Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I love the sun in Portland. It’s been out shining and making everyone happy. People practically skip to the coffee shop to have cute barista’s pour out the blackest Stumptown coffee they can squeeze out of a French press.
I get to go down to Salem for a swearing in process on Wednesday. I believe the bar will use the occasion to shake us down for more money. My understanding is that anytime I meet around the bar I’ll be shook down for more money.
Speaking of the bar the best comment so far about my passing the bar was when my friend Ms. J. said, “It’s not like you to pass a bar.”

I’m reading this book called “The Great Deluge” about Katrina. I’m basically unable to look away. It’s fascinating with a good time line of what happened. It has a good explanation of why FEMA was such a failure.

On the topic of New Orleans, one of the things I like best about NOLA is the music history. You can drive around some shitty neighborhood and see some lean to shack with a historical plaque. It’ll turn out Ray Charles or Quincy Jones lived or hung out there at one point. The duplex in this picture is where Jelly Roll Morton used to live.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I’m back in Portland now. I had so much junk mail I’m thinking of becoming a paper mache sculptor. I have enough scrap paper to last for years. I have this nagging idea that I should apply for a personal loan today. I don’t know where it came from. Oh wait, maybe from this bucket of junk mail telling me I need to go deeper into debt. Sounds like a good plan. What’s a $100K in student loans? Maybe I should get another credit card too.
I actually kind of want to apply for the discover card and after I get it call them and tell them what a bad decision they made.

I’m happy to be back. After a week in Texas I’m kind of overstuffed. My family insists on over feeding me. I’m going to live off of granola for a week to metabolize the chorizo and Chico’s brand mystery cheeze.

I’ll tell you though, I do miss the French Fry Po’ Boy. It’s a po’ boy that’s French bread, shredded lettuce, mayonnaise, a fistful of French fries and gravy. It’s delicious. I don’t understand why everybody over 40 in New Orleans hasn’t had a heart attack.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I’ve still got about 1100 miles until I’m back in Portland. I don’t plan on doing that much night driving. But still do me a favor. When you see my truck coming up the highway hit your dimmer. There’s no freaking reason why you can’t turn them down when you see the glow from my headlights coming up.
What the hell is wrong with people? Who’s licensing these drivers? I knew about dimming my lights when I was like 10. Christ double Christ.

I finally got out of the stupid thunderstorms that have been following me since San Antonio. Why the hell has it been raining so much in the desert? I’m hoping no rain hits again until late October.

I’m also thrilled that a mosquito, or any other kind of bug hasn’t bitten me, since I left New Orleans. I’m no longer bumpy and red. I no longer itch.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I got to see the new Spike Lee movie, “When The Levees Broke” last night. It’s interesting and a good place to start to get a feeling for New Orleans after Katrina.

It’s been a week since I left New Orleans. I’m still in Texas. The state is that big. Actually I’ve been eating tacos. I didn’t have a single taco the entire time I was in New Orleans. I’ve needed to recharge. I’ve had breakfast tacos in Austin, tacos de carne y pollo in San Antonio, and Chico’s tacos in El Paso.
I’ve had enough that it’s now safe for me to head out of Texas. I’ll head back to Portland today. I hope to stop in Albuquerque and get some hashbrowns at Frontiers. After that I hope to stop in such exciting places as Manti, Utah and Boise, Idaho. I should be in Portland by Saturday night. After a good nights sleep I’ll be able to get a good solid strong cup of coffee from a hot barista again.

Then I have to get a job.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A few minutes ago I was just some unemployed slob with a graduate degree and a hangover.
Now, I'm a freaking lawyer. Jesus Christ in a chicken basket, I'm a friggin' lawyer.

This is one of those things that I’m not real proud of. I lost someone’s cat. I was checking out Craig’s List for someone to split gas from New Orleans to Austin and ended up giving someone’s cat a ride. When I got to Austin it was late so I put the cat up and went to sleep. When I woke up the cat was gone.
The cat got away into a yard that is full of bamboo groves in a neighborhood where people regularly leave food out for cats. This cat has no reason to come back to the house of the mean guy who locked it in a cage and then stuck it in a car and drove for 9 hours.
I called the owner and told him what was going on and he freaked out and called all these other people who showed up at my friends house and conducted a search party. I personally didn’t think it would do much good b/c the cat is kind of pissed at people right now and is not likely to come just b/c a bunch of people are out calling its name.
My genius idea was to leave food around and let the cat come to me. When I woke up in the morning the raccoons had taken the food, and the food bowls. There’s no chance in hell the cat is going to show up and duke it out with some fat ass raccoon to come back to some house he doesn’t even want to be at in the first place.
Anyway I feel really bad but I’ve learned a lesson. Anyone who will pay to have a cat driven across two states is probably too crazy to really deal with. The guy is upset about the cat but it was a Katrina rescue cat, it’s not like it was his pet. Still he won’t stop calling and organizing search parties. It’s annoying. The cat will do what the cat will do. Anyone who deals with cats knows that’s true.

So I’m finally on my way back home to Portland. I’m going to miss the driving most of all. I came across this intersection the other day. I don’t know which way the one way street goes. I figure it’s just easier to drive where ever you need to drive and signs be damned.

On the way out of Louisiana there was some guy just walking down the middle of I-10 outside of Baton Rouge. I thought, “That’s strange”. About half a mile up the road there was a pickup truck on fire in the left lane. The flames were about ten feet high. Then I thought, “Well that makes more sense now.”
After that little train of thought I realized it was about time for me to get going. When you start thinking things in Louisiana make sense you really need to get out.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I’ve spent the last couple of days legal observing. At one protest the police made a series of arrests. Since then I’ve been in a state of horrified awe at the inefficiency and incompetence of the local criminal justice system.
The low level administrators in the sheriffs office, who run the jail and security for the courts, seems to thrive on abusing what little bit of power they have. They make arbitrary decisions and then change their mind. They make amazing decisions that hinder their purposes and seem to have a limited idea of what the correct procedure actually is..
I watched them randomly chew some poor girl out for wearing a shirt that was too low cut even though it was as no lower cut than several other shirts that came through. They instituted several rules that make it much harder for poor people to go to court. You can’t have a cell phone in a court building. They say you’ll be arrested if they find you with a cell phone. So if you were unfortunate enough to have been dropped off at the court house and had planned on calling for your ride when you’re done at the court you have to leave your cell phone outside somewhere. Hopefully somewhere where no one will find it and steal it.
You also can’t have your kids at the court. As long as you can afford childcare this isn’t a problem. A helpful fuck you to everyone else, straight from the New Orleans Municipal Court.
Also, you can’t wear a sleeveless shirt. Forget the fact that it’s hotter than hell outside, if you’ve got a court date and you didn’t know about this rule you need to beg someone for an extra t-shirt. Sure sleeveless shirts can be tasteful and are a common part of women’s clothing but if you drove and don’t have child care issues they had to have something special for you.
The whole system is set up to hinder poor people, people without cars, and people with childcare issues.
Then the D.A.’s don’t bother to show up for arraignments. What happens if the Public Defender moves for a dismissal of charges? Who objects?
I actually got thrown out of the court today b/c I told someone that they didn’t have to talk to the D.A. without their attorney. The D.A. must have “forgot” that he had a duty to tell this person that he was the D.A. and that they should have their counsel present.
If anyone but Gonzales was the Attorney General I would say the court system down here needs immediate federal intervention. The local D.A., Eddie Jordan, just embarrassed the city more in this interview.