Monday, January 14, 2013

Josh's Trip to New England: Tim-a-palooza!!

I had a truly nice visit up to New England this weekend.

My car recently died. For those of you playing at home, that's like the fourth Ford we've lost between the two of us since I started this blog. We've just had ridiculously bad luck with them. But I'm sure the next one will be different!

However, being without a car actually worked out this time. My wife Jen dropped me off and a different Jen picked me up and we went up to New Hampshire!

I had never been in her jeep before. It looks really cute from the outside, but it's this horrifying garbage barge within, with these jagged spikes of rusting metal poking out where you least expect it.

(Like the door handle!)

Still, she generously did the driving for the entire trip up, and she's offered to pay for my tetanus shot.

We made it up to Keene in about six hours, only hitting traffic and bad weather near the end of the trip. We had dinner at a local Thai place, and I consulted my blog on my phone because I remembered that I had written down the name of the dish I had eaten last time I was there. I had it again and it was still delicious!

We chatted for a while, then Jen vanishes out of the story for a little bit. She went down to Boston to hang out with her friend Tim, whom I don't believe really exists. In fact, since Jen looks exactly like Claire Danes, I think we can call this section of the post "My So Called Tim".

Moving on.

Jen has her own blog, where she's aggressively wrong about the which incarnation of the Doctor is the best. She'll probably post her account of the trip at some point. No pressure, Jen!

Tim and I hung out with his friends and played Zombie Munchkin. My friend Eric has been trying to get me to play Munchkin forever, and I really enjoyed it, and I'll probably give it a chance next time my friends play down this way.

We got home about a little past midnight. I was ready to turn in, but Tim started playing his bootleg Korean copy of Dredd, which I really enjoyed, much to my surprise. My review is up over at this post!

I woke up at nine, three hours before the rest of the house. I watched Goldfinger and then part of Thunderball and a bunch of commercials. Commercials fascinate me anymore, because I so seldom see them because we mostly watch Netflix. I really enjoyed the commercial for the Ear-Vac, which isn't as dangerous as Q-tips.

We went to the Alex Ross exhibit at the Norman Rockwell museum, which you can read about here!

On our way back,  we stopped in Northampton, Mass, home to a million hipsters. Tim took me to a store called "Feces", which he described as "Spencer's Gifts, if Spencer's didn't suck," a description that was accurate, except for the second part. I bought my friend Karen a card for her wedding.

It was just a regular marriage, but I got her this card because she really loves giraffes.
We got back to the house, where Tim played Journey and I played with my phone. Then we watched some Eagleheart, which was hilarious. Then I went to bed, because I was exhausted.

I woke up at 8 because we were supposed to be in Boston to meet Jen and "Tim" there. I was the first to rise, so I killed some time reading Tim's copy of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

We got to Boston at about 12:30 and our little group, me and Jen and Tim and Tim's roommate Fok all went around town. We hit Anime Zakka a place close to where Tokyo Kid, formerly Man from Atlantis, had once been. It was neat, but it wasn't as magical as it had been when I had come there in the 90s. They had a whole wall dedicated to Studio Ghibli stuff, including a terrifying plush Catbus.

Jesus Fuck! This is supposed to be a children's movie?!

I bought Lily a little Totoro and a Corpse Bride charm bracelet.

We stopped for some Vietnamese food, which I had never had before. I had the Bún thịt nướng is, shredded beef and spring rolls atop vermicelli. It was good, but I was expecting it to be more distinctive than Chinese food than I found it to be.

Then we went to a couple of book stores, including one with an espresso book binding machine.  I bought the sequel to Bridge of Birds, Eight Skilled Gentlemen. Looking forward to reading it!

And then it was time to go home. Jen and I got going at shortly before seven. We did a few Mad Libs, but it was pretty dark, so it was hard to see and we gave up after three or four.

We made good time, despite missing the final place to fuel and being forced off the road to navigate perilous back roads in heavy fogs in search of a gas station. We passed several that were closed and a number that were on the opposite side of a divided highway before we were able to get to a place to refuel.

But make it back we did. It's great to have have friends and it's great when your friends become friends with each other.


  1. I'm a big fan of Munchkin. You and the fam need to visit so we can play. I have regular flavor (with two or three of the expansions) and Munchkin Cthulu (also with expansions).

    1. My advice for Munchkin: don't play with more than about 4 people, total. Unless you're up for a despair-filled marathon game with no end in sight.

    2. "A Despair-filled marathon game with no end in sight"?! Zach, you should write ad-copy for Munchkin!

      Our game went like I imagine most of them go. The first person to try to hit level 10 didn't make it, but the second one did, because everyone had depleted their "oh shit!" cards trying to stop the first.

      Oh, also, when in Boston, we found a copy of Last Defender of Camelot and my friend bought AND she returned the copy I had lent to her. Everyone wins!

    3. Yeah, that's how most games of Munchkin go. Except that when you're playing with 5-6 people, you now have 4-5 opponents who have the cards it takes to stop you from hitting level 10. And by the time your next turn comes around, 4-5 cards have been drawn that can (potentially) be played against you.

      So when you get *that* many players, the second person doesn't often win. Nor the third.

      If the fourth person wins, you can all consider yourselves lucky!

      On the other subject: excellent find with The Last Defender of Camelot! I found that at a bookstore in October and gave it to a friend for All Hallow's Read. I also got Jack of Shadows for a different friend.

      We Zelazny missionaries must keep fighting the good fight!

  2. Great trip! One, I have the correct ranking of the Doctors on my blog. Two, I'm working on a post about the trip, but it will probably be very short.