Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #2: Mid Kid Gift Guide

          There are less than 20 shopping days 'til Middle Child's Day, and you still haven't found the perfect gift for the Mid Kid in your life? Typical Middle Child treatment! But no worries -- the  gift experts at the Smack Dab Blog (a.k.a. me) know just what to get that special someone who says they never get anything as good as their brother and sister:
     There's nothing like curling up with a good book on Middle Child's Day. All by yourself. Waiting for no one to call. Nothing like it. There are plenty of classic Mid Kid titles to choose from, including "The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells and S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders."
      Middle Children LOVE games! No one ever asks us to play, but Middle Child's Day would be the perfect time to let a Mid Kid win a game or two. That's probably not a bad idea any day. What could be a better gift than making a Middle Child feel like a real winner -- at least for a day.
     The "Official" Flower of Middle Child's Day. Could anything say "I remembered not to forget you today" better than a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots? Oh, I don't know, maybe a nice watch? A new iPad? But I guess we'll take whatever attention we can get.
     Make Hand-Me-Downs feel like Brand New. Hand -me-downs would be great, if only they were never worn before. Now, the Middle Child (and anyone who's not a first born) can have the best of both worlds: "Never-Worn-Before Hand-Me-Downs" are now available at the SmackDabShop, where you'll also find a collection of Middle Child merchandise -- something for every Middle Child on your list!
 (All royalties donated to UNICEF, to benefit ALL children.)

Check upcoming Middle Child's Day updates for:
       * The WORLD PREMIERE of the "Mid Kid Anthem" and music video.
       * Famous Mid Kid Icon Gallery: download and update your profile pages for Middle Child's Day.
       * NEW Middle Child's Day greeting cards (Click here for last year's.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #1: Coming Soon to a Stadium Near You

          It all started as a joke... 
          Just days after I wrote about my miserable memories of Little League ("Welcome to the Middle Leagues") and posted the accompanying Middle Child musical salute to opening day, ("You Never Take Me Out to the Ballgame,") I found myself on my way to a Florida Marlins home opener with friends. "Gee, I wonder if tonight is Middle Child Night at the stadium?" I quipped. "You know, that's when you bring your Middle Child to the game, and they don't pay any attention to him!"
          A flurry of ideas ensued: bring your Middle Child to the game, and there will be special prizes for their brother and sister. Get free parking if you bring your Middle Child -- you just have to leave them in the car. You know, stuff like that. But the next day I read some articles about the craziest promotions Minor League teams have done in the past -- everything from casket and liposuction giveaways to a "Salute to Indoor Plumbing Night" where the stadium bathrooms were closed and porta-potties were used instead to promote appreciation for indoor plumbing. Suddenly, "Middle Child Appreciation Night" didn't seem so crazy after all. So I started pitching the idea to teams all across the country -- and teams said YES!

          At first, I was convinced it was some cruel prank being played on the unsuspecting, attention seeking Middle Child. Teams would agree, then decide to pull out just for laughs. Or they'd simply forget altogether when the day came around. I'm still not convinced that won't happen. But as of now, 24 teams are going to bat for the Middle Child! Two have already had their nights. They both lost, by the way. Oh, and one team lost power during the game. One is happening as I write this. (UPDATE: they won!) A list of teams and dates is below, but most are happening right on August 12 -- Middle Child's Day. (I'll update the map and list if more teams sign on.) A whole bunch of other teams have agreed to acknowledge Middle Child's Day at their August 12th home games. They've earned a spot on the "Middle Child's Day Honor Roll" which I'll post in the coming weeks.
          A BIG thanks to all those teams for throwing some attention our way, and making the Middle Child feel like the most important member of the family. At least for one night.

MAY 14: Charleston Riverdogs L JUNE 24: Frederick Keys JULY 16: Acadiana Cane Cutters  W JULY 20: Columbia Blowfish  W JULY 29: Hickory Crawdads AUG 4: Gastonia Grizzlies AUG 10: Princeton Rays  AUG 11: Lowell Spinners AUG 12:  Boise HawksCamden Riversharks, Corpus Christi Hooks, Forth WorthCats, Gary South Shore Railcats, Greeneville Astros, Johnson City Cardinals, Lancaster Jethawks, River City Rascals, SiouxFalls Canaries, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Wilmington BlueRocks, Winston-Salem Dash AUG 13: Elizabethton Twins AUG 15: Jackson Generals AUG 26: Toledo Mudhens

Check back here for more Middle Child's Day updates, including:
       * The WORLD PREMIERE of the "Mid Kid Anthem" and music video.
       * Famous Mid Kid Icon Gallery: download and update your profile pages for Middle Child's Day.
       * NEW Middle Child's Day greeting cards (Click here for last year's.)
And don't forget to check out the Smack Dab Shop at Cafe Press for great Middle Child's Day gifts.
(All royalties donated to UNICEF, to benefit ALL children.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Screwed (or maybe NOT screwed) Again!

As reported in an article on the Huffington Post, it seems Middle Children are the LEAST likely to find love later in life! Now, I'm sure I can find research that might dispute these findings. I mean, I've been happily married for 31 years if that means anything. But what if they're right? What if the odds really are against Middle Children finding ultimate happiness?? Somebody has to do something!! Maybe this will help...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Middle Child Masterpiece Theater

It's all Middle Child, all the time, featuring classic, memorable Middle Child Moments. The most complete (and only) TV Middle Child archives in the world -- take that, Smithsonian! If you know of any worthy submissions, or if you have additional information about archived clips, please let me know and they'll be added. Future additions to the archives will be viewable on the Smack Dab Channel...

Middle Child: Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) "Her Sister's Shadow" Season 3/No. 10  Originally Aired: November 19, 1971

Middle Child: Cory Matthews (Ben Savage)
"The B-Team of Life" Season 1/No. 14
Originally Aired: January 28, 1994
Middle Child: Sue Heck (Eden Sher)
Episode: TBD
Originally Aired: TBD
Middle Child: Danny Partridge (Danny Bonaduce)
"Did You Hear the One About Danny Partridge?" Season 1/No. 9
Originally Aired: November 20, 1970

Middle Child: Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert)
"Dances with Darlene" Season 3/No. 23
Originally Aired: April 30, 1991
Middle Child: Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin)
"Middle Aged Crazy" Season 2/No. 10
Originally Aired: January 6, 1989

Middle Child: Danny Partridge (Danny Bonaduce)
"You're Only Young Twice" Season 3/No. 6
Originally Aired: October 20, 1972

Middle Child: Chris Griffin (Seth Green)
Episode: TBD
Originally Aired: TBD

Middle Child: Malcolm Wilkerson (Frankie Muniz)
"Malcolm Holds His Tongue" Season 4/No. 7
Originally Aired: January 5, 2003

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Tale of Two Father's Days

It was the best of Father’s Days, it was the worst of Father’s Days….
     You might expect me to be raising the Middle Child Syndrome Advisory to its highest level for Father’s Day, just as I’ve done for most other holidays. After all, it is yet another opportunity for family to get together -- which means there’s always the potential for lifelong festering Middle Child issues to arise. So why am I not sounding the alarm? For Middle Children, Father’s Day can really be a double edged sword.
     If you, like me, are a Middle Child who is also a father, Father's Day can actually be a very good day -- a Middle Child’s dream come true. We get to be the center of attention for the entire day! It’s like a law. Everyone has to pay attention to us. (Well, at least my children have to. My wife refuses to submit. When I drop my heavy handed hints about what gifts I’d like, she’s quick to remind me, “You’re not my father!”) Oh well. Nevertheless, there's still a lot of mandatory attention to be had, and when you’re a Middle Child, you’ll take any kind of attention you can get -- even if it’s forced attention.
     In some ways, I think Father’s Day may even be better than your birthday. People forget birthdays. There are so many and they’re all scattered throughout the year. It’s only natural if some birthdays, usually mine, slip through the cracks. But we all remember Father’s Day. Everyone (and their father) is celebrating it, all on the same day, so it’s kind of hard to forget. Have you ever seen a belated Father's Day card? I rest my case. Unlike a birthday, getting attention on Father’s Day is pretty much a sure thing. That’s a big plus for us paternal Mid Kids. But what if you’re not a Middle Child patriarch? What if you’re just a plain old Middle Child celebrating your father’s Father’s Day? Well, that can be a whole other story.
     You may get the crazy idea that this is your big chance to be Dad’s favorite. You might think the way you can accomplish this is by outdoing your siblings and giving the best gift. You’ll get Dad a Best Buy gift certificate or buy that cordless sander he really wants, and you’ll be the “winner.” I hate to burst your bubble, but I’d like to save you some money -- that’s not gonna happen. I’ll tell you what is going to happen.
     Your little sister will give him some dirty rock with googly eyes pasted on it and a glued on piece of macaroni for a smile with little pipe cleaner hands holding a sign that says, “Dad, you rock!” which she made just that afternoon when she realized she didn’t have a gift; your older brother will give him yet another Dentist sculpture like he does every Father’s Day; and your father will say, “These are the most amazing and original gifts ever!” Meanwhile, you’ll give him that sander you thought he really wanted, and he’ll ask if it’s returnable. (Of course, if you gave him the rock or Dentist sculpture, you would never hear the end of it --ahh, the joy of being a Middle Child!) But hey, it’s Father’s Day – it’s not some Middle Child pity party! Just suck it up and wait 58 more days ‘til Middle Child’s Day. And hope someone remembers.

Friday, May 23, 2014

SPECIAL INDY 500 REPORT: There’s No Place Like 3rd Place

     As the racing world gears up for the 98th Indianapolis 500, people can’t help but speculate about who this year’s winner will be. Well, according to Las Vegas, you can put your money on Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti. At 5:1, the odds makers believe he’ll cross the finish line first, which makes him the favorite.
     It must be nice to be the favorite. When you’re a Middle Child, that’s not a position you often find yourself in. My older brother and younger sister always placed first and second in the parental attention derby, while I had a solid lock on third place – which is really no surprise. That’s right where most Middle Children expect to finish. It’s all too familiar territory. Third place is usually as good as it gets, but I say it’s nothing to feel bad about. Even the very best  have spent their fair share of time as the third best. The Indy 500 is a perfect example.
     Everyone knows Al Unser Sr. shares the record for most Indy 500 first place finishes, but did you know he also shares the record for most third place finishes? That’s right, he achieved both these feats four times each. A.J Foyt is another four time winner, but only finished third three times, making him second best at being third best. Unser also shares first place at finishing third place honors with Ted Horn. Horn first placed third back in 1937, then again in 1941, 1946 and 1947. Since there was no Indy 500 from 1942 to 1945 due to World War II, Horn is actually the only Indy driver ever to place third in three consecutive races! Surely his third place hat trick deserves a special place in the Indy Hall of Not-Quite Fame. So does two-time third place winner Michael Andretti (Marco's dad), who holds the record for most laps led at Indy without a victory. That’s not an easy thing to do, but neither is finishing third more than once. In fact,over the 97 races since the Indy 500 started, only 12 other drivers had the skills required to achieve a third place finish twice, making them quite an elite group of racers!
Kissing the Bricks: This seems like
something you'd make the loser do!
     Finally, how can we ever forget David L. Bruce-Brown? “David WHO?” you ask. In 1911, he was the first driver to place third at the very first Indy 500. Yes, he’s the man who started, but couldn't quite finish it all.
     So as you watch the big race this weekend, let’s hear it for those who end up on Third Avenue instead of Victory Lane. Three cheers for you, Mr. Runner Runner Up! So what if you won’t be kissing any dirty bricks at the finish line or wearing a ridiculously oversized wreath this year! And who wants a cold bottle of milk after driving in a circle for 500 miles anyway? You may not be the best, or even the second best, but you can be proud of a job almost well done. So sit back, relax, and light up a good close-but-no-cigar.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peter Cottontail: Middle Child Friend or Foe?

Whose side is he on?
     Back in 1950, singing cowboy legend (and future L.A. Angels owner) Gene Autry had a huge hit with the whimsical “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and became one of the most popular Easter songs ever. Until now.
     While Autry’s version tells the tale of a fluffy bunny, “bringing every girl and boy baskets full of Easter joy,” there’s a certain member of the family who might beg to differ. As expected, the Middle Child has another side of the story that needs to be told... err, uhm, sung.
     “There Goes Peter Cottontail” is the shocking account of what really happened after the happy hare hopped away and how, predictably, the Middle Child feels his basket came up a little short. (I mean, I'M the one who loves marshmallow Peeps. ME! Not my brother and sister! Why would they get more than me? It makes no sense!)
MY Peeps!
     But I'm not one to hold a grudge...
     Easter is a time for family, so grab your siblings -- okay, gently grab your  siblings -- gather ‘round the YouTube, and let’s all join together for the first-ever  Mid Kid Easter Sing-A-Long!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Diet Craze That's NOT Sweeping the Nation!

Lose weight fast by eating none of YOUR favorite foods!
Only eat whatever your siblings can't finish!
(Hey, it beats drinking juice for a week.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Opening Day Special: Welcome to the Middle Leagues!

Yes, those are my REAL ears!
(I grew into them.)
          I know that Opening Day is supposed to be all about new beginnings -- a time when baseball fans are full of hope and optimism. But I’m not going to lie. For me, the start of another Major League season dredges up bad memories of Little League season after season. The overzealous parents. The overbearing coaches. It’s a lot of pressure on a little kid. But as if that’s not enough, as a Middle Child there’s also the added pressure, internal or otherwise, of trying to live up to the reputation of your older brother or sister. It’s really a lot like having the same teacher they had. Right from the start, everything you do gets compared to what they did.
          If your older sib was a great athlete, it can be a daunting challenge. If they were really bad, then you come into the league with one strike against you. You just can’t win. Of course, if you’re lucky and your older sibling was a total spaz, the bar may be set so low that you might be able to exceed expectations without having to actually be a very good ball player at all.
A League of Our Own:
a different kind of MLB.
          In my case, I did not have a lot to live up to. My brother was by no means an All-Star. Let’s just say managers weren’t exactly scouting me. I did more choking at bat than choking up on the bat. But you know what’s even more damaging than thinking you’ll be told you’re not as good as your older brother? Worrying that you won’t be as not-good as your older brother! Look, I understand that we can’t all be world class athletes, but I say a kid deserves the chance to suck at baseball on their own terms. Couldn’t I even get some negative attention I could call my own?
          Maybe there should be an alternative to Little League. How about Middle League baseball -- a league where no one lives up (or down) to the legend of their older sibling. “Ridiculous,” you say. “It will never work!” But just remember, that’s exactly what people said about the U.S.F.L. Finally, I realize this problem is not just limited to Middle Children and could be an issue for anyone who's not the first born. My suggestion to them: GO FORM YOUR OWN LEAGUE!
*   *   *
          Baseball clearly wasn’t my favorite pastime as a kid. But in celebration of Opening Day, please enjoy my take on an American classic: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game -The Middle Child Mix," a.k.a. “(You Never) Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” performed by the world famous Smack Dab Singers. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Special: a Middle Child Beer Guide

     How much beer is consumed on St. Patrick's Day? A lot! Guinness estimates it's consumption almost triples, while others figure at least 1% of all the beer consumed in the world each year occurs just on March 17th. In doing my research for this post, I uncovered some other interesting facts. For example, the Russian River Brewing Company makes a double IPA called Pliny the Elder that's been rated "The Best Beer in America" by the American Home Brewers Association a record 5 years in a row. It's success led to the creation of Pliny the Younger. So where is Pliny the Middle Child, huh? There's no denying St. Patrick's Day is HUGE for the big brothers of brewing, but where are all the Middle Child brews?  Well, have no fear. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I dug deeper to find some of the best Mid Kid beers you (of course) never heard of...

They call it "The national Beer of Texas." It's seems everyone has heard of Lone Star Beer. Sadly, the same can't be said for the favorite beer of Texan Middle Children -- the not as cherished and far less popular Left Alone Star Beer.

Miller Genuine Draft gets all the awards, all the accolades -- all the attention! And as if that wasn't bad enough, it even gets a nickname! MGD thinks it's SO cool. Meanwhile, we get the usual Middle Child treatment -- a hand-me-down draft. No fair!

When St. Pauli Girl came to our shores back in 1965, all the guys went wild for this buxom beauty from Bremen. Of course, when her younger, flatter chested sister arrived years later, she didn't stand a chance.

Milwaukee's not only home to the Brewers of baseball, it's also home to many fine brewers of beer. Among them is namesake Milwaukee's Best. But when you're never the best (or even second best, no matter how hard you try), you take what you can get. That's why there's Milwaukee's Third Best. Because when you're a Middle Child, that's usually the best you can expect!

His overachieving big brother Samuel Adams was a statesman, political philosopher, founding father, and patriot. So who could blame younger brother Marvin for wanting to drown his sorrows in beer? Alas, poor Marv couldn't best his bro's brew, either. While Samuel Adams Boston Lager is ranked one of America's best beers, Marvin Adams Boston Lager has been voted "Not Even Close to As Good as His Brother's Beer." Yet another sad sibling suds sob story.

Last but not least, is the number one imported Middle Child beer in the world -- Whineken. If you're going to spend time crying in your beer over being a Middle Child, then this is the beer for you. But be warned, like many imported Mid Kid lagers, it can be a little bitter.

Get the latest on all things Middle Child. Follow @MidKidMusings on Twitter

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Ides of March: Beware the Middle Child

"Would you like some more salad,
 Julia? No, not you -- you!"

     All Hail Caesar's sister, Julia! No, not that sister Julia -- the other sister Julia. Yeah, he had two sisters named Julia. Weird, right? Just so things wouldn't be confusing, his parents named the older one Julia Major Caesaris and the younger one -- the Middle Child -- Julia Minor Caesaris. I have a better idea. How about two different names? Maybe Amber. Or Tiffany. That would have cleared things up, too. And then they go and name the baby brother Julius? How original! Oh, and as if the repeat Julia probably didn't already have enough Middle Child issues, I'm sure being called Minor was a huge ego boost! Can't an emperor's Middle sister get a break!?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tales from the Middle: The Worst Best Seat in the House

Fond childhood memories aren't
always all they're cracked up to be.
     Back when I was a child Middle Child, my family used to drive from northern New Jersey to south Florida for winter vacations. Along the way, we'd also stop in Chester, PA to pick up my Grandparents. That’s me, my older brother, my little sister, my parents and my Grandparents -- seven people in one car. Granted, my father’s Oldsmobile was big, but still -- seven people? And in those days, it was at least a two day drive. Plus, the car wasn’t just packed with us. There was food and toys and anything that couldn’t fit in the trunk. That’s a lot of people and stuff to be crammed into one car for a couple of days, but those trips were some of my happiest childhood memories.
How many people should you
cram into a Oldsmobile?
     First of all, I always loved travelling. Any trip was an adventure  for me, even if it meant being stuffed into a southward bound  clown car. On these particular southern sojourns, my father  always drove. My mother was always the navigator in the front  passenger seat. My brother and sister were together in the back,  nestled between Grandma and Grandpa, and I sat in the front  between my mother and father. That’s right – front row center. I  couldn’t believe how lucky I was to secure such a prime  location! Sitting up front in the “cockpit,” I had an unobstructed  view of the speedometer, odometer and clock, making it easy for  me to collect all the data required to calculate critical information  about the trip and enter it in my travel log.( Yes, I kept a travel log.) Meanwhile, my brother and sister were stuck back in the cheap seats. Suckers!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Academy Awards Recap: Mid Kids Steal the Show!

     It was a very good night for Middle Children at the 86th Academy Awards. In total, seven were nominated in the four acting categories: Bruce Dern for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett and Amy Adams for Best Actress, Jared Leto and Barhad Abdi for Best Supporting Actor, and Luptia Nyong'o and Julia Roberts for Best Supporting Actress. By the end of the evening, Middle Children were winners of all but the Best Actor Oscar. Not a bad night at all. Of course, it wasn't all good news. Ellen DeGeneres broke records -- and Twitter -- with her star studded selfie, but her Middle Child Acting Nominee pic barely got a mention. Can a Middle Child get a retweet? And then of course there was John Travolta (see clip) giving Adele Dazeem (a.k.a. Idina Menzel) a little taste of what it feels like being a Middle Child. Oh well...

The Middle Children had a lot to smile about at the Academy Awards,
even if it was just for one night.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Smack Dab EXCLUSIVE: Oscar Nominee Birth Order Breakdown!

     The Smack Dab Blog is taking you behind the behind the scenes, with the scoop on the Oscar nominees you won’t find anywhere else. Probably because nobody else cares, but that’s not the point! An exclusive is an exclusive. (As a Middle Child, I’ll take whatever I can get, even if no one else wants it.) This is the only place where you can find out this year’s Middle Child nominees in the acting and director categories, along with a complete birth order breakdown for all the nominees in those categories. Of this year’s nominees, 11 are the youngest, seven are Middle Children, six are first borns, and one is an only child. But who’s counting. Last year, there were only three Mid Kid nominees, so this could be a banner year for Middle Child Actors - or more likely, an unmitigated disaster! This is your chance be that guy who knows things about the Oscar nominees that nobody else knows, or probably cares to know. Yeah, that guy.
(DISCLAIMER: This information is as accurate as Googling can be. Besides, if it's not 100% correct, who really cares?)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Dread Carpet: What if You Held an Awards Show, and Nobody Came?

Hollywood's Golden Boy:
Everyone's favorite eunuch.
     The 86th Academy Awards are just days away, but people have been talking about them for weeks, even months. Who will win what? Who will wear who? There are pre-Oscar parties, and Oscar parties, and Oscar after-parties. Oscar this, Oscar that. For a guy who weighs in at just 8½ pounds, stands only 13½ inches tall, and has no penis, he certainly commands a lot of attention.
     Meanwhile, the International Middle Child Union presented the Middie Awards well over a month ago (See Post), and there was barely a peep! Can you believe, not a single major TV network covered the ceremony? Not even the CW! Nobody even showed up to collect their award – typical Middle Child treatment.
The Middie Awards have a
message for Oscar: "Eat me!"
     I realize the Middie Awards don’t have the kind of budget that Oscar has, but still – I spent a nice chunk of change at Party City decorating the basement. I made, like, four full trays of Rice Krispie Treats that I have no idea what to do with now. I don’t even want to talk about the 20 piece orchestra I hired that spent the entire weekend in my guest room. That was awkward.
     I find it particularly ironic that an awards show all about celebrating attention seeking behavior can’t get any for itself! Even the Razzies get more attention than the Middies. In hindsight, maybe we need to make our award more friendly and approachable. Perhaps giving winners the finger (our Golden Middle Finger statuette) is a mistake. Maybe we need to humanize our award with a person’s name -- you know, like they did with Oscar and Emmy. “And the Malcolm goes to…” That could work. “The Jan” doesn’t sound very catchy, but “The Brady” has a nice ring to it. How about, “The Britney?” Or “The Stephie?” Your suggestions are welcome…

Coming Friday: Get your Oscar Nominee Birth Order Breakdown Pocket Guide.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Greatest Middle Child Movies Never Made.

          It's that time of year again -- Oscar-mania is sweeping the country! It's in that spirit we present, for your consideration, "The Best of MidKid Remakes."

Coming Wednesday: "What if You Held an Awards Show, and Nobody Came?"

Life ain't easy when
you're the Middle Coen brother.
Piss off a Middle Child,
and watch what happens next!
A spy gets blamed for things he
didn't do. Sound familiar?
When you can't be the favorite,
you take what you can get.
To anonymity and beyond!

This is what happens when
a Middle Child goes nuclear!
A Middle Child Mermaid yearns to be
more than an aquatic afterthought.
Sometimes, second best is the
best you can be.