Farewell, Ms Butler. Rest well.

Man, oh man.

Goodness Gracious

Didn't get lost today. I just realized I haven't done a book tale or restaurant tale all month. I've got some waiting, just haven't had time to think them through. The commute isn't really quite long enough.

Not that I mind, mind you.

Did He Ever Return?

The Alzheimer's is finally starting to show, I guess. Yesterday, I got lost on the Metro.

I left Silver Spring to meet the Brunette a Busboys and Poets (near the U Street Station). Somehow, I zoned out and missed the transfer at Fort Totten. When I realized what I'd done, I was already at Union Station, so I continued on the Red Line and switched at Chinatown. But the train waiting for me there was a Yellow Line train. When I looked up from my book, I found myself in an empty train stopped in a tunnel. Two or three minutes went by. A Metro employee entered the car, asked if I didn't realize the train was out of service, and left the car from the opposite end.

I stood up and turned in a circle. I sat down again. What was going to happen? Boy, it was quiet in that tunnel.

Eventually, the train started up again, moved in the other direction, and returned to the Mt Vernon station. I left the train, got onto a Green Line train and made my way to Busboys and Poets.

I doubt it's the Big A, yet. I think it's this dang headache: I'm dizzy and nauseated all the time. Ugh.

Practice What You Preach

The City left a bit of litter on our front porch yesterday: A nice little brochure telling us how wonderful it is to recycle.

The Brunette points out that the brochure was wrapped in plastic.

Happy St. Claude's Day

I glanced at our calendar of Parisian drunks this morning and noticed that today is St. Claude's Day. Now, I have no idea who Claude was, but I figure he has had a rough go of it, coming right after Valentine's Day and all.

Perhaps St. Claude's Day is your opportunity to make up for overlooking Valentine's Day because you were so intensely interested in the Olympic curling results. At lunch today, run over to the grocery store, buy one of those left-over (and probably discounted) bouquets. Tonight, when you see your sweetheart, say, "In honour of St. Claude's Day, my love -- the patron saint of making up and forgiveness and stuff." I'm sure your sweetie will look at you with a special look. It'll be up to you to interpret that look, of course, but I think you can safely assume that your dearest one will be thinking, "Boy, I've got a live one here."

Power Play

Snow on Mailbox: 2006
Whoo-hooo! Looks like about 12 inches of snow out there, to me, but I've never been great with dimensions.

The most common question here in the New Deal today is, "Do you have power?" We never lost power, but it seems a good number of places around the lake have been without power since 2am. Brrr.

But, we're warm and safe playing Sold! at the Cafe.


A Game Report

So you and your friends are hooked on Bargain Hunt or Antiques Roadshow. The thrill of risk-tinged acquisition is feeding an addiction that whispers that you, too, can be rich, if only you could find the right piece of furniture (or perhaps if some unknown-until-now rich uncle would just die and leave you his collection of antique hat trees). You're only inches away from the previously unthinkable.

You want to open an antiques store.

Sold! can help you through this troubling time. We've been playing this game nonstop for a few weeks, now. I don't think this is going to have the staying power of Catan, but the conceit is diverting. Each player owns an antique shop that specializes in repairing certain kinds of items (e.g., glass, furniture, etc). During eight rounds, players buy items from other stores or from the Flea Market or Auction House. Trades are made, repairs are paid for, and tourists come and buy all of your damaged fake antiques. The goal is to build the most impressive collections, with the collection size increasing the value of each item in the collection.

We did find the rules a bit shaky, but a few edits shored them up. We haven't yet played with a large crowd, but I imagine the Auction House and some of the shopping dynamics are more interesting in big groups. For the small set, the fun is in gathering all this stuff and hoping it fits together into a nice collection (and that none of it is stolen). Perhaps for those of us trying to live the simple life, this game can be seen as a way to sublimate the natural packrat inside us (as opposed to encouraging the hungry hoarder). Plus, the photographs of items on the cards are nice to look at. Including old games as a category of antique was a nice touch.

For two players? Not all of our friends are into the whole playing games thing, so the Brunette and I find ourselves playing alone quite often. We've managed to enjoy Sold! with two players by taking two shops each. The shops share a warehouse, but we don't move items from one display directly to another during the rearranging phase of our turns. This change seems to work pretty well. If each of our shops gets an event (tourists buy our fake items, porcelain collectors take our toilets), the money and antiques flow a bit better.

Overall, I'd give Sold! a solid rating: work through the rules and give it a chance.


A Volunteering Report

This is the bust of George Bernard Shaw. Originally, it was Chekov (the bust, of course, not GB himself). To us, though, he looks a bit like Don Quixote. There doesn't seem to be an obvious connection between any of these men and legibility, but there you go: temporary possession of this bust is your reward for providing the most easily-read forms when answering the telephones during WAMU's pledge drives.

Actually, I should say my reward. The reward also included a tiara, along with permanent possession of a mug, a luggage tag, some Post-It notes, a window sticker, and a CD of old-time radio shows. (Last year, it was chocolate, but I'm not complaining.)

I noticed that none of you called me, but that's okay. I understand there was some sort of sporting event going on last night -- football, maybe? Surely not so late as February? At any rate, calls were lower than normal, but Ed had enough fans to make his goals, I think. And we still enjoyed the opportunity to help out the station and meet strange interesting people (like the animated young woman at our table who told us about tofu that tastes like human flesh ("Don't you find cannibalism fascinating?")

And, hey, any time I get to wear a tiara it's gotta be a good time, right?

To Do

The Brunette Paints a Picture

A Summary Report

The Brunette paints a picture of drapery (which is only slightly less humorous than shrubbery). Isn't she lovely?

The train ride in today was horrendous due to the inability to switch somewhere around College Park.

Don't forget to join us for Trivia Casino at the New Deal Cafe next Monday night. There are prizes and glory to be had! Oh, yeah, they stopped calling it Trivia Casino; it's now Wits and Wagers. Anyway, it's heap o' fun.

Also, don't forget to call and talk to us Sunday night at WAMU's fundraising drive. We're jumping on those 'phones during Ed Walker's Big Broadcast.