Monthly Archive for August, 2005

katrina

most of today’s entry is focused on our folks down south, but i had to quickly say that my boy seth walker says he’s gonna get me my own domain name to house my blog! happy birthday to me :)

- the real best news i heard all day is that my girl jessica norwood who lives in mobile is getting a hybrid in reaction to this latest hurricane. we have to get ourselves and all the people we love unhooked from the gas-pipe. jessica says: "the earth has a survival mentality. it will flood cities and burn neighborhoods to get back the natural space it needs. we have expanded too far."

- send up prayers for my ladies shana sassoon, trina dasgupta, tangila islam, jessica norwood – all live in or have family in new orleans and the effected areas right now. we at the league are trying to figure out a way to get resources to our leaguers there and will let you know once we figure the best way.

- i am reprinting in full an amazing article regarding katrina by a fellow climate crisis coalitioner:

Katrina’s Real Name

By Ross Gelbspan | August 30, 2005, Boston Globe

The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.

When the year began with a two-foot snowfall in Los Angeles, the cause was global warming.

When 124-mile-an-hour winds shut down nuclear plants in Scandinavia and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and the United Kingdom, the driver was global warming.

When a severe drought in the Midwest dropped water levels in the Missouri River to their lowest on record earlier this summer, the reason was global warming.

In July, when the worst drought on record triggered wildfires in Spain and Portugal and left water levels in France at their lowest in 30 years, the explanation was global warming.

When a lethal heat wave in Arizona kept temperatures above 110 degrees and killed more than 20 people in one week, the culprit was global warming.

And when the Indian city of Bombay (Mumbai) received 37 inches of rain in one day — killing 1,000 people and disrupting the lives of 20 million others — the villain was global warming.

As the atmosphere warms, it generates longer droughts, more-intense downpours, more-frequent heat waves, and more-severe storms.

Although Katrina began as a relatively small hurricane that glanced off south Florida, it was supercharged with extraordinary intensity by the relatively blistering sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico.

The consequences are as heartbreaking as they are terrifying.

Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.

The reason is simple: To allow the climate to stabilize requires humanity to cut its use of coal and oil by 70 percent. That, of course, threatens the survival of one of the largest commercial enterprises in history.

In 1995, public utility hearings in Minnesota found that the coal industry had paid more than $1 million to four scientists who were public dissenters on global warming. And ExxonMobil has spent more than $13 million since 1998 on an anti-global warming public relations and lobbying campaign.

In 2000, big oil and big coal scored their biggest electoral victory yet when President George W. Bush was elected president — and subsequently took suggestions from the industry for his climate and energy policies.

As the pace of climate change accelerates, many researchers fear we have already entered a period of irreversible runaway climate change.

Against this background, the ignorance of the American public about global warming stands out as an indictment of the US media.

When the US press has bothered to cover the subject of global warming, it has focused almost exclusively on its political and diplomatic aspects and not on what the warming is doing to our agriculture, water supplies, plant and animal life, public health, and weather.

For years, the fossil fuel industry has lobbied the media to accord the same weight to a handful of global warming skeptics that it accords the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries reporting to the United Nations.

Today, with the science having become even more robust — and the impacts as visible as the megastorm that covered much of the Gulf of Mexico — the press bears a share of the guilt for our self-induced destruction with the oil and coal industries.

As a Bostonian, I am afraid that the coming winter will — like last winter — be unusually short and devastatingly severe. At the beginning of 2005, a deadly ice storm knocked out power to thousands of people in New England and dropped a record-setting 42.2 inches of snow on Boston.

The conventional name of the month was January. Its real name is global warming.

navel gazing in the east on west coast time

spent the day playing trey songz ‘gotta make it’ over and over again. people keep asking me how it feels to be back in ny and really i think those words sum it up. its much easier to feel like life is fabulous and adventurous when you’re bouncing from place to place and no one can hold you to more than a few days of an impression.

ny is the city i love, full of the people i love and have held closest to me, but in ny i’m currently on my own shit list, constantly faced with the ways in which i’ve failed to be the person i was aiming for – oh what’s the bumper sticker i saw in nm: lord let me be the person my dog thinks i am. sadly i don’t even have a loving dog because shane said we would neglect it and it would die.

in organizational development there’s a concept of competing values, holding two opposite values that cancel each other out. i have this idea of my values that includes being trustworthy, accountable, strong and supportive. on one hand. and on the other i have this idea of being fearless, being fully present for each experience, being free, being who i am. i keep ending up in a shrug saying i’m sorry. and anyways, it doesn’t matter if others will forgive you or try to, if you can’t forgive yourself.

ah this shit’s a downer, but today was full of bad news:

- damn georgia. first i found out two people i really like are moving to soviet georgia. i knew, but had blocked it out. and then in a major blow to the voting rights movement, the glorious state of georgia will now require photo id for folks to vote.

- the earth continues to snap her fingers to get our attention. tearing the roofs off of everything in and around the mouth of the mississippi, she says – look at the sky, its falling all around you. i think of the neverending story when i think of global warming and this climate crisis we are in the midst of. how people are going through their lives and losing touch with their dreams and have become so out of touch that the nothing could come up on us and we’d just cover it on the 6 o’clock news and keep it movin.

- i found out a couple i grew up thinking of as the perfect love story is getting divorced after something like 30 years together. one’s mother just died, the other was seeing someone else. love is this constant work and sometimes no matter how much time you’ve worked, it fails. i mean, i’d like to even get to one year someday, but i still recently found myself walking down a street with two people over 5 years younger than me and swearing that love is it, its what we live for, its the very point and purpose, the opening to all that is divine in this world. but i am beginning to doubt its permanence. perhaps the same force of destruction that is keeping the earth spinning and storming and shaking is having an equal effect on our ability to love each other, to stay solid, to not turn in on ourselves and destroy everything in sight. 

4. and in another damning uppercut, i was watching the then and now mariah carey package on yahoo music today and realized she has been surgically adjusting her body. now in general i am not against a nip and tuck for the spiritual uplift of one’s confidence. if i ever shake off my baby fat i sure am gonna get some miracle whip laid on me…but i am in that small skool of people who think of mariah as one of music’s 9 pure wonders. sure she had her hoochie stage, but she was pure hoochie! sigh. i will say her boobie dr is excellent. 

5. the whole mars thing was a spoof. my boy isaac pointed it out, and then i checked it on www.snopes.com. i am worried, cause i was pretty sure i saw it more than once. unfortunately that is scientifically impossible. so…what did i see?

now, onto question/comments about this blog i’ve heard in the past couple of days:

1. do you ever edit?

i said no. that’s not true. technically i sit and write for a long time and sometimes go back and read to make sure the words are all there, usually adding lots more until i am finally tired. i rarely cut, hence the somewhat tacky length of recent entries.

2. ‘it’s exaggerated’

absolutely not!! i am just very dramatic about the events of my own life. i see the story unfolding at this level, that’s the crazy part i suppose. my crushes are manic, my guilt is visceral, and i end up in bizarre situations fairly regularly. but i’ve always come from that school of thought that says if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, who cares? from the very beginning, the living have always found our way through to the next day through stories, marking what we see and experience in any way we can, wherever we can. i learn through stories, life lessons, algebra, whatever. narrative keeps me alive.

3. who would want to know that much?

i have no idea why folks read this. all kinds of people i wouldn’t expect to read it say they check it daily. two people have told me its a guilty pleasure, which i don’t know if that’s good or not…i admit that it’s far less political than it should be, and that its a struggle not think about who might be reading it as i write. i really think the people i come across demand to be written about. those who i miss, i miss literally – i wish i could tell you stories about nathan berger, and more about this dude evans whose up at yale for what seems to be forever, and this amazing woman tanjila islam. you would love them.

but – i started it largely as a point of discipline and with the intention of commenting on the world. i often feel too overwhelmed and humbled by the world, so i get limited to writing about subjects i can actually tackle, and even those sometimes leave me fumbling over words. theoretically, if i could write something potentially public on a daily basis then that would hone my writing skills and my discipline and my memory. so far the effect has been to make me lose discipline, i lean into life nowadays when perhaps i should pull away. the idea that there is reality and fantasy has fallen apart as i’ve gotten older and realized that we are the ones living those stories we so long to watch – we fall over in public, we love the wrong people long before we love the right ones, we lie, we steal, we are pathetic and underwhelming and brilliant and amazing. we spill secrets in confidence, we want to tell our stories, we hurt those closest to us and we live with it. this is my memory box.

some confessions:

- i love commentary. i watched edward scissorhands for the first time last night. then i watched it with tim burton’s commentary, he’s kind of one of my favorite directors. then i watched it with danny elfman’s commentary and no dialogue, only the music. awesome.

- i hate not having money. the foundation of this is that i hate the existence of money. but in practice it usually equates to hating when i can’t take care of my needs. and furthermore, my wants. i’m cheap, and yet between debt and rent and travel and food i am still always coming up short, and its not romantic or righteous, it just sucks.

- as soon as i know someone likes me i start clawing about like a trapped bear, ripping and tearing everything in sight with senseless groans and fast words. i suspect that if i could be still long enough to let the feeling build it might heal all kinds of scar tissue i’ve kind of gotten proud of sporting.

- i miss my mama and my daddy. and i miss driving around.

- i am convinced that the world sometimes chases my awkward moments around to lay them out more explicitly. like – have you ever been listening to music with someone and a song comes on that exactly explains whatever fight or ill shit y’all have gone through and you both just sort of listen and don’t look at each other? or same with a tv show? its uncanny and personally i don’t like it. note to the god of coincidental media: please cut it out, isht is hard enough as it is!

- i just watched mariah’s ‘we belong together’ 8 times. i love yahoo music! i’m gonna break the cycle with a little trey and try to induce passing out! or missy’s lose control with ciara which is BRILLIANT.

5 – 0 – 5 part 3: Last Daze, Coming Home

star date aug 26-27, 2005

did part 2 ever show up?

anyway, ok, its my last night in Albuquerque and I had to write this
before I went to bed even though I won’t be able to post it till tomorrow. this
day was just spectacular.

I got to spend a bit of the day with each of my four
favorite people in the 505.

1. it was myra’s
birthday today – 19 years! she’s a fireball and a feisty rugby player, covered
in bruises and proud of it. so on point, myra makes it happen. happy birthday myra!
her sister turned on birthday music at 7am and we went to breakfast to celebrate before myra hopped on a bus to
Colorado for a
game. lovely-eyed myra was my host this
week, and I have total faith that she will take the Albuquerque league to the next level over the coming months.

2. then cyrus and I went to the public hearing to save all
ages shows at venues like the launchpad. the night before we were at a concert
at civic plaza to raise awareness for the hearing. basically everyone from the
concert plus some more came out to testify and save the scene here. Stunning mohawks
and intricate tattoos and powerful thoughtful testimony from youth and their
parents. it was so beautiful and powerful to see all these young people awake and on fire at 9am in the basement of city hall. eric griego
came to testify on behalf of youth and ‘mayor griego’ was murmured throughout
the crowd.

I dipped out to get a cheap and amazing massage at mar y sol
on Harvard st near UNM –  I got cupped
and I have to say, I loved it! they light a match in a cup and that makes takes
the air out and then they attach it to your oiled back and rub it around and
its like a reverse massage, like having your skin pulled off your body. now I
knew I was on the busted side of broke but it was also my last day and I hoped
that my reimbursement money or paycheck would hit at midnight. doh! pero, no regrets!

scooped cyrus at 12:30 – the testimony had been going for over three hours and 99% of it was young
people! we’ll know the results later this year – their election is October 4th
so if you have any way of voting in new mexico,
represent!!

then we went to have shawarma cooked, according to cyrus, by
Palestinians in a restaurant covered in paraphernalia from Jordan (so folks wouldn’t hassle the owners). cyrus says everything with the same
truthful wide-eyed look but sometimes he’s just shittin you and the result is hilarious…yesterday, cyrus showed me the spread of Albuquerque including a hood called the war zone. he said you can order green chile
sauce from frontier through ups but I dunno if that’s true…but today I noticed
that high or not cyrus is the most perfectly pleasant company anyone can hope
for. he’s also a quirky b-boy and an amazing event promoter.

3. so at one point cyrus walked out the door and walked back
in with alex! alex and I started talking life stories
yesterday and decided to make a date to finish it today. now in case you didn’t
know, alex is the dearest 20-year-old man in the world, and was the
hero-spectacular of smackdown 2005 planning. he worked in the office all
summer, but all we’d done is laughed and made fun of each other. this time, we
drove all of Albuquerque. we
dropped off cyrus and went to the petroglyph national monument, because I
wanted to see what we had advocated to save in HTGSWMOOO, what folks like eli
lee and alma rosa b. sharpened their campaign teeth for…we drove out,
unstoppable, through serious construction and detours and climbed over volcanic
rock to reach the top.

on the way, my sister april called and says she’s seeing a
massive hottie who happens to play college football. let’s check him out this
thursday in the USC game on ESPN – he’s number 55…his name is Stanley and when he hit on my sister she had no idea who he was, although he’s
apparently a campus celeb in Columbia, SC. 

so the petroglyphs are deep. they look like high art of cats
and birds and figures – one looks exactly like a court jester image I saw on myra’s
door this morning. some look like children’s communications, others have multiple story lines built out of the center. they
all make me think of how today’s graffiti and murals will be found in the
future and I wonderful if our current hood bombers could learn this permanent marking
technique…these images are between 400-3000
years old.

from the top you can look in each direction and see the development
closing in around it, an endless march of shoddy faux-dobe walls. we drove up
to where they are working to extend a rode called paseo del norte through the
middle of the petroglyphs, and climbed up an oddly wet green hill amidst this
gorgeous desert, and when we reached the top
there was a sign:

“future site of a wal-mart” 

alex and I both suffered from depressed shoulder shock for a
minute, then slipped back into the car and decided it was time to go higher. we
turned due east towards the mountains and rolled the windows down. alex is a
constant smoker and filled the afternoon with amazing, intricate, difficult
life and love stories. by the time we reached
the crest 2 miles up I was blown away that this was the story behind the
somewhat sheepish adorable alex I’d known all summer; by the time we looked in
all four directions, at the nuclear hump, the defiant casino, the gated private
school, the stream of a rio grande and were coming back down the mountain, that
was my soul brother!

it is not the first time this trip that I have spent hours
on the topic of the trials and tribulations of love, just listening
for once in my life. or – listening in my way
which includes amens and random observations. but what amazes me as I prepare
to head home is how the most common experience I hear from anyone is this
complex and seemingly completely unique thing called love. it gives me a deep
peace, honestly. we all in it. 

by the way – great song – “gotta make it” by trey songs. old
skool.

so – then alex showed me a beautiful park and his home, his
backyard of art made of cacti – cactuses? big sticky pretty things…which I promptly
had to touch and believe you me, that isht hurts! and then his cave full of bed
and books that tells the story of how alex became a savvy think tanker.  he’s ella baker style though – check for alex
where you don’t see him. he’s kind of my hero now. thanks for the afternoon mr adams…

…

 

4. and THEN I found marisol enyart waiting for me. marisol
and I go back to the book and that is my road dawg home girl for real. every
other person in Albuquerque who I asked about how they got political traced
their story back to marisol. she’s hilarious and gorgeous and on point at all
times. she’s also maternal and a delight. she made this dope steak with green chile
and pasta and mint sun tea.

now I could stop here and write a whole sub-blog about how
I’ve been carbing my way across

America.
I was gonna do one earlier called puffing across the prairies. and before that
I was thinking it was hot-tubbing against imperialism. but we ain’t got time
for nun-a-dat…

so marisol makes the bangin dinner and the evening begins:
run to this place with mad rotten apples strewn all about and roughly 5 kittens
to get the other green chile, run to pick up
mari’s friends from outta town at a hotel, run to ‘the spot’ to see alex for
one more minute and catch the end of a DUMB GORGEOUS sunset, run to pick up
this b-boy who knows where the b-boy battle is going down and has a pipe for
the chile, then run to the b-boy battle.

marisol’s boyfriend albert is a tall dark and slender b-boy
artist and so sweet – as soon as he had me alone after we met he wanted to tell
me how amazing marisol is and how hard he is working to keep her. my homey
cyrus is in the same crew as albert.

basically:

- marisol had scissors in the car and I cut my hair in
the passenger seat mirror, tossing it out the window.
- I was wearing a horribly unhip outfit that said: “Out
of Clothes”
- our boys had already battled when we arrived
- my favorite for the night was a b-girl in an arm cast
- b-boy battles are super inspirational in terms of what
the body can do. my goal is to be able to uprock in a year. what!
- I noticed that the majority of participants are these compact people who have galaxy sized energy and spirit and are also flexible. I
am not going to let that deter my uprock dreams.

but how come:

- we had one too many people in the car on the way home
- did someone say “hot box”?
- we got pulled over by the Albuquerque police department who did NOT make us spend an evening in jail! not only that, they
were nice and said get home safely!
- in order for them to send us off on our way, marisol had
to pull off an act of sheer bravery and explained our situation clearly {“we
just young students trynna get home sir!”} and directed them towards albert’s brilliant
art…the rest of us helped by hiding the green chile
and thinking diminuitive thoughts.
- is BET late night basically the missing link between
soft and hard porn? sorry I am flippin channels while I write and am shocked!
there’s a massive ugly monster man telling these big booty mamas in a shower to shake it.
- we went to frontier for some late night food and I
decided to risk total credit card rejection for the chance at one last meal of
huevos rancheros with green chile sauce. I
heart green chile!!! it worked!

so finally at, as my dad says, 0-dark:30, I get dropped off
at marisol’s house and have to figure out how to get the entire trunk of the
car to decompress into two bags. it was a daunting challenge – the two pairs of
$6 cowboy boots, the $5 bomber jacket, the movement t-shirts, the j-lo shoes,
the nice smelling lotion adriana gave me for singing at her wedding…packing
this little journey into a duffel bag and a suitcase.

this trip has been a total adventure, a whirlwind,
emotionally exhausting and uplifting. I feel strong and tired, unique and remarkably
common. I am more dedicated to my work than I have been in months. I miss my
friends and family, in japan and ny and south carolina and cape verde.
I miss my friend in ohio. I miss
my fela/heartbreaker wherever he is, though i am starting to really realize he is not a good person and definitely not good enough for me. still. I have spent the past month thinking a
lot about forgiving myself and coming to terms with folks orbiting out into the
dark and trusting that my work is to make my light strong, strong enough to
merge seamlessly into the world, but distinct enough to guide love back to my
heart someday. anyways, other people are just intimate strangers.

- – 

I fell asleep last night writing this in front of dirty ass BET…this
morning can best be described in excerpts from a play called ‘Getting Home’:

 

Act 1:

 

7am in a super
comfy bed in a trailer park in albuquerque

marisol: its 7am

adrienne: its 7am?

marisol: yeah

dramatic pause 

7:30 am in a
trailer park in albuquerque

marisol: its 7:30am

adrienne: its 7:30?

marisol: yes

adrienne: shee-it!

sound of furious dressing while simultaneously calling bank
to see if reimbursement check or paycheck hit.

bank: your current balance is $6!

adrienne: shee-it!

7:45

adrienne: marisol, you got any $ and I can pay you back?

marisol: I have $6 but its yours…

adrienne: (inside head) one more 6 and I will think a capitalist devil is conspiring against me! thank god I got my boots and massage.
priorities are a girl’s best friend. and –

marisol: let me pack you some food…granola bar? cookies?
yogurt? beef jerky?

adrienne: yes, thanks honey

8:10

adrienne is in the car, her belongings are in the car, and
the car is on its way to the airport!

john legend: live it up, you and me baby!

flashback: last night on BET, a video of john legend singing
about walking on the sky showed him gratuitously kissing a woman and it grossed
me out. I really thought the song deserved a
deeper interpretation. oh well.

8:15

adrienne arrives at airport rental car return, the lady who
checks her car out says:

“there’s a credit card error – please go check in with the
desk inside!”

adrienne: yes of course, I’ll go right now.

cut to – adrienne running through the rental car center
right past Alamo with two overstuffed bags wearing
cowboy boots and a bomber jacket that wouldn’t fit into the freaking
overstuffed bags. she dashes in a shuffling way to the front door and onto the
shuttle to the main terminal. says a quick prayer/promise to resolve the Alamo
issue once there’s some money in the bank!

8:25

drags overstuffed bags into main terminal. the line at
southwest is roughly 40 minutes long. adrienne’s flight leaves at 8:55. clearly a strategy is needed.

8:30

adrienne to occupied southwest desk clerk: excuse me – I
just used the rapid check in and it didn’t give me a way to check my bags in!

OSWDC: well no honey, that’s the rapid check in, for when ya
have no baggage.

adrienne (literally batting eyes): oh my – that’s a
conundrum! my flight leaves at 8:55…can
you please help me?

8:37

adrienne runs around the corner thanking god for OSWDC and
sees the army of potential terrorists waiting in the security line. she has 3
minutes to make the gate. clearly a strategy is needed.

8:38

adrienne to the security ticket checker in the line for
pilots and flight attendants: hi! she told me to come to this line and see if
you could expedite me through as my flight leaves at 8:55! (breathless Mariah
smile with a hint of flight attendant eyes) please help me!

STCITLFPAFA (looking at ticket with a sort of dazed smile):
Um.

adrienne: thank you SO much!

STCITLFPAFA: yeah, ok? 

8:41

adrienne attempts to run. in her mind she is gonna oj
through the airport like oj runs from a white lady’s Hollywood home. her body attempts to realize this concept…instead of running it looks
like she might be trying to find a bathroom cause she has the runs. adrienne
has to literally stop and laugh at the chasm between her idea and the reality. she
recommits to a carb-free fitness plan starting as soon as she has funds with
which to purchase carb-free food. she speed walks! she also resolves to demand
that the league send a car for her since she has no money to get home with all
her luggage from the airport. {later, in Chicago,
adrienne will call billy with this demand and he valiantly offers to come pick
her up himself}.

finally, adrienne reaches the gate where they are about four
minutes behind schedule boarding, and she’s on her way home! to shane, to sofia,
to jen, to dani, to autumn, to ft. green, to her own bed, to the harlem office,
to the perfect post-hell period of a late ny summer, to home. this is the
longest blog ever – I’ll take a couple days off :-P

oh but quickly – coming into new york, my most beloved candy
city, through the thick lush northeast, and all that water under the purple sky
and the buildings all gold and green – oh god I love this city. so deeply. I’m
home.

5 – 0 – 5

i’m in albuquerque, which is a city i deeply love. i love the green chile, i love the hot dry weather, i love the all day free internet and coffee at rb winnings, i love frontier and gecko’s and i love the young organizers here who have insane energy.

i forgot to mention that i had an amazing and private giggle session with a pit bull puppy the other day in minnesota. all i really want in life is find a partner to go half with me on a puppy. a boxer maybe, or a little thing.

here i watched some arrested development this morning and fell in love. that show is the bomb. wow. i mean whew. finally.

what else…

albuquerque is placed up against a mountain right, and then you look down and out over the desert, cut cross by the rio grande. the sunsets here are so spectacular that it reminds you how limiting language is, and how funny god is.

i think i have to up and leave this coffee shop now.

oh but wait – pat robertson said on national radio that we should just assassinate huga chavez with special ops. then today he was like – i was misinterpreted! ok, so on one hand i think mr. robertson is hella crazy and ignant, but i love that he got caught calling it like it is and basically acknowledging that that’s what happens to folks who fuck with the u.s. i love with the cracks gleam on this broken record of our failing nation. viva venezuela, viva hugo.

i love the southwest, i love living out of the back of a car. i may now go for a drive!

clarity and insomnia

i’m in … minneapolis, minnesota at my future uncle-in-law’s house. so tired i can’t sleep. plus i have been having hives every day for like two months…?

anyway, kiki is the awesome uncle-in-law-to-be. took me, autumn (sister) and sam (conway, the sister’s boyfriend) to a steakhouse for dinner, all 40s style. made me very happy and satisfied. all i can say is where spinach and artichoke meet a good steak, i am overjoyed.

just got back from an amazing training of trainers with the wellstone crew – they’re launching a campus camp wellstone series and its well thought out! it excites me whenever these moments of movement synergy occur, where i see similar values and different approaches and new lessons and brilliant hearts applied to some real work with a real plan! if we could all get on the same page like this weekend evidenced is possible, we could have such a developed powerhouse of a youth movement.

and all kinds of wonderful folks were there – it was a reunion of early leaguers: bouapha, mattie, meighan and me in one room with some jameson’s and samba lessons! then there was j-smoove the southern loverman who pimps the smiles out in the tavis smiley school of game. melvin, who i had previously thought of as a cleancut married christian guy, kicked my ass in spades while talking shit at the level of my father and uncle – i can’t wait to play again (and melvin’s gonna be a daddy!!). and then anna the adorable most delightfully nerdy person i’ve recently met (she said shazamalam! and hugged her G4 multiple times to show her love of it), and adrianna from chicago who made me laugh my butt off, and patricia the sweet and brave – first native american elected official in her hood. and then maddy the irish-all-american, one of 68 cousins.

two unique experiences occurred by this lake:

1. i got to know someone who has various gender identities and actually see the change occur in my mind and understanding and could no longer see the friday-her in the saturday-him. i like these little moments of noticable evolution in my mind, where i feel a part of my brain shake loose from the societal settings and see a vision and know its the truest kind of true thing. i didn’t realize before how often i’d kept it in my mind girl-boy, boy-girl…thought i was past that. but then felt past it and could look back.

2. i meditated on the fact that i want to be back in touch with fela/heartbreaka, and we holla’d at each other last week and then for the maybe 4005th time he ain’t call like he said he would and i tipped my chin up to off-set my heart sinkin (less, but still), wondering if that is weakness or strength. am i faking myself out that i am done with that intense love feeling and just want to holla and fuck it that’s my road dawg and why not; OR am i just indulging that hungry part of my heart who knows nothing compares and i want to hear him laugh so much it would make me cry if i let the thought complete itself but who has time – :)…silly adrienne.

i sat up till 4am last night with a fellow member of the 2005 Summer Heartbreak Club. a letter got read, written from one lover to another and neither was me and yet my heart was in there and the truth there was that all these amazing people come into your life, but once you know that distinction of a ‘love of your life’ you can’t be fake. i can’t really see anyone else – i can write and call and hold and kiss and be the sweet to and get the sweet from and be fully present with as best as i can –

and i can’t lie, i am deeply enjoying these latest developments, these adventures (you know when something is so surprising and hot you can’t even tell nobody? tgi-sf!)…you can give a lot, love a lot, let people close and free yourself into these moments.

still a part of you is held, charred, seems just a little shaky but then like a tongue on a loose tooth you probe too hard and you could lose it all. dear adrienne: be careful with your heart. be careful with your body. be careful with your mind and how you fill it. you are limitless and still barely register on the grand scale of everything so just hold yourself tight with love and pray that your hands are in the shape of god’s and can safely divine a path towards wholeness in this incomplete world. love love and mo love.

i have noticed that everyone around me is in this similar ebb and flow space. ohio woman disappears and reappears like some oracle of stories. i watch friends fall back into arms they’d left,  shamelessly. people i look up to while denying them full pedestal status jump down and kiss me on the cheek, say its all good. i am spinning in circles leaving loops of right angles, so every other day i get to a new familiar place. each time i am just surprised, and just as pleased to have made it this far.

so amidst all the thinking and learning there was a lake, and we went to canoe but by the time we coordinated the canoes, paddles and life jackets, it was time to get back to class. there was campfire activity, which means 4 out of the last 5 nights have seen me fondling a whiskey and sipping a black and mild between sticky roasted marshmallow bites. i have learned some dirty jokes, and i may be good at joke telling!

my other sister april got sprint so we can talk for free which makes me really happy. in general my sisters fill me with unadulterated joy. and i got both my parents on the phone today, which is a rare and wonderful thing, because i LOVE and MISS my family – i love the adventure of them living in japan but really its too far. always.

soundtrack:

joni mitchell – both sides now, cactus tree
mary j – changes i been going thru
aretha – daydreamin
sam and dave, sam cooke, marvin gaye (distant lover)
odetta – if i had a hammer

my this is long. but who can edit under such thoughts…i am spinning on the edge of deliriousness and sleep just teases me these days. i am within 4 nights of my bed. albuquerque better be dry and hot and full of mars…

back in minnesota

just had the all night journey – delayed flight at 1 am, then we all got on the ATA flight (cause we supportin the NWA strike holla what!), but it were a broke plane, so we moved to another, then had to transfer in chicago and boom i’m in minnesota now. i am so very tired at this point that i was dead asleep each time i stopped moving and kind strangers would wake me for each move. i was high from my time at spin academy with sushma from miami singing little mermaid songs and running around with the cool kids having fun and games. i learned to roast a marshmallow and make a strategic media plan.

now i’m at matties house looking at pictures of her time and brazil and totally understanding that she’s going back for real and maybe for good. we’re heading up to sandstone mn for a wellstone training of trainers, and on monday i’ll get another minute with my sister and her fiance and family before heading to albuquerque.

my ex-boyfriend from germany called me while i was in the cell hole and just called again this morning – its been like 10 years now that we’ve kept in touch, which means outside of my family he is my longest contact. he lives, djs, produces and writes about music in nurnberg – if you ever going through germany get at him for some deep conversations.

i have had the blessed opportunity to do some laundry here! yay! and am rocking this fresh wu-tang sweatshirt that i picked up from the hottest girl in san francisco to brave the cold. wash my face and teeth and i’m almost ready to be in another new place.

i found out my email account was hella full and stuff was bouncing back so if you wrote and ain’t here from me write again. i miss people, i need every little bit of love i can read when i’m this deep into the road experience!

had the thought yesterday that i am almost 27. what is 27, halfway to 30, can’t really front as being so impressively young anymore :) – i’m noticing changes in my style and my energy, little things. little lines, all from smiles i think but and still, the aging is not quiet. the learning doesn’t pass without marking us, eh?

pero yo soy sleepy

yeah i don’t habla espanol pero yo soy sleepy.

sometimes i think politics – my obsession – is the death of beauty. i see people who would be able to create such a lovely world, an interesting world, and instead all we do is talk about living wages and working families and healthcare and lack. and we love it! i’m together with like over 70 people here in petaluma california and they are really some lovely kind of folks who are moved on all types of issues…this cool super smart dude lester from east l.a., this smooth woman angela from seattle, this woman nora who has such pretty eyes i keep forgetting where she’s from, the older black guy named delma from louisiana who looks like huey from the boondocks but aged 60 and 6"5. and within a minute and a half its palestine and poverty and voting rights.

there’s all this wisdom and we’re discussing the same issues in the same frames we always discuss them. i think people are scared to acknowledge that they know the answers, know what’s right and wrong, and know how to create actual change because at the end of the day its all hard work. my friend gavin has been saying folks are lazy. i think folks are kind of uninspired, but i understand that because those of us who are supposed to inspire are kind of in conversation loops around those core things which most inspire us. time to ‘skip hop jump’ as my boy johny says, jump the rut, the broom, the track. time for new language and new approaches, time to shake it off.

another thought in my head: the current theme of my life is moving away from ego/obsession to good self/love. i talked to the heartbreaker briefly today, who i am going to now annoint Friend who i Ended Loving in August, or FELA. fela and i were both like can we talk now? this self-imposed period of healing has been sped along by this trip, where i keep having deep time to think, and the more i think the more i realize it wasn’t all about him, it was about my ego and my comfort with obsession.

i feel so much better about the whole thing than i have. like i have been good to my self, am being better to myself. i don’t want to be obsessed with folks, or obsessed over…want to be a good person and have folks respond to that. i don’t want to pull folks close to me to feed my ego, i want to fall into the arms of love as often as possible, all different levels of love – spoken, huggin, kissin, lookin at, writing to, feelin it love, all of it selfless and self-aware.

to that end, i am currently in this sweet vortex full of lovely brilliant creatures who don’t demand too much from me. i am learning to say no to those sweet creatures whose loving would just hurt me or hurt someone i love. i am learning to say yes to surprises and to letting others sometimes take the lead.

maybe i can apply it to the political boredom i am currently feeling – where is the love in the work, where is the point of people being better as people, less greedy and obsessed and egotistical and more loving and good. that excites me, even if the language over it is federal budget. where is the love for kids in the federal budget…maybe. maybe.

petaluma is all these huge blonde hills dotted with deer and goats and turtles and it makes me think of wuthering heights – immense and windy. in other news the mouse showed up in the room next to ours last night. i smoked out the campfire crew and thus identified the folks i will build with late night here – luckily i smoked out the woman who woke up face to face with the mouse and she was able to chill on it. proof of my level of exhaustion right now is that i walked into the room in the dark, stripped and got in the bed with whichever little creatures may have been in there.

my girl laura is in the house up from oakland, and she said you need to go rest. i have circles under my eyes the shape of this journey. i can’t say no to a campfire with perfectly crisped melted marshmallows by ny jobs with justice worker lauren. hopefully i’ll get a nap first. i LOVE not having a working phone here. :)

soon i’ll see mattie, pam costain, meighan davis, my sister and the conways again, and the 505 crew! and someday i’ll sleep…

california dreamin, california love

peace fam
i’m in a cell hole in petaluma california. the most special thing that happened so far is that i went to put sheets on the bed and when i pulled back the cover a spider crawled out. we sort of looked at each other like hmmm, what you doing here. then i move the cover again and a mouse jumped out, and the spider and i both screamed in fear and ran. i then chose a totally different bed and went to sleep. i can only assume the mouse did the same.

coming down off the wedding magic, i spent a wonderful week in the mission with josie, hallie, natasha – and then last night actually got all my favorite bay folks together for dinner at bissab baobab: seth, mike, ibrahim, hector, hobbes, daniel, kevin liao and his cutie girlfriend lauren, bryant terry and his cutie married friend mike who rocked shame into some random white kid at the open mic we slipped over to at little baobab. and amy woloszyn! we banged out and it was f-r-e-s-h.

now i’m at the spin academy about the learn how to make the dope communications plan we need. looks like i’m going to be doing some lifechanging work with an amazing oakland based organization soon and will get to spend more time on the left coast so i’m happy about that.

haven’t been home since august 2 and i have to admit i’m feeling the travel up my back and on my skin. keep having little hives and waking up with wonder. still the next steps are amazing – minnesota for lakes and wellstone training, and then the 5-0-5!!! albuquerque for some in-depth with those desert hotties.

life is good, then better, then great. my heart by the way is feeling so healed these days and love is all around. so in case you were concerned or worried, my little care bear power is AMPING back up….

:)

holla!

baby is married

oh man
i am still in my dress from the wedding. the shoes, fortunately, are miles from my feet. they were jlo brand, and i rocked them.

baby is married! i only cried through the entire ceremony :) and then some. she looked like a princess. her husband and i agreed she should always wear a princess dress. i’ll post pics when i get them.

i sang in public for the first time in a loooong time and it was – it felt like – people cried. i was so moved i think i had tears in the song. the song was crafted out of a series of near haikus i wrote them early on and put on a collage which they have prominently featured each place they’ve lived. i rewrote it to put to music, so it went like this:

these two are sitting
their hands linked loose like two smiles
their thoughts are leaning
these two are one

two is an illusion
has it always been this way
this is how that once new love looks now
walking talking freely

they store up love
enough to give out the rest
so beautiful
i know someday they’ll be gray that way

the place
where these two become one
is such a tiny gleeful look upon a face
the twoness stops; and their life’s begun

the family all got down – daniel comes from a jewish family so the wedding was mixed with the two traditions and it was gorgeous. his mama and baby’s mama were getting down on it, oh…magic magic magic. there were mad baby’s and little girls dancing with daddy and stuff. if i was the marrying kind, yo.

now i must take off this dress and go to oakland…

dinner tonight and then some drinks at bissab baobab!

tomorrow i’m off to spin academy in petaluma y’all – holla back word is life

cali what?

i got stuck in salt lake city on my way to cali after the lake swim in minnesota. there were no hotels in the city available so they put me up in the number one ski lodge in the country? www.snowbird.com – yeah that’s right.

convo between myself and the red headed cab driver up the mountain once we got out and i was sippin a black and mild before going to bed:

me – hendrix was dope too
let’s call him drake – the best
me – you know he was only alive and famous like 4 years
drake – yeah man. he was a true playa tho!
me – what you know about playas?
drake – ah not much. just got divorced you know, trynna get back in the game
me (innocently) – really? how?
drake – well i keep a full bar and some weed at home
me – that sounds like a good idea, i bet smoking at this altitude is something else.
drake – yeah – its just down the way.

(me ding ding ding – he’s heading towards an invitation)

me (yawning desperately) – yeah woo i am tired. i should go call my man. he’s a boxer so he’s on the road too…well anyway thanks for the ride drake!
drake (moving in like the prince of darkness for a hug and then patting my shocked booty while looking dead at my shocked face) – i like your (pat pat)
me – (jaw dropped)
drake – it sticks out nicely. just a compliment for ya! good night.

then drake was in his vehicle and gone before i could get my mouth closed. i vote salt lake city for the next skinny white boy playas ball!

also, i feel like i should start calling this blog ‘hottubbing across america" cause i got up at 6 am to go try all three of snowbird’s hot tubs in my drawers and t-shirt. swimwear was in my luggage which was locked in the airport, so they could ship it to oakland the next morning but tell me they shipped it to san francisco. i went to san francisco to find it. alas, at that point no one knew where the luggage was and i was already late for wine tasting in sonoma valley as part of adriana/baby (my college roommate)’s bachelorette party. i made it through the party, the afterparty (mash-up at elements on geary y’all, go next saturday if you’re in the bay area) and the rehearsal brunch with just the random assortment of clothes in my bookbag and let me tell you, it weren’t easy. confidence is worth thirteen pieces of bling.

adriana’s family is from los angeles and are all 5ft tall with nails hair and outfits! under the influence i drank long island ice teas, bought j lo shoes and ALMOST got my hair done before i remembered that i am a brooklyn girl who wears no make up and cuts my own hair, usually late at night in the mirror after a shot of jack daniels.

speaking of jack daniels, i now have a drink to look forward to in september with the smartest boy in the world. note to self: reread bikos write what i like…

this trip is full of adventures, my piles of secrets is getting tall enough to be reckoned with :)

if you are in the bay and want to have dinner tomorrow night holla at me!