Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Bento Lady

Each week, Mrs. BigKat and I go out on a Date Night while my mom watches the kids. We normally go to this local Bento place. The food is simple, tasty, and inexpensive. Mrs. BigKat gets the pot sticker platter, I get the teriyaki beef or spicy pork (and every once in a while, the yakisoba), we get 2 orders of egg rolls, and 2 drinks (large for me, small for Mrs. BigKat). And the total is always $13.70. We've gotten to the point where the owner (who I call the Bento Lady) starts writing down our order right as we walk in the door.

A few weeks ago, instead of going to the Bento place like usual, we decided to go to the taco place down the street instead. It was a nice change of pace, so we went there again the following week. Well, when we went back to the Bento place, we wondered if the Bento lady had noticed that we had been gone.

Yeah...she noticed.

As we walked up to place our order, she started grilling us:

Bento Lady: So...haven't seen you guys in a while...
Us: Oh uh...yeah...we haven't been here for a couple of weeks.
Bento Lady: Oh...I see...I guess you haven't been able to get a babysitter then...
Us: Oh no, we have a baby sitter! We just...ummm...uh...can I get the terikayi beef?

Even her husband, Bento Guy acted different towards us. When he brought us our egg rolls, it wasn't "Here's your egg rolls! Enjoy!" or anything like that. Instead he just kind of flippantly tossed the plate onto our table without looking at us as he walked by. I told Mrs. BigKat "We cheated on the Bento Lady. I feel like Tiger Woods."

That was last week. This week, when we went to Date Night, the Bento Lady was still hassling me. I ordered the Hot and Spicy chicken. She looks at me and says "Are you sure you want that? Are you ok with spicy food?"

Wait a second...she's asking ME if I'm ok with spicy food? I was appalled! The guy who puts Frank's Red Hot on everything? The guy who only enjoys chili if it makes him sweat? Yes I'm OK with spicy food! I love spicy food! And to show her, I was going to eat all the spicy food on my plate in record time!

Only I didn't...

Now, normally, I eat all the food on my plate when we go out. The portions at the Bento place are a nice size for me. But it just so happened that I wasn't particularly hungry that day. I don't remember if I had a late snack or had a lot to drink before we left or what. But for some reason, I just wasn't that hungry. I only ate about half of my Hot and Spicy chicken.

Well, the Bento lady sees that I didn't finish my meal. She walks over to our table and says 'Oh! Was it too spicy for you? We can make it less spicy next time!'

GAAAAHHH!!! That sneaky Bento Lady! On the outside it appears like she's this sweet old lady who's concerned about one of her customer. But we both know that what she's really doing is calling me a spicy food wimp to my face! TO MY FACE!

After she left our table, she went into the back and told Bento guy what she said about me. They both laughed at me and high fived each other. Ok, maybe I made up that last part, but I wouldn't be surprised if it really happened.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Only the Warriors...

This happened in the Warriors/Blazers game last night. The Warriors ran out of guys and ended up having to put injured guys in the game so that they'd have enough players. Stefen Curry and Monta Ellis played all 48 minutes. So did 2 D-League guys. Chris Hunter (another D-League guy) started, but then got hurt early. So Devean George (remember him?) played the rest of the game.

The worst part about it is that the ended up winning! Now, instead of being tied for the 3rd worst record, they're tied for the 4th. This reduces their chances of winning the draft lottery by about 4% I think. They can't even lose properly!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not so green

Do you like Sun Chips? Well, PrincessKat does. She asked for a bag at the store the other day, so Mrs. BigKat bought it. However, this bag was a bit different from other bags we've purchased in the past. It was LOUD! Really LOUD! Like if-you-were-getting-some-chips-out-of-the-bag-you-couldn't-hear-the-person-next-to-you-talking loud.

One time I was trying to get some chips and LilKat2 scolded me because he said he couldn't hear the video game he was playing on the computer. Another time, Mrs. BigKat had to keep repeating what she was saying to me because I couldn't hear her over the bag crinkling (ok, maybe I was crinkling the bag on purpose to annoy her).

It turns out that there's a reason that the bag is so crinkly. It's a specially designed compostable bag. Instead of throwing away the bag, you're supposed to be able to put it in your composter. Wow! Seems so environmentally friendly!

Well, the funny part is that Mrs. BigKat couldn't stand the loud crinkling. So you no what she did? She took out the chips and put them in a big plastic ziploc bag. The company spends all this time and money designing a fancy schmancy compostable bag to reduce waste, and my wife gets rid of all that work with her non-compostable plastic bag. For some reason, I really got a kick out of this.

However, she is still planning on putting the Sun Chips bag in the composter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Child's Play

PrincessKat is now 3 years old. Know what that means? Time to get her started on BOARD GAMES!!!

Now, finding a good game for a 3 year old is not nearly as easy as for a 5 year old. But there are some good ones out there.

Let's start with her first game, Go Away Monster! Go Away Monster is an excellent first 'game'. The fact is, it's more of an activity than a game because there aren't any winners or losers. But there's taking turns, placing items on a board, some sharing, and some surprises. When PrincessKat first got this game, we must've played it 10 times that day (and the following morning too, if I remember correctly). Basically, you're taking turns pulling items out of a bag. The items are things you find in your bedroom, a bed, teddy bear, chair, and a picture. When you get one of these things, you place them onto your board in the appropriate spot. Every once in a while, instead of bedroom furniture, you pull out a monster. When you do, you say 'Go Away Monster!' and toss them into the box. That's it! That's the game! Sounds simple, right? Maybe even too simple? Well, it's actually perfect for 3 year olds who are learning to play games!

Another game that I found was Batik. This is one of a series made by Gigamic games. I really like the Gigamic games series. They all have very nice looking wooden components. Gameplay for the ones that I have played is super simple, yet interesting. I purchased Batik from another local gamer at a coffeeshop. PrincessKat was with me and we immediately started playing the game while enjoying our hot chocolate. She picked up on it right away! We probably played 6 or so games right there. Each person has a set of shapes. You drop the shapes into this vertical wall (kind of like Connect 4, but with only 1 large slot. If you drop a shape in, and any part of it is sticking out of the top, then you lose. That's it! Again, perfect for a 3 year old.

The last game I'm going to mention is Gulo Gulo. This is a highly regarded game on by boardgaming parents. However, I was never that big of a fan of it. I originally bought it for LilKat2. We played it a few times, but he never got that into it. PrincessKat, on the other hand, LOVES this game. And the funny thing is, she can beat me at this game, even if I'm trying my hardest. This is a GREAT feature to have in a kid's game. In Gulo Gulo, you move around the board by grabbing little colored eggs out of a bowl. There's also a weighted stick in the bowl. If you can get your egg out without knocking the stick over, you can move ahead. If the stick falls, then you have to move backwards. Simple enough. But grabbing those little eggs can be hard! Especially when you have big fat grownup fingers. 3 year olds, however, have little tiny ninja fingers, perfectly made for stealing colored eggs out of a small wooden bowl. And there's a nice built in catch-up mechanism, so that even if you fall behind, you're never really that far back. Again, another great thing to have in a kids game because it means that everyone is always in the game.

You want more? Ok I'll give you one more. Walter Wick: Can You See What I See is a game that is based on a series of books (kind of like 'I Spy' books). In the version that we play, you have a set of tiles. Each tile has a picture of an object, like a rubber duck or a thimble or a yo-yo. In the middle of the board is a set of larger tiles. Each of the larger tiles has a bunch of pictures on them (so one might have a tricycle, a yo-yo, a top, a spool, and a clothes pin). On your turn, you pick one of the tiles in front of you (say, a frog). Then you have to look at the bigger tiles in the middle. If any of those tiles has your picture (the frog) on it, you get to keep it. Each big tile you have at the end of the game counts as a point (some tiles have a special picture on them that make them worth 2 points). That's pretty much it. I thought LilKat2 would like this game because he likes his I Spy books so much. Well, it turns out that all 3 kids like this game quite a bit! And one nice thing was that I was able to pick this one up at Toys R Us (I usually have to go to online retailers to buy my games).

Anyhow, if you have a 3 year old and want to have some fun things to do together at home, these are some great choices for you.