Friday, September 28, 2007

Mike and Mike

Mike Florio, writer for the Sporting News, says "This year, the schedule-makers parked a flaming bag of poo on the Saints' porch, rang the bell and ran. " Then he gives the Saints 5 ways to improve. I agree with most of them (but I DO NOT THINK ANY TEAM DESERVES BRANDON LLOYD).

Next to this gem was this little bit of info about Mike (Bad Newz/Doobage) Vick is now preparing to sue Vick for not paying $2 million in loans. Guess means he needs another nickname - how about one of these - Vickless, DEE-FAULT, Dude, Wimpy (I'll gladly pay you Tuesday...)?

Keep digging that grave...He just doesn't get it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


After last night's game, I honestly have nothing. Nothing to talk about, nothing to gloat about, feel good about, nothing.

I watched Spike Lee stand between Reggie and Drew who looked like they had just appointed kings of the universe. Then I watched Drew collapse, Reggie lose to Vince again, and the defense give up big play after big play.

I said it before, and I will say it again - Why didn't we draft DBs?

And where was Meachem.

PS - ESPN the Magazine said the Saints offense would sputter this year because of a young and inexperienced WR corps. It has been called the sophomore slump by some. I hate when ESPN is right.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Causes of Depression

Although I hate to admit this, I will. I am not as sad or depressed as I was about New Orleans a few months ago. The distance between the event and where I live has created a boundary. Yes, I am still obsessed about my hometown. And yes, I want to see things improve yesterday.

I do my best to talk about it with all the classes I teach, and I try to educate them about how things are doing. It's not easy because people have the misconception (deliberate or not) that the majority of New Orleans is below sea level. I try to correct them - once the levees failed, the bowl that is protected by theses same levees held the water in. This is what caused the flooding. (Many people do not know that it was levee failure that caused the majority of the damage. They seem to believe that a huge wave washed over the city or something like that.)

It is always a shock when I tell them that my mother's neighbors were just able to settle with their insurance company in May of 2007. They have been living upstairs waiting for things to improve - he was one of the managers at City Park and she worked for Tulane's School of Engineering. I cannot imagine having my world turned this upside down - everything they knew and worked for was gone or going away.

With that in mind, I found this article about depression, New Orleans, and Katrina and it struck a chord. This is the line that makes me think the most - "These people don't necessarily need a good psychiatrist," Rigamer said. "They need a good contractor or someone to fix the 'Road Home' program and good leadership."

Mr. Nagin, Mrs. Blanco, Mr. Bush, et al. -

Your incompetency, miscalculation, and greed is killing people or should I say causing people to kill themselves. These are innocent people who simply want to rebuild their lives, homes, families, and neighborhoods. It has been two years, and depression rates have increased. They did not level off or go down. And you are to blame. If one person committed suicide because of your policy/inaction/inability, I hope someone else finds a legal way to sue you for negligent homicide or some other crime. And I hope that once you find your way to hell (where you surely are going) that you rot there.

That is all.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Education, Philanthropy, and New Orleans

The Shreveport Times reports that the Carnegie Corporation has given over $14 million dollars to universities, the Broadmoor Improvement Association, and Teach for America. Money isn't everything, but it sure helps buy books, paint walls, and hire qualified teachers.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Great Article And Some Hoodoo

Josh Levin nails it over at slate. Go, Josh. And go away, you thing that's going to be called Jerry.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

10 K-Ville Predictions

So I reviewed K-ville, and I read some other reviews as well. One thing that I am learning as I read other people's blogs is that they are a hell of a lot more observant about things than I am. And I consider myself pretty observant. ( e.g., I play that find the differences game at the bar all the time. Must be a different skill.) Rather than compete with those people, I would like to give my predictions about what will happen next week on K-Ville.

1) Trevor will need "etouffee" to think.
2) There will be a reference to "makin' groceries."
3) Someone will call a particularly vivid color "K&B purple."
4) The criminal element will have a horrendous name like "Clementine du Villere La Truffle."
5) Most of the murders/crimes/assaults/burglaries/etc. will take place in the French Quarter and not in Central City.
6) Shrimp boats will set out from the Mississippi River.
7) More items will magically "appear" from the flooded basement of Central Lock-Up.
8) A white guy will use the phrase OPP again. Also, he will seem to not know what it means again.
9) Rich white people will live in huge mansions with an awning of mature oak trees. Other city residents will live in "shotguns" in the Upper Ninth ward.
10) Someone will try to do harm to the Super Dome.
11) Fluffy du Boisblanc et CoqauVin will sing horribly.

Things that will not happen in K-Ville.
1) A discussion of why exactly the levees broke.
2) Real gangs and gang/drug-related violence (there are not enough story lines there for Fox writers. On the other hand, I bet this is as gritty/complicated/abhorrent as underworlds get these days)
3) In a six second chase, the officers will end up in LaPlace, New Orleans East, and Thibodeaux.
4) A patrol stop leads to drugs and an arrest without torture.
5) Someone will drink a Sazerac.

Like I said, I will still be watching. It's New Orleans.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Since I don't live in New Orleans anymore, I watch anything and everything that has to do with that place. I watched K-Ville with its bad accents, questionable geography, tourist-based focus, and overused Creole food references. There were some parts that were campy, and even my wife said that the story-line was far-fetched. She found the show unwatchable mostly because I kept pausing TiVo to explain stuff to her. She still can't believe that she married someone from such a "weird" place.

What I liked - It was about New Orleans. The 1000-yard stare. The cops leaving duty. Trying to get a life, including wife and kids, that is sustainable in New Orleans. Setting in the Upper Ninth.

What I didn't like - Chase scenes not in New Orleans. Swimming in the Mississippi. Using the word "neutral ground" as a place to drive. A place called "Ziggy's". Casino references. Clearly not set in the Upper Ninth. Playing only Dixieland Jazz music. Drive-bys in the French Quarter.

What bothered me (sort of) was the references to all the things that have been in the news since Katrina (Blackwater, corruption, etc.) .

Will I watch it again? Yes. Because it's about New Orleans.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dance and become (semi-) Famous

If you have never seen Where the Hell is Matt, you need to watch this video:

But more importantly, Matt is coming to New Orleans. I received an email today letting me know that Matt is coming to New Orleans. The first video, it seems, was more about places. Now he is making a video about people. And he wants New Orleanians to come out and dance with him on Friday September 21st at Washington Artillery Park (across from Jackson Square).
I hope some of you can make it.

Read on for more details (I edited this email from Matt for the blog post):

Hi folks

If you're getting this email, you've either signed-up on my site to be notified or you've written to me and mentioned where you live. I'm coming to New Orleans to shoot a clip for my new dancing video. This is an invitation to come out and join me.

The last video was about places. This one is about people. LOTS of people.
So I'm not too concerned about the background, I just want a place where we can gather peaceably and dance badly without getting arrested.

The location is Washington Artillery Park across the street from Jackson Square. I'll be standing next to the cannon on Friday, September 21st.
Dancing will commence at 6pm.

Boring details below. Read no further if you can't make it:

We'll need to take a photo of each participant before the dance and attach it to the release form so we can identify everyone in the video.

If you are under 18, you MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can sign the release form and be photographed with you. Sorry, those are the rules I have to follow in order to use the footage. The good news is that my sponsor is making a donation to charity for each person who signs up and dances with me.

Feel free to invite friends to come with you. Just make sure everyone is okay with signing the release form.

When you get to the spot, look for the guy who looks like the guy in the dancing video. Just come on over and say hello. If the guy turns out to not be me, recoil sheepishly and keep looking.

It will take some time to process each person, so depending on how many show up, we may have to stop accepting forms at some point and shoot the video.
Please show up early as we expect to have a lot of people to sign in.

The whole thing shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to shoot. We'll set up the shot, dance for about 15 seconds, do it one more time for good measure, and then try a couple fun variations.

There won't be any music. That gets added later. Blasting a stereo just complicates things. Dance however you want to the music in your head.

I can't guarantee that the clip we shoot will end up in the final video.
There'll be a lot of footage to choose from and some of it will not be used.

You're welcome to bring your own camera. After the shoot, I'll stick around for pictures and stuff. I'm happy to dance with you in your own picture/video, so don't be afraid to ask.

Please reply to this email if you plan to attend and let us know how many people you think you'll be bringing. It'll help to give us an idea of how many to expect.

We're planning to put the final video up on the internet on June 21st, 2008.
It's a long way away, I know, but I've got a lot of traveling to do.

I look forward to dancing badly with you!

-Matt and Melissa

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Educational News (from Canada)

It seems that this article is all about Naomi Klein's book "Disaster Capitalism." In it, she attacks the late Milton Friedman and his desire to restructure New Orleans' schools after Katrina. While it reviews her book in general, it reminded me that I want to continue on message here at FEMA, Katrina, and other bad words.

I am not sure the idea to totally start clean was totally unfounded (even I suggested it was a great chance to start fresh), but I also don't necessarily agree with vouchers. I definitely don't agree with the decision to fire all school employees.

Nonetheless, I do believe in purging the cronyism and corruption that has blatantly stolen money and resources from the future of New Orleans. How long will it take to recover - 10 years? 30 years? Never? How many more generations will be shackled by what has happened with the school board and the state in the last 35 years? How many are lost or illiterate or uneducated despite attending school?

Something had and continues to have to be done to improve education FOR EVERY NEW ORLEANIAN CHILD.

Charter schools are one (and only one) option. There should be excellent neighborhood schools with high degrees of parental involvement. (See Michael Homan for exactly how to do this).

The issue of gay marriage will not go away.

But maybe Vitter will.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Jason David was in and out of the toaster last night. He was burned more than once, and he was the only Saint to score a touchdown. How does that work out?

Looks like we could have used a couple of defensive backs instead of another wide receiver.

On the other hand, you have to like how the Colts went for the jugular once they found the weakness.

I am not a happy dude today.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Robert Cesaroli has started his inspector generalship of New Orleans. Already he is being handcuffed financially. (My predictions for this gentleman and his office are here.) There is already a stir about his budget from the New Orleans City Council and the mayor. If the man needs 3.8 million to do his job properly, give him 3.8 million. I don't believe this is all that hard of a concept. What would truly be accomplished by not giving this position the financing it needs/deserves/expects? The players in all the corruption might not get caught. Interesting that these are the exact people who will be controlling the financing.

Already, I had one prediction right. I would like to amend the prediction about lasting 2 years. I want to change it to one. I am not sure if the Oliver Thomas plea was the big thing I had expected, but I will say that something big will come out of Cesaroli's short tenure.

To refresh
1) Monetarily handcuffed - check.
2) An issue arises because he is from Mass. -expected
3) Resignation within 1 year - expected
4) high profile case against corruption with no result - expected

I can't wait to watch this occur though I wish I wouldn't.

PS - They have had two months to find him some office space. I think I can attribute that to either prediction 1 or 2.

PPS - Perhaps I should apply for a job with this guy. That would satisfy my wife's requirements that I do something to help the city of New Orleans rebuild. Of course, there are all those unpaid parking tickets...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It is SO on.

Last year, after a sort of recovery from my Katrina and federal flood related post-traumatic stress, I began to watch the Saints again. The year before, with them on the road every week (and with Aaron Brooks at QB), I couldn't bear to watch.

I went to the game at the Meadowlands against the Giants courtesy of one of my great friends up here, and I remember watching a Green Bay game one Monday night at a local club. (The bartender and I were the only two people in the place, and he fed me beer until I was cross-eyed. We talked about New Orleans, what I had been through, what my mom was going through, all my friends, etc. [He has since taken a new, non-adult beverage related job, and I really don't go there any more because of that.])

I didn't go to the local sports bar to watch in 2005. I was dealing with my own demons, and we were newlyweds. I felt that I had a duty to try to be here for my wife who didn't need me to be here. It was I who needed her to be here for me. Weird how that all works out.

Last year, I decided that I was going to watch the Saints again. I was going to the sports bar on Sundays again. Listening to the games on Sirius was just not going to be enough. I had to see it. I had to see the new offense of Sean Payton, the dynamic play of Reggie Bush, and the great decision making of Drew Brees for myself. I figured a first year coach would make a few boneheaded mistakes that would cost us some games or that the players would not live up to their potential.

But it didn't happen. I found a second Saints fan here in Easton. Almost every Sunday, we met and drank and talked and watched the Saints. And the Saints won. And won. And beat the shit out of Atlanta on Monday Night Football in the Superdome. I cried, and I yelled, and I cheered. This was not the Saints of my youth. This was the Saints that we were supposed to have in the late 80s and 90s and early 2000s. This team was for real. And they kept winning.

Now, this year, with the the NFL Man of the Year and Mr. Marketability, the Saints are starting the entire season on Thursday night against last year's SuperBowl Champions.

This year my sports bar closed. (Sort of, they are now some swanky martini bar. Before it was a total dive/hobo bar. Suited me perfectly. It was called Drinky Drinkersons for chrissakes.) So now I have to find a new place to watch the season unfold. My Saints buddy has done some scouting, and it looks like we are going to have to go a block or so over. The location is not so much a problem as is the fact that they only have 2 or 3 TVs in there. Looks like I am going to have to get there early and demand that they take the Giants/Jets/Eagles off and put on the damn Saints game.

I believe. I have faith. And I have Reggie, Drew, Marques, Deuce, Terance, Devery, John, Robert, Pierre, Scott, Will, Eric, and the rest of the incredible athletes that play professional football in New Orleans to get my back. Could this be the year we go all the way? Could this be history in the making?

I don't know. We will see how things work out. It's almost weird to have the expectation of greatness thrust upon my favorite team. I like this feeling a little too much, and I hope that it continues.

But the best part of all this is that I can again end every post like this:
GO SAINTS!!!!!!!