Friday, September 30, 2005

Democrats shortsighted

I don't know if the Mayor of New Orleans, Nagin, or Governor of Louisiana, Blanco, were thinking too far ahead when they so quickly blamed Bush and the Feds for all their woes during the Katrina fiasco. After they woke up from their comfortable sleep in Baton Rouge, or wherever it was they fled, and saw what a horrible mess it was did they just decide to save face? Did their fellow Democratic politicians encourage them to take it in that direction? I find it interesting, though that they decided to place blame than roll up their sleeves and take charge as Guiliani did.

So, they took their political punches at Bush. And then the federal rescuers came and plucked all the stranded people, almost all of them black, from their homes, from the dome, from wherever they were gathered and scattered them to the winds. And now, Nagin and Blanco are at the Feds mercy. Those people that were plucked from New Orleans were their constituents. And now, they want them back. So, how are they going to get the Feds to give them back.

So here's the question of the hour. Why should the Feds or Bush give back their constituents? I don't think they should for 2 reasons. The first one is that wherever they are right now, it's probably better than Louisiana. My understanding is that Louisiana's schools are the worst in the nation. It is a very poor state which translates to me that there isn't a lot of opportunity.

The second reason the Feds shouldn't do it is for petty reasons. The Feds owe them nothing. Nagin and Blanco took their punches, now the Feds can punch back.

It's interesting, though. The Dems that are criticizing the distribution of these people said that they could be housed in the closed Army base. It would have been a good idea to have thought of that earlier. Really, all they seem to want is to just put them someplace, any place, as long as they are all together and can continue to vote. These people are so exploited.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Day After the Storm

Immediately after I posted my last entry, the power went off for about an hour, then it came back on then off again at 10:30. It stayed off until just now. So we were without power for about 12 hours.

This evening, at close to 6 or so, we gathered outside in the gazebo. We made an assessment regarding what was opened and made a beer run. Yes, we found a place that was opened and bought 2 six packs; no ice, though. Not knowing how long we would be without power, we emptied out our freezers and grilled hamburgers, chicken, etc. It was great fun.

I'm actually exhausted, the heat was a bit much. My neighbor drank way too much wine and she passed out. I was actually worried about her and thought she was really sick from something else and almost called 911. We were able to revive her and get some water in her and she fell asleep.

I came inside early. I could hear neighbors across the pool listening to old radio programs while sitting on lawn chairs outside their apartment. I left a crowd at the grills and they were partying loudly up until about 30 minutes ago. Then, of course, cheers when the lights came on.

Well, for all intents and purposes, Rita is now behind us and I have nothing further to report on the subject.

Night night.

Rita's impact

Well, gang, it's 4:00 a.m. and I think that this is as bad as it's going to get. We lost power about 4 times and it was out for only about 30 seconds each time. Of course, living in the River Oaks area helps that a lot. There will be no flooding here. Lucky us!

The newscasters are trying really hard to keep their viewers intersted but there really isn't anything out there that's newsworthy about this storm. It's just very very windy out there and a little wet.

So, that's it. Houston evacuated a million or so people and it turns out that it wasn't really necessary. I'm not saying that they shouldn't have, they absolutely did the right thing; it's just that it seems that after all that, Rita should have made a stronger appearance.

Rita's arriving

Well, we started to see the beginnings of Rita around 6:00 p.m. this evening. It really staretd as clouds and a breeze. Then around 9:30. It started getting a little rougher.

From about 2:00 to 9:30 I watched movies with my neighbor: Crash, The Longest Yard & Erin Brakovich. Then, at 10:00 I went out and hung out with my neighbors in the gazebo. At this time the wind was picking up. I have no idea how high they were.

One of my neighbors, Jeanette, is having a birthday this weekend. We all felt badly for her that she was going through a hurricane on her birthday, so I quickly made brownies. We ate brownies in the gazeboand drank wine and vodka while hurricane winds were blowing around us .

I don't think it's going to be as bad as they initially anticipated. I might actually get to sleep through this. So, I'm heading to bed.

I'll post again tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The day of the storm

Music: None: talking heads on NBC
Mood: Anxious

Last night, those of us remaining in this building hooked up in the gazebo with our lawn chairs and visited with one another. One family is an evacuated family from New Orleans. I made a list of everyone here and wrote down phone numbers (like that's going to do a lot of good) and apartment numbers. We'll probably hang out again this afternoon.

I'm very concerned about looters. I honestly believe that once this is done, we'll have people wandering outside our apartments. I'm on the ground floor. If one of my windows blows open, I'll be very vulnerable. I've asked a neighbor for one of his baseball bats. That's the only thing I can think of doing. One neighbor offered me a gun but I'm not comfortable with it. I think that with the electricity being out, the gate into our property will not be working either. So I asked Jim to keep his blinds open after the storm so he could see what was going on.

The sun is shining, but there is a brief haze. The sky is gray not blue. It's hot and still.

I've taken all of my photos and albums and put them up as high as I can. My PC is disconnected and put up. I've put money, keys, credit cards, passport, social security cards and lottery ticket (yes, I actually stopped what I was doing and bought a lottery ticket) in a ziplock bag. I think there is still more to do. I'm starting to feel really stressed and overwhelmed. Friends from far away are still calling trying to get me to leave this place. I really do think it will be ok.

When T. Storm Alison hit in 2001 she flooded Houston really really bad. Everyone is using that storm as a barometer for determining whether or not we might flood. That's a tough one to use because during that storm, it rained hard for 8 hours without stopping. THis storm should blow through; however, we didn't have storm surges during Alison. The bayous aren't going to drain like they should. We didn't flood during Alison, and people who have lived here 30 years have never seen it flood here. But here we are facing Rita and I'm just not so sure.

I'm about to take a shower and clean out the tub so that I can fill it with water. I'll continue posting as long as I have power and an internet connection.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Evacuation problems

Music: None - talking heads on NBC
Mood: Concerned

I think that what most people don't understand about Houston is that though it's the 4th largest city in the world, it is very very spread out. It's close to 60 miles from the furthest eastern city limit to the furthest west. So, I htink that evacuation procedures in Houston are going to have to be done differently in that the mayor is going to have to prohibit certain areas of the city from evacuating until the mandatory areas have evacuated.

People who are leaving Houston with full tanks of gas are running out of gas as their leaving Houston. Stories I'm hearing are that people are sitting in traffic for almost 4 -5 hours straight without moving more than 60 miles. This is going to be tragic if people are trapped on the exit routes when the hurricane hits.

We still have 24 hours before it hits us. It's supposed to be raining etc. tomorrow afternoon, so they actually have about 30 hours to get out. I heard a report of a man who is evacuating animals (birds, cats, dogs, turtles, etc.) and has run out of gas. I feel so sorry for these people. Looking at these reports, if I were to evacuate yesterday is the day to have done that.

Calm before the storm

Music: None - silence - I want quiet for a while
Mood: Anxious

I was awake ths morning at 6:00. When I went to start my laundry, there was already one person ahead of me and two people came behind 10 minutes later. I thought I would be the only one.... There are about 1/3 of the people in my building staying beind.

My cats are sort of spooked by all the activity. Any I time I pull out the "kennel cab", one of my cats goes into hiding. All the activity, stuffing things in bags etc. it's making them somewhat nervous. They ain't seen nothing yet.

I think when things get started tomorrow, I'll put them in their carriers. That way if I have to flee, I don't have to leave them, I can take them with me.

My neighbor, Jackie, and I are tallying up the residents in our building so that we'll know who's here. I spoke with my neighbor, Jim, and he is up for draining the pool. So if we can't get building management to do it, we'll do it ourselves. We just want it down about 6 - 12".

It's so calm outside, though. The sun is shining, there isn't any wind at all. It's beautiful. I have my windows open bringing in the sun. I have a few more things to do, then I'm done. It just seems so overwhelming.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rita jitters

Music: None-talking heads on NBC
Mood: Concerned

I have a friend who is trying to get me to leave my apartment and go stay with him and his family in Huntsville, TX. I really do think that I'll be ok but man he would not let up. He KNOWS everything and everything is doomed for failure. Everything is going to end in death and destruction. If he's right this time, it's just because he got lucky. But he says this about everything.

My brother is coming in to pick up my mother from Kingwood and is taking her to stay with him in Crocket. I thought about going to Kingwood and staying in her house; but really, I think I'm better off staying here. I actually think that it is sturdier here and I have a less chance of flooding, though I'm not but maybe 1/4 mile from the bayou. I made it just fine when Alison hit. We'll see.

It's quiet. I think at least 1/5 of my building has already left. I see people packing up their cars and anticipate that at least 1/3 of the residents in my building will be gone by tomorrow afternoon/evening.

I wonder when we'll actually begin to see evidence of the approaching storm?

Preparing for Rita

Music: Silence
Mood: Curious

Wow, by the way everyone has been hustling and preparing here in Houston for Rita's arrival you would think that she was coming tomorrow. All of the pool furniture is gone and put away. I hope that means they'll be draining the pools least a little. Idon't know what's next on the list of Hurricane Prep To Do's.

It's really sort of exciting. We knew one was coming, eventually. It just seemed as though we were repelling them. So many coming at our coast and then curving left or right. So this time the African Coast decided to pitch us a fast ball. Argh.

And there's another wave developing right now as I type this. It is brewing in the Atlantic. Accuweather says that showers and thunderstorms were accompanying it. Awe, look, travel companions. Then they start partying and then things start spinning OUTTA CONTROL!

I wonder if there is a creative way to cool off the Gulf of Mexico so that these things can be slowed down? It would seem to me that there should be something we could do.

Anyway, I think I'm ready. I need batteries for my radio, though and the stores are out of them. I did get them for my flashlight however. I have candles to boot as well.

Alright, well as long as I have power and an internet connection, I'll continue to post for all you lurkers out there......I know you're there, eagerly anticipating my every post. I won't let you down.


Music: Jazz, faint in the background - at the office
Mood: Somewhat excited.

Well, folks around here are preparing for Rita's arrival. I have already gone shopping to prepare to have to get by without power for at least a week. I remember we were without power for at least that long when Alicia hit in 83 and that was only a Cat 3 storm.

I've heard stories already of people fighting over water at WalMart, long lines at gas stations. My tank is full. I have 10 gallons of water. I would evacuate, but I have a large bird that is not so easy to move around with. If it were just the cats, I could go to a hotel in Huntsville, only about $75/night.

I'm sort of nervous about this. I'm not so worried about flooding as I am about things flying about. My apartment is on the ground floor but I don't think that anything will fly into them. I have a pool fence in front of the picture window in the front of my apartment and the back of my apartment is overlooking the parking lot. If they don't remove the pool furniture from the pool area, I'm going to dump it into the pool myself. That's the stuff I'm worried about.

Ok, gotta go... more prep work to do.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Evacuees - Katrina

Music: Braveheart soundtrack- watching the movie (bloody, ewe)
Mood: Calm

I'm reading about these evacuees in Houston. The remaining ones are being sent to Arkansas and many of them are not happy about it. They seem to be under the impression that as they have been displaced they have the right to stay in Houston. Many of these people have been living off of welfare for some time. I guess they think that they actually have freedom to choose their destiny. I guess as long as they are on the government's ticket, they can't decide where they will be living.

I've been thinking about these handouts. The evacuees that have remained in the Astrodome and Reliant Center are the ones I suspect aren't planning on moving on. They are the ones that rely heavily on government assistance. I have heard people often complain that it is unfair that these people get handouts. In the case of people who have lost everything I think the complaint is a bit much but I do think it's fair to expect this not to last forever. But I'm sure that these people will settle somewhere and their lives will continue as it always has.

But going back and addressing the issue of government handouts. Though the rhetoric is and always has been that we have an obligation to the poor, the reality of it is totally different. I don't think that the governmnet wants to give anything to the poor. I do, however, believe that as long as people have some food, clothing and a roof over their head, they won't revolt. There will be less rioting in the streets. I am a firm believer that the last thing one wants is a large mass of people who feel that they have nothing to lose.

Personally, I think that welfare is horrible. It creates a sense of apathy and fosters a belief that there will always be a handout. But on the other, I think that it is important to keep people off of the streets. It helps to continue to keep law and order. At least that's my take on it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Still Purging

Music: Hungry like the Wolf - Duran Duran
Mood: Calm/tired

I'm still purging. Now that I'm home I can write it all out, shout it all out, cry it all out. I've promised myself that no matter what, this is the last time I'll have to live this. No more. I'm done.

I had lunch with a colleague; we had sushi. Sushi always makes me feel better. He is becoming a good friend. We didn't always get along but over the last few months, we've grown to respect each other. Anyway, I shared with him everything. It felt good to hear him tell me he understood and have even been in the same situation and had to make the same choices. I have a tendency to second guess myself.

It's that second guessing that gets me sometimes. That is what causes me to give mixed signals.

I'm tired, but I feel better. I think I got it all out of my system. I'm thinking about sewing or playing the violin. Whatever I decide to do, I'm not going to watch TV, though I have to admit that it is very tempting right now.

I'm seeing light right now and my mood is improving in leaps and bounds by the minute.


Mood: Tired
Music: Radio - Jazz

I cried myself to sleep over this 12 year old fucking wound. I feel so raw and tired today. Please please please let this be the last time I ever have to think about it again. Let it sink in to her that we can't be friends and it's over. I'm looking forward to life without the painful memory being thrown in my face. What a waste of emotion. What a waste, period.

I am free.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

This week

Something I came across on my nephew's sight was a series of postings that listed what he did that week. I really liked it and I think I'll steal, yet, another one of his ideas.

Ok, so today as Sunday and in the past week I did the following; this does not include my adventure with Baily and Sedrick:

Gained a a new client
Cleaned my bathroom
Did not watch any tv; I'm so very proud :)
Organized my desk at the office
Reinforced a relationship with a colleague at the office
Pulled myself out of a slump; had a friend push me back into it
Read from a book: "Leap of Faith" by Queen Noor
Wrote a Haiku for my nephew
Had my car jump started by a police officer
Received a sweet gift from a colleague (not the same one I had lunch with)
Got a new battery for my car while visiting with someone in the Navy Reserves
Went to the Baseball Game with my brother - watched the Astros mop the floor with the Brewers
Finally ended a friendship that needed to end


Music: Shout - INXS
Mood: Angry/Depressed

Betrayal. Where do you begin to unravel the ball of emotions you feel when this happens? How do you explain why and how it's so painful. What is it exactly?

According to the dictionary: To be false or disloyal to

That's it? It seems so dry. There should be a special definition for when it's your best friend who betrays you?

It happened 12 years ago. I'm one of those who believe deeply in friendship and loyalty and even after she did it, I couldn't cast her out of my life. So I stuffed the hurt, and slowly distanced myself from her, then allowed it to rekindle. Then I tried to end it several years later but she wouldn't let it end. She wanted to stay friends at some level. I wrote her a letter over a year ago and told her I wanted to end it. She seemed ok with that, but showed back up about 8 months later. I stopped taking and returning her calls 6 months ago, she called on a different number today so I accidentally took her call. I agreed to meet her for dinner.

I decided to confront it head on this time. The Betrayal. It's been a gorilla in the middle of the room and once in a while was acknowledged but never I called it what it was. Betrayal. So this time I spelled it out. She took it well, but I could see pain behind her eyes. It didn't come near the pain I felt over the years.

So, I'm reliving it all over again. Every time I see her, every fucking time, I relive it. I feel the pain, the humility the depression. This is the last fucking time. I'm not reliving it again.

But I don't know how to put my finger on it and explain why it feels the way that it does. Why do I feel so humiliated. So small. Did my friend's friendship at the time feed something in me? Perhaps my self-worth? I can't explain it but humiliation is in there. And it's very strong. I hate her for being so fucking stupid and careless. And those are words I cannot say to her. I won't hurt her. Why? Because I love her. And maybe I'm even angry at myself for trusting her as much as I did.

So, now I'm back 12 years ago hurting over something I would really really like to forget. I need that bell to be unrung. I wish that of all the painful events that took place in my life, it wasn't that one. I had been through so much hell and she was the one thing in my life that I held trust in.

I wish I could find the words to describe my feelings. I can't find them. Pain and humility. Those are the only two words that seem to sum it up for me.

I hate you!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

20 facts about myself -

Music: Radio - 80's Music
Mood: Contemplative

This is an idea that I saw in my nephew's livejournal and I really liked it.

1) I'm almost a half-breed; French and German with a splash of Scotts Irish. Heavy on the French side.
2) I speak french but have resisted speaking it of late and struggle getting past it.
3) I hate media spin.
4) I don't read as much as I used to and want to change that.
5) I've been taking violin lessons for a year.
6) I have 2 cats, a cockatoo and two betas.
7) I am inspired by my nephew.
8) I believe we can reprogram ourselves at any time; it becomes more difficult as we get older.
9) I'm a redhead because I was inspired by the movie Bandits.
10) I'm not as close to my siblings as I very much want to be.
11) I value my privacy.
12) I love Porsches and once owned a 944 that I pine for today.
13) I fear never having a deep connection with a man.
14) I regret not having tried out for the drill team in high school.
15) I should have been a ballet dancer.
16) I love blogging and tango dancing
17) My favorite painter is William Aldolphe Bouguereau
18) My favorite CD is David Grey's White Ladder
19) My favorite band is Pink Floyd
20) I am a Saggitarius

Friday, September 16, 2005

It must be a full moon

Music: None - quiet
Mood: Still relaxed - must by the Smirnoff Ice

Today some wierd things happened at the office. Our real estate office is in a space that used to be a Domino's Pizza and is located on a fairly busy street; not realy busy but busy enough. We get a lot of walk-in traffic. And now with all these evacuees looking for some sort of housing, we've been very busy.

Today someone walked in, at first glance, it was a girl. I was thinking early thirties. It was obvious by her hair that it had been a few days since she showered. I didn't get a chance really to see her as she was quickly ushered to one of my colleague's desk. A few minutes after, I walked over and offered her some water which she accepted. This time I got a better look at her and I began to wonder if she was really a he.

The problem is this person is overweight and and has "boobs", they could very well be man boobs. I even examined the crotch area to see if I could see anything through his/her jeans. There was no hair on his/her hands, arms or face. Nothing. Just the shape of the face, the build and the shoes made me think he might be a guy. The long hair and the "boobs" made me think otherwise. I had to leave the office to show some property so I didn't think much of it.

After about an hour I came back and the office was quiet; it was just me and another colleague. I was sitting at my desk reading blogs and surfing the internet. I heard some people come in and on of my colleagues moving about, so I didn't acknowledge them. I thought she was taking care of them. I couldn't see them anyway from where I sat. A litle bit of time went by and I heard my colleague ask someone if they needed help and from the response I could tell that they were crying. I got up from my desk to get involved and it was her/him from earlier. My colleague had to leave with some of her customers and I was left to deal alone in the office with this emotional person. At this point I ushered him/her to my desk, rounded up tissues and water and proceeded to hear the problem.

At this point, a man walked in the door. I stood up from my desk to see who it was, saw it was a man that seemed to be the non-threatening type and asked him to have a seat. Back to my androgenous friend. She/He was telling me their story about how much difficulty he/she was having in finding a place to live. This was not an LA relo but one from Kansas City. He...She...didn't have the proper paperwork. Bite marks on the hands from stress. I'm thinking this person needs social services' help not mine. So while this person is getting themselves together, I stand up and ask the man up front if he is looking for a place to live.

He gets up and says "no, I'm not looking for a place. My name is Sedrick and I came from Westheimer and Gessner and that's enough about that. I realize this is a place of business and that I am black". Okay...... whatever that means. He continues "I need bus fair to get to the other side of town and I've already asked 19 people for help." I think, man, take a number there is already a crazy in front of you....

So I tell him to have a seat and back to my customer. My colleague who was working with this person earlier called the office and told me that he believed this person was a him; his name is Baily. (I think Baily can go either way, but ok.) Eventually I got this person numbers and information to services more suited to be able to help him and sent him on his way. And as for Sedrick, he told me his bus fare was $4.50. That's pretty steep, but I wasn't going to give him $4.50. I handed him a $1.00 bill and sent him on his way.

I think we have a full moon tonight, as a matter of fact I'm fairly certain of it.

Shut My Mouth and Sweet Potato Pie

Music: Silent Giant - Roby Deaton
Mood: Relaxed

As many of you know, the sweet people from New Orleans are known for their cooking and their love of sharing their food with friends and strangers. Some evacuees are living in my apartment community and I have spent several evenings sitting in the gazebo in my apartment visiting with one in particular. He is a very sweet old man named Ivory and he is staying here with his daughter and son until they can determine if there is anything worth salvaging in New Orleans.

Ivory waits in the gazebo for me to come from work so that we can sit and visit. I have been so busy this week, usually getting home at 7:00 or so, that I've missed him as I get home from work. So, today, I was able to get in at an earlier hour. There he was, he had gotten a hair cut, more like head shave, and was waiting for me. He baked this morning and had made a sweet potato pie just for me. What a tasty treat! I have to say that was a really kind gesture.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

World's Shortest Poem

Music: Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Mood: Blue

I just came back from my violin lesson. I have a great teacher, Roby Deaton; he always makes me laugh. He is one of the sweetest people I know, and talented to boot! Anyway, he recited to me what he believes to be worlds shortest poem. We do not know who the Artist might be.

Author Unknown
Adam Had 'em
So, there you have it.

Nephew Part 3

Music: You're the Only Woman - Ambrosia
Mood: Anxious

I have to put my finger on it and I can't and I'm afraid the moment is going to pass. It's about my nephew. It seems so silly, I know but it's just that he's at that moment in his life. A moment he'll never be at again. It's a defining moment. He's on his own for the first time, well almost on his own; the "rents", as he calls them, are still footing the bill. His leash has just been extended over to a new continent. So, for all intents and purposes, he's pretty free to live and experience his life.

His postings sort of make me think of Hemingway.

He has a lot of purity in him and he's very sensitive and smart. There is a lot of good still preserved within and I worry about that. That would be the basis of my concern. I worry about the people who are going to see this in him and loathe it. He's still somewhat naive and trusting. And as he hits the hard lessons ahead will the disappointments strengthen his resolve or will he stuff his emotions and anger deep inside. I can't tell. I don't know him well enough.

I have decided to let him know that I know of his journal so that he can have the option of actually making it inaccessible to me. I will be heartbroken as I really would love so much to see how his personal philosophy develops, not as a critic, but as one who watches a flower bloom. But I understand his need for space, especially right now. He's in the process of defining himself and he may not feel totally free to do that if his aunt can peek in.

He's reading a lot of philosophy and has finally come upon Atlas Shrugged; a book I have been debating giving him for some time. When I read it for the first time it had a wrenching impact on me and I ran from her philosophy for over a year before I finally gave in to it and embraced it. Then I went through all the phases one goes through when studying her philosophy. I had no idea how he might respond to it and I didn't want the wrath of my sister should it have a similar affect on him as well. This is a good time for him to discover her. He'll either love it as I did or he'll reject it. Very few people sit in the middle.

Whoever he becomes I hope most of all that he achieves happiness.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blonde Moments

I got this idea from my nephew. At the entrance of each posting, he indicates his mood and the music he is listening to. I like this idea and want to start doing it too.

Music: Classical, something Baroque I think
Mood: pumped....Don't know what that's all about.

I am such a Goober! As I was straightening my desk this evening just before leaving the office, I came across an e-mail someone had sent me announcing $1 scoops at Baskin Robins. I love ice cream and I thought this would be a perfect day for a tasty treat.

I got in my car, pulled out of the parking lot and realized I didn't know where one was, so I ventured West because I knew there was one west of our office.....somewhere. So, as I approached the Galleria I decideded to call information from my cell phone. They gave me the address for one so I continued my way only to find myself stuck in horrendous rush hour Galleria traffic. That usually entails sitting and waiting at least 6 minutes before moving 10 feet and then waiting again.

So, my brother calls me. We're going to the game on Saturday and he just wanted to take my temperature. He knows I love baseball and wanted to see how excited I was about the game. Usually, during the week, I'm in the work zone. So, I'm not excited, yet. About an hour before the game, I'll start getting giddy.

Anyway, I'm sitting there in traffic gabbing away with my brother telling him that I'm stuck in this horrible traffic on my way to Baskin Robins for my $1 scoop of ice cream 'cause that's the special on Tuesday. And we're talking away and just as I pull into the parking lot my brother tells me that today is WEDNESDAY not Tuesday, so no $1 scoops of ice cream.

See, a blonde moment and I'm not even a blonde. Go Figure

Now, you get to see first hand what watching TV has done to my brain....I can't even get the days of the week straight!

But that's not all. I decided to proceed with the scoop of ice cream, paying full price of course, and ate it there. As I leave to head back home, I unfortunately discover that my battery is dead. The sit in traffic had something to do with that, I'm sure. So a nice officer jump started my car; and tomorrow I head over to get my alternator checked out. Blugh!

I really want to watch TV right now. Don' t worry, I'm a trooper and will resist the temptation.

TV - An Evil Vacuum

Ever since I can remember, I've always been an active person. I would watch TV from time to time but I never really watched it that often. I didn't have a TV when I lived in New York, so my first Christmas there, my father brought me a TV. When I left, it wouldn't fit in my car; so I gave it to a friend who provided me with a helping hand whenever I asked. It was the least I could give him. That and my king sized mattresses.

So, when I came back to Houston and made it my home, I never bothered to buy a TV. For the first few months I lived with my parents until I could save up enough funds to jump out and live on my own. Eventually I found this little efficiency for $295/mo in a scary part of town. (After New York it wasn't really so bad). There was a really nice black guy that lived below that sort of took it upon himself to adopt me and watch over me. He kind of knew I was out of place. Whenever he saw my lights on, if he didn't see my car, too, he would knock just to make sure everything was ok. On Valentine's Day one year he left chocolates for me at my door. He was really shy but had a good heart. So one day I invited him up to hang with me and have beer.

Noticing that I didn't have anything by way of furniture, I think I had a day bed, two barstools, and a $50 computer desk I bought at wal-mart he felt sorry for me. So he gave me his sony Watchman. It had a tv screen the size of a CD case and only broadcast in black and white as long as the antaennas picked up a signal. (I have great memories of that sony watchman).

That Watchman was my only source for TV and I didn't watch it that much. That lasted for almost 10 years. I have to admit, that if ever I went to someone's house or a bar where the TV was on, I was totally into it. People thought I was odd when I would marvel at something I had seen on TV. I was so totally disconnected from TV Culture.

Then in 2001 or so, I decided that I was going to get a TV. I have a friend who is a doctor and when I made this announcement he immediatelydiscovered I would make a good home for one of his that he no longer wanted. It is one of those TV's that has a built in vcr; the screen is about 20". Not wanting to get to hooked on TV, I passed on the option of acquiring cable. If the TV couldn't pick up the signal, I wasn't going to watch it. It was actually my way of compromising.

That first year I got brave and held a Super Bowl party. It was rather amusing as we had to keep getting up and adjusting the antaennas to get decent reception. We didn't care; it was just an excuse to have a party and it turned out to be a fabulous party. Unfortunately my best friend, who is a great cook, couldn't be there but I made a great chili in spite of his absence.

Soooo, after the first year or so of having this beast, I only watched Alias and the Practice. That was it. Then a little over a year ago I made a career change and money was tight. Really really tight. So I would work hard all day and come home and veg and watchTV. Every night that was my routine. I didn't do anything else for a year.

Well, my friend, I'm paying for it. That was the worse thing I could have done. I honestly believe that sucked out so much of my energy, creativity and ambition. I struggle now with my memory and my vocabulary. I lack motivation to do things in the evening. Actually, I'm embarrassed by what it has done.

So now, I'm banned from watching TV. I can lay on the sofa and do nothing, I can read, I can goof off on the computer, paint, read, write poetry, do whatever my little heart desires but I CANNOT watch TV. I am going to allow myself to watch Alias when the season begins; but that's all I'll watch. No more CSI, 2 1/2 Men, House, Boston Legal....not even American Idol sniff, sniff.

It is my hope to kickstart the active part of me so that my life can begin to be interesting to me once again.

May the force be with me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Louisiana holding pets hostage....

Now this is very interesting. I just listened to a report on by Anderson Cooper where Louisiana is NOT allowing animals out of the state. The volunteers who are trying to help are being told that they cannot send animals out in order to make room for more to come. I have been wondering what this is all about.

My theory.

One of the dilemmas that New Orleans is facing is that they just lost a bunch of their residents and the Democrats lost a whole lot of constituents. There are congressmen and representatives that need to be re-elected. Louisiana carries 9 electoral votes and Bush won them in 2000 & 2004; their locals are dems. I belieive their fear is that their people won't come back and make roots again.

I think they are allowing the residents to take their dog once they've ID'd him/her and even allow them to take it out of the state, but by keeping the animals in the state it at least forces the residents to COME BACK to New Orleans to get the Spot. Louisiana and New Orleans wants these people to come back.

The more I'm reading about Louisiana and how the state and local officials have been handling things, THEY are the ones that have been standing in the way. I suspect that Red Cross and other aid that was arriving by way of trucks was turned away is because the towns that those trucks would have had to stop in didn't want the people coming into their parishes. I suspect there is a whole line of people who have taken measures to prevent those people from leaving New Orleans.....for a lot of reasons.

There's gonna a be a lot of crap rising to the top......lots of it. I can't wait to see how it gets to unfold. I want a front row seat. Someone get me a bucket o' crawdads.... :)

Nephew Dilemma

Ok, I took a bath and thought about it and was hit with an idea. I think it only fair that I let him know I found his journal and I offer him the link to mine. Anonymity is important to me, it's actually very important. I grew up in an environment where boundaries were not respected so now I have boundaries and I value them. Something tells me that my nephew, Thomas, understands the need for boundaries and will also respect my boundary.

That is the issue, isn't it? Boundaries. When I stumbled across his journal it became a boundary issue. I like Quid Pro Quo, so maybe it is only fair that I give him mine and let him know I found his and we just both agree to keep each other's presence to ourselves. I will ruminate the matter and then make a decision.

My nephew

When I'm bored and have free time at my desk I like to Google people I know. Recently, I googled my nephew. Not too long ago he posted a question on the website of a University he will be attending this fall and gave his first and last name in the post. Google picked it up. Somehow that post links right to his livejournal.

I don't think he is aware that through this post he has opened the door to anyone into his blog and I don't think that he intends for his family to ever access it. At first I think he intended it to be a blog but it really is a journal of his thoughts, musings, writings, etc. and he opens it up to his friends and peers.

I have not been able to be close to my nephew because he lives so far from me (on the east coast) but I have always wanted to get to know him. My only insights into my nephew came from the things that my sister shared with me and her musings about him have always been accolades regarding his accomplishments. He is their only child so he is the be all of everything. From his entries, I have been introduced to a different side of him. I'm not saying my sister does not know her son and does not represent him accurately; I'm just saying that I have been able to tap into another part of him.

He is wonderful. I cannot say it any more than that. I am so incredibly proud of who this young man is becoming in his heart and in his soul; how sensitive he is; how hungry he is for life and how bright he is. I also worry about him for these things. I worry about the people and life events that will challenge his ideals, I worry about his compromises. I so badly want to reach through his livejournal and speak with him but somehow I feel like I have stumbled into sacred ground and I dare not let him know I'm "in".

Anyway, I'm really very inspired by him and am proud of who he has and will become.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Happy Memory

I stopped this evening at Starbucks and treated myself to an ice coffee. After the guy behind the counter handed me my efficiently prepared refreshing beverage, I headed straight back to the condiment counter to add cream to it. Whenever I add cream to my ice coffee, I am reminded of the same scenario and it always makes me laugh out loud.

When I was young, about 8 or 9, my father had purchased a motor home much like the popular Winnebego except ours was called a Commander. Our family absolutely loved taking vacations in this thing. I have the best memories from our vacations in The Commander.

Now my father was the kind of person that when he discovered he liked something simple, he was really into it. I don't know if it was something he had recently discovered or if it was a reawakened pleasure but this one particular summer, it was ice coffee.

As was the tradition, we camped at KOA's (Kampgrounds Of America) and they were everywhere. Dad was pretty good at making sure that wherever we camped, it had a swimming pool. And if we were lucky, it would have an "amusement park", too.

Well, on this particular day of this particular summer at this particular KOA somewhere in Oklahoma my little brother and I spent the better part of the early evening playing in the swimming pool while my mother prepared dinner. My Dad would sit on a lawn chair smoking a cigar and enjoying the much needed rest from driving all day.

I remember my brother and I sitting at the dinner table that was so neatly set for us. Before each of us was a tall glass of grape koolaide, ice coffee for my father and ice tea for everyone else. I thought it would be particularly funny to switch glasses with my father, so I just put my koolaid in front of his plate and took his coffe to mine. When I did this, I thought he would have caught it immediately but I guess since the plastic glasses were a dark transparent red, the grape Koolaid looked just like the coffee. Well, my dad proceeded to put cream in his coffee and didn't notice the creamy purple look as he stirred it. That was when I knew I hit pay dirt. He actually didn't notice that I had switched and he was going to discover once he tasted it.

When he proceeded to drink it, he still didn't get it. He knew something was wrong and he asked my mother what she did different to the coffe because it didn't taste right...and then of course my brother and I burst out laughing in delight of the "trick" we played on our father.

For me, now, whenever I put cream in ice coffee, I remember that moment and it is magical.

Isn't funny how some of the simplest moments in life can bring about such great feelings.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Aftermath Blues

Now that the Katrina event is over and we are dealing with its aftermath, I seem to be feeling really blue. There is something about the way the entire thing transpired that has really left me feeling depressed. Most of it has to do with the way the media portrayed it and the underhanded tactics of politicians hoping to use it as leverage over the White House.

I'm not defending Bush here, I'm just stating that I'm sick, really, really sick, of the naysayers who want to just keep America in a bad place so that they can win an election in a couple of years.

I have said on several occasions here that I have been disappointed with Bush regarding his relationship with the Religious Right. He has given them way to much power and I have issue with this. I think his aligning with them as tightly as he has bothers a lot of people and the result is that he is getting less backing for his agendas. But this is the extent of my frustration with him.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Scrolling Blogs

I've been out scrolling other blogs to see what's out there. I've added the ones I like to my Links list to the right. I think I'll give that a different title.....don't know what it will be yet.

I'm really amazed by the different opinions and ideas that exist. But I also see how similar we all are.

These blogs are individual attempts at making some sort of impact "out there". Like a pebble falling into a quiet lake. And I think it's about as impactful as that. One's blog is discovered, read, and then the reader moves on to the next one.

I think a second hope for the blogger is not just to make an impact but to be noticed, recognized and then, hopefully, worthy of an 'ata boy' post. "Hey dude, nice post", "wow, that was really inspirational, you should be a writer, man".

I wish I had more stuff going on in my life so that I, too, could post interesting topics. My life really does not seem to be very interesting to me and I have allowed it to just sort of drift. I've been beating myself up a lot lately for not doing much and allowing myself to become so complacent.

Hollywood & Bush

Katrina seems to be hogging the headlines these days. I've noticed that it is a nice break from Iraq; no one seems to be bitching about the war. The Dems seemed to be pretty successful at keeping negative dark cloud over the administration over the war but now this thing with Katrina has taken America's focus off of that cloud.

Now what to do? America is focusing on Katrina and not on how poorly Bush is handling Iraq. Brainstorm time..... Oh, I know, let's blame the aftermath of Katrina on Bush and get America back into looking at the dark cloud..... Wow, how original. Did Bush shine here? No. Should everything have happened faster? I don't know really. It took two days. The people who suffered the most really were the ones that were trapped. The pressure was on the officials to transfer the evacuees. How long would it have taken us to get to them if this were the 90's?

Ok, so now we have Hollywood. Who the hell are these people? These actors, actresses and singers are really very nervy. Is someone paying them to speak out? This self-righteous outpouring is all the same, they blame Bush. They are outspoken about it because they actually believe that we give a damned about their opinions. Oh my, if Kanye West says it, it must be true.

So, GFT, what do you think of the Katrina situation? "Hmmm, I don't know, let me see what Sean Penn has to say 'cause he's a movie star. That means he must be real smart and all and gosh, since I make so much less than him, I must not be as smart. Shucks, what do I know?"

What did Hillary Clinton do to get involved with the aid to the evacuees, besides standing on the sidelines and point the finger. And Jesse Jackson? While he was widening the divide between the blacks and the whites and enciting more hatred, what was he doing to help his "people"? Of course, we all know that fostering hatred towards the whites is always very productive.

I'm really curious what people thought a fast response should have been? And who should the rescue effort been targeted towards? The trapped and the weak? The ones waiting to be transported? And if the strong go one or two days without food or water, is this really an issue?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Karina 2

There are a few people living in my apartment community who are refugees from Louisiana. These are people who managed to leave New Orleans Sunday prior to Katrina's arrival. They told me that the mayor told the city that his legal advisors told him not to evacuate New Orleans without Bush's approval. I wonder what that was all about.

Last year he ordered an evacuation early. I remember people coming over and calling me in the event they might need to hang at my place for a day or two. What happened between now and then? Why all of a sudden do they need Bush's approval?

I'm impressed with this guy. He is has already set up interviews for himself and had decided he is going to make Houston his home. He doesn't seem to be expecting anyone to give him anything. He's taking the bull by the horns and getting things going.

So now the politicos are positioning themselves for leverage. Let's see how low everyone goes. The bodies haven't even been found yet and getting into place. None of these guys really give a damned about the people in New Orleans just as long as they can exploit them to promote their own causes. Bill Frist has made some mistakes in the past but he's putting it behind him and he's rolling his sleeves up and jumping in.

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will see this as an opportunity to continue to foster division between the blacks and the whites. Now Hillary Clinton wants a hearing committee to allocate blame and hopes to crucify the Bush Administration, that'll make really great ammunition for the Democrats against the Republicans when the Presidential election comes up in 2008.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Like everyone else in America, I seem to be spending a lot of time reading news stories about Katrina. has the best coverage; they were on top of it from the get go; gave it minimal coverage at first.

Now, the political aspects have been made apparent. My initial gut response was, what the hell were the local planners, leaders, etc. doing over the past few years to develop a plan to deal with this hurricane. They've been predicting it and fearing it for several years. They breathe a sigh of relief after the passing of every hurricane season. It was just a matter of time.

Friends and colleagues I've expressed this to have responded with "but what could they have done?" the levee broke. How could they have reinforced the levees. Who could have done anything? So maybe my question isn't what was the city doing to prevent the flooding and damage, but what was the city doing to plan for a mandatory evacuation? And now it has been brought to my attention that the city had a plan and did not execute the plan. The plan was to use every available bus (school, municipal, etc.) to gather those who could not leave the city due to lack of money and/or transportation. Why didn't the city follow the plan?

I have heard complaints that the U.S. Government didn't respond fast enough and that Bush's response was rather light, lacking the sense of urgency and somber attitude the rest of the country was feeling about this horrible event. I do believe that he fumbled on that one but in all honesty, I've stopped having expectations of Bush. I've heard the arguments and I think that the Federal Government needs to improve it's response to emergencies of this magnitude; it's just that we don't have them that often.

I am going to have to say that Louisiana dropped the ball, big time here. And I believe, strongly, that the Federal Government needs to hold both the Mayor's and the Governor's feet to the fire on it. The buses were not deployed.

I understand that the administration's political enemies are going to want to hold the Bush administration responsible for how bad this got but what I am really hoping is that they also realize that the Lousiana government officials are the ones that were responsible for evacuating the city prior to the storm's arrival, that they had a plan in place and that they did not execute the plan. If their reasoning is that they did not have a place to take the refugees, then my question is why not? Louisiana always knew this was coming, why didn't they plan it through, and if they planned it through, why didn't they execute the plan?