Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Knew This Was Going to Happen

It's a beautiful morning in the city of New Orleans. Kathleen Blanco announced she is not running for re-election and I am ecstatic. I'm not happy because she sucks as a governor. Everyone knows that. I'm happy because this whole scenario finally makes my point about why black America needs to break away from the unwavering support of the Democratic Party. When Governor Blanco was in the runoff against Bobby Jindal there wasn't anyone with at least an 8th grade education that thought she was more qualified than he was. He ran circles around her but with the huge New Orleans African American voting block the Democrats always had added with all the white people who couldn't bring themselves to vote for an Indian, she won the damn race. I still remember her on stage the night of her victory speech and seeing all the New Orleans political Negroes up there clapping and smiling. As soon as she got in office, she started treating the city like her stepchild that she really didn't want to be bothered with. Many people blamed it on her relationship with Nagin. The truth of the matter is that someone in her camp made her realize that the negroes in New Orleans would vote for her against any Republican anyway so why should we cater to them. "Let's act like we are going to teach those New Orleans people who's boss so we can look good in Acadian country and to the folks up North." Then Katrina happened and we watched her freeze up and not have the leadership to make the local leaders around her own state open up areas for people to get out of the water. If it wasn't for the good people of Texas, there would have been out there much longer or shot by the Gretna police trying to cross the bridge. She sat back and watched her most solid voting block leave on buses to Texas. It was her fault and ours for voting for her in the first place. The only thing that could have made her announcement better would have been her saying she was being replaced by one of David Duke's friends. That's what happens when you put all your eggs in one political basket and don't pay attention. I just wonder who is the next person we are going to support based on this kind of thinking. Wait, we already did. Isn't that right Congressman Jefferson?

Monday, March 19, 2007

I know the NOLA bloggers are about to jump all on Ray Nagin for the story in the Times Picayune and The Washington Post. If the mayor says something that has meaning to what's going on down here I will be all on his ass. Before I jump on him for this latest foot in the mouth episode I need to ask myself a few things. If Ray Nagin denounces the fact is a black man before the mayor and apologizes for anything he might have said that was influenced by his color, would that make ICF suddenly issue half of the Road Home checks they are still processing? Will it make the BESE board get their act together and find a way to get the school kids of New Orleans a decent education like most of the surrounding parishes? Will muting Ray Nagin for the rest of his term erase 40 years of race and class bias that has led to 80% of the city's problems which were already in motion before I was even born? If we impeached him, would the Corps of Engineers be so elated we got Cat-5 levee protection and new pumps that actually worked? The answer to all those questions is NO. If someone can send me reasons why Ray's big mouth caused my life to change forever I will be the first one at City Hall tomorrow. If you can't then go gut a house or something. We have to much to do to worry about every word this man says.

Did you ever think these newspapers keep printing this stuff to take attention away from the injustice down here?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Some New Orleans Stuff

Everyone has to go read this ad on that I read from my homegirl G's Page. It's pretty clear that if you don't have enough money or enough luck to get your child into a private school or a charter school you might as well quit your job and just go sit in the classroom."Certified teachers will teach in charter schools, and teachers who want an alternate route to certification will teach in the state-run Recovery School District." What the hell is an alternate route? You can't be practicing on kids when they need to learn now! There could be anyone in there doing all kinds of shit with the lesson plan.

The Corp of Engineers installed faulty pumps at the 17th St. Canal and they knew they were faulty. There is nothing I can say about this story and the Corps without being investigated by some national security agency. After seeing the way they have handled this whole thing with the levees and pumps, nothing going on in Iraq surprises me. Can we just let the Dutch build our levee and send Bush a bill? Living here was much more easier to stomach when we only got messed over by each other. Between ICF, the Corps, and out of state contractors I am ready for a revolution. It’s a good thing the college kids come down here and restore my faith in mankind.

How come we never see any African American groups coming to help us like the white kids on their spring break? That kills the whole racism angle. If they are some black groups here I never see them.

I’m on the fence about this whole Section 8 housing in New Orleans East. We need housing desperately and the East has allot of space. On the other hand, there are thousands of middle class people spending good money to pay for their homes. We are the only section of the metro area with that kind of home ownership base that has to fight against people putting low income housing right next door. You don’t want to spend 200,000 dollars on a house and have someone next door with that project mentality. New Orleans has a lot of space for ghettos. You never see anyone that lives on Broadway, or Nashville St. concerned about low income housing next to their home. That’s why they overprice everything in that area.

Terry Burton was shot and killed by the National Guard in the 2100 block of Benton St in the Lower Ninth Ward. For fifty plus years Terry and his family lived across the street from mine’s in the same block he was killed in. Anybody from that area of the Lower Ninth ward would know him as the dude that walked around with all the dogs. All he did was smile and wave. He had never left his house since the storm. I would like to officially add his name to the victims of the storm list. You can read about his post Katrina experience by clicking this link. I never thought there would be a tragedy during my lifetime that would be this personal.

I would like to dedicate this blog to Sister Patricia Berryhill and Sister Alice Craft-Kerney for opening and running the Lower Ninth Ward Medical clinic at 5228 St. Claude St. Number one, it takes a lot of good to sacrifice your personal space for the benefit of the community. The clinic is in Ms. Berryhill's home. Number two, when everyone else was grieving, or having reservations about what to do, these sisters came home and made it happen. Nmber three, I grew up in the 5400 block of St. Claude St and we used to play football in the vacant lot right next to her house. I don't think she was living there when the church people used to call the police because we were burning ant piles out of the grass. You sisters need a medal from the president or an NAACP award or something.

Pissing Away 10 G's

My co worker and I were looking at some houses for sale in Carrollton. These houses are going dirt cheap and with a little investment could really make your quality of life better by reselling or renting. She was planning on applying for a loan but the amount of the sale price led to the discussion of all the needless things we have wasted money on. We started thinking about all the shopping and partying we have done and how much money that wasted. Knowing how I used to like hanging out all night and rolling with outlaw women, I decided to come up with an estimate of how much money I have spent on liquor alone. I took 365 days and divided it in half (I refused to admit that I had a drink more days than that). I multiplied that number by X (the average amount daily if that’s how many days I had a drink), then we multiplied that by ten years (a nice even number). After the final number hit the calculator, my friend looked at me and said “Cliff, you have literally pissed away over ten thousand dollars”. Now, if you add that number with all the fast food, all the clothes I don’t have anymore, all the taking care of some of those outlaw women (their earning potential isn’t that great) and throw in a few champagne rooms across the south……I could own two blocks of houses. That makes me want to get a drink just thinking about it. I should have listened when those old people told me to save my damn money. They knew what was going to happen. They probably had already pissed away ten thousand dollars and knew what was going to happen.

Why do all the funs times you had when you were younger end up pissing you off more as you get older?

Living Off My Reputation

I have been getting sloppy lately. When I first accepted the position of coordinator for the system that I work with I was so gung ho about having a title for the first time in years that I put allot into it. I even took over doing the trainings and meetings around the area. It was sort of a way to get away from things going on personally. I did a great job and I have a excellent reputation in my line of work. If I got paid based on my reputation and image I would be at seven figures, but somewhere along the line I stopped being focused. Maybe all the compliments and good will lulled me into a false sense of security and stopped paying attention to detail. Maybe it's my insomnia or my constant post Katrina hangover that gets worse every time I realize everything about my life was better before and things basically suck at the moment and I see no positives. Whatever the reason is doesn’t matter.. I have not been doing my job that well at all the past few months.My favorite part of work is teaching classes. It's a rush to stand in front of people and help then learn what you already know. I took it so seriously that I would prepare the equipment two days in advance and would actually plan out everything I was going to say down to my opening joke. The last few have been horrible. I have not been ready. Yesterday I forgot to log on the computers so everyone sat in front of a blank screen. I even skipped and entire step on one of the procedures. This morning I was reading some documents that users have to sign before I can let them use the system. There was a brother in there that stopped me on the first page and asked a very valid question about a procedure that I should have been able to explain.

I couldn't answer him.

I made up some stuff that sounded like it might be correct but actually he had me at a lost for words. My explanation was so bad that other trainees started adding on to his question and I wanted to jump out of the glass doors and cancel the whole damn thing. There were about three more times today where I really couldn't formulate my answer to user questions. I knew the answers but I wasn't focused enough to get it out. Today was the first class who left one of my trainings that could legitimately ask if I know what the hell I am doing. That drives a egomaniacal dude with a Napoleon complex like me crazy. The brother that started all of the debate earlier probably thought I was pissed at him. When I let everyone out for lunch I shook his hand and thanked him. I thanked him for being sharp enough to pick up on the discrepancy in what I was saying and for being the one that finally made me realize I have to get my act together. Once the class was over, I went back to my desk, opened my notepad and wrote the following words inside of the front cover......THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Even with all the stress, I still have to represent my name.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Let There Be Light

If there are any people reading this blog that are planning to visit the city of New Orleans I have a request. See, the ratio of importance our local government puts on things that locals want in relation to things tourist like to do is about ten to one. For example, we don’t have a midnight to 5AM curfew to help with crime in the city because people like to go to the French Quarter and get pissy drunk until 4AM. That’s why I need all the tourist to call their travel agents and the hotels and start demanding that you be able to go fishing or hang out on the lake after dark so the city can turn the lights on. Every evening around sundown the Lakefront police come out and put the damn barricades up and the lake becomes pitch black. I think after all we have had to put up with before, during and after the storm, the least we could get is some lights so the old people can catch some catfish and I can sit on a bench, enjoy a nice cigar and a drink while dodging mosquitoes. That’s one of my favorite parts about living here even if some of the lake was sitting in my living room. So please tourists, let’s start getting those buses out to Lakeshore Dr. If bus tours could get the Lower Ninth Ward cleaned up some then I am sure a few daily trips after hours can get the lights at the lakefront turned on. On behalf of all the late night fisherman and young people with nowhere else to chill, I thank you in advance for your help.

Spy In The Building!!

For almost a year now I have been waiting to hire someone to work with me. I have given at least five resumes to my director with all different levels of education and qualifications. Lately I have been pushing him to advertise for it again because I am tired of working alone and some of the things I want to do will require more than one person. You have to be careful what you wish for.
This morning he tells me he wants me to meet someone he interviewed. That was confusing because I was here all last week and I didn't see any ads or candidates. The person is the other new director's boyfriend that moved from Florida with her. How am I supposed to be honest about how I feel about him if he already knows all of upper management? That explains why she paraded him around last week on a tour of this raggedy office. My director says he likes him, and it's the other one's boyfriend so why even go through the fake process of my interview? Just hire the sumbitch and don't patronize me acting like I have a say so. I don't know the man personally. He might be a good guy. We just have one major issue. HE KNOCKS BOOTS WITH A MEMBER OF UPPER MANAGEMENT!!! Have you ever worked at a job with someone who was sleeping with or closely related to upper management? They are basically untouchable. Plus, do you know how much information you can get from a man after sex? What's to stop him from telling her everything going on in our department? One of the beauties of my job is that no one here besides my director really knows exactly what I do. Now he is bringing his ass in here to let out all the secrets. Plus, we couldn't find anyone from New Orleans trying to come home to give a job to? He's not even that qualified. I am not above planting a nickel bag of weed and a switchblade in his desk if he comes in here tripping.

A Poem I Wanted to Share

I borrowed this from a talented sister named Tanisha. I love this piece and I figured this was a good way to kick the week off.

Our Rainbow*


As the rising sun



Like the melted butter fused with sugar

Full of flavor

Sienna dipped Milk Chocolate

Resembling portions of broken earth



Like the night sky after sunset


When the storms bring gloom

Our rainbow shines brightly

For we are


Full of Flavor



and strong enough to tackle any obstacle

© 2007 tlg

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Cliff's Rambling Again

This blog is dedicated to Joe “Hollywood “Horn. We gonna miss you in the black and gold. Pleaaassse don’t sign with Atlanta and make me hate you.

The office is a rough place sometimes. As I sip on this long island tea and watch wrestling, I have to reflect on my day today. Sometimes you just have one that sucked. I can’t focus on anything in particular and the things I want to write about contain a personal conflict. I can’t write about my job because I think I have a nosey co-worker who reads this page and I will probably have to say something about his sensitive ass. I can’t write about the criminal justice system in New Orleans because I have a friend that’s a DA and I got a ticket that’s still floating. I can’t complain about the Road Home program because I have a friend that works for them and I don’t really understand the damn thing anyway. I was going to go off about Walter Reed Medical Center and the treatment of the troops but since I have been checking on a close friend who has a good enough position there to testify before Congress I can’t talk about that. All of those factors mean you get to read a bunch of foolishness until the end of the week. Here are some things to ponder while I get this office together.

Is it okay to call Britney Spears the Caucasian Whitney Houston?

How many times can a woman your mother’s age range age piss you off at work before you say something to her like she’s young? I am going to call my mama and ask her. I am her baby so it will probably be one time and that’s it. She might wanna come down here and get her for me.

How many months have to pass before we are allowed as a people to claim a body and bury it? James Brown died weeks before Anna Nicole Smith and she has already been laid to rest. A perm can’t hold together that long. Its going to really bother me that Brother James started his eternal rest with a dry process in his head. This would have never happened to Elvis.

A blonde playboy model with multiple baby daddies really fascinates white people.

If I go to the same strip club ten years after the first time I went, is it ok for me to not believe the girl anymore who told me she was dancing to pay her college tuition? I’m just saying…she should be a damn professor by now.

In 2007 New Orleans will enter the record books when a car rolls over a pothole, disappears and ends up in China. It will surely happen uptown where driving to work is like a video game.

Is New Orleans the only city where a bunch of people can get together to reminisce, talk about buying liquor and cigarettes from the sweet shop at five years old for thier family and no one in the room thinks anything is wrong with that?

I saw a dude today who had his pants buckled at his knees. The question I have is where did he find those boxer shorts that went all the way to his ankles? They don’t have those in the big and tall catalog. If I can't send my dad any drawers for Father's Day it will be because the skinny dudes bought em all.

Ladies, I don’t mean to be rude but it has to be said. There is a fashion crisis going on in the hood. Listen, if your hips and waist are the same measurements (36, 36, 36) you can’t wear those jeans that hang on your waist. You don't have anything to hold them up so when you walk they start falling down. When you are in the store and bend down to get something from the bottom shelf, guys come with one dollar bills to put in your pockets. I'm tired of looking at your all your business in Walmart.

How many times must a person call you back to back within a ten minute span before you can cuss at them when you speak? If I don’t answer the work phone and you leave a message, I can’t finish what I am doing, check the message and call you back in the thirty seconds it took you to call my cell and leave another message. The Cliff rule is that if you call me twice before I call you back I won’t call at all for the rest of the day.

I knew I was getting old when someone said there goes Mr. Harris and I started looking around for my dad. It was a long ride home when I realize they were talking about me. Lil Wayne doesn’t sound the same after a teenager calls you mister.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Here,Now,& Before...The Grill

The hurricane come and took my Louisiana home, And all I got in return was a durn country song

Lil Wayne – Hollywood Divorce

For the first time since August 2005, I went outside and lit up the BBQ grill. My boy gave me a goat leg to break in my new grill once I moved back to the house. I got up in the morning, went to the store to get some other meat and beer, to my parents house to get the table off of the porch and to my friend’s house to get my new unopened BBQ utensils my mom sent me for my birthday. It came with a Saints apron too so you know I was ready. The day was great. The sun was beaming but it wasn’t hot. The radio was playing. Kids were running around playing. My neighbor kept coming to the back while working on his house to try to talk his way into a plate. Then my boy finally got over his hangover and came out of the trailer to help me. We had the Crown, the beer, and the meat. What else could you want in New Orleans in March?

Then it hit me. Saturday was my one of my brothers' birthday. That means that I would have been at my parents house in the Lower Nine grilling whatever he wanted. On birthdays we always get to pick the menu for the family. I probably would have gone to Mildred or one of my aunts to ask them how to cook a goat. Then I would have went by Geraldine and told her I had a goat leg, made a crazy joke she would only laugh at because I told it then had to sit back and listen to Bernadine make wise cracks and jokes about the goat for hours while Big Cliff told us everything we were doing wrong on the grill as he left to buy more beer. That would have been fly. Even if it wasn’t my brother’s birthday, everyone knows that before Katrina I was the king of waking up in the morning and turning the desire to grill into a 50 guest event in a few hours. No one can organize a freestyle party like me. Some of that guest list lives in Dallas, Memphis and Opelousas now. While we were outside adding wood to the fire, I mentioned to my boy how the blue rocks in the driveway came out of my fish tank when they were cleaning and gutting the house. He picked a few up and told me to put them in the new tank when I bought it. I started thinking about Big Blue and Tupac my two beloved fish. I started wondering if a catfish that made it through an open window had eaten my boys. After that, we were walking in the yard looking for some more wood and the damn cable I used to tie Sandy to when I had to open the gate is still wrapped around the pole in the shed. I started talking about finding her on one of those pet rescue sites and this stupid bitch answers the phone and swears to me that they hadn’t received any Katrina dogs in weeks when I called. I should have drove to the shelter in Houston anyway. Post Katrina New Orleans may be the only place in the country where you could be having the time of your life and making yourself really depressed at the exact same time. It’s sort of like going to a jazz funeral every single day for 18 months. That’s the emotional price we are paying for bringing our ass back. At least we can still have fun.

Friday, March 2, 2007

President Bush was in New Orleans yesterday to let us know that we are not forgotten.
Have you ever had a friend that owes you money who always mentions it whenever you two are together but can't seem to find the time to reach into his wallet and give it to you? That's what it feels like whenever we get a visit from the federal government.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Keep Your Damn Game

When the Hornets first came to New Orleans I was worried and not enthused. The reason why I never jumped on that bandwagon is because I could tell from the attitude of the commissioner that he really didn't want a team here. After Katrina we lost both of our professional sports teams had to relocate. The NFL found a way to come back and thrive. The Hornets are still playing in Oklahoma City. Since the NBA felt bad because the NFL showed such a commitment to the city, David Stern decided to give New Orleans the 2008 All-Star game. Last week's game in Vegas ended up being a big ass gang fight all over town. Now, the players are scared to come to New Orleans out of fear of safety?

I have a newsflash for those who don't live here or who haven't been here since the storm. When I step out of my door and head to work every morning, I am not ducking bullets being sprayed across the highway. Crime here is no worse than it is anywhere else really. It's just glorified because we have a group of citizens and media looking to assassinate our character. If there is one thing New Orleans knows how to do well it is hosting big events. I would remind these punk ass NBA players that since Katrina we have hosted Mardi Gras twice, a Jazz festival, Sugar Bowl, Bayou Classic and a NFL playoff game. What makes you think we can't handle your little boring ass event? I get so sick and tired of people who are not living here or haven't even visited since the storm passing judgment on my city based on some story they saw on the news 6 months ago. Just because the Las Vegas police couldn't handle a few ignorant Negroes doesn't mean the NOPD can't. Even if the NOPD has trouble we can just call Harry Lee and he'll take care of everything. I am pure blood New Orleans soldier. That means that there are times when even though I may need to be nice and accommodating, I will say something mean and hateful because I am thinking with my emotions and not my brain. This is one of those times. Keep your damn NBA All Star game and take your funky ass Hornets team to another city. I am sick and tired of having to kiss uninformed people's ass. Tracy McGrady is just mad because he's not Kobe. Nobody is going to your lazy eyed ass anything.