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by Jac Kern 06.16.2011
Posted In: BABIES, Culture, Life at 01:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Cincinnati's Next Top Baby

The Cincinnati Health Department recently released a list of the most popular baby names of 2010. We live in Cincinnati, so there's enough average people to balance out all the Braidans and Jakilynns (read: smooshing two names together or purposely misspelling a name isn't being creative, folks) which means there aren't any big surprises on this list. It just means that in 2020, fourth grade classes everywhere will have Ava S., Ava B. and Ava M. instead of Ashley R., Ashley T. and Ashley O. like when I was a kid.

Besides being mildly interesting, what's the point of a list like this? To point out the least creative parents in the city? To give really dumb preggo people a basis for naming their offspring? Either way, If you're walking around and you hear a little human crying, its name is probably…

WILLIAM

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The most popular name for baby boys in Cincinnati was a pretty classic one. If names dictate a person's life, these little dudes will grow up to have giant teeth, front a really shitty Hip Hop group or be a general badass sax player:

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Or, if that screaming spawn is wearing pink...

OLIVIA

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Olivia, the #1 baby girl name in Cincinnati, is alright. According to my research (15 seconds on Google), there are a lot of hot hoes by the name, but Olivia Newton John (pre-scary face) is the best of them all. Hopefully these babies will take after her, with a penchant for headbands and first words being "Xanadu."

On their own, the second place names appear to be perfectly normal. Who could have anything mean to say about...

JACOB AND ISABELLA

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That's right, fucking Twilight. I can only assume that the increasing amount of teen moms out there are contributing to this fuckery (Thanks a lot, MTV!). There once was a time when I heard the name Jacob and immediately thought of the most perfect man of my John Hughes-inspired dreams...

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Jake Ryan.

Isabella is a cute name, too. It has the potential of many 'breves. Izzy. Ella. Sabel? I don't know, but when little Isabella and tiny Jacob have their first kiss on the playground, "Twihards" around the world will feel a sense of glorious satisfaction that I just can't deal with.

The rest of the names are pretty uninteresting, so here's a quick list complete with what people (myself and Google) will probably associate with them:

NOAH

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Obviously because the nearby Creation Museum is building a to-scale (WHAT SCALE?) ark

AVA

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Would still be cool if it wasn't on this list

MICHAEL

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Never forget.

EMMA

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Hermione Granger

ETHAN

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Boring interior design


SOPHIA

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My arch-enemy. Stereotypes are hilarious!

BENJAMIN

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All about the Benjamin...Buttons

MADISON

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Holly Madison, Dolly Madison - They're both full of fake stuff, but probably preserved for all of time.

Go here to read more boring names.


 
 
by Alice Blaney 06.24.2009
Posted In: Life at 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

The Real Housewives of Cincinnati

So I have to admit, I’m pretty obsessed with all the Real Houswives shows on Bravo TV. Laugh all you want, but turn that shit on and it becomes addicting.

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by Hannah McCartney 03.29.2013
Posted In: Food, Eats, Culture, Life at 02:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Eight Local Eating Challenges

Eat a lot of food to find glory, fame, heartburn

If you're looking for your own 15 minutes of fame but find your skill sets are generally limited to things that are superfluous  — or, in this case, possibly self-destructive — your best bet might be to take up one of these local eating challenges (these are the ones we know of — we bet there's a lot more of 'em) so you can achieve glory, superstar status and indigestion — right after you unbuckle your pants.

Everybody knows Cincinnati is obsessed with food, probably because there's a lot of it around here. Good food, that is. Whether you want to show off, naturally induce hibernation, experience a lifetime's worth of a particular dish in one sitting or just want a good story to tell, there are plenty of opportunities to make it happen with eating challenges around the city.

We’ve only added the ones we were able to confirm with the restaurant, but if you're dead-set on checking one of these out, it's probably a good idea to call ahead and make sure it's not a periodical offering. Be sure to let us know where we missed in the comments!

1) Ramundo's Pizza  (Mount Lookout)
Two people split a 26-inch pizza with extra cheese and two toppings, with 10 minutes to devour the whole thing. It's an investment — the pizza costs $35 — but you get it (and heartburn) for free if you finish.

2) Blue Ash Chili (Blue Ash) – "No Freakin' Way Challenge": One person + 2.5 lbs. spaghetti + 2.5 lbs. chili. + 2.5 lbs. cheese + 1 lb. jalapenos + 60 minutes + $40 = the most extravagant and gut-busting possible way to prove your obsession with our city's trademark dish, Cincinnati chili. If you finish, it's free and you'll get a spot on the Hall of Fame plus a T-shirt. Losers go on the Hall of Shame, but you'll still get a tee for free.

3) Raniero’s Pizza  (Cold Springs, Ky.) – Two people have 10 minutes to devour a 24-inch pizza, and each is allowed one 20 oz. cup of water. Beat the clock and get the pizza for free; beat the record and get a T-shirt, too.

4) Mecklenburg Gardens (Corryville) – The “Uber Terminator Challenge”: One person has an hour to put down a 3-foot long spicy mettwurst sausage on a hoagie bun, covered with peppers and sauerkraut. It’s $25, and free if you make it. You get a free T-shirt either way.

5) Padrino’s  (Milford)– Four pounds of spaghetti and meatballs + you + 45 minutes. If you make it, it’s free; if not, $30.

6) Izzy’s (multiple locations)
“110 Reuben Challenge”:  Of course, made famous a la Man v. Food: a super-sized potato pancake, more than 1 lb. of corned beef, a heap of sauerkraut, dressing and cheese, all inside a big loaf of poppyseed bread. You have 30 minutes to eat this monstrosity — it’s $19.99 — and if you make it, you’ll get it fo’ free plus a T-shirt and a photo on the Izzy’s wall of shame fame.

7) Guiseppe’s Pizza (Covington)  “Legend of the Drunken Fireman”: Just you and a 20-inch, 20-topping, 7-lb. pizza plus 59 minutes. If you lose, it’ll set you back $50; if you make it, you’ll get it free plus a T-shirt.

8) Bard’s Burgers  (Covington) – Two different challenges here: Go big with the Bardzilla — a burger with 10 1/3-lb. beef patties, 10 pieces of cheese, 2 lbs. of French fries and a 16 oz. milkshake (close to 7 lbs. of food). Free if you make it through in 45 minutes or less, $30 if not. Or, for the more timid, there’s the “Little Zilla” — beat the customer record to chow down one of two triple-stacked specialty burgers — the Kitchen Sink or the Widow Maker (eek) — plus an order of large fries and a milkshake, for a free meal
 
 
by Jen Lee 08.14.2009
Posted In: Life at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (18)
 
 

Don't Hate on the Nati

As someone who was born and raised in Cincinnati, I naturally spent my whole life wanting to get the hell out of here.

I hated that there was nothing to do on Friday nights except go to the movies, bake cookies or eat lettuce wraps at PF Changs. I hated the schizo weather (70 and sunny one day, 30 and snowing the next: just another week in Ohio). I hated the predominantly conservative mindset, the maddening monotonity of the suburbs, the city’s aversion to all things new and different. I hated that you only had to drive 10 minutes in any direction to land in a sea of cornfields. And I hated Cincinnati’s dangerous proximity to Kentucky, where odious mullets and high-waisted denim shorts continue their ruthless and tyrannical reign. 

In short, I pretty much spent my entire life blaming my unfortunate geographic placement for all my problems. So when it came time for college applications, it was a no-brainer: I submitted my test scores, sappy personal essays and record of every nap I took in calculus to seven out-of-state schools — and just one in-state school.

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by Maija Zummo 10.30.2008
Posted In: Life at 03:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Things To Do This Weekend

Halloween is tomorrow. You have like 26 hours left to carve a pumpkin, find whatever shade of fishnet stockings best compliment your "sexy" cop/nurse/cat/pirate/witch/mermaid/princess outfit and get your hopes up about how awesome this weekend is going to be!

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by Danny Cross 10.22.2009
Posted In: Life, Culture at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Saturday at Grammer's: NEIN ON NINE!

Most of us can agree that this Issue 9 business has become a total mess. If passed, this charter amendment won’t necessarily stop the streetcar line from being constructed, but it will force a vote before city leaders can spend money on it. It will also force votes on all other rail spending — including regional high-speed trains that Barack Obama wants built. Issue 9 is anti-Obama!

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by Jac Kern 05.13.2011
Posted In: Is this for real?, Life, Fun at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Press Release of the Day

Deciding which route to take in disciplining children is surely a tough decision. The closest thing I have to spawn is a gang of pets, and they don't know "sit" from "shut the hell up," so I guess training a little human would be even harder.

Today, it seems two extreme concepts of discipline stand out (usually while I'm shopping at a seedy Kroger location): the pulling-the-kid-by-the-arm-while-yelling-at-and-occasionally-spanking-them-onlooking-shoppers-be-damned or the children-deserve-freedom-and-isn't-he-adorable-shit-momma-needs-a-break. Surely, there's a happy medium between publicly berating your 4-year-old and falling into a dopey gaze as you let the kid scale shelves in aisle 6B. Thankfully, that's where Potty Mouth Soap comes in!

Made locally in Maineville, Ohio, creators of Potty Mouth Soap promise effective use of their product will help "nip the lip." The press release, sent to myself at CityBeat's office, is quite well-written, featuring enough alliteration to make Carrie Bradshaw squeal:

"Sick of the sass? Tired of the talking back?…Potty Mouth Soap is an all-natural, safe way to help discipline your kids. What's more, it's fun and effective." Fun? Just tell that to Ralphie.

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It was...soap POISONING!

Not sure if it's effective, but hilariously (?) enough, there is a link to this video on Potty Mouth Soap's homepage:


The release continues:

"It's made with all-natural, non-toxic ingredients including coconut oil, palm oil and purified water. So when your little darling dares to sass you can feel completely safe when placing Potty Mouth Soap at the edge of their mouth. And that yucky taste will help nip the lip that you're so fed up with."


I know what you're thinking. "My kids are the worst when we're in public, but how can I keep a bar of soap in my purse?" Potty Mouth Soap gotchu.

Enter Potty Mouth Spray. This portable "Cinnamint" mouth spray if perfect for Krogering. The website warns, "Don't leave home without it!"

On the "How to Use Potty Mouth Soap" tab are four YouTube videos above the text that's printed on the press release. One would think these would be how-to videos on soaping your kids, or examples of children who need to be soaped. The videos include one of
a baby "biting" (but really placing her toothless mouth upon) a dog, the infamous "David After the Dentist" and "Charlie Bit Me."


Now in Auto-Tune form

Now, it kind of seems like the soap method might just teach kids to shove gross things in people's mouths when they say something they don't like, but I'm no parent. I guess I've come across some 9-year-olds who might deserve to get soaped, but a freaking baby? They don't even know how to make words yet! And seriously, no person should ever be accountable for what they say when high, after the dentist or otherwise.

"Gotta teach 'em young," you say? "This is probably better than the belt method." Well, bars and spray are $3-$5 a pop and include a sticker reward chart for positive behavior.

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No gold star for you!

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 06.15.2009
Posted In: Life, Dating at 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 

Craigslist Crusades

I admit it. I am a Craigslist addict. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?

It started back in April while I was still at college. My friend Ashley and I began scheming to find an apartment to share in Cincy for the summer, dreading living under parental control after a year of complete freedom in college.

Before class, I began checking the “apartments” listings all over Cincinnati, constantly searching for a cheaper, cooler, better place to rent.

That lasted for a while. As the school year came to a close, I started thinking about how much I needed to find a summer job / make money before heading back to Ohio.

So my addiction magnified.

Almost every day, I checked the job postings. Before I knew it, I found myself skimming stuff like the “manufacturing” and “systems/network” job postings, even though I fully knew I a) lacked any smidgeon of qualification b) had absolutely no interest in working in a peanut processing plant c) had no clue what the hell systems/network even meant.

Then came the [ETC] category. One of my personal favorites. I started looking here when my job search was failing and I realized how desperate I was for money. The [ETC] listings contain every odd job you could dream up. Fluent in Thai? Want to iron shirts for cash? Mow lawns? Teach tantra? Somebody wants to pay you.

I couldn’t help myself—I kept checking the [ETC] listings to see if I qualified to participate in a dish soap research study or maybe a coffee drinker focus group.

Then came the best part. The missed connections. I can’t even remember how I wandered over to the personals sections. Curiosity is the only reasonable explanation.

Previously, my primary sources of internet humor were textsfromlastnight.com and fmylife.com. But the missed connections were better because they were never really intended to be funny in the first place. Call me a cynic, but it seems like a bit more than wishful thinking to hope that that sexy Wal-mart cashier was checking you out, too, and wandered over to Craigslist just hoping you’d confess your longing in poetic prose. Kind of like this one: “We exchanged eye contact that was fraught with attraction, anxiety, curiosity, longing, despair, hopelessness, hopefulness, an urge to say hi and an urge to say "stop looking at me.’”

Or maybe this one: “’Oh Starbucks barista girl at the 4th and Vine location... how in love am I with you? Let me count the ways… ‘Chocolate frappacino’ you gently said as you slammed the cup to the counter without even looking up... I imagine cartoon hearts must have shot out of my spine and into the air.”

If the missed connections section of Craigslist has taught me anything, I’ve learned that there are a whole slew of romance novelists in Cincinnati just waiting to be discovered. People are so optimistic; they take time to write these postings just hoping it will be read in time for them to reignite that flame kindled in a parking lot, coffee shop, whatever.

I am fully aware of how incredibly dorky/pathetic it is that I have wasted so much time on Craigslist. But I don’t care. Reading the classifieds is a great source for procrastination, humor and insight into the genuine hopes/dreams/hallucinations of people all over the ‘Nati.

Go check out Craigslist. Just not the creepy sections. Who knows, maybe you really did catch the eye of that super cute waiter/librarian/barista. Or maybe you can make a quick $50 for participating in a left-handed research study. It’s all gold.


 
 
by Jac Kern 02.01.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Life, Culture, Fun at 01:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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Shit Cincinnatians Say


I guess it was only a matter of time. The Shit Girls Say viral phenomenon has sparked hundreds of knock-offs: Shit Black Guys Say, Shit Girls Say to Gay Guys, Shit Nobody Says are among my favorites. Now, we have our own.

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by Jac Kern 05.24.2011
Posted In: Is this for real?, Fun, Animals, Life at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Dealing With Humans: Cincinnati Zoo Edition

I like to think of myself as a pretty normal person, perfectly capable of interacting with a variety of other humans. I watch bad television and sometimes shop at Wal-Mart, yet I enjoy ethnic food and DIY projects. MFin' renaissance woman. But sometimes, despite a breadth of interests and activities, I cannot deal with people. Enter the Cincinnati Zoo.

This Sunday, instead of burying my head under a pillow until 1 p.m., the boyfriend and I decided to pay a visit to the yearly Zoo Babies attraction. The weather was sunny and warm, and neither of us were hungover - a perfect and rare opportunity to look at little animals.

Nearly anyone can enjoy a trip to the zoo, but I know very well that this type of attraction is particularly appealing to little humans - children. And sometimes children don't know how to walk yet or their biological walking timers shut off and they need assistance, i.e. strollers. I know they're necessary, but some of these devices are more comparable to a slightly smaller Prius. Of course, you have to let kids cut in front of your or you're a total bitch. But, god damnit, I paid $14 to be here and I want to see the manatees, too.

So what are you supposed to do? Wait patiently for the throng of toddlers to peep new baby giraffe, Zuri and then try your damnedest to see past their gooey fingerprints smudging the glass window once it's your turn.

Strollers suck (though they're much more obtrusive at packed festivals - watch out for those bad boys this weekend at The Taste!), but Sunday I found a worse alternative that I thought only existed as a joke in the '90s - baby leashes. I witnessed countless seemingly behaved youngsters strapped in a fuzzy, cuddly, stuffed-animal themed LEASH. How lazy of a parent do you have to be to think the best way to prevent your kid from jumping into the polar bear cave is to attach them to a harness?


                                      However, it's another issue if you're hypoglycemic and hyperactive. A hyper-hypo.

You better believe I gave a big old side-eye to each of these parents. For the love of god, go back to the tricked out, view-obstructing, toe-crushing stroller! Anything is better than a child leash.

Thankfully, dedicated individuals have devoted their time to stop this injustice.

Of course, there's another group of humans that left me mimicking the gorillas:

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                                             The I-don't-give-a-fuck crew.

So we're in the Jungle Trails, a peaceful, shaded area with plenty of space and lots of cool creatures. I'm just trying to get a good view of a zebra when I hear a stern, "Excuse me. There is no smoking anywhere in the zoo." Now, this dude was kind of dickish, gettin' up in somebody's bidness while wiping his kid from head to toe with sanitizer. But, holy shit, some bitch was actually smoking a cig by the animals! She quickly extinguished her smoke (possibly into the animal sanctuary - I was trying not to stare) with a raspy "Sah-ree." With that, it was time to escape to the air-conditioned nocturnal animal space.

It was pretty dark and kind of hard to see these critters (hello, nocturnal!) and one particularly grimy child next to me began smacking the window next to me.

"Wake up! Where is it?" he shouted, as a little partner in crime joined him in glass-banging. Half-concerned for the adorable lemur on the other side, half-worried someone might mistake these shit heads as my own offspring, I used my best waitress voice and said, "Hey guys, we shouldn't tap on the glass, OK?" and pointed to the dozens of signs suggesting the same. They continued.

We made our way back outside, to see my most anticipated animals, the bonobos. These apes share 98.7% of DNA with humans and are completely capable of learning many people things, like understanding English and using American Sign Language. (Side note: I'm half-way through Water for Elephants author's latest novel Ape House, in which bonobos play a huge role. It's a great read.) They're sweet.

Once again, I found myself behind a bunch of kids who probably can't pronounce bonobo and probably won't remember seeing them, but I kept my patient pants on. Until grimy kid #1 resurfaced…on the other side of a rope barrier, pounding on the gate. Sure enough, the brat belonged to cig lady who, at this point was enjoying (her fifth?) draft beer.

"C'mon, stop it. You're not supposed to be there," she yawned.

"I wanna see if he'll attack me! I wanna see if he'll attack me!"

This continued for a few minutes. I felt my mouth drop and I turned around to see I wasn't the only one in awe. Anyone who makes me feel like I'd be a competent mother has some serious issues. Maybe child leashes are appropriate in certain situations.

I guess I didn't really learn how to better cope with people, but I did discover this: animals are way cooler than humans, and their babies are cuter.

 
 

 

 

 
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