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Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

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Surely you’ve heard of Myspace. It’s that Internet phenomenon where people can find out a little too much about each other in way too little time, musicians can network with other musicians, and people can continue communicating without actually talking, leaving their room, or even taking off the Dracula cape and Bill Clinton mask after feverishly rehearsing their upcoming performance art piece “Democrats Are Bloodsuckers, Too.”

But my point is that sometimes Myspace actually works exactly the way it was meant to: you hear from people you lost touch with and find out what’s been happening in their lives. In the past month or so, I’ve heard from two former guitar students of mine that have developed into marvelously talented, successful musicians, one of whom plays in a band that just completed the most recent Ozzfest tour. Wow. I’ve also heard from former band mates, gotten positive feedback on my music, and used it for research in my writing. See, it’s not so bad!

Putting Things Together, Part II

So a while back I told y’all about an old guitar that I re-assembled, lovingly named “Phugly.” It was my first foray into guitar building, and one day a few months back I just couldn’t help myself and I slapped it back together. Well, I guess the only way to put it is that some things just shouldn’t be, and that guitar is one of them. It looks neat, but so does the inside of an ant colony. Doesn’t mean you should strap it to your chest and try to play it.

So this time I’ve left the “building” thing to the experts, and I’m going to do the finishing, wiring and assembly. A nice guy in Iowa named Walter has built a cool and unusual body out of my favorite tone wood, ash. I ordered a neck and some hardware, the rest of the pieces I have lying around the house, so now I just have to wait patiently (which I’m not good at) for everything to arrive here, and get to work. I’m considering an oil finish, though during my last attempt with oils I nearly glued my ears and eyes shut. Rule number one: never store your tung oil near a woodstove, then shake and squeeze the bottle furiously with the soon to be unstuck cap pointed at your face.

Good Coffee on Main Street

I would like to commend John Bubacz for finally opening a little shop here in Sylva (just below Lulu’s) that opens early, stays open late — heck, the shop’s even open on Sunday. There are almost always four different coffees to choose from, and the ones that are supposed to be brewed strong ARE brewed strong, as opposed to the “lightly tinted water” that many places try to pass off as java. Let’s see: I can get soymilk in my coffee and a tofu/spinach wrap and nobody gives me a weird look... and I didn’t even have to drive an hour to Asheville. The last time I asked for soymilk at Waffle House they asked me to leave. It’s the little things, you know...

— By Chris Cooper

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