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!