Archive for July, 2010
As part of my never-ending quest to help you, my precious readers, find the products that are right for you, and particularly the best memory foam pillows, I’m very excited to present the first ever Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun product review! The lucky item is the nifty-looking guy you see on the left, the Sleepjoy Infinity Pillow.
First, the specs. It’s a 24 inch by 18 inch pillow, made of plant-based materials. Those holes you see are top to bottom air channels which, combined with the Infinity’s ViscoFresh foam, are supposed to increase air circulation and keep the pillow cool. The primary feature of the pillow is the shape. That notch you see at the bottom is the neck cradle, designed to keep your neck and head in the proper position as you sleep, while the contour in the middle of the pillow is supposed to support your head and encourage spinal alignment.
The Sleepjoy folks gave me a complimentary Infinity pillow, which I’ve been sleeping on for about a month. If you clicked through above and checked out the product details, you might have seen the Infinity billed as “ideal for back sleepers.” This made reviewing the pillow a little tough, considering your favorite blogger is a belly sleeper. I did my best to fall asleep on my back and experience the pillow how it was meant to be experienced, but it didn’t often work. Fortunately, it still functions as a pillow, even if you sleep on your stomach; I just don’t have anything to say about how the neck cradle keeps one’s spine in line.
It’s also a pretty firm pillow; the website describes it as “medium firm.” I don’t have a firmness preference, so I wind up cycling through several pillows throughout the night, including another memory foam pillow I have which has much more give than the Infinity. No value judgment here; just letting you know that sometimes I started the night on the Infinity and ended it on another pillow, or vice versa.
When I first started reading the literature on the Infinity, I was definitely intrigued by the cooling air holes. Pillow coolness has been a problem that’s plagued mankind since pillows were invented. The other side of the pillow has always been a hallmark of coolness. Does the Sleepjoy Infinity serve to wrest some of the spotlight for the functioning side of the pillow?
At first, not so much. I was totally vexed by how warm the Infinity was. It wasn’t necessarily any hotter than any of my other pillows, but given that one of its primary virtues was a cooling system, I was disappointed. What I discovered, though, is that the Infinity comes from the factory with two pillowcases. The top one is a cotton/polyester velour cover; it’s not incredibly thick, but it does have a fuzziness to it that seems to retain heat. The inner cover is just a really thin cotton skin. Once I took the top cover off, those air holes really shined, which makes sense, since even the most potent cooling system would have a tough time breaking through two layers of pillowcase. I’m not saying there was a cool breeze blowing through my pillow all night, but the Infinity stayed noticeably cooler than my other pillows throughout the night. Of course, if you want things to match, you can certainly swap in whatever pillowcase you like.
Most of the use I’ve gotten from the Infinity has come while I’ve been awake, though. I’ve found it to be particularly effective when I’m reading in bed. Where I used to have to prop three or four pillows on top of one another and hope that I found a satisfactory position, now I just pop my neck into the Infinity’s cradle, and I’m in a very comfortable spot for reading, every time.
Now, I can’t tell you what the best memory foam pillow for you is. If you always sleep on your stomach, you might be better served by a regular-shaped pillow (which, as I’m probably obligated to tell you, Sleepjoy also makes). Not that you can’t sleep on your stomach with the Infinity, but the things that are supposed to make it a great pillow are things that cater to back sleepers. If you ARE a back sleeper, though, I think it’s worth it to check out the Infinity. It’s very comfy, it’s made of plant-based materials, and it actually stays pretty cool!
See that hed up there? That’s right, precious readers (and by precious readers, I mean the three of you that ever actually leave comments), your favorite blog needs your help!
As you’re all probably aware, the new season of Jersey Shore starts on Thursday. You all know I loved the first season, and I actually put some critical thought into it! In the interest of becoming a ‘relevant’ pop culture ‘commentator’ who gets ‘mad hits’ on his blog, I’d like to do a regular feature coinciding with each episode, sort of reminiscent of my way-popular Gossip Girl diaries, but with a more original gimmick.
This is where you all come in. Do you all have any ideas for a fresh take on a show that everyone and their grandmother will be yapping about on the Internet? Put your thoughts down there in the comments. If I pick your idea, you’ll be rewarded with a mention in the tags of each week’s Yet-to-Be-Determined-Jersey-Shore-Running-Feature.
I’ve contributed another entry in my pal Reeves’s ongoing blog feature “On Board.” You can read it here. An excerpt:
If you’re a savvy urban mover and an earnest participant in the social contract, you have a Charlie Ticket or a Charlie Card, and you’re in the train in a jiff. If you’re a parent in town for a few days to accompany your kid while she goes through college orientation, you’ve only got two dollar bills, which you will fumble for, put into the machine backwards, and generally hold up the long line of people trying to get into the train behind you. Consequently, it’s imperative that you get in front of these folks and get on the train first.
Of course, longtime readers will recognize my antipathy toward those who pay for the T with money. Rooks can educate themselves by reading this Blogspot post from the proto-DD&U days. Money quote:
Who are these throwbacks, these anachronistic dinosaurs that cling so tenaciously to the old ways of exchanging bank notes for services? Paying with bills is bad enough, but at least once a week, I get stuck behind some brain donor that pays with dimes. For real. The nerve of these people.
Regular readers of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun know that I’m a cover fiend. So you can imagine my unrestrained joy upon coming across this video of Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara performing “Question,” by the Old 97’s, which I’m currently trying to learn on the ukulele.
And if you want to hear the original, it’s best listened to in this commercial for Fuse from a few years ago. Also, if this isn’t the most wicked precious thing you’ve ever seen, I would advise you to go to your doctor and ask her how you possibly could have survived so long without a fucking heart.
I got some strawberries on the cheap last week, and as is my wont, I immediately threw them in the freezer. Tonight, I found myself in the mood for a strawberry smoothie, but alas, I didn’t have any milk. Regular readers of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun know that once the idea of a frozen beverage gets in my head, there’s no getting it out, so Plan B was daiquiris. Fortunately, I did happen to have some rum (and the good stuff, too, unlike the last time I whimsically decided to make a summery tropical bev), and all the other citrus- and simple syrup–related accouterments necessary for strawberry daiquiris.
However, comma, I couldn’t settle on a recipe. One called for fresh strawberries. Another called for lemon juice, or lime juice, or both. One called for sugar, and another for simple syrup. So I just kinda winged in. The results were mixed. (Get it? It’s a mixed drink, mixed in a blender? Get it?) One lesson we can all agree on is that there’s such a thing as too much rum. Oh well.
I was making dinner tonight (cherry tomatoes and parmesan over fettuccine), and once I got the olive oil out of the cupboard, I started singing “EVOO Woman” to the tune of the Electric Light Orchestra song of the almost same name. Hopefully it’ll stay in your head as long as it’s been in mine.
The thing about guys is, they think that the banter they have with their pals is pure comedic gold. The thing about your favorite blogger, though, is that when he says his banter with his pals is pure comedic gold, he’s not screwing around! Would I ever lead you astray, precious reader?
In that vein, I asked my pal Nick, the Official Philadelphia Correspondent of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun (and my former roommate) to engage in a little be-bopping about this year’s All-Star Home Run Derby. As you’ve come to expect from a blog that’s always a day late and a buck short, I’ve only gotten around to posting it two days after the actual event. Only the most minor of edits have been made, because I’m committed to keeping things on the real. That means almost no capital letters, and plenty of lols.
i got my money on chris b. young
nick: it’s less that i have confidence in him and more that i hope his trade value goes up with some sort of subconscious developments penetrating the minds of our fellow fantasiers
me: i haven’t put much thought into it
i’m gonna put my money behind small papi, though
nick: (is this being recorded?)
me: this conversation? yeah
nick: ok starting with?
me: i’m gonna start with the part when you make your prediction
me: this is completely unedited, so don’t say anything you don’t want potentially billions of people seeing
also, pretend you’re not an idiot
so i just said “look, that guy is playing a uke”
and kevin [the Official Roommate of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun] was like “youkilis?”
nick: patrick monahan needs a new pair of jeans
me: is that the singer from train?
nick: yes, monahan is the lead singer
he looks 80
i may just think this because i don’t follow the brewers, but did corey hart steal a page from the jayson werth facial hair manual
me: he stole a page from the abe lincoln facial hair manifesto
nick: “leads the league in smiles”?
give me a break, ortiz
me: remember when ortiz sucked? those were the days
hanley ramirez owes every single one of his all-star starts to fantasy baseball players
nick: who has the highest total round, and what number do they end on?
me: what do you mean, highest total round?
nick: i don’t think its cumulative
so highest individual round
me: i’m sure they’ll explain the rules
hamilton had 28 a few years ago
remember the year he won the derby?
nick: haha, he didn’t
me: i know!
nick: good trick, though!
me: morneau stole it from him, like he stole jeter’s mvp in 2006
nick: i’ve really warmed up to jeter the past few years. it’s almost like you can’t like both a-rod and jeter at the same time; your love for them is inversely proportional. i think many people may feel that way
me: my love for derek jeter is a lot like the universe
nick: until that one final day where everything implodes
me: kevin makes a good point
has anyone been more famous for doing so little than bo jackson
nick: inside the sports realm? so, excluding paris hilton, et al.?
bo jackson played two sports, he ran over brian bosworth, and his tecmo bowl character was invincible
nick: i might go with the other two sport athlete — deion sanders
me: but i think his football career was a little more distinguished
nick: from the media’s perspective. he avoided tackling someone like people avoid the plague
prime time, that is
me: i wish i had a nickname
nick: you do have one
me: yeah? what’s that
nick: The-Most-Unf*ckable-Dude-Ever (don’t put that in!)
that was great!
actually, now that i think about, i’ll edit this so it looks like we’re not talking over each other
nick: good idea [Editor's note: Conversation has been edited for clarity and excision of talk-overingness.]
nick: Here we go — Joe Morgan, “In case you were unaware, I’m a Hall of Famer, and in case you weren’t there when I predicted it, I predicted Miguel Cabrera would be the AL MVP and the first coming of my savior, Jesus Christ.”
me: who is chris young, btw
nick: I dont know
but I wish he was wearing a helmet
me: or any sort of headgear
nick: look at that stat! one of three players with 15 and 15
chris young taking the first fifteen pitches, showing his new-found patience at the plate
nick: over under on how many “back-back”s we hear tonight
nick: i think you misplaced that decimal
ill take 215
me: of anything in a derby, i root for two kids shagging flies in the outfield to get into a savage fight
look at this. some of these kids are 10 years old, and others are taller than me
remember when i had hoped this would increase interest in c. young?
i can now only hope for such a piss poor performance that people forget he was ever in it
me: did you see how that foul went to where the beach ball was bouncing around, and it just disappeared when the baseball fell?
me: you people need to be careful!
chris young couldn’t even hit the charity ball out. he’s history’s greatest monster
nick: what did i say before? this is gonna be the base hit derby
me: the single up the middle derby, i believe you called it
nick: i’m gonna throw my official prediction in a little late
i’ve got hanley
me: so you’re changing your pick
nick: give me a copy paste
with my other vote
before we talk about how guys are doing in this derby, let’s discuss how chris young played in the minors last year, and until three months ago, vernon wells had the most lopsidedly bad contract in baseball
id est, these guys are stinktown!
nick: this isn’t because i own him in our fantasy league, but i feel like young gets more of a bye on this
he’s still very young
pun completely intended
me: is that what the B in chris b young stands for?
nick: i thought it was “baller,” but ive been wrong before
nick: did erin andrews just ask torii hunter if he and papi were “boys.” ugh
me: how hot must corey hart’s face be
i haven’t shaved in a week, and my chin is sweating 24/7
nick: i don’t know, man. i haven’t shaved my face since junior year of college — what’s that? — over 5 years
me: but is it ever as long as corey “the hitman” hart?
nick: when i don’t tend to it, yes; also see: hockey season
there’s our first ten “back-back”s
on one swing
me: corey hart learned home run hitting from his dad, who was a great softball player
nick: corey hart is going to hit four home runs after the break
me: if that were a company, i’d invest my life savings in it
nick: look at us — we’re all jacked up over 464 foot home runs
ten years ago, people used to hit 464 foot home runs with a check swing
me: i have corey hart on my nl-only team. i’m dropping the eff out of him after this
he’s bobby abreu-ing the shit out of this contest
nick: i might actually do a sort of stat analysis
i’m going to take all of the guys in the derby
and follow their second half numbers, see if they rise or fall
then choose ten other guys who have hit a bunch
but aren’t in the derby, and follow them similarly
and see if there really is some sort of correlation
me: i’ll post your results on the ol’ blog
nick: i am going to eliminate pujols, simply because he’s the best hitter in the game, arguably
so he will be almost like, i guess, the closest thing to a control group
which isn’t even accurate
but you know what i mean
me: can you change your pitcher? why wouldn’t nick swisher have this jockey pitch to him?
nick: if i was hitting, id ask for eric milton
is he still around?
me: he’s probably setting pins in a bowling alley
nick swisher is the exact kind of guy that would win this dopey contest
nick: swisher looks like a mental patient
me: he looks like popeye
nick: his hat’s crooked, he’s making odd jerky facial movements
speaking of popeye, do you know why so many people thought spinach was conducive to muscle growth
back in the day
aka popeye, old commercials, etc.
me: didn’t they do a study that massively overestimated the amount of iron there was in spinach?
nick: i don’t know if the study was incorrect, or if they just mislabeled the nutritional facts. whatever happened, people forever thought spinach had ten times more iron than it actually has
i think a decimal was screwed up on the label
me: i read about this on cracked
nick: i’m gonna go on record here as saying the derby needs a tweak. it’s completely uninteresting.
me: remember rock and jock softball? you could ask for the chicago ball, and it was worth like, ten runs or something
nick: haha yeah
john kruk and freddie prinz junior were the rock and jock equivalent of the bash brothers
me: i remember jenny mccarthy was on it before she went cuckoo
nick: what ever happened to her
me: married jim carrey, got the idea that vaccines are no good, hopped on the express to crazytown
crazytown the place, not crazytown the band
nick: awful band, but i bet you like them
me: butterfly was a catchy song
did they even have another one? do they count as a band?
nick: i think their album may have consisted of six different versions of that song
holliday? more like folly-day
me: there’s positively no joy in berman’s back-back-backs
nick: i’m not sure he even says it anymore; it may be a recording
me: erin andrews is calling everyone someone’s boy. sup with that?
nick: why don’t you eliminate her, albert?
me: if you wanted to call me “la machina,” i wouldn’t object
nick: i’m gonna call you ex machina, cause you’re not believable
the new yorker just ran a profile of ortiz
and it’s very well written, and almost seamless, but you can tell that the writer set out to write the “david ortiz sucks now” story
and then had to be like, “but suddenly, he started hitting homers again!”
nick: see, on second thought, i may agree with you on papi
you think of his struggles, and the struggles of most home run hitters late in his career
it all has to do with the slowing down of the bat and swing movement, and less so with power
these pitches are going a mile an hour, of course hes gonna whack ‘em
me: i could hit a 55 mile an hour fastball out of the park
nick: no chance
out of the infield, maybe
did you see that dope
me: good one
nick: first row of the outfield
thought he caught it
pumped up, raising the fists of glory
it fell out of his glove and the kid didnt give it back to him
a grown man shouldn’t be bringing a glove to the ballpark
nick: i agree completely
did you know joe morgan was a hall of fame player
me: he looks like the undead when they show him on camera
nick: the real joe morgan is tied up in a closet in some wax museum.
and here we are subjected to the wax dummy
me: the living wax dummy
nick: with two pull-string lines
when i was a hall of famer
and “yer doin’ it wrong . . . i’m the hall of famer”
me: a lot of guys are hall of famers
you know what? i could go for some organic milk
nick: milk is bad for you
Editor’s note: A rather lengthy and heated discussion about the nutritional efficacy of milk ensued. Certain parties may have passive aggressively encouraged other parties to enjoy dying of milk-related complications. Other certain parties may have made a wager, the prize of which would entitle the winner to pour beer on the loser’s grave. It was in no way home-run related, so your favorite blogger has excised it.
me: so when hanley signs his eventual big free agent contract, is he gonna say “i’m taking my talents out of south beach”
nick: i’d buy his jersey if he did
nick: how about that
our guys are tied after two rounds
me: my guy, and the guy you make-up picked?
nick: i didn’t pick young! i wanted him to win
to increase trade value
nick: when you post the blog, you better not say hanley was my make up pick
Sent at 10:16 PM on Monday
we should talk a little more about the derby, so we have some content
nick: so a nick vs. tim final
nick: this is like harry potter vs. voldemort, god vs. lucifer, good vs. evil
of course i’m the good
me: you’re the world’s dumbest human
nick: “going against your guy”
erin adnrews didn’t learn one name for tonight
me: bad job by her
someone told her not to say “your boy”
did you see all those empty seats?
i thought you couldn’t sell sex for a ticket to these things
me: people are different in so-cal
me: they’re probably all off eating fish tacos or something
its gonna be tough for good to overcome evil here
me: they’re playing “temperature” during hanley’s at-bat
that’s my jam
also, let the record show that a heated conversation about milk took our attention away from this thing
seems to me like definitive proof that the home run derby needs a fresh wrinkle
I am a robot killing machine, sent back in time to destroy the future by dominating bar trivia in the present.
That is all.
Regular readers of Dangerous, Dirty, and Unfun should, by now, be very intimately familiar with my taste in music. I’ve said many times in the past that I’m not ashamed of the music I listen to, and I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. But still, that doesn’t mean I’m closed off to new stuff! In the interest of growth, self-improvement, and exploration, I’ve been dipping my toe into some of the Pitchfork-approved indie-type bands that the cool kids are apparently listening to these days.
This isn’t like, an official blog project or anything, so don’t expect any updates or insights or anything like that. It’s just something I’m giving a try. I started off going through LCD Soundsystem’s first album, which everyone told me was like looking into the face of God, but I found to be kind of meh. Probably not my cup of tea. I also went through Passion Pit’s first album, Manners, which I liked much more. Passion Pit, for the unintiated, are from Cambridge, and are what Carles would describe as an indy bleepy bloop band. You’ll recognize their music from this Palm Pixi commercial, as well as a recent Radio Shack commercial which I can’t seem to find.
The song used in that Radio Shack commercial is called “Little Secrets,” and it inspired me to write this blog post you’re reading right now. Here’s the weird video for “Little Secrets”:
It’s a pretty catchy tune! You all know that I love a good falsetto. But listen to the music behind the words. What do you think of when you hear those bleeps and bloops? I pride myself on having my finger on the pulse of my readership, of being on the same wavelength, but I’ll forgive you if you didn’t, like me, immediately think “This sounds like the soundtrack to a Sonic the Hedgehog game.” I know not everyone was raised on Sega.
But still! It kinda sounds like a really well-produced level for Sonic 4! Now, the Sonic games always had good music. And Passion Pit is a relatively popular group. Does anyone else smell crossover appeal?
What I’m saying is, instead of going through all the trouble of developing new synth melodies, why doesn’t some enterprising young indie band just sample the eff out of one of those awesome Sonic songs? This sort of thing isn’t unprecedented. Go to Youtube and you can find all manner of dance remixes to Sonic the Hedgehog songs. Like this one:
That’s a hot track, no? Now imagine this: write up some kooky lyrics, spruce up the 16-bit music, slap on a strong backbeat, and you’ve got a pretty awesome indie song with Hill Top Zone as a base:
Now, this isn’t to diminish the kind of music that Passion Pit makes. I thought that album was pretty good! What I’m saying is, I think whatever person that wrote the Sonic soundtracks was a pretty good musician too, and in fact, she might have been ahead of her time. Someone ought to finish the job, and get some bumpin’ indie tracks out there.
All this said, I don’t think my little foray into indie hipster music will go very far. I remember listening to LCD Soundsystem and thinking “This sounds a bit like the White Stripes, but instead of face-melting guitar, it’s got a synthesizer.” So I talked to a pal of mine who was a fan and asked him why I shouldn’t just listen to the White Stripes in the first place. “Precision!” he said, which seemed to me to be a poor substitute for face-melting guitar. Then again, I was raised on Clapton, Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. If you were ever wondering from whence I derive my musical philosophy, listen to the last two and a half minutes of the Hold Steady’s “Most People Are DJs.” And if you don’t get it after that, then I’m really not sure what to tell you.
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