Thursday, July 31

"If you've got an impulse, let it out."

The good news first. I got my birthday tattoo yesterday at Ink & Dagger. I'm really pleased with the way it came out. I think the red makes it pop, plus the gold inside the horseshoe looks really good. The first five minutes hurt pretty bad, but like my other tattoos, I just got used to the burning sensation; it was all over with in a matter of 25 minutes.

It's weird having a visible tattoo; I like it. People usually don't even know I have them; I mean, hell, I hid them from my mother for almost three years. I'm pretty confident with the fact that I will never go into a profession that requires me to be super clean-cut, so I'm not stressing where it is. I know my family will, and that makes me sad. As open-minded as they can be, they still seem to equate tattoos with deviance, ignorance, and all other typical stereotypes that comes with permanent ink. I wish I could say I could prove them wrong, but unfortunately, I don't think that is going to be the case.

Bad news now. I have a gash on my hand (see above) from where my female rabbit bit the living daylights out of me. Tough, right? I feel bad because I don't get to spend as much time with me now because of Drake, but I'm afraid to try and find them a home because she is a pretty territorial aggressive rabbit. She isn't spayed, which I think might have something to do with it, but she is three years old, so I'm not sure spaying would be 100% safe now that she's reached her sexual maturity. Either way, it's kind of silly to say I have a mean rabbit, but it's true! I just wish I could find her a home where I knew someone would be patient with her and not just give her up at the first sign of aggression.

More bad news. The past week has taught me that I can't do the whole "boyfriend-in-jail" thing. I can't. Innocence or guiltiness aside, I can't put all of myself into a relationship that I get nothing out of. I know it's selfish, but honestly, I'm 22. I've been in some pretty ridiculously serious relationships early on in my adult years, and it is time for me to be selfish. I've been trying not to beat myself up about it which, as usual, I've failed at. It's just too hard to fight feeling like I'm missing out on something all the time, and this time I'm throwing my hands in the air.

REALLY bad news: Mark Teixeira was traded to the LA Angels on Tuesday. So bummed I didn't even get to go to a goodbye game. I'm interested to see if this Casey Kotchman fellow is any good. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do without seeing that sexy man on first base adjusting himself non-stop.

Oh, Tex. It's been real.

Tuesday, July 29

The only true paradise is lost paradise.

"Living in the South often means slipping out of a temporal joint, a peculiar phenomenon that I find both nourishes and wounds. To identify a person as a Southerner suggests not only that her history is inescapable and formative but that it is also impossibly present. Southerners live uneasily at the nexus between myth and reality, watching the mishmash amalgam of sorrow, humility, honor, graciousness, and renegade defiance play out against a backdrop of profligate physical beauty."
-Sally Mann, Deep South

Sunday, July 27

Pre-birthday weekend.

The older I get, the more I see birthdays as an excuse to get ridiculously drunk and partake in activities I may or may not regret the next morning and less as a reason to celebrate the day I popped on out into the world. Being 22? Not so cool. Being in a insanely seedy strip club with everyone I love and acting a fool and realizing it's ok because it's my birthday? Very cool. All I know is weekends like this one make me so unbelievably happy I woke up and realized committing to that religion known as straight edge for two years was utterly ridiculous.

I kicked the weekend off with a much needed hair cut at the Aveda Institute - the only place I will get my hair cut. If you have short hair, ask for Kim Adams. She is amazing, and I won't let anyone besides her touch my head for fear of looking like a boy with a bowl cut; believe me, it's happened. Afterwards, I ran over to Camera Doctor to pick up the roll I had shot with the Holga in Oxford / Oakland - very pleased with the way they turned out. I bought some more black and white 120 film, so hopefully I can go shoot sometime this week. Scooted on over to Ink & Dagger to talk to Jason Kelly about my tattoo - next Wednesday, my right wrist will no longer be naked. Again, sorry Mom. Capped the night off with dinner & drinks at Cheeseburger in Paradise with Danielle and some pretty amazingly hilarious people from her travel agency job. Unfortunately for me, at the risk of getting graphic, I ended up seeing everything I ate once again, and it wasn't the two weak, mostly-mix margaritas I had. Definitely will not be getting the island quesadilla again. Uh uh, no thanks. I probably sounded bulimic. Great.

Saturday night - oh, the debauchery. We began the night with dinner at El Azteca; stuffed my belly with taco salad and delicious margaritas and actually kept it all down, a much welcome change from the previous night. I mean, Mexican food is great and everything, but the night did not really kick off until we trekked on over to the - drumroll please - Clermont Lounge! It was my first time there, although probably not the last. Within twenty minutes of being inside, I got my first birthday lapdance (thank you, Steph & Bode!) from a lady dressed up as Dorothy, ruby red shoes and everything. It's a little disconcerting to have someone tell you they are 62 with a kid your age while they have their tits in your face. Needless to say, the PBR was a-flowin', and the company was great. Later on, I got another lapdance from the infamous Blondie who motorboated me about three times too many and proceeded to grab my beer can, crush it with her chest, apply lipstick, kiss that poor PBR, and hand it back to me, but not before saying, "Honey, you cute as a button!" Oh multi-talented strippers, I love you. Everyone drunkenly walked across the street to The Local, more drinks were had, and photobooths were put to good use until last call. We somehow managed to get back to Danielle's in one piece and crash in various locations around the house. Needless to say, even after drinking plenty of water and taking Advil yesternight, it took a couple of hours to fully come to...and that's how I know it was a good night. Plus, I mysteriously had "Peach Cobbler - Portia" scrawled on my chest in black Sharpie and "yes, please" across my back. Thanks, guys.

Madison and I finally got around to seeing The Dark Knight on Sunday. Wow. Even though every single person that has seen it has had nothing but amazing things to say, I still had my doubts that it was as good as everyone said. Oh, but it was. Heath Ledger's Joker honestly gave me the creeps. Whenever his voice would go from that creepy, almost falsetto to a deep growl, I got chills. The Joker is just a scary motherfucker, for lack of a better word. He really has no motive besides wanting to see everyone miserable and the world in choas, and that is one dangerous son of a bitch. Also, I think it's a shame that a lot of reviews leave out how good Aaron Eckhart was as Harvey Dent/Two Face. I'd like to know how long it took to do Two Face's makeup. That eyeball? Ugh. But Christian Bale? No words necessary, although I still picture him as Patrick Bateman sometimes, and that has a tendency to kill any sort of attraction.

Can we just take a moment to reflect on how sexy of a superhero Batman is? I mean, honestly. It's a damn shame he is not for real because I would be lining up to get a piece of that. Wears an all black suit complete with muscles, lives in a sweet penthouse with possibly the coolest butler ever, drives nice cars, AND saves lives at night for no other reason besides he wants to see the world as a better place. Plus, he doesn't ever try to kill anyone, just defend himself or protect someone else, and he doesn't use guns, just his hands and nifty little gadgets. My god. I would fall off a building voluntarily if it meant Batman would swoop down and scoop me up. Just sayin'. I don't even like superheroes usually. Spiderman? Total nerd, and not in a cute, endearing way. The Incredible Hulk? Ehh, kind of would not like to be around him. Batman and/or Iron Man? Yes, please.

My boy B-Mac got drilled in the game against the Phillies! Poor guy. He has a minor concussion, and I think he is going to be out for a couple of games. I'll wear my jersey for good luck for him. Get better, Fatty McCann.

Wednesday, July 23

The doggie daycare business.

I feel like I have updated this so much in the past couple of weeks. Probably because I'm pissed off about a lot of things, and this is an outlet for me to vent. A lot of my anger comes out in here, and I suppose that is something that this can be used for, so here goes...yet again.

I have worked with dogs almost all my life. I worked at a vet's office when I was 15 up until I moved to college when I was 18, and I've been working for one of Atlanta's first and best dog daycares since I was 19. More often than not, the job offers flexible hours and scheduling which always was important when I was in school; plus I love dogs, the laid back environment, and (usually) the people I work with. Well, I'm not in school anymore, and being stuck catering to dogs and their horrible parents pretty much sucks. So much so that I can't even think of a better word besides "sucks" to describe what it is like to work there. It sucks. Sucks. SUCKS.

I'd like to give a big shoutout to all the dogs' parents who think I have no human emotion or feeling. Because of you, I usually go home in a surly mood and generally pissed off at the world. Now, I've worked up front now for two years, answering phones, selling retail, working at the computer, and dealing with customers that I never thought could top each other in terms of rudeness; lo and behold, they never fail to prove me wrong. Granted, there are a handful that certainly make my day every time they come in. However, the case seems to be that more and more people take pleasure in ruining my day than do in improving it.

Let it be said that there is a very particular demographic for "doggie daycares". Our biggest customers are singles and young couples without children who have a disposable income or older people who have retired well. Every now and then we get a typical Decatur family who brings the family dog in to play once every couple of days. Those usually are the best customers, the nicest ones, the ones who always smile at you, look you in the eye, make it a point to NOT be chatting away on their cell phones. Unfortunately for us, those are not our main customers. Anyways, it is glaringly obvious that the kind of people who, in a crumbling economy, will pay $22 for their dog to come run around with other dogs for a couple of hours really aren't struggling for money. How ironic that I see these people every day stroll in every day giving me their dog with one hand and balancing their Kate Spade purse with the other without so much as a "thanks". God knows I'm struggling, and if I had an extra $20 on hand, it sure as hell would not go for my dog to go play. It's called walking your dog...or even a dog park...these are not new concepts.

Anyways, I don't know what it is about the company that makes people think that it is totally A-OK for them to be utter and complete assholes to the staff. Maybe it's because it is a fairly relaxed environment; we all wear matching t-shirts and jeans, no one is in full makeup, and I'll be the first to admit, sometimes I come in with a small case of bedhead. Does that mean it is cool with me if you treat me like I'm the neighborhood kid, coming to walk your dog for $5 and a piece of candy? Nope. It's not. I'm working full time just like you are, and while I may not be in corporate America, it is still my job, and I have to go if I want to survive, even if it means dealing with people like you.

And you know what? I'm friendly to you when you walk in. I greet you in a friendly manner, ask you if I can help you with anything, greet your dog by name, show you how to work our nifty little Starbucks machine. I let your brat-ass kids pick up the dog toys and throw them across the store, and I make sure to go back when you leave and re-organize every little thing they fucked up. I go out of my way to try and find a way to squeeze you in even if we are completely booked for boarding or grooming. Sometimes I nearly trip myself trying to get to a ringing phone, just so your call won't go to voicemail. Even when I'm having a horrible, no good, very bad day, I make sure to put a smile on, just so you can feel welcome and like we appreciate your business.

And what is the thanks that I get in return? You being a total pretentious, stuck-up asshole. I have a life too and -gasp- feelings just like a real person. Do you think I like getting up at 6 every morning, just so I can come open the store so you can bring your dogs in right at 7 o'clock? Do you think I enjoy being underpaid, strolling into work with a degree that I am very proud of under my belt, only to not even crack $11/hour? Do you think I like it when you bitch at me about daycare/boarding/grooming prices even though I have no control over what you are being charged for? No. I don't. In fact, I hate it. A whole hell of a lot. But I'm too uncoordinated to be a stripper and not slick enough to be a drug dealer, so looks like in the interim, this will have to do.

Now, like I have said, we do have some regular customers that, especially around holidays, will go out of their way to make it known how much they appreciate us. Whether it be bringing us all lunch or tipping well when they pick up, these people do make all those horrible days better (much appresh, Scout's mom). They make sure they know your name which, in a company where about 75% of the customers don't know who you are, makes a huge difference (hi, Bongo's mom). Some even make sure they know your dog's name; those are my favorite (thanks, Tucker's dad and Phoebe's mom). And then there are some that come in (hello, Gozer's dad) that are just nice to look at. Unfortunately, these people are few and far between.

This morning I had a woman accuse me of sitting on my ass all day because I did not answer her phone call at 7:40 this morning in which she was going to tell - not ask, tell - me that her dog was coming in for grooming today. Well, lady, our groomer is off today, and if you would have been patient and called back one more time, maybe you would have saved yourself the trip and inconvenience of driving to our store and discovering that we would not be able to give your ugly little dog a complete groom until next week. And no, I was not sitting on my ass doing nothing. I was making sure all the dogs had filtered water because, hey, funny thing, lightning struck a water purification plant last night, and all the water in Dekalb County was contaminated until about two o'clock this afternoon. You're right, I should be so sorry that I was not rushing to answer the phone. And guess what? Don't tell me you are a "great customer and a good tipper" because I know for a fact the past three times you have come in for a groom, you have refused to pay full price because you think it is too much; our groomer works on commission, so I'm pretty damn sure she isn't jumping at the bit to squeeze you in.

Also, a note to people who call the day before a holiday and expect us to have room for their dog to board: I don't care if you are one of our best customers, although I guarantee you aren't. I don't care if you have been coming to us for years because I'm pretty sure by "years", you actually mean off-and-on for a handful of months. And I really don't care if it is "unacceptable" to you that we don't have room for your dog because, to me, it is pretty unacceptable that you are calling the day before a major holiday to make arrangements that you should have been making weeks ago.

And to every customer that feels the need to point out the fact that a new dog daycare has opened up about a mile away from us and that we now have "competition" - yes, I am fully aware of this new store. I am also fully aware that I do not give a shit where you take your business, especially if you are a complete and utter jackass to the staff every time you come in. Please, I implore you to go take your business there. It would make my life a lot easier.

I wish I could hand this post out to every customer that comes in because then they would know how less inclined I am to help them when they are belittling me either on the phone or in front of me. However, I probably would be fired, so in the meantime, I will just keep biting my tongue and growing more passive-aggressive by the day, all for the sake of keeping a job in a country where they are falling off by the day.


Tuesday, July 22

"Try Jesus! If you don't like him, the devil will always take you back!"

While I was at the stop light at the intersection at Church Street and North Decatur Road yesterday, I saw this nice little quote splayed on a church sign for all to see. I wanted to take a picture of it with my phone for others to bask in its ridiculousness, but honestly, I was in a pretty big hurry to get to yoga so I sailed on through the light. After sweating my ass off and twisting my body in weird positions for 75 minutes (thanks Hot Core Power!), I headed back home for a much needed sandwich and shower. Again, I passed the sign. On the opposite side, it read "This church is prayer conditioned". Now that's just ridiculous sounding, but the "Try Jesus" on the flip side seemed to stick in my head like a Miley Cyrus song, playing itself over and over and over in all its annoying, nonsensical repetition. "The last time I freaked out, I just kept looking down..."

Either way, that sign bothered me. Immensely. So much so that it's about all I could think about for a good couple of hours. It's almost as bad as the sign that reads, "Don't be so open minded that your brains fall out." Really? REALLY? Wow. Both of those really just make me want to get off my atheist ass and go to church because the people seem like they are going to be so warm and welcoming. I hope you can feel the sarcasm dripping off my keys as I type.

Hailing from uber-religious Cobb County, the natural thing for me to do in my last year of high school was to revolt in my own non-violent way and become atheist "just because". Then I went through a handful of philosophy classes in college, found sound logical basis for my arguments, read a lot of Bertrand Russell, "God is dead", yadda yadda. Anyways, the point is I've been an unflinching atheist for a decent amount of years now. Maybe at some point in my life, although hopefully not, I will have a near-death experience and will "find Jesus" in my moment of despair. I highly doubt it, but I have never officially ruled it out. I do know one thing though. Being criticized for having a "too open" mind or basically saying if I "try" and don't like Jesus, I'm going to be sent straight to hell is not going to get me anywhere near a church. In fact, I will run screaming in the opposite direction. I guarantee I'm not the only person that feels this way. Let's say someone from another religion wanted to "try" Jesus, just to see what the whole fuss was about. Is a sign proclaiming that the devil will "take you back" to the clutches of your ungodly, hedonistic religion, which could be anything from Islam to Buddhism, going to make you want to step foot in that church? Mmmm probably not.

Besides, hell and the devil aren't real. Ha.

Sunday, July 20

"Mississippi moon, won't you keep on shinin' on me..."

Feelin' much better after getting out of Atlanta for a couple of days, even if it did come with a lot of questions and lecturing from -who else- my mom and grandma. Oh well, I think that will always be a part of being female AND the first-born to a Southern family.

The trip to Oxford was awesome. Up until this weekend, it existed as a fictional little plot of land in my head - something I had read about and researched but never actually knew what it was like. Well, I got to know it, and I loved it. The drive there took FOREVER (seven hours - my mom was driving). Plus, the scenery on US 78 is lackluster, needless to say; I was getting more and more skeptical about the town with every cow pasture we saw, and believe me, there were a lot. We finally got into town around 7 or so, but we all were pretty tired so we just ate at the Applebee's across the street from our hotel (exciting) and crashed out.

The next morning we woke up pretty early, ate a good breakfast, and then headed to Ole Miss campus for my tour at 11am with the graduate school. We had a guide named Aaron who was also a student in the Southern Studies Master's program, which was awesome. He was super nice and really informative. He drove us all around campus in a golf cart, pointing out the main buildings & the likes; the campus is so incredibly gorgeous. I mean, coming from Georgia State, anything with more than four or five rundown buildings and a library is going to blow my mind, but the campus really was exceptional; huge Greek Revival buildings and perfectly manicured lawns. I loved it.

After our general Ole Miss tour, our guide took us to the Barnard Observatory which is where the Center for Southern Studies is housed. I met a woman who is a student advisor, and she gave me a ton of literature about the program, lots of Faulkner-Yoknapatawpha Conference and Oxford Conference for the Book posters, and a ton of back copies of The Southern Register. I talked to her about my fear of taking the GRE, and she assured me I would be fine because of my GPA; the program is so small that it isn't as competitive as others, and they admit people more on the letters of recommendation and statement of purposes than the test scores. That eased my mind in a big way. Overall, the tour was great, and it was awesome to finally put an image and a feel to the place I've been pining after for about a year now.

After our tour, we all went to Downtown Oxford to eat and scope out the stores. Our first stop, upon recommendation from our guide, was Ajax Diner. All I have to say is: holy shit. I think I had the best sandwich of my life there. It was called The Big Easy, and it was country fried steak, mashed potatoes & gravy, and butter beans all on a delicious big bun. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Plus, their sweet tea was perfect; not too sweet but sweet enough to be delicious. After lunch, we went to the infamous Square Books to look around. I bought a magazine called Oxford American, Faulkner's Light in August, and The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty. We walked around some more, saw Faulkner's statue in front of City Hall, and bought some Rebels gear. We left the square, went back to Ole Miss campus to drive around some more and take pictures, and drove down some side streets to look at houses which were all really cute, for lack of a better word. After that, we found St. Peter's Cemetery and went to Faulkner's grave. It's a pretty plain looking grave, and he is buried next to his wife. Apparently, locals put whiskey bottles and pennies on his headstone on a regular basis which I find hilarious. He was an alcoholic after all so he probably loves it. My mom also took it upon herself to take a wreath someone had put on his grave and move it to the other side because it was "hideous"; I hope he haunts her now. After all the sightseeing, we finally went back to the hotel to chill for a little bit. My mom and grandma ended up going out to dinner later on that night, and I just stayed in, ordered pizza, looked over all my information, and watched a lot of Cesar Milan before passing out at 10:30.

The next morning we woke up early, ate breakfast, packed up, and shipped out to Rowan Oak, Faulkner's house from 1930 - 1962. Seriously, I can't even describe what it meant to me going there; it's like my mecca. I've been wanting to go for so long and to finally get there was amazing. Rowan Oak itself is a surprisingly quaint house; it's a pretty basic Greek Revival style house, nothing too extravagant. It's private and on a good sized plot of land. I guess what I'm getting at is it's my kind of house. The University owns it, but if I win the lottery one day, I wonder if they'll let me buy it and be its curator it for a living. One can hope! Anyways, we walked around the house and the grounds for about an hour; I finally got to see where he wrote the outline for "A Fable" on the walls of his office. I had asked the guy that was at the front desk where he kept his phone because I had seen pictures of a little alcove where he kept his phone and behind it had written tons of numbers down. He told me it was blocked off because so many people want to see it and it gets super crowded, so I was pretty bummed. As we were leaving though, he came outside and told me he could bring me back to go see it because the house was pretty empty. Seriously, I was so stoked; that guy doesn't even know, but he made my day. I got to go back into the pantry where it was and take a couple pictures of it. Come to think of it, I should have asked him if I could have seen his Underwood typewriter because it too is blocked off...

After Rowan Oak, we shipped out. Luckily, I drove us home instead of my mom, and we made it in six hours, even with two separate stops. I'll be honest; if I had been driving the Focus, not the Escalade, I definitely would have made it in five and a half, ha. Either way, I was glad to get home and see Drake. Plus, Madison and his girlfriend got my spare key and went into my apartment and put Ole Miss stuff on my breakfast bar! I have a license plate holder, a beer mug, and a shot glass in addition to the shirt and car sticker I bought. I can't help it; it's going to be my first "real" college experience (sorry, GSU), and even at 23, I'll show some school pride!

In conclusion, it was a very successful trip. I'm so glad I have a feel for the town, and it eased my nerves about a lot of things. The shitty part is going to be waiting another year! Oh well, it will give me time to save some money and get my brain back in school mode.

Thursday, July 17

A letter to my mother.


I love you a lot. You and I are really close, closer than me & Dad, which is why I always call you when I don't feel good, or I feel stressed out, or I'm just generally unhappy. Well, yesterday I called you in tears because my stomach was killing me, so much so that I was doubled over at work, grabbing anything I could when waves of pain hit. Then I figured it out: I probably have a damn stomach ulcer. Why do I have a stomach ulcer? Because I have stressed myself to death over stupid, pointless things. Or maybe it's my excessive use of ibuprofen to help quell the intense tension headaches I get because, once again, I'm so stressed all the time. So, I love you but please do not tell me I am bringing it on myself and I need to exercise or do yoga more or I need to start journaling my thoughts. I will tell you exactly what I need.


Yea, I said it. Legal, doctor prescribed ones of course. I know you don't believe in prescription medication for mental health. That's why you didn't put your son on Adderall when we found out he had some form of ADHD when he was young, and then he struggled through school for tenyears. But seriously, I am begging you to not judge me when I say I'm going to go get put on something for anxiety.

Now, I know I'm a grown woman now, and I know I can put myself on medication if I want. I understand you don't want a zombie for a daughter. However, honestly if I'm not put on something to stop my mind from racing, I am going to start self-medicating more so than I already have.

Guess I should probably inform you about my newfound relationship with a little lady named Mary Jane because guess what? I don't have to think about anything when I'm fucked up, not how I'm going to pay my rent and bills, not if my hours are going to be cut at work again, not how my incarcerated boyfriend is doing, not if I'm going to get into grad school, and not if the guy at work is going to grab my shoulders in a creepy way or not today. Lately, I really don't want to be thinking.

So, Mom, as much as I love you, I really think I am not going to respect your wishes this time. I hope you understand one day that it might have saved my sanity. I'm only 22 years old. I don't need to be having stress headaches and stomach ulcers and all sorts of various ailments brought on my stress. As soon as I get back from Oxford this weekend, I'm making an appointment with the psychiatrist, and that's that.

Your Daughter

Monday, July 14

Seriously, America? Seriously?

Wow. From my understanding, the artist meant it as a satire for the way right-wing media treats Barack & Michelle. I think I speak for most people when I say it failed badly - very badly.

-I've started taking melatonin at night; however, I've also started having chronic headaches. Not sure if this is related but it is possible.
-Two days till I am en route to Oxford! I am hoping very hard (my personal version of praying) that I can hide the tatts from my grandmother for 72 hours.
-"Everlong", "Ramblin Man", AND "My Own Worst Enemy" on Rock Band II?I really do need to hop on that bandwagon.
-Oh, Josh.
-Drake does my job for me:

Saturday, July 12

A lot of rant, a little rave.

This is an example of what happens when you get when you pay half a thousand dollars for a phone that the company hasn't come anywhere near to perfecting. Not to be a total jackass, but I'm getting pretty tired of hearing about how awesome it is when in actuality it has a lot of things wrong with it and has for a while. Just because it's made by Apple does not mean it's infallible (see: this article). You know, I'm pretty broke, but I've got a decent laptop, a phone that doesn't break when I drop it on an everyday basis, and an old 30g iPod with scratches all over it; they may not be the newest things in the world, but they all work just fine, and in the mean time, I can start to save money for non-material things that will actually better my life, like an education.

I seriously cannot wait to move far from Atlanta even if it is a year away. A year ago when I started looking at the prospect of going to grad school in another state I was really scared of leaving my family and everything that I had known for almost ten years now. Now that I've gotten my undergrad degree though and I feel like I've got a good head on my shoulders, I am itching to leave. Being somewhere new where I don't know anyone is going to be scary, but at the same time, I think it is going to be a great opportunity to meet people who share my interests and ambitions. I love my friends, but I just feel like I'm at a point in my life where I need to meet new people and branch out.

Not to make this post a total bitch-fest, but work is driving me crazy. It's gotten monotonous; I've been doing the same thing there for two years now. No change in responsibility, hardly any change in's gotten ridiculous. Every day that I go in I just count the hours till I can leave. It's just been increasingly worse ever since I found out I didn't get the editorial assistant position. I probably will end up staying here until next summer just because I don't want to get another job and then leave to go to school, but seriously, I'm at my wit's end.

Like everyone else in America, I'm pretty stoked on the new Batman movie - and I haven't even seen Batman Begins.

And this picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

Monday, July 7

Rebels '09.

It's funny - ever since I graduated, all I can think about is going back to school next fall. Even though I've still got a year before I plan on going, I still want to be as prepared as possible. Next week my mom and grandma and I are going to visit Oxford and tour Ole Miss (and Rowan Oak!!), and I am so freakin' excited. At first, I was really nervous about choosing the school as my grad school just because it's so far away from everything I know (6 hrs from the ATL); however, it is my only option if I want my MBA in Southern Studies, and I actually think Oxford would be a nice change of scenery. It only has a population of 20,000 (35,000 when school is in session)...a big step down from Atlanta's 5.3 million. The cost of living is pretty low, but the town still has some nice restaurants and bars with live music (Proud Larry's, anyone?), plus a lake nearby and this seemingly awesome bookstore called Square Books. I think I'll be okay long as I get some visits from Atlanta folks, maybe for some tailgating at football games?

The MBA program is really small, and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture seems like it's going to offer a lot of hands on experience and will let me work closely with faculty that might be really helpful in landing a job later on down the road. Plus, they offer courses in documentary fieldwork and photography which I think may be a direction I try and follow once I'm there. Working on a documentary about Southern culture or about Southern writers would pretty much be my dream job.

I am really nervous about getting in though. It is the only grad school I will apply to, more than likely. I graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State so I know my GPA isn't an issue; I'm just not sure how that will really stack up against other people. Plus, I have to take the GRE still, and I'm not totally confident in how I will do - I hate standardized testing (especially analogies), and I haven't had any sort of math class since I was 18. I know can get two good letters of recommendation, and the 500-word statement of purpose won't be a problem. It's just that damn GRE - seriously scares the living daylights out of me.

I'm pretty nervous about what my finances will be like down there. Luckily, Ole Miss's tuition isn't too costly in comparison to other grad schools; if I go full time, out of state tuition in fees will be $5,000 a semester. Once I can claim residency, it will be split in half to about $2,500. Today at work I looked at a bunch of scholarships & grants that I want to apply for, and I'm going to try to get an assistantship so I can get a tuition waiver and maybe a living stipend. I probably will still take out of a loan because if possible, I'd like to be a TA and go to school full-time and avoid working and doing something like waiting tables. I need to check out some financial aid books from the library and fill out FAFSA when its that time. I'm going to try and start saving some money for when I do move, but honestly, it's hard to save money when you hardly make enough to live in the first place...

In non-school related news, as trashy as it is, I Love Money is an amazing show as pure entertainment. Oh, VH1 - always keepin' it classy. Mr. Boston might be the most awkward individual alive. Bless his heart.

Also, big ups to the Braves for winning the record-setting 17 inning game at Turner Field last night! We can always rely on Mark Teixeira to do something amazing and manage to adjust himself more than anyone else on the field while doing it.

Last weekend I went & looked at a basement apartment in a house owned by an Emory grad student in her mid-20s. I really liked the house, and she seemed really nice. It has a private entrance and a fenced in backyard; it's 1200 square feet (twice the size of my apt now), most of which is in the bedroom. I probably will end up buying some room dividers and making one half the bedroom and one half an "office" with my desk and such. It is a hideous salmon color with wood paneling that I definitely am going to paint a more neutral color. The bathroom is bigger than what I have now, and the living room is small but doable. The kitchen is a half kitchen with only a fridge, sink, and very little counter space. However, I am not exactly known for my culinary skills (that'd be Josh's job), so I don't need a big kitchen although if I did, I can use the one upstairs There is no washer/dryer hookup downstairs, but I have full access to the one upstairs. The rent is $75 cheaper than what I pay now, and my utilities would be split three-ways with the other tenants upstairs. I'm definitely going to go with it - this marks the fourth year in a row that I have made a move.

I leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Drake ever. This was on his first birthday last week with his new chicken toy.

Thursday, July 3

"I wanna swim away but I don't know how; sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean."

The past month has been really trying for me. A lot of things in my life just feel like they have been falling apart - friendships, relationships, my career path (or lack thereof)...nothing seems to be what it used to be. I feel myself isolating myself from people or things that I used to love, including my family. A major blow was dealt to my relationship that, needless to say, complicates things quite a bit. On a side note, I have no faith in the judicial system. And while they were "very impressed" with me, the company I interviewed with decided to go with someone who had more experience in graphic design. They offered me some part time contract work this summer (I accepted but haven't heard anything yet) and said they will still need to fill the position later on this year, but I honestly will probably just keep my job at The Wag and concentrate on busting my ass to get into grad school.

I'm going to be 22 in a matter of three weeks, and while that seems old to me, in the grand scheme of things I'm still fairly young. Sometimes I feel like I'm too young to be dealing with the things I deal with, but then again, I guess this is what they call life lessons. I just wish they had waited a little longer to manifest themselves in my life.

So, as truly shitty as I've felt for the past couple of weeks, I'm just trying to throw myself into things I love: photography, reading, Drake, etc. I'm trying to get out and do things I don't normally do, and I already feel it making a difference. I went kayaking at Up the River Outfitters in Buford for four hours (ten miles!) the other day and got the best sleep I've had in a while. We went camping up at Lake Hartwell Camping and Cabins in South Carolina last weekend, and it was a blast, although I'm still covered in mosquito bites.

I've started an account with flick'r to keep track of my photography. I think seeing regular people (not necessarily "photographers") photography on a regular basis will motivate me to get out there and shoot more. If anyone is interested in checking it out, the address is - leave me some feedback, I love it.

Apologies to my mother, but I am planning on getting another tattoo after my birthday. I am going to get a sailor jerry-style traditional horseshoe tattoo on my right wrist for good luck because, let's face it, I have none. I think I want it to be about pretty small, about 1 1/2" in height, colored blue/black with some white shading. Also, when (when not if) I get my acceptance letter from Ole Miss for grad school, I'm going to get my Faulkner tattoo on my back. I just can't help it. It really is true what they say ... you can't just get one.

All stress aside, I really love nights spent at Northside Tavern.

The end.