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Thursday, November 10, 2005

" medication saved me from crying..."

You can either click on the photo or click here to watch. I beg of you to let me know if you cannot view it.

First off, let me warn you that this little movie isn't all that little. I had a tremendous amount of difficulty cramming half-an-hour of raw footage into 2.5 minutes. So it's really more like five minutes. And if it seems like an endless barrage of pictures of mass distruction, that's because it is--because that's what's there. I do have some images from the spankin' clean (although totally empty) French Quarter, and wanted to include it because of the sharp contrast, but then the darn thing would have been like eight minutes, and that's really pushing it, so I'll post it seperately.

A couple of notes to fill in where there's no narration: those brown markings that run across cars and houses are silt marks from water lines. When you can't see them, it means that either there was no high flooding at all, or the house was completely submerged. Those first houses shown are in my boyfriend's neighborhood, and although it's in the 9th Ward, it's on the high side of the river and was spared major damage. Driving through the Lower 9th showed us how lucky he really was. I think it's also important to remind folks (and myself--sometimes I get all caught up in N.O., too) that there are towns along the Gulf that were wiped off the map entirely, and that while New Orleans is getting the lion's share of the attention, other areas affected by the hurricanes are also in dire need of aid.

The aspect of the trip that bothered me the most is the overall feeling that no one really knows what's being done or what happens next. That lone local we encountered that was searching for kittens under porches summed it up: "What's the latest? Do you know what's going on?". And he lives there. I have the luxury of going back to my little dry apartment and hoping the media will keep me informed, and this guy lives there and is getting next to zero information. Unfortunately, there is some truth to the rumor that the Lower 9th will be razed.

Another word on the godzilla-like size of this video: it's about 19MB, which might explain why the kind folks at Ourmedia had trouble uploading it. That's where my other videos have lived so far without incident, happily rubbing pixels with the other freely hosted media files from around the globe, but the last few days have been a computer-crashing, files-missing, screen-freezing, browser-bunching disaster as far as uploading was concerned. After nearly giving up hope (and even re-editing a little to shave a whopping 4.5 MB off the size, as if THAT would make a difference) I remembered that I have an unused .mac account just lying there waiting for a little upload love. Eureka! Thanks to Becca for all her good advice, Ryanne Hodson & Michael Verdi at freevlog who taught me everything I need to know about compressing movie files (teaching Quicktime IN Quicktime!), and Steve Garfield at feevlog, whose list of web hosting services jogged my memory about the .mac account I had totally forgotten existed.

Also, this and my other video posts are Quicktime files. I'm a mac user from way back in 6th grade, and still don't get around Windows very well. I'm just getting the hang of it at work and I think that's Windows 2000. Maybe even '95. My deepest apologies to the Windows Media users out there. I have absolutely no idea how to convert into that format, and I'm not even certain that there's a way for me to do so, but I'm looking into it.

Enough of my yakking.

"I Wish I Was In New Orleans"
Tom Waits
"Small Change"
Asylum Records, 1976
Buy It!

11/27/05 update: This video now lives at, and I return to my prior state of possessing a .mac account for virtually no reason whatsoever.

posted by missbhavens @ 5:32 PM |


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