Journal Entry: September 5, 2008

Okay, imagine if the Trans Siberian Orchestra got a lead singer who was really angry.

That’s Coheed and Cambria, in case you’ve never listened to them. The drum part of “Welcome Home” is amazingly fun.

So, yeah, as you can see, more of the same. Wednesday night was a lot of fun. We got together with K– and N– and D– at Jersey Mike’s for dinner, then went back home because T– wasn’t feeling well. D– came over, too, and we played with AB for a while, then pulled out Rock Band. As soon as AB went to bed, T– joined us, and we tore up. D– and I stayed up until 11:30 playing.

Then yesterday D– got sick, so he couldn’t join us. T– and AB met me for lunch at BWW yesterday, for the first time, and that was cool. Kind of the high point of my day, because work got pretty frustrating yesterday afternoon. So by the time I got home, I was in no mood to go work out, and T– was still feeling pretty down with her allergy attack (or whatever it is), so we stayed home. I played with AB for a couple hours, trying to teach her how to drum on her little turtle drum. She just bangs. Whatever.

I also dug out the old “How to Drum” book that I’d gotten way back when I was taking lessons in college, but by the time I thought of that it was AB’s bedtime so I just played the game instead of reading.

As I said, T– wasn’t feeling too well last night, so I just played the Solo Tour. I kind of like doing that because if I have trouble with a song I can try it two or three times until I get it right. D– and T– are usually more in it for the entertainment value, and prefer to skip the brutal songs and go on to something we can handle.

Anyway, I’d cleared 10 songs on Solo sometime last week, and last night I did 19 more. Then the 20th kicked my butt. My goal for the Solo games is to get through them all with 4 stars on Medium (there’s 93 total), then go to Hard and do the same thing. I figure by Expert I’ll just be trying to complete them, but who knows. I’ve been making some impressive progress.

So, yeah, since they’re arranged in increasing difficulty (specifically for the drum part), and since patterns you learn in one song tend to show up in harder songs (only faster, or with minor variations, or whatever), I can generally just burn right through the Solo songs. Almost every one I get 4 stars on the first try. Out of those 19, I had to retry 2 of them, because I’d only gotten 3 stars on the first try (and I got 4 on the second). Then there were 4 or 5 that I got 5 stars right off the bat, so you can see how awesome I am.

Then I got to that 20th song (30th overall), and it was 10:15, and I told myself, “I’ll complete this one, see what the next 5 songs are [because it reveals them 5 at a time], and then go to bed.” I knew that to be a lie, but that was my plan.

Then I started the song, and the intro was a nightmare. 30 seconds into the song, I almost got booed off the stage, but it transitioned into the verse and then I was fine. Then about six minutes into the song (SIX minutes into ONE song), it goes back to the fast drum solo, and it lasts for two solid minutes, and I just didn’t stand a chance. I got booed off the stage. First time that’s happened to me on the solo.

So, ugh, I started it over (because that’s what I do), and I did the first fast solo pretty well, but I got to the second one and it trashed me again. But, as I said, I had just played over six minutes of perfect drums before suddenly getting booed off the stage.

Then, on the “You Failed” screen, I noticed that it also showed the amount of the song that I’d completed before failing — 65%! The song is damn nine minutes long! And I have to beat it to go on with the game.

So I switched to practice mode and spent a while just practicing those two solos, trying to get the rhythm down, and I could do the first one but the second one is tough, and it goes on forever. I tried and tried and tried, and figured I had it down well enough to at least finish the song (even if it wasn’t graceful), so I tried again. Seven minutes later, I failed. Then I tried again, and by that time it was 11:30. I spent over an hour trying to just complete this song, and never did. Never even got close. I could have played an entire “Blitzkrieg Bop” in the time left between the farthest I got and the end of the song.

Bah! And I didn’t want to end on that note, so I switched to the “Bonus Set” and unlocked four songs before I went to bed. Two of them were 4-stars and the other two 5-stars on my first attempts, so that gave me some of my confidence back.

Yeah, yeah, that’s a lot of drum talk, but it’s what’s been going on. In spite of the frustration, I’m having a good time, and I now have all of the songs from the game on my mp3 player, so I can practice even when I’m not home. Awesome.

I’m listening to that song right now, by the way. “Green Grass and High Tides” by the Outlaws. I like the lyrics, but I kinda hate the song, in case you were curious.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.

2 Replies to “Journal Entry: September 5, 2008”

  1. Ugh. Noted, and fixed. Thanks for catching that.

    I doubt anybody else has the phrase “trans-continental railway” so ingrained in their psyche that it creates that same error over and over again, but that’s just who I am.

    That golden spike just struck a chord with me.

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