Sunday, January 25, 2009

I did not make a New Year's Resolution to lose weight this year. In fact, I didn't make any resolutions, because I'm so damn near perfect it already scares me. One fulfilled resolution might push me right over the edge, and then where would I be? Nobody's perfect, so if I were to become perfect, I'd have to cease to exist. Trust me, it's better this way.

Anyhoo, I've decided not to try to lose weight, because the cosmic cards are stacked against me. How do I know? Glad you asked. While I was out doing a little pre-New Year's shopping, I was hit by a double whammy of cosmic no-dieting energy.

How do I know it was a cosmic hint? Because it was two, two, two hints in one! Where else can you get a two for one without even trying? I was on a roll. Actually, a tortilla.

So there I was, trying to be a good girl by picking up a little drive-thru lunch before hitting the grocery store. Oh yeah. I've done the grocery shopping while hungry thing, and it was bu-ugly. Bags full of groceries, and still nothing for dinner.

On a whim, I decided to make a run for the border, not something I usually do. As a rule, the only tacos I like to get from a window are Ganzo's tacos at the Big Muscatine County Fair. Any other quick-style Mexican food brings back college age memories of closing down bars, or only having two dollars to my name.

Little did I know that Taco Whichever, had a New! Lite! Menu! I figured that many exclamations points couldn't be bad, so I ordered Lite! Chicken! Something! with an ice tea. No exclamation, but I don't really expect any excitement from my tea.

Fast forward thru the payment and pulling back out into traffic. Low and Behold, what do I find in my bag? Not a New! Lite! Chicken Whatever! That, I figured was cosmic sign number one (or numero uno, as it may be). I briefly weighed the option of going back to Taco Whichever and demanding a refund, but figured, hey, if they couldn't get it right the first time, what's the chance of them getting it right the second time? Besides, whatever was in the bag smelled much better than a New! Lite! Anything!

HELLOOOOO. Cosmic lightening bolt number 2 (numero dos): Did you know they make tacos with both a soft and hard shell?! I have got to get out more. I don't know who had this heavenly brain storm, but they are a freakin' genius! It's like a french fry that is both crispy and smushy -- and warm -- all at the same time. Think McDonald's fries fresh out of the fryer. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Add to that crunchy and smushy some spicy hamburger-like substance and a little grease and WHOO HOO -- a wrapper full of paradise. Waaaay better than any skinny ass, dry chicken and anemic looking tomato pico de gayo. Obviously a sign from above that I was not meant to eat dull, bland food.

I just feel sorry for whatever poor sap was expecting to get a couple of crunch wrap taste sensations, but ended up with New! No Flavor! Chicken Whatever! I sure hope they went back and complained. Or shot up the place.

Now that I have experienced Crunch Wrap Nirvana, I could understand New! Lite! Chicken Violence!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I've been reading that researchers in Scotland have discovered that romantic comedies -- particularly movies -- are not realistic representations of life.

No shit. And just in case anyone's handing out research grants, I call dibs on finding out that cartoons aren't real, "processed cheese products" aren't real, and political campaign promises aren't really going to be kept.

In fairness, I guess their conclusion was more along the lines of watching romantic comedies gives people unreasonable expectations about married life and/or couplehood. They suggested that people needed more factual guides about how to get along, how to compromise, how to hang in there for the long haul.

I would suggest that we have those. They are called documentaries. And no one watches them.

Romantic comedies -- movies and tv in general -- are watched for an escape from reality, not for guidance. You don't watch "Roseanne" to find out how to treat your children. You don't watch "Halloween" or other horror movies to find out how to escape from a deranged killer. Although you could pick up plenty of pointers on what not to do: don't wear high heels, don't try to run backwards, don't walk down the dark hallway by yourself when there is creepy music playing.

It's all just a little too much like saying violent movies and games cause kids to behave violently. I watched countless episodes of Roadrunner and have never felt the need to drop an anvil on anyone's head. Well, maybe once or twice, but I've never actually done it.

I don't think it's the violent games or movies themselves, I think it's a lack of context. Let's side with the Scottish researchers on this one, and make the games a little more like real life.

For every character you kill, you have to go to trial. All hunting, fighting, street roding, etc. stops while you lawyer up. Navigating the legal system could be a whole new gaming experience! I suppose you could take it a step further and include being tracked down by police investigators, hiding out, laying low, blah blah.

Now, let's say you're found guilty. The game changes to surviving prison. You have to serve your virtual sentence before you can get back to the blasting. Or, if you get off as innocent, you have to avoid being chased by the family and friends of the character you off-ed, and try to re-establish your life as a productive member of society.

But! What if you were the one who was shot by the space alien? Now you enter the virtual hospital, and play a second character working at a minimum wage job in order to pay the bills. If you recover, your character may have physical limitations, or may have to stop play every once and a while for check ups.

And if you don't recover? Well, sorry Charlie, your game would self-destruct and you would be out the $40 or whatever it cost you.

Oh yes. I can see this idea is going to be a big hit. Don't worry. I won't forget you all when I become a big-wig at Sega or Wii or PlayStation. Maybe I'll even create a game about blogging your way to stardom.

Or not.