Will wonders never cease? You can now listen to a nice, friendly computer-generated lady read my blog out loud in the form of an mp3 file. You can even subscribe to a podcast if you like. Although since my blog these days consists mainly of photos and video, I can’t imagine why you’d want to. Maybe you need material for your next postmodern audio collage. If so, by all means, have at it! :-)
As for Ms. Talkr herself, she’s pretty good for a computer-generated voice. Her sense of rhythm is as comical as you’d expect, but at least she pronounces most of the words right. Except for the title of this blog. That always comes out wrong. Maybe I should have spelled it “Runghy Chunghy” instead!
Being born with a name like mine puts you in a strange position: in most places, at most times, you are unique. I’ve met maybe three other Cassidys in my lifetime. One of them was a woman, which was more than a bit disturbing, because she waited tables at my favorite cafe for a few months. But in general, I go through life pretty sure that if someone says “Cassidy” they probably mean me.
On the intarwebs, though, everything is different. Namespace collapses all us Cassidys and Curtises into one great big hash. Last names, first names, hyphenated names, who cares? It’s all just text.
So I thought you might like to meet some of the people I’m not:
Curtis Cassidy is a Canadian rodeo star. He looks much better in a cowboy hat than I ever will.
Timothy Cassidy-Curtis is an aerospace engineer. He got his sur-surname from his wife, presumably sometime after I was born. However, I was not consulted in this decision.
Lucy Cassidy Curtis may have been the first person on record, born in 1910, to have both of my names. Luckily for me, she didn’t think to park the domain way back then.
Looking over my last several entries I couldn’t help but notice a pattern of vivid, glowing, colorful things. I guess I just like the bright and shiny. And really, who doesn’t? But it reminded me of a phrase my friend David Oppenheimer told me years ago upon returning from a trip to Nepal. He had learned that the Nepali language has this interesting property, where a word can be pluralized or emphasized by repeating it, but changing the first letter. Like how in English, you can say “taxes, schmaxes!” Except that there’s a certain pattern to which letters change into which other letters. It was totally fascinating to a linguistics-minded kid like me. I’m probably misremembering the details, but it was cool.
Anyway, the example he used was the word rang, which means “color”. Double the word and change the first letter, and you get rangi-changi, which means “splendor, display”. The word cij, “thing”, becomes cij-bij, “things”. Put it all together, and you can make rangi-changi-cij-bij, which loosely translates to “a whole mess of colorful stuff”.
So that’s the new name of my blog. A whole mess of colorful stuff, transliterated crudely from Nepali to English so you can enjoy how it rolls off the tongue: Rungy Chungy Cheese Bees! Say it loud! Okay, maybe not that loud, people are staring.