Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar

In case I have never mentioned it (here, here, here, here or here), my family loves to play board games. I’m not just talking about David, either; my brother, sister, mom and cousins are all equally addicted. When our family is together, games are played.

Don’t be picturing Monopoly or Risk, either. Around my house, even Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne are scoffed at as “gateway games.” We are deep into the whole European-style strategy board game catalog at this point.

David plays a ton, and he plays with a lot of people who like the newest and latest games, so he has a lot of variety in his game play. Mom, Gina and I tend to find a game we like and stick with it for quite a while. First it was Alhambra; then there was the “Summer of Agricola;” then Stone Age, which even the kids got into; and, until quite recently, they were addicted to Grand Austria Hotel. Now, however, the game at the top of the heap is definitely Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar.

Although I have watched it being played on my very own table many times since it came out in 2012, I just played my first game of Tzolk’in. (I like to play games I already know how to play, rather than taking up my time constantly learning new ones.) It was cool, I’ll admit. Quick to learn, with worker placement that reminded me a lot of Stone Age and Agricola. Its cool component, though, is the gears that move your pieces every round. It keeps you on your toes, making you think ahead on all fronts so you maximize your points and (hopefully) keep yourself from getting kicked off any given wheel.

I’m no professional game reviewer, believe me — I just know what I like, and it was fun. I’m not the only one, either. Mom and Gina played three games of it tonight; my cousin, Julie, is buying her own copy to get all the relatives in Reno hooked, too.

Check it out.

Living room turned game room

Those of you who have seen my living room are laughing at the word “turned.” My living room, which is the front room of my house, has been home for the past few years to approximately 350 European-style strategy board games and card games. It is a very narrow room, so its furniture was limited to a loveseat and two chairs which only fit when set at an angle, as shown in this photo:

But when we decided to steal the loveseat for use in the now-TV-watching family room, the living room was basically bare, with the exception of the game cabinets. So we decided to embrace the inner gamer in the room and just go whole hog. As you can see here, we did keep the chair you saw on the left side, above:

Those with sharp eyes will notice a little something in that photo. Let’s just say I was inspired by a decorating book where the designer turned her front room over to a pool table, which became a magnet for her children’s friends. We don’t have a pool table, but we do have:

A foosball table! Yes, we now have a foosball table in our living room. It was down in the basement, and when our strongman friend Mark helped David move all the furniture up from the basement that afternoon, the foosball table was brought up as well. We had planned on storing it in the garage, but I suddenly remembered that pool table idea and we decided to try it. As you see it when you enter the room, it looks like this:

See the games in that cabinet? That’s nothing. The other side of the room looks like this:

Now those are games. With the foosball table in place, it is now truly a game room.

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for the extremely mild drug day I have had today. This has only happened once before, and I paid for it a couple of days later when I was completely wiped out. I hope that doesn’t happen this time. I like to think that I am actually just getting acclimated to the whole thing. I suppose that’s not a very cheerful thought! “I am now so used to megadoses of prednisone that it’s nothing!” I think that’s what happens to addicts. Luckily prednisone isn’t addictive!
  • I’m lighter! We used our time extremely well today. After being awakened at 4:45 am when our new neighbors started to blare music and talk loudly on their deck, we decided to type up a spreadsheet of everything we needed to do in the next 23 days before we leave for Europe. The list was 234 items long. We prioritized them and sorted them into what needed to be done, and when… and ended up with a list of 41 things that need to be done this weekend. Bwa-ha-ha!!!! I’ll keep you posted as to how many we actually complete.