Archive for August, 2009

What’s in a name?

August 27, 2009

Where do internet nicknames come from? And why do I have three of them?

When Nanny Goats in Panties recently asked why my blog is named Sassmo’s Blog, my posts are signed by Donkephant, and my comments are signed Grizzly Kitteh, it left me contemplating my own online existence.

When I joined the I Can Has Cheezburger team in January of 2008, I met Happy Cat, Tofu Burger, and a handful of other similarly nicknamed coworkers. It seemed only fitting that I adopt a persona for work purposes, thus Grizzly Kitteh was born.

Soon after my arrival, Happy Cat requested I spearhead a new project, which turned out to be Pundit Kitchen. Given PK’s highly political nature and a need for a neutral figure to watch over it, I donned the nickname Donkephant as well.

Sassmo has been with me the longest though, originating on Christmas Day, 2002. It’s the moniker I use most often online and somewhat offline, including @Sassmo on Twitter. The name originated with this guy:

Me, circa early 2003, teaching a tour group of pre-schoolers about KTUH, the University of Hawai‘i's college radio station.

Me, circa early 2003, teaching a tour group of pre-schoolers about KTUH, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa college radio station

Christmas Eve 2002 I spent the night partying until the wee hours with an apartment full of Brazilians in pajamas, followed by a rather messy session of downhill skateboarding before I finally made it to bed.

Three hours later (Christmas morning, 8am) – bruised, bloodied, and still intoxicated – I reported for my first day of training at KTUH, my college’s radio station.

Ari, the station manager and my trainer, helped select jazz records to play for the next 3 hours. I didn’t know much about jazz, so my first day consisted of almost entirely The Charlie Brown Christmas album and Louis Armstrong.

Before I went on air, Ari insisted that I have a cool DJ name. My roommates, Cassiano and Chas, frequently called me Sassafrasquatch. Combined with my lack of better ideas due to post-party grogginess, and my budding fondness for Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, a name was born.

As Sassmo, I was the host of three different radio shows on KTUH, over the span of 3 years – The Sassmo Jazz Show w/ Stoney Hawk, The Hootenanny Hoedown, and The Beast With Two Backs. I also worked a handful of director positions and as Interim General Manager.

Even though I’ve done some great things before and since, KTUH will be one of the most cherished times of my life, and thus the name Sassmo will stick with me forever.

So, even though Grizzly Kitteh and Donkephant have become part of my online persona, it’s been hard to separate myself from my job and the two worlds have spilled into each other.

Since part of job description actually entails interacting with our users and being a brand ambassador to the world of BlogHer and the people that encompass that corner of the internet, I’ve grappled with the question of whether or not I should be Sassmo or Grizzly Kitteh. Do I keep the professional name? Or do I be as genuine as possible and post as the guy who runs around half naked and calls it a fundraiser?

Do I know everything?

August 17, 2009

My roommate works at a kayak shop in Bellevue and gave me the opportunity to do some kayak geocaching in the Mercer Slough. I decided to take a sprinter since they’re fast and I’m familiar with them after our last kayaking trip.

My roommate and her coworker both asked if I was sure I wanted to take the Sprinter, but I was confident I could handle the faster, more tipsy, less stable kayak. About the time I passed under the I-90 overpass, I hit water that looked something like this:

Grossness in the slough

The problem with the Sprinter is it has holes in the seat to allow quick drainage. That means you’re always sitting in a puddle of whatever water you’re in. I suddenly realized that my confidence in handling the Sprinter had blinded me to the knowledge they were trying to impart on me when the asked, “Are you SURE you want to take the Sprinter?” They knew exactly what the water was like and that I’d be sitting in a puddle of it.

And so it goes, this is how a lot of my experiences wind up – I act confident and gung-ho, only to miss the experience and knowledge of others who could impart wisdom on me if only I’d listen.

On a brighter note, showing a couple of small town folk, including my Dad, around Seattle on the weekend of Hempfest was a fun experience. “Oh my God, I smell marijuana!” was a common expression from the four of them. They also didn’t know what to think about all of the stoned, painted, marijuana-loving, (NSFW) Naked, freaks wandering around Hempfest.

NES games versus real life

August 14, 2009

I tried to continue the Saga of Kahn, however, I found it hard not to use Game Genie. I’ll still continue to play, but I’ve moved on and probably won’t be blogging about it anymore.
Wandering the landscape looking for experience and gold makes the game incredibly slow and tedious. As a kid I always used the “Almost Infinite Gold” Game Genie code to speed up the game so that later levels were a challenge and doing that now proved to be too much of a time-suck again this time.
Instead I’ve moved onto Bard’s Tale, which I was too impatient to play as a kid and am finding out now that even though I enjoy it, I can’t commit to more than a few dungeon crawls at a time.
Instead I’ll be focusing on things like improving my performance at work and improving my overall health.