Zombie shark, est. 1979

When I saw the clickbait headline on social media for this, I of course clicked it, but I already knew that this was going to turn into a brog post: Dr. Mario releases what ultimately becomes a zombie shark, off the coast of Spain

To horror fans, all one has to do is say the words “zombie shark,” and literally only one thing pops into their minds: Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2 film, that very notoriously, contained a sequence, in which a zombie takes on, a shark.

Spoiler alert, as if anyone’s going to read this, drop what they’re doing and rush out to go find out how and where to watch Zombi 2, but the shark rips off the arm of the zombie and more or less “wins” in the sense that it swims away still living.  However, the zombie definitely succeeds at ripping a chunk off of it to eat, but it’s fairly unclear that it landed any actual bites onto the shark, since sharks skin are pretty tough.  But the zombie is all over the shark for some bit of time, so it is presumed that it probably had to have gotten some bites in before its arm is ripped off and the conflict is over.

Well, it only took 42 years but it looks like we’ve got our answer to that specific scene from that documentary.  Clearly, the zombie got some bites in, or perhaps it’s by virtue of the shark ingesting some of that wack-ass green zombie blood, but it clearly got turned, was caught by Dr. Mario, presumably studied because it was a fucking zombie shark, and then released into the wild, where some other sharks whooped its ass, leaving it to actually, ultimately die, finally.

Really though, I’m not sure why it’s some sort of shocker that a shark that’s all mangled open is still searching for food.  When they’re at full health, it’s all sharks do in the first place, I’m not sure why one being practically ripped open would behave any differently, than to seek out food before it eventually succumbed.

All the same, good on the internet for giving all us zombie fans reason to make the never-not entertaining reference to Fulci’s zombie vs. shark, because even to this day, there’s never been a more wildly insane fight sequence than this was.

2 Under 2: Sleep training, the sequel (#073)

Looking back at the journey of raising #1, I would have to say that the hardest part would had to have been the teething.  When she started cutting teeth, and the pain and misery sat in, there was pretty much nothing that anyone could to do alleviate it, leading to a helpless failure of a feeling as parents that we can’t take the pain away, no matter how much we want to.

Although we haven’t gotten to the teething stage with #2 yet, I think it would be a safe bet in a few months that I’ll still be in agreement that the whole sleeping thing, is probably going to remain the worst thing about the growth of #2.

Since the literal very beginning, sleep has been a challenge from day one, where upon arrival, her circadian rhythm was all jacked up, where night was her peak awake time, and the daytime was when she would conk out.  Much like her mother, #2 has demonstrated being a light sleeper, that has had a hard time staying asleep once down, and as I’ve written about in the past, every single nap is like going to the shores of Normandy, they’re that much of aggravating battles.

It’s like putting her head down in her bassinet is like plugging a Game Genie directly into her, with infinite stamina codes programmed into them, because no matter how tired, groggy, or even asleep she is when being held or laying in a lap, the second she’s put in her bassinet, her energy bar fills right back up, she’s not only not sleeping, she’s on the fast track to screaming bloody murder.

One night, she literally screamed and cried for nearly two straight hours before mercifully seemingly tiring herself out to sleep, but of course she still woke up like 27 times in the middle of the night and required physical intervention in order to go back down for another 30 seconds before repeating itself again and again.

Another night, she would fuss and require pacification to fade back out, and no less than five minutes afterward, the process would start over again.  I’m fairly certain I got maybe an hour of sleep that night.

We’ve begun sleep training, which is basically to establish a routine that we’ll try to adhere to as carbon copy as possible every single night, with the hopes that she herself will begin to associate the routine with sleeping at a generally set time, and if all goes well, sleeping for more consistent stretches or windows, that can hopefully provide some chunks of downtime for mythical wife and I to feel like human beings again.  Because it’s for this reason alone that we don’t have any semblance of lives right now until she learns to get her shit together, and there are sometimes some days where I feel like I just can’t take it anymore, and in spite of my determination to not cave into the frustration, I just get owned. 

What kind of message is the Rainbow Fish sending kids?

Spoiler alert: I’m basically going to tell the whole plot of The Rainbow Fish.

Yes, we’ve arrived at that point of my brog’s timeline where I am using children’s literature as fodder to write about.

Imagine a kid goes to school with a box from Costco, of Butterfinger candy bars.  The full-size ones, and not the annually shrinking fun-size nuggets.  Naturally, their ownership of all these candy bars catches the attention of all the other students, and one day, one of the kid’s classmates comes up to them and asks for one.  Seeing as how there is nothing offered in return, the kid refuses to part ways with a Butterfinger for free.  The classmate is disappointed, and others have witnessed this failed transaction, everyone steers clear of the kid, alienating them from everyone else.

Upon asking for some guidance, it’s suggested that the kid give some of his Butterfingers away, as it might make other classmates happy.  And eventually, the classmate who wanted a freebie comes back to beg for a Butterfinger again, and not liking being alienated, the kid acquiesces and gives them one.  Now classmates all around swarm the kid, and they start giving away Butterfingers to everyone.  Finally they are down to one Butterfinger, but now they have successfully bribed numerous classmates to be their friend.

The kid has basically bought friendships, and everyone seems to be okay with this dynamic.  The end.

That’s basically the story of The Rainbow Fish, except the kid is a fish and the Butterfingers are the fish’s ornate, shiny scales.  All the other fish in the sea avoid the Rainbow Fish, because they aren’t willing to give away it’s scales, which is actually worse than giving away Butterfingers, because fish kind of need scales in order to protect themselves but the point is the Rainbow Fish is alienated simply for wanting to keep their dermis, theirs.

But eventually, the Rainbow Fish gets kind of lonely, but then the wise octopus suggests giving away their scales in order to win favor with the other fish in the sea.  Right there, is a red flag of bad suggestion, as the octopus is basically endorsing bribery, instead of trying to earn friendships through conversation, commonality, or any other organic method.

Unfortunately, the Rainbow Fish heeds the advice and basically rips off their own scales one by one, in order to “earn” friendships with the other fish in the sea, and by the end of the book they’re down to just one last shiny rainbow scale for themselves, but at least they have all these friends.

This is not a positive message to be sending children, and I’m kind of disappointed at the message this is sending kids.  I don’t want either of my daughters to have to buy their friendships by giving away anythings that they might have in their possession that others might want.  I want them to develop friendships organically through teamwork, camaraderie or commonalities, like real, sustainable friendships should be; not by giving their shit away for free.

WWE’s Women’s short-strap blets bother me

I’m fairly sure it might have started with Sasha Banks after she won the Smackdown women’s title from Bayley a while back, but I didn’t notice it until she lost the blet to Bianca Belair at Wrestlemania last year: the strap was noticeably shorter.  It bothered me.

This was no more prevalent than during a “surprise” segment during the NXT show after Wrestlemania, when all three brands’ women’s champions all gathered in the ring to signify the whole NXT and NXT alum success thing, with all of them holding their blets, with Belair’s stumpy looking blue blet next to the red blet and the NXT women’s blet.

Obviously, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the logic behind shortening the strap was likely due to the fact that Sasha Banks is pretty petite in stature, and a short strap allowed her to wear the blue blet without there being like a foot of excess hanging off of her.  I just figured the WWE would transition back to a longer strap on a need-be basis, but from what I can tell there doesn’t appear to be any long-strap versions of the blue blet anymore, or nobody with a waist larger than 20” appears to have held it to warrant going back to one.

To make matters worse, the red blet has been shortened now too, so now RAW is subject to having a stumpy looking women’s blet as well.  Yes, Becky Lynch has bounced back from pregnancy like a house of fire, and is probably slimmer than when she rose to the stars, but thanks to such a body transformation, now the red blet is all stumpy too.

I dunno, it just bugs me to see these blets looking all stumpy and shortened.  There’s something prestigious and traditional looking about a normal-length strap with all its rivets and snaps, and seeing it all shortened just makes them look lower-class and less prevalent.  Alexa Bliss would undoubtedly not be able to do her trademark pose with these new stumpy blets, which is kind of ironic considering she’s probably the most petite superstar there’s ever been, to hold a championship.

All I know is that if the WWEShop ever changes their women’s replicas to short straps, there’s a 0% chance that I’d buy them for my girls.  They look silly, and they would undoubtedly fuck up the aesthetic that I’d try to go with their own hanging blets.  These women need to stop being divas, and get back to traditional, classic, normal-length straps.

2 Under 2: My second is basically nuclear Gandhi from Civilization (#071)

As much bitching and moaning about how hard being a dad is and how much my life sometimes feels like it’s sucking because of my inability to cope with the stress of parenting, when my head is less foggy and slightly clearer, things really aren’t that bad.  I’m sure any dads who might stumble across my brog might interpret fatherhood as being the most arduous thing on the planet, but I have no regrets and I love my daughters and my family, no matter what I say or put in writing.

All that said, as difficult as I might make my second daughter seem, things really have gotten better throughout her brief passage of time on this world.  The crippling colic is still happening, but instead of happening like 3-4 times a day, we’re typically down to 1-2 really bad colic incidents, so with that in mind, I want to jump out of a window less these days than I did on the days when it was worse.

However, if there’s one thing that has remained a constant throughout, is that #2, really, really objects to the act of being put down to sleep, regardless of how much she might actually want or need it.  No matter if she’s a sweet and cooing cherub two minutes prior, shortly after setting her head down in the bassinet and putting her into her sleep sack, when she realizes that I’m trying to put her down for sleep, the fussing begins, ramps up and eventually turns to screaming, which either escalates into colic screaming, or just a whole lot of crying.  Eventually, hopefully, she tires herself out, latches onto the pacifier and then I can turn on the motion to the bassinet, where she eventually passes out.  This is where I exhale a massive sigh, and creep out of the room as quietly as possible.

Attempting to put her down for naps, I’ve begun referring to as going to war, because that’s what it feels like, nearly every single time.  I’ve basically realized that when it comes to sleepy time, #2 basically is Gandhi from the Civilization game series, where he’s nice and peaceful, but the second you deny him the technology for granaries or aqueducts, he goes completely ballistic and is declaring nuclear war on you in two seconds.  

That’s pretty much what it feels like dealing with #2 when it comes to trying to put her down.  Attempting to get her to sleep is akin to telling Gandhi that he can’t have my windmill, and therefore she declares nuclear war on me and screams her head off until I lose the game.

One day, hopefully, this will pass, and I’ll just be able to look back at a post like this and laugh and not want to cry myself from emotional scarring.

2 Under 2: I think the exhaust was installed upside down (#070)

Without fail, #2’s number twos have been blowing out, at least once a day, for like the past week.  At first, we figured it was just a sign that it was time to graduate her out of size 1 diapers and onto size 2 diapers, since she was blowing the literal shit out of the 1’s, but it turns out that even in spite of the size-up, she’s still blowing out of the 2’s as well.

Now it’s easy to suspect that we’re being neglectful parents, and that #2’s poops are gradually seeping out of diapers long past noticed or something, but I’m actually a very vigilant parent when it comes to blowout prevention, and given how hands-on #2 is, always wanting to be held, she’s definitely pooped while in my arms quite a good bit.

No, #2’s bowel movements are basically like, when you hear it happen, it’s already too late.  It’s almost as if her exhaust pipe were installed upside down, and even if I’m holding her completely upright, when she goes, the poop somehow manages to elevate up the backside of the diaper, and the feeling of moisture soaking through the waistband is an unmistakable feeling.

Literally, this is all happening in a matter of seconds, and there are just some poops where it’s going to blowout no matter what anyone is doing to try and mitigate the damage.  It’s partially annoying given the frequency in which I have to change diapers and outfits on her, and give baths when they’re really bad, but at the same time, it’s partially amusing, because then I get to write about it and use an animated gif from The Fast & The Furious of flames shooting out of exhaust pipes to try and illustrate a proper analogy for the whole situation.

Regardless, it’s not that big of a deal because #1 went through a blowout phase as well, and she would blow the shit out of numerous diapers and outfits, and almost with certainty while riding in the car seat, so I have to chalk this up as kind of a phase or some sort of rite of passage for kids, that their poops just become really explosive for a while.

The 2021 MLB Playoffs post

Part of the challenge of trying to write posts from the past is that sometimes, there are particular topics that end up being more time sensitive than others, on account of the fact that they’re things like sports or live events to which if too much time passes, then the impetus for the original posts could become invalidated, and therefore useless to try to even bother writing about, retroactively.

That being said, I’m skipping the queue a little bit, and ultimately just going to make a singular post about the 2021 MLB Playoffs, because zero people who read my shit will give two shits about baseball playoffs, and the likelihood of me revisiting this topic with the time that I don’t have is pretty much not going to happen, but I wanted to put down some words that were going through my head before time passes and then I won’t be able to.

At the time I’m writing this, the National and American Leagues have both advanced to their respective championship series.  The Boston Red Sox vs. the Houston Astros in the American League, and in the National League, a rematch from last year – the Braves vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In fact, the Braves have a 2-0 series lead on the Dodgers, to which where me simply acknowledging such a fact is condemnation for a repeat of last year, where the Braves Atlanta’d away their favor, and watched as the Dodgers went onto win a very winnable World Series.

To say that my excitement for the Braves having a 2-0 on the defending world champions is non-existent would be an understatement.  Last year proved that there is absolutely no reason to be excited for the Braves to actually succeed, as they pissed away both a 3-1 series lead, as well as killed all momentum for my theory of baby luck, and even though I could say baby luck is most certainly in play again this year, I learned my lesson last year to hold hopes that any Atlanta team could hold true to any superstition other than their inexplicable ability to choke no matter the circumstances.

Frankly, it’s a Christmas miracle and simply the crapshoot logic of divisions, rules and alignment that the Braves are here in the first place, and part of why everything is just so hilarious with the way things are standing right now.

The Braves won 88 games, which makes them literally the worst team in the entire playoff picture.  The Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers, who were all the wild card teams who had to scrap for the ability to play in a play-in game to see who got to get into the real playoffs, all had more than 88 wins.  In fact, the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners who both missed the playoffs had 90 wins, but by virtue of the fact that the Braves played in the most putrid NL East division, and won it with 88 wins, they avoided the play-in game, and most hilariously, are considered the “higher” seed in the match-up against the 106-win Dodgers in the NLCS where they did their job and capitalized on the opening two games at home in Smyrna.

Now one thing I would stated that’s now been invalidated by the passage of time, is that the St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs, and they are whom I would’ve bet the farm on going al the way, because as much as I hate the Cards, they’re just that one charmed team that always goes all the way if they can just get their toe into the door.  But they ran into the aforementioned 106-win Dodgers team, but not for lack of effort, considering the Cardinals deadlocked the Dodgers pretty much the entire game and it took a walk-off to send them packing.

I’m actually not that surprised that the Braves beat the Brewers in the NLDS.  If there were any team that I would’ve wanted the Braves to match up against, it would’ve been the Brewers, and most definitely not the Giants or Dodgers.  Had it been either of those two teams, the Braves would’ve been bounced from the first round like they do every other time they’ve made it into the playoffs.

And back to present time, where the Braves are up 2-0 on the Dodgers, and I still have 0% faith that they’re actually going to seal the deal, mostly on account of the fresh history of last year.  Furthermore, with the Red Sox and the Astros duking it out in the AL, MLB is salivating over the potential narrative of the Dodgers versus either one of those teams in the World Series, considering both teams were basically found out to have cheated against the Dodgers in prior World Series in 2017 and 2018.  

With the potential revenge storyline on the table, I wouldn’t put it past MLB to low-key sabotage the NLCS in favor of the Dodgers, and maybe we’ll see some more wonky check-swing strikeouts called by the umpires against the Braves, or maybe we’ll just see the Braves be the Braves and just implode on their own.  Either way, no matter that nobody will admit it, the Dodgers being in the World Series is what will be decided to be best for business, and what I’d expect to be the case by the end of next week when the pennants should be decided.