Wednesday, August 31, 2005

No Relief

So I almost got on Monday night and blogged that it appeared my fears had been unmerited and New Orleans had been spared Hurricane Katrina's wrath. I decided not to because I didn't want to jinx the situation. Alas, one of the worst-case scenarios with the levy breach has come to pass and the pictures coming out New Orleans are devastating. Not to mention the basic leveling and devastation that the Gulfport Mississippi area seems to have suffered.

I've been trying to reconcile the horror stories with my simple, fortunate day-to-day existence at the moment -- in all its 9 hours of work with a lovely house to go home to, a yard to putter around in, and Felicity reruns to watch -- and it's just hard to really grasp the devastation down there. My prayers go out to all those who are stranded, awaiting rescue, without a home, or have lost someone in the last three days. I can't even grasp what it must be like. Watch enough news right now, and it will remind you that high gas prices are nothing in comparison to what these people are facing.

There are some interesting questions about if and when New Orleans will rebuild. I have a friend who used to be in the military who said tonight that rebuilding the city on top after it has been flooded with the "toxic soup" of lake water, refinery offshoots, sewage, and decay would be against every EPA regulation in the book. Granted there's a good argument to be made that a city that could potentially suffer hurricanes should never be built in a bowl below sea-level. I have such fond memories of the city though that it's going to be difficult to imagine it not being rebuilt. My husband and I left on our honeymoon cruise from that port after a whirlwind two-night tour of the French Quarter, Pat O'Brien's, and Cafe DuMonde. I spent a week at a conference there last year during which we sampled all sorts of wonderful local cuisine - from the Redfish Grille to Mr B's Bistro to Emeril's NOLA to K-Pauls. Sure it was smelly and sweaty and had its share of problems...but it was a charming place to visit nonetheless. I wish all its residents, past and present, some relief this evening.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Prayers for the Big Easy

Major prayers tonight going out to the City of New Orleans and its inhabitants. I happenned to be in the Big Easy last year after the near miss with Hurricane Ivan. Just around that time I toured the hurricane preparedness center down there and viewed a variety of simulations of what would happen if a weak Category 3 storm hit the city dead-on. I believe they'd predicted 19 feet of standing water on Poydras Street in that scenario.

For those who aren't familiar with the city, New Orleans is basically a giant hollow bowl below sea level. There are approximately 19-feet levies surrounding most of the city to block storm surge...but right now Katrina's is predicted to be 28-feet. A direct hit would leave incredible structural damage and the city would be submerged in several feet of toxic sludge for weeks. I'm not sure where a preferable alternative strike location would be, but my prayers are definitely with anyone hunkering down there this evening...especially those with no way to evacuate the city.
Personal update

So I just realized that the blog has been dormant for almost 3 weeks. If it's not one thing, it's another at the moment. I finished up finals for a killer summer session class and at about the same time Illinihubby took an injury to his right foot during a rec league flag football game. After an initial doctor visit and two weeks of crutches with little improvement, we found out that he really has stress fractures in two we're in for a few more weeks of this.

You don't realize how much your spouse does around the house until they're laid up. Suddenly I'm the chauffeur, gardener, and runner of all errands in the household. Couple this with the fact that I've lived a wussy-girl existence and never mowed a lawn before last week and we hosted two parties the past three weeks, and it's a bit overwhelming. All part of that for better or worse bit though, so I'm happy to oblige.

That being said, my class schedule has settled down a bit and his foot is improving. I'm hoping to be online a bit more in the next few weeks. I've just got to figure out what I'd like to cover. I'm leaning towards a more local, economic, and pop culture focus at the moment. As much as I'd like to, I don't have the time required to do the thoughtful analysis that would be required for intelligent posts on the war and political issues. We'll see though, as the Roberts confirmation business should provide some interesting fodder in weeks to come. And of course the Illinigirl household is waiting with baited breath to see what happens with Illinois's appeal to the NCAA. If the university has to change its nickname, does the state have to change its name as well? Because that's the only way that ruling makes much sense. Coverage (and perhaps a guest column by Illinihubby on the matter) soon to come here at Illinigirl, stay tuned!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Comic relief

I received this article about Kim Jong-il from a coworker a couple days ago, and on first glance I thought it was from The Onion. Did you know that Kim hit 11 holes-in-one during his first round of golf? And he memorizes computer programs and cemetaries full of tombstones in one fell swoop!

For those who are interested in more satire and irony, Team America: World Police does a fabulous send-up of our favorite Korean dictator. Aside from sending Hans Blix down a chute to meet some sharks, Kim is loveable little furball whose rendition of "I'm so wonwey" steals the show. North Korea attempted to ban the film several months back in the Czech Republic of all places, because it harms their image. Well, it doesn't call Kim Jong-il a superhuman like their local squawk box, so we'll just assume it's not up to snuff.

Just a little random humor from a sleepy woman trapped deep in the throes of final exam writing and needing a little levity at the moment.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Other than buying cars, I do things with my life at the moment. Really! Right now they involve 40 hours of work each week and way too much time with my nose stuck in Harvard Business Review and Business Week. The class I've been taking since early July is a bear, and it's been eating up most of my time and desire to...well basically to think.

It seems this is a pattern in the blog world. A lot of the bloggers that I "came in" with have either closed up shop, combined to a group blog, or are taking hiatuses because their lives demand it. Some are child related, some work, some health, some other. I really enjoy having this little blog as my soapbox and way of communicating with many friends and family, but I don't have the time I'd like to devote to it at the moment. Things should improve a bit in a few weeks, but I'll post sporadically as I'm able in the meantime. Hope all is well with you readers!

P.S. We are still enjoying the new "baby" and got 26.4 mpg on our trip down to Central Missouri this hooray for Honda and our new little CR-V!