In Which Thou Shalt Not Call Our Heroine Ray, Neither Shalt Thou Call Her Jay....

20 March 2004

I had fresh gingerbread for breakfast, blackety black and bitter. I love gingerbread. I like every aspect of making the stuff. I like boiling the molasses and stout, I like the colors the spices make together (ginger and cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves), I like the fact that I forgot to write down how much flour goes in and have to mix it by feel every time. I like the smell of it, and having it for breakfast is just about the most decadent thing in the world. It's not the same stuff as my gingerbread cookies. Both are good.

We do, however, need ginger before I can make red jungle fowl's joy, which I had planned to do soon. I used the last of the ginger and had just enough for the bread. Ooh, and also I like that this recipe makes two loaves, so I can give one away or freeze one and still have my bread.

I got my Minnesota driver's license yesterday. Well...I got the paperwork, anyway. The actual license will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. I feel sorry for Kids These Days, because they can't go in on their 16th birthday and come out with a license they can show around. That was part of the fun. One of Stella's necklaces looked so great with my melon-colored shirt that it looked like she'd designed it as a complementary piece, and I was lamenting that I wore it yesterday instead of today when she could see and appreciate it. Then I realized that it will be immortalized on my driver's license for everyone's appreciation. So, yay.

Days or weeks ago there was a meme going around, "If you call me ______, you are _______." And my name must self-evidently be M'ris, because the man at the DMV called me that. "Just step on over in front of the blue square, M'ris." Granted, he did have that "friend of my parents" kind of feel to him, but as far as I know he was not an actual friend of my parents. Nor a journal reader. As far as I know, he just looked at me and my paperwork and decided I was a M'ris.

Not everyone calls me M'ris, of course. Some people (like Stella, like Mark and Timprov and Michael in certain moods) call me Mrissa (the first a is the least significant bit, apparently). My grandparents call me Rissy when they forget they were going to stop. It's my favorite thing in the world when I pick up the phone and have the following mini-conversation: "Hello, Rissy?" "Oh, hi!" "Hi, this is Grandma." Because of course it's Grandma; Grandpa is the only other person who calls me that, and he never calls by himself.

Scott (of Scott-and-Michelle fame) calls me Risstopher Robin or just Risstopher. He also calls me Ris, which is a big-sib nickname for me: Scott and Ed and Erica use it, which means that other people in the Crowd have picked it up sporadically, Jen and sometimes Amber and sometimes Lars or Josh. Kari calls me Ris. My godfathers used to call me Ris, and Dave seems to have gotten the idea that it's still okay. When I was trying to get the extended family to stop calling me Rissy, when I was 12 or so, Aunt Doris told the godfathers (her sons) that I wanted to be called Marissa. So they did, and I don't think Joe has given it up since. It upset me, though: I wanted her and the other aunties to stop calling me Rissy, which they only sort of did. I didn't want my godfathers to stop calling me Ris! That was their special name for me, theirs and Kari's. But they wanted to be considerate of me and treat me like a person, so they stopped for awhile. Dear oh dear.

My aunt Kathy calls me Rissa. She's the only one, I think, although people under school age are allowed to call me whatever they can wrap their mouths around, Missa or Rissa or whatever. Scott (not of Scott-and-Michelle fame) sometimes tried calling me Mo or Mini-Mo or Tiny. That didn't go over real well. I used to answer to Morticia, but I grew out of that one pretty fast.

Mostly I'm just a M'ris or a Marissa or a Mrissa. I'm always interested in who uses the full thing, because sometimes it means they're not yet comfortable around me, and sometimes it's a personality thing. Andrew always calls me Marissa, probably always will call me Marissa. He called our friend Slacker "Andy." Which was, you know, his actual name, but that didn't really stop the rest of us. Andrew is just not a nicknamey person. He doesn't insist on full names if that's not how people introduce themselves, but he won't go the extra step -- Timprov is not Timothy, but he is Tim, in Andrew-land. Some people are like that.

Anyway, anyway. Today I'm reading Jan Siegel's Prospero's Children, which certainly isn't short on adjectives. Definitely plenty of adjectives here. I'm working on my book, but soon I need to stop both and get in the shower so that I can have tea with Heathah and Stella. It's sunny. I'm going to wear a long flowered dress -- because, after all, this is tea. And it's almost spring. Sort of. Maybe. Last night when Mark and I went out to get molasses so I could finish my gingerbread, it was dark and clear, and the parking lot still smelled wet. It smelled like spring. Now I remember how it felt to wear short skirts out in this. I'm going to have to, soon, because...spring! It just feels exciting. I never liked spring in Nebraska, and they never had spring in California. But here, yes. Yes yes. Spring. Still in third place on my list of favorite seasons, but to everything, turn turn turn.

And if I don't turn turn turn away from the computer, Stella's going to get here and find me in my jammies. So off I go. Whee!

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