Date Archives June 2007

Project Sparklebooty

A couple of years ago, I won a pickup sales contest–somehow I still didn’t earn a commission check for the month, but that was an angry rant for two years ago, not today.

I ended up ordering two humbuckers without a real game plan for how I was going to use them, since I was/am perfectly happy with the Lace Sensors in my strat. The third pickup I ended up giving to delicateman, since he threw some pickup sales my way that ended up putting me up over the top.

I didn’t really want to buy a new guitar just to gut it, so I started checking ebay for a reasonably priced vintage guitar. What I found was this:


I loved that the paint job looks like an old bowling ball, and I ended up picking it up for cheap. sixshotsorfive and I determined that the finished product should be named Sparklebooty, and thus Project Sparklebooty began.

The seller indicated that he thought it was a Teisco body…maybe. In reality, not knowing has made it a real bitch to try and find a neck for it. One thing’s for sure–modern necks don’t fit it. If you bought a Squier or an Epiphone or any other cheap new/used guitar from the Kirkland Guitar Center around May of 2005, there is a good chance that at some prior point, I removed its neck and tried to fit it onto this body.

It doesn’t quite look like any Teisco I’ve seen–it’s definitely not a Del Rey, and their other, less popular models don’t get a lot of love on the internet. According to Wikipedia, Teisco guitars were also imported in the U.S. under several brand names including Silvertone, Kent, Kingston, Kimberly, Heit Deluxe and World Teisco–and not a single picture exactly matches what I’ve got. It does seem to be in a similar family, though, so if I happen to see a Teisco/Silvertone/etc neck in decent condition, I may have to pick it up. Eventually I plan to have a Warmoth neck made for it with skull & crossbones fret inlays, but I don’t see that happening for a long time, and I’d really like to get this project going–I’ve already had the body sitting in my closet for two years.


In order to fit the humbuckers, I’ll need a new pickguard. The body is routed out enough underneath the original pickguard that I shouldn’t have to do any additional routing to accommodate them. I’ve also bought some pirate knobs, which are pretty fucking awesome, if I do say so myself.

Since Sparklebooty is such a unique color (not quite silver, not quite gold), I’m not sure what sort of pickguard will look best with it. Aged pearl would probably look really nice, but I want something fairly dark or obnoxiously shiny, so it’s out off the bat.

I could stick with tortiseshell which has that vintage-ugly-cool, but that’s not very piratey. I could go with smoked mirror, which I think would more closely match the guitar. I could go with clear mirror, which would more closely match the pickups. Black abalone could look awesome or it could be truly, truly awful.

Or I could do what I did with my strat, which is to get a clear acrylic pickguard and paint the back whatever damn color/design I want. What should I do?


Shaving the lane with much haste

On Friday, I received a rather large package from my workplace in the mail, which turned out to be a thick book titled ‘Health at Home: Your Complete Guide to Symptoms, Solutions, and Self-Care‘, which I have determined is basically a way to try to encourage employees to not go to the doctor even when it seems clear to a normal person that they should.

Inside are handy tidbits about fondling your own breasts and asshole, self-treatment of STDS (what?!?), and even miracle tips to help you stop smoking: ‘Place a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you get an urge to smoke’. Because what every person who is trying to quit smoking needs is a ring of red, raised welts on their wrist, when it would be more immediately painless to go outside and smoke instead. Obviously this book was written by a sadist who has never wrestled with quitting smoking, because when the options are A) hurt self with rubber band and B) take a break from work out and loll about in the sunshine with a cigarette, B is going to win every time. You might as well tell fat people to stab themselves in the kidneys every time they feel the urge to eat.

Let me tell you something: In 7th grade, my pre-algebra teacher, Mr. Eggebrecht, at Lance Jr High made me wear a rubber band around my wrist and snap it every time I got a problem wrong. By the end of the period, my wrist was nearly doubled in size and raw.

He was right. The rubber band taught me some important lessons:

1. Some teachers are assholes. 2. The math gene is clearly hereditary and didn’t get passed on from my accountant father. 3. Skinny rubber bands hurt WAY more than thick ones.

In retrospect, I suppose I was lucky that he didn’t come along a little later in my life, say, as my calculus professor. I feel certain, were that the case, that I would no longer have a left hand. The little rubber band trick didn’t make me any better at math, but it does explain why I get irrationally angry whenever I’m confronted with a question concerning trains, speed, and distance.

Yesterday, I took the time and cleaned through my bathroom drawers–it’s amazing how much room is cleared up when items like crappy makeup samples, old hair products, and the like are tossed in the trash. Among the items to go was an old razor, which was rendered dull and useless from being used to battle the dense, wiry hair-forest on my German-Italian-Gypsy body. It was ridiculously dull, to the point where I could scrape it along a leg and the hair would brazenly stay in place, so it obviously was doing me no good and needed to be replaced. This went into the overstuffed trash bin along with everything else.

So, having just indicated how dull this razor was, I would like to know how it managed to shred up my middle finger when I picked up the trash bin. The important finger. Now that it’s wrapped in a bandage that looks like bacon, how is anyone supposed to take me seriously when I indicate to them that I find their driving ability to be sub-standard? They will be thinking “mmmm, delicious bacon–how kind of you to remind me to ingest delicious bacon, fellow driver!” when I am thinking “fuuuuuuuuuuuuck yooooooou!!” You see how this poses a problem.

The ‘Health at Home’ book isn’t really helping, either. It has a rather nifty illustration of a nail jammed through various dermal layers, but other than that, it tells me nothing about how to function with a Frankenfinger and skips right over to ‘ovarian cysts’.

Perhaps I need to tie up my finger and my ovary with a rubber band and snap it, hard.

Bored by the chore of saving face

On Monday afternoon, I asked my boss’ boss what the dress code for the User Conference would be. The words he uttered struck fear deep into my heart.

Business casual.

I own precisely zero items of clothing that fall into that category–on my day to day job, I wear jeans and t-shirts as even though sometimes I sweet-talk customers in a phone sex operator voice, I am equally as likely to be shoving machines around the dusty warehouse and my boss recognizes the futility of having me wear heels and nicely pressed pants. So I have an entire closet of jeans and t-shirts, and a lesser amount of ho-clothes. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how nice your ho-clothes are, even if they were nice enough to wear to the theatre, say, to a showing of Interpretive Dance Edward Scissorhands, they’re really not appropriate in a business casual environment.

This meant I would have to go clothes shopping.

I am not of the normal female persuasion. I really, really, really hate shopping. I hate malls. Whenever I am forced to enter one, I am overwhelmed by the urge to start drop-kicking everyone in sight. I may be missing out on a promising career as an NFL punter. I’m fairly certain that a good majority of the people crowding into a mall on a Monday night could use a good punting, perhaps from one endcap store all the way down to the food court, directly into a Cinnabon vat.

My first stop was at Kohls, because I figured I could find something decent and cheap very quickly, and could then proceed to an evening more closely suited to my tastes. That was not to be, as the store contained an unusual range of sizes, namely size four and under, and size twenty-two and above. I looked in the ‘teenage ho’ section. I looked in the ‘middle aged business lady’ section. I looked in the ‘lifetime of creampuffs and chudge’ section. Every time I saw a little black jacket/white shirt combination, it was a size four and under or a twenty-two and above. I started to get desperate. I figured that if there were no cute clothes in my size, perhaps they would have ugly clothes in my size. No deal. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

This trend held consistently through the mall. I looked for clothes until they booted everyone out at 9:30 and still hadn’t found anything. It was time to start panicking. It wasn’t just my boss and my boss’ boss that would be there on Tuesday, oh no. The Director of every branch flew up on the corporate jet to attend. I was screwed.

I went home and frantically yanked things out of my closet. I was putting on outfits and rejecting them until past midnight. This did not bode well, as I needed to get up at 4am in order to be at the casino on time.

My four hours of sleep were whittled away to practically nothing, as some asshole neighbor allowed his asshole dog to bark all night long. It was during the course of these events that I realized I could never be a gun owner, because when you start messing with my sleep, not only will I fantasize about kicking you in the face (hint: if you are very tall, I may ask you to crouch down first), I eventually start thinking about whether a corpse can be identified by dental records if there are no longer any teeth, and just how long a body might stay in the Green River before being discovered.

I was still staring at the ceiling, thinking murderous thoughts, when my alarm went off. I got dressed, fed the dog, and tumbled down the stairs while taking him outside. Clearly I am a coordinated human being. Cirque du Soleil has indicated to me that if my current position ever falls through, they will always have a spot for someone of my sheer talent and athletic abilities.

Napoleon played his part by rounding a corner and immediately chomping down on something he found there. God, what is he eating? Stop it. STOP IT. DROP IT NOW. Every time I scolded him and told him to drop it, he made the ‘squinchy eyed cringe face’ like ‘nooooo, she is going to beat the hell out of me’ which always makes me look REALLY good in front of the neighbors, which is particularly unfair as even though sometimes I think he might benefit from a smacking, I’ve never hit him. It doesn’t matter. The cringe face tells everyone everything they ever need to know to judge me preemptively. Mellzah, the dog beater.

Since my dog takes direction about as well as I do, I realized I would have to engage in mortal combat with him in order to get whatever it is he was mouthing out of his pointy little face. He writhed and squirmed while I forced his mouth open and triumphantly pulled out…a crusty cat turd. My immediate reaction was to shriek and simultaneously fling it across the parking lot. Come on, dog. Seriously? I feed you. I JUST FED YOU. Chowing down on cat poop and making the ‘squinchy cringe face’ while doing so makes me the worst dog owner on the planet. Also, NEVER LICK MY FACE AGAIN.

I ran back into the apartment, nearly tripping UP the stairs in what would have been a double-whammy, boiled the top 6 layers of skin from my hands, and glared at the dog.

The user conference went quite well; I hit it off with one of the people there and slipped him my phone number in what may go down in history as my slickest move of all time. I wouldn’t have done it, but one of my coworkers informed me that either *I* would do it, or HE would embarrass me in a myriad of junior-high ways, even going as far as writing a note saying “guess who likes you…?” and threatening to pass it down a row of businessmen. I picked the path of least embarrassment.

When I finally got home, exhausted and hungry, Napoleon launched an impressive campaign of incredible efforts to lick my face. No way, sir. I saw you rolling that cat turd around in your mouth like it was some sort of flavor-bursting candy. 6/19, NEVER FORGET.