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The long post about this past weekend is dead. D-E-D, dead, gone, teats up. Damn you, Cox, I hope your passage through hell occurs at the same speed with which my email now downloads – slowly and painfully. Let’s test my short-term memory, shall we?

Dog poop. I should had had some idea of how my yesterday would go after loading the car with tools, supplies and the dolley, and detecting the smell of dog poop emanating from the front passenger-side floor. Thanks, Loki, for tracking canine feces (Westbank-ian in origin at that) into my car first and then onto your floors. Luckily for the gentleman, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of his birth the night before (the first bout of the Rollergirls season was a hoot – season tickets, here I come!), so all is forgiven. Nothing rolling down the windows, a can of Febreze and a trip to Uptown Carwash cannot solve.

Speaking of dookie, congratulations to Dambala for having his 2-month-old story on Greg Meffert’s stinky IT deal published on the front page of yesterday’s T-P. The city’s tech funding was picking guitar and filling fruit jar on the Silicon Bayou, among other nefarious things.

Since Katrina, I’ve seen and cleared out many flooded homes, but one that really depressed me was Morwen‘s. Was it the personal nature of the mission, imagining the antediluvian charm of this home or watching the mementos of two lives together so unceremoniously thrown out? Morwen was philosophical and summed it up in two words, “That’s life.” Having just wheeled out a pile of interesting yet mold-ravaged books and art, I was incensed for her, “It’s not life, Morwen. It’s criminal. Had the Corps done their job and built strong levees, your house would not be in this condition.” Ce n’est pas la vie. C’est levee.

How many such houses still stand? How many lives are so changed by this ghastly and ongoing experience? How long will this go on until we really rebuild? Life is in moving onwards and upwards one house at a time. It’s good for the soul. No group embodies this spirit better than the Arabi Wrecking Krewe, with their cheerful countenance, sense of humor, strength, inclusiveness and impressive music collection. Kudos to Ray for introducing us to this wonderful gang. Other things that made me happy were knowing all of the helpers – Morwen, Betts, Ray, Oyster, Schroeder, Karen, Dave and Cade – and using the items in my toolbox. Nothing gives me more pleasure than whipping out my igneous rock hammer to shatter big blocks of plaster and wood.

The flood was the best thing to happen to roaches, which are ubiquitous and happily reproducing in Soggyville. A burning question D and I have had was answered yesterday: Why are dead roaches found on their backs rather than their fronts? The answer: Like a turtle (or me carrying a >40-lb. backpack), a roach carries much of its exoskeleton on its dorsal side, i.e. its back. When aging or disoriented, the roach teeters, falls on its side and, in an attempt to right itself, flops over onto its back. The roach then grasps at air in search of anything to hang onto, which when it grabs, rights itself. All is then well in little roach world. If its legs find no purchase, however, the roach simply dies on its back. What a way to go. Yesterday, I observed a giant grandpa roach go through these motions successfully thanks to a nearby piece of cardboard, following which a giant piece of plaster fell from the ceiling right above the roach, flattening everything below. The roach died on its front. That’s life.

This reminds me of the Packers’ agonizing loss to the Saints at Lambeau last afternoon. Ashley et al., I stand so aghast that I’ve promised to wear a green-and-gold-decorated paper bag over my head to Fahy’s next Sunday. After the game, someone asked me why I’m still a Packers fan. That is a most stupid question, especially out of the mouth of a New Orleanian. Let me ask you why you still live in this city. It’s called loyalty. Just as we dedicate ourselves to New Orleans and its resurgence, I will cheer my team on until they come back – one first-round draft pick at a time.

On days like this, I summon the wisdom and courage of the late, great John “Bluto” Blutarsky: “Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!” Green and gold forever.

10 comments… add one
  • Loki September 18, 2006, 4:47 PM

    Oh shit! (literally).

    I’m so sorry about that! Glad you were such a huge part of my accelerating decrepitude though. You have truly been a wonderful addition to Loki’s Inner Circle ™!

  • Karen September 18, 2006, 6:31 PM

    I thought a lot today about the level of rage that we should maintain. That we are in this situation with a pathetic program of compensation. The Road Home..There should be a program set up to gut and clean peoples houses with paid workers. To depend on the kindness of strangers to get this City back to somewhere near normal is insane.

  • GentillyGirl September 18, 2006, 6:49 PM

    I am so freakin’ happy that all of you showed to clean out our home yesterday. All of you allowed me to end cycle on the flooding crap..

    Last night saw me throwing up in desparation and despair. I just watched everything we had go into the trash pile. My business is now dead. I have nothing anymore.

    We live day to day, and we do our best not to focus on the loss. That’s freakin’ Life

    I try to be charitable, but the anger that runs through my soul goes very deep. I have nothing to be happy about.

  • Karen September 18, 2006, 8:09 PM

    Where do we go from “I have nothing to be happy about”? Believe me I will be the last to tell you why you should be happy. Watching and yanking your possessions to the street was one of the hardest things I have ever one. It felt like death. I went home and was sick. So maybe after that there is rebirth? Just maybe…

  • GentillyGirl September 18, 2006, 10:20 PM

    Karen,

    I have seen loss all of my life. Four years ago my movers stole my library, my kitchens, and my clothes. I slept on a pallet with my cats and sat in front of my ‘puter until Betty arrived.

    Yesterday hurt, but I have Betts and friends. Everything else is icing. I’ve learned in my life to let things go, but to hold onto the folks around me. There is nothing more important to me than the folks I know in this city.

    I have learned through my life to value the folks around me. To hold them, cherish them… to be there. No possessions can replace friends. I prefer friends.

    Namaste!

  • Kenny September 19, 2006, 11:50 AM

    Reading about the work that was done on Morwen’s house, I now want to quit my job, drop out of school, spend all/most of my time working with the Arabi Wrecking Krewe, and go do it up in December C’est Levee style. Boo hiss to whatever internal machinations aren’t letting me do this.

    Way to back the Pack, Maitri. I was the only one hanging out at the Willy Street Fair on Sunday cheering the Saints on. It was awkward and satisfying. The thing is, I’m not into football. Kind of got turned off from in my sophomore year in high school when it was mandatory to wear green and gold on certain occassions. However, over the weekend, I asked a bajillion people who they thought was going to win (you can guess which answer I kept hearing), and then proceeded to tell them why they were wrong. It was an exercise in sports-bullshit-talk and it was fun. It was also fun to be right, oh so right.

  • Cade Roux September 19, 2006, 4:32 PM

    It was very emotional clearing Morwen’s house. It amazes me that people can gut their own houses at all. My dad and brother cleared my garage/basement and when I returned in November I helped finish and prepare the yard for the wife and baby, but that was an icecube compared to the iceberg which is a whole house. You have to harden yourself to throw out other people’s stuff – you certainly can’t be expected to be able to handle your own.

    I wonder if there will be enough volunteers to finish the city.

    A friend from work who left to open Zeus’ Place lost her house, but gutting was never involved – they tore it down and should be done rebuilding soon. In some ways, many of these places which are gutted would be better off starting from scratch. And one bulldozer does it all. The permits take a lot more work, though.

  • Dave September 21, 2006, 10:19 AM

    Forget it; she’s rolling…

    I’ll be at Saturday’s UM-Wisconsin matchup, still pumped from Michigan’s beatdown of Notre Dame last weekend (which I also attended). Yippee!

    (I choose to focus on football because thinking of devastated lives and lost historic buildings really, really depresses me. But I think of y’all every day.)

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