Tell us what's happened to you recently (that's interesting)


I don’t see it as a ‘seeming lack’ at all. I don’t think you should put it that way. You’re a good dude IMO and you care for your friends. The choice to not have kids is totally valid, and is not a lack.

You are absolutely right about this. I had to sit between two people at an awards event who only wanted to talk about a computer game they were playing and I was just looking longingly at the other people have conversations about life and other things. That said, I was at a party a few days later when somebody asked me about movies and I realized many minutes in that I’d overstayed my subject welcome. I told her I had done a show about my top ten for the year. She asked what they were. And I went on and on and didn’t realize I was being tiresome.

Very, very well put. I also try to pull people in to the conversation and find what they’re passionate about. Unfortunately in a lot of social situations this begins and ends with, “So what do you do?” Meaning, “What’s your job?” If you’re a stay-at-home dad, it is a dreaded question. If you’re a novelist who hasn’t published any of his stuff yet, it is a dreaded question. So I try to probe a bit to find out what they’re into. To be honest, hearing Tom do interviews and watching him talk to people taught me a lot. How to ask open-ended questions that might lead to topics everybody at the table will want to discuss. I’ve gotten better at that because of him.

Again. Absolutely agree. My friends who can’t stand kids, or just don’t want them…I get them and I get that. I will not look down on them.

The difficulty here is that many folks who don’t have kids don’t realize that going out to the movies is going to cost $80 at minimum because of child care. And that’s not including dinner or whatever. I’m not asking them to make allowances, just to understand. Having a kid was my choice. So I have to deal with that. That’s on me. I just don’t want to be judged as a bad friend because I don’t show up for the group event at the Arclight Theater because I cannot afford it.

We often traded off movie nights because of this, and so would often go alone. But again…my choice to have a kid.



Yeah the cost can be a thing. One of the reasons I am in a movie club is a save everyone 1.50 per ticket for movie nights i plan. I buy all the tickets. I often give discounts because I get them, and I secretly pay for tickets sometimes because someone needs a boost.

I do have two larger events almost every year though that involves kids. The annual pool opening which involves a few rules, is an all day thing for people to come and go and usually involves like a lot of kids running around my pool all day long, very loud too. I warn adults they can swim but uhh there might be 8 kids in there with them.

The other is the river rafting venture. That’s newer. There was debate about whether it was an adult friend thing or a family event, we decided family event so more would go. One of the kids, I think he’s 12, probably talked for 3 hours straight. Haha. He wasn’t in my raft though… but I could hear him. It was great fun.

If you’re prepared for it, no kids at home friends can probably handle more than you imagine. Heck during our Disney World trip my poor little nephew just peed in the middle of the floor in the hotel room. He got so excited I guess he forgot to go, so we just cleaned it up. We missed going back to one park one afternoon because he was just, well he was done for the day, pool trip it was. I went knowing I was going to get to hang out with a 4 year old and what that might entail. It’s not worse than going with adults just… different.


That whole post warmed my heart, @Nesrie. But this in particular did. Because sometimes being told, “We really want you here, but it’s adults only,” for a party or whatever, gives parents an excuse they might not make for themselves. And when a friend offers to pick up the slack, it’s huge. I find it to be rare, to be frank. And part of that is on me. I didn’t like asking for help.

It’s better to be able to, but you just don’t want to intrude on the lives of others sometimes. It’s scary to give a list of things your kid can do to a non-kid friend. And being told “Nope” is scary too. Sometimes it’s just hard to impose.

Anyway, I like your post.



Another thread diversion. I don’t know what cycle they were in, but at some point in the last 10 years my GF and I were parked at fast food place during a cicada invasion. We’re sitting in the car and this odd-looking stout woman is standing under a tree. She has an old-fashioned prairie dress on and coke-bottle round glasses and a straight-bob haircut. She had a picnic basket in her hand and a strange smile on her face as she plucked cicada after cicada from the tree and put them into her picnic basket.

My GF got freaked. “She looks like she’s straight out of a Stephen King novel. She’s going to eat those cicadas!” Indeed, that had to be her plan. Cicada pie. My GF told me to GTFO RIGHT NOW because it unnerved her so. It really was very, very, strange. I will never forget the expression of sly bliss on that woman’s face.


I’m with the GF on this one, man.


Ten days later, everyone in Shefford’s Crossing was dead. Bloated, grey, eyes’ starin’ up toward Heaven, least that’s what the coroner said. Cept nobody ever found that prairie dress woman, or her basket.


As I approached the coke-bottle-round glasses lady, her back turned to me, I stepped on a loudly dried out stick, snap! Slowly she turned, a shit-eating grin on her face and several tiny, still quivering cicada legs stuck in her teeth. “Seen anything green?” she croaked at me.


was it like this?


Ha ha – not quite. :)


Tom Dawkins had seen it too, before heading home to again fail miserably at attempting to write yet another page of his future failure of a novel. At least it hadn’t been spiders. Tom wasn’t sure what he would have done if that were the case. Maybe kill that woman outright?

Maybe tomorrow he’d head to town over in Derry. Hopefully the cicadas there would be just as gruesome. If so he could round some up to tease those neighborhood kids with. Maybe he could fashion a scarecrow out of cicadas. Maybe it would resemble the prairie woman.

That’s too many maybes for an old writer who’d lost his sense of direction. Instead Tom turned into the parking lot of the bar and headed inside. Better to drown out the sound of the cicadas with the banter from fellow drunks. Better than that constant hum … uuuuuumeeeeummmmeeeeeummmeeee. The cicadas would sing him to sleep later.


This forum needs a like button. I love you freaks.


We had another father/son cooking and gaming night on Monday. He cooked up some pierogi (yeah…they were the frozen ones, but we do them in a special way he likes). And then we played Ascension again.

I’m really loving playing games with this kid. He won the first round. I ran away with this one because I went with a ridiculous Mechana Construct strategy. But he’s really getting the game, and it’s totally a blast.

I’m trying to consider other tabletop games we can learn together. If you have ideas let me know.



Dice Throne. It’s a dueling game between strongly differentiated fantasy characters, played primarily by Yahtzee style dice rolling and combo matching, with a supporting deck of cards. It’s fantastic - characters have clear differences and different levels of complexity but seem super balanced, it’s luck-based but there’s still meaningful strategy and decision-making, it scales between 2 and 4 quite gracefully, and it plays pretty fast. Oh, and the second season production values are incredible.


Is it a Roll for the Galaxy kind of game?



Oh can we ever!

Since he likes Ascension, what other games does he like? Other card games good with 2:

Race for the Galaxy, an old classic
Seven Wonders Duel
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battles, coop
Sushi Go

All are card driven, and about the same complexity (Harry Potter is a bit of a jump, but not unreasonably so)

Now here are two board games I like 2 player, one gateway, one medium heavy (~3 hours)

Ticket to Ride. Particularly some of the smaller maps like Switzerland. It’s a simple game, plays fast, but still gets pulled out on occasion with me even over a decade later.

Railways of the World. A bit heavier, but just got rereleased after being out of print. The base Eastern US map is the least interesting (most restricted to 2.5 valid strategies), but the included Mexico map is good for small numbers, and the England and Wales map is fantastic for 2-3, a tense knife fight. It was my all time favorite game for a decade. It’s still my second. Played a 5 player game this Saturday even.

And now for something completely different. Depending on your, and your sons, taste for puzzles, I reccomend the Exit or Unlock series games. They’re one shot escape room type games. My wife and another couple we game with love them. Done at least a dozen over the last two years. And the latest from both are just improving their craft. Did a Murder on the Orient Express scenario, and a Scherezade themed one this weekend. Easily their best yet for both. Yes they are one shot, but it would be a great collaborative time for you and your son, and they take 1-2 hours to do. They may not be your thing, but I strongly reccomend giving one a try at least. For $12-15 you can get one, and if they work for you, I promise that they will quickly become one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have with him.

They’re great with groups up to 6 too. Technically you can go unlimited, but above 6 people tend to have little to do.


I really loved both of these. The former is nice in that the first few decks are pretty easy to chew through, but you can already start to see cool little strategies and interconnections between the cards. The latter is one of my regular boardgaming group’s palate-cleansers/between-rounds games that we play during downtime.


That’s so awesome. My elder child is 5, so we’re currently more into specifically young-kid games (though there are some pretty good ones out there; we have Hoot Owl Hoot and Snug As A Bug In A Rug which everyone enjoys) and most recently dominoes – I taught her Mexican Train the other day and she was totally into it. Cribbage is not far off, which I’m super stoked for.

Someday we will pull out Daddy’s boxes of M:TG, Star Wars, and WoW cards from the basement and it will be awesome. But everything she ages into is going to be great.


That was seventeen years ago, and now Tom Dawkins was back. Back in this sleepy little town that time forgot. Back to the place he’d swore he would never return to. But this was Ginny’s place, she had loved it here, and Tom had loved Ginny. It was Ginny who had convinced him to keep writing all those years ago. Ginny who had coaxed him gently into every rewrite and edit, who believed in him when he’d given up on himself, and who had been both his greatest fan and his muse all in one. They were on their honeymoon when they’d received the news that Tom’s book had hit the international bestsellers list. Then came the movie deal, and with it more money that either of them had ever thought they would see in a lifetime.

But all that money couldn’t stop the cancer that stole her away from Tom just when they’d thought they could spend the rest of their lives together without worry. It had been a week since Ginny had passed, three days since the memorial service in Baltimore with all their friends and family. Now Tom had brought her back here, to the town she’d lived in most of her life, the town she loved before she loved Tom, to lay her to rest. The town had a little stone church, with an old cemetery, like something from an old English painting. But that’s not where Ginny would be going. No, Tom had other plans. He remembered the stories that Ginny used to tell, that if you did what needed to be done, at just the right time, and in just the right place, more than just the cicadas would rise in this sleepy little town every 17 years…


I love it when the upbringing of fellow King fans all comes together in one thread. Now we just need our antagonist to make a quick showing.


Randall Flagg steps into frame - peruses the environment, gives it a moment’s thought. “No”, he thinks, “I can’t work with this.” and walks off along the highway.