passport renewal blues 2

'Sara' never called me back yesterday nor this morning.
Called the embassy again at 11:00 EDT (figuring they have had their tea/caffeine whatever for the day)
This time, I entered ext 45 for 'sara'. She did answer, she did not sound like the same person from yesterday. Oh well it didnt matter anyway because she transferred me to ext 6 for A__ . Left a message again.

Zero sum game from the embassy.
It appears i might have to make a trip to DC :(

I had heard of bad experiences with the embassy but paid it no mind. Well, i have learnt a lesson!

Its not all sturm und drang, found out that with some software from a friend, and a new trans flash card, i can get my phone to play 25 songs using itunes. Since reading that the new Ipod Nano just cracks for no reason, i am content for now...the first song to be uploaded? I am thinking something from eminem's 'Anger management'.

(pole abt the bad link, fixed now - and thanks for the kind comments about the embassy shenanigans :)


passport renewal blues

Note:Hours of the passport renewal office are 9am to 1pm Eastern
I had been leaving messages on EXT 6 for the past week or two.
Yesterday, was told to call back and speak to A on ext 39. Left a message again. No call back.
Today: 11:30am EDT No answer on ext 39. Pressed 0 for operator and asked to speak to a person since i had been leaving messages and had not heard back.
She transferred me to a gentleman who happened to be courteous When was it issued? If it was issued more than 10yrs ago, you need to replace it. In addition he indicates that they should have sent me a letter telling me what extra information i needed to have sent in. (I received no such letter in the past 2 months) He tells me that he will transfer me to ext 45 so i could speak with Sara(not her real name), who will let me know whether they have my passport.
In order to replace it i would need
  • 2 passport photos (with name written on the back of it)
  • PT1 form (can be downloaded online here)
  • Money order to cover replacement (50$ or 70$)
He then transfers me to ext 45.
Hello Sara?
"Yes??" - well Sara must have a rather deep voice because it seems to me like its a man.Oh well, as long as he/she can sort it out, i dont care what octave the voice is in. I proceed to give my name and specifics of my situation.
Sara:When did you send the passport in?
Me: July 19th. (I will admit that i did not have the post office routing number with me or the exact date that the embassy received the passport- They did receive it though. I had checked the usps website afew days after priority mailing the passport.

Sara: So we would have received it around July 20 something?
Me:Yes yes.
Sara: Give me your number and i will check on that and call you back.
Me: Sure, sure. May i have your name again?
sara: (hesitantly) "Sara"
Me: O.k well thank you and have a good day.

Tune in tomorrow to see if 'sara' calls me back about my passport and whether he/she will sound different this time.If he/she does not call me by 10:30EDT, You bet i will be calling again. This time, i will have the routing number from usps and the exact date my passport reached the embassy.

Moral(s) of the day:
- Rather obvious but if you've had your passport for 10yrs you would need a new one, so fill out the paperwork for that instead of the renewal paperwork which is what i mistakenly did. (It still does not excuse the embassy for not calling back or sending me a letter)
- Calling the Kenyan Embassy passport renewal office is a waste of time, do not leave a voice message on ext6 - your call will not be returned.( I think i can categorically state that since my call was not returned in a span of 2 weeks) Press 0 for the operator and indicate that you would like to speak with someone if at all possible.
- Have the routing information of the registered package and check on www.USPS.com website for the precise date that the embassy received your passport. (for those in the US - If you are in a different country, please check if you can track the package online)
-Get the name of the person you are talking to and their title.
-Last but not least dont be shocked that Sara's voice might have a tinge of baritone.


Wangari's Kenya - Vid on Current

Vid by Bill Finnegan on Current screening room about Wangari Maathai's conservation effort. Watch it and do greenlight it so it can appear on current tv.

Is OMO biodegradable?


Township Sessions

Short Excerpts
" The performers were the women in the Philani Mothers choir. The cassette was titled the Philani Mothers Lyrical Health Messages. The message in this song for example deals with the value of breastfeeding. It's called "Ncansisa".

The Philani Mothers choir recording project was completed in 1998. Thousands of cassettes were distributed according to plan. And when Peter Raeburn returned to London, he got to thinking."

" Peter Raeburn collaborated with British-Indian producer and musician Nitin Sawhney on this remix of "ncansisa". The full album "Township Sessions" will be released in the US next month."

**Nitin Sawhney's collabo/remix with the Philani womens choir sounds good. And by good i mean big smile, that little chill good.
I liked Sawhney's music, i have only heard the CD "Broken Skin" (afew yrs back). I would says its the world fusion type, he is one of those guys that are hard to categorise (which is cool). As multilayered as you can get.
Township sessions should definitely be interesting, looking forward to it.
You can pre-order on Amazon, link The release date is Oct 18th.

For info on the philani project click here

Kenyan Author In Nairobi

The writer of 'Where is America' and 'The open Road' will be on Kiss 100FM sometime this week, Hope FM ON Thursday, Family (what is cooking)TV this week and Books and Bookmen later in the week.
Two book signings. One at Grand Regency (Thursday) and the other one at Nakumatt Juction (Karen) Friday.

(pole for the bad link, its now corrected)


JamRock -again/ Vunja Mifupa

I had written once about attending Damian Marley's concert, well his CD "Welcome to JamRock" is a blast. If you like dancehall this is a must have. The song "beautiful" features Bobby Brown. Other tracks i liked were "Confrontation", "Move!" "All night" with Stephen Marley, "Hey Girl" is tight. "Road to Zion" Features Nas. Nice.
You can preview "in 2 deep" on honeysoul and the rest of the songs you can listen on the link above.
He has some tour dates remaining for the fall, check if your city is on the list here.

BTW thanks Irene for passing this along, I have edited some bits:
Kenyatta Day Oct 22nd Minneapolis:

Tenth anniversary of Kenya ’95 as Kenyatta Day 2005. Professor Apoya from Michigan will talk on the legacy of Jomo Kenyatta and then the people’s parliament will follow with a fiery discussion of the new Kenyan constitution. Kenyan food will be catered - ugali, sukuma wiki and Nyama au kuku fry.

San Francisco based Kenyan movie director Mike Wanguhu will not only premier his new movie Hip Hop Colony shot on location in Kenya but will also be on hand to discuss the movie. The movie is about the Kenyan entertainment industry and the topic of discussion will be Is contemporary Kenyan music an importation of a foreign concept or an extension of Kenyan culture? The movie has been featured in several American film festivals and is being screened in London this week.

Starts at 2:00 pm and end at 9:00 pm with the movie.
venue:The Upfront Event Center in Brooklyn Center . The charge for the entire program, including the guest speakers, food and movie is only $20.00. Tickets need to be obtained in advance

10:00 pm, kick off at Blue Nile with Samba Mapangala of Orchestra Virunga (famous for the songs Vunja Mifupa, Virunga and Malako) performing upstairs. Dj Top Donn (Donald Owino), Kenyan deejay based in Chicago, IL will be on hand with the best Kenyan music downstairs.
$15.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door. People with advance tickets will be given priority as we will most likely have a houseful.

Because people will start arriving on Friday 21st, we have arranged for a special entertainment session for the evening at Blue Nile in South Minneapolis. Marimba Africa Band will entertain us with Zilizopendwa upstairs and Dj Top Donn will be downstairs. Friday’s admission is only $10.00 at the door.

Check www.KilimanjaroEntertainment.com

**Checked for the address of the event center: came up nada, if you have it please post in comments and i will update.


current tv

Out East this past weekend and was stuck to the Current channel. It has interesting pods that are pre-voted on their website. The idea is to have viewer submitted content and viewer influenced programming(the greenlighting thing). The pod on the devastation of Katrina and how Red Cross volunteers are making a difference was especially good. Speaking of volunteering, kudos to Carol for taking time to go and help with the medical care of the Katrina victims. I totally applaud you! ( i really should do a specific post abt this, but let me just mention it here...things have a way of getting hectic)

Al Gore spearheaded Current TV check out more info on wikipedia. It is available in select markets, and yeah, i will be pestering my local cable company to carry it...will find out if i have to pay extra :(

For you filmmakers (ahem Akiey) anyone can submit (if you havent already).
Being able to watch a piece about street jugglers in Bogota... Its a brilliant thing.

gif via nanitek

yeah it was a spider web :)


the mystery of the hanging leaf

Guess how come the leaf is suspended...


Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Driveway moment twice this week, listening to npr's summary of the confirmation hearings for John Roberts to be the Chief Justice of the U.S.
What stood out yesterday were Sen. Dianne Feinstein's questions regarding how John Roberts felt about women, whether he did have an 'acerbic pen' or did he actually believe that women should not be equally remunerated in the workplace (or something like that).
You can listen to the summaries on the link above...
I was gallavanting about, but i think he avoided the question
Today's summary also included Sen. Dianne Feinstein's wrestling with just how important her vote is (she is the only woman on the senate judiciary commitee). I havent been watching the proceedings closely enough to offer much, though i suspect jjray has...Your thoughts please? Especially regarding privacy and womens rights.

Oh and today they mentioned that John Roberts once referred to mexican immigrants as

"Illegal Amigos"


very random post

Well, I stopped by my local blockbuster video rental store this evening. I knew precisely which sappy movie I wanted to watch today. Looked around and didn’t spot it at first, walked around the store quickly (those who know me know that when I say quick, I do mean quick) circled back to where I thought I saw it the last time and found no copies on the shelf. Went over to the checkout counter and the gentleman helpfully asked, “How can I help you?”

Me: I like your shirt that is nice! Crash was a great movie.
(He was wearing a black t-shirt with rent Crash ***** “A knockout!” written on it. Crash was printed in white, the rest of the words in a kind of seafoam green.
Him: Yeah! It is a wonderful movie.
Me: Could you check for me if someone has returned a copy of ‘Wedding Date’?
Him: Oh yeah I have a copy available right here…
(he walks over to the other checkout counter and retrieves the movie.)
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Well… if I could have your t-shirt...
(I know I shouldn’t have, but it just tumbled out of my mouth! the words kind of hang in the air...)
Do you have some extra shirts?
Him: Well, you do have to work here in order to get one, (he is still standing there while I fumble around for my card which I didn’t find, I could see the wheels turning in his head)
Me: (slightly dejected look ) oooh o.k...
Him: You know what? We do have some extra, you just cant wear it in here.
Me: (Beaming) Really? Wow!
(really beaming now when I realize he just asked me what size i would like omg) Small please.
(He walks over to the back of the store, comes back with the shirt and proceeds to check out the movie by asking for my last name, then asks to confirm my first name)
Thank You!
Him: Would you like a bag?
Me: Yeah sure (damn, why did I say yes? The man just gave you a free t-shirt, why do you need a bag to put the movie and the t-shirt? Well, its too late I already said yes. He puts everything in the bag and I am still beaming like a nonsense.I mentally made a note of his name, and that he was the manager)
You totally made my day, thank you.
Him: You are welcome, you just cant wear it here.
Me: Sure, sure, I wont. Thank you!

(I exit with a huge smile that would probably chase away the gathering clouds; it was just about to rain. That it still hasn't poured as i type this is not lost on this very happy girl)

Yeah Rent Crash ****"Knockout!"



music video by Burning spear on ifilm "Walk".It reminded me of Kenya. We just have to keep walking, pause and laugh abit as we move on.

image is from KJ's Head on corrishon

Incase you missed it... Dancing Matt, be sure to watch where he is dancing in Kilimanjaro, Tsavo kenya with a giraffe in the background, a forest in Uganda, and when a little kid joins him for a sec in Seattle. cute

Btw, do update your firefox browser fix here

Impeach bush

was about to link to the cnn story about Al Gore airlifting evacuees from NOLA(sept 3rd), headed over to technorati and found that it was the most discussed story today.

Think progress has a timeline of what happened when. Looking at the timeline, Bush was busy doing staged photo ops while Gore was actually arranging the airlifting.

Interestingly is that one of the top searches on technorati is impeach bush. Its a buzz in the blogosphere right now, i wonder if it will turn into a roar. If you would like to increase the buzz, visit the link above (basically title your post Impeach Bush and also include it in the text of your post).

Bill Clinton:
  • "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."
    From his first inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1993 [5]
  • "Posterity is the world to come; the world for whom we hold our ideals, from whom we have borrowed our planet, and to whom we bear sacred responsibility. We must do what America does best: offer more opportunity to all and demand responsibility from all."
    First Inaugural Address (January 20, 1993)
(Emphasis mine)
Update: Watch George of the Bungle on C&L by Bill Maher.


BlackAmericaWeb Katrina Relief

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