I'm in London Ontario, in a recording studio!
Jethro's been invited to listen to a few albums in consideration for a Juno award next April. He's part of a group of music biz guys, deciding on what will make up the shortlist for the nominations.
I'm hanging in the lounge. A surprisingly large amount of hours in my life have been spent in recording studio lounges. They generally all have black furniture and a huge TV. And a pool table. And some big chunky funky art on the walls.
This one is in a building that used to be a church, built in about 1920. It's been a studio for over twenty years now. I love this lounge because it's got these giant church basement windows. Upstairs in the control room, the light from the three ten-foot high windows comes rolling into the live room and straight onto the console. Light is a rarity in this environment. I've been in so many studios that are windowless and cut off from the world, a totally artificial environment. I hate that. Jethro's place of work has about six tall windows. It's a headache of a challenge to soundproof a room with windows...but worth it!
I also like this place because they have FOOD here!
This lounge has a yellow wall at one end and a purple wall on the other. Coooool!
I had to struggle today, actually, deciding what to do. The kids and pets are at Grandma's farm. I could have, should have, stayed there. Spent a day off school with my young uns. Wash my mom's dishes for her while she's at work. Clean up the barn.
Part of the deal to lure Jethro to London for this day? A free hotel room tonight. And dinner.
Now I generally try not to use my blog as a complaint platform. I don't whine (too much) about the lack of time my husband and I have together. Here's the truth: I think in the last two weeks, we've spent about two full nights in the same bed. This is not unusual. This is our life. He's only slept at the studio one night in the last two weeks. That's rare. In October he was averaging two nights a week away from home.
I had to weight this out. As much as I crave farm time, and school-free kid time, I miss my man. So what if it means a few hours entertaining myself in yet another studio lounge? I've got Mac White. I've got my current Epic Trashy Novel stuck inside this computer, aching to have more words in it.
I've got stuff to read, and there's always that giant TV, which could take up the whole afternoon just figurin out what button does what. And there's a kitchen full of food!
Upstairs, I can hear the bass notes. I wonder what they're listening to. I was invited to come and listen, but I declined. It's not my element. We joked in the car on the way here that when I'M producing an album I'm very sensitive to the use of pedal steel in the choruses and how I ALWAYS double the vocal; Chad Kreuger taught me that and I always use live drums instead of programmed and I want the kick to sound really...ORANGE...but I'm just the engineer's wife.
Sitting around the table listening to their indecipherable engineer jokes and smiling like I get it is as far as I go.
There was a strong realization for me though.
I've been around for a looong time.
Twenty years. That's how long I've known him. He went to Fanshawe College, right here in London, for Music Industry Arts in 1988. I was The Girlfriend back then. I used to bag off high school and hang around the college studio. I went into a couple of his classes. I snuck into the studio to watch the magic happen at 3 am. I went to the parties, and wiggled into the clubs he was working in, doing live sound, even though I wasn't 19 yet and didn't even look 17 at the time.
We drove through some nasty ass early winter to get here today, and ha, look at this, metaphorically have weathered some nasty stuff to get where we are in our life together.
When we dropped the kids and critters off at the farm, I dashed over to the corral to say hi to my two shaggy, dirty, windblown horses. Phoenix walked up to the fence first, then the Little Lady. Their tails whipped around their hind legs as they walked. Not the best day to go for a ride, really. I blew in their nose holes and got back in the car.
Screw the stupid 401- we took the scenic route. The wind battered out little Jetta as we motored along through farm country. We didn't listen to music for the rest of the hour long drive. We talked about our kids, my book, Phoenix, Jethro's next recording project, and my next book. We watched the scenery go past and marvelled at the few changes in the last 18 years. The exact same sign hangs on the front of the Kintore General Store. A few houses got new siding, a few barns got a paint job.
What a huge comfort to us, we two old fashioned at heart country kids, to get far enough away from the big bad city to notice these things.
London has done a bit of sprawling lately, like any other city in southern Ontario. "Look at this," Jethro said, "it's all exactly the same but different." Then we laughed at our moronic observations.
The same but different? I looked around the table. I knew or had talked on the phone with most of the other guys who are judging Juno submissions today. I got that weird feeling I've gotten for years, a feeling that gets stronger with every year that goes by, and every album release party, every awards show...
Yes, it's me, Heidi. The same Heidi who was around back in college. The same girl he married after that.
I usually say I'm so glad they remember me and often they say something like, How could I forget?
I knew, at the beginning of our marriage, that I'd be spending a lot of it alone. It's never been a rude shock to me that I've had to deal with crap on my own. I'm used to it, but it doesn't mean I like it. It's just the way my life is.
But today, instead of being Mommy or being barn help, I'm the girl in the lounge again. I have no responsibilites...it's almost enough to make me dizzy. No cat or dog to feed, scoop up after, or let out for a wiz. No stalls to clean, hay to feed, ice to break in buckets. No dishes. No laundry. Just a bunch of words to type.
And a free hotel room with my favourite person in it. The guy who's been my favourite person for two decades, since way back when he was the long haired guitar playing rock dog.
(He's been my favourite person even longer than this guy.)