Tag Archives: Calvin Harris

My Coachella

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Coachella14 Okie Neil Mike Fest

The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival… holy @#$! shit, what an absolute amazing experience!

This was my second time attending the nation’s reigning mother supreme of music festivals (and the most-successful festival according to Billboard Box-Office).  For anyone with a hard on for live music of all genres, Coachella is the ultimate wet dream.  There truly is no other way to describe the magic that is everything Coachella.  My obsession with Coachella stems from the diverse line-up all in one setting, surprise superstar performances, and 100,000 music and art lovers dancing, singing, and getting their life in the California desert.

LA14 Dinner Group

LA15 Club Group

This year’s Coachella adventure kicked-off with a friends’ reunion in Los Angeles with my best friends Cheri and Harry a.k.a. Hit & Run (childhood friends from Tampa) and Kristin (who just so happened to be visiting California the same weekend).  I linked up with other former Tampons Jamal and Robert that evening, and received the ultimate surprise when I found out that my New York friends and family (sans Jason ::insert tears::) were in L.A. celebrating Gary’s birthday.

It was one big, fat, gigantic Tampa reunion in Los Angeles that just so happened to come together randomly.  The entire randomness of it all is best described by Nadia’s greeting to me when we first ran into one another that evening: “What the fuck are you doing here?  Are you real?  Is this night even real?”

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The weekend continued as we met up with Daddy Neil and Rusty, drove to Palm Springs and prepared for the onslaught of the next three days.  One of the weekend’s highlights was meeting Chloe and Erin, two fabulous (and quite hilarious) beauties from the UK.  We instantly clicked on night one during Outkast’s ho-hum reunion performance, and spent the rest of the Coachella weekend singing and dancing the nights away.

The music highlights of this year’s Coachella include:

  • Empire of the Sun…  I had been dying to see them live since I was first hypnotized by their “Walking on a Dream” single six years ago, and the boys certainly did not disappoint.  They were the perfect blend of pomp, flash and drama needed for the Sahara tent, and my pick for the best performance of the weekend.
  • Skrillex… Sonny Moore remains one of the few prominent on the EDM scene whose artistry and craft emanates from his every DJ set.  For those cynics who wrongly insinuate that there is no true talent or work in being a DJ, Skrillex’s thrilling set at Coachella is the receipt to silence them.
  • Rudimental…  It was a treat to finally see this British band perform, especially to witness how their music which encompasses drum and bass, R&B and soul, and pure funk came together in a live setting.
  • Calvin Harris…  Mr. Harris now boasts the second largest performance attendance in the history of Coachella, second only to 2012’s Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg Lion and the 2Pac holgram’s historic California Lovefest.  He played an effortless set of his greatest hits, from “Feel So Close” to Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to new single “Summer.”  No guest performances, no surprises.  And for those cynics who complained that his set played it safe, well why reinvent the wheel when it is still spinning?
  • Arcade Fire…  I will admit that I only knew a few handful of Arcade Fire songs.  I am not infatuated with Arcade Fire like their hardcore following of fans, nor am I one of their many detractors who simply do not understand their hype.  I have always stood on neutral ground with them, so  I was anticipating their headlining, closing performance to find out in which direction I would be swayed.  In the end, I enjoyed their performance, despite lead singer Win Butler’s misguided comments regarding us in the VIP section.
  • MGMT…  I forgot how much I loved MGMT until I woke up from my afternoon nap on the lawn and was greeted by the sounds of their music.
  • Lorde…  if only she could follow the rule of “less talking, less storytelling, more singing,” then she would have had an A+ set.
  • CHVRCHES…  when a band sounds as glorious as their studio recordings, it’s a win-win situation.  CHVRCHES lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s voice sounded like heaven.

A random festival-goer summed up the entire weekend best, when he and I accidentally walked into one another.  I immediately apologized during our run-in, and he just laughed it off, smiled and remarked, “it’s all good man.  No need to apologize.  It’s the best weekend of the year.”

…and yes it was.

To my dear friend Mike Hammonds, thank you for being the best music festival partner in crime.  Daddy Neil, thank you for being you, for teaching me the music festival bunny ways, and for reminding me that this was “my Coachella.”  And lastly, dear Coachella, I’ll be missing you next year, but will return in 2016 to cash in on the best weekend of that year!  [READ: 2012’s Coachella Adventure post]


“Comfortable” by The Knocks featuring X Ambassadors:  I am pissed that I missed The Knocks at last year’s Governor’s Ball in New York City, because I become more and more enamored with their music each and every passing day.  “Comfortable” was this year’s unofficial Coachella anthem.  Perhaps because I demanded that this song be played on repeat at high decibels.  Or simply because this anthem ROCKS, and will serve as a reminder of this beautiful weekend in Coachella Valley.  :: sigh ::

Please click on thumbnail to enlarge / view photo: 

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“Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris with Florence Welch

Just like Babyface  in the early 1990’s and Timbaland in the mid-2000’s, singer-songwriter-producer-DJ Calvin Harris has become the current it-boy with the midas touch in the music industry.  He gave Rihanna her biggest hit (save your Chris Brown jokes) and most beloved international smash-single “We Found Love” and saturated radio airwaves and Gym Workout iPod playlists with his very own “Feels So Close.”  “Call My Name” by British superstar Cheryl Cole is arguably her best single to date, and Scissor Sisters haven’t sounded as good on “Only The Horses” since their debut album.  Both songs were of course written and produced by Calvin Harris.

As Calvin Harris readies to release his third studio album, 18 Months on October 29, 2012, he recently unveiled his fifth (yes, fifth) single & music video from that upcoming album: a stunning collaboration with Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine called “Sweet Nothing.”

Sweet Nothing” is the Calvin Harris track I have been waiting for.  His music alone has always been so commanding, and “Sweet Nothing” demonstrates what happens when paired with a set of muscular vocals.  Earlier this year, we first heard the 26-year-old lead singer of Florence + The Machine collaborate with Calvin Harris when he remixed her band’s “Spectrum” single.  This time, “Sweet Nothing” marks the first: Flo belting out a song solely written for her by Calvin Harris.

…and it’s nothing but 100% pure ecstasy.  Enjoy below!

“Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch

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Summer Anthems of 2012

Every season and especially in the summertime, my good friends Neil and Gina crown a song as our “anthem for the (insert season here).”  “Walking on Air” by Kerli, “Touch The Sky” by Kanye West with Lupe Fiasco and “Hot Summer” by Monrose were all previous anthems of our summertime past.  Being that both Neil and Gina are Northerners who willingly endure the cold winter months just to revel in the warmth of the summer season, these anthems signify a farewell to the gloom and an open arms welcome to the sunshine euphoria.

Instead of crowning just one song as the 2012 Summer Anthem, I’ve instead listed ten singles all worthy of the honorary title.

Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you the first 2012 Summer Anthem Soundtrack below:


“Spectrum” by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma

“We’ll run where lights won’t chase us, hide where love can save us…”   Not to be confused with the latest single from Florence + the Machine, producer/DJ Zedd’s collaboration with newcomer Matthew Koma delivers a breakdown starting at the 1:10 mark that has “summer anthem” written all over it!




“We’ll Be Coming Back” by Calvin Harris with Example

“I don’t even care if I know ya, outta our minds, sad to leave it all behind…”  Picking up where he left off with this spring’s anthem “Feel So Close,” current it-boy Calvin Harris teams up with UK singer Example on what can be described as “Feel So Close Part 2″… and that’s certainly not a bad thing.




“No Gravity” by Kerli

“You make me float free…”  Estonian dance-pop star Kerli’s latest single is an aestival concoction of everything sugary-pop and dance.  Bonus kudos: Her “Walking on Air” was the summer anthem of 2008.




“Celebrate” by Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks

“See everybody’s been down in luck, Now finally things are looking up, The sun has chased all the rain away, No more obstacles in our away…”  The first single from the upcoming motion picture Sparkle soundtrack is a celebration of life, love, happiness, optimism and Whitney.  “Celebrate” is a simple reminder not of Whitney Houston, the troubled tabloid persona, but of Whitney Houston, the singer.




“Good Time” by Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City

“Woke up on the right side of the bed…”  As if Miss Jepsen hasn’t already infiltrated your head with her inescapable “Call Me Maybe” ditty, she returns with Owl City to inflict further penetration with another super-catchy pop confection.




“Still Getting Younger” by Wynter Gordon

“I’m like a harbor, I can be your savior, Let me push you under, Don’t want no other baby, I got you covered, our love is growing and getting younger…”  This song is as timeless as its accompanying music video, which could have easily been released in 1987.




“Move In The Right Direction” by Gossip

“I’m moving forward with all of my might, I’m heading toward a new state of mind…”  The second single from Gossip’s A Joyful Noise release is a motivational self-help declaration that will send you straight to the dancefloor.  God bless Beth Ditto!




“Cameo Lover” by Kimbra

“You turn from the skies, You dance with your demise, I’ll be here when you come home…”  Out to prove that she’s not just the girl who sang on the Earth’s most overplayed song, Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” singer Kimbra’s latest from her Vows album will undoubtedly help her loosen any potential one-hit wonder shackles.




“Get Free (Bonde do Role Remix)” by Major Lazer

“We’re all together in the same boat…”  From the musical project responsible for that  grating yet enslaving beat sampled on Beyonce’s “Run The World” comes their latest offering.  The Bonde do Role Remix brings a Bollywood-sound to their dance party.




“Birthday Girl” by Starshell

“I’m in here until it’s last call…”  After bursting onto the scene after co-penning Kanye West’s 2008 “Love Lockdown” hit single, singer LaNeah Menzies returns with her first single, an anthem in its own right for any birthday-celebrating lady.

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California Dreams

Forgive me blog, for I have been having a torrid love affair with both my iPad and Kindle Fire since they romanced their ways into my life over a month ago. The lack of an actual keyboard on both devices are my invalid excuse for not posting as frequently as I promised that I would this year.  It’s not that a lot hasn’t happened in life either!  Instead of posting one summarized account of my best friend’s wedding, losing my virginity to Coachella, visiting Cheri in L.A. and so forth, I will dedicate individualized posts to each Facebook Timeline-worthy event starting with L.A. and Coachella…

My dear friend Neil called me up from St. Louis Chicago around February of this year  to proclaim that he we were going to the Coachella Arts & Music Festival in Indio, California this year.  Here’s the thing with Neil: when he wants to do something, he does it… and almost always, he demands company.  Not that I would not go anywhere to hang out with him, it’s just the process in how I usually land in those situations that’s amusing.  Sample example from last year:

Neil:  Okie, where is there great cajun food in Tampa to eat?
Me:  Cajun food?  Here in Tampa?  Um, I cannot think of anything.
Neil:  Really?  There’s nothing here?  Hmmm…  What are you doing tomorrow?  Any plans?
Me:  Tomorrow?  No plans except that I have to be at a work meeting at 11am.

(10 minutes later)

Neil:  Hey, pack your bags.  We leave to New Orleans in a few hours.  I just booked our flights and hotel rooms.  We’ll land at 9pm tonight, enough time to eat at my favorite cajun restaurant in the French Quarter.  You can can go back to the hotel to sleep afterwards.  Your flight is at 7am tomorrow morning, enough time to make your 11am meeting.  So get ready!
Me:  You seriously just booked flights to New Orleans after you flew to Tampa from St. Louis Chicago just because you were craving cajun food?  I’m flying to New Orleans for 10 hours for your craving?
Neil:  Pack your bags!

God I love Neil!   So my first experience at Coachella was set for Weekend 1 of the music fest.  I have been dying to attend for years, but never put actual motion to any plans.  I was flying into L.A. on the Thursday night prior to see my friend Cheri and Ryan, going to The Abbey in West Hollywood that evening with them and then driving to Palm Springs early Friday morning to begin Operation: Coachella immersification.

Neil booked lodging at the SLS Beverly Hills which was pure ridiculous in how ornately posh the entire hotel decor was, and dinner at Gyu-Kaku was even more ridiculously amazing.  If I did not have plans to go directly out after dinner, you can place all of your money on the truth that I would have devoured that place dry of food.  Actually, I would have worn stretch pants and TOMS® to dinner, and then devoured that place dry of food.  It was that good!  Although my time with Cheri & Mike, Ryan and the city of Los Angeles was very brief, it was still worth every pounding sensation of the Mojito-migraine the very next morning.

I have been to California numerous times, actually lived there for a very brief time when I was in diapers, but I had never been to Palm Springs.  Palm Springs is one of those places that I would become a resident when I’m in my 50’s, rolling in money and have nothing better to do in life than delegate jobs to a full-time staff consisting of a maid, personal chef, masseuse, gardener and interior decorator.  Being in the California desert and surrounded by mountains every which way you turn was a refreshing change in scenery from that of Florida.

View from the hotel room at the Agua Caliente Casino Resport Spa in Palm Springs, CA

Anyone who knows me knows that music is my religion.  For the opportunity to attend the Daddy Mack (or Mack Daddy based on your personal Kris Kross preference) of Music Festivals was heaven sent.  I stalked the Coachella website online, downloaded the Coachella phone app, obsessed over the line-up and attempted envisioning how the whole weekend would play out.

Sample pre-Coachella obsessions:  “How much of AVICII’s set in the Sahara Tent will I be able to enjoy before having to migrate over to the main stage to see Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?” … “Will there be a defribillator nearby to revive me when I pass out if Madonna makes a surprise appearance like she did at ULTRA?”  Everything that I thought Coachella would be turned out to be completely wrong…  Coachella was even more!

Miike Snow and Feed Me weren’t on my original itinerary, and both turned out to be the two surprise sets that were my everything

Seeing Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg performing together was my middle school dream come true.  Imagine how loud the place erupted when they performed “California Love”?  And YES, I did see the Tupac hologram.  One of my friends in the industry gave me a heads up that his friends in the industry had been working on it for quite some time, so it came as no surprise.  YES, it looked life-life in person.  I only wish that I had not known about it prior to the show so that I could truly be surprised.

Other highlights:  Rihanna surprising the crowd during Calvin Harris’s DJ set for “We Found Love,” seeing Mazzy Star perform “Fade Into You,” just arriving at the outdoor stage to catch the last notes of Florence + the Machine’s “Only If For A Night,” the celebrity sightings galore, witnessing Kaskade literally set the Sahara Tent ablaze with his set, the sensory overload of Swedish House Mafia closing out night one, seeing Radiohead perform “Karma Police” and most importantly, spending time with my very dear and close friend Neil.

Everything about that weekend and my time at Coachella was just right.  The weather (not scorching hot like I was previously hearing.)  The drinks.  The food. (A poutine food truck, seriously?)  The people.  The atmosphere.  The location.  The music.  The world.  I cannot think of a better time had than with 150,000 other lovers of music and art in that Californian desert.

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“Call My Name” by Cheryl Cole

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Oh Cheryl Cole.  How do I love thee!  You were a part of the biggest-selling female group in the UK, (and no I am not referring to the Spice Girls but) Girls Aloud, who were responsible for some of the catchiest pop-ditties this millennium.   You ventured out as a solo artist with two huge hit albums and a string of pop perfection confections.  Your “Fight For This Love” still reigns as one of the best pop songs ever recorded.  You ruled England as their beloved sweetheart when you became a judge on The X-Factor UK which lead to one of the much-coveted judges spots on The X-Factor USA.  Although, I should be upset with you for you leaving The X-Factor USA.  It lead to four torturous months of the grating Nicole Scherzinger (your replacement).  Will.i.am. is now your manager.  You have a new album, your third, A Million Lights, being released next month.  You have a cameo role in the JLo & Cameron Diaz rom-com, What To Expect When You’re Expecting flick this summer.  You reportedly are dropping your ex-hubby’s last name and simply going by Cheryl.  Madonna.  Cher.  Cheryl.  It works.  And you have a sexy new video for “Call My Name,” which was written and produced by current it-boy Calvin Harris, that just hit YouTube.  You own the world right now… well, except for the U.S.  Here’s looking forward to a very successful infiltration onto the American pop culture radar.  If the Kardashians can do it, then the sexiest woman on the planet most certainly can too. You’re almost there baby.

P.S.  The 90’s clothes, style and choreography of your “Call My Name” music video is like a tasty make-out session with nostalgia.

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The Top 10 Singles of 2011

Looking back at 2011, my Spotify music player was definitely on overdrive.  There were far too many addictive songs and albums released last year, that narrowing it down to a Top 10 List would be like the Octomom having to pick her favorite 10 out of her brood of 16 children.  Translation: making this list was difficult!

Below is a listing of my favorite released singles of 2011.  Otherwise, non-released tracks like “I Would Do Anything For You” by Foster The People and the entire Love Child EP by Ella Riot would have dominated this list.


10.  Patrick Stump with Lupe Fiasco – “This City

The former lead singer of Fall Out Boy’s debut single barely flaunted the Prince-esque funk of his debut Soul Punk album.  But what this single lacked in pomp, it made up with an anthemic hook for anyone with hometown city pride.  If this single were the Billboard Top 10 hit it should’ve been, perhaps we would be seeing the newly svelte Patrick Stump starring in his own weight loss commercial rotated in between Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson’s.



9.  Young The Giant – “My Body

The boys of California captured the charm of their self-titled debut with this song that they had the honor to perform at the 2011 MTV VMA’s.  Whatever the true meaning of the song: the constant battle with a drug addiction or resisting the urges of going back to an unhealthy relationship, “My Body” left me “wanting more.”  FYI: Check out remixes by Tokyo Police Club and Two Door Cinema on the band’s Remixes EP.



8.  Angus and Julia Stone – “Hold On

The fragility in Julia’s voice.  That haunting melody.  The hypnotic allure of it all.  The Australian brother & sister duo released a ballad as depressing yet beautiful as any of the ‘you don’t love me’ song classics before it.  Listen with a glass of wine and a Kleenex handy.



7.  Clare Maguire – “The Shield And The Sword

What if you paired the flash & pizzazz of Lady Gaga with the vocals of Annie Lennox, and added a splash of Cher?  Clare Maguire has been described as just that since hitting the scene in the UK.  “The Shield And The Sword” is just one of the many standout tracks on the songstress’ Light After Dark album.



6.  M83 – “Midnight City

Every time that I went out to The Castle nightclub in Ybor City, I would hope and pray that I would hear this song.  The opening sequence of this song sounds like a Battle Cry, begging to be danced to.  Those times I was lucky enough to hear it while on a dancefloor, the experience was as if a Call To Arms was indeed issued out and everyone who just wanted to dance was summoned.



5.  Benny Benassi with Gary GO – “Cinema (Skrillex Remix)”

Cinema” is the song that made me rethink and change my stance on the entire dubstep movement.  So perfectly crafted in its intricacies and hook, I became a fan of not only dubstep music, but an admirer of the current reigning dubstep God,  24-year-old Sonny Moore a.k.a Skrillex.  Even Kanye West tweeted how the Skrillex remix of “Cinema” is “one of the greatest works of art ever made.”



4.  Lloyd featuring Andre 3000 – “Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)

Profane.  Vulgar.  Brilliant.  R&B artist Lloyd certainly does not hold back on expressing himself in this insanely catchy thumper about how an ex-lover’s “p*ssy” is now a stranger.  Disregard the censored version that replaces the word “p*ssy” with “lovin” and revel in the original version in all of its dirty glory.


3.  Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends

The early part of 2011 saw much-hyped new singles from pop divas Lady Gaga and Beyonce, but it was Miss Spears who stole the show with this dance anthem from her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale.  What Prince’s “1999” was to the Y2K generation on the evening of December 31, 1999, “Till The World Ends” will be the same on the night of December 21, 2012 and beyond.



2.  Lana Del Rey – “Video Games

Since they ceased playing music videos to make room for their infiltration of reality shows, I haven’t watched MTV in what seems like forever.  So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through channels on my TV and stumbled upon this music video on MTV of all places. I was completely taken aback.  Everything about this song was a breath of fresh air amid today’s pop landscape.  Okay, so Miss Del Rey’s most recent musical performance on SNL was a big, fat dud?  This song still remains undeniable in its beauty and mystery.



1.  Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris – “We Found Love

This may seem like an obvious choice given its vast mainstream appeal, but RiRi truly delivered a timeless dancefloor classic that echoed the 1990’s Euro-dance pop of Black Box while harmoniously blending with the modern nu-disco, dance sound of the song’s writer & producer Calvin Harris.  I have been a Calvin Harris fan since his triumphant 2007 I Created Disco album, so it was exciting to see his name atop of the Billboard charts even if it was second billing to the Barbadian princess of radio.  “We Found Love” is as a song of the times.  When many accused mainstream pop music as being too boring, “We Found Love” glared brightly as the pop music gem on the charts and radio amid what others perceived as a hopeless place.



Check out the Top 10 Songs of 2011 from our friends over at GLOGANDVLOG here.

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Confessions of 2007: The Soundtrack [12.20.2007]

Originally posted on MySpace on December 20, 2007:

“I am awaiting the Okie year-end blog!”
Jon La May, during lunch at Mike’s BBQ the other day

So turn your volumes up, make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable position, and most importantly…  PRESS PLAY
..

AN OPEN LETTER TO STACEY FERGUSON:

Dear Fergie,

I will come out and admit that I was not a fan of yours when I first saw you perform with The Black Eyed Peas. There wasn’t one particular thing about you that unimpressed me; I just simply was not impressed.

Last fall, I bought your “The Dutchess” album at Target on a whim. I didn’t click with your first single, “London Bridge,” and I initially wasn’t too keen on the next single, “Fergalicious.” But being a huge music junkie who listens to entire albums (yes, I still buy cd’s!) to help pass the time at work, I forked out $11.99 for your solo debut.

It is the end of 2007, more than an entire year has passed since “The Dutchess” was released… and your album has somewhat become the unofficial soundtrack to my life in the year 2007.

I remember being silly and attempting to write a rap song with Katina in Chicago to the tune of your “Fergalicious” (“Fergalicious” by Fergie) for Gina’s Birthday. We really couldn’t conjure up anything creative, mainly because I was fucked up, but I still managed to come up with something extravagantly ludicrous comprised of lots of head bobs and smiles and laughter.

Your third single “Glamorous,” (“Glamorous” by Fergie) evokes memories of Jacksonville. Each and every single time, David, Jon La May and I would sing together to the top of our lungs in the car.

“G – L – A – M – O – AHRRA (that’s how Jon La May pronounces his “r’s”) – O – U – S!”

The second Jacksonville trip had Gina, always imitating some pop singer, singing the last lines of the song in your distinctive voice and unintentionally coining new nicknames for Steven MichaelRay, Jon La May and myself.

And don’t even get me started on “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (“Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie)… Steven and I still cannot listen to that song without busting out in laughter. And yes your song is lovely, but it’s the memories associated with it that get us giggling.

Lastly, meeting you with Katina at your Candies Fashion Show / Concert in St. Pete last summer was a definite highlight of the year. Katina and I were so excited to meet you and sit front row, that we literally became two school-age girls… well, two school-age girls who were drunk and tipsy from the outdoor bar. You sang and danced your heart out. You looked amazing. You rocked my world that night. Thank God I told Katina to enter the Verizon Dress-Like-Fergie contest to win those backstage tickets!

So a big phat THANK YOU for making music that will forever bring the nice memories of an otherwise ho-hum year to mind. I cannot wait to hear what you will do next.

Love Always,
Okie

If my life in 2007 were ever made into a movie, these are the songs that would be playing during (the below mentioned) key scenes. These are the songs that would be featured on the soundtrack. These are the songs that remind me of select people. These are the quotes that would be printed in the soundtrack booklet’s liner notes. These are the songs that made up my 2007.

DAVID MICHAELRAY LA MAY
David Phan came into town twice this year. The first time he brought his friend Jake. The second time, he came all by himself. On his first night back in October, it was just like the old days of David, Gina and I riding down to Ybor together (“Do It Well” by Jennifer Lopez).

Except for lunch at P.F. Changs, David and I honestly just laid around the next day watching TV. It took Kristin to come by, and grace us with her “Tourette’s syndrome” to finally drag us out of the house. I don’t think that David has ever experienced Kristin in her full-Kristin glory, so for his virgin eyes and ears to experience her “La Sarah” voice, her barking like a dog, her sudden yelling, her comparing herself to Jennifer Aniston, as well as her Beyonce booty-shaking all within the first 10 minutes of her stopping by literally had David declaring: “I fucking love Kristin!”

We went to Cheri’s farewell dinner and night in Ybor that evening, completely exhausting ourselves for the remainder of the weekend. David and I did meet up with Jon and Bryan at Cracker Barrel on Sunday morning (“Sunday Morning” by k-OS), and squeezed in a visit to his longtime friend Jennessy. But even if David and I continued to sit around doing absolutely nothing before Kristin saved us, we still would have had fun. One of the fantastic things about David Phan is that he finds any and every way to keep you entertained and smiling. He says some of the most hysterical statements and when shit hits the fan, he is someone who continually has my back.

I went to Jacksonville to visit David TWICE this year with Jon La May. While traveling on our JAX first trip for David’s Birthday, Jon asked me for a list of songs to upload onto his IPod to play on the way there. So I sent him a list of songs that make me wanna shake it (“Give It To Me” by Timbaland with Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake), songs that make me wanna break stuff (“Breakin’ Dishes” by Rihanna), and our future wedding song (“Dancing In The Moonlight” by Top Loader). We listened to every single one of them on repeat. This was the very first time that Jon and I spent time together without mutual friends. Every other time, there was always someone else with us. So this trip was marking the beginning of the Okie & Jon Era

When we arrived, David took Jon, Jake and I to The Pearl, which was basically Jacksonville’s version of The Castle. Josh and Shandi met us up there, and let’s just say that yours truly was a wee bit out-of-control that night. To this day, I have no clue why I was so upset that my Quarter Pounder had cheese on it, and why I threw my cellphone at both Jon and David out of anger.

“Umm… You are NOT Naomi Campbell, Okie!”
David Phan, after the first of many cellphone throws his way

David’s 27th birthday dinner was held at the Corner Brasserie, where I finally got to meet Anitra, Irene, Kristy and Margie, followed by drinks at Metro. After closing Metro down and losing Jon La May, the highlight of the night had to be David falling down and dramatically twisting his ankle in front of two police officers. “No officer, I’m not drunk! I’m fine! I am Sparta!” Not that I find humor in David’s injuries… but if only a camera were around to document how hilarious David’s tumble was.

The second time Jon and I went to visit David in Jacksonville (“Last Night” by Diddy with Keyshia Cole), we brought Gina and Steven MichaelRay along. We only stayed there overnight, less than 24 hours to be precise, yet managed to have the best trip this year. We sampled escargot for the very first time. I met Lily. I made everyone wait to go out until Madonna took the stage on the Live Earth telecast. We hit up Twisted Martini, Brix… well, the Brix parking lot, and Metro. We got drunk. We played Fergie on the IPod on the way back home to David’s. We played Rihanna. We played the Spice Girls. We watched Janet Jackson DVD’s at David’s. And my faith in groups trips not always being a horrible idea was restored.

While we drove to and fro, Steven MichaelRay asked me about a specific song that Jon and I kept playing (“Apologize” by One Republic with Timbaland). I told him that I would burn that song onto a cd, and presented him with the “Michael Mix” compilation shortly after. The “Michael Mix” was just a assemblage of various songs that I thought Steven would enjoy. One of the songs on the cd, Steven enjoyed a little too much.

“Whatever Okie, I can have this shot tonight because
Jaslene won America’s Next Top Model,
Jordan didn’t get booted off American Idol
and Iiiiiiii caaarrreee!!!”
Steven MichaelRay, rationalizing why he was able to order a shot.
Earlier that day, he insisted that he would not get drunk
since he had to work early the next day.

It was the night of Billy Jolie’s 28th birthday… Jon La May was the designated driver, and chauffeured the birthday boy, Cheri, Steven and me from dinner at Thai Thani across the bridge to Georgies then over to Chambers. I very, very rarely ever go to Chambers. It’s not that I don’t enjoy that place, but I always leave that club at 3 a.m. drunk beyond belief. Of course that night was no different, except that Steven outdrank me. At the end of the night, we were hanging out front with Derek and Maria when the expected happened. “Jamal” came out.

Here’s the deal with Steven MichaelRay. When that boy drinks heavily, his other personality, “Jamal” likes to come out and play. “Jamal” is black, he’s a thug, his theme song is “It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp” by Three-Six Mafia, and he has a sister named “Katinqua.” Jamal is renowned for being impolite, ill-tempered and quarrelsome. “Jamal” is not known however for being a singer. As we left Chambers, “Jamal” was just yelling out his requests to me from the back seat. “PLAAAYYY APPOLLOOGGGIIIZZEEE!!!” “PLAAAYYY FEERRRGGGIIIEEE!!!” One song caught me off guard though… “PLAAAYYY TTTEEEXXXAAASSS!!!” (“Inner Smile” by Texas) What preceeded was the loudest, drunkest, scream-singing rendition of that song that I have ever (and most likely will ever) experience in my life. “YEEEAAAHHH!!! YEEEAAAHHH!!! YOUUU MAAAKKKEEE MEEEE FEEELLL!!! YEEEAAAHHH!!! YEEEAAAHHH!”

“I’m hearin what you say
but I just can’t make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down…”
“Apologize” by One Republic

THE COMEBACK / FAREWELL TOUR
Through the years, I had allowed myself to slip from the reigns of being the concert going king. I equate great shows as religious experiences. So as someone always seeking change, I decided to rev up my concert-going flair this year. It started back up in February with Justin Timberlake’s “FutureSex / LoveShow” at the St. Pete Times Forum with Billy, Kristin, Shauna, Nikki and Linda. JT was great, but I was a bit too drunk from the pre-drinking that immediately began earlier that day. After “I-cannot-even-tell-you-how-long,” I ran into Ruby at The Castle that night (“Lovestoned” by Justin Timberlake). She asked why I hadn’t been out as much as before lately. I asked her where the hell she had been hiding. We both concluded that 2007 was going to be the year of our “Comeback Tour.” Out every night. Going to every Tampa “it” event. Hanging out constantly. Sadly for me, I got sidetracked and at times felt as if I were on my “Farewell Tour.” Ruby managed to hold her own very nicely though.

In May, I luckily scored 7th row seats to Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape Tour” for Steven MichaelRay, Kristin, Kimmie and I. Everyone seemed to be there that night, but the four of us were in our own little world (“The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani). Somehow, Steven convinced me to become his personal photographer for the night and I just kept snapping up photos of him. He somehow later convinced me to photograph him sitting in a tree that he conveniently climbed thanks to the help of a turned-over trash can. (Kristin’s persuasive pressure to model just like Joanie, an America’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 contestant, did in an episode that involved an elephant MAY have helped too.) July brought the 80’s Classic Summer Jam, where nostalgia was in overload as Harry, Jeremy Gloff and I jammed out to Expose, C&C Music Factory, Shannon and Lisa Lisa.

A staple with going to concerts in 2007 was running into my favorite non-stalking stalkers Thomas and Jabberjaw. There they were standing in line behind me at the Britney Spears show at the House of Blues in Orlando. There they were working radio promotions at the Fergie show at Ruth Eckerd Hall. And of course there they were at the Beyonce Experience when Kristin, Steven and I sat second row from the stage, and apparently dead-center in front of the jumbotron cameras. I have no idea how ridiculously retarded the three of us looked on the jumbotron screens as we unknowingly danced to “Crazy In Love” or sang along to “Irreplaceable” in front of the entire arena. Probably just as silly as when Steven, Kristin and I looked when we thought it a good idea to reenact Beyonce’s video at P-House the second night of Steven’s “Shee Haw!” show. (“Get Me Bodied [Extended Edit]” by Beyonce)

This year was originally concluding with Kristin and me seeing the Spice Girls in New York City. But the NYC date got moved around, and in popped a February 15th, 2008 show in Chicago. Now Ryan Prado, Kristin and I will be flying up to the Windy City to see them with Sterling and Neil. Maybe I’ll call Jon La May during the show, so he can freak out like he did in Jacksonville when Steven and I took charge of David Phan’s IPod (“Spice Up Your Life” by The Spice Girls). And maybe I’ll call David Phan to play the song that he has (both drunkenly and soberly) serenaded me with when he decides to leave me another silly voicemail (“2 Become 1” by The Spice Girls). Most likely I will do both.

“I must apologize for acting stank & treating you this way
Cause I’ve been acting like sour milk all on the floor
It’s your fault you didn’t shut the refrigerator
Maybe that’s the reason I’ve been acting so cold…”
“The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani feat. Akon

OH BABY, IT’S RAINING!
My friend Dan from Australia was visiting the States, spending a couple months studying in New Orleans for school. After years of corresponding online, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to meet Dan. Harry had been asking me for years to visit New Orleans with him. His sister Marie resides there, and Harry used to live there himself. After 16 years of knowing one another, this would be the very first time that Harry and I had decided to take a trip with just the two of us.

Harry’s sis, Marie, was nothing short of fabulous. Meeting Dan was a true honor. And traveling with Harry was… ummmm… entertaining. You haven’t partied hard, unless you’ve partied with Harry (“Rehab” by Amy Winehouse). I sometimes sit back and envy that boy’s stamina to keep going. In no means am I a shy person, but Harry is a true social dragon who can instantly make any random bar manager buy him rounds of drinks the entire night while instantly attracting any given stranger to become his new best friend for the night. “Every man dies, but not every man lives” is Harry’s mantra, and he’s the only person I know that takes that mantra and not only runs with it, but humps on it, grinds on it, drinks it, licks it and dances on the stripper pole with it. Just don’t look down when Harry asks you to hold his drink. (Side note to Harry: Biiiitch, yes I did go there! LOL)

“Those pigeons aren’t rats with wings, they’re heffas with feathas!”
My observation to Harry in the French Quarter

In some aspects, my friend Neil in Chicago can remind me of Harry. Katina called out a slight resemblance the first night she met Neil. When Chicago Gina was visiting Tampa last year, she acknowledged their similarities. But at the same time, those two could not be any more different from one another. What they share though is their ability to crack my ass up in hysterics. Just the mere silliness of our jokes can cause me to cry from laughing so hard. Last month, Tampa Gina and I flew up to Chicago just to get out of town for a weekend. Instead of the usual staying with Chicago Gina (“It’s You, It’s Me” by Kaskade), we stayed at Neil’s new pad that he was still in the process of moving into. Neil entertained everyone the entire weekend with his comments on Janet’s “Pleasure Principal” music video, the Kimora Lee reality show marathon, and his ‘wop-ping’ catwalk dance number (“Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige) debut. It’s no surprise whatsoever that every single friend of mine who has met Neil has fallen in love with his (as Kimora Lee would say) “fabulosity!”

There is just something about doctors that my friends and I love. Neil is a doctor, as is my always-shirtless friend Derek. I have known Derek for 4-5 years now, and we met through a random encounter at Orpheum with him and Kristin. Since then, he has stuck around through the years. Derek never fails in making me feel like a million bucks. He creates the fun if I am starting to look bored. He allows me and Cheri to offend his friends on his Graduation Night. He shoots words of encouragement my way whenever I am down. And he’ll dance his ass of with me at the drop of a dime if a good song starts playing (“Girls” by Calvin Harris).

Maybe, it’s not just doctors that I love, but anyone in the medical profession. Everyone knows I love Katina, who is a nurse. But Kristin and Shauna are both nurses as well.

In the beginning stages of her relationship with Ben, Kristin (“Oh My God” by Mark Ronson w/ Lily Allen) invited me and Shauna to see Ben’s band’s gig in Sarasota. Even though Sarasota is not far at all, the drive there and back made it seem like we were driving to Mars. On the way, it began storming really, really badly… I mean, the kind of lightning striking beside the car type of bad. To look out any window was virtually impossible since the rain was coming down faster than speeding bullets. We got scared every time a lightning bolt loudly cracked and lit up the entire sky. So we pulled over for a bit, waited for a good half an hour for the storm to calm the hell down before proceeding… only to wind up getting lost somewhere in Riverview. To pass time, Shauna appointed me as the IPod DJ. “I wanna hear some Mary!” “I wanna hear some Whitney!” The only request not made was the one that got the three of us singing together (“Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z). Imagine hearing three tired and somewhat buzzed people collectively singing the lines “Ella ella eh eh”!

“You really do love Okie.”
My mother, over the phone to Kristin,
after Kristin spent the entire night with me at the hospital

At the urgent request from nurse Katina (“Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5) to have my thyroid checked, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment in March. Thyroid disease runs in my family, and Katina believed that I too would be diagnosed with a related problem. The lab tests and blood work showed no concrete signs of an existing problem, but I did suffer from extreme hypertension. I remember being at the Doctor’s office, and the nurse just looking so perplexed with my blood pressure. She had another nurse check it on a different machine, and when it read the same, the doctor was immediately sent to see me. He asked if I was feeling okay and that I may be sent to the Emergency Room. I had no idea what any of the numbers meant when he told me my blood pressure. I called Kristin, told her and she immediately jumped in her car to rush over to be with me there. 210/120 was my blood pressure that day. I was told by two doctors and a cardiologist that I would undoubtedly suffer from a stroke very soon if I didn’t immediately take better care of myself.

The first scare happened in May while I was at work. I remember texting Kristin and Katina that something was wrong, but the night-shift nurses were still sleeping and unresponsive. I felt dizzy. I had a pounding migraine. I was having problems breathing. I nearly fainted twice at work. I called Tampa Gina. She was at work, but just up and left to come and take me to the emergency room because she was so worried. On the car ride to the hospital, I was freaking out. I started to cry when my legs fell asleep. Katina finally called me back, and I couldn’t even talk to her because I was so choked up with tears. I couldn’t even finish my first sentence to her I was crying so badly. Gina had to grab the phone from me to continue the conversation of what was going on. If it weren’t for Gina (and her mother who met us at the hospital) calming me down and making me feel safe, then I would’ve been a complete emotional wreck walking into the ER that day. Her and her mother’s concern and love honestly got me through the initial shock. (“Doin’ It” by LL Cool J… Gina’s favorite song)

There were talks that I had diabetes, or that something was wrong with my gallbladder. There were talks that my problems were all cardiac-related.

While none of those talks proved true, everything is fine now. I am fine now. Everything I was tested for was inconclusive. So I never really got a precise medical diagnosis of what exactly caused my two hospitalizations. But my blood pressure is dramatically down since the last overnight hospital stay. I’m taking meds. The last doctor’s visit went well. I am going to be okay.

Contrary to what you may have seen or heard, Jon La May did NOT bust me out of the hospital. I was already being discharged, and he just so happened to be visiting when I was told I could leave. Jon La May (“Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley) became my personal Patch Adams. The time he and everyone spent visiting me in my ugly old-man hospital gown only helped me realize that everything would be just fine.

“No stress through the night, at a time in my life
Ain’t worried about if you feel it
Got my head on straight, I got my mind right
I aint gonna let you kill it”
“Just Fine” by Mary J. Blige

NEW ENGLAND GIRLIES
My work granted me a week’s vacation to take some time to relax after my recent medical drama and hospitalizations. I was desperate to just get away, and jetted up to NYC to spend some time with Hilary and Sammie in NYC. Hilary moved to NYC from Tampa in May to re-energize her career. Sammie was commuting back and forth from Tampa to NYC for work.

The first night I’m there, Sammie takes us to Hiro for the Peter Bjorn & John (“Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn & John) concert. I was exhausted. If it weren’t for Sammie pointing out that Mary-Kate Olsen was sitting at the V.I.P. table right next to ours, I would have asked to leave earlier. We all stalked and watched Mary-Kate chain-smoke her cigs one after the other like an old man. Peter Bjorn & John were taking forever to take the stage, so we watched Mary-Kate leave Hiro after an hour or so of waiting. 5 minutes later, so did Sammie, Hilary and I.

“If Hiro isn’t good enough for Michelle Tanner,
then it’s not good enough for Okie Tilo.
When she leaves, I LEAVE!”
Me rationalizing the real reason we left Club Hiro that night

Sammie had to fly back down to Tampa that Saturday, so Hilary and I were left to enjoy the city together. She introduced me to the creeper Apple martinis at Alfredo’s, the high-octane mango margaritas at Santa Fe’s, the brilliant convenience of Hot & Crusty and the beauty that is Central Park, a place that I had never been to before. We spent the entire day lying around in the park, engaging in intellectual conversations on such deep topics as the the living situation on Full House. Yeah, I know! It’s just that damn Mary-Kate Olsen sighting set the tone for our entire weekend.

I laid on the grass in Central Park for hours, listening to Hil’s IPod. While I laid there, I caught Hilary staring at me out from the corner of my eye. I turned the IPod volume up, and there she was still staring at me with a look of shock before finally exclaiming, “I HEAR BONNIE! GIMME THAT OTHER EARPHONE!!!” (“I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt) For those unaware, Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is mine and Hilary’s song, so for me to listen to it without her was the ultimate slap across the face.

“I’m glad you’re feeling better and okay.
I really didn’t feel like singing Bonnie by a hospital bed!”
Hilary’s text message to me on the first day I returned to work

I never participate in doing the “tourist-y things” when visiting a city. I’m more of a “take my ass to where the real fun is” type of guy, instead of “hey let’s waste photos on landmark buildings that I can see online.” But I decided to do something different, and went to the top of Rockerfeller Center with Hil where we experienced motion sickness. We strolled down 5th Avenue. Embarked on visual shopping sprees at Tiffany’s and the Apple Store. That evening, we danced our asses off to 80’s music at Beauty Bar in The Village. And that week spent in NYC brought Hilary (“Happy Ending” by Mika) and I much closer.

So what a treat it was to have Hilary join Harry and I when we went to visit old-friend Lana in Boston the first weekend of November. It had been years of Lana living up in B-Town, and I felt bad that her and I never were able to sync our schedules to align for a visit. One day, Lana sent Harry and I a text message that she was finally free for a weekend, an invitation to both come up there. Obviously Harry and I jumped at the chance to fly up to Boston (“Spells Of Desire” by Kylie Minogue). Hilary was planning to take the train over from New York to see all of us. Stephanie Brooke set up Saturday plans for us. I made a promise with Mimi to visit when she moved up there, and instantly shot her a message of my arrival.

I honestly had forgotten how much I missed Lana (“Call The Shots” by Girls Aloud). On Saturday, Stephanie took Harry, Hilary and I out to lunch and a driving-tour of Boston. Harry and I later met up with Mimi, Aura and “the midget,” basically just cracking jokes the entire time. That evening, Harry and I joined Stephanie and Jason at a Costume Party. I fucking lost the digital camera in a taxi there, so any photos of Mimi or the photo shoot in Boston Commons are lost forever, fueling even more of a reason to visit next year.

“Wake up in the morning, stumble on my life
Can’t get no love without sacrifice
If anything should happen, I guess I wish you well
A little bit of heaven, but a little bit of hell”
“Happy Ending” by Mika

YOU COULDN’T SEE ME
I guess what they say about New Years is true. They say that what you are doing on New Years Eve and who you are with will pretty much map out the blueprints as to what the rest of your year will look like and who you will spend it with. Last New Year’s Eve, I was drunk with a big group of friends. And of course last year was nothing but a big party and social year spent with them. This past New Year’s Eve however, I chose to stay home. My plans to party in Los Angeles with Billy fell through, so I decided to stay home alone. I accidentally fell asleep around 9:30pm and slept through the New Years 2007 celebrations. I woke up the next morning. Hangover-free and alone.

The majority of this year, I was alone. It was not a product of circumstance… I chose to be alone.

“I’ve traveled alone quite a bit lately and I think it makes me super-aware of my surroundings. Things that I may not see when in the company of others glare bright(er) when you’re alone in a strange place. As lonely as it is to travel alone at times, it actually puts you at an advantage to see and experience new things.”
Steve-O, in a comment he left on my Key West blog

Being alone and away from my friends and family for nearly two weeks when my work (yet again) sent me down to Key West set something off and trigged my mind to aimlessly wander. All of my friends thought that I was lucky to be on an all-expense trip down in the Keys. Yes it was cool the first time I was sent last year. This time around was different. I did have a blast the last days of the trip when my friend Heidi and her daughter Ash were coincidentally and conveniently visiting the Keys from Illinois while I still down there. And Ginnie, my company’s consultant and I forged a bond by the end of the assignment. But towards the beginning of the trip, I would aimlessly walk around Key West for hours. Just me and my headphones, and two songs (“Stranger” by Hilary Duff, “Sober” by Kelly Clarkson) that were tugging at me. I was miserable. I began a downward spiral into a breakdown while there.

I guess I carried some of that breakdown back with me when I returned home. I was flaky, breaking promises made to friends. I unreasonably snapped and yelled at people who did nothing but love me. I allowed my problems with others begin to affect my relationship with loved ones. I started to distance myself from everyone for no true reason at all. Who and what I used to run towards for comfort became the very things that I started to run away from in the other direction. The transparencies of people and places became more evident when alone. When I’m giving 110 percent and only receiving 49 percent back, it becomes inevitable not to (“49 Percent” by Royksopp). I started to unnecessarily categorize nearly all of my friends as never having my best interests in mind. It just boggled my mind how some people can sit back and turn a blind-eye when they know that someone is slowly slipping away and needing (sometimes even asking for) help, especially if those people are ones who claim to care for and love you immensely. I failed to realize how obvious my behavior and actions were to others after having a conversation with Linley (“Dancing” by Elisa) just two weeks ago, but I am happy that it has changed.

That was just a weird point in time for me in 2007. I am sorry for anyone who I may have hurt during that time.

“I still don’t have the reason
And you don’t have the time
And it really makes me wonder
If I ever gave a fuck about you
Give me something to believe in
Cause I don’t believe in you
Anymore, ANYMORE
I wonder if it even makes a difference to try
So this is goodbye”
“Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5

2007 THEME
I remember Katina asking me why I never danced anymore when I go out. I told her that I just wasn’t in the mood to which she exclaimed: “Maybe you’re depressed. My friend says that when someone starts to not enjoy something that they love then there’s something wrong.” Katina was right.

One night at Georgies, I remember Harry being shocked when I started to dance with Evy. “You don’t understand Evy, it’s been so long since that boy has danced!” At that time of the year, it had been. Harry was right.

This past February in Chicago, I was in an troubled mood on my first night there. Katina grabbed me at the bar at Berlin and said, “Down this drink! Let’s get up on that platform and dance!” I didn’t want to, but I did. I just remember hearing the repetitive line of a song start to blare out the speakers. “…and you couldn’t see me!” Katina and I spent nearly an hour and a half straight of (as Katina would point out) hard-to-breathe, thigh-hurting, sweat-dripping stage dancing! I was with someone who I have always trusted and loved. At that point in time, no other bullshit mattered. Katina dragging me onto the dancefloor with her was the best idea of the night.

When David Phan was visiting in October, he and I continually played that same song on repeat in the car. “It was me on that road, and you couldn’t see me… too many lights out… nowhere near here…” I was dealing with certain issues at that particular moment in time, and being with him and hearing that song transported me away from all of the sadness. That song stayed on repeat all night Saturday and all day Sunday while he was in Tampa.

2007 was definitely not my favorite year in the least bit. I lost some friendships. I lost any inspiration in life the middle part of the year. I lost faith in people. I lost faith in myself. I lost myself. Sad to say, there were certain parts of this year where I began to scare myself. Towards the end of the year, I decided to take charge and couldn’t be any happier that everything is seemingly back to normal.

Steven MichaelRay was supposed to move with Dallas to New Jersey at the beginning of this year. Hilary moved to New York City in May. Cheri moved to Los Angeles five months earlier than planned. Billy Jolie is moving early next year to start his new career. And in some aspects, I felt as if I had moved too… as if I wasn’t really here for most of 2007. In a strange way, I don’t feel that this year happened the way that it was supposed to, hence why I symbolically blurred myself out in all of this blog’s photos.

Every time I hear that “…and you couldn’t see me” song, I think of those two above-mentioned carefree moments with Katina and David Phan. The lyrics pretty much sum up this year. And for that, “What Else Is There? (Thin White Duke Edit)” by Royksopp is the song that sums up 2007 for me. And in a year where I nearly lost it, that song is a reminder to never give in. And to never give up. Here’s to the New Year 2008… I hope it’s a year filled with happiness. “And Flash lights. And explosions.” I am ready and excited to dance my way into it.

I honestly could not compose this blog without quadrupling its size if I wrote about my year with Billy Jolie and the millions of songs that bring him to mind. I guess if I had to pick only one song about him, it would be “The Beat Goes On” by Madonna. “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride…” Billy, aren’t you a bride now? You were a BIG part of my life in 2007, so it would make sense that a blog about 2007 would be dedicated to you!

And lastly… we missed creating any new memories in 2007 together. In fact, we spent nearly all of 2007 apart and not talking. Since you missed out on what happened with me in 2007, this blog is for you too Cheri.

“It was me on that road…

You couldn’t see me…

Too many lights out…

Nowhere near here…

And the flash lights…

And explosions…

And flash lights…

And explosions…

It was me on that road…

…but you couldn’t see me!”

My 2007 Soundtrack Tracklisting:
1. Fergie – Fergalicious
2. Fergie – Glamorous
3. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
4. Jennifer Lopez – Do It Well
5. k-OS – Sunday Morning
6. Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake – Give It To Me
7. Rihanna – Breakin’ Dishes
8. Top Loader – Dancing In The Moonlight
9. Diddy with Keyshia Cole – Last Night
10. Timbaland feat. One Republic – Apologize
11. Texas – Inner Smile
12. Justin Timberlake – Lovestoned
13. Gwen Stefani – The Sweet Escape
14. Beyonce – Get Me Bodied (Extended Edit)
15. Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life
16. Spice Girls – 2 Become 1
17. Amy Winehouse – Rehab
18. Kaskade – It’s You, It’s Me
19. Mary J. Blige – Just Fine
20. Calvin Harris – Girls
21. Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen – Oh My God
22. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
23. Maroon 5 – Makes Me Wonder
24. LL Cool J – Doin’ It
25. Rilo Kiley – Silver Lining
26. Peter Bjorn & John – Young Folks
27. Bonnie Raitt – I Can’t Make You Love Me
28. Mika – Happy Ending
29. Kylie Minogue – Spells Of Desire
30. Girls Aloud – Call The Shots
31. Hilary Duff – Stranger
32. Kelly Clarkson – Sober
33. Royksopp – 49 Percent
34. Elisa – Dancing
35. Royksopp – What Else Is There? (Thin White Duke Edit)
36. Madonna – The Beat Goes On

ThriveMix Presents: Electro
&
Kanye West – Graduation
…my two favorite albums of 2007!

“Pretend you don’t see it, that we can live a lie
when you run… So you run…
Everyone says you’re amazing now that you’re clean
Only you know who the real ones are cause you’ve seen
There’s only one question I want to ask – is it here and
When you hear everyone say you’re amazing
…Does anyone ask you?”
“Amazing (Thin White Duke Edit)” by Seal

I have a feeling that 2008 will be the beginning of how everything was always meant to be.

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