Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Video

As everyone knows by now, Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog, passed away a few days ago. To me, when I think of the grunge era of the 90s, I think of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots. While Soundgarden comes after these groups, Cornell had the most distinctive voice of any singer of this era. Actually, I don't think any male rock/pop singer had a better voice than Cornell. Maybe as good, but not better. Today, here's a special Sunday video post featuring Soundgarden. While the video for Black Hole Sun always freaked me out, here's Fell On Black Days, a song I like better any way.



I also recommend reading Josh's post about Cornell.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Chris Rock Wearing a Pirates Hat

Chris Rock and I have a lot in common. We both think that we're funny (though in Rock's case, he actually is funny). We both appeared on television, though again, Rock's stint on Saturday Night Live is a bit more notable than my appearances in the Price Is Right audience and calling into Rizzo Sports Week. We also both have Pittsburgh Pirates hats as evidenced by his appearance at Thursday's Pirates-Nationals game.


Let's Go Bucs!

This photo is courtesy of Stephanie Springer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Random Ramblings

* I discovered that Paw Patrol and popsicle sound exactly the same when being said by my three year old (Pedro Tulo), leading to much confusion.

* I'm glad that my kids (and I) don't watch Barney and especially Teletubbies. 20 years ago, I feel like this would have been unavoidable.

* After working as a soccer referee for a few games over the weekend, Ziggy decided that he had a much better use for my bag.


* When my six year old (The Moose) plays soccer, he winds up on the ground a lot. Either he gets knocked over or just manages to fall on his own. I mention this because I've watched Jake Guentzel of the Penguins be on the ice a lot during the Stanley Cup playoffs. If my son is trying to pattern his soccer game after Guentzel's hockey game, I'm fine with that based on the results. By the way, this is a cool article written by Guentzel about being an 11 year-old and seeing Phil Kessel play in college and now playing with him a decade later. He also seems to have made a new friend with Nick Bonino's daughter.



* On the topic of soccer, I'm the coach of my son's team and despite the season starting on April 1st, there have only been two games because of rain and spring break. So frustrating.

* Finally, I received this trophy for winning my fantasy/rotisserie baseball league.


I think CBS patterned the bobblehead guy after Adrian Gonzalez of the LA Dodgers.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Had a Bad Day

On Monday, the Penguins got crushed in game six of the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Washington Capitals. Meanwhile, perhaps inspired by the Pens' performance, the Pirates lost 12-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers. That wasn't even the worse news for the Pirates as pitcher Jameson Taillon had surgery for suspected testicular cancer. (Best wishes to Taillon on a speedy and full recovery.) The only way things could have been worse for Pittsburgh sports fans on Monday would have been if Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, and Ben Roethlisberger were all suspended for drug use.

Away from the sports world, it's never good when my high school makes national news. That's what happened last week when an extremely disturbing video was released showing a police officer and the principal assault a student. Oh, the principal was also recently hired to be the team's football coach. Even if he was the perfect principal, how can he do both jobs effectively?

Let's move to my current home of Fairfax County. I was a resident of Reston, Virginia for 5 years. There's never any national news from Reston, right? Oh, just some crazy lady at Trader Joe's telling a Muslim woman that she shouldn't be in this country. Lovely.

There's got to be some positives, right? My friend Aaron Brame had this very cool poem "Watching Hockey with My Son" published in Sandy River Review.


Celebrate Fairfax is quickly approaching too. In exactly one month from today, Bush will perform Machinehead, Everything Zen, Comedown, and the underrated The Chemicals Between Us in Northern Virginia.



(Was this video always this odd?)

Here's to a better day today and a Penguins win on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

2017 Steelers Draft Recap

Although my sports focus right now is on the Penguins-Capitals series, the NFL draft took place last week, so I thought I would share my thoughts about the Steelers draft picks. Please note that this isn't exactly an in-depth, analytic blog post. It's slightly different.

1st round: T.J. Watt, Linebacker, University of Wisconsin

Watt is probably best known for being the little brother of J.J. Watt, the all-pro linebacker for the Houston Texans. Little known fact...there is also an A.J., B.J., C.J., D.J., E.J., and a U.J. in the Watt family. If T.J. has any success in the NFL this season (let's say 10 sacks), you can guarantee that there will be some JJ/TJ commercials in our future. The Watts could be the new Mannings.

2nd round: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Wide Receiver, University of Southern California

I could go the easy route and write that JuJu is the first Jew(Jew) on the Steelers since Randy Grossman and Josh Miller, but Antonio Brown already represented the Jewish community proudly. Instead, I'd like to think that the Steelers drafted JuJu to keep one of the team's biggest fans, Snoop Dogg, happy. JuJu played in the Snoop Youth Football League and attended his favorite college, USC. Snoop definitely approved!




3rd round: Cam Sutton, Cornerback, University of Tennessee

Last season, the team's best defensive player, Cam Heyward, was lost for the season in early November due to a pectoral injury. For some Cam insurance, the Steelers decided to draft another Cam to make sure there is always a Cam on the field. (Alternatively, perhaps the Steelers staff has been spending a lot of time watching Modern Family reruns and decided they wanted another Cam on the team based on Eric Stonestreet's character who is also a football coach.)

3rd round: James Conner, Running Back, University of Pittsburgh

No attempts at jokes here. James Conner is a cancer survivor and probably the second best running back in University of Pittsburgh history (after Tony Dorsett) which says a lot since Curtis Martin, LeSean McCoy, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, and Dion Lewis all played at Pitt. Plus, from everything that I've read and heard, Conner is a great person. To paraphrase, Silver Linings Playbook, James Conner is the man.



4th round: Joshua Dobbs, Quarterback, University of Tennessee

Dobbs is an aerospace engineering graduate and is smarter than all of us, particularly the unrelated Lou Dobbs. He also knows pi to at least 48 digits.



My favorite parts of this video are the host wanting no part of being involved in the bet (but being told that she has to do it) and the guy executing the pie smashing. I wonder what is going through his mind during with his stone cold expression.

5th round: Brian Allen, Cornerback, University of Utah

Just to be clear, the Steelers did not draft Byron Allen, the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of the U.S. television production company Entertainment Studios. This is Brian Allen...or is it?

6th round: Colin Holba, Long Snapper, University of Louisville

From the Steelers.com:

“Being a specialist, very rarely do guys get drafted,” said Holba. “Just for this to happen, it’s beyond my wildest imagination. I can’t wait to get to Pittsburgh and start working. I know (the Steelers) have Greg Warren. He has been there a while. He is one of the best in the business. I can’t wait to soak up all of the information he has to offer and do all that the coaches tell me to do and work my butt off.

“The Steelers have some of the best special teams in the NFL. I can’t wait to learn and soak up all the information (special teams coordinator Danny Smith) has to offer.”


Holba also wants to be around Sheryl Crow so that he can soak up the sun. Meanwhile, he's going to steal your girlfriend (in this scenario, "girlfriend" means Greg Warren's job).


There's a scene from Cheers where this character Henri says to Woody, "I'm going to steal your girlfriend" repeatedly. Sadly, I can't find the video, making this joke not nearly as good as it could have been. Ted Danson is the man though.

7th round: Keion Adams, Defensive End, Western Michigan University

Did you know that Western Michigan University, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is only approximately 30 miles away from Three Rivers, Michigan? Based on its proximity to Three Rivers, you would think that the Steelers, who play near the confluence of the Alleghany, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, would draft players from Western Michigan University more often!

For more of my amazing draft recaps of Pittsburgh sports teams, feel free to click here for the archives.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Welcome Spamalot Fans

I mentioned last month that I was going to advertise for the first time ever in the 12+ years of this blog. This is the result which appears in the Woodland Hills High School musical program for Monty Python's Spamalot playing April 28-29 and May 4-6, 2017. (Please click here for ticket information.)


So for those of you who were intrigued enough to check out this blog based on the program, thank you. I am a Woodland Hills alumnus who performed in two musicals as Government Man in Li'l Abner and Twin #2 in Peter Pan. I'm sure that Mr. Crone still uses my acting performance as an example for the cast each year. Or it's possible that Mr. Crone never shared my acting since he knew that no would ever be able to top these performances. I mean, why have Twin #1 and Twin #2 sing each line together in "I Won't Grow Up" when Twin #2 has a below average voice and was way off tune with Twin #1? Better to alternate lines, thus giving each a solo. Brilliant directing and acting!

Anyway, I write about Pittsburgh sports, pop culture, and things going on in my life, generally involving my kids, The Moose and Pedro Tulo (not their real names). I also post trivia quizzes and share videos on occasion. Just by reading this paragraph, I can tell that you're sold, will bookmark this page (do people still bookmark pages/websites?), and visit multiple times per day, even though I only post a few times per week.

So enjoy Spamalot or I hope that you enjoyed the show if you're visiting after watching the performance. And congratulations to the cast and crew of the production. I know that it's a lot of work, but you're part of one of the best high school musical productions in the country.

Oh, you can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I barely know what a Snapchat is, so I'm not there.

Go Penguins!

(Thanks to Sean McCool, an analyst and photographer for Pirates Prospects, for designing the ad. Please follow him on Twitter too!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trivia Wednesday

I didn't have a chance to post this yesterday, so instead of Trivia Tuesday, we're going to have Trivia Wednesday this week. Your challenge is to answer the questions below based on the maps.

1. This is a detail from a map showing the service area of what fictional New York organization?


2. This map shows the numbers of times each nation has done what?


3. Name the island shown in this edited Google Map image from March 2017.


4. Identify the event represented by this cartogram.


5. This map, updated in January 2017, shows the numbers of what in each state?


6. Whose name has been redacted from this map?


7. This is the main floor of what establishment?


8. This map (created for the Risk-like game Lux Delux) imagines a battle over what campus?


Please leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

These questions are courtesy of the Just Images Maps mini-league of LearnedLeague.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Car Accident

A few weeks ago, I was involved in a car accident. Everyone was okay. Now that we established this, I'll try to set the scene of the accident. On a sunny afternoon, I was driving on a two-way, two-lane street in my neighborhood. At an intersection, a guy decided to turn into the side street apparently thinking he needed to do so quickly. Although I honked my horn and slammed on the breaks, only resulting in him stopping his car in the middle of road, I wasn't able to stop in time and hit the front right side portion of his car.



After making sure everyone was okay, he accused me of going too fast. I didn't respond because I couldn't believe this idiotic thought. Plus, another driver stopped by to check out the situation around this time and called the police for us. There were no witnesses to the accident, meaning he could have waited 4 seconds to turn after I passed through the intersection.


Meanwhile, the guy then ran, by foot, to his home to get insurance information. As I found out later, the guy has a Venezuelan license and is on his mother's insurance policy. Unfortunately, he was not Andres Galarraga. A police officer talked with both of us, had us complete the Police Department Accident Exchange of Information form, and ended up giving the other guy two citations, one for being at fault for the accident and I'm not sure what the other was for since I haven't seen the police report yet. (It could be related to the Venezuelan license.)


Now the real fun begins. Since the other driver was at fault, I went through his insurance company. After nearly two weeks (and me calling and emailing his insurance company multiple times), they told me that they were unable to get in touch with their client, and I would have to go through my insurance company. Lovely. I'm not going to identify his company, but Flo should either drop them or have their name their price tool equal about $30,000.


Anyway, my insurance company has been terrific. Unfortunately, they determined that my 2003 Honda with nearly 127,000 miles wasn't salvageable. While I'll get a settlement, I now need to find a new (to me) car rather quickly. We're probably looking at a bigger car like a Honda Pilot or Honda Odyssey, Toyota Highlander, Chrysler Town and Country or something similar. I don't want to use the word "minivan," but that could be in the discussion. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trivia Tuesday: What Are iPhone Stickers?

We've established that I'm often out of touch, one of the last people to adjust to new technology, and basically, unhip. (Unless it's hip to be square, and then I think I'm okay. If you don't understand this reference, go to Google and search for Huey Lewis and The News greatest hits.) Therefore, it's no surprise that I don't understand this iPhone stickers commercial that appears to air non-stop:



So do you send these stickers via messages/texts? If so, are these different than emojis? Can you only get these stickers with an iPhone7? And in the commercial, why does the guy slam a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" sticker in someone's food? That seems extremely rude and uncool. Unless of course, this is the in thing to do now.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Sean's Ramblings First Ad (Help Needed!)

In the 12+ years of Sean's Ramblings, I have spent exactly $0 on this blog. Based on the design, content, and the fact that "blogspot" is still part of the web address, I'm sure that this doesn't come as a surprise. This 12-year streak is about to end, and I need your help.

The back story. I am a graduate of Woodland Hills High School, probably best known for the amazing run of football players like Jason Taylor, Steve Breaston, Ryan Mundy, Lousaka Polite, Shawntae Spencer, and Rob Gronkowski that made it to the NFL. Woodland Hills has also consistently produced the best musicals in Western Pennsylvania over the past 25 years. I think it's fair to give myself a (very, very) tiny bit of credit for its success based on my work on stage crew for Guys and Dolls and "starring" roles as Government Man in Li'l Abner and Twin #2 in Peter Pan.


This year, Woodland Hills is producing Monty Python's Spamalot, and they are significant short on the budget. They are currently planning on making cuts to costumes and make up, eliminate the live orchestra, and basically cut everything besides essentials. (It seems to me a live orchestra is fairly essential for a live musical.) I personally know how much the theater program meant to me in high school as well as hundreds and hundreds and other students over the years. Therefore, I'm going to place an ad for Sean's Ramblings in the program to help make-up the shortfall. This is where you come in. I have very little design experience and skills (as you can tell by reading this blog). I also don't have much space to work with in an 1/8th page ad. I want to have some kind of ad that congratulates the cast and crew and also includes a link to the blog. Maybe I could even include an "S" logo that used to be at the top of the website, but doesn't seem to exist anymore. Any suggestions or willingness to help me put something together are greatly appreciated. While this would probably take someone who knows what they are doing about 10 minutes, it could take me hours.

Thanks for helping support a great cause (the musical, not my blog)!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday

The Moose turned six over the weekend, so I thought I would write a "letter" to him in case he wants to read this later in life. (Let's just hope he doesn't read most of my other blog posts.)

Happy 6th Birthday! You have been counting down to this day for weeks and are truly excited to celebrate. When we took you to your first day of kindergarten last September, I remember being worried about how you would adjust to a new and bigger school without knowing anyone. Looking back now, I have no idea why I was worried. You made friends with your classmates so quickly and everyone, including the older kids in the after-school program, seem to like you. We picked up dinner recently and you saw one of your classmates at the restaurant. You went right up to him, played a few games or rock-paper-scissors, both of you laughed, and you came back smiling.

This brings me something else. You are really, really competitive. While this is a generally a positive asset while playing soccer and often motivates you at school, not everything needs to be a competition and you can be a sore loser. You're not going to win every game of UNO (and there are definitely no ties in UNO though not according to you).


You also love watching sports. Any sports. Naturally, your team always wins. For example, when we attended the URI-George Mason basketball last month, you cheered for URI as they led throughout. Late in the game, when George Mason took the lead, you started supporting the Patriots. URI prevailed at the end, and you were happy that your team won. Please just pick a team and stick with them. Maybe this is the Pittsburgh Pirates fan in me supporting the team over so many years of failure.

Overall, you're a sweet boy. Sure, I would prefer that you listen more often than you do and it would be outstanding if you moved faster, particularly in the morning. Apparently, you take after me regarding moving slowly, though I move much faster than you. Hey, I can be competitive here too! You love your brother (unless he's playing with your stuff), and the two of you are going to create so much mischief together...in a good way, I hope. You can definitely be shy too, and that's just part of your personality.

There are times when I'm excited that you're growing up and others where I want you to stay this exact age. Just know that you are loved so, so much. Happy Birthday!


(This is the closest to me sharing a complete picture of The Moose on my blog. He "borrowed" the hat I received from attending a Nashville Predators game, and he thinks it's his hat now.)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pirates Should Sign Doug Fister

The start of the 2017 baseball season is only approximately a week away. As of now, it appears that the Pittsburgh Pirates, coming off of a 78-83 (and 1 tie that no one seems to recognize) season, are going to have the following starting pitching staff:

Gerrit Cole
Ivan Nova
Jameson Taillon
Chad Kuhl
Tyler Glasnow or Drew Hutchison

Taillon, Kuhl, and Glasnow all made their major league debuts in 2016 with varying degrees of success. Glasnow, in particular, struggled though he's pitched better recently in spring training. While Hutchison has slightly more professional experience, he has had a poor spring training thus far. With apologies to unproven Steven Brault and Trevor Williams, who both seemed destined to start the season in AAA, if any of the starting pitchers get injured or struggle, there appears to be no reliable depth. Enter Doug Fister.


The 33 year-old pitcher is currently a free agent. I'm not really good at presenting baseball stats, but Fister has a career 3.60 ERA. That is better than every Pirate that started a game in 2016 with the exception of Nova and Taillon.


(Thanks to Matt Gajka of DK Pittsburgh Sports for this graph from Baseball Reference.)

Fister was a league average pitcher with a 0.0 WAR in Houston last season (not exactly a pitcher's park), yet, he pitched 180 innings, more than any other Pirate in 2016. He also had a fantastic 2014 season in Washington when he went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA. From following the Nationals, I can understand his disappointing 2015 season as the team inexplicably bounced Fister back and forth from being a starter to the bullpen. So after a combined 8.6 WAR in in 2013-2014, he only had a 0.2 WAR in 2015-2016. I also remember him being a ground-ball pitcher (though I don't have stats to support this) which works well at PNC Park. I think coming back to the National League and working with Pirates' pitching coach Ray Searage will help Fister be closer to the pitcher he was in 2013-2014.

Since Fister hasn't pitched yet this spring, the Pirates can easily let him get stretched out in AAA or extended spring training, particularly since the team won't need a 5th starter very often in April.

I'm completely on the Pirates should sign Fister bandwagon. I may even need to start a petition. In the meantime, I'll just use the hashtag #PiratesSignFister.

Get it done, Pirates!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fatherhood Stories & The Missing Hat (Random Ramblings)

We are in full potty training mode for Pedro Tulo who will turn 3 next month. This means regular trips to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so. Pedro Tulo enjoys flushing the toilet and will do this multiple times per restroom trip even if the toilet hasn't completely filled up with water after the original flush. He's actually doing pretty well though he still doesn't tell us when he needs to go. Anyway, we recently received our quarterly water bill, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was less than $7,000.

On December 15, 2006, my friend and I attended a Pittsburgh Penguins-New York Islanders game at the Civic Arena in what has turned out to be stop #1 in our now 10-year hockey road trip. Ryan Malone scored a hat trick in this game, and all fans received a Penguins ski/winter hat courtesy of Seven Springs. (Yes, I believe that many hats were thrown on the ice.) I am saddened to report that I lost the hat somewhere yesterday morning. It must have fallen out of my jacket pocket at my son's school or somewhere near the Metro station. I won't call this devastating, but it is definitely a loss.

Our ear, nose, and throat doctor and entire office are still in business because of us. Actually, maybe they all got significant holiday bonuses because of us between getting tubes in and tonsils out and all of the follow up appointments. I think they should send us a gift basket or something. Maybe winter hats!

There is music-based competition television show hosted by Jamie Foxx called Beat Shazam that is currently looking for contestants. This is right up my alley, and I may apply when I get an extra few hours to craft the perfect application and video (meaning that I probably won't apply). Here's information about the show.


One trivia question for the day: Grand Island, Fremont, Hastings, Papillion, and Bellevue are among the ten most populous cities in which U.S. state?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NCAA Tournament Challenge

Everyone creates his or her NCAA Tournament Challenge, but I want to do something different. I'm teaming up with (insert the name of anyone who wants to be a sponsor here) to have the Sean's Ramblings NCAA Women's Tournament Challenge.


Are you concerned that you know nothing about women's college basketball? No problem! Here's what I can tell you about women's college basketball this year:

1. UConn hasn't lost a game since the Carter Administration.
2. Baylor's basketball coach wants to fight people who don't like Baylor.
3. The Maryland Terps went 30-2 this season, but only got a #3 seed...in the region with UConn.

If you know more than this, you have a good chance to win. If you know less than this, you have a good chance to win.

Simply go to the ESPN website to join the "Sean's Ramblings" group. Submit your picks before the games begin on Friday, March 17th. Good luck!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Video: Green Light

You remember Lorde, right? She's from New Zealand and had a monster hit, Royals, a few years ago that was created after she saw a picture of baseball Hall of Famer, George Brett. Anyway, she's back (in pog form).* Her latest song is Green Light and seems way more upbeat (at least starting around the 35 second mark) than her previous work. I really like the piano in this song. Enjoy.



* Is anyone going to get this 20 year-old reference?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

How Many States Have You Visited? (Trivia Tuesday)

The Washington Post recently published a story in its Travel section by an author who traveled to all 50 US states. She also mentioned that there is an All Fifty States Club. I really want to join this club. Since the map below counts Washington DC as a state, I have been to 42 states.


I was able to visit many of these states in 1997, when my brother and I went on a road trip, and then I drove from Pittsburgh to San Diego to start a new job (and back to Pittsburgh from San Diego in 1999). I've also been fortunate to visit several states I wouldn't normally go to for work. My honeymoon was in Alaska. I have no idea when I'll be able to visit Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, Kansas, and Arkansas. A trip to North Dakota is possible when my friend and I take our hockey road trip to Winnipeg sometime in the next few years. A summer trip to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont is also a goal for the not-so-distant future.

So how many states have you visited? Please share your answer and any other stories in the comments section below.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Obama's Long Game

Over the weekend, President Trump sent out the following tweet:


Naturally, people went crazy. Trump's supporters called this the biggest overreach in Presidential history. Trump's critics replied that he provided no evidence of this, and said that even if this was true, this would be a Department of Justice investigation, not issued by the Obama administration.

Jon Favreau, President Obama's former speechwriter, replied with this tweet:


Personally, I think Trump has a case here. Obama is well aware of the 22nd Amendment which states that "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once."

Obama ordered the wiretapping knowing that the Justice Department would find something that would lead to Trump's impeachment and subsequent removal. With the executive branch in chaos, somehow the presidential line of succession would disappear. Despite both the House and Senate being under Republican control, Obama knew that this was a way to get around the 22nd Amendment and plans to become President again instead of Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Orrin Hatch (yes, he's third in line to be President), every Cabinet Secretary, and Designated Survivor, Kiefer Sutherland.

You heard it here first.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trivia Tuesday: Music Quiz

Esquire created a 50-song music quiz that is fun and also somewhat difficult. It's multiple choice but make sure you play this in a place where you can turn up the speakers.

Please share your results in the comments section below. I got a 243 and have no idea how the scoring system works. Good luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sean's 2017 Oscars Picks

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences denied my request for media credentials for this year's Oscars, I considered boycotting the festivities. Instead, I'm using this for motivation so that the Academy will not only accept my application in the future, but actually invite me to be at the ceremony. Despite only seeing a couple of movies in the theater last year, here are the correct picks for who will win on Sunday night.


Best Picture: La La Land

A movie celebrating Hollywood? Of course this will win.

Actor in a Leading Role: Denzel Washington, Fences

Casey Affleck was the early favorite, but there are allegations of sexual assault against him. The Academy doesn't want to celebrate him, so they'll give the award to Denzel.

By the way, if Affleck does win, does Minnie Driver (who is terrific in the TV show Speechless) trash her home or hotel room since she will be the only major character of Good Will Hunting without an Oscar?

Actress in a Leading Role: Emma Stone, La La Land


Everyone loves Emma Stone. She dances, she's funny, and she previously received a nomination for Birdman, meaning that the Academy feels that she "paid her dues."

Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

When LL Cool J remakes Mama Said Knock You Out, he's going to change the line to:
Just like Mahershala Ali
They called him Cassius

Actress in a Supporting Role: Viola Davis, Fences

She's really good.

Animated Feature Film: Zootopia

This was one of the biggest grossing films of 2016 and was really good.

Directing: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

I saw Whiplash last year, so give him Chazelle the award for that.

Documentary (Feature): O.J.: Made in America


I wrote about this already. Even though this really is a TV show rather than a movie, this was amazing.

Foreign Language Film: The Salesman (Iran)

As soon as Trump instituted the travel ban that would prevent anyone from Iran, including the director of this film, from flying to the US, you knew he would win.

Music (Original Song): How Far I'll Go from Moana

The two songs from La La Land will cancel each other out, and the Academy will help Lin-Manuel Miranda get closer to his EGOT.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moonlight

Everything I hear is that this film should win the Oscar for best picture. This is the consolation prize.

Writing (Original Screenplay): La La Land

This is La La Land's night.


Essentially, I told you win so you don't have to watch now. (Well, unless you want to see the speeches.) Of course, don't tell the Academy this or they may rescind my invitation!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Random Fatherhood Ramblings (& More)

* You know how I spent the holiday weekend? Taking my 2 year old (Pedro Tulo) to the bathroom every 15-30 minutes or so. We are in full potty training mode with him wearing underwear, and honestly, I'm scared to take him too far from the house in case he has an accident. After the first 10 days or so, it seems to be going okay, but there is no consistency. It would be fantastic if he could tell us when he needs to go potty rather telling us that "he's wet" immediately after doing his business no where near the toilet.

* Staying on the subject of toilets, Pedro Tulo put both his and his brother's toothbrushes in the toilet this weekend and flushed them before we could stop him. I was able to recover one toothbrush, and I just hope that the other one made it through the pipes without incident. I really don't want to call a plumber over this. Oh, this was the conversation after I found the first toothbrush.

Me: I was able to find one.
My five year old (The Moose): What color is it?
Me: Pink.
The Moose (excitedly): That's mine.
Me: Yes, but you're not using it anymore.

* Meanwhile, The Moose celebrated the 100th day of the school year on Tuesday. He is convinced that he graduated from kindergarten and will begin 1st grade on Wednesday.

* My high school classmate Ramon is an artist and art teacher and is a finalist for the 2017 Pittsburgh Marathon poster design. Please vote for him/his poster here!


* My friend Sarah of Smart Bitches Trashy Books was recently on CBS Sunday Morning discussing romance novels. Check out the 5-minute video at the CBS website.

* Finally, two links from my friend Rob

Former Pittsburgh Penguin Jim Paek is now the coach of the South Korean hockey team. [CBC]

* I want this jersey. [Yahoo]

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sean's 2017 Grammy Awards Recap

I promised that I wasn't going to write about the Grammys this year. I just didn't have the time. Then I started watching the ceremony, and this happened:

* Ed Sheeran performed his new song. The Weeknd performed his new song. Beyoncé had a new song(?)/spoken word performance that has never been seen before. Meanwhile, Adele opened the show by performing Hello, a song that has been out for well over a year.

* Do the Daft Punk guys ever get tired of wearing this outfit?


At some point, you'd think they would want to come out on stage wearing a T-shirt and jeans and maybe a Sia wig.

* I've head The Weeknd's new song on the radio a few times and really thought it was a new Michael Jackson song that was recorded before his death and only released now.

* If you were going up against David Bowie in any category, you knew you were going to lose, right?

* It's a good thing that Chance The Rapper has had a successful music career. It would be odd for him to answer phone calls and reply to e-mails as Chance The Rapper if he worked as an accountant or plumber. Of course, in that case, maybe he would change his name to Chance The Accountant or Chance The Plumber.

* 21 Pilots said that they watched the Grammys several years ago and pledged that they would accept a Grammy award in their underwear if they ever won. Is it common for groups of teenage/millennial males to sit around watching television in their underwear?


* My next door neighbor in college played Award Tour by A Tribe Called Quest all the time. It was great to hear the song (well part of the song) performed live.

* John Legend and Chrissy Teigen must have an amazing babysitter. They regularly appear at award shows and functions, and I doubt the baby travels with them.

* Meanwhile, apparently Jay-Z and Beyoncé couldn't find a babysitter on Sunday, so they just brought their daughter Blue Ivy to the Grammys. Personally, I would have loved for there have been a separate TV station simply showing Jay-Z and Blue Ivy (and Beyoncé though she was on stage or backstage for a significant part of the show). For example, let's see if Blue Ivy has a meltdown when she discovers that Jay-Z forgot to pack an applesauce. Or, what is Jay-Z's reaction when the kid asks for Goldfish but then decides that it's more fun to throw them instead of eat the snack? Are random people coming up to Blue Ivy telling her that she's cute? Jay-Z probably doesn't want random people coming up to his daughter.

* James Brown was known as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. Someone needs to give Lady Gaga the Hardest Working Woman in Show Business title. After an impressive Super Bowl halftime show where she ran all over the stage, she had less than a week to prepare for a Grammy performance with Metallica.

* Compare that to the Carpool Karaoke bit. John Legend and Faith Hill clearly didn't know the words to Sweet Caroline. Practice for 10 minutes, particularly when you know you're going to sing with Neil Diamond!



And with that, goodbye from the other side.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Random Ramblings: February 2017 Edition

I learned that my high school English teacher from my senior year passed away. She hated me and the feeling was mutual as she was really mean. However, I probably became a better student and writer because of her.

CBS picked up a pilot for the comedy Distefano by the creators of How I Met Your Mother. I'm amazed that there will be a television show about former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder, Benny Distefano. [Hollywood Reporter]

While this home is on the market for $250 million, I think I'd like to make an offer of $2 million to start the negotiations. (I don't really need the cars valued at $30 million since I already have a 2003 Honda.) I also don't have an extra $2 million sitting around, but with a house so big, I figure that I can get about 20-30 friends to go in with me, and we can split the house. I might even be willing to go up to $2.5 million. [LA Times]


The Candy Room is a nice touch.


My son (The Moose) might be a meteorologist when he grows up. One of his favorite things to do is check the weather on my phone. He will type in random letters to see what temperatures are in random cities. For example, did you know that it is going to be 93 in Halfayat Al Muluk (Sudan) and 81 in M'mbulu (Malawi) on Thursday?

Fatima Al Ali, a member of United Arab Emirates' women’s hockey team, got to practice with the Washington Capitals. While I don't like the team (Caps fans say the same thing about the Penguins), this is really cool. [Puck Daddy]


Finally, this is also very cool.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Blog Log Name Mystery

I've read (and written about) Express, a publication of The Washington Post, for many, many years now. This free newspaper distributed at Metro stations throughout the DC region is a nice way to start the day as I can read about what's going on in the world and local area in about 15 minutes. Plus, reading Express is a great way to avoid making any type of eye contact with people on the train. Near the end of the publication is a section titled "Blog Log," which originally captured comments and topics by blogs. Express even quoted my blog on several occasions, and I can honestly say that one of my coolest experiences in writing this blog over the past 12 years has been seeing my text quoted in a newspaper on the way to work.


Anyway, Blog Log morphed over the years to include content from Twitter. This led me to the purpose of this blog post. Despite being called Blog Log, it seemed to me that Express never quotes blogs anymore. I decided to test my theory by taking a look at all of the Blog Logs from January 3, 2017 through February 3, 2017. During this time, Blog Log quoted 113 topics from the web. Here's a breakdown of the sources of these topics:

98 - Twitter
5 - Facebook comments
2 - Commenters on the Huffington Post
2 - Commenters on The Washington Post
1 - Commenter on Slate
1 - Commenter on Instagram
1 - Commenter on Reddit
1 - Commenter on Jezebel
1 - Commenter on US Weekly
1 - Commenter at Medium.com

So during the first month of 2017, Express shared exactly zero blog posts in Blog Log. Therefore, I believe it's time for Express to make a decision.

1. Start quoting blogs in Blog Log again or

2. Retire this Blog Log name and replace it with Twitter Takes or something else

I understand that there's a lot going on in the world and focusing on the Blog Log name seems a bit absurd. Yet, this is my crusade. So I'm calling on Express and The Washington Post to do the right thing. Give bloggers a voice or stop the charade of pretending to highlight content of bloggers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Sean Analyzes Current Song Lyrics (With 80s Movies!)

Welcome to a brand new edition of Sean analyzing current song lyrics. The songs below are all near the top of the charts and all used lyrics that are inspired by 80s movies.

Zayn and Taylor Swift - I Don't Want To Live Forever

I don’t wanna live forever
‘Cause I know I’ll be living in vain
And I don’t wanna fit wherever
I just wanna keep calling your name, until you come back home


I picture Zayn just sitting on a couch saying "Taylor" over and over again until she returns home. Just like this:



Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj - Side to Side

I'm talkin' to ya
See you standing over there with your body


Standing over there with your body? Someone watched Weekend at Bernie's recently!


Hailee Steinfeld - Starving

I didn't know that I was starving till I tasted you

This is exactly how it started for one Dr. Hannibal Lecter.



Please click here to see past editions of Sean Analyzes Song Lyrics.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Random Ramblings

I had big plans to write about Steelers-Patriots AFC Championship game earlier this week, but based on the results, I didn't really feel like it. Instead, I thought it was about time to share my random thoughts on a variety of topics.

1. I'll start with the Patriots-Steelers game, but not the game itself. The CBS telecast showed Jon Bon Jovi several times during the game hanging out in the Patriots owner's box. What the heck? Bon Jovi is a proud New Jersey resident and owned an arena football league team in Philly. Now he's a Patriots fan? Again, what the heck?


2. I'm okay with Donald Trump building a wall along the United States-Mexico border with several caveats. First, I don't want to see one continuous Great Wall of China style wall along the border. That would just look bad and probably isn't possible based on the terrain. Plus, does the border patrol really need one, 2,000 mile wall? More importantly, paying $12 billion is an insane figure to build a wall. Money can be spent better for so many other purposes. Finally, imposing a 20% tariff on Mexican goods to pay for the wall just isn't realistic. That would only increase the cost for consumers (that's us Americans!) on cars, oil, electronics, vegetables, and more. So why am I for building a wall? Public works! During the Great Depression, the Tennessee Valley Authority (one of many projects during the New Deal) provided jobs and gave the region electricity. Maybe building a wall will on the Mexican border will also improve Wi-Fi in rural Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. So, Trump should want to build a wall on the Canadian border too. Bring jobs to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Michigan, Montana, etc. While we're at it, let's build levees or retaining walls (or something) along the entire Eastern seaboard. Trump wants to be the jobs president, right? Public works!

3. I'm amazed at the success of the song Closer by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey. Who would have thought a song about Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and Mark Melancon would have been at the top of the charts for so long in 2016 and now into 2017.


4. My friend Rob wanted me to pass on this ESPN story identifying former Ohio State players as the best rookie class in NFL history. He admitted that he agrees with the article but is also biased.

Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kids Book Predicts Steelers-Patriots Game

Back in November, I traveled to Portland and made sure to visit Powell's Books the "largest used and new bookstore in the world." While trying to find Ron Lippock's Steelers Takeaways among the approximately 1 million books in stock, I stumbled upon Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go and bought it for the sake of a future blog post (and to read to my kids, but mostly for blog content). What I didn't realize is that this predicts the outcome of Sunday's Steelers-New England Patriots AFC Championship game.


Before we see the pictures below, I think it's fair to point out several inaccuracies. First, the game in the book takes place at Heinz Field which makes perfect sense for a children's book about the Steelers. In addition, most of the uniform numbers don't match up with current players. So with that, let's witness what will happen on Sunday.


Coach Mike Tomlin, arguably the greatest cheerleader in this country's history, leads the team in a rousing edition of Give Me An S, Give me a T, etc. so that the entire team spells the word Steelers. Antonio Brown is front and center this time to get a better camera angle for Facebook Live.


In the spirit of the referee's message of good sportsmanship, Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell decide to get high together right at midfield.


The role of James Harrison in this picture is being played by Anthony Chickillo. After the sack, Jim Nantz will refer to James Harrison as "ageless." (And yes, that is my cat Ziggy's tail next to the book.)


After last week's struggles in the red zone, the Steelers decided to hand the ball to Le'Veon Bell (being played by Fitzgerald Toussaint in the book) for a touchdown on a 4th and goal. Smart call!


Chris Boswell has been terrific this season, so why wouldn't he (and not the pictured Jeff Reed or Landry Jones) kick the game-winning field goal?


Celebration time! I'm sure Julian Edelman will be all smiles shaking hands after the game since that's how his team is run." Meanwhile, Steely McBeam is out haunting people in the parking lot.

So there you go. The Steelers will win on Sunday with a late field goal. Enjoy the game (even though you already know the result)!