My paper journal has been feeling my intense pressing into its fibers. The ink fills the grooves and lets my thoughts be recorded. It's a little bit of a challenge with the bounce on the bus and BART, but when you don't have web access in transit, you sometimes tech down to accomplish what you need to.
Thursday I took a day off after a long summer.
I hooked up with GRID Alternatives the previous Saturday to learn the basics of solar panel installation and Thursday and Friday I slated to help in Santa Cruz on a Habitat for Humanity build off Highway 1. The houses are beautiful and I was psyched to get atop the roof, use power tools, and make connections between the panels to start the process. A lot was going on...ditches being dug to make way for conduit and inverters purchased and placed on the houses. We set tracks down for the panels to lay on.
And I was taught all of this. It was awesome. I want a tool belt. I also want no reason at all to climb up and down a ladder. THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN. It reminded me of going up and down my treehouse ladder when I was a kid.
Friday night I went to see Al Franken. I think he's brilliant. My first knowledge of him was when he would do the one man remote on Saturday Night Live during Dennis Miller's Weekend Report. This was pre-Daily Show and Colbert Report, post HBOs "Not Necessarily the News". He was always brilliant in his silliness and made me laugh at the irony of the real news versus the highlights of the humor news. And since then he's written a few books and taught at Harvard. He's even thinking of running for Senator in 2008. Whoa.
So he basically intertwined his version of the Democratic agenda in with his comedic delivery. It was my first "political" event that really spoke of a party line. I don't consider myself a Democrat. I vote my conscience and I know there are more than 2 options on my voting ballot, but he had some good things to say. The event was sold as "Comedy for a Change" and so I bought the ticket. It was a good civic lesson and just reminded me of why these last 5 years of the White House have been so disappointing to me. But it also reminded me that my radical activism has pretty much been me spouting ideas in my journals - paper and online. I haven't put myself on the line for my ideas.
I put my money where my mouth is, but I want stability, and so won't go TOO far.
Sometimes this makes me feel wimpy.
Anywho...I came home and over many phone issues had a conversation with a former student. I became frustrated when my phone died in the middle of our conversation at 1 am. I conked out and hoped that a nighttime of recharging batteries would do the trick.
Saturday I planned to do laundry, say good-bye to a student, stop by Sara's end of summer event, and see The Tempest, and do more farewelling with Zeli at Little Baobob.
I ended up being invited to breakfast with Bonnie and she introduced me to Vik's Chaat House in Berkeley and we ate the biggest Poori I have ever seen in my life. It was the size of a watermelon, buttery, and served with AMAZING green mango pickle. we also scarfed down a lamb stuffed baida bread thing and wandered around the store next door when we began to sink into food coma.
The cases were filled with gorgeous Indian sweets, sweets I have come to love and realize will throw my insulin-resistant system into a major tail-spin, but I can have a taste.
Wow. I now know of another spot to get my spice-self on. It's good to know where the POCs hang. Places where brown faces dominate. Yay.
We then stopped by the Oakland Farmer's market to check out the flowers and it's become a bustling place with bouncy thingies for the kids and so many wares! I found a COOL Oaklandish t-shirt to send her off to NYC with and make her dormmates jealous.
I got home about 2 pm, napped and then called my student in Richmond who I was saying good-bye to. She's on her way to college in New York and I wanted to wish her well and show her one last look of the Pacific Ocean.
Richmond is a city of oil refineries. Some housing is interspersed among huge vats of oil and gated campuses of oil manufacterers. It's odd and seems unhospitable in many ways. I told her we were going to cross the Richmond Bridge and head to Mill Valley.
She had never driven that way before.
As we spanned the Bay and saw Mount Tamalpais I told her not to forget home. We noshed in Mill Valley and discussed the whole "selling out" perception when you're a person of color and you do well in school thing. I told her that as latinas we're blessed with being blended from the beginning. That she can be as much of a hip hop head as she wants and excel in her coursework, especially since it's on Bill Gates dime til she gets her graduate degree. There's no "either/or".
And I choked up as we pulled up to the Headlands and saw the Golden Gate, where the Pacific meets the Bay. I told her to take a picture of it and remember home.
When I said good-bye I felt a little break in my heart. She's one of my rays of sunshine that has shone on me for the past 4 years at GirlSource. And I will miss her.
After our almost 3 hour good-bye I was a little bit of a wreck. I missed Sara's party and I sure as hell was going to miss the Tempest, but I asked Megan if we could have dinner. And we did and over some fabulous Thai enjoyed girl time. And I was pooped.
By 10:30 I was settled into my bed at home, sleeping to recharge my batteries. Dancing at Baobob seemed so far away since I had woken at 5:30 am for the previous 3 mornings. Sunday's boating adventure would be no different.