Travels of Zow Zow
Monday, February 26, 2007
Games and the Gaming Gamers who Play Them
I've spoken before about my lack of TV shows growing up, and my new obsession with them. (Um..Heroes...Rocks!)

I was also severely deprived of video games. Well, I should specify. I had a kick ass computer game called "Funhouse" based on the kid's game show of the same name, and hosted by J.D. Roth (now hosting the Biggest Loser or something). I was also a fan of my sister's copy of Barbie's Mall Madness.

These are quite possibly the worst games ever created.

I never had a Nintendo of any sort. My best friend did and I think we played Duck Hunt like 5 times and I was over it. Our creepy bachelor neighbor had a Sega Genesis and all of the neighborhood kids went to play Sonic at his house. (With no other parents to supervise. In retrospect, he must have been gay. Or our parents--a large group of single moms in a condo complex--were to busy drinking and sunbathing by the pool to care.)

To be honest, I never felt like I was missing out.

All of this background leads me to my current situation. The Hubs, being a boy growing up in the Silicon Valley in the '90's LOVES him some video games.I never got the appeal of the first person shooters and the scary driving games. My hand-eye coordination is SO bad, not only was I terrible at them, I had no idea how to get better.

Over the last five years, I've slowly made my way to the dark side. First it was a little MarioCart on the weekends. The I was introduced to Wario Ware on the Gameboy Advance. The final straw came last year when I saw a Nintendo DS. I travel quite a bit, and the games to play on that are fun. And accessible for someone like me who sucks at video games. I'm addicted to this one called Animal Crossing, which could be the stupidest concept for a game. Go earn money. Decorate your house. Pay off your mortgage.

Wait. Isn't that called life? And yet, I play every day. Probably because you can't lose. And it takes little to no skill. My kind of thing.

It get worse. The Hubs got Guitar Hero for Christmas. I was very reluctant to try, considering my inability to play a anything slightly competitive. And the whole, having no rhythm issue. I gave it a try eventually. And, Lordy, Lordy. It was fun. And I wasn't 1/2 bad. The Hubs jokingly said if I completed the game on Medium we could get a Wii. I had my ultimatum. And I did it.

Now we come to the reason I don't post. The Wii. Holy crap, is this thing a blast. I bowl, I golf, I throw darts and shave faces (it's the next in the WarioWare series.) I am addicted, once again, to a Nintendo product. What am I? 12? The saving grace is that you stand to play, and that's actually really good for my back, so I excuse myself for playing, calling it my "physical therapy."

Moral of the story. When you deprive your kids of the hip new thing, they grow up to be weird semi-adults who let themselves get sucked into them. Or not. I think I may be an anomaly.

Thursday, February 15, 2007
An Easy Taste of the Southwest
Easy recipe, as promised. I call this "dump" cooking, where all you do is dump crap in and it ends of tasting good. My inspiration was from the cookinglight boards, as usual, but I changed it a bit. Feel free to tinker with amounts, it's very forgiving.

Chicken Santa Fe

2 cans of whole black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can mexican style corn (with green and red peppers), drained
1 jar of thick and chunky salsa
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts--seasoned w/ salt, pepper and whatever else you have around like chili powder or paprika or whatever
4-8 oz of cream cheese (the block kind)
cheddar cheese, shredded

tortillas or rice or whatever kind of starch you want

Dump the beans, corn and 1/2 of the salsa into a crock pot/slow cooker. Give it a stir. Lay the seasoned chicken over the veggies. Spoon the rest of the salsa on top of the chicken. Put the lid on the thing, and cook on high for 2.5-3 hours (no longer though, don't want it to dry out!).

Take out the chicken and cut it into bite size pieces (this is the most annoying step) and put them back into the pot. Add the cream cheese to taste (at least 4 oz, but more if you like a creamier texture). Put the lid on and continue to cook for another few minutes, until the cream cheese melts. Stir it up. *warning-it turns a kind of pink color. some kids (or dads) may find it weird and will turn it down*

Serve burrito or soft taco style with tortillas, or serve over rice. Garnish with loads of cheese.

Keeps very well in fridge or freezer for leftovers.


Monday, February 12, 2007
Once A Week Is Not Acceptable
But honestly, I have no life right now. I'm just not that interesting.

Someone in our neighborhood fenced in their front yard--a 6 ft. fence! It's so weird looking, very out of place. They've had a "No Pooping" sign for a while, so I guess they're just trying to keep the dogs out. Seems like overkill.

So, I promised this a while ago. But now you get two book reviews for the price of one. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal and You Suck: A Love Story are both by Christopher Moore. He's pretty funny. I think I'd like to have dinner with him because anyone who comes up with some of this stuff has got to be hilarious. I will say, he's got a penchant for women performing bizarre but domineering sex acts--usually with total doofuses.

First, You Suck. Apparently this is the second in the series. I didn't know, and actually found it kind of refreshing to come in in the middle of the story, learning about the background as you move along. I don't think you would be lost at all if you haven't read the first one (who's name escapes me and I'm feeling far to lazy to google). It's about vampires, which always makes for entertaining reading. Light, funny reading. It would be a good vacation book, or if you're stuck in bed.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, while still very funny and entertaining is also far more thought provoking. It now ranks among my favorite books ever. If you're familiar with the Bible or like me, have simply seen Dogma too many times, you know that the story of Jesus's life sort of skips from age 12 to age 30. This is a lighthearted take on what he was doing during that time. His sidekick, who's writing the memoir, Biff is HILARIOUS and helps Jesus by being sneaky and lying to keep them out of trouble. The two travel though Asia, learning about some of the other well-established religions and you see how Christianity could have developed. Sounds a little boring, I know, but Moore's writing style, and some of the escapades the two characters go through are so wildly entertaining, I almost didn't return the book to the library. It was that good :) I'll just put it this way...Judo could be spelled Jew-Do...imagine if you will, the Son Of God meets the Karate Kid. Good Stuff.

I've got an easy-peasy recipe to share, but maybe I'll wait a day or two so I can update more than once a week!

Monday, February 05, 2007
Scariest Movie I've Ever Seen
A few months ago, I had a conversation with a very close friend. She and I are both at the age where people start hounding you about when you're gonna start popping babies out and we were commiserating about the burden of children. I'm sure you know the conundrum: "I really like babies and kids. I really like the idea of being a mom. I really, really like my uncomplicated, untied-down life that I have. I don't know when I'll be ready to give that up."

Anyway, I commented that when we have kids, I'm thinking we'll only have one. Financially, it just makes so much more sense, especially because we expect to send the rugrat to college and I can't even imagine what tuitions will be like in 20 years. Can't even fathom it. She started laughing, because her sister had said something very similar. According to my friend and her husband, we are morally obligated to procreate as much as possible, because we are two well-educated (dare I say smart) people with good heads on our shoulders. We have to compensate for the Brittany Spears of the world....or worse yet, the families who have so many kids they run out of names to give them.

Which leads me to my movie review. We watched Idiocracy last night, a movie by Mike Judge, the guy to did Office Space (a household favorite) as well as King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead.

As the story goes, too many stupid, hicky people are reproducing and not enough smart people are. There's a funny scene that follows a well dressed couple through about 15 years or so where they keep making excuses for not wanting kids. In the same time period, a man, living in a mobile home and well lubed with beer, is able to produce like 150 kids (through various girlfriends and eventually his own kids start reproducing themselves.)

What this leads to, 500 years later, is a world that it SO stupid, they can't read, write or even remember their own names. Where major corporations buy government agencies....and sponsor the White House. I tell you, it's a world far more scary than anything Al Gore can come up with. And mostly because I see it happening.

The movies is pretty funny. Not hysterical, laugh out loud funny, but still giggle inducing. However, the whole time, I had this sick sense in the back of my head that this IS what the world will come to. The more we allow children to "feel" like they are achieving versus making them actually learn something, the stupider we become. The more we applaud families who have 6, 8 or 15 children (but can't really afford them) by putting them on TV and giving them new cars, the stupider we become. The less we teach young girls about their self-worth and birth control, the stupider we become.

Wow, got a little political there. Sorry. Still, see the movie because it's funny and does really make you think about what the future holds.

Friday, February 02, 2007
Where I Break My Blog Silence
Over the last couple of weeks, I keep having blogable moments. And then I either forget (darn narcotics) or realize that typing for any length of time is sort of a pain in the ass.

A short rundown of observations over the last almost 4 weeks where I've spent 85% of my time in bed! These are all boring and not funny. Properly warned ye be.

- Being a nurse must suck serious ass. My nurses were great but thank the lord the Hubs was there with me, because those poor nurses were being run all over the place. Totally overworked. I hope they at least enjoy their job. I mean, they must, or they'd quit. I would. I'm actually surprised the Hubs hasn't divorced me...he's not even getting paid for that kind of work.

- In related news, how come no one ever told me what a great show Scrubs is. And it's on at least 5 times a day! I'm now seeing repeats, I've watched so many!

- I'm never birthing children. The aftermath of any major medical procedure is the suckest shit ever. I can't imagine dealing with an infant as well as my own issues. I, of course, will change my mind once I forget my post surgical pain and digestive issues. And watch 300 more episodes of a Baby Story. And cry over most of them.

- Watching What Not To Wear has made me want to dress better. Let's forget the whole "I weigh 600 pounds" issue (I might be exaggerating a little...maybe). And the not having a job to pay for new clothes. Or, well, anywhere to go wearing nice clothes. Still, I want a cute jacket and a nice button up shirt. I have to admit, I've put on make up almost every time I've left the house, so that's my one small consolation.

- It's really nice to sit down while you take a shower. I think I might keep the shower bench even after I'm all healed up. It's like being in a spa or something. Get yourself one. And while you're at it, get a new shower head. One of those giant rain like ones. It's worth it.

I promise to be more attentive to the blogworld. I need to comment more and start posting again. Thank you for you patience!

Friday, January 05, 2007
Waiting, and waiting
I got the phone call this afternoon. "We'll see you at 5:15 am. Check in on the second floor. And eating or drinking after midnight."

I try really hard not to freak out. I'm not the overly dramatic type. But there are moments, often at 2 am, when I do start to worry. Where I think about all of those horrible things that happened on ER. Or those crazy stories you hear on slow newsdays where the anaesthesia doesn't work and the woman lays paralyzed on the table, feeling every cut.

Wait, did I say I'm not dramatic. Oops..well, I'm usually not. But occasionally I indulge, especially as I realize how close I am to the day.

But on the other hand, do I lean towards the dramatic because I feel I should. Like I should take advantage of the situation and gain some sympathy. Everyone expects me to be nervous and scared...why am I not? Honestly, I've been through this type of thing (though not quite to this extent and certainly not with this type of recovery) before. I know what to expect. I know I'm a good patient and a good healer. I know the next few months will go quickly. I really don't feel scared.

Except I do. A little bit of me is terrified. I'll walk the dog tomorrow and it could be the last time I can. I'll walk down the stairs to go outside and wonder if I'll be able to get back up them. And let's not think about the catheter. I'm trying really hard to forget that little piece of plastic that I'll soon be intimately connected too. Ick.

Over the next few months, I'll probably be spending a lot of time reviewing books and movies, because well, that's what will be filling my time. I've got a great one for you (so great it deserves it's own entry), but I'll share the title, just because how could it NOT be a great book with a title like this: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.

Oh, and another suggestion: the Mintnight (yes that's how it's spelled) Snack milkshake at Cold Stone. Like a cold, liquid thin mint. OMG, I could drink one everyday! Go get!

Friday, December 29, 2006
New Year's Meme
Happy Holidays everyone! We're finally back from a whirlwind family visiting adventure. I'm trying really, really, really hard NOT to think about my crazy, invasive, scary surgery that happens in 1.5 weeks. So instead, I found this meme from Ali & Sundry and I thought I'd give it a go. Feel free to do one yourself...or not...

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
We bought a house and moved to another that is far, far away from the family
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember if I made a resolution or not. If I did, I certainly didn't keep it. I did make a commitment to healthier living this fall, and I hope to continue with that in the next year
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No births, but lots of knocking up was going around (not me of course, but loads of friends)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
How lucky are we that we didn't experiance any death this year...
5. What countries did you visit?
We went to Canada and Ireland this year.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
More will-power. And a job that I don't have to work very hard at, and still get paid...HAHAHAHA
7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
It's funny, but nothing in particular stands out. I can't even remember when we bought the house...maybe the end of April?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I was really happy with the coaching I did over the summer. I felt very confident and successful.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I haven't been as good of a friend as I could have. I too easily blow off some good people for no good reason.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yeah, the whole back thing, although that started a few years ago, I've had most of the diagnosis this year. And hopefully some resolution in the coming months
11. What was the best thing you bought?
The house. I freaking love it here
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My surgeon for listening and looking for a long-term solution
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I was the subject of some bad sport's parents torment. They suck.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The big yellow house and the ridiculously expensive paint for the interior
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving and travelling. The Irleand trip was amazing and I spent 3 months in a tizzy over our recent DisneyWorld trip
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
London Bridge and SexyBack HAHAHA
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Right now I'm a bit sadder. At this time last year I was in Hawaii watching my best friend get married. This year I'm staring at 3 months in bed.
I'm about the same weightwise..but I did have slightly heavier points over the year.
For sure poorer...that house wasn't cheap!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cooking. Due to my work schedule last year, I wasn't able to cook as much as I'd like, and now that I don't work, I've just been lazy.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being lazy. Being anti-social.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We were at my family's house
21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I was already deeply in love with my husband, however, now that we have much more responsibility I love him even more for taking care of me!
22. How many one-night stands?
Unless you count Ben and Jerry's, none
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Hard choice, but I think either Heroes or House...maybe Lost or Project Runway..too many choices!
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
25. What was the best book you read?
Rabbit Factory, I think but I have a bad habbit of forgetting books when I finish them!
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Grand National. Their record came out a few years ago, but I only recently heard them--love it!
27. What did you want and get?
I wanted a house--got it. I wanted a new king size bed--got it.
28. What did you want and not get?
A job, sort of, but not really
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I really liked The Fountain and Cars
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I didn't really so anything special. I had to go to the hospital the next day. I made myself a birthday cake. I was 26
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning the lottery.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Trying not to look too much a like slobby housewife
33. What kept you sane?
The hubs and the pup
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
If by fancy, you mean respect, I would go with John Stewert or Stephen Colbert
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
How certain people want to chip away at women's rights without letting the country notice. The inability of the country to let people live their lives they way they choose.
36. Who did you miss?
My friends, esp. my best friend who I haven't seen in 6 months
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Our new neighbors. I love them!
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
Sometimes life is hard, but don't let yourself make it harder by admitting it. Suck it up. (if only I'd take that adivce myself
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I have no idea....Maybe:
"I wanna roll with the gangstas
But so far they all think I'm too
White and nerdy"
thanks Weird Al!