So it's spring break, and I have 2 weeks and a day to fix everything. For the shed/guest house/slave quarters even though it was build in the 1920s/office, I've already ripped out paneling...now to scrape 55 year old linoleum, and try not to get mesothelioma from the god-knows-what's-in-there insulation.
How friggin ironic is it that Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by asbestos, rather than regular I smoke 4 packs of unfiltered Camels a day lung cancer.
I used to get email from Warren at random intervals. Stuff like "I'm going tarpon fishing with Hiaasen" and "don't give anyone my email address, except of course, Salma Hayek". I miss that. Death just ain't fair to nobody.
So this week I was attending the American Association of Geographers annual meeting in Chicago. There were 2 or 3 sessions dedicated to the study of Katrina.
Now, pure geography is pure science. When you throw in cartography, you can even get art with the science. Problem is, people use it as a tool for trying to make their own subjective crap seem scientific. Also, people who don't have clue one about NOLA or the gulf coast see it as a chance to either a) legitimize their weak-ass research or b) get grant money for their weak-ass research.
This presentation was about a bunch of blatanly unscientific surveys a bunch of Kansans did. They tried to find out the demographics and reasoning for evacuation. Poor science at best. I asked them Did you ask how many other times they had evacuated this year. Answer: Of course not, we have no fucking clue.
OK, they didn't say that. But they did not ask questions like this. And as we know, many people had evacuated 2x before, and spent a ton of money renting cars and paying for hotel rooms to do it, and they didn't have the financial wherewithal to do it again. During the presentation, they noted that about 60% of those that did not evacuate were male. She blamed this on them just "being dumb". Sexist twit. She did not consider that many males did not evacuate, because they sent the rest of the family on ahead. I hope I'm on a boat with her, and when it sinks, I can throw her ass down cabin, so that I make the numbers appear more even. God knows I don't want to appear dumb. Ever heard of "women and children first"? Guess not, up there in Kansas. Oh...too bad about the tornadoes.
Also, no questions were asked about staying behind for fear of looting or protecting property. The big problem is, if you don't understand the rationale behind hurricane evacuations, you won't ask the right questions. Idiot.
The author of this drivel was personally bitch slapped by me and a prof from UNO. His treatise was that the Mississippi Gulf Coast got short changed because New Orleans got all the press. Bad, bad, bad, bad science. This would have received a C as an undergraduate paper, but I guess it goes for higher scholarship at the revered California University of Pennsylvania. Once again, the authors do not understand the area. Comparing the amount of times that New Orleans was mentioned in the paper to the amount of times that Gulfport was mentioned in the paper is irrelevant.
First, they didn't even consider normalizing their numbers to population. Second, they only looked at the phrase New Orleans. They didn't look at Metairie, Chalmette, or say, Violet. Third, they don't realize that the Mississippi Gulf Coast has no real main city. As most of us reading this know, it (was) pretty much one rambling town from Bay St. Louis to Pascamagoula. I'm sure Waveland got more press mentions per capita from Katrina than anywhere else on the coast, yet this guy didn't even mention Waveland. Bad, poor, reprehensible science. At one point he asked what image we thought of when we thought of Katrina.
For me, it's Vera.
For him, it's some Biloxi casino.
At least this paper was tolerable, although it had jack to do with Katrina...in a session devoted to Katrina. All it made me think of was Where in the hell was Nash Roberts.
The UNO prof I talked with lived in Gentilly, and she's committed to rebuilding, and I quote even if it's on 20 foot high stilts. Hell yeah. As Mr. See-EL-Ten says: We're gonna be devastating, people.
I had a University Benefits committee meeting this week, and some asked me if I went to Mardi Gras. I looked at them as if they were from another country (oh yeah...they don't live in NOLA), and said yeah, sure. They asked how it was, and I told them how wonderful the people were, how humorous the floats were, and how pleasant the entire experience was. Then someone said "Well, I know there was some controversy about whether or not to hold it this year". I instantly responded with "Yeah, we decided to celebrate Christmas this year, too". He looked at me for a second, and then got it. Sinn Fein, baby.
I understand why some people left NOLA. I will not and can not judge them, especially those with school aged children. But man, the rest of the world just sucks...
For example, today we went to a fais do-do at a church in Ama. Some of the best jambalaya ever in my life, and they served ice cold beer (yes, at the church). My 3 1/2 year old met a friend and together they danced the cajun 2-step to a live zydeco/cajun band (difference for beginners -- cajun has a triangle and 3/4 songs; zydeco has a rubboard and 4/4 songs). My mother-in-law really, really doesn't want to go back to Prague, after the fais do-do, carnival, and so on, not to mention the huge snowdrifts in Prague this year. After seeing the great job she did painting my kids' room, I won't let her. I figure I can set her up in bidness, and she'll make about 20x what she made in Prague as a masseuse, and she'll get to eat fresh seafood and see her grandchildren every day. Ca c'est bon, non?
I wanted to go to the St. Augustine jazz mass today, but my sunday-go-to-meetin' suit still hasn't come back from the cleaners on Broadway. We dropped it off in January. Post-K rules, ya know.
Man, do y'all get downright excited when you come to a real, functional traffic light where they used to have 4-way stops? I do. Now if my mail was regular, I'd probably pee my pants.
Markus wrote about how much of the country has Katrina Fatigue. Well, rest of the country, Fuck you. Every think that those of us who can't buy groceries after 8:00 at night or find a friggin' drive-thru fast food restaurant open after sundown or can't have a conversation without ax'in How'd y'all make out feel? Sheeshhh.
BTW, Ronnie Virgets has the final say on "how'd ya make out?".
Everyone "tops" everyone else's tale of woe, e.g. "That's nothing. I'll see you two houses, three cars and a grandpa ..." I must go north, to Minnesota, to get the sympathy to which I am legally entitled.
A student society at my employer said that they were donating all of their proceeds from a poker tournament to the Red Cross for Katrina relief. I said I'd match it, but my money was going to Habitat for Humanity. I can't get the Red Cross to give me any more hot meals outta the truck, so I'm movin' on.
Finally (what a long-winded damned post!), Moldy City has been on the ball about Lusher. Below are a subset of FAQs about Lusher that you can only see if you have a login to the Lusher website. Like I said, Scott Cowen is trying to impose his will on Lusher, and Ron Forman reminds me of Scott Cowen.
How many days are required for my child to pass the school year?
The state is working on a statement regarding this issue, due to the differences in schedules between various states.
I bought a home in the district so my child could attend Lusher next August. Will my child still have a spot then?
Plans are still to honor the district in August, 2006.
If I cannot come back to Lusher in January, will I lose my spot in August?
Preference will be given to all returning Lusher students August, 2006.
Will students who declined positions be able to attend in January?
There is no penalty for having declined. These students should follow the policy for new students once it is determined.
Will I lose my spot if I do not return in January?
Current Lusher students are guaranteed a spot if they return to Lusher in January. Current Lusher students who return in August, 2006, will be given preference, along with a not yet determined number of Tulane affiliated students, for available spots. The process for selection is yet to be determined and will depend upon the number of openings the school has.
If I had one child in Lusher, will I now be able to get my other child in Lusher?
This will depend upon availability of spots after commitments have been fulfilled for current Lusher students and Tulane affiliated students.