Archive for August, 2009

I was hoping being out of school would fix this…

Monday, August 31st, 2009

…but summer seems to have come and gone almost instantaneously, regardless. At least I don’t have to go back to school now.* Still, I’m sorry to have the summer so swiftly ended. It seemed short, perhaps because it rained almost every day and never really felt like summer except for a week or two. But we quickly go from being over-heated to being freezing cold, and again I wish for some method to send heat into the future.**

Still, at least I have something to look forward to in September. For this coming weekend is the Second Annual Alphabetic Boardgaming Challenge, a momentous occasion on which I compete with my girlfriend in 26 boardgames (one for each letter) over the course of a single weekend. Last year the first day tally was 11 to 8 in my favor, but the second day was marred by a lack of boardgames for letters like X and Z. This year’s acquisitions have filled those gaps***, so we’ll be playing 26 games and keeping score. I’ll post again in a week and let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, I recently learned that a book review I wrote a while back is up on the USA Today website, so if you want to read about how discount culture is ruining America, feel free. At least this time, nobody seems to have confused my summary of the book’s points with my personal views, as has happened to me before.  Last week I got to read an advance copy of Ron Paul’s upcoming book railing against the Fed, so when that review runs, we’ll see what happens. I still really enjoy reviewing things, and I feel I’m getting pretty good at it.

While I could never professionally review a book where the author is a friend of mine, Stick Figure Hamlet is finally available in (comic) book form, and a must-read for any Shakespeare fan. And as long as we’re linking, there are only two more weeks left in God To Verse before Genesis is done.

*I could, mind you. But I don’t have to. Volition is my favorite thing.

**Aside from a really inefficient heater. Although if a useful method actually existed, the resulting entropy would probably screw up the planet significantly anyway.

***Although due to bad planning, I traded away my only E-game because we didn’t like it****. So we technically will play 25 of our boardgames, and then an E-game which will either be a) borrowed from a friend, b) a print-and-play game I found online today, or c) Elbow Hockey.

****It’s surprisingly hard to find good 2-player boardgames that begin with E. For the most common letter in the English language, there are very few games beginning with E. And the ones that look most interesting (El Grande, E.V.O.) all seem like they want more people from the reviews. We also only have a single game beginning with X, which I acquired mainly because it began with X. This leads me to believe that at some point, I should invent a good game and market it by giving it a name beginning with X, just to appeal to obsessive gamers like myself.

A Good Saturday

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

People always talk about Good Friday, but most people prefer Saturday. My Saturday was particularly good, because we discovered that you could make bibimbap* in the rice cooker, and then my improv troupe had a show which was probably one of the best we’ve ever done. This is probably unrelated to the fact that I half-mooned the audience as a plumber, served as another member’s parachute and binoculars, and sang about having ice cream and sex.

I’ve gotten too lazy** to post all my columns to this site, and the Transcript site hasn’t been posting all the recent ones, but you can still read my column about clouds. Aristophanes had nothing to do with it. An observation that reminds me that sometimes, I am too educated for my own good. Last week I was asked to do a user review of a site where people keep an online tally of what places they’ve visited. Asked for how I’d describe it, I said it was the apotheosis of conspicuous consumption, and then I realized that I am a giant egghead and people asking for site feedback don’t want to hear about the sociological theories of Thorstein Veblen***.

Having used up all my online boardgaming credit on my last order, I knew it was time to stop buying board games. But it wasn’t time to stop trading for board games, and so for the past week and a half, I’ve been eagerly awaiting a package from Canada containing a number**** of games. I’ve been checking the tracking number every day, and the blasted thing is still in Montreal. That’ll teach me to trade internationally. Although it’s silly that Canada is international. We’re all North America, so we should just be friends. I mean, Alaska’s not international, and it’s further than the rest of Canada is.

* Of course, I think of the hot clay pot as the key ingredient in bibimbap, and we don’t have that. But the slightly crisped rice, the bulgoki (korean-style beef BBQ), the egg, even the hot sauce, we got it all. And wow, was it tasty.

** Not that I wasn’t already very lazy. But I’ve also started thinking maybe I shouldn’t have everything I write online. Maybe I should just keep a few best-of columns up, and take down the rest, in case I want to do a book of them later. But I haven’t taken any columns down either, leading me to believe that in fact, I’m just lazy.

*** Even though he was totally right. Seriously, tourism as conspicuous consumption is already pretty obvious given the focus on photos and knicknacks. And then a site launches solely so you can brag to others where you’ve been, and how can you not bring up conspicuous consumption, right?

**** Ten. Including a game that combines complicated strategic programmatic movement with a wind-up toy. I can’t wait.