Oh, boy. Lots of stuff has been happening. This could be a long one. Let’s start with a crude outline:
- Introduction and wide angle update
- Party, On, Garth! overview
- Party On, Garth! Booze license saga
- Looking ahead
Introduction and updates
Nearly all of the news is good. My short-term health continues to be OK. I’m functional as long as I don’t exert myself very much. I don’t miss filling potholes in the driveway or splitting firewood, but I do miss wild dancing and vigorous hikes with hills. Those will have to wait several more months.
I’ve gone through another round of outpatient chemo (azacitidine) and white blood cell boosters (filgrastim) without significant side effects.I’ve been working my low-energy part-time job a couple of days a week.
There are two things which must happen before I get my bone marrow transplant: I need to have a caretaker team in place, and I need oral surgery on some teeth which must not get infected during the procedure and recovery.
The oral surgery would be fairly simple (but yucky) if the UCSF dental clinic would return my phone calls and schedule the dangnabbed thing.
The caretaker situation continues to be a problem. It’s the good news, bad news thing again. The good news: the funding situation is looking much better. It looks like IHSS will cover roughly a third of the cost of caretaking. For a while there, they were making noises about rejecting me. I’ve also got a lead on a significant grant that will, if I get it, defray another chunk of the cost. Plus, my fundraising has been going well. So at least I can pay somebody or somebodies. The bad news: I still don’t have real leads on particular individuals to do it. Now that I have some idea how much I can pay, my next major task is to actually find a caretaking team. I’ve begun writing to nursing schools near UCSF.
Party On, Garth!
Somewhere along the line, I decided that organizing a rock and roll dance party event would be a good way to raise some funds for caretaking and basic living expenses while I recuperate. While organizing the event ate a few weeks of my time—and Andi’s time, too— we pulled it off magnificently. It was well attended, both bands rocked everybody’s socks off, the food was yummy, folks drank in moderation, everybody had a good time, and I’m closer to being able to afford caretakers. Which brings me to:
It’s beautiful and amazing how much help I’ve received through all of this. Friends, family, and community have come together in a big big way, both for my event and my GoFundMe project. Words fail me; I really cannot express my gratitude well. I cannot possibly list everyone who has helped, but Ill mention a few of the headliners and some broad groups: the love of my life, Andrea Corsick, shook all of the trees for miles around to get fruit to sell at my silent auction, plus she helped publicize the event in a zillion ways. Sean Van Buskirk re-arranged his busy schedule to be the sound and light engineer and also to perform. All of the band members… wow! The volunteers who set-up, ran the bar, covered the entrance, set up and administered the silent auction, cleaned up, made the trash and recycling disappear, the attendees at the party, the donors to my GoFundMe, the donors to the silent auction, and more. Your kindness, generosity, and healing energy fill me with gratitude and give me not only the money but also the fortitude to get through this. Thank you all so very very much.
The Great Booze License Saga
Once upon a time, in the era BC (before Covid), getting a one-day license to sell booze at a fundraiser was a pretty simple matter. You needed a registered 501(c) non-profit organization to partner with, you filled out a form, got the signatures of the grand poobah of the non-profit and the property owner, you sent in a small fee, and voila!, you got the license. This was what I was expecting going in. It turns out, the state has recently added the requirement that there be a certified beverage server present at the event. Hmmm… what’s involved in getting RBS certification? You’ve got to pay a couple of small fees, watch some mind-numbingly stupid videos, and take a incredibly stupid test. OK, I can handle that, it’s stupid, but hardly a deal breaker. So, I started watching those videos…zzzz. Since the certified server only had to be present at the event, and there was some time left, I wasn’t too worried about the time frame. I got the rest of the paperwork together, and went to the local Sheriff’s office.
The County Sheriff has added whole new layers of idiotic and gratuitous bureacrazy to the process. I needed a map of the Caspar Community Center. They have multiple events there ever single week, but I had to sketch out a floor plan with entrances and exits and the location of booze sales and where the pirates buried their treasure. I needed a description of the event. I needed documentation that the Mendocino Theatre Company is in fact a registered 501(c)(3). I needed a list of MTC’s board of directors, for no fucking reason at all. And I needed a copy of the RBS certificate which I didn’t have yet. In a blinding flash of I’m-not-completely-stupid I realized that one of the volunteers was a professional bartender. She probably has that certificate already. Duh. I got a copy. I drew. I copied. I wrote. I griped. I got everything together, and went back to the local Sheriff’s office. It was Friday. There’s never anybody there on Friday. I guess I was supposed to know that through psychic powers or something. I couldn’t drive it over to the main Sheriff’s office in Ukiah, because I was in the middle of a round of chemo while working evenings in the box office.
We’re bumping into the recommended submission date at this point. Monday rolls around. I turn in the New Improved Paperwork with Techroline. The clerk approves, but she needs the signature of a deputy who wasn’t present at the moment. She says she’ll track a deputy down and call me when the paperwork is ready. Two days roll by. I call to see if it’s ready. Nope. I get a call the next day. Finally. The clerk sends me a copy as an email attachment. For no sensible reason, since it’s a copy, I now need a fresh “wet” signature of the grand poobah of MTC. No problem, I’ll get it tomorrow when she’s at the theatre and I’m working there anyway. But…she’s on vacation.
She gets back the next Tuesday. Now it’s the week of the event, well past the recommended ten day processing time for the ABC. I decide to drive the paperwork over to the office in Santa Rosa. I had to do some shopping for supplies for the event anyway, so it was more or less OK. I get as far as Ukiah… then I realize that the paperwork is still in my offfice….FUUUUUUUCK. So, I called ABC and begged for mercy. They said to next-day it over there.I did. They made a special exception in my case because I’m a very good boy and sent me the official license in an email.
And they all lived happily ever after.
The moral of the story: always plan your leukemia well in advance so that you have plenty of time to leap through pointless flaming hoops.
My long term prognosis is still pretty good, if I can get that bone marrow transplant soon. Apparently, they can only keep the disease in remission for a year or so before it takes over. But once I’m through the month-long hospitalization and the two to three month isolation with a caregiver, I should (knock on wood) recover quickly and fully.
So, it’s time to Shanghai some caregivers.