Chanukkah is Chere!

That’s right, kids! It’s Chanukkah time! Time to fire up the old menorah and sit back as the Cutter continues his annual tradition of making eight points which are only vaguely related to the holiday and each other.

1. Chanukkah – It’s really not that big of a deal

Non-Jews are still shocked when I tell them that Chanukkah is a fairly minor holiday in the Jewish religion. No matter how many times I try to explain this, many people just can’t seem to wrap their heads around it.

It’s a nice little holiday and all, but if it didn’t happen to fall around the same time as Christmas, I imagine it would be barely acknowledged. And the only reason we exchange gifts at Chanukkah is because American culture decided that people of all faiths must exchange gifts in December.

Hooray for American commercialism!

2. Optimus Prime – The Optimus Prime of gifts

The Cutlet hasn’t reached the point where she is set on receiving particular gift. (Likely because the child wants for nothing!) I’m sure in a few years there will be one toy that she absolutely HAS to have, but for now, we’re free from having to track down the season’s hot toy.

DSCN0190In 1984, my parents weren’t quite as lucky. Like many school-aged boys that year, I desperately wanted an Optimus Prime action figure. Apparently, that high demand made Optimus tough to locate. My mother had to search through quite a few stores before she was able to locate one.

As it turned out, my elementary school’s winter concert fell on the first night of Chanukkah that year. So my parents – wisely realizing that once I unwrapped Optimus, I wouldn’t want to leave – didn’t give him to me until the second night.

Somewhere along the way, I accidentally stepped on Optimus and broke his leg. But fortunately, I was able to buy a brand new replacement.

And as you may have noticed, I still have that replacement in my possession.

3. Ugly sweaters = The hip thing to wear?

Speaking of gifts, Mrs. Cutter got me an awesome “ugly” Chanukkah sweater. Apparently, it’s now cool to wear ugly sweaters, and most big retail chains are selling their own “ugly” lines.

Here’s a question: If you’re wearing a sweater that was intentionally designed to be an ugly sweater, doesn’t that kind of ruin the fun? I thought the point of ugly sweater parties was that you were mocking articles of clothing that someone thought was genuinely nice.

I blame the hipsters.

Stupid hipsters! (Image source)

Stupid hipsters! (Image source)

4. Target Portrait Studio: Not a fan

Target was having some sort of deal on holiday pictures at their Portrait Studio over Thanksgiving weekend. Feeling the need to have our children professionally photographed (in addition to the millions of pictures we’ve taken ourselves), we dressed all three kids up in fancy clothes and headed to the local Target.

I hope we got a really good deal, because I wasn’t impressed with their service. They have a policy of allotting ten minutes for each family that comes in, regardless of size and age. Unfortunately, it can take ten minutes just to get twin babies out of their car seats, let alone position them for a picture.

The staff didn’t seem to be especially good at dealing with babies, and I got the impression that they just wanted us out of there as quickly as possible.

They informed us that we came at one of their busiest times (duh) and we would have been better off coming a few months earlier. Mrs. Cutter pointed out that since the babies weren’t even three months old, it wasn’t really an option to come much earlier.

We’ve found that the twins’ pictures are much cuter since emerging from the womb. Besides, it would have been very difficult to get a picture with the Cutlet lying between them.

5. Saturday football is back!

A few years ago, I complained because there were no more Saturday NFL games in December. It used to be that once the college football season ended, the NFL would hold a handful of games on Saturday.

Inexplicably – especially since the league insists on playing Thursday games – they stopped. This left a small void in the lives of football fans like myself.

To my great relief, Saturday games are back! And this week, the Eagles will be playing in one of them! Even better, they’ll be playing the Redskins, which means that there’s about a 99% chance that they win the game!

6. Bowls!

And speaking of football, college bowl season is almost upon us! The seemingly endless slate of mostly meaningless postseason games begins on Saturday with the R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

With that in mind, here’s a fun trivia contest. Which of the bowl games listed below is not real? Anyone who responds correctly gets a special prize. (Please answer in the comments. And no looking it up! The prize isn’t anywhere near special enough to cheat.)

A. Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl

B. Boca Raton Bowl

C. Foster Farms Bowl

D. Keystone Tires Bowl

E. Quick Lane Bowl

7. Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages is a traditional Chanukkah song. According to Wikipedia, it is loosely based on the Jewish poem Ma’oz Tzur.

As far as I can tell, aside from sharing a name, it is in no way related to the Def Leppard song. But let’s take a listen to be sure!

8. Def Leppard – The official soundtrack of roller rinks in the 80’s

Speaking of Def Leppard, am I the only one who resist putting one arm behind my back and air drumming whenever I hear one of their songs? (Surely I can’t be the only one!)

When I think of Def Leppard, I also think of going to the roller rink in grade school. It seemed like you were guaranteed to hear at least three of their songs every trip.

In fact, I still can’t hear “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and not feel the urge to strap on some roller skates and take a few laps around the rink.

This got me wondering if roller rinks even still existed. Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I was able to determine that the rink I used to go to is still in business!

Next time I visit my parents, I may have to take a trip out there.

That’s all for this year! Hope everyone’s Festival of Lights goes beautifully!

Posted in Randomness, Trips and Events, Sports, 31 Days of Blogging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ten Greatest Songs of All-Time: #3 – Can I Kick it?

Thanks to the recent discovery of a super-secret formula for ranking songs, I’ve been able to compile a definitive list of the ten greatest songs of all time.

Because I’m such a nice person, I’ve decided to share the list with you all. And because I’m kind of weird, I’m sharing them in non-sequential order.

The songs so far:

#9: Rock Me Amadeus – Falco

#8: Beer for My Horses – Toby Keith and Willie Nelson

#4: I Want You Back – Jackson 5

#3: Can I Kick it? – A Tribe Called Quest

Why the ranking is justified

The song samples Lou Reed’s classic hit “Walk on the Wild Side,” and it is a well-known fact that any song that samples “Walk on the Wild Side” is going to be good. (Even Marky Mark’s “Wildside?” ESPECIALLY Marky Mark’s “Wildside!” But especially “Can I Kick It?”)

Everything Lou Reed touches turns to gold. (Image source)

Everything Lou Reed touches turns to gold. (Image source)

“Wild Side” isn’t the only song Tribe samples. In fact, there are so many songs sampled, that I’m not sure there’s any actual original content here. Fortunately for Tribe, you don’t get points for originality. You can sample all you want as long as the end result is good.

Thankfully, the end result is very good. It’s not just a collection of samples; there are some genuinely clever lyrics to go with it.

The song may have had some lasting cultural influence as well. The lyrics reference David Dinkins, who was a candidate for mayor of New York City at the time.

Perhaps boosted by this mention, Dinkins went on to win the election. Although he wasn’t popular while in office, history regards his reign as a success.

Personal reflection of the song

A few years ago, I heard the song before playing a kickball game. I figured that hearing a song about kicking things before playing kickball was a good omen. I became convinced that I was bound for a successful evening.

Naturally, my team got slaughtered that night. It was one of the worst defeats one of my teams had ever suffered.

Needless to say, I never listened to this song before a kickball game again. Not that I’m superstitious or anything.

What do you think? Does “Can I Kick It?” deserve its lofty ranking? Or did my formula (and keep in mind, it’s infallable!) miss the mark on this one?

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disney Princess Guest Appearances on Sofia the First, Ranked

The Cutlet is a big fan of the show Sofia the First.

This happened to be the Cutlet's Halloween costume this year. (Image source)

This happened to be the Cutlet’s Halloween costume this year. (Image source)

For those not familiar with the show, it is produced by Disney and tells the story of a young girl named Sofia who lived with her (presumably widowed) mother in a village in the medieval kingdom of Enchancia.

One day, the king of Enchancia falls in love with Sofia’s mother. The two get married, and Sofia becomes a princess. The show chronicles her adventures as she deals with her new life and her attempts to learn how to be a true princess.

Many of the show’s episodes hinge around Sofia’s necklace – The (supposedly) very powerful Amulet of Avalor. The necklace’s powers aren’t clearly defined, but it has the ability to summon any princess from anywhere or anytime to help Sofia when she’s in need.

It’s basically the Disney Princess version of the State Farm jingle.

It’s also basically an excuse to have the other Disney Princesses show up as special guest stars from time to time. For instance, last night, we watched the new Christmas episode which featured Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog.”

Note: Actually, it wasn’t really a “Christmas” episode, as they called the holiday “Wassalia.” Are we really at a point where we can’t even have a Christmas episode on a children’s television show? Would people really be offended because the characters are celebrating “Christmas” and not some made up holiday which seems to be identical?

Some of the Princesses have been quite helpful when they showed up to help Sofia, while I felt that others barely made an impression. So I decided to rank them in terms of their usefulness.

In case you were curious, Elsa from Frozen has yet to make an appearance. I’m kind of thankful about that, because once Elsa shows up (There’s only a 100% chance that this eventually happens), the Cutlet’s head might literally explode from excitement. At the very least, she’ll want to watch the episode about 1,000 times.

And yes, there was a time in my life when I would have been horrified thinking that I’d be writing an analysis of a television show designed for pre-teen girls. These days, I think nothing of it.

Here are my rankings in order from least useful to most useful:

Aurora

Aurora was kind of useless. (Image source)

Aurora was kind of useless. (Image source)

They brought out Sleeping Beauty for their first Christmas Wassalia episode, which made it seem like a big deal, but Aurora really didn’t do anything. She just showed up with some animals around her and Sofia realized that her animal friends might be able to help her.

Then again, Aurora was pretty useless in her movie, so what else should I have expected? Maybe she could have told Sofia, “Just wait around. Eventually a man will come and help you.”

Ariel

Ariel’s decision-making ability is notoriously bad, so we probably shouldn’t have expected her to contribute much. I’m half-surprised she didn’t advise Sofia to cut a deal with the evil sorcerer.

This episode was painfully difficult to watch with the Cutlet the first time around. It was an hour-long episode, and you know they’re not going to bring out the special guest star until near the end.

Unfortunately, the Cutlet didn’t realize this. So she spent most of the show asking, “When is Ariel going to come?”

Cinderella

Cinderella appeared in the pilot movie for the series, and she got a big musical number. This makes her appearance seem important, but honestly, I think Cinderella may have been there more for her own benefit rather than Sofia’s.

Stop projecting, Ella. (Image source)

Stop projecting, Ella. (Image source)

Cinderella sings about how she didn’t get along with her step-family and she regrets this for some reason. She advises Sofia to make an attempt to get along with her own step-sister Amber.

It all seems to make sense, especially when Sofia and Amber are able to team up and save the kingdom from the latest crisis which has befallen it. But maybe Cinderella should have kept her advice to herself.

First of all, Cinderella’s step-family was horrible, and it’s not like she didn’t try to get along with them. And as it turns out, Amber is kind of awful too.

Amber is a spoiled brat, and in many of the episodes, she causes some sort of trouble that Sofia needs to fix. If Cinderella really wanted to give some good advice, she’d tell Sofia to stop being a pushover and stand up to her bratty step-sister.

Belle

In one episode, Sofia becomes a bit too full of herself, and the amulet curses her so that she croaks like a frog when she speaks. (Yes, if the person wearing it doesn’t behave well, the amulet will curse them. This thing has a dark side.) When Belle is summoned, she tells Sofia that she needs to be more proactive in undoing the curse.

Her advice was actually fairly obvious, and I think Belle could have been used much better. Maybe Sofia could have encountered and become scared of some sort of monster who was actually friendly. Belle could have taught her that sometimes “Beasts” are actually beautiful inside.

(Oh great. I’m realize I’m like one step away from writing Sofia fan fiction.)

Snow White

A new sorceress appears in the kingdom, and everyone seems quite charmed by her. Everyone, that is, except Sofia. Sofia feels like something is wrong with the sorceress and doesn’t quite trust her.

Snow White arrives and tells her that distrust is good. Once upon a time, Snow White’s evil stepmother disguised herself as a seemingly innocent peddler woman. Had Snow White been less trusting, she might have avoided a lot of trouble.

Much like Cinderella before her, it feels like Snow White might be projecting some of her own issues onto Sofia here. Don’t trust anyone! And if  a stranger appears, you should automatically assume that they’re evil!

Naturally, Snow White was correct, and the sorceress turned out to be an evil fairy in disguise. Which means that Sofia is set up for a lifetime of paranoia.

Tiana

Tiana (Image source)

Tiana (Image source)

Tiana teaches Sofia that the best gifts don’t always cost a lot of money. Sometimes, the best gifts are ones that come from the heart.

This was a much better lesson than the one we learned in Tiana’s movie. As far as I can tell, the moral of “The Princess and the Frog” is: It doesn’t matter how hard you work. You’re not going to succeed until you marry a rich man who can buy you what you want.

Rapunzel

The girls are stuck down a pit, so Rapunzel appears to let them climb out using her hair. That seems pretty helpful, right?

The problem is, based on the dialogue, this appearance takes place after the movie Tangled. And yet, Rapunzel is shown with her long blonde hair. As I’m sure you all know (Mostly because anyone unfamiliar with these movies probably stopped reading a while ago), Rapunzel’s hair was cut off (and become brown) at the end of the movie.

I’m willing to look past that continuity error because Rapunzel basically tells Amber to stop being such a bitch, and it was well past time that somebody said that to her.

Jasmine

Sofia and Amber need to figure out how to ride a magic carpet. Jasmine – who has experience in such things – shows up to teach them.

This was so logical that I’m kind of surprised it actually happened.

Mulan

Mulan was a true standout. (Image source)

Mulan was a true standout. (Image source)

The girls have been taught that they’re not as brave or capable as the boys. The boys inevitably get in trouble, and have to be rescued. Mulan shows up to tell them that women are just as capable of bravery and heroism as men.

This is both a positive message for girls and consistent with Mulan’s character from the movie. Hence, I consider her appearance to be the best.

Fans (or perhaps more appropriately, parents of fans) of the show – do you agree or disagree with these rankings? Was I too hard on Aurora?

Feel free to share your own opinion. Meanwhile, I’m going to go look in the mirror and ask myself if I really just wrote over 1200 words about Sofia the First.

 

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Pop Culture, The Cutlet | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

SPLAT!

Remember the good old days when I used to write about the Cutlet’s bowel movements?

I can imagine some of you are groaning (if you haven’t already stopped reading), but don’t worry, today’s post is not about the Cutlet’s bowel movements. The Cutlet is (mostly) past the age where her biological functions are noteworthy.

On the other hand, my twins are basically nothing but biological functions at this stage of their lives. So I’ve got lots of great new material to share with you!

But seriously, don’t worry. This post isn’t about poop.

Around 5:30 AM this morning, I was completing the process of the twins’ mid-night feeding.

On a related note, they’re now going eight hours between feedings! Unfortunately, they still aren’t sleeping soundly during that entire stretch. We have to make a few visits to their room to give them a pacifier or some other soothing technique.

In a way, it would be much easier to just feed them when they first start to cry. At least then, we’d be done with it and could get back to sleep rather than awaiting the next burst of crying.

Anyway, the feeding had gone smoothly up to that point. Both twins downed their bottles without much fuss, and the ensuing diaper change was incident free. (You’re surprised, aren’t you?)

Before putting the Cutlass back into bed, I slung her over my shoulder to give her one last burp. Sometimes, she doesn’t get everything out during the initial burping and requires some additional help.

That’s when she let loose. This was a burp that would have made Homer Simpson (and Jay Sherman) proud.

Naturally, I was filled with pride at hearing my child emit such a mighty belch. Unfortunately, that pride lasted only about a second, as the burp was immediately followed by a sizable “splat.”

This mega-burp was apparently not a dry burp. I cringed as I wondered where the spit up had landed. First, I checked my shoulder and back, and found I was all clean. I was worried that she might have doused her swaddle blanket or bed, but those were dry as well.

I then became concerned that she might have hit her brother who was still sitting on the floor, but he was also unscathed. (Although honestly, that would have made for a much funnier story.)

A few seconds later, I discovered the landing spot when my bare foot stepped in some wetness on the floor. By some miracle, she managed to hit an unoccupied section of the carpet.

I attempted to dry it up as best I could, but I’m not sure it really even matters. The floor in their room is probably more spit up stain than carpet at this point.

Mrs. Cutter wants to have the carpet shampooed, but now I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. I think it would be neat to show the Cutlass the stain when she’s older.

“See that stain, sweetie? That’s from when you let out one of the loudest burps I’ve ever heard!”

“Ew, daddy. That’s gross! Why didn’t you clean it?”

Oh, and if any of you were hoping that this post was going to be about poop, I have a special treat for you! Wishing you a Merry Christmas, here’s Mr. Hankey!

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Twins | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bane of My Existence as a Football Fan

I remember the good old days (aka the days before I had children): I’d spend my Fall Sundays watching the Eagles play. It didn’t matter when they played. If they had the 1 PM game, that was fine. If they had the 4 PM game, that was great too.

I wasn’t as crazy about night games, because I usually had trouble falling asleep afterwards. On the other hand, at least the night games are always on national TV and I wouldn’t have to leave home to watch it.

Nothing like watching football on a Sunday afternoon (Image source)

Nothing like watching football on a Sunday afternoon (Image source)

These days, my situation has changed. I now have three children, including infant twins. I can no longer just dedicate my Sundays to watching football. As a result, I have a different outlook on game times.

1 PM games are fine. The twins usually spend a good deal of that time napping. Mrs. Cutter can also find something to occupy the Cutlet with, freeing me to watch the game in relative peace.

Night games aren’t too bad either. Yes, they might cut into my sleep, but I’ve pretty much given up on any chance of getting enough sleep for the foreseeable future anyway. Besides, I’m usually so tired that I don’t have too much trouble falling asleep no matter how exciting the game is.

But 4 PM games – those really suck.

When the Eagles have a 4 PM game, here’s how it usually plays out: We’ll usually do some sort of family activity in the early afternoon. And because doing anything with three children is exhausting, everyone is pretty tired by the time the game starts.

Unfortunately, I can’t just crash on the couch and enjoy the game.

The Cutlet’s never-ending requests to watch a movie have usually become overbearing, and being completely out of ideas, we’ll usually give in.

Meanwhile, the twins will need to fed sometime around the beginning of the game. Which means I either start of the game by holding bottles in their mouths, or I’m trying to distract them so that they don’t scream.

After the feeding, I usually have about an hour’s worth of peace. That’s when the Cutlet’s movie ends. And it’s getting to be dinner time, so we need to start figuring that out.

Around the same time, the twins start to become agitated because it’s been a long day, they’re kind of tired, but we don’t want to put them down for a full nap because it’s too close to their bed time.

This might not seem so bad if the Eagles played well. Having the Eagles succeed usually makes me feel better about everything.

But here’s a fun little fact:

The Eagles’ record in games that do not start in the 4-5 PM Sunday time slot: 9-0

The Eagles’ record in games that start in the 4-5 PM Sunday time slot: 0-4

That record isn’t just a horrible coincidence. The 4 PM time is usually reserved for the “game of the week,” so when the Eagles have to play the late game, they’re usually going against one of the better teams in the league. But still, that sucks.

These guys have the right idea. (Image source)

These guys have the right idea. (Image source)

Fortunately, the Eagles don’t have any more 4 PM games on the schedule, although next week’s game against the Redskins is on Saturday at 4:30 PM. Being a Saturday should make things a bit easier. I won’t have to worry about getting ready for the next day at work, and won’t have to get the Cutlet’s lunch ready either.

Plus, the Redskins are awful. The Eagles should win by about 30. That should make things a little more tolerable.

But for all my childless friends, I have one piece of advice: Enjoy the 4 PM games. Feel free to veg out on the couch and consume as many snacks as you want. Or heck, take a nap. I know I used to love those late game naps.

Because once you decide to have kids, your care free football watching afternoons may be a thing of the past.

Posted in Randomness, Sports | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Ten Greatest Songs of All Time: #8 – Beer for My Horses

Thanks to the recent discovery of a super-secret formula for ranking songs, I’ve been able to compile a definitive list of the ten greatest songs of all time.

Because I’m such a nice person, I’ve decided to share the list with you all. And because I’m kind of weird, I’m sharing them in non-sequential order.

The songs so far:

#9: Rock Me Amadeus – Falco

#4: I Want You Back – Jackson 5

#8: Beer for My Horses – Toby Keith and Willie Nelson

Why the ranking is justified

I’ll admit that I’m not a huge fan of country music. And by “not a huge fan of,” I mean, I don’t like it at all. So it should be a huge surprise that I actually like this song.

If a country song is so good that even I like it, then it probably definitely deserves a spot in the top ten.

The song is basically a tale of good old-fashioned vigilante justice. Keith and Nelson are signing about lynching a bunch of criminals, and then celebrating by getting drunk. (And apparently getting their horses drunk too. Seems like a waste of beer to me, but hey, who am I to judge?)

Keep in mind that the song was recorded in 2003 when the events of 9/11 were still fresh in our minds. Somehow, I don’t think the song would be received quite as warmly today.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice – and you probably didn’t – the detective in the video is played by Coric Nemec of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose fame.

Drunk horses and Parker Lewis? Yeah, this definitely deserves to be here.

Personal reflection on the song

Not the most attractive man ever. (Image source)

Not the most attractive man ever. (Image source)

As a child, my friend and I were talking about who we’d get to play our parents in a movie. I went with Harold Ramis and Annie Potts. He chose Willie Nelson and Rhea Perlman.

He apparently did not have a very high opinion of his parents.

What do you think? Does Beer for My Horses deserve to be on this list? Or did the formula misfire with this one?

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Who won the internet? – Barack Obama

It’s Friday! For us 9-5 working stiffs, that means today is the end of the work week!

For the second consecutive week (a new record!), I’m going to celebrate by bringing you another edition of “Who Won the Internet?”

Quick Disclaimer:

Obviously, everyone’s impression of the “internet” will differ. Other people aren’t going to visit the same sites that I do, nor will they see the same social media trends.

With that in mind, this segment should really be called “Who Won the Cutter’s Internet?” But that would be a stupid title, so I’m not going to use it.

I’ve noticed that many of the people I follow on social media are big fans of the Comedy Central shows The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. It feels like some of my friends get the majority of their news from these shows.

I remember back in 2010 when the shows announced they were holding a “Rally to Restore Sanity” and a “March to Keep Fear Alive.”

People went nuts, and there was a full-blown Facebookgasm.

Maybe I saw the effects more because I live near DC, and some of my friends planned to actually attend these events. But it was obvious that when those shows make a big announcement, people in my social media feeds are going to react.

Therefore, I was subject to quite a bit of chatter this week about Colbert’s special guest: The President of the United States, Barack Obama.

There was a scheduled interview with the two, but before that could happen, Obama “unexpectedly” came out and usurped Colbert’s usual “The Word” segment, re-naming it “The Decree.”

This was good stuff. Obama showed a personality and sense of humor that hasn’t always been obvious during his administration. He mocked both himself and his opponents, and seemed so darn likable, it made me wonder why so many people seem to hate him so much.

Congrats to the president for being this week's winner! (Image source)

Congrats to the president for being this week’s winner! (Image source)

What’s that? They hate him because many Republican politicians have seemingly spent the past six years making no attempt to improve the country, instead concentrating on making Obama’s reign a failure?

Oh, they also hate him because some people in this country are racists?

I see.

Regardless of how you feel about the president, it is hard to deny that his appearance on Colbert’s show didn’t make a huge impact on social media. And that’s why he is this week’s winner.

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Pop Culture, Who won the internet? | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

F*** the (Social Media) Police!

I’ve become annoyed by the “social media police.”

The social media police are the self-declared moderators of what people are and are not supposed to do on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

You’ve probably all seen links like this:

http://mashable.com/2012/08/14/facebook-annoying/

http://stewpidblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/most-annoying-things-people-do-on-facebook/

Basically, these people are advocating that everyone stop using Facebook.  Or maybe they just want their friends to ask for their explicit approval before posting anything.

People are posting stuff on social media. Time to shut them down! (Image source)

People are posting stuff on social media. Time to shut them down! (Image source)

I’ve got news for these people: You may criticize what other people are posting on social media sites, but I can almost guarantee that somewhere out there, someone isn’t especially fond of something you’ve posted either.

Note: This obviously doesn’t apply to me.  Everything I post is pure gold, and if you’ve ever rolled your eyes or shaken your head, that’s probably because you were just too dimwitted to understand my brilliance.

It seems that much of the social media ire is directed at parents.  In fact, there’s an entire blog dedicated to it.

I’ll admit that some of the submissions are funny. But as a whole, I’m not really a fan. The while site reeks of social media policing and “holier than thou” Facebooking.  (I was trying to come up with a fun term to describe this, like “Facebookier than thou” but it really didn’t work.  Sorry.)

Yeah, parents – myself included – post a lot of pictures of their kids.  You know why?  Because kids are generally the most important thing in our lives. Isn’t social media supposed to be for sharing things that are important to us? It’s not supposed to be only targeted ads and clickbait, is it?

If you don’t like it, I’ll offer the same advice I gave to people who complained about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Quickly scroll down the screen or hide the status.  Problem solved!

The STFU Parents blog’s harshest ire is reserved for those parents who “statusjack.”  They take current events or other people’s news and turn it around to make it about them or their kids.

Apparently, the author doesn’t seem to understand the point of Facebook. If people didn’t share their personal opinions and feelings, then Facebook would be no different from any ordinary news site. (With more ads!)  I go to Facebook so see what my friends are up to, and also to see their opinions.

If I wanted to read about the current events of the day with no personal slant or opinion, I would go to FoxNews.com.

Fox News: Slightly more biased than Facebook! (Image source)

Fox News: Slightly more biased than Facebook! (Image source)

OK, I’m obviously kidding about that. But I would totally go to a real news site.

A recent post on the blog takes offense at parents writing happy things the day the Darren Wilson verdict was handed down.  Apparently, the author was really upset that some parents were able to find some joy on a sad day and share it with others.

That takes some nerve!  How could these parents actually experience joy at a time like this?  For a parent to look at her child and feel joy in the midst of tragedy is obviously the sign of an insensitive self-absorbed idiot.

Sure, there has been a lot of sadness in Ferguson. Just as there was a lot of sadness after Sandy Hook and the Boston bombings.  But were we all supposed to just stop functioning?  This post sure seems to think so.

Here’s the thing: Every day is a bad day for a lot of people. I imagine that there are hundreds of people who are having a really bad day. Many of those people have endured some sort of tragedy that has made today one of the worst days of their lives.

Does that mean that the world should stop turning? Are we supposed to never be happy because someone is enduring a tragedy?

The world can be a sad place. Sometimes we’ve got to take a step away and enjoy the good parts. At the very least, we shouldn’t begrudge others their right to do so.

So the next time you feel like criticizing someone’s post, maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself: Am I the one who needs to STFU?

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Randomness | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

The Ten Greatest Songs of All Time: #9 – Rock Me Amadeus

Thanks to the recent discovery of a super-secret formula for ranking songs, I’ve been able to compile a definitive list of the ten greatest songs of all time.

Because I’m such a nice person, I’ve decided to share the list with you all. And because I’m kind of weird, I’m sharing them in non-sequential order.

The songs so far:

#4: I Want You Back – The Jackson 5

#9: Rock Me Amadeus – Falco

Why the ranking is justified

The year was 1985, and America was going through “Amadeus fever.” The movie “Amadeus” told the (fictionalized) tale of the conflict between legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his arch rival Antonio Salieri.

Would you be surprised to learn that the soundtrack from a movie biography about an 18th century classical composer spawned a #1 hit by an Austrian pop singer?

What can I tell you? The eighties were a strange time.

The American radio version of the song also provides some educational value. Midway through the song was a voice-over of facts about the life of Mozart.

The song has been featured in popular culture.

You may remember it from the movie “Adventureland:”

And of course, it inspired what was possibly the greatest Simpsons song of all time:

Any song that can inspire something that great certainly deserves a spot on this list.

Personal reflection on the song

When this song was originally played on the radio, I had no idea what they were saying. I think I heard the lyrics as “I’m a dais.”

What did I think that meant? I have no idea. But it was still one catchy little tune.

What do you think? Does Amadeus deserve to be on this list? Or did the formula misfire with this one?

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

You’re Three Months Old! Now Go to sleep!

Before the twins were born, we received a lot of different advice from other parents of multiples. No matter who was giving the advice, one message was consistent: “The first three months will be a blur.”

They weren’t kidding.

Life is often a blur with infant twins around. (Image source)

Life is often a blur with infant twins around. (Image source)

The good news is that today marks the twins’ three month birthday!  That means that it should be smooth sailing from here! Right? RIGHT??

I may be optimistic, but even I have a tough time believing that.

However, we have started to see signs that our lives are becoming a little less insane.

Early on, it was hard to maintain any semblance of a schedule. Part of that was because we were constantly exhausted, part of that was because we had a variety of relatives cycling through baby-tending duties, and part of that was because newborns don’t always want to adhere to a schedule.

Thanks to a concerted effort on our part, we’ve managed to establish more structure during the day. While we were grateful for all the help we received from our parents, in a way, our home became less chaotic once we were left by ourselves.

Of course, dealing with babies in the daytime is one thing. While you never really want to hear a crying baby, it is far more pleasant to deal with during the day. In the middle of the night, babies’ cries feel much worse.

Thankfully, the nights have been getting better as well. They’re slowly (although much slower than we’d prefer) extending how long they last before their first night-time feeding. Last night, they actually went almost eight hours between feedings.

Unfortunately, that didn’t result in much more sleep for me. I fell victim to the “Crying Baby Conundrum.”

As part of our attempts to extend the twins’ sleep, whenever we hear one of them start to cry, we quickly move to soothe them before they wake up completely. Once a baby wakes up completely, they start to realize, “Hey, you know what? I could go for a bite to eat right about now!” And that’s when the crying begins in earnest.

Often times, the soothing only involves giving the baby a pacifier. The problem is, we can’t be sure how long this solution is going to last. Will the baby start crying again in a minute? Or will it be an hour or longer?

Pacifiers can be a parent's best friend. (Image source)

Pacifiers can be a parent’s best friend. (Image source)

Do we go back to bed, taking the risk that we’ll have to get right back up when the baby begins to cry again? (Let me tell you, there a few feelings worse than having to get up again right after you’ve gotten comfortable.)

Or do we stay in their room and wait, potentially wasting quiet time that could be spent in peaceful, wonderful slumber?

Last night, the Cutlass began to cry around 2 AM. I gave her the pacifier, and went back to bed. All was quiet until 4:15 when she once again made her voice heard.

I tried the pacifier again, and although it didn’t immediately take, eventually she quieted down. But now I wasn’t sure what to do. It had been over six hours since their last feeding, so it seemed likely that one of them would soon be waking up hungry.

I decided to hedge my bet and attempted to sleep on the floor of their room. This isn’t a particularly comfortable setup, especially since the Cutlass occasionally likes to cry out in her sleep.

After drifting in and out of less-than-peaceful sleep, I was finally awakened for good at 5:45. Both babies were stirring, and they were crying with the type of urgency that indicated that feeding time was on hand.

While it was frustrating that I wasted a good hour and a half of time in my bed, this was a step in the right direction. If I have to lose a little bit of sleep while trying to get them to sleep through the night, then that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

With any luck, they’ll last even longer tonight, (eight hours maybe?) and I’ll get to spend the majority of that time in bed.

If they do wake up earlier, I might have to sit them down for a little talk: You guys aren’t newborns anymore. You’re mature three-month-olds. Time to act like it!

I’m sure that will do the trick.

Posted in 31 Days of Blogging, Twins | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment