Sunday, October 30, 2005
A few weeks before Katrina, I sat back and took inventory of everything and realized that no matter what was going on financially or how much I struggled, there was no place and no other group of people I would rather be around to spend my days with. I had just gotten back on track emotionally after my godfather and grandfather's passing and was feeling good. The things I did and the people I did them with could not be measured by any amount of money. I am having a hard time getting over all of those things and all of those people being taking away at the same time. I am not in denial. I know things will never be like they were again for me or anybody else from my city. At this point, I will take Missing Persons calling to tell me they have found my grandmother's body so I can lay her to rest properly. Maybe then my attitude towards the future and the present will change and I can enjoy the holiday season without getting so angry.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha..............................
I have learned one thing from watching American politics my whole life. No one in the political arena gives up power unless they are guilty as hell. This is going to be so cool to see how Bush, Rove and Cheney put a positive spin on this. Isn't it funny how presidents and governors all seem to fall apart the minute they are elected to their second term? All politicians' job is to get elected no matter how incompetent, unqualified or unworthy they are.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
1. Fire Water - Wild Magnolias
2. Can't Trust It - Public Enemey
3. Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles
4. Love Me Like A Rock - O'Jays
5. The Ruler's Back - Slick Rick
6. Knock With Me- Rock With Me - Lil Rascals Brass Band
7. Black Water - Doobie Brothers
8. Come Get To This - Marvin Gaye
9. Explosive - Dr. Dre
10. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted - Temptations
11. Ike's Rap IV - Isaac Hayes
12. One More Road To Cross - DMX
13. We Can Make It Better - Kanye West
14. My Lover's Prayer - Otis Redding
15. Grand Finale - Lil John
16. Sucker MC's - Run DMC
17. At Last - Etta James
18. Spend Some Time - Brand New Heavies
19. Casanova - Rebirth Brass Band
20. The Do Wop - LL Cool J.
Anybody that says they are better off after this whole ordeal is lying to themselves. You may be in a better house and might have a better job or maybe your rent paid for awhile but the whole scenario is still bullshit. You should have been able to have that anyway without your house being washed away.
If Harried Miers can be nominated to the highest court in the land without ever being a judge, then I can be hired as the New Orleans School Board superintendent without ever being a teacher. If that's not looking out for your friends then I don't know what is. First Michael Brown and now this. She did the right thing by withdrawing her name.
I was ready to put the FEMA fiasco behind me and focus on the rebuilding. Then I heard that while the beloved people of my city were starving and dying from the heat, Mike was sitting in Baton Rouge eating his gumbo and chilling even after he was told by his subordinates that they were running out of supplies. Somebody in the federal government has to pay for this kind of shit. It's either that or one hundred thousand dollars to every household of the city. Free rent and a furniture voucher just doesn't cut it.
Who is going to go to jail from the CIA leak investigation? Nobody is probably going to jail but I would sure like if if Karl Rove at least had to resign. People don't realize that whenever you hear George Bush speak, you are basically hearing Karl Rove. It's going to be a long three years if Rove is not their to help his ass.
I don't know what's more frustrating, the fact that the local, state, and federal government all failed me during Katrina, or the fact that I didn't vote for the current mayor, governor, or president.
Sheryl Swoopes coming out of the closet is not good for women's basketball. I think it's good for her personally that she came out but it's bad for the WNBA. Those middle class suburban parents that buy tickets are not going to want to send their daughters to a game they think is going to promote homosexuality to their daughters. This is the reason why male sports leagues in this country will never promote a gay star.
I knew the Minnesota Vikings were going to get in trouble for the sex cruise when I heard the strippers were from Atlanta. You can't bring that Dirty South buckwild action that far up north and think it's going to go over well. The Saints could have that same party once a month in New Orleans and no one would say nothing as long as everyone stays alive.
I know I am from the south and I can't make fun of anyone this close to New Orleans but why are there so many people in this region that like the Laffy Taffy song. I just Rosa Parks never got to hear this song by mistake before she passed. As a matter of fact, I hope she didn't get to hear any hip hop made in the last five years.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Now I know I said that I was going to start talking about other things again but this Katrina event has me twisted real bad. I want to start writing about other things again but I never thought there would be one event that change every single thing in my life. I mean it changed everything. I have to keep talking about it because everything I do and see is effected by it. With that being said, I lost allot of material things in this storm. Most of them like my car, furniture and pool table I can replace. There are some other things I can't put a price on. Things that I either acquired over time out of love or were given to me do not have a price tag on them.
* The box from the hospital after losing my first baby.
I wanted to get that box when I went home real bad. I never look it in or touch it but that was a way of acknowledging her. The nurses and doctors at Touro Hospital were so friendly and professional that they made one of the worst moments of life allot easier to deal with.
* My Angel painting.
Right around the time of the baby's passing, I was at a gas station about to go in and buy me a drink when a man with two little twin girls came up to me. He told me they were his grandchildren and were hungry. He was trying to get some money for them by selling these hand drawn pictures he had made. He offered me a picture of this little angel. The eyes on the picture looked straight at you. I gave him the twenty dollars I was spending on the bottle and hung the picture up on my wall. It had been there ever since.
* My Video Tape Collection
What made my video tape collection special to me was the fact that I had been making the tapes since I was 14 years old(the first time we had a VCR). There were two categories. There was my wrestling tapes which were mostly hand made from shows I had watched and recorded whenever they would come on TV. There were about 50 of them. Then there were about 20 tapes of all kinds of television events and videos that I may not be able to buy or will come on again. One of my short term goals was to buy myself one of those VHS/DVD recorders and transfer them all to disc to protect them from wearing out. I never got the chance. I don't think I will be able to get back the WYLD talent show performance with my friend Joe's group or the recording of myself on television.
* Source Magazines 1992-1997
Between 1991 and 1997 I was totally into the culture. I discovered the Source magazine at Tower Records and after that for 5 years straight I was there the first Tuesday of every month to get the new edition. These were the years before they lost all relevance. I didn't buy them like I used to but since I am such a nostalgic guy and believe in having mementos around, I kept these in mint condition on my shelf. I was going to see how many years I could keep them. I wanted to show them to my kids when they were older to show them how real the music and the culture used to be for some people. By the way, just because the storm came doesn't mean I didn't notice they gave Lil Kim five mics either. What was up with that?
* My Vinyl Albums
Once again, I am a old school and nostalgic guy. I also love the sound of old records. One of the things I was proud to have was my album collection. The biggest reason is that I didn't pay for one single album. All the albums I had were either found somewhere or were given to me by my godmother, parents or my auntie Lenell. I had been looking at some of these albums since a little boy hoping one day they would be mine. I finally got them all and then they went swimming. I know I can't I can't put a price on any of these. I was just about to go and start the hustling process to get the ones from my auntie Anna.
* Letters, Cards, and Pictures
This is probably the most personal and irreplaceable thing. I kept every birthday, Valentine's Day and all kinds of other items like this. I guess you can tell by now that I hardly threw anything away. A few items I definitely would have brought with me if I knew this was coming. I would have brought the pictures of all my deceased high school friends with me. I would have bought the Christmas cards given to me by Kendra and Nicole in high school because they were a surprise to me. They were hand written notes inside of them. I definitely would have taken the birthday card my sister Michelle gave to me this year. She made it and wrote the words herself. It choked me up beyond belief. I can never get any of these things back.
It's losing stuff like this that gives me mixed emotions about going back home sometimes. The fact of the matter is that besides the few pictures I salvaged and what was in my wallet there is nothing from the first 30 years of my life. That's the hardest part about rebuilding. You can replace wood, brick and furniture. You can't replace my deceased Aunt's tea kettle I had or the only picture Tara had of her grandmother that used to sit near the fish tank. I could go on and on about things like this. You can't file an insurance claim for that type of stuff. Those items had unlimited value even if it was only to the person that had it.
Before I write anything else I have to send a shout out to the Mrs. Harris that keeps leaving me those wonderful comments. I want to say thanks and I finally realized that you were not my mama acting like a stranger. :-)
Sunday, October 23, 2005
This is the beginning of a new week and hopefully a new outlook for me. I have to start getting things together and moving on. Two months of sitting around is long enough. I am going to go crazy if I just sit here and ponder the past and the future every day without making a move. The first things on the agenda for me are simple things.
- Get a birth certificate.
- Write a resume.
- Get some interview clothes.
- Reorganize my finances.
- Stop drinking beer all day long.
The last one is the hardest because when you are bored as I am and getting paid, there is nothing else to do during the day. I have to get out of this house.
I need to apologize to Tom Benson for wanting to move the Saints. If you think about it, how can we be mad at him when 40% of the people that lived in the city are not returning to assist in the rebuilding themselves? In order for me to be mad at Tom Benson, I would have to be mad at my parents, family, the majority of my friends and myself. I say let them go and lets not spend that money that we need in other places to keep them. The city and state have so much on their plate that they shouldn’t even have enough time to pay attention to the Saints anyway. We need hospitals, schools, and all kinds of stuff before we can worry about going to a football game.
I see the same things happening around here in
I have spent the last two months being consumed by Katrina. I have never let one thing take over my every thought like this. Starting today, I need to see what else is going on in the world.
Friday, October 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
been uncomfortable from a space standpoint but I actually have met
some cool people from New Orleans that helped me feel not so
deserted. There are some things about this storm process that are
pissing me off a little.
Mississippi is already drawing up plans for construction in
rebuilding their state and my governor just decided on the
committee today. You have got to be kidding me. I am looking into
making my 6 month least into a year long lease because nothing is
going to happen. I think my plan may be to coordinate with my
family so we can live closer to one another and see what happens
over time. Nobody really wants us back anyway. The media keeps
subliminally suggesting we don't or can't go back. I don't think
it's realistic for people who spent 25 years or more in one city to
make that permanent decision in one month. Too much emotion
involved right now. I could say I am never going back but if
things looked good when I went down there in a few months I would
want to be down there. They would never ask anyone else that shit
so soon. They keep asking us that question because they want to get
it in your mind that you are not going back so they can buy all of
the property for cheap, fix the levees the right way, and sell it
to outsiders for a big profit. Then they are going to take those
ragged schools you went to and make it look like the ones in the
city you moved to and fell in love with in essence, we are going
to move to Texas and other places and our city is going to be
rebuilt more modern than the cities we moved to.
Tom Benson is go to the most heartless man in the history of
sports. I told a friend of mine the other day that there was no
such thing as a bilinear nice guy and I was right. The least he
could have done was wait until the end of the year and help the
city recover a bit. We all know you can't play in New Orleans but
have some class. I hope San Antonio is happy with your sad, pitiful
team. I have too many other issues to worry about in life than a rich ass old bastard.
Friday, October 14, 2005
These two pictures are from my childhood neighborhood. I would tell you the streets but there is so much debris I can't make it out.
People are returning home to the Lower Ninth Ward and finding love ones still in houses. It's bad enough we had the worse levees. We also had the worse search and recovery too. A brother can only take so much. Now I know I am glad they didn't let me down there. I didn't want to find mine in the house or witness anyone find theirs.
French Quarter bars are going to defy the curfew.
I think they should because absolutely nothing is going to happen to them if they do. The French Quarter always pimps the city officials. If they want to be open 24 hours they will be. If they want Mardi Gras so a bunch of tourist can come and piss on the streets I should be living on, it will happen. Don't think it was a miracle they never got any water.
If any of my people happen to read this in Texas or any other major city please pay attention. Minimum wage jobs will get you eaten alive in other places. If the large amount of you really mean you are not coming back, please try and better yourselves and get some skills to allow you to make it where you are now. If you don't want to live in New Orleans then you might as well get rid of that lazy New Orleans mentality a lot of you had. There is going to be so many people with that "free handout" mentality that are going to struggle to survive in 2006 or 2007 when the FEMA well runs dry. That New Orleans comfort zone will not be the same for them to run back to. Something really sad is going to come from all this in the long run if our attitudes don't change.
What is with all the people who had good jobs in the city that are leaving to go work at Wal-Mart or Target without officially resigning or trying to find out what happen to their old job. I understand you have to live other places because you have nowhere to stay and you need to do what you have to now. If you find another job comparable or better than the one you had then that's cool but don't just abandon a well paying job to stack boxes. You should at least call your old job and find out what's going on first. The city was flooded but the water is gone and you did have a life before August 29th. The same thing goes for bills, car notes, and house notes too if you had any of those. That stuff didn't just vanish because you got flooded. It makes no sense in ruining your credit and losing property because you are trying to forget everything about New Orleans. Those companies are not going to forget it. My godmother has to find a way to go to the city and retrieve her car. The insurance company said the water was not high enough in that area for the car to have damage so she still has to pay the note. Imagine how many people that haven't contacted their insurance company or lender yet thinking FEMA is going to take care of everything. The government will only do so much for so long and then it's back on us.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
How can you really just walk away and not even be concerned about what's going on. You will always feel the need to see what's going on with the rebuilding and recovery. We all really wanna know if rich people are going to come in and take over our neighborhoods. We all wanna know what it is going to look like and who's going to live where we played in the street. If they do take over the places we called home forever we will all be angry no matter if it's ten months and ten years from now.
We haven't gotten to the roughest part of the year for this even yet. The holiday period between Thanksgiving and Christmas in New Orleans was like a family and class reunion. No matter where we had moved to, that was the time of year to come home and spread love with all your family, classmates and childhood friends. The reason for this is because this is where our grandparents and parents always stayed. Now, they are gone too. This will be the first holiday season in my life that our family didn't spend at 2144 Benton St. That means there will be no chance of closure for anybody until January 2.
The rest of America has never caught on to the culinary wonder that is Pattons hot sausage. I feel like a fiend looking around every grocery store in Mississippi for Pattons or D&D. There won't be any Pattons for awhile since it was under 10ft of water in the Lower Ninth Ward. This is truly dark days for me and my stomach. Even if you never move back, you know you got to go home for at least a hot sausage po boy with cheese.
These other places are cool and normal but New Orleans is different and odd. It's the kind of place you either have a feeling for or you can't live there. My dad always says New Orleans should have been it's own country. If you were born, raised, and have been living in New Orleans more than 20 years that will stick with you forever. There can be no closure because the lifestyle and the attitude of the city is who you are. You can't get closure from yourself. We are all products of Cool Can, Humpty Head, frozen cups, Tamborine and Fan, Wild Magnolias, Soul Rebels, Hot 8, Rebirth, gumbo, red beans on Monday, crawfish boils on Mother's Day, Super Sunday, Claiborne and Orleans on Mardi Gras, Shakesphere Park, Circle Food Store and like my friend Neecha would say " Sitting on the porch talking about nothing". That's who we are. The storm can't kill that. Even turning our shotgun doubles into townhouses can't kill it. It's in your heart and your personality. Don't look for closure. Look for your own personal peace and spirit and adjust to your new life. Trying to get closure from something that is a part of you will only make you sad.
Maybe I am just bitter right now.
Sunday, October 9, 2005
Friday, October 7, 2005
For years we always heard about the big storm that would have a storm surge big enough to top the levee and flood the city. That never happened during Katrina. The damn levees broke. They totally fell apart. Now, I don't want to be one of those conspiracy theorist who think that someone blew up the levee to save the French Quarter, CBD and the Garden District but how in the hell did those levees just fall apart? The 17th St. Canal has the exact same wall on the other side of it protecting Jefferson Parish and that side is standing strong. How come the pressure from the water didn't crash that side? Maybe someone from Jefferson loaded the dynamite.
Honestly I don't believe anyone went out in the storm and placed dynamite by the levee. I do believe that when the levees were being built, someone got together and decided to make certain points around the Ninth Ward and London Avenue a little weaker so if the pressure came in to the canals they would break and keep the lake from flooding out all of the metro area. There is nothing that can be said to make me think any different.
If anyone believes there are only 979 dead in Louisiana they are crazy. That may just be the count for St. Bernard and the Lower Ninth Ward. I think the numbers are being doctored. I wonder what kind of death is being excluded from the count. Are all those people that expired in hospitals because the governor wanted 24 hours to look stupid in her office before she moved in the National Guard count?
Let me make sure I understand........
We can send soldiers to a desert that has no water, food or electricity and turn it into a city in a week but we can't drop food and water on the interstate in America. How can all those people say they didn't know what was going on when we have satellites in the sky that can watch me typing this blog right now. I am not racist but I have to say if this would have happen with majority white victims an entire grocery store would have been airlift in. That comment was not directed at the National Guard, Wildlife people or the Coast Guard. They went into the hood and got our people. I'm talking about the asshole politicians.
I sure hope these ignorant ass negroes don't let a few dollars from FEMA and free rent for a year blind them from the fact that someone decided to destroy their city. It's a damn shame how a few dollars can make a bunch of niggas forget all the injustice done to them. That's why I think the government will take its sweet time rebuilding the city. As long as the coons have a place to sleep and don't have to work, they won't even be worried about New Orleans. Never mind the fact most of our families have been there since Reconstruction. That doesn't matter.
Red Cross gave you a debit card to buy a play station with so it's all good. I bet you St. Bernard Parish won't forget that their entire city was ruined.
AND STOP BUYING JEWELRY AND STUPID SHIT WITH YOUR DISASTER MONEY. Don't you fools realize that every report of that kind of thing makes people think you are trying to get over on everybody. Who's going to call and donate money for you to buy a Gucci bag. Stop it
I know he has another job working with the Urban League now but it's time for Mayor Nagin to call up Marc Morial and get some help dealing with all this stuff. I think Ray is in over his head but any one man would be faced with this kind of thing. I respect the fact you are trying to be strong Ray but its been long enough now for the Republicans running Washington to start backtracking on all the shit they said they were going to do for the city. You are going to need all the help you can get to make sure you get half of that money. Blanco won't help you. She didn't care for you from the start and she used her personal feelings to do a shitty job after the storm. She makes me so glad I voted for Bobby Jindal. She's just what I expected.