A weekend well spent

I had a good weekend. It involved learning Japanese, visiting The ROM, and learning how to play Crokinole from Karl Schroeder, who is enough of a crack shot that he can manipulate the board such that you might feel a little bit better about your total lack of hand-eye coordination, until you realise what he’s done.

He’s crafty, that one.

My weekend also involved Kings, which is sort of like what would happen if people wrote slash-friendly AU Bible fanfic, then applied BSG-level production values to it, and it was surprisingly fabulous and pertinent and not unlike I, Claudivs in scope, scale, and sentiment. I’m a fan of any show which starts conversations about Grail legends, JFK, Macbeth, and the superiority of Tachikomas to Panzer-style tanks. Plus, there’s Ian McShane, playing a theist named King Silas Benjamin who calmly explains that evolution is all part of God’s plan, having been “anointed” into royal power thanks to a crown of monarch (get it?) butterflies that fluttered about his head as a boy. (And you wondered why all the show’s branding was orange.) Silas is a character you instantly fall for: capable of great affection and great cruelty, a consummate manipulator of others’ weaknesses who is categorically blind to his own, the kind of man you believe could have crawled up through the ranks based on his ability to spin a good yarn and order the deaths of thousands in the same breath.

He’s probably rubbish at Crokinole, though.

And last but not least, after comparisons to cats and cupids, after teary toasts and whispers about Webleys, there was this:

Five years ago, Jack had been tempted to speed Amy’s progress, to bypass all the awkwardness and frustration and sacrifice of her toddler life and get to the fun parts, the amusement parks and knock-knock jokes and impossible birthday wishes. But now he knows her. She needs the time. She needs to understand how she’s different and why and what it means, from her lack of physical pain to her abundance of opinion. This time – this sweet time, pulsing with rhythms he’s finally learning after years of moving too fast and stepping on everyone’s toes — is the gift Charlotte’s mother could never give her. He is determined that Amy have better.

“Hey,” Charlotte says. She slips her cool hand into his. She is as beautiful as the night he met her, in a theme bar in Vegas during a tech show, when she served him a glowing blue cocktail named after a comic book character whose name he utterly forgot the moment her voice touched his ears. Her eyes – viridian, he had called them that night, his own voice hushed with wonder at the collective genius that had ushered her existence into being – narrow with concern. “What’s wrong?”

He squeezes her hand. “Just thinking about my dad,” he says. “And your mom. How stupid they are to miss this.”

Charlotte smiles. “The important thing is that we found each other.”

“Damn straight,” he says. He stretches one arm over her shoulders and pulls her closer. “Have I ever told you how smart you are?”

She shrugs. “All that graphene has to be good for something.”

…Sometimes, I write about nice things happening for nice people.