Monday, September 26, 2005

Blame It on the Rain...

You know you are desperate when you start quoting Milli Vanilli songs.

We got over 9 inches of rain from Rita. That's a heck of a lot.

And, it brought back the heat and humidity. It was in the high 90's again today. They are saying that we'll be in the low 80's by the end of the week, though.

I can hardly wait.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Purple Rain...

Actually, the sky is rather purple tonight. Must be the cloud cover.

I lost power around 2:30 a.m. and it came back on about 6 p.m. Lot of branches down around my building. There was a lot more rain with Rita than Katrina.

In fact, my parking lot is flooded. People with big trucks can get out, but those with little, low to the ground cars like mine are stuck.

In tomorrow's Advocate, there should be a picture of my parking lot. Don't know if it will be in the online version, though.

My ear still hurts. I would have gone to the urgent care today, but there's that parking lot problem. Maybe tomorrow.

The area where my boss lives got a lot of damage. Hope she and her family are ok.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Raindrops Keep Falling...

...on my deck.

Still raining. Bet the drainage thingy is overflowing. No power loss here yet, though, and they say we've had the worst winds we are going to.

Lake Charles is in trouble, though.

I think I must have had fever. I took ibuprophen a little over an hour ago, and now I'm sweating buckets, and it is not hot in my apartment.

Until later...we'll see if we can come up with another rain lyric.

I'm Singing in the Rain...

Well, no I'm not, actually.

We've had some nasty rain bands come through. We've probably had about 2 inches already today.

I'm not as nervous about Rita as I think I should be considering we are on the east side of the storm.

I am cranky, however. My ear really hurts. I didn't go to the urgent care center after work today. I just wanted to get home.

I hope I parked in a safe place. There are so many trees around my building that there really isn't a safe place.

The good news is that there are no 90 degree days in the forecast for the next week. That will make not having power bearable.

Here Comes the Rain Again...

Yeah, we're getting rain band from Rita now. You know how the outer bands look all kind of whispy and stuff on radar? That's exactly what they look like in real life - darker whisps agains a gray sky.

Baton Rouge seems to be fair well so far. West of us is going to suffer, and east of us is suffering due to another levee breach, and south of us there are tornadoes. I suppose if I was one of those people who believe that God hands out blessings based on being in His favor, I would say that God must be happy with BR. I'm not, though, so I won't.

And oh. I have an ear infection and my doctor couldn't see me today. So I have to go to the urgent care clinic tonight, because I can't live with the pain over the weekend. It hurts to move my head.

So until later, unless I'm one of the folks who loses power early...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita... tracking further east, which puts us on the east side of the storm and closer to the eye.

I don't know if I can do this again.

And to think, we were only minorly affected.

I wish I could go home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

This Is the Song that Never Ends...

...yes it goes on and on my friends...

Sometimes Shari Lewis and friends just sum up how you're feeling better than you can.

So, Rita is approaching Texas. Wonder where all those folks are going to go? Of course, Texas is a lot bigger than Louisiana, and there are counties in West Texas that have almost no people in them (the smallest county in Texas had a population of 34 in 2000. Yeah, I spent way too much time with demographics this past year). They can stick people over there.

The cynic in me has noticed that the federal government has already sent aid and has more poised to go to Texas. Is it coincidence that it's the president's home state? Hmm...

Well, I do have more to say, but I'm just so tired. I think I'm just emotionally drained, but I may be coming down with something, too. Everyone in the office has been sick, and the girl the cubicle next to mine has walking pneumonia.

My boss and my other co-worker are out of town teaching a class. I'm all alone in the office, and I get to deal with all the stuff my boss's boss usually bugs her about. I think I have a sick day coming on next week sometime.

Until my muse returns (which will hopefully be before November 1. Yeah, I'm doing NaNo again)...

Friday, September 09, 2005


I've been limiting my exposure to coverage of Katrina over the past few days. I just can't take any more. The storm is even invading my dreams - I haven't had a dream in the past two weeks where Katrina hasn't been involved. Not nightmares, just dreams. But still, I haven't slept more than three or four consecutive hours in the past two weeks.

I still have one more thing I want to say, but I don't have time to say it right now. Look for a post in the next day or two.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

An Open Memo... all the celebrity types currently looking for a photo op:

Stay Away!!

The last thing we need in South Louisiana or Coastal Mississippi right now is more people. If you want to help, that's wonderful. Make a hefty contribution. Send a plane with supplies. Encourage others to do the same. But save your photo op for another day.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What is the Point of FEMA?

Yeah. All those 9th ward folks living in stadiums and convention centers can just plug in their laptops and get to work.

Stupidity, thy name is FEMA.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Little Levity....

I have a serious and thoughtful entry planned, but I need a little more time to ruminate before I put it all together.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


I saw an interview this morning. I don't know whow was being interviewed or why his opinion mattered, and I can't find a transcript of the interview.

Anyway, this guy criticized Baton Rouge for being racist because buses carrying refugees from New Orleans were being directed to other cities. He said these people were hurting and how dare we turn them away.

Now Mayor-President Kip Holden was the one who declared that Baton Rouge was full. Kip Holden is African-American. I doubt he did it as an act of racism.

The fact of the matter is that with all the businesses relocating to Baton Rouge, and the thousands upon thousands who are currently displaced to here, Baton Rouge can't handle any more people. We just can't.

And don't think we don't feel guilty about it. Don't think for a moment it gave Kip Holden any pleasure to say that. But the safety of the people who are here has to be paramount. There are so many vehicles on the road right now, and so many people walking around the city, that there are just accidents waiting to happen.

The other thing I heard was State Senator Cleo Fields criticizing the fact that quite a few refugees are being housed out of state. He said that Louisiana needs to be able to take care of its own. That's a wonderful sentiment, but it isn't realistic. Where are we supposed to put people? I'm not saying that housing them in the Astrodome is a wonderful thing. But at least they are protected from the elements and at least they have air conditioning. That wouldn't necessarily be the case if we stuck them in a field in tents somewhere here.

Kathleen Blanco finally made a good decision and hired James Witt who was the director of FEMA in the Clinton administration. There will finally be someone who has a clue in charge.

Friday, September 02, 2005

How Insulting!

In Biloxi, Miss., Bush encountered two weeping women on a street where a house had collapsed and towering trees were stripped of their branches. "My son needs clothes," said Bronwynne Bassier, 23, clutching several trash bags. "I don't have anything."

"I understand that," Bush said. He kissed both women on their heads and walked with his arms around them, telling them they could get help from the Salvation Army. "Hang in there," he said.

When I read that this afternoon, I became so angry. George Bush as no idea what these women are going through. He doesn't understand what it means to have literally nothing left. He grew up in privledge. He never had to stress about Daddy losing his job, or not having health insurance for his child. And he surely was never homeless.

And to give these women a flip comment like, "Hang in there?" What is that? How can you hang in when you have nothing to hang on to?

This article was very interesting. It makes you wonder exactly what the head of FEMA has been watching this past week.

And Kathleen Blanco has not impressed me at all. She has come off as weak and incompetant during all this. I didn't vote for her, and I know quite a few people who wish they hadn't either.

Oh, Jesse Jackson just needs to go away. This is a big enough mess without his involvement. Not to mention the rest of us made these observations days ago.

The only politicians I can respect in this mess are Bobby Jindal, Kip Holden, Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, and Haley Barbour.

Life Goes On?

I'm in my own apartment with power, and air conditioning. It's exciting.

I had a revelation today. For the majority of people in the United States, Katrina is not the only topic that consumes their minute to minute existance. I find that hard to comprehend, because every topic of conversation here, every action, every everything, revolves around Katrina. On the off chance you have a conversation that is somehow not about Katrina, guilt sets in and someone tries to turn it back to that.

And you know, I think we get a little ticked off when we realize that there are people who are living there lives as business as usual. A friend just IM'd me and said, "how are things?" I responded:

  • My power just came on today after being off for four days
  • Baton Rouge has doubled in size in less than a week
  • And my company is working to account for and accomodate 200 employees and 1300 patients
  • How are you?

And he just responded, "I'm fine," like it was a casual conversation and what I said wasn't anything out of the ordinary. It made me really mad.

But you know, I can't stay mad about it. The fact of the matter is that unless you are down here and are experiencing what is going on, you can't understand what an all-encompassing nightmare this is.

My manager had to tell one of our employees that she does not have a house to come home to. As she watched the national coverage, they kept referring to New Orleans and showing pictures of the Ninth Ward. She never heard the name of her town (Metairie) or the name of her parish (Jefferson). She didn't know that her house had been completely covered in water. She showed up at one of our agencies in Georgia and the director was just so impressed with how positive she was. She didn't know then.

Now, that co-worker can barely think. She can't make rational decisions about her future. She's paralyzed.

My manager cries everytime she things about it. She also cries about the fact that an employee at another Georgia agency offered our co-worker a 2 bedroom apartment rent free, and that the employees in the agency where she showed up took up a collection for her to allow her to buy the necessities.

That's reality. It's also reality that there are over five thousand people living in our convention center dowtown, and another few thousand living in various churches. It's reality that our school system has to figure out what to do with another 40,000 students. It's reality that tempers are flaring in everyone in this city because we know that we can't support another 250,000 people in the metro area, and we feel terrible about it.

Even though my life wasn't terribly affected by Katrina, I know I will never be the same person. I find myself becoming more passionate about the poor in our community, since they were the ones who wer hurt the most by this mess. They are the ones who were forgotten about. They are the ones who will likely never recover from this.

I find myself very bitter about the national government. Now you may think that is normal for a quasi-liberal like me in a conservative administration. And to an extent you are right. But when I see and think about what a mess FEMA and the federal and state governments have made of all this, I am sickened.

Life will go on. But it will never be the same.

A Time of Celebration


Now all I have to do is find a grocery store with food - a challenge bigger than you might think.


I can't stay with my friend who has power anymore. She and her husband are selling their house quick because they can make a profit since rich folks from the New Orleans area are relocating to Baton Rouge.

I'm not sure I'll make it 'till Monday.

And that sounds so pathetic. At least I have a home. But I almost envy the folks in the River Center. They have power, and air conditioning, and all that stuff.

Then I kick myself for thinking like that.

Someone happened upon my blog by searching to see if there was any damage to Louisiana School for the Deaf in Baton Rouge. If you find your way back, there was minimal wind damage, same as the most of the rest of Baton Rouge. I think classes are resuming next Tuesday.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I know a lot of you are seeing nothing but bad stuff about Louisiana on the news. Let me assure you that what is happening is not representative of business as usual in our state.

The entire state is stressed right now. Almost overnight, Baton Rouge has increased in size by a third. A lot of the parish still doesn't have power (including me). Temperatures are in 90s. Tempers are short.

We just need help.

Living in a Post Katrina World

I still don't have power at home. My apartment was over 90 degrees last night. I stayed with one of my co-workers who had power. It was wonderful.

We have been working on finding our displaced employees. They are scattered all over the southeast. We've also been tryng to find RVs to house folks. We've struck out in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. We're working on Tennessee and Kentucky now, and may try Georgia. If anyone has one they want to donate for at least a month, leave me a comment with a way to contact you. We will pay you rent, and we'll even come get it.

When I finally get power back on, I will volunteer to house people in my apartment. I may not have much, but I have a living room floor,air conditioning, and hot water.

My company also has a relief fund for our employees through our non-profit foundation. If you are interested in donating, let me know.

I donated two days of PTO. I know it's not much, but I don't have a lot in the way of cash right now. When I get paid next week I'll donate more.

The looting going on in New Orleans is ridiculous. I understand people looking for food and clothing, but big-screen TV's? Guns? Furniture? What exactly are they going to do with them? People are shooting at rescue workers. It is utter chaos.

We are feeling more of the impact here now. A lot of our smaller water systems are under boil alerts. The city is full to bursting with people.

Through it all, though, people are stepping up and doing what they can. I think everyone here realizes just how blessed we are. We are only 60 miles from the hardest hit area, and the most that most of lost were a few trees and power.

My only real fear is that assistance will dry up after the immediacy of the situation fades. People are going to need help for months and years to come.