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July 03, 2005: Time suck

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For Christmas last year Richard gave me the latest version of the only computer game I have ever been addicted to � Sid Mier's Civilization (the Complete version). I have put off installing it because I have had a lot of other things that needed to be done � birthday and holiday presents to knit, projects to do around the house, and so on � and I knew that once the game was active, I would be sunk.

So guess what I installed this week, after returning home from Las Vegas? And guess what I�ve been doing most nights since then? It�s got a newer format and there�ve been a lot of changes and additions to the game, but overall, it�s still the same old Civilization that I fell in love with back when I had to run it from a DOS prompt on my second hand PC that ran Windows 3.1 and was slower than dirt.

Somehow, however, I have managed to tear myself away from the game long enough to do useful things like laundry, and go to work, and even do significant quantities of knitting. But there have been more than a few late nights this week, camped in front of the computer, trying to take over the world.

One thing I did tear myself away from the game to do was to see the last play of the season from the DMTC � The King and I. One thing that continues to strike me about seeing all these plays is that I am always amazed by how dull they can be. This is no reflection on the ability of the actors or the cleverness of the direction, or the detail of the sets. I think it has more to do with the fact that for so many of these, I�ve either read the books on which they are based, or seen the movies made long after they were done as plays, and in each case, they tend to be much more interesting. There have been some notable exceptions. For example, the play version of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To The Forum was worlds better than the rather insipid movie version. But then I remember the horrible things done to the story The Secret Garden when put into play form and it just makes me shudder to recall it.

This play had its moments � most of them occurring when the King was on stage. The actor was marvelous for the role, and the woman who played Anna also did a marvelous job. But the play itself tends to drag, and perhaps it is just my 20th century sensibilities finding annoyance with the way people reacted back then.

But that was the end of the season, and we had the required post-play pie, and then we came back home so I could play Civilization yet again, and really, I need to put the CD back in its box and ask Richard to please hide it somewhere where I cannot find it because I sense that there will be much time wasted over the summer on this game.

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