on an adventure on glen lake
“actually, the best gift you could have given them was a lifetime of adventures.”
3 sister lakes
3rd sister lake
“In memory of “Daddy” Filbert Roth
Head of Forestry School (UM)
By his Forestry Boys
“nature is a serenade for souls willing to hear.”
Dolph Park, Saginaw Forest, 3 Sister Lakes – Ann Arbor, MI, USA
this baby yeti
who was abandoned and rescued
from a box in a park near the woods
has come home to live with us
named by my daughter
i talk about yetis a bit more than most people in the world
also because he is furry and white and found near the woods
yeti is sweet and happy and purring and exploring
tomorrow he’ll meet olive.
“and on the subject of naming animals,
can I just say how happy I was to discover that the word yeti,
literally translated, apparently means “that thing over there.”
“Quick, brave Himalayan Guide – what’s that thing over there?”
– Neil Gaiman
not me sitting with my three daughters
but hired meercat models looking very similar
after i’ve just called each of them by one or more of their sibling’s names once again
since for some reason i thought it was a good idea to name all of them with the same first letter
(i’m a fan of alliteration)
and with two syllables
and rarely have called them by the correct name on the first try since birth
so they each pretty much answer to all of them.
According to Quartz Magazine, if you’re in a particularly bad mood, getting called by your sibling’s name might make you feel like the offending parent doesn’t care enough to keep their kids straight. But according to a 2016 study published in the journal Memory and Cognition, your parents might actually mistake you for your siblings because they care about you.
A team of students in Duke University’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience conducted a series of surveys to find out who gets misnamed, who misnames them, and why it happens. Some instances appeared to have been caused by phonetic similarities between names—e.g. you accidentally called your boss “Katherine” (your cousin’s name) instead of “Kathleen.” But the survey results also pointed to strong semantic trends. In other words, family members are often called other family members’ names, friends are often called other friends’ names, and people outside those two categories are often mistaken for other people outside them.
Basically, as the researchers explained, we build semantic networks in our brains where we can group similar information together and recall it easily. Facts about your immediate family members, for example, may be stored in one semantic network; while details about friends might go in another one. In your mom’s mind, then, your and your sister’s names are essentially in the same basket, and your mom might unwittingly grab your sister’s when she meant to grab yours. What the researchers argue is that it’s a little less about the mistake and more about the basket: Parents love their kids, so they put you all in the same top-tier basket.
The results also suggest that some family member baskets aren’t just reserved for humans. A staggering 41 of the 42 pet-related misnaming incidents involved calling pets by family members’ names or vice versa, rather than mixing up two pets’ names. And most of those incidents involved dogs, specifically.
“Given the scarcity of misnaming episodes involving the names of family pets other than dogs, our data suggest that dogs may be a central part of (at least some) families … as human-like members, whereas cats and other pets, although they may be part of the family, are not categorized as human-like,” the authors wrote in the study.
If you’re about to get defensive on behalf of your cat, whom you very much consider a human-like part of your family, keep in mind that 42 is a small sample size. And the whole study only included about 1700 participants, who were all reporting misnaming episodes remembered from their past—leaving plenty of room for human error. In short, as is so often the case with scientific studies, more research is needed. That said, try not to take it personally if your dad mistakes you for the dog.
“i cannot tell what the dickens his name is.”
Story credits: Quartz Magazine -By Samantha A. Deffler, Christin M. Ogle, Cassidy Fox, and David C. Rubin
Current and former members of the Noetics Laboratory at Duke University
these were one of the greatest food creations of my childhood
with the introduction of the mini-box variety packs
came great excitement
new reasons to battle with siblings
how to divide the number of boxes evenly
who gets to pick first
did i open it correctly on the perforated lines
kellogs, general mills, or post packs
who gets stuck with
the ‘old boring people’s cereal boxes’
such unparalleled joy
sprung from eating it right out of the side of the box
pouring your milk on this sugary delight
turning it into a personal bowl
i thought i could never be happier.
“do you know what breakfast cereal is made of?
it’s made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!”
i’ll never forget that wonderful yellow cake with the warm apple topping
my mom would sometimes serve us after dinner
years later when i was a mom
i thought of it again
asking her for the very fancy recipe
she was surprised
oh that? it wasn’t fancy at all
i bought a pre-made pound cake, cut it into slices,
heated up a can of apple pie filling, and poured it on top.
then i was the one who was surprised.
What secret family recipe is in your lineage?
“don’t let the secret recipe die with the inventor.”
where i spent many hours of my childhood
famous to many as a woodward drive-in restaurant and hot rod cruising spot back in the day
famous to me as the scene of many family dinners and celebration spot
and that one suumer day
when my older sisters and i walked up to ted’s
all on our own
the hostess seated us in a booth
feeling very grown up
pooling all of our change
looking at the menus
ordering 2 plates of french fries and lots of ketchup to share
when we finished, so proud of ourselves
the waitress dropped off our bill
my older sisters knew math
realizing that we didn’t have enough money to pay the bill
my sisters somehow negotiated with the waitress
to leave me in the booth while they ran home to get more money
i sat in the booth quietly waiting for their return
feeling what it meant to be a hostage
without ever having heard the word in my young life
i’d still like to know
how they got the waitress to agree to this
how they talked my mom into letting us go up there alone in the first place
perhaps we snuck up there
and what they told my mom when they returned home without me to get more money?
i’ll ask my sister the next time we meet.
not at ted’s.
“every happiness is a hostage to fortune.”