Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

November 28, 2006

I’m Getting a New ‘Puter!

Filed under: Aside — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:04 pm

Fifteen months after the Federal Flooding of New Orleans, one aspect of my life can return to normal: Betts just ordered a new NetVista to replace my drowned system. Tres kwel beans babes! I will again have a solid, fully maxed machine with which to raise Hell and maybe get the business back up and running. (50 % of Pirate Princess Productions sank beneath the dirty waters from the London Canal breaks.)

I won’t be a Geek-ette anymore. (Adrastos, please don’t create a worse moniker for me. *giggles*) I shall be restored to my antedeluvian position of a capable and operational adult (okay… twisted adult) in the cyber realm. The laptops kept me afloat all this time, but they were limited. (Not to mention the not really legal load of the O/S on the prototype one I’ve been using these last five months. Too many glitches pop up whilst online.) I’ll be able to update my websites again.
I’m just tickled pink. (Hmmmm…. wonder if I can convince her to let me have a Harley?)

November 23, 2006

We’s be cookin’

Filed under: New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:10 pm

That’s right. We’s be cookin’ with Jazz! (Or Rock ‘n Roll)

I’ve let Satchmo use my body today cause he do know what to do, especially when ya’s don’t have a stove. “Where’s my horn” and “Hello Dolly”! That mapled bird do look good, don’t ya know.
Happy Bird Day folks! 

November 20, 2006

TDOR in New Orleans 2006

Filed under: Inter/Trans-Sexed,My Community,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 11:15 pm

Well, we observed the Trans Day of Remembrance yesterday evening here in the Old City. Betts and I arrived at the Community Center which held a few of the usual suspects and some new folks. There were eight of us. The candles were lit as folks read over the entire list of our dead and a wonderful poem by an unknown that I cannot find a cyber reference for.

Whilst we waited for the Minister (Rev. Marta, Bless you hon!), a group of volunteers from Maine showed up because they wished to take part of our ceremony. Suddenly we were up to twenty, and it was time to brave the cold/wind for the six block trek to the statue of St. Joan d’Arc. It was an interesting collection of folks walking down Decatur Street: Denims, sweats, massive cold gear and yours truly in her black dress. (Yes I was freakin’ freeezing, but I always wear that dress for TDOR, and it survived the Flood.)

Once at the statue, near Jackson Square with traffic whizzing on three sides of us, we read the names and said our prayers for those of our little tribe that were taken away from us this past year. We then headed back to the Center for relief from the cold air. Once there we shared talk and goodies. (I met a girl that I had passed at the hospital some months ago: only been here a year and looking for people to know here. Believe it or not- I can be shy around folks I don’t already know, especially in a Trans meeting. I do have a rep that is not always tolerated by some brothers and sisters.) Those of us from the pre-Deluge days just caught up on current progress around the city.

Next year things will be different for TDOR: I want torches and a Trans flag flying as we go along. I want people to know what they are watching, and I want handouts to give them when they ask what we are doing. It is also my desire to have more drama in the presentation of the names of the murdered. Yes we alone can do this quietly, but where is the education of outsiders to the reality of our situation? We are here in New Orleans, and we must attract their attention. (You just know it’s going to be Witchy.)

We Trans folk are still here and healing, and we cannot wait for the day when we are no longer tortured and killed due to bigotry, ignorance and hatred. (nor any Human being for that matter.)

November 19, 2006

Righting Old Wrongs…

Filed under: Civic Blogging,New Orleans,Progressive News — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 6:57 am

The other day the T-P had a little article about mis-understanding Politics 101 here in the city. One of the developers of the Fallstaff property on Gravier St. remarked about the failure of Jazzland. Pissed off a supe or two, so what? The key thing was that he believed that we should “get people into rentals” Excuse me?
“Using the HOME money to help owners work on their houses, the Falstaff developers said, would not produce any of the new rental units the city needs and would not leverage the federal money to produce the greatest return.”

I freakin’ beg to differ Mr. Suit Man. The greatest return on the Federal monies sent as part of the Reparations due to the city’s people is best served by maintaining and creating home-ownership. A little slice of the American Dream, ‘eh?

HUD is tearing down the Projects… what the Hell can those folks afford in the near, or could be, the long-term Future? They will be paying tribute to yet another developer and their overlords. No Freedom, no freakin’ way out of the hole. Let’s just return to the pre-Flood days, ‘eh?

Screw that path… not going to play the same old game down here again. No, ya’s ain’t gonna build lots of apartment complexes in the “Sliver By The River” to house the poor that will become your indentured servants for the service industry and your damned profit margins. We don’t want your ugly complexes (read: projects) in the city. You will just suck rent, along with other things, let those things decay, find a way to bail out with the $$$, and then where do the little folks stand then?

I can tell you some of what’s going on. From the “Nation” April, ’06:

“The Republican hostility to New Orleans, of course, runs deeper and is nastier than mere concern with civic probity (America’s most corrupt city, after all, is located on the Potomac, not the Mississippi). Underlying all the circumlocutions are the same antediluvian prejudices and stereotypes that were used to justify the violent overthrow of Reconstruction 130 years ago. Usually it is the poor who are invisible in the aftermath of urban disasters, but in the case of New Orleans it has been the African-American professional middle class and skilled working class. In the confusion and suffering of Katrina–a Rorschach test of the American racial unconscious–most white politicians and media pundits have chosen to see only the demons of their prejudices. The city’s complex history and social geography have been reduced to a cartoon of a vast slum inhabited by an alternately criminal or helpless underclass, whose salvation is the kindness of strangers in other, whiter cities. Inconvenient realities like Gentilly’s red-brick normalcy–or, for that matter, the pride of homeownership and the exuberance of civic activism in the blue-collar Lower Ninth Ward–have not been allowed to interfere with the belief, embraced by New Democrats as well as old Republicans, that black urban culture is inherently pathological.

Such calumnies reproduce ancient caricatures–blacks running amok, incapable of honest self-government–that were evoked by the murderous White League when it plotted against Reconstruction in New Orleans in the 1870s. Indeed, some civil rights veterans fear that the 1874 Battle of Canal Street, a bloody League-organized insurrection against a Republican administration elected by black suffrage, is being refought–perhaps without pikes and guns, but with the same fundamental aim of dispossessing black New Orleans of economic and political power. Certainly, a sweeping transformation of the racial balance-of-power within the city has been on some people’s agenda for a long time.”

How about “The New Orleans Agenda” from last February’s S.F. Bayview? (If I excerpt it, I’ll have to copy and paste the entire essay. Just read it.)

“Oh! But the Feds are only required to return us to pre-Katrina situations.” Just kiss my tush jerks. The levees weren’t all of the problem. This has been a systemic assault upon the people of New Orleans for many, many decades. The failures of the levees could easily be seen as part of a “plan”. WE ARE OWED REPARATIONS! We should use them to bring all of New Orleans back on a more equitable footing. (Shit! That Neo-con/Bigot fault just shifted! Did ya’s feel that?) Neighborhood ownership and co-partners in the developement of said neighborhoods. (Damn! That fault shook again!) Good Public schools instead of the Parochial and Charter schools? (I think that last shaking was Rigor Mortis setting in. I’m freakin’ groovin’ to the movin’.)

The wrongs from the Past can be corrected within the rebuilding of the city. Many of us are seen as the oppressors from the poor’s side, but we aren’t: all of us are heirs to the bullshit bigotry of the Past. This time all of the tribes of New Orleans can hold hands and create the New Orleans that should have been: a place that is a collection of slices from much of Humanity’s experiences and have them mesh together into a semi-coherent whole. To create a new New Orleans: where the bigotry of the Past is laid to rest, and we all can stand up and state, “I own a piece of this home-place”, both soulfully and materially.

Think of it: What the Hell is the worth of the city and the vibes without all of us: Creole, Cajun, black, white, Asian, etc. living together? How did the music begin? Blacks and Creoles mainly, and then other elements flowed in. Our cuisine? Babes, I defy you to produce a more thourough fusion in the culture of foods. The City’s flavor? It took, and takes, all of us who love Her, all of us that just said, “New Orleans owns me… I can’t leave.”.

There’s a thing called the “Spirit of Place” or Genius Loci… all of us who love this place belong to it. It moves within the soul. It’s called belonging, and we should be beholding to It’s spirit. Let’s now create a true “Shining City Upon a Hill“.

I’m game: (I am a part of almost every culture in the city. I wish my relatives to be happy and contented). Where Yat?

Comic Relief 2006… WooHoo!!!

Tonight we watched Comic Relief 2006, a benefit for New Orleans. It was wonderful, and the local insights offered through the broadcast were definitely on target. They also pulled in $15M in donations. This is a good thing.
This, combined with the results of the last election, shows that folks do care about America’s Jewel. Americans do care about America, and honeys… we are more American than most. We have the history and the sacrifices for a nation’s growth through the many decades that the U.S. has been around. Culturally, only the Fundies and Disney-types DON’T like New Orleans.

So, give a hand to Comic Relief, HBO, and TBS (not that I watched their broadcast… you can’t say “fuck” on TBS) for their efforts on behalf of the people of New Orleans.

And… it’s time for all of the NOLA Blogosphere to start the poop-storm again about the situation down here along the Coast. It’s time to play the heart-a-chordian again.

November 17, 2006

Wet Bank Guide: “Ship of Fools”

Filed under: Civic Blogging,Katrina,Levees,New Orleans — Tags: , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:13 pm

This is a must read from my friend Mark over at the Wet Bank Guide. Very well-done piece, and yes I wish I’d written it.
“I have come home, rejecting Robert Hunter’s caution, and boarded the ship of fools. I did so because I think this the sanest place in America, one of the few where there is some balance between the demands of Moloch and the need to be human, both as an individual and as a part of a true community. The real ship of fools is the rest of the country, drifting into cultural civil war and an economic death spiral of greed. As I’ve said before, if we can’t save New Orleans, then I have little hope for saving America, and I’d just assume spend the twilight years of America here, among friends.”

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2006

Filed under: Inter/Trans-Sexed,My Community,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:23 am

On Sunday the 19th, we will be observing the Transgender Day of Remembrance here in New Orleans. Each year Trans communities and our friends around the world gather together to remember those of the community that were killed in the name of transphobia during the previous twelve months. This year we lost 19 of our little tribe to hatred. LIST

These are only the folks we know of… many are killed but never reported. There are also the Trans folk who die by their own hand (about 35% of our folk never make their 40th birthday), and many others die slow deaths caused by prejudice through the mechanisms of illegal firings, being turned down for housing and constant harrassment. There is no list for the latter group, but we remember them just the same.

We and our friends will be meeting at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center (Decatur between Frenchmen & Elysian Fields) at 5:30 PM, and then we will proceed to St. Joan d’Arc’s statue for the reading of the names.

Please come by, join us in our sorrow and our prayers for Society to stop discriminating against Trans people.

UPDATE: was just informed of another murder- 

April 16, 2006- Elk Grove Indiana

Krystal Heskin, 31, was found murdered in a motel room. She had been strangled and beaten on the head with a hammer. She had changed her legal name some five years earlier and had been living in her chosen gender. Her killer is Michael R. Davis, 20, whom she had known for several years. Police do not consider this a crime of hate, but of an arguement taken too far. Davis is awaiting trial.

November 14, 2006

This is Confusing…

Filed under: Aside,New Orleans — Tags: — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:48 pm

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that’s actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can’t understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Curtsey to Ashley.

November 13, 2006

Seasonal Changes…

Filed under: Civic Blogging,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 8:37 pm

I just watched the Sun set on another day this evening. For a Fey creature such as myself, this is my time of the Wheel of the Year. Darkness comes early and the owls take flight. There’s that little nip in the air that reminds one of the delights of hearth, home and family and friends. After a short excursion out to the Quarter, the bed with all it’s blankets and pillows beckons one to crawl in and curl up for a nice sleep. Even in post-Deluge New Orleans none of this has changed for me.

Maybe it’s because I don’t see the destruction as clearly, but I do “see” the moldering piles that used to be homes, people shivering to try to get to a warm place, and the pall that still lingers over our city. Even the gentle night cannot remove those things from the sight of my soul. It’s the second Season of Lights after the Federal Flooding of New Orleans.

So many folks are still not home. I see families trying to rebuild their communities in any way possible. The family living in the shotgun across the fence has now extended itself to the other part of our double shotgun. I watch them cook between the two places, ferrying food down the sidewalk, children flowing without effort behind, in front and almost everywhere around our little place. I hear their voices, a shade of what used to be, but at least it sounds familiar.

Whilst these things are comforting, I’m distressed: How the Hell can we pull off Orphan’s T-Day and Xmas dinners? As far as space goes in this little shotgun, I don’t have room for twenty guests. We are still fighting the electrical breaker battle as we use the kitchen appliances to make meals in lieu of having an actual stove. Cold storage is at a premium, and yet I yearn to have friends and neighbors over to share food, drink, and life. We have two turkeys that I wish to be ravished by the hungry hordes of the Season’s highlights.

I’ve pretty much given up on being in our real home for the Holidays. The place will be empty again this year. Getting contractors to give bids and start dates has ground to a halt. This totally, like “gag me with a spoon” sucks. I so want to round up our friends, many who live alone, and open the house for many to share together with each other in a warm, inviting place. Now I’ll have to stack the cats up and try to move around the tools and such so that we can have at least five folks over at once.  (Well, it’s better than trying to do this in my FEMA trailer. *rolls eyes*)

I’m not really bitching about our situation that is presented, but knowing the fact that Betts and I have barely created a semblance of our old lives, there are many not even as close to putting it together for their circles of family and friends as we are. Many still are NOT HOME. This is NOT acceptable.

Many of us are Blessed as the Season begins, but so many others aren’t. During these cold Winter months please remember those who haven’t been healed yet. Keep up the good fight to get the rebuilding of the city sped up and have places for folks to return to. Maybe some of us (you know who you are…) could put together a feast for many folks to come to during this time.

In days of old, Midwinter was a scary affair: vegetation was dying, the Sun didn’t hang out as much as before, the cold was everywhere, and to top it off, the food stocks from the Harvest were running low and spoiling. What could these people do? They shared…

This is a basis behind the celebration of Yule: the Longest Night of the Year.  No one was to be left out of the sharing. The community pulled together to get through this very trying time. There was revellry cause one always can use a laugh or a dance. There were prayers, and there was story-telling of the people and their lives. Children played together and the adults did their things. It was, and still is, a celebration of Living, and a belief in a better tomorrow.

New Orleans and Her people need something like this now. Any volunteers?

Aside- Yes I know that I have melded together many cultural beliefs and mores together on this one. It’s my Blog and I can do that. *stomps foot*

November 3, 2006

Looking back…

Filed under: Civic Blogging,Community Planning,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:21 am

Maybe it’s just a melancholy nature, maybe it’s inherent memory of things, but I’ve started looking back at some of my writings  post-Deluge and what has become of my observations. Maybe I’m just searching old ammo to try to stop what I am beginning to see in the UNOP stuffs, especially the limited performance demographically within these “meetings”.

I wrote this to Gentilly After Katrina on Samhain, 2005. These are my thoughts that helped to start the GCIA. Now that all of us in the city are in Phase Two of the rebuilding torture, I hope that this reminds us all of what we aspired to accomplish when we got involved with the recessitation of New Orleans.

Dear Gentilly folks,

In Life, we all must live within the circumstances of
our own individual existences… that’s a given. It IS
the way of the World.

For those who for whatever reason will not return, may
you find peace and prosperity in a new place. May it
bring you joy, and may the hurts of what happened to
New Orleans and yourselves be soothed over the coming

Myself… we’re going back, even if it means that our
little house becomes Imladris, the “Last Homely House”
on the edge of a modern day Dresden. Our lamps will
shine, and yes, I will be heartbroken to not see a
mirroring gleam in the shadows, but we will go back

Many of us shall.

Yes, even with our limited resources and years
remaining, putting our lives into the hole so to
speak, we will return to rebuild this city, and it
will become the wonder of the 21st Century. New
Orleans shall become the example of what can be done
when the Spirit is called upon. It will be a memorial
to the soul of a wonderful collection of people that
the modern world rarely sees: New Orleans culture.

This is what makes up “History”, and anything less is
an insult to the memory of those who built the place
and survived through almost three hundred years of
various misfortunes and Blessings.

I stated this concept before on this list… those who
wish to rebuild must band together in order to survive
the next few years. We need to have the strength that
comes from a chorus of voices in the face overwhelming
odds and modern-day demands. Vox clamantis in Deserto,
(the voice crying in the Wilderness”), will not
suffice in our situation.

Take a look at the banality of what passes for life in
most of our cities… cold, cruel, and cultureless.
Everything is the same, and everyone has the same
nameless identities. They are all exchangable and

Does that sound like anything we had here in this

Is this all that Life is supposed to be?

Shall the cheap triteness of Post-Modern civilization
be the only thing that our descendants ever know?

Doesn’t work for me, just as it doesn’t work for many

The problems of Old New Orleans, (graft, corruption,
enforced poverty, segregation.), in many ways have
died with the Katrina disaster. New visions will lead
to a better city, a city where every human being, no
matter who or what they “are”, will be welcomed and
valued. A place that is truly a “City upon a Hill”.

It can only happen if we speak and act, not the fools
and stupid concepts that led us to this disaster over
the many decades…

We are the ones who can create an equitable society.
We shall be the people that control their destinies.
We are the Spirits that will say, “No more”, to those
who just use folks up and throw them away.

All of us, no matter one’s particular situation in
Life, are worth more than that.

Let’s get this baby up and running, rebuild Gentilly,
and help restore the Spirit of the city we all love
and cherish. I’m ready.

Her Blessings!

Morwen Madrigal,
Sugar Hill



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