Ugh. It's August. I remember thinking back in July that this summer hasn't been too bad/hot. Silly me. August is when summer really gets going here. The past weekend, Greg and I participated in the Rising Tide II conference and Friday evening was a get-together at Buffa's with screening of Katrina inspired films. I'd never been to Buffa's, a New Orleans institution and a bar. It was beastly hot in the back room we were in, like a sweat lodge. Good thing my gin and tonics were weak because I was sucking them down. I just couldn't watch the films, it's still too painful. I think it's very important the aftermath of Katrina and the levees breaking be documented to shown others outside the city, just don't ask me to watch it.
So not only does August suck because of the unreasonable heat, but its also when hurricane season get active (remember Dean?) and the anniversary of Katrina, but my mother passed away in August back in '99. If I hadn't taken a vacation earlier this month, I'd probably be huddled in a ball in the corner. The conference Saturday was held at the NO Yacht Club (never been there either) with blessed cool AC and it was... uplifting might be too strong of a word, but it was educational, funny and poignant. The organizers, who liked to point out they are not event planners, did a good job. Good speakers, good topics. The fee was only $20 so you can't expect something super-slick; but the conference was intimate, unpretentious, and had integrity. Kudos. I wanted to post some of my thoughts from the conference but just haven't had the chance, but if you go to the links page of the conference web site, local bloggers have been doing a good job.
Today marks "K+2" the second anniversary of Katrina and the "Federal flood." All sorts of politicians and celebrities in town. There are parades, memorials, vigils and so on the mark the occasion. Like the videos, I shy away from all that. Is that healthy? I don't know. On the flight home from my vacation the women next to me asked me "Were you affected by Katrina?" This is one of those questions that make me, and others, want to roll our eyes into our head and maybe throttle the asker. I just replied "Everyone was." Short, simple, to-the-point. If the nation has "Katrina fatigue" what do you think New Orleanians are feeling? I have an new, also simple and to-the-point reply for the question "How is the recovery going?"
One step forward and two steps back.