Go read this post about Katrina. And then, go visit Cecily, one of my most favorite bloggers ever and a complete genius, and read this and this. Not only is Cecily amazing and poetic and brilliantly well-spoken, but her commenters raise incredibly informative debates practically every day.
More real posts soon, I promise. But I just had to pass on the word about these great ones. And in the meantime, thank you so much for your concern about the scary contractions. They have mostly stopped, thank God (which momentarily convinced me that the baby was dead, but I've more or less talked myself out of that at this point), and hopefully won't start up again for many weeks.