Friday, March 26, 2010

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

Tonight as I was entertaining my kids with lively stories of the Vietnamese nail ladies, I noticed that one of the dogs got very upset when she heard me imitate an angry Vietnamese woman. We all started to crack up when we realized our dog was a racist (well, everyone except Devin--he's not a night owl so he was snoozing away on the couch with a newly penned green mustache I gave him, yeah, that's what you get for being the first to fall asleep during family night). I continued to mess with the dog and found myself terribly amused by her reaction. I wondered do other people find these kinds of things as amusing as I do? Which brings me to the real question...does my interest in all things ridiculously funny and sometimes a little dangerous make me eternally youthful or just a poser?
For those of you who read my blog and know me on a deeper level you are, I'm sure, familiar with my love of adventure and humor. For those of you who are new to me or my blog, I would describe myself as a seventeen year old boy trapped in a 30 year old woman's body. I frequently tell people if you want to know me ask me what I want for my birthday. I think it's a good way to get to know someone. If you are trying to get to know a person, ask them what they want for their birthday and REALLY listen to their answer . One time a friend of mine said she wanted "track lighting". Well, that's practical, lame, but practical. Another time I asked a friend what do you want for your birthday and she said "Oh, I don't know...nothing". Well, I find this answer particularly upsetting because you see what I asked was what she WANTED not what she wanted ME to get for her. The simple act of asking doesn't mean I have any intention of buying. You could ask for the moon, I am usually asking out of a place of wanting to get to know you better, not plan for a future purchase. You see, if you ask me I would say, what I always say, anything YOU might have wanted when you were 16. I emphasize "you" because I believe everybody had the same basic desires up until about this point. Around 16 people start to see things differently. However, I am basically still a kid at heart. I like remote control cars, binge drinking, hanging out with my friends and having pets. I like "sleeping in", looking good, hand guns and camping. I like dirt bikes and hot rods, I like strippers and "drunk" sex (however, after 3 unplanned children, I am seriously rethinking that one). I like racing down the hill on a skateboard or a big wheel or some other contraption with wheels. I like sitting on the couch, watching T.V. and recovering from an injury. I like Lord of the Rings and LARPing (live action role playing). I like pig Latin and if I could learn to speak "Elvish" I would. I love rollerskating to disco music and dancing all night at a club. I LOVE roller coasters and water slides. Oh, and my most favorite movie EVER...The Breakfast Club. I basically love doing and having all the things I loved when I was 16. In fact, tonight when I was cutting my friends hair I told him it was hard for some people to take me seriously because I lived in a semi-permanent state of "Rumspringa".
However, I also love being a grown up and getting to decide for myself which of these things I do and how frequently I do them. That is really the best part of being a grown up...being able to decide for myself what to do. What I really wonder about is why don't more people like doing the things? Didn't we all find them fun at some point in our lives? Why do we love doing these things so much when we are young and then abandon them as we grown up? Can we not find a way to incorporate some of what we loved as kids into our adult lives? Why does adult life seem so boring and so un-fun for so many adults? Sometimes it seems like life in the adult world is some kind of dysfunctional relationship between Fibromyalga and Alcoholism. We avoid reality whenever possible, we drink too much and deny everything. We're tired all the time, everything "hurts" and we just can't seem to figure out what the hell is making us feel so bad.
Now, I will be the first to admit that someone who considers them self a professional hobbyist and find South Park REALLY amusing isn't going to be the best person to give advice on how to live a balanced life. However, I have to believe that our goal is to find a place somewhere between the world of fantasy that I spend so much time living in and the world of reality that most adults spend so much time and money trying to avoid.
My best advice would be to find something that brings you happiness and satisfaction...and makes you feel good--even if only for a moment. How do we do this? Well, ask yourself "What do I want for my birthday?" and when you answer, make sure to be honest and don't limit yourself something too practical. Let your mind go. Try to recapture something from your youth, something that made you feel good, something that made feel ALIVE. You never know, you may surprise yourself and end up having a fantastic 40th birthday at the local Laser Tag, hey it's better then track lighting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stab Him With The Dinglehopper

Have you ever noticed how all Disney movies end right about the same place??? In the Princess movies it's just after a huge, extravagant wedding. In non princess movies it is just before the main character gets to start his or her life with the character he/she has been pursuing. Take for example the budding romance between Mowgli and the girl who carries the water jug in the Jungle Book, or Todd and Vixey from the Fox and the Hound, perhaps you remember that Woody had fallen for Bo Peep in A Toy Story. I could go on, in fact I am sure you have thought of a few in your own mind. Now for some people this might seem like a good place to end the movie, but not for me. I frequently find myself wondering what happens to Simba and Nala. I feel...incomplete. I find this phenomenon very strange. In fact, for me it begs the question, why isn't marriage and family life a reoccurring theme in Disney movies?
However, tonight when I caught myself fantasizing about reenacting a scene from the movie Seven with my child who wouldn't eat his spaghetti, I remembered something my wise husband once said--he said "Some times fantasy is better then reality". Now you see, the problem is that we love fantasy. We were raised on fantasy. We looked to Disney to set an example for us when WE were children about what the future of dating might look like. Now that we are adults we have come to expect a courtship that might look something like what is portrayed in a Disney movie ending with an elaborate wedding attended by all our bird friends complete with a carriage made from a pumpkin. Take for example my own experience. I was a boisterous, strong willed, intelligent young woman not unlike the character Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I met a lost and lonely hairy beast with issues and through our deep everlasting love I transformed him into the prince he is today--is that too much? I don't think so.
Anyway, that part was a breeze. It was the learning how to live together and having offspring that proved to be the real challenge. Sometimes I try to conjure up a scenario and ask myself what would a Disney Princess do? (W.W.D.P. for those of you who are into that) I have come to rely on Disney's stanch moral lessons like if you aren't exactly what your potential Prince charming wants--well then, transform yourself. If he wants you to have legs but you were born with a tail and happen to be a mermaid, well, make a deal with a sea witch and become a human. It's that simple all it will cost you is...YOUR VOICE. But according to the sea witch men don't like a lot of blabber. They think a woman who gossips is a bore. In fact, on land it's much preferred for ladies not to say a word and after all now what is idle prattle for? In fact Ursula goes on to say that men are not all that impressed with conversation, true gentlemen avoid it when they can. They will dote and swoon and fawn on a lady who's's she who holds her tongue that gets a man. Now, (catch your breath...yes, those are the real words from the movie) while this seems like pretty solid advice I can't help but wonder why there are no equally as fantastic lessons on parenting or dealing with marital strife. I am sure that Ariel would have a fabulous solution for dealing with a fussy eater or a smarty pants like my son. Perhaps stab him with his dingle hopper?
Anyway, I am sure that when Disney comes out with a movie about the "winter years" of a fairy tale romance we will all run right out to see it. Who wouldn't want to see how Belle deals with Beast if by chance he falls off the wagon and becomes a beast once again. Or, how Sleeping Beauty handles the pressure to live up to her mother in law's expectations--can she really satisfy the demands of running a kingdom when she was raised a straggly waif in the forest by three fat little fairies? What about Jasmine? How long until the glamour of the bad boy wears off and she realizes Aladdin is a common street rat, a beggar, a thief. I can only imagine the drama if Ariel and Prince Eric had a baby who was half human-half fish.
I guess it wouldn't concern me as much if I didn't have a daughter...but I do. I don't want her growing up thinking that unless she is born perfect (only Snow White is perfect) she has to change herself in order to find her prince charming. And...what if she doesn't even want a Prince Charming? Want if she wants to be the inspiration for the ultra liberal Disney movie called The Tale Of Two Princesses--then what?
All I'm saying is maybe there is no Disney movie that captures the realities of parenthood and marital partnerships because none of the moms who are subjected to watching these movies time and time again with their 4 and 5 year old daughters want to be faced with their own reality. These movies are an escape from reality. Their ticket to reliving the glory days (before marriage). You know, back when they had a tail and could swim free on the ocean floor, I mean really...such beautiful things surround you what more is you lookin' for? Oh well, I guess it's like they always say...the seaweed is always greener, in somebody else's lake. All we can do is keep on loving our "happy endings". Let Disney help us continue to blur the line between fantasy and reality. Just keep telling ourselves that all WE need to be happy is our very own Prince Charming...and a dingle hopper.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Strange title? You might think that until you realize the context in which it was used. Tonight, while putting my child to bed, I heard her yelling to me from the other room. Out of sheer laziness, I yelled back to her "If you want to talk to me come in here where I can hear you". I would have said "Text me" but she is only 5--and realistically, she probably won't get a phone until NEXT year. Anyway, she came in to my room and proceeded to tell me that she was going to do...some thing (I can't even remember now what it was, if I don't have a text how am I supposed to remember what you said 5 minutes ago? Please.) I acknowledged her by saying "Ok" and went on sending and receiving text messages in a simultaneous manor.
From the adjoining bathroom, Ryan laughed at the text-o-mania that was happening and said "Oh Honey" in a sort of disbelief. I knew where he was going, but I totally disregarded him (it's much easier once your married to pretend like your listening when really--you aren't). I went into the other room where I received several more text messages, which of course I immediately responded to, except when they started rolling in back to back from different people--at this point, I had to start prioritizing. I had to click "view later" on several texts so I wouldn't be interrupted during my frenzied thumb pecking. I sat down next to the computer but continued to text. I logged onto Facebook and checked to see who had written what. Something, anything--I was looking for anything even remotely interesting. I was desperately searching for a muse, a motivation, an inspiration for a funny story--but there were none. No one I knew had anything even slightly entertaining to report. However, several people wanted to "chat". My spirits lifted and I felt a renewed sense of belonging. I had lost my original train of though, I was derailed. I had been side tracked by the feeling of being "popular" again--a moment of relieving the glory days, isn't that what this whole technological experience is about?
Meanwhile, I hadn't stopped texting. In fact, I began intermittently sending texts and "chatting" on line with various Facebook friends--including some I was texting AND "chatting" with at the same time. I carried on my electronic conversations about getting together with my various friends in different social situations and professed my enthusiasm for "catching up". I was busily texting away when I received a message from my patient husband, who was waiting for me to watch an episode of "Jeopardy". He was doing his own socializing with a 6 pack of Bud Light when he managed to find time to shoot off a text (to me) that said "Hey Babe, is this what we have been reduced too? Is this what I have to do to talk to you?" We shared a funny moment. We laughed together and I sent him a text that said simply "Yes".
I continued to text away and communicate technologically with my friends until I received another text from my sweetie that said "Dorkustextorino". It was at precisely that moment that I thought, (be it the 200 texts I have sent and received in the last 4 days or the callouses I have developed on my thumbs from my addiction to texting), what IS it about technological communication that is so appealing to us? Is the anonymity of being able to say whoops...sorry, that was my dog that texted "Geez-us did you see how HUGE Hillary's butt looked in those pants?" accidentally to Hillary? Or the ability to say things you wouldn't ordinarily have the nerve to say in a face to face conversation--like--"What IS your problem? You are being a REAL bitch lately".
I determined that there is a huge variety of reasons why we text. My favorite is "We can re-word and re-read the things we want to say before we send them." This is a common explanation for an otherwise already very stupid person who appears even more stupid (seemingly impossible I know) after you receive a misspelled text they have been "re-reading" for the past several minutes. Especially when all the text says is "Wear (yes, REALLY spelled w-e-a-r) should we go for lunch?" Then there is the awesome justification that it is faster then calling. Really? How long does it take you to have a normal conversation via text messaging? an eternity right? Then of course there is my all time favorite--"It is WAY cheaper to text then use your minutes". Really? Cause doesn't it cost like 40 cents a text after you have exceeded your 200 text messages for the month? and only 15 cents a minute after you have used up all of your 3000 minutes? The reality is, it takes you almost 200 text messages to have a complete conversation that might have taken you just 5 minutes on the phone.
So, really these are not good justifications because they are completely erroneous. The truth is we do it because we feel cool sending and receiving text messages. We do it because it's like the porno version of mail. It is fast, cheap and easy, we can customize it to fit our needs--and--we do it on our terms, when WE want. It really is that simple. I am pretty sure I have come up with a fool proof explanation, but, I'm a reasonable person--if you think I'm wrong--feel free to text me and, if you have unlimited texting--we can probably figure it out.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Mom The Culinary Rebel

Tonight the Curtis family and my dad had a lovely meal prepared by my dear sweet mother (a woman who can never seem to please all the critics). Now, realistically, the only person (from my family) even remotely qualified to critique another persons cooking is my sister who graduated from the Cordon Bleu Culinary School. Everyone else in the family really ought not to complain--but we just can't do it. We just can't seem to keep our big mouths shut. We are either stuffing our faces with the food she has so graciously prepared or pouring out complaints regarding the before mentioned meals.
The complaints usually target an inconsistency in the recipe, but sometimes they reach as far as the temperature of the food. Tonight my dad actually said, when my mom asked for feedback, "It's not hot enough". Oh Lord. Really dad? You had to go there? Stick your damn plate in the micro and keep your big mouth shut. But I probably shouldn't talk--I wasn't really any better when I suggested that the mysterious sweet tomatoey flavor (chili sauce) seemed "unusual" which of course translates into "Mom, don't do THAT again". Really though, you have to ask, what gives us the right to complain about food we haven't either bought from a restaurant or prepared ourselves? I can't answer this. I really don't know. As my mom would say "I haven't the "foggiest".
Now, when it comes to food, my mom is a creature of habit. But don't let that fool you--she has a wild streak of reckless abandon that only comes out in her cooking. In fact, this may be the origin of many of the complaints. See, she doesn't love to cook but she does love to take requests, (she's a people pleaser). In fact "What to do you want me to make for dinner?" are words I have heard come out of my mother's mouth many, many times. Now the right answer to this question is of course the name of the dish you want to eat. However, a more appropriate answer might be "Mom try to make the same thing you made LAST TIME you made...(insert name of favorite food). Further more, prepare it in the same way, with the same ingredients as the last time you made it". You see, here in lies the REAL problem. My mom, the same woman who can give an identical answer, verbatim, to the same question asked 10 years after the fact--could not follow a recipe if her life depended on it.
Take for example, the potato soup. Everyone in the Callahan family and now everyone in the newly formed 2nd generation Curtis family LOVES my moms potato soup. It's creamy, it's potatoey, it's buttery and delicious. That being said--occasionally some rogue ingredient (like whole peppercorns) somehow manages to end up infiltrating a particular "batch". I don't know how many times I have heard her say, in astonishment, "Well...LAST time I made this it was delicious. For some reason this batch just doesn't have the same flavor". Meanwhile, Ryan is ripe with the answer to that burning question as he picks the whole peppercorns out of his teeth.
Now, I know that some times people like to "experiment" with different ingredients, but most of the time they are working off a basic recipe. My mom does not understand this concept. I think she sees the recipe card more like a beacon of hope guiding her ship out of rough waters. She uses it as her own personal bookmark, so as to not lose her place in her "process".
She will frequently offer to make a dish you have lavished praise upon in the past, only this time you are not sure she heard you right. Goulash? I though I said chili. I swear, every time she makes short ribs (one of my favorite dishes) she cannot recreate the same dish she served the last time she made short ribs. It's a pretty basic recipe: meat, potatoes, carrots, onions and gravy. However, every time she makes it I'll be damned if she can't find some ingredient she didn't use the last time she made short ribs. I might ask "What is this? A potato, an onion, a rogue hot pepper?" Her answer "No. A parsnip". What the hell is a parsnip? Next time, I might ask "Does this batch have a sweeter flavor then last time?" to which she would respond "Yes. I added stewed tomatoes, that makes it sweeter." No, that makes it more like goulash Mom. For some reason she can relay a recipe exactly the way you remember it being prepared--BY HER--in the past, she just can't follow it herself.
So, this behavior begs the question why can't she prepare food following the directions from her very own recipe? Maybe she feels confined by the restraints of the recipe, maybe she feels free when she enters the kitchen, maybe she morphs from ordinary mom to chef extraordinaire--she sees food in it's raw state and can visualize it's transformation from mundane edibles to culinary masterpiece, or maybe, simply put, she is a maverick, a rebel, a culinary James Dean. Who knows. Who really cares. All I know is, at dinner time, she keeps us guessing-and-if she didn't do this, time and time again, when it comes to cooking what would we do for "comedic material"? XOXO. Thanks for all those meals you made. Love you Mom.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Leopard Loses Her Spots some of you know I have been dealing with skin care issues for quite some time now. I have small dark spots on my cheeks from acne, sun spots from over exposing myself at the pool, and a condition called melasma or "the mask of pregnancy" (it's kind of like the mask of Zorro...only not as cool and made of freckles). I decided it was time to take some action. I went to the American Laser Center and had a consultation with the manager. I really liked her--she is also a neurotic picker who is obsessed with having perfect skin--we were a match made in Heaven. She reassured me that I was in the right place and that the problem could be alleviated with a laser treatment called a fotofacial. She told me about doing the treatments for her own acne scars and spoke of a personal "transformation". She showed me before and after photos, many of them with very good results. I felt comfortable with her and decided to go ahead with the treatments.
Now at first I was skeptical. I had several people telling me to be careful, to watch out for untrained technicians who would do MORE damage and leave me permanently disfigured--a hideous monster, if you will. Well, already feeling like a hideous monster I decided I was willing to take the risk. I went ahead and had my first treatment in January. I was excited and hoping to see instant results.
So, after the "relatively painless", (actually it was more like the excruciatingly painful) laser treatment, I went home to recover and wait for the transformation to begin. I noticed immediately I was "transforming". Transforming from a relatively normal shade of beige to a horrifically deep shade of red. And...I started to swell. I began to worry. Shortly after my transformation had begun the girl from the center called and asked how I was doing. I told her what was happening and expressed my concerns, to which she replied "Good, that is exactly what is supposed to happen." I thought to myself--why the hell did I just pay all that money to painfully transform myself from the mildly hideous beast that I had been to the freakish lobster faced girl now asking herself WHY, WHY? (You have to imagine me saying it like Nancy Kerrigan--it's much better). Anyhow, I endured this awful state for several weeks until finally I noticed the red spots had changed color. The spots had turned dark-very dark--and formed little flaky scabs. Now, I didn't think I could get any more horrified then I had been after the lobster incident, but some how I did. In fact, it was about this time I decided to start considering whether or not I should kill myself or kill the girl who performed the procedure. I went back to the center, about 2 weeks after the initial laser therapy for some microdermabrasion (the sandblasting part of the transformation process). And guess what? The tiny crystals from the microderm blasted off the flaky dark scabs and beneath was a fresh undamaged layer of skin waiting to greet me. I was over joyed, I could not have been happier-until she told me we would do this procedure 5 more times until all the spots and discoloration were gone. Ugh.
She also told me I could only do one laser treatment a month. That meant I wouldn't see my final results for another 6 months. So, I decided I would take on a different problem--unwanted hair. That seemed like a more simple and less painful procedure. However, this procedure can only be done once every two months. So I decided to double up. I began undergoing laser hair removal in conjunction with the fotofacials. I was very pleased with the results. After only two treatments of the laser hair removal I noticed much less hair growing back, and, my spots were disappearing right before my eyes. So far, my results were pleasing.
Now, this was the point at which I think I got carried away. I then decided, since things were going so well, I might as well buy the only other package they offered at the AM. Laser Center. Vela shaping (oh Lord it's awful--it makes me cringe just thinking about it). Vela shaping is done to eliminate cellulite mainly in those places that hold on to fat even after you have done diets and exercises galore. The places that make Richard Simmons wear women's pantyhose. Your butt and the back of your thighs. I figured it would be simple. They heat up your fat cells thus shrinking them and detoxifying or draining the fat from the cells, then a machine massages (DEEPLY) the areas that have been heated until they are smoothed out to reduce the appearance of "dimpling". Well...I thought--this will be a walk in the park compared to getting blasted in the face with a super powered laser. Boy was I wrong. It was basically like sitting under the warming lights at a KFC until you just can't take it anymore, while a high powered vacuum type machine sucks and squeezes and pulls on your ass until you feel like you have been to "Ladies Night" at the Jersey Shore. I occasionally found myself saying " it supposed to be getting THAT hot? or "Does it really have to pull that hard? I think you're giving me an electronic Indian burn." After being heated and kneaded like a naughty Pillsbury biscuit she told me I was finally done. She said I could resume "normal" activities (although I have not enjoyed sitting on the couch nearly as much as I usually do). These treatments are to take place for six consecutive weeks (or until I yell "UNCLE"--which ever comes first). After which, my butt will have under gone a transformation of it's own. It will be cellulite free and ready for summer. It will have become my magnum opus.
I asked one of my dear friends what he thought about the vela shaping and whether or not he thought it was a good idea. I asked him for advice on how to talk Ryan into letting me do it (and pay for it) and he said "Cas, it'll be no problem. Once he thinks about it, Ryan will see the wisdom in letting you do it. If it makes you happy--it'll make him happy. Besides, then he can say get your ass in here woman. Shit---I paid for it, technically that is MY magnum opus."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gay night at Medieval Times

Well...I'm back. After a few days in sunny Las Vegas or as we call it "Lost Wages" I finally returned home where I was greeted by two very stressed out dogs, a bird in the kitchen (that was a gift from the cats) and a truancy notice for one of my kids--but, as the saying goes, who cares--we had just enjoyed 5 fun filled days at the Sunset Station in Henderson, NV. During those 5 fabulous days we lost lots of money, (won just a little), ate lots of mediocre food, drank tons of Pina Coladas and bowled some pretty terrible games (including one that almost sent Ryan to the ER) Ryan had one too many Pina Coladas and ended up crossing the line--literally crossing the bowling line, hitting the oil on the lane and totally eating shit. He fell and when he fell...he fell hard. It was kind of like the shot heard round the world only this was the fall heard round the bowling alley. He ended up with a minor head injury and a stiff neck but more importantly suffered a serious injury to his pride. We stayed up late, ate too much, drank too much and had way too much fun. We even took a trip to the Excalibur to see "Medieval Times". For those of you who have seen "The Cable Guy", you know what I am talking about. For those of you who don't...let me explain.
Medieval Times is a restaurant which features an elaborate arena show where highly decorated knights participate in medieval-style games, sword fighting, jousting and even a "tournament". This of course, takes place while you eat (without utensils) a medieval feast fit for a King including a giant turkey drumstick and a piece of pie. In the movie "The Cable Guy" the main characters eat at this restaurant. My favorite scene is when Janeane Garofalo says "Hello and welcome to Medieval Times. I will be your serving wench--what can I get for you?" One of the patrons asks if he can get a fork and the serving wench says "There WERE no utensils during Medieval Times, hence, there ARE no utensils AT Medieval Times. Would you like a refill of Pepsi?" To which the customer replies. "There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?" My thoughts exactly.
Ryan and I thought our 8 and 10 year old boys might enjoy this show very much. So we purchased 4 tickets and planned an evening of Medieval madness. As it turns out, I think I enjoyed it the most out of the four of us. The LARPer's (live action role players--you've probably seen them at your local park reenacting a civil war battle or an 11th century sword fight--major dorks) participated in the high drama medieval pageantry and each came equipped with giant galloping horses, realistic weapons, and long straggly pony tails. In fact, the only good looking knight was the one from Norway who was immediately killed by the much uglier knights in a horseback jousting match. We sat in the 3rd or 4th row and had a terrific visual of all the participants and of course the medieval pyrotechnics. However, one of the highlights of the night (for me anyway) were the Medieval "slaves". I must admit, I was a little surprised to see the beefy shirtless "slave boys" who occasionally ran on to the field to retrieve a sword or a mace that had been lost in battle. The "slaves" were surprisingly handsome, not to mention very muscular and oily, and shirtless, did I mention that? They waited on the side lines ready to spring into action when a knight lost a weapon or got killed and needed to be carried off the battlefield after hand to hand combat. Now, don't get me wrong--I am in no way complaining about the shirtless slaves in their leather loin cloths--but I did find it a bit odd since the show really seemed geared towards men. Oh well, maybe it was "gay night" at Medieval Times. Anyway, the show was entertaining (on many levels) and of course all the weirdo's that went (our foursome being the exception) were a sight to behold.
Now, for those of you who know me, you know that I revel in the bizarre. I don't know if I would call the trip to Medieval Times "bizarre" (had there been an "iron maiden" or a stretching rack or even say the dreaded "Judas chair" now that would have warranted the term bizarre) but I will say it was up there with some of the stranger things I've seen. Do I recommend it? Absolutely. It's definitely worth seeing--especially if your into LARP ing (which I secretly am). However, be forewarned, my advice is to go hungry but don't have high expectations when it comes to the food and wear something you won't mind smelling like horse during the rest of your trip. Oh, and be prepared that anytime some thing (even remotely) exciting happens--like a knight pulling off his helmet at the end of a grueling battle and shaking out his straggly pony tail--you will be expected to raise your frosty mug of Medieval Pepsi and shout "Huzzah!" at the top of your lungs.