Tuesday, June 27, 2006

post 288. not for the feint of heart.

i've always had this morbid fascination with theories of how the world could end at any moment; i'll read scientific articles on the magnetic poles switching, the "grey goo" theory, viruses, plagues, and meteorites and then lie awake at night staring out my window at the moon, silently willing it to stay there. just...stay there, moon. please?

post 287. i'm the juggernaut, bitch.

Monday, June 26, 2006

post 286. summer curtain call.

post 285. the low end theory.

from allmusic.com:

"While most of the players in the jazz-rap movement never quite escaped the pasted-on qualities of their vintage samples, with The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest created one of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip-hop attitude ever recorded. The rapping by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg could be the smoothest of any rap record ever heard; the pair are so in tune with each other, they sound like flip sides of the same personality, fluidly trading off on rhymes, with the former earning his nickname (the Abstract) and Phife concerning himself with the more concrete issues of being young, gifted, and black. The trio also takes on the rap game with a pair of hard-hitting tracks: "Rap Promoter" and "Show Business," the latter a lyrical soundclash with Q-Tip and Phife plus Brand Nubian's Diamond D, Lord Jamar, and Sadat X. The woman problem gets investigated as well, on two realistic yet sensitive tracks, "Butter" and "The Infamous Date Rape." The productions behind these tracks aren't quite skeletal, but they're certainly not complex. Instead, Tribe weaves little more than a stand-up bass (sampled or, on one track, jazz luminary Ron Carter) and crisp, live-sounding drum programs with a few deftly placed samples or electric keyboards. It's a tribute to their unerring production sense that, with just those few tools, Tribe produced one of the best hip-hop albums in history, a record that sounds better with each listen. The Low End Theory is an unqualified success, the perfect marriage of intelligent, flowing raps to nuanced, groove-centered productions."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

post 284. the inimitable jerry jones.

"you scene-stealing mother fucker!"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

post 283. mr big pants show.

fun at daily perks last night for the mr big pants show...thanks for having us, ms janice! and thanks to beki and jessica for taking these pictures. (and for biking down to see the show!)

a scene with liam's uncle, tim.

getting an audience member to select a transformers' mantra; "nobody wins a battle, somebody loses."

the transformers' mantra scene begins.

mr big pants re-creates the war of 1812.

a game of hesitation.

post 282. native canada.

it was awesome to see mrs laird's and mr middleton's kids pull off the play we all wrote about native canadians. there's something giddily cute about seeing one microphone in the middle of the stage and the kids standing five feet behind it, then each stepping forward to deliver their lines. fantastic. the perfect blend of education and a max fisher players production. arthur and andrea - and a host of kindergarteners - were in attendance, and i'm very lucky i got to be a part of it. i'm told that next year (rubbing hands together) we're going to be looking at togas in one segment and pyramids in another.

the ladies of the "people of the forest" sing the traditional "my old bark canoe." look! a mysterious hand keeping the beat. i was giddy through the entire thing.

the play was broken up into four parts, one for each section the kids were studying. they did a lot of hard work memorizing their lines, and no one - out of, like, a zillion kids - had any problem. the very quintessence of charm comes from the fact that each group would finish its segment and then move off-stage, and you'd hear all these noises and crashes and laughter and the stage directions given to each other in serious-but-whispered immediacy. really, really awesome. just look at that igloo prop!

look at this! school 44 has the old-school "let's just put a stage on the side of the gymnasium"-style venue, so you've got these fabulous curtains, the new york state flag...priceless. note the drum and canoe off to the side. absolutely priceless.

mrs laird said that she nearly had a heart attack when sterling - the host - hadn't shown up for school; then, at eleven o'clock, there was a loud cheer from the kids and she looked up to see sterling, who was getting ready - and look at the kid. sharp as a scissorfight lick!

mrs laird and the kids get ready for their performance.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

post 275. morning writing.

ten minutes of non-stop typing:

out in the forest there was ahouse that had a for rennet sign on it, but no one was vcoming to look at it. The realtor had to figure out a way to get someone moved into the plpace. It was a beautiful plpace on the lake, and had a nice view. The only problem was its vicinity to a group pof very unfriendly bears. Whenever he would approach the beara, they would always curse at ghi and throw empty beer cans. They all had these minis cooters, tricked out mini scooters, and at times they would just circle him and call him names. He stewed in his office one day, after removing the banana peels from his suit that they had thrown at him, and wondered how he would be able to get rid of them. Sure, it’s their woods, their turf, he thought, but I have to sell that home or I get canned. My numbers for that area aer abysmal. And he was right: he hadn’t been ab;le to sell an old, mystical wicheds former haunt down in the bottom of the aforementioned pond, and a few caves that were resting at the base of mount minissippi weren’t getting much attention, either. So he sat all day staring out the window until, finally, it hit him> if he’s going to get rod of the bears, he should try calling the bears most hated enemy: the ducks. The ducks and bears had a rivalry that lasted for … he couldn’t even remember how long. He went out into the adjoingin woods to seek out the ducks. He knew it wouldn’;t be easy, for the ducks were an elusive bynch, and it wasn’t even spring yet…would they have returned from their trip south? He went into the woods and looked. Days passed and noi sign of them. Deepeer and deeper into the woods he went, until suddeny, one day, while easting some crackers and peanut butter that he had brought along with him, he felt the eerie sensation of being watched. Hello, is anyone there, he called out and sudden;y, he was surrounded by the ducks. They came as if from no where. Hello, my name is randy veljohnson, and I’m a relator…wew know who you are, one of them said, and he stepped forward. You’re that realtor from the next woods over. Hear you having some troublel with the bears. Yes, they’re ruingin it for me. They’ve got their scooters and their beer…we know what they have, the duck said. And I suoppose you want us to get rid of you little bear problem. That would be great. So the ducks told the realtor to go back to his home and that in five days time they would have the problem taken care of. Randy went back to his apartment and sat for two days (remember, it took him three days to get to that place in the woods, so it took him three days to get out) and then went to check on the property. Whe n he arrived at the little cabin on the lake, there was a couple looking at it. A smart-looking couple, and they were carrying a little child. Hello, randy said, a little nervously, since he was scoping the area for the bears, smelling for scooter oil. Hello, they said. This is a lovely place. Can we look inside? They went inside and soon realized all the beears were in the house. Hey! Randy yelled. We were hdigin from the ducks, the bears said, and one of them half-stood. We hear you hired ducs to chase us ouot of here. Well, yes, randy said as he tried to calm the couple. I can’t sell this cabin! Well, we’ve been here forever, the bears said, and we’re not going anywhere. This is highy irregular, the man said, and he and his wife started out. No, no, please, this cabin is ust what you need…see the view? Ghe bears began to mumble. You bears get out of here before I get the ducks to finish the job! And with that the bears grew restless and looked at each other. All right, all right, the bears said, can’t we just work something out? Randy had an idea. Certainly. I have a fabulous property at the bottom of the lake…

post 274. my sister goes house-hunting in northern florida.

post 273. out at school 44.

my project out at school 44 - teaching fifth graders about native canadians through theatre (a geva theatre center thing) - is going along swimmingly. i've got the kids broken up into the four regions they're studying: the inuit, the people of the plains, the people of the forest, and the people of the northwest coast. it's like a little max fisher players production.

this was awesome: while on my way to classroom 215, i saw this book in the school's library. ed emberly! old school. i used to get these books out of the henrietta public library alllllllll the time when i was a kid.

sterling - my pick for the show's host - practices his lines. he's a great kid, and we've added special "host flourishes" for him: for example, on the line "a trip through history," he waves his left arm as if leading the audience through time itself. he does the same with his other arm on the next line, "a trip through geography." it's great.

the best part about it is the fact that the scripts were done by the kids themselves. 75 - 80% were written by the groups, then tidied by myself and mrs laird, the teacher i've been working with through this process. and props? a giant igloo, a totem pole, a canoe, and of course mr. macone's leading several ladies through a rendition of a native canadian musical classic, "the old bark canoe." i've had a little help from the legendary arthur brown and the inimitable andrea stoner, who has some great tricks to get normally shy kids to speak up.

i'm very lucky to be a part of this; it's gonna be awesome.