Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in the Badlands

Today I attended a Christmas party with undergraduate friends. The host's house was in a brand new suburban division - one of those that has a giant maze of unnavigable side streets. It was extremely challenging to find my way amongst tiny signs on darkened streets laden with many inches of snow (I think maybe the snowplows don't know how to find my friend's house).

I brought out some Google Map directions, but I was hoping to receive live directions via our Garmin GPS. Unfortunately, the subdivision was so new that my GPS had absolutely no idea that streets even existed in that area of the world. I gave up on the GPS and had it simply display my location (and not direct). However, by the time I got to the area that my friend lived, the screen was black - no streets visible. The GPS thought I was in the middle of nowhere. In fact, a satellite image of my friend's neighbourhood from Google Maps displays nothing but barren dirt.

While at the party, I had my first opportunity to try out the addictive video game Rock Band on Wii. The game essentially lets you be a rock star - setting you up with guitar, drum, and microphone peripherals. I was disappointed to find out that it only comes with one guitar - making you choose between guitar and bass... but since I made a beeline for the drums, it didn't really matter. While I completely sucked at the drums (and had to stick to the Easy setting - I got torn to shreds on Medium), it was hopelessly addictive. I have to admit that suddenly, getting Rock Band for my Wii is shamefully attractive, but for most of the year I won't have anyone to play with, and it's not really fun being a one-man-band. The real reason I don't already own Rock Band, however, is the fact that the Wii version got the shaft by not having an online song store.

But wait! On December 22nd - that's today, Rock Band 2 will be released for the Nintendo Wii. It is matched feature for feature to the previously meatier XBox360 and PlaySation 3 versions, including World Tour Mode, character customization, and online store! Tempting... very tempting...

The party also had a "stealing Santa" gift exchange. We played it like this - each person receives a number. Number one opens a gift. Number two opens a gift, and if they liked number one's gift better, they can swap. If a person's gift gets stolen, they too get an opportunity to steal someone else's gift. Each item can only be swapped once per round. When all the gifts have been swapped or the last person who had their gift stolen is happy, the round ends and the next number opens a gift. I was gunning pretty hard for this giant stuffed Toad (from Mario) and a Milk light (a night light shaped like a glass of milk), but sadly they got stolen from me during the last round. Looking for something else to steal to keep the game going, I thieved the popular novel Twilight and a Starbucks gift card. I have yet to determine whether this was a good idea, because even though Twilight has become the new "it" book, it sounds like it might be the literature equivalent of a "chick flick" - or "chick lit" (until this year, I thought people were saying "chiclet," like the gum - what an epiphany!).

The party was pretty fun, and it was good to see some of my undergrad peers again (and to get to know some of those who I didn't really hang out with in undergrad). You know what they say, "The friends that game together, stay together." No wait, they don't say that. But they should!

The next big challenge of the night was finding my way home again...

1 comment:

sandlot said...

If you had Gilda at that time, you wouldn't have been so lost. Because Gilda is awesome.

We should start a book club: first book on the docket: twilight - the entire trilogy.