Really? This is newsworthy?

Tough talk from Mayor WhiteTuesday, September 23, 2008 7:15 PM By Ted Oberg HOUSTON (KTRK) --

As if he didn't have enough to do, Houston Mayor Bill White is explaining his tough language to some FEMA visitors from Georgia.

It happened in the days just after Ike when it seemed like everyone was frustrated and stressed.

In storms like this, FEMA sends crews from all over the country to help manage the disaster. One of those crews came from Georgia to dispatch trucks of food and ice to points of distribution, or PODs. Mayor White thought they weren't getting the job done and the governor of Georgia got offended when White told them so.

Surrounded by trash, living with marginal power and dealing with the long effects of a storm can make people angry.

"They ain't picked up my (expletive) trash yet," said resident Third Ward Kenneth Allen. "Hell yeah, I still feel the effects of the storm."

We're not proud of it and it doesn't sound real nice, but when there's no AC, heated language is a little understandable, maybe even coming from our Mayor White.

Last Tuesday morning, Mayor White visited the thousands of people in line at the TSU POD. All the supplies had been sitting overnight at Reliant Stadium. The mayor wasn't happy.

"That is not going to happen again," said Mayor White to the media in the days after the storm.
What he didn't say from that podium is that before the trucks started rolling, some tough words rolled off his tongue. According to a city witness, he told some FEMA workers from Georgia dispatching trucks, to "Get those (expletive) trucks moving" and "You better get your (expletive) act together."

Apparently, those Georgia workers' feelings bruise easier than a Georgia peach. They tattled on our mayor and the Georgia governor wrote Texas Governor Rick Perry a letter saying, "I would not tolerate the profane berating of Texas or Georgia volunteers here...and I trust that you do not either."

Governor Perry wrote back, saying he was dismayed and offered his sincerest apologies.
"Now there's a feud between Georgia and Texas," said Allen.

People who stood in the long TSU lines don't think our mayor needs to do a thing.
"I commend the mayor," said Allen. "Because if someone dropped the ball, he should get on their (expletive)."

"I think he's human," added Third Ward Tonya Wyche. "I think he's stressed and I would've said something worse than that."

Tuesday in Washington, the mayor explained his words and isn't backing down.
"I always feel bad if I hurt someone's feelings," he said. "I was trying to get people moving quicker and trying to provide a little incentive to do so."

If not for the involvement of two governors, this sure would seem like a little deal. And it does seem like a little deal to the guy who supervises the Georgia workers. He told me on Tuesday that they've been yelled at by a lot more people than Mayor White and they understand how he lost his cool.

I can't believe anyone would waste time writting letters and complaining about this. The truth is, while Perry and Bush twiddle their thumbs, White has been working his butt off to make sure his people have what they need. If the twits sitting at Reliant, with trucks full of supplies that people need, don't understand, they deserve to be talked to in this manner. Lucky for them, it was only White yelling at them.

Back to School

I got up at 6 AM today in preparation for my re-back to school morning tomorrow. That’s right, re-back to school. I have not been to work since September 11th. I won’t see my students until Monday, which means they will have lost eleven instructional days. ELEVEN. That’s a lot of time. I don’t know what the plan for makeup is. I think it all depends on how much time The State grants.

In some ways, it’s been nice to have the time off. In a moment of panic the other day, I worked several hours on freelance project and did quite a bit, now if I could only coax myself to type the darn thing up. Last night, I read my new Newsweek almost cover to cover. I watched a movie a day, cooked meals at home, spent time with The BF, kept the house clean, and did all of my laundry.

Right before the storm, things were really intense. My mom was in town, and still, I couldn’t drag myself away from work earlier than 6:00 PM, and when I got home, I still managed to work another hour or so. I don’t know if I’ll go back to the same. Knowing myself, I probably will. Still, I wish I wouldn’t.

Last night, we went to Starbucks for a snack and there was a girl, probably in her 20’s, curled up on one of the armchairs with a copy of White Oleander. I could tell she had been there a while because her medium cup of iced tea and large cup of water were half full. I wish I could do that, too. I wish I had time to sit and read for hours like that. Usually, when things are crazy, I still make time to read an article or a chapter from something I enjoy. Sometimes my eyes are so tired that I resort to audio books. But it’s not the leisure expressed by the pose of Reading Starbucks Girl.

Perhaps el Ike meant to make me have a re-start so that I get things right this time, so that I don’t forget that I have to watch out for me.

Here are some pics of Ike’s visit.

Not my building. The guy who lives there was asleep when this happened. He and his family were moved to another apartment. Here is what was under it when it collapsed.
Not sure whose vehicle this is. They probably parked on the lawn because our parking lot tends to flood.

Glad this didn't become something for Ike to blow around.

This was a common image. Again, I'm glad they weren't torn off and blown around.


Slacker Uprising

Michael Moore's new movie Slacker Uprising can be viewed for free!


The Aftermath

We've all got all of our limbs, fingers, and everything in tact. I have some pictures to post that Dan the Man took while looking for some provisions, but I can't find the cable to upload pics onto the laptop.

I know that we are so much more fortunate than others and I am so grateful for it. I don't know who was looking out for us, but they did a great job.


El Ike

I'm hunkering down near downtown Houston awaiting the wrath of Ike. I don't know what anyone did to him, but he's pretty upset. I don't think much will happen to us though. I have a strong feeling it's all going to be okay.


Hi Ate Us

My updates are going to be scarce around here. I have a ton of start of year stuff to prepare. The cool thing is that if I do a good job now, next year, I won’t feel like I’m running on a 15 mph treadmill at my 3 mph rate.

I’m enjoying my side gig. It’s been very enlightening. I don’t know how much I can share, but I will tell you that it’s got to do with education.

I’m really enjoying my students this year. More than half are the kids I had at the start of last year. Today, we had another one of those “buzz” moments. I took them to the library for the first time, and when we came back, they had ten minutes of silent reading time. Even my rowdiest class was quiet and reading the entire time. In one class, I had some whiners, saying “I HATE to READ! I’m not going to read!” at the library. Once the librarian or I got a good book in their hands, they were upset when I made them stop. I felt bad, but I really needed to show them a video to prepare them for one on tomorrow’s assignments.

Aside from work, not much else has gone on. I watched a couple of movies last weekend. Martian Child was pretty cool. I really enjoyed it. I also saw Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead that was sort of twisted and sad. Lastly, I saw a good chunk of Beautiful it had that cute little girl from Paulie and the Pepsi commercials. It was a good chick flick.

My mama flies in tomorrow. I’m so giddy. She’s finally going to meet the bf’s parents. It should be fun.

Hope I can update sooner than later!