When you help someone up a hill, you get that much closer to the top yourself. -Anonymous
Question #92736 posted on 11/15/2019 4:45 p.m.

Dear Board Writers,

What inspired your alias? Is there a story behind it? Any cool meanings?

As I write this, I'm slowly realizing that it kind of sounds like I'm someone asking another person to explain their tattoos. I've heard that it's kind of annoying, but I stand by my question.

Strike 'em,



Dear starch,

On my cousins' birthday (they're twins, so that apostrophe is in the right place!) we decided to play laser tag. Upon checking in, they asked us for codenames. After standing there with a blank look for a minute, the employee rolled his eyes and rolled a dice with silly names on each side, and it just so happened to land on "guppy of doom." I was upset for five minutes at how stupid a name I got, but after a rousing game of laser tag and hearing my enemies swear vengeance on "that darn guppy of doom who kept shooting me!", I decided I rather liked it.

-guppy of doom


 Dear Rice, 

Several of us have explained ours before, but I'm glad we'll have a question where all of the answers are in one place. So here's mine, once again. 

As you probably know, I'm a huge Coldplay fan. I went to the A Head Full of Dreams tour in 2017 and heard a reading of the poem "The Guest House" by Rumi, and I really liked the message. I didn't know what it was called at the time, but I liked it. Later, I was browsing Tumblr for poetry and as I read this one poem I kept thinking, huh, this sounds really familiar! Where have I heard this before??? and then it clicked! I realized it was from "Kaleidoscope" - it was the poem I had heard at the concert. Since then it's been my favorite poem and pretty much my motto for life. 

I love that it teaches us to be grateful for every day and the opportunities that it brings, and the lessons that we can learn even with hard experiences. It's a beautiful and eloquent metaphor and everyone should at least click that link and read it. 

"This, being human, is a guest house." Me! I'm a guesthouse!

It felt pretty natural to assume it as my alias. 



P.S. NEW COLDPLAY MUSIC IS OUT YE FOOLES, GO FORTH AND PARTAKE  if you have not yet listened to the singles also the Everyday Life double album comes out November 22 so just keep that in mind because this is going to be a Wilde Ride and I'm sad none of you have mentioned it to me yet on here. 


Dear Rice,

Alta, Wyoming is a wonderful place that I love and that makes me feel happy and peaceful, so that's where my nym comes from. Also, when I first started writing I had just gotten back from my mission where a lot of people referred to me simply as "la alta," (the tall person), so I liked that my nym had a double meaning depending on how you pronounced it.



Dear Rice A Roni, 

I've been waiting for this question! Bless your soul.

So, I graduated in Family History and Genealogy, right? Well, when I first started doing my family history, I came across this woman named Goldie Rose _____ ________ ______. She had THREE middle names. I discovered her husband named Carl and had the opportunity to seal them in the temple. This is why I refer to my husband as Carl. Goldie Rose is considered one of the first ancestors that I know and consider a kindred spirit (besides the infant we're mostly likely naming our son after and helped me decide to change my major to Family History and Genealogy). Plus, her full name is really fun to say out loud (in my opinion). Carl and I joke that if we knew we would have four daughters, we'd name the first Goldie, second Rose, etc. But, we're having a boy first and I don't want five kids, so that's not going to happen!

-Goldie Rose


Dear rice pudding,

Two things.

1) When I was little, I loved the American Girl dolls and books. My friend's mom even put together a club for my friends and I. Each year, we focused on one character. We would read all of the books for that character, do activities and crafts related to her stories, and learn about the time period and place where she lived. Josefina is one of the characters we learned about, and I thought she was awesome.

2) Josefina is also a version of my sister's middle name, and I think it's pretty. 




Dear you,

I've mentioned this multiple times before, but my 'nym comes from the book Good Omens. When I started writing, I knew I wanted to be a witch from a Terry Pratchett novel, and I really liked Anathema Device's no-nonsense approach to witching. If I were to go back, I'd probably actually go with Eskarina because that name doesn't already mean something else.



Dear Rhys,

Three things⁠—

1. I really just love the color blue. Like it's part of my identity.

2. Cerulean is fun to say. 

3. This.





Dear Gohan,

I talked about the origin of my 'nym in Board Question #92513, but I'll go ahead and jump on the bandwagon a second time because boy oh boy do I love this game.

I toyed around with a variety of ideas in my years as a reader and 9S was not what I planned to go with at all. I hadn't even heard of NieR Automata until sometime shortly after I'd come home from my mission, and I wasn't interested in the game due to the rating and what little I'd heard about why it had that rating.

I do happen to be a big fan of video game soundtracks, though, and the game's soundtrack seemed to be getting rave reviews almost unanimously, so I gave it a listen. One thing led to another, and after watching a couple of gameplay videos I decided to take the plunge on the game.

I'm so glad I did. I fell in love with it within the first two hours. The gameplay is fluid and enjoyable, the writing is intelligent and self-aware, and most pertinent to this question, the characters are human and compelling. Which is ironic, really (none of them are human; they're automatons, hence the title). But I digress. 9S' inquisitiveness, spunk, and his rapport with the stoic and always-too-serious 2B made for a relationship dynamic that was both emotionally moving and entertaining in turn.

However, it wasn't until I cleared both Ending A and B and started on route C that 9S really came into his own right as a character. I won't offer specifics; I can't in good conscience spoil this game, which derives a tremendous amount of emotional weight from the piecemeal manner in which it feeds information to the audience. But route C is where 9S has the spotlight and his personality (in all its virtues as well as vices) comes to the forefront. Quite aside from the heavy-hitting emotional sucker punches repeatedly delivered by the plot in route C, his characterization is complex, flawed, and above all, movingly human. I suppose you could say I saw a lot of myself in him, both in his good qualities and his flaws.

So there you have it. Personally speaking, NieR Automata was, I think, the first video game I've played in recent memory that wasn't just well-written but also genuinely moving, thanks in no small part to 9S' stellar characterization.

Have I mentioned I'm a big fan of the game? I am.




Dear Rice,

When I was 19, my best friend and I decided to make those shirts where you draw a design with bleach pens like the ones in this tutorial. She had already chosen a phrase for her shirt, but I had no idea what I wanted. We pulled out a dictionary, opened it up, and just happened to find the word quixotic, which I have loved ever since. It's an adjective that means idealistic and romantic to the point that it isn't realistic. Something about it just hit me and I decided that it wouldn't be so bad to be a little more like that, as I think the world (and my life in particular) needs more optimism and romance, even if it verges on naivety. Anyway, I put it on my t-shirt and the rest is kind of history. A little while ago, I gave that shirt to the Provo DI, so if you happen to see someone wearing a similar shirt in the wild, it's not me and they will most likely react with confusion if approached.

-Quixotic Kid


Dear Rice,

While I was coming up with my alias, I had the song "Moving Right Along" from the Muppet Movie stuck in my head because it came on my Spotify "Discover Weekly" playlist. I just kept listening to it on repeat cause its a straight-up bop.

Also, in middle school I tried to get people to call me "Fozzie" as a nickname but it didn't stick. So I'm basically just living out my middle school dreams here.