It is officially time for another installment of Me: Having Thoughts. About THE THINGS.  What are “THE THINGS”, and why do they need to be in all caps? Because, my dear readers THE THINGS are the important things; all those little things that bring us joy in life.  For me, THE THINGS are music, and…more music…and learning THINGS. Learning is also one of the THINGS. And there are also things, which get in the way of THE THINGS.  Things amount to all that nonsense that weighs you down and gets in the way of THE THINGS that make you feel like a real, legitimate human being, rather than a strange creature trapped inside a house with a lot of rules and no doors.

So, today, I am going to talk about THE THINGS, and things. And yes, I am going to keep capitalizing and italicizing for the duration of this post, thank you very much.

Thing:  I’m shy. You would never know it from my internet adventures, but the beauty of the internet is that you can be whoever you want to be when no one is looking you in the eye. (I detest eye contact. It just feels so indescribably creepy.)  Now, being shy means I have a hard time doing something as simple as asking questions to shop owners, let alone say…dedicating myself to something that requires me to be among actual, real, human beings. What’s funny about that is I have zero problems with public speaking. I am, however, an awkward mess in social situations.  Now that I’m trying to learn instruments, that is a huge, HUGE hindrance that I am trying to overcome.  It means I don’t easily make friends – musically inclined or otherwise, and it means I have no idea where things happen, or where to even go to find out where things happen.

But, I do have the internet. And, the google told me a few weeks ago that there is a little coffee shop in Keyport that a) has gluten free goodies and b) does open mics.  I knew I wanted to check that out, and I also wanted to go into Keyport to get a few more pegwinders. I’ve found I’m just using my fingers and doing it the long way a lot of the time because I just have the one winder and I’m always covered in strings when I remember the winder is across the room with my electric guitar. I bought two more – one to go in my bass case, and one to leave in the little bin of random things I use at my desk constantly. Now I’ll always have one handy, and if one breaks, I’ll have a spare. I also wanted to get a little dust jacket type case for my acoustic guitar if they weren’t too expensive, and I do believe in supporting local shops provided those shops aren’t trying to rob me blind.  So, I got a canvas dust jacket of sorts by prorockgear and two pegwinders.  Nothing particularly exciting, so I’ll spare you the boring photo, but it’s actually a fairly nice case if you’re more concerned about just keeping your guitar clean than you are about traveling with it. Now, I do plan to do some light traveling with the guitar soon, but not really “traveling”. It’ll go from my house to my car, to my dad’s house, where I may be dog sitting, then back again. Having a canvas sack for the guitar means the case might get covered in fur, but the guitar should remain free of slobber, which would otherwise be debatable when hanging around 80 lbs of German Shepherd.

Anyway, while I was there, I got to check out his one lefty guitar (which looks exactly like mine) – a Johnson strat copy.  I was curious if it was something about the build that was causing the weight issue I have with my electric guitar (which is nearly 10 lbs), or if it was just my guitar being a strange creature. The Johnson weighed every bit as much as my Castlerock, which at least tells me this is probably the nature of the beast with that particular design.

After that, it was one stop at the antiques shop to buy the pear butter I’m now addicted to (don’t ask me why they sell jam at an antique shop. I have no idea, but it’s delicious) on the way to Espresso Joe’s – which, in short, yes DOES have open mics on Wednesdays that start at 7, sign ups at 6:30, and has some gluten free vegan tiny little cookies, and oatmeal, but nothing to get excited about. Now, back to music stuff!

I think I’ve mentioned the weight of my guitar being an issue when it comes to practice. For an $80 guitar, it’s really not bad for a student, at all, except you really can’t play it for any extended periods of time standing because it’s a shoulder-killer. As a student, that is actually a huge problem, because I need and want to practice longer than the guitar I’m toting allows, so I’ve definitely been thinking it’s time to save for something more lightweight.

The shy thing has stopped me from posting in guitar forums barely at all (actually, I have no idea what forums are even good ones to join. The internet is not always a happy place.), so in the end I found the guitars forum on reddit and spent a while debating on whether or not to post a question there.  This is what I do: I decide I need to ask a question, and the internet is going to be my only source of answer, and then I spend a while debating on whether or not to post, because the internet is full of strangers, and strangers are scary. (see: huge problem!) And, it’s reddit, and I have very little (see: zero) patience for redditude.  Now, I haven’t really experienced redditude on the guitar forums, to be fair, but I’ve seen it everywhere else, so it always makes me hesitate.  What is redditude, you ask? Redditude is an approach to e-life that is prominent on reddit in which there is moral ambiguity, social ineptitude, and a general sense of bitchiness that I think all stem from giving people the power to downvote things. It gives them a power over their universe which, apparently, makes a significant percentage act like douchebags.  So, I have a like/hate relationship with reddit. On the one hand, it’s a great source of information. On the other, I am really quick to put trolls in their place – too quick, really, so reddit is a place where I tend to make more enemies than friends.

Even so, I needed information which google wasn’t giving me, and I needed real, actual people to give it to me, so I went ahead and posted asking if anyone knew any lightweight, beginner level guitars that came in left-handed models.

I got some positive info, mercifully, and very little useless information. AND, much to my excitement, I’ve learned that not ALL Gibson guitars weigh a ton. I love the sound of a Gibson. Always have, but knowing they come in in the double digits, I just didn’t see it as something that was going to be reasonable to expect I could play for any extended period of time.  Lo and behold, the SG models are supposedly fairly lightweight. YAY! I can maybe have a Gibson in my future AND keep my shoulder in tact. Have my cake and eat it, too!  And there is one epiphone that is not too far out of the price bracket I was anticipating, so definitely worth considering.

Also was told the RG Ibanez models are light, so I’ll investigate that further, too. Most seem to be out of my anticipated budget, but there are one or two that are close enough I might be able to find a bargain when the time comes.

The lesson in this guys, is that in spite of my stupid agonizing, NOTHING BAD HAPPENED.  I got what I needed. The world did not cease to exist.  And, the more I can brave myself to a point where I can actually accept that THE THINGS are more important than the things, the better off I’m going to be.

Until Next Time, I have musical instruments which demand to be played, and a long weekend ahead for playing them.

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