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Amparo Bertram

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09:37 am: Spring Break
I took leave from work for the first time in nearly a year in order to visit with wednesday_10_00, who came over to stay with me for spring break. She arrived on the 21st, and then amid bouts of discussion and TV watching we got started on the huge job of organizing my manga collection. We spent a large part of the day on the 22nd doing the same, though we did take a break to walk to town for some shopping.

On Saturday morning we were joined by two other friends, and we all set out to attend the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show (which, despite the name, is held here in my town). We had a good time viewing the model gardens and browsing at the vendor stalls. We were all talked into buying stove-top grills, though the vendor giving the demonstration could have been more flexible with his patter. (Even after I said we would only use it for fruits and vegetables, he tried to get us to try the grilled chicken. Hint: Chicken is neither a fruit nor a vegetable.) I also bought a couple of herbs, and I was unable to resist a new tomato plant (an intensely dark variety called Indira Gandhi from Love Apple Farm), despite my resolution only to grow yellow and orange tomatoes this year.

On our way back, we stopped at the grocery store and picked up some fresh vegetables to try out on the grill. Then we came back and had a lovely meal with the grilled vegetables and some potato salad, accompanied by a jar of my homemade pickles. We also had a platter of cheese and crackers. One cheese that went over well was gjetost, which I picked up as an experiment after having read about it in one of my cheese-making books.

On Sunday, mangaroo came over to hang out and play games. We cooked up a potato feast consisting of potato/parsnip/artichoke soup (using artichokes picked fresh from my garden), cheesy potato casserole, potato/mayonnaise pizza, and curried potato pizza. Every single menu item was terribly delicious.

Monday, wednesday_10_00 and I took the bus to San Francisco and headed to Japantown, where we browsed in several shops. We spent quite a while in Kinokuniya studying Japanese tourism books in preparation for our winter trip. On our way back, we barely made it to the bus stop in time--which is a big deal, since the bus only comes once per hour, and it was unexpectedly chilly that day. If the bus hadn't stopped at a traffic light, we wouldn't have caught it.

mangaroo came back on Tuesday for another day of board games and TV watching, not to mention eating the remnants of the potato feast. (We made a SERIOUS amount of food.) We played a game called Shadows over Camelot, which is a cooperative game that is much more difficult to win than we had anticipated. Though we played three times, we only won the third time--and that only by a hair.

I had to say goodbye to wednesday_10_00 on Wednesday. ;_; It was a great week, and I'm looking forward to the next time we get together.

I did keep a quote list, though I wasn't as prompt about writing things down as I had intended. In any case, here is the list, with quotes from the participants mentioned above plus input from sara_tanaquil via TeamSpeak.

Spring Break 2013 Quote List
You don't want to be alphabetizing while drunk!

I should go read your tomato thing. What do you call it--the Tomato Diaries?

Okay, I think I'm done being me.

I'm going to sparkle at you. You can't shoot me.

Somebody get a pole. I'm going to dance.

That was an amazing psychic snack moment, there.

It's good to be in love with something and then get to grab it.

I paid $20 for the privilege of walking uphill.

Oh, my God, we have an artichoke harem. I'm kind of concerned.

I have not seen my head in quite a long time.

You're apparently confused about how eating works.

You are doing such a good job drunk with the cheese.

I'm so stuffed, it's kind of like being drunk.

Those chopsticks bring out the color of your eyes...

It's some kind of glitter-induced lung disease.

Victory for psychic BL reader!

I think she's making the cheese from scratch.
--Mm, scratchy cheese...

It was a well-founded fear.
--Well...medium-founded.

Look, I just turned Finnish. It happens.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:March 30th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC)
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This is pathetic. I went to Games of [whereIlive] to do a game portability assessment based on original packaging, and of course s_vamp's Amazon links provide that information. Oh, well, at least it got me out of the apartment on a Saturday. I tend to hibernate on Saturdays.

Fluxx wins at portability. The store clerk recommended the Zombie version. W_10_00, would you prefer we try a different flavor of Fluxx or are you okay with more zmobies? Zombie and Star are the most interesting to me based on the 4 sample cards on the back of the boxes.

Lost Cities and Citadels are also portable, but a bit more of a commitment. Like 2x a Fluxx pack in volume. I'll probably pick up a copy of Lost Cities to play with s_vamp the next time she invites me over, but because it is a 2-player game, I wouldn't recommend it for the trip. (I'm sure there are times when only two people will want to play a game, but all the other games start at 2 players.)

Personally, I would not be willing to pack either Dominion (11.8 x 11.8 x 2.9 inches ; 2 pounds ) or Race for the Galaxy (10.8 x 7.5 x 2.8 inches ; 1.7 pounds). It's too bad, since they are so highly rated, but portability counts for as much as playability here. Edit: if anyone else makes the commitment to bring either of these, I will insist we play the game just to honor that person's effort.

Edited at 2013-03-30 09:10 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:March 31st, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
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I think mereflair and her husband own a couple of the Fluxx games (that is, I know they own Zombie, but I think they have a couple others too?), so I can easily just borrow from them if we want to play. I may look into a couple of the other games to see if they're worth bringing--and keep in mind some of the bigger ones might be smaller if taken out of the box. (That's definitely the case for, say, Forbidden Island.)
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:March 31st, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)
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Unacceptable! That is, I can't allow you to lug so many games when you always end up having to ship stuff home. Bring your own 2 games by all means, but I'll at least buy a Fluxx. I just wondered if you wanted to try a different one or if -- since the clerk said Zombie was the best -- you wanted to stick with what you knew.

Edited at 2013-03-31 02:41 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:March 31st, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC)
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Back to the Future is the same size as Fluxx, so it barely takes up any room. (Also, if I do manage to upgrade to business class, I would be allowed three 70lb suitcases, so packing would be much less stressful.) But anyway, I can at least ask mereflair about which other Fluxx games they have that I could try and report back on. I would kind of like to try a new one, but maybe I've only ever played Zombie because it's the best one.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:March 31st, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
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Just so you know, it's your fault for mentioning Kickstarter and inspiring me to look at games. I couldn't resist pledging for Myth, which from the videos appears a lot like what WoW would be if it were a board game.

It won't be released in time for the Japan trip, and it's far too bulky to take even if it were available, so I don't know when I'll ever get a chance to play it. Maybe my brothers will come visit next year...

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:March 31st, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
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Ha, sorry! Kickstarter is definitely dangerous. I've been lucky(?) in that a lot of things I might have pledged for I didn't hear about until after the campaign was already over.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:April 2nd, 2013 01:21 am (UTC)
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Hey! Here's a really good example Star Fluxx in action. And, as soon as I saw a couple of the cards, I remembered that I have actually played it, and I would say both it and Zombie are equally fun.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:April 2nd, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
(Link)
GAH! Come back here and play Fluxx with me right now! You can bring the kitty.

2:30 edit: OMG, TableTop is my new (second) favorite thing EVER. I wish I had bought Small World for game day 2.

Edited at 2013-04-02 09:24 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:April 2nd, 2013 12:11 pm (UTC)
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You can bring the kitty.

Ha, right. You go ahead and tell her that.

I've been meaning to watch TableTop for a while, so I'm glad this prodded me to do so. (Also, I realized season 6 of The Guild is out, so I need to catch up on that.)

I'm at work, so I just watched a few minutes, but Small World looks like it might be even more complicated than Shadows Over Camelot.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 10th, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)
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P.S.

I just ran across Love Letter, which seems to be a small card deck game with a theme that could very well be adapted to a BL version.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:April 10th, 2013 11:57 am (UTC)
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Hmm, I dunno. It doesn't look like there's a lot of actual story involved? It's certainly worth a try, though.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 10th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
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After researching further, I found out that it was originally a Japanese game that was slightly modified when released in the USA.

The reviews generally mention how quick it is to play and that it is very portable. (One reviewer said they take it with them to restaurants and such to play while waiting.) You probably have to sacrifice any deep story for being able to play a whole game in just a few minutes, though most reviewers say that it has a high entertainment value for such a short time investment.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:April 12th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm glad I came back to this post to check on the date I went to Games of WhereILive, otherwise I would have missed the Love Letter comments. (I am a bad person and don't track posts ever.)

So, back to me. OMG! I was in Games of WhereILive (which amusingly acronyms to Games of WIL, so you know what I'll be using from now on) to check out packaging portability ON International TableTop Day. And there was absolutely no indication in the store that any kind of gaming event was happening. Mind you, the serious gaming takes place downstairs, which I didn't check out 'cause I've always assumed it was D&D and Pokemon pick-up games. But still...no signage to encourage a newbie player to join in the fun? Shame on you, Games of You-don't-deserve-the-acronym.

Also, s_vamp, please invite me over for Lost Cities sometime. (After April, 'cause we're launching in 11 days and I am working 12-hours days seven days per week. This is what hell will be like for me: working at meticulously detail-oriented tasks for 12-14 hours without a break. And knowing that I have to do it all over again the next day.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:April 12th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
ON International TableTop Day.

Wow, I didn't even know there was such a thing.

I'm excited because Myth just hit the Alternate Gender stretch goal today. Yay!

Also, s_vamp, please invite me over for Lost Cities sometime.

You are welcome to come over whenever you are freed up from work!

May would be tricky, because I have no weekend days off. (I could potentially take a furlough day, though, if I know in advance.) However, I will have Sundays off in June.

I'm sorry work is so rough for you right now. That would turn me into a zombie before too long.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:April 15th, 2013 01:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I've always assumed it was D&D and Pokemon pick-up games

This (and/or Magic) is what I've always assumed was going on at my local shop, but I know they had a Tabletop event, too, so maybe I've been wrong. What a bummer that you were at Games of WIL (hee!) on Tabletop Day and they didn't have any signs or anything, though.

This is what hell will be like for me: working at meticulously detail-oriented tasks for 12-14 hours without a break. And knowing that I have to do it all over again the next day.

I think that sounds like most people's idea of hell. At least the end is in sight; hang in there! *hugs*
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