Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recycling Day: The Reversal

I've been wanting to re-post this blog for a little while now. It probably isn't the best in terms of writing, but I enjoy the pictures and the fuzzy memories.

So here we go:
Eating Through a Vasectomy Reversal
originally posted August 2009

Before all this familial madness I've been documenting here at the ole blog, I had surgery. On my junk.

But you knew that already.

At this point, I am about 90% recovered and 2 weeks post-op ( I'll explain that 10% in a bit). It was actually my wife that reminded me, as I sat in the living room wishing I had something to do, that I had yet to tell the tale of my vasectomy reversal. All this build up and no pay off?? That's no way for a "pleaser" to act!
Last you heard I was packing up and heading to see Dr. Daniel for my reversal and, well, it was fun. Yes, I know the idea of scalpels and sutures on one's genitals isn't the normal definition of fun...well, for most of us...
Don't worry, all you co-workers and relatives (yes, I know you're out there) here to try and figure out "what is wrong with that Culver boy", genital mutilation is not it.

But yes, it was in fact an enjoyable trip. Do I wish it didn't have to happen? Well, of course I do, but like I keep saying, we make the best of it. And since there are no original ideas left, in honor of our good friend, supporter and fellow blogger Liz , I present "Eating through a vasectomy reversal"

I also promise, no more links this post! Just lots of pictures! (my tribute to my wife's picture blogs ... shit, that was another link...)

Why aren't you excited? OH ... no, no, not pictures of that (or should I say those...?) pictures of myself with various food items which were, besides my pre-op cocktail of meds, the highlight of the trip. (where did you think I got the title eating through a vasectomy reversal??)

We dropped Jules off at his grandparents a bit before noon and hit the road for our wonderful pilgrimage to Burlington, NC to see Dr. Daniel. We had reserved a room for the next two nights since it was a 5+ hour drive and my consult was at 9am with surgery following and a night of rest needed after that.

On the trip down, we began our culinary escapades in Beckley, WV. Why Beckley? Well, we were hungry by that point, and when in the southern part of the state, we always try to make a stop at Macado's.

Not familiar with Macado's? Well, with locations mainly in Virginia, around Roanoke and Blacksburg, I'm not surprised. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I have yet to find a better menu of sandwiches. Although, I personally would suggest making your way to Bluefield because I always thought their Macado's was higher quality. Of course you would never know it is there because anything worth checking out in Bluefield (quit laughing) isn't advertised alongside the interstate!

Then when you take the exit, you find yourself on what is primarily an empty road, except for the old Wisdom Channel studios, but unless you're some kind of whacked-out hippie, that holds no appeal. That road takes a couple miles before you hit what appears to be another empty road, but left or right at that point, you'll hit something... I'd be specific, but at that point you're just glad to find civilzation again. (macado's, and the 3/4 empty mall, are to the right)

Our journey to Burlington was quiet and uneventful, except for my wife cowering like a bunny as we went through East River and Big Walker Mountain tunnels. Oh, well we did get kinda lost when we were right on top of Burlington. I blame Yahoo! maps because, well, they're horrible and have always sent me on crazy routes, but Jess uses Yahoo! like an old man uses the same mechanic that keeps cheating him. ( love you , dear)

Our first order of business, after finding the hotel, which both yahoo and google thought was on a different part of the road than it was, was to hunt down Red Robin. We'd always been interested in going to a Red Robin, but it became a priority after we saw it on Top Chef (new season just started! Wed @ 10 on Bravo..WATCH IT!( ...if I had more readers, I'd start charging for all these plugs... Anyway, gourmet burgers is their specialty, but the fact that they had Guinness on tap made my day. 'Tis a rare gem to enjoy a Guinness from the tap, at least in WV.

Don't worry, I only had one. But of course we went for the burgers (although the bottomless steak fries were spiffy too) and while they may not have been the greatest chunks of meat we'd had, the toppings were good. I had the royal (I believe...) with a fried egg on it. You cringe, but it was tasty!

So after an evening of exploring the area, we settled in and rested up for the big day.

I was a little nervous going into the consultation. Worried they might decide it was a wasted trip for some wild reason. "I'm sorry sir, you're belly button is too low for us to perform this procedure." !?!?!

But it went really well. Dr. Daniel and his staff were all really pleasant. Like, really. I'm a bit standoffish myself, and really don't like overly nice people, but I wanted to hang out with these folks! Dr. Daniel himself was pretty straightforward about everything, as well as being very confident in his skill, but without making me think some high school football star was working on my fellas.

He even joked with us about a few things, including some of the various doctors we'd researched, and even made a few dinner suggestions! But before we get to that, we have the best "meal" of all: the pre-op cocktail. Dr. Daniel explained that 1)to keep costs down [no anesthesiologist] and 2) to avoid any of the complications and weirdness of intravenous drugs, he has his patients take a selection of meds about 1/2 hour before the operation. This only included a couple of painkillers, and mostly items to help avoid infection, keep me sleepy, and deter any side effects of other drugs (like benadryl for itchiness).

So we headed to the local Target, which was AWESOME...made our Target at home look like a Big Lots. (Starting to feel like the Beverly Hillbillies here.) So we picked up my drugs and a converter for the X-box so we'd have something to do while I rest.

We also, conveniently, got a preview of what my recovery would be like...

The fact of the matter is that I've never really had reason to be on any kind of major painkillers or prescription drugs, period. Even with the vasectomy I only took a few tylenol w/ codine, and the painkillers I was prescribed for my wisdom teeth removal were apparently for us to make a mortgage payment because I never really needed them. Well, from the time I took this cocktail, with a side of McDonalds, at 12:10, to the time we were at the doc's office at 12:25, I thought I was back in college.

What felt like 10 minutes later, Dr. Daniel was turning off his ipod stereo thing (I can't remember what music it was, but I remember enjoying it) and telling me I could get dressed. With my years of experience maneuvering while intoxicated, and judging from the look on the doctor and my wife's faces, I made my way back to the waiting area much quicker than expected. Apparently things went very well from Dr. Daniel's viewpoint and he was very happy with the procedure...except, of course, for my legendary snoring (probably should've warned him).

After this I was fairly coherent for the ride back to the hotel. I even hooked up the X-Box converter and after a bit tried to play. Instead I just kept waking up with my character facing a corner ala Blair Witch. From there, things are hazy, but I do remember a few things:

Remember Dr. Daniel suggested some fine local eateries? Well, we opted for The Village Grill, which specializes in a 'key lime chicken' that they use in various dishes.

Here's how I remember it:


Yes, the "fucking" was absolutely necessary. I remember being very thankful that Jess went out and got it, but also having a flash of anger that she didn't buy more. Then I passed out again.

Feeling guilty that I was spending our "romantic getaway" half-passed out and trying to play X-box, I got Jess to make some coffee for me. Little known fact: I love cheap hotel coffee.

See? I told you so. Even better was that on her next trip to the ice machine for me, Jess made another stop:

Where she bought the, you guessed it:


I'm sorry that this blog is turning into an endorsement for taking percocets before your meals, but honestly, it was like tasting food for the first time!

Alas, we finally gave into sleep and rested for the night. I penguin-walked my way downstairs for breakfast in the morning (I just can't pass up the free continentals) where everyone thought I was the guy that left the Natural Light case out in the hallway. What can I say, I looked the part.

Armed with a couple of instant-cold packs, I bravely took the wheel and started us on the drive home. Here's a tip: instant-cold packs don't stay nearly cold enough long enough for this kind of operation. Those suckers were gone fast. Luckily, we were hungry and stopped at a Hardees for lunch and then Jess took over driving duties while I enjoyed the


So, that is the story of my vasectomy reversal, of which I mainly remember the food. Lucky for you, the wife and I are tag-teaming this one, so she'll have an whole other take on it which I'm sure you'll enjoy (there's a porn store in her story!)

On a final note, my apologies if you came here looking for serious information about vasectomy reversals. Search through the rest of our 'quest' and it's there, you just have to dig through my bad jokes. But hey, I've never tried to say that I wasn't


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Let's just get this straight from the get-go: there is no part of me that is happy about not having my parents in my life. That's right fuckers, let's get emo.

Of course this Sunday is Father's Day, a happy day of me doing exactly what I do every day (being awesome with my kids) except I get a card and, if I'm lucky, get to pick dinner. Unfortunately, it also, like Mother's Day, reminds me that there are people out there who had sex and made me...and did a pretty damn good job raising me and teaching me.... *sigh* and whom I no longer speak to.

The details of what lead to that decision are here in the blog somewhere, and you can feel free to find them. ( I know, a real blogger would link to that stuff. Shame on me, but I have a baby asleep on me and I'm trying to hurry this up.) The simple way of putting it all is that once I decided to enter adulthood ( and when exactly that was could be argued) our relationship started to change. When my wife and I got together, my relationship with my parents really started to change. There was lots of stress but we kept working through it, then Joel came.

They didn't want anything to do with him. I tried to fix it; it didn't work, we didn't talk. Then Joel died. I called them, thought they should know, thought they would be a comfort.
Honestly, I think they tried, but their other feelings and attitudes just couldn't be set aside long enough for us to get through Joel's death peacefully and without issue. So, for the sake of my sanity, my marriage, and my kids, I cut off my parents.

It sucked and still sucks.

I bring this up partly because it weighs only mind and I figure I ought vent it, and of course also as a cautionary tale for any other DB'ers at happen across my blog, but also because I want to make a bit of a point about parents. Particularliy about parents and their adult, or even teenage, children. I've said before that raising a Child, even pertfectly, does not guarantee blind allegiance on the part of that child. That kind of expectation is counter-intuitive to the idea of raising an independent person.


(and maybe this goes without saying) disagreements or mistakes in the parent/child relationship do not necessarily effect then full spectrum of that relationship. (what??) In other words, despite this other shit, I still appreciate everything my parents did for me,everything they taught me, and I still love them very much.

All that said, I still don't think much of Father's Day. But just for the hell of it, here is a little piece I wrote last August that kind of sums up how I feel about being a Dad.

And for any other DB Dads that stumble across this blog, you count too. Caring for and protecting that memory is what we do to make up for all the things we were never able to do.


Originally post: AUGUST 5, 2010

Restless Spirit

I'll just be honest here: I've spent what I feel like is a whole helluva lot of time helping Jules sleep. He is a restless kid, always has been.

In the hospital, just hours into the light and the pollution, his eyes held focus on everything. It was the general comment from all his onlookers: "he's so...aware." Aware. Always noticing things going on, even when all he could do was wake up or squirm in response. Noise he never seemed to mind (except our voices or the animals), but light, commotion; these things stirred him.

He never slept in the car; he was either content or cried. And by cried I mean wailed; torturous cries that made you think something horrible was happening back there. He was persistent in these cries. Unrelenting and inconsolable; no pacifiers, no bottles, no songs or rubs: just get me the fuck out. It was this way until past his fist birthday, really.

A sleep schedule? Only in the past few months have we established something resembling a sleep schedule. On average he takes an hour to bed down without being held and rocked. He tends to just keep going: tapping fingers, rubbing legs, fiddling with his hair (many a late, late night I've wanted to shave that pretty little head) or, my favorite, just sitting straight up as I do my best Splinter Cell out of the room, even after he fails to respond after I raise his arm the third time, and THEN slowly count to 60 to make sure he is out cold.

Before he was a person -- you know, back when he was just a squirming mass of cute and chub, sucking in as much formula and information as possible -- getting him to sleep required this ridiculous amount of stimulation: patting, rubbing, walking, bouncing. I developed what I came to call my Rastafarian dance; this long-strided bounce paired with deep toned humming of song while patting and rubbing my easily bored offspring. It was the only thing that ever would get him to sleep in less than 20 minutes. Seriously, he could be dead tired, and still to this day, when the lights go out for bed, he's awake.

On average -- even now, with his willingness to go to bed, and a two storybook a night habit -- he takes about an hour to get to sleep. I don't mind it. It has certainly become easier. And he's sweet about it all.

He still hates the state of being asleep though -- or maybe its the state of grogginess that he hates: if he moves towards conciousness at all, he becomes pretty upset (something else we've slowly worked on). He'll cry out, or lumber into the hall, "Daddy hol' me". Yeah, it's pretty damned heart melting.

Thing is, this is all preface. This is not what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about tonight's storm. One of those classic, summer night, thunder and lightning extravaganzas. Rumbles as if Great Cthulhu were rising and flashes so bright you can't help but to get the feeling stepping into their light would reveal some truth of the soul. Yes, the kind of storm that makes you get all crazy on adjective porn.

Whatever it is in me that wants to stand in the rain felt especially strong tonight. Like there were layers of filth that needed not only to be washed off, but burned away in the blinding spark of that summer lightning. I guess you could say there's something a bit wild to it; something primal.

"Daddy hol' me"

and like that, I don't need the lightning, or the thunder, or that swell of ancient Viking spirit to reveal any truth to me. The dirts still there, perhaps somethings buried inside, but for now, I'm good. Very good.

Guess that's what 'Daddy' is all about.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Two Years

I never distract myself from thinking about Joel, but on certain days I realize how much time I spend distracting myself from, as we've coined it, being fucking sad. I let myself be "focused" at least a couple times here lately.

As always, we love you, Joel, and we wish we'd been able to meet you.

Now begins Year Three...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Return of the Blog

My kids are pretty fucking amazing.

I mean, I know your kids are pretty cool too, but seriously, my kids? Total rockstars.

Now sure, I realize that feeling is probably some kind of genetic response to insure I actually take care of my kids, and that every sane parent feels that way (and certainly even some of the insane ones). This of course is not uncommon knowledge. The fact that parents loooOOOooove their kids is pretty well documented throughout the course of history. Excluding that Abraham guy. Man, what a douchebag. (and if that story didn't make you scratch your head a bit when you first heard it, well, God wants you buy some magic beans. Fortunately, I have some! leave your banking information in the comments section)

So yeah, everyone knows parents love their kids, but the issue is how many non-parents understand it? It pains me to ask that question, because there is nothing that screams "asshole" to me more than a parent who avoids a conversation about their parenting with some variation of "you couldn't understand unless you have kids". The one that really gets me is "you'll understand when your kids are older". Recently, however, I've been starting to see the nugget of legitimacy in the middle of that steaming pile of avoidance.

For instance, we recently had CPS called on us. Yes, really. It was total B.S. and was ruled to be an unfounded claim. Get the story in all its hilarity at the link above. When I told my boss I needed to go home to deal with this and meet with the CPS worker, it was pretty clear I was only getting to leave because he knew he couldn't not let me go. Sure, I know its a hassle, but CPS is serious shit man!

A more pertinent example involves my wife, Jess. More specifically, my wife's psychologist. In diagnosing her with post-traumatic stress, he stated in fairly direct terms, that it was completely abnormal to still be thinking of Joel on a daily basis close to two years after his death. (Again, you can get the full details at her blog) Now sure, my wife was there for a reason, but am I crazy for thinking that it's ridiculous to suggest we shouldn't still be thinking of Joel?

Yeah, we realize days of intense sadness shouldn't be the norm, and they aren't by any means, but NOT think of him? We do kinda have two walking, talking reminders running around this place. It should be no surprise that every milestone we celebrate for Jules and Blair is accompanied by the reality that we will never celebrate these things for Joel.

I mean, he is our son. We have pictures. His ashes, clothes and blanket sit in our bedroom. We keep a lock of his hair (seriously, dude had some thick, curly hair). We do not deny or ignore him; we accept and celebrate our lost son. Our loss is a fact of our lives. His death and the experiences surrounding it quite literally changed our lives. To not think of him, I believe, would be insane. I think most people could "understand" that. Not like we expect you to completely empathize, or that we should never have to explain or explore how we're feeling. But yeah, I think its understandable.

So here we are, heading into his second birthday. Tomorrow marks two years he since we were told Joel had died. It would be two more days before he was born. I've probably said it a million times at this point (but hey, its a blog reboot, so I can repeat some things), I know how difficult those days were for me, and though I was right there the whole time, I couldn't begin to imagine what it must've been like for Jess.

So if we're little off, here at the end of May, you'll have to forgive us. Maybe let us know you "understand", or give a smile (or a bottle of booze).


N ow, lets talk about YOU. If you're new here, go play in the archives. There's plenty more about the wonders of being a DB Daddy. And some funny too! (honestly, if you want the funny, start with The Quest, cause my balls are hilarious) With any luck I'll get back in the habit of updating more often. Probably with shorter entries and varied subject matter. As for now, my lil rockstars are demanding an audience.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Long time no see...but this ain't for you.

I thought maybe this was classier than posting it on her Facebook page...

Happy Mother's Day Honey!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I feel like patchwork.

Spare parts and duct tape, a machine moving and functioning even though perhaps it should not. Climbing hills that should be impassable by such a broken down bucket of bolts. Occasionally stalling, but generally moving headlong into labors and endeavors.

Inside, the joints strain as belts and gears threaten to fly apart causing irreparable damage to this fragile colossus.

Image by Ro

But deeper inside, protected by a web of snaking cables and hoses, lies a chamber that powers this wreck. Within is an energy the machine does not understand; the warm glow of life that should have been.
The image of a child, forever sleeping, surrounded by light and warmth, radiating a glow that feeds life,
creates life,
is life.

The machine should collapse. Should implode upon the chamber, encasing it, surrounding it, protecting it forever.
But the glow pours through the cogs and wheels, keeping them at their work. And the glow makes the machine take notice.
Take notice of the other lights around him, the two other machines, small and perfect, treading along in it's path. Examining and collecting the debris it leaves in its wake, learning and cataloging from the work of the great patchwork machine.

And so it carries on, inexplicably, for them, because of them.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Don't need any wipes...

Cause I ain't done shit. (Somehow that seemed clever in my head, but if its enough to get me rolling, I'll take it) But really,Ive been abnormally lazy these last few weeks. Jules 3rd birthday and Christmas or Krismas or Yule or Mega-Mega-Present Day (we'e having a bit of an identity crisis) went great, then we all got sick...and were dumped on by old man winter. It was the perfect storm to create a wave of lazy that I am just now fighting my way out of.

Of course I have a ton of things to be doing (as if that ever changes), but Blair is conked out on me right now, so why not blog?

First, the kiddos: Jules and Blair are both huge. Blair at 6 months is roughly the size of a 1o month old, and Jules is measuring at the height of a nearly 4 year old! Plus they are pretty great together.

I'm still trudging through grad school for... some reason. It certainly has led me to decide that while I do enjoy my job (what I do every day in the classroom)
but I cannot stand my career (all this extra shit). I've rally got to strt pushing to be a stay at home dad.

Doing more stand-up this week. Basically the same set, just going to try and rework it a bit, strengthen the delivery, not suck, etc. This too is a source of some anxiety but also some "oomph" to get me off my ass and start producing.

To assist with said production of, well, anything and everything really, I'm going to blow Jess' savings on a smartphone...and a replacement wedding band. Yep, I'm "that guy" in yet another way. I have no clue where it went or how I lost it, but it is gone. Sadness and shame abound (mostly shame).

So if you follow me here or on twitter or facebook (all 5 of you) then you can look forward to me pummeling you with useless crap more often once I gets me into the new millennia with one of them phones. And hopefully that will also lead to some quality work as well, which is my real hope.