July 15, 1997

When I was a child, I sometimes believed that I was a mermaid. I knew that I was different from all the other children and that there was something that made it so that I wasn't as welcome, sometimes, in everything else that went on; but, then, I didn't know why, consciously, I wasn't like everyone else in Indiana. I blamed my asthema on being a water creather and not used to the cold, dry wind, the fact that I couldn't run as a kid on the fact that my legs really should have been a tail, and blamed the fact that I really could grasp why the kids around me wanted to do things I had absolutely no interest in on simply not being born of the same desires they had.

I went down to San Jose to get my hair blue. Just a simple, plain, somewhat dark blue that would match a dusky blue jacket I have. Instead, I've come back with mermaid hair. Glass tone blues and greens with stripes of varigation in those hues, thousands of shades that deepen to black, with just the occasional hint of flame red where the dye hadn't quite gotten to... a few strands that had escaped. Sea blue, that turns black in the dark, but glows brightly with color when bright lights play on it.

It was quite the process, too. Three hours of bleaching and then an overnight soaking in blue dye. For a few hours I was tawny with strawberry blonde on top, glowing copper in the center and mahogany brown at the tips of the hair. My hair had been dyed before, and the layers had soaked up enough color to not want to let go... so they didn't. But it was surprisingly startling colors. The green is far less startling to me. Odd that. But by the end of it all my scalp was just screaming and the shirt I'd brought to be destroyed was certainly destroyed. It started out blue and ended up spattered with white and dark teal.

I'd also gone to game with folks and visit with Carl Rigney, whom I've now known for a very long time, much of that time involved with gaming of various types, some of that time involved with technical stuff of various types. What was best was simply the feeling of safety, comfort, quiet that I always get around Carl. He's fun to talk to and fun to talk with and he's always encouraging me to do more things that are fun.

During the weekend I played two games of the Legend of Five Rings, and played a Unicorn Clan warrior woman that was death on horseback with a naginata. Not very talkative but really active. I seem to play that kind of character a lot. The actual logs of the games are around here somewhere, likely in the story section, I think... perhaps as two letters, one as a report to her daimyo the other as the letter to her younger sister to tell her what an adventure her new life is.

I was scheduled to go to La Fondue with seven other women on Saturday night, and woke up Saturday morning with a broken molar. Not good. I had already been somewhat terrified of the thought of going out with eight women, and this additional pain kinda made me sick in the stomach about the whole idea. I know that this kinda sounds funny, but I'm not used to women, not used to talking with them, not used to interacting with them, eventhough I am a woman, it's one of those things that I have never really done a lot of with much enjoyment. Some of this is probably because I was brought up as an engineer in engineering and science schools where the ratios were 7:1 and even 150:1 for guys versus girls, and a lot of it is that I'm just not interested. I have to admit I'd rather talk about the technical details of class construction, gaming mechanics, network possibilities, and probabilites for particular gaming setups.

I am quite the geek, I guess.

Also, with the tooth broken, I wasn't going to be enjoying the food at all, which is actually quite marvelous food. And it seemed very silly to go out and pay $40 for food I wasn't going to be able to enjoy. It also turned out that Gretchen was sick, so she and I could pull out gracefully, as a pair, since most of La Fondue's food was sold 'for two'. So it worked out. And, instead, Carl, Trip and Bryant took me to see Face/Off again, yum, and I nibbled on soft corn cakes while the rest of the guys had huge mountains of Mexican food. It was fun to watch them eat, but I was glad of the Tylanol Carl gave me for the pain.

I was also glad of Trip, Carl and Bryant's support in getting me to a dentist and figuring out what I had to do to get my tooth looked at and either taken care of or evaluated. The dentist basically said that it would likely be okay until I could get home and to my own dentist, but that quick repairs would likely be a filling and more long term repairs would likely require a crown. <sigh>. I hate crowns. I've already had three molars shatter so far and have had to get them crowned and it's no fun. Sometimes the scariest dreams I have are of my teeth cracking and shattering and falling out of my mouth and my having to spit out a mouthful of shards. It's not the pain that bothers me, it's the entropy of the whole thing.

Sunday was fun to game again with Bryant GM'ing and Monday was great for just sleeping and reading all day and drinking Odwalla vanilla shake-stuff, which seems to make my digestive system happier with me. Nice way to recharge, all in all. And Monday night we saw Le Samuria, a French film that John Woo said was 'The Perfect Film' and it was very keen, though very French and not nearly as action-filled as a John Woo movie. I really enjoyed it for it's own merits, though the pacing seemed a bit slow to Carl. I really enjoyed the moments in the French subway system. It was also very good to just sit outside afterwards, drinking hot milk with almond syrup and listen to Chrisber talk about the games he was in and figure out the convoluted history of his game along with listening to and thinking of ideas that Bryant, Trip and Carl were coming up with.

All in all, a most pleasant weekend.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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