Total Pageviews

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TMI Questions: What’s In A Name?

There is this video on Youtube, of this tiny bird (The Woodech) with a long beak that speaks its own language.  I can never remember its name, but I absolutely adore the noises it makes and all the attitude it musters.

I can’t remember its name because names aren’t all that important to me – never have been - even other people’s names. 

It takes me forever to remember someone’s name and even after I do learn it, if you move out of arms reach, I will forget it again.  But I will remember that you like Russell Stover’s dark chocolate, have a mother who went to Wellesley, and ride a Harley Big Boy. 

Because for me… it’s who you are – as in, the person you’ve created, the person you have chosen to become – that matters. 

A name?  What is that? 

People have been calling me all sorts of names all my life.

So, what, indeed, is in a name?

Questions designed to reveal Too Much Information


TMI Questions: What’s In A Name?

Do you have a favorite flower?

Not really.  I think they all have a lot going for them. 

I love to give roses – when they open up they are so beautiful.

  • Gerber daisies have an interesting design to them and I like their colors. 
  • Tulips are rather graceful. 
  • Marigolds are earthy and hardy; I admire their perseverance and strength of character.  
  • Petunias remind me of Dr. Seuss and musical instruments. 
  • Pansies are so sweet and coy, like Myrna Loy. 
  • Lilacs have such an amazing perfume. 
  • Bleeding Hearts have a fascinating design. 
  • African violets are so unassuming. 
  • Birds of paradise are so dramatic, they astound me. 
  • Carnations are tough and so robust. 
  • Lilies make me swoon – so romantic.

I could go on and on. 

I find them all captivating; the colors, odors, and designs.  That’s why I love going to the arboretum in St. Paul.  It’s like a zoo, but without all the guilt. 

I don’t think plants mind living in such ideal conditions at all.  

Do you like your name (first)?

Yes.  Both my chosen and my real one.  

My real one is solid, if a bit common.  I always thought it rather musical.  For me, it communicates both strength and a kind of tenderness.  There is something romantic about it that makes me think of martyred saints and pierced angels.

My chosen name is more apt.  It’s the street where I live and where I own a number of rental properties.  It’s a little snooty, too.  It also reminds me of a couple of successful, if rather dry, classic authors. 

It’s not chosen for babies anymore, so I take comfort in that.

Does your name have a meaning?

They all do, don’t they?  There are those lists, which are subject to interpretation.  They don’t mean much to me.   Somebody else’s interpretation of what your name means?  Of what value is that? 

As if.

My real name?  I’m not named after anybody and I have no idea why my parents picked it. 

My chosen name?  That would be for the reasons listed in the previous question.  Plus, I like the sound of it.  It’s as old school snobby as I ever get.

Do you have a nickname?

No.  I don’t like them. Terms of endearment are one thing, but nicknames imply a kind of knowledge, and no one knows me well enough for that.

I’ve shared this in the past, but it bears repeating: in high school I had a teacher who used to call me ‘Tinker’, which, at the time, I took as a high compliment.  I mean, he noticed me enough to give me a nickname. 

Years and years (and years) later, I came to realize that ‘Tinker’ was short for Tinkerbell, as in, haha – you’re gay!  Well, fuck that old, balding, pudgy, limp dicked, minimum wage earner.  He was a lousy teacher and I simply assume that life handed him what he had coming. 

Obviously, it still stings. 

I thought I was special.  And I was.  Just not in the way I had thought. 

Eh, sometime being naïve saves the psyche a lot of pain.

Would you ever consider changing your name?

Naw.  I used to think I might become a television news reporter.  Then I was going to use the name ‘Michael Standings’.  I don’t know where that came from, but I thought it sounded substantial. 

I actually did attend and graduate from a radio/television broadcasting school (with honors!).  I had a blast; making fake commercials and spinning records, but what I really wanted to be was a cameraman.

I tried to break into the field, went on a few interviews and shopped my tape around.  The reception was always odd.  When I went back to the school for guidance, the placement counselor told me that the feedback from those who had interviewed me was that I was considered ‘too creative’ for the field.  Which I think, in those days, was a euphemism for ‘gay’.

Or not.

But probably.  The small markets in which you have to work in order to break into the business?  They weren’t very evolved.  Probably still the case.

That said, I never sent out my tape or interviewed for that sort of thing ever again.

What name have you heard that you hate?

Hmmm.  Hate?  No.  Dislike?  I guess. 

‘Britney’ springs to mind.  Those horrible pig tails and that sense of entitlement?  You simply want to grind it into the earth.

Maybe… Hosmer.

Eh.  What’s in a name?  It’s not the name, but the being behind it, the association.  If you have a negative interaction with someone, their first name is going to stick in your craw a bit and you may very well judge the next person with the same name in the same manner.   But that’s so rarely the case. 

In my youth, I had a horrible, on-going relationship with a bully named Brian, who plotted to steal all my Hot Wheels.  However, much later in life, I had an incredible boss with the same name who was completely the opposite of childhood Brian.  Brian the boss had integrity and was full of kindness.   

I do dislike made up names.  I mean, seriously… I have come across people named after pharmaceuticals and, in my way of thinking, the parents or parent couldn’t have possibly had any clue what they were doing. 

How would you like to live your life being ‘Propecia’?  Or ‘Tylenol Jones’?

What name have you heard that you love?

When I was eight I announced that I was going to adopt a small black boy and name him ‘Rufus’.  I have no idea where that whole notion came from.  I was going to buy a trailer and live in a mobile home park where I would walk Rufus to school every morning.  We would live on margarine, Captain Crunch, and the odd vegetable that I would grow in the gardens that bordered our trailer.  We would have a cow and a couple of chickens – as pets, though we would eat the eggs and drink the milk.

I imagined myself eventually morphing into Karen Valentine and becoming a school teacher. 

Yeah, I had no idea how life really worked.  Quelle surprise!

Oh, I love making up band names.

Favorite ones I have made up (or at least I think I am the only one who came up with them):

His Boy Elroy
The Altar-ed Boyz
Drowning Ophelia

How did you pick the name(s) of your pets?

I didn’t. 

They all came with their names. 

That is what happens when you rescue animals, you get their history as well.  I always figured they had been through so much already, why freak them out further by calling them something foreign to them? 

I have changed the spelling or altered a few letters on two occasions, though.

Beau was originally ‘Bobo’.  He was certainly smart and cute enough to be a circus dog, but I’m no clown, so he became ‘Beau’.  Much more elegant and it suited him.  He was the best dog.

Millie was originally ‘Mini’, which was something I couldn’t live with.

Not because I dislike the name or that, at four pounds, it wasn’t appropriate, but because the people who had previously owned her had mistreated her in such vile ways that I wanted to erase them from her life.  So she was reborn as ‘Millie’, because it was similar, but different enough.   And it reminded me of ‘Millie the Model’, whom I sort of admired.

What?  Hell yeah, I’m a gay!

Karen Valentine and Millie the Model…

Get over it!

Do you name inanimate objects? Name some of them.


I do infuse them with personalities and attach an awful lot of emotion to some of them, such as my car and my piano, I guess, or a certain coffee mug, but I don’t go so far as to name them. 

Not even the  stuffed animals I had as a kid.

I am struggling to think of anything I have named.

Hmm.  Must not be my strong suit. 

Or important to  me.

Did you name your penis or breasts? Has anyone else?

No, no, and no. 

If I picked a name for my penis it would no doubt be something inappropriate, as in, not a good idea or ill-fitting.

For example… I would name him… ‘The Terminator’.

Now, imagine unwrapping THAT package!


So, now you can see why I don’t name things.

And, no, no one has ever named my penis.

I never stick around long enough for that to happen.

In an episode of the Golden Girls, Dorothy had a night of sex that was sooooo good they named it. Tell me about night you had like that.

Hmmm.  Well, considering this blog used to be about all the really great (and not-so-great) sex I was having, repeating any of it would be an exercise in redundancy. 

Obviously, for reasons of confidentiality and privacy, I have come up with a number of creative (there’s that word again) names for my tricks – some, quite complimentary, some, not so much.   So if you dive into the archives, you’re sure to stumble upon something fun. 

Be sure to dive at least six months back, because that was when the game changed for good.  And I do mean ‘for the better’ and ‘for forever’. 

I mean, why repeat something once you’re done with it, or have done it?  Life should be all about exploring new territory, discovering new things – about ourselves and others.

This ‘Alice’?

This ‘Alice’ never falls down the same hole twice.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cat Boxes...

The boyfriend and I were to celebrate our six-month anniversary this weekend.  I had planned on taking him to the ‘most romantic’ restaurant in the twin cities.  Flowers were delivered to his office on Thursday, and I was also planning on hand-delivering a dozen roses on Friday night.

But, you know what they say about best laid plans…

Oh, all the flowers got delivered.  But the dinner reservations had to be cancelled and I ended up spending the weekend playing nurse and chauffeur, sleeping on the couch, and cleaning his apartment - including changing the litter in his cats’ boxes – something I loathe and had promised myself I would never do. 

I adore his cats, just… not their boxes.

But, yeah, seems life had other plans.

Last Monday, he’d complained about not feeling well.  Tuesday, he thought he had a fever and stayed home from work.  Then night sweats and pain where he had torn his esophagus last October during a bout of food poisoning.  Turned out he’d experienced this same ordeal last September, which put to rest any fears on my part that I may have given him something.  In fact, blood tests on Thursday showed no infection, no virus, and an endoscopy is suggested.

Still, no kisses for yours truly.  That fever worried us both.

I brought him a thermometer on Friday, and he registered a temp of 102 degrees, so I spent the weekend sleeping on the couch, changing sheets, and trying to find things he could consume without too much pain – even water hurt.  Jello, coconut milk and vegetable broth was all he could manage. 

His doctors from Thursday failed to follow-up (they’d also lost his test results and neglected to schedule his endoscopy), so Saturday I suggested taking him to my clinic’s urgent care.  We checked his insurance, and he may or may not be covered, but with a low grade fever with spikes, the pain, possible dehydration and the night sweats we decided to risk it. 

He ended up spending two and a half hours there.  They were good to him, but the doctor, who is baffled, prescribed a type of codeine that the pharmacist informed us is no longer made.  Also the doctor suggested apple juice (we are both concerned about dehydration).  I had nixed apple juice earlier, due to the acidity, but we gave it a try, seeing as how the doctor thought it was a good idea.  It turned out to be too acidic.  Even all natural apple juice proves too painful to swallow. 

The boyfriend then talked to a nurse practitioner from my clinic.  She prescribed him something that actually exists and at 10:30 pm, I found myself walking around a Walgreens waiting for them to find and fill said prescription. 

His spirits only dampened during the frustrations with missing tests, the apple juice, and the defunct prescription: otherwise we had a good time hanging out together.  We watched a couple of movies and talked about playing board games, but he didn’t feel strong enough to sit that long, so no board games – a sure sign that he wasn’t himself.

After he fell into a deep sleep Saturday night, I stayed up late sipping on a martini, googling his symptoms, and watching a film called ‘Short Bus’.   (If you haven’t seen it, seek it out.  It is amazing.)  But I had to pause the movie halfway through, as the boyfriend woke up with a fright.  Night sweats, again.  I changed the sheets, get him into dry clothing – it’s not as bad as before - and he drifted off to sleep almost immediately. 

Next morning… no fever.  We kept checking his temp throughout the day and he remains fever free.  Fingers crossed.  Endoscopy today, at 2:45 pm, so leaving work early.

In the end, the weekend was not a total loss.   I did manage to accomplish the most important thing that I had planned for our six-month anniversary: I told him I love him.

And, it turns out, he loves me, too.

Funny thing about love…

…suddenly, even cat boxes don’t seem that bad.