Sunday, February 12, 2006

c'est levee (or life in the land of limbo)

well, we made it back to the high sierras ok. the trip to the big easy was fun, productive, frustrating and at times pretty scary ...

the flight out was one of the more hair-raising rides in a plane i have ever had (that 'jetway jim' experience was the most unnerving tho). taking off from reno-tahoe airport in a 60 mph windstorm is not something i ever want to do again anytime in the future. i had sworn not to fly again after the last jaunt to new orleans and grugingly agreed to make one more trip by air. after having flown away practically my life and the whole decade of the 90's i have grown an aversion to airplanes and airports, especially since the 9/11. it's just not very fun, the paranoia, the scrutiny, the cold indifference of everyone you have to deal with all add up to one miserable way to get around. fast and convienient maybe, but not the joy-filled adventure it was when i was a kid, or even 10 years ago. when we go back in the next few months it'll by wheels not wings. i'd rather my chances on the wide open hi-ways than in a plane. i like to be in some sort of control over the vehicle in which i traverse. no more flying, yeah!

so, anyways, we made it to a still battered, but very vibrant metry. it seems to be getting up and about, if just a little slowly. but not as slow as new orleans proper. parts of the city look just as they have right after katrina. it is heartbreaking to see. what the fuck happened to 'whatever it takes, as long as it takes'? guess we are not in the sights of the bush plan to build nations. it's only a few months before the next hurricane season. and nobody really cares, unless you're there. but then if you had a house in the worst parts, you ain't there at all. there are miles upon miles of debris and destruction. no rebuilding, no thought of it. it really feels like the city of the dead. the city that care forgot. what a cryin' fuckin' shame. it is heartbreaking to see.

during the time we were home there were three tonadoes that ripped thru the city, (just tossing debris and already broken houses around), and two major fires, one consuming the old coliseum theatre (which had been converted into a film and music studio and was being restored from the storm). yep, and the hits just keep on coming ...

despite all the bullshit that has gone down in town during the past few months some semblance of normalcy is finally returning to the city (if public intoxication, brief nudity and controlled chaos is your idea of normal). last night the first parade of of the 2006 mardi gras season rolled thru the french quarter. the krewe du vieux is not one of the super parades with huge floats and marching bands, but they are the most satirical and irreverent. mocking all things political and topical the krewe has always been a bit of a throwback to the original idea of mardi gras, with floats this year bearing titles like 'a fridge over troubled waters' and 'buy us back chirac'. some would think it not right to even have a mardi gras this year, what with the death and destruction of the last few months, but this is a city that doesn't take itself seriously and celebrates funerals by having a jazz parade and partying well into the night for the dearly departed. much better to have a sense of humor for such matters than sitting around feeling sorry about it. i only wish we were there already. soon enuff yes, but not soon enuff!

new orleans is 'limbo land'
'heck of a job' brownie sings like a canary
new orleans:the natural history (45 min film by walter williams)
mr. bill saves the wetlands (a short film)

... oh yeah, feb 1st was the w'rooms 1st birthday. my how time flies. we sure made a lot of friends over the course, and from all over the world. we thank everybody for support, tea and sympathy during the past year and we hope to keep on doing that thing we do, whatever it is, whatever it takes, for as long as it takes ... doo dah doo dah!

a few birthday tunes to whistle along with as we celebrate, available for a little while via yousendit:

stevie wonder - happy birthday
bugs bunny and pals - birthday
andrew bird - the birthday song
snot - happy birthday fuckhead
cracker - happy birthday to me
they might be giants - it's not my birthday
the sugarcubes - birthday
taproot - birthday
bright eyes - happy birthday to me
the beatles - birthday (alt mix)


Laurie said...

Happy blog anniversary!

Joel said...

You mentioned fires during your visit. I live on the same block as one of them (not the Coliseum, the one in Faubourg Marigny). I have a page of snapshots at

sleepybomb said...

thanks ms. l, sure feels a lot longer than a year, what with all the stuff that has happened in the meantime.

those are great pics of the fire joel, glad nobody was harmed (it looked pretty nasty). what else is gonna get thrown at the easy? hope ya'll have a great mardi gras and party once for us, we'll make it up somehow down the road!

dickvandyke said...

Well done old boy. Keeping your pecker firmly up in the face of such adversity deserves recognition and admiration. As for the music; I somehow suspect (and hope) that you'll continue to take comfort in posting great stuff for some time yet ...
Love the chocolate cake monkey thing by the way. (Taken in the Whitehouse?)
Respect from this little corner of the cosmos.

Johnno said...

Happy anniversary Sleepy. I must admit, this is one of my favourite places around.

Great report from New Orleans too, and yeah, if they are having problems rebuilding New Orleans, imagine what those poor Iraquis have to go through.