Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Really just one New Year's Resolution this year, but it's kind of a biggie: Get this thing published in some way.
Probably just a Print-on-Demand thing via Lulu.com, but it'll be something to hold in my hands, which is, of course, the coolest thing imaginable. So, anyway, this blog will probably get rather meta on occasion, as I make entries about the process of taking the blog you're reading and making a book out of it.
Anyway, one thing I'm going to do, just to make sure I'm covered legally, is offer anyone a chance to opt in or out of having their comments included. The Blogger terms of service state that the "ember will retain copyright ownership and all related rights for information he or she publishes through Blogger or otherwise enters into Blogger-related services." Which means I own all of this, but once we get down to the "Add Comment" section, it seems to get murkier, which could be trouble, since some of that stuff is pretty vital, and I'd sort of rather not write substitute entries (can you imagine Volume 1 of this being published without XY and Proud? Just wouldn't be the same).
So, new rule here: I'm going to assume that comments made to this blog are OK for inclusion. If you don't wish your comments to be included, please respond with a comment here or an email to email@example.com, and I'll try to work around you.
Also, I'm going to need some sort of cover and maybe spot illustrations, and although I can't pay anything up front for them, I'm willing to allocate up to 25% of the profits to the artist, especially if they can help with layout and design work.
So... That's it. Back to wacky adventures tomorrow (or it could just be a quiet day).
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
The bus ride is fifteen minutes longer, I've got to make sure I catch just the right one or it's thirty minutes of waiting, at least. I'm spending the whole week learning a new database. I'm meeting new co-workers. It's been years since I've been in this situation - I've had three jobs since being in this body, but this is the first time I feel like I'm going to be challenged at work. Well, at least be challenged by the work.
The morning was spent filling out forms. Contact names, 401k information. Choosing a doctor and dentist for insurance purposes. I have gotten decent health care over the past few years, because BioSoft was good about it even for the receptionist, and the Feds have occasionally made sure that I got physicals, if only out of scientific curiosity.
So, now it's Misha's turn to go through that. As I mentioned to Kate today, I was as careful as usual New Year's Eve (well, Early New Year's Day), but who knows what he could have picked up overseas. Maybe that's small-minded of me, but his stories of the past two years didn't just feature that mail-order-bride in training. And, hey, no problem, I had my promiscuous period once I got used to the idea of liking sex, but I also got into the condom habit pretty quickly, while Misha admitted to getting a little more reckless since the switch. Feeling indestructable, you know.
I made sure I advised Misha to get a physical when he talked to the FBI tomorrow. If not for me, then for himself - who knows what went on over there.
Monday, January 02, 2006
It kind of seems like cheating to set fireworks off at seven o'clock. Oh, I know that it's mostly done because a lot of kids won't be up at midnight for the real New Year's celebration, but I guess the other rationale is that it's when the clock strikes midnight Greenwich Mean Time. At any rate, it gives those of us with other plans for the rest of the night a chance to watch some stuff blow up and then head off to do our things.
(Of course, it also means that it's freaking dark at seven p.m.! The days can start getting longer any time now!)
Besides, it gave me a chance to meet up with the Garbers before the party. Telly went to the party last year, but needed some reassurance that everyone there wouldn't be laughing at him for dismissing what we'd all known about me. I told him of course not, no-one laughs at someone for not believing something ridiculous. It's one thing to believe wacky things happened to a relative stranger, but one's sister?
So, bang. Bang bang bang. Bangbangbangbang, bang bang ka-blam. Then onto the T.
Jen and Carlos's apartment was already starting to fill up. Unless they have one for Valentine's day, I gather this is the last party at this place. Jen hasn't started to show yet, but she's due in July, and a one-bedroom apartment is not the best way to stay sane with a baby. Time for them to start looking for a house, she said, because that's what old married grown-up people with kids on the way do.
She asks if she can take my coat, I say sure, and let people get a look at my new dress, which is blue and has a neckline that goes past the sternum, and built in underwiring for the maximum cleavage possible without nipples popping out, and is asymmetrical so it bares my left knee but not my right. Folks turn and look, and I hear someone go "whoa". Shelley giggles and says "I miss being able to do that." One of Jen's friends passing by says she's pretty sure he still can, giving him a long look up and down. He smiles, but what he says clicks in Jen's mind, and she does the "oh my god" thing, and starts yelling for Carlos, Kate, and Carter, who run over like there's some kind of emergency. "This is... well, Marti, I guess you should do the introductions."
Okay, I say, this is... Well, this used to be... Well, Shelley here remembers being in this body for the first 25 years of her life. Shelley Garber, Jen, Carlos, Kate, and Carter; everyone, Shelley.
Kate looks at him, then at me, then back again, and basically says, good lord, that is even harder to believe than her (pointing at me) starting out life inside of him (pointing at Carter). I mean, wow, you are like a two-time winner of the genetic lottery. We kind of look at Carter, what with all this praise Kate's giving Shelley, and he says, hey, if we can't appreciate someone's physical appearance without acting like it's the most important thing, who can? Kate kisses him on the cheek and says, darn right.
Although, she says, that can only go so far. Calling you Michelle is right out, and pretending your name is Sheldon so that Shelley works is only a bit less silly. He laughs, and says that actually, the past week of being called "Shelley" has been kind of weird for him, too, since he hasn't used it since his first few weeks in this body. "I was trying to talk with people who spoke Russian, and pointing to myself and saying 'Michelle' got heard as 'Misha', which is a Russian nickname for Mikail, and since I guess I'm still Mikail Korpin in a legal sense..."
We agreed that, yeah, until our situation gets out of quasi-secret status and leads to legislation, we are legally who our fingerprints say we are, and we're totally OK with Misha.
He's got a crowd all night, telling stories about learning Russian from a local girl ("alas, she sold herself to some Australian fellow she'd never met, and I haven't seen her in over a year"), working for very little money on local farms, being excited when an internet café opened up in town so he could get back in contact with old friends and work his way up to finding out if they'd shun him if he came back in this new body ("not if they're women, they won't"), and finally saving enough money to bribe his way onto a cargo ship bound for Canada, then smuggling himself across the border. I have to say, his adventures in his new body sounded way more exciting than mine, although he said it was the opposite - his was mostly a lot of hard, manual labor, while I found clues and was involved in intrigue. He had nothing like when what turned out to be the original Mikail Korpin was killed in Carter's old body. You don't want it, I said. Yeah, says Carter, you're better off without certain kinds of adventures.
Mostly, though, it's a party, and most of Jen's and Carlos's friends aren't really interested in this stuff except as amusing tall tales. I'm pretty popular, as is Misha; Kate makes a joke that someone is making a resolution to get back out there, with the flirting and half a dress and dancing. I say, hey, I haven't been with someone since I broke up with Chet, and stuff is building up. Misha overhears and says, hey, don't worry; when he was me, he almost never went two months without a boyfriend, and he actually found it liberating to not be with someone for a while after the change. That, and, not even wanting to touch that thing between his legs at first.
We have a toast at midnight, say our resolutions, and mingle some more, but these things peter out pretty quickly. Telly, bless his heart, has already snuck out with Jen's intern (yay Jen for having a job where you get an intern!), having asked me to make sure that Misha gets back home OK, since he probably doesn't know his way around town that well. I say no problem.
This, of course, inevitably leads to him getting to my home OK.
I suppose, when you think of it, it's kind of gross. Especially for Telly, where it's basically his brother and his sister going at it. And I tell him I feel like a total hypocrite, because when Carter came on to me after landing in my body, I totally pushed him away. Yeah, he said, but this is different - he hadn't even officially broken up with Maureen yet, he had taken that body rather than being pushed into it, and he was still adjusting. We're both past that initial awkwardness, and we both want this bad.
I just wish I hadn't drank so much, because it wasn't the sort of sex you want to remember through gauze. It was energetic and enthusiastic and he knew by body, and the sun was rising before we were finally spent. I don't know if this is the start of a thing or just something great in and of itself, but I don't expect there will be any confrontations about switching back if we ever find a new batch of nanomachines: We are clearly both pretty content with what we've got.