My Epiphone kinda died on me recently and sent me right back to square one with the whole “let’s start playing guitar again” thing. Sadly, the wiring wasn’t as well done as I’d hoped and the whole thing seems to have shorted out. I took it to a shop, as even I couldn’t tell what the hell happened to it, and the tech just kinda shrugged his shoulders and said “Damned if I know, but I could rewire it and fit it with new pick ups and…”
Fuck it. I was getting tired of it anyhow. Playing an Epiphone HollowBody was cool and all…but it was just kinda…wrong. If you don’t play an instrument you probably won’t get what I’m saying here, but I’ll try and explain it.
See, there’s more to it than just liking a guitar and that’s that. Infinitely more. If you lined up 50 of the exact same instrument and gave me enough time, I could put them in order from the one I like most to least and tell you what’s different about each and every one. Don’t let anyone fool you in to thinking otherwise. Guitars are made of wood (for the most part) and wood is not consistent. They are all different. Unique. And beyond that, they’ve all got a bit of soul to ‘em. The vibration, the resonation…each one has it’s own. The one you wind up with…that vibration should go right through your fingers and talk to you even if you had earplugs in and couldn’t hear it.
In that way, it’s a relationship…it’s give and take, back and forth. You are pulling out of it and it is giving back to you. When it doesn’t do what you are trying to make it do, it’s fucking maddening. I would tell you that you have no idea, but everyone reading this does, indeed, have an idea. It’s not that much different than your relationships. Really. I’m serious. At least that’s how I see it.
My Epi was just the wrong girl for me…and ultimately, she dumped me. Now granted, she was a bit extreme about it. She could have chosen not to stay in tune or something to that effect rather than electrocute herself, but whatever. It’s not the first time I’ve driven someone I was in a relationship with to an extreme. Christ knows I can be a pain in the ass…or the pick guard.
At any rate, I am now in the market for a new girl.
I tried, oh so hard, to branch off and do something new. I figured, as I’d said before, that I wanted to get out of the Fender girls and into something else. We’d had a good run, me and the Strats…but well, enough was enough and after so many of the same types of girls I figured, let’s go for something new.
Well, baby, I think I’m back. Every night on that couch with her, I was thinking of you. She didn’t feel like you or sing like you or fight with me or push me quite like you did…and I missed it. God did I miss it. But I don’t know that I’m just going to run off to the nearest Guitar-o-Rama and buy me the prettiest, newest girl that talks to me…
BB King once said that all the great guitars are in pawn shops. I can dig that, really. Because they are in pawn shops, they’ve got soul…karma…they’ve been thrown away and discarded for something else. Someone committed to them and then ditched them for a fraction of what they were worth and left them behind and never looked back. They’ve got nicks and dings. Scars from where people tried to change them (a new bridge…different pick ups) and usually, if it wound up in a pawn shop, it didn’t go well. Pawn shops are where you go for the quick cash…you aren’t merely selling it (because you’d go to a music store for that) you’re getting rid of it because it does not matter anymore.
They are the dumped. The abused. The ex’s of junkies who ditched them for fixes. And they are the saddest guitars in the whole, wide world.
That’s the girl for me. The one that has something to give. Something to prove. The one hanging on the wall of some shop with a fence over the windows that someone looks at when they are hocking their crap and thinks “wow, that used to be a nice guitar”.
It didn’t “used to be” anything. It just needs a little love. A little cleaning up and attention. It needs someone to take the time…and we all deserve that. When we fall, where would we be if everyone passed us by for something new and shiny? We’d live out our days on a pawn shop wall looking at the people selling their crap and wishing just one of you would see us the way we know we are, even if it isn’t obvious at first glance. Nothing worth knowing is obvious at the first glance, anyhow.
Somewhere in this town right now there’s a Strat on the wall waiting for me to see her for who she is, not what she was. And I’m comin’ for you, baby. Scars and all.
When I started this blog, I didn’t really think anyone would read it, and that was pretty much fine by me. It wasn’t for anyone but exFiance anyhow. But then, of course, I wanted it read because I’m vain and I thought once we got married it would make it more entertaining when I let her see it…so I started leaving comments on other blogs that I liked and lo and behold the rest is history.
Having said that, there were lots of things I never thought would happen. For example, I never thought a whole group of people would freak out and call me a liar and start posting my IP address. I never thought that I would meet the people in the DC blogging community, let alone have some of them become my favorite people and closest friends. It never occurred to me that I could learn things about myself by keeping a running commentary of my life…
And it damn sure never crossed my mind that what I would write would help someone, and that someone’s writings would help me. And in that, I was more wrong than in anything else.
Back in May, the Blogger Requiem linked to my site by reposting something I had written. At first, I didn’t think a great deal of it, really. Flattering, sure. But in the words of Ministry…
So I started reading his blog…turns out that he and I were dealing with a laundry list of similar issues. But um…like his? Well, his issues put the one’s I blogged about in perspective for me, while my blog apparently helped his perspective.
The more I read about him dealing with the crushing end of his relationship, his daughter, and the fact that he was doing all of this while on Active Duty for the Navy in motherfucking Africa, the more I liked him. And the more that I felt like I was being kind of a cry baby…I mean, this cat had a daughter a few thousand miles away that he couldn’t see PLUS he’d just gone through the ringer and did I mention the Active Duty?
I mean, if anything said “OK, man up INPY” it was reading his stuff.
And ironically enough, he would state that reading my observations from the bottom of a SoCo bottle helped him feel less alone and better about the possibilities that were still out there for him. Through this mutual admiration socitey, he and I (did I mention we have the same name? No? Yeah) went from commenting on each other’s blogs to an email correspondence discussing everything from sports to music, the military to relationships. During this time, I also introduced many of you to his site and you were kind enough to take an interest in him, offer encouragement and kind words, and genuinely care about someone that you didn’t know.
See, just when we think DC’s got no soul…
At any rate, one of the things that I said to him was “keep your head down, be safe, and get your ass the fuck out of Africa in one piece…and when you do that, come to DC and the first round’s on me”. I didn’t know that it would really happen, but I always held out hope that it would.
This week, my friend Justin is coming to DC to collect on that offer.
On Friday night we’ll be at Cue Bar. If you’re a DC blogger, come say “Hi” to a great guy who’s been reading your blog from overseas…and if you’re not, just come by and meet a great guy anyhow.
Oh, he doesn’t know we’re going to be meeting him there…well, not until he read this he didn’t.
Looking forward to it, Justin. Thank Hanna. If there’s any painkiller out there better for you than her, I’d like a presciption. She’s a keeper.
(THIS IS NOT A BLOGGER HAPPY HOUR)
I blame George Bush for this…really, I do. Now granted, being a New England born and bred liberal I tend to blame George Bush for everything from Global Warming to the shockingly poor state of delivery pizza here in DC. But this sad state of affairs I can absolutely say is W’s fault.
I’m talking, of course, about this trend of shirtless “photo ops” for foriegn leaders that seems to be popping up from Paris to Moscow. Wait, you haven’t heard that showing your pecs is the new thing in Foreign Relations? Well, let me catch you up…
It all started with pictures like this of the Commander in Chief:
Seriously, do I even need to make the Texas Chainsaw Massacre joke? I think not. So the President of the US starts putting out pics like this while carrying out his foreign *ahem* “policy” and lo and behold, it’s not the Iraqis that are shocked and awed, it’s the rest of the world.
I mean, can’t you just hear the conversations in Moscow, London, Beijing, Paris, et al?
“Holy crap! Cancel my trip to Washington. That redneck is crazy! I am NOT telling him face to face that we’re not supporting his War of Terror…hell no. Better yet, send him a telegram…a singing telegram! Yeah yeah, a singing telegram…”
But you knew that wouldn’t last. At some point, someone was going to say “screw that” and escalate things. And didn’t you just know that “someone” was going to be a Russian? What we didn’t know was that “escalate” meant going all bare chested to show he meant business.
See, you might look at this and see nothing more than a picture of a man fishing. That’s just naive. This is international politics at it’s finest. Basically, Boris (Putin) is telling Natasha (Bush) “Look, beeeyatch, I didn’t sit around screwing up baseball teams and oil companies my whole life. I wasn’t in the National Guard. I was in the KGB, son. I’ve seen some shit in my day. You point that chainsaw at me and not only will I take it right away from you, but then I’m gonna give you a Stalin style beat down.”
What Nikita Khruschev and JFK did in ’62 with their Naval Forces, Vlad the Bad and GWB are doing with the Paparazzi.
But it didn’t end there…hell’s no. The Johnny Come Lately to the Shirtless Leader Gang is none other than Nicolas Sarkozy of France. France, people. Sarkozy, being the conservative, non traditional neo-Franco leader that he is just had to get in on this. But he got in on it with…are ya’ ready?
That’s right, they photoshopped his chubby ass. Thus eliminating him from this uber-powers game of Glamour Shots Arm Wrestling. Then again, I mean, he is French. They probably had to photoshop out the umbrella he had over him in his little boat…
(As a side note, Sarkozy beat this little Socialist number, Marie-Ségolène Royal, who attempted to use what God gave her to Jenna Jamison her way in to office…silly Parisians…)
Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you can see the dilemma here, can’t you? You see where this madness leads, right? We’re going to be picking leaders based on who can whoop who’s ass not in the court of public opinion, the UN, or on a battlefield…oh no! We’re looking at UFC style foreign relations! And really, if that’s the case, can’t you just see who some of the future leaders of the world are?
Chinese President Jet Li;
Canadian Prime Minister Patrick Roy;
British Prime Minister Lennox Lewis;
You get the point. But, yet another aspect of this that you have to realize is the terrifying, yet very real possibility that this sort of trend would lead to people thinking…well…dare I even say it?
President Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Before you go off half cocked and thinking that this is a good idea (I’m looking at you, Red States) let’s get something straight. Vladimir Putin would kick President Terminator’s ass. Yes, yes he would ya’ll. This ain’t a movie, and Arnie just ain’t the man he used to be. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Vlad would use his crazy KGB Ninja skills and beat Arnold down faster than you can say “Ivan Drago Killed Apollo Creed”.
What we need is a man who can not only smack some commies around, but also has at least a semblance of a political background while still being able to pronounce his “R’s”. (You’re out Ah-nuld) Some one who is 100% American ass whooper for certain, but who gets that domestic policy is not a phrase that descibes what places will and won’t deliver food at 1am.
This dude gets my vote.
Yes, Clint Eastwood, the former Mayor of Carmel is 77…but YOU tell him you don’t think he’s man enough for the job. He’s got “Make My Day” written all over him! Just think; the State of the Union would be Must See TV not to see how many words he mispronounces or uses incorrectly, but to see who he’s gonna call “Punk”. Not to mention that if you come at The Outlaw Josey Wales with a KGB karate chop you’re going to be eating nothing but Borscht for six months through your broken jaw.
And hey, at least he’ll never humiliate us with a bad picture that the other foreign leaders will look at and say “Oh I could totally take that guy”. You know, like, for example….
Apparently I’m doomed to have this stuck in my head no matter what…I mean, I posted those 80′s #2 Singles in an effort to get Overkill OUT OF MY HEAD! Instead, I get emails from friends and readers saying how much they love that song and “do you remember the acoustic version Colin Hay did on Scrubs?”
Well I do NOW, thank you.
It is a great, great version of a great great song…that just will NOT get out of my head. Much like the Sanford and Son Fiasco…for which I think this is karmic payback…
For those of you that asked, this is the Colin Hay/Scrubs version of Overkill. That JD…he’s just so cute.
Have a great weekend, I’m sure you’ve earned it. Haven’t we all?
You know that 80′s band’s big hit? The one that everyone LOVED? Yeah, I liked that one, too…but I always had a thing for the B Side. The forgotten hit. The one that went to number 37 with a bullet on Kasey Kasem’s top 40 and then disappeared. OR the tune that was overshadowed so completely by the other hits people forget it. You know, the other single that didn’t do quite as well…
I mention this because for the past few days I’ve had a Men at Work song stuck in my head. No, not that one. Not the “Vegemite” (which is friggin’ NASTY) tune…and no, not that other one, Who Can it Be Now…I mean Overkill.
So of course, this got me thinking of the other “#2 Singles” that I love…and in the interest of (1) getting some songs I love stuck in your head (we all remember the great “Sanford and Son Fiasco”, don’t we?) and (2) making your afternoon just a little bit brighter, here are 5 “also ran’s” that I love…
1) Don’t Cry, Asia
Asia, the $60/ticket bastards…everyone always loved the Heat of the Moment and Only Time Will Tell. Hell, so did I…but Don’t Cry? Where’s the love?
Oh, and this is SUCH a great example of 80′s video making…
2) Foolin’ Def Leppard
You alll know that when Pour Some Sugar On Me comes on, you sing. Don’t front don’t you even think about frontin’. And when some DJ wants to show he’s old school he goes and plays Photograph. Whatever. Foolin’. That’s the jam. The only other acceptable answer? Bringin’ on the Heartache.
Oh, and to this day? I love Def Leppard. There. I said it.
3) Since You’ve Been Gone The Outfield
I’ve made no secret of my love for the Outfield’s CLASSIC, Your Love. I don’t even pretend. It’s like trying to deny there’s a huge zit on your nose…just own it and get on with it. However, really, I love Since You’ve Been Gone almost as much. I mean, this might be the one that gets stuck in your head after you watch this. You’ve been warned.
4) Girls on Film Duran Duran
Quick, what’s your favorite Duran Duran song? At least 80% of you just thought Hungry Like the Wolf. (Don’t lie..you know the words…) And you know what? That’s cool. It’s a great song (and an homage to oral lovin’) Me? I prefer the other sex tribute, “Girls on Film”…dedicated to porn stars everywhere.
5) The Walk of Life Dire Straits
THIS one I expect to get a little flack over. I mean, look, there’s the BIIIIG hit, Money for Nothin’…then there’s the classics; Romeo and Juliet and Sultans of Swing...plus there’s the Ride Across the River and the Skateaway type songs…
But come on…the Walk of Life? Everyone always forgets this one…and the video alone makes it worth it. Yeah, I know, there are better DS songs…and I love me some DS. But this song makes me smile and everyone always forgets it.
And in the interest of authenticity, I give you the B Side Selection…the Bonus Track if you will.
Reptile The Church
I had a thing for the Church the second I heard Under the Milky Way…I remember hauling ass to the Record Rack to buy the tape (yes, the tape) and popping it in for the first time only to find that I got tired of the first release even when the whole world loved it….but Reptile to this day rocks the casbah in my house. (In which there is a framed, autographed Church tour poster, btw)
Care to share your B Side favs?
OK, I’ve got most of my pics online from Maine…feel free to take a peak and see why I can’t wait to get back.
Click here to feel like you need to get out of DC for at least a week.
Please excuse the mess that is my Flickr Account…it was just set up on the fly to get these pics up. Otherwise, enjoy!
No pictures just yet…I kinda spaced out last night and forgot to upload them. But,they are coming…
I’ve noticed since I’ve been back that there are 2 diametrically opposed INPY’s competing for attention. On the one hand, there is the INPY who got out of work and walked in to the grocery store in CoHi and 20 minutes later came out with everything he needed to make Ginger and Wasabi Salmon steaks with a side salad and potatoes. This INPY is the one that loves that he can get Thai food at 2:00 AM, revels in the knowledge that he can see live music performed 7 nights a week, and sees Nats games with such regularity that he gets a discount on his MGD’s.
Then there’s the INPY who misses cruising with the windows down in the F150…the one that just loves the way it feels to not put on a suit first thing in the morning and who doesn’t mind that if he were to move to Maine he couldn’t see any live music other than John Phinney playing the same few cover songs (Gordon Lightfoot would cry, trust me) he knows at every local watering hole in town or the folk musicians that play the Massonic Temple’s Thursday Night Dinner.
Actually, those boys were good. (HELL YES I went…$6 for hot dogs, burgers, chicken, baked beans, every sort of salad you can think of…all home made? Damn right I was there…)
Having said that, it’s good to be back. I love DC…for all of the bitching that we do once we’ve lived here longer than the average hill staffer about the traffic and the dating scene, it’s really a fantastic town. It’s got issues, sure. But where can you go that doesn’t? We’ve got it pretty good here in DC. I mean, have you been to St. Louis?
Since I’ve come back, I’m packin’ some serious clarity. I’ve got a real grasp of what I want and what I don’t want and where I do and don’t want to be. I’ve spent years trying to stay as far away from certain parts of my family as possible, only to really get now that it’s kept me away from the parts of my family that make me really happy. What’s worse; I let the feeling of wanting to be away from them change how I felt about New England…
In essence I threw out the baby with the bathwater.
So now what?
Ironically enough, now I want to enjoy DC. A lot. I’ve always said that I loved it, but I know I’ve been taking it for granted. I want to soak in all that it has to offer…it’s been almost 7 years since I trekked down here from Boston, and I’ve got a list of things I’ve never done. That’s got to change…
Cuz I ain’t gonna be here all that much longer.
Kid Brother built his house, which is 3 bedrooms, two porches, and an almost finished basement, for under $80K. I’ve got it in my mind that something similar, and quite nearby, might be just what the Dr. ordered for me.
And yeah, I hear you. “It’s a trade off”…I know this. I know about the winters of New England. And you know what? I miss them. I know that I wouldn’t make as much money in a rural setting, but things aren’t as expensive. I know about the inconvenience. I know I know I know.
But I just can’t shake the idea that here I’m giving up more than I’m getting.
So I’m going to make sure that for the next 2 years I get everything I can out of it down here. That’s right, I’m on a 2 year plan. I’ve got a plan to get out, see….X amount of money to save, X amount of things to cross of my “to do list”. 2 years…
Of course, I could wind up falling for one of the Redskin’s Cheerleaders and this whole thing goes right out the window.
I’m somewhat saddened to say that I am indeed back from Maine. I don’t even know where to begin telling you about this trip up North, really. It was everything that I wanted it to be and everything that I’d hoped for and more…yet it was nothing like I thought it would be…
For example; usually, when Kid Brother and I get together on one of my jaunts we start partying within an hour of me getting there and we stop at 3:00 AM the day I leave. This time? It was all about the kids…
Rather than drinking and raising hell straight up throught the floor boards, I spent my time watching Barnyard with my 3 year old niece, Cameron. (She will explain to you what’s about to happen, and then scream “SEEEEE!!!!” when it does. This NEVER gets old.) I also watched the Sprouts Good Night Show (Hosted by Nina, who replaced the original host who it turns out had done a little porn…) and the Backyardigans. When I wasn’t learning all about the slightly odd world of Children’s Television (Scooby Do ANYONE?!) we were playing Pirates (Her favorite…the ARRRGH! alone kills me) chasing each other around the house and trying not to let the new puppy get her.
I also hung out with Alayna, the 10 year old baseball playing pragmatist of the family. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets to this girl. She is the personification of “still waters run deep”…she’s always thinking. I love her. We would go for rides in my rental car and talk about whatever she was in to at that particular moment. Playing her guitar (oh yes) getting ready for the 5th grade…how she likes being the oldest of 3 and when she gets to come and see me in the big bad city of DC.
And then, of course, there was the Belle of the Ball; Braelyn. My new born niece who’s hair stands STRAIGHT UP no matter what they do to it. What can I say? She’s gorgeous. Her smile pretty much melts you on the spot (until it gets pointed out that usually, infants are poopin’ when they smile) and when she falls asleep she twitches. It’s adorable. The first time I picked her up (pictures to follow once I get them off the camera) she burrowed in to my shoulder and passed right out. I mean, how cool is that? She basically let it be known that she’s down with Uncle INPY. And I’m down with her, too.
I woke up early every morning with the kids and the family. Kid Brother had taken most of the week off and we would get the girls together and play with them. Take them in the pool, run around the yard and have a blast. Lunch is an ordeal that would have us both cracking up as the oldest would want one thing, the 3 year old wouldn’t eat it, and the baby would go after her bottle like it had the antidote in it…
I loved lunch time.
When I wasn’t with the kids, I was cruising around snapping pictures and smiling…I’ll share them with you tomorrow and give you some details about the town. But this post is about the girls and how much I loved having them around me.
I mean, how could you not love this face?
Kid Brother handles these three girls like an acrobat/traffic cop. He can hold the Braelyn while Cameron is tugging on his jeans and Alayna needs help finding her other shoe. I saw this with my own eyes…and not only can he do this, he loves doing it. It’s what he’s best at, being a husband and a dad. And seeing a man doing exactly what he should be doing is a special thing to behold.
I miss them already…but, the good news is that my batteries are fully recharged and I feel better than I’ve felt all year. Literally. My trip was EXACTLY what I needed. I needed wide open spaces without buidings blocking my view of the skyline and hugs from 3 year olds. I needed a 10 year old to remind me that it’s never too late to learn something new and an infant to twitch on my lap while she slept. I needed clean air and the Atlantic Ocean, and a storm that rolls in through the fog. I needed to drink a $2.75 Budweiser on a Friday night at the Eastern-most Pub in the US and visit the only mustard company in North America that still stone grinds. (Something of a local treasure) I needed to eat Fish Chowder on a wharf and argue baseball with Red Sox Nation.
Speaking of Red Sox Nation…isn’t this ice cream going just a little too far?
Either way, it was good to be back in New England. I’d made up my mind by mid week that I’d be going back for Christmas. And by the end of the week, I knew that I couldn’t stay in DC for too much longer.
But we’ll get to all of that tomorrow when I post pics and you can see what I’m talking about.
Things I’ve been noticing and enjoying on my visit to Maine;
1) There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like sitting around a big table withyour entire family and sharing dinner. Nothing.
2) Having your 3 year old niece climb up on your lap to watch her favorite movies is a joy unto itself.
3) Infants can be far, far louder than you remember.
4) I have to get out DC more frequently. It’s really good for the soul to not be surrounded by the “man made”.
5) Home really is where the heart is….
6) I should eat more fish.
7) “Uncle worship” is really, really, cool. From 3 year olds and 11 year olds it’s just unmatched.
8 ) Kid Brother and his wife make having 3 kids, 2 cats, and a dog look like the greatest life a man could imagine. I have no idea how they do it, but they do.
9) The Old Man cut off all of his hair. In my 34 years I’ve only seen it short once. He’s a handsome (and sober) SOB.
10) 2 years. I’m giving DC 2 years and then I’m heading North.
I’ve got tons of pics I’ll post when I get home. You won’t beleive how beautiful it is here. You just won’t.
Today is a day that very little work will get done. I can’t focus for the life of me…there’s just no way. Understand, I am the guy that takes 2 of his 3 weeks of vacation time in cash at the end of the year, every year. I rarely go away because, well…I’m working. And I like to work. No really, I do.
Along those same lines, when I start telling stangers “fuck off” because they stood to close to me(although not this close) on the train and shoving pedestrains out of my way…or I catch myself fighting the urge to kick a cat…you know what I mean, right? Hello? Anyhow, when that happens, I don’t take vacations. I take a day off. Maybe half a day.
So you can understand how being just one more day away from getting on a plane has me in a “no work will be done today” frame of mind. I just want to get a few quick errands done tonight, pack my bags, and GO. I already know that tomorrow night it’s going to be dinner with my grandmother (and finding out if there were any other survivors on the ship, thanks FreckledK) and my dad. Saturday is a full day withmy nieces, then dinner with Kid Brother and his wife, followed by the local bar (Formerly Turtle’s now…I’m not so sure what it’s called) and seeing old friends.
I doubt I’ll be posting, as I’m determined to not use my cell phone or touch a keyboard. I will, however, be taking lots of pictures…I intend to get a picture of the Robinson’s house that I am determined to own one day, and Quoddy Head. I’ll be snapping shots of the Bay of Fundy and the local Quick Shop, too. You’ll see it all, folks!
So have a great week, be good to yourselves and to others (except that guy…he don’t look right to me) and I’ll be typin’ at ya in 10 days. Of course, that assumes that I don’t snap and sign up for what approximately half of my rent could buy me….