« on: August 09, 2004, 12:13:57 AM »
So I just got off the road after 11 hours of driving and I figured I'd get all the warm fuzzies out before real life gets a chance to put its size 30 jackboot into my cranium.
Let me just say that I never want to see St. Louis again. I had members of my team talking about detouring around the entire goddamn state of Missouri just to avoid that city. Jesus H. Christ on Toast was this a negative experience (as many of you have probably gathered from the HORROR STORIES).
Still, I've got to thank some people and send some e-hugs to:
Geoff Trenchard, Danny Solis, Taylor Mali, Vancouverites (Barbara Adler, CR Avery, and dude with guitar), Joaquin from Dallas, Drew and Billly from Wicker Park.. Shit, I think everyone from nats made their way through our room or Lexington's room at one point on Friday or Saturday. Thank you all for performing.
Paulie and Andrea from Denver: Andrea for being a fantastic performer and being simply electrifying at Indies and Paulie for just being a cool dude. Consider your livejournal added and an email incoming on the offer for playtesting the CCG.
Lee Knight Jr., Karuna, Rob, and Cat from Palo Alto for being incredibly talented, incredibly cool, and letting me vent while Thursday night was coming down around our ears. Let me just say that Cat looked fabulous in her Phil Jackson Memorial Coach's Powersuit that night.
Chatam, Link, Jim, and Brandon (aka Team Dayton) for being Team Dayton. I don't need to explain this. Anyone who has interacted with these folks knows what gracious, good people they are.
Rose, Ed, Kim, Jason, and Syd from Columbus: I don't need to remind people of how great Ed is, we all saw how great Kim is, Syd's awesome for his great taste in comic books and being a true team player. Rose was one of the best writers in Saint Louis, bar none. She is the person who pushes me to write better and write more. We can all learn a thing from Rose Smith.
J Bradley for being someone to gossip with and being a nice guy.
Tanika from Mesa for being both nerdier and wittier than me. DAMN YOU! =)
OK City for being the most heavily armed, well prepared, most informed, and generally most interesting bunch of folks to hang out with. They looked more like they were going on a camping trip than to nationals.
Noodles, Snot, and Skizza the gutterpunks who hung with us. Noodles was one of the two Saint Louis organizers who was not, in fact, a total sleazeball.
Superspecial thank you to team Lexington for doing poetry tag. Kzoo totally stole the idea then offered free beer to entice people and it still didn't stop both rooms from being packed. I'm surprised we didn't get raided by security or something. Chris, Cheryl, Price, and Nam. Thank yous and you can crash at my place any time. I will certainly needle Kzoo's slammaster to get a feature for you folks any time you're in the area or ever WANT to come to the area.
MIKE SWINKEY'S Top 10
10. Sticky Hands with Lord of the Vibes[/b- drunken Wing Chun Kung Fu excercises in OK City's room. Vibes totally beat my ass. It was awesome. I'm still running moves through my head.
9. Detroit and Columbus making it to semifinals[/b]- both teams were incredibly talented this year and I'm proud of everyone on the teams and associated with them. I want to see both of you guys go further in the future. It was an honor just to be in the same hotel as you guys. I mean that.
8. The Taylor and Angry Venue Guy show[/i]- I sat drinking and watching Taylor Mali gesticulate wildy at the venue guy down in the basement of Club Puke-a (OH, MY WIT MUSCLE! I THINK I PULLED MY WIT MUSCLE!) on Thursday. The little chaotic devil in me was jumping up and down with glee. That, and I was ripped off my ass. Needless to say the exchange was quite entertaining and got me primed for the chaos that followed.
7. Jackie Cekola from Kalamazoo[/i]- Jackie came so far these last three months. She grew in confidence, skill, and ability and now she's moving to Denver at the end of August. We'll definitely miss her at Kraftbrau and I told her that I'm going to come out there and kick her ass if she doesn't make it on next year's Denver team.
6. Beer[/i]- mmm. Beer. those of you who saw me walking around know what I'm talking about. Those of you who drank on us know too.
5. Nerd Slam- AWESOME ON A STICK. Too bad it was in another time zone compared to the rest of Nats. We're talking ten minute freeway drive here. Jesus. Anyway, loved the trivia/head-to-head nerd challenge. great twist. Expect me in klingon regalia next year complete with makeup and bat'leth.
4. Ms. Spelt with the rememberance read- it really sucked that Spelt's read was cancelled. I know her from the listserv and her posts are always well thought out and interesting. Hearing poetry from her was a blessing. Hearing other people's grief in words was just as good if not better.
3. Kimberly Brazwell in indie finals[/i]- all I can say about Kim at indies is ! . That's right folks. All the words go away and all I'm left with is punctuation. I was practically standing on my chair cheering for her. That combined with her double appearance on the Idiot's Guide to Poetry Slam cd means that Columbus now has 3 celebrity poets in its scene. All the more reason to check them out at Sambo's on Wednesdays.
2. Room Ciphers us in 511[/i]- Yeah. We were cool. We had free beer. Go us.
1. Room Cipher Lexington in 810[/i]- I thought the idea was kind of dumb on Wednesday night but I went up anyway on Thursday. The room was hot, smokey, and crowded but fuck it, I stayed till practically dawn anyway. The spirit of nationals wasn't in the venues. It wasn't in the side reads. The spirit of nationals was in Lexington's room afraid to go out the door. I read work in there with more confidence and more ease than I have ever read in any slam or open mic. There was NO pressure. That room was filled with nothing but LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and RESPECT. I will be hard pressed to find that spirit for quite some time. Blessings be upon the Lexington folks. They definitely earned a life's worth of good karma this year.