Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Seven days after the Storm: Our House Stinks

Daniel and I at the window... waiting

We are now one week and counting after Hurricane Gustav, and still without power in 40% of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

Specifically, we are without power in our house, which of course is the most important place power should be revived. To me at least. Not to say that I don't think hospitals, nursing homes and nurseries (the young-children-kind) shouldn't be brought on-line first. I do. They were.

To elaborate just a little bit on my discomfort: this means that the house is 80+ degrees, even at night, even with the windows open, even though the weather has been mercifully mild for this time of year.

For those of you that don't live in the Deep South, it is the humidity that is the problem more than the heat. To be technical, it's the humidity PLUS the heat.
Considering the conditions at my house, it might as well be raining (inside).

When I called Entergy (my electrical company) several days ago they said I would get power between "now and September 24th."

Not very encouraging.

Then, yesterday I got an Entergy bill for $490.

Rich's Photograph: Ode to the Power Lines

I'll call them and complain when I have presence of mind to do so. At least our trusty land-line works, even though it is too expensive, and we never use it (except after a hurricane).

I can't sleep (which I guess makes me cranky), but, I am concerned about mold invading our home. Concerned about the survivability of our electronic equipment. Concerned about our safety (our security system does not work and I'm sleeping naked with all of the windows and curtains wide open. The truth is that at 50 years old, this probably isn't very enticing to the would be robbers out there, which is probably a plus security-wise).


My security company tells me that their generators work for 18 hours without electricity, and after that we get "no protection." Nada. I told them that "we were counting on them to safeguard us, and that a security-black-out 18-hours post-power-outage wasn't very comforting." The person on the phone told me she'd, "pass that onto the brass."

Now I feel bad for being ugly (a South Louisianaism) as Rich tells me that we'd need a battery the size of a room to keep our house's security system running, which I guess isn't very feasible (as I look around for the room in which to place said gynormous battery).

Mostly, the house stinks, which, my friend Elizabeth says, "is depressing."

Rich cleaned out our moldy, gross, and smelly refrigerator yesterday. I keep up with the dish washing so that our sink doesn't turn into a science project. And our dirty clothes are in black plastic garbage bags, tied up, to reduce the smell. However, underwear is a problem. Um, mostly quantity-wise.

What I mean by that is: I need more of it: underwear that is.

I think this might be even more important than other necessities, like generators. I could probably make a good portion of our retirement money by selling underwear on a street corner. I have taken to wearing Rich's colored briefs.


They are cotton and very comfy (and absorbent) although they don't fit very nicely under my pants. So my mid section looks sort of bumpy, which is actually better than looking fat now that I think about it.

------------ No good segue to go here--------------

Actually, I'm pretty sure that The Smell in the house comes from the dampness.

Our bedclothes are damp. The carpet is damp. We are damp. Showers don't help much because minutes after an even cold shower you are right back to where you started from.

Funny thing is: we have hot water if we actually wanted to take a hot shower. Which we don't. Theoretically, the hot water would be good for instant coffee, except that I pulled some slimy thing out of my faucet two days ago, which has pretty much taken away my interest in hot stimulant type drinks, let alone any other type of food.

The good news is that I think I'm losing weight.

My hair is a wild mess (no blow dryer). I was liberated years ago from 'the blow dryer' (I was in my prime in the 70s and 80s) by my travels to Sri Lanka and India, where we stayed "off the grid" for quite a bit of time, which means that there was no electricity, at least in a form that we could tap into. But, before that trip I went to my stylist and he cut my hair so that it could just "go wild," but look sort of "in place" and "very hip." At this point, it is not only not attractive/hip/in-place, it is scary looking.

Actually, I think part of looking "very hip" may have been my age, which at that point was not quite 40. At 50 this isn't a good look.

My hair needs a myriad of things done to it. I think I'll call today and find a hairdresser that actually has power and my color of blond.

I'll post pictures of the post-Gustav destruction after Rich finishes posting them to flickr. It's hard to appreciate the devastation without seeing it.

Denese

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