Tag Archives: college

A mini-reunion

Some of you might remember that a while back, I re-connected with my college friend Jessie via facebook.  (Don’t remember?  Read this post!)

Well, On Thursday, I was lucky enough to re-connect with Jess in person–after 10 years!!  She was in Chicago visiting family, so our friend Kelly and I drove in to meet her.

We had some beer, some Chicago-style pizza and lots and lots of laughs.  We were able to reminisce about the “good ole” days and I was able to meet her partner Kirsten, who is a doll.

The only thing missing from this reunion was our other friend (and now my sister-in-law) Jo.  She lives in Southern Illinois and couldn’t get off work, but we called her so that she could at least feel like she was part of the festivities.

Here’s to old friends!!

Kirsten and Jess

Kirsten and Jess

Kelly and I-- self-portrait!

Kelly and I-- self-portrait!

The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)

The girls of Hewett 6 (minus Jo)

group shot self-portrait: Kelly, Cari, Jess, Kirsten

group shot self-portrait: Kelly, Cari, Jess, Kirsten

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Foto Friday: Dear Me

A friend of mine posted this picture on facebook today.  It was taken during my freshman year in college… almost 11 years ago.  

18This picture makes me think of a lot of things:  Yeah, I look *super* young… and there’s a poster of Leonardo DiCaprio on the wall.  And, wait… is that stereo on CINDER blocks?  

More than the nostalgia factor, though, it makes me remember how much I loved college… and how “green” I was back then.  What would I I change if I knew then what I know now?  Don’t get me wrong– I had a *great* college experience.  But I definitely would’ve done things differently.

Dear Cari, age 18:

Enjoy college.  Even though it might not always seem like it, these are some of the best years of your life.  

  • Don’t get too hung up on what you’re “missing” back home.  Those friends will always be there.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things– no one is judging you. 
  • Don’t stress out too much– it’s just school.
  • Don’t worry too much about what looks good on a resume– the ‘real world’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  • Don’t give up your friends for some guy.  Go to the party instead. It will last longer.
  • But don’t go to that party at Purdue.  Trust me–it’s not going to be fun.

Seriously, have fun.  You’re gonna miss it someday.

Love,
Cari, age 29 (almost 30-for real!)

P.S:  Ryan and Jo totally fall in love and get married.  Seriously…. just give it time.

Website Wednesday: Facebook

Okay, okay, I know it’s no big surprise to anyone that I like facebook, especially since a great number of my blog hits come from my facebook and mySpace profiles.  But it wasn’t until last night that I realized the transformative power of social networking.

Just the other day, I was trying to write a post about how hard it is for me to “discover” music on my own.*  I need someone to introduce me to artists and force me to listen to stuff that is outside my comfort zone.  My musical tastes have been primarily shaped by two different groups– my family (most notably my brother) and my friends from college.

As I was writing the post, I was reflecting on my group of college girlfriends and how most of us have remained in touch over the years.  With the notable exception of one girl–Jess.

Stacy, Kelly, Cari, Jess

The girls of Hewett 6: Stacy, Kelly, Cari, Jess

Headbangers--the blonde, the brunette, the redhead

Headbanging? Me, Angie, Jess--the blonde, the brunette, the redhead

She was the musical genius of the group.  And the best athlete. And the most sensitive (believe it or not!).  Jess was everything the rest of us weren’t and she was truly one of a kind.  But we all lost touch with her early in our senior year of college. Inevitably when I’d talk to any of the other girls, we would always ask each other: “Have you heard anything from Jess?” even though we knew the answer.

I’ve searched for Jess on and off over the years, as recently as a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve Googled her.  I’ve Googled her parents.  Her brother.  I searched for her on mySpace, on facebook, on LinkedIn.  No dice.

Well, folks–last night it happened!  As I was walking home from the gym, I checked my email.  Sitting there in my Inbox was a friend request from Jess.   I had tears.  I couldn’t get home fast enough.  But, in the meantime I had to text my other friends and let them know that FINALLY Jess had resurfaced.

I immediately rushed to the computer and logged on. Within seconds I was looking at her photo.  She looks exactly the same and seems really happy and healthy. It’s cheesy, but I feel like I found a missing piece of myself when I saw her profile. 

So,  I dedicate this Website Wednesday to facebook.  We all know it’s fun.  And a great time-waster.  And a place where we can throw sheep and send each other fake plants.  But it’s also a place to connect old friends with one another.

God bless the Internet.

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*It’s possible that I might actually finish this post eventually, so humor me if you read this part again.

Freewriting from Atlanta

I shoulda gone to the gym this morning.  Instead I chose to sleep.  Last night was super duper fun.  That’s right–super duper!   We ate.  We drank.  We played cards.  I won. 

The restaurant we went to last night was called Eclipse di Luna.  Great for tapas.

I feel like these freewrites are a broken record, but as I was lying in bed this morning, I was thinking of all the things I could do to spice up my life.  Go back to school.  Become an academic.  Join the Peace Corps.  Get serious about writing (and not just blogging about writing–that’s lame).   I have these ideas/thoughts in the morning and then I get on with my day and give them up.

I need a plan.  A deadline.  I need to say that by X date I’m going to research all my options and make a decision.

On another (broken record) note… I once again realized how much cooler other people are than I am.  I wish I had known about the world of academia earlier ‘cuz I think I totally would have been good at it.  And maybe I still can.  I just don’t know what I’d want to study.

I chose my undergrad major while flipping through a college catalog in the bathroom.  Sexy, huh?  Maybe I should just get a dartboard or something and choose my PhD program that way.

I need to conquer my fears.  When people are afraid of heights they make them go skydiving or something.  My fear is failure.  In order to conquer the fear, do I need to fail first?   Hmmm….  or as L would say  “Hrmph…”

ATL: Day 1

The first day in Atlanta was a success. Our fight was fine. We made it to the hotel in time. We got a portion of the booth set up. Had a great dinner at La Tavola. Lasagna was the special tonight and I had a half order of it with a half order of the ravioli. The lasagna might have been the best I’ve ever had. Except my moms. It was obviously a very rich dish, but felt light on the palate. Wine was good. Appetizers were good. Dessert was good. Conversation was good. Kent slapped me on the back a couple of times. Weird.

I realized, again, how much I think I’m missing by not knowing about academia sooner. I think I would’ve made a wonderful academic. L said: “your next bf should be an academic” Screw the next bf, why can’t *I* be an academic? But what would I study? I’m not sure there’s ANYTHING I like enough to devote that kind of time to. At least not anything that would pay the bills.

I think that’s part of the problem though. When I went to college it was clear: you go to school so you can get a good job. No one told me that the “good job” could be at a university somewhere. My college experience prepared me for little more than a corporate job. What’s the academic challenge in that? Where is the pursuit of truth? Of new ideas? Of alternate perspectives?

I think my jealousy has just gotten the best of me. Once again, it seems as if everyone has led much more interesting, cultured, fulfilled lives than I have.

It’s Friday, Craig

Why is it that every time Friday rolls around I inveriably start quoting Friday, the stoner movie starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker?

“It’s Friday, Craig… You ain’t got a job. You ain’t got SHIT to do”

I don’t even particularly like this movie.  Sure, I watched it a million times in my friends dorm room in college, with the towel placed strategically under the door and the dryer sheet over the toilet paper roll so the RA wouldn’t “bust” us.

But now I’m 29 years old.  I *do* have a job.  I have *plenty*  of shit to do.  But quotes from that movie continuously pop into my head every Friday.  Hmmm…..

Hindsight

I’m sorta addicted to blogs right now: to reading them, to writing them, to reading about writing about them. You’d think it was 2004 or something. I’m sometimes a little late to the game. During my nightly blog fix, I ran across this post over on Copyblogger:

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

by Brian Clark

  1. Write.
  2. Write more.
  3. Write even more.
  4. Write even more than that.
  5. Write when you don’t want to.
  6. Write when you do.
  7. Write when you have something to say.
  8. Write when you don’t.
  9. Write every day.
  10. Keep writing.

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So that’s what I’m doing. . . I should be sleeping, but I’m gonna write. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of it.

A few notable thinks happened today:

  • Day 1 of New Orleans trip (yesterday’s horrendous travel day doesn’t count): Walked the French Quarter for somewhere interesting to have lunch. Accidentally ended up at the House of Blues instead. Had a douchebag waiter. Douchebag is harsh. How ’bout just flat-out annoying?? He had great cheekbones, though. He even sat down at the table and tried chatting us up for a bit. Weird. In the course of our lunch, he managed to talk about his new God-children (“they’re gonna grow up just like me… skating, surfing, skating), his vegetarianism, getting drunk on Tuesdays, and a “killer” Lebonese restaurant/hookah bar. It was strange at the time, but provided a wealth of laughs later on.
  • On the way back to my hotel room, i learned my coworker was on the same floor. As we were trying to find our rooms, I made a number of wrong turns. He said to me (in all seriousness): “I’ve never met anyone as bad at this as I am.” Awesome!
  • I’m fairly certain I saw a hooker outside the Ritz-Carlton tonight. Short white skirt, white jacket, big hair. She was getting into a cab, though, so that threw me off. Made me remember how sex-obsessed this town is. I just got back from VEGAS for cripes-sake and didn’t see quite so many ads for sex shops, strip clubs, etc. Strange.
  • Ran across this blog by Todd Andrlik, a guy I went to college with. I’m not even remotely surprised that he is one of the top bloggers in the marketing/pr world. He has always been a “techie” kind of guy. And he’s super smart. And a shameless self promoter.It was kinda funny how I found his blog… my colleague was talking about waiterrant, a blog about a waiter in NYC, the author of that blog mentioned that he had made some top blogger list, which also included copyblogger. Over on copyblogger there was a list of top marketing/pr blogs, so naturally I checked those out. It was an AdAge list and the subhead said: “Todd Andrlik ranks the the top media and marketing blogs.” So I hopped over to Todd’s page and sure enough it was the Todd Andrlik I knew. Weird. And it seems that he and the guy who writes Copyblogger are buds. At least blogging buds. Small, weird world. I sent Todd a message. I kinda wish I would’ve made more of a point to be friends w/him in college so maybe he could give me some tips!
  • My 24 hours of internet access were up and I had to re-post this!