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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vanity Plates

When I lived and drove and owned a vehicle in Michigan I never bought a "vanity plate".  I may have briefly considered it once or twice, but I could never think of anything clever enough to use on the plate.  And, the effort didn't seem worth the extra expense.  The "commemorative plates" were another story, and, as I think about it, I really don't remember which ones I bought.......
Oh, yes -- Billy and I both bought the "Proud To Be American" license plate following 9/11 and some other purchased at the Detroit Auto Show long before that September tragedy......

Blogging is in some ways an exercise in vanity.  How many bloggers check their stat counters/sitemeters daily?  How many bloggers are obsessed with the information garnered from FEEDJIT?  How many bloggers "get off" on the idea that someone somewhere is reading their TWADDLE?  What?  Don't you?

My latest foray into the world of egocentric behavior was the purchase of an internet domain with my name.  Well, yes, it is still an alias, but an honest one.  My friends and family back home know that I have dropped my "first" name.  For the last third of this life, I have chosen to do what I always wanted to do -- "change" my name.  Fortunately, such a change doesn't cost any money or require and legal documentation.  And, it seems that I remember hearing that an alias is perfectly okay unless you intend to use it for some criminal purpose.  No crime here.



My mother's favorite uncle was Lee Kivel.  I was gifted his name and the name of the boy from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings -- The Yearly.  By the time that I was born my mother had used the names of her grandfather, father, her husband (our father), and her oldest brother in the naming conventions of my three older brothers.  Except, I haven't a clue where she found the name Danny.  Anyway, if my brothers weren't given the names Charles, Albert, Edward, Cortland, or Gerald directly, they were given a derivation of a name.

I once had a distant cousin and genealogy project collaborator suggest that I change my last name from Harris to Fuhrwerk.  Fortunately, the family name is being carried on by distant cousins in the Detroit Area and in Illinois.  My great-grandfather came to America with at least one other brother as well as adult children from his first wife.  My great-grandmother also had children from a previous marriage, ..... wait for it...... fathered by another Fuhrwerk brother...... Family history can be interesting.

Fortunately, I don't have to do anything with my name while I live in Mexico.  The naming conventions here suit me just fine.  In the U.S. I am permitted to use the name J. Lee Harris.  (Lot's of folks drop their first names in this fashion.)  Here, I may use J. Lee Harris Fuhrwerk as formal names in Mexico include the last names of the mother.  Married women use their complete names with their father's surname, their mother's maiden name, plus "de" and the last name of their spouse.  My "pretend" married sister would be Sissy Lou Harris Fuhrwerk de Smith.  So...... to continue to honor my father and my mother I am using the name Lee Harris Fuhrwerk as my new domain name.

So, for the giggles and the vanity -- www.leeharrisfuhrwerk.com -- is born.
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