Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Salvation in a Gig Bag

Flailing about for a topic today. I could write about how odd I find it to still be amazed that I'm actually using the stuff I learned in freshman algebra in my work. Thank you, Sister Jeanne Clennon, wherever you are. I hated algebra but got decent grades in it. My main memory of that class is Sr. Jeanne threatening to collect money from the boys who misbehaved to send to the Holy Cross missions in Bengal. She was an okay nun, kinda old even then but pleasant enough. The last time I saw her was when I bumped into her walking along the train tracks that led from St. Mary's College past the backside of our high school, a couple years after I had graduated. Nuns never seem to change very much.

Or I could write about the whirlwind of growing-up ceremonies my son sailed through last weekend as he exited eighth grade and promptly sprouted whiskers. He picked up a couple of awards and a token scholarship, was offered a roster spot on the club soccer team he's been wanting to play for, and hopped on the bus for his class trip to Disneyland, which he paid for out of his referee earnings. He's somehow managed to grow into an independent, responsible young man-child despite (as his grandfather never ceases to remind me) the huge--huge!--disadvantage of having a lesbian mother and living half time at the lesbo lodge with mother and said mother's girlfriend, who is also--also!--a big bad lesbian. The girlfriend's kid earned a slew of year-end high school awards of her own following a year of AP classes and straight A report cards. Despite being raised by dykes. Maybe Jesus is interceding and raising the kids without us knowing; I can think of no other rational explanation for their good grades, fine characters, and sarcastic senses of humor.

I could write about AG Gonzales threatening to charge reporters with espionage. I could write about the New York Times apparently running so low on salient news that a front-page expose on the Clintons' marriage made sense. I could write about John McCain getting his ass handed to him by the students of the New School during his ill-advised commencement address.

Unfortunately, my attention is elsewhere. I am partially in a sulk, since the girlfriend and her kid are off on a college visit to Notre Dame (!) and left me at home with the dogs and tomato plants. But--BUT--I can almost forget about that due to a certain brand new bitchin' little baby guitar waiting for me, snuggled into its bombproof gig bag, in the back bedroom. The Little Martin LX, a 3/4-size acoustic designed to be shoved into overhead bins or stuffed into the trunk, but with a rich, near-full-sized tone that belies its HPL (!) construction. Oh, what a sweet sound from such a little critter with not much actual wood in it.

I first ventured into the world of stringed instruments a couple years ago, trading an old trombone for a Laurel electric bass. Fun, fun! I was always leery of trying the guitar, though; a lifetime of playing horns had left me afraid that all those strings and fingers flying around were counter-intuitive and would be impossible to crack. But then I picked up the Little Martin and found that it's actually pretty intuitive after all, and was able to splat out some Dandy Warhols chords in no time without much trouble.

Ain't it just the cutest thing?

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