Saturday, July 19, 2008

What's Up With Myorenda?

All right, so I've joined Have you seen this site? Am I the last to know about it? (That would be kind of embarrassing.) It's really quite lovely. The day flows along graphically in a wide timeline that reminds me of a river (probably because it's blue), and my little events/observations/ gripes/whatever appear in their appropriate little spot on the river of time (hey, that's pretty good) alongside my tiny little photo icon (more on that below) and my plurk nickname:


Huh? Myo-what?

OK, well, I'm one of those people who requires personal significance in all that I do. I will agonize for days before committing to a user id on eBay, a catchy Yahoo email address or even a four-digit ATM access code. If it is something that strangers will see, it can't give the impression that I am, for starters, uneducated, small-minded, boring, lacking in creativity, dishonest, skanky or kidding myself. (Note that "cheesy" is not on that list. I got no problem with cheesy.) If it's a private code (like a password), the issues are a little different: it needs to be clever to me and easy to remember. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time hitting that little link on most websites that says something like, "Forget your password?" (The "moron" is implied.)

So...back to I needed to come up with yet another nickname that all can see (if they go there). Argh. Cue the sizzling snap of scorched synapses as I squinted with creative effort at the ceiling.

Then I remembered the faded, unassuming book tucked away on one of my shelves: THEY HAVE A WORD FOR IT - A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words and Phrases by Howard Rheingold. I love this book. Each time I pull it off the shelf (not often enough), I find something amazing...and almost impossible to spell. Some examples:

razbliuto - A Russian noun that captures "the feeling a person has for someone he or she once loved but now does not." (Snap.)

mamihlapinatapei - A Tierra del Fuegan noun meaning "a meaningful look, shared by two people, expressing mutual unstated feelings." (Awww.)

koro - A Chinese noun meaning "the hysterical belief that one's penis is shrinking." (Does this happen so frequently that they needed a easy, four-letter handle for it?)

When I came upon the entry for this Huron word, I knew I was on to something:

orenda - "The power of voiced, focused will - the opposite of kismet or fate."

My orenda. My voiced, focused will. My little icon will not be tossed willy-nilly by the random whitecaps of the plurky river of time, no sir. It will frog-kick its determined little way past rocks, around discarded cans of Mr. Pibb and through forbidding currents to reach its desired destinations (the details of which I will spare you at this time).

As for the photo icon that accompanies my plurk nickname...well, that was just random.

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