A Good Weekend

This most recent weekend, the last in January 2007, was a particularly enjoyable one. A recap:

We decided to have a garage sale. So, Friday night Rossy and I stayed up until around 2am putting neon green and yellow arrows on streetsigns around her brother Fred’s house. We awoke at 5am and were setting up for the garage sale by six. Some people were there at six (the time we had put on the neon arrows) and were unhappy that we were setting up late. Don’t mess with hardcore, it’s-still-dark-outside-but-yours-is-the-fourth-garage-sale-I’ve-been-to-this-morning garage salers. The garage sale was mostly uneventful. We didn’t sell much or make much money. Fred’s set of rims (+ tires!) that I was interested in turned out to be four-lug (which wouldn’t fit on my five-lug car), and a particularly socially inept neighbor boy hung around us most of the time, telling us about the rats in his garage and riding his rusted purple bike.

While the garage sale trickled to a halt, we fired up (my brother-in-law) Will’s PS2 and continued our deadly obsession with Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero, for the uninitiated, is basically Dance Dance Revolution with a small plastic guitar rather than a foot pad with arrows. You play songs by hitting the right buttons at the right time, and if you miss, the guitar line of the song misses too, often very obviously. Rossy and I had previously unlocked all 40 standard-play songs on the game, and we were shown up spectacularly by Will, who owns the game(pun intended). (How much were we shown up? Will and I played the Guns-n-Roses song, Sweet Child of Mine on medium difficulty against each other. He put down the guitar and left the room a minute or two before the song ended, and he still won.)

We then napped and ate soup and had a generally lazy Saturday until our digestive systems began to grumble about our lack of dinner. So, in an amazing amount of convergence, 14 of us (Rossy and I, her mom, her brother Fred, his wife, daughter and son, Rossy’s brother Will, his wife and daughter, and Rossy’s sister Wendy and her two sons and daughter) piled into to large SUVs and headed to San Diego to hit legendary hole-in-the-wall 24 hour Mexican food mecca, El Cotixan.

An hour and most of Nacho Libre later (May I be forgiven for ever hating in-car DVD players. Amen.), we indulged in completely unhealthy but delicious Bean-and-Cheese burritos and Carne Asada fries with Horchata and Diet Coke to drink. Fred’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law ended up arriving with their significant others, too, so we had 18 people in the tiny restaurant. We took over at least half of the seating.

Rossy and I were asleep before 11pm.

After sleeping in and arriving late to church, we went to eat Pei Wei with Will, Melissa and Gabby and Mike, Roberta, Isaiah and Noah. Pei Wei was good for an ‘Asian Cuisine’ place, but it was no hand-made, straight from the continent cookin’ like Thai Boat. Afterwards, we went to exercise our option for a free boba drink from Tapioca Express (TapEx’s stamp card has paid off twice!) and we exposed Mike’s family to the wonders of Tapioca Snow bubbles. The verdict ranged from “surprisingly good” to “those balls are gross, but the drink is good” but I don’t think we created any more addicts. Good. More for us.

We were by the mall and thus visited some stores, purchasing the occasional good, before deciding to see Dreamgirls. The movie was very entertaining, and I can understand the nominations it has garnered. The music was mostly very Motown-inspired, with a slight amount of that Broadway-musical edge (read: cheese). But it was a good movie, well filmed with sparkling design, enjoyable acting and great music (though none of the music stuck in my head like real Motown does). Also worth noting are the clever nods to the real people behind Motown (the movie itself is a retelling of the story of Motown, Barry Gordy, Diana Ross, and the Supremes): in an early studio scene, the bass players bass looks like the same exact bass that James Jamerson one-fingered as he laid down the foundation for every electric bass player ever. Also in that scene was a harmonica atop a piano, a reference to the otherwise unreferenced early Motown star, Stevie Wonder.

Following the film, we headed to my parents’ house, thus making the full familial rounds in 48 hours. We ate Dungeoness Crabs while my sister Emily and her friend (and practically sister) Annie looked on in disgust. From there, we fired up the Guitar Hero (we still had not given it back to Will). Emily and Annie took a little time to get used to the controls, but they were rocking and loving it after a few songs. My mom had a thoroughly surreal experience as I played Jessica by the Allman Brothers, a song she had heard live multiple times. My dad though.

My dad was the highlight of the weekend. We invited him to play Guitar Hero and he said no. But his eyes said yes. So after a small amount of cajoling, we suckered him into it.

And my dad loved it.

He may not agree to that statement right now. Watching him, clutching the guitar-controller, tapping his foot to the beat and rocking like I had seen him do thousands of times with an air guitar, I could tell he was having a great time. He only played one song, but his thirst for more was evident. We plan on playing Guitar Hero with my dad again. Probably with pictures this time.

We also played Solitaire Frenzy. The game is impossible to explain to the uninitiated (like combining solitaire with the card game speed). But it is a lot of chaotic fun. And my mom cheats.