Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'll Admit I'm a Fool for You:

It's been a monumental "school" I shall never forget.

I met with the three (yes, I gained one) former/current professor(s) writing letters on my behalf (recommending me to various MFA programs).

One had me in tears.
One had me laughing.
One had me breathing a big sigh of relief.

I have two authors (! one of which has taught at three of the schools I am applying to) alongside one professor of literature--I feel like the most invincible student in the world! Almost as if I have an army of intelligence behind me.

Then I remember that--
  • 90% of my possible acceptable relies on my own short fiction.
  • it just takes one person on a committee to put Me in the "discard" pile.
  • the average acceptance rate seems to teeter around 10%.
  • I am applying to ten schools.
  • I do have a back-up plan.
With all of that in mind, I feel a little more "sure" as opposed to "unsure" about the whole process. But then again, I still have to write that letter of intent/statement of purpose. Everyone knows the easiest question to answer is: WHO AM I? *guffaw* This is why YOU want ME!

In other news: I have an idea as to WHAT I will be doing for my big, huge project/paper for one class. I still don't know what I am doing for the big, huge project/paper for another class.

Because you're mine, I walk the line.
Every step is good bad, yes no, here we go!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Riddle Me This:

How does an Allie-gator stay so green?

Diet Moutain Dew!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Top 100 Books (4)

Lev Grossman & Richard Lacayo (critics for TIME magazine) picked the "100 best English-language novels since 1923" some time ago ...

I was directed to their list recently and have posted it as a four-part series.

These 35 novels round it off:

O - R
On the RoadJack Kerouac (I have a copy waiting)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestKen Kesey

The Painted BirdJerzy Kosinski
Pale FireVladimir Nabokov
A Passage to IndiaE.M. Forster
Play It As It LaysJoan Didion
Portnoy's ComplaintPhilip Roth
PossessionA.S. Byatt
The Power and the GloryGraham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieMuriel Spark

Rabbit, RunJohn Updike (I guess I need to get one it)
RagtimeE.L. Doctorow
The RecognitionsWilliam Gaddis
Red HarvestDashiell Hammett
Revolutionary RoadRichard Yates (Oh the movie did me in!)

S - T
The Sheltering SkyPaul Bowles
Slaughterhouse-FiveKurt Vonnegut
CrashNeal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed FactorJohn Barth
The Sound and the FuryWilliam Faulkner (I have a copy to read one day)
The SportswriterRichard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the ColdJohn le Carre
**The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemingway (Yes. I know.)
**Their Eyes Were Watching GodZora Neale Hurston (for Cultural Anthropology)
**Things Fall ApartChinua Achebe (for Literary Heritage)
**To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee (LOVE!)
To the LighthouseVirginia Woolf (Must find!)
Tropic of CancerHenry Miller

U - W
UbikPhilip K. Dick
Under the NetIris Murdoch
Under the VolcanoMalcolm Lowry
WatchmenAlan Moore & Dave Gibbons
White NoiseDon DeLillo
White TeethZadie Smith
Wide Sargasso SeaJean Rhys (HEY! I have a copy--mentioned this in the summer)

Obviously I have a lot of reading to do after the semester is over. AFTER the semester is over (did you catch that part)!


Friday, October 23, 2009

I am the Warrior:

Well I am the warrior
And heart to heart you'll win
If you survive the warrior,
the warrior...
(Scandal, 1984)

Warrior III Pose

Virabhadra = the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, eyes and feet; wielding a thousand clubs; and wearing a tiger's skin.

I'm only so fierce whilst standing on my right leg. And my arms are out to the sides or back (not forward)--but that's my new yoga pose from last night.

And maybe I'm just a little bit crazy, but I almost prefer Yoga on a rainy night. It's easier to get into "the mood" when you can hear raindrops and swirling leaves.

So this week has been filled with a lot of applications. Graduate school applications. I've only started the process--but it's daunting nevertheless. I've almost completed the "school" part for SIX universities.

Then I start the portfolio part. I'm vetting my short stories now. I know of one YES and then I'm trying to decide between two others. It really depends on the school and the amount of pages they require.

Oh yeah, school school. Who can forget about school school?

There are 3 stories to read. There is another story to write.

THEN there is a "mini" paper to finish start BEFORE I take on TWO really big papers (8 pages, 15 pages). Both proposals are due on THE SAME DAY (Nov 10)!

The next week after that? GRE! (plus an abnormal psych exam)

Don't mind me--shooting at the walls of heartache, bang bang!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've Gone Batty!

Less than two months before "Graduation"
(notice the bejeweled disco bats!)

Top 100 Books (3):

Lev Grossman & Richard Lacayo (critics for TIME magazine) picked the "100 best English-language novels since 1923" some time ago ... I was directed to their list recently.

You can find A-B AND C-G already blogged justa couple days ago.

H - I
A Handful of DustEvelyn Waugh
The Heart Is A Lonely HunterCarson McCullers
The Heart of the MatterGraham Greene
HerzogSaul Bellow
HousekeepingMarilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. BiswasV.S. Naipaul

I, ClaudiusRobert Graves
Infinite JestDavid Foster Wallace
Invisible ManRalph Ellison

L - N
Light in AugustWilliam Faulkner (one day, I promise)
*The Lion, The Witch and the WardrobeC.S. Lewis (in some form, yes)
LolitaVladimir Nabokov (so ready to read this!)
**Lord of the FliesWilliam Golding (in high school)
The Lord of the RingsJ.R.R. Tolkien
LovingHenry Green
Lucky JimKingsley Amis

The Man Who Loved ChildrenChristina Stead
Midnight's ChildrenSalman Rushdie
MoneyMartin Amis
The MoviegoerWalker Percy
*Mrs. DallowayVirginia Woolf (half-way read)

Naked LunchWilliam Burroughs
*Native SonRichard Wright (I skimmed it in 11th grade)
NeuromancerWilliam Gibson
Never Let Me GoKazuo Ishiguro
**1984George Orwell (blaaaah!)

I am truly pathetic--right?

I can say that I've heard about (in casual or academic conversations) several of these works and or authors. I have been focusing on the Short Story format lately (excuses, excuses).


p.s. Lists to make myself feel "dumb"...fantastical!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


introducing the interrobang or interabang (thanks, A!)

a nonstandard English-language punctuation mark intended to combine the functions of the question mark and the exclamation point. The ligature is a superimposition of those two marks.

alternatively, this is what I feel like when filling out graduate school applications.

(Yeah, I know interrobang just sounds just soooo dirty, giggling like a 12-year-old boy is often encouraged!)

It is my nonstandard day (hence nonstandard punctuation).

I don't have work. I don't have class. It is my first day completely "off" since Labor Day. It's been a "break" in the making (so to speak). I've been counting it down. I've been dreaming about it. Now that IT is finally here...

Happy Fall Break, Y'all!

I have:
--officially crossed a graduate school off my list (my issues/decision)
--"applied" as much as currently possible to three FOUR schools
--printed out a lot of information for my "recommenders"
--watched too much CNN
--learned a new punctuation mark (like I have researched it even)

I have not:
--left the house
--made my bed
--put on "real" clothes (although I have showered)
--written or edited anything!

Of course, I shall be writing or editing or napping soon enough.


(verbal pronunciation of the title of this post: "tilda.amphora.hash.dollar.percent.caret.ampersand.asterix")

Top 100 Books (2):

Lev Grossman & Richard Lacayo (critics for TIME magazine) picked the "100 best English-language novels since 1923" some time ago ... I was directed to their list recently.

You can find A-B blogged about previously.

The next 22 on their list:

C - D
Call It SleepHenry Roth
Catch-22Joseph Heller
*The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. Salinger (have it to read)
A Clockwork OrangeAnthony Burgess (saw and hated the movie)
The Confessions of Nat TurnerWilliam Styron
The CorrectionsJonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49Thomas Pynchon

A Dance to the Music of TimeAnthony Powell
The Day of the LocustNathanael West
Death Comes for the ArchbishopWilla Cather (I've read others by her)
A Death in the FamilyJames Agee
The Death of the HeartElizabeth Bowen
DeliveranceJames Dickey (saw the movie)
Dog SoldiersRobert Stone

F - G
FalconerJohn Cheever (I have read a lot of his short stories!)
The French Lieutenant's WomanJohn Fowles
The Golden NotebookDoris Lessing

Go Tell it on the MountainJames Baldwin
**Gone With the WindMargaret Mitchell (read it in 8th grade)
**The Grapes of WrathJohn Steinbeck
Gravity's RainbowThomas Pynchon
**The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald (we have a history)

*means I have half-ass started it!
**means I have read it!


P.S. Apparently I have a lot of reading to do. My "knowledge" of this list is starting to get a bit embarassing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Top 100 Books (1):

Lev Grossman & Richard Lacayo (critics for TIME magazine) picked the "100 best English-language novels since 1923" some time ago ... I was directed to their list recently.

I wanted to see HOW many I had read. (laughable)
So then I decided to see HOW many I knew. (much better)

Then I wanted to challenge myself--ya know, I gotta print out the list and head to the library (when I have time to do so)...

I wanted to share their list, but it is 100 books! I am going to break it into sections to share instead--much easier this way--

(And in case you're wondering, NO it is not ranked--or at least I can't FIND an actual ranking, which is really a more democratic way of doing it.)

A - B
The Adventures of Augie March Saul Bellow
**All the King's Men Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral Philip Roth
An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser
**Animal Farm George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra John O'Hara (talked about it in class this semester)
**Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Judy Blume
The Assistant Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds Flann O'Brien
**Atonement Ian McEwan (I actually have two copies!)

**Beloved Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy (talked about it in class last semester)
Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh (I saw the movie!)
The Bridge of San Luis Rey Thornton Wilder

**means I have read it!

I will need to come up with my own one day...or at least my top ten--officially.

When people find out you are a "writer" they automatically ask you WHO is your favorite author or WHAT is your favorite book--I am often left saying "um, um, um."


Friday, October 16, 2009

Frei Bier ist Hier!!

Never in my life did I think I would blog about beer, but it’s FRIDAY so why the hell not?

I begin with a disclaimer (or I second with a disclaimer). I am not a beer connoisseur.

Coming from hearty German stock--I do have the genes for it. I should be able to compete and win any blindfolded beer testing or tasting or guessing contest out there. (there are a couple photos of me as a child--in Germany--toting around a few beer bottles, let's hope they were empty!)

I digress.

I was at a friend's house the other day or night or week and they had "new" beer for me to try. I said, "No" at first (not a connoisseur) but when the question was asked again I broke down. New beer? Okay.

So walks Bud Light Golden Wheat into my life.

I can't exactly describe it. So I did a little digging and came up with a lot of one line blurbs I happen to agree with:
  • Aroma is full of a light hint of coriander and wheat upfront
  • It doesn't overpower though but it's mildly sweet
  • Poured a cloudy orange with about an inch of white foam that faded quickly
  • Definitely on the light side. Finishes dry and clean
I guess I agree with them. I really don't know enough to agree. I know enough to say that I really LOVE this beer.

It's flavored with coriander and orange peels. It's unfiltered. You gotta "roll it around" in your hands to "unsettle it." Dangerous. Just my style. (again I have no idea what I'm talking about)

I'm sure I've made you proud, fair reader! (yes, that ONE!)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Am I Looking For?

Fifteen "searched" Phrases that Led People to my Blog
(over the last week):

george newbern vs paul rudd
(Winnipeg, Manitoba)
fear my tiger style
(Antwerpen, Belgium)
we are mysterious creatures, arent we.
(Vicenza, Italy)
the monarisa of the north *
situationl irony in jane eyre
(Jacksonville, Florida)

The Mona Lisa of the North
keep me from drunk texting
(Owings Mills, Maryland)
history of yoga papers
(Los Angeles, California)
sleep is dream blogspot
(Ho Chi Minh City, China)
pumpkin bin
(Notre-dame-du-nord, Quebec)

media law exam
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
nuke the whales bumper sticker 1970s
(Kansas City, Missouri)
not the same street seasame street
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
we are misterious creature aren't we? *
how many copies of that class

*authentic spellings according to Feedjit


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Sound of Silence:

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again...

But not really. It's just been an emotionally-idiotic few days coupled with midterm week. Although technically I only have ONE midterm (tomorrow). How awesome is that?

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone...

I've spent the week sloshing around campus under a Memphis umbrella, wearing a Memphis t-shirt. This is my new "smartie college girl" attire.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more...

Smartie College Girl finally scheduled her GRE (Nov. 16). Look for her to be jumping off a tall object either the evening before or the day after. Giving oneself a nickname and then writing about oneself in the third person while using that nickname is really weird.

People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening...

Last night, just for the hell of it--I went to the movies (for free).
I saw All about Steve with Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper.

(who are both so adorable there should be photos of them everywhere, always--the world would be a happier place--or maybe they just have that effect on me?)

Being a lover of words and one who saw Wordplay...okay, and being an "odd individual" myself--I thought it was cuuute!

Now I need red rain boots so that my toes always feel like ten friends on a camping trip. (I do have my birkenstocks, same thing)

Or I need to stream my obsessive personality into make crossword puzzles about people I'm obsessed with! (although really that's my short story material)

Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you

I'm going to eat you like a mountain lion now!!!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Wrap-Up:

It has been a "Marathon" week already, but today is only my "Pharmacy Monday." *insert a lot of sad faces here*

I have a full page filled with random comments and notes from my Workshop with Bausch on Wednesday.

We talked about clever bumper stickers: "Save the Whales" + "No Nukes" = Nuke the Whales

Then it became a 1970s adventure as he told us about how "I found it" turned into "I fondled it"and his favorite Nixon-era "Impeach the Cox-Sacker" (I really like that one too!)

He read the "Invalid's Story" by Mark Twain. There was snickering around the room throughout--what a hilarious tale!

(Which led into a conversation about the "Jumping Frog" story--as I called it. No one else knew it--kids today!)

Guess who has read The Great Gatsby 36 times?

I nearly fell out of my chair! I told him about reading it for the first time over the summer and my extreme love for F. Scott and how I have been collecting used copies even though Tender is the Night is my least somebody gets me!

He suggested that we write a story from the point of view of someone 25 years older than we actually are AND the opposite gender. I'll have to try that.

Inspirational Quote of the Class:

"Write like all Hell! I mean, Why not?"


Weekly Yoga Class Observations:

Shavasana music is my favorite

(Wide) Downward Dog is my friend

Plank was relatively easy last night

Best Triangle Pose ever

Not so good Upright Crescent Moon

I haven't been able to hold Half Moon since Day 1

If someone has "poppy" knees, mine do the same

Looking at the ankles in front of me, helps me balance

  • I've jumped back into writing poetry. They are short, they are quick--but they are happening (in the middle of the night, no less)
  • I finally slept for eight hours last night (it was Benadryl-induced)
  • I switched from grapefruit lemongrass to cucumber green tea...we'll see if anyone can smell the difference. I LOVE IT!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Me in Elementary School:


Probably YOU too (if you're cool enough to be considered a book/word nerd) --I remember rockin' my book reports in elementary school. I was more of a Ramona Quimby fan than a lover of the dictionary--but as all nerd do, I came to fall in love with it as well.

One of my favorite website (I know!) is the Oxford English Dictionary (which I have access to through school) and then there is Merriam-Webster if you don't have $300 a year to devote for access to the OED online.
M-W is responsible for my simple word of the day:

Main Entry: vague
Pronunciation: \ˈvāg\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): vagu·er; vagu·est
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin vagus, literally, wandering
Date: 1548

  • 1 a : not clearly expressed : stated in indefinite terms
  • 2 a : not clearly defined, grasped, or understood : indistinct <only a vague notion of what's needed>; also : slight <hasn't the vaguest idea>
  • b : not clearly felt or sensed : somewhat subconscious <a vague longing>

synonyms see obscure

— vague·ly adverb
— vague·ness noun

And the only reason I even started this entry was to talk about my soap of the week. Yes, that's how my mind works.

Webcomic + Books + Dictionary + Definitions = SOAP

I am currently using VAGUE by Villainess and my entire bathroom now smells heavenly. I even stick my head in there every now and then JUST because!

Characteristic Scent: An unassuming faint floral with touches of neroli, iris, lily of the valley and geranium.

Sound good? I wish I could describe it more--clearly. HENCE THE NAME!

Of course, I'm doing you no favors by talking about it--it's currently unavailable. So when my bar is gone, I'll have to search in vain for a new lovely chunk of soap to wash my blues away.


p.s. another great place for fantastical soap: The Soap Box Company (closed for the month of October, I really have bad timing)

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Blueberry Nights:

(song currently stuck in my head)

The Greatest -- Cat Power -- from the film.

...Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or water fall could STALL me
And then came the rush of the flood
The stars at night turned DEEP to dust...


P.S. I had Sweet Potato Pancakes at the Arcade Restaurant downtown this summer in honor of the film (Norah Jones loved them while they were in town filming).


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