This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kenmore.

By now, our new range has become a part of our happy little family. In fact, we don't even call it our new range anymore, we just call it our range. How quickly one gets used to luxury, eh? This from a girl who only had grotty rental stoves for the better part of her life, and certainly never had one with double ovens or special Turbo Boil burners. I've basically gone from driving a Ford Pinto to racing a Lamborghini. I've gone from dating Jordan Bratman to marrying George Clooney. I've gone from sipping lukewarm tap water to quaffing Dom Perignon from a champagne flute sculpted by 14th century monks using only their pinkies and a sprinkling of organic fairy dust. I've arrived, is what I'm saying. I've moved up in the world.

My range and I are very happy together, thank you for asking. As a duo, we have churned out a red potato and blue cheese tart; a spicy sausage dip; roasted butternut and sage pasta; oatmeal and chocolate caramel bars; chunky chocolate chip cookies; and, most recently, my first ever batch of homemade soup. My range has also been cheating on me with my mother who has been visiting me rather more frequently, now that I think about it; together, they have made lasagna, apple crumble, and roast chicken sheathed in bacon. If there's one thing I don't like about my new range, it's this: I no longer fit into any of my pants.

I've told you about the double ovens that let you cook two things at two entirely different temperatures. I've told you about the copious cooktop space and the variety of different burners. I've told you how it boils water at the speed of light, and how it seems incapable, so far, of getting scratched or dinged or in any way dulled down. So far, it just purrs at me from its spot in the corner of the kitchen: Come to mama, it says. Boil an egg. Make some brownies. Roast a rack of lamb.

Today is your final chance to head on over to the BlogHer round-up page and enter to win a Kenmore Elite Stainless Steel Free-Standing Range of your own. I assure you, the day you get one of these babies will be the day you figure out how to contort your body so that you can non-awkwardly high-five yourself. (You'll do it, just trust me. It's a worthy goal.)  

And hey, the double ovens and the five burners and the shiny stainless steel finish might not be your favorite part at all! You might like the two windows and the interior lighting that lets you see into the oven without opening the door and ruining your first souffle. You might like the fact that it's a convection oven, and that it has a special heating element that circulates air around the food inside to make sure everything's cooked and browned evenly. You might like the fact that it's self-cleaning, which sounds pretty awesome to me. I'd like a self-cleaning house next, please. Just push a button and it's done!)

So if that sounds like your cup of tea---or your pot of rapidly boiling water---just head on over to the BlogHer round up page and leave a comment by December 15 when the giveaway ends. If you'd like to win something from me instead, I've got a toaster right here with your name on it, and this week is your last chance to win. Except it hasn't actually got your name on it, of course. Unless your name just happens to be Kenmore Elite. (Who knows? I knew a girl called Way-Way and a man called Rabbit once. My dad worked with a man named Typewriter and a woman named Kermit.)

I've really been digging my toaster, by the way, inasmuch as a person can dig a toaster---which, as it turns out, is actually quite a lot. The fact that it has four slots is fairly life-changing, or at least fairly Sunday-morning-changing; now, at last, we can both eat our scrambled egg at once, without waiting for the other person's toast to pop up before we feel it polite to begin. It also has defrost, reheat, and bagel settings, as well as a pretty swanky LCD screen to display the level of toastiness you want your toast to achieve.

As far as the toastiness of toast goes, by the way, I like mine just a sliver away from burnt: crunchy, golden, and decidedly well done. I'm pleased to report that this toaster gets the job done in the crunchy department; no sissy "warming" for this fine piece of machinery. Why, yesterday I actually cut my finger on the edge of my toast, that's how crisp it was, and I'm not at all exaggerating when I say that. Actually, it kind of hurts to type a little right now. That's some hardcore toast. That's a powerful toaster.

So since we've been talking about hilarious names, leave the wackiest one you've ever heard in the comments and you'll be entered to win the toaster above. This is your last chance before the giveaway closes, so if you've been suffering from sort of toast-related shyness before this, you carpe that diem, my friend, and you win yourself a toaster. The official rules for the contest, in case you're wondering, are here. My official stance on the name "Typewriter," in case you're wondering, is "hmmm."


Dec 09, 2010

I've heard some strange names over the years, but they don't really stick out in my mind. The ones that stick out are the redundant ones, like Tom Thompson or Peter Peters. I would love to ask the parents what they were thinking. Were they just too tired to think of a new name? Did they love their last name so much that they needed to bestow it on their child twice? Did they feel like their kids would get an upper hand in Kindergarten by only having to perfect 5 or 6 letters? It baffles me.

Dec 09, 2010

I don't particularly need a new toaster, so you don't have to include me in the contest. I just wanted to say...roasted butternut and sage pasta?? That sounds yum! Recipe?? :-)

Dec 09, 2010

We met a little girl whose parents had named her "Living." Yes.

Dec 09, 2010

I work with pregnant women and new moms, so I have a whole arsenal of crazy baby names. My favorite though- I've met two (two!!) babies named Foxy.

Dec 09, 2010

My company recently hired someone named Kermit! Although, he is a he, not a she. I've known a lot of weird people in my life, but not sure too many of them have weird names. Mostly I think its weird when you can't tell from the spelling how a name is pronounced, ie Alicia-is it A-leash-a? or A-lish-a? For my neighbor, turns out its the latter.

Dec 09, 2010

My father once had a landlady named Elphadida Occupots. I love it so much that it almost doesn't even sound weird anymore.

Dec 09, 2010

Hani Dinkalou. I've never been able to say it without cracking a smile.

Dec 09, 2010

My great great grandmother's name was Essie Nancy Quizar Esquew McCallister Smith. Smith being her married name.

Dec 09, 2010

In college, there was a guy named Randall Vande Zande (last name pronounced van-dee zan-dee). Of course, his first name was shortened to Randy.

It was IMPOSSIBLE for me just to say, "Hi, Randy!" and stop there. I was unable to keep myself from saying his whole name, EVERY time. "Hey! It's Randy Vande Zande! How are you, Randy Vande Zande? Going to class, Randy Vande Zande?" Sometimes, I wouldn't even talk so much as just give him a wink, a finger gun and a "Randy Vande Zande!"

I'm quite sure I was annoying, to all those within earshot of me and most certainly to poor Randy Vande Zande.

Dec 09, 2010

I went to junior high with a girl named Tomorrow and a girl named Windy. And then, because I teach, I have all kinds of crazy student names. Among my favorites: Shekinah. When I asked her to pronounce it she said, "She-kin-a. You know! Like: 'she kina fat,' 'she kina ugly'." No, I'm not kidding.

Dec 09, 2010

Working in a middle school you hear a variety of interesting names.
We have a Ynick (pronounced Unique) and we also have a Felony-Unique.
There was a SirBishop and my personal favorite, Trashawanda.

Dec 09, 2010

When I lived in Hong Kong, I worked with a woman who named her baby Hymen. The English word sounded like a Cantonese word that she liked. About a week after the baby was born, we drew straws to point out the English definition of the word to her. They changed the name.

Dec 09, 2010

The girl who sat next to me in college orchestra was Candy Barr, and one of my favorite redheads in town is Summer Camp.

Dec 09, 2010

My father used to work in the E.R. and one time when a woman birthed her beautiful baby girl, she insisted on called it "Vagina" because she thought it sounded elegant and had no idea what the word meant. I often wonder where that girl is today.

Dec 09, 2010

Oh my goodness, I just read the post two above me from Lori- how very strange.

Courtney Groeneveld
Dec 09, 2010

Seaberry Nachbar! Best name ever. This person (who for the longest time I thought was a man but is actually a woman) used to work at my agency. Is there even such a thing as a Seaberry?

Dec 09, 2010

I went to high school with a guy named Thorne. Thorne Bush. I kid you not.

Heather MacMillan
Dec 09, 2010

I went to school with a guy named Justin Case.

Say it out loud.

Dec 09, 2010

My best friend from high school named her first son "Bur". I could never find the courage to ask her about it!

Dec 09, 2010

My boyfriend just told me this weekend he had a classmate in elementary school whose little brother was named "Noise." Noise. He said he didn't realize that was a weird name for years. How?

Lisa D
Dec 09, 2010

Some of my best friends growing up were the siblings Zoae and Jubal.

Dec 09, 2010

I heard of a women who had twins and named them Lemonjello and Orangejello. Wowzas. Emphasis on the "mon" in Lemon and the "range" in Orange, just to jazz things up, in case further uniqueness were needed.

Dec 09, 2010

My first job out of college had a couple ringers (I kid you not, these were their legal names):
Theoretical Spectrum
Seventh Xai

We just called them Theory and Seven. :)

I also had a friend growing up who had an older sister named "Filly Willow" and a younger brother named "Grayson Space".

Dec 09, 2010

There's a conductor named Dingwell Fleary Jr. I think it's the "Jr." that really gets me. The father has gone his whole life with this incredibly weird appellation, and he still thinks it's a great name to bestow on his child? Talk about sadistic.

Dec 09, 2010

My great grandfather had twin sisters who died in infancy named Lula and Lela. I think those names together are adorable but hilarious.

Dec 09, 2010

The weirdest name I've ever heard is Siller. Who names their kid that, seriously? My grandmother's name is Farry--pronounced like fairy. Different.

Dec 09, 2010

I used to work at a large firm in NYC that used an overhead PA system to page people. One guy's name was Peter Pan. Seriously. Every couple of days, the receptionist would page Peter Pan. I would crack up every single time. Never got old.

Dec 09, 2010

I did payroll for a trucking company and the best name I found (I would keep a list) was Twanky Todd Jr. The fact that there are two of them roaming around makes it even more amazing.

Dec 09, 2010

Mmmmmmm, toast. My dad had twins in his family named Adolf and Rudolph, but always referred to them as GetOff and StayOff.

Dec 09, 2010

A friend's sister-in-law has Sunshine as her middle name. Which is also kind of adorable. Her first name and last name start with S as well, so it sounds pretty, but you just KNOW she was born in the 70s and her parents were hippies.

Susan H.
Dec 09, 2010

One of my friends has a son-in-law named Zephyr.

Erin @ Fierce Beagle
Dec 09, 2010

Hmm. I think Larry sounds like the name of someone whose vocation is making toast.

Nicole Holst
Dec 09, 2010

Hmmm - I just heard of someone who had named their son Basil. Interesting...

Dec 09, 2010

Duggy Fresh. I can provide photographic evidence if required.

Dec 09, 2010

A few years ago, I worked with a guy called Jam. He married a girl called Pearl. True story!

Dec 09, 2010

My next-door-neighbor/little brother (since we grew up together) works for Sallie Mae (curse ye!) and has to call people when their student loans are due. Rarely, this is pleasant, sometimes it's ok, and more often than not, it's awful. Anywho, the story goes that he called a woman whose name is spelled "La-a" about her student loans. I think he thought it was Hawaiian. She answered, and he said, "Hello, may I please speak to Miss Laaaa-ahhhh?" And she said, tres hautily, I might add - "It's La-dash-uh."

In telling this story we heard of one person who ACTUALLY knew a La-a, and two people who knew people who knew one. Small world says maybe it's the same person? But in this world, I doubt it.

Editor's note: No offense to anyone with this name.

Dec 09, 2010

I heard on the radio that a couple had a baby girl and they named her Abcde (pronounced AB-sah-dee), but my favorite was a cute old lady on the local news whose name was Betty Pancake.

Dec 09, 2010

My sister taught a 5-year-old boy named "The Awesome." That was his official first name on his birth certificate. That poor child.

Dec 09, 2010

I heard the same story Tara heard only in this version it was a schoolteacher with a little boy named ABCD (Abcehd). Urban legend or not, still takes the cake (or freshly toasted bagel!)

Dec 09, 2010

My mom worked with a guy named Kelly Green and I knew a girl in high school whose name was Windy Weathers. Her sister's name was Stormy. :)

Jessee C.
Dec 09, 2010

The strangest named person I had ever been friends with was Apple for the longest time. Now all the celebrities and their spawn beat that (and have used it!)

Jessee C.
Dec 09, 2010

Ohhh.. forgot one. Once had a co-worker names Stoni. Guess what her dad's favorite pasttime was??

Dec 09, 2010

I went to college with a guy from Oklahoma named Country Beard. And yes, he was from the country and had a beard.

Dec 09, 2010

My boyfriend used to work with a woman whose name was Tijuana Hooker. Can you imagine having a career (where you need people to take you seriously) with a name like that?!

Suzanne Mayes
Dec 09, 2010

I used to work with a woman named Tequilla, which was pronounced Tah-kwee-lah. She was constantly telling people the correct pronunciation...

Dec 09, 2010

I would have to say my own name is the weirdest I have encountered in my oh so sheltered life. Liise. Go ahead and pronounce it.

Dec 09, 2010

I always loved the name Petunia. But when I tell people that I'd name my daughter that if I ever have one, I get crazy looks. It's not all that strange of a name, is it?! Suppose I will give it a second thought if that day comes!

Kristin H
Dec 09, 2010

The mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana in the 1950s was Harry Baals. No lie.

Dec 09, 2010

My great grandmother's name was Kunagunda Bibinsky. It's a Polish thang.

Dec 09, 2010

My grandfather's name? Forrest Wood. Hand to God.

Dec 09, 2010

My maiden name was Naujoks (pronounced 'gnaw jocks'). This was turned into 'no jokes' for the purpose of attending junior high school.

Jasmine Lee
Dec 09, 2010

Wackiest name... hmm, that would be a Malaysian singer called Fish Leong. Leong is a pretty common surname in Malaysia, but when she took on the stage name of "Fish", that sounded bizarre even to a seafood lover like me.

Dec 09, 2010

I once worked with a woman by the name of Ms. Padd. Who named her little girl Kotexa. And that little girl had her mother's last name. So that adorable little girl became Kotexa Padd.

Jacqueline Sampson
Dec 09, 2010

Well strangest name I've come across so far is Cash

Dec 09, 2010

Funny names, that would have to be my friend Darth (yes, his parents were not only hippies, but Star Wars fans). Though a couple of friends-of-friends siblings also come to mind. Last name Pool, first and middle names Crystal Clear and Skye Blue.

Dec 09, 2010

There was a pro basketball player named Scientific Mapp, whose brother was named Majestic Mapp. I'm assuming their parents named them by pointing to random words in the dictionary and that they thanked their lucky stars they didn't wind up being named "Chlamydia" or "Okapi."

The weirdest one I've known personally was a girl named Cocaine Comfort. Her parents were a little...strange.

Dec 09, 2010

My niece went to school with a girl named Flamonda Baccadutre.

Laura B.
Dec 09, 2010

I've met quite a few, but my favorite was always Reed Good. Really? What were his parents thinking.

Laura D
Dec 09, 2010

There was a mom at one of my schools named Carlotta Dick, but went by Lotta Dick. Yes she did. And then there was Razz Berry.

Dec 09, 2010

I once met someone (in Marin) named Lichen. I think it was a name she had given herself.

Dec 09, 2010

Are celebrity-ish names out? Because I'm shocked by/in love with Penn Jillette's daughter's name: Moxie Crimefighter Jillette. Tell me that's not bad-ass.

Dec 09, 2010

There was a boy in my junior high named Royal King.

Dec 09, 2010

When I was in college I was one of those poor suckers who calls alumni and asks for donations. My favorite was Mr. Patrick Kirk Kirkpatrick. We fought for days over who got to call him.

And when I was in elementary school my friend Corinne's mother remarried and they decided to hyphenate their last names. The problem? Corinne's last name was Moore and her new stepfather's last name was Payne.

Dec 09, 2010

I went to high school with a girl named Crystal Leir. Middle name? Shanda.

Dec 09, 2010

I am drawing a total blank.

Dec 09, 2010

I'll bet Way-Way was Chinese?
I know a lot of Chinese people with names that sound funny when written/pronounced in English. Like Wing-Wing, Fan-Fan, Mu-Mu, etc...
Anyway, I know a couple and the wife's name is "Tiny".
And her husband's name? ... are you ready?... It's "Huge." No joke :)

Dec 09, 2010

I teach the kids of a weatherman. Their names? Storm and Skylar.

Dec 09, 2010

Lian -- nope, Way-Way was from South Carolina! It was a nickname for Louisa, but she went by Way-Way in her professional life. Her BUSINESS CARDS had Way-Way on them.

Dec 09, 2010

I had a classmate in elementary school named Kevin Deefenderfer. He got in trouble a lot so they had to say his name over the loudspeaker often. It never failed to amuse. :)

Dec 09, 2010

My coworker was born to some seriously hippie parents, but managed to escape with the lovely name Iris. However: her brother's full given name? Surrender. ...Yes. Just "Surrender." Nothing else.

He's since legally changed it to Sur Render, which I think is the awesomest name ever.

(@SAWK: I've also heard of La-a/Ladasha, but I can't recall where or when or from whom. Interesting!)

Dec 09, 2010

Oh I love weird names! I just read all the comments. I sort of collect them, mentally that is. La-a...that is awesome! I knew people whose last name was Wayman and they named their son Noah. (Say it.) And I know different cultures and all that, but in Africa I met a baby girl named "Mom." My brother went to school with some kids from the Rhodes family, and they were named Dustin (Dusty), Sandra (Sandy) and Rocky.
Also we could only enter to win that awesome range once, right? These later posts are just teasers, right?

Dec 09, 2010

I played softball with a girl named Magic Moonstar. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. ;)

Dec 09, 2010


Dec 09, 2010

I work with someone whose last name is hyphenated... Cox-Johnson. Almost can't believe they voluntarily added the 'Johnson.'

Dec 09, 2010

We have an associate at work named Harry Wang. Yes. HARRY WANG.

Dec 09, 2010

I worked for a phone company and I had to address people by name. One was a Major in the army and his last name was KACH and it was pronounced..ummm well like the slang for a part of a male

Dec 09, 2010

I work with someone named Wrainbeau...pronounced, of course, rainbow.

I've always been around artsy, creative folk. Needless to say, I've come across some strange names .. Dominion (the gas company or Beezlebub, anyone?), Falusa (don't ask .. I have no idea). The one that sticks out mainly though, is one that kind of goes with this post - Spongecake Buttertoast - I thought they were joking, but they really named their little girl that. She was such a cute, chunky round, fluff of red-haired little bebe .. just the cutest. I mean, there's not even a way that you could shorten that name to make it any better. I just looked at her parents and thought to myself, "What were YOU smokin'?" .. that was 10 years ago; she should be in high school now. Maybe she petitioned for a legal name change.

Dec 09, 2010

I always look at unfortunate last names: Whitehead, Pigman. There's a doctor named Dr. Kill and another named Dr. Pray, which are also sort of awesome. This week's NYTimes' Modern Love column is Wendy Plump, which has to be terrible for any woman.

Dec 09, 2010

Strawberry, though she was called Berry. Nice long, lots of vowels Italian last name.

Dec 09, 2010

I recently caught up with a friend from high school right after she had her son. What'd she name him? Edward Cullen (last name). Not particularly weird, but I couldn't stop laughing.

Dec 09, 2010

This name is a little more unfortunate than weird, but I went to middle school with a girl named "Anita Johnson." Poor thing; she was the butt of many jokes. I also went to school with a girl called "Aquanetta." Like the hairspray, but with an "a" on the end, for a little added feminization, I suppose?

Dec 09, 2010

My next-door neighbor's kids names are Justice, Wisdom, and Knowledge. I can almost get over Justice, but the other two are just...kind of horrible. And you can't even shorten the to nicknames, because, what? Know? Wis? Ledge? Dom? Wissy? Horrible.

Dec 09, 2010

I went to elementary school with a girl named Pepsi. Poor thing.

Dec 09, 2010

I went to college with a boy named Kit Day. His mother's name was Rainy. Her married name...Rainy Day.

Dec 09, 2010

Actually, how did I forget this?! My uncle's name is Dan Daniel. Printed on the birth certificate: Danny Laverne Daniel.

Dec 09, 2010

Stormin Norman Is a favorite of mine. He went to my high school, as did Calvin Calvin, or C squared as he was affectionately called. Also there was a really awful, mean substitute who's name was Mr. Handerhand.... And he was missing a hand. Wrong name for the job sir.

Melanie D
Dec 10, 2010

I'm am strangely annoyed by friends (of course, I would never tell them...) who use names that seem to me to be made up. Kason and Kian are two right off the top of my head.

Dec 10, 2010

I've never felt the need to have a nice pretty range, but now I do. Thanks a lot. Tell Kenmore, you're doing your job nicely.

Dec 10, 2010

I had a student named Sparkle. When I first read off the roster, I definitely said her name like a question. Mark. Steve. Mary. Sparkle???

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