After the shit storm of the past month, it's a relief.

1. I finally got to publish a legitimate feature story on a really cool kid who drove a bus out of New Orleans.

- The Insight section editor was impressed with my work and asked me to write for him again. Since he doesn't know me from Joe, this is a big compliment.

- Two different people just emailed me and said they would like to help Courtney anyway they can, including getting plane tickets to LA. That almost makes me want to cry.

2. Toby came back from Senegal and immediately hooked me up with a British car-and-culture mag called Intersection that's going to give me a SIX PAGE SPREAD on hyphy for $800. Now, in the magazine world is not a lot for 2,500 words. But I'm going to do that much research for the Chron anyway, and I'll get only $600 for two stories. So that's much much more money.

3. Today I sent in an application to Venus, one of my favorite mags, for yet another part-time gig. They've already taken down the Craig's List email link - boo! But I sent it in to the editor & publisher and feedback and the old editor of the section. They'll look at it, right? I really really really want this gig. It's like my low-paying dream job.

4. I've been getting email that makes me all warm and fuzzy. I have lots of crushes. Today it feels like a good thing.
Now that I've written this, I feel guilty about being grouchy. Seriously, people are amazing.

The Internet ate my last post. This is an emotionally draining topic to write about, so thinking about starting again is intense.

Thursday, I learned the true nature of the Donations Center at the Reunion Arena parking lot. It wasn’t affiliated with the Red Cross as I had thought. (The arena itself says “No Donations Accepted” on all its marquees.)

Here’s the amazing part: This Donations Center sprang out of the compassion of a handful of regular people. They didn’t have a name at first; now they go by Citizen’s Coalition for Relief & Assistance. They’re lead by a hypno therapist named Kat Truitt.

What can regular people get accomplished? Well, so far, they provided clothes and shoes for all shapes and sizes; they got a Wal-Mart to bring in pallets and pallets of soap, toothbrushes, Always pads, wash clothes and so on; they were able to hand out diapers and formula for babies; they set up a first aid table; they hosted a daily barbecue with burgers and hotdogs; they researched all the information evacuees would need on FEMA, disaster assistance and housing; they collected the names of people will to donate rooms and “adopt” evacuees; they got ice and water donated each day; they talked to Big Bruce’s Barbecue and other restaurants about bring in food.

It’s truly astounding. I looked around thinking how this was all the work of a disorganized group of volunteers, just a group of people with really big hearts, and I wanted to cry. It’s hard to believe.

It seems the government machine is moving slowly in Dallas. There are procedures to follow and so on. But the citizens and churches have stepped in to fill the gap. The Donations Center has struggled to stay open for political reasons that are beyond me. The organizers say they’ve gotten flak from the office of Mayor Laura Miller ( And so the center will close down and clear out on Sunday.


Meet my incredible new friends )



August 2010

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