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September 30, 2005

A Night in the Lonesome October

Life is full of doors that don't open when you knock, equally spaced amid those that open when you don't want them to. ~ Roger Zelazny

It's September 30th and tomorrow begins my annual ritual of re-reading Roger Zelazny's A Night In The Lonesome October.

Roger Zelazny's A Night In The Lonesome October

I love this book. Every year I read a chapter a day throughout the tenth month of the year; it is my personal October advent calendar. Each chapter summarizes a day in the life of Snuff, a dog. Snuff and his master are players in a strange game that encompasses events and characters that feel familiar, but their group adventure is utterly original. In fact figuring out who the strange cast of oddities are is half the fun. Zelazny found a smug way to avoid any copyright concerns by simply not naming the characters he co-opted for the story. This dog-day diary begins on October 1st and concludes on October 31st. Some chapters are a page long, others are more substantial. All of them build a story that is part metaphysical mystery, part vintage throwback shtick, part Gothic horror. There are vampires and vivisectionists and pet familiars (through which the story is narrated). There is a great detective and his portly friend. There are homages to classic horror writers and nods to a few mystery-shrouded historical figures.

Like most Zelazny it is fast reading, so it takes up very little of time each day, except for the final day and one or two others that are meaty chapters. Of course, I've read it over and over and so my desire to finish the book all in one sitting passed a long time ago. I read it at more of a mosey these days. It's an act of savoring and not the gush of "I have to know how it ends" exuberance. It's my wine not my whiskey.

I cannot recommend a better October read. If you think you don't like Zelazny because the word "Amber" makes you cringe, put those feelings aside. This is altogether different. It's out of print, but there are paperbacks and hardcovers all over the net -- Amazon.com and Half.com both have copies aplenty.

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 12:45 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

September 28, 2005

The Strangest Fountain In The World

The people are the only legitimate fountain of power... ~ James Madison

It's titled PISS and it's strangely hypnotic.

In looking at it, you can't help but feel how imaginative and fun the whole concept is; it's much more nifty than it is vulgar.

Then you pause and realize the bru-ha-ha and protesting that would take place if someone dared have two statues pissing out the words of the people on a shape of America. And it gets a little clear why some Europeans scoff when we boast about being the land of the free.

Groovy | Naughty Bits by Doxy at 11:35 AM | permalink | talkback (1)

September 22, 2005

Phone Sex Called On Account Of Pet

We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words. ~ Anna Sewell

I will not be taking phone sex calls for the next 10 days or so. Please mark your calendars, kiddos. If you've sent in a request for a new appointment, bear with me, I'll be responding as soon as I have an opportunity to figure out when my next available appointments will be. If you're a regular and you haven't been able to get an answer, please bear with me as well.

If you've just sent regular email, I can't honestly say when I'll be answering that, either.

In light of the fact that Texas and Louisiana are going to get smacked to holy hell by a hurricane the size of...well, Texas, I'm not going to bitch and moan too much, but if you care to know why I'm on phone sex slut hiatus, feel free to read after the cut.

Some time ago, my very precious, very spoiled pup started limping. Having owned dogs my entire life, I wasn't worried. Dogs limp all the time for many reasons. Generally it works itself out.

Only he kept limping. So, after probing where it hurt and observing that he was only limping part of the time, I figured it was a minor pull. So I let some more time go by.

And he kept limping. The confusing point was that he didn't exhibit any real pain. No whimpering. No loss of appetite. No change in behavior. A dog in pain usually finds a way to let you know. There wasn't anything but the off and on limp.

I finally caved and took him into the vet. Although it really seemed like his injury wasn't very serious (he was only limping half the time and was fine otherwise).

Patellar Luxation is the dislocation of the patella (kneecap) where the kneecap dislocates toward the inside or outside of the leg, or may move freely back and forth. The last version (back and forth) is the worst. That's what my boy had. Which meant he had been in quite a bit of pain, even if the stoic little soldier wasn't showing it.

There were a couple things to take care of before the operation, but he finally had his surgery on Wednesday the 21st. The poor little guy is so pathetic. His rear is completely shaved (he's bright pink wherever there is no fur) and his right rear leg is completely mummified with bandages and tape (as well as swathed in cellophane to keep it dry in case of accidents). He's also on a regimen of drugs -- all of which must be taken with food. Metacam, Torbutrol, Baytril, and he's got to take Glucosamine pills that are bigger than him.

If he was stoic before, he's very verbal about his pain and confusion now. I've had about 5 hours sleep in the last 48 hours. It isn't a big deal compared to facing a hurricane bearing down on you, but it's enough to make me unable to get into the mood. Plus I can't imagine there are many phone sex clients out there who would accept the whimpering sounds of a small dog in pain as a turn on.

So this phone sex slut is out of commission with her trusty pup for about ten days until the bandages come off and the healing begins. Hopefully by then I'll be able to catch up on my sleep.

Phone Sex by Doxy at 11:53 PM | permalink | talkback (2)

September 11, 2005

A Little Lydia

I need a little Lydia tonight - Lobo

You know those universal translators that were such a basic staple of Star Trek episodes? We need them. Google's translate options and Babelfish just don't cut it.

Case in point:

While following links on flickr I stumbled on photos of Lydia Pinkham. Lydia is a compelling, sexy goth lass from Norway who is 22 years old, lives with a poet, and has A BLOG. But I can't read this blog because it is (at least, presumably) in Norwegian. Is she cool? Is she bitchy? I have no way to know. And the only reason is this silly ridiculous barrier of language. She expresses herself in photos and words and I can't correlate the data because her consonants and vowels are different than my consonants and vowels. With squiggly accents and strange diacritical marks. This is not acceptable.

I mean LOOK at her for heaven's sake:

Alt Text

Alt Text

Alt Text


We can split the atom. We can go to the moon. But we can't fix it so that the nations of the world can all communicate on an even field.

I cry shenanigans. Come on, brilliant people. Fix it.

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Naughty Bits by Doxy at 05:00 AM | permalink | talkback (4)

September 10, 2005

Pearls Before Swine

For truth is precious and divine, too rich a pearl for carnal swine. ~ Samuel Butler
Alt Text

Mirth by Doxy at 06:55 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

Fred and Barney Debate Intelligent Design

I don't think that fundamentalism has anything to do with Jesus Christ...Fundamentalism is built on fear and greed. ~ Matthew Fox

If you haven't visited christophe thinks out loud, you've been missing some delightfully grand stuff lately. Yesterday's Between a Rock and a Hard Place being a diamond amid...various other gems.

I have so many friends who believe in one flavor or another of Christianity, just the same way I have many friends who believe in different flavors of politics. And I've come to realize something. I'm not angry at Christianity -- I'm angry at a certain type of person who calls his or herself a Christian, but actually isn't one. I'm annoyed with the "dinosaur bones are manufactured by the scientific community" people who stubbornly stick to "intelligent design" as being something that needs to be taught in regular schools, because, apparently, they're afraid the power of the school system (*snort*) will override what their children are taught at home and in Sunday school classes. Because the public school system has, time and time again, proved to be far more influential than the lessons learned at home and church.

The obvious agenda is because they want others to be forced to learn their religious beliefs -- some twisted form of fellowship that has no place in a secular educational environment and because they're afraid it will cause their children "confusion" which is codespeak for "ask questions we may not be able to answer." I don't believe in any theory, religious or otherwise, that opposes asking questions.

Which brings us to fundamentalist Republicans. I don't loathe all Republicans, but I can no longer abide a Bush supporter. If you voted for Bush in his second term and, well, then, you and I need to never speak of politics because that one fact tells me all I'll ever need to know about you.

There are Republicans who hold to the theories of what their party is supposed to stand for (some of which I personally believe in, which was more obvious back before the state of "normal" was dragged so far to the right and I was still a libertarian and not a liberal). These people do not vote along party lines, do not buy into talking points and are in as general a state of disgust over things as, you know, the rest of us. But there seems to be this core 60% of Republicans who would support the President no matter what he did.

So basically, we just need to get beyond and figure out a way to ignore the cronies, the fundies, and the insane far-left and filter them out of the actual process. Then we'll have independent thinkers as well as moderates, reasonable conservatives and liberals. And there can be something resembling a national level of debate again.

*sigh* now if we could just figure out how.

I'm leaning toward some sort of fight to the death spectator sport.

Poli-Sci by Doxy at 04:59 PM | permalink | talkback (4)

September 09, 2005

Veronica Zemanova

Veronica sits in her favorite chair
She sits very quiet and still
And they call her name that they never get right
And if they don't then nobody else will
~Elvis Costello, "Veronica"

Every so often, I stumble on a photo of a delicious body and I think "WOW!" in all-caps just like that, with the exclamation mark.

I want to do bad bad bad things to this woman. Or just watch someone else do them to her, actually ;-)

Veronica Zemanova

Veronica Zemanova

Veronica Zemanova

Veronica Zemanova

Props to: 100BuckBabes and WillyX

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Naughty Bits by Doxy at 06:59 AM | permalink | talkback (3)

September 08, 2005

For life is quite absurd, and death's the final word...

Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart. ~ Anne Frank

The good news -- the real good news to come out of Katrina is that people, by and large and at their most basic are good. They work together. They have sympathy and compassion for their fellows. There will always be the cold, the indifferent, the looters, the rapists, the occasional stains on the carpet of the world. But when pushed against the wall most line up to help, pool their pennies, offer condolence, grieve and cry and commune.

I learned this during Andrew. And amid all the horrible (and, there is so much horrible) there is STILL evidence of the good.

In this article which will make you angry, frustrated, and ready to bray tears, although the government (local, federal, in all shades and styles) failed the people, the PEOPLE came through for one another.

Then there are little stories like this and this that show how willing average people are to lend a hand. Hell, this disaster has shown that people will stand in line to lend a hand.

On a daily basis, we see rampant consumerism and human indifference and we think all's lost, but that's just we the people wrapped in our creature comforts where denial lets us crawl into our hobbitty holes and convince ourselves that even though we feel really bad about that whole environment/foreign dependency thing we really want (and somehow deserve) that SUV. Put on the spot, most Americans (and, I think most people) make the right choices and put things in the proper priority. Sure, we hide and we deny and we cut corners. Life is hard and it's natural to want as easy a path as possible. But that doesn't negate the good. It just hides a bit. Really really well.

I refuse to let this administration swallow my hope and my optimism and the tiny joys I take when I see something good happen. Even if it is in the midst of so much bad.

And it's important to remember the good when you read about how just last year FEMA cut the funding of the company it hired to plan an evacuation of New Orleans in case of a Hurricane -- when you hear the phrase "no one could have foreseen" remember the good people before you start breaking things.

And, before you give up on the government completely, there's even a story that illustrates how at least one government employee has a smidgen of common sense; someone figured out that seized counterfeit goods could be handed out to survivors.

Disasters bring out the best and the worst in people. So far the federal response has obviously been the worst. But I know first-hand that when things get dark individuals do rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, none of them appear to be on Bush, Inc.'s payroll.

In the see-saw of emotions that is this Katrina debacle, it's important to remember the good along with the bad. This is my mantra and I'm trying to stick to it.

I've been talking with my brother about some blank holes in my memory regarding Andrew. In my memory the National Guard was there on the third day following the storm, but my brother insists they didn't get to our neighborhood until the 5th day (a Red Cross group made it to our neighborhood on the third day and he's insisting that's what I'm remembering).

In my mind, the National Guard was a good thing, and I *still* believe that by and large they were. But there were apparently memories I'd tucked away under the good memories that I was reminded of sharply last night. One involved a Guardsman assaulting my brother (shoving him into a table where he banged up his face pretty bad) because he wouldn't listen to my bother explain that he wasn't stealing extra rations, but simply bringing them to neighbors who couldn't handle the walk to the encampment. Another memory is in regards to a group of four guardsman drawing rifles on me, my mother, and my brother because we were sitting in our front yard after curfew and should have been inside. The one that inspires the most anger in my memory is a horrible argument between my mother and a national guardsman who wasn't going to let us back home (after curfew) even though we'd spent six hours with my uncle at his hospital bedside not knowing if his leg was going to be amputated following an accident (he toppled off a weakened roof two weeks after the storm while trying to dry in a house; he landed on the driveway fifteen feet down, crushing one leg and breaking several other parts of his body). This incident ended when my mother (who doesn't normally say "boo" to authority figures) started sobbing, actually threw a bag of my uncle's bloody clothes at the guard and hit the gas pedal. We got home, no shots fired. It was intense, but after surviving the storm, I guess bullies seemed less intimidating.

A handful of other incidents during the time where we were under martial law and being out after dark meant that you were treated like a criminal, even though you were only a survivor of a horrible event, just trying to get some things done.

Please let me be clear. I don't believe these men were representative of the overall experience. I don't think their abuse of power, lack of sympathy, or misconduct negates all the good the Guard did. But I don't know a survivor that doesn't have at least one story like these few I'd buried in my memory. This kind of thing does happen and it's important to believe people when they tell stories of having law enforcement draw guns on them and people displaying flagrant abuses of power in stressful situations.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those nuts who thinks the military uses disasters to conduct horrible acts for no logical reason.

After Andrew, I read stories written by crazies about military cover-ups where people were murdered by servicemen. I was in one of the worst-hit areas and I'm here to tell you, I don't believe any of that conspiracy crap (although I do believe more people died than were reported; it was pretty common knowledge that the "invisible" people like Homestead's huge migrant farm worker population weren't included in the official totals). Still, the nut jobs with their tall tales, shouldn't cast doubt on the smaller stories -- where one authority figure, or one small group of them, effectively terrorized people who are pretty much the walking emotionally and physically wounded.

People who crack like that in extreme situations shouldn't be put back in them. At least not around civilians just trying to survive and rebuild.

I don't believe the Guard is bad or policemen are always assholes, or that anyone in a position of authority will automatically abuse that authority. But there are always individuals in positions of authority who are abusive. There was even an incident where a National Guardsman in Miami murdered two people at FIU after Andrew.

But the answer isn't pretending the bad doesn't exist. It doesn't "demean" the entire bushel to weed out the bad apple. The answer, to my thinking, involves admitting the bad, holding it accountable, trying to put in an effort so that the same mistakes will not be repeated, and then moving on. And all this talk about appropriate timing and focusing on the bad is just a smokescreen put up to put off inquiry in hopes that the public will lose interest.

As we almost always do. Because those hobbity holes have all those creature comforts and draw our attention from the voices of our better angels.

I believe you honor the good men and women who contribute to causes like this by thanking them for their efforts and making sure you illustrate that they are NOT like the bottom feeders and bullies amid their ranks. And then you weed out the rotten so that the good people won't be burdened with them next time around.

Although in this case we can't get rid of all the trash until a new election year rolls in. Or maybe not. Can you recall a President?

*sigh* At some point, gross incompetence really is criminal, no matter what the Supreme Court ruled.

Damn. Where's that mantra?

I believe most people are good and they should be applauded. I believe some people are irresponsible and malevolent and they should be held accountable. I believe that demanding accountability does not mean forgetting to give thanks to those who've earned it. I believe most people are good. I believe most people are good. I believe...

I choose to believe.

For what it's worth.

Wucking Feather by Doxy at 02:20 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

September 07, 2005

Join Team Wringer

Most football teams are temperamental: 90% temper and 10% mental. ~ Doug Plank

We all need a distraction. A little one.

For the last couple years I have enjoyed playing ESPN's GridIron Challenge. It's a fantasy football system that's not as complicated or time consuming as other fantasy football endeavors. Think of it as Fantasy Football Lite.

At any rate, I've established a team and I welcome anyone to join that cares to play.

To join simply go to the ESPN Gridiron Challenge Home Page and create a free account and user profile. Once you have done this choose to join a team, search the directory for "TeamWringer" and when it asks you for a password simply type in "doxy."

Pigskin by Doxy at 07:00 AM | permalink | talkback (0)

September 06, 2005

Nor Any Drop To Drink

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice. ~ Mr. Sideshow (inspired by Arthur C. Clarke)

If you're already starting to get sick to your stomach about the "blame the local officials" game going on regarding Katrina, THIS is an interesting article. It refers directly to THIS PRESS RELEASE issued on the 26th, showing there was a FEDERAL state of emergency called for parts of Louisiana. Curiously absent are the areas most affected. Either the press release which included those areas has been pulled or this one has been altered for some purpose.

Also according to THIS ST. PETERSBURG TIMES ARTICLE Bush was on a video conference with the Director of the National Hurricane Center. So this "no one could have foreseen" line isn't going to play.

If you can stomach it, you need to read THIS ARTICLE FROM THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE that shows how our nation's emergency crews have been squandered during this crisis.

Crooks and Liars has the BARBARA BUSH AUDIO that I can't get my head around. This is not a stupid woman. What the HELL did she think she was saying?

From Constructive Interference a roll call of the DAMAGE THAT FEMA DID.

If you haven't seen THIS BBC NEWS VIDEO then take a deep breath first. It will break your heart into pieces. If someone told you these were people in America more than a week after the disastrous events, would you have believed it before now? I thought that I couldn't get anymore physically upset after watching Aaron Broussard on Meet the Press. I was wrong.

And finally, just to emphasize how malevolent the clusterfuck currently known as FEMA is, give THIS SALON ARTICLE a glance and ponder how fast Bush's ass would have been down to the Big Easy if this was an election year.

Oh, and hurricane victims in the midst of rebuilding their lives had better keep track of their accounting. Remember all those hefty FEMA checks that went to Florida victims of Ivan during that tight election year? Well, once that election was over, quite a few of those victims were asked to GIVE MONEY BACK.

Wucking Feather by Doxy at 11:30 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

September 04, 2005

That Has To Hurt

The nation needs to return to the colonial way of life, when a wife was judged by the amount of wood she could split. ~ W. C. Fields

Okay, I think we all deserve something yummy.

And what better way to spend a few minutes of fantasy than gazing at Contortionist Fetish Porn?

Granted, I was a pre-teen the last time I was in a leotard and tights for ballet class, but I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to be able to get into these poses.

Yummy Flexible Slut Yummy Flexible Slut

I also like the fact that her delightful bottom looks a little ruddy. Maybe she's in those poses because she was a bad girl, got herself a spanking and now has to perform for master ;-)

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Naughty Bits by Doxy at 07:01 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

September 03, 2005

R.L. Burnside RIP

I love this little angel;
I love her all for myself.
I don't want her
To spread her wings
Over no one else.
~ RL Burnside, "Sweet Little Angel"

When it rains it pours and then it rains some more.

I think the world of the blues has taken enough hits for the rest of the decade.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 03:20 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

Helping 101: Money Now, Supplies Later

If the mortality rate seems high we must realize that Nature is a ruthless teacher. There are no second chances in Mother Nature's Survival Course. ~ William S. Burroughs

So, I'm going to try and keep this as brief as I'm able. There's a lot of emotion wrapped up in what's going on for me, but this isn't my grief to co-opt. I can't personalize this event, I can only draw parallells to how it relates to a somewhat similar event in my personal history. But as horrible as being at ground zero during Andrew was, Andrew was nothing like Katrina. I've had a lot of people say to me "well, you probably understand better than I do..." but the truth is I don't. Not really. In some ways it is harder for me to wrap my head around this tragedy than the average person. I endured something horrific; to conceive of something more horrific leaves me in a disorienting confusion between numb and emotionally wide-open. I'm in a constant state of sympathy and trying to pull myself away from that sympathy. It's the emotional equal of dragging yourself up a surf leash to help get to the surface after a wipe out while the current continues dragging you down. It gets exhausting fighting the pull of the weight of the world.

Andrew did manage to give me a sort of overflow valve for this kind of thing. I can only feel so much, listen to so much, read so much and then I shut off. I wish I could make everyone shut off a little now and then. Watching TV making yourself heartsick isn't productive. If you aren't going to volunteer, then make sure you take time to watch a movie, eat a good dinner, read a book, jerk off. The disaster will be there when you get back.

I'm planning for this to be my only entry about Katrina. It pisses me off when people offer cursory grief and polite "donate" blurbs within inappropriate forums. This is a sex blog. No one is coming here to learn about charity. If the images on television and the stories on the radio aren't convincing, nothing I say here will inspire someone to donate or volunteer. There are appropriate places for grief and my blog just isn't one of them. It doesn't mean I don't care; it means I have a certain sense of proper place and appropriate time.

The main reason I'm writing this, actually, has more to do with my surprise concerning a particular sentiment I've been hearing over and over these last few days from people who should, frankly, know better.

"How do I help?" / "What can I do?"

I'm drawn back to 9/11 when a president opted to tell Americans to shop instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to channel our nation's grief energy into positive, productive action.

Is the average American really so distanced from charity and community service that they're left completely impotent in the face of things like this? Well, that needs to stop. When I graduated high school you had to have 20 hours of community service to get a diploma. If that's not a national standard then it fucking needs to be.

Fist things first. If you want to help, if you can help, here's your priority list:

1. Money.
Right now, it's what they need. It may feel too casual, like coping out and giving a gift certificate in place of a real gift, but your $25, $50, $100, $500 donations are going to do a lot more than you think. Right now donating $1 gets the water where it needs to be, instead of that gallon jug you donate getting stockpiled in your local charity's storehouse.

2. Manpower.
If you can volunteer, do it. If you have the individual freedom to get in the middle of things, then call your local Red Cross and ask for orders. Where to go, who to report to, what to bring with you. Don't just head down there and get in the way. Be smart, be safe, be productive. People's lives are on the line. And don't think ground zero is the only place you can physically volunteer. Call or just show up at your local Red Cross and let them put you to work. Even if what you're doing isn't directly related to Hurricane Katrina, it's going to be necessary. Small everyday disasters don't take a break because a bigger disaster is going on somewhere else. If you show up and are able to help a local family who just suffered a house fire, then you're helping keep the home front functioning so the links in the chain don't break down.

3. Organization.
Go to human resources at your place of work and ask who's in charge of setting up payroll deductions. Sometimes people can't part with $100 all at once, but $2 per paycheck can really add up. You might even get your company to match employee donations. If you're a church-goer, or have a book club, or are den mother for little Suzi's cupcake club, then organize food drives, clothes drives, donation drives. Get the cute little kids all dressed up and go door to door collecting checks made out to the Red Cross and giving a cupcake as thanks. Raise funds to sponsor a family's hotel bills or relocation. You'd be surprised how easy it is to actually do things.

4. Coordination.
Don't think you have to be physically carrying sandbags to help. Get in touch with an organization and ask what phone calls you can make from home, who you can solicit on their behalf. Offer to be a relay between supply and demand, between survivors and their families.

5. Solicitation.
You can get out the phone book and start calling numbers asking people to make donations. Give them the number/website/address to make a Red Cross donation. Just say "My name is Bob and we're asking people to make donations to the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Can I provide you with an address, phone number, or website where you can send a contribution?" You can call companies you frequent and tell them you expect they'll be making donations of money or supply to the cause. You'd be surprised how a few phone calls to the customer service line of major corporations will make them see the PR consequences of not contributing. Just call up and say "I've been a Wal-Mart shopper for 10 years and I'd like to know what your company is doing to aid in disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina" or "I'm a frequent traveler and member of Hyatt's Frequent Guest program. I'd like to know if you're offering free or discounted shelter to victims." Better yet, tell them you're writing a freelance article for a local newspaper, seeking to report on how local companies are contributing to relief efforts. It wouldn't hurt to think about writing such an article, either. If a list of who helped and who didn't appears in the paper, companies will think twice the next time a call for help is issued.

6. Information.
Don't help circulate inaccurate information. Rumors in this case can be deadly, or have terrible emotional consequences. People get insane in the face of grief. This isn't the time for conspiracy theories. There will be plenty of time for that later. I still read bullshit accounts of the military murdering people in the chaos of Andrew. On the other hand, if you can help circulate helpful and accurate information, then do it.

7. Secondary Supply.
The above mentioned clothes and food drives aren't going to be needed for a couple of weeks. Right now it's search and rescue and immediate need. You're not going to get anything through there before the emergency crews do. But, later on there will be people with nothing who can use clothes and food and almost anything else you want to send. Start a box of items now. Every time you go to the store buy things on sale that will be easily shipped. Make plans with your friends to go yard sale hopping and pick up clothes and shoes. Eventually there will be plenty of places to send these items. Only don't overload your local Red Cross with it now. They have limited storage space and they won't be shipping anything in that direction from local branches for a while.

8. Prevention.
Educate yourself, your friends, and your family about the realities of disasters in your local area. Make plans. What would you do in the case of a disaster in your area? How would you keep your loved ones notified. What supplies do you have ready to toss in the car. Are your important papers accessible so that you can simply grab a folder and have your insurance papers at hand? Make a list of priority items you'd want to take with you in a worst-case evacuation scenario. The best way you can help in the midst of disaster is to not become a victim in need of rescue. Find out how up to date your local government facilities are and how viable their procedures are.

9. Accountability.
You know this anger and sickness you feel? Don't forget it and don't displace it. Don't let it be re-branded and redistributed later on. Be angry at the right people and hold them accountable. After we were lectured to about the necessity for the rights stripped from us in the Patriot Act are we any safer in the face of disaster? Are you as likely to be the victim of a terrorist as you are a hurricane or earthquake? This is what government is for; aid in the aftermath of disaster is basic government obligation. WHY wasn't it there immediately? And don't just remember those who fucked up. Remember those who didn't step up. Why isn't Congress holding hands and singing on the steps this time? Where are OUR LEADERS on any side of the political landscape? In the next political primary let the question be "where the fuck were you after Katrina?"

10. Patience.
I don't want to get all liberal touchy-feely here, but the fact is that you need to practice being just a little nicer to people for a spell. The person you're screaming at because your bank statement is fucked up could be under a great deal of stress wondering if a family member is alive or dead. The guy who just cut you off in traffic could be out of his mind with grief from media overdose and just as ready to ram into a pylon as take his next breath. It doesn't cost you anything to swallow one extra time and let things pass. Just imagine every person you're dealing with is feeling as stressed, angry, and emotionally spent as you are. If you need to vent the poisonous feelings, vent them in the right direction. Write your congressperson, your white house, your local paper with an editorial. Don't threaten to blow up anything. Do promise to remember next election who did nothing and who stood up and took action.

This is not an official list. This is based on my experience and my personal feelings right now off the top of my head. Take it for what it's worth. So long as you use common sense and think before rushing in, no effort is wasted effort.

Some Good Links To Have

Red Cross

First Gov's Katrina Recovery Links

Family Links

CNN's Safe List

Wucking Feather by Doxy at 02:50 PM | permalink | talkback (2)