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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Thing About Acronyms Is

We played this game, an icebreaker I guess, at a week long Jesus indoctrination palooza I attended when I was a kid. We had to take our first initial and come up with an adjective or an object that we could put in front or in back of our name that started with that letter. Alliteration is always appealing to youngsters and the kind of matronly women who run these events. (You can imagine my horror then, when in college I had an art history paper returned to me with "avoid alliteration always" scrawled over an offending line. I thought it was so clever! But I digress.)

My 9 year old self sat Indian style, quite perplexed. Thanks to the unorthodox spelling of my first name, there was a dearth of adjectives I could employ. Someone must have noticed my distress because I felt a tap on my shoulder and in a whisper I was informed that I could use 'C' words that had the same hard sound as 'K'. This posed a bit of a moral dilemma for me though. I could easily think of a dozen 'C' words to tack onto my name: crazy, cool, caring, cosmic, candy, colorful, crayon (it didn't have to make sense, it just had to repeat a sound), careful, cooky . . . the possibilities were seemingly endless. But if I had learned anything in life it was that any job worth doing was worth doing well and somehow substituting a 'C' where a 'K' belonged cheapened the whole challenge.

I finally landed on something brilliant and we began sharing. There was Jacob the Jaguar, Daring David, Smiley Sarah, Steven the Snake, Dandelion Deborah, I squirmed, my name was going to blow them all out of the water. Finally my turn:

"Kristina the karate-kicking kangaroo!" I beamed with pride, imagining my alter ego looking something like this:

Jaunty, swashbuckling, self-assured. All things I aspired to at 9. I don't remember eliciting any particularly satisfying praise for my genius, but I still remember my Jesus camp moniker.

So what does this have to do with acronyms? Glad you asked. In wracking my brain for the perfect name for my blog, I considered using my name as an acronym somehow, and the only thing I could think of was knock-out. It humored me later when I realized that knock-out, to many people, looks like this:

When in all sincerity I had this in mind:

Far be it from me to stop you if you associate me with the former, but scout's honor, I had the good ole 1-2 in mind when I chose this name.

Also, I have no idea what is flying out of this sad bastard's mouth, but my god! What a hit!

Which brings me to the real purpose of this post. Hands down the most exciting thing in my life right now is my recent inclusion in a women's book and adventure club. The idea is that we choose a book that in some way can be adapted into an expedition of some kind. I picture us, a group of savvy Portland women, Tom & Hucking it down the Willamette, each with a copy of the Mark Twain classic tucked in her rucksack. Or perhaps holing up in a cabin somewhere (Opal Creek, perhaps?) reading Walden. Whether or not the reality lives up to my expectations, we have yet to clear the first hurdle, viz, coming up with a name.

Some ideas were tossed out at our first meeting at The Secret Society Club last Wednesday: Women's Adventure Group (WAG), Female Adventure Group (FAG), Women's Adventure and Book Club (WABC), etc. I felt all these names were lacking in gusto and did little to capture the spirit and pure brilliance of the venture. I also was a little perturbed (give me a moment to whip out the soap box) at the realization that the title necessarily contain a gender identifier, because one would likely assume that a group wholly devoted to getting out in nature and being wild was comprised of all or at least mostly males. Just like sports leagues are either understood to be male or specified female (think NBA and WNBA or PGA and LPGA).

So I have since devoted not a little time to coming up with something truly astonishing to call this club. Something I could bring to the group and be just as proud of as I was of "Kristina the Karate Kicking Kangaroo" back in the day. Something that doesn't necessarily identify us based on gender, but rather on our level of bad-assness, which is pretty high. I thought starting with a strong word was key, so when strung together our acronym spelled something snappy. Here are some of my thoughts:

B.A.D. A.S.S. = Book and Daring Acts Social Sect

R.A.R.E. = Reading and Recreational Expeditions

G.O.R.E. = Get Out, Read, Evolve

Frankly, none of the resulting possibilities were all that great. So I abandoned my initial approach in favor of being clever:

Life Mimicking Literature (LML)

The Wanderlust Society (TWS)

Ready? Set . . . Go! (RSG)

Better, maybe, but not outstanding. I then thought about referencing the region in the title:

Willamette Valley Readers and Wanderers (WVRAW)

Cascade Society of Adventure Seekers (CSOAS)

Where the Green Ferns Grow (WTGFG)

Bridge City Ramblers (BCR)

Then I went for pith. One or two word names that don't speak to our purpose, just give us something to call ourselves:

Pizzaz (lame)

Dynamo (phallic and lame)

Snappy Hour (hocked whole sale from my last place of employment)

I am truly at a loss. The thing about acronyms is they need to be catchy. They need to roll of your tongue and stick in your mind. They need to concisely state your purpose. What would you call us?


In Short:

It's raining. Again.

I recently realized: much to my chagrin, that I talk a lot. A LOT.

Summer starts in 12 days.

Listening to: All Gillian Welch, all the time.

Funniest thing I've heard/read today: Q: What did the snail say when riding on the turtle's back?
A: Weeeeeeeeeee!

My Life in a Nutshell: anticipatory.

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