The Girl from Ipanema by Joao Gilberto

I didn’t miss Brazil after I left. I knew it was over and I was ready for the adventure to be over when it came to an end. Lately though, after seeing Juanes and seeing all my old friends gear up for Carnaval on Facebook has made me miss those times. I’ve been feeling stressed out by life, alas I put on this song and it’s as if the calming waves pass over me and deliver me into those very moments when I was:

“Tall and tan and young and lovely…”

Rio de Janeiro, Mambembe, stoopin’ on those front door steps, Rodrigo with the classical acoustic, me with that powerful voice, English subtitles to the Portuguese favourite, we are the modern day musical renegades,

“The girl from Ipanema goes walking…”

Mornings flow into afternoons that gently carry us away to post 9, we build our own sandy seats on the forefront of the beach, mild flirtations that lead nowhere soon, I disappear to visit an old friend for a week,

“When she passes he smiles…”

Upon return grants an invitation to a samba club with the guy and another friend, the friend leaves, the guy leads with his hips, an invitation to learn how to dance, he is drunk in love in this moment, the friend disappears, we are left to our own vices, he’s inducted into my infamous worldwide makeout club, a hot sexual encounter on someone’s stairs on an empty street in Santa Teresa,

“But she doesn’t see…”

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Guys Like Me by Eric Church

The radio situation escalated in Mamaro’s car last night when I tired of all the band CD’s and craved a mix CD, anything for a plethora of various songs and artists. I chose the orange one, because I get that feel good notion when I see it. I forgot I put it in last night, I turned on the car this morning and this song cued up.

“‘Cause guys like me drink too many beers…”

The guys, Becca Gass, mudding, the P-Dub, the first ride in the Samurai, watching the road pass under us through that janky hole in the floor, the shop, wild summer nights, smell of the fresh Wisconsin air after all the wild flowers blossom,

“On Friday after work…”

The walker of doom, the clean bill of health, popping a couple of vicodin and calling it a day, mudding in the woods, “I can’t believe I got in a car accident a month ago and now I’m in the backseat of a truck pinned between two trees”, “WHAT?”,

“So rough around the edges…”

The black and white tie affair, a 19th birthday party, das boot, Corey Zorn, oreo balls, we’ll find out later that 30 minutes after we left it got busted and everyone got underagers, getting kicked out of the third party, that stolen rainbow windsock,

“You went to college…”

St. Patrick’s Day party the same night, Betsy’s recycle can regurgitation revolution, “Good, let it all out!”, the photos of Brandons that linger on in memory, making it rain Apples to Apples cards, Touchy Feely Helen Keller, green Vegas style drinking cups and the elongated straws we always seemed to lost, mysterious photographs from mysterious nights in Doug’s basement,

“Only God knows why…”

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White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes

When writing these posts, generally I put the song on to fully milk my mind of all it’s precious keepsakes. The Decemberists’ post lead to recommendations of Fleet Foxes, and alas, this post is born!

“With scarves of red tied ’round their throats…”

February, that first semester, 20, the age of innocence, warm nights, throats warmed by pink mugs brimmed with apple pie, Jesse Funk and that damn bear sewn hoodie, a chance encounter with Emmanuel Augustine Rivera, the couch house, Yang Lida to the shallows, being carried away by Shannon and Jessie,

“To keep their little heads from falling in the snow…”

Roz, discovered secrets, Photographs of the Future, that stolen Home Depot bag, a surplus of hats and gloves, adventures, Earth Mama, now you see us, now you don’t,

“and Michael you would fall…”

All those hippie parties, numerous houses by the river, vegan treats, a frost bit field, Katie Kloth, dancing under a chandelier, stories of acid, potlucks, Gregs and I protecting our keg dreams, disappearing into the Om,

“and turn the white snow red as strawberries in summertime…”

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The Mariner’s Revenge Song by The Decemberists

The adapter that plays music off of my phone in my mama’s car broke the other day, so I’ve been listening to the radio a lot more lately. Hearing the same five songs on repeat becomes boring after awhile, so I put in random CD’s that happen to be in the car. Originally I put in Taking Back Sunday’s ‘Where You Want to Be’, but alas, I saw ‘Picaresque’ peaking out through the stack. I decided to put it in to go along with the college memory theme that happened to be lingering throughout the day. I skipped every song on the CD and went straight for track 10.

“I guess we have some time to kill…”

That early morning drive to Stevens Point, fall orientation, November, the lavender tank over that white shirt, the infamous black leggings, those white fucking boots, the last of the Kia Optima,

“but I remember you…”

Sneaking away, thoughts cross my mind, “I must find a reason to talk to these guys”, scanning, the radio kids, Jarad Olson, the curly red headed kid, “nice shoes”, a social invitation over three pairs of moccasins,

“and I will relate to you…”

A studio tour, the melody drifts across the airwaves, the words billow out of my throat and I dance to the beat, “Oh yeah, you’ll fit in just fine here”, a new found confidence, a place I belong before belonging, a plethora of attractive men,

“how our histories interweave…”

Selfies before relevancy, my dad’s reading glasses sans lenses, long, straight, dark chocolate wisps pulled back to the tails of ponies, a coming of age story.

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Lepo Lepo by Psirico

A year ago I moved to Aracaju, Brazil to do an exchange program for a few months. Of course I would get the travelers itch and decide to move to Rio for the rest of the duration of my time in this beautiful country, but while I was in Aracaju this quickly became our theme song.

“Eu não tenho carro…”

Pré-caju, Ivete Sangalo, partying before at Helber’s mom’s place, the first night, the balcony in that condo overlooking the main drag, that shot of principi, the leite condensado on those tasty limes, making out with the security guard leading the bloco,

“Não tenho teto…”

Plan, dolphin life, cachaça experience, the one time I will throw up, showering with DuBas, mysterious notes, “maybe we’re here to find each other”,

“E se ficar comigo é porque gosta…”

Days on the beach, coco water on the sand, salt water in our hair, the arcos, the only shade between two Palm trees, the many liter bottles of skol, caranguejas, pastels, the walks home,

“Do meu rá rá rá rá rá rá rá…”

The island party, kissing Lucas, drugs for deportation, not remembering kissing Juanes and the sober trouble it started, the ocean at 6am, the other american, “we made it!!”, shit stains in the front, tropical bus for us, the long mysterious journey home, the rogue tropical thunderstorm that flooded our ride,

“O lepoooo lepooooo…”

Valentines Day, the walk home, that perfect sunset over the river with those boat homes, pinguino book from Mama Vanda and the dresses she had made for me, the couch surfing meet-up group with Lucas and Sergio, “you better not be with him next Valentine’s Day”, the beach after party, that lacy white dress, Lucas holding me in the sand, Juanes yanking me away from Lucas and holding me in the sand,

“É tão gostoso quando eu rá rá rá rá rá rá rá…”

The last party, that yellow cupcake dress, the ocean makeout competition, Brazilian champion, topless Dolphins, we are young, wild and free

“O lepoooo lepooooo…”

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