Transplanted Life
Friday, November 21, 2003
Idle time...
What a boring day at work. It's Friday. Next week is short, so there weren't a lot of people calling to make appointments or arrangement for then. A good chunk of the staff were out of the office on a business trip. Nothing was delivered, the phone didn't ring, no-one's came in to see anybody else.

It's funny, but days like today seem like even more of a waste of time than they were before. Part of it's the less-skilled job; there's less room to show initiative, so there are fewer ways to fill your time without appearing to be goofing off. But being bored in someone else's body is like when you're waiting for biopsy results, or like this spring when I found out a guy I knew in high school was shipping out to Iraq. You just feel like you should be doing something to fix the situation, but there's nothing you can think of to do. So it starts to weigh on you. Seriously - at one point this afternoon, I was actually thinking "were my boobs this heavy yesterday?" and went into the ladies' room to check. I've also found that with the longer hair, I'm starting to develop a nervous habit of coiling it around my index finger, and that becomes like an itch to scratch.

I suppose I could try searching the internet for stuff on Michelle/"Martin", or Natalya Tartakovsky, or stuff like that, but... Well, it's the same reason I don't write this blog at work any more. Maybe I'm paranoid, but unless I accept the whole "witchcraft" explanation (ha!), I figure Michelle must have had some help switching with me. And even if nobody at BioSoft could actually build a body-switching machine, it seems likely that she would have met whoever did build it through the place. It could be a client or another employee, and they could still be watching me.

Heck, Kate or Jen could be reporting information back to Michelle or trying to influence me. Jen did seem rather keen on my getting another boyfriend this week, for instance. And what would she tell Michelle about how I'm getting some use out of her body?

But, of course, the idea that Kate and Jen are spying on me is ridiculous. Neither really seems like the type who could contribute much to a mind-transfer device (scientific knowledge is pretty specialized, no matter what you see on TV, and Kate's in finance, for crying out loud), and Janet had to prompt them to hang out with me. Unless Janet's the criminal mastermind, testing some body-swapping device in hopes of being young again...

See, that's the kind of thing that fills your mind under these circumstances. Every scenario from some weird revenge plot of Maggie's to Kurt trying to build the ultimate girlfriend to alien infiltration. But only one can be true, and it's probably the one that involves the fewest people - this is kind of a big technological advance to hide.


Thursday, November 20, 2003
Some folks get two long weekends in a row
Busy day at work today, as half the office seemed to be trying to get two day's work done before 4pm. Apparently, one of BioSoft's first clients was a pharmeceutical firm down in the Baltimore area, Sayers & Harcourt. BioSoft developed two products for them: The first was a system which could rapidly extrapolate variations on a given chemical structure based upon different isotopes and identify when this would change their behavior; the second is a clinical testing management system.

Anyway, S&H is receiving FDA approval for a drug that only shows certain side-effects when one carbon atom has an atomic weight of 14 rather than 12. Knowing this means the company can tighten manufacturing tolerances, and this eyedrop can go on the market after its smooth clinical tests.

There's a big party and media event tomorrow night, with folks from BioSoft invited. Not me, of course, but Mr. Kraft, Mark, Dimitri, Janet and Jen are catching a 7pm flight along with their spouses & S.O.'s. They'll probably spend a good chunk of tomorrow at the hotel answering questions, but Mr. K had Judy make sure their hotel rooms were booked for the entire weekend so that they could play tourist a little.

Pretty cool, I figure. The first dot-com I was at did events like that, but they're gone now. I really wish I was working here as something more than a receptionist.


Wednesday, November 19, 2003
I've finally got enough hair for a decent-looking ponytail, so that's what had when I showed up to the Weekly Wednesday Ass-Kicking, along with some jeans with tears at the knees and a white Boston Film Festival T-shirt (which looked just elegant along with the black bra). Hey, it's Boston, and you enjoy those 60-degree nights in November whenever they appear. Jen just shook her head when she saw me, and asked whether this was some sort of adverse reaction to getting a little dolled up the night before.

Oh, no, I told her, I just really have to do laundry after the movie. Besides, I said with a grin, the makeup and stuff got the job done last night.

Jen got all excited about me "meeting someone" until I said I probably wouldn't be seeing him again. Don't get me wrong, we had fun, but the only way to shut him up was to actually put something in his mouth and my nipples were sore this morning. Her first reaction to that was along the lines of "ooooooooooooooo-kay", but after that she started wanting details. Carlos would have been embarassed if he'd been able to make it, the amount of questions that Jen asked about this guy's physique and technique. I'm really paying attention during sex, not just so that I better know what girls like when I get my own body back, but because I'm acutely aware that what I do will be Monday-morning quarterbacked by all my lovers' girlfriends.

No Kurt or Wei tonight, and I had to pull Jen's hand down and shrink down in front of the seat when she tried to wave Hamish over. "What's that about? You seemed to be getting along pretty well at the bar last week."

"The bar was fine. It was the morning after and the next evening that wasn't quite as cool."

Jen's eyes got a little wider. "You've been busy."

"Geez, just one or two others in the last couple weeks."

She was about to say something, but then the emcee came to introduce Sonny Chiba's The Executioner (which was, honestly, more fun that the movie, which was a cruddy print dubbed in English by the cast of speed racer). Afterward, she scribbled something on a piece of paper and handed it to me.

"What's this?" Well, obviously, it was a phone number, under the name "Paul Draper".

"Remember the guy in the Godzilla costume at the party? He's Carlos's old partner, he liked you a lot, and I've been meaning to give this to you anyway. He'd be way better for you than a bunch of one-night stands."

"But I'm not looking for a relationship right now. I just got out of one, and I had another long one before that. Can't I just enjoy getting laid without getting tangled up in something?"

We were almost at the train stop by that time, and she turned around and grabbed me just below the shoulders. She's pretty strong for a girl, and I was surprised how intent she was on this. "Come on, Michelle, you're smarter than that!"

It took both hands for me to pull one of hers off my arm; she was kind of surprised to see she'd grabbed me and let go with the other. "Look, Jen, I appreciate it, but it's no big deal. I'm just enjoying my state of unattachment right now. You might say I'm sampling, trying to figure out what I like. This is no big deal for guys, you know."

"But we're not guys." She sighed, and from the way she paused before continuing, I thought she knew what I was. "Look at it this way - remember how you screamed at the TV because of how Grady Little couldn't handle a pitching staff?"

I got conversational whiplash, and told her so.

"It's a metaphor, silly. Look, you stayed with Kurt too long, even after everyone around you could see it was a bad idea and he certainly wasn't giving you 100%, just like Gump did with his starters. But that doesn't mean you go all the way in the other direction. You were the one who kept insisting that if you keep changing relievers, you're eventually going to find the guy in the bullpen with nothing that day who gives up four home runs before the next guy is ready. You get what I'm saying?"

I guessed I did, and made a show of folding the piece of paper and putting it in my pocket. The train was pulling up, so she said she'd see me at work tomorrow "and for God's sake, go home!"

So I did, and put a load of clothes in the wash before firing this up. Jen's got the best of intentions, I know, but she thinks like a woman and expects me too. That's not an insult; it just means that even a tomboyish girl who gets herself a degree in computer science on partial athletic scholarship is still taught to see the world a certain way. Maybe the world would be a better place if men were as strongly focused on relationship as opposed to individual satisfaction as women are (or so the stereotype goes), but maybe a lot more people would be sacrificing their own happiness just to fit in with others' expectations, too.

But, I'll keep the number anyway. I must admit, I've been a little curious about the guy in the suit since the party, and just because I'm a man (at heart, if not presently at body) doesn't mean empty sex is all I want. If I'm going to be sampling, I might as well sample relationships, too.

If and after I get bored with the sex for sex's sake.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Happy birthday...
I'll bet no-one, in the history of surprise birthday parties, was more surprised than I was today.

This is, of course, because I was born on February 2nd, 1974. Michelle, however, was born on November 18th, 1978, making today her 25th birthday. I'd seen the date on her driver's license before, whenever I pulled it out to register for a website or something, but I hadn't done that in almost a month so the significance of the date slipped my mind. I wonder if she's doing anything to celebrate it out in Seattle. It's not every day, after all, that the body you were born is old enough to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is one of the reasons I hold out hope of getting my body back, too - why would Michelle opt to become almost five years older (especially considering that, statistically, women live longer then men), unless she really hated being a girl or my body was just meant as a stepping-stone to another female one (Nataliya?)

Anyway, the folks at work were cool - Janet baked a cake, which the whole office enjoyed. Both the grandmother-types, Janet and Judy, clucked like I had forgotten my own birthday ("Well, it's not like it's mine..."). After work, Kate, Jen, and I were going to go to a little seafood place Kate knows, but Jen got held up until late, so we wound up going straight to "Get Made Up With Marilyn" at The Brattle.

Every couple months, the Brattle Theater and Origins, a nearby cosmetics store in Harvard Square, do this thing where they cover your face with crap, run a brush through your hair, and make you smell like some sort of flower before running a classic movie. "Get Made Up With Audrey" before Breakfast At Tiffany's, or, in this case, "Marilyn" before How To Marry A Millionaire. And Kate & Jen had gotten "Michelle" a ticket as a birthday present.

They were all excited about the pampering, but it drove me nuts. This was just a mini-makeover, but it still reminded me too much of going to the dentist: Sit around while someone tells you to hold still while they do things to you that you can only see in a mirror. Only, after seeing the dentist, I can generally get the funny taste out of my mouth with a tall glass of water. This left me with a whole mess of chemicals on my skin.

Did I look good? Hell, yes. Not quite as good as Kate wound up looking, but she's naturally pretty (not that she believes that). Michelle's body gets most of its sex appeal from its curves; the face I inherited is nice, and doesn't really need makeup, but I don't know as it would make a magazine cover if the shot was only from the neck up. These gals somehow made it seem a little more heart-shaped, made my neck look a little longer, and teased my hair so that it was a bit more elaborate than I bother going for. I can't imagine spending that much time on it every day, though, or spending the money for the gunk and equipment (Kate & Jen got me a gift certificate, but that might buy half the stuff they used).

Good movie, though I'd put a knife through Michelle's gut if "landing" some guy was the way girls went about it today. Kind of dated, really.

Anyway, I just got home, and was about to wash this stuff off and hit the sack. Looking in the mirror, though, I have to say that it would be kind of a waste to get rid of it now. I wonder what's open on Tuesday night where a girl whose face actually matches her killer bod for the day can get a guy to buy her a drink.


Monday, November 17, 2003
Double shot
I've been busier at work lately - no more field trips, but Mr. Kraft is apparently impressed enough with my ability to do more than look pretty and answer the phone that I've been getting more to do. Mostly mundane secretarial stuff, typing up letters and documentation, but also some office management - Judy probably would have retired months ago, but wants to collect a paycheck long enough to spoil her grandkids for Christmas. She's leaving at about 2pm until she does retire at the end of the year, though, and it's been up to me to pick up some of the slack. As a result, I've had a lot less time to even try to update this during work, and I would worry about someone coming behind my desk to pick up the ringing phone and seeing it.

I haven't been offered Judy's job when she leaves, and I'm not sure if I even want it - I really don't know what she gets paid relative to what I do, for instance. Besides, a lot of what she does is staying on top of the rent and the utilities and stuff like that, and I'm hopeless enough where my own/Michelle's apartment is concerned.

I do think if I'm going to be doing more of this other stuff, though, some sort of raise would be in order at "Michelle"'s six-month review.

The official "girls' movie night" is tomorrow, but Kate and I took in Die, Mommie, Die! tonight. I hadn't pegged Kate as someone who would go for a movie from the writer of Psycho Beach Party, but she was taken in by the hugely funny trailer, like the genre it's sending up, and confesses to having watched 90210 when she was younger and wanting to see what Jason Priestly is up to.

There was, of course, the fun, irony-tinged conversation afterward. See, the female lead is played by the movie's writer, Charles Busch - a guy. Kate said she thought the entire idea was silly, that even though he could sort of pass as an older woman, she thought a woman could have made the character more believable (which was kind of missing the point)... That guys can't really duplicate what goes on inside a woman's mind and it just seems phony. I thought to myself that she never seemed to think I acted strangely - well, okay, she has, but not in a way that would make her suspect what was really going on inside Michelle's head - but instead commented that, hey, a woman would be working with a creator created by a man anyway. Besides, it added camp appeal.

As for the movie itself - I liked it, quite a bit. I've got no interest in seeing the other drag movie in town (Girls Will Be Girls at the Kendall), but this was a good time. Of course, now that I've seen it and can recommend it, I think it's on the last week of its three-week limited run.

Sunday, November 16, 2003
Did a little clothes shopping today; I haven't yet gotten the quarterly stipend for office attire, but I figured I do need that heavier winter coat (the wind here the last couple of days was insane), and there were a few other things - I seem to go through underwear quicker than I ever did before, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to get some sexier underthings.

I'd never paid a whole lot of attention to women's clothes before, but having a belt built into the coat strikes me as odd. I'm not sure whether it's an instrument of mere vanity - a winter coat does tend to obscure your figure - or whether it serves some practical purpose. My best guess is that because of that curvy figure, you need the belt to keep the warm coat pressed up against your body, or otherwise cold air will get in and the insulated coat will actually keep it in. At least, that's my best guess.

I can't really come up with a better explanation for the belts meant to go with my pants - those, really, seem completely ornamental most of the time. Most of my pants either have elastic waistbands or take the curve of my butt into consideration, so there's little chance of them falling down, the avoidance of which I'd always seen as a belt's primary purpose. Of course, there are the low-riding ones, but those still kind of freak me out - my instincts still say I've got a hairy ass that they'll expose.


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