July 8th, 2003

ledbetter tat

A Show Of Hands, Please

I have always hated my first name. Terry. In sixth grade, Jimmy Brandstrater discovered it rhymed with "fairy." After the first of three fist fights I've ever had in my life, luckily the "fairy" part didn't live until seventh grade. But I am still plagued by people who mistake me for a woman or who spell my name "Teri" as if I were a Garr or worse, a Hatcher. It is a bland name, one that evokes little visceral response and it's gender confusing.

At various points in my career, co-workers have taken it upon themselves to call me "T.D." I readily, even happily, have responded. There's power in those initials, less formality and the logical extension of them is, of course, Touch Down! In business, those attributes are certainly a positive.

So I wonder, as I head into a new city and a new corporate culture far removed from Hollywood, is it pretentious of me to re-name myself "T.D."? There would be nothing insistent about it. I would toss it off as, "My friends call me TD," when introduced to someone new and it would include the newcomer into a more intimate, albeit a manufactured sense of familiarity.

What better jury than you, those who have read my journal for a long time and have some sense of who I am? Is this creepy and self-loathing? Or is it acceptable?
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    a lonesome single engine plane mixed with bird-chirping
ledbetter tat

Summer Has Arrived!

It's difficult to tell when the seasons change in LA as one seamlessly folds into the other and creates one long chain of sunshine only to be broken for a brief period of rain in February. It gives an odd sense that Earth is not rotating on its axis and everything has come to a screeching halt. Sunny days are taken for granted and the importance of wardrobe change becomes illogical.

But for the past four years, there is one sure-fire way to know summer has arrived. It is when CBS gives us back our pets in their cage called Big Brother that I know I can sit back and relax with an iced tea or maybe a mint julep. Last night when the first episode aired, I was giddy knowing I would be able to meet new friends that I could look at through a glass and sometimes clink the aquarium with my finger just to see them stir.

It was like going to a party and being introduced to everyone at once last night so I don't remember their names. I did immediately like Dana, the Bayside chick who is a karate instructor with a big gummy smile. Erika seemed cold and professionally tanned - Bob and I didn't like her much. There was a cute guy who had too much gel styled into a greasy looking Caesar cut but I don't remember his name. Oh, there's a Korean girl from Manhattan who has given up her roots yet Big Brother, in its infinite wisdom, dug up her old, Old Skool Korean boyfriend to be in the house with her. She's all slutty and flirty and had already announced she never dates Asian men. I guess she forgot.

Yes, summer is here and for the next four months, I will become unnaturally involved in these people's lives. I'll really get to know them, too. I curse CBS for letting me only look into the zoo three times a week. It can seem like an eternity between Friday and Tuesday's viewings. But on those nights when Bob and I get to see our pets again in their little Skinner box, we will turn on the ceiling fan and mock our charges for their bad behavior.
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    summery