Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Game of the Name

I never liked my name when I was growing up. “Patricia” seemed too old and stuffy. I liked my nickname even less. Patty. When I started school, and rude boys decided it rhymed with fatty, I positively hated it. Some people tried to call me Pat but I put a stop to that right away. Pat was what you did to a dog. Not until high school, when my boyfriend nicknamed me “Tricia”, did I actually start liking my name. But then he went kinda psycho. He’d “pass out”, continuing to talk to “Tricia”, and then tell me not to tell “Patty”. It was a confusing time. I eventually resolved this problem by losing him but keeping the new nickname. My mother was offended. She gave a loud snort and said, “I won’t call you Tricia. It doesn’t even start with the same letter!”

Then there was the problem of my middle name—Merle. It was my mom’s name and, at the time, having anything the same as my mom was simply annoying. As a kid I remember complaining that “Patricia Merle” just sounded ugly. That’s when my mom amazed me by doing something brilliantly nice. She told me that my name actually meant “Beautiful Blackbird”. Now that got my attention. She said “Patricia” meant “beautiful” and “Merle” was French for “blackbird”. I felt I’d been given wings. I suddenly had a secret name that sounded like an Indian princess. How magical was that? Years later I unfortunately looked up the meaning of the names in some baby naming book. True enough, Merle means blackbird. But I could never find where Patricia meant beautiful. The best I got was “of noble birth”. Oh well. Chalk one up for Mom, though. I don’t know where she came up with “beautiful” but by then it didn’t matter. I would forever more be Beautiful Blackbird.

Many years later, when I was expecting my first child, I found myself heavy into negotiations over her name. I wanted her to be called Brianna. It was Celtic and meant “woman of strength”. My husband offered up a whole list of names which I rejected out of hand since they were all names of his old girlfriends. To be fair to him, I must admit you’d have to search a long time to find a name for someone he hadn’t dated. But he hadn’t dated a Brianna. He hadn’t even heard of one, which was why he didn’t like it. “It’s too unusual,” he argued. He was holding firm on the name, “Jennifer”. When I met him he had a cat named Jennifer. While it was a nice enough name I was damned if I was going to name my daughter after his dead cat. In the end, when our baby arrived, we called her Brianna Elizabeth—Elizabeth, a concession to him, was his mother’s middle name. Neither of us liked her first name—Dorothy. The name Brianna must have been floating heavy in the ethers during that time because once she entered school our daughter always had about three Briannas in every class. So much for being too unusual.

Our second daughter was to be Lorelei until right up to the time she was born. I had pushed for “Zoë”, which means “To Life!” but my husband didn’t like the look or sound of the name. At the last moment we panicked and decided Lorelei was too flowery. I still didn’t want “Jennifer” so we decided on “Kristina Merle”. Many years later, out of the blue, my daughter told me she didn’t like her name. She wanted to be called “Zoë”.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Computer is Back

I finally have my computer back. (Picture me doing a little happy dance here.) No more trying to follow everyone's blog posts on my iPhone—I know...this sounds completely whiney and exposes me for the spoiled brat I've become. Really, I'm TOTALLY grateful that I can actually DO that. But I was beginning to go blind.

So now I have my big, beautiful laptop back. Never mind that it sometimes scorches my lap because it still gets so hot. As the fine folks at Apple told me, "It is NOT a laptop. It is a powerbook. It is supposed to sit on a table where it can get air under it." I don't know about you but I sit very unladylike with my computer balanced at an angle with my knees spread and the bottom of my computer gets lots of air. When it sits on my wooden table it get no air under it. Either way, it gets hot. But it is an interesting spin from the Geniuses at Apple. Don't get me wrong. I am an Apple person, through and through. I just don't like it when they refuse to acknowledge a problem and do crazyspeak, trying to make me think it's my fault or that there is really nothing wrong.

I don't like it when doctors do this either. But don't get me started on doctors. I got home this morning at 2:45 am after spending eleven hours at the ER yesterday with my daughter. But that deserves its own post sometime.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm Still Here

I apologize for being MIA on the old blog here. My excuse (do I really need an excuse? This is, after all, MY blog) is that my oldest daughter has had my computer while her computer has been in the shop. Again. It is difficult, though I'm told not impossible, to post from my iPhone. But I'm still getting to know my new phone and blogging with it won't be happening soon.

Our family seems to be in a dead zone where electronics is concerned. My husband's cell phone died so he got an iPhone. He's starting a new business and it seemed to make sense. My youngest daughter's cell phone began calling people ON ITS OWN when it was closed and in her purse. Maybe two years really is the life expectancy of these gadgets. My phone's battery stopped accepting a charge. The long and short is that the family is now connected via our iPhones and I have to admit they're pretty cool. (Especially when you are without a computer!)

I have my daughter's computer for a couple of days. It is back from the shop and seems to be running pretty well. I have solved the problem with it getting so hot (it is an old MacBook) by installing a free app called smcFanControl which has been awesome. I can now see how hot it is running and I can adjust the fan to cool it down. If you have this problem with your computer getting so hot it burns you I strongly suggest checking it out.

On Sunday I once again trade computers with my daughter so I can then take MY computer into the shop. It needed a new part but I don't know how long I'll be without it. Once our computers are all healthy again I'll be back to posting regularly.

Thanks for hanging in here with me!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Tonight my daughter Krissy lit our outdoor, backyard campfire for the first time. It was just cool enough outside that she could enjoy sitting by a fire. Earlier this week it was way too hot. All we wanted to sit near were fans. I took this photo with my new iPhone. I'm still trying to get the hang of this amazing piece of technology. It has come in very handy since I have been without my computer for about a week.