How Valentine’s should be.

This evening many guys and gals are getting lucky because of this one special day. Many of us spent more money than we should’ve, thanks to the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. To be honest, the holiday is really a good and bad thing. This is coming from a dude, I know…mind blown, right?!

After some deep thinking for a few days on what I was going to get my wife. I stopped myself before I made a decision to go to the store. I realized that Valentine’s Day is really about appreciating those that we love deepest. Maybe it can be through flowers, cards and candy; but I think that doesn’t quite scratch the itch.

Valentine’s should be what the true meaning Christmas is. Appreciating what is great in life. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have a lover or companion in our life. This is a special time to let each other, I appreciate you being in life more than ever.

To be honest, I think we don’t stop to just truly LOVE AND APPRECIATE that man or woman in our lives.

So I came up with a better idea.

These are what I call Hot and Cold notes! The concept is super simple. Take two different color Post-It notes.

Make one color “sweet” and the other “sexy”.

For the “sweet” ones, I really took my time and thought about what makes my Louie, so wonderful. Some would be motivational, sweet and wholesome. While others would be about basic stuff, like about her smell, smile and what I thought was beautiful to me.

Now for the “sexy” notes, I got to have fun with them. Some of them would talk about the good things we did in bed, things that excited me and even new activities I’d like us to try. To make it work, I did avoid vulgarities. Let’s be honest, “I want to put my cock inside you.”, just doesn’t come off as romantic.

Instead, I would write “I miss feeling the heat from your mouth, as bodies move together!” Which sounds much sexier than the former.

For me, I did 91 Post-it notes. One for every month we’ve been together. Then for the “sweet” ones I placed them in “cool” areas in the house, like on fans or the refrigerator. The same is then done to the “sexy” ones, by placing them on the stove, a clothing iron or toaster.

To get creative, I used things like faucets to do BOTH on each knob or side.

Honestly, for me it took me a while to do. But was a very cheap way of reconnecting with what matters in your life.

Like the saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts!”

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Who we play as cuts deeper than we think!

Why is there such a deep connection with us and the characters we play as?

Every time we sit down and load up a title on our weekly play.  Many of us really don’t stop to realize.  Why are we fascinated with an Italian plumber in a red cap and suspenders or an over-muscled Greek demi-god.  Sure, it may go back to what we learned in high school English class about, “the hero’s journey” and how we all wished we could experience such feats.  In a way, that’s clear and present in our minds as we infiltrate an enemy base or raid a building for supplies.  We experience the journey first-hand, albeit in success and failure.  Yet there are underlying reasons as to why these avatars of our digital are so identifiable with us.  Like Spike Lee once said, “It must be the shoes!”  In reality, it isn’t just the badass war paint or double barrel shotgun.  Let’s take a look at some of the more memorable characters throughout our not-so daily grind.

Doomguy (Doom)

Credit – Id Software

This unfortunate Marine, is thrown into the bowels of hell right from the start, with only 10 unbloodied knuckles, a full magazine of ammo and one serious case of paranoia.  We all know where this goes; all of his war buddies draw their guns in the wrong direction (his).  This only leads to their last gasp and post-mortem gurgles.  By the first level’s end, he’s armed with a shotgun and chainsaw in hand –   From there, it’s all on us to do the rest.

GROOVY!

Doomguy is in a situation we’d never want to be in, where it’s everyone against us.  Yet it’s a first-hand account on how we’d survive it.  Laying down buckshot into a cacodemon’s face and watching tumble with on three percent health hits home with us.  Because it was at that moment, we’d that could been the end and it wasn’t.

All of us experience this at some time in our lives, where death comes close in the flesh and almost taps our shoulder.  Be it, by narrowing being hit in a pedestrian crosswalk while the light was clearly red or accidentally cutting your hand pretty bad while dicing onions.  That impeding sense of Doom that is right around each of life’s corners.

Sure, we’d continue to get that same adrenaline kick with each Team Deathmatch session or CoD/FPS game.  But the feeling you’d get, is irreplaceable to that of the dark and bloodied corridors of hell itself.

Mario

 

Credit – Nintendo

He’s our favorite red and blue plumber, whose on-call for all the wrong reasons.  (Seriously, have we ever seen him really fix a sink or toilet?)  Mario has more skill with eating mushroom and jumping to Shaun White distances.  With a smile that never drops and the nerves of diamond, he stomps Bowser and his crew every time.  (Provided we succeed!)   As a reward, he gets the girl and simple peck on the cheek, as gratitude.

 

Doing what Mario does and how we get him to the nice green and white flag, takes a lot resolve.  Avoiding the turtle shells, bullet bills, bomb-oms and flames pits can seem like an impossible task.  Eventually, we make it through and the success doesn’t seem any sweeter.

Mario is our perseverance, the will to adapt and overcome through the chaos and dangers very similar to us.  Some challenges are greater than others and vary to our own lifestyles.  Tight deadlines, balancing the household checkbook, being a good parent, taking extra classes; can seem like those same impossible feats.  Still, we move forward, try our best and make it work, even if we fully succeed or not.  In our later years, that perseverance pays off, with less or no debt, a home that is ours and the true reward for all of our hard labor.

Sheperd (Mass Effect 1-3)

Credit – Gamespot

Three epic chapters of space exploration weren’t enough for many of us.  The recent entry Mass Effect: Andromeda left deep yearns of space exploration and saving the universe from rapture.  Regardless of how well your experience was with that title, there was one big thing that wasn’t the same – Ryder.  As a replacement, to the neutral character of the original trilogy, Shepard became Ryder.  Both were open to be either a male or female option, with each having their own personalities depending on the choices you made.  Shepherd had options that could lead you into firefights, a resolution of a conflict or even convince someone to commit suicide.  Sadly, Andromeda’s Ryder was never given the same sort of ability of true conflict resolution.

Like the Star Trek multiverse, Mass Effect focused on the fragile relations of the intergalactic races of The Milky Way and beyond.  Many instances Commander Sheperd ends up being right in the middle of a bog of diplomacy.  Depending on how the Commander responded, the end result could be successful or disastrous.  Ultimately, it could always be finished with good firepower and biotics (space magic), though.

Sheperd is our free will, the choice is unique only to the player and leaves permanent results, much like you and I.  Our real lives have confrontations and disagreements where an outcome is dependent on what comes out of our mouths.  Very much like Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Natural Law, “for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.”  Our free will to speak holds the gravity of infinite possibilities of our own future.  (Pun intended)

Tommy Vercetti (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)

Known as the 80s anti-hero and narco druglord in the fictional metropolitan, Vice City.  Tommy was given the short end of the stick, even when he became a made-man in the Forelli crime family.  From the moment he stepped out of the taxi cab, Tommy was bound to end up as a chalk trace on the hot pavement.  Guided by his own actions and rage, Tommy took Vice City for himself, piece by piece.

Almost everyone that booted up Vice City, knows that you really didn’t play for the missions or story.  It was great excuse just drive around like crazy, solicit a prostitute then get a “return” of service, blow up the cops and beat down pedestrians.   Causing this sort of havoc is what really coined the term “sandbox” in gaming and we loved every minute of.  At least until our parents found out after hearing hours of police sirens coming from the bedroom.

Tommy is the underlying rage and frustration we have inside us.  Much like Fight Club’s Tyler Durden, no one wants to admit they have an animalistic urge to channel their aggression.  Grand Theft Auto was one of our first real punching bags to the stresses of teen adolescence, work and life as a whole.  Gaming is hobby and an escape for many of us, regardless if you want to believe it or not.  Perhaps we aren’t bound by our desires and impulses, like Mr Vercetti.  But we all know that you cannot keep it all bottled up inside.

Sometimes it’s just best to seek help…right Michael?

 

Recipe Share : Chris’ Hot Chicken Salad

With a post drought well in effect here on my blog.  I figured I’d share a pretty good recipe I came up with.  (Not like it’s an earth shattering recipe in cooking)  

As a parent whose got the opposite work schedule as my wife and daughter, it’s pretty hard to balance chores family time and responsibilities.  (Which is ultimately where my lack of time for here comes in.)

So most of my work at home is done in the kitchen.  (Usually, she doesn’t get home until 6ish, so dinner has to be done!)  This has been like this for about 8 months.

Since then, I’ve gone from making boxed Hamburger Helper meals and Stuffed Peppers to entries featured at your local mom and pop diners.  Honestly, I’m kind of shocked on how I’ve grown as a cook since then!  

Anyhoo, I’ll stop rambling and get down to what may be my own creation!  Or at least my own take on a nice bowl of chicken salad!

CHRIS’ HOT CHICKEN SALAD (Serves 4)

(FYI, yeah this is my first name…so yeah SPOILER!)

Ingredients

1 Green Pepper

1  Zuccini

1-2 Dozen Cherry Tomatoes 

1 Yellow Onion

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to generously coat 2 large skillets)

Dry Dill Weed (4 tsp)                          

Italian Seasoning (2 tsp)       

Poultry Seasoning (4 Tbl spoons)   

1.25 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

2 Tbl spoons Lemon Juice

4 tsp Kosher Salt

6 tsp Black Pepper

1/2 Bottle Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (or any ranch dressing)

1 box Stove Top stuffing (Chicken, Turkey or Savory Herb flavors)

4 Tbl spoons butter or margarine (for stuffing)


INSTRUCTIONS 

Dice all vegetables leaving them semi-thick, for the exception of the cherry tomatoes.  

Cut the chicken into quarters, lightly salt and pepper, generously coat with poultry seasoning.

Cook stuffing a medium sauce pan (Which can be done anytime really.) Just follow the directions on the box.

Begin heating two large skillets with Olive oil, making sure to coat the pans well.  Sprinkle in Italian Seasoning into the coated pans.  Heat them on medium heat to warm the oil.  

Add in chicken into one pan, then use the other for the veggies.

Cook chicken 2 mins on medium, turn and repeat until turned 5 times.  (Obviously until there is NO PINK)

Cook veggies until they soften, but DO NOT sautee and make them mushy. Lower heat for veggies and turn off heat for the chicken.  

ADD 2 tsp of black pepper and 2 Tbl spoons of lemon juice to VEGGIES.

Drizzle ranch dressing onto the vegetables the same way you would a normal salad.  

Plate the cooked ingredients veggies, chicken and a 3/4-1 cup of stuffing on top.

Rest assured, this is a delicious and health conscious dish even a 4yr old would like.  And here the proof!!

See!!!!

Anyways, hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!  

Be sure to LIKE, REBLOG, COMMENT AND SHARE if you did!!

Before I go, I’d like to thank you guys for all of the comments, follow, shares, etc throughout the year and a half I’ve been writing.  YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!

What happens in the Broforce stays in the Broforce!

After finishing Saints Row 4, I figured I’d try out the March PSN free game, Broforce!

I’d been hearing a lot of the communities ranting about how they wanted this to be a free title and well…they got their wish!

So, what do we have here?

Broforce-Screen-2

First, I went on this one flying blind, not know ANYTHING about this game.  Except that it was 8-bit and looked like a Contra knock-off.

I started out with a character that was taken as a direct homage to Rambo, that gets his own vignette of a roided Sly Stallone.  Progressing, I noticed that I unlocked another “bro” for my broforce, Brommando, which is another nod to Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie Commando.  COOL!

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This continued on as I made many attempts to kill or be killed on each side scrolling level. Which I encountered a LOT of dying in this game!

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This is what dying a lot in videogames feels like!!          (Cred – Gary Woosley)

Progression led me into getting more and more movie homage-themed “bros” to add to my ranks.  What I was loving so much about this was that, all of my team members were incorporated into my life count randomly.  For example, if I 2 lives, my “bro” would be picked for me randomly and I had to adapt the character’s playstyle getting through an area.  I loved the fact that it changed up how I had to think on attacking certain spots differently.  This blew my mind, for such a simple side-scroller concept.  Certain spots loaded with explosives, others with guard dogs, some with mines.  This requires you to take a minute to figure out what to do.  For the most part, THIS IS NOT A MINDLESS SIDESCROLLER, and can be a pain in the ass!

One last thing I’d like to mention, is that all of the “bro” members are nods to fans to almost all popular action movies.  But what makes it great is that it’s fan service right from the gate and the developers truly to show a love of games like Metal Slug, Contra, Dig Dug and Bomberman.

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Dead or alive, your’re coming with me!

THIS GAME IS THE RIGHT WAY TO DO SOME FAN SERVICE!!  Saints Row 4 seemed to be trying too hard to be a fanboy in how it made its references to comics, games, pro wrestling and movies.  It was TOO MUCH, whereas Broforce, does it JUST RIGHT!

I had a lot of fun with this one and found pretty easy to pick up and play, when I only had an hour or less of time to game!!

hasselhoff
Cred – The Hoff

HAVE FUN!!!!