I haven't written for a couple days despite the fact that I recently decided it would be good practice to update this blog daily. Not only because throngs of avid fans, desperate for my brilliance depend on it, but because I thought it would be a way for me to practice my writing skills and also get into the habit of doing something so a daily basis. My parents have this friend, Ron. Last time I saw him he was happily running a gem shop in the Castro in San Francisco, and I suppose he's still there. Ron had also written a book and when we caught up out west I was still a college student, anxious to learn anything I could about the art of becoming a great writer and Ron, as we sat in the restaurant near the Ghiradelli chocolate store (where, by the way, they give you a piece of chocolate each time you enter - not just, you know, once, even though you keep exiting and coming back in over and over again), said that the best advice he could give me was: "Write every day." Finally, at twenty-seven, I'd like to try that. Even if it doesn't amount to a bestseller I'll still have a log of my thoughts and adventures.

The reason, however, I haven't written lately isn't laziness. Honestly, every time I thought of something funny or ridiculous I'd like to share on my blog I couldn't get it out of my head that the first thing I needed to do was at least acknowledge the disastrous situation in New Orleans and its surrounding areas. The stories are unspeakably sad. I realize I don't have the slightest idea what it is really like to be down there but their voices on the radio, their pictures and the descriptions in newspapers give me some idea of the utter despair. Thankfully, there are good people to help. I'm not even going to try and address my anger regarding the sloppy response of the government (I'll save that for beer-drinking nights out and then you'd better WATCH OUT) but I have been impressed by the good nature of many individuals who've donated money and time and food to this cause.

There are, of course, many more interesting opinions and sources of information than mine.

This is a link to a story from Sunday's New York Times, demonstrating that while things might be, at least, better at the Houston Astrodome, Katrina's victims still have a very long road ahead. This article really got to me.

This is a link to a blog my friend Mike pointed out to me. It's being run out of New Orleans about the situation there and includes pretty unbelievable descriptions of individual's attempts to get food and water and simply understand what's going on.

Most importantly,this is a link to the Red Cross site - it is incredibly easy to donate online.