Archive for August, 2006

Thank yous guys!

Inspired from Chris’ post…

Thank you, in no particular order

“What if we’re still doin’ this when we’re 50?”

No one’s going to recognize that quote. Here’s another clue: the next line is “It would be nice to have that kind of job security.”

I’ve been thinking about that all day. It’s a mundane line from a great movie, which is why I’ve been thinking about it. The people of New Orleans have more in common with the city now than ever. Our movies have all merged and we; we as in the city and everyone who loves it, are in the middle of mundane lines in an great movie. The plot thickens – the characters develop. It’s a strange, cheap analogy but it seems to fit nicely in my head. And like everyone else, I suppose, I’ve been spending more time these last few days in my head rather than my heart.
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It’s over

Okay — the two-day funk has ended.

TBK and I were both so damn flat beginning Tuesday and extending through most of today. We drifted, Night-of-the-Living-Dead-style, through most of yesterday’s anniversary thing and then again into today — kept moving because we felt we had to and to try to find things to keep our minds off the persistent reminders of all that happened a year ago. The light we ran toward was last night’s long-awaited dinner with fellow MetroBloggers — only to have our participation cut far too short by an attack of what could best be described as The Crud. I NEVER get sick — but I was felled by a combination of nausea and, oddly, panic — not about what was happening around me but by simply not knowing why I was feeling that way so suddenly. It hs never happened before. Things were slightly improved this morning — enough to go to work for a bit — but I was awake for three hours in the middle of the night for no apparent reason.

Turns out, in talking to several other people, I was not alone. Much of the city has been in the same rickety boat for about two days — not so much in mourning or in sadness but in remembering the Not Knowing that we all felt a year ago. Not knowing about our houses, our jobs, our families, our favorite hangouts, our friends, our neighborhoods, our futures — just not knowing. For weeks on end. It’s THAT feeling that came back — at least briefly. But once we got up and back to working today, we’ve stabilized. Ah, sweet screwed up, dysfunctional and inconsistent consistency. We’re back to normal this evening.
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Thank Yous

Lest a bunch of people from Mississippi continue to call us New Orleanians a bunch of lazy, ungrateful moochers, I would just like to offer a list of thank yous to everyone who has helped me personally over the last year. In chronological order, thanks to…

  • Andria Lisle for letting me crash on your floor in Memphis from 8/28 till 8/31 or so. Also thanks for letting me use your computer and watch cable news incessantly.
  • Lilli for keeping me from losing my cool on many occasions.
  • Eric F and Zac at Goner Records for letting several of us use your record store as a base of operations for at least a month. Internet access, a postal address, a beer cooler, good tunes, and plenty of laughter were crucial during that time and you provided all of these things. Also thanks to Eric F for letting me crash at your house Labor Day weekend.

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Love Letter Number 5

This is from sometime in October 05.

Hey Babe,

I’ve driven around lately and have been asking myself one question that I cannot seem to answer. What is it about you that makes us, myself included, want to fight for your life? What is it about you that turns us to jelly when we hear your name, think of you or walk through your streets? Where does your mystique come from? Why is it that we who have lost everything insist on rebuilding your body?

I’ve been back about a week. I’m not suppose to be here so don’t tell anyone. It’ll just be our secret. What I’ve seen in the week back has been humbling, sad, depressing, shocking and most of all painful. I remember when your streets were full, when you were really the city that never sleeps. Now you’re the city where no one is awake. God I hope you don’t become Rip Van Winkle.
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it’s fall

The change of the season is upon us. The unstoppable force of the fall is gathering momentum. I know this not because of the date on the calendar or a cooling of temperatures, but the light in the evening has changed drastically. The sunshine at dusk has taken on the autumnal hue of cooler colors. It is pretty, I suppose, but being such a summer fanatic means I am already missing the warmer tones of the summertime sun.
Where I grew up this time of year meant hooded sweatshirts zipped up tight, warm drinks in the evening, and turning leaves. I don’t miss these things so much – I am glad to have an autumn in New Orleans – none of us really had a chance to notice the fall last year so it is nice to have it again.

A Year Ago

A year ago today I was sitting in front of my computer watching as Katrina pushed through New Orleans and the surrounding area. I flipped between the Weather Channel and WDSU’s websites. I had not evacuated, I did not even live here. I was safe and sound in my little apartment in Fort Myers, Florida.

People already thought my husband and I were crazy for wanting to move to New Orleans but all that was about to get a lot worse. We had been planning to move to NOLA for nearly 6 months and the weekend before Katrina we had planned to drive up and look for apartments but after watching the news on Friday we decided to just stay and see what happens with the hurricane.
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I need a “mental health” day

I’ve just decided that I will commemorate August 29 by doing the same thing I did last year, namely not going to work. I’m with Richard and Craig in that today pretty much seems like just another day. The earth has gone around the sun exactly once since Katrina, so what? What does that even signify? TV and the print media have made it impossible not to give thought to the events of one year ago, and given that they think it’s so special, certainly it is acceptable to call in sick to work today. So I am. Actually I am just not going in, because one year after Katrina I still don’t really have a boss to call. That is not meant as a complaint.

Today I will do one of the things that I’ve found therapy in during the last year. No, not getting drunk. I’m going to work on my house. A recent benchmark for me has been the completion of the floors in my dining room, which is significant because it means over half of the square footage of my house is now usable. I’ve still got some trim to put in that room and then I’ve got to start cleaning the rubbish out of the other parts of the house so I can work on those floors. So that’s where I’m at one year from whatsherface– back in my house, but still not comfortably. And while the summer heat brought work on my house to a crawl, I expect to get things moving along quite rapidly once the cold fronts start passing through. I expect and hope that the same will be true for the rest of the city.

Can’t remember. Or won’t.

Today ought to be special, I suppose. Memorials and celebrations and moments of silence are scheduled around the city. People from the left, right, and dead center will speak from countless podiums about successes, failures, and, on occasion, conspiracies. But honestly, at the end of the day, it’ll be just so much hogwash: decaying wreaths, empty bottles of booze, and speeches that didn’t convince anyone of anything they didn’t already believe.

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A year later

A year ago at this time, TBK and I were in a motel room in Apalachicola FL — listening to the rain outside and watching the TV as Katrina bashed the Gulf coast. Just like everyone else, we expected to be gone only a couple of days. It turned out to be 10 days before we could sneak back into town to check on the house — then another five weeks before we could come back home to stay. We’re unsure how we’ll mark the anniversary, aside from joining fellow MetroBloggers for dinner tonight.

All the local, state and national bigwigs got together last night. At least they chose a locally-owned place to eat. I won’t get all political (at least not in this space) because no minds would be changed and we’ve all ranted quite enough over the past year. It wouldn’t help anything anyway.

However, I think this is hilarious. Major props for these guys, whoever the hell they are, for coming up with a way to mislead, dupe, bamboozle and otherwise confound. In their own small way, they were able to pinprick the huge gas-filled dirigible of pomposity that has surrounded so much of our political and phyiscal leadership throughout all this. Their ruse was swallowed hook, line, sinker, rod, reel and boat by so many of the same folks who snookered so many others.

Today’s Katrina anniversary is being overdramatized, inflated and overanguished to the point that most of the country has already tuned out. We appreciate the attention, since there needs to be continued focus on our generation-long recovery down here. But for most of us who are here daily and plan to remain, it’ll be a day largely like any other — just trying to keep things operational. We’ll mark the anniversary in our own ways, thank you. And they won’t be televised and we won’t be interviewed and tomorrow will be the 30th and the day after will be the 31st, etc, etc.

But I can guarantee you that each of us, at some point in the day, is going to stop, look around and wonder how we got here and look back on all that’s happened and all we’ve handled. And we’re gonna be Proud Of Us. We’re doing it — despite all the obstacles thrown in our path from insurance companies, government and all the other Big I Ams out there.

We rock. We really do. Big-time.

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