March 17, 2010

This Has Nothing to Do With My Book

Jukebox has been spotted everywhere from Open Books in Seattle to the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver to my local Barnes & Noble. I am shocked. I am thrilled. And I very tired of talking about me. 

I worry you're tired of me talking about me, as well. So without further ado, here are three things that have caught my eye over the past week. They have nothing to do with me. That's a good thing.


AXIS integrates abled and disabled performers to create startling, original compositions that have toured from their California home to over 60 U.S. cities, Europe, and Siberia. One of their core principles is that each performer is contributing equally; no one is being "accommodated." If you think about it, someone in a wheelchair has a unique geometry--a vocabulary of motion that doesn't limit the performance, but instead expands it. There are some paraplegics with the most stunning upper-body strength you will ever witness.

You can follow this link to a page with videos from past performances. Those living in Charlottesville are in particular luck, since AXIS is making a visit for a U.Va residency March 22-26: details here. 

A close poet-friend of mine, who has cerebral palsy, had the life-changing experience of working with the LAVA troupe in New York to produce a show called "Tides." So I can say with some firsthand knowledge: this is not a gimmick. This is art. And a lot of really, really hard work.


From the sublime to the sublimely teacher-turned-activist is taking on school lunches, one tray at a time. Concerned about the nutritional contents of the food being dished to her students--and the scarce time they are being given to gulp it down-- "Mrs. Q" (who fears losing her job over this project) is quietly documenting the 2010 cafeteria offerings at her anonymous blog, Fed Up with Lunch.  Mrs. Q also features guest posts from nutritionists and teachers at other schools. I particularly enjoyed an entry recounting an American teacher in Japan's experience with a holiday meal in celebration of Hinamatsuri (the "Doll's Festival," celebrated on March 3). The blog has already earned a roster of fans including the New York Times' Mark Bittman. One lone point of contention with what is an otherwise rightful alarm: tater tots. How can you not be pro-tater-tot?


I'm not particularly well-versed in OK Go's catalogue--I'm a lot more excited about the new Josh Ritter album coming out--but I fell in love with this video for "This Too Shall Pass," off their album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky." The only thing more lovable than tater tots, after all, is a Rube Goldberg contraption. They play fast and loose with some of the connecting mechanisms, particularly when gravity is involved. But this is very much in the spirit of my 1988 edition of Mouse Trap.


Stephanie said...

I hadn't seen that OK Go video before, but man they put a lot of effort into their videos:

I think the latest one is way cooler, though. I wonder how many takes it took.

Jessie Carty said...

nothing wrong with celebrating yourself from time to time but thanks for providing all the other great links and congrats on having your books in stores! i'm still hoping to have that happen at some point :)