To my surprise -- and hers, and Coleen's -- the turkey was actually cooked on time. Apparently, the 'basting == evil' meme had reached them, and they'd decided to cook the turkey for 2 hours at 450 instead, like some website told them. It worked a LOT better than the previous years' attempts -- the turkey was cooked on time, and didn't have uncooked spots lingering in the thighs after the thermometer said the breast was done.
I got there early enough to help with the gravy and making croissants. Tube croissants. I rolled little pre-perforated triangles of dough. This year I didn't even burn them! There's a reason I don't show up earlier to help cook.
Dinner took a long time to eat because of all the kids -- Anna has three and Coleen has two. Apparently, they've decided to teach their kids not to take food for themselves, instead they ask for an adult to serve it to them. Of course, all they ever ask for is 'can I have another piece of bread with butter on it please?', but the parents can then butt in and say, 'no, instead you must eat this squash'.
While we were eating dessert (Coleen's 'family recipe' which, honestly, wasn't as good as most pumpkin pie I've had -- I think it was extremely low sugar, and so was the whipped cream), Anna had to put the baby to sleep, and told everyone to be quiet.
It's impossible for a bunch of kids of be quiet -- they'd shhh and talk in low tones, and shush the adults whenever they said anything not in a stage-whisper, then burst into EAR PIERCING, SHRIEKING GIGGLES at the slightest provocation. To be fair, I've seen the same thing happen every time a group of supposedly adult furries or gamers tried to be quiet.
Afterwards, Alex showed off some old videogames to Coleen's husband (who wasn't allowed to play videogames -- 'if you have free time you should spend it renovating the house!' were Coleen's exact words), and once they'd headed home, presuambly to renovate the house, he showed me some of his new ones.
World of Goo was pretty fun for a puzzle game -- a little frustrating since the goo-structures had an annoying tendency to collapse on themselves for no really obvious reason, adding some realtime elements to it, especially in levels like the one where you have to balance a bridge between spikes above and spikes below using balloons. If you could pause to place the next balloon or bridge segment, it would be easy, but instead you have to drag the goo into place *really fast*. I played through the demo levels, and decided that was enough for the night -- Alex has the full game and tricked me into playing one more level because it had snot.
Left 4 Dead was the other game he showed me -- we played through the 'No Mercy' chapter. Our first attempt was online in a pick up group, where while I was trying to figure out how to pick things up and use the inventory, the other two had exploited a bug in the level design to suck all the zombies in the level into an out-of-the-way spot using a car alarm, leaving us to wander through the empty level going 'wtf'? So we quit that real fast, and played with a couple of bots.
I had no fucking clue what was going on -- all the zombies looked the same unless you were really close, and you really, REALLY didn't want to be really close. So I kept the machine gun and used the tried and tested 'spray and pray' method of zombie horde control. We got all the way to the end, then died when the bots didn't run to the helicopter, and didn't actually die all the way before the tank that had killed them climbed into the helicopter *with us*. There was no 'leave them behind you asshole pilot!' option, unfortunately.
I'm not going to give thanks for anything out loud, because I don't want to jynx it.