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Inspired by this amazing compilation of least-popular baby names, I dug out previously beloved themed name lists found in the earlier days of internet searching. Lucky us, they’re still up.

child names


gothiest names
From the full-service ‘Name That Goth!’ page, circa 1996



hippie baby names

hippy baby names
From ‘HippyLand’, the site that still hasn’t settled on a definitive spelling of ‘hippie’.

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Once upon a time, young men had to earn the right to wear pants. Until they made their keep through backbreaking labor, killed a man, were able to pound 3 shots of whiskey, hauled their weight in coal by hand, or some similar marker of Manhood, boys wore gender-neutral shifts. Later, they might graduate to shorts, perhaps even knickers, but full pants were a MAN’s garment.

In tribute to this intermediary period in a young boy’s life, I present an adorable romper set, perfect for a youth’s first hunting trip or to present after he takes up smoking.

Try to ignore the male cameltoe.

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You know that game where you and your friends talk about what you’d do if you were super rich? Not just ordinary philanthropist rich but Oprah/Bill Gates rich where you could buy and sell small countries or recreate sea battles in real Spanish galleons wearing the finest silk breeches? I often imagine recording a series of books on tape; not the usual sort of ‘Patrick Stewart reads Shakespeare’ pablum, more like ”Danzig reads the Old Testament” or ”Gary Busey reads ‘The Manhunter‘. Never did I expect celebrities themselves would beat me to the punch:

‘Crispin Glover on Speakaboos’

‘Speakaboos’ are stories and poems read aloud online (so you needn’t exert your voice on mere children) framed by a cutesy magic forest with rollover orders and video accompaniment. For reasons beyond my fathom they decided the man behind ‘What Is It?’ was perfect for ‘Little Miss Muffet’ and ‘Jack and Jill’. Listening to his precise enunciation, never have I been so terrified for the safety of Miss Muffet.

Perhaps Mr. Glover approached them; it seems quite possible he’d enjoy scaring wee-uns and making bank (his outsider art movies don’t pay for themselves, you know). Still, the entire collaboration is strange on many levels. In no way does the pastel, cutesy imagery match the serious intensity of the voiceover, Speakaboos seem more a project than a real business, and of all celebrities to approach for your beta-testing readings, WHY CRISPIN GLOVER?

UPDATE: It seems they approached several other celebrities, including Jon Cryer, Harry Shearer, John Krasinski, Kevin Bacon and Tom Arnold. Huh. Still doesn’t make much sense.

None of this detracts from the enjoyment of seeing the two short videos; do click above and enjoy.

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This past weekend I visited the Museum of Natural History (pictures forthcoming). The place was packed, more so than usual for a Saturday, with kids running around everywhere. The Hall of Marine Life was amazing, open in design yet presenting a great deal of information, rivaled only by the Hall of Diversity for jaw-dropping awe upon sight. However, it was the quieter parts of the museum, particularly the Hall of New York State Environment, with its windowed dioramas and lettering untouched since at least the 60′s, that charmed.
In the far corner of the room containing ancient mammals is an open rotunda looking out on Manhattan; seats encourage checking out the view and resting, so not surprisingly it was filled with strollers and toddlers. While admiring the view I heard a mom exclaim loudly and grab a small boy, who seconds later began screaming. Looking over again I saw a pool of blood gathering on the ground where she stood holding him. I realized the kid must have run straight into a bench and if not broken at least opened up his nose. A crowd began gathering, the kid kept screaming and I moved on.

Crossing the street by Irving Plaza yesterday I heard a child in a stroller fake crying. As if that wasn’t annoying enough the kid then started yelling “You didn’t get me what I waaaaaaaaannnt!!!” between fake sobs. I was walking past them and looked up at the mother. She was calmly pushing the stroller ahead and I realized, she’s annoyed by this too. It’s her kid though, she can’t just walk past it and judge like I’m doing. As I moved ahead on the sidewalk I heard her say “Did you want to ride on the carousel?” with complete and malicious innocence. This set him off on a new volley of “I WAAAAAAAANNNT IIIIIIIT!!!!” and then “I WILL NEVER BE YOUR BEST FRIEND!” to which I heard her say “I can live with that.” As the kid kept shouting “NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER…” until I was out of earshot, I sympathized and realized people can and do get irritated by their own progeny. So many parents turn a blind eye I’d assumed tacit acceptance was the general rule, with true irritation reserved for parents actively cooing at their childrens’ rampant destruction of property or selfish behavior.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing about these two events, the first reminded me of the second, and that’s about it. Hmm.

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From McCall’s Needlework Book, Fall/Winter 1953-54.

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