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Category: Booze
Tuesday, September 27th, 2005 @ 11:34 am
Posted By Brent

While I've been displaced by the storm, my psoriasis has found it an opportune time to blossom on my feet once again. Well, there is one slight variation this go 'round, seeming as to the untrained eye it would appear that I have full blown leprosy rocking down there. It's pretty bad.

I finally bit the bullet and looked up a dermatologist in the area from United Healthcare's preferred physicians list (right here I'll just breeze over the fact that I forgot my company switched to Blue Cross a couple months ago and I'm not sure if they'll cover this visit) and went in for some meds.

I was prescribed Methotrexate, a drug usually given to cancer patients, also a drug know to require liver biopsies if taken for an extended period of time. I believe the dermatologist doesn't actually want me to stay on this drug, but rather just take it to get my current flare up under control, then I can just go into maintenence mode with steroid cream.

So, if you didn't follow the logical steps after the liver biopsy thing, I'll go ahead and say it now: I can't drink. Actually the doctor said I had to "severely limit my alcohol intake," but I'm just going to go ahead and nix the entire idea. I know myself well enough to realize it's a horrible idea to moderate alcohol myself. I'd end up with a liver that looked like a nerf football that's been left outside for six years, not that livers are impressive looking to begin with.

So, I'm going to check back with the doctor in three weeks, but I believe she said something about the drinking moratorium lasting around three months. Sheesh. This is going to be a rough one.


Category: Rant
Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 10:37 am
Posted By Brent

For the past handful of years I've considered myself a pretty keen observer on the political front. I've been quick to debate others on their opinions, and I've been quick to defend my own. I've also looked for ways to view the weaker aspects of my beliefs in an effort to find an angle that makes these opinions harder to attack. This is what's known as "spinning" an issue, and it's something I've done consciously for quite some time.

When you muck yourself up in spin, you enter an unspoken pact with your opposition. Basically you silently agree to not call each other out on their spin, unless woefully egregious, and they agree the same. It's a sort of bullshit version of Mutual assured destruction. Without this protection the argument ends up being analogous to two people standing six feet apart firing machine guns full of blanks at each other (barring any Brandon Lee mishaps).

Fortunately for me, being affected so severely by the New Orleans flood, I am seeing past all the alternating blaming and back patting. I have no interest in finding a villain or a hero. I don't give a fuck whether it was the Republican President who was slow to act, or the Democratic Governor who dragged her feet. Whether the Bush Administration's appointed FEMA director was incompetent or if Mayor Nagin should have been better prepared. I don't care, I just want my goddamn city back.

Above and beyond all of this, there are two pieces of spin that I've been hearing over and over in the past two weeks and I'm just going to roll them out and point out what I see.

First and foremost there is nothing other than sensationalism linking climate change and Hurricane Katrina. Nothing. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have been occurring on this planet before we ever even showed up on the scene, much less having been caused my some yuppie's H2 Hummer. I'd go even further and say I'm glad we have huge gas guzzling behemoths available to truck my ass out of there and supplies in. Without horribly fuel inefficient vehicles, this would have been even more catastrophic.

Now don't give me any shit about "unprecedented levels of activity" either. Are you trying to tell me that the last two years has had the most hurricane activity ever? Sure, there were quite a few, but when you live in this area your whole life and you see multiple hurricanes threatening your general area every year, you begin to view the events of the past couple years as unlucky, but in no way unprecedented or unbelievable.

Secondly, there are poor black people in New Orleans, a lot of poor black people. Jesse Jackson never gave a shit about them, Al Sharpton never gave a shit about them, and Howard Dean never gave a shit about them. They were there a week before the hurricane, they were there a year before the hurricane, they were there for every Democratic and Republican presidency since the Civil War. When Bill Clinton was president they didn't all live in mansions. Trust me, I've lived there all my life.

The law of economic relativity states that in order for you have people who are not poor, there has to be people who are poor. The majority of New Orleaneans are black, therefore a majority of New Orleans' poor people are black. Nobody's been "hiding" them there or are "sweeping them under the rug" there. They've been there, out in the open, poor as dirt for as long as I can remember. In fact, a healthy fraction of them wear their abject poverty like a badge and brag about the dilapidated parts of town they're from as if they were talking about West Hollywood or Brentwood Estates.

So there. If you've pushed one of these points, shut your goddamned mouth because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. In closing I'd like reiterate my main points here:

  • Extreme weather has existed before global warming, people, and maybe even before oil.
  • Hurricanes, or the government's response thereof, can not go back in time and cause people to be poorer or blacker.


Category: Personal
Saturday, September 3rd, 2005 @ 03:39 pm
Posted By Brent

Goodbye earthly belongings, hello federal aid! Actually, I don't know if I'll get any, but we called and and opened a case or got a ticket number or whatever the hell happens.

Anywho, they said we'll be hooked up with an "adjuster" who we'll have to meet up with to survey the "site" to which Brenda added, "if you're going to send him soon, make sure he has a boat." I put adjuster in quotes because word around here is that FEMA's adjusters are 80-year-olds with one foot in the grave that don't survey damage as much as they just stand there and say, "yup, looks like ya got some water in here."

Which I suppose is understandable, I mean, whenever the President declares that a place is a disaster area, it's really not the time to be trying to figure out whether the water damage to your carpet is due to flooding or wind blown rain. I suppose they just send them out to perform a perfunctory check and make sure that all your shit actually got fucked, and ours did. Boy howdy.