This was a busy one. That morning, Anitra and I caught up with our friend Elizabeth for brunch. She’s from around here, but currently lives in Philly for work, and was passing through town. We met up at Brunchies, which has not just great breakfast food, but also Ginger Beard’s excellent nitro-pumped cold brew coffee, pictured above.
Next stop: our friend Gary, who lives in Brandon. He’s our go-to guy for board games, and that afternoon’s game was Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, in which the goal is to become the village with the most resources and accomplishments. The game is organized around a set of interlocking gears representing the Mayan calendar, which determines the movement of time, the progress of your game, and the advancement of your workers. It was a lot of fun, and a far cry from “Monopoly” — our session took four fun-filled hours from start to finish.
Want a review of Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar? Check out this one by Tom Vasel of the boardgame podcast Dice Tower:
Then, after a quick dinner, we were off to the Straz…
…where we caught the very last show of Fun Home, the musical based on Alison Bechdel’s memoir. If the name rings a bell, it may be because you’ve heard of the concept bearing her name: the Bechdel test. It comes from a comic she drew in 1985 where a character says that she has specific rules about movies she’ll watch:
- It has to have at least two women in it…
- …who talk to each other…
- …about something other than a man.
Fun Home is about Bechdel’s coming of age and coming out as a lesbian, which is made complicated by the fact that her father, Bruce, was a closeted gay man having affairs with underage men. It’s a funny piece with great numbers and a great story, and it was performed beautifully with the U.S. touring group. The show we saw was not only the last one for Tampa, but the last show of the entire tour (which started in 2016), which is probably why they put a lot of heart and soul into their performances. We were sitting in the second row, and could not just see, but feel, that it was the closing show, and that they wanted to put on a grand finale.
Here’s Tampa Bay Times’ review of Fun Home: You should go see terrific ‘Fun Home’ at the Straz, and here’s the Washington Post’s review of the same touring company earlier this year: ‘Fun Home’ is pure musical satisfaction.
We had clients from out of town visit Sourcetoad earlier in the week, and we decided to show them a good time. After successfully completing the escape room at Rabbit Hole Escape Games (which I’ll write about later), we went to the Independent, which was packed with people who were there to celebrate both Krampusnacht and the fact that the Seminole Heights Killer had been caught.
In case you were wondering, Krampusnacht is German for “Krampus night”. Originally a pagan tradition, Krampus is the Christmas yang to Santa’s yin — just as Santa rewards well-behaved children with gifts, Krampus punishes children who misbehave. He’s typically depicted as a demonic creature with horns and hooves, and often carries a bundle of switches with which to beat der kinder.
The Independent was celebrating Krampusnacht with a buffet of German dishes that sounded tasty (especially the sausages and spätzle) and a Krampus costume contest, where the entrants ran the gamut from “Santa with horns” to “full-on goat demon”. I posed with a couple of them, as you can see from the photos above.
The buffet had been eaten up by the time we arrived, so we went to The Refinery instead, where I finally tried the Refined Burger, which is topped with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, and it was delightful.
On Wednesdays, Sourcetoad’s marketing manager Graeme, brings in his Shiba Inu, Sun Sin, to the office. Sun Sin’s an older dog — 12 years old, which would put him in his 80s if he were a human — and he’s oddly cat-like in his aloofness. He’s free to roam the office, and he’s welcome in the one I share with Nick, the director of projects, which is where I found him when I took the photo above. I gave him a ear rub, and worked on a big presentation while he chilled out.
If you’re wondering about the name Sun Sin, it’s an homage to Yi Sun Sin, the 16th century Korean “Immortal Admiral” who had several major victories over the Japanese navy. His life has been dramatized in the Korean TV series Immortal Admiral Yi Sun Sin. I will admit to having saluted the dog and addressing his as “Admiral”.
Here’s another photo of Sun Sin in action. I’ve titled this one “Such sleep. Much tired.”
Anitra and I went to Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City for the holiday party thrown by Tampa Bay’s Agile, Java, User Experience, and Front End Design Meetup groups. They’ve got a good stout on tap, and I also tried Keel and Curley’s mango cider, which is downright amazing.
They had an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest, in which Anitra (pictured above and on the right) won the prize for Most Hilarious Sweater — her Christmas with Darth Vader sweater, complete with red LED-illuminated lightsabers.
My schedule has kept me rather busy lately, and as a result, I haven’t been able to attend Café con Tampa as much I’d like to. After a hiatus of a few weeks, I attended Friday’s session, which featured Tallahassee mayor and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. You can see my writeup and photos here.
If you’re in Tampa Bay and would like to have the opportunity to mingle with the area’s most active, engaged, involved, and well-dressed citizens and hear important topics given by interesting speakers while enjoying a delicious breakfast in beautiful surroundings, you owe it to yourself to head down to Oxford Exchange on Fridays at 8:00 a.m. to attend Café con Tampa.
On Saturday, I dressed up like Tommy Wiseau’s character from The Room and watched the film about its making, The Disaster Artist. It was hilarious, had a lot of heart, and was a far better film than I’d expected.
Afterward, we headed to our friends Monique and Gian’s place to celebrate their birthdays. Happy birthday, you two!