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Diary

Natural Wonders

There used to be a store in Fayette Mall (Lexington, Kentucky) called Natural Wonders. It remains my favorite mall store ever, despite the fact that it closed years ago.

As the name implies, Natural Wonders sold various items relating to the natural world. These included educational products, but also garden accessories, CDs with New Age-ish music, bird houses, telescopes, jewelry, posters, bath products, toys, games, rocks, gems, rain sticks, kites, wind chimes, star maps, statuettes, and collectibles. One of my favorite product lines consisted of little round treasure boxes carved of wood, with geode cross-sections inlaid in the lids. I actually owned one; it was a darker brown wood with a blue crystal lid, and it on display in my living room.

Every time I went to the mall, I went to Natural Wonders. And every time, I lusted after their products that made nature seem so beautiful and elegant, yet so accessible. The New Age music they sold was always playing over the speakers, giving the store a very soothing ambience, and there was a TV in the back that ran fascinating educational videos.

I had a dream of collecting dozens of geode boxes. They also had a gorgeous chess set on display once that I coveted. Ultimately, though, my high school budget limited me to just that one geode box.

Years later, after I’d graduated high school, moved to Huntsville, Alabama, dropped out of college and moved back, got cancer, and recovered, they closed Natural Wonders.

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Diary

March 21, 1994, 9:20pm (15 years old)

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

I am not a man.

Therefore, I still cling to a few of the precepts I clung to in my youth. For example,

“When you wish upon a star,

“Makes no difference who you are;

“Anything your heart desires

“Will come to you.”

I have been thinking about wishing on stars lately. I used to wish on a star when I was a kid. I would wish that me and my brothers could turn into cartoon characters and live in a parallel universe whenever we wanted to. Guess what? It never happened.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Like guys. Especially MP.

It’s weird, but we never seem to like each other at the same time. He liked me in Middle School, I like him when I was a freshman, he liked me at the beginning of this year but then started liking J. I kind of like him now. The trouble is, he still likes J. Says he loves her.

He called me yesterday to talk, and we were on the phone for over an hour. I don’t know how long really. But we talked a lot. I’ve never had a guy call me before, and so it was kind of interesting. I take that back…M called me a couple of times when we were going out (back when I was young and silly), but we never had anything to talk about.

Anyway, P and I had a lot to say, and so we talked forever. I talked about DF, and how I’m getting over him, and he talked about the pain he’s experiencing now with J.

You see, J broke up with him. She said they were becoming “co-dependent”. Isn’t that what a relationship is? But anyway, J seems to be scared off by anything that she enjoys. I don’t understand that about her. Why can’t she just pray about it and find her answers?

She wasn’t at school today, or last Friday, so I called her house and asked her mom to have her call me back. I don’t know if she will or not, but I hope she will, because we need to talk. P was supposed to call me tonight, but I guess he never found the time.

I like this font, so I’ll stick with it.

Anyway, I’ll go into how I got over DF.

I’m still physically attracted to him, but I find no interest in him personally. That’s no problem, I’m physically attracted to several guys and it doesn’t mess me up. I still admire DF for his dedication to his workouts and stuff, and for how he’s in track and everything, but I really don’t like him much anymore. He makes crude jokes and acts like a jerk sometimes.

P informed me that he makes crude jokes a lot and I still talk to him. I guess my answer for that is that he likes me, and likes to talk to me, and that’s why I still talk to him. Besides, he’s getting better. But that still doesn’t explain DS. Who knows why I stopped liking him. But I did. Maybe it was the way he leapt into it. He shouldn’t have gone so fast. He also embarrassed me. That must be what it was. He should have taken it slow, and then I might have started liking him. But you see, he liked J this year and now he likes someone named Jennifer L (I think).

My mom’s a sweetie. She just brought me down a Diet Dr Pepper. I love them. The boys are watching “Strange Brew”. How annoying. I like the movie, but I don’t know how they can stand to watch it so often.

I wore a black dress today, and Stephen W comes up and says “Whose funeral is it?” I replied, “Yours.”

Anyway, I don’t like DF anymore. I’m not obsessed with impressing him, or showing him what an awesome person I am, or anything, so I think I’m over him. Wouldn’t it be funny if he started liking me now. Doubtful, but it would be ironic.

Mom’s breathing down my neck now. She wants me to get off the computer so SHE can use it. I just read those sentences to her and she made her little cute face, then decided to read a WinFax book. She’s trying to figure out how to talk over the terminal with Aunt Carol, who just got an IBM. They’ve been faxing each other stuff like crazy. Dad’s fax machine is awesome, by the way. I wonder if Noelle has a fax. We could send each other stuff for like 14 cents. That would be cool!

I feel kind of empty, not having a crush on anybody, and yet I feel free. I’m single, and glad to be! I think I’d like to get to know Noah K, because he seems like a nice guy, but he’s shy. But I still have these silly feelings about P. That’s not good, because if I somehow got him interested in me again, it would hurt J. Plus, I might get hurt in the process. So I’m going to stay away from that territory. It’s very strange that P liked me, because I never thought anyone would like me. But he did. I wonder if he ever will again.

My goal for my weight remains the same: to be able to wear biker shorts and a sports bra and look good. That would be so awesome. I would never wear them in public, but when I was working out I could and then I’d feel great. But it seems like I’ll never reach my goal. Today Mom came home with a lot of chips and some French onion dip (my favorite). I didn’t totally mess up, but I did enough damage to where I won’t be losing any more weight. Yuk.

Anyway. Enough about that. I think Mom’s going to be reading everything I write from now on. She’s silly.

Oh guess what! We are trying to fax Aunt Carol a little certificate that says: “Gift Certificate from the office of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, M.D. Good for one visit only.” Isn’t that hilarious? I love it! I want to copy it and give it to people. I should give one to DF, but he might get the wrong idea. I’ll give one to P. He’ll appreciate it.

Well, I think I’ll stop now, because I really don’t have much more to say. Until whenever I write again…

-HA

Categories
Diary

Happy Birthday, Dawn!

Yes, it’s August 8 in Malaysia already, which means my dear friend Dawn is celebrating her birthday. I suppose it wouldn’t be proper to put her age here ;D

Dawn and I have known each other since fall/winter of 1999. Actually, the first time I learned of her existence was, I believe, when I visited Sean for the first time in the summer of 1999. I’m actually having a little trouble putting the facts together, but I know that my first encounter with Dawn occurred while Sean and I had our computers over at the Mental Soup offices. We were there after hours hanging out online, and a message popped up on Sean’s ICQ for “Ryu-chan”. Somehow, I also discovered that Dawn had sent him a Christmas card. (He must have still had it on his desk with the rest of his mail. In the middle of summer. I don’t know ;P)

“How did she get your address?” I asked, as this was back in the ‘jealous girlfriend’ stage of our relationship.

“I gave it to her,” Sean said without explanation or apology. (My husband is cool.)

Since I had no real response to this–even jealous-girlfriend-me knew that throwing a hissy fit would be stupid and immature–I dropped the issue. I went back to reading the AMRN to see if I could find her posts or any idea about her (at the time I was not a member, but I had started reading the boards because Sean spent so much time writing there. If I use another parenthetical I may kill myself).

I never did find anything to fuel my jealousy, and I forgot about the whole thing shortly thereafter.

Months later, I decided to join the AMRN with my new character idea, Julien Straub. Shade (who I had also met in person on that trip) and I conspired together to come up with the idea. Basically, Julien would be closeted gay, and he would realize the truth about himself by falling in love with Ryu Connor, Sean’s character. It was going to be a hoot, or so we thought.

So I started roleplaying with Julien, and I discovered that I was really, really liking it.

During the transfer story in which Julien and a crowd of others were shuffling into various squadrons on the Etrakis, I–or rather, Julien’s player–met Dawn–or rather, Dawn and her alter-ego Hellspawn. Oh, boy, this is more convoluted than I thought.

Julien and Iliana’s players, which were of course me and Dawn, began conversing through email. The messages were really interesting and “we” got to know each other quite well. Meanwhile, on ICQ, “Hellspawn”, who played on the AMRN, joined “Julien’s” contact list. Julien and Hellspawn talked for a bit about videogames and RPGs, but ultimately didn’t have much to say to each other. (I was having trouble pretending to be a man. I really had no interest in videogames and RPGs, and I didn’t know what else to talk about.)

Finally, Hellspawn decided that “he” could no longer lie to “his” good friend Julien, and spilled the beans in an email from Iliana, letting me know that they were one and the same person.

After receiving the email, I was sort of shocked, and I wasn’t sure what to think. When I saw Hellspawn on ICQ later, I sucked it up: “You play a pretty good woman, Hellspawn!”

Then Dawn responded with the killer: “That’s because I am one, dearie ^_~”

I about fell out of my chair. But I could hardly fault her, since I was doing the same thing.

I wanted to paste the log of that conversation here, but I seem to have lost all of my Julien chats :P I have checked all my backup CDs and DVDs and I guess I just never thought to copy over Julien’s ICQ stuff. I’m amazed that I didn’t save the chats as text files though. What was I thinking?

In any case, I didn’t tell her who I was for awhile. I actually began living a double life, because as my chat logs with Sean attest, I met Dawn as Heather on January 21, 2000.

Me (9:02:38 PM): Hellspawn, huh?

Sean (9:02:59 PM): Yeah, approve her.

Me (9:03:02 PM): I did.

Me (9:04:02 PM): That’s the same person you were talking to that one time, right?

Sean (9:08:35 PM): Right.

I believe I’m slyly referring to “that girl who called you Ryu-chan?” without actually saying it. I was such a dork at the beginning of our relationship. ;>

Anyway, I don’t have any logs from Dawn until February 4, 2000. By that time we seemed to know each other’s secrets. This excerpt is interesting:

————————————–

ICQ History Log For:

64474335 Witch Child

Started on Wed Sep 27 15:56:59 2000

————————————–

COSLeia 2/15/00 2:31 PM This is weird.

Witch 2/15/00 2:43 PM I agree… ^_^

COSLeia 2/15/00 2:43 PM Back as me. And sure, I’ll talk to Boomer

Witch 2/15/00 2:44 PM ^_^

hold on a moment while I set it up?

COSLeia 2/17/00 4:01 PM :)

Witch 2/17/00 4:02 PM hehe… just noticed?

is Dave online btw? he hasn’t authorized me

yet

COSLeia 2/17/00 4:07 PM I’m not on as Julien so I can’t tell hold on

As you can see, after Dawn found out I was Julien, I still kept up the charade for quite a long time. I even had a few conversations with Sean as Julien, on AIM. O, the deception! These, of course, I managed to save. Just for kicks, here’s an example:

Hellfire00 (11:49:49 PM): Hmm, just Tuesday, was hoping for a new Penny-Arcade.

JulienStraub (11:49:52 PM): Oops. I have to go.

JulienStraub (11:49:59 PM): Penny-Arcade!

JulienStraub (11:50:06 PM): My gaming friends told me about that.

JulienStraub (11:50:08 PM): I never miss it now.

Sean (11:50:14 PM): It rulez.

JulienStraub (11:50:20 PM): 3r33t

Sean (11:50:28 PM): LOL, you know l33t speak!

JulienStraub (11:50:44 PM): I’m on AOL. What do you expect?

Sean (11:50:45 PM): OMG! I thought I was all alone!

Sean (11:50:46 PM): Roxor!

Sean (11:50:49 PM): Heh.

Sean (11:51:19 PM): Alright, take care man, I will chat at you tomorrow I am sure.

“My gaming friends”…peh.

And just for good measure…

JulienStraub (11:14:44 PM): Hello. ^_^

Sean (11:14:50 PM): Hello. ^_^

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…

Hm. Well. This turned into more of a ramble about Julien than a discussion of my relationship with Dawn ^^;;;; I guess it would be easier to chronicle my friendship with her if I hadn’t seemingly lost all the old chats and emails. :( I don’t know why I didn’t save them. I’ve been saving things like that since 1996. Oh well. I must have lost it all in a format and forgotten to back up beforehand.

Well, I guess I can break the suspense and let the reader know how Dawn found out that I was Julien.

I was having trouble keeping the identities separate after I started talking to Dawn as myself, especially considering how close I had gotten to her as Julien. One day I was telling her about my struggle with cancer, and Dawn paused and then said, “This sounds familiar…”

I froze. I had told Dawn about having cancer as Julien, in email, and completely forgotten! I didn’t want to lie to her (I seem to have no problems with deception as long as I don’t have to actually lie straight out), and so after a moment of consternation, I finally said, “You probably remember it from Julien telling you about it. And I’m Julien.”

I’m sure Dawn almost fell out of her chair…and thus our true and open friendship began :>

Since Dawn and I really started to know each other, our friendship has really deepened and blossomed. I’ve never met her in person, but I can say without a doubt that she is the closest female friend I have. I wanted her to be the maid of honor at my wedding, but unfortunately she couldn’t make it. I told her that she was my maid of honor whether she was there or not, though :)

Since we became friends, I’ve watched Dawn go through some hard times, especially in her relationships. I wish I knew the right thing to do or say to help her find the man for her, but I guess it will just come in time. She seems to attract people who don’t appreciate her…and sadly enough she tends to cling to those people. I guess some of that is natural…women like the ‘strong, silent type’ and would actually rather be dismissed outright by a guy than coddled and pampered by one. But when it goes to the extreme, it’s just hurtful and sad. There needs to be a good balance…two people who know they love each other but who don’t lose their identities and opinions in the process. It’s hard to do, and a lot of it is purely left up to chance. (Who knew I would meet my perfect match in a Robotech chat room?)

I want Dawn to be happy. One of my goals in life once I’m rich ;) is to sponsor Dawn to come to the US. I know she wants to come here and meet everyone. I don’t know that she would necessarily want to stay, and I wouldn’t force her to do anything, but I would love to have her close, so we could hang out in person. It would just be great :>

I sometimes wonder how we would get along in person. She likes to go to clubs and stuff, and she’s a smoker. I imagine she drinks, too, but I’m not sure. Compared to Dawn, I’m pretty boring ^^;; I wonder if she would have fun with me, or if she would need more excitement in her life.

Maybe someday I’ll find out!