Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Frank had an appointment with the Cancer specialist yesterday. His surgery will probably be in about 3 weeks. The doctors will do a test the day before to determine which lymph node is the one that should be removed, and then the next day they will remove either his left armpit node, or one in his arm or both.

Whichever they remove, he will be unable to move or use his left arm which will be difficult since he is a leftie. I will be home to fully take care of him after. I have spoken to my boss and we are going to hire a part time employee to help in the shop while I am gone. Frank will be down for about 2 weeks.

We won't know what stage his cancer is at until after they examine his lymph node.

Right now, I am going through the motions of life as if this is not looming before us. Working, making social engagements and doing my best to KEEP my social engagements. It is hard because I just want to curl up in a ball and cry sometimes. It hits me at weird times, like watching Frank talk to our kids, or getting a lovey text from him.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thank you!!!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog, and everyone who read it and cared. Frank's appointment Thursday had to be moved, due to the doctor being in surgery. She was kind enough to call Frank to discuss what her plan for him is, which is a surgery to remove his lymph nodes and to remove more skin and under the skin around where they removed the initial mole. 

His appointment is Tuesday, so hopefully we will have a surgery date, then. I have friends lighting candles and saying prayers all over the world. Thank you for all your support and kind prayers. 

The candles are burning for him!

Cheesy pic of him...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The C Word

And I'm not talking about C U Next Tuesday. 

Tuesday we got the news that the mole that I nagged Frank to have removed for two years is Malignant Melanoma. He has an appointment with a Cancer Doctor today, I suppose to schedule more tests to find out if it has spread to his lymph nodes. 

I will never joke about him being my imaginary husband again. He is very real. He loves me more than anyone else ever has. He loved me when I thought I was unlovable, and gave me a life that at one time I didn't think I deserved.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mason's First skate Contest!

Yesterday, Mason competed in his first skate contest, held at Lake Cunningham Regional Skate Park. The contest was initially a "Skate Patrick's Day Contest" but due to weather, had to be rescheduled to May. 

At 11, Mason was skating in the 12 and under group. There were 5 or 6 kids in his age group, total. When it was his turn, his first run was flawless. Here are some photos my friend Scott Foss snapped.

 Here is a photo of Frank, Mason and I just before Mason started his second run

When they announced the winners, I kept hearing the other kid's names called, and then there it was. "In first place, Mason Smallwood!" Mason's buddies all were screaming for him, and Brody picked him up and carried him to where they were handing out the prizes. Mason won a deck and a bag of "swag." 

I am thinking of starting a blog dedicated to Mason's skating, if I can find the time. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Something to look forward to...

Just got my ticket for JD McPherson in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall June 7. Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Upstart Crow

Here is another old blog I wrote in 2004 about a Campbell, CA punk institution from the early 80s. The photo is from the summer of 1984 taken in Palo Alto, CA. That is me in front with the cigarette.

Upstart Crow

In Campbell, CA, 1983-??? "The Crow" as it was fondly referred to, was a cool place for people of different subcultures to congregate. It was a bookstore/coffee house and the first place I ever tried an expresso drink. There was a large patio off the dining area that had a vine covered arbor. The patio was surrounded by a waste high black metal fence, and most people who were too lazy to walk around would just jump it. There was a large tree (oak I think) along the side for additional shade during the day. 
For about a year Wednesday night was the night to be there if you lived south of Palo Alto or Fremont and North of Gilroy. It was the time when most everyone involved in some kind of 'subculture' would meet up. There would be mods, deathrocks, punks, skins, skaters, dance club kids, and even the few rockabillies that were around town. At times there would be several hundred people meeting there. We would meet, some people would have booze hidden, we'd smoke cigs and cloves and just sit around hanging out and bullshitting. 
In those days if you were in the "scene" you pretty much knew who everyone in the scene was. Most of us were 16-19 but there were a few old-timers who had started listening to punk in 78 or 79 and they were around 22 or 23. The older ones were more deathrock like than punk. Today, the subcultures are so multi-generational it's hard to know who everyone is or where they came from or who they know. Back then, if you saw a kid wearing creepers, you knew who they were and if you didn't, you'd walk up and start talking to them to find out what crew they hung out with. I kind of intermingled with a lot of different groups. Having a touch of ADD made me get bored with people and situations and I'd move on to other groups of people, but trying never to burn bridges. 
Summer of 84, the Crow started to crack down on Wed nights. To many people drinking, scaring away paying customers, and one night there must have been over 200 people, so they planned to close at 7 pm on Wednesdays. People were bummed, and there never was again a place like that where you knew EVERYONE would be in one place. 
Summer of 85, people still went to the crow but it wasn't a once a week thing. We'd go any night, around 6 or 7. Next to the Pruneyard where the Crow was located, was a creek. Today it's all developed as the "Los Gatos/Campbell Community Creek Trail" for squares to ride their bikes on. Back then, no trail, just a hole in the fence to a trail that led down to a creek and under a bridge. We spent that summer drinking under that bridge. There was a huge willow tree with a mattress under it. The tree was like a cave. Some people would camp out there. One night some of my buddies brought a Colemen stove down to the creek. They took sticks with long string attached to them and tide balogna on the ends. They caught crawdads and then saute them in butter. I was to grossed out to try one, but they were loving them. 
We scared away the vagrants who had once hung out under that bridge since we were there almost every day when there wasn't a show or something better to do. We even had a couple planned parties down there. It was far enough away and the cops never came down there. We didn't bother anyone. When they were making that dumb ass community trail, they cut down the willow tree. 
I still drive over that bridge and glance down there sometimes. I miss my youth, and I miss those people and those times. You know, when you just didn't give a shit what you were going to do with your life. When you didn't have responsibilities and your only objective was to be with your friends and have a good time. Politics didn't mean anything, you just knew you hated Regan. Damn...I need a smoke, I'm feeling kind of misty. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The way I was....

"When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself. "
Jacque Cousteau

I believe this to be true. I believe through fate, and adventures in the pursuit of happiness, I have been living an extraordinary life. I often feel guilt, wondering if I deserve it, or if it is rewards for "dues" that I paid when I was younger.

I've been reading over my old blog on myspace. much living in the last 9 years. I want to share some of it with you all over the next few months. I am going to make a real effort to blog. Time is an issue with me now, working in the City and Mason's skateboarding. I also want to share some stories of when I was young.

Here's a pic of me in 1985 with my friend Mike Hauser, RIP

Here is a blog I wrote in 2004 about 1984-85:

Part time Gutter Punk

When I was 17-18, I was in and out of my parent's home. They would kick me out or I'd just leave and be gone for a couple days or a couple months... During one of my escapades to San Francisco, I traded a beer for a stolen BART pass that had like 19 dollars on it. Back then BART cost about 1.35 to go from the City to Fremont which was where my dad lived. I would leave my mom's house with about 4 or 5 bucks. Take the bus to Palo Alto, then catch the Sam Trans to SF. It would take me like 4 hours to get there, but I'd be let off in the Mission. I'd take muni up to Haight or North Beach and look for people I knew or just meet new ones. Back then, almost every night of the week there would be a show at the Mab. Local bands, and sometimes some headliner types. There was a liquer store accross from Clown Alley in North Beach in China Town that would sell booze to minors. I would usually spend my last 1.50 on a quart of beer or Boonesfarm. I can still taste that Boonesfarm Stawberry Hill or Tickle Pink. It was like fruity juice that made you all warm. Me and whatever group of scamps I'd be running with would go to this HUGE pit around the corner from the Mab. There was a mesh fence around it, I guess it was where there was once a building, but it had been torn down. We would go through a hole in the fence and walk down and sit on the ledge of this open pit and drink and bullshit and get high. When we all had a good buzz going we'd walk back up the hill to Broadway, past the barkers yelling at us to come look at the strippers inside. Why the hell would they try to lure punk kids into an asian strip club, I don't know. Once we actually went in...about 8 of us, and there was this tiny little asian chick, she didn't look older than me...standing in the front of the room totally nude. She was holding up a veil. The barker had said it was free to get in, we were drunk, and when we sat down he says "OK, I need 7 bucks from all of yous" and we just got up and walked out...the Asian stripper, looked sad and dropped her veil as we walked out. Don't know was obvious we didn't have any money. We'd walk past these places and the sex shops and Taquerias to the Mab. Sometimes the show would be free, sometimes we'd wait in the alley for when they would be loading and unloading equipment and sneak in. sometimes one person would go in and get stamped and we'd lick our hands and try to get it to transfer. The Mab had a pinball machine and we'd stand around playing pinball sometimes between bands. I remember seeing 45 Grave the night before Halloween in 84, I think it was. I'd eaten a pot brownie so was kind of really not with it. Afflicted used to play there a lot. The skins loved the Afflicted because they had a song dedicated to them "If you're young and wired and tired of the disco, shave your head and come to San Francisco." Sometimes after a show I'd go with some of these punk kids and sleep at a squat. Some abandonned house or building...smelled like piss and puke, but mostly like piss. When I'd get tired of that I'd use that BART ticket to get back to Fremont. It was Green which meant the kid who traded it with me stole it from a handicapped person. I'd have to be sly and make sure the BART workers didnt notice that it was green.


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