Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Two twelve packs of Abita, a case of red beans, and truck full of memories

"Luke, why didn't you just say 20 or 25 eggs?" Dragline
"Uh, I don't know. 50 sounded like a good round number."Lucas Jackson

Sometimes I don't know which end is up or down. I'm spinning around like a top. Can someone please slow my world down. The last month has been hectic to say the least. I can't elaborate on this more because if I did the rights to my book may get seized.

Put it this way. I have driven through Texas twice and flew over the biggest waste of a state all in a span of two weeks. Trying to move on with my life, but still don't know what to do. As I was home for a short 7 days I would stare off into the breezy night air and ask family members that same question. Whatcha gonna do? Dunno know. This would be accompanied by a tug of a cold brew.

If there was one world to describe what this hurricane has done to my life it would be: devastated. Life seems to moving on in other parts of the world, and there is little people fell sorry for anymore. That's the sad reality. As I try to move into my new home in San Diego, I look around. Nothing's the same. And yet we all remain the same inside. Post more later. For those of you in New Orleans reading this, I miss ya'll.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya' Hear?

I'm packed to hilt and strapped like Gary Busey. That's right I'm heading back to New Orleans to reclaim what's left of ours. Just when all is safe the great mayor of New Orleans opens the city back up to everyone that has left. The people that want to come back will. Don't need to tell them when because if memory serves me correct you can tell people from New Orleans that can't come home still they will find a way.

It's like watching Rocky try to catch the chicken for the first time falling flat on his face and cursing the chicken. "You've gotta crap lighting and shit thunder!" Burgess Meredith exclaimed. You can't try to keep people from going back home, it's what they know and feel most at ease with themselves. I heard someone talking about how New Orleans and Jefferson Parish should combine so that they could have one big smart government making decisions for New Orleans and surrounding metropolitan area. Not going to happen. It would be even more corrupt. What people don't understand is the history or legacy of Louisiana politics that forseeds itself. It's been embedded into the psyche of every local or state official. If you aren't doing something to benefit yourself your just not doing your job right. It's a sad state of affairs for those looking from the outside in, but it's all we know. I can't imagine what life will be like in this city 1, 5, or 10 years from now. I can pray that it gets better, but the heat and humidity make people do crazy things. I, for one am doing something crazy. I am gathering all my stuff and leaving the one place I've called home for so long. It's better that I remember it the way that I want, and not the way someone else will try to change it.

So, here's to meeting up with my mom and dad this week. Swapping storm stories and reliving what was once our home. I can't wait to have a 3 beer Thursday with my brother and pops. As my pops exhuberantly proclaimed from a barstool one hot ass summer day, "Here's too cold beer on hot days." Thank you St. Joseph!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Going back to Cali

Yeah, I know I was the one who once said California was the devil incarnate, but who knows this time the devil may not bother us in San Diego. My wife and I have decided to move on down to San Diego. No more Naturally Nawlins. I guess home just quite won't be the same anymore. Since the government and all these Michael Douglas Wall Street wannabe's want to buy up all the property to resell to us poor bastards at a ridiculous price will ruin what was so great about the city. It's diversity of cultures and homes. You had million dollar homes sitting right next to shanty dilapated homes. It made New Orleans unique.

I was thinking about how my life was last filled with a sense of normalcy. It was a Friday night almost three weeks ago that my brothers and a couple of friends gathered at my house for another monthly poker night. What a poker night? I don't know if I will be able to play poker with my brothers again since we are all spread out. My youngest brother may be the closest too me as he will reside in L.A. for the next several months. My middle brother is moving to the east coast. I will miss him dearly. It seems like every time I get close enough to hug my brothers we are split due to some unforseen circumstance. That poker night we all had little cares or worries about work, home, or clothes. Wow, how 48 hours can change everything. I guess I will never be able to take money from my bros in poker, and that night was the closest I've ever been to winning. Had all the chips. Had the cards coming to me. Things didn't fall into place, but I will never forget swigging beer, making fun of each other, and talking about nothing. That feeling of having them around was so worth every dollar I lost. I would cash in all my chips to have that chance to play poker once a month again with them. Just too have that little sense of what life used to be like. To feel comfortable. To not worry about were I am going to call home. To say, "The man's got aces get your tail out!"

Friday, September 09, 2005

Rescue Me

"It's feels like someone just dropped a Napalm on our ass." - Robin Williams (Good Morning Vietnam)

Hot diggy damn!!! Phoenix is a the best place for a devil's convention. I think of all the hot places I've been to in my life, and nothing quantifiably comes close to Phoenix. The other night I took my dog, Hero, for a walk. It was 10 o'clock and it was 93 degrees outside with a warm breeze hitting me in my face as the cactus' fanned themselves. I was thinking about all the displaced placed people from New Orleans arriving in Phoenix looking for work. There was a story of one guy, who used to work in construction down in New Orleans, and got a job working construction out here in Phoenix. Somebody out to tell that guy that they work 5 days a week here. On Fridays, you can't knock off at lunch time to loiter around the local Brothers Food Mart drinking tallies and swapping stories about your glory days in high school. Needless to say, it's great to hear people getting back up on their feet.

My younger brothers seemed to be adjusting to So. Cal experience. It all seems relative sometimes because you kind of wish this was a vacation. There are times I wish I could go back home. Just to feel the comfort of my homely confines. Still, life is getting better. Working on a plan to start over. I was thinking that Bolivia sounded nice. I hear they have a lot of nice banks in Bolivia. There are so many options. Long Beach, San Diego, Austin, Richmond, and were ever else the car and others will put us up for a while.

Despite all the well wishes people have been sending me I am looking forward to a new beginning. New beginnings are scary, but it's all for the betterment of our lives. As a friend once told me don't stand still to long or the water gonna rise up and drown ya'. Stay dry and keep on moving.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

You can take me away from New Orleans, but can't take New Orleans out of me!

Well, it's officially started. The ridiculous effort it will take to restore and bring New Orleans back to it's original funkified state. I was reading today that Sean Penn was volunteering to go house to house in order to help with evacuations in the city. Great, Spicolli is looking for tastie buds and humongous waves as he searches door to door. Needless to say, he does this all while a personal photographer takes pictures of him assisting others. A reporter hangs in the wayside taking notes of Sean Penn's tedious work efforts as he tries to convince Bubba the Magic Carpet Rider from Arabi that the Saints are not leaving New Orleans.

I on the other hand, have to commend all those giving of themselves without recognition for their hard work and determination to save lives. I know it's hard enough to try and find the people still trapped in their homes, and then they have to convince the people they have to get out. We are now in Phoenix which has picked up over 1,000 residents in exile. I feel like one of the thousands of Jews who were lead out of exile by Charlton Heston, a.k.a Moses, in the Ten Commandments. It's weird not being home, not thinking about what I have to do for work tomorrow, and most importantly living out our normal lives. Instead, we are forced to call credit card companies to beg for forebearance and hear the constant, "I'm so sorry for you and your family. Is there anything else we can do?" Yeah, erase all my previous debt so I can start my life over on a clean slate.

I know await word that Keanu Reeves is flying in on helicopter rescue missions, screaming to the people below, "I am an FBI agent." What I really look forward to are the Red Beans and Rice Mondays, the eternal happiness when Fridays roll around, and Sunday afternoons cursing as the Saints give up a 14 point lead as my brothers and I watch in despair. Here's too all those helping out. And here's too all those starting over. Somewhere God is watching down on us and smiling as we make the best out of a tragic horrendous situation.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

How one girl has ruined my life...Katrina, you dog.

If anyone was keeping tabs on me the past few weeks, they would have found a traveling vagabond in desperate search for a home.

Last Sunday my wife and I escaped the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina for a hotel in Memphis with our dog, Hero. We arrived in Memphis with the intention of only being there for 2-3 days. Well, needless to say if you have been living under a rock the past week you have seen what has happened to our home town. It's crazy to think of the place I grew up my entire life as being under water. After the storm hit, we decided to up our stay at the hotel for several more days while we figured out our where to go next. Still, my mom was stuck in the city working as a nurse at a local hospital. My brothers and my pops were hold up in a house with 13 others outside the city on high ground. I on the other hand, had to fight for our right to stay at our hotel. The hotel wanted to kick out the hurricane evacuees in order to maintain reservations for the show "American Idol." After many phone calls to t.v. stations, radio stations, and newspapers, American Idol got cancelled. I felt better, but still dumbfounded as I realized that this crummy hotel was my new home.

I finally got in touch with my brothers and they decided to meet us on our way to Phoenix. My mom is still stuck at the hospital, where I pray everyday that relief comes for her to leave. I know what she does is for the greater good of those in critical need, but I can't help feel selfish. Right now, we are debating were to set up shop for now. I pray everyone is safe, and I thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers. I will update later when I have a clue of what we're going to do.