Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is that still supposed to be a rectangle?

It's the 14th of January, and it seems like I should be at a point of running out of stories from the family at Christmas, but I feel the need to post about Cranium and Pictionary.

Either of these games is amusing to me, especially since the Play-Doh (or the sculpting clay included in the Cranium game dried up the first year) is no longer a factor for Cranium.

I hated the sculpting because all I can sculpt are snakes. No one ever got those anyway -- and there was groaning galore when you drew a card that said "sculpt this," and it was bicycle or a tyrannosaurus.

Really. Cranium? Sculpt that? In a minute?

*rolls eyes and checks box for suggested age to play the game*

Cranium also has a category called Performer -- it means if you draw from those cards, which you have to do throughout the game, your choices are humming or Charades. These are hilarious almost every time.

For examples:

When my brother tried to act out baking bread....

or we had a Club Cranium, which is like an all play, -- and five different teams were humming "Wake me Up Before you Go-Go" -- well, that was a little like Dante. You know what I'm saying?

Aside: I mean, come on, Wham!? Weren't they the 80s and found to be lip syncing? No, that was Milli Vanilli.

Same thing.
Only not. I get them mixed up. It was the 80s -- a decade of music to forget.

Where was I?

Oh yeah.

There are also cards called Creative Cat which is the sculpting or drawing -- these are not the categorys (see Data Head and Word Worm) my family picks first, but it always has the most hilarious outcomes. We now draw everything since -- as I told you, thankfully, the clay dried up -- which was a type of divine intervention.

Unfortunately, sometimes it calls for you to draw with your eyes closed. In my family, having your eyes open when you draw is not really that much of a bonus.


You also have Data Head (facts and knowledge), and Wordworm (which is definitions, fill in the blank, spelling backwards or forwards) -- which my family picks when it has a choice, but when it doesn't have a choice, it ends up in Performer.

We're nerds, I told you that.

Cranium is a loud game, but we take as many people as we can cram into a room and go for it... {we actually invited in some extras for this night -- Daniel (a neighbor), Sarah (a favorite of mine), and Kristy and Robyn (my niece's friends and now, mine :)} .. so we circled the coffee table in the family room -- and laid out the game.

We had five teams of four --- Team Hearth (sitting on the hearth), Team Couch, Team Smart Girls, and Team Glenn (my team --- with my two nephews, James and Glenn, and Sarah) and Team Whatever (since they said that when ever they didn't win the card).


It was high energy, competitive, stressful, yet fun. One of the best things about the game is that when it's not your turn, you can talk within your group, but most of the time, you are distracted by all the thinking and mind draining facts or spelling backwards -- of course, unless there's a Performer Card being done -- then everyone watches so they can guffaw.

We were especially astounded on Team Glenn, when Glenn was doing a Charade of running up the steps and Sarah said, "Rocky," and then he made a face and she yelled "Rocky Horror Picture Show," and that was the right answer. We were on the same wave length that night, and we won on a blind draw by James of the White House.

Gawd. We were good.

Not to say the others were not, but we were good.

We played that game again on the last night -- this time I was on Team Couch, and we lost big time even though we did have the pleasure of watching Chapman jump up and down all bow-legged and firing his guns to demonstrate Yosemite Sam.

Team Smart Girls won that night --- they were all over the humming.
Team Couch -- not so much --- LOL

Last, but I got to blog about the Pictionary Game from Hell we played -- when all the cards that one team drew were All Play.

I thought we were gonna come to blows because this meant that we had to have a judge and a timer watcher because we would all scream "we got it," and no one knew who was first.

We had some serious stare downs before my sister-in-law stood in the middle of the room like a school marm with a stupid stick to smack us around, and she determined who was "first" in these -- after a while it got so ludicrous that we did more laughing than anything.

It would be like this...

The Team who got All Plays all the time would draw and then groan "it's an all play," and we would all laugh. They really thought the rest of us were cheating when we said our cards weren't. We didn't cheat, but I can't speak for the other Teams.... LOL

Pictionary has some funny dialogue too:

Player: What is that? Is that an animal? No, it's a hedge? Not a hedge? Is it a car? It's not a car? It's a sheep? Not a sheep. But aren't those legs? Leaves? Tires?

Another player: A rectangle? A rectangle on sterioids? A rectangle that is not a box. Is that a jack in the box? Is that still supposed to be a rectangle? Man, how did you do in geometry?

But my favorite moment came with Team Glenn when Stephen drew this shape, and I guessed "Indiana. No. Iowa" and it was right. (see drawing on left)

Pictionary -- a game for the masses, and we had the masses.

Family done.

For now.

Game Over.


  1. Mrs. Gillham, this is why I like you! We like the same things. I must have played at least eight games of Cranium over the break. Best. Game. Ever.

  2. There is no space big enough for me to list all the reasons why I like you. :)

  3. Have you ever considered that part of the family competition may be the result of an insufficient number of nieces and way too much testosterone?!!

  4. There is no doubt about that, Edie. LOL

  5. YES!!! I made it onto your blog. I feel like a celeb, but really I just got excited because I wanted to post this...WORDWORM!!! (best word ever)

  6. Cunctator (n): a procrastinator; delayer.

    Really? Really?!

  7. Too funny. I kind of felt like I was listening to your thoughts rather than reading them.

  8. How much do I wish my family played games like yours. We just sit around and drink. We always say we should be playing a game but it never happens. We're so boring. Thanks for the family night recap.

  9. Team Smart Girls was really not so smart the first night, but that was the plan all along. We were lulling the rest of the teams into a false state of security so we could dominate the second time.

    Good times. I hope Kristy and I get to come next time there is a game night!

    P.S. Thanks for the shout out!! :)

  10. Girl I can't imagine you not doing well in all these games! Growing up we were a game family. Trivial Pursuit was always are favorite. My Dad sucked at Pictionary but a whiz with the facts, he's so damn smart so that was usually what we played. Plus, I was always on his team so I always agreed to that game. Hubby is not into the games, his family never developed the love for it that I had. The little ones got Cranium for their 6th birthday last year and I said to my daughter, I think we need more than just the two of us to play. Needless to say we haven't taken it out again. LOL.

    I have introduced them to the art of Operation and LIFE! We are starting slow here ;)


  11. Gasp! What? What?!

    Same thing.
    Only not. I get them mixed up. It was the 80s -- a decade of music to forget.

    I think my heart just died a little with that line of yours. Along with all the Madonna wannabes...

    My favorite challenge is to draw with my eyes closed, LOL, somehow I usually manage to stay on the page and I love hearing the boys giggle as I draw, the sound is much more vivid when I can't see them, LOL

  12. Hey there's Stephen Bruce! I remember him telling me that you were his aunt, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever.