Lalena Fissure, singer and guitarist
(formerly known as Suzi Blade)

About my name:
- "Lalena" is a late-'60s song by Donovan. My dad thought the song was beautiful, and they had to come up with something quick because they had planned for a boy and pre-named me "Robby." When I was 16, Dad took me to see Donovan perform, and Donovan told a kind of cool story about a woman during the feminist movement of the early 1900s who was conflicted about whether to be a housewife or a career woman, and she ended up "walking the streets." Alas. ... But another theory seems to be that the song was about the Austrian actress Lotte Lenya.

- Winona Ryder's character in the movie Reality Bites was named after me. The character herself is based on the screenwriter and my high school classmate Helen Childress. But Helen later said she always liked my name (though she spelled it incorrectly; that happens a lot). In a strange coincidence, I happened to be working for the Houston Chronicle when the movie came out--and there's a scene in which Lelaina interviews for a job at the Chronicle!

Collage made by my friend,
painter Lisa Sanditz.

Photo and glitter rat by Stephanie Patton.
Flapper outfit by my mom.

- In a video game called Moontorc (Atlantis 1991), "Princess Lalena has been captured by the Dark Lord, and you have to rescue her by battling through four levels of platforming action and collecting the three parts of Moontorc," according to CPC Game Reviews. The character is obviously inspired by me.
...UPDATE (6/21/05): I got this exciting email today!
"Hi Lalena, I came across your website, and The Colour Guard one where you mention a computer game from back in the '90s... Moontorc, which featured Lalena. Well I wrote that game along with my two brothers."
These guys are amazing. Artists, musicians, writers; here's their website, Sick Happy Idle.

- In this photo courtesy of my amused landlord who was traveling in Mexico, you can see that in Spanish, "la lena" (with a tilde on the N) means "kindling wood."

You could say this was an early conceptual art performance; at age 5, I dressed as Helen Keller for the Halloween party we had in our garage in Houston. This is a picture of when I was "It" during a game of Murder in the Dark. I was obsessed with Helen Keller after seeing The Miracle Worker, starring Patty Duke, on TV and begged my grandmother to make me a dress like hers. I was somewhat dismayed by the lace, but nevertheless got into character, feeling my way around the room and grunting, "waaaah-waaaah."