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.

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.

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. (Click HERE for a recap of our LIVE Tweetcast.) 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.