It’s Friday, August 20th, a week since the Cancerpalooza surprise party. I’m slumped in the couch. Surrounding me are the detritus of the greatest party ever; folding chairs, Styrofoam boobs, and unopened soda. The food and dishes were cleaned-up days ago but the house still looks the same as it did the night of the party. The furniture is pushed against the wall. Unused glow sticks are hung everywhere on lanyards. Stacks of paper plates and cups stand on every counter.
I’m supposed to drive us to Hartford, Connecticut tonight – 7-plus hours of night driving. But it’s getting dark and I’m procrastinating by playing video games. I’ve had a rough week at work and can’t imagine driving that far right now, even if it is to meet the Prince of Darkness.
Post Party DepressionCancerpalooza Surprise was the hardest single event this summer. At the same time, my work has gotten a lot harder, and Trish has been feeling worse and worse. It’s not really surprising that I slip into a mild depression.
When I get depressed, nothing seems fun, I sleep a lot and I’m perma-fatigued. I’m barely able to get Trish to medical appointments, do my job, and feed us at night. Depression, well, it depresses me.
Managing work as a Cancer-spouse
Cancerpalooza wouldn’t be possible without the supportive work environment I have. I’m fortunate to be with an organization that is accepting of my need to mix work responsibilities with the cancer support. Trish and I are both deeply appreciative.
I took a lot of time off, including a Board meeting I should have attended. My worry at that time, was that it would even get harder as the chemo worsened.
In June, my boss got some great news. She was able to adopt a second child from China, and herself would need to take off from the organization right when the final, most difficult chemo treatments happened. Her good news put the pressure on me to fill her spot at the end of the summer.
There is more stress in my life right now though. This better end soon.
Could we meet the Prince of Darkness?were at a Cheap Trick concert in the pouring rain, on a farm deep in Loundon County Virginia. Trish was in high spirits. The shock repeat cancer had worn off, and the chemo hadn’t sunk in.
From where we stood up front, we could hear the band setting up behind the small stage. Fans were yelling for autographs and I joked to Trish “You gotta go see if he will sign your cancer boob!” And of course, Trish being Trish, did just that. They never did sign, but she made everyone laugh by trying.
Later that week, I was looking through all the summer tours and concerts that are coming through the DC area for shows. (We end up seeing Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Faith No More, Lady Gaga, Green Day twice, Slash, Superchunk, and a slew of opening bands.) I notice Ozzfest comes to Philadelphia. It’s close enough, but is during a chemo week and won’t work.
I know I have to pick up my girls in late August from my parents, who are taking them for three weeks. They live a few hours north oF New York City so on a lark, I scan for concerts that we could see on the way up there. Ozzfest pops up again, not exactly in NYC, but in Hartford and I’m intrigued. Maybe it could work?
“Yes, Yes he can.” I thought. He has to have that kind of power. I plug in the credit card numbers and impulsively buy 2 VIP meet and greet tickets for Ozzfest in Hartford.
I surprise Trish later that week with the news. Emboldened by the idea of getting rock stars to sentence her cancer to death, Trish gets Mike Patton from Faith no More to do it last month. And we are still crossing our fingers that we will meet Slash in September.
The legacy of Ozzy Osbourne
It’s easy to dismiss Ozzy these days as a gimmick. He and his family are all over reality TV. But the man was part of the very earliest heavy metal. Check out this clip of him with Black Sabbath in Paris, 1970.
This is nineteen-fucking-seventy, bitches. Ozzy and Black Sabbath had to have been possessed by the Devil to do this in 1970. You know what the top ten billboard songs were that year?
1.) “Venus” by The Shocking Blue
2.) “Mama Told Me Not To Come” by Three Dog Night
3.) “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
4.) “Tears of a Clown” by Smokey Robinson & Miracles
5.) “The Rapper” by the Jaggerz
6.) “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five
7.) “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum
8.) “Vehicle” by The Ides of March
9.) “War” by Edwin Starr
10.) “Green-Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf
Ozzy and Sharon have struggled to make OzzFest profitable and well-managed over the years, but it endures. It was cancelled one year, gave out free tickets the next in a failed attempt to change the business model, and has shuffled the line up countless times.
They publically battled with Iron Maiden, had two alcohol related deaths, and many, many arrests. Some venues won’t take Ozzfest because it’s a big headache with marginal pay-off. Ozzfest is, like Ozzy himself, an amazing disaster.
Continued, so read on!