Transplanted Life
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Group Dates
Not sure what I think of Kate's new boyfriend. Dennis seems pretty nice, but so did George at first. He did survive some intensive movie-fan quizzing at mine and Kate's hands, so at least his interests line up with hers. Of course, they line up with mine, but I only had eyes for Carter tonight. I was feeling a bit of a sexual charge all night, so I noticed how attractive the guy was, but whenever I was close to Carter, it seemed to jump to eleven.

Still, I wasn't a very good date tonight. The lack of sleep I got last night was pretty much in evidence, and I must have dozed off a couple of times. I couldn't help but notice that one time I was jolted awake because Carter's position shifted as Jennifer Connelly got naked on-screen (though it was tasteful, you see her butt and figure but no nipples). Between seeing House Of Sand And Fog tonight and Hulk last week, I think her breasts are shrinking - I remember her having such a great, voluptuous figure in stuff like The Rocketeer and Dark City. Or maybe I've just got different basis for comparison or something. I do notice that even pictures of beautiful women aren't turning me on as much; I wonder if my brain is finally reprogramming itself to match what stimulates it visually with what stimulates the body tactily and in real-world interactions and such.

It's kind of weird going out in a group, though. Especially after digging up that information on the "real" or original Michelle. One-on-one, it's just me and him, and it's okay even if I do feel a little weird, you can just be progressive, because it's two people doing their thing. In a group, though, you've got the whole boy-girl-boy-girl thing going, and I feel a bit weird about not quite fitting that, like it's some kind of transgression. And maybe it is, since Carter doesn't know who and what he's dating, really.

Anyway, I was snoozing a bit in the theater, so when the movie ended I wound up just going home instead of spending the night at Carter's. And, naturally, I got my second wind on the train, so now I'm trying to see what more I can find out about Michelle's past. It's really frustrating, because if you go by this apartment, it seems like she just popped into the world last July; her resumé even seems to have disappeared from this computer and the network at BioSoft.

Friday, February 27, 2004
Well, that's something
It's probably not enough to justify all the poking around I did on the internet tonight (or, more accurately, last night and this morning), but it's interesting.

I got a W-2 form in the mail yesterday; I know, you're supposed to get them by the end of January, but it looks like Michelle didn't inform her previous employer of her new address, and it also looks like she moved twice last year - the address on the envelope is for a town in New Hampshire up near the Canadian border, but it's covered by yellow sticker that redirects it to Worcester, and then another which sends it here.

So, okay, even if I figure Michelle is probably an innocent dupe in all this, it's interesting to learn something of her life. It took some doing, though - the original address was for a town in the White Mountains, a bit north of Lancaster, and the company listed was just initials - LSZ Corp. A few rounds of Googling revealed a bunch of LSZs, mostly based out of Germany. I eventually found one in Bavaria that owned a similarly-named shell company in the US which operates a group of ski resorts in New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado and California. The salary there is a little less than what I'm currently making at BioSoft, if I figure she was working there from January to April. I'm guessing she worked the front desk at one of the resorts, seasonal help, and then had to find a new job at the end of the season. This is all guesswork, I realize, but it makes a sort of sense; I can't find much else on the web about that town.

I'm not sure how much good that information does me. Hell, you can't call most of it information; all I really know is that Michelle lived in this town, moved to Worcester, then moved to Boston, and that while she was living in New Hampshire, she worked for this company. I really should rent a car some weekend and go up there, but it's kind of an iffy proposition - what if I meet somebody who knew Michelle before all this, which seems likely? Or even a family member? I sort of doubt the latter, since they'd likely know this address and phone number and would have tried to communicate around the holidays; does that mean Michelle's an orphan or something? Again, that would make sense, but I figure I should probably be somewhat wary of "deducing" too much; I'm not Sherlock Holmes and there's probably a bunch of other reasonable explanations.

The other address was a little more useful, though - well, maybe not useful, and it's in fact kind of a dead-end, but as soon as I plugged the address into search engines, I came up with several newspaper articles about a fire there. Apparently, it started in the kitchen of a restaurant downstairs and then spread. Didn't burn it down to the ground, but made it somewhat unsafe for continued habitation. I don't know if Michelle ever even found someplace to work in Worcester, since you'd figure they'd send a W-2 and it would only take one change-of-address bounce in the post office. I have to figure she must have known someone there - otherwise, well, why the hell would somebody move to Worcester? I went to school there, and unless it's changed drastically over the past decade, there's just nothing there. Drab little city.

So, now I've spent something like seven hours in front of this thing tracking this body's movements over the past year, and I wonder what I've gained. A little more of Michelle Garber's history, I guess, but unless I'm wrong about "the original Michelle" being just as much of a victim as "the original Martin" (I miss simple pronouns), what good does it do me? I guess it gives me a little more to investigate, though I don't know how much researching Michelle can tell me about the people responsible, unless a good chunk of what I've learned from Sam/Michelle and the person currently being Martin Hartle since the Christmas party is an elaborate lie.

(Great. Now not only do I have to get up in four hours, but that whole line of thought is giving me a headache)

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Actually turned down a movie tonight
Because, quite frankly, I didn't want to see The Passion of the Christ opening night. I'll probably see it eventually, because I love movies and this looks to be sort of a landmark film. Still, you know how most of the population feels about the guys who wait in line for the new Star Wars movies for hours while wearing costumes? That's about how I feel about the extremely religious people who will be going to Passion opening night. Not that I think they're dorks, or anything derogatory, but I've never been religious and am not terribly comfortable around people who are. And for the first few days, at least, it's going to be the religious types going.

Besides, I'm not sure how I feel, personally, about going to something that's overtly religious. If I start to really think about whether or not people have an immortal soul, I start to wonder whose I have. Was Martin Hartle's transfered to this body, or was just his memories and personality traits, leaving me with Michelle Garber's soul even though I don't remember being her? What if she did something really awful before my memories were put into this body? In a theological sense, do I inherit her sins while being absolved for Martin's? Or have our souls somehow merged, or did both of them "die" and go to wherever souls go afterward, either leaving us with new ones or as some sort of soulless hollows who only think we're human?

So... Anyway, don't want much to do with religion right now. I think I'll head out and pick up some comics instead.

Monday, February 23, 2004
I promise, no more hair-related entries after this
Carter does like the blonde hair, though. I'm really surprised how important that is to me; just a couple of weeks ago I was wondering if I wanted to break it off, and now I feel good knowing that he might think I'm a little prettier than I was last week. Is this normal behavior for women? I mean, sure, it's possible for that kind of affection to sneak up on guys, too, but usually it's smoother, not so much the bouncing from one extreme to another.

It's still kind of weird for me to be feeling this way about a man, though. Every once in a while, like this morning, a sense of wrongness will hit me. I climbed out of the shower and got dressed, and I was fretting over whether this outfit or that one still worked with the new hair color, or whether Carter would think I looked good that way, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and briefly thought, for the first time in weeks, "that's not me". Never mind that better than half of that was thinking that in relation to how this body looked with dark hair; part was still thinking "you're a man, damn it! How can you be worrying over whether or not you look pretty in that dress?"

I felt that way all the way to the office, like all that stuff I've told myself about how I, as a distinct individual, came into being seven months ago and should consider myself a woman, was utter rubbish. Thirty years of memories said otherwise. That was before actually getting to work, and talking with the people there. That's when the present-day experience starts to trump memory; when you've got people treating you like you're one thing, it's tough to convince yourself that you're something else.

Kate and Jen thought the dye-job turned out pretty nice, although Maureen just said something snotty along the lines of it suiting me. A lot of the guys who'd gotten used to me sitting around stopped to give me second looks, which was amusing. I don't really think the hair color makes me more attractive, but I know what guys associate a blonde with my figure with, for better or worse. Carter grinned wide and kissed me right in the middle of the lobby, which was kind of thrilling; my head spun a little. He said it was too bad he was busy that night; evidently Dmitri was able to score a couple Bruins tickets. I tried to convince him that Dmitri really should bring his girlfriend, but apparently Sam had to work tonight. He promised we'd do something later in the week, though.

The evening wasn't a total loss; Kate, Jen and I did a movie (Mystic River, getting Kate one step closer to her goal of seeing all the Oscar contenders before the awards). Then I walked home; it's just about a half hour along the river, good for combatting too many popcorn dinners.

Sunday, February 22, 2004
Went and did it
Carter had the peach-fuzz thing going on on his head last night, so I decided to give the blonde thing a try. I figure, hey, it's only hair, right? If Carter gets a kick out of it, then that's fun, and I've got to confess, I'm curious. Ladies always seemed to be doing stuff to change their look a lot more than I ever remember doing, and even if I don't quite feel the urge to do that, I've always wondered what they got out of it. I figured maybe it's something I can figure out by trying it myself.

I mentioned it to Kate after this morning's movie (a weird Taiwanese thing, the sort of arty thing where I feel like yelling at the screen to implore the characters to so something, anything, just do something), and she went into this weird reaction of being just super-ultra excited about playing with dangerous chemicals; apparently it's some sort of girly bonding ritual. Although I suppose it's not stupid than guys bonding by drinking themselves stupid.

Anyway, I was glad to have her help, although I'm glad she didn't ask why I seemed so ignorant what with my hair having been dyed when she first met "Michelle". This stuff is ridiculous - for people with darker hair like us, there's bleaching to start out with, then getting that dry, then this foul-smelling stuff you have to mix and brush on without somehow getting it onto your scalp, which is tricky with the scalp being right next to one's hair and all. I'm just glad I don't have the really dark eyebrows like Kate, so I didn't have to try and figure out how to keep the stuff out of my eyes. Kate just did highlights, so she got off kind of easy.

Then there was the waiting all afternoon and evening with plastic bags on our heads for the stuff to dry! I'm glad Kate and I stopped at Blockbuster along with CVS, so we could load up on movies to watch. We both found it pretty hilarious that she enjoyed the Hulk movie more than most comic book fans did; she got into the way Ang Lee cut the movie and liked the story, especially being only vaguely familiar with the original mythology. We also dug out her Scrabble board and this pretty cool German game she had. Apparently she had a German boyfriend three or four years ago who was a big "spielfriek", and when it ended she had nobody to play the board games she'd amassed with; it's not a fun hobby to have by yourself, I guess.

Anyway, I'm not sure about the end results yet. Apparently it'll change over the next couple of days, but I kind of liked the way the brown hair looked against my somewhat fair skin. Right now it's a pretty solid Sally Brown-ish yellow, which will probably fade a bit. It's not the same shade it was when I first woke up in this body, though, which is good; I don't want to look exactly like the way this body looked when someone else switched it with my old one.

Oh, and speaking of Peanuts:

Peppermint Patty
You are Peppermint Patty!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
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Note: This blog is a work of fantasy; all characters are either ficticious or used ficticiously. The author may be contacted at