Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's in a name?

So DD2 turns 10 tomorrow.  My kids always like to hear stories about when they were little, or have you tell them thing about themselves - even more so around birthday time when they are particularly self involved (as only the young can so innocently be).  Today over oatmeal we had a fun conversation.

DD2: Did you like when dad picked out my name?
Me: Yes.  It was on our agreed upon list.  When we met you it seemed to fit.
DD2: What does {her name} mean?
Me:  'Cruel.' It means 'Cruel and bad mannered.'
DD2: No it doesn't.
Me: Yes, It does.
(and then I giggled over my bowl of oatmeal, which blew my cover.)
DD2: (huge smile) You're not funny.  What does it really mean?

I blanked.  I have no idea what her name means.
Because the second child gets the shaft.
I know that my first daughters name is Hebrew and means, "Grace" or "He (God) has favored me".  We were careful with her first and middle names that they were strong, sounded good with our last name, and that they looked good on a resume. I had always loved her name and since I was young I had wanted a little girl with that name.  Husband and I discussed this name and boy names at length with our first pregnancy. Naming our child was a responsibility we took very seriously.

DD2 was named over email correspondence.
What?? We were busy.

I emailed a list of names to Husband. He edited, added, and return emailed. Back and forth over several weeks when we had time. Seriously, I wish I had kept the thread, because there were comments from Husband like, "the girl that cuts my hair likes {name}" (so that name would go on the list) I would send things like, "My sister (the kindergarten teacher) said we shouldn't use {name} because there was a girl in her class one year called {name} and she always bit people and smelled bad" (and remove another name from the list).

Oh yes, such depth of meaning and careful consideration went in to picking her name. Looking back I'm surprised "Afterthought" never made it on to the list.

But when we went to the hospital to have her we had four name combinations that we really liked:
Catherine Grace (who we would call 'Cate')
Grace Elizabeth (Because DD1's name means "Grace", and so they would match)
Julia Catherine (thank you to girl who cuts Husband's hair, she liked this one)
Eleri Grace (yes, Eleri is NOT a common name - and no way was Husband ACTUALLY leaving the hospital with a daughter named Eleri... but it was so cute when said out loud with our first daughter's name that I wasn't removing it from the list.)

Also? It was Husband's turn to name the baby. I was the one who named our first daughter - I had picked out her first name and we went from there.  Husband got final decision on this baby.  I was totally OK with that, and liked the idea of meeting her first.  About 15 minutes after she was born he said, "I like the name {name} for her."  Which surprised me, because I thought he was favoring a different name on the list.  But I had to agree - the name he chose fit her.

Even if we had ZERO idea of what it meant.

That's right - we never stopped to look it up.  Which I didn't realize until this morning. 

So I grabbed my phone, found a baby name site on the internet, and looked up her name. She has a very pretty name, so I'm expecting to find something about beauty or strong moral character.

Me: (after reading the meaning) Uhhh... its Latin and..... well? I have good news and bad news.
DD2: Huh?
Me: According to the name finder it means, "Down-bearded youth."
DD2: What is that?
Me: I think it means that you may get your Italian great-great-grandmother's moustache, but if you do at least it will be very soft.
DD2: (blankly looking at me)
Me: Oh wait - right here it says, "Youthful."
DD2: Youthful?
Me: that means "young".
DD2: I know. 
Me: So, you got that going for you. Finish your breakfast.

What's in a name, then? 
I'm not sure. 
But when you look at my second daughter?  The one with the dark hair, fair skin that never tans, blue eyes, high cheekbones, and freckles?  The one with the sparkle of mischief in her eye that could only be because her 11th Great Grandfather on my mother's side was half Leprechaun?  Perhaps we should have listened more closely to DD1 when I asked her all those years ago...
Me: What should we name the new baby?
DD1: (then 2 years old) "Fionna." 
To which I replied: "No. That is WAAAYYY too Irish!"

Turns out?  Not so much. I just checked and Fionna means, "Fair, white, beautiful." 
Go figure.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

REMOVED FROM SITE!!! Party "GAME" sold by Urban Outfitters

UPDATE:  As printed on the Urban Outfitters Website... "We're sorry. This product is no longer available."  YAY!!  And a huge THANK YOU to Urban Outfitters!!!!!

And Thank You 9News for following up on a tip from a concerned viewer!!  You guys rock!

Please note: The party game mentioned in this blog entry and the one linked from Facebook is not manufactured by Urban Outfitters.  They sell this game.  My issues is that they have marketed this game to their demographic in such a way that  I feel it may encourage violence and reckless use of guns, and I would like to see it removed from their product offerings.  The maker of this game is Can You Imagine, inc. ( - and I'm not suggesting you boycott their products either.  In fact, they make some pretty cool stuff it looks like.  I'm contacting Can You Imagine, inc. regarding this product also.  They may not have any idea that members of the general public find this offensive and disturbing.

I find this so highly offensive that I am at a loss for words.  (Well, not exactly - I just don't know how else to get my point across.)  THIS is a "GAME" being marketed by Urban Outfitters right now:

A "GAME" called "Party Roulette" that retails for $16.00.

I am not an anti-gun advocate.  My husband owns several guns, and I do not want anyone to think what I am saying here has anything to do with the 2nd amendment.  What I happen to be disgusted with is that Urban Outfitters is selling a game of Russian roulette to young people.  How is that in any way responsible marketing?  Of course this isn't a real gun - but this is just so outrageous I can't sit back and not say anything.  I have kids; I appreciate when consumer advocacy groups create a backlash when inappropriate clothing is marketed to underage kids.  I don't agree with sexualizing our youth, I also don't agree with making a party game out of Russian roulette. 


I'm not conservative. At all. I'm understanding that retailers make mistakes. A bit of the response Urban Outfitters has received in the past has been nonsense in my opinion. I like the idea of a shirt proclaiming the support same sex marriage, and I don't at all mind that they showed two girls kissing in their catalog any more than I would mind them showing a guy and girl kissing in their catalog. Kissing pictures can be done in good taste. Most of the adverse reaction, however, has been pretty well earned. The pro-booze shirts and "USA Drinking Team" shirts marketed to consumers under 21 were in bad taste.  Color options listed as, "White/Charcoal, Obama/Black" can only be thought of as disrespectful. And they do show an anti-Semetic bent at times which is absolutely unacceptable (if you click the following link it will take you to the article outlining the ways they have crossed the line on this):  ' "If Urban Outfitters is good at something, it is getting publicity," says Ami Cohen, an American Apparel employee in Tel Aviv. "This company has a history of coming into conflict with Jews." '  (This link is a list of "11 Urban Outfitters controversies" posted by The Week in August of 2012.)

But this isn't a t-shirt.  This is a party game.  So will people be as outraged? This isn't something that our kids will be wearing - it's a game that may end up at parties they attend. Out of pure curiosity, I searched Russian roulette, and this popped up, "Teenager dies in game of Russian Roulette - the THIRD death in U.S. in four months."  This was published two days ago. This isn't fun. This is tragic - and there is a game that is basically selling it as a joke to our teenagers and young adults.

It is my feeling that this needs to stop. I don't know how to organize a recoil in response to offensive product marketing - but I'm ready to learn. I'm so offended that I'm taking this to the "court of public opinion" as my nephew phrased it. In the same way it is not OK to mock racism, offensive to mock abuse of any group, and outrageous to promote the sexualization of young people... it is barbaric to mock the senseless violence that is reckless abuse of guns and violence. The game, the picture, the mocking... it is distasteful, insulting, and ghastly. From what I can find on the internet, they have stopped selling products in the past which the public has let them know to be controversial or offensive.  I would like to see that happen here.

You may not agree with me. I respect that. Please respect my feelings too. I would be happy to expound on why I think this is so very reprehensible if someone needs more clarification.

In 1964 Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, when making a clarification on how to tell when something (pornography) is an obscenity, "I know it when I see it."

How do I know when something is profoundly offensive? I know it when I see it. This goes way past good natured fun - I don't expect to see Waterboarding become a party game, I wouldn't support blackmail being featured on a late night infomercial... and I think that turning the idea of Russian roulette in to something frivolous is not only reckless, but dangerous. And for me the fun stops here.

What I suggest certainly isn't a boycott of Urban Outfitters - but perhaps an email to their Chairman, CEO, President Richard Hayne.   If Mr. Hayne doesn't know of the consumer displeasure with a product, he can do nothing to correct the problem.  Certainly I wish he would pay closer attention to what his company is selling - and look at it from a more conscionable point of view - but since this slipped by him? I think letting him know would be a good first step towards getting things like this off of popular websites that teens and young adults frequent and where they are influenced. I like a lot of the fashions they have on their site - I can see why my daughter would like being an Urban Outfitters customer (with mostly her parents money).  But I'd feel a whole lot better about her shopping there if I didn't see such huge examples of bad judgement and gross disregard for the danger that is gun mis-use being displayed where she shops.  To make Russian roulette in to a fun game?  Is sick. 

So, please spread the word - join me - contact Mr. Hayne.
 Or tweet. #urbanoutfittersaction
We can make a difference!

Twitter: @dodim
Or, leave me a message in the comment section. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shock and Awe...

OK, I'm aghast.



(What I'm not, however, is speechless...)

Found on the site

Hostess Brands is Closed.
We are sorry to announce that Hostess Brands, Inc. has been forced by a Bakers Union strike to shut down all operations and sell all company assets. For more information, go to Thank you for all of your loyalty and support over the years.

If you have eyes and ears you heard the news yesterday.  It's unbelievable.  Hostess?  Gone?  How can that be?  How will life as we know it play on?  To you it might just be snack food - an unhealthy harbinger of obesity and childhood cavities.  But I was a child of the 70's.  I hit the age of 5 in 1970, and never looked back.  Twinkies?  Yes please!  Hostess Ding Dongs?  Those yummy chocolate cream filled treats that were individually wrapped in aluminum foil?  Don't mind if I do!  Sno Balls!  Come on - SNO BALLS?  Those pink, furry looking marshmallow covered snack cakes?  Say it isn't so!  Childhood without tasting a bright pink Sno Ball?  (And spitting it back out, because ewww!)


One simply does not "grow up" without Hostess. 

Think about it.  Fruit pies?  What was a slumber party in the late 1970's without hostess fruit pies? For goodness sake, I think I ate Hostess Cinnamon Rolls three times a week in high school for lunch. (They were sold in the cafeteria line. Heck, in the winter time they'd even warm them up for you.  YUM!)  And how does a large family even BEGIN a long road trip without packages of Donettes flying around the car?  (I preferred the waxy chocolate, but there were also powdered sugar and plain if you liked.)

Possibly the worst tragedy of this entire event?  The crippling fact that may bring this country to it's knees?

Next week is Thanksgiving. 

And what do you do the day after Thanksgiving??

You eat a turkey sandwich for lunch!  Leftover white meat, mayo or Miracle Whip (depending on where you grew up and how insane your parents were for thinking that Miracle Whip wasn't the ONLY choice to be made here), maybe you slap on some of the leftover cranberry sauce... and you make the sandwich on WONDER BREAD.  It is the only time of year we buy the soft white bread that reminds us so very much of our childhood.  Wonder Bread is the bread that pops in to your mind when someone references "White Bread", right?  Soft, squishy, bland, perfect white bread.  And I cannot fathom a day after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich without it. 

Guess what Hostess owned?  That's right kids... Wonder Bread.

This?  Combine this with the fact that war is encompassing our world, global warming, natural disasters at every turn, erotica (lady porn) ended up on our National Best Seller list, the Kardashians are more successful than ever, and Gangnam Style has been unleashed.

People, how do we trust our future to people who will never have been exposed to Twinkies? Never tasted a Ho-Ho? Won't recognize the iconic loops of white frosting on a Hostess Cup Cake?

The only conclusion we can reach from all of this?
The Mayans may have known what they were talking about.
 I expect Zombies any day now.
Zombies who would rather eat brains than day-after-Thanksgiving-turkey-sandwich on wheat bread.