Category Archives: Flotsam / Jetsam

I found the perfect gift for the sports fanatic in your life

Disclaimer: You Gotta Know sent Nichole a product to review here at Butterscotch Sundae and compensated her for her time. All opinions are Nichole’s own.

You know that person in your life who always wears their team’s colors on game day? The guy who can recite their favorite point guard’s stats from the 1987-88 season? The girl who can rattle off every minor league ballpark affiliation in the National League? You Gotta Know has the perfect gift for that person. (It is too early to talk about holiday gifts, friends, but sports fans also have birthdays.) I know several such people, and I also know they don’t read my blog so I feel pretty safe telling you I’ll be buying a couple of these later this year.

Pop quiz!

What three-word Ernie Banks catchphrase typically followed “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame…”?1)“Let’s play two!”

What Wrigley Field staple was planted in 1937 by manager Bill Veeck?2)Ivy!

What team defeated the Bulls in the Eastern Conference playoffs three seasons in a row from 1988-1990?3)The Detroit Pistons!

In 2013, who started in net for all 23 Blackhawks playoff games?4)Corey Crawford!

You Gotta Know games sports triviaYou Gotta Know Games send me a copy of their Chicago Sports Trivia Game (The Ultimate Trivia Game for the Chicago Sports Fan!), and three of the questions above were some of the only ones I could answer. And you guys? There are 500 questions in the game. Uber-Cubs fan Rockford won pretty easily, but there were definitely some Blackhawks questions that tripped him up.

You don’t have to be a Chicago fan to play, though. There are more than 20 locations in their portfolio, so you and your favorite sports fan are covered all the way from Boston to Seattle!

I can see this being a lot of fun to play at a sports bar or during commercial breaks when you’re watching a game at home. Game play is really straight forward: You read the questions, and the first player to get 21 points wins. Easy-peasy — so long as you know everything about your area’s sports teams and their history, of course.

Please know, dear readers, that it took a lot of restraint for me to use neither “touchdown” nor “homerun” to describe these games. Whoops, so much for that restraint. One might also call them a 3-pointer at the buzzer or a reverse breakout ice razzamattazz. (One might be correct in assuming I don’t know anything about hockey.)

You Gotta Know sports trivia games are only $20 each, and you can get them at You Gotta Know Games or at Rally House.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. “Let’s play two!”
2. Ivy!
3. The Detroit Pistons!
4. Corey Crawford!

The Ghosts of November Sixteenths Past

Here we are in the middle of National Blog Posting Month, which is traditionally the time when I have a hard time coming up with something to write about. So let’s see what I shared on previous Novembers 16th.

In 2008, we learned that I didn’t like “Babel.”

In 2009, I made and did not care for lamb kheema.

In 2010, I was looking for a good Christmas gift.

In 2011, I drew a hedgehog.

In 2012, I shared some links. How original!

In 2013, I bought a car and almost forgot to post.

In 2014, I shared some posts that were abandoned in my drafts file.

In 2015, I was talking tacos. At least I’m consistent.

In 2016, we took another dive into the drafts.

Now I’m going to log off and recharge so I can find some more words for tomorrow and the rest of November.

Baby’s first existential crisis

The author as a young philosopher, probably 1982.
When I was very, very small, my family lived in what felt like a big, rambling house out in the country. The house was on a corner. Across one street there was a sugar beet field, and across the other was a little corner store where my mom worked for a while.

In the back yard there was a swing set that had an exhilarating tilt when you were too enthusiastic on the swings and an expansive garden where the sunflowers towered above my head and I ate my first bite of raw garlic. There was a playhouse on the other side of the garden, and that’s where my cat Rainbow had her kittens. A small boy ran screaming “Creatures! There are creatures in there!” when he discovered them. I don’t remember who the small boy was or why he was in my playhouse.

Across the garden was my best friend’s house, and the neighbor on the other side had raised boxes in his side yard where he raised snapping turtles. They were terrifying and thus magnetic. My first school was just down the street. My best friend and I once ventured into the fields beyond the school and found a huge beaver dam that we revisited again and again until the deep snows kept us away.

There wasn’t a garage on the property when my parents first bought the house, but my dad wanted one. So he and his brothers built one because that’s the kind of thing they did back then. I remember the day the concrete was poured. My dad held me at an awkward angle and I hovered over wet concrete and pressed my hand into the corner. Someone — probably my mom — carved my name and the date next to it.

Later, after the concrete was dry and the walls were up and the doors were installed and shelves lined the walls, my dad was working on something in the garage and I was in there with him, not being particularly helpful. I don’t know what I was planning, but it involved climbing the metal shelves against the wall. They sat in the corner above my handprint, and they were one million feet tall. Dad worked, and I climbed. I reached the top and cut my hand on a sharp edge.

It hurt, but not enough to make me cry. But then I looked at the small wound, and I was mortified.

I’m not sure where I got the impression that the inside of a people was roughly the color, texture and density of bologna — which is probably why I have never been able to eat bologna — but I was mortified to discover that the inside of my hand was decidedly un-bolognaish.

I wailed, and I launched myself from the top of those metal shelves. My dad stopped what he was doing and came to help. I’m pretty sure he thought I was overreacting, but that’s just because he thought I was crying about a cut when actually I was enduring my first deep existential crisis.

If we weren’t all bologna, what of my other assumptions were wrong?

A lot of them, as it turned out. A few years later my mom packed my baby brother and I up and moved us back to her childhood home. She sold my playhouse to one of her friends, and quite a long time later my dad sold the house altogether.

I drove past the house a few years ago, and it looked exactly like and not at all like I’d remembered it. The tree I rode my Big Wheel around was still in the front yard, and the turtle boxes next door were still there. The swing set was gone, though, and the rough pink-and-grey siding was gone.

I’ll bet my handprint and my name are still in the corner of the garage, though. I’d like to go inside and look at it some day.