Thursday, November 29, 2007

becoming the distance

it's been a strange
and difficult fall
beautiful heights
some of the best times of my entire life
yet also
some of the saddest

it's been extreme
more extreme than anything i've ever been through yet
the stories i've told here
about our 3 weeks in europe
were not able to properly capture
how amazing it actually was
the beauty of each day we spent there

if i were to exit this world
at this very moment
my last thought would be of me
with J and G
there together
driving through europe
it's one of my most precious memories
of life here

we came back to texas thinking we were 4
but as you know
a week later
we found out we were to be only 3
the studio was in total chaos
being renovated for the old 97s impending recording sessions
on october 10th
we only had a week and a half
to turn the disaster site
into a functioning recording studio again
while jayme was going through one of the most
difficult things any woman can go through
i was working 10 or more hours a day
trying to get the studio finished in time
i wasn't there for her like i would've liked to be
i'm sad about this
i think i always will be

the studio turned out magnificently
bob suffolk
it's creator
is a genius
ex-fabulous poodle
charming workaholic
a man who eats sleeps and dreams
building studios
for us to turn dreams into music
i couldn't have written into this story a more perfect patriarch
for pleasantry lane
if i had wanted to
his jaw dropping design written on the back of dinner napkins
pulled off in just 5 weeks
it should have taken months
i will eternally be in his debt
for the sweat
and more sweat
he put into this labor of love

when the 97s showed up on the 10th
it felt so good to see the looks on their faces
when they saw how radically different the place was
it made all the work we'd put into it
i wish carter could've stuck around
to see the new studio too
he would've been proud
he would've made me proud too
with all the brilliant things he would've created here
i still feel overcome with grief
at random moments of the day
his loss has affected me more than i might have even imagined
i will write more about this soon
it's been bottled up inside of me now
for a bit too long

october and most of november were eaten up
in a second
by the long days recording
and then
before i knew it
our celebration
on the 16th
to cap off the old 97s stay here
planned in just 5 days
the biggest party we've ever had
the goal:
not only to have fun
but to film a dvd for the band
it came and went in a marvelous
but kinda stressful blur
48 hours after that
we were headed to california
to visit chester and eleanor
jayme's grandparents
i had a hard time leaving
as we still had 2 more days with murray
recording bass and vocals
but once we landed in california
i felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders
a peace that i hadn't felt
in ages
visited me again
it was so nice to have no "agenda"
no list of responsibilities
things to get done
the only thing on my mind
at the beginning of each day
was to enjoy the time with i had
with jayme and gavin
we saw ches and eleanor a couple of times
an afternoon spent viewing
the 1200 photo slideshow
of their life
was profoundly touching
it made me want to freeze every second i have
right now
in the here and now
and to wrench as much out of them as possible
we left them sadly waving goodbye
on the drive
i thought it would probably be
the last time
the next day
we met my sister
her husband
and their 2 boys for a day at disneyland
it was spectacular
14 hours that will go down as some of the best
of my life
seeing how happy that place made the boys
was worth everything
we even froze our asses off
so gavin could see cinderella
in the night parade
the look of wonder and joy on his face
when she came dancing by
was priceless
the next day we drove to LA
and stopped in on peter jesperson
the man who discovered the replacements
now the 97s A & R man
after our visit we ate at Mel's on the strip
before heading to Oakland
to visit Maureen and Cody
during the long drive
we left the ipod on random
sang songs
laughed a lot
as if we had not a care in the world
thanksgiving was spent in M and C's cozy
retro decked home
with one of the coolest kitchens i've ever seen
they took us to Rudy's Can't Fail diner
and the patrons ogled at G's clash jacket
we came home friday night refreshed
feeling good
and ready to get back to things
on sunday night
i was in the studio
and Jayme called
something was wrong
she was crying
"my grandpa is dead..."

we've lost 3 now this fall
it's put us through the ringer
so much joy
and so much sadness
the highs
and lows
hopefully no more losses
for awhile
i pray that all my loved ones
(including you)
are safe and sound
and planning to stick around for a long while

take care of yourself please
at least
for me




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