Sunday, February 26, 2012

Great Song Lyrics: Part I

I wanted to compile a list of some of my favorite song lyrics. As this is obviously non-comprehensive, I'm sure Part II will follow eventually. It also is not representative of all my favorite artists, just favorite lyrics. Because many great songs are obviously great without having great lyrics (mmm, yeah that's what I'm talking about).

And just as a little note: you can visit my site,, for more formal, well-thought out posts. Sort of.
  • "Some like their water shallow, I like mine...deep, so very deep."
    -The Black Crowes, "Nonfiction"

  • "We are not permanent, we're temporary, temporary. Same ole story."
    -The Foo Fighters, "The Pretender"

  • "Well, sooner or later the ground's gonna be holding all of my ashes, too."
    -The White Stripes, "300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues"

  • "Just keep me where the light is."
    -John Mayer, "Gravity"

  • "To lessen my troubles, I stopped hanging out with vultures--and empty saviors like you."
    -The Black Crowes, "Sometimes Salvation"

  • "You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains; carried the cross of my shame. Oh, my shame. You know I believe it. But I still haven't found what I'm looking for."
    -U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

  • "And I--I'm a little divided. Do I stay or run away? Leave it all behind."
    -Foo Fighters, "Times Like These"

  • "Yeah. Holy Water is rusting me."
    -Soundgarden, "Holy Water"

  • "Down crooked stairs and sideways glances comes the king of second chances. Now throw him in the FLAMES!"
    -Foo Fighters, "Bridges Burning"

  • "I mingle with the gods; I mingle with divinity."
    -Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik"

  •  "Cheat the odds that made you, baby try and gamble at times."
    -Black Crowes, "Jealous Again"

  • "Words you say, never seem to end up like the ones inside your head; the lives we make, never seem to ever get us anywhere but dead"
    -Soundgarden, "The Day I Tried to Live"

  • "Damn the water if it's life you want to drink."
    -Soundgarden, "Holy Water"

  • "Innocence is heaven; innocence is hell."
    -Stereophonics, "Jealousy"

  • "There were pictures and paintings of freaks like me."
    -Stereophonics, "Madame Helga"

  • "The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older"
    -Pink Floyd, "Time"

  • "All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie."
    -Bob Dylan, "Things Have Changed"

  • "And I might even find myself. But then again, what happens if I do?"
    -Black Crowes, "Cursed Diamond"

  • "I'm not a martyr; I'm not a prophet"
    -Audioslave, "Cochise"

  • "I've got no patience now; so sick of complacence now."
    -Rage Against the Machine, "Know Your Enemy

  • "Used my inspiration for a guillotine."
    -Soundgarden, "Drawing Flies"

  • "Lately, I've been living in my head; the rest of me is dead. I'm dying for truth."
    -Foo Fighters, "No Way Back"

  • "I'll tell another lie for you. Tell you what you wanna hear, but that don't make it true."
    -Stereophonics, "I'm Alright"

  • "Did you get to trade your heroes for ghosts?"
    -Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here"

  • "Some folks say she must be a Cadillac, but I say she must be a T-model Ford."
    -John Lee Hooker, "Katie Mae"

  • "There's nothing ever wrong, but nothing's every right."
    -Shinedown, "Burning Bright"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More Cliches and Why They Suck

I am guilty of cliches, like I said in Part I. I use some of these and sometimes; they can get the message across. But usually, there's a better, more powerful way to say exactly what you mean. We just get in the habit of saying the same old thing and it becomes ineffective.

  • Sleepless Nights - This is a legitimate phrase that everyone says, including myself. But let's be honest here: you're almost always exaggerating. Exaggeration and hyperbole are great ways to be theatrical and dramatic sometimes, enhancing your point.. However, if you are telling the mother of a newborn baby that you've had "so many sleepless nights" since you started Chemistry class, you're not going to get much sympathy. I would use it sparingly.
  • It's going to get better - This phrase sucks when used alone. As a dependent clause though, it can work a little better. If I say it at all, I use it in conjunction with something else: "It's going to get better; you are working on finding another job, you're taking great care of your family. You just need to spend some time by yourself right now." By itself though...not helpful.
  • You've gotta run before you can walk - This is just illogical and ignorant. Of course you can't run before you walk. You can "hit the ground running", I suppose. So go with that cliche instead. I approve.
  • Toe the line - Contrary to popular belief, it isn't "tow the line". Because that would make sense. Instead, toe the line means to conform and follow the rules. Be on your best behavior, basically. I think of someone tip-toeing next to a boundary, tempting the possibility of crossing it. In principle, towing the line is still a nice, trite phrase to use, but because of the confusion, I would just say something else all together.
  • Different day, same ole shit - Different day, same ole cliche. This isn't clever or cool or edgy. For your information.
  • You catch more flies with honey than vinegar - I would say you catch more flies with disgusting, rotting cheese but whatever. If the metaphor is supposed to be that the flies will literally get stuck in the honey though, that's not very analogous to being nice so that you get niceness in return.
  • Straight from the horse's mouth - Well, who would believe anything a horse says?
  • I trust them about as far as I can throw them - Obviously, you're saying that you can't physically throw a person, therefore, you don't trust the person at all. Am I to then conclude that you trust babies since you can physically lift and throw them?
  • The exception that proves the rule - I have never liked this phrase and don't even understand how an exception can prove a rule. Seems like the very opposite to me. Even when there are exceptions, that's why they are called such--the rule applies to everything EXCEPT this one thing. It doesn't prove the rule though.
  • It's not written in stone - Yeah, actually, nothing is anymore. At least not for official documenting purposes. I suppose this would be appropriate if you were working on the engraving of a monumental statue.
  • You've got egg on your face - This is a lame way to say that you did something embarrassing or regretful. It's not descriptive or telling, and does a poor job of conveying the message. Also, I would love to have egg on my face because it's delicious.
  • No bones about it - Literally, until today, I never knew the actual meaning of this phrase because I've always seen it as a play on words (with a skeleton at halloween or in a documentary about boneless people). Or maybe I have always assumed it's a play on words because it has never made sense to me. The meaning is to not hesitate or to be bold and clear about what you say or do (apparently). It's a stupid way to say that you're being forthright. No one says forthright anymore. Say that instead! That would be anti-cliche.
  • The buck stops here - Well, what do you know: this phrase means that you are taking responsibility and not making any more excuses. Again, never knew the real meaning because people use it to be an intimidating, aggressive sentiment, like saying "I ain't takin' no more crap". In case you're wondering, it's derived from the term "pass the buck" (pass the blame) in poker and was made famous by President Truman. For sheer failure of usage and lack of clarity, I'm putting this on the list.
  • Shoot the breeze - I say this, but it's dumb. I know, I know. It's a cool, idiomatic expression to mean "just hanging out". But really, think about it: pure dumbness. Honestly, I say it simply because it does sound cool--I think of two old men, sitting on the front porch, in their rockers, holding a glass of whiskey and reminiscing about the war.

  • Shoot to Thrill - Sorry, AC/DC. This one isn't cool.
  • It's what's on the inside that counts - Yeah, sure. Is that why you're working out so hard, watching your diet, buying really cute clothes, and wearing makeup?
  • That's nothing to sneeze at - Am I to deduce from this that there are things worth sneezing about? In all fairness, sneeze is derived from the Old English word "fneosan", which means to sneeze or snort. Thus implying that the possible truer meaning is "nothing to snort at", which makes a little more sense. However, that's not what the phrase's wording is now, so I can't excuse it.

  • I'm so hungry I could eat a horse - I have never been this hungry. I know, that's the beauty of hyperbole, but if you're going to exaggerate, how about not using a big, ole, nasty farm animal. How about a house? Thereby removing all doubt that you might be exaggerating.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Popular Cliches and Why They Suck

I use a lot of cliches. Sometimes, they are appropriate, but usually, they are overused and ineffective.  Here is a sampling of some bad cliches that get under my skin. I bring logic, fierce wit, and of course a little self-righteousness, to tear these apart.

"Quitting Cold Turkey" - Hey! I happen to like cold turkey.

"Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time." - Well, people don't commit crimes because they don't think they can do the time. They commit them because they think they can get away with it.

"It's always darkest before the dawn." - Sure, this means that it's going to get worse before it gets better, or brighter days are just around the corner, but factually, it's just as dark right before dawn as it is at any other time. Midnight, 2 AM, 4 AM--all the same amount of darkness.

"He's in a better place now." - If you want to comfort a grieving friend, don't say this. It absolutely, 100% of the time does not help. A simple "I'm here for you" or "I love you so much" are appropriate.

"I'm so sorry for your loss." - See above. It's just overused, even if you're being sincere. It will automatically come across as being the exact opposite. Say the same thing only differently, "My deepest sympathy to you and yours; may he rest in peace." That's a little better. Actually, it's better to offer a meal or a hand around the house than words. A hug is nice, too.

"I could care less." - Actually, you couldn't. If you're truly that apathetic, you are already at your lowest level of caring. But more likely, you have been obsessing, thinking, and talking about whatever has you upset for a long time, which really seems contrary to the idea that you could or couldn't care less. Hey, I'm guilty of it, too. But these are the facts behind the words.

"Have a good day!" - Retail employees are admonished to say it, cordial co-workers feel obligated to say it, loved ones automatically say it. We all say it; but do we mean it? Even if you do, the weight of your intent is trumped by the triteness of your expression. Surely there's a better way to show concern and interest in the general and daily well-being of someone who is most likely a complete stranger. Although none are as succinct and easy to say. I see the dilemma now.

"It's plain to see." - If one more poem or song uses this, I will simply have to kill someone. Although, what bearing does their ineffective word usage have on me? None. But words are all I have. Well, that and mac and cheese. God forbid we run out of mac or cheese.

"It takes one to know one." - No, it just takes an intelligent, keen observer. Idiot.

"I was told" - This is less of a cliche and more of just an overused, annoying phrase that I hear a lot, especially at work. It takes the blame and responsibility off your shoulders by passively re-directing the source of your actions or thoughts. Usually said when just proven wrong or presented with something contrary to what you think to be true. It makes it sound like someone else should be responsible for what you do or believe, which is totally inaccurate, as long as people still have capable minds and free will. Just say "so and so taught me this way" (source of your knowledge) or "I interpreted it this way". Take responsibility.

"It goes without saying." - Who has ever, EVER said this in the history of all mankind and language without still saying?

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not." - None of the people who quote this actually mean it. It's usually insecure high school girls who are trying to justify the fact that some idiot guy ignores her. I'm just going to stop there because I could dissect this one for paragraphs.

"Good things come to those who wait." - Not always. Usually, good things come to those who lie, cheat, and steal. But in the interest of being more positive: good things come to those who try hard, work toward their goals, and actually put forth a daily effort into what they want to accomplish. Mediocre things come to those who wait. Or nothing at all comes to those who wait. I could go on.

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." - So, if my boss is being irrational or ignorant (let's just say), I'm supposed to...go make lemonade? Or, instead of being a smart ass, I'm supposed to "take the good and take the bad" and just "make the most of it"? I can't solve this without using more cliches! My solution is to just  to get a different job. I guess that would be like taking the lemons and throwing them at your boss? I don't know, I suck at making metaphors.

"Three's a crowd" - I always thought that was a good thing. You know, "the more the merrier". But whatever. I don't exactly like a crowd, but if someone says to me, upon my joining their twosome, "three's a crowd", I'd be like, "alright, we're set then!"

"Keep your nose to the grindstone." - Ew. That sounds gruesome.

"A watched pot never boils." - Well sure it does. Your triteness does not affect science. Come up with a better way to say "be patient" or "find something productive to do while you wait". How about, "be patient" or "find something productive to do while you wait"? Should I re-phrase this in the form of another metaphor? I already told you I'm no good at them.

"Dead as a doornail." - Alliteration aside, this is irrelevant because doornails are neither alive nor dead because they are inanimate objects. How about "dead as a dead person"? Oh, I guess that doesn't have quite the same analogical component since you're comparing death to death. Welp, I've got nothing then.

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." - You'd actually just float in the continuum of space, but I see your point. Metaphorically though this is poor because if you're desiring to become a doctor and you don't make good enough grades, you'll likely just end up in a nursing home wiping butts. Does that sound like the stars to you?

"Rules are made to be broken." - If you're an anarchist, you may be able to rationalize this one. Even if you're just a rebellious teenager, you might say this to justify breaking into a teacher's desk to get test answers. But anyone who actually makes rules does not want them to be broken. To get away from the judicial system, congress, police men, and corporate America, I'll use a more local example: family. You do not make rules for your children so that they may be broken. You may understand that they will be broken, but there will be ramifications; you do not set the rules in hopes that they will be broken. Only punk rockers and hackers use this cliche seriously.

"The bottom fell out." - This is a poor euphemism for raining because, to us, the sky is the top. Would it not make just as much sense to say, "the top fell through"?

"You only live once." - And what about those who believe in reincarnation? Do they say, "well, we're gonna get a do-over if we screw this up."?

"The greatest thing since sliced bread." - Oh, so nothing that has been invented since sliced bread is worthy enough to replace this expression? It's been 100 years. I'm pretty sure we can move on.

"Winning isn't everything."/"It's not who wins or loses, it's how you play the game."
- False. Winning is the entire point of playing. If you wanted to just exercise your skills, go practice. Hippie.

"Today is my Friday." - Again, false. Today is your Thursday, just like everyone else; you just took Friday off. Is it not as exciting to say, "I'm off tomorrow!"? Sounds exciting to me.

"It's all hunky dory." - This just annoys me. I'm sorry, there's no other reason that really makes this bad, unless you include the fact that "hunky dory" sounds like it should be a synonym for incredibly dorky. Well, there you go, now there's more to it than my sheer annoyance.

"White in color." - Describing a shirt, a car, a house, any object that you might want to describe, by saying the color and then saying "in color" is wasteful and stupid. You don't sound smarter and you don't sound more descriptive. "It's a red 1999 Pontiac Sunfire." Well, yes, red is a color, but I'm having trouble understanding if you mean that it's red in color or in diameter. Please specify.


Friday, January 6, 2012

A Single Woman's Rant on Stupid Girls, Men, and Settling

Proven fact: women are needy, desperate creatures that are completely dependent on having a man in order to function. I find it sad to see girls settling for some douchebag just so they won't be alone. They go from man to man, afraid to be single, unable to comprehend concepts like "self-worth" and "respect". Psh, who needs that when you have the warm indifference of a guy you've been dating for three days? I feel for these girls, but I'm also angry for them. Really? You're going to marry some chump that acts like an ass to you in front of his friends or has nothing interesting to say? "Oh, but he can be sweet." Yes, he can also be a condescending, insensitive, emotionless bastard and he doesn't understand at all what you need.

What does a girl need? Well, let me be the first to say that there are a few basics: personal integrity, honesty, attentiveness, kindness, sensitivity to people's feelings. I would like all these qualities, please, along with a sense of humor, good looks, and the acceptance that we are two equal people (not that I belong in the kitchen). I sometimes think that my standards are too high, but let me tell you something, if you're feeling the same way: they're not. We deserve everything we could want in a man and we shouldn't have to settle for anything less. How come other women don't feel the same? How come they do settle? Are they that afraid to be alone? I wish girls would take more pride in themselves and what they can get in a man. I know they got a good bargain on their model, but there are better values out there.

Why is it so hard? Why are all the good ones taken? Hell, why are the crappy ones taken? I don't know what has perpetuated the cycle of whiney, arrogant man-babies and the hoard of insecure, dependent girls, but it's pissing me off. I'm frustrated when all the guys I'm attracted to reject me and when all the guys who want me don't quite have the chemistry I'm looking for (or x, y, and z, for that matter). Sure, I stick to my principles and never settle, but it's hard not to get down on yourself and feel incredibly lonely.

I see the couples in Barnes and Noble, with their matching thrift store flannel shirts and their edgy hair cuts and Buddy Holly glasses. I see them in Target with their 4 kids and their buggy full of cereal and smug happiness. I see them in Walmart with their pound of pork and their missing teeth, and I think, "why can't I have that?" I want pork love, too.

My main point though is that most women seem to settle. We all knew these girls in high school: high need for attention, always had a boyfriend, totally insecure about their appearance even though they were beautiful. Devastated after each break-up, she found her comfort in the next boyfriend's arm and only feigned confidence while she was on his arm. It's offensive to all of womanhood and those of us who aren't like that.

To those of you who break the mold, kick a lot of ass, and have a mind of your own, I salute you. To those who are insecure, unsure what their opinions are, and in constant need of the love and affection of males, I pity you. I may despise your ways, but really, at the heart of it, you're just a lost, scared, mindless person. I wish I could set you free, but that's your decision, one you likely won't ever make.

For those of us who are changing the face of womanity, let's be an inspiration. Keep on being you, ladies. And don't ever settle!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Grown Up Thoughts on Nick Jr. Programming

After a year of watching Nick Jr, I can't help but being analytical and critical of the shows and their storylines. I get bored.

1. Max and Ruby's parents are never around. Sure, their grandmother is sometimes, but generally, they run amuck all by themselves. Also, Ruby has a tendency to be negative and discouraging to her little brother. Someone needs to parent her.
2.  The Backyardigans are legitimately cool. For the songs alone, this show is enjoyable for adults. Their version of the "12 Days of Christmas" was surprisingly amazing. And don't try to crush my review by saying it's autotuned and studio formulated. Of course it is! But it's still wonderfully crafted.

3. How can Lenny of The Wonder Pets be a girl? I appreciate that this female character is the leader of the group and does not adhere to typical female stereotypes like wearing pink or being cutesy and girly, but at the same time, Lenny (the hamster) is a little butch. It's sending confusing messages.

4.Team Umizoomi could probably get more done if they would stop screwing around. It seems that in every episode I see, the team stops so often to practice their math skills or learn shapes that they get critically sidetracked from their mission. It's just bad time management skills. Umifail.

5. There is no one that could appear on Yo Gabba Gabba that would surprise me. I don't care if it's Mike Tyson or Charlie Sheen or the Pope. They've already had Jack Black, the Roots, and My Chemical Romance, to name a few. Guest starring is a good career move for anyone and everyone loves this show. Personally, I find all of the characters annoying (they are over the top and just obnoxious), save for the one human, DJ Lance Rock. It takes a real secure black man to play a DJ on a kid's show.

6. Without Steve, Blue's Clues is straight crap. Steve was a total dork. But he was so genuine and so good at the role. Joe is just plain retarded. No offense out there. It's just, I don't believe him; I can tell he's acting. And he's being a condescending ass most of the time, not a true child-like, sincere person like Steve. By the way, Steve never overdosed on drugs or anything. He voluntarily quit in 2002.

And there you have it. Just a few things that go through my mind, unstopped, while watching sweet, educational children's shows. I smell a sequel.