Friday, September 30, 2005

Baseball and Shopping

Emily is playing in a softball tournament this weekend in Hope, Arkansas. (Bill Clinton's hometown.) Good luck to you, Emily! While she is away this weekend, her little brother, Reece, is staying with me part of the time. I can't wait to get to spend some time with him. He wants to go to the mall and - get this - SHOP! He is a seven-year-old clothes fanatic. Of course, he also likes to go to the coffee shop and have a little coffee and look at magazines, and he loves going to Petco, so we are going to have a great time!

In honor of Emily playing ball this weekend, I thought a baseball joke would be good. Have a good weekend everyone!

Two old guys, Abe and Sol, are sitting on a park bench feeding pigeons and talking about baseball, like they do every day.

Abe turns to Sol and says, "Do you think there's baseball in heaven?"

Sol thinks about it for a minute and replies, "I dunno. But let's make a deal: if I die first, I'll come back and tell you if there's baseball in heaven, and if you die first, you do the same."

They shake on it and sadly, a few months later, poor Abe passes on.

One day soon afterward, Sol is sitting there feeding the pigeons by himself when he hears a voice whisper, "Sol ... Sol ..."

Sol responds, "Abe! Is that you?"

"Yes, it is, Sol," whispers Abe's ghost.

Sol, still amazed, asks, "So, is there baseball in heaven?"

"Well," says Abe, "I've got good news and bad news."

"Gimme the good news first," says Sol.

Abe says, "Well... there is baseball in heaven."

Sol says, "That's great! What news could be bad enough to ruin that!?"

Abe sighs and whispers, "You're pitching on Friday."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Wouldn't You Know

I started a mega-diet on Tuesday. Usually I begin diets on Monday, but I didn't have the proper tasteless, moistureless, calorie-less foods in my pantry, so I had to go to the grocery store Monday night and therefore I began said mega-diet on Tuesday. So, yesterday, day two of the mega-diet, as I was driving home after work, the Pizza Inn restaurant I pass on my route had a tent set up in its parking lot with a huge sign on the front that said: "FREE PIZZA" - I swear it. It was also there today.

I want to hurt them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Well, Obviously...

Q: How do you scare a man?
A: Sneak up behind him and start throwing rice.

Q: What do you do with a man who thinks he's God's gift?
A: Exchange him.

Q: Why is the book "Women Who Love Too Much" a disappointment for many men?
A: No phone numbers.

Q: Why do men like smart women?
A: Opposites attract.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Save The Boobies

Thought that title might get your attention. Now, read what my cousin sent me today:

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammograms in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site. Pass it along to people you know.


Love ya, love ya!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Cha Chings and Ding-A-Lings

The weekend was about celebrating my Auntie Linda’s birthday, so we did. We had a little party in the VIP room of Resorts Casino in Tunica, Mississippi and watched the Arkansas/Alabama football game. Well, some of the Party Hags watched. I pretended to watch and be interested so that I could continue to eat cake. I would feign interest in just about anything for cake. I gave Auntie a flashing-lights tiara and matching plastic beads and she loved them. Best $1.99 I’ve every spent. Carol, one of Auntie’s Entourage, told me that she wore the tiara until she went to bed on Sunday morning at 8:00. I personally think she actually slept in it, because I never saw her without it. She is such a diva.

Every time my mom got up from the group, whether we were lounging or eating, she would say, “Watch my purse, I’ll be right back.” This tickled us, being the mature women we are, and we began hiding her purse so that she’d freak out. When we got bored with that, we’d place her purse in the center of the table and just stare at it. She told us to watch it, so we would.

Mona brought her parents along and they dined with us on Saturday night. We had a great Italian meal and good wine and we really enjoyed ourselves. Of course, I dropped pasta on my shirt, my left boob to be exact. Everyone would have been disappointed if I hadn’t, since I do that everytime I eat. So, while I was wiping off my shirt, Willard, Mona’s eighty-one-year-old father, said “It always lands on what is sticking out the furthest.” No matter how old, they are still men.

How was the gambling? Well, I am happy to report that I more that broke even. That’s a successful gambling trip for me and I left the casinos feeling very pleased. (And full of cake and also with a bunch of new jokes about how stupid men are.)

So, Auntie, thanks for inviting me to celebrate with you. It was really fun and fattening and sinful and decadent and I can’t wait until next year!!!

Friday, September 23, 2005

I'm Outtta Here

My Auntie Linda’s birthday is this weekend, so a bunch of us old crabby women are going to the casinos in Mississippi for the weekend to celebrate. Of course, I’m hoping for a jacuzzi in my room, since that’s going to be my consolation after I gamble away all my money. We’ve got the VIP room at one of the casinos to birthday party in tomorrow, then we plan to shop and eat and throw away all of our money on gaming. My favorite money holes are the interactive slot machines. I get to participate a little, yet don’t have to try to remember all the cards like I would if I played Blackjack or Poker. If I’m going to go have fun, I refuse to try to use my brain. Gah! That would be more like school or something.

Abby and Roxy are staying home, since the hotels frown upon dogs. I’m leaving them, and the house, with an eighteen-year-old frat boy. Have I lost my mind? Hopefully not, but I’ll know when I return on Sunday. The only reason I’m having him dog/house sit is because I am his boss and I figure he’s afraid of me just enough NOT to wreck my house. We shall see.

Have a good, relaxing weekend!

Love to all,

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I Heart Kitties, Really

I was just reading Stacey's blog, and she has posted some pics of her cat, Yoshi, and she attributed the idea to a site called It's hilarious if you like cats. Even more so if you don't.

(I love cats, and this site I mentioned in no way is harmful to cats. It's really just SO funny.)

Mmm Mmm Mmm, Dr. Troy!

First of all, did anyone watch Nip/Tuck last night? Oh...My...Gaaaaa...
That poor woman on her sofa (or IN her sofa I should say) - please tell me what you thought. I know that would never happen to me because if I ever got so freaking fat I couldn't get off my sofa NO ONE would deliver food to me and I'd starve to death. Also, how about Dr. Christian Troy and his girlfriends? OMG again. Is he not THE most beautiful man EVER? Go ahead, try to name one who is more perfect. You will not come up with one. He is perfection. Hang on, I gotta go crank on the air conditioner. It suddenly got very hot in here.

Now, for something informative, from my nurse cousin, Candee:

Here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dost Thou Not Knowest How To Forward E-mails?

Almost every day, I receive a very informative e-mail from about healthy living, and how eating broccoli can add five years to your life, exercising regularly can add another ten, yada, yada, yada. Yesterday’s e-mail said this:

Protein, Not Deprivation

A higher protein diet doesn't have to be carb free to help you lose weight. Severely restricting carbohydrates is not the reason some people experience weight loss with a high-protein diet. It's the protein that sates their appetite and helps them lose weight. In a study, people who ate just a bit more protein each day, while eating less fat and an average amount of carbs, felt sated earlier, ate fewer calories, and still lost weight.

Idiot that I am, I decided to send this e-mail to Auntie Linda with what I thought was a cute little commentary before it:

This is true. When I eat a whole jar of peanut butter, followed by a 16-oz. steak, I'm full for the rest of the night!!!!

Why do I say idiot? Because instead of forwarding it to Auntie, I clicked on reply and it went to the nice folks at I got this response from them:


Thank you for contacting us. In regards to what you are eating, a whole jar of peanut butter, followed by a 16-oz. steak does not sound like a healthy approach.


Linda H*****
Member Services Representative
Live Life to the Youngest!

Duh, Linda H*****! I was a bit embarrassed. Not much, but a little. I replied to the woman:

I was joking. I hadn't had my coffee yet this morning and it seemed funny at the time. I LOVE your e-mails and have really benefited from them. Sorry about that!

That poor woman is such a nice person. I’m sure she gets these ignorant e-mails from dumbasses like myself all the time, and yet she had the patience and maturity to respond with:

Hello Vanessa,

I am glad to hear that you were joking, I was worried about your heart. You have a great since of humor..LOL

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Linda H*****

I’m going to be much more careful when I e-mail from now on.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Last Night's Emmy Awards Were...Bleh

I must have been out of my mind last night to watch the Emmys. Why would ANYone spend three hours watching the cheesiest show ever unless she was extremely bored? I did take some notes, however:

1. Jon Stewart’s show won for writing. Did anyone notice that all his writers were white males? Are white males between the ages of 25 and 40 the only people watching his show?

2. The Best Dressed Award should go to Debra Messing. I loved her dress, hair, everything. And, she looked like she kept some pounds of her pregnancy weight. She looked a lot healthier. Terri Hatcher had the best jewelry, though.

3. Biggest Gag Factor: The Emmy Idol = people singing theme songs. Donald Trump singing the theme from “Green Acres” in Overalls?? What were those idiots thinking?

4. David Letterman’s tribute to Johnny Carson was the best part of the show.

5. Jimmy Smitts = hubba hubba, especially in a tux!

6. When I’m in my sixties, I would give just about anything to be as sexy as Holland Taylor.

7. I loved seeing Alan Alda. He’s such a good everything: actor, man, humanitarian. I’ve been in love with him since M*A*S*H.

8. “Everybody’s Tired Of Raymond” would be a good show.

9. Ellen Degeneres was good, but didn’t get enough time to really amuse us. Oh, and Ellen, dear, would it kill you to dress like a female just once in a while? Actually, I admire her for being herself, but crap, she would really look good if she’s dress up a little. I can’t help it, I’m Southern.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I Feel Quite Strongly That I'm Right About This

My mom is staying with Emily and Reece this weekend while their parents are out of town. Last night I went over to visit them and took the DVD “Supersize Me” so we could all watch it. I thought Reece might get a little bored with it, but I was hoping my mom and Emily and I would enjoy watching it. We were riveted to our seats the entire two hours. Yes, even my seven-year-old nephew watched most of it. It was an amazing documentary. The film maker, Morgan Spurlock, ate nothing but food from McDonalds for thirty days. What happened to him during that time period was horrifically frightening. I’m not being the least dramatic by saying that. If you’ve not watched this informative, entertaining documentary, please do so. You’ll think differently about fast food afterwards, I promise.

Writing about fast food brings me to the whole weight issue. Please allow me to present my thoughts on something. I’ve expressed this opinion many times, to many people, and I almost always get the same response: “Oh, I’ve never thought about it that way.” Here’s what I think: The overweight person has a much tougher time dealing with losing weight than an alcoholic or drug addict has with overcoming his/her addiction. Why? I’ll tell you. While trying to lose weight, an overweight person STILL HAS TO EAT TO SURVIVE. Get it? An alcoholic or drug addict, who, by the way, can go to rehab (which is covered by insurance and when they get out are applauded as having done something remarkable) and learn to kick their addiction, and abstain from alcohol or drugs and survive. An overweight person cannot do that. She must continue to consume, although in smaller portions, the very thing to which she is addicted! To put it in the most practical terms, what an overweight person must experience to lose weight is like telling an alcoholic, “Okay, you must stop drinking so much or you are going to die. However, you still must consume one vodka martini in the morning, one at noon, one at six p.m., and one before bed. That’s all you are allowed, just four drinks per day, and we expect you to overcome the addiction this way and be normal like we are!!” That, my friends, is what an overweight person experiences as she tries to control her urges. AND, she also must put up with the ridicule and narrow mindedness from people who think she is weak. Sure, there are arguments that could be made about my idea, but you have to admit I’m correct about that fact that we must eat food to live and therefore we overweight people face a very difficult situation every single day of our lives.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More Reasons I Love Being An Aunt

Today, I was reminded of something funny Emily said to me when she was about five years old. She was spending the night with me and I was in the bathroom preparing her bath. I was testing the water temperature, so of course I was bent over at the waist. Emily walked into the bathroom and said, “Boy, Nessa, your bottom sure is big.” I love her.

Another time, when Reece was about five years old, he was spending the night with me and I was in the shower. When I finished showering, I opened the shower curtain and there was Reece sitting on the toilet. I didn’t want to freak out and start trying to cover myself and make him feel weird, so I just started to dry off casually. He was looking at me and almost fell off the toilet trying to see my, well, my um, you-know-what. I got a little tickled and asked, “What are you looking at, Reece?” His poor little head nearly snapped off due to the speed in which he turned it toward the wall and shouted, “Nothing!” I love him, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Atmosphere of Higher Learning

The following was e-mailed to everyone on campus today in our daily digest:

The Unitarian Universalist Student Fellowship will meet Thursday Night, September 15th at 7:00 pm, in the Collegiate Park Clubhouse. Activities will include a selection of contemporary music, a discussion on beliefs, a meditation, and a project for International Whirled Peace Day.

I forwarded it to Auntie Linda with this as the subject line:

“See if you can find the mistake.”

Auntie L replied with this:

And now we will hear from Miss Arkansas. "Miss Arkansas, what would your platform be if you were to win Miss America?"

"As the next Miss America, I would use my crown and influence to promote Whirled Peace."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Whatever It Takes

Last week we celebrated my Grandmother Bera’s ninetieth birthday, and I posted an entry with some photos of the family at her party. Since you guys now know that she’s ninety, I think you’ll understand the absurdity of this little entry:

Bera called my mom at work a few days ago and told her that she thought she’d be okay to drive herself to the beauty shop.*** My mom told her that she would leave work and go pick her up and take her to the hairdresser. Bera replied, “No, I’m okay to drive. I took a Xanax so I won’t be nervous.”

***A Southern woman would crawl on bloody, broken knees through a hailstorm to keep her hair appointment. Just so ya know.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Tell 'Em Large Marge Sent You!!!

It took me a while to open up about myself on this blog. Since I’ve confessed about the depression thing, there’s no stopping me now! You poor readers, you’re in for it now. Oh, what am I saying, you can hit that little red “X” in the upper-right corner anytime you want. Unless you’re the type who slows down to see that auto accident. If you’re one of those folks, you’ll just love my new and not improved blogging style.

I’m an emotional eater who has fought her weight for the past twenty years. I have my ups and downs and know the Weight Watchers creed by heart and could lecture you on the dos and don’ts about weight loss in my sleep. Common weightloss sense is virtually nonexistent for me. My Auntie Linda is just like me in this regard. She’s been having a rough couple of weeks, and so when she called me Friday afternoon and said she wanted to go out for dessert that night, I knew it was because she was upset. We went to dinner that night and she ordered appetizers for her meal. I ordered a big fat juicy hamburger with hot spicy cheese on it and a bunch of french fries. It was goooood, yessss. Then, we ordered dessert. Not that I haven’t done it before, but Auntie was the one who ordered the biggest dessert on the menu - the one that would easily serve three or four people. (It’s okay, she knows I’m blogging about this.) Anyway, when she ordered her dessert, the waitress, the skinny, clueless little girl, said, “Are you going to eat that all by yourself??!!” I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t say it loud enough for the people in the parking lot to hear. So, Auntie and I were steamed now. We made her fill our water glasses about seven times. We ate our dessert, then when she brought the ticket and there was an error on it, we didn’t just figure out who owed what, we made her take the ticket and redo it. That caused the little waif some trouble and she had to get help to delete that bill and make another one. Don’t mess with Auntie L and Vanessa. We were desperate, folks! We wanted to be evil! I’m sure she’s out shopping right now with the six-cent tip we left her!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I'm Still Waiting For Someone To Throw Me A Bone Here

Wanna hear about my SUCKY Saturday?

First, the good: Emily was playing in a softball tournament and her first game was at 9:30 Saturday morning. It was in a nearby town, so I didn’t have to leave town until about 8:45, so I got to relax and have some coffee and get all happy about the weekend and watching Emily play. She and her new team (the best players from several teams, just put together in the last few months) are moving up to “12 and Under” category next spring, so they entered this tournament in that category. Well, they were the only “12 & Under” team, so they had to play in the “14 and Under” category. They WON their first game. They were awesome and won 5 to 4. It was great.

After the game, we had a four-hour break until the next game, so Reece rode with me to Wal-Mart. On the way home I realized that my car was really shaking and when I slowed down it made this God-awful noise. Reece kept telling me it was a flat and I kept saying "No, sweetie, if it were a flat I'd be able to tell." I'm so dumb. When we got to Dave's he came out to check out my car and sure as sh** my tire was about to go. The entire top layer had worn off, and it was flapping around like crazy. I forget that my seven-year-old nephew is an EXPERT on the subject of cars. So, I left their house and drove, slowly, to the nearest Wal-Mart, since I was afraid to drive any further to my regular tire store. I purchased a new tire and the tire dude told me it would be about and hour and a half before my car would be ready. Yeah, it's 12 noon and I'm at Wal-Mart on a Saturday. The last place I want to be at that time of day and on Saturday. I was also hungry. I'd shared a Baby Ruth candy bar with Reece at the game, and that's all I'd eaten all day, so I was getting a headache. I started wandering around Wal-Mart, looking at books, dishes, tried on an ugly pair of jeans, sampled every lipstick in the store and then bought some milk and toilet paper and headed for the tire department. It was now 1:30 and they had my car ready. After paying $65 for a tire, yes I only bought one, I started driving home. Well, the shaking had stopped, but my car was still making a terrible noise when I put on the brakes. Looks like I'm going to have to take it to the mechanic after all. Yippee, another hundred bucks or more, I'm sure.

So, I was then stranded at home and missed the remainder of Emily's tournament and she never called me the rest of the day to let me know how well she and her team did in the tournament. Yes, Emily, I’m disappointed that you didn’t call me. You’d better call me today, dudette.

Now, let’s keep this crappy, sucky, momentum going: I planned to borrow my mom’s car for a couple of days while mine was being repaired, and she was going to drive my grandmother’s car during that time. Bera has a three-year-old car that has about seven miles on it, so it needs to be driven anyway. So, Mom picks me up (in Bera’s car) and she takes me to get her car (are you still following me here?) and HER car will not start. It seems that the interior light was left on and depleted the battery. Yeah, so I am home and have no car today. On the bright side, I have lots to do and now I’m forced to do it. And, Auntie Linda said she’d come take me for coffee later.

Although this is pretty sucky, don’t you think it’s also kinda funny? I do!

The only photo I got to take of Emily yesterday. She's the catcher and she did a great job. Way to go, Emily! You are awsome! Posted by Picasa

Hey Cutest Boy I've Ever Seen! You sure were sweet yesterday and I'm so glad I got to spend a little time with you! Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 09, 2005

Finally, A Diet That Works

The Miracle Toddler Diet

People are always on the lookout for a new diet. The trouble with most diets is that you don't get enough to eat (the starvation diet), you don't get enough variation (the liquid diet) or you go broke (the all-meat diet). Consequently, people tend to cheat on their diets, or quit after 3 days. Well, now there's the new Toddler Miracle Diet.

Over the years you may have noticed that most two year olds are trim. Now the formula to their success is available to all in this new diet. You may want to consult your doctor before embarking on this diet, otherwise, you may be seeing him afterwards. Good Luck !!!


Breakfast: One scrambled egg, one piece of toast with grape jelly. Eat 2 bites of egg, using your fingers; dump the rest on the floor. Take 1 bite of toast, then smear the jelly over your face and clothes.

Lunch: Four crayons (any color), a handful of potato chips, and a glass of milk (3 sips only, then spill the rest).

Dinner: A dry stick, two pennies and a nickel, 4 sips of flat Pepsi.

Bedtime snack: Throw a piece of toast on the kitchen floor.


Breakfast: Pick up stale toast from kitchen floor and eat it. Drink half bottle of vanilla extract or one vial of vegetable dye.

Lunch: Eat a half tube of "Pulsating Pink" lipstick and a handful of Purina Dog Chow (any flavor). One ice cube, if desired.

Afternoon snack: Lick an all-day sucker until sticky, take outside, drop in dirt. Retrieve and continue slurping until it is clean again. Then bring inside and drop on rug.

Dinner: A rock or an uncooked bean, which should be thrust up your left nostril. Pour Grape Kool-Aid over mashed potatoes; eat with spoon.


Breakfast: Two pancakes with plenty of syrup, eat one with fingers, rub in hair. Glass of milk; drink half, stuff other pancake in glass. After breakfast, pick up yesterdays sucker from rug, lick off fuzz, put it on the cushion of best chair.

Lunch: Three matches, peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Spit several bites onto the floor. Pour glass of milk on table and slurp up.

Dinner: Dish of ice cream, handful of potato chips, some red punch. Try to laugh some punch through your nose, if possible.


Breakfast: A quarter tube of toothpaste (any flavor), bit of soap, an olive. Pour a glass of milk over bowl of cornflakes, add half a cup of sugar. Once cereal is soggy, drink milk and feed cereal to dog.

Lunch: Eat bread crumbs off kitchen floor and dining room carpet. Find that sucker and finish eating it.

Dinner: A glass of spaghetti and chocolate milk. Leave meatball on plate. Stick of mascara for dessert.

(Courtesy of Arcamax Jokes)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

NM 8/05

NM 8/05
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
My brother went to New Mexico last month and took some great photos. This one's my favorite. Look at my flickr on the right for some more. Thanks, Don, for the beautiful pics!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Depression Sucks And My Vacuum Cleaner Doesn't

I suffer from a lovely little illness called depression. It’s hereditary and I think about ninety-five percent of my family has it. Lots of them are in denial, but I’m outing them all right now. I take a wonderful anti-depressant every morning and it helps me get out of bed each day. You wouldn’t know it from a couple of conversations with me, because I am a good actor, but I live with a feeling of despair all the time. The last few weeks have been a doozy of a time fighting this stuff. I have wanted to stay in bed with the covers over my head. Every single day has been a struggle to get to work. On my days off, I’ve hardly moved at all. Shower? Forget about it. Thank God I had some obligations over the Labor Day weekend so that I was forced to get up and join the real world. (Thanks, Emily, for discovering Monopoly and wanting to play about six hours of it with me! You and Reece are wonderful therapy.) Someone once asked me what I had to be depressed about. That’s not it. It’s an illness and situations have nothing to do with it.

Today, instead of just coming home from work and sitting on the sofa and staring at the walls, I cleaned house! To a non-depressed person, that doesn’t sound like much, but those of you out there who share my affliction will understand what it means: I’m coming out of the black hole. A little. Enough anyway to see a little light. So, that brings me to my vacuum cleaner. It doesn’t suck enough! Going to have to figure out why. Which is another project. Which gives me something to do. Right now that’s pretty good.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Grandmother Bera!!

Tomorrow is my grandmother Bera's 90th birthday. We celebrated yesterday and she had a great time. It was her children's plan to surprise her, and they succeeded. She was stunned when she walked into the party, thinking she was going out to lunch, only to find her friends and family there and photos of her family all over the room. (Yes, giving a 90-year-old woman who has a weak heart a surprise party doesn't seem like a good idea, but you just have to know my family to understand!) Bera not only survived, she loved it and we all had a great time celebrating her life.

We all love you very much, Bera!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A Letter From New Orleans

Hi All,
I received this e-mail from a good friend of mine who is a nurse practitioner at a very large medical clinic here in my hometown. She received it at work, as did all employees and she forwarded it to me. I thought it was fascinating and I think you will, too:

Aug. 31, 2005
This is a dispatch from New Orleans from Dr. Greg Henderson, a pathologist who
recently moved from Wilmington:

Thanks to all of you who have sent your notes of concern and your prayers. I am writing his note on Tuesday at 2 p.m.. I wanted to update all of you as to the situation here. I don't know how much information you are getting but I am certain it is more than we are getting. Be advised that almost everything I am telling you is from direct observation or rumor from reasonable sources. They are allowing limited internet access, so I hope to send this dispatch today.

Personally, my family and I are fine. My family is safe in Jackson, Miss., and I am now a temporary resident of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans. I figured if it was my time to go, I wanted to go in a place with a good wine list. In addition, this hotel is in a very old building on Canal Street that could and did sustain little damage. Many of the other hotels sustained significant loss of windows, and we expect that many of the guests may be evacuated here.

Things were obviously bad yesterday, but they are much worse today. Overnight the
water arrived. Now Canal Street (true to its origins) is indeed a canal. The first floor of all downtown buildings is underwater. I have heard that Charity Hospital and Tulane are limited in their ability to care for patients because of water. Ochsner is the only hospital that remains fully functional. However, I spoke with them today and they too are on generator and losing food and water fast. The city now has no clean water, no sewerage system, no electricity, and no real communications. Bodies are still being recovered floating in the floods. We are worried about a cholera epidemic. Even the police are without effective communications. We have a group of armed police here with us at the hotel that is admirably trying to exert some local law enforcement. This is tough because looting is now rampant. Most of it is not malicious looting. These are poor and desperate people with no housing and no medical care and no food or water trying to take care of themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the people are armed and dangerous. We hear gunshots frequently. Most of Canal street is occupied by armed looters who have a low threshold for discharging their weapons. We hear gunshots frequently. The looters are using makeshift boats made of pieces of styrofoam to access. We are still waiting for a significant national guard presence.

The health care situation here has dramatically worsened overnight. Many people in the hotel are elderly and small children. Many other guests have unusual diseases. There are (Infectious Disease) physicians in at this hotel attending an HIV convention. We have commandeered the world famous French Quarter Bar to turn into an makeshift clinic. There is a team of about seven doctors and PAs and pharmacists. We anticipate that this will be the major medical facility in the central business district and French Quarter.

Our biggest adventure today was raiding the Walgreens on Canal under police escort. The pharmacy was dark and full of water. We basically scooped the entire drug sets into garbage bags and removed them. All under police escort. The looters had to be held back at gunpoint. After a dose of prophylactic Cipro I hope to be fine. In all we are faring well. We have set up a hospital in the French Quarter bar in the hotel, and will start admitting patients today. Many will be from the hotel, but many will not. We are anticipating dealing with multiple medical problems, medications and acute injuries. Infection and perhaps even cholera are anticipated major problems. Food and water shortages are imminent.

The biggest question to all of us is where is the National Guard. We hear jet fighters and helicopters, but no real armed presence, and hence the rampant looting. There is no Red Cross and no Salvation Army.

In a sort of cliché way, this is an edifying experience. One is rapidly focused away from the transient and material to the bare necessities of life. It has been challenging to me to learn how to be a primary care phyisican. We are under martial law so return to our homes is impossible. I don't know how long it will be and this is my greatest fear. Despite it all, this is a soul-edifying experience. The greatest pain is to think about the loss. And how long the rebuild will take. And the horror of so many dead people.

PLEASE SEND THIS DISPATCH TO ALL YOU THINK MAY BE INTERESTED IN A DISPATCH from the front. I will send more according to your interest. Hopefully their collective prayers will be answered. By the way, suture packs, sterile gloves and stethoscopes will be needed as the Ritz turns into a MASH.

Greg Henderson

PO BOX 1437, SLOT H-61
PHONE: 501.280.4827

Friday, September 02, 2005

Seminar For Men

If only they'd had one of these when I was married...

Seminar For Men


Step by step guide with slide presentation

Roundtable discussion

Practicing with hamper (Pictures and graphics)

Debate among a panel of experts.

Losing the remote control to your significant other - Help line and support groups

Starting with looking in the right place instead of turning the house upside down while screaming - Open forum


Group discussion and role play

PowerPoint presentation

Real life testimonial from the one man who did

Driving simulation

Online class and role playing

Relaxation exercises, meditation and breathing techniques

Bring your calendar or PDA to class

Individual counselors available

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What the...not another one!

Cupcake Nancy tagged me, so here's my list. I did steal a couple from her but they were exactly what I would have said anyway!

Seven things I plan to do before I die:
1. Learn to speak French fluently
2. Write a novel
3. Go to Japan
4. Take Emily and Reece to Europe
5. See the Pyramids
6. Have a career I enjoy
7. Be content

Seven things I can do:
1. Take care of myself
2. Take care of a baby
3. Be alone and enjoy it
4. Tell someone off
5. Critique a novel
6. Curse like a sailor
7. Procrastinate with the best of them

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Give up sweets
2. Keep my mouth shut
3. Break my bad habits
4. Tolerate Idiots
5. Be content with life
6. Maintain long-term friendships
7. See the fine print any more

Seven things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. A man alone in a public place reading a book
2. A foreign accent
3. A man who is handy
4. Nice arms
5. Nice cologne, not overpowering
6. A man who smiles
7. A sense of humor

Seven things I say most often:
1. “Emily....”
2. “He’s so cute I could eat him up.” (Referring to Reece.)
3. "I know.”
4. "!@#$%^&^%$#@!!!!!."
5. "Diet Coke, please."
6. "I have the sweetest dogs in the world."
7. "Give me a break."

Seven celebrity crushes:
1. Brad Pitt
2. Johnny Depp
3. That French Guy in “Unfaithful” grrrrrrrr
4. David Caruso
5. Robert DeNiro
6. Hugh Grant
7. Liam Neeson
8. Collin Firth (sorry, but I needed EIGHT)