Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thank You, April . . .

As expected, the coming of spring has blossomed its fair share of creativity, starting with two of the best April Fool's Day jokes I've ever perpetuated, thanks to the persuasive power of the Internet, and its star agent Facebook. Firstly, I basically convinced many of my friends on Facebook that I've had a stalker since 2009 via his or her blog, Big Kaz Fan. On that blog, you'll see the second joke, a video we produced at work featuring the first ever "embroidery tattoo." Fortunately, tweezer removal is a lot less painful than that with a laser.

April 1 was also Phoenix's monthly "First Friday" art walk, which has become less about art and more about adolescents offering "free hugs" to oblige their attention-starved hormones. That night, my friends and I found the Mobile Karaoke Unit, a bicycle-propelled karaoke machine that tours First Friday and other events in metro Phoenix. Much to my delight, I sang the Monkees' "Daydream Believer," and many passers-by stopped to sing along. The MKU is an ingenious idea, I give credit to its K.J. for combining my two favorite hobbies (riding bikes and karaoke) into a virtual portable event. I'll endure hundreds of offers for free, sweaty hugs if it means singing another Monkees tune to the beautiful Phoenix skyline.

April is National Poetry Month, so I've been fulfilling the so-called 30/30 challenge by writing a poem a day until the 30th. I did this last year, too, but I'm much more pleased with this month's efforts so far; of course, I'll probably say the same thing next year, but so it goes as an ever self-critical writer. I try to be my own biggest fan first; if I'm happy, it's one less person to worry about pleasing in the crowd. I'm posting the pieces at KaraokeFanboy Press.

Speaking of performing poetry, I participated in my first competitive "prop slam" last week. Poetry slams (which are three-round readings where participants are scored by judges for the win) discourage props, so when they're allowed, it's often a proverbial show-and-tell of bric-a-brac muses. My girlfriend came in third place using my sombrero, her "Talk Nerdy to Me" T-shirt, and a laptop, and I'm very proud of her . . . but I'm most proud of my second-round performance. I utilized my Superman and Hulk action figures to demonstrate who would win in a fight . . . for five minutes. Mind you, a slam piece is supposed to be three minutes, but I got a little carried away. I tried to display all of Superman's and Hulk's powers, and elaborate on Superman's inner struggle to pull his punches in fear of actually killing his adversary (or the ol' heat vision lobotomy a la the Justice Lords from Justice League Unlimited). Ultimately, Supes won by flying the Hulk into the outer atmosphere, where he passed out, reverted to Banner, and was detained back in Metropolis. In case you were wondering.

Finally, I'm diligently working on Amazing Arizona Comics #4 this month, hoping to have it, and the following issue, complete for the Phoenix Comic Con on Memorial Day weekend. I've changed the story three times to accommodate local current events, and my recent discovery of Retro TV has inspired a story sure to please connoisseurs of Arizona lore and pop culture alike. In the meantime, at the end of the month I'm scheduled to appear at Grand Ave. Live (a local live talk show) as the host of Conspire's weekly open mic, then again at the Encyclopedia Show as a performer addressing "mustard" on the spectrum of color. Thank you, April, for keeping me on my toes.

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