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So Addicted

So last night, after I'd gotten the kids into bed and asleep, I came back downstairs to resume pressuring Eric.

"C'mon, honey; just once? Just one time?"

"I don't wanna!"

"One time? Just to say we did? I just want to try it!"

"Oh, all right. Get it set up."

PalmsYou see, Eric had found the country music version of Karaoke Revolution on sale, and I'd had my eye on it for a few more songs that I loved. Now not only did we own the game, but since it came with its own microphone, we could sing duets. The cheese factor was truly becoming alarming, but it was fun cheese.

"I went ahead and made 'you,' but you'll probably want to change it a bit..."

"...oh, heck, no!"

On the Karaoke Revolution games, you can create a model of yourself, so that it looks like a Sims-style representation of you up there on the stage, dancing and singing your heart out. Naturally, the country version of the game includes a few outfits that are geared toward the genre, a few of which are way over the top. I'd done a roughed-out version of Eric, but he took offense at the floofy hair and mutton chops I'd assigned him. He changed himself and his outfit a bit, and...

"You look like the creepy old guy from 'Poltergeist 2.'"

"God is in his holy temple..."

Once that was settled, we sang. We didn't know all the songs, but it quickly became clear that whether we knew them or not, we were pretty evenly matched. The game gives you points per phrase, depending on how close you come to the correct rhythm and pitches, and even on songs that neither of us had ever before heard, we weren't just coming close to each other's scores; we were actually tying. We wanted to see what happened in particular game modes, like "Knock Out," but it's impossible to test them without having some sort of actual variance in the players scores, so we started deliberately trying to pick songs that one of us knew well and the other didn't.

"...oh, yeah, well, you suck!"

"Please! I can't believe you thought I wouldn't know 'Chattahoochee'!"

The bottom line is that professionally-trained musicians can fake a whole lot, and as composers (who really preferred sitting in the audience over actually performing most of the time, and whose totalled-up practice room hours reflected that fact clearly), we were both adept at faking pretty well. Eventually, we decided to explore some of the goofier games on the disc, and we discovered an "Advanced Player" mode on one of the games. Curious, we investigated.

Choosing rounds at random, the game informed us that for the next game, we would be given no lyrics and no pitch-indicators. It was to be a medley of three songs. "Oh, no!"

Yeah, we can fake it, so long as you give us something to fake! Without notes or words, we floundered around on the unfamiliar songs, sounding like tone-deaf mute people: "Ooh-ooh ooo-OOO-ooo, mmm-hmmmm-hmmmm...mmmm-TRACTOR! Oooo-she-OOOO-thinks-mmmmmm..." By the time Eric took his turn, I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe and tears were rolling down my face. It was the silliest thing we'd done in ages.

After that, they gave us our pitches back, but no lyrics, and we had to sing a song together:

"Ooo-OOOOOO Da-da-da-ah-HEEEEEEEE Mmmmmm-oooo-ooooooo Uh...wooooooo Mmmmmm..."
"Ooo-OOOOOOOO dadada-Ah-heeEEEEmmmm Daaa-ooo-ooooOOooOOOOweeeooooo mmmmmm..."

When it was finished and we were able to catch our breath and speak without gasping, I asked, "What was that, the Battle of the Ondes-Martenots?"

Eric responded, "I was a theremin, baby!"

And then we went and played Trogdor again. Anybody want to come over and play with us? We really need some fresh meat opponents with different skill-sets with whom to match voices and fingers.

Snow globeYesterday, in the blog comments, Sherry said, regarding my question about what you guys would like to hear, "Do you know what I would love to hear? I would LOVE to hear you sing something. Maybe a Christmas song or something?"

Your wish is my command! I whipped up a little carol just for you, and I'll have you know that all four of those vocal parts being sung are yours truly, with no special effects in play at all. Honest! (Okay, so maybe I took the bass part down an octave once I sang it, but that was just because of the last note. I may prefer to sing contralto, but I do not have the F two octaves under middle C in my range.)

Poll for December 5th!

Boom, you're now musically-gifted. What do you learn first?

I'll sing, using my new perfectly-pitched voice!
Drum solo!!! ::BOOM Ba-BOOM!::
I've always wanted to play a string instrument, like the violin
I'd play a woodwind instrument, like the flute
I'd be the newest member of the Tijuana Brass!
I'd be a pianist and tickle the ivories
Gee, thanks; nothing could interest me less than music performance. Can't I have a different gift?
  Current Results

previous one year ago:
We're not football fans, and we'd just as soon not be in Wisconsin, but it seemed like a positive way to look at the year. It jingles, and it makes me giggle.
two years ago:
Really, he's still a little in the "needy paperweight" stage of baby development.
three years ago:
Tell me this: how can my measurements go down, but my weight go up?
four years ago:
If I could just get one good, deep breath through my nose, I'd be a happier camper, but as it is, I'm just too down to be positive.
five years ago:
I'm sure I'll have to be on the lookout for "helpful" relatives trying to feed him over the holidays, though.
six years ago:
I was quite surprised and elated when they asked me if I'd like them to try to find the heartbeat with a Doppler.
seven years ago:
Guess who almost knocked over a pew in church today? Nope, not me. Eric this time.
In the ears:
Furnace and dishwasher noises

On the Bookshelf:

Photos, old and new,
available at:


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