Friday, December 22, 2017

When a conversation touches your soul

Dear Christmas Spirit, 

Yesterday while enjoying a burger and fries courtesy of In-n-Out, an older lady asked if she minded if she and her friend could sit next to me. My reply was, “No ma’am” with a smile. We chatted for a bit about Christmas and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season before she made her way to the counter to pick up her order. 

As she was leaving, her friend made her way to the table to join us. The lady was in her 60’s and appeared to be mentally disabled, possibly Down Syndrome. I ask her how she was and how her day was going and she replied, “Hi! my name is Gayle. My day has been really good!” I laughed and smiled at the enthusiasm that was in here voice. We chatted about Christmas, the beauty of an In-n-Out fry and other things having to do with the holidays. 

This led into some intimate details about her life. She explained she wasn't that into the Christmas spirit as much since she lost her husband of forty years recently. Gayle then proceeded to reveal more about herself and the life she has lived. 

She informed me that when she was 7 years old her mom decided that she couldn't raise a child with a disability and wanted to put her in a home. It is what here mother said to her next and Gayle’s response is what made me want to cry, show anger and smile all at the same time. 

Her mother said…..”You are retarded, and I don't want you” to which Gayle responded…”You’re the one who is retarded for wanting to give up on your child.” 

Think about it….How evil must one be to say that to someone they are suppose to love and nurture? Especially to not only a child, but one with a disability. Insert anger and sadness here. 

It was her response to such a heinous act by a parent that was both remarkable and inspirational, especially for a child at such a young age. True grit in the face of adversity. 

As I continued to process what she had just told me, she proceeded to let me know that she was then raised by other family members and always remembered the words her mother uttered to her when she found herself experiencing hardship in her life as motivation. Insert smile here. 

Gayle, thank you for both the conversation and putting a smile on my face. It was a gift that didn't need to be bought and wrapped, only the ability to open up and share a life changing story with a neighbor. You have reminded me that there is still hope for humanity in this world. God Bless and Merry Christmas… 

Ps. Happy holiday peeps! May you find yourself surrounded by family and loved ones this weekend and remember…..The world needs more stories like the one above, and less of everything else. Heard that. 

#Christmas #inspiration #holiday #season #innout #gayle #thankyou #empireliving

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The 2017 CMA Awards: Your guide to all that isn't country

Dear 2017 CMA Awards, 

Hello their friends! It’s been quite a while since we have had the pleasure of getting together but as November begins it brings with it the awards show that country music fans love and well, I really loathe due to the fact that I must sit through three hours of what Nashville loosely describes as “country” music in order to bring you the most comprehensive and more importantly honest recap of the nights entertainment. Please sit back and enjoy the 6th or 7th annual review of the CMA Awards once again brought to you by Tito’s vodka…. (remember, I do it all for you the fans) 

  1. Show starts of with Eric Church performing Amazing Grace. Their is a smile on my face. My better judgment says I should shut off the TV and go to bed happy 
  2. I decide against this and am now subjected to Hootie. You win again Nashville. 
  3. Kix Brooks, it’s November 8th, you can take the Halloween mask off. 
  4. Do you think God looks down on Carrie Underwood’s legs and smiles knowing he just got it right? 
  5. Brad Paisley at the hat store: “Make me look like an idiot.” Hat store employee: “Say no more.” 
  6. Just saw Pink in the crowd. It has nothing to do with country but then again neither does this show. 
  7. Bon Jovi wins the first award of the night. I can’t recall hearing the song “Blue” on the Bad Medicine album. 
  8. Staying with the theme of the night, Taylor Swift wins song of the year. 
  9. It is currently 8:30pm on Wednesday and I’m laying on my couch taking notes. I am not on stage dressed in a Batman shirt purchased at the Baby Gap and pleather camouflage jacket claiming to be a country musician. Just stating facts. 
  10. The current crop of female artist such as Kelsea Ballerinai may just give Nashville a glimmer of hope. 
  11. Reba is like fine wine, she still got it. 
  12. During the commercial break I learn that Luke Bryan is now on American Idol. Somewhere Randy Jackson is shaking his head and saying, “That’s a NO for me dawg.”  
  13. Miranda….Stunning simply does not do you justice tonight. 
  14. Jon Pardi wins New Artist of the Year. Makes that Northern Comfort t-shirt hanging in my closet that much more special. As one of those fans who saw you in those backyards and dive bars from Chico to Winters….Congrats buddy. 
  15. Garth just wakes up and pisses excellence. 
  16. I still miss Chris Gaines though. 
  17. Brothers Osborne, dressing as Tom Brady doesn't allow me to go home to Giselle just as dressing like Chris Stapleton does not afford you talent. 
  18. Don Williams and Jason Boland are the only two people allowed to sing “Tulsa Time”. One is dead and the other isn't on stage. 
  19. Charlie Pride was just mentioned. A smile comes across my face. 
  20. Chris Stapleton: Album of the Year. Please refer to the above mentioned statement. 
  21. People, for just 10 cents a day we can feed Tim McGraw. 
  22. Faith, there’s some old crackers on my nightstand if you're interested. 
  23. It was just announced that Pink was going to make country’s biggest night, bigger. Makes total sense. 
  24. Pink is on stage. Carson Daly and the rest of the TRL crew are standing by waiting to take your calls. 
  25. You can dye your hair blonde and start a group called Little Big Town but I still know it’s you Carrot Top. 
  26. I still have no idea what a Brothers Osborne is but because of you there is no more Florida or Georgia or Line. You have a fan for life. 
  27. If Chris Stapleton just performed this whole show I wouldn't be mad. 
  28. Maren Morris is pure gypsy couture and that’s a good thing. 
  29. Carrie Underwood, their will always be a fresh box of crackers next to my bed for you. This is a lifetime offer. 
  30. Carrot Top’s rise to fame in the country music business is complete. Vocal Group of the Year. 
  31. At no time during a country music song should you be waving your hands in there air like you just don't care. 
  32. Jon Pardi, please just play the DUI song and let the world experience your first real #1 hit. 
  33. Donald Trump, can you build a wall between us and Australia to keep Keith Urban out? 
  34. See that…Miranda just winked at me in her acceptance speech. Love ya babe. 
  35. Eric Church would be a country music star in any generation. 
  36. With every Chris Stapleton win, it little by little restores my faith in Nashville. 
  37. Garth wins Entertainer of the Year. This coupled with Luke Bryan taking home no trophy’s made the night not a total loss. 

Three hours and a lighter bottle of Tito’s later and Nashville still doesn't get it. The greatest performance of the night could be found outside the arena where Sturgill Simpson performed for 45 minutes on the sidewalk. Don’t know who he is???….Look him up, I promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s artist like him that will truly make Nashville Great Again. God Bless….

Ps. Happy Pre-Friday peeps on this cold and wet morning in God’s country. I miss y'all and hope to be writing more soon, Enjoy your day and remember….If the love doesn't feel like 90’s R&B, you don't want it. 

#CMA’s #Nashville #Countrymusic #realcountry #makenashvillegreatagain #empireliving 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

There is no apartheid in a foxhole

Dear Charlottesville, 

When will we learn as a country that the complexion of your skin doesn't define a person?

241 years,  a civil war and numerous other transgressions later and we still haven't figured out as a nation that there are only three colors that matter….Red, white and blue. Until we do, we the people are doomed to fail.

Citizens are granted freedoms in the United States that people in other countries die for trying to obtain everyday. We continue to morally decline when it comes to them. As the events in Virginia unfolded over the weekend the hate that we have towards one another brought light to this situation. In 2017, swastika flags and the KKK shouldn't be front page news, yet there they were on full display for the world to see. The first amendment gives people of this nation the right to free speech, it doesn't however grant them tact and class. We as a country need to take a step back and realize right from wrong. For example: 


1. If you wave a Nazi flag in America you are by any definition an idiot. The reason why your first language isn't German today is because the greatest generation this country has seen defeated the hate associated with it. 

2. Wearing a hood and chanting racial slurs doesn't make you tough, it mean you are a coward who is afraid of the consequences of your actions. 

3. Vandalizing and illegally tearing down historic statues doesn't change the past. They are part of history and we are meant to learn from the accomplishment and mistakes of those who came before us. 

4. Hating a person based on skin color, race, religion, etc. We have had a lifetime to learn this lesson, yet a select few still fail at it everyday. 


1. Not doing any of the above mentioned transgressions. 

See how easy that is? Common sense continues to be at a loss in our current society. 

Leadership in the highest office continues to fail is when it comes to racial tension. I have never had a problem with someone taking the time to get the facts right before making a statement based solely on a political agenda, but Donald, if you see someone with a Nazi flag in their hand throwing up the Hitler salute you should have immediately been in front of a camera addressing the nation and denouncing this heinous conduct. You’re the President of the United States, act like it. 

You can portray yourselves as white nationalist, alt right, black lives matter, new black panthers or any other organization that puts an emphasis on ones skin tone and spew resentment towards another. You are a hate group plain and simple, and this country has no need for you or your cause. 

One of my favorite movie lines is “There’s no apartheid in a foxhole.” We wake up and battle everyday at this game called life, and I like to know that the people I choose to go through it with have my back no matter what the color of mine or there skin is. We are one nation and until we figure that out as a whole, the fraction will divide us and ultimately destroy what so many great people created, which is the United States. God Bless…..


Happy hump day peeps on this mild August day. If you do one thing today, have the courage to make some smile and remember…..Take a look in the mirror, that’s your competition. 

#Charlottesville #Virginia #racism #trump #unitedstates #president #empireliving

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Russia made me write this post

Dear election interference by the Russians, 

Raise your hand if any actions by Russia influenced you to vote for President Trump in this past election. Anyone?… Anyone?….I am guessing that if you are reading this both hands are still being occupied by what they were previously doing. Why is it that nine months after the final ballot was cast and seven months since his inauguration, the media is still enamored with this issue? It’s quite, simple, they would rather see someone fail rather then succeed. It is what sells and is why we continue to suffer as a nation. 

The latest concerning this topic is that the President’s oldest son made contact with a Russian lawyer/movie star/chambermaid/Putin confidant prior to the election to dig up dirt on his father’s competition. GOD FORBID!!!! This my friends happens every day, not only in the world of politics, but in this game we call life. We as humans like to win, and will do anything possible to achieve our goals. It is in our nature, no matter how callow that sounds. There isn't a political figure past or present who has not utilized all their resources in order to get the desired results…Which is too WIN. Sometimes it might not be ethical in the way these conclusions are achieved, but if it is done in a legal manner, then what is the issue? 

We as a country try to influence leadership around the world on a daily basis. Whether we are supporting guerrillas in South America to helping an opposing party overthrow the current leadership in some Middle Eastern country, we have been guilty of this for years. It is what world powers do to gain leverage over their advisories and expand there empire. It doesn't matter if the person in office is conservative, liberal or middle of the road in their political views. They are looking for ways to expand the reach and importance of this nation. 

Russia didn't influence Americans to vote for Trump, the devastation that the previous regime did. Our country was split like no other time since the Civil War and we the people wanted change. Hillary Clinton provided another four years of what we had gone through the previous eight, and if you think that would have been good for the country, you are part of the problem. 

I am not saying that Trump was the right choice to fix this great nation, but he was an alternative that we had not seen yet, which to me was the best choice. This is why he was elected President of the United States. Not by Russia releasing information that we already knew about concerning his opponent, but by men and women of this country looking for change. 

Horses can only be beating so much. Think fake birth certificates, emails on private servers, Barry watching SportCenter on the reg, etc. Let us finally move on from this subject, and get back to making this country great. God Bless….

Ps. Happy Pre-Friday peeps on another hot day in the north state. May you find a cocktail in your hand later and remember….Don’t be eye candy. Be soul food. 

#America #trump #russia #putin #election #president #makeamericagreat #empireliving

Friday, June 30, 2017

The forgotting art of honesty

Dear Honesty,

What is our fascination as a society with dishonesty? To family, friends, co-workers and most importantly the people we love?

We like to say that we do this to protect and not hurt another but in reality, it does the exact opposite. Whether in business or your personal life, this can be a slippery slope and we have all been guilty of it.

People will often do it without realizing the consequences. It is a safety method that we use to protect ourselves and avoid conflict. This can be from discussing a business deal with a partner, choosing a place to eat with friends or making plans with your significant other. We sometimes feel that not saying anything is the best policy. Now this can be true on most occasions, there’s nothing wrong by going with the flow on simple matters, it’s the ones where more is at stake that this openness needs to be unveiled.

The most attractive quality a human being can display is honesty. Not just too the people around them but to themselves. The vulnerability that it presents is what makes it such a special trait. It is a conversation from the heart, and nothing is more extraordinary. Overcoming the fear of honestly opening up to another is one of the most satisfying things in life. What you have to say may hurt that person at that moment, but the pain is far greater to them if you withhold it. We can all speak from experience on this.

In this day and age of social media and round the clock news people are constantly trying to show the rest of us that they live in a perfect world when in reality it is quite the opposite. The majority of society is afraid of being judged and that includes myself. We tend to show and tell people what we want them to hear, and not the truth for all the above-mentioned reasons. All this gets us is a few likes on Facebook or Instagram and a continued emptiness inside. Life is far greater than this. With that statement, I would like to present to you this:

My name is Marc Breckenridge and I’m 41 years old (I know I look way younger). I was born and raised in Woodland, CA and now call Chico home. Agricultural is my career of choice. Farming brings a smile to my face. I have a black lab named Cosby who is my road dog in life. I enjoy an ice cold by any given body of water. Spontaneous travel is my jam. I have been in love. I pray every morning. I have made my fair share of mistakes. I do my best to recognize these and work constantly to improve myself. I have a hard time putting what I mean into words sometimes. My friends are the world to me and I can never thank them enough for letting me into their lives. I constantly am tearing down walls from past experiences. Opening up to people, even those close has always been hard for me. I have a big heart and wear it on my sleeve for the people I love and care about. I’m pretty awesome (Well, at least for the most part).

See how easy that was? Put yourself on that ledge and try it sometime, you may never know who you will make smile because of it, and this my friends is priceless….

PS. Happy Friday peeps on my favorite holiday weekend! May you all get the chance to celebrate this great nation’s birthday and remember….We may have our differences but it is our flag that allows us these. God Bless.

#honesty #openess #family #friends #lovedones #america #4thofjuly #empireliving

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Men, marriage and commitment. (You might want to grab a beer)

Dear commitment, 

Please refer to the following quote: 

“Men are so worried that marriage will leave them with “only one woman” for the rest of their lives. That’s simply not true. I fell in fell in love with a 19 year-old rock climber, married a 20 year-old animal lover, started a family with a 24 year-old mother, then built a farm with a 25 year-old homemake and today I’m married to a 27 year-old woman of wisdom. If your mind is healthy, you’ll never get tired of “one woman”. You will actually become overwhelmed with how many beautiful versions of her you get to marry over the years. Don’t say no to marriage, say yes and keep saying yes till the day you die.”  - Unknown

Now I asked you to read this in order to present you with this: 

There’s not a week that goes by that this conversation doesn't play out with an individual or a group of my friends that are either married or in a long term relationship. “Marc, you have the best life. You're single (when I am), live in a great town, can date who you want, do whatever you desire and don't have to answer to anyone, I wish I had your life!” (Why do they always forget the black dog?) 

“No you don’t” has always been reply. They look at me in astonishment and ask “why?” The answer is quite simple, and is most eloquently stated above. You have someone that you talk too everyday, a person to come home to after work, an individual to laugh, cry and share your fears and successes with. Most importantly you have a woman who loves you. That my friends is something that you can’t put a price on.  

The game can be fun for a while, but in the long run it’s exhausting. Dating, not having someone to talk too on a regular basis, cooking for one, the emptiness, traveling solo and constantly in search of that “plus one”  for weddings are just some fine examples of this. Really glamorous. That amazing wife isn't looking so bad right now is she??? 

 Nothing in life is more satisfying than a commitment to another individual, you hear me married friends! When you find this person you will know. It is the one that won’t “change” you as people like to say, but the soul that will help make you a better version of yourself each day. Now that is a beautiful thing. 

There will be ups and downs in every relationship. This is life, we are humans and as much as we like to think that we have our shit together, somedays we don’t. Always be open and work through your problems..together. Take her on dates, always communicate, hold her hand and never miss the opportunity to say I love you. Your relationship evolves each day, and with it comes something new, which only makes your bond stronger. Two people constantly improving, now who wouldn't want that for the rest of their lives? (Once again, do you hear me boys?) 

Although I believe the quote at the center of this conversation has less to do with marriage, but more about ones commitment to another individual and the excitement it brings each day, the guy nailed it either way. Thank you for sharing and God Bless. 

Ps. Happy hump day peeps on this scorcher in Northern California, stay hydrated whether is be water or an ice cold beer and remember….Following 12 fitness accounts after eating 7 tacos isn't exercise, but I will not question your effort. 

#commitment #marriage #inspiration #humpday #conversationswithfriends  #empireliving 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Comey hearing: The CMA of politics

Dear Comey Senate Hearing, 

Usually today I find myself writing a recap of the annual CMA Awards Show giving you my take on the state of country music in Nashville. Instead, due to the Senate hearing concerning former FBI Director James Comey I would like to present to you my take on the current situation in Washington D.C. It includes the same drama, just no bad country music! Please enjoy. 

  1. Show kicks off with Senator Warren blaming Russia for everything that is wrong in America except for Hillary, Obama and liberals. Same old Washington. 
  2. Fake news and witch hunts are mentioned for the first time. This is like the “Taylor Swift” sighting at a country music awards show. 
  3. Comey takes the stand. Someone get this guy a drink. 
  4. He starts to rattle off his accomplishments, the highlight being putting Martha Stewart behind bars. Could be the oldest known millennial. 
  5. 5 minutes into the show and Comey admits to the Donald not directly asking him to drop the Russian probe. We could stop the show right here and all the Senators could go back to work. Being this is Washington that would make too much sense.
  6. Can we all have a senate hearing when we fail at our job?
  7. Trump is currently sitting in the Oval Office and dropping a Mr. Burns from the Simpsons laugh every time Comey opens his mouth. 
  8. Does Comey give a written record of his conversations with the President to Putin because that’s the Donald’s boss? 
  9. In 3 years you have had exactly 3 conversations with your boss?! How do get this job?
  10. Senator Warren takes the stage again using big, technical words. Very white of him. 
  11. Comey claims the President needs to have his loyalty. No bandwagon fans in this administration. 
  12. Trump allegedly whispers in Comey’s ear. I would have definitely swiped left. Great guy, it’s just the hair. 
  13. Dinner next?! Isn't their a White House policy concerning dating in the workplace?
  14. I still don't know who this “Flynn” is. Sounds like the latest duo destroying Nashville country music. 
  15. With those writing skills, Comey may just get a guest appearance on this blog. 
  16. The left rolls out Diane Feinstein, reminiscent of Nashville parading out Reba. You can’t fool me Washington D.C., you still suck. 
  17. Alleged sex beads and oversized blue pinstriped suit jackets are the new Washington D.C. starter kit. 
  18. Comey just claimed to be weak. This is why you are not the Director of the FBI. 
  19. “This is a very good cloud. I will make a better cloud.” -Trump discussing Russia with Comey. 
  20. Comey tells the president he has been very loyal. He repeats “loyal” 3 times to sound more like his boss. Kiss ass. 
  21. “This should be the first scandal of my presidency!” -Little Marco Rubio. 
  22. Waiting for Trump to walk into the Senate chambers holding a sign of a wall with the words “you’re next” as Senator Rubio speaks. 
  23. Why is Senator Wyden mocking Elmer Fudd? 
  24. Russia played a role in my coffee getting cold this morning. 
  25. Diane Feinstein wins worst outfit in politics….Senator Collins: “Hold my beer.” 
  26. Comey states that Russia will be back. Arnold smiles as the royalties keep rolling in. 
  27. If this hearing was a drinking game I would have fell off my bar stool by now. 
  28. “I did not have sexual relations with Russia.” -Donald Trump 
  29. Kamala Harris is this hearings version of Florida/Georgia Line. 
  30. 3 hours later and President Trump still didn't ask Comey to drop the Russian investigation no matter how many old white men and women ask him. It is like George Strait winning an award at the end of the night, we all knew the answer from the very start. 
  31. Did I mention I hate Florida/Georgia Line??? 

If this hearing proved anything it was that we as a country have a long ways to go before we are great again. We are one nation, a single flag and endless possibilities. Hanrwork and determination make this possible and quit is not in an American’s vocabulary. God Bless. 

Ps. Happy Thursday peeps, I hope you enjoyed this and wishing y'all an amazing weekend and remember…..Do all the things that scare you, because they’re worth it. 

#comey #trump #fbi #senatehearing #russia #putin #washingtondc #empireliving