On a similar note, the wife (I believe) of one of the FFML authors also died recently of cancer... and I actually almost felt a little something while I was reading the note, because I remember him talking about her a few times in the past. Now, several close relatives of mine, whom I'd met and gotten to know well enough over the course of my life, died within the last few years, and I didn't feel anything. Not a thing. I don't think Mom reads this journal much if at all, and I bet she'd be pretty shocked if she saw that, but there it is again. I didn't feel anything. I don't really want to experiment and find out, but if one of my close friends from work were to die, I'd probably be the first one trying to figure out how to reorganize things like the Bridge games and work within our project, if those things were affected. Attendance at the funeral would depend on what my plans were for that day and whether I could come up with "suitable" attire in the meantime. I would probably do my best to swing it, though, at least for a little while. It's a social event, and god knows I see precious few of those as it is. I might even try to cry a bit, but no promises. Or it might just happen by itself, if I can get myself in the mood. And I guess funerals do that sort of thing to people. I don't miss things or people until the time comes when they're supposed to be there. I'm a practicalist, and I lost most of my emotions years ago. I was going to talk about why that was, but I think I'll pass for tonight. Another time, perhaps.
Today's Bridge: A very exciting day. No Paul (where IS he these days?), so no tournament, but Dan and I took on Mike and Steve and immediately scored a beautiful 4S plus one. I think I was a bit light to raise the way I did, since I had 12 points and three of those were the singleton king of diamonds, but Dan turned out to have the ace, I believe, so everything worked out very nicely. Then we set our opponents in a few hands, mostly because I was just barely too weak to bid anything through entire auctions and it took them a level too many to settle on a suit they liked. Also, they found a bad club split in a 4C contract when I had J-10-8-5 and Dan was void. Finally, we had one of those auctions you hate to be a part of: I opened 1S with S K-Q-9-8-7-x H K-x D Q C K-J-x-x or so, and Dan bid 2D. Naturally... so I bid 2S, and he bid 3D. Well, what was I going to say after that but 3NT? He laid down S J-x H Q-x-x D A-K-x-x-x C 10-x-x, I think. Something unusual like that. Mike led a low club, and I played the ten from the board to win the trick. Well, that pretty much labeled Mike with the ace and queen of clubs, making finesses difficult, but I had to attack those losers. So I led the king of hearts to Steve's ace and he led a low club back to Mike's queen. I naturally ducked from my hand. Then Mike led the ace of clubs, hoping for a good split, but Steve showed out. So he led his last club to my king, which I'd held in reserve for just such a conclusion. Now I had stoppers in every suit but spades, where there was one obvious loser. So I led a low spade to the jack, losing to the ace, and won the return to claim my good spades. I thought about sluffing the ace-king of diamonds on my spades, since I didn't need them, but decided to cash them just so I didn't look too boastful. Something similar happened on the last hand. They'd already made a 4S contract and set us a trick, but we'd set them two (and I think I forgot to double that score due to them being vulnerable... oh well), and it was our auction. I had a long heart suit to the Q-10 and 12 points, so I opened 2H, Mike bid 3C, and Dan bid 3H. Mike announced that he was pulling a Dan and doubled us... into game, which would be worth the rubber if we won. We all passed, and Dan turned out not to be exceptionally strong, but he had three hearts to the ace. I don't remember how, but we managed to take nine tricks, mainly due to a fortunate 2-2 split in hearts and a handy crossruff. And to think I was playing some of those hands expecting off one. I'm getting pretty good at Bridge.
And I worked a little on FCM chapter 2 tonight around watching two episodes of Angelic Layer... definitely more depth to the story than was in the manga. But I should sign off now for the other reason I didn't go into detail about my past before... it's the magical girl episode of Abenobashi! I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. And it looks like Sasshi is starting to learn a few things, leaving Arumi to be the fall girl... about time. It seems like the fall character is almost always male, with very few exceptions. Excel Saga is an obvious one... Parts of Tenchi Muyo as well, although that breaks quite a few conventions without really trying. Then there's Sailor Moon and Galaxy Angel... quite a few series with mainly female characters, I suppose, although the fall girl isn't dumped on nearly as much in those series. Why is that so important to me? I don't know, but somehow, I think it's funnier to see the bad things pile up on the female because it's so different. Would my manga collection suggest any more examples? Not really. Azumanga Daioh has a few moments, but I think everyone gets dumped on pretty equally. Nobody's the fall girl because everyone's a fall girl. Oh well. Fall guys, on the other hand? Well... how many male main characters can you name? It's not QUITE that widespread, but...
I wonder what people will think when I reveal that Sailor Venus eventually develops healing powers that act through her mouth? And yes, that means pretty much what you think it means. She kisses boo-boos and makes them all better.