Life Is Great
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - Friday, March 13, 2020
It was no understatement to say that 2018 was an incredibly rough year for me. I had been looking forward to 2019, which shared the calendar of 2013, for quite some time, but I was not anticipating just how good of a year I was in for. Retrospectively, we all know now what we didn't know then: there was something even worse awaiting us once 2019 was gone, so it makes the memory of that year even more powerful looking back.
At the time, however, I had just passed the first anniversary of my maternal grandmother's passing, and on the evening of January 24, I got a Discord call from Nate Sawyers, longtime friend of ours and star of Conspiracies with Nate. He asked me if I'd be interested in playing some modded survival, and I took him up on it. I configured a Telkit II server and we began to build our bases. This was the beginning of a much happier era.
In the early morning hours of February 3, 2019, I was working on porting some of our houses from Telkit to Telkit II, and I had Spotify running in the background as a radio. Of the many songs it played for me, when I think of that day, I tend to remember Man On Your Mind before any of the others.
On July 31, 2019, I was invited by a few friends of mine to a Dungeons and Dragons session. While I wasn't particularly interested in the game, and respectfully decline if and when they decide to play it these days, what I do remember is some of the other stuff we did that night. Three months earlier, Jake, Weston and I had discovered our common love of 2009 YouTube references, as well as for YouTube edits in general. Weston showed us all [YTP] IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE AT YOUR FINGERTITS, a video by cs188, and part of that video uses an excerpt from the song Everybody Have Fun Tonight. We listened to the whole song after we watched the video, and to this day, I always think of that fun evening when I hear it.
This song began to play one October morning when I was driving to college. I had never heard it before, and I loved it the moment I heard it. The song also made me feel somewhat sad. At this time, I had found myself mired in the second of two major unrequited romantic interests. She was a year behind me, and therefore was in her senior high school year while I had moved on to my freshman year of college. I remember thinking that after the end of her academic year, I'd likely never get to see her again. Things actually turned out very differently, as while I lost interest in her a few months later, she ended up dating a close friend of mine over two years after this song entered my lexicon. We're decent friends now, so things turned out alright.
I had recently watched the Classic Albums documentary over the Steely Dan album Aja, and there are several shots of late '90s New York City in the autumn. On January 13, 2020, I was listening to this song as I walked across my college campus on a cold winter's day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and as I strolled along, I looked up as the instrumental portion at the end of the song played. I felt lost in my own world, envisioning that I was in New York City on an autumn day.
In retrospect, the timing of this song was rather interesting. I began listening to New Frontier in February 2020, and I will forever remember hearing it as I was working in the TV building of the N2 campus, which had been the HQ design we'd been using since September 2018. New Frontier's music video features a 1950s young couple secretly eloping in a bomb shelter. With COVID-19 looming in the distance, this song about having to shelter in place couldn't have been better timed to enter my musical repertoire.