Shoe update: sandals still missing. Socklike slippers were found in a pile of clothes. (And a pen I'd misplaced was found on a table next to the pencil sharpener.)
Health and insurance update: Cigna fixed their provider records and paid the ear infection claim (though according to the online records, they may have paid it twice)! They also paid for the Labor Day weekend ER visit for roofing disease. I still have faint scars.
Yesterday was the NJ Puzzles and Games party at Wrybosh's gorgeous townhouse. I would buy one immediately if I could plunk it down in the middle of Manhattan, only then it would cost way more than I could afford.
Jeffurry and I took the bus out early so we could work on the Puzzle Boat (Treacle had to work, and the rest of our team couldn't make it). In between admiring the premises and shmoozing with Wrybosh and Elisa (somehow I don't think of Wrybosh as Martin and don't think of Elisa as Emanon), we finally cracked Billie Sings the Blues, which Treacle had laid the groundwork on. Definite teamwork all around. I printed some puzzles I didn't have. We worked on Hollywood Squares, but still don't have the endgame. G Natural later gave us a clue that may or may not help.
People began arriving, and we put the Boat away. I enjoy the NJ gathering, since it's a different crowd than the usual NPL events (not that I don't like NPL events, but it's good to mix it up sometimes). Mostly "regular people" (as in, they have lives and families) from NJ, friends of Wrybosh and his friend Murray who also hosts on occasion. The regular people brought regular food (as opposed to my feeble offering of store-bought diet meringues for dessert), and there was a varied selection of interesting homemade dishes. Since I tend to forget people from one year to the next, it's a good thing we have nametags. There was a sense of fun and camaraderie, nothing high-powered, lots of laughs. Nice group.
The first game was "Dream Jeopardy" where people suggested their ideal categories and then were asked questions by others. I couldn't believe that people couldn't think of a satisfactory question for my '60s Music category ("Who had the best-selling album of the '60s?" would have been impossible to accurately research - according to what criteria? - let alone answer), but I nailed the Reality TV category by asking expert Jeffurry who the finalists were in Apprentice 2, which luckily he watched and no others knew (the scoring was complicated, but the idea was to ask something the expert knew but no one else did). NPLer Groucho scored by knowing not only the 5 well-known Marx Brothers, but another one who died as an infant. We heard raucous laughter and stomping above (we were divided into 3 separate groups), and wondered what was so hilarious upstairs. But our game was OK, save a few strange categories like Textbook Selling and Retirement Communities.
Everyone reunited for a group game of true-or-false urban legends. There is a lot of weird stuff out there, some of which is even true, and some of which moderator Murray totally made up. Wrybosh reprised his "find a word with these letters in it game" from Stamford, where Scrabble tiles are drawn to add one letter at a time. I had no memory of it because I was busy being nervous about my twirling performance at the time. It was not easy, and some of the attempts at words were ingenious if nonexistent.
After a dessert break (for which I was thankful I had diet meringues to eat - there was also homemade fruit salad), G did an acronym game. He mixed in the real answer for various acronyms with teams' suggestions. By now it was late and we were punchy, especially a raucous group at the dining room table. Some of the suggestions were this side of X-rated, but hopefully didn't corrupt Xemu's young daughter for life. Xemu's whole family was there at one point, and I had to warn "Little girl underfoot!" when his adorable youngest moved among the crowd in the kitchen.
Jeffurry and I got a ride back to Manhattan with G and his girlfriend, saving Treacle a trip into the city. It went quickly, and it was nice to get to know Jessica. I hadn't realized G subbed recently at my ex-job when one of the researchers left temporarily to write sports trivia; I'm glad they didn't forget about him. Things are reportedly fine there (what? the place didn't completely collapse without me?), and they even have pizza Fridays and soda (but no daily bagels like in the good old days). I still don't miss the work and I still love the concept of retirement (though I can't seem to stop taking on assignments), but the people there were good. I will be in touch.
After that wild party last night, I haven't done a thing today other than getting groceries and talking to Florida. Oh well, there are a few hours left to make a dent in the large print puzzle book I finally got last week (due December 2).