Thursday, October 17, 2002

Try out... you might like it

As if I didn't have enough going on, Erika convinced me to try out for the volleyball team tomorrow.

If you had asked me beforehand, I would have said absolutely 0% chance I would have tried out for any sports teams or any kinds of clubs at all while I was here. Who needs the aggravation? Why can't I just drift through like I've been doing and not put in any effort?

But Erika was insistent. This was "our thing" and virtually the whole basis of our friendship since intramurals back in grade 6. If I didn't try out, we would hardly see each other for the rest of the season. and Erica, along with Alicia, has really been my saving grace these past few weeks. I owe it to her, and to myself.

Besides, it occurs to me that drifting through high school is kind of what I did the first time, and where did it get me? Back here.

Just... don't expect me to be any good.

Now... where's my sports bra?

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Wherefore art thou?

During my time back in school, the class I've been enjoying the most by far is English. Unlike math, it's not a huge stretch to come up with responses and other work that matches the level of a 15-year-old. And it's something I'm reasonably interested in.

Right now we're studying Romeo and Juliet. No matter how tough I found Shakespeare back in the day, it's something that definitely makes more sense than anything else that's been thrown at me in the last month. I think being older I can appreciate it more and it's just a refreshing change of pace.

So next week we're doing scene presentations, and we didn't get to choose our partners or our scenes. I ended up paired with Dave Vanvoorten, a jock who towers over me. He's the kind of guy who was always dating one or another of the hotter girls in school, and he doesn't strike me as much of an actor or a reader. We were also assigned Act I Scene v, which if you remember the play, is where Romeo and Juliet first meet and start slobbering all over each other.

Should be... fun.

Again, I have to wonder why I'm here, just to do old homework assignments and put myself through the humiliation of walking the halls of high school again? I get it, my life in 2016 wasn't so bad but come on... it's going on a month now, this is getting ridiculous.

Monday, October 14, 2002


I didn't post all weekend because it was Thanksgiving here. I had a four-day weekend from school but I had to spend it up north with Jessa's dad's family. That meant no computer and hence no blogging.

It was.......... dull. The kind of dullness I almost forgot existed in the future because of what I've told you about technology there. Staying at grandparents house with no internet for three whole days is a challenge even for a 15-year-old girl in 2002, especially when she's grown really accustomed to spending time on her blog every night.

It gave me time to read ahead for my English assignment. We're covering Romeo and Juliet. I have to admit, it's nice to have something to do that I can sink my teeth into. And that keeps me at a distance from the fam.

On the way up, it was just me and "Dad." Jessa's mom had to take little sis Meghan to a dance practice on Saturday morning. Russ decided to hang back too. I decided "what the hell" - out of all of them, "Dad" (Marc) is the one I seem to get along with best, so if I have to spend a five-hour car ride with anyone it might as well be him.

It was a pretty enjoyable ride. Marc was pleasantly surprised when I switched the radio station to Classic Rock on the way up and sang along to Led Zeppelin (my falsetto on "Black Dog" is shockingly good in this voice although when I tried to sing along to Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" I felt very strange and stopped halfway through.)

"I never knew you liked this kind of music," he said fondly.

"It's a recent phase," I shrugged. "It's growing on me."

We stopped for lunch at McDonalds, something "Mom" would not likely allow, preferring to pack white bread sandwiches they they could eat at a rest stop. We bonded a little and when he asked me questions about school I gave more honest answers than I was expecting... as honest as I could be considering my position as his fake-daughter. I didn't want to say I was "struggling" with math -- so I'm a little out of practice, I don't think it's cause for alarm.

"What about boys?" he asked.

"Ew, no," I said in a very 'teenage girl' but very direct way. "All the guys at school are... just, no."

Now, to avoid any unnecessary questioning, I had to limited my dismissal of boys to the ones "at school," but if I'm being honest, that whole question for me is off limits. No guys. Not even any girls, if such an opportunity arose. It's just too weird. But I can't explain it in such detail and I definitely can't broach that latter topic.

Dad seemed glad that his little girl wasn't dating anytime soon, but maybe not satisfied that I was being straightforward, which... fair enough.

The parts of the visit that weren't dull were even more frustrating than usual. I had to keep my shield of "teen angst" up, which usually signifies to adults that I don't want to talk to them, but that doesn't always stop them from prying. In particular, Jessa's got a "fun uncle" with no kids of his own who really seems to dote on Jessa. It seemed like he really wanted my attention and was sad that he didn't get a lot of it. I just didn't know how to act, or what to say to him.

Jessa has another aunt with kids. There's two older guys - one back from university for the weekend and one who is Russell's age, and a 12-year-old daughter Leeann, which puts her awkwardly between Jessa and Meghan in ages. She and I could hardly be less alike, and I don't just mean because I'm a 30-year-old man inside. She's very upbeat and energetic and wants to know all about what high school is like, and what it's like to kiss a boy and all this other stuff that I'm not even sure Jessa would want to talk to her about if she were her own self. She glommed onto me and I felt bad brushing her off, so I told her, high school is hard and boys are stupid, stay away from them.

That wasn't what she wanted to hear. She instead showed me her ranked list of 10 boys in her class based on how much she would marry them. Yeesh, get a hobby kid.

Between family activities, we went to the video store (yay!) Leeann chose Moulin Rouge, Russ and the guys picked The Fast & the Furious (I had to fight the urge to say "Man, it's been forever since I saw the first one.") I chose Memento, which, the few members of the family who did watch it with me found very confusing.

Beyond that... it was a family weekend. What can I say? The food was good, and plentiful (and nobody shamed me for how much I wanted to eat) and I was surrounded by well-meaning people I didn't really relate to.

So, you know... family.

Thursday, October 10, 2002


As I sit here trying to brush out my long red hair and constantly getting snagged on the knots, I can't help but think.... $%^&!!

Man. I didn't ask for this. I didn't ask for long tangled hair. I didn't ask for a soft, round body -- belly, hips, boobs. I definitely didn't ask for acne-prone skin again.

Did anybody?

If you could build your ideal body from the ground up, what would you pick?

I read Jessa's diaries and she seems to feel similarly to me. She feels fat, and ugly, and useless. Whenever she talks about the person she sees in the mirror she refers to it like a curse that's been put on her, not like it's a body she enjoys having.

But so far, she doesn't say what she would prefer. She doesn't talk about wishing she was beautiful, only giving the general idea that she's at war with her body and wishes it were different... somehow, any way. I at least have my specific complaints because I'm coming from a body that served me well for almost 30 years.

I wouldn't say that Jessa is ugly, only that she's nobody's idea of a model. I've said that suits me fine since being "hot", for me, would be way more trouble than it's worth. Yet at the same time, it makes me invisible and seem less valuable to people in general and guys... so if I were someone who wanted attention from people in general, and guys, that would be bad.

She doesn't think anyone will ever love her. The crazy thing is, in the adult world, you never know. So many people have found someone by the time they're my age. I bet a girl like Jessa is someone who really comes into her own after high school, after that pressurized environment that makes everyone anxious. But that's probably cold comfort for a 15-year-old, when that's so many years away.

Wednesday, October 9, 2002


So, I did something kind of weird today. It involves this kid Danny.

Danny Medeiros and I weren't friends the first time around in high school. I was barely aware of his existence, but I guess I did know him. He was the same age as me (which makes him the same age as Jessa) but kind of a runt, only hitting his growth spurt in the summer before Grade 12. So right now he's as tall as I am as Jessa.

I remember he always got picked on. He was kind of annoying, trying to get in with this group or that, really hanging with people who weren't interested in him. I don't know if he was deluded or what, but it was like he didn't really have friends.

He was one of the few people to hang around Lakeville after high school, like me, so we got to know each other better later, and he got me my last job -- the one I was just finishing up with when I entered this whole crazy time travelling-body swapping deal. He's not my absolute favourite person in the world, but I would say I consider him a friend and I definitely owe him for helping me out. Since I've been here, he's one of the people I've kind of made a point to watch from a distance, along with my old self, my friends and... some others.

So I'm walking out of the bathroom yesterday and I see him getting harassed by this guy I barely remember, this older kid who is a white guy gangsta wannabe, with all this phony hip hop bling (you guys have that word here in '02, right? It means jewelry, diamonds etc.) Homeboy has Danny in an actual noogie and I can't take the sight of it, so I step toward him.

"Hey," I say, trying to make my voice sound as commanding as a 15-year-old girl's can get. He looks up at me. "Are you gonna buy him dinner?"


"I mean, that's a real intimate position. You want to touch him and rub him and everything, what's in it for him?"

Now, calling someone "gay" is not cool, but it is a good way to push some fake thug's buttons, so it's kind of a wash for me.

He lets Danny go and steps toward me.

I'm feeling nervous because this guy is huge and I'm not (I mean, relative to him...) He's looming over me and for a second I'm worried we're about to fight. I'm almost forgetting that I'm a girl and wondering if that even matters at this point.

He gets as close as he can without touching me. I stand my ground, trying to keep from pissing myself and stay assured that this supposed badass wouldn't really hit a girl.

I speak: "Just like, leave him alone, okay? He's not worth it."

Big guy has no answer for that and just kind of slinks away. I think he muttered "Pussy" to Danny as he passed, I guess making fun of him for needing a girl to protect him.

Danny and I just kind of share this look. I think he was embarrassed because he looked like a punk. He's frozen and doesn't know what to do, so I just gave him this wave of "See you around" and went on my way.

Later, I couldn't believe what had happened. I don't know where that came from. I really got involved there. I was doing so well at not interacting with people besides Jessa's pre-existing friends, I'm worried about the ramifications. That was way outside my comfort zone. I kind of regret it and I kind of don't and now... I guess we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002


Ever since I got here, I felt like I've been missing a really important part of me. Something that defines me to my very soul and used to consume my waking days. It really took some getting used to not to be able to hold it in my hand whenever I wanted to, and there are a lot of times I'm sad that I don't have it and can't get it back. But it's also a little bit nice not to worry about having it in my pocket at all times.

I'm talking about my phone.

In the not-too-distant future, people are phone obsessed. It's not even seen as anything abnormal, but it's taken over our lives. Everyone is online at all times, available at all times, connected at all times. If you need to know something and you're in a bar or in the backseat of a cab, you just look it up. If you need to reach your friend, you shoot them a text.

It's been strangely hard, psychologically, to dial it back from that. Having such a huge focus on tech in the 2010's is definitely advantageous but it wasn't until I came back here that I realized how different things used to be. Scrolling through your phone -- looking at apps like Twitter or Facebook... oh lord, don't make me explain what those are -- is the default activity for people when they're just sitting around. We are constantly getting each others' information, just as our own entertainment, to stave off boredom. 

It's not a bad thing, and it has a ton of advantages by spreading new ideas and information, but it comes with a ton of drawbacks and it does seem to be warping people, bringing out the worst in them. It's so easy to just get in front of someone's face and say something shitty to them and not care about the consequences. 

Plus, other peoples' lives are our entertainment, and worse, they fill us with despair because everyone else seems to have it better. And that's before you get into all the misinformation and confusion that gets spread so easily these days-- I mean, those days. In future-times. The internet is no longer just the territory of people like me who have too much time on their hands. It's life. You know how in the 90s it was a stereotype that only friendless nerds were on the internet? Imagine hot girls creating empires out of makeup tutorials and videos of them opening boxes.  

I feel like I'm describing just some crazy dream I just had, but I assure you, it's all real, and it's coming for you.

By comparison, my month as Jessa (oh wow has it been that long already??) has been like rehab. I have been detoxifying from technology. When I was first cut off from the level of chatter that we're all used to in the future, I was really anxious. I would think like "What's going on in the world? What can I search, what can I refresh?" before remembering that I didn't have any of those tools at my disposal anymore. The internet still exists here in 2002... and I admit I have visited a few discussion boards just for a laugh (keeping my identity ambiguous because I believe that if you admit you are female online it's like asking for too much attention.)

But mostly, my mind has started to re-adjust back to normal. I am not worried about what I'm missing out on my social media "feeds" (again, this sounds so nightmarish and dystopian when I try to describe it to you) because those feeds don't exist yet. Nothing is happening. I mean, things are happening, but they're not for me to know or care about. And maybe that's the way the world should be. Maybe we took a wrong step somewhere in the future.

In contrast, it's helped me foster the bonds with the few people I have been close with in this life - Erika, Alicia, and Mary. When I am permitted computer time, I chat with them on MSN Messenger (if they happen to be around) and we even exchange long email chains describing the day, which have been so helpful to me in adjusting and getting caught up on who I'm supposed to be.

I think maybe in the future, we cast our net too wide, give too much of ourselves to too many people, or expect too much constant stimulation, distraction, information overload.

But, I'm sorry to say, again... it's coming. There's really not many ways around it.

Okay, I've got a math test to study for. If I get another D, I might find myself stripped of my computer privileges. Which is...... scary.

Monday, October 7, 2002

Going Braless

I remember the first day I got here, being instantaneously dropped into a girl's body, one of the most noticeable things was the bra. As much as the altered body shape and anatomy and the frizzy hair, the feeling of a confining, prodding, poking underwire really grated on me. It was annoying, it was irritating, it was often painful. It was, and remains, impossible to ignore. Every movement I make, the bra moves with - or just as often against - me. My two most sensitive attributes are cooped up in it, so I always feel it on them. And by highlighting them, it makes the world aware of what I "look like" (even if, when I get home and unfasten myself from it, the reality of their shape and size is very different.) 

Ever since then I've been baffled how women subject themselves to this treatment every day. And worse, I've become one of them, doing the very same!

For what it's worth, I don't even like sports bras. I mean, they're definitely less rigid but when you're used to nothing there, it still feels confining to have your boobs held in place.

I was so fed up today that I decided to try leaving the house without a bra. Jessa's mom immediately noticed and demanded I go right back upstairs and finish dressing. I did, but as soon as I got into school, I went to the girls room and took it off, stuffing it in my backpack and putting on a heavy sweater to try to obscure them.

It worked, a little. It was certainly freeing. I felt weird about it, letting them just bob around under my top. They're not big but they're not nothing. They have gravity, they jiggle and move. It felt wrong but differently from how wrong the bra feels. Also, and perhaps this is TMI territory, but the fabric of my top against my nipples was very noticeable compared to the bra. So I did end up feeling a little scandalous even though nobody seemed to care or stare.

What's a guy to do? I accept that, for now, I'm in a female body. I feel like I'm adapting to that way better than I would have expected. But damn if I don't miss the "comforts" of home and not worrying about this stuff.