Entry for March 06, 2006

After about a month of canceled visits by out-of-town friends, wintry weather, illness, and long workweeks, Janice and I finally got out to socialize this past weekend. We joined Thomas K.Y. in visiting the new home of Cliff & Eliza Y., which they moved into a few months ago and have been fixing up ever since.

Cliff, a fellow SUNY-Binghamton alumnus and friend of Ben P.S. and Erik B.L., grilled tasty T-bone steaks and asparagus. The Austrian-style meal, which included Swedish meatball appetizers (from the new Ikea in our area) and kielbasa, was heavy on the meat, which is how Thomas and I like it. We also had some sweet wines and Janice's cinnamon crinkle cookies for dessert. Conversation flowed freely, and we had a good time–the housewarming dinner in Natick, Massachusetts, was long overdue.

Thomas and I met the next day with Beruk A. for lunch at Taiwan Cafe in Boston's Chinatown. As I posted at the D&D3.5 "Vanished Lands" Yahoo/eGroup site, we then screened the Russian horror/fantasy movie "Night Watch," which we enjoyed.

If you liked the supernatural conspiracies of "Highlander," "The X-Files," or "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer," you'll probably enjoy this flick. While I thought there could have been more surreal imagery, I liked the characterizations and updating of Eastern European folklore.

Beruk liked "Night Watch" the most, giving it a "10 out of 10 for a vampire movie," and I gave it about an 8. Thomas gave the foreign film (with subtitles) a 7. It was rated R for some violence, profanity, and nudity, but was not as gory as recent U.S. modern horror/action movies such as "Blade," "Underworld," or "Constantine."

I was going to try to avoid discussing the role-playing group in every blog posting, but last Tuesday's "Seekers of Lore" heroic fantasy session deserves mention. As the current D&D3.5 Player Characters continued to explore the ruins of a magic school/library beneath the barbarian-held port of Gisar, three of the seven were killed by a Banshee. While one was later resurrected with a magical scroll, obviously, the current gaming group is reeling from the heavy casualties. On the one hand, this was an extremely tough encounter, but on the other, the group did defeat the Undead spirit and learned to be even more cautious in the dungeon…