we also had ditches in front of our houses and one side had these shallow ditches, which was the side that I lived on in our old side-by-side house with the green chain link fence out front and on the other side there were really deep ditches with wooden bridges that crossed them and were way cooler.
I was always kind of jealous that our side-by-side house wasn't on the side with the deep bridges that were good for catching tadpoles in, instead of our shallow ditches that just got your feet wet when you forgot to check in the long grass to see if there was a puddle or not before stepping.
my friend trista who lived in one of the side-by-sides across the street with the big ditch and in the summer when we weren't catching tadpoles with home-made nets that we would dangle from the bridge we would sit on her concrete front step and listen to the boombox.
she was a few years older than me and I totally looked up to her.
she had way better taste in music and always got cool cds and had way more nintendo 64 games.
she also showed me how to use a ouija board and to draw and play You Don't Know Jack on her brother's pc.
one of the summers in the late 90's when I was probably 9 or 10 and she was probably 12 or so we would sit on her concrete steps on in the cool grass and bake in the summer sun and listen to tragic kingdom on her boombox.
most of the music I heard was junky old stuff on my parents radio and tragic kingdom is the first album I remember hearing and thinking
omg this is really good
gwen stefani made no sense to me. she had weird-colored hair and wore strange clothes and her words tapped into this weird part of me that I didn't know was there. she confused me and I liked it and I must have driven trista nuts getting her to replay the album over and over.
this was around the time when all my friends were super into boy bands and I'd go to school and squeeeeeee over posters ripped out of Tiger Beat magazine of boys with their center-part haircuts but then I'd go over to tristas and listen to tragic kingdom and nevermind and clumsy and all these albums my other friends weren't listening to.
soon my family moved into a different neighbourhood without a field and ditches and more ugly stucco houses so I stopped going over there and summers with new music and boomboxes on the concrete step were over.
even though my friends in the new neighbourhood listened to cds on boom boxes and lay in the sun in our big backyards it wasn't the same. we listened to cheesy pop music and mainstream garbage and I didn't listen to that other type of music as often.
but sometimes at home I'd tune into muchmusic and watch the wedge and listen to the 'weird' music my friends weren't into.
because nobody listened to tragic kingdom.