back contents next March 6, 2000

The Head of Vecna

EileeneI left my digital camera at work today, along with my backpack. I figured that I really didn't need to cart around two items (my backpack and my purse), so I left my backpack at work and just brought home the purse, suffing my empty potato salad container, my two books, my checkbook, and my zip disk (never leave home/work without one) into my newly acquired receptacle.

I like my new purse immensely. My coworker purchased it for me when he went to China and Thailand last month. It's made of rope, weaved beautifully into a really attractive purse. I've got a purse fetish, to be frank. I love them. Bags of all kinds. Backpacks. Suitcases. Leather. Canvas. Field bags. I might only have less than a handful of shoes, but I make up for it in items-to-carry-things-in.

Mike's reaction was, "Nice bag to take to the beach".

I began leaning back and forth, switching my weight between my feet, modelling my new purse. "Yes, I know but... what do you think for day-to-day wear?"

He smirks. "Ehh, not so good. I would think it snagged on things a lot, with that loose weave."

That's true. It does snag a lot. I still like it, but I have to admit that it is inpractical for my needs. I will switch to my tan canvas messenger-style purse tomorrow.

I'm disappointed that I left my camera at work because I can't take a photograph of my monitor. It seems that the weekend work has taken its toll and now it's not a serious warp in the display. The bottom left corner is "wavy", so straight horizontal lines make a diminishing wave from the left to the right of my screen. I'll probably have to buy a new one, but I'm hoping that perhaps a day or two of rest will bring the monitor back to its former glory.


I also wanted to take a photograph of The Sqeaky Pants.

My mother buys almost all my clothes. I don't know why I dislike clothes-shopping, but I do. I don't like trying to find things that are my size, or having to try clothes on in the fitting room. I am not averse to all shopping, just clothes- and shoe-shopping. So, my mother buys all my clothes.

I don't ask her to purchase them for me, she just enjoys looking for clothing bargains. She'll ask me my tastes in terms of color and cut and what I'm low on (socks, always socks. For some reason, I lose all of them. I've got about two or three dozen "singles" that I can't find the matches. I never have enough socks between washings which is why I wear sandals (no socks) almost everywhere I go. My Birkenstocks have been my shoes of choice for the last four years, and they are still going strong).

Yesterday, she stopped by with a package of things for me: two hand towels from Ralph Lauren, blue, for my bathroom (which Mike and I would like to decorate with a blue decor), a beaded necklace and bracelet from my sister, a copy of her CD (unapproachable, which contains her original songs that she composed with Jeannie. The group name they chose is "West of eden". I don't care for it. "Two Girls and a Guitar: a guitar has never had it so good" was so much better), and a black velvet top. I like velvet a lot and I've got a number of skirts and blouses in velvet, along with many items that would match velvet clothing. I decided to wear the velvet top today, along with the Squeaky Pants. One, to try on the new velvet top to see if it fit. Two, since I knew I wouldn't be walking around the office too much today (I had a deliverable in the afternoon), I could wear the Squeaky Pants.

I love the look of the Squeaky Pants. They are a gorgeous shiny burgandy color made of a 100% polyester. I love the way light bounces off it, in ripples. The embroidery work on the pants are really beautiful. A number of my fashion-concious coworkers commented that they really like them. Unfortunately, the polyester rubbing up against the polyester when I walk makes the pans make a very loud and annoying creaking/swishy/squeaky noise that drives me batty. I don't like having my movements announced to anyone within a 50 foot radius. So, I wear the pants rarely when I know I'll be spending my day sitting.


I delivered my two prototypes today, the ones that I worked on this weekend. My boss and the Project Leader seem really happy and only minor changes need to be made over the next few days, visually. The code is a completely different matter. It is definitely not "deliverable" to the developers quite yet and I need to spend some time standardizing the layout and HTML before I feel comfortable enough to deliver the code ready to be integrated with our databases. That will take me several days, perhaps a week to perfect.

Still, today's delivery to the client felt like a milestone, so I went out and treated myself to a new book and a new DVD.

The DVD is the missing first of four sets in the 1967 Emma Peel season of the Avengers. I have the first four of the six episodes on videotape and I've been looking for the fifth and sixth episodes with no success. So, I decided to invest on the DVD.

The book is a new read, Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk.

Testing, testing. One, two, three.

I find the story so far, pretty fascinating and it quickly pulled me into the story. When I started, I found the first chapter, "47", a bit disconcerting. At first, I thought it was the title of the first chapter, until I looked at the bottom and noted page 289. The book is counting down. Essentially, down to the inevitable. The main character, whose name has not yet been revealed in the book where I'm at (page 259) but is noted in the back cover as Tender Branson, is on a plane alone on a suicide run. Essentially, he's going to tell his life story, a memoir, into the flight data recorder of the airplane, until he slams into the ground of the Australian outback when his Boeing 747 runs out of fuel.

I thought it was an interesting premise. So, I bought the book.

I'm yelling at this girl: has she had enough?

I'm yelling: I'm not going to stand here and listen to her complain.

To stand here and try to fix her life is just a big waste of time. People don't want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.

I don't think this is entirely true, but there is some frightening honesty in it. When I was younger, I thought that I wanted to get rid of all my problems, yet I wallowed in them. I wanted those problems and headaches, despite my protestations and lamentations. Mike once told me he didn't like some of the "artsy" films I enjoyed because the people in the film were defined not by who they were, but who they weren't. They were defined by the problems that surrounded them and didn't seem to have a life outside of this window. I was like those characters when I was younger. I would define myself by my problems and not from within.

Maturity comes in knowing from the inside.

To calm this girl down, to get her to listen, I tell her the story about my fish. This is fish number six hundred and fourty-one in a lifetime of goldfish. My parents bought me the first one to teach me about loving and caring for another living breathing creature of God. Six hundred and fourty fish later, the onlything I know is everything you love will die. The first time you meet that someone special, you can count on them one day being dead and in the ground.

I don't shy away from death. I recognize it as a part of the cycle, something that has been drilled into my head from years of science. Death is not a frightening thing, maybe because I never thought of it in terms of my own death. I think of the global "death". The faceless, nameless ones who die. I've had close people around me die, but I had no problems accepting that they are no longer with us.

Thinking of my own death is different, not because it's me that is involved, but my mind refuses to think about it for very long. When I take my last breath, or my heart pumps for the last time. What will it feel like? Will I take my own life? Will it be taken from me by another person? Will I even be aware of it happening? Will that moment stretch for infinity for me? Then again, I will no longer have a mind to think about such things.

Then I think about wishing and hoping. Will I be able to look back on my life with happiness? With no regrets? Will I be satisfied and feel I've had my fill of life? I hope that I when I go, I feel "that's enough". My mind turns to The Green Mile and its ending. Will I long for death long before it finds me?

My mind does another leap and I start thinking clinicly about death. I separate myself from the act and start looking at what is around me and analyzing its relationship with death, like the tree outside my window. It wanders more and soon, my thoughts on my death are gone. My mind refuses to really think about it, resigning to a "wait and see" attitude.


So, why "The Head of Vecna"?

Read about The Head of Vecna. It is probably one of the funniest stories I have ever heard in a long time. You don't need knowledge of AD&D or gaming to "get it".

Mike thinks that it would have been deliciously funny to listen in on the conversation at the game.

Hey, it's my turn to get a cool artifact! Cut my head off!

Here, I'll give you all my gold for you to cut off my head!

But I'm the fighter. Cutting off my head and replacing it with the Head of Vecna is the most logical choice!


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Excerpts from Survivor © Copyright 1999 Chuck Palahniuk
© Copyright 2000 Eileene Coscolluela