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Dad & Mom
Happy Birthday Olivia!!
I saw it on the Today Show this morning on NBC. They played the whole thing (about a minute and a half). View it yourself here. And just for old times sake (and to see the slimy Kyra Phillips in action), view the clip from a week or so after Katrina, where Phillips lectures -- and insults -- the excellent Nancy Pelosi, until Pelosi slaps her down while maintaining her poise. It's about 12 minutes long, but worth it. Click here. --Gary
Hey, did you hear about Kyra Phillips, the
Bush cheerleader CNN anchor who had a live-mike incident yesterday? She was wearing a wireless microphone while on the air and, when they went to Bush giving a speech live, she went to the bathroom. And neglected to shut off her mike. And proceeded to talk to someone in the next stall. So all through Bush's speech, you heard her blabbing over it, especially at one point when she was gossiping about her sister-in-law -- calling her "a major control-freak." Kyra's going to have some 'splainin to do at Thanksgiving! :-) Anyway, it couldn't have happened to a nicer right-wing lunatic person.
Hey Donna, be sure to wear an orange vest today, and keep your head down! Dick Cheney is in Omaha....
Also: New pictures!
Amanda sent in some first-day-of-school pictures, too, which will be up sometime on Tuesday. Check back! --Gary
1. Criminal Justice
3. Sports Entertainment Marketing
4. Teacher Assistant (Haven't found a teacher yet, but probly my criminal justice teacher)
5. U.S. History
2nd Semester-My classes might change though
1. Economic Perspectives
2. Pre-college Math
3. U.S. History
4. Office Technology (I'm trying to switch to Webpage Design)
5. Oral Communications
7. Advanced Composition
Start next week, so it's coming up!
Gary, that bacon wallet is gross. I wonder if it smells like bacon. I do like the bacon band aids though.
Erika, do you have your school schedule yet? Nice cool site. I love the cat pictures on the front page.
Mom, are you feeling better?
Hey Tristen, I found something that would go well with your "I Love Lucy" purse. Check this out! :-)
Emily, waaaaay back in November of 2002 we were sharing wisdom teeth stories on this page. Sometimes it can be unpleasant, but it can also be practically pain-free -- as mine was. Hope yours is too, especially on your Christmas vacation! --Gary
Emily, I agree with Gary, you can't get your wisdom teeth out over Christmas break. That's just not right. I like your schedule--except for Trig. Are the AP classes college classes? I can't believe this is your senior year. Are you excited?
Erika has already added Emily's teeth to the countdown page. But no fair to lose valuable Christmas vacation time! Emily, re-schedule for early January! --Gary
Thanks for the new review, Lindsey! Go Rockets! :-) --Gary
The flight in was okay -- no problems. (This was the day before the Awful Terrorist Exploding Gel Conspiracy Terror Alert, so we all got to keep our shoes on and people could take liquids aboard. Goodbye to those simpler times....) We landed in N.O. just ahead of a thunderstorm, and the cab ride in to the city -- past Lake Ponchartrain and the newly-repaired levees -- was in a driving rain (and 94 degrees, by the way). We went right past the Superdome, which was weird to see after all those pictures on television a year ago. It is only just now getting ready to open: Big signs on it advertised the first game on September 25.
Oh, one interesting thing back at the airport: While our flight was waiting for our luggage at the carousel, a dixieland jazz band appeared and played for us the whole time we waited. When another flight landed, they went over to serenade them. And there were "greeters" in the terminal offering help of all sorts to new arrivals -- flight information, travel and entertainment suggestions, etc. This was my first taste of a slightly unsettling sense of desperation in the city. The greeters wore t-shirts that said "We're jazzed you're here!" -- and they were really glad we were there, to pump some money into the economy. Many times in my four days there I had cab drivers, hotel employees, and even two guys who worked for the airline come right out and ask for tips: "I'm working for tips here" or "Tips are the main part of my income" and like that. The whole city sort of had its hand out.
My hotel room was very nice, though all I really cared about was whether the air conditioning worked. (It did.) Interestingly, however, the cold water tap ran warm -- no matter how long you ran it, it never got cold. Did I mention it was hot in New Orleans? Every single day was in the upper 90s, with humidity also in the 90s. The big glass doors and windows in the hotel lobby were fogged with condensation the whole time. I was behind a couple once as we all stepped outside, and when the doors opened one of them gasped and said, "Where's the air??" :-) The hotel was only 5 or 6 blocks from the Convention Center, and I walked it exactly once; after that first time I took a cab. If you didn't, you would arrive drenched with sweat.
The Convention Center (which was all over the news a year ago, like the Superdome) was slightly creepy, too. It is a huge building, like three-quarters of a mile long, divided into ten sections, A through J. Our convention was held in section E, meaning you walked out on the sidewalk for several blocks past sections A, B, C, and D -- all boarded up and ramshackle. You got the feeling that our section was spruced up for the convention and they hoped you wouldn't look at the other sections. This convention (the APA, American Psychological Association) was only the second large convention to visit New Orleans since Katrina, and the APA numbers were way down: Usually attended by close to 15,000 people, this time the figure was around 8,000. Even so, as I said, they were glad to see us.
There were still many boarded-up storefronts in the downtown area. I didn't do any shopping myself, but I talked to someone who tried and she said it was kind of hard to find stores; convenience stores and mom&pop markets were open, but a lot of the moderate-to-upscale stores were not. My hotel was fine, but someone who stayed in the Hilton about four blocks from me said that hotel was still repairing damage and sections of it were closed off.
The French Quarter? I never even got there. Just the thought of walking around there, let alone getting there, in the horrible heat was enough to make me stagger to the nearest chair and a cold drink. I spent all of my time either in the Convention Center, my hotel room, or in some nearby restaurants. Fortunately there were three great restaurants (at least!) in the area. The first night I ate at the Rio Mar, where I started off with a salad of radicchio, baby spinach, roasted corn, serrano ham (like prosciutto) and deep-fried oysters; followed by a piece of marinated oahu (a white tuna-like fish), about the size of my fist, seared crispy on the outside and served on a bed of creamy white beans and roasted garlic cloves. A great meal!
The next day we had more thunderstorms, sometimes pretty wild; but they would come and go fast. That afternoon I was waiting for the elevator at the hotel and I heard a woman behind me say (to someone else), "Can I ask a stupid question? Why do you have a gun??" I turned around (slowly!) and saw a guy behind me wearing jeans and a sport shirt and a holster with a revolver. He answered her, "Because I'm a police officer." We all rode up in the elevator and he explained that he and nine other policemen had been brought down from somewhere up north (I missed from where) and were staying in the hotel. They had been hired to help the N.O. police, which were still under-strength. The lady asked him how it was out there, and he said, "It's pretty bad." He and the other officers were in the Ninth Ward, he said, and last week -- on one day -- there were six murders. He mentioned that someone was offering "Katrina tours" so you could see a lot of the areas that were hit hardest by the hurricane, but I didn't go.
That night I went to the Cajun place, Mulate's, where I had more fried oysters (love them things!), plus some deep-fried shrimp, crawfish etouffee, grilled alligator, fried frog legs, and a piece of fried catfish. Oh, and some fries! :-) Lots of fun there. The place is big, the music is loud, and the food was great.
To finish off the food side of things, the next night I went to Tommy's where I had one of the best meals of my life. It is only half a block from the hotel and across from Emeril's. It is classified as an Italian restaurant, but don't think pasta and red sauce and cheese. It's called "Creole Italian," which is northern Italian or Tuscan style cooking but with New Orleans dishes.
For an appetizer, there were three oyster dishes I couldn't decide between: Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Bienville, and Oysters Tommy. I asked the waiter for a recommendation, and he said -- as each dish consisted of six oysters on the half-shell -- how about bringing me two of each kind? Wow. Sold! And they were fantastic. I had had oysters Rockefeller before and expected to like them the most, but the Oysters Tommy knocked me out. The special that night was "Pompano en Papillote" -- a big piece of white fish, covered with bearnaise sauce, crabmeat, shrimp, and mushrooms, wrapped and cooked in parchment paper. The waiter brings a big platter to your table with a big dark mound on it -- the paper has puffed up and blackened in the oven -- and then he cuts it open with a little knife and carefully peels back the parchment paper. Oh man.... Every bite was better than the one before. It was so good you wanted to eat the paper, too. :-) For dessert I had strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier, served with French vanilla ice cream, French whipped cream, and puff pastry. I don't think I've ever had a meal that good in any restaurant anywhere. When I took my last bite, I wanted to order the exact same things and do it all over again....
The next day I flew home. On the cab ride to the airport I asked the driver if he had been affected by Katrina. He said his wife had just gotten home from the hospital before the storm hit, so they evacuated early as he didn't want to take a chance on getting her followup medical care. (A wise decision!) When they came home, their house had not been flooded but the roof had been badly damaged by the storm. I said he was pretty lucky and that at least it was all behind him now; he said, well, yeah -- but it's not over: The roofers finally made it out to his place just last week! He's been trying to keep the rain out with plywood and plastic sheeting for a year now... He said the roofers worked for half a day, then it started raining and they had to quit. He hoped they would be able to finish it this week.
In the New Orleans terminal, I saw a large group -- maybe 20 -- of Asian teenagers, waiting for my same flight. Pretty soon I noticed that one was wearing a t-shirt reading "Disaster Recovery" and another's read "Make Levees -- Not War!" So I asked one of the kids who they were. He told me they were members of a Korean Christian church in California, and they had just spent ten days in New Orleans working on Katrina damage. What kind of work? I asked. He said clearing brush, house repair, painting. I thought to myself: When Katrina hit, all the politicians and all the news people went to N.O. and got their big stupid faces all over the TV, and then they left. Then people like this come in, and do the actual work, and nobody even notices them. I hate George Bush.
And by this time, our great leader had made us all safer by banning hand lotion and hair gel from the airways, so the return flight was actually pretty pleasant. There seemed to be fewer people flying, and no one had much carry-on, so the planes loaded up and emptied really fast. Late Saturday night I arrived back in Lincoln, which after New Orleans felt like the first day of Spring. Ahhhhh!
My bad, I meant to do a write-up here today, but I couldn't get to it. Catching up on a four-day backlog of mail and email! I will get the story posted tomorrow. And regarding oyster po'boys: No, I didn't get to have one of those fine sandwiches, but I did have Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Bienville, Oysters Tommy, and deep-fried oysters -- twice! And 'gator, and frog-legs! Stay tuned. :-) --Gary
To catch up on this page, you should read the notes below by Karen, Ryan, and Livy. Also see Lindsey's latest review!
Congratulations on the grades and the teeth, and I have added your item to the countdown page. See you in September! --Gary
P.S. Grandma, do you know what time you will be back tomorrow???
Okay, I'm off to the airport, heading for ... Minneapolis?? That's right. My flight to New Orleans has a layover in Minneapolis. It's a good thing fuel is cheap, otherwise the airlines would look really stupid. :-) The next activity on this page will be on Sunday. Feel free to send in items between now and then -- they just won't show up until Sunday. See you after the Big Easy!
My rain gauge had 2.25 tonight.
Have fun Gar, I'll miss the website the next few days.
Yeah, I think "cheater musician" was Emily's, after I showed her a magic trick. :-) The CT race is tightening up (time now 9:45) and the race is getting closer, but it still looks like it belongs to Lamont. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of The Daily Kos was on Olbermann tonight and said even if Lieberman pulls off a narrow victory, the message is still clear -- the Democratic Party is being re-shaped by the people, not the do-nothings in Washington who think they're running things. The next three months are going to be really interesting! BTW, I highly recommend The Daily Kos site, a great source of news and perspectives that you never see on the mainstream media (or MSM as it's referred to there). You might have trouble getting on during the election frenzy (I just heard the site was getting over 2000 visitors per minute), but do check it out. --Gary
People are frustrated that the country is going in the wrong direction on every issue and nobody in Washington seems to care. The Republicans charge ahead like bulls in a china shop, while the Democrats run and hide. That's the public perception.
What that translates to is a general disdain for Republicans and anyone who embraces their wrong-direction policies or who accommodates such policies through action or inaction.
People are frustrated. They're tired of the Republicans and their arrogance, their failed policies, their incompetence, and their inability to learn and grow from their mistakes. That is why the blogs came about, and it's why we've been successful at getting a voice. We are tapping into that frustration and, yes, anger, and channeling it towards an effort to change things for the better.
And that, my reporter friends, is what is happening in Connecticut and across America.
Joe Lieberman is a victim of the anti-incumbent, anti-Republican times in which we live. He is not a victim of the peace movement. He is not a victim of the Iraq war. He is part or the larger passion play that is taking place across the country against the incumbent party in power. Republicans control the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government. Americans believe our country is heading in the wrong direction and we, rightfully, are finally holding those running the country accountable, in addition to those who enable and embrace them.
Still coming down! Lots of water on the streets -- the storm drains either can't keep up or they're blocked or something. But every time you turn a corner or are in the outside lanes, you are in hubcap-deep water. Somebody just arrived here drenched from the knees down. It's not a downpour-type rain, but there is plenty of it. Though it is getting lighter in the west, so it's probably almost over. The first Husker game is September 2 -- only 25 days away -- against Louisiana Tech. --Gary
My quick trip to New Orleans is coming up fast: I get on the plane Wednesday, and come back to Lincoln late afternoon Saturday (actually arriving in Lincoln around 11 pm). Weird to have this many people on the road at once. :-)
Hot enough for you?? Check this out.
A short entertainment report:
Be sure to watch the election results next Tuesday. In the Connecticut primaries, cross your fingers and expect to see Joe Lieberman, Bush's favorite Democrat (though I'm sure Ben "Nellie" Nelson also ranks high), go down in defeat to newcomer Ned Lamont. In rejecting Lieberman, the Democrats of Connecticut will be tossing the first pebble in what could be a Democratic avalanche three short months from now in November.
Meanwhile, the Republicans are still making hay while they can. In case you missed it, the Republicans put a bill to the vote last night that would have increased the minimum wage (which hasn't been raised in more than a decade) and given six million Americans a $2200 increase to their $11,000 annual wage. In the fine print, though, was a provision that would give only the wealthiest 7000 people in America a tax break averaging $1.4 million each! The Democrats voted against it (as did a few Republicans), so today the headlines in the Wall Street Journal and many other papers read, "Democrats Reject Minimum Wage Raise." Those Republicans who think it's hot this summer are going to find it so much hotter when they go to hell....
Muy bueno! :-) --Gary
We got a little thunder and a few sprinkles about half an hour ago, then nothing -- very hot and humid now. --Gary
I remember the weather 19 years ago: The whole month of August was 100-ish every day, without a break...! --Gary
Today is supposed to be somewhat cooler than recently, cloudy and only into the upper 90s. Yesterday it was so hot that it was scary -- it was fairly windy, and the wind itself was hot, coming at you like heat waves off a fire. I don't remember ever feeling that before, in quite that way.
I liked your fish story below, Livy! :-) No other news here.