There are three Guitar Center shops in the Austin metro, one right here in Round Rock. All are closed, of course, so I ordered this left-handed acoustic-electric online. Their Dallas shipping site is closed too, so it has to ship from California. That’s okay, I’ll wait. I’m just glad it’s in-stock. Left-handed guitars are less available.
I’m mostly ambidextrous. I write and eat left-handed, but can do both with my right hand. I play sports right-handed. I can’t throw left-handed but can switch hit. I can play guitar right-handed, but it doesn’t feel comfortable. Finding a quality left-handed guitar at an affordable price made me happy.
I need something new to keep my sanity in check. I’ve been staying with my mom in Texas since late January and even without the apocalyptic social distancing conditions, I can’t get out much. I can no longer go for long runs on the weekends. I work ten-hour days, when I’m not working twelve, in a small office on the phone and computer, and I really need some sort of release afterward. I like a beer at the end of the day, but drinking doesn’t do that much for me. If I have to watch any more news, my head will explode.
I never played an instrument growing up, but took guitar lessons before I turned fifty. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. I swear, it released more endorphins than distance runs. I didn’t keep it up. After a small health scare at fifty-one, I turned my focus to massive running, and later to writing. A man can only have so many hobbies.
I feel it’s time to turn back to music. I’m still able to go for some short runs a few days each week, but I’m losing interest in writing and reading. And at my current weight, running is hard. I feel like music is what I need to get through these trying days and nights.
Isolated a thousand miles away from my wife and family, music is the cure. Don’t ask me to tell you the name of songs or bands, but I can sit in a dark room and listen to music for hours. Playing music will be orders of magnitude more satisfying.
How are you coping?
Terry Collier said:
Hang in there Ed . It is bad timing to have the Covid and Connye’s deterioration simultaneously but hopefully the guitar will help you get through it . Dad and Barbara
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Dude, I sold an almost new Oscar Schmidt left-handed acoustic electric today for $100. Not an Ibanez, but not a bad guitar at all. Never forget you know a pawnshop guy–he can hook you up! Coping: well, I’m essential, so I have to work. It is horrible, but I am glad I have a paycheck and health insurance. So many of my customers suddenly don’t. Unluckily, many of my employees disappeared, so I work a lot, and it is emotionally exhausting. I dream of taking off for a few nights in the backcountry. It is all I think about when I think about what I really want to be doing. My other passion, exercising to exhaustion, took a hit. All I can really do now is run, and here I’d like to offer some polite and reverential advice to someone who has done a lot more running than me: if it is hard to do long runs, do really short ones. Make yourself run five times a week, and be happy–really happy–with three well-run miles. Track workouts too, for form and for change. And hills–find a really good hill, and do intervals on it. New things are good, but you love to run. Music: I listen to a lot of music, it is a big escape for me. Right now I’m discovering Mandolin Orange. I’ll discover someone else soon. Finally, I think it’ll be safe enough for you and I and Nat to have a beer, whenever you want. I may not have toilet paper, but I have a lot of beer. All the best to you.
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Ed Mahoney said:
It did occur to me to call you earlier in the week when I was discussing buying a guitar with Karen. Then I forgot when I pulled the trigger on Saturday. I would have bought an Oscar Schmidt for $100. I could only find one left-handed guitar on Craigslist but it was in pretty poor condition.
You’re right about how I should be running. I have pivoted to shorter runs, but I really like those long runs for the escape. I’ve been playing music too, not something I do when I’m in good shape and training hard. It’s all about the escape right now. Maybe I’ll start to call it recovery instead of escape. Like you, I’m exhausted from work, from caring for my mom, from the fucking news. All of it. Looking forward to another evening in your garden.
Beth Risdon said:
I love the guitar idea and I hope it brings you some peace. I bought a new guitar years ago, never learned to play and sold it. I wish I would have held onto it. I’m coping by running a lot and getting to the trails when I can. Also reading, wine and cooking. Sitting in the sun on the back porch and looking at the mountains helps too. Thinking of you and your mom and glad that you can be there with her.
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Ed Mahoney said:
Thanks, darlin’. Got an email this am that the shipment was canceled. Said I can call to pick another model. Nothing worthwhile is easy.
Ed, not to pound the nail any further into the wood, but I was off today so went running at 11 instead of my usual 6:30 a.m., and it reminded me to point out to you that it is insane what 10 degrees difference will do to your run at my age. A five-mile run I normally do easily at a 7:30 pace brought me to a staggering walk twice today just because it was in the 70’s instead of 60’s. When I was younger in Dallas I knew I could run just fine as long as it stayed below 100, but I am no longer young or thank God in Dallas. But I did not use my age as an excuse to stop running, because I can’t do anything about that, while I can force myself to run at 6:30 instead of at 11. And not running because you weigh too much is like not going to the beach because you’re not going to look good in a swimsuit because you don’t have a tan. And do I stop going to Colorado to hike just because there is literally no oxygen contained in the air I inhale, while you guys just trot along like everything is perfectly normal? Just had to get that out. Need to go take a nap now due to my earlier run.
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