Archive for November, 2005


Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Xy went to a job screening today. It seems there are hundreds of teachers competing for 60 jobs in the newly chartered schools in the Algiers neighborhood. As a first step, they seem to be weeding out the bulk of applicants with an essay and a battery of math questions. They plan to whittle the […]

The Plumber

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

I saw our Cuban neighbor, Jose, as we drove to our house this morning. Xy dropped me off and hurried on to a job screening (more on that later). I made my way back on foot but by the time I got there he was gone. As I stood there wondering how Jose and his […]

Free Muni WiFi

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Best news of the day: New Orleans is going to provide free citywide wireless internet service, first in the nation.

Random Electronic Squawking

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Been too busy and too preoccupied to post, so here’s a random grab-bag update. My apologies if this seems somewhat haphazard or disjointed. We continue to chip away at basic clean-up tasks. I bought a pressure washer. The electrician was supposed to show up today, but he didn’t. The insurance company was supposed to call […]


Friday, November 25th, 2005

A check arrived from our insurer via FedEx today in the amount of $3,000. It says, right on the check, that it’s “partial settlement of contents damage arising from loss on 08/29/05.” The date issued, again printed right on the check itself, is October 18th. Note that it is now November 25th. All of this […]

Urban Camping

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

It’s been something like twelve weeks since I’ve slept in my own bed. Until tonight. Tonight we’re camping in our own home. No electricity. No heat. It’s a mild night in New Orleans. So it’s Scrabble by candlelight, scotch neat, battery-operated television and an early bedtime for us. It’s kind of spooky here. No lights […]

Electric Termites

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

As I’ve done more demolition on the lower floor of our home, I’ve discovered the termite damage is a bit more extensive than I’d thought. I’d been thinking something like 15 studs would need to be replaced or reinforced. I figured I could do that myself. My electrician advised me to get it done before […]

Say What?

Monday, November 21st, 2005

A fire broke out at the local A&P yesterday, and the store was still closed today. So I went to the Sav-A-Center on Tchoupitoulas to buy ingredients for curried tomato bisque. Wow. All registers were open, yet the lines were so long that they extened into the grocery ailses. The wait was so long I […]

Why New Orleans Matters and What You Can Do About It

Sunday, November 20th, 2005

Lately I’ve been posting about my personal experiences post-Katrina. I haven’t written much about the “big picture.” But if you care about me and Xy I hope you are also interested in the larger issues at stake. Here are two glimpes of that bigger picture. Last night we went to a book reading. Seems a […]

Camaraderie & Thievery

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Xy and I had a great breakfast at Slim Goodie’s. We were talking with an Irish grandma (with brogue!) and her daughter and baby granddaughter, and an African-American guy at the next table, praising his Mexican-American neighbor for helping fix up his house and reminiscing about his childhood home which was all but destroyed by […]

Home Again in the Wounded City

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

We are home again. We got no electricity, half our house is in ruins, and we’re staying on a friend’s futon, but we’re home again. Xy is a little shaken up, understandably, but for the most part she’s taking it in stride. As for our cats, they’re spending the night in their own house for […]


Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

There were snow flurries when we departed Indiana this morning. Yikes. Looks like we’re getting out while the getting is good. We are renting a second car for this trip, just for the sake of getting all our crap back home. I’m driving the rental; Xy has the cats with her. This arrangement provides an […]

Letter to the People of Bloomington

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Just submitted this letter to the Herald-Times: My wife and I sought refuge in Bloomington some ten weeks ago when we evacuated New Orleans. The community here has been both gracious and generous. It’s hardly been a vacation, but the people of Bloomington have made our stay here as pleasant as possible. As we prepare […]

Rainington, Tornadiana

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

It started raining last night around sundown. Kept raining all night long and into the morning. It rained all day. Sometimes hard, sometimes hardly at all, but more and more and more rain, until I’m thinking they should change the name of this town to Rainington. Meanwhile we’re packing up, getting ready to go. I […]


Monday, November 14th, 2005

This morning I had a delicious breakfast at the Runcible Spoon with Ron Osgood and Thom Gillespie. Afterwards, I blew a stop sign at 4th & Dunn. I don’t know if I was tired or fiddling with the radio or what. I just didn’t see the sign. The good news is that this screw-up didn’t […]

Instant SF

Saturday, November 12th, 2005

For over four years I’ve been attending monthly meetings of the Octavia Books Science Fiction Club. I was there at the first meeting in the summer of 2001 and I’ve never missed a meeting since. Until today, for our first meeting post-Katrina. And even so, I was kind of halfway there. I had a virtual […]


Friday, November 11th, 2005

Even as I type this, I’m having a beer and checking out PJ Christie onstage as he kicks off Musical Family Tree Fest: a whole bunch of music at four venues in two cities over two nights. Right now we’re at Locals Only in Indianapolis. Later we’ll hit the Patio. Then tomorrow, it’s back to […]


Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

After we evacuated from New Orleans, I did a short interview on WFHB. When I made my first trip back to New Orleans, the city was still officially closed, and WFHB gave me a press pass. I did a longer interview when I got back, a full hour, for a program called Interchange. It aired […]


Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Just as the rebuilding of New Orleans is a puzzle, so are the logistics of our return trip, albeit on a much humbler scale. It seems I “rescued” a few too many items from our home in New Orleans. I should have left them there. Instead, I brought them to Bloomington, and now we have […]

Waiting for Payouts

Monday, November 7th, 2005

Just talked to Roland Graybill, our flood adjuster. He assured me that he completed our claims last week. It’s just a matter of waiting for Fidelity, our insurer, to cut us a check. Then things will get really complicated, because our mortgage company wants to put the money in escrow and dole it out piecemeal […]