Archive for the ‘Metroblogging’ Category

Going to Montreal

It is quiet outside today maybe because it is so early… I am traveling to Montreal today, the plane leaves at 6am which means I was out of bed at 3am to get ready and here on time. My husband is working there for the week and I am going up with him. I thought to myself, when I am going to have the opportunity to hang out in Montreal in the winter ever again? I sure am not going to choose to take a vacation there during the winter. So, I packed every warm thing I own that would fit into my suitcase and now I am going to layer up and have a good time. I will also be posting on the Montreal metblog while I am there so take a minute to check out one of our other fine city blogs. I’ll see you all next week.

A sincere note to our friends to the west

Hi, Houston:

I’m sure you’re aware of Hurricane Ike by now. I know it took the news outlets a while pick it up, what with that fascinating story about lipstick and a goat or something taking up front-page real estate, but now that journalists have heard the words “certain death”, it’s pretty much all Ike, all the time.

Over the past two days, I’ve spoken to a few of you who aren’t especially worried–and to be fair, you’re probably way better prepared for Ike than New Orleans was for Katrina. For one, you’re on higher ground, and for two, your mayor isn’t retarded. As far as I can tell, anyway.

That said, I also understand that you guys haven’t been through anything this severe in, like, 20 years, so I’d just like to point something out:

Do you see where New Orleans is on that image? Right below Lake Pontchartrain, next to the Louisiana/Mississippi border? Where that pretty blue radar imagery is hovering? Well, that’s the light stuff, and lemme tell you: IT IS NO PICNIC. In all seriousness: IT IS MAJORLY FUCKED UP OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW. And y’all are going to get more than the pretty blue stuff.

I’m not trying to be alarmist, I’m not trying to amp up the fear factor, but I’m concerned–especially because you all were so considerate and generous and giving when we found ourselves in need just three years ago. I know I speak for all New Orleanians when I say that we would love the chance to return the favor (despite the dumbass, glib comments from our dumbass, glib mayor), but please don’t head our way now. Think San Antonio, Austin, El Paso–anyplace west. Or stock up on non-perishable items, bring the pets and potted plants inside, and hunker down at your place. Either way, please take it seriously, and be prepared for a nasty 24 hours.

When all this is over, it’s our turn to take you guys out for drinks. We at least owe you that.

Good luck, and we’ll see you soon!

xoxo/Richard

A quick heart-to-heart, dude-to-dude

Hi, Gustav:

I’ve been watching you for a while now. You look awfully familiar. Did you used to be a chick? I could swear we’ve met before.

I know you probably feel a little neglected right now, what with a very large national convention gobbling up the headlines. Not to mention a certain anniversary. It’s true: you’re probably not getting the attention you deserve. Don’t get bent out of shape just yet, though; your timing is pretty damn impeccable, and I think everyone will be looking your way soon….

Look, Gustav, truth be told: I know you have a choice in landfall sites, and I want to thank you for considering southeastern Louisiana. But with all due respect, I think there are better options in front of you right now. According to the guy with the hair plugs on my TV just now, you could hit almost any beach in the Gulf of Mexico. But here’s the thing, dude: we don’t even have beaches! And although people rave about our food, it’s kinda spicy–not quite what you’re used to. Ever been to Mexico? You know what I’m sayin’. Plus there are lots of other people who could use your rainfall. Drought-stricken areas in the South. I’m not naming names, but Google that when you have a sec, k?

Futhermore–and I’m going to get a little personal, man–I know you’re “acting out” a bit. I don’t know who hurt you when you were younger, or exactly what they did to you, but violent outbursts are never the answer. Plus, we’ve been working hard to get things up to speed around here. Even if you took your best shot, I doubt you’d do the damage you would’ve done a couple of years ago. We’d probably hang out for a couple of days, then pick up right where we left off–just like we used to do all the time. Ask your brother Ivan how we dealt with him. I’m surprised I can even remember his name. Don’t you want to be remembered?

Anyway, I know that chatting with meteorological events isn’t really sensible–at least not in public. And I’m sure you’re kinda busy right now, getting focused and all, so you’re probably not even paying attention to lil’ ol’ me, hundreds of miles away. But I thought I’d put this stuff out there, you know, for what it’s worth. Thanks for your time, and remember: if you’re feeling disorganized today, just go with it.

Warily,
Richard

Introducing The Hub

hub.metblogs

If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

The Body Betrays Us

Deoderant Discussion (1)

It is a great privilege to learn the intimate concerns of children. The last week’s discussion with the Causey kids has centered around the way our body betrays us in the heat of summer in New Orleans. These kids have enough to worry about; being locked out of the house and no one being home when personal issue flare up, like puffy eyes; passing the LEAP on the second go-’round and, lately, the issue is not smellin’ ‘musty’, as they put it.

As adults, we are keen to the battle of combating the summer heat and staying comfortable and presentable in 89 degree heat. However, I have noticed the kids have been having some issues about feeling clean, this, along with their washer being broke at home, the discussion has been pushed my way.

One of the older boys, Mike, came by this week to explain that he was suddenly ‘sponsored’ to go to an amusement park excursion in Dallas, TX with his church. In order to go, he was desperate to have clean clothes for his trip and begged me the let him use the washer and dryer, I graciously obliged. Always cognizant of the dignity issues surrounding such requests, “wash away!”, I said. No pleading necessary. I am more than willing to fold his clothes too, in order that they put on their best face and push their minimum level of presentability to a higher level.

In addition to this incident, I was making my grocery list this week. I put deoderant on the list and Josh piped up to me that he had some deoderant that he didn’t like and apparently someone made a comment that he smelled ‘musty’.

Today, I took him to Rouse’s to show him how to test smell all the deoderants in the aisle so he could get one that suited his personal needs. He got some Axe he liked. On a subtle level, I have noticed in doing their laundry that there exists a shortage of socks, which in summer can lead to naked feet in shoes, leading to more ‘musty’ issues. I brought it up and they said they need more socks really bad. We talked about the comfort of wearing socks in summer and I set them up with some socks I had set aside from my last package of socks. We sort of did a head-to-toe cleanliness inventory of needs too.

Today, this larger discussion coincided with a long bike ride Nick and I took today on the levee. I gave him a choice. Audubon Park . . .or . . . THE LEVEE. He insisted on THE LEVEE. My goal was to show him he was able to make it to the Huey P. Long Bridge which I told him is 14.5 Klicks (kilometers) which is 9 miles. I warned him that it was going to be really, really. Really HOT. He was scared of the dragonflies but got tough with it. When we finally made it to the Huey P. Bridge, we realized he was extra hot because he was wearing TWO T-shirts! So we undid one layer and he was much more confident that we really would be able to make the ride back after that! 

Nick loves to cook, and has a natural talent for it. However, he tends to eat more than he needs to because he’s often cooking/eating to entertain himself. Having been noticeably pudgy myself at 10 yrs-old, I am encouraging him to exercise at this early age. He complained about how hard it was but we made it there and back. We talked about the importance of hard workouts for good health. He got a lot of confidence for completing the circuit . . .at 12:30 in the afternoon in July in New Orleans, I told him this was really tough work and he should be proud of himself.

When we got back, both boys were concerned about how they ‘smelled’ before going to the night church services at Victory for 5:45 pm. Nick didn’t have the key to his house today and no one was home to let him in. He really wanted to bathe and change clothes before church.

So I set them up with some socks and a clean t-shirts of mine. The one Nick settled on had a scooped neck. He just wanted a white t-shirt with a ‘crew neck’ and he said it was “outrageous” that he was wearing a scooped neck. And, it was. I should have some more crew necks around. But we have all decided in our open talks that cleanliness comes before fashion.

So Nick took a shower at my house, likely, his first shower ever, from what I could tell, because apparently, they only have a bathtub and he was fine with the clean shirt in the end. I had to tell him how to set up the water temperature in the shower and he enjoyed it.

After getting both boys dressed with some fresh T-shirts and socks and they both applied extra loads of their new deoderant so they could feel very good about themselves about going to their evening church service. It was a profoundly simple and successful day. It’s so easy to make a couple inner-city kids happy and confident about themselves and it was a very good lesson in being a personally approachable type of person.

I recall the awkward moments growing up at that age and the shyness about talking about such personal issues as wearing a bra in eighth grade. My mom was little scared to discuss this with me, since I was the oldest of five kids, so I totally forgive her. But I know it made it hard for me, so I was happy to take that personal experience and it helped me know just how to make these young boys feel confident about discussing their hygiene needs so they could really put their best foot forward.

Little do these kids realize, this topic is covered at length by adults who talk about endlessly about the battle of the sweat in summer as well! I have found that it’s simply a slightly broader discussion with kids compared to the same one between adults about how we battle of the sweat drips between our respective ta-tas, etc in summer.

Nick and I Do Blue Dog

NOMA Field Trip (16)

I have a group of tiny fans on Rocheblave who sit around waiting for me to come with a laptop to play games, print coloring pages and share snacks. There are a lot of kids who need attention over there but there are two who are particularly smart and have endeared themselves to me. Nick and his brother Josh. Their mom works over at Rouse’s and she is tired after her day shift. I sort of take over in the afternoon, so she can have a nap.

Today, I promised the kids I would take them to NOMA to see the Blue Dog Exhibit. Just as Emily said, it was fantastic. Plus, we brought the camera. Josh opted to play basketball at the Victory church, so Nick and I went and we had a blast. It was only $6 for us to visit with two sets of the audio headsets for narration, which really added to Nick’s enjoyment of the paintings. Especially fun is the audio story of how the Blue Dog began as George Rodrique’s interpretation of the myth of the Loup-Garou. He also really liked the replication of the artist’s studio. When Nick spotted the Blue Dog in his tiny Saints jersey with Drew Brees, he really began to grasp the far-reaching influence of the Blue Dog.

Nick’s so funny. I tend to let kids get away with murder, the quintessential aunt. Nick ran full speed across the mezzanine to get to the stairs so I could take his photo and I couldn’t bring myself to stop him. It was so funny to see him tearing along in the staid museum atmosphere. I just wanted Nick to be exposed to museums and to know the protocol but to feel comfortable. Taking photos is one of the limited activities in a museum. We were not permitted to take photos of the Blue Dog exhibit but we took some photos around the rest of the museum. So we had a two-tiered opportunity today; taking photos and just visiting NOMA. Nick said he liked the brass drinking fountain outside the bathrooms too.

On the way home, we went to visit his Mom at Rouse’s and pick up some snacks. Nick is hooked on taking photos and videos with my camera and I love to see the world from his perspective. What a great day! I decided that we would do the sculpture garden next time . . .

The Who-Dats

I’ve never felt this way before concerning the football team that calls New Orleans home. I doubt if the entire city has felt this way about our football team before. Sure, we’ve always had the crazies who think the Saints will be good every year, no matter the record. But much like our political process, the majority of us have been in the middle when it comes to believing that the boys could be good.

No more. The city’s water supply has been sadly lacking fluoride since Katrina, but me thinks the Sewage & Water Board has been spiking the city’s water supply with some kind of non-flavored Saints Kool-Aid. Call it Black and Gold fever, cause the entire city cannot wait for the NFL season to begin.

Die-hard football fans, casual football fans and people who wouldn’t know a football if it hit them in the crotch are hyped, over-hyped and positively giddy over the prospects of the 2007 edition of the New Orleans Saints.

I will not bore you or myself with some “analysis” of the offense, defense or special teams. I will not go into detail about this back up or that back up. I don’t want to talk about the play calling or any such nonsense.

Last season, the staff at the radio station (new web site btw), attempted to predict the final regular season record of the beloved gridiron 11. Some went as high as 7-9. Myself I thought they would go 2-14. Shows what I know. Or anyone knew for that matter.

So tell me, dear faithful metro blogging readers, how will the Saints do this season? What will the regular season record be for the team that restored hope in a city? Basics: 16 game season, wins go first, losses second. No sneaking up on anyone this year folks, this team is expected to be very very good.

If I thought it would work, I’d give another horrible prediction as to not put the whammy on the boys. But I don’t believe in that stuff so I’m going to say 12-4, South Division Champs and yeah you right New Orleans, the Saints will be in the Super Bowl!

Are you ready for some football New Orleans? Tell me what you think!

Signs of the Times Series

http://neworleans.metblogs.com/archives/images/2006/10/SignsoftheTimes-thumb.jpg
A friend of mine over here in the Tulane/Gravier neighborhood got a grant to paint a series of all the McDonalds signs wrecked from the storm. I didn’t think much of it until I saw them in her house, they are pretty fantastic as a whole series. Artist, Michelle Levine, travelled all along the Gulf Coast to get McDonalds signs. This is an art show for Chris Martel, who should be packing his Kleenex . . . . it’s at the Robert Bruno Gallery at 900 South Peters from 6-10:00pm, this Saturday, as part of the Art for Arts Sake Weekend.
www.signsofthetimesnola.com

Just trying this to see if it works

Hi, I am a scientologist and would like to convert all of you. I saw my home planet’s image on the Hubble site. It is the big purple one with yellow and green swirlies on it. I miss home.

view from a blond

Wow! I applied for the job and I was hired in hours with no interview! It’s soooo great being a blond. Well, thanks, everybody, and I want you all to know I will work very hard to earn every penny of my salary! Since I’m new, I’ll introduce myself a little. I’m from Greenville, Mississippi, and, don’t laugh, but I grew up thinking New Orleans was the big city. I’ve lived either here or on the Northshore for 25 years. Here are some things I know a lot about: kids, law, art, theater, film, history, music (other than anything new), New Orleans (culture, neighborhoods, history), Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, the south. Here are some things I know nothing about: men, television (except for HBO), technology, code, sports, cars, cold weather, latest fashions or music. I’m fascinated with New Orleans and how this is all going to shake out. I hope I am ready for the big-time!

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