Traffic on the highway slowed to a crawl for several miles, which was annoying but did give me a chance to get started writing up Friday's events. We got to Anthony's place at about 2:30. Their daughter, S, was napping when we arrived, so we had a kid-free hour to talk like adults. I looked at the very pretty selection of jewelry Anthony's wife, L, had made, and Anthony showed off some of the miniatures she's painted. Including seven Dalek figures, each painted to match a different Dalek color scheme from the various eras of Dr Who. Hee!
Then Anthony showed us Portals, which John hadn't seen before. I'd watched Lut play bits of it before, and watched the endgame on Youtube for the dialogue. John played that for a while as we watched; it's not a bad game to watch because the dialogue is funny.
Anthony also showed an Amiga-tribute video done by Eric Schwartz to the tune of "I'm Still Alive", the closing-credits song for Portals done by Jonathan Coulton. It was very cute, and immediately made me think of narile.
After S woke up, we watched assorted other video clips from Youtube and other sites the Anthony and John remembered. Then we played with S and handpuppets for a while. S took a mouse and a rabbit handpuppe6t for herself, and gave Anthony a
fox one (of course), me a raccoon, and John a tiger. Anthony and John did great voices and personalities for theirs: Anthony's fox had a high pitched, scheming sort of voice, while John's tiger was low and slow and growly. S and Anthony performed "The Fox Song" for our benefit a couple of times. The first verse went something like "Foxes are great, foxes are good/Foxes are taking over your neigh-bor-hood." It was quite a lot of fun. As Anthony pointed out, "Kids are a great excuse to act like a child again."
Afterwards, we went out to eat at a nice Italian restaurant. It had a fairly formal adult sort of atmosphere, but they brought out a piece of dough for S to shape (read: play with) which they then took back, baked, and brought out again. John and L helped her, making a cat out of it. After it was baked, she played with it some more. We talked geek-stuff mostly, relaying anecdotes from recent RPGs, and sharing the theory that you can never, ever, make a mystery too obvious in an RPG. "You know how many clues the protagonist gets in a mystery novel? Give ten times that many to the PCs and it still won't be too much." I know this but I'm still not good at giving enough clues to PCs in my games.
Then we went back to Anthony's house to hang out some more. We played Guitar Hero for a while, which Anthony owned and which I'd never played before. John was pretty good -- I don't know if he's played at all before or not, but he doesn't own it. I was awful, failing at three out of four attempts on various songs, all on the easiest settings. "White girl needs rhythm, badly". (I'm awful at DDR, too.) Guitar Hero is rather painful to play when you're horrible at it, because it wrecks the song, too.
L put S to bed while Anthony dug out a non-video game we could play. We settled on a Steve Jackson card game, Chez Geek, whose theme mimicks the geek lifestyle. You use time and money to get things, or experiences, that give you "slack", and there are cards that represent people you can call over to your apartment. People who give you slack you need to roll 3-6 on a d6 for them to show up. People with bad consequence, you play on your opponents and don't need to roll for. (They roll to get rid of them.) "It's just like life. Good people you need to call and some times they're not available. Bad people just show up and you can't get rid of them." Your job determines your income, free time, and how much slack you need to win.
John has a copy and we'd played once or twice before. It's a cute game. We played one round with the three of us, and another with L after S went to sleep. At one point, I played the "Psycho Ex" on Anthony, and then John played the "Whiner" on him.
John: "He's the Psycho Ex's ex."
Anthony [in whiny tones]: "'Oh, yoooooouu get a stalker! Why don't Iiiiiiiii have a stalker? No one cares enough to stalk meeeee.'"
It's the comments the game provokes that make it fun. :)
After the second round, L went to bed. We lingered a little longer, talking to Anthony, and eventually headed home around 11 or 11:30.
Monday was pretty low-key. We'd hoped to catch a few hours with ladyperegrine while her kids were in school, but she'd caught a flu bug, poor thing. We'd also hoped to go to All Fired Up to paint pottery, but they turned out to be closed Mondays. And Glaze Under Fire, another pottery-painting studio, was likewise closed Mondays. I was sad. Though at least this visit I remembered to bring home the coasters and bowl I'd painted last year.
So we wound up at Panera for lunch and to sketch for a bit before my flight. Then we headed to the airport, where my flight was a little delayed so we hung out there for a while. One of the Orlando airport art exhibits was "The Traveller", an amazingly realistic sculpture of an ordinary-looking tourist half-asleep with his bags around him. About the only thing missing was body hair. Very neat.
The flight wasn't too delayed -- much less so than this write-up -- and I made it home in good order.