January 26, 2010

save your bread and shred instead ...

From what I have noticed over the past couple of years, a lot of people are choosing to stay IN rather than go out every weekend. The economy is mostly to blame for this ... record-breaking unemployment rates, sky-high rent and mortgage payments, rising interest rates and the price of nearly everything climbing to an unacceptable level. We simply cannot afford to enjoy a night at the local pub shelling out $50 - $150 for a few hours of laughs and a change of atmosphere. So, what's the alternative?

I will admit, I love to hang at the local bars as much as the next guy but when it isn't in the budget, it isn't in the damn budget. My husband and I have drastically cut our nights out over the past year. When I suddenly became unemployed we had to figure out where we could save, what we could cancel and how to get the most out of every last cent. One of the things we started to do was to invite people to our house more often, rather than always saying NO when asked to join them in a night out. We found that a lot of our friends were more than happy to spend their Friday night in our living room. Makes sense. Who wouldn't want to purchase a 12-pack for $15 rather than spend $50 at the bar? We have always had the options of playing cards or board-games, we have a pool table, hundreds of movies and a damn fine music library on the ipod. Sometimes we would have a fire in the backyard and sometimes we would just sit out on the deck enjoying the weather and the company. No matter what we did we always had a great time because we have phenomenal friends. But with the addition of music video games, such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero, our nights IN have really become something to envy.

Gregg started playing- with just the guitar- a couple of years ago. I didn't think I would like it but I got right into it and we ended up buying a second guitar. We played for months without boredom. Eventually Gregg bought the drums and the microphone and that is when our living room careers took off. It is always awesome when you have two other people willing to play so that you can complete a four person band. It just takes that one UN-shy friend to rock the mic like a champ and your night is off in a fabulous direction. Gregg is usually the drummer and has come a long way. I prefer guitar but will sometimes play bass. I am getting a little bored on medium but haven't quite gotten the hang of the hard level. We recently bought Guitar Hero-Metallica and that is by far the most challenging of all the music video games we have played this far. But also, insanely fun to play.

What's great is that you can also play online with friends (or strangers) with the use of a router. We have done this several times as well. It gives us the feel that we're actually hanging out with our out-of-state friends which is awesome.

Last weekend we had a couple of good friends over and broke out into a spontaneous session which, of course, ended up being a really fun night. Thanks to the uninhibited vocals from miss Elisha and the savage guitar solos from one mr. Christian we rocked the curtains right off the wall. (Well, I wish we had - I hate those curtains).

So, don't go broke trying to enjoy your friends company. Just invite them over for a good ol' fashioned jam session. Order a pizza, drink a bunch of beers and shred your little hearts out.

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