Laughter Road

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My love for...NPR

I usually leave the music posting to Kelly, but...

One of my favorite things about NPR is that they broadcast music I never hear other places. All Songs Considered is a special favorite. Everything from Coltrane to Willie Nelson to Bloc Party (there's a whole concert by this great London band, also). They recently broadcast a Sigur Ros concert, and it's my music of choice to have coming through the headphones while I'm "classing" online. It is particularly interesting to have this amazing Icelandic band as a soundtrack to whatever is going on in the cafe that day.

My ITunes Music Store fund is completely used up, but I may have to break down and find a way to get these people on my iPod.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"People just know to, like, stay away from me...but, like, I really like people."

I'm sitting at the local coffee shop in H'burg, using their free WiFi connection, because 3 tech people and assorted billing people at Comcast cannot figure out what's wrong with my modem, so I have no connection at home. This place is cool, though. But the little college girl sitting on the sofa across the way has loudly stated to the little boy she is with that Starbucks is so much better than this independant, local-owned coffeehouse. She's the one who said the thing about liking people that makes up the title of this post. And she also thinks its totally cool that she works at Mazzio's! And you should totally come there! On Monday nights when I'll get you a discount! The boy she is trying to charm is talking to her about anime. She's agreeing that its really cool when Japanese people speak English and their mouths move funny.

I wish Whitley and Will's place (Silver Chair) had worked out, because it would have been really cool, just like this place. But it wouldn't have had the annoying college students. If Will had heard these people, he would make them read some Narnia books before they would be allowed back.

Happy late birthday to David W., who's blog I read and who posted about the weirdness of being 28.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

a post in the Kottke style...

There are these bugs, in Hattiesburg. I don't know what they're called, because my family always just referred to them as Florida Bugs, because they would die by the thousands as we drove to Seagrove Beach near Destin each year for summer vacation. I am suprised to see them in H'burg, and a little disconcerted. I thought they only lived in FL. I've never seen them in LA, either. There are swarms of them, even after hundreds of thousands have been sacrificed on grills and windshields throughout the region. How do they survive? I think we may have discovered the most sex-crazed creature in the world.

A hotel in North Carolina posted "Get thee to a nunnery" on their marquee, as they face Ophelia brushing the Outer Banks. Never let it be said that the only good hurricane parties happen on the gulf.

I fell victim to bueracracy today when I tried to get a library card. Because I live on the wrong side of a city that straddles the county line, I would have to pay a $45 fee to use the good library. The bad library, you ask? I have more books in my living room than that place has in its whole oak grove branch. I can't even get a card just by virtue of being a student at the university. I have to have a P.O. box there, first. Guess what that costs...yup, $50. Maybe the counties don't get along. This is the deep south, after all.

Heard on the radio that the Jones County State Fair will be cancelled this year because of the "100% destruction of the fairgrounds, the buildings on it, the power lines, and the water supply." These are the words the guy used. "100% destruction." I was puzzled at the zest with which he reported this news. Why couldn't he just have said, "the place is too tore up for us to use it." They could all trek to the Neshoba County Fair instead. They live 20 people to a 3-room skack every year and call it fun. With no air-conditioning. In JULY. Don't need no stinkin' power or runnin' water and whatnot.

Also on the radio were warnings about snakes that may have taken shelter in people's homes after the hurricane. Back away slowly, etc. If you do get bitten, call the University of Mississippi Poison Control center. Gave a long string of numbers that I'm sure no one could remember in a crisis. They should come up with an acronym...1-800-gotbitn. 1-800-cpprhed. 1-8damnsnake.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I recently read about a website that would give you a survey, and then recommend books that you might like. I was excited about it, but the site turned out to be a major let-down. I went, and duitfully answered the questions, only to be told that no books matched my search criteria. They lie. I know there are perfect books out there; I've read them! (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, all of Diana Gabaldon's books, Christopher Moore's Lamb, the Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings, to name just a few) I'd just like to read a few more.

Online classes at USM started this week, and I'm not sure how I feel about them. There have to be very strict rules about the chats, because otherwise they would de-volve into chaos. Ergo, the pace is very slow. One cannot comment on questions another student is asking, without first being recognized by the moderator, and one must get in line to be recognized. By the time one has permission to speak, the question you were interested in will be long over. It makes for a very slow class. I much prefer a classroom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

You know you're addicted to ALIAS when... see a group of kids playing with a red ball and want to warn them that its a Mueller device. spot your friend eating coffee ice cream. You suspect he's been doubled. set your cell phone to ring like Sydney's. Extra points if its the same model phone.
...every time you see the character 'Locke' on Lost, you say. "Geez, when's Kendall going to call in the secret code and rendezvous with the team and get his butt off that island and back to Alias?" believe wearing a colorful wig and tight clothing can help you get away with anything. check the pages of old books for hidden messages.
...the mention of weddings, rings, or two years makes you incredibly ticked off.
...your history teacher mentions something about the KGB, and the first thing you think is, "Irina?"
...Every time you hear the Nokia ringtone, you get excited even though there's no way it could be Vaughn.

Obviously, I'm looking forward to the Alias season 5 premiere on Sept. 29. But I'll have to watch it by myself, which will make it a lot less fun.
Sad. miss you asbury people.

Friday, September 09, 2005

the pile is 3 ft. high...

I'm refering to the pile of books I've read in the past 7 weeks. Here are a few of them...
Eragorn and Eldest, both by Christopher Paolini, a homeschooled child prodigy who wrote the first book when he was 17. I think he read a lot of J.R.R. Tolkien and watched a lot of Star Wars growing up. Bacis story? An orphan boy, living in the boondocks, finds he has special powers and then discoveres a mentor (a reclusive older man living in the same vicinity, who, it turns out, has been watching over the boy his whole life.) Boy' s family is killed by agents who work for the evil king, boy and man then embark on an adventure. The find a renegade and a princess along the way. Great secret is revealed about boy's parentage. Story continues. It took me about 3 chapters to say to myself, Hey, this is StarWars! I enjoyed them, anyway.

Speaking of Star Wars, I wil reveal how much of a geek I am at times and reveal that I read nine Star Wars sequel books recently, from those authors that write in the continuing-the-story genre. . This is not a usual genre for me. I don't read a lot of science fiction/fantasy. They were recommended, and I enjoyed them out by the pool.

Learning to Bow, by Bruce Feiler, about the years he spent in Japan teaching English. Great book.

Marjorie Morningstar, by Howard Wouk. A coming-of-age story, set in the 1930's, about a Jewish New York girl who decides she wants to become an actress. Just as Judy Blume's Forever and Are You There God? It's me, Margaret were books that every teenage girl in my generation read, Morningstar was that kind of book for the generation before us.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, again.

Books I'm looking forward to this month?
A Breath of Snow and Ashes, by Diana Gabaldon. This will be the 6th book in the series, and the first in more than two years. I re-read the entire series this summer in preparation. It took me about a month, the books are each about 1000 pages.

Anasazi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.

And, I just got a bunch of books in the mail, and I raided my reserve collection in my room back home, and my new library card is burning a hole in my pocket.

I'm pretty sure by literary abuse problem is getting out of hand.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

checking in...

I drove back to Hattiesburg yesterday, and was relieved to find my apartment unscathed. The power was on, so everything that was ruined in the fridge had a chance to refreeze, which means the smell was much less powerful that I expected.

I didn't get into town early enough to get something to eat, though,(curfew starts at dusk) so I had trailmix and a handful of Baked Lays and a spoonful of peanut butter for dinner. I made it to Wal-Mart this morning, though, and managed to get milk and other stuff. There are plenty of dry goods, and perishable stuff is slowly being restocked. There is almost no produce, just some apples and oranges that I think may have been there before the storm and, strangely, three crates of zucchini.

Besides the piles of debris that line the roads, the other thing you really notice in Hattiesburg is the smell. Pine trees are scattered like toothpicks, and the smell they give off is amazingly powerful. The whole city smells like a Christmas tree farm.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Day 10, stuck in Hernando

While I'm stuck at my parent's house, I've done the following:
1. cleaned the kitchen, since my parents cannot LEARN HOW TO PUT THINGS AWAY AFTER THEY USE THEM. (Whenever I complain about this, they reply that its their damn house and they will do whatever they want. get your own house.)*
2. Cooked fattening, amazing Southern food from Paula Deen's cookbooks, The Lady and Sons.
3. Spent time with my brother's girlfriend, who I will gladly welcome into the family because she's super-cool.
4. Talked with friends in Indiana and Pennsylvania and North Carolina, reassuring them that I am safe. A couple of them also commented on how much thicker my accent has gotten since I moved back to Mississippi.
5. Tried to sort through real news and rumors about the Gulf Coast and Hattiesburg.
6. Walked around the lake with Delta 7 times. She's real frisky for the couple miles, but about a half-mile from the house she starts to think, You finish, I'll just lay here in the shade on the cool grass and you can come pick me up in Meatball.**
7. Bought my mom a new lamp, since she broke the old one.
8. Told myself, for the twentieth time, that when you find something you like at the Pottery Barn Outlet, you should always just go ahead and buy it, because it won't be there when you come back 2 weeks later.***
9. Thought seriously about becoming Search and Rescue certified.
10. Looked for archivist jobs on the internet.
11. Read about 8 books.
12. Entertained a really sweet girl who was staying with us for a couple of days while she took Coast Guard exams at the Darth Vader building downtown. My dad and her dad were roommates in college. We went to dinner at the Rendezvous.
13. Watched cable news, growing more and more frustrated with Mr. Bush and the Fema people, and wanting to cheer when Ray Nagin made it perfectly clear that no one seemed to have any idea what it was really like in NOLA.
14. Spent a LOT of time worrying about my daddy, who went to Pascagoula with my brother to try to salvage my aunt's house. They got back safely this evening, though.

*I am definitely not a neat freak, to which my old roommate will attest, so don't get the wrong idea. I still have things in boxes after the move in July to H'burg.
**Meatball is my volvo. He's swedish. Get it, Swedish Meatball? Whoo!
***a really pretty duvet cover, 75% off. King size. Now no longer there.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Yes, I'm fine. I'm in North Mississippi at my parent's house. From what I can figure out, Hattiesburg is is ruins, with power not expected for at least two weeks, and probably closer to a month. The main plant that supplies the whole region is in Gulfport, and it was badly damaged. Water is back on, but is running brown from the taps. Land and cell phones are out, for the most part. They have to get all that fixed before I'll go back. I don't know what is going to happen with school this semester. Early reports said we'd start back Sept. 6, but I don't see how that can happen if there is no electricity. There has been talk of canceling the semester, but it's only rumors right now.

Funnily enough, I got about 6 people in one day call me and make sure I was out of H'burg. You all had the same thoughts at the same moments. "Ummm, have you heard from Christy? She left Hattiesburg, right?" Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, and for caring about me so much that some of you said you felt a great weight lifted when you found out I was alright. I felt that today, myself; I finally found the last person I was really worried about this morning, safe with her family in Monroe, LA. Unfortunately, all this catching up to people has raised new worries about those we don't yet know about, particularly friends who are doctors, and probably have been in the hospitals in New Orleans this whole time. There have been a lot of reports of looting and violence at the medical centers, so please pray for the doctors, nurses, staff, and patients who are just trying to stay alive.

Refugees from the storm are everywhere here. My best friend Whitley and I were sitting behind a group today at lunch. They were telling us how bizarre and frightening it is to only have a handful of possessions to your name, and no idea what was happening to your home. It's beginning to look like these people, especially the ones in NOLA, won't be able to return home for at least a month, and personally, I think estimate is on the low side. The city is full of water, and that water is filled with chemicals, bodies, animals, sewage, and toxic waste from the garbage dumps around the city. Louisiana is notorious for its lax laws about chemical waste; now that waste is pouring into the city because it wasn't properly contained. Many of the city's building were on their last legs before the hurricane; now, they may not be salvageable.

My father and brother headed down to the mississippi coast today, to try to salvage my aunt's house, which is a mile from the gulf in Pascagoula. She got 4 ft. of water. I was worried to see them go, because things are crazy down there. The whole region is under martial law, and i'm afraid for them. I watched them drive away today with a really bad feeling about them leaving.

I know people who's houses are full of water, and others who don't have houses, period. Please, please, please, pray for the millions who have been affected by this storm. They are all over the country.

Lord, I'll miss New Orleans.

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