Thursday, June 17, 2010

My $0.02 to go with BP's $20 billion

When I was sitting around the closing table, waiting for the papers to arrive that would render me in debt forever, the real estate agents, myself and the seller of my house were making small talk. After discussing the weather, restaurants and dogs, one of the agents finally brought up the oil spill. It had been going on for over two weeks, and we all lamented about what a travesty this is to the Gulf region.

At one point the seller addresses the group and says, "I don't think this is going to affect us."

I don't usually like making other people feel stupid, especially when I just met them, but I really hope this person feels like a complete douche lord for ever thinking that an oil spill in the Gulf would not affect us.

Even back then, I explained to him how the millions of gallons of crude oil is now in our ecosystem, and especially for those of us who are on the seafood diet, it will eventually end up in our system. I can tell you in the last two weeks I've had fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, crawfish, and if someone offered, I would eat a turtle.

Now 59 days later, with an estimated 1.47 to 2.52 million gallons of oil spilling into our ocean every day, we have much more to worry about than just what's going on my po-boy. And let me just say "spill" just doesn't seem to portray the enormity of this situation. I can say I "spilled" yogurt, because a spill is something you can wipe or clean up. This is more like a ginormous gushing, spewing, projectile oil spout that can never be cleaned up in its entirety.

How could people think an oil spill will not affect us?

Remember when Mufasa is showing Simba the kingdom he will inherit as king?

Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.

Simba: But dad, don't we eat the antelope? 

Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great circle of life. 

It's the Circle of Life... and it moves us all...

Okay, so on this particular part of the circle of life, we have coastal wetlands. According to, the wetlands are important because of its "commercial values, recreational values, wildlife habitats, water quality management, storm buffers, erosion control, and flood control."

Before this BP eff-up occurred, our wetlands were already vulnerable and vanishing partially because of oil and shipping companies that created canals through the wetlands that have allowed for subsidence, saltwater intrusion and wave erosion. Fast forward a few decades and we have Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike & Gustav. You [should] know what happens next.

I wrote this in an email to some colleagues this week, "Last Friday, we went on an eco-tour to look at healthy and unhealthy marshland. It was bittersweet to be in our wetlands and to see the variety of species and how purposeful God has been in planning our region. It's so unfortunate how vulnerable we've made ourselves through our shortcuts and exploitation of land and its indigenous people. Prayers for the people affected by the spill."

The last living cypress swamp in Terrebonne Parish

Prayers are wonderful and powerful. I also pray that we are moved to action. 

Buddhist monk, author and activist, Thích Nhất Hạnh, says, "Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature." 

You know how annoying it is when you're using a ball point pen that breaks? You end up with ink all over your hands and somehow it manages to get on your face and clothes, and it's the worst when you don't even notice it until the end of the day. Well, we have one big broken ink well in our Gulf. It's all over our marshes, boats, animals. It's time to do something. 

    Catholic Charities need people to collect information from clients and distribute food. 
    Second Harvest Food Bank needs people to sort and distribute emergency food supplies. 

    Write, email, call, tweet, poke your congressional representatives. Signing your name to an email always seems like a drop in a bucket, but think about where you'd like your signature to be in this circle of life. 

Louisianians -- Sen. David Vitter has been all over the news demanding support for our region and our ecosystem and economy. In the past he has consistently voted against laws the would prohibit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. *Cough* Hypocrite *Cough* 

The Environmental Defense Fund will email your Senator. They have also put together this video that incorporates two things I love right now: Mr. Schuester [from Glee] singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and oily pelicans. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Workout Wednesday

I am asking all of you to say prayers, light incense, sacrifice your first born, send positive brainwaves into the atmosphere because I am starting to run again!

Sitting out because of shin splints sucks. Not because I'm the best runner in the world, but because I'm so unskilled in all other forms of physical activity that I'm starting to hate this constant feeling of inadequacy. It's been nearly 6 months now and I hope I can finally get off my flat ass and get my heart pumping and lungs burning again.

I've already swallowed what little pride I have left by wearing my cool orthopedic running shoes, and I will further act a fool by wearing my compression socks every time I exercise.

The sad thing is that I'm not even good enough of a runner to warrant all these contraptions. I'm just brittle and my muscle fibers will not stay on the bone. I also use the many hours I will now spend watching So You Think You Can Dance (I hope you're watching!) icing my shins and stretching.

And I will run, of course.

I'm up to 1 mile! For those not living in southern Louisiana this time of year, exercising outdoors feels like having a hot towel over your face with a grocery bag loosely tied around your head. Torture. Literally, good ol' southern torture.

I simply walk out the house and already I'm tasting the salty sweat pour out of my body. I can't decide if this is worse than running in the winter when my hands would get painfully frozen and move in slow motion because my blood was starting to freeze over.

Regardless, I will persevere! Goal: Rock 'n Roll Marathon in San Antonio in November! If I were you, I wouldn't start placing bets on this horse. Just run with me so I don't sleep in instead of hitting the pavement to show off my cool socks.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I need a magazine...

... and to be on my own private toilet.

I'm sitting at my desk at work, and I totally feel like I could #2. So I get up to go to the toilet and I can't perform.

This is now happened 3 times. What the heck, body?

This is what I get for not eating any vegetables yesterday. Does guacamole count as a vegetable? And tortilla chips? 

If you hear applause coming from the bathroom, it's because I have accomplished something. Until then, I will wait for nature to call. 

Constipated Kathy

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh, the Single Life

Rarely do men offer to buy me drinks when I'm at a bar. 

This weekend, my luck took a turn when Mr. Corona-and-Margarita-At-The-Same-Time broke the tension between our side ways glances at one another and asked if he could buy our next round.   

I declined the offer. 

Then I threw up in my mouth. 

Good thing I had fried oysters for dinner. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


All weekend long my car has been smelling like bananas. I figured I finally reached the point where all of my bodily emissions were going to smell like bananas because I eat them so often.

Some of you may know my old car, which had the BANANAS license plate. This was long before Gwen Stefani made the spelling of this nutritious and delicious fruit a catchy tune.

Sorry. This was the only photo I could find. You can see the license clearer in the reflection [upside down and backwards, though].

Today, I get to my office and start the usual unloading of the items. Cell phone, water bottle, planner... Then I see this in the bottom of my bag:

[Warning: View photo at the risk of losing one's appetite for bananas today.]

Guess I'll be making banana bread tonight. Yum! 

I'm going to be so sore tomorrow.

This is what I looked like today:

Did I go on a great run? No.

Did I finally do a pull up? No.

Did I just dance the night away at F&M's? Thank God, no. That'll be next weekend.

My full body work out today involved one piece of equipment. A Scotts 20-inch Reel Mower.

In the words of Rachel Zoe, "I die."

I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm embarrassing, but at least no toxins [besides my own blood, sweat and tears] were emitted into the atmosphere.

Happy Memorial Day

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Excuse me, how do I get to Jersey Shore?

I'm sitting at Newark Airport, attempting to get my $8 worth of Internet in before I leave here. 3 hours down, 2 more to go. Let's blog the time away...

I spent the past few days in New Jersey. I asked around and I'm sad to report there were no Snooki sightings where I was. I'm guessing Princeton Theological Seminary just isn't her scene. Not enough space in the bars for her to do to back handsprings.

I attended the Institute of Faith and Public Life and also met with a group of people whose jobs are similar to mine - engaging young adults in year-long mission service. I love/hate being in the company of people who are intelligent, articulate, passionate, accomplished and funny. I love it because I hope to one day develop into such a person [or at least date one]. I hate it because mostly I'd feel more comfortable chatting with The Situation. [He could give me some gym tips.]

There is a Nelson Mandela saying that is often quoted that speaks to me when I feel like a shrimp in the oil-saturated Gulf of out-spoken voices. Mandela says: Your playing small does not serve the world. 

If Snooki doesn't allow her 4'9 frame inhibit her from representing all the Guidettes out there, why should I allow my lack of graduate degrees and professional/life experiences stop me from wanting to join the movers and shakers out there on the forefront of social justice advocacy?

First, and most importantly, I will work on educating myself of the facts and myths that exist out there. Here are a handful of things I have learned during my time in New Jersey:
  • Just because something is legal, doesn't mean that it is right. Remember when segregation was legal and women weren't allowed to vote?
  • Learning about Martin Buber freshmen year of college was important: stop objectifying people as "it" but rather see them as "thou" 
  • Get to know your neighbor, especially your enemies so that you can love them [I will be tuning into Fox News more often]
  • Ben Franklin seriously thought German immigrants in America would never learn to speak English...
  • The Beatles and Jesus were right: All you need is Love.
  • I love the smell of flowers in the air
  • Being at a conference afforded no time for GTL
 Here are some great resources I learned about this weekend:

GreenFaith - Interfaith Partners for the Environment
Follow Me to Freedom - book written by Shane Claiborne and John M. Perkins
Bread for the World - Have Faith. End Hunger. 
World Relief
Jesus and Justice

"The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature." -cc