The board game drought seems to have ended momentarily.  Last night, we received our second holiday 'couple' gift in the form of Pandemic.  It took a few rounds, however we finally managed to cure the sickness ravaging the world (perhaps abiding by the rules, too).  Everyone at the table enjoyed the heavily-cooperative nature of this deceptively simple game.  Roam the map, eradicate or cure illness, and do it all before any of  diseases snowball into a pandemic.

Another game where setup is quick, not a lot of downtime between plays, and replayability is high.  This gem will be headed into heavy rotation alongside Talisman and Mag-Blast when we need a fix and don't have a lot of time.


The Party to Which You Are Not Invited
By Stephen Dunn

You walk in, your clothes dark
and strangely appropriate, an arrogance
about you as if you had a ramrod
for a spine. You feel posture-perfect.
When you speak, women move away.
You smile, and men see tombstones.
They think they know who you are,
that they could throw you out
as they could one man. But today you are
every man who has been omitted
from any list: how quickly they see
they would have no chance.
You pour yourself a drink,
as if ready to become one of them.
Under your skin, nerve endings, loose
wires, almost perceivable. Something
somewhere is burning. You tell them
you've dreamed of moments like this,
to be in their lovely house,
to have everyone’s attention. You ask
of the children, are they napping?
You extend your hand to the host,
who won’t take it, reminds you
you were not invited, never will be.
You have things in your pockets
for everybody. House gifts.
Soon you'll give them out.
If only they could understand
how you could be ruined
by kindness, how much
you could love them
if they knew how to stop you.


CJ and I decided to put a little extra effort into our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party sweaters and printed the other's picture, framed by a pine tree and accented with a cat, on a transfer sheet and plastered it to a cheap sweatshirt.  Garland was added with the aid of a hot glue gun and viola, ugly sweater.

Because Christmas.