What a Weekend (random notes)
A friend of mine was in a hit and run accident over the weekend. Here’s the kicker: he was on a motorcycle. The little information I have is that he was on his way home from work (not sure what time it was). He was knocked unconscious, broken ribs and a punctured lung. Left for dead in the street. He’s still in the hospital of course, while they pump fluid from his lung and try and get him fixed up. His prognosis is good and I’m sure he’ll be fine. But that doesn’t change the fact that the situation is fucked up. I mean, accidents happen and everyone understands that, but when you leave the scene you’ve just crossed some sort of line that you may not be able to come back from.
Of course, I have no confidence in the police to find the driver. And even less confidence in the DA to follow through if they do find this person. I’d like nothing more than for some of my more unreasonable friends to find this person first and work it out.
In other equally confusing news, I got my new assessment which is about 30% higher than it was. It was frozen last year. The good news is that I’m still eligible for the Homestead exemption so it isn’t like I need to pay anything. And of course it means the city thinks my house is worth more than it was. Now whether the market would bear this out to be true I’m doubtful. With the deadline for Road Home tomorrow I’ve been considering signing up, but I didn’t own the house at the time of the storm and as I understand it, that is a requirement. People keep telling me differently though so I’d kind of like to apply to make them tell me no.
The thing I can’t figure out is why they think it’s worth more. Is it because there were only 2 murders with in a few blocks of the house last year? It certainly isn’t taking into account the swat team being two blocks away shooting tear gas into a house yesterday. No one ever came out and looked at the place that I know of, so they at least couldn’t go in. You figure there’s no running water, only about three electrical outlets and three lights in the one side that actually work, there’s no floor of any kind in about 20% of the house, not one painted wall (just exposed barge board), none of the doors close from jacking up the house, the back door is literally nailed shut. I guess a year of gutting half the house netted me a 30% profit. Sweet, guess I should gut the other half, sell it, and move to Paris with by booty. Or better still, I could tear the whole thing down and just sell the land and double my money. My point is, that I don’t find it comforting that the less of my house there is, the more its worth. But then again, that’s what makes my oily rag/magnifying glass collection so valuable.
Speaking of Paris, that plan is shaky at best. Several folks have told me I’m the anti-Paris and should consider elsewhere. Craig, for example, suggested Belgium. Several other people also suggested that – something about the Flemish being all cool or something. So after looking up where Belgium is and somewhat later finding out that Flemish isn’t a small bird, it’s looking like a pretty good option. I’ve always wanted to go to the North Sea…lol kidding…But that is the other new foil in the plan: I wanna sail there. Thanks for the idea Craig.I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong with me and Scout spending nearly a month sailing to Europe. So I can sail up to the North Sea to Belgium. If nothing else, it’ll be a cool thing to have done in my life. Now all I gotta do is buy a boat, learn to sail. etc. I do, after all, look like a pirate as it is. I could shanghai some strippers from the Quarter and really have a nice trip knowing that if they get on my nerves I can just throw them over the side. I have to think once you throw that first mouthy stripper over the side, the rest of them will straighten right up. :) Chances are though, like so much of my life these days, it will just be me and Scout. I’d honestly rather make a nice, peaceful, happy life for myself here in New Orleans, but that’s more up to the anthropomorphic being that is New Orleans at this point, but I’ll do what I can to help.
Work on the over-valued-shanty-of-solitude has been slowly progressing seemingly against its will (in this case I think its personification more than anthropomorphism). I got the pvc drains in but discovered they’re backing up with shit from the other side of the house. At first I thought I’d done something stupid with the plumbing but after checking and rechecking it seems that there’s a clog somewhere in the city’s stack. Still my responsibility out to the curb though. I’m wondering if some of the fragments from breaking out the old cast iron piping got down in there. I need a bigger, motorized auger to try and clear it out. So I can look forward to a few hours of being elbow deep in shit next weekend. Can’t wait. Rather than deal with that, I opted to work on building the walls I need. Jerry-rigged the hell out of that crooked shit. But it’s strong and should square out the doorway for the pocket door. Next is sub flooring and then probably go ahead and lay the tile. Getting the tile in will allow me to get the bathtub in so I can install the door. What a complex mess! Everything contingent on everything else. Doing things in the wrong order can really create problems you don’t need. The bathtub was absconded (not really) from Magazine Street. I got an email about a couple of old cast iron tubs for free on Magazine so I went to check it out. One was in pretty good shape and even had all four feet attached. The only problem was that I was alone. If you ever run across a 200lb guy on the street trying to get a 400lb bathtub into the back of a pickup truck get the video camera out and start that mother up! It wasn’t pretty but I got it in there. It wore me out. Now I just have to figure out how to refinish it – anyone done that before? I’d love to eek some knowledge off ya.
Things like the bathtub and working on the house in general has created an odd kind of loneliness in my life. There’s so much to do and no one but myself to rely on to make the decisions and then do it. It’s an interesting little metaphor of the city. The weight of it has slowly pushed me into the ground. The gravity of it makes it easy to find myself just sitting on the futon/couchish/thingy in the fema trailer with my elbows on my knees, my chin in my hands just staring at the floor not thinking about anything. That’s usually in the morning which doesn’t help me get to work on time. I’m getting up earlier to accommodate it while I try to teach myself to stop doing that. It’s like a trance and time just disappears from me. And I don’t dare try and go to sleep without the TV on….my mind will torture me with questions or just run me through each undone project until I fall asleep having already build half the house in my mind several times.
I think part of my burn out is not getting out of town often enough. Craig often writes about the rejuvenating qualities of getting out of town, even if just for the day. I really almost never do that. It’s not that I don’t want to but it’s the same reasoning I use to not buy new work shoes. If I go out of town for the weekend then it means I won’t make any progress on the house that weekend….spending money on shoes means I didn’t spend the money on stuff for the house. Thing is, I’m to the point now that I don’t get nearly as much done over the weekend as I should. For example, yesterday I didn’t even leave the trailer, er other than to see what Swat was up to and to grab something to eat. I felt like I’d gotten enough done on the house on Saturday and needed a break. So it seems that I should get out of town more often because I’ll more than make that time up with the productivity and fewer mistakes when I do work on the house. It’s been a hard thing to convince myself of. I’ll be going to see my brother and his beautiful family in a few weeks in the Carolinas. I find I’m really looking forward to the trip. I’m hoping it corrects my perspective and recharges my batteries
I think that’s all…another long, rambling post full of non sequiturs.
Wait, one more, Ms. Hester’s soul food on Claiborne near Jackson is the Shiz-nat! Amazing food. Go get fat on these good eats.