yes, today’s post will include words from a very special guest, janine de novais. janine is a legend, and if you don’t know about her yet, its just because she’s been underground raising the next paul robeson, a.k.a. my frequently mentioned 5-yr-old boyfriend who likes to be called spiderman or trinity. so at the end of today’s post, i promise, a very special treat.
but before that!
i feel like i haven’t written in a couple days…i am at the long beach airport waiting for my jetblue redeye to nueva york. (nueva = one of the three spanish words/phrases that comes to my mind before its english counterpart. cono tu madre and ay, papi are the other two!) (although oh daddy does occasionally work wonders)
i just spent two days under the tutelage of bernard dory learning the ins and outs of a tight, well-run campaign by watching his team build for the special election. one of the folks on his team is rob mcgowan, one of those big solid bald handsome black dudes who i see and try to tackle on instinct. he body checks me each time and easily picks me up and plays me out. but ANYway…arnold schwarzenegger is pushing initiatives which would, among other things, seriously cut the education budget, make teenagers have to ask permission from their parents to get an abortion, suck power out of the labor voice in california, cut the people power legs out from the left, leave california on the easy path to a red state and ruin the country and the world. in a 50-cent style beef, he’s even actin like he has drama with bush.
so scope/allert/agenda are part of the Alliance for a Better California and our california league of pissed off voter guides break it all down – check them, or any of our guides, out at: www.indyvoter.org…
anyway the training was deep – power analysis and organization. no detail is unaccounted for in their planning. now DAS some hotness. i was there with my dear sistas celeste and natasha, and my brother-man khari mosley. khari is the pittsburgh pimp who broke down the term ‘on fire’ for real. natasha is a ride-or-die hottie from oakland, and celeste you know is my constant teacher. this time we grasped the nuances of good flames versus bad flames while sipping dead guys and white wine in a comfort inn on vermont, and asif rolled through with his hardhitting new documentary, which i am now in charge of carrying cross country to ny. it is amazing and hopefully he’ll let us work with him on distributing it for righteous screenings. then i watched contact, one of my favorite films, which reminded me that at some point i still hope to become a scientist who talks to aliens.
before i get on the plane i am going to watch the first cut of the documentary of my girl tchaiko’s hiv/aids and youth documentary. its amazing to get to see these finished, or near-finished, pieces of political education, especially when folks have been telling you about it for months, even years. everyone was lookin and feelin good, and getting to know each other on the deep.
i found out a funny thing. i am a bit crazy. my boys adam and daniel both gave me signed copies of their books. for daniel’s, i got the british hardcover edition. on my first night in l.a. someone asked if they could read it, and i realized that my reaction was no. its a nice hardback. it’s not to read, or even really opened. its to sit in a place of honor in my house where i can occasionally pick it up and read it. after i said no, i thought about it for half an hour – was i trippin? should i just go get her the book and let her read it? i finally decided no, because i would have been bitter about the book being open the whole time, and that’s just triflin!
anyway, in l.a. biko baker rolled through with his boy from milwaukee and if y’all haven’t read his cover story on 50 cent and g-unit’s fading crackrock appeal, go check it. flames. biko is the real real real deal. i have to forget how high on the pedestal i keep him to be around him, cause he’s that real. go read it. he took us to earl’s grill, banging food in crenshaw. it was a good food week, cause i got thai in berkeley, and huevos rancheros at the oldest mexican restaurant in oakland and then again at la taquiza on figueroa and 30th in l.a. i can’t believe i resisted the yellow runny egg stuff for so long. i LOVE that stuff. its awesome. AND i went to trader joe’s TWICE and loaded up on good chocolate, granola and my current staple food, peppered turkey jerky.
i got into roughly 24 near accidents during this week in california, including one humorous late night episode where i tried to cross four lanes and a grass and cement median for an exit i saw. l.a. will do funny things to you! what you need is always a freeway away. when it felt overwhelming, i rolled the sunroof back and the windows down and breathed in some smog and sang new songs.
my favorite car experience was the drive down the 5, with farms all around and mountains to one side while the sun rose – i can’t get it out of my mind. though i’ve been told it was all factory farms, what i saw was gorgeous rows of growth and i feel it coming to me, the earth, learning to work it. at asif’s i was reminded that octavia butler is a goddess and her philosophy’s can be lived by – change is god. she’s a survivalist, reminds us that as times change it isn’t a personal thing if your time in history is one of violent shifts, but you should be prepared, know how to live off and with the earth and save people in crisis. required reading: parable of the sower, parable of the talents, wild seed, patternmaster.
am on my way home for some hours in my own bed before new orleans – its been too long. i still have stories to tell you – running from the booty-energy-which-seems-to-be-at-a-much-higher-pitch-in-california, the oops-was-that-an-enema? story, and the offer-to-get-to-be-second-wife-in-a-polygamy story. ah, but who has time for such drivel? we have a guest!!
from Janine de Novais:
I want to guest on your blog and tell you about Form N-400, the one I am using to apply for citizenship. Mind you, I haven’t had to ask to be part of any club since the little white girls in my Belgian catholic school shunned me for wearing oversized shoes in first grade (my dad used to say it was a matter of saving money: he was preempting the growing of my feet by a full size thus making the shoes "last longer"). I never recovered and since then I don’t take too kindly to this whole applying for shit idea–getting me into college was a challenge for that very reason. But fuck me if I’ll have taxation and no representation, especially since my child is now in the public schools of this great metropolis and we can’t seem to find our tax dollars nowhere inside his overcrowded school…
I’m not filing the N Four Hundred just yet because I have to save up for that (the fee is almost $400.00 regardless of whether they "accept" you or not), but I’m completing it. The part of the form of interest to us on this day is called section D, "Good Moral Behavior."
So here we go, transcribing from the form.All CAPS are theirs, they like to capitalize the word EVER a lot.
D. Good Moral Character
For the purposes of this application, you must answer "Yes" to the following questions, if applicable, even if your records were sealed or otherwise cleared or if anyone, including a judge, law enforcement officer, or attorney, told you that you no longer have a record.
[what about god, what if you settled it with god, do you still have to tell immigration?!]
22. Have you EVER:
A) been a habitual drunkard?
B) been a prostitute, or procured anyone for prostitution?
C) sold or smuggled controlled substances, illegal drugs or narcotics?
D) been married to more than one person at the same time?
E) helped anyone enter or try to enter the United States illegally?
F) gambled illegally or received income from illegal gambling?
G) failed to support your dependents or to pay alimony?
23. Have you EVER given false information to any US government official while applying for any immigration benefit or to prevent deportation, exclusion, or removal?
24. Have you EVER lied to any US government official to gain entry or admission into the United States?
This is Adrienne again…coping with the fact that if tested, i wouldn’t pass to be a citizen. any idea why?? what else, what else…
i’m sleepy. and since i came off the fast i’ve had severe heartburn. i think i am happiest on lemon flavored water. oh oh – i wish y’all could see me right now. i didn’t bring enough bags to accomodate all the stuff i picked up, so i have hooked a plastice bag onto my bookbag and the combined weight of all the bags is 603 lbs. walking through the airport i make a shuffling plasticy thump thump sound and am hunched forward like i know where the wild things are. elegance, thou knowest not my game!
and let’s see, what else, what else – one of the great intrigues of my life arrives in ny oct 27 right after i get back from new orleans and everytime i remember that is happening soon i look both ways and blush and laugh. its good that the world is wide enough for such grandiose engagements.
i’m singing at the union square awards november 11! mark it in your calendars um…that must must must be it. i’m too tired to think of anything else – much love.