Celebrating Cindy

I’m sharing the words I prepared for the celebration yesterday:

We’re here today because Cindy Lopez AKA “Puddin”, “Puddin in the mix” had very explicit instructions for us.  We’re here to celebrate her life, out here in this park, with music, with family and friends.  So that’s what we’re going to do.

When we first started dating she said to me “I’m a doer”.  I said “I can see that!”.  She did all the things.  Creating a business completely on her own she ran for nearly 10 years, successfully.    But she inspired me to get shit done, to finish things I’d started, accomplish goals.  She inspired all of us to do better for ourselves and our loved ones, and the world.  

Cindy had so much compassion for everyone in her life.  She cared deeply for her entire family, all of her friends, me.  She was very focused on what those around her needed and how greatly they needed it.  She spent a great deal of time helping her family in times of need.  Her friends and their babies, or their troubles.  She was acutely aware of my concerns about my family and was so overjoyed when Max and I re-connected.  She wanted so badly to meet Max for so long and I’m so very grateful she did.

Her compassion wasn’t limited to family and friends either.  She was greatly compassionate about the homeless.  She volunteered to serve Christmas dinner at St. Anthony’s every Christmas Day.  We would go out to dinner and she would always have leftovers.  She’d tell me how she was going to fry an egg and put it on top of that for breakfast.  But then she’d ask for a plastic fork and napkin and on our walk home, she would give the food to a homeless person.

We all know she had so much love, and we of course love her just as much.  So many people have reached out to me, telling me how much they loved her.  Many people have told me how much they loved her happy, bubbly nature which I’m sure made their salon visits that much more amazing.  And the friends telling me about how much of a bright light she was at the campouts, always making sure everyone was having a fun, happy time.

We would say to each other “Old peoples?”  “Old peoples!”  Knowing that we were going to grow old together.  We had both desired so much to retire and finally relax and just be together.  Recently, we’d started to joke that “we are old peoples”.  

She’d also say to me “you keep me?”  I’d say “I keep you, you keep me?”  As sad as I am that we didn’t have the time together we thought we’d have, I am so very grateful for the time I did have with her.  I’d like to think I gave her some joy and happiness in her life, she sure gave that to me.  For this I will honor her for the rest of my days.

We know she wants us to laugh and love and dance, and cry.  But mostly laugh.  And do handstands.  I’m not doing any handstands, that’s not a good idea but those that can, should.  So let’s laugh and dance and sing and do handstands and cartwheels, and I think it’s ok to cry a little, In her honor.

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When We Started Dating

In early October of 2013, I had moved to Benicia, starting anew, and sharing an apartment with my sister.  It seemed like the right time to change my Facebook relationship status back to single.  Within a day or so Cindy messaged me saying “hey, I noticed your relationship status changed to single, does that mean you can go out on a date?”  I immediately said “Yes it does!”  Later, I teased her a bit, asking her if she was stalking me.  She vigorously denied it, but it made me feel pretty damn good to think she was interested.  I certainly was.

So we set a date and went to an Italian place on College Ave.  I remember picking her up at The Fairview House and had to take my shoes off to go inside.  The doorbell had a PTouch printed label that said ‘push it-push it real good’.   We had a fantastic time, drank a lot of wine and laughed a lot.  When I dropped her off back at her place she said to me “I really had a great time  and I’d like to do this again”.  I felt exactly the same way and told her as much.  I had a show with The B-Side ‘70s in Alameda that weekend and said she should come to that.  I got a room nearby in Oakland, knowing it was probably not a good idea for me to drive all the way back to Benicia that night.  I didn’t expect anything (but of course was hopeful) and that was the first night we spent together.  We were pretty much inseparable from then on.

“That’s My Puddin”

Within a few weeks she was to move out of the Fairview House and into Beacon St. She had this idea to place a time capsule in the wall where a contractor was replacing the back door of Beacon St with a sliding glass door.  She posted to Facebook “…what would you want to put in a time capsule?”.  People said “buttons” or “jewelry”.  I said “lyrics”.  A few days later she messaged me and said ‘hey I need those lyrics by Wednesday’  I was like “Uh ok!”.  I wanted to get them to her quickly but didn’t want to write a super intense love ballad.  It was only a few weeks we’d been dating so I opted for a more light-hearted thing.  I didn’t want to come off creepy at that stage!  Those were the most creative I think I’d written because I was under time pressure, I didn’t want to be super serious and creepy, yet I wanted to convey that I felt pretty strongly about her.  When I sent them to her she replied with “Oh my god you are adorable”.  That was when I know I’d succeeded.

That’s my Puddin Lyrics:

She came along like a little tornado

She’s super hot like a cherry tomato

Swept me up and I never came down

On the upper east side end of town

 

CHORUS:

That’s my Puddin

I love all the things and stuff she does

That’s my Puddin

Making us laugh and causin’ a fuss

 

Her name is Cindy and she’s super fun

She sure gets lots of things and stuff done

She’s a real doer she don’t mess around

She’s the one I’m really glad I found

Next I’ll write about my introduction into her amazing world of Friends and Family (and mine!)

How We Met

How We Met

I was asked by my pals John Lucasey, Mark Penå and Brad Dodge to play as a band at their high school reunion July 27th 2013.  My reunion was the year before as I graduated the prior year but that’s how I happened to be at the class of ‘83 reunion.   A magical event for Cindy and I, as well as our best pals John & Lisa.

At that time in my life, I was unemployed having been laid off from ILM that same April.  I was also living with Nicole in Brisbane but I was already somewhat over the relationship and thinking about moving out.  This pretty much sealed the deal.  With much respect to Nicole, she is a wonderful person, it was just not working out for me.

So there I am at this reunion, the band had all set up and finished soundchecking and the food was being brought out buffet-style.   I happened to be standing just beyond the doorway, outside of the Aeolian Yacht Club toward the docks where the band and food was set up.  And in walks Cindy from the entrance.  The song I wrote for her, “That’s My Puddin” (another story to come) the first line is:  “The came along like a little tornado” is about how I describe it.  She confidently walked right up to me and said “Hi”. and I said “Hi” back.  We were talking and introducing ourselves to each other when the food was ready so she grabbed my arm and proclaimed that we would share a plate and eat together.  We got our food and found a table to sit and eat.

Once dinner was finished the band was ready to play our set.  She was front row the whole time and at one point in between songs she came up to me and said:  “I’ve got a hotel room nearby and the hotel has a hot tub.  I want to go sit in the hot tub and drink champagne till 10 when the pool area closes and I’d like you to join me.  Nothing else, just the hot tub! But we need to leave as soon as your set is done.” Of course how could I say no?

So as soon as our set was done she said “OK let’s go, I’ll drive.”  I said “Uh ok…” as the rest of the guys immediately started breaking down their gear.  I just left mine where it was.  When we got to her hotel she opened the champagne and went to change in the bathroom.  She had said right off the bat “we are not having sex just to be clear”.  I said of course, that’s cool I get it.  Also, since I was technically and literally still with, and living with someone that was certainly for the best.  I didn’t exactly mention that though not to put too fine a point on it.  I of course was not prepared for swimming so all I could do was strip down to my black boxer briefs which was fine because they sorta looked like shorts.  

We went down to the hot tub and got right in, she had her little Bluetoon Pop speaker so we had music.  We jumped in the pool for a bit and get right back in the hot tub.  We kissed and made out a bit, maybe more then a bit.  She took her bikini top off and I did my best to play it cool.  I wasn’t yet exposed to her more free-spirited world of the raver/campout scene.  Then suddenly it was 10pm and out we got, upstairs, dried off and dressed.  We drove back to the reunion and wondered if anyone would even notice we were gone.  No one did!

She helped me break down all my gear, which was now sitting all by itself outside in the dark since all the other guys had broken done all their gear already.  We danced to Alex’s DJ set for a bit then she sorta wandered off and disappeared.  At one point before that though I mentioned that we were all planning to go to McGee’s (an alameda bar that seems to be the place for us old Alameda peoples always gather) later and she said she would probably stop by with her high school pals.  I found the band and we toasted to our awesome rockin’ set and I confided in John and Mark about what we’d done.  They were blown away, they didn’t even realize either of us had even left!

When it came time, we made our way to McGees.  I was crashing at Penå’s dad’s place with him so I stuck with Mark.  I kept my eye on the door the whole time, hoping Cindy would eventually show up but she never did.  Then we closed the bar down and made our way back to Pop’s house.

A few days later I got a FB message from Cindy that was just something like “hey that was fun, thanks for the good times”.  I don’t remember the exact words but it was accompanied by a picture of her wearing a t-shirt that said “I KISSED THE LEAD SINGER”.  We didn’t actually get together till a few months later, when I moved to Benicia but this adventure pretty much sealed the deal for me.  

Stay tuned for that story…

Positivity

Since I decided to unfollow the negative, at the same time I decided to try and post positive stuff that I feel strongly about.  I believe it’s possible to get your point across without slinging mud.  It’s a challenge because it’s easier to point out the faults with my opposing viewpoint rather than point out the positives of what I am passionate about.  Or maybe it’s just a natural reflex or just bad habits.

It’s called positive reinforcement kids, look it up.

I don’t want to ignore the crappy stuff that goes on in the world, I just want to combat it with love, humor and hope.  You can catch more flies with honey, kill ’em with kindness, or some other such cliche metaphor.  But that’s how I look at it, I’m an optimist.  Or at least I want to be.  That’s not to say I don’t get angry and sad when someone shoots up a school or suicide bombs a rock concert.  It makes me want revenge.  I want to bitch about guns (I know plenty of responsible gun owners), I want to bitch about organized religion (which has nothing at all to do with extremists).  Maybe the best approach is to take a deep breath and stop thinking (about anything!) for a minute.  Then logically and methodically work out the problem and come up with constructive solutions.  Sounds to me like a better plan then arming everyone to the teeth or living in a police state.

Just because we don’t agree on stuff doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it rationally and in a positive light.  I think that’s the biggest problem with our current political and societal culture.  We’ve forgotten or never learned how to peacefully coexist.  In our own country for goodness sake!  It seems to me we could work stuff out without trying to convince each other that our way is better and you should just listen to me.  Perhaps both opposing viewpoints could exist and be ‘truth’ at the same time.  Or at least we could agree to disagree and find some sort of common ground on at least some of the issues.  I have to believe there’s got to be a way.  We’re smart we could find it if we try.  I don’t feel like I always have to be right, just heard.  I know I’m not going to change anyone’s mind, especially in a Facebook thread.  But maybe, just maybe we can come up with real solutions that might actually work, if we try to set aside our egos for a minute.

I don’t know am I just too much of an optimist?  Please, feel free to let me know!  Just keep it positive!  😉

Negativity

This past week I noticed that I was getting increasingly aggravated by Crackbook, and then noticed I was a Crackbook junkie and needed a detox.  No, I won’t be leaving Crackbook or deleting my account or anything.  I realized I was being affected by stuff people post that I may, or may not agree on.  And by the interwebz in general in this election year.  I realized it wasn’t all the people who I’m friends with who I don’t agree on, it’s anyone be they bleeding-heart-tree-huggin’-commie or gun-toting-redneck-‘Merican-pro-lifer.

It was the negativity.

I have a fairly equal amount of lefties and righties whom I call Crackbook and RL friends.  And I love them all no matter what.  But there are some people on both ‘sides’ (why do we have to have sides again, I forget?  Aren’t we all humans together on this big blue polar-ice-cap-meltin-if-you-believe-that-sorta-thing?) who are angry about the people on the other wing, or just angry and negative in general.  <Insert meme with Native American  pointing out they’re both parts of the same bird>

I decided to start unfollowing people who are more often than not, posting negative, divisive stuff. not because I disagree with them but because well, they are bringing me down.  Not unfriending them, just un-following them.  Hopefully not permanently, hopefully only until the election and everything but the shouting is over.  And there are some very dear RL friends and family I will not unfollow, unless they get super, duper negative.  I think this is better than just throwing in the towel on the Crackbook altogether.  Plus, that won’t work I’ve tried that.  I’m also going try to not post anything negative, divisive, potentially offensive to someone’s faith or origin.  There’s plenty of people doing that.

I don’t feel like it’s putting on rose-colored glasses and avoiding the harsh realities of this crazy life, I think it will in fact be good for me.  Like not watching the news (which I stopped going a long time ago).  In fact, I think it’s better for me and for the world if I become someone who contributes positivity (and at the least, some comedy I hope) to the world we all live in.  Together.

Are you supposed to be impressed by this or think it’s huge and ground-breaking?  Oh heck no!  It’s a very small thing really, as is Crackbook and it shouldn’t occupy our lives very much at all anyway.  But as a Crackbook junkie it is a good step in the right (not wing) direction.  Hopefully it will help me spend less virtual time, lower my blood pressure and most importantly, occupy (not Wall Street) the real world. So bring on the unicorns and rainbows ’cause it’s about to start rainin’ gumdrops! (what does that even mean?  What the heck am I even on about?)

Bonstone Live at Rooster’s Roadhouse in Alameda 11/21/2014 CD Release Party

Video of our record release party last November.  I was waiting for well-recorded mix audio but decided to just go ahead and put this out using the camera’s audio instead.

If you want to buy the music, here’s where you should go:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/zombie-heart/id939947881