I am TV-free. For a month. I sold the piece of shit today, and now there’s a gaping hole in the stack of equipment and cables next to my computer. My “entertainment center” is a coffee table, on which the TV, a speaker, two VCRs, a tape deck, a receiver, a CD player, about a hundred CDs, and a dozen or so VHS tapes live. Now it’s minus the TV, since it would cost me about $50 to ship, and that’s all it’s worth. And I sold it for $75. I’m already going into withdrawl though – I got home from work, plopped down on the bed, stared at the blank spot on the way, and… yelled FUCK! I now need to do something creative with my evening, for a change. So this is how I used to write 4000 words a day…

I have yet another stupid nostalgia-trip story. I was at the mall Saturday, and went into the mall music store, which is usually a good place to look at a couple of bad guitars and then leave. But on consignment, they had a white Cort headless bass, with Steinberger tuners. About ten years ago, I bought my first bass, which was identical to this one, except my old one wasn’t wired – the knobs were missing, along with the jack, back panel, wiring harness, and foil shielding. I bought my old one for about $100 or $150 and rewired it, but it sounded like shit and had horrendous buzzing problems. I also painted it all up and put stickers on it. This one was in great shape – the fingerboard and frets were decent, the paint was original and new, and the electronics were pristine. I had to hear how it sounded stock, so I asked the guy to plug in, and a minute later I was going through a nice Hartke amp.

Some background on me and the bass: I started playing in the last semester of high school, towards the very end of the school year. I bought this Cort bass as a graduation present to myself, and took lessons all summer from Jamie Magera, a local guitar prodigy. In Bloomington, I took classes through school, met a lot of other musicians, and never got to the point of being really good, but I did play in a Calypso band in front of a sold-out IU Auditorium, so I did okay. After I got into computers, bass fell by the wayside. I tried to pick it up again in 96 with a Fender Precision fretless, but it felt alien, and I didn’t do too well. I’ve always since wished I could play something, but I never had the time. Every time I see a band live, I want to be the one on stage. I wish I could record a 4-track demo and trade it with people. And when I got that bass in my hands on Saturday, it felt natural again. Steinberger-based basses feel very strange – the body is small, the scale is short, there’s no tuning pegs or headstock on the end, and some people can’t stand them. But since it was my first bass, it felt RIGHT.

A minute later, I whipped out my Visa card and said, “I’ll take it.” I also picked up a 20 watt Hartke amp, which kicks some serious ass – ampmakers have really gotten their shit together in the last ten years. I hauled all of the gear home, unsure of how I’d even start playing or learning. At home, I ran through scales and the riffs that I knew, and things slowly got back to me. And on Sunday, I got a strap, tuner, and one of those “Metallica Riff-By-Riff” books. It might not be a good start, but I used to know more of their stuff, and it’s got my fingers moving again. I think this will be the perfect new hobby to pick up, especially after I move.

Michael Stutz was here all weekend, and we hung out on Thursday and Saturday. I’d write more, but I just ate some really greasy pizza, and I think I’m damaging this computer.