The back of what appeared to be a church or rectory in Little Italy; it caught my eye because of that open window and old world feel of the building; I imagined sitting at a desk by that window while a light breeze ruffled my papers…my fantasy is an office with a window overlooking a city street or the ocean- my constant inspiration!

I Need a Theme Song or Day One of Class

I feel like I need a sound, like the Law & Order sound or the sound at the end of a scene right before commercial in 24…I need my own Cija sound but I’m not sure what that sound would be, but I keep thinking, hmmm, I need something strong! I’m taking my time with this one and will think on it, if I come up with something then I’ll be sure to share. So that whole ramble was to try to illustrate a sound that would show the immense pleasure I had in day one of class, 5:30-8:30 passed quickly and while the built-in cynic in me or possibly the Libra in me (weigh both sides) wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t find something to criticize I simply can’t and yeah I know it’s only day one of class but I don’t care, this one class was pivotal in pushing the creaky wheel in a new direction: this image is a total bite (totally did not mean that as a pun but noticed when I re-read) from True Blood, I just started the series and just got through the episodes where Lafayette is chained up in the basement of Fangtasia. Here’s the assignment that set everything off, while finishing up designing our own accordian style book to house our syllabus, our teachers advised us to take a break and get up, go outside and observe, they suggested looking above or below our normal eye level. I went outside, strolled down an alley and popped out on Charles Street near Mount Royal, and just sat on a stoop and looked up, here’s what I wrote:

Jay’s Deli building, above brownstone, gothic wrought iron balcony, rust colored with limed edges, topped by little green turret with a cross backed by blue sky, Rapunzel might live there if it was taller, building looks grand past tense, beneath are 2 bay windows the bottom one is laced with stone filagree.

This is gonna be good. Memoir class is Wednesday.

My Chickens Have Come Home to Roost aka Grad School Begins

*Pictured above glittery udders on display in front of the quirky Papermoon Diner in Baltimore. This picture has nothing to do with any of the below narrative, but figured my day could use a little bling even if on a cow’s udders.

Dude I am absolutely traumatized and trepidatiously excited after today’s orientation for grad school. It lasted from 8:30-3:30 pm, essentially an entire work day on a Saturday and the last ‘free’ weekend before class starts too…I had my Sunday all planned out, I was gonna go hang with the fam, chill out and just enjoy my day. Had I not attended today’s orientation I most certainly would have played myself because it turns out I need alllll day tomorrow to do the following:

  • Set up my online classroom, which I assumed (we know what they say about that) I would not be a part of being in the world of creative writing-WRONG!
  • Set up my blog page in the classroom, which is essentially my journal documenting the fact that I’m reading required books and pointing out some quotes and shiny little gems along the way.
  • Now that I have access to my syllabus from one class I need to read this syllabus AND print it out so I can underline and highlight and ensure I’m not ‘that student’ who is fucking up right out of the gates. If there was one theme today, it was do NOT expect any hand holding and if you don’t know you betta ask somebody.
  • Oh yeah, and I need to read 3 articles and post a blog about those articles, all in preparation for our first class

So why, you say, are you so surprised? Well it’s like this, intellectually-yeah I knew what to expect in an abstract sense: lots of work, long hours of reading and writing, less social time, etc. I gotta say now that everything is crystal clear and all the fog and smog has been lifted I can see this for what it really is, I am now Frodo Baggins on my quest to drop the ring in Mordor…seriously Gollum is going to be my desire to go out, which incidentally I don’t do a lot of now but in typical ‘I can’t have it, now I want it’ fashion or more accurately my desire to sleep or go on an HBO series bender. Look I’m ready for this, I’ve spent the last few years feeling like my brain has flatlined so I know this is what I want AND what I need…today was just really long and I was given a lot of information that was quite valuable so my time was well spent today.

After the orientation I busted out onto the street and headed home, there was a happy hour scheduled so everyone could get to know eachother a little better, but I was so burnt to a crisp (and low on funds) that I broke off from the group and walked home at a steady but slow pace, gradually allowing the day to roll off my back and dissipate behind me down Maryland Ave. When I got home I shed my hot ass jeans (today was gray and dreary yet humid), slapped on some shorts and headed to my family’s house to decompress. I got to chat with my Mom and brother; allowed my nieces to poke, prod and massage me (that was pretty awesome); and was a child again eating Mom’s cooking: ghoulash and homemade skillet cornbread. I even went with my sister-in-law and brother to the grocery store (always better when you have company) and picked up a few items so I don’t have to leave my apartment tomorrow. From what I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow, so I’m going to make breakfast, wash dishes, get some work done and then watch an afternoon movie…somewhere in there I’ll cook and prepare for Monday which heralds the beginning of the busy season at my job and my first day of graduate school. Wish me luck! 

Brought A Tear to My Eye…

Tonight while watching the Nightly Newswith Brian Williams I was brought to tears by the story of Rebecca Beckwith, a little girl who for her 9th birthday party asked that in lieu of presents her friends donate money to a charity water campaign to help provide drinking water for her peers in Ethiopia. She set a goal of $300 and raised $280 by her 9th birthday and per the article set a goal to increase that amount before her tenth birthday. What happened next was heart-rending and warming all at once. This story made me feel so emotional because I was reminded of how neurotic and petty I can be at times and how much more I could do to impact the world around me, which is why I appreciate the Nightly News segment Making a Difference, it always rejuvenates my faith in humanity and warms the cold little core of my heart when my day to day interactions with others leaves me feeling a bit empty. Dramatic? Yes, but there are many days I marvel at the sheer volume of selfishness in humanity and if I’m honest I can’t place myself above the fray. Please read the following article and check out the video; this little girl’s story will melt your heart.