Rockabye sweet baby James

As a nearly perfect weekend with SuperGirlfriend and the SuperKids draws to a close, I look back over some of the highlights:

Saturday afternoon, we un-decorated. It should have been a depressing time -- it always has been in the past, when I've taken down whatever holiday trimmings I might have put up, stripped down the tree, and dragged it out to the dumpster/curb by myself. But I think the key words there are 'by myself'. With the whole family pitching in, and Elvis Costello rocking out from our DVD player, it went more quickly than I'd expected, and was a lot more fun.

Saturday evening, Bane came over for a few hours, and brought me copies of INFINITE CRISIS #2 and INFINITE CRISIS #3, which I've read a few times since then. Fascinating stuff -- if the first CRISIS had been this well written, I'd have long since picked up the trade paperback.

In preparation for Bane's visit, I moved a couple of tables around downstairs and set up what I'm calling Gaming Area A, a table top with a great deal more space on it than anything we have available upstairs. However, Bane hasn't really wanted to play clix during his visits. Nonetheless, me and the older two girls played a game down there tonight -- a game which I won, largely because Atlantis Rising popped out of the random Battlefield Condition deck, and I had the only team with a lot of flyers who could get to the small strip of outdoor area (a flood in an indoor environment is eventually lethal to every non-swimming fig that can't get outside).

Overall, Gaming Area A is a bit dank, and definitely a sweater-friendly environment. Also, the basement to the large house where we rent the largest apartment is anything but cozy -- it's cement walled, but unimproved, lit only around the edges, and full of clutter from however many previous tenants have lived in one of the four apartments in this house and then abandoned some of their chattels when they moved on. The kind of place it's very easy to start to feel uneasy in. But, still -- a handier place to play than the kitchen or living room, and additional room for feat cards, snack plates, and drink cups is a big plus.

Over at HC Realms, one of the Modern Age punks mentioned that apparently, DC has appointed a Gang of Four to be their current continuity cops, now and following INFIITE CRISIS. Geoff Johns is apparently the Chairman, and I say yay to that. Greg Rucka is also supposed to be one of the new mandarins, and I've heard good things about Rucka's work on WONDER WOMAN, and I enjoyed his OMAC PROJECT miniseries, so he gets a tentative thumbs up from me too.

However, the other two are Mark Waid, who invented the concept of Hypertime ("where everything is real") and Grant Morrison, who pitched such a monumental public hissy fit back in the late 90s, when he took over writing JLA and encountered a faction of fans who actually expected him to read the past issues of the comic he was writing and do stories that were consistent with what had already been established.

Waid has conned a large contingent of pros and fans into believing he is some kind of Silver Age maven, but he's not fooling me. He may have a fondness for pre-Crisis material, but anyone who creates a character like Impulse is no friend of Silver Age style characterization, and the idiocies he heaped on the Reverse Flash are... well, idiotic. No matter what some people may insist, he's not a good writer, and his Silver Age sensibilities are no such thing.

And Grant Morrison... I'll just shudder and move on. Okay, no, I won't -- I'll simply point out pretty much any and everything he's ever written, mention the terms 'continuity' and 'Silver Age', gag, spit, and then I'll move on.

Ah, but I digress. Back to my nearly perfect weekend...

Sunday night I played HeroClix with SuperDependable Teen, running my Fantastic Femmes squad -- Crystal, the Sue Storm LE (Fantastic Forces), the Experienced She Hulk, Medusa, and the Vet Lockjaw. It's a cheap team, even with an Extended Range on Crystal and an Unstoppable on She-Hulk. The lack of expense (it all came in at 400 points, appropriately enough) probably greatly contributed to my victory, as she put together a small squad of JSAers (Golden Age Flash, Experienced Mr. Terrific, Veteran Power Girl, Experienced Black Canary) who simply hadn't much of a chance at hitting a 19 Defense, which, with the new FF TA, all my team except Lockjaw had.

Throw in my House Rules for Pulse Wave, which is very nearly an auto-hit for 1 point of damage or an extra action token... and I just realized I lost that game, because I consistently forgot to halve Crystal's range when using Pulse Wave. Urg. So, never mind.

Still, I can see why many venues have outlawed the new FF TA. Especially with WizKids moving towards making the dial numbers smaller. A 19 Defense is going to be nearly unhittable. The FF should be tough, mind you... they don't often lose in the comics... but, still, I can see where playing against that sort of thing would be quite frustrating.

On the other hand, our random Battlefield Condition deck now contains two cards, Disbanded and Isolation, that screw the FF TA completely.

On a third hypothetical hand, what also helped me win that battle (that I now realize I didn't win) was Deep Shadows popping out at random, meaning Sue Storm (and any other character with Stealth) is effectively invisible anywhere on the board. Under my House Rules, a character with Stealth on hindering terrain cannot be attacked at all, so if that card pops up, it gives an ungodly advantage to sneaky sorts. And I suppose it should, but combined with the new FF TA, it's pretty wicked.

Sunday night, we also played Scene It!, a game that SuperGirlfriend has where you put a DVD in your DVD player and you answer various trivia questions about movies, some of which are on cards, others of which come when you watch clips from films off the DVD, or have to solve various puzzles portrayed on the TV screen. We used the new cards and disc that SuperGirlfriend gave the older two SuperKids for Christmas, and I eventually won, but it took a loooooong time.

Later on Sunday, we finished watching the fifth season of Angel. SuperGirlfriend cried when Wesley died, not so much at the death itself, but at Ilyria reshaping herself into Fred and giving her touching little 'soon you'll be with me' speech as Wes died in her arms.

Monday we all had off, so, as I'd learned during the Scene It! game that none of my girls had ever seen Last of the Mohicans, I made them all watch it with me, which was fun... I enjoy sharing things I love with them, and they all seemed to dig the film, which was gratifying. (When I say 'them all', I exclude SuperAdorable Toddler, who is too little to watch things like Magua cutting Colonel Munroe's heart out, and Duncan being burned to death. We set her up with a Madeline movie in the living room.) Then we goofed off most of the afternoon and went out to an early dinner at Rafferty's, using a gift card that a co-worker gave SuperGirlfriend for Christmas. Rafferty's has, in the past, cooked me the best bacon cheeseburger in the universe. Today, they provided an equally tasty prime rib sandwich.

Then back here for the aforementioned clix game, where my Kingdom Come team emerged inevitably triumphant, mostly, as I said, due to the Great Deluge. (Prior to the Great Day of the Rope... er... Flood, it should be admitted that Super Dependable Teen's Hellboy had headbutted KC Superman for quite a few clicks of damage.)

And SuperGirlfriend is sleepy, so it's time to kiss this holiday season good bye.

Merry happy, everyone.

In a random P.S. - after reading this, SuperGirlfriend mentioned that it wasn't Ilyria's speech to Wesley that made her cry, it was when she asked Wesley if he wanted her to 'lie to him now' as he lay dying, and he responded with 'oh, yes, that would be lovely'.

She also pointed out that the Scene It! expansion pack came from a relative, not from her; she just suggested it.

So, as always, she's set me right when I've gone wrong, and as always, I'm deeply appreciative, while wondering exactly what I did, in this or any other incarnation, to deserve such an amazing and wonderful woman in my life.

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