Etiquette & superstition: Christmas party games

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Christmas is almost here, friends. Holiday guests will be coming at any moment now, and in between opening presents and eating, you’re going to need to find something for everyone to do. Watching Drunk Aunt Linda get unraveled does not really count as something for everyone to do.

ETIQUETTE: If you’re a Christmas party host, think of something the entire gathering can handle. Cards Against Humanity is not the best choice if you have eight-year-olds in the house, unless you want to explain what felching is to an eight-year-old. Limbo is not a great idea if Nana just got her hip replaced. Try a leisurely walk, or Charades, or that game where everybody has to paste a famous person’s name on their head and figure out who they are by asking questions.

If you’re a guest, you have to take part in the activities that are going on, and do it with a modicum of enthusiasm. Chutes and Ladders is a terrible game and that kid cheats all the time, but you better suck it up and play a round anyway. Practice advanced meditation during the terrible movie everybody else decided they wanted to see. Positively suggest an activity you would think everybody would enjoy instead, but don’t force it. If you can’t be pleasant and accommodating this one time of the year, maybe you should just be by yourself on Christmas. Seriously. Let everybody else have some fun.

SUPERSTITION: A really fun game to play when the yule log is burning is a game you play with the shadows that the flames cast on the walls. Look at the shadows of everybody in the room. The shadows that don’t seem to have any heads attached to them belong to people who are going to die within the next year. Fun!

Photo by The Pointe at Kilpatrick via Flickr

Logic for a Saturday

Just because it’s Saturday doesn’t mean it’s time to shut your brain off. It’s a muscle*; use it or lose it.

*Your brain is not actually a muscle.
Published in: on November 20, 2010 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rotten

Tomatoes, if you came back, I would buy you these shoes for you to wear during your G-rated prank call show:


I’d tell you a funny story, and listen to all of yours. I might even learn cribbage. But I know you can’t come back.

 

Leggo my ego

I don’t know about this writing analysis site “I Write Like…”. At first it said I write like James Joyce,

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

and then it said I write like David Foster Wallace:

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

but I just had to keep going.

I write like
Stephenie Meyer

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I’m disappointed. Who I really want to write like is Grandpa Wiggly.

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 10:20 am  Comments (6)  

You’ve got the touch

Benny’s kids have been in town the past couple of weeks, and I think we’ve all had a very good time together. Even more than that, though, I have really learned a great deal from the kids in this short amount of time. Here are just some of the things I’ve learned:

One thing they haven’t been able to help me out with, however, is something that has puzzled me since I was a kid: what is supposed to be so funny about Mickey Mouse’s underwear? I don’t think I’ll ever understand that.

Two last packages

Maybe I’ll make my own Christmas list while I’m waiting for those two last packages that really should have come in the mail by now. Those two packages make the difference between grim empty-handedness and mirthful generosity on Christmas morning. Well, I’m going to stop worrying about what the USPS is or isn’t going to bring me. I’m going to focus on what Santa is or isn’t going to bring me. Let’s see; where was my Christmas list? Oh, here:

I actually got a wheelie bar for Benny. I hope he likes it. I hope it gets here…

Icicle, Icicle

icycle2

Hooray, it’s autumn! I can tell it’s autumn because the current temperature in Los Angeles is 90°, but according to weather.com, it only feels like 87°. Hooray for autumn! Sometimes it’s easier to deal with autumn in Los Angeles by pretending you’re the only person alive after the next ice age has hit, and you’re naked, and you’re on a bicycle. Of course, if you’re naked and on a bicycle, you’re probably from Portland, and you probably don’t have problems with 90° weather on the 25th of September. I’m not in Portland right now, so I’m just going to have to pretend I’m naked on a bike. Want to join me?

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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What did the big acorn say to the little acorn?

Last week I highlighted an irregular polyhedron as the word of the day. In my research, however, I found that quite a few polyhedra have very interesting names. And frankly, I’ve been feeling a little guilty that I only chose one as the word of the day last week.

So in the interest of fairness, I decided to make a list of some other outstanding polyhedra. Now, I understand that not all my readers are fans of geometry, so to that end, I have also included the names of some characters from WC Fields movies.  See if you can tell which is which.

  • Rhombitruncated Cuboctahedron
  • Gyrobifastigium
  • Elmer Prettywillie
  • Bilunabirotunda
  • Baby Elwood Dunk
  • Gyroelongated Cupolarotunda
  • Snub Disphenoid
  • Otis Criblecoblis
  • Great Ditrigonal Dodecicosidodecahedron
  • Professor Eustance McGargle
  • Frustum
  • Disphenocingulum
  • Plumber’s Nightmare
Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thumbs vs. eyeballs

After playing Mattias Wandel’s “eyeballing” game, it has become quite apparent to me that I really need to heed the old piece of advice to measure twice and cut once. I don’t know why this piece of advice never really sticks in my head; it’s a time-honored rule of thumb that has served many a seamstress and carpenter well. Why can’t I accept it?

I decided to check the website rulesofthumb.org to see if I was as stubborn about not following other universally accepted helpful hints, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The following tips seem quite logical, even if some sound awfully superstitious in nature, and if I can remember to use them I’m sure my life will go much more smoothly:

  • Don’t stand within five meters of the lion tunnel when the lions are entering or exiting the ring. The lions will pee on you.
  • Steak restaurants serve good seafood, but seafood restaurants serve terrible steak.
  • If it starts to rain and llamas run for shelter, it’s going to be a short storm. If they stay where they are, it’s going to rain for a while.
  • If a piece of classical music was written after you were born, you are not obliged to appreciate it.
  • In any full subway car in any major city, there will be one ambulatory schizophrenic.
  • If you are not sure if you should use a semi-colon, use a comma. If you are not sure if you should use a comma, use a period. If you are not sure if you should use a period: quit writing.

Photo by Sister72 on Flickr

Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 11:02 am  Comments (2)  
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Loaded Screaming Dogs

I am learning something today. I am learning that I can’t play the video game Burger Time properly if the version I’m playing doesn’t have the peppy music to keep me on my toes around those aggressive sausages. It’s making me mad; I used to be really good at this game. It’s making me want to torture a hot dog right about now:

Ha ha ha ha! Scream, hot dog; scream!

Uh oh. Now it’s really mad. Well, at least I didn’t try to take on a fried egg. There are a lot of bad eggs out there that could make that rampaging hot dog look like a choirboy.

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