Monday, August 6th, 2007
Well, I see that Eddie Murphy has finally admitted paternity to the daughter of ex-turned-current Spice Girl Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown. I’m not so much interested in this celebrity drama and feuding as I am in the interesting coincidental cultural reference of the baby’s name: Angel Iris Murphy Brown.
Now, I’m sure Ms. Scary didn’t intend to name her daughter after the infamous Candice Bergen TV character, Murphy Brown, who stirred up quite a bit of controversy herself by having a baby out of wedlock in a high-profile way. (Dan Quayle, anyone?)
But, again, I’m not looking to comment on the moral or political implications of this naming coincidence. I’m a simple guy. (And it is Monday morning and I haven’t even had the coffee yet.) I’m more intrigued by the actual name … and others that tickle me in that crazy name game kind of way. So I was wondering if anybody knew of any other examples of this.
What are some of the wackiest, oddest, most unfortunate, or interesting name combinations that you know of? Any maiden name/married name combos for the kids that made you chuckle or take note? Ease us into the week with a smile and post your funnies here.
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Friday, July 6th, 2007
To the kids, it may have been the Best. Party. Ever. But to the parents, it was a little hard to stomach.
My 11-year-old nephew was invited to a pool party recently with a bunch of other 11-year-olds. Splish splash. Fun, fun. The parents of the kid who were hosting had informed all of the other parents that they’d take the kids out to eat afterwards. Not a problem, right?
P.S.: The restaurant was Hooters.
Now, I fancy myself a pretty liberal guy, but Hooters? Really?? For a group of 11-year-olds?!? Really?!?! Especially given the fact that none of the other parents were told what the restaurant was going to be. I’m sure this left some of them hotter than a buffalo wing. If they’d at least been told about the choice of eatery, that would’ve given them the chance to raise the issue of maybe bringing the kids to a more family-friendly establishment. You know, to one where the waitstaff wears, oh, I don’t know, a hygienically-conscious length of pant? (Just a suggestion.)
My nephew, at 11, even knew Hooters was an inappropriate choice, given that he sheepishly told my brother and sister-and-law where they went, as if he were the one who’d done something wrong. And when I nonchalantly asked him how his party was, he just giggled. So if an 11-year-old is smart enough to see the inappropriateness of the situation, you’d have to be a complete … well, boob … not to know better yourself as an adult. I mean, would anyone bring a group of 11-year-old girls to a restaurant with shirtless Chippendale waiters? I mean, good Lord! Where would they even put their name tags?
Am I being being too hard on this parent? Too conservative? Am I overreacting? What would you do if your 11-year-old came home and told you this news … with a coy smile and a gallon of hot wing sauce on his face? Would you say something to the kid’s parents? To your kid? Let us know.
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Beauty, Health & Safety
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
I’m a huge music fan, and it’s always a crap shoot when an artist writes and/or performs a song inspired by parenthood. It’s a tricky subject matter to cover without getting too gooey, you know? But then again, you pop this puppy out (and it probably hurt if you were the mother), so who says you can’t get a little über emotional over your very own Mini Me?
Either way, I submit to you my official top ten list of favorite songs written for or about kids. Think I got some wrong? Left something off? Included a clunker? Let me know. But be nice. This list is my baby. And, yes, it did hurt getting it all out …
10. Adrian Belew’s "Oh, Daddy" A fun little tune about a dad’s discussion on music biz fame and success with his little girl, who provides adorable guest vocals on the track. Favorite lyric: Oh daddy, when you gonna write that big hit? Oh daddy, when you gonna hit it real big, real big? Well, now that’s a tall request for such a small little girl, but I’ll try, try, till I get it just right.
9. Madonna’s "Little Star": Oh, Lourdes! The Material Girl turns Maternal Mama with this dreamy ditty with a light electronic edge. Think of an audible version of blowing bubbles with your baby! Favorite lyric: May the angels protect you, and sadness forget you, little star.
8. Eros Ramazzotti’s "Per Me Per Sempre": Va bene. You’ve probably never heard of this Italian pop singer, but you don’t even have to capisci Italian to melt over this lullaby he sings to his daughter. Believe me, that’s amore! Favorite lyric: Infiniti voli del cuore, infinita felicità, quando penso che tu sei, per me … per sempre. Which loosely translates to "Endless flights of the heart, endless happiness, when I think that you’re mine, forever."
7. The Dixie Chicks’ "Lullaby": Simple. Elegant. Haunting. And sweet. All at the same time. These three mommies are definitely ready to make night-night with this entrancing modern soother. Favorite lyric: Tomorrow there’ll be so much to do, so tonight I’ll drift in a dream with you. How long do you want to be loved? Is forever enough?
6. Harry Chapin’s "Cat’s In the Cradle": If any guy you know switches the station when this song comes on in the car because he says he doesn’t like it, don’t believe him for a nanosecond. You have my permission to call his sorry butt out on it: He just doesn’t want you to see him cry. Favorite lyric (or, the one that requires the most hankies): "When you coming home, son?" "I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, dad. You know we’ll have a good time then." Trivia: The song was actually penned by Harry’s wife, Sandy, a poet, who wrote it about her first husband’s distant relationship with his father. Upon initially hearing the poem, Harry wasn’t impressed. In spite of that fact, Harry and Sandy still went on and had their first child … but not until more than a year later.
5. Sade’s "The Sweetest Gift": It’s about time this sultry singer (a female Johnny Mathis, if you will) paid the public back. Her sexy songs have no doubt led to some baby makin’ over the years, so why not complete the circle and give her fans a beautiful song about the magical love of parenthood? Favorite lyric: Quietly while you were asleep, the moon and I were talking. I asked that she’d always keep you protected.
4. Cyndi Lauper’s "Above the Clouds": Another 80s pop diva turned cool mom. ("She Bop" meets "She Burp". Too much?) This song, inspired by her son Declyn, passes down the one-of-a-kind singer’s keen sense of individuality. Favorite lyric: Stand tall, and glide, when you’re all alone in the crowd. Don’t fall. Don’t hide. When you walk above the clouds."
3. LeeAnn Womack’s "I Hope You Dance": A crossover country song with a killer hook and soaring chorus. It’s a guide to life’s hard lessons, given from a parent to a child. When my niece was born, I gave the CD single and lyrics to everyone in my family. And we all cried. My niece is now 6 and, yes, she loves to dance. And every time she does, we all still cry. (I’m half Italian. So sue us.) Favorite lyric: Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter. When you come close to selling out, reconsider.
2. Radney Foster’s "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)": After this Texas based singer-songwriter and his wife divorced, she moved to Paris with their young son. Foster penned this heartbreaking lullaby for the little guy so that he could play it whenever he missed his father, who couldn’t be there to tuck him in at night. This tune’s a shot of southern discomfort, and boy does it burn going down. Favorite lyric: God bless mommy and match box cars. God bless dad, and thanks for the stars. God hears amen wherever we are, and I love you. Godspeed, little man. Sweet dreams, little man.
And now, to change the mood completely and to finally reveal the meaning behind the bulldog-in-a-baby-carriage photo, my all-time favorite song about or inspired by kids is …
1. Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s "You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly": Loretta Lynn is tops on my list of everything, just so y’all know. (Favorite hair? Yup. Favorite roasted ‘possum recipe? Yes ma’am!!) And this song is definitely one of her funniest. The banter at the end between her and Conway is hysterical. It’s like a Hee Haw sketch in the middle of a song. In a good way. Favorite lyric: You’re the reason our kids are ugly, little darlin’. Ah, but looks ain’t ev’rythin’, and money ain’t ev’rythin’, but I love you just the same. I guess that we won’t ever have everything we need, ’cause when we get ahead, it’s got another mouth to feed.
If you’re out there reading this somewhere, Loretta, I love you. And you’re more than welcome to write for us anytime. You’ll be the reason our blog is funny.
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Entertainment, Time for Fun
Thursday, April 5th, 2007
Shedding a little bit of light on the scary subject of autism: Two new studies find that children who fail to respond to their own names by age 1 may be at risk for the disorder. Yahoo! News
Jane E. Brody on the importance of unfettered play and the dumbing down of playgrounds in the name of safety. NY Times
A Swedish couple locked in a court battle over their right to name their 6-month-old daughter “Metallica.” Yahoo! News
This news story probably makes your 5th grader look like an angel. Read on if you dare. CNN
Educational toys and programs may not make babies smarter, says a Washington think tank report. USA Today
The Robert Wood Johnson foundation pledges $500 million dollars to fight childhood obesity. NY Times
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Thursday, March 15th, 2007
Japan’s record low birth rate? A staggeringly low sex rate may be to
blame. According to a new study, almost 40% of people age 16 to 49
haven’t seen any action in the past month. Time
Tori Spelling may not have needed to auction off all her belongings on
eBay and at her garage sale to make ends meet. She and her mother
Candy, appear to be reconciling over the birth of her son, Liam
Aaron McDermott. People
Remember all the controversy about sleeping pills causing people to “sleep binge?” Now the news is scarier: “sleep-driving” and “sleep sex.” Yahoo
Scientists have found that whole milk might help with fertility. NY Times
A growing number of malls are refusing to let teens in at night without an adult. What are they supposed to do instead? Their homework? USA Today
Your husband may be able to blame his belly on chemicals, not beer. Yahoo
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Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
I have to admit that I partly love, love, love this idea, but it also weirds me out just a teensy bit. Baby Rock Records has taken both classic and über contemporary artists and turned their hottest songs into lullabies for your newborn rock n’ roller. So far so good. They have a nice array of artists, ranging from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and Pink Floyd, to Nirvana, Radiohead, Metallica, the Smashing Pumpkins, and more. Okay, I’m still onboard. And the music is very atmospheric and calming, true. Soothing for your little angel, but unique enough not to drive you crazy. I mean, I dare you to listen to the lullaby version of the Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” and not drift off into your very own moody, sleepy John Hughes-esque movie montage. You know, the kind of scene in which you just got dumped by some smokin’ hot rich guy and were walking through a misty rain on your way to the record shop, wondering, “Why … OH, GOD, WHY?!? … can’t anyone ever love me?” (I’m totally just making this up. It’s not like I’ve ever actually done it.)*
My point is that some of the songs translate beautifully. No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” is a standout, in my humble opinion. (Although not necessarily a message you’d really want to send to your child.) But here comes my little problem. It’s songs like Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.” Sweet, right? Yeah, well call me when your child gets a little older and wants to hear the original. “I want to what you like an animal?!?!? Mommy, what did that crazy electronic man just scream?”
Perhaps the Beach Boys say it best: “God Only Knows.”
So, barring any questionable material, what favorite bands or artists of yours would you love to see Baby Rock Records update next? Six more weeks of colic to anyone who says Clay Aiken.
* within the past 72 hours
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