When I first landed onto the geek scene in 1993, I was This login came from lack of knowledge about logins and how to choose them. I didn't know that people chose interesting login names. I'd never even been online before. I did sort of gather that one might want to use nicknames, but I didn't really have one. (I admit that I originally tried to choose "sunshine", the only real nickname I ever had as a teen, but of course being in Santa Cruz it was taken. I am now thankful for that.)


I originally went to the CATS office to sign up for an account because I was a recent transfer student and had just moved to the area, and I wanted to find what I later found out was a MUD that my ex used to use. It looked like a lot of fun when I watched him use it.

So, I described it to a friend, who said, "Oh, you must mean icb." He logged me in and I ended up at my first geek party less than a month later, in Oct. '93, against the advice of my housemates at the time. My first party was an Armory party, which I only stayed at for about 15 minutes, because it scared me. I swore I'd never go to another geek party, yet when I was asked to go to the Resort Halloween party that same year I attended and had a great time. The rest is history.

My icb nicks and future email addresses on other machines proceeded to be "layla" and "cinnamon". I chose "layla" because "stephanie" was too many characters, (eight-character max,) and I needed a shorter name. Layla is my little sister's name. She's always been very special to me, because I was my mom's birth coach and was present at her birth. I also helped name her. When I chose the name, Layla Alexandra, I thought, "I will use this name as my pen name one day." Well, it ended up being my geek login for the last 8+ years instead.

My other login is "cinnamon". I chose cinnamon because I was and still am a big Neil young fan and have always liked his song "Cinnamon Girl". Because I have red hair, I've always sort of fancied myself a cinnamon girl. So, the name stuck as I used it on icb, in forum and yam, and as an email address on some machines.

For a while back in '94-'95, I was using the name jael on icb, forum and yam. I used that for my more pissed off moods. I took the name from a book called, "The Female Man" which I'd just finished reading at the time. I haven't used that name in quite a while though. The mood sort of passed.

I've often thought of changing my known login, but after all these years it seems sort of like changing a phone number that everyone knows by heart. Perhaps one day I'll drop "layla", and more fully embrace "cinnamon", since my sister is now a teenager and will one day soon have an account of her own. But, for now, I remain layla.