Friday, January 02, 2004

I'll Show You Mine if ...

The girls got home tonight. Joanie and I compared purchases. Actually, I didn't show Joan. I showed my nephew Kyle. He liked the Ampeg amp and the Warwick bass. So the feline exited the burlap. I had to admit to Joan that I had purchased not only an amp, but a guitar as well.

That prompted Joan to show me her purchases. If only we'd bought stock in Wal-Mart, we'd have been that much further ahead. I couldn't brag that I'd saved 70 percent on what I bought. But -- NEWSFLASH -- my personal over-the-shoulder editor informs me that a garden store in Evansville, Indiana is the happy recipient of her hard-earned funds. Excuse me. Anyway, I patiently and lovingly looked on and nodded as she proudly displayed the undeniable bargains she had garnered on her trip to the Hoosier State. I still don't understand the logic of an arbitrary 70 percent discount accordingly increasing the value of a given purchase, but I apparently don't have the discretionary embedded logic in my brain to appreciate such a "savings." Whatever.

So now they're back. I've rediscovered my faults. They seemed to disappear in their absence. And I can once again joyfully deliver hot tea to my loving spouse so she can either ignore it or forget it until it is sufficiently cooled to warrant reheating in the microwave--where it may languish for days before it is rediscovered. Yep. All is right with the world once again. How is your new year proceeding?

Thursday, January 01, 2004

New Year Travels

We put some miles on the truck today. Danny S. wanted to get together, so after I worked for a couple of hours (making up time for a delightfully long lunch on Wednesday), Danny and I met and went in search of a music store.

You know, nothing is open on January first. Nothing. We went to north Baltimore to visit the last Music-Go-Round in Maryland. That's a place to purchase used gear. Shut down. Dark. Empty. Well, not empty, but nobody was home.

And Guitar Center? They didn't even have the courtesy to set their answering machines. We called the stores in Towson and in Rockville. Miles apart, but we were willing to make the trip just for the joy of browsing. I suppose they figure it's difficult to pay the staff with our browsing. Shut up tight. Nothing happening. So we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts. It wasn't the same, but it helped. There's something magical about a chocolate covered cruller that makes me all happy inside.

Having failed in our little excursion, Danny and I swung by the house and fed the pooch an early dinner. Then we went to church to jam until band practice began. It was a fun time followed by a good practice followed by an unexpected treat! Melinda and Tracie took the band out for dinner after practice. Rocky Run. Wonderful food and good company. Who could ask for more?

I didn't watch parade one or a football game all day. And it was still a very nice way to kick off the new year.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Party Boy

It's 10pm on December 31, 2003. There's a little divot in my breastbone where my chin rested as I slouched on the sofa and watched VH-1's Top 100 One-hit Wonders. I hope I can get this drool spot out of my shirt. I must have dozed off there for a bit. It's another big night on Hunt Ridge, folks. Oh, will these wild times never stop?

Let me know if there was anything worth staying up til midnight for, okay? If you see me tomorrow, I'll be the smug one who is well rested. Good night until next year.

What's Happening

It's been a quiet week here at Lake Theybegone. On Saturday morning I took off with friends to visit the poor, sick and needy. It's a holiday thing. Very biblical. We figured those who could most benefit from our attention would be found at Maryland's last Music-Go-Round, a home for formerly loved musical instruments and equipment, and at Guitar Center. We were correct. The guy at Music-Go-Round was very lonely. And his stock selection wasn't so different from the carcass of a Christmas turkey in a home with five teenage boys. It seemed to be pretty well picked over.

Now, speaking of illness. The staff at Guitar Center was suffering from PoorRiff-eral vision. That's the look one gets as one's focus narrows until it centers on the end of one's nose. Look in the mirror as you try it. Yes. That's the look. It's brought on by an aging rocker coming in and plugging a high-dollar guitar into an expensive Mesa Boogie amp and shouting at his friends about the pro's and con's of the equipment as he plays. Noisily. Yep. There's a certain amount of sainthood inherent in music store employees.

The good news is that we were able to stimulate the economy and leave while that guy was still playing. I was looking for a bass amp that I could use to practice at home. My amp has been a part of the church sound system for the past few months. I found one. An Ampeg. I've wanted one ever since I heard a friend, Patrick Higgins, play through an Ampeg setup where we used to go to church. Ampegs have LOTS of bottom. That seems to be lacking in my SWR, but that may be because we can't really crank it at church.

I may have to take this amp back though. When the treble and mid knobs are kicked up it hisses a lot. I'm not sure whether that's just the way things are or if a different amp would be more quiet.

And speaking of quiet. The girls took off for Indiana that same day we took off for Towson and Cockeysville. They've been out with my sister and her kids visiting MY parents. What's wrong with this picture? Meanwhile, I have been feeding a dog I don't even own. Some nights I'm even awakening as he does a dervish dance trying to get in touch with his alter ego.

There's a ferocious puppy with a thick ridge of hair along his spine who tries to emerge whenever Coby is eating or feeling lonely. Since he spends a lot of time either alone or in search of food, we see this side more than we'd like to. It's like he's channelling Cujo, except he really only tries to bite himself when he's in these altered states. Last night, I was awakened at 2am and again at 4:15am. Yeah. I thought so too. When that dog set eyes on the light of day this morning, it wasn't because I wanted him to.

I overslept after that, getting into work after 8. That's LONG after the 6am arrival I intended. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I will go in tomorrow and make up a couple of hours. I'm not a big fan of parades or football games, so it's no great loss. Then I will meet Danny at church and we'll play some music before band practice. It should be a nice day.

Friday the girls start their trip home. Since they are travelling with my sister, "Non-stop" Trebilcock, they should make very good time. It's been quiet here. I'll be glad to have them home.

Happy New Year, everybody.