The Minmus Derp

How did you pick your username?

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On 9/1/2018 at 9:34 PM, The Minmus Derp said:

Okay? Why?

course, @Kernel Kraken is right.

And you shouldn’t worry too too much. If you want to, make sure you want it forever, and ask a Moderator in the Namechange thread. If not, don’t 

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Tesla because I write books in NaNoWriMo, and my main character is called Tesla. That was my “game name” for some time.

Penguin because I love penguins. Duh.

I used to keep it to just “TeslaPenguin”, but I felt like I needed a number.

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It’s a word from Frank Herbert’s The Jesus Incident series. Used to describe which side of the planet a sentient, omnipotent spaceship was on.

i think I liked it because I had trouble sleeping back then, but I sleep well these days.

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It's a name I chose when I first started setting up internet accounts nearly 15 years ago. For the sake of a cohesive internet presence, I've kept it the same whenever possible.

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When I got married, I wanted to combine my last name with the guy I was marrying. That didn't end up happening, but my username is what it would have been if I had. 

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Pthigrivi was the name of the old Baba who magically cured my manic depression with tea and roasted peanuts in a cave up on a mountain in the Himalayas. (This literally happened to me.)

Edited by Pthigrivi

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The only thing behind my user name is I am called Mike by my friends and I like Mikenike's

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3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Pthigrivi was the name of the old Baba who magically cured my manic depression with tea and roasted peanuts in a cave up on a mountain in the Himalayas. (This literally happened to me.)

You can't just drop something like this and not give us the full story.

As for me, I was having a snack.

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Oh, well, alright. Gather round!

This will be the abridged, lightly censored version of this story. Still I know there are kids on this board so, fair warning--life can be hard.

I struggled in my teens and early 20's. I'd oscillate between weeks of barely sleeping, night after night reading, building video game levels (I was deep into Marathon at the time), solving math problems no one even assigned to me, and then slump down into inescapable, lethargic depression barely able to leave my bed. There were a lot of thoughts of suicide Im sad to admit, pretty much daily for about 10 years. I loved my major (architecture) and college was exhilarating, but not a happy time in my life. To finish my first semester final project I went 6 days without sleeping. After the presentation (which I hallucinated through, but got an A) my immune system crashed and a staph infection took over most of my body. Unable to verify my insurance they gave me antibiotics and pumped me full of codeine for the pain. Turns out Im allergic to codeine. I went into anaphylaxis and my heart stopped and I spent all of winter break in the hospital. 

I had a few other brushes with death, mostly self-induced in one way or another. Though I was doing great in school, loving time spent with my long-term girlfriend, inside I was slowly deteriorating. Then shortly before my thesis presentation a few things happened. I was dumped by my girl after 8 years together, mostly due to my increasing emotional unavailability. At the same time one of my closest friends succumb to schizophrenia and ceased to be the vibrant, thoughtful person I had loved. Then my architecture thesis, models, drawings, and all of 5 years previous work I had been cataloging for my portfolio was thrown in a dumpster do to a miscommunication between my dean and the janitorial staff. I spent 6 hours digging through coffee grounds, old carpet, and bathroom waste in the rain retrieving what I could. When I got home I bought a one-way ticket to India.

I had no plan. It was an act of desperate escapism. I was getting away from everything and I was not coming back. Almost immediately though I encountered something I had not experienced in America: the profound suffering of people living in true poverty. I had decided not to take rickshaws or cabs. I would walk everywhere. On my second day in Delhi I came across a young girl near death in a heap of garbage near the train tracks. The look in her eyes is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.*

I could deal with it, but not in that heat. It was august, after all, and Im just not built for 110 degrees. I fled for the mountains. I spent a bit of time in Haridwar and Rishikesh before booking a bus ticket to Badrinath. It was supposed to take 8 hours but ended up taking 5 days because of rockslides. We'd drive a couple of miles and the convoy would stop, the trucks all opened up and men set up selling fruit and chai and naan on the roadside while the Indian military blew up the rocks with dynamite and pushed them off the cliffs and down into the river. Most of the other westerners got scared and turned back, but I'd never been so happy in my life. 

When we got to Govindghat I started feeling a little sick. I had these splotchy red and white rashes on my wrists and ankles, but I figured I probably just shouldn't have stuck my hands and feet in the river back in Haridwar. The road to Badrinath cleared almost 5000 feet of elevation in 2 hours of switchbacks and my head was swelling by the time I got off the bus. The altitude, I assumed. I got some food and went to bed. I woke with a wet gasp a few hours later and that feeling I knew to be the alarm bells of imminent death. I dragged myself back to the bus shed but the man told me that a hunk of rock the size of a supermarket had slid down the mountain and cleaned out all the switchbacks on the way down. 4 weeks till I could leave.

I was rescued by a pair of western aid workers who informed me I had Dengue fever. There was no hospital in Badrinath and no road down, so they balled me up in blankets and fed me veggie soup and homeopathic honey paste for 8 days of hallucinogenic pain I think few can imagine. Dengue fever is like being given LSD and dunked in a bathtub of ice water while 8 guys drill hot pokers into your lymph nodes and brain. I don't believe in God, but on day six I begged him for death. Day seven I felt a bit better. By day nine I could walk outside and see the heaven I'd entered. 

Its hard to explain the Himalayas to anyone who hasn't been there. Its like another plane of existence. After I'd recovered a bit the two aid workers took me up to meet their Baba (holy man), a young guy in a Patagonia jacket who lived year round on the side of Mt Neelkanth. On the way up another man came bounding down the the path, barefoot and wrapped in orange with skin like an alligator. My friends started crying, but I didn't know why. Apparently no one had seen him in 10 years. Yknow that look grandparents get when they've seen some things? That little twinkle? This man had galaxies in his eyes.

Keep in mind Im a skeptic. Im mostly an atheist, I think acupuncture is probably bull. I cant even meditate. We spent all day climbing up to Pthigrivi's cave and watched the sun set through the entrance as he made tea and roasted peanuts in honey in an old cast iron pan. My friends translated, but I cant remember anything that was said. I just remember having a vision--3 objects, a sphere, a cube and a pyramid; red, yellow and blue. They were everything I'd felt for 10 years, my fear, my self-hatred, my arrogance. They were children's toys, and I discarded them. I've never thought of suicide since. 

It came in a couple other waves after. Sitting in a train station watching tanks roll by on flat-beds with men sleeping under blue tarp tents draped over the barrels and a boy moving luggage around on the platform. Just this moment of crystal clear pressence in this world. And again when I returned home to Vermont walking with my dog watching the autumn leaves flutter down in the wind. Just these little glimpses of actual life without all the noise in my head. 

So, yeah. Thats where I got the name. 




 

Edited by Pthigrivi

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I've used this handle (or variations of) on various media for almost twenty years now. I've been fascinated by rockets and space since I was a kid, and with all the endless bullcrap going on in this world since forever, I've always wanted of this rock...

I was using this handle on Yahoo Chat when I met my wife of thirteen years there. But she is so totally NOT a science geek. Think Penny from TBBT, but not blonde.

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I won't say how I chose my username (because I documented that in one of the many other equivalents of this thread), but I can tell you where my "Location: 0 5 12S 74 39 39W" is.

In the center of the pool at KSC.  With Val & Gia Kerman...

 

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On 7/10/2018 at 11:36 PM, YNM said:

I'm pretty sure there were a thread like this...

You visits the lounge long enough and you see one of these threads every couple of months. I even made one. Personally I think there should be a pinned one but there’s nothing wrong with creating a new one every couple of months.

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14 hours ago, munlander1 said:

there’s nothing wrong with creating a new one every couple of months.

Well, I already explained why my nickname is what it is, in this thread and in another.

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One of my country's (Canada's) greatest bands of all time, Rush. Listened to them since I first heard their song "Tom Sawyer" during an episode of Futurama when I was about 10. Got to see them in 2015 during their R40 tour in Vancouver. Was a great show. I never play KSP without putting Rush into my playlist, especially their song "Countdown" from their album "Signals." 

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