I'm not sure whether there's cause-and-effect at work, or just a correlation, but when I fell back into checking news sites and political blogs, I also fell back into a jittery, tired, unhappy state of mind, which lasted a couple of days, and lifted when I stopped checking Andrew Sullivan, et. al.
This gets me thinking about the other kind of clicking and checking that I do, on musical instrument sites. Mandolincafe.com, some local music stores, Craigslist, Ebay: I spend a fair amount of time on each of these, looking over the latest offerings, although I'm not really shopping as such. In fact, in the past few weeks I've seen two or three of the instruments I was ostensibly waiting and searching for become available, and with money in the bank, I've passed on all of them.
Those particular neural pathways got laid down back in '04, almost a decade ago, when I started looking for an octave mandolin, and they've only gotten deeper. I wonder, though, whether it's not time for me to try cutting out those searches for a while, too, and see what happens.
(The minute I type that sentence, a thought occurs: but what if someone puts a Mid-Missouri octave up for sale? I'd MISS it! Heh. Maybe I should say, We'd miss it, Precious!)
I did have a good time yesterday at a local guitar store, trying out a few instruments in person. The pleasure came less from the instruments themselves, though, than from being able to play some jazzy chord runs on them: a bit of bossa nova that I learned last summer; the opening chords for Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover," which I've learned for the sake of the Alte Rockers' parody I'm writing "Fifty Shades (to be Her Lover." The fantasy of buying a new instrument may really be, deep down, a fantasy of playing better--playing like the kind of person who would own X, Y, or Z. Lessons in my future, maybe?