Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tabletop Day or The day I learned I can't throw dice

     Today was International Tabletop Day!  For those not familiar Tabletop is a web show on YouTube’s Geek and Sundry channel that is hosted by Wil Wheaton (Star Trek, Stand by Me).   I am a huge Wil Wheaton fan and also a fan of Felicia Day who started Geek and Sundry so I have been watching Tabletop from day one.  On the show Wil Wheaton and his friends play board games.  Wil Wheaton is a fan of getting people together to hang out and play games, actual real hands on games where you have to communicate and interact with live people.  With the close of the first season of Tabletop and the start of the new season beginning next week the Tabletop team decided to declare March 30th International Tabletop Day; a day where people everywhere were encouraged to get together and play games.  When I found out that the store All Things Fun in Berlin New Jersey planned on hosting a Tabletop Day event I knew I’d be there.
Attendance was great
and the air was alive with sound of rolling dice and shuffling cards.  I started out the day playing Zombie Dice with some people including a nine year old girl who was awesome and renewed my faith in humanity.

She was so much fun and since I had never played Zombie Dice before she was a big help.  I give Zombie Dice two thumbs up or maybe a half falling off sagging flesh thumb seeing as it is about zombies.  The point of the game is to collect brains. The first person to fourteen brains is the winner.  You collect brains by rolling dice and getting brains before you get three shotgun blasts because then you are dead and you lose all of your brains that you earned during your turn. The strategy is to know when to roll um and know when to hold um.  It was fun and very easy.  I won the first round but did horribly in the second round.  After Zombie Dice I played Oz Fluxx with the same group.  My husband and I bought Fluxx after seeing it played on Tabletop.  We have Pirate Fluxx and Monty Python Fluxx so I was already familiar with how to play the game which is good because it is quite hard to explain to people how to play Fluxx.  Fluxx is a card game and I enjoyed playing the Oz version with all its Emerald City goodness. At one point things got crazy, as is the nature of Fluxx, and in the end I lost and then my new friends left to go have lunch so I joined a new group and game.

The game was called Dungeon Fighters.  It was a game where everyone has to work together for a common goal.  The goal was to kill monsters.  Each monster took a certain amount of hit points to kill and you found out how many points you got after rolling a die onto a target.  There was some skill involved because you had to roll the die so that it hit the table first and then rolled onto the target.  Today I learned that I have ZERO dice rolling skills.  I’m sure that when my character got so many wound points that I was dead and out of the game the others that I was playing with were relieved because I was no longer dragging down the game.  It was also embarrassing because this little girl rocked the game.
  She even understood the game way more than I did. The team did end up vanquishing all of the monsters despite my pitiful skills.  Finally I joined a group playing Evil Baby Orphanage.  It was another card game whose premise was that we were each time nannies (we geeked out over this and talked about the new Dr. Who episode that we were looking forward to watching in the evening) who had to set up time orphanages where we collected evil historical figures in baby form and try to rehabilitate them so they don’t become evil.  The baby cards have points and the goal of the game is to have the winner amount of points, which I forget.  I appeared to be a natural at the game which lead to the rest of the players ganging up on me so that I lost.  I also lost because one of the guys had fantastic strategy and saved some important cards until the end.  I think the game was worth it just because the cards are hilarious.  I especially liked the rubber ducky taser. 


Because it was Tabletop Day all of the games in the store were on sale so I went home and brought my husband back so he could help decide what games to purchase.  We got a few as you can see, including Zombie Dice and a different version of Dix-it so we can rotate our cards. 

Shortly after arriving I received tickets to fill out and place in various cups with the hopes of winning a prize.  At the end of the night just before Dr. Who I got a call telling me I had won a prize. I was super excited! I never win anything.

By the way if you like playing games let us know because now that we have all of these games we will need people to play them with. 
Here is Tabletop

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Strongly Worded Letter - Atlantic City Day 3

Dear  Harrah’s, 

    While recently staying at your establishment I was excited to find a do not disturb sign on my door that read “Building Awesome Pillow Forts – Do Not Disturb”, but was disappointed at the discovery that the amount of pillows provided in the room was hardly enough to construct a proper pillow fort. You should not give patrons a splendid idea only to not provide the necessary tools and building materials. I would also suggest that in the future you provide at least two giant cylindrical pillows on the bed so that guests could engage in pretend gladiator fights if they so wished.



We had planned on going out for breakfast on our last morning but by the time we were packed and ready to go it was lunch time so instead we used yet another Entertainment Book discount in Bally’s.  This time it was at 6ix A Bistro (seriously that’s how it is spelled).  Since it was pretty much their version of a diner we didn’t have high expectations but ended up being pleasantly surprised.  We both got the Guinness burger…so yummy.  Even the fries were decent.  There were plenty of little pieces that were just a little over cooked so they were super extra crispy.  I love those little super extra crispy delights. 

Sustained by meat, we went to the outlets to go clothes shopping. 
 I am not a big fan of clothes shopping.  I inevitably fall in love with things that I can’t afford or that end up not fitting right and then I feel sad.  Sometimes I do find things that are good deals that do fit and I feel like a winner.  I imagine that’s how many people in A.C. feel while their gambling.  I guess you could say clothes shopping is my version of gambling?  I bought mostly practical items that I needed but there was one thing that I simply wanted and since it did not have an extravagant price tag I was granted my wish.   I bought my very first pair of Converse. 
After making the rounds at the stores we like best we packed up and went home.  We had such a great time and realized that it had been quite awhile since we had spent a significant amount of quality time together and vowed that we won’t let more than a year go by before doing it again. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Do I have to take down Skynet? Atlantic City Day 2

Our main reason for going to Harrah’s was to spend the day sitting by the tropical pool underneath the huge glass dome. We had worked out our strategy the night before.  I would get ready first then head down to the pool to snag prime seating while my husband showered and got ready.  Our efforts worked and we were able to spend the day taking up key real estate in lounge chairs right at the edge of the pool. 

I had already started reading The Maze Runner at home but it was a book leant to me by a coworker and I didn’t want to risk its possible destruction on our trip so I began reading City of Bones, the first book in the popular Mortal Instruments series.  It turned out to be a good choice as it is an easy read. Sort of Percy Jackson meets X-Men, or at least it seems like that so far. 

My husband also brought an easy to read book (This is a Book by Demetri Martin) that at times created a fun distraction as he shared many pictures and statements from his book with me throughout the day.

The pool water was chilly so we spent our water time loafing in the hot tub and of course we whiled the day away people watching.
I really dug this guy's reading style.
We named this guy “Terminator Guy.” 
He spent hours walking from one end of the pool to the other.  He would make his way toward us with this slow deliberate walk wearing his sun glasses the whole time despite the cloudy weather.  When he reached our end of the pool he would tag the spot right in front of my chair.  I was certain that during one of those tags he was going to tell me that I was going to have to take down Skynet.  He finally left the pool about an hour before we did and never told me of my destiny.  I’m not sure if I was relieved or disappointed.   
At one point during the day an inflatable beach ball was thrown into the pool.  A couple started playing with it and then an older woman joined them and soon there was a whole group of strangers laughing, playing and having a great time all brought together by the power of an inflatable beach ball. 
I think someone should jump on that and create an organization called, “Beach Balls for World Peace.”
The pool closes at 6:00pm but we departed early, leaving at 4:30pm, as we had to get ready for our dinner reservation. 

Bally’s has a restaurant called The Reserve that has a discount in The Entertainment book so we decided to check it out. 
  It was a nice place with large windows that looked out over A.C. We continued our melty cheese trend and started off with French onion soup.  I never liked French onion soup until I met my husband and he has now turned me to the dark side.  Usually the thing that ruins French onion soup is a too salty broth so we were happy that The Reserve’s broth was just right.
  As my entrée I went with one of the specials.  It was a corn dusted halibut on a bed of lemon roasted vegetables.  One of the vegetables included was brussel sprouts which is what beckoned me to try the dish.  It was yummy.  My husband ordered the filet mignon and creamed spinach which he reported was well executed.
We skipped dessert since our bellies were filled with soup and entrees.  After our meal we took another walk around then returned to Harrah’s to end the evening with some of the gelato we had been ogling since our arrival.
With no crazy club on Thursdays the hotel/casino was quiet, or at least as quiet as a casino can be.  We took our gelato back to our room and fell into a lovely end of a relaxing day sleep.
Oh, I almost forgot, while we were sitting under the dome it started to snow.  If you have never watched it snow from inside of a gigantic glass dome I recommend it, it was pretty neat.
I doubt that when Tolkien was penning his masterpiece he thought, hey maybe someday this will make a great slot machine!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

We learn about Krewella. Learning is fun? Atlantic City day 1

We are not gamblers, drinkers or partiers, but we are eaters, people watchers and sitting by a pool reading bookers, so when we saw that Harrah’s in Atlantic City was offering weeknight rooms for $28.00 a night we figured some R and R was in order.
We arrived at the hotel on Wednesday evening and had just enough time to check in and explore our digs before heading out to dinner.  When we checked in, they upgraded us to a room that overlooked the dome and looked out onto the boardwalk skyline.

                                      The shower was our favorite part of the room. It was fantastic!

We are pretty sure that the upgrade was their way of showing us mercy as the hotel was filled with college spring breakers.  The section of the hotel that they put us in must have been reserved for all of the mature adults as it remained relaxed and quiet.
From Harrah’s we hopped on the Jitney and made our way to The Melting Pot.  For those of you not familiar, the Jitney operates lots of little buses that for $2.25 one way will take you where you need to go around Atlantic City.  Parking in A.C. can be expensive so the Jitney is a convenient (as well as interesting) and economical way to travel.  Our entertainment book had a deal in it for The Melting Pot and who can pass up melty cheese?  Being a Wednesday night, it was almost empty. We were offered a booth that was inside its own little room.  It was quite cozy and romantic.

We love eating at places that offer lingering meals.  The sort where you don’t have to rush and stuff food in your gullet so that you can be pushed out for the next guests so the Melting Pot is our kind of place.  It gave us the ability to savor our meal while having unhurried quality time together.  Our deal included the full four course meal.  If you haven’t been to The Melting Pot, it is a fondue restaurant.  The first course was cheese fondue (we picked Swiss), then we had salad, and next came the entrée which included two kinds of beef, chicken, shrimp and ravioli that we got to cook ourselves in broth. 
The best part of the evening is the dessert; a bowl of melted chocolate (we picked dark) that we dipped an assortment of deliciousness into.  We each placed our dessert items in order of importance wanting to save the best for last.  Although both of our orders varied we both saved the Oreo covered marshmallow as our last bite.  The food at The Melting Pot is good though not fabulous (I think the one in Philly is better) what you are really paying for is the experience.

With our cozy booth and lazy meal behind us, we decided to take a little walk.  The nice part about A.C. is that it is possible to walk around mostly indoors as many of the hotel/casinos are interconnected avoiding the windy winter chill.

 One of our favorite stores, Sugar, which is a giant candy store on Cesar’s Pier, was close by so we stopped in for a visit.  One of the great things about being a grown-up is that if you want a big bag of candy (in our case a variety of sour gummies) you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission.  There will be no one to tell you that it is not good for you or that you will rot your teeth; hooray for being grown-ups!

  By the time we finished making our candy purchase most of the stores were closing up signaling that it was time for us to head back to Harrah’s.  While on the Jitney we noticed that quite a few passengers were young folk heading to Harrah’s as well.
 It seems that Wednesday evening is “Wet ‘n’ Wild Wednesday.”  This is when The Pool at Harrah’s is turned into a night club and on the night we were there Krewella was making an appearance.  We had to rock a wiki on exactly who KrewEela was; a music group made up of three individuals who perform electronic dance and dub step music.  The kids were all a flutter over Krewella.  When we arrived back at Harrah’s we found ourselves mixed in with a bevy of spring breakers out for a night of fun and frolic at the pool turned club.  There is a food court directly across from the pool with a counter that has seats that seem as if they were made for people watching.  We sat down in two of the chairs, pulled out our bag of candy and enjoyed some free entertainment.
It was like watching a bizarro Easter parade.  I own shirts that were longer than most of the girls’ dresses and some of the girls had little more than a bra and a short spandex tight skirt on; their footwear looked down right barbaric.  Most of the guys moseyed into the club wearing either a t-shirt or a button up shirt and jeans.  I couldn’t help wondering if the girls noticed the injustice.  I tried to get photos but surprisingly despite the sadistic shoes those kids were speeding by with cheetah like speed.  I gave one girl a pass for her outfit.  She was wearing a rainbow tube top and a skirt that had a fox tail attached.  She also wore fox ears and giant fuzzy orange boots that made her look as though she got lost on the way to an anime convention.  It was an awesome outfit.  My favorite t-shirt of the evening had a golden snitch on it and read “Snitches be crazy,” that gave us a chuckle.  A second runner- up stated “Bacon is sexy.”  We would have loved to have been witness to the disarray at the end of the night of revelry, but alas we are old (KrewElla didn’t even go on until around 1:30am or so the kids said) so we retired back to our chambers at 11:30pm.
When the zombie
apocalypse finally happens I'm pretty sure this guy from the Wild West Casino will be their zombie leader