Category Archives: names

Mid-March Madness

Are you DUMBSTRUCK? A  Denver Bronco's mask with a Wichita State Shockers T-shirt? Really?  (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

Are you DUMBSTRUCK? A Denver Bronco’s mask with a Wichita State Shockers T-shirt? Really? (Pictures by Marylin Warner)

Instructions for painting van Gogh's swirly landscape. Do what Goodland, KS did and paint your art replica 80 feet high!

Instructions for painting van Gogh’s swirly landscape. Do what Goodland, KS did and paint your art replica 80 feet high! Challenge what your friends think they know about you.

Don’t confuse this post with the March Madness of college championship basketball competitions.  This post is about MID-MARCH Madness, the three strange “special” March day designations that all take place on the same day: March 15th.

Today, Saturday the 15th of March, is on the Roman Calendar as both the first day of Spring…and the “Ides of March.” On this day in history Julius Caesar warned “Beware the Ides of March.”  It was the day he was stabbed by his friend Marcus Brutus. (“Et tu, Brutus?”) It was a lousy first day of Spring for Caesar.

Today is also “Dumbstruck Day.”  According to the description, you should prepare for something so shocking or surprising that you’re dumbstruck, unable to speak.

And finally, March 15th is also “Everything You Think Is Wrong” Day.  Did the Ides of March later influence the other two designations?  If you think about it, on this last day in Julius Caesar’s life, surely everything he thought was one way, actually turned out to be just the opposite. His best friend stabbed him to death, which also would have made Caesar dumbstruck…

To prove wrong what you probably thought you knew—and to make you dumbstruck—see if you can match the real, original names of these people with their later name changes:    (answers at end of post)

___ 1. Albert Brooms  ——————————-A. Hulk Hogan

___ 2. Terry Jean Bollette —————————B. Howard Allen Francis O’Brien

___ 3. Pauline Ester Friedman ———————-C. Albert Einstein

___ 4. Ehrich Weiss———————————–D. Abigail Van Buren –“Dear Abby”

___ 5. Author Anne Rice—————————–E. Harry Houdini

Last week we turned our clocks forward by an hour for Daylight Savings Time.  My mother understood why DST was necessary in war time, and maybe also during the oil embargo to conserve oil. But why the rest of the time, the back and forth, dividing the country?  “Why do we cause all that confusion?” she used to ask.  “There are still only twenty-four hours in a day.”

Oh, how I wish Mom’s dementia would fade away for an hour!  Actually, I often wish that, but especially now, when I’ve found something she would laugh at and enjoy. It would confirm that she wasn’t the only one who thought this was wrong.

This is supposedly a Native American Indian comment: When told the reason for daylight savings time, a wise old Indian said this: “Only the White Man’s Government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.” 

Don’t be discouraged about the three “down days” of March 15th.  Take heart. Tomorrow, March 16th, is “Everything You Do Is Right” Day.  But, as my mother used to say, “Each day is what you make of it.”

Answers to the Name Game: 1. C,  2. A,  3. D,  4. E,  5. B (really, it’s B–does that dumbfound you?)

Delicious ginger-bear cookie. What if your child wanted to eat 3 or 4 of these? Keep your answer in perspective...

Delicious ginger-bear cookie. What if your child wanted to eat 3 or 4 of these? Keep your answer in perspective…

Keep the size of the cookie in perspective next to a quarter. Hey, at least I didn't use a headless chicken to make the point this week! ;)

Next to a quarter, it’s not a big cookie. Hey, at least I didn’t use a headless chicken to make the point this week!

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Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, names, Special Days in March, special quotations

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

A rose by another name...would still have thorns. (All photos by Marylin Warner)

A rose by another name…would still have thorns. (All photos by Marylin Warner)

pseudonymsMG_2255

Dear Mom,

I read in the DENVER POST that the first baby born in Colorado in 2013 is named Lyrik, for his mother’s love of music. Other 2013 baby names around the country so far include Daffon, Mobley, and Sayge. In Hawaii, this year’s first baby is Quetzalli; in Kansas, it’s Xiomara Tatiana. Mark Twain was probably right: “Names are not always what they seem.”

How many times did I whine because I didn’t like my name, Mom? All around me in grade school were cute names like Kathy, Mickey, Cindy and Karen. But I was Marylin, and the confusing spelling of my name reversed the y and the i of the traditional Marilyn. Even today, if someone calls and asks to speak to “Mary Lin,” I know they don’t know me because my name is pronounced in the typical mare-lin or mɛrələn.

The majority of us go through at least one period in life when we wish we had a different name. It’s very common for children to go by nicknames or their middle names for awhile, and many writers have pseudonyms. Author Dean Koontz has had 11 pen names, including “Deanna Dwyer.” Harlan Ellison had 25 pen names, and Ray Bradbury had 17, including Hollerbochen and Omega. Politicians have succeeded (or not) with names like Frank Schmuck, Jay Walker, Krystal Ball, and Rodney Assman. Maybe it’s true what W.C. Fields said: “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”

When I used to complain, once you gave me a piece of paper and a pencil and said, “What’s the name you’d rather have?” I remember coming up with some doozies that even I didn’t take seriously. You smiled and went on to other things, reminding me that it’s not just our name that makes a difference, but what we do to make a difference…that’s what counts.

You were in line with the Dakota Proverb: “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” Thanks, Mom, aka Mary Elizabeth. (I’ve always loved your name, Mom, and your nickname, too…Mary Ibbith)                                                                                                               tracks in mud

"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." ~Dakota Proverb (with thanks to St. Joseph"s Indian School calendar

“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” ~Dakota Proverb (with thanks to St. Joseph”s Indian School calendar)

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Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, making a difference, memories for great-grandchildren, names