Sunday, February 22, 2009

Books, Dumb Celebrity Kid Names and Whatnot

I haven't been able to get as much reading done lately as I would like, but I did start a new book last night. It's called Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. It's the nonfiction story of three generations of women in China during tumultuous times.

It begins with the story of the author's grandmother, who was given as a concubine to a powerful warlord general. That happened when she was fourteen years old. Her father did it to ingratiate himself to the general in order to further himself politically and financially. It also details the horrible and painful "beauty" ritual of foot-binding she had to endure since she was a small child. This was the feminine ideal trait of the time and the resulting tiny (mutilated) feet were described as "three-inch gilded lilies." I'll stick to my Clementine number nines, baby! (Size 8, actually. Quit looking at me like that. I'm not bandaging my feet for your approval, folks.)

I am not even one hundred pages in yet but I already love this book. I picked it up at my local Goodwill on a whim. Some of my favorite books have been discovered that way.

Okay. I was going to talk about some other books but honestly by the time I actually got to sit down and type this I have forgotten what they were. Oops...

I sort of lied a minute ago. I DO get to read more often than I insinuated. It's just that the books I read (over and over) are: Good Night, Baby; The Cat in the Hat; Tom and Annie Go Shopping; and A House for a Hermit Crab.

I may run out of breath by the tenth reading but I am pleased that Violet enjoys books. Oh yeah! Warning- Mommy bragging moment: she has recently learned the alphabet and she recognizes and says all the letters! (Twenty-two months old? Whoa. I didn't learn them until I was like six I think.)

Now to the other topic. Dumb Celebrity Baby Names.

This isn't a new thing by any means. Celebrities have a long history of showing their "creativity" through offbeat names for their (spoiled) offspring. Bob Geldof and Paula Yates may have helped inspire the recent boom in silly names when they began having children almost twenty years ago: Peaches Honeyblossom, Fifi Trixibelle and Little Pixie Geldof. What's in a name. Well, the only news I ever hear of the Geldof girls involves drinking, snogging and snarking. Go figure.

Honestly, I don't care what anyone names their child, as long as they consider that the child will have to live with the name (and possibly shame.) What do you, Reader, think of this bizarre trend?

To me it's like every other lame status thing in Hollyweird. "Yeah well, my baby's name is totally weirder than yours." (Please, Paris, do not breed!) Who can have the tiniest dog, biggest sunglasses, most stints in rehab, and most unusual baby name. Snorrre.

When I started this blog, pre-Violet, I wrote about the name debate Jeremy and I were having. I've always loved the name Violet. a.) I love the color. b.) It sounds cool to me. c.) I knew a little old lady named Violet Canary and just thought she was the bee's knees. d.) It's the name of a song I like. Jeremy, however, wanted to go all Norse mythology on me (which we both love, but...) and name her-

are you ready?


Seriously. This was before the Tom Cruise movie came out, but it was being filmed. I told him that besides everything else, people will think we named our baby after a Tom Cruise movie. Why not tattoo Pepsi ads on her while we're at it? Yuck. His reasoning was "No one else will have the same name." Yeah, nor would she run into a classmate named Dogfeathers. Or Arnie Palmer Lite. Or Sassula Spaghetta. Doesn't make any of those a good name for a little girl either!

I suppose that's the price one pays for breeding with a known Dungeons and Dragon player. Well, I think you know who won that one. However he does stand by the idea that he gets to name a boy child, if we were to have one. His pick? Thor. (One good reason Violet is going to stay a single child.)

While we're on the subject: Yes, Violet. No, not "like Ben and Jen." Sorry. That makes me insane when people say that. I feel better now.


Chelle said...

My moron ex wanted to name our firstborn son, "Amadeus" or "Vaughn".

Vaugn might not sound toooOOOOOOOoo horrendous to some losers, but keep in mind that our last name was Dutch... Vander-blank.

Vaughn Vander-blank

Laoch of Chicago said...

Wild Swans sounds interesting, thanks for posting about it.

amber of TheAmberShow said...

Violet is pretty, and I thought about it for my own daughter, but it's really popular. I'm anti top 1000 names.

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

I used to want to name my kid after me until I was about 12 and realized where kids actually cam in theory I'd be naming a kid after my vagina.

yeah, that was the end of that theory.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

We chose "old fashioned" names for both of our kids too. We didn't want to risk them being one of 5 in a class with the same name. Our son's name has become more popular over the years, but our daughter's hasn't been in the top 100 since the 1900s. When people say they like the names, I say, "We combed the obituaries." LOL.

*mary* said...

Amber- I agree. I'm anti-popular names, too. Violet was only a little old lady name even just two years ago. Ugh. Thanks, Jen and Ben. Your kid's name caught on. (And just happens to be my kid's name too.)

ETW- lol. Someone told me of an obit they'd seen in which the deceased person had five daughters and all were flower names like Rose, Violet, Daisy, etc. I thought it was pretty neat. A little garden.

Perplexin- lol. Never thought of it that way.

Laoch- you are welcome! I definitely recommend reading it!

Chelle- Whoa. And I thought Valkyrie couldn't be topped. They may be a tie for worst ideas ever.

*mary* said...

AMber- I just did a baby name search and you are right. It is in top 300, gaining popularity since 1998. I can't even blame Ben & Jen.
Oh well, I compromised on this one even though I knew it was becoming somewhat popular again because I do love the name. I didn't realize it was in top 300 though! At least it's not top 100 or op 10.

Anna Lefler said...

Have you read any of Lisa See's books? They, too, are set in China and they are gorgeous. The latest is called PEONY IN LOVE. I loved it. Just a thought.

Anyway...just wanted to stop by and say thank you for becoming a follower on my blog - I really appreciate that!

Take care and see you around the blogosphere soon!

:^) Anna


I think Violet is a beautiful name.
My wife and I were all about the spelling. I liked Jenifer and my wife was pretty much against it. We had already agreed on a few different names for our first child, but it was the spelling that irritated her. Now she loves it. When I suggested Spring as another name for our second daughter Alyson, she looked at me like she wanted to kill me. While I associated it with a name like Autumn, all she pictured was a spring going boing, boing, boing. She totally picked out Aly's name.

Nicole' Happiness said...

so i shouldn't have named my kid slappy whizzleteets?and come on murt size 8?you are the reason people bound feet,dont go barefoot or there will be bigfoot and mothman sightings...luv u bye bye

mary evelyn said...

yeah, i'm not down with the weird names either. like apple? are they going to name their next kid banana? i'm into the family names. i was named after both of my grandmothers, and i think that's awesome.

the book you're reading sounds really good, i'll have to add it to my list. i LOVE reading. have you read the book called "snow flower and the secret fan" by lisa see? you might like it, it sounds a lot like the book you're reading.

i noticed you're following my blog, thanks! i'll try and be as entertaining as you are, i think you're blog is great!

*mary* said...

Thanks, Beaux. I love your daughters' names too.

Anna AND Mary Evelyn- you both recommened the same author so I'll definitely check those books out soon.

SlappyWizzleteet's parents- you had to go there, didn't ya? As long as you don't give my baby girl a complex by telling her that her feet look like skis, we're ok. I"M used to the abuse by now.


minerva1822 said...

Violet's name is questions asked.
WAYYY better than what jeremy wanted to name her...eeeckkk
I love weird names for the most part but i'm not going to name any child of mine anything TOO weird so they would be made fun of (ahem...i went through this..and uhh still don't know what the hell my mom was thinking)
The book your reading sounds really good and i'm definitely going to check into it since I need new reading material..sigh...the woes of being a housewife right..reading material seems to always end so suddenly..

Anonymous said...

hey murt ,shannon wants u to look at her valetine gift on her blog...luv u

Blicky Kitty said...

Oooh that sounds like a good book!

I should talk because my husband rescued our kids from wierd names, just as my mom did for me. I was almost Ophelia. I was pushing for Una or Gladys for my older daughter and Edith for number 2. I just love old fashioned sounding names but I know they're wierd.

Wow alphabet at 22 months! Smart girl! You should be proud.

Mrs. Cullen said...

i like violet! very pretty. i really don't know why celebs think they can go and pick weird names for their children. yes some of them are nice. but why? i dunno. i just think its odd that THEY decide to do this. is it like an unwritten rule. that you have a DIFFERENT name for your kid if you are rich and famous?

Ann's Rants said...

I love the name Violet. I LOVED Wild Swans, and learned a ton on the devestating journey. Thanks so much for following my blog, Mary.

baby names list said...

I like to know the story of the book Wild Swan. and If I have my own baby I will Give the name..Nathan Chris..the names I like since then.

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