"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

10/12/05: Back in Denver

Got back to Denver at 1:30 am
2905 total miles; 1005 yesterday.

I slept Monday night at a rest stop in western Louisiana. The drive was uneventful, except for processing why I left so quickly. The dynamics aren't clear yet, but I'm okay. Feeling disconnected from Denver right now, that's due to the fact that I mentally checked out when I left. What's next? No clue. May work to make money to travel by bus in January and February. Maybe see what Turtle is up to, then go to Michigan. I have a clean slate right now; dreading the impending complacency! Either way, one of the most intense weeks/10 days of my life has come to a close. New chapter begins now, eh?

**More to this coming**

October was far from over. Within 2-weeks I was on a bus and BACK in McComb, MS to again meet up with Carrie and take an eventful ride north for an eventful visit to Michigan. That eventful, forthcoming trip to Michigan would be the thing that would stabilize things for Laina & I. In Denver and beyond. Although, of course, I had no way of knowing that at the time. -x 1/25/10

Monday, October 10, 2005

10/10/05: Enough!

Near Jackson, Mississippi

Left Camp Katrina today. Did the 2 am to 4 am security shift last night, then slept until 11. After I woke up, Rick confronted me and asked if I was there to work "or pick up women," obviously referring to my friendship with Carrie and Jessica. It made no sense whatsoever and of course severely pissed me off.*

Without really making a conscious decision, I broke down my site and left. I spoke with Jeff (camp leader), a bit today and explained the situation. He asked me to reconsider, but I didn't...until I got to Jackson. The further I drove, the more uneasy I was about the decision to return to Denver. I stopped at a rest area to call Laina, then again another 15-20 miles up the road. After sitting for hours, I decided to return to camp and try to make things work. That got me almost to McComb, and then I went back the other way. I feel like an utter failure. I'll eventually look at this and smile, but not today. I’m in a state of confusion; guess I have 1400 miles to figure it out.

*I found out much later that Carrie divorced her husband, Rick left his wife and moved in with her. After learning this, it all made sense! Who was doing the picking up?!?

Sunday, October 9, 2005

10/9/05: Tylertown, MS-Fractures

Jesus! Talk about feeling like a leper! Jessica and Carrie left this afternoon, and amazingly I sudden have no one to associate with. The people I did talk to have left all of a sudden and, since going to New Orleans on Friday, I am feeling quite ostracized. Not a Rick fan right now. I'm truly frustrated tonight. Repacked most of my stuff and am seriously considering leaving tomorrow morning. I really don't need this frustration. I didn't come here for this cliquey shit. This is what I hope to avoid. What is it? "With each new day?" Quite honestly, I don't know where I'd go. Biloxi? Fort Walton Beach? Asheville? Michigan? I dread feeling like a failure though! That would haunt me forever. Must focus and think.

10/9/05: Tylertown, MS-Dog Thieves, Ringo, & New Orleans Devastation

Another beautiful Mississippi Sunday afternoon, though it's morning. Finally got a shower last night, first one since Monday. Went into Brookhaven, about 40 minutes from here, with Carrie and Jessica. A dry county.. Apparently, that means they can sell at stores, but there are no bars and you can't drink at restaurants. I'm trying very hard not to … judge this state, but it seems messed up! There are hints of Mississippi Burning corruption in the local law enforcement, too. Especially when we called the sheriff about the Deliverance Klan cutting thru fences and stealing the pit-bulls. It was a "boys-will-be-boys" response, after waiting all day for them to show up. Guarding/walking the perimeter at night, I’ve run a few off the cowards off myself. What’s funny is that so have some of the 50-year old women! Brookhaven was full of the stereotypical rednecks. Big trucks, squealing tires etc. Fuck Mississippi.

My mindset is strange. I have little emotional investment here. That ended Friday, when I returned from New Orleans. New Orleans was intense. Seeing the black water lines on the houses. Houses completely destroyed. NEIGHBORHOODS destroyed! The sites that made no logical sense; cars on their sides in yards, boats in places they just didn't belong…like roofs. The decomposing dogs still tied up in the backyard. Six Weeks after the fact!

I was amazed at what the people at the Winn-Dixie parking lot were coping with. They were doing the same things for the animals we were, with far less. Their tent was falling down from the wind. They had ropes tied to the concrete parking barriers because they are in a parking lot and couldn't tie their tents down. Sometimes, out of nowhere, you'd see people actually chasing their tents! I have tons of respect for all of them. I sensed nothing but "get it done."

I missed the high volume rescues, but went on a couple with Mark. I pictured dogs that would be thrilled to see people. Ha! These animals are traumatized. We chased, or better, tried to chase a dog at coffee warehouse for 90 minutes. That dog wanted no part of us and was quite the genius! Another in one of the neighborhoods would let us feed him, but went nuts when we got anywhere near him or his fence. None of the rescue people are using dog bite gear. I can only imagine the shit they’ve seen over the past month plus.

Rick was blindsided by a large pit bull here on Thursday. That dog was screwed up. When I walked by his cage feeding them; one second he'd seem happy in the next he was trying to tear through the fence to get me. Rick never saw him coming, and was drug 4 or 5 feet by his forearm. He wound up in the hospital all day and now has a brace on his arm. "Ringo" (he had ringworm) was put down that afternoon and tested for rabies. Everyone here seems to be pro-pitbull, but after seeing that dog I understand the laws. Some of the pits are very gentle dogs, but several seemed quite aggressive. Ringo had bitten another handler that same day.

Carrie and Jessica are leaving today; driving back to Indiana. Jessica flies back to Portland tomorrow. My new battle is to figure out what I want to do next. I not sure I want to stay here much longer. Things have settled into a routine, stabilized. They have plenty of volunteers. That's great for them, but doesn't motivate me as much as I could be. New Orleans was it. The day flew by and I did some good. I'll put that together soon, I guess.

Saturday, October 8, 2005

10/8/05: Tylertown, MS-Kamp Katrina

Humane Society of Louisiana
"Kamp Katrina" (Kreative!)
Near McComb, MS
It's been hard to remember to keep up on this! I've been in Tylertown since Wednesday, about midday. It was rather hard to find this place, but once I got here, they threw me right into the mix. I've worked with the dogs a bit, but mostly have been doing general labor and helping with security.

My biggest surprises have been the locals actually fucking with the compound. They're antagonizing more than anything, but have periodically cut through the fences and stolen dogs to presumably be used in midnight dogfights in the woods across the road! Dogs displaced by a fucking hurricane... rescued only to be...stolen...for dogfights! Fuck Mississippi.

There is some fault with people here, as well as those at the "Bestfriends" animal rescue site next-door. They (the organizations) don't work together at all! They actually compete, presumably for money, donations, PR, and prestige. I was almost certain that people would work toward a common goal regardless of dogma, or affiliation. Nope! That, more than anything, plus the pseudo-cliques in our own little compound has drained me of some of my motivation. A bit of the familiar feelings of disillusionment re: radio and Coors Field. I'm not happy about that. I hoped the idea of working toward a common cause would remedy that, and at times it does, but not for long.

My intolerance for personal politics and unqualified leadership has hindered me a bit. There are good people here, and it definitely helps. The two hippie chicks are leaving tomorrow. Carrie's from Indiana and Jessica from Portland. True pleasures to be around. A good counterbalance to the negativity. We're supposed to get out of here and go hang out in town tonight. Hope that works out.

Rick is in charge of security here. He's guilty of the typical shit, but I have no real problem with him. He doesn't lead by example all that well, yet loves to delegate. But he's been a huge help. None of us are paid, so it's hard to say anyone isn't doing their "job.' Rick is a bit of a ring leader. There are several people from Michigan here. Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Canada, Florida too. The situation will start to get a bit more difficult when the electricians and carpenters leave. Pat and I will be the main laborers left.

Laina and I decided to essentially split up while I was gone and see what happens from here. I also need to write about yesterday's trip to New Orleans, but have to go to Walmart. More later, I hope.