December 13th, 2004

Archie do

Dapper, But Ineffectual

We put up the Christmas tree yesterday, all the while watching Scrooge w/ Albert Finney followed by the first season of Vicar of Dibley, and so now I'm all Christmas spiritey (I seem to be unable to keep myself from breaking into snippets of "Let It Snow" and/or "Here Comes Santa Claus" at random). Something that really helps, however, is the fact that it's finally COLD here! Not freezing, still in the 40's, but at least it feels something like winter finally.

And with the cold weather, comes the winter coat, which is where the subject of this post comes in. For many, many years ("many, many," not just "many"), I have depended on a heavy black trenchcoat that I got in college for all my winter coat needs. But somewhere back in the "still just one many" period, I took it to a dry cleaner, and they trashed it. I gave the jacket rough wear for years and it was fine, whereas they had it for one day and practically shredded every button, buckle, and clasp. Ever since then, when winter rolled around, I would think, "Y'know, I really ought to get a new jacket sometime." But jackets are expensive, and I am cheap ... and until recently, I tended to be poor, too.

So this year, I decided the time was right to actually get a new winter coat. To that end, I went to Men's Wearhouse and picked up one of these. It looked nice, it was made of some new wonder material that repelled water and therefore wasn't going to shriek in pain if I had to wear it in the rain, and was certainly an upgrade (at least appearance-wise) from the battered old trenchcoat. Until today I've only worn it once, because it's been too *#&$* warm to wear anything larger than my beloved leather jacket, but now that I've actually put the new coat to some use, I'm not sure it's going to work out.

The problem is, it's not very warm. While it's made of [some wonder material that's very like] wool, it's very thin, and worse, it doesn't button all the way up. I was worried about the buttoning issue when I bought it but figured wouldn't be a problem with suitable application of scarf ... but I'm afraid that in late January and February, when it actually does get pretty bitter here, it's not going to be any more protection than a layer of paper, thus forcing me to go back to the beat up old trenchcoat. (Which therefore negates the whole purpose of having bought the new coat.)

Thing is, I've got to move if I'm going to return it. I bought it the week before MFF, and I'm getting very near (if not already past) the end of the 30-day period that most stores will willingly take returns. But if I return it, what will I do for a long coat? Do I bite the bullet and just get another black trenchcoat? I wanted something more visually appealing, but when it gets cold, I need a real jacket, not an attractive layer of paper.

Le sigh!

-The Gneech
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Pastiche Panic

Suppose a would-be writer particularly likes a series or the work of a particular author, such as Tolkien. Which is better, and why?

A) Write a fanfic set in Middle Earth

B) Write an "original" fic set in a homebrew which borrows lots of elements of Middle Earth, but with the serial numbers filed off (e.g., "Darkmen" who are black-robed, horse-riding psuedoghosts in the thrall of the evil baddie)

-The Gneech, curious dude
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