April 18, 1983 / by laurel

June 1.

Once upon a time, I was gnarly little thing of about five or six. I existed under a tangled mess of dirty blonde hair (dirty in both senses of the word; 'dirty blonde' the color, and dirty because I hated being clean) and a smattering of freckles. I also existed in a world which can only be called La-La Land where I and my opinions of every-little-thing reigned supreme. In this world, I was the sovereign and sole ruler of what We did with Our time (I say this as the Royal 'We', of course), and therefore, We spent most of our time outside. We only wore skirts (yes, even in the snow). We NEVER brushed our hair. And we won each and every argument, 100% of the time.

I grew up in a great house. The backyard was a vast and impeccable network of flowers, grass, and vegetables. The front yard contained more, well, yard (and nestled inside that grass the insidious and wholly evil landmines--prickly droppings of the trees which crouched, waiting to bomb our little corner of suburbia). The sidewalks had long since groaned and shifted over the shape of roots beneath it, creating fantastic dips and divots which my sister and I lambasted with hose water every-single-summer-day, creating miniature swimming pools.

When I say miniature, I mean a grand sweeping total of about three inches in depth on the 'deep end' of the 'pool' (I use those terms loosely). Nevertheless, my sister and I would roll around in the murky depths with the delighted caw-caws of an entire herd of elephants in a bathing pool. It was a simpler time.

Fast forward to 1995. I was eleven or twelve, depending on which side of April you were on. Adolescence was lurking just around the corner, and I could feel my body beginning to betray me, little by little. Grunge was in full effect three hours north in Seattle, and while I wasn't too certain who Pearl Jam was, I was pretty darn certain that extra-large flannel was God's gift to mankind. The childhood defiance that manifested itself in a refusal to wear pants or learn to read when I was five had now blossomed into a carefully calculated, fully realized pre-teenage rebellion. Could a person actually be right about not just everything, but everything-everything-infinity-amen? The answer, of course, is, yes. Duh.

Maybe I'm feeling nostalgic because yet another summer is beginning, and I don't know about you, but I tend to take stock at the beginning of June. This year, my mid-year collection of Facts, Memories, and Are-We-Okay-With-Life-Right-Now? Yes-We-Are's have taken the form of the gloriously longwinded, mildly narcissistic, semi-autobiographical Mix to End All Mixes.

So without further explanation (or weepy nostalgia), The Mix To End All Mixes: Longer Than the American Idol Finale and More Dramatic Than a Meatloaf Music Video--FROM BIRTH! TO DEATH! AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN!

(whoo...had to exhale for a second there)

1. I Was Born - Billy Bragg & Wilco
2. First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
3. Green Eyes - Coldplay
4. All My Little Words - The Magnetic Fields
5. Five - Breathe Owl Breathe
6. Long Haired Child - Devendra Banhart
7. You Yourself Are Too Serious - Mercury Program
8. Come and Play in the Milky Night - Stereolab
9. I'm 9 Today - Mum
10. Capture the Flag - Broken Social Scene
11. Draw a Dinosaur for Me - Jens Lekman
12. Little Boys - Devendra Banhart
13. Bigger Stronger - Coldplay
14. Changes are no Good - The Stills
15. That Teenage Feeling - Neko Case
16. Drive My Car - The Beatles (And what a car, at that: a 1996 white Chevy S10 extended cab with three 70-lb sand bags weighing down the bed, which I promptly, upon receiving my license, flipped on their sides by taking corners too fast)
17. Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl - Broken Social Scene
18. Just Like a Woman - Bob Dylan
19. Chasing Dreams - Magnet
20. She's Leaving Home - The Beatles
21. Los Angeles, I'm Yours - Decemberists
22. Fell in Love at 22 - Starflyer 59 (This is not true. Unless you count cacti as something you could love. Then yes. Most completely.)
23. Doors Lead to Questions - The Appleseed Cast
24. To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High) - Ryan Adams
25. Pancakes for One - Of Montreal (I would like to point out that this song signifies the dark blemish in time--say, about five months ago--when I lived. Alone. Ah-lone. See above comment about loving cacti.)
26. My Little Corner of the World - Yo La Tengo (Speaking of alone, this song--appropriately, thanks to Jen--refers to the time when we had our inter-office shuffle at the Pink Wonderland and I, along with the coffee maker and printer, comprised a desk-island all to ourselves. Sad days, those were.)
27. Should've Been in Love - Wilco
28. I Like Your Photographs - Starflyer 59 (shameless plug: www.laureldailey.com. Yeah, I went there)
29. It's Our Job - Sondre Lerche
30. Dinner at Eight in the Suburbs - All-Time Quarterback
31. Rockin' the Suburbs - Ben Folds (I should note that I blasted this song every single day for an entire summer when I was chirping my hello's at the reception desk of a beloved Salem accounting firm)
32. Reunion - Stars
33. Pictures of Success - Rilo Kiley
34. But the Regrets Are Killing Me - American Football
35. Blue Turning Gray - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
36. First Heart Attack - Starflyer 59
37. Don't Die on Me - Mirah
38. When I'm Sixty-Four - The Beatles
39. Old - Starflyer 59
40. Remember Me As a Time of Day - Explosions in the Sky
41. I Die - The Magnetic Fields
42. Road to Joy - Bright Eyes
43. Do You Remember the Riots (orchestral version) - Jens Lekman

And there you have it. Call it the ultimate soundtrack to my life.

Happy June, everyone.