"Well, now that we have seen each other, said the Unicorn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?"
Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass
Who the Heck is Bonni?
My full legal name is Bonni Elizabeth Hall. This is not, in fact, the name I was given at birth. I changed my name for a lot of personal reasons, the greatest of which is that I was a very unhappy child and later a very confused, angry, dysfunctional adult, and after all the changes I finally went through and growth and healing I have achieved, I just don't feel like that same screwed-up person any more (thank goodness). Since I'm not that person, I don't want her name.
My first name, Bonni, is a variation of Bonnie, my maternal grandmother's name. I was extremely fond of my grandmother, who was another redheaded alto with a bit of an attitude. Using her name is one way in which I honor her, although I spell it my own way just because (mostly because I love having my name misspelt, or so it would seem). The name "Bonnie" (or any spelling variant thereof) is from the Latin bonus and it means "good", and was almost never seen as a given name until the twentieth century, although it was used as a nickname prior to that and was an adjective in some dialects of English (Scottish, particularly).
Elizabeth is a Latinized English form of the Hebrew Elisheba, and it means, more or less, "God's oath" or "Promise of God". It was also, of course, the name of a particularly important historical English Queen, one who gave her name to an entire era, and of lots of other famous women throughout history and up to the present day (including, of course, the current queen of England). It's a common name, but a distinctive one, and I like it very much.
Hall is so common as to be practically anonymous, and it's in something like the top fifteen most common surnames in the English language. It's slightly more distinctive than, say Smith or Jones or Johnson, but still good and ordinary. I like it for that very reason. I also like the number of jokes you can make about it (for example: I want to endow a university with a building, which will be called Hall Hall; everyone with the surname "Hall" is my cousin, including Arsenio, Darryl (partner of that Oates guy), Ed, Jerry, Town, City, etc.; at Christmas you can make jokes about people decking you with boughs of holly; ad nauseum). Oh, and it's really easy to spell, which is nice.
You may have noted by the domain name and other clues that I am particularly fond of my name, and being as fond of my name as I am, I do have a smallish collection of quotes which have the name in them (and a collection of things with my name on them, including this domain). Shakespeare quotes are among my favorites (I'm a big fan of old Will). The best is certainly
I also like this one (from Richard III), which is used to describe the queen:
"...a cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue"
*ahem* Nuff said on that one, I think.
As for the run-of-the mill "Bonnie" quotes, I've heard them all. I've had My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean sung to me countless times (generally the singer seems to think they're the first to think of it), and while My Bonnie is not my favorite song, it's very cool to note that the first official recording on which The Beatles performed was a rendition of My Bonnie. I also want to note that my husband used to use the phrase "My Bonni lies over the ocean" in things like .plan files and other one-line information bits (given that he was in Australia and I was in the States, it was quite fitting).
I'm also not crazy about "Bonnie and Clyde" references, although I did get some email once from a rather charming Clyde who happened upon my pages. Neither am I a "wee bonny lass"; I'm too big to be "wee," and I'm too old to be a lass, alas.
Birthdate and Related Factoids
I was born in New York City in 1964. 1964 was an incredibly significant year historically for lots of reasons (aside from my birth, obviously). This makes me a Gemini, and it means my birthstone is an emerald or tourmaline (depending on which chart you consult; I tend to favour tourmalines, particularly black ones), and in the Chinese zodiac, I'm a Dragon.
And despite having been born in 1964, which is apparently regarded as the last "official" year of the Baby Boom generation, I absolutely am not a Baby Boomer. My outlook is distinctly different from that typical of Boomers. I am not a Baby Boomer, and I'm also not a GenXer (although I'm married to one). I am a member of "the lost generation". I am a member of Generation Jones, thank you.
Where I've Lived and Where I Live Now
My father was in the U.S. military, and so we moved often, about every two or three years, and so I've lived literally all over the U.S. and in Europe, and that gave me a love of travel.
I have had, since 1999, the great pleasure of living in what has been called the "World's Most Livable City", Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, Australia. I am absolutely in love with Melbourne. I've been all over the world and seen and lived in or near some truly great cities, but nothing comes close to being as incredibly wonderful as Marvellous Melbourne.
I have now lived longer in Melbourne than I have lived in any city at any time, even if we count non-consecutive habitation (i.e., I lived somewhere, moved away for a while, and then returned). I intend to live the rest of my life in Australia, in some suburb of my beloved Melbourne.
Because I can be talkative, chatty, and even perky (yes, it's true), people sometimes have the impression that I'm an extrovert. I assure you I am not. I'm very inner directed, and I live inside myself and look out into the world, and am more aware of how the world affects me than of how I affect it.
According to The Keirsey Temperament Sorter, my Myers Briggs Personality Type is INFP (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving), and everything I've read about this Type is absolutely correct for what I know of myself (which is quite a lot). INFP is one of the most unusual personality types, the most difficult sort of person to understand, and people with this personality type often find themselves feeling misunderstood and set apart. Possibly because we are. Possibly we're imagining it. Probably, it's some of both.
Not coincidentally, I am a Type Four Ennegram personality, too, which is not dissimilar to the INFP designation, though it uses a different system to come to the conclusion.
Basically, though, I'm just like any human being: complex and variable in mood, attitude, and temperament, although I may be just a little more variable and have somewhat more distinctive mood switches. (Moods on steroids. With an attitude.) Still, what you see is what I am, and I do, certainly, tend to swim upstream in the classic mold-breaking, non-conformist, do-it-your-own-way eccentric. It may takes some time to get to know the many facets and sides of me, and there are some things I never show to anyone but those rare individuals who are extremely trusted and very close. Like a unicorn, I do tend to be fairly solitary, but for my mate.
I am known to use profanity (generally when I want to really emphasize something or when I'm angry, and I am quite fluent and creative with it, as well), but I do try to keep my websites reasonably free of extremely strong language, and if I deal with mature subject matter (hey, I'm a grownup, okay?), I generally make note of it so people can leave if they're likely to be offended by such things.
I'm called a smartar$e on a regular basis, and it's true (in fact, I often call myself a smartar$e, although I don't say it with dollar signs for the S characters; see above paragraph). My usual answer to such a charge is to retort that it's better than being a dumbar$e! It takes skill and wit to be a really good smartass. *serious nod*
My sense of humor does tend to be on the bawdy side, and I am also known to have a very black, macabre sense of humor, as well, and an extremely well-developed sense of irony. I heard many years ago that if you can learn to laugh at yourself, you'll never run out of things with which to be amused. That's certainly the truth, as far as I'm concerned.
"Religion is for people who are scared of hell. Spirituality is for people who've already been there." - Anonymous
My spiritual life is very personal, very vivid, and very real, and anyone who knows me well is well aware of it. I occasionally talk about my spiritual experiences (and yes, for me, it's experiential, not just "some stuff I believe") in a general public forum, usually, because I find that people love to deride and criticize, mostly out of fear, any sort of spiritual expression which doesn't agree with their own. After all, if you accept that someone else has experiences or views that are different from yours, then you might have to examine your own beliefs, and very few people are willing to do such a thing. There is nothing people hate more than having their view of reality challenged!
Others, of course, want to take their beliefs and shove them down everyone else's throats, and impose their morals and ethics and ideas on everyone else, again, mostly out of fear (and to stop any challenge to their belief system). Please note that this is true of people from all walks of life and all traditions and styles of religion and belief, including, I've found, paganism, Christinity, atheism, Islam, and secular humanism (among many others).
I make a point of refraining from forcing my personal beliefs on anyone else. I will and often do discuss spiritual matters in a private forum and I have an ongoing journal which is dedicated to matters spiritual. I'm definitely not ashamed of who and what I am (because these days, my sense of spirituality is far more about who and what I am than about beliefs or concepts or ideas), nor am I afraid to talk about it. I just don't have the energy or inclination to deal with those who would hassle me for my beliefs because they're convinced they're the only ones who know right and wrong (and I'm wrong, of course), or because what I believe conflicts with what they believe (Never wrestle with a pig, because it gets you dirty and the pig likes it, or, to be slightly more traditional, don't throw your pearls before swine).
I have a deep interest in the topic of comparative religion, and I've done some study of Buddhism (Zen, in particular) and found much wisdom there. The same is true of Judaism and Islam (I have known many Muslims and while I don't understand all of their customs and beliefs, I have for the most part found them to be decent and godly people). I've also found wisdom and insights in all sorts of other kinds of spirituality, including Taoism, Hinduism, and more.
I am a follower of Christ, who, I am convinced, was describing a path to spiritual awakening and transformation. I'm extremely esoteric, quite mystical, a bit gnostic, and tend strongly toward Panentheism, and I don't care in the least about "official doctrines" of the orthodoxy and whether or not I align with them. I am not at all "religious". If I blow away some of your stereotypes, great! If not, well, that's fine, too. St. Paul, in a letter to the Corinthians, wrote, "But by the grace of God I am what I am," and that's pretty much exactly how I feel about things these days. And well, I am one of God's peculiar people (see Titus 2:13-14, King James Version).
Oh, and despite my interest in comparative religion, I'm not at all religious, despite having a deep and ongoing interest in comparative religion and religious history. As quoted above, religion is for people who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is for people who have been there.
Secular Studies and Interests
As for more worldy pursuits and studies, I studied fine and applied art and design in college, although I haven't managed to finish the degree quite yet (I did do most of the foundation level work). I don't know that I actually need one. I think if I did get one, it'd be in something relatively useless like art history (one of my great passions). I also have a fondness for general history and various forms of art, and creative writing holds a great deal of appeal, as does anthropology and comparative religion.
Time, as they say, will tell. I may end up never finishing any degree at all, and still being far, far too well-educated for a woman who quit high school when she was sixteen...
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