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Saturday, November 29, 2014

From the land of quarters

It never ceases to amaze me how perspective can change everything.
A few days ago, I was playing Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe video game with my teenage son. Full disclosure—every once in a while I like to play this game and keep the fictitious land of Metropolis safe.  (this time around, I picked the DC side) Also, it’s a healthy way to take out aggression and let loose pummeling the imaginary opponents. However, I can totally see how these fighting games can lead to aggravation. Unfortunately, a person can lose sight to why he/she was playing these games in the first place.
I was midst in the final boss fight. As my character of Superman was defeated yet again by Dark Khan, I let out an amused chortle. My son, who takes his video games very seriously, asked me how I can laugh when I lose.
I immediately answered because back in my time, we didn't have the luxury of being able to save our video games progress on a console. We had to keep feeding a video game machine quarters to be able to beat the level.  I can remember spending a roll of quarters on the video game Sinistar as I tried to beat the evil pixelated, floating skull. I would get chills when the title character’s ominous taunts and growls filled the speakers.
Now, with these home game systems, it’s a treat to be able to walk away or put the game up until another day.  My son, however, has only been exposed to the game consoles most of his life, so he takes for granted their saving mechanisms.

Hopefully with this brief history lesson, my son will not take his video games losses too much to heart. Otherwise, I can always take him to the arcade and let him experience firsthand how these video games don’t have any memory without a pocket full of tokens. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Red herring, not so much

A few weeks ago, I finished We Were the Mulvaneys and I really didn't want to see it end.  As I drew near the last pages, I purposefully slowed down my reading of the printed words. I wanted to savor the last morsels before turning the very last page.
There was a Lifetime movie made of Ms Oates' work, However, I'm upset that the movie version of the mother Corinne doesn't have flaming red long hair.
I'm not the only reader to question the casting of a main character. The fans of Fifty Shades of Grey were so vocal in their discontent of the announcement of Charlie Hunnam was going to portray the lead character Mr Grey, they started a petition to recast the role.  
Why do readers become so enraged when a character from a book doesn't make the seamless transition to screen? Why should it matter so much? For me, when I thoroughly enjoy a book, the characters take on a life of their own. The personifications on screen should feel authentic.
I remember a classmate in high school saying when she read a book, she would make a movie in her mind. What made this method so unique is she wasn't just a casting agent to actors who were alive. If she decided that a character's description resembled Cary Grant, then by Jove, he was cast in the theater of her mind.
That was a very clever method, especially when characters are described with minimal visual cues. However, with We Were the Mulvaneys, Corinne's hair was described to great length. I could picture her in my mind with her youthful, frizzy flame red hair and watched it become striped with gray streaks.  Ms Oates spoke of her hair as if it was a character on its own. (Only Marianne's mane was spoken about in as much detail and this was to show her dramatic transformation.) I guess that's why I was surprised to see that Blythe Danner was cast with her shorter, smooth blonde hair.
However, I'm a bit curious to see the movie.After all, it would be a way of prolonging the story. I've added the Lifetime movie to my Netflix DVD queue. When it arrives, I'll see if I can watch the movie on its own merit, or spend my time ruthlessly comparing it to the book. Either way, it should be a fun time!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

No ghost pepper of a chance

A few days ago, as I was walking through a pharmacy, I became keenly aware of the section named digestive health. I stopped and stood in front of the rows and rows of the different forms of antacids. From liquid to capsules to fast acting tablets, I found it amazing that there is a whole section dedicated to easing sore stomachs.  I remembered a commercial for an antacid that showed food, such as pizza and chicken wings, beating up people trying to eat. After seeing this commercial and these products, it started making me wonder: when did it become acceptable that it was painful to feed ourselves?

For the most part, I avoid spicy foods. If a menu item has a flame symbol next to the entree, it's a sure bet they won't make any sale from me. However, every once in a while, my curiosity is piqued and I take a small sample of the latest hot flavor. Unfortunately, the results are usually not in my favor. For instance, when I tried a small habanero chip, I truly believed my mouth was cut open from the searing pepper.

Since I can't enjoy spicy foods, I have noticed I am surrounded by people that indulge in fiery foods. I knew a sales woman who would put so much black pepper on her fettuccine linguine that it looked like black licorice on her plate and fork. I wondered how many pepper shakers she must have went through just to enjoy lunch! I watch in fascination as my husband and bonus son eat hot, spicy foods, sweat pouring down their flushed faces. Yet, they are enjoying their cuisine and rave about the flavor. Evidently, the more pain they experience, the better.

Now, my newest fiery seasoning I'm wondering about is sriracha sauce. I'm sure I can find a willing volunteer to give me a blistering review.