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from a to z: gustav and isaac

i hadn't even lived in new orleans for a month before i had to evacuate for hurricane gustav. After the gustav panic happened, i wrote a blog entry about it that basically showed my disgust for how the media and the current mayor handled the whole deal.

This time around with isaac looming around it feels different. I attribute the reason why to a couple of factors: first, when gustav overhype was going on, i was living with mark and amanda (pretty much), and they had regular television, so i was much more exposed to media and news barraging me with a lot of hyper speculation/non-information about the storm. Since i live by myself and have no regular telly, the only news i get about Isaac is what's being told to me via social media and or word of mouth coming from the voices of Real People rather than Media Overhype, so it doesn't have that same sense of urgency or panic that gustav had.

second, i'm frickin' exhausted. two weeks of 12+ hours of rehearsal with no breaks even on the weekends has left me more tired this year than in previous years, enough that i decided to stop playing cards pretty early last night (only playing three hours when i would normally go for six or eight) and that today i'm in a very body-tired haze that has had me napping off and on all day. the mental exhaustion and general state of relaxedness and numbness that comes from it has left no room for the energy required to be truly worried. given how often the projection models have chnaged in the past few days, i don't feel like i'm being fed real enough information to warrant unnecessary concern. sure, i'm worried, but i'm not in a constant state of it. if the city mandates an evac, i'll evac. no big deal.

i guess the biggest thing, though, is that what it is that i love about new orleans and my life here is not dependent upon a sense of material permanence. When Mark showed me around the lower ninth ward back during my interview trip in 2008, it really humbled me and changed my perception of permanence as it relates to architecture and buildings and all of that, and evacuating for gustav did something similar. Permanence for me doesn't have to do with new orleans or the apartment that i live in or a house that i might buy here. permanence has to do with the people whose lives i touch and are touched by me, the memories that are created from a place that doesn't dissipate just because the place goes away, and the small bits and pieces that remind me of those things, and no degree of sizable disaster can ever take that away from me, even if i were to die.

*yawn*

one more nap. someone tell me if we're being told to evacuate. i think the only thing i really need to go buy is cat litter.

Comments

( read spoken (3) — speak )
mandybling
Aug. 26th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
My extended family in Chalmette are panicking. And only because they dealt with Katrina. I firmly believe it's PTSD.
lifeofmendel
Aug. 26th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
i don't disagree and i have to respect that to some degree. i mean, i fell off of bryce canyon when i was in middle school and i'm still afraid of heights.

but like i said in my gustav entry, i wonder how much panic there would be if it wasn't for the overspewing of spaghetti projections and blinking red lights from the media about the storm. Gustav felt like such a mishandling from the media, an irresponsible overreaction and panic inducing approach to something that could have been more rational in its cautiousness. worrying about isaac and its effects on the city are fine. panicking about it before we get real information is not.
mandybling
Aug. 26th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
Gustav very much was, on many many levels. It didn't do much to NOLA at all. It only seemed to do its worst in Baton Rouge (we didn't have power for two weeks and I ended up with pneumonia due to wind debris. Flooding was never the issue, it was trees and wind). And the electric companies, well, the workers ran off. So when we got power back it was only under threat of the government.
( read spoken (3) — speak )

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