One of theings you have to put up with if you are a friend of mine-- or a lover, particularly a Wifey-- is the pehnomenon I will herein call the Sleepargument. That is: I start an argument, in my head, in my sleep, and at some point I become aware that I have engaged someone else in it. Very often this happens when I am on the phone with my pal Chris, whom I called last night to have an argument with him about something he never wrote in his blog. I figure he'll probably forgive me, since he usually does. But I still feel guilty as hell. I mean, now I know I was wrong, but last night I was convinced. On the upside, at least it was an argument about something related to something he wrote in his blog. When I was younger I would wake people up by making completely cogent arguments about things that never happened. One night, for instance, I stopped my brother on his way across my room-- he had to go through my room from his room to get to the bathroom-- to tell him to give it back.
"Give what back?" he asked.
"My animation fluid."
In my argumentative form, I took his inquiry as to what the Hell I was talking about to be a diversion, in order to escape culpability. At some point, before I was actually completely awake, my Dad came out to ask what the hell was going on.
"Doug stole my animation fluid!"
"What? What's 'animation fluid?'" my Dad asked.
At this point, Doug was standing on one leg, and I was only just starting to reach consciousness. "I . . . I . . . I don't know, actually."
Doug went to the bathroom, my Dad stuck around to yell at me for a little while, until it dawned on him that what I had accused Doug of was so absurd that it could only have been the product of my subconscious, and then he told me to go back to sleep and stalked back off to bed. The next day I found my brother in the kitchen in the afternoon and said "Sorry about last night."
"Last night, the argument, sorry."
"Oh," he said, "That's ok, no biggie." (Or something like that, but probably not "No biggie.")
"I thought you were mad at me?"
"No, I just really had to pee. What is
animation fluid, anyways."
"I have no idea." And to this day, I still have no idea what the hell
I was talking about.
Another thing you'd have to put up with is my abiding love of guitars, and the occasional spontaneous road trip to visit a guitar store.
Back last summer I was casting about for an electric 12 string-- which loyal readers would know I now have aquired-- and I dialed up the dealer lists for DiPinto electric guitars on the internet. There was one in China Grove. The next nearest one was some two and a half hours away. I reasoned that China Grove was just a little past Concord, which is less than an hour away, so off I went.
An hour and a half later I walked in the door of the place, having passed it twice. (The route I had taked to Concord made it just over an hour, and China Grove is a solid half hour farther up the road. But it was a sunny day and I drove the miata with the top down.) It turned out they no longer carried DiPinto's, but they did have an electric 12 string, which I examined and played. Several things about the thing just screamed wrooooooong
! On the drive back it occured to me that what I had there was a hybrid. Somebody chopped the neck off an Ovation 12 string and transplanted it onto (I think) an Epiphone hollow body. The pickups didn't seem to match, and I could see where the old screwholes for the pick-up rings were painted over. It just wasn't right, or at least not right for me. On the other hand, it was that kind of shop: on one side they had brand new Alvarez's and Takamines, and on the other side they had used oddities, up to and including an old Danelectro "convertible," which is a thin body acoustic guitar with a lipstick case pickup shoved into the soundhole. (I played it. It sounded the way you should expect an acoustic guitar made by Danelectro to sound.)
The drive home, down through Concord on Highway 29, sucked.
So anyways, today's sojourn was down to Hames Music in Gaffney, SC.
I had gotten out of the house about 11, on the grounds that that way I could run some light errands and get back in before it got really hot out. I had to go put gas in the car, since I had done an inordinate amount of running around last weekend, and, standing at the punp, looking sowth towards I-85, I thought to myself, when was the last time I was at Hames?
Hames is a venerable and famous shop in our area. For as long as I can remember, it's been the place where serious musicians go to get serious instruments, and for years it stood alongside two other stores here in Charlotte-- Reliable Music and McFadyens-- in that capacity. Reliable shut down several years ago, and McFadyen changed locations and stopped being serious before getting bought out by a chain and then finally shut down the one location I was still willing to visit, and rumor has it that they have now filed for bankruptcy. So I jumped on the interstate and headed south.
It was a relatively nasty little drive. Traffic was thick and fast, mostly trucks and SUV's, and I managed to survive it largely by ignoring the posted speed limit. (I actually behaved myself for the most part, although I did get up over 80 a few times in getting out of the way of semis.) It took most of an hour of freeway traveling to get to Gaffney. I got there, jumped off on the Frontage Road, parked, and went in, dawdling just briefly before going up to the second level where the real guitars are. I chatted with the guitar guy, who had recently been to NAM, I played a 2500 buck Alvarez 12, a 680 buck Alvarez 12, a 600 buck Taylor (which sounded exactly the way I would expect a 600 buck Taylor to sound), and a few others. I gawked at instruments made of light woods and dark woods, with contrasting bindings and color-matched inlays. We talked about who was having factories set up in Mexico and Korea, and I got some advice as to whether it was worthwhile tweaking the pick-up set up on my OLP. I told him stories about aquiring the OLP and my Seagull, both actually quite good stories. Eventually the guitar guy had to go make a call, and I realized that it was twenty after one. I had been in the joint for an hour and a half.
So I said goodbye to the guitar guy, bought a pickup ring, stepped out into the midday sun. I got in the Miata and took a meandering way home, avoiding the interstate except for one short stint. By the time I got in it was a quarter of 3.
It was a very good day indeed.
This evening we have a Meet and Eat, which is an event the Mini club does once a month. Essentially, we meet at a restaurant parking lot, park all the Mini's in a long row, wherein they are all cute as hell, and then go in and eat. The establishment chosen for this outing is a joint called The Roasting Company, where they serve rotisserie roasted chicken in various fromats. I'm not usually fond of chicken, a fact derived from having visited a chicken plant in my youth, but they have a dish they call Santa Fe Chili (or have had on all previous visits), which is right up my alley.
All told, I'm a pretty lucky guy.