Thursday, September 30, 2010

...A Memoir...


So, one of my classmates (a fellow 1st year student) has taken to adding A Milledgeville Memoir to some of the things I say--it works because they are TRUE (and maybe just a little bit on the funny and or clever side).

The first time it happened, we were on our way back from an overnight trip to Atlanta. We were on Highway 441 riding to Milledgeville and I was giddy, waiting for the black and white splotches of the moo-cows.

"We're coming up on cows, I can feel it," I said.

She, with all her wisdom replied, "Coming Up on Cows...I like it."

A couple days later we were eating lunch together in the MFA office. talking about the very taut tomatoes purchased at Trader Joe's in ATL. One had just jumped out of her salad bowl and onto the carpet. She marched to the white erase board and wrote:

Coming Up Cows: A Milledgeville Memoir

Taut Tomatoes: A Milledgeville Memoir

in red or blue...or actually it was black dry erase marker. I don't know how long these potential titles stayed on the board, a couple days? I tried to imagine the giggle, sigh, or eye-roll they must've produced.

LAST NIGHT--it happened again. I sent her message--a desperate OMG WTF are we doing text that simply read, Jesus Christ, Graduate School...she replied with:

Jesus Christ, Graduate School: A Milledgeville Memoir

what a way to break the stress into pieces, right? And it's probably my favorite one to date (although I really do love the moo-cows).

See what fantastical friends I have floating about? (alliteration, fools!) I really don't know what I'd do without them.


Monday, September 27, 2010


So begins the readings. I attended two last week.

One was a traditional poetry reading held at Georgia State University. It required four total hours of driving/interstate time, which may seem a little ridiculous for an hour of poetry.

WORTH IT! Jones is one of my classmate's former professors (and he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize). Listening to poetry as the sun set and darkness slowly crept through downtown Atlanta was inspiring.

The second was a prose reading held at a local coffee shop. It featured three readers, including two MFA students. That was fun to see--because I know I'll have to participate before this experience is all said and done. Also, it's important to support one another.

Afterward we went out to celebrate the general awesomeness of my classmates. It was the first VERY "traditional" college night since I came here...

Even though it's "far away," there is a big event I need to start thinking about coming up in February...AWP Conference! Especially since I will be writing one of these, in hopes of being accepted (therefore getting some of my travel costs taken care of).

It's one thing after another after another after another...


Monday, September 20, 2010

Huddle Up!

The concept of OPEN 24Hours A Day is lacking here.

(in the retail sense)

And as much as I respect it, I loathe it just a little bit too.

Especially since this is a "college town." That being said, as small as the college is, the town seems to thrive on the college as a source of pride and financial gain. It's a symbiotic relationship, obviously.

So back to the 24-hour thing.

Walmart and Kroger are both 24-hour establishments.

You can't go to Walmart to have an important conversation at midnight though (and grab a cup of coffee, pie, or some greasy breakfast foodstuffs). Or maybe you can. But that's not what I mean here.

In Memphis we have Gibson's Donuts (oh the LOVE)...and various IHOPS, Waffle Houses, CK's Coffee Shops, Perkins Restaurant...or for more beer-drinking: Earnestine & Hazel's, Huey's (until 3am)...

Granted there is an IHOP here (open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday). But where does that leave you at 11pm on a Sunday night?

Well, after a few phone calls (really) I found a place that's 24 hours and very, very close.

And that's where I was in the wee hours. That's where a few of us were, thankfully. Now we know a place and I have a feeling that they're going to know our names very soon.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

GA-49 S

This afternoon was filled with exploration (the best way to put it).

Macon, the six largest city in Georgia was our target.

Milledgeville is filled with charm, but it is missing a few (Target, PetSmart, Best Buy, Staples, Marshalls...) things.

Of course, this is probably why it is still so charming and quaint.

We had a very nice lunch in historic downtown Macon (see picture of fountain, above) before hitting the shopping centers.

Lemongrass (a Thai bistro) is the kind of place where the food is so pretty, you consider not eating it...I did some research after the fact, and the chef was an executive chef at the InterContinental Hotel in NYC for four years.

My previous Thai food experience was a negative one and even though it still not my most favorite food, I do appreciate it now. This is some of our fare, straight from the menu:

Pad Ei Eew Moo: Stir-fried broad noodles with broccoli rabe, egg and tender pork in a rich brown sauce

Panang Nua: Spicy Panang beef curry with eggplant, long beans, lime leaves and topped off with a dash of coconut milk

Tom Kha Gai: Spicy coconut milk soup with chicken, galanga and lime juice

The shopping was as fun as retail can be. I forgot what it was like to be in that environment though, especially since I haven't worked in a retail setting for more than a month now. I do NOT miss it, not one bit!

(Save for the people, of course)

Other cities I want to visit: Athens, Augusta, Savannah, and Valdosta.


Friday, September 17, 2010

In sickness and...

I have survived the great "MFA illness," which has swept through the program...

"survived" means
"still struggling with"

"swept" means
"affected about 30%"

So in reality, I still seem to be struggling with the great MFA illness, which has infected about 1/3 of the program.

(I nearly made references to the plague or consumption, but decided against it)

We're troopers though--boxes of tissue and bags of cough drops are being shared. Maybe if we stopped sharing we wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place?

Oh! And tea (again) has been ruling my life. Mostly at home (my roommate has a hot tea maker) --but I may have gone to class with a cup o'tea yesterday. And since it wasn't planned, a classmate may have happened to have an extra tea bag with her...

In other news: I got books in the mail. Of course, the titles include:

Preparing College Teachers of Writing:
Histories, Theories, Programs, Practices

Teaching with The Bedford Guide for College Writers:
Background Readings

(a little different from the E.L. Doctorow and Alice Friman I got a couple weeks ago)

I know you want to borrow these JUST as soon as I'm finished. Too bad. But really, I'm excited about them (I think). Unfortunately, they are just two of WAY TOO MANY that I'm working with for one class...

This is the life of an MFA student. We are studying/learning on at least three different levels...our craft (genre), literature, and teaching (theory).

Oy! But I did manage to catch a campus performance of To Kill A Mockingbird last night. And I still haven't talked about the AJC DBF yet either. I will, I will.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Every morning...

I encounter a place that looks like this:

Okay, maybe it's not every morning, only the early mornings I am on campus.

I enjoy the solitude--meandering along a narrow path, getting brushed atop my head by branches. Then through the mist I half-expect to catch faeries dancing on these purple blooms.

It hasn't happened yet, but my heart always leaps as I round the brick corner.

Thus far I've seen little yellow butterflies in pairs and this morning a fuzzy bumblebee was buzzing along.

Maybe it's a bit cliché, but I always take a few moments to pause and reflect. Then with all my hopeful thoughts, I continue on.

I've been in Georgia for one month today.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Interperting the King*

*I mean, ELVIS (of course)

Everytime (or anytime) I am outside of Memphis, it amuses me to see/hear mention of Elvis Presley...

This year, in particular--I missed Elvis Week. Did I really miss it or was I simply not in town for it?

OF COURSE I *missed* it!

I wondered WHERE he was going to crop up, and I am always curious as to HOW he is portrayed.

Of course, I'm a fan--so I always cross my fingers that when I do "see" him that it's a positive experience (although I do have a sense of humor about the world as well).

So imagine my surprise when wandering around downtown MillHOTledgeville and seeing a sign advertising "The Velvet ELVIS Supper Club."

Then imagine my surprise when our little crew ventured in the other night (before the place really got hopping) for dinner and drinks. One person said it "was in honor of Janet" even. Awwww.

I took special care to notice the menu--looking for anything to "write home about."

It wasn't anything too special, but after some research I found out that the menu seems to have gone through a lot of changes. What I saw is just a tiny piece of all the Memphis/Elvis mentions that have previously been there.

I thought this was current menu item interesting:

Fat Elvis Burger: A hand mix of andouille sausage and ground chuck topped with blue cheese crumbles.

Obviously it was an ode to 1976 Elvis as opposed to 1956 Elvis (I didn't see "Hot Elvis" as a menu choice)--and I don't know what andouille has to do with The King (Louisana Hayride?)...and was he even a fan of blue cheese crumbles?

It was an attempt. It was in good spirit. It put me in a particular "mood" (but that could've been the jukebox or inexpensive adult beverages).

I'll take it (because for now, it has to do).



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