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Anderson Cooper tells us what?s on his mind

Anderson Cooper tells us what?s on his mind — The ”Dispatches from the Edge” author discusses Hurricane Katrina, ”Tiara Girls” and more

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Wherever I am I have to have a passport: in my office, in my apartment. I’m not running an international identity scam — you can have a second passport. I’m a pretty low-maintenance traveler. I bring a little home-video camera, and I’ve got some MREs [meals ready to eat]. I could probably live off the stuff in my office for a good week.

I don’t really have a good excuse when friends call and say, ”I haven’t seen you in six months.” After a while, ”I’m working” wears thin. I can’t have dinner with friends. I got out of work early one night because we had a show that was on tape. I was driving home at 11 o’clock on a Friday and there were people in outdoor cafés. I was like, ”Oh yeah, I remember this. This is what people do.”

I think about it all the time even though a lot of people seem to have moved on. It’s shocking that there are still bodies buried beneath the rubble in the Lower Ninth Ward that have not been found, and that they only have three cadaver dogs searching the wreckage, which is nothing.

I tried to run from my past for many years. Finding myself in New Orleans and Mississippi in the wake of Katrina, in places I’d visited as a kid with my [late] dad, sort of brought the past into the present. And it made me realize how that is still very much behind what I do. I think that’s the way it is with grief. After someone has died, you carry this with you, and things in your daily life take you back to it.

I TiVo a lot of shows on MTV?stuff like My Super Sweet 16 that’s jaw-dropping and mind-numbing?and I’ll watch it on weekends. Now I like Tiara Girls. Oh, my God. On the second season of Super Sweet 16, all the really horrible girls had seen the first season and were trying to top them in horribleness. On Tiara Girls, there’s a fresh level of horror.

60 Minutes is the only show that I rush home to watch in real time. A lot of times I’m stuck in traffic and I end up listening to it on the radio. It’s always been a dream of mine to be on it, so I hope I don’t screw it up.