April 30th, 2014 (Cruisin’)

by Steven Townshend



Though it wasn’t quite the season, I used the last two hardening limes in the green mesh sack to mix up margaritas. This after a cool jog along the lakeshore, and then heating up the grill to barbecue a rack of ribs. These are the trappings of summer, and this an optimistic ritual in hopes of enticing the sun to shine on us again. In the past week, the rain has come once or twice, tapping on the roof as we drift off to sleep, or waking us with the gentle randomness of its rhythm. Last night as the grill warmed I walked down to the beach to watch a storm come in. The rains were curving wisps that streamed from the cloud formations far away over the lake. South of us, the sky was a melange of black and gray and white over the light turquoise water that roiled over the stones and sandy beach in the fading of the day.


I introduce some of my fancy pizzas to friends who haven’t had them before. This, and a few light games. The past week has gone this way as well—one game after another, one friend’s house after another, each day a different game. I spend my days working and freelancing, but there’s nothing new to say about that even if I could. So long as I hit my work goals during the day, I enjoy the nights and try not to feel guilty about not working every minute as life speeds by around me.


It’s time to book tickets for a trip we’d like to take, but I’m dragging my heels as usual. It’s such an easy thing to arrange travel, but for some reason it always feels like a monumental task. Decisions to be made that I never feel fully awake enough to do. Some thoughts about a longer work of fiction I’d like to do, but with work already filling up my days, who knows when I’ll ever get to it.


Game of Thrones, of course. What began 3 years ago as an informal gathering of 3 has become a ritual viewing where 7 of us gather for dinner, drinks, games, socializing… It’s our special weekly event. Catching up on last season’s Mad Men, too. Both are excellent so far.

Stranger Than Fiction

On Thursday nights I’ve been playing a role-playing game called Sagas of the Icelanders with a small group. It seems to be a game about mundane folk living in Iceland in around 900 A.D. For example, I play a farmer. One of my tasks is to make sure we have enough food, wood, and other materials to survive the winter. Disasters regularly happen on the farm and I have to work harder to sort them out. Only… the game has turned from that relatively humdrum story into something we’ve been describing as Icelandic MacBeth, with the mature content of Starz’s Spartacus series. It’s a story where all the players involved have found themselves playing really ambitious, desperate people who do terrible things to get ahead. At first I think we were all tentative about making those character choices but now that we know those characters and what they want, we’re delighting in watching them scheme and plot. This won’t end well for them, I’m sure.