"A Banner Year"

There are so many things I have to say this month. Mostly unpleasant things, like my utter disgust, fear and anger at the way the media is leaping to scapegoat movies, comics, or whatever else for the tragedy in Littleton. Disappointment in both myself and others in trying to blame it on the parents or cops or easy access to guns in America. Fact is, all of these are contributing factors, but these kids, the ones who did this...they did it, they deserve the responsibility. They deserve the anger, and hatred and disgust. They deserve not to be remembered a week from now, much less a year. That's what they wanted, and they're getting it with the media circus.

But I'm not going to cover that. I'm not about to cover such an unpleasant subject, because this is the happiest month of my life. Actually, it's the happiest month in the thus far happiest year of my life, for large and small reasons. In February, I was published for the first time. In April, I bought a DVD player (new toys!). On May 19, if all goes as planned, I will be seeing Star Wars-The Phantom Menace, a movie I have been waiting to see since early childhood.

More importantly, on May 22, I will be getting married. It's hard to explain my romantic history without using props, like big glass hearts and repeated hammer blows, but suffice to say, dating was never my favorite thing in high school or college. Actually, I went on plenty of dates, but when 90% of them end with the phrase "Let's just be friends" it gets a bit discouraging. Finally, I had just about given up. I was done, I got tired of playing all the head games and I decided that it just wasn't worth it.

Which, of course, as the old cliche goes, was exactly what I needed to do. Love finds you when you're not looking for it. I used to make fun of that, I used to hate the expression with a panel. I couldn't even conceive of not looking for it at all. I thought, "What, some girl is going to break into my house while I'm sleeping, and not thinking about it?" But it's true. Mind you, I still try not to give that advice, because I remember how much I hated it when I was still looking and I have no desire to be strangled now that I've found love.

You can see the details of how Suzanne and I met and fell in love on her web page. I attribute a lot of it to my persistence, a fortuitous non-relationship I was having that let us get close, and Babylon 5. Oh, and Suzanne finally dropping me a hint so big it didn't even qualify as a hint...but it was as straightforward as I needed to do anything about it. One year after we started dating, I proposed. We've spent the time since then (September 98) getting ready for the wedding, and in fact we're coming into the home stretch now, making final phone calls and all that kind of thing. For all of you out there who feel like I do when planning your own wedding, thinking, "Oh, what stress...everybody talks about the stress, this was easy." Wait until the last three weeks. I'm not going insane or anything, but I'm starting to realize that there are still quite a few things that need doing, and three weeks isn't that much time. If I had my way, I'd have my tux in my hand right now.

But hey, if need be, I'll walk down the aisle in jeans and a t-shirt. Suzanne will kill me when I get to the altar, but I might survive the walk down the aisle...if her mom doesn't kill me as I walk by. Hmm...guess I better check on that tux.

The next weekend, I'll be participating in my first-ever panel, "Online Fandom," at the Big Easy Con. And in June...in June there will be a very cool change to Snap Judgments that I can't talk much about but I'm very excited about. Come back next month, and maybe we'll talk about it.

Randy W. Lander

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