Video Game Treasures

We finally got wi-fi earlier this year for our house.  This past week, I finally gave in to my kids’ begging, and hooked our Nintendo Wii up to the wi-fi account. (I’m sure “hooked” isn’t the right word there. My brain is not finding the right words for me today. Ever had one of those days?)

Anyway…between hooking (or maybe tethering? connecting?) the Wii to our wi-fi, and a new game that the boys got for Christmas that had samples of some classic Nintendo games, I made the awesomely great discovery of Wii Virtual Console, where you can purchase and download classic games of the past onto your Wii! AND they had two of my all-time favorite ones on there – Legend of Zelda and Kid Icarus!

I was ridiculously excited – like a 10 year-old getting his first iPod touch excited. Maybe even more so. Definitely more so. I immediately bought and downloaded both of my favorites. My boys thought I had gone crazy.

Playing those games again brought back a flood of memories with my brothers. Memories of spending hours on the weekends trying to pass the second boss on Kid Icarus, or trying to find our way to Gannon on Zelda. Memories of the celebrations when we succeeded. Laughter. Fun. Bonding.

I texted Darrell and told him about my find. We started talking about all the old games we loved as kids. I wished he had time to come hang out and play on it with me like we used to. It made me miss Rusty. He would have been trippin’, as he liked to say. I can hear him now, “Imma be trippin’ over here, now.” Gosh, I haven’t felt his absence this tangibly in a while now.

All this nostalgia surprised me. I’ve lately been thinking how empty and pointless video games are. But what I discovered is that the time we spent on those games back then are now priceless memories. Now, if that were the only thing we had memories of, that would be a bad thing, and there’s still an excess of it in our culture, and even in my own home these days. In moderation, though, it’s not time down the toilet. It’s another way of having fun and creating memories. Perhaps, next time my kids are playing their games, I should sit down with them and become a part of the memories they’re making with each other.

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Daydreams of Davy

It seems in the last few years, there have been several significant celebrity deaths. It’s always sad to hear of anyone’s passing, and when it’s a person who enriched our culture through art, entertainment, or music, we all feel the impact. However, I’ve never really mourned a celebrity before – with the notable of Princess Diana. But hearing about Davy Jones’ heart attack and death today made me really sad.

I’m sure it doesn’t help that my feelings of sadness are already high with the approaching one year anniversary of Rusty’s death, but it’s more than that. As I started to reflect, I realized what a poignant part The Monkees had in my life.

In fifth grade, there were these 3 boys that I thought were the funniest guys I had ever met: Greg, Daniel, and Richard. For some reason, these guys LOVED The Monkees, and would always go around pretending to be them: Greg was Mickey; Daniel was Davy; and Richard was Peter. They didn’t have a Mike because they didn’t like him too much. He was always way too serious. I hung around these boys as much as I could, because they were cute AND funny. And it paid off, because Greg decided he liked me and we started “going together”, as it was called back then.

Greg was  a very considerate boyfriend – especially for a 5th grader. He often left surprises for me in my cubby, so that I would find it when I got to school in the morning and put my lunch box/backpack away. One day, he had left me a cassette tape of The Monkees. I’m not sure which album it was, since he had taped it off of his original tape, but it introduced me to all the classic songs from the band: “I’m a Believer”, “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Daydream Believer”, etc. I loved listening to it, and fell in love with them.

Fast forward to just after I graduated from high school, and I was dating the man who would become my husband. He’s 12 years older than I am, and so he was a kid when The Monkees were among the current music scene. He was surprised to learn I was a big fan of theirs, and after I told him about my 5th grade “boyfriend” making a cassette tape of one of their albums for me, he made sure to do the same thing for me.

My brother, years later, bought me a DVD of The Monkees TV show. I haven’t watched it yet, for some reason, but tonight seems like the perfect occasion to unwrap the cellophane, slip the disk in the player, and take a walk down memory lane. So long, Davy. You will be missed.

Categories: death, Memories | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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