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2018-12-1 20:01:03 UTC 2018-12-01 23:00 UTC
josh:  Having a great weekend. I haven't come up with a strategy on the missing hair problem, so I'm walking around with the bizarre partial bowl cut look. I get some strange looks, but no one has laughed (at least not loud enough for me to hear it :) )

I'm pretty much over the cold - yay! Things really got better, even though I'm going into the final two weeks of radiation, which they warned me would cause the most fatigue -- followed by continued fatigue for the first two weeks after the radiation protocol.

I've had more encouraging meetings with MD Anderson doctors. One of them told me I should be 'journaling' -- there are multiple ways to interpret that, but I think the main point was a regularly repeated expression and maybe documentation of the way I'm feeling / thinking as time goes past. I'm terrible at that. If I do much documentation, it likely won't be here (i.e., public), but I thought for my update this Saturday I'd take a shot at it once.

The other night I woke up in the wee hours and could not stop remembering a particular song that I worked on with my friend Chris Lively (mentioned him a few posts back) in late 2014 on his album before the latest one. Other than the music itself playing in my head, I remembered some unusual behavior from me during the production process and decided that might be a good thing to journal about. The song is absolutely beautiful (writing and vocal/instrumental performance - all of which Chris did himself, btw), and I think Chris was intending for it to be uplifting and positive, but I had other ideas.

Like every good artist, Chris does not disclose his own interpretations of his songs (to the classic extreme which makes you wonder if he even has them), but in this case I was up front with him about my own interpretation: a story about fighting a particular battle and *losing*. I was certain that's not what he was thinking, but he said it was interesting.

(as an aside, if you see Chris play live -- which I highly recommend -- you'll notice that he plays this song quite differently from what's on the album. I'm not sure why, but one likely reason is that the studio version has a strong set of backup vocal tracks which I imagine are not always creatable in the live performance scenario - there are other possible reasons as well :) )

So, the other night I remembered creating more impact on this song than usual during editing and mixing. Clearly I went too far, and at Chris' request, I wound up rolling back some (but not all) of the things I had done before its inclusion in the album. It was this pre-clean-up version that was going through my head, and I thought it would be nice to make a journal entry about my memory of that version. The following day I found the old music project file and opened it, intending to click 'undo' a few times to get the mix back to where it was before the final. I quickly realized that my system had changed so much over the past few years that the approach could not be so simple.

So, I spent a some time to rebuild the version I was remembering. In the process, I saw that my memory of the editing/mixing process was inaccurate. I thought I simply did some edit-polishing and finished up the high level changes with a cursory knod to my interpretation, but I could see that's not what happened. Rather, I used quite a bit of focus to create things like the unnerving pitch wobbles and the overpowering of the vocal tracks by the guitar tracks at the end, but simply don't remember doing it.

This was a full three and a half years before my first symptom caused by glioblastoma, but I could not help but wonder like, 'who made these decisions?' (not unlike Kermit's "Who hired this crew?"). There was no one but me involved in the process, btw.

As part of today's journaling, I decided to post the re-created song -- this is a little different from what you'll hear on the album, of course, because I'm trying to show where I was at with it before presenting it to Chris. Trigger Warning: this isn't necessary going to sound uplifting or positive :)

Chris Lively - Feather - Comfortable Mind (modified):

(I feel the obligatory but perhaps futile music worker's push to urge everyone to use a good set of speakers or headphones to hear this, or you'll likely miss what I was attempting to talk about. Then again, maybe phones and earbuds are better :) )
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