ODY: 23/365

After a largely pointless and haggard day, I didn’t want to practise tonight. Calvin Junior required considerable maintenance and the odd holler, and the Old Dog was having trouble managing even the well-established trick of getting a six-year-old boy to sleep. (Come on, man, you should be able to handle this on the fourth go-round!) I just wanted to crawl into bed with The Poisonwood Bible. (Good novel. It’s got me.)

Ever notice — this is the way it is for me, at any rate — that it’s hardest to keep the promises we make to ourselves? Practise I did, though, the full 30-minute monty. The blues are smoother, but I’m going to blame my broke-neck Dégas for the muddiest chords I’ve heard in a week and a half. Sigh. The Itinerant Artist, though, good as his word, had sent me an email with nine new chords to try, along with a renewed insistence that I get regular lessons. I was nearly obedient. I made the call to the Ottawa Folklore Centre, a remarkable place whose musical offerings of various kinds I virtually toured this afternoon. I’ve checked the bios of their guitar teachers. I’ve ranked them according, largely, to their facial hair and what I can read of their Genuine Guitar Chops in their eyes. Ah, vanity.

By the way, I tried F7, sort of a modified barre chord. (Yes, the learning goes on. I now know how to spell “barre” chord, which brings me zero percent closer to ever being able to do one.) And 45 seconds trying to make my fretful fingers do the F7 thing brought them to a spooky spasm of rigor nearly mortis. All in all, though, it was like somebody once said about golf, or some other frustrating form of alleged amusement: a bad half-hour at the guitar is better than 30 minutes of spectacular dishwashing.

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