the day the music died

I promised myself I wouldn’t keep bitching about the basement. But honestly.

Here’s the thing. I have one week left in my hiatus, a break that represented the first days I’ve had off in the history of my checkered past in LA. Ever. Well, I had five days off last year, but I spent them all in the hospital. And if you’re going to go on vacation, food should be ingested some other way than intravenously. So let’s not count that.

Because I tend to overthink things, I’m not that good with unscheduled chunks of time, and I convinced myself I would spend my four weeks 1) buying a medical dictionary and diagnosing myself with everything in it and 2) emailing my friends, not hearing back from them for ten minutes, and becoming totally convinced that they were all really mad at me for some reason. This self-fulfilling prophecy would eventually collapse in upon itself, and this exact strain of neediness would eventually…make all of my friends really mad at me.

Amazingly, none of that happened. Following a suicidally busy visit to New York during which I moved out of my Park Slope apartment for the last time, I returned to Los Angeles, returned all of my emails, got my brakes fixed, wrote some stuff I’m really proud of, saw Bakersfield for the first and last time in my life (don’t ask), and generally didn’t go mad. Bonus! Not that the universe wasn’t trying to nudge me towards insanity. Move one? Destroying all of my music. Universe: one. Dan: zero.

Dan? ALL of your music? Well, let’s break it down…

SOURCE OF MUSIC: My entire CD collection, started on my thirteenth birthday (with “True Colours” by Split Enz), when I was given the gift of a CD player that my brother had to teach me how to use. I still remember the “Huh?” feeling I had when he taught me that you had to hit the “back” button twice in order to make the CD go one song back. It’s why I have sympathy for older people attempting to master new technologies, like when my mother cried the first time she tried to maneuver a mouse. The CDs were in several enormous Case Logic books, as I moved around so much for a while that I had to make them portable. And I didn’t have them with me in California, because I cleverly put most of them onto my iPod so that I could listen to them whenever I wanted. Clever! Except, see below.
CAUSE OF MUSIC DESTRUCTION: Aforementioned flood in my parents’ basement. Even sadder, I had been ripping a bunch of CDs onto my laptop when I was in New York less than two weeks before said flood, and I had (sorry, mom) left the CDs on a couch, where they might have been safe. The night before I flew back to L.A., I decided to be a good kid, and cleaned them up by putting them back in their proper place on THE FLOOR.
POSSIBLE PROGNOSIS: Not looking good. I kept asking mom if they had pulled anything out of the basement and put it somewhere to dry, and finally she was like, “I don’t think you’re getting how much water there was down there.”
SILVER LINING: The jewel cases were in a closet on the second floor, which means I’ll know exactly which 400 CDs I no longer own.

SOURCE OF MUSIC: My iPod, given to me as a gift one year and twelve days ago. How do I know that? Because when it broke and I brought the iPod into Apple and I was all tear-streaked and “please, sir, can you fix it?” I discovered that the one-year warrantee had expired twelve days prior to my visit.
CAUSE OF MUSIC DESTRUCTION: The iPod was in the dock of someone else’s computer (a friend whose fault THIS ISN’T), the computer crashed, the iPod freaked, the iPod gave me a sad face, and voila…no more music.
POSSIBLE PROGNOSIS: Not looking good. The hard drive is fried. This one definitely can’t be fixed.
SILVER LINING: When I can afford a new one, at least I’ll be able to take my CDs and rip them all onto the…aw, crap.

SOURCE OF MUSIC: A Sirius satellite radio, given to me as a birthday gift last January.
CAUSE OF MUSIC DESTRUCTION: Metal piece go breaky. Other possibility: it might have killed itself when I wouldn’t stop listening to outer space’s most amazing Easy Listening station, appropriately named “Movin’ E-Z.”
POSSIBLE PROGNOSIS: Them: “Well, you have to come in and visit our central location to get it fixed.” Me: “Well, where is that location?” Them: “It’s in Hauppauge.” Me: “The one on Long Island?” Them: “Yes.” Me: “I’m in Los Angeles.” Them: “LA! Must be sunny!” Me: “Sigh.”
SILVER LINING: They can fix it for free and I’ll have it back in time for Howard Stern.

Aaaaaand…end bitching.