It was the dancing. I blame the dancing.

Really, I was just hanging out at my boyfriend’s place watching him kill stuff in his online game, Star Wars Galaxies (yes, the shuttered, former redheaded stepchild of the MMO sphere).  He was outdoors on some planet with other players in the multiplayer game. I think he had been defending some rebel encampment from the Imperials, (or maybe he was killing thousands of spiders), but thereAureliana crop was a lull.  I was looking over his shoulder and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that several of his fellow players were dancing.

You have to realize that up until that point,  I had never played any kind of video games, let alone a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, where your avatar (toon) inhabits a space that is shared by other real people’s avatars.  We never even had console games in my house growing up — it just wasn’t an interest of mine.  But here was my boyfriend, whose online toon is a Jedi, standing next to dancing Wookiees and other Star Wars-y characters.  And he, and they were dancing!  I learned later that the dance moves were stop-motion capture — I couldn’t believe how realistic the movement looked.  And it was funny as hell.

My BF figured out how to make his own toon dance. Soon, groups of players were busting some synchronized moves with their fellows.  It was really hysterical, and I was totally intrigued by it.  Games like that couldn’t be too tedious if you could dance in-game!  People were talking to each other — the speech appeared above their heads in bubbles.  You could talk to the other players — you didn’t just have to go kill stuff.  Hmm.

So, that was why God invented the 14-day free trial.  I created my first toon, Aureliana, she of the blue hair.  Aureliana became a master entertainer who could do a whole bunch of different dances and could play many instruments as well — no combat required.  Aureliana and I traveled throughout the planets sightseeing and in general being tourists.  We came across beautiful places on many planets (an especial favorite is the beautiful purple ground cover on Dantooine).  We traveled to Mustafar and got an extremely strong sense of the tragic history of the place.

And then I got bored and she changed jobs.  She became a master commando, and to get to that level, we have killed a whole lot of spiders (among other things), and finally she became a Jedi.  And I can’t forget my second main in SWG, Aureliana’s half-sister, Ayaleeta.  I miss SWG.  Dantooine, Mustafar, Tatooine – these are in some important way real places to me, and they’re gone now. (I tried SWTOR and hated it – the worlds were so *ugly*. And there wasn’t any entertaining.)  I’m happily playing in Middle Earth now in LOTRO, but every now and again I go look at a YouTube video made by SWG players while the game was still running.


I was the weird kid at school.  I was the smart, shy, fat kid (a trifecta of some kind of hell) that hardly anyone was friends with.  Don’t think I have ever forgotten.  Fortunately, I found a close friend in middle school, and then I went to a gigantic public university where I didn’t seem so weird, and where it didn’t actually matter if I was weird.  I was home there. And when I worked there, people valued me.  How firm thy friendship, indeed.

I am a fish out of water – always have been.  It’s not a posture, it’s not a hip affectation. As I’ve gotten older, I’m not completely “on the outside,” as I was in elementary school, but I still have one foot in that camp. I

Using Now

hypnotic poison

Image Source: Sephora

Perfume: Shalimar parfum, Attrape Coeur, Hypnotic Poison

Hair Treatment: Organic coconut oil (suitable for cooking).  I do a heavy oiling before I wash my hair, usually every other time.  Makes my hair noticeably softer.

Body Moisturizer: Anything I have.  My skin is so dry this winter.

Lipgloss/balm: Again, whatever I have.  My lips are super chapped in the winter here on the prairie.

Nail Color: Finger Paints’ Tiffany Imposter

Wearing Her Perfume

ciaraToday I’m wearing Ciara, which was my mother’s perfume.  Ciara is (or was) made by Charles Revson.  It’s still produced, although the bottle I have is literally the one from my mother’s vanity.  The Internets say it’s a Revlon production now (and I was always a little confused about the Revson/Revlon connection, if there was one.)

I have the 100 proof version.  Or the 100% version.  It’s the medium strength version of Ciara, which never carried the perfume/eau de parfum/eau de toilette delineations, but rather 200%, 100%, 80%.

This bottle is one of the things my dad gave me shortly after mother died.  So yes, this is some heavy-duty stuff I’m wearing. Physically, the juice is over 10 years old, but it smells just as I remember it.  It’s a strong, sweet oriental.  The sweetness decays a bit after it’s been on my skin for a while, like fruit that is rotting.  Makes it more interesting, in my opinion.

Ciara 100#

image from

I never wore it when mother was alive — because that was her scent, because it was a little too sweet for me, because it was *hers*.   She and I also did a little dance around each other as we decided which Chanels were right for ourselves.  I started with no. 22 (a little too tickly in the nose and white flower-y at the time for me) and moved to no. 5;  she did the reverse.  The tickly white flowers smelled great on her.  So Ciara and Chanel no. 22 were hers. They still are.

This perfume that I’m wearing will never be *mine*, but sometimes I need to wear it. It’s the closest I can get to smelling it on *her* skin.