I first started this site in September or October of 1998, pretty soon after I moved to New York. I had been doing writing and illustration for Word for a bit and wanted to make my own page. I was living at Tomas's and he briefed me on some basic HTML, which I supplemented with a little reading at Barnes & Noble, and I was on my way. I got free space at Angelfire, even then the most ghetto of homepage webspaces, and started figuring things out.
The first thing I wrote for the site, when I had things going, was "Andron." At the time, while still called "A Short And Happy Life" (also the name of the weekly comic strip I was drawing for the Stranger back in Seattle at the time), the site was divided into two main sections: Enthusiasms and Humiliations. Naturally, the second column grew a lot faster than the first. Any material in the archives with a "Recycled" header came from this first iteration of the site. I carried on with this for about a year, eventually moving over to Tripod for reasons I forget, getting less than ten hits a day, updating every three weeks or so. I was working at an investment bank. I was sleeping.
And then, in May of 1999, while I was working full-time as Word's office manager, I decided to start spending a little more time on the site. After a few weeks of design sketches and logistical planning, the modern A Short And Happy Life was born. Since I had plenty of free time, I would update it every day, with stories, comics, music, or whatever was handy at the time. Since I had been drawing significantly less than planned after moving to NYC, this would give me at least some creative outlet. I took a trip to California, came back, and posted the first update.