Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I got the job!!

I will be doing phone support for personal navigation systems. The company seems to be a really good company, and I'm very excited about this opportunity.

Dusti spread some mayhem at 3:30 PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wish Me Luck!

Tomorrow morning I go on my first job interview. I would be doing phone support, but it wouldn't exactly be IT-related, and there wouldn't be any travel associated with it. I'm very excited, so wish me luck!!

Dusti spread some mayhem at 5:38 PM

Monday, October 17, 2005

Adventures Aplenty

I have never lived anywhere other than Louisiana before, and I am finding that every day in a new place is an adventure in and of itself. It seems that what used to be just getting out to go somewhere such as a grocery store or the like has become a road trip requiring bottled water, snacks, and a map.

It's really kind of cool though. Massachusetts is really beautiful. In contrast to Louisiana (prior to the Hurricane), there seems to be nature everywhere that has not been inhibited by development. While there are industries and places of business, one can still drive around and appreciate the landscape. The changing season is absolutely phenomenal. Wish you were all here to see it.

So far, we've ventured to Salem and Essex, and have plans to go to Rockport very soon so that the Divine Miss M can see the ocean. I'm really looking forward to that. We're also planning a jaunt into Boston, but that may not happen for a few more weeks. We still have business to tend to for most of our days which does not allow for an entire day trip. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get my PC set up.

Dusti spread some mayhem at 4:56 PM

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What a Ride

Well, I'm back and what an interesting few months it has been.

For those of you who do not know, I lived in Louisiana, about 14 miles from downtown New Orleans, in a little city named Kenner. Kenner is where the Louis Armstrong International Airport is located, and I lived about 5 minutes from it.

Just prior to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, the Divine Miss M and I were going to buy our first house. It was small, but was something better than a rental, and we really liked it a lot. The day before Katrina made landfall, we were scheduled for our first inspection. As Southeatern Louisiana began to evacuate, we did too, and we did not even have the first inspection on our little house done.

For those of you who have not experienced a hurricane evacuation, there are some things that are standard. First, you must make friends with people who live a safe distance from coastal areas who also don't mind having lots of people stay at their house for a few days at a time, a few times a year. If you do not have this luxury, you must plan to find a hotel room. Usually, if this is your option, plan to drive a few states away as most of the closer hotels fill quickly. If you have pets, this is not a good option as many hotels do not allow you to bring your pets with you. Shelters are also an option, but typically, this means that you will be in a big room full of lots of people you probably don't know. These shelters are typically located in whatever town or city you live in, and I suppose these are set up primarily for people who don't feel safe in their homes but don't wish to travel. Pets are typically not welcome in shelters either.

The Divine Miss M and I have the great fortune of having friends who welcome us to stay with them during evacuations. We stayed with them during the evacuation for Hurricane Ivan last year and again for the majority of the evacuation for Hurricane Katrina. With us were 9 adults, 12 dogs, and 12 cats.

In hindsight, the fear of Katrina began before the storm ever made landfall, and for me, lasted until just last week. When a category 5 storm has South Louisiana, and particularly the metropolitan New Orleans area in sight, it's never a good thing. For years, we have watched the local Meteorologists talk about what would happen to us if we were ever hit by "The Big One" and it pretty much stated everything that you, as a nation, witnessed on television. What we didn't know was how hard it would be to get reliable information once the storm had passed.

Initially, we lost power for about 12 hours. In that time, we heard countless rumors on the radio about pumping stations being washed away, waters inexplicably rising, and later, that our neighborhood was under 20 feet of water. Let me just say to you that that is never something you want to hear, regardless of whether it's true. We heard that it would be weeks before we would be able to return to our homes to assess our damage, and communications were a nightmare. There are some friends we have still been unable to reach.

In the days following, once we had power restored, we watched as many of you did, in astonishment and horror to see our homes, our landmarks, our businesses, all completely devastated. We thanked the powers that be that we and our pets were all safe and made plans to get out of state.

A week or so after Katrina, we were allowed back into our city in order to salvage what we could. We determined that we only had 6 inches of water in our home, and that the mold that had begun to grow had only gone about a foot up the wall. The truly remarkable thing for us was that we had electricity. I can only assume that we shared the grid with our local hospital. At that time, we removed anything from our apartment that meant anything to us and had any value whatsoever. We left the air conditioning on as well as all of our lights in the hopes that we would retard the mold growth. It worked. We only had 4 days to go back and forth, however, and getting a moving van to assist us in getting everything out was impossible.

It seems that FEMA and the Red Cross decided that they needed every moving van from Baton Rouge to New Orleans in the event that they might want to distribute some aid. I think they later decided that the aid wasn't that important, but the vans were. Every rental place we went to apologetically explained that FEMA and the Red Cross has reserved every van coming in, but the funny thing was that in driving past the local mall, van after van sat parked in the parking lot, empty and unattended. The same thing happened in the local Wal-Mart parking lot. Van after van, and at that time, no aid was coming in. Ironically, we were finally able to get a moving van out of Lafayette two days after Hurricane Rita paid us a visit.

We lost very little in the way of materialistic things. The worst loss, however, came only days after we were allowed to come back to our homes for good. Pringles the Wonder Cat grew ill while we were staying with our friends. I brought him to the local vet who told me that he was dehydrated and stressed out. I had no reason to question her -- made sense that he was stressed. His condition did not improve, and the day after Jefferson Parish became open to the public, I brought him to a vet closer to home. It was a Friday, 10 minutes before the clinic closed, but the doctor told me that Pringles' condition was serious, gave him a shot of B-12 and an anti-inflammatory, and told me that if his condition did not improve over the weekend, to bring him back on Monday. I did just that. As it turned out, Pringles was suffering from Pneumonia and a secondary infection of Gastroenteritis. He lived for three more days and then I lost my little boy cat. It may sound stupid, but I would trade my house and everything that was in it to have that little cat back. He was only 6 and was very healthy until this whole thing. I'm still not ok about it.

A week after Pringles died, the Divine Miss M and I were packed and ready to move. We have some wonderful friends in Concord, Massachusetts who have opened their home to us and are letting us stay here until we get back on our feet. We are currently in the process of looking for jobs and becoming acclamated to our new environment. It's very pretty here.

Dusti spread some mayhem at 12:34 PM

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Great Big Happy Birthday

As some of you may already know, 29 years ago today, I was given the gift of a baby brother. At the time, I didn't know how great a gift it really was, but in my adulthood, I have an appreciation for him, and have often thanked my mother for having him.

In honor of Kris' birthday, I'd like to share one of his favorite childhood songs with you.


I was born in the wagon of a travellin' show
My mama used to dance for the money they'd throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good


Gypsys, tramps, and thieves
We'd hear it from the people of the town
They'd call us gypsys, tramps, and thieves
But every night all the men would come around
And lay their money down

Picked up a boy just south of mobile
Gave him a ride, filled him with a hot meal
I was sixteen, he was twenty-one
Rode with us to memphis
And papa woulda shot him if he knew what he'd done


I never had schoolin' but he taught me well
With his smooth southern style
Three months later I'm a gal in trouble
And I haven't seen him for a while, uh-huh
I haven't seen him for a while, uh-huh

She was born in the wagon of a travellin' show
Her mama had to dance for the money they'd throw
Grandpa'd do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of doctor good


chorus fades

Dusti spread some mayhem at 4:36 PM

Monday, June 13, 2005

Taking a Break

Real life happens. For the past couple of weeks, I have been dealing with some rather unpleasant personal business. Because of this, I am taking a short hiatus from blogging. On that note, I will leave you with some points to ponder.

1. During times of crisis, sometimes just lending your ear to someone you don't know can be the one thing that gets you through the hard stuff.

2. Never smoke crack.

3. Don't ever forget that what you do today can bite you in the ass tomorrow.

4. If you have the choice between hospital food and Subway, eat Subway every time.

5. Don't drink espresso when you're having trouble sleeping.

6. Sometimes you have to jump. Mulling forever will never help you decide the right thing to do.

Take care guys, will see you soon!

Dusti spread some mayhem at 8:13 PM

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Eat the Points!

My maternal grandmother is pretty cool. She was raised in Southern Louisiana by her French mother and Spanish father, and spoke French as her native language until she attended school and learned to speak English. For those of you who have heard a true Cajun accent, hers comes rather close but isn't as thick as you might expect for someone who didn't speak English from the start.

She had 6 children, though one died at 3 months of age from spinal meningitis, and all of her surviving children had children as is the way of things. She has a total of 11 grandchildren, of which I am the oldest.

I have many memories of lunchtime at Granny's house. In particular, I remember sandwiches the most. Assorted siblings and cousins and I would sit around various parts of the kitchen as my grandmother passed out our grub. She'd cut the sandwiches into triangles, and as we began to eat, she'd yell repeatedly to us, "Eat the points!" (My mother says that this pattern of behavior started long before grandchildren came along.)

Here's the problem with eating the points. When half of your sandwich has 3 points at the onset, you then have to choose one with which to start. Okay, no big deal. However, once you take your first bite, you then create two new points from which to choose. If you eat either of those two points, it creates four. Soon, you have a half of a sandwich with nothing but points everywhere, and with your grandmother screaming "Eat the points!" while you continue to make your choices, it can be an undaunting and overwhelming affair.

It's no wonder I have food issues.

Dusti spread some mayhem at 8:42 PM

Previous Posts

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