Monthly Archives: January 2015

News! Of the Grad School Variety.

I don’t know how to start this announcement, but I want to tell you still:

I got into grad school.

I’m going to grad school.

As long as I can figure out the funds (and I think that I can), I start this summer. June 22.

So…okay. I’ve wanted to attend grad school for a long time. I first tried back as an undergrad to get into a costuming MFA program, but I was too much of a baby and they didn’t want me (which was very good). Over the years, I’ve toyed with the idea again. I even applied (and was accepted!) to a couple of programs, but when it came time to make the final decision, I didn’t do it. I wasn’t ready to invest the time or the money into studying what I was sort of already doing. Not that I don’t have A LOT to learn, or that an MFA in costuming wouldn’t be useful, but… I don’t know. It never felt right.

Recently, I started looking into MFA programs in writing. I had mixed feelings. While I think craft can be taught (and I have a lot to learn!), I don’t think you need an MFA to write. You can just write. The books or stories or poems you’re writing will teach you new things every time you attempt them. Some (most!) of my favorite authors don’t have big, fancy degrees.

And yet.

I still wanted to do it. And not just any writing program, but writing for children.

Oh, and also, I didn’t want to give up costuming.

So. MFA program. Writing for children. Low Residency. There are actually multiple programs that fit this very narrow bill.

But I wanted one more thing. I wanted the chance, down the road, in the program, to study literature. To delve deep in a scholarly, academic way, into words and themes. To extract meaning. And all of the programs do this to some extent. But one did it better than the others. So I applied to that one.

And Monday evening I received THE letter: Hollins University has accepted me to their MFA in children’s literature program. So far, on paper, it’s a perfect fit. It’s an MFA program, so I’ll be focused on writing. It meets for 6 weeks in the summer, when I’m off anyway. And best of all, there’s an MA track. So if I want to take those meaty literature courses, I’ll be able to. Or maybe, I’ll have to. I haven’t gotten that far yet.

So. There you have it.

I’m going to grad school.

Also: here’s a picture of a cat. You’re welcome.

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New Orleans: Day 1 (All About Dem Birds)

Our first full day in New Orleans was full of food, rest, and aquarium adventures. We started out a little later than planned, but still pretty early, walking the few blocks to Cafe Beignet, our housemates favorite places to get Beignets. It was packed. Like, lines out the door crazy packed. (This, as you may be guessing, has become somewhat of a theme of our trip.)

So…we pulled up yelp and walked around the corner to the little Cafe Fleur De Lis. It was pretty great, and we had our first celebrity sighting. I was staring as some lady’s breakfast (because I couldn’t tell what it was and it looked interesting). Then she looked up and gave me this strange, strained smile. It was Robin Roberts (from Good Morning America), and I’m fairly certain she thought I was staring at her. Oops.

Kyle is very hopeful about what his breakfast will entail.

Kyle is very hopeful about what his breakfast will entail.

After breakfast we headed to the aquarium, which was Kyle’s birthday gift to me. We didn’t have a ton of time, so we ran up to Parakeet Point, where for the low, low price of $1.50 you can get a little feed stick to feed parakeets in a large, netted room. It was amazing. Like, one of the most amazing things we’ve ever done.

The parakeets were charming and sweet. They loved getting into small spaces–pockets and purses, even sleeves a couple of times.

This is my absolute must do recommendation for anyone who comes to New Orleans (or if we ever come back).

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Inside that yellow cage, are hundreds of parakeets.

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What’s in here?!

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A perfect perch for the most discerning of parakeets.

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Feed stick, licked clean.

 

After our first round with the birds we came back for a quick sandwich (Mufaletta, for the win!) and nap, then went back to the Aquarium. There were more birds to feed! And also, fish. We figured we ought to spend some time with them as well.

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For dinner we trekked up to Frenchman St to Three Muses, a short-of tapas place with fantastic food, cocktails and music. Afterward we wandered around the street, listening to music (Kyle was especially happy to find a sousaphone player in the midst of the hubbub). But the highlight for me was attending an outdoor art market and finding the art of Tony Hollums.

Oh my word, his art. Just follow the link above. It’s beyond beautiful. Despite always loving art, I’ve never actually had a favorite artist before, and now I do.

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Sidewalk chalked coy at the art market.

Sidewalk chalked coy at the art market.

We bought 4 of his prints, then headed home for a short sleep. We were getting up in the morning to watch the sunrise over the Mississippi.

 

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New Orleans Trip: Day .5

We arrived late(ish) last night, tired and famished. So we checked in, unpacked, and then braved the streets of New Orleans.

There were lots of drunk people. Lots. And surprisingly enough, a huge chunk of them were older than us. For some reason, neither of us expected that.

We tried to go to ACME Oyster House for an oyster po-boy that was highly recommended by a friend who grew up around these parts. Not knowing how it worked, and wanting to see how long the wait was, we started to go in only to be shouted at by a member at the waitstaff that we had to wait in line. “Wait in line!” Multiple times. To be fair to her, there was a glob of people standing outside the restaurant. To be fair to us, it looked nothing like a line. And we weren’t trying to cut. Needless to say, we left. You could even say, we left in a huff. Well, I left in a huff. Kyle doesn’t generally huff much.

We wandered around, trying to get Yelp to load to figure out where our next best bet was. And we finally landed at the Palace Cafe. It was nice. The shrimp remoulade was AMAZING, as was the blueberry tart (so says Kyle. I don’t generally eat blueberries willingly.) 

The pecan pie was not as good as my Grandma’s, but that was no shock.

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