Friday, November 25, 2005

Brando discovers a magic potion

Mr. Brando Foster
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
The other day at the Louisiana SPCA, a volunteer from California gave me of an herbal stress relieving potion that she developed for Hurricane animals. I'd been telling her about Brando's separation anxiety, which has been through the roof lately. I've used Bach essences off and on in the past, but lately nothing was working. Brando refuses to get in the crate. Brando cries like a baby when I leave the house. Brando is still crying and can be heard from my car when I return. It is not good.

Yet this stuff really works. He refuses to enter the crate--I mist the air above him and he goes in.

He begins whining at my departure...a little spritz and he's fine!

If anyone else is desperate out there, you may want to give it a try: Black Wing Farms is the name of the company. And they can be reached at

Another day, another blackout...

New Orleans managed to get through Thanksgiving without a blackout, but this morning's paper finally covers the ongoing problems the eastern occupied half of the city has been having. Baty Landis, the owner of the cafe I frequent for internet access, is quoted in the piece talking about how the frustration of being unable to do business several days a week has led her to buy a generator--and consider leaving town.

Yet this morning, at precisely 7 am, we had another blackout. I called Entergy ("the city's power monopoly" per today's paper) and got a recording: "The power outage is due to a storm. Crews are working to resolve the situation. We expect service to be restored by Saturday December 3rd."

HUH? First of all, there has been no storm. There hasn't even been a breeze. Second, how could they be working on it when it had literally just occurred? And why would it take eight days to fix???

The power was back on 90 minutes later, thus preserving everyone's turkey leftovers.

Bellsouth, on the other hand, has given me total BS regarding getting my service back. There isn't a problem with the lines--they just want to replace them. Meanwhile, they have told me I will have service in a) November, b) late February, c) November 25, and d) never.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lingering on the borders of CNN and NPR

I've been opening mail for the past week at the Lousiana SPCA--where everyone should make a contribution for Christmas--and CNN has been there for the past few days, filing a special report that will air at some point on Monday night. There's a chance I'll be seen manning the letter opener amid stacks of envelopes. Or I may possibly be shown reading a letter aloud from five teachers who decided to contribute instead of exchanging gifts this year. They sent $100 each.

While I was opening mail, NPR's Talk of the Nation featured the editors of The Bark, talking about the new issue, which features an amazing section of Katrina stories that Julia Lane put together. My story of leaving with my dogs is just one small part of it. When I finally got a copy of the issue I was overwhelmed by all of the other stories--and how well the section represents all of New Orleans. Unlike most of the other coverage around.

The other thing I love about The Bark issue is the cover--an amazingly gorgeous pit bull named Sally.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The view from Windsor Court

Camp Street
Originally uploaded by kfoz.
I took this picture back in October when I first returned to town. This is a building on Camp Street, across from the W hotel and the Windsor Court. Scenes like this were--and are--fairly common among the otherwise normal "functioning" sections of town.

This little lady needs a home.

Originally uploaded by kfoz.
This girl dog was living on the streets after the hurricane. A few days after I got back she managed to create a small pack to hang out with. Then they all disappeared. About ten days ago she came back to the hood, with a new collar and much friendlier. But in heat.

She's currently being housed with other dogs in large heated tent at the Lousiana SPCA. But they are transfering all adoptable dogs out after the five day waiting period. I'm looking for anyone--a shelter, foster or organization--who might take her in. I've never pulled a stray off the street without making sure she found a home. So I'm nervous about this little one I"ve been watching so long just getting on a bus and heading out of town.

Aside from being friendly, she's also very small. A rottie/corgi or something. If anyone can help...please let me know!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Entergy's definition of "restored"

Entergy, the bankrupt electric company that is currently sitting on their thumbs in New Orleans, claims to have restored power to the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods that run east of the French Quarter, along the river. Yet last night we had another lengthy blackout--the fifth in nineteen days. Although I haven't seen any public explaination or acknowledgement of the problems, it is fairly predictable. The power will go out:
1. Every Tuesday night.
2. Every time it rains.
3. Every time the wind blows.

And yet they claim the service has been "restored." And they refuse to pay for extra crews to help with repairs. And, when I called to ask for an explaination or refund today, I was told "Well it is because of the hurricane." Which would seem to suggest that...they haven't yet restored anything at all, and their claims to have restored service to some areas are actually, completely, false. I was about to introduce this concept with the rep on the phone, but then my cell phone went dead--because I haven't been able to charge it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Abandoning Manhattan

There's a lot of talk today--including on tonight's 60 Minutes--about how the country can't afford to support New Orleans and the city should be abandoned. It is an argument that could be made about a number of US cities: Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami. But most of all it can be made regarding Manhattan. Imagine the money that could be saved and the economic bump other cities would receive if only we shut down Manhattan and forced relocation on all of its citizens and businesses!

Some other points to consider:

1. Manhattan is an island, which makes mandatory evacuation impossible. This is compounded by the fact that many of the citizens mysteriously do not own cars and depend on public transportation.

2. With its dense population, thousands of people will die and even more will become homeless after the next, inevitable terrorist attack.

3. When the original settlers chose the small Manhattan island, they had no plan for the future growth of the city. Via highrises and boroughs, Manhattan has overgrown its natural boundaries.

4. The ongoing cost--in cash as well as various taxbreaks--of protecting Manhattan should not be placed on the burden of taxpayers. This is money that would be better spent elsewhere.

5. The inflated cost of living in Manhattan trickles down to consumers across the nation. Imagine how much more affordable clothes would be if the fashion industry were relocated to Iowa!!

Of course, these points are idiotic. Yet they are pretty much the points being made by some Boston professor desperate for some attention. Imagine saying the same things about...Africa. Yet the main difference between New Orleans and other cities is this: it is Southern, it is mostly African American, and itis demographically poor. So lets dismantle Manhattan first. There must be a fair way to divide up its resources and spread them across the country--and in the end we'll all be stronger because of it.