Thursday, December 4, 2008

Coming In From the Cold

Yeah, it's cold here today. Fortunately they finally seem to have the heat in my office set to something resembling a normal temperature. Usually I'm either sweating buckets or feeling chilled. Of course, my office door, which is usually open, is right across from the main door. So I get a blast of cold air whenever someone comes in or goes out.

A lot has happened in the past week or so, and work continues to be busy. As a result, the posts are coming a lot less frequently than I would like. Usually I see something and think, "That would make a good post!" But lately, by the time I can actually get to my computer, the topic is no longer relevant. So what I'm left with is having to do these weekly catch up posts.

So here we go.

So far One Ring and I have weathered the economic storm that has hit these parts. I asked my boss, and my boss's boss, about some changes that have been proposed for the substance abuse program. Basically, my position was going to be eliminated, but I'd have the "opportunity" to apply for the slot that was going to replace it. Panic followed, but I have been told that I am "safe." Mind you, I didn't get that in writing, so they can always go back and change their minds. But for now, I'm not sweating it.

The big news - aside from the fact that I'm still getting a paycheck - is that I inherited my grandfather's guitar while I was in Virginia for the Thanksgiving holiday. My grandfather died in 1991, but the guitar floated around my family, passing from my mother to my brother (Sharkbait wanted to get it fixed up, but couldn't afford it and really wasn't interested in learning how to play). Now it's in my possession.

This guitar and I have a long history. Back around 1986, my grandfather called my mother and asked her that if he fixed up the guitar and paid for lessons, would I be interested in playing? She forwarded the request to me, and I responded - like an idiot, I might add - "Is it electric?" I turned my grandfather down when I found out that it was an acoustic. For the next 22 years, and especially following his death from cancer, I have regretted this decision. But time and other issues pushed this to the background.

Cut to 2008. Drink Man, the coworker who has the office next to me (one day I'll get around to explaining why he's being referred to here as Drink Man) has a side interest in songwriting. He and I have been talking music for a while and I told him the story of the guitar. He commented that it was never too late to learn, and that got me thinking ...

So I picked up the guitar last week and had it restrung on Monday. Turns out it's over 50 years old! It's an Airline acoustic, manufactured by some company - Harmony, I think the guys at the shop said - for Montgomery Wards. Not too many of them left in the world, since they were meant to be inexpensive beginner guitars. Most have ended up broken or left to rot. My grandfather's guitar, according to the guitar shop gurus, made it through the years with flying colors.

So now I'm sitting with an antique, and about to start lessons. I found what appears to be a good place yesterday. Very affordable, close to home, that sort of thing. Just have to wait for the holidays to pass before I can start serious learning. Until then, I have DVDs coming in from Netflix, and books from the public library ... and some very frightened dogs, who don't appreciate good music when they hear it! : )

Right now I'm listening to Rush (Snakes and Arrows, in case you're curious), and daydreaming of perhaps someday being able to play like Alex Lifeson. Which, interestingly enough (or not), was the same dream I had when I was 16. Power Windows was their latest then, and the song Big Money blew me away. And I won't even go into my desire to learn YYZ! I own Guitar Hero II, which has it as a bonus song. Even in the game, it's next to impossible to play - for me at lest - so no doubt it will be a long time before I can rock out to that one.

Of course, I had to promise my mother - man, now I'm sounding like I'm 16! - that I wouldn't go all metal on my grandfather's guitar. Never even thought of doing that, of course. So that brings me to my next big expenditure, and One Ring's new migraine: buying an electric and amp.

All in good time. Drink Man and I have been discussing the pros and cons of various guitars and songs to learn - he's apparently against learning Rush and thinks newer stuff is better. Not that it matters; I can't even play "Mary Had A Little Lamb" yet!

No comments: