Thursday, September 14, 2006

Black team loses

I hate that I got pulled into watching the last half of that Survivor premiere tonight. The African American team lost and despite myself I was ticked off. Why did they have to lose right off the bat? I don't even know what happened in the first half of the I can't comment. They also sub-divided based on gender...but that's another story. Anyhow...I'm just not sure what the point of revisiting this emotional territory is. I grew up watching my parents and grandparents wince whenver a black person made a bad showing on television and here I find myself in the same psychic territory. Damn that John Burnett!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Deep cleansing breath...

1) I love JetBlue! I got Gram and Sam to New Orleans and was able to meet my parents in enough time to check back in and hop the same plane back. So I didn't have to sit in the airport all day. That meant I didn't have enough time to buy stuff. But really, I have no business frying beignets in here. And (shh!) I know how to order the mix online...which if I keep typing about beignets, I'll be tempted to do.

2) After a cranky start, everything went pretty well. Gram got cross with me last night and this morning. I kept Sam in the dark until it was nearly time to go. Then I swooped down, harnessed him and shoved him in the sherpa carrier. Somehow the little houdini managed to get out. I was terrified I would have to take the huge hardside carrier. After I loaded Gram's walker, luggage and wheelchair, it was apparent that wasn't going to work. So I took the sherpa bag and prayed he wouldn't try the escape act again. He didn't. And as far as Sam's travel record is concerned, things went really well. He cried in the car and a little while at take-off, but eventually he piped down and was mostly quiet.

3) Gram has been wholly unrealistic about what she's going to find in New Orleans. This is her first time back. All year my mother and I have been torn wbout what to tell her and when. And I felt like the Grinch everytime I reminded her that, no, she wouldn't be retrieving her belongings or moving back in her home or cleaning things up when she returns. My grandmother's house was in walking distance from the much-media-covered levee breach in the Ninth Ward. And even though it was the only one left standing on her block, it is condemned and will have to be completely demolished. My father was able to recover precious little when he was finally allowed access. My mother tells me she was quite distressed on the drive through. But in a way, and this is probably difficult for those of you who haven't been through this to understand, it is probably the only way she will be able to accept what has happened and maybe move forward. Neither my mother nor me can keep her in a bubble away from all that has happened. We all have to move forward. It is awful to watch her have to go through this, but maybe that will be the way she comes to accept our help and comfort.

So now, for the first time in a loooong time, I am alone (well, Nairobi is here!) in my own apartment. My family is back in New Orleans and on their way back home. I am in no eminent danger of having to go to Virginia or otherwise check on them. Now, I can focus on getting my life in order. Over the next couple of days, I intend to get a little sleep, give myself a little low-level pampering, and start settling into my new home with gusto. I've already stepped up my job search and my home organization is nearly done.

Deep cleansing breaths and prayers....Here we go!

Go JetBlue!

Today I am taking Gram and Sam back to New Orleans. I am hoping the DirecTv, blue chips, and cookies take the edge off everything. I'll be back tonight. Say a prayer for us all!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Not forgotten...

Today is the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Shanksville, PA tragedies. Living in New York, it would be impossible to forget, but I wouldn't even if I didn't. I remember the day so very vividly. It was a Tuesday morning and I had left New York just the day before excited because I had decided to follow my heart...leave my job and move to the city. That Tuesday morning I got up and dressed. I remember hearing about the first plane on the Today show. I sometimes leave the television on when I go out. So as I locked the door, it seemed it wasn't clear what was going on...neither Katie Couric or Matt Lauer seemed to know what was going on. One of them speculated it must have been a helicopter or some other small aircraft.

When I got to campus, I tuned my little portable television as best I could. My office was in the center of a cinderblock building and I had the snowiest picture ever. But there was no mistaking what I saw...A full-size aircraft flying right into the World Trade Center. Shock cannot adequately describe what I felt. Was this the start of some full-fledged attack on the country? What was going on? Immediately I thought of my friend Janella and then others who lived and worked in New York. Were they near the WTC? On the subway? The street? I got up and walked across the hall to my colleague's office. It was weird that he was there because, well, he was never there. But that morning he was. And I felt strange saying the words "An airplane just flew into the World Trade Center..." because it felt as if I could be saying anything ridiculous like "hell is freezing over." Like everybody else in this country, I was always taught how improbable it was that the United States would ever suffer hostile attack. Surrounded by 'friendly nations,' exercising military and economic superiority around the globe. Pearl Harbor notwithstanding, the American mainland was supposed to be impervious. I felt exposed and naive and scared.

By that time, I had brought my television to my colleague's office. He had a window and I hoped for better reception. We watched silently. And then they collapsed one after another...He, much older than I, went pale and looked absolutely stricken. My sentient years are post-Vietnam. Besides the techinicolor of the Gulf War, military conflicts were mostly threats in my lifetime that never actually materialized. But his face belied an experience I did not want...I noticed the time. My students...I went down to my classroom. Students were filing in, most wholly unaware of what was happening. But, chillingly, a few walked in with a look I did not recognize. As they took their seats, I told them what I had seen. I couldn't teach class. I told them they were welcome to stay but that I was too worried about my friends in New York to present that morning. One of my students raised her hand, she understood she said...she was in the reserves and figured she should probably check in. I didn't understand at first, but sure enough, as the semester continued many of my students in that class and others began to tell me that they were worried about their military status, about their jobs, about their children...

My thoughts of moving to New York vanished. I was so shaken. The New York I had been in the day before was no more...By the time I drove back to my apartment, it felt like hell had broken loose. Planes were grounded and the lines were impossible. I could not get through to New York at all. Finally, I reached Janella...she was safe at her school. She was worried about me. We started thinking of other people to call. She named people that worked in the WTC or near it. I spent the rest of the morning trying to call them. I saw the news about the Pentagon and then the crash in PA. What was going on? What was going on?

My heart is heavy with condolences for everyone who lost a loved one five years ago. To me, this day will always remind me how tenuous life is, how quickly everything we know can be ripped away. But it also challenges me to be faithful, to be hopeful, and to be steadfast. For all those same reasons we must move forward each day determined to make our own destiny, our own happiness, our own meaning. Whether we are lost or whether we survive...for certain life endures. If we are still here, we still have an opportunity to make a difference for someone else and for ourselves.

Baker sighting!

I finally met Brunsli's cousin Baker! It had to happen eventually. Since Gram has been here I have had a legitimate excuse for going into the bakery every morning. Gram loves coffee and I don't have a coffee pot. It's not that I don't like a good cup of coffee, I do. It's just I drink it so infrequently, it just didn't seem like a good use of space to get a percolator. I'm more of a tea girl. In fact, back in Memphis, I had started collecting tea sets. The ones that are pot on top and a big mug on bottom. Great for lounging in bed with a second cup....Anyway, I digress.
I try to strategize, but more often than not, I have to get up and move the car for alternate side parking. So while I'm out, I justify a trip to the bakery. These days for Gram's coffee and once I get there I figure I should get her a pastry too, and it's a short slide to getting one for myself.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Temporary trouble...

Killing two birds with one stone might have been a good title too. Other hair blogs sometimes give product reviews. I'm not going to do exactly that. But I do want to close the loop. A few weeks ago I mentioned being tired of being a redhead. Well, I wasn't all talk. I would very much like to try being a classic brunette. I moseyed on up to my neighborhood beauty supply and bought a couple of bottles of temporary hair color. Going both feet in seemed like bad idea for a few reasons. One, since my hair is already colored, I was worried about getting the final result I desired. Two, since my hair is already colored, I was concerned about the harshness of effecting a chemical change with permanent color. The temporary color seemed an ideal way to test a new hue with less damaging chemicals.
The problem has been that despite the fact I rinsed my hair forever, it has continued to stain my clothing and presumably my skin weeks later. I am also still a redhead, but that's neither here nor there. The only hitch I can think of is that I did not sit under the dryer after the application. Perhaps the heat sets the color in the hair and prevents staining. Nonetheless I have a towel and several blouses and tees that are worse for the wear after my experimentation. My pillowcases have been molested with color as well. The whole mess is supposed to come out in four to six washings, but I am tempted to get some color remover and be done with this.
I won't say the brand, but I used what I thought was a dark brown. After I got finished rinsing my hair --which never came 'clear'- what was left of the color still clearly showed red. My hair is slightly darker, but it has beenn hardly worth the trouble.
So I am going to put my garments on hand wash and hope for the best...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Don't miss the water until the well runs dry...

I'm going to New Orleans for a day next week. So I immediately started thinking of what I could eat and bring back. Crawfish?! I wondered...
Then I found this...the gist is that it could take years for the crawfish industry to recover. I am one of those epicures who do not eat Asian crawfish. Not that I'm a xenophobe, they just don't taste good. Now I'm scared to check for softshell crabs and oysters too. Oh boo hoo...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I don't even know if anyone evens reads my blog anymore, but I ccertainly haven't abandoned it. Today I figured I would just go ahead and post, maybe explain my lapses. If anyone is out there, I'd love some feedback.
I've been living in NYC about a month and a half. The new place is coming together. I wasn't up to having my Housewarming/Katrina Anniversary party. Too much more needs to happen before I feel comfortable having a party here. But I did have some friends over for dinner which was great fun.
Who knows what I thought was going to happen, but I am still looking for a traditional, full time job. Once I got here, I thought things would just fall into place. I'm still optimistic, but my attention has been divided. My mother decided she did not want Katrina's anniversary to find her in Virginia. Daddy came up last weekend and they packed up and set off for New Orleans. The only trouble is the house isn't finished. So there s nowhere for them and Gram to live. Gram is here in NYC with me. I can't figure out how I would look for a job and keep her so I've put my job search on hold again. I'm also waiting for my mother to find them a place so I can get Gram and Sam on a plane down there.
Today the whole thing was dragging me down a bit...I'd be thrilled to have Gram visit under any other circumstance, but I'm growing keenly more aware that I need to get focused and plugged in here and I haven't been doing that. Since I arrived I've been going back and forth to Virginia, and just generally fuzzy in my movements.
So I haven't much been in the frame to blog. I don't even know what to say. Who knew this would all still be dragging on?