Mud Cats

My last post featured my dear friend reading one of his original poems.

This post features another dear friend reading one of my elementary school stories.

Listen to a 30-something-year-old man read a story written by a 7-year-old girl.

There’s more where that came from.



Looks Aren’t Everything (But a Snappy Layout Sure is Neat!)

I’m trying out a new blog theme. I loved the grass, don’t get me wrong, but I want to see how our posts look with a layout that is easier to read.

What say the Creeter Readers? Is this nautical theme a yay or a nay?

And remember, this is for posterity, so…do be honest.

Your Host,
Rachel Creeter

[EDIT: As soon as I pressed Publish, the Powers That Be were kind enough to inform me that this was my 80th post on this blog. Well, don’t I feel sheepish for making it all business and no play? Yes. Yes, I do feel sheepish.]

One Day Like This

It’s been a quiet Winter here at Rum Creeters. I’m sure you readers have had plenty of more important things to attend to, and (speaking for myself) this Rum Creeter has had a Dickens of a time (pun intended) coming up with posts while The Real World beckoned.

I’m currently halfway through my last finals week as an undergrad. Hopefully. There are still a few things I need to get taken care of, some forms that need to be mailed and some professors that need to be bribed (just kidding…sort of) and I don’t want to jinx it by saying, “So long, School! I’m outta here forever!” just to get the, “Not so fast…” letter saying I need to come back for one more pointless semester.

I only have one more final (Friday morning — here ’til the bitter end), so I am technically almost done. But there are some last minute assignments I need to turn in, because that’s how I roll. (Can’t you just hear the grad schools clamoring for me?)

The one good thing about my school’s new policy of not having December commencement (I’m supposed to come back in May to walk) is that I have time after finals to make sure my paperwork is squared away, since I don’t have to absolutely know for sure that I’m graduating on Friday. I’d like to get that taken care of as soon as possible, of course, for my own peace of mind. But it’s not something I have to worry about while I’m trying to pass exams.

One thing is certain right now: come January 7th I will be back in my home state of California. Diploma or not, I’m taking next semester off.

I need time to heal the rift that’s come between me and formal education. I need a chance to miss being in class. I’ve felt so smothered for the past few years, I’m almost willing to do something desperate just to get away from all the essays and presentations. It’s not you, College, it’s me.

And maybe, someday, after I’ve had some time alone with Work, I’ll come running back into your arms. If you’ll have me.

Rachel the Gone but not Lost

Mix Tape Tuesday – April Showers

Happy April, everyone! In honor of the month, the weather and the holidays, this week’s Mix Tape is all about April and the showers that bring May flowers. Original, yeah? Whatevs.

So it turns out the reason the upload kept failing is because MediaFire now has a 100MB limit per file. No worries, that just means I’ll have to make this Mix Tape a double album!

I wanted the songs that make up this list to be from all over the music map, so maybe you’ll come across a style or artist you’ve not heard much of before. And wouldn’t it be great if you decide you like it?

Mix Tape Tuesday – April Showers

Side One:
1. Little April Showers – The Roches, and some other people
2. Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
3. Easter Theater – XTC
4. Stormy Weather – Glenn Miller
5. Raining In My Heart – Buddy Holly
6. Don’t Always Look at the Rain – Howard Jones
7. Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) – Melanie
8. Spring and a Storm – Tally Hall
9. Easter Snow – Séamus Ennis
10. Quick as Rainbows – Kitchens of Distinction

Side Two:
11. Red Rain – The White Stripes
12. Crying in the Rain – Carole King
13. April in Paris – Gloria Lynne
14. Rain – The Beatles
15. Good Friday – CocoRosie
16. Just Like Rain – Laurie Lewis & Kathy Kallick
17. Make it Rain – Tom Waits
18. Don’t Let the Rain Come Down – Serendipity Singers
19. Purple Rain – Prince
20. Easter Parade – The Real Tuesday Weld

Now off with you! Go enjoy the Spring. Listen to a music genre that’s new to you. Dance in the rain.

-Rachicken before the egg

Ode to An Expiring Frog

Is it Wednesday again already? Oh, I suppose it is in the earth’s nature to keep orbiting the sun even when I’m not paying attention.

Here I am, Creeter Readers, and on time to boot. Let’s see where this vaguely planned out entry ends up by the time I push Publish, shall we?

This has been a good week for me. A very much needed good week, might I add. After last week (and the week before, and so on), I needed something to refresh my soul.

Let me explain why these past three days have been some of the best I’ve had perhaps since the semester began.

1. Several assignments that were supposed to be due this week have been pushed back, so I caught a lot of breaks that way. Of course, that means I’m just going to hate the assignments even more when the new deadlines attack, but I needed a breath of fresh air to keep me from going AWOL and being resigned to selling knitted scarves on the street corner for the rest of my life.

2. 2008 National Book Award finalist Salvatore Scibona visited my campus yesterday. I read his debut novel, The End, for my American Novel class (the same course I get to read Lolita for, by the by and huzzah). He came to our class and answered questions both about the novel itself and his writing process.
Later that afternoon he participated in a lively game of Trivial Pursuit in the Starbucks on campus. (We had planned the game for his visit, because somehow the rumor spread—by someone who shall remain nameless but happens to be my American Novel professor—that Scibona was a self-proclaimed champion.) As it turns out, he lives up to his rumored title. His team (of which I was a crucial member, if I say so myself) won, and there were high-fives all around. In case anyone asks, a mashie-niblick is an obsolete golf club. That is the one answer no one on my very illustrious team knew except me. All I can say is thank God for I Love Lucy.
That night Salvatore Scibona read an excerpt of his novel and afterward had a book signing. I love hearing authors read their own work. It illuminates nuances of the characters that might have gone unnoticed otherwise. And his book was already beautiful enough, even when it was just heard in my mind.
After the book signing, I told him that I was going to apply for an internship at Graywolf Press, who published his book. He gave me his card and said to contact him so he could put in a good word for me. He also offered to discuss grad schools with me, since I mentioned I wanted to pursue an MFA in creative writing. So I got that going for me, which is nice. (That’s a Caddyshack quote, by the way; I didn’t want it to go unnoticed.)

3. I need to preface this last point with a backstory. Last semester I took a Charles Dickens class and it changed my life. That is to say, I fell in love with Dickens and the world he created with his characters. Not only that, but our class reflected this world and the love for it. This is the class which inspired the title of this very blog. You can read the passage it was taken from in the top right column, under ABOUT: The Rum Creeters. There were only seven of us in the class, and that’s including Dr. Johnny Wink, our beloved professor. One day good ol’ Johnny Wink announced that The Rum Creeters would be an excellent name for an all-girl punk band, and since all the students in the class were female and in love with Dickens, it only made sense that we should become said band. Unfortunately the band has yet to materialize, but I named this blog in honor of it, and those of us who took the class still refer to ourselves as The Rum Creeters. So that’s the background information.
After several months of planning around our busy schedules, The Rum Creeters finally threw a reunion party. We had band shirts made, with “Johnny and The Rum Creeters Fall Tour 2008” on the front and all of our nicknames on the back. The shirts were a surprise for Miss Peecher (Dr. Johnny Wink’s nickname, after a character in Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend).
This reunion was exactly what I needed. All of us were longing for the Rum Creeter days again and—for a little while, at least—we had them back.
I suppose no one quite understands the significance of this class or this reunion without actually having been a part of it. All I can say to that is, I hope you can find your equivalent to The Rum Creeters someday.

Puella Fontanarum Calidarum

P.S. “Ode to An Expiring Frog” is a poem by one of the many wonderful characters in Pickwick Papers, my favorite Dickens novel. Seriously, that book is hilarious from beginning to end.