Who am I? Or “A few things I picked up along the way… Hey driver, where are we going?!?”
My name is Elizabeth Haren, Beth to my friends (and several less flattering descriptors in polite society). I have also been known to respond to a variety of different nicknames acquired over the years as well as the occasional “Hey you!”. The most recent of the appellations have been Mama Beth, Broadway Mama, Dr. Mama, Dr. Beth, Dr. B, and Dr. Haren. I actually do have a doctorate in psychology, that included a rather more formal piece of writing called a dissertation (I still have nightmares). I currently serve in an integrated medical and behavioral world of managed healthcare, and I also see clients in private practice. I also have a rather ridiculous pedigree in the counseling and medical fields as well as a resume that looks a bit like someone with a blindfold started in the book of careers and just placed their finger at random to see what they were going to try on any given day… hey that might have been a better idea. At any rate, after playing the occupational hopscotch for a while, trying out different things and different careers for a while, I seem to have found some measure of direction and stability (see, there is hope). I settled on this particular path well over a quarter of a century ago, and what a windy little path it has been. I won’t say for sure that I’ve figured out exactly what I want to be when I grow up… Astronaut may be a little out of the question at this point, but I never really want to become completely stagnant. I feel there are still adventures to be had. As far as the career goes, though, I’m decently satisfied with where I’ve landed.
For those who don’t know, Tananda was a character in a wonderful fantasy fiction series created by Robert Lynn Asprin and continued/collaborated with Jody Lynn Nye. The MYTH Adventures filled many hours of my life with amusement as I read the entertaining narrative and quite frankly snarky, sarcastic banter of characters that Asprin created. Long ago… I hesitate to say how long… a friend bestowed on me the nickname of Tananda. Not that I shared any of the physical or amorous characteristics, but apparently some of her temper and other traits were shared. It became my handle for internet correspondence and role playing (of the tabletop variety, let’s keep it clean, people!). Now, I suppose Tananda and I are as inseparable as a trollop from Trollia and a doctor of psychology can be.
Not too much has been written about Tananda’s history in the Myth Adventures books, except to say that she has been Aahz’s friend for a long time. She was trained as an assasin, but has let her dues to the Assasin’s Guild lapse. She has traveled the dimensions extensively, but she’s found a bit of a home with MYTH, Inc.
I (Beth), on the other hand, have stayed in this dimension primarily. Hopping about the globe for a good portion of my formative years (not always of my own choosing), I got a good look at different cultures around our planet and realized that the lens through which most Americans and Europeans view the world is a bit limiting. A perpetual and rabid learner, I couldn’t quite seem to get enough of education. Thus, the doctoral degree. I keep saying, “This is the last one…”, and we’ll see if that holds true this time. However, regardless of formal academia, learning is not confined to classrooms. I hope to continue learning and expanding my horizons.
Tananda is a very good looking Trollop. (Trollops, unlike their male counterparts, Trolls, look very human-like, except for the green hair.) She is usually dressed in fashionable and tight-fitting attire. If Tananda is traveling dimensions, she will insist on disguising herself as a very attractive version of whatever creature inhabits that dimension.
I cannot claim the same visceral and visual appeal of my counterpart. For one, I don’t have green hair (however, during the 80’s I did dye it green on occasion). I also tend to avoid the tight-fitting attire. For someone my age, it is not only just silly, it more often shows off the negatives rather than enhancing the assets. I also hope that I do not have her vanity. I more often laugh at my own flaws than attempt to conceal them. That said, I’m amazonian in stature. I’m 6 feet tall (give or take) and was built on a more athletic than feminine frame. I have a fairly consistent love-hate relationship with my physique and have a good bit of experience with diet and exercise. Thankfully, my endeavors generally run to healthy rather than societal assumption and attribution of attractiveness. However, my struggles and efforts have spawned the rather tongue-in-cheek, sometimes witty, and occasionally informative Physical Fit posts. I hope you enjoy them.
Tananda is a bit of a vamp. Her “greetings” have been known to get a rise out of a corpse. However, when it comes to a fight, she is usually cool as a cucumber. She is a bit vain about her looks and insists on looking good all the time. If she is travelling in a dimension of slimey creatures, her disguise will be the slimey-est of all.
See above. I’d like to think that I am not quite so vain, but I admit to having human failing and prefer to look my best, frequently failing as I generally am more concerned with comfort in movement than I am with the latest fashions. As for waking the dead with my greetings (yeah, we all know what was meant there), I’m guessing I don’t have the talent or attributes. LOL
On the other hand, while not necessarily pursuing marshal activities as a regular part of my day, the coolness in a crisis is probably not too far off. It came with some of my career territory over the years. In fact, I’m probably better in a trauma ward than a zen monastery. The adrenaline junky within me seems to function best in a world of chaos and fast-paced decisions, no matter how much I strive for the opposite.
Her fear of failure sometimes causes her to over-react when things aren’t going the way they should. Chumley (her brother) once told Skeeve of a dimension where she had a bad time with a collecting assignment. That dimension no longer exists, says Chumley, because she had a bit of a temper tantrum.
Unfortunately, I believe this bit might be the tale that resulted in my nickname. I share the fear of failure with my “namesake,” and I tend towards perfectionism with a very hard line towards my own expectations. My history of temper flaring at times when I didn’t do as well as I thought I should are legendary. I think my temper has become more temperate over time, but I’d have to get external opinions on that. I know that I have put in considerable effort to moderate my responses to emotional stimuli over the years. I think I’ve done pretty well overall. I’m not perfect, but no dimensions, planets, countries, or even small villages have disappeared in a good many years. Perhaps there is some wisdom that comes with age and experience. As always, though, I’ll keep working on my self-actualization.
Originally, I started writing on a generic wordpress account when a friend with whom I’ve lost contact a while back reminded me that I’ve owned this blasted domain for years and had nothing attached to it. The original “about” content was something like this:
“This is possibly the least interesting thing that will be written in association with my page. For the life of me, I cannot construct a reason that anyone should want to read about me. That said, I am an ordinary person, who has had the luck of meeting some extraordinary people and experiencing a collection of very odd situations. It makes for an interesting journey.”
This blog (heavens! I cannot believe I started this) is a collection of my ramblings, rants, and deep thoughts. Turns out, it isn’t as much about me as it is my perceptions and observations of the world in which we live. I try to keep it witty, and I try to keep it spelled correctly (and grammatically inoffensive), but to that last… can’t make any definite promises. Enjoy!
Tananda character write up by Scott Christensen with writeups.org (http://www.writeups.org/fiche.php?id=3385)