My Name(s) and Their Meanings

Forrest Lehwalder Norvell
being the name that my parents gave me, is obviously my oldest name. People often ask me why I bother to use ozymandias when my real name is so strange. I don't have any set answer for that other than that I've been using ozymandias for so long that I've grown used to seeing it associated with the stuff I do on the net.

ozymandias G desiderata (ogd)
I've completely forgotten when and how I came up with this name. I think it was my senior year of high school, when I was first exposed to Internet culture and was lost in the whole "industrial culture" scene. It sounded mysterious and pretentious, which was good enough for me.

The point is moot now, because ozymandias is now the name I'm known by on the Internet. I'm halfway tempted to get checks printed up with that name on them. Yes, it is supposed to be capitalized that way, mostly because of the neat anagram you get with my initials. I prefer people to shorten ozymandias to 'ozy' instead of 'Ozy' or 'Ozzy' (bleah! Two bad references there - Ozzy Osborne and The Honeymooners).

Although I'm not going to complain if people refer to me as Forrest in e-mail messages to the various lists I'm on, I have to admit it always weirds me out to see my 'real' name in e-mail. I've gotten very used to using ozymandias to refer to myself on the net. It's strange, but I'm comfortable with it.

Long ago, back in the mists of time (like in 1992), I decided that someday I wanted to be a DJ. I was pretty new to techno at that point, and it seemed like all of the DJs I respected worked behind weird names. I already had come up with ozymandias by that point, but I wanted a new name that was more directly connected to music.

While I'm not a fanatic about David Bowie, I've always liked his music and admired the deranged way he's approached being a pop star. I've always been envious of his androgynous look, and my favorite T-shirt (that sounds really stupid) is a batik print of the cover from the album Aladdin Sane. There's a really horrible pun in the name that it took me a while to figure out, and I feel no need to explain it here, because it's pretty obvious.

It wasn't until much later that I realized the coolness of stealing the name from the David Bowie album that has "Panic in Detroit" on it.

I also stole the idea for my lightning-bolt logo from that cover, but I don't use it much anymore because it confuses people (let's just say that it combines my passion for artiness with my passion for random strangeness).

ICB Names

ozymandias (autumn 1995)
This one ought to be obvious. I stopped using it because it made me feel like a dork, and too many people were calling me "ozy" in real life at that point.

azathoth (winter / spring 1996)
One of the Old Ones in the Cthulhian Mythos. An enormous, star-sized mass that floats in the nameless place beyond the stars, gibbering mindlessly to itself, while unearthly flutes pipe around it. Likes frogs. For some reason, this seemed like an apropos choice back in 1996, when I was still new to ICB and working 100-hour weeks at Organic.

othiym (1996-1998)
From Othiym Lunarsa, secret Goddess of the Moon of the Paleolithic matriarchal world. First seen in Elizabeth Hand's Waking The Moon, a book that did me a whole world of good when I first encountered it in 1996. I was going through a major combined gothic and female-identified period and the book spoke to both of those sides of my personality. In retrospect, the story suffers

from being a little too closely tied to the "post-feminism" that was then popular with folks like Camille Paglia, but reading the book helped me reclaim a part of my college experience I hadn't remembered that I'd lost.

tamsin (1998-2000)
Skeleton Key is a wonderful comic that everyone should read. It is largely concerned with the adventures of Tamsin Mary Cates, teen kickboxer and frustrated high school student, and her best friend, a fox spirit named (unimaginatively enough) Kitsune. Tamsin (somewhat inexplicably and narratively conveniently) gets her hands on a suit that allows her to open doorways into a wide variety of parallel dimensions.

Using this name was also the result of my goth girl-power phase, although oddly enough, I became less goth at pretty much the same rate that Tamsin did.

I had to stop using this name because my friend Tammy bitched about being confused by people saying "Tam" on ICB. Apparently she is incapable of dealing with ambiguity.

moira (2000-present)
My friend Jillian's daughter Sloan called me this. Now, of course, she doesn't recognize the name and gets confused whenever anyone mentions "Moira" to her. But it's still a cute name, with a cute origin. I like it. And since my ICB usage has slowed considerably, I can't see myself changing it anytime soon.