Friday, April 30, 2010


They cut me out of the photo, but whatever.

Lee and I are teaching a class at the Creative Alliance in cooperation with the CityLit project. Come learn. We actually know things, and would like to impart our knowledge.

More info here.

Write Here Write Now: Public Speaking for Writers
Presented by CA & CityLit
6 Thursdays May 6-Jun 10, 7-9pm
Adv Reg $155, $145 mbrs. Walk-in $165, $155 mbrs
Presenting your written work to the public can often feel harder, and scarier, than writing the work itself. This class will teach professional public speaking skills through a variety of activities and exercises. Students will then learn to chose effective excerpts from their own work and discover how best to use their new speaking skills to present those works in public. Instructors Michael Cook and Lindsay Smith are both busy freelance writers (B,, Style Magazine) with veteran stage presence.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Anything That Is Wrong With Us

Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.

-Eric Hoffer

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spike Lee's "Requiem"



New crush: Wendell Pierce. Native New Orleanian, star of The Wire and now Treme lends his commentary to Spike Lee's infinitesimally-researched documentary.

Every time I think I get some scope of JUST HOW complicated the situation is/was....

Below is just an excerpt. In the actual documentary, there is footage that is beyond disturbing.

Example: British journalists stumbled upon a home filled with un-minded children. Where's Mom? "She needs air to breathe," a child explains, pointing the journalists to dead Mom lying in her bed, hooked up to an oxygen machine that ceased to work when the power went out.

Wrap your head around that.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Have Done What You Could

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered by your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 19, 2010

Episode Two and Karma

Episode 2 of Treme brought up an interesting point last night: the volunteer aspect of the equation.

It's easy, I suppose, to try and absorb the tragedy, to educate oneself and immerse oneself in the goings-on. But the narrative cannot be made wholly real because of one blatant, glaring point: You. Weren't. There.

It's not your story.

It's not your home.

It's not your city.

But no one would ever make the mistake of saying: It's not your fight.

"We really appreciate what you're doing for our city," people say. And they do. But of course, they're wary of outsiders coming in and trying to claim the disaster for their own. And there is certainly some degree of skepticism involved ("Oh, you get to take a week off from your regular life, come down here, clean up a little of the mess and go home to your stable home and job and family and feel like you are alleviated of some liberal, white guilt.")

But the point is, we wouldn't be watching Treme if we didn't feel involved in some way. If we hadn't, somehow, gotten sucked into these collective stories. And maybe we got involved, to whatever degree, because there is something so realistic and believable about it. New Orleans may not be our home, and Katrina may not have been our personal un-doing. But our homes are just as fragile, our lives just as transient as anyone elses. And we know, deep down, that we're not really all that safe from anything. A freak car accident, a mugging, a collection of random cells gone rogue and metastasizing. We dig our fingers into the dirt of New Orleans because we know that people would dig theirs right back in ours if something went terribly wrong.

Or, at least, we hope so. You put out into the world what you hope to get back. It's a radically simple karmic theory but, in my experience, It. Works.

It's not tit for tat. Make no rookie mistake on that.

But it's an energy, it's something you're buying into. A general way of being in the world. Opening your world view to encompass the losses of a few hundred thousand people in a city sixteen hundred miles away might mean you smile at strangers. It might mean you hand a homeless man a five dollar bill (and then have a panic attack for ten minutes worrying that he's headed straight to the liquor store, but whatever) or it might mean that you turn off the incessant inner-monologue you have going on to listen intently to a friend who desperately needs your ear. Not your advice, not your opinion, just your ear.

The changes I have seen in my life in the past year or so I directly attribute to this attitude I've developed. This moment of having a choice at every second of every day as to who you're going to be, and how you're going to act. You don't have to gut or rebuild houses to put something good out in the world. You could just hold a door open for a stranger, send a card to someone you love telling them that, or make eye contact at a crucial moment. You consistently choose to be the best person you can be, the most honest and aware and kind, on a moment-to-moment basis.

I digress.

Anyway...still in love with Treme. And the music....delicious.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Oh. My. God.

I know I said I was going to break from all things New Orleans for a spell, but I poured myself a glass of pinot grigio this evening and sat back with Treme.

Oh, David have cast a spell on me.

Everything, from the shotgun houses to the greener-than-green palms, the clapboard, the second line (so-called because after funeral processions; after the mourners and hand-wrenchers; there is a long-standing tradition of a "second line" brass band playing joyful celebratory hymns and ditties with the express purpose of "celebrating" the life of the deceased), the Mardi Gras Indian, the X's on the houses, the "Red beans and rice even though it ain't Monday," the mold in the opening credits, and the music-oh the music- sweet bluesy-jazz-zydecho. Spot-on, Simon. Spot-freaking-on.

"How's your house?" people inquire, as casually and common-place as "How's life?" People displaced to Baton Rouge and -gasp- as far as Jefferson Parish (highly inconvenient by taxi to anywhere action might be)...

Oh, David Simon.

Treme is, after only one show, already signed on for a second season. People are committed to this post-Katrina New Orleans thing, and David Simon's Midas touch certainly helps.

Watch it. Find it, watch it, live it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Absolute Zero

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
- Emily Dickinson

This happens all the time now.

I'm standing in a house, which I somehow recognize as my own although it looks nothing like any house I've ever lived in. I'm standing in the living room of sorts, and everything is upside down. Furniture tossed and landed sideways, broken, pieces of it everywhere.

Suddenly, the walls begin to bloom. Circles of mold, near the intersection of wall and ceiling, begin to bleed across the wall in dusty, gray-green patterns that look wet to the touch. The mold begins to overtake the house.

And then there's a creaking, moaning sound, and it happens. The water: it's coming. I can hear it, like a freight train, barrelling forth with its terrible velocity. The windows shatter, and it comes pouring in. Great brown waves, bubbling with toxic fury. The water is pouring in, and I am standing in the middle of the room, and I am alone in a house that is filling up with water.

It picks me up, and I reach for anything. My hands touch wall and go straight through, the plaster crumbling between my fingers, the mold oozing out. This house is already in a state of advanced decay. I know that I will not get out and, in my dream, it doesn't seem to matter. Everything in my life is in this house, and everything is destroyed, so what's the point?

I wake up with my hands clenched in fists held so tightly against me that they are asleep. Pins and needles in my forearms and hands and fingers. I've awoken with one of those audible gasps that you hear yourself make and have to wonder, for a moment, if you're still dreaming.

It's come to this: I'm dreaming about Hurricane Katrina.

I've always had the same recurring stress dream: tornadoes. Always the same scenario: black sky, wind whipping, giant tube of anger and electricity bearing down on me. I am always trying to get away. Sometimes I'm in a car, sometimes I'm on foot, but always, always it's going to get me and suck me up and pull the air out of my lungs and kill me. I almost always wake up just as my feet leave the ground. I've had this dream for as long as I can remember.

And now? A moldy, ruined house with water rushing in. Everything is gone. And the worst part- I don't even try to get away.

Because that's the bigger fear, isn't it? The fear of losing everything? The fear of aloneness and loss of family, friends, house, and any little tiny thread of security that binds us to this sometimes terrible and inexplicable world. And there are moments when we see how painfully thin those ties are, like spiderwebs slick with dew. We accumulate more possessions and ideas and experiences in the hope that these things will weigh us down, give us heavier footing. But there are moments when the water rushes in, and we see how dangerously close we can come to losing everything.

But everything isn't lost, it never is, there are always more webs reaching out and as our hands flail around in this world there is always something to grab onto, even just momentarily. And if we let go, just open our hands and let the water come and admit defeat, something will reach out for us. Because life isn't like nightmares. Thankfully.

I am petrified of absolute zero. Like those burn victims who live but whose faces are marred beyond recognition: how do they go on? Loss of sense of self, loss of all ego, loss of any solid footing on this earth. Or people who lose entire communities and family members to natural disasters. How would you even begin to pick through the mourning process? Losing a house, and all that is contained within. The grief would be overwhelming.

Even more than all that, I am afraid of losing the core essence of myself. Mental illness, some neurological misfire...sometimes the damage is invisible; there is no flood, no fire, but everything is gone just the same. A wind snuffing out a candle, poof, nothing but a thread of smoke remains.

But it's like that moment in Mean Girls (Whatever, totally one of my favorite movies.) when Lindsay Lohan's character, Cady, is participating in the Mathletes contest and suddenly gets it. The line is approaching zero, it's getting closer and closer, but "The limit does not exist! The limit does not exist!"

The limit does not exist. If you do not allow it to.

There will always be something. Some thread. Some lifeline, some gossamer strand of hope. Because we're humans, and we look for meaning in fricking everything. You can lose everything, you can scrape your feet on rock bottom and feel the horrible weight of failure and loss bearing down on you like 80 metric tons of debris-infected water, but you will still hope.

"Hope is the thing with feathers," Emily Dickinson wrote. Perched on the soul, singing it's little heart out even if no one is listening.

I'm thinking maybe it's time to take a little break from reading 1 Dead in Attic and working on this presentation that has me reviewing slide after slide of water, mold, and ruin. I have the luxury of taking a step back and disengaging and, if this is working it's way into my dreams and waking me up again and again through the night, then I'm thinking I need a bit of a break.

If I'm lucky, maybe I'll go back to nightmaring about tornadoes. Or the naked dream. That's another classic.

Monday, April 12, 2010


One of the reasons I love having a blog: ask and ye shall receive.

THANK YOU to the reader who procured me a copy of Treme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shall watch and relate here. So psyched.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I DON'T GET HBO. (And other lamentations.)

I almost bit a good part of my lip off this morning as I worked my way through a bagel with lox and The New Yorker.

How has the new David Simon series NOT BEEN ON MY RADAR????

In a piece entitled "After The Flood," Nancy Franklin prepped audiences for tonight's premiere of Treme on HBO. David Simon, of The Wire and The Corner fame has teamed up with Eric Overmeyer (writer/producer credited with Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street) to portray a collective of New Orleanian artists and musicians struggling in the first handful of months post-Katrina. Two things which have brought my worlds into a tighter focus: The Wire (and, more specifically, all of the ills that trouble my home city) and New has this escaped my lexicon??

Anyway, I unfortunately do not have HBO. Ugh.


Still- I am ecstatic to hear that Simon is lending his golden touch to the NOLA cause. The Baltimore Sun, eager to hail our hometown hero, referred to him as one of the greatest anthropologists of our time. I don't know what Simon's personal investment in New Orleans is (although Franklin notes that "[Simon] has spoken of his love of New Orleans music and his feeling about the importance of the city [...]") but I'd gladly eat it up with a spoon after what he did for putting inner-city Baltimore on the map, controversy and all. His calculated eye that led us through the infinitely complicated matters of the drug, political, and justice systems of Baltimore could no doubt lend some brilliant commentary on post-Katrina New Orleans and the equally infinitely complicated matters that still plague the city.

Hit. Head. On. Plate. Of. Lox. No HBO.

Netflix. In the meantime, I've queued up Spike Lee's four-hour documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Parts to tide me over. And I've crawled my way through the first fourth of 1 Dead In Attic, which is actually proving more difficult than I had anticipated. Rose's quirky, not entirely humor-less prose excavates some painful and often shocking anecdotes about those first post-apocalyptic days and weeks post-Katrina when he and a handful of other journalists camped out in a city completely shut down. There are times when I find myself having to put the book down, finding the imagery too close, and beginning even to smell the corpsey olfactory cues he lays down as I imagine a city full of stinking rot and mold. Definitely not a book to read over some bagels and lox on a Sunday morning.

I'm finding much inspiration plugging into this creative and intellectual probing of what Katrina and New Orleans mean in our post-modern world, and how the problems and issues leak into every aspect of our American culture. Socio-economics, race, faith, politics, and a nest of ancient history culminate into a fascinating anthropological opportunity.

Cheers to David Simon for taking this on. And thanks for the tip the other day: I had the opportunity to wait on him and his wife, Laura Lippman, when they came in for lunch. You'll be happy to know I was very professional and did not fawn one bit. That was, however, before I knew that he was going to be putting New Orleans back onto network television. No promises that next time I see him I don't throw my arms around him in gratitude.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fish Water

There is almost nothing about my life that looks the way I had anticipated.

When I moved here to Baltimore, three years ago last week, I signed a year lease that I ambitiously thought I could break. I moved into a piece-of-crap row house on a street where the pavement buckled up like tectonic plates and the corner store had that awful buzzing fluorescent light and a single AC window unit that hummed non-stop in the summer when I flip-flopped down the block to buy one of those chocolate-chip cookie ice cream sandwiches and a roll of paper towels.

I had my sights set on something else when I moved here; a stop-gap effort to get away from the sand, the mosquitoes, and the glaring heat of the Gulf coast of Florida. I was sick of lizards finding their way into our house, sick of the violent and haphazard lightening storms, sick of cockroaches the size of small mice, and had had my fill of mojitos and cafe con leche with chickory and even the beach. I was even sick of the beach. Miles of white sand, twenty minutes from my house, and the water of the Gulf, flat and turqoise and bathwater warm and reeking of dead fish and full of things that sting.

I moved here expecting to hate it so much, it would spew me further north to a place I couldn't afford: New York. I moved here expecting to suffer. Save some money, get my bearings after three years of hurricanes and Floridian Evangelists, and propel onward.

And something happen: I stayed.

It wasn't for the view.

One of the things I love the very most about New Orleans is that the city can be conjured up in imagery, smell, and sounds. Sensual clues that, were you blindfolded and stuffed in the back of a truck and driven thousands of miles southward, would somehow be indicators of your location if you found yourself dropped off in the center of town, still blindfolded. A whiff of cajun seasoning, fresh flowers, sticky sweet liquor, salty fishy canal, and something underneath slightly fetid and mostly wild. New Orleans can be understood in a complex jazz sentence, in the vision of sun breaking through oak limbs and bathing wrought iron gates and fleur de lises in front of houses with columns.

I think I love it because it reminds me of Baltimore.

Baltimore is crabby, fishy, salty, beery, loud, dirty, rude, and completely obnoxious. Baltimore is old trees shadowing crappy city streets, rowhouses lumped up on one another. It's an expanse of city park, the grass so completely green it's obscene. It's parallel parking and oysters on the half shell and that same fishy, damp, salty canal smell. There's a sisterhood to be found between Old Bay and cajun seasoning, and everybody knows it. Baltimore is constantly at risk, the way New Orleans is. Why rebuild on below-sealevel land that's subject to Category 5 hurricanes? Why rehab another slice of neighborhood deep in drug land that's subject to gang cross fire? We do it because we can, because we believe in progress and change, and because there's a part of us that relishes the danger. We love The Wire. And we also love Ace of Cakes. We dig this grubby city that bakes in the summer and ices in winter. Baltimore can be understood in muddy, shallow water and cheap beer and sailboats and hope.

I don't know how long I'll stay here, or if there's a future here for me but I do know this: on my third anniversary here in Baltimore, I recognize that she and I have come to regard each other with much affection. I expected to hate it and, instead, I find it's become a part of me like my straight, thin hair and the fact that I'm almost certain my eyes are crooked. It's not something I love, but it's a part of me more genetically than anything else. And, mostly, I find myself loving it. The changing of seasons has become recognizable to me and the shift has me craving ice picks and raw oysters in an al fresco environment. I can't picture living anywhere else in the spring but here. I haven't yet grown disenchanted, I'm still conversing, and I'm still finding that there is something almost spiritual about Baltimore.

There's a reason I have such a soft spot for damaged, hard, wild, sticky sweet New Orleans. Because it reminds me of home, and the thought of some catastrophic event torching my own home is unbearable.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Intuitive Thinking

Taking a break from talk of philanthropy and New Orleans, et al...

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
-Carl Sagan

Intuitive thinking amazes me.

I have such incredible powers of intuition that, many times in the past, I've wondered if I should don a Jamaican accent and start reading people their life stories on late-night call-in television shows. But, the thing is, I'm certainly not unique. Most people I know are incredibly intuitive, and, unfortunately, most of our problems stem from our stubborn unwillingness to allow intuition to be right and lead the way because, unfortunately, often intuition is steering you away from something you think should be right, or you want to be right.

I've dealt with it so many times in the past. Jobs, living situations, relationships, things I've agreed to do that I knew, deep-down, I completely didn't want to do and shouldn't be doing. The dissonance I've felt between knowing that something wasn't right or didn't fit and barrelling on ahead with it anyway has been extreme.

But sometimes trusting my intuition leads me down paths I don't particularly wish to explore. The opening or closing of a door based on gut feeling alone can be a terrifying prospect. "But you can't possibly feel such certainty about this," I'll say to myself, "because you don't have all of the information!"

Still. Gut feelings led me to Florida where I spent three difficult but very fun years. Gut feelings, I've found (my own in particular- a point of which I'm quite proud) are ten times better than GPS. "This feels like the right direction," has gotten me safely out of unknown territory countless times, much to the annoyance of my more methodical family and friends who rely on things like "maps" and "asking for directions."

There's that moment. When you're coasting through, and your mental monologue is completely turned off; you're convincing yourself of nothing; and all of the lights are green, and you just go. You just go with some invisible thread that's pulling you forward, propelling you out of danger or towards a sticky situation that you're meant to work your way through. Sometimes intuition drags you through the depths of the forests for the very purpose of making you work for something. And sometimes it saves you a hell of a lot of trouble and anguish. Intuition is a tricky bitch.

I took an intuitive painting class last fall where the instructor had us stand, close our eyes, and put one hand on our diaphragms, spanning the warm solar plexus.

"Here," she said, "is the seat of your intuition. If this spot feels warm and open, you're doing the right thing. If it feels cramped, cluttered, or're not."

I've never heard it so aptly described.

There are a lot of things that throw off my ability to listen to and understand my intuition. Ego, the biggest one. "Nope, there is no way I'm wrong about this," I'll decide. Or: "No way am I even going to consider taking that course of action." Intuition gets pissy, and we fight inwardly for days or weeks on end until everything erupts and, as always, she's right and I'm wrong.

That's not to say that my intuition is never wrong. Sometimes she's right, but only temporarily so. Sometimes she leads me to make decisions that feel right only to discover that there's some hidden catch that neither she nor I could possibly have anticipated. In those split-second moments, however, she immediately corrects, long before I have mentally caught up. I've found that my intuition has a basic long-term shelf life of about three months (beyond that, there seem to be too many undetermined factors for her to operate properly.) Every now and then, she stumbles across something that she knows is Fo Life. A friend, a confidant, a particular way of thinking. She latches on and says, "This thing right here? It's gonna be around for awhile. I don't know how, or why, or in what form, but it's gonna be here, somehow." My intuition has led me to create deep, long-lasting friendships with people flung all over the globe living vastly different lives. It's led me to the practice of writing, of intuitively understanding how to take care of myself when I'm in trouble, and (lately) to the understanding that my life is, in some way, going to be dedicated to helping others.

I think, sometimes, that the process of growing up isn't so much gaining all of this knowledge that helps you to make rational, well thought-out decisions. Sometimes it's going through so much trial and error that you discover, all along, your first inclination was correct. And learning how to listen for that inclination, to cultivate your own sense of inner balance and right and wrong. I spent the first half of my twenties not really knowing I had any intuition, and the second half recognizing and learning to trust this ability.

This has been on my mind a lot recently with these decisions I'm facing concerning my career, my 5-year plan, etc. There are no solidified, easy answers and very few clues. No one has taken my hand and led me down this path to say, "Try this." I have intuitively felt my way through a number of options and finally, finally settled upon something that feels more than right. True, I may change venues five hundred times in my lifetime, but the basic urge is there: help, in some way, to heal the world. My ultimate happiness lies in this.

If you had asked me a year ago where my ultimate happiness resided, I would have spouted off a list of destinations, lifestyles, and possibly dress codes. Things that are transient, temporal, and really having very little to do with the actual question. They're trappings- not the thing itself.

Listen to your intuition. It will guide you through picking out yogurt (an insane task these days- since when are there forty thousand different types of yogurt, and WHY is my local grocery store consistently OUT OF the ONE kind I always buy??) and finding love. It will allow you to let go of the constructs you've created that hold you back, and it will open you up to finding new alternative ways of being. Trust it. Cultivate that trust.

And if you find that an email invitation to spend a week in New Orleans rebuilding houses lands in your Inbox the same week you decide you want to give back to the world, then consider this: intuition opens doors and creates opportunity for you. If it's right, the universe will find a way to make it happen for you. Resources will be found, things will come together if you are determined and dedicated to your path. I have always found this to be true.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crock-pot Squirrel and Dumplings

I would consider myself to be a somewhat adventurous eater. I was raised with the mantra: "Try everything once," the argument being that I couldn't possibly explain how I didn't like something if I hadn't even tried it. As I got older, my mantra is now: "Try everything once, in multiple forms." Because I've found, with this particular mantra, that I do in fact like things like escargot and beets IF PROPERLY PREPARED.

In preparation for this presentation we're giving in a few weeks, it was decided we would also provide a taste of New Orleans cuisine, specifically red beans and rice. We had the most exquisite red beans and rice in the home of a family who couldn't have been nicer, but we somehow felt it would be rude to ask for the recipe. It was skirted around, ("This is delicious! I wish I could make something like this at home!") and the only response was something involving cooking roux for twenty four hours. We're all mid-Atlantic types who prefer lox with our bagels and thin-crust on our pizzas. Roux is simply not a staple of our everyday cuisine.

I somehow, in the nether regions of my very tired brain, remembered purchasing a second-hand Cajun cookbook in the French Quarter on my visit in 2005. It was from such a small publisher that a typed note was pressed in the front of the book that said "Errata: The following changes should be observed" followed by a listing of three recipes with errors printed in the book. I found a recipe for red beans and rice and, upon further inspection, discovered that I also have the recipes for these:

Crock-pot Squirrel and Dumplings
Alabama Pea-Pickin' Cake
Catfish Courtboullion
Favorite Shrimp Mold
Fried Alligator
Garfish Balls

Wait. I know. I KNOW. Garfish Balls. So not a typo.

Garfish Balls?

Thankfully, my newly recovered Cajun Cookbook appears to have been written for Yanks like myself (because, despite the ever-disputed presence of the Mason-Dixon Line, I am pretty sure most native Southerners would consider me to be a Yankee), because there was a description of said "Garfish," and the "Balls" aspect of it was innocuously something like meatballs.

The garfish is said to date back to the dinosaur days. Today there are several species of garfish found in all types of water. One species called the "alligator gar" can grow up to ten feet long and is found predominantly in the southern US.

There you have it. Garfish.

I'm seriously tempted about the Crock-pot Squirrel. And, most thankfully, it appears I also have recipes for deliciousness such as King Cake (baby sold separately) and, of course, roux. Delicious roux. Browned fat and flour. Mmmm.

I may have to have a dinner party.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Katrina @ 5

Interesting article today which I linked to through Philanthropy News Digest (thanks, Mom!!) A recent conference in New Orleans of nonprofits and foundations gathered to assess the progress of various projects and also to open discussions on the future of volunteerism geared specifically towards city restoration.

It was interesting to be a part of what I would consider to be a "movement" of good faith efforts to give back to the city of New Orleans. I've yet to find a statistical analysis on the numbers of volunteers that have traveled to the city post-Katrina but, through general assessment, I have come to a very scientific and mathematical conclusive number: a lot.

Putting all of these volunteers up has been one of the biggest challenges. (And, of course, it's also one of the reasons why not so many people are jetting off to Haiti to start helping pick through the rubble. There simply aren't funds to give volunteers safe, healthy accommodations.) In general, though, it seems that nonprofits are dedicated to continue procurement of funds for this very reason. As long as there is work to be done, and there certainly is, the belief is that someone, somewhere, wants to do it and that someone else, somewhere, wants to pay for it.

Keeping the realization of need alive is another monster to be fed. It helped that the Saints won the Superbowl. It really did. Keep New Orleans on the map, keep the discussion alive.

In my selfish quest for betterment of my own life, I can't help but feel that there might be a market here for me. Part of the presentation I'll be assisting with in a few weeks will be to explain the dire need for programs like the one I was lucky enough to attend, but that's only a drop in the bucket.

True, this blog has shifted from "Gossipy Quarter-Life Crisis Glitterati" to all Katrina/New Orleans/allthetime, and it's been a fantastic little soap box from which to preach about our experiences. What the future is has yet to be revealed.

Wonder, ask and imagine. Be curious, inquisitive and interested.

The best possibilities won't usually shout out to announce themselves. Yet those valuable possibilities can be quickly uncovered with a little curious digging.

Ask yourself why, and ask yourself why not. Think about what is, and then wonder about what if.

In life's joys, in the problems, in the pleasures and in the disappointments, there are the seeds of innovation and progress. Take the time to look and to wonder, and you'll see great new value that's waiting to be created.

In even the most tedious situations, there are fascinating details. And in those details reside countless opportunities.

Find something truly fascinating about where you are. And you'll find a new, effective pathway to wherever you wish to go.

- Ralph Marston

Saturday, April 3, 2010


My beloved Snap, my former varsity girls doubles tennis partner, the girl with whom I have shared no less than 2 middle school boyfriends, is engaged.

And to pretty much the best guy in the world.

I love you both!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!