Happy Thanksgiving — let’s hear it for four-day weekends

The last few years we’ve had Thanksgiving at my parents’ place up in Elk Grove. This year, Kelly and Rob hosted. This was great for two reasons: First, it’s a lot closer, and second, they did almost all of the cooking, so we could relax a lot more. The only downside is that I didn’t get to see my brother Phil and his wife Erin and daughter Sarah, since they went to Erin’s parents instead.

Kimi made a pair of sweet potato cheesecakes topped with maple cream. In addition to the traditional menu (mostly cooked by Kelly and Rob’s friend Keith), Rob also cooked some crab, which tasted really great although I have to say it felt out of place. A memorable addition, to be sure.

Kelly’s step-mom, dad, sister Tara, and brother-in-law-to-be Geoff were also there, so it was a big group. After dinner, a few folks watched football and the rest of us played some Outburst (one of my favorite party boardgames). Sammy was well-behaved the whole day and managed to take a nap at 3 in the office. Kimi ended up taking him home around 7, and Harry and I followed a bit later (we had invited him to spend the night).

It felt good to see my parents again, and I appreciated Joanna driving them down and back. If we had more room in our house I think we would have invited them to stay as well as Harry.

At home, Kimi went to bed early so Harry and I played some Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation, completing the series we had started the week before. In this two-player board game that shares some similarities with Stratego, the black side (Sauron’s minions — the orcs, cave troll, warg, and other bad guys) are definitely stronger than the white side (the Fellowship and assorted other good characters). Harry’s very good at this game, and gets a lot of practice since they apparently play a lot at his work. With Harry playing the more difficult white side, he beat me 2-1 in the first series, but I managed to win the second series 2-1. The new deluxe edition has some variant characters, and when we played with those, he beat me 3-0 alternating sides. I don’t like the variant characters nearly as much, but I do recommend the game overall — a really interesting game for two players that somehow manages to capture the feel of the books better than any other Lord of the Rings-inspired game I’ve played.

Thursday night we watched BloodRayne, a truly awful inspired-by-a-videogame-neither-of-us-have-ever-played movie, and Friday we basically vegged out and watched Heroes all a bit during the day and finishing up after Sammy went to bed. We had a mini-marathon and succeeded in watching the first nine episodes. I enjoyed Heroes quite a bit, and it’s clear the writers actually know where the first few episodes are going. I was a bit surprised at how much gore there was; it’s not for kids at all. The series plays around with comic books as a theme but ultimately I think the series has more to do with a cross between The 4400, X-Files and Lost than with any particular comic book.

As I write this, Kimi and I are doing a movie-trade. She’s seeing the 7:10 showing of Casino Royale and I’ll see the 10:30 showing.
I’ll add my impressions later.

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