The Sound and the Fury

Well, since so many other people are writing about Hurricane Katrina, I guess I will too. But it is not my intent to fill this blog with work-related items and….it will probably just work me up into a frenzy again.

I am so frustrated.  I just sat in a 2 hour conference call on trying to get emergency relief aid down to LA (and MS, GA, TX and AL) and it amazes me the amount of red tape involved.

It isn’t just one state, it is the others that are trying to handle the refugees…oops, excuse me, “displaced persons”  – PC language, who cares…there are people out there who need assistance and they are NOT getting it because SOME people in Washington are too busy worrying about what they are going to do for their long weekend.

The organization I work for has numerous members in the affected areas, many of which we have not heard from and some of whom we do know did not have the ability to leave. Talking to FEMA and the Red Cross and other agencies…after a while my policy analyst and I, in frustration were indulging ourselves in fantasies of getting a boat and going down there ourselves!

The rest of the bureaucrats are all going down there to gawk and stand in front of the cameras and seem like they are doing something instead of working here in Washington DC to try and get some things actually working.

Just as a nice simple example. So many of the people are sick. Or what about the elderly or disabled? Many of them will have run out of the medicine stores that they brought with them, but even those who GOT out…how are they going to get more? What about insulin? What about mental illness? Heart meds? Blood Pressure? Cholesterol? Louisiana Medicaid cards are NOT good in Mississippi. They are NOT good in Texas. If they want to do something useful here in the capital…maybe creating an emergency Medicaid waiver might be good. Or allowing the states, at least temporarily to accept each others cards. One small simple almost “easy” thing. Put that political clout to some GOOD use!!!! 

But no, they are down there wading around in hip boots feeling self-important.


There used to be rivers of butterflies, but now there are years when there are no butterflies at all. This is a village full of ghosts, not of people, but of nature, a paradise lost. -HOMERO ARIDJIS, a naturalist in Contepec, Mexico.

There is something about that quote that makes one unutterably sad.

Dog Thoughts

This last weekend I said goodbye to guide dog and flew to Missouri to give her to a friend (for a little while). She has worked for me for about 10 years now, far longer than most guides. *deep sigh* But I do miss her. It isn’t like active grieving but like there is something missing. I imagine it is what an amputee feels like. Feeling that something isn’t there but no real active pain or grief. At least not until you have to use that part.

Let me just say that Curtis the Crimefighting Cane and I are rapidly getting reaquainted, and I am reminded again why I chose the dog route. I have accidentally stabbed myself 3-4 times already, bent the cane into an odd “J” shape (thankfully Curtis bent back) and because I seemed so “lost” have been grabbed no less than three times by “helpful” strangers. *sigh* I want my dog back. Ok, ok…I want my new dog, now.

Saturday I leave for Oregon and a new dog. I am excited and scared at the same time.

Like So Much Cattle

There are times when I wonder if I just have a twisted sense of humour, an appreciation of the absurdities of life. I was riding in to work on the metro this morning about 8:30am and people were getting on and off. Mostly on. The train car kept getting packed tighter and tighter. With the dog snuggled between my legs (I had to stand) it felt like we were in a can of sardines. I couldn’t help but have the absurd thought…I wonder what would happen if someone farted? Crude I’ll admit, but it was so tight in that rail car that I would have noticed if anyone near me had not brushed their teeth this morning. And before you ask…yes, I am quite sure a couple of people missed out on their morning hygiene regimen. Blech.

Add to that, I am a very short woman at about 5″ 2 so with everyone hanging on to the bars for balance my head is at about armpit height. *sighs* There are some mornings when it is just a good idea to overload on the perfume and deodorant…and I don’t necessarily mean for me.

So there we are packed into the train like so much cattle. It is like our brains switch off and we just stand and stare. And then, upon reaching the station, we all file out and shuffle along en masse towards the escalators and turnstiles in that almost mindless daze. Did you ever have the urge, as you shuffle along to imitate some herd animal? I couldn’t resist, the temptation was too much. No doubt there are a number of people from this morning’s Red Line herd getting off at Farragut North who were wondering where the Baaa! Baaa! Baaa! came from.