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Waveland, Miss. 1

- jimlouis 5-14-2006 1:35 pm [link] [add a comment]


Fish found
- jimlouis 5-14-2006 1:15 pm [link] [1 comment]

Lakeview, nephew's house

- jimlouis 5-14-2006 1:08 pm [link] [add a comment]


Lakeview, nephew's house

- jimlouis 5-14-2006 12:54 pm [link] [add a comment]

Cop Loving Scum
The Sculptor does pottery too and today she gave me a belated BD present of these two really fine super-fine planter pots she made. I'm gonna hate to put dirt in them. I told her I had some time today so I should start tape and floating that little ceiling of hers. She gave me a key and I went over there after she left for work and accidently hit her dog, Sam, in the head with a four foot aluminum level. I didn't mean to hit you in the head, Sam. The rock hanging done by an ambitious electrician, was kind of shitty but hopefully my floating will be less than shitty, although I'm not sure it will be. I taped it and put on the first float today.

Then I crossed the street and started painting the inside of my Rocheblave house. The front two rooms are a kind of putty brown (which looks less crappy than I thought it would against the stained woodwork) and the bedroom is green and the hallway will be a darker green and the bathroom will be even darker green and the kitchen is staying that three year old shocking yellow orange color that would probably be ok if I hung upper cabinets (which my kitchen does not have because I am a cheap cheap bastard) and some other stuff to cover the walls so the orange yellow only peeked out instead of what it does now--kablammo, right in your face. Anyway, I'll finish it up tomorrow, except for the front room, which will only be cut in once. I will need another gallon of that putty brown color.

The bedroom is finished except for painting the baseboards and that's where I'm at now, drinking Red Stripe, luxuriating in the green. I'm not ashamed to say this, I like green.

I walked over to Betsy's and had breakfast at 6:15 this morning and Betsy should of had my interior designer because that blue is too blue. The first job I did after going back to work for bossman was finishing up a flood job and the whole inside of the house was that blue and I can't take it, I'm cracking up over that blue, totally freakin'. It's not that bad really. Yes it is. Aren't you painting the Dumaine exterior blue? Well, exteriors are a different thing, and uh, actually, the blue going on there is of the teal family. Teal! You hear me?

A woman honked at me from the Iberville corner and then pulled up in front of my driveway sometime this morning after breakfast but before I actually started doing anything, or maybe I had removed all the switch and receptacle plates and moved stuff around, away from the walls, and feeling accomplished, was just wandering around Louisville central. Say every hateful thing you want to say about me, but I like being honked at by women. I think it is politically correct.

I walked out to the street feeling the thrill of incipient adventure. The woman was about sixty, with white skin and hair colorized from the blond box. She was upset and rather animated. I was neither, as befits my station as lord of Louisville.

She wanted to know where the PIB (Public Integrity Bureau) was and I pointed to a building front one block away. She really was upset and needed to warn me about bad cops, I should know about bad cops. She had no way of knowing from my appearance that I am a cop lover. I mean, I've cussed a few, probably have some more of that in my future, and even though I am myself, as a long-haired, skinny, therefore drug addled appearing miscreant, not probably loved at first sight by most cops, still, I have only a modest patience with people who go on about cop mistreatment after they've broken some law. I know a woman who as a teenager was hanging out with some people from a minority group, and taking up for this minority group being hassled by a bad cop, was beaten quite severely with some scrap lumber, and hospitalized with potential brain damage. I've never heard this woman speak a negative word about cops in general, or for that matter, about the cop who beat the shit out her. It was to her, I think, just a bad thing that happened, and which she survived. If you think her lack of outrage is because she got her spirit beat out her I can only assure you that does not describe this woman. And uh, anyway, the bad cop was not loved by his peers and something permanent bad happened to that cop some time after the incident.

So the lady ran a red light and/or a stop sign and the cops were rude to her, threatened to take her to jail, and this same type of thing had been reported on the TV news, overzealous traffic stops, blah, blah, something has to be done. I listened politely, offering no opinions, cop-loving scum that I am.

I think I'll insert this now--I have "met" some cops I didn't really enjoy, much less loved.

Anyway, I didn't like to see the woman so upset. It upset me. Then she made an anonymous reference to Paul Hardy, hitman for some bad cops back in the nineties. Back then a woman had made a complaint to the PIB about a certain Len Davis, a cocaine warehousing cop who she had witnessed beating up a citizen, and word got back to Len, which is really bad form for the PIB, and Len asked Paul to kill her and while being recorded on an FBI tape Paul calls back saying he had done so, and he had. And he's on death row, the woman said. Yeah, I was here then, I told her. Good, she said. I guess she thought she might get whacked for complaining about overzealous traffic cops. Law abiding people on Dumaine who knew Hardy, not specifically as a hitman but as an area property owner, called him, Paul, with fondness, just to throw out there, everybody has admirers.

Right after this incident with the upset woman, I was Uptown getting paint and got stuck behind some college girls in a new convertible who were making an illegal left at Louisiana and St. Charles. What is so hard about making a U-turn and a right, for a left turn, in New Orleans? Nothing, there's nothing hard about it. Make my blood boil, petty criminals. Truly, where are the bad cops when you need them?
- jimlouis 5-13-2006 1:41 am [link] [15 comments]

Work In The N.O.
There are four jobs going on concurrently that the bossman and I are working on. He's starting to trim a house in Lakeview while I prep a house for paint in Metairie and then we have the four-plex off of Clearview to punch out and the converted garage of our building contractor in River Ridge to finish up. In the evenings and on weekends I have the 1897 Victorian Dumaine house to exterior paint, the Rocheblave house to replace a moldy section of sheetrock in the return air vent and at least three rooms to repaint in the next six days and I did promise the Sculptor across the street that I would tape and float her small section of ceiling in the studio portion of her home. It's only about a two inch description of work though so it can't be all that hard. Sitting here right now doing nothing is sort of a guilty pleasure except that I don't feel guilty or for that matter all that pleased.

Yesterday like Cinderella on her knees scrubbing while the ugly step sisters are away having fun (except the shoe will never fit and my boss is not an ugly step sister) I scraped with a six foot section of trim molding the sawdust and bits of wood left by another carpenter crew so I could freely navigate the rolling scaffold, which is quite an expediting device when caulking, puttying and painting crown molding.

The builder (not the one we usually work for) came in while I did this and spying that pitiful picture of me on my knees, perhaps felt guilty and asked did I want him to clean up the place and I said if he could that would be nice, at least sweep everything to the middle of the rooms. He said he would because if I was starting to paint tomorrow all the dust would get in the paint and that would not be good. I did not say, Really? This guy has never seen my work so doesn't know that I can make his woodwork glass smooth even in a windstorm, but I like a clean work environment, so let's hope he cleaned up the place last night and moved all that unused trim molding out of the hallway.

Ok, that's it, off to the I-10.
- jimlouis 5-10-2006 10:27 am [link] [5 comments]

Another Brother
I found a warm Guinness wrapped in a plastic grocery sack in the Dumaine foyer so I sat on the porch and drank it after priming a few dozen window sashes yesterday evening after work.

A dude I recognize but not by name comes up and starts talking to me like an old friend, which was touching on one level, and then, not really all that touching, as he rambled on with the utmost elusiveness regarding anything specific about who we knew, mutually, and I, offered up everything just shy of my bank account numbers.

He was really surprised to see me sitting there, on those steps where I used to sit, and now sit again.

He excused himself three times and walked over to the short southern fence, and saying the red sauce (spaghetti sauce) was burning in his stomach, expelled it with projectile force into the dead brown banana trees. And then between each vomiting would come back and explain the problem with red sauce in general and also specifically the red sauce he had just eaten.

He was an intelligent speaker with an occasional stutter as he pondered how to phrase his next sentence and at one point looking at the sharp Anglo edges of his bronze-black face I thought, me and this guy could be related. And when I said I had to go, and clean up, he gave me the soul shake and shoulder bump and I realized we were, related.

He walked up the sidewalk toward Dorgenois and that's when he called back and said, I was really surprised to see you sitting there. I called back, yeah, its been awhile.
- jimlouis 5-09-2006 10:49 am [link] [add a comment]

500 Angry Nikes
There is a 110 year old wrought iron fence in front of the Dumaine house. The porch railing, also most likely originally wrought iron, is now white wood spindle, minus a few due to urban teenager attrition.

Before the recently added wood railing the porch was rail-less and was for many years, between 1995 and 2002 or 3, the Dumaine domain of many a child and grownup, working class and white collar, gangster and innocent.

The young thugs, who we were convinced would show some respect if we offered some (and would not kill us no matter how we treated them, if we tutored--mostly M--and mentor-ed, their little brothers and sisters), would invariably use the aged wrought iron spear tips as a push off point for their Reboks and Nikes when leveraging themselves up onto the porch. And they would plop their butts down on the tongue and groove porch and then rest their feet on the same wrought iron spear tips. "Please don't rest your feet on the railing" was always obeyed until the next time.

Two or three tips have been broken off over the years in acts of Herculean urban teenager angst.

I was ruminating on that railing this afternoon while it rained on my last ditch efforts at long put off exterior paint prep, sitting on a five gallon bucket listening to battery-powered radioed live "Jazz Tent" Jazzfest, as the prevailing winds blew sound onto the porch from the 7 block distant fai-do-do stage.
- jimlouis 5-07-2006 7:41 pm [link] [add a comment]

Take The Curtain
Not getting it done sitting here. You are going to need a very long extension pole to paint that Dumaine house if you persist on sitting on your air mattress watching the sun rise, on Rocheblave.

I made the walk to the Canal/Broad paper box this morning, Friday, my day off from work so I can work day. Epictetus was leaning on the box talking to himself, 16 oz. beer in brown wrapper resting on the top of the box. In all my years over here admiring the survival skills of the stoic Epictetus, I was never sure he could talk, or even had vocal chords, but today he's talking fine, if only to himself.

I said good morning to him and he responded similarly and moved away from the box so I could get a paper. I wanted to give him something, a paper or a fiver, but he didn't ask for anything so I chose not to presume his needs. I did ask him if he was doing all right and he said--still standing.

Went to Betsy's, got the special, left a 30% tip.

Chevron is moving out of New Orleans to the North Shore, taking 500 workers with them. See ya, bye, don't let the screen door hit ya on the way out.

Same goes for me though. I'm leaving in a few weeks to resume my duties in the Virginia countryside. Not because it's too hard here or because I think there is no hope for this region but because Virginia/Delaware are part of my world now, and have been for two years.

Even without electricity and gas to my house for the first four months of my stay, this has been perhaps the easiest and most relaxing seven months of my 12 years here. I know it has not been easy for many and I don't mean to make light of the great hardships suffered by many but I honestly see nothing but good here. That the city has come this far 8 months after being underwater is nothing shy of miraculous. That there is still a long way to go is obvious but the New Orleans I have lived in for these years (on Magazine, on Dumaine, on Rocheblave) was in a very real way much more disadvantaged and dysfunctional than the New Orleans I see rising from the muck.

I am eager to reacquaint with my east coast family but equally so, jealous of you getting to stay here.

Thank you to everyone that has been nice to me this trip. To my neighbors, the Sculptor, the Chauffeur, The Smiths, Mr. Clarence, FreddyB, Raheim, and to those who invited me site unseen into their homes for food and drink and on those coldest days this winter, an occasional hot shower. I tip my glass to Laureen, EditorB, Cade Roux, and Rene. And to my blood, renting Uptown while they prepare to rebuild in Lakeview, I offer you my admiration and love, which you can either accept or trade right now for a six pack of Guinness, or what's behind curtain number 1 (and the crowd yells--take the curtain, take the curtain!)
- jimlouis 5-05-2006 12:34 pm [link] [13 comments]

Jazzfest Birding
This morning I was up before the crack of dawn.

Slapping the still sleeping eminent New York Professor Doctor Wilson on his hip bone with a full bottle of water, I was made to recoil as he came awake immediately, Bowie knife in his teeth, growling. It's just me Professor Doctor, I squeaked.

While Professor Doctor performed his ablutions prior to our departing for the wilds of the Barataria Preserve, I ran off to gas up at the Chevron at Canal and Broad and get cigs at the Canal/Galvez Spur. It was hopping at the Spur this morning at five a.m. and while a confused driver backed out and blocked my ability to gain front door parking, a little dude stole my waited upon space. No biggee, I backed up and exited and parked in the adjacent lot. When I walked up the little loud-mouthed shit spewing dude was just getting ready to come back out for something and we met face to face separated by the double glass doors. I put a granite fist on each handle and opened both doors at once, pretty much piercing his inflated and constantly whining bitch ass persona, with the sharp edges of my bony, shiv-like rib cage. I went straight to the counter, got my cigs, and left, having to kill no one, and not looking back to see if the little dude wanted to kiss my ass.

We were to be on a bird hunt this morning but would end up seeing enough active alligators to distract us from our mission to observe as many as possible of the warm-blooded, egg-laying, feathered vertebrate creatures with forelimbs modified to form wings.

We entered the Jean Lafitte park illegally because it doesn't open until 8 but even a complete ninny knows birds are jumping at dawn.

There was a cacophony of bird noises in the bald cypress, water tupelo and red maple trees above us, as first morning light came on.

Later, resting on the elevated boardwalk of the Bayou Coquille section of the park and a woman and her young daughter, Kristy, approached us and asked if we were seeing anything. She meant alligators. A woman who goes out there everyday had told them she saw gators every time and I said (quite authoritatively I might add), ma'am, there are of course alligators in these waters but as a frequent visitor myself, I can tell you I have NEVER seen one out here.

Professor Doctor Wilson spoke up barely 15 seconds later and said, actually, there's one laying over on that bank.

Oh, those, I might have said, but didn't.

The woman and Kristy walked on and kept spotting alligators while Professor Doctor stuck to birds and I split my time between bird and gator watching, because I was determined to see more than Kristy.

We did enjoy watching one with a dragonfly on it's nose become aggravated and while opening its gaping, jagged, razor toothed jaw did nothing to distract the dragonfly, submerging did, and the dragonfly become gator bait.

We came back around lunch, dined on soul food with the rest of our party at Two Sisters on Derbigny, and then napped while they went off to Jazzfest again. We went out to City Park after the nap and got politely policed by a security force representative from one of the camping villages sprung up post-Katrina all along the waterways of the park. We weren't supposed to be parking near the devastated soccer fields at Boy Scout Island. We could go talk to some other out of towner about getting permission to freely use our own damn park, but I wasn't doing that, we just said we'd be leaving shortly, and we did.

What kind of birds did we see? Can't really say as I am no professor.
- jimlouis 4-29-2006 11:48 pm [link] [3 comments]

Packin' Brushes
I have a trio of New Yorkers and a solitary Californian visiting me here on Rocheblave for the first Jazzfest weekend and last night they took me out for cheeseburgers with all the way baked potato at Port O' Call. I wanted them to go hear without me Southern Culture on the Skids but it was their travel day and they were pretty tired and retired early. They said tomorrow they wanted to do some painting on the Dumaine house so I left them the key and said, paint and ladders are up in there, have at it. I snuck out the back way at 6:30 this morning as they slept on air mattress in the front two rooms.

I've been taking Fridays off recently so I can have three day weekends to work on side projects, like the Dumaine house, and my other favorite side project--laying about doing not a damn thing. Me and the boss always took off early on Fridays anyway. And this week, my boss said he was going to take off Friday too, so today, Thursday, was our Friday and we took off early.

Passing by the Dumaine house on the way over here to Rocheblave I expected to see my Friends just getting back from a late breakfast, and probably overwhelmed by the cumulative cosmic slacker dynamic of the hood, loitering about on turned over five gallon buckets, cat-calling at the now infrequent passing gangbanger.

But glancing over as I passed by on N. Broad and I could see they had completed their assigned task of priming with exterior oil base paint the power sanded bare wood spots on the front of the house, and I thought, holy sheeit, these some kickass, sumabitch, worker guests.

Tomorrow I know they want to hit first day of Jazzfest, see Dylan for sure, but Ima see if I can get them to put on that new roof before they go.
- jimlouis 4-27-2006 6:54 pm [link] [10 comments]

Chicks
Yesterday, or the day before, on N. Broad St. in New Orleans, I saw, near St. Philip St., a hen walking down the sidewalk followed by 14 chicks.
- jimlouis 4-26-2006 2:21 am [link] [12 comments]

Probation, But Congo Square
Prior to actually having electricity in my neighborhood I received a bill for a couple hundred dollars and I bitched about that for awhile but then I just went ahead and paid it and then five and a half months after arriving back in New Orleans my block got back on the grid, and as my required electrical work had been done I just sort of assisted the energy company and switched on my own electricity and then about a week ago a new tag showed up on my meter, which made me feel all official, but the tag was purple, the same color as my expired break tag on the truck, instead of red, which is the normal color for active meters, as opposed to yellow which is the tag they put on meters to signify inactive accounts.

I just figured this new color was part of the new world order we exist in down here, welcome back to New Orleans and all that, but every time I mentioned it to someone they would say the exact same thing--what does that mean, this purple tag of yours?

Well, Phillis knows someone down there at the energy company and she said she would ask that person and yesterday she called out to me while I, after my nap after the day job, stretched beyond what is optimal on the too short ladder I am using to scrape the high parts of the Dumaine house. I climbed down and she told me that basically what this means is I am not a special person and I am not being welcomed back to the new New Orleans but rather that I am on a probation which at some point will end with me receiving either the proper red tag, or, having my purple tag replaced with a yellow tag and my electricity being shut off.

This is all to say that, hey you Jazzfests guests visiting me next week--Welcome to Louisville, welcome to New Orleans. Good thing one of you is an electrical engineer.

Mr. BC, you still got time to jump on that jet and get down here this weekend for the French Quarter Fest. If only for Sunday at noon in Congo Square where Wynton Marsalis with his Lincoln Center jazz orchestra will perform the 80 minute world premier of his new composition--"Congo Square." Congo Square is by the way, where, arguably, American music began. Not to be missed. See you there.
- jimlouis 4-21-2006 12:14 pm [link] [add a comment]

Letter To Clifford, 12
Dear Mom, Aug. 2, 2005

It is 5:30 in the morning and I am up listening to the birds chattering and wondering when the neighbor's dogs are going to start barking. I have a fan running in the room to drown out the noise a little but I can still hear them barking most nights. And then they start up in the morning. The dogs live down the hill a ways, about as far as Marsh Middle School is from you, but there are no buildings between this bedroom and the dogs, so the sound travels unobstructed. People say I should go talk to my neighbors but I am not aware of anything a person can do to make a dog stop barking, short of buying the dog a one way ticket to a land far, far away. I was talking to this nature-boy recently and this nature-boy doesn't kill snakes and gets out of his truck to remove slow moving turtles off the roads and generally is a friend to animals everywhere and he offered me this bit of insight--"It's not the dog's fault." What a wonderful insight, huh? I asked the nature-boy would it be, in his opinion, my fault, if I went down the hill and shot the barking dogs? Nature-boy did not even give me the benefit of a response.

I don't reckon I am going to shoot any dogs though. When I lived in New Orleans I slept through gunfire in the night on a regular basis and so I guess I can forgive the dogs their barking. You know mom, it's not the dog's fault.

I'm waiting for a slightly more respectable hour and then I will go over to T's house and wake her up so we can go on a hike in the woods.

I am still in Virginia. Haven't seen JF in a few weeks. Have talked to him once or twice recently and he said he may come out this week and talk to some of the townsfolk who are trying to convince him not to develop this property. He doesn't really want to develop it but the townsfolk are nervous about his potential to develop it and so have initiated movements to take away his rights, which means the property would be worth less money. So it's sort of like stealing, but in the townspeople's mind, for a good reason. The only legal way for Jeff to fight off the stealing of his rights is to actually initiate the movements to develop the land so it is a pretty pickle sure enough. I'll let you know what happens, if in fact anything happens. love, Jim
- jimlouis 4-20-2006 10:27 am [link] [add a comment]

Letter to Clifford, 11
The beerless Spur convenience store on N. Broad St. has gone 24 hours, so once again a Louisville establishment puts it's neck out to make New Orleans all it can be. I came home from work yesterday and took a nap and woke up about six to a tapping on the front door and I got up and it was Raheim with his head nearly shaved, in flip flops. He looked forlorn and desperate in that way 10- year-old boys look when they are bored. I don't try not to be an old fart around kids, except when they make me, and I asked him the predictable questions--how was school? (he didn't go, duh, look at my flip flops, you can't go to school in flip flops, left my shoes by my mama's house over Easter and evidently his stepmom and dad around the corner don't have an extra pair for him), are you bored? (his eyes expressed a yes in the most definitive fashion, he looked as if he might perish forthwith). I wanted to play with him a little, humiliate him on the basketball court, perhaps that would make him feel better, but I was still so nap groggy I couldn't find my way to it. He finally said, like a full grown proper Englishman, well I won't disturb you any longer, I will let you get back to your nap. He rode off on his second hand razor, performing a neat little hop trick at the grabble (tm) apron of my driveway, amazing his ownself, and looked back to see if I was impressed and so I tried to look like I was. He sped off down the middle of Rocheblave to the Iberville corner and I heard his flip flops slid-breaking to a stop on the beaten asphalt as a car sped through the intersection. I went over to Dumaine for an hour and worked on re-glazing a window in the shade while the Muslim across the street worked his ass off, by himself, on a project that would seem undoable, but won't prove to be. Joe was laying almost flat across the steps of the former hitman's house, listening on the radio, or sleeping through, the mayoral debate. Following is the fifth-to-the-last letter I wrote to my mom last year, who suffered from Alzheimers and the good intentions of her children.

Dear Mom,

As a continuation on the theme of socializing well beyond what I would think is possible for me, I went to a dinner party last night. I met some more new people and even though meeting new people is the last thing I would intentionally put on my list of things to do, it was fine and fun and if nothing else gives me an opening for this letter to you.

At the party besides me and my girlfriend T, were: a female chef, the owners of the restaurant where the chef works, two gay men who told funny stories, a gray-headed long-haired computer expert, an environmentalist/tennis pro, the girlfriend of the environmentalist (who was also the hostess), and the mother of the hostess (who came up, to Virginia, from Ft. Worth, and made enchiladas). Ceviche was also served. Ceviche is raw fish (red snapper in this case, cooked by the acidic power of citrus juices instead of heat, mixed with a wide range of vegetable matter, depending on your tastes.)

The mother from Ft. Worth asked me if I two step (which is Texas cowboy dancing) and I said no. Later, holding up a big metal cooking spoon she said--you must know what this is? and I said, no. It turned out to be a spoon for making roux, which is the base for all New Orleans-type dishes like gumbo. I had told her I lived in New Orleans for ten years previous to coming to Virginia. I never seem to do things that are most associated with the places I live. There was also plenty of tequila served and I drank enough to be polite but not enough to crash my truck into one of the trees lining the steep driveway.

The really good news is that the mother gave up the recipe for the enchiladas, and her daughter, the hostess, looked on perhaps a little perturbed while T copied it down for me. Before I met T the hostess might have implied some little attraction to me. At that time however, the hostess had both a boyfriend (the environmentalist) and a husband (from whom she was separated, and is now divorced). So I never really encouraged her attraction, but did and do innocently enjoy her company. T has an ex-boyfriend in the area, and plenty of friends who are men, so we take turns being jealous of each other. The hostess has two young boys and she brings them over occasionally to swim in the pool on this property I take care of for JF. So, if I don't ever write the story about New Orleans, maybe I could write some sort of Virginia-based Peyton Place. love, Jim.
- jimlouis 4-19-2006 9:53 am [link] [add a comment]

The Amiable Thief
This guy called out, Jim, from across the street on Dumaine and I turned around and he said you don't remember me, do you? Look, all you people who I have known casually who go off to jail for five or six years I can honestly say I do remember you, but how am I going to remember your names? He lived straight across from the Dumaine house and was a nice guy. Installed security systems. Worked at the corner store for awhile until late one night he compromised the security system, robbed the store, and then two days later met the gunpoint of the owner who put the two's together and then the guy went off to jail. He asked about M , but I think he called her Lisa, or Nancy, or Maria, and I corrected him in that subtle way by saying her actual name, told him a little about her deal, and he said God would bless her and take care of her, which is not necessarily a crock of shit, so M, you got that going for you, the blessings of God via the amiable thief.

He said he was trying to get some of that FEMA money and I told him about Joe, who as far as I can tell, just by appearing slightly retarded, got 22k. That news seemed to encourage him. He had just seen Joe himself, who had come by the store where the amiable thief was helping the Muslim gut the store. You know the adage, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer? Joe had pointed to the security camera and asked if he could have it. In my opinion, this was Joe's little joke, referencing the amiable thief's crime. Joe is a funny guy. Years ago, at a Super Bowl party at his sister's house across the street he had made some attempt at humor regarding the dysfunction of M and I's relationship and I stood up in front of where he sat and unzipped my pants and suggested he fellate me.

The amiable thief pointed to the former Mama D's house and said did I know that old man that lived there, mowed grass around the neighborhood, and I said I seem to remember people talking about him but I was on Rocheblave by then so I didn't really know him. He said the old guy and his wife and a little girl drowned in there during the flood. I said, but the water was only ankle deep in those houses and he suggested various scenarios which could account for drowning in ankle deep water.

I washed the front of the house in the late afternoon and then poured a little more than a little Jameson's in a glass and sat on the porch and got my buzz on. I was deep in reverie when a banger drove by playing at alarming volume the most patently ridiculous rap song I have ever heard and I just busted out laughing, but then stopped because it really wasn't that funny.

Snow had been walking back and forth from his perch on the steps of the nearly and impressively renovated Esnard Villa to up past the Dorgenois corner (where he got shot a month ago) and on one of his circuits I got up the courage (my friend Jameson egged me on) to ask him where he got shot.

Snow.

Raised eyebrows (He never actually spoke very much but now I think he doesn't speak at all).

Where did you get shot?

Raised eyebrows saying--say again.

I spoke louder and tried to rephrase in a way that would rule out the regional misunderstanding of unfamiliar dialect. I said, where-did-you-get-shot?

He slowly raised his shirt and showed a small, well healed pucker, close to his hipbone but still in the soft flesh of his outer belly.

Just that one? I asked.

By no movement of eyebrow nor verbal utterance did he dignify that question with response. He started moving on.

I read about you in the paper.

He stopped, eyebrow saying--say again.

I read about you in the paper.

I think he almost smiled.
- jimlouis 4-18-2006 9:35 am [link] [add a comment]

Painting Dumaine
Ok, so I only lasted that one day without complaint. It's almost 90 degrees here in New Orleans today and that is too damn hot for April. I took the day off from work so I could work in the hood and I keep coming over here to Rocheblave because it is a little cooler over here than on Dumaine but most of the work is on Dumaine.

I'm going back over there in a little while and wash the front of the house. That will involve spraying water and scrubbing with a truck brush dipped in soapy bleach, on an extension pole, and then more spraying with water, so I could get wet, and cooler.

I have an airport? card in my laptop so I got Internet in the house now.

I better call those guys about replacing my flooded AC compressor. That's the last major thing I have to do over here on Rocheblave. If I had the AC working I would be running it now.

I might have bitten off a little more than I can chew with the Dumaine exterior paint job but that's not a complaint just a statement of fact. I've gotten a good bit of the shit work out of the way, the power sanding, the scraping, a lot of the priming except the front, but I still have some more scraping on a couple of high sections, and a fair amount of window re-glazing, and replacing a few pieces of window glass. The painting itself will be a large job but child's play compared to the prep work.

This paint job was something I was supposed to do a long time ago so me doing it now is not me being a helluva guy but rather a day-late flunky. And it is a pretty good environment to work in, without all the high drama that could sometimes overwhelm Dumaine. And this will not be my A+ work but more like my B-minus work, just in case you look too closely. There are a few window sills that need replacing but I simply won't have time for that. I'll be lucky if I get all the windows re-glazed. And some of the weather boards could use some nails, and I just don't think there's any way in hell I'm going to cut out that bad caulking job from the last painters, who instead of nailing the weather boards tighter, just caulked the underside gap and now it's harder to nail and harder to make right, so I'm just going to paint it up and hope for the best. Most of the siding is original, so it's 110 years old, and the paint may be the only thing holding it up. Anyway, I think it will look better than it did (it's going to look stupendous), and hopefully, if M gets her insurance figured out and gets that money then maybe her contractors can tighten it up a little bit.

Ok, I'm going back over there now. I'm going to take my Irish friend, Jameson, with me.
- jimlouis 4-17-2006 7:39 pm [link] [4 comments]