Battle Lines and Blind Side

Sunday night, an hour or two miraculously appeared after the boys were in bed. As my husband finished the story-reading, I delved in our well-stocked game cupboard for a new offering for the evening. After sorting through various boxes “The claim that this game plays with two is a lie” “Why do we even own games that have a 3 hour play time?” “I don’t have the 2 hours we’d need to assemble this game”, we settled on Battle Line.

It’s a lightly themed logic and planning game. It incorporates significant elements of poker (to my disadvantage — I’ve never played) in terms of winning card combinations and card counting. You also can gain an advantage by having a poker face, or being able to read your opponent’s intentions. However, there are six “suits” up to 10 cards, and a deck of “break the rules” cards which kept play interesting and unpredictable.

We both loved it. We split two games. We’re champing at the bit to play some more (although if your partner is, like mine, an optimizer, this might be an appropriate game to break out the play-timer for). It’s a small, light game, which means that it just shot to the top of our list for travel. I think it could be even more compact if you replace the “flags” with regular playing cards (they’re simply place holders). This is also the rare game that I believe will be able to handle numerous repetitions of play. There are lots of games that are fun to play 2 or 3 times, or once or twice a year. There aren’t as many games (like chess) that have much higher play potential — that can be different every time you play them, even if you play them for a year.

Then on Tuesday, a second Christmas miracle occurred. We had a free night. And we had a babysitter. I know, I know. Astonishing. Seriously, I think our last evening out together was late September. ANYWAY, I’m a sucker for a heart-warming story, so I’d really wanted to see “The Blind Side”. Ah, friends! Go see it! It is a story of radical hospitality and courage. It is a story about small and great kindnesses. It is a story about the best of people. And, most of all, it is a true story. Mom, this one is rated “K”. I was inspired and warmed by this increasingly rare vision of people behaving with love towards each other, in a family full of kindness.

I also see the movie as a challenge. I wish I had her courage and compassion.

It was awesome to spend time with my dearly beloved, and to have the time so rich. Nothing is so disappointing as making all the effort to get out, and then have your meal/movie be a total dud. These two were the opposite of dud-ish-ness!

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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