Thanks to Carol G for getting me in touch with the very helpful Christopher Elliott. He’s the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Today he published my case. I found it in the Arizona Daily Star, though not, strangely enough, in our Times-Picayune which usually carries his column in the Sunday Travel section. I can […]

Read More → Christopher Elliott Writes About My Case

We got the receipt from Tulane University Hospital & Clinic’s Healthcare Payment System. For the record, we racked up $2,484.00 in room charges (two nights’ stay) and a whopping $16,499.28 in “ancillary” charges. But we have group insurance through our employers. We actually paid $250 and just got billed for $170 more. I can’t even […]

Read More → The High Cost of Birthing

This story in the paper made me feel ever-so-slightly vindicated about our decision to renovate. A new study of home prices around the New Orleans area shows that buyers rewarded sellers who gambled and rebuilt in devastated areas like Lakeview, eastern New Orleans and Chalmette. Renovated homes in those areas recovered much of their pre-storm […]

Read More → Vindication

We got our “gold letter” from the Road Home today. The letter states that we did not qualify for any compensation. Or, as they so cleverly phrase it, “your compensation grant was zero.” This is because they estimate our damage at $34,050.53. Our insurance company paid us $82,294.03. Both these figures are stated in the […]

Read More → I Got a Golden Letter

Xy and I had our initial appointment with the Road Home program this morning. Yes, that’s right, initial. We’re only just now getting started. For once this tardiness cannot be blamed on governmental ineptitude or bureaucratic bungling. It’s our fault. We’ve dragged out feet and postponed this because we don’t really expect to get any […]

Read More → Initial Appointment

I tremble in abject fear every time we get a letter from our insurer. So many people have been screwed by these insurance companies. We’ve done well by our local agent (Dan Burghardt), but I get the feeling the big companies that actually provide our flood and homeowners’ insurance (Fidelity and Lexington, respectively) would like […]

Read More → Whew

I finally submitted our application to the Road Home program — and not a moment too soon. The deadline is July 31, and I’ve been procrastinating since I resolved to apply in March. This program is supposed to help Louisiana homeowners get back in their homes after the devastation caused by Katrina and Rita and […]

Read More → Applied

I’m proud — no, scratch that — I’m chagrined to announce the debut of Boozocracy, a new online fundraising campaign. Michael Homan and I are letting people vote on our drinking habits in order to raise money for a library our neighborhood. It’s kind of like the intersection of literary culture and drinking culture and […]

Read More → Boozocracy

So our mortgage company is holding the insurance money for renovating our house. They cut a check months ago when our contractor first submitted a bid, for one-third of the estimated total. A couple months ago they sent an inspector along to confirm that work has been underway. They cut another check for the next […]

Read More → Check’s in the Mail

I recently got an update to our homeowner’s policy. It’s something like a hundred pages long. Past updates were only a few pages. I’m supposed to wade through all this legalese? I’d have to hire a lawyer just to find out how badly we’re getting screwed. A quick glance reveals there’s a “trampoline exclusion” and […]

Read More → Insurance

Just got off the phone with our mortgage company, US Bank. Right after the storm they told me we’d have a six-month moratorium on payments. But I just learned two important points: The moratorium is only three months. In other words, it’s already over. They want those three months paid back over the next six […]

Read More → Ouch

A check arrived from our insurer via FedEx today in the amount of $3,000. It says, right on the check, that it’s “partial settlement of contents damage arising from loss on 08/29/05.” The date issued, again printed right on the check itself, is October 18th. Note that it is now November 25th. All of this […]

Read More → Check

A fire broke out at the local A&P yesterday, and the store was still closed today. So I went to the Sav-A-Center on Tchoupitoulas to buy ingredients for curried tomato bisque. Wow. All registers were open, yet the lines were so long that they extened into the grocery ailses. The wait was so long I […]

Read More → Say What?