In 2010, I said goodbye to my grandfather, Pete Peterson and Andrew Carroll, plus two unnamed fertilized eggs, future children of a friend and a few others. In four months, I went to six funerals. My mother left her job, and my father had his hardest year in his career. A friend fought and beat cancer. I started and finished a book, and have been beating the pavement, looking for my next job. I have never had a harder year, filled with more despair and sadness.
There have been some bright spots: friend Tammy got the job she wanted and is happy; PL’s baby arrived and is healthy; Katherine’s got another in the oven and has made it to the second trimester; and I started and finished that book. Jaime and Emilio had another birthday, and so did Hammer and Gordon. They are all learning to walk and talk and be gentlemen. I took a wonderful but brief vacation to Mexico in a moment of psychic desperation, and a longer sojourn for work in Italy and New York. And who can forget Atlanta in August? I had simple pleasures–especially the love and care of friends and family–and my creature comforts (although I am leaving my job, I thankfully have had one, and so have had a roof over my head, etc.). I am thankful for all of this.
I hope I never have another year like 2010.* I hope none of you ever have to have one. I’m amazed I made it through, and I think my fortitude has earned the respect of those who know and love me. What do I give back? Hope for the future, and a mixtape.
I haven’t formatted it to fit on a CD because almost none of my friends use them anymore. If you do, I’d recommend you cut the first CD with tracks 1-10. These songs represent the hardships of the year–the loneliness of despair, the false smile you wear when times are tough, the searing sharp pain of loss after loss after loss. Tracks 11-24 represent the bright glimmer of hope–the humor, and insanity, we bring to our New Year’s Resolutions. The expectation that next year we can shimmy and shake, dance and laugh, fall in love, do what we want and take a little chance. Track 25 is my coda: a goodbye letter to Nashville and 2010. I hope I never see either of them again.
Sorry you have to download them one at a time, but this will take you a fraction of the time it took me to work all this out. There’s a PDF tracklisting but here’s what you’ll get:
Dec 31, 2010
1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out – Nina Simone
2. You’re Always on My Mind- Johnnie Morisette
3. You’re a Lonely Girl- The Grass Roots
4. Pretend – Carl Mann
5. Fuck You – Cee Lo Green
6. Nothin’ Shakin’ – Linda Gail Lewis
7. Slap That Bass – Ella Fitzgerald
8. Hang With Me (Acoustic) – Robyn
9. Soul Sauce (Guachi Guaro) – Cal Tjader
10. Manteca – Dizzy Gillespie
11. Interlude – Cypress Hill
12. Do What You Wanna – Ramsey Lewis
13. Everlasting Love – Barbara Pittman
14. Take A Little Chance – Jimmy De Berry
15. Red Hot –Billy Emerson
16. Feelin’ Good – Little Junior’s Blue Flames
17. Somebody Told Me – Little Milton
18. Devil in a New Dress – Kanye West
19. Fout La Merde (ft. Thomas Bangalter) – 113
20. Come Around (Live on Rap City) – Lil Wayne
21. Comfortable (feat. Babyface) – Lil Wayne
22. They Want EFX – Das EFX
23. La Di Da Di (Live) – Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh
24. Que Lio Remix – G-Bo The Pro & Hector Lavoe
25. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right – Bob Dylan
*Ugh. Sadly, Jan 1, 2011 brought news that a loved one has cancer. I’m back to my jokes about being the Angel of Death.