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March 18th, 2004

Men & Players

I was at the plasma place, reading Sunshine. There was a fellow in the bed next to me who commented at the "purity" of my plasma. He was one of those talky fellows who I suspect must wear on the staff. He asked about my book -- vampire novel. Just the thing to read at a plasma donation center.

He got to talking with the fellow opposite from him, and I tuned them out, but when the guy next to me made some comment about being able to think with both heads, I cracked up.

My laugh has changed, evidently. I'm doing less of the bwa-ha-ha-hee-hee-hee-snicker-snort-snarf-hoo-hoo-hoo, and more of the silent but visible laughter. I think it comes from trying to quiet down on the 'net at night and not disturb my roommates. I stayed laughing for quite some time.

So then the guy across the way, after giving the guy next to me a hard time, started talking about how, seriously, he could tell all sorts of things about a woman from just looking at her. He used me as his object lesson -- I wasn't married, no ring, but he could tell that I was with somebody. Fiance? Boyfriend? I got this look on my face; evidently it was accompanied by a slight flush. "Sort of," I eventually confirmed.

"A fling, then," he said. My grin got bigger. He went on to speculate that I'd gotten some very recently -- last night, perhaps? No? Then more recently than that -- this morning?

"I haven't seen my girlfriend since October," I told him, grinning.

This temporarily broke his brain. I grinned evilly, and left before he'd entirely recovered.

Friendship and self-loathing

One of the things I've never figured out how to do very well is respond when people who have a very negative self-image do something that reinforces that negative self-image in their eyes in your presence, and then go on about what a horrible person they are. I don't know what to say. Clearly, I don't think they're a horrible person, or I wouldn't be friends with them, but I know that anything I say is going to come out sounding wrong, so I try to either ignore it, or say nothing. Neither of those works very well.

When there's that much pent-up rage in a person, I go very small and silent, because the one thing I learned about that kind of rage when I was very small was that to witness it was to be subject to it. While I feel that I can physically defend myself against most people who aren't larger/more muscular/better trained, now that I'm big enough, strong enough, and deadly enough, verbal anger leaves me defenseless. I'll take an angry stranger over an angry friend any day, because the angry stranger doesn't know where to hit that's vulnerable.

And when I've been smacked a good one and tossed away without much on the "Ack, sorry, are you OK? I was pretty pissed there, sorry you got caught in the side effects!" end of things, I retreat and hope it heals and do anything I can to avoid being caught in the situation again. Sometimes I lose a friend. That always sucks. I hate it when that happens, but after someone's screamed at me for speaking, I never want to speak again around them unless they tell me it's all right...
Book club! easalle is here! Yay! What a bloody, gory story -- Dinah's brothers laying waste to the town. Woops.


I miss the Darkside.

easalle has no wings! Eeek! "They don't want them to watch TV, but they let them read this?!?"

I was the only one not completely thrilled with the book, I think. Heh. I am used to being the weirdo.

Why are these people non-educated on past issues? I wonder.

The nuclear family is destroying the ability to parent. Seriously. Also, when the importance of nurture comes up, people will want to adopt more.

Scherazade goes West by Fatima M.-----
Got to talk to Darkside for ... several hours. We goofed around as usual, and I got him caught up on some of the major things -- like the fact that my trip to California this past October had been to see my girlfriend, for starters -- mentioned the job at Hell, et cetera. He's busy. Grah. I mentioned how my aunts want to drag me out driving around the country this summer, which would be fun but for that whole job thing. Evidently I get on better with my relatives than he does his.

Votania's job came up, and some of the local asshattery. He mentions that unless she tells some of the would-be jokesters that it is Not Funny, that they'll never know. He does have a point. He boggled over the whole "Buddha is Satan" thing. Dawn may have come up in passing. We talked school. Bambi the Somewhat Obnoxious came out; he didn't remember her. In fact, he knew very few of my classmates, if any. His class group knew me better than I knew them; I was more familiar with his class group than he was mine; his class group knew me better than mine knew him. He pointed out that his class group knowing me was probably because I followed him all over school. I allowed as how he had a point, and mentioned that if I ever wrote him a note featuring "I'm going somewhere you can't follow", that he should worry extensively, but that this was unlikely. He appreciated the heads-up, and said that he would have otherwise thought that I was just moving somewhere and not telling him. I made faces at him, and mentioned something about scaring him off so badly that he'd move to Germany without leaving a forwarding address. He was intrigued; the idea caught his fancy a bit. I made more faces at him. I mentioned that probably half the reason that I was melting down so much when I was working at Hell before was because of job stress. He'd evidently guessed as much. He hadn't said anything, because, you know, it was a guess on his part. Graah. At some point I must definitely let him know that guess or not, I do appreciate his input on things like this, because I may not have realized it yet. I think I need to seriously stress that. I mean, he's Darkside. I can't remember what all we talked about, but it was nice and long and satisfying to have a good gossip with him.

The topic of Spotted Dick pudding came up; I wound up looking up a recipe for it. It looks half decent, actually. Darkside was only familiar with it from Shanghai Knights; I've known about it for years before watching the movie. And this is the man who spent enough time in the UK to pick up several different assorted accents! He dared me to look it up on a search engine, and I did: I shared my search terms and he told me I was cheating. So I got rid of the pudding recipe, and I still got clean "spotted dick" results. He told me that the quotation marks were cheating. I tried an image search on "spotted dick", and the raunchiest hit I got back was a fellow named Dick with skin problems. Even without quotation marks, evidently spotted dick is not all that bad a search term. I am provided with hours worth of giggles over the entire conversation. He told me that the reason I was getting back results that were so clean was that I was using Google, and I should try any other search engine for something more entertaining.

I mentioned that I should send off my notes to him from work. "On black paper?" he wanted to know. Evidently he got my notes to him bored at school just fine. This won't be black paper. He's such a silly.

His schedule is pretty much work and job hunting; our chances of hanging out together are slim to none. (Hey! At least a slim chance!) My schedule is school, work, and watching the Little Fayoumis -- on days I'm not kid-watching, I'm working, and days I'm not working, I'm kid-watching!

I shared my IDEs of March joke. It didn't come off quite so well, but my "tricky gnosis" pun did somewhat better. Evidently I am the only one who does not make noises of assorted terror when the topic of his sense of humor comes up. It must be nice to have someone who often gets a kick out of your jokes. Lucky man. ;-P

He shared gaming jokes. I giggled. He attempted to pry details of exactly what I was giggling evilly over from me. I declined, pretending to sound innocent. He did not buy it for one moment. I declined extensively, in the best fashion that I know how, in fact. He wanted to know what I was keeping secret from him. I told him that Mr. Shallow and I had in fact not kissed this time. That was not what he was looking for and I knew it. I still kept my own counsel.

We went on like this. He went from gaming jokes to silly flash, and wound up sharing some highly un-funny Osama bin Laden things. The conversation of exactly why I found them so very not funny stumbled to a halt when his mother got home. I'll probably go into that at more depth later. He'll talk to me later.

freshstartwrite Book Club Night

The Little Fayoumis and I took the bus to head off to the book club night. He was reading things all over on the bus, which confirms to me that he's at that "I want to read everything in sight" mode, where it's really taking off. We just barely missed connecting with the Red Line heading out, and so took the 19, and then just barely missed the next McDowell bus. We wound up arriving around 6:15, though, which is respectable.

easalle was actually there! Yaaaaay! This caused much happiness on my part, even though she looked to be wingless. The rest of the people there were only partially the usual crew. The Pirate Queen was of course there, overseeing the proceedings. We'll all be very sad when she eventually leaves (she's in pursuit of her teaching certification).

We discussed The Red Tent and ancient and modern family structure. This time, I was the one dissenting opinion on the impact of the book upon me: "Eh, it was okay; I've read better." Everyone else loved it. Heh. I'm the heretic, yes I am.

I was boggled that so many people there (one or two of the new ones I wasn't recognizing) were boggled at the civilization and warm family feeling present in the story -- they'd been thinking, for whatever reason, that people of ancient times were thrust together in affectionless pairings to reproduce. I observed that no matter the situation people found themselves in, they were either going to wind up hating it or finding the best in it and growing to enjoy at least those parts, no matter what about it they were at first uncertain of.

And it digressed into an entirely relevant discussion of family structure, children, childbirth, civilization, et cetera. Much fun was had by all.

It broke up too quickly, though, and I was one of the few last left. I called votania and left a message on the house machine, then on her cellphone, then tried her cellphone again. It was my night for the miscommunication, for they'd been headed out for dinner -- but they came and retrieved us, and out we headed!

The Vagina Monologues is our book for next time.


marxdarx now has an Associate's Degree in Animation. Excellentness! Celebration! Happiness! Whee! W00t! Yay!

*bounces around*

At the George and Dragon

votania and marxdarx had been in the parking lot of the George and Dragon when I called again to make sure that we were getting picked up. Communication breakdown time again! I'm glad that got squared away, though. It's been the week for communication breakdowns.

So they came and picked us up, and we all headed out. marxdarx was dressed spiffily, from his interview, and votania was dressed up as well. I felt distinctly underdressed in my blacks with no makeup.

We were seated, and debated over what to order. The Little Fayoumis started off by holding his menu upside-down, and there were a few grouchy, near-tearful moments, but that soon patched up. Yay. There was much merriment, and we probably could have ordered half as much and shared. There was some confusion on the Little Fayoumis's part over crisps and chips, and chips and fries; he wound up with both.

We had to get boxes to take things home with, but votania and I had, absolutely had to have the Spotted Dick, after we saw it on the menu. Our sparkling server told us that actually there wasn't any, but there was bread pudding; we sighed and went for the bread pudding to split between us. Then she came back and said that actually, it was the bread pudding that they were out of; did we want the spotted dick? Yes, indeed. Everyone partook but marxdarx, who abstained on account of the raisins (which he isn't fond of). It was proclaimed a Great Success, and I am to try to duplicate the recipe at home.

Heh, heh.

The Little Fayoumis did spill some dressing, and there were a few touchy moments over potential burping, and there were a few pointed reminders about other manners, but he's getting to the age where we can actually take him out to good places, especially provided that he's not tired and does have a manners shepherd on his elbow.

We had a fun time, all in all. It was an excellent birthday/graduation celebration.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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