Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I take names very seriously when I have a child. It seems some parents just pick a few consonants at random (close your eyes and point?) and then throw in a few vowels in to make it pronouncable.

dfj turns into Fajden or Fayjden or Dafej. I'm all for creativity, but seriously folks. I imagine school teachers saying, "Is that spelled R-O-B-E-R-T?" and the kid replies "R-A-H-B-U-H-R-T." Parents get creative in all the wrong ways, in my opinion. Children's hairstyles and names are not the way to express your individuality!

For example:

* I knew a grandmother a couple years back who was VERY proud to show pictures of her grandson, Anakin. I thought to myself, "That boy sure has a bright future ahead of him!"

* In junior high, my brother had a friend named Konden. He was lucky to be good looking, popular and very witty or he probably would have committed suicide by age 13. Teenagers can be brutal and a name like "KONDEN" isn't going to help, for heaven's sake. Who wouldn't slip up and say the wrong thing?

* My brother-in-law is named Mikle. Pronounced Michael. (He would say, "Pronounced MIKLE.") He told me a few weeks ago that one reason his dad chose that spelling was so it couldn't be turned into Michelle. Ironically, he told me this right after I called him Michelle. So much for that theory. Instead of becoming just Michelle, he is now Michelle, Mickel and Mickley.

So I go the boring route and I'm very happy with it. I like my kids to have a sort of heritage behind their names. I thought Thomas was a safe name for one of the twins until a few weeks back when he started mispronouncing his name.

The T sounds like a D.
The O sounds like a UH.

You put it together. I hope this self-inflicted nickname doesn't last.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why Blogging is Dangerous

…and why my “true confessions” will never be more than superficial fluff.

The worse you make a fictional character, the better real people feel because they can feel superior by comparison. Readers can enjoy hating the evil man who is fictitious because they know they are meant to hate him. They can boo at the manipulative woman who beguiles those around her and feel that, if nothing else, they don’t act like she does. In other words, it’s enjoyable to hate a villain.

However, when you speak the ugly truth about those who are real to you, you probably come off as arrogant and judgmental. At the very least, you’re showing poor diplomatic skills by exposing others to criticism.

I often smile at the small hypocrisies, questionable intentions, inconsistencies and other subtle character flaws in those around me. It would be very simple to take these things and turn them into humorous slices of life, but I know the good of these people too much to laugh at them. And, of course, some human frailities are too serious to laugh at anyhow.

Benjamin Franklin stated, “Any fool can criticize, condemn andcomplain and most fools do.”

If I am to be a fool, give me the role of Fool from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night: one who uses wit to entertain those around me, using the cover of a fool's mirth-filled laugh. (More on this another time, perhaps. And if you get a chance to travel down to Cedar City this summer, be sure to book tickets to Twelfth Night at the Shakespeare Festival. It is well done.)