carolina in my mind…as well as in actuality

March 16th, 2007 | The Artistic Condition, Travels and Appearances

cities affected

My flight from Miami to Philadelphia got rerouted today. To Charlotte, NC. Where I have taken up residence in a hotel. There’s apparently some sort of weather event that has shut down the entire eastern seaboard. I keep calling US Airways to rebook but I just get a busy signal, I can’t even get put on hold.

Charlotte is quite lovely, though. I guess I might as well be here as anywhere. Does it really matter as long as I have my laptop and wifi? I’m feeling very virtual.

On a strange note, as I was leaving the Charlotte airport this afternoon, Dorothy Allison was being paged over the loudspeaker.

37 Responses to “carolina in my mind…as well as in actuality”

  1. little gator says:

    They’re expecting a foot of snow by morning from New England to Pittsburg and I don’t know where else. After the mess of lasy month’s storm everyone is cancelling flights to avoid the outrage when Jet Blue and others kept passengers stuck in grounded planes for hours.

    My elderly disabled aunt was on one of those planes, stuck for “only” 5 hours but overall it doubled the time of what would routinely be a 6 hour, 2 leg trip. She was alone with her DIL, as her son got bumped from the flight for complex reasons. It was a nightmare for all since she’s unable to move without help and her son was supposed to provide the muscle, and DIL doesn;t have that kind of strength. And we were able to retrieve the stranded cousin so he could stay at our place till he got a flight home.

    They are all safely home now.

    Alison, it sucks being stranded, but I’m glad you’re safe and not in the misery my relatives were.

  2. kate says:

    well, charlotte’s nice enough but no place like home, to be sure.

  3. kate says:

    weird thing happened when i just tried to post that comment above–it told me i could only post one comment every 15 seconds. that was the only comment that i was posting?

    but even funnier, it ended the warning with, “Slow down Cowboy.”

  4. shadocat says:

    Alison; I just finished watching your fine little movie and reading all the bird questions on your “Miami” post, and now I’m wondering–Do you think that vulture in Miami was trying to tell you something? Just a thought…

  5. PixieLauren says:

    It ought to say, “Cowgirl” — Or, at least, “Cowboi” would be okay too.

    I’ve gotten that message before. Cracks me up.

    Alison, sorry you’re stranded.

  6. Aunt Soozie says:

    Hi Alison…
    Well…right now in Southern NJ we’re having a serious “wintry mix” as they’ve taken to calling it…
    Mostly we’re getting hail and it’s accumulating so we have about three inches, at least, of icey stuff on the ground and it’s still coming down.
    I hope it warms up tomorrow so you can get on your way back home.
    Meanwhile…hopefully there are some good movies to watch and you can snuggle up and get comfy in the hotel. Shame you weren’t diverted to RDU…I could provide you with lots of ideas for entertainment and good food in that part of NC.
    Enjoy your unexpected stay.
    Aunt Soozie

  7. yelena says:

    Aaah, I experienced said event at Newark airport starting at 6 this morning, through three canceled flights, and some pretty Lord of the Fly-esque behavior trying to make it out of the airport and onto the New Jersey transit. The bag I checked will have to serve as ransom for my weary bones. Hang in there, Alison! Enjoy the birds.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So you did go and see her (Dorothy Allison) for a cup of tea, yes?

  9. Suzanonymous says:

    Bummer you are stranded. :-/

    Maybe you have time for a question though (or someone who has been to a Fun Home reading): do you do voices in your readings? Does the audience get to hear your imitation of your father’s bumkinish accent, your child-self’s “day-uhd,” etc?

  10. NLC says:

    Just to let you know what you’re coming back to:

    The Eye on the Sky guys are saying snow will be general over Vermont, with 12-18in before it stops Sat morning (except in the mountains, where they’re saying 2+feet).

    Sleet is pecking on my window as I type this, so it may be
    a bit sloppier the farther south you are.

    Just keep repeating “Nothing could be finah…”

  11. cybercita says:

    silvio —

    left you a message under “whole mess of things” about another fabulous british writer, rebecca west. how amazing and wonderful to share my adoration of obscure female british novelists with the all too rare like minded!

  12. Maggie Jochild says:

    When my daughter, at age 8, got back from her first trip to the summer camp for daughters of lesbians led by Sage Mountainfire near Willits in Northern Cal, one of the camp songs she’d learned was “Nothing could be finah than a kiss on the vagina in the morrrnin'”….

  13. Aunt Soozie says:

    Hi Alison,
    I just spoke with my paramour on the telephone who will be traveling to Fayetteville, NC for a peace rally tomorrow.
    She’s headed out at 7:30am because she and her cohorts will be vending CDs for Holly Near who will be performing there around 1pm. So…if you still can’t head up North…you may wanna check it out.

    I sent you an email with links to Holly’s site and to the Fayetteville Peace Rally site…just in case you’re fixin’ to stay down there for a spell. When you’re in NC it’s easy to find someone who has a ham in the fridge that they’re cuttin’ on if you get a might peckish and need a bite to eat. They’re always cuttin’ on the ham or the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving or watching basketball unless they’re headed to a peace rally in Fayetteville.

    The paramour says you could get lots of fodder for your cartooning at the peace rally…I’m sure Stuart will be there…so, you know, it’s a business trip, tax write-off.

  14. meg says:

    Whoa! Dorothy Alison – another great writer.

    And we got snow shoveling down here. Tomorrow, it’ll be me shoveling it. Again.

  15. Deena in OR says:

    :::looking at my 14 year old daughter and wondering what my reaction would have been to something like that six years ago:::

    Probably a conversation with dear daughter about the “inappropriateness” of singing the song in public, coupled with inward hysterical laughing….

  16. James says:

    Dorothy Allison will be one of the key speakers at next week’s National Council of Teachers of English Conference in New York City (we’re flying out from the SF Bay Area) so she’ll have a chance to get stuck in more, more grim weather.

    (Meanwhile, it’s been in the upper 70s here all week.)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Upper 70’s? It got up to 97 degrees today in Phoenix, according to both my car and NPR. I assume that it actually got higher, because that was at 4 pm.

    Enjoy Charlotte, if you can – it’s a beautiful city, even if you didn’t want to be there.

    egret

  18. Ian says:

    Your post made me break into a Judy Garland impersonation immediately which my postman heard as I went to answer the door. Cue one ‘knowing’ look as he handed over the package! What a way to come out to the postman!!

    Oh and Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone!

  19. meg says:

    Approx. two feet of snow this morning when the CO alarm went off and, I and my perpetual houseguest Nellie got dressed, opened windows, and went out to shovel. Nothing like a little early morning exercise in the fresh air to really start your day right!

    Actually, I kinda like it. *sheepishly* In a weird way.

    The worrying thing to me is that I *didn’t* hear my tenants’ alarm going off. The boiler’s in the basement, they’re on the first floor, I’m on the second – I would think their alarm would start singing first.

    I know they were mucking around with the alarm the last big snowstorm (‘it’s been going off for hours!’), and I hope they didn’t muck it up.

    I rang their doorbell anyway,and told the bleary faced one that stumbled out that my alarm was going off and that it might be a good idea for them to open windows, lest they die. I have a witness; I tried.

    It does make me wonder if they mucked up the alarm… urgh.

  20. meg says:

    Aunt Soozie!

    “They’re always cuttin’ on the ham or the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving…”

    from *Thanksgiving*?!? Ummmm, I’ll pass, being that it’s March and all….

    ;)

  21. AmyA says:

    We’re stuck in a hotel in Pittsburgh after getting diverted on our trip from San Francisco to Boston. Also in a USAir hell-vortex with a 6 year old in tow; we’re being evicted from our hotel at noon with no other arrangements…yet. All Pittsburgh hotels are apparently sold out to the revelers here for a major Saint Paddy’s Day Parade. No wonder everyone in the lobby is wearing Kiss My Irish tee-shirts and acting like they know each other.

    Unlike Allison, I’m enjoying the privilege of being on hold with US Airways (57 minutes and counting). And to think we could still be in gorgeous Palo Alto with my sister. Ugh. Ok, that’s enough venting I guess. Nothing literary about it!

  22. Doctor E says:

    I’m housebound somewhere between Philadelphia and Allentown. The driveway is a sheet of ice six inches thick. My girlfriend and I are sitting on the deck, all bundled up, drinking vodka martinis and eating smoked salmon. It’s 11AM, but we’re pretending we’re in Russia. It’s night there, right?

    The dogs are trying to wrestle, but the yard is solid ice, and nobody can get traction. I haven’t seen all three on their feet at once in the past hour.

    As long as it melts by Monday morning, we’re golden. I’m gonna sing my girlfriend the Vagina song…

  23. Maggie Jochild says:

    Okay, here’s the second line:
    Nothing could be sweeter than my sweetie when I eat her
    In the morrnin’

    That’s all I have. But we (not the royal we, I mean us here) could come up with me, I’ll wager. What rhymes with vulva? Or Bartholin? (Skene is easy…)

    AmyA, I feel for ya. Thanks for sharing. Doctor E, ditto, especially for the visual of the dogs trying to get traction. And the creativity.

  24. Maggie Jochild says:

    Come up with MORE. Sheesh, it’s all me, me, me down there in my id-hole.

  25. meg says:

    here’s the original lyrics, to give y’all a starting point:

    First verse:

    Wishing is good time wasted,
    Still it’s a habit they say;
    Wishing for sweets I’ve tasted,
    That’s all I do all day.
    Maybe there’s nothing in wishing,
    But speaking of wishing I’ll say:

    Chorus:

    Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning,
    No one could be sweeter than my sweetie when I meet her in the morning.
    Where the morning glories
    Twine around the door,
    Whispering pretty stories
    I long to hear once more.
    Strolling with my girlie where the dew is pearly early in the morning,
    Butterflies all flutter up and kiss each little buttercup at dawning,
    If I had Aladdin’s lamp for only a day,
    I’d make a wish and here’s what I’d say:
    Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning.

    Second verse:

    Dreaming was meant for nighttime,
    I live in dreams all the day;
    I know it’s not the right time,
    But still I dream away.
    What could be sweeter than dreaming,
    Just dreaming and drifting away.

    (Repeat Chorus)

    Have at it!

  26. Silvio Soprani says:

    cybercita,
    Got your message about Rebecca West! She is added to my list! I plan to start second Barbara Pym today! (AN ACADEMIC QUESTION.)

    Last night (after 2 lovely spring days here in Baltimore) it started raining, sleeting, and freezing. I woke up this morning to hear two cats yowling on my backyard wall (one was trying to do the nasty to the other and a third was watching.) I speedily opened the back door and threw pieces of chalk at them. (All I had handy.)(Although amazed they were “in the mood” on a freezing morning on an icy wall!) These feral cats seem to think my back yard is the place for their orgies. NOT! Plus they WOKE ME UP ON A SATURDAY! Shame!

    The problem with getting stranded at the airport, even in romantic Charlotte, NC, is that usually the hotel and the airport are not in the most poetic parts of town. So you don’t really get to experience the charm of the place.

    Although it would be pretty cool to be stranded in an airport with a fellow writer.

    One time I missed my connection at an airport. They were kind enough to schedule me on another flight 8 hrs later (!) and then I and got talking to a wonderful lesbian I met in the waiting area. we had such a wonderful conversation that then SHE missed her connection. I guess some things are meant to be.

  27. Maggie Jochild says:

    Wow, Meg, thanks. Great name you’ve got there, by the way.

    Well, I just have to say, one line of the original definitely should get used:
    Strolling with my girlie where the dew is pearly early in the morning

    Except maybe change “strolling” to something else that produces “pearly dew”…

  28. little gator says:

    The version I heard had the line

    “some like to wake up to bacon and eggs, I like to wake up with my head between her legs”

    But I heard it from a man.

  29. Aunt Soozie says:

    hmmmm…I dunno, I’d have been pretty annoyed if my kid came home singing a song about oral sex at eight years old…
    a happy song about vaginas would be fine but kissing on ‘em is more for grownups…in my opinion…being the therapist, social worker, childhood protector that I am…I’d have been livid I think.

    My kid wasn’t aware of the notion of oral sex at eight years old and I think she is still naive about some of those type of details…but, then, we live in a small town and her tv watching is pretty well screened by yours truly…and this is clearly a different era than the one Maggie’s girl grew up in…maybe kids were privy to more in those free and wild times of communal living and new found feminism???

  30. Maggie Jochild says:

    Good point, Aunt Soozie. Being the godmother of a 8-year-old now, I’d be completely resistant to him being given the details of oral sex. Or intercourse, or any other details. Just not necessary yet, and yeah, I’d be livid at him getting it from camp. Just as I was livid when he was four and some fucker Christian told him details of the crucifixion and then went on to introduce the idea of hell and got being willing to punish human being by burning them eternally. He had nightmares for a long time, and kept asking me and his parents if we were SURE it wasn’s true, how could so many people believe it if it weren’t true, why would god hurt us that way, what good did Christ dying reall do, etc. He was too young to be exposed to that particular version of necrophilia. Or, as Alix sang (a lyric he heard this year and especially loved) “Christ the white man’s fantasy, it’s just his stupid S&M”. And child abuse, if you force it on kids.

    When my daughter was 8, however, I was 25 and not yet out as an incest survivor. The survivor movement had not yet started (I would be one of its originators a year later). In the name of sexual honesty and liberation, we in my community (young mostly working-class lesbian-feminists) did not have many, if any, filters on our discussions or behavior. In particular, since the only “real” sex was heterosexual (which meant a boy sticking his thing somewhere), we went out of our way to honor the contradiction, sex involving mouths and pleasure without possession. WAY more sex in daily life and conversation than I see now (yet, interestingly, the Faderman revision is that we were “anti-sex”, presumably because we questioned male sexuality which is, still, the only “real” sex.) Anyhow, I was, yes, jolted by her song and demanded to know if she’d heard it from a counselor — no, it was taught to her by other girls at camp, some of the 11-year-olds. And there was no accompanying demonstration of the lyrics. I left it at that, which I would not do now. But I was not in recovery yet, myself.

  31. Aunt Soozie says:

    Oh, thanks for clarifying Maggie. I get it.
    We had an incident like the Christ one with our daughter as well…not as vivid but a kid at school said something about hell and the devil and I had to reassure her that she was okay even if we didn’t agree with that particular version of spirituality in our house.

    We also almost got, uhm, crucified ourselves because in kindergarden the kid started getting into what is real and what isn’t…age appropriate I know, it started with Mermaids and I dodged her with, do you think there really are mermaids? there could be but I’ve never seen one I told her. She questioned me repeatedly about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the like, she kept using logic, how could one person… people can’t really fly… reindeers can’t really fly…etc. and finally I gave in and said, yeah, you’re right, those things aren’t real. I couldn’t help it..it seemed too bizarre to lie about it. She did however decide that Mermaids WERE real and I didn’t correct that but then it happened!! She told another kid that Santa wasn’t real and that’s when the whole neighborhood started whispering about us like we were spoilers and pagans and evil doers. They didn’t care that we were lesbos but when our kid told another kid that Santa was a fantasy, oy vay…we were almost forced outta town.
    I explained to her that some people want their kids to “believe” and that it is a fun and special thing for some families and that we shouldn’t tell other kids, let their parents decide if they wanna tell them or not, about Santa being make believe and then she went back and told that kid that Santa is real and she was only joking and all was well, sort of, I don’t think they ever really forgave us…or me, for giving in and telling the kid the truth.

    I can’t help it. I’m a bad liar. and like I said, it just seemed bizarre to maintain the lie when she was naturally questioning and figuring it out…and she asked me directly…

    Okay, enough said about all of that…

  32. Maggie Jochild says:

    Yeah, I hear ya. I have a request in with my godson that he not use the word evil to describe people — we try to identify behavior as “causing evil” rather than pigeonhole people, because of the whole powerlessness aspect. And he works hard at it, although it seems like the other boys his age use evil as a term constantly. Then one day he asked me, didn’t I think Dick Cheney was evil? Well, FUCK.

  33. Maggie Jochild says:

    P.S. I’m hopin’ she’s right about mermaids, aren’t you?

  34. Aunt Soozie says:

    yeah…I think she may be on to something there…
    and the loch ness monster of course…

  35. Jana C.H. says:

    When I was eight, I refused to believe another eight-year-old who insisted she believed in Santa Claus. I was sure she had to be kidding me. Maybe really LITTLE kids, whose parents for some inexplicable reason tried to pass off make-believe as fact, might possibly believe Santa was real, but surely not anyone who had made it all the way to the third grade. By “really little kids” I meant three- or four-year-olds who hadn’t been to kindergarten and were so unbelievably sheltered that they got infomation only from their strangely warped parents who (for reasons best known to themselves) purposely deluded their kids on this point.

    I learned many years later that my friend may have been traumatized by my revelation. I say now, and would have certainly said at eight, that it was about time. As a knowledgable 8-year-old of the year 1962, I would have considered it an insult to my intelligence to be told that make-believe was real– and I loved make-believe. Still do. I’m told I used to pretend to be a Christmas tree, turning my lights on and off, though I don’t remember that.

    I feel strongly about this. I see no reason to tell children of any age that Santa Claus, mermaids, or even Hell are anything other than make-believe. Most make-believe is fun, some is scary-fun, and some is just scary-mean, like Hell. Enjoy it or ignore it, but there’s no need to lie about what is and isn’t real.

    Jana C.H.
    Seattle
    Saith E.G. Forbes: Never spoil a good story with too much truth.

  36. Timoty says:

    cool blog!

  37. Melan says:

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