Soundtrack to November

Photo caption: “Frustration: Knowing what you would make you happy, while realizing it’s still so far away.”

It’s been a time to live in Chicago. In a 10 day period alone we have

  • The World Series where one of the teams is a local team which apparently had not made it to said series in a VERY long time. Not that Chicago isn’t already known for having intensely loyal fans who border on insane. Being “only” 1.5 miles from the action has been interesting. Probably could have leased my sleeper sofa for a few hundred a night. Oh, well…”next time”…
  • A presidential election where one of the two candidates is considered a local (while I’m not one to discuss politics, I’ll simply note this candidate was first lady of Arkansas, and a senator from New York, and went to college in Massachusetts and Connecticut. So in addition to her years living in DC she is effectively from everywhere (else)…).

Still. You get my point. It’s been an exciting time but one where a lot of people have been on edge.

And it’s been a rough quarter for me. I think the first term in any new job and location is challenging. You know those major life events you’re not supposed to have too many of in one stretch? Here’s the list which allegedly predicts your likelihood of having a nervous breakdown in the near future. Just this year I’ve blogged publicly about applying for jobs, starting a new job, moving, having to adjust my trust levels and daily routines, and reacting to a sudden and intense family illness. Now imagine the other things that were too private for me to blog about.

Screw Chicago. I am on edge.

But you know what else happens this month? Celebration. I have survived all of this. And I get to go home for the long break. I get to spend time with my mom–which means more to me than ever. And I get to spend time with the dog (who thinks I walk on water as long as I scratch her, and feed her, and let her on my bed). And I get to go through the annual holiday bickerings I love with my dad including the house-divided UGA/Tech game.

I’m not going to lie: I am unbelievably distracted by the daydream of sitting in the den of my parents house in an overstuffed leather chair, with a fire in the fireplace and a decorated Christmas tree in the corner, sipping a glass of wine while my dad plays with the dog and makes her bark and while my mom yells at my dad for “aggravating” the dog and making her bark and while I yell at all of them for having the TV volume so high when clearly our audible world revolves around the barking of the dog (maybe throwing in a jab about how cold the house is to accommodate the only one of us with a fur coat). It may not be a scene Norman Rockwell would paint, but for me it actually is the epitome of peace and happiness and acceptance and love.

So, what’s left to do here before TTENG family time? Write and administer 60-ish finals, pull an all-nighter grading them, and then spend a day in O’Hare and Hartsfield. No big whoop. I’ve got to eat my veggies before I can have my dessert.

Below, then, are TWO mixes. One of R&B/gospel (which is my go-to for things like grading. Tried to give it a Southern twist for obvious reasons.), and one of coffee-shop indie (which keeps me as calm as anything else does while traveling). And there may be some not-so-subtle choices in song titles. These mixes will probably also each double in length by the time it’s all over too.

Regular rules, except iTunes alphabetization.


  1. Rise Up, Andra Day
  2. Southern Stuff, Anthony Hamilton
  3. Think, Aretha Franklin
  4. Thankful N’ Thoughtful, Bettye LaVette
  5. Lean On Me, Bill Withers (cover, though. Too good)
  6. Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Blind Boys of Alabama
  7. Sock It To Me–Erykah Badu and Missy Elliott
  8. Night Has Turned To Day, Fantastic Negrito
  9. No Woman No Cry, the Fugees
  10. Hold On, Gary Clark Jr.
  11. Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight and the Pips
  12. Multiply, Jamie Lidell
  13. Day N’ Nite, Kid Cudi
  14. Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair, Lauryn Hill
  15. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Nina Simone
  16. Seven Nation Army, Nostalgia 77
  17. Ms. Jackson, Outkast
  18. Night Time is the Right Time, Ray Charles
  19. Montreal, Weeknd
  20. Too Dry To Cry, Willis Earl Beal


  1. Plasticities, Andrew Bird
  2. My Body is a Cage, Arcade Fire
  3. Flourescent Adolescent, Arctic Monkeys
  4. Is It Wicked Not To Care?, Belle & Sebastian
  5. Goodbye Crazy City, Big Harp
  6. Home Again, Carole King
  7. Sea of Love, Cat Power
  8. Trouble, Coldplay
  9. Coming Home, Diddy
  10. Waitin’ For a Superman, Flaming Lips
  11. Carry On, Fun.
  12. Demons, Imagine Dragons
  13. Coming Home, John Legend
  14. Everything Will Be Alright, Killers
  15. Bukowski, Modest Mouse
  16. Sorciere de l’amour, Namaste
  17. Where is My Mind?, Pixies
  18. The Absence of God, Rilo Kiley
  19. Simple Song, the Shins
  20. Homeward Bound, Simon & Garfunkel
  21. This is Not What You Had Planned, the Wrens
  22. I Hope You Die, Wye Oak
  23. She’s Coming Home, the Zombies

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