I am awoken violently when my friends decide that the best alarm is Rocko's Modern Life's theme song at MAXIMUM VOLUME. Once my ears stop ringing, we play an ungodly amount of Smash Brothers in an effort to unlock Solid Snake. Efforts to unlock characters leads to inexplicable failure and multiple retries for some reason. This is the first hint of an overarching motif of our vacation, which is failure.
Case in point. Wiggy and Siro booted up Skyrim on Reno's computer, setting out to make a Argonian (because they want to play as a dinosaur.) They spend an incredible amount of time pouring over every slider and option in designing the ultimately spiky lizard monstrosity, they are like excited 5 years olds what makes t-rexes awesome. This process culminates with the game crashing the moment they finish and dub the monstrosity DINO KING.
Wiggy and Siro console themselves by pointing out that making Dino King is about the journey, not the destination, and we move on.
Reno, theatrically, whips out a time honored tradition and has us play House of the Dead 2. Which is a masterpiece of bad voice acting. This entertains but doesn't quite engage Wiggy and Siro as much as it does me and Reno.
Poking around the Wii's netflix option, we randomly decide to watch the movie Rubber. A film about a sentient tire that has psychic powers to make people's heads explode. The movie is fantastic, but not for any reasons evident upon hearing the premise. There is a surreal layer to the movie that is far more interesting than the already surreal premise and was a fantastic thing to watch on a lark.
(fun fact, writing down 'Making a Dinosaur' and 'Rubber' down in my notes eventually prompted people reading them to discuss the idea of making dinosaur themed condoms. A inside joke that would spiral out of control.)
All of this time wasting delayed us from the important task of buying groceries for the rest of the stay. We all cram into the car and rive to the local Wal-Mart Supercenter (I never escape these on vacation, even after I quit)
Siro: GROCERY STORES. AM I RIGHT? HA.
Buying groceries is instantaneous a problem the moment when we spot a ghost buster plush toy in the UFO catcher near the entrance. (I didn't help by taking pictures.) Reno would later make the comment that shopping with us in tow is a prelude to what it'd be like grocery shopping with kids.
I make an effort to help conclusively figure out what we should buy. It's tough though, since Siro is a vegetarian but ALSO has no opinion about what we should get. An important purchase is cereal, and we agonize over which offbrand to entrust our fates with.
I mother-hen Siro into buying fresh fruits as I figure that is something he will eat. We get sandwich fixings and lemonade in every variety (only a dollar!) and the one thing I insist on is pepperjack cheese. Fixings for chicken rich meals are also acquired.
We return and start up what becomes our favorite activity. Hotseat Binding of Isaac. We swap out players every floor and every single run is inevitably a monumental failure. But we keep at it. Also on the failure train is MORE DONKEY KONG OH YEAH.
We establish that we should go to McCarthy's, the bar Reno plays guitar at during open mic nights. Reno restrings his guitar, which is punctuated by more frustration as things go wrong with that that are unexpected. Donkey Kong becomes a race against time as we try to finish the second world temple before we aim to leave, and we manage to do it right on the dot. WHOA.
McCarthy's is a cozy little alehouse bar. It was nice putting a place to my mental imaginings of Reno playing on stage. Apart from my sister's bar, I'd never really be in one. Reno was interested in how this would contrast against an idea of bars as defined exclusively by pop culture. HAIRY BIKERS EVERYWHERE.
The bar, according to Reno, is more or less empty tonight. It makes for a more intimate performance.
Wiggy and I are kind of out of place in a bar, a bit uncomfortable and not terribly socialable. I'm seated closer to the train of people Reno introduces us to, so I get to spearhead the awkward handshakes and inept conversation. We're introduced to Rob, who Reno introduces us to as lawyers in order to sue him over copyright infringement for band names. I spend more time talking to Rob than I have words to say to him, to the point that I dub our corner of the bar the socially awkward table. Also, nicknames get thrown around like Rob the Liar and No Smiles Ryan, which were way funnier at the time.
Siro and Reno partake and are sociable, relaxed and fancy free for the evening.
No one had the heart to tell them their bottles were empty.
We also met Guitar Wiggy. Who is a guy named Dave who is goofy and strange, played dueling banjos on his guitar and had been known to shoot dart guns at other performers. He was in charge of sound mixing tonight and everything was a little out of synch as he apparently wasn't quite as good as the regular guy?
Also, on the stall of one of the bathrooms, Reno reports that there is some graffiti that reads 'Perception isn't truth.' With an anonymous annotation below that simply reads 'Damn!'
And Michelangelo is a party duuuudeee.
This is the only time you will ever see an image like this in front of you. (I drank none of this.)
Then, the moment of the evening. Reno went up and did a set of three pieces. Queen Bitch, In Dreams, and Loverman.
Without further adieu, here is Ric Carnahan and Jackson Wyse performing In Dreams.
Sorry about the watermark. I don't have a proper program to edit MOV files. And converting the file to AVI led to this.
I technically have video of all three segments. They all have lousy video quality. The sound on the first one is worse than this because I am further away and the last song had a gaffe. I can still upload them if people want.
There was no possible way to end this ending except by going home and having sandwiches. MMM!!! SANDWICHES!! Siro got one with egg instead of turkey! And everyone got pepperjack!!
We also played Deadly Premonitions, which is a game that Reno had been saving a long time for us and we sadly played very little of. It's just a very strange, goofy horror game where a bizarre detective talks to a absent 'Zach' which may be the player, and shoots monsters. We got far enough to see the linked scene, where after Siro got the car almost irreversibly stuck inbetween garden planters. By that point, though, we were all falling down tired and decided to turn in.