Friday, November 12, 2004


I'm not sure exactly why I took up smoking in college. I guess I've always thought pipes and cigars were cool. Reed Richards and Sherlock Holmes smoked pipes. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. And tough guys in movies, like Clint Eastwood, always smoked stogies. I smoked a lot in college and for a while afterwards. I owned my own humidor and about a dozen different pipes. I hung out at Jon's Pipe Shop in campustown and later at Cigar World (the owner's a brother). Like anything I glom onto, I pursued it with fannish abandon for several years. When I was living on my own, I could smoke up the place to my heart's content. Now I have a wife and a daughter. I haven't smoked in a coon's age. I pretty much had reached the point where I only smoked when I got together with my old buddies Dave & Gopher, but we haven't been on speaking terms for a while. I guess it was something I said. Anyway, I was kinda taken aback when Saturday night I woke up with this incredible tobacco craving. Keep in mind that I can honestly say I was never addicted to nicotine. I didn't "quit" smoking, I just stopped. No shakes. No cravings. No nothing. So to wake from a half-remembered dream with the taste of a pipe you sold 2 years ago fresh on your lips was a tad bit surprising. The craving was so strogn that if I had a cigar or some pipeweed in the house, I would have been out smoking on the back porch at four in the morning. Weird.

So later this week I'm running out the the store for milk (again) and I decide to try to score some cheap tobaccy. 'Cept now all the cigars are behind the counter or locked in glass cases. I tried three different stores. Are teenagers shoplifting these things or is this a "think about the children" sort of maneuver? I eventually found some pipeweed on a shelf, but by then my enthusiasm for the project was drained. Maybe I'll try again some other time. Since my interest in tobacco had momentarily waned, I decided to instead indulge my newest vice: Silk. That right, the soybean based milk substitute. My wife thinks I'm turning into some sorta damn hippy type. Just goes to show what she knows: I've been a cryptohippy for years. Silk is just the latest symptom of the illness. I haven't tried the plain faux milk version of Silk just yet. My thing is Silk Chai. If you don't know, Chai is this spice tea beverage from India. It's made with milk and seems to me to be more in the flavor universe of egg nog rather than other tea products. I can get hot chai at my local Cafe Hepcat for like 3 bucks a cup. Good stuff. The Silk version is quite comparable and taste good cold as well. A 32 ounce carton is a little less than 3 bucks as well.

Now that I've been drwn into the sordid world of hippy beverages, I decided to buy a little cartoon of Silk Vanilla as well. I haven't had a chance to try any yet, but if it pans out I may have to get some of the plain stuff to see how it measures up. And while I was shopping for Silk, I noticed some jugs of Kefir next to it. Kefir is some sort of yogurt-relative and I've long wanted to try it as well. And I need to buy some veggie burgers to grill. Okay, I was totally fucking kidding on that last one.

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