Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why Am I Always The Last To Know?

Since I harbor the pipe dream of becoming a writer, I subscribe to a number of advice-giving emails from The Writer's Digest. I don't actually write anything, you know, like a novel or whatever, I just get emails that make me feel writer-esque. It's a lot like taking your laptop to Starbucks and surfing the web. Hopefully once I look like a writer and get emails like a writer, I will suddenly transmorgrify into a writer. It's all part of my master plan. But I digress.

One of the emails I get is called the "Guide to Literary Agents" and it gives advice and examples of query letters, as well as names of agents that are actively looking for authors. Doesn't it make you think of me as more authory knowing that I know these things? No? Oh. Anyway, in the email I got today there was a mention of a contest they were having. It's called the "Worst Storyline Ever" Contest. It's pretty self explanatory, but the contest is that you gve them a one-sentence synopsis of the worst storyline you can imagine. The prizes are pretty sweet, too. If you win you get to talk to the editor of the Guide to Literary Agents, Chuck Sambuchino, and get a personal lesson in making queries, including a critique of one of your own. Plus a copy of the 2009 Writer's Market and the 2009 Guide to Literary Agents.

The problem is the contest started 10 days ago, on the 18th, it ends in three days, and the email about it only came today. I know, I know; I should probably check the website everyday. Except I didn't know it was it's own website. Um, I thought it was just a more specific email sent out by Writer's Digest. I should probably learn up on some of this technical stuff before I actually start writing that Great American Novel. Anything to delay any serious, actual work! Well, I'm off to wrack my brains for some of my worst dreck. Shut up! I do not have an abundance of that!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's a Girl to Watch?

I think I am getting a girl-crush on Sarah Haskins from Her Target: Women pieces are brilliant as far as I'm concerned. I practically squeed like a fangirl when I saw there was a new one. Also, am I too old to use words like squee and fangirl? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Iron and Steel NYC to Shanksville


I have been looking for concentrated lemon juice for weeks now. I always like to have some on hand not only for cooking but for one of my favorite beverage concoctions, a Clam Digger (I prefer lemon juice instead of lime, and lots of it.)

After finding yet another empty shelf at the supermarket I came home and googled "lemon shortage." And, well, yep. We have one. Apparently it isn't just here, it is an international shortage. In 2007, there was a horrible growing season in the European crops, and freezing weather in California and Argentina destroyed what should have been the backup supply. Add in drought conditions in Spain and Australia and lemon lovers are really screwed. Once the lemons become a rare commodity, more of them go to the markets as fresh because they can sell them for more. Concentrating them for bottled juice isn't as lucrative, hence the empty shelves every time I go to get a bottle.

From what I've read, the juice will start to get back on the shelves mid-September, but the shortage problem won't be totally alleviated until mid-2009, when this years crop is harvested, juiced, and bottled.

Since the bottles are gone and the fresh lemons are kind of expensive to buy and juice enough for some of my recipes, I thought my lemon consumption would now be limited to the lemonade mix in my cabinet. However, a few months ago I came across a box of something called True Lime next to the Splenda in the sugar aisle. I like to put it in my water because after years of guzzling soda and ice tea (the diet kinds) I cannot handle flavorless beverages. I have not tried the lemon version, but I did add some of the lime to my Clam Digger this morning and it was okay. Not great, not revolutionary, but it will do in a pinch. So there's that at least.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Daily Crutch

I have gone many more days without posting than I would have liked. For that, I apologize for any faithful readers I may have. It has been a weird past few days.

I had thought I was feeling sick, or maybe even depressed. I had no energy to do anything or even care about anything. Then yesterday I was taking my son to the office supply mega-store to buy school supplies for the very first time (cue pride swelling music). About five minutes into the trip I felt pain in my sternum, and I didn't feel like I could catch my breath. I felt like I had to burp but when I did it made me nauseated. Honestly, I was worried I was having a heart attack, but I didn't want to panic too quickly. This had happened to me once before and it had turned out to be severe heartburn. I bailed out of shopping after only finding about four things, and went straight home. I took a Zantac with a massive glass of milk and I laid down on my bed with some coloring books and crayons so my kid could hang out with me until my husband came home. I did feel better after a while, although I do still have the remnants of the pain in my sternum. I thought about it and I figure it all comes down to soda. I love me some Diet Mountain Dew as my morning caffeinated beverage, but on occasion it can be hard to find. This summer especially so, although I tend to think my husband just doesn't look around enough. So I have been drinking a lot of iced coffee. Last week I was able to grab about three 12-packs and had been guzzling it like crazy since about Friday. I'm sure it was all that soda ripping my stomach lining apart that caused the pain, and I suspect it was the drop in amount of caffeine between coffee and DMD that cause my listlessness. So it was scary for me for a while, but at least that ended well.

Also in the "ending well" department, it's official: My doc has cleared me for Physical Therapy. I had no idea that I actually needed a prescription for that. He wrote out what he wanted them to do for me on a prescription pad. I thought that was kind of cool. I will be calling around tomorrow and will hopefully start next week. This will not mean the end of The Daily Crutch, though. I plan to have this be for all my general updates, because I have plenty of big changes I am planning.

The biggest change: I need to lose weight. Once I can walk again I don't intend to stop, and with my boy in school five days a week I am hoping to get a lot more of that in every day. In addition to the walking, I plan to go back to swimming laps three times a week and of course, that Wii Fit game won't be able to get rid of me. Last year I found a website called SparkPeople that is all about weight loss, and it helps a lot with accountability and goal-reaching. It has groups you can join for specific interests (I belong to groups for swimmers and Wii Fitters, of course) that give you a way to not feel alone in your goals, and can set group challenges that push you farther than you may have done on your own. I even made a walking buddy last summer. She lives nearby and we met up about two or three times a week before the pain in my foot became too much to take. Between this blog and SparkPeople I hope to see some success for a change. This is my page if anyone would like to join me.

I also need to organize myself if I am going to pull off getting the boy to school at the evil hour of 8 am, then go workout for hours and still have the house not be a total disaster and my family doomed to pizza nine meals a week. Any ideas?

Friday, August 15, 2008



Warner Brothers is pushing the release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to next year. It was slated to be released in November. When are they now releasing it? January? February? No. July. JULY! The studio says it has two reasons for the delay:

Our reasons for shifting 'Half-Blood Prince' to summer are twofold," Warner Bros. President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn said in a statement. "We know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent-pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film [released July 11, 2007], which is the second-highest-grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment.

The other reason is because the writer's strike:

Warner Bros. was still "feeling the repercussions of the writers' strike," which had affected scripts for other films, and changed "the competitive landscape for 2009.

The only thing that will make this any better -- and that would be only a tiny bit better -- would be if they still release the video game in November. **crosses fingers**

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Tropic Thunderous Review

I have just returned from seeing Tropic Thunder. I am so excited to be reviewing this movie for a variety of reasons. First of all, it will be the very first Related 2 Cayley movie review. This is taking some getting used to because I usually recap as well as review, and I have to be careful not to spoil the movie for anyone. Secondly, there has been a whole lotta advertising for this movie. And an almost equal amount of complaining as well.

I definitely had my mind set on looking for the controversial scenes and aspects of the movie. Earlier this year when the previews started coming out, it became quickly noted that Robert Downey, Jr. plays an African-American character. That, as you may recall, set off the first wave of criticism. Many were outraged that they would go through all the time and effort to make up this white actor, when they could have hired an actual black man. It was revealed that Downey was playing the role of an actor that was so into method acting, and so devoted to his role that he insisted on not only playing the role, but undergoing skin pigmentation procedures instead of relying on makeup. The actor-character is so devoted to his craft that he will not drop playing the character even after the scene is over. So, as it turns out, Hollywood was not forsaking it's African-American talent pool. Tropic Thunder was in fact making fun of Hollywood celebrities that go insanely "method" and can't see where boundaries lie, and the hubbub over this initial reaction died down.

Speaking of boundaries, the movie got into even more trouble for crossing a big one earlier this week when it was revealed that the movie features rampant use of an offensive word for the intellectually disabled. I personally hate the word myself. It is the word "retard" and I do agree that it needs to stop being used for so many reasons. From what I had heard it is "all over the movie" and that the movie is specifically making fun of the intellectually disabled. I was a bit shocked to hear this, and thought it might be an exaggeration by the typical reactionary types, but then the Special Olympics people issued a statement that they were calling for a boycott of the movie. That made me wonder if this movie was going to be over the top offensive and/or stupid; two ways a movie can go that are rarely mutually exclusive. My feelings about abandoning the showing until I had seen more reviews wavered during the week but in the end my curiosity prevailed.

To be frank, the movie most definitely is offensive. It does use the word "retard" often enough to be very noticeable. But thats not what makes the movie offensive. It offends everybody. One could say it offends the handicapped, rap artists, war veterans, those with gastrointestinal distress, Asians, children and substance abusers. It is not for the squeamish, sensitive or those prone to huffiness. If you tend to take umbrage at just about everything that can be remotely perceived as a slight? Avoid this movie. Stay away in droves. If you like action, tension, humor, slapstick and stuff getting blowed up, and can recognize irony when you see it, go right ahead and see this movie.

**This next paragraph might be considered a spoiler but I am really not trying to ruin it for anyone. If you want to see the movie but the issue of the recent controversy is bothering you, you may want to read on, as I don't give away too, too much.**
The background information on the "insulting" sections of the movie involve the actor, Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller). He is an aging action hero (with beautiful biceps I might add) that wanted to earn himself an Oscar by playing a serious role. In the hopes of achieving movie legend status like Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, he takes on the titular role in the movie Simple Jack, and yes, Simple Jack is intellectually disabled. And yes, Tugg Speedman does refer to the type of person he was portraying as the "R" word. Repeatedly. Like, a lot. He is having a conversation about the movie with Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.) and he says many insensitive things about the people with whom he studied to learn how to behave as if he was, to use their word, simple. But what was painfully obvious to me is that Tugg Speedman is a moron. He doesn't get it. He's using the word because he is insensitive, self-centered and, I will repeat for emphasis, a moron. If anyone should be offended by this movie it should be morons. They would never get a protest going, though. They would probably end up picketing a supermarket because they were showing "Tropicana". But I digress. Lazarus even baits him into saying more moronic things by saying just about every offensive word that is a synonym for the "R" word. But this isn't to make fun of anyone with a disability, it is specifically to humiliate Tugg. It even acts as a cautionary example in that people will realize that when you talk like that, other people will consider you a moron. Therefore, I cannot see what all the fuss is about. You don't leave this movie thinking, "You know what? I actually hate retards now. I think I'll go taunt one." If you even need to give it a second thought, you think, "Wow, the guy who said all that was quite moronic. I'm glad I don't think like him." There was one small detail that did make me uncomfortable. In a scene featuring a discussion about adoption, Speedman's agent says he would be lucky to get to choose his kid, as he was "stuck with" his kid, and he holds up a photo. It is a split second thing and it is hard to make out if the kid is sad and broody or if they are trying to say he is developmentally delayed. If it is the latter than the idea that his dad is stuck with him is far more disturbing than any word that is bandied about. If it is the former then they did a poor job of conveying the idea. Either way we see the agent and his son at the end of the movie and they appear to be reconciled, but again, it is so fast it is hard to tell.

Ultimately, although there is a huge influence from this Simple Jack movie on the plot line and on the character of Tugg Speedman, it is not the central theme of the movie, and you will not be assaulted left and right with the "R" word. You will however hear every other filthy, crude and disgusting word ever meant to offend in the history of offensive words. I'm not kidding, they swear a lot. If they ever show this on network it will be cut down to 22 minutes and sound like one long dial tone. And it's worth every cringe-inducing utterance.

The movie has some breathtaking cinematography, and spectacular stunts and explosions. This is one of those movies that needs to be seen in the theater. If you go, make sure you get there early, you don't want to miss anything, she emphasizes because she doesn't want to give away the very beginning of the movie which, once she realized was a gag she found hilarious. The press made a big deal about the realistic way Downey was made up, but I found the most fascinating special effect was the character played by Tom Cruise. It took me a while to recognize who he was. I figured it out through his voice and his nose, which were his only features left unaltered. I didn't even know Cruise was in this movie, with all the hype about it being a Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr. movie. In fact it also features Matthew McConaughey and Nick Nolte. There are also lots of those "Oh, I've seen him before, he was in that movie. That's whatsisname" actors like Jay Baruchel and Steve Coogan. The characters that these and so many other great actors portray are all very multifaceted for a comedy. They all reveal secrets and vulnerabilities, and by the end of the movie they are all in some way redeemed. Well, all except a dead guy and the guy that personifies Hollywood, which will always remain unredeemable.

I was given a survey before entering the theater and on it were such questions as when did I decide to see this movie, where did I hear about it and would I recommend it to a friend. The answer to the last one is yes. I won't say you shouldn't see it unless you have a sense of humor because comedy is subjective and you should be allowed to laugh at whichever type of humor you choose. There is nothing wrong with not finding some things funny. I am one of the apparently miniscule percent of the population who thought There's Something About Mary was incredibly stupid. However, Tropic Thunder does seem to require a sense of perspective. If you go in looking to be offended you will not be disappointed. If you go in looking for a lot of laughs, gross-out humor, action and surprises, you will have a blast. So, go. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I love "demotivation" posters. You know, the ones that parody the type of poster you might see in an office to motivate the employees to achieve greatness, or reach for the stars, or to be good at teamwork? I found a site where I could make my own, and this is my first attempt. Of course, it helps if you watch Lost...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

And Now One For The Ladies...

Thank heaven... for little boys,
For little boys get bigger every day...
Thank heaven for little boys,
They grow up in the most delightful way!

Wait a minute, I'm starting to gross myself out. That was completely inappropriate... OK, lets try it this way:

Matthew Lewis
is the actor who has been playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies. Who would have known that this cute kid:

Would grow up to be so babetastic!**

**It's ok to drool, he's 19 now. He's legal.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Last Comic Standing: Finale

Well, I partially got last week's wish: Tonights episode is only an hour and a half. Still, thats a lot of filler. The show opens with a spectacular major award show style "Last-Comic-Standing-And-By-The-Way- Did-We-Mention-We-Have-The-Olympics-Here-On-NBC?" production number that includes God's Pottery in the beginning, and at the end supposedly the rest of the top 12 comics. They are gestured towards but are never actually shown.

They had each comic do an Olympic moment type segment. They weren't entirely as bad as they sound. They weren't laugh out loud funny, but kind of cute. I wonder if they will show them during the Olympics?

Joel McHale from The Soup had one of my favorite segments tonight. He did a recap of the highlights of the season. It worked exactly like an actual episode of his show, which made it all the more hilarious. He featured a small montage of Iliza scantily clad in and around the Casa de Comedy. It was a little disturbing – ok, a lot disturbing – when they cut straight to her Dad, cheering for his daughter's ass louder than anybody. There was some more disturbing clips as we revisted Marcus dressed up like a beaten up Wonder Woman for the calendar shoot and Paul Foot getting turned on as he washed the LCS Short Bus. Then he played a montage of Esther Ku laughing. Wait, why was this a favorite segment of mine? It sounds so gross and annoying. Of course it's because McHale made it all funny.

My other favorite segment was with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. He was just as brutal and insulting as always. Even Triumph noticed Iliza's boobs grew as the show went on, so I now know I haven't been imagining it. He insulted the rest of them in turn, and was very funny, but I think he should have tried to get Jim Tavaré's name right. Triumph compared Tavaré to the Hunchback, compared Jeff to an America's Top Model (who sucks) and pointed out Marcus' future as a clerk at Virgin Records. My favorite line was when he asked Louis Ramey, "Did you say you eat and drink comedy? Eating and drinking comedy is how you turn it into crap."

There was some actual stand-up filler segments. Season 5 LCS winner Jon Reep did a set. He did a lot of his same subject matter (read: Hickory!) It was funny, as was the set by Jon Lovitz. He had some good political material. Speaking of which, they bizarrely had some short, humorous-ish statements by John McCain and Barack Obama. McCain pointed out that funny presidents get elected to two terms, and unfunny ones only serve one term. He then said he was the funniest candidate running, at which point you hear a voice off camera say, "Yeah, funny looking." Obama wanted us to know that if we didn't think he was funny, we obviously hadn't seen him bowl. I give both candidates a C-.

According to my satellite TV service's guide to the program, there was supposed to be appearances by Gilbert Gottfried and Penn and Teller. Either DirecTV lied, or they got left on the cutting room floor. The rest of the show was actual LCS elimination business, but don't worry, they kept that to a minimum and got back to the filler as soon as possible.

The comics get eliminated in this order:
Louis Ramey. That one hurt. And they axed him first. He was my favorite. He was original, brilliant and just so funny. I was really pulling for him to win. Even he looked shocked at the news. Sorry, Louis. You've made a fan in me and I look forward to seeing more from you.

Jim Tavaré. A one-two punch for me because I also liked Jim a lot. Kudos to NBC for putting through an intelligent and quirky act that doesn't look or sound like a "typical" comedian. The man played for the Queen, so it's not like he's languishing in obscurity without American recognition, but still: I think a lot of people wrote him off early on. I'm glad he made it to the finale. Jim, if you're out there, I consider myself also to be fan of yours, and as such a supporter, would you consider telling me why you were on crutches that second week? I am just concerned, you understand.

Jeff Dye. I must admit I found him unremarkable the first time I saw him. I mean that literally: I made no notes about his act. I was even a little sour that he got through when I thought there were much funnier comedians left behind. But the man grew on me, and and he did turn out to be much funnier than I originally gave him credit for. Congratulations, Jeff.

Marcus. Here is another guy I was totally blindsided by. The first time we met Marcus it was to tell us he was an ex pro-wrestler turned comic and he could do voices. I rolled my eyes and assumed we'd be seeing a macho poseur who could do Jim Ignatowski at parties and thought he had an act. Well, he was none of those things except the part where he had an act. He did not rely solely on the impersonations, he used them to accentuate his funny and original material. He also had many objective and informative points to make in the interviews. I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions, bro. You have a whole mess of talent. I look forward to see where you go in the business.

Which leaves our first female winner of LCS, Iliza Shlesinger. She battled some huge talents and a bit of chauvinism to beat comics with a lot more experience than she had. While at times I felt like she herself was doing her impression of Dane Cook, she did have excellent material and was a real hit with the crowd. I think she is a fine comedian and a bad ass chick to boot, considering the target she had painted on her back. It is nice to see a female win this competition for a change, but my heart isn't totally in this win. Again, I think she won it fair and square but I still wonder what would have happened if Jackie Kashian or Mary Mack had made it through. They were also strong acts. I really shouldn't rain on her parade, because I am really happy with the win. And Iliza, my mom is a huge fan of yours as well! Congratulations on the win, but more importantly, thank you for spanking Papa CJ.

So, that's the end of Season 6. NBC hasn't really come up with the perfect formula for this show. If there is a Programming Fairy (I'll have to ask Elimination Fairy about that) I would really like to see the best parts of all the seasons next year. I want two hour episodes definitely, but I would like fewer weeks of auditions. I know you show us people lining up supposedly overnight by the thousands to get their big break, but never have I seen a final 10 contestant saying, "I dunno, the guys at the office said I was pretty funny so I gave it a shot and I can't believe I made it this far!" You take professional comics, we get that. Those wacky off-the-streets auditionees that scare the scouts don't need to take up that much time. I like the idea of shipping in the "international" comics, and was happy to see so many make it through to the house. So you may keep that. You're welcome. And for the love of God, don't short change us on the head-to-head challenges. I guess there is some tension involved in having a three way competition, but the old formula of "I know I am funnier than..." where the person named most often gets to pick their challenger from the ones that said his/her name was golden. It made it personal. This season where one person chooses two people, whether they challenged them directly or not made people collateral damage. And make the head-to-head battles a regular thing. Doing just two episodes that way? That blew, NBC. Seriously, what a disappointment. Knocking out seven comics in two weeks is insane. You could have had at least two more weeks of head-to-heads and narrowed it down to the final four, and then had three "American Idol-esque" eliminations. I think that would have made a lot of us fans really happy. I'll be tuning in next season to see if you listened.

If you have read this article, I would love to hear what you thought of anything I discussed. Please feel free to comment. Thanks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Daily Crutch

Wow. I am really, truly dumb. I have been in this ridiculous Aircast now for about seven weeks and I finally just now realized how it works.

There are four little hoses that you can fill with air to support the leg, one for each side. Or so I thought. The front of the cast comes off so the hose on that goes obviously enough to the front inflatable tube. When you inflate the remaining three and look inside you see 3 gray tubes that line the back and sides. I thought each of these inflated separately. Here is my first major error: I kept thinking the back inflates under my foot, so when I felt pain in my heel I would pump it up. Nope. Why did I think that? I have no idea. I guess the padding the doc put in there has now compressed and it no longer feels cushy, whereas before it felt so soft I assumed it was air? Maybe. Anyway, sometimes after pumping up the back I would find that my leg was being pushed forward, and my toes were dragging on the ground. So I would take my little deflater pump and try to suck the air out of the side tubes, but no air would come out. The pump would even stay collapsed after I squeezed it, like it was attached to a vacuum, and yet I could see the air pockets were still inflated. I couldn't even fit my hand and arm in there, and yet it wouldn't deflate. Well, it turns out the gray inflatable area was one big U-shaped piece and was filled and unfilled with the back hose. Then, there were 2 little green air bags under the gray that I couldn't see. Those were the ones that went to the side tubes. They were already empty, so the deflater couldn't suck anything out of them no matter how much I tried. I needed to deflate through the back tube to deflate all the gray area.

I'm such a dope, and I'm sure none of that made sense. When Blogger lets me upload a photo again I will post pictures of the inside of my cast.

In the meantime I am still on hold. Ten weeks after my surgery I still have an incision that isn't quite healed. It does look much better, however, and everything inside feels fantastic. It can get tight and sometimes does something my doc told me was "wound contraction" which is disquieting. Up until last week I was ok with everything but now I am getting impatient. Sigh.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mii, Myself and Wii

It's been an exciting week for our now Wii addicted family. For one thing we found out that we all love the tennis game. Even my 4 year old plays better than us sometimes. He waves the controller around frantically for the most part, but it works for him. He's even beaten us more than a few times. And between my foot still not being right and the weather being alternately stupid hot and down-pouring lightening storms, seeing him jump around and get at least a little exercise has been great.

Also, my son and I went to GameStop and bought our first gamey type Wii games. Not games that smell, but the games with story lines and tasks, as opposed to those "regular" Wii sports games where it's all about the score. Does that make sense?

I got Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I already had it for PlayStation2, so I was already familiar with everything I needed to achieve and pretty much where to go. I had heard that the Wii graphics were nothing compared to the newer game systems, but I am used to the PS2. Both versions of this game looked pretty much the same on each system. The reason I bought a game I had already "mastered" was because in the Wii version you handle the controller like a wand. How cool is that? I'm hoping they come out with an attachment that makes it look and feel like a wand as well! When the next Harry Potter movie comes out in November, I'll get the Wii version of that game. But since I am impatient, I got this one to play with until then. Besides, there were some tasks on the PS2 version I never got the hang of, but Wii-wise were a snap, so maybe I can finally complete it all the way. That's right. I can justify anything.

My son got The Bee Movie game. This is definitely designed for younger players, but probably older than my boy (4). He likes to drive the little car around the hive but you have to unlock pretty much most of the games one by one. Which of course means I have to unlock the games one by one. This shouldn't be a tough job, seeing as how it is supposed to be for kids, right? Nuh-uh. There is almost no instruction on what they want from you. I am currently stuck on an early level where I think I am supposed to be flying through the rain and pollinating flowers as I try to find an apartment. There is this flow of air that zips me along, but always ends up "killing" me and making me start over again, so maybe I'm supposed to avoid it? But it is filled with all the little doohickeys that you want to collect, so maybe I'm supposed to go in it. Either way I get to a point where the air stream ends and I don't know what they want me to do next. That's when I get hit with rain, "collapse" and go back to the beginning. Usually when I get stuck on a game (I am terrible at figuring things out) I can go online and find a "walkthrough" guide or a forum where I can get the answer I need, but nobody out there has done any thing like that for this game. So I remain stuck, and my son just tools around the hive, occasionally being a taxi for a little variety. I can't even figure out how to get into the buildings that say they are an arcade or a delivery van mini-game. So I don't care for this game all that much.

The most exciting news of all is that we were able to buy a Wii Fit today. I have been thinking that after I finished physical therapy, since I have a Wii and all, that using a Wii Fit would be really useful for getting my strength back. Plus I think I'm on a gadget bender. Some women can't get enough shoes, I just want more expensive gizmos! I started looking around just to get an idea of how much they go for. Amazon had them for $170! A friend said she got one for about a hundred bucks. All my regular stores (Target, Walmart, Toys 'R Us) had them going for $89.99 but they were sold out with no idea of when they would have them back in. Even their on-line stores were sold out, with no one taking pre-orders. I was beginning to realize this was not an easy device to locate. I am not ready to do more than a quarter of the exercises, but I figured if we see one, we should grab it now anyway, and the exact scenario I envisioned happened today. My husband was in Target for something else and as he walked by a shelf, one lone Wii Fit box caught his eye. So he grabbed it. He's a good man. Just goofing around with it today, I love it. So does my son. There is a balance game called Ski Jump where he has to squat down as the guy goes down the jump, and when he gets to the end of the ramp he stands up straight to make the guy jump. If he doesn't stand up, my son realized that the guy will tumble off the end of the ramp and roll down the hill in a big snowball. He thinks that's the greatest thing ever. I liked how the Wii Fit fitness age assessor had me five years younger than my actual age but the Wii Sports fitness age assessor had me fourteen years older than I really am. Wii Fit totally knows how to flatter a gal better.