Yesterday was another good day. We started out with having Fry over to play magic. None of the three of us have played magic for years, and none of us played it very seriously. This belies, however, the thoroughness with which Fry learns and assimilates rules for any given circumstance. If we lived closer to Las Vegas he would probably be banned from one casino by now. Not more than one–he would learn exactly how far he could go without getting banned and stop at that point. I wonder whether he’s ever played poker, but he seems the type to be more comfortable with 21.
Lee and I both built decks. Fry brought two of his decks, a zombie deck and an elf deck. He said he’d tried to bring over nice decks that wouldn’t wipe out people right away. Whenever I hear people talk about playing to have fun, I think about the game Shent from Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, but it wasn’t quite like that, if you know what I mean.
At any rate, he kept winning until I played a prebuilt blue and white deck against him, one that Lee had picked up on Saturday. It was close; I got lucky. I said, “I think the next step is learning how to heterodyne cards.” I was amused by being able to find an excuse to say “heterodyne” in a conversation; of course, Lee and Fry both knew what it meant.
Lee made bbq ribs. I had taken a nap and slept through the point where Fry got to the house, but I dreamed of ramen noodles the whole time, because the house started to smell like ribs. What ramen noodles and pork ribs have in common, I’m not sure, but I kept thinking, “You shouldn’t eat too much ramen. It’s not good for you.” Fortunately, when I woke up, it smelled like ribs again.
For some reason, in Colorado Springs, either you’re making smoked ribs or you’re nothing. You’re shit. You get incredulous looks of horror and embarrassment. It’s only smoked ribs that are edible. Lee bakes them in the oven and finishes them on the grill, and I like them better than smoked ribs. They still have some juice to them, some fat. They’re delicious.
Joe Woods called, a real coincidence after not seeing him for over a year. We invited him to come over, which he eventually did, bringing his girlfriend Barbara with him.
Joe’s an old roommate, and we know him well. He doesn’t like to come over that much, though, because–well, we were all pretty immature when we lived together, and while there wasn’t exactly bad blood between us when we moved to separate residences, he’s a bit skittish about it still. But I like him and I’m glad when he’s around. He’s lost a lot of weight. I kept looking at his hands. He had lost so much weight that his hands were different. You could see the tendons moving around, the muscles. Luckily, he was playing magic–as soon as he got there, I abandoned the deck I was playing to him, another pre-built that I was just not enjoying playing–so I didn’t look too odd, staring at his hands. He took off his sweater and his hair went all nuts. Lee told him he looked like John Belushi; he did, and then he smoothed his hair back down.
Barbara came across, at first, like a pretty airhead. Rationally, I knew she wasn’t–I knew Joe. He’s changed, both in growing up and just changing, the way people do over time, but he’s not dumb. If he thinks you’re dumb, he’ll talk down to you, and he wasn’t talking down to her, so I knew Barbara wasn’t the person my first impression was giving, which was pleasant enough, kind of normal, okay. I talked her into playing magic with Fry to show her the ropes–she originally didn’t want to play, but then she saw Fry play, and he seemed to know more than anyone else at the table, so she agreed to play the next round, using his deck and advice. She’d played in high school, but not since then.
There’s something about games that lets people get out of their shells, I think. Over the course of the evening, I could see why Joe liked her, maybe even a little of why she liked Joe. She is definitely the velvet glove over iron fist type, cautious in tactics but bolder in strategy as she got a feel for it. Joe is a very lucky man, and I’m sure he knows it.
I talked them into playing Jungle Speed, and it was fun. Joe won both times, which didn’t surprise me. It’s a good people-watching game.
Ray spent the whole day alone. I talked to her, and she said she was bored, but she didn’t hang out with us. I made her sleep with me in the guest room last night; we read Yotsuba&! and laughed a lot. She slept like a rock. Today is Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and she’s off from school; the plan is to spoil her rotten today.
But last night, good scotch was drunk and games were played; I had orange liqueur on the theory that I’m a grownup, dammit, and I can drink something oversweet if I want. It was delicious.