Monday, August 29, 2005

Doomsday Prophesy

Life is very *UN*easy in the Big Easy tonight. Hurricane Katrina is gunning for New Orleans.

Yesterday, she was a Cat 3 and counting. Less than 24 hours later, she's a Cat-5 and nearly unstoppable. There are all sorts of statistics out there I could quote right now....the fact that she would be the 4th Cat 5 in recorded history to slam into the mainland....that New Orleans has dodged this bullet for four decades...but there are two numbers that rise above it all for me:

1) New Orleans sits six feet below sea level.

2) As of midnight EDT tonight, nearly 100,000 people have not heeded the mandatory evacuation order, for one reason or another. EPodunk puts New Orleans' population at 469,000. That means, at a conservative estimate, 20% of people won't get out. One in Five people, stuck, trapped, stranded in that city to ride out a Cat 5.

I've been to New Orleans many times - one of my favorite vacation destinations in fact - and I've gone beyond the French Quarter. It is not a well-off area. It's the big city in an area where the surrounding parishes and states are not well-off financially. It's where people move to because they DON'T need a car to get around, or where people never leave because from birth to death they can't get a strong enough financial foothold to escape. That's exactly why these people are now stuck in the city - they don't own a car and have no way out of town.

Should New Orleans take a direct hit, the levees that hold back the River and the Lake will likely burst, turning the bowl in which it sits into a veritable cesspool of toxic chemicals, human waste, coffins, fuel, and anything else living or existing in the Crescent City at this point. That will likely also turn into a final resting place for a significant portion of the population...if they don't all make it to the Superdome first.

But for me, thousands of miles away, all I can do is write, and wait, because it comes down to this: This lady has a vendetta against my city. And all I can hope is that Lady luck is stronger than a bitch named Katrina.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I Need a Price Check On Comfort Food

We’ve all heard the maxim, “Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.” I’d like to add, “or depressed.”

I just went food shopping for the first time in two weeks. I did fairly well at staying to the outer edge…perishables only. But then I remembered I was out of Wheat Thins. At my grocery store, crackers are right next to and across from other things that are bad for people trying to maintain a healthy weight or lose some along the way.

I came home with a few diet-busters. Maybe I’ll take them to work and share so at least I don’t eat them ALL myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Testing the MS Word Plugin

Hmmm….wonder if this is going to work the way I want it to…

Or if I can change typefaces….

Or if anyone cares.

Coffee Lovers? Or Lovers' Coffee?

It's been FOREVER since I blogged, mostly because it's been a rather disappointing month with nothing positive to sprinkle in amidst a lot of the negative. Case in point, the last 5 days have been enough of a roller coaster to keep me three steps behind. However, I saw this article and had to share. I can't find it online yet, though, so you'll have to read on

Coffee - that black caffiene in a cup. Better than sex?
For many coffee drinkers, the brew beats the bedroom, with 42 percent of those in a recent survey reporting that coffee is more or equally important in any given week as sex.
The survey - commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts, also found that coffee drinkers reported more robust romance, with two-thirds of respondents saying they had sex once a week or more. Only 58 percent of non-coffee drinkers reported as much action, according to the survey, with more than 1200 repondents.
After water, coffee is the world's most popular beverage, with more than 400 billion cups consumed annually.

The article goes on from there, but you get the point. As for me, I'll have a hazlenut with cream and go!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Musical Poetry

I turned on my computer tonight and clicked play....and "Sail" came on. I love that song, especially the lyrics. They're so plaintive - honest and well-spoken without obscure reference or puffery. That's when a thought occurred to me. I wonder how it would read if I posted the first two lines from the next 10 songs to play on random shuffle. So here goes nothing....

It's just...some of the things you said
Keep going round inside my head
I looked into your eyes
They told me plenty I already knew
Tonight, the moon's playing tricks again
I'm feeling sea sick again
I'd like to see you out one night
Dressed up like a rock and roll star
If the sun refused to shine
I don't mind. I don't mind.
I woke up this morning
with this feeling inside me that I can't explain
I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
You're with her, not with me
I hope she's sweet, so pretty
It's never easy and you'll never know
What leaves you cryin and what makes you whole
Honey you are a rock upon which I stand.
I come here to talk - I hope you understand

Not too bad....admittedly, I went through 20 songs to get this...between skipping over the instrumentals and deciding once I saw the list that there would only be one per artist (for some reason, half of one Sarah album came up in the top of my list!)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Peter Jennings, 1938-2005

In a profession where miracles, great and small, occur each and every day, I think, deep down, I was hoping he had one more in him. Instead, tonight, the world lost a great man, journalism lost the last of the network anchors. I lost an idol.

Peter Jennings succumbed to lung cancer. He died in his New York home at the age of 67.

I grew up watching ABC News with Peter Jennings. Dan Rather was too old for me, and Tom Brokaw, well, NBC didn't come in very well until we got cable, and by then my preference was set. I was an ABC gal. I remember watching Peter Jennings and realizing that journalists weren't just the vultures television portrayed them to be. I remember watching him when I finally understood the difference between being famous and being known.

His voice is the one that narrates my memories of all the big news events of the 80s and 90s. Pan Am 103...The Challenger....Even Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympic Park bombings. By then, CNN had infiltrated the common conscience, but at 6:30, I flipped over to ABC to get the network take on it all. And I'll never forget watching at the to of every hour as he rang in Y2K in each timezone around the world, donning a sporty tux for the bash in New York City.

Pardon me a moment as I draw a rather long quote from an ABC News piece on Jennings' background, but it makes a wonderful point about the experience he brought to the desk despite his youth...or youthful appearance.

He was in Berlin in the 1960s when the Berlin Wall was going up, and there in
the '90s when it came down. He covered the civil rights movement in the southern
United States during the 1960s, and the struggle for equality in South Africa
during the 1970s and '80s. He was there when the Voting Rights Act was signed in
1965, and on the other side of the world when South Africans voted for the first
time. He has worked in every European nation that once was behind the Iron
Curtain. He was there when the independent political movement Solidarity was
born in a Polish shipyard, and again when Poland's communist leaders were forced
from power. And he was in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania and
throughout the Soviet Union to record first the repression of communism and then
its demise. He was one of the first reporters to go to Vietnam in the 1960s, and
went back to the killing fields of Cambodia in the 1980s to remind Americans
that, unless they did something, the terror would return.

Now, the era has ended, not only for ABC News, but for network news. NBC groomed Brian Williams to be Brokaw's successor. Now he is the senior anchor on the evening news desk. A strange state of affairs indeed.

The world has lost a man who made many a meaningful contribution. We are all the poorer for it, yet all the richer for having encountered him and his work. On behalf of America, I bid you...goodnight.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

World of Dreams

Funny how dreams seem so real when you're asleep, then fade rapidly as you cross that space of near wakefulness where sleep and reality overlap like a beach where the tide rolls ashore onto the sand.

Even funnier how the snippets of dreams come back to you at the most inopportune, or least expected, moments.

I woke up this morning with that faint sense of something in my dreams that I should remember. But I couldn't. Not for the life of me. It wasn't until I laid back down on the bed after a shower that the lightbulb came on.

I dreamed my friends threw me a surprise party, but the party was my wedding. My parents were in the front row in polo shirts and pants, but a co-worker gave me away to a man who wasn't even there. And the ceremony was based on the fact that he wasn't there. No one even used his name...just said that when he returned, I would already be his wife.

As my co-worker walked me down the aisle, the one I truly wanted got up and walked out of the building. I bolted and ran after him. The organ stopped and one of my supervisors caught me at the end of the aisle, turned me around, and sent me back to the altar, but half-way there, I think I woke up. I don't remember getting there, at least not yet. I just remember wearing an ivory strapless sundress and carrying a wilted flower - a daffodil or a tulip or something.

Perhaps more details will come back to me as the proverbial tide rises again.