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June 20, 2006

The Flipped Lid: Here’s a new columnist who’ll flip your lid

Forever hiding out in academia, I’m a redneck (disguised as a doctoral student), ex-stripper, outdoorsy, yard-sale/dog-loving fashionista. What currently defines me primarily involves shaking off a semester of Derrida, literacy studies, Virginia Woolf and having had my sorry academic wannabe ass worked to the ground by three very fine female scholars. I learned words like epistemology, indexical and teleological. Expect some fancy vocab and opinions about where the academy and the real world (don’t) meet.I earned a master’s of fine arts in creative writing from George Mason University (oh, yeah … the Final Four NCAA trip got my Patriot pride all up) in Fairfax, Va., aka suburban D.C. Do not complain, Louisvillians, about anything that resembles traffic here. D.C.’s I-495 would make the most patient New York City driver go sniper; and I lived close to where the D.C.-area sniper sniped. I bobbed and weaved at gas stations off 66. Traffic and sniper shootings only begin the list of points of comparison and interest I intend to vituperatively share, mostly in the name of holding Louisville up as a fine freakin’ place to live.At Mason, I worked with novelist, columnist and creative-nonfiction writer Beverly Lowry as well as composition scholar and GMU writing center director Terry Zawacki. In 2003, I won runner-up in student nonfiction for the Mary Rinehart award, and was voted nonfiction student of the year when I graduated the same spring. (I was chosen among three other students graduating in my genre and class, but still happily used the $50 Borders gift certificate.) This honor ranks almost as high as the year I was asked to grade the best story and handmade book from my seventh grade classmates, a few of whom — some especially bitchy little pre-teens — teased me about not knowing the world “mauve.”I grew up in Pleasure Ridge Park. Mike Linnig’s is a place of pilgrimage. I also idealize Catholic picnics. And my grandfather worked for Falls City Brewing — I’ve got the pilfered T-shirt decals to prove it. Beer, loudness and fried food? Three great tastes that go great together. P.R.P. will be held up as profound, bingo included.In my 20s, I did the whole Insomniacathon, Twice Told Books and other local reading circuits (there was that lovely Courier-Journal photo of me baring my bra at a Twice Told poetry slam), that is, when I could spare time away from Tewligans or Sparks. I also stripped off and on (so to speak) for a number of years at our local Déjà Vu. A few years later, I began a part-time figure-modeling career. And when I was a kid, Mom sometimes cooked dinner in her bra and slip in the dog days of August. Look for nudity in my writing, as I intend to fully exploit, explore and support nakedness, half-nakedness and accidental nipples.These days, vitamins are the most powerful drugs I ingest. I sweat on U of L’s elliptical machines rather than Connection’s dance floor, and have given up the Highlands for Old Louisville. After 20 or so years of dating, I will marry in September, so I’m apt to discuss growing up, not wanting to bear children and grief over no longer living alone.Voice, sass and the personally political should pretty much cover it. I write what I know, and what I know and feel strongly about depends on what’s flipping my lid weekly. Even though I’m pretty convinced that I know less than the rest of this crew, my lid flips pretty good most of the time, so tune in for that. Contact the writer at carriemichaelle@gmail.com