Monday, September 28, 2009

Useful Links

As my last post clearly shows, I enjoy names. Analyzing the spelling, sound, meaning...all the bells and whistles. The question is then raised of whether a blog about analyzing names is one worth reading. So I thought about other things I know enough about to base a blog on. I came up with: baby names, reality television, and being broke.

A blog about baby names would basically be my thoughts on what names celebrities and other famous people chose for their children. I would also include some witty personal anecdotes, my personal suggestions, and any other interesting news related to baby names in any way.

If I were to blog about reality television I would basically pick three or four main shows to follow (ones I would probably be watching regardless) and write about them. My personal favorites are competition shows (i.e. Project Runway, The Biggest Loser, American Idol) so I would write about the contestants, my predictions and any fun facts I find related to the shows and anyone affiliated with them.

I could very easily write about being broke. The basis would be mainly for students and how to get by on a small budget, especially in Albany. I would write about things to do, places to eat, and deals going on so that the poor college kids can get the best bang for their buck.

Here are 21 websites (7 for each potential topic) that would help me in my blogging endeavor.

Baby Names

This is a very comprehensive sight about baby names. They list all known names alphabetically as well as their meanings. They also have a baby name of the day, lists of the top baby names by year, and lists of interesting celebrity baby names.

People's Celebrity Baby Blog

One of my favorites. This is a blog that posts when celebrities give birth, what they named their kid, the names of all of their other kids, and also some fun little tidbits about celebrities in relation to their children. A great site to find anything interesting baby names to blog about.

This site was created by authors Pamela Redmond and Linda Rosenkrantz, who are known for their best-selling baby names books. They call their site a "unique baby name guide," and it also includes a blog where the ladies write about stories relating to interesting new names and the art of baby-naming.

The Celebrity Baby Names Blog

This is an independent blog separate from People's, but they post almost exactly the same stories. This site would be one of my competitors on baby name reporting. The difference is that I would be providing my personal commentary on the name choices, where this site just posts straight news, baby-name-news that is.

This is actually a really cool site for parents of newborns, which unfortunately is irrelevant to me at this point in my life. But they do have a very cool feature where they can give you the most popular baby names in any particular city/state in the country. Now that could make for some interesting blog posts.

The Name Lady

On they have an anonymous blogger, The Name Lady, who answers questions about baby names and also posts her insights onto baby-name revolutions and interesting facts about trends in baby names. She would be a competitor of mine, as this is similar to what I aim to do in my blog.

This site offers an alphabetical list of baby names but it also has baby-naming trends dating back from the 1800's. It also includes a section on popular baby names by region and the evolution of old names into the variants we know today. Some fun facts on here would be interesting to blog about.

Reality Television

This site contains exclusive news, reviews, analysis, and interviews with producers and cast members on some of today's highest rated reality shows. This is basically a way better version of what I would be attempting with this blog.

Reality TV Online

This is a blog that provides re-caps of several different reality shows.The blogger in this case just gives reader's the facts with a few subtle personal predictions or interjections. This is very similar to what I want to do but reversed. Minimal re-cap, but a lot of personal analysis.

Latoya's Reality TV Blog

This blog is from and basically provides news stories about upcoming events or changes on certain shows and updates about new and old cast members on reality shows. This is also similar to some of the information I would provide in my blog.

This is the website for the television network Lifetime. They provide full episodes of shows like Project Runway where I could see episodes I miss and read viewer comments to get an angle for a story.

This is the website for the television station Bravo. Since most of the shows on Bravo are reality series, this is a great place where I can see episodes, read message boards, and get information on the cast members of these shows.

The Soup Blog

This is the blog for E!'s show The Soup, where host Joel McHale gathers clips every week to poke fun at many of the ridiculous reality show cast members. The blog provides stories that couldn't fit on the show or extended explanations of what was seen on the show.

Obviously the best place to go for celebrity gossip is Perez Hilton. He also has plenty to say about a lot of reality show celebs and all their surrounding rumors that would make great blog topics.

Being Broke

This is the website for Metroland, Albany's alternative weekly newspaper. They provide a very extensive section of event listings where college kids can find stuff to do for free or just a few bucks.

Alloveralbany Blog

This is a blog about all of the recent happenings in Albany. It can be kind of hit or miss when it comes to local events but all around a helpful resource.

This is a website that provides tons of free recipes and has a student section where is lists several quick and easy dishes to make on a budget! has a whole section entitled "things to do," where they provide a long list of events going on in the city. Many of them are city-sponsored so they're free!

This is a blog that provides a lot of tips for college kids on managing their finances while in school so they'll have some cash saved when they get out.

The Diary of a Broke College Student

This blog would be a semi-competitor for what I'm trying to accomplish. This blog is very fashion-oriented because that is an interest of the blogger. The posts are very personal and seem like journal entries, hence the name "diary" of a broke college student.

This is old news, but is a place that can save college students tons of money. Almost anything can be found cheaper on this site, first and foremost: Textbooks. Clothes, CD's, and books are also a lot cheaper on Amazon which can save at least a couple bucks on the luxuries we can barely afford.

What's in a name?

For several years I have had an unexplainable obsession with people's names. My favorite part about meeting new people is learning their name. Even when looking in my local newspaper I check the "Births" section before the "News" section.

Don't judge me.

I also will admit to being a frequent visitor of People's Celebrity Baby Blog where they post when celebrity's have babies and what they name them.

It really is fascinating, especially in the celebrity world, to see what new names people come up with and why they would choose a particular name to give their child. It is a decision that deserves a lot of thought, I mean, we as humans are attached to our names forever, and that's an awfully long time.

Sometimes it is obvious when a lot of thought is put into someones name, or when their parents were just trying to be pretentious and hip. Now it can get tricky when judging celebrities on their name choices because they will be under the scrutiny of the entire world, not just their in-laws.

For example, millions of people know all of Angelina Jolie's children by name and age and some of my relatives don't even know how to spell my name, if they know it at all.

The other day I read an article online about a website's "Baby Name of the Day." They put the spotlight on Nicole Sullivan, star of Lifetime's Rita Rocks, and her fresh out of the oven baby boy, Beckett.

When I first heard this name, it immediately reminded me of a teenage boy whose father works on Wall Street and sent him to some Prep School in New York City so he and his wife could fly to Paris on the weekends.

But Nicole Sullivan, one of my favorite MADtv personalities, didn't strike me as someone who would choose this name for her child. Then I read further and discover that she has another son named Dashel. Now I have seen and heard a lot of baby names in my time but this was a first for me.

Then I proceeded to be "schooled" by some classmates as they informed me that Dashel was most likely named after Dashiell Hammet, best known for his detective novels, and Nicole was probably just following suit by naming her second son after Samuel Beckett, an Irish writer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature in 1969.

I don't know Nicole Sullivan personally but for the purpose of the following rant, let's say that this is an accurate assumption.

It is tricky business to name your children after well-known people. There always tends to be unspoken expectations. Naming your child Lennon or Elvis will in no way give them inherent musical abilities, but they will forever be associated with these legends.

In fact, little Beckett may grow up to read some of his namesake's works and despise them with a deep fiery passion. Then he will live the rest of his life attached to the name of a writer he hates and will inevitably develop a fear of committment and end up in therapy for the rest of his life.

Poor Beckett.

On the other hand, naming your children after someone famous doesn't have to end in therapy. Sometime it can be a subtle ode to a favorite band member or actor, and your children will be none the wiser. They might even end up appreciating the person they were named after, whether it's Grandma Trudy or Alice Cooper.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a namesake so I strongly urge parent's to do their research and expect the unexpected.

First Post! Yay!

This is my first post. Woot woot.