Zelda: The Link between Us

John was appalled when he discovered I had not played the Zelda series at all. Appalled is putting it lightly too. He looked at me like I had been living under a rock my entire life. I mean, it’s still better than how he looked at me when he found out I was a Packers fan (He roots for the Bears), so I took this in stride. Little did I know that it would be his determination to play this series with me that would get me back into gaming.

It was November 2011, and only a couple months before I would start working at NBC Chicago in addition to CBH Video. Zelda Skyward had just come out and John was adamant we play it together. We were living together at the time so it seemed like a fun way to bond.

It was more than that. Yeah, sure flying the bird around was a pain in the ass and led to me throwing the control numerous times at John.. But the storyline! The side missions! The graphics! It. Was. Awesome. I was hooked.

I was also lucky because it turned out Skyward Sword was first in the Zelda Timeline. Since that first game, we went on to play Ocarina of Time, A Link to the Past, Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda, Wind Waker, and Spirit Tracks.

I’ll give you more in depth thoughts on those, but in the meantime I’ll give you the important stats for my first playthrough of Skyward Sword.

Rating: 9/10

Times Controler was thrown at John: 20+ (it’s hard to remember the exact amount)


Video Gaming: My Beginning and Reunion

I’ll never forget when I was five years old and my dad bought a Nintendo. I was the oldest and a girl – I don’t delude myself into thinking that my dad truly felt like my childhood would be deprived without being able to play Duck Hunt. He clearly bought it for himself to play, but little did he know it would unlock a new world for both of us…and make me the talk of the dorm my freshman year in college.

Super Mario was the first Nintendo game I ever obsessed over. While my dad only allowed me to play Duck Hunt at first, when he was at work I totally popped in Super Mario and went to town. You can imagine his surprise when he sat down to play one weekend and his young daughter start shouting out what he needs to be doing. After that moment, my dad fully supported my video game habit.

There was one night I had a fever of 103 and was home from school for two days. During the moments I was lucid, I was hard at work trying to beat Tiny Toon Adventures on Sega Genesis. The night I beat it, a school night, my parents were in a huge fight over whether or not I should be in bed sleeping. In fairness to my mom it was 11:30 p.m. But to my dad’s credit, he fully understood that Max Million needed to be stopped ASAP. It was one of the rare fights my dad actually won, and the good Lord was on his side too because my fever finally broke while I was playing the final boss. Ron Sr. made sure I was able to stay home from school an extra day as a reward. It was glorious.

EU Box cover (It was similar to the US one). Picture was taken from Wikipedia and you can read more about it here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_Toon_Adventures:_Buster’s_Hidden_Treasure

From there, I graduated to Playstation, N64, Game Cube, PS2 and the list goes on. My favorite game growing up had to be a tie between Mario Kart and GoldenEye 007 on N64. I had those two games down to an art that had me whooping guys’ butts! I was the only girl in my dorm to bring a game system and it brought me immense pleasure hearing guys moaning and groaning over the ass kickings I served them. My biggest regret in college was that I gave up gaming mid-freshman year because I had let a guy bully me into being more like a girl, which included joining a sorority.

After that, I kinda wondered aimlessly and put way too much energy into things that didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I won’t bore you with those details.

Eventually I met John who reunited me with gaming. At first I tried to impress him by trying to beat him at Mario Kart and GoldenEye 007. But it was useless. I was totally out of practice, and humbled completely. Admittedly, he’s better than I am and there have been numerous times I’ve thrown the console controller at him while playing. In my defense, he yells the most ridiculous advice out at the worst times and totally deserves it.

This is all my way of saying that you’ll see video game reviews from me a lot more on this blog. It’s also my way of setting you up for a feature with those posts – “Times Control was Thrown at John – ##.” Looking forward to sharing those with you! 🙂

Hello There Stranger

It’s been awhile since my last post!  I’ve gone from being single to engaged and about to get married. Since meeting my true partner in crime almost five years ago, life has been anything but boring. John, my better and sometimes more logical half, did what other guys in the past have never done…encouraged me to be myself. The bonus is that he does laundry, but I cook for him in exchange (yes, I actually cook and it’s quite delicious).

John and I got engaged November 23, 2013, outside Wrigley Field, where we had our first date.

John and I got engaged November 23, 2013, outside Wrigley Field, where we had our first date.

While there have been many changes, for those who know me, you’ll be happy to know I’m still the same adventurous nerd I’ve always been – running full speed into anything and everything.

Caution - Hazardous thoughts a head.

Caution – Hazardous thoughts a head.

The added bonus that I now bring to the table is that I’m an international producer, video game nut, wine enthusiast and chef in training. Those are the things that I’ll now be sharing with you on the blog.

Don’t worry though, I’ll still share crazy adventures with my family. However, I strongly doubt they’ll be as entertaining as my Turkish Bath Adventure. But know that you’ll be the first one I tell if I have an experience that tops it!

Thanks for continuing to follow me and I look forward to entertaining you.

Pies on the Rise in Chicago

A classic chicken pot pie made by Hoosier Mama Pie Co. in Chicago. (Photo by Audrey Leon)

Audio Slideshow: Charlie Trotters To Go pastry chefs give a behind the scenes look to their pies.

By Audrey Leon, Ally Clark and Britni Day

Of all the pastries to become in vogue this year an old familiar dessert is poised to knock cupcakes off their public pedestal, pies.

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Reaction to Bin Laden’s Death via Social Media

“Tonight we can say justice was served,” President Barack Obama said during his address to the nation regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden. In case you missed it, be sure to watch a recap of the President’s speech. The summary, Osama Bin Laden was shot in the head and his body was recovered by the U.S.

But the news broke well before his speech via every social media outlets available. I captured a few highlights on Storify which can be viewed by clicking below.
[View the story “President Obama: Tonight we can say justice was served.” on Storify]

Super Tuesday for Chicago Sports Fans

Tuesday is a big day for Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks fans alike. Both teams are fighting their way through the first round of the playoffs.  The Bulls are up three games to one against the Indiana Pacers while the Blackhawks are locked in a three games to three tie against the Vancouver Canucks.  The Bulls tip off at 7:00 p.m. in Chicago while the Hawks face off at 9:00 p.m. in Vancouver.

2009 Summer Mugging Suspects Still at Large

During the summer of 2009, a series of muggings occurred in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park area. Chicago Police said that five of the muggings were linked, while two were still being investigated for a connection.

All four victims were men in their early to mid-20’s. Each was confronted on foot from behind by at least four attackers, who were also men in their 20’s. Chicagobreakingnews.com said the victims were asked for their wallets, then savagely beaten in the head and face. Two of the victims were hospitalized.

Below is an interactive map with details from each attack along with links to news stories with more information.

On August 10, 2009, an arrest was made and the suspect was identified by one of the victims in a lineup. However, according to Chicagobreakingnews.com, there was insufficient evidence to charge the suspect with the crimes and he was released.
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