rantings from NOLA

Posted: June 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

Lee Decker


So here I am sitting in the terminal waiting for everyone to arrive. Yep that’s about it. I got here in a method that I guess may seem a little unconventional as opposed to my other classmates. I took the flyaway bus from Van Nuys station. I was initially a little scared that my mom was going to just leave me there and say good luck. I basically had 5 dollars in my pocket and she had said that the fare for the flyaway bus would be 4 dollars. HA turned out to be 7 and she had to pay with her debit card. How the hell am I supposed to get back home when my plane arrives from New Orleans?? Eh, fine with me either way, I actually kind of like the adventure, the uncertainty of not knowing where you are going and marking literally your own path, taking your own personal machete of knowledge to guide you through happenings on your adventurous journey through the city from LAX in order to get home, not knowing where the fuck you are but having the confidence to know that eventually you will get there. I really like that feeling but at times it can be a little cumbersome not to be able to drive places. Will be nice to have a car eventually.

After waiting in line after line and going on a wild chase to fin a cup of coffee, I am now on the plane and chillin’. Couldn’t really ask for it to be better- listening to some Rusko and kicking back on my way. The plane is really economy-class, I mean not exactly like we didn’t get the cheapest tickets possible, but hell who wouldn’t right?

I don’t really know what to expect about this trip, I mean it really has the potential to be interesting or have the potential to be completely miserable. I hear that it will be 90 degrees and raining with thunderstorms. WTF? That sounds uncomfortable as hell. I thought it would be difficult enough to try and hide the fat that I brought cigarettes and will try to smoke but hell this weather situation is only going to make my life very difficult- might as well try and enjoy some things about it but for the sake of entertainment- I will exaggerate and simply describe everything that gets on my nerves, like having to spit really bad but having to wait to use the restroom- the fact that I feel uncomfortable sitting next to the people next to me- I guess simply because of the fact that I don’t know them really well- I guess I should because I have gone to high school with them for the last 3 years for god sake. I mean how fucking ridiculous is that, I’ve gone to school with these people and there are still some social tensions- isn’t that fucking horrible doesn’t exactly help the situation with the fact that there is- after all- around 100 kids in the fucking grade-

I guess airplane service has improved since the last time I was on a plane- even though we’re in the economy class there’s wifi, in-flight movie- drinks and a menu to order food; not too bad for tickets that were probably gotten from cheaptickets.com

Ive kind of got this sinus thing and my ears won’t pop but what the hell. When the plane ride started I started thinking of the scene in “Fight Club”[1] when they’re on the plane sitting next to each other. The main character sits next to Tyler. Tyler introduces himself as a soap salesman and begins to open the main character’s eyes. So I emulate one of the parts, I look in front of me and I see the safety instruction manual thing and see that all of the people portrayed are calm despite the expected panic that one would assume would be in suing- I mean, what happens if something malfunctions and our plane crashes? What will be my last words or thoughts- will I be stuck in the uncomfortable airline seat or make a jump for it through the emergency exit? I mean what a false sense of security- emergency exit-Are they completely joking? That’s absolutely absurd. An emergency exit is completely futile, not only because we’re 10000 feet in the god damn air, but in no way would it help if the plane is nose-diving down. Talk about completely bullshit-

Tell me if this is ironic- in the bathroom there’s no smoking signs, but there’s clearly an ashtray…what the hell is that supposed

to mean?!?!

I get on the thing and I’m surprised to see that there is free wifi- remarkable really so I connect to it and am really disappointed- after a couple of failed attempts at a proxy hack and finally a hotspot shield I was finally able to get to Google, but my devious plan was foiled as the tech people who set it up obviously foresaw people with the basic hacking software and planned against it- damn technology what goes around comes around. I really don’t like how everything needs to be paid with a credit card- I mean what if I WANT to pay in cash, what if I wish to remain anonymous- if I use a credit card, I’m going to assume that someone behind a computer screen can track my location and know what I’m buying and when I’m buying it. If I want to use the wireless internet I have to pay some sort of absurd fee. And Ill have to use a credit card!! Such convenience- not really. Eh, whatever Im not complaining, it’s a free trip-

Isnt that just absolutely crazy?!?!

(photo: Dek’d 2010) : screenshot from Macbook

So, got off the plane and got my suitcase without losing it, which I am happy for. I have lost bags before when I have gone to Europe. It was kind of cool to re-experience feelings of everyone having a good time. I still feel that there are a lot of social tensions that I feel. I kind of have a felling that everyone is having the exact same feelings and that they will eventually come out. I have already started to feel the inevitable breaking apart of friendships. I’m a little scared that I have this knowledge, I’m scared of losing everyone- I never thought that I would have these feelings. Just as always- I am going to let things play out and see how they go. I cant live in the moment for this one

Because the pain will be to much. There is absolutely no way that I can go through that. I don’t want to embarrass myself. Seriously, I don’t want to express emotion for fear of embarrassment. I want to appear strong and knowing of what I am doing. I would like to hook up with a girl in our grade but I fear that it will hurt them because I feel like I am such an asshole. There’s nothing good about me at all- Why would I ever have           disillusioned myself to ever believe such preposterous things-


So, it’s the nighttime now- this is just strange. Im most definitely a complete asshole. We were on the bus and we went to this temple place after having stopped at wal-mart to get food items. We all went into this wall mart and buying all of this food- what the fuck- so much money so much waste- I technically only have 40 dollars to spend on this entire trip and so far I had to spend 25 for the goddamn luggage and now after like 10 dollars on food at Wal-Mart and 7 for McDonald’s at the airport, I doubt that I can justify spending any more money. I just can’t do it because I simply don’t have the money. It truly is horrible to be poor. I feel like a loser for being poor. That’s right- I feel like a goddamn loser. Isn’t that nice? A fucking loser, that’s all that I am. That’s it and nothing else matters at all. We had dinner at this temple synagogue place. They picked up some food at a Kosher restaurant place and brought it back to the temple for everyone to have dinner. I had to go to the bathroom right? So I get back and then I realize that there was not place for me near my supposed, “friends”. Why am I looked upon so differently than others? Why am I the outcast that is separated from the group why does this always happen to me why do I always have to be the one kid that is completely lonely with not a soul in the world to keep me company. This is complete bullshit. I simply walked away after having seen that there wasn’t a place for me. I walked away and went to sit down in the synagogue to be alone with my thoughts. Why did I need that? I think it was almost solely the fact that I was cranky from not having a cigarette? Yeah, I actually think that that is about it- For sure. Yep. I walked away. Im a coward. I am a coward who is not part of the group. All I do is make people pissed off at me and make people not want to be my friend. Completely absurd and preposterous. Stupid fuck. I am a stupid fuck. Nothing to live for and nothing to continue to live for. Why does it have to be that way? Why don’t I have confidence any longer at all? What the fuck is wrong with me in the first place?

We all sat in this group thing and we were all sharing our thoughts about the trip. Dude I just want to fit in. I want to be accepted by anyone for anything and for some goddamn reason not to be left alone in the dust whenever I fall behind for alittle bit. I’m probably looked at as one of the most weird kids in the entire school. Fuck my fucking life. This is goddamn cynical. What am I going to do, what am I going to continue to do, if anything whatsoever and at all? When is my confidence supposed to come back? Why does this always happen whenever I go on these type of trips. I mean I should be absolutely ecstatic about being here in New Orleans but it turns that I get to be absolutely miserable. Fuck this dude. Fuck this all to hell. Yeah dude. I heard this kid say that he doenst care about anyone else as long as he is rich. What complete bullshit. What is that and why?


New day, new possibilities- anything could happen. Maybe my goals of social in-awdwardcy may be a reality. Really would like to be a part of the group. Let’s see what happens- If I can make one of those waffles successfully, then I can definitely be friendly- Its all in yo head boy-


June 1, 2010


Today has been really interesting. I had a pretty good breakfast. After that I kind of decided to go out of the back entrance and smoke- Im pretty indecisive as to whether or not that was a good decision.  I was reminiscient of the South trip when there was big hype about the fresh-made waffle machine thing. I made one- yes. I made a freaking waffle. It was pretty cool.

We got in the coach bus and were off.  For some reason I thought that we would be painting houses and helping to rebuild things. I guess that I was wrong. We started driving and I was sitting in the window seat with my head against the window looking at New Orleans and trying to imagine life beyond the sheltered glass and air conditioning of the tour bus. Kind of funny that the bus had the word “Hotard” on the side of it. I guess that we are Hotarded. The city is amazing. We pass by the large Victorian church the houses the city the buildings and the wealth. The ‘High Land’ as they call it because the High land is where the wealthy live because it is less susceptible to flooding because New Orleans is below sea-level. We went to visit the levee that was rebuilt. I saw it. It was a marshland, the land was sinking a bit beneath my feat, like an extremely dense sponge- I walk Im on a foundation that used to belong to a house. Tiles on the floor mark the area that used to be the kitchen. A hole in the floor showing where the shower might have been. Amongst tall grass a square area is cut short. Almost a memorial to the dwelling that once was. Someone’s house. Someone’s home. Destroyed by the gushing waters of the levee breaking. A tragedy. Their lives were swept away, now only a memorial and a hole in the ground and a bit of tile marking where the kitchen used to be. I wonder how much authentic Cajun New Orleans food was made there. Memories are created around food. People are happy when they are in a social gathering which revolves around food and justly so. I wonder how many happy experiences happened in that area of concrete that I was standing on. I wonder how many holidays were celebrated. Family birthdays. Maybe a teeneage lived there. Maybe in one of those rooms sitting there wishing and asking the same things that I am asking now. What if the same fate had found me? I think Im lucky to have what I have where I have when I have. To be honest, I don’t think I could ask for anything more. I think that a main purpose of this trip is to begin to realize the values implemented throughout different socio-economic areas in a city. We are seeing the lower 9th ward where there is poverty and x’s marking information about Hurricane Katrina. We are seeing graffiti, we are seeing harshness of their reality. Our sheltered, air-conditioned tour bus is depsaringly watched by natives, by people living there. They look up, some smile others look with disgust. Some are happy that rich white kids from California are here to Sympathize with them. Others appear to be sick of the novel-tization of their homeland. With people like Brad Pitt and others who wish to increase their respective PR value by coming to this area and building eco-friendly, self-sustainable houses which cast around a couple million each. The area is novel-tized. The houses can either be seen a bastardization or  a blessing to serve as an example for all us in the many things we must continue to strive for in sustainable living that isn’t harmful for the environment. I heard that they have negative energy bills. Apparently, the solar power and the efficiency of the house allow them to send back energy into the grid. Incredible.

(…continue from here)

2 June 2010

3 June 2010

3 June 2010

So- I wanted to go outside and talk with a friend- So that’s what happen. A teacher  came and stopped us from conversing and instructed us to go inside. Story of the day fuck yes.

3 June 2010

Yesterday we went to this cemetery that was in the heart of New Orleans . Voodoo culture—fuck yes!! It was very cool. We went through congo park where jazz musicians supposedly go to feel the music. Great stuff.

[1] Dreamworks [1999]


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