Tuesday, February 20, 2007


So I go into the weekend of my thirtieth birthday blissfully unaware of the dangers in store. Upon reflection, I'm far too trusting which I find ironic considering my past stance on believing everyone had their own agenda.

Maybe I'm growing soft in my old age.

The week before, My Fair Lady was laid off by her law firm. Apparently this is common place among both law firms and manufacturing jobs because no one blinked an eye except her. To their credit, her co-workers immediately demanded her resume and started calling every contact in their respective roll-a-dexes to make sure she could pack her office things and take them straight to her next gig. My dad e-mailed me earlier in the week saying he was having a client get together in the bank that coming Saturday night and it'd be a great networking event for My Fair Lady to attend.

So we had a shindig Saturday night and all was right in the world.

Friday I spent the entire day going over documents for a contract at work. Growing up I'd always heard my dad (a banker by trade) complain about losing days of his life when large contracts were under negotiation and I completely understand that now. It actually made me feel like I have a real job now because up to this point I've never reviewed anything with this level of importance.

We all have to grow older sometime, but hell if I'm going to grow up.

Brother G called me at some point in the day and told me the wireless connection at his house in Cow Town was on the fritz and had been for the better part of that week. I love it when people call me for tech support long after the initial point of failure, then are surprised by my reluctance to move quickly in assisting them. He asked me to swing by Saturday morning and since My Fair Lady had a scheduled shopping appointment with her friend it seemed like as good a time as any.

All this time on Friday, meanwhile, My Fair Lady was at home supervising the installation of brand new carpet in Casa de Skim. When Yours Truly arrived home the installers were trying like mad to finish that night. The work was excellent but since we have a winding staircase with individual stairs each requiring new carpet they asked to come back in the morning and finish then. My Fair Lady and I worked out the time frame and figured she could wait for them while I went to get an oil change prior to trekking over to Cow Town.

Oh, and everything that was upstairs earlier in the week had been moved downstairs to our living room to make way for the new carpet. In short, we presently have about 15 feet of space in which we can actually move around on the first floor. But the carpet looks great, no doubt about that.

The sun rose on Saturday to find us still blissfully happy with our new carpet. Apparently, this is what makes people my age happy and I should just get used to it. I plan to put a stipulation in my will that states as follows:
"Should the subject of said will ever use the phrase, 'Why yes, shuffleboard sounds like a fine idea' then said subject will be subject to immediate termination with any and all extreme prejudice within the surrounding environment. Details related to subsequent funeral arrangements are covered in Section F. Paragraph 2.'"
After my car was detailed I headed over to Cow Town to find Brother G studying away. He apologized once again for not being able to make the planned dinner on Monday night celebrating my birthday on account of the four tests he would stare down that week. As such, he really needed to get on the internets something fierce, as did his roommates. He told me then how Charter had been out earlier in the week for roughly four hours but weren't able to bring their connection back up.

It took me all of five minutes to fix it and here's how:
Step 1. Unplug the small black power chord from both the router and the cable modem. Let both sit idle for two minutes.

Step 2. Plug the modem back in. Let sit idle for one minute.

Step 3. Plug the router back in. Let sit idle for one minute.

Step 4. Test your computer's internet connection. In the case of Brother G, his machine was running slow and took a full minute for Google to come up.
Forty-plus minutes in the car for this and Charter couldn't figure that out inside of four hours? Oy.

Since he had to hit the library for the rest of the day, Brother G and I headed out and hit Potbelly's for lunch. I hadn't been since My Fair Lady has a close encounter with some poorly cooked chicken salad there, but the combination of their meatball sub with one of their chocolate shakes was too good to pass up while I was off on my own. He then drove to the library while I returned to Big D to find My Fair Lady still out shopping. I made a beeline for the couch and took full advantage of my Saturday afternoon to powerlevel my characters in Final Fantasy XII.

A few hours later, My Fair Lady returned home with purchases in hand and said it was time to get ready for the party. We changed then headed out and pulled into the parking lot right around 7:30. Dad's decorating team must have worked overtime when he first hired them because the lobby of this branch is extremely nice. Stained wood floors, plenty of open offices and a roaring fireplace in a brick hearth make things very warm and equally inviting.

Of course it is. They want your money, and if you feel nice and comfortable then you're more apt to willingly fork it over.

Above the main floor is a conference room where the board of directors meets on a weekly basis. There is, of course, a full bar as well so the directors are well taken care of. This is also where my dad hosts as many bank and friend-related functions as he can. We walked up the steep stairs and towards the room. After we rounded the corner and saw the room itself, I had enough time to wonder why two of my friends and three of my co-workers were there before I heard it:


I looked above me and hanging in the doorway were red 30's strung up like garland. I quickly scanned the room and saw my co-workers, parents, softball team, and friends all toasting me and I couldn't help but realize just how shifty My Fair Lady and everyone else in my world is.

We made the rounds and shook many hands and as we did so I noticed the decor. It seemed that My Fair Lady had convinced my mother that since I was 30 it would be a good time to bring out all the old toys I used to play with and set them up for the world to see. If there's a personal hell that all of us envision, I was somehow managing to live it right then and there.
"Hey Mitch!," my boss from work shouted at me from across the room. "How about you give us a demonstration of how these things work?"
Personal Hell, live and in technicolor.

My parents had Mexican food catered in and it was fantastic. What made things even funnier was the famous queso dip was snatched up by everyone but Yours Truly. I had two whole chips the entire evening, but it was fine by me. There were plenty of fajitas available and that's what drew my focus as did my birthday cake. Fortunately there were not thirty candles on it for which my lungs were grateful. There were, however, plenty of cameras in attendance so expect pictures to start appearing across the internet at some point this week.

But probably the best part of the evening was when my old friend Haus Frau walked in. Of all the people I never expected to see there, she was right up at the top. She and I go back to our freshman year of college and were tight friends right from the start. That would be 12 years now, for the mathletes among the readership. Apparently My Fair Lady phoned her up to ask if she could come down for this and it happened to be on the one weekend in a series of months when she had nothing going on. As happy as I was that my friends and family (save for Brother G and Diva) were all present, my excitement ramped up to positive giddiness when she showed up.

After making the rounds and speaking with everyone at least thrice, I had to excuse myself to use the facilities downstairs. That's when I noticed how much cooler it was downstairs than up. So when I walked back to the party I kept a conscious mental note of the temperature difference, only to wonder how I never noticed we were partying in a blast furnace.

My mother was busy fanning herself and pounded on the thermostat alternatively screaming at and pleading with it to drop at least a degree. Preferably ten, but even a little would have helped, according to her. Personally, I didn't think it was that bad especially since I kept drinking water from the cold fridge behind the bar.

Around this point is when everyone decided to start breaking up, though not on account of the heat which dad swore to take care of first thing Tuesday morning. Everyone started migrating downstairs and out into the night towards parts unknown. My parents, My Fair Lady, and Yours Truly cleaned up then we also left the premises and returned home where we promptly crashed.

It falls now to thank all who came to the party so please bear with me. I've been asked before where I come up with the nicknames I use for everyone, but that would be telling. Suffice to say that if there is an actual name used below then don't take it personally. I just haven't come up with an appropriate handle for you yet. That doesn't mean I won't someday, it just means that day is not today. So thank you again to My Fair Lady and my parents, to Crayola and The Librarian, Fireball, Travelling Man, Haus Frau, Dutchess, Aggie Babe and Hollywood, El Jefe and Belle, Pam, D&G, The Cowboy, JT & Marilu, The Team, 20/20 and Leia.

Now I get to spend the next thirty years keeping one eye on My Shifty Lady at all times. Happy birthday to me, and here's to a long road ahead.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I've Gone Nintendo.... Again

For the record, I haven't owned a Nintendo console outside of a GameBoy Advance since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System waaaaaay back in the day. By "in the day" I mean before the interweb took over our lives like the nefarious octopus it is.

So it was a shocker to me when I started falling for the Wii at last year's E3. As noted previously, I was not a fan of the name nor am I one now especially when the code phrase "Revolution" was both cool and appropriate at the same time.

But I am no longer sitting on the sidelines scorning from afar, because I braved Target this past Sunday and now a Wii sits in my living room. So My Fair Lady and I have played Wii Sports repeatedly, and since she had a bad day on Monday she immediately came home and threw on Wii Boxing then proceeded to clobber three opponents as though she were Rocky in a pantsuit.

Once I threw the towel over her head and escorted her from the ring she sat down exhausted from her battles. Fortunately, her eyes weren't too swollen so no cutting was involved. I am thinking about getting her a mouthpiece especially if she spends any more time with Wii Sports this coming weekend.

But it appears that in the last two weeks I've somehow managed to explode my backlog beyond all comprehension and it's thanks to Nintendo. I picked up the DS Lite two weeks ago and have mostly been playing with it. On the docket for that I have Castlevania: Portait of Ruin, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Trauma Center, Brain Age, and Hotel Dusk: Room 251. That's all in the last week, by the way. Add to that anything else I get for the Wii and said backlog has shot through the roof. Now couple all that with yet more role playing games for my PS2, like Final Fantasy XII, which take hours upon hours to complete and I'm set for the year at least.

On the plus side, I've decided to retire my Xbox though it will still be available for the LEGO Star Wars saga. Since Microsoft has abandoned the console completely in favor of the 360 I may as well abandon it too. Heck, out of my stack of games for it I only play a small handful regularly and those are finally starting to appear on the backwards compatible list so when I upgrade to a 360 later this year I can continue to play those. Since this is the year when the "required Five" will be complete I can justify an upgrade.

So how does the "required Five" apply to the Wii since there aren't five must-own games out for it yet? Simple: I knew I'd get one eventually but My Fair Lady wanted one now. I think this is the great lesson of the current generation of gaming consoles - games have been far too complicated for far too long. Compare the Xbox controller to the motion sensor remote of the Wii and you'll realize there is no comparison to make.

One is for gamers, the other is for everyone else. Also, one is intuitive only to people who have played games for the past 20 years, whereas the other is intuitive to anyone who touches it. Now you tell me which one is more appealing to the mass market.

Nintendo will win this generation hands down if they somehow manage to keep the games flowing. Every developer in the world experienced a "holy crap!" moment when the Wii started selling like gangbusters and all of them are working on games for it. We can expect the market to be flooded with Wii games in roughly 18 months and from that point on there will be no comparison. Already the Wii is outselling the PS3 at a 4-to-1 ratio and that lead might even grow to 6-to-1 should the right games hit.

Imagine if LucasArts cranks out a Star Wars game where players can whip out a lightsaber and sword fight with dark Jedi. There isn't a person born since 1977 that wouldn't want to at least try it. The best part though is we know it's coming. It's too obvious a license to print money for everyone involved.

Hence, I've gone Nintendo again after all this time because the Big N finally got its mojo back in a big, big way.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Now Playing: Adv. of Brisco County, Jr.

This show brings up some pleasant memories from long ago. This aired back in 1993 while I was in high school, and it was on Friday nights before a little-watch sci-fi show called The X-Files. My sister and I watched this double-bill every week together and according to the Nielsen ratings it seemed, and felt, like we were the only two watching it. We kinda preferred it that way because while we were and remain close we didn't have a whole lot in common to talk about. I was a guy in high school and she was a girl in middle school. Simple human nature meant we'd have as much in common as an astronaut and OJ Simpson.

But we had Brisco County, Jr. each and every week and it was a fun time to be a Bruce Campbell fan.

At the time, I was new to the Cult of Bruce. I'd recently picked up Army of Darkness and heralded it for the genius that it was. That flick got me to go pick up the first Evil Dead which I quickly followed with the sequel. By this point I was hooked so when FOX announced they were doing a Western series starring him it seemed too good to be true. I have no idea how this managed to get a full 27 episode order from FOX because this is the kind of quirky and original show they tend to axe mid-way through the third episode.

It all starts when Brisco's father, legendary lawman Brisco County Sr. played briefly by R. Lee Ermy, is gunned down during a prison break by the evil John Bly (Billy Drago in full creepy mode) and his gang. So it falls to Brisco County, Jr., Harvard educated lawyer and professional bounty hunter, to track down the members of the Bly gang. He's aided by his horse Comet, who Brisco talks to more frequently than Wilbur did to Mr. Ed, and associate Socrates Poole nervously portrayed by Christian Clemson. Along the way he trades barbs and eventually becomes partners with the awesome Lord Bowler, brilliantly played by Julius Carry, and tempted by the luscious Dixie Cousins who caused me to fall head over heels in lust with actress Kelly Rutherford as she tries to out Mae West the infamous actress herself.

Oh, and since the story is set in 1893, there are constant references to "The Coming Thing" which is, essentially, the future. Brisco is an optimist by nature so he's always cheerful when greeted by something new that is an obvious forerunner to things we have today. Assisting him with these gadgets is Professor Wickwire, hilariously played by none other than the great John Astin. Wickwire is equally optimistic about the advances technology will make in the coming century and the combined glee both he and Brisco express over marvels is a lot of fun to watch.

Overall, the show remains entertaining after all this time, no doubt in part to the stellar casting of the main characters and the way the secondary characters are so hilariously fleshed out. I'm thinking about Pete Cutter in particular, with Aaron Viva a close second. Pete shows up in the first episode and recurrs throughout the season as a sort of constant nemesis for Brisco and he's always hilarious. Witness this brilliant exchange from the pilot once Brisco (masquerading as outlaw Kansas Wiley Stafford at the time) snatches Pete's gun away from him:
Scratchy: "Oh my God! He stole Pete's Piece!"

Pete: "You're... touching mah piece..."

Brisco: "It's alright, forget about it." He hands Pete back his piece.

Pete: "Forget about it? You mean... rip it from my memory like a picture from a book? Picture of a small boy, kinda shy, with big ears who only wanted to be liked. And the laughing faces of all his classmates, mocking him, just 'cause he forgot to wear his pants to school! Is that what you mean?"

Brisco: "Uh, you lost me Pete."

Scratchy: "You touched Pete's Piece. That's not something you wanna do."

Pete: "It's done. I'm calling you out, Kansas!"
I died laughing when I heard this exchange again recently and Pete's bizarre mindset just gets funnier as the season goes on. Not to mention his obsession with using painted rocks to derail his quarry is always good for a laugh.

As for Aaron Viva... well, the less said about him the better. While it's obvious who he's based on, he's played so perfectly that any hint on what to expect would ruin most of the fun. I spent most of the episode where he shows up holding my sides from laughing and it's the performance that sells it. He turns up again towards the end and is again painfully funny. I wish the series was renewed because it would have been so great seeing the further adventures of these people.

But the good news is the show doesn't truly end on a cliffhanger. Sure there are some unresolved issues, but the Bly gang is taken care of by episode 20 and no clear threat for the coming years has emerged by the final episode. Brisco and Bowler ride off into the sunset and I can accept that. But this is a great, fun show to check out and it is well worth your time.

I'm Actually Excited About Gaming Again

Everyone who the tag "gamer" applies to knows the feeling. The sense that no matter what you play you just do not care. Regardless of which console you switch to or whether you pull out the old stand-by's (break glass only in case of emergency) nothing seems to capture your imagination. The chances of this frequently happening are magnified ten-fold if you work for a video game site because you'll find yourself assaulted by one poor title after another and you have to play them.

For examples, no one in their right mind would voluntarily play through Eragon but I have, start to finish. Play enough of these back to back and you start to lose hope not only in your ability to go forward in your life, but in humanity as a whole.

But then you come across something that rekindles that imaginative spark which you thought had long since been snuffed out. In my case, one thing ignited it and the other threw a gallon of gasoline on it.

The first was cranking up Final Fantasy XII. I've been an addict of this series since the NES days but the last one I played all the way through was part nine. I managed to get about three quarters of the way through part ten before I grew so bored I physically couldn't go on. I skipped part eleven altogether since it's an MMO and those have no appeal to me. But I fired up FFXII and all of a sudden I was enraptured.

The story is far more appealing than the majority of the others in the series. Far too frequently, Japanese-based RPG's overthink their story line which doesn't add layers so much as bulk. Go back to Final Fantasy VII or VIII and see too shining examples of how a game can buckle under the weight of too much self-importance. The story for the new game cuts through all that by taking a very basic concept (two nations at war with each other, and people caught in the middle try to figure a way out) and building their characters around it instead of expanding the story so it changes with each new revelation. You never knew what was happening in some of the others because the endgame was never in sight, sometimes not even at the very end. Combine that with an excellent new combat system that keeps the battles in-game and very rarely is the immersion stripped away.

The second thing, and that which ignited my gaming passion into a full-fledged bonfire, was buying a DS Lite. Courtesy of a friend up in Manitoba, Canada, I received a black onyx DS Lite the other day and when I'm not playing FFXII I'm playing on Nintendo's genius handheld. Crayola Smoker lent me two Mario games I have no interest in and a Metroid-based game that I tried and failed to like even remotely. But he also lent me the brilliant Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and that clicked with both Yours Truly and My Fair Lady in such spectacular fashion that a blog post devoted to just that is forthcoming. I've also picked up Castlvania: Portrait of Ruin and falled in love with how it shows off the map on one screen while I play on the other. It's also cool how you have the option to draw your own family crest at the beginning courtesy of the stylis pad.

I also picked up Brain Age and Hotel Dusk: Room 251 today. To be clear, I haven't gone on an all-out buying spree for anything in the better part of two years. This is a strangely familiar sensation for me, but I'm so out of practice that it feels odd, not unlike going on vacation for two weeks then coming home and trying to drive to the store. You have to remind yourself, however briefly, what exactly you should be doing and how you should be doing it.

I'm frankly stunned that a handheld of all things could re-inspire me but it has. Of course, having My Fair Lady shout "OBJECTION!" over my shoulder while we played Phoenix Wright may have something to do with that. But for now, consider me stunned.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Of all the things I could have missed...

... in my post regarding My Fair Lady playing a Wii...

She read the column tonight and pointed out how I never said anything about her playing two games at once, one on the Wii and the other on the DS. I looked through the column and sat there dumbstruck that I'd completly breezed right past that.

It was, after all, the point of the column itself that My Fair Lady was willingly, gleefully in fact, playing two videos games on two separate systems at once as I sat there in utter shock. Yet it completely escaped my memory when I actually wrote the column.

I could be a smartass and say it actually didn't flow well with what I was saying and then I could look all snobby and highfalutin like some other writers and that a small digression took away from the larger narrative.

But then I'd be completely lying about it and I feel bad enough as it is. Obviously I'm completely losing my marbles as I approach the salad years and I should come to accept that. When I start reposting prior stories and claim them as new it is time to put me out to pasture, boys and girls.

At this rate, that should be about this time next year.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Now Playing: The Shield Season 4

One thing I learned while watching the lastest season of The Shield is not to watch another TV show at the same time and expect to get anything done in the interim. While watching this and The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. I soon realized I wasn't going to have time to do any blogging until they were finished but now that they are I'm switching over to movies for a while. Those are far easier to burn through in one sitting and review so the TV shows will have to wait for a bit.

This season of The Shield finds Vic Mackey and his crew scattered to the four winds after the falling out at the end of year three. Only Ronnie is still working with Mackey and they're focused on monitoring the body shop sting they set up last year. In the meantime, Aceveda moves onward and upward into his position of city councilman and new captain Monica Rowling (Glenn Close) takes charge of the Barn. Is she going to go after Mackey or will she let him do his thing? Those questions and more take center stage as Rowlings quickly institutes a seizure program where the cops can and will take all property bought with drug money and that includes homes, cars, stereos, etc. All proceeds will go to the city, the police, and back into the community.

Naturally, this doesn't sit well with the local kingpin Antone Mitchell (a frightening Anthony Anderson).

While the show doesn't find its footing until roughly episodes five or six, The Shield remains formidable television. Any show where Anthony Anderson comes off as the most evil and dominating badass that show has ever seen is doing something right. Mitchell is brutal, but he's a thinker. He's highly intelligent and determined to rule the streets one way or the other. I think why the show doesn't start off as fascinating as it quickly becomes is on account of Mitchell being relegated to the side lines for the first few episodes. You sense a threat from him, but nothing we haven't seen already until he performs an act that nets him two cops under his thumb. From that point forward, Mitchell is a force to be reckoned with and Anderson is terrific. Frankly, I never knew he had this level of gravitas in him and I hope for bigger and better things happen to him.

Close is equally strong as the hard headed Rowling who is determined to do the right thing come hell or high water. She knows going in that the situation in the Barn is sticky and that Mackey is a particular loose canon, but she believes what she's doing is for the good of the community first and foremost.

That's a far cry from Aceveda who's as politically and selfishly motivated as ever. Benito Martinez gets saddled with the most ridiculous storyline of the season, a rank previously held by the Julian character, as he is still badly coping with his rape from last year. The conclusion to it is good for two reasons: 1) It's satisfying to hear what happens finally to the rapist in question, 2) It finally brings closure to the dumbest subplot this side of Julian's "gay-not gay" saga from previous years.

I also liked how Rowling gets better results than Aceveda ever did because she's thinking like a cop all the time instead of a politician most of the time and a cop some of the time. By the end of the season, things are starting to return to where they were when the show started and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on how they handle it in season five. I'm hoping for bigger and better things when that season finally hits disc in a few months, but The Shield season four is a heck of a good ride if you can get past the bumps in the first four episodes.

Also, The Shield can be gut-bustingly hilarious at times, none moreso than this season, and the writers need to bring the funny more frequently.

Friend's B-Day Induces Shock. Film at 11!

This past Saturday saw a funny thing happen on the way to the asylum. My Fair Lady and I went over to Crayola Smoker's house to celebrate his 30th. Already there were Fireball and The Librarian so it was a full house of fun, especially when Crayola whipped out his Wii and told us to have at it.

No matter how many times I write a variation on "ha ha, I said Wii!" it will never get old. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Nintendo.

This was the first time My Fair Lady had actually touched a Wii and up to this point she'd been drooling over the chance to have one in the house. I'd only played the demos at E3 which did not include anything involving Mii's or Wii Sports so my prior involvment was somewhat limited. The first thing Crayola told me to check out was his collection of Mii's.

"Dude, you'll love just how creative some of them are," he slyly hinted.

I picked up the Wii-mote and started cycling through the various Mii's and I had to hand it to Nintendo. The Mii creation all by itself is an ingenius mini-game that stretches players' imaginations. Crayola had Admiral Ackbar and Vitto Corleone among his posse and how he managed to nail them with such accuracy is a testament to just how awesome the tools are.

I went through the process of crafting mine and naturally took in the opinions of all involved.
"What do you think?" I asked when I was semi-finished.

"Not bad, but lower basically everything," said Crayola. "One thing I think Nintendo did was set everything too high by default. You lower all the features right from the start and your Mii will look a lot better."
Upon reflection, the man had a point. I motioned enough with my hand to droop my Mii's face a bit and settled my features. When everyone was satisfied with how my Mii appeared it was time for My Fair Lady to take a spin.

She took the Wii-mote from me and looked at the TV with a "what now?" expression on her face. It wasn't that she was mystified by it, per se, but I could see the wheels turning as she worked to comprehend how something so small with so few buttons could perform just like the Xbox controller she'd used with me on the LEGO Star Wars series. She started waving it around towards the TV and just stared for a second.
"Where's the, you know, the thingie?" she asked. "Oh wait! Is that hand thing me? You know, the one that keeps moving around?"
She figured out which hand was hers on screen when she clicked on the A button and selected the option to craft a Mii. There were four of us playing so three hand icons were transparent on screen at the time My Fair Lady was moving about. She went through the Mii creation process and managed to capture her likeness quite well. As soon as her Mii was finished it was thrown out into the Mii-pasture and she laughed as it stood up and walked around.

Then we were ready for some Wii Sports, the game all Wii's ship with and Nintendo's reigning shining star.

We went through various training stages on Wii Tennis, Wii Bowling, and Wii Golf though regrettably we did not get to the Wii Boxing. Through it all, My Fair Lady steadily improved her Wii-skillz by twirling the Wii-mote through the air.
"Look! I'm getting better! Really I am... ow!"
About then is when she bumped her hand on the sofa in front of her in the middle of a roll during Wii Bowling. That's the caveat about Wii Sports, my friends:

Stand where there is nothing around you and you will lessen the odds of random furniture destruction.

Then Crayola piped in with a suggestion:
"Hey guys, anyone up for Warioware?"
Now, the Warioware games are an odd duck to say the least. Imagine the loudest and most obnoxious anime Japan could possibly conjure then filtered through the prism of 1970's style Saturday morning cartoons drawn by people clearly on ecstasy and you'll be in a good starting point. Warioware refers to the Wii-mote as a "Form Baton" and then instructs you to stand in various poses while it hurls one 10 second mini-game after another at you. For extra points, you play with a group of friends and treat the Wii-mote as a hot potato by tossing it back and forth for each mini-game.

If done right, chaos and laughter will ensue.

The resulting insanity was hilarious. My Fair Lady, Fireball, The Librarian, and Yours Truly tossed the Wii-mote back and forth and between us managed to strike enough silly poses that it makes me happy a YouTube employee wasn't there. Since it was a long week followed by a long day, My Fair Lady and Yours Truly had to leave shortly thereafter. We made it home about 20 minutes later and fell asleep roughly 20 seconds after that. But one thing was perfectly clear:

My Fair Lady wants a Wii, and she wants one right now come hell or high water. To date, I've never seen her express interest in anything video game related outside of the Frogger remakes and the LEGO Star Wars series. But this... this is just something else. It's lust, pure and simple.

Basically I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone whenever the Wii comes up in conversation now because nine times out of 10 she's the one starting the conversation and doing most of the talking.