7 Quick Takes Saturday!


Thanks to everyone who prayed for me and/or listened to me yesterday! Surprisingly I had a great time, only said “umm” twice (I know this, because the Ogre kept a running tally via text message), and only cringed a few times when I listened to it this morning.

If you want to hear it, here’s the link to listen to it streaming.


Unfortunately, Sheila mispronounced my name, but I was so intent on not “umming” that I didn’t realize it until about halfway through the show, and then it was too late to correct her.

As it happens, though, she heard the pronunciation she used from the Anchoress, who thought I was named after the flower. All the Patheosi, it turns out, thought that “Calla” was the way my name was pronounced.

It’s not. It’s “Kayla.”


Cartoon by the hilarious Hannah Sterry

I realize that my name is a phonetic catastrophe, and my mother is to blame for that.

She wanted to name me after her friend Kay who had died when they were in high school, but my dad hated the name Kay and wanted to call me Makayla after a cousin or something. My mom came up with “Kayla”, and since this was about 10 years before the “Kayla” craze swept the US, she thought she had made the name up.

Unfortunately, they never discussed how to spell it.

My dad was out of the room when my mom filled out the birth certificate, and he came back in horror to see that it had already been notarized with my name written down as “Calah Michelle Taylor.”

My mom swore up and down that she had seen it in the Bible somewhere and didn’t know how else she was supposed to spell it.


She kept insisting she had seen it somewhere in the Bible, so when I was 12 we finally pulled out my parents big NIV with the concordance.

According to that Bible, Calah was an ancient city that was destroyed along with or at the same time as Sodom and Gomorrah, for its sexual immorality.

My mother. Setting the foundation for a lifetime of virtue.


Sheila and the Patheosi are not alone in their mispronunciation of my name, though. It’s been pronounced in ridiculous ways my whole life, and the person who gets it right the first time is so rare that I always have to restrain myself from spontaneously hugging them. I even had a professor in college who called me “Cal-Aaaaah” (rhyme it with Kazaa) and, after I corrected him, said in his totally deadpan monotone, “I’m going to call you Cal-AAAAAH.”

Accordingly, I developed an obsession with giving my children names that are either phonetically correct or common enough to be easily recognized. So it was a complete shock when a doctor’s receptionist asked, two weeks after Lincoln was born, “How do you pronounce that?”.


“Uh, Lincoln,” I said. “How would you pronounce it?”

“Oh, I was guessing Lynn-colin,” she responded. “Where did  you come up with that name?”

“Uh, we got it from the president. You know, Abraham Lincoln?” I totally lied. (I really named him after my favorite TV character, Agent Lincoln Lee on Fringe, but that’s something I only tell to the whole internet.)

She just looked at me blankly.

I guess I can’t win them all.


And now I’m off to bake cookies with the minions, because I have spent the last zillion Saturdays making them do chores until the house was sparkling, and today I just couldn’t handle the sweeping and gnashing of teeth (see what I did there?). They love me a lot more right now than they have in quite a while. I feel weirdly triumphant and also annoyed with the messy house.

Happy Saturday! Go see Jen for more quick takes!

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