Yesterday morning, I finished playing Uncharted. Was playing it a second time, so that my wife could watch it all the way through, because it’s got such a terrific story. And because I’d played it before, we got through the whole game in a day or two, which made it a bit like watching a very long and terrific movie.
Then, later in the day, my wife and I loaded up the Little Human and headed off to the Twin Cities and the Mall of America. The Cities, and the Mall, are two of my favorite places in the world. There’s such energy there, such life. All the people you meet in a big city, particularly the Twin Cities, are a bit neurotic…but they’re all very friendly and well-meaning in their lunacy. I like living in Saint Cloud all right, but the people can be a bit mean and more than a bit snobbish. I wonder if that’s because it’s primarily a college town? I don’t know. I suggested to my wife on the way home that cities are like dogs, in that it’s the bigger ones who are more well-balanced and the smaller ones that are more neurotic. It was a dodgy metaphor.
While there, I discovered that in addition to having a Teavana place, the Mall of America now has The Tea Garden. Andf it sells all sorts of varieties of loose leaf bulk tea. So happily, before coming home, but I bought some. Two ounces each of: Black Orchid, Lady Grey, and Lapsang Souchong.
Lapsang Souchong is an old reliable. That delightful hickory-smoked scent that bothers some people, even when you try to explain to them that it doesn’t actually taste hickory-smoked. I can understand why it’s off-putting. It’s delicious, though. Between the smell and the rich taste, it’s my favorite Autumn tea. I store it in an air-tight container and put it away for a little later in the year. Even just smelling it now, in early July, makes me want to write Halloween fiction and go for a walk, kicking through fallen leaves.
Lady Grey, I quite like in bagged form. I’m having a pot of it in loose leaf form this morning and am a bit underwhelmed. It’s got a very sharp, bitter note just over the taste, something that I can’t quite identify but which is taking over the drink (particularly in the smell). I was wondering if she broke a lot of the leaves, or if they got exposed to heat…I don’t know. Failing that, it brewed really dark, really fast, so I wonder if I brewed it for too long, with too much tea? More experimentation will be required.
Black Orchid is what I tried when we first found the Tea Garden. We each bought a cup of tea. My wife got iced tea with bubbles in it (foolishness says me, just brew it hot and give me a cup. I suspect she had more fun and I am more boring, though). I had a tall cup of black orchid tea. It was delicious, this velvety sort of flavor which tasted — if you’ll pardon the moment of synesthesia — like a deep, and rich plum color. So I have two ounces of that, and we’ll see how it comes out in pot form.
Also, halfway to the city, my cell phone binged to let me know I had new e-mail. I checked it,not intending to read anything while I was out and about…and was delighted to see that I’d sold a short story. A Western piece, to Reflection’s Edge . I was terribly surprised and excited. They have amazing stories up there. One, in particular, called The Urban Parasite blew me away and made me quit writing fiction for a bit and just go to bed. It was damn good. I had felt, after reading a lot of their stories, like all their stories were in formal wear, and mine had shown up wearing Superman underoos. So I was thrilled it sold. (And it doesn’t hurt that it’s money-coming-in instead of the usual money-going-out, neither).
And that’s that. Today is a nice day off with my wife. We hope to watch The Fountain (starring Hugh Jackman) today. If I review it, though, it’ll be over at SF Signal and not here. I’ll let you know.