Saturday, July 7, 2007

Reliable & Cheap: I sing the house electric!

Anytime I come across a great deal, I'll be sure to tell you about it, faithful readers!

Lou just had a ton of work done on her house, the most impressive of which was work done by an electrician. Said electrician is retired from LG&E, but not someone whose name you'd get from the phone book. And because I haven't asked him for permission, I won't publish his details here, but please email me if you need some electric work done and I will send you his phone number.

Electrician wired the livingroom for a ceiling fan and installed it, moved a light fixture in the bathroom, moved a plug in the bathroom, wired the kitchen for a dishwasher, and-- most impressively-- wired my garage for full electricity. This involved tapping into my house box, digging a 50 foot trench from my house to the garage (and installing plugs both at the back of the house and in my yard), and installing plugs and ceiling lights in the actual garage. The job took him more than 10 hours, and on the day that he did the garage, he brought a helper, and the entire job cost me less than $800.

I love this man.

Fourth in the 'Hood

Well, this is the perfect opportunity to brag on my neighborhood. The drizzle on the fourth let up a little, but not enough to spur my lazy bones down to the Waterfront. So Roommate and I got a couple of six-packs of Abita and $18 worth of side-of-the-road fireworks and decided to make a night of it.

We'd spent the previous couple of days trying to remember what we'd done last 4th of July; we knew we'd already moved and that we didn't go to the Waterfront, but couldn't remember where we'd been. At dusk on the 4th, it struck us... we'd stayed home and watched the neighbors go nuts with fireworks down the road.

This fourth, we invited our neighbor over to watch from our front lawn, and for two hours (at least!) we drank beer, listened to the blues channel on Sirius, and watched the same neighbors get somewhat lethal with fireworks, adding our own little display during the lulls. It was just a ridiculously pleasant evening, overall. A little spitting of rain, good neighbors, free and fun fireworks, great tunes, an endless supply of beer. And while the show downtown would have been better, our 4th seemed more in keeping with stereotypical Americana. In fact, it all felt very small town.

And that's been one of the best things about moving to Louisville-- the small town vibe. It was instant, palpable, the moment we stepped out of the moving van. The day we moved in was one of the hottest day last summer-- well over 90. Neighbor #1 (who came over for the 4th) was outside listening to NPR and doing her gardening. Several hours later, she showed up on our front porch with a case of beer, a case of Mountain Dew, a cooler with ice, and a half a pizza. Neighbor #2, across the street, chipped in by helping us lug some of the bigger pieces of furniture. Neighbor #3 came over with a handful of take-out menus and brochures about the city. Neighbor #4 gave us a houseplant and block gossip. Within 24 hrs, we knew every neighbor within eyeshot of our house.

And it's been that way ever since. Borrowing garden tools. Trading plants from a neighbor's garden for vegetables from mine. Advice about carpenters and electricians. We know everyone's kids and everyone's pets (more pets than kids in this neighborhood).

I lived in four different places in New Orleans, all within a mile of each other. I never knew more than one neighbor at any given apartment, and most of those neighbors that I knew were also my landlords. Here, it's not exactly the 1950's ideal of block parties and bbqs, but it's that nice level measure of closeness without oppressiveness. I never feel like my neighbors are spying over fences, but I always feel like they have my back.

And it was a pleasure spending the 4th with them, some from a distance, and some right in my front yard.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fizzle on the Fourth?

It's 640pm on the Fourth of July, and I'm drinking a Newcastle Brown Air on the front porch of my humble abode. Even though it's drizzling and overcast, it's hot-- sweaty hot. There are three hours and twenty minutes until the Waterfront Fireworks, but less time until the Neville Brothers take the stage. And while I know I'm not the Wicked Witch-- friends may disagree-- who will melt into a split-pea-colored puddle if I get a little wet, I'm just not sure I'm willing to sog my way through the festivities.

Not to mention the fact that I haven't totally forgiven the Neville Brothers-- Aaron Neville specifically. While most New Orleans musicians have worked overtime since Katrina trying to bring attention and money and renewed culture to the city, the First Family of New Orleans has been notably lax. From bad mouthing the city to abstaining from Jazz Fest (due to Aaron Neville's supposed asthma-- I'm not saying he's lying, per se, but you got to wonder where hometown boy got pipes like that if he has breathing issues), they've lost the First Family cred to the Marsallises and the Mannings in my mind.

That being said, they put on a hell of a show. And if they can't be playing in New Orleans for the Fourth (Aaron: "cough! cough!), then I'm happy that they're in my new ville. Maybe I should try an anti-rain dance. Although, if it worked, I'll be sorry I didn't try it during Katrina.