Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday July 14, 2006 - Iowa City, IA - 10:53PM (Central Time)


- Red knee-length shorts (or swim trunks / because of the sprinklers)

- Green Mexican National team football shirt

- sneakers (Champion brand from Payless $24.99)

This is a rabbit-hunting uniform. It allows for mobility, easy breathability. The shorts protect from rug-burns to upper thighs if dive or slide tackle is required to snag the rabbit.

Note: The Marriot Resort and Spa at Desert Ridge will not be held indemnible for any injuries incurred while hunting any of the wild rabbit which overrun the property.


a. when the key from the forklift would not start the golf-cart, we decide to head for the golf course on foot. The visibility was particularly good. A slightly waning moon high in the night sky lit the way, so that we could see the path and the greens fairly clearly and were therefore less concerned than we should have been about the rattlesnakes of which Connie (helpful staff person) had warned us.

b. A flag from the green on the first hole par-3 makes an interesting javelin. In addition, by unscrewing the knob at the top of the pole, you can remove the entire flag to bring with you as a souvenir.

c. the smaller putting-green flags make excellent lances and can double as a driver if the ball is visible enough.


A rabbit will allow you (if you are stealthy enough) to get within 10 yards of it (about 2 strides if you get good traction and oush off).

This does not guarantee you will catch one, however. One must allow for the rabbit's amazing cornering abilities. If you try to cut the corner off and tackle from the angle, you will find that part of the reason for the long ears are to gauge the speed and wind direction change so as to understand from what direction and how fast predators are coming. as such, to get your hands on one and tag its ear with the sharpie in your pocket, you have to fake one direction and almost immediately go the next way and hope you've predicted the animal's counter-move correctly.

(other auxiliary requirements: 1 bottle bacardi, 1 bottle ocean spray grapefruit juice- the 100% juice kind. this is rabbit-hunting fuel, a healthy pair of lungs, nowhere important to be the next morning, like... and airport or anything)


Glenn Singleton's presentation on Conversations about race in education (see: Courageousn Conversation about Race) was brilliant. He weaves the data about the disparity in results between white and non-white students into an understanding of the ways in which the system works to continuously undermine the efforts of black and latino youth. for the work Maureen and i are attempting to get done, around teacher training in this field, his work is central, pivotal, ground-breaking. what this conference has taught us (amongst other things) is that our work needs far broader scope and long-term commitments from schools and their staffs in order to be able to impact education realistically; and in the long term, commitments from folks up and down the hierarchy of district and state education


116 degrees... is 116 degrees. there is no such thing as "dry heat". If you walk 200 meters and want to vomit, then it's freakin hot! i never again want to be told... "but New York is humid. THAT's the problem. i'd rather 100 degrees of dry-heat than 90 and humid..." Bullshit!! and this from a man who makes it a policy never to complain about heat.


Jesse Dylan Grace is fabulous! She rocks! and she is going to get me colorful cowboy boots. her dragonfly tattoo is awesome and to get 'tight' with someone after two nights of hanging out, two years apart is a good feeling.


Forest fires are beautiful from the air...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wednesday July 12 - 3:35Am - Phoenix AZ

(for Allie and Maureen)

Later that night three girls seated
in a row would all say no
to Yuri because he was sweating too much

and later that night i would dance
with Hanz Barbour's sister who was attractive
enough but we danced the slow song
too fast and it meant that i was soft
and couldn't make her grind
her fifteen year old hips against
my thirteen year old ones on the dance floor
and my friends our friends laughed
at me not at us at me

and later that night my mother
would pull up around 2 and blow her horn
outside the party (she and her best friend
Aunty Annette giggling because earlier
they'd dropped me off to my first party
that i was allowed to go to in which
adults weren't involved) and i thought
i was tough and smooth and they giggled
because my friends nodded at me approvingly
because my mother waited until after midnight
to pick me up so my brand new Sergio Valentes
Adidas with the fat laces that Aunty Valerie sent
for me from America were not a waste
and i'd go into the car later that night
and they'd ask me who i danced with
and i must have blushed because my mother
and Aunty Annette cracked up laughing
and had to stop the car in the middle of the street
and there were tears in my mother's eyes
she was laughing so hard and i couldn't
understand why but that was later
that night

after i had acted cool
at most of the right times and danced
well enough and my threads were new
and from America and i had picked
the right moment to ask Lisa Griffith
to dance and had said like my mother
had taught me May i have this dance this was
earlier that night before Hanz's sister
Lisa had smiled and the smile lit
her up and her skin was shiny black
and smooth as marble and her eyelashes
were visible across the living room
in the dark of the of the adolescent moon
and she went to St. Joseph's convent
and most of those girls liked boys from St. Mary's
and not those hooligan QRC boys like me
but she smiled and it lit me up and she said yes
Lisa with the baby powder blue dress
with the puffy sleeves Lisa with the perfect
jheri curl Lisa let me hold her against the wall
and grind slow and soulful while Christopher Cross
wailed something about the moon and New York City

That was earlier in the night that year
but after the fight with Lyndon where i got
my ass beat but broke his tooth with
the hardest punch i'd thrown to that point
and the boys gave me dap and said i was a man
earlier that night Lisa said yes and i kissed her
during the dance more out of obligation
than any real physical intent and the girls said yes
almost because the boys had it was early
in the night that year before my grades plummeted
and Hanz's sister swung me round and the girls
told Yuri no and my mother swung by as always
well-timed to carry me laughing
back home

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006 - Phoenix, AZ - 12:31AM

Phoenix and the end of World Cup football

I'm not quite sure how i'm supposed to spend my days now. Football is over for a minute and i'm a little like a fish out of water. I really need to find a league to get my own game going again (and shed these pounds i put on over the tournament) and to stop this hyperventilating that is taking place because of the lack of football.

Many of the local sports pundits are talking about Zidane's head butt of the italian defender and the fact that it got him a red card and arguably (but i think this is a stretch) cost France the match and the cup. Fact is, Zidane has always been understood to be a level-headed gentleman, an ambassador of the game. For Zidane to act in what amounts to be an unsportsmanlike manner must have required quite the prodding. In the European newspapers, Italians who can lip-read have been quoted as saying that Mazzaroti (or whatever dude's name is) wished death on Zidane's family (Zizou's mother is ailing) and a few other things and this was the provocation for the brilliantly timed head-butt that lifted him off his feet and dropped hom to the ground. i myself howled at Zizou's blow because i thought it was so well delivered and powerfully struck (so i'm a little twisted).

it is no accident though that Zidane won the Golden Ball award; the equivalent i guess of an MVP for a tournament here. After all, this is not a sportsmanship award and Zizou proved that at 34 his playmaking abilities were far superior to anyone else (and this coming from a lifelong fan of Brazilian football and Brazilian ballskill). Zizou's touches throughout the tournament were sublime and in the early matches one had to wonder if his teammates were even reading his vision of the match with the same brilliance he was. They were often in the wrong place, a step slower than his miraculous deliveries and woefully always offside (does one spell offsides Thierry Henry?). anyways, enough of that...

i'm in phoenix, arizona. the temperature at night here cools to about 89 degrees. yes... cools... today it was rocking 106, about 100 in the shade. i ran across a street (one lane) and almost needed to be airlifted to a local medical facility. however, the marriott here is crazy. there are about 4 pools and 2 fitness centers and about 6 restaurants and a lobby bigger than the block i live on (no kidding). there is a glf course on the premises and lots of folks who look like they're really concerned about mexican border crossings. i'm doing some work here with maureen benson (high school principal from oakland) and we've managed to play football (the american kind) in the hallways - she throws a mean spiral, while drinking cocktails. we're trying to figure out where the ambient music, coming through the speakers that are all over the grounds, is coming from. our plan is to get into the facility exchange whatever is playing with a Snoop Dogg cd and run as fast as we can. the trick is to get the camcorder in time to catch the looks on people's faces when in the middle of the night the line "no i'm not european / bein all i can / when i get the muthafuckin' mic in my hand..." wafts out acorss the grounds.

i've got serious political statements to make about trinidad in connection to our world cup showing, but that's for another time. i'm proud of our lads and the manner in which they acquitted themselves in germany; on the pitch and off. i'm going to write a poem now.