Saturday, August 30, 2008


Its cool. We have boarded stuff up and are evacuating tomorrow morning or late tonight. We will be safe. We think we know where we are going, but if the storm changes direction, we have multiple options. We boarded up the house earlier today.

The cats are going with us, as is Mame, who is visiting us this weekend. She will either fly out tomorrow morning or we will evacuate her with us.

We are all OK for now. More in-depth posts to follow on our situation

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Classes for the fall 2008 semester started yesterday. despite the official start of school, I feel woefully unprepared for classes. I am feeling pretty exhausted from the move and the strain of establishing a new house. I don't really feel capable of learning when I am still hunting for clean underwear among boxes every morning. Also, I have yet to find most of my school supplies, so that is also adding to my feeling of unpreparedness.

I am planning on taking fewer classes this semester, so I can spend any extra time establishing the new house and applying to graduate school for my PHD. Classes I am taking this semester are:

Epidemiologic methods II
Wednesday afternoons, 2:30-5:15

Intermediate biostatistics,
Wednesday and Friday 1:00-2:15

Infectious disease outbreak epidemiology,
Tuesday and Thursday 10:30- 11:45

Parasitology seminar,
Monday 10:00-11:45

Hopefully this light load (only 10 hours of classes) will let me continue to be useful in repairing and organizing the house.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recommended for this Week

Recommended radio listening for this week: WWOZ is broadcasting live from Denver. Several New Orleans musicians are playing at and around the Democratic National Convention, and WWOZ decided to broadcast them back home. WWOZ will also be in the Twin Cities next week for a similar event at the Republican National Convention.

More information at WWOZ's blog. For folks outside New Orleans, WWOZ provides several webfeeds.

It's recommended because they just had Soul Rebels Brass Band performing with the Wild Tchoupitoulas, accompanied by a good description of what Mardi Gras Indians actually are.

Labels: ,

Hello, Fay

How's it going? Thanks for the rain, and the relief from the last few days' oppressive humidity. Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder that we need to fix up the storm shutters sooner rather than later.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday cat blogging

OMG, the very first Friday cat blogging from the new house! For your enjoyment today we have photos of Hodag and Annie on recently moved objects.

Annie relaxing on the mirror for my dresser, in the living room.

Hodag, happily napping on wrapped dishes in the kitchen.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The joys of home ownership

I thought I would let everyone know how the move in went and what we have encountered in our first few days of home ownership. We have had some ups and downs, which I am sure is normal.

We finished moving the last of our possessions and the cats into the new house on Friday morning.

Moving the bikes and my fern, late Thursday night.

I spent the rest of Friday contacting repairmen to turn on the gas (which had been turned off by the termite tenting company, because some of the chemicals they pumped into our house were flammable) and try and fix the upstairs air conditioning, which had mysteriously stopped working. We did manage to get the gas working, and after a few days of experimentation, managed to both have hot water and have the hot water not scald us. The air conditioning however, has been a complete bust. We have so far been unable to have the repair crew come out and fix it yet. I hope that they are able to do so today, they are supposed to have a repair crew come by this afternoon. I have also managed to get internet and phone service up and running, although right now we cannot use Wi-Fi (again for unknown reasons) . Since our office is on the second floor,( in un-air conditioned hell) I have been practically internet-less in the afternoon hours.

In addition to unpacking and organizing our worldly possessions, we have been trying to make the house more livable by a series of small improvements. Colin has been focusing on taming the grass in the front yard during the evening hours. His tool of choice for this project has been our brand-spanking- new reel lawnmower. The use of this has probably cemented our reputation among our new neighbors as the crazy young couple down the street.

I call him: Herbert.

I have been spearheading the effort to fix doors and windows. For example, the door that lead from the dining room to the servant stairs hung so strangely on its hinges that it looked like it came out of Alice in wonderland. If I looked at it for too long I would actually begin to feel disoriented, and end up with Tom Petty's "Don't come around here no more" stuck in my head. It did not help that the linoleum in the servant staircase is in a black and white checkerboard pattern. Anyway, I undid the hinges and fixed that door so that it hung straight on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Colin and I reinstalled a door that had been removed from the kitchen, effectively preventing Hodag from wandering around the attic unsupervised. I have also been removing an enormous amount of junk from under our porch.

Piles of junk from under our porch. (Please notice the amazing old style fan, and rusted bike, respectively)

Not all the stuff that was left over the years in our yard has been so useless, for instance, we are now the proud owners of two Weber grills. This weekend, we are planning on going to both Home Depot and to Bed Bath and Beyond for more supplies.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Moving Completed (mostly)

Just this morning, we finished moving the last few bits of our personal belongings into the new house, then finally took the cats over. We still a bit of cleaning to do at the old place this weekend, but now the big project is getting all our stuff organized (and figuring out how to get hot water and gas). But huzzah nonetheless. And just in time for classes to start up again, and people to come visit.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moving on up.

Hey kids. I know we have been spotty in the posting department lately, but we spent two weeks in California visiting family and vacationing. Now we are back in New Orleans and in the process of de-constructing our apartment to move into our new home. I doubt we will be doing much updating for the next week, as we haul stuff to our new address and so forth. We do plan on sending out cards to our family and friends with our new address as soon as we are settled.


Wedding Part III (Belated, whereby by belated I mean two weeks late)

On the weekend of July 28th, Colin and I went to our final wedding of the summer, the nuptials of Kamille and Kevin. Colin and Kamille are friends from way back, they went to grade school together in Huntington Beach.

This was one of the most Catholic weddings I have ever been to. Both Kamille and Kevin come from Catholic backgrounds, and there were two nuns from Kevin's family were in attendance. (I horrendously embarrassed myself at the rehearsal dinner by involuntarily crying out, Nuns! when I saw the good sisters. Seeing nuns is kind of unusual for me... so it just sort of came out of my mouth. Luckily one of the sisters turned around and waved after my error, which made me feel like less of a loser.) The mass was in a lovely little church right on the ocean in California, and in the courtyard you could smell the sea. I felt a little out of place during the service, mostly because I did not know what was coming next, and people kept doing odd gesticulations . Basically, it reminded me how odd it must feel for a Christian to attend a Jewish service! Every religion has so many intricate rituals that are difficult for outsiders to anticipate and understand.

The party was also a blast, there was much dancing and drinking. At one point I heard Colin explain to Kamille's mother that he had been surprised by my emphatic description of Jewish weddings as a "total party". What had surprised him was the fact that Jewish weddings sounded just like Catholic weddings, and he could not figure out what the big deal was. He was right, Catholic weddings are a lot like Jewish weddings, the reception is full of family and friends having a great time.

Be sure and checkout the lovely photos of the event.


Belated Tuesday Bike Blogging: Boston Edition

Whereby "belated," I mean "two weeks late."

We found both of these bikes in Boston while we were walking around on Saturday morning before Lauren and Dan's wedding. This one was next to the harbor:

And this one was in the Italian neighborhood:

Note Nora in her ridiculous hat in the background, talking to Mike.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Small Reptiles!

Scientists have discovered the worlds smallest snake. Blair Hedges, part of the scientific team that discovered the snake, has also previously discovered other small reptiles and amphibians. For your photographic edification, I present small reptiles:

Cute huh?