My listicle-gift to you, O Reader, for the new year: Things we loved in 2014, in case you missed them. (Photo credit, above: This shot of the Denver skyline taken by my friend Mark while we were out there visiting.)
- Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate. Oh yes. Mix it into coffee, or stay on the straight and narrow with for hot chocolate
- Raaka Chocolate (thanks to an article in Bon Appetit)
- The life-altering bourbon mocha by Methodical Coffee, soon to be opening a shop in Downtown Greenville, prepared by the delightful Vagabond Barista. Seriously tho….
- This recipe for carnitas and this recipe for carbonades flemandes, aka Belgian stew. I’ve been on a mission to recreate that incredible dish from The Trappe Door in Greenville, SC. Meanwhile, the carnitas have become a monthly staple in our household. Just can’t beat them.
- Cooperative board games. Sure, sure, we all have a competitive side, but there’s something so satisfying about collaborating with a small group of friends to beat a game that keeps kicking your butts. There’s all the strategy and emotion and tense moments without the anger and flipping over of tables…..oh, games don’t go like that in your house? lol — Ghost Stories pits 3 or 4 players against a wickedly difficult series of evil Chinese spirits. You and your ninja buddies battle back the demons for what seems like forever, and when you’re the most bloodied and beaten down, Wu Fang emerges from the deck to kick your ass unless you’re really holding it together. And getting some lucky rolls of the dice. Stunningly beautiful and captivating game. — Pandemic can play up to 5 people as bio-researchers and disease specialists who must stop worldwide outbreaks from 4 or 5 different diseases before time runs out or the diseases massacre humanity. Each player brings a special ability to the game vital to the success of the group.
- The joy of an asymmetrical game, where each player pursues a totally different objective. I’m loving Android Netrunner and Archipelago as two very different examples of this kind of game.
- Can’t ignore video games – our household plays a LOT of them. 🙂 Gems we discovered in 2014:
- Risk of Rain: Want to get smashed again and again, along with your friends, in a brutal co-op that’s somehow fascinating and adorable? this is the game for you. It’s fantastic. You’ll yell phrases you would have never expected to come out of your mouth, like “I want to destroy that demon jellyfish and send it back to the hell from whence it came!” (Steam)
- Transistor: Gorgeous art style, interesting story, amazing soundtrack (Steam, PSN)
A photo posted by RameyLady (@lorojoro) on Jul 7, 2014 at 8:40pm PDT
- Shoutout to Flagstaff, Arizona, for being beautiful and to Poughkeepsie, NY (photo above) for being a whole lot cooler than I expected.
- Shoutout as well to AirBnB for consistently providing us with good places to stay, and to Southwest for hauling us around the country with minimal kerfuffle.
- Happy discovery of 2014: Belgian beer is great, actually. I’ve struggled to find beer that I could honestly say I enjoyed. Then I met Belgian beers (Thanks, John!) and all that is behind me.
Oh, and in the non-Belgian category, Allegash Cerieux is the best thing I drank all year, hands down.)
- Authors I enjoyed: Thomas Pynchon; Paolo Bacigalupi; Octavia Butler; David Drake; Anne Lecke
- Musical discoveries: Snarky Puppy (so good!) …. Hiatus Kaiote ….. Thomas Giles …. The Bad Plus
- And, this isn’t a “discovery” for 2014, but I enjoyed a great year of productive work alongside a very fine and fun team of people at my office. How fun are we, you ask? Fun enough to turn our office and outer corridor into a Whovian paradise for student appreciation day! Here, I’ll prove it:
And with that, friends, I depart – leaving you warm wishes for a great 2015.
I write. I design. I cook. I read. I make music. I talk to people -- all kinds of people.
I used to teach and hopefully will do so again someday.
My dream job would be a cross between barrista and consultant, with a large helping of international travel and bohemian wandering through concerts, museums, galleries, and open spaces.
Somewhere back in time, my students started calling me "RameyLady" and the name stuck. I like it. There's a Ramey-man too. He's a much better writer but he seems to be too humble to share it with the world....at least, not yet.