Posts Tagged ‘College’

Forgotten Post: NC Girls’ Weekend

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Not sure why, but I wrote this and forgot to publish it back in November!

Do you have old friends that you still get together with for weekends here and there?

About once or twice a year, I get together with some of my college roommates. I met them the first quarter I was in college at The University of Georgia. (I may have mentioned on Dogwood girl that I attended that fine institution.) I was trying to study for my first ever college exam, and I was so nervous, that I had studied for hours. (Duh. I aced it. Part of a terrible domino effect of events that resulted in me doing terribly for a year there at school. Better to not do so well on that first test and think that college is hard than to get it in your head that you barely need to study.) Well, I was tired, over-caffeinated, and stressed. My boyfriend and friends had all gone to see a band (Five-Eight, if I recall correctly) and I wished I was out seeing a band, too. I was trying to concentrate, and all I could hear was music booming, shrieks of laughter, and loud voices across the hall.

Have you met me? I am not shy. I marched right across the hall, and I asked them (probably not-so-politely) to keep it down. So, this little tiny thing with dark hair and a pair of the most piercing blue eyes I have ever seen, marched right up to me in the door way. I towered over her, and looking down at her, she was looking up at me, and if looks could kill, i woulda been a dead girl. She stared me down for a minute, then looked at my t-shirt, then said,

“You like Jane’s Addiction?”

I was completely caught off guard. I laughed.

“Yeah, i like them. You?”

“Yeah. I’m Honey.”

That was the Fall of 1990. We’ve been friends ever since.

This is us on our floor at Church Hall.

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I think that’s Rachel’s room to the left of Charlie, and maybe Jennifer’s to the right of mine? I honestly can’t remember her last name now. Charlie was my boyfriend at the time. I think he is wearing my Hellraiser shirt! I was wondering what happened to it. I bet Matt Long was wondering, too, because I think I stole it from him. On the back, it said, “So many monsters, so little time.”

So, Honey was a deadhead, as was her roommate Laura. Not really my thing, so it was funny that we ended up friends, but college dorms make strange bedfellows. We all smoked cigarettes like maniacs, and played cards (Spitemouse!) and Nintendo in their room, for hours on end. Honey, and Laura, and Rachel, along with Jennifer, Rachel, Joy, and some chick that lived across the hall from me and could play the guitar like a mother. We laughed our guts out, and acted like complete dorks in front of each other.

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Our friendship was cemented that year.

The following year, in the Fall of 1991, when we decided to get an apartment together, we added in their friend, Dana. I didn’t know Dana that well. I only met her through Honey and Laura, but we became fast friends. We shared a room in the three-bedroom apartment, to save money. It was v. glamorous: Two twin mattresses on the floor. Add in two long-term boyfriends, and it was a coed sleepover just about every night. (Sorry, mama.)

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Wish I had a picture of Robert, who was Dana’s boyfriend at the time, but I don’t think I do. He is definitely a part of the landscape that was my sophomore year in college. He stayed up late watching TV and drawing. That was the year I had purple hair, which I remember, because Mya and I died our hair together in my bathroom in that apartment. No pictures of that either. I can only imagine that it must have looked horrible, but I can’t really remember. If you have a picture of it, for the love of God, please scan it and send it to me. I need a laugh.

We played a lot of Taboo, and the boys upstairs had lots of keg parties. Ren and Stimpy was always on tv during the weekends. That was also, “The Year Punk Broke,” I believe. Nirvana’s Nevermind came out that fall. I bought it the day it came out. I still remember begging Laura to go see Nirvana with me at the 40 Watt. Awesome show. I think Chris Herren went with us, too. It seems like everyone else had gone home that weekend, or something. And I think Dinosaur, Jr. played the very next night. That weekend is a distant blur of a memory of an awesome rock and roll weekend that I just enjoyed the heck out of. Green Mind, I believe, came out about the same time. Within a couple months, Nirvana was everywhere, and the guy upstairs would play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on repeat for hours on end, when he wasn’t screwing the guts out of his screamer girlfriend.

Then, Honey and I lived together with Scotty on Pulaski Heights. Best roommate arrangement ever. And then like a dream, I was graduating and it wall all over.

This is me and honey, on the steps of my little house, the day after my graduation party. Oi. My head.

Me and Honey

And she moved back to NC. Laura went back to Columbia for law school and then moved to Charlotte. Dana had gone back to NC too, and finished school in Boone. I moved back to Atlanta, and then on to Denver and then back to Atlanta.

Through it all we stayed in touch. Visits, breakups, showers, two brain tumors, weddings, divorces, births and deaths. We are still friends, and we still see each other every year. And I can’t imagine my life without them.

Not sure how I forgot to click publish on this post, back in November, when I spent a weekend with the girls at the farm. Better late than never. I don’t want the Girls to think that it wasn’t heaven. I want them to know how much they mean to me, and how much I love them.

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.

A Shower for an Old Friend (and a New One)

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Last night, Todd stayed with the kids and Camille picked me up to go to my old friend Kevin Fagan’s wedding shower. I have known Kevin since 5th grade (Mrs. Godwin’s class, represent!) and I can’t even do the math on that many years, but we went to elementary school all the way through college together. He is one of the most unique, funny, smart, loyal, and sincere people I have ever met. He is also in the top five for strangest people that I know, but then I kind of like strange people and collect them, and keep them around me. It helps to tone down my own weird when I drown myself in other oddballs.

Jamie and I went to high school together. We go hears without seeing each other, but i have seen him three times in the last three or four months.

Jamie and I went to high school together. We go hears without seeing each other, but i have seen him three times in the last three or four months.

The happy couple opening their gifts. The Rainwaters sitting on the hearth between them. As my Mom would say, it was old home week.

The happy couple opening their gifts. The Rainwaters sitting on the hearth between them. As my Mom would say, it was old home week.

Don't they look real purty?

Don't they look real purty?

I love these girls.

I love these girls.

Matt and I gettin' all waify and supermodel for the camera. I think he looks a little slow in this one, and I look like a bear ate a chunk of my face.

Matt and I gettin' all waify and supermodel for the camera. I think he looks a little slow in this one, and I look like a bear ate a chunk of my face.

I think she is checking his beard for small insects or birds' nests. I love him, because he quietly plays along with our games.

I think she is checking his beard for small insects or birds' nests. I love him, because he quietly plays along with our games.

This time, Natalie plays nice.

This time, Natalie plays nice.

Nat and Kevin, the Groom.

Nat and Kevin, the Groom.

I still remember the day that Camille introduced me to Brian. We were in high school, and buying tickets for some show, but I can't remember what for the life of me. Camille had that red car.

I still remember the day that Camille introduced me to Brian. We were in high school, and buying tickets for some show, but I can't remember what for the life of me. Camille had that red car.

This time from Matt and Nat.

This time from Matt and Nat.

Jamie did very well for himself. His wife is a sweetheart.

Jamie did very well for himself. His wife is a sweetheart.

Kevin and his high school friends. From left: Jamie, Camille, Kevin, Natalie, and Me.

Kevin and his high school friends. From left: Jamie, Camille, Kevin, Natalie, and Me.

Adding in Matt and Brian, and we have the Bulldogs.

Adding in Matt and Brian, and we have the Bulldogs.

Kev, this girl's a keeper. We likey.

Kev, this girl's a keeper. We likey.

Isn't young love wonderful?

Isn't young love wonderful?

This one just kinda cracks me up.

This one just kinda cracks me up.

Not sure what I am doing here.

Not sure what I am doing here.

I think this is right before he re-enacts the great Roswell High School Air Conditioning Walkout of 1989.

I think this is right before he re-enacts the great Roswell High School Air Conditioning Walkout of 1989.

Anyone who drinks with Natalie on even a semi-regular basis will recognize this sort of thing. Basically, you just follow her around with a camera and stuff like this happens.

Anyone who drinks with Natalie on even a semi-regular basis will recognize this sort of thing. Basically, you just follow her around with a camera and stuff like this happens.

We didn't actually go to Dixie Tavern, but instead went to Ru San's next door. But I love this sign, and love that it is right next to a sushi place. I had edamame and Brian and I split the Dr. Zhivago. Yum!

We didn't actually go to Dixie Tavern, but instead went to Ru San's next door. But I love this sign, and love that it is right next to a sushi place. I had edamame and Brian and I split the Dr. Zhivago. Yum!

You can't tell, but I am trying to reach for his firecracker roll while this picture is being made. That was some yummy stuff. (That's what she said.)

You can't tell, but I am trying to reach for his firecracker roll while this picture is being made. That was some yummy stuff. (That's what she said.)

That Julie was such a wild child. After the shower, she really let loose and chugged sake.

That Julie was such a wild child. After the shower, she really let loose and chugged sake.

The thing that strikes me as funny (and comforting) is that hanging out with all these folks that I have known for 20 plus years or more, they feel like home. Family. I know that they have seen me at my best and my worst and they still love me. Just like family.

The Quarry and the Death of a Rock Star

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how The Georgia Guidestones were built in 1980, just 40 miles from Athens, and I have never been there, much less heard of them. I want to go as soon as possible. Totally cool story!

Georgia’s granite is kind of interesting to me, too. I would love to see what Stone Mountain looked a thousand years ago, without the development around it, a dome of stone surrounded by forest. And then there’s the quarries. I have always found something very creepy about them. But one in particular, outside of Athens, was a destination for us as college kids. I can’t even remember now how you got there, but I know it was east of Athens, probably towards Elberton.

We would go out there when it was warm weather. You drove back on a wooded, deserted dirt or gravel road. I guess we were trespassing, but there was never anyone out there other than kids. There were actually at least two quarries (the pits themselves). There might have been more, but I don’t remember them. One was smaller, and had a sloped side to it at the time. We would lie in the sun, smoke and drink, and swim in the quarry. The water was cool and very clear in this pit, and the sides were not very far from the water. Everything about this smaller pool seemed blue and white and very bright.

The second one was VERY DEEP. The walls rose from the water, probably something like at least 50 feet. Maybe more? A hundred? The walls were a sheer drop, straight down. There were rickety old iron stairs or ladder running from the top down to the water. People would run off the edge and jump into the quarry. I never did it, as I am a big old wuss and very scared of heights. My friend and roommate Honey did it and my heart was in my throat the whole time. I thought she was one badass girl for doing it. I still think that she’s a badass.

There was also a huge crane there. I remember talking to a boy at a party one night in Athens. The next week, I heard that he had jumped from that crane to his death. I cannot remember his name.

The crane and the larger quarry, they seemed dark and foreboding. Awesome and ancient, even though they were man-made. I wonder if they look any different now – Seems that if they still use the quarry, it’s landscape would change between 1992 (or whenever it was we were out there) and today. Or maybe it looks as if no one has touched it. My God. 17 years.

This picture, found on Flickr, was taken in 2000. But the scene looks pretty much the same. I assume this is the same quarry.

Another photo to give you a feel of what it looked like, here.

One other reason i will never forget the quarry. I went there the day Kurt Cobain died. I was walking home from school. I am guessing it was March or April. I know it was spring. And i know it was still cool out, because I was wearing a coat. I was walking with Chris Bilheimer down the street in Athens, and we met a girl named Felicia. I don’t remember her last name. She worked with me at The Grill, and had a brother and sister. All three of them were nauseatingly beautiful people. She told us that Curt Cobain was dead. I remember being pretty stunned at first, but also thinking later that people got pretty upset over someone who wasn’t that great. Not that I didn’t love Nirvana, but come on. I never thought he was a complete God or anything.

I walked on home to my house off Pulaski. My roommate Scott was there, with Dave and Karen. I told them the news. We got in Karen’s jeep and drove out to the quarry. Someone took pictures, but it wasn’t me. Scott or Dave, if you read this and have the pictures, twould be AWESOME to see.

How is that for a cliched 90s story? And a totally disjointed blog post. Take this away from it: I want to go to these Guidestones. I want to go back in time and spend a day at the quarry with Ryan and Dave and Honey, Duke and Madison, or Scott and Dave and Karen. I still wouldn’t jump.

If you’re reading this and lived in Athens, did you go to the quarry? What do you remember about it? And where is it, exactly?

Sitting On the Edge Of My Future

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I am pretty sure that Facebook is slowly eating my blog. . . .

However, here I am. I have been scanning more old photos, and came across a great set of pics from college.

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They are mostly from my college graduation. Here is the whole set on Flickr.

A few things that initially struck me about these:
I hated my hair.
We all smoked too much.
I was a stick, but i remember thinking i was fat.
Who, and i mean WHO, let me wear that ugly blue striped dress?
Girls wore a lot of long floral dresses back then.

The day of graduation is really fuzzy to me. I think Scott and I met some guy at the guy’s apartment for pre-grad festivities, which may have involved mimosas. It was nice and sunny. I have lost a great picture of me, Scott, and Katie sitting in the stadium. I loved it, and I cannot find that one. We all look very “The Future’s so Bright, We gotta Wear Shades” and i have lost it.

Some of the pictures are from post-graduation, waiting in traffic with my mom, dad, and sister. We were parked right across from Stedman (?), right near the dorms where I lived as a Freshman. (Give it up for Church!) Again, we smoked too much (except for Lisa, who never did.) I love that mom and dad look more proud of me graduating than i look. Now that i have children of my own, i can understand this.

The other pictures are from a graduation party that night at Scott and Zach’s house. I like that many of the folks in these pictures are still really good friends of mine.

The party itself is all a blur, but i know my family was there, which is strange. Honey came into town just to go to my graduation party (she had already graduated) and I love her for stuff like that. Later in the night, there were a lot of people up on the roof. Zach was my boyfriend at the time, and I made out with a completely different guy on the roof. Classy, i know. I still feel sick admitting that, but i guess maybe there is a ten year statute of limitations on cheating-on-your-boyfriend-on-his-own-roof-while-he-is-home-and-throwing-a-party-for-you situations*.

And this is me the next day:
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It is me, with Honey’s boyfriend at the time, Luka, in front of my house off Milledge. I loved those red-tinted glasses i am wearing. I still have those Doc Martens and still wear them sometimes. I loved that little house. I was v. hung over in that picture, and my whole future loomed in front of me. I remember everything at that time seeming bigger than life.

It was like sitting on that front stoop on the day I moved away from Athens was just like sitting on the edge of my future.

*Please don’t hate me.

Well Worth Five Bucks

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Masquerade Flyer
Originally uploaded by Dogwood Girl.

I don’t know why i kept all this stuff. (Todd probably wonders why, too.) I am glad I did now.

This was maybe 91 or 92. Smashing Pumpkins, Gish tour. Five bucks!

Ah, the glory days. I think i saw this with Brantley and da Crease.

Just thought i’d share, so my packrattedness has some purpose in the world. This cool chick who lives out west somewhere wanted me to add some pics of mine a way back to a group she adminsters on Flickr called Generation X. We are contacts and I love her kooky photographs of her dogs. Like this one. Seriously. That picture just makes me laugh whenever I look at it. Without fail.

Anyway, just made me think i should blog about this.

Glory Days

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Day before yesterday, the family and I had to make a detour from the lake to Athens on the way home; Todd had to return a bike that they didn’t use for a shoot last week, and so i called my friend Opel to meet us for lunch. We had the dog and kids with us, so Taco Stand (Milledge, of course) was an obvious choice. I had already dragged Todd there during some portion of our courtship; He was still unimpressed, but i have years to force him into submission. I had forgotten that Athens is so dog-friendly, so i had the pleasure of eating my favorite college hangover food with my 8 year old dog, who had never been there with me. And the kids got to try it, too! They even have a tv on the deck, which i don’t think was there when I was in school, and they had on Tom and Jerry, which bought me tons of time to hang and chat with Opel.

I’m pretty sure that one of the most fun times in my life was when i lived on Pulaski Hts in Athens, with Honey and Scott. Opel and I were talking about how much we loved that house, and how he would go to class and then end up at our house just about every day for a year or more. Lying on the vinyl couch. Playing darts in the massive 70s kitchen. Going down to the tracks to throw rocks at the train. The day in March when we had that crazy snowstorm and then tons of people came over and partied all day. Curt Cobain died when I lived in that house and I remember Chris Bilheimer and I finding out from a Grill coworker and then i walked home and went to the Quarry with Scott, Dave, and Karen. She drove her jeep. Ah. . . Warm days at the Quarry or at the river out 441 with the railroad trestle. Watching the fire at Hoyt St. The hot guy that lived on the corner, whom Honey and I lusted after when he mowed his lawn. The crazy woman who lived across the street. The hippie bus in the wooded lot across the street. The water tower bases at the dead end.

After we left Taco Stand, I made T. drive by the Pulaski Heights house. Truly odd to ride in my family van, with my kids and husband, up the hill to the old house. Todd mentioned that it was really steep. I told him i used to walk my bike up that portion of the ride home. On the way out, i pointed out the houses that were the same, the house were Sheila and Debbie had a really fun party where Touch Me I’m Rick and Sheila were naked, and where i took my underage sister and her friend to their first college party. When we came back from that party, someone had broken into our house and torn the window box off Scott’s window coming in, and they stole his pants.

Good times, all. When I think of those days, i think of Honey and Scott, Zach, Opel, and Dave. Camille and Ryan and Dave and Rich. Katie and Karen and Donnie. These pics are for them. Apologies to the people who live there now, who were probably thinking, “Why is that old lady wandering around taking pictures of our little dead end street?”

The house and surroundings look a little different. I can still remember everything about what they used to look like, though.

The house on the steep hill. It used to be white. And a lot more run-down looking.


The front view. Looking at the porch makes me think of the porch swing and making wind chimes with scraps of metal from the railroad tracks behind the house. I loved hearing the train whistle at night.


This new construction is behind the red house on the corner of Pulaski and Pulaski Hts, and where the old Hippie bus used to be! I guess it’s going to be some kind of studio or guest house. Pretty cool!

This kind of floored me. It is a fence and gate constructed in front of the old water tower site. When we lived there, only the water tower bases were there – huge concrete slabs that used to hold up a water tower, but without the water tower. Very cool, and pretty creepy. Hard to explain, but it was kind of like having your own Stonehenge. This is a neat addition, but odd, because there is no fence – you could just walk around it and go over to the stones anyway. I guess the woman from across the street did it. There are still a couple of old shack houses down at the end of the street, almost overtaken with kudzu, looking exactly like they did back in the early 90s.

My Sordid Past

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

In the nostalgic spirit of my recent posts, Nat at The Negative Split has jumped on the bandwagon with a doozie of a story involving yours truly.

Is anyone surprised that I got naked and drunk in college?

Anyway, it made me laugh.

Old Friends

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Spent yesterday morning with my old friends Mike and Bryan and their families. Mike is an old high school friend, and Brian I met at Georgia. Mike has been living in the Netherlands for the past . . .four? years or so, but he and wife Kat and two boys are moving back to the states.

We met at Mike’s sister’s house, and another of his sisters (Mary) was there with her son, and it was just so fun to see my old friends and their wonderful wives and families (who read Dogwood Girl and are very accepting of my potty mouth. Thank God Mike’s Mom doesn’t read it, because I think she still hates me for not wearing shoes in her house in high school; DogwoodGirl might put her over the edge.) They even fed us and the kids. It was like a morning on vacation.

It is easy to lose touch with old friends, to never find the time to get together. But when you do get together, you find that many things have changed, and many things have stayed the same, and you are reminded of why you were friends with them in the first place. And you are warmed to know they are still in your life.

And also to find out that they will be living near the beach. The warm, warm beach.

p.s. Mike and Kat’s blog is no longer Hollandsenieuwe; New locale, new name – Resident Aliens. Check’em out as they wade back into life in the states, and Kat searches for a position teaching Environmental Policy at the college level.

p.p.s. None of my pics of Bryan, Genia, and Henry came out well at all. Wah!