Monday, April 14, 2003

So, I removed some of the clutter from the blog template because it was just too busy. I also worked on the page, but that is still a work in progress. I hate html coding. I hate coding. Ironic that my job requires it. Had a weekend.

Saw Rob Zombie's The House of 1000 Corpses and I have mixed feelings about it. It was colorful and kitchy, and a bit sucky. It was an homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by a film student with an unlimited budget. If you like kitch and the cheap horror flick genre, then go see it and judge for yourself.

Checked out Ds Six Pack & Dawgz place in Regent Square--it was great. Over 800 beers available for take out and you can mix-n-match singles, AND the most awesome veggie dog I ever had.

And something pissed me off so badly that I just have to blog about it. We were window shopping the South Side and happened to go into one of the numerous antique/second hand stores there. This one always as the hand-shaped chair out front. I asked if they had any violins because I have been looking for a second one to use as a backup. Nothing fancy, I just want a functional full-size student-grade, not made in China but preferably German or Czech. They had two that were really really beat up. Both needed lots of work before they would be playable again. Both were very old and had numerous scratches and damage. One was inexplicably priced at $790 and the other was labelled $125. I was willing to go for the $125 but I asked the girl if they would take a check. This is where I made my first mistake. I should have just gotten some cash, made the purchase and ran, because the girl called her boss (the owner) for check approval. The guy came down and I asked if I could write a check for the $125. I also asked why the other vln was priced at $790--I was curious. This was my second mistake and he must not have liked my tone of voice because he started to say that the $125 must be mislabelled and he couldn't sell it to me. I think this is a lot of bullsh*t because the fiddle clearly had a tag on it that had $200 crossed out and $125 written in, as if it was marked down to that price. It wasn't worth a cent more, but the guy must have gotten scared because I knew what I was talking about, and so he refused to sell it to me. I have run into this a lot during my violin shopping. People who don't know what they are doing think they've got a gold mine. Any old beat up violin, which doesn't appear to be made out of any special woods or have any special decoration, no matter if it's 50 or 100 years old, is not worth more than $150-$200. Just because it has a label in it with "Stradivarius" means NOTHING. Tons of student-grade strad copies were made in the last century and the big manufacturers were German and Czech. Now the big manufacturer is China. All the real strads that exist in the world are known about, and you are not going to find one by chance in a second-hand shop. That only happens in movies like The Red Violin.

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