Through Sound and Time: 2000
I have to start this article by telling you how utterly disappointed I was when y2k didn’t work. I was pretty sure I had made up the whole thing. From the whole Binary 00 thing meaning off and turning off all the computers to the spreading of the rumors of nuclear Armageddon setting us right back into the stone age. I was more than ready for this. I had a stockpile of water and canned goods (Sickels had a special on Campbell’s Chicken N’ Stars that week, I was losing money not stocking up for the apocalypse) and I even had a melee weapon. Everyone knows that once the nuclear weapons blow us back to the stone age, the only thing a man can trust in is his sword, and his V6 87 Camero. As I stated though New Years 00 came and went without a hitch, and I drove home utterly disappointed that I had wasted it camped out in front of the Shop Rite waiting to loot the place when everything went to shit, I couldn’t help but think while listening to Battle Hymns by Suicide Machines, the world just wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped.
2000 was a great year for buying compilations. Cinema Beer Nuts, Fat Music, Short Music, Punk-O-Rama 3-6. My Fav though was Life in the Fat Lane. Songs like San Dimas High School Football Rules by The Ataris, Exhumation of Virginia Madison by Strung Out, May 16 by Lagwagon, and my favorite from this comp Hersey Hypocrisy and Revenge by Good Riddance. That Intro still gets my blood flowing to this day. It was everything I felt then, I was upset and I was sick of letting the world get to me and I wanted to take control back. The great thing about comps was that they were a great way to find out about new music without turning on the radio. You could buy a comp for like $5 and it had 15 or so songs from a label and then you could just buy that bands album or with the rise of Napster you could DL it for nothing. We truly were a society in it’s decline then.
I had also started listening to emo music. Sure go ahead and laugh now, but you used to rock out to Saves the Day and Osker too. Man I used to rock out to this stuff in my car. The Through Being Cool album was on rotation in my car for like 2 years. My friends and i used to just drive around rocking this stuff and trying to pick up girls if you can believe that. I’ll tell you what though, it wasn’t like American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused. Mostly because those movies yielded results in those scenes. We drove around in my 87 Camero with a moon roof, and barely made eye contact with girls. I spent a lot of time in the Barnes and Noble by the Deptford Mall and at the Pool Halls. It was hard to get into a night life without drinking or even being of age to drink. Most nights ended at the Colonial Diner, with two eggs over easy wheat toast and hash browns well done.
I was reading a lot of trades then. Human target, Animal man, and the Authority. Adrian Tomine’s 31 Stories got me to thinking I could probably write comics the way he did. I even teamed up with a friend to start making a few. that never panned out. I started really reading novels on my own. Neil Gaiman had always been one of my favorite comic writers so I checked out American Gods. Friends had told me that this was one of the best novels they’d ever read. To this day it’s one of the best I have. I’ve read it about 4 or 5 times. It makes me want to travel the country every time I read it. I also picked up Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and breezed through that. And I read one of the classics that year: The Stranger by Camus. I’m really surprised that you don’t see more lone gun men reading Camus over Salinger. Oh well, it’ll remain one of those mysteries of the universe.
The big explosion this year was in June. My whole world got shook to it’s foundation. I was a liar. Ok thats a little hard on myself, but I was definitely covering for someone. Long story short, I was headed to Worlds for Magic: The Gathering. My mentor at the time was 3rd in the world and I was fast climbing at 80th in the state. He was invited to Worlds and as a teammate I was invited to come with him. We’d been practicing for a bulk of the year. I had even impressed a few of the local pros. I know this seems trite, a bunch of guys playing Card Games to be the best guy in the world that plays a card game, but this was for 3 million dollars. And to give you a frame of reference one of these pros recently placed in the money at the world series of poker, so you can see these games were preparation for something a little more grand. Anyhow the DCI found my friend guilty of tournament collusion. Basically he cheated a lot and because I ran the tournament I was guilty by association and maybe a little more. Needless to say my dream was shattered. I had to work very hard to make sure I didn’t get fired from my job as well as to keep from getting fined. Thankfully it all blew over and I over got banned for five years. Realizing that 5 years was far too long to keep playing the game competitively I started working on a new future. At the end of the year my father gave me an ultimatum, move out, pay rent, or go to school. I choose school and then met a girl at the mall right before new years……