October 13th, 2006 | Uncategorized

I never should have tempted fate by saying Toronto this morning was my worst airport experience to date. It’s midnight, and I just got home from Chicago an hour ago. I spent eight and a half hours in O’Hare. I woke up to leave Toronto at 6:30 this morning. Forget driving–I could have walked from Ontario to Burlington in that time.

The worst thing—apart from having my flight get pushed later and then canceled, and then having the next flight pushed later and later, and the airport wifi being down, and the squatting on the floor next to outlets to charge my phone and laptop, and the endless double takes in the ladies’ room, and the small fortune I spent on disgusting food—the worst thing was that the reason the whole airport was bollixed up was because Bush flew into Chicago today. There was some weather problem too, but I prefer to blame that bastard.

On the upside, I saw tons of lesbians.

So I landed in Burlington and hiked out to my car and started it up, and the guy on the radio was just announcing the next piece. Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi. Life out of balance.

30 Responses to “home”

  1. Aunt Soozie says:

    Hi Alison,
    Welcome home…put your head on your pillow with your kitty and rest…you’re right, it’s all the bastards fault, all of it, the obnoxious people who want to ban your book and even the controversy around the mwmf. He’s just no good. Now go to sleep and this too shall pass.

  2. Deb says:

    Sweet dreams Alison! Everything is the bastards fault…….just everything!

  3. pd says:

    Oh to have a radio station that plays things like “Koyaanisqatsi”. Great movie too.

  4. meg says:

    out of balance indeed – and I’m flying to Chicago today! anything goes wrong, I’m blaming Bush, too…

  5. Lissa says:

    Sorry to hear of your travel woes. Bush is definitely blameworthy, but there are disaster-level blizzards on the other side of the Great Lakes, too.


  6. sab says:

    ugh… it makes me queasy just at the thought of him being in the same state as me let alone city…
    Sorry to hear about the flights. Flying isn’t the best nowadays. But if its between that or sitting for days next to a drunk who insists on calling you Nancy on your nearest Greyhound… occassionaly its your better option..

  7. Maggie Jochild says:

    Now there’s a found song title: Call Me Nancy On The Nearest Greyhound…

  8. DesiFemme says:

    you. poor. thing.

    that sucks. they didn’t give you food vouchers or anything??!

    glad you saw more lesbians. bummer ’bout the bathrooms.

    airports can, indeed suck — especially when you’re constantly kept on the verge of believing you’re about to escape. but yes, greyhound can suck even harder.

  9. Elaine says:



    Need I say more?!

  10. Deena in OR says:

    Urgh…Alison. Airports. Hartsfield and O’Hare in one month? What are you, a masochist? Last year I spent five hours sitting on the tarmac in a commuter plane during a nasty thunderstorm (lightning strikes, water spouts…) at Hartsfield. *Then* they delayed our flight another couple of hours because our copilot had maxed out her allowed duty time while we sat on the runway. Worst. Flight. Ever.

    Get some rest.

  11. leighisflying says:

    Oh My!

    I too was screwed around by Bush. I was ferrying an aircraft from Grand Cayman to Miami Intl and when I got there the air traffic controller said “who gave you authorization to come here now?” Ummmm, me? The company I work for? I don’t know!

    I had to go to Tampa instead because wherever Bush is, they shut down all air traffic in a 30 mile radius. Really messed up my day (not to mention my customs broker’s day because she had to drive like a madwoman due to the unexpected change.) My company was panicking because they were told I’d have to divert to CUBA (I’m allowed being Canadian in a non-US registered airplane) but fuel was becoming a serious problem.

    Grrrrr. I wonder just how many people get screwed around by these little presidential visits?

  12. egret says:

    I’ve never had airport issues because of Bush, but several years ago when I lived in Austin he decided to come home for a visit. They roped off half the city while I was in class and I had to walk nearly four miles (it was usually about one) to get to work without taking my usual short cut through the central city and capital building. Most annoying.

    I even saw them turn away this little old lady who was trying to walk her dog in the park – like the man hadn’t lived there just a few months before. This was before 911, but you’d have thought that Austin was Beirut.

  13. Purple says:

    Sorry, I know it’s shallow of me, but I’m quite impressed with that lady pilot a few messages above! Do you get to wear a uniform too?

    And just to stay on topic – Bush sucks!

  14. Alex K says:

    Is all the kerfuffle perhaps gratifying?

    The security measures may actually reflect a governmental understanding of how much ordinary citizens hate and despise GWB.

    (There you go, Mr / Ms FBI Agent – something else to put into my file.)

  15. kate says:

    You might consider Midway instead of OHare next time you fly through Chicago.

  16. leighisflying says:

    Hate to keep with the aviation theme, but I think the current state of things has only made the private charter business happy. I have had so many clients that would rather pay more money and fly in comfort, avoiding the main airports and get the VIP treatment through General Aviation terminals. Which is fine for those that can afford it…unless I’m flying for work, I still suffer through the same crap as everyone else. I just hate seeing the elderly struggle through security etc.

    Yeah, I have to wear a uniform. In the Caribbean I got to wear shorts, but now I’m back in northern Canada so it’s pants and long underwear. Sigh.

  17. Beth says:

    Hey Alison, I’m thinking about coming to your reading at Violette’s bookstore in Paris the week after next – are you coming to any of the English bookstores in town (English is easier for me than French – do you speak French, will your reading at Violette’s be in French?) Cheers, Beth

  18. Aunt Soozie says:

    Lady Pilots are sexy…
    but Alison Bechdel presenting en Francaise?
    What could be hotter than that? Really. Tell me. What?
    Alison, it could be a fundraiser, for your favorite charity…make one of your little movies…just hold up one of your books or a drawing, smile and then utter a phrase in French. You can charge people to watch it or auction it off on ebay. Okay?
    Okay, just stop now…I’m not being politically incorrect and I’m not objectifying Alison, it’s for charity.

    Oh shit, I can imagine the responses now..remember when I suggested the Fun Home dollhouse? People take things so seriously around here…not that I’d mind watching that video…

  19. kate says:

    A Fun Home dollhouse would be an EXCELLENT item. Maybe I will make a dollhouse of my own life, what an interesting project.

  20. fjm says:

    I hope we can give you a good time in London. My college has a half term the very week you are here, so I’m goijng to make it after all.

    We don’t do banning books in this country.

  21. lea says:

    @ fjm: … or at least go about it in a less obvious manner, that is. books are being banned everywhere- the question is, does anyone notice?

    (plus- remember that elementary school teacher in kent at a church of england funded school who banned pupils from reading harry potter because demons are evil, or something like that…?)

  22. Deb says:

    LOL Kate……….Here we go…………actually a Fun Home dollhouse was mentioned a couple of months ago here and the idea was flamed big time. I thought it would be an excellent project too. I was also speculating on purchasing the actual home where Alison grew up as it was for sale last time we talked about this….and that was flamed too. The ideas were not about objectifying Alison but more of preserving and maintaining a crucial part of our community. We will see what happens this time around the blog.

  23. --MC says:

    Huh? I missed the flame war about a Fun Home dollhouse?
    It would be pretty easy to make one up, a Fun Home dollhouse I mean. (It would be easy to make up a flame war also, I can tell you from experience.) I might get a Fisher Price family or some Playmobil figures and modify them.
    That would be a kicker! Do a dramatic presentation of “Fun Home” using Playmobil figures. You could videotape it or do it live, like that guy who did “Hamlet” using toy figures.

  24. TK says:

    I was flying through Charlotte with United once, and 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time, they announced “We don’t know where our flight crew is.”

    Then, at ten minute intervals over the next half hour:

    “We think our flight crew flew to the wrong city.”

    “No, wait, they’re in Charlotte.”

    “No, wait, they flew to the wrong city. The flight is cancelled.”

    Needless to say, they lost my luggage too.

  25. Blue says:

    While I think it’s wonderful that you can relax(?) at home for a little while, I can’t help but wonder…

    When are you coming here?!

    I just checked your ‘cluster map’ and discovered thousands of people from Australia check this page and from my New Zealand (kia ora) even though, as far as I know, your books aren’t even advertised here!

    I order all my DTWOF through a book store called Unity in Wellington. When the cover change came in I re-ordered the lot, and the manager, seeing the high number of orders for 20 year old books added her own order, and they set up a display. I didn’t get to see it though, as they had sold out and had to pack up the stand before I could make it in again.

    I spent a tonne getting Fun Home ordered in and I love it.
    Please come to promote you new book, and bring some with you!

  26. wildeny says:

    That’s a really a long day. Sorry about the troubles in the airports.

    I don’t know whether this question has been answered or not, so I ask anyway. How does the book tour work? Does your agent arrange the appearances? Is the travel expense covered by you (alone) or supported (partially?) by your publisher and/or bookstores?

  27. Anonymous says:

    I just got back from a scientific computing workshop at JHU, and large chunk of attendees had gone through Chicago and gotten hung up there. To a one they all said “I was late because of Bush. Okay, maybe it was the weather too, but I’d rather blame Bush!”

  28. PhDyke says:

    I thought I was the only one who cheered myself up at airports by finding the lesbians. Especially when I fly through Texas.

  29. Danyell says:

    “On the upside, I saw tons of lesbians.”

    That always has such a calming effect, don’t it?

    Especially after so many double takes in ladies’ bathrooms

  30. strangeworld says:

    I didn’t know you could spot lesbians, isn’t sexuality kind of part of your head? Am probably being obscenely stupid and pedantic but I really can’t tell.