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Best Month Evar

April 19 2005 02:35 AM ET (Permalink) (Comment)

So... the past month. If you haven't received an email or a phone call from me in a while, don't worry, it's not just you.

I'll start by scrolling back a few weeks.

During the last week of March, I started placing orders for computer parts. Yes, you read that correctly, I finally scraped together enough cash to acquire a new computer. Eric somehow convinced me that I was capable of building my own, and I somehow decided to give it a shot.

By the first of April, all of the parts had arrived. I set up a table in my bedroom to start assembling this monstrocity.

Strangely, the assembly part went pretty quickly. You cannot imagine the joy and relief when I got the processor installed (translated: I didn't destroy a $200 part) and everything booted for the first time.

Well, "pretty quickly", that is, ignoring the three hours I spent trying (and failing) to install Windows 98 (as a backup), having not done the homework to find out that the motherboard didn't support it. Yay.

Frankly, I don't really remember much about the next several days. Installing XP, installing software, tinkering with the blazing speed of a computer that was built more recently than 1997, etc. All I know is that I didn't boot up my then-current computer during any of that period. Given that all of my "current" work was on the then-current computer, a lot of things slid. Yikes.

Once I finally got XP to properly manage my wireless adapter (apparently, Microsoft has unilaterally decided that all wireless routers should be set to channel 6, and has ten layers of retarded crap that interferes with any other implementation), things really started moving. I'd wanted to download the Muse Glastonbury DVD last year, and thought I'd completely missed my chance. But, by sheer luck, the torrent was still being seeded, and, twenty-four hours later, it was mine.

I woke up the morning of the 6th in a state of sheer euphoria. Okay, so the system was occasionally hanging for no apparent reason (which I eventually traced to a memory issue caused by me following the installation manual to the letter... yeesh), but it was otherwise working perfectly. I was sitting at my computer, enjoying a couple of DVDs that I own - until now, I didn't personally own a DVD player - was watching the Muse show, and just entirely fucking elated.

I knew there was one last step to make the computer complete. When I was buying parts, I kept in mind the intention of using it to record music. (For example, the motherboard came with an integrated soundcard, but I bought a separate one that would be more compatible with multi-track software.) What I recorded in my tests sounded amazing, and way better than the analog four-track that I've been using for the last eight years. Just that little bit of tinkering made me feel unbelievably motivated to record some music.

At this point the system was all ready, save for one item: music recording software. That night, rather than zipping over to the usual Wednesday night Ultimate pick-up night, I decided to head over to Guitar Center to pick it up.

I get to one street to make a left, and the turn arrow turns red ahead of me. Having worked in that area years ago, I've discovered that it's usually faster to head to the next street, make a left, then make a right onto that street. So, I head that direction.

When I get near the light, the turn arrow goes yellow. A car and a big white box truck are turning left. The intersection looks clear, so I follow them through the light as it turns red.

About five feet into turning, I can't help but notice that there's a car coming towards me head-on at a high rate of speed. I stomp the brakes, and ponder to myself, "What else can I do now?"

The car tries to avoid me, but he's going too fast and doesn't have time to steer out of the way. Fortunately, he turns enough that he (mostly) clears. What ensues is that classic sound of two cars colliding.

And so ends the best month evar.

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