As I write this, protestors to the Democratic National Convention have taken over the streets of Denver, shutting down traffic as they march from the Capitol to the Convention Center.
Ok, so we'd been drinking. A lot. At least for me, an out-of-practice mama. But that's not to say that alcohol-induced ideas are by definition bad ones, especially since this one is sooo, sooo good.
Ok, so just yesterday I was wondering when Gwen Stefani was going to pop, and lo and behold, Zuma Nesta Rock was announced this morning! That's a boy. Zuma Nesta Rock. Wow, where do I begin with a name like that?
Doesn't seem to necessarily "go" with Kingston, but maybe they'll call him "Rock" so they both have a music vibe to them? I mean, both the first two names end in A, so they are a touch feminine, not that boy's names ending in A are necessarily girls names... but I did have to verify that it was a male child since the name itself would have suggested otherwise. Zuma for a girl I can see, what with it nearly being Uma, and having that fabu Brangleina last-letter-of-alphabet addition (Angie seems to favor those, I think... lots of Xs and a Z and now a V). I'm frankly still trying to get my brain around little baby Zuma, but perhaps I'm just too distracted by the similarity to "Zoomba", the new "latin dance-inspired" fitness class offered at my local Y (which no matter how many times they announce its arrival in pump class, still sounds crazy dorky to me).
Or, it could be that she and Gavin felt like they really needed to fit in with music legend Frank Zappa on the fucked-up naming tip, or to really show that sassy little upstart Shannyn Sossamon with her son Audio Science (still my vote for worst name ever) that she ain't got nothin' on them! At any rate, thought it was worth noting that Gwen did, in fact, give birth this summer after what seems like the longest pregnancy ever. Next up? Ben and Jen's new little bun. I'm thinking boy for them. Any bets?
Also, still so don't care about Jessica Alba's baby or her getting pics in star rags, won't care if Eva Longoria is preggers, and is anyone else suspicious as to why JLo's still hiding her little accountants, I mean, Anthonys? They've gotta be looking better by now!
Update: Just read on perezzers that Nesta was Bob Marley's middle name, too. So there's that Jamaican connection to link the new one up with his big bro! (People like theme naming. They really do. Which is not necessarily bad.)
In congratulations to Matt Damon on his second daughter, Gia, being announced today, I thought I would go ahead and show the work I did earlier in the summer on the Social Security Administration’s popular baby name list-- which came out months ago now, but really, my summer all but flew by and I’m sorry it has taken me this long to do it. So, Edna, quit buggin’, here it is.
Now you all know I’m a total nerd when it comes to infantile nomenclature, so I anxiously await any list of popular names. The thing about these lists, however, is that they are just straight numbers reportage, there is absolutely no analysis included (I guess that’s too much to ask out of the federal government). So, that being said, I went ahead and crunched the numbers for myself. I know, I know. How do I find the time, you ask? The answer, sadly, is child neglect. Ok, then, let’s get to it.
According to the SSA , Jacob remains the top choice for boys and Emily is the winner for the fairer sex. Well, this is somewhat misleading. Because when one factors in all the various spellings of names and compiles like names together, things sort of change. Not a lot, but enough to be noteworthy. Also, when you consider names that rhyme with one another, that illustrate a societal love affair with certain sounds at a given time by a given population, the list gets even more interesting.
So first off I compiled all the different spellings, which brought about another interesting point. It seems that parents all over are dying to be “different” and choose unusual spellings for certain names in an attempt to show their creativity and individuality.
But, when I took all the names that either were pronounced the same (Emily and Emmalee, for example) or were derivatives of one another (counting Nicks with Nicholas’, or Kate with Katherine/Kathryn/Catherine), things not only really took on a more accurate picture of what one would find in the kindergarten class of 2012 (remember the information available is for 2007), it also revealed that the top 1000 names aren’t actually 1000 names at all! (You heard me right, I analyzed that many. And remember, there are two genders, so I really I parsed 2000 names!)
In all our effort to be different and creative we had actually shrunk the pool of top names from 1000 to 586 names for girls and 653 names for boys. So in effect, we’ve actually reduced our top 1000 from 1000 individual names to nearly half that with all our “creativity”! (I should know, I have a “creatively” spelled popular name... word to the wise: all it does is cut you out of the pre-printed personalized pencil and bike license plate loop! Thanks a lot, Mom!)
I also was interested in those names that reflect my generations shared adoration of certain sounds, most specifically, what I call the “Aidens” and the “Aileys”. These are names that rhyme except for the first letter, ie: Aiden, Jaden, Cadon, Brayden, and Hayden for boys, BAiley, Hailey and Kaylee for girls (plus, all their myriad spellings-- you’d be surprised what people can come up with!). So I have some analytical information on those names as well. But will start first with the plain list that was released by the SSA and my compiled list. I will just do the top 25, as I had to choose somewhere to stop, and really there is a bookload of analysis available. Plus things get a little boring at the bottom. (Speaking of the bottom, the last names on the compiled list are Olive and Marlen, for girls with 262 girls named either in 2007, and Leroy, Dandre, and Daxton for boys (with 191 boys each).
Ok, well, at first glance they don’t seem too different, seems like they are pretty much the same names. But when you really look at it, Alexander shoots up to number one when you factor in all the different spellings and that some people just used the nickname as a name. And the biggest boy surprise is that Aiden (and all of its alternate spellings: Aden, Aidan, Aidyn, Adan, Adin, Aedan, Ayden, Aydan, and Aydin) rockets onto the list at all, landing at number 2! So if you had relied on the SSA’s list you’d think, wow, I love “Aiden” and it is at #27 so it is only relatively popular, you wouldn’t realize that once all the Aiden sound-alikes are added up, almost 1 in 50 boys is named Aiden. And then, if you add in all the “Aiden” rhyme names, that percentage of newborn boys named some variation of Aiden (#2), Kaden (#20), Jayden (#6), Hayden (#77) and Brayden (#36) skyrockets to 5% of boys. That’s one in twenty baby boys named one of those names. That’s something the government won’t tell you, but then, that’s why you come to me!
As far as girls go, Alexandra seem to appear out of nowhere, but that is because when you take all the derivatives of that name (Alex, Alexandria, Alexis, etc, which I basically think are pretty much the same name as Alexandra), then it really boosts the popularity of girls who can be nicknamed "Alex".
I’ll also let you know that the girls’ “Aileys” (Bailey, Kaylee, Hailey, etc) can really add up. When taken together, our generation loves that sound so much we named 3.3% of our daughters one of those names (and an honest-to-God truckload of alternate spellings on those!). In general, we seemed to really prefer names that start with the K sound and end in Long E, Short A, or “in” so much 10% of American girls were given one of those names (like Katie, Kaylin, Carson, Karley, and on and on). Also worth noting, the spreading the love of the oft-overused “Madison”. While still crazy popular, the alternate rhymer “Addison” scaled the charts as Madison’s apparent successor. Although you could make the case that a resurgence in the oldie but goodie Madeline was helped by the outrageously popular Madison. (PS- if you don’t have a friend somewhere with a daughter named Madison, you need to get out more.)
Anyway, there is the list, with just a tiny bit of my first thoughts on it. If you have a question where any specific name came in on the compiled list, or would like me to email you a copy of it, just let me know. I really could go on and on about this stuff, so I’ll try not to publicly beat this dead horse. I don’t know if everyone wants the whole thing listed here or not. There are some really great ones on there. But bear in mind that since we are so “kreatif” with our spellings, there are a TON of names not on it. Like Ned. Whatever happened to good old Ned? Then again, Ned is one of the many nicknames of Edward, which ranks #82.
I’ll break out my list of names that go both ways (as in ambisexual) in another post, when I don’t have to pick up my kids from school in less than an hour. That’ll be good. Until then, say a toast to little Gia Damon, whose name is NOT in the top 500 (came in at 655 in '07), and her poor sister Isabella, who’ll have to always use her last name in class so she’s not mixed up for that other Isabella. You know, the one who doesn’t have a movie star dad! Whatever! Until then, where the fuck is Gwen Stefani’s baby?!?! Shouldn’t she have popped that little fucker like a month ago!?!?! Can’t wait for that name announcement!!
Oh, we’ll have to take bets on how far up Vivian/Vivienne move up the list for next year-- right now it is at #150 on the compiled list (with no Vivienne showing up on top 1000 yet!). And Knox! Ooooh, boy!
PS- You wouldn’t believe how many people MISSPELLED their kids names! Obvious ones: Micheal (for Michael) and Neveah -- supposed to be “Heaven” spelled backward, which is evidently all the rage in the heartland. (Too bad spelling wasn’t. Ooh. That was bitchy. Forget I said anything. I know, I know, there is no such thing as a “misspelled” name! Whatever you say, Izayah.)
Considering my email is now working again (for some unknown reason my server just decided my password wasn't good enough anymore), this doesn't EXACTLY work for today, but gosh darn, some days I totally get where this guy is coming from.
Ok, so I'm about to lose my mind over the Mens 4x100 Olympic race last night! I could watch it over and over and over, and every time I get all teary-eyed and goofy-grinned! That was beyond perfection! For our team to come back and out touch at the wall in 8 one-hundredths of a second, shattering the previous world record by FOUR seconds, and at the same time beat out a team who had publicly trash-talked us and claimed they were going to "Smash the Americans", and then, the icing on the cake-- for that team to be FRENCH! Oooh la la! Parfait! By far the best swimming race I've ever seen, my heart is still beating from watching the replays on the Today show!
And now for the bad news... anyone who has tried to email me in the past four days has probably recognized that I'm not getting ANY email through. ANd it is not just the regular too-full mailbox issues from a sucky server who is trying to force us, all of a sudden, to upgrade mail (for years I never had to clear out that inbox, and now they allow me 100 messages at best before bouncing everything back! Puh-lease! I get 100 emails of total crap every two days!). NOw my server is not recognizing my password at all. The IT guys said they switching to another, less shitty, server soon. Did that switch happen and they just forgot to tell me? Who knows. At any rate, I'm trying to get ahold of our IT guys to put it right (Funny, they were all straight-to-voicemail on Friday afternoon. Real cool. They'll find out how cool it is to be cut off from email when I start blowing up phones at T-minus 38 minutes-- 8 AM). I'm hoping to be back in working order later this morning. Or else these IT geeks are gonna get a real handful of basketcase-with-no-email!
If you need me, I'm best reached by phone or text for the time being. Once again, I'm sorry for any inconvenience. Ok, I'm off to re-watch Michael Phelps lose his mind at his second gold again!
I have just gotten hold of the WonderTwins People magazine. It is in my sweaty grasp as we speak (hard to type). I will be unavailable for comment until further notice as I must give my full attention to the breaking photographic news that are Viv and Knox. Later!
Update: I'm calling the dentist for emergency fillings tomorrow. Those little Jolie-Pitts (all of them) are so damn cute my teeth ache! And I gotta say, Angelina, chose about the prettiest little thing out of Africa in little Z-- she breaks my heart!! I can hardly stand waiting another couple months, but those twins will really fill out so we can admire them in a few more weeks. Now, they are pretty much newborns-- although clearly they're better than that J.Lo's twins. Damn! (God I hope little Emme Anthony is outgrowing her "balding accountant" stage!).
At any rate, with the amount of dental work we'll all have to have done as a result of their Wondertwin sweetness, I think the whole economy might get a little nudge from this pictorial extravaganza. Fuck Congress' economic stimulus package-- I think there may be some real effects from the Brangelina stimulus package. At least the People mag stock price should see a little bump-- I practically had to go to fisticuffs at WalMart to get my hands on a copy!!
Whilst in St. Paul for my family reunion I came across this little article in the paper that I couldn't resist bringing home to share.
After I got done wiping away the tears of laughter, I was left with just a couple questions:
1) How much does each individual "treatment" cost? "Hundreds" of treatments equalling 77 grand is still a pretty penny on a per treatment cost analysis.
2) When the father complained about the bill, and the psychiatrist offered to treat her for free, was he going to hold the father liable for the charges already incurred, or do you think he was willing to forgive the debt?
3) How is the patient doing? Was this treatment effective? If she was suffering from depression and an eating sidorder, she clearly had a bad body self-image, and perhaps this treatment really would reassure her that she is sexually attractive. That said, after $77,000 worth of treatment, I bet that dad was really hoping his daughter was cured! It probably also crossed his mind that he could have hired a male prostitute at a much lower rate.
In any event, I thought it was so very kind of the doc to offer to "treat" her for free!! Also, I see that reaching this "doctor" is now impossible, but perhaps if one didn't look under "Psychiatrist" in the phone book, but rather looked for "Escorts/Gigolos" he might be reached!
Friday Night, Movie Night. Most Fridays The Old Man and I get a pizza and a Blockbuster and movie candy and settle in with the boys for a fun-filled, sugar-fueled night of family time.
Things are a bit rushed as we throw together the plans, TOM volunteers to wash the baby while I go procure a pie. This is normally a big decision. Do we get Mama’s favorite pizza from Proto’s (only the best pizza available in the US), or do we give in to the boy’s hopes of a more mainstream pie from Pizza Hut? We compromise on Anthony’s where we can get a pie that is thin crust (for Mama) and yet greasy (for the boys). I decide I will go pick up since I have to run out for a few copies of the local paper as my first guest op/ed piece has been published that day and to get the movie and candy. I cajole Deuce into accompanying me since once I get past the protesting whines that he doesn’t want to go, he’s usually a swell errand companion. I promise Deuce he’ll get to choose all the candy, so he relents, begrudgingly, to come along.
All in all, it was a really good week. I was in a great mood, and had even had time to slip in a shower and a blowdry that day (which as all you mommies know, CAN be classified as an accomplishment on some days). I’d put on a sweet little sundress from my favorite local boutique, Tarzhay, and had my favorite little date man in tow. Things were sunny to say the least.
Now bear in mind, I’ve been off the dating market for some time now, and I will admit to being a bit rusty on reading signals from the opposite sex. But I tell you what, there was no mistaking that when we walked through Anthony’s door, I was getting vibe. From a kid.
The boy(!) behind the counter was clearly still in high school, working a summer job. Oooh! Damn! Edna’s not going to believe this! I thought. (My gal, Edna, she lurves the young ‘uns!) So as I order up our ginormous pizza pie (why I think my young sons eat like teenagers is a mystery. They eat a slice apiece, and that is after much threatening, followed by much begging on the part of myself and TOM.), I couldn’t help but feel like yes, indeed, this kid’s flirting with me!
Damn! This YMCA bootcamp I’m doing must be really paying off!! Look at me! I’m a MILF!
So Deuce and I settle onto the little bench to wait for our order. I’m feeling quite self-conscious now, as the kid behind the counter is directly facing us, and still smiling me up and really checking me out. Does he think I’m babysitting this kid? I open up the Tidbits all dramatically and hide behind it, making sure that I hold my left hand out in front to hold the paper, really showing off my diamond-y finger, just in case he hadn’t noticed it when I’d ordered.
We get all the way through the Tidbits (its not that big a paper, but still, its been a bit of a wait), and as I lower the paper and look up, I see the kid still standing there, looking at me.
“Is it still really hot out?” He asks me.
He’s asking me about the weather. He’s making small talk. WTF? He totally just said “hot” to me. Is that some sort of come on?
“No, its pretty nice,” I say, and turn my body toward Deuce and try my hardest to think of something I need to discuss with him. What does one urgently discuss with a four-year-old?
Order after order comes out of the kitchen, none in a to-go box. I start to wonder how long I’m going to be sitting there on display for this kid. I also start to wonder just how pretty I must look today to garner all this attention from him. I’ve become beyond self-conscious now, I’m getting flustered.
The owner of the place and the delivery guy have come out of the kitchen and are hanging out by the cash registers now, and Deuce has decided to sit upside down on the bench. The kid just keeps checking me out. Does he know he’s being that obvious? Suddenly my mind is flooded with memories of high school boyfriends recounting stories of the times they all seemed to have scored an older woman, a woman nearing 30, a woman with kids. I remembered how disgusted I was at 17 at the idea that these “OLD” ladies were sleeping with high school boys. How could these kids find anything attractive in some old lady who’d pushed out a couple of kids? In retrospect, I knew a surprising number of boys in high school who had made the “big score” with an older woman. Where were they meeting these women, I’d wondered. Dear God, was it the pizza parlor?!?!
I’m shaken from my reverie by the kid. He’s come around the counter and walked right up in front of me. Oh my god.
“So, what’s your number?” he asks with a shy little smile.
Holy Shit! I’m married! I think. I’m thrown by the question, and certainly must look confused. I am the deer in headlights. I believe I started stuttering. Just as my mouth regains connection with my brain, and my mouth opens to say, “I’m married”, the kid continues, “I can check on what’s taking your pizza so long. Do you have your order number?”
Riiiight. My ORDER number! Of course! He wants my order number to check on my pizza! He didn’t just come ask for my phone number in front of his boss, his co-worker, and my son. Of course not.
“I don’t know!” I tell him, thanking God that those words had overridden the already issued thought to respond with “I’m married!”. I told him what we’d ordered and as he disappeared into the kitchen to find it, I’m pretty sure I had a minor cardiac arrest. Furiously pawing through my purse to find my receipt, I can’t hardly put two thoughts together. I’m too shaky and flush-faced to focus on the task of finding the receipt, even though by now it is completely unnecessary. There it is! Under my giant, mom-sized ass! “Here it is!” I call out to the kid, waving it at him like my own personal dork-flag. He comes back with my box of piping hot pizza, which is approximately 50 degrees cooler than my embarrassed cheeks. “Thanks!” I call over my shoulder as I literally sprint for door, dragging Deuce behind me in an effort to shield the retreating view of said Mom-ass and the rolls of back fat spilling out from under my bra.
Methinks that we won’t be picking up from Anthony’s again for some time. At least until summer break is over and all the high school kids are done with their summer jobs.
Ok, I back in town. No more excuses for not posting anymore, right? except that now my head's totally fogged and I can't seem to get it together. You ever go on a vacation and just NOT want to come home? My cousin's place is pretty much as awesome as it gets: Big shade trees, guest house with sleeping porches, lake, swimming pool, tennis court, boats, boutique shopping within ten minutes, massive mall o' america shopping in 30... it was great. Plus it was all kids running around screaming laughing and slamming doors as they ran in and out, riding three wheelers and playing catch. And just laughing with my cousins and my aunt and uncle. Yep, i'm definitely having a tough time getting back in the swing of things here. I've got a ton of stuff to do, all I want to do is nap! Ok, so I'm going to forgive myself for sloth for today, and use this weekend to try to get it together, and start fresh on Monday. Its not helping that it is supposed to be 103 here today. Ugh, don't want to do anything but nap. But I have to go to the store and get some darn groceries, and after finding out from Cousin Lloyd's wife, Sara, that bullfrog tadpoles can live for up to three years before becoming frogs, I clearly need to make a run to PetSmart and get a filter for the aquarium. I've had these damn things since May and not one of them has even an inkling of a toe poking out yet! THey just seem to get bigger and bigger! Thor, the biggest one is nearly three inches long already and I see no arms or legs sprouting! So, I'm going to have to find something to make that tank more low maintenance, as you wouldn't believe how much tadpoles poop! Ok, I promise some thing more interesting later. Hope you all are well! XOXOX