Thursday, March 12, 2009

Processed Spirits

Today was kind of a bizarre day. I got a rejection letter from UGA in the mail, which, like Missouri, I expected. If these schools requiring certain scores on the General and Literature GRE are sticking to their guns, I'd be one of the first ones out of consideration. I cannot take standardized tests. I couldn't in high school, and I can't now. No matter what I over think things. I'm the test-taker who crosses off the first three wrong answers, and he's got a fifty-fifty chance with the last two. But unbeknownst to him, until later, one of the first three he crossed off was indeed the right answer.

But maybe they just didn't like my work. Either way, no biggie, and I'm glad I got to apply. They're both great programs.

The situation was rectified, however, when I got acceptances from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and SUNY Binghamton. I have no idea yet what UNL is going to offer me for funding, if anything. And Binghamton has a nice stipend, but apparently I would have to pay some of my tuition. And honestly, with the way the economy is, not to mention the degree is a PhD in Creative Writing and not a MBA, I don't think I can go somewhere without a guaranteed full tuition waver for the years I'm there. But we'll see what they say after answering my questions, since I just got a very brief email from the Graduate Director there.

Oklahoma State is still looking nearly impossible to say no to. Especially since there are so many people telling me they did indeed get offers from schools in the past that didn't offer them a guaranteed TA with a tuition waver. Or they had to pay half their tuition. Or the entire first year of tuition.

With two schools to hear from still, in addition to knowing the the specifics for UNL and Binghamton as far as financial packages, I've still yet to decide of course. I noticed a lot folks have heard in the last few days, and we're getting to the point where schools really need to let folks know, if they want them, so they didn't already take a previous offer.

We shall see.


Also got a welcome email from Blue Mesa Review saying they want a poem. Another new-ish one. But I'm not sure how much I like it. It's one I ditched then revised. Then ditched again then revised. Then sent out and resurrected. Then thought about ditching again.

Then the acceptance.

And from this batch, originally sent out in September, my favorite poems still have all been rejected.

The editing and submission world continues to baffle me. But maybe I think all my decent poems are those that are actually horrendous.

Thankfully, the phrase "sometimes in earlier forms" is a great one, if the poem does indeed change in the future and / or ends up in some kind of project or collection.


And it's not surprising that I'll say this again: another amazing new record will soon be blowing people away.

It's Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Sure, they've taken a lot from the Strokes and countless other bands, but there are some amazing moments on this record. And they're starting to really solidify my idea that powerful works of art need to be like a gut-punch, and it should leave you wanting more. Maybe once I get older I'll get back into the sprawling nature of things, but this record has some great moments.

There's a simplicity that works so well with the pop and rock and roll structure, unlike the horrible bands like Vampire Weekend, who make me wonder how people are really listening to music in the first place.

Their last record, It's Never Been Like That, was good. But it's not something I kept in constant rotation, or thought about keeping in constant rotation, so it went away and drifted off. This one, though, I have a feeling I'll be listening to for a long time.

Just give a listen in a few months if you can't find a leak of it. But it's worth searching out now.