September 1st, 2005

mr. robin

For posterity

Dear Future Washu and Washu's future nieces and nephews,

I don't really have much to say about the situation, but I figure I should put something down for posterity, so here we go.

Gas prices are higher in the evening than they were that morning, higher in the morning than they were the previous evening. There are queues. They run out of regular sometimes. I guess this is what it was like in the 70s? Who knows. Well, my parents, that's who, but I haven't gotten around to asking them about that. It's gotten to the point where I'm actually thinking about plans in the context of how much gas it'll take to make them happen. I never think about shit like that. I'm thankful I have a car that gets good mileage. I turn off the AC sometimes.

I can't stop looking for information about New Orleans, and it makes me sick to my stomach. It's horrible. It's awful. I have a little ball of nervousness in my belly all day. I can't stop thinking about the water. I can't stop thinking about what it must have been like in the Superdome. The AC broke and the generators crapped out and the water stopped running and the roof was torn asunder, which means the place was hot and humid and dark and it smelled like shit and piss and people. I read of one suicide, but there must have been more deaths than that in there.

People are shooting at helicopters.

Last I heard, 80% of the city was covered in water, 20 feet deep in some places. Halfway up the second story. The water is filled with corpses (both human and animal) and sewage and gasoline and industrial chemicals and buckets of kittens and, let us not forget, fire ants. Islands of fire ants.

Katie and Kevin are fine in Tennessee; they may not ever bother going back, they may just move to Portland now. Patrick is home in Tennessee too, his dad is driving him nuts, and there is a rooftop in New Orleans filled with drunken, armed kickball players, seven dogs, and eight cats, including two kittens in a bucket.

lorigami said that there was an impromptu marching band parading through the ravaged streets of Biloxi, and it made me think of one of my favorite memories of Mardi Gras 2003: standing on a curb as high school marching bands marched by, trombones inches from my nose.

But other things are good! Up here in the dry north, life goes on.

Neil and Kelly got married a few weeks ago in Arizona, and the pictures from the ceremony are breathtaking. Manning and Tami have been around for a month, and while it's been great to have them around again, I'm glad they'll be going back to Paris soon because they love it so much. I went camping and slept in a tent with a boy. I went to Wildwood and swam in a warm ocean and was pinched by a crab and rode a ferris wheel (twice) and saw a million colors in the Wildwood sand. Last night I cooked a Taco Dinner for twelve people and it was fantastic (I forgot to put garlic powder in the beefy beany thing, though.) Tomorrow I'm going to see naked ladies dance and Saturday I'm going to the wedding reception and Sunday I'm going to watch this idiot I know fling some poi around and try not to kill himself (or us) and next week I'm going to see my brother and the Phillies and the weekend after that I'm going to see Dane Cook* and the weekend after that I'm going to see the Dalai Lama and the weekend after that I got nothing but then I'm going to PARIS and AMSTERDAM for a week and then the weekend after that I might go on a road trip.

Life is good, and when I'm home I'm happy and I watch Deep Space Nine (boy is Bashir a dork in the beginning) but when I'm at work and reading LiveJournal it feels so strange to read an entire entry from someone without mention of New Orleans. It is hard not to think about.

Present Washu

*I recommend you go to his Videos page and check out his May appearance on Jimmy Kimmel.
spock at his viewer

NOLA links

I'm collecting ridiculous New Orleans articles.

Here's one from the October 2004 National Geographic, which accurately predicts . . . well, everything. (via cinzazul)

Here's one that talks about the lack of federal funding to raise the levees. (via hammercock in scottbateman's journal)

Here's one that talks about how there was no plan to help the city's carless. (also via hammercock in scottbateman's journal)

Aaaaand here's what our totally awesome president had to say this morning (via scottbateman). Some gems, as pointed out by Scott, but which I would have noticed and hollered about anyway:

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this, whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving, or insurance fraud."

"If people need water and food, we're going to do everything we can to get them water and food."

Mr Bush dismissed criticism that he had been slow in responding to the unfolding disaster, and had not yet set foot on the ground.

"I hope people don't play politics during this period of time."

"There's no doubt in my mind as I sit here talking to you that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."

Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but no doubt in your mind? You are a goddamned idiot. Not, you know, that that's news to me or anything.

And finally, an article that doesn't involve me hating President Bush, and just talks about the feasibility of getting everything cleaned up, Are we being realistic about New Orleans? via rjwhite.

Oh wait and also, the Times-Picayune Breaking News Weblog (via misterscarecrow).