Archive for the ‘Around Charleston’ Category

Hot again

So, Charleston.  Charleston. …Charleston.

This was the first time I had been back in just a shade over two years, and it did me a lot of good.

It was 52 degrees when I left here on Friday morning.  I took the train in, at prime commuting time, with all the commuters.  I marveled for a while at how happy I was that I didn’t have to do that anymore- that awful, crowded, hour + commute on a train full of suits with dead eyes.  It was nice not to be one of them anymore.  Not that I ever wore a suit, but I definitely had dead eyes.

I got off the plane in Charleston in the afternoon and Leezle (y’all remember Leezle, right?  My lesbian?  My old roommate?) came to pick me up.  We walked towards the door of the airport and I could see the Palmetto trees swaying.  Leezle was wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  As we walked to the door, I asked her if it was hot.  She looked at me like I was crazy and said “do you see all these sweating people?  Charleston has provided for your homecoming by giving us a heatwave, damn you.”

So we walked outside and it hit me- 87 degrees and breezy.  I just stopped right there on the sidewalk and let it rush over me.  It felt like getting a hug from your favorite person in the world (as long as that person is made of 87 degree breezes).  It’s hard to explain, but something about that warmth after it’s been so cold here for weeks was healing.  I felt like I grew two inches and my hair turned shiny.

The rest of the weekend was a flurry of food (Melvin’s BBQ, shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy,  grits again…), sweet tea (it must have been a few gallons worth, I’m sure), and dear, dear friends who I have missed terribly.  All weekend I heard “We miss you!  When are you coming back?  Please, please come back!”

I don’t care who you are- that’s a good thing to hear.

We went to a beautiful wedding.  No really:


That’s Dan and Kinsey riding off in a pedi-cab surrounded by sparklers.  One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  Also, there was an open bar, which resulted in this status update on Facebook the next day:

Taylor Autumn Shelby Nothing cures a gin and tonic hangover like a big plate of shrimp and grits

And truly, nothing does.

I spent a wonderful afternoon drinking hot tea (it’s fine when you’re in a coffee shop with a KILLER AC) and playing scrabble with Leezle and Mike.  Hell yes, I won.

I got a private tour of the slave cabins at Magnolia Plantation, a project that I worked on (archival research) when it was in its infancy.

I went on a Confederate Ghost Walk at Magnolia Cemetery, that was so outrageous and ridiculous I could write a who ‘nother blog post.  For any of y’all that think the war is over, y’all go on this next year.  It was especially telling to watch U.S. Senator Glenn McConnel (oh yes, he was part of it), call Federal soldiers criminals.  You know, Federal Soldiers.  The ones that fought for the United States.  You know, the country that he represents as a US SENATOR.  And that was only the 1st vignette.  There were 11 more.   It was painfully hilarious.  And I think I might have legitimately hurt myself by trying to hold in the laughter.

The only bad thing about the whole weekend was when an ex-boyfriend, who I broke up three years ago (almost to the day, in fact), drank too much whisky and told me that he was still in love with me.  How his current girlfriend WHO HE LIVES WITH feels about that, I can’t say.  I felt horrified and awkward.  It was like something that happened on TV, especially when a mutual friend walked by and gave me an evil laugh while I desperately mouthed “SAVE ME” to him.  He did not.  Fucker.

So I just did that nice smile and say “oh…thank you…I’m so flattered” thing and then avoided him for the rest of the night while I drank more gin.

I did end up seeing him the next day, when a bunch of us went out to dinner, and he was cool.  So, whew.

It was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a LONG time.  And goddamn did it make me realize where I’m supposed to be.  There are good things about New England, but this place isn’t home.



I’m going to Charleston tomorrow!

To my beautiful, beloved city that I’ve missed somethin’ fierce.

It will be warm and sultry and full of people that I love.

I can’t wait.

If this is “low pressure” why is it stressing me out so much?

Ah, shit. This is starting to look worse and worse:

Two days ago, only one of those paths was even coming close to SC. Please follow light blue! Please follow light blue!

More info and maps on Brian’s Blog

This and that

What I’ve done recently:

-Found some goddamn boxes.  FINALLY.  I must thank my friend Mike (or Wildlife Mike or Cooter [hahahah] as he is occasionally known) for using his truck to haul myself, Leezle, and 40 boxes pilfered off King Street back to our house.  Bonus points because this was done at midnight on Saturday, after we watched Auburn beat Kansas State.  War Eagle.

-Packed said boxes.  And a lot of them.  I’ve packed up almost all of my books now and a lot of the decorative stuff.  I’ve also packed most of my clothes.  There were a couple of moments where I stared at my closet for 5 minutes thinking to myself, “should I pack this dress to send with the movers or put it in a suitcase?  Is there a possibility I will need this faux-fur shrug at some point?  I haven’t worn these shoes in a year, but what if I decided I need them two days after I move and my stuff hasn’t been delivered yet.  These decisions I have to make, people, they are taxing.  My life is really, really difficult.

-Realized that despite packing a lot of stuff, it hardly looks like I have made a dent in my collection of crap that I don’t need.  I have, however, made 2 trips to Goodwill and have another pile already forming.  Why do I have 7 beach bags when I hate to go to the beach?

-Cried for a little bit when how much I still have to do actually hit me.  And maybe felt a little sick to my stomach.

-Cursed violently when I saw on the news that a “low pressure system likely to become tropical” is sitting pretty right off the SC coast.  I have moved 3 times since I have been in Charleston.  Twice those moves have coincided with either a tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane.  I do not want this to happen again, but I don’t think my luck will hold.

-Bought a Kitchen Aid stand mixer!  This one, in fact.  Which for some inexplicable reason was on sale for $99 yesterday.  Now that is a damn deal, especially since Pete and I waxed poetically about two weeks ago about how we both wanted one so bad but probably wouldn’t be able to get one because they are very expensive.  I figured this would make a wonderful housewarming gift.  Especially since I get to use it too!  I’m going to be a bread making fool.

The 19th.

Today is:

A) My mother’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom!  Thanks for sticking up for me when Daddy told me I cursed too much on my website!

B) Bill Clinton’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Bill!  I guess the gift he is receiving is that Bush is constantly making him look better and better by comparison.  Cheers to that!

C) Exactly one month until my last day of work, and one month and three days until I set out on a 995 mile drive to my new home.

Here is what I have done to prepare myself for the giant move:


And now, I’m in official countdown mode, and I still have So Much to do.   I hate moving.  Will you come over here and help me pack boxes?  I have some wine I can let you drink.   Will you find me a job in MA?  That pays well?  And that utilizes my degree?  And that lets me sleep in until 8:30?  And that I don’t have to drive to in the snow?  If you can do that, I’ll cook you some chicken and dumplings.   And I’m sure if you go downstairs, my neighbors will let you smoke their pot.

(By the way, when you’re down there, will you tell them to turn down the damn music?  And also that when they are playing Grand Theft Auto- at least I think that is what it is- that they don’t have to scream as much?  Oh!  And also ask my neighbor how in GODS NAME he can possibly stay up until 2 in the morning every night and still get up at about 5:30 and go to work WHERE HE TEACHES 6TH GRADERS all day and manage to come home and yet again stay up until 2.  I think he might actually be magic.  Or maybe he’s a coke-head, too?  Whatever…I’m gone in a month anyway)

Right now I am on the ubiquitous quest for boxes, but the liquor stores are always out.  I guess I’ll have to wait until the students finish moving in and then just pillage theirs.  Or maybe I can just pack everything in trash bags.  Or maybe just pile everything on the front lawn and light it on fire.  I’m thinking that is probably the easiest way to deal with this problem.

Now where are my matches?

He looked fit, and surprisingly young for 107.

I just saw John McCain.

Like, I was literally about 4 feet away from him as I (slowly) drove by him standing on the sidewalk.  That was unexpected.

I actually thought I was seeing some kind of funeral procession at first, because as I drove down Rutledge Ave., the cars in front of me were stopped to allow a group of about 6 men in dark suits walk towards one of the synagogues (please forgive my supreme lack of knowledge about the Jewish,  just in case I am suggesting some terrible taboo about Jews being buried on Mondays or something.  I don’t know much about the religion, sadly).  I slowed down, like everyone else, then noticed no one was following the 6 men, but that there were a lot of people milling about wearing non-funeralish clothes.  Then I saw the news cameras, then I saw all the McCain signs, then I saw him.

He was posing for photo ops right on the sidewalk under a tree next to the road, and the guy in front of me was hanging out of the car taking a picture with his cell phone.  I (stupidly and frustratingly) didn’t have my camera with me, so I got no proofs, people!  I assume they were having some sort of rally or something.

Now the oddest thing to me wasn’t so much that I saw John McCain standing on the street  but that they were having a McCain rally at a synagogue.  I’m sure there are lots of Jews who are Republicans, but isn’t this going to be seen as some kind of terrible betrayal by most of the Republican party?  Isn’t associating with Jews some kind of unforgivable sin if you are trying to court crazy-religious evangelicals?

Very odd end to my day, that’s for sure.

It’s like some cruel joke

When I come into work in the morning, and check the weather, I do not like to see things like this:

Admittedly, I did alter that slightly.  You know what this makes me want to do?  Move my ass to Massachusetts, that’s what!

If you live in Charleston, I sure hope you don’t die today.