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Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

    Time Event
    Viva Las Anaheim
    * Back from a pretty placid trip to Vegas, all things considered, and from a slightly more active GenCon SoCal.

    * My good opinion of GMT card-driven wargames is not at all lessened by playing two more of them -- I whipped Doug Sun in Twilight Struggle, and was on the losing side with Doug in Wellington, as the Frenchies ptevis and fengshui won a "still own Madrid" victory. In my own defense, I was playing the (royalist) Spanish. (Then we all, along with schlafmanko and youngiskander, left the Anaheim Death Food Basin to get pho. What a good idea that always is. Plus, I added a lot more hoisin than I normally do, which also turned out to be a good idea.)

    * Other friends bidness: Jeff Tidball manfully recovered from his dropping of the Sunday Breakfast ball by suggesting IHOP for lunch. By luck of the draw, I had excellent conversations with some friends I don't usually get to spend real human contact (as opposed to "so how's your con going?") with -- Jim Pinto, Drew Baker, Mike Selinker, and Tod Gelle (who is lycanthropically au courant in spades). So, good times. By contrast, I didn't get to hang out with wordwill, trekhead, or lukzu nearly enough. Ships in the night and all.

    * Contrary to what one might think if one were an idiot, bathtub absinthe is extremely nasty. Its saving grace is you have to drink less of it to feel an effect. An effect besides utter revulsion, that is.

    * The best new-to-me thing I saw at the show is wickedthought's Wilderness of Mirrors game, although Tome of the Mysteries or Ultimate Skill could come from behind once I actually read them.

    * But the headline antic of the show for me was joining the Hero squad for Lucha Madness! As Jason Walters aptly put it the next day, Anaheim has never been safer from zombie infestation. We saw not only the North American Midget Championships but sixteen, count-em, sixteen luchadores -- including the son of the legendary El Santo, and the current incarnations of the White Angel, Blue Demon, Blue Panther, Dr. Wagner, Rey Mysterio, and Canek. It was like a Justice League 100-page super-special out there. (I was rooting for the lucha version of Aquaman, "Atlantis.") Although Darren objected to the Disneyfied arena policies that prevented us from rushing the ring, it was still a grand show, once you surrendered to it. I'll spare everyone my no doubt terribly obvious revelations about the ritual nature of lucha, but I was interested to know that "heel" and "face" in lucha are rudos and tecnicos, which is to say the same as the Homeric division of heroic qualities: bia and dolos, strength and cunning, or Machiavelli's lion and fox (or, obviously, Dante's forza and frodo). And thus the great story continues.

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