Friday, June 19, 2009

click your heals Dorothy... or click a button...

The real world is not so easy my darling.

Two thoughts about video games.

1. Cooking games. Do not let your children play these games.  Claire loves cooking games.  She loves making/creating elaborate meals and desserts.  She often calls me over to view what she has created.  I am often impressed by her "cooking" skills, and i've even wished i could eat the creation right off of the screen it looked so yummy!  Recently I have been trying to teach her how to cook.  I've been letting her peel.  I've been letting her cut. I've been letting her measure.  I've been letting her do anything that i think a 9 year old can handle.  I am learning very quickly that she is losing interest in learning how to cook.  

You see, cooking (real cooking) takes time.  You can not wash, peel, cut up, dice, smash, season, marinate, etc. the food in the span of 30 seconds like you can on a cooking game.  You can not turn on the stove/oven/grill and it be ready to boil/bake within an instance.  Some meals can take hours to prepare.  Sure you can cut corners and purchase things already ready, but that is not what i am teaching her.  Real cooking means real work in the kitchen.

Today we prepared a BOX meal. Rice and vermicelli. You put in some butter, wait for it to melt a bit, and then you pour in the rice mixture.  You stir it around a bit and wait for it to turn brown. This is where i lost her.  She got bored with stirring it and said, "i'll be right back." and the next thing i know Michael is standing next to me cooking her meal.  I was preparing my Thai food left-overs and making more asian noodles to really care at that moment.  But darn it! I do care. I refuse to let her grow up never learning to cook.  It is frustrating these video games they play. What happened to Pacman?  Most of these games make the real world seem easy.  It creates a false illusion of how things really are in the world.  Yet they mass produce them and sell them as something to simulate reality.  Sorry to tell you kids, life is not as easy as clicking a button!

2. I have become a "game" player.  Well, not really. They have these silly little games on Facebook where you grow a farm or take care of a pet.  Today i noticed something that had been there all along, but never caught my attention.  "Go Home" It's just that simple. If you are lost, if you are somewhere you do not want to be, or even if you are some where you want to be but you just want to go home... click a button!  It's the same in the Wizard of Oz. "just click your heals Dorothy..." 

Um, yes... excuse me, i'd like to go home now! Can i click my heals? No, that won't work. Can i click a button? No, i'm pretty sure i'd still be here. It will take planning and packing and saving... and more planning and more packing and more saving of money and ah!! Yes, returning back home will not happen for quite some time.  But wouldn't it be nice if you could just click a button or a pair of ugly red shoes and return from where you came from?

Today i actually packed up things i had already unpacked. Yes, it sounds strange. We have no where to put anything. So i had a pile of picture frames in one corner... another pile had photo albums... another pile had random cards and pictures that were hanging on a pin wall.  I keep unpacking and making piles only to realize i have no where to put things yet.  Michael keeps saying, "don't get comfortable here... we won't be staying."  i do not even bother with putting holes in the walls since we'll only need to fix them all later.  So today i looked around at all of my loose piles of nick-nack's and what's-its and i made the choice to stop looking at the mess and just pack it all back up again.  

This made me both a little happy and a little sad.

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