Fun and Games

March 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

I went to a friend’s art opening last Thursday, Todd James. It was at Sandra Gering’s new space in the UES. See the show! I want the ‘warrior woman’ piece — the Nordic one — don’t recall the title. You’ll know it when you see it.


I went with one of my best friends, who also works at a publishing house. We stayed long enough for a glass of wine and a chitchat with Todd and his wife and a few people. One of my first authors, Steve Powers, made a short appearance, a graffiti artist, now super successful and reaping the benefits of his hustle. He even has a workshop in Park Slope: First and Fifteenth.


Steve and Todd have known each other for over a decade. Todd’s wife is one of my friend’s oldest friends. I was Todd’s wife’s intern way back when. Dizzyingly connected small world we live in.

After the show, my friend and I grabbed a bite to eat at Quality Meats. We sat at the bar and ate sashimi-style scallops, an eggplant dish, which resembled meatballs in texture and appearance, and butter soaked bread served in the cast-iron pan it was baked in. All deliciously divine. Perfect with the house red wine (Cab blend from Napa Valley) I drank, and the Jamison on the rocks my friend sipped.

At some point, my friend remembered she had to check a book contest she was running. I mentioned some book sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests I had been running for the past few months, involving coding, language, staging sites — all new to me. I had royal screwups. (The most recent one involved Facebook and resulted in a stern reprimand from our lawyers for not following proper language and protocol. I learned a good lesson though. I asked one lawyer if there was anything we could do — change the language, take the contest down — and the lawyer said, No. Best to let it run its course and take our chances.) 

I wanted to brainstorm and get my friend’s opinion on a contest I was considering for a book that involves a female protagonist with mind-reading abilities. I had been researching simple online mind games and told her about one game I stumbled upon, which, now that I think about it, is far too complicated to incorporate into the book’s marketing plan.

EYEWIRE: Play a Game to Map the Brain

“EyeWire is a game to map the brain from Seung Lab at MIT. Anyone can play and you need no scientific background. Over 100,000 people from 130 countries already do. Together we are mapping the 3D structure of neurons; advancing our quest to understand ourselves.”


I’ve played Eyewire for hours now and I’m terrible at it. Addictive as hell. There’s a 3-D image of an unfinished neuron alongside a 2-D rendered image and the player is tasked with mapping the neuron — to fill in the spaces the computer has missed. There’s a live chat that runs while you’re playing. Here’s Sebastian Seung’s TEDTalk on it.

My friend reminded me about her college days when she almost flunked a class because she was so obsessed with Tetris.


And today, one of my neighbors came over with his 11 year old daughter and we played GO, which I had recently started playing just a month ago. Got my a** whooped that first time (evidenced by this board). In my defense, we had been playing the game completely wrong that first time. Admittedly, today we were playing ‘the right way’ and still, if we’d been able to finish the game, likely my losing streak would’ve continued.


Anyhow, despite how bad I am at boardgames, fun and games have been on my mind… maybe making up for the recent Olympics that I wasn’t able to really enjoy. Which reminds me of what my brilliant nephew once said to me. Tita, M. You’re not so good with that. He said it using a bewildered tone while demonstrating how to transform Bumblebee back into a car, and noticing my failure at doing the same with Optimus Prime.

No, Liam, darling, I’m not so good with any of that, but I’m sure having a blast trying to figure it all out!

optimus prime


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