Matt Pond At Five & 1/4!!! Oh And Also, About Five & 1/4 . . .

March 2nd, 2017 - filed under: The Farm » Family


I met Jeremy at Vegan Beer Fest. Have I ever told you that story?

I met Jeremy at Vegan Beer Fest. He was tall and handsome and really outgoing, and he talked a lot which was great because I was pretty shy. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t super interested in Jeremy that day. I mean, I wasn’t disinterested, I just . . . I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for adventure — a great story to tell my friends back home. “A wild night in LA” sort of thing. So when this rather persistent, rather attractive vegan dude stuck himself to me like glue, I thought “Well hey, let’s have an adventure.”

Beer Fest ended at 5:30 and Jeremy suggested that my friend and I join him for dinner. We agreed, and in a flash he was popping into the corner store to purchase a nice bottle of wine. He called us a Lyft (my very first experience with ride sharing, I was so confused) and whisked us off to this adorable little Thai restaurant on Melrose Avenue. It was an awesome dinner, followed by a stroll down Melrose, a pint at a pub, and lots of talking and laughing. And like I said, I was just along for the ride. I felt no sense of attachment. I was living in the moment, with no thought of the future.

My friend decided to bail around 10:00, so we walked her back to the hotel room, and suddenly Jeremy and I were left alone on an empty sidewalk in Hollywood. It was at that moment that he kissed me for the first time, and that’s the moment my entire life turned upside down. Panned out while zooming in, disorienting in perfect, crystal clear focus.

Because chemistry.


You either have it or you don’t, and damn — we have it. In that one moment all my feelings towards our interaction changed. I went from “whatevs, it’s an adventure” to “MORE I WANT MORE OF THAT YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU”

Pretty powerful, a kiss.

After Jeremy said goodbye that night, I couldn’t get him out of my head. I was buzzing the whole next day, and I texted him the following evening. He was a little surprised (he had planned to play it cool and wait a few days), and for the first time in my life, I was bold and aggressive in my pursuit. I was basically like, “Hey, in a week I’m going to leave for Vida Vegan Con, and I’ll be there for a whole week, and I really don’t want to wait almost 3 weeks to see you again, so how about I come back to LA in 4 days and we go out for a real date?”

I mean, what can I say? It was a really good kiss.

That Thursday I drove back down to LA, met Jeremy at his work, and off we went for a fancy dinner at Crossroads. He brought a really amazing bottle of champagne and gave me a Tom Waits CD and we ordered a vegan cheese plate and it was all just delightful. And then afterwards, on the way back to his house, he pulled out this CD. He told me “This is one of my favorite musicians — I’ve been following him for years. He just released this album, you’ve got to hear it, it’s amazing.” And he put on Matt Pond’s The Lives Inside The Lines In Your Hand.

I remember driving through LA, warm summer air on my face late at night, snaking down the 405 on a first date with an incredible man, feeling like my life was cracking open to wild possibility. I felt heady. And this music was the soundtrack to it all.

And then track 3 came on. The song is called Starlet and Jeremy said “This is the one I keep listening to, over and over.”

If you don’t want to watch the whole video, I’ll just quote the chorus:

I know, I know
I know, there’s so much I don’t know
I still know someday I will make sense to someone.

And this became our song. Jeremy and I have talked every day since that first date. And while we were falling in love, living 100 miles apart, I would fall asleep listening to this song. He would text me lyrics from this song. We would slow dance together to this song. And even now, I can’t listen to this song without feeling a flood of love and emotion.


So anyway, flash forward 4 years.

Jeremy has moved to Santa Barbara, opened and closed a business, I have started and finished graduate school, and we now run a weekly pop-up wine bar that operates every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night out of an eclectic little French Crêperie.

And we still love Matt Pond, who just recently released his latest album, Winter Lives. Jeremy is on Matt’s email list, and Matt has embarked on a “Living Room” tour, traveling across the country playing small intimate shows in people’s homes. It’s a great idea for a musician, cutting out the middle man much like ride-sharing (Lyft) and home sharing (AirBNB) and, well, restaurant sharing! And anyway, so then Matt pond sent out an email looking for a place to play in Santa Barbara.

Which is how it came to be that this past Sunday, February 26th, we pulled up in front of our own little wine bar, and we got out and greeted Matt Pond, fucking Matt Pond you guys, and he was like “Hey, thanks for having me play here” and we were like “Sure dude, thanks so much for playing” and it was all so casual and normal and completely unreal.


All the pictures are blurry. The whole thing was kind of a blur, really. It was a packed house, a happy crowd. Matt and his guest musicians were so sweet. Jeremy and I were both just kind of in awe the whole time. Working, serving wine and making chit chat. Just a blur.

And yes, he played Starlet. Jeremy had emailed him beforehand to ask, and he obliged. He dedicated it to us, and he stood there right in front of us, and he sung us our song. I really just can’t describe that feeling.

It was a single moment of perfect bliss. Where the whole entire world telescopes down to a single point, and every thing falls away. Like a first kiss.


“The Starlet”, a special cocktail Jeremy created for the night. A low-ABV take on one of our favorites, the Negroni. Extra bitter. Absolutely delicious.

I still have trouble believing that it happened. Even now, writing this post, looking at these pictures, it doesn’t seem real. Like if I saw it in a movie, it would seem so cliche, so “tidy”. What a perfect ending.

But it was real, and it really was the perfect ending to Five & 1/4.

Sunday was our last night of operating the wine bar. It was a decision we came to pretty quickly, but one that we feel very confident about. Jeremy got that new job and he’s really loving it. It’s a good job, a really good one, and he doesn’t want his attention to be divided. And me, I have my garden kids. But I also have some really exciting potential opportunities for a more lucrative, more long-term sort of gig. For now, I’ve added a temporary position out at UCSB, back in my same bio department, back with the old familiar faces and people that I love. And who knows what will happen next?

What Jeremy and I both know is that we are done with burning the candle at both ends. Done working twice as hard for half the pay. Done having no social life, no energy, no down time. Owning your own business is exhausting, and working every weekend is a bummer! For the past year and a half we’ve missed every birthday party, every art opening, every music show. We are sad to leave behind the community of small business comrades, wine geeks, and vegan foodies that we’ve built, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t also completely relieved.

Right now, as I write this, it’s Thursday evening. Usually right now I’d be bustling around in a flurry, trying to get the wine bar ready to open after already working a full day outdoors in the garden with 11 (YES ELEVEN) groups of kindergarteners. That’s what my Thursdays used to look like.

But no, instead I’m lying in bed blogging with a cat on my lap. And later, I’m going to get gussied up, and I’m going to go on a date with that sweet, hard-working, handsome man that I met so many years ago at Beer Fest.

Life is hard, guys. Life is work and life is failure and life can feel absolutely unrelenting. Unforgiving. It’s all so messy and complicated, and it pretty much never works out how you expect it to. But also, if you’re living it right, if you’re living all in with your wild heart thrown wide open, then sometimes life will give you these incredible moments of pure, unadulterated magic.

That’s what I felt last Sunday, and I’m going to carry that moment with me forever.

As always, thanks for reading and for sharing in this adventure with me.


  • spabettie

    ahh – everything about this is wonderful! enjoy!

  • vegyogini

    Shoot, I never made it up to 5 1/4! But I’m SO very happy for you both…for finding each other, for being open to love at the very right moment, for the beautiful life you’re living together. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you and your family! I have always appreciated not working for myself because I grew up with my dad heading up his own companies and it made me realize how important work-life balance is and how hard that can be when you’re a business owner. Cheers to your next adventures and to having time to relax and have a social life again! xoxo

  • Clare Kauter

    This post was so beautiful. I *may* have cried a little bit…

  • JC Carter

    Love this post. It’s a beautiful story.

  • lysette

    Awww <3 <3 reading this while listening to the song with headphones on so I don't wake up the house, heck yeah I teared up, your words capture the gentle wildness of love so well, thank you for sharing Sayward, it made me reflect back to twelve years ago when I met my partner and my heart swelled up, lol except we were exchanging death metal and drinking scotch but that feeling of real magic & an expansive universe is the same.

  • veronika

    wow, just wow.
    So happy for you (how can one not be, after this?), and so excited to hear about your next project/adventure/mind-blowing switch/success!

  • patrickmelroy

    You guys are the best. I feel very lucky to have had the joy of seeing 5 & 1/4 in action, but I am equally excited to have you guys over for dinner finally.

  • Jayne(tripocket)

    What an absolutely glorious adventure y’all are having! I’m so honored that you’re willing to share it with us and I can’t wait to read the next chapter.

  • Bianca Phillips

    Wow!!! This is a beautiful post!! What a perfect ending to that last chapter and start to a new beginning. I completely understand that need to feel stability and the need to leave something you love behind to have more time for yourself. I did that recently when I changed careers. I love my new job, but the decision to make the change was scary. Now, a few months later, I’m certain I made the right choice, and I’m super-happy. Plus, I have more time now and more funds for having fun in that free time! YAY!! P.S. you and Jeremy are just the cutest.

  • Rachel Jimenez

    Very beautiful post, Sayward. Happy to know you!

  • Sarah C.

    Admittedly, I’m a little sad for myself — I always thought some day I’d make it to your neck of the woods and have a drink at the wine bar….BUT, I totally saw this coming and am also so happy for you guys to get a chance to slow down a bit. Living life to the fullest can also mean taking needed time for rest and reflection, and it sounds like you and Jeremy have been in dire need of that kind of phase of life. So I lift my drink to you (a beer, but still vegan and amazing) and wish you both the very, very best in this next stage of your lives together. Cheers!

  • B M

    I went through a roller coaster of emotions reading this. I laughed. I cried. I had butterflies in my stomach. I had that tingly feeling in your toes. Thank you for sharing :)

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  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m so glad to know you’re still here reading, B M. I was actually just wondering about you the other day!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Sarah, if you are ever out this way, you don’t need a wine bar in order to meet up! Please reach out. I’d love to hang!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Rachel. I’m so glad we’ve connected!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aww thank you Bianca. I didn’t realize you changed careers! No longer a journalist? Or just no longer covering the LGBTQ community? Regardless, I’m glad to hear your happy!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, thank you Jayne! And thank you for listening to me share. It means a lot to know there are people out there, reading as I careen along this crazy path, haha. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yes! I was so sad to miss camping. Hope there’s plans for a future outdoor adventure!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Veronika!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    That’s awesome Lysette, I love that reading this helped bring back your own feelings of falling in love. It’s the very best kind of nostalgia. ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you JC!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Well, I might have cried a *lot* bit while writing it! ;-D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Jenni, and it was awesome running into you (however brief) this weekend at Expo. See you at VSF?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks so much lady!

  • vegyogini

    Yes, I’ll be there! It was awesome to see you, too. :)

  • Sarah C.

    Thanks – I’ll totally do that! And our kiddos are the same age, so they’d have a blast playing together too!