Story 30July2022: Fast Saturday

Going backward, I arrived home at about 11:20PM and decided that skipping dinner earlier meant I should eat something tonight when I take my pills. The meds are unpleasant on an empty stomach. So I microwaved two smallish potatoes and then dressed them with the last of the sour cream and added some shredded cheddar cheese and an olive on top (remembering the olive floating in a snow-like field of cream cheese in the potato bars of Istanbul). After that, I went to bed and fell immediately asleep.

The trip before that was not uneventful. I had just left Richard’s neighborhood and turned onto Broadway near the Lloyd Center, and I was suddenly in a swarm of little lights that turned out to be bikes and folks jogging. The folks riding and running were happy, and the crowd on the side was cheering them. Folks were mainly wearing bikes and running shoes–and nothing else; I first thought it was still hot, and folks were reacting to the heat.

I had to slow and put on my hazard lights to let folks know I was going slow. I was now part of an impromptu parade providing traffic control! It was a Naked Day in Portland, and I had forgotten. Folks, primarily athletic and good-looking, were taking over the roads and enjoying their freedom. Small crowds of bystanders (those being the people still dressed) were on the intersections cheering people on and, not surprising to me, taking videos and enjoying the event.

I was having issues at intersections. There were groups of bike riders and runners having a consultation to determine where to go next and then suddenly deciding, like white smoke at a conclave, unexpectedly crossing the intersection when I had a green light. They did not look or give me any attention until my bumper was close to them. I then smiled and waved them by. It was a bit confusing, but I smiled at all the people in Air Volvo’s headlights and let them pass by, most naked, and managed to not hit them.

At first, I thought it was a male-only crowd, but I soon realized that I saw the bikers from behind, literally, and folks look, ahem, the same from that direction propped on a bike. I could not risk many looks in my mirror as the bikes kept whizzing in front of Air Volvo like bugs, soon to dirty my windshield. I also did not want to be distracted by anything in my mirrors. Oh my!

I managed to creep down the street like a lost lap car from a domestic car race. Soon the naked folks thinned out after they mostly headed a different way. I got back to everyday driving and turned off the hazard lights. Finally, there were no naked folks on the highway, and soon I was relieved to be on the ramps and headed to Beaverton.

Before being swarmed by naked people in Portland, I played board games at Richard’s house. We played two games, Mysterium and the Lost Ruins of Arnak. We played my copy of the Ruins of Arnak as I had incorporated the latest add-on into my copy: Lost Ruins Arnak: Expedition Leaders. We wanted to try the new stuff.

Aside: As I like the game, I blinged my copy with printed meeples, real little compasses, and metal faux-gold coins. It looks good on the table.

Tonight Shawn brought his Italian wife-to-be, Val, who spoke excellent English. Richard and I were the other players. I learned Val was from Milan.

We played the cooperative Mysterium first, not a fav of mine, and Shawn played the ghost. The ghost cannot speak. In this game, you must, like in clue, select a different person, place, and weapon. These are the suspects. The ghost gets large cards of art pictures, and this is the only clue for you to guess which of the six persons, or places, or weapons is the one that the ghost wants you to pick. A small timer gives the mediums (the non-ghost players) only a short time to decide. The spirit first hands you the art cards to each medium–representing a message from the spirit world. After all of the mediums are correctly led to suspects, a final set of art cards are presented to help pick which of the three is the actual killer.

As Ricard said, this game is about the crowd and its commitment to work together to solve the puzzle. Shawn was our ghost; he gave us too many cards, and our mediums were lost, and we failed–Shawn and Val had never played before. Richard took over as ghost as we reset for a second time. Richard managed to play perfectly, and we all found our way with the limited information. We identified the murder, room, and weapon without a miss.

The next game was the latest revision of the Lost Ruins of Arnak, worker placement, and resource management game. Shawn and Val are experts at this game. I had managed to play this early with Evan and had some of the new rules down. Shawn and Val knew this game well and soon crushed Richard and me. I was playing the Baroness, and I could buy lots of tools, and I had a unique power to put the tool in my hand instead of waiting for it. This got me going better.

Shawn ran away with the game and the Professor leader. Richard, as he often does, did his usual last-minute catchup and scored in second. I was just three points, which surprised me as I was sure I was totally crushed by Val, behind her score.

Shawn tried out the new leader, The Professor, Richard tried out the Falconer, Val got the Captain, and I had, as I said, the Baroness. The add-on replaces the starting cards with unique cards for each leader, and that shocked us as the game seemed constrained at first (we checked this later, and only the Captain is constrained). But, on the other hand, the new powers, the new guardians, and other new features made the game fresher. Overall, we loved the new rules and leaders.

Before this, I took Air Volvo into Portland without incident or having to dodge naked people, to reach Richard’s house. I left Beaverton after playing Lost Ruins of Arnak with Evan; we were to try to get a handle on the new Leader rules–I got a few base rules wrong as I had forgotten how to play. I played the Captain, and Evan tried out the Falconer. He won as I focused on how to play.

Susie called me from hummingbird house while Evan and I were trying out the new expansion for the game. Hana, the nurse aid for the evening, made the call for Susie. Susie was in a panic and told me, “I don’t think I can make it,” and asked me to come. She had already forgotten I was there only 90 minutes ago. She calmed down when she remembered I had just been there, but she was worried that she had failed and had done something wrong. I reassured her that she was safe and cared for at the facility. Susie told me she was not in pain or that anything was going wrong with her health-wise. I could hear in her voice that she was tired and confused but no longer frightened, and she agreed that I did not need to come. I called Hana back an hour later, and Susie was okay now. Susie had dinner and was relaxed.

Returning to the game, we played at the Central Taps, our usual haunt on Saturdays, with good beer, nice tables, and a smaller and friendly crowd. Before that, Evan and I met at the closing food carts near Beaverton City Hall. Our choices were few, and Evan wanted to try the Philly Steak cart. It was $40 for the two! The food was fresh and hot, but an average sandwich. Evan thought the sandwich was light on the cheese, but I thought it had too much meat compared to the other items. Usually, you don’t complain about too much steak! The fries it came with were good.

Clouds had covered the sun, but it was steamy for Oregon. About 95F (35C) without the sun and a surprising amount of humidity for Beaverton. Folks were barely dressed (a theme for today). The limited food options had cut the crowd.

Before a late and heavy lunch, we were at the hummingbird watching a movie with Susie–Ocean’s 8. This is the women’s version of the robbery stories in the Ocean movies and set now in New York City and not Vegas–already an improvement. There is much fantasy in the use of technology and the execution of the crime, but the locations are real (the Met in Central Park), and you can forgive the license as the story moves well and the acting is well done. The film even borrows some plot from another fav, The Thomas Crown Affair, with Insurance played by James Corden, who plays it so well that you begin to hope he actually gets the diamonds back. A fun and enjoyable movie with a twist near the end. Recommended.

During the movie, we stopped to talk to Zorida and Leta, Susie’s mother, on FaceTime. Susie was happy to see Zorida and then to chat about various items with her mother.

I arrived without incident–no crazy naked people challenging Air Volvo at green lights, to the hummingbird house at 10ish. Before heading out, I had finished a breakfast of peanut butter toast with French press liberal Fair Trade coffee. I was up at 7ish after some dreams about work–no reason to share here.

Switching gears, I have picked out fav music a few times now instead of religious music. Here is my next one: Zero 7’s “Summersault.” This, too, is alternative rock, a soft song that should, I think, have had wider play: Summersault. Enjoy!

I cut the last of Mister Lincoln rose to take to hummingbird house. One of the unknown roses, while smaller flowers from the heat and being summer, has rebloomed and looks good. Wedgwood, a David Austin climber, is also back in flower but has shrunk and turned white in the heat, is also back. I will cut a few for Susie.

A mystery rose I bought on discount years ago.

Wedgwood is just a bit faded to white.

Thanks fore reading!

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