Shortly into the new year we learned that a friend from college, Graham, died. It came out of nowhere, and I was completely unable to process it. This a friend we’ve known for 14 years. He lives on the east coast. We see him once or twice a year. He was literally one of the two smartest people I’ve ever known – like genius level. He was also warm, laid back, and quick to smile. He really made an effort in our friendship. I can’t believe he’s gone. Since we don’t see him on a day to day basis, it has been especially hard to process. We had just seen him four months ago, and were talking about the next stages of his life. I’m all too aware that I have a difficult time processing and expressing emotions, but this was so far off the charts that I couldn’t even compute what was going on. The universe is far worse off without Graham in it. Eventually, I shifted from obsessing about Grahams life, to the abruptness of death, which brought on a host of new issues to struggle with. I was unable to sleep for more then 5 hours a night for more then two weeks.
A few weeks into January we made a whirlwind trip down to LA to visit Dave and Keri before they pop out a little dudette. Jasper + their cats = endless entertainment. I dictated that we make an Oinkster and Dave’s Chillin and Grillin stop. When went to Dave’s C+G, in a moment of adventureness/instanity, I ordered the daily special instead of getting my beloved turkey sandwich. Stina, in an act of love that transends all boundaries, offered to trade sandwiches after she saw the overwhelming sadness / envy on my face. I’m still reeling from this. So much so that it’s dominated my bullet point about the LA trip.
My parents came out for an extended visit. By extended, I mean, they couldn’t go home since the eastern part of the country was buried underneath seven hundred feet of snow. It started out well, but slowly devolved into a full on stressy nutbag, bit by bit. Our plans and life did not align properly, and I think everyone was relieved when they got back home.
A last minute bonus idea was to take my mom to a show at Yoshis Oakland – Mediski on keyboard, the guitar player from Living Color, the bass player from Cream, and Sanata’s wife on drums. The first tune was 10 minute free jazz improv, and 5 minutes in I was regretting taking my Mom to such an atontal avante garde show. Fortunately the rest of the show was more structured. Santana joined in for the encore. Top notch show. I think my Mom enjoyed it. Real good times were also had at Yoshi’s SF with George Clinton + P Funk. There were at least 25 people on stage at once – 5 guitar players. I was so close I got to fist bump Mr. Clinton. Haven’t washed my hand since. Got to have that funk! Unh!
After the aforementioned not sleeping and stressful parental visit, I got really sick. I rarely get sick like this, and my body demanded that I sleep like 10 hours a day for a while. I’m still in the recovering stages.
I had two excellent recording sessions. Its always a privilege to have Audio Angel in the studio. There were several spine tingling moments during that session. I later discovered that my primary goal of that session did did not turn out the way I had hoped – and have been shocked by my total acceptance of it. I figured out my mistakes and began plotting a new course of action to remedy the situation. Overall, music has been flowing particularly well in the past few weeks which is helping prop up the rest of my life.
I attended an awesome workshop with Rena Jones and Asher Fulero (two musicians I’m a huge fan of), where I was reminded that I’m a total amateur at music production. This isn’t terribly upsetting. I’m simply aware theres a lot to learn, and know why my productions don’t sparkle likes theirs do. Good thing I have confidence in my music and, more importantly, a day job.
Jasper is a walking machine. He now climbs down our front stairs, walks four houses down, then climbs up our neighbors stairs in search of their cat. Needless to say, we’re meeting more of our neighbors, and freaking out the animals in our path. He says “da” every time we see a dog. He’s constantly bringing us books to read to him. And, if you weren’t in the know, sticks are where its at. Along with yelling. Nothing beats a stick and yelling sandwich. J-balls has fully transformed from baby to very little boy with insane amounts of energy. It doesn’t look like thats gonna taper any time soon, so, whoohoo.
It’s been an intense beginning to 2011, to say the least. Our lives are radically transforming, and we’re trying to grasp how to roll with the changes. We are overwhelmed by whats going on with our families, jobs, friends, social lives, and son. Every once in a while, we stop trying to wrap our heads around it all, and remind each other how lucky we are. That’s usually when I start pining for sex.