Context – Driving to the suburbs…

Yesterday.  I have brought shame to my blog in the form of my first missed day.  I knew this day would come, but I did not think it would so soon.  Let me explain.

My brother’s birthday is coming up, and us being the busy people that we are we decided to celebrate a few days early.  My wife and I were going to meet him and his fiancé at Cheesecake Factory for dinner, followed by a few rounds on his Nintendo Switch before preparing for the ultimate event: a Magic: The Gathering tournament, grand prize $400.  That’s the plan.

Because I knew I was going to be gone on my usual day of chores, I decided to get my grocery shopping done a day early.  As I’m drinking my coffee, planning what I want to do for the rest of the day, my wife starts going through our mail.  And lo’ and behold, we are a few days overdue for our vehicle emissions test!  Panic!

No worry—I know there’s a Guitar Center about 15 minutes away from one of the suburban testing centers.  I quickly check online to see if there’s anything I want to look at, and see an Ibanez semi-hollow and a PRS I could afford IF I can manage to sell about $100-200 worth of gear back to them.  I’m still saving the bulk of my tax refund for a Nintendo Switch of my own, I have not given up hope yet!  So the plan is to go get my emissions tested, sell some things to Guitar Center, and then go grocery shopping.  I should be home around 3:00, which gives me plenty of time to fuck around until we’re supposed to meet my brother and his fiancé for dinner.  Great.

Except the emissions test is farther away than originally anticipated.  Bummer, but I’m committed to my course of action.  I bunker down for the long-haul and get ready to go.    When I finally get to the emissions place, they tell me the DLC connector is damaged and they can’t test me until it’s fixed.  Great, but with some eye-rolling attached.

Fear not, JR, for I know there’s also a Midas down the street from the Guitar Center.  We’ll see if it’s a quick fix and be back on the road.  To my delight it was just a quick bracket swap, I was in and out in 20 minutes.  Back to an unironic great.

Now I get to Guitar Center and hand over the gear I want to trade in.  I’m not expecting much, but I’m hoping I can get $75 for a guitar, $25 for a hand-drum, and $50 each for two pedals I have.  While they’re appraising the gear, I walk around for a bit looking for the PRS and Ibanez I had earlier scoped out.  I can’t find the Ibanez, but I can find the PRS and play for it a bit, but ultimately put it back on the rack.  I test a thing here, pick up a thing there, but nothing’s catching my eye.  Except, that is, a used Airline Map.  I have never heard of this guitar before, but I figure it’s worth a strum.  You don’t see one of those every day, and so despite it being about twice as much as I want to pay on a thing I decide to pick it up.

And I never put it down.  I walked around the store playing it on a variety of amps, always hesitant to put it down for fear of someone else picking it up.  I became irrationally attached to this angular monstrosity, and I refused to acknowledge the possibility of not owning this guitar.   I do some math in my head, and if I get the $200 and use my refund to pay for the rest I could still get a Switch with my refund but I’ll have to get the games out of pocket, which wouldn’t be so bad…

Until Guitar Center came back with my estimate: nothing for the guitar, nothing for the drum, and $15 a piece on the pedals.  I knew my stuff wasn’t worth a lot, but I thought I’d get more than $30.  Now I really can’t afford this guitar.  Great.

But that doesn’t mean I’m putting it down.  I hem and haw and do math and while I can buy it comfortably with my refund, this means no Nintendo Switch.  I’m heartbroken.  I play a few more licks on the guitar.

After playing the thing for 2 hours and spending the bulk of the time second guessing myself, I decided that I would have more opportunities to buy a Switch than I would an Airline Map.  I’ve never seen this one, and they’ve only started making Switches.  I hand over my credit card.  Great!

It’s now 2:30, and I’m excited to whip over the emissions test, only to learn to that they’re closed.  Apparently they closed at 1:00, and I didn’t notice.  Now I must wait another week to get my car up to code.  Great, but with maximum eye roll.

By the time I’m done driving back from the suburbs and grocery shopping, it’s well into the four o’clock hour and I have to start getting ready for dinner.  All I want to do is play this thing I bought impulsively and I’m thwarted again.  And of course this is when I remember that I have an album still to review.

That’s right—all this nonsense was just to say I didn’t listen to album until we were on our way to dinner.  I checked Spotify’s “New Release” section and settle on Nadia Reed’s Preservation.  Why not?

This music belong on Grey’s Anatomy, or whatever the cool kids are watching these days.  It makes for wonderfully somber background music, and there’s definitely an art or a talent to that, but without giving the lyrics their fair shake it just felt like anything jumped out.  My wife and I talked over it the whole time and went to dinner.

And after dinner I played my brother’s Switch, using it as an opportunity to check in on my thoughts about my impulse buy.

New guitar > Nintendo Switch.  I went to bed pleased with myself and ready for the Magic: the Gathering tournament.

Except Nadia Reed is so forgettable it never occurred to me to write a blog post about it.  So now you got this long-winded exposition about my roller-coaster of a day.  Shit was bananas.

I’m sorry I let the team down.  I’m about to start writing a follow-up review so my numbers will look like I wrote every day if you don’t check the calendar to make sure I’ve been keeping up with my own Joneses.  Hopefully by April or May no one will know but you.

Keep it that way.