Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Tony Awards: the Forgotten Middle Child of Awards Shows.

     The 69th annual Tony Awards are Sunday night!!!!  I know, I know... does anybody really care?  I certainly don’t, and based on TV viewership, apparently I’m not alone.
     When I sat down to write this post, I knew the Tony’s wouldn’t be the most popular awards show. But I figured they’d have to be up there. I mean, they've been around for almost 70 years. I knew the Oscars would top the list. It’s like the Super Bowl of awards shows. And I wasn’t surprised that the Grammy's, Golden Globes and Emmy’s are each more popular. I figured the Tony’s might round out the top 5, though. But they’re not even in the Top 10! There’s a host of other awards shows people pay more attention to -- some I’ve never even heard of and others I’ve never seen. Here's a list from 2014, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Even the People’s Choice Awards -- an awards show with no surprises because the winners are notified in advance -- eats Tony’s lunch.
Did You See Last Year's Opening!?:
Me neither.
     Look, it’s not exactly like these are glory days for any awards show.  The 2015 Academy Awards dropped 18% from the year before, hitting a 6 year low of 36.6 million viewers. ( CLICK HERE to review my exclusive Middle Child coverage.) The Grammy’s also hit a 6 year low of 25.3 million. The Golden Globes were down 11% to 19.6 million. But even though major awards shows are tanking left and right, they’re all still kicking little Tony’s ass!!  Poor Tony draws barely over 7 million viewers. Low woman on the awards show totem poll, for sure. So that’s why Tony has earned it's Middle Child status: nobody really cares about it, but it just won’t go away.
SCHEDULE CHANGE: And speaking of awards shows nobody cares about... this year’s annual “Middie Awards,” honoring the best in attention-seeking, Middle Child-like behavior, will be announced on August 12 -- Middle Child’s Day! Check your local listings to find out when they will not be aired in your area.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Shut up, Middle Child! (or "Pardon the Interruption.")

     When my wife flashed “that look” at me from across the table, I knew I was in trouble. We were out to dinner with friends, and I figured I must have said something I shouldn't have said. I do that a lot. (Luckily, she wasn't sitting next to me, or it would've been a painful, yet stealth, kick in the shin.) When we got back home, I learned what had earned her glaring gaze. “You kept interrupting Steve,” she informed me. “You do that all the time!” “You mean to Steve?” I asked. “No,” she said. “To everyone.” It was like a punch to the gut. Could this be true? Could I be a serial interrupter, and not know it?? Before you answer, let me finish...
     Later in the week, I was going over final details on a project I was working on, when I received the following e-mail:

     I mean, I must talk really, really fast, because she wasn't just asking me to speak slowly -- she was practically begging me! Not one please, not two pleases, but three pleases!?! She might as well have thrown in a “for the love of God,” for good measure. Oh, and make sure to pause so someone else can get a word in edgewise, you fast talking, interrupter!!
     It was an ego bruising week, until I realized that none of this was my fault. Of course I talk fast. It only makes sense that I interrupt. I’m a Middle Child! We spend our formative years doing whatever we can to get your attention, and once we get it, who knows how long we’ll be able to hold it? We know it won’t be long until we’re cast aside, so talking fast is a matter of survival! And since we’re pretty used to never getting the attention we seek, we also can’t afford to sit around and wait until there’s a break in the conversation, or until you’re actually finished speaking. We have to seize the moment, even if it’s right in the middle of your moment. So no longer will I apologize for talking fast and interrupting. I will own it, for this is my birthright! My name is Bruce, and I am a conversation crashing motor-mouth. Hey, a Middle Child’s gotta do what a Middle Child’s gotta do.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Here's to the "Middle Child": a St. Patrick's Day toast.

     I don’t want to perpetuate stereotypes, but I can’t help but think of beer when I think of St. Patrick’s Day. You might recall that last St. Patty’s Day, I posted a review of the world’s most famous, and totally fictitious, Middle Child brews. (See “St. Patrick’s Day Special: A Middle Child Beer Guide.”) I had a lot of fun making up the names and labels, but this year I didn't have to. I found an honest-to-goodness, real life Middle Child beer. It’s from Bog Iron Brewing in Norton, MA, and it’s called, what else -- “Middle Child.” It’s a Double IPA that gets a Beer Advocate rating of 90! According to BA, “you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out.” That sounds pleasant.
     In any case, as the founder and leader of the International Middle Child Union, I reached out to the folks at Bog Iron. I figured, who wouldn't want the endorsement of a powerful international union. Have you heard from them? Me neither. Do these guys not realize what the support of the I.M.C.U. could do for their business!?! Or maybe they do. Whatever. I’m not one to hold a grudge. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m a Middle Child -- of course I’m one to hold a grudge. But I’m not going to in this instance. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I raise a glass of “Middle Child,” and wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Return of "The MidKid Road Trip"

It looks SO much closer
on a map!
     You might remember that two months ago I posted and Tweeted about my two day drive from New Jersey to Florida with my in-laws. (See "The MidKid Road Trip" Day 1 Day 2) Back then, I said I was going to Tweet the return journey home. I really was going to. But shortly into the return trip, I knew it would be totally pointless. It didn't take long before I realized my in-laws were basically saying the very same things they said on the trip down! Tweeting the trip north would be a total repeat of the trip south, right down to the constant “losing” of eye glasses and “misplacing” of medication, cell phones and personal items -- without ever leaving the car. It was a virtual carbon copy.
     I did a little statistical breakdown of my in-laws conversation traits on the trip home: 76% of the things they say contradict something they previously said; 84% are something they just said less than an hour ago; and a whopping 99.4% of the things my father-in-law says are somehow related to food. I’ll spare you all the gory details, but here are a few observations from the trip:
     - My father in-law’s geographical shortcomings somehow got even shorter over the last two months. He has now given up completely on acknowledging any difference between North and South Carolina, lumping them instead into one state -- “Carolina.” I suppose he could be making a historical reference to the period from 1663 to 1710 when they really were one colony, but I don’t think so. He has also apparently granted statehood to Washington, D.C.
     - Is it all old people, or just my in-laws who can’t resist the urge to read every road sign they see aloud!?! “Rest Area ahead.” “Best prices on Fireworks!” “Richmond - 82 miles.” When it’s a sign about food, it’s like my father-in-law hit the jackpot! Just when I think they've run out of stories to re-tell and I might get to enjoy a rare moment of silence, there’s another damn road sign! Note to the aged: road signs are not meant to be conversation starters. If you ever want to know how many signs there are between Florida and New Jersey, just ask my in-laws. They have recited them all.
    - Watching my in-laws trying to get into and out of their seat belts is like watching Harry Houdini being locked in heavy chains and trying to escape. Actually, that’s not fair to Houdini. He was also strapped in a straight jacket and underwater and still could extricate himself quicker! By the time my in-laws had seat belted themselves in after breakfast, it was time for lunch.
Suggested title for a movie about a
meteorologist: CLUELESS! 
     - Do you know any group of professionals who does their job worse than weathermen -- except maybe congress? I checked the forecast for the Eastern seaboard up until the morning we left to make sure conditions would be clear. There wasn't a hint of bad weather to be found. CUT TO... with the exception of the first 15 minutes of our trip, over the course of two days we experienced every form of precipitation know to man! It started with rain. Then blinding, torrential downpours of biblical proportions. (Thankfully, we were spared locusts and frogs.) Sleet. Snow. Hail. Graupel. (Look it up.) We drove through it all. So our trip went into extra innings the first day, with a bonus two hours of bumper to bumper traffic in South Carolina. Then, to top it off, there was a 35 mph speed limit on the NJ Turnpike the second day. (I know this because my in-laws repeatedly read me the speed limit signs.) It was the perfect little cherry atop my F*CK ME sundae.
        Finally, if you are ever considering offering to drive your in-laws to and from Florida, I have a word of advice: don't.

Friday, February 20, 2015

87th Academy Awards Preview: Are Middle Children Better Actors?

     At first glance, it would appear this won't be a very good year for Middle Children at the Academy Awards. I’m no math whiz, but I did a little statistical breakdown, and the numbers are dismal. Each of the four acting categories has five nominees, which means there are a total of 20 acting nominees. First the bad news: only four out of 20 nominees are Middle Children. That’s just 20%! In the “Best Actor” category, Eddie Redmayne is the only Middle Child nominee -- a mere 1/5 of the category. It’s the same story in the “Best Supporting Actress” category -- Patricia Arquette is the sole Middle Child representative. The “Best Supporting Actor” category offers the best chances for a Middle Child to walk away with an Oscar: 40% of the nominees are Mid Kids - Robert Duvall and J.K. Simmons. (Sadly, only one can win.) And I can safely say that there is no chance a Middle Child will win “Best Actress, as none of the nominees are MidKids. Not great numbers, right? By comparison, last year there were seven Middle Child acting nominees. But while numbers don’t lie, they don’t always tell the truth, either.
I want to make a Golden
Globes joke SO badly!

     While only four MidKids are nominated, here's the good news: I say 75% of Middle Children nominees will win! Let me state that even more impressively: Middle Children will win all of the categories they are nominated in. 100%. That’s right, a Middle Child sweep. Eddie Redmayne in “Theory of Everything”, Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood” and J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash.” (Sorry, Mr. Duvall, but as a Middle Child, you should be used to not being the favorite.) And the chances that any of these MidKids will thank their older or younger siblings during their acceptance speeches? 0%!!
Enjoy the show...

Find out everything you never needed to know about all the Middle Child nominees!
Follow @MidKidMusings on Sunday Night for the SmackDabLIVE! Academy Awards Tweetcast.

Use this handy chart to impress friends and family with your
worthless knowledge of Academy Award nominee birth order!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Can You Feel the Love, Middle Child?

     Yeah, me neither. So, once again, I've created Valentine's Day cards with extra special sentiments just for Middle Children. Because the only thing worse than feeling left out, left alone and left behind, is feeling that way on Valentine's Day! (CLICK HERE to see cards from previous years.)
     This year's cards might not make you feel any better, but at least you’ll know you weren't forgotten! Hey, it's a start.
Click on images to see them larger, then download and e-mail, or just forward the link to this post. And if you want to totally blow a Middle Child's mind on Valentine's Day, buy them a gift from the Smack Dab Shop!

     Oh, did I forget to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!? How typical.

Friday, January 30, 2015

SmackDab Sports Super Bowl XLIX Pick

     This year’s Super Bowl pick is a real no-brainer for me, for a couple of reasons. First off, the Seahawks are stacked with Middle Children at key positions. Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch -- all MidKids. Tom Brady, on the other hand, is the poster child for everything that is not Middle Child-ish. He’s the baby of the family and the only boy. No wonder he’s used to getting his way. Gronk’s a baby too. And no, I am not going to make a “the Patriots are a bunch of babies” joke. Not gonna do it.
     My second reason for picking the Seahawks is that as a lifelong, suffering Miami Dolphins fan, I can't root for the Patriots. Can't do it. It's simply not allowed. Except when they play the Jets, of course. So I’m pretty much contractually obligated to root for the Seahawks -- even though I’m not a huge Pete Carroll fan either. I still have not forgiven him for his past transgressions against the Dolphins.(CLICK HERE and HERE to see what I'm talking about.) So in a perfect world, I guess I’d like the Seahawks to win but somehow for Pete Carroll to lose. Short of that, I’m sticking with my pick. Go Seahawks!!

NOTE: Last year I picked against Seattle, and we all know how that worked out. Even though I’m picking the Seahawks to win this year, as a Middle Child I fully expect NOT to get what I want, so you can be pretty sure the Pats will win.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tom Brady Gives Reporter the "Middle Child Treatment."

NY Post: Always
keepin' it classy.
     I was thinking quite a few things while watching the Tom Brady “Deflate-gate” press conference yesterday, but since this isn't a sports blog, I’ll keep most of my opinions to myself. However, I will share this with you. Maybe it’s just me and my Middle Child sensitivities, but throughout the press conference, I couldn't help but notice how there was one female reporter in particular who couldn't get Brady’s attention. No matter how hard she tried, he just wouldn't acknowledge her. I was inspired by her Middle Child-like determination to get his attention, but it was killing me how she was being ignored repeatedly. I edited a highlight reel of her numerous attempts. Take a look and tell me if you think I’m nuts. Well, don’t do that -- but see if you agree. I mean, look at how he totally igs her at 22:25. He won’t even look in her direction! When all was said and done, (and just for the record, there’s no way all was said, and this is far from done), here are the two things I took away from Tom’s presser. The first: if that reporter’s not a Middle Child, she certainly knows what it feels like to be one now. The second? I don't think I could ever handle being a reporter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#MidKidRoadTrip Day Two: Twitter Highlights


What a long, strange trip it's been... 18-1/2 hours and god knows how many Jelly donuts later, the #MidKidRoadTrip is officially over. And not a mile too soon. Click below the image on the right for the Twitterized version of all the final day highlights -- or is that lowlights? I guess it all depends on where you were sitting. Decide for yourself. I'm too exhausted.

Monday, January 5, 2015

#MidKidRoadTrip Day One: Twitter Highlights


Greetings from the Comfort Inn in beautiful Santee, SC! Day One of the #MidKidRoadTrip is in the books. Well, it's actually on Twitter. In case you missed the LIVE Tweets throughout the day, I've compiled a handy review, rearranged for viewing ease from top to bottom. Click below the image on the right to see a summary of all the first day action. Hope you enjoy it more than I did!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The MidKid Road Trip (a.k.a. The Highway to Hell)

     As Middle Children, we want to be the center of attention so badly, we need to be the favorite so desperately, sometimes we do things we know we shouldn't do. We might even know as we're doing it that what we’re doing is stupid, or wrong, or something we might regret -- but our need for approval or acceptance or whatever is so powerful, we can’t stop ourselves from doing it anyway.
     Case in point: my in-laws love to travel. They just don’t like taking trains, planes, or driving themselves anywhere, which makes it somewhat difficult for them to make their yearly winter exodus to Florida. So I did what any normal maladjusted Middle Child son-in-law would do: I offered to drive them. I wasn't even drunk when I said it!
Frightening, I know. I took a 15 minute trip to get pizza with them the other night and thought I would lose my mind. (My father-in-law launched into a detailed critique of the last seven slices of pizza he ate and my mother-in-law kept talking about how good the pizza was in Naples -- even though she’s never been to Naples.) I really have no idea how I’m going to make it all the way down the eastern seaboard with them in the car -- but I’m not going it alone!


     You can follow my journey here and on Twitter @MidKidMusings. I plan to tweet hourly updates, which shouldn't be a problem since they’ll probably be stopping for bathroom breaks every 20 mins! God help me.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Middle Child Christmas Tweet Update

It's only Christmas morning, and if Twitter is any indication, Middle Child Syndrome is already off the charts! Looks like it's going to be a looong day for the Mid Kid! Here's just a small sample. Think of it as my Christmas gift to you -- Merry Christmas!!

Karla Crawford (@kcrawford610)
Once a middle child, always a middle child, granny wrote chloe and Matthew a check and forgot about me!
Feliz Navi(dil)do (@Michael_Dillman)
Mom: "Mike, I love you as much as any mother loves their middle child."
Cory (@c_mac18)
Starting off Christmas by being asked if Id rather sleep on the floor or in the closet. MiddleChild syndrome is beyond real right now
OD (@PatOD31)
I sleep in the basement on a futon when I stay at my parents house now. Middle child syndrome is real.
Cat Loftus (@loftus_cat)
Middle child Syndrome kicks in hard at Christmas
Tate Alambar (@TRAlambar)
I never got to open my presents first. #Middle child.
highest catlady (@HIGHESTcatlady) I have the worst middle child syndrome. Both my siblings got go pros and I got the cheap version of Apple TV lol

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Tis the Season to be Neglected!

     As the Holiday Season shifts into high gear, so does Middle Child Syndrome. It’s difficult to deal with on a normal day, but when the holidays roll around, things can get real ugly. Think about it -- controlling MCS can be a challenge when you’re with just your parents or some of your siblings. But when all your family is together, there’s no telling what may happen! Especially when gifts are involved. Birthday gifts are one thing. Birthdays are spread throughout the year, so comparing who got what can be more challenging. But on Christmas, it’s all right there in front of you. There’s no escaping it. And if you celebrate Chanukah, it can be 8 times worse! Trust me, no matter what you do, a Middle Child will find a way to conclude they got the worst gift. Even if you got everyone the same thing! That’s just the way we roll.
The Middle Child Syndrome Advisory
has been raised to CODE RED
for the holidays!
     In an effort to spread some Middle Child merriment and hopefully diffuse the situation, I offer up the following. First, here’s a link to a previous post: “Helpful Holiday Tips for Giving Gifts to a Middle Child.” Good luck with that. You should also check out the Smack Dab Shop for all the Middle Children on your list. The gift list, not that other list. (Royalties from every sale are donated to UNICEF, to benefit ALL children.) Order now, and this year you might actually be able to make your Middle Child feel like -- the favorite! Now THAT would be a Christmas miracle. Finally, why not celebrate the season in true Middle Child style? Fire up the YouTube, gather ‘round the virtual fireplace, and enjoy that Middle Child Christmas classic, “The Middle Child’s Night Before Christmas.” Happy Holidays!

COMING SOON: Join me on “THE MID KID ROAD TRIP” as I LIVE Tweet my journey down the eastern seaboard with my IN-LAWS! Details to follow.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Initial Dissapointment

          I don’t want to bore you with the details, but I recently had to change my personal e-mail address. For years, I was lucky to have an address that was simply my first initial and last name. But when I went to create a new account, it was already taken -- by my nephew, as we share the same first initial and last name. (Shouldn't I have dibs on that, by the way? After all, I was here first!) In any case, I had to settle for an address using my first and middle initial. B.S. Yes, that’s right, my name is Bruce Steven. B.S. I guess it could be worse. I could be B.O. But when I was growing up, back when “SHIT” was still a curse word, BS weren’t the initials of choice. Back then, if you said someone was full of BS, well, thems was fightin' words!
     Making matters worse was the briefcase my father got for both me and my brother when I was in 5th grade. It was bad enough it looked like something an accountant would carry to an IRS audit. It even had locks on it! I was in 5th grade, for god sake -- was someone going to steal my book report!? But the worst part were the gold initials that were embossed on it. There they were, for all my classmates to see and make fun of. I still have that briefcase. (Ironically, it is now filled with tax returns from years past. Could my father have been that forward-thinking?)
          All these years later, I no longer feel the stigma of my initials, but when I notified contacts about my new e-mail address, it was like I was in 5th grade all over again. E-mailer after e-mailer couldn't resist the opportunity to poke some fun. “BS. How appropriate!” said one. “Does BS stand for BS?” asked another. “Nice initials. Confirms what I always knew about you,” still another shared. All this renewed fuss over my initials made me realize something that never dawned on me before: they were really yet another Middle Child slight! Think about it. I got to be BS, but what are my older brother’s initials? M.D!! You heard me -- M.D!! Really, Mom and Dad!? Really?? I suppose you could try and put a positive spin on it. You could argue I was given a premature college degree. But I’d still rather be a doctor.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Top 10 Middle Child Costumes for Halloween

     For many Middle Children, Halloween is an opportunity to not be a Middle Child -- at least for a day. But I say it's the perfect time to embrace your Middle Child-ness. Or at least a chance to be a different Middle Child -- maybe even a famous Middle Child! Here are  some suggestions:

10. The Multimillionaire Middle Child: All it takes is a snazzy suit and a horrible hairdo, and Voila! -- you’re Donald Trump. Or if you prefer a more understated look, this Tech Digest article outlines all the geek garb you’ll need to be Bill Gates.

9. A Very Brady Halloween: This year, make it all about Jan, Jan, Jan! Choose the traditional TV series look, or the wigged out movie look. Either way, it's a fitting Halloween homage.

8. Famous FOX Mid Kids: They may never get their own spin-offs, so why not let Mid Kids Chris Griffin or Lisa Simpson be the center of attention, just for the night.

7. The Middle Mermaid: Everyone knows all about Ariel, but why not change things up this year and go as her lesser known sister, Ethel? Yes, Ethel Mermaid.

6. The Irrelephant: If you’re really looking for some attention this Halloween, (and honestly, what Middle Child isn’t?), here's the perfect costume: a pachyderm with Middle Child Syndrome!

5. The Invisible Man: You’ve been playing the part for years, so you might as well dress the part this Halloween. Wrap some gauze around your head, slap on some sunglasses, throw on a bathrobe, and you’re good to go! It'll be like you're not even there. What else is new?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Confessions of a Middle Child: Knot the Favorite

     I tie my shoes like a six year old. There, I said it. This isn't something I’m proud of. It’s actually a little embarrassing. Even though I’m a grown man, I still tie my shoes using “Bunny Ears.” I have tried over the years to make the move to a more mature method, but haven’t been able to successfully switch. It’s no great mystery why I tie my shoes the way I do. Most people probably don’t remember the day they learned to tie their shoes, but I remember it like it was yesterday (SFX: TRIPPY FLASHBACK MUSIC)...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Time to Play NFL Family Feud!

     The NFL is one big happy family, right? And just like any family, the league certainly has its... issues. Bad behavior, dysfunction and rivalries abound. But California, Florida, and New York have their very own special NFL families. They are the only states that are home to three NFL teams each. As we all know, in a family of three, only one gets to be the Middle Child. So, who are the lucky winners? You decide...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Onward and... upward?

A Mid Kid's work is never done!
     It's been a little more than two weeks since Middle Child's Day, and here at the International Middle Child Union, we're already hard at work planning for the future. Speaking with people all across the country these past few weeks about Middle Child's Day, two things became very clear: 1) Most people still don't know when it is, and 2) August 12 is a totally random and obviously forgettable date. Let's be honest -- it's at the ass-end of summer, languishing in the no-man's land between Fourth of July and Labor Day. It's just begging to be overlooked. So I've decided to hijack Middle Child's Day and move it to a date that makes much more sense: July 2 -- the smack dab middle of the year, and right on the heels of Independence Day when everyone's already in a festive, celebratory mood anyway.
182 days on
either side.
     That's why today I am announcing the formation of the "Occupy Mid Kids Day" movement. Working together with the Middle Child Party, (which I also founded, so "working together" actually means I've joined forces with... myself), our goal is to rally support for this change. The move shouldn't meet a lot of resistance, since apparently nobody knows when Middle Child's Day is anyway!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #8: Going to Bat for the Mid Kid!

These teams have made the Middle Child's Day
"A Team" by hosting "Mid Kid Appreciation Nights"
on August 12th and throughout the season.
These teams received Honorable Mention for
acknowledging Middle Child's Day
at their August 12th home games.

Thanks to all the teams for making the Middle Child the center of attention -- at least for one night!!