Saturday, May 12, 2007

13 Things Thursday--Don't turn around, oh, oh...

Caleb, who lives with Maeve in the upstairs apartment of Wayfarer House, enjoys games of strategy and battle. So do I. We both run Dungeons and Dragons® campaigns and, although neither of us plays it anymore, we still enjoy chatting about the many possibilities for fun that exist in Magic the Gathering®. The house gets together every so often to play Carcasonne® and Munchkin® (which is really funny, if you also play D&D).

Caleb and I have a standing Friday evening appointment to do battle on either the high seas (in Pirates®, which is a constructible strategy game) or on terra firma. The land-based combat is decided with Axis and Allies Miniatures®. I used to play the original board game years ago, and liked it. The rules in this miniatures version are pretty simple, but allow for good, complex strategies, and the entire game can be run in as fast as two hours (faster than a game of Monopoly®). This works for me, since I don’t have 12 hours in a single chunk to devote to gaming any longer.

I represent the Axis in the game because they are at a slight disadvantage in our collection (I’m the recognized better strategist of the two, and this handicap keeps the games appropriately equal). Even so, the Axis has been victorious in the last two battles we’ve fought.

Since any good battle strategy game must include a certain amount of psychological warfare, I’m taking advantage of my recent triumphs to impart a little Axis country popular culture on Caleb and the Allied forces. The following, then, represent 13 little tongue-in-cheek reminders I've been thinking about sending.

1. A poster size copy of this picture, which depicts Italy claiming the championship after beating France in the 2006 World Cup final. (A small caption on this poster will recall that the United States finished last in its group during this World Cup, while Italy finished 1st.)

2. A small book on how to write Kanji.

3. As the title of this post suggests, a copy of Der Kommissar, by After the Fire.

4. A copy of these lyrics to the national anthem of Japan (The music for which can be found [HERE]).

Kimi ga yo wa,
Chiyo ni,
Hachiyo ni,
Sazare ishi no,
Iwao to narite,
Koke no musu made.

May the Emperor's reign,
Continue for a thousand,
Eight thousand generations;
Until the pebbles,
Grow into boulders,
Lush with moss.

5. A recipe for Topfenstrudel (A yummy one with vanilla sauce is available [HERE]).

6. A five hundred Hungarian Forint note (worth about $2.71).

7. An email with a link to THIS SITE for a visual guide to many common kinds of pasta.

8. A Nadia Comaneci action figure.

9. А а Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ж ж З з И и Й й К к Л л М м Н н О о П п Р р С с Т т У у Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ь ь Ю ю Я я
(Bulgaria is the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet)

10. A podcast from Planet Japan, which offers an offbeat look at life in Japan through the eyes of Amy and Doug.

11. A matchbox size copy of the VW Beetle.

12. A bid on this Lederhosen change purse from eBay.

13. A personal rendition of Volare, by yours truly (sorry, no online recording of this is available).

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