My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
A Journal (more or less)

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If it's Tuesday, I've been in New Orleans. And I saw signs of life returning in the parts of east New Orleans visible from the interstate--FEMA trailers at some of the houses. Those show that some people have been able to return to work on their houses.

And if you want to see more about the area, watch this video about St. Bernard Parish. It's primarily working-class folks--or at least it used to be. I got hit not oly by Katrina, but by flooding from MR GO and then, to top it off, there was a massive oil spill from a refinery there. (Thanks to John for the link.)

There seem to be a lot more FEMA trailers around than last week, based on my drive past the former camps along the marshes by Lake Pontchartrain. But the apartment complexes on the other side of the road don't look too good. Luckily (I guess) the lower levels were not living areas, but were for garaging cars and storage. Most of those areas have been gutted down to the studs. I don't know what the condition of the living levels might be--some of them have entire walls blown off. And it's almost six months since Katrina hit.

The presence of the trailers by the shattered and/or gutted houses suggests that the residents have not given up, which is good.

On the lighter side, we're in the two weeks before Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday, aka Shrove Tuesday). Slidell had its first parade on Sunday. This morning one of the early TV programs had the host and hostess of that show getting their "royal regalia" for their upcoming reign as King and Queen (she got a genuine plastic crown) of the Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moonpie. This is a Slidell group that has a walking parade complete with flambeaux. They throw the usual cheap trinkets--and moonpies. It's a group that is very heavily into satire. It should be interesting to hear what some of the costumes are. I'm sure that a lot of blue plastic will be used.

I used to catch the parades (that word catch has two meanings here--to catch the throws and to watch the parade) but not any longer--the standing is too hard for me. Besides, they're not much fun alone. I do, however, plan to watch the three or four hour TV coverage on Mardi Gras itself.

We need the frivolity of Mardi Gras--and we need the tourists. We also need the tourists for the Jazz and Heritage Festival at the end of April. I've been to that a couple of times, and you cannot believe all the music that can be heard. They haven't announced the headliners yet, but the sponsoring group is going for big names.

Meanwhile, the state legislature is arguing about levee boards and the US vice-president shot somebody.

What else is new?

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