Bright Lights, Big Cacti

Arizona through the Eyes of a Native

Month: September, 2013

What’s in a Name?

Did you know there are people naming their children after heroes of the Third Reich?

The first thing I saw this morning was an article about the family who named their child Messiah. A child-support magistrate changed the baby’s name because she believed Messiah wasn’t a name — it was a title reserved for Jesus Christ. Um…no, not exactly. The messiah is the Old Testament term for the prophet who would save the Israelites. Christians believe it refers to Jesus, but I’m thinking Jewish people have a different idea. In any case, what was that judge thinking? You can’t rename a child just because their given name offends you. That mightily oversteps the boundaries of someone whose job is to make rulings on child support. I’m wondering how she deals with babies named Jesus. All’s well that ends well though: another judge has overruled the bossy magistrate and little Messiah reigns once again.

Unfortunately, this first story led me to half a dozen more stories about questionable names. One man, in particular, has had eight children with four wives. At least five of them carry names meant to show their parents’ support of white supremacy. Who does that to a child? Isn’t that a form of child abuse? Apparently, New Jersey thinks so. Four of the children were removed from the man and his third wife because of the names — but the children’s names have not been changed. I don’t know that I agree with removing the children if the only evidence of parental abuse is in how they named their children, but I sincerely hope little Adolf and his sister Aryan Nation are being fostered by peace-loving, granola-eating types who are teaching the kids that all races are the same.

This is why I shouldn’t surf the internet.

Let’s hope the name works out better for little Adolf than it did for this guy.


The Twelfth Anniversary

I don’t write a lot of poetry, but this is one I wrote about 9/11 a few years back.


A grandfather stands under
The shadow of a prone hurricane
Created by a predator,
Now streaming blood.

In white-knuckled fear,
He casts broad his sight
And watches a skydiver
(Thrill-seeker, risk-taker)
Break out, spring off
The downward-spiraling storm
Of glass, metal, fire,
Assessing the risk,
Plummeting to where
People lay,
Now streaming blood.

That horrible day.

Meandering through the Last Days of Summer

My parental units are finally off on their long-delayed summer vacation. Mom’s arms are sufficiently healed for her to get in and out of their RV and she hasn’t fallen in a few weeks, so I’m crossing my fingers and toes that they will have a nice trip. Of course, their original destination of Alaska is on hold for now — the window for Far North travel has closed for the season. Nevertheless, they are making the best of things and planning to visit family in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, Dan and I continue to dream about a trip to the British Isles. Our previous trip abroad only whetted our appetite for more foreign vacations. Years ago, just after my first trip to Italy, I purchased a round-trip ticket to Heathrow. I was going alone — I figured I’d be fine since I understood the language. Unfortunately, about a month before I was supposed to go, my maternal grandfather died. I just didn’t have the heart for the trip after that. I ended up spending a week with my best friend Ella* and her family in Florida instead. Ultimately, I’m glad I didn’t go; when Dan and I eventually make it there, the city will be new to both of us. With any luck, we’ll be able to carve out the funds for the trip within the next year or two.

Fall is nearly upon us. Beta Sigma Phi has started again, and I’m glad to see my sorority sisters. In a week and a half, I’ll be at the Beta Sigma Phi convention being held at Casino Arizona. I’m going to sell some books to support my chapter. Nikki and I are the only two attending from Eta Delta, but I know we’ll have fun — we always have fun when we’re together!

My apologies for this meandering, newsy post. I’ll try to come up with something more cohesive next week. Until then, Dear Reader, live life like you mean it.

*Not her real name. 🙂

One of Dan’s and my favorite paintings.