Logan, Logan5, Absolute, Kart!

1987. I arrive at UCSC still infected with Lutheran Fundamentalism in my blood, the incomprehensible possibility of transferring to UCB to finish an engineering degree, and social skills only acquired from four years of Band Geekdom and SQUID (Society for Quality Understanding of Imaginery Dimensions) club in high school ... both of which oddly foreshadowed the geekdom I was about to encounter at the school I chose only because it had BIG TREES and I was sick of LAlaland.

But enough of the run on sentences.

Anyone still remember Tim / shandon? Oh sure, I met Ford and Luini as my first official like geeks, but Tim got me on line, back with all nite romps of MTrek on the most beloved adm3a.

Tim brought me up one late night after we walked the trails back in the forest (in yes, CLOAKS, ok?? ren faire geeks sheesh) into the Merrill stat lab above the Merrill cafeteria ...

Suddenly I had thirty seconds to decide a login name. Tim's looking at me (this is back when you just logged on to get your account, and you could broadcast message everybody who was on anywhere on campus to go on a food run ... cuz there were only about 20 people on at any one time), he's counting down the seconds and all i can think of is, oh god, if i have a girl name i'll never be left alone!


Then suddenly I remember in high school we would play Logan's Run (and assassin, and RPGs, and laser tag - remember breaking open the guns to fuck with the laser range?) and of course, the rest of that moment is obvious. Logan stuck wonderfully.


[Digression: The game of Loganís Run was based on the movie, with one person placing the mark of sanctuary at a secret location on the playing grounds Ö usually we played in an abandoned high school or a large nearby park late at night. There were many Runners, and some Sandmen, the latter being armed with water guns. The rules were basically the same as the movie: Runners tried to find Sanctuary before the Sandmen blew them away.]

When I returned to finish school in '95 to the geek circles I had left in '90, the world had exploded. There were so many people online that the days of food runs and small communities defined by computer accounts were long gone. I found myself online being slash-míd by persons who thought I was other Logans who had come between me now and my last time online, and a new generation of students who only knew Logan as Wolverine. Finally I decided to clear the matter up by name clarifying to Logan5 (that is the protagonist's ID in the movie Logan's Run). Simple and done.

But it's not over yet .... there's this second name for a second geek.

Quite suddenly, one year I felt the need for my login to reflect my life and I changed my online identity to Absolute. Often people would joke about it and my beloved vodka obsession, but it was actually tied to difficulties of those years. I'd lost some dear friendships and felt both trodden upon and that I'd trodden over everybody. Absolute was a word that fit how I felt, directly from its www.m-w.com definition ... I was both alone and wanting to be alone, was wanting to be free of comparison in order to find myself and to let my friends be themselves. And in addition, this word evoked absolution.

And then slowly, as things do, life got better. One day, being this cold Absolute was no longer appropriate. I was finally happy enough again to say, hey! I want a happy login, dammit! And that's where Kart! became the obvious name of arrival.

Kart! has a great little story behind it. My good friend Steph and I were typing out invites or emails or whatnot to friends, and we somehow through typos started typing out and pronouncing our friends names as they would read if they were spelled "First Name + First Letter of Last Name". So my name somehow became an abbreviation of my first, Karen, and the Bang (!) became an essential ending, thus Kart!.

And boy was it fun to say. And people would cry, Go, Kart!, Go! And it just had that cool Bang at the end of it. And it was taken from a memory of the time of Absolute, but left all the sadness behind it, and remembered why my life had been good, which in turn opened up my life in the here and now to goodnesses yet again.

I plan to keep Kart! around for a long while. :)