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guilty pleasure monday: summer mixtape
Jun 28th, 2010 by wrekehavoc

stolen shamelessly…

last week, my blogging buddy foolery (who is one of the funniest chicks around and who i hope to actually meet in real life one day before i die) shared her summer mix. this, of course, started me down my own personal memory lane of music that instantly sends me back to summer. summers for me when i was small meant camp. and summers when i got older meant work. but they also meant music, for better or for worse. anyway, doesn’t mean i particularly lurve these songs, of course. but these songs are some of the ones, for better or for worse, that instantly transport me into a summer mood.

george harrison: give me love (give me peace on earth)

sitting in the camp van on the way through herbertsville to millward farms day camp, where i went for a year or two for reasons i will never know. this song was huge one of those summers… summers when suzanne, the lady who drove my brothers and me, plus my best friend amy, her sister beth, and peter mullen (who kicked out my front tooth in that van)… ah, the van. radio blaring.  i remember when suzanne discovered that the van continued to run even when she removed the key from the ignition.  good times.

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magic: pilot

suddenly, i’m a tween at leonard m. baer day camp, trying to get the wings in my hair to not flop down into my eyes. oh, i hate this song.

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billy joel: it’s still rock and roll to me

ahh, the summer of JAP camp with all the girls from lawnGUYland. i wrote about that episode already, featuring another song from joel’s glass houses album.  that album saved my ass, and i’ll be eternally grateful for it. at the time, this was my favorite cut. not so much anymore, though it’s still… well, you know the rest.

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david bowie: let’s dance

and now, i’m a counselor at leonard m. baer day camp, trying to consume a massive big gulp of coffee with my friend jill in the hopes that i will make it through a day without the little boy campers chasing me down and untying my bikini top. which they tried. a l0t.  (see, when our group split, i always ended up with the boys. i liked to play soccer and other sports. lucky me. in my next life, i want to be craftier.)

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REM: pretty persuasion

the summer of 1985, i played this on my mixtape in my car constantly. i had a friend whose confusion about life confused the hell out of me; and while i didn’t realize it at the time, i think my subconscious was working overtime.

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smithereens: blood and roses

i’m working at the rutgers stupid center with my new friend bluestone. music is piped in to our office. i read that you can win the soundtrack to the film dangerously close from the targum if you answer some questions. bored, i do and i win it. blood and roses is the crowning achievement of the soundtrack; i am instantly a smithereens fan from that moment on.

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toad the wet sprocket: all i want

and this would be the song from the summer i was out in california, making a fool of myself during the taping of jeopardy! this song gives me shpilkes. nuff said.

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the presidents of the united states of america: peaches

before we had kids, BS and i would just get in the car and end up places. one weekend, we ended up tubing in harper’s ferry. afterwards, we were hungry; of course, there were millions of peaches. not for free, though.

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beach boys: little deuce coupe

yeah, yeah; sure, sure. can’t have a summer mix without the beach boys, right? well, i don’t have them for the reason you might think. when i was pregnant with BC, she didn’t move a ton. summer came, and i was resting one hot day, watching behind the music: the beach boys. suddenly, girlfriend started to kick the crap out of my innards whenever a beach boys song came on. BS thought this hilarious, so much so that he bought a best of CD to play to see whether his baby girl would continue her little smackdown inside my belly. she did. yay!

girlfriend still loves the beach boys and still retains a nickname from the time she was small: little doot doot.

you don’t know what i got.

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buffalo springfield: sit down, i think i love you

it’s summer, and i’m driving little baby jools to daycare; afterwards, i’ll drive BC to day camp. and the song comes on, and my babies smile sweetly and sing along: sit down, i think i love you. anyway, i’d like to try. and jools plays the fuzzy electric guitar solo air guitar, followed by the BC on the sweeter, meandering solo. it leaves me with a giant smile every time i think of it.

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lenny kravitz: fly away

and then, our hero climbed, barefoot, into her red subaru forester in the outer banks. she was only going to the supermarket, but the kids were with the husband, and she felt a sort of freedom she hadn’t felt in years.

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so there’s a few. what’s on your summer mixtape? lord knows mine could use some reprogramming…

jeopardy! and you may ask yourself, where does that highway go?
Jan 31st, 2008 by wrekehavoc

i know, i know. i’ve been negligent in the whole jeopardy! department. life happened, y’hear?

remember i mentioned that BS gave me a world almanac? i never cracked that baby open in all the months i had it, which were a few, considering the taping didn’t happen until the end of august/beginning of september (to be aired in early december, no less.) i was working, i was exhausted, and i was not interested. pity i couldn’t have changed places with BS. he would have made a smarter contestant than i did.

anyway, BS and i made it out to sunny CA and realized merv griffin (and that clip is a must-see) had heaquartered his show in a sh**hole. hollywood is not exactly the garden spot of america. (at one point, when i was eating lunch with the crew, BS went for a walk outside. he heard gunshots. he came back inside. but i’m getting ahead of the story here…) we stayed elsewhere (north hollywood? who remembers) and crossed over on mulholland drive to get to the studio, which was then located in the middle of downtown hollywood. then, we separated. due to stringent studio rules, we were not allowed to see or talk to each other. off he went, and off i went.

i spent some time with the contestant coordinators and the other contestants, talking about how the day would go. they taped five games per day, two days per week. contestants would be picked at random. if i made it past the third game of the day, i would be fed at the canteen with the rest of the staff. and no one, not a soul, would see or talk to the great and powerful wizard of oz alex trebek until they were playing the game. we had a chance to try out our buzzers and write our names. we even played a few questions just to test out the buzzer. i was heartened by the fact that i was fastest on the buzzer. (yippee. i excel at something for once.)

we practiced our entrances, and i was then slightly disheartened to learn that i had to walk in on the slipperyshiny floor in my hells heels and step up onto a box! all contestants had to be at approximately the same level, and i come up short in the height department. crap. i’m a klutz, and this required concentration and coordination. i went from fear me, fastest buzzer girl to fear me, i may take you out when i try to enter the studio in these shoes in about 2 minutes. flat.

so i settled in to a nervous day. fortunately, i found a nice lady (unlike some of the nervous freaks who just made me sick to my stomach) to sit and chat with named linda, and we settled in in our little, dark, segregated corner of the audience and waited for our names to be called. they weren’t. not for game one. not for game two. not for game three. we ended up eating in the canteen, which i swear was outside, but memory fades and i’m probably delusional on that. i don’t even remember what i ate.

i lost my buddy linda to show four, when she became champion. and then, show five. i was called.

showtime…

jeopardy!: and you may ask yourself…well… how did i get here?
Jan 22nd, 2008 by wrekehavoc

in the beginning, i never wanted to be on jeopardy. i know, that sounds really disingenuous. but it’s true. i mean, i was a huge fan of the show — i’d been watching it ever since i would toddle home from preschool and watch the stellar art fleming read the answers. (i know, i know. i was a very strange preschooler. but it was better than watching dark shadows, which was also on in the afternoon and which scared the bejeebers out of me.)

maybe i was destined to be on the show. my mom tells me that she was selected to be on the show in the early 1960s. but, as my hero junie b would say, too bad for her. she was preggers with my middle brother larry, and she really couldn’t risk going into labor on national television. (just proving my childhood contention: larry always does ruin everything. first jeopardy. then, we had to get rid of the cat because of his asthma. buzzkill!! hehehehe, seriously, just kidding there, lar. really. i love you even if you’re politically on the wrong side of many issues.) so maybe subconsciously, i was doing this for my mother.

the truth is, newlywed me was homesick. i missed my family, i missed new jersey (okay, you can stop laughing now) (really), and i did not yet consider the DC metro area home just yet. (that wouldn’t happen until last year. maybe.) but i also knew my BS was not really interested in schlepping up I-95 for yet another weekend of family fun.

but then, the epiphany: they were holding a massive cattle call at merv griffin’s old casino in atlantic city at the same time as easter AND passover. BINGO! BS was a jeopardy fan — couldn’t we go, try out, and then drive up the coast to see our respective families? of course we could. so we drove up, took the ten question test, passed it, received the date to return for a longer test, and went on our merry way to visit our families.

only, too bad for BS. he had to go on travel on the return date. so he never got to try out further. now me, on the other hand, i did. and, weirdly enough, i was able to try out at the same time as my dad, who also passed the 10 question test. so augie doggie and doggie daddy drove off to AC together, swearing they would pretend not to know each other so that no one would ever think we were cheating. which we didn’t. and couldn’t. we stayed far away from each other as we entered the big testing hall and took the test.

both of us passed.

they then made us go elsewhere so that they could observe our personalities and how quickly we could think on our feet. as we waited in the hall, we still did not speak to each other (i’m neurotic). that was, until, i tried to make small talk with one of the other potential contestants.

me: hi, i’m wreke. and you are?

personality-deficient freak: did you know that burma is now called myanmar?

after a few of these perverse little exchanges, i walked over to my dad, thrust out my hand, and introduced myself. daddy, i said sotto voce, these people are scaring me. can you please just stand near me and pretend we are making small talk? and because my dad is the best dad on the whole entire planet, we pretended to meet for the first time until they called us into the room.

we had to stand up and play a pretend game of jeopardy. we had to talk about what we’d do with the money if we won. (i believe i told them i’d send BS to phillies camp. still waiting, right honey?) and then we had our pictures taken and were told that we’d be called within the year if they wanted us on the show.

the end. or so i thought. see, a year passed, and i didn’t hear from them. not until one day, when a woman with whom i had worked the year before came running down the hallway. hey, she said, out of breath, you’d better call geraldine and find out what the hell is going on. i overheard her talking to someone about you and jeopardy and i heard her tell them you didn’t work here anymore.

geraldine was the very sweet but not exceptionally bright receptionist in my old office. i had moved to a different office during the year; but unfortunately, jeopardy still had my old number. i booked up the stairs to geraldine. gerry, i said, panting, did someone call for me?

oh yes, she answered in her drawl. i told them you don’t work here any more, but i took their number. she handed the scrap to me. i found a payphone (government building; can’t call on your taxpayer’s dime, you know), called back, and they told me to show up the end of august. bring 5 changes of clothing. and it’s all on my dime.

honey, i screamed to BS on the phone later. guess where we’re vacationing this year? hollywood!

the next day, that romantic guy bought me a world almanac.

i lost on jeopardy. baby.
Jan 18th, 2008 by wrekehavoc

me on jeopardy. really.

inspired by testosterone zone and her recent experiences on jeopardy! (YAY!), i will one day explain this picture and formally tell the tale of my 4 games of fun. that’s right. 4 games. with HUGE, early 1990s earrings, to boot.

but i won’t do it today. i’ll just be a major tease, cos i can’t write much when i have an IV in my arm, yasee.

i may be a product of the new jersey public education system all the way through graduate school, but by G-d, i learned a thing or two.

(before i had kids, of course.)


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