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…but goodies

Posted on October 4th, 2009 by annakjarzab

So, as I mentioned last time I actually typed something into this little white box, I’m going to Chicago next weekend to visit my family, more specifically my sister, Fishie, who goes to college there now. I remember my first year in college pretty clearly–I was miserable. Okay, not miserable; I met some really great people (like Shannel, frequent annajarzab.com commenter and cute dog owner, among other things), took good classes, and Santa Clara is the most amazingly gorgeous school on the face of the earth, so I couldn’t complain on that front.

But I was homesick. I’d always been a homesick kid; I wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t endure a one-night sleepover, but being away from my family and my house for more than a few days was cause for concern, because I was also the sort of kid that worried all the time (and have grown into an adult who worries all the time). I remember how I got through band camp (YES BAND CAMP, shut it down); I would lay awake at my bunk at night and mouth the words, “Okay, tomorrow it’ll be five days until I get to go home, and then the day after that it’ll be four days, and after that will be three…” on down until I’d talked myself through the remainder of the week, which seems both really obvious and also really pointless, but it calmed me well enough.

So anyway, I went home a lot during my freshman year, because I was having a hard time adjusting, my family only lived forty minutes or so away, and my parents both worked in the South Bay, so it wasn’t hard for them to pick me up after work. I feel bad that my sister doesn’t have that option, because truthfully, you do grow out of it. Or I did, anyway. I went home for weekends less and less until my senior year, when I went to LA to visit my two best friends more than I went home, probably. But it’s nice to have the option, to ease into living on your own and dictating every facet of your existence, which is pretty difficult, as all adults in the audience will agree.

I know Fishie is missing our family and missing home, so I’m glad to be going out there to spend time with her. She, our cousin Em and I are like a tripod–have you all seen The Girl Next Door? It’s one of my favorite movies ever. As a disclaimer, it is about a boy who falls in love with an ex-porn star, so there are off-color jokes and swearing and stuff like that, just in case you can’t tolerate that jazz. I was reluctant to watch it at first because I thought it would be like American Pie, but it’s not–it’s actually a really sweet coming of age/love story, and I highly recommend it.

Anyway, there’s a really great scene where Chris Marquette and Emile Hirsch are trying to convince Paul Dano to help them do something huge–you don’t know what it is at the time–and he’s hesitant because he’s kind of the goodie-goodie of the group, and Marquette tells him that he has to help, because they’re a tripod, and if you take out one of the legs they all fall. Watch for yourself (language alert). That’s how I feel about me and the girls–we’re almost eight years apart in age, but we’re a unit, in a way that’s different from how my New York friends and I are a unit, or Fishie, JJ and I are a unit.

So I’m trying to figure out what to bring with me from New York as little gifts, and one of the things I decided to do was make Oldies CDs for them that they can then put on their iPods. Fish and I especially grew up listening to Oldies almost exclusively in the car–that, or Hall & Oates or Michael MacDonald (Dad is a huge fan) or the Big Easy soundtrack on our annual car trips down to Mississippi for the family reunion (and come on, depending on how young you are, those things qualify as “oldies”)–so it’s a bit of home. I’m trying to compile the best Oldies list I can from the songs I have or are willing to buy on iTunes and this is what I’ve come up with so far:

1. The Crystals – And Then He Kissed Me

2. Billy Joe Royal – Down in the Boondocks

3. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Down On the Corner

4. The Supremes – Love Child

5. R.B. Greaves – Take a Letter Maria

6. Sly & the Family Stone – Everyday People

7. The Temptations – Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

8. Creedance Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

9. Angels – My Boyfriend’s Back

10. The Beach Boys – Be True to Your School

11. The Beatles – I Want to Hold Your Hand

12. Bobby Vinton – Runaround Sue

13. The Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup

14. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons – Walk Like a Man

15. Herman’s Hermits – Henry VIII

16. Jay and the Americans – Come a Little Bit Closer

17. Looking Glass – Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

18. The Isley Brothers – This Old Heart of Mine

19. Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia

20. The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I think that’s a pretty good list. I tried not to double up too much on the artists, although I couldn’t help but include CCR twice. Some of these are my favorites–“Brandy”, for instance. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” reminds me of Chicago specifically because the Lincoln Park Zoo used to use it in its advertising. I was going to put “California Dreamin'” by the Mamas and the Papas as the last song, but you know what? That’s kind of a sucker punch to someone who’s missing California, and also it’s a little tainted by Mackenzie Phillips’ recent revelations, so I don’t want to touch that one for a while.

This is all apropos of nothing, except that I spent a great deal of time organizing my iPod this weekend and came up with quite a few kick-ass playlists, which inspired this CD making in the first place. And what is a blog if not a place to catalog your life down to the most boring, most minute details in the hopes that someone will be tricked into reading about it and think, “Hm, this person really knows their Oldies”?

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