Archive for December, 2005

Key Flush

Friday, December 30th, 2005

I got a panicked call from Xy. She had just flushed her keys down the toilet at Sears. I was incredulous. “All of them?” “All of them.” The Sears employees tried to help, but there wasn’t anything they could do. It’s one of those high-suction toilets. The keys are long gone. The problem is I […]

Information Hole

Friday, December 30th, 2005

Yes, we’ve got basic utilities: water and gas and electricity. But we are still sadly lacking basic information services. We have no phone, no cable, no internet. The newspaper won’t deliver to this area yet. Even the Post Office isn’t delivering to our neighborhood. (At least there’s radio. But my favorite station, WTUL, seems to […]

Xy = 37

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Today is not only the four month anniversary of Katrina’s landfall. More importantly, it is Xy’s birthday. We celebrated by dining at La Crépe Nanou. Our friend David took us out there about a year ago, and Xy promptly designated it as her favorite restaurant, mainly for their namesake dessert. We had a good meal, […]

A Geisha in Munich

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Xy and I wanted to see Munich on Christmas Day. It’s only showing at one theater locally, so we drove out to Clearview Mall for the first time ever — but the movie sold out just as we got there. Xy bought tickets for The Producers instead. Then she changed her mind and traded them […]


Tuesday, December 27th, 2005

I was unable to find an actual Times-Picayune newspaper on Christmas Day, but looking around on the web I found the following article, which was published in said paper on said day: “What will New Orleans look like five years from now?” It’s quite lengthy for a newspaper artcle, but I found it fascinating.

My Xmas with Xy

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Xy and I didn’t really exchange gifts this year. That is, I got her a gift but she didn’t get me anything. She’s a Scrooge, but I’m a sentimental old fool. I stopped into an upscale used clothes shop on Christmas Eve and saw a cool scarf. I knew she’d like it. But I was […]

Sweet Light

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Take a nighttime drive down Bienville, from Galvez to Jefferson Davis. It’s dark. There’s a house with some lights near Tonti, another near Gayoso. Generators, I guess. There are no street lights. The Bienville corridor is dark. Except for our street. When we got power restored to our house, it also resulted in two more […]


Friday, December 23rd, 2005

While most of the country is busy shopping for family and friends, we’ve been (mostly) shopping for ourselves. We’re not particularly self-indulgent, we just need to replace what we lost in the flood, and we’ve got $25K of insurance money to spend. In particular, we’re looking for a refrigerator and a vacuum cleaner and a […]

Idle Threat

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

A while back I got an angry message via the website. The writer demanded the immediate removal of “my image and any mention of me” from the website, and threatened legal action. The message was not signed, and the return e-mail address was obscure. I wrote back and said I was sorry to hear […]

A Solstice Miracle

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. We’ve been getting up before dawn since Xy started back to school. Without electricity, that’s kind of a pain. The first thing I do in the morning is light an oil lamp. So I’ve been looking forward to the days getting longer. This morning […]


Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

I got my first haircut since Katrina today, at a little barbershop in the Seventh Ward called Unifiers Soul Brothers Hair Styling. The artwork in front of the place was wild, and I knew I had to patronize this establishment. The barber was a man named Mr. Percy. He was wearing a Santa hat and […]

Not So Inevitable After All

Monday, December 19th, 2005

Hmmm… I guess I was wrong when I talked about the “air of inevitability” regarding the position of webmaster for the University. The VP of IT e-mailed me back this morning and said she’s going to “pursue a different path.” Say what? This really threw me for a loop, especially since she didn’t give any […]

Gulf Coast Levees and Arctic Oil

Monday, December 19th, 2005

According to a story in the Biloxi Sun Herald: Proponents of ANWR drilling are attempting to use Katrina relief to help push through a measure they’ve supported for more than 20 years. The ANWR proposal includes a provision to devote a portion of government revenue from drilling to improve the levee system protecting New Orleans […]

Dithering and Dickering

Sunday, December 18th, 2005

On Thursday I got a phone call I’d kind of been expecting, but which still caught me by surprise. It was the VP of IT at the University, asking if I wanted to be the webmaster. See, I’d figured they’d offer me the job when PJ decided he wasn’t coming back. It’s a small campus, […]

Power Next Year

Friday, December 16th, 2005

Yesterday, after a wait of two weeks, our electrical work passed the city inspection. It’s up to code, and we’re ready to take power. (Even when we do get powered up, we’ll only have electricity in about half of our upper floor. Sometime later in 2006 we’ll have to get the rest of the house […]

Bush Makes Good?

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Very good news: The Bush administration has decided to support making levees in New Orleans stronger than before Hurricane Katrina struck I still can’t overcome my ingrained skepticism to anything coming out of this (or any) administration. But this looks like a much-needed boost to the entire Gulf Coast region. Businesses and homeowners have been […]

A Ballot in the Head

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

There’s a climate of anger and anxiety in New Orleans these days, and amongst displaced New Orleanians wherever they are. There’s also a heightened level of political awareness. People are paying more attention to their government, and they’re pissed off at every level of government: local, state, federal, you name it. In our supposed democracy, […]

Back to School (Again)

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Today was the first day of classes at several schools in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, including Xy’s new school. It’s big news. That’s because these new charter schools — the Algiers Charter Schools Association — are billed as a bold new experiment for the city. I don’t know quite what to think of […]


Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

Just got off the phone with our mortgage company, US Bank. Right after the storm they told me we’d have a six-month moratorium on payments. But I just learned two important points: The moratorium is only three months. In other words, it’s already over. They want those three months paid back over the next six […]

Black and White

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

There are three elementary schools opening in the newly formed Algiers Charter School Association. Xy attended a mass meeting the other day and observed that one elementary school has a white principal and one has a black principal. All the faculty at the former school are white. All the faculty at the latter school are […]