What’s In A Name?

She answers to all of them. Maybe it’s the sound of my voice. Maybe it’s my inflection. Maybe she’s brilliant! That’s got to be it. Kali is brilliant.

It’s something I’ve always done. With my kids, with my employees, and with our pets. It’s not so much that I think about it and give nicknames. They just come out of my mouth without thinking about it. When my wife reads this she’ll be thinking something like, “yeah – a lot of things come out of his mouth without thinking”.

So Kali is the latest “victim” of my nicknames. And, she seems to know they refer to her.

  • Kalas
  • Kalas Marie
  • Kalamazoo
  • Kal
  • Hey ‘da Kal
  • Kali-fornia
  • Sweetie Girl
  • Swedish Meatball (yes I know, kinda weird, huh…)

And that’s just the list so far after less than three months.  But she seems to know they are all her.  Like I said, brilliant, right?

Admittedly, some of the names are recycled.  Kalas Marie, as odd as this may sound, is a derivative of a nick name for my wife whose name is Holly.  Years ago a friend of ours referred to her has Hollace Marie and I’ve used it ever since.  Hey ‘da Kal is a derivative of Hey ‘da Smoke which I used for Kali’s little bro’ Smokey for some time now.  By the way, another reference for Smokey is “Tippy Too”  at those times when I refer to Kali as Kalamazoo.  I’m not sure where that one came from but I am probably bastardizing it from some other phrase I heard at some point in my life (Tippecanoe and Tyler Too?…), not sure.  By the way, Sweetie Girl is a little precarious because this is the nickname I use at times for both my wife and my daughter.

The point is that Kali doesn’t look at me like I’m crazy when I call her these names.  Sometimes my wife does.  But not Kali.    Kali seems to get it and she gets me too.  Not that my wife doesn’t get me – she knew exactly what she was getting into 32 years ago when she said “I do” and the rest is history.  But Kali after this very short amount of time also gets me.

Earlier this week my wife says, “Kali is the perfect dog for you – she’s a creature of habit”.  What dog isn’t right?  But Holly is right – I am a major creature of habit (can you say OCD?), and I love routine and Kali and I have one that if broken both of us get a little cranky.  Fortunately, since Kali has joined our family, I have a lot of flexibility with my professional schedule and can make sure I follow our routine to our collective liking whenever possible.

So here we are Holly, Kali, and I sitting on the patio on a warm summer night.  Executing perfectly our nightly pre-dinner routine.  Holly drawing, me futzing with my computer, and Kali by my side waiting for the next step in the routine.  Dinner.  And look Kalas Marie – it’s just about six o’clock.

The routine is to feed Kalamazoo at 6:00 and, if he’s around, Tippy too.

Kalas Marie - what a "Sweetie Girl"!

Kalas Marie – what a “Sweetie Girl”!

Kalamazoo and Tippy Too

Kalamazoo and Tippy Too


The Pack

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