Tales of a wandering lesbian


I know I’ve already written about how much I love Rock Band, but every time I play with other people, I love it even more.

I brought home the Beatles version for my sister’s birthday in September.  We spent hours playing.  And, by we, I mean my sister, my mom, my dad, my brother-in-law, and my aunt.  There were nights where we all gathered in front of the tv to play together.  With one guitar and one set of drums, the rest of the players took turns (or sang together) belting into the mic.

My family laughs a lot, but with the wii we laugh even more together.  My family usually humors my requests (which are incessant) to play board games whenever we are together, begrudgingly coming together to play “SORRY!” or “Taboo”.  But with the wii, there are times when I have to convince my father that we should wait to play.  The wii is great, in general.  Whether we’re playing tennis or wii fit, or Rock Band, it brings us together almost magically.  My parents gently encourage each other, my sister helps my aunt, running the drum foot-pedal while my aunt slaps at the electronic drum heads.  My bro-in-law, Matt, and I talk a significant amount of trash while playing tennis, but aside from the one time my sister inadvertently hit him upside the head with the controller, we all keep it super-civil.

Back in Portland, I had an October Rock Band party in the backyard.  We rented a projector, and played Rock Band on the neighbor’s garage wall.

Backyard Rockband

It was a clear but freezing night.  After 6 hours, there were still women sitting in chairs around the little fire pit, trying to keep warm while they played “one more song, one more song…”  When we finally shut it down at midnight, there were hugs and lots of “I love you, man”s exchanged.

This Christmas, when I got to my parent’s house, the wii and Rock Band equipment was already there, brought over from my sister’s house (where it lives) to the larger living room that serves as our communal gathering place.  Lunchtimes were filled with jam sessions, and evenings with competitions.  My dad picked up Rock Band 2 on a shopping trip to Twin Falls (the closest mall 90 minutes away), and we spent that night forming our band (nuthouse) and making our characters (big mama, rikitan, flickster and forno – my pregnant sister’s name is Italian for “oven”).

For the next week, visitors to the house were treated to a turn on the wii.  Perched on the piano bench, one visitor, who used to be a drummer, hammered away, totally enjoying himself.  We turned on the “freestyle mode” and let him go to town.  After a dinner with friends from elementary school, our two families piled into the living room for some fun.  We warmed up with tennis, pairing up mom against mom and brother against brother.  Watching the two dads go at it was perhaps the most entertaining.  We shouted instructions as they waved their arms wildly and swore loudly, battling each other.

And then it was time for singing.  We loaded the Beatles in and assigned instruments.  The nine of us played and sang and laughed.

Rock it!

“I think this might be addictive,” my mom declared with a wary grin.  I wasn’t sure if she was warning me or herself.  But when I suggested that she and my dad get a wii, she waved her hand in a dismissive way, “No no, we have Cathy and Matt’s.”  Then she chuckled and smiled mischievously.

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1 comment

1 Big Mama { 01.12.10 at 7:52 am }

You really could do commercials for Rock Band, Icebreaker…….etc….