I Think I’ll Stop Right Now

Everywhere I go, I carry a “To do” list scribbled on a small white index card. If you ever see me out somewhere, just ask to see it. I always have it. But until recently, it would have been better referred to as my “Grocery / things I wish would magically happen on their own” list.

I’ve had a broken guitar amplifier sitting on top of my speaker cabinets for just over a year. I broke it when I tried to take it off of the cabinets with one of the speaker cables still connected (remember, I’m really smart), and it broke the output jack away from the circuit board inside the amp. In January, I even moved that heavy broken amp from one apartment to another just to set it right back atop those cabinets so that it could continue to stare down at me wondering when I was going to get off my ass and fix what was wrong. That poor thing probably thought I didn’t care about it at all.

Even though I’ve leaned more towards acoustic guitar playing since I first bought one roughly 16 years ago, I’ve never stopped loving the sound and feel of an electric guitar. They are very different instruments in my opinion and I approach each of them differently. But because of my amazing and long nurtured talents in procrastination and excuse making, I have been relegated to playing through a small practice amp on those rare occasions when the urge to play guitar could not be quelled with one of my acoustics.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been trying to make time to play guitar more. Maybe learn some new songs. Hell, maybe do something nuts and write a few. I’ve got bad poetry all over the place around here. One of my very good friends has even been nudging me to get my amp fixed so that we can try to play together. That little bit of extra playing and focus just made me miss my amp even more.

I’ve looked at that amp wishing it worked. I took it apart hoping to find a simple fix that I could handle, only to discover the electronic issue I wasn’t comfortable tackling myself. So I put it off. I’ve looked online to price identical replacements for it. I made those prices into excuses for putting it off. I’ve lazily asked around for any suggestions for reputable repair shops in the area and let the lack of definitive responses justify putting it off even more. I missed that damn amp, and I wanted it back. Apparently just not enough to actually DO anything about it.

Last Saturday, I dropped it off at a local repair shop. Wednesday, I picked it up. The bill was 88 dollars. I have been living without an amplifier that I love and not playing with friends for a year because I was too lazy to drive 25 minutes and spend 88 fucking dollars. In that time I have probably spent more than 88 dollars on food that I’ve thrown away.

I am an IDIOT!

But at least I did finally get to mark “amp” off of that index card in my left front pocket.

That’s two things in just a few weeks. I’m on a roll.

What was the first thing?

A few months ago I started fishing around for a primary care physician. I’ve never had a “regular doctor” in my adult life and really had almost no idea how to even begin to find one. I did what I do. I asked around, called that miminal effort “good enough,” and moved on to the next thing on my “things I wish would magically happen on their own” list.

In 2001, my grandmother died of lung cancer after never smoking a cigarette in her life. A few years ago, one of my oldest and best friends lost his father to the evil C. In the last two months, two friends have prematurely lost a parent to cancer. And a childhood friend of my sister-in-law recently gave birth to her second child only to then be diagnosed with terminal stage four colon cancer. She’s younger than I am. She’s going to die younger than I am.

While scheduling my preliminary “new patient” appointment a couple of weeks ago, I told the receptionist that “I’m 37, never had a physical, and just want to make sure I’m not dying of something I don’t know about.” She laughed. That’s a good sign, right?

I hope it turns out like the amp, and I just procrastinated finding out that I’m in fine health for my age. But no matter how that turns out it felt good to mark it off the list.

What’s next on the list? Stop procrastinating. It’s not very productive. And so far, it’s just making me feel stupid. I think I’ll stop doing it…RIGHT NOW.


I feel good. I’m making slow progress (which I feel could end up becoming the theme of this blog if I’m not careful). I’m still limiting my running to three or four times a week, but I’m upping my distances a little each week. My pace and endurance are noticeably improving and making me feel better about my decisions in both my diet and training.

I’m starting to make music playlists for the runs I have coming up next month. I’m hoping to build good sets that are synchronized with my expected mile splits and keep me moving on pace. I’m not yet sure if I want a more rocking playlist designed to “drive” me during the run, a more low key playlist that will lay in the background allowing me to focus on my pace and form, or a predominantly instrumental and mellow (almost ambient) mix that will let me just zone out and run. Suggestions are always welcome.

I’m looking forward to getting my first run out of the way to see how I do, and more importantly, how I like it. I’m registered for two runs in December, and have tentatively planned (but not registered) for roughly half a dozen races in three states between now and the beginning of May. One of which may be directly tied to fund-raising for cancer research. More info on that to come.

Thanks for your time. Have a good one.

This is the band I listened to on my run this evening. The band’s name is coincidental. But after realizing it, it seemed a no-brainer to tack them onto this post. I was lucky enough to see them several years ago, but have lost track of them since. Enjoy.