Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Career Choice

What I'm Writing:  Gods Willing
What I'm Reading: I'm between books and haven't decided what I'm starting next
What I'm Knitting: A black and white scarf - cow related

I've decided I'm a bit jealous of my 15 year old son. Mark has a passion that is directing his career choice. I wish that at 15 I had any idea of what I'd want to do with my life.

Mark loves music. Not the kind of love where a kid might listen to his favorite band while playing X-Box (though he does do that). No, with Mark it's about the lyrics, and the cords, and the scales, and how his favorite bands formed, and how a certain guitar player has his guitar tuned.

A bit over a year ago when Mark wanted to spend his hard-earned money buying an electric guitar and amp, I whispered to Jon, "I hope he doesn't spend all this money and then only play for a week or two." I needn't have worried. I doubt there's been more than a handful of days since when he hasn't picked up his guitar - probably not even a handful. In that year he's gone from someone who loves music to someone who lives it. Pretty awesome, really.

He takes guitar lessons once a week and his skill is growing in leaps and bounds. It's impressive to see his fingers moving over the strings, mimicing other players' riffs or just playing the music in his head. He reads biographies of his favorite performers and bands, he reads Guitar World from cover-to-cover (and then watches the enclosed DVD to pick up new tips), he's constantly strumming and experimenting and trying.

This summer, after he'd worked a couple of weeks, he announced he wanted a new guitar. "But you've only had your guitar for a year. Why would you need another one."

"With guitar players, it's not so much need as want," said Joe at Dr. Guitar when I took Mark in to start his shopping.

Over a week's time, we were in Dr. Guitar for about eight hours as Joe patiently allowed Mark to try guitar after guitar. Finally, Mark bought an Epiphone Les Paul Gold Top. A beautiful instrument. He named it Jolene - after the Dolly Parton song, yes, but he loves the rendition of the song by Jack White of the White Stripes.

So, with all that, you might be sure that Mark wants to be a rocker - spend his life in a band, touring the country. Well, not quite. He wants to be a luthier. Yes, he wants to build guitars.

I think I need to make sure he gets some woodworking experience so he knows for sure that this is something he'd enjoy doing.

But, yeah, it's cool.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Motoring Along the Black River

What I'm Writing: Gods Willing (Fantasy Romance)
What I'm Reading: The Main Corpse by Diane Mott Davidson
What I'm Knitting: Finished a mitten last night. I will probably start something cow related today

Jon and his brother, Tom, own a fishing boat together. It's a small boat - two people can fish comfortably, any more than that and I'm sure they're getting in each other's way. Sunday I went out on the river with Jon for the first time. The Black River passes about a half mile from our house and there's a local boat launch, but that launch is too steep for Jon's two-wheel-drive truck. So we drove to the boat launch above the high falls in Lyons Falls. We put the boat in and headed south toward Port Leyden.

It was a beautiful fall day, although a little chilly when the sun was behind the clouds. Jon fished. I was along for the ride. He caught two smallish fish which were returned to the river.

At one point, the old Black River Canal meets the Black River. It was really a beautiful spot.

We were going to head up the canal a bit, but Jon's fish finder had the depth at under 2 feet, so we decided that wasn't a smart plan and stuck to the river.

We were out on the river for a couple of hours and I really enjoyed it. We'll have to go out again - maybe next summer when the temperatures are a little warmer.