May 21, 2006

Ray Nagin’s victory in today’s mayoral election is the worst thing that could happen as far as the city’s future is concerned. It would seem Nagin found a way to convince enough whites to join his African-American majority and buy into his delusion that New Orleans can recover from its post-Katrina nightmare with an egomaniacal, incompetent boob as its mayor. The AP quoted a part of his victory speech as follows:

“We are ready to take off. We have citizens around the country who want to come back to the city of New Orleans, and we’re going to get them all back,” Nagin said in a joyful victory speech that took on the tone of Sunday sermon.

“It’s time for us to stop the bickering,” he said. “It’s time for us to stop measuring things in black and white and yellow and Asian. It’s time for us to be one New Orleans.”

And what, exactly does that mean Mr. “Chocolate City”? Please tell us, if you will, exactly what those citizens spread out across the country are going to come back to? Because if it means coming back to what New Orleans once was and the daunting challenges it faced prior to Katrina, perhaps they ought to think twice.

You see, I don’t buy into the myth of New Orleans prior to the levee breaches that Nagin obviously believes in and promotes. Frankly, Nagin’s New Orleans was a disgrace – its predominently low-income African-American population – crime- and poverty-ridden, hopelessly dependent, and kept that way by the soft racism of low expectations and decades of reliance on Federal and state entitlement programs of any and all kinds. A population that was/is to Mayor Nagin and his ilk exactly what the same constituency across the U.S. is to the national Democratic Party – a tool taken for granted and used whenever politically expedient to play the race card and promote continued reliance on social welfare programs that have served as nothing more than a late-20th/early 21st century version of slavery.

To Mayor Nagin and those like him – black and white – the African-American sections of New Orleans were the perverbial “crazy uncle in the attic” that the city’s leaders and its Chamber of Commerce didn’t want you to see. To them, “Come to New Orleans” really meant “Come to the French Quarter and don’t dare stray outside that 10×12 block perimeter alone or after dark if you don’t want to risk your life”.

What New Orleans voted for today was not, in effect, Ray Nagin. What it really voted for was a continuation of the good ol’ boy network that has done nearly as much damage long-term as anything a levee breach could in a few days’ time. Look around the “New South” and places like Charlotte, Atlanta, Nashville, Houston, and Dallas/Fort Worth, then compare that to what New Orleans has been for most of its African-American population: the equivalent of some wretched back-water banana republic lost in time, segregated from the socio-economic advances experienced by other cities in the region.

The victory of Ray Nagin today is a huge setback to any possible chance of recovery for New Orleans, for it shows to those whom New Orleans needs most – investors, corporations, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, tourists, etc. – that the people of New Orleans do truly understand the dire predicament it is in. At a time when strong, competent leadership was needed to forge a new beginning and a frank dialogue and understanding of the issues New Orleans must address in both the short and long terms if it is indeed to survive, its people chose to remain in denial and show the world that New Orleans is really not serious about its future.

Many of the people I spoke with during my visit last week expressed the opinion that today’s election was not just a vote for mayor, but a referendum on the city’s future and whether the difficult times ahead were going to be worth it in the long run. Today the people of New Orleans had their chance. Unfortunately, they chose poorly, and I’m afraid the city is in for a rude awakening.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:16 | Comments (2)
May 19, 2006

Sad to learn that one of my favorite blogs, Polipundit – a right-of-center political blog that had grown from one blogger to a group of five – suffered a mass defection this week with the amicable departures of fellow bloggers Lorie Byrd, Alexander McClure, and DJ Drummond, leaving only one other blogger besides Poli to handle the blogging chores. Apparently the split resulted from Poli’s strong feelings about illegal immigration and his unwillingness to allow bloggers who did not share his views to continue blogging on his site. More’s the pity.

Of course, as site owner, Poli has every right to pick and choose whomever he wants to give blogging privileges to, but his decision seems a little rash to me. If either Lorie, Alexander, or DJ had posted items that tested the bounds of impropriety, tastelessness or illegality, that would be one thing; to break up the team over something as petty as a divergent political viewpoint on an aguably-emotional issue smacks of blog suicide. After all, as Loie mentioned in her farewell post, Polipundit’s readership had been averaging somewhere around 15,000 visitors a day. What does he think made his blog so popular? Why would someone want to mess with success?

To me, what makes the blogsphere interesting to me is its diversity. When a particular site features several bloggers, those are the sites I find myself visiting, especially when time constraints prevent me from checking out all my favorites. That why blogs like Polipundit, Hugh Hewitt, National Review’s Corner, Powerline, to name just a few), are the first ones I typically visit each day, for I respect and appreciate the multiple voices and writing styles they present.

The idea of group-blogging at this site is something I’ve been interested in and trying to cultivate from day one, and something I will continue to pursue. I’ve tried to encourage one or two of my fellow Goodboys to join me, but so far have gotten no takers, although I have not given up hope! If you or anyone you know has an interest in politics, sports, world events, or popular culture, and are interested in using Goodboys Nation as a vehicle for your creative writing abilities, please drop me a line at darichard@att.net and we can talk.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:30 | Comments (2)
May 18, 2006

On Monday I had the privilege of a personal guided tour – courtesy of my friend AZ rapper Dollar Bill’s first cousin Rock – through several areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches that occurred to the north and east of New Orleans, in particular the West End/Lakeview, Lower Ninth Ward, and Eastover sections (starting down and left of the “North” arrow on the map, then moving east). Nine months after the storm, the scale of destruction remains incredible to behold, and no amount of written or viewed media coverage can do it justice.

(To set the stage for what I experienced, a brief recounting of what the Lakeview residents experienced can be found here. Also, Phil Casper is a local photographer who captured some amazing images that can be found here).

To put it bluntly, the place remains a mess. We drove the better part of four hours and saw damage everywhere. Some neighborhoods experienced anywhere between 6-8 feet of water, some more, others less so: you could tell from the waterlines easily visible on the houses. Blue tarps dot the roofs of houses in many neighborhoods. Houses, businesses, churches in any and all stages of destruction and recovery. FEMA trailers (“white envelopes” as Rock calls them) and PODS parked in front of houses where people can live and store what they have recovered while desperately working the phones for the laborers in short supply who have come from all over the world – many of whom live in tent and trailer cities deployed in parks and shopping center parking lots.

In the area called the West End, by Lake Pontchartrain, boats remain strewn everywhere – by the side of the road, on top of each other, penetrating houses, on top of roofs. Apartments and condominiums are torn apart and exposed to the elements, in various states of ruin and repair. This is actual storm damage, where, exposed to Katrina’s NE winds and a roiling lake, the area was battered for hours. Here the destruction was the typical kind of damage one would expect to see days or weeks after a hurricane damage; the fact it remains nine months later was something to behold.

Nothing could have prepared me, however, for what we would see just a short drive away, when we passed into the Lakeview and Lower Ninth Ward neighborhoods affected by the 17th Street Canal and Industrial Canal levee breaches, respectively.

First, Lakeview. Here whole stretches of streets are filled with damage. Here nothing was spared: most houses are vacant, collapsed, and/or windowless. Rusted cars, upturned trees, yards covered with a sandy residue left by the floods containing trashed possessions of all kinds. Canal water, like time and money in Las Vegas, cares little about the socio-economic situation of people. Six feet of water treats both rich and poor as equals, weakening foundations, destroying anything and everything in its path. But as bad as this was, worse was on the way.

Crossing over the Industrial Canal bridge and entering the Lower Ninth Ward, the destruction was on a scale impossible to truly describe unless seen first-hand. Even the pictures I took don’t do it justice, for the devastation is truly mind-boggling both in terms of breadth and scope. It was here where some of New Orleans’ poor and working poor lived: a predominently low-income African-American neighborhood packed together in small houses on tree-lined streets. While what existed there prior to the levee breach could hardly have been characterized as idyllic in any sense of the word, it was what thousands of people called home.

To tour this area is to understand the true power of water. While certainly Hurricane Katrina provided the elements that set in motion what happened here, this was a disaster resulting from human carelessness, corruption, politics, and general dereliction of duty on the part of the Army Corps of Engineers, local levee boards, inspectors, and a local, state, and federal government unable to either adequately prepare for, or respond to, the unthinkable. Here the power of rushing and rising water obliterated blocks of houses, cars, and trees, resulting in death, destruction, and desperation as the debris-filled water rose to the rooftops. Here, unlike in the Lakeview area, there are no waterlines on the houses – really, no houses left to speak of – that’s how high it rose here. What astounded me was both the lack of recovery effort underway – we saw only a few utility company workers milling around – and the silence. No birds, no people, no signs of life or hope, nine months after the fact.

Our final stop was the Eastover section – another predominently African-American neighborhood, but this one of more affluent means. Here we saw beautiful mini-mansions and homes of every kind sitting vacant, windowless and blue-tarped, FEMA trailers more in abundance, golf courses covered in weeds and sand. Again, water as the great equalizer.

I’ve uploaded these pictures to my Yahoo! photo album. If you have a dial-up connection, I apologize for the size and slowness of the photos, but I felt it was important to show a clear picture of the devastation that exists not more than 15-20 minutes north and east of the French Quarter.

As we drove back to my hotel, I couldn’t help but think that, regardless of what Mayor Nagin and local and national politicians think, do, and say, this is an area that cannot and must not be restored to what it once was, for what remains – especially in the Lower Ninth – is simply not recoverable in terms of money or effort without a decade or more of work. The question, of course, is where are the people who have either left or are now stuck in hotel rooms and difficult situations across the US to go? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. When large numbers of people are displaced, the government can only do so much: in life there are no guarantees no matter who you are, what you are, and where you live, and all things in time are destined to pass away. What New Orleans chooses to do with its future is, in the end, up to its people to decide; all the rest of us can do is try and help in whatever way we can by visiting, contributing, praying, and offering our help in any way we can.

If this post has touched you in any way, I invite you to share this link with those you know. New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Rob says things remain pretty bad further east in Mississippi) continues to need your help. If you can’t visit and bring your travel dollars with you, here and here are some links where you can help.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 14:29 | Comment (1)
May 16, 2006

Back from New Orleans, a day after one of the most sobering and unbelievable experiences I have ever witnessed. Yesterday my friend Dollar Bill‘s cousin Rock gave me a tour of some of the devastation that still remains nearly 9 months after Hurricane Katrina and the post-Katrina levee breaches. I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow when hopefully I’ll have a number of photos to link to, but suffice to say, the extent of the damage around the Lakeview area and the obliteration (no other word seems to fit) of the 9th Ward were almost impossible to comprehend.

My reason for going to New Orleans was to take up $’s call for people to go to New Orleans and show the people there our support the best way most people know how – by vacationing.

I enthusiastically echo his call.

I’m so glad I went, not only to frequent familiar places (not the least being my River!), but to also talk to people and get a sense of their hopes and frustrations so I could better understand the story behind the story. I found all of that, and then some, as you’ll hopefully see tomorrow. Outside the French Quarter, things are a long way from “normal” and there are a lot of people hurting – there’s no way to sugar-coat that. But if you’re looking for the greatest food on this planet, some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, and a unique culture that makes all others in this country pale in comparison, all I can say is it’s still there. A little weary and beaten on for sure, but it’s there in the color, the music, the food, the architecture, and the culture, so I encourage one and all to plan a few days to kick back and relax in the city I still consider my favorite above all – New Orleans.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:49 | Comments (0)
May 14, 2006

Took a while to get my wireless connection straightened out, but The Great White Shank is up and blogging from “The Big Easy” – a little sleep deprived due to work, but alive and kicking nevertheless. Some impressions of my first 24 hours back here in The Big Easy:

The French Quarter seems pretty crowded, and the folks I’ve talked to say the visitor traffic continues to grow slowly but steadily with each passing weekend. You had your Bourbon Street crowds (not as big as I’m accustomed to on a Saturday night, but substantial nonetheless) bathed in the garish lights and deafening music pumped from cars and bars as I headed into work last night, and the Cafe du Monde at 11 AM on Sunday was its usual bustling self. The hotel I’m staying at – the Prince Conti – is, I’m told, filled to capacity for the first time this year, and the foot traffic around Jackson Square, with families arrayed in a wide range of colors and dress perfect for attending Mass or a Mother’s Day cafe/restaurant jazz brunch was pleasing to the eyes. Were one not so intimately familiar with the area, it would be easy to be seduced into thinking today was just another Sunday during the latest of visits to the Crescent City.

But it isn’t, for ghosts abound everywhere. Sometimes these ghosts are obvious: the “For Sale” and “For Lease” signs reflecting phantom shops, businesses, and restaurants (some of them, like the Old Nawlin’s Cookery, that were here for decades), or the phantoms of once-vibrant and more carefree times as reflected in “post-Katrina menu”s posted on various menu boards, the lack of wait staff in restaurants, or the garbage piled up on street corners everywhere (the city has run out of money for trash collection).

Other times, they are in people, places, and attitudes more difficult to see unless you are a regular visitor or seasoned observer: the locals who complain about the lack of affordable rentals and property (some businesses provide hotel rooms for their most-valued employees), the once-almost total Asian wait staff at the du Monde now replaced by a 50/50 split with African-Americans, a friendly black guy walking along the Moonwalk thanking visitors having coffee, reading, or contemplating life by the River for coming to the city and telling everyone who cares to listen that “not all black people here are bad”, or the palpable unease of the locals knowing another hurricane season is near-upon them.

This man’s opinion, from talking with various locals, bartenders, and wait staff in just the short time I’ve been here, is a fear that people have generally forgotten about New Orleans, and that unless things change drastically around here politically, a true recovery that benefits not just the tourist industry but the locals who call this area home is impossible. While an increasing number of strip clubs on Bourbon Street may in some small way attract a certain kind of valuable weekend visitor, there are four other days where people need to work, eat, start and increase families, and build communities. Most seem willing to give things a little more time and hope the upcoming elections will re-energize a populace tired of the usual bullshit from every elected leader from District A to the White House, but they also have a sneaking opinion that New Orleans’ window of opportunity to be something other than just a quaint, 12×10-block tourist destination is in real danger of closing.

Viewing the world through a piping-hot coffee au lait down by the Mississippi, nothing seems to have changed – the river flows and churns as brown and restless as it always has, the barges sneak their way towards parts unknown, and the downriver wharves sit quiet and unused in the sun and humidity, another year older like all of us. Hearing the bells of St. Louis Cathedral signaling the end of Mass, I couldn’t help but wonder if their somber tone didn’t in some way issue a warning bell to all who love this city, this area, and this River, that those who continue to point fingers and bicker about who did and/or should have done what in the post-Katrina meltdown are risking valuable time and energy, and this area’s hope and future, if significant changes are not made in the way this city and state operates.

As several people (both black and white) have told me, Louisiana cannot continue to operate like it’s still the 1960s. This city’s and state’s political leaders and cultural forces must learn to operate in a new and radically-different 21st century mindset, for it is in clinging to the old and tired political and socio-economic ghosts of the past that the very existence and future of the historical and cultural marvel that is New Orleans and the Louisiana Gulf Coast is threatened.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 13:35 | Comments (4)
May 12, 2006

The Goodboys Nation weblog got a wonderful plug today from my good friend, AZ rapper Dollar Bill. he might disagree, but when I listen to $’s rap, think “edgy-humorous-energy”. While I think $ likes to test the boundaries of the rap medium to the point of near-caricature, his message is as playful on the surface, but underlies a genuine earnestness and – more than anything else – positive energy. I encourage you check to his site out and give him a listen – I know he’d welcome your feedback.

Thanks for the kind words, $.

Did you know Dollar Bill is a New Orleans native? Maybe that’s why we hit it off right away. While I’m not afraid to admit to occasional bouts of melancholy and cynicism, I’ve always found myself gravitating to people with a positive energy about them (BTW, it’s only been the past 15-20 years or so that I discovered I had the gift of reading auras). To me, $ has always been Mr. Positive, surrounded by yellows and purples, and I’ve learned that people like that are the kind I like to be around.

Tomorrow I’m off to New Orleans and a long-awaited reunion with the Mississippi River. I hear both its and New Orleans’ siren call, and anticipating being back in a place where so much has changed since I was last there 11 months ago makes me nervous, edgy, apprehensive.

It’s so hard to put into words the way I feel about the River, so with your permission I would like to have the late Dennis Wilson (drummer of the Beach Boys) say it for me. Dennis wrote these lyrics back in 1973, but they speak to my soul and in a far more articulate way than anything I could ever attempt. Simple, straightforward. Dennis was writing about L.A. and a river he fished in northern California; his thoughts and spirit are easily – EASILY – transferrable to me here in Phoenix and of the Mississippi.

Walkin’ down by the river
Water running through my knees
River, oh river moves so free
Oh mighty river endlessly

Oh mighty river
I would love to be like you
Oh lonely river
Has not got the time to stay

I was born into the city life
It’s all that I’ve ever known
You know it’s rough gettin’ round this place
So crowded I can hardly breathe

You can only see about a block or two
In L.A. that’s the truth
I’m lookin’ for some country life
Some kickin’ room no more city life
I want the river

I’ll be blogging from New Orleans this weekend and, thanks to Dollar Bill and his cousin Rock, hope to be able to write about my own experiences in post-Katrina New Orleans. OK, so it might not be as riveting as Dan Rather at the ’68 Democratic Convention, but hey, there’s a story to get out there and plenty of room for amateur journalists like me, right?

One final comment. What the hell good does it do to bust your cookies taking 2 of 3 from the New York Yankees when the next night you spit the bit against the Rangers while the Evil Empire beats the Athletics?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:50 | Comments (0)
May 9, 2006

Well, the pollution alerts are back (through the end of the week) and with them the wheezing, scratchy throats and red eyes too. The Great White Shank be lookin’ for some relief, and here’s what he found:

Dollar Bill gets some deserved and new-found respect at Tuneflow – check it out!

Feel like returning back to those golden days of yesteryear, L.A. 1965-66, the days of surfin’ and social pop consciousness? Well, take that 40-year old copy of the L.A. Free Press out of the bottom of the parakeet’s cage, fire up the hi-fi, and head over to this groovin’ site. Me, I just got my Dumb Angel Gazzette #4 and can’t wait to inhale it!

Turns out Rob picked the winner of the Derby on Saturday. What a handicapper! Me, I listened to my friend Jerome and threw all my savings, 401K investments, and home equity on A.P. Warrior (who rumor says finished 18th, but I thought I just saw him make the clubhouse turn); now its spam and tunafish casserole for the rest of my earthly days. 🙂

Polipundit has a link to file under “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” category. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Are Beltway Republicans finally starting to act like, well, Republicans? Well, good. Now let’s vote to get that damned fence up, then repeal federal gas taxes, put some holes in ANWR, and start working on a comprehensive entergy policy that rewards conservation and emphasizes new refineries and nuclear power plants. Then you’ll get my attention back.

Filed in: Politics & World Events,Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 18:51 | Comments (0)
May 8, 2006

Tracey and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary (September 28) with a 7-night Hawaiian cruise around the islands. I forget where we’re supposed to be stopping, but who cares, right? Well, today I thought I’d whet my appetite for this upcoming bonafide hoot with the first of several posts over the next few months with the latest news and items of interest from the 50th state. First, a primer:

The Hawaii Channel seems to have quite a bit of cool stuff, including news and weather (including a couple of web cams to show you that there is some pretty cool weather going down in Hawaii).

You want blogs? Seems there’s a ton of ’em, but here’s a couple I found intriguing:

* Mike Hu’s Thinking Hawaii appears to be a conservative blog in a pretty liberal state. Keep up the good work, Mike!

UPDATE 5/9/06: Since Mike commented, let’s not pin him down on any particular ideology – rather, let’s just say his blog is both interesting and informative!

* Scott Crawford’s Hawaii Independence blog, which seems kinda anti-U.S. in sentiment, but he likes cats, so he can’t be all bad! 🙂

* Metroblogging Hawaii, which seems just as interesting as one of my favorite blogs Metroblogging New Orleans. From the sounds of it Honolulu’s had quite a bit of rain. (Ed. note: Boy, that sounds nice – we’re about to enter the first of several days of pollution alerts and temperatures that will hit 100 for the first time this year.)

And, finally, what would anything about Hawaii be without a link to Hawaiian music and culture? Here they tell you, among other things, how to translate your name into Hawaiian? Want to learn how? Let’s do it all together!

There are two ways to determine the Hawaiian derivation of your name. The first is to determine the meaning of your name and then find the Hawaiian word for your name’s meaning. The second, and the most common, is by through transliteration which replaces the letters in the English name with Hawaiian letters. This is not as easy since the Hawaiian language has only has twelve letters.

So here is the formula:

Replace B, F, P with P
Replace C, D, G, J, K, Q, S, T, X, Z with K
Replace H with H
Replace N with N
Replace L, R with L
Replace V, W with W
Replace Y with I

Vowels always remain the same. Be sure to separate all consonants with a vowel for example, Barbara would translate to PALAPALA in Hawaiian because we must insert a vowel between the “r” and “b” letters of the name.

So, this means The Great White Shank would be (I think) “Kehe Kaleak Wahike Kahank”. (I hope I got that right…). At any rate, no matter how you slice it, it means “one who plays bad golf”.

Well, that’s it for now. A hui hou kakou!

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 21:59 | Comments (5)
May 7, 2006

…So this is what my life has come down to. While my friend Paul and wife Tracey were shopping their butts off in old town Scottsdale I find myself watching the Kentucky Derby – my all-time favorite sporting event in the world – at the Rusty Spur Cowboy Saloon, listening to some C&W music played buy a guy with his electronic drum machine and an 80-year old stage prop who had trouble keeping time to “You Are My Sunshine”, surrounded by two mid-50s-ish women trashed out of their gourds trying to decide how many “Jesus Loves You – Everyone Else Thinks You’re An Asshole” bumper stickers they wanted to purchase. Let me tell you – I’ve watched the Derby in a variety of places (including finish-line bleacher seats at Churchill Downs), but after this year I draw the line: no more crap, no more idiots – from now on I only watch this race in an environment where one can appreciate all the pagentry and sportsmanship it represents.

And, congrats to Barbaro and his jockey Edgar Prado for their fine victory. You could tell Prado knew his ride didn’t like having horses in front of him, so he skillfully worked out positions all along the route that worked to his horse’s liking, and thus to his advantage. It was a beautiful race and an exquisite piece of jockeying.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:59 | Comments (3)

Got a nice e-mail from my friend Jerome in response to this post. I enjoyed it so much I thought I would share it with you. (BTW, the “Pegasus Parade” he is talking about is a popular pre-Kentucky Derby event held in Louisville, where he and his lovely family lives.)

In all seriousness though, I’d like you to do something today. Take a minute or so to thank God for the gift of prayer. Reading your entry last night when you were up late and everyone else was asleep made me think that you probably had a nice talk with God at some point.

Yesterday was the Pegasus Parade. I was really excited because the kids are old enough to enjoy a parade, Melissa’s been wanting to go, and our new office is 2 blocks away from the parade route.

I bought tickets for reserved seating because I wanted it to be special for the kids, we didn’t have time to sit downtown all morning to save ourselves good seats, and I didn’t want the hassle of trying to see over people. The tickets I bought were on the south side of the street near the parade’s beginning. So we walk down there — NO SEATS. No nothing.

The north side of the street has bleachers, seats and signs showing where people are supposed to sit. I tracked down some parade volunteers and they told me that there was some kind of mix up and that there was no such thing as south side seating. They had several other people ask about their seats too. They pointed out a group of people who were in a similar situation and told me to wait with them because one of the parade organizers was going to speak with them shortly.

The organizer came over and apologized. He said that they were going to set up chairs for everyone who had tickets. Melissa knew what was going to happen. There were people sitting there all day saving their spots and they were gonna be pissed off when the derby people came to set chairs out. She was right. So here we are with about 40 other people and we are being cussed out by all these other folks as we were being seated. It was then that Melissa said a prayer to deliver us from this bullshit so we could enjoy the parade. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, this woman wearing one of the Derby Festival Blazers pulls Melissa and the kids and me to some open seats on the other side of the street away from all the swearing rednecks. We ended up having front row seats and a great time. Angels appear as just people who do good things for others.

And to illustrate further that the show “My Name Is Earl” is really on to something with the whole karma thing … this morning I woke up still pretty pissed off about the whole ticket-seating mix up. I was prepared to call the Derby Festival people up this morning and give them a sample of the tongue lashing we got yesterday. Then while driving to work, I prayed. I had a nice conversation with God this morning and remembered how great a gift prayer is … I called up the Derby Festival office, calmly explained what had happened and kindly asked for a refund. They were very accommodating and apologetic. I thanked them for getting the chairs set up for us. They apologized again and said they would issue us a full refund. Because I stopped to pray about it this morning, I’m not fuming about it today.

I can’t imagine what those other folks are feeling. There were several other people who were screaming that they were gonna give the ticket people a piece of their minds and that they demanded satisfaction. I’m sure that many of them called up the same people I called and harassed the hell out of them. I’ll also bet that they hung up STILL enraged about it.

I guess whatever happens in life you can choose to make something positive out of it or negative. But prayer is an important part of life, and a gift from God that, like golf and sex, you don’t have to be good at to enjoy.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:46 | Comments (0)

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