By Maria Schulz
Now that Iron Man 3 is coming out in the movies, I’ve seen a ton of tie-in advertisements with Iron Man selling everything from sandwiches to soap. The excitement surrounding this big movie premiere got me thinking about superheroes in general and my own preoccupation with them in particular.
Have you ever wondered which Super Hero you would choose and what your superpower would be? This is the kind of question that I imagine is being asked in those Team Building exercises they make you do somewhere in corporate America. I can just see Michael Scott from The Office (the old Office. The good one) managing to infuriate/insult every one of his employees by providing name tags with the superhero/superpower he thought each employee should have.
My brothers and I used to play a version of this when we were little. One brother chose Thor (the God of Thunder. He was pretty loud), Captain America (he liked to throw his mighty shield), The Incredible Hulk (super strong. Too bad about the green skin though), The Submariner (swim! swim!), Iron Man (I think his superpower is the ability to revive Rob Downey Jr.’s career), Spiderman and/or Mike Powers Atomic Man (we had a lot of radioactive concerns back then).
My brothers announced one day that I had to choose a superhero but:
- It had to be a girl
- There weren’t as many to choose from
- She couldn’t be a villain (I think they were afraid I would undermine them)
Of course this meant I couldn’t be Cat Woman, who I thought was a whole lot more fun then Bat Girl. I also couldn’t become The Invisible Man (okay, The Invisible Woman) since he/she wasn’t necessarily a good guy. I just thought it would be fun to be invisible so I could play practical jokes on my classmates and enter the convent to hear what I imagined were the nuns’ daily dinner conversations about how they were going to torture us the next day. I also couldn’t claim Lex Luther, The Penguin or The Joker—three bad guys who I thought really knew how to enjoy their work.
When I finally narrowed it down, my brothers got mad because I couldn’t decide which one to go with:
- Super Girl: I liked her cape
- Wonder Woman: wouldn’t it be cool to be that tall?
- The Bionic Woman: with those ears and the ability to run fast, I could hear the teachers talking about what questions would be on the tests AND get to the last Devil Dog before my brother Joey
- Isis: for the 4 or 5 of you who actually watched this show on Saturday mornings in the 1970s, you may know that Isis was actually an Egyptian Goddess, and the scientist lady who found her amulet became Isis. This made her able to fly, lift heavy stuff, avenge all wrongs, save mankind, etc. Plus she got to wear cool jewelry and a flowing Cleopatra dress. Sign me up!
Apparently, my inability to just “choose one darn Superhero!” got me expelled from my brothers’ newly formed League of Superheroes club. I really think they were just looking for a reason to kick me out. They said it was because:
- I couldn’t make a decision
- I was a dumb girl
- I was no good at sports
- The only comic books I read were Mad Magazine (which almost made me cool) and Archie (which undid any coolness quotient I’d previously earned)
- Anybody with a brain in their heads would’ve chosen Wonder Woman (I mean, look at her!)
Maybe this is why I can’t muster up a whole lot of enthusiasm for the release of Iron Man 3. I can’t picture myself in the role played by Gwyneth Paltrow and I am definitely NOT a card-carrying member of any Superhero clubs.
But just like Isis, I would like to have several superpowers at once. This would’ve infuriated my brothers when I was little; again, “just choose already!” But why choose? If I choose to fly but DON’T choose bionic hearing, does that mean that I can NEVER have bionic hearing in the future? Well, duh. Yes! But I can’t fly now or ever either. IT’S MAKE BELIEVE, FOLKS!
Anyway, here’s what I’d choose:
X-Ray Vision: so I know what all my presents are
Flying: so I never have to sit in coach again
Invisibility: so I can disappear when someone I can’t stand is heading my way
Super Human Strength: so I can knock out dents & dings on my car after a trip to the supermarket
The Ability to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound: that kind of jumping will come in handy when I’m a center in my Little Person’s Basketball League
Time Travel: so I can right all wrongs—including the cancellation of The Rockford Files in 1981
Supercharged Metabolism: so I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and never gain an ounce again
My Superhero name would be SUPER MARIA. Sort of like Super Grover from Sesame Street (C’mon, don’t you just love SUPER GROVER???)
Super Power Pasta Primavera
Here’s a dish from Giada
Here’s a dish from me! It won’t actually give you superpowers, but it will fill you up, and your kids will probably eat it (mine did).
Pasta: Penne, Linguine, Rigatoni (whatever is on hand)
1 dozen cherry tomatoes
1 or 2 gloves garlic
Red, Green & Yellow Pepper Strips
Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese (you choose)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
½ cup Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put on a pot of water and boil your pasta. Put some tin foil on a cookie sheet; coat with non-stick cooking spray. Add vegetables; drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over top. Add seasonings. Roast vegetables for about 15 minutes. Put onions & minced garlic into pan with butter & remaining oil. When garlic and onion are brown, add boiled, drained pasta and roasted vegetables. Throw in your Italian dressing and mix it all up in the pan.
You can use whatever vegetables you like (green beans, spinach, kale, mushrooms, carrots, asparagus). If you have a bag or two of frozen vegetables you want to use, defrost them in the microwave, drain out the water, and throw them onto the cooking sheet.
So Hungry Lifers…if you could be any Superhero, which one would you choose? What superpower would you have? Don’t worry, you can choose more than one! Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks.