Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Cookie Monster

For Lent this year I gave up chocolate. That's right - 40 days without cocoa in any form. And I'm addicted to chocolate. I love it all - milk, dark, white. Plain, with nuts or fillings, in desserts and as a hot drink.

I toured Europe tasting chocolates - Belgium won.

It was crazy to give up chocolate for Lent, and I'm not even Catholic! I just wanted to see if I could do it.

And I did. I didn't even punk out and take Sundays off.

But one of the things that got me through was Wegmans' coconut macaroons.

In the middle of Lent I stared at all the chocolate-based cookies and started to drool. Then I spotted the golden suns of baked coconut.

Mmmmm. The attendant grinned at the look of lust that crossed my face.

These delicious cookies have absolutely no chocolate, and I had to have one. It tasted divine and satisfied my chocoloco cravings.

Since I've returned to my chocolate consumption, I eat fewer
coconut macaroons. But they still call to me.

A few days ago I went grocery shopping at the Pittsford Wegmans - which, sadly, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Rochester (I took friends from Italy there!).

When I walked by the macaroons, I just couldn't resist.

As you can see, the Cookie Monster attacked me... and I liked it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

ILAC for life

In the fourth grade Mrs. Geno made my class create ILAC tags. It was an acronym for something like "Intelligent, Loveable, Amazing, Capable.”

On a white sheet of paper with a small hole at each end, I drew the big bold letters ILAC in magenta and purple marker. Then I decorated the remaining white space with stars.

My tag was beautiful - it was perfect. It represented my confidence.

And then my class had to wear our tags for a week - I coordinated my outfits.

For that whole week, whenever someone hurt my feelings and bruised my confidence, I had to tear off a piece of the pretty ILAC tag hanging around my neck.

If I hurt myself, I tore off a bigger piece.

If someone made me feel good and boosted my confidence, I taped a piece of the ILAC tag back on.

By the end of the week, I only had half the I left. It hung crookedly across my chest.

My week’s worth of pretty matching pockets held the pieces of my fourth-grade ILAC. Only a few had tape on them.

I wonder what my ILAC looks like now - now that I feel like I’m tearing off the biggest pieces through my self-inflicted growing pains. Can the mending tape keep up?

It might not hang around my neck, but that damn tag’s been my ILAC for life.

Sometimes, most times, knowing myself means being alone.

The more I discover about myself, the more I see how confused most people are. And seeing that, I want very little to do with them.

I don’t know exactly who I am, and my confidence might be torn, but at least I’m trying to find out and fix it.

I often resent like hell this internal emotional mining, and occasionally I try to avoid it.

Because realizing what is good for me, and what is bad, can be incredibly lonely, hard and painful at times.

“Ignorance is bliss” a bunch of “theys” say. No kidding.

A friend of mine, a kindred spirit, said we get punished for being and seeing more. The world celebrates the middle - the mediocre.

I wish I could sometimes turn off my internal warning system that shouts “Uh oh. Not Good For You! STOP!” Maybe it’d be nice to lie to myself and convince myself that I’m happy with those lies.

“Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies,” I’d croon myself to sleep. My ILAC tag would be covered with lies instead of stars.

Better yet, it’d be nice to not even know I was constructing and believing lies - to plod along in ignorance without ever realizing I should be flying.

Would that be bliss? Would I feel better? Would I get my ILAC back whole?

I sure as hell wouldn’t be alone. I could join the masses of people silently screaming through their lives. I could pop some pills, fuck some random guys and then seek atonement on my therapist’s couch or on my faith’s altar.

But I can’t. Damn it, I know better.

And knowing better, being better, means I often end up alone. Alone with my ILAC.

It means I have to grow until my internal clothes - my beliefs, relationships, ideas - don’t fit any more and I have to get new ones. It means seeking out kindred people to nourish and nurture that growth.

It means finding and applying my own damn tape, and hanging new ILACs around my neck.

So I might rip myself to shreds, but I come back stronger than before.

Damn ILAC.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Burning Man, baby!

Look what I got in the mail!

Oh yeah, I'm going to Burning Man in Black Rock City Aug. 29-Sept. 5.

It's been interesting and painful trying to explain Burning Man to my conservative Republican family. They love me, and so they worry. It'd be easier if we were more disfunctional and disjointed.
Yesterday, during my cousin Kirra's 5th birthday party (Happy Birthday!), I ran the guilt gauntlet about my departure.
"When are you leaving? Why? When are you coming back? How will you live? Where are you going? Burning Man? What's that, some sorta pagan drug and sex orgy?"
My frustrated response - "Exactly!"
Seriously, I've never been to Burning Man before, so I don't know what to say.
This is what I wrote to Black Rock City in my application for a discount ticket because I'll be poor (thank you BM!):
What does the Burning Man community represent to you?
It’s a butterfly in a hurricane. It’s a punch in the head. It’s an unpainted canvas, a blank sheet of paper and pen, a book waiting for words. It’s a haven and a danger. It’s a jewel few people can really see the beauty of, and all the better for it.
Burning Man is a place to grow and be challenged and experience completely new people and things. It’s a higher level of reality, and it’s a community of people living outside the staid boundaries and confines of tradition.
It’s where reality and imagination collide and clash and commune, and come out different.
The community isn’t content with the status quo, and will push me to the limits and beyond. I want that. I need that.
I have never been to Burning Man, but something in my gut, something in my flesh and bones and my cells, tells me that the Burning Man community - the people, the art, the experiences and thoughts I will have - is what I have been looking for.
That was just off the top of my head. I have no idea.
And how do I describe my need to be really free? To explore the world and lose myself, then find my real self?
A friend of mine, a wise friend, told me today that most people don't want real freedom. It's too scary. They don't know what to do. But real freedom changes your life. If you fight for real freedom, you'll never be the same.
I need real freedom. I need to be a vagabond.
So all I can tell my wonderful family is that I'm not doing it to them, I'm doing it for me.
For the people who understand - an explanation isn't necessary, and for the people who don't understand - no explanation is satisfactory.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Our Deepest Fear

I hate it when movies and television steal great poems and quotes for gratuitous tear-jerker moments.

The Dylan Thomas/Bob Dylan references in “Dangerous Minds” is just one example in a sea of sacrilege.
I get the same feeling when I see BB King doing Burger King commercials and Janis Joplin selling a Mercedes Benz from her grave.

Is nothing sacred?

So while watching “Coach Carter,” in which Samuel Jackson plays a tough-as-nails basketball coach at a ghetto California high school, I started to cringe when one of his players recites a wonderful poem in a typical movie power moment. Dim the lights and cue the sappy soundtrack.

I had heard the poem before, wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inauguration speech.

It’s good, and once again Hollywood has bastardized it to sell a bucket of popcorn and a gallon of Pepsi.

Well, I’m not selling Goobers and $8 movie tickets. I just want to share it with you.

Our Deepest Fear
by Marianne Williamson
from A Return To Love: Reflections on
the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Watch Me Soar

There’s a hill on a road that’s named after my family.

It’s the refuse of a glacier that scraped across the continent thousands of years ago. In the fourth grade I learned the name of this landform, but I never remember it because I have another name for this hill.

I simply call it Mine.

And every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve gone to the top of my hill.

As a child, my mom would go with me and hold my hand. We’d pick blackberries on the hill and eat them until our fingers and lips turned bright purple and my belly ached. We’d watch hang gliders fly off the edge with their nylon wings, and hold our breath until they landed in the field below.

I remember one of my earliest visits to my hill. I ran through the tall grass and picked wild flowers. Mom warned me to stay close and not go far, but something called to me.

I let go of her hand and stepped to the grassy edge. I looked out at the entire world I knew. I could see my house, and my daddy’s farm. I could count the cows and see the soccer fields I played on.

As the wind blew my mother’s voice through my ponytail and fluttered my shirt, I closed my eyes and held out my arms and imagined myself soaring up over everything and flying away.

Now every year I go alone to the top of my hill. I stand at the edge, and I hold out my arms and close my eyes. And for a moment, just a moment, I soar up over everything and fly away.

I drive by my hill often, and every time I yearn to climb it and stand alone at the top of my childhood world. But even more, I yearn to leave my hill.

It’s time to really fly. Watch me soar.

Oh the Places I'll Go!

(my apologies to Dr. Seuss for butchering his style)


I have a question; it’s a big one too.
I need a suggestion, and I thought of you.
Over and over I’ve read Dr. Seuss’ book,
And from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” a lesson I took.

I need to see the places out there,
drive and fly and swim where I dare.
There are seven continents in the world,
people and places and things to be swirled.

Shaking me up, from inside and out,
that’s what my journey’s about.
I’ve set a date - it’s coming soon.
On Aug. 15 I’m leaving by noon.

“I’m throwing my life away”
I laugh out loud and say.
My family wonders, worries and weeps,
but these things are done in bounds and leaps.

Burning Man’s
the first place that I’ll go,
but after there, I just don’t know.
North America, Antarctica, Timbuktu?
Where do I go, and what should I do?

Perhaps I’ll swim in the Mississippi,
and chat with an Asian hippie.
I could ride down the Nile,
or gaze at the Rockies and smile.

Maybe I’ll camp in nice parks,
and swim with Carribean sharks;
Climb mountains and hills,
and somehow deal with my bills.

Oh the places I’ll go,
but where I still don’t know!
So I’m asking you people who look at this site,
To send me your ideas - write write write.

No place on Earth is too near or too far,
if I can go by foot, plane, train, boat or car.
It’s time to add vagabond to this virago.
So please oh please let your thoughts flow.

For inspiration and consideration:

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
by Dr. Seuss
Oh the Places You\'ll Go

(To read the story or leave a reply…)

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go

though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Lady of the Library

I love librarians.

Forget the orders to whisper, the secret society of the Dewey Decimal System and the late-fee nazi. Librarians are mainly magical people.

They have tools, and they know how to use them. They might not know how to fix a car or speak Spanish, but give them five minutes and they can show you a source to find out.

There are these things called books. You might have heard of them. They’re at the library, and you can read them for free. And there are these things called computers, with the Internet. You guessed it, also free at the library.

But knowing what book or Web site to look at - this is one of the magic librarian’s powers. And their help is free too!

Even better is having a librarian as a friend. Especially an awesome Lady of the Library like Bliss Girl.
She knows about my hunt, and took it upon herself to help.

Look what she sent me!

Subject: They might not all be girls
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 18:20:15 -0400

…but they are all elliottes!

My source, the Reference USA (directory) database, unfortunately
doesn’t provide gender information. But - equally importantly - it IS
searchable by first name.

So in case these 45 listings are helpful for you… here are some
gender-indeterminante Elliottes across the United States. It’s hardly
comprehensive, but I thought it might give you a few fresh leads.

Bliss Girl

List of 45 Elliottes with address and phone number. (I’m not on it because I don’t have a phonebook listing.)

What a friend! What a librarian! And to the brilliant man who dubbed her Bliss Girl - Bravo!

I just promised him I will add posts about things beyond the hunt, and I will - really. But I had to share this news.
Thanks BG.

FYI about the database, according to the Web site:

ReferenceUSA is an Internet-based reference service from the Library Division of infoUSA. The site was designed for use as a reference tool in libraries and is continually enhanced based upon suggestions from librarians and library patrons.

The ReferenceUSA database contains, in module format, detailed information on more than 12 million U.S. businesses; 102 million U.S. residents; 683,000 U.S. health care providers; 1 million Canadian businesses; and 11 million Canadian residents.

ReferenceUSA’s residential information is compiled from more than 3,900 White Page telephone directories. Each listing appears in the database exactly as it appears in the phone book. ReferenceUSA does not include unlisted phone numbers, Direct Marketing Association and Canadian Marketing Association suppression files, or state-regulated mail and telephone suppression files (U.S. data only). Information is available eight to 12 weeks after it appears in the phone book, and the file is processed through U.S. and Canadian National Change of Address records on a monthly basis.

Each U.S. residential listing also contains information from the most recent U.S. census, including median household income, median home value, latitude/longitude and percentage of owner-occupied housing.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Email the Female

At approximately 12:37 a.m. I emailed two theater groups - 7th Sign and NYMT Collective - an email asking them to forward it on to Elliotte Crowell.
This is her:
Elliotte Crowell

My email:

To Elliotte Crowell:
Hello. My name is Elliotte Ann Bowerman.
As you might have noticed, we have the same first name. This is why I have contacted you.
I realize I might sound crazy, but I am searching for female Elliottes (of various spellings).
I have heard “You’re the first female Elliotte I’ve met” my entire life, and I have never met another female Elliotte.
During a conversation with a friend, I wondered about the lives of other female Elliottes.
As a journalist, I’m just naturally curious.
So I am trying to find as many Elliottes as I can to talk with them about their names, their lives, and their experiences as female Elliottes.
You came up during my Google searches, and your picture proves you are in fact a female Elliotte.
As an actress, did you chose your first name or were you born with it?
I was born with mine, and somehow it fits me perfectly.
Either way, I would really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you.
I just started a blog about various things, including my hunt for female Elliottes.

You can read about it, if you like, at

I would really love to talk with you - via email or telephone, whatever works best for you - and then write a post on my blog.
It’s a funny idea, but I am sincere. For years I’ve wondered about the rare lives of female Elliottes.
I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you for your consideration.
~Elliotte Bowerman

contact info I don’t want to post

Hopefully I’ll hear from her soon, or at the very least get some odd responses from the theater folks.
In the meantime, a friend has provided me with the name and phone number of a female Elliotte he knows. Thanks -

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Google Whogle?

Since search engines are right at my fingertips, even as I type this blog, I have opted to Google for “Elliotte” female and “Elliotte” woman, etc.
I’m starting with my exact spelling, but I’ll branch out to various numbers of Ls, Ts and Es.

1:37 a.m. - The start of this blog and search.
So far, things look good. The searches have turned up the following female Elliottes to contact:
Elliotte Crowell - an actress -
Elliotte Finn Orlove - Brett Orlove U Penn Class of 1988 and his wife, Debbi, happily announce the May 12 birth of their little girl, Elliotte Finn Orlove.
Elliotte Krier - in 2003 a 9-year-old girl who participated in a 5K race in Littleton, Colorado. She finished 136th out of 210 and it took her 37:56 minutes. Bravo.

2:14 a.m.
Ok, now I have spent about an hour going through a bunch of Google searches for all sorts of Elliottes, and I’m exhausted. A Google search for “Eliot” woman turned up 866,000 hits. Add another T - “Elliott” woman - and I hit 974,000.
“Elliotte” got me 196,00 hits - mostly for Elliotte Rusty Harold. The man’s prolific!

The big problem with these searches is Elliotte (and various spellings) is a last name and a first name, so female “Elliotte”s are really Sarah Elliottes and Jenn Elliottes - not Elliotte Elliottes. Or they’re Joe Elliottes and Bill Elliottes… you get my drift.

I still have to call the FBI, but there has to be another solution. I’d love to hear your ideas, and if you know a female Elliotte (I do mean her first name) - let me know.

I’ll continue hunting, but at least the search has given me some female Elliottes to contact.
Hold on, it’s 2:25 a.m. - better wait until dawn, at least.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

SS Elliotte

In the hunt for female Elliottes, I figured it’s best to start close to home.
So, who keeps track of all the Elliottes in the United States?
What secretive, potentially evil government agency has a database that will reveal the female Elliottes of the world with a click of a mouse?
Mulling this over, I ran across my meager paycheck and found the answer - Social Security.
Everyone in the United States legally, and plenty of folks here illegally, has to have a 9-digit SS number.
When I started working, I burned my number into my brain. Other American female Elliottes out there must have done the same.
Light bulb - SS Elliotte could be the answer!

Time to hunt. A quick search brought me to the Social Security Web site, and a toll-free number to call with questions:
1-800-772-1213 (open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Spanish and English. People who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 1-800-325-0778)
Quick clock check - 6:15 p.m. - still open!
After wading through 15 minutes of automated messages (I really hate those things) and punching my S.S. number into the service (here comes a tax audit), I finally reached a human being - Sharon.
I eagerly explained my situation:
“Hello, my name is Elliotte. I need to find women of my kind - the rare female Elliotte. Everyone has a Social Security number, including these unique individuals. Can’t you just do a quick search to tell me how many female Elliottes are out there?”

“Uh, ma’am, are you joking?”

“No, I am on the hunt for S.S. Elliotte.”

pregnant pause - “Ma’am, we don’t do that. I can’t find out how many Elliottes there are. We only search by numbers. I need nine digits, not a first name and gender. This is the wrong place for you.”

“Oh. Really? I thought Social Security knew everything. Do you know who can help me?”

“No ma’am, I don’t.”

“Ok, maybe I’ll call the FBI, or the IRS. Thanks.”

Quick search of the FBI site:
The FBI can be contacted twenty-four hours a day, every day. Here’s how:
FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Call (202) 324-3000

What’s behind door number two?

The Hunt for Female Elliottes

“Hi. My name is Elliotte.”
surprised look - “Elliotte? For real, your name is Elliotte?”
mental sigh - “Yes. Elliotte. My dad named me after a cocktail waitress in Hawaii. Nice to meet you Joe.”
This is a conversation I have had hundreds, perhaps thousands of times.
As a writer, many readers seem surprised to hear a feminine voice on the phone when they call. The unique spelling leads to jumbled sounds that might be close cousins with Swahili- “eeeeelieoat” “eeeelowette” and “elleeeetay” are just a few.
But I don’t mind. It’s actually fun to be surprised with a new way of butchering my name. And dad might not have planned it, but he certainly made me memorable at the bars.
There are very few female Elliottes in the world- at least I think there are. I haven’t found any evidence of a sleeper Elliotte cell anywhere. Have you?
In comparison to the glut of Sarahs, Jennifers and Amys (I know at least 10 of each) - I love being unique.
I wonder if other female Elliottes agree.
But I don’t know, because I’ve never actually met or even spoken with one.
I don’t even know how many are out there roaming the world, or even the United States.
Today I decided it’s time to find out.

Here’s the plan:

I am going to search for female Elliottes by any means available - the Internet, the phone book, inside government sources and people I know, just to name a few off the top of my head. If you know a woman/girl/virago named Elliotte, let me know!
When I find one, and I know I will, I want to talk with her, maybe even meet her. I want to find out about the origin of her name, and how she has used it to her advantage. There is power in a name like Elliotte, and I have a feeling those blessed to have it - by birth or by choice - have utilized that power.
And after I meet or talk with a female Elliotte, I’ll tell you about her.
It’s information you’ll want to know. And if I happen to spawn a wave of baby girl Elliottes, the world better watch out - we’re dangerous.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

What is a Virago?

Now, nasty dictionaries (note the word “dic” in their name) make viragoes sound bad - a quick Google search gave me “a noisy or scolding or domineering woman,” and wikipedia even said it’s ” a pejorative name for a verbally abusive and angry woman. It is borrowed from Latin virago, which means ‘resembling (-ago) a man (vir)’. ”
Well, this “noisy, domineering, angry woman” says to hell with all that.

I got the wonderful phrase Virago from Florence King’s book “Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady.”
In it King writes that viragoes are “the only V worth having… A virago is a woman of geat stature, strength and courage who is not feminine in the conventional ways.”

That’s me to a V.

Like King’s mother, I should have it painted on my bowling ball. If I had one, I would.

Instead, I’m painting it on my blog.

Perhaps my parents knew before I was born that I wouldn’t fit the conventional ways of womanhood.

My father decided to christen me Elliotte, the name of a cocktail waitress he met on vacation in Hawaii. She’s not my mother, and dad claims “nothing happened, I just liked the name.”

I’ve yet to meet another female with the same name, although the brilliant show “Scrubs” has a female Eliot Reid (I like my spelling better) as one of its main characters.

A few people have told me they’ve met other female Elliottes (spelling varies), and another quick Google search showed me “Elliotte Crowell” is an actress, but generally I’m a unique first encounter with the female Elliotte kind.

I like it that way, because my dad might not have known it when he named me Elliotte, but I’
m a woman of geat stature, strength and courage who is not feminine in the conventional ways.
So when I start my vagabonding in August, you can call me Elliotte, or Virago for short.