Monday, April 12, 2010

Video Games Live. Alzheimer's. New apartment.

This weekend was nothing short of brilliant.

I took Friday afternoon off from class to visit our new apartment, and sign the lease with our agent. I'm not sure if I've already explained this, but Mitch (my fiance, to all you noobs) and I are moving into an apartment over in St. Paul with our friend, Tony.  Tony's a credit analyst at Fidelity Bank in Edina, so he's a pretty big deal.  Anyway, we're moving into a new apartment (literally, the apartment building was constructed in 2005), and it's going to be an epic next year.  Why?  First of all, the apartment has three bedrooms: One for me and Mitch, one for Tony, and one we're calling the "Fun Room."  The Fun Room will house about half our video game systems/games and books, and be decorated with delightfully nerdy things, like maybe Tony's Tifa poster, and one of my Harry Potter posters.  In addition to having three bedrooms, this apartment has two bathrooms, both of which have huge oval tubs.  And y'all know how much I love bubble baths.  But the bathrooms aren't all what makes this place great; the apartment also has a fireplace, a huge balcony, an island in the kitchen, walk-in closets, in-unit laundry, and the apartment complex has a 24-hour fitness facility, a pool, a hot tub, a clubhouse, and a billiards/poker room.
Here's the layout of our actual unit.  We move in this June. 


Sample living room

Billiards!

The pool and clubhouse

Moving on: Friday night.
Friday evening, I went out to True Thai with the rest of the Student Government for our end-of-the-year dinner.  I had wontons, veggie yellow curry, friend bananas, and Thai iced tea (chrysanthemum tea, mixed with some other good stuff)--all for free!  The Student Government picked up the bill for all of us.  Free, delicious food (I love Thai food!), with great company made for a good night.

 om nom nom

Saturday.
I cleaned for the greater part of the morning, but at 5:30 P.M., I met my pal Phil Kollar (Associate Editor at Game Informer) for Indian foodz at Namaste Cafe on Hennepin (in Uptown).  It was a little ironic, because I'd been complaining since we got to the cafe that I was terribly hungry, and finally, when the waitress came with our food...she dropped my fried fish on the floor.  Accidents happen, though, and the second batch of fried fish didn't take long to make.


After foodz, Phil and I made our way downtown to Orchestra Hall, to watch the Minnesota Orchestra perform Video Games Live, an immersive two-hour video game music concert.  It was more epic than I can describe.  We spoke with Ralph Baer, best known as the creator of the first video game console (the Magnavox Odyssey) (and of Simon, the "Simon-says" game) via Skype, held a costume contest (some adorable little boy in a Link costume won), and watched a cute young dude kick total ass at Guitar Hero Van Halen up on stage (while VGL co-creator Tommy Tallarico rocked out on a real guitar, and the orchestra played behind him).

Ralph Baer with his revolutionary ping-pong game

The only really confusing part about the whole concert was that it seems VGL doesn't have rights to Square Enix game footage.  So, during the Kingdom Hearts song, Hikari, clips from Disney films were displayed on the big screens (they were more like jumbo trons).  And during One Winged Angel, they showed good(?) FFVII cosplay (I'm pretty indifferent to cosplay).  After the concert, we lined up to meet Neil Gaiman, but Phil decided it wasn't a big deal (and frankly, I've never read his work), and that if he really wanted to meet Neil, he'd "sneak to his house and look in his windows."  So we hoofed it back to the parking ramp, and drove to Phil's apartment to get some Pizza Luce.  No, Phil doesn't live at Pizza Luce, he lives extremely close to it, which I guess means basically the same thing: Easy access to delicious pizza.  So we ate Luce at his apartment, and I pet/glared at his roommate's cat, Rufus (Rufus is a chubby gray cat who may or may not be bipolar) while Phil played FFXIII on his gigantic television.  I had to go home after only a little while, lest Per pee all over my apartment.

 I took this before the concert started, so the seats in front of us hadn't filled yet.  The show was sold-out, so you can imagine how crazy it got.  BTW, guess where we sat?  In the fifth-row! 

Tommy Tallarico.  This pic isn't from the Minneapolis concert, but he did use that Spider-Man guitar.

Sunday.
Yesterday was bittersweet.  My sister, Cherish, was in from New York this weekend to see my grandma, who's been in and out of a nursing home for a couple weeks, with a broken hip and Alzheimer's.  Anyway, Cherish drove us to see her.  It made me both heartbroken and strangely calm (happy isn't quite the word) to see her like she is: She can't say very many words anymore, much less full sentences (though the nurse told me Grandma called one of the other nurses "promiscuous"); most of the time, she simply stutters, "De-de-de-de-de-de-de-."  There were times she'd do this for minutes at a time.  She's also very thin, has a largish bruise on her face, and can barely move on her own.  It probably sounds scarier than it really is: Even though most of the time, she couldn't give concrete/coherent answers to our questions, you could see Grandma was somewhere in there.  She smiled a lot, tugged my hair, and gave the crazy people who hang out outside the home judgmental looks.  She seemed to remember who I was well enough, and even remembered Mitch when I brought him up, but had forgotten I have a dog.  That's OK.  I think this whole ordeal has come as less of a shock than it probably should, but maybe I'm getting better at handling the ideas of old-age, dying, and death.  I'll be visiting Grandma again soon, hopefully, and bringing Mitch and Per.  Grandma likes dogs, so even if she can't remember Per is my dog, she'll enjoy his company.

 The woman in the lower-left is my g-ma.

Sunday night.
Cherish came over Sunday night, and Mitch made us pancakes and bacon for dinner.  They watched Lost all evening, while I worked on Japanese homework, a scholarship application, and then nothing (I may or may not have watched the last few episodes of the third season with them).

That was my weekend.  Thinking back, I can't believe all those great and sometimes sad things happened over a span of only three days.

1 comment:

Kristen Chamberlain said...

Go out and get Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman RIGHT NOW!