June 11, 2003

I'll say this for the new Mountain Dew Live Wire: it tastes marginally less like the result of a mishap at the chemical plant than its predecessor Mountain Dew Code Red. So not too bad really, though I can't imagine feeling too sad when the time comes for its mayfly existence to be over at the end of Summer '03. Unlike the late lamented Shamrock Shake, which I miss all the time, and which tasted, as Andy once put it, "like Fiona Richie sounds."

Andy also once remarked that one of the hallmarks of getting older seems to be a trend in one's conversational subjects towards the increasingly banal. So I'll cut that out right now, lest I allow all wonder to fade from my life entirely, like a Changeling character studiously avoiding Bedlam.

Spent a couple of hours last weekend at the outlet mall in Hagerstown with my in-laws, which, if you've ever met the Laymans, is every bit as skewed and interesting as you'd imagine it to be. I love them dearly, and they have been kinder to me than I probably deserve, but it's always a challenge to not laugh at inappropriate times at the absurdity of it all (and if you don't believe me, you just try and get Carolyn Layman to give you a straight answer about where she'd like to go for lunch sometime; I'll lend you my thumbscrews, and wish you the best of luck). As a shopping trip, however, it was a grand and unequivocal success. I walked away with a new hat, a pair of black XXL Polo t-shirts (something one can never have too many of, for those of you making Christmas lists already) and a copy of Clive Barker's Undying PC game which I paid less than ten bucks for. Stacy's prize of the day was a genuine Waterford crystal lamp, the purchase of which ceased to distress me when I realized it absolved me from all future judgments concerning what I choose to spend money frivolously on. So that, should some future shopping orgy at Dream Wizards cause my wife's will to break, and her to say, "Jesus Christ, how many Exalted supplements do you need?" - I shall smile sweetly, and point, and say, "Honey? Waterford. Crystal. Lamp."

(It is a mighty classy-looking lamp, though.)

Speaking of getting my geek on, the first Nobilis session is a week from Saturday, on the Solstice. Somehow the thought of ringing in the summer by sitting around in Manassas with a couple of other pretentious mythic-minded gamers, building a Chancel and budgeting Miracle Points, seems more than a little fitting.

Oh, and I gave Matt Imajica for his birthday, speaking of things that seem fitting. Mind you, Imajica's one of those books everyone really ought to read, but I'm hoping he especially gets a lot out of it. Between the musings on gender and spirituality, the theme of wonder and strangeness versus the comfortable and mundane, and the sex-changing Eurhetemec mystif, I'm thinking he should be kept in philosophical crunchiness for a while.

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