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December 30, 2004

Mid-Life Crisis

Part 1 in a series designed to catch up from the last time I updated the old journal.

I turned 40 in July of 2003. Blah blah blah. 40: the magic number that everyone gets so concerned about. People on the downside of 40 see it coming at them faster and faster, while people on the other side see it receding too quickly into the distance.

I never really cared that much about it. I didn't care much about 30 and 10 years later (imagine that) I didn't care much when I turned 40. But one of the things about turning 40 is that you are generally in a much better place financially than you were when you were 30 or younger. And you are (generally speaking again) still young enough to enjoy that finacial status a little more recklessly than you are when retirement approaches and the various threats of nursing homes, eating dog food and pauper's graves loom.

There are stereotypical ways for a man to act out a mid-life crisis. These ways include: leaving your wife for a young, blond, airhead, buying a really expensive sports car (a red one, no doubt), chucking the whole urban/suburban grind and running off to some tropical locale to run a fishing boat or paint sunsets.

But I didn't really want to do any of those things. I was (and am) pretty damn happy with a hot, intelligent, brunette. I like my big, black truck. And I don't like to fish. So what's a guy to do?

I bought a really nice guitar.



Yep, a black Gibson Les Paul Standard. Now I don't really play the guitar (although I've gotten much better since buying it). I can noodle around on the guitar a little bit, but why should a little thing like not really being able to play stop me from buying a really expensive guitar? Answer: It shouldn't.

I've always wanted a Les Paul. I know there are those of you out there who swear allegience to the Fender brand (Dave). But I had the Les Paul imprinted on my DNA at an early age. The first electric guitar I ever held - at the age of 14 or 15 - was a Ultravox(?) copy of a Les Paul. It was black. Around the same time, the popular band in my junior high was KISS. Ace Frehley played a Les Paul. A smoking one at that. (Note: I'm not using any cool, hip lingo here. He actually had a Les Paul that had a fake pickup on the front. Every night, during one of his extended solos, he would trigger a smoke bomb in the fake pickup and smoke would pour out of the guitar.) The real defining factor was that my first true love had a major crush on Peter Frampton. Who. Played. A. Black. Les. Paul. Sensing a pattern here? Apparently, if the girl you were crazy about was crazy about a guy who plays a certain type of guitar, that kinda thing sticks with you subconsciously through the years.

It's been a little less than year since I've gotten the guitar. And I'm happy to say that I've been getting better all the time. Not great. Just.... better.

Posted by aellis at December 30, 2004 12:26 PM


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