Let’s Have Some Fun-My Top 5 Albums

Good evening all! I hope everyone is doing OK tonight. It’s Almost Wednesday, so that’s a good thing. I wanted to do something I have not done in awhile, talk about music. I mentioned along time ago, I love music and I am trying to listen more than I used to. I wanted to just give you guys a small taste of some of the music I listen to. Everyone loves lists, so I figured this is the way to go! I imagine most will find these albums boring, especially any younger readers who happen upon this. I am not saying these are the best albums ever made, but these are my “go to” albums, depending on my mood. I used to be a really terrible music snob. I have definitely mellowed over the years. It’s not for me to judge or say that my music is better than your music. It doesn’t matter. You like what you like and I like what I like and life goes on. With that, here we go!

Number 5: Jethro Tull The Broadsword and the Beast.

Now this album is probably not a fan favorite, but it was one of my first exposures to Jethro Tull and I instantly fell in love with it. The album is during a short phase where their music was a heavy mix of keyboards and did not have the traditional “Tull” sound, however the essence is there. It is a mixture of songs dealing with politics, love and the changing times. English folk is there, but the sound is more electronic not as organic as previous albums such as “Heavy Horses” and “Songs from the Wood”. This is an album I can get lost in. Ian Anderson’s voice is on point and the songs flow together nicely. There is definitely a nostalgia factor with this, since it goes back to middle school where I first heard it.

Number 4: Pink Floyd- Wish You Here

Now there is not much I can say about this album that hasn’t been said before. It is my favorite Pink Floyd Album. Way back when I used to have a homemade cassette tape with this on one side and “Dark Side of the Moon” on the other. I can’t even begin to know how many hours I would sit in the dark listening to those. This is a very laid back album. It is another one you can put on and escape in.

Number 3 Van Morrison- Avalon Sunset

This album has a lot of sentimental value to me. It takes me back to a certain time in my life where I was in love with someone I thought was very special at the time. It is also one that inspired me to write a lot of poetry and it is a joy to listen to. This was somewhat of a “comeback” album for Van. I know that “Whenever God Shines His Light” got radio play of some adult contemporary radio stations. It’s funny how music can take you back. This album does it so well. The songs explore, love, spirituality and long summer nights spent with someone you love. I have to mention one outstanding track for me. “Orangefield”, that song always takes me back to that special person. It is a bittersweet memory, but I think eventually all memories become bittersweet.

Number 2 The Rolling Stones- Exile on Main Street

This album has been played by me so many times over the years. This to me is the best album the Stones ever made. I know critics all say that, but there is a reason for it. This album is a perfect mix or rock, blues, country and everything that made the Stones great. They never topped this album. They never could. It’s a complete album, Put it on and let it play through, but you have to play it loud! Get the remaster, it is well worth it. I love the Stones and this album is the reason why. For me when I think of a “classic rock” album, Exile is it.

Number 1 Jackson Browne – Late for the Sky

I have to confess, this album is an all out nostalgia attack for me. So many songs fit the way I was feeling when I was in my 20’s. The songs seem to flow parallel with my life at the time. This is my rainy day album. It is for when I want to look back and just remember some special times and friends. Songs of lost love and friends, of misunderstanding of feelings. It is another laid back album, two upbeat songs and the rest ballads. The album is like a long lost friend that you rediscover and realize again what you loved about them. It’s worth a listen to.

Now I would be amiss if I didn’t add a couple of honorable mentions to this list. These albums also got played to death when I was younger and now as well. It was hard not to add these, but I really just wanted to do a top 5 for now.

Honorable Mention- Stevie Nicks- Bella Donna

Well, this album holds a very special place in my heart. It was the first CD I ever owned. I had the actual album before it. I love Stevie Nicks. She is amazing. Total disclosure, I had and still have the biggest crush on her. Her music spoke to me at a young age. I guess it was the romantic in me. Loving someone the way she must have and to have it come out in her music always moved me. I will always be a fan. Please give this one a listen. I do not think you will regret it.

Honorable Mention – The Kinks- Muswell Hillbillies

This album is a really well crafted album by a band that had already had a list of hits behind them. This is just a fun listen. It talks about various subjects as modern life and the stress involved, going home, the English love for tea. It is not really a concept album as their previous albums were, but more a collection of songs with similar themes and feelings. When I first listened to this album, I know I played it at least three times in a row. I love the Kinks and this is one of their best.

So there you have it! Here are some of my favorite albums. It’s not really a hodgepodge of different styles and such, but these albums have a lot of meaning to me. I hope you take a chance and listen to one. Might not be your cup of tea and I get that. If you do happen to listen to one, please let me know!

Take care!

In Support of Millennials

Good evening everyone! I hope everyone has had a great week so far. Tomorrow is Friday and that’s not a bad thing at all. I wanted to talk about something different tonight. This week I have been reading and actually seeing in my job a bias against millennials. I mean a lot of negative things. “Millennials are entitled, spoiled, lazy”. I have heard and read it all this week. I don’t understand it. These young people are our future. I don’t see all of these negative traits. I see people who are passionate about their world, their politics and life. Work is not their first priority nor should it be. I have played the company game ever since I was 24 and I followed the rules and did what I was told and I am just a little better off than when I started. These young people can see through the corporate bullshit and know life isn’t work. Life is everything except work. Work is there to pay bills. If you have a job you’re passionate about, that is awesome. Hard work can be good, especially if it involves bettering society as a whole. Millennials are smart enough to question the status quo. Change cannot happen without it.

Look at life from their eyes. Fresh out of college they start out drowning in debt. The job market is insane. Companies want an incredible amount of education for bad underpaying jobs. They are finding their way and all they seem to face is the criticism from older generations. This is not the America of 50 years ago. One cannot just have a single income home, buy a house, a car or take a vacation. Millennials do have it harder I believe. The real problem is us. By us I mean anyone older than this generation. A lot of people have the attitude of “I got mine so fuck you” or “I had to go through all of this, so should you”. Why should they? Why should they fall for the same trappings of life that we have? Consumerism has plagued us. Not just in general shopping, but also in the image of what people believe life “should” be. You need to be married, have kids and be ready for life all by the time you’re 25. There is a tremendous amount of external pressures put on them. They resist. We haven’t. We gave it all for the “American dream”. So we can sit in front of our TVs after work and forget everything else that is going on in the world. Millennials see the bigger picture. They know the world is dying from climate change. They see the hatred and the racism that older generations have brought on to the earth. Millennials have a conscious and they worry more about the future of the world than anyone older than them.

Millennials face challenges that were not there 25 years ago. Social media has made the world more open to us all, but it also has open the doors for hateful people looking to make others miserable. There is more of an openness about issues such as gay and trans acceptance. (Although I really don’t like the term acceptance, it seems to have negative connotations behind it. Just let people live their life. Try to understand and love them unconditionally). Social medial has brought the ability for gay and trans people to express their feelings and let everyone know what hey are going through. That is excellent; however, it also brings out the trolls and the idiots who find pleasure in making fun of an issue they could never understand. It’s nobody’s business how you identify yourself. You are who you are. I do not understand how in this day and age that there is still so much hatred about a person who the world doesn’t see as “normal”. There is no normal. What is there are billions of people on this planet that are just trying to survive. If any person can find happiness and a feeling of peace within themselves, let them have it. We have no right to deny that. I might not understand it all myself, but I want to learn. I am a 48 year old married man, no one special, but I want to know what makes us tick as people. I truly hope one day that this will be a non-issue and people can live their lives the way they want to.

This has been on my mind all week. I hear my peers just off handily say that Millennials are lazy. They do not see the world the way it is. What I say to that is they are trying to mold the world into a better place. The world does not have to be the way it is, it can be changed and I believe Millennials and future generations will do just that. I wish them all the luck in the world.

Take care!

Yet another Poem, but wait it’s a New One!

Hello again! I am trying something new tonight. I am going to try and write a poem off the fly. See if I can shake the rust out of my mind and soul and actually create something. It’s been quite a while since I have written, but I am going to see what happens.

Have I paid for the sins of my youth?
Have I come any closer to finding the truth?
The truth of life and the truth of love.
The truth that comes from the stars above.

I’ve put a part of myself in exile for far too long.
I’ve isolated my love of words and my love of song.
Surrounded myself with walls I can’t seem to climb,
Living a life that is more like a crime.

I am trying to forge a new path towards something new,
But also find the spark that made me see what I once knew.
It might take tears and it will definitely take time,
In the end it will lead me to the light and sunshine.

Well that’s where my words took me. It’s starting over and it’s trying to find my way and get back to my words and feelings.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday’s Gone

Good evening all! Hope everyone is enjoying their week so far. It’s been pretty uneventful so far here. A typical work week with the typical stresses and misgivings. So I am finally making good on my promise to post more. Might end up being a rambling mess, but I guess you guys are used to that by now. Been active on Twitter lately. There are a lot of passionate people out there. They are concerned about the environment, politics, the future, their kids and all things that can make the world a better place. Those people are what the internet was made for. An exchange of ideas. Rational discussion on important issues. (I will admit that rational discussions can sometimes be few and far between, but they do exist). I am finding there is a lot of good and caring in people. I do try my best to stay away from the anger and hate that is out there. There is plenty of that. On this Tuesday night however, I am focusing on the positive. There is so much hate and bile spewed out over the internet. I suppose having such a strong opinion or outlandish stance on something gets attention, but I just don’t know what it accomplishes. Everything is geared towards emotional reaction and not towards rational thought. I know people need to be made angry before any actual change can happen, but it seems to me that the internet is weighted down with so much vile and reprehensible misinformation just to make one side look stupid or to make another side look evil. There is evil out there. It’s in every man and woman that allows fear and ignorance to guide their way through life. I suppose this post will just get out there and be lost with the other millions of opinions out there, but I do want to implore people to learn more about the world around you. Not just politics, but science, nature, math, history. There is so much wonderful information to be explored and exposed to us all. Read about it, try to interpret it the best you can. Do not allow yourself to be swayed by any talking heads. Ask questions! Learn! Do not let this wave of ignorance that is crashing upon our country take over. Also, try to help your fellow humans out. We are all in this mess together and the best way to do this is to engage with each other. This all has been on my mind recently, especially not just from reading articles on the internet, but reading the comments. It is so hard to believe we have lived and evolved on this planet for this long and yet, we still have people who hate so strongly over issues that any civilized society would just let go. Let people be who they are. Let someone have a difference of opinion without threatening them. Let people live their life the way they want to. (All this goes with the caveat that your lifestyle isn’t hurting anyone). Try to let this sink in. Go out, experience other cultures, other ideas and ideals. See that the world is bigger than any one country or one philosophy.

Well that’s what is on my mind tonight. I hope everyone has an great evening!

Poems Volume 3

Good morning all. I hope everyone is having a relaxing Saturday morning. It has been a hectic week for me and posting here was put on the back burner. I am trying to see what I need to do to liven up this blog, but I am not sure yet. I do want to do more reviews of movies and music and the occasional book. I just want to bring something new to the table but I am not sure just how to do that yet. So I decided to post some more old poems. I do enjoy sharing these and I it feels to go these out there. Maybe it’s vanity or just wanting some recognition, but it nice to see when these posts get as many likes as they do. I want to thank everyone who takes time to read them.

In this poem I suppose I was trying to be more of a “poet”, whatever that really means. This one wasn’t meant for anyone in particular, just an idea I had at the time.

Two hearts joined as one.
Two hearts beating in time.
Two hearts seeing the dawn through
Two hearts together down the line.

The day is here, the time is now
For love to unite in harmony and song.
Open your hearts and let the sound in,
Play this tune your whole life long.

Together is the word.
Forever is the design.
This love can move mountains,
Carry us though several lifetimes.

Two hearts together forever.
Two hearts finding love anew.
Two Hearts longing for each other,
Two hearts soaring through skies so blue…

This next one is a bit long, but I suppose I had a lot to say about love and the person I was deeply in love with at the time. We were never meant to be and I don’t think she liked the poems I wrote for her, but things tend to work out the way they are meant to. You can’t make someone love you. It is either there or it’s not.

The lights are dim, our glasses empty.
In the whole wide world, there is only you and me.
We sway to the tune playing on the radio
And steal a kiss by the fireside’s glow…

I’ve never been in love like this.
All my senses come alive with just one kiss.
We laugh in the sunshine and play in the rain,
We share in the grief, when there is pain.

You are my woman; my life’s pride.
You’re the very reason I’m still alive.
You heal my wounds and chill my fever
Take away my doubts and make me a believer.
Make me believe in love and all of it’s joy,
Believe in the magic of life,
Believe in the great hope of tomorrow,
Believe I can toss away my sorrows.

This love makes me strong, makes me feel like I belong.
I’m no longer a stranger.
I can breathe again,
I can finally begin my life.
I love you so.
I can’t let you go…

Just hold me tighter, hold me closer

Let me be near you as we grow older.
Don’t wake me, just take me.
Take me away, make me come alive
I need you here, right by my side.

That one was from a long time ago. A much younger me. I wonder if I could even write anything like that again. You see life and love from a different perspective at 48 compared to 25. Just something for me to think about.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I will be writing again soon.

Trying to Change my Feelings About Monday

Good evening all! I hope everyone had a good Monday. The start of a new working week for the 9 to 5 crowd like me. My normal Monday morning routine actually starts on Sunday night. It starts with the soul crushing dread I feel before bed. That usually leads to either a sleepless night or at the very least a night with three hours sleep and horrible dreams. The latter was my night last night. I woke up after a rough night and decided that I need to change my way of thinking. I need to push through my day and not let work affect me so negatively. All that ends up happening is I get mad and frustrated. Guess what? Work stays the same. I’m letting my emotions get the best of me. That is what really did it. I am letting my job affect my general mood throughout the day and week. So I’m going to try something new. I’m going to just let it all go. Let the frustration and the aggravation go. It’s not going to be easy, but I have got to get control of it. Take it one day at a time and all that. I’ll update you all as the days pass.

That’s all I have tonight. Just a short post. There will be fun stuff coming and more poetry eventually.

Take care!

Bonus Post! A few more Poems

Good evening again all! I really didn’t want to leave just yet, so I decided to post a few more poems. Please let me know what you think. Please tweet me @mlctaskforce or write me at mlctaskforce.com@gmail.com. I would love to know what you think.

A lot of my poetry was about longing. The idea of the perfect love, fairytale love, timeless love. When I was younger, I was heavily influenced by the music I listened to. Van Morrison and Stevie Nicks were huge influencers in my writing. I really wanted to be a poet. I just didn’t know if it was any good, so I only shared it with special friends. The poem below is an example of that longing.

Remember when soft breezes blew
And it was just me and you
Running down that rainy avenue,
Looking for somewhere to hide…

Remember when we were so young
Our lives had barely begun,
Listening for songs that had never been sung,
And we were at peace with the One.

I remember the feel of your arms around me,
The comfort and peace it brought me.
I remember the days of wine and roses,
Autumn nights and secret proposes.

Remember when we stayed up all night
Shivering while we waited for dawn’s grey light.
Hoping and wishing that it just might,
Feel this way forever.

Remember how those midnight flames burned
While we tumbled together we learned.
And oh how our hearts yearned
To make this love feel real.

I remember the feel of skin against skin,
The electricity that flowed had no end.
I wish it was that way again,
Cause I need it in my life.

As you can tell, I was hopeless when I was younger. A romantic in a less than romantic age of the 90’s. To have seen me then and now, you would not know that I would write complete sentences, let alone poetry. It was there and I guess it is still there, but it is slow to find the light of day right now. The poem below reminds me of the young couple I saw get married this weekend. (See my previous post).

Love’s light is leading me forward,
Moving toward something all new.
I can’t believe the way my life was before.
So empty and lost…all without you.

Been too many nights sitting all alone,
Too many tears shed in vain.
But now those days seemed to have vanished,
Only days of hope and joy remain…

How can you love a man like me?
What do I have to give to you?
A woman like you is a precious thing,
A rare gem, one of the chosen few…

Your love is present from dusk ’til dawn,
Leaving me breathless and full of wonder.
I have never met a woman like you,
So many wild and beautiful things to discover…

I want to hold you and make it all right,
Soothe your troubles and ease your worried mind.
Weep not again and let your spirit soar,
Know that you are the best love a man can ever find.

You give me hope and promise of something fine,
A woman who know who she is, body and soul.
Can’t imagine my life without you, don’t want to try.
Just want to make love to you and lose control…

Stand beside me as the evening draws nearer,
Hold onto my hand and walk by the sea.

Let me tell you of all of your wonders,
Of all you mean to me…

Well that is all for tonight. I am going to wind down and gear down for Monday morning. Everyone take care!!!!

A Wisconsin Wedding Weekend

Good evening all! It has been a bit since I have posted, but I have been out of town and just got back late last night. As the title says, it was for a wedding that my wife and I took off to Wisconsin. This was our great grand niece on my wife’s side getting married to her true love. This is the first time in a very long time that I have actually seen two people truly in love. The wedding was outside on the most perfect summer afternoon I have ever seen. There were flowers everywhere and you could catch their scent whenever the wind shifted. The bride was beautiful. The groom actually cried as she came down the aisle. They both were so filled with joy and I hope for all the happiness in the world for them for their future. The whole weekend got me to thinking about lots of things. I was in a bit of a reflective mood. I think about these two kids, just starting out and the whole world is theirs for the taking. I have to admit I am envious of it. I mean who hasn’t wanted a do-over every now and then. I am talking about little and big decisions. What if I had finished college? What if I had kissed that one special young woman back in the past? What if I took more chances? I know I have twisted this from a beautiful love story into a selfish reflection about me. I think when you see the future in those young lovers, you can’t help but place yourself there. To travel back in time in your mind and rewrite history, ever so subtlety or maybe even do a total rewrite with a new script and new players. I saw these kids at the wedding reception, so full of happiness and love. They were dancing and acting crazy with their friends and just living in that moment. They are young and they know the world is theirs. I wanted to feed on that energy, that hope, that wreck less abandon they felt. Alas, time has made me more cynical and cold than any person should ever be. I think that is why part of the reason I started this blog, to explore and to find that person of my youth. Laughing and singing and just waiting for the next moment. I can emote better here than I can in person. Over the years, I have trained myself to hold back, to cut myself off from people in my life. Part of it is the nature of how I grew up, but I can’t blame it strictly on that. It is a conditioning I have embraced. Various things from my past, that are my fault, have made me build this wall. I a trying to tear it down, but it is hard to do. Seeing two people in love, which such a promising future exposed the fractures in my fa├žade. I truly wish them every bit of happiness the world has to give, but there is a little tint of green in these words.

Have a great evening!

Thursday Night Live…Sort of

Good evening all. Hope everyone is doing well! Not a lot going on tonight, just thought I’d not down a couple of random thoughts I’ve had today. Work was slow, so my mind wandered off a lot. So I think I’m going to start writing more. Not just on the blog, but more for myself. Start up writing my poetry again. I want to get back into it. This blog seems to be a good format for it. I received quiet a few likes for my last poetry post. (Thanks everyone who took the time to like my post). It was a confidence booster, I have to say.

I was thinking about just the times we live in today. Things just feel fucked. There is so much out there that is wrong. A cloud that covers everything and there is no light for us to lock on. I was thinking though, there is hope. Our youth of today will be the ones to fix what has been broken. I work with a lot of great younger people. They are smart, caring and are beginning to see just how rigged the game is. Millennials get a bad rap. They are smart enough to see the BS in our world and think that it can be better. It really gives me hope.

Not too much else going on right now. I really wanted to jot this down not just to ramble, but I want to keep posting. I want to get back to fun things too: movie, music and video game reviews. They are coming!

Everyone take care!

Republican Jesus

Good afternoon all! I hope everyone is doing well today. I’m going down again in some murky water today. I’m going to talk about Republican Jesus. Now Republican Jesus (RJ for the rest of the article), from what I have seen and read is a white male with a strong hatred for minorities, LGBQT, basically anyone not white. He’s also a Capitalist and knows that the USA is the only country that can make sense of this crazy world. He would totally against socialized medicine, education for all and let’s be honest, anything that involves people helping each other. RJ doesn’t believe in science, thinks birth control is a sin and that that the world is about 6000 years old. Sounds like a Hell of a guy, huh? Well if you listen to evangelicals and Republicans like Mike Pence, this is the Jesus people should follow. I’ll have to give Republicans credit, they can warp and twist anything to their own insane beliefs.

Now I need to let you know where I am coming from with this post to give some perspective. I’m not religious at all. I’m an atheist. Most of my life has been spent thinking that anyone foolish enough to follow a magic man in the sky, can’t be rowing with both oars in the water. I have soften my stance as I’ve gotten older and I can see there is a difference between someone who screams about how their God is the only God compared to the people who genuinely have a faith that pushes them and gives them comfort. There is a distinct difference. Once someone spouts out hate and bile about anyone different than they are, that’s when you have crossed over into a religion of hate.

How did it get to this point? How did we get to a point where Donald Trump is considered a good person by any percentage of so called “religious” people? I believe it is a mixture of ignorance, fear, homophobia, a blind love of Capitalism at any cost. Politics play so much into this as well. When you mix politics and religion you end up with the kid playing the banjo in the movie “Deliverance”. RJ is the result of all the bad that is in people. I don’t think anyone but a Republican Jesus would put kids in cages, profit from that and laugh all the way to the bank. I can’t see Jesus of Nazareth being anything like these people reflect. If anything Jesus would be kicking these guys out of office.

I think Jesus’ teachings are good. I think that one could live a peaceful life just following what he taught. I personally don’t believe the religious aspects of him, but I think there is a wonderful philosophy there that can serve people. To take it and twist it and ignore so much of it, just rile up ignorant people is horrible. RJ is the sum of all hatred and fear in man. Don’t let him win. Try to be good to each other. Help your fellow human out on this crazy road. Sprinkle a little understanding in your life. Think and feel. There’s too much anger out there as it is.

Take care