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« The Other Yom Kippur | Main | It’s the Pictures That Got Small »

August 17, 2005


I have a lot of trouble naming things, too. Every time I finish a new poem I want to call it "[blank] poem," sticking one word from the poem into that blank. My LiveJournal is called, "Nullo metro compositum est," but I just chose it from a list of "fun" Latin phrases that someone had emailed me while I was trying to think of a name. I will think about this, Danny, and get back to you if I come up with a good idea.

I will take you up on your blog-title challenge! I was always a master at coming up with great band names for the 85% of my friends that are in bands, so blog titles shouldn't be too difficult. You should have a formalized contest of some sort; round up a lot of suggestions, and poll for the ones you like the most. Personally, I'm also considering changing the title of my blog; someone turned me on to the name "Tales of Tomorrow," which I enjoy an awful lot.

(Side note: I caught an Andy Hardy movie the other morning after work. It was the one where he was ordered to date the 'plain' girl, who happened to be very attractive to begin with. I swear, people would pay through the nose to look like what Hollywood refers to as 'plain.' It's basically 'super-attractive' with glasses.)

I will email you many blog titles for consideration.

Oh, hooray, I'm thrilled that people are taking this request seriously. I hope that if a name comes up that I like that I'll have the courage to use it. Or will it be a repeat of when the rabbi wrote my Bar Mitzvah speech and I vowed I'd never again let anyone speak for me? (I guess my Bar Mitzvah was less my entry into manhood and more my inauguration as a control freak.)

Heather, I love those Latin phrases but I don't think I'm smart enough to get away with that. Retropolitan, you're right about the "plain" girls in MGM movies but you're forgetting the single barrette the Plain Jane is required to wear, which, when opened towards the end of the film, reveals an endless cascade of lush, sexy locks.

I think it's perfect just the way it is.

"Roger Wilco" (Get it?!)
"The Missing Gottlieb"
"Andy Hardy Enters the Witness Protection Program"
"I Married an Auto-Didact"
"Backlot Blog"
"Don't Tell Me What to Call My Blog"
"Confessions of a Control Freak"

I'm not much good at this, am I?...

By the way, "True Ancestor" was the name given to me upon my Zen ordination...

I just emailed you a list of fifty. Hope there was at least one good one on it!

Kvetch as Catch Can

It's funnier out loud.

I'm not in a real creative mood, so no suggestions just yet. But since you work in publishing, you probably know already that a title does count. A flashy title, like fake boobs, can draw your attention. Being a Hollywood type, I've always enjoyed your movie-based title (although I assumed you were in the biz). In the beginning, I also assumed that you were being ironic by bringing up a rated-G character, meaning I thought your blog was going to be filled with raunchy sex stories. I'm still waiting. Enough with the posts about depressing Jewish holidays. We want action!

But you are right that some people might be confused with the Andy Hardy thing. I know sometimes I go to someone else's blogroll and just pick and read one that sounds appealing by it's name (and it is usually a disappointment, but like the fake boobs -- it got my attention).

I'm not particularly fond of my title, either, so maybe one day we'll have to brainstorm.

Creating a name isn't easy. I'm sure it took millions of dollars and countless committee meetings when they changed the name of Esso to Exxon.

Wow, I LOVE all these ideas! And Retropolitan, I can't believe you came up with those 50 suggestions in about two minutes—what are you, a copywriter in real life? My favorites were:

6. Rampant Nostalgia
10. Out of the Past
16. Fluent Treason
24. Scratching the Surface
27. Garbo Blogs
34. The Uncorrected Proof
42. Quiet, Please
50. The Echo Chamber

David, those are great. And believe me, if you and your siblings were just a little more well known, I WOULD call my blog "The Missing Gottlieb" (self-serving to the end!).

I also like "Kvetch as Catch Can."

Neil, how about raunchy sex stories that take place on depressing Jewish holidays?

Keep those cards and letters coming in, folks!

I've got a long train ride home tonight. Maybe I'll come up with another fifty.

{Insert witty Blog title here}

"Tricia Nixon's Tits" can't be beat. What would your dad think?

Much as I long to win, I have to say I love Garbo Blogs!

Frankly, I like "Andy Hardy's Blog." But I suppose you're right that a large number of people don't know who Andy Hardy was and couldn't care less if he had a blog. (I, on the other hand, was drawn to the blog by the name.)

I love the way you write about your family and personal experiences and about cultural icons, like Lucy and Desi, Marilyn Monroe, and Liv Ullman, sometimes linking these two categories. Perhaps a name that suggests these elements would be appropriate.

I am pretty lousy at titles or headlines. But something that gets at the essence of what you usually write about seems like a good idea. You may have already come up with the right name: "Unbridled Narcissism," a title that every person who blogs could use, I suppose.

I love David's, "Don't tell me what to call my blog." I also love the original title.

Your title has to come from within you, Danny! So, as much as I adore winning prizes or rewards ... I think you will have to do this one yourself - that is - without me!

However, all these suggestions has been great reading for me!

I sent you another fifty suggestions. I'm having a good brain day.

Two tickets to a Wilco show! OK. I'll play.

How about Miller's Crossing?

Jeff, Miller's Crossing is a damn good one! (Yikes, one of my colleagues from Heinemann—better watch what I write on here!).

Tamar, I agree that the title needs to come from me, so my plan is to sit with these long enough until I think some of them ARE my idea!

It's scary how The Retropolitan is able to keep pouring out titles. In his second batch, I like:

55. Both Ends Burning
57. Virtual Nostalgia
59. The Wondering Jew
60. Rutger Hauer Is Creepy
62. Happy Delusions
64. A Failure to Enumerate
73. A Drop of Reason
77. Kvetch Me If You Can
78. The Wizard of Oy
82. Don't Adjust Your Set
87. Hell AND High Water

The Wizard of Oy is really good!

Meanwhile I was *sorta* kidding about the prizes, but now I feel I really need to dole some out! The Wilco tickets shouldn't be too hard (my sister has already yelled at me for offering those but said it could work if I promise that my blog buddies are not psychopaths or serial killers) and Kendall is happy to donate copies of her book!

It may take me another eight months to commit to a new title. I'm already feeling guilty for abandoning poor Andy Hardy.

Hardly Andy ????

But I do like 'Miller's Crossing'

'Jew Eat Yet' and 'Wizard of Oy' are both fantastic.

Are there any Groucho Marx quotes that aren't too long or overly cliche? If so, that's what I'd probably go with.

Oh, and if you felt like banking on some of your brother-in-law's 'popularity' you could go with 'I Got Jews and That's All I Need'. (that is what he's singing, isn't it?)

Ok, that's enough terrible suggestions from me.

My favorites so far are:

Miller's Crossing
The Wondering Jew
The Wizard of Oy

I also have some more:

Danny's Turn
Love of Movies
A Day in the Life
Having My Say

I know you will pick a great one!
What fun!

I haven't read the others yet -- looks like they've probably anticipated me -- but what about Kvetch Central? Or Kvetch Central Station. Or, since it's not all negative, Kvetch & Kvell?

Now I have read them, and my favorites are Rampant Nostalgia and The Wizard of Oy. Rampant Nostalgia is really appealing, an attention-getter.

Combing through your own posts I find "Peroxide Locusts."

I love your blog, and the title is just fine, but if you feel the need to change it, I think perhaps you've already come up with a simple, honest, pithy little title:

public kvetching

Couldn't resist one more:

Danny's Delights

New one: "Mad About Jew"

I thought of about thirty more on the way to the Algonquin the other night. If can remember any of them, I'll email those to you, too.

102. The Vicious Circle
103. The Top Shelf
104. Circling the Drain
105. Electroblog
106. Uphill Both Ways
107. What Fresh Hell?
108. It Happened Tomorrow
109. My Necessary Fate
110. Tales from Shangri-La
111. Into the Sunset
112. The Silver Screen
113. A Barrel of Millers
114. Taste the Blood of Blogula!
115. The Strange Case of Mr. Miller
116. Insolent Jazz
117. The March of Time (may have suggested before)
118. Danny Miller's Movie-Tone News (ditto)
119. The Booming Voice
120. The Player on the Other Side
121. The Dust in the Light
122. The Miracle Mile
123. The Ringing Bell
124. What Hump?
125. Too Many Holidays
126. The Eighth Weekday
127. Crowded House's #1 Fan
128. Too Cool For School
129. Miller. Danny Miller.
120. The Cost-Efficient Blogger
121. The Dinner Bell
122. Curses Over California
123. The Human Condition
124. The Ink Blot
125. Stomping in Puddles
126. Seducing Mrs. Robinson
127. Between the Lines
128. The Run-On Sentence
129. My Back Hurts
130. Stallone's Comeback Vehicle
131. The Pictures Got Small
132. Sunset Blogovarde (yeah, it's stretching)
133. My Epic Journey Into Manhood
134. Half the Battle
135. The Me Blog
136. Danny Miller's Compelling Tales
137. The Cosby Mysteries
138. No New Email
139. Paid By The Word
140. The Broken Typewriter
141. Since Yesterday
142. The Low Notes
143. The Captivation Machine
144. The Eternal Tangent
145. Wrong Turn At Albuquerque
146. True Love Strikes Danny Miller
147. Pounding the Keys
148. Younger Than I Look
149. The Missing Link
150. Brave New World
151. Among the Living

Good lord, he can't stop! Some great ones, too. I like 104, 108, 115, 118, 124, 126, 140, and 145, but I'd like to write a short story using many of the other titles. Younger Than I Look? What Fresh Hell? The Missing Link? Oy!

I agree with Amba that "Rampant Nostalgia" is a good title. Would that seem to limit what I write about? The only good thing about "Andy Hardy Writes a Blog" is that it's pretty neutral—it means nothing so it can be anything.

Knowing my usual rate of comfort with change, it will probably take me another year to actually post a new title. But if anyone deserves some tickets, I guess it has to be The Retropolitan. No upcoming concerts in New York, though. Any September travel plans to Spain, Italy, or Holland?

I like 118. I can imagine a nice title graphic to go along with that one.

It's time to narrow down to a list of ten or fifteen, then have a poll. Polls simultaneously solve everything and nothing.

the retropolitan is a genius. and has waaay too much time on his hands.

i'm quite fond of 136, 138 and 133 off of that list. are you ever going to pick??

If you want to know if "Rampant Nostalgia" or any other title is a good fit, just go back through a lot of your posts and see if they would be at home under that title, if its wingspread is broad enough to shelter them all.

Hey Danny -- when I linked to your interview of me I wrote the following in my post. Maybe this has something in it in the direction of a title:

(Danny, have you ever thought of hanging out a shingle as a . . . Hollywoodtherapist? Broadwayanalyst? Popcultshaman? Is there a better word for it -- finding the archetypal images in entertainment that connect with one's own psyche? Freud said dreams were the royal road to the unconscious, but entertainment is the Broad Way!)

"That's Entertainment!" wouldn't be bad either . . . some irony in it . . . titles can't be copyrighted . . .

Oy, I am just catching up on reading your blog since the beginning of August and am totally amazed at the response you have gotten to this post. I feel compelled to vote on my favorites:
"Jew Eat Yet?"
"Wizard of Oy"
"Kvetch as Catch Can"
"Mad about Jew"

Notice a theme? I also have to add my applause to the Retropolitan's creative mind...

"Kvetch Central Station" is only funny if you know "Tech Central Station" . . .

Actually, Danny (kibitz kibitz kibitz!), if you called your blog "Jew Eat Yet?" or something like that, goyim might not think it was for them too, and that would be a pity since so much of what you say is universal, even if strongly flavored. (By the way, do you know there is a blog called "A Goy and his Blog?") This is NOT true of "Oy" and "Kvetch" since they have passed into the mainstream.

On the other hand, everybody reads "NappyForty," so maybe I'm wrong . . .

Here's another great source -- nonsense phrases from the 1920s. From a funny blog called News on the March.

"Bee's knees" is actually one of a set of nonsense catchphrases from 1920s America, the period of the flappers. You might at that time have heard such curious concoctions as "cat's miaow", "elephant's adenoids", "tiger's spots", "bullfrog's beard", "elephant's instep", "caterpillar's kimono", "turtle's neck", "duck's quack", "gnat's elbows", "monkey's eyebrows", "oyster's earrings", "snake's hips", "kipper's knickers", "elephant's manicure", "clam's garter", "eel's ankle", "leopard's stripes", "tadpole's teddies", "sardine's whiskers", "pig's wings", "bullfrog's beard", "canary's tusks", "cuckoo's chin" and "butterfly's book".

If I were an omen-believin' man, I'd say that the UNCORRECTED PROOF of a book I found sitting on my doorstep this morning was an omen. But I'm not, so it's merely a coincidence.

If I were an omen-believin' man, I'd say that the UNCORRECTED PROOF of a book I found sitting on my doorstep this morning was an omen. But I'm not, so it's merely a coincidence.

New idea:

The Thanatopsis Pleasure and Inside Straight Club

If you're into the Round Table, as I am.

I like the idea of using searches that regularly lead people to your site. If I did that, my site would be called "Vintage Brownie Pinup Girls" or "Frozen Drain Pipes."

But there's nothing wrong with the Andy Hardy thing. I loved those movies when I was in junior high and high school. They led such innocent lives. It's the reason I like the "malt-shop" genre of young adult novels from the 40s through the 60s: if your biggest problem is that the formal you thought was divine six months ago looks old and faded now after having been worn twice, you're a pretty fortunate teenager. :-)

You could use the cliched quote for those movies, though: "Let's Put On a Show!"

A little late with our suggested names, but here's a few my husband & I came up with this morning in your honor:

- Chitty Chitty Bang Blog
- Blog Along with Danny Miller
- Writer’s Block
- Work in Progress
- Magical Mystery Blog
- Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Blogs
- Raging Blog
- Blog Fiction
- That’s a Wrap
- Final Cut
- In Five, Four, Three...
- Post Production
- Holding up the Show
- The Story of Wumbology
- It’s a Mad, Mad Blog

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