Read this.

A New Orleans native and former New Yorker watched Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 unfold from afar. And that bears its own kind of torture.

Source: Disaster by proxy: I missed my cities’ seminal tragedies | NolaVie – Life and Culture in New Orleans

(Written by my friend Anne’s sister.)

Katrina, blogged

Honestly, the last thing I want to read right now is more about Katrina, but I can’t just let 10 years (such a nice round number) go by without any acknowledgement. But mostly it’s just going to be links.

I am really grateful I’ve been blogging for 14 years at times like this.

August 23, 2005: The last “normal” time I blogged. (Aside: really great feature here on NOLA.com about the last “normal” day in New Orleans.)

Saturday is my first fitting for my wedding dress. I’m so friggin’ excited. It can’t come fast enough! And then I’m going to DC for Labor Day weekend, courtesy of my dear dear dear friends and big sister. Fun two weekends coming up. Yay!

Or, not.

August 29, 2005: Just a quick check-in to say we were fine.

August 31, 2005: Regrets that I only packed for a weekend.

September 1, 2005: Reality is sinking in.

It’s impossible to comprehend what’s happening. People have always talked about the Big One hitting New Orleans directly. But we didn’t really think it’d happen in our lifetime. And it’s playing out exactly like they said it would. Of course, I wouldn’t have predicted the lawlessness that would take over the city. I can’t believe there are people taking shots at helicoptors.

September 4, 2005: A week post-storm.

I was at Target this evening and behind me in line was an elderly man with his son or grandson. The grand/son went to get him some razors and while we were waiting in line, the man asked me where I was from. I said Algiers and he said he was from Chalmette. Chalmette, in case you don’t know, is gone. I read that 96% of all of the homes are under water. Under a lot of water.

September 4, 2005 (another post): Moving our wedding. You can read more about that here.

I have come to realize that I just don’t care where it is. As long as it happens, who really cares where it is?

September 10, 2005: On the road. We headed to Virginia just to get away from it all.

September 20, 2005: Back in Baton Rouge.

September 22, 2005: Some inanity.

September 28, 2005: Back at work (in Baton Rouge).

Found out our New Orleans offices might not reopen until the new year. Which means I might spend the first month of married life living in another city as George.

October 1, 2005: Home!

After that, my blog is mostly wedding talk, but if you want to read all of my entries about Katrina, you can find them here.

Some random pics from that era…

Five years

You know, I kind of feel like a fraud for posting about Katrina. We didn’t lose much, our house was mostly fine, and our lives pretty much got back to normal pretty quickly. But it’s hard to avoid thinking about it, so I may as well post something.

Let’s see. Five years ago, I was up to my eyeballs in wedding planning. Our wedding was scheduled for November 12, 2005. I had my very first dress fitting scheduled for Saturday, August 27. I was insanely excited about it. I adored my wedding dress, and when George said I might need to reconsider driving an hour north to the dress shop when we should be getting ready to evacuate…well, I declined.

08-27-05

The thing is, on Friday night, no one thought much of Katrina. But there was a Saints game that night, so no one was watching the weather. No one except George (who hates football.) So he got up bright and early on Saturday to board up the windows, and I headed to my dress fitting. People were walking by the house as George nailed up the plywood, looking at him like he was nuts.

My plan was to go directly to my mom’s after that (an hour west of the dress fitting) for my sister’s friend’s baby shower. I loaded up the car with enough clothes for the weekend, and George was going to meet me at my mom’s later that day, after he was done with the house stuff.

By Saturday afternoon, people were starting to realize this was going to be a big deal. George barely managed to get Stinky (the cat) into her carrier, and thank god he did. We still thought we’d be home by Tuesday, so he considered just leaving her at the house with a ton of food and water.

To make a potentially very long story short, thirteen people, two dogs, a cat and a bird ended up staying at my mom’s house to ride out the storm. One friend didn’t know where her husband was. No one knew if their houses were flooded or destroyed. We ended up staying at my mom’s house for a few weeks, then we drove up to Washington DC to get away from it all for a while. Upon returning, George was all set to go back to our house, when Hurricane Rita hit, and the city was once again closed.

It was a frustrating time. Too many people in a house not meant to hold that many. Too many people in a city (Baton Rouge) not meant to hold that many. But we were so lucky. We did have to move our wedding from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, but no matter. It was beautiful and our friends and family were there. We went on an awesome honeymoon in England and Wales.

Anyway. Sorry for the nonsensical post.

Five years. Woo hoo.

8/29/07

Two years. And the mall isn’t open yet.

(Can I be flip?)

Anyway. I’m not going to be all nostalgic and morbid and eloquent. There are much better writers out there for that. Just thought I should commemorate. Two years.

Now can I post a couple of pictures of the nursery? Painting is done, and look at the cute flag banner I made!

11/01/05

Okay, okay, sorry Renny for not posting more. I’ve been busy! Sheesh!

I can’t remember where I am when I wake up in the morning – New Orleans? Baton Rouge? Don’t know where my clothes are. Can’t find things. This is very difficult. I can’t wait til it’s all over and I can go home for good. Not that it isn’t nice to spend time with my mom – it’s awesome. But it’s getting to be very stressful. Sigh.

Anyway, Sunday was my lingerie shower. Oooh la la! I certainly won’t be posting pictures from THAT shower! Tee hee. It was so much fun. It was at my Aunt Deanne’s house. We had yummy food (get this – chicken salad WITHOUT CELERY! That’s my kind of chicken salad!) and a really pretty cake and wine and lots of my friends came. It was so nice. My cousin’s wife Lottie, who co-hosted it, even made me (yes, MADE me) bath salts and lotion and soaps, all wedding-themed. They smell like wedding cake, which could be very dangerous. Must remember, it’s not edible.

Today I got four wedding presents in the mail. I gotta say, this wedding thing is really nice. I love getting mail, I love getting presents, and getting presents in the mail? Unbeatable.

I also got our marriage license today. Eeeep!!!

Went trick-or-treating tonight with Teresa and her two year old niece Veronica. She is the cutest thing, just babble, babble, babble. We were both bunnies. I turned her on to Smarties (just go ahead and send me the dental bills.) I can’t wait until my niece is that old and talking!

Speaking of the most exciting thing of all…Ellie’ll be here a week from tomorrow!!!!

Here’s something to hold y’all till then, the cutest octopus ever:

10/10/05

Had an interesting weekend. On Friday night, mom and I went for a tasting at the reception site. Always fun to eat party food. It’s getting so close! Hard to believe. Food’s gonna be yummy. Finger sandwiches…mmmm!

Then Regan came over, on her way to her house in New Orleans. She was going to retrieve whatever she could. Turns out not much, after flooding and the roof caving in. Sigh. Not fun. But lucky for her, the bridesmaid’s dress she’s supposed to wear for a wedding the week after ours was safe. Heh heh. Anyway, it was really good to see Regan again. It’s been way too long. When you’re used to seeing someone almost every day, it sucks when that ends abruptly. Obviously.

On Saturday, I drove to New Orleans. There was Oktoberfest in our neighborhood. It was so awesome – everyone was just hanging out in this park, drinking beer, eating yummy food, listening to a band play the Chicken Dance (oh yeah we are DEFINITELY having the Chicken Dance at the wedding. I’m really good at it.) The weather was gorgeous, it just couldn’t have been better. I saw people I hadn’t seen since the storm, and Polly and Colin were home from New York. Good stuff.

That night, the four of us (George, me, Polly and Colin) went to the French Quarter. Talk about surreal. No people around. Nowhere to park, though – the streets were full of cars. The parking lots taken over by tents and trailers, housing National Guard? Red Cross? FEMA? Someone. A few bars open here and there. A horrific stench. (Ahh, now that’s no different!) We went to see our wedding band play at the Irish pub they always play at. Once we were in the Kerry, it was like nothing had changed, really. But outside, it was just too weird.

And then, we drove around a bit. Saw parts of the city that were just black…no power yet. Weird to see. Very strange. Normally a very populous area of the city, just empty and dark.

After that, the four of us went back to our house and watched some Family Guy DVD. Very funny. I am so out of the loop on TV. Thank goodness our Tivo is still working. I should set it to record Family Guy.

On Sunday, George and I went to have lunch, then we drove around Uptown. We drove by my cousin’s house to take a picture of it for her, only to find her husband outside cleaning up some debris. They’re moving back next weekend, yay!

Anyway, that was about it. I saw a lot of the city this weekend, and it’s pretty bizarre. Especially driving by a shop we went in a few days before the storm. When we had no idea what was about to happen. No idea our lives – everyone’s lives – were about to change forever. So weird.

So now I must get ready for work. My mom is in the kitchen making a pot of soup. You have to admire someone who can wake up and immediately start chopping raw meat. I could barely make my turkey sandwich for lunch.

I hate random holidays, btw. No mail! Boo!

Updates

I should update, eh? Let’s see, what’s going on…

I bought seven pounds of Smarties yesterday. Don’t ask why. I do have a reason, and it’s not to eat them all by myself. But believe me, I could. Easily.

Going to pick up my dress from the seamstress today. I am very scared. Please, please, please let it be okay! Why do I have a bad feeling about it?

My bridal portraits are scheduled for Thursday. The only day in the forecast with thunderstorms all over it. I hope it doesn’t rain. If it does, I’ll just take them all inside, but I don’t want to have to do that. I really can’t wait to get my hair all done. That’ll be fun.

Friday we get to go for a tasting at the reception place. Mmmm, yummy! I hope. Ha ha. No, I know it’s good, I’ve been to weddings there. Hot crab dip…oh holy cow!

And then, Regan’s coming in town. She’ll be on her way from Austin to New Orleans, but I’ve convinced her to stay in Baton Rouge on Friday night so the drive won’t be so long. Plus, there’s a curfew in New Orleans, so she’d have to be there by six in the evening anyway. So it’s a good excuse to hang out with her. Yay!

Saturday I’m going back to New Orleans. Stinky is going back home to live. I think it’ll make more than one animal happy. Stinky – room to run around the house. Mom – doesn’t have the warmest feelings towards her grand-kitty. George – he’ll have company at home now. Me – I’ll get to sleep again! No more trying to sleep through eight hours of purring. Yes, I am a bad pet-owner.

Only five weeks and four days until the wedding. Can you even believe it?

10/01/05

I’m home! It’s weird, but nice to be back, even if it’s only for the weekend.

Today we’re going to buy a fridge, even though we won’t get it for a few weeks. (Which is a benefit of not living here full time. No butter on my toast? Can’t do it.)

Work!

Well, I went back to work yesterday. As in, to an office. Which is good, of course, but then again, not going in was pretty nice too. However, getting paid trumps all, so I’ll go in. I guess. Ha ha. Actually, it is nice to have somewhere to go for a few hours a day, and once things get up and running at the temporary office, the days should really fly by.

Strangely enough, the cubicles we’re renting are in the offices of the company Kristie used to work for. I wonder if I have her old cubicle. Tee hee! Nah, I’m sure she had a corner office.

Found out our New Orleans offices might not reopen until the new year. Which means I might spend the first month of married life living in another city as George. Which would obviously really suck. A lot. Fingers crossed the building gets done faster. At least we’ll be on our honeymoon for two weeks. Maybe we’ll be sick of each other after that anyway. Ha, joke!

Mailed out the first batch of invites yesterday. Very exciting. Now the fun part – waiting for RSVPs in the mail. (Hint, hint, people! We didn’t stamp those little envelopes for our health!)

Going home on Friday. I can’t wait. But first, in order to mitigate my excitement, I must have my crown completed at the dentist. Ah well, it’ll be worth it. Take my money, numb my face, I get to go to my house! For the first time in over a month!

09/22/05

As if it’s not bad enough that a hurricane came along and messed up my city, making me unable to go home, causing us to throw out our fridge, and causing me to wear the same ill-fitting clothes for the past three and a half weeks. Now JD won Rock Star INXS.

I hate JD. I will not go see INXS in concert now. Especially if Marty opens up for them. Just blegh. Why couldn’t Suzie win? I’ll go see Suzie play. Hmmph.

In happier news…I got my wedding dress today. Altered badly, but at least it’s at my mom’s house now, not an hour away. I can put it on anytime! Of course, that’s an endeavor that takes much time and manpower, so I think I’ll save the next donning of the gown until…well, tomorrow, when I find another seamstress to fix what the last seamstress did not. Ah well.

Invitations (part deux) are almost assembled. Ready for mom to address. Woo!

Sadly, evil hurricane number two, Rita, has destroyed my plans for the weekend. I was going to Houston to see Coldplay and some friends that I haven’t seen in too long. (Regan, Alex, Mike and Debbie and their cute lil family.) Stupid Rita. But seriously, I hope it’s not too bad. Me saying “that would suck” just belittles everything, so I won’t say it (again.)

Okay, I’m off to bed now. I have to go join a gym tomorrow. Must get rid of Katrina-induced flab. (By “Katrina-induced”, I of course mean “Oreo-induced”, but I wouldn’t have eaten the Oreos had it not been for Katrina, you see.)

Edited to add: I’m in the Times-Picayune again! Woo! (Of course, it only echos what I said above about being a flabby slob.)

Back

Back in Baton Rouge. Which is sort of bittersweet. Of course, we’d rather it was Algiers, but alas. About an hour after we got back to Baton Rouge, we heard that they were rescinding the repopulation of New Orleans. George was very upset, as he was planning on going back in the morning. I gave him a big stick to beat the ground with. It seemed to help.

Washington was great. It was so good to get away for a while, and everyone was so generous. Kristina and Mike especially. And can I say how cute Kristina’s new cat is? Argh, I would’ve taken him, but I think Stinky would have had Nuke for lunch. And since Stinky was in the car, we would have had to witness it firsthand.

I had a fun fun fun tiny shower on Saturday – the one I was supposed to have over Labor Day weekend. Jenny, Kristina, Chris, and Ren (and Allison!) were there and we ate tea-food and drank champagne and I got to open presents. Fun! This getting married thing rules! I highly recommend it. The presents thing is especially cool. I’m not ashamed to admit it. But then there’s the whole thank-you card thing to balance out the fun of opening presents.

Our neighborhood was on CNN today. That’s cool.