Friday, September 21, 2007


Sweat is not good for this rash. I am attempting to organize the studio, but once again am at a stand-still. It's hot, poorly ventilated, and the bare light bulbs hanging from the ceiling give off much too much heat. I am attempting to organize the books on our 2 newly-painted bookshelves, but it is not so easy as I have just reached Timm's Islam/Arabic/Middle East section. There are many boxes of just these topics. I'm not really sure why, he's just always been very interested in all that. Problem is, it's not nearly as much fun for me as organizing my fiction is. So many of these books have long been exiled to storage that I haven't seen them for years. It's fun to remember them all (ha.) and look forward to reading them again so I can actually remember them.
Following the lead, I decided to document our little outing today. It was very little, because I didn't actually need to go anywhere, we were just both getting stir-crazy. (Yes, it does happen, even to me.)
Ta-da!! Our van that my parents bought us. I can't believe I drive a mini-van. I never thought this day would come since I never planned on having enough kids that we would be forced out of a regular sedan. It fact, it was one of my compelling arguments against having any more than a couple more kids. But here it is- it's very nice with all kinds of cool features like automatic doors which, yes I do use. It has one ridiculous feature: heated seats. Blech. Now if they could create cooled seats... Ohhhh... I'd be wasting a lot of money on gas just to have the pleasure of sitting on those seats, creating an icy cold butt. You know, keep the extremities cool. My butt is large enough to qualify as an extremity.
This is one of the views from our front yard. (Saying things like 'front yard' still have a nice little ring to it.) All that tall brown grass in the background is not trashy like it looks. It's sea grass, or something like that. The heat wave/drought has scorched it some.
This is what most of the driving looks like around here- isn't it pleasing? This is what I so sorely missed when I moved to Utah. I came to appreciate and love Utah for it's own unique beauty, but nothing soothes me like this lush green land that looks like we just cut a road through it's path.
Of course, Charlotte is a big city, so the scenery can change quickly and dramatically.
Enter: The deserted and degenerative parking lot home to a strip of seedy odd shops.
Our drive today was an exploratory one. I was intrigued that any business at all survived this 'mall' so I pulled in to safely view it with the doors locked. It seemed so ramshackle and icky, and several shops had barred windows, and many had characters (as in letters) that I had never seen before. Yet there were several people milling about, as if transacting business or working.. What could this place be, and how has it survived the obvious demise it rests amidst?
Ah, but of course. It's the Asian Corner Mall! That my friends, is how they survived: They found a niche. It may be in a bad area of town, it may be frightening and nearly deserted, but where else in town are you going to find an 'Asian Corner Mall'? Hmm.
I couldn't decide if this sight across the street should reassure or worry me. What you can't see is that there are actually 6 police cars outside of a loan store. And I caused a near-calamity in the name of documentation when I stopped to take this picture while exiting the parking lot. I didn't realize I was in reverse, and that a car was waiting behind me to turn- All is well. I didn't hurt anyone.
One more environmental feature that I want to document is kudzu. This picture doesn't do it justice, and I will have to find a not-so-busy street where I can stop to take a decent picture. I'd read about it in books that taken place in the South, but it is truly a force of nature! It grows rampantly overtaking anything it encounters in its path, inanimate or alive. It grows so profusely to create this blanket affect draping thing to thing, all connected under its vast drape. It's simultaneously very cool and very creepy. I will take better documentation soon.
Really not a good picture, but I was driving and this was from the passenger side, so...
Finally, our only actual destination. This grocery store is right up the street in a very convenient and easy to reach locale. There are a couple close by, but I choose Food Lion for it's prices and locale. Plus it's not yucky. a bad picture, taken from the window, but nevertheless this is where I shop.
So that was my Charlotte today.


Diana said...

I love your Charlotte day. I need a change of scenery or something reading your post made me think oh, I want to live there (even with the six police cars)
I love your van. I don't want a van but I love yours.

Jill said...

I'm delighted that you documented your grocery-store outing and the views in town. It definitely helps to see these things as I try to mentally piece your new life together in my head.

I have never wanted seat heaters before, but am definitely with you on the desire to have seat coolers!

Look at you with your foxy minivan, my how times have changed.

michelle said...

That is some serious dedication to documentation! (Glad no one was hurt.) I love seeing all the details -- Food Lion? Who knew?

I love my van, but I am jealous indeed of the automatic doors.

dpw said...

I would love to have heated seats! Of course, I would love to have a remote key chain--let alone automatic doors. I love seeing and being to picture where you live. Keep up the good work!

Karli said...

i love me some heated seats in the winter because I'm always freezing! Coolers would also be nice. Looks like a beautiful area & a great grocery store. Hope you're doing well!

RoRo said...

I love that name the 'Food Lion'!

Anonymous said...

We had a Food Lion in TX! It was in a scary part of town but had the best prices- thats all I remember.

I never thought to ask the color of your van. It is totally all fancy! I feel for you, being one to never want to drive one myself. At least it is foxy as Jill put it. And I could totally get on board with chilled seats too. Someone should get on that.

I love seeing your town. I want to see YOU in it!

Dancin Queen said...

I linked over to you from your comment on Jill's post because your pictures was so cute!

Loved all of the photos and the documentation of the city. It makes it look like a place I'd enjoy visiting. The pictures of the freeway remind me of when we lived in KY. So pretty and green.

Claudissima said...

hey heated seats came in handy on a trip from utah to kansas city was winter and they were nice...but cooler ones might make you want to go;

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