So yesterday I gave my sister the part of her (v. belated) birthday present that she didn't already know about. (The part she did
know about couldn't be a surprise -- we went to the yarn store in Orinda, and she picked out her first yarn, and I got her bamboo needles to match and a cheapo practice yarn to futz with first, and taught her to knit.) Anyway, I got her a card game that won both best party game of the year AND Mensa's best game award -- which is a really odd combination, you have to admit -- and yesterday we pulled it out after dessert and played four games and our whole group of early-to-bed-ers stayed up until after midnight and didn't even notice and laughed hysterically. I pulled muscles laughing so hard. And then today we played again after dinner -- "just one short game" that turned into three games, with much giggling. In short: I highly recommend Apples to Apples
Also, I have this ridiculous
plot bunny where, see, there are these NID-related bad guys who have an Ancient artifact that will Do Impressive Stuff, but they don't know exactly what, and they want to find out, and they go all "huh, we need really smart guys who won't shoot us" and then they think "hey, we have handy connections to the government and know all about these civilian consultants" and then they kidnap Daniel Jackson and Charlie Eppes because they think the two of them will be, you know, polite and malleable and little wussy civilians. And wham! The two of them are thrown into a cell together (in an abandoned warehouse, natch) and Daniel's all "Doctor Daniel Jackson, linguistics and archaeology, but I imagine they want me because I'm a polyglot -- I've done some translation work as a consultant with the government." (This is largely because I want Daniel to say "polyglot" instead of being all "hey, I speak 43 languages because I'm a linguist.") And Charlie's all "how odd, I'm Doctor Charlie Eppes, applied math, and I do consulting work with the government too."
And so they work out that The Baddies must want them to do some work, and Daniel's all "well, whatever it is, we can't do it," and Charlie asks why, and Daniel says "I take civilian consulting jobs -- don't you?" and Charlie says yes, and Daniel's all "well, I didn't turn anyone down recently, which means it must be something bad enough that they couldn't even imagine asking me in a more... standard way." And then Charlie starts freaking out, but it only lasts a minute because he's trying to be all reasonable and practical and because he knows Don will come get him. And he asks why Daniel isn't freaking out, and Daniel's all "oh, government work, weirdest things happen to you, and my team's always managed to get me out."
And obviously the baddies need Daniel's input first -- he has to do the translation so Charlie can do the math parth that will make it go boom -- and they try to be threatening but Daniel's all raised-eyebrow and crossed-arms at them, and he points out to Charlie that they can't try to get Charlie to do the math until Daniel does his part, so obviously it's Charlie's job to think of a way out of there while The Baddies haul Daniel away to a different room and try to be scarier than the Goa'uld, which Daniel is completely unimpressed by. And Charlie's left perusing the cell and trying to put escape plans together and estimating the weight-bearing load of the air ducts and thinking about ways to send a message or leave a clue.
And meanwhile back in L.A. Don's getting nervous about Charlie, and Larry notices he's missed a class, and they start trying to look for him, which gets the attention of the SGC and General O'Neill, who is naturally really worried about Daniel and thinks that Charlie's disappearance would be a ridiculous coincidence, and so Jack flies off to L.A. so that he can smile tightly at Don and make oblique threats about having the investigation taken away if Don doesn't cooperate, and insist on being called "General," and Don gets all crabby about jurisdiction, and sends Terry and David off to investigate and report only to him, and Larry's making tentative comments and trying to keep them from killing each other. But Jack and Don both diss the other's consultants, and then Jack has to be all "okay, I'll admit it, he's a pain but, well, he once was imprisoned by some folks who spoke a language he didn't and inside of a day he'd worked out their culture and some of their language and made friends and his guard ending up defending him -- he's that good, and that's why they want him, and that's why I know we'll get him back, because he don't take no shit." And Don's all "look, I didn't want Charlie to work for me just because he was my brother, right? He can do this shit in his head, and he's always been able to, I'm lucky to have him since he could be consulting with anybody, don't let his record put you off, he'll just keep picking at a problem until he solves it, and in this case that problem is his imprisonment." And Larry ignores the whole thing and just keeps pondering the problem because he wants Charlie back.
And then some other stuff happens, and Daniel and Charlie bond, and they escape/get rescued, and then start going out for coffee, and Daniel finds out that Charlie has a high enough security clearance to hear about the Stargate, so he invites Charlie to the SGC, and Charlie is intrigued but not enough to leave L.A., and I guess it has to end sorta bittersweet long-distance relationship because obviously Charlie's not leaving his house or his work with Don, and Daniel's not leaving the Stargate program, but it would still be fun.