The main source of the irritation was Sue Ellen. I know I haven't mentioned her here before, mostly because it would probably take too long to explain. The long and short of it is that she's a regular at the meetups and she drives me (and quite a lot of other people to boot) bonkers. Her voice has this incredible nails-on-a-chalkboard whine to it and she uses it incessantly to, well, whine. [whine]Is it my turn yet[/whine] [whine]What card should I play?[/whine] [whine]Would someone please stick an ice pick in my eye?[/whine] There are enough Sue Ellen stories to fill a book.
Right off the bat I got stuck in a game with her. Worse yet, it was a euro/strategy game called Taj Mahal which required at least some iota of strategic thinking and mental competance. I warned her going in that it was going to be a complex game, hoping to make her reconsider but she wanted to play and I was stuck. It was Ruth and Eddie's copy and I had played it once before with Ruth and some other people at Steve's last poker and game day. It's not a bad game overall, though some of the feedforward elements are regretable. In layman's terms, it's one of those games where if you're in the lead, you tend to stay in the lead and actually increase your ability to gain additional points. Unless other people actively try to take down the leader, there are balance issues. Since actively blocking has a cost associated with it, it's iffy whether people will engage. With Sue Ellen in the mix, the entire process was pretty agonizing. I don't mind explaining rules to people who have never played before, but it irks me when they have to be repeated over and over and over. Pay some God damn attention or don't play. I have no clue if she just finds it hard to remember concepts or what, but it's infuriating to hear her ask over and over again what she should play or whether she got some resource. Look at the damn board.
After that, I spent most of the day exchanging gossip and talking smack with other people. Nick, maigrey, and Lori all showed up as the day wore on and I ended up playing Red Dragon Inn (one of the games Vaughn had purchased for me) and Hex-Hex. I wasn't all that enamored with the former, but the latter was fun as always and I'm not just saying that because I was the first one eliminated in RDI and won H-H.
At one point in the day, I was chatting with Ruth about the Olympics and figure skating in particular. She and Eddie are going to Minnesota in a month to watch the world championship or nationals or some such whozit. At some point the conversation wandered and lurched over to Tonya Harding and the whole lead pipe incident. That's why I was sort of pleased to see the following on CNN just now:
Former Tonya Harding Bodyguard Dies At 40
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Brian Sean Griffith, the former bodyguard to Tonya Harding, has died. He was 40.
Formerly Shawn Eckardt, Griffith served 14 months for his role in the 1994 attack on Harding's Olympic rival, Nancy Kerrigan.
Griffith died Wednesday of natural causes, according to the Washington County medical examiner's office.
But the state has not received the exact reason for the death from the private physician handling the case, officials said.
Griffith, of Beaverton, was Harding's bodyguard as the Portland-born skater competed for a spot on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team in 1994. That January, a club-wielding assailant hit Kerrigan in the knee, forcing her out of the competition.
The International Committee of the U.S. Figure Skating Association granted Kerrigan a spot anyway, and she recovered in time to win a silver medal at the winter Olympics.
Only days after the attack, Griffith confessed to the FBI and detailed a plan he and Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, had hatched. The investigation also eventually netted convictions of Shane Stant, the actual attacker, and Stant's uncle, Derrick Smith, who drove the getaway car.
For her part, Harding has always said she didn't know of the plan. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder an investigation into the assault and was banned from U.S. Figure Skating Association competitions.
Griffith was sentenced to 18 months in prison for racketeering but was released from the Oregon State Penitentiary four months early, in September 1995.
It's always interesting when the news is topical to a subject you wind up at completely by accident.
By the time I was set to leave, I wasn't feeling all that fantastic so I ended up bypassing the trip to snagging a sundae. I was in such a general hurry to get going that I also left my wallet behind. Lori was kind enough to drop it off later that night meaning that I didn't end up having to drive back out and fetch it. That really wouldn't have been much fun given how I was feeling in general.
Oh, the night wasn't a complete loss in other respects too. maigrey came up with an idea that should work pretty spiffy for the Killer Breakfast costume I'm thinking about making. I dunno why it didn't occur to me earlier, but she suggested velcro strips to keep the cloth curtain attached to the umbrella. That would end up killing two birds with the same stone since I had been wondering what method to affix the two and my main worry about the costume in general is that something would tear off when the cloth was accidently stepped on or something else unexpected happened. With velcro, there shouldn't be any catostrophic failure and I can just hot glue gun the strips to everything.