and I played the Q&A game.

A reminder of the game:

Rules of Engagement:
1) You comment, requesting an interview.
2) I'll respond by asking you five questions.
3) You'll then post an LJ entry, answering my questions.
4) You'll refer to these rules.
5) You'll come up with five questions, when folks ask you.

1. Do you have a preferred nickname, and under what circumstances do you
use it of yourself, or do you let other people use it to you? (Why do I
ask? Because my given name and yours share the same (obvious)
abbreviation, but I use mine only with friends and/or longtime customers;
in most business contexts, I use the longer form. I'm just curious to see
if you do the same.)

I've never been the cheerleader-type, and I tend to be opposed to cheerleader-type names, like “Kathy” for “Katherine,” or “Susie” for “Susan,” and of course, the worst of all “Missy” for “Melissa.” In fact, anyone who calls me “Missy” is liable to come to some bodily harm. Partly, I guess, it's conditioning from childhood. My mother always said if she'd wanted me to be called “Missy,” that's what she'd have named me in the first place.
(Note, please don't assume that if you're reading this and you have such a name, I'm knocking you or your name. Because above all, people should be called what they WISH to be called.) I think, especially once you're out of your teens and in the working world using nicknames in business makes you seem weaker and less credible, also. And this isn't a female-centric thing, either. Most men (with some noted regional exceptions) cease to be “Billy” or “Bobby” or “Jimmy” when they grow up, and if they still use a nickname, switch to “Bill,” “Bob,” or “Jim.” So I'm not now, nor have I ever been, “Missy,” but among very close friends, I'll accept “Mel” because it's efficient, though even those friends who take that option generally do it only in text, not in speech. And in business, well, my cards have my middle initial on them. I like it. It balances the first and last name.

Growing up, the only nickname that was ever based on my name is the domain I just bought, “Miss Meliss,” and that doesn't bother me, because most of my name is still in it, and because I like the way it sounds (alliteration makes everything better.) Oh, sure, various relatives used all those cannibal words (sweety, honey, pumpkin, cupcake, sweety pie), but that's completely different. But otherwise, it's just “Melissa.”

On a tangent, my high school had very large Korean, Vietnamese and Hmong populations, so I was always surrounded by Asian friends who would change their names to American names, “to make them easier for people to say” and I never understood that. I think if you have a name you like, you should require people to learn to pronounce it. (But then, I've never understood why, if you tell someone how to pronounce something, they can't always repeat it back to you, either.)

2. You've got a bunch of domains. Is there one single domain that you
wish you'd bought, way back when?, of course :)
No, really, there isn't. At the time when I was first interested in owning my own domain, I had a hard rule about using my real name online EVER – which is why, to this day, I have a whole group of friends who know me only as “Zeni” or “Zenobia”. (Yes, with a Z, the X here in LJ is because I'm unoriginal, and someone ELSE had Zenobia when I signed up…).

I regret that when we sold, the business, we didn't include some sort of contract to keep the domain if they ever stopped using it, but that's another story.

3. How do you feel about getting older? Does it scare you, excite you,
depress you – what's your take as you inch towards the mid-thirties?

I think, now that we've decided that we're trying to conceive a child, I feel the clock ticking a bit closer to my ear, but for the most part, I don't think about it. Being in your mid-thirties today is nothing like it was, even in our parents age – and anyway, I still look twelve, except for a few hairs that are grey. (And those will be fixed as soon as I have a moment.)

I'm looking forward to being really old and eccentric. I am NOT looking forward to my parents hitting the age where they become dependents, and I fear that is coming sooner than I want it to.

4. Did you read under the covers with a torch as a child – and if so,
what were you reading?

Yes, absolutely, under the covers, with a flashlight, or, once I had a canopy bed, I'd put curtains all the way around it, with a clip-on light inside the curtains, so I could read to my heart's content. I read everything. As a little kid (5-7-ish) I read the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, and the Little House… books, and a great mix of classics and just whatever looked interesting. I first encountered Madeleine L'Engle through A Wrinkle in Time when I was eight or so…read that over the course of a snowbound weekend, tucked up in bed, with a dog for company and lots of cocoa and tuna-fish with still-hot hard boiled egg mixed in – isn't it funny how these questions prompt such specific memories? In high school, I didn't have to have the flashlight any more, but I still did a lot of reading in bed…it's soft and quiet there. I'd go to the library, and come back with my backpack so overstuffed that I could barely ride my bike home…

5. It's five years from now, on a Sunday evening. What are you doing, and
how is it different from what you might do on a Sunday now?

Hopefully by then we'll have a child, so, I envision a quiet, cozy Sunday night. It's January, there's a mild rain outside, and a fire crackling in the fireplace. Fuzzy's on his computer, with the dogs in their beds at his feet. I've just released him from helping with bath duty, because any child we have must inherit my feeling that there is nothing so pleasant as slipping into clean sheets after a bath.

I'm in his or her bedroom, the lamp is the only light, and we're reading a story. Probably something like In the Night Kitchen or Where the Wild things Are or something by Milne. I do all the voices, of course.
After a chapter, there are kisses and pleasant dreams wished, and I close the door, and go to my computer, and blog, or write something, and chat with Fuzzy, and pause now and then to smooch with him…

And if we don't have a child, things likely won't change that much. I like quiet Sunday evenings. I like to be HOME on Sunday evenings…it's important to me. I like bubblebaths and curling up for a movie, and then going to our computers…sometimes I go into our bedroom for alone-time until two or three, when Fuzzy comes to bed.

But there will definitely be dogs. :)

Name Lemming

EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS = Favorite Spice + Last Foreign Vacation Spot:
Tarragon St. Thibery (Because Baja Sur is on this continent.)

SOCIALITE ALIAS = Silliest Childhood Nickname + Town Where You First Partied:
Pumpkin Atlantic City

“FLY GIRL” ALIAS (a la J. Lo) = First Initial + First Two or Three Letters of Your Last Name:

ROCK STAR ALIAS = Any Liquid on the Bar + Last Name of Bad-Ass Celeb:
Kahlua Cooper

DIVA ALIAS = Something Sweet Within Sight + Any Liquid in Kitchen: Me Pledge
PixieStix SoyMilk

GIRL DETECTIVE ALIAS = Favorite Baby Animal + Where You Last Went To School:
Fawn San Francisco

BARFLY ALIAS = Last Snack Food You Ate + Your Favorite Drink:
Pudding Cosmopolitan

SOAP OPERA ALIAS = Middle Name + Street Where You First Lived:
Annette Sylvia

For extra credit:
PORN STAR ALIAS = Name of first childhood pet + Street Where You First Lived:
Taffy Sylvia

Hey, !!!

Electric Tangerine info:

The login page is here:

Your user name is Junglemonkey (you can change/modify it)
Your temp. password is changeme (you SHOULD change that)

If there's a weblog that you'd like us to link to in the US section, let me know. To POST, go to “New Entry” and fill in the form. It's pretty easy.

Bug me if you have questions.

Hi, I’m , and I’m a Domain Slut

It started in 1994, with my first very badly done home-page, a rudimentary thing, done all in Lynx. Then in 1995, I had Mozilla for the first time, and did a non-lynx page. By 1998 I owned my own domain. By 2000, I owned several. Today, I own eight, and one of those really belongs to . My husband has two. Or three. I can never remember.

My friend is as bad as I am, though a bit less frivolous with her money. Also she's more secretive about things, so it's possible she has domains I don't know about. In any case, she and I are the president and vice-president of D.S.L. – domain sluts, limited. Not only are we habitual purchasers of vanity domains, but we amuse ourselves more often than is really healthy, just creating strings of words that would be cool domain names to have.

Electric Tangerine is the result of one of those sessions.

Yesterday's purchase is not. But it is the result of finding out that had just purchased a new domain to add to her collection, and my urge for something a bit more personal, in part of my ongoing attempt to be less guarded.

And so, for the first time, ever, I have a domain name that actually refers to my real name.
Sort of.
See, when I was a kid, my mother, and my aunt, and my 'affectionate' auntie, all used to call me “Miss Meliss”. (Alliteration and rhyme are very big in my family.)

And so, yesterday I decided to see if “” was available. And it WAS, and now it's MINE.
Yes, that's the real point of this post. To tell you that is up and running, and my blog is now attached to it.

(But the old blog address will forward soon, so don't rush out and change links, or anything.)

I now return you to your regularly scheduled late-night activities.


let me pry into her life.
Then she

1. What is your favorite mental image or specific memory concerning your backyard pool?
Puck the wire-haired pointing griffon puppy chasing the cheerfully sinister duck-float, and backing away every time the wind blew the thing in his direction.

2. How do you describe your present, personal style of dress? How does it differ from how you dressed or were dressed as a child?
I like clothes and fashion, but I like to be comfortable. One thing that has never changed: I love hats. Hats are my passion. And shoes. Can never have too many shoes. I hate dresses, but lately I've been contemplating them. I love skirts worn with funky tights.

3. What's the first thing that pops into mind upon seeing the word “decadent”? Can you explain the thought in enough detail to span a couple of sentences?
A bubblebath piled high with bubbles, a glass of really good wine (syrah, perhaps?), a stack of novels, and Fuzzy feeding me chocolate-covered pears (I'm allergic to strawberries).

4. What culture, other than your own, would you choose if you were required to immerse yourself into it for a year? Which aspects of your chosen culture draw you the most?
I'd love to spend a year in Finland, actually. Except for that winter-thing.
Alternatively, I'd love to spend a year making wine in the South of France.
I have an aversion to dirt and plumbing that doesn't work. Neither of those countries is terribly conservative, socially, and wrt Finland, I'm just intrigued.

5. What do you require to be in the perfect mental space to write blog or journal entries?
It helps if I have music. Doesn't matter what kind. But I don't need perfect space to blog, I need perfect mental space to write /well/. Some entries are just drivel. Some I'm proud of. But, my ideal is a cool foggy morning, with no lights on in the room, just the soft greylight from outside, and a candle on my desk for glow and inspiration. A mug of tea or coffee. I love coffee, but I'm more creative with tea. Maybe it's the anti-oxidants. My favorite writing snack is tea and navel oranges.


let me ask her five questions, and now I'm answering some for her.

1) You're a WW, and you have to design a hatchling based on me. Describe her personality, voice, and physical appearance.
“Old Gold Dragonet”
She's the color of old gold, the kind some people call “rose gold” for it's slightly pinkish hue, even if she is newly hatched. But don't assume she looks PINK. No. Rather, she's the color of the first warming rays of a sunrise – fiery gold with just a bit of pink to soften it, and while, at this age, she's gawky and uncoordinated, she's not so delicate that injury is a real possibility. Her head will always be a bit out of proportion, slightly overlarge, the result being that she tends to look downward instead of meeting things head-on, but gradually, with training and encouragement (and her full growth) she will learn to compensate. After all, we can't have a Queen bowing to her public. She's more graceful, moving, than many would give her credit for while watching her still form, and surprisingly accurate, always catching her prey on the first try.

She's a fighter, both for rider, and against her rider. Specifically, she is her rider's best friend, confidante and supporter, nudging her to try new things, and speak her mind, but she'll also give in to more stubborn moods, where she'll do all but literally stomp her foot and refuse to budge. > she'll complain when a trip to the lake is suggested. > A bit of oil, and a kind word, plus assurances that her perceptions are only in her head, will soon set her to rights, however.

Her mind voice is a rich, warm contralto in her rider's head, with a little bit of huskiness for depth. Think Etta James or Sara Vaughn. Deep and murky and warm but not lacking in power, or the occasional very surprising high note. Her physical voice is much bolder, all brassy and loud, and generally the first thing that arrives on the scene. When she trumpets in delight, or croons in sadness, she carries all listeners with her.

2) What has to be done so I can either visit you or you can visit me?
Invent tesseract technology; it's cheaper than flying. Seriously, one of us has to simply decide upon it, and it shall be done (you're welcome any time, by the way). Or, perhaps, I will actually manage to GO to D*C some year. Which isn't quite the same, but better than nothing.

3) What was the last movie to make you cry, and what was the scene?
Movies don't generally make me cry, to be honest. Pippin's song, in Return of the King came close, though.

4) What historical period would you like to live in and why?
I would love to have hung out with people like Emerson and Thoreau and the American Transcendentalists, but I also love the music and the clothes of the '40's, and it would've been fun to be a torch singer. . .

5) What's your favorite tarot card and why?
I'm really very ignorant about Tarot. I like the picture on the Page of Wands card from the Celtic Dragon Tarot (the only other set I own is the Arthurian Tarot), and the information in the book says it signifies news, when hope is needed, and contact with foreign places or people, and I like those concepts, so…that's my pick.


I asked five questions, and she asked me some as well.

1. You trip and fall into an adventure. What genre is the story told in, and what role do you play among the heroes? (THE heroine, a mage, comic relief, etc.)

It's actually a mystery, because I'm much more a mystery fan than anything, but it's a mystery in an alternative reality a la Martha Well's Death of the Necromancer where it's pseudo-Victorian England, but with magic and tech. And me, I'm a thief, who may or may not be on the right side, but has a good heart, and gets the guy in the end. Oh, right, and there are really cool clothes.

2. There's often a sensory memory associated with one's childhood. What scent takes you back to the happy days of youth?

Well, Chanel No. 5 is a scent that takes me back to my cousin Tony's diner, and it also reminds me of rice pudding, because Aunt Molly wore it to work there, but other than that, wild onions always bring me back to summers in the garden with my grandfather. His lawn (they lived in New Jersey) was apparently laced with wild green onions and lemongrass, so after every rainstorm, you'd go outside, and it was like walking into a salad.

3. If you could become any character in any book—or TV series, if you'd rather—who would you choose to be?
Chronologically, beginning at age five: Madeline, from the Madeline books, Harriet M. Welsch from Harriet the Spy, Josephine March from Little Women, Catherine Velis, from The Eight, Emma Wheaton, from Certain Women, and Mrs. Pollifax, from the Mrs. Pollifax mystery series.

4. You talk a lot about books and cafés and indoor type stuff. Do you have any outdoor hobbies or activities that you like (or would like) to do?
I love bicycles, and have a new bike that I got for my birthday, but haven't had time to ride, much. (Note: My birthday was five months ago). I grew up ice skating, and still love it, I can roller skate, which for me is an outdoor sport, and I'll do anything that involves sun, sand, and surf, except surfing itself. I love to garden – I pay people to maintain the lawn, not the flower box. And one thing that I've never done, and would someday like to do is a boat-and-bed tour of the San Juan Islands (you're on a sailboat all day, and stop in different bed and breakfasts every night for a week). Once in a while I get into hiking moods – note: never wear sandals on a three mile hike that ends on a beach that's a foot thick in dead kelp and seal droppings. Ugh!

5. What's your “out of character” passion? (By out of character I mean something that people don't expect because it doesn't seem to mesh with your overall personality. And I really hope that makes sense. ^^)
I love bad horror movies, which most people find funny because I don't like gratuitous violence at all. But stuff like A Nightmare on Elm Street is great fun in the right mood. Fuzzy collects swords, and I've fallen in love with the habit, but mostly, anything that has to do with sharks is my thing – not the team, the animal – I'm just fascinated by them. Oh, and I'm really intrigued by submarines and naval history and warfare. And, as we established over Christmas, I collect HO-scale model trains.