The weekend before Thanksgiving is always the conference for the Society of Biblical Literature and this year it was in Philly, close to my in-laws. I spent most of my time, at the conference and with family, explaining and showing how New Orleans was and is and talking about what it will be. Perhaps the most telling response was when I told people that even on the north shore where things were able to return to normal more quickly Wal-Mart is still only open from 7-7. This seemed to hit home to folks more than anything else. I don't think that is a good sign for our society, but whatever it takes to get the message across.
That being said, things are going well on campus and in the parts of New Orleans that are able to recover and where our students tend to be; Uptown, Downtown (CBD, the Quarter), and all along St. Charles. We will be returning (the Powers That Be willing) to our offices on Thursday. Our hours there will be limited so email is still the best way to contact me.
I hope and pray that you all will be able to enjoy your holidays and return to New Orleans in January! In the meantime, below are some pictures of my family playing on Thanksgiving Day at Rehoboth Beach (home of the aforementioned in-laws) and if you like traditional Christmas music with a twist, might I suggest these three (free) albums to download from one Sufjan Stevens. For those who like a combination of kitsch, Chanukah, and Santa, there is always the excellent Hebrew Hammer. The Easily Offended should not watch, otherwise you will enjoy it immensely! (Much better, IMHO, than Eight Crazy Nights, although I like Sandler's song very much :-).