Showing posts with label names. Show all posts
Showing posts with label names. Show all posts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Roosevelts had Secrets; not Cool Kids



   
            I love hearing Jenna sing.  Often I am surprised to hear her sing along with songs that I have never even heard before.  One of those is the catchy “Cool Kids” by Echosmith.  Here is just one video with lyrics.

            As we were walking to school yesterday, she was not only singing the song, but made comments as well – how she and her friend Paul wish they were “cool kids”.  She was spending her recess with Paul and another boy who recently ditched them for his sports and Paul actually has safety patrol duty and so Jenna often feels alone.  She does have friends at Vantanna.  I KNOW she has friends.

            It’s not like her first school when she really was among the more popular kids at her school – in fact still is popular at her first school – which is funny; she hasn’t attended that school for over five years now. 

Popularity is not necessarily the greatest thing.  I had told her that before we moved.  What a devastating blow it’s been to her since we moved to West Valley.  Though she continues to seek friends, she is often a loner.

            I too, was a loner at school.  There were times I wish I hadn’t been treated like I was invisible, but I didn’t necessarily wish to give up my individualism in order to fit in. I did suppose that being treated as though I didn’t exist was better than being bullied.  I have often wondered what it is that makes “cool kids” cool and why they have such a following.

            I reminded Jenna that school popularity (or lack thereof) does not necessarily define who you will turn out to be.  I told her that there are many celebrities and historical figures that had been mistreated who still came to make a name for themselves.  Often times the result has had a positive effect or influence on many others.  There are also a number of “popular” kids that don’t know how to face the adult world once school has ended.

            Currently I am involved in watching the PBS series: “Roosevelts/An Intimate History”  Both Theodore and Franklin were bullied and teased in their youth.  They were not well liked.  And look at what an influence they had on the country that they served.  





            Eleanor had quite a difficult childhood and was verbally abused by her mother and not well accepted by her mother-in-law who seemed to have this insecure hold upon her son – casting Eleanor to the shadows at best.  I believe that Eleanor Roosevelt is the most quoted of any other first lady in American history.

            They had hard lives.  They had many secrets.  They kept their private lives private – tried to anyway.  Theodore went on to be the youngest president (though JFK was not much older) that we’ve ever had.  FDR served more years than any other president.  Both made considerable accomplishments – and contributions.  Not that their lives were ever what some might view as “sunshine and roses” but they did touch many other lives in a positive way.  Not everyone – but many.

            I think it’s great when we can turn our hardships to someone’s advantage (if not our own) and create positive things or examples of overcoming and becoming.  I think it’s great when “cool kids” are positive and friendly and don’t exclude.  I hope that Jenna will grow and stay herself and still be accepted.  We each have talents that make us cool.  Even though others may not recognize the “coolness” I hope she recognizes it in herself.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Deceit Among Heroes and Villains




Roland often tells this joke about Satan entering a congregation of worshipers.  Frightened with his presence, the parishioners begin to flee the church except for one man.  Satan sits next to him on the pew and after trying a few more scare tactics finally says to the man, “Why is it that you are not frightened of me.”

The man just looks at him and shakes his head and says, “Nothing you can do will frighten me.  After all, I’ve been married to your sister for the last twenty years”
Roland’s marriage to his last wife did not make it to twenty years however.  But I think that is who he thinks about when he tells the joke.
           
            When I saw the advertisements for Disney’s Maleficent, I thought to myself:  “How quaint.  A movie about Roland’s ex-wife”



            For those of you who have read my blog from the beginning, you will know that Maleficent is the name I assigned Roland’s ex.  WARNING:  I am now about to reveal some spoilers from the movie itself.  To distinguish Roland’s ex and the movie character, I will refer to Disney’s maleficent creature as “mal A” and Roland’s ex as “mal B”

            The movie starts out revealing mal A as a youth – though quite young, she appears to be the ruler.  She cares about the other creatures within the moors where they all live.  She has a sense of humor.  She flies with large black wings.  She is happy.

            I had once heard that mal B had a heart at one time – must have been many years before I crossed paths with her.  I had heard that she would give the shirt off her back to one who was in need.  I find that hard to believe.

            Mal A meets Stefan – a young pauper who has a desire to be a king one day so that he can live in the grand Castle and rule over the humans.  Mal A lets Stefan know that humans are not welcome in the moors. Stefan is the first to make a sacrifice to save their friendship when he tosses his iron ring so that he may never hurt mal A and she is truly touched by his sacrifice. It seems like an unrealistic friendship for either one of them to pursue but each does wish to see the other again.
           
            As the years go by, Stefan comes around less often and seems to disappear altogether.  He had made his way into the human palace and stands a chance of gaining favor with the king.  A king who would like to make the moors part of his kingdom – but not the creatures themselves.  He promises each of his sires that whichever one of them will kill mal A and bring him proof – that sire will get to marry the king’s daughter and rule as king when the current ruler has passed on.

            Stefan goes to the moors to warn mal A that the king has sent out a death threat against her because he wishes for more land.  I found Stefan to be sincere – yet I knew that he desired to rule as king – and according to legend is the father of Aurora.

            Stefan drugs mal A and holds up a knife to stab her, but is unable to do it.  He clips her wings instead.  When mal A wakes up from her sleep, she immediately notices that her wings have been removed and she cries out with so many emotions: sadness, pain, anger, resentment . . .

            I had heard that mal B had been robbed of her innocence when she was younger – though I don’t know how young.  But I heard that it had been by people whom she trusted – those that should have protected her.  She may have felt their presence disappear the way mal A had with Stefan.  At some point she may have felt betrayed, as though her metaphorical wings (whatever that may have been) had been removed.

            Stefan is gone when mal A wakes, so obviously he must be responsible.  Mal A seeks vengeance upon him.  He must pay for doing her harm.

            Because she has no wings, she finds somebody who does.  A raven caught in a snare.  At first I think she saves him just out of habit – but when he asks she decides to make him her servant.  His first assignment is to find Stefan.

            After the raven finds Stefan, he reports back to mal A that Stefan has become king and that a princess has been born and that there will be a celebration.  Mal A, of course, has not been invited, but she shows up nonetheless.  Mal B used people all the time – still uses people I would imagine.  And ALWAYS inviting herself into positions where she is not welcome. 

            Mal A curses Aurora with a spell that she will prick herself upon the spindle of a spinning will and fall into an eternal sleep that only true love’s kiss can wake.  Mal A doesn’t believe in true love.  I would imagine that mal B may have believed in true love at one time, but she doesn’t anymore.  I think any flicker of love that may have been left has gone out from her life. And I wonder if she will ever get it back.

            Stefan is upset that mal A has intruded upon his little family.  He is upset with the very idea that she has cursed his little girl.  But I think that deep down he is more upset with himself – for the price he had paid to become a king.  For once he had betrayed his friendship with mal A, he had lost what once made him happy – never to find it again.  He’d allowed himself to be engulfed in the pain.  But instead of trying to repair the damage, he made things worse for himself and for his kingdom.  He fell into a state of darkness – darker than mal A dressed.

            That made me wonder if mal B was truly the victim or if she had gone after her desires in a way that Stefan had and had betrayed someone she loved and never got over it and allowed the pain to envelop her so much that she’d forgotten what made her angry in the first place.  Her heart needs to be softened.  Problem is that no one can find it.

            Mal A watches over Aurora who constantly smiles at her.  She has a beautiful smile.  Meanwhile Stefan seems to forget about Aurora as he makes plans on how to destroy mal A.  His pride continues to eat at him.  And he is never happy.  But mal A becomes happy as she watches over Aurora – which she had never intended and does try to fight it a first. Aurora finds mal A’s heart – who wishes to undo the curse, but just can’t seem to.

            I love the twist of events as the end when Phillip kisses Aurora and what follows when she doesn’t wake up from his kiss.  I would hope that perhaps one day mal B’s heart can be found and that she may go from hero (Stefan) to Villain (mal A) the way that this movie has depicted.

            Often we may label what makes a hero and what makes a villain.  But there is always deception.  Maybe not always, but often enough.  We read about it in history.  We live with it in the court rooms.  We’ve seen corrupt rulers and governments and we have seen true heroes that wish to remain silent.  For that’s what true heroes are.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thank You, Barbara Park, May You Rest in Peace.

 

In this post I mentioned the ability that Jenna has to create book projects to share about what books she has read.  One of her reports was a letter to the author of Junie B. Jones.  This is a letter which Jenna created for a grade.  We wanted to share it with the author who passed away in November.  We didn't realize that she had passed until we started searching for an address to send the letter to.  This is what Jenna wrote:


Dear Barbara, 

i’m a girl in 4th grade at [Vantana] Elementary in [Tannersville], Utah.  My name is [Jenna].  I absolutely love your books Junie b. Jones.  I’m going to tell you why.

First, Junie is like me: lonely but enthusiastic. 

Secondly, I’ve almost read the entire series of Junie b. Jones just not BOO . . . and I mean it and The Thanksgiving Light. Now I’m reading Cheater Pants

Thirdly, is Junie B from your childhood?

Lastly, Thanks for reading

From Jenna


It does seem a lot sweeter in her own print and mispells and charm.  But you get the jest.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What's in a Name?



I recall a former bishop who has six children – each given a name or names after people that this bishop and his wife had crossed paths with.  I had actually met the two men whom their youngest had been named after.  I was just a youth when one of the men passed, but I’m actually good friends with the man who is living.  What an honor the bishop’s youngest should feel to share a name with such a marvelous man, as I’m certain each individual involved with the lives of their family.

My mom had been given one of those feminized masculine names (e.g. Josephine, Roberta, Patricia, Geraldine, Georgette . . .), which she didn’t particularly care for. It was three syllables long and as she learned to write was too long of a name to fit on the top line of any school paper.

It wasn’t until high school when she decided to go by her unisex nickname (e.g. Joey for Josephine, Bobby for Roberta, Pat for Patricia, etc.) but still did not care for the name. 

After Corey had finished his mission, my mom went to Europe to tour with him before he returned back to the states.  Corey introduced her to several people he had served with.  One was a man whose wife was expecting a child.  They wanted to name the baby after Corey (who’s given name could be feminized quite easily) but said that if they were to have a girl that they would name the baby after my mom.  I think she may have been flattered in a way, but hoped the couple would have a boy, as she was not fond of her name – though she did like the way her name was pronounced by the expecting father.  They ended up giving birth to a baby girl whom they named after my mother.

There are several names now adays that one may associate with being feminine or being masculine that eventually end up on the unisex list.  We would have named Jenna after my father had she been a boy but Roland wouldn’t go for the name for a girl – nor did I know how to feminize it though I had a few suggestions – nothing really felt right.

I really did like the name Jenna – but that’s the only thought that was put into it.  I named her that because I liked the name.  That was it.  I did give her my maiden name as a middle name.  This I did for three reasons:

1)             I could honor my dad with his last name and have a piece of me in there as well
2)             If something should ever happen to me and Roland, it was decided that my family would continue raising Jenna (and the boys as needed) and I wanted her to have the name for family connection
3)              My maiden name isn’t Cannon.  It’s less common (about the 975th most common name) while Roland’s last name is very common (65th most common at the time) and to avoid financial problems and “proof of identity” that may occur later on, I gave her an identity that should separate her from pretty much everybody else on the planet.

Had I thought about it, I may have named her after Roland’s late wife.  But it really didn’t even occur to me until my sister Kayla was pregnant with her first child.

Through inspiration, Kayla had already suggested to Bill that they should name their first daughter after his late wife.  And thus Anna was named after Annaleigh.  Had she been a boy there was a name reserved that has become tradition for Bill’s side of the first name for I don’t know how many generations. But the boy would go by whatever middle name his parents gave him.  Thus two years later the names were given to my (currently) youngest nephew.  The name he goes by is the first name of my father.

Now pregnant with their third child, they decided to name him/her after mom though the spelling would be different.  I can’t help but believe, though mom was not fond of her name, that she would be honored, as the child should be for being named after such an awesome woman. 

Here is another interesting situation that has occurred in my family:  My maternal grandmother is the oldest of three.  She has two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy.  My mom is the oldest of three children.  She has two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy.  I am the oldest.  I have two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy, girl
My brother Patrick and his wife were the first to provide my mom with grandchildren.  There eldest is a girl.  She has two brothers.  Girl, boy, boy, girl.  I had told Kayla that her first-born would be a girl.  Mine was.  Mom’s was.  Patrick’s was. 

Do you honor the names that you have?

Monday, August 26, 2013

When It Was Ricks College


I attended Ricks College for one year.  Rexburg was over 200 miles away from my home and so I lived in the dorms near the campus. Believe it or not, I really did have three roommates with the same or similar names – though each spelled differently.  Christy Ann Howardson, Christie Lee Hill and Kristaleigh Phelps.  The girls who lived in the same dorm as we did would see me coming and would say, “Hi Christi-“ in which I would respond, “No, I’m the other one” thus earning my new nickname, “the other one”

We couldn’t refer to the Christie(y)s with just the last initial because they both started with the same letter.  And although Christie was willing to go by Christie Lee it was just too confusing for Kristaleigh.  And Christy refused to go by Christy Ann.  So sometimes I called her Howard – or Howardine – just to get a rile out of her. It was actually kind of fun.

As roommates go, we all had our peculiarities, our strengths and our weaknesses, etc.  Christie was a take charge kind of gal.  We called her mom.  She liked to bake.  And she baked well.  She once made an oatmeal cake in two round pans.  Never had an opportunity to put it together and frost it as one.  Christy ate one pan and I ate the other.  And I think Christie was okay with it. She loved to cook and bake but didn’t necessarily want to eat everything she made.




Most of the dishes in the kitchen were hers.  She had brought along these puny juice glasses which I always referred to as “Barbie doll” glasses.  I had asked her why she had brought so many “Barbie doll” glasses instead of something large enough to actually quench one’s thirst.  She said matter-of-factly, “Because I was hoping that I would get a roommate who would give them a nickname.”

Christy, who was one of the most gullible people on this planet, believed her.

Christy was a farm girl from a city in Idaho that nobody had ever even heard of.  She always had to explain that it was near Blackfoot – which more than half of the college attenders had never heard of either.  She was the role model of all blonde jokes.  Sometimes I felt like I was talking to someone from a foreign planet who had obviously never experienced earth life before.


Boys seemed magnetized to Christy.  Can’t say that I would have been interested in any of them.  Not that they’d ever give me a second look. Seriously.  They all needed ego boosters. And not all of them had good intentions.  And Christy was quite naïve.

Kristaleigh and I were the theatrical pair.  She actually majored in theatre – whereas I was just a ham.  I once practiced lines with her as she had an audition coming up.  She asked me to pair up with her for her audition.  She picked out my clothes so that I would look the part.  I told the instructor that I was not trying out for the part but had come to assist.  I wasn’t interested in the play itself nor was I interested in devoting my free time with practice.



After we had auditioned, he looked at me and said I could still be considered.  I told him no, thank you.  I’m so glad that I did.  For, according to Kristaleigh, everyone who had auditioned had been given a part – except for her.  I think she tried too hard and her acting was just that.  It never looked natural. I would have felt awful going to auditions that she wasn’t directly a part of. She worked it out so that she could be prop manager.

The dorm put out a newsletter once a month (I’m guessing) and Christie was one of the editors and had asked Christy and I to write pieces on occasion.  I actually didn’t remember having that newsfeed but had come across it when weeding through the scrapbooks that I could no longer save (see this post)


I had scanned the following:





Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wesley Richards


Wesley walks
from yard to yard

collecting rocks

and sticks

and stores them

in the garage

of his parents’ house. 



Wesley is

their only child.



Wesley takes medication

for his ADHD.

It takes away

any appetite

that is necessary

for growth. 

Wesley is thin

like the twigs he finds. 



I think a heavy wind

could blow him away.



He and Jenna have

collected morning glories

and have thrown them

into the pool. 

But no worries –

they don’t plan to leave

them there.  They just

want to see how cool

they look floating

upon the water



When it is time for Wesley to go home,

Jenna invites herself to go with him  


                                                                            kfralc

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Reflecting on Horton and Pinky




As a child, I was pretty much on the gullible side – or perhaps just wanted so much to believe in the unreal that I tried to make it real.

I recall an Easter when my Aunt Alice purchased two white bunnies.  She gave the bunnies to the children of her two brothers.  Patrick and I called ours “Pinky” (though Patrick himself most likely didn’t have anything to do with the naming; it sounds like I came up with the name and forced him to go along) and Kevin and Michelle named their rabbit “Greenfeet” or so I believed.


I was fascinated by both Dr. Seuss “Horton” stories – in the latter, the egg hatched at the end of the story and out came a bird that had Horton’s head.  How fascinating.  I wondered if it would work on rabbits as well.  It doesn’t.


Never mind that Pinky was only three or four weeks, totally uncooperative and wouldn’t sit on the egg unless I was holding her on top of it (or him.  I don’t think I really knew if Pinky was male or female.  I don’t really guess I thought about it one way or the other.  I never thought of Horton as male or female.  I was not all that bright) but I had taken the egg from the refrigerator.  Placed it outside near a bush in our backyard (Pinky was usually in a cage on the inside of the house) but I didn’t want my mom to find out what I was doing.  


I don’t recall how many weeks went by before a rotten odor was detected coming from the direction of that bush.  Not only was I not getting a half bird/half bunny.  I had wasted (and forgotten about) the egg.

Pinky and Greenfeet both died within the first three months.  I think they were “loved” to death. All that I have left now is this story.  I don’t even know if Pinky's bones remain in my mom’s former backyard.  Probably.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Thank You Rob Buyea


I mention my discovery of Mr. Terupt in this post.  Rob Buyea makes reference to several books throughout the two books that I’ve read and I have made my journey into some of those books. So here are my reviews on “Belle Teal” by Ann M. Martin and “Belle Prater’s son” by Ruth White



“Belle Teal” is told in first person by a girl who’s been named after her grandma – Belle Teal.  The story takes place roughly 1961 – 1962 I’m guessing in Virginia. Two things stand out for me.  One is that Belle’s grandmother has Alzheimer’s or another form dementia.  It isn’t explained.  Even back then – there wasn’t the same understanding that we have now – and are still trying to explain.

The other is/was the relationship between her classmates.  One is a black student who has just transferred into an all white school.  Another is a high and mighty princess, also a first timer for that particular school. The other is the son of an abusive drunkard parent. They had formed a friendship in a previous grade. 

I absolutely love the way Belle Teal handles herself and tries hard to make friends and tries hard to add harmony to classmates and to situations that occur.  I also like her enthusiasm with her writing and her creativity.  She reminds me a little bit of my own Jenna.



“Belle Prater’s Son” also takes place in Virginia – but about ten years earlier.  It is told in first person – which I enjoy.  I always have an easier time getting into books that are told in first person.

Gypsy is Belle Prater’s niece, who tells the story mostly about her relationship with her cousin Woodrow, who moves in next door shortly after his mom disappears. There is a bit of mystery involved, tall tales, and finding self esteem.  The message I took from this story was that looks are not important and we needn’t treat one another in a way that focus on outward appearance.  I love how the characters are willing to accept themselves and grow.  I also like how Woodrow appreciates the simple things and what Gypsy has taken advantage of for some time become new again.