Thursday, September 29, 2005

What's Your Flava?

You Are Rocky Road Ice Cream
Unpredictable and wild, you know how to have fun.
You're also a trendsetter who takes risks with new things.
You know about the latest and greatest - and may have invented it.
You are most compatible with vanilla ice cream.

If We Are the Body...

I can't say that Hurricane Rita taught me anything profound, but God sure did. Not only did God teach me something, but He used our pastor as His instrument of correction and instruction.

I rarely read the "First Edition" the weekly newsletter/program put out by First Baptist. But this week I decided to click on the link and read it. My eye was drawn to a small corner of the page where Pastor Gregg wrote a short note to the congregation about Jesus calming our hearts during the storm. In his final paragraph, Gregg reminds us we are here to glorify God and serve our community in His name. He said we are sometimes just to sit there and listen to a neighbor's "Rita story".

This struck home with me. I have been arrogant and self-serving. I haven't wanted to listen. Every time someone starts telling me their "Rita story" I begin to tune out. Thoughts start running through my mind like this "I've heard it all before, I know it was bad but move on, I'm so tired of this." Believe me, I am not proud of sharing those thoughts with all of you, but the Spirit has convicted me. I realize those thoughts are selfish. It doesn't hurt me at all to sit and listen to someone's experiences, and it may help them. It also may open doors to have conversations about God and His mercies. I am so grateful for God's gentle instruction in my life. So blessed by the correction of the Holy Spirit. And so encouraged by the leadership of the pastor God has placed over our church.

And if you have a "Rita story" I would love to hear it. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Calling All Readers

This is for all of you out there who read this blog, yes even the lurkers!!! There is a huge underground movement taking place. A desperate pleading for the wisdom of one who is dear to us all. We all have long known that Dinah needs to start her own blog. In our campaign to make this happen we have formed an online survey to gauge the demand for a blog by Dinah. Please click the link and take the survey. Just click here and enter survey number 30944 in the "Take A Survey" box to make your voice heard!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Rant

I don't rant on this blog very often, so I feel I'm entitled to one free rant now.

My problem is with insensitive people. I don't mean people who don't cry at sad movies, but rather people who don't think about what they're saying and who they're saying it to. Case in point:

I was at a restaurant with a bunch of my friends the other day and much of the conversation centered on Hurricane Rita. About ten minutes into it someone started talking about the news coverage and then it became a sort of feeding frenzy among my friends to see who could come up with the worst story about how horrible news reporters are and what a terrible job they do. Although none of the comments were personally related to me, many of them were directed at me as though they wanted my confirmation and affirmation of the statements they were making. They literally spent the next HOUR bashing the media. At one point I even politely stated that the conversation was making me uncomfortable and asked if we could change the subject, but they refused to take me seriously. I finally got frustrated and decided it was just time to leave.

Now I know that reporters make mistakes and sensationalize things. I know that not all coverage is good coverage. But I also know not all of it is bad and some of it is very important. But my real point is think about how what you're saying may be affecting the person you're talking to. If you're a teacher and I spent an hour talking to you about how horrible the public education system is and what a terrible job teachers are doing you might start to feel a little defensive. If you're a lawyer and I lock you into a conversation about how horrible the profession is and how most lawyers are crooks and have no morals you might start to feel like you're under attack. To quote my friend Steven Murray "Think it through people!"

Monday, September 26, 2005

Houston Looters

I promised I would tell the story of where we got our food supplies to ride out the storm. Well the truth is the news staff of HPR are the official Houston looters. Here's how it went down...

Our station had a contract with a food service provider to supply all our victuals for the weekend. Somewhere along the way in the contract negotiations there was a miscommunication. So instead of receiving a shipment of foodstuffs, we received a brisket. One brisket. For 40 people. By this time it was too late to renegotiate the contract and receive fresh supplies. So we broke in to the catering kitchens on campus and raided the pantries and freezer units.

We had lasagna, eggs and sausages, sheet cakes, loads of sandwiches, snacks etc. All courtesy of the university kitchens.

The looting continued when we realized the reporters were burning lots of gas in the course of attending press conferences and covering the evacuation. What to do, what to do. At this point we were already world-weary, seasoned criminals so why not go ahead and loot the university's fueling station? We broke right on in and everybody filled up. Now we're all tooling around town without a care in the world.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hurricane Pick-Up Lines

Hey baby, how 'bout you and me hunker down together...

Whaddaya say we shelter in place if ya know what I mean...

Hunkering Redux

Our first shipment of food arrived, which saved the three dogs from impending doom.

We were supplied with massive amounts of lasagna and salad. It was possibly the best salad I have ever eaten. I think that may be due to the fact that I haven't eaten anything green and leafy for the past three days.

In fact today is the first day in recent memory that I ate something that didn't come out of a cardboard or cellophane package. You're probably wondering why that's the case since the storm hasn't actually hit yet. But every grocery store between here and Hoboken has been closed for the past two days. Later on I'll fill you in on the story of how we managed to get fresh food supplies.

Still Hunkering

Day 27 in this hell hole...things are getting desperate. We ate the cat.

Hunker Down

Well I'm here in the station along with six other news staffers, two spouses, one ten-year-old, one three-year-old, three dogs and one cat. We'll be riding out the storm from here. We have a generator if the power goes down and our signal will continue to broadcast the latest updates. Of course if your power is down you can go to your trusty battery-powered radio and tune in to 88.7FM to get all the info you need.

Right now the funny part is that we are getting impatient for the storm to come. We've been covering the approach and evacuation for the past several days. Now we're stuck in the station and oddly starting to get a little bored. Reporters thrive on disaster. One blessing is that we have a truly outstanding news director. He is committed to our safety and well-being above all else. None of us will leave the building until after the storm has passed and it is safe to get outside. Furthermore, we have been told that if we get emotional or overwhelmed we should just walk away from the newsroom and take whatever time we need to stay, watch cable, sleep...whatever.

All of this leaves me with just one burning it bad that my biggest concern/gripe is that all the Starbucks have been closed for the past two days? I think Starbucks should be listed under essential services.

Monday, September 19, 2005

It's a Holiday

In case you all didn't is National Talk Like A Pirate Day. Aarrgggh.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Too Cool for School

Yesterday I had to get past the most powerful man in America and I won.

Now I know what you're thinking, "President Bush wasn't in Houston this week!" Well you're right, he wasn't. But, contrary to popular belief, he is not the most powerful man in America. The U.S. Marshall guarding the security checkpoint at the downtown Federal Courthouse is, in fact, the Supreme Ruler. This man weilds power like no other.

Let me give you a little bit of perspective on this. I am a journalist. Furthermore, I am a broadcast journalist, which means I use a microphone and recording device as essential parts of my daily work. However, no recording equipment is allowed past security. Ever. Which means for the Enron trials, immigrant smuggling trial etc. I was forced to check my bag at the desk and sit in the courtroom rendered broadcast impotent. Or I could stand outside with my mic ready and miss everything going on inside. This rule stands for everyone...until now.

Yesterday I received special, written permission from the Chief Judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to bring my microphone and recorder inside the building and record my little heart out! The U.S. Marshall HAD to let me through! Seriously people, this is probably the first time in modern history that anyone has been permitted to do this. I was in reporter heaven. I wandered around the halls and rooms, mic boldly displayed for all to see. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I'm Not Making This Up

This is an actual Reuters photograph taken at the UN World Affairs Security Council Meeting. It's a note from President Bush to Condoleeza Rice.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'm Not Crazy

Ok, well I might be crazy, but not in reference to this particular topic. When I was a kid I liked to read the encyclopedia in my spare time (yes, I'm THAT girl). I have mentioned to a few people that I am fascinated by ants and aphids because of what I learned from my scholarly readings. Some ants will actually "herd" aphids and "milk" them for food. Now when I bring this up some people look at me like I'm crazy. Clearly I must be making it up or hallucinating or living in a happy little world of ant farming. They vocalize the opinion that I have been listening to too much public radio and clearly I need to switch to Fox News because a wacky lie like ants and aphids must be the propaganda of the liberal media.

Well guess what! The conspiracy is true! God is cool enough to come up with something crazy like that. The complexity and wonders of God's creation are astounding. Think of what an imagination God has to come up with something like ants milking aphids!

Now go and read your encyclopedia and listen to public might learn something.

Short but Fiery

So I'm fiery. Spicy. Saucy. Sassy. All of these adjectives have been used to describe me. But last night a friend postulated the idea that my fiery sass is not entirely a result of my fabulous personality, but rather could be traced back to my height.

Many short people are fiery, he says.

How many tall fiery people do you know, he asks.

Short people have to fight harder and yell louder to make it in a world dominated by those who tower above them, he theorizes.

My immediate desire was to pull out the teapot finger and give him a lecture on making generalized statements. But then I started to ponder and the only fiery people who came to mind all fall well into the "short" category. Anyone have any evidence to prove the theory wrong?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

In Perpetuity

I came home the other day and discovered that my roommate framed my elf picture and placed it in a place of prominence in our living room. O Joy.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Right or Wrong?

Several countries, including Canada, Germany and France, have offered assistance in our current crisis along the Gulf Coast.

President Bush says: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country's going to rise up and take care of it. You know, we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed. And there's no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city."

In other words, we can handle it ourselves, we don't really need your help. Is he right or is he wrong? I personally think this is the perfect time to receive assistance from other nations. We have helped them many times, why should we refuse their help now? What are your thoughts?

More Assistance Info

If you're looking for ways to help, or donation drop-off locations, or volunteer info, it can all be found at this site. This is a compilation of all the different organizations and locations, updated daily.