Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Marsh Fire Gets Worse

Standing on Girod Street in the CBD, in front of the library, we can't see the office buildings on Poydras Street. I've never seen anythng like this. The NOFD needs to get off its ass and put out this fire.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Yes, OK, I know what day it is. I'm just trying not to think about it. The last week has been very hard, not sleeping, black moods. I was disgusted by the faux cable news hysteria about Hurricane Irene. They were positively slavering at the thought of another Katrina, and when it didn't materialize, they pretended like it had anyway. Revolting.

I go on vacation in two days. Right now doesn't feel like I can hold on that long.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Things We Lost in the Flood

It has been almost six years now since Katrina, but I still keep remembering things I once owned and loved, that I lost to Katrina. My house was totally flooded and destroyed. It is a bit of a shock to realize, over and over again, Oh yes, I once lost everything I ever owned. Or to think, Hey, where's that thing I ... oh yeah. Katrina. Sometimes I forget for a while, and then I remmber again. That is unpleasant.

Still, I count myself lucky -- damned lucky -- that all I lost were things. Well, and my job. But I got that back.

But so I don't keep forgetting things and then remembering things I lost again, like a senile old person, I'm going to start keeping a list here of the Things We Lost to the Flood. So I can check it and then maybe I won't keep remember/forgetting.

  • All the letters my friend Rebecca sent me while we were in college. We had a rather unusual epistolatory friendship. Those might once have been important historical documents. Completely destroyed.

  • A small flat stone my Dad gave me from the bank of the River Thames last time we visited London. It was juts a stone, but my Dad gave it to me, and I kept it from the time I was twelve until I was forty. Washed away.

  • The Dear Jane letter my college semi-boyfriend wrote me when I was in the process of crashing and burning out of New College. Twenty pages, front and pack, of narcissistic self-justification. Still, I can't blame him, it was a wildly dysfunctional relationship. I still think of him fondly. That's why I kept it. No paper survived of course.

  • The gray flannel cape my Mom had custom-made for me for my twenty-first birthday. Trying to salvage any of the clothes that had sat in that water was unthinkable.

  • A wedding ring quilt that my grandmother had made. She is long dead so there won't be anymore quilts.

These are the kinds of things whose loss really hurts, not the random books and DVDs and furniture. Things which were one of a kind, which were particular to me and my life. Irrepalacble things. I have plenty of things now, but I don't have many irreplacable things, things which take a lifetime to accumulate, and twenty-four hours to be completely obliterated. There are many others. I'll add to the list as I remember them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Some People Love Libraries

A couple great things about how wonderful public libraries are, have popped up on the Net recently. This is is a nice change, as what usually pops up is some ignorant rant about how libraries are obsolete and they should all be closed.

First is an article by Laura Miller, the Books column wroter on Salon, called Why Libarries Still Matter . (You have to click through an ad.) It's about all the things libraries do for a community besides house physical books.

The second is a graphic piece by Wendy McNaughton from the San Francisco website TheRumpus.net called Meanwhile, the San Francisco Public Library. I am moved by how this one takes a strong stand for how the public library is a refuge for everyone -- everyone. Reminds me very much of my own library.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm a GoodRead!

Hey look, I'n on GoodReads:


For one of the three short stories I ever published, in the fantasy anthology Sword & Sorceress X, edited by the late great Marion Zimmer Bradley.

That's cool. See, you actaully learn things by Googling yourself! **smirk**

Why did the chicken cross the streetcar tracks?

I think this story from the Times-Picayune is rather charming, but I wouldn't want one of those darn roosters squawking in a tree by my bedroom at 5 in the morning, no way.

I wonder if feral chickens are good to eat?

But I suspect the Uptown Coyote will take care of this chicken situation before too long.

New Orleans is a rougher-edged place since Katrina, for sure.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Well, I look at my blog and see I have not updated it in almost a year. I daresay most people who had me on their blogroll have since removed me. In fact I'm a little surprised Blogger hasn't deleted it. But here I am, back agin.

As I look over my later entries, I'm not sure why I stopped blogging, beyond my usual dilettantish trick of haring off after some new and different project. But it may have something to do with the fact that I was back in town, and no longer needed to connect with my friends and family in New Orleans. Nor did I need to record my graduate school experience anymore as I had, in fact, graduated. (Work, actual work, was not nearly so exciting or challenging as grad school.) Nor did I feel such a pressing need to make sense of the aftermath of Katrina. Once I was back at work at my old employer, and had purchased a house to replace the one I had lost, I could fairly say I was "recovered," and the recovery as a whole was not so pressing an issue for me. Which is not very nice, considering all the people who cannot yet say that, but there it is.

I also, I'm sad to say, drifted away from the nolablogosphere as a whole. I rarely even read Jeffrey's blog anymore. I have yet to attend Rising Tide. I don't read The Lens NOLA or Humid City or even The Blog of New Orleans. I moved on to other things.

But now I want to get back to it. Blogging. Since I started in about 2000, blogging has always been a relatively painless and enjoyable way for me to practice my writing skills and express myself. It is part of my more general thrust to start writing creatively again, after a long period of quiescence which started before Hurricane Katrina, and which was hardly helped by that catastrophe, after which for a long time the vast majority of mine and my family's energies were taken by just trying to recover, with all that this entails. But that is done now, and I feel the need, to write again. So I enrolled in an online class on "How to Blog" and I am dipping my toe in the water of blogging and writing again. I'm hoping that some success in this form, which I have used successfully before, will strengthen me for the daunting task of facing fiction writing again.

When I quit writing before, I was very burnt out and angry. So why would I want to subject myself to that torment again? Well, I have my reasons -- but that requires a whole 'nother post.

Is this Kirsten 3.0, then? No, that would occasion a whole entire reordering of my life like Katrina -- perish the thought! I wouldn't even say this is Kirsten 2.2. Let's just call it K2.0, the reboot. That in itself is going to be challenging enough.