I'm reporting from Dallas today, and I'm happy to say that Jamie's reached a couple of major milestones during these past few days while I've been away. She stood in her prosthetics for the first time! Mom says that she's way taller now than she was before. She said Jamie was about 5' 8", and considering that Jamie was roughly 5' 2" before... well, that's pretty neat. Mom planned to write a post about this, but she's super busy with her normal mom duties, and Roni is graduating this Friday, so there's all sorts of related things going on. I will likely post pictures about this once I get them on my computer.
We also got some good news about Jamie's stay at St. David's - we may be leaving soon... like in two weeks soon. She's nowhere near being done with rehabilitation, but I think they said that we can work as an outpatient sometime soon. Also, we shouldn't get too much ahead of ourselves, because Jamie still has to go back to Houston for the flap procedure on her right hand, and some subsequent shaping procedures on both... There's still some hope that Dr. Boutros can come to Austin, but he's only here every so often, so we won't raise our expectations for that...
Anyway, the main reason I'm writing today, is because I want to put the finishing touches on an amazing week for Jamie by telling you about her visit by Aaron Behrens. He's the front man, lead vocalist and general dance machine in Ghostland Observatory. Together, he and Thomas Turner, are pioneering a genre of music that I haven't really seen before. You should check out their videos online sometime or check out their shows if you can. According to Jamie and her friends, they're indescribable. (Yeah, that's Ghostland with the UT Band... your eyes don't deceive you).
[For some background Jamie's insane, but totally justified, devotion to Ghostland Observatory, see our previous post, which is right below this one on the blog...] I told everyone that Thomas Turner was a really nice guy and down to earth, and Aaron Behrens was just as cool but in a completely different way. They're definitely a yin-yang kind of pairing, but that's usually the case with the best pairings.
So, of course, Aaron walked into Jamie's hospital room where Jamie's girlfriends were waiting for him. (Note to self: Start world-famous musical duo) He had a little surprise for Jamie as well: He brought an acoustic guitar, "if we'd be ok with him playing a few new songs he's been working on." Yes please! So, after hanging out with everyone for a little while, he breaks out his acoustic guitar and sings three songs for all of us. These are three songs that weren't released to the public and are very far from the typical ghostland observatory songs, and they were amazing. We were all blown away... some of us more than others (Sarah). I was able to record one on my camera but not the other two (I forgot that my new computer has a camera on it). The songs were touching and poignant. Aaron even commented after the first song that "You know, I didn't think about it at first, but that last song was pretty appropriate for the situation Jamie's in." Sharing these songs with us was so special, you know? Its a moment in time that Jamie and Aaron (and everyone else there) got to share.
One last note about our meeting with Aaron Behrens. If you don't know about Ghostland Observatory and you still haven't clicked on the links I've provided to their websites/videos, you need to know that Aaron is known for his energetic (kinetic?) dance moves. Just all over the place. Jamie is also all about dancing. She's a groove machine, and is going to have to relearn her old moves (in addition to developing some moves that can only be performed by someone with two BK amputations). Well, Aaron laid down the gauntlet for Jaime: a Dance-Off at ACL, on October 3, 2009, in the final hours before Jamie's 21st birthday. Aaron Behrens vs. Jamie Schanbaum! This is who she's up against:
Thank you Aaron and Thomas, you've done more for Jamie and for us than we could have imagined. We hope to see you around, and we'll see you for sure at the Whitewater Festival (if that's what its called) in July and at ACL in October!! You guys are amazing!