Nosy Relative 1: Where's Saarya?
Me: He couldn't make it. He's ... rappelling in the Golan with his class.
Random Relative 1: Did you bring any games?
Me: Ha hahahahahahahhahaha! *snort*
Hostess: Let's get everyone together for some group photos!
Me: Can't we just shoot everyone individually and photoshop them together?
Bystander: That's the sixth Berlinger I've heard say that in the last hour.
Nosy Relative 2: Is Saarya coming?
Me: No, I'm afraid not. He's on a class trip.
NR2: Where are they?
Me: In the Golan. Skydiving.
(At front desk)
Me: I wish to make a complaint.
Manager: What's the problem.
Me: There's no problem. I have nothing to complain about. I just want to complain.
Manager: I see. What room are you in?
Manager: Well, that room has one of the older bathrooms. Not as nice as the newer rooms. You could complain about that.
Me: True. It's also the last one in the hallway.
Manager: Yes it is.
Me: Still, that's not much, is it?
Manager: Well, I hope you will have nothing to complain about the food.
Me: Me too. Can I complain about having nothing to complain about?
Snarky Reception Girl: Newspaper?
Me: Do you have one in English?
Snarky Reception Girl: What country are we living in?
Me (to manager): Can I complain about the snarky reception girl?
Relative: Jon, stop bothering the help!
Nosy Relative 3: How come Saarya didn't come?
Me: He's in the Golan horseback riding.
NR1, behind me: I thought you said he was rappelling?
Me: He is. Both.
NR1: At the same time?
Me: It's the advanced class.
Random Relative 2: Did you bring any games that I don't know?
Me: Ha hahahhahaaahahahahahahhaha! *snort*
Anon: My cousin just gave me a massage and now my back hurts.
(trying the green "peppermint" liqueur)
Anon: This drink is vile and disgusting.
Anon 2: It's horrible. Oh my god!
Anon: This is the grossest thing I've ever drunk.
Anon 2: Me too.
Anon: Pour me some more.
(sometime later, trying to think of all the songs with the word "green" in them ...)
Anons 1, 2, and 3: "When I want you, In my arms, And I need you, And all your charms, Whenever I want you, All I have to do, Is Greeeeeeen, Green, Green, Greeeeeen ..."
Insert sounds of yelling and screaming from two out of three little boys who, for 24 hours, played Go Fish, and could not stop fighting about it, running around crying, and go right back to playing again.
Me: I've discovered something that I never want to be.
Rachel: What's that?
Me: The fifth speaker.
It was a nice reunion with my relatives.
The truth is, owing to my being sick and needing extra rest, I didn't get to play much. Tal took my Apples to Apples at one point. And I started a few rounds of Telephone during lunch ("A little bitter butter bottle. Pass it on.")
But I taught my cousin how to play Bridge. Unfortunately, I did so in the presence of my Aunt, who had different ideas on how to teach Bridge.
I started off by explaining that there's an auction, with the highest bidder the one who might gain or lose points by committing to make a certain number of tricks, and then how cards are played in tricks. My aunt, on the other hand, believed that the first thing to do is tell someone how to count to 13 "points" to decide whether to open.
Somewhere in here lies the blurred distinction between the "rules" of the game and the "conventions" of the game.
Of course, I feel the same way about the text of the Torah and Rashi, but there you go.
In the afternoon, Rachel and I sneaked off ("Everyone! We're sneaking off!") to some friends of ours that live in the area of the hotel and whom we hadn't seen in over a year.
It was also a nice reunion. They have two kids ages 3 and 5 or so, and a lot of Lego on the floor. I got down and built them some Lego goals and sticks. Then using one of the square Lego pieces, we played some Lego knock-hockey. That was one of my favorite uses for Lego when I was a kid.
An analyst comments on Hasbro's market viability based on never-ending re-licensing:
"They launched this game called Monopoly Here and Now," he said. "They have Sponge Bob Monopoly, and they are going to have Spider-Man Monopoly . . .Against Monopoly tells the sad tale of how WKRP in Cincinnati will never make it to DVD owing to broken copyright laws.
"In the end, people are going to get saturated with Monopoly. . . . When that happens, you are going to have these licensed versions out there that need to be cleared out and marked down."
The newest Jewish and Israeli Blog (JIB) Awards is now accepting nominations (for some reason).