Monday, January 31, 2011

Weird Names I Kinda Like

As you learned from my last post, I am a name hater. 

If you are an American and didn't name your child after a major character in the bible or classic literature, then I probably don't like their name. 

I also hate off-spellings.  I love the name Jane.  I hate the name Jayne. Don't care for Jaine either.

That said, I do have a handful of "weird" names that I really like. 

I like:

Maud - Actually, Maud would have been fourth after Aline, Claire & Molly.

Maybe this is why I don't have girls.   
Cary  - I tried and tried and tried to get Greg to agree to a Cary. It is not either a girl's name. 
Kelly - I went to high school with a boy Kelly.  And he was dreamy.  It is NOT a girl's name!  I mean, yes, girls can be names Kelly.  It's a nice name for a girl. But it's also a great name for a boy. 
Atticus  - My friend almost named her son Atticus, but she named him Holden instead.  At least Holden is from another of my favorite books.  Holden is a cutie.  And yes, I like his name.  It has a meaning.  If she named him Joldyn?  She would be out of the inner circle. 

That's about it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nice Names that I Can't Stand

If you are sensitive about names, don't read this.  Because I am probably going to insult you.  I am not trying to be insulting.  I am simply making an observation from my own perspective. 

Please don't e-mail me or facebook me.  Because I warned you ahead of time. 

I met a child named Brooklynne.

Not Brooklyn.  Not Brooke Lynn.  Brooklynn.

Pretty much hate that name.  She is a sweet girl though.

In all fairness, if you didn't name your child after a saint -- and I mean a common saint, not Saint Felix or anything -- then I probably don't like your kid's name.

I like your kid (probably).  Just not the name.

I think I am a name-Nazi because my mother has an unusual name.  Her name is Aurelia, but everyone calls her Pucky.  Like hockey-pucky.  Don't ask.  But it tells you why my brothers & sister & I all have very plain Catholic names. 

I just managed to blame my rudeness on my mom, didn't I?

Ooops.  Sorry Mom!

I like names with meaning.  If you named your kid Britnee because it was your great-aunt's name, I will think that's an awesome name.  If you named your kid Britnee because you just like the name, and because you want an "unusual" spelling, then I hate the name. 

Spelling is important. 

I once met a woman whose name is Adarin.  She was my customer.  I went to the lobby and called out "ADARIN!".  She said "It's pronounced ADRIAN".  Really? Because it's spelled ADARIN.  I had a customer named Jorge who insisted his name was George.  (OK that one I sorta get.  But don't get in my face just because I called you Hore-Hey.  That's how Jorge is pronounced.  Jeesh.)

I laugh when people say things like "We really wanted something unusual".

I always recommend Ralph or Karen.  You don't see many Ralphs or Karens born these days, do you?  Unusual!

Below please find a list of names that I am not liking right now (in no particular order).  Please note, at least half of these names can be found in my kiddo's classes.

Madison. . .Madysyn is even worse. 

I always ask the parent if they named their child after the President or the city.  They almost always say something like "There's a city called Madison?".  Ummm, yeah.  It's the CAPITAL of WISCONSIN. 

If the parent ever says "The city.  We met while at UW" (which I have yet to hear), then Madison is the BEST name EVAH!  Go Badgers!

Jett  (I love John Travolta.  But Jett?  no.)
Ham (Biblical name.  Good name.  If Ham is a rabbi, then I am fine with this name.)
Dalylah  (I really hate this one.  It's pronounced Delilah.  Delilah is a perfectly nice name.  Why do you have to wonk up the spelling????)
Camden  (Orioles Fan?)
Colby (you know that's a cheese, right?  It was invented in COLBY, WISCONSIN)
Jordan or Jordyn  (On this one I ask if the child is named after the river or the greatest athlete who has ever lived.  Again, if I like the answer, I like the name.)

Xoe (Zoe is fine.  Xoe is stupid)
Xander (stupider than Xoe even)
Brandon, Brenden or Brayden
Tawny (that's a stripper name)
Octavian (There is a sweet little blond kid in #3 Son's class named Octavian.  Love the kid, hate the name)



Feel free to add your own list of yucky names!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Not the Same

Ever ask for a Coke and have someone hand you a glass of generic cola?

It's not the same.

Ever ask for a Twinkie & get a Little Debbie instead? 

It's not the same.

This weekend I was in San Antonio.  I worked out at the hotel fitness center.

I usually work out at V Fit.

It's not the same.

Not even close. 

Having a personal trainer is officially a priority in my life.  It's right behind sending the kids to Catholic School and being debt free. 

Now I want a Twinkie & a Coke. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Open Letter to Carrie Fisher

Dear Carrie -- can I call you Carrie?

First, let me get this out of the way:  LOVED YOU in Blues Brothers.  That's my favorite role of yours.  I see Princess Leia every day because I have 3 little boys, which means that some version of Star Wars is on at my house 24/7.  Princess Leia is a great character, but NOTHING like Jake's Ex.  Awesome.

Carrie, I read your interview in People Magazine


Carrie, Carrie, Carrie.

You have survived a childhood with very famous parents.  You have survived alcoholism and drug addiction.  You have built a career in your own right -- not as the daughter of two very famous celebs, but as an intelligent and versatile actress, writer and director.  You played Jake's Girlfriend in Blues Brothers for Chryssake.  Haven't you learned by now that you have intrinsic value? 

I understand that you feel that it is humiliating to be fat.  I'm fat.  I've felt that. 

But I don't feel that way anymore.  Humiliation is appropriate when you have done something shameful.

Have you slept with someone else's husband?  If so, then you deserve to be humiliated.  That is a horrible, shameful, ugly thing to do.

Remember when you stole money to buy drugs?  That was shameful. You felt humiliated once you were found out, right?  (Actually, I don't know if you've ever done that.  But my husband watches a lot of Addiction on TV, and he says stealing to buy drugs is pretty common.)

Being fat is not shameful.  You haven't done anything wrong.

You want a body like your 18 year old daughter has. Of course you do!  We all do!  But you aren't 18 any more.  You are in your 50's.  You have the body of someone in their 50's.

By all means, do what you can to be healthy.  Feel strong in your body.  Eat good, nutritious food.  Care for yourself.  But don't beat yourself up.

As for schilling for Jenny Craig?  THAT is humiliating.  Look what the media did to poor Kirsti Alley.  Valerie Bertanelli looks pretty good still, but I don't know how long she'll keep it up.  Besides, Jenny Craig has the worst hairstyle since Princess Leia.  I mean, it was cute once, but the 80's are over. 

I like Jenny Craig.  I do.  Jenny's food is pretty good.  The macaroni & cheese?  Yum.  The cheesecake is good and I love the French toast.  But you can't eat frozen entrees your whole life which is why Kirsti, Valerie and I have all gained back at least some -- if not all -- of the weight lost on the Jenny Craig program. 

So.  Try Jenny for a while if it jump starts you.  But if you really want health?  Stop feeling humiliated.  And then call my friend Victor at V-Fit.  You will feel great. 



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Workout on the Chain Gang -- UPDATED

Just when I think Victor can't come up with anything more horrible than making me carry 30 lbs up and down a staircase, he surprises me with yet another twisted scheme to get me in shape.

Yesterday I put on my cute pink skort (which I will wear until it is in shreds), a clean white t-shirt and my workout shoes.  I went to V-Fit for my meeting with Gabe.

"Come with me" he said. 

I followed him through a doorway that I had always assumed was a storage closet.  The storage closet led to a dark passage, then to a concrete stairway.  We went down the stairs to another store room, then through a warehouse and ended up in what looked like my brother's garage --complete with broken guitars, old board games and non-working appliances.  Gabe raised the garage door and led me out to a side lot strewn with old tires, tools and other debris. 

If it wasn't Gabe, I might have feared for my safety.

I should have feared for my safety.

Gabe handed me a 15 lb medicine ball and told me to bounce it against the wall for 90 seconds.  I had to hit a spot 2 feet over my head.  It wasn't so bad for about 10 seconds.  Then it got harder.  It turned out to be challenging, but I didn't think it was worth coming all that way just so I could work my shoulders. 

Then Gabe handed me a car tire. 

Yep.  CAR TIRE.  It was made of black rubber and had GOODYEAR printed on the side.  It wasn't new, either. 

I had to swing the tire from side to side, bouncing it off the wall each pass.  Then I had to toss it behind my  head 15 times.  Then I had to carry it over my head and run laps.  My hands were filthy.

And car tires are HEAVY.

Then he handed me a sledge hammer.  Which is heavier than a car tire.

I had to run laps carrying the sledge hammer.  It sure made me feel sorry for all the brave firefighters (like  my friend Randy) who have to run with sledge hammers while wearing full protective gear.

Then I had to take the sledge hammer and hammer the side of a tractor tire.  Thank God I didn't have to LIFT the tractor tire.    Although I probably will soon. 

Where did Vic think of this workout?  Huntsville Prison? 

Next thing you know he's going to buy a chevette on blocks and make us drag it across the yard.  Or he's going to get a doberman and tie meat to my ass. 

Looks like I need to put some Johnny Cash in my i-pod.


Just in case you think I exaggerate:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thank God I'm Not a Country Girl!

I worked a booth at the Nueces County Livestock Fair on Friday.

It was fun!  Even though the 4H kids laughed at me when I asked:

"What kind of cow is that?"

"It's a Steer ma'am."

I guess that's funny because apparently steers are boy cows.  Boy cows without their boy parts.  Heifers are cows who haven't had babies yet.  Goats and sheep are not the same animal, even though they look exactly alike to me. 

I learned a lot.

I learned that kids raise these animals to sell them.

I learned that kids sell chickens at the Livestock show for $1500 a chicken, even though you can buy chicken for $3.26 a pound at the grocery store.  Companies buy the chickens to support the 4H.  They buy bunnies too.  The companies don't actually keep the chickens and bunnies. 

I learned that kids also raise cattle, sheep and goats.  These also get sold for lots of money.  Once they are sold, the buyer takes them and slaughters them so I can buy them at the grocery store.  The kids who raise them are a special kind of brave.  Because it has to be sort of sad to see your steer sold to a slaughterhouse. 

I learned that at a livestock show, all the women wear really tight hip hugger jeans.  With big rhinestone belts.   They wear fitted studded T-Shirts.  And lots of chunky turquoise jewelry.  And  boots.  They are always perfectly groomed -- everyone has acrylic nails and there are 2 hairstyles:  the Jennifer Anniston for the younger girls, and the Crystal Carrington on the more mature ladies.  Some of them wear cowboy hats.  They all look cute. 

I mean it.  It's not my style, but these women look awesome.  And they smell good.  Considering that they are surrounded by animals in pens -- who don't smell great -- I think it's amazing that these women all manage to smell lovely. 

I learned that the men all wear wranglers, boots and cowboy shirts.  Most wear cowboy hats, but some wear ball caps.  All of them iron their jeans.  

I learned that all of the people who go to livestock shows drive trucks.  Big trucks.  My Saturn looked like a toy in the parking lot.

I learned that most of the people who go to the livestock show are white.  A few were Hispanic, but not many.  Our community is 52% Hispanic.  The lack of Hispanics at the show felt strange.  I felt as if I were in Salt Lake City instead of Corpus Christi. I've been to family reunions with fewer white people.  And I'm Irish. 

I learned that many of the people who go to the livestock show are skinny. Not thin. Skinny. Skinny men, skinny women and skinny kids. With long legs. Really long legs. Corpus Christi is the "Fattest City in the US", according to Men's Health Magazine.  The lack of fat people was stranger than the lack of Hispanics. 

I learned that all of the people at the livestock show were friendly.  They were very kind to me even though I must have been as strange to them as they were to me. 

Everyone should go to a livestock show sometime.  There is so much to learn.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My First Blog Award!

Nicki at The Loaded Handbag gave me MY FIRST BLOG AWARD!  (Yes, I expect to win many, many more blog awards. Many more.)


I am the recipient of The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award. 

Isn't this SWEET!

I must now list 5 guilty pleasures and then give the Award to three others.

Narrowing down my millions of guilty pleasures to just five is very very hard.  But here they are:

1.) Facebook.  I wish I could quit you.

2.) HGTV's Designed to Sell.  My favorite designer is Tanya.  I also like Monica. 

3.) Katie Perry. (blush)

4.) Jane Green books.  Especially Jemima J. 

5.) Deep fried avocados from La Playa.  (Don't judge me.  They are the answer.) 

Finding three blogs to pass the award to is easy.   I'm giving this award to:

Annabel from Annabel Manners, Lex from Loose Leaf Writing;  and Catherine from Wink at Me.

Maybe I should pick up a strawberry cheesecake to celebrate?  Yes?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Politics Aside, I love Michelle Obama

I really do.  Elegant, classy, real. . . .I love her.  I didn't vote for Barack, I voted for Michelle. 

I think her focus on eliminating childhood obesity is right on target!  (As long as she doesn't do it legislatively).

But see if you can spot the thing that really bugs me about the Magic of Healthy Living series she did for Disney:

Mrs. Obama -- what the hell are you wearing?  You look like a Nana at Walmart, not the elegant First Lady that you are. 

I shouldn't care about what she wears.  I shouldn't.  It's shallow.  Petty.  Small. But IT BUGS ME.

She wore an adorable twin set for Sesame Street.  Couldn't she wear a classic white tee with a jean jacket?  Or how about a crisp button front blouse?  Or even better -- one of those cute wrap tops. 

Her pants are fine -- not great, but fine.  The top?  Fugly. 

She is this decade's fashion icon.  Sigh. 

I still love you, Michelle. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Happy Meal Debate

I wasn't going to make a statement about the whole Banning Happy Meals issue.  Because you KNOW I wouldn't support that even if they gave me free fries for life.

First of all, I love McDonald's.  Worked there for a summer in college -- had a blast.  I grew up very near Hamburger U & believe me, I support their corporate culture. 

Also, anyone who thinks Happy Meals promote childhood obesity has obviously never sat near a kid with a Happy Meal. 

A few weeks ago, we went to the beach.  (We live in South Texas and the beach in November is AWESOME!).  Afterwards, we picked up lunch.  A Quarter Pound of yummy for me, Greg & Joe (with fries and a real coke.  MMMMMM), happy meals for the littles.  Quality family time.  With fries.  But we were at the beach first.  Running, swimming and playing.  Very active.

Here is an example of my end of the conversation:

Me:  Look, a Bakugan Toy!  Good.  Let's put it away until after lunch.

Me:  I said AFTER lunch.


Me:  I will throw that damn thing in the trash if you don't take a bite of your sandwich right now.

Me:   Just eat three fries.

Me:  Drink the milk first.

Me.  You asked for the nuggets, now eat them.

Me:  He gets the cheeseburger because he asked for it.  You asked for chicken, now eat it.

Me:  No -- he cannot have your cheeseburger.  Eat it. 

Me:  You don't have to eat all the fries. Just a few.

Me:  I will eat the rest of the fries.  Don't worry.  Just take a few bites of chicken.

Me:  Can't you eat the whole nugget? 

Me:  I told you AFTER lunch.  You have to eat it.  You can't just wait until we're done.

Me:  Fine.  But if you're hungry later, too bad.

See, kids don't eat Happy Meals.  Some moms (like me) finish Happy Meals. So Happy Meals do not promote childhood obesity.  They just make moms fatter. 

THIS is what kids want to do with Happy Meals.

I rest my case.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Revolutions

I am not a resolution maker.

I am a goal setter. 

Goals must by SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.  I thought of that acronym all by myself.  Just kidding -- I think it's Zig Ziglar's.  One should set goals in many aspects of their life:  Financial, Physical, Spiritual, Social, Educational, and I can't think of the other ones.  Goals must also be written, and shared. 

So here are the 2011 Goals:


I will take one class each session. 


I don't have any social goals this year. 


I will read at least one book about my faith every quarter. 


I will work out at least 4 times each week.
I will include fruit and/or vegetables at each meal.


We will pay off the goddamn Sallie Mae by 12/31/2012.

There are other plans I have for the year, even if I am not setting a specific goal.  One is to make more time for my girlfriends.  I have friends that I only see when our kids have birthday parties.  Not a good way to maintain a friendship.  I plan to clear out the linen closet, and I want to do some scrap-booking.  I am going to blog as long as I have something to say.  I am going to go on dates with Greg more often.  Spend more one on one time with each of my boyos.  Get the Christmas shopping done early. 

Here's what I am not going to do:

Go on a diet.

What are you going to do?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First the Badgers Lose the Rose Bowl, . . .

Then I saw THIS on Facebook:

  So far, 2011 kinda sucks.