Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Batman Field Trip

For most of my teenage years, I spent summers attending or working as a counselor at an overnight camp just outside Morgantown, West Virginia. As a camper, you never left the campgrounds except for a once-a-session field trip to Coopers Rock where you climbed on or rappelled down, you guessed it, rocks.

Thirty years ago this summer, we were supposed to go to Coopers Rock but took an unauthorized trip to Mountaineer Mall instead to see the recently release film, Batman starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger. It was awesome!

In hindsight, I have no idea if the counselors really pulled this off on their own or if they got approval from the camp director. We were actually a well-behaved group of about 15 boys (as extreme as we got was one of my cabin-mates playing an Eazy-E cassette every morning), particularly compared to the other group of teenage boys. I also don't remember how we paid for movie tickets or snacks. Did the counselors use the money that was supposed to go towards Coopers Rock entrance fees for this?

While we were sworn to secrecy at the time, I now think that someone above must have given the okay on this trip. If not, sorry if you're only finding out about this now. I hope there’s a statute of limitations on this!

Photo via Warner Brothers.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

2019 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Recap

The 2019 Major League Baseball draft took place a few weeks ago, and I’m happy to present my annual(-ish) recap of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ selections. Please note that if you’re looking for serious, in-depth assessments of the players selected, you’ve come to the wrong place. This post is for entertainment purposes only. Actually, even places with serious, in-depth analysis of the Pirates’ picks should be for entertainment only, so maybe you have come to the right place. Welcome!

In the over 130-year history of the Pittsburgh Pirates, no player has ever had a first name beginning with the letter Q. There have been several players with the last name starting with Q including pitcher Chad Qualls, shortstop Rey Quinones, and who can forget second baseman Joe Quest from the team's 1884 season. In addition, every other letter has been accounted for in Pirates history including one player with the first name starting with U (U.L. Washington). This is why I applaud the team for taking Quinn Priester, a pitcher from Cary-Grove High School in Illinois with the #18 overall pick in the first round. Sure the Pirates could have taken University of Kentucky pitcher Zack Thompson, who was ranked #14 and taken with the next pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, but I understand that the team couldn’t pass up this opportunity to make history, especially with Quinn being ranked #19.

After taking outfielder Matt Gorski (OF from Indiana University) in the 2nd round and Matt Fraizer (OF from Arizona University) in the 3rd round, I feel like there was a directive not to select any more "Matt"s in the draft. An entire draft of Matts would have been very confusing.

Although I’m about 15 years late, I started watching the HBO series Deadwood. Sixth round pick pitcher Will Matthiesen from Stanford sounds like the perfect name for a Deadwood character. (By the way, I used a similar observation when the team selected Wyatt Mathisen in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft. Hopefully this Matthiesen with more letters in the last name works out better.) Meanwhile, sneaky pick by the Pirates here. Even though they were told not to draft anyone else named Matt, they picked someone with Matt in his last name. Very clever!

With their 5th round pick, the Pirates chose pitcher Grant Ford from the University of Nevada. Since his first name is the last name of the 18th President and he shares the last name with the 38th President, I feel like it’s only appropriate that his middle name should be Harding. (I don’t actually know his middle name, but we can dream right?) By the way, KevinInABQ deserves credit for the Harding reference.

As someone with young children, it’s hard not to see the team draft outfielder Chase Murray from Georgia Tech in the 13th round and think that he’s on the case.

In the 11th round, the Pirates picked Jase Bowen, an outfielder from Toledo Central Catholic HS. Jase can also be on the case.

I applaud the Pirates for selecting players with Pittsburgh ties. For example, Blake Sabol, an outfielder from USC and the team's 7th round pick, is Troy Polamalu’s cousin. The team also picked Pittsburgh sportscaster Guy Junker's son, Cameron Junker in the 10th round, former Pitt basketball player Chevy Troutman's nephew, Ryan Troutman in the 26th round, former Pirate Pedro Alvarez's cousin's roommate Andres Alvarez in the 22nd round, and Deion Walker from Hillgrove High School (named for Pitt and Steelers broadcaster Bill Hillgrove) in the 35th round.

In honor of this Saturday's Faith Night, the team also went with a biblical theme by selecting Eli (Wilson), Samson (Abernathy), Elijah (Dunham), Jasiah (Dixon; we’ll just say that this is close enough to Josiah), and of course, the famous prophet highlighted numerous times in the Bible, Dawson (McCarville).

The Pirates’ scouting department clearly watched a lot of late night television and were inspired by this State Farm commercial. How else can you explain the team drafting three players named Jake? 20th round pick Jake Snider, 32nd round pick Jake Wright, and 36th round pick Jake Sweeney)?

In the 28th round, the team picked pitcher Bear Bellomy of Wright State University. What a cool name! Unfortunately, Tiger Thompson was taken earlier by the (you guessed it), Marlins.

Another cool name. catcher Ethan Goforth from Carson-Newman College. I can just see his manager telling him, “Ethan, goforth and call for a slider on this pitch.”

As always, I highly recommend checking out Pirates Prospects for actual in-depth information about the players mentioned above.

To see more of my draft recaps of the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins over the years, please click here.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Father's Day 2019

Even though Father's Day already occurred a few days ago, I thought I would share these gifts from my 8 year old (The Moose) and 5 year old (Pedro Tulo). I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that Luigi (21 months) didn't make one too!

Clean up the dishes? Yes, he puts dishes in the sink, but he's never loaded or unloaded the dishwasher. That may need to change immediately! (By the way, The Moose's picture of me is spot on!)

Pedro Tulo is exactly correct with a few items here. Clearly, I'm a really good writer person. I also don't like it when he hits me. As far as baseball games, I've taken him to exactly 2 in his life and the last one was last September, and we spent about 4 innings walking around the stadium because he couldn't keep still.

I have no idea where my favorite foods being tacos and sandwiches came from, though I do eat both quite a bit.

A belated Happy Father's Day to those of you who celebrate! HULK SMASH!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Video: Death Metal Grandma

This Friday video is different than usual where I generally post videos of current song. Ithaca College graduate Leah Galant's "Death Metal Grandma" won the best documentary at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Here's a description of the documentary from Ithaca College:

There are sweet, kind grandmas, and there are cool grandmas. Then there’s Inge Ginsberg, the subject of 2015 Ithaca College graduate Leah Galant’s new documentary, “Death Metal Grandma.” The short film, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and can be seen on the New York Times website, follows the 96-year-old Holocaust survivor as she turns her poetry into heavy metal music and auditions for “America’s Got Talent.”

“I wanted to show that beyond the spectacle of ‘Death Metal Grandma’ lies an incredible, resilient and fierce woman named Inge Ginsberg,” said Galant, who studied documentary studies and production at the college’s Roy H. Park School of Communications. “Throughout the filming process, I was privileged to be the recipient of so much of her wisdom — much of which ended up in the film. I also wanted to highlight the importance of intergenerational relationships, which Inge and I both benefited from enormously.”

This less than 13-minute documentary is fascinating and definitely worth watching.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

I'm Going To Die

Maybe not the best headline here. I mean, not to be depressing or morbid, but everyone is going to die. Except for Betty White. We can't let her die.

Anyway, two articles that I saw over the last few days really concerned me. Here's the first from CNN.

Several popular breakfast foods, including Cheerios and Nature Valley products, continue to test positive for trace amounts of a controversial herbicide that may increase the risk of cancer, according to a report released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group.

I have cereal for breakfast nearly every single morning. While I've mixed in some Wegmans brand cereals lately, I generally eat Honey Nut Cheerios. Is it really too much to ask to not have herbicides in my cereal?

Although this second study funded by the National Institutes of Health relates to women, I feel like this must impact men too.

Sleeping with a television or light on in the room may be a risk factor for gaining weight or developing obesity, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health. The research, which was published online June 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine, is the first to find an association between any exposure to artificial light at night while sleeping and weight gain in women. The results suggest that cutting off lights at bedtime could reduce women’s chances of becoming obese.

So they're saying that falling asleep the majority of nights while sitting on the couch with the lights, television, and computer or phone on (usually with Ziggy curled up next to me and then waking up a few hours later and spending a few minutes checking email or seeing sports results before going back to bed) is a bad thing?

I'm going to become obese because of my terrible sleep pattern (which leads to other health problems) and get cancer thanks to herbicides in my Honey Nut Cheerios. Lovely.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

2019 Celebrate Fairfax Recap

The 38th annual Celebrate Fairfax took place over the weekend and this was my 18th festival. Based on the time I’ve spent at the festival, I can now vote (which I’m actually going to do today). Here are my notes and thoughts about this year’s event:

* Let’s start with the headliners. Better Than Ezra sounded good in the 2 minutes I saw them perform during sound check. I saw Smash Mouth on Saturday night and was a little surprised by the size of the crowd. I probably shouldn’t have been though. It was a beautiful day, so why wouldn’t people come out to the festival and see the headliner, particularly one that had three monster hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s? Unlike Sugar Ray last year (where Mark McGraph continuously talked with the crowd), there was almost no banter with the audience for Smash Mouth and its lead singer Steve Harwell. They just played one song after another. Here’s my one complaint about their set. Go to around the 8:45 mark of these videos to see All-Star.

Now you can say that it was really cool to let the audience sing the song. Or you could say that if someone wanted to sing All Star, they could do that at home or at karaoke without having the actual band playing the music on the stage. At least sing a line or two to start the second verse, Steve!

* The days of me volunteering for the entire three days of the festival are over. With three kids and their activities, it’s just not possible. I still enjoy helping with set up, and there’s definitely a bit of a rush seeing everything that happens before the gates open. I highly recommend helping out with Celebrate Fairfax or another event like this if you can. There's definitely a camaraderie too with all of the volunteers. With that written, I seem to know fewer and fewer people each year. There are only a handful of people who still volunteer at the festival from when I started in 2002 and probably only a few more than that from even 7 or 8 years ago. I guess that’s natural. It truly is a young person’s thing to be able to volunteer throughout the weekend.

* I think part of the reason for the big crowd on Saturday was the call for rain on Sunday. Even though it rained Sunday morning and definitely scared people away, when I arrived on site with The Moose and Pedro Tulo in the afternoon, it was just cloudy with some sprinkles. Basically, we had the run of the place. We had front-row seats (under a tent!) to see the animals brought by Wildlife Ambassadors. We stood almost directly in front of the stage to see the final song by Herr Metal, and one of the guitar players threw Pedro Tulo a pick. (Amazingly, he hasn't lost this yet.)

We also had perfect views of the US Army Band Downrange which the boys loved watching while eating big ice cream cones. For possibly the first time ever, there was no line to spin the wheel for the Great American Restaurants booth. As a comparison, there were easily 25 people in this line at 11:30 on Friday morning before the “Sneak Peak” for county employees. The booth didn’t even open until noon!

Exhibitors were more than happy to interact with us and give us stuff. We probably received about 6 plastic cups from Glory Days and about the same number of DC United temporary tattoos. We won 6 tickets to see the George Mason men’s basketball team’s first home game in November. The kids barely had to wait to play Cox’s virtual reality baseball game, and we spent some time with on-air personalities from the local ABC affiliate (WJLA). Kidd O’Shea actually took pictures of us. Basically, if it’s not raining very much, definitely go to a festival!

*Comedy hypnotist Brad Matchett is amazing. I have no idea how he does it, but if you have a chance to see him, go (though I don't see any upcoming events currently listed on his Facebook page). You won’t be disappointed.

* I only got 4 Fairfax Water cups this year. If we still had all of the cups from them since 2002, we’d have well over 100 by now!

That's really all that I have for this year. I ate a gyro from Bethel Park's John the Greek since his gyros are great. I walked 24,618 steps on Friday with about 23,000 of those steps being at the festival site. And yes, I'll be back again next year.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Friday Video: Snow

It seems like almost everyday, there is some news or story that is pretty unbelievable. Things that you can’t imagine are happening. Although there are still seven months remaining this year, I’m not sure that anything will astonish me more than the fact that Snow is part of hit song in 2019.

Let’s go back to 1992 when Canadian rapper Snow had a #1 song, Informer.

At least in my world, this song was everywhere. Snow rapped so fast that you really couldn’t understand what he was saying expect for "a licky boom boom down," which didn’t make any sense but seemed cool. Then, the tide started to turn against Snow, and (at least in my mind) he was done after In Living Color (hi Jim Carrey!) did a sketch making fun of him.

Fast-forward to 2017. The biggest song in the world was Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (not to be confused with Derek Jeter) featuring Justin Bieber. Although Daddy Yankee was a huge star in Puerto Rico and had some success on the mainland, Despacito catapulted him to nearly A-level status in the US. Now, Daddy Yankee has a song called Con Calma with Snow, who he seemingly brought out of retirement.

The song certainly had (and is having) success around the world (see below), but Daddy Yankee and Snow themselves didn't get the song massive radio airplay on most English stations. Enter Katy Perry on the remix.

Sadly, Snow did not appear on American Idol in this performance by Daddy Yankee and Perry.

Apparently, according to this fascinating Rolling Stone article, Snow can't enter the US:

Snow also appears in the video for “Con Calma,” but his part had to be filmed separately in Canada. Thanks to his past legal issues, including an assault conviction in 1995, Snow is currently unable to enter the U.S. without a waiver, which would have allowed him to apply for a work visa. “You’re supposed to renew the waiver and he didn’t,” says Farberman. “It’s a technical matter.”

I guess that's why he on American Idol. Anyway, Con Calma is currently in the top 40 in the US, and I wouldn't be surprised if it moves into the top 20 or even top 10 by the end of the summer. Meanwhile, according to Wikipedia, the song reached #1 in Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, and reached the top five in Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, and Slovenia.

Please let me know if you find a story more unbelievable than Snow being part of a top 5 song in Poland and Slovenia in 2019!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Brother, The Yinzer

A blog post to make fun of brother? Yes! Over the weekend, my brother attended a wedding and rehearsal dinner in the New York/New Jersey area. (Actually, I’m not exactly sure where it took place, but the key as you’ll soon see, is that this didn’t occur in Western Pennsylvania.) Here is a picture from the dinner:

Once you get passed the fact that I don’t have Photoshop and simply colored in everyone’s faces, you’ll notice that the people pictured are dressed nicely (including the waiter.) Except for that one guy on the end wearing a Steelers polo shirt. That's my brother! Look, I've heard stories about people wearing Steelers jersey to church and other more formal occasions, but an out-of-the-area rehearsal dinner just doesn't seem appropriate.

Since I'm making fun of my brother, I should probably make fun of myself too. In one of my first jobs about a month or two after moving to DC after grad school, I attended a meeting on Capitol Hill only a few days or weeks into that job. For this meeting, I wore a Steelers polo shirt similar to (though nicer than) the one in the picture above. My boss at the time made sure to tell me to wear a tie for the next meeting, though I did get a compliment or two from folks from the Pittsburgh area. I should also mention that I was only 25 or 26 during this time as opposed to 41 like my brother is now. Basically, I didn't know better then but he should know better now!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Garth Brooks' Pittsburgh Outfit

Country music superstar Garth Brooks played at Heinz Field on Saturday night. During the performance, he wore, um, this.

While I commend Brooks on wearing the Pirates jersey, having Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's name and number on the back makes no sense. You know since Ben plays football and not baseball. I understand that Brooks "is in love with Ben Roethlisberger" per his quote in this Post-Gazette article and spent time with the Pirates during spring training. However, combining these two jerseys into one make no sense. Sort of like a blog post combining Celebrities in Pittsburgh Gear and Sean on Fashion.

By the way, I wonder if Jeff King got really excited seeing Brooks wearing his old number, only see Roethlisberger's name on the back.

Photos by Bob Pompeani and Tim Williams. Video courtesy of Garth Brooks.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fairfax Connector Problems (You Have One Job!)

Look out world! A few years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper (based on this blog post). Now, I'm writing the government. Well, the transportation agency, which is part of the government, but it's still the government. The issue is that the buses aren't running. The entire job of the bus system is to pick people up and safely take them to their destination.

My slightly redacted email is below as is how this impacts you even if you don't take the bus or even live in Northern Virginia.

Dear Fairfax Connector,

I have been a regular rider of Fairfax Connector for over 14 years and have had positive experiences riding the buses during this time. While I understand that you currently have a shortage of bus drivers, the fact that bus routes appear to no longer be in service is completely unacceptable. I ride bus [redacted], and on April 26th, May 8th, and today (May 14th), the bus that generally picks me up at 7:40 going to Vienna did not show. The 8:10 bus on April 26th also did not show. I didn't take the bus on many of the weekdays between April 26th and today, so my guess is that there were no buses on this route during one or more of these days. I'm fortunate in that I have access to a car and can drive to Vienna. It's inconvenient and also costs about $5 a day to park not including the wear and tear on the car, but I generally have this option. I don't know what people on the route who don't have access to cars are doing.

Since this bus route no longer seems to be running, I guess I have no other choice than to drive to Vienna. Please let me know when you hire drivers and decide to run the [redacted] route again.


This story shows a little more about the current driver shortage.

You may think that this story doesn't impact you, but it actually does. I do much of the writing of Sean's Ramblings on the bus, so you're missing out on quality (though this is debatable) blog posts. If you want more Sean's Ramblings, we need the buses to operate on schedule. (Or you can babysit my kids so I have more time to write!)

When (if?) I hear back, I'll provide an update.

Photo from the Fairfax Connector website.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Shocking News About Mr. Knick Knack

There's little that surprises or shocks me while seeing the news anymore. As I mentioned in Thursday's post, mass shootings seem to occur all the time, and many seem like an afterthought in the news coverage now. The President saying or tweeting something outrageous? Oh, it must be Tuesday...or Saturday...or Sunday...or Friday...or Thursday...or Monday...or Wednesday. However, I was truly surprised by this headline.

‘Mr. Knick Knack,’ children’s entertainer, charged with possession of child porn

Having young kids, I feel like I've seen or heard of most, if not all, of the children's entertainers in Northern Virginia. Between festivals (like Celebrate Fairfax) and multiple summer concert series (serieses?), it's a great (and generally free) activity for the kids. Rocknoceros has a massive following. 123 Andres always puts on an energetic show. There's also The Great Zucchini, and Blue Sky Puppet Theater, and The grandsons, jr., and others. Including Mr. Knick Knack, who for years has had a regular gig on Monday mornings from May to October or so at the Reston Town Center. Here's more about Mr. Knick Knack from The Washington Post:

A Northern Virginia children’s entertainer who is known as “Mr. Knick Knack” has been charged with possessing child pornography, and investigators are exploring whether the man had any inappropriate contact with juveniles, Fairfax County police said.

Steven Rossi, 58, of Reston was arrested on April 30 on 10 counts of possessing illicit images of children after authorities received a tip earlier in the month the entertainer had child pornography, police said.

Detectives have not uncovered evidence that Rossi had contact with the children in the images, but they are asking anyone who might have information about inappropriate interactions between Rossi and children to come forward, police said.

Holy crap! We've seen him perform a few times, and it wasn't anything memorable, but it was something to do with the kids, and they seemed to enjoy it. Of course, I think they enjoyed eating Goldfish just as much if not more than the show. I'm still shocked about this.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Living In America

Sadly, this blog post is not about the James Brown song featured in Rocky IV. In the immediacy of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, I wrote a post sharing my sadness and my anger including this:

This is where I'm angry. Mass shootings happen ALL THE TIME. Outside of Pittsburgh, Saturday's shooting at Tree of Life will be likely be out of the news cycle in a few days.

This turned out to be partially true because we continue to see mass shootings regularly, so that becomes the new headline. Now, whenever a place of worship is the target, whether it was an Easter Sunday terrorist attack in Sri Lanka at several locations including three churches, or the shootings at two New Zealand mosques, Tree of Life and/or Pittsburgh gets included in the story. More recently, there was a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California outside San Diego, where the gunman was allegedly inspired by the New Zealand shooter. Fortunately, "only" one person was killed in the Poway attack.

Let me stop for a second here to mention that I started writing this post before there was a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch outside Denver in which one student was killed and eight others were injured. There was also a shooting at UNC-Charlotte last week. As an aside, in both of the school shootings, heroic teens sacrificed their lives to save others. It shouldn't be this way. Anyway, the focus of this post is intended to be on violence at religious institutions, though I'll circle back to shootings overall.

Going back to my October post, I was critical of President Trump for saying "If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him." At the time, I wrote:

Four highly trained police officers were wounded when facing the shooter. There was certainly plenty of security in Las Vegas when over 50 people were killed at a concert. Why is it assumed that an armed guard would be successful in stopping someone with multiple guns including an automatic weapon in a surprise attack? Plus, why would we want to live in a country where we need armed guards at places of worship?

However, the reality is that it seems like we do. My synagogue recently conducted a campaign to fund security initiatives. This is a portion of this campaign announcement:

Since the tragedy in Pittsburgh, our team has been working hard to ensure that our building is as safe and secure as possible.

We intend to immediately begin implementing the recommendations in the security assessment report to include items such as: improved exterior lighting, locks on the inside of all the classroom doors, concrete bollards/planters near the entrance, improved security cameras, security go bags, an emergency alert system, and police security during high use hours, among other things.

Because these items were not anticipated, and not included in our budget, we are calling on the entire community to help us make this a reality. The security and peace of mind that our members and children are safe, cannot wait.

Obviously, this is not cheap. The synagogue and the number of members that belong to the synagogue aren't small, but we're not a very big community either. (Tree of Life in Pittsburgh in the 1980s was probably triple the size of my current synagogue.) In addition, police are now regularly at the synagogue, and I'm not sure who pays for this though I suspect the synagogue pays a portion as well as the taxpayers. It seems like there must be a better use of their time, but I'm grateful that they are there, and again, this is where we are, and it's necessary because of people like this.

I expect that additional security will be a bigger part of the budget in perpetuity for places of worship, particularly synagogues and mosques. The money isn't going to education or cultural events or even food (all events are better with food!), and someone (basically, members of the community) are going to have to pay for this. This isn't just limited to places of worship. This is at schools, malls, and many of other public places. I'd love to know how much the country is spending on security compared to education, infrastructure, or health care. (After I drafted this post, but before it got published, I saw this article in Washington Jewish Week about security and increasing attacks against Jewish people and institutions.)

The common denominator in all of the US shootings mentioned above are guns. (I'm sure some people will also say mental illness though it seems like "hate" is more prevalent than mental illness in at least some of these attacks. Besides, as I sort of just mentioned, we as a country continue to put less money towards health care which could help those with mental illnesses. This could be an entirely separate blog post.) We saw that New Zealand passed laws to ban military-style weapons after the attack there. While there will be lawsuits and court cases for years, I applaud Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and the city council for trying to do something.

Like my October post, I don't have a conclusion or a nice way to summarize my thoughts. I just want my kids to be safe at school and at synagogue and not have to participate in or worry about active shooter drills. I also just want people to pray and not have to think about their safety.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Ariana and Me

In November 2018, Ariana Grande released the song Thank U, Next. The song was Grande’s first number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in 12 countries. Basically, this was a massive hit. The reason I bring up this up today is because of the song’s first line:

Thought I'd end up with Sean / But he wasn't a match.

I’ve received constant requests from media and paparazzi to comment on this sentence, but I have refused since I feel like my relationship with Ariana should remain private. That changes today.

After Grande’s performance at Coachella which included a guest appearance by Justin Bieber, many people criticized Toronto Maple Leafs’ biggest fan (but not fan favorite) since he appeared to be lip-syncing.

From Vulture:

Grande swept in and came to Bieber’s defense in a series of now-deleted tweets, saying, “People are so lost. One day everybody that works at all them blogs will realize how unfulfilled they are and purposeless what they’re doing is and hopefully shift their focus elsewhere. That’s gonna be a beautiful ass day for them! I can’t wait for them to feel lit inside.”

This is really a shot at me. I’m not sure why Grande brings this up now. I’ve respected her privacy and wish her nothing but the best. Going back to Thank U, Next, it’s true that we weren’t a match. We were (and still are) in different stages of our lives. She was immature when we were together, and she didn't like that I preferred to stay home and avoid the spotlight. Grande also knows that I'm passionate about my writing, so I'm disappointed that she feels that my writing of Sean's Ramblings is unfulfilling and purposeless. I feel lit inside as it is (though perhaps that's heartburn).

In case you're wondering, I'm not going to comment on my relationship with Ariana any further. I've probably said enough already, and again, I wish Ariana nothing but happiness and success.

You're Welcome, Previous!

Photo of Grande at Coachella by Getty / Kevin Mazur.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday Video: Don't Call Me Up

You may or may not remember Neneh Cherry's 1989 hit Buffalo Stance. You may or may not also remember her brother, Eagle Eye Cherry's 1997 hit Save Tonight. While both musicians have had long careers, they are both primarily known as one-hit wonders in the United States. Now, Neneh's and Eagle Eye's daughter/niece (not in a Lannister sort of way) has her own music career. Here is Mabel.

I'm really torn here. I want her to have success, but a story about an entire family known for producing one-hit wonders would be an amazing story. (Looking on YouTube, it seems like Mabel has more than one video with millions of views, so the one-hit wonder label doesn't seem to be in her future.)