Friday, May 25, 2007


First, check this: De Anza gang rapists go free

... and you'll see why I'm nauseated. As I was reading this article about a 17-year-old girl being raped by a group of college students, I found myself rocking back and forth, nauseated, blinded by rage and fear and horror.

And then I had a vivid memory, something I forgot about, that happened years ago.

Spring Break, Destin, Florida, 1984. My mom brings me and a few girlfriends to Destin. We go to a party in another condo, all boys from Jesuit High School in NOLA. We are drinking, we are, actually, drunk, and me and my girls are all 16 years old. I walk into a bedroom and see my friend D. making out with a boy. Okay, this happens, right? But then I realize, she is drunk as hell, and he is unbuttoning her jeans, and there is a crowd of boys standing around cheering him on.

I look at the guy I'm talking to, his name is Chris, and I say: Stop this. This cannot happen. Get her out of there. And, thank god, he does. The other guys object but because it's one of their buddies, he gets her off the bed, out from under the enormous football player who is groping her, and he walks us back to our condo. D., I must confess, was drunk as hell and could certainly have been perceived as giving consent. But if I hadn't been there, what would have happened? Would it have stopped at the first guy? The second? What would I have been able to do if Chris hadn't been willing to step up. I remember I was, if not actually crying, close to tears. I'm nauseated thinking about it. Nauseated thinking that she would've had no justice, no recourse if I hadn't intervened, hadn't had assistance in my intervention. But, christ, we were SIXTEEN YEARS OLD.

I just, as I was writing this, remembered who was all over D. that night. His name is Nick, and he's married to someone I know, someone whose mother is friends with my mother.

The gorge rises.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I haven't really talked about New Orleans much lately because it's such a complex topic. Mainly, I describe it as an entire city with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some people are coping, others aren't, a lot of people are medicated, and a lot of relationships are going down the toilet. On the other hand, a lot of people have re-prioritized, are pursuing their dreams more aggressively, and re-committed to their relationships. It's complicated. I can tell you this much: most everybody could use a little therapy, and I've just heard that the Red Cross has a new funding initiative to assist Katrina, Rita, and Wilma survivors with mental health care. Coverage is retroactive to August 30, 2005, so people who've already had therapy or paid for meds can get reimbursed.

Here's the 411:

American Red Cross Access to Care program

Call 866-794-4673

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Do a good deed for Mothers' Day

Register with the National Marrow Donor Program.

Starting May 7th the National Marrow Donor Program is typing people for free!

In an effort to help all patients in need, the National Marrow Donor Program kicks off its national Thanks Mom Marrow Donor Drive on Monday, May 7, with a goal of adding 20,000 new donors to the National Marrow Donor Program Registry in two weeks. Thanks Mom will run May 7-21 and sponsor free marrow donor drives online at and in more than 350 cities nationwide.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60, in good health and willing to help any patient is eligible to join, free of charge, from May 7 - 21, at a donor drive in their city or by registering online.