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Saturday, May 12, 2007

 
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i got to be a ninja yesterday at the go game! i don't have a ninja outfit anymore, so i wore big flowy black pants and a black long-sleeved shirt. i also found great instructions for how to make a ninja mask from a tshirt (thanks, mph!).

unfortunately, i ended up not using the ninja mask. i wish i could say it was because it interfered with my awesome fighting skills, but the truth is, combined with the loose flowy pants, the outfit looked vastly more hijab than ninja. if i were wearing a giant hat, funny wig, wings, wizard robes or a foofy dress, i wouldn't have felt nearly as self-conscious as i did as i did with the mask. if i were with a group of friends or at a halloween party, i could wear the mask, too. but being as i would be spending 2 hours in pioneer courthouse square, i didn't want to deal with any potential harassment. and boy, did THAT make me feel guilty about internalizing all the crappy anti-muslim propoganda.

so instead i just sat cross-legged in deep meditation under the trees, willing the team members to find me. they had odd instructions: they were suppposed to find "an enemy with a strange quirk. she will not reveal herself until someone holds her hand. you may scare off a few strangers, but you will know you have the right person when she lets out a loud siren noise."

i don't think -i- would have held hands with likely-looking strangers in pioneer courthouse square! and in fact, most teams didn't, either. i would see them enter and look around, pointing to people and talking with each other. at some point, someone would eventually point to me, and i would try to make my hands look open and inviting. then someone would scout over to my area, looking for signs that i was one of the players. i waited with closed eyes or resolutely staring ahead until someone actually came over and asked "can i hold/shake/touch your hand?" which i thought was good enough, and the battle would begin.

the gender divide here was interesting: in 5/6 teams, the person who approached me was female, though there were more men on the teams than women. when i would hand them a sword, most women tried to pass it to a man, but i said, "you were the one who disturbed me, -you- must fight me... to the death!" one man tried to take the sword even though i was handing it to the woman who found me. another man wanted to be the hero so badly that even though i was fighting his female teammate, he felt compelled to put a construction cone on his head and be a part of the picture they were required to take at the end, putting his foot upon me in a victory pose. however, most of the women played defensively, despite my repeated admonishments that the only way to end the duel was death, so i often had to impale myself on their swords. but i was thrilled when one woman responded well to the challenge after trying to pass her sword off to someone else, and we had a very cinematic fight where she was spinning and thrusting quite dramatically.

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