And, if you're still thirsty for more from these blogging individuals, go to Cliff's Crib and read about this full-blooded New Orleanian. Check G's corner of the blogosphere (yep, she of the "knowing laugh" - there's a darned good reason for that) and her starter links post New to the G Bitch Spot? Start Here. Head to E.J.'s and encourage the man to write more, if possible...his info is pretty darn important.
And how did I spend yesterday? Got in my car to take the little guy to school and got nothing when I turned the key. A kind contractor jump-started my car, and I got my son off to school just in time. Went to the local Sears to get the battery replaced and, in the waiting room, Regis and Kelly was interrupted by the illustrious oaf speaking from Martin Luther King, Jr., Charter School in the Ninth Ward. Those poor kids...
The woman sitting by me, who was waiting for her flat tire to be fixed, went on about how, when she was living in Atlanta (and not 'cause of the evacuation - she retired only recently and came back to New Orleans), Home Depot sponsored a Dubya fundraiser and lost her business. Dooky Chase's lost it, too, when they hosted the oaf at a dinner of dignitaries Tuesday evening. None of us were listening to the talking head masquerading as the leader of the free world, so I got up and changed the channel.
It's a sad state of affairs when I, and others around me, prefer watching John Legend doing his musical guest thing on Tyra Banks' show to the words of the president of the United States. Not that Legend isn't good, just...well...
I'm still gonna go to Dooky Chase's, however. I've been waiting a long time for it to reopen, and one cannot hold Leah Chase responsible for the past seven years. The woman is keeping a New Orleans institution alive. Baptize some gumbo for us, chef. Dan and I will be piling in when you reopen to the general public.
Oh, and for a perspective on how many New Orleanians were regarded (and, in some ways, are still regarded, which is total bull), head over to Ian's. A sampling:
For a few days in September 2005, I volunteered at the Cajundome, working long shifts and doing anything anyone asked me to do. I kept a detailed diary here, which is definitely worth another read. The unfortunate effect of this work was the most severe illness I've ever had in my life, which (combined with other personal issues) kept me from volunteering as much I wanted to. But I've never stopped thinking about those I met, who I otherwise would never have spoken to, even as a frequent New Orleans traveler. These exhausted, grateful people were not the plasma TV-stealing, helicopter-shooting thugs that are too often associated with Katrina evacuees these days.
That perception, combined with the government's ineptitude and the media's willingness to look away once ratings went down, often gives the impression that everything has returned to normal in the Big Easy. In the words of some people I met in Utah, "We don't hear about it at all anymore." I've heard similar thoughts in Missouri. In better times, everyone would still be thinking about Katrina and its effect on the nation ever since.