Tuesday, May 31, 2005

what's in a middle name?

Well, it didn't quite turn out to be Kids Falling Off Things Night in the ER as I had anticipated, but its first cousin, Teen Boys Getting Hit By Things Night. Hit by things like baseball bats. And fists. And trucks. So we were kind of busy after 8pm. Luckily, I wasn't working an overnight shift, so I was spared the full extent of the melee.

On the non-medical front, Joe and I have finally chosen a middle name for Cal. We were looking for a Chinese middle name and had enlisted the help of my parents in finding one, but my dad was taking a REALLY LONG TIME choosing because he was doing so much research into the historical and literary significance of various characters that we were just like, PICK THE DAMN NAME ALREADY. Given how much effort he was putting into choosing this name, I think he was a little disappointed with our own name choosing strategy.

(Three months ago)

So, we decided on the name "Cal."


No, just Cal.

What does it mean?

Uh, I don't really know.

What made you decide on Cal?

I don't know. We just liked the name.

(Masking disappointment in the lack of greater cosmic significance)

In the end, I suggested what is probably the easiest and most crowd-pleasing option of them all, which was to make a middle name which is an amalgam of the names of my two grandfathers. My mom's dad was named "Han-Ping," and my dad's dad was named "Wai-Leung," so after some shuffling around of characters and seeing which combo sounded the best, Cal's middle name is going to be "Leung-Han," which roughly translates (I'm told) to mean "great scholar." Sounds right by me.

I figure that aside from being reasonably easy to pronounce (as opposed to Chinese names with a whole messload of "X" and "Ng"-type sounds in them--or, for example, my own Chinese name "Hsiao-Yu," which has been mangled at every graduation ceremony to date) no one can give me lip about a family name. Or if they do, I'll tell them that both namesake grandfathers are DEAD and then the naysayers will feel like total jerks.

Currently reading: Re-reading me some "Jimmy Corrigan." I know I've gone on about this book enough times in the past, but seriously, it's genius. After I finish that, though, I'll still have some time to kill before the release of the new "Harry Potter" book, so maybe I'll look back in the archives for some old reader recommendations.


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