Saturday, June 23, 2007

Books and Birds and Names, Oh My!

Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive. ~ Thomas C. Haliburton

My daughter received her own copy of "The Magic Faraway Tree" a couple of days back and immediately began reading. Yesterday, she approached me and said, "I don't think that's the same book." Concerned, I asked why. She replied, "Because the character has a different name. They call him 'Rick', but he used to be 'Dick'."


You see, this is a newer released edition of the story. The one she read was released in the forties, prior to our oh-so politically correct society. I explained that "dick" is a slang term for a man's penis, and that both "Dick" and "Rick" are short for Richard, so the publisher probably changed it to keep the poor child from being teased.

Good grief.

I had a good friend who used to go by the name of "Gay" (because, oddly, that was her name -- and Gay, I'm not talking about you... you STILL go by your name -- good for you!), but ended up adding in her middle name as well, making it "Gaylynn" because she was tired of people tittering when they spoke to her.

I read Pink Ladies Blog yesterday and saw this post regarding names. Not that it has anything to do with my post, but it was really quite cute. :-)

My SIL was concerned when naming her child -- she didn't want the names to rhyme, so she'd think of every possible nickname to the names she chose, and finally found a name she liked AND that wouldn't rhyme with her surname.

I worried that the initials would spell something obscene or joke-worthy. I didn't want my DD to have vowels beginning any of her names, so even after she was married and had a new initial, she wouldn't spell things like GAS or ASS or FAT or PIG or whatever.

Kids are cruel. Adults are worse.


I worked a little more on my 1953 story. I finally have a germ of an idea for a decent conflict (not just sending my hero to the front -- which would have been tough, since I've deliberately set the story to happen as the war comes to an end). I actually HAVE a hero, with a name and everything (and it's not something that will make you titter). I still only ended up with about 300 new words, but it's a start.


Apparently the baby Hairy Woodpeckers in our neck of the woods have fledged. Other birds babies may have left the nest as well, but the Hairy WP's are unique (to me) in that they bring their babies to the suet hangers and teach them how to use them.

It's adorable. The fluffier-than-the-adult birds sit in the tree and peep and the grown-up pecks at the suet and then feeds them until they catch on. I watched one baby try and miss hitting the suet basket a half dozen times. Twice he tried to land on the shepherds hooks I hang them from and slid to the ground, once he tried to cling to the adult bird already on the basket.

I'm easily amused -- I think I must have watched the goings-on for half an hour. I wish the other birds would bring their babies, though last year my cardinal pair brought their son. I saw him again once this spring and then he must of taken off in search of a wife.

I'm certainly no pro like Birdchick, but I really enjoy my birds. If we do relocate, I will worry about them. A lot. I know, I know, they survived without me before... but still...

What about you? Have any hobbies? What do you spend you "spare" time doing?

Have a happy Saturday!


Ceri said...

We considered the name Tucker for a boy. That didn't last long. Its really sad that parents have to think of things like this when picking a name for their child. I know I went through a bunch of teasing with my name growing up.

Gay said...

My mom was demon-possessed to find a name that wouldn't get shortened into a nickname for both my sister and me. She did that... but in her naivete, saddled me with one that let me in for a whole lot of teasing. I hated it in JR High and High School, and fully intended to change to my middle name when I got married (which is also Lynn), but my DH talked me out of it. He says he loves my name, that it suits me, and that it wouldn't be the same if I went by anything else--and that I absolutely positively am NOT a Lynn.

So, my name has remained "Gay" and the teasing stopped and I stopped worrying about it, though in my medical residency it did get awkward for awhile... it was located in the middle of where the homosexuals congregate in San Diego.

My car's license plate is "IHAPPIE" and that suits. And I have some dear dear lesbian friends (a couple) that call me "Straight Runner" because they say I never walk anywhere (Walker is my last name). We played Pictionary one night, and they wanted me on their team so that it could be the "Gays" against the world...

I guess what I'm saying is I laugh about it now. There comes a point when you stop caring.

We named my daughter after her great grandmother--a name tested by the ages. Can't go too far wrong with Susan.

Gay said...

At least you only get birds. Check out what Paperback Writer had on her porch in her birdhouses: YIKES!

I think I'll stick with the suburbs.

Shauna said...

Oh, I'm boring. Any spare time I get, which isn't a lot, is spent reading...or online reading blogs etc. :-) And I've also taken to watching classic romance movies. I watched The Scarlet Pimpernel three nights in a row (I was up working), P&P (A&E version), the new P&P and I'll be starting North and South soon! :-) Not much of a life. LOL!

Tori Lennox said...

Re awful names, one of the worst has to be the Texas oilman (I think he was an oilman) whose last name was Hogg. He named his daughter Ima. Yes, this is true and NOT an urban legend. That's just cruel no matter when it was!

Hobbies? Used to be genealogy but I haven't done any of that in ages. I keep promising myself I'll get back into it one of these days, but... so far it hasn't happened. :)

Dru said...

I quilt. I don't make bed quilts, but mini quilts or wall hanging. I enjoy it because it's relaxing and I get to express my creative side.

I have an unusual first name and every time I tell someone my full first name, they never hear what I say but the more common similar name.

anno said...

I've always liked my first name, but I've never liked my last names--any of them!

We have a pair of lovebirds that hang out on our hummingbird feeder that are lots of fun to watch: they share sunflower seeds and coo. Very sweet.

groovyoldlady said...

My husband threatened to name child #3 "Floyd Otis".

Fortunately, we had a girl!

Hobbies? BLOGGING!!! Writing, Bike riding, playing bass, cooking, gardening, shaving