semperfiona: (home people)
Trying to figure out what I want to be called by the new grandbaby. It's difficult. I don't feel old enough to be Grandma, but on the other hand...when I was a kid, my grandfather's wife never wanted us to call her Grandma, so she was always Aunt Jeannie. But none of my cousins or my sister or I have ever really felt close to her, and I doubt whether any of them have been in touch with her at all since he died. I certainly haven't. I don't want to set up that kind of distance in a relationship that is already likely to be somewhat fraught due to the fragility of our connection with her mother.

Tammie and I have actually been talking about this on-and-off all weekend, looking up alternative endearments for one's grandmother, and trying them on for size. Tammie is leaning toward "GiGi"; of the list, the one I liked best was "MeiMei" (I have no idea how they spelled it; this spelling is Chinese for little sister which amuses me a bit), but none of them really fit me; they're from cultures I don't belong to, or sound more like something generated by the child than something comfortably presented by an adult. My family culture is pretty stuck on "Grandma", and I suspect that's what I'm going to end up choosing after all.
semperfiona: (name cats)
We took the nine remaining name pairs and had each member of the family rank them from 1 to 9 for preference. Then we added them all together and compared the resulting order, did the same thing dropping the highest ranking from each pair, and the same thing dropping the lowest rankings. The clear winner was ... (drumroll) ... Lito and Hernando. It wasn't anyone's first or last choice, but came out top in every sort. Rosa is a bit disappointed, as she had given that pairing a 7, but her rankings were so different from everyone else's that it was inevitable.

I was telling my work friend Amanda about this process and described it as 'ignoring the East German judge'. And then I had to explain about the Olympics in the 80's, biases of "western" vs "communist" judges, and the way gymnastics and figure skating are scored to reduce the influence of biased judging. The things that today's young people don't know because they didn't live through them! Amanda is about 32 or 34, but that fifteen years is enough to have no visceral connection to the Cold War era.
semperfiona: (name cats)
The New Kittenz continue unnamed, but the Cat Name List has been winnowed down from 75 pairs to nine. We are making progress! Next we'll each rank the remaining pairs and see if a clear winner emerges.

WyattDoc(Earp & Holliday)
HoopsYoyo(Hallmark & web cartoons)
MooreConnery(James Bond)
JK(Men in Black)
JakeElwood(Blues Brothers)

It is somewhat amusing that we didn't think of Jake/Elwood until the day we were paring down the list. Somehow, despite starting this process with thoughts of gangsters (our other cats are named Butch and Sundance), and of black suits and tuxedos (for obvious reasons when you are looking at nearly-identical black kittens with white bowties and cummerbunds), none of us thought of that pair of men in black suits with criminal connections until the very last minute. We were all facepalming ourselves.

The kittens are actually striped under all that black--if you get them in the right light you can see stripes on their legs and bellies--and their undercoats are pale grey or white.

Not my cat!

May. 6th, 2010 02:16 pm
semperfiona: (name cats)
We're not going to keep her, really we're not! Even though everyone in the family more'n-arf wants to. My dad will probably adopt her, as he is in the market for a young cat, pending her visit to the vet and a clean bill of health.

But if you name it, it's yours...and as of yesterday she had at least four possible names. Now it's five. I am trying to tell myself that this just gives Dad a better chance of naming her something other than "Cat" (his previous cat, now living with me, is named Katze: German for cat).

Chris calls her Random, for "random kitty" and also for Random of Amber. The fact that Random of Amber was a man is only added amusement. This also goes along with my preexisting mode of feline naming.

I proposed the name Indigo, since we found her the evening after the Indigo Girls concert, and her "points" are vaguely purplish if you exercise a little imagination.

Jamie suggested Magpie, for a kitty particularly fond of shinies. She had been staying in the upstairs bathroom. Go in there naked of a morning, sit on the commode, and she would jump onto your lap. Which when I did it gave her little nibbly teeth access to my piercings. (Ew.)

Rosa is calling her Princess She-wa-nah (gods only know how it's spelled). That's a bit much name for daily use, but Princess is not out of line.

This morning my colleagues misheard me calling her "foster cat" and declared that Foster was a fine name for a young Siamese. And as we are fans of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends...
semperfiona: (flan)
Driving back from lunch, I passed a truck towing a Putzmeister trailer. Apparently they're a global company with significant market share in their field, but all I can see is a singularly unfortunate name that might as well be "Wanker".

For even more amusement, they have a major competitor called "Schwing".

Who knew that concrete pumps were so phallic?
semperfiona: (demon baby)
I have a colleague called Rita. She has recently become responsible for
data fixes involving meters. You can guess where this is going. )
semperfiona: (name cats)
Moments ago, I was talking to [ profile] bbwoof about my previous post,
and I used the example of Ulysses S Grant as a case of someone whose
middle name didn't stand for anything. The person who sits behind my
cubicle wall came around to tell me this story.

"I couldn't help overhearing you talking about Ulysses S. Grant...I
think you were thinking of Harry Truman. Ulysses S. Grant was actually
Hiram Ulysses Grant, but he was never called Hiram; he was known as
Lyss. When he wanted to go to the Academy, he was signed up by someone
who couldn't remember his name correctly but remembered the maiden name
of a grandmother or something and wrote it down as Ulysses S. Grant.
Later he tried to change it but was told, 'The government has your name
as Ulysses S. Grant. If you want to go to the Academy, that's what your
name will always be."
semperfiona: (name cats)
I've been thinking, off and on for some years, about changing my name
legally. I'm still not sure what my parents would make of it, and I
don't know how much that matters to me, but one of the other reasons I
haven't done it is I've never figured out what my surname ought to be. I
don't feel any real connection to the one I use now, because it's my
ex-husband's name. I didn't really want to change my name when we got
married, but he seemed to have stronger feelings on the issue than I
did, so I gave in. Now I keep it mostly out of inertia; I don't want to
return to the one I was born with; it's a fine name--though I suffered a
lot of teasing as a child over it--but I'm not that person anymore, and
changing to something else was not an option at the time of the divorce.
I was told it would be a separate legal issue.

The name I've thought most about changing to is "Maple". It represents
strength, permanence, growth and nature. I once did some internet test
that assigned trees based on one's birthday, and I liked the description
it picked for me. But the word itself doesn't quite grab me for some
reason. Part of the problem is I keep thinking of Marla Maples, and
that's not an association I want in any respect.

Today I had a new thought. What about "Semper"?
semperfiona: (name cats)
Context is extremely important in feline.

Meow (insistent, repeated, while crawling all over the bed at
oh-god-o'clock in the morning after the alarm has gone off): I can see
you're awake, so how come you're not paying any attention to me me me?

Meow (insistent, repeated, while pushing at the food bowl): Feed me
already, dammit!

Meow (whimpery, while slinking away): I donwannahafta take my medicine,

Meow (angry, when captured for the taking of the aforementioned
medicine): I *told* you! Leave me alone! I don't want any medicine!

Cat!Fiona is doing quite well with us. She has gotten more attention and
love in the last two weeks than I think she'd had for several months at
Ray's. She certainly has gotten more doses of her medicine on a more
regular schedule. She's got hyperthyroid and she's supposed to have her
medicine twice a day. When he returned her to me he gave me five doses;
upon calling the pharmacist I discovered that the prescription hadn't
been filled since September, and it's supposed to be filled monthly.

Cat!Fiona ended up with Ray after the separation. I had had two cats,
Fiona and Flora, and then when Ray and I got married we immediately
moved to England. Cats would have had to spend six months in quarantine,
so we had to find another home for them. Eventually my father agreed to
keep them. He would have volunteered immediately but my mother didn't
want pets. She's a perfectionist housekeeper, and the pet hair and
cleanup was a big problem for her. But in the end, when I could find no
one locally who would adopt them together, they went to Wisconsin on the
condition they be declawed. I was unhappy about that, but decided
declawing was better than sending them to the Humane Society where
they'd be euthanized.

On our return, we reclaimed the cats and they lived with us for a number
of years. Meanwhile, my dad got really lonely for cats around the house.
My mother bought him a litterbox for his birthday; Cat!Katze came a few
days later from the shelter. And everyone lived happily with their cats
until my parents decided to go to Peru and, again, there was no taking
the cat with them. So in return for his rescue of my cats, I took in
Katze. That was at about the same time as Rosie was born.

When, about a year later, I moved out, the apartment I moved into had a
hard limit of two cats. The logical division would have seemed to be for
me to take my original cats and Ray to keep Katze. She'd never really
gotten along with the other two. But because of my perceived obligation
to Dad, I kept Katze and Flora, and Ray got Fiona. Flora died in 2002;
Katze's been my sole cat from then until now. However, last year
sometime Ray said that he was getting frustrated with taking car of
Fiona; he's not really a cat person and she's kind of needy at this
stage in her life. He said something about giving her away. I said he'd
better not, that she was my cat and if he didn't want her anymore he
should give her back. So later he said he'd give her to me this (coming)
summer. When we-three decided to move, it seemed the kindest way to
introduce her to the new family of cats would be to do it at the same
time that they as well were moving into a new environment. And this was
done. Even so, she's been kept mostly separated; she's too frail to
fight the big young boys for food or even to play the kind of roughhouse
games that they like. So she lives in our (temporary) bedroom and
functions as an additional alarm clock.

It's strange for me to have a namesake about the house. When I named
her, fourteen years ago and change, it had not yet crossed my mind to
become Fiona on a permanent basis. The last few years that she's been
living with Ray, it's been a little weird for me already--"Fiona lives
at Ray's" gave me a cognitive dissonance. Now, at least, I don't have
that one. But I do have the issue of "Who's being addressed, anyway?"
Mostly we call her Kitty or Fiona-kitty to alleviate that.

(Wow, this post is about as appropriate for the "name cats" icon as it's
possible to get!)
semperfiona: (Default)
Yes, I use the name for a reason. :-) It was about ten years ago that I ordered the two-volume Chronicles of Amber from the SFBC as one of my initial book selections. I read them and fell in love, and bought each new Merlin book as it was published. I remember every time I went into a bookstore I'd go straight for the Z section in hopes of finding a new Amber book. It wasn't long before I was casting around for an online handle to use, and settled on "Fiona" as my favorite of the characters from my favorite books. Years later, when I finally got online again, I remembered my old handle and resurrected it. Shortly after, I received an email from Elissa: "Hi, you're my mommy!" and we started roleplaying random scenes. Eventually a group formed and began playing an organized campaign, which has now been going on for five years. Over those five years, I have started using "Fiona" as my name in more and more contexts. At this point only people at work and people who have known me longer than about three years call me anything else.
semperfiona: (Default)
I got a letter from a 19 year old girl named Fiona asking for information on Fiona of Amber. She said her father had named her, he died two years ago, and she was wanting more information about her name and why he might have chosen it. It's unlikely he chose it because of the books, but it's possible. I sent her a reply telling her about the books.
I am not entirely sure she was for real, but it doesn't hurt to reply, and at least if it's not for real the question was well-researched.


Dec. 13th, 2001 10:14 am
semperfiona: (Default)
(Thanks to [ profile] quinnclub and [ profile] neeuqdrazil...)

These are scary!

Your first name of Fiona has given you inspirational, idealistic, and dramatic qualities. You have a clever, deep mind and the talent to excel in highly inspirational lines of endeavour as a dramatist, musician, writer, or artist. You can be lifted by beauty in all forms and are at the most creative when inspired. Your expressive, affectionate nature responds quickly through your feelings, but you must guard against being possessive and jealous. Your delight in mystery and your sensitivity to things you do not understand could draw you into occult studies or religions. Unfortunately, it is difficult for you to retain emotional stability, for you can easily swing into moods of depression and self-pity. Your quick temper can flare up suddenly and be over as suddenly, leaving you very sorry for any suffering you have caused. Inner turbulence can deplete your vitality and cause heart, lung, or bronchial trouble, as well as nervous disabilities.

Rebekah... )


semperfiona: (Default)

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