Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dry Bones Were Easier Than Soggy Walls and Soggier Moods

"Son of man, can these dry bones live?" Well sure they can, because they weren't soaking in toxic water for two weeks followed by the explosion of several types of mold and supervised by government inspectors. I got pretty depressed hanging around New Orleans for a week so I'm back in Omaha, where I'm still depressed and moreover, it is cold.

Everything about New Orleans centers on the destruction. New Orleans is full of signs about construction work, but my favorite was a class action law suit for Katrina victims against the city of New Orleans. Like New Orleans has any money. The radio is full of ads about being careful around the mold, what to do if you fall off the roof, how to find missing relatives and how to get a blue tarp roof on your house. I heard there were 52 million pounds of formerly frozen chickens rotting on Cold Storage Drive. Ick. My problems aren't so big as that. With Therese's help we got the contents cleaned out pretty good. But what got me so depressed was that I thought they would just turn on the electricity in my house and I'd be fine. I have to live there in the Spring to teach at Xavier, or so the plan goes. Turns out to get electricity turned on in my neighborhood, I need to pay an electrician about $10,000 to rewire my house. He won't do it until I gut the walls. Another contractor told me not to gut the walls, because the feds might wind up bulldozing the neighborhood and it would be a waste of time if I spent a few days ripping out plaster and paneling. Also, to get the gas turned on I need a plumber to come out to the 100 year old house and bring it all up to code, which would cost I estimate $400 and then I would need to pay the gas company $200 for showing up and agreeing with the plumber, and then two months later I might have gas coming to the house. Plus our house leans considerably, as you can see from the photos of our living room below, so it might not be worth saving. Oh yeah, and Therese is unemployed and I'm far from sure I'll get paid next month. So I'm going to try to focus on some academic work here in Omaha, and head back south if and when we hear from our homeowners insurance adjustor and an engineer who will look at the structural damage.

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