Sunday, December 23, 2007

Car Ride From Hell

This will be our third and hopefully final Christmas outside of our home. So while next year we'll be in New Orleans, this year we again decided to drive to Omaha where both Therese's and my family live. The problem is that it is more than 1000 miles and usually takes about 17 hours. We knew there was a bad storm forecast for the midwest on Friday, and so I begged Therese to leave on Thursday. But she had a Christmas party as school that she "couldn't miss." So we left Friday at 10PM. The first problem came when we noticed that the rear passenger tire was slowly losing air. We had to stop about every 100 miles to fill it up. We finally found a service station open in Sweet Springs Missouri. We pulled in to Tony's Auto Repair. There a very nice 16-year-old named Quin who removed a New Orleans' debrisville nail, patched the tire and told me about sprint racing, which he is able to do if he keeps up a B+ average in school. He then balanced the tire, and Tony said that I only owed him $10. I paid him $20 and we were on our way, though the weather was turning nasty with sleet. As we approached Kansas City the roads suddenly got horrible. There was an ice layer with snow rapidly accumulating on top. Between KC and St. Joseph's the road just disappeared. We saw more than 100 cars in ditches, and also some very bad accidents, some involving fatalities. Just past St. Josephs there was a 40 car pile up, and news that they shut the interstate down. We drove through that stretch at about 15 mph. It was the worst winter driving conditions that I've ever seen. Along the way we noticed that the tire still leaked, and that I was unable to see because the window washer fluid froze. Plus then Gilgamesh notified us that Mosey's leash was half-way out of the car. I was nervous that it would catch in the back wheel and then choke her or something. Along the way, gripping the steering wheel, I asked Therese "So, tell me about all the fun you had at the Christmas party you couldn't miss." But anyway, after 21 hours, we pulled in to the driveway of Therese's parents.

In the words of one of my favorite songs off Trailer Trash Christmas, "O Christ, it's Christmas again."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Apathy Interview (1988)

Kerry Rice posted this old interview with my band Apathy. Thanks Kerry!

Today We're A Big Step Closer to Being Home

Abry Brothers will be finished with their work on our house later this afternoon. They straightened our racked house, raised it, built a new foundation, lowered our house onto the new foundation, and replaced all of our sills. They did great work everyone seems to agree. Soon we'll have a final walkthrough with our general contractor Douglas Marshall and our architect, Peter Waring, and then at that point, when they give the OK, the ball of responsibility will officially be handed off from Abry Brothers to Douglas Marshall from Webco and he'll have seven months maximum to finish the whole thing. Things are moving relatively fast, but I think I'm developing an ulcer and other health problems from all of the stress. Today also would have been the second day of our trial against Allstate Insurance had we not settled with them back in July of 2007. I'm glad we settled and I don't think I could have handled anything else in my life at this point.
Later Note: We were not very happy when Douglas Marshall of Gulf Coast Construction breached our contract when it got down to the punch list.
Our new sills.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Chicken in Every Pot

This morning at 8AM, I scootered over to the courthouse at Tulane and Broad. I went through a metal detector and then went to the office of Arthur Morrell, the Clerk of Criminal District Court, and filled out a form to qualify for the upcoming election February 9th. I'm running for one of the seats on the Democratic Party Executive Committee in Orleans Parish, Council District A. It was relatively painless and only cost $112.50. But think about how my CV will now be so much more impressive. Even if I lose I will now be known as Michael Homan, Defeated Candidate for the Orleans Parish Democratic Party Executive Committee for District A, or DCOPDPECDA for short.

They gave me this receipt and I was on my way:

Later Note: I'm pleased to report that my fellow bloggers Kim Marshall (Dangerblond), Karen Gadbois (Squandered Heritage) , and Mark Mosely (Your Right Hand Thief) are also running (Mark in District B). Check out the list of all the candidates. Vote for us or we'll blog about you and that thing you did in high school that you thought nobody knew about.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Barkus Poster

Barkus will be Sunday, January 27th. My whips came in the mail a few days ago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Apathy & 1980's Omaha Punk Scene Reunion

Back in the 1980's I played bass for a punk band in Omaha named Apathy. We put out an LP called "Out the Window" in 1988 (Fat Bat Records). Apathy went on many regional tours, and one national one. It was the latter that proved to be the downfall, as there was a major falling out on the national tour between two members and we never played together again. The main lineup of Apathy included myself on bass, Seth Kirshman on vocals, Mark Blackman on drums, and my brother Jim Homan on guitar. In its earliest phases Tim Cox played drums and we had Doug Baldwin on rhythm guitar.

Here are a few of the songs off the "Out the Window" album:

My World
After You
Know I In Friend
Circus Circus
Out the Window
Six Feet Under

About a week ago I heard from some of the old legends of the Omaha punk scene that there was going to be an Omaha punk reunion concert on March 29th, 2008. After some soul searching I decided that I would be up for coming back to Omaha for this event. In many ways it's like I've lived two lives, one as a punk rocker in Omaha and another as a Theology professor in New Orleans. I put the bass away when I went to graduate school. But it's time to get it out of storage, and so I picked up the phone and called Mark, Jim, and Seth, and they all thought that an Apathy reunion would be pretty cool. So I emailed Tim Cox and now after 20 years, we'll be playing a set in Omaha in just over three months. Other bands playing include RAF, Cordial Spew, The Upsets, The Drunk Cambodian Landlords (A Dead Kennedys Cover Band), and maybe Double-You. The best part will be seeing some old friends that I haven't seen for so many years.

More information about the event can be seen on Tim's Omaha "My Generation" Reunion page or on this yahoo discussion group.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Introducing Gilgamesh Homan

He just turned seven, and lookout world, He Who Saw Everything now has a blog:
That surely puts the pressure on his more-famous-blogging 12-year-old sister, who posts at Kalypso The Odyssey. We hear their mom Therese Fitzpatrick also blogs, but we've yet to find it.

Public Housing Heats Up

The battle for low-income public housing has been heating up recently in the Big Easy. First, Duncan Plaza just outside City Hall has become a tent city for the homeless over the past several weeks. Plus the projects are set to be demolished. The city's Housing Conservation District Review Committee gave the OK to destroy 55 building at C.J. Peete in Central City and 88 buildings at B.W. Cooper, though they were split on the Lafitte Projects and that will go to City Council. The demolitions are set for this weekend and with the many strong willed activists against the demolitions, there will certainly be some theatrics. Raising the stakes is this flyer, distributed around town anonymously this week:
It has a picture of a large fire, and the text reads: "For Every Public Housing Unit Destroyed A Condo Will Be Destroyed: If there will be no homes for us, and relief from high rents, there will be no homes for the rich either!" It's signed by the Angry & Powerless. The FBI is investigating the flyer, and even more worrisome for the creator, Dangerblond is on the case.

I have no doubts that the powers that be are using Katrina to do away with the large public housing projects. Many of these units never flooded and they could have reopened in October of 2005. But how do I feel about large concentrations of poverty in the projects versus mixed-income neighborhoods with subsidized rents spread throughout? I don't really know. I do know that poor people need a place to live in New Orleans, and the increased rents have kept many from returning.

update: Laureen Lentz outlines the protest schedule and it looks like many are planning on doing some jail time for their protests.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Now I'll Be Famous"

Tragic news came from my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska yesterday, when a gunman killed 8 people, wounded 5 others, and then took his own life. The crime took place at the Westroads Mall, a place where I spent quite a bit of my life growing up. In fact, it was where I purchased Therese's wedding ring. The killer wrote in his suicide note "Now I'll be famous." We in the U.S. certainly live in a very violent and sick society. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and everyone in the Omaha community.

Monday, December 03, 2007

K-Ville Disrespects My Neighborhood

In tonight's episode of K-Ville, "Flood, Wind, and Fire," Boulet can't afford to stay in his lower 9th ward house due to increasing bills. His wife says they might be able to afford a one bedroom apartment, or a two bedroom apartment in "Mid-City." At this suggestion Boulet gets a pained look on his face and claims that his daughter would then have to go to a school which has "knife fights in the cafeteria." Despite the fact that K-Ville films quite a bit in Mid-City, that stupid comment doesn't help anyone. Aside from that, I thought it was one of the better episodes, as it documented the increased cost of living and people getting screwed by the insurance industry and its adjustors.

Later note: A neighbor lampooned Nagin, stating that even knife fights in the cafeteria were a two-edged sword, as it helps to keep the Mid-City brand out there.

Superdome Special-Ed

So it's second down and 10, and the Saints are beating their rival and division leading Bucs by 3, and they're one first down away from walking into the locker room with a key victory. Without Deuce and a running game, coach-of-last-year calls "The Superdome Special." Then the QB hands off to Reggie! Reggie! who throws the ball in the air sort of near but not really near Devery Henderson, and Tampa recovers and scores a touchdown to win the game. On a positive note, my kids' Christmas gifts just got better, as we'll be saving money on playoff tickets. I'll bet that LSU miraculously getting into the BCS championship game is taking some of the heat off of Sean Payton's bonehead play calling. And Reggie! Reggie!, get used to doing more A1 Appliance commercials, as Adidas and Pepsi, like me, aren't so impressed. Oh how things were different one year ago.