Real men release on five

So says Frankie Manning, one of the creators of the Lindy Hop.

Yes: I have finally taken a lindy hop lesson from Frankie Manning. The guy’s ninety-two years old, and is pretty much just awesome incarnate. Every year he stops by OSU, every year the OSU ballroom dance types say “you should come; he’s not going to be around forever!,” every year I found some reason not to attend. (Most related around the fact that I knew jimmy-jack about lindy hop.) Not this time! I did take a lindy course a few years ago, but I’ve forgotten almost all of it—but this year Frankie taught a free beginner’s class, so I finally hopped on board. I should get a dance merit badge or something.

Most of the week I spent halfway-ill; not worth talking about. By Friday I was feeling better, and so attended Britta’s monthly Game Night. Attendees: Britta, Daniel, Jean, Janis, Matt, The Boy (as labeled by Jean), and Britta’s boyfriend whose name now eludes me. We played two games: a card game whose name I’ve already forgotten (damn memory), and whose rules were all but incomprehensible, and chinese checkers.

Though C.C. began innocuously enough, it soon became apparent that Daniel and I were the ones in a race to the finish. Sometime in the middle of the game, two of Matt’s friends stopped by—and one of them noticed that I had the single most-awesome move ever available to me. Upon being alerted that I had such a move, I figured it out for myself: I could take one of my pieces that was still in my starting triangle and literally walk it around the edge of the board to a position in my destination triangle. One-move finishing-combo. Wow.

Britta then thought she cut that off by moving one of her pieces back, failing to notice that I could short-circuit her blockade. I got two pieces sent to their destination that way, which clearly put me ahead.

Matt, realizing that he didn’t have a chance, decided to move a piece into Britta’s destination to thwart her attempts to win. This started an ugly cascade, where Britta blocked me, and I blocked someone else. Problem was, nobody could block Daniel.

Janis then singlehandedly pulled the sweetest cheat of the game, by moving her piece, waving her hands, and magically blocking Daniel. Apparently nobody but I noticed this (she was close—she just wasn’t close enough), so we played on for a while longer before Janis gave up the ghost.

Good times.

Saturday I joined Kevin and Nate in breaking in two-player mode in Guitar Hero II. I’m not absolutely thrilled with the two-player mechanic: if you play cooperatively, then one person gets saddled with the bass (generally a more boring set of notes, whose really challenge is not falling asleep when your pattern actually does change); if you play competitively, you either trade off sections (and therefore have long quiet periods), or play the same notes at the same time—at the same difficulty level.

That said, having two people playing at once is certainly better than having two people sit out all the time.

This morning I took advantage of the paucity of information surrounding the second (!) Toys-R-Us Wii preorder window, and was fifth in line to preorder a Wii. (That’s right—I have a Wii-order.) One week until we see if I really needed to go to that trouble; I still can’t tell if people will be able to walk into any store on launch day and get a Wii, or if they’re going to be sold out all but instantaneously.


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