austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen

So for traditional activities we got into on Christmas Eve: we made a bunch of sugar cookies. bunny_hugger and I forgot some of our cookie cutters at home, so we couldn't make a couple shapes including the matched Michigan peninsulas, although we had a smaller batch of cookie dough this year anyway so that kind of balanced out. We spent less time cutting out shapes and then painting them, and ate marginally less junk food, although I still ended up doing horrible things to my body-mass index, although it was a week that encouraged all that.

And then there was the playing of simulated pinball, as bunny_hugger's parents have the Williams Pinball Hall of Fame, which is pretty much the software that would grow into the Pinball Arcade app. Her parents didn't participate, but she and her brother and I played a couple rounds of FunHouse, which was a closer-run thing than you might expect because we've been out of practice, at least on the virtual tables. We'd actually played much more of the real FunHouse at arcades the past month than we had the Wii form.

The biggest use of time though was playing Betrayal at the House on the Hill, a strategy game based loosely on various horror and science fiction movies and which we never get enough chances to play because it requires three people at minimum and her parents don't believe they can understand the rules. This is because early on the game is about exploring the haunted house and finding things that build your character's abilities; and then, at a moment based partly on luck, the rules change. One player becomes the Traitor with some nefarious plan and the others become the Heroes, trying to stop that. This produces a major break in the gameplay as everyone studies the rules and re-reads them trying to make sure they understand just what was going on exactly. Probably if we played more we'd have an easier time of it.

We set up on a card table in the living room that was really a bit small for all the card tiles being laid out (to represent the House on the Hill being explored), but got in a game before dinner and another after dinner. Her brother had a perfect record as far as we can tell, never being on the losing side in the game, and he kept that record up Christmas Eve.

Still we did spend enough time doing this that we weren't able to watch any of the videos we'd brought or had on DVR: not the Alastair Sim Scrooge or A Wish For Wings That Work or one of my birthday gifts to bunny_hugger, Toys. More about that one later.

Trivia: Though the British government had the right to take over the Cable and Wireless Ltd corporation --- linking Britain with Canada, India, South Africa, and Australia --- per its 1928 incorporation, it was not deemed necessary to do so during the Second World War. Source: How The World Was One: Beyond The Global Village, Arthur C Clarke.

Currently Reading: Rousseau's Dog: Two Great Thinkers At War In The Age Of Enlightenment, David Edmonds, John Eidinow.


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