Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Saga of 2009, Part One.

Friends! First and foremost, there are officially seven of you! Seven! As of my last post there were three followers; this is a 200% increase from last post! Or possibly infinite! Disregarding the actual mathematics, I can say only that it makes me very happy to know there are at least seven individuals in the world who care to squander their non-Facebook time on this little site o' mine (I'm gonna let it shine?). There is also a very large possibility that I have eight readers, the eighth being my father, who googled me once and found my previous blog even though I expressly did not inform him of its existence. It was weird.

Matthew and I just braved the wintry streets of Tulsa to go see The Road. Here's a tip: if it's wintry out, do not go see The Road. If you are feeling at all unhappy, do not go see The Road. If you are with a person who is not your arch nemesis, do not go see The Road (if it is your arch nemesis by all means go ahead). If you, like me, watched Children of Men and then demanded that someone in the room give you a hug promptly afterward because you felt so generally unhappy, do not go see The Road. (The hug was helpful though thanx guyz).

So now, having seen The Road, which is about the apocalypse and eating grasshoppers and running from crazy hillbilly cannibals and overall despair and bleakness and the dregs of humanity, a year-end review seems a little silly. But I'm gonna do it anyway. Because this is my blog. And I can do what I want.

Plus I mean 2009 was kind of a big deal. Behold!

After experiencing such thrilling sites as the World's Largest Totem Pole, The Big Blue Whale of Catoosa, and Pop's Soda Store Emporium Gas Station Burger Joint of Wonder, Rob concludes his first ever visit to Tulsa; his departure is saddening, but also reaffirms that my hometown is the absolute shit.

We acquire Scrabble, the cat, who spends a lot of time being adorable and kittenish and then morphing into a hellion with razor claws, which somehow find their way up my nose one night while I am trying to sleep.

I return to Blam Blamilton for the last semester ever but am too busy flailing/berserking/breakdancing in the throes of grad school applications to really take notice and/or care. The last of my nine applications goes off; at the end of the month, I'm accepted at Pittsburgh.

My birthday (the 1st!) falls on a Sunday; after considering the chaos of my 21st birthday in Berlin combined with a growing sense of unease tacked on to the awful weather of central New York in February, I decide not to throw a party for the big double-2. While I am talking on the phone with Rob the Thursday before my B-day, Winston comes by to insist I go downstairs right that second because SURPRISE they threw me a surprise birthday party! There was a cake; there was also a case race. It was an overall tremendous evening and Cameron made a B-Day Hell Mix CD (which I am listening to right now!) and I think we listened to the Fleet Foxes/All The Single Ladies mashup at least 45 times straight. Or that might have been another night. It doesn't matter.

Rob and I and a few SU folks drive from central NY to Geneseo to Chicago, allegedly to attend AWP. In reality, the conference makes me fidgety and anxious about grad school, so Rob and I ditch the whole thing and go up the Sears Tower on Valentine's Day. We sleep in Kara's closet in Hyde Park - no, actually, in a closet. I walk past the table of my future grad school and see three dudes with beards; in later months, I will learn their names. On the drive back, Sara's mother feeds us a delicious meal of chicken and itty bitty onions which she got from Top Chef. This makes Sara's mother unspeakably awesome. Also: chocolate-covered pretzel rods. With M&Ms.

Things get crazy busy and I stress out a lot and all is quiet on the grad school front for quite some time. Then the rejections start piling up. One Friday, conveniently the English department's First Friday, I am rejected from both Brown and Iowa; I proceed to join my professors in the pub for First Friday, get belligerently buzzed, and accost everyone. And by everyone I mean all of my professors.

Spring Break meant one week in Tulsa of which I don't remember anything; there may have been Scrabble (the game, not the cat). I may have lost. Poorly. The other half was spent in Rob's dorm room in Pennsylvania, where we inadvertently watched only movies featuring animated mice (The Rescuers Down Under, The Secret of Nimh) and played a lot of Super Mario 3. Actually, Vish played Super Mario 3 and I shouted things like "GET THE RED YOSHI NO DON'T LET HIM FALL NO GO GET HIM."

Back at Shamilton. A lot of things I don't want to remember occur, mainly things involving idiotic student media bureaucracy and certain individuals who once graced the uppermost spots of my hypothetical hit list (that spot now belongs permanently to Scrabble - the cat, not the game. No, seriously, she's a bitch). My list of grad school responses dwindles, slowly, and within a week I'm admitted to Montana and good ol' UniWilmi. At my senior dinner, where, unsurprisingly, we all get trashed, a certain alumnus regards my two options as such: Good skiing or good golfing? This, apparently, being how a Hamilton student should think.

At this point I have also read so much Willa Cather she is haunting me like a creepy, conservative, cranky old lady ghost.

My thesis: written. My final Willa Cather paper: fought through like a machete through a jungle. Willa Cather: back in her grave where she belongs. My spare time: spent looking at pictures of the ocean!

Senior Week is mainly Rob and I running amok, wading in Oneida Lake, then driving around all of Oneida Lake, then wondering where the last four hours went.

I graduate! Good riddance! No, not really. Well, kind of. Our last night is tearful, then smoky, then it's sun-up, then I'm driving off with my folks, to Cooperstown, where we participate in the Beverage Trail, which might as well be called Get Tipsy All Day Every Day Best Graduation Trip Ever.

After a creepy and kind of bizarre rendezvous in a Binghampton Dunkin Donuts parking lot, I send my folks back to Oklahoma and Rob drives me and all my stuff to Jersey. Here, we plot and plan and I do laundry, and then we embark on three weeks of East Coast road tripping. Our mission? To find an apartment in Wilmington, and to not kill each other. Both are successes.

Highlights include but are not limited to: the craziest mini-golf course ever outside of D.C. with Annie, the wild ponies of Assateague, Graceland in Memphis, one night of hard drinking and nostalgia in Nashville (hi Alec!), the Atlanta Aquarium, riding boats on the Outer Banks, that lake we found in Virginia, the reliably delicious Catfish Hole in Arkansas, reading the entirety of The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull aloud to one another, and many, many others. Lowlights include but are not limited to: 200 mosquito bites in one night, the rainy weather in Maryland, the scrapple omelet I had in Ocean City (to be fair this one was my fault), rain, rain, rain, the hipsters at the Rune Stones in Georgia, the traffic in Atlanta, the heat in Memphis, oh, and trying to find an apartment and deal with the whole holy shit we're moving here business.

An eventful first six months, to say the least. The next half comes tomorrow, though it probably won't be as exciting, considering you folks already read about all of it - either way, that's all for now, my knuckles are all achey and my pillow's a-calling.

Good Night, God Bless, and Guten Appetit.


  1. I think I visited the home of Willa Cather once. Or at least an official-type museum dedicated to her. I've never read any of her books.

    As far as home visiting, though, I also visited the home of Flannery O'Connor (all of whose books I have read). That one was on purpose. And one of the best experiences of my life.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Rachel!

    If you need a pit stop (NASCAR-style or Hamilton-style) on your way back to NC, just let me know.