loud fiery irishman

Last night was a relaxing evening, even though we didn’t go to yoga class. I got home from work and Ryan and I went to find a store that sells bowling balls and billiards stuff (he’s looking for a bowling ball)… we found it, out in the Deco District of Fredericksburg Rd., but it was closed. (Who closes at 5:30 anymore??) Afterwards, we headed to a music store on Babcock to look at banjos (Ryan is also looking for a banjo). But they only had banjo, singular. It was a $400 Fender… a leeeeeettle out of our price range. The guy said, “Hey, we can sell it to you for $320.” I’m thinking… no, no you can’t… that would require that we had $320 to drop on the spot.

However, while we were browsing around, we did see a mandolin “starter kit”… a Fender mandolin, an instruction book, extra strings, a soft-side gig bag, picks, and a strap for… $300. But the actual price quoted to us was $210. Hmmm… that could be doable. (Why they have such an insane markup, only to come back and say, “Hey, we’ll knock $90 off of this thing for you,” is beyond me.)

I’m not sure why Ryan is so keen on learning to play banjo and/or mandolin, but I do think it’s cool. He already has a guitar that he doesn’t really play, that I tried to pick up in Joplin and learn. Wasn’t successful… I still could be, I guess. We both have a musical background… it may not be too late for us.

We also went to the jewelry store… yay, you say! No… Ryan’s wedding ring is going to squeeze his poor finger off. When we bought them, it was January and much, much cooler outside. Ryan wanted to order a size 10, but the saleswoman insisted that he would be happier with a 9-1/4, because the 10 would fall off. Well, here it is, mid-August in Texas, and he’s having to get it resized to a 10. Imagine that! The guy at the store was very nice to us… he buffed and cleaned and polished both of my rings (even though my engagement ring came from a different store) so I’m all shiny and sparkly now. Unfortunately, Ryan’s ring is of a style that they can’t exactly resize without it looking weird (there are some details to the design) and so they have to order a whole new ring. He was sad because 1) he won’t have his ring for at least two weeks and possibly up to six, and 2) he won’t have the ring that we exchanged at our wedding. But I’d rather him have a different ring that actually fits him than the original ring that he doesn’t want to wear because it’s uncomfortable. Isn’t marriage all about changing and compromise to fashion the best possible life for ourselves as a couple? 🙂

After we left the jewelry store, we went to Lai Wah’s for dinner – cheap Chinese food always hits the spot – and then home, where we fiddled with the camera for a while, playing with the flash/aperture/speed settings to figure them out. As with anything, I think MORE PRACTICE is always a good idea…

Todd came over after a while, and we looked at the photos from their engagement party for a little while. Then Ryan told him about the mandolin, and they went out to his car and retrieved some stuff by Flogging Molly, including a DVD documentary about them. I had heard some of their stuff before but they really are a very unique band, high energy and folksy and crazy and smart. It surprised me that the lead singer, a slightly leprechaun-y guy who catches on fire on stage and has a lovely brogue off, is the only member of the band who seems to be Irish. Most of the rest, I think, are from California. Ha! I watched about half of the documentary with the guys until I had to go to sleep, around midnight.

Lots to do today… I have to get an oil change and a car inspection (overdue) after work, and I promised Ryan that we’d go for sushi or try a new restaurant in the neighborhood tonight. Looking forward to it!

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