Musings

What’s in a name?

When I first started blogging, I had just started working at Google. I blogged not for visibility, but to create a collection of personal bookmarks online. As I remember it, one of my earlier blog posts was simply a list of local brewpubs people had been talking about at work.

I named my blog Intrepid Ephemera because it seemed like that captured something I understood and valued: wandering around and expecting impermanence. Before I started at Google, I had burned through what I thought was my dream career, started and dropped out of an unrelated graduate program, and done a months-long stint at a temp agency. Various romantic relationships had come and gone. 9/11 had happened. Of course life was uncertain. How else would it be? As I remember it, I didn’t mind the unknown. The unknown felt comfy.

Years have passed since then. And on some level the name of this blog still resonates for me, but on some level it’s also not where I am now. I still believe in uncertainty, I still believe in impermanence and the fragility of all things, I still believe in seeing what happens next – but. Despite all those true things, I’ve changed. And as blog names go, “Intrepid Ephemera” is hard to remember, a bit flail-y, and it doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. As I’ve said to basically every engineer I’ve ever worked with, “I am not good at naming things. You do not want me to name this project!” (Then they stare at me, and I can just picture them thinking But if you don’t name things, what do you do all day?! What are product managers for, if not to name things?! Oh well, let’s move on.)

It’s also been long enough that this blog name also just sounds like all those years ago, and all those years ago aren’t now. They aren’t last year, or the year before. They’re longer ago than that. How often do we shed ourselves? I don’t know, but sometimes. Sometimes for sure.

So where am I lately? I write poetry. I write essays. I occasionally write fiction, including a surreal sci-fi monologue I read at Lit Nights in San Francisco last week (SO FUN!). I work in tech, and I still like the idea of blogs – so retro! so expressive! but then, I never really got MySpace – and lately, I’m thinking that if all the major social networks have crashed and burned, well, this & LinkedIn are where I show up online.

If this is where I show up, maybe I should give this site a more current name.

Which brings me to, what the heck should I name it? As I’ve said to every engineer I’ve ever worked with….

I dunno.

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