"John, you never update any more."
"I know I know, what can I say? I guess I just need a bit of a break."
"You prick. NO BREAKS FOR YOU!"
Well, what have I been up to?
Last Thursday was the finals for the poetry slam I run out of AS220 in Providence. 8 people qualified for the finals after we ran slams since last September. In January we had the first semi finals. Those poets who placed first in the 8 previous shows slammed against each other and the poets who placed in the top 4 went into the finals. We then held 8 more slams, held another semi finals and the top four from that semi's went into the finals. So we had 8: Tony Roberts, Jaime from Youth in Action, myself, Sage Francis, Jared Paul, Mike Celemme, David Gonzales, and Bernard Dolan.
As soon as the show was about to begin, the laptop that my friend Chris uses to DJ the show died. It died hard and it took me until yesterday to fix it. So I had to have him use my new laptop to DJ the show, so I was able to record nothing of the night. That made me very happy.
I was supposed to not have to run my slam that night, but I ended up having to do more than I ever have before. There were problems with the door money, there were people demanding that I find more chairs, I even had a person complaining to me that they didn't like AS220's choice of art on the walls.
Then as the slam was starting, the laptop we use to do the scores (and project them with a LCD projector onto a movie screen behind the poets) died, but while the two sacrifice poets were performing I was able to get that one working again. Then a few minutes later, my laptop locked up on Chris in the DJ booth and it took about the length of two more poets performing to get that one working again.
This was all before I performed for the first time.
After I performed I was called to the DJ booth again, because the laptop had ceased to function once more.
Do you know how many times I've had computer problems at my slam before this? None. Never. Not once have I had a problem with any equipment before.
Then we hit room capacity and I had to go take care of the crowd of people still trying to get in.
Then I had to perform again.
Let me tell you, I've had better performances. Half of my brain was expecting a computer to burst into flames, the other half was worried about the cops or fire department closing us down (at the end of the night -- after counting the door charge receipts -- we realized we were actually 60 people over fire code and not just 20) and another half of my brain (you didn't know I had one and a half brains, did you?) was trying to remember the words to my poems.
At one point I couldn't remember the word Halloween. I kept stuttering "Halla Halla Halla" and just couldn't get the word HALLOWEEN to pass past my lips. On another poem I forgot the beginning of my poem and stood there trying to recall it while the crowd waited for me to being.
On my last poem I was on complete auto pilot. I hardly even remember performing that last one.
When the night was over I had placed 5th. I took the alternate spot. Bernard, Sage, Mike, and Jared took the top four and qualified for the team.
Based on how I performed, I deserved the 5th spot. No higher. But I can't help but wonder if I had a chance to concentrate for more than 10 minutes, how I would have done.
Now there's a chance that Mike Celleme will be teaching in Japan during Nationals, so I am on my own slam team. It would have been fine with me either way, but if I do get to slam this summer, I'll take it.
If I'm slamming at Nationals, no one can ask me to do anything.
This past weekend Jen and I had a wedding in update New York. We left early Friday morning and came back late Saturday night. Our friends Tammy and Drew got married on a months notice because Drew wants to move to San Francisco and Tammy wouldn't go with him unless he married her. So they got married.
It was a nice wedding, but some aspects of it suffered because of the short planning. Such as the groom forgetting the ring at home. But on the greatest amount of the whole, though, it was a really nice wedding.
Yesterday I was so beat. Still I ended up with 5 people over my house and a very unhappy girl friend because of it.
I love my friends, but they're night owls and sometimes over stay their welcome. It doesn't ever help Jen's mood that we're often loud, often going in and outside while she's trying to work on her freelance assignments and often drinking beer.
It's something I have to work out and settle pretty soon, because I should love my girlfriend in a much different way than I love my friends and well... sometimes it's a no brainer to decide who comes first. You'd think so at least - instead of always wondering if you're appreciated or not...
Anyway, that's what's been going on with me. Slam preparations, the slam, a wedding, and people hanging out. Nothing super exciting, but super busy.
Time for supper.