Figured a blog post is due now that I've been successfully residing in Mississippi for a little under a month.
The move itself went very well. Packed up the Focus, the Escalade, and the Budget moving truck and shipped out of Acworth on the morning of August 5th, with Drake, my brother, my best friend since middle school, my mom, and my grandma all in one giant caravan moving across two states. Arrived in Oxford around 3:00 and had successfully unloaded everything in a matter of hours. The clan stayed until Friday morning, helping me unpack and hang things (huge help). The apartment looks great and feels like home because of them. After they took off, I had about two weeks to get acquainted with my new town before school started.
My laptop died about a week after being here (I just got it back this past Friday). As a result and in order to keep from being bored nonstop, Drake and I wound up exploring a lot. We walked in Lamar Park almost every night (still do); the minimal human interaction there saved me from going crazy my first two weeks here, I'm almost positive. Last weekend, I decided to take us on a hiking adventure in Holly Springs National Forest. Somewhere along the trail, like a dumbass, I got us lost, and we were picked up by a couple out hunting for deer approximately twelve miles away from my car. Sorry Mom. Needless to say, don't think we will be trying that one again anytime soon.
I have caught up on my movie watching. I joined Blockbuster Online, and the Oxford library has a surprisingly great selection of movies and documentaries. I also finally grew balls and discovered the joy of going to see a movie alone. The comprehensive list is as follows:
Bowling for Columbine
Streetcar Named Desire
The Long, Hot Summer
Confederate States of America
This Film Is Not Yet Rated R
Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Into the Wild
Bonnie & Clyde
I Love You, Man
Inglourious Basterds (twice - it is that good)
School is going very well. I really enjoy my classes, and the people in my program could not be more awesome. It is so refreshing to be around like-minded and motivated individuals after being out of an academic setting for over a year. Maybe I'm speaking too soon, but I feel like I am falling back into the swing of things fairly quickly, much easier than I had expected. So far, it is everything I have been dreaming about for two years, and I couldn't be happier.
At our welcome party last Friday night, one professor busted out a harmonica and a kick drum. Last week in class another discussed the South's potrayal in True Blood as being a sign of the postmodern condition. The classroom that 2 out of 3 of my classes are in is filled with original black and white prints of Faulkner, while the other classroom has a huge screenprint of Elvis hanging on the back wall. Yea, I could get used to this.
Wednesday immediately after class I am leaving to go back to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend. I can't wait. The Focus is finally getting painted (I scratched the right side of it up pretty badly two years ago and never had the resources to get it fixed), my best friend from high school will be in town, I'm going to my final Braves game of the season...so basically, all the makings of an amazing weekend at home.
A couple of pictures of the move:
On a final note, I have been to the farmer's market in the cool little neighboring town of Taylor a couple of times, and each time this contraption caught my eye.
It's a daybed that someone has wired to hang from your porch as a swinging bed, for lack of a better term, and HOLY CRAP, it is so comfortable. Seriously, one day I will measure the success of my life in terms of how many of these I own and use on a daily basis. My first paycheck from a real job is going to one of these, even if it breaks the bank. Sallie Mae, be damned, this is more important!
The day that I have been waiting for for a little over two years has finally come. This time tomorrow I will be chillin' in my new apartment in Oxford! Cannot wait to finally have a place that actually feels like it is mine. Not the basement apartment of someone's house. Not a boyfriend's apartment. Not my parent's house. MINE. ALL MINE.
Twenty three. Will be in Oxford for good this time next week. School starts in less than one month. Final trivia night tonight. Stress, stress, stress. Must stock up on Two Buck Chuck. Tired of being part of people's mid-life crises. New rule: no dudes over the age of 30 in MS. That's all.
Last night was an ex-boyfriend bonanza to say the very least. Started off at The Local with Alan ('03-'04). After Yuengling was consumed, headed to The Masquerade & watched Aaron B. ('07 - '08) play a monstrously awesome Bane set, during which at one point Tomass ('05 - '07) came flying around stage right to bear-hug him. Needless to say, I loved every second. I feel really lucky to be able to be friends with my exes, no matter how much time it took to be comfortable enough to do so. They are all great guys, and I hope to continue this whole staying-in-touch deal.
Started up my Twitter again...so if you've got one, fellow bloggers, follow and/or tweet at me. It shall prove to be a great time waster in the next couple of weeks with the transition to life in MS...which is now in less than three weeks. THREE WEEKS. Not freakin' out yet...
Really trying to get tattooed before I leave, but I'm not sure if it's going to happen. Sad face.
Found Hilfiger towels & a Cuisinart stainless steel skillet at Ross the other day for mad cheap...so freaking excited. I think this is called getting older.
Not feeling like typing in full sentences today. Obvs.
This is so amazing it hurts my brain:
Oh, Bruce, bless your precious, New Jersey heart tryin' to sing along.
So, I moved home to Kennesaw for my last month here. Things just weren't working out anymore, and I'm sure, as shitty as it is, it's for the best for both parties. Driving an hour to and from work really sucks, but I guess I can get used to having home-cooked meals the rest of my nights in town. Plus, getting to see family 24-7 kind of rules, especially since I'll be 250+ miles away from them in a short time.
Finally took first place at trivia at Tin Lizzy's the other night. $50 house cash, suckas. That's two margarita pitchers, guac/salsa/queso trio, & then some. Delicious, and I enjoy putting our success in terms of food & alcohol. Only two more trivia nights before half the crew leaves. Heartbreaking.
I'm not that bummed Francoeur was traded; only bummed we traded him for Ryan Church. As long as McCann & Escobar are still rollin' with The Braves, I'll be okay. I hope I can still catch games in MS...
The weather has been perfect lately. I wish it was like this year-round, maybe with a smattering of 50 degree days in the fall/winter, just to keep things interesting. Is there a place in the US where such a thing exists? If so, I may need to move there eventually.
Currently in between two Greek phrases for my next tattoo (to go vertically on the left side of my ribs, methinks). Not sure which one yet, I need to weigh it out for the next week or two. I'm thinking option A, strictly for space-purposes.
Option A: "Know yourself"
Option B: "Life is short, but art is long"
ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἑ δε ṯέχνη μακρή
Also, on the list of "Things to Do Before I Leave": The Clermont Lounge, kayaking, Asian karaoke, spend a day on the lake, Metalsome...
Today is such a nice change of pace from the past three weeks of ungodly hot weather that Atlanta has been blessed with. Drove to work this afternoon with all four windows down, no AC, blaring some Beastie Boys, and it was a glorious thing. I live for this kind of weather. I wish I lived somewhere where it was like this 24-7. Mississippi is definitely NOT going to be that place.
I've been a little slack with the blog lately; I'm sure all that will change in about a month. I officially peace out of the A on August 5th, then I will be full of newer and way cooler things to write about once I'm in Oxford. Until then...small updates will be the norm.
Textbooks have started arriving, and I registered for orientation. So excited! I have grad school orientation on Thursday, August 20th and then Southern Studies mini-orientation the next day. Classes start on August 24th. So ready to be back in an academic environment! I can only hope my brain is as ready as I am.
About three weeks ago, a close family friend tried to kill herself. Probably the most emotionally shocking thing I've had to deal with in quite some time. She is recovering slowly, and reading her husband's updates on CaringBridge every day just makes me realize how fragile life is, as cliche as that may be. I never want to take my family and their health for granted. I love them so much & cannot imagine where I'd be without them.
On Father's Day, my grandma made me sign a blood pact, Tom Sawyer-style, with her stating I would not get any more tattoos until she left the earth. Then she proceeded to tell me if I did get any more it should be something in Greek (not a bad idea, I might add) and/or I should be smart and get it on my butt. It was awesome. Proof of the blood pact (notarized by my little brother and everything):
Honestly, I still want this on the top of my left foot:
We will see if I follow through. I'm not tryin' to be haunted by my grandma's ghost when that time comes; however, I would love to get one more before I leave, and I've been wanting that one for a while.
OhmyGAW Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade, where have you been all my life?!
Seriously, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not give them a listen. I haven't worn out a record like I have The '59 Sound in forever. We saw them play on Tuesday with The Heartless Bastards (another great band), and it was one of the most solid live performances ever. If you don't believe me, perhaps Letterman can convince you.
Like a punk rock Bruce Springsteen...so basically, totally awesome.
"Well, I wonder which song they're gonna play when we go. I hope it's something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow. When we float out into the ether, into the everlasting arms, I hope we don't hear Marley's chains we forged in life 'cause the chains I been hearing now for most of my life."
Ideal Sunday: Walk Drake up to Belly General Store w/BT. Sit outside, Drake in his own chair, while eating a fresh bagel & delicious OJ. Smile, make small talk with people passing by. Come home, lay askew on the bed with the Ninja Turtle blanket for an hour. Rise, eat a bowl of my latest obsession. Go to Target, get household supplies. Go to Old Navy, get tattoo-hiding-friendly Easter outfit. Run into Cheri & Christy. Go to Publix, get groceries & subs. Eat aforementioned subs, drink grape soda, watch Religulous. Call the family, talk about our week. Shamelessly watch Rock of Love. Sleep.
Today was an ideal Sunday...although it could be a little sunnier and maybe ten degrees warmer. While I truly am happy the drought is "officially" over...this kid wants some 75 degree, not a cloud in the sky, no chance of rain, days.
As far as grad school news go...I haven't registered yet, but it looks like I will be in the following courses:
Southern Studies Graduate Seminar I (required for first-year students)
Special Topics: The Global South
Documentary Photography & Oral History
Um, stoked. Classes Mon, Tue, & Wed only. 1 - 3:30 on Monday, 4 - 6:30 on Tue/Wed. Hopefully I will be able to get a job on campus to soften the blow of the $25,000 of tuition alone for the next two years.
Getting really excited to move. Three and a half months left, roughly. Kind of sad, mainly happy. Ready for change. Don't regret taking a year off, but ready to achieve what I know I was meant to.
As I was leaving for work this morning, I checked the mail on a whim. A Victoria's Secret catalog, Brian's Sports Illustrated, some bills, and bam. There it sat. A scarily-thin envelope with a return address from the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at University of Mississippi. I managed to make it down the staircase and into my car where I called Brian and read him aloud the letter:
"I am pleased to inform you that the Southern Studies Graduate Committee has recommended your admission to our master of arts program. You have an outstanding record, and we are pleased to recognize your achievements."
I promptly burst into tears. In a good way, mind you. But yes, it is official. My dream for the past two years just became a reality. I am headed to Oxford, MS in a little over four months. I was just in the town two weeks ago to look at apartments and will be living at Lexington Pointe. Move in day is Friday, July 31st. As of right now, it will just be Drake & I headed westward, but if BT can find a job, he will be joining.
The only shitty thing: the program doesn't have adequate funding for me to have an assistantship. This means I need to cover roughly $6200/semester in tuition & fees on top of off-campus living expenses. Owch. At least I was lucky enough to graduate from college debt-free.
As a result of this as well, the search for my dream car, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, has been thwarted for the moment. No tuition waiver + no living stipend = major loans, which a car payment definitely does not need to be added to. Looks like the Focus will have to be my partner in crime for a couple more years. One day, Laredo, one day.
This day is really what I have been waiting for for a little over two months now. I feel so relieved. Nothing else has seemed to be of any importance, hence the lack of blog-age.
Well, I should probably take that back. I did see Billy Joel & Elton John last weekend with my dad, and it was amazing. I will never get over the way I feel when I hear him play live while sitting next to my dad. It's like being five again, riding around in the Saab in Raleigh. Definitely was worth the money, and I would see them again in a heartbeat. On the other hand, $40 for a shirt was not so amazing. If there was anything I learned that night, it is when one has a prominent Billy Joel tattoo, that much money for a tshirt with his face on it seems ridiculous.
Speaking of ink, I think I may go get my anchor tattoo tomorrow. I wanted to wait until I got my acceptance letter, since the tattoo will serve as my reminder to stay grounded during my time in Mississippi and to not forget where I came from. Just like the horseshoe will be my good luck charm as I go it alone in a new town. And let's be honest, I love traditional tattos.