Sunday, March 12, 2006

Today's Top Ten Ipod Shuffle. What on earth does this say about me?

There was this "bulletin message" on MySpace that I read the other day (it was one of those lists that people add their own two cents to and then forward on) (if you're on MySpace, you know what I'm talking about) (and if you're not on MySpace you're my hero) (because I hate MySpace) (and I love it at the same time) (we have a complicated relationship) and the "bulletin message" asked people to grab their Ipods, hit "shuffle," and then write down the first ten songs that appear (and it warned you not to cheat and alter your list in order to appear cooler than you really are) and forward your list to the rest of your friends. If the music we listen to is a reflection of our personalities, then I guess the idea of this "bulletin message" list was to give people an unadulterated peek into Who You Are via What You Listen To.

Well, I didn't add my list to the MySpace bulletin (because I hate MySpace) (and I hate it) (I meant to say "and I love it" but I accidentally typed "and I hate it" instead) (that's how complicated our relationship is), but I was writing all day and listening to music on my Ipod and I thought I'd play along and let my blog readers peek into my head via The First Ten Songs that play on my (random) Ipod shuffle.

(Obviously, the "shuffle" feature gives you a different playlist every time you use it--hence the concept of the "shuffle"--but these are the honest-to-goodness First Ten Songs that played in today's shuffle.)

1. Golden Years by David Bowie

Every time I hear this song I think of that Stephen King six-episode mini-series called, um, Golden Years (they used the David Bowie song as their theme). According to imdb users, Golden Years was "DULL dull dull!" But I was loved with it. It ran in the summer of 1991, the summer I turned 14. That was also the summer that I read every single Stephen King book ever written (up until that point) (obviously) (the last Stephen King book I read was Gerald's Game--he totally burned me with that one and like a scorned lover I refuse to ever read him again) so I was obviously pretty "into" Stephen King at the time. My mom and my step-dad and I went on a cross-country road trip that summer. We drove from California to Florida and we took our pretty time. Whenever a new episode of Golden Years was going to be on, I made sure that we were back in whatever motel we were staying at so that I could watch Frances Sternhagen (don't you love her?) and her getting-younger-by-the-minute husband run from the law or the government or rogue scientists or whoever they were running from (basically, the plot in a nutshell was that he got zapped with some sort of nuclear chemical and then he started aging in reverse, i.e. getting younger, while his wife remained sadly Sternhagen) (fifteen years later, I acknowledge that the mini-series might have been "DULL dull dull!" but at the time it spoke to me). Anyway, I LOVED THIS SHOW, and then, somehow, for some reason, we weren't able to make it back to whatever damn motel we were staying at on the evening of the final episode. Which I missed. Which to this day I still have never seen. Which I still hold a grudge about. (I'm serious.)

2. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by the Dream Academy

This is the acoustic version of the Smiths song--it's the song that plays underneath the museum sequence in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This song makes me miss Chicago and I’ve never even been there. (Okay, actually, I’ve been there once, when I was in high school, on another road trip—this one was across the country to visit all of the colleges—and I know we went to Chicago when we visited Northwestern, but the only thing I could think about on that road trip was whether or not I would get into college at all and if I didn’t get into college would I be destined to have a miserable life and ohmygodwhatwasgoingtobecomeofme? So Chicago kinda got the short end of the stick.) If I went to Chicago now, I would make my friend Stephanie come with me so that she could show me "the real Chicago" from someone who knows it, and I would go see everything at Steppenwolf, and I would hound The House Theater excited to finally see what all of the fuss is about, and I would have a drink with my blog friend Jenny, and I would go to go to the top of the Sears Tower and I would hang out at the Chicago Museum of Art.

3. Forecast: Rain by Tina Poppy
Of the ten songs that my Ipod randomly selected for this blog entry, this is the only one sung by someone I know, and by someone I know well, no less. Since Tina's a close friend of mine who I haven't seen in awhile, just hearing her voice sing into my ear reminds me of so many moments, and it makes me miss her. This song in particular makes me think of all of the nights we used to drive around Los Angeles aimlessly. We would put one of our favorite tapes in the tape cassette of my shit brown Mercury Topaz and we would sing along (usually to the Counting Crows) and we would just drive. I loved nights like that. I guess I've always been a bit of an insomniac, but now when I can't sleep I sit in front of the TV or my computer--back in the day, when I had insomnia, we used to drive all over Los Angeles in the middle of the night and it didn't feel like insomnia, it felt like living or something. (I totally sound like Angela Chase right now.)

4. Wannabe by The Spice Girls

Tina, don't you love that my Ipod chose Wannabe by the freaking Spice Girls to follow your song?

I lived in France the summer between high school and college with this guy named Archibald. Archibald was a friend of some family friends and we worked out an informal exchange deal—he had stayed with me in California the summer before and now it was my turn to stay with him. I dreaded this trip for a year because when Archie lived with me we didn’t get along at all. Which is saying a lot because I’m really easy to get along with. But all Archie wanted to do was be contrary and French and make out with my female friends. And his only mode of transport was in the passenger seat of my car, so it was a long summer. So then when I stayed with Archie in Avignon, we didn’t spend very much time together. You don’t need to have a car to get along in Avignon, so I spent most of the summer on foot. I would walk to castles on hillsides and I would meet random young people who smoked packets of cigarettes and chat with them in coffeeshops and I would go to the cinema and I would go to the theater and I would watch the Spice Girls sing Wannabe on MTV Europe. Yes, I can honestly say that watching the Spice Girls sing Wannabe on MTV Europe was something I did often enough for it to merit a spot on my “list of things I did often while living in France.” The song hadn’t yet hit America—it was just breaking in Europe—and it was HUGE. I remember so many nights falling asleep with Archie’s cat Nuggetin sitting in my lap and the Spice Girls singing me to sleep on the TV in front of me. (They played that video at least once every ten minutes. No joke.)

5. Wet Hot American Summer theme by Peter Salett

I like to think that I am the only person in the world who has seen this movie on the big screen NINE TIMES. It played on two screens in Los Angeles for about a month (one of them on the Promenade in Santa Monica and the other one was that theater in Westwood that used to have a great midnight movie series but I forget what chain it was or if it’s an independent theater or what) and then it disappeared and found a cult following on Comedy Central and DVD, but before everyone else discovered the movie, I saw it NINE TIMES on the big screen. (Once in Santa Monica—with Tina Poppy, from above—and seven times in Westwood, and then once, on my birthday, when they revived it for one screening at that theater on Santa Monica Blvd. right by the 405 (wow, I’m really bad at remembering chain names—but branding doesn’t work on me in general) (like, for instance, I love that Kate Winslet credit card commercial—like, I LOVE IT—but if you held a gun to my head I couldn’t tell you if it’s an advertisement for American Express or MasterCard or what). The first time I saw Wet Hot American Summer, I saw it because my friend Fefe is in it and I went out to support her. And then I got obsessed. I couldn’t get over it. I had to keep going. Again and again. It was a sickness.

6. So Yesterday by Hilary Duff

Yes. It’s true. So Yesterday by fucking Hilary Duff. I LOVE THIS SONG and I am SO not ashamed to admit it. Hilary Duff isn’t nearly as hardcore kickass as Kelly Clarkson, but she still speaks to my inner twelve-year-old girl and I cannot listen to this song without singing along.

7. Time After Time by Cindy Lauper

This song reminds me of Prom which makes me feel bad for Lolita Wang. Most of my blog readers don't know Lolita Wang. She was the girl I took to Prom my junior year of high school. It was her senior year. I'm pretty certain she didn't want to go with me, but I kind of put her in a position where she literally had to say yes to my proposal. (Either that or become, like, one of the least popular girls in school for turning me down.) Let me explain.

There was a contest. Whoever asked their date to Prom in the most creative manner would get two free tickets to Prom. I wanted to ask Lolita Wang to prom and I wanted to win the free tickets in the process. And I won. Rightly so because no one else at my high school could top what I did. I had Lolita arrested. By my aunt. Who was a police officer at the time. My aunt came to school in her full-on police uniform and she walked around campus during the lunch period with a photograph of Lolita asking people "have you seen this young woman?" Lolita always ate lunch in the Drama Quad which was separate from where all of the non-Drama kids ate lunch, so she wasn't aware that any of this was going on. Within thirty minutes, my aunt had created quite a scene. Word spread pretty quickly that the cops were looking for Lolita and several dozen kids were following my aunt around campus so that they could see what was going to happen when the cops finally caught up to her. Finally, my aunt found Lolita, who I think had heard by now that she was a wanted woman, and my aunt started reading Lolita her miranda rights, and then, finally, because things had built to such a dramatic crescendo, my aunt said something along the lines of..."or you have the right to go to the Prom with Erik Patterson." And then everyone realized what was going on and people started cheering and it quickly became apparent that I was going to win the "whoever asks their date to the Prom in the most creative manner gets free tickets" contest.

Now, in retrospect, I'm certain Lolita didn't want to go with me. I'm certain there was someone else she was hoping to go with. But she felt trapped by the incredibly elaborate scheme I had concocted. So she said yes. And then, as soon as we got to the Prom, she promptly ditched me and I didn't see her all night.

(I have no regrets, though. Watching my aunt whip the entire school into a frenzy as people wondered why in the hell Lolita was wanted by the law--that was an incredible experience and one I will never forget.)

8. Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears

More proof that I am, apparently, a twelve-year-old girl. I have non-teenybopper songs on my Ipod too, I swear.

9. Sweet Child of Mine by Guns 'N Roses

For me, this song will forever be associated with the death of Lucille Ball. How weird is that?

It was April 26, 1989. I was in sixth grade. I hadn't yet heard the news. I was a huge I Love Lucy fan. Even though I was only, like, twelve, I had already read several biographies of Lucy. I had this one book called The Complete Guide to I Love Lucy that had write-ups on every single episode--I used to keep that book by the TV set and each time I saw an episode I would put a check next to its write-up in the book so that I would know how many times I had seen each individual episode. All of this is to say that I was a big fan. So anyway, on April 26, 1989, I remember going out to the field during recess and I was hanging out with these kids who I wasn't even really friends with but one of them had brought a boom box to school and that was cool so I was hanging with them listening to Pirate FM. I remember that Sweet Child of Mine was playing on the radio and we were grooving 'cuz it's a kick-ass song and then this one kid, Jeff, suddenly said, "hey, did you guys hear that Lucy died?" I remember it like a punch to the gut. I didn't want to cry in front of these cool kids who had brought a boom box out to the field behind the handball courts and were listening to Guns N' Roses wailing Sweet Child of Mine, so I pretended that Jeff hadn't really said anything about Lucy and I waited until I got home that afternoon after school to cry.

10. In the Waiting Line by Zero Seven

I have nothing to say about this song other than "it's good."

13 comments:

the shorter story... said...

love this! it's always so cool to see what other people associate certain songs with. and so weird to me how hearing a song can take you back to a moment and help you remember something so vividly. amazing :) anyway, i was gonna comment on something specifically and i'm having one of those moments where my mind just went completely blank....hmmm...oh, that was it! aunt jill! that is fricken awesome. i think i vaguely remember the story, but this just reminds me how cool she is...hehe. what a clever idea. and at least you went to your prom! i didn't even go to mine.

anyway, great list. i love it. and i always love learning more about you :)

p.s. i sang spice girls "wannabe" at dimples on my b-day... unfortunately, i have proof...

Erik said...

I MUST HEAR THE RECORDING OF YOU SINGING WANNABE.

Anonymous said...

I love what you said about Lucy! I felt like I had been punched in the gut too. It was such a loss to all of us. I wondering if asking our generation where they were when the heard about Lucy's death is like asking our parents' generation where they were when JFK was shot.--Lanie

Erik said...

Lanie, do you remember the weekend after Lucy died when Fox ran a weekend-long marathon of I Love Lucy? Did you sit at home and watch Fox all weekend like I did? (I actually made my mom go out and buy a bunch of video tapes so I could record the whole thing.)

I also remember the moment I heard about Kurt Cobain's death.

Jesse James said...

I forgot about the Prom debacle with Lolita, but you were a sophomore, cuz I was there...unless you went twice with the poor girl.

It's funny you had to arrest girls to go on dates with you!

Don't worry she's getting married this summer, your damage to her was limited.

Erik said...

Jesse, wow, I totally thought I was a junior, now I don't feel as bad because I only ruined Lolita's junior prom and not her senior prom. And I know you're sad for me for having to arrest girls to go to prom with me, but I was only a sophomore so I think it was big pimpin' on my part.

Jesse James said...

So what girls did you torture for the next 2 years?

You totally just should have gone with Dustin, or Wes, or Noel or Lance Kennedy, or GABE!

Gina said...

can you imagine going to prom with Wes? I shudder to think...he would probably wear a t shirt and his light denium jeans with holes in the knees and a bowtie around his neck. Going to prom with Dustin would have been so fun! Hey Erik, rememeber when you and I first started dating and you had already commited going to prom with that girl..i think her name is arianna or something?

Erik said...

Gina, her name was Arynne (pronounced like Erin) and, yes, that was tragic. I remember that very well. We wanted to go together, but couldn't. And I think you met us at the limo and sent us off!

Jesse James said...

No, she went with Grady!!!!! How could you forget! How do I remember? How bored am I at work!

this is the last 10 songs on my iPod (while on shuffle)

1. "Fly Me Away" GoldFrapp -love this song for driving at night and sex win the morning.

2. "Keep Fishing" Weezer -they sing with Muppets in the video and I heart Rivers, so McGeeky hot!

3. "It's Not Right, But It's Ok" (remix) Whitney Houston -I'm such a homo.

4. "Downhill Fom Here" Snow Patrol -I like them, but I don't know this song, but still good.

5. "Love on The March" Belle & Sebastian - They rule my school, and love the background music in this song.

6. "Stellar" (acoustic version) Incubus -sorta granola frat boy, but I like this song, it's manly romantic.

7. "Free Falling" Tom Petty -every time I'm in a Los Angeles mall I think about this video on the esclator.

8. "It's Summertime" The Flaming Lips -They also rule my school, but song is sad, and it doesn't make me feel much like summer.

9. "Hate It or Love It" Mary J. Blige's version of 50 Cent song - This song will forever remind me of summer '05 and driving with What's His Name, aww good times, I love when she gives a shout out to dead Aaliyah.

10. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" Tears for Fears -someone once said they will be considered the elevator music of the 80's but I can't help but sing along to this song at the top of my lungs, they rock me in a mellow way.

Erik said...

I totally forgot about the Grady thing. Jesse, I bow down to your memory.

Also, your list of ipod songs is cooler than mine.

I don't know that Mary J. Blige song and I want to know it.

And Tears for Fears fucking rock the house. I've got nothing but love for TFF. And I won't stand for anyone dissing them as "elevator music."

Anonymous said...

You know I was totally glued to my TV. I still am, everytime an episode comes on it's like "Stop whatever I am doing, Lucy's on."
--Lanie

Erik said...

Lanie, me too! I totally stop whatever I'm doing and watch. Every time I stumble across her. She's so amazing.