Blast from the past: LJ October 2005

October 3rd, 2005 10:55 am
I was back in the city on Saturday and heard that there were roving gangs in cars from Texas cruising the neighborhood and scoping out people’s houses. Good to know that some jackass might steal the stuff that didn’t get damaged by the stupid hurricanes.

11:07 am
OK that’s not a word, but you get the idea.

The insurance company called me late Friday afternoon and I went to their service center on Sunday (here in BR if I had gone to the Metairie one the first appointment was Oct. 13) and turned in the title and picked up a check for my car. Now I just have to find a replacement vehicle. We’re still leaning towards a small pickup truck, just because it will the most practical thing in the short term.

03:49 pm
Whoo Hoo
Verizon re-credited me my $65 in overages! I called and they said they wouldn’t but I guess someone out there likes me.

October 4th, 2005 09:54 am
barking dogs
So in addition to Sienna staying with us at our lovely little apartment in Baton Rouge, we also have an evacuee dog, Louise. Well, last week the apartment manager caught me before I left for work and told me that the dogs are barking A LOT during the day while we’re gone. So I’ve been leaving the curtains closed and turning the TV on for them to try to distract them from interesting noises outside.

Well, yesterday we met friends right after work and went to an early supper before LEM and the husband half of the couple went to a meeting. I got back to the apartment with the wife half and the toddler and as soon as I walked into the courtyard I heard ungodly yowling. It was Louise.

Her barking/yowling (she must be part beagle) was resonating throughout the building. If I was my neighbor, I would want to kill me. I just don’t know what we’re going to do. I think we’re going to tell Louise’s owners that they have to find another place for her, but that makes me feel guilty because they don’t even have a permanent place to live. And if they find another apartment, they will have the same problem with her.

I would ask my parents in Jefferson Parish to keep her for the short term, but all of their fences blew down. Plus Louise is a needy dog and that would drive my mother crazy.

Road to hell…

10:33 am
Library News!
My library director made it into our library yesterday. Lots of humidity and general mustiness, but no mold!!! Such a relief. You just don’t know.

03:41 pm
Happy updates
My Mom has agreed to take Miss Barky Louise, at least through the weekend. Maybe longer if she isn’t a total pain. Yea for Mom. Dad on the other hand was all cranky — “I don’t want a dog and I won’t feed it.” But then again that’s Dad.

Also the house adjuster said that my claim was approved and checks will be mailed and maybe I will receive them next week. Just in time to meet with my first roofer (I hope). Frighteningly enough I’m more concerned with getting the roofer than the money. Funny how a little thing like a pair of hurricanes will change your priorities.

October 6th, 2005 10:03 am
more doggy news
Louise was a sweet little lamb on the ride to NOLA. She charmed dial_m with her gentle ways and general calmness. And then as soon as she got into my parents’ house, she peed all over the floor. Granted it was sort of my Dad’s fault. But not an auspicious beginning…

11:34 am
I’m feeling overwhelmed and teary today. I’ve been really upbeat for over a week, so I guess I was due for another crash.

I was at home yesterday, wiping down the beginnings of mold in my bedroom with bleach. I spoke to another set of neighbors who are moving away. They are headed to Florida which is where they are both from originally, so not too surprising. The female half of the couple felt so sorry for me that I own my house.

Sienna’s vet was open so I was able to purchase her Frontline from them. Support your local economy! And then I could pick up the random bits of mail that haven’t been forwarded to Baton Rouge, from my local post office. But mostly I wandered around in my Katrina Fog.

And I just keep telling myself that it isn’t too bad and I’m doing so much better than most but sometimes we all just have to feel sorry for ourselves and grieve for the lives that we once lived.

11:42 am
on a lighter/stranger note
As my faithful readers may remember, my Paran passed away exactly one week before Katrina. We were all grateful that he didn’t have to suffer being evacuated in his final days and we knew he wanted to die at home. Well, it turns out that he rode out the storm at home! His ashes were delivered to my aunt and cousin a couple of days before the storm. He got to stay in the home that he built in the 50’s. It suffered minor flooding, but his ashes were fine. I think he probably enjoyed himself.

October 10th, 2005 11:51 am
Since last week…
We bought a 2000 Nissan Frontier to replace my drowned Acura. I don’t really think of myself as a truck girl, but for the time being that’s what I am.

I met with most of the librarians from my work and it was good to see everyone.

I bagged what seemed like a gazillion miles of insulation that LEM pulled from underneath the house. The paper backing on the fiberglass was nice and moldy. So I got the excellent breathing combo of fiberglass and mold.

We discovered a cracked water pipe under the house (because of the hanging sodden insulation). So now no gas, no electricity and no water.

On the other hand, my plumber is coming tomorrow, so maybe we will have gas & water back.

I’ve put a call into an electrician for my electrical inspection so I can have electricity again. They haven’t called me back yet, so I’ll try again in a little bit.

We’re back to being a 2 dog family. So I’m off to buy a citronella collar for Louise the barking dog. It sprays citronella in the dog’s face when it barks, so is more humane than the kind that shocks them.

So I’m back to NOLA tomorrow, to meet the plumber, to bid farewell to my tenant, and to see what else I can get done.

October 12th, 2005 12:28 pm
Whoo Hoo! Water!
I once again have running water in my house. What an achievement. I have been approved for gas, although service has not been restored to my area. And Cox sub-contractors were re-running all the cable lines. Now if I could just get electricity, I’d be set.

12:36 pm
Observations on mold
The mold in my bedroom has never made it off of the ceiling. I think the reason why is that my picture molding was painted with high-gloss paint. It looks like it is more difficult for the mold to infiltrate over the shiny.

On my rental side, I used much cheaper paint (speed-wall) and it is much moldier than on my side. Granted she does have the larger hole in her ceiling, but still. I sprayed down the walls and ceiling with a bleach/water mix yesterday. It was sort of fun (I’ve always been easily entertained) to watch the mold spores die in a little cloud burst. Also, the closets on that side were really gross. I discovered that the upper closet (top storage that needs an 8 foot ladder to access) was never even finished, just plain sheetrock with no skim coat or paint or anything. I think the entire closet will have to be torn out and started over.

As for the floors, again the difference on the 2 sides is dramatic. My side has floors that were sanded and poly-ed about 5 years ago. The rental side has probably not had the floors refinished in 50 years. My side has a slight buckle in the 1st room from where the sopping wet rug lay for weeks. The rental side has icky mold in almost every room. The front room had stripes of white mold. The 2nd room had splotches of mold that looked like blue cheese. The hall closets had the center board thick and green with mold. The bedroom looks OK. And the big room has small splotches of black mold on the floor, like someone was too lazy to use an ashtray.

Very odd…

01:23 pm
forgot the most important thing…
I should have my first roof replacement estimate later today/tomorrow. I’m getting closer to… No more rain inside the house!

October 13th, 2005 09:39 am
my bad afternoon
So I was out trying to gather some supplies for a friend in Lakeview whose house is trashed and I’m waiting in the terrible BR traffic and I got clipped by guy in a Honda.

At first I thought he just hit my bumper, but then the car behind me bonked it’s horn and was pointing at the back of my car. (Really, it’s kind of nice what a small town feel BR has some time. People just get involved.) And it turns out he broke my tail light. So I pull over and I just started yelling, but not cursing, at this…boy really…he couldn’t have been over 16. And I keep forgetting I’m not in NOLA anymore, because he’s dressed all thugged up and instead of giving attitude, he apologizes and calls me M’am.

So the young man calls a family member and says how he just got in a minor accident with somebody from NOLA in truck they just bought on Friday and how he feels bad to be adding to my troubles. And this is not an act. What strange country have I landed in?

And the police come out and take an accident report within 20 minutes and are courteous. And give me an accident card in case I get pulled over for the broken tail light. The cop was funny because he was most interested in how much I paid for the truck.

So everyone was so NICE that I calmed down and told the other driver that we would buy the part and get the money from him and not contact his insurance. And his name is Fitzroy!

Bonus: I didn’t actually cry during any of this which normally isn’t a big deal, but right now is a major accomplishment.

09:47 am
Poor puppy..
The weather is all nice and Fall-ish and poor Sienna so wanted to spend the night outside last night. I think she was confused about where we were. She kept dancing by the door of the apartment and LEM took her for a walk, but that didn’t help. When we went to bed, she kept charging the bed and running towards the door to let us know what she wanted.

One day we’ll have a yard again…

October 14th, 2005 10:29 am
Pins & Needles
I received my settlement check from the insurance company. The check for the actual damage to the structure (as opposed to my stuff) was made out to me and the mortgage companies that own co-own my home. Now the 2nd mortgage is owned by my credit union so no problem. But the 1st mortgage holder is from out of state. I had to Fedex the check to SC so that it can be endorsed. I then had to include a Fedex airbill with my credit card number on it, so that they would overnight the check back to me. I need this money and I don’t like the check wandering around the country without me.

October 17th, 2005 10:15 am
Another hectic weekend in New Orleans…
I yelled at the stupid, stupid man who owns the property next door to mine. His contractors threw loose garbage (including rotten food) on to my lawn as they gutted one side of the house. I, of course, carefully bagged up my trash and took most of it to the dump so I wouldn’t have to look at it.

The dogs enjoyed their weekend of freedom in the yard. That we finished cleaning up in their honor.

We discarded everything in the rental side shed…well, except for this really cool teak chair with a rope seat & back. It’s moldy, but I just left it outside. I think it’s supposed to be a lawn chair anyway.

I discovered more mold on the floors on my rental side. Bleach to the rescue.

We helped our friends, C&T, salvage stuff from their formerly beautiful home on Canal Blvd. I head to wear my new rubber boots to not slide on the muck in their home. We were given 2 of T’s paintings, but I’m afraid one of them might be a loss. The paint is just flaking off. Maybe if I seal it with something…

Had lunch with dial_m and met her new sharp clawed little kitty.

I am so ready to be back home. When can I please have power, and a new roof?

October 19th, 2005 11:32 am
Quick opinion
I’m sick of being computer-less in BR. I’m thinking of ordering a laptop. My desktop system in NOLA is new (earlier this year), but would require me bringing my entire desk, etc. Plus I don’t have either a land line or high speed in my apartment. If I order a laptop (about $1500), I can use the wireless connection at the coffee shop next door. I need to order by tomorrow to get about $400 in discounts. The new laptop would arrive by next week.

October 20th, 2005 09:20 am
roofing goodness
I actually have an appointment with a roofer today!!!! Depending on the type of roof that I select (and probably when my power comes back on), I could actually stop the rain inside the house!

–OK, enough with the exclamation points–

But I am completely excited. I feel like we are making progress on restoring my home to livable conditions and that is such a relief.

And I went ahead and bought the laptop. Once again, I am single-handedly stimulating our economy.

October 21st, 2005 11:02 am
Bad News:
The roofer was 3 hours late.

My insurance company was wrong about the number of squares on my roof (roofs are measured in squares not by normal measurements). SF said 18 squares; roofers say almost 30. So I have to re-open my claim.

Good News:
If I go with a rubber fake-slate (to replace my real crumbly slate), I can have a new complete roof by the end of October. The rubber slates are extremely durable and are made from recycled tires. A rubber roof sounds sort of fetish-y which is just funny.

The roofing company is willing to try to save the existing slates, so that I can sell them to a salvage yard and they won’t end up in a landfill.

October 24th, 2005 11:48 am
just depressing….
So the rubber roof is probably going to be way to expensive. So I’m back to the drawing board.

Plus I talked to an electrician on Saturday, who is saying that the city is insisting that all houses who had any submerged wiring (which would include mine) must have all the wiring changed. This would make sense if the wiring was old, but we had all the wiring changed out in the fall of 2000. So if we do have to have the wiring changed, I won’t have power in my house until sometime in 2006. But I am trying to hunt down the electrical inspector for the city to have an exception granted.


12:01 pm
a glimmer of light?
But my new laptop may be arriving today rather than on Friday.

04:06 pm
laptop-y goodness
I just chased down the laptop that was delivered to the wrong location. So now I can be connected as often as I like and not just at work…

October 25th, 2005 09:12 am
waste of time
And what do I do when I get a laptop and discover that I use someone’s wireless network from my apartment? I spend several hours on Yahoo! Games. That’s what. Once again, proving that I cannot handle reality at the moment.

02:35 pm
one problem down…many more to go…
Yesterday, I got my homeowner’s insurance check back from the mortgage company in SC. So now I just have to get my 2nd mortgage holder to endorse it and I can actually use the money to repair the house.

09:56 pm
On the work front…
Six members of our staff have been furloughed. Which means they can take vacation time through the month of November (if they have it) or can go on leave without pay. While technically they still have jobs, it is unclear if they will ever come back to work for us. We also had one person quit and another is in danger of being furloughed.

I don’t even know what to do with this information. I am still in denial.

Three of the positions were ones that I supervised; one of these people has enough years to retire and one just started in June.

So far they are not talking about furloughing any of our librarians (we’re considered faculty). But our library is only 30 people, how are we supposed to keep the place running with so many fewer folks?

October 28th, 2005 01:39 pm
more library news…
So it looks like 2 more library staff members quit or asked to be included in the furlough. Our dental branch now has 2 librarians and that’s it. All 3 of their staff, either quit, were furloughed or asked to be furloughed…which I totally don’t understand.

The private security firm is using the library as their staging area and have spilled coffee all over the cataloger’s office. They have obviously been using this office as their lunch room. They have not been using our lunch room because it has a stinky refrigerator in it. —Just typing about this I’m about to turn into Yosemite Sam with the cursing— Come on have some respect for other people’s space!

A friend said that the military that used her Mom’s elementary school library (another staging area down in Plaquemines Parish) erased a server so that they could download movies on to it.


October 29th, 2005 02:23 pm
not that I’m complaining or anything…
I am working today for dial_m who is off voodooing her ass off, I’m sure. And I thought our library back in New Orleans is slow! We are offering Saturday hours for our students who might need some extra library time.

I have been here since 9:30 a.m. I have not had a single person walk through the door. Not even to snag a piece of candy from the pumpkin on the circulation desk. Only 2 more hours to go.

And I’m not complaining, because at least I’m getting paid.

02:35 pm
so bad
I am not a good person. I enjoy (when bored) the random find users feature of LJ. Today’s discovery? A journal of a young woman with photos in ren-fest gear, on horseback, and with big, really fake elf ears.

No I won’t tell you where it is. Go find your own people to make fun of. Yes, Dale, I’m talking to you.

October 30th, 2005 05:08 pm
incremental progress
No roofing materials have been delivered, but I do have a working phone!

For those keeping score:
running water – YES
telephone – YES
everything else – NO

October 31st, 2005 05:41 pm
Gouging bastards———
So the electricians came out and I got the bad news that pretty much expected….
We have to have all of the wiring underneath the house replaced, the same wiring that was replaced in the Fall of 2000. So this –expletives cannot express– company charges to show up at your house. That’s understandable so we thought we were paying them $50. But, no, if you actually want them to write an estimate it’s around $350. Unless, you accept the estimate on the spot and then the fee is waived. There estimate was $5000 high in my opinion.

Bunch of cheating bastards………


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