Coming to Pittsburgh

April 14th, 2007 | Travels and Appearances

In case you’re in the neighborhood, I’m speaking at Carnegie Mellon on Monday night. If I get there. I keep hearing about a Nor’easter that’s supposed to hit Sunday and Monday. I don’t know what will happen if my flight is cancelled. Will they postpone my gig or just forget about it?

33 Responses to “Coming to Pittsburgh”

  1. Eva says:

    Postpone, I expect. Lots of stuff was postponed, not cancelled, during the Valentine’s Day storm. But really, Alison, are you serious, or are you just fishing for compliments? How could anyone forget you?

  2. Melissa says:

    Hey Alison. This is totally not about you coming to Pittsburgh, but I thought I’d write to tell you that my husband who never, ever reads (I mean like never) picked up Fun Home last week and couldn’t put it down. He says it’s one of the best stories he’s ever read and I agree. I’ve been meaning to tell you that for a long time. Fun Home is so good it almost makes me sad that I’ll never be able to express my life story as beautifully. So thanks!!

  3. Deena in OR says:

    Yikes, Alison! You, weather and appearances. Smooth sailing.

  4. Chialea says:

    Hot damn! I finish my PhD and move away and then you come to CMU? Consider yourself to have another virtual fan there, once you actually make it there. (I wish I could say that I moved out of the path of the nor’easter, but Boston’s right in bad-weather-land.)

  5. Aunt Soozie says:

    Drove from Maryland to NJ today in the Nor’easter. Lots of water on the roadway…traffic was slow but steady. Didn’t take us much longer than usual. Hope the airlines are more cooperative this time around. Everything’s bound to be delayed in this weather.

  6. meg says:

    not as bad here as was predicted – couple or more of inches of nasty wet snow and slush, but not the foot o’ snow I’d heard was coming.

    Could it be the final shoveling of the season? Or close?

  7. Aunt Soozie says:

    Well, Meg…
    It’s not too pretty here in South Jersey.
    My kid’s school is closed today.
    It’s raining and snowing and we have flooding everywhere.

    Alison Bechdel, my unsolicited advice is this;
    if you haven’t left your house yet, don’t!
    Put the kettle on, put your feet up,
    stay home, warm and dry.
    Reschedule.

  8. I’m at the airport, waiting to fly to Pittsburgh. My first flight’s delayed. Will I make my connection? If not, the earliers I can get to PGH is 7:30 tonight. I’m waiting to hear from the Carnegie Mellon people about whether or not they can push the lecture back an hour. If they can’t, I’ll just go home.

    Hopefully they’ll call me before I have to board this first flight.

    Thanks for listening to me fret.

  9. meg says:

    fingers crossed for you, Alison!

  10. --MC says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Alison is the featured interviewee in the next issue of The Comics Journal — and has contributed an astonishing cover —
    Here’s a link to an excerpt from the interview:
    http://tcj.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=598&Itemid=48
    The magazine goes on sale next week.

  11. Ehrrin says:

    Oh man! I (selfishly) hope that Alison makes it to Pittsburgh! I’m so excited that I just can’t hide it. I can’t wait to see her!

    It’s cold here, and supposed to rain later, but we don’t have the big storm. Pleeeeeeeeese, weather, cooperate…

  12. mlk says:

    fascinating interview! thanks for sharing the link, MC.

    I’d say something profound or witty (or something) about the interview itself, but I’m still digesting all of what AB said. so I’ll say something that’s mundane: I liked Emmert as an interviewer. it was evident that Fun Home had made and impression on her and she (he?) liked having the chance to talk w/Alison.

    because of the last name being used in the interview, I assumed while reading that the interviewer was a man. and it might have been; Lynn is occasionally used as a man’s name. does anyone know this Lynn Emmert and whether she’s a guy or a gal?

  13. Hope says:

    I *so* wish I could come to your lecture tonight but I’m scheduled to work until 9:30 (at The East End Food Co-op — drop by and give us all a little thrill!). I’m still trying to make some magic happen, but it’s not looking very likely. Come back again soon (and give a little more advance warning)!

  14. mlk says:

    Alison, I remember awhile back your musing over the implications of being a known artist now and being in the spotlight and all — this was before the spotlight became so intensified by Fun Home being recognized as the top 100/10/1 graphic novel/memoir/book by gay/straight/unidentified groups and publications.

    Anyway, you were wondering if your new status would cause you to retreat further into the gay ghetto or (*gasp!*) turn your back on your people, or something equally awful. Your loyal online fans kept telling you to relax, that you deserve the recognition, and that having an impact in the big, wide world can have mystical healing qualities.

    I think we didn’t mention the downside to recognition and acclaim: you kinda miss them when everyone goes back to their own lives (or cause, or whatever) and some of the attention dies down. I, myself, have even felt pangs of envy or regret when I hear good things about other people — as if the praise given to others somehow makes me a lesser person than I was when I was basking in the love (so to speak).

    maybe it’s time to clue you in to the larger reality?

    fortunately, I believe you have good sense. you’ll resist the urge to do something even better and more grandiose than Fun Home just to garner more attention and the accompanying madness. that’s not to say that you won’t go on to do great work, but I expect you won’t do it to win awards or capture a greater share of the market. you’re far too suspicious of your own fame for that!

    all the best at CMU. wish I could be there — it’s in driving distance and I have family in Pittsburgh — but gotta work tonight. my thoughts are w/you.

  15. Aunt Soozie says:

    oh Alison,
    Hope your travel goes well.
    Let us know where you land and when!

  16. yelena says:

    Thanks for that interview link, MC! I also enjoyed the interviewer’s enthusiasm and obvious love of FH.

    One funny thing that struck me in AB’s answers was her description of working on FH and DTWOF simultaneously, alternating every two weeks and basically working from morning to night. I had to laugh because this is exactly my life right now as a grad student (trying to balance my own writing with the demands of my students, my museum work, keeping up with reading, etc.) I set these artificial temporal boundaries to try to get to everything, and having to pull myself away from each project is like trying to make a kid to go to bed. I end up working like this all day, and every night it’s a struggle to force myself to turn out the light (a lot of times, I just fall asleep with the lights on). The funny thing is that I thought maybe this would only be temporary, a necessary evil of grad school. But I’m starting to think that it’s really more a personality trait. AB seems to have been doing it for years and shows no signs of slowing down…

    Also – and I’m speaking for myself here, NOT trying to start a discussion about the author’s personal life – the only way I’ve found that this routine can work with a romantic partner is if she’s also a grad student with a healthy dose of work-induced guilt who will herself be content to hole up in her own office all day and night, enduring all kinds of nutritional, sexual, and hygienic deprivations.

  17. henry's diner
    I got off my flight to Newark when they delayed it for another hour, thereby assuring that I would miss my connection with no guarantee that a later flight would arrive in PGH at all.
    Now I’m having lunch at Henry’s DIner in Burlington. At least I’m not stranded…though I’m beginning to wonder about the curious powers of this t-shirt.

  18. meg says:

    Ah, Henry’s! And not stranded…

    these are Good Things.

  19. Strand employee says:

    Great shirt!

  20. louise says:

    LOL the shirt sure tried.
    Its aim is to make you feel like you should buy more books to have on hand, just in case…

  21. Aunt Soozie says:

    Were you actually on the plane and they let you get off?
    Wow. That’s indicative of some really funky airport issues…or did you just un-book yourself from that flight?

    I’m ready for lunch too…wonder what they’re serving at my local Wawa today?

    Here’s a question Alison…
    When you were working on Fun Home, well, it sounds like it was sort of a “mission”. Something you had on your list of things that you wanted to do for a long time. You didn’t have it sold at first so it was clearly/fully “your” project.

    In contrast, what’s it like to be working on a book/concept that is already under contract? I guess the strip is similar…in that various people are counting on it, expecting it. Still, I wonder if graphic memoir A and B feel different, easier or more burdensome in some ways??

  22. Ehrrin says:

    Bummer! Bummer that you aren’t going to make it to the ‘Burgh, and bummer that you’re stuck in Newark instead of tucked safely at home. But, I’ll be eagerly awaiting to see when it’s rescheduled. Also, if you have the need for a tour guide, I’d love to!

  23. meg says:

    Ummm, Ehrrin, I’m reasonably certain that Alison’s still in lovely slushy Vermont…

  24. Lori in NYC says:

    Although I’m a non-believer in any form of higher power, I still feel responsible for what’s happened to you since giving you the shirt! Minutes after you got it, you didn’t win the NBCC award, then you get stranded, and now this! It looks great on both you and Sydney, so it has some positive powers as well.

  25. Hope says:

    Wait … does this mean the lecture is off for tonight? I tried calling CMU but got voicemail …

  26. Ehrrin says:

    Hope–yeah, it’s off. I got an email from them that says they’ll have a new date up in a few days.

    And, good. I read Alison’s last post wrong, and thought she was stuck in Newark. Glad that she’s still in Vermont.

  27. Stacey says:

    Can someone post here when it gets rescheduled? I was hoping to go, and don’t seem to be on whichever campus mailing list is sending out updates.

  28. Lauren says:

    Dang 🙁 I hope I can make the rescheduled day. I was looking forward to this.

  29. Lara says:

    I was planning on attending tonight and look forward to when you can come back.

    Hope you’re not stuck for long and that everything is safe.

  30. Jack says:

    Alas, I was just ~in~ Porter Hall 100, and quite lonely! So sorry you got stuck en route; I hope to make your rescheduled visit.

  31. --MC says:

    Porter Hall, really? Does anybody else get “Tam Lin” cued up in their heads upon mention of Porter Hall?
    Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
    And she’s gone to Porter Hall as fast as go can she

  32. Eva says:

    OOh, Alison, that is a scary picture of you. But I think choosing to stay home instead of doing another go round on the airport shuffle was very wise. I hope my post (first on this thread) wasn’t too snarky, and that it didn’t jinx your trip. But, they are rescheduling, right? With all the press and accolades you’ve gotten in the past year who would dream now of cancelling your appearance?!

  33. Lynn in Seattle says:

    To mlk and anyone else wondering, Lynn Emmert is a woman and I did indeed have a great time interviewing Alison.
    Thanks for your positive comments about The Comics Journal interview.