Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I just saw my first pictures of New Orleans and Biloxi on MSN.


There is nothing else I can say.

The Aftermath

I'm safe. Thank God. I have no power at home, and probably won't until next week, but I'm safe.

I don't have the words right now to describe what is happening in South Louisiana. It's beyond overwhelming. There are about 67,000 evacuees in Baton Rouge alone, and about that many in Houston.

We lost at least 10 of our agencies, and almost all of those employees lost their homes.

I'll write more when I've been able to process a little bit more.

If you want to help, donations to the Red Cross would be appreciated.

Monday, August 29, 2005

God is Good

Katrina's eye has taken a slight turn east and weakened a little bit. She's still a category 4, but the eye is less massive and less organized. We will most likely still lose power here in EBR, and New Orleans will probably still have some flooding, but no where no where near the catastrophic mess that was forecast just six hours ago.

The coast is still going to get hit hard, both in Louisiana and Mississippi. I hate to sound cold, but that's a good thing. They are used to these storms there, and are better equipped to deal with them. New Orleans wouldn't have been able to deal.

I just heard something go bump outside. The wind is picking up, and something must have flown into something else.

I'm going to lose power sometime soon. I'll update when it comes back on.

Thanks for the prayers. The Big Guy is listening.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Waiting is the Hardest Part

Been watching the coverage on the local news. The anticipation of what is going to happen is almost as bad as what will happen.

I wish my boss had called me. I'm worried about her and her family. She literally lives in the middle of nowhere. The good news is that she lives on a sand and gravel pit. I don't think there will be a problem with obtaining sandbags.

The news is still scary. I'll post again around midnight if I still have power. I think I will. We've only had two small rain bands pass through so far, thought the wind is picking up a little bit.

Weird Observations

It's funny how life goes on even when we are facing a potentially devastating storm.

People are out doing laundry (myself included). The students in my building are treating it as a bonus day off classes. There's a bunch of them partying in the pool right now. Someone else is barbequeing.

I don't know if that is a testament to the youth of the residents of my building, or an acknowledgement that there is nothing we can do so we might as well just go on.

Well, my car is fuled up. My bathtub is full, and I will soon have clean clothes. The office is closed tomorrow (which I was anticipating).

Obladee Obladah. Life goes on.

Here Comes the Rain

The first of the outer rain bands has just hit EBR. People are still leaving New Orleans.

A lot of people in my building have taped their windows. I don't see the point. If a tree is going to come through your window, a piece of masking tape isn't going to do anything to stop it.

I should drive home to Pittsburgh. I'm really scared.

Katrina Update

NOAA has just issued a weather bulletin that says that, for all intents and purposes, New Orleans is essentially going to be destroyed.

I really am freaked by all this. This is the first time a hurricane has made me really worried. The two parishes to the immediate east of EBR are under mandatory evacuation.

They said it should make landfall around 3 a.m. I doubt I'll sleep tonight.


I've been in South Louisiana for three years now, and this is the first time I've been afraid of a hurricane.

Katrina is a category 5 storm now. If it continues on it's current path, it could absolutely devastate the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. It also has the potential to cause tremendous damage to New Orleans, which sits below sea level and is essentially shaped like a bowl, just waiting to be filled up with the expected downpours (parts of Florida got over 20 inches when it hit there).

I'm east of where it is expected to hit, which is good. That's always the weaker side of the storm. The electricity guy said this morning that we could potentially be without power for several days though. I have an electric stove and can't cook if that happens.

I'll keep updating as long as I can today if anything changes. If you happen upon this page and if you think about it, praying for us down here in the Gulf South would be appreciated.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


P. B. Shelley
You are Percy Bysshe Shelley! Famous for your
dreamy abstraction and your quirky verse,
you're the model "sensitive poet." A
vegetarian socialist with great personal charm
and a definite way with the love poem, you
remain an idol for female readers. There are
dozens of cute anecdotes about you, and I love

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

I always fancied myself more of a William Blake type, but OK.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I had a weird weekend in terms of music for several really weird reasons.

First, I was driving somewhere and listening to Weekend America on NPR. I find myself listening to NPR a lot lately, which has nothing to with anything except I thought I'd note it. Anyway, one of the hosts said that his friend has a theory that whatever song is number 1 on the day you are born has a profound effect on your life. You can go to this website and find out what song was number 1 on your birthday.

Well, of course I had to do it. And on May 13, 1971, the number 1 song was...

Joy to the World by Three Dog Night
I didn't even know they did a version of that song. I'm only familiar with Credence Clearwater Revival's version.
Well, I can't say I ever drank a bullfrog's wine. And I don't know that there is anything else in that song that applies to my life even remotely. Jeremiah is my favorite book of the Bible though. Maybe, if you stretch it really, really, really far, you can make that apply.
Interestingly, the first time I did this, I got My Sweet Lord by George Harrison. I have no idea what date I put in to get that, because I can't get it to come up again. That would actually be vaguely more fitting for me.
No, I never became a Hari Krishna, but I have always been fascinated by world religions. I had a theory that I was daft and overconfident enough to try to prove when I was in 10th grade for my IEP in World Cultures in the gifted program. My theory was that there was only one God, but that that divine being manifests itself differently in different cultures. That, in and of itself isn't necessarily a radical idea. The overconfidence comes in the fact that I tried to prove it, at least as far as I could and get away with it in a public high school.
Well, needless to say I failed. I learned a heck of a lot not only about major world religions, but also some tribal religions and cults throughout the world, though.
So on Sunday in Church, the Gospel reading was from...Matthew, I think (yeah, I grew up Catholic - we're not good at the Bible thing). It was the reading where Jesus asks his apostles, "Who do you say that I am?" and Simon Peter responds, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God." The pastor based part of his sermon on the whole idea of faith versus reason, and that's when I had this revelation about what my folly was back in 10th grade (it's only taken my 19 years to figure it out).
God isn't a geometry theorum to be tested and proven. God just is. I can no more prove God that I can prove that there will be 7 feet of snow in South Louisiana in December 2015. It isn't withing my capacity as a human being.
When I was in 10th grade that was unacceptable to me. Despite the fact that I'm one of those abstract creative types, when it came to God, I wanted proof. I never didn't believe, I just wanted the cold hard facts that showed that what I believed was true.
Now, I'm OK with the fact that I can't prove God. Maybe I've mellowed. Maybe I've realized that proof isn't always everything it's cracked up to be. Maybe I've just come to terms with the fact that there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy (had to get my Shakespeare in there).
So, the whole point of this rambling post is to say that I'm OK with the fact that God just is.
Oh, and the other weird thing that happened with music this weekend is that someone in church asked me if I would be willing to be in the bell choir.
I have no rhythm. I have no music. I'm tone deaf. I'm a horrible choice to ring bells.
So why did I say I'd think about it?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Anyone have a spare gmail invite?

I'm getting ready to leave AOL and need to switch to web-based e-mail. Gmail would make me happy.

Sorry for the blatant begging.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


And my computer is back and working, too. Though I'd forgotten how slow dial-up is...

Guess I've Adapted to the Deep South a Little...

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

25% Dixie

15% Yankee

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

Friday, August 12, 2005

I'm currently reading Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. My friend Amy recommended this book to me when it first came out, along with Bird by Bird, and I had every intention of reading them. And I am - it just took me 6 yeard to get around to it. Interestingly enough, I am now just about the age Amy was when she recommended them. Hmm. Must be a mid-30s, searching for a deeper spiritual life thing.

Anyhow, I picked this book up because it was referenced in another book that my pastor loaned me. When I saw it, I was reminded of that long ago promise to read it, and I reserved it at the library. It came in yesterday, and when I picked it up I couldn't put it down. Lamott just has a way of expressing herself that is simultaneously poetic and straight-forward. And admire how she is comfortable enough in who she is to lay her life out for all to read about. It takes guts to be that vulnerable.

I've been thinking about my own topsy-turvy journey of faith lately. There was never truly a time in my life when I didn't belive that God existed. Sure, there have been plenty of times that I doubted if God cared about li'l ol' me. And it's somewhat beyond my comprehension that anyone could ever think that there wasn't a power greater than themselves in the universe.

But by the same token, I'm a little jealous of those who were atheists who have come to believe. I wish I could remember that moment, that instant, where I realized the reality of God.

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful that I was rocked to sleep every night of my infanthood with "Jesus Loves Me." And I'm grateful that I can remember my parents being so proud of me for being able to say the Lord's Prayer before I started kindergarten, when so many of my classmates were still learing it in first grade. And I'm more grateful than I can ever express that God has given me the gift of faith.

But sometimes I wish I knew that spark, that "a-ha" moment when I knew that God was real. I mean, I've had encounters with God (and when I say "God," in my head we're talking the Trinity) that I can recall as being more intimate than words can express. And at times in my life, my relationship with God was so close that God seemed almost physically near me.

Still, I can't help feeling like I'm missing out on something big. Is that petty and conceited of me? Perhaps.

I do have more that I want to say on this whole topic. I'm hoping to have computer access restored at home soon. Until then (or until I get to the library and have time to write)...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Still Alive...

...despite the infrequent posting.

It's hard to blog when you don't have internet access at home. The library has timers on their computers, and I inevitably run out of time before I'm finished writing. And I've been busy at work an unable to sneak a few minutes in.

I swear I'm taking my computer to get it fixed on Friday. Then you can all be treated to more of the wonder that is me.