live from l.a. on my weekend of elders

afloat on the depth of alabama, i trained today in santa cruz at the top of a mountain that looks down toward the sea. we trained the history of direct action and the basics of good direct action. i got to use a training celeste recently put together, it was exciting to watch all the ideas come to life. we opened and closed with group singing and we created a direct action. diane wilson, 5th generation shrimper and hard core activist on the lam from texas po-po {longer story!}, called and volunteered to do a direct action and get arrested if we came up with a good one, and i daresay we did. i’ll let you know how it progresses!

this training was couched in between the opposing bookends of transportation experiences. on one end, there was the 11:05pm arrival in san jose followed by the rental car shuttle to a rental car desk with no one behind it because it closed at 11 and then the rental car shuttle back to terminal 3 and then waiting for the hotel van before calling the hotel and discovering by the laughter of the person on the other end of the phone that the vagabond inn ‘don’t have no shuttle honey, not a-one’, which was followed by going out to the taxis, getting in the warmest one, and going to the vagabond inn which had no atm machine but did have a hot tub 🙂 and where i had to convince a very annoyed cab driver to take my credit card while the still-laughing desk clerk started laugh-cursing at her frozen computer which did not unfreeze at any point during my waiting and eventually pleading for the key to my room which i finally got and when i lay there with my lap top and had to call the desk clerk to get the passcode for the hotel wireless, she laughed again and said she could give it to me over the phone or i could come and get it and i realized the ridiculousness of the day just had to end. but that was only last night cause when i woke i was in a hotel with no transportation of my own and three hours to figure out breakfast and how to get to santa cruz. i ate at denny’s for the first time since the whole ‘denny’s is da kkk’ incidents and i have to say: banging overeasy eggs (i am freshly inducted into the runny yellow sophisticates club) and country fried steak and nice buttery pancakes, which equates to two thumbs up, though those thumbs wilted once i hopped in the post-denny’s taxi service and he took me to the rental car hut where they told me my reservation was cancelled when i didn’t show up by 11pm even though they had my flight arrival time as 11:05 on the reservation – BASTARDS – and then there was no atm and the driver wouldn’t take my card so we then spent the next 45 minutes driving around san jose looking for an atm so i could pay the quickly growing fee, then go in the rental car center and nearly cry in the arms of a friendly big-haired alamo car rental queen (and since it was parenthetical in life i will add it so here: at some point i called the santa cruz airporter and made a reservation for Immediately but the cab driver refused to take me back to the airport to try an atm there because he would get ‘fined a lot ok young lady’, so i missed the reservation and thus had to try and rent a car again) and the only car they had was an suv and i made the argument about how i feel on suvs and she shrugged a royal shrug and said ‘well honey that’s all i have right now and i think you need to be on your way,’ which was totally true so then i had to book a golden suv down the gorgeous winding drive from san jose to santa cruz. to chaminade. which is a resort that looks and feels like the name sounds. the onomotopeia (sp??) of luxury landscaping.

but the drive out of there was ablaze with good vibes and good music, shared with co-trainer sharon lungo. i took the wheel about 3.5 hours out and i think we made it in 2.45 cause i have the need for speed. we stopped to meet with her spiritual uncle, fred, who was wonderful. he introduced us to his 91-year old mother who was witty and strong and beautiful with us. sharon told him i sang and he asked me to sing a song there on the spot and i sang amazing grace cause the mama liked religious songs, and he then told sharon i should learn peyote ceremony songs, so we listened to those on the drive too. beautiful songs! and then prince! and then madonna!

and now i’m in l.a. at the activista house – anjali i emailed you! hoping to see asif, kyle, bernard, davey d and celia…fingers crossed. i’m sure this will be another adventure 🙂