Monday, November 24, 2008

Major Update Post

I know I've been really remiss in posting. Lots of reasons for that, the main one being that I post at work, and work's been busy. Busy work = no posting. I figured I'd just make up for it at home, but the home life has been crazy, too. Crazy home = no posting. Hence the long periods of silence punctuated with limited postings about the pirates operating off of Somalia and elsewhere in Africa.

All that to say that since today is a lot slower than expected (Huzzah!), I finally have time to write about all that's going on around me. So go get yourself a cup of coffee and get settled into a comfortable chair. This could take a while.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Deep breath. Okay. We finally sent the last of the puppies off to a foster home yesterday. Now all that's left is to rebuild the bathroom where they were living. Puppies like to chew, of course, and these little monsters took out the molding, the toilet seat, the plaster on one corner of the wall, and scratched the paint off the door. We're also going to have to replace the flooring. Not that we're dreading that. A home improvement project like that will improve the selling value of the house, so the puppies actually did us a favor, since I'd probably wait until doomsday to do that kind of work!

But discovering that damage seemed to be the harbinger of bad house behavior. The fridge went on the fritz, and there's a weird noise coming from the pipes in the wall in our other bathroom. Even as I type, One Ring is dealing with repairmen (they actually showed up!). Hopefully there won't be any huge problems awaiting me at my house (Just got the phone call - it's not as bad as I thought, thank God!).

Just got back from lunch. Bunch of delays in finishing this. Fortunately, I only have two patients to deal with today, so this may actually get published.

One Ring and I are heading to Virginia for the holiday. On the way, we're stopping off to see some friends. Should be fun. We've done the whole 12 hours in one day, and now we're figuring that's a tad too extreme for us. So we're breaking it up into two 6 hour days. I'm looking forward to the break, though not necessarily the usual family drama that takes place over holidays. My mother's health is not the best, and when you combine that expense, the current economic situation, and the usual Thanksgiving and Christmas insanity, there's family stress that none of us need. I'm hoping it goes well, but, as usual, I'm fearing the worst. Plus there's the usual obligatory meeting with my dad. Grrr. Ah, holidays!

One big thing that's happening on this trip is that I'm picking up an heirloom. My grandfather left my family an acoustic guitar when he died back in 1991. Back when I was sixteen, he offered to have it repaired and to pay for lessons if I wanted it. My response, being the idiot that I was, was, "Is it electric? No? Then I'd rather not." Yeah, I never did realize that it was essentially the same thing.

So I regretted that decision for a long time - the next 22 years, to be precise. Now that the guitar, which had been in Sharkbait's hands for the last little while, is being handed over to me, I'm going to bring it back here to Nashville, have it repaired, and then learn to play. At some point, I'm also going to pick up an electric guitar (probably a Epiphone Les Paul Studio model, in case you're curious). Thing is, I'm really nervous about this whole endeavor.


Same reason fear grips me whenever I try something completely different and new: fear of failure and making a fool of myself. I know, it's completely silly when I try to think logically about it. Who cares if I'm not good at playing the guitar? It's not like I'm depending on this for my livelihood! Nor is it like I'm taking my grandfather's guitar away from someone else who could be playing it. It's been sitting in a closet for the last 20 years or so.

But still, those fears remain. One Ring's brother brought his guitar over the other night, and I tried to learn some chords. Let me tell you - I found it way harder than playing Guitar Hero! I looked up some tabs on the internet and tried playing a song - "Hey You" by The Exies - and One Ring's brother pointed out that I was about 9frets off! Ouch. Yeah, all correctable issues, and I'm going to be taking lessons. Hell, I live in Nashville. You can't cross the street without knocking over a guitar player. Still, the realization that this is a lot harder than it looks gives me pause, and makes me regret thinking that the members of all those high school garage bands I knew back home (I wonder what ever happened to "Chuck's A Hippie"?) were idiots. They may not have gotten good grades in school, but they could play, and that's a lot more than I can do at this point in life.

Plus there's that whole looking like I'm having a mid-life crisis thing. Don't think for a second that I've forgotten about the Bowflex commercial with the bald guy in his late 40s who is a salesman by day and a musician by night. They show him playing bass with his shirt off and wearing shades. One Ring asked me this morning if that was the look I was going for. "Nah," I told her. "That would involve way too much waxing!" We also joked around yesterday when we were at the local mall. I pointed at the Hot Topic store and said that as soon as I took some lessons, I'd be going there for my new rocker image. In reality, though, the last image I want to give is that I'm pushing forty and trying to return to some mythical point in my youth.

It's weird how the simple act of repairing a guitar and taking lessons can generate so much angst!

But that's the latest from here. I'm working a half day tomorrow and then we're off for Virginia. If I get a chance, I'll post from here before we leave or from one of the places where we're staying.


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