Go Lakers!

I had to go to a sales demo thing this afternoon. I was kind of looking forward to it. Polycom is a good company, and I knew they had some new stuff.

They had a raffle at the end. I had almost left, cause I had a conference to kick off. But I didn’t leave and I’m glad.


Lakers v. Celtics at Staples Center.

I get to see Shaq and Kobe in person!
From the VIP suite, even.

This is my fourth season as a lakers fan. I was introduced to them by my cute boyfriend. I was a huge SNOB about sports. Sports, as with all TV, was only for the loss masses who didn’t read.


But my cute boyfriend could read, so my theory was on shaky ground. He said he could intruduce the sport in such a way that I would enjoy it.

At first I thought that it was good, because it was couch-cuddle time. But he had been a fan for long enough, he knew all kinds of detais about the players. He told about their lives, and introduced the drama to me.

I am hooked now.

I like to give different players nicknames. Naturally, anyone who is not a Laker is assumed evil. Stoudemire of the Portland Blazers is the Sodomizer. Ostertag of the Utah Jazz is Osterwuss. Reggie Miller is so amazing to look at. I think he is beautiful, every single sinew in his body is visible to the naked eye. And he is FAST! I call him the Ethiopian chicken, because of that joke i heard in grade school: “what’s the fastest animal on earth?” He is honorarily un-evil because I love watching him move.

Of course, the former lakers I have known still hold a place in my heart. I think Lue (aka Glue) is adorable.

Shaq and Kobe are the stars of the Lakers. But I have respect for the other players. Madsen is the dork, but he’s a serious player. Old Man Horry comes through when you need him. Fisher has lost his headband. What happened, man? I hardly recognize you! But he’s very nice to look at too. He always looks very serious, and he has those big round muscles. He’s solid.

I was very sad when Chick died. It’s not the same without him.

And I have been creating a theory that Phil Jackson’s little underlip shock of white hair is his attempt to evolve into baleen. It’s quite useful to be able to eat plankton!

Well, I could go on. But I’m quite excited about the game. The 21st! In the VIP suite. Yay me!

Poetrychoir: view, inter- and re-

Inspiration House Poetrychoir: the Spoken Word in the Neighborhood

At 9 p.m. on February 28, Peter J. Harris, host of KPFK’s Inspiration House, organized a Poetrychoir at the Rock Rose Art Gallery at 4108 North Figueroa in Highland Park. The theme for the event was achieving peace.

Inspiration House airs on 90.7 FM Monday nights; from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Harris founded the show, which features a single poet speaking aloud their work over musical accompaniment.

The Poetrychoir event was based on the same model as Inspiration House performances, however a total of seven poets would perform in the same show. This event was the first of its kind. As Harris said, “I wanted to bring voices together in a format where we could sorta sing.”

The poets were Peter J. Harris himself, and Gloria Alvarez, Carlos Ramirez, Sequoia Mercier, V Kali, Jawanza Dumisani, and finally Dorian Merina. The accompanying musicians were Michael Ligon on the baby grand piano, Marcos Loya on bass, and Rafael Robledo played the guitar. The performers had not rehearsed together, or been told what they were expected to do. The event was meant to unfold. As Harris said, “If you trust writers—trust their creativity and their intelligence—the rest is the gift of improvisation.”

As the musicians prepared the audience for what they were about to hear, Harris stepped up to the microphone, “Put down your gun. Pick up your baby,” he said. As he spoke out his poem, the night’s event began.

Harris introduced the other poets with this statement: “The writers that will join me are writers of uncommon witness, of long voice.” When he finished introducing the poets and the audience, each poet spoke their poems in turn. Unaware of what to expect from each other until after it was voiced, the poets chose their pieces to fit the moment and the performance.

The musicians played beautifully behind the poems, pausing occasionally to catch the feeling of the new poem being brought out. Ligon described it this way: “a lot of gospel, spiritual and soulful music.”

The poets were different from one another. Alvarez frequently used Spanish and English together in one poem; V Kali liked to use images from music, even singing occasionally as part of the poem. Ramirez used his poetry to describe with frightening realism scenes that seemed to be actual events from his life. Mercier took the opportunity to highlight her poems of physical pleasure and intimacy. Dumisani placed his words together to create diamond-cut meaning. Merina took the simplest ideas and used them to open the gates of heaven.

The choir was a success. The beauty of the music and the spoken words absorbed the listeners. It was an extraordinary event.

The surroundings for the performance were helpful to contemplating peace as well. The Rock Rose Gallery had a display of visual arts—paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and others—with the theme “Visions of Peace.” The gallery’s director Rosamaria Marquez said, “Creating a sense of community through the arts, that’s our mission at Rock Rose.” Rock Rose has an active community calendar, often with several events each week.