Sunday, January 14, 2007

Excessive Use of the Whammy Bar

"Can you be sent to Rock and Roll Jail for excessive use of the Whammy Bar?"
-Jessica (critiquing Geoff's Guitar Hero playing)

You guys, I'm sorry. I've neglected you yet again. All week long when I got home from work it was whip something quick up for dinner and then rock until bedtime (usually 9:30). But the rock was substantial, satisfying and beyond fun. Not that blogging isn't satisfying. But kicking the hell out of a Primus song that you've never ever heard of is a good time. Trust me.

whammy bar Geoff has mastered a couple of the easy level songs.

With a 98% note hit rate, that's pretty good. He's even got rock and roll moves, which are hysterical. Because of Guitar Hero II, Geoff is now into Kansas. Which is awesome. I bought him some iTunes, and he is loving Carry On, Wayward Son and Point of Know Return. Rock on, Geoff. Rock on.

The quote of the moment is courtesy of Jess, who sat here the other day getting mad at him because he rocks the Whammy Bar on the guitar every single chance he gets. The purpose of the Whammy Bar on the Guitar Hero controller is to increase the consumption of "star power" on certain long notes. Not all long notes are full of star power, they're just long notes. But Geoff doesn't care. He'll whammy any long note he can get his whammy onto all the whammy day long. And Jess thinks it is just plain wrong. So she wants to send him to Rock and Roll Jail. I dunno. Jimi Hendrix and many surf bands would be in there too if it were up to her. I disagree with her damnation of excessive whammy use.

And again, I say... Rock on, Geoff. Rock on.

My migraine situation cleared up my Monday night. I ended up staying home and cleaning the study. I could see well enough and there wasn't any pain, so I got a great deal done. I still felt like crap for a day or so. But I tell ya -- my office is nice and organized. I knocked about 20 boxes down to a pile of what will be three or four smaller boxes for storage. And I organized the computer desk with stacking files, and just generally made it a much nicer place to hang out. Huzzah for me.

On Wednesday I got a fever blister. I felt it starting on my drive to work, a tingle and a ping! ping! ping! By that night it was a huge lump. Thursday it looked like I had flesh eating bacteria consuming my face. Friday I thought I would die.

I got some Abreva on Thursday night. That crap is expensive, but I tell you what -- it works really well. I also started taking acidophilus pills and a lot of extra B complex vitamins. I know that acidophilus is normally for canker sores, and fever blisters are viral, but I figure it couldn't hurt... right?

So between the Abreva and the supplements, the stupid blister is being beaten back. Hopefully it'll be gone in the next day or two.

By the way, if you want a good laugh at a very very unnecessary website, off of the Abreva site there is this button for "Hot Tips From Tina." She's young, she's hip, and she hates cold sores. So go to her webpage and learn all about this cold sore hating hot young babe! What an annoyingly unnecessary waste of webspace. Jeeesh.

Not to get into a TMI kind of situation, now my eyes are sticky when I wake up in the morning, and sore throughout the day. My eyelids feel like sandpaper. I thought it was because I was feeling over tired, so I went to bed Friday night at some ungodly early hour (cutting short my Guitar Hero playtime) and it still hasn't helped. I don't have bloodshot eyes... so I doubt it is pink eye. Maybe it is styes or something. Bleurgh.

Anyway, not much else to tell. We took the dogs for a nice long walk yesterday and today it is sleeting. So that sucks. We haven't been walking enough, for ourselves or for them. And it isn't just Guitar Hero's fault. It is pitch black when I get home from work, and you just try getting my ass out of bed before 7am for ANYthing much less a walk.

So yesterday felt wonderful, getting out for a nice long walk and watching Gonzo run like a freaking maniac everywhere. Wish I could do it today. Sigh.

Finally, this week is the week of the Barenaked Ladies and Guster "Ships and Dip" cruise to Turks and Caicos.

And we're not on it. Sadly.

Last year when Barenaked Ladies announced they were doing this, Jess and I were all gung ho to go. Then, we had to go and sell the house, tie up all our money, get things in a situation where buying cruise tickets for over a thousand bucks round trip (with airfare and all that jazz) would have been a literal impossibility for us financially, even if it was only Jess and I that went. I didn't want to go without Doug. We're not in that kind of a relationship where entire vacations are spent apart... that just isn't right. One night away is one thing. A cruise is another.

Doug put his foot down when we begged. I can't say as I blame him. But when they announced Guster was going on the cruise as well, I thought my head would explode.

I wanted to win tickets, win the lottery, do something that would get my pale white sorry lame ass on that cruise.

But that never did come to pass. And the ship sails tomorrow from Ft. Lauderdale, and I know people who have flown down or who are flying down today so they can be on board when the cruise gets under weigh.

There will be Guitar Hero contests with Ed Robertson and Wine Tasting with Steven Page. There will be Guster. Aaah, the Thundergod aboard a cruise ship. There will be fun, there will be merriments unimaginable. I hang my head sadly.

The one thing aside from money that Doug had an issue with when it comes to this cruise was that Jess (and Geoff if he went) would have to miss school. Doug is huge about the kids not missing school unless they are dying. Which is why my daughter has the work ethic she does, and can get herself out of bed for the 7am bus after a rock concert the night before.

This week upcoming is Midterms for Jess. They have special schedules. They have three hour long tests. They have papers due, they are in hell.

And I had no idea (nothing of this is mentioned on the district calendar) that this was the week for that. So could you imagine what it would have been like for me to take her out of school this week? Impossible. Literally. Impossible.

Schools in the area are actually beginning to penalize students for missing school for non-medical or non-family death related absences, and our district is one of them. I'm not sure what they do, but if she came back tan and rested (or tan and bleary eyed from all the excessive ROCK she would be subjected to on the cruise) I think they'd come down on her. And, I'd probably have to lie to get her out of school (but you remember what telling the truth did for me back in October when Conourtney was late to school after the BNL concert... it got her a day's detention and me mortified).

The school's philosophy is we give you a week in December, a week in February, and a week in April. Go on vacation THEN.

The problem is, for certain, that 89,000,000 kids have vacation those weeks, and just you try to go somewhere on vacation other than your backyard those three weeks. Just you try it. You can't, unless you crap money and think nothing of it.

We looked into going to Florida by plane in February. The kids have off Feb 19th through the 23rd.

If we wanted to fly out the 17th and come back the 24th, it would be 400 bucks a person... EACH WAY. If we wanted to go the week after or the week before, it would be 98 bucks a person each way.

So we decided we'd go to Arizona instead. Go see Amy and Bob again. Go see the Super Desert. Go south to see my Aunt Margie in Tuscon. Same thing. Flights were four times the amount they are that week than the week before or after.

Supply and demand. Consumers will pay it, if they crap bricks of money and think nothing of it. But we sure as hell can't afford to pay eight hundred dollars a person to fly, and then pay for a hotel room and a rental car. We're not that kind of family.

The cruise would cost less in the long run, even with buying passports and whatnot.

So, we're going to DRIVE to Florida. Yes we are. We're insane, I should say - Doug is insane. I'd much rather make a hotel reservation somewhere near here for two nights and just sit and drink by the pool while Geoff swims. But ... Doug wants to go where it is warm.

Hindsight being what it is. I'm relieved we didn't get the tickets. And I'm looking forward to the drive to Florida. I may buy a portable DVD player for the kids to use in the back, and I will check with the school to see what consequences are if we take the kids out of school on Thursday so we can get going before the rest of the entire North East Corridor.

We've got a free place to stay, so we'll save money with that. And I hope it doesn't snow.

Well, back to the BNL and Guster cruise topic (I kind of went off on a tangent there with the whole February vacation thing...) For the friends who read this who are cruising -- I wish them well. Avoid the Norwalk Virus. Take tons and tons of pictures. Remember the Flickr Pool. And I look forward to reports of your exploits upon your return. Wear your sunscreen. Say hi to the Thundergod for me.

Alright -- more later. I'm off to do dishes, stack firewood and watch football. I think Laundry needs to be done too. And I'll watch the sleet and freezing rain and hope it doesn't ruin anyone's flights out of here today (Abbey and CMM -- that means you).

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