Googling Myself: I Need a New Name

When I got married almost 12 years ago I decided to keep my maiden name for a number of reasons.

  • I had been Lisa Kramer for a really long time and felt no need to change it.
  • I was in the middle of my doctoral program and felt like I was beginning to establish a name for myself (HA! That makes me laugh now).
  • I thought Lisa Lee sounded a little bit too much like a perky cheerleader name (no offense to any Lisa Lee’s out there) and I already battle the onus of being short and smiley. I didn’t need to add a cheerleader name to that.

However recent adventures in Googling my name have led me to rethink my name.

Don’t scoff, you know you do it to. 😀

The problem is there are hundreds if not thousands of Lisa Kramer’s in the world. Adding my middle initial (A.) doesn’t help.

When you search for my name here are some of the results:

  • an Associate Professor of Finance at the Rotman School of Management (she appears a lot)
  • a Life Coach, Mentor, and Author at Living With Intention
  • perhaps my favorite, the character played by Debra Messing in Along Came Polly

If only I looked that good in a bikini

  •  a photographer
  • another of my favorites, articles by a sociologist who studies prostitution and graduated with her doctorate from the same university as me, at the same graduation ceremony
  • a contributing editor to the League of Ordinary Gentleman
  • an author of a historical novel
  • a campus recruiter
  • etc. etc. etc.

The only reason I show up anywhere near the top of the list is because I’ve +1’ed myself (not out of ego I swear–just to make it easier to find the real me in the list).

If you add modifiers like, theater or director and maybe blogs or writer, you get closer to me, but someone has to know to do that.

Now, I suppose I should be happy that all of these women are intelligent, successful and talented. Perhaps I shouldn’t complain. But how do you establish a good reputation and build a platform on your name when you share it with the rest of the universe?

Seriously, I was already contacted once by someone who wanted to publish one of the papers I had written from my doctoral research (YAY!) except that it wasn’t me, it was the other Lisa Kramer who went to school at the same time. (BOO!) Did I mention she was also good friends with one of my good friends from undergrad?

So I need a new name.

Perhaps I should adopt the fake relationship I created a few weeks back and become Lisa Bronte.

Or I could be Lisa Shakespeare. Or Lisa Kreuss (rhymes with Seuss).

I could use my name backwards, a name I always thought would be good for a fashion designer, and become Asil Naa Remark.

I could take on the Lee as we did for our daughter and truly become Lisa KramerLee (which everyone from Sarah’s school calls me anyway).

Or maybe I should just drop the Kramer all together and go by Dr. Lisa.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

I guess it is all moot if I don’t get writing. I don’t want a pseudonym, but my name seems to mean everything and nothing all at once.

Perhaps I should just give in and take on Nathan’s last name. I’ve said this elsewhere on the blog, I always thought that name would be good for one specific career:

Dr Lisa (Westheimer) Lee, the Love Doctor--Radio Talk Show Host Extraordinaire

What should my name be? Contribute suggestions below and win a prize when I become rich and famous under that name . . . or simply the gift of a giggle today.

Update, 1 minute later:

I just found this on a friend’s Facebook status and couldn’t resist adding it here:

Everyone has 8 names –>
Your Real Name: Lisa
Your “Gangsta” Name (first 3 letters of your real name plus -izzle): Lisizzle
Your Detective Name (favorite color & favorite animal): Purple Dolphin
Your Soap Opera Name (middle name & street you live on) Ann Oxford
Your Star Wars Name (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your middle name): Kraan
Your Superhero Name (2nd favorite color & favorite drink): Red Chai
Your Witness Protection Name (your mother’s and father’s middle names): Ruth Lee
Your Goth Name (black & one of your pets names) Black Lizzy

When Words are Wrong

A bird perched on the corner of my roof and did nothing but be a bird. I imagine she sat tasting the breeze and listening to the sounds of invisible bugs, pausing for a moment to enjoy nothingness  until the right sound called to her and she flew away.

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I envy her.

I opened to my Google home page where I always check the weather, look at a piece of art, perhaps read Calvin and Hobbes and yes, I admit, read my horoscope. Here’s what today’s said:

My Horoscope AstroSync


You may feel unsettled today because you know something is about to change. Your feelings are quite volatile now and you don’t know where they are leading you. Unfortunately, your attempts to suppress your needs could provoke you to unconsciously act out. Trying to control the situation by limiting your interactions with others will only make you feel lonely. Remember that you are a Fish and should know that it’s easier to swim with the currents instead of resisting the tide.

This one rang true.
I feel lost. I feel alone. And I feel like my words are wrong.
I wish I could have a birdbrain moment, where nothing mattered but the cool wind and the bugs and my ability to fly.
The pictures were all taken by my brother at different times. For more of his fabulous photography visit him at Thru My Eyes

The Power of Facebook

Daniel-Marios---World Wide Web

Image by Marshall Astor - Food Pornographer via Flickr

As usual, one of the first things I did this morning was turn on the computer to check my various e-mail accounts, read a comic or two, and catch up on Facebook. This morning, one friend had posted a video that I tried to watch yesterday, but couldn’t because I did not have a good internet connection. This video, Gay Michigan student defends suspended teacher – Yahoo! News shows Graeme Taylor acknowledging his sexual identity to a room full of adults in defense of a teacher who is facing disciplinary action after asking a student to remove her Confederate flag belt buckle which, in that particular town, is associated with hate.

Now, I don’t know the legal ramifications of this particular case, especially regarding freedom of expression. But, my reaction to this video, as to many that I have seen and reposted recently was “Wow! We have lot of brave people in this world, who take small steps towards bettering the world.” I got a tear in my eye.

This got me thinking about the changes that have come about in society because of the internet, particularly social networking sites like Facebook, media sites like Youtube and blogging sites like WordPress. I know there are negatives, the time suck alone sometimes make me aggravated by the end of the day when I feel I have accomplished nothing but stare at a screen and chat with friends. But the computer is not to blame, nor is Facebook. If I don’t have control over my own behavior, than I have only myself to blame. I also recognize that, in some ways, people are losing the ability to communicate without texting, or e-mailing. We’ve lost the art of letter writing or talking on the phone.  Many of the students I see of all ages, struggle when presented with the necessity to communicate in person, or to present ideas in front of a group. Those are definitely things to be concerned about.

But then I think about the knowledge that is at our fingertips because of these sites. I have wept over inspirational videos of Graeme and “It Gets Better.” I have been angered by comments from politicians  who speak inane gibberish trying to destroy any hope for this country. I have laughed at kittens drinking water. I have watched people selflessly helping others. I have read inspirational words from friends and strangers. I have made new connections and renewed old ones. I have helped friends facing hard times, and been helped myself. Because of the new knowledge, I have become a little more political–signing petitions and writing letters for causes I believe in. Maybe what I do seems like a tiny drop compared to people like Graeme, but I may not have even done that without this tool that makes me expand my horizons from the comfort of my own home.

This doesn’t man I will never leave my home, or have never left to fight for what I believe in. I have done that all my life. What is interesting, though, is that (for people who own computers and take advantage of them) this tool can enable anyone to help even in the small way of simply pushing send.

I still value the letters I get (although I don’t write many myself anymore). I will always value holding a real book in my hand rather than reading it on the screen. I love face-to-face conversations with dear friends, and even the occasional phone call (I’ve never liked talking on the phone). Yet, I have to acknowledge that this little screen in front of me has truly broadened my world. It may also have made the world  a little more dangerous, but I hope to learn to use its power to promote good.

After all, technology is here to stay.

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