pour salt water on the wounds

Things I learned this past weekend:

New England is Cold In The Winter

I tried going to Razzy’s for Karaoke on Friday night, since some Yelp folks had put out a call. We’d tried going the week before, but had found a half hour line just to get inside – not to sing, just to enter the bar – at 10:30. That’s unreasonably early for a bar that doesn’t charge a cover.

So this week, we tried getting there at 9:15, noting that the back room – with all the karaoke – doesn’t even open until 9:00. Again, a knot of people outside, waiting to get in. So we turned around and headed north to drink at Porter Square.

I wouldn’t call the walk from Porter Square to Razzy’s long by any stretch – it’s a quick ten minutes. But the biting wind that had been at our back on the walk down slapped us in the face on the way up. Tears streamed down our faces; the wind checked our stride. We choked out small talk in bitter gasps.

Windchill was at -12 F after midnight on Friday. Over forty degrees below the point of freezing. When I looked in the bathroom mirror back home, a face raw with windburn stared back at me. I wonder how long I might have lasted before frostburn set in.


I Need To Work On Sincerity

Sunday, after sampling some micro-brews and homemade pizza with jiu-jitsu friends at Keith T’s house, I stopped in at Greg’s in Cambridge for an evening of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.

Presuming some familiarity with the TV show: BSG:TBG sets you aboard the Galactica and Colonial One, besieged by Cylons and running low on everything. Your mission is to keep the human fleet alive until you can jump to Kobol. Every turn, new crises pop up that’ll force you to make the better of two awful choices (lose 2 food, or lose 1 population and 1 morale; etc) or deploy more Cylons in space around your ship.

The complication: every player has a chance of being a Cylon. You get a card at the start of play, and another halfway through the game, that determines whether you are a Cylon or not. If you are, your goal is to secretly undermine the group’s efforts to survive crises while keeping your cover. You can reveal yourself as a Cylon at an opportune moment, causing havoc on the ship and unlocking a whole host of new Cylon powers.

In last night’s game, President Tom Zarek (yours truly) released some Cylon mugshots early in the voyage, insinuating that Captain Lee “Apollo” Adama (Greg) was a Cylon. Sadly, while everyone suspected Apollo, Zarek couldn’t muster the support of the rest of the crew, leading to Admiral Saul Tigh (Amy) to declare martial law and seize the presidency. Zarek, realizing the tide was against him, called for a new election and put Sharon “Boomer” Valeri (Joanne) in the President’s chair. Apollo then ordered Zarek’s arrest.

In a desperation move, Zarek gave his evidence to “Chief” Tyrell (Fraley) in the hopes that he could arrest Apollo. But Apollo stalled his trip to the brig long enough to reveal himself as a Cylon, ordering Tigh’s arrest and then vanishing. Boomer outed herself as a Cylon thereafter. Losing the Galactica’s two best pilots proved fatal, as this led to a desperate scramble to defend civilian ships from Cylon Basestar attack. With Kobol merely one jump away, the fleet was wiped out.

I’d have been more upset about not being believed when I accused Greg of being a Cylon (I’d looked at his card! the President can do that!), but I was having too much fun playing up Tom Zarek’s smarm. Still, important lessons for future confrontations: make sincere eye contact and let your accusation stand for itself. And don’t let the Cylon put you in the brig.

battlestar galactica board game


One Response

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