Game Night with the Guys… and the baby

The first game night in what seemed like months was organized and executed last night.  We tackled some new games, and I had to relearn some others.  I know Cam missed it.  Game night has been a staple in his life long before I came along.  I decided long ago I haven’t much to worry about when he stays out until 2 a.m.  I know he’s probably playing a game of Magic: the Gathering, Twilight Imperium 3, or some other game that went too long.

It was games as usual last night, except for one small difference.  About 12 pounds.  And crying.  And feeding.  And rocking.  One of our friends had a baby a couple of months ago, and his wife wasn’t able to come with him.  Lucky baby, he got to come to his first game night.

Kid doesn’t stand a chance.  He’s going to grow up to be a geek like the rest of us.  His grandfather was the game night host, fondly referred to as Grandalf.  Just to give an example of the geeky level of conversation: while none of us could remember when the Super Bowl was, there was far greater concern and curiosity given as to when exactly the Weird Al tour was coming to our town.

We kept it mostly light and simple last night.  Our first game was Love Letter, a simple and fun card game mainly focusing on deduction.  Our second was Coup — the bane of my existence.  It’s like Love Letter, but utilizes more deceit in being effective.  And I suck at lying.  On the flip side Cameron can win fairly consistently. Whether or not this should worry me, I haven’t yet decided.  After Coup increased my anxiety, we moved to Cosmic Encounter, which I had to relearn.  I have played it twice, and came in dead last both times. This game revolves more around alliances and playing the group to your benefit, with the caveat of special alien powers for each player.   We played Tsuro next. Well, I started to, but decided it was my turn to feed the baby and stepped away from the table.

After returning to the table we learned Sushi Go!  It’s a cute little game of cards in which you pass your hand around the table, trying to built the best plate of sushi for points, and at the end of 3 rounds, the player with the most points wins.  It reminded me of a slow-paced Spoons game.

The final game we played was Gloom.  It was my favorite of the night.  It’s a card game in which you each have a family in front of you that you are trying to kill. You draw modifying cards to place on each family member.  Some have negative points, while others have positive points.  The idea is to place the cards with the negative modifiers on your family, while putting positive modifiers on your opponents’ family members.  The cards represent events that happen to them.  You can really get into the storytelling aspect of the game if you wanted to.  The objective is to make your family as miserable as possible while making your opponents’ family happier before finally killing them off.  While this sounds depressing, the cards all feature an array of cutesy dark humor and alliteration — like playing a ‘Burdened by Boils’ card on my family or a ‘Delighted by Ducklings’ card on Cam’s. I managed to get the win.

Overall, the return to game night was a success.  I missed it over the holidays.  Hopefully we can get back on a regular schedule again. It’s getting harder, definitely.  Schedules get in the way.  Growing old gets in the way. Baby did not get in our way.  A pleasant but challenging addition.  A game in itself.

Now we get to train a whole new generation of geeky game-players.  Grandalf’s youngest usually joins us.  I sometimes forget to watch my foul language.  I really need to work on that, or Matt will never let me babysit.  I’m counting on baby returning next time.  It’s never too early to start learning about D&D or Cthulhu.

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Just your typical, run of the mill New Year’s resolution post

The New Year is synonymous with starting over, creating goals, and deciding to make a change.  Reflecting on the previous year, you usually realize you didn’t accomplish any of the resolutions you made January of the year before.  This year will be different, you tell yourself.   You have the idea that the new year will be better than the old one.  This is the year!!

I don’t like resolutions.  I never understood why you had to wait until January to make a change or try something new.  What’s the point?  Why not start in November when you got that crazy idea to begin with?

Except this year, Cam and I have a whole audience of about 5 people who read our little blog, so we thought it might be the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we accomplished last year and what we hope to accomplish next year.

Last year, we went through the painstaking trouble of combining all our stuff under one roof.  We moved in together, in other words.  We also both started new jobs that make us happier.  The night before last, he gave me a beautiful ring. All things considered, it was a great year together and going to be hard to top!

Since I went through the trouble of creating this little blog to start writing regularly and have a creative outlet, we thought that we might as well come up with resolutions or goals for 2015.  It would at least give me something to write about.  So here goes…

2015 – the year of write more, read more, move more.  I hope that writing on a regular basis will at least marginally improve my writing skills.  You can be the judge of that.  Cam and I decided that we needed to read more.  Last year didn’t provide a lot of opportunities to read with our busy schedules.  He has a goal of at least reading the books he received, started, or borrowed last year.  That’s about 6 in all I think.  Most are pretty heavy, so it’s fair.  I’m a little more ambitious.  I’ve signed up for a couple of reading challenges, including the Around the World Reading Challenge.  I’ll be reading 4 books set in different countries to reach my goal as a Wayfarer Participant.  I’ve also signed up for the 50 Classics Challenge.  Luckily I have 5 years to complete the 50 classics, which are mostly classic and mostly sci-fi/fantasy.  Each book I read, I will write a review of it on this blog.

We also might as well jump on the fitness bandwagon, too.  In order to move more, I have my handy new fitbit to help keep me on track.  I’ve only just played around with it a bit.  It’s pretty accurate on monitoring my sleep at least.  My goal is to run a couple of 5k races in 2015, so nothing too demanding.  Cam will have the Zombies, Run! app on his phone to get him moving more.  I have both the Couch to 5K and the regular Zombies, Run! Both very motivating and entertaining.

Maybe I should add “create more” to our resolutions.  Cam’s goal is to build a new computer by the end of the year, if the finances allow.  I hope to be able to pursue more creative endeavors as well.  I’ll just leave it vague, because I’m not sure yet where my interests will take me at this point.  Dusting off my sewing machine and searching for my knitting needles might be involved.

Sounds like it is going to be a packed year.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg, just the little things to keep us from going insane.  Next year will bring even more changes.  We both hope to excel at our new careers in 2015.  Our biggest goal is a bigger house.  We are currently saving up money for a bigger place where we can have a garden, a dog, and game night with the friends.  There’s no telling what else the year might bring.

What new and exciting things are you looking forward to in 2015?

A Very Geeky Christmas

I trust that everyone had a very Merry Christmas, but did you have a very geeky Christmas? It certainly was for us. We felt like children and couldn’t wait to open the gifts we got each other! Books and games were exchanged between us. I got Cam the final book of The Magicians trilogy—The Magican’s Land. Once he finishes it, I’m sure he’ll be encouraging me to start the book series. He got me a huge tome by Martin Meredith—The Fate of Africa. I’m sure it will take me all year to read it. He also got me a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda. We spent most of the night of Christmas Eve attempting to put it together.

Christmas Day was packed full of visiting our families and playing games. At Cam’s family, board games are always a big hit. At my family’s home, we’re usually entertaining my 2 ½ year old nephew. We’re Aunt Happy and Ran-Ran. He has a little trouble with “T” and “C.” The gifts to and from the families were also bit hits. Twilight Struggle and Call of Duty for Cam, and a fitbit for me. All the geeky gifts make a geeky Christmas, right?

Our Christmas was more than just a geeky Christmas. It was the start of making new traditions, with each other and our families. While board games continue to be a tradition for his family, he learned to appreciate an evening of putting together a gorgeous (and difficult) jigsaw puzzle. I grew up always working on one with my mother and now it’s something that Cam and I can do together. We just have to be a little more careful about it with three curious cats.

Additionally, this Christmas was about the things we knew we would do for each other. I worked a part time job in retail during the holiday shopping season in addition to my day job. It did become a little stressful for me, but Cam relieved a lot of that stress by helping out more around the house. He also cooked the best Christmas Eve dinner that I could ask for and wrapped most of my presents for me. Maybe that could be a new tradition every year! I kid. He did everything he could to make sure the holiday season wasn’t stressful for me.

Christmas shouldn’t be stressful. I realize it is for a lot of people. I witnessed it while working retail during the shopping season. There are so many expectations to make the holidays perfect, I think. At first, I thought we would start a lot of new traditions, like making delicious desserts together, or even a gingerbread house. Perhaps in the process of working so much, I didn’t have time to stress out about making our first Christmas living together too perfect. The end result was that our Christmas was better than I could have thought and we didn’t have to spend a ton of money to make it special.

We did dream about next Christmas when we have a bigger place. A Cthulhu Christmas tree? A steampunk Christmas tree? And my nephew will definitely be old enough to learn to play board games.

How was your Christmas? Not too stressful, I hope. Do you have any traditions you’d like to share? Did you start any news ones too?

The First Post

Here it is—the first post. So, this is awkward. I’m about to embark on sharing my thoughts, opinions, and experiences with you. In doing so, I hope that it is entertaining and enjoyable enough that you will keep coming back here to read more and share your own experiences. That is why I decided to start this blog.

So, who is the geek couple, you wonder? Just me, Tab, and Cam (occasionally). We both embrace our inner geek in different ways. Some of those interests overlap, like video and board games. But a lot of them don’t. While Cam is playing Magic the Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons, I’d rather curl up on the couch with a book. While we enjoy our own hobbies independently, this blog is about the exploration of our different shades of geek.

What exactly does that word really mean anyway? Geek. As Cam and I sit in our living room, he’s playing Dead Space 3 with a friend. We just finished a couple of episodes of Star Trek: Next Gen. As I look around the living room, I scan the shelves lined with B zombie movies, Mystery Science Theatre, and Xbox games. There is a Portal turret hanging from my Christmas tree. Books fill shelves in 3 rooms. I wonder, is this what I mean by embracing the inner geek?

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, it is defined as such:

geek

noun \ˈgēk\

: a person who is socially awkward and unpopular : a usually intelligent person who does not fit in with other people

: a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity

The Oxford dictionary also includes carnival people who perform wild or disgusting acts. That’s probably from its Germanic and Dutch origins meaning fool or wild and mad. It is also a verb—to geek out. To get excited or enthusiast about a particular subject.

I don’t particularly see myself as socially awkward or unpopular. I do get very excited about particular topics. I don’t think I know a lot about those topics, but I get curious about them and try to learn as much as possible. I enjoy being outdoors—stargazing, hiking, camping. I was lucky enough to spend a great portion of my twenties traveling and living abroad. Also, technology is not an interest of mine. Does it make me not geeky if I only have a vague understanding of my computer? Does that make me less of a geek than Cam, who works in IT? I tend to think that we all “geek” out about something, whether it is baseball statistics, yoga, or whatever gets your neurons shooting.

What does geek mean to you? I invite you to comment and share your opinion. Do you consider yourself a geek?