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Monday, September 26, 2005
Oh dear god.
It was Monday, and I was having trouble getting up so I figured, what the fuck, I'll just go in at 8am and work the regular shift.
I got off at 4:30 and started the exodus home. I was doing pretty good, taking all of my favorite back streets, until I came to the last big leg of my jaunt home. It's a major highway that spans across a few other major highways, and traffic on it is always a bear. But today...oh god today...
A little bit down the road, a drive that, under regular fucky-traffic circumstances, could take 5 or so minutes - a little drive that, on a week night with no traffic takes two or less minutes - took me almost thirty minutes to get through. We're talking around 4 and a half miles here!! It was horrible. Is there anything worse than sitting in that non-moving mass of cars just.....W A I T I N G?
No, there isn't.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
The last post may have been a bit premature. We ended up having severe thunderstorms after I last updated; winds and rain that, at times, were worse than what we experienced last night when Rita was making landfall.
But now the winds are pretty much gone, there's only a slight drizzle...and the sun is coming back out. It's humid, but we have power! All is good.
Weathering the storm...
So far (knock on wood), we still have power. The wind has died down considerably, but there are still strong gusts blowing by. Our fence was blown over, but other than that everything is fine.
Even though the winds aren't as strong as they were for Katrina, it seems like they are - maybe there's just more of it. I could barely sleep last night for the wind howling around the corners of the house. It's been pretty non-stop since after midnight last night.
It's getting calmer now, though so I think we here in Baton Rouge have seen the worst of it. Our families, closer to the storm, are without power but safe.
Just wanted to let you know, we're still here.
Friday, September 23, 2005
So it looks like Rita is going to come a good bit more our way. Whoopee.
I'm glad it looks like Houston and Galveston will get spared the brunt, I am. And here in Baton Rouge we're only expecting 30-40 mph winds (only, can you tell we're hurricane-weary?), though lots and lots of rain as Rita is expected to make landfall and just sit her fat ass on us for a few days instead of moving on.
The most westerly parts of the state won't fare so well, especially our southwest portions. Again, though, what can you do? When Mother Nature wants to have her way with you, there's little to do but sit and hope she finishes quickly so you can get to putting your life back together.
State workers here in Baton Rouge are only working a half day (I know, I don't see the point either), so we go home at 12pm. It's Hurricane Party ("Rita Gone Wild") the rest of the weekend. What else are we going to do? I'm just hoping we don't lose electricity again because that would truly, utterly SUCK.
If you're in Rita's path - stay safe; I wish you and yours the best of luck.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Another Day, Another Bitch
First Katrina came raging in, devastating New Orleans and annihilating Biloxi. Now here along comes Rita, the next bitch in line, to wreak havoc on the western edge of Louisiana and desolate the Texan gulf border. Real nice.
And, folks, hurricane season isn't over until November 30.
I suppose nothing can really prepare you for evacuating like that - for leaving behind your entire life (homes, heirlooms, sometimes vehicles, pets, or other family members) with the knowledge that it may be gone when you return. I hope I never have to know.
Baton Rouge is located pretty far north, as far as the coastline is concerned. It's not that we aren't affected when a huge storm blows in, but we're rarely (if ever) affected like those closer to the coast.
I really don't know what to say. As we sit here and wait for another major city, and more precious, irreplaceable quaint towns and charming beaches, to be completely destroyed and all but ruined, what can you say? What can you do? Sit and wait - and hope it won't be as bad as it seems it will be.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I don't know how far the "New Orleans Looter" has traveled into national inboxes (shit, he's made it onto Snopes!), but he's been a staple going around Louisiana for about a week now - and his fame continues to grow. Never let it be said that we Louisiana folk don't have a sense of humor.
How long before this guy gets hunted down by the media giants ands ends up on The Surreal Life or some similar reality show?! I wonder if he has any idea he's "Internet famous".
Sometimes when you can't cry anymore, you have to laugh. And sometimes - you laugh so hard you cry!
Two articles I feel express my feelings on the race issue (or, better put, the NON-EXISTENT race issue) during the recovery effort in New Orleans:
Incompetence, Not Racism
by Richard Cohen, Washington Post,
In Katrina I Didn't See Racism, I Saw Brotherhood
by Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Human Events Online
Saturday, September 17, 2005
The Sims 2: Nightlife fucking rocks.
I purchased it yesterday - with all the hoopla that's been going on around here, I'd totally forgotten it was coming out!
I'd read a little about it, but not much, b/c the excitement would be too great. I know, I really should get a life. Anyway, there's lots of content that I didn't realize would be there but am VERY GLAD it is!
For starters, falling in love with another Sim is a much more complicated thing than it used to be - your Aspirations should be compatible, along with your Zodiac signs, and your turn-ons and turn-offs should be in in sync.
Vampires are a great new addition to the game, the way they walk around with their arms over their faces in classic-Vampire style and hiss periodically is a hoot. Vampires, apparently, do not die of Old Age or any unnatural causes - but they will perish if left out in the daytime; they sleep in coffins that you purchase in Buy Mode. I haven't seen it yet, but apparently a Sim Vampire out during the day will have all his Needs rapidly deteriorate until he dies - or you quickly get him inside and in his coffin. I hope to get one of my Sims turned into a vampire soon by one of the Grand Vampires downtown.
Speaking of the dead, Maxis heard our pleas, and you can now create cemetaries/parks to place your deceased family members when you don't want to get rid of them permanently, but also don't want to be bothered by their restless spirits for the rest of your life. Once these graves are moved to the cemetary, you can visit and mourn them there, or move them back home if ever should so choose. A very cool addition.
There are lots of little things and I can't go into them all, but the ep is amazing. The music is something else - all these different, funky themes of the original The Sims 2 theme on loading/building screens. Very nice.
One of the most fascinating additions for me was the ability to *see* your neighborhood while you are on a particular lot. This, like the new cars, has never been done in a Sims game before. You can see your neighbors around you, and if you're Downtown, you can see the other buildings - just click and go to visit them!
I was so hoping you'd be able to WooHoo in the cars - and you can! New places to WooHoo is always a bonus to sex fiend Sim-players like myself.
Slow dancing is another animation that I really like, along with "The Smustle" - a line dance thing Sims do together that about had me pissing my pants with laughter.
The ability to chat up prospective mates is a nice bonus - you can ask them their skills, turn-ons/turn-offs, how much they make, and what their jobs are. Great for the Fortune Sims on the prowl for a wealthy spouse or Family Sims looking a good supporter to start a family with.
Karaoke is another piss-on-yourself laugh inducer. Sims can sing solo, or pair up with another Sim to make an ass of themselves. Sims with low Creativity skills sound horrible - much to your amusement.
There are so many great things about the game, and I'm just learning them as I go. For any Sim fan out there asking if it's worth it to have - I'd have to give a resounding "Yes!"; even if only for the neighborhood view while on a lot - it makes it so much more "realistic".
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Today's Baton Rouge Traffic Alert Level is OFF THE FUCKING CHARTS!!
So I just had to share this interesting bad driver experience that just happened to me when I ran out to grab some lunch (which is why I normally don't leave my office for lunch).
I finish up my McDonald's visit, get my food and all, and pull up a bit to leave. But this is one of the McDonald's with the a sometimes-moving lane next to the drive-thru lane, so I stop and turn around to see if anyone is coming. People are; there are two vehicles - a big truck and a beat-up old blue minivan that is crawling.
No problem. So I inch forward a bit more as the truck passes me so that the guy behind me can get close enough to the window to get his food. As I'm stopping - and I'm talking I was inching - you could barely tell I was moving - the woman in the blue minivan lays on her horn at me and slams on her brakes (which wasn't very momentous since she was crawling, too). I wonder what the fuck her problem is - I'm sure not about to hit her, considering I'm at a dead stop. She passes me - ever so slowly - and is giving me the most evil pair of eyes imaginable.
I kind of shake my head at her, like, "What?!" and mouth "I saw you - I SEE YOU!" This seemed to make her angry - go figure, so she stopped again and started yelling out the rolled-down window (I doubt this van had a/c) and throwing her arm out - obviously gesticulating madly.
I'm thinking, this bitch is crazy. So I ignore her as I pull behind her and she crawls up to the exit - which exits into a parking lot. Then she stops. She just sits there and doesn't move. Another car comes up behind me and we're just sitting there, and I've about had it with this non-driving, psycho whore so I lay on the horn at her.
She inches forward just enough for me to get through (because I'm in a Miata - ha!) and as I turn right and speed off, she yells at me, "There's a newborn baby in here!!" And I SO wanted to yell back, "Then you should learn how to FUCKING DRIVE!"
Perhaps if she'd laid off the crack-pipe long enough to let a coherent thought pop into her empty head, she'd of realized that she and her newborn baby were in no real danger - and that the REAL danger was simply HER BEHIND THE WHEEL.
What a fucking dumbass.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Baton Rouge traffic was a clusterfucky mess long before the city's population suddenly doubled in size; now, it is a motherfucking nightmare.
Even working the "non" regular shift (7-3:30) hasn't helped. Traffic, all day - every day, is like rush hour.
The problem is that, along with the already-horribly inept Baton Rouge drivers, you have a mess of already-insane and psychotic New Orleans drivers who don't know the area - so they're constantly slamming on their brakes, missing turns and cutting in front of you to try and get over to where they suddenly realized they need to be. Or maybe that's just par for the course; New Orleans drivers really are crazy.
People pulling out in front of you is the norm around here - I live with one foot hovering over the brake in anticipation of it because it's such a common occurrence. Now, naturally, it's much worse. I get pretty agitated when someone pulls out in front of me and I have to slow down or brake a bit; but when you pull out in front of me and I have to slam on my brakes so hard that I'm sure my tires are going to start screeching before I can come to a stop inches away from your bumper, we have a problem. This happened yesterday, and so I honked. I almost hit her, I figured the honk was deserved. Do you know what that bitch did?! She flipped ME the bird!!!
If I didn't love my Stella so much and Baret wouldn't have killed me, I would've rammed that whore! So I flipped her back off, and she flipped me back off - and this went on for quite a few minutes, this flipping each other back off until I gave her a thumbs up hand gesture and mouthed because the whole thing was so ridiculous. She was wrong, and she just couldn't admit it. I bet if I'd of hit her (which I almost did) she'd of blamed me.
Every one of my friends calls me up in the evenings to complain about how horrible the drive home was, and we all go over the almost-wrecks we nearly got into. It's that bad.
Think about it. Baton Rouge overfloweth long before this mess - already its streets and highways weren't equipped to handle the growing amount of traffic we were seeing. Baton Rouge had kind of outgrown itself. Now, the city - overnight almost - doubles in size so you can just imagine.
Due to the rising problem of terrible traffic in the city of Baton Rouge, I have created the Baton Rouge Traffic Alert advisory. You should see it up on the left there. Now, when I talk about the god-awful traffic, I have a reference point to show you just how scary and threatening it is.
Today's Baton Rouge Traffic Alert is at RED.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
New Orleans will thrive again. And it's things like this that make me feel that more than ever.
You can't knock New Orleans down - she'll be back; those that love her best will see to it!
Friday, September 09, 2005
This is NOT About Race!!
Why does everything - every single fucking thing - have to be turned into a race issue? I seriously believe sometimes that only people who have serious racial problems are the ones that cry "Racism!" every time someone farts near a black person. Seriously - get over yourselves.
It's just nice that, at least, someone with authority is stepping up and saying what's been on every sane person's mind since the cries of "they were left to drown in New Orleans because they were black" started.
Colin Powell, in an interview with Barbara Walters, stated, "I don't think it's racism, I think it's economic."
Somebody pop open the champagne. Someone is actually making sense here.
He went on to say:
"These are people who don't have credit cards; only one in 10 families at that economic level in New Orleans have a car. So it wasn't a racial thing _ but poverty disproportionately affects African-Americans in this country. And it happened because they were poor..."
I've been saying that since this started. Yes, most of the people you saw suffering on TV were black. Could it be because 2/3's of New Orleans' entire population are black? Could it also be that an extremely large number of those same blacks are low- or no-income families who could not pack up the Dodge and drive away from the storm? Isn't common sense just too nifty sometimes?
No one left people to die because they were black. That is the most infantile and ridiculous shit I've heard since I noted the lyrics to "La La". There were huge mistakes before, during and after the storm by every branch of government imaginable - yes. But it had nothing to do with race, and helluva lot to do with self-serving politics.
There are people saying "Bush hates black people" or "Bush doesn't care about black people". Let's look at this logically, m'kay? Even if Bush dislikes or doesn't give two figs about persons of color, he would never, in a million years, make this known in so obvious and horrible a way. It isn't part of the political agenda, you see. This man has a huge public image that he is incredibly concerned about - he'd like to stay in power, obviously. To think that he would just shun an entire race during the nation's largest natural disaster just because "he doesn't like them" is...well, it's stupid. Even if it's true that he doesn't like blacks - and I don't know if he gets jiggy with it or not - the fact remains that it isn't the reason things got botched here.
Make it about race, and you take away from what really might've happened. Instead of being upset because you (falsley) think everyone is out to get you, try focusing your energies on finding what DID go wrong; so that it never happens again. This happened to blacks - and *gasp* whites, reds, browns, yellows and any other skin-color that happened to be in those parts of LA and MS when the storm hit. We're in this together. Doesn't anyone realize that?
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
It takes a helluva lot to shock me; I've seen a lot and done a lot, well, I've been around the block. In fact, I generally admit that it's damn near impossible to shock me.
But there's little in the world that can prepare you for getting a phone call from your baby brother and hearing him say, "How do you feel about being an aunt?"
Yeah, that shocked me.
I'm getting closer to 30, my younger sister is 24 and my brother will turn 23 later this month. None of us are married, and none of us have given my parents a grandchild.
Set in our ways, I guess it seemed that a new life, a new child, was far - if ever - from coming into our small family. Pretty much everyone I and my siblings knew or grew up around had gotten married and/or produced at least two offspring. It just seemed that wasn't our lot.
But now I think of a little niece or nephew...a grandchild for my parents to dote on, a great-grandchild for my grandfather to be proud of...and I wonder why in the hell we waited so long? Holidays will have special meaning again; when it's all adults, it simply isn't the same. The family is carrying on, and that is a wonderful feeling. Already I'm dreaming of what my niece/nephew will be like, the kind of relationship we'll have, what it will be like to have new life...a child...in the family, around during holidays and special occasions.
In all of the pain and suffering we've seen, in all of the losses that surround us...on the day that - as anyone who reads this blog knows - is most painful for me, a message of light and love and hope has been born.
There is always Light in the Darkness, after all.
Everyone seems to be upset that their favorite leader or figurehead is getting blamed for this mess.
Let me say this, it's everyone's fault. The federal government, the state and local governments.
The problem with funding to repair levees and build them up to take the brunt of a Cat 5 storm is that it's a long-term solution. It isn't something from which the benefits are immediately felt; in fact, it may never even be tangible. Policitians, and all of govm't, look to the short term; to something they can show and say, "Look all of the good that I have done." - their terms are short, and so the large problems with future implications for trouble are left for the next schmuck to deal with. It is simply the way of American politics.
The chances of a Cat 5 storm coming up and hitting New Orleans as it did were slim - very slim. Some believed it would never even happen, and even those that did never expected to see it in their lifetimes. So it was easy to put off funding, spend the money elsewhere, ignore the problem that wasn't an immediate threat. They took a chance - everyone took a chance - and the worst came to be; they lost the bet.
The only good I can see that may come out of this is that maybe, maybe, long-term goals and progressive measures may get brought to the forefront of our leaders' minds. Perhaps the way things are handled by big govm't and local officials will be changed by this. Maybe they'll start to take care of things that may negatively affect us in the future, instead of worrying about their personal short-term career goals. I doubt it; but I can hope.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Let Bush and co. play their little game and pretend they know what's going on and that everything is now under control...the truth is out there.
How many times do you think you can lie to this country, Mr. President? How many times do you think you can cover up your failings with publicity stunts and deceptive words? How stupid do you think we are?
Coming from the hub of operations for the affected areas in Louisiana I can tell you that everything is most certainly NOT under control; that most people still don't know who *is* in control or what the hell is going on. Let him try to paint a pretty picture - he just continues to dig himself deeper as more people seek to poke holes in each of his cover-ups and lies.
This op-ed reflects my fears and anger perfectly:
Falluja Floods the Superdome
You might also be interested, as I was, to read this:
Pam: The first hurricane Bush ignored
Monday, September 05, 2005
I'm so goddamned tired of all the excuses, the lies, the spinning, the slight admittance of guilt followed by a hurried "we've got it now, though". You fucked up - just admit it. There is no - NO - excuses for this, nothing you can say or do that will ever make this right. Our government failed us. Period. The best thing our administration and FEMA and all of the others' responsible can do now is to step forward and say, "Look, we messed up, big time and we're sorry." That I could respect, that I might be able to forgive - a little. But trying to make it "okay" - trying to cover it up with lies and excuses and justifications...no. You have no right.
I've no doubts in my mind that more people are dead because of our government's ineptitude than because of the hurricane. None. No matter what they get on TV and say to try and cover their asses, every single one of them has to go to sleep at night with that knowledge - they will have to bear the responsibility of thousands of innocent deaths - women and children included - on their souls.
You keep hearing them say they "didn't know" and then that they "couldn't get to them". That's amazing, considering I know people personally that made their way in with boats the day after the storm to rescue family. And how can they sit there and say they didn't know!? Everyone knew - as this article from 2002 shows - all of this was predicted. Everyone knew what would happen if a storm of this magnitude hit New Orleans, even down to the percentage of people that wouldn't or couldn't leave! I knew - without power and with only a battery-operated radio - on Tuesday (the day after the storm hit) that the Superdome had been badly damaged. Common sense then told me, with no electricity and no running water, thousands of people who've just lost everything trapped in a hot, unsanitary stadium was simply another disaster waiting to boil over. The fact is, either they knew and acted entirely too slowly, or they didn't and are simply proving to the world that they are the biggest bunch of incompetent morons to ever attempt to lead a country.
Our own government is responsible for more deaths than Katrina. That is a terrifying, and sickening thought.
I believe this open letter to President Bush, that appeared in the Times-Picayne newspaper's editorial section, reflects wonderfully how we feel:
OUR OPINIONS: An open letter to the President
Saturday, September 03, 2005
I'm tipsy. I'm scared, hurt...just heartbroken, and I've had a few glasses of wine as I watch the news again tonight. How else do you cope with this...with something on this cale?
I honestly wasn't aware of the pain...the horror...the NON-help that was occurring in New Orleans until right after it got "fixed"...b/c we had no power and no cable. Looking back now, it is.... Well, there are no words.
I want to thank you all - b/c I know it is very hard for any of us to contribute money or homes or whatever...we're all strapped for cash, who the hell isn't?....but I just want you to know that I so sincerely thank all of you for everything you are doing - even if all you can do is pray.
What I'm feeling now is impossible to describe. To see so many places I have visited all my life, and places I love reduced to rubble and chaos is incomprehensible. There is a huge part of me that feels SO guilty for being "okay". Isn't that silly? But I lived in New Orleans for a time, and I've loved her all my life. I've vacationed in Biloxi and Gulfport...and these places are either gone or changed forever. And, still, I have NO reason to complain...my pain at losing places close to my heart is NOTHING compared to those that have lost their homes/families...well, everything.
I don't have a point to this...I'm just heartbroken, but I wanted all of you to know that I love you and I appreciate your concern, your help, your thoughtfulness...all of it.
Let us all hope and pray that we never see a disaster and such destruction as we have seen here in the past week, again in our lifetimes.
Thanks, AGAIN and many countless times over, to all of you for your help, prayers and good thoughts.
I've cried a lot for New Orleans today, for her people - one of which I used to be. I cried for Mississippi; I cried for the animals and those people that had to abandon their pets. I cried a lot.
But New Orleans, there's something that hits me especially hard about my beloved city going through such horrors.
I hope you had a chance to meet her before all of this. Yes, she was dirty and trashy and sleazy - and a lot of the time parts of her reeked of piss, sweat and puke. But even then, she stood proud and tall and beautiful. She had her seedy, sexy sides. But she was also elegant, glamorous, unique and very special. She was dark and mysterious - fun and wild, but a true Southern lady all the way. She stood up for what she believed in, and lived that message out loud - as did everyone who loved her and resided within her. She stood for so much. In a sea of tight-assed, conservative, Bible-beaters - New Orleans was a shrine of originality, acceptance and revelry. If she taught you anything, it was to let go, let loose - love and enjoy. At least, that's the message I got from my favorite city.
She'll rise again. Maybe not exactly the same, but matured - seasoned and ready to share a whole new other set of lessons; perhaps that life is fleeting and everything you love and own could disappear in a second - so just enjoy it while you have it. Don't worry about it, don't nitpick about it - just enjoy it. Because it isn't forever.
The page I've put together, so far:
Hurricane Katrina Info Page @ skatoolaki.com
I'm still working on it, adding more links, categorizing the ones that are there, etc. etc.
Friday, September 02, 2005
I'm working on putting together a page with links to pertinent info, and all of the places you can donate.
I've just sent in donations to America's Second Harvest, North Shore Animal League, The Red Cross and the Humane Society of the United States. It's something, though I still wish I could do more.
This weekend I'm going through my closet and plan to bring loads of clothes to The Salvation Army. I'll be hunting down food banks to dump canned foods into as well.
Again, it is not much but I can't just sit here and do nothing.
From the Louisiana.gov website:
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc.
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc.
c/o Division of Administration
The governor has established this foundation to collect and distribute donations to private and public entities for disaster relief for losses and/or damages brought on as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Please make donations payable to Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc. and mail to:
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc.
Fed. Tax ID No. 20-3399944
c/o Division of Administration
1201 North Third Street, Suite 7-240
P.O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095
Phone: (225) 342-7000
Fax: (225) 342-1057
Contact either Maris LeBlanc or Jean Vandal for information and assistance.
Application has been made for nonprofit status and exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and approval by IRS is expected shortly.
The Web site to accept credit card donations and provide other information is under construction and will be linked to the www.louisiana.gov Web site.
Also, if you have loved ones in the affected areas that you cannot find, check out the Report Missing Persons page on the Louisiana.gov website.
Please help spread the word. Thanks, Shanna.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
How's this? Power is back on in the house and I can't enjoy it one bit b/c so many are suffering I feel GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is so much....I have to do something.
The worst article I've read yet on what conditions inside the Superdome were like:
Trapped In An Arena of Suffering
Can you even imagine? Gods.
Jesus, the fires scare me.
I walked into my supervisor's office just now; he's got a small, portable TV on with the coverage of the storm's aftermath. And there's a fire somewhere off I-10.
There's been little fires here and there, started by the goddamn looters, but they've been able to put them out (having to pump water straight off the street because there's no water pressure in the pumps). But this fire is huge, and spreading quickly - and I don't even know if they can get to it.
New Orleans is old and most of its buildings are touching, or part of one another. A fire could sweep through it and destroy so much so quickly. They've got to stop these looters!! They are hurting recovery - they are stopping rescue and relief from coming to the innocent, poor souls who AREN'T doing such terrible things.
There are people begging reporters for food and water! Why aren't we flying over and dropping in supplies - food??? It wouldn't be difficult.
It's just so terrible, so hard and so frustrating to watch - to know it's all going on an hour or a few hours away from you and there is NOTHING you can do.
We, all of us in Baton Rouge, even with holes in some of our roofs and many of us without power, we are SO BLESSED.
There aren't words. Honestly.
As if the tragedy isn't horrific enough, that relief and rescue efforts are having to be halted to deal with the rampant lawlessness is mind-boggling. They are shooting at rescue helicopters!!!.
For some reason, the state decided we should come in to work today. I really don't think this the wisest of decisions - half the people aren't here (they're stranded somewhere), we aren't (obviously) doing any business, and a good number of people (myself included) are exhausted from living without power for days on end. People have lost homes and loved ones, property and possessions and we're working. State logic; go figure. It wouldn't have been a problem to keep us out until Monday.
But, in a way, it isn't so bad. It's something normal in a week where life seems to have halted and then been turned on its head. I'm here with lights, cold water, Internet access, and air conditioning. I'm getting work done. It feels blessedly normal - I have a feeling, though, that nothing is ever really going to feel "normal" again in these areas.
I keep hearing these stories, of people I know losing homes, losing everything - some don't even have a reason to come back to Louisiana. I know people that can't get in touch with family members who were in the path of the storm. I never imagined I'd see something like this; devastation of this magnitude.
And Biloxi. Waveland. Gulfport. Places near and around those, too. They are gone. There is nothing left. The only other way I could imagine recreating what those places look like now would be if you dropped a bomb on them. Biloxi is losing out on $50,000/day in revenue from the casinos; the casinos - not a one of them - made it. They're all gone, picked up by the storm surge and moved across the highway. It seems almost unreal.
Still processing all this. I'll come back with more later.