Holidays of Exclusion

It is important to belong. You often belong to others. Sometimes you’re forced, for a moment or two, to belong only to yourself. We appreciate the self-defending, but that’s usually a private affair. Public belonging is an important part of the rituals of society. There’s nothing worse than being invited to a party, or a celebration, that ends up not including you. Jews are left out of Christmas. Christians are left out of Chanukah. Formal national and religious celebrations are both inclusionary and exclusionary — all by dreary design. The list of official holidays in the USA is getting to the point of unfortunate ridiculousness, rendering all events meaningless in the mess.

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Guitar Center Does The Right Thing

For the last few months, I have been browsing dozens of web sites, talking to friends and musicians, all in the pursuit of a guitar I could be happy to play — and possibly take onto a stage with me one day. One of my co-workers is a stage musician who has spent countless hours playing different guitars both on and off stage. He told me that I should go for a Gibson Hummingbird if I wanted a guitar that could be my one and only.  I will review the Hummingbird in a future article, but today, I want to tell you about Guitar Center.

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A Day for Fathers

Today, at least in the United States, we celebrate Father’s Day, a day to honor every father for being just that – a father. On this occasion, I would like to write a little something about my own father, and what a tremendous impact he has had on my life, perhaps without fully realizing it.

Quality Time
Looking back on the last twenty-five or so years, or at least what I can remember of them (I am about to turn twenty-six, quite a scary number for a person who became an “adult” thirteen years ago, as it were) some of my happiest memories involve my father. This ranges from the variety of memory of us actively doing things, simply spending time together watching television or a film, and even some of the many conversations that we’ve had over the years.

Two of my favorite sub-categories of the “doing things” category would definitely be “going grocery shopping” and “going to garage sales.” Every Sunday, for a long time during my childhood, my father would go to the supermarket and I would go along to help him. It thusly came as a surprise to me when I heard that in most households the mother was the one who did the shopping for food. It seemed beyond comprehension. I suppose to a certain extent, what one experiences in ones own life, prior to seeing “outside” examples, seem the “standard” and normal as it were. My father was (and still is) a huge fan of clipping coupons. It is from here that I grew fond of the art of buying food in larger quantities when on sale, and watching for trends in price.

This also came through in our other wonderful “doing things” sub-category, that of going to garage sales. This also was largely done when I was younger, though we still do it once in a blue moon on a rare Sunday when I am in New Jersey and we see a sign for a garage sale on the street. What would happen during Garage Sale season (from the early spring until the mid to late fall, when the weather permitted it of course) we would go to about a dozen garage sales every weekend and find lots of really nice things for not much money. Numerous lessons on careful spending habits were learned here, not that I always find myself applying them, of course. I don’t think I would be such a big fan of if it weren’t for going to garage sales with my father.

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