Archive for the ‘Athens’ Category

The Plain Gray Hat

Sunday, January 10th, 2016
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Remnants of a once vast collection. + one Argentinian fan.

Hats. I love’em. I used to collect them. Vintage hats in particular, but the random, really great baseball hat, here and there, too. Then I moved into a very small two bedroom/one bath bungalow with my boyfriend (now husband) and at some point, I could no longer justify the space needed to maintain a 100-200 piece hat collection.

So, on New Year’s Eve, I found out the party I was attending that night at my friend Cass’ house required hats. As in, “you need to bring funny hats.” THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER THROW ANYTHING OUT. I had hundreds of the perfect hat. I knew I would need those, even if it was 16 years down the road. Damn it.

Todd reminded me that I still had a few in a storage box in the basement. (I admit that it is also true that you kind of forget what things you have when you keep them in storage and you don’t really miss them.) I rummaged around in the basement and found the box. I opened it. I smiled involuntarily. I couldn’t help it.

Those hats.

I do remember when we moved and I put the rest of them into storage, I kept the “prettiest” one out and put it on our new shelves in the basement, along with many hardback books, photos, some artwork we’ve collected over the years, a collection of hammer heads and figurines that belonged to my grandfather, my old camera collection, and my pottery. (That stuff could be a post of its own.) The hat originally belonged to my Aunt Lessie, who was both an occasional Goat Man, and a very fashionable woman of Savannah. She also forever remains ingrained in my memory for insisting on going swimming at our neighborhood pool with us when I was probably 12 or so. She actually brought her own bathing suit. God, I wish I had that still – probably 1960s! She wore it with her swimming cap, also vintage, a plastic number with plastic flowers on it. She was well into her 70s by this point, and I think my Dad almost had a heart attack when she insisted on going off the diving board. 12-year-old me thought she was a badass. I still do.

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Aunt Lessie’s vintage hat that sits on a downstairs shelf.

She and Grandma seemed to buy many of their hats at Savannah’s Glendale hat shop. Most of their hats had the Glendale label sewn inside them.

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I love the internet. This postcard, part of the Library of Boston archives, was issued approximately 1930-1945.

Um, I guess I should admit that I also collect some postcards, but only of places that any line of my ancestors lived. (If you are interested in Georgia postcards, you can see the rest of that library’s archived Georgia postcard collection here.) I later ended up with these Aunt Lessie hats and about 10 others, plus Lisa and I split all of my grandmother Palmer’s hats. These are the only ones I kept.

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Two of my Aunt Lessie’s hats: The one on the left is Italian, and the one on the right is a weird, stiff material, with plastic flowers. I always loved the way it fit, although now I would probably not wear it often. For one thing, it looked better with my hair dyed black. I used to wear it with vintage dresses and Dad would call me Minnie Pearl.

 

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I did not inherit this hat (or her others) until after she died, but seeing photos of my grandmothers and Aunt Lessie wearing hats fueled my love for hats very early on.

My hat collection, though, really started one fateful day in Little Five Points. I believe I was skipping school that day, although I can’t quite remember the details. I was there with my friends Jenni, John, and. . .one other person, but I cannot for the life of me remember who it was. Time makes things foggy. I bought this one at a vintage store. Or it might have been Junkman’s Daughter when it was over near where Criminal Records is now. Again, fogginess.

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Forest green beret with velvet bow.

Oh, how I loved this hat. I know exactly why; If you are a girl of the eighties, the hat with a bow might ring a bell for you, too.

In middle school, when that video came out, I wanted a hat just like Madonna’s. The green beret with the velvet bow was as close as I ever got. Side note: This hat was later hijacked for at least a year by my boyfriend at the time, who wore it liberally. He also wore eyeliner, because it was 1990. My Dad loved that I was in love with a boy who wore hats with velvet bows, and eyeliner. (And he was a Yankee, no less.)

My mom must have picked up on this new obsession, because she gave me the following hat for Christmas one year when I was in high school. (Jason B. Vat 69! And the pink cassette player from middle school. Lisa, why do we not have that any longer? It was awesome.)

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Me, wearing a hat from my mom. Christmas of my Junior or Senior year, I guess? That’s Pop sitting over to the side, wearing his signature goat man outfit.

So, over the years, I collected more and more of them. Vintage stores, yard sales, estate sales. It probably got out of hand, but if you ever loved collecting, you know how that happens. I had so many people start bringing them to me, because they knew how much I loved them. Here’s a not-so-great photo of my room at home one Summer.

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I used to have a protruding clavicle!

I must have really chopped my hair and it looks like it was black at this point. (I cannot even begin to remember what it was like to have so much time on my hands that I would move home in the summer and decorate my room. Does not compute.)

I know it was college, because my sister is wearing a hat that I either stole from my friend Mike Maier, or let him draw on. I know that the artwork on the hat is his. I believe he also drew on some shoes I had, and definitely some jeans. See all the hats on the wall? They went all the way around the room, and it was not the whole collection. There are some on the bedpost over my shoulder, too. You can also see the very odd 1980s intercom system we had in our house (behind the lamp).

Side note: I had a different room in high school. My sister moved into it after I left for college and I took over her room, shown here. In my old room, I would unscrew the intercom faceplate from the wall, pull it out, hide contraband on the ledge inside with the wiring, then replace the plate and screw it back into the wall. I struggle to see how my children will ever pull anything over on Todd or me.

Remember the boy with the eyeliner and the beret?  Here is a hat he gave me for Christmas the first year we were together. We were Freshmen at UGA at that point. It was a beautiful gift. (Another beautiful gift, in the background, is the fan and silver stand that my husband brought me from Argentina a few years ago. I have a habit of picking men who are more thoughtful than I am. Opposites attract, I suppose.)

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I adored this hat and yes, I kept it all these years, despite the fact that it was too small for my large head. I just loved it. I love it still.
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Side note: It was never lost on me that the boyfriend’s purchase, while acknowledging my love of hats, was also a nod to his obsession with Perry Farrell. I mean, come on.

There was one more hat in the box.

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The gray hat.

It is not beautiful. I don’t remember buying it or someone giving it to me, although someone must have. I do remember it being a staple of my wardrobe in college, though. I wore it almost daily, backwards (the 90s, yo), and I think that it’s functionality was the reason that I wore it so much. It was lightweight enough to wear in Summer and I didn’t care if it got messed up, so I wore it while I worked at The Grill, where every time you went home and you smelled like hamburgers and french fries (with feta) and grease. At one point, I lived in a three bedroom house on Prince Ave. with my friend Mya and a rotating cast of characters, sometimes as many as 6 of us living there at one time. There was also a time when every roommate also worked at The Grill and our house completely smelled like The Grill. It makes me gag now, the thought of waking up hung over, or having to be at work at 11PM for a night shift, and unable to find clean uniforms. We’d just share dirty work shirts off the floor of our bedrooms. My bedroom one summer was actually a dining room. With a curtain to the living room and a swinging door to the kitchen. (It is amazing what you start remembering when you start typing.)

I wore that hat out.

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So, here I am, on the day before New Year’s 2016, and we are asked to wear hats to my friends’ NYE party, and I open that box, and I am flooded with memories of high school, college, music, and friends. Of being excited by things and people and culture and life. But it was that gray hat that struck me the hardest. It made me think of that first time in my life that my heart was broken, and I didn’t know yet that pain lessens over time, or that you don’t actually need other people, because either way things will be okay. I learned that, if you’re patient, things will get better. I learned how to be alone and how to get over things, and how to love myself, all around that period of time that I used to wear that hat.

When I saw it lying in the storage bin, I immediately thought of this photo of me in the hat, and my grandmother’s vintage coat (GOD, why do I get rid of things?) standing on the beach in Charleston. I was brokenhearted and had that awful feeling of wanting to run away, of fear, of not knowing I would be okay. I remember discussing it all with my friend Matt, a fellow insomniac who visited me quite often while I worked the night shift at the Grill. We made the decision to drive to Charleston as soon as I got off work at 7 a.m. We took my truck, a hand-me-down tan Nissan truck with a camper on the back that had belonged to my grandfather, with zero bells and whistles and which smelled like old dog farts, no matter what I did to alleviate the smell. We drove to Charleston and spent a cold day walking the streets, snapping photos, and then finding a cheap motel. And the next morning we drove out to the beach – Folly, I guess – and we had breakfast and then walked on the freezing beach. He took this picture without me knowing.

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The other thing I notice about this photo is that it very clearly shows my “old” nose, before the drunken face-first wall incident of my 21st birthday, or the “Memorial Day drunk driver hitting us head on in Florida on the way back from Brant and Melissa’s wedding” accident, both of which busted my nose and required surgery to fix. It looks pretty much the same now, but I can still tell the difference.

I still remember that morning on a Charleston beach, and the thoughts I was thinking, the things making me feel sad and overwhelmed. The feeling of not knowing what would happen. I was on a precipice. And it reminded me of the sadness and depression I felt just last year in 2015, on a different beach twenty-five years later, where I walked my dog at 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and snapped this photo of myself.

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There I was that morning, on another precipice, seemingly standing at the edge of the world. I was in a similar place: Not heartbroken, but sad, lost, frustrated, and wanting to run away from all of my confused feelings. The difference was that I had already been there once before. And I didn’t really run that first time, 25 years ago, even though I had the benefit of spontaneity, no responsibilities, and a road trip. I came back from Charleston to Athens, and I learned how to deal with feeling the things that I didn’t want to feel, and I learned that no matter what, I would be okay, because I loved myself and I could take care of myself. I learned that Everything would be okay.

And I learned it all while wearing one nondescript, really nasty, trashed gray hat.

A Sloan Kind of Morning

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

SloanI’ve been listening to so much sad and melancholy music this year, but I think I’m pulling out of it. Not that I will ever stop, because I love the sad and melancholy beauties more than any of the others, but I hear variety is also supposed to be good.

A few things have been a catalyst for this . . .  (more…)

Recipe for a Good Weekend: The Five Bs

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I know everyone else says their Labor Day weekend was great, but I’m pretty sure mine was the best.

 

First of all, I have an 11 year old now. We took him and five of his friends to the G braves game. The main thing you need to know about the Gwinnett Braves is that THEY SELL BOILED P-NUTS AT THE STADIUM.

 

It makes me feel a little off-kilter when I see how big the boys have all gotten. . .

 

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

 

They talk. A LOT. Mostly about farts. They are at a crazy age where they are still little kids, and yet almost teenagers sometimes. They listen to REALLY bad music. I mean, really bad. They think it’s good. One of them went so far as to say, “Parents don’t get it. Pop is the music of the future.” And “Mary broke her middle finger. Now she can’t use it any more.” Me: “Use it for what?” Kid: “Playing the recorder.” So, these six stayed up til like 1 am, laughing, inhaling pizza, talking smack, and playing video games. And now my basement smells like puberty.

 

~~~~~

And then there was this:

Oh, baby.

Oh, baby.

On Saturday, my sainted husband took the kids and dog to the lake, and Brett came and picked me up. Brett is my ex-husband from high school. I have known him since middle school, through high school, and into college. We have somehow stayed in touch, even though we have not lived in the same city (and sometimes country) since college. He is like family now. And the fact that he gave me first dibs on tickets (after his own family, of course) meant a lot. So, it’s not often that married folks get to spend an hour or so riding in a car, hanging out and chatting. And Brett and I got all day. (Luckily, we made it through the hellacious turn he made off of 316 into the gas station parking lot. There were squealing tires. Brett is very wild.)

 

So, we drove to Athens, parked at OMG-IT-WAS-SO-FAR. And then we walked. A lot. Fitbit says I walked over nine miles, which explains why on Sunday I felt rather similarly to the way i felt after running a half-marathon. And I didn’t even drink any bourbon while running that one.

 

What a beautiful (Hot) day it was for a walk in Athens. Oh, the people-watching. There is just not much like an SEC football town on a Saturday. So, we walked all the way from the intramural fields to North Campus. We found Brett’s cousins’ tailgate. (what the heck did people do to find each other before cel phones? I have trouble remembering.) They were gracious and gentlemanly and had lovely girlfriends (ah, to be 20-something again), and had ice and beer and . .  no mixers for the bourbon. That’s okay, it seems I can be charming when i want to – i sweet-talked some poor Clemson boy for Coke. He didn’t know what hit him.

 

Then Jason and his friend Brian showed up, and wheee! Seriously nothing better than a sunny Saturday, drinking bourbon, and people-watching with two of your oldest, favoritest people, and about 80,000 strangers.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

 

So, it came time to move on. Kickoff was at 5:30. Brett and I bade goodbye to our gracious hosts, hugged Jason, and set off to grab something to eat. I cannot begin to explain the crowds. We grabbed a hotdog from a corner vendor (flashbacks of my bachelorette party, anyone?), walked through the arches, and sat on the steps of one of the North Campus buildings and just watched people go by. There are old fans, and young fans, and couples, and the endless stream of ridiculous plays on the red and black dress. We finished up and headed towards the stadium. We took the scenic route and sat on the steps of Park Hall, just like the old days. I could have been sitting next to Kevin Fagan, doing the Red and Black crossword, smoking before class. Park has a great view, kind of up on a hill from the stadium, and the streams of people going by, and the sun hanging low in the west, and the sweet, sweet anticipation of kickoff never cease to wow me.

 

So, we headed towards the stadium in a bourbon haze, in a sea of red, and then we purchased the most trashy red and black t-shirts ever made. They are unable to be worn around children, or in polite company. (They cracked us up, and fueled by bourbon, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I am hoping that Brett will get a photo of Lucy wearing his, and send it to me. Brett and I both suspect we will get nothing but disapproving shakes of the head from our spouses, though.)

 

And then, a wave of people walking into the stadium, and to find our seats.

 

It's pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

It’s pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

 

Great seats! Okay, the good thing about the seats were the location, the view and the overhang, shielding you from the sun. The bad thing is that it was probably 95 in the shade, and then the heat was rising from below and it seemed to just sit up under the overhang. I was never so thankful for the free fan. Talk about a way to feel southern. Dress in the same colors as the other 80,000 people around you, drink bourbon on early 18th century steps, and then use a fan to cool yourself off.

 

Well, I declare, I thought Brett might have a heatstroke up in that stadium. He’s almost a Yankee now, living out there on the west coast. I guess he just wasn’t used to our heat. Bless his heart.

 

(That was my best Scarlett O’Hara. That’s all I got.)

 

So, then? The game. Brett and I spent the first half being uneasy and nervous. Dawgs just didn’t look too . . . inspired. Well, that all changed, and we got quite a show in the 2nd half. That’s all I’m gonna say about that, because I believe in jinxes, and I’ve had my heart smashed to pieces the last two seasons, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for any outward emotional investment yet.

 

So, we got out of the game and rode the shuttle back out to the car, and drove back to Atlanta. All in all, it was a good day to be a Dawg.

 

 

~~~~~

Sunday, i woke up early, feet blistered, and packed a bag for the Lake. And i got there about 11. And it was, you guessed it, so hot. But i read on the dock, and the kids swam, and I drank beer with my two best friends, and I caught a bass and ate a persimmon and some berries right off the tree and vine, and then we at a steak dinner. And I watched the second half of the replay of the game, and it was just as good, and I got maybe a little excited, but JINXES. And then my husband and I did one of our favorite things, which is to sit on the dock, and listen to music, and gaze at the stars. (And a few fireworks across the lake.) The stargazing was not its best last night, a cloud covered most of the lake, but the Big Dipper and the moon were hanging low and bright in the clear western sky. It was hot and I had not showered, so i went swimming, and night swimming in the still lake, gazing at the crescent moon, with the faint notes of music in my ear is pretty damn near heaven.

 

I slept late (9? Is that late? I guess i am old.) I ate cold pancakes and drank coffee on the screened porch. And then Tiller and I rode the jet-ski, and we went to Goat Island, and it amazes/saddens me that she is so big now that she doesn’t even hold on to me when we ride. We did not see the goats, but boy was the lake busy today. And then i got back to the dock and i took Rollie out. Or should i say, he took me out. Yes, my boy is old enough to drive the thing, and I am just along for the ride. That is both wonderful and scary at the same time. (Still not old enough to take it out on his own, of course.) And my favorite part about that is that we get to have some time together, just the two of us, and we have fun, stopping to swim, and exploring the lake, and stuff like that.

 

So, i had to come home. Which makes me sad. When i was little, i used to cry about leaving the lake. I love it so. I still get sad to come back home. And now, back to the real world. The work week. The grind. But I feel pretty certain there will be a little Tuesday daydreaming about day drinking in Athens, 100-yard punt returns, fishing, swimming, and the stars.

Recipe for a good weekend: Boiled peanuts, Baseball, Bourbon, Bulldogs, and Bass.

 

*Photos courtesy of Brett Shell. It’s really hard to hold a drink while shaking one of those pom-poms and taking photos at the same time.

Never Forget: What is your 9/11 Story?

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

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I sit here every year, read a few news articles about folks who lost their lives, families whose loved ones never came home that day, and heroes who saved others, but lost their own lives. I never quite know what to say. It is a sadness that will never go away, and as someone I know said (and I apologize for not remembering who), the whole “never forget” thing is patently ridiculous. As if anyone could ever, in a million years, forget what that day was like. It was one of the most emotional days i have ever lived, full of anger, relief, disgust, horror, fear, disbelief, confusion, and a heartwrenchingly deep sadness. It is a waking nightmare that I take out like a worry stone once a year, just to remind myself that it was real, it really happened, and it happened to us all. A mass consciousness nightmare from which we will never quite awaken.

It also gives me one ray of hope . . . We have it so easy in our country, in so many ways, that we don’t know true day-to-day horror. I never want to experience something like 9/11 again, but I also never want to forget that given the right circumstances, our country might once again come together and stand undivided. It happened in those days after 9/11 and it might one day happen again.

Never forget. Here is what i wrote about my experience on 9/11 for the 911Digitalarchive, back in 2006. (OMG, i have been blogging for too long, i think!) I often revisit what 9/11 means to me and how my views about it have changed over the years, but i always come back to the story of what happened, of the event itself, and what it looked like from my little corner of the word. I always come back, like a stone that I worry in my palm and fingers, always studying it, but never quite figuring it out.

What is your 9/11 story?

Daisies’ Bridging Ceremony

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

I know. I have been terrible about writing on my blog. Someone told me the other day that they worked with a girl who knew me because she reads my blog? And i thought, “damn. She must be really bored.”

Anyway, here are some photos from the first grade bridging ceremony last week. Kindergarteners like Tiller received a diploma, and the first grade girls “bridged” to Brownies, and received their brown vests.

Doing the girl scout pledge thingie with the three fingers. Tiller is beside the kid in the pink shirt.

Doing the girl scout pledge thingie with the three fingers. Tiller is beside the kid in the pink shirt.

Tiller doing the little gang sign and handshake. Then she got a little diploma. She is a cutie patootie.

Tiller doing the little gang sign and handshake. Then she got a little diploma. She is a cutie patootie.

Then all the girls and their parents and siblings held hands in a big circle and they girls sang some girl scout song. I lurked in the trees taking pictures.

Then all the girls and their parents and siblings held hands in a big circle and the girls sang some girl scout song. I lurked in the trees taking pictures.

Seriously. This stuff really happens in real life. Really. Handholding and vests and singing as a group.

Seriously. This stuff really happens in real life. Really. Handholding and vests and singing as a group.

Four of the Daisies - Sadie, Anna, Sydney, and Tills. Yes, she is kind of a giant.

Four of the Daisies - Sadie, Anna, Sydney, and Tills. Yes, she is kind of a giant.

Okay, so i won’t promise I’ll post again soon, but you never know. . . Last day of school is Thursday – i might have more time for posting. . might!

My Memories as Fairy Tale, or Once Upon A Time I May Have Touched Curt Cobain

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I was laid out on the couch today, with strep throat. Todd took the kids to R’s baseball game, and I was flipping through Netflix, trying to find something interesting. The good thing about being sick is that I can watch tv that I wouldn’t normally watch. Guilt free. Because i’m sick. I can watch four episodes of British teen dramas. (Skins. I can’t quit you.) Then, I can totally decide to switch over and watch music documentaries, which I used to watch all the time, but never seem to find time for these days. Because of the aforementioned guilt.

And yeah, the music is early 90s. Got all nostalgic after seeing facebook photos posted by college pal Jasonaut. Black and white photos, fresh faces, wrinkled, lived-in clothes that didn’t really fit, Athens porches. Beautiful photos that make me think of the past with wistfulness, even as I realize that photos don’t capture heartbreak, heat, humidity, night breezes, the smell of smoke, or the feel of old couches, or what it feels like to have so. much. time. to. think. About everything. To death.

So, there i was, laid out on the couch, watching a documentary about Nevermind, and the kids walk in from post-game pizza at Felini’s and Tiller is looking all cute, with a pony tail on her head, wearing mary janes, polka-dot leggings, a madras plaid patchwork skirt, and a shirt that can only be described as “riotous” (it had a zebra print, at least five colors, including hot pink, and sequins) – she is Belinda Carlisle on acid. And she walks in, puts her hand on hip, and says definitively, “This is my favorite song.”

It’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” And i though to myself, “novice.”

And then I said, “Really? I didn’t know you liked this song.”

And she said, “Yes,” her hands out to me, palms up, making a point, and cocked her head to the right, nodding. “We listened to the Nirvana in the car with Daddy.” Weird. Synchronicity. Also, this is good, because it means he might have been actually listening to me when I was saying that it was sad the kids don’t hear full albums more often.

“Oh. Okay, well, would you like to watch a documentary about the album?” And I totally thought they would say no, while giving me that “fuck no, i want to play. Why would I want to watch this boring shit?” look, but instead, they both said, “Sure!” in unison, and curled up on the chairs, and there wasn’t even a fight about who would sit where.

And then they started asking questions:

Tiller: “Who’s that? Is he the dead one?”
Me: “Uh, did daddy tell you he died?
Tiller: “Yeah. How did he die?”
Rollie: “He got old, Tiller.”
Me: “Well, actually, no, it’s sad. He killed himself. Have you heard of that?”
In unison: “No.”
Oh. shit.
Me: “Well, he did. It was v. sad. Always remember that no matter how bad it might get, Mama and daddy are here, and you can always talk to us, and it’s never bad enough to kill yourself. It is a selfish, terrible, heartbreaking, sad thing.”
Rollie: “How did he do it?”
Me: “Uh, i don’t remember.” Total lie.
Tiller: “Why?” Uh, shit. Too early to discuss drugs and depression.
Me: “Sometimes people are in pain, physically, or they are so sad that it hurts, and they don’t know what else to do.” SHIT.
Rollie: “Was it a gun?” Shit.
Me: “I don’t know baby. Let’s watch. maybe they will tell us what happened.”

And then, my stomach kind of clenched, because they had Butch Vig talking about recording the song “Something in the Way,” which is just depressing-as-hell, a haunting song, and i was thinking, why am i letting them watch this? Crap!

Rollie: “This one is not so loud.” He says this, not with distaste, but with thoughtfulness.

Butch Vig talks about how he recorded it with Kurt Cobain laying on a couch in the room with the soundboard, and he was just lying on the couch, playing the guitar, and singing, and it was so quiet, and so moving. I was waiting for the kids to get bored and start fidgeting, but they are both staring at Butch Vig, talking about doubling up vocal tracks, like Lennon did, and i see R. jerk his head towards me, like, “Lennon! I know him!” but he turns back to the tv. And they just . . . listen.

Rollie whispers, eyes not leaving the screen: “I like that song.”
Tiller: “Me too.”

And then they start talking about Smells Like Teen Spirit and how they made the video, which, well, you know. You’ve seen it. And Tiller says, in a Barbara Walters-gonna-get-you-to-fess-up-voice: “Mom, were you there?” And I laugh and say no.

And then the documentary starts talking about Nirvana playing live. They show all sorts of footage that makes me smile: Cobain wearing a white coat, beating his head into his amp, and Novoselic throwing his bass in the air, and Cobain leaping into the drum set. I am smiling and I look over at my kids, and they are looking at me, like, “Why are you smiling? Aren’t they gonna get in trouble? Isn’t that bad?”

Tiller: “Why are they making that mess?
Me, smiling a HUGE, guilty grin: “For fun. For entertainment.”
R: “Are those people on stage dancing in the band?
I laugh. “No,” more laughter, “they are people in the crowd stage diving.”
R: “What’s that?”
Me, with a lot more laughter. “It’s stupid. People got so excited and they would jump on stage and dance with bands, and then they would jump into the crowd, and the crowd would catch them, usually, and then they might carry them around. And that’s “crowd surfing.”

Complete silence in the room, as they both sit watching this footage of . . . what i remember going to see bands like that was like. And i realized that they are watching people at a Nirvana show, and it must seem like a fairy tale to them, like my dad telling me he met the Rolling Stones, or if my mom up and told me she was at Woodstock.

Tiller: “Were you there, mom?”
Me, more laughter. Laugh out loud laughter. A happy laughter. “Not there, baby. But i saw them twice. One time in a really big place, like the Georgia Dome, but it was called the Omni. But the first time I saw them, i was in Athens and I saw them in a little small place, smaller than the place where we took you to see They Might Be Giants.” The crowd on TV is pushing and shoving.
Tiller: “Was Daddy there?
Me: “No, baby, i didn’t know Daddy yet. I was there with my roommate and another friend.”
Rollie: “Did you get pushed down?”
Me: “No!”
Rollie: “Did you get pushed?”
Me: “yes.”
Tiller: “Were you scared?”
Me: “No. It was fun.”
Rollie: “Did you get up on stage and jump off?”
Me: “Oh, no, baby. Not my style. Remember I don’t like heights or being the center of attention.”
Rollie: “Did anyone jump off?”
Me: “Yes, Curt Cobain did! But not with his guitar like that.” On the TV, Curt is jumping off a huge stage, with his guitar, at some festival into a sea of people. “And there were not that many people there.”
Tiller: “did you catch him?”
Me: “Yes, everyone caught him. He jumped off, and people caught him, and he grabbed a hold of this movie screen, you know the kind they set up for movies at school? That pull out of the ceiling? And he grabbed hold of it, and he pulled it down, while the crowd was holding him, and it came right out of the ceiling and he wrapped himself up in the screen while the people held him up.”
Tiller, eyes as big as saucers: “Did you touch him?”
Me: “Uh, yeah, i guess so.”

And they both just stared at me.

And I gotta admit . . . I felt like a complete and total bad ass. I really did have a life. Back in the day. And what’s more? I’m pretty sure they thought i was a badass. That will probably never happen again. At least until they have children of their own. And then they will know that keeping a kid alive for 8 years is pretty badass in and of itself.

p.s. Mom? Dad? Y’all aren’t perfect, but I do think you’re pretty badass.

post-post script: Interestingly, i found this site, because I was curious if anyone else had written about the show online. I would have keeled over in happiness to find a photo of that night. Not even a complete setlist.

10/05/91 – 40 Watt Club, Athens, GA
Set (incomplete)
Smells Like Teen Spirit • Breed • Endless, Nameless
Notes
The band was drunk and out of tune, but the show was apparently incredible, according to attendees.
During “Endless, Nameless,” Kurt vaulted up to the movie projection screen and ripped it out of the ceiling, inciting the crowd to get onstage with the band and trash everything. Meanwhile, Dave kicked his drums over, then piled them up in no particular order and played them with microphones. After the noise and destruction, the band piled their instruments onto the drums, wished the crowd a good night, and left the stage, according to an attendee.
Other Performers
Das Damen

So, yeah. . . i guess i didn’t totally dream it.

Part II, a.k.a. Shotgun Blast of Thanks

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I am thankful that I happened to come across a blog post i wrote two years ago on the Winter Solstice. I am thankful that I spent that lovely evening with my dog, Quint. I am thankful that I wrote about it, so I can remember what it was like to sit in the cold on the lake with him and watch stars. I am thankful I still remember what his ears felt like.

This year has been rough and a lot sad, and it has made me even more sad that I haven’t written as much as I normally do. This is part two of looking on the bright side, so that two years from now, I will maybe look back and remember the good things, not the sad ones.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

A day spent trying on hats.

A day spent trying on hats.

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

And girls drinking in trucks.

And girls drinking in trucks.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

Because it still makes me laugh every time I think of it. It is a cornucopia of laughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

And there you have it. One huge shotgun blast of thankfulness. My life is good. Really good.

Annual Temporary Annulment Day 2010

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

So, you might have heard a little rumor. It has something to do with me and a streak.

Four games. I would love to make it five, but I don’t see it happening. If it does happen, it will be amidst too much hoopla, and it will be bittersweet and contested anyway. Sigh.

Scratch that. I’ll take it.

There is something larger at stake, though. Not just four in a row in a House Divided. But my record at Auburn games. I have a bit of streak going there, too. I have never seen Auburn win a game in my presence.

I’ve been to a number of Auburn games, and not just games where they play Georgia (although those have been the sweetest). Auburn has lost every game I attended. I am the kiss of death. i am the black widow. One year i was the Blackout Widow. (By far the most beautiful Annulment Day yet.) Bama game last year? That was me. Unexpected loss to some crappy Florida team? (Florida Atlantic? Florida A&M?) Yeah, that was me too.

Cue Sympathy for the Devil.

The best thing about tomorrow is. . . well, duh. No children for a day of drinking. Second best thing? We have nothing to lose and they have everything to lose. Worst case scenario, I get really loaded, we lose catastrophically, and some really great Auburn friends rag on me for a day. I think i can take it. I mean, they took it the last four years in a row.

Plus, the look on my husband’s face while Bulldogs players and fans cranked dat Soulja Boy? No one can take that very magical, electric moment away from me. Or erase it from his memory. But just in case. . .

Sweet dreams, sugar.

Oh, The Anticipation

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Not ashamed to say I got a little choked up watching this.

I cannot WAIT.

Honey and the Busy Bee

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

IMG_0004My excitement holds no bounds today. My friend Honey, my college roommate, is coming in town and staying with me for four days. FOUR DAYS. Sure, there will be kids and husbands and dogs underfoot, but I am so excited to spend some quality time with one of my dearest friends. Ever have a person that you know, deep down, realizes that you are not perfect and loves you anyway? A person that you know has your back? A person that isn’t scared to tell you what they really think? She is that person for me. (Well, leelee falls into that category, too, but this post isn’t about Leelee.)

Just wish this dang weather would clear up.

That picture up top? that’s me and Honey, sitting in front of my little dollhouse off of Milledge Avenue in Athens. It was the last place I lived in Athens, and this picture was taken the day after I graduated. I am pretty sure we felt really good that day.

And yes, you may have noticed I’ve been a little MIA lately. We’ve had houseguests (Todd’s cousin, Jenn, and her friend Brittany) in town. Jenn and Brittany are thinking about moving to Atlanta, so they came down to look around and get a feel for the city. (Nice weather for them, huh?) I’ve been doing a lot of stuff following the Dekalb County budget issues. Following local politics is damn time-consuming. And then there’s the kids. . . turns out they need to be fed and bathed and picked up and dropped off and you have to make sure that they don’t watch too much tv. I have been bad about that, and I am hereby vowing to be better. So, Dogwood Girl takes a backseat for a while. I have missed it, though. It keeps me sane.