I hope you guessed my name....

Just over five years ago, I was listening online to WWOZ in the late summer, when they announced that the incoming storm was looking pretty serious, and that they were getting out. That was when I knew that the storm bearing my name was going to be big.

In September, 2005, on my blog at the time, I wrote this:

I am Not Alone

and yes, it sucks

from the New York Times

I met someone at the weekend who responded with 'What a horrible name'.

Never the most common of names, when I was a child the personalised stickers and bicycle licence plates always had Katie and Kelly but never Katrina. At the time I was born, it was at the peak of its limited popularity. I would guess it won't be used much now for at least a generation.

It is a name just uncommon enough that for some people it has no association now except that *&^% storm. This wouldn't be the case if the name had been Jennifer or Jessica or anything that has been in the top ten of girls' names in the past 30 years. So newspaper writers, although they had to qualify "Hurricane" Andrew, just say "Katrina" - as if it has no other referent. I still flinch to hear my name used as an epithet, and I'm sick of the queasy guilt trip of hearing my name listed with the numbers of dead and displaced.

I've just arrived in New Orleans, and this should be an interesting week, as I throw around generous tips and tell people my name is Measles.