How To: Name Your Baby


baby nameSo, I know my name is Cappy, and that might confuse some people. It might make other people angry that I’m writing a post about naming children when it seems that my parents named me under a haze of marijuana smoke and black lights. (Surprisingly enough, they didn’t. To get the full story behind my name, click here.) But I, an extremely opinionated and slightly grumpy blogger, figured I had something to say, so I might as well say it. Listen up, and save the crazy names for middle names.

1. Don’t give your kid a bizarre-noun-name. There’s nothing worse (or easier to make fun of) than a kid named after a tree (Aspen is alright, Birch is not).
Girl Examples: Harp, Cedar, Dream, Muse, Petri.
Boy Examples: Wrangler, Trick, Track, Cannon, Knight.
Exceptions include: Joy, Hope, Iris, May, June, Daisy. Don’t get too exotic with your flowers…your kid shouldn’t be named Hibiscus or Anthurium. There are no exceptions for boys except maybe August. Maybe.

2. Avoid names of continents, countries or cities.
Girl Examples: Africa, Europe, Italy, Wales (that one’s for more reasons than one).
Boy Examples: Scotland, Denmark.
Exceptions: There are a lot of exceptions. One of my sorority sisters is named Britain and I think that’s delightful. Someone else I know is named Sicily. But don’t call them Zimbabwe or Seattle or something, cuz that just sounds weird…and sounds like you’ve decided any word that exists can be a name.

3. Don’t turn your girl-child into a stripper. You shouldn’t be allowed to name your kid Chastity, because even if she’s the most chaste girl in the world, everyone will think she’s a dirty tramp.
Girl Examples: Verity, Charity, Trinity, Cinnamon (fun fact: I had a hamster named Cinnamon. Yep, just ruined it for you).
Boy Examples: Well, don’t name your boy after a girl stripper, cuz that’s just wrong. And don’t name him Magic Mike.
Exceptions: There are no exceptions.

4. Don’t go all Gwyneth Paltrow on your kid.
Girl Examples: Apple, Orange, Banana, Pear, Peanut, Flute, Lute…the list goes on.
Boy Examples: Rocket, Explosive, Banjo, Guitar, Picolo.
Exceptions: If Gwyneth Paltrow wouldn’t like it, you can use it.

5. You are not a flower child, and neither is your one-second-old baby.
Girl Examples: Wind, Flower, Breeze, Whisper, Peace, Love, Mist.
Boy Example: Random, Earth, Strength, Virility, Rain.
Exceptions: Skye might be acceptable, but only if they grow up to be super awesome.

6. Never, EVER, name your child after where they were conceived. Ever.
I met a girl named Kastle once and she said it was because right before she was born her parents went to this Italian castle and stayed there and loved it…I guarantee they did the don’t in there and she is the product of their sordid night on a bed made of stone. Don’t do it.
On another note, don’t tell your kid where they were conceived. 

7. After I’ve said all this, try not to name your kid the same thing as everyone else they’ll grow up with. It’s annoying growing up and being known as “Morgan F” because there are 5 other Morgans in your class. I’m not going to give examples, because they’re so obvious. Also, I feel like I’m going to offend everyone I know if I do.

Of course, there are a million exceptions and I’m a jerk about names, but a great rule of thumb is DO NOT NAME YOUR CHILD ANYTHING SARAH PALIN WOULD NAME HERS. Except Piper, cuz that’s cute.

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Kissing and Collaboration (Take Notes, Kids)


Hi y’all! We (Cappy @ Writer’s Block and Girl on the Contrary) have decided to collaborate on a blog. We know, we know. The world’s been waiting for this one for a looooong time. We’ve known each other (through the interwebs) for over a year now, and we thought it would be only appropriate to celebrate our anniversary by posting together. So here goes.

Cappy: The first kiss: it happens to the best of us. And they happen over and over (if you’re lucky…or unlucky, if you’re looking simply for “the one”). Of course, Girl on the Contrary and I were about 97 when we had ours (not together…) since we’re slight flirtation failures, but nevertheless, it happens.

We’re romantics. You can tell by the fact that we wear corsets and walk around knighting people all the time. So we figured we’d talk about what we deem acceptable and unacceptable vis-a-vis first kisses.

Girl on the Contrary: Cappy is being too modest. She was actually 95 when she had her first kiss, she just didn’t want to tell you that for fear you would think she was a “hoochie-mama” (those were her words, not mine, I would never say “hoochie-mama”, I prefer the term amorously gifted. It hasn’t caught on yet.) She was right about one thing, however, I do like to knight people but only those who have shown themselves to be valorous in some way- like letting me cut in front of them in the grocery store check-out. I’m not really romantic, I just like romance. Anyway, I definitely like kissing so it’s worth discussing, and by worth it, I mean Cappy and I plan to make a lot of money writing about kissing. So, like, really worth it.

The Place

GOOD:
Cappy: On a balcony. So Rom & Jul.
In a wheat field during a sunset…but hey, don’t wear shorts, or severe chafing will ensue and your kiss scenario will be demoted to the bad section of this list.
On a sailboat…during a sunset? Don’t lean against a sail or anything though. Don’t want to lose your balance and get eaten by a shark! That’s not romantic.
On an albatross. Because, really, it’s bloody well majestic.
In a hot air balloon. Just don’t hit a plane or something. We’re not sure it’s possible, but it would be just our luck.

GotC: In a closet. As I understand it, when two people go into a closet together- it turns into Heaven for like 7 minutes. Also, beaches. Also, also, my living room couch. It’s so simple yet so perfect.

BAD:

Cappy: A field just as a crop duster passes overhead.
An albatross that really needs to potty.
A balcony…because, really…do we WANT to compare ourselves to Rom and Jul? They. Died. And it wasn’t just like a little, painless death. Their deaths were filled with poison, heartbreak, and stab wounds. I blame the friar.

GotC: I agree, it was totally the friar’s fault. Also, cars. It’s super awkward and there are arm rests and seat belts to deal with. Also, also, under bleachers at any sporting events. Steer clear of the under the bleachers because before you know it, other kids will be calling you “amorously gifted.”

The Mood
GOOD:

Cappy: Dark-ish. Because he might not be that cute. And you don’t necessarily want to see his fish face looming in on you and then you all of a sudden think, “WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO?!” But then maybe that’s what you SHOULD think, and you’d better think it fast before he starts ripping your clothes off.

GotC: If Clueless taught me anything, it taught me that lighting it crucial. Florescent lighting is not flattering on anyone so avoid places with florescent lighting. Dusk is nice. So is twilight. I’m pretty sure those two are the same thing.
BAD:

Cappy: Totally dark. You don’t want any wandering hand action to be happening…unless, you know, you DO want wandering hand action. But at this point we’re only talking about the first kiss, not the first grope.

GotC: Too bright. You don’t want to see too much, trust me on that.

The Caress:

Cappy: If he grabs your head and locks it in, we have a problem. But if he touches your face, whispers something nice, says you’re pretty when your eyes are closed, etc…well, actually, he’s probably just Edward Cullen and you should get your holy water out. The caressing should be nice, but really, no matter what he does, it’ll seem kinda dumb when you say it out loud.

GotC: Ah, the caress. Super sappy, super romantic, super necessary. A touch of the face, a holding of the hand, when he pushes your hair behind your ear……..I’m going to stop now because I think you get it and if you don’t, you need to watch some movie adaptations of Jane Austen novels, they usually get it right in the sweet caresses department.

The Whole Package:

Cappy: You should feel nice afterward, and your tonsils should remain intact, thank you very much.
And that, my friends, is kissing advice from two foxy ladies who just like to keep it real. You like us. Admit it. Actually, don’t admit it, just show your love with a little smoochin’.

GotC: You should be smiling, and every time you think about it afterward, you should smile. And if you’re not smiling or don’t ever think of it again, it wasn’t done properly. Also, according to conventional wisdom, unlike us, you’re not supposed to talk about it.

So there you have it. We’ve tested all these scenarios out, so they’re like, totally scientific and everything. Just listen to us and we promise, you’ll have a lotta luck in love. Meow.

Girl on the Contrary is a sassy, sassy lady. You can read more about her here, or in this post I wrote about our love. We share similar tastes in music, love, and life, and both have an unnatural obsession for Alice in Wonderland. And I love her dearly because she was one of the first people to read this blog (she was here before you. Feel bad about yourselves). If you know me, you want to know her. Or, contrarily (get it? get it?), if you know me but wish you didn’t…well, what are you doing here anyway?

Video Love


It’s been too long since I’ve done one of these. And I WILL expose you to things I love.

1. Synchronized Japanese Businessmen. Really, this is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen on YouTube.

2. How to Flirt. He’s a woman after my own heart. We should meet up and do more How To stuff :P

3.  Mock the Week. I love this show. Wish I lived where I could actually see it air on TV! Instead, I keep myself happy by watching videos from it on YouTube. This is a pretty good one. Please note the blonde cutie on the left. That’d be my husband, Russell Howard.

4. Adam Hills – Characterful pt 6. I love this man. So. Much.

5. How To Avoid Talking To People You Don’t Want to Talk To. I really need to learn from this video.

How to Dress for Halloween


In light of the many parties you will undoubtedly attend (you cheeky minxes), I shall now bestow upon you my supreme knowledge of costumes.
I’ll start with what NOT to wear. Because I’m better at being negative.
Ladeeez:

Please refrain from any type of “slutty [insert noun here].” If you’re going to go out dressed like a prostitute, just say you’re dressed like a prostitute. Don’t try to cover it up by saying you’re a cat or a French maid or a muffin. I don’t know how anyone could make a muffin sexy, but someone should try it and send me a photo. Come to think of it, anyone who can make a muffin costume sexy should just wear it every day.
If you’re going to a dance party and you plan on gettin’ your bump on, make sure that your dress/skirt is long enough that it won’t be riding up around your neck 30 seconds into a dance. While some men you dance with may enjoy this, many will be terrified at the prospect of dancing with your panties (even if they’re only scared of what their girlfriend will say).

Men-folk:
Wearing masks scares people. Sure, be a gorilla and wear a mask- IF you’re at a house party with seven of your closest friends. Otherwise, going to a bar/club/party with large amounts of strangers = everyone feels sketched out around you. Don’t expect to get your dance on unless your mask is off, you sketchy possible axe-murderer.

What you SHOULD wear:
Ladeeez:
Clothing. The end.
But really, there should be no undergarments showing…unless you are A) dressed as a gigantic undergarment or B) accustomed to wearing that type of outfit/are a prostitute.
Be Aphrodite or something. She’s classy. Or an old film star. Or a rocker chick – those are sexy AND they wear pants. 
Think of something really clever, like “tickled pink” (wear all pink clothes and carry a feather) or “happy hour” (wear a huge clock costume and smile a lot). That last one might be tough to dance in.

Men-folk:
I have seen so many guys dress up as Mormons (bike helmets, skinny ties, slacks) that I don’t know what to do with myself. So maybe that costume is all the rage this year.  I’ve also seen more guidos than I would’ve liked (but if I’d seen the real Pauly D, I probably wouldn’t complain so much)…so be creative. Dress up. There is a serious problem plaguing our country: men don’t dress up as much as women do. On New Years Eve, dates in general, and Halloween, the girls always get way more into dressing up (whether in costume or just fancy clothes) than the guys. So man up, men!
I would like to say that I saw a Mr. Peanut on Saturday night and almost peed myself (kidding) in excitement. Ohh, early Halloween parties, you make me happy.

Now I’m scared that I’ll find a costume that I love that both is called “slutty [insert noun here]” AND shows my undergarments. If that happens, you can totally call me a hypocrite. Loudly.

How to Dance


In honor of the many upcoming homecoming dances at various colleges and high schools around the world/country/universe, I have compiled a list of fool-proof methods to help you get your dance on.

I’m not exactly sure that I have the authority to write this since nowadays, with all the fist pumping and booty bumping and krumping (ohhh you kids and your baggy pants!) and whatnot, it’s not so much dancing as it’s having sex in a big heap with your clothes on. But I’ll try my hardest.

1. Don’t try to pull off anything too impressive.
If you’re reading this in the hopes of learning how to dance, you obviously (ish) are a terrible dancer and therefore should refrain from any serious salsa/tango/mambo/chacha moves. Basically, don’t do anything latin or organized, because you will inevitably be crap at it.
If you really want to try any of these don’t take yourself too seriously, cuz you’ll look like a huge fool if you fail.

2. Don’t grind like a twit.
Sure, we all have sexual frustrations and we need an outlet to…frustrate them…but that should be saved for bedrooms/supply closets/bathrooms. Or the set of “Dirty Dancing. ”
Get your passion on, sure, but maybe actually face each other while you do.

3. Don’t be a complete idiot and jump around with your arms in the air the whole time.
Odds are a short person below you will be either wiped with your sweat or elbowed in the head. Let’s be safe.

4. Loosen your joints!
If you’re not actually doing the robot, try not to look like you are. Loosen up, move your hips, don’t look like you’re having a spasm, etc etc.

5. Don’t be a downer.
You know you like to dance. Unless you’re a Quaker  or live in the musical “Footloose,” you’re allowed to dance. You want to dance! So do it. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer.

In all honesty, folks, you should just go out there and have a good time. Dancing is really fun and can be passionate and whatnot and there’s really no point in feeling self-conscious or stupid the whole time. Let your hair down and have fun! After all, I tend to look like a complete fool when I dance and I still manage to have a good time.
And above all, do not, repeat DO NOT, let the DJ play the Cha-Cha Slide three times.

How to Be a Musician


Rockstar:
1. Live by one rule and one rule alone: Guitar should not sound melodic. There shouldn’t be any real chords like in Beatles or Stones songs, just really scary and loud guitar riffs. And solos shouldn’t have anything to do with the tune of the song but should instead show off your ability to play random notes really fast.

2. Okay, there are actually two rules…the second involves a lot of leather.

Popstar:
1. Constantly show off your vocal range; this is especially important if you’re singing the national anthem. Hit as many high notes as you can, but make sure you immediately follow them with low notes. Then jump back to high, make your voice quiver a little, and make the ugliest face you can. Point your hand up to the sky, hitting your final note, and…finish.

2. Wear as much lip gloss as you can possibly apply to your lips without them falling off.

Grunge dude:
1. Blow all your money on cocaine. Mmmm, nothing’s better than druggie arms.

Hint: it's him.

2. Blow the little money you have left on flannel shirts. You’re not allowed to wear anything (reapeat: anything) other than flannel shirts. Okay, you can wear pants. Flannel pants, preferrably…yeah that’s a lie.

Julian Casablancas:
1. Look really amazing all the time.

2. Write really great music.

3. Sing me to sleep every night.

…10 points to anyone who can figure out who my favorite singer is.

How to Make Friends


1. Compliment someone you think seems nice. Say, “Hey there. You look awesome today. I wish I looked the way you looked every day. I wish I could be you. I wish I could be your best friend. Can I be your best friend?”
That method has always worked for me…

2. You don’t want to seem too perfect, so make sure you do one thing wrong. Pick your nose in public. Make sure lots of people are watching. They’ll appreciate that you aren’t too cool for them and will totally want to be friends.

3. Be super loud. Nobody likes a quiet friend. Just shriek a lot.

4. Use pick up lines on people – you’re still trying to pick them up, just not romantically. Try a Harry Potter one: “I know we’re not in Professor Flitwick’s class, but you’re still charming.”
Don’t worry, it totally won’t creep them out.

5. You can avoid all this unnecessary dawdling by hitching up your trousers, sticking a grin on your face, and marching on over to your prospective friend. When you have reached them, present your hand for a hearty handshake. Make sure you say “Hiya!” Suspenders would be a nice touch.

How to Keep it Classy, or How Not to Be a Twit


Know why he's The Most Interesting Man in the World? Cuz he keeps it classy.

There is only one rule that one must abide by in order to stay classy. That rule is this: Don’t be a twit.
Twit: (n.) 1. A moron with absolutely no sense. 2. One who uses Twitter.

Okay, that second one was just for funsies. But really…I was looking something up on Google Images the other day and one of the photos was from twitter and labeled TwitPics. Why? What? Why?

As the Countess Luann once said, “Money can’t buy you class. Money can’t buy you class. Elegance is learned, my friends. Elegance is learned, oh yeah.” Technically, in her case, money can’t buy you class but it can buy you a record deal and fame even when you haven’t got much talent…

So don’t be a twit. How? It’s simple.

1. Don’t wear so much makeup that it looks like you shoved your face into a cake before you left the house. That’s probably not where the term “cake face” came from, but I think it’s close enough.

2. Don’t lean all over guys, especially when you first meet them. Give it a little time – make sure they smell good.
Actually, this has nothing to do with protecting your nose from gross scents. It does, however, have everything to do with not looking like a total bimbo when you’re in public.

Check out the poof on that fine sista.

3. Don’t tease your hair so much that you look like a dinosaur. I’m lookin’ at you, female cast of Jersey Shore. Nobody’s head is shaped that way naturally. So don’t push it.

4. Don’t shriek in public. I don’t care how happy you are. People around you have eardrums to protect.
Be happy. I’m happy. I am so happy, in fact, that I prefer to keep it to a dull roar.
Plus, when you shriek like that you just sound like a chipmunk being murdered…

5. Don’t get slobbering drunk. I get that you want to party. But don’t you also want to remember how much fun you had? Keep it classy, babe. Carry your champagne (or beer/vodka tonic/whatever…but champagne is classier cuz it’s French) around for a while, take a sip, carry it a little longer, take another sip. Don’t down the whole thing at once; then it starts getting ugly.

How to Stay Thin


You're gonna want to focus on the "thin" part, not the "big."

1. While cleaning, play music.
Some people prefer funk, some like classical (though how you’re supposed to dance enough to burn calories I don’t know), and some like hip hop. I, however, am partial to blasting Nirvana/Smashing Pumpkins/The Strokes and jumping around singing until I can barely walk. That, my friends, is exercise. 

2. Eat only blue foods.
Let me give you a hint: there are about two naturally occurring, edible blue foods on the planet – blueberries and…something else. 

3. Find the planet’s second blue food.
Take a hike across some tropical island in search of this mysterious food. You’ll burn calories quickly, plus you’ll have that mystery food to look forward to. Just make sure it isn’t poisonous. And if it turns out to be, induce vomiting immediately…that should help you lose a pound or two. 

4. Look in the mirror and trash talk your love handles.
“You worthless pieces of flab! I don’t need you! You are WORTHLESS! WORTHLESS! I bet you think you can just cling onto me for support forever. Well think again, flabbies!”
They’ll be so depressed that they’ll immediately detach themselves from your body and hide under a rock. 

4. Fidget.
A lot. Tap your toes, fingers, feet, whatever. Do it constantly, and you’ll eventually lose like…one pound. Congrats! You are officially an idiot for listening to me. And now you look like a crack addict. 

This is your ideal body type, right?

5. Get yourself addicted to crack.
Crack whores = sexy. And if you live anywhere on this planet, you’ve seen one. They have skinny arms and skinny legs and skinny everything. They probably even have skinny hair. Ever heard of Skinny Cow ice cream products? Yeah, that cow’s on crack. And Skinny Girl Margaritas? Maybe you should get yourself some of those too…
Please, go find yourself a cocaine dealer and get smokin, cuz you could really stand to lose a few…
Go on. You know you want to.

How to Act Really Cool


Everyone was wearing fingerless gloves.

 Keyword here is act.

Step 1: Wear sunglasses everywhere.
At the beach, on the street, in the club, in bed, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, here or there, everywhere.
If you don’t have any sunglasses handy, just let your hair hang over your eyes. If people can’t see your eyes, they feel like they can’t see into your soul and that freaks them out and gets them wondering all at once.

Step 2: Have a dark and mysterious past.
You should have no family to speak of, wear only converse (if you’re a guy) or fishnets and heels (if you’re a girl…or a guy, if that floats your boat), eat only Greek food, smell like cloves, drink between classes, and seem kinda freaky. But not too freaky, just…good freaky.
Soon, everyone will wonder who this fishnet-wearing, Greek food-eating, clove-smelling, drinking freaky loner is. Next question: can he/she party? 

Step 3: Give the impression that you have a lot of friends.
You can do this by waving (cooly) or doing the “sup” nod at random strangers and/or having a posse/entourage follow you around (but they can’t stand too close, that’s soooo uncool).
In order to have a mysterious past, you must disregard this step and proceed directly to Step 4. 

Step 4: See How to be a Hipster 

Step 5: Be in a Band.
Duh. Groupies.
Plus, then you get to wear all that leather and whatnot that other rock stars wore to look cool in the 80s. Get a crazy hair cut, dance like Mick Jagger, and do a lot of drugs. Its scary. People like to be scared. Why else would the Twilight movies, best known for their scary acting, be so popular?
If you are attempting to comply with Step 4, black leather jackets should be avoided at all costs, and rock music should be played quietly and broodingly. 

Step 6: Talk “poetic” nonsense.
“I dreamed I saw two acrobats dancing on a shooting star in the middle of the day. They stopped and said hello, then drifted to the Milky Way. Then I realized…it was me and you. So I chased them on a flying tiger into the great unknown. I went to the abyss for you. I love you. I do.”