This is a call to arms.

I’ve been busy and/or not been in a good headspace for actual blogging lately. However! I realized something of vital importance and want to glean as much as possible from any corner of the web where I am allowed to ask people about things.

As you almost definitely know if you’ve been reading this, I play the ukulele.

It’s been a wonderful resource for me in New Zealand especially–it’s n0t too difficult to get a basic grip on a lot of songs to sit and play around with for a while, but it’s not simple enough that I don’t need to practice a WHOLE LOT to get anywhere near good.

I haven’t actually made any friends yet in Wellington. I go out for classes and when I force myself on walks through the city (which, depending on my state of mind when I leave the house, can either be fantastic or miserable). It’s really easy to get lonely or depressed in this situation. The ukulele’s given me something to do that I like, that feels productive, and that REALLY cheers me up.

This is all territory that Loudon Wainwright’s already covered. I don’t want to be repetitive, so I’ll defer to him:

Anyway, if I haven’t made it clear enough: I already really liked the ukulele. But over the past month or so, we’ve grown very, very close.

We're in looove.

We're in looove.

All this and, perhaps shockingly, my ukulele doesn’t have a name.

Generally, I think the naming of inanimate objects is ridiculous (I named my computer, my iPod, every camera I ever owned, my car, and my giant tricycle but apparently I draw the line there). But the ukulele and I have a level of intimacy that I feel requires a first-name basis (non-sexual).

I need name suggestions. I don’t know what to call it.

Some information: it’s a concert-sized uke with a little guitar-style cutaway bit at the top and a tacky, sort of ugly sunburst coloring (I would never have chosen the sunburst, but it was a gift from my Dad who is WILD about sunburst guitars). It’s an Oscar Schmidt. I don’t know anything about different types of ukuleles or different types of wood but I suspect it is spruce (it’s definitely not koa).

It has a hook-up for an amp, which is a little bit yonic and suggests that it’s a pretty little girl uke, but have my suspicions that my ukulele is male. Which is really too bad, because thinking of girl names for a uke is easy-peasy.

I’ve considered naming it Al, obviously after the man I love:

But something about that seems slightly too odd and terrifying.

Obviously naming it after Roy Smeck, radio wizard of the screen, is an option:

(as a side note: what the hell is up with that voice? Did people back then ACTUALLY talk like that in every-day life, or is it just a weird thing affected by performers? And if so, why did they affect it?)

Though I don’t know about “Roy” as a name in general for anyone

Except for the mysterious nephew from the Simpsons, obviously.

Except for the mysterious nephew from the Simpsons, obviously.

Anyway, come one, come all and SUGGEST A NAME FOR MY UKULELE.

If you think it’s a girl, feel free to challenge me.


I’ve been wanting to mention (on this blog and to every single person I know or have known or see walking past me on the streets) a video blog I’ve been enjoying recently.

I’ll try to keep this as related as possible. So it involves some uke-ing. And I’d venture to say this fellow’s generally sunny disposition (and tendency towards at least slight optimism in the face of bad-feeling) have helped me quite a bit in recent days when I’ve not been feeling my best.

He’s JB Dazen and he’s a Dutch musician. He’s got a pretty great band that you can check out here:

He also posts a bit of solo music on his video blog, like this fantastic ukulele song:

Sometimes he posts things entirely in Dutch, which is a fantastic treat especially if you, like me, neither speak nor understand a word of Dutch. I promise I’m not being sarcastic–I think the Dutch sounds really beautiful AND I get a big kick out of trying to figure out what’s going on, where the jokes fall, etc.

So, yes. JB Dazen. Very funny, very talented, amiable and charming. Possibly rivaling certain ukulele-centric website owners for a space in my weird little heart.