seat. The relationships between the characters were incredibly complex. I was horrified, touched, and inspired all at the same time and it was beautiful.

Then I realized it was 8:00 and Saturday. The slam finals had begun an hour ago. I clumsily called my mother, and barely stuttered out the word "finals". The next thing I knew I was screaming into the receiver, "TV IS EVIL! TV IS EVIL!" and trying really hard not to cuss to my mother. I had missed the finals and it was my fault. Then I woke up.

As soon as my heart stopped hammering I began to think about the dream. My mother and father are reading on Saturday and would never let me miss something this important. And there's no way anime that awesome would air at 7:30 in the U.S.

I realized that the dream was a manifestation of my fear. As soon as I realized this I was comforted. I did not dream that I froze on the mic, or that I got straight 1s, or got booed off the stage. The worst thing that could happen would be for me to miss it. I'm a good poet. I'm a good performer. I know what I'm doing. Its going to be alright.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Finals

This Saturday I will be slamming in the Slam-off to determine who becomes part of the team that goes to nationals. Below are the official details

This is it, y'all!

After nine months of struggle, the top twelve slam poets in Tucson go head-to-head to determine who will be the 2008 Tucson Slam Team.

Saturday, April 26
Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, 1730 E Speedway, Tucson
6:30--Sign-up for qualified poets
7:00--SLAM FINALS! Three rounds of no-elimination poetry, the best of the best.
Hosted by Arrian Wissel.
Suggested donation $5--help send the team to Nationals

The top four scorers will be the new Slam Team, representing YOUR community at the 2008 National Poetry Slam!

THIS is the biggest event of the year for the Slam, so don't miss it! Bring your family, bring your friends. Bring your enemies and we'll make them judge.

The points are not the point... but they do keep things interesting.

See you Saturday,

Monday, April 21, 2008

Webster's

More Ninjas!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cookies?

This post is to explain the constant reference to cookies in many of my posts. In an attempt to get more people to comment, I offer virtual cookies to the person who best completes the challenge to my entirely subjective specifications. It might be as simple as offering a cookie to the first commenter, or as complicated as offering a cookie to the person who gives the best answer to a deep philosophical question that has puzzled mankind for generations. The cookie for this post will go to whoever I want it to. In this case the rules are secret, or perhaps nonexistant. Post a comment. Maybe you'll win a cookie.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Woman

Today is Saturday. That means there is a poem today. One of mine, believe it or not. Today's cookie goes to the person who can tell me what is ironic about posting this particular poem, on this particular day.

Edit: The poem that was originally here is an older version that is not as good. The newer version can be found here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Balancing

I have way too much poetry stuff to be doing. Fortunately, little of it requires actual memorization of poetry, but I still have to be prepared to read it with passion. Let give me you an idea of what my next couple weeks look like in terms of poetry.

2/23 Next Wednesday I am reading some poems for the faculty. My "Oda a Los Calcetines" poem is what got me this gig, but now that I have it, I decided I would take advantage of it. So I am reading a poem about my aspirations as a teacher, and a Taylor Mali poem (Not the one I read here, one with more "appropiate" language) I also need to get some more images together so I can create visuals. Most of the faculty don't speak Spanish, so they need visual cues.

2/26 This is the biggie. The slam finals. Twelve poets will compete in a three round, no elimination slam. The top four poets go on to represent Tucson at the National Poetry Slam is Madison Wisconsin. I have my three poems in mind, and I am going on page that night, but I still need to practice. I also want to order some business cards with my email and this blog address on them. That way I can point them to the "Recordings" link on the left, so they can hear more of my wonderful poems.

5/2 I am performing some poems in Spanish, at my brother's cultural festival. My original plan was just the "Oda" poem, but I decided it might be nice to be ready to do a few more. But this has somehow morphed into a requirement. The poems I have found will not be enough. I need to find a Puerto Rican poem, longer than six lines.

This should be fun.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hello

Goodbye.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Election

No, I am not hopping on the bandwagon of blogging about the '08 presidential elections (though I can't promise I won't) A friend of mine is running for Prom King. He has many famous friends so we rounded up a few of them and took pictures. I did a few little touch ups, but I assure you all of the pictures you see below are entirely authentic. KIMON FOR KING!





Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Amore

Today we have a ninja comic. I don't really like the title of it (Ninja Love) so the cookie for today goes to the person who can come up with the best title. As always, if you need help translating my scratch, let me know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend

I know that I'm supposed to post Ninja Comics on Mondays, but so much cool stuff happened this weekend, that the poetry Gods would probably strike me down if I didn't blog about it.

The language fair on Saturday was awesome. I rocked my poem, and the group from my class did great on their skit. However when they put the names of the "winners" on the screen (we were evaluated on a rubric, and got ribbons/trophies based on our scores alone) my name was not there and neither was that of the drama group. We found out later that there was a hole in the database, and many people were not posted, that did very well. If I knew how to hack their techie would be brute-forced into the stone age by now. I got a perfect score, and the drama group was only one point short of a perfect score. If you scroll down, you can see my ribbon on the left hand bar.

That night I managed to get the money to go see the performance. Ayisha Knight was very interesting. She is a deaf poet and all of her poems are in ASL. She had a translator for all of the poems except for the first one. But that one was the most interesting. She said before she started that it was about the first people coming to America. Even though I know almost no sign, I could see that it really was about that. I could tell that it was poetry.

After Ayisha, Verbobala Spoken Video performed. And what a performance it was! There was video, acrobats, people on stilts, and lots of cool poetry. If you ever get the chance to go see them, do it.

The next morning there was a panel on poetry and voice, with the festival guests. That was very interesting. Then early that afternoon Logan Philips, the leader of Verbobala gave a workshop on perfomance, and voice. I learned lots of cool stuff, that I think affected my performance that night.

That night there was poetry slam with a 100 dollar prize instead of the normal fifty dollar one. My first poem was excellent, and I got the highest score in the round. So I got to choose whether to go first or last in the second round. I chose first. That was the first of many mistakes, and unfortunate circumstances that got me low scores on my second poem, a poem that normally gets high marks. But I really liked my performance for the first round and that is what I am choosing to remember about that night.

Today's cookie goes to the person who can tell me what two poems I did at the slam. There are ways of figuring it out even if you weren't there, but if you were there, then this is an easy one. You don't need to tell me titles, just enough information so I know what poem you're talking about.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Poetics

I'm at the language fair now, desperately trying to upload and scan and post and read, all while people read over my shoulder. Here we have a poem about poetry, which is rather appropriate for today. I'm still not sure whether I'm going to the performance, or the open mic tonight because funding is still complicated. Anywho, today's cookie goes to the first person who can tell me the name of a poem, by one of the poets I mention in this poem.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oda

"Oda a Los Calcetines"

I have blogged about this poem before, but last time it was in despair, now I have a message of hope.

When I began this process I struggled over the memorization. I had a mere two weeks to get this poem presentable. It had been nearly a week and I was barely halfway through the poem. But I kept on trying, knowing that I had a responsibility as a poet to do this poem justice. Soon I had the poem memorized, and recited to my teacher. She handed me back my poem, with numerous words highlighted. I have always thought I have excellent Spanish pronunciation, but I was ignoring accents, accenting the wrong syllables, and pronouncing "z"s with the English sound, instead of the "s" Spanish pronunciation. How could I have gone through four years of Spanish not saying "sapatos"?

But again I pushed forward, and corrected my mistakes, and soon had the poem memorized with the correct pronunciation. On Tuesday after school, I performed the poem for my teacher and one other teacher. I appreciated the slightly larger audience, and the other teacher gave me some good advice on pacing. By this point I was brimming with confidence. I did the poem perfectly when walking to and from school, and so on Wednesday I performed it for my Spanish class.

I rocked it. I owned the class. All the other's reciting poetry were boring, and barely had it memorized. I don't mean to be mean, but they only had fifty words, while I had 200. I had fifty words of my poem in the first two days. I was doing excellently, but then I got near the end, and my mind went blank. What was the next line? It was in my head, but I couldn't get it to come out of my mouth. My teacher refused to prompt me, because they wouldn't at the language fair. I thought for a bit and repeated some lines, and soon figured it out and was on my way. I finished the poem, and was complimented but I felt like I had failed.

I took a look at the stanza that I couldn't remember and figured out why it refused to come into my mind. I didn't know why it was there. It made no sense why the poet would have put in those lines. So I read the English translation, and figured it out. Not only did it help me to get it memorized, but it also improved the quality of the performance.

The next day in class I recited it, and this time I really rocked it. I went all the way through without messing up. I was still pronouncing the z wrong in one of the words, but it was minor. I'm working on fixing it as we speak. That afternoon I met at my teacher's classroom to practice some more. She asked if I wanted an audience again, and I said "sure, if you can round one up"

Five minutes later she returned with nine or ten teachers, and the principal. Most of these teachers knew little to no Spanish. But they seemed to enjoy themselves. They could tell it was a good recitation. After I finished, one of the teacher came up to me and asked me about the poem. It had already been mentioned that the title was "Ode to my Socks" this is our conversation.

Her: "So did he like his socks or not?"
Me: "He liked his socks, but his feet were bad, compared to the socks, his feet paracieron inaceptables, they seemed unacceptable."

I never intended to use the Spanish from the poem, but that was the easiest and most natural way to describe it. I am beginning to think in Spanish. Thus is the power of poetry. I wish I had got the chance to do this as a beginner to the language.

Today I am doing the poem for another of my teacher's classes. I'm not worried. Then the language fair is tomorrow. This should be fun.

Today's cookie goes to the person who can tell me who wrote this poem.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Festival

Below is the information, for Sunday's slam. There are also some things happening Saturday, which are not important enough for their own post, but I will mention them here. I am competing in the Southern Arizona Language Fair. So if anyone wants to come to the UofA to listen to me recite a Spanish poem, let me know and I'll give you further details. Saturday night there are two potential events. One of them is a performance at the Tucson Poetry Festival, by a few different awesome poets. But it costs ten dollars to get in, which is great price, but I don't have that money right now.

So if that event doesn't happen, I will be going to the Tucson Premier Open Mic. I am sure that it is actually happening this time. I don't know anything about it, other than what is on the Myspace paged linked above. If it turns out to be awesome I will start promoting it, and attending when I can. There is also an event Sunday, morning, but I am still trying to figure out what it is, so I will post details later. Until then here is the details for Sunday's slam. By the way, I will be reading something new there.



Hey y'all,

You're going to the Tucson Poetry Festival this weekend, aren't you? I figured you were. And since you're already planning to be there, I know there's no way you would miss the FREE, OPEN SLAM with a $100 PRIZE!

Sunday, April 13, 2008
8:00 pm (show up early to get on the list--wait, you'll already be there watching the rest of the Festival)
THE HISTORIC Y, 300 E University (just west of 4th Ave, near Epic Cafe)
Hosted by Lindsay Miller

Did I mention the $100 PRIZE, donated by none other than the lovely, talented, and generous Jo, of Bentley's Coffee fame? And hey, since we're not gonna be at Bentley's this weekend, why not stop by there this week if you have time for a cup of coffee? They are wonderful and supportive to us, so let's show the same love to them.

This is the LAST qualifying slam for the 2008 Slam-Off. Poet standings to follow in a separate e-mail.

See you Sunday! It's gonna be a big one, so bring your friend, bring your loved ones, bring your enemies and we'll make them judge.

Lindsay

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Daffodils

There is no cookie today, only a poem. Not my poem, just me reading someone else's.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Conspiracy

As promised I have recorded another one of my poems, and am posting it for your enjoyment. This poem is also in the playlist, that you can access by clicking on "Recordings" to your left. Today's cookie goes to the person who can tell me what the natural enemy of the subject of this poem is. (Yes, there is a right answer to this one)

Edit: The poem that was originally here is an older version that is not as good. The newer version can be found here.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bread

As promised I bring you yet another ninja comic. This time the entire post is dedicated to it, instead of being buried amidst old men, and the like. If you need help translating my scratch, let me know.



I have decided to make a recent running joke, into a somewhat continuous thing, in the hopes of garnering more comments to feed my inflated ego. But don't worry, there is something in it for you. I am giving out cookies. Virtual cookies, but nonetheless, cookies. People who get them will get recognized in a later post. Today's cookie is for the person who can come up with the best explanation for the last frame of today's comic.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Retreat

I have just returned from Lake Havasu, from the last retreat that I will take with my youth group. Fun times were had by all, but I didn't get to read any of my poems. Oh well, I'll survive. I have a slam in a week, so I shall just have to wait until then. I will post details about that event when I get some more details on it. I will try to post another recording of a poem sometime soon. There should be another Ninja Comic tommorow as I plan to go to the library, so I can use their scanners. I also have plans for another series of posts, but I think I will wait until Blogger adds scheduled posting. That will make these series, much easier. In other news I intend to buy a domain name soon for this blog. I may build a website later, but for now I will just host this blog at www.faldwin.com or maybe www.faldwinthebard.com. What do you all think?

Friday, April 4, 2008

L

The title is the roman numeral for the number 50 (It is also the alias of a brilliant, international detective. If you know who I'm talking about, cookies for you! But I digress) The reason that fifty is important is because this is my 50th blog post. *CONFETTI*

But instead of boring you with my words I will give you this quote that I got by googling "50 funny" and choosing the first result.

“In at least one way we are atypical bloggers. That’s because we just keep on posting. The typical blogger, like most people who go on diets and budgets, quits after a few months, weeks, or in many cases, days.” (Stephen J. Dubner)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Time

Yet another of my mortal enemies.
This afternoon I set out to record a Spanish poem, so that I could make it into a video for spanish class. I have very good Spanish pronounciation, and still after an hour of trying I couldn't get through the poem without mispronouncing any words. So I took a break. When I came back I thought I made it through the entire poem without messing up, but then when I listened to it I discovered I pronounced "oro" like "ora" At this point I gave up, and made to head off to the library.

Even though I couldn't make my video for spanish, I could at least do some other stuff, like work on my dad's website, scan a ninja comic or two, and perhaps finally start working on my teacher's website. But as I am about to head off my mom informs me that I must buy cheese, for the retreat this weekend that will keep me from a functional computer until Monday afternoon. I still have math homework, and I still have to memorize that poem for Spanish that I can't pronouce right.

I've put a great amount of effort into avoiding this kind of schedule overload, and yet it is happening. I blame society's obsession with time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Short

Yes, this really is the whole post.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Threesome

Because I am not really able to commit to anything, I have decided, instead of the traditional, one subject per post, this post will be about three, totally unrelated things.

The first topic is yet another one of shame. Normally the last Saturday of the month would also be the fourth Saturday. But this weekend it was the fifth Saturday. You might wonder why this is a topic of shame. If you are not wondering, than I am incredibly impressed. Cookies for you! (virtual ones) For those of you cookieless people still in the dark, I will explain.

The Tucson Premiere Open Mic is held on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. Thinking that this past Saturday was the fourth Saturday, I showed up planning to read poetry and found the place nearly abandoned. Confused, I hiked back to the library (a five minute walk) and checked the website. The event was still being held on the second and fourth Saturday. Some part of me must have realized that, because I looked for a calendar online, and soon found that it was indeed the fifth Saturday of the month. We need to go back to a lunar calendar. All the months have the same number of days. It would simplify things greatly.

Our second topic is the one that I mentioned before. Ninja Comics! As promised, here is yet another ninja comic. If people have difficulty reading my chicken scratch I will gladly translate.



Now we move on to the third and final subject of the day. This was an image created by an online generator. I think I look pretty good as an old guy, don't you think?

The Old Timer’s Machine


Rackspace old timer
Have a go, and see what you look like when you’re old