Friday, November 14, 2008

Games People Play...and a Giveaway!

Long ago I realized I wasn’t any good at sports. I played tennis in high school for a season, but I might as well have closed my eyes and swung at the ball. My vision was that bad and I didn’t get contact lenses until the next year. I didn’t know who the cute seniors were for all my freshman year because they were always too far away to identify!

Surfer Guy and his family are very athletic. Both his parents were high school coaches and PE teachers. Surfer Guy, his brother, and my sister-in-law (brother-in-law’s wife) all had athletic scholarships in college. After I married into this family I got by on my skills in cookie-baking and doing stuff like babysitting the grandchildren while everyone else went out and did stuff with balls.

There were still other hours to fill when I was with the in-laws and I was gratified to find I was good at Trivial Pursuit. These people don’t know as much trivia as me (though they can clean my clock on science and sports junk, natch). And hey, I found I could hold my own when it was Chutes & Ladders with the kids. But I still had a secret talent, I told myself. I was pretty darn good at other adult games. Gin Rummy. Hearts.

Well, heck no. Surfer Guy and Surfer Brother can clean my clock at that too! They remember when the aces have all been played. That kind of thing. When I win, it’s by sheer luck. For a long time my husband, his brother, my sister-in-law, and I all talked about learning to play bridge from my mother-in-law, but the Surfer Bros. say they know enough to fake it--which means I’d be left in the dust. Again.

Wonderful author Eloisa James will be joining us next Wednesday to talk about her latest book, When the Duke Returns, part of her current series of Georgian romances which includes the game of chess as a central element. I remember my dad and my brother playing that game when I was a kid. I don’t know why I didn’t learn. But when Surfer Guy started teaching our sons to play, I decided I would pay attention. We have a set on the ledge of the hot tub by our pool and we’d sit there on Friday nights in the steaming water and they’d play.

I started playing too. How hard could it be to beat a 7-year-old (or at least hold my own)?

You know the answer. I’m just not good at games! I can’t remember the moves of the horse or the castle or the queen, and when the little kid is rolling his eyes in frustration…well, you give up. Have me read a story, tell a story, make a costume, bake a cookie, then I’m your woman. But games…I need to stick with Chutes & Ladders and the Arts & Literature category of Trivial Pursuit.

Are you expert in a game or sport? Or just enjoy one or more? Share! One lucky commenter will win an Advance Reader Copy of When the Duke Returns by Eloisa James. Come back next Wednesday too, when she’ll answer my piercing questions and we’ll have more giveaways!

90 comments:

Lou Gagliardi said...

I don't read historicals so not winning won't mean a thing to me..but..

I'm good at video games, I catch onto the patterns of things in them fairly quick. Give me a 360, a PS3 or a Wii, and I'll beat your butt. Even with a PC, im da bomb

Playground Monitor said...

Oh Lordy, I can't even play PacMan, much less the newer, more sophisticated games. I was athletic as a child, but there were no girls' sports in the schools, so the talent was never developed. I don't have a card game brain though I love to play blackjack -- with poker chips, not money.

You might not be athletic or great at games, but you can write books! That counts for a lot in my opinion.

Marilyn

Margay said...

I am not into playing games myself. I'm more of a spectator these days.

PJ said...

I'm a great sports fan. Does that count? lol I do love sports but I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to playing them. I rock at Trivial Pursuit! Nobody in my family wants to play against me in any game that involves trivia. I can hold my own (barely) in Go Fish, Old Maid and Crazy 8's though the 10 yr old pretty much whips me on a regular basis.

Nice to know I'm not the only one in the boat, Christie!

I already have an arc of When the Duke Returns (which is terrific!) so please exclude me from the contest. Thanks!

Betina Krahn said...

Christie, you have my sympathy and camaraderie. I am not a "let's go play football on the lawn" kind of person. Badminton, swimming, walking hard. . . I'm your girl. though, the recent birthday means I'll probably want to retire my badminton rackets soon.

Oh, yeah. . . and bowling! I can throw gutter balls with the best of 'em. And chess? I used to play wiht my dad, but he beat me too regularly. Then I played with my sons and they beat me regularly. So these days, I just admire the pretty chess pieces in the carved set my dad left.

And I go read or write a book.

Keri Ford said...

I was a cheerleader from 7th grade to my senior year. Probably would have done it in college if I would have stuck with college. So I was fairly athletic with all the dancing and building we did.

Betina, I love badminton! If our school would have had that as a sport, I would have played. Same for swimming.

I know how to play chess, but I'm not very good at it. And it goes to slow for my attention span. I can play the older style video games, but not all this new stuff-unless it's a car racing game. I don't know which way to go when I'm not walking left to right!

The hubby started teaching me to throw a football and I think I surprised him at how well I picked it up. I'm anxious to kick one. He thinks I'll never get off the ground--but I disagree!

Cindy Gerard said...

I love to play cards - consider myself a contender at Hearts :o) Once upon a time I was athletic but those skills seem to have waned from lack of use. My fav fun thing these days is telling stories to the little ones. Whenever we're together, they want me to tell them a story. It's so much fun to watch their faces as whatever nonsense I'm spewing unfolds and they become engrossed in the fantasy.

CrystalGB said...

I am definitely not at an expert at playing games. I do like to play cards.

Michele Hauf said...

I do like chess every now and then, but I always have to relearn what each piece can do from game to game, that's how long the now and then tends to be.

Does putting together puzzles count as a game? Yeah, 'spose not. But I love that!

Not much into sports. I was a horrible sports mom. My kids did volleyball and tennis and soccer and I would make it to *most* games, but I wasn't a cheerer, just silently observed a game I had no clue how it worked.

Kylie said...

I always say my only talent is being completely talentless LOL! I have a difficult time dancing and clapping my hands at the same time.

I am, however, a tailgating queen! Tomorrow marks the last home Iowa game (thank God) and we usually feed 30-40 each weekend. Good times, but I'm more a fair weather fan than not!

Christie Ridgway said...

You guys are all up so early this a.m.!

I'm glad I'm not alone in my gamelessness, though there are people here who are good at =video games=? (Lou, I'm looking at you.)

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, wait! Badminton! (Which is spelled oddly, BTW. I've never pronounced that "n" in there.) In senior year of h.s. (when I finally had contact lenses), my parnter and I won the title for 7th Period Co-ed Champs. Somewhere I have the gold birdie attached to a piece of plywood.

As I recall, I grabbed the one trophy out of my partner's hand, sure it was the only athletic award I would ever receive.

Christie Ridgway said...

Michele: Puzzles do not count as "games"! Because I am good at puzzles.

Liza said...

I'm really good a Trivial Pursuit and card games. I can remember most of the cards that hit the table, even if there are multiple decks of cards in the game. I also do pretty well on video games. I played tennis in high school, but now only enjoy watching sports.

Helen Brenna said...

I LOVE games, Christie. Some I'm better at than others, but I love them all.

I think it has to do with competitiveness. I'm going to guess you're not and I am!

What a great idea to have a chess board at the hot tub!

Happy Friday all!

Maureen said...

I am not athletic at all but I do like it when our whole family watches it on television. For me the fun comes out of what I can cook and bake so half the time I'm in the kitchen.

lois greiman said...

I'm with you, Christie. Terrible at games. But, like Helen, I'm also terribly competitive. As a kid I didn't think of myself as athletic, but I guess I kind of do now. I'm not fast, not particularly strong, but I don't quit. Really, though, the only 'sport' I've ever been good at the equestrian kind and I'm not sure they count.

ddurance said...

I'm pretty good at tennis and most card games. I also love to play video games and I do quite well, but I do get a bit frustrated at times. As far as being expert, I don't believe I can claim that. LOL

Deidre

flip said...

I don't have any talent except for a knack for trivia. I am killer at Trivia Pursuits.

Playground Monitor said...

birdie

Don't let a badminton enthusiast hear you call it that. It's a shuttlecock. I took badminton as one of my college PE courses and the instructor hammered that into us.

I forgot that the DH and I took ballroom dancing classes. If you do it right, you get a pretty good cardio workout while dancing with your honey. :-)

Marilyn

Debra Dixon said...

We love games. Hubby and I are not allowed to be on the same team.

Board games, Trival Pursuit, Pictionary, card games, whatever.

Oh, and my mother, the reader, and I are not allowed to play Password since I said, "frank" and she said, "stamp."

My f-i-l is scary good at Pinochle and I'm his partner. He'll sometimes play cards incorrectly to force me into a particular win strategy in which I have to play every single card correctly to win from that point forward. He thinks that's fun. LOL!

Christie Ridgway said...

Oh, I'm competitive when I have a chance to win. But if it's something that requires hand-eye coordination...

I haven't played Password in ages, Deb. Thanks for reminding me.

Marilyn: I stand corrected. Shuttlecock!

flchen1 said...

I'm not much of a game player, but like Christie, if there's a chance of winning, I'm pretty competitive (maybe not such an attractive thing ;)) I'm pretty awful at most sports, and my kids can whip me at chess... I do enjoy a few board games like Boggle and Scrabble :) Yep, sadly nerdy, that's me...

ArkieRN said...

I am completely non-athletic. If tripping over your own feet were a sport, I'd be an olympic contender. Cards and dominoes are more my speed. I do ok on some video games - it depends on the game.

Playground Monitor said...

Oh, and my mother, the reader, and I are not allowed to play Password since I said, "frank" and she said, "stamp."

Now that's scary. I'd have said "Sinatra."

Debra Dixon said...

Marilyn-- Yep, my husband had several choice words to say about the frank/stamp exchange. LOL!

Terry S said...

I used to be fairly good at Scrabble, but don't have the opportunity to play very often anymore. It always seemed to be a source of family conflict anyway. I played to win but others in my family totally believed I should always let guests win. After all they were guests. Being a gracious winner didn't matter, only that guests should always win. I think everyone should play to the best of their ability, have fun and both winning and losing are part of the game.

Hey, Christie, congrats on the "How to Knit a Wild Bikini" audio book release over at audible.com today. Yay, a whole new audience:) Instead of re-reading, I'll listen to instead. Love when that happens.

Jane said...

I used to play softball in grade school and then I stopped. I never took up any sports after that. I did join the bowling team in high school. I sucked. I love Trivial Pursuit, Clue and Scategories. I have a fair chance at winning board games, but I can't win when I play video games. I just don't have what it takes.

Christie Ridgway said...

Terry S: Oh, I knew it was coming but didn't know it was available today! This is my first audio relase. I'm so excited. Or not. I'll have to see if it's weird to "hear" my words like that.

Christie Ridgway said...

Jane: I played in a summer softball league in high school. Every girl did. Sunday nights the whole town showed up to watch. I started out in right field (that whole vision thing again) but played 3rd base the last couple of years. I'd forgotten about that!

I could get a hit on occasion, but the real compliment my family gave me was that I "didn't run like a girl."

Surfer Guy and I played on a co-ed league when we were first married, but it was more social than competitive. And I have to admit, my stomach would be in knots every time we played.

Ellen said...

Well I'm pretty good at ..um no..not good at games. I use to love to bowl but my hands won't let me play any more. I was ok at checkers but anything else.... forget it!!!!

penney said...

No where to play games around here so I play video games like solitaire, yahtzee and a bunch of others. I love Eloisa books I'll have to get this one.
Happy reading!
Penney

Estella said...

I am a great spectator at any and all games. In other words---I stink at games, physical or mental.

Lori said...

I kick some serious ass at Uno, LOL!!

And you do NOT want to get me involved in a game of Risk, either. Just sayin'... (as a side note, this was how I learned much of my world geography when I was in elementary school, and also how I taught my kids world geography at the tender ages of around 8 or so).

Lou Gagliardi said...

What can I say Christie? I'm 25. My generation has lived with video games like others have lived with..umm...umm...umm....(whispers) what was there before computers and video games? I..umm..was like 1 years old in that time! I mean the first CD player came out around the same time I was born.

That's why they call my generation the Millennials, I guess.

MaryC said...

Played a lot of Mah Jong when relatives arrived from Hong Kong. It was a great way to end the week.

Christie Ridgway said...

I think someone should poke Lou. Hard. Kidding. Go ahead, be a Millenial.

Lori: I've never played Risk and I'm not great at geography unless I've traveled to the place. I think we have one around somewhere. Will have to get the boys to play with me.

MaryC: I read that Mah Jong is really hard to learn to play. Cool that you know how!

catslady said...

I too love games. If there was a way I could do it all the time I would. Board games, cards, video games, Wii, computer games. I'm afraid I'm one of those who remembers the aces too. And people have to go by the rules lol. I am competitive but I have no problem losing. As far as physical games - bocce and darts are about it roflmao.

At the moment I'm in a card club for a game called sock and shoe (or hand and foot) - sort of a canasta type game. We're all very addicted to it.

Sean and Anna said...

Does wanting to be good at sports count? Probably not but it's true. I love hockey, swimming, surfing, soccer- but only as the knowledgeable observer:) As a kid I used to play volleyball and run in track but that was long long ago.
I like board games but that is usually reserved for family time so we play Clue, Monopoly etc. My son(9 years old) has been in the school chess club for a couple of years. he really enjoys it and I find that it has helped his critical thinking skills. He's teaching us to play but I need a cheat sheet.

robynl said...

I love playing Canasta(card game)and seem to be fairly good at it. I don't do sports but a few weekends ago tried the Wii and it was fun. Love playing Scrabble and do fairly well.

Caffey said...

I'm looking forward to being back again when Eloisa is here to chat! A beautiful voice to read! I'd love to be in the contest!

I'm a very uncoordinated person! So sports wasn't my thing to do but I do enjoy swimming and walking. But if I could be a race car driver I'd like to, LOL. Most think its not a sport but can't imagine driving 200 mph for four to five hours and having all that endurance to maneuver around! I do love to watch it tho!

Gosh I love games! I have to beg my kids to play tho now that they are young adults. A friend moved away but we used to play scrabble to the wee hours in the morning starting from like 8 PM on Friday til 4 in the morning Saturday! Its always each game that is different!
Skip-Bo is fun as well as Phase 10. I used to collect various decks of cards but I donated them to send to the Afghanistan for the military. There is so many games to play with others but too I know many different solitary games!

Great fun post!!

Christie Ridgway said...

Caffey: I wonder if you could play Scrabble with your distant friend online. I love the idea of marathon Scrabble.

I love hearing all this!

I'm off to my Romance Writers of America chapter meeting this a.m. I'll pick an ARC winner tomorrow and ck. in here later today.

M. said...

I have a healthy respect for 7 y.o. players. I was embarrassed to lose to one in very few moves a few years ago, and feel only slightly better now that he's 11 and a nationally ranked player.

I think chess is like languages - some have the kind that picks up foreign words and phrases with even the smallest exposure, while others will never be able to differentiate nuances after childhood. Some people (like me) only learn the basic moves, while others gain an ever increasing grasp of subtle strategy.

quiltingreader said...

I like to play tennis.

mverno said...

horse racing is my game and i'm good at it

Kelly F said...

I have always been an avid reader and I enjoy any sort of word game, such as scrabble, that puts my vocabulary to the test. I know, I'm a huge nerd haha

Shannon said...

Was never any good at sports which was bad as a kid as the school I went to was all sports.

kygirl said...

I am pretty decent at poker. Love it. But don't play alot as it can be very costly.

Sandy said...

I love scrabble, thats my game. I used to be great at sports- but I still can swing a bat and shoot hoops with the gang for fun.

celsfelder said...

I like watching football

ky2here said...

I'm good at medium distance running. I have a mean kick at the end.

krystal said...

I'm not an expert but I am pretty good at scrabble.

krystal82107@hotmail.com

Maja said...

not an expert. just enjoy.

chromiumman said...

i'm an expert at hearts too, but i try to keep that a secret

SeahorseLady said...

I was good in track when I was younger but no longer. I do love to watch my son surf and ride his skateboard even though I do have to cover my eyes now and then.

yellowlabs said...

I love to play games. I especially like trivia games!

Richard said...

I'm just average in everything. My only talent is crossword puzzles,but it's tough finding an opponent in that sport.

Homemaker said...

I love to play checkers, Monopoly and Hearts...those are my favorite games that I play regularly...
Great giveaway..Looks like a great book!

sallylynnsara[at]hotmail[dot]com

Sharon said...

I'm an 'expert' at the old video game Centipede!!! And can play a mean game of Go Fish...thanks for entry :)

drming said...

i am an expert in bocci ball

wwe11 said...

I love to play video games. Thanks for the chance to win.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

clynsg said...

I have never been into sports. In fact I was a couch potato before the term was invented. Give me a good book or TV show, with handwork to do, and I am happy!

clynsgatyahoo.com

Janice Wright said...

I'm not very good at sports, but I do enjoy watching NASCAR.

jwright (at) iowatelecom (dot) net

jemmmers74 said...

I'm not good at sports, but my kids play soccer. I like to watch them play!

redron said...

I am terrible at sports, but love watching football

danosor said...

I love checkers and chess and i also play on a women's hockey team .

Christina said...

I'm not an expert in any sport or game, but I enjoy bowling.

cigar666 said...

Sports --- eyes tend to glaze over

Anonymous said...

I heart crossword puzzles!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I heart crossword puzzles!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Sara said...

I love sports

Anonymous said...

The only sport I've ever been reasonably successful at is golf--and I've become a real golf addict. I guess if you play it enough you can get fairly good at it---anyway I really enjoy it.

farrell@crosslake.net

pammmywoo said...

I am not an expert or very good at games but I do enjoy playing them.

Laura Emerson said...

I am not very good at it but I love to play softball with my young son. I think that part of the fun is how he giggles when he throws the ball and I try and hit it. He also loves it when I throw the ball and it either goes all over the place. It is just fun to have a special time for us when right now we are still pretty much on a level playing field!

simplylaural@aol.com

okbarbie5 said...

I think I may be dating myself...BUT remember the pong games? Well there was no way I could ever master it so I gave up and let my kids play their games. Now it's so sophisticated there is no way I'd even try....now my grandchildren play it!!! I do love to read...now that's my nitch in life...reading!

vboackle said...

i like the sport of solitaire.

Cynthya said...

I'm not good at any games or sports or interested in any. Now if reading was a sport things would be different! :)

sito50 said...

I'm not so great at most sports, but I like to play anyway. When groups start forming to play Trivial Pursuit, though, I'm one hot property. I'm good at most word games and get a lot of calls from friends who want answers to complete their crossword puzzles.

tatertot374 said...

Thank you! I really enjoy playing Rook cards with my family. Lots of fun. Im no expert but I can win a few :)
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

fancyfeet48 said...

I like chess,cards, and a few other games every once in a while.

purango said...

I am not an expert in any game or sport. I enjoy most games and spoets. I enjoy tennis and bingo. garrettsambo@aol.com

Smooshy said...

I'm an expert at Mario Kart 64.

Tammy said...

lol - I am not an expert at any game - but my family and I especially like to play WoW and I like to think I'm adept at playing my character! Thanks for the chance to win.

Melissa B. said...

I'm no expert, but I love Billiards.

masonsgranny59 said...

I heart games and cards!

Anonymous said...

it helps you enjow the games you are watching if you have participated in them. then you know how easy or hard they are to perform. thanks in advance if i win and may God bless all.

Anonymous said...

i enjow paying and watching all games. johnpratt@ecologyfund.net hopes he wins and thanks you if he does.

lilyk said...

I enjoy playing trivia games and doing crossword puzzles.

blueviolet said...

I'm an expert at nothing but I'm pretty good at Scrabble!
doot65{at}comcast[dot]net

sandyy456 said...

I'm not good at physical sports or games that require alot of hand/eye coordination. I do, however, rock at Trival Pursuit's 80's Edition!