Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Temperatures remain hot, though perhaps less hot than yesterday. The pony's had a few days off because of the heat--he can get sunstroke just like a human, although I would think that 40 million years in the Arabian desert might have made him adapt better than me.

We tried to stay in the a/c for as much as we could this weekend. Saturday, we drove up to Ellison Wonderland and wound up going out for dinner with Harlan and Susan at a small Argentine place in Reseda. The company was great, though Harlan was trying to pull me into a legal entanglement of which I wish to have no part. I don't like re-inventing wheels, and the people involved clearly have forgotten everything I taught them at the start of the century. Their loss, not mine.

I probably should have avoided the sangria at the restaurant. It was really, really good, but it gave me a nasty headache and I crawled into bed soon after we got home.

Sunday, I got up early to do the pick-up the house and yard needed before folks came by to play games. Many were thankful to visit our a/c, which isn't necessarily provided in some of the older houses and apartments on the basin side of the Santa Monica Mountains. We had maybe a dozen and a half folks, who ate, talked and played. One even used the pool, which she pronounced wonderful and chided us for not using it more often.

Monday, I gave Ace a spray-down to wash off some of the salt and minerals he's been sweating and which has been drying in streaks on his hairs. It probably didn't help much, but I felt better.

Then Len and I drove over to J. Keith Van Straaten's unairconditioned apartment for another afternoon and evening of gaming. Since I wasn't in the kitchen preparing Greek potato salad, tomato with mozzarella salad, macaroni salad, and various platters of cheeses, fruit, and other snacks, I could sit and play too. We played a board game called Wordster and then played three rounds of Celebrity, a game we learned at J. Keith's the first time we were invited.

The players all take a sheet of paper and divide it into a predetermined number of slips (16 worked quite well.) On each slip we wrote a name of a celebrity, other famous person or groups of persons, and fictional characters. The slips are folded up and tossed into a bowl, from which they are drawn. The first two games we played with two teams of 5 players. The last round was teams of two. I was on the winning group team for both games and then Len and I won the teams of two round by two names. I think there were 5 teams of two playing. We beat J. Keith's team (I had been on his team for the earlier two games) and Paul Goebel's (the TV Geek from Beat the Geeks) as well. Paul claimed to have never been beaten at Celebrity. Oh well.

What really astonishes me when we play the game is how many famous names and characters are not recognized by others in the room. To be fair, Len and I are usually the oldest people invited, but I really think it has more to do with being well read or well rounded from an educational standpoint than anything else. Among the names not recognized were Steve Wozniak, Henry Clay, Christa McAuliffe, Millard Fillmore, Sir Ian McKellen (in a room filled with actors) and Hermoine Granger. It was funny but somewhat horrifying to listen to people trying to make other people guess by giving clues to the syllables instead of saying, respectively:

Co-founder of Apple Computers.
"The Great Compromiser."
School teacher killed in the Challenger disaster.
13th president of the United States, after Taylor and before Pierce.
Great actor who played Gandalf and Magneto.
Harry Potter and Ron Weasley's best friend.

One of the hard ones I submitted was "Archy and Mehitabel" (which I spelled phonetically, not correctly), and only two other people in the room knew who they were. They got it from the clues where someone was working on "same name as" and breaking down the syllables, but the people to whom clues were given were clueless. When the name isn't guessed, the clue goes back into the bowl at the end of the turn. Consequently, I pulled it myself and gave Len the clue "he's a cockroach, she's a cat," which he got immediately.

People should just read more. Don Marquis' Archy and Mehitabel poems are available in various collections and some of them can be found here. Toujours gai!

No comments: