Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Five Peace Band

At the Rose Theater in NYC, the Five Peace Band of Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, & Brian Blade entertained us with classic, vintage jazz. John's fingers were ever so fast and delicate as he massaged the neck of his guitar. All night he teased us with "Birds of Fire" and gave us some finally. My head was about to explode so many times as he built those crescendos with Chick and Kenny. These three had a beautiful jazz challenge and counter challenge of riffs and "can you beat this" kind of night. Chick was absolutely magnificent as he centered everyone and then took us on some magical excursions. Kenny was filled with extremes from perfect catharsis to absolute abandon and noise. Twice I wished he would stop. The rhythm section of McBride on Bass and Blade on drums were superb. McBride played both electric and bull bass with great authority and resonance. At one point he picked up the bow and silenced the place as he did the classics proud finally settling us with the classic fingering of jazz. The happiest man up there was Brian Blade on drums and percussion. Throughout the evening we could hear him laughing and see him smiling a Cheshire cat smile and an occasional groan of pleasure.

They played "Raju" by John McLaughlin; "The Disguise" by Chick Corea; "New Blues Old Bruises" by John McLaughlin; "Senor C.S." by John McLaughlin; "In a Silent Way" by Joe Zawinul and Miles Davis; "Hymn to Andromeda" by Chick Corea; and ended with "Dr. Jackle" by Jackie McLean.

The last time I saw John McLaughlin was when his Mahavishnu Orchestra regaled us at Avery Fisher Hall in 1972. The last time I saw Corea was in 1978 when he played with Herbie Hancock at a concert in Boston.

The evening was a pleasant blast from the past and so powerful.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yankees win

Tommy and I went to our first Yankee game at the new stadium. We arrived early at 10 AM for the 1:05 PM game. We were very impressed with the Great hall and the layout. We immediately made our way to the field to watch the Yankees in batting practice. All the pitchers were in right field. Tommy got Andy Pettite's autograph on his shirt. Joba didn't and it was his number on the shirt, weird. After batting practice we wandered around the new edifice.

We found our seats in section 426, row 11 (row 14 is the last row), seats 26 & 27 (isle) in the upper decks called the grandstands. Getting seats to the new stadium has been quite an ordeal, especially since we have had season tickets for the past eight years. Usually we are behind home plate, now we are just beyond third base. Just as the game began, it started to rain very lightly. The light rain continued through most of the game. It was a back and forth game with the teams exchanging the lead until the ninth tied 7-7. Homers were hit by Jeter, Matsui, and Melky who hit his first homer after Matsui, and his second one to end the game in the fourteenth inning.

Here is a short video of Jeter at bat:

Here is a video of the team returning to the dugout in the bottom of the 14th Inning followed by a 14th Inning stretch and the singing of "Take be out to the ballgame."

The Pictures:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Everyday is Earth Day

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Today we celebrate Earth Day. A great cause and idea. I would like to hear that we celebrate earth day everyday. Making our environment more "green" is a challenge when corporations continue to package products badly and consumers continue to dispose of their trash inappropriately. What can we do? I use a reusable water bottle and carry bags for groceries and purchases I make. We dispose of our trash appropriately. We don't own a car and we rent so on those fronts we're unable to act as we would like. I'd like to see our roof converted into a green space, that solar panels and windmills added to our building. We have a garden that supports wonderful wildlife like birds, bees, and fish. I look forward to see how Obama and his team move us forward on the "greening" of America.

I am reminded of our recent trip to Paris and all the artwork we saw that used nature as the subject. Monet is certainly one who comes to mind as well as Van Gogh. The list is huge.

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on't—Frailty, thy name is woman!—
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:—why she, even she—
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer—married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


we went sailing, running and tacking the waters.
the jib was up it was down, it was full, it was our power.
the mast held firm as the rudder pointed the course.
then it came time for her to guide us into port.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


when i was a kid
i was always intrigued
by the greek journey
odysseus was the icon.

and on his journey
he met some sirens
he waxed his ears
and tied himself to the mast.

he heard the songs
he enjoyed the lure
was not caught
or destoyed.

he returned to his penelope
and i knew what i had to do
find my penelope and when i found her
i knew i had returned

i did it backwards though
i journeyed and found her.

Monday, April 6, 2009

greek honey

greek honey sweetened my soul.
she suddenly appeared and filled a gap.
addicted to honey is delicious
lacking the honey is bitter.

good honey like good wine
takes time. the time is
the problem and the solution.
greek honey is good honey.

honey lingers forever,
an ambrosia, a nectar.
it is to be savored
slowly and forever.

honey is a child of love,
a love between bee and flower.
combed and drawn:
food and drink

honey, you are my
sustenance, my need,
my desire, my want.
a greek honey sweetened my soul.

Friday, April 3, 2009

the gift

the gift
came in a smile
in a laugh
in a glow
in a kiss.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Last year I presented a month of poetry lessons to celebrate April. Poetry is a major part of my teaching. Whenever I assign a project, I always try to include at least one poem so the scholars have a variety of genre to read.

Two projects we are doing this semester include a poem. In the Irony Project we read "Richard Cory." For the civil rights project I included poems from many Forerunners to civil rights. I will conclude the semester by including Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken." The purpose of this poem is to ask the scholars about what they will do as they reach forks in the road. Sure some may quote Yogi when asked what one should do when we come to a fork in the road.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Twenty Oh One

In twenty oh one, my address changed.

I had been relatively comfortable in my current digs,
As one thing led to another and to another,
I had discovered myself back in the neighborhood
I had started when I moved back to city, thirty years earlier.
The change was life altering.
Today towers hovered about my old squat.

Thirty years earlier, that squat was majestic.
Overlooking a field of asphalt, a parking lot.
Once the home of a famous arena, a parking lot.
Overnight that parking lot grew a corporate appendage
Reaching for the gods and spreading out for places to lounge,
While the old squat observes in the protective shadows.

Thirty years earlier, the squat became another and that
Another, the one I stayed in for a time and added two seconds.
Fellowship pulled me on and out and to a place of 2's & 3's.
The numbers were all wrong, the foundation was fracturing.
And that another, where I currently contemplate the view out my window.
Thirty years earlier, I had undertaken another profession.

Thirty years hence I would be completing a quarter century of doing
What I had left after fives years thirty years ago.