What’s The Point Of Middle Names?

I have a middle name. I don’t think about it that often, but I was recently talking to some friends, and the topic of our middle names came up. I only have one middle name, but one friend has two, and another said they don’t have one at all.

middle name Simpsons gif.

I don’t hate my middle name or anything, but it’s really done very little for me in life. I don’t really identify with the name as I’ve never been called it, and I almost never put it on forms, even if there is a box for it. I do use my middle initial in my main email, but that was because it was the only available username.

No one I know really uses their middle name, honestly. So what’s the point of having one? I looked up the history of them. Middle names have been used for hundreds of years. They apparently began in the Middle Ages when Europeans were torn between giving their child a saint’s name or a common family name. Later on in many places of the world, a middle name was a sign of higher class.

History Lesson GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

So, basically there is no point to having one now. I suppose they’re somewhat useful in separating one Joe Smith from another Joe Smith, but even still, I don’t know how often such occurrences can arise in one’s life for one to really like and appreciate their middle name.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give a new baby a middle name, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t put effort into making sure it flows with the full name and all that, but maybe stop at one middle name, as two or more is just a paperwork hassle and, if we’re being honest, a waste of time.

But that’s just my opinion on middle names. I’m curious if others have differing opinions, though. You are of course welcome to talk about this in the comments, but I’ve also got some quick polls here.

That’s all for now!

middle name comic.
Here’s a comic about middle names that made me chuckle.

 

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Curling During Covid

The only time I leave the house these days is to curl, and I’m very glad I get to do that still…Or got to. See, literally yesterday, I already had this post written and ready to go, but I got an email that my area is regressing back to a stricter lockdown and the curling club would be closed for a bit. My area isn’t as bad as big cities like Toronto, so I’m really hoping we’ll be back in action in a few weeks.

crossed fingers gif.

I registered for this season of curling way back in June with fingers crossed that Coronavirus numbers would be down enough to allow curling clubs to open, and luckily things worked out enough.

All throughout the summer, my family and I were very cautious about what we did and where we went. Any time I interacted with friends in person, I was, as per usual, the cop of the group, scolding those who disregarded social distancing and ensuring I was at least being safe. That’s why I’m glad that at curling, that work is done for me because my club has done a lot to protect us and comply with all rules from the province as well as from the larger curling organizations, so I really do feel safe there.

Curling is luckily a sport where there isn’t a lot of human contact to begin with, so gameplay hasn’t changed too much. Masks are mandatory, obviously. There’s only one sweeper allowed at a time, which is fine, though I’m not thrilled that skips can’t sweep any rocks in the house, no matter what. Now we gotta just, like, beckon the rocks further through the house the way you would a puppy, only rocks don’t have eyes. Curlers also have to stand at certain spots on the side of the sheets now. There’s apparently a whole process as to whose supposed to be standing on which spot when, but no one really knows it, so we just kind of all space out and stand at whatever spot is free.

Were Doing The Best That We Can gif.

As for off the ice, we’re only allowed to socialize with our own team at certain spread out tables, and we have to order drinks by texting the bar. Almost everyone at curling is super nice so I don’t mind the smaller groups and can handle whatever team I’m put on.

I know I’m lucky to even curl a little bit this year. A few clubs in other areas near me didn’t even open at all because of low numbers. One lady on the board told me we’re running at a loss, but at least there’s some income and the few employees can work. And I don’t blame the people who didn’t join this year as I know it’s scary to do group activities, and since a lot of curlers are a lot older than me, they’re more at risk. I hope next year things are better and we can play at full capacity again in peace.

to build a better future gif.

As I said, Covid numbers in my area have luckily been pretty low in the grand scheme of things, so I’m really hoping we can stay diligent and get through this winter. We’re ready to rearrange game schedules to accommodate changes and do whatever it takes to make sure it all works out. Having that social and physical activity will be more important than ever during the cold, dark months, and that goes for the hockey leagues my brother and father are (were?) in too.

This is me once again being very grateful that Canada and Ontario have responded pretty well to this pandemic and we’ve adjusted safely enough. I shudder to think about curling clubs in America.

It Could Be Worse GIF.

Curling may also be one of the few sports that will be on TV this winter. Keep an eye out for that if you’re desperate for something to watch. It’s never too late to get into curling!

That’s all for now!

 

 

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The Inexplicable Experience Of Being A Tumblr User

I’ve been a Tumblr user for years. I’ve had an account for seven years, but I experienced the site vicariously through my best friend’s account for several years before that, and the tags back when you were allowed to browse tags without an account.

I’m on a lot of social media, but Tumblr is very different. It’s large, but in a lot of ways, it’s a closed community. And because of this, it allowed me to kind of understand this whole select side of internet and fandoms and media because I saw it happen in a very odd space. Only those who did can really understand what I mean and understand the culture.

You Know What I Mean gif.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot for two reasons. One, because one of my friends from Quidditch is also a Tumblr user, and sometimes we have these bizarre conversations about really niche things and completely understand each other, while our other friend who is on the call really can’t comprehend. And I feel bad, but how do I even begin to explain the layers and dramatics of things like “the Avengers fandom in 2013” or “Dashcon” or “the Onceler.” Twitter and Instagram just don’t have that kind of history.

Its Just A Lot To Digest gif.

The other reason is because recently there was a big thing that happened on the long-running TV show Supernatural. I do not watch this show at all, but anyone who’s been on Tumblr knows that the show is wildly popular there and you can’t escape the info, so everyone ends up knowing at least a bit. When the big thing happened, Tumblr became a hubbub of excitement, discussion, memes, and engagement, with people who had been active in that fandom returning home to their Tumblrs to partake in it. I lay in bed, scrolling through at 2am, crying with laughter at some of the memes, but feeling weirdly lucky to even witness it and understand it. It was like all my years of absorbing things on that blue site was coming to fruition as I and many others could understand, in that moment, what a momentous thing that had happened for better or for worse, even though I genuinely do not care for the show or the characters or the fans.

Tumblr is very much a time-waster, a simple thing to scroll before bed, and I know this, but it’s been such a huge part of my understanding and interest in media and fandoms. I think it’s very underused and understudied as a place of fan interaction and a place of internet history. As I said, it’s kind of a closed community where people can express the weirdest parts of themselves and blissfully enjoy the media they choose, and I’ve always enjoyed that.

a tumblr post about unhinged acts of fandom.

Don’t get me wrong, Tumblr is also very flawed and is home to a lot of disturbing, bad things like any other social media platform, but I still appreciate it. Even this past year, I’ve seen a lot of posts from users say that Tumblr feels more and more like home and an escape from the chaos that is real life. We dunk on it and criticize the “hellsite” so much, but we choose to keep coming back and to grow up there in ways that other platforms can’t compete with.

might as well be a hot mess gif.

I don’t regret spending my formative teenage years on Tumblr, even if it means I’m forever haunted by things like “I like your shoelaces” and “Do you like the colours of the sky” and “My Immortal“.

Have you ever been on Tumblr? Do you feel a weird sense of connection to the site? If you are a long-time user, I recommend checking out Tumblr Heritage Posts to see some ‘fun’ and deep-sigh inducing throwbacks!

 

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The Interest In Other Peoples’ Problems

Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of my free time learning about other people’s problems. This sounds weird, but let me explain. Reddit, a social media/forum site, is home to a lot of this. There are threads for a variety of things, but two I’m focusing on here are r/Relationships and r/AITA (Am I The Asshole). In these subreddits, users can post their issues and anyone can offer unbiased advice or judgment or feedback.

There are Twitter accounts that cross post some of the more amusing or interesting ones so they can spread to other platforms that way, and there are a lot of YouTube channels that read them out (either by a real person or a computer voice) so people can listen to the content if they don’t want to read and scroll. I’ve consumed a lot of this in the past year, and I find it fascinating. I also read the advice column in the newspaper every day, which has similar content, and this may be more relatable to some of you who have no idea what Reddit is.

In general, I know we look for relatability in media. We want to identify with the heroes and be represented and all that, which is good and valid. But I think on the flip side, we are also drawn to the unrelatable. It’s why I think a lot of TLC and E! shows are so popular because they are very weird and different (at least to my fairly quiet and sheltered life).

I know that people have different lives than I do, but I’ve never really considered that their problems are so wildly different too. I don’t know what it’s like to have a narcissistic mother-in-law or a pathological liar of a friend. I don’t know what it’s like to have no contact with a parent or worry about how I disciplined my child. And yet, I am interested in these issues that people are having and the outcomes. It’s entertaining to consume for me, and I think it still would be even if you did relate to some of these issues.

Can't relate but sorry gif.

And maybe I like it because it puts my own life into perspective to some extent. My life is by no means perfect and I’m discontent with many things, but I guess it could be worse, as the internet has proved. Some of the problems people are dealing with are unfortunate, life-ruining things, and I’m lucky that I don’t have to deal with any of it. Furthermore, reading/hearing about some of these things can help me avoid it myself in my life.

I know I’m not alone in enjoying Reddit content like this, but I think it does speak to a larger phenomenon of people being nosy and interested in drama. It’s why ‘spilling tea’ is so popular as a concept and a phrase. There are YouTubers whose whole gig is telling juicy, dramatic storytimes like “My roommates from hell” or “I was stalked by my ex-boyfriend for six years!” and thousands of willing people click to find out how and why and who because it’s interesting. Similarily, we’re taught from a young age that gossip is bad but I know that if a friend came to me with some spicy info about someone, I’d be very quick to listen. Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so. It makes me human. I think we all like this kind of info, whether we’ll admit to it or not, and the internet has made it very easy to find it and feed that desire in us.

don't judge me, i'm only human gif.

It is win-win in a sense because the people sharing often are looking for help/opinions/clicks and the consumers can offer that as well as be entertained to some extent, so I don’t have a problem with it. It’s one of the benefits of the internet because we are able to connect to a variety of people who exist outside of our lifestyle.

If you’ve never heard of these subreddits or other means of consuming them, I encourage you to check them out, especially if you’re kind of into other people’s problems and lives. Even if you’re not really, it’s escapist entertainment, and these days, we all need that.

Shrug GIF.

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: November 2020

We’re so close to the end of 2020. We can power through. November is here whether you like it or not, and this is what I’ve got going on this month. As always you’re more than welcome to make your own MLA post on your blogs!

monthly look ahead logo

  • The British band McFly is releasing an album called Young Dumb Thrills this month. I’ve been a fan of theirs for years, so I’m excited, even if I haven’t loved the singles released so far. It’s out on the 13th.
  • A Million Little Things and B Positive start this month, bringing the total number of TV shows I’m watching this fall to a measly five. But I’ll take what I can get!
  • There’s going to be an album starring the cast of Hadestown, primarily the Fates, coming out on the 20th, and all the music is Christmas music. This very much appeals to me as someone who loves Christmas music and Hadestown. And, if that wasn’t enough, there’ll be a mix of classic songs and new ones, which is exactly what I want from Christmas albums.
    Hadestown Holiday Album If the Fates Allow
  • Speaking of Christmas, November is the month where I, a Canadian, am allowed to begin the festivities. I always listen to far too much Christmas radio and watch far too many cheesy Christmas romance movies, so I’m looking forward to that starting. It’s always so pure.

 

I know with a certain country’s election coming up this month, people are bracing themselves for a lot, but this is a reminder to those who need it to take a break from the madness and the ‘doomscrolling’ and to do something fun and wholesome (but safely).

That’s all for now!

P.S. Happy Halloween! Peep my Instagram for pictures of this year’s pumpkin carving!

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