Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

It’s a Free-for-All

Note: Mr. B and Mrs. B have been renamed Sir B and Lady B. The other implied they were our elders.

With the flurry of activity here regarding my recent weekend of meeting online friends without getting murdered, I haven’t had a chance to mention a first Shannon and I had with Sir B and Lady B. In fact, from start to finish Saturday helped me remember that I used to make friends without a computer (although neither method is better nor more “real” than the other).

Please excuse there being so many pictures of me; Shannon handled camera duty most of the evening.

Grub Time

For the second weekend in a row I was designated driver. Now, I’m no drunkard, so normally this wouldn’t be a big deal. I happen to be a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, however, so being DD pretty much means I can’t have anything at all. Combine that with my paranoia of being that one unlucky guy who gets arrested after one drink he had three hours ago, and the only drink I’m having starts with “Shirley T” and ends with “emple.”

Virtually ShootingAfter dinner at Dave and Buster’s, we hit the game room, where I was perplexed to find games related to neither Star Wars nor bowling. I tried a few games I had never seen, played skee-ball alongside Shannon, and watched Sir B and Lady B play some of their favorites.

And, I admit, I even played the dancing game. Shannon swiped our card alongside Lady B, but got frustrated within a few seconds. I couldn’t just let our credits go to waste. Right? Right?

Virtually Dancing

Our interest in video games waning, we put our name in for shuffleboard time, but never heard the alleged three calls of our name.

Shannon and I cleaned up playing the trivia game. Pitting six players against each other, it threw out multiple choice questions and rewarded players for fast response time and, of course, correct answers. Unable to play in the same round because we were sharing a card, Shannon and I fared very well. Each of us also scored last against the same foes we formerly dominated, proving that it depends which questions come up.

Our purchase with our total ticket take? A stuffed Superman toy for Benjamin.

Sir B mentioned something fun we could do back at their house, and when he told us what it was I tried to keep an open mind.

I normally avoid superlatives in my writing. Statements like, “That’s the biggest dog I’ve ever seen,” shut out the reader and leave the dog’s size up to opinion. “That dog is as big as a Buick,” is more specific but a bit over the top. A happy medium must be reached.

With that in mind, I’ll break that general rule and say that “Rock Band” is the most fun mixed company can have with their clothes on (what did you think we were going to do, sicko?).

I had watched teenagers play “Guitar Hero III,” at Shannon’s family Christmas. I didn’t try it because it didn’t look like much fun, and as a former bass player in two rock bands I turned up my nose at the pseudo guitars.

Sir B and His AxeWithin one minute of the first note I was hooked. By the time we left at about 1:30 a.m., we all had played the guitar and the drums, with only Sir B refraining from taking lead vocal (but correct me if I’m wrong). We consistently scored in the high 90’s on the Easy level unless Shannon tried anything but the mic (love ya, babe!), and I got us kicked off stage once on drums.

The guitar, while not very realistic, was fun. Although the singing offered the crutch of the original vocals on the track, we still came through loud and clear, and the mic was my second favorite “instrument” in the game.

Rock Band FeverThe drums, on the other hand, felt very real and were an absolute blast. While I’ve never played drums besides the occasional stolen seconds in a bandmate’s trap, I’m constantly tapping rhythmically on the countertop or the steering wheel. From the realistic bass drum foot pedal to the sticks and the four drumming surfaces, my inner Touretter would have been happy playing “Should I Stay or Should I Go” at every difficulty level all night. I can understand why I have heard tales of folks arguing over who gets to play them.

Despite my disappointment at “Rock Band” being cut short by the clock, no matter what we were doing that night the four of us got along great. The same thing happened earlier that day with a couple of the dads and me when a kids’ birthday party blossomed into a nearly five-hour event that I wished could have lasted longer (but I’m glad that sentence finally stopped).

Perhaps my weekend away to see online friends reminded me that there are people worth knowing right here in our town, and connecting with people in the same room doesn’t require a plane ticket.

6 Responses to It’s a Free-for-All

  1. It’s true, Rock band is as fun as a Buick…whatever that means ;)

    I had actually toyed with heading over to Paul and Davin’s while you guys were in town for a few rounds of Rock Band, but opted against it. Maybe I shoudl have. Or maybe it’s good that I left that for the Killer Bs to share with ya. Mainly, I’m glad to hear you had fun with it.

    Do they play on PS3 or XBox? I ask only because it might be possible for our two distant groups to rock out together at some point if the Bs are on XBox Live. I’m not great on drums…but like you, I can’t stop pat-patting on things within my reach, so those little plastic pads make me smile.

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  2. Moksha – They use Playstation 2 (given to them — lucky!), which does not include the online play and a few other cool features. So, sadly, no Battle of the Bands for us.

    I like your name for them — the Killer B’s. You definitely are the master of creating names to protect the innocent (or guilty).

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  3. People worth knowing right in one’s own town?? Inconceivable!!

    Rock Band is the cat’s meow, to use another confusing superlative. I have relegated myself to the guitar or bass, though. I find the drums frustrating on anything but easy, and the one time I sang Bon Jovi on the mic, I was summarily dismissed for the next song because of my general suckitude. It’s a damned fun group game that’s good for hours, certainly.

    It’s a good thing, Mark, that it’s mostly you in the majority of the pictures. Your wife looks a little too good up there in that first shot.

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  4. That DDR shot looks like you’re trying to Riverdance.

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  5. Simon – Yes, and right down the street, even. Who knew?

    I know what you mean about the drums. Even on easy, some of the songs were not easy at all.

    Sheik – Should I be concerned that you’re throwing out an acronym for that dance game? I don’t even know what it means.

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  6. What fun! My sons have Rock Band and absolutely LOVE it. We kind of have the Partridge family thing going on when we all get into it!

    I loved reading about your bonding time with fellow bloggers. I am sure that it was great! I am finally back and will be posting tonight! I went through some major withdraw with no internet! I actually “unplugged” with out realizing it!

    Hope you are well and next time I come through Dallas I will let you and Shannon know!

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