Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{October 23, 2007}   The One That Got Away

As you can tell from the top the screen, my blog kinda needs a new name. I’ve never been good at naming things. As a kid, I had a stuffed bunny rabbit named Bunny, a stuffed frog named Froggy, a stuffed puppy dog named Puppy, and, believe it or not, a stuffed penguin named Pengy1. Probably the low point in my naming things career came when my sister and I got this set of stuffed teddy bears with movable limbs; she had the big one, I had the little one. Their names? Mr. Movable Bear and Baby Mr. Movable Bear. My one great shining moment in naming something occurred in 2004 when I came up with a brilliant title for this article, but the instructor of the course for which I wrote that paper was not a Kubrick fan and thus my moment of naming-ability glory came crashing down.

My blog has been nameless for quite some time. I briefly tried out Total Perspective Vortex early this year, but it didn’t stick. As you can probably tell, the only way this blog with have a name other than Bloggy is if I steal something from film or literature. But I’m OK with that, if only I could find something that I liked.

And then along came Infinite Jest. I’ve been reading IJ for about a thousand years now, ever since *somebody*2 recommended it to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a *fantastic* book, just very, very long and quite dense, so it’s been taking me a while to read3. As I was reading, a great name for my blog occurred to me when I read the following description:


“The monologues seem both free-associative and intricately structured, not unlike nightmares. There’s no telling what’ll be up on a given night. If there’s one even remotely consistent theme it’s maybe [hockey]4.”

That’s a description of Madame Psychosis’s radio show, but don’t you think it fits my blog perfectly? Don’t you think I should change my blog name to “Madame Psychosis”?

Unfortunately, I appear to have missed the boat. By 4 years.

So, instead, I’ve decided to use the name Madame Psychosis for one of my other nameless things – my laptop. I brought Madame Psychosis to work today, because my work computer, which is currently nameless5, is a freaking piece of crap.

1I still have all of these stuffed animals, except Pengy. I don’t know what happened to Pengy. Poor Pengy.
2You know who you are.
3I guess if there is ever a good time to be reading a really, really long book that takes you forever to get through, it’s when the library workers go on strike for three months and counting…
4the real phrase here may or may not have been “film and film cartridges” rather than “hockey”
5although I can think of a few choice names for it sometimes

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Almost Dr. Jacks says:

I, too, suck at the naming of things. I once had a purple stuff animal that I named – wait for it: Purple Guy. My biggest shame came with the naming of my goldfish who had a white ring around his neck. I called this fish: (*puts hand over her eyes to avoid the looks of sheer amazement/digust) Whiteneck. That’s right. Pathetic. Stop judging me. Right now. However, I have a suggestion – pick up your favourite book or watch your favourite movie and the ideas will pour out. Promise.



Anonymous says:

I had a goldfish named Swimmy 😦



Dave says:

Okay–just went through your archives and did some all around brainstorming. Here’s what I’ve got:

Mr Buckley’s Exploding Trousers, Ph.D Internets, Project Mayhem, “Check My Bling, Yo”, You Can’t Touch a Flame When It’s Red Hot, Work Is For Jerks, Stick In A Box, Dancing On The Risers, My Grad Hat Was Weird and Poufy, Retox, Jager Bombs Are A Beginning Of the Night Drink, Not To Be Trusted With Knives, and Alien Vs. Predator.

If you choose one of the names or a mish-mash of several, I want to a lot of Beth Points for it.



Brian says:

Hey, I used a similar naming trope for a recent article:

http://tinyurl.com/2ktawc

I did a quick Google search, and feel less proud of how clever and original we are:

http://tinyurl.com/2o76r7

I find myself now with two of your publication pdfs on my desktop: one on nerve gas, the other on Sesame Street. You are an eclectic scholar. I look forward to reading them both.



Beth says:

For the record, the editor f’d up my sarin gas paper, somehow deleting part of one paragraph and part of another paragraph, so that one sentence makes absolutely no sense as it is made of the start of one sentence and the end of another sentence from 2 paragraphs later. I was not impressed. Also, they replaced the images I had in the paper with totally different ones which I believe were just stolen off the ‘net.



JB says:

Is P.G.O.A.T. taken, too?



JB says:

Keeping with the IJ theme, why not call your work computer “The Great Concavity” or “The Great Convexity”?



Beth says:

The Great Convexity it is!

Wait, I thought you didn’t think I should be naming my electronics at all??



[…] To Be Trusted With Knives {February 11, 2008}   So Many Books, So Little Time While Infinite Jest continues to be the Moby Dick to my Ahab1, 2, I’ve decided that perhaps I needed to tackle […]



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