September 1-8, 2005
Clean up time on our little street ... only 8 days after Katrina hit us as a Category 1 storm.
But, how long do you think it will be before those poor bastards in the Big Easy will be able to again play jazz on Bourbon Street? Six months? A year? Ever? (*)
(*) Maureen Dowd (in the NY Times) said something like this: "How do you think President Bush stays in such good physical shape? By exercising a lot and by staying totally disconnected from reality."1 Hey, maybe that is the answer to happiness: "Me worry?"
1 Look at the split screens on CNN and FOX: gushy assurances from Washington from one half of the assembled pixels ... and fucking fear and despair reeking out of the other side of the tube.
PS: From CNN:
Inspecting Gulf Coast disaster scenes from the air and on the ground, Bush said the damage was "worse than imaginable." He consoled weeping women and praised Coast Guard teams that pulled stranded people from the roofs of flooded homes. In New Orleans, Bush flew by helicopter to the ruptured 17th Street levee and watched workers load huge sandbags that were airlifted and dropped into the breach.
He stayed far from the worst-hit areas of the city and places that have been gripped by crime. Bush met with state and local officials, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who a day earlier had lashed out at federal officials: "They don't have a clue what's going on down here."
"The president is starting to grasp the magnitude of the situation," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said, "The president obviously was just stunned" by what he saw.
Bush sprinkled levity in his remarks at New Orleans' airport at the end of the day. He talked about coming to New Orleans years ago and enjoying himself "occasionally too much." (*) He said he believed the city will recover and "be a better place to come to."
Four days after Katrina killed hundreds if not thousands, Republicans joined Democrats in wondering why it was taking so long to relieve the misery of so many people living in squalor without the necessities of life.
"If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican.
Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts called the government's response "an embarrassment."
(*) A bit of honesty that I commend him for.
The near last of the Rhymes:
Belkin makes the coolest attachment for an iPod. It allows the iPod to transmit directly to my car's FM radio. Positioned on a white stalk growing from the cigarette lighter it makes for easy dialing; and since it is always positioned the same distance from the Bose there is never any audio ebb and flow.
And, my in-dash GPS tells the world that I was looking at a fallen tree on Idlewyld Avenue near Poincienca Drive at the exact same time that I was listening to Pat Robertson's 'podcast' call to assassinate Chavez. More important, the house that owns this tree used to belong to Suzie MacIntosh (formerly Susan Falwell): Fort Lauderdale's most beautiful woman. She now lives in Alaska.
My driver's side rear view mirror made this sort of 180 degree shot possible. As you can see, the clean up has yet to begin.
"Alf, do you really think that we are interested in these ludicrous minutiae from your neighborhood? Change channels ... bring us another Rhyme, if you must."
OK! But, this is the very last of the Ruthless Rhymes. There is no more after this one.
I found this machine ... (only a small slice of it is shown here) ... in an antique shop. Though the coins did not come with it they are all from an era when US Dimes, Quarters and Fifty Cent pieces were still minted in silver (*). Any guesses?
This is a bespoke piece from LeeAnna Yater. It measures about 4' by 4'.
Time for dinner.
"Finding it hard to come up with something interesting, Alf? Maybe you need a break."
(*) Was that about 1964?
PS: This from Time magazine:
As the floodwaters rose in New Orleans last week, a group called Columbia Christians for Life announced that it had discerned God's purpose in the storm: the destruction of the five abortion clinics in the city. The proof was a radar photograph showing that the hurricane "looks like a fetus facing to the left (west) in the womb, in the early weeks of gestation." A photo of a 6-week fetus was helpfully provided for comparison.
George, who operates dpmac.com and shrimpworld.com, has given me some much needed meat for today ... thank you, George:
Inside a dark room, realistic-looking "human body parts" are stacked on shelves and hanging on meat hooks. The place looks like a mortuary or the lair of a serial killer, but in fact, it's a bakery. What appears to be putrefying body parts are the bread sculptures of 28-year-old art student Kittiwat Unarrom.
"Of course, people were shocked and thought that I was mad when they saw the works. But once they knew the idea behind it, they understood and became interested in the work itself, instead of thinking that I am crazy," said the fine arts masters degree student.
He hopes his realistic artwork will make people ponder whether they are consuming food, or food is consuming them.
"Everyone's life is rushed nowadays, even when it comes to eating," he said. "When we eat, we don't think about our health or safety, we only think of our taste buds."
As an undergraduate art student, Kittiwat started painting portraits. He then moved to mixed media and finally dough – a natural medium for him since his family runs a bakery.
Along with edible human heads crafted from dough, chocolate, raisins and cashews, Kittiwat makes human arms, feet, and chicken and pig parts. He uses anatomy books and his vivid memories of visiting a forensics museum to create the human parts.
He now is receiving regular orders from the curious and from pranksters who want to surprise their friends or colleagues, but that's a minor sideline.
By the end of the year, Kittiwat's confectionary slaughterhouse will go on display at Bangkok's Silpakorn University. It's his final dissertation, and he hopes it will secure him a master of arts degree.
"When people see the bread, they don't want to eat it. But when they taste it, it's just normal bread," he said. "The lesson is 'don't judge just by outer appearances.'"
Dear reader, do you remember our good friend Ning? Of course you do! She was a founding member of the PCC; a former employee of The Oriental's Fitness Center; a first-time cocktail waitress aboard the Carnival cruise ship Imagination ... (she even visited our house in Florida while her boat was docked at Port Everglades) ... and now she is aboard Carnival's Sensation. Up until Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Ning's home port was in New Orleans ... whenever her ship was not taking cruise guests around the western Caribbean.
I swiped some of the following from Carnival Cruise Lines web site:
Leave your cares behind and spend a long weekend on a 4 Day cruise to the Western Caribbean.
But, as of the day before yesterday Ning and her fellow crew members will be serving the needs of FEMA.
Length: 855 ft - Guest Capacity: 2052
Speed: 21 - Tonnage: 70367
IMPORTANT UPDATE 9/3/05: Sensation has been chartered by FEMA for hurricane relief efforts. Sailings are canceled for departures between September 5, 2005 through and including March 2, 2006.
Carnival Cruise Lines has chartered the Sensation to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. As a result, we have cancelled all Sensation departures from September 5, 2005, through and including March 2, 2006.
We sincerely apologize for these cancellations and hope that you will choose to rebook another Carnival sailing. Please note that the Sensation, along with the Ecstasy and the Holiday that are also being chartered to MSC, will undergo extensive refurbishment following this charter.
PS: Thanks from Shrimpworld:
Lek - little punk sea gipsy will make your head spin
You better get a lot of rest before going exploring, or even just plain hanging out with Lek, she has the energy of the wind and the stamina of the sea on her side. Fun, fun, fun, till the sun goes down. But just to be safe, you better never get on her bad side.
Let me introduce you to this: the biggest and longest scheme and con game that the world has ever known!
Meow and Lek - minor wives of an old fashioned prince
Meow and Lek are lovers in a harem built for two. The prince only visits once a year or so and they love him for his absence. What a joy is the life of a courtesan who has no master to tend and lives with the one she loves.
Next: Part II