Monday, September 15, 2008

We Who Are about to Rock Salute You

Guitar HeroLast Wednesday was pretty much the worst day I've had in a long long time.

Starting with being the fourth of four consecutively sleepless nights where Andrew's car was vandalized, followed up by no electricity, no windows, no heat, no front door and no workmen showing up, progressing through ruining a brand new yet favorite pair of pants (second time I've worn them) and following up with a traffic ticket given to me by a cop who apparently felt that responding to a vandalized neighborhood wasn't as important as saving the world from housewives doing California stops on right hand turns. . .

So it was with deep gratitude that I accepted an invitation from my sister Melissa and her husband Curtis to hang out with them and decompress after one hellacious week. Dinner, hot chocolate, a white chocolate-cherry truffle and cuddling my niece goes a long way to helping me unwind but the main reason they wanted us over was to match wits in their favorite video game--Guitar Hero.

Some day I'll do a post about my feelings for video games, some day when I don't care what you all think and I can rant about the evils of electronic addictions, but let's just say I'm not a huge fan. It's not as if I ban my kids from them I just don't have any in the house (video games that is, not children--we've got plenty of those thank you very much) and I have no plans to change my position on the subject so when they brought out the Wii and the guitar I wasn't terribly interested but I was tired and wiped out from the week so I shrugged and figured "Whatever. It's just nice hanging out together."

I had no idea.

Melissa demonstrated how the game worked and Andrew, always competitive and interested in a challenge, took up the instrument and tried his hand at "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" a la the great Pat Benatar. I watched with minimal interest. I mean what's so great about poking at a plastic guitar that's so obviously inferior to the real thing? I was happy to watch from the sidelines while Andrew struggled through the riffs without being booed off stage by his rather scurvy purple-haired female computer counterpart.

Finally Melissa asked if I wanted to take a turn at things. I started to say "Nah, no thanks" when something inside me--some little voice that must have been my inner rocker longing to be free--forced me to say, "Sure, why not?"

I picked up the guitar, slung the strap around my neck and . . . I played. Made it through "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" with cheers from the crowd and this pounding in my brain that said "I WAS BORN TO ROCK!"

I flew through "Talk Dirty to Me" followed by "La Grange," "My Name Is Jonas" and "Cliffs of Dover" and it became apparent to all present that until last Friday night I had been but living a half-life, that my inner Guitar Hero had been waiting for that moment to awaken and declare its supremacy. Apparently all my air band experience had been but a sacred preparation and the misery of the week drained from me as I strummed and whammied my way to nirvana--it was glorious I tell you.

One song after another while the crowd cheered. I think I even saw a few CGI lighters up and heard some shouts for "Free Bird" from the audience. Watch out Eric Clapton because I'm right behind you.

Now I've got a CD of my favorite Guitar Hero tracks so I can rock out in my minivan on the road (apparently it's once again okay for me to rock out to Scorpions, Van Halen, Poison and Def Leppard after our long 25 year separation).

Mini Guitar HeroThough upon contemplation, it's probably a very good thing that we don't have a Wii because I'd end up dropping out of the blogging scene altogether to take my Guitar Hero skillz on the road to tour--you know, bringing my music to the masses? But maybe if I could just get my fingers on this tiny handheld version of the game I could take it with me and play while I'm waiting at the doctor's office or in the school parking lot or stopped at red lights . . . oh never mind. According to the Anchorage Police Department I don't stop at those.

Because it's now a life goal of mine to train and play "Through the Fire and Flames." On the EXPERT level. Some day--it will happen.

Sponsored by Oaki at Outdoor Adventure Kid Company--Gear for kids who live outside.

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72 comments:

chelle said...

heheh that is awesome! I have yet to try guitar hero ... I am sensing a Christmas present for my husband :P

Truly I am glad you got a chance to unwind. Totally not good that sleep is not coming easily and that you are stressed.

Gill said...

LOL. Love this post. Isn't it strange how sometimes it's the silly, unexpected things that bring us the greatest pleasure.

China said...

If you like Guitar Hero, you might also like Rock Band. I discovered Rock Band in my local Sam's Club and for the next few visits I entertained my very own following...and then, it was gone. My life as a rock star was abruptly cut short by a camping display.

Oh, something else you might like...DDR! It gets your heart racing and is terrific exercise and everybody can get in on the action.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone is skeptical the first time they pick up the plastic guitar. But then something clicks in all of us, and wham! Rock time. It's a shame to hear about the sleeplessness and other troubles, but hopefully it gets better soon.

TJ said...

my husband is working on the expert level. me, i'm still on easy. but it is fun. my kids love rocking out to those songs.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Be careful that Wii will suck you in. I don't have one either, but I love going to my friends house to play it on their 50 inch LCD TV.(argh, argh, argh)
Cliffs of Dover?!?! I can barely play that. oh, wait your talking about guitar hero, not the real guitar.

Lapa37 said...

Wow sounds like you had fun see video games aren't all bad. I am trying to convince my hubby to get me the X Box 360 so I can play Guitar Hero. I have been playing air guitar for years and I think it is time to see if I am any good.

Alice Wills Gold said...

I feel exactly the same way. Maybe we should tour together...just as soon as we let go of the blogs and get serious about our rockband rehearsals.

Jeana said...

Ha! Too funny. And true, it's totally addictive.

LK said...

This is hilarious. We have TONS of video games in our house . . . not that we have the children who adore them, but I have a husband who does. We do not, however, have Guitar Hero in the house for the SOLE reason that housework would cease to exist if we had it. I'm horrible, but I love it. I can just IMAGINE the looks on your kids' faces if they caught you pulling a Chuck Berry in the living room . . .

Debbie said...

You really do have to try Rock Band. It is addictive. Love the drums. It's great fun to do with my teens.

Corrie said...

I've heard that game is great. And I agree with you on the video game thing...My kids love video games and get truly excited about little else. Thus begins my "No Screens" Days and extra efforts put forth to engage them in other activities. They are not lovers of sports...
It is oh, so easy to let them just play games and go about my business.

Ayda Sue said...

you know... you COULD take this on the road! they have actual 'guitar hero' competitions where 'professional' gamers try to out-play each other. hehe. food for thought ;)

girlymama said...

i'm jealous. i cannot play guitar hero.
i've tried. a lot.
i think the signal from my eye to my brain to my fingers is delayed or something.

glad you found a pick me up after a hard week!

Summer said...

Yeah, so I've been an avid Video Gamer (particularly Nintendo) since I was 7. Nintendo Rocks! So does Guitar Hero!

verygoodyear said...

Oh man... I went to a great party where we played "Rock Band" for hours and hours, which is phenomenal because at least four people can play at once. And they just released a new "Rock Band" with some excellent tracks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_in_Rock_Band_2) ! Although there is a new Guitar Hero coming out soon too :]

My hubby and I are kinda video game geeks -- mostly online gaming -- I am already trying to figure out the best way to keep our kid away from all the horrible things that can be said in an online environment, but still enjoying it with him/her.

The Fiction Files said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maddy said...

We tried them out at the local 'geek' festival and they were a huge hit here too.

Maybe Father Christmas....... but we're already filled to capacity with 'electronics' and I'm on aural overload as it is.

Glad you had a 'good' therapy session where you could let rip and dump it.
Best wishes

Lucy van Pelt said...

I'm generally anti-video game, but I did succumb to the Wii. When I bought Guitar Hero for my husband (who plays the real guitar) I thought he would rock and I would not. Who would have guessed that he'd get booed off the stage and I would be really good at it. I love it.

JackieD said...

That's awesome!
I too was a skeptic, but it didn't take long to sell me :-p The great thing about Rock Band is that you can get a larger group playing all at once, which is awesome for family gatherings.

I think we have similar views on video games, but unfortunately my husband is an avid gamer :-p that's going to make things interesting in about 10 years or so.

Doll Clothes Gal said...

Wow - this is great. This will be terrific for present season comng up.

chilihead said...

Welcome to your new addiction. My favorite part of Guitar Hero is the one-liners while it's loading: "Dropping your pants on-stage does not increase star-power."

chilihead said...

Welcome to your new addiction. My favorite part of Guitar Hero is the one-liners while it's loading: "Dropping your pants on-stage does not increase star-power."

Kristen M. said...

I've never played it myself but my youth group kids will play for ten hours straight during all-nighters. Their newest obsession is Rock Band.

Erin said...

My husband and I have this argument every time we play but I'm convinced: I AM the TRUE Guitar Hero.

Anonymous said...

And that's how we all so innocently get started. We were doing rock band at Best Buy on Friday night and the men were trying separately to entice me to buy it for our Wii (yes, I finally caved on my no video games, either.)

Lis Garrett said...

I can't tell you how many times I have shot down my husband's request to get a Wii gaming system. We have NO video games in the house for the very reason my entire family (excluding me, of course) turns into wild maniacs prone to tears and hysteria. It is SO not worth it to me . . . although it does look fun. Shh. Don't tell!

Shannon said...

So funny, Michelle! We have a Wii and the kids and I like to play Carnival Games on it, but we don't have guitar hero. I hear it's a blast and I'd love to give it a try sometime ( :

Sorry you had a not so great week and glad you got to unwind a bit. . .

Shannon

The Source said...

We have Rock Band and I love it! You can sing along as well as doing guitar & drums. I really stink at it but I can pretend to be Bon Jovi, so who cares!

Jolene said...

There is no denying the awesomeness of Guitar Hero. Now I want that little one too!

Munchkins and Music said...

I heard you did awesome! Guitar Hero is a lot of fun.

planetnomad said...

This was such an awesome post! I hate video games too, but I want a wii because I think I would love it. Haven't tried Guitar Hero yet, but I feel I could do it too.

Sorry your week was so bad. I hope that this one's better and includes a lot more sleep. In fact, I think you deserve a nap.

Org Junkie said...

LOL! Glad you are feeling better, hope this week is an awesome one for you :)

CassyT said...

Guitar Hero is good, but Rock Band, Ohhhhhhhh, baby. My boys are happy to play guitar & drums and I get to become Lead Vocals. All the fun of karaoke, with notes (and points when you're hitting them) and no weirdo bowling alley audience.

Jolanthe said...

We never have had video games either and don't really like them for the kids either.

And then we got the wii after playing it at our friend's house. And I bought the wii fit for myself (and let me tell you, you can get a real workout on that sucker) - and my kid's think it's great to watch me exercise - and they can do it along with me too. :) Our kids have really enjoyed the physical aspect games - and so in that sense, we like them. But we don't have plans to buy regular games.

:)

Jolanthe

Kim said...

Heh! Whenever my ego needs a good drubbing, I challenge my 10-year-old daughter. She absolutely kicks my heinie every time. She's hilarious, because she stands totally still with a super-serious expression on her face. She may not look like a rocker, but her sense of rhythm and flying fingers cannot be beat.

I know you get bloggy awards all the time, but I'm giving you another. I really appreciate all the hard work you put into your blog, and do look forward to your daily posts.

BTW, I nearly fell over to see you get a mention in ADN. Finally!

tanya said...

We're addicted but my kids aren't interested at all! Right after GH 3 (our first) we ended up going out and buying all the rest (except for the 80s one, we rented that one and got bored within a few days). I don't think we'll ever master expert though. We're happy beating it on medium. However, I've seen my kids' friends play and wow!

JENNIFER said...

Guitar Hero is VERY addicting I played it exactly once and cannot stop re-living the moment and I did not even earn any cheers.

Thank goodness I talked myself out of purchasing it. Can't imagine where I would have fit it in to my day.

Mina Jade said...

Lovely :-)

Maybe you will turn into a great guitar player.

Kirby3131 said...

sometimes when we are at our weakest is when we try things that we never would. Fortunately you were only presented with a plastic guitar LOL

Sounds like you had a blast.

Mama Zen said...

Way to rock!

Mean Mommy said...

All you need to do is tear up those favorite pants (they'll look more authentic rock-chick) and rack up a few more tickets (make sure your kids are unbuckled in at least one) and you are ON YOUR WAY! Just remember us little people who knew you back in the day. Well- I don't really know you-know you...

beth - total mom haircut said...

Well, I think you just sold it for me. An excuse to listen to Def Leppard again? I'm so there!

Lisa said...

I love this post. Was cheering you on while reading it. YOU ROCK. We've always known this about you but now its official.

Beth said...

You sound just like me! I had never tried it until about a month ago when my son bought it (with his OWN money!). The first time I tried it was "Talk Dirty to Me" because, frankly, I knew that one was best. (I LIKED Poison back then!)

I totally rocked the first time. I'm being sure to limit my exposure. I have enough things that suck up my time without getting addicted to that too! (Although it is a lot of fun!)

Killlashandra said...

You make me laugh. I'm with ya on the evils of video games, however, my kids are forever trying to convince me that just this one is not like the others. And I'll get hooked too. We don't own it needless to say, they're still begging and we can't afford it, but your post does sound like something that might happen to me too. ;)

Lara said...

Last Thanksgiving my brother brought his xbox and guitars and we all rocked out. I was hooked, but my husband will not let me get a system so we can play it at home, because we are both pretty much against video games in the house.

So I have to satisfy myself with playing rock band at a friend's for girls night. :)

An Ordinary Mom said...

I have never been much into video games either. Last year during the holiday season we were in CA staying with family and my video game loving brother introduced Guitar Hero to my husband. It was love at first sight! When he graduates I know what to get him ... I, however, have yet to try the game :) !!

Andrea said...

It sounds like we feel the same way about video games. However, we broke down and got the kids a Wii and we all LOVE guitar hero! And usually, when it's being played we are playing together as a family... that makes it okay, right?

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Totally fun. I'm afraid to try it. Too addictive.

Terri said...

Loved this post! You're SO funny. I've never tried Guitar Hero, but we have played Wii and I can see where it would be quite addicting.

Carrie said...

That's funny- my hubby & I used to have Guitar Hero for Xbox, and we played together, in 'band' mode, I played bass & he played guitar. In fact, that's what we were doing when I went into labor with my son...we haven't had time to play since! :)

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I believe in you! You can do it!?!?!

Jen Rouse said...

I am so with you. I've always sort of looked down my nose at video games. Then I tried playing Rock Band and i can't wait to play again!

Kathy G said...

Son #3 bought Rock Band a while back. I watched him and his friend play for a while. The next day, my son was playing by himself, and I asked if I could join him. After a quick lesson, I was "in the band".

I can't say I was very good, but I had fun. That weekend, when another of the children were home, we had some family bonding time playing the game.

Heather said...

I'm so jealous. I've never played anything on the Wii. Looks fun though.

Library Girl said...

I am proud to say I was never separated from those awesome bands because I have a 14 year old who is totally into 80's rock!!
He, too, wishes I would by Guitar Hero, but also, we have no Wii :)...but wait...we have XBox 360...Hello Walmart!!!

Heather said...

Have you been peeking in my windows? Okay, I wasn't as great as you at first, but being a non-video-game-player (pinball is more my thing) I'm not too bad. My sons have PS2's and my band is called The Hot Mamas. I laughed yesterday when my six year old started singing Slow Ride and he actually knew the words!!!
Matthew recently found several cheat codes online. I'm not thrilled about that.
If you get Through the Fire and Flames on expert, you'll be my guitar hero!

all over the map said...

Laughing all the way but not at you of course, with you! Why you don't have the video clip to prove you were doing this is beyond me. I'm so disappointed Michelle. Come on! Let us live vicariously through you air guitaring.:) We could learn a thing or two.

MommyTime said...

If you like Guitar Hero, you will find Rock Band is like instant crack. It has all that Guitar Hero has PLUS the ability to play simultaneously with other people. The drums are awesome. Seriously. You will love it. I apologize ahead of time for all the time you will lose. But take it from one video game hater to another Rock Band RULZ!

Damselfly said...

Cliffs of Dover?! Wow, you do rock!

Ally said...

Guitar Hero shows some serious respect for 80's hair bands. It's just like crack only cheaper and not illegal.

Sonja said...

Welcome to the Guitar Hero world, my friend. I, too, have strong feelings about video games, especially ones that promote heavy metal, lots of piercings, angst, and loudness...but when my brothers brought this to a family reunion, I reluctantly rocked the house.

Great post! :)

Lisa said...

I think it is totally funny that you loved it so much and were so good! I stink at Guitar Hero. I rock at Dr. Mario and love to play Mario Kart. I will play with my kids any day!

John and Laura said...

You are so funny! And I'm sorry for your rotten day. Good thing you have a blog, so you can find that silver lining on days like those. "this will make a great blog. this will make a great blog". Repeat as often as necessary. :)

Babystepper said...

I loved playing that game at a friends house too, but found out I had an amazing headache after just a few songs. We own a wii, but it'll be a long time before we own Guitar Hero. There's just something about watching your four year old rock out the heavy metal that brings a twinge of terror to your heart.

Sarah said...

Guitar Hero can be so addictive, right?! Glad you were pleasantly surprised. :)

Andrea said...

I can just see you shaking your curly head, rocking back and forth, singing to the audience. Rock on girl, R-O-C-K O-N! By the way, I saw the mini version at Fred Meyer though I don't think it is nearly as fun as the "full version" nor as challenging. I am glad you felt some relief from your annoyances you are faced with. I promise there will be light at the end of that cold, noisy, unorganized and broken into tunnel. What sweet bliss that will be!

Candid Carrie said...

We bought guitar hero and vowed to only play it as a family. It seemed so healthy and harmless and would promote closeness and bonding.

BULL-ony! It promoted a competition between me and my husband that forces us to send the kids to bed as early as possible so we can jam quietly once the children are out cold. We just about died of embarrasment when our thirteen year old caught us two grownups jamming after we continually proclaimed this was only to be used as a family! We let her play one secret song right then and there as an attempt to buy her silence. Yup, now we are being blackmailed.

Is it bad that our five year old daughter knows all the words to "Talk Dirty To Me" ... NO! She's helping bridge the generation gap!

Our nineteen year old college sophomore actually surprised us by changing our ringtones to White Cliffs of Dover!

Our twenty-six year old is in the process of trying to synchronize our stuff so our family can bowl with his family on Friday nights so that we never have to leave our houses!

We love Wii.

We love Wii Fit, not so much. It called me obese. Wii Fit, I quit.

Rock On!

thediaperdiaries said...

I am horribly addicted to that game. I don't own it cause that would result in my never leaving the house. You should know that I also sing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and strike rock star poses.

ShabbyInTheCity said...

LOL! Really...I also kept myself from rock while my babies were little...now we are all delving in together and WHAT FUN! I missed it. I heard them talking about Cliffs of Dover this morning getting ready for school...and they had it playing on YouTube. What a pretty song.

Janet said...

I think it's so funny that we both discovered Guitar Hero within a week of each other. My two songs were Crazy on You and Dust in the Wind. My nephew is getting Rock Band for Christmas this year. Everyone look out! I'm much better at singing. I was terribly disappointed to find out Guitar Hero would not work on the Nintendo system circa 1985 that's packed in a box somewhere in our house. So I have to wait until the next time I go to South Carolina.