Saturday morning Ingeborg had to work, so I slacked off all morning (though I did finish doing the dishes). That evening we had Noor’s birthday party in Zeeland (the village, not the province). It was fun in a laid-back sort of way, even though I hardly knew anyone. Afterwards, we went to my parents’ to spend the night there.

The next morning Ingeborg had an appointment with the girl next door, who gave her advice on makeup and stuff. I didn’t stick around for that, I had Astrid’s Amber campaign at noon. The session didn’t really flow well, though we did manage to pull off what we had worked so hard for: Thor actually signed the contract we had prepared. The Vanir and Amber are once again officially allies against Chaos.

It almost went too easy, but then Heimdall showed up: apparently the Ice and Fire Giants had struck a deal with the Svartalves: gates had been created all over Midgard, and giants were marching out. We quickly assessed the situation (who would have thought that Freya kept a map of Midgard handy?) and Freya explained how we could use her temples to transport troops all over Midgard.
The rest of the session was spent mobilising troops and ferrying them from one place to another. We had also split up, so there was little screen-time for all of us. I hadn’t slept too much (stayed up to watch the end of Total Recall and had to get up too early), and that didn’t help either.

Next session will start with Nikolai desperately trying to battle off the first unit of 40 (!) Ice Giants — and the rest of us is next.

When we got home, we discovered that Fields of Rock was still going strong in the Goffertpark. The wind was ‘right’, so we had to listen to the last bit of the festival — I was happy when it was over, at 23:00 (last song was Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’). Hardrock doesn’t do anything for me, and I would rather have slept at that time. I’m not too fit right now.

Oh, and that second game of Cartagena? I dealt Ingeborg and Babske a crushing defeat!

Ai Yori Aoshi

We’ve finished watching Ai Yori Aoshi today…

Spoilers within...

All in all, a 7.5 in my book.

We’ve also watched the first two episodes of Wandaba Style. Hilarious.

Cartagena

And of course, Ingeborg won. We’ve started another, not-quite-high-speed-but-still-briskly-paced game, which she had to begin. We’ll see…

Weekend!

OK, so now my weekend starts. It’s been a stressful week: we had lots of stuff to arrange, but we’ve managed somehow.
Tomorrow Ingeborg will have to work during the morning, perhaps I can use that time to fiddle around with various projects.

I have discovered that the CDR’s that I got from the HEMA are of questionable quality: it has happened twice now that a CDR turned out to be empty, instead of holding the digital fansub goodness it was supposed to contain. I will have to check each and every CDR to see if it still works. It might be hard to find those old episodes that I lost, but fortunately there are some people that still owe me some of their bandwidth…

I finished reading Rune, but the whole encounter mechanism gives me troubles. I think I’ll ask the mailing-list for advice. Basically, I want an encounter that provides a hook for the players to get into the Underground — via Elf territory.
I’m wondering whether Rune gets run in the way it was intended (with everybody running some encounters) — I suspect that in my would-be group, the burden of running will be put on me.
Another thought is to use the Rune mechanics in a different world, like, for instance, the world of Ragnarok (of the manga), or Middle-Earth.

Right now, we’re playing a high-speed game of Cartagena Online with Babske, along with chatting via MSN. Good fun. 8)

Pentecost

Isn’t Pentecost the day that King Arthur’s Round Table assembled? Then some weird knight-type-person shows up and kills a few/challenges them to a quest/whatever, right?

We’ve visited my parents this weekend. Paula and Hans and Joep were there as well — it’s been only a few weeks (my grandmother’s cremation) since we saw them, but it was fun to see them again none the less. Joep was his usual charming self (he seemed to be intrigued by my beard, where he didn’t pay it much attention before), and we played a lot of games with Paula and Hans (3 times Cartagena, Ingeborg won all three, 1 time Machiavelli (‘Citadels’ in the US), which Ingeborg won again (even though she said she wasn’t very good at it), and 2 times Pueblo, which we got from Bob, Noor and Linda.)

Pueblo is an intriguing game: the first time we played it, it was a disaster, but the second time we applied much more strategy. The pieces are pretty sturdy and the design is attractive. You should place the game board on a rotating platter though, to make it easier to look at the board from all sides. Definately one we’ll be playing more often (and that’s saying something from a Ravensburger game).

I took Transhuman Space with me (a birthday present from Ingeborg — thank you dear!), because I had finished reading Rune almost through. I made good progress too: I read some 100 pages. The world of TS is pretty cool: things have been really thought out (though I would expect Quantum Computing to be practically implemented before 2039), but the usual GURPS number-crunching is mind-numbing. I’m much more of a ‘rules-light’ GM, and GURPS doesn’t really support that. While I understand that you could hurt yourself in microgravity if you’re unused to it, I don’t really need rules for it — I can improvise those nicely, thank you very much.
I’ll post more on it when I’ve read it all.

Now we’re back home, and I just finished the log for Astrid’s Amber game (it’s again next weekend). Now I think I’ll finish reading Rune.

Spreading the word on anime

Yesterday, a colleague and his girlfriend came over to watch Princess Mononoke.
I know he likes animation, and when Spirited Away was in the Dutch cinemas, I reccommended it to him. He wanted to take his girlfriend to the movie but was unsure whether she would like it — she didn’t care much for the one anime feature she had seen, which was Akira. I reassured him that Spirited Away had an almost universal appeal (this being a Miyazaki movie). Apparently he succeeded in convincing her to give it a try: we saw them in the movie theatre.
After the movie, I was curious to whether she had liked it. It turned out she did. We spent half an hour talking about the various cultural references in the movie and that seemed to deepen her understanding and enjoyment of the movie. So when we told them we had some more Miyazaki movies on DVD, she was very interested to see those (and my colleage was relieved ;).

So yesterday they came over. We stopped the movie occasionally to explain some things (like the historical basis for the tribe of Ashitaka and other details) which they appreciated. They were very impressed with the movie and promised to come back to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service some time. I think we’ve convinced her that there is some really good anime out there as well.

Yesterday…

…was pretty fun, if somewhat overheated.
We left for Utrecht at about 11:00, because Ingeborg wanted to do some shopping for clothes at a store there. We both ended up with a new shirt. 😉

After that, we went to Bjorn and Gert, to play boardgames, together with Catelijne. B&G had gotten their cat, a cute little rascal they named ‘Arnie’. We didn’t play too much games: most of the time was spent talking and playing with Arnie.

I got really tired at 22:30, so we left (sorry folks, we’ll finish that game of Pictionary sometime in the future) and Ingeborg drove the first part of the journey home. I stayed awake to guide her onto the motorway and then I fell fast asleep. I did get to drive the last part home, but much later than we had agreed upon: apparently I was so fast asleep that Ingeborg decided to let me rest up.

Now it’s not even 10 AM, and I’m already wide awake, while Ingeborg is still asleep…

Ai Yori Aoshi

Ai Yori Aoshi is soooo romantic…. *swoon*
We’ve watched some episodes before, but we stopped before it turned into a Love Hina clone. This time, we’ll stick with it and see where it goes.