Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane. With A Soundtack.

So, I was cleaning today and wanted some music to help distract me from, you know, CLEANING. Sometimes I'm in the mood to clean while wearing my iPod; this was not one of these days. In our kitchen, we have a CD/tape player. And since it's the only tape player in the house (and possibly, you know, THE WHOLE STATE), there's a basket with a bunch of old cassette tapes in it. And I found a tape labelled, "Road Trip." And I popped it in and started smiling immediately.

When I was in college, my two best friends were Andie and Heather* and we were INSEPARABLE. Really. If someone wanted to tell one of us something and couldn't find the girl they wanted, well, the next best thing was to tell the one of the other two. Happened all the time. Heaven forbid only two of us showed up somewhere. Heh. All three of us lived pretty far away from the school, but relatively near each other, so we'd always drive to and from school together for breaks. I didn't have a driver's license then, so my job was to always make mix tapes for the trip and to be an entertaining co-pilot. We'd always pack up the car, which would require Andie and I to utilize skills developed while playing Tetris and Jenga. We'd always have so. Much. Shit. We'd stop at Sheetz to load up on gas and snacks, always a GIANT bag of peanut M&Ms. And then off we'd go, for many, many hours, always listening music and singing along and also gossiping and chattering away.

As I was listening to the tape and cleaning the kitchen, I tried placing it in a timeline, tried to figure out when I'd made it. OF COURSE, my college-age self didn't label things with dates. Nowadays, I date EVERYTHING in extreme detail, like, "Mix CD Made Spring 2008 While In A Cranky Mood And Eating Tuna Fish On Ritz Crackers." And it's a TOTALLY schizophrenic mix of songs, mostly because Andie, Heather and I had WILDLY divergent tastes in music. But here's a sample of some of the wonders on the tape:

  • "Seasons of Love" from Rent. This song probably made it onto every mix I made in college. Everyone loved it and it always seemed relevant.
  • "If I Had $1,000,000" by the Barenaked Ladies. Still one of my favorite songs! It's hilarious and Heather and I especially loved it. "Dijon ketchups!"
  • "I've Got Friends In Low Places" by, ew, Garth Brooks. Ugh, I'm sure I put this one on at Andie's insistence. She was a big country fan when we were in school. But to be fair, this is probably the only Garth song I like.
  • "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. HAHAH! Obviously, it was put on as a joke, but I do remember the three of us "rapping" along with it on the road.
  • "Zoot Suit Riot" by Cherry Poppin' Daddies** and "Jump Jive an' Wail" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Ah, hello timeline. That would put this tape during my sophmore year. Neo-Swing was huge that year. I know a lot of people found it annoying, but I loved it.
  • "Crash," Dave Matthews Band. Ah, this would usher in the era of my OBSESSION with DMB. Thankfully, it's long passed. But this is still a good song.
  • "I'll Be There For You" by the Rembrandts. Ugh, I LOATHE this song now. I actually paused in my cleaning and went and manually fast-forwarded the thing. But I know we liked it back then.
  • "Can't Help Falling In Love With You," UB40. Another one that Heather and I loved. We had a thing for this song and "Red, Red Wine." In fact, when I bought "Red, Red Wine" from iTunes, I had to tell her immediately.
  • "Son Of A Preacherman," Dusty Springfield. We all liked this song a lot, but I'm sure I put it on for my roommate, Britta, who ADORED it. Britta was an exchange student and awesome in about 500 ways, one of which was her nutty taste in music. Except for Ace of Bass, but she couldn't help that. Heh.
  • "Blister In The Sun" but The Violent Femmes. Who doesn't love this song? Seriously. Ever since it was used in that episode of My So-Called Life where Angela thinks that she's over Jordan, I've liked it. Great song to thrash out to, especially in the car.
I cracked up the whole time I was listening and couldn't wait to hear what song was next. It was like in a movie when they are trying to show someone's life flashing before their eyes, only less dramatic. Heather and I making fun of Andie, who was asleep in the backseat. (Whiiiispering Pines! Andie's a dork!) Singing along to musicals. Running into creepy fellow students at gas stations. Andie and I getting into a fight IMMEDIATELY before we left and then not speaking for 200 miles. Heh.

I was in a good mood for the rest of the day, which is no small feat. I really could not have asked for better friends, both then and now. Ah, memories. They are misty and water-colored, aren't they?***

*I'd call her "Little Red-Haired Girl," but that's a bit unwieldy to type.
**That is a DISGUSTING band name. Did no one notice back then? Ew.
***Paraphrasing a line from Veronica Mars.

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