Thursday, January 29, 2015

Garth Brooks: Man Against Machine: Album Review

Artist: Garth Brooks
Album: Man Against Machine
Point of Purchase: Christmas gift, but it is available for digital download on

Thoughts: I was a little apprehensive about this album.  I mean on one hand, it's Garth, and he's never really disappointed me, even when he did his Chris Gaines thing, but the first time I head the song "People Loving People" it really annoyed me for some reason.  The more I heard it, the more I liked it, and that perplexed me. Anyway I added the cd to my Amazon wishlist and figured that I'd eventually purchase it, and one of my uncles ended up buying it for me for Christmas.  I opened it up a couple of days later and popped it in the player and listened to it 5 times in a row. It's that good. It really is best to listen to it in order even though there isn't really a continuous story going on, the songs just flow better (this is coming from someone who almost exclusively listens to music on shuffle).  If you're a parent, thinking of becoming one, or have friends with kids there are some songs that will sing right to your heart (Mom and Send 'Em On Down The Road) but in all honestly there is a song for everyone on this album. It might end up being one of my favorites.

Track Listing: Favorite Lyrics

  1. Man Against Machine "This is where I make my stand because I can't stand it anymore"
  2. She's Tired of Boys "She said I’m tired of boys/I’m tired of first dates/And I’m tired of toys/I want a lover who will understand/Someone who will touch me with a knowing hand"
  3. Cold Like That "I could be the train for a change/You could be the one tied to the track"
  4. All-American Kid “And the whole town cheered/And his mama cried/Another hometown boy/Made it home alive/Got his picture in the paper and the headline read ‘Welcome Back All-American Kid’/Yeah, this song is for those who never did/Come back all-American kids”
  5. Mom “So, hush now little baby, don’t you cry/Cause there’s someone down there waiting whose only goal in life/Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright/A loving angel tender, tough, and strong/Come on child, it’s time to meet your mom”
  6. Wrong About You “You were right about so many things/That I’m starting to think I was wrong about you”
  7. Rodeo and Juliet “To thine own self be true is all she knows”
  8. Midnight Train “It’s like I’m chained to a midnight train passing through”
  9. Cowboys Forever “We've always been, it’s what we’ll always be/We’re cowboys forever”
  10. People Loving People "Talk is cheap, but lies are free"
  11. Send 'Em On Down the Road "You can help them find their wings, but you can't fly for 'em"
  12. Fish “So I asked myself a question/That I knew the answer to/Is success a second mortgage/On a big house with a pool/Or is it a chair/The salt in the air/Wetting the line”
  13. You Wreck Me “Tell me what I got to do/To paint me in/Your perfect picture”
  14. Tacoma "I'm burning your memory/One mile at a time"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dream State Escalate: 47

Last night's dream was troubling, and left me feeling off kilter this morning.

I was at my mom's house and the family's dog was really sick and ended up dying.  During his death, some sort of weird magic started happened and my brother (who has been dead for slightly more than 5 years) walked into the kitchen as his 15 year old self.  Somehow in losing our dog, I got my brother back and he got a do over?

I'm not sure how it worked... dreams don't have to make sense to feel real.

I just woke up missing him so much, and being so sad that there isn't enough magic in the world to bring him back, or to give second chances.

Also it was depressing because Jesse (the dog) is getting older, more frail, and is probably not going to be with us much longer, I'd be surprised if he saw another Christmas, maybe another Labor day, but I'm not sure about another winter.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What Not To Say...

I've noticed that a lot of articles about "10 Things Not To Say To _____________ (married people, single people, people with kids, your significant other, people with newborns, people without children, people of different ethnic backgrounds, people with or without pets, people who are people)" are popping up all over social media and all I've taken away from these articles is that people are too sensitive, whiny, and self important.

seriously, don't
If you followed all those "rules" you wouldn't be able to say anything to anyone.  I feel like if you can't say things to your friends, who can you talk to?  Strangers? That's a different story, unsolicited advice from someone you don't know is rarely welcomed.

Yeah, it's annoying when you're single and someone asks "Hey... when are you going to find the right person and settle down?" Like the right person is sitting on a shelf in the grocery store waiting to be picked up with your box of pasta, or when you're dating someone you really like and the questions like "So... when are you going to get married?" start... then you walk down an aisle exchange rings and then people think it's okay to start interrogating you about when the babies are going to arrive, if you've invested enough in your 401K, or once you do hear the pitter patter of small kids people tell you how to raise them, pepper you with questions about college funds and prep schools, and it seems like you can't win.

Here's the thing... and it's something I have to remind myself when I'm getting annoyed... people are asking because they care, because they're trying to help, because they're hoping someone can benefit from their experiences... not because they're sadistic assholes trying to bring your sleep deprived state to the brink of craziness and then push you over the Cliffs of Insanity. Your friends and loved ones want you to be happy, they want to be involved in your life, they want to help in ways that they know how.  Sure it might not be what you want to hear, maybe you'd rather have them bring you a casserole or scrub a toilet for you, or maybe hold the baby so you can shower, or take the dog for a loop around the neighborhood, you know as long as they don't set you up on a blind dates or sign you up for a dating site without your permission.

My suggestions? (in less than 10 bullet points)
  • Grow a thicker skin (yeah, that's a douchey thing to say, but it doesn't make it less true)
  • If you want to help a friend, instead of putting in your two cents worth of advice maybe ask them "How can I help you?" or "What do you need?" or "This worked for me... maybe it would work for you" instead of "HEY! You're doing it wrong MY WAY is the ONLY WAY"
  • Recognize that the world is bigger than you and your experiences... and that life doesn't have to be a competition.
  • Don't touch a stranger without permission (don't pet someones hair because you think it's pretty, pregnant bellies are not public property, and not all dogs like unfamiliar people) 
  • Intentions matter, even if the road to hell is paved with good ones.  Meaning if someone is trying to be helpful and nice, don't look for reasons to be angry about it.  If someone is being an asshole, then respond accordingly.
  • Think about what you're about to say before opening your mouth. If it sounds offensive, it probably is.  Trust me any sentence that starts with "I'm not trying to be {insert word here}, but ________" you are accomplishing that very thing without even trying. Same thing goes for "Just saying...." or "No offense, but....." 
  • Understand that different tactics work for different people, and what might be awesome for you might be the worst thing ever for someone else.  You do you, let them do them. 
  • Basically treat other people the way you'd like to be treated, no matter how different they may be from you.  We learned this in kindergarten, let's apply it to real life.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Grandma Lillian's Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe

Grandma Lillian's Cheese ball Appetizer


  • 1 lb medium cheddar (use block cheese, not pre-shredded)
  • 1 lb extra sharp cheddar 
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Parsley (to taste)
  • Pecans (to taste)

  • Cube cheddars before putting in the food processor, mix all cheeses in processor until creamy.
  • Once everything is mixed, cool in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour, up to overnight
  • Knead cooled cheese into a ball shape, set aside
  • Chop pecans and parsley in food processor, then spread on a cutting board or other flat surface
  • Roll the ball in the pecans until evenly covered
  • Serve with your favorite crackers