Sunday, March 30, 2003

The problem with these journals is that by the time you find the time to write something in them, so much has happened that you don't know where to start. Or finish. Besides that, Salome says I've been talking too much about the war.

This past Monday's show couldn't have worked out better than if I'd sat down and written it out play by play. Virtually free of Nationals veterans and "slam professionals," it was a bunch of hungry, developing poets leaving everything on the stage for this all-or-nothing shot at the semis. They all came strong and it could have gone any which way but, in the end, I got just about everybody I wanted in the mix. Ed, Omar, Oscar and Ray all got in there, joining Sabrina, Mara, Dawn, T'ai and Shawn in the semis, all of which bodes well for the possibility of getting a couple of new voices on the team this summer.

Speaking of Nationals, the whole PSI war statement thing turned into an emotional fracas on the list unlike any I can remember and, in the process, I inadvertantly helped found a new activist movement: Slam Poets Speak Out. I really need to learn to pick my battles a little better. As it is, I don't have time for anything so adding yet another project to my plate is crazy! It's something people felt strongly about, though, and these certainly aren't times for convenient silence.

It's a known fact that there's only 24 hours in a day. On an average weekday, we wake up at 6am, get out of the house by 7:30am, drive down to the daycare by 8am, get on the train by 8:15am and to work by 9:15am. Leaving work by 5:15pm, we get to the daycare by 6:30pm and drive back "home" by 7:15pm. Ideally, we're settling down by 10pm and the kids are knocked out by 10:30pm. After getting things ready for the next day, we're lucky to be in bed by 11:30pm. This is an average day where everything goes smoothly.

There aren't very many average days.

Work is getting interesting. Getting a lot of opportunities to write and be creative but, as a result, I'm getting a lot of opportunities to work! Was just handed the coordinating and editing of the monthly advertorial sections for two of our magazines. Haven't had a job that kept me this steadily busy in a long time. That's a good thing, though, as you know the saying, "Idle hands lead to four or five fantasy baseball teams!"

I'm only in two leagues this season, a regular public Yahoo! and another season of my SLAM THIS! league. I'm really happy about my team this year (Pujols, Durham, Rolen, Berkman, Anderson, Giles, Wood, Clement, Nomo, Acevedo) and we've got a really active bunch of owners so it should be a lot of fun. The message boards are always a hoot as some of the funniest shit I've ever read gets posted there. Ken Green, in particular, is funny as hell, and happens to be my first opponent of the season. Garrett Anderson just knocked in a run so the Starving Artists - my team - are on the board for 2003!

Slam is a lot like fantasy sports. Mixing and matching players/poets for the best cumulative effect is a great test of strategic ability. Everybody wants the A-Rod's but I get more pleasure from taking a chance on the underdogs. I won my first-ever league last season, in Fantasy Football, but with the move back to NY, didn't really have the opportunity to gloat. Maybe that bodes well for NYC-Union Square this year?

Veterans, newbies or a combination of the two, we should have another great team this year. Once the semis are determined, I'll drop my picks here for posterity. Shappy is probably the most interesting wildcard in the mix as he's funny as hell but has recently shown an ability to target the humor at more topical issues without coming off as preachy like so many topical poets do. The fact that he might not even be in the running at Urbana is shocking. Most people figure our returnees - Roger, Lynne, Marty and Ishle - are a lock for the Finals but I say you never know, especially depending on the semis lottery drawing. They could conceivably all face each other on the same night which would make things really interesting.

Had a great family day yesterday as we managed to spend the entire day in Palisades Center Mall. That place is ridiculous! We did some shopping, a whole lot of walking and had dinner there, too. Got myself some great new shirts - the change from jeans and t-shirts to suit and tie to business casual has left my wardrobe lacking for the new lifestyle. Picked up another pair of shoes, too - my first pair of Skechers - so this is now the first time in memory that I've owned TWO good pairs of shoes! Did a lot of window shopping for my new Gameboy Advance SP - the combination of the redesign and a new Pokemon game was too much to resist! - and picked up a case for it. Already put 9 hours into Pokemon Ruby and only have two badges! They've done a great job of updating while retaining the best elements of the game. Gotta catch 'em all! To think, I almost tossed my card collection when we left Virginia.

Finally, today was crazy as some incredibly annoying events took place. Suffice to say that the move to the Bronx can't happen soon enough. Wanted to hit Westside Rhyme tonight to talk to Shawn and Karen about some...ideas...but we just had too much to get done here and the distractions from earlier in the day pretty much ruined things.

Got a call from that reporter from the Bronx Times (or is it the Bronx Voice?) that came to the Acentos feature - at my mother-in-law's behest - about interviewing me tomorrow so that'll be interesting. Also have the first UPPERCASE since I've been back, with Elana, T'ai, Ray and Rachelle and it's our first Monday with the no smoking law in effect. Should be an interesting night.

And I'm spent. Hope all are well.

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