Over the weekend, I had the great fortune to head down to Muncie, Indiana for the Midwest Writers Workshop. If you're a writer-person in the Midwest (or wherever, really), I highly recommend the conference. I learned a lot and met a ton of great people.
Driving down to Muncie, I had to take our 2002 Ford Focus, which has roll-up windows, manual locks, and a tape deck. No CD player. I could've plugged my iPod in somewhere, but I forgot it. On the way down, I listened to WGN until I lost the station around Lafayette. Then I turned down the volume and pulled a Randy Newman, singing what I saw until I hit Muncie. I made up songs about pulling onto I-465 and deciding which Subway to stop at. Not my finest hour...er...two hours.
But on the way home, I discovered a shoebox full of cassette tapes in the trunk. There were movie soundtracks and several mix tapes from back in college. I chose John's "Ultimate Summer Mix '98."
While he broke some of the cardinal rules of mix tapery (putting two songs by the same artist -- Will Smith -- back-to-back and letting a song cut off on one side and restarting it on the second), and while the list of songs read like a what's what of songs I'd never listen to in real life, there were some hidden gems on this tape.
The tape was full of songs from recent movies, like "I Touch Myself" from Austin Powers and "Best of My Love" from Boogie Nights. "99 Luftballons" was there because John was incapable of making a tape without that song in the late '90s. He even included the girl-band version of "Come On, Eileen," which is simply three frantic minutes of wrong.
Most of all, the tape did take me right back to the summer of 1998 -- when Karleigh, Ann, and Voyles came to visit, when the Bulls were winning their final Finals, when I was slinging sandwiches at Panera, when I went on a bunch of roller coasters at Great America just to impress my summer fling. What were you doing back in the summer of '98?
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