Sunday, January 07, 2007

I got blisters on me fingers!

"But in the seasons of wither we'll stand and deliver!
Be strong and laugh and Shout! Shout! Shout! Shout at the Devil!"
-Motley Crue

Boy Birthday Party = raging success. It started out a little slow. It was just Geoff and four friends. At one point one boy whipped out his Nintendo DS, so Geoff opened his and they started playing together, leaving the other three to sit there.

Not fair or nice... so Doug got the PS2 out.

We knew would need it later anyway, so he got them started early. And they seemed to like that a lot. 10 year old boys don't like to sit and chat the way girls do, telling funny anecdotes about other people and/or school. Boys like something to keep them distracted, and we gave them that.

They played Rayman Raging Rabbids. Let me tell you folks, there is nothing like soda, cake, pizza and cartoon sadism to fuel a fun time for a bunch of 10 year old boys.

They had a great time and laughed their heads off. The party began to get really loud and funny with lots of witty slams and insults against one another's skill in shooting crazed cartoon rabbits with plungers. They all seemed in a good mood and were very lively. It wasn't as insane crazy as I thought it would be, I think Geoff invited the most mellow of his friends over and that, in the end, made for a rather easy going bunch. I was thinking how different the dynamic would be if there was one other boy there, and immediately thanked my lucky stars that Geoff didn't ask him to come over.

guitar heroGeoff opened his presents next. As you know from yesterday's entry, Doug had purchased Guitar Hero II and a wireless controller (Linda -- they were out of Guitar Hero I, so I'm actually going to go to buy it online, or you can, whichever works -- we can meh about that tomorrow) ...

Geoff's head exploded with sheer joy. Ka-Boom. And pictured here is the face of a boy who totally digs his birthday gift.

The boys were so psyched and couldn't wait to play. They were cheering and freaking out. Doug set the wireless guitar controller up, and Jacob gave us a quick tutorial on how the controller worked. He has Guitar Hero I at home so he was the seasoned professional, the master teacher, the mentor, the rock legend. In showing us how to play, he declared that he didn't like the songs on this second version, so after he taught us he backed down on playing and sat and watched...

I think he got irritated because none of the songs were familiar to him, and he finds it easier when he knows the songs and knows what to expect. I really don't care, because you don't need to know the songs, you just need to know when to press green or yellow or red or whatever...

The rest of the kids pretty much agreed with my assessment. None of them knew "Shout at the Devil" by Motley Crue, "Mother" by Danzig (I mean, really. When was the last time you heard Danzig and you're over 30, right?) or "Woman" by Wolfmother.

They all knew "Message in a Bottle" by the Police and sang along with it for the whole song. It quickly became the favorite because it is relatively easy (until you get to the end) and they all could get into singing along with the song while the guitar wielder rocked out.

The boys heartily booed one another as their "Rock" meter ran down into the red. They cheered when people got great scores. They made a rule that if your performance failed miserably you got a second turn. They all shared and no one fought. It was really cool and I was proud of them. Usually a soda, pizza, cake and ice cream fueled gathering turns to fisticuffs over such things as a wicked cool wireless guitar controller. But this crowd was way cool.

One by one boys were picked up and moms and dads came in to gaze upon the marvel of their sons rocking out to songs like "Heart Shaped Box" by Nirvana. By about 9:30 it was down to Geoff and his sleepover guest, E.

Jess had been patiently biding her time, hoping to get a turn and finally her patience paid off. She got her turn to play and was immediately addicted.

Geoff, E and Jess played for hours while Doug and I watched some football upstairs. I was proud of Jess, considering initially she didn't want to be here at all for this party and decided she was sleeping at Lizzy's. At the last minute she decided to stay and I think that even though there was a hoard of 10 year old boys hanging around, she had a great time in the end.

I went down after the football game (Ha ha, Dallas. You suck!) and got a turn or two and got the hang of it. The Easy setting is for me -- the Medium setting proved to be too complicated and I embarrassed myself by even trying. It was shameful. Really, really shameful.

At about midnight, Jess decided she was done and ready for bed. I tried to get the boys to go to bed but they were having none of that. All Guitar Hero, All The Time. That was their motto. I think E played "Message in a Bottle" 800 times. In fact, if he ever hears the song on the radio he'll sing "yellow, green, red, green. Yellow, green, red, green..."

Finally at about 2am I said that was enough, it was bedtime fer cryin' out loud. E couldn't even use the controller anymore. He asked me to press buttons while he hit the other thingie to make the notes play.

I told him that when a rockstar gets to the point where he needs his friend's mom to finger the frets, the show should be declared "over."

They both reluctantly agreed and went up to the futon.

I put an Avatar: The Last Airbender DVD on the computer so they could watch that if they didn't want to fall immediately asleep... at least they'd be in bed and horizontal. I figured it wouldn't be long before they were asleep. E said he doesn't remember anything past the intro monologue. I think Geoff stayed up later because Disk 2 was put into the computer at some point and I heard him walking down the hall to the bathroom at one point.

I had decided to go to bed on the couch downstairs. Our bedroom was roasting Africa hot as it was 72 damn degrees yesterday (Okay, Al Gore - I'll concede. You were right. Global Warming Blah Blah Blah). All our storm windows are down and windows winterized, and I'd put all the fans away in the attic thinking they wouldn't be needed.... so there wasn't a chance I'd be able to cool the bedroom off. The woodstove room proved to be a lot cooler a place to sleep. I think I finally fell fully asleep around 4am.

E's mom had to pick him up at 8:45 this morning, so we all were up at about 8:10, playing Guitar Hero again and eating breakfast. It is 11 am now and Doug and Geoff are still playing. I think I may go put myself back in bed and see if I can fall asleep. I want to be able to get some things done this afternoon and enjoy some football (Go Pats!)

Today is Geoff's actual birthday, so I think he told Doug he wants to go get a hair cut and maybe go out for dinner again. We'll take him somewhere of his choosing this time instead of force Indian Food on him.

Once he's done playing Guitar Hero for the day.

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