Saturday, January 3

The Birth of '09: Music, Killing, Cold

My New Years was spent up at the Jersey Shore at an adorable beach house of a friend.  Mixed group of friends (meaning the host's friends) in a relatively small space.  

Too be honest it was pretty much just the way I like to celebrate New Years.  Because of the space you are basically forced to be social (which, to be fair, I am often guilty of not being) and interacting as a group.  And seeing as everyone is sleeping there, there is none of that discovering that you are alone at the end of the night.

Played a lot of Rock Band 2 for the first time.  Actually I watched it more than played it.  I enjoy watching it.  It is definitely not a skill I'll ever pick up well.  I really did enjoy playing drums... even if not done well.  I know it has been said over and over, but it is amazing that how Guitar Hero/Rock Band has become one of THE adult party games.  I had more than one discussion on that topic.

Played a fair amount of Taboo which always a sign of a good time.  There is a fair amount of improv lessons to be learned from it.  For example, how much communication can be given by just changing one's voice.

Someone brought Settlers of Catan but I missed the boat at jumping into playing it. (Oh, if only they had the expansion for 5-6 players!)  I so love Catan.  I could play Catan every night and be happy.  I hope I hid it well, but I was super jealous that there was a game of Catan being played just ten feet away from me.  "Sheep!  I have Wood for Sheep!"  Seriously, that joke never gets old.

I finally played Werewolf (not the World of Darkness RPG but the party game variant of Mafia).  Werewolf is a game that seems to have filtered into the improv community with a vengeance.  Get more than 10 improvisers together and they'll often play.  As I knew I would, I enjoyed it a lot.  (The process of getting a mixed group of people, most of them at least slightly drunk, to play a game like Werewolf is always a very interesting study of group dynamics.)  My bossy/director/gamemaster side took pleasure being the Storyteller.  I am sure I'll jump at the chance to play more.  (Hint hint everyone.)

On Wednesday night there was one slight problem: the heat wasn't completely working.  Just enough to get it to the high 40°s/low 50°s.  Outside was somewhere around 1° or 0.5° with windchill (big gusty winds).  But, you know, nothing bonds a group together like bitching about the cold.  I learned that in Minnesota.  I have a feeling that the Donner Party and those rugby players in the Andes really got along and were super bonded until they started to dead.  Actually I better those that didn't get eaten were even more friendly with each other after dinner.  ANYWAY, the heat was fixed the next day thanks to the wonderful work of the parents of the host.  They're the type parents that just enjoy seeing people happy.  When they ran out to buy a new filter for the heater, they came back with tons of KFC and other foods.  So wonderful and giving and welcoming.

Final note: Dick Clark was just scary.  And sad.  Slightly moving, but most scary.

Anyway, '09 is has started very well indeed.