Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Anniversary Wine & Air-Conditioning

A year ago today I was in Virginia at my parents' house, the place I grew up in, with no idea of when I would be able to live at my home. All I knew about my new house was that it was still sitting in fetid water (assuming it was standing) and at the time government officials were telling us that it would take months to pump all the water out of New Orleans. My rather half-baked plan involved living at my parents' place (exactly what any college teacher fast approaching his 37th birthday wants to do) until I could find a job and a place to live somewhere relatively close to New Orleans, like Jackson or Baton Rouge, where I would stay until the time in January or May or who knew when that I could move back home. Or until whatever was going to happen to the house happened to it - knocked down, repaired, set aflame? In the meantime, I spent all my time on the phone talking to FEMA, Loyola, two different mortgage companies, two different insurance companies, and various credit cards and banks, all in an effort to get my little life in order. When not doing that, I sat on the phone with whiskey in hand, tracking down friends.

Obviously, things worked out better than that, in most ways at least. Plus, I have a new computer, officially entering the 21st century. My last computer ran (if you could call it that) on Windows 98, and I must say that so far, I’m enjoying this new-fangled, futuristic 21st century technology. Like most people, I’m using this technology that was near-unimaginable when I was a child to post pictures online for all to see.

First off, anniversary wine. When I mucked out my house, I found three unopened bottles of wine. Since they had been sitting underwater and in 90+ degree heat for a month and a half, I had my doubts about them, but since no grocery stores were open and the curfew was 8 and I knew I was going to want a drink later, I took them back to the squatter apartment. I opened one (Menage a Trois red) and discovered it tasted just fine. That night, I decided to open the other two on the Katrina anniversary and on the first night I spent in the house. I popped the next one (Sin Zin) on the anniversary, and it too tasted deee-licious. So I filled my glass and held it up and said a hearty "fuck you!" to Katrina, floods, and governmental incompetence.

Two bottles down, one to go.

Here, just about a year later, is the living room. Doesn’t look like much progress, but remember, at this time last year, nothing there but disintegrating books floating in three or four feet of water.

Another view. I’m hoping for walls soon.

Here’s the bar. You can see the new wiring. Should be dancing on it anytime now.

My new closet. Shotguns don’t come with closets (everybody used wardrobes in those days, I guess), so I took advantage of the opportunity and had Gavin build me one.

The attic – not a great picture, but there’s insulation and central AC/H units there – very exciting; very, very exciting.


judyb said...

You've come a long way.

Congratulations and thanks for coming back.

Dominic said...

You rock! I want some New Orleans.

Sophmom said...

You go, Dale! It looks great! Closets and a bar and a new computer too! Yeeehaaa! ;)

Sophmom said...

Saw your comment at Dangerblond's. LMAO.

Brooke said...

And really though, when isn't wine good? Can't wait for more house progress pictures!

Dale said...

Hey everyone - more pictures coming soon, not just of the house but hopefully of Rollergirls, too! And Halloween and Mardi Gras and all kinds of stuff if I can get it off the old wheezy computer and onto the shiny new one.

Ally said...

Taking on projects like that can be daunting but having the air conditioning units and heating systems helps when the work gets harder and the house gets hotter, good luck I know from projects I have taken on it can be a lot of hard work but is worth it.