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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It actually was a dark and stormy night


Last Christmas, I was given some $100 in pre-paid American Express cards, and I've been debating for the past 6 weeks about what to do with them. I finally decided on some drum accessories that I found online, but didn't want to wait for them to ship, since I am hasty in most matters. So, I checked my favorite music shoppe (Trade Up), found they didn't have it. I would have gone to my second favorite (Portland Music), which I actually don't really like, since the service is abysmal, but they are fairly conveniently located. However, they close too early for me.

My last resort was the strip-mall chain store Guitar Center. This place is basically the Walmart of music stores. They're a huge chain, so they have decent prices, late hours, and generally apathetic, ill-informed sales staff. Plus, they pretty much always blast the most terrible music you can imagine, throughout the store. Like, screaming, pounding metal. It's really awful. So that's what I had to look forward to, while driving with little Simon out there, through the snow on the 205. The thing about strip malls in the suburbs is that, despite being monstrosities and eyesores, they can be darn tricky to find.

I found myself driving, a little panicky, with Simon griping at me from the backseat, through the snow. Very few streetlights can be found on the roads around the store I was trying to find. I drove around for a while, unsuccessfully searching, entering 3 different darkened parking lots, hoping they'd be the right one.

I finally gave up and decided to head home. But after driving for 1/2 mile back where I thought I came from, I couldn't find the freeway, and instead got stuck on some long winding road with a barrier between lanes and no turnoffs for a U-turn. At this point, I called Mo and asked her to luck up the store online. She told me the address right as I arrived at an actual intersection, with lights and everything (!). It was a pretty glorious moment, and I didn't feel so far removed from civilization, as the lights and the correct address and my car turning all arrived at the same time.

So, I finally found the store, although the windows were all blacked out, so I wasn't sure they were open. Luckily, some emo-teens were making out on the walkway, in front of the store. I wonder if that's what GC uses instead of "Open" signs now... Anyway, they were blasting some awful nu-metal. Unsurprisingly, they didn't have the items I wanted, but said they could special order them for me. Maybe I look like a guy that's never used an internet, because I could really easily order this stuff myself. We left the story, racing to get away from the Puddle of Filth or Staingled Devil Horns, or whatever it was assaulting our ears. As we were walking through the store, I promised Simon under my breath that we'd never hear music that bad at our house.

Song of the moment: How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?

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