September 4th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

"How Are You Doing?"

Bat wrote me:
"Did you see the stupid Dateline segment with Liz etal. fleeing the city? Stupid slant to the segment I thought. I suspect "makeshift family" is probably some journalistic lingo euphemism for "the pierced and tattoed weirdoes."
I responded to her letter of general state-of-mind enquiry, like this:
I laughed when they showed the 'makeshift family', in all their glorious weirdness, using the reporter's cellphone to call a preacher in Ohio.

God helps those who helps themselves, bizatch!

I think I'm holding up rather well, all things considered. It's weird to go away on holiday for a few days and misplace an entire city in the interim. I really must be less careless!

Getting really, really worried about Michele and Rory. It's been way too long since anyone has heard from them, and they're holed up in the thug war zone uptown, I understand. Trying not to panic or assume the worst, but still, but still...

Also growing panicky about my cats. Can't really breath knowing they're still trapped in Clifford. Yah, with a lot of food and water, but not an ENDLESS supply, y'know? And peasants could have broken into Clifford by now and consumed the water. Or the cat food, for that matter. Considering they usually eat chitlins and pig ears, Purina is probably like pâté de fois grois.

I'm hating the stories I'm hearing, not culled off the news, but from friends and other first-hand sources in the city. The behavior of the animals. (That is, the thugs.) I know it's a relatively low percentage, but they're destroying what little is left of my beautiful city, and killing people simply because they can, and not get caught. It's like their loftiest dream come true.

I believe under the provisions of martial law, they can be shot by the nat'l guard, N.Q.A. Why they're not killing this low-life scum who are threatening the lives of the innocent survivors is quite, quite beyond me. Seems to me they'd jump at the chance — ironically for the same reason that the thugs are killing civilians: because right now, it's "okay" to do so.

Under duress of incomprehensible tragedy, it's curious how the mind gets stuck on details. Remember that scene from "Wild at Heart" where Sherilyn Fenn is dying from a concussion/hole in her head from a car wreck, and is mortally panicked about where her hairbrush is?

That's me now. I'm focussing on the problem of where my mail is, and (this is the really perverse thing that I can't quite understand), the thing I'm most unhappy about is that I was supposed to be home this weekend enjoying Labor Day, which = Southern Decadence, which is a really REALLY fun holiday, especially for knob-goblins, shirtlifters and pillowbiters.

No, but I mean, I'm really REALLY pissed about this! Because it's something small that I can wrap my mind around and understand, I guess. I am being denied my fun. I *specifically* moulded my trip to NY around being home in time for that. It took some fancy juggling to do so. It's not fair that I don't get my happyfuntimesleazeweekend.

Yah, so that's kinda my state of mind.

Haven't shed a single tear. Don't know where they are.

Sleep is hard to come by. I've got a few Percoset left, which help. Gonna need a shitload more of that pretty soon, I imagine.

Trying to come up with some Plans. Like What Am I Going To Do Now? I'm thinking of buying a hybrid car (I want as little to do with petrol consumption as possible) and zigzagging around the country with Ben for a few months. Our first stop looks like San Francisco, so I imagine I'll be seeing you very soon. Like, maybe the 12th or so.

I'm just going to post this letter to you on my LJ. I can't type it all from scratch.

Love you, see you soon,
T.
P.S. Bat has posted screen-snaps of changingthesky's Dateline evacuation interview. I know that look on her face, and it's NO time to be asking her questions, or interrupting her in the pursuit of her goals.

I can laugh at it now because I know she's safe.
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Harley, Theo, Peeper

(Just emailed this letter)
Dear CNN folks,

I left New Orleans last week on holiday, leaving my cats in the house, two days before Katrina was an issue. As you may imagine, I am extremely worried about my cats, and would come get them myself if I thought I could possibly get into the city.

I am in contact with three pet rescue organizations, but all of them seem pessimistic as to when they will be allowed entry to New Orleans to commence their worthy work.

You have many reporters and crew members in downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter. My house is at 3140 Dauphine St., a red two-storey double, cross street Louisa, in the Bywater -- the dry part of the Bywater -- less than a mile from the French Quarter and the roads are clear and dry from the Quarter and downtown. I see from a recent satellite photo that not only is the path clear of water, but my house seems to be standing as well.

I am writing to beseech one of your reporters or crew, if they can find twenty minutes, to try to save my cats. As I mentioned, it looks like it will be some time before noahswish.org, bestfriends.org, ears.org, or any of the others will be able to get into the city. By then, it will be too late for my cats, who have some food and water, but not an infinite supply. It's probably run out by now. You have people stationed there now.

The cats are upstairs.

Peeper is a black and white spotted female, declawed, who can get rather freaked out about things. There is a small cat carrier in the laundry room, top shelf, off the kitchen in which she can be put.

Harley is an orange and black mottled tort female, very friendly, who will rush to meet you at the door and have many cat things to say to you.

Theo is a gray Russian Blue male, who is almost *obnoxiously* friendly. No, you can't keep him, though you'll probably want to.

None of the cats has collars.

The latter two can ride in a car or van without freaking out and peeing all over things or climbing under the accelerator, I assure you.

If you can manage to get my cats, I will come to wherever you tell me, at top speed (I am in upstate NY until Tuesday, when I'll be in DC) to take them off your hands. I can fairly promise you a lot of gratified tears for your cameras. And then there's the added Good Copy of reporters not just reporting, but actually helping out while they do their job.

God knows we (NOLA) need help!

My friends were caught on NBC's Dateline last night walking out of the city, and the reporter gave them a working cell phone while they were being interviewed. This looked SO good for Dateline, and I'm grateful on behalf of my friends that they had the good fortune to run into that reporter and crew. I know your team can work a pet rescue job into a great story!

If breaking into houses isn't a job CNN wants to dabble in, I can make it easier for you. My house keys are at the Fly Valet car park across the street from the airport on hook #XX-XXX. There is a front door key for 3140 Dauphine St. as well as a back door key, up the steps. This email should authorize you getting the keys.

As I said earlier, there is a dry and clear path from my house to where many of your reporters are stationed now and broadcasting from. I know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of pets in dire straights in New Orleans. Mine would be an easy job as there is no flood water to deal with, my house is standing, is two storeys, and my cats are not dangerous to a rescuer.

I pray you will help my poor, scared, hungry cats out.

Thank you for your time and concern, and all the amazing reporting you're doing this week.

Sincerely,
Todd Perley
Penn Yan, NY
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Michele & Rory

The Right Reverend Robert M. "Louise" Price, in exile in the burbs of Philly, writes this, as he tracked down Michele's parents in California:
Micha called them on Wednesday. Micha said they have food and water and are OK.

This is way better news then that old Monday news. Could you post this info on LJ? I'll keep looking. Thanks for your help.
I'll keep updating here (as will blastmilk on hers) as their story unfolds.
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Harley's Offspring

This, from Bat. Alecto is Harley's daughter:
I have been hugging Alecto a lot this week, saying to her things like "Your mother's in a hurricane. Your mother's trapped in the aftermath of a hurricane." Alecto, being a cat, is pretty much unmoved by my demonstrations. And probably would wap her mother if she ever saw her again, as those tender bonds are quickly forgotten weaning. But I remember the tender bonds, and so I keep hugging Alecto and wailing softly, no matter how annoying she finds it.
And this from The Right Honourable Reverend Robert M. "Sally-Ann" Price. Fonzie is also Harley's daughter:
Fonzi and Patsy were so moved by your CNN letter. They showed me this "cat- channeling" thing. Fonzi said it was easier then usual,since Harley is her Mom. Bloodline or psychic something or other, I don't know.

After a few weird cat noises, staring at the bathroom door and strange dancing, Fonzi jumped up and whispered in my ear: "Tell Todd the kitties are fine. They miss him and wish he was there. Peeper still has been taking her naps but wants to play "string on an alligator stick" with Todd. Theo keeps rubbing things with his butt. I think he has an itch or just wants to be petted. Alos he misses his sleeping suitcase. Harley has taken over a the pride leader. She is rationing the food quite well and has learned to open the toilet top for fresh water. She wishes you left a phone number to reach you. Harley has calmed the younger ones with little stories of her adventures throughout the US, chilbirth, and marathon napping. They are all just fine but miss him very much."
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Micha Found!

Per The Rt. Hon. Rev. Robert M. "Shoquaqua" Price:
I have never been SO FUKIN HAPPY IN MY WHOLE FUKIN LIFE!!!!!!!!!

Peggy (Micha's Mom) just called to say that Lew in Phoenix (Micha's friend) spoke to Micha a few hours ago. She said she's sitting around getting fat on all the junk food and she spoke to some members of the National Guard and she will be OUTTA THERE tomorrow at the latest.

Evidently, they can't give you transportation to anywhere you want. She may go to Phoenix, where Lew is.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PASS THIS INFO ALONG.

Let's all have a cocktail for Michele and Rory!!!!!

Peggy has been trying to call you but then again I'm sure everyone is doing the same thing

HOOO-FUCKIN-RAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then…
Spoke to Carlos (Micha's Dad) a second ago. He said Micha and Rory are safe and all but were told to stay put. They are uptown in the driest and safest place. Louis Armstrong Airport is supposed to open Tuesday and the kids are free to leave.

Sorry about that last email, Peggy was a little excited, but who the fuck wouldn't be excited?
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Micha & Rory

The Rt. Hon. Rev. Rbt. M. "Chi-Chi-Shockalocka" Price sent me this picture and I started giggle-crying into my hands.

Godspeed from the Hellpit, Michele & Rory!

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

More Micha News

This from her mom Peggy, whom I love to the point of strangulation.

She calls me "Brad" because her husband couldn't remember my name when we met in Philly years ago, and kept calling me "Brad."

So I just call them both "Brad" back.
Dear Todd aka "Brad":

Just heard from Michele herself. She sounds great as there is not a drop of water where she is. There
are at least eight families on her street and they are looking our for one another. Some "cool dudes"
down the street, maybe ex=military or former AA/NA but ready to come in if necessary. Cops are
patrolling and the National Guard is in the area passing our food and water. The cops opened the
Sav-on and Rite Aid in the area and let people go in and take water and what they needed. As a
result Michele says they have food, water, juice for a month. And they have gas to cook. They caught
rainwater to flush the toilet so they are surviving. They do feel guilty in that they are not suffering
what the rest of the city is going through. However, the authorities (all of them) are in disarray. No
one has any information on what is going on. So, they plan to stay in the house until they are told
they have to evacuate.

I do so hope that the looters leave your place alone. I understand what you say when you say it
seem so trivial to worry about stuff. But you do, because this stuff especially the things from the
ones we love are so much a part of us and who we are. We can worry about such seemingly unimportant
things at the same time we can be so sad at the misfortune of others.

Todd, thanks so much for your care and love for michele, It means so much to me that she has such
wonderful friends. There is not too much I can do from here, but if you need anything, you know where
I am. Love , Bradette
I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Trauma Surgeon?

This in from Bat:
I really haven't been watching the TV news much in the past few days, as it now just agitates the fuck out of me, but I just flipped the TV channel to CNN on whim. Just for a brief moment and just to see what stupid thing they were onto now. Well, it was Larry King Live and he was interviewing Dr. Phil, who is now at the Astrodome, counseling refugees. !!!!!

I ran away immediately. One, just because I had to. Two, because I simply felt I had to email you and let y'all have that scenario/image in your head, too.

Sharing is caring.
And I pass that image on to you.