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 -

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 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.

Here is an explanation of how the competition works for those of you who happen to care:

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 - Faldwin


Consipracy - Faldwin


Girlfriend - Faldwin