********************Despite the fact that I hadn't had the chance to pick up a RedOctane guitar-shaped controller and attempt to play a video game that is probably designed for people 30 years younger than myself in quite some time, it was nice to see that I hadn't reverted to being so bad that I got boo'd off the stage by the virtual audiences of Guitar Hero II.
I was fully expecting to hang my head in shame while I missed note after note and feebly tried to explain that at one point I really had beat the game in career mode - at least on the 'easy' level - but thankfully I not only remembered how to play but even managed to play a couple of songs on 'medium' without doing half bad. Not too shabby for an ailing dispatcher who could probably have made good use of some form of osteoarthritis relief for my left hand by the time I finished playing!
Amanda and I had a wonderful time visiting with Jason and Amy last night and in the course of the evening I think Amanda managed to make herself a new friend in the form of their daughter, Katie. The girls had met previously when we all went to the Projeckt Revolution concert together back in August but due to the circumstances they hadn't really had a chance to talk while we were at the concert. Amanda was too busy meeting some of the members of Mindless Self Indulgence and glomping me in her excitement while Katie was having a case of the nerves about going backstage to meet the members of Linkin Park. Under circumstances like that, it's no wonder they didn't have a lot of time to sit down and talk!
As soon as we got to Jason and Amy's home, Amanda couldn't wait to get her hands on the X-plorer Controller for the Xbox 360 and try out her prowess on several My Chemical Romance songs that Jason had downloaded. One of the cool things about the XBox versus the Playstation is that you can download additional songs from the internet that aren't available on the Playstation version so there were songs that Amanda had never had the chance to play. Show-off that she is she managed to fly through Dead!, Teenagers, and Famous Last Words on 'hard' while having to slow down to 'medium' for her first time through How I Disappear. In the meantime, Katie stayed in the corner of the couch and declared that she had never played, had no desire to play, and preferred to just watch and criticize her Dad while he played (truth be told, she sounds like a kid after my own heart!). Eventually though she decided to give it a go and after suffering through the tutorial she jumped right in and did quite well with her first couple of songs.
As a way of saying thank you for taking us to Projekt Revolution, I had picked up a second guitar controller to give to Jason and Amy as I knew from previous experience playing on Dan's PS2 that playing with a second person could be a lot of fun. After the girls had done a couple of songs, the adults took over the game taking turns playing in 'cooperative' mode. Amanda and Katie recessed to her room where they apparently talked about all things MSI and other things that they found they had in common including anime. The evening flew by quite quickly and before we left the girls were talking about getting together again. Amanda is hoping that Katie can come over at some point and she'll show her how to make a plushie doll amongst other things.
I've got to say that I am thrilled that Amanda has met someone her age who seems to share a lot of the same interests that she has as, frankly, I've been a bit worried that most of her friendships these days seem to be in the form of one electronic media or another. Since becoming a "couple" Dan and Nicole have virtually disappeared and Amanda very rarely even talks to either of them on the phone or via instant-message anymore. I had the rotten feeling that was going to happen when Dan and Nicole decided they liked each other as "more than friends" but I wish I had been wrong on that one. Sadly, I wasn't.
Katie lives with her mother out of town during the week but spends every weekend here so maybe the girls will be able to develop a good friendship. I can only think that it would be really good for Amanda and Amy thinks it would be good for Katie to have a friend in the area, too, as not going to school around here she doesn't know anyone else her own age. I'm definitely going to keep my fingers crossed on that one and hope that before we know it, both girls are blowing through every song on Guitar Hero II at the 'expert' level and showing us adults how it's really done!