Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Hate You Because I Love You

I was doing fine all day long. I hadn't really missed Mardi Gras other than the fact that I need a Zulu bead to hang on my rear view mirror. Then I messed up, went online and found the Wild Magnolias website. I started listening to that damn Mardi Gras Indian music and rest was history. I ended up second line dancing with my baby and listening to the Rebirth for most of the evening. I called my boys and they were feeling the same way. Forget the damn flood, I would rather be home drinking firewater today. I still contend that the national media shouldn't be telling the story of a city revival when that is clearly not the truth. However, I would be lying if I said today wasn't a hard day to get through. I should have been on Claiborne or Galvez somewhere with my big 55 gallon BBQ pit having my yearly class and family reunion. I was going to drink allot, eat a little and then find out where the Creole Wild West and Guardians of the Flame would be and chase them until the sun goes down. Instead, everyone was scattered and that sucks really bad. That's when I realized that I hate New Orleans. I hate it for the history of my family. When the first Harris came to the city on a horse and buggy, she was so fair skinned that people thought she was white and sold her the land that Thompson Methodist Church sits on until this day. I can imagine how they felt when they realized she had those dark ass kin folks. I hate it for my great grandfather on my mother's side Jeremiah Kelly who came over from Honduras and grew bananas in his 7th ward yard. I hate it for my grandparents that never would have ever thought of leaving the place. I hate it for my accent, my believe system, the way I eat, the way I think and the way I carry myself when I go other places. I hate it for John McDonald day in school, the lakefront, crawfish, Clark High School, the Lower Ninth Ward and every holiday at the big house on Benton St. I truly hate bad levees, corrupt politicians, inadequate education, and ignorant negroes that won't hesitate to bust a cap in your ass if you look at them the wrong way. I hate New Orleans for being such a part of who I am that I will come back despite all of the stupid shit I just mentioned in the last sentence. That's what people on the outside looking in will never understand. They look and see a run down, hopeless place,and can't understand why we stress about it. That was even before the storm. Our crazy native asses see something special and dear to our hearts. The bad things are just a part of it like that crackhead alcoholic cousin you grew up with. You have to love them regardless and that's how we love New Orleans.

Damn you New Orleans for being such a big part of me. Life would be so much easier for me if I was from another place and could just walk away. ............In spite of all that.................





See what I mean?

Missing Mardi Gras

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thinking Out Loud

Sometimes I wonder if life will ever seem real normal again. I don't like to think I am going crazy or anything but I am very close to it. I might not be anywhere near crazy. I may be the most sane person I know and everyone around me is flipping out. My reactions to things that have happened is genuine. I think I have my days where I am slightly overwhelmed but quickly pull it back together because I have no choice. You have to do what you have to do make things seem as normal as possible. With that being said, I have a few things on my mind.

In the spirit of black history month I have a though for all the people that don't believe in inter-racial dating. I never knew until this week that Frederick Douglass second wife was white. That makes me wonder if it was 2005 and he did that would people of our race consider him a sellout or not. Would the personal preference override the good deeds and efforts he put into his people? For some people it would.

I am not in New Orleans this week because I am having my own personal Mardi Gras boycott. I don't feel like the city is doing enough remember the people that lost their lives during the storm. It's just like the years when we had record murder rates. Everyone just went on about their business like nothing happened and the same thing is going on after the storm. It must be said that the wrong people perished in that water. Had a few hundred high society types from uptown drowned in their plantation homes, no one would have been concerned about a damn parade. They would have cancelled all of that shit and been having memorials everyday. I am not speaking out of emotion. I am speaking out of knowledge of the place that I lived for 31 years. If anyone doesn't believe me, go to New Orleans and drive around. It's clear what area is priority and what's not.

I don't usually talk about Iraq because its been going on so long that it's clear that the country is on the verge of a civil war and I think it's wonderful. It's not wonderful because I want anything to happen to the troops. They should have been home a long time ago. It's not wonderful because I want to see any of the Iraqi people get hurt. It's wonderful because all black people in this country get to witness the hypocrisy of the American government. America is asking the Sunnis and the Shiites to do something that this country was never able to do. They expect two groups that don't like each other to get along. They want these two groups to put aside years of fighting and bloodshed to make a government work. That is special considering that when Thomas Jefferson wrote the preamble to the constitution, he added words that spoke to the abolishing of slavery and the founding fathers made him take it out. This is also the country that went to war over the right to own black people. How can they expect the Shiites to let go of all the memories of being tortured and slaughtered now that they have enough power and muscle to get revenge. I have always felt that's why any revolutionary action by black people in this country has been infiltrated and torn apart. There is no way the white men that run this country believe that we just want to let bygones be bygones and all will be forgotten. We have to want revenge for some of the things in the past just like the Shiites want in Iraq. That's why they treat us like they have. Of course, we would always feel too inferior to act on it but you get my point.That's why Sadaam had to keep his foot on their throats. No one wants to admit the fact that he really had no choice but to be the way he was if he ever was going to stay in power. America is going to have to do the same thing to keep that place in order.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What I Like

I was at the mall shopping for some clothes when I overheard a young brother trying to talk with one of the saleswomen in the store. He seemed to be doing a good job and I thought he had the phone number locked up when she asked him the question that sealed his faith. She simply asked him "what do you like in a woman?". He proceeded to tell her all kinds of physical and cosmetic things and she in turn left him alone and went back to work. The confused young brother just shook his head and walked out. I realized he didn't understand what it was she was trying to say. She wanted to know what qualities he liked in a woman and he couldn't answer. I will give him a pass since he was about 19 or 20 years old, but how many guys in their 30's could answer that question honestly. I am going to give it a try. Now, this is by no means a personal ad or an indictment of the woman I have now. It's also not a list of anything she does or does not do. This is just something I thought about off the top of my head so don't get the wrong idea. Now, if I had to find a woman and list "what I like", this would be it.

She needs to be able to talk about more than two subjects
I consider myself to be a man that knows many topics. I have been reading the paper and following politics since I was ten. There is nothing more frustrating than having a conversation with someone about the war and doesn't even know who Donald Rumsfeld is. Besides, any woman or man over 25 years old that can't hold a conversation about more than clothes, shoes, and TV is in bad shape anyway.
She has to live in this world and not the next one
I don't want to sound like a heathen. I respect everyone's spiritual journey and I am working on mine but some sisters act like we are already in heaven. I don't mind going to church on Sunday or you being involved in the church other days of the week but if I can't at least watch a good "R" rated movie or maybe my secular music every now and then I won't be happy.

She has to let go of all her past relationships
I wasn't there for your last relationship so I don't know what words or phrases trigger a memory. How am I supposed to know how and what the last fool did what he did? I don't care anyway. That goes for careers, style, and attitude to. If you want a guy like the last guy, go and find the last guy.
She has to think my guilty pleasures are cool or at least love me enough to let me be
Pro Wrestling, football, cigars, albums, BBQing are the main things that I like for the sole purpose of my bringing a smile to my face without any work or allot of thought. I don't need her to watch it with me. I just don't want her to try and stop me from doing it.

She needs her own circle of friends that don't really need me involved
I don't really like women that need to hang around me all the time. I like women who have their own clubs, social groups, or just a group of people they hang out with that can occupy her time long enough for me to do some thing with my friends.

She has to be able to laugh
Sense of humor is very important and is actually a turn on. I honestly think that you can never make a woman happy if she can't at herself once in awhile. Besides, I am sort of a fool and a woman that is too serious will only think I am a fool and that won't work.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Heart vs. Brain

Heart vs. Brain

The Brain
I just don't know what to do. My job isn't the same. No one is inspired to do anything. All the energy and effort has been sucked out of us and all the agencies we work with thanks to the level of destruction the water caused. I am not sure how much longer this job will be a viable option for me to maintain and achieve all the things I want to do. Maybe I need to look elsewhere. It doesn't appear that significant progress going on that assures I can live where and how I want down here. I can't even find a decent house in the hood for rent. For my career, my surroundings, my kids and my sanity, it makes total logical since to sharpen up that resume, get it out over the internet and see what comes back from other places. I don't want to live somewhere else forever. Maybe in a few years when things turning around a little I can come back and be more comfortable. Right now, I don't feel like I am not putting myself in the best situation to live prosperous.

The Heart
How can I walk away? Even if I left and started over somewhere else I would never consider myself anything but a long term visitor in that place. I am so hardcore that I refuse to have an address in Louisiana that doesn't say "New Orleans" on it. I don't want to live in Metairie, or Kenner or Mandeville. I want to live in my city. I hate leaving here on the weekends. It feels like I am leaving a love one. One of the main reasons I came back so quickly was because I refuse to go down without a fight. I want to look my grandchildren in the eye and say "I was here when the turnaround happened". That would mean the world to me. My job is secure for the rest of this year and I know that I can most likely get another one in the city when I need to. I love it and I am not leaving.

This is a taste of what goes through my mind all day everyday while I am in New Orleans.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Get ya Happy On

This blog entry was highly influenced by the 50 times straight that I have listened to Get ya Hustle On by Juvenile. He is definitely the best MC to ever come out of New Orleans...

I am still in my groove. I had some tequila last night. I am slightly dazed this morning. It's time to take tequila off of the drink list. Other than that I feel like a million bucks. Of course, I only have about five bucks in my pocket but that's cool too. Being happy in New Orleans after Katrina takes some sacrifice and hard choices. It comes down to five key elements.
1. Do not take any trips to the Lower Ninth Ward
2. Eat grits every morning for breakfast
3. Do not watch any local newscast
4. Do not read any local newspapers
5. One large house special every evening.

If I follow these rules, I should make it to Jackson this weekend in good spirits.

Now, on to other things...

Why in the world are we turning over security of the ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emarites. This is the part of the world where Al Queda members plot, plan and launder their money. Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from there. Now, we are going to let their state run company control six major ports in America including the one where I live? You know it makes me "happy" when this administration does something to prove that all of this fighting has more to do with money than national security. I find it strange that an American citizen can get out of jail for a felony and never get a job or vote again, yet a country that has supported terrorists gets control of the ports. That is totally mind boggling to me. Who is going to screen their employees? I have a cousin that can't get a good job because her mom put the water bill in her name when she was 10. Surely, a man with a Bin Laden poster on his wall is not going to get a chance to work at the port of New York. I guess next week, Michael Brown from FEMA is going to announce his candidacy for mayor of New Orleans. I better stop now before Dick Cheney reads this and shoots me "accidentially".

It would make me real "happy" if Shani Davis could win this next race coming up and quiet all the media that is trying to make him seem unpatriotic by not skating in the team events. I saw him and his mama last night on ESPN and this has now turned into one of those hood vs. mainstream events that come up from time to time in society. The only problem is that blacks don't really follow the Winter Olympics so no one knows he needs our support.

It would make me "extremely ecstatic" if someone like the Wu Tang Clan or KRS One would bum rush the stage and beat the snot out of Britney Spears husband before he can get out one lyric of that garbage he calls hip hop.

I would be happy if someone can tell me how to get that damn "Lean with it Rock with it" song by the Franchize Boys out of my head. Once I seen the video I was hooked.

It would make me "overly joyous" if all the rich Nigerians with secret diamond mines and hidden bank accounts would stop asking me to help them and their families come to America. Look my motherland brothers, my bank knows I am broke. They know my balance is only high around income tax time. If I put that six million you keep emailing me about in there it would send the FEDS straight to me. Now if it is a scam you are just wasting your time with me. Taking my identity will only get you a few phone calls from Discover Card.

Finally.........(Switching over to New Orleans slang language)............

To the dude who gave me his middle finger this morning for making my turn after the light turned green...BITCH GETCHA MIND RIGHT! Before Katrina your punk ass would have been extra courteous thinking you would get the beatdown for running that light in that neighborhood. Now, you want to drive like a jackass. Just because our hood was destroyed doesn't mean we don't rep it whenever possible. Ask the city of Houston. If I see you again tomorrow morning and you run that light, I am going to whip your ass like you are in the Corps of Engineers in charge of levee designs....Ya heard me!

Now back to Juvie...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Shani Davis

Did anyone know that there was a brother from the South Side of Chicago that is a world record holder in speedskating and won a gold medal? That makes me happy. How did he find out about speedskating in the hood?

20 Things That Make Me Happy

20 Simple Things That Make Me Happy

Note: This list has nothing to do with kids, family or friends. These are just simple things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.

1. The Maze Live in New Orleans Concert DVD I just purchased. I can swear I see my uncle in the crowd.

2. Sanford and Son

3. Sitting on a porch in New Orleans at 2 in the morning talking about nothing serious.

4. A half & half with cheese, no dressing, just mustard and ketchup.

5. Cabbage and Neckbones from Hurst Restaurant on Williams Blvd.

6. Ten pounds of boiled crawfish from Castnet w/ a six pack of Heinekens

7. The Brass Band Showdown live at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak st.

8. "Alright Fellas, get your dollars out. Coming up to the main stage all the way from Uptown....Big Red"

9. The Lakefront on Sunday evenings.

10. Crown Royal on the rocks

11. Watching a football game in the stands

12. Breaking in a new fishing pole

13. Monk, Criminal Minds and Grey's Anatomy

14. The Bizarre Ride to the Pharcyde CD

15. Getting accolades at work

16. A 5 piece spicy w/ fries

17. Putting any kind of meat on the grill

18. Dancing in the club with the lights off so no one can see just how bad I dance

19. Playing basketball

20. Writing this stupid blog.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Who Should I Blame

I receieved this picture in a an email from a good friend of mines that just happens to be white. My question is should I be more mad at him for sending it to me and thinking its funny, or the fool that stole the beers during a flood to get on there? Pay attention to the helmet.

The Happy Project

All week I have been sitting around and laying around trying to figure out how to think. See, I am down here in New Orleans trying to get a form of normal life started again. I am driving back and forth on the weekends to the family in Mississippi. I spend most of my time alone in my office staring a laptop screen trying to tell myself that it's all good. I don't have a home of my own yet. I am just starting now to deal with FEMA. The car I bought is starting to take a pounding from these ragged New Orleans streets so I am hoping it doesn't die on me somewhere between here and Jackson. I won't discuss the fact that my grandmother's remains are still sitting in a freezer, I miss my dog who I haven't seen since the storm, and I feel so cursed living with my friend who has every single thing he had before Katrina. When you add all the additional bullshit that comes along throughout the week like half of the staff of my team at work resigning, it all ends up making you think to yourself that it might not have been such a bad thing if daddy and mommy had a box of Lifestyles that night they made you.

Then after all that you have to wake up and find a way to make yourself smile. Someone asked me this week what makes me happy and I could not answer. The reason I couldn't is because honestly right now I don't know if anything truly does. I don't like it that way but it's the truth. I am always so melancholy. All next week will be nothing but things that make me happy or things that are positive. I will not say anything negative about anyone even if Dick Cheney gets drunk again and shoots one of his boys like Bishop did in Juice.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Verbal Gumbo #3

I haven't seen the cartoons with Muhammad's picture but it must have been some pretty wild shit to make those muslims mad like that. It's safe to say that if I was in Europe at the moment, I would not go outside for a week or two. Why is Bush and Condi Rice getting involved in that? It's things like this incident that assures me we will never fully be able to move troops out of the Middle East. They are just creating more terrorist. Who would even publish something like that in this day and time and risk getting his entire country blown up?

I loved Coretta King but I don't know if I could have sat still for 6 hours.

Is there any service on the internet that spammers won't spam?

Living in most areas of New Orleans and points below like St. Bernard is the closest thing to living in a war zone on American soil most Americans will ever experience. How could it take 6 or 7 months to get phone service?

Who are those guys that are starting to hang out on the corners in some neighborhoods going to sell dope too? All the FEMA money is in other cities. You better go down to Lee Circle in the morning and get on the back of a truck like the Mexican brothers are doing.

I don't watch award shows but I looked at the pictures from last night. I need to know if Sly Stone was as high as he looked.

If Sly Stone can get a tribute, why can't Sugarfoot from the Ohio Players?

We got through a whole awards show last night without any rappers embarrasing everybody. Things may be looking up.

Speaking of Grammys.....I have been holding her spot ever since she started going crazy but now she is back. It's time to give Mariah Carey her props and put her back on the top ten women list. Every man has one too ladies. She now joins Toni Braxton as the only women to ever be removed and then returned. If you don't Mariah is fly then you are just hating.

Why can't a show like "That's What I'm Talking About" on TV Land come on all the time instead of just in Feburary for Black History Month? Wayne Brady needs a full time job. I

If you can't catch that show, try Sharp Talk with Al Sharpton on TV ONE, the real black network.

Thanks to all the people who suggested I run for mayor. That would be cool but I have way too many skeletons from my early 20's in the strip club scene of New Orleans to run for mayor. I would hate to embarras my mama with a scandal involving a dancer called Quiet Storm (if you happen to read this storm send me and email). I would have to be like Karl Rove to someone. Cedric Richmond should give me a call.

This is a special message to the person that sent me a message asking me about the reason for the hurricane being people in New Orleans practicing voodoo.....on behalf of all the people I know that would be offended by that: KISS MY ASS! If we all knew voodoo, we would have sent the storm up to where you and your ignorant ass friends live. Don't send me anything else because I know some angry online New Orleans people that are looking for someone to take things out on and will fill your inbox all day. Don't make me put Jenn on you because she types real fast LOL.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

The Cliff Clean Up and Recovery Plan

Note: I will try and send this to someone in city government but since they probably get things like this all the time, or really don't care, it most likely will get ignored. I can at least try.

Its time for the city of New Orleans to face reality down here. The reality of it is that between the local bickering and the lack of a clear plan by the state, there was no money allocated to the area for the new federal budget. I am going to do something that's very hard for me. I am going to defend the decision by Bush not to add any money to the budget for Louisiana. With the amount of corruption down here, there is no way he could write this state and city a blank check and defend that to the American people. He's already got a money pit in Iraq. I can't see any evidence of the first round of money being put to use. With that being said, I think we have to scale back those grand plans for awhile and at least try and get some smaller things done for the people. Since none of you guys seem to have the ability to think in small steps, (Why would you try to get the feds to pay for a light rail system when you don't even have housing for all the people coming back here?) I thought I would help out and give you ten things that could be done relatively cheap and would go a long way to restoring the pride and emotions of your citizens. You might even get George and his people to pay for some of this if he can take credit for the results. Here is my list.

1. An extra two cent tax on every dollar spent: If we want to have certain things come back and people to get re-employed, we are going to need to pay for some of this ourselves. I don't think anyone would mind spending a few extra pennies to get the city some extra cash.
2. An extra dollar tax on all liquor sold in the city: Did I mention we needed money? I think this is better than the hotel/motel tax that we share with the state. Besides, once people get drunk they won't even care about that dollar.
3. Operation Search and Rescue Paint Removal: If we are going to start getting over this thing, we have to get rid of some of the signs for moral's sake. Therefore we need to ask anyone already in there house to clean off the rescue spray paint and get som4e crews to clean the rest off. People don't need to come home and be reminded of their neighbors drowning everyday.

4. Pick up the Cars!!!!: You know I have never really wanted to focus on the racial thing when it comes to rebuilding because black New Orleans doesn't have enough money to rebuild without the other sides help. I even understood having Mardi Gras at first. Now I have a beef. As long as I have been living my people have partied under the Claiborne underpass for Carnival. Everyone knows this. So, why is that entire area littered with cars and blocking all the BBQ space? You can't go on with Carnival under the premise it's a city tradition while blocking the one place the majority of it's black citizens go. Tootie Montana must be rolling over in his grave. No one is in the Lower Nine right now. You can put those cars on Claiborne St. across the canal and it won't look any worse.
5.Picking up trash to wipe away the past : People and business are coming back and cleaning out these homes and places and the stuff just sits there. We need some money from the government just for trash and debris pick up. If a tropical storm comes through here it's going to be horrible with all the bricks and wood sitting in the street. Plus, neighborhoods need to be rewarded for coming home and trying to be rebuild by at least being able to come out of their trailer and see a new beginning once they cleaned out the remains of their old lives.
6. Organized Labor: I have no problem with all the immigrant labor down here. The brothers weren't ready to come back and someone had to start working but it needs to be more organized and someone needs to protect these workers from getting played by these contractors. They are doing allot of work for peanuts and the way they are standing around on these corners looking to get picked up is ridiculous. Someone needs to set up a staging area somewhere for them.
7. Bringing back black workers: As much as I don't have a problem with the immigrant workers, I would like to see my own people that actually struggled through that water get to come back and make some of this money. Here's an idea. What can't HANO take one of those projects that were not overly damaged like the Calliope and let people live there while they come home to help clean up and work for awhile. You can put a time limit on it. A year would be long enough for them to make some money and find other housing. We are going to need to think outside the box and use every available means to help out our people.
8. Let the Prisoners clean up: Excluding the cold blooded killers and downright crazy ones, we need some people to help pick up this trash. If we can get the government to send us 100 large trash trucks, we can use the brothers in jail to go out and pick up some of the trash I was talking about. After all, they are New Orleans too. The least they can do is get out there and pick up some trash after all the wild stuff allot of them did before Katrina to get in there.
9. The Rental Project: Here's how it works. You take that precious city website and you have all the homeowners and landlords that are not here but have available housing to call or logon and register those places in a database. There are too many four-plex, three story homes that have no damage to the upper levels that can be used for housing. There are even some single dwelling homes that don't have damage just sitting there. Now, you put those vacant places in the database and the people around the country that are trying to get back to the city can go there and apply with the city's help for one of those homes. That way the people who want to come back can and the people who don't can still make some money on their property. Who would be against this idea? You don't even need anyone's help for this one.
10. Embrace the Tribe of New Orleans: My great father once made the comment that New Orleans should declare itself as its own country. I wouldn't go that far but he had a point. There are people that haven't lived in New Orleans since the 60's that still consider themselves New Orleanians. We are our own people with our own style, language, music, culture and everything. The recovery of our community has to be approached with the idea that there are many people who may never live here again but still have an emotional and spiritual attachment to this place and would like to see it vibrant. The recovery means just as much to them as it does to the people actually living here. They are our kin folk. Spreading the New Orleans vibe all over the world. We have to reach out to all those people. They may have ideas. They may have money. More importantly, the collective spirit of all of us could be enough to get someone in the government to understand that our home is not just a big toilet bowl where people go to find sin and piss on the sidewalk. That is an insult to our grandparents and great grandparents and we shouldn't let it go down like that.

This doesn't solve everything but it would at least be a start. We shouldn't be thinking about football teams, basketball teams, light rail systems and all of that when they are still traffic lights not working. Living here is like going to rehab for a crippling injury. We have to at least get to the point where we can stand up for awhile first. Then we can start dreaming about those runaway ideas.

Let's do it for Tootie Montana who went to his grave trying to save the culture.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Busta Rhymes Video Shot Up

HipHopDX.com News

Busta Rhymes Video Shot Up
Monday - February 6, 2006
The set where Busta Rhymes was shooting a new video was lit up with gunshots early Sunday morning. The shooting, which was in the relatively safe Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, NY, left 29-year-old Israel Ramirez dead.While Busta was in the studio at the time, nearly 200 people were gathered outside of the Kiss the Cactus studio for the shoot when 14 shots were fired. According to reports, the shots were fired from an AK-47.Israel Ramirez, who was on set as bodyguard, was pronounced dead shortly after receiving a single shot to the chest. There is no word yet as to whether the shooting has a connection to Busta, but I’m sure the mainstream media will refer to him as a “gangsta rapper.” Busta’s 7th album The Big Bang is due out on Aftermath/Interscope this year.

I have said it before and I will say it again. As long as things like this happen like this to hiphop artist and hip hop events, it will never be totally respected as a music genre. There should not be violence in what is supposed to be a an artform. This kind of thing just doesn't happen in any other music. I have been listening to hip hop since I was 8 or 9 years old in New Orleans. It used to be fun and creative and it reflected where I was in my life as a young black man in America. Now, its turning into a bunch of ignorant negroes bragging about stuff I can't afford and a money laundering mechanism for hustlers with no real talent. Between this, the Biggie duets album (which if he was alive and made would drop his all time rank to #7) and Paul Wall, the culture is officially on the way to becoming the Jazz of the millenium......stolen and watered down. We might as well get ready for that Kenny G and Kevin Federline collaboration produced by Lil John coming anytime now.

Big Brother Blues

My little sister moved to North Carolina for a teaching job last week. Today is her first day in class since the storm. I am happy she found work after the New Orleans school system treated all the teachers like dirt and just let them go. I tried my best to get her to stay close. I even offered to give her money a few months for a bills so she wouldn't go. She was determined to get out of the hole she finds herself in on her own terms. After some serious debate, I didn't want her thinking about her decision so I tried to be supportive and act like I thought it was ok she was moving so far. The truth of the matter is that I am worried like hell about her being that far away from me. She is my baby sister and for her whole life I have been able to help her handle any problem she might have. Now she is 15 hours away and alone to do it herself. People keep telling me I am wrong for being upset she left. They tell me that I need to respect her womanhood and let her do things on her own like an adult. To that I say...WHATEVER! How can my worrying about her somehow make her less of a woman or hinder her progress? I don't understand how a person going through rough spots in life alone will somehow make them liberated and stronger. Listen, if you are blessed enough to have people in your life that care enough to help, let them. I consider myself to be as strong as any man I know but I am not beyond calling someone to help my ass if I need them. Maybe I am just having seperation anxiety. It's good she wants to deal with her own issues. She's mature, open minded and can adopt to any group of people. She got that from me. Pretty soon she will meet someone and fall in love. Then she will get married and have kids. At that time I will take a hot, rusty butterknife and shove it into my belly button. Just the thought of a man and her.......................oh no!

My little sister is a grown woman everybody and it sucks.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Day 4......Shout Outs

I have been in New Orleans all week and I haven't seen anybody I know with the exception of Cedric and Lawanda. I am used to coming and going between about 30 different places. As I drove back up I-55, I thought about all the people that have been scattered out of my everyday life.

I don't do shout outs on my blog. But if I did................

I would have to send a shot out to all my people from the Lower Ninth Ward who lost everything. Everything's gonna be alright.

To all the Harris, Baker, Louvier, Butler, Woods and Louis family.

To my godchildren Kelsey, and Larren

I would have to send a shot out to all my boys from the hood, Devin, Sean, John(my ghetto mentor), Ryan, Jerry, Hasan(stay out of jail), Lonnie(I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you pulling me out of that canal), Moosie, River( the same dude Jubilee named the dance after), Charlie Parker, Smokey, Adam and Donald (R.I.P.).....I hope you guys are straight whereever you are.

To Eric Russell of the Ya Ya's ( seeing you on Sesame Street was a trip), Shannon Lafrance, Dana Harris(where did you go?) and to Joseph Warner who I always could depend on.

I would have to send a shot out to the Six Man Posse - Demetrius, Renaldo(You left me way too soon Cuban), David Gould, Tremaine, and Anderson(Dougie Fresh)Soco

I would have to send out a shout to my brothers from another mother Brian Anderson in the ATL and George Branch in Houston(please don't get into any trouble out there).

To Frederick Nunnery ...I hope your family made it out of Hollygrove.

I would have to send a shot out to Willie Bones, Malcom a.ka. Pretty Tony, Treetop, Romalis, Quincy (R.I.P.), Charles, Eric, Big Nose Keith and my homeboy

To Erroll my barber, Mr. Bob(thanks for taking me fishing and those wrestling match rides), Marlon(My second daddy), James, Mr. Henry(My third daddy) , Big Al, Lil Al, Gene, Ms. Mary(My second mama), Ms. Inez (my third mama), Ms. Campbell(My fourth mama....thanks for the food.), Ms. Patricia(My fifth mama) Maude(My sixth mama), Marysol, Claudia, Loures, Debbie, Virginia, Dana B.and Coretha McCray and those darling daughters of hers.

I would have to send a big shot out to my roaddogs Chris, and the realest friend on the planet David Tate (What's up Big Dooooog!)

I would have to send a special shout out to Kenneth Johnson, his wife Terrina and all of the kids.

To my dear.... Angela Williams

And my heart...Kendra William

My female enforcer Christy

My sisters from another mother Shandy, Erika, Frenchell, Ninth Ward Slim, Chantel, Carlette and Laquinta

To Gaynell Gaines

I would have to send a shout out to Yolanda Lomax(I've missed you for a long time), Nicole, Angie, Lisa, Lashaun, Renee, Renee', Danita, Elana, Neecha, Lawanda and all my homegirls that I used to roll with.

To all my ex's who will get no shine on my blog and start confusion.

To all my New Orleans internet friends that have all had to deal with the same issues I am going through.

Last but not least I would have to give a special shout out to Trevor and Cedric who have held me down throughout this whole Katrina ordeal with whatever I needed. I wouldn't trade you for the world.

If I forgot anybody please forgive me...It's been a rough week.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Day Three

Day 3

I finally got a chance to go to the Westbank and Metairie which was allot better than being downtown. At least those places resembled more normal times. I guess I am going to be spending allot of time out that way if I am going to be working down here. The traffic going to any direction out of the city is totally ridiculous. It took me an hour to get from St. Charles and Louisiana Ave. to Shrewsbury road. That ride used to take me 15 minutes.
You know the one thing people returning don't need right now is the kind of storm like we had here last night. It was a severe storm with tornadoes that came through and took what little some people had left after Katrina. There was also some minor flooding. That's the kind of thing that makes me want to look into the classified section back in Mississippi. I realized yesterday that the biggest issue I have and I am sure lots of others have as well is that we are all now afraid of water and what it can do. Think of all the years we lived here completely oblivious to the fact that we were totally surrounded on all sides by a deadly force that none of us can stop. It has to be on your mind now. There is no way to block it out because the reminders are everywhere.

Next week I have to go into my grandmother's house to search for any remaining bank statements or insurance papers to find out if she had any extra money. FEMA will not pay for her funeral up front. The families of the victims have to pay and they will "reimburse you if approved". 9/11 was the second worst thing I have saw during my lifetime next to Katrina. 3000 people died that day and many more have paid the price if you add up all the soldiers and civilians that have been killed in the fighting since. I would never ever belittle or trivialize anyone's sacrifice. However, you have to look at reality. Pakistan got billions of debt wiped out by America just to use their land to stage a fight. Afghanistan is safer and more free for it's people than it was before. We are pouring billions and billions and billions of dollars to make the Iraqi people happy and comfortable enough to think we are good people. It's hard not to feel anger towards America when I can't get FEMA to cremate the remains of my grandmother who drowned in her AMERICAN home that she worked to pay for behind a flood wall that the government of AMERICA designed. Taking all of that into account, it is my twisted opinion as a black New Orleans refugee that the terrorists have already won because they got more and are still getting more out of my government than it looks like I ever will. Maybe someone from New Orleans needs to get a plane and just fly around the FEMA building a few times to get someone's attention.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The N.O. .......Day Two

Day two I know I haven't been here long but after driving around all parts of the city over the last two days I think I have a few suggestions on some things.

The first thing is that there were some neighborhoods with low water where houses were not on the ground so the insides were dry. I know some of them had roof damage but there is no reason why the city shouldn't be trying to contact every owner of these homes to see if A. They are coming back to stay in the house themselves at the moment. And B. To make them put the house up for rent or lease and make some money. There are way more houses that are habitable downtown than I thought and people are starting to come back to some of them. Someone should be in charge with making sure all the available homes are made available and they would go like hotcakes the minute that they did.

The second thing is that after every mayoral election in the city before the storm I always suggested that the mayor should do something very visible like cutting grass or fixing up a few parks just to let the locals see that maybe there will be some progress coming. That idea is never more true now after Katrina. Mayor Nagin needs to ask the federal government to send him enough extra large trucks and manpower to make massive trash pickups. The little progress that has been made in the city is due to homeowners and small business men that have came back to clean out and start working on their homes and establishments. How about picking up some of the debris to show them that the government is at least trying to meet them half way.
I have to be real about it and say that other than a few crews picking up asbestos, I don't see ANYTHING going on that's related to the government. The locals are putting up a good fight and are trying to save their city but even with people coming back all the time and homeowners vowing to rebuild, the quality of life here will be low unless the local, state, and federal government all do something to make the things around better.

They could start with opening up Gene's PoBoys and the diaquiri shop next door to it. It also wouldn't hurt to make Port o Call start doing take out again.

Tomorrow: Day Three