Sunday, April 2, 2006

Sudoku Must Die

Okay, I will be the first to admit that I do not understand sudoku, and that I have not made much of an effort in the direction of mastering it.

That being said...what the HELL, man? I am NOT having this whole "crossword taking a backseat to sudoku" business. The crossword is a venerable institution, enjoyed by legions of fans for legions of years, as it were. I get it, it's a popular game. But the day it starts usurping the crossword's power over the entertainment pages is the day I buy myself a pitchfork and head on out to the National Sudoku Headquarters or wherever the Powers That Be are. I expect this kind of disloyalty from the Telegram & Gazette, but I expect better from the New York Times and the Washington Post. That is all I will say about this. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, tolls for thee.

So, the saga of the fortepiano.

A while back, I mentioned the piano that Grandpa built in the mid eighties. It's a Hubbard kit fortepiano, and he built it in about 500 hours from 1983 through 1984. He kept a log of the construction and took pictures, which I have. The log, I do not. My grandfather's second wife has been avoiding my occasional phone calls looking for information on the sale of the piano so I can find it and get it back. Fine. Fuck her. I started looking on my own, as did Speed, only really meeting dead ends. You'd think a distinctive piece like that fortepiano would be easy to find - especially whereas it has his name on a plate above the keyboard - but this is not the case. It's wound down to the point where I have little hope and only a blurb on MySpace about it. I was starting to give up.

But this weekend, the day after Creep, La Lobo and Azucena came over for sushi (which ruled), I got an email on MySpace. "FYI, your grandfather's piano is here in Columbia, SC." WHOA! A guy from SC had bought the fortepiano on EBay in early March and had been restoring it ever since. He has gotten it to the point where it's playable again. He seems like a nice guy, and we're talking over email at the moment. I can't wait to hear about the piano, how it is doing, all that. It's so exciting.


So today, Speed tried calling the EBay seller - we looked up the EBay auction - to see if they knew anything about the piano, or if they had gotten it from his second wife. They said they had gotten it from a storage place in New Milford. Cool. The guy gave Speed that number, and he gave them a buzz.

This is where it got good.

Turns out that the second wife was behind on her payments to the storage place. They called her and called her to figure out what to do, and then she signed a release for them to destroy the contents of the unit. In the unit was a car, which the storage guys decided to have junked. When the junker guy came, he happened to look in the back of the car, and told them that he didn't want or need the PIANO that was in the back. The storage guys took it out and almost threw it away but instead decided to kick it over to their friend at the We Sell Your Stuff On Ebay type place to see if anyone would buy it. Obviously this guy did, and than goodness, because it seems like it's in really great hands.

Now here's the thing. This whole release signing business took place no less than three months after I asked the second wife for the piano and after I had called her repeatedly asking for ANY way to track it down. She lied straight to my face about having sold it before, and then acted like a complete asshole by not returning calls. All she needed to say was "I don't have any idea," which still would have been a damned lie, but at least I wouldn't have WASTED MY GODDAMN TIME CALLING HER PATHETIC ASS. All she needed to say was "it's in my storage unit, and I'm behind on the rental"....I would gladly have paid the back rent. But no, she decided to be a complete and utter bitch and lie and jerk me around.

Fuck. That.

Thank god that fortepiano is in good hands.

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