Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Video

Happy Monday everyone! I'm completely serious that I'm happy that today is Monday.

Thanks to the season finale of Parks & Recreation, I now have Here and Now by Letters to Cleo stuck in my head. If you must have a song stuck in your head, this is a good one to have.

I still have no idea what Kay Hanley sings before "Here and Now."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Dad Take Two

You may have noticed that I haven't written much recently. I also haven't shaved in a week (or kept up with personal hygiene in general), slept as much as I would like (though I did manage to sleep through most of the first two Penguins playoff games) or have had much interaction with the outside world. I have a really good reason though. My second child arrived! Here are some observations about the experience. Enjoy!

- There is an added degree of difficulty when preparing to go to the hospital to give birth when you have a 3 year-old at home. We wanted to give our son a bath and put on his pajamas before we went to the hospital, but my son didn't feel the urgency of the situation. Sure, going potty hadn't been a priority for him, but yes, tell us that you want to use the toilet as my wife is having contractions. I gave him two minutes on the potty. When he didn't go in those two minutes, I immediately put him in the bathtub where he promptly urinated in the bathtub.

- Although I packed a bag for the hospital, I managed to forget several key items including deodorant. Conversely, the one item I managed to grab before we left was a bag of Rold Gold pretzels. Brilliant move as I had a rushed dinner and the hospital cafeteria was closed when I was hungry in the middle of the night. Therefore, I'd like to thank Rold Gold and propose a new slogan for their brand. "Rold Gold: The snack you want when you're waiting for your wife to give birth."

- 22 year-old me would have been excited by the amount of texts I received around 2:30 AM. Of course, 22 year-old me didn't have have a cell phone. (Plus, I'm not sure texting was even around back.)

- Nurses regularly asked the pain level on a scale between 0 to 10. One of the nurses explained that 10 would be like getting your arm cut off. Why use that as your pain threshold? How many people have had their arms cut off? Besides, it didn't seem that bad in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

- Although there was some initial concern about my son not crying much, he has certainly proved that he can scream extremely loudly. For example, I have no idea how my 3 year-old slept through my newborn's Exorcist-like screams the other night. Of course, the oldest son managed to wake up (and wake me up) at 4:30 even though it was quiet and everyone was asleep.

- I ended up wearing the exact same clothing including shoes from 7:00 AM Wednesday through 4:30 PM Thursday.

- While I'm not going to share my child's name here, I thought I would tell you his Hebrew name: Pedro Tulowitzki after two members of my rotisserie/fantasy baseball team. Those are both Old Testament names, right?

- Is there a doctor out there named Billy Rubin that specifically works with patients with jaundice? Seems like type-casting.

- The hospital encouraged us to watch a video where they prominently showed women's breasts. Encouraged us! I think this might be illegal in some states.

- When I watched Grey's Anatomy in the early years, it seemed like medical staff hooked up nearly everywhere in the hospital. However, I don't think there were any scenes of doctors, nurses or interns getting together on a sleeper chair.

- Yes, that's a nice way of writing that I hope that I never have to "sleep" on Hill-Rom sleeper chair again.

- The company that makes hospital receiving blankets must be super-rich. They have a monopoly on the market.

- Is there a class in medical or nursing school where you learn how to easily and properly swaddle infants? I feel like that's a requirement for graduation.

I'm sure that I'll share more stories soon about being a dad again, but first, I need some sleep.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I'm Still Here

I hope to publish a major blog post later this week, but in the meantime, here are a few videos for your Monday.

Plunder the lox! [Pirates Prospects]

Teemu Selanne at his final regular season home game in Anaheim. Very cool that he included former teammate Jean-Sebastien Giguere for a victory lap. [h/t Deadspin]

Finally, Happy Passover! (Some of this may be offensive. Funny, but possibly offensive to some.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Orphan Black Season Two

In my list of the best and worst of 2013, I gave Orphan Black an honorable mention for best television show, only because the last season of Breaking Bad was amazing. If you're not aware of Orphan Black, here's the premise from Rotten Tomatoes

Small-time grifter Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) discovers that she's one of a number of clones. While searching desperately for the others, Sarah finds herself pursued by sinister forces that may hold the key to her existence.

I don't think this premise really does this show justice. Here's the description from IMDB:

Orphan Black follows outsider, orphan and street-wise chameleon Sarah. After witnessing a woman's suicide, Sarah assumes the strangers identity - who happens to look just like her. Expecting to solve all her problems by cleaning out the dead woman's savings, Sarah is instead thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery as she realizes the dizzying truth - she and the dead woman are clones. As Sarah searches for answers, she discovers the chilling fact that there are more people like her out there - genetically identical individuals who were planted in unsuspecting birth parents and nurtured in completely different circumstances. With no idea who created the clones, she'll need to discover the reason in a hurry as an assassin is killing them one by one.

Much better! Season two begins on April 19th on BBC America. This is the brand new trailer:

I'm really excited for this show's return. If you haven't seen the first season, it won't take long to get caught up. Season one was only 10 episodes, and that Rotten Tomatoes link above will give you all the information on how to see them. It also looks like BBC America will have an Orphan Black marathon on April 18th and 19th. Enjoy!

Are you also an Orphan Black fan?

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Trivia Tuesday

Remember when Trivia Tuesday was a weekly feature? No, me neither. Your challenge is to answer the 10 questions in the pictures below. Good luck!

As always, do not use the internet for assistance, and leave your answers in the comments section below.

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Pub Stumpers.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Cheeteau By Chester

While this is probably an April Fools' joke/promotion, I wish it was true. The incredibly gifted and talented people who make Cheetos (and who deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts) released a perfume on April 1st. This is the description of the product:

Cheeteau, the inaugural fragrance by famed Cheetos brand spokes-cheetah, Chester Cheetah, will be available to fans in Los Angeles and New York City for a limited time only. Inspired by the popular snack, the scent boasts buttery notes, accents of sharp cheddar and a touch of lemon for balance, perfect for evening or day wear.

And the ad:

They really did give samples in New York and LA, so this could still happen, right? Please? Mmmmm...Cheetos.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Damon Thibodeaux on 48 Hours

I wrote a brief post back in 2012 about Damon Thibodeaux, a man on Louisiana's Death Row who served 15 years before being exonerated by DNA evidence. Just this weekend, CBS' 48 Hours devoted an episode titled Last Chance to Thibodeaux and the case involving the death of Crystal Champagne. I've embedded the video below, but if that doesn't work, you can check out the episode on the CBS News website.

You can learn more about Thibodeaux at He also recently testified in Congress about solitary confinement.

This really is a fascinating case, and fortunately, Damon is doing well today as a free man.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event 2014

Today’s post comes from Tyler of YinZSTER, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Small-Town Dad, where I write about preparing to be a new father again.

Guest blogger in the house.

There are actually 29 guest bloggers in 29 different houses today, and even one in my house at YinZSTER (what has happened to the moral fabric of our e-society?). But of all the featured blogs, I would be willing to bet that my random insertion at Sean’s Ramblings is the toughest to detect because dude is all over the map and I love it! We’ve got sports, we’ve got anecdotes, we’ve got cats, we’ve got politics, we’ve got things out of the basement, we’ve got EVERYTHING in NO PARTICULAR ORDER at Sean’s Ramblings. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized that this page has been producing more than one post a day for over the past nine years. That’s incredible, and very different from my approach at YinZSTER (because I’m very lazy), so I’m super excited to be featured on here. It’s a privilege.

But wtf am I supposed to write about, when I can clearly just write about whatever I want? That is, as they say, a lot of rope to hang yourself on. Should I write about how orcas are the scariest living thing on the planet? How I always perspire when I write posts (Sean, am I the only one who sweats while he writes? Or is this how you know you’re doing it wrong...)? Should I write about a cool new development in Pittsburgh, like rideshare services? Should I write about how I woke up this morning with all the lights on in my apartment, still wearing every garment of clothes from the night before while lying on top of the covers on my bed? No, right?

I fretted over this, but when it came down to it I wanted to represent for Sean, so I scoured his posts and found what I think I might be best capable of replicating with a little flair: interpretations of song lyrics. I chose three of the Top 10 songs from Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40, which is kind of fun because I don’t listen to much music that humans like. I’m just going straight lyrics here, people, as if these words were found within the pages of a poetry notebook (and, dear God, I’m glad they weren’t). I don’t recognize any of the three songs I chose, which kind of makes me question my lifestyle since these are three of the ten most popular songs in western civilization or whatever it is that Billboard represents. But oh well, that’s for another time and place.

I chose:

• “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Last week, my good friend Emily scolded me when her coworkers at Branding Brand made a music video that mimicked the video for this song, because she could tell I had never heard the song, or of it, or seen the video. But I do know the guy has a weird hat.
• “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry. Katy Perry is pretty hot, and some of her older songs are guilty pleasures of mine. She has done a lot to surmount the obstacle of being one of those Katy’s who ends her name with a “y” instead of an “ie”.
• “Counting Stars” by One Republic. This is the only one that Sean didn’t touch in his recent post. I had a really great night in February that ended with One Republic songs being played on repeat at The Livermore in East Liberty (lovely place). I don’t know if this was one of them or not, but it doesn’t really matter though because I’m glad to be reminded of that night.



Verse 1
Pharrell: It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Tyler: *braces himself for the craziest thing ever*
Pharrell: Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
Tyler: *slumps in chair*
Pharrell: I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
Pharrell: With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
Tyler: Holy sh*t, none of this is going to make any sense, is it?

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Tyler: I put some serious thought into “if you feel like a room without a roof” and I’m really struggling with what he’s going for here. It sounds like a terrible thing to be missing the most critical component of your design, but that doesn’t fit into the context with the rest of the lyrics. Put another way, I take this as “clap along if you feel super insufficient to serve the only task you are capable of doing – because I’m happy”. Right? Clap along if you feel like a skateboard without wheels, clap along if you feel like a television with no screen, clap along if you feel like a toothbrush with no little brushy things part. These should be lyrics to an R.E.M. song. It’s actually totally sad, if you think about an image of someone who feels this level of despair and is clapping their hands to this song with a long face…

Verse 2
Pharrell: Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Pharrell: Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Pharrell: Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
Pharrell: No offense to you, don’t waste your time here’s why:
Tyler: Really? Nothing can bring you down from this temporary mood? Mr. Williams, your entire family was killed in a horrific accident.

Pharrell: Hey, come on
Pharrell: Bring me down can’t nothing bring me down
Pharrell: My level’s too high
Tyler: The other vehicle was full of puppies.
Pharrell: Bring me down can’t nothing bring me down
Pharrell: I said (let me tell you now)
Tyler: The lone survivor was a serial killer driving the puppy car
Pharrell: Bring me down can’t nothing bring me down
Pharrell: My level’s too high
Tyler: Mr. Williams the serial killer is en route to your last known address
Pharrell: Bring me down can’t nothing bring me down
Pharrell: I said

And then he goes on with more of the same incoherent babbling. Conclusion: I suppose if I had the Number 1 song in the world with this style of writing, it’d be hard to bring me down too.

“Dark Horse”

I’m just gonna skip the Juicy J. lead-up stuff, but he does finish that part with “Let’s rage” which I like.

Katy: I knew you were, you were gonna come to me
Katy: And here you are but you better choose carefully
Katy: Cause I, I’m capable of anything
Katy: Of anything and everything
Tyler: Where’s the like button?

Katy: Make me your Aphrodite, make me your one and only
Katy: But don’t make me your enemy, your enemy, your enemy
Tyler: What if this was some chick’s online dating profile?

Katy: So you wanna play with magic. Boy, you should know what you’re falling for.
Katy: Baby do you dare to do this? Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse.
Katy: Are you ready for, ready for a perfect storm, perfect storm?
Katy: Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine there’s no going back
Tyler: Dear bro who this song was meant for, you’re courting a praying mantis.

Katy: Mark my words, this love will make you levitate
Katy: Like a bird, like a bird without a cage
Tyler: Caw-caw!
Katy: But down to earth, if you choose to walk away, don’t walk away
Katy: It’s in the palm of your hand now baby
Katy: It’s a yes or no, no maybe
Katy: So just be sure to give it all to me.
Tyler: Where can I sign up? You don’t sound crazy at all.

And speaking of not crazy, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Juicy J!

Juicy J: She’s a beast, I call her Karma, she eats your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer
Tyler: Wow, little intense there brother. But at least you left out the part where she tries to zombify you by injecting acid and hot water into your skull, like Jeffrey Dahmer.
Juicy J: That fairy tale ending with a knight in shining armor, she can be my Sleeping Beauty I’m gon’ put her in a coma (woo!)
Juicy J: Her love is like a drug, I was tryna hit it and quit it, but lil mama so dope I messed around and got addicted.
Tyler: So romantic. Maybe if I applied more cannibalism, coma-induction and drug abuse into my courtship practices I wouldn’t be blogging on Friday nights.

I’m done. Get me out of this song.

“Counting Stars”

This post is already too long for me to write about “Counting Stars”, which is just another way for me to say, “Mannnn these lyrics are terrible.” All you need to know is the lyric “No more counting dollars, we’ll be counting stars”. Ugggghhhhhh. Alright, One Republic, how many stars did you count? I have a nephew who can count to 100 – can you get to that many? There is absolutely no point to this song. It’s trying to do the whole, man I got all this money but it isn’t fulfilling at all so let’s just marvel at nature thing, but it fails miserably. Moving on.

Anyway, this is as good a place as any for me to thank Sean for the spot on his page. I look forward to checking out the posts on here in the future, as should you Mr./Ms. Sean’s Ramblings Reader. Like I said at the beginning, I chose the writing style of his that I thought would be the most fun, but there’s lots of cool day-to-day stuff on here and the guy really shoots from the hip. I enjoyed the opportunity, and also have to thank Alexander FIV for hooking us all up. See you around the block, Pittsburgh bloggers!

I hoped that you enjoyed this special April Fool's Day post as part of the 2nd annual Pittsburgh Guest Blogger event. You can also find plenty of other special guest blog posts by checking out #PghGBE on Twitter.