Tag Archives: New Orleans

You might be a New Orleanian if…

…you enjoy smashing side mirrors off of parked cars at 8 a.m.

This morning, I left my house and rounded the corner to find two cars – one on either side of the road – parked extremely close to each other. Now, this is a fairly normal occurence in New Orleans. But being someone who lives here, I’m usually not squeamish about trying to get through tight spots.

But this spot was a little too tight for me. I attempted it, and then began to back out in abject failure. That is, until the driver behind me refused to back out and yelled at me to go through the cars or get out of his way.

I pulled to the side and proceeded to watch him and eight other drivers plow their way through the tight space and smash one of the parked car’s side mirror to bits.

Not the actual mirror, but similar damage

The glass was shattered, the mirror was bent backward and these drivers just kept at it like it was no big deal. I was shocked at this horrible driving etiquette – even for New Orleans. [I once saw a car deliberately back into another car in order to make sure they were as close as possible in a parallel parking spot.]

Granted: those cars should not have been parked so close. They were both large SUVs and should have known better. But the car that lost a mirror might have been there first – they could have done nothing wrong. And now they’re going to have hundreds of dollars in damages. Disgusting.

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Law school limbo

I’m so tired of this dance. Waiting and waiting…if you know me you probably know I’m extremely impatient. I hate waiting around for things and that is pretty much what we’ve been doing for the past three years. Waiting for our “real” lives to begin. Waiting for law school to be over so we can actually spend time together again. Waiting for us to both be employed so we can keep our heads above the water.

This waiting is the hardest part of law school for me. I know Wesley is enrolled, but this has been just as big a commitment for me, as any law school spouse will tell you. And New Orleans makes it even harder to get through every day.

If it’s not our shitty apartment breaking or the filth covering our cars and shoes, it’s the bi-polar weather and the nearly constant smell of garbage in the air. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some good things here: the history, the food and the festivals. But for me, the city has made an irreversibly bad impression from its complete mismanagement and political corruption to the rude, clique-ish residents/drivers and pock-marked streets/sidewalks. Even things that most people like – for instance, the slow pace of life – I find horribly annoying. I mean, I’ve got places to go and things to do, I don’t need to wait an hour for you to bring me my lunch check! Not everyone here is on vacation!

I cannot wait to start the next phase of our lives – whether it’s in the Nola ‘burbs or a whole new place. The hunt for a job is on, and Wesley has been searching all weekend. In this laid-back environment it’s hard to even get that going – I keep reminding him that we have a lot to get done and only four months left to do it in. Come May, it will be decision time – whether we’re ready or not. I can’t wait – it’s about time something moved fast around here.

[On a side note, we’re gearing up for another Mardi Gras – one of the few things I love about this city. A friend invited me to a craft party yesterday where I made this awesome wreath. I am pretty impressed with myself if I do say so, lol.]

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Filed under Moving, New Orleans

Destruction of Tropical Storm Lee

From listening to the news, you might think that Tropical Storm Lee was a category 5 hurricane coming to finish what Katrina started. But despite the weather channel, CNN and every other news source’s reporting, it was really just a run-of-the-mill tropical storm with some high wind gusts and a pile of rain.

The pounding rain did wake us up around 3 a.m. this morning, but it wasn’t what kept us up. We heard and interesting trickling noise which led us to the discovery of water leaking profusely from under the window where the AC is lodged. (See pictures)

The wall is bloated with water-logged wood and material and there was even water streaming out of our electrical outlet. We (probably not that safely) unplugged everything from the outlet – I did wear rubber-soled shoes and used a rubber pot holder! Then we lined the floor with a towel and called the property managers. One thing you must understand about me and this blog is this: I live in a Riverlake Property. I read a review of them recently that called them “slum lords” – their words, not mine.

Some rules and regulations are attached to our lease with RP, which state that the emergency answering service will call a manager if there is a major maintenance problem. I don’t know about you, but water streaming out of an electrical outlet seemed pretty major to me. So I called the answering service. First, I was told that they would try to get in touch with a manager. Then, upon calling back to check on the progress of getting in touch with said manager, I was told by another representative that they do not, in fact, have any contact information for anyone who actually works at Riverlake. Why am I surprised? The last time our air conditioner broke it took months to get a replacement. Summer months.

Which leads me to part two of the night. After putting down the towel to soak up the leaky window water, we plugged the AC into a different outlet and went back to bed.

Around 6 a.m., we were once again woken up by a loud, horrible noise from the AC. My conclusion is that water has flooded our AC. It sounds as if every time the fan rotates it is being plunged at a high speed into about two inches of standing water. I came to this conclusion based on the noises it was making and the fact that when I stood in front of the AC, I got cold mist instead of cold air. We turned it off, put the living room AC on high and place a fan in the doorway, and finally went back to sleep.

When we woke up this morning around 11 a.m., it was pretty bright outside and not even raining. We went outside to assess the damage, but there really wasn’t any. There was about two inches of standing water in the low-lying places of our yard and a few trees were down, but they were baby trees that were just planted last week. Upon inspecting our AC, we found that the wood on the outside window sill has completely rotted. That’s typical Riverlake. We have reported this same leaking problem numerous times over the past couple of years and they keep telling us they “fixed” it only for it to leak again during the next big rain.

So, don’t let the news hype it up. The only reason this storm is bad particularly for New Orleans is because all of these houses are falling apart already – it’s like wetting cardboard.

Enjoy the pictures of the “destruction” below:

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The car drama continues…

This light came on...

My car broke down today for the fourth time in four days.

The first two times it broke down were on Sunday afternoon. Basically, it did fine on the interstate and then when I slowed down or idled the car stopped accelerating properly and lights started flashing and the power steering locked up. I had it towed to a place in Nola that kept it for two days (during which time I had to pay for a rental) and basically told me there was nothing wrong with it and there was nothing they could do – they said it was working just fine for them.

And THIS light came on...

On Tuesday, I picked it up and got five miles down the road before it broke down again in the same way. I was able to drive 20 mph on the shoulder to the Honda dealership that was only a couple of miles away. Honda place said it was caused by bad spark plugs and replaced them. I picked it up yesterday (Wednesday) and everything seemed good. I drove all the way to St. Charles Parish this morning with no problems.

AND THIS light came on! Oh my!

On my way home today, I got about half-way there before the same thing started happening again. Except – and this is a big except – my car almost immediately jumped to over heating, which hadn’t happened before. I immediately pulled over and called AAA which took over an hour to get a tow truck out to me on I-10.

Luckily, the lovely people at Royal Honda and Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Veterans Memorial Boulevard stayed after their regular closing time to wait for me! Even though the spark plugs were not what the problem was, they were problem that needed fixing. I’m a big fan of Royal Honda right now, so let’s hope it stays that way. For now, I’ll definitely be taking a rental to Florida this weekend.

Who would have thought that my first time renting a car would lead to three different rental cars in four days? Not me.

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Filed under New Orleans, Random praises and condemnations

The week New Orleans attempted to murder my vehicle

One of the many ways that Nola is attempting to kill my car.

I have been saying that Nola is killing my car since we moved here. From the pot holes killing my shocks and suspension to the other pot holes killing my tires, it was only a matter of time before something more serious broke.

Before this week, I have had three tires repaired, my A/C compressor repaired and my windshield wiper fluid container is cracked and unusable – that’s all in less than two years. And that is all nothing compared to what started this past Sunday.

I was driving to have lunch with a friend in Metairie on Sunday. I drove all the way there with no problems, but when we tried to pull out of the driveway after I picked her up, the car would not go. Basically, the power steering locked up and the car would only go a maximum of 20 mph no matter how hard I pressed the gas pedal.

I have been putting off and putting off getting an oil change, so I thought I might be low on oil. My friend drove me to the gas station where I bought some oil and filled the car up. After that, everything seemed fine – it seemed the crisis had been averted.

However, after lunch I tried to drive home and got as far as Carrollton before the same thing happened – but in the middle of the road this time! I pulled the wheel as hard as I could to the right and made it into a Walgreen’s parking lot before the car completely refused to go any further.

I called AAA and had my car towed to the shop (the same one that miraculously fixed my A/C). On Monday, I got up early, got a rental from Enterprise and dropped my key off at the shop.

I have had a rental for the past two days. Today I called to get an update on my car and the shop claimed that they had been driving my car all day long for two days straight and that nothing seemed to be wrong. They said I should come pick it up because there was nothing they could do – they had checked everything and nothing needed to be replaced or repaired.

So, this afternoon I returned my rental car and headed to the shop for my car. And guess what? I got five miles away from the shop before my car broke down – surprise! And in the exact same way as it did on Sunday. The more I think about it, the more skeptical (and therefore angry) I get that the shop said they had been driving my car around and nothing was wrong. What are the odds that they drove it 20 times but I drove it once and it broke? Pretty slim, I’m thinking.

Anyways, so it broke down today. And not just on Carrollton on the way home this time – no, no. This time it was on I-10 in rush hour traffic on the way to Target. On the up side, I was about a mile away from the exit and the Royal Honda dealership was only about a mile away from that. So, I drove about 25 mph on the shoulder of the interstate until I got to Veterans Memorial, then I just sucked it up and drove 25 mph with my emergency lights on until I got to the dealership.

When I got there, they had their act together. They were able to see my car in all its broken glory and had already called Enterprise to pick me up before I even arrived – the crying on the phone before I got there may have had something to do with that…

So now I’m back in a rental, but a much nicer rental than I had before – I got upgraded from a Jetta to a Sebring.

Hopefully the expert at Royal Honda will fix me up. We’ll see…

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Filed under New Orleans, Random praises and condemnations

Uptown update

I went to Annapolis last weekend to visit Wesley and it was amazing. It felt like the first time since I visited New Mexico that I was able to take a clean breath of air. And the green — it was so green, not a bunch of dead swamp trees like Nola. Not to mention the smooth roads and people who actually knew how to drive. We spent most of the time in Annapolis, but also visited D.C. and Rose Haven for a wedding. In D.C., we walked to all the major monuments and went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Newseum. Here are  a few pics from the trip:

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Quick update on the Mississippi River water levels, I rode my back along the levee path on Thursday and the water was down at least 3-4 feet from what it was before I left for Maryland.

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Sick Kitten in a dirty town

Poor sick Kitten holding mommy's hand

This week, Kitten has been a bit sickly so we took her to a vet today in New Orleans. I chose the Southern Animal Foundation on Magazine Street because they seemed reputable, it was fairly close, they were nice on the phone and they were the cheapest…one guess as to which was the deciding factor. (Honestly, our first-time visit with rabies and distemper was $65 — compare that to the $160 I was quoted at the Maple Small Animal Clinic!)

[Sidenote: See this more recent post to hear about how the Southern Animal Foundation actually ended up sucking big time.]

We took her in and while we did have to wait over a half hour past our appointment time, I was very relieved to meet the super nice veterinarian who loved Kitten and treated her very well. She got a basic check-up and came out clean, then she got her annual rabies update. Now, Kitten has gotten rabies shots before with no problems. However, a few hours after we got home tonight, she was getting sick non-stop. After about 30 minutes and a grand total of 10 times getting sick, she settled down, curled up in her little bed and sipped a little  from a soy sauce bowl I filled up with water for her.

She seems to be okay now – just sleeping a lot. But we have been waking her up every 30-45 minutes and getting her to drink a little water so she stays hydrated.

Dirty Town

I have always made jokes about how dirty New Orleans is. In fact, one thing I usually say is that the air is so dirty that when it rains, it actually makes your car dirtier because the rain weighs the dirt down.

Well, I’m happy/sad to say that I was totally right! Look at this ridiculous picture I took of my car after a light rain the other day:

Dirty car after fresh rain

Total dirt droplets all over my car.

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