Monday, November 24, 2008

Wii are (not yet) the champions

A dude in cool 70s threads and sporting a giant afro walks along a dark city street. He is singing disco to himself. He happens upon a throng of orphaned kittens. He summons them. They follow him. They fall into a synchronized disco dance routine, and they follow him into a discotheque. Now the kittens are apparently in mortal danger. If I don't succeed at certain challenges, like balancing a broom on my virtual hand, or helping a marionette deflect watermelons, or sawing a barrel half, THEY WILL DIE.
This was the apparent premise of a game I played when I played Wii for the first time. See, I'm not much of a video gamer. My parents refused (rightfully, I now realize) to buy Nintendo, Sega, Atari, X Box or anything more sophisticated than Legos when I was growing up. So now I tend to regard video games either like a cat (where I stare at certain objects and get all riled up when they move around) or an aboriginal bushchild (where I gaze, bewildered, at things I've never seen before and sometimes resist the urge to poke them). Lovely Amanda was kind enough to hand over her Wii control, knowing full well that with my lack of gaming knowledge, I might either eat it or bat it under the couch. Lucky for many of us, I did neither. I also didn't save those poor kittens; every time I dropped an apple from the elephant's nose, identified the wrong missing doll head or failed to direct a guy in a speedo into the correct bathing house, a kitten disappeared.....until their were none.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Premium Roast

In honor of a longtime friend who decided to have an unconventional birthday celebration, I attended a roast. Pal Ernie got his friend and theatre owner Alex to act as roastmaster at a night of improv dedicated to making fun of Ernie. The performers took jabs at Ernie's weight, penchant for wearing skirts, seedy interest in Thailand and trademark line delivery (curiously, nobody mentioned Ernie's love of manicures). That was just the first act- the second was a surprise (to me, at least) burlesque show starring several uninhibited lovelies whose acts included themes like superheroes, suicide, Star Trek and jumping rope (hint: OW).
Angela, Ernie and me, post-show (I have a snap of Ernie with the ladies but, uh, this is a family blog...)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I haz a ball!

The year I was 10, my sister and I asked for hamsters for Christmas on a whim. We figured it couldn't hurt. We already had a dog and a bunch of lizard-type slimy things (though those mainly infested my brother's room), so we wouldn't have been too hurt if it didn't happen. But as it was, Santa smiled and we woke up Christmas morning to a blonde and an auburn hamster, to be named Snowball and Taffy (who was eaten by said dog a few months later and replaced with longhaired Wicket). We loved those ridiculous little balls of fluff, and often received hamster accoutrement for birthdays. We had leashes, wheels, fancy water bottles, tubes, the works. But the one thing we were never allowed to give our beloved rodents was the Hamster Ball. I could never be sure why, and when I played with a hamster ball filled with a friend's gerbil, I couldn't see that he was having anything other than the time of his life. Plus, for his owners, it's a chance to let the little bugger run free in an apartment without worrying he might get lost, squashed, eaten, forgotten, scooped up by a dustpan or fly out the window.
Note to owner: What's the dood's name? I forgot. k thx bai.