The title of this blob is the name my daughter Judy sometimes calls my granddaughter, Colleen. Colinkadeenapinklewinkle. We keep calling her names. I personally call her Kalinka. Her sister Arden (formerly Gwenie) calls her Binka. And right now we’re calling her the Birthday Girl. She’s 22 years old today.
Colleen puts up with all these strange names we call her as long as we don’t call her “late for class”. She’s within a hair of finishing college and she’d like to depart those hallowed halls of learning at the very earliest opportunity.
“My nickname for her, and yours if I’m not wrong, comes from mom calling her Colinkadeenapinklewinkle. Also when my mother wanted to call both of us, she would call Gwecalendaleen. Colinka. Binka. And Colleen-bean.
Colleen was originally going to be called Katherine. Both my parents liked the name, Katherine Hepburn etc., but my mother put the kaibosh on the idea when she thought her precious daughter might be referred to, completely out of her control, as ‘Katie’. For reasons we shall probably never know, this was unacceptable. So she became Colleen Katherine Taylor, a first name difficult, though clearly not impossible, to make embarrassing nicknames out of.
Colleen-bean in particular came from the close relationship Colleen shared with her (at the time) four youngest cousins, T.T., Josie, Natalie and Joy, particularly the twins. They took to calling her Colleen-bean, and I seem to remember one particular incident, upon which Colleen was requested by her mother to leave for the evening. The twins surrounded her and clung to her, proclaiming with smiling faces, “But Colleen-bean, we’re nevergoingtoseeyou agaaain!”
If I were to say what Colleen’s best feature is, it would definitely be the caring nature and loyalty that she feels for all her wonderful friends. Unlike me, who might be seen as a bit of a social ascetic, she fills her life with fantastic and admirable people, among whom she is the high point.”
Colleen shares her birth year of 1989 with only one of her cousins: Erica Joy Opsvig. Erica has been attending the same university Colleen does and she too is breathlessly looking forward to packing up her degree and getting outta there!
Colleen has at least as many talents as names. She and Arden were both home-schooled until high school, but took several music classes at the school.
In music, Colleen plays the flute and viola, and was a member of the Tacoma Youth Symphony during her high school years. She also played electric bass guitar with a jazz combo called Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. One time when she was about 15, I uploaded a video of her playing a classical piece on the viola and it’s had almost 40,000 viewings so far.
She’s put in her time on the theatrical stage. She had acting parts since she was three years old. Here’s her first “role” in its entirety. She played one of the Apparitions who appeared to Shakespeare’s Macbeth in a production at Green River Community College. The show was directed by her dad Gary Taylor, and costumed by her mother, Judy.
I think Kalinka’s parents were just trying to demonstrate the meaning of the time-honored theatrical expression, “There are no small parts, there are only small actors.”
Colleen is an excellent writer and had a chance to get some work published while interning for one of our local theaters. Right now, she’s working part-time jobs to help her get established in the non-profit sector.
I guess it’s time to stop bragging about our talented Kalinka, set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time, and get some shut-eye.
But first — we all hope you have a very happy birthday, Colinkadeenapinklewinkle. But don’t expect us to stop calling you names.