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Subject: GEEK OF THE WEEK: Robin Hartman (HelenofTroy) rss

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Andrew H
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GEEK OF THE WEEK: Robin Hartman (HelenofTroy)

profile: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Helenoftroy

Geek of the week is an open forum focussed on getting to know our Geek of the Week. Pull up your sleeves and lend a hand as we join Robin in the work of keeping BGG more personal and interesting.

Robin, You have quite a broad love of literature. What is it about the written language that you find allows such excellent and enjoyable expression of peoples emotions, passions and struggles? Do you have specific examples of poems, passages or characters that really stir you and touch you or connect with who you are? How do you react to reading these personal favourites?
You have admitted to writing poetry. I have been guilty of that simple pleasure from time to time though not recently to my wife's dismay. Are you able to share some of it with us or is it personal to you?
You are also interested in modern literature in the form of Comics. Do you see comics as a valid and equal but different form of literature or as light escapism which relies mostly on visual imagery to set its mood? (or both)

Your favourite films include a lot of great emotional rollercoasters. Do you become emotionally involved with characters when you watch such films or are you objectively appreciating their craft? Have you seen 12th Night with Imogen Stubbs and Ben Kingsley? If so what did you think? You list Shakespear in Love as a favourite (as must I if I have forgotten to). Have you seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (the film or stage production)? I think I read that Tom Stoppard was the writer or one of them for both films. Did you find it enjoyable/ clever/ depressing/ pretentious/ other...?
Do you enjoy any of Oscar Wilde's writing and or films / plays?

Are you a fan of Sesame street on your Children's behalf or do you enjoy it yourself? Do you like any other Jim Henson productions?

Assuming you were in some artificial situation where you had to chose between the teddy collection and the boardgames... which would you choose... or would you not be able to? How many Teddy Bears do you have? Do I really want to know the answer or would it just be scary?

The crafts you enjoy sound very therapeutic. Do you use them as a form of relaxation if you are stressed? Have you taught Bailey any of these crafts yet. If not, would you like to when the boys are older?

You have listed both The Ark of the Covenant and Carcassonne as favourite games. How similar do you feel they are and what makes you enjoy each one for its differences? Do you prefer one to the other?

A recent suggestion for Geeks of the Week is to share with us all the user names of other BGGers who you regularly game with and have them write a short post about themselves and maybe some inside info on you (or leading questions based on the inside info). Who is in your gaming gang?

A game I know is called two truths and a lie.
You tell us three things about yourself. Two are true one is a lie. We have to guess which is false. (hints: Try to make your truths the most unexpected things about yourself to trick us. The lie can be very close to the truth.)
Don't tell us which one is the lie til the end of the week.
Happy Geek of the Week week geek.

You can read up on previous Geeks of the Week using this handy list of forum threads:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84208

Though they are not the active Geek of the Week forums they can have new questions and answers posted. It is a good idea for previous GotWs to add their own link to their forum in their personal profile too.
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Andrew H
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As usual next weeks Geek of the Week will be chosen by our current Geek of the Week- in this case Robin. What is a bit different is that Robin will be hosting next weeks GotW since I am going away for a week soon. I hope you enjoy both roles and I look forward to reading your input in both forums.
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Congratulations, Robin! Here's a question for you: You list Wizard Kings as your one of your all-time favorite games. It's one of mine too. Share the Wizard Kings love and tell us why you think Wizard Kings rocks (like we know it does!).
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G'day Robin, I seem to remember enjoying your contributions to various discussions I've started / become hooked into.

The Iliad. Hmmm. Have you read it in Greek, or "only" in English? And do you feel there's any relationship between your ability to (presumably) get from one end of The Iliad to the other vs your ability to enjoy protracted wargame campaigns? If so, to what influences might you ascribe your greater than average attention span and focus? Finally, I have to ask what you thought of the Hollywood treatment of "Troy"?
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Quote:
What is it about the written language that you find allows such excellent and enjoyable expression of peoples emotions, passions and struggles?


Wow, that's a tough question so I'll answer it the best I can. I see works of literature as poetic by nature. Words can be a living breathing work of art. Works of literature can give a variety of means to people through the use of trigger words. Trigger words are single words that inflect emotions on the audience. Before I go on into a paper on terminology, techniques, and how they are used, I will stop there.

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Do you have specific examples of poems, passages or characters that really stir you and touch you or connect with who you are?


Emily Dickinson is my all time favorite poet. I think she expresses things simply and directly, while using the variety of means for each word. With her poetry, every single word counts for the whole of the poem. I also like Li-Young Leigh, a Chinese poet that I heard speak at my college. He now teaches at NYU. My favorite poems of his are "Braiding" and "Persimmons." I also have a special love for Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. I love their angry tone and feel that sometimes I can relate to them. I could go on about this for awhile. I think Shakespeare was a master at portraying universal human behavior. I think some of the female characters are extremely strong while others are so weak that they are comical, like Helena in Midsummer Night's Dream.

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How do you react to reading these personal favourites?


Some of my personal favorites of literature, I believe I can feel the words rather than read them. The words can physically touch a person. It's similar to listening to your favorite song and the rhythm makes you automatically sway.

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You have admitted to writing poetry. I have been guilty of that simple pleasure from time to time though not recently to my wife's dismay. Are you able to share some of it with us or is it personal to you?


I would have no problem with sharing my poetry but since you did mention you write poetry I would have to ask you to do the same with your work. I'd be interested to read some poetry written by an Australian anyway. It will take a little while before I can find my little book of poem that I feel polished enough to share. So, I promise I will share one poem sometime during this week.

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Emily Dickinson is my all time favorite poet. I think she expresses things simply and directly, while using the variety of means for each word.


I used to like Emily Dickinson, until someone mentioned that all her poetry could be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas". Now I can't read her anymore without singing along.

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You are also interested in modern literature in the form of Comics. Do you see comics as a valid and equal but different form of literature or as light escapism which relies mostly on visual imagery to set its mood? (or both)


My interest in comics is more for the art than anything else. I don't think that it is the most amazing form of literature but I hope I am proven wrong during my class I am taking this semester. I am taking a class on Creating the Graphic Novel. My job is to write the script while someone in the class from the art department draws my script.

David Mack, who writes Kabuki, is an amazing writer. I think that is because his comic book reads like a book of poetry. Comic books are more of social commentary and gives me relaxation from reading some of the more difficult reading I do. It's sort of like playing a game of Squad Leader then breaking out the Mancala set before game night is over.

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Your favourite films include a lot of great emotional rollercoasters. Do you become emotionally involved with characters when you watch such films or are you objectively appreciating their craft?


I get extremely emotional involved with the characters. I've actually got upset with my husband a few times for picking out movies that are so sad that I am sad for weeks about some fictional character. I guess that can go along with literature too. If literature is so real to me, so are the characters. If the movie is a good one, I love the characters and feel the pain with them.

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Have you seen 12th Night with Imogen Stubbs and Ben Kingsley?


No but it is now on my list.

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You list Shakespear in Love as a favourite (as must I if I have forgotten to). Have you seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (the film or stage production)?


Sadly, I have never seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I've been meaning to for a long time but I always forget to. I even have friends that own the movie. Shame on me!

Quote:
Do you enjoy any of Oscar Wilde's writing and or films / plays?


When I first experienced Oscar Wilde's plays, I found them confusing because they were so strictly British. I just did not get them. I read The Importance of Being Earnest. It wasn't until I took more British Literature classes before I could really appreciate the humor. I loved his novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray. He is an amazing writer. It is another favorite novel of mine. I also enjoy his poetry he wrote his lover from prison. I know their is a fancy word for that work but I don't remember right now. Oscar Wilde's works should be offered more in classes in college. He is a must read!

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Are you a fan of Sesame street on your Children's behalf or do you enjoy it yourself? Do you like any other Jim Henson productions?


The main reason I like Sesame Street is because of my two year old son, Bailey. The shows are educational and it doesn't make me feel like my brain is falling out when I watch his show with him. I think some of the stories on the show are extremely sweet. There is so much diversity and personal expression involved in the show. My son loves music and sings along with the show. It's very sweet. When I was younger, I was a big fan of Jim Henson. I like muppets, they are just cool.

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Assuming you were in some artificial situation where you had to chose between the teddy collection and the boardgames... which would you choose... or would you not be able to?


I would definately pick our boardgames because my husband would kill me and we get more enjoy about of games then decorations. It would not be without a lot of heartache though, if I get rid of my teddy bears. But honest, I've been collecting teddy bears since I was thirteen so I've grown out of some of my collection. Bailey and Jakob enjoy some of them now.

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How many Teddy Bears do you have? Do I really want to know the answer or would it just be scary?


Much of my collection is in storage and I really don't know how many I have. I have a few crates I am sure. Yes, it would scare you to know how many I have. Scary for me too. I have to rotate them per season. I got this pretty shelf for the living room so my dresser wouldn't be so cluttered though.
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I also like Li-Young Leigh, a Chinese poet that I heard speak at my college.


I was introduced to his work several years ago. His poems "With Ruins" and "This Hour and What is Dead" have stuck with me and become favorites of mine.
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The crafts you enjoy sound very therapeutic. Do you use them as a form of relaxation if you are stressed? Have you taught Bailey any of these crafts yet. If not, would you like to when the boys are older?


Crafts are relaxation for me unless I am using my sewing machine. I learned to sew because it seemed more useful. I've had a lot of trial and error with it. But crafts are relax which is needed for my personality. I can't always sit still while I watch a movie. So after the kids go to bed and we decided not to play a game, we watch a movie while I cross stitch.

I would love to teach my boys crafts. Bailey is getting more into music. He loves to color and draw. He is going to be very artist. So I don't think I'd have any trouble teaching him some craft projects. If he would only talk!

Quote:
You have listed both The Ark of the Covenant and Carcassonne as favourite games. How similar do you feel they are and what makes you enjoy each one for its differences? Do you prefer one to the other?


My Hot list are my favorite "light" games. Ark of the Covenant is my favorite because of the theme. I think it's a neat concept because Christian themed games are not really great games or even universally Christian. Also, Ark is a complete game that is more accessible for people. There can be no expansions or tweaks to the rules. I do not think Carcassonne is a complete game without Builders/traders or Inns/Cathedrals but I would not teach Carcassonne to newbies with all the expansions.

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A recent suggestion for Geeks of the Week is to share with us all the user names of other BGGers who you regularly game with and have them write a short post about themselves and maybe some inside info on you (or leading questions based on the inside info). Who is in your gaming gang?


I really don't game with many people. It's mainly just me and my husband http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/puck4604

But sometimes my brother-in-law, Chas, joins us.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Chas_Rock
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You list Wizard Kings as your one of your all-time favorite games. It's one of mine too. Share the Wizard Kings love and tell us why you think Wizard Kings rocks (like we know it does!).


I think I'm a fanboy for this game. This game can do no wrong. There can be nothing wrong with this game in my mind. Other people can see flaws and their opinions are valid but I will not see flaws with this game. I have played this game a lot and have really enjoyed it.

The best thing about the game is the variation of armies. I really get into the concepts because I love the characters in the armies. I love that my Mermaid can go chasing after my husband's Viking ship. She can knock it over with her tale at a roll of the dice. The dwarves can bring forward their catapults. My amazon wizard can use a spell to make the Chaos creature destroy its own army and then die at the end of battle. There are just so much this game offers that is not in every wargame. I can bluff my husband with where I'm going to attack if I utilize hex side movements. The maps change every game.

I love my amazon army too. It goes well with my all woman heroclix army. This whole proud of being a strong woman works well with the kind of person I am, I guess.

This particular game was my second Columbia Block wargame and I love this company. There products are amazing. I love the fog of war was completely new to me in gaming. Block wargames remind me of those old war movies where the general is planning and attack.
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The Iliad. Hmmm. Have you read it in Greek, or "only" in English? And do you feel there's any relationship between your ability to (presumably) get from one end of The Iliad to the other vs your ability to enjoy protracted wargame campaigns? If so, to what influences might you ascribe your greater than average attention span and focus? Finally, I have to ask what you thought of the Hollywood treatment of "Troy"?


I am not fluent in any language by English unfortunately and its held me back in my career planning. I feel kind of bad to put it this way but Iliad was an assignment that I learned to love. There were different driving forces to finishing the Iliad then enjoyment but I did enjoy it. It was a book I did not want to put down. I think the war itself was not as apparent as the human relationships. Iliad is another one of those stories that are still read because the ideas and people are so universal. Maybe that is my rose colored glasses reading, which I've been accused of reading through in my Modern Novels Class from last semester.

I would feel a little arrogant saying that I have this great attention span for wargames because my husband reads the rules and teaches me to play. I am learning the terms and concepts which will help when I learn the rules. I am still fairly new at wargaming.

I think the Hollywood treatment of Troy was decent. Agammenon was suppose to die by the hands of his wife after she stabs him in the back while wrapping a towel around him. My husband was getting a little annoyed that I did stuff like that throughout the movie. I think the movie was good. The charactes were accurate enough but the theme of the Iliad was destroyed by the making of a good Americanized movie. To really understand the Iliad, you have to look through the eyes of the audience it was intended. So, the historical and cultural importance was gone from the movie.
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I used to like Emily Dickinson, until someone mentioned that all her poetry could be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas". Now I can't read her anymore without singing along.


That is probably true because she had a very strict form when writing but if you read with the dashes and obscure punctions, it doesn't sound that way. Now, I'll have to listen to that song and check for myself.
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I was introduced to his work several years ago. His poems "With Ruins" and "This Hour and What is Dead" have stuck with me and become favorites of mine.


Very Cool! I was starting to feel like I was the only one who knew who he is. He has written an autobiography. The little I've read of it is really good. He writes everything the way he writes poetry. It was really amazing to hear him read his own poetry aloud. He makes me want to move to New York to take his class.
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Hi Robin!

No questions from me at this time, just my applause for your being chosen as GOTW! As one of the teeming masses of computer programmers that clog this site, I appreciate the insight you provide on why anyone would want to major in Literature! You've also finally convinced me to put Wizard Kings on my Wishlist (Sounds like it'll appeal more to my girlfriend than HotS, unfortunately...!soblue ) meeple

Looking forward to reading this as the week progresses!

fendwick
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[size=11]Alright, I've got 'one' for you: did you actually 'mean' to have your "username" as being "Helen of TOY"? Some other 'person' always makes this same 'mistake', when referring to the "maker" of those 'Comic-book ads', while I wonder if YOU have done likewise? Also, I believe that the *LIE* concerns the "tatoo" as THAT is probably OF: "Peter, Paul, & Mary"! no?
laugh
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Helenoftroy wrote:

3. I have a very large tattoo of Mary and Jesus across my back.


Wow. This is the one I really, really want to be the lie. But much though I look with distaste upon the extra, leering attention female geeks get on this site, if this one turns out to be true, I like to think we ought to get to see it! arrrh blush
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Hi Robin,

Happy Geek of the Week!

What was the last cross-stitch you did?

Who wins, you or hubby?

Who buys the most games, you or hubby?

Melissa
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Helenoftroy wrote:
Quote:
You list Shakespear in Love as a favourite (as must I if I have forgotten to). Have you seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (the film or stage production)?


Sadly, I have never seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I've been meaning to for a long time but I always forget to. I even have friends that own the movie. Shame on me!

Quote:
Do you enjoy any of Oscar Wilde's writing and or films / plays?


When I first experienced Oscar Wilde's plays, I found them confusing because they were so strictly British. I just did not get them. I read The Importance of Being Earnest. It wasn't until I took more British Literature classes before I could really appreciate the humor. I loved his novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray. He is an amazing writer. It is another favorite novel of mine. I also enjoy his poetry he wrote his lover from prison. I know their is a fancy word for that work but I don't remember right now. Oscar Wilde's works should be offered more in classes in college. He is a must read!


R&G are dead is fantastic and highly recommended, as are most of Tom Stoppard's plays.

And The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the best best best plays EVAR. Watch it on DVD if you can't stomach the book.

When I was 9 or 10, I wanted nothing more than to be Cecily.
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Hi Robin,

I try to remember to ask each Geek of the Week these gaming related questions (only just sneaking them in this week as we are going away and will probably be sans internet access) so here's the GeekSpeak BoardGameSpeak Hook questions for you:
Favourite game for d10-2 players
Favourite game for d10-3 players
Favourite game for d10-4 players
Favourite game for d10-5 players
Favourite game for d10-6 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple - my other confession is that I would be hard pressed to list just one game for most of the above)

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why. Mostly the same list as before.

Space ships
Witches
Trains
Transport (may include trains)
Workers (paid or otherwise)
Trading
Building
Pink
Theme
Ships
Money
Purple
Government
Vampires
Infrastructure
Dice
Dinosaurs
Gemstones
Dragons
Beer
Wands

And last but not least, what are the last five games that you have played?
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Helenoftroy wrote:
3. I have a very large tattoo of Mary and Jesus across my back.


I keep seeing this and then reading it backwards expecting to see "Chain" added to the sentence. The weird thing is I am not even a fan of the band, just have friends who are... If it was there maybe that would be my pick Anyway back to the regular GOTW.

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Quote:
You've also finally convinced me to put Wizard Kings on my Wishlist (Sounds like it'll appeal more to my girlfriend than HotS, unfortunately...!soblue ) meeple


YAY! I was helpful!!! That makes me happy.
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Quote:
What was the last cross-stitch you did?


The last big project I finished was a personalized patroitic Christmas stocking for my stepfather. It had an eagle head on it with the American flag in the back ground. I was very proud of it. It took me six months to do. We called it my pregnancy project. Now, I am working on a little picture of cherries for my kitchen that reads: "I'm not hard to please/ I just like things my way." I'm almost finished. I normally do small projects.

Quote:
Who wins, you or hubby?


At most things, I do win. My husband really stomped me at Blood Feud in New York yesterday though. He gets upset that his newbie wargaming wife wins most wargames. Go read his comments about the games and see. My brother-in-law also comments on the games by how much I won. I think I may have soured Wizard Kings for him.

Quote:
Who buys the most games, you or hubby?


My husband normally decides what games to buy and when. I just offer imput but pretty much I get whatever I want. I would say he buys the most games.
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Alright, I've got 'one' for you: did you actually 'mean' to have your "username" as being "Helen of TOY"? Some other 'person' always makes this same 'mistake', when referring to the "maker" of those 'Comic-book ads', while I wonder if YOU have done likewise? Also, I believe that the *LIE* concerns the "tatoo" as THAT is probably OF: "Peter, Paul, & Mary"! no?


Sorry, forgot a question was in there. Yes, I am arrogant enough to proudly call myself Helen of Troy. It actually has a cute story along with it. When I was dating my husband, he said to me, "You are such an amazing woman. You are the kind of woman men fight wars over." I laughed and asked him if I was his Helen then. We all had a very nice laugh.

I'll definately reveal by the end of the week! Teehee. Looks like there is starting to be a growing consensus about my truth, truth, lie game.
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Favourite game for 2 players
Favourite game for 3 players
Favourite game for 4 players
Favourite game for 5 players
Favourite game for 6 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple - my other confession is that I would be hard pressed to list just one game for most of the above)


2 player- Wizard Kings
Most games we have are two player, since it is just me and my husband, so I just chose my favorite game. Most wargames or Kosmos two-player games are my favorite two player games.

I actually can't answer much more because it is mostly just my husband and I play games and occasionally my brother-in-law joins in.

Since favorite 6 player games includes party games I'll say Catchphrase. When I lived with roommates before I was married, this game went well.

Sorry about that, not many gamers here in Kentucky. Anyone want to move here to fix that?
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Word association: ooh, fun. Games are always fun!!!

Space ships- Vanished Planet
Witches- Techno witches
Trains- Ticket to Ride Europe
Transport (may include trains)- Railroad Tycoon
Workers (paid or otherwise)- St. Petersburg
Trading- Settlers
Building- Pueblo
Pink- Queen's Necklace
Theme- Lord of the Rings
Ships- Axis and Allies
Money- Acquire
Purple- Killer Bunnies
Government- Struggle of Empires
Vampires- Dracula
Infrastructure- Rish 2210 (The closest I can get)
Dice- heroscape
Dinosaurs- Monopoly
Gemstones- Runebound
Dragons- Wizard Kings
Beer- Wrench
Wands- Enchanted Forest

Wow! This was harder than I thought.
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