Monthly Archives: April 2011

The name game

I was browsing the blogs this evening — an event that sounds fairly naughty yet in reality is a sad commentary on my personal life — when I saw that Cynthia over at It All Changes had participated in The Name Game!

Personally, I think anything involving names, games, and any combination of phrases that contain those two words is totally awesome, and I am all for it. In fact, it was the name game where you name a celebrity, then the next person has to name a new celebrity using the first letter of the last name of the person you used (ie, I say Tom Jones, and you say Jennifer Aniston, and I say dude, Jennifer Aniston is not a celebrity and you say IS TOO so I shrug and say, fine, Amy Adams and you then curse my double-A because you cannot think of any other A names even though Alan Alda is just sitting there, waiting for you to spit it out…. that game) is what got Jim and I through a very long Homeland Security delay on the tarmac in Fort Lauderdale in 2005.

I think it might be the fact that I have a relatively uncommon name that makes me interested in names. I wonder if the day will ever come when I experience a Kayla — Kayla is certainly common these days. Among young girls and teens and maybe college seniors. But it was hardly a common name in the 1980’s, save for the one true love of Patch on Days of Our Lives. So while MY Kayla grew up with an uncommon name, she’s seen it become more mainstream. So.. maybe it’ll happen for Marney?

Yeah… no.

Anyway. On to the name game that, according to Cynthia, has been circulating in blog land. And in an awesomely fun way, if I do say so myself.

1. How did your parents decide on your name?

I think we’ve already clearly established that they were drunk. Well, at least that’s what I generally assume. Truth of it is, my name is Patrick Anthony. There was no room for any more vaginas in our household. My mother was desperate to deliver my brother a brother of his own. But alas, it was not meant to be.

The way I understand it, when my parents moved to their first suburban home, one of the neighborhood kids was named Marney. And Mom said, “oh, that’s cute, how do you spell it?” And she said “M-A-R-N-E-Y” and that’s the end of the story. Seriously.

When Patrick Anthony turned out to have no ding-a-ling, Mom said something like “well dammit” then sighed then said “guess we’ll go with Marney” and the doc was like “what’s the middle name” and Mom was all “well we didn’t plan for a girl” and doc was like *blank stare* and Mom said “Lynn. Marney Lynn.”

An hour or so later, Dad had to remind Mom that they already had a child with the middle name Lynn — Amy Lynn. And it’s not like that was so long ago, Amy and I are only two years apart. But the birth certificate was already filled out, so I got a used middle name.

***side note — my parents ages are incorrect on my birth certificate. Dad was 34, and Mom was 31, but it says the OPPOSITE. Don’t tell Trump.***

Anyway, the next thing Mom did was call my brother and apologize for not giving him a brother of his own.

No wonder I am so dramatic. I seriously need therapy after typing all that.

2. Do your initials (first/middle/last) spell anything funny?

Not funny. But before I was married, my first and last initial simply spelled out, ME. Nice and selfish! At high school graduation, me and Melissa E-something had a brief conversation about how we didn’t like that. And once, in grade school, the art teacher hollered out, “ok, who is the smart alec who wrote ‘me’ in the corner of their work” when it was ME because we were supposed to put our initials on it. Man did she feel dumb!

3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you drop your middle name & take your maiden name as your middle name?

First, I am wondering how this translates to boy blogs. Or is this girl-only name game? Awesome.

Anyway, I never ever used my afterthought of a middle name. I did, however, take my maiden name as my middle name. I was going to hyphenate, but that would have given me a 15-letter last name (plus hyphen!). So I opted for the Hilary Rodham Clinton route.

4. Are you or will you name your children systematically? (i.e., same first letter, same origin, etc.)

I was not even organized enough to have my children with the same men, let alone have some type of rhyme or reason to their names. I suppose, you could say, I like the old-fashioned names though.

5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?

Apparently, yes, this is a girls only name game!

I always, always, ALWAYS planned on having a girl named Lilly. But, I only had boys. Unlike my mother who was apparently DEVASTATED with the sex of at least one of her babies, I was FINE.

And while I don’t think Hank was a name I loved as a little girl, I definitely knew by the time I hit college that Hank was a name I would like for a boy. See, Hank was my Aunt Lil’s husband. And since Lil was truly an awesome lady (she used to crochet me Barbie clothes, which of course I still have), and I could not name a daughter after her, I did the next best thing and named my first son after her husband, good old Uncle Hank.

As for George — seriously, that was just cute.

6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?

My mother’s side has only names they pass on by accident. Plenty of ancestors named Henry and George, plus of course Uncle Hank. But it’s more like we just aren’t very original. Except for Marney — the afterthought name.

My brother is a junior, but that stopped.

7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?

Ahh, just the name. Meanings can be too… meaningful.

8. Do you name pets with human names or pet names?

I don’t have a rule. My last two pets were cats, one named Pumpkin, the other named Phyllis. I did have dreams about getting a dog and naming him Fido or Rover, since no one ever REALLY names their dog that but they supposedly the quintessential dog names. But then I discovered that I think pretty much all dogs are actually rabid beings from the deepest depths of hell, and, well, there goes that idea.

9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?

Well, a truly wretched gal named Anna terrorized me during parts of high school, so while I don’t immediately expect to be tripped or flicked in the head by all women named Anna, it’s not exactly a name I would choose for a child.

I suppose I might have eventually picked the name Eden though, because I did seriously love Santa Barbara.

10. What are some of your favorite names & why?

Well, there’s Hank. And George. For obvious reasons. Plus Lilly, even though I never got to use it.

Then there’s Sophia because it sounds kind of sexy. And Mary, due to my love of Mary Ann Childers. Other than that, I don’t think I really HAVE any favorite names.

Except, of course, MARNEY. After thought or not, I like my name!

Ok, your turn.  Go play!

*Note ~ which I also stole from Cynthia just to make sure we are CRYSTAL CLEAR here: We are not pregnant in any way shape or form.  This was just for fun.*


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A non-serviced customer

Today I had what I like to refer to as a mini-freakout. My e-mail refused to recognize… anything. It didn’t exist, page not found, nothing there, it’s possible, even, that it laughed at me.

I use my e-mail for work, so you can imagine my instant panic. I figured, bah, it’s probably just a glitch. But it WOULDN’T recover.

Enter my online chat with the “customer service experts” from my e-mail carrier. Considering I use a free e-mail service, the old saying of “you get what you pay for” could not have been more true. I’ve redacted the information that is embarrassing to myself, my e-mail provider, and that which of course could possibly get me sued…

Please wait for a  [provider] agent to respond. You are currently number 106 in the queue.

All [provider] agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. A [provider] agent will be with you shortly. Your expected wait time is approximately 3 minutes.

All [provider] agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. A [provider] agent will be with you shortly. Your expected wait time is approximately 490 minutes.

***490 minutes later***

All [provider] agents are currently assisting others. Thank you for your patience. A [provider] agent will be with you shortly. Your expected wait time is approximately 0 minutes.

***10 minutes later***

You are now chatting with R

R: Hi Marney!

R: Welcome to our [provider] Account Verification Live Chat service. I’m glad you’ve joined us.

R: As I understand, you are unable to access your [provider] Mail account.

R: Is that correct?

R: Are you there?

Marney (who has been typing this whole time): Yes, I cannot access email. This is the response I get when I try to get mail: Ouch! The error, LaunchEmptyResponse, occurred when trying to connect to [provider] Mail. To retry [provider] Mail… To proceed to [provider] Mail Classic… This error might be temporary. Go to [provider] Mail Click here to check your mail using [provider] Mail Classic. When I try [provider] classic, it says the page was not found.

R: Thank you for providing the error message.

R: I realize the difficulties you must be experiencing due to this.

R: Marney, the issue you have described pertains to our Mail department.

***No shit, sherlock, I consider typing but do not***

R: I am transferring this chat to our Mail Specialist for further assistance.

Please wait while I transfer the chat to a [provider] agent.

***10 minutes later***

You are now chatting with P

P: Hi! Welcome back to our [provider] Mail Live Chat service. I’m glad you’ve joined us.

P: Thank you for providing us the details of your issue.

P: You mentioned that you cannot view your mails on your [provider] Mail account. Is that right?

Marney: Apparently the way to fix it was to wait a really long time until my turn came up, because it is working again. Is this a regular issue? I do not like [the new mail system], can i just use classic mail?

P: Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

P: I will be more than happy to assist you with your issue. However, it seems that you are not properly logged in to our Live chat.

Marney: I have been staring at this screen for an hour. I don’t know how else I can log on.

P: We are not able to detect your information here in our end, this would indicate that you are not using a secured chat connection.

Marney: I’m pretty sure it’s you guys.

Marney: I have that awesome little lock thing icon and everything here!

P: In order for us to assist you please make sure you are logged into your [provider] Mail account by checking on the upper right hand side of your screen.

Marney: The only thing in the upper right hand side of the screen is a red X that says “end chat.”

P: Now, please close this chat window as well and come back to me by logging in to this link below.

Marney: Also…. I have had trouble getting IN to my account. Hence, I need help with my mail. See?

P: Let me provide you the link to contact us again.

P: [link that didn’t work to begin with]

Marney: Will I have to wait another 490 minutes?

P: [totally different random link]

P: I am sorry if I cannot assist you right now, Marney.

Marney: No worries. In the meantime, it appears crappy [provider] mail has been fixed and my e-mail is back up. I’ll take the credit for it myself! Thanks!

P: By the way, there’s a short survey after this chat. I would really appreciate it if you will complete the survey and let my manager know how I did today.

Marney: Considering I didn’t get helped at all… are you sure you want me to fill that out?

P: You may fill out the survey if you want to, Marney.

Marney: Thanks, P.

P: Again, I do apologize for this inconvenience.

P: To take the survey, please click on the “END CHAT” button (not the “X”) found at the top-right side of this chat window.

***note: this is what is at the top-right side: Close chat

P: Please allow me to provide you a recap to cover our chat before you leave.

Marney: I needed to catch up on my sitting on my butt anyway.

P: We cannot detect a secure connection with you and I suggest that you contact us again using the link that I have provided.

P: I hope that I have helped you somehow.

P: Thank you for using [provider] Mail. If you have any other questions, please feel free to come back and chat with us at any time.

P: Thanks a lot for chatting. Have a great one!

Marney: No no, you have a great one.

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The thoughts that I think

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. Taking it all in. Inhaling the universe. Being all observation-y.

Wanna hear about it? Here goes:

*Tonight we went to Subway, me, Jim and George. And I found myself splashed over with sadness just ever so briefly at the fact that Hank wasn’t there. This happens to me a lot when Hank is off for the weekend with his “second dad.” The family moves on without him, and suddenly I miss him so badly it can make me want to cry.

Then, as I was lost in thought about my eldest child, I looked up to realize that George was standing on his seat, licking the picture of lettuce that was bolted to the Subway wall. Suddenly, I had more important things to do than wallow — I had to hide my head in shame.

*As has been well documented, I tend to really hate commercials. Not because they ruin my favorite episodes of Fringe and Law & Order and whatever Kardashian show is on, but because anything can pass as plausible ad material these days. Yesterday, I saw a spot about the new, hip designs for Playtex packaging. Because nothing says “man I love when my uterine lining leaks out my lady parts in a bloody shower of nastiness” like neon colors on my tampon wrapper.

*Speaking of commercials, has anyone noticed how HAPPY men are when they have erectile dysfunction? Commercials seriously make me want herpes and my period every second of every day, while my husband battles with rising to the occasion and how his gray hair prevents him from getting a job. Because with all those issues, we would be a couple of dancing, cartwheeling, bike riding, road tripping, laughing, walking on the beach fools! Oh the joy!

*Bud Select 55 isn’t just light on calories and taste. It’s light on standards for the bottle. Because if you drop one of those babies, it will shatter into 8,000 tiny pieces… right before your bare feet.

*It’s totally cool to be excited about spending your Saturday night watching House Hunters.

*There’s such a thing as too comfortable with someone. And it’s when you apologize to them, and they have to wait to figure out what it is for. Only to find out it was for your stinky fart that you know is wafting their way. Too. Comfortable.

*According to some random website that no one in their right mind should ever look at (except for those growing children in their enormous bellies), the most popular girl name last year was Isabella. There are also several other names that seem to be on the list most years — Emily, Grace, Ava, Sophia. All names I really, really like. But you know what’s never on there? Marney.

Growing up, I actually was fond of having an uncommon name. Marney is not common, but doesn’t sound so unusual as to make people think “wow, how much pot did your parents smoke?” Which, we all know, is untrue anyway. Mom is a boozer, not a druggie.

But the consequence of having an uncommon name is that you are then associated with every person who shares that name, as if the common trait of your moniker makes you somehow connected to that person.

There was the Alfred Hitchcock movie, “Marnie,” where Tippi Hedren plays a thief and a total lunatic named, well, Marnie. And she is always lying about her name, but when she finally confesses that her real name is Marnie, her psychiatrist, played by Sean Connery, scoffs at her, “Well, that fits.”


I thought it had reached a pinnacle with the infamous Marney Thanksgiving Letter, the one that people really thought was from me. But no.

Enter Marni Yang. Several weeks ago, Marni Yang was convicted of murdering the pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle. And let me tell you — this woman is a prime WACKO. Total freakshow land. Killed this woman out of some weird fit of jealousy, but she was crazy obsessed with Shaun Gayle.

Of course, the story of the murder and arrest and trial was top news here. But last night, it was featured on an episode of 20/20. Once again, Marni Yang — MARNI — is on my teevee.

My favorite part was when the interviewer, one Ms. Juju Chang, first said her name.

“Marni,” Juju says, sarcastically, raising both an eyebrow AND the corner of her lip, apparently disgusted.

“Marni!” repeats Shaun Gayle, equally disturbed at the sound of her name.

PEOPLE. She is not a crazy person because her name is Marni. And for real — Juju? Someone named Juju is cocking her head funny to the name Marni? Juju. I’m not 100 percent certain, but it’s possible that just saying Ms. Chang’s first name is slightly racist, but she sneers to Marni.


I heard many times from various folks, ohhhhhhh, the murderer is named MARNI. Oooohhhhhh! Oh my! Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh yeah shut the hell up.

When my sister named her son — the family’s FIRST grandson — Jonathan, no one shrieked, “Oh my God, you’re naming him Jon? But what about John Wayne Gacey? OH THE HUMANITY.”

No one ever stared an interview with Ted Kennedy by saying, “So… Ted. You and Ted Bundy. That’s a rough one, huh?”

No one ever said, upon learning that my husband is named Jim, “Oh my God, you mean like the Jonestown Massacre? Don’t trust HIM with the Kool-Aid.”

But somehow, Marney = Marni Yang.

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare wrote.

Well, apparently, if the name is Marni/Marnie/Marney/Marny/Marnee, what’s in that name is a murderous, lying, thieving, villainous psychopath.

Of course, Shakespeare should have known better. Being named Bill, he obviously knows that THAT name carries a lot of weight with the ladies.

*My husband and I Tivo Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. What the hell?

*Beer can help you sleep. Sleeping pills can also help you sleep. Mixing them will make you sleep until 1 p.m., and will make your husband really pissed off at you.

*When ordering food through a drive-thru window, you shouldn’t be allowed to even GO to that drive-thru unless your window rolls down. You know what is aggravating? Waiting for the mom with 18 kids and equally as many bags and drinks try to collect all that stuff from the cracked open door of her 1999 rusty beige Suburban which she naturally pulled a little to close to the window number two. Seriously woman, get your tie-dye wearing, scrunchie-haired self INSIDE the restaurant. You’re holding up the line.

*My baby is turning five years old this week. I suppose it’s time to stop blaming the little bastard innocent boy for my big fat ass.

*My other baby will be nine in just about a month. So while I REALLY can’t blame him for my big fat ass, I am going to start blaming him for my gray hair.

I read somewhere that there’s a special place in heaven for a mother of boys. And someday, I hope my friends and family members with boys will leave heaven to visit me in hell to let me know what that place is like.

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