n 1993, i entered the senior year of UCSC, the previous three years spent without any social interaction beyond the few biology friends i had, who didn't get out much.
I only got an account because of Jeanne, who would later become ribena. She had gone to England, and we wanted to keep in touch cheaply, and email was where it was at! I chose the name "biohazrd" because i was obsessed with the biohazard symbol, an arcane glyph somehow dreamed up by a government agency to inspire fear and caution in people instinctively.
However, little did i know there already was an account "biohzrd", and she was rather popular in the geek scene i knew nothing about. When emailing jeanne from ucscb i'd get these odd harassing /writes and emails from folks who thought i was someone named Jessica.
I had no idea what any of it meant, and didn't make the connection that these people were all friends with my two new housemates, Carrie (yertle) and Heather (goddess). Finally it got bad enough that i went down to the CC to change my login. By this time, the CC had started charging to change logins, so i had to choose carefully.
Along with obscure symbols, i'm also obsessed with obscure organisms, especially completely overlooked ones. I had recently constructed a 5' tapeworm out of steel (part of which is still buried behind the ucsc foundry studio) and chose "tapeworm" because they were universally despised, and yet to me always looked really neat, and had their own grace. Plus, it was an account that i was convinced NOBODY would ever want. Ever.
Sure enough, it was usually greeted with revulsion on icb, though nowadays i've noticed that places like hotmail or yahoo all have an account tapeworm on them somewhere. Unlike some geeks, though, 'tapeworm' hasn't become much of a nickname in real life. A few people do call me 'worm', however, which suits me just fine.
One of my earliest costumes was a tapeworm costume, the construction of which came to me in a dream. I built a 15' long white cloth tapeworm, and gave myself a callow appearance with makeup.
The end of the tapeworm was of course shoved into the back of my pants. I took this to a party adrianne was throwing in Santa Barbara. I remember folks coming up to me and demanding to know the life cycle of the tapeworm, then avoiding me after i told them, a tradition that continues at parties to this day.