Tuesday, September 6

Now we're cooking with gas

No, actually, now I'm cooking with electricity at long last. Got power on about 5 hours ago and I have been overdosing on the news.

This post is going to be just a series of anecdotes of my experience of Katrina, no terrible stories, if you don't mind. I'm sure you're exhausted from the endless horribleness at this point, anyway.

While in the hall, I played a game called "What was that noise?," though Scott called it "How much did that noise cost us?" There were various clunks, bangs and splooshes. There were a few scary moments when the house shook on its little brick posts and I made Scott go and get a mattress in case we started losing the roof. Scott and Kelty Kitten managed to get some sleep, but I was vibrating from anxiety. It was a relief to finally emerge to a home that was still mostly complete.

So, the very first thing I did after the storm passed was to fall down my back steps. AGAIN. More of a squeal than an oof this time, I'm told. I tossed those particular shoes. As soon as I took them off, I got glass in my foot from a light fixture that broke from being hit by ceiling tiles. Scott did minor surgery, so that's ok.

My wonderful new Razr phone's battery gave up the ghost about a day and a half into the aftermath, while Scott's old-school phone lasted 5 days. Not that we could really call anyone consistently, anyway. I got very pissed off at my service provider, Cingular, and I am writing them a nasty letter tomorrow--on Thursday, they sent out a mass text message. Not saying "We hope you are ok and we are working to restore everyone's service as soon as possible." No, the message that everyone got, when batteries were dying, when getting through with emergency messages was of great importance, was a come-on for getting international calling on your service plan. Fuck you, too, Cingular.

Yesterday, Jennifer C. and I were trying to get gas, etc., and we got rear-ended by a lady. Wouldn't you know it, the first FEMA person anyone I know has seen in Hattiesburg slammed into us. She didn't want us to call the cops, but I did anyway. (They got there in an impressive 90 seconds.) Here are some of the priceless statements out of her mouth. "We FEMA people have lots of accidents!" and when asked to state in her words what happened, "I simply don't know. Can I just say that?" She also said that there will be "Hundreds of thousands" of dead. And that there was no way she was going to the Coast or New Orleans out of fear of getting sick. Crazy FEMA bitch.

Last night, Scott scared some would-be looters away from a motorcycle shop a near the house by menacing them, not with one of the many guns we have in the house right now, but with his cell phone. So, I guess Cingular is good for something.

Jennifer C. and I are planning on going to the Coast tomorrow to help at shelters providing mental health services. I have a Masters in Counseling, and though I have been out of the field for several years, I hope I can help in some way.

Here are a few kudos--Kicker 108, a country station off the Coast, stayed up almost the whole time and gave very important information, even while one of their on-air folks had lost everything but the clothes on his back. (The link above is dead right now, but I expect that it will be back up shortly.) The Hattiesburg American put out an issue every day during this past week, even Tuesday. Much thanks to Jennifer K. and Deadpan Ann for guest blogging, and thank you, thank you, thank you to Jennifer K. for the new T-shirts and and underwear. The Hattiesburg community has been great with just a few exceptions. We have gotten our town back up and running with little immediate outside help. I also got in touch with a lot of old friends, with emails from California to Sweden.

I will soon have pictures to post and hopefully a few videos.

There are lots of places out there to read Katrina news, but here are a few interesting posts from the Boing Boing archives. Finally, please be generous and careful of scams when giving to victims of Katrina. Lots of people out there need our help.

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