This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Invite neighbors to join your family for Thanksgiving

Invite neighbors
to join your family
for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is more than a celebration of friends and family. It's an opportunity to welcome in both our neighbors and passing strangers to share food, stories and recipes.

The first Thanksgiving in the Plymouth Bay colony wasn't families in their individual cabins.. It was a feast of 53 Englishmen and around 90 Wampanoags dining together as a community.

Growing up, my father was on the coaching staff of two Major League Baseball teams. In part, that meant every Thanksgiving our table was surrounded not only by my parents, grandparents and siblings, but also "stragglers," as my mother called them – those who couldn't make it home or had no where to go. Often we'd have more than one. Our typical dinner would an infielder from San Francisco a third-base coach from Denver a pitcher from Cuba.

My personal favorite was the four players from the Dominican Republic who mistakenly thought our pet parakeets and cockatiel might be after-dinner delicacies.

Watching my mother explain in hand gestures and extremely broken Spanish the difference between pets and poultry still makes me smile.

Six years ago, I celebrated my first Thanksgiving in the Verde Valley. Rather than go back to my mother's home to Chandler, I stayed in Sedona and celebrated with my new group of 20-something friends, most of whom lacked the time or funds or both to make it home. While a first for me, that hodge-podge potluck Thanksgiving was part of long tradition among my circle of friends and one we're planning on celebrating again Thursday, Nov. 26.

However, I'll see the holiday through fresh eyes this year. My girlfriend – a Canadian – will celebrate her first Thanksgiving in the United States. While Canadians celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday, our American flavor is new to her. In looking through our newspapers, she was surprised at all the local churches, businesses, food banks, nonprofits and clubs offering free turkeys, full dinners or financial assistance to individuals and families in need.

This Thanksgiving, rather than just your extended family and friends, invite your neighbors to join.

Attend or volunteer at one of the Thanksgiving banquets the Verde Valley offers.

Donate a turkey, turducken or tofurkey to a food bank or nonprofit.

Just stay away from the parakeets.

Christopher Fox Graham
Assistant News Editor
Sedona Red Rock News

© 2009 Sedona Red Rock News - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cardboard Tube Fighting League

I saw this on One word: Awesome.

People having fun. This is what summer and being human are all about. I want to take part really bad. Columbus, Ohio lets get it on. I have the perfect helmet to make for it.

Via Wikipedia:

The CTFL was started by Robert Easley in Seattle, Washington. Robert had childhood memories of hitting friends and family with cardboard tubes in mock sword fights. He came up with the idea of starting regular tournaments around the act of cardboard tube fighting. This idea comes from three core beliefs:

  • People need more ways to play and take themselves less seriously.

  • Events can be fun without alcohol.

  • Cardboard sword fighting is fun.

The CTFL hosts tournaments and battles where cardboard tube fighters go head-to-head in an attempt to break their opponents tube without breaking their own. The events also focus on cardboard costumes and theatrics. These events are often held at public parks throughout the summer, are open to everyone ages 5 and up, and emphasize fun over competition. Cardboard tubes are provided and all events are free for participants.

Via the San Francisco chapter:

“The CTFL was created out of a desperate need to better train and arm citizens with cardboard tubes. While many speculate that our fore fathers, when drafting the constitution, originally intended the fourth amendment to refer to fire arms, there is now a small group of non-academics who believe that they were more likely referring to elite militias of card board tube wielding ninjas. While this training often takes place during childhood, it is discarded by adults who remain uneducated about the importance of such practices. The goal of the CTFL is to provide organized cardboard tube based events that help spread cardboard awareness.”

Cardboard Tube Fighting League in Philadelphia – Battle Royal!

There are rules:

1) Don’t break your tube. In a duel, the last person with an unbroken tube is the winner. In the event that both participants break their tubes at the same time, both duelists are considered losers. A tube is considered broken when it is held horizontal and the tip drops to an angle greater than 45 degrees or it is completely detached from the rest of the tube.

2) No swinging arms. No body slamming.

3) No stabbing. Lunges involving tubes are not allowed under any circumstances. Participants who exhibit this behavior will be ejected from the event.

4) Do not attack the opponent’s face. Hitting the face is heavily frowned upon and can force ejection from the event.

5) Once a tube is broken, fighting must cease.

6) Only official CTFL tubes are allowed. These tubes are provided at the events.

7) No blocking of opponent’s tube other than with your own tube.

8 ) Tubes must always be held near the end. Participants may switch ends as they see fit. Holding tubes in the middle is illegal.

9) Shields are banned in tournaments and battles.

10) All participants must sign a waiver.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Facebook vs Mandarin Chinese

While I'm surfing Facebook tagging artists at GumptionFest IV and drunk friends from Halloween, my girlfriend is lying on my bed, practicing her Mandarin Chinese with an audio book she picked up from the Sedona Public Library.

Who's more productive in the long run? That's right, not me.

Azami is awesome.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sedona dancers break out into "Thriller" on Halloween

Halloween dancers, led by Martha Edwards, dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" on Saturday, Oct. 31, during the Uptown Sedona Trick-or-Treating event.
We're a silly city and seeing our residents do things this make me feel warm inside.
Azami and I caught this, then headed north to Flagstaff to see Sedona's party rock band Yin Yang & Zen Some play at the Orpheum.