Thursday, June 3, 2010

To clarify...

I realized when I said "game night" in my last post it may have sounded like I am a fan of sports, and like to have friends over on game days.

This is a lie. So, if someone comes to you and looks like me and asks if you saw the game last night, shoot them, they are a robot clone here to destroy the earth. Fyi

No no, the games I'm talking about are good old fashioned board games. I love board games. My family loves board games, and we love to play them together. I sometimes invite my friends. Sometimes.

I've decided to post my top 5 favorite board games. These are the games I'm always up for playing.

5. Clue
The object of the game is for players to strategically move around the game board, in the guise of one of the game's characters, collecting clues from which to deduce which suspect murdered the game's perpetual victim: Mr. Boddy, and with which weapon and in what room.

This game is a ton of fun to play with a group of people. The worst part is you can't play it with just two people. Lame :( However, if you do get a group of people to play with you it's always fun to try and figure out whodunit. I do have a couple family members who have realized that I can get kind of sneaky when we play. By watching people when they mark off answers I could find out what they were shown.

I'm so sneaky. Now you people know, if you're playing with me, make sure I'm not watching when you're doing your thing. ;)

4. Apples to Apples

Each player is dealt seven "red apple" cards; on each is printed a nouor noun phrase, or possibly a gerund .

The judge (a chosen player) draws a "green apple" card on which is printed an adjective("scary", "frightening", "patriotic", etc.), and places it face-up on the table for everybody to see. Then each player (except the judge) chooses a card that they think is the best match for the green apple card, and places it face-down. The judge shuffles the red apple cards, reads them (often aloud), and decides which noun is the best match for the adjective. This decision is subjective; the official rules encourage the judge to pick the match that is "most creative, humorous or interesting"

I know this could be called a card game, but since it comes in such a big box I'm calling it a board game. But seriously, who doesn't love this game? Probably people with no humor, or someone who isn't good at reading people, or even if someone just isn't creative. This is a great party game, but we have found that if you have too many people it can get kind of tedious. The night before Bracken and I got married we played Apples to Apples with about 20 people. 20 people is too many. 6-10 seems to be about right. Everyone stays interested, and there isn't too much straying from the game.

I do have an apples to apples match, as you will find you'll get every now and again. It's the person that just gets you, and you just get them. Mine is one Thomas Huff. We're just that awesome.

3. Balderdash
The dasher draws a "definition card" from the supplied box, and rolls the die to decide which of the five words listed there shall be used. Then the dasher writes the definition (as supplied on the card) on a piece of paper. All other players then write down a definition, which may be an honest attempt to supply the correct definition, or, if they do not know or for tactical reasons decide not to, a fictitious definition for the word designed to sound convincing. The players hand their definitions to the dasher, who checks if any of their definitions are the same as the real definition. If there are any, the player(s) submitting the correct definition is/are immediately awarded three points, and, if there is more than one, the round is abandoned (though the points are retained). The definitions, including the real definition, are then read out in random order. Players record which answer they believe is correct. Players are awarded two points if they guess the correct definition. Players are awarded one point for each other player who incorrectly chooses the fake definition they wrote. The dasher is awarded three points if no one guesses the correct definition.

This game is such a fun game! It's another one that takes some creativity, but it really needs humor to reach it's prime. Bracken is really very talented at raking in the laughs with this game. And honestly, having the fake definitions read is always more fun than the real ones.

Luckily, the game does a good job of choosing words that not many people would actually know the definition to, so it would only be super easy if you spent your free time reading a dictionary. I would never hang out with someone who did that anyways. How dull.

And ever more fun is that sometimes, the real definition is so crazy that sometimes it doesn't even seem possible. This is a very well made game, and is very educational as well as entertaining.
2. Life
The game simulates a person's travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriages and children (or not) along the way.

Now, I do need to make it clear that I only like the 90s version of this game. The newer versions are just not the same. This is a good basic roll the die and see where it takes you board game. Just good for wasting a couple hours with your friends and family. What else can I say about this game that you don't already know?

1. Scattergories
Each player takes a folder with an answering pad and category cards, each card has 2 lists of 12 unique categories, for a total of 16 lists and 192 categories. All players must agree on the list to use. One player rolls a 20 sided letter die to determine the first letter used. The timer is set for up to three minutes. a word or term that fits each of the 12 categories and starts with the rolled letter. Any number of words in the answer is allowed, as long as the first word starts with the correct letter. When using alliterations though, remember to follow the category. You cannot use generic adjectives to score points. Writing a bad answer is still better than no answer though because there is always the possibility that the group playing will accept the answer. All players stop writing when the timer is finished. Following the list, each player, in turn, reads their answer for each category. Players score zero points for an answer that duplicates another answer in that round, and one point for an answer no other player has given.

Now this, this is my number one game, and is often the one we play at home. This is a great one to play with my family, we're usually pretty good with something clever. The only downside is Bracken and I usually think of the same level. Luckily, my Mom and D-man also write similar answers, so it's usually pretty fair.

One of our favorite lists is List 13, especially when played with the Letter B. Because then we can do: Beets, Bears, Battlestar Galatica. The only problem of course is that all of us end up doing it, so we're all our 3 points. Ah well, the comedic effect is more fun anyways.

So there they be. I have plenty more board games I love, but these are the best.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This is why you're fat.

Last weekend was a good weekend to be on the Oregon Coast, at least until Memorial Day hit. Sunday we headed out with my Mom and D and the two dogs to the beach. It was a nice sunny day, only a little wind, and few clouds. The dogs had a blast playing in the water and chasing the wind.

We all did some rock climbing, even found some really pretty agates on the beach. Bracken and I got home and ended up being very very sore, but it was nice to have the exercise.

You want to know why it was so nice? Because tonight we decided we should have these for dinner.

Oh yes, that's what you think it is.

Chips... cheese....

Beans, meat, jalapeƱos...
and even more cheese... lots and lots of cheese.
Then we topped it with some corn and black bean salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
We piled it all into the cast iron, put it in the oven and let it all melt into a big glob of bad-for-you tastiness.

Luckily, we only ate half of it, between the two of us. If we had finished it, boy we'd be in trouble. But let me tell you, this would be a great game night dish to have some friends over for. It would be messy, and there wouldn't be much talking, but gosh, it'll make people love you.

And now I have a nice sweet gooey strawberry pie sitting in my fridge just waiting to be gobbled down.

Someone stop me!


I guess I should be like that good friend of mine Katie who is always pointing out her new followers. It seems to get her even more followers! So, Jenna, thank you wasting your time with me.