“It was just another night with a sunset and a moonrise, not so far behind.”- Jack Johnson, Constellations

August 31, 2009

The title song has been playing through my head nonstop. Go give it a listen…there are worse songs to have spinning through your mind!

This weekend, Liz and I went to Athens to hang out with her friends from Calhoun who attend UGA. It was a lot of fun, especially when Cindy joined the activites! One very productive thing that happened on this trip was Cindy and I tying down enough loose ends to begin working on the novel we started talking about a while ago. I am so freakin’ excited about starting this! It kind of feels like high school again–passing around stories, trying to make each other laugh through the tales we would spin on paper. Ahhh. Oh, and Betsy…Cindy and I think that one day, when we are all famous for our awesome writings, the Norton Anthology will come do interviews with us about how we all started writing in high school. We’ll be like The Inklings…hahaha.

So Liz turned 21 and fun was had by all. I got to see and hang out with some awesome people, in an awesome (but confusing?) town!  Now of course, I have to go back to school-foucsing. The first round of tests are happening soon! Today I am going to try to take some pictures of places around here that I think are kind of cool. And my house as well, so you can see what my day-to-day life is like here. That is, of course, if the rain holds off…? It looks a little gray outside.

So until the picture post, I bid you all farewell.

-W

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“Ave, but hey, history is still a game…Have no shame, and remember that round one has just been played.”- Little Sister, Rufus Wainwright

August 28, 2009

So…it’s been a while. Many things have changed, including my location, my goals, my opinions, and most importantly, my school.

I am now a full-time student at the University of West Georgia. There are many reasons for this, chiefly among them are how much it costs to continue attending Shorter College. It has never been cheap, but now it is a little ridiculous. For me at least. I still love the school, and still consider it my first academic love. And you know what they say about your first love…

The decision to move further south in this great Southern state was not entirely influenced by money. Things rarely are. This fine institute offers a creative writing minor, something that I will hopefully put into practice. Yes, all of you who read this will one day be thanked in my acknowledgments. That is, of course, if all goes according to plan. Also, Shorter is doing some major English Department overhauling. That is all I have to say about that, though.

So here I am, in Carrollton, Ga, typing away while there is a storm outside. The rain is beating erratic patterns on my window pane that refuse to let me sleep. West Georgia is a different animal to me. One main difference is that I live on campus now, and it is turning out to be a refreshing change. I have a meal plan, I walk to class, I hang out with the boys next door, I watch TV with the girls downstairs. It’s nice.

I guess you have to leave a place before it becomes defined in your mind. While I lived in Rome, a good 21.5 years mind you, it represented only what I was going through at the time. There was a past, but it seemed to be a working past…something that I added to everyday that created this huge identity comprised solely of past events. The future was only the soon-to-be past. Now that I am gone, these bad feelings and associations fade into the background and take a less significant role. I can see Rome as a place that will always be a home for me. It contains some of my favorite people of all time, and my family of course. Those bad experiences are just background noise. It is as welcoming for me to return to Rome as it was to leave it.

I think I have figured out what I want to do with my life. I have always known a little what I want to do, but now I am equipped with a plan. For anyone who has made it this far into this scatterbrained post, thanks! Bear with me a little bit more. My Life Plan, by Whitney goes a little something like this. 1) graduate from college. 2) join the Teach for America program for two years (more on this to come.) 3) attend graduate school. 4) become an editor/free lance writer/columnist/journalist/novelist (any of these will work) 5) finally get that cute apartment in New York for a few years until I decide to settle down in a less intimidating city to raise kids and live peacefully ever after.

The Teach for America program is an awesome program that, after doing hours of research, I completely believe in. It is a section of  AmeriCorps that puts qualified college graduates into schools that are in need of teachers. After teaching two years in your area of the country, you are sometimes offered a normal teaching job, if there is enough resources. You don’t have to take a full teaching job, however, and many people go on to graduate school after this, as I plan to do.  I don’t think that teaching for the rest of my life is something that I would be good at. I think I would begin to resent the job and that would be a terrible disservice to the children. I would hate to turn someone off from reading or literature because I was unhappy in my job.

I have picked out three graduate schools that I would LOVE to go to. I’m not sure if they would love to have me. Time will tell. 😀 After graduate school, maybe I will be qualified to get an awesome job. Or any job really. Maybe in New York.  Maybe in South Dakota for all I know. One thing that I am learning about myself is that now, as opposed to the years leading up to now, I can be happy almost anywhere. I have found the internal happiness that I was looking for. I have surprised myself recently, and this new found optimism and general enjoyment of life will be a nice change. I, in the immortal words of U2, still haven’t found what I’m looking for, but I have picked up the scent. The trail isn’t cold and washed away like I thought it was.

My friends are graduating this year! I will not be joining them, as the transfer to UWG left some of my valuable credits behind. But here we are, grown ups. Ms Cindy has already graduated, which blows my mind…so awesome. Graduating and getting real jobs, making real money to pay real bills with. These are the rewards for working hard. Also, the pride of accomplishment.

So I end with an apology. I’m sorry its been so long with updating, not that any one of you were sitting dangerously on th edge of your seat. Sorry that this is a little all over the place…I may have learned happiness, but unity and organization are still works in progress. Sorry if my general unhappiness has put a damper you, my (two, three?) readers. We should meet again, see if you like this Whitney a little more. Oh, and come visit me! I’ll show you around this little strange town I live in now. Pictures to come.

-W

Oh, Daniel got his license, and his first speeding ticket a grand total of five weeks later. If you see an older model Dakota zooming around town, watch out for him.

“I’m on the corner/waiting for a light to come on/that’s when I know that you’re alone.”-Cold Desert, Kings of Leon

February 23, 2009

This week has been kind of weird…there’s been some kind of universal synchronicity going on.

For example, I was doing a google search and on page 3 of the search, I found this blog. Yes, this one. Mine. It made me feel a little weird…who all has performed the exact same search and stumbled on this poorly written, outpouring of emotion? I like remaining in the shadows too much for that to sit comfortably with me.
I was riding around in my car last night, listening to the radio, something I never do. One song came on, which made me think, hmmm, I wish THIS song would play. Two songs later, it totally did. Weird. (although, other people I have talked to said this has happened to them, too)

Last Thursday, I went into CVS to pick up a prescription, and when I was walking back out to my car, a lady stopped me, asking for money. She said she was 6 months pregnant and she only had $4 of the $12 she needed to get one last prescription for her prenatal care. I told her that I really didn’t have any cash on me, and she totally broke down in tears, which made me feel terrible. I told her to stay there and I would be back with some money. I went to the ATM and got out $20, $15 of which I gave her, mostly because I felt like she needed it more than I did. When I got home, mom said that those gifts to people less fortunate have a way of coming back around. The next night, Bianca and I bought 2 scratch off tickets, and totally won $29. Weird.

Also, I got a paper back today on which the teacher gave me an A-.  Last week, when I turned it in, someone else in the class asked me what I thought I would make on the paper, and I said, “probably like an A- or something.” Weird.

Hmmm, the moral of the story is, I guess, the universe is listening…ask for an A+   😀

Oh, and p.s….The Strokes are going back into the studio…maybe there will be a new album before I graduate, and Josh Ritter and Ryan Adams(who is engaged to Mandy Moore…wha?) are coming to Atlanta (separately, but what IF they toured together?!)

“We’re heading down the road/toward tiny cities made of ashes…”- Modest Mouse

January 8, 2009

Sometimes life gets in the way of…well…life. This year, I am going to update this thing a lot more often. Promise

Christmas was pretty awesome. Due to location problems, this year was the first time in a while that ALL of my family on my mother’s side were able to be together for Christmas day. There were pictures, but of course my camera was MIA…so as soon as I get a copy of them, I will put them up here. It is the first picture that all of the cousins have taken together in probably 8 or 9 years.

School has started back. I really like all of my classes this year. The only one that I am still kind of on the fence about is my Foundation of Education class. I am starting to think that maybe I don’t want to teach? I know for sure that I don’t want to teach right away. I want to go to graduate school right after Shorter, that’s for sure. After that…who knows? I wish I could just work at an awesome mom-and-pop coffee shop (rhyme!) and be a free-lance writer. That’d be sweet. 🙂

I will do a real post later on this weekend. I am thinking of doing a photo tour of Shorter…that could be cool.

Goodnight and good luck.

Oh, and check out that song from Modest Mouse  “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes”  It will be worth your trouble.

“If it’s real, it stains your hands like wine.”- The Bad Actress, Josh Ritter

December 9, 2008

Well helllloooo there!

My finals are over, thank goodness. This semester has been pretty hard, but that was probably because of all the stress I was under with the wedding and having to look for a job. But its over, and it is okay. I am okay.

So I have this professor that talked to me after class one day about going to graduate school, which, honestly, is something that I really haven’t considered until now. I really thought that after four years in college, I would be finished, for a few years at least. Now, though, I am considering just graduating from Shorter, and then moving somewhere cool/exciting/non-southern to go to graduate school.  I am looking at places like Boston, New York, San Fran, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. Hmmm…I mean, stranger things have happened. Right? What are y’all’s thoughts on this? I need feedback.

I am working on a new playlist…if anyone is interested.

Well, I leave you with my version of the survey Betsy posted. Good luck to those still working in school!!

Survey from Betsy’s site:

Seven things I plan to do before I die:

  1. Live for a little while in New York
  2. Marry someone with glasses and a penchant for reading classics
  3. Attend mass in an old, European cathedral
  4. Experience a truly white Christmas
  5. Write my memoirs
  6. Give back
  7. See a sunrise in Alaska

Seven things I can do:

  1. Listen
  2. Tell a good story
  3. Day dream for hours
  4. Get exquisitely and profoundly lost in new cities
  5. Read music
  6. Touch my nose with my tongue
  7. Have up to 15 favorite songs and books at one time

Seven things I cannot do:

  1. Wrap my mind around how a computer works
  2. Decide…on anything
  3. Watch surgery on TV
  4. Any kind of advanced math
  5. Deal with flying insects
  6. Like Faulkner (I do try!)
  7. Juggle

Seven things I find attractive in others:

  1. Well, if we are talking about the opposite sex–intelligence
  2. Humor
  3. A nice smile
  4. A genuinely kind soul
  5. Spontaneity
  6. Nice hands
  7. A beard (not like Santa Claus…just a little scruff.)

Seven things I say most often:

  1. Hey!
  2. I don’t know, you pick
  3. Nothing, what are you doing?
  4. I don’t really have any money (most depressing line ever)
  5. Listen…
  6. What if we…?
  7. So (insert band/singer) is playing in (insert city) and I think we should go

Seven celebrity crushes:

  1. Josh Ritter  (*le sigh*)   josh-being-gorgeous
  2. Ryan Adams         ryan-chelsea1
  3. Paul Bettany          paul-bettanyr-20x24
  4. Paul McCartney (old school)     paul_mccartney_biography
  5. Jared Followill      gqmag4
  6. Adrien Brody     adrien-brody_1_3
  7. Conor Oberst     nne5wdovedfj_m

Don’t call it a comeback…

November 18, 2008

Life is finally back to normal after the wedding. I mean, as late as yesterday, we finally got everything that was wedding related out of our house, and stopped having to reorganize our garage. I hope it is a long time before something like that happens again. But the wedding was nice, and everyone had a good time, which was the goal I guess. I am just glad its over.

School is coming to an end, and everyone knows what that means! Papers, projects, presentations, oh my. And then, everyone’s favorite stress-inducing agent–the final, dun-dun-duuunnn. But I think I am going to be okay this year. Nothing (right now) looks or sounds too difficult.

I am looking and talking to different people about going on a Maymester this school year to Germany and Austria-Hungary. I have to do a study abroad session to graduate as an English major from Shorter, and it doesn’t have to be England, so I think that going to such an old country that has so much history would be pretty awesome. There are three teachers going, one who is the German professor for the school, and they want to go to the concentration camps.

I still need a job. Need. Really need a job badly. So if any of you out there have any ideas, send them my way!

To end this short post, here is the survey that Betsy posted…filled out by moi. Have a good day, all.

The rules: one word answers.

Where is your mobile phone? pocket
Where is your significant other? reading (hopefully)
Your hair colour? brown
Your mother? loving
Your father? strong
Your favourite thing? learning
Your dream last night? scary
Your dream goal? success
The room you’re in? livingroom
Your hobby? laughing
Your fear? loss
Where do you want to be in 6 years? NYC
Where were you last night? sleeping
What you’re not? rich
One of your wish-list items? luck
Where you grew up? Rome
The last thing you did? sneeze
What are you wearing? pajamas
Your TV? old
Your pets? Kodak
Your computer? loved
Your mood? tired
Missing someone? true!
Your car? Mazda
Something you’re not wearing? shoes
Favourite shop? music
Your summer? over
Love someone? someoneS
Your favourite colour? green
When is the last time you laughed? class
When is the last time you cried? wedding

Consider yourself tagged.

“So bottoms up, cheers, baby here’s to your tears.”- Cannonball Days, R. Adams

October 15, 2008

I’m just not really feeling it today, you know?

I am learning the hard way that the most important thing in life is how you react to the things that happen to you. You have to learn to just take it on the chin. People aren’t going to respect you unless you control your reactions and responses. And some people are only interested in HOW you react. The Killers said it best: “save your face, you know you’ve only got one…smile like you mean it.” Which is what I am doing.

Of course, that being said, it doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what is going on…

Engagement pictures… sheesh. Who knew that a wedding could take over my life? And not even my own wedding?!

I need a job.

But… I have finished all the homework that is due this week. Oh yeah. You are now allowed to be impressed. 😀

Here is a song to wrap up my feelings on, well….everything right now. Happy Wednesday everyone.

“Once I knew a girl in the hard, hard times. She made me a shirt out of fives and dimes. Now she’s gone but when I wear it, she crosses my mind. If the best is for the best, then the best is unkind.

I realized that Illinois was more than I could stand. They say working’s best cause poverty is hell on land. Now I ride a lazy river through the Mississippi fan. So if the best is for the best, then the best can be damned.

Spent a few years on the Queen of Spain. She was a leaky little boat the went up in flames. When the boiler blew some people started naming names. But if the best is for the best, I guess the best is to blame.

Spent a few more as the Cairo Crown. A heavy weight wrestler in a Midwest town. But I was lonesome for a girl that could pin me down. They say the best is for the best, but that’s not what I’ve found.

Now I listen to my sweetheart and I listen to when I thirst. I don’t spend time listening to other people’s words. Sometimes their right, most times the reverse. They say the best is for the best when the best’s for the worse.”

– Josh Ritter, Best for the Best

“Tell the repo man and the stars above that you’re the one I love”-David Gray

October 3, 2008

So…I really don’t think it is a secret that I love, love, love fall. One of the better elements of this season is the feeling you get when you drive around in the fall-ness. I am talking about the way that the sun seems like it is not shining as much as it is glowing, the way that a sharp gust of wind will blow leaves around on the road, just in time for you to drive through, and the way that everything smells like someone has burned leaves right next door. Perfect.

If you find yourself driving on one of these perfect days, and you are feeling so happy to, well, be alive, and you think to yourself, ‘hmmm, I really wish I had an awesome mixed cd to play to compliment this mood’…… look no further.

Here is what is currently making the rounds in my cd player. I would be more than happy to make anyone who wants one a copy… Happy fall everyone! (Ignore the gibberish before the list…I can’t make it go away!!)

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  1. Skies So Blue- Rocket Summer
  2. Bowl of Oranges- Bright Eyes
  3. Fidelity- Regina Spektor
  4. I’m Yours- Jason Mraz
  5. Walking On Air- Kerli
  6. The One I Love- David Gray
  7. Right Moves- Josh Ritter
  8. Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan
  9. Just Fine- Mary J. Blige
  10. I’m The Man Who Loves You- Wilco
  11. Nine in the Afternoon- Panic at the Disco
  12. Bottom of the Barrell- Amos Lee
  13. Girl-Beck
  14. You Can’t Hurry Love- Diana Ross and the Supremes
  15. Sunrise-Norah Jones
  16. Futures- Jimmy Eat World
  17. Island in the Sun-Weezer
  18. Many The Miles- Sara B
  19. Ragoo- Kings of Leon
  20. Wouldn’t It Be Nice- Beach Boys
  21. Please Mister Postman- The Beatles
  22. Exitlude- The Killers

“and the sun will come up again…and I will be here, if you get scared, just hold my hand.”

September 27, 2008

Title– Goodnight Rose- Ryan Adams

It’s becoming fall here in my small town. The leaves haven’t decided to show their true colors or float toward the ground yet, but it is soooo coming!! I could not be happier about this.

Tonight, I decided to make a little snack. We have these 100 calorie packs of popcorn, which would be perfect, I thought. The instructions on the back informed me that 3 mins would be sufficient to create a bag full of goodness. I set the microwave at exactly 3 and walked away. Bad idea. Very bad idea. I walked into the kitchen when the timer went off and was greeted by a wall of gray smoke. And a smell. This smell, seriously, would knock a horse out. I, however, was prepared. I had been listening during the 5th grade mandatory fire-awareness classes, and ducked down to the floor. The image of me crawling around on the floor, taking shallow breaths surely was hilarious. No one else was home to witness it unfortunately. And no, nothing was on fire…just burned. Badly. I opened the microwave door…bad idea #2. I was greeted with a nice slap to the face of rancid smoke, which quickly fill the kitchen. That was when I realized that my family doesn’t have a smoke detector in the kitchen. How nice. Now the entire house smells like death and popcorn. My parents are absolutely thrilled about this.

I am now 21…that’s new. I feel like I am getting so old. Yeah, I know, how trite of me to talk about being old at 21. I started thinking about how I pictured myself at 21 when I was 18. It seemed like I would be more ready to enter Life. I thought I would be well on my way to a promising career, possibly teaching, possibly finding the cure for cancer, AIDS, depression, and broken hearts. I had so much compassion back then…I totally loved everyone. I don’t know if I was ignorant to the bad parts of life, or just thought that they could not possibly apply to me. I think the 18 year old Whitney would be kind of embarrassed of who she would become. I used to have ambitions. I’m not sure where I dropped them along the way, but I feel like I am just getting through…just doing enough to get me to a job. I need to work on that. The 22 year old Whitney will make the 18 year old Whitney proud.

What else is going on? Let’s see. Well, I am having a really hard time in my poetry class. We are required to write a poem every week, and no matter how much time/effort/love/sweat goes into each poem, when I get to class and hear the other poems people have written, I just want to crumple mine up. I feel inferior to the other people in the class…they all intimidate me, with their perfectness and beautiful phrases. BUT I am trying.

I have been working hardcore on my book of inspiration…it’s shaping up nicely, I think. I was thinking about how funny it is that Betsy’s and mine are so totally different. I stole her idea, of course, but I didn’t know how her’s looked. I just knew that she had a book and was adhering to the pages things she thought were inspiring to her. When we initially compared them, I was astounded at how different, but beautiful her’s was. The different styles fit our personalities, I think.

So, to end this post, and in a way, to end summer, here is a random sampling of what is on my camera from this summer…

Heading to Nashville…

Departure screens at the Nashville Airport. Airports at night are so peaceful. I went there alone while Liz was busy, just to clear my head. I love imagining where I could go…or who could come to me.

Heading back from Nashville and the boy that brought about bad feelings. On to brighter days.

Dad trying to figure out how to ‘make the camera go.’

The girls heading to Chattanooga…mostly Bianca, but there is a peek at Liz and Betsy.

Sister getting ready to take engagement announcement pictures… wearing my shirt?!

The tree that almost took my car out. I mean…that is just unnecessary, really.

Betsy’s birthday party…so cute.

We went there….

….to see HIM!!!! 😀

This was the welcoming committee for Knoxville…really?. I mean, really?

This is the cutest picture from the night I went to a country concert on purpose (Josh Turner).

The feet of the attendees of that night.

Watched fireworks next to a huge rock.

So long, summer.

“I dreamed you were carried away on a crest of a wave…

September 2, 2008

…baby don’t go away, come here.”- Bright Eyes “Walk Away”

Great song, you all should probably give it a listen.

So in one of my classes, Creative Writing, we are studying the different forms and structures of poetry. This week we did sonnets. Everyone was required to write a poem to be turned in, but one lucky soul had to sign up to read theirs aloud and have it put on the chopping block and have it criticized by the members of the class. Hmmm. Well, I think that I will submit the poems that I write on this little blog, and have you lovely people tell me what you think. Honestly. I mean, the more honest you are, the better my grade will be. No pressure though. I would just appreciate any and all thoughts about them. Thanks!

Rules of Sonnet-ing.

14 lines, iambic pentameter, ababcdcdefefgg rhyming scheme, start with problem-find resolution in the last couplet. Okay, keep those rules in mind; they obviously influenced some word choices. Here goes…

Truth

All I hear from the song is Life Ain’t Chess

which is something I know nothing about.

My eyes hurt from the loud print on her dress

and on and on she goes about her doubts.

My mind will float and drift away from here

only to be brought back with a long pause

and eyes that beg me to belittle her fear.

No, sister, I can’t – I am not the cause.

Two pairs of glasses for the man who reads

next to us. Why Would He Act This Way, sigh.

My answer could take her doubt from a seed

to a huge oak. Think. Tell her the end’s nigh?

Song change: it is He Stopped Loving Her Today.

Well, I think to myself, that is one way.