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Betty Hogg was my first car, bought the summer between freshman and sophomore year. It was a 1980ish Honda Accord hatchback, not unlike this one:
Except mine had a Yakima ski rack on top, because I bought it for four shiny quarters from my uncle in Colorado. She was named Betty as a reference to the Flintstones movie, and Hogg came when the muffler fell off one night, which consequently made her the LOUDEST EMEFFING CAR IN TOWN. That is a true statement. People everywhere liked to comment on knowing where I had been on any given day because they could hear me. I got to where I quite honestly wouldn’t drive on campus.
Before its eventual sale to the recently-divorced guy who showed up in a taxi and gave me $150 cash for it, the following things happened to Betty Hogg in a time span of one semester:
– the windshield wipers quit working
– the heater quit working
– the emergency brake went out
– the governor switch went out
– which I think might have been tied into why the fourth cylinder blew
– which was when I couldn’t put it into 4th or 5th gear anymore,
– which was fine because then my speedometer went out anyway
But I still think of the car fondly. Whether because it was my first – and by far most memorable car, or because I felt love from friends who would come help me change the oil or alternator, or because Meg and I spent many hours driving around talking and listening to music in it.
That car was near 300k miles when it sold, and if that’s not the most succinct review you can give a car considering what I put it through, nothing is.
Something on my drive home just made me think of the time when Ryan and Wayne and a couple other rotating guys lived in a big house on Bertrand street. One year, to decorate for the holidays, they plugged in some outdoor Christmas lights and dropped them in a tangled heap onto the bush out front. Then they left them plugged in for an entire year.
It still makes me laugh.
In my last year of college a good friend went with a group of people to the spillway attached to the reservoir outside of town, and ended up drowning after saving one of the girls that had waded in too deep and had gotten caught by the undertow. A few months later Ryan’s best childhood friend (and very close friend of mine as well), Wayne, and I, attended a wedding for a friend in the group. After the reception, more than a little drunk, we drove out to the spillway to see where Ryan had died. I remember being furious. Inexorably furious, that you could actually hear the water rushing from the reservoir, and that somehow my friends had been dumb enough to come here and attempt to get in the water, even jokingly. There was no mistaking that despite the calm surface, the water was roaring off the dam just around the corner. I remember that it was an icy cold December night, but surprisingly not very windy, which is odd for Manhattan, and that at some point after silently sitting on some rocks for a while, I just stood up and started hurling things into the water. I stood there and threw as hard as I could anything my hands snatched off the ground, and then I lugged big heavy boulders, discus style, into the water with big splashes. I don’t know how long I did it, or that I did anything much more than scream and throw rocks. But whatever I did was enough to make my right arm almost useless for many days afterward, and that this soreness was oddly comforting to me. It seemed defiant, this attempt to fill up the particular bend of the river, and was was by far the most cathartic and freeing thing I did during the grieving process. I needed to do something with that much powerless grief, so I filled up the river like a big fuck you. Because what I really wanted to do was yell at Ryan for being so stupid, but I couldn’t.
A second ago I was googling for a larger version of Bluto here
Man he was a creepy dude. I had him just long enough to be in the majority of the class who failed his first international phonetic alphabet exam (which I still contest was stupidly unfairly graded. I knew that thing backwards and forwards, so voiced bilabial stop this, buddy) and I remember the first thing that popped into my head when I heard the breaking news was not shock but total belief he could have done it. Is that wrong?
Anyway, I’m talking to you Kedzie J-schoolers, so contact your sources and let me know if you find anything, por favor.
1. Saw the K-State game last night. They owned it. Huzzah!
2. Love this pic of Megawhomps and I. Look ma, only one chin! Now we need to chant for my hair to grow; it’s moved an inch in two years.
3. Lo had the pukes last night. And now she has beige poop. Awesome.
4. I’m sorry, blame NoBloPoMo. I wouldn’t have shared that if I wasn’t stubborn about this thing.
4a. Since Jon was traveling, I am cracked-out tired. Can I have a mulligan?
5. My roommate Scotty from college just sent a baby announcement. Apparently he had a boy and they named him Trestle Logan. Cool name and congrats, old friend.
OK, so lest you think I’m one of those delusional people who thinks all authority is evil, I wanted to post some of my favorite places I’ve worked. And yes, I have had a whole lotta jobs, with college especially being a time I had them simultaneously. There’s no real rating with these, they all just pretty much rocked.
1. Hibachi Hut
There’s a little restaurant in Aggieville that serves yummo Cajun food, and this place was one of the most fun places I’ve ever worked. The staff was young, laid-back and cool. Most of the customers were easy to serve and tipped well. Plus, we drank like fish. Especially on game nights. Usually with the customers. It’s a good thing H. Pimp and I moved to KC, b/c working there would have killed me eventually.
Jon was the sports editor of the Collegian when he snagged me an unofficial position as a staff writer. I knew I would never be cut-out for journalism, but I still loved being there, and it gave me an opportunity to write a couple opinion editorials. The two that stick out most is the one for Cyndi about why that restaurant I mentioned yesterday really was evil and the one for my friend Ryan after he died. The feedback from those were immeasurably powerful and validating to me. More than that though, I’m glad I met the fools I did while being an official Kedzie troglodyte. A group of the single most cynical, genius and funny people in existence in Manhattan, KS. Man I miss that crazy crew splashed across the world; I’d really like to have a reunion.
So at K-State the people sitting at the front desk of the dorm were called Community Assistants. It basically meant just answering the phone, shepherding drunk kids, doling out pool cues and dispensing mail. But it could possibly be the best and most timely job I could have had then. I met every single person in the dorm, and it was a huge coup to have so many people to busy my hours with after a painful breakup. I can trace so many of my friend/roommate/otherwise relationships to that one time. Really, most of my world can Kevin Bacon back to that year. Wow, it’s crazy to think where I’d be now otherwise. Hmm.. let’s not. Anyway, obviously I think of that time with immense gratitude.
4. Tech Writing
My first big-girl job after college was with a little company in KC as a tech writer. My manager was such a nice guy, very laid-back and hands-off. He didn’t really want to be in a supervisory position, so there was no ego. The programmers were all pretty verbal (ha) and were not hard to work with at all. My immediate supervisor took me under her wing and helped mentor me. Plus, amongst other sweet people I see sometimes, I met Billeh, who introduced me to Chipotle and Nerd Ropes; two things I still love to this day. The company wasn’t the best fit for me overall, but I am glad I had the experience – it was a balanced foundation for me to begin my adult life. Heh.