Unlike most people, I usually look forward to Mondays. At least for the past 5 years or so. But this morning got off to one of the worst starts in memory and I'm just hating life right now. It started last night when, after a great family weekend, we had to play catchup on things like laundry. Ended up going to bed @ 1am - Isaac included! - and waking up cranky as hell. Couldn't find my cell phone, my wedding ring or the floppy drive for my laptop and forgot my work ID and pass key. Finally got out of the house on time and still only made it to work @ 9am!
All things considered, it should get better from here. I'm looking forward to tonight's show both for Eric's featuring for the first time (@ 13) and our final open slam that's got a bunch of people on the bubble for the last couple of slots for the semi-finals. The rankings looked like dirty ass when I first came back and it took a lot of poking and prodding to get the people I wanted in the mix. Running a slam is a delicate balance of encouragement, ego control and strategy. With the randomness of the judging, the only things you control are the tone of the night, set by the host and the feature, and the diversity of voices, often a result of convincing good poets with no interest in slamming to take the risk. We've always been successful in not only ending up with teams of good poets, but in having a diverse Finals where any of the 9 poets involved would make an excellent team. That's a season-long effort, though, and I got the impression when I first came back that our showing at last year's Nationals had depressed some enthusiasm for the slam early on.
Anyway, I'm excited at how the rankings have turned out so far, particularly with people like T'ai, Dawn, Sabrina and Mara in the mix. Of our current top 15, TEN of them are women which is an astounding thing on the National level and something we've always been proud of. (In four years, there's only been THREE guys on the team: Roger, Bonafide and myself!) There's likely to be some movement in the bottom portion as tonight is do-or-die time for several of them.
"You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow..."
Speaking of, can you believe Eminem won a friggin' Oscar!?!? Much as he deserved it for an amazing song - an anthem for everyone, no matter what they do - I never believed they'd actually GIVE it to him. Was disappointed that they didn't even acknowledge him by playing the song, even if he couldn't/wouldn't be there to perform it.
And Michael Moore showed some brass balls! What?!?! Ironic what tone can do for you, though. While he was rushed off the stage by the orchestra, Adrian Brody's somber reflection actually stopped the music and let him make his heartfelt statement to the world. IMO, the two served as perfect bookends for the anti-war movement, Brody's velvet glove to Moore's steel fist.
"War is the failure of diplomacy." For a country that prides itself on being a beacon of freedom for the world, we sure are setting a great example with this war. I think of that whenever I see Isaac reprimand India for something and realize he's simply copying us. "With great power, comes great responsibilty." Obviously Bush didn't read a lot of comic books while he was growing up.
My biggest fear is, if Saddam really does have WMDs, he's waiting for our troops to get near Bagdhad to use them in a final act of desperation. Before that, I imagine the body count is going to quickly rise to a point of discomfort for even the most rabid pro-war American.
Truly sad times we're living in.