Trade 4: A sweet melody

This is the eighth and final post in The Big Swap. Originally posted on Posterous, which has since been shut down.

I’m writing this in Starbucks, while waiting for the video to upload over their agonizingly slow internet connection. The coffee smell in the air is giving me a bit of a headache, and the music is driving me insane. I’ve been here for three hours so far – 6:30 to 9:30 – so I hope you can forgive me for the short post. I’ll make it up to you, I promise!The wait’s over; you can breathe now. Here comes the announcement! It’s been a long wait, and I know some of you are getting quite impatient. To thank you for hanging with me this long, I’ve put together a special something in this post: a first-ever, raw, uncut video of the traded item. Without further ado, I present, the video. But wait, one further ado: I apologize for the length (and boring quality) of the video. I’ll explain more below. I won’t be offended if you don’t watch it all. Now, no more ado, check out the video.

[Update: the video has been lost in the annals of time. You’ll have to use your imagination.]

For those who can’t tell, this video is of me playing a cigar box guitar. (Also for those of you who can’t tell, I don’t know how to actually play a cigar box guitar… ) What is a cigar box guitar, you might ask? (If you did, that’s good: it’s a very good question.) Well, it’s a guitar, made out of a cigar box. That’s about all I can tell you – I don’t know much about them myself.

This particular cigar box guitar was hand-made by Daniel. It came together in his garage, piece by piece. Creating a masterpiece like this one isn’t for the faint of heart, but Daniel has been through tougher stuff. He taught himself to build things like this, from watching videos online and asking questions, but mostly through a lot of trial and error. This particular guitar isn’t the first he’s made, and it’s definitely not a shabby instrument.

When we initially met, Daniel noticed a small defect in the guitar, and graciously offered to repair it before giving it to me. Because of this unexpected delay, I wasn’t able to announce the trade as complete… I know this wasn’t the ideal situtation, but that’s how it ended up. We had originally hoped to meet up on Thursday, which is what caused all of the hype, but that didn’t work out, so we rescheduled for this very evening. We met at Starbucks and talked a bit about the changes Daniel had made to the guitar. While we were talking Daniel offered to make even more modifications, so it will be going back to him temporarily at some point, but I had promised to give you something, so we arranged to have the changes made at a later date.

Before I close, a quick explanation about the video: I took this video with a sweet little camcorder I got just last night. That’s a story in itself… anyways, after getting the guitar from Daniel I shot the video above, then sat down in Starbucks to quickly edit the video… it’s been three hours since then. I’m fed up with Microsoft, with JVC (the camera makers), with Starbucks music, coffee, technology and myself. Mostly myself. That’s my excuse for the short post: I hope the video makes up for that.

I’ll post an addendum some time when I’m not smelling caffeine and watching my Friday night slip by. For now, I’ll just mention that The Big Swap now has a Facebook page: where I’m posting random updates and facts about what’s going on outside of the blog posts. Like the page, and these updates will show up in your News Feed. It’s a good way to keep up to date on new posts, and gives you a sort of insider look at what’s going on, if you like that sort of thing.

It’s official: the cigar box guitar is up for trades. Make an offer, folks – this guitar is begging to be traded for something interesting and one-of-a-kind. If you have something that might fit the bill, send me an email or leave a comment on the blog or the Facebook page. Now I’m the one waiting; don’t keep me in suspense!

Ok, I’m out of here. It’s time to start off the weekend.

I never found a taker for the cigar box guitar; it’s still with me, and it still reminds me of the fun I had with this project. If you liked reading about my adventures, you should join my weekly email list.