Friday, December 29, 2006

There's a new trend with the kids called "ghost riding the whip" which is when somebody jumps out of a slowly moving car and dances around to some strain of hip-hop I've never heard of. Of course, people have died, so we've got to do something about it.

Here's what I'm going to do about it; I'm going to post this very amusing video:



Don't ghost ride the whip. You'll hit something and mess up your grill. Not that grill. The one on your vehicle. Oh, and maybe that other grill too, now that I think of it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I always felt bad that the online version of Snaildartha: The Story of Jerry the Christmas Snail was the crappy one where the vocals drop out in the fourth or fifth chapter. Anyway, it was remastered last year and (re)released on Innova Records... I've heard tell that it did fairly well, but I really have no idea. I am about as disconnected from the mechanics of this project as I've ever been.

Now it is available for free download.


I'm going to let it speak for itself. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm going to be out of town on Election Day (plowing my way to Dickinson, ND, and then on to Denver), so I went to City Hall yesterday and voted. There's something very liberating about knowing that there is no way I could change my vote now, even if I wanted to. The constant barrage of ads that already started their ramp-up Sunday morning can have absolutely no effect on me, other than my influence on word-of-mouth. I'm virtually immune!

Now, if any horrible information about my candidates suddenly surfaces, I hope you guys will have my back come Election Day -- and I mean something really serious. Not breaking news that they are for or against granting in-state college tuition rates to an apparent swarm of illegal aliens (hey, that's the last ad I saw). No, I mean literal skeletons in the closet, text message transcripts clutched in their boney hands. It could happen. It's never the ones that seem to be the most likely, and I didn't vote for any of them.

I almost hope one of the folks I didn't vote for would show up at my door. It would be fun to invite them in for coffee and take up an hour of their time, just to tell them at the end I already voted. I'd enjoy watching those crazy eyes dart around as they calculate how many hours left until Election Day.

Oh, and if you're thinking of doing this for convenience, just remember. No sticker this way.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Metro Transit has told a bus driver he doesn't have to drive a bus with an ad for Lavender magazine.
A city bus driver who complained about a gay-themed ad got official permission not to drive any bus that carries that ad, according to an internal memo confirmed Tuesday by Metro Transit.
Transit authorities call it a reasonable accommodation to the driver's religious beliefs...
More accurate would be to call it a reasonable accommodation to the driver's disability. Thank God for the ADA!
Also, does this mean gay drivers don't have to drive busses with ads for The Patriot?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Forgot to mention that I'm at ACME this week. Okay, I didn't forget exactly; I just wasn't sure I was going to have any new material to make it worth it for anyone who's seen me before to come out. I met with a financial advisor once who told me that the sad state of my career is a marketing problem, not a talent problem. I think she may have been right.

Anyway come one and come all. Last night was a fascinating exercise in throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks. A surprising amount hung in there, so I'll be scraping those hunks off, putting them in my bag and mopping up all the other piles from the floor, never to be seen again. I'm not afraid of a poop metaphor.

Saturday, September 23, 2006



Faulkton, SD tonight. 9:30 at the Steak House if you happen to be in town. No, I did not come in to town on jackalope, though some day, perhaps I will.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ghost Rider 2: Goes Wild does not deal with a comic book character, but the only way it could be more surreal, is if the rider had a flaming skull for a head. I dare you to not be compelled by footage of a guy in all black breaking traffic laws at high speed in Sweden on a motorcycle. It's 52 minutes long, and it takes five or ten before it hits you exactly what is happening.

I have no other words for what it's about. It's just one of those things you stumble across online that beg you simply show it and say, "hey, somebody did this."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

After you get a vasectomy, you are supposed to go to a diagnostic clinic twice to provide a semen sample. "Literature" and a private room are provided. They ask you to go to this clinic first at eight weeks following the procedure, and again at ten weeks. I finally got around to going in for my first one last week, eleven weeks following the procedure.

This is proof that I will procrastinate for anything.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm headlining the Potowatomi casino tonight in Downtown Milwaukee. Sometimes it's a Friday-Saturday room, but this week it's just Saturday. However, I still had to come down Thursday to do radio Friday morning. I had a full day Thursday, and then, because my wife is in New York for her job, I had to drop off the girls at my in-laws' house in Ham Lake (gateway to Blaine). It was 9 p.m. before I got out of town.

It's been a while since I've done a late-night drive. It was a challenging one, mainly due to the fact that the Indy drive exhausted about 22 hours worth of iTunes material. Considering that I have just over twelve days' worth of audio on my computer, it's hard to believe that I had to grab West Wing DVDs to listen to on the drive. Fortunately, I have wi-fi in my room, so I've been able to pull material from the ether in the form of podcasts and other assorted downloads, so I'm covered for the drive home.

I arrived at the hotel at about 2 a.m. Friday morning. They gave me a whirlpool suite because the other rooms were sold out. This means that there is an entire room that I don't need. I can't invite my brother and his girlfriend to hang out, because it's a non-smoking room and my brother smokes like one of those smokestacks from the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Last night, I sat in the other room and watched television for a half-hour just to be able to say I used it.

I was picked up Friday morning for radio at 7:30. Unlike other times when you're picked up by the club manager, or a door guy or this week's MC, they sent a limo service. It wasn't a stretch limo or anything -- it was a town car, but still, I had a driver. Weird. I tipped him $5, and agonized about whether it was enough, until my brother pointed out to me later that there are probably a lot of times where he doesn't get any tip at all.

The hotel is across the street from the Grand Avenue mall in downtown Milwaukee, so I went to the food court for dinner last night. The people working the counter at the Chinese place were literally calling people over, pushing samples like carnival barkers, but with a charming accent instead of a spooky rasp. I tried the barbequed chicken and the orange chicken and realized there was no way I was not having Chinese by this point. It was very satisfying. They were still harranguing people to try their food as I left. I caught sight of the guy at the counter of the Greek place when I walked by. He looked positively miserable because the Chinese folks were getting all the customers before they even got to his place. I wanted to go up to him and say, "dude -- gyro meat cuts up just fine into small pieces. Fight fire with fire." On the other hand, maybe he usually does give out samples, but just ran out of toothpicks.

After dinner, my original plan was to get a bottle of wine and drink it while sitting in the whirlpool, but that just seemed a little too Will and Grace, so I picked up a small bottle of vodka and some orange juice and drank screwdrivers while sitting in the whirlpool. Why I thought the wine was the faggy part, I don't know.

The problem with solo time in whirlpools is that when you're sitting in one, that's pretty much all you're doing. It faced away from the television, and the motor was too noisy for me to watch a DVD or play music from my laptop (unless I used headphones, but I wasn't going to risk having the laptop that close to churning water). It was relaxing, but there was an undercurrent (no pun intended) of grim obligation, too.

I was asleep by 10 p.m., which may be the earliest I've gone to sleep in, literally, years (perhaps decades). Woke up at 7:30 this morning, and now, here I sit, typing away on my bed. I've got one of those lap-tables with the cusion on the bottom. One would think this would be comfortable, but it's not. I think I'll be returning to the desk once I'm done with this. However, like the whirlpool, I had to try it out.

Who knew unsolicited luxury could be such a challenge?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It seems X-Rays won't be able to detect shoes with explosive liquids in them.

A new radio commercial:

MAN #1: Boy, this sure is a long wait through airport security, but you seem to be doing just fine.

MAN #2: Hey man, I'm jellin'

TSA GUARD: Excuse me, sir. Would you step over here please?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Had lunch at St. Jude's Sweet Corn Festival in Cedar Rapids yesterday. It's basically a mini-carnival right there on the church grounds. It's amusing to me that it's actually rife with sin. The Seven Deadly, as a matter of fact:

- The festival crawling with scantily-clad girls: lust.

- That time when you think, "hey check out the hottie," and it turns out to be a dude: anger.

- The midway, complete with people trying to win the best possible prizes for as little money as possible: avarice.

- Even after seeing other people lose repeatedly, you still think you can beat the game: pride.

- In most cases, of course, you wind up with a choice between a blue-dyed rabbit's foot, a rubber pencil and a Def Leppard keychain from the shelf of shame: more anger.

- Hot dogs, chilli dogs, sloppy joes, pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw, pie a la mode, and three ears of corn (dipped in butter, natch) for a buck: gluttony.

- Seeing that the guy next to you got a bigger ear than you did: envy.

- Finally returning to the hotel and collapsing into a food coma: sloth.

It's not fund-raising -- it's entrapment!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Separated at Birth?

Michael Chertoff:


John Waters:


If only SPY magazine was still publishing...

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Germans are known for being a pretty humorless bunch, which doesn't really make since, since German has quite possibly the funniest looking words of all. Seriously -- Dumbkopf? Glockenspiel? Hintergrundinformationen?

And yet, if you use Babel Fish to translate a joke, such as:
Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the other side!
You get:
warum kreuzte das Huhn die Stra├če?

Damit er an die andere Seite gelangen kann!*
Not a funny-looking word in the whole damn thing (well, "gelangen" is kind of funny). Maybe it's because the English word "chicken" is one of our funnier words (hello "K" sound) and the German word for "chicken", "huhn", is not funny at all.

That's where it hinges, I think. Maybe way back when the Germans developed their language, they didn't find chickens funny, and if you don't find chickens funny, then there's really no hope for you.

*You do have to tweak the english version a bit to read "so that it can arrive at the other side!" to get the grammar right.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The summer issue of Larson Allen's EFFECT Magazine is up on their site. As usual, it includes my Effective Perspective column. This one is about non-profit compensation -- oh the hilarity!

Here's an archive of all issues. I've written the Effective Perspective column for every one since Summer 2002. It's a different audience than I usually "play" to (namely the business/investor crowd), so it's been a fun way to stretch other creative muscles. Plus they pay me. Everybody wins! Especially me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Yet another prediction of mine is coming true..
SAN ANTONIO, July 11 (UPI) -- U.S. funeral directors are changing the gothic image of funeral homes to reflect the more positive image of death held by most baby boomers.

San Antonio's Mission Park Funeral Chapels & Cemeteries chief Robert Tips told the San Antonio Express-News that as baby boomers become their primary customers, the U.S. funeral industry has shifted to a "celebrating life" mode...

I've been saying for years that death was going to be the Boomers' next big reinvention. Frankly, I'm surprised it's starting this early. Watch for the Time magazine cover story featuring an image of a crowded graveyard and the headline Where Will We Put Them All?

Plus, what's this about them having a "positive" image of death? You mean the way many of them seem to live in complete denial of it?

Monday, June 26, 2006

This Friday, I'm having a vasectomy, or as I like to call it the Big Snip. That's actually a misnomer, since there are two snips involved, but my testicles are a package deal, so I think the singular is justified.

The first medical professional I asked about this was my GP at my checkup a month ago. He told me that fewer and fewer GPs are doing vasectomies. He said he had done one once and that I definitely did not want him to do mine. This was my first appointment with this doctor, and I found his candor refreshing. I have a feeling that my previous doctor, a grandfatherly type who often teetered on the precipice between folksy and dottering, would have told me he was able to do them, regardless of where the technique resided in his skill set. Give me a doctor that knows his limitations any day.

Before you can get a vasectomy, you have to go in for a consultation. First, they want to make absolutely sure that you really want to do this. They tell you repeatedly that, reversal procedures notwithstanding, you should consider this a permanent change. Next comes the video.

My favorite part of the video was the scene where a bunch of guys are hanging out at a pizza joint after a (heh) softball game. Our hero mentions that he's thinking about having a vasectomy. His buddies then proceed to bust his chops mercilessly, impugning his masculinity, asking if he's having a sex change, etc. Seriously, who does this? Who would have the (heh) balls to do this? Clearly, the video is meant to address the fears men may have about the reactions of their friends and family, but all the video managed to do was momentarily insert fears where there were no fears before.

Are guys really worried about a vasectomy somehow making them less of a man? I suppose there must be. I don't see it myself -- if anybody ever implied that to me, I'd just say, I'm going to have a doctor make incisions in my scrotum, slice the tubes inside, tie them off, and stitch up the wounds. Then I fully expect to spend the weekend with my testicles the size of grapefruits -- and that makes me a wuss how?

Look, if you really want to make men feel better about it, how about offering to let them get a tattoo at the same time? Flames? 8-balls? I'd go for fuzzy dice myself. Of course, they'd just have to tattoo the dice -- the fuzzy part kind of takes care of itself. Not that I would need that anyway. I'm completely cool with my masculinity before, during and after this. Moreso even.

Hell, for the first time in over twenty years, I'm going to wear an athletic supporter. I haven't done that since the first week of high school gym.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lileks gives the new Guthrie a good going-over. Of course, by "good" I mean "merciless."

While the new Guthrie was being built , I saw it from the window of a high-rise and thought to myself, is IKEA opening a store downtown? Why would they put it there?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hey, I'm headlining the Minnesota Comedy Club this weekend. Come on out.

Yes, I mean you.

Now I'm off to the Apple Store to see about the keyboard. Apparently, the numbers rubbing off is a problem a lot of people have been reporting, which is both alarming and reassuring. I'm alarmed at Apple's shoddy workmanship, but I'm reassured that I haven't done anything in particular to cause or exacerbate the problem. An irrational fear I know. It's not as though I've got some sort of corrosive acid seeping from my fingertips -- and let's face it, if I did I wouldn't be a comedian. I'd be a Spider-Man villain.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I had my first checkup in about three years last week. I'm here to report that the hernia check procedure has changed. Rather than going under the "boys" and pressing his fingers into the space at the bottom of the pelvic bone and doing the "turn your head and cough" bit, he went over the boys and checked on either side of Mr. Happy. He didn't give me any explanation as to why he did it this way.

There are three possible reasons for the change:

1. Maybe this method is equivalent to the under-the-boys method, but I just haven't encountered it until now -- the Coke vs. Pepsi of medical procedures. Maybe they're equally valid, but not equally common and my doctor's the kind of maverick that likes to keep things interesting. Maybe it's a regional variation. Maybe my doctor learned from the Pennsylvania Dutch.

2. As men age, their boys have a tendency to drop. Maybe mine have dropped so far that they cannot be maneuvered around without actual cupping and holding, and nobody wants to add that sensation to an already uncomfortable moment.

3. This is simply the new way to do it, and I've never had a doctor young enough to have learned to do it that way.

A young man came up to me after a show (I think he was an EMT) and said that the over-the-boys method was what he had been taught, so it appears that #3 is the reason.

Jesus, guys. Put out a press release, would you? It's an awkward enough moment for us both without you changing it up without warning.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Come see me this week at ACME. More blathering this week as the jokes get set. Some new ones this week, but no new Wallpaper Now! or Firefly. Just me and my snark. Watch me work it out as the week goes.

Also, if you check out ACME's Myspace page, you'll notice they used a picture for me they found on the deathless beast that is the Internet. The first person to email me (matt@ this Web site) with the URL they ganked the picture from wins a free copy of my CD. Good luck. Let's see what the power of Google can do when mixed with my miniscule fan base.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Boise airport has free Wi-Fi, so here I am, waiting for my flight to board (in about an hour), and for once, not really feeling that put out. This is what I'd be doing in the condo anyway, except I wouldn't have the parade of humanity passing by.

The nice thing about airports is that you don't get too wide a range of people. Chances are, if you can afford to take a flight somewhere, rather than Greyhound, you've done something right in your life (or something wrong if you can afford first class). I'm no classist, but the 900-lb elephant in our collective room is that a lot of poor folks are that way at least to some extent as a result of the choices they have made in life. That tendency can make them difficult to take when you're thrown into the mix with them. Not that wealthy people don't present their own challenges, but you don't usually see them unless you happen to be serving them food or drinks, or happen to be within earshot of their cell phone conversation with one of their underlings.

There's a family in the waiting area. Mom, dad, brother and sister. Sister is probably about 2-3 and brother is probably about 4-5. The same distance between my girls. They were squirmy and whiny a few minutes ago, and dad was not coming off well with his frustrated responses. Fortunately, they realized that there aren't very many people at the gate yet, and that there is a long expanse of carpeting that they can race back and force across. The kids are squealing happily, running to a bank of seats, climbing up and then immediately getting off and running back to mom & dad.

Unfortunately, somebody just sat in their target area, so that's the end of that. Back to whining. Ah well, I have a laptop, headphones and Harvey Danger. Plus, I'm right next to an outlet, so no worries about the battery. Life is about as good as it can get in an airport -- at least without an expense account anyway.

Ah, the interloper has left the target seat. Thank God. The race is back on.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

If last night's show is any indication, this is going to be a fantastic week. The Boise 'Bone has been on my "must get" list for, literally, years, and so far, it has not disappointed.

I spent some time walking around the newly-developed downtown area. As I mentioned yesterday, the area has been dubbed "BoDo." I found out from an extremely helpful lady at the souvenier shop, that the name is at least partially derived from the name of the developer contracted to revitalize the downtown. It seems there is some controversy.


Here's my local-reference joke. It's a variation of a well-traveled structure, but I don't think I'll be able to resist.

So, there's been some controversy about the name "BoDo" for this area. What you may not know is that "BoDo" is actually a Spanish word brought over by the Basques, meaning "pointless one-way."


Boise folks will get it. The whole downtown area is riddled with one-way streets, which makes a wrong turn an opportunity for many leaps of directional faith to get back on track. Fortunately, I flew here. I'm on foot anyway. Hah!

I also noticed this sign on my walk back to the condo.


Great deal, right? Take a closer look:


You're not fooling anyone, you know.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wheels Down in Boise

I'm in the Boise condo, taking advantage of intermittent mystery Wi-Fi. I've been up since 4:20 this morning to catch my 6:30 flight to Boise. I make no promises of wit or wisdom here.

I'm just banging on the keys of my iBook, which by the way, continue their steady decline. Now the left Apple key is popping off from time to time, serving as a constant reminder of a) just how much I use it and b) just how staggeringly irrelevant the Apple key on the right is -- that one isn't near anything as far as I can tell.

The key popping off, however, has given me a glimpse into how the keys work. One would think it would just sort of snap back on, but there is a small metallo-plastic membrane array that defies logic. How it was attached in the first place is a mystery to me.

I flew Frontier here. Each seat has a television screen on the back which gets 24 channels of Direct TV for $5. Not worth it for morning television, but I may treat myself on the way back. Let's see how the CD sales go, shall we?

Boise seems like a lovely town, but my exposure has been limited to the airport and the downtown area. The downtown area is called "BODO." I don't think this name happened organically the way it does to neighborhoods in other cities, like "SoHo" or "Dinkytown" or "Hell's Kitchen." I get the impression that "BODO" is the brainchild of some high-priced marketing consultant brought in by the city a while back -- the naming equivalent of an artificial lake -- it may work quite nicely, but it still feels like cheating.

I'm more than willing to be proven wrong on this. If any Boise residents ("Boisians"? "Boiseites"?) happen to be reading this, please feel free to confirm or deny.

Oh, and Boise folks ("Boisetanians?"), trust me -- I'm funnier than this.

Friday, April 28, 2006

I did a benefit for Parkinson's Disease last night, and one of the door prizes was a bobble-head doll.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Here are ten words never heard:

Welcome to the Apple Store. How can I help you?

You see, the letters on my iBook's keyboard are starting to wear off. It started with the "s," then went the "e," then the "l." The "a" is in mid-fade like Marty McFly's brother just before his dad-to-be finally completes the slowest fist-clench in screen history. I've been meaning to stop in to an Apple store to see if you can get replacement keys. I figure since it's unlikely that mine is the only iBook with this particular strain of keyboard alopecia (Christ, this is quite the metaphorical jambalaya I've got going here, isn't it? Shit. There's another one), Apple may have a solution. Maybe they've got a supply of replacement keys you can get. Hell, I'd pay a buck a key.

Unfortunately, every time I go to an Apple store, I feel like a gate crasher. Is there some sort of procedure I'm supposed to be following? Am I supposed to sign in someplace? Is there one of those bakery number dispensers, and I keep missing it? Is this somehow related to the fact that I don't have iLife or a .mac account? Are those two things even related? I'll never know, because no matter how folorn and/or needy I look when I stand at the genius bar, they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge my presence.

Good God, you may be thinking, just approach one of the employees, and they'll tell you what you need to do. Hey, you're right. I should do that. Unfortunately, there is something about the place that makes me feel as though that would somehow violate the gloriously austere environment they have worked so hard to achieve. Direct action has no place there and might somehow cause a rift in the space-time continuum of the Appleverse, and my iBook will revert to one of those Apple IIEs we used in high school, and me without any floppies.

Fortunately, for me anyway, I know how to type by touch. They haven't reinvented that wheel yet. They will though. Mark my words. Five years from now, Apple will have found a way to reduce the keyboard to five keys. How would you use such a thing?

Hey, just ask one of the geniuses. Then tell me, would you? I'll be the one standing behind you wondering how to get their attention.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I think we are now at the point where if you have a job that's never had its own reality show, chances are it's never going to happen. Sorry. Your line of work just isn't sexy or interesting enough. I'm pretty sure there will never be a reality show about car salesmen, for example, because nobody wants to spend any more time with those people than absolutely necessary.

***

Once after a show, a car salesman decided to glom on to me. His group had been a big ol' patch of rudeness, but he was buying drinks, so I figured I'd humor him for a while. In-between crowing how much money he made, and self-congratulation about how he'd "got me" with his heckle (he hadn't), he insisted I spread the word about a shot he invented. The shot was Southern Comfort, shaken in ice. It was called the "Angry Irishman," because it was named after a buddy of his. He was completely nonplussed when I pointed out that not only was nothing Irish about the drink, but since Southern Comfort is the wimpiest of all whiskeys, there wasn't really anything angry about it either.

You know, I said, if you really want a drink that you could call an Angry Irishman, let's do the same thing with the shaker, but make it a shot of Jamison. That would be both angry and Irish. I had the bartender make up a batch of them. He did the shot, but screwed up his face afterwards. He'd suddenly been confronted by the reality that not all whiskeys have been sweetened for his pleasure, and he didn't like it. Pussy.

So now, I suggest that the next time you're out having a few cocktails you get a shot of Jamison shaken in ice and call it the Angry Irishman. I'm going to steal that guy's dream.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I knew it. There is evidence that drug companies are inventing medical conditions to market their cures. (found via Fark)

Usually, this takes the form of them "medicalizing" what were previously considered simple facts of life. Are your children hyperactive? Do you sometiomes feel sort of sad? And, my favorite, do your your legs sometimes feel sort of...restless?

Restless Legs Syndrome. The constant feeling that your legs want to move. Well God forbid they do that.

Friday, April 07, 2006

And the winner for most ham-fisted attempt to tag on "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," goes to: this Star Tribune story, which features the following subhead:
It's hard out here for a newcomer in country music. Just ask Kenny Chesney's warmup acts.

Yeesh...

Monday, April 03, 2006

My wife enjoys watching HGTV, or as I like to call it, House Porn. Yes, she can justify it because she gets ideas for us, but let's face it, I can make the same argument for watching regular porn.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, April 2. If you're going to remind anyone, however, be sure to do it before April 1, since if you tell them that day, they will be less likely to believe you.
So we're at the end of the first week since the Bug arrived and things seem to be coming along swimmingly. Yes, that's right -- I said "swimmingly." That's the way I talk. Our language is blessed with countless synonyms, so it seems like a waste to not use as many of them as possible.

But I digress, or in other words, I've strayed off the point. The point is that the Bug seems like a good candidate for the title of Easy Baby. She eats well, burps well and when properly swaddled into a baby burrito (or Babyrito™), sleeps well. I've heard second babies (yes, this is my third, but it's been thirteen years since Young Master Fugate was a baby) tend to be easier. I suppose it's because the parents are more relaxed and pragmatic about the whole thing.

It's not until you're chasing a toddler around that you realize just how low-maintenance a newborn actually can be. You rarely have to struggle to get them to eat. They sleep 20 hours a day (just not quite as many in a row as you might like). They stay where you put them. And, they're extremely light and portable. Hell, they fit into just about anything.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Last week, the Peanut and I made a snowman. He lingers to this day, but the outlook is not good. I'm not going to pull the plug on him or anything. I'm just going to let nature take it's course. Ah, the great circle of life.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The last three contestants on Deal or No Deal went away with small amounts of money. I'm just saying, the show really is addictive, but like most addictive things, it's ultimately unsatisfying. I've just watched the show two nights in a row and my brain already feels like one of the "after" pictures of those crystal meth people.

***

Incidentally, as I was looking for a link to those "before and after" pictures of the meth users, I looked first where I thought I saw them first -- The Smoking Gun. Here were my search results:


You may not be able to see it, but this was in the lower right-hand corner:


I clicked on the link, but the hospital's filter wouldn't let the site go through. Not because it was about crystal meth, but because it was eBay.
As it turns out, the epidemic of sleep deprivation is a myth perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry to sell sleeping pills like Ambien, and too much sleep is actually better for you.

I think it's truly, truly sad that I'm not shocked by this. Aren't these people in the business of helping us?

Oh, wait. I just used the words "business" and "helping" in the same sentence. What was I thinking?
Staying at a hospital is like staying at an incredibly cheap motel that charges you hundreds of dollars a night. The blankets are thin and threadbare, the sheets are scratchy, the soap for your shower comes out of a pump, everything is in half-portions, and while you do have cable, the channels only go in one direction.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

We have baby! 6 lbs 2 oz, which is about a pound heavier than expected. Mom and baby are doing great.

All right -- I'm going to bend my "no pictures of the kids" rule this one time, but only because in two days, she's going to look completely different. I'm not putting her name on here though -- for now, let's call her the Bug.

About 90 minutes ago, my wife grabbed my hand as the contraction hit her. This one was different. Tears welled up in her eyes. I asked her if she wanted the epidural. She said she wanted to wait to see if the next couple were like that one. They were.

Here's the cart they wheeled in. I find its low-tech handmade quality amusing and strangely reassuring. I don't know if you can tell, but the words handwritten on the three cross-bars are "ANESTHESIA" "EPIDURAL" and "CART."



The medication has finally taken effect and she's now resting in her bed, comfortably numb, as her uterus continues on auto-pilot. We should have our baby in just a few hours.
Still no baby, but here are some pictures of the gear they're using.


The total array, for context.



Here's the dealie that administers the pitosen (once they go back to administering it, that is). "Dealie?" What am I, fifty?



The nurses and midwives look at this monitor, as well as the report it generates and declare that the baby is "happy."

I think they are making a large assumption.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

It's official -- I'm drunk with Blogger power. This is so much easier than "manually" updating the home page/blog in my Web editor. Now if only anyone was coming here.

Anyway, they had put my wife on pitosen several hours ago in the hopes that the cervix was ripe enough to induce. As it turns out, it was not. Now she's off the pitosen and on a 12-hour cervix ripening medication. If that doesn't work, they're going to bring us a paper bag and a pear in the morning and see what that does.
Deal or No Deal

I can tell my wife, hooked up to the Labor-O-Matic machine, is getting a little bit of cabin fever because:

1. She's willing to watch Deal or No Deal

2. She's rooting for the contestants to lose.

It's looking less likely that we'll be seeing the new addition tonight. They're going to give it until 8:30 and if there hasn't been significant movement, she'll get the green light to eat and we'll start it back up tomorrow. I expect the banker to call any minute now.
So, I'm in the hospital, waiting for my wife's cervix to ripen. Yes, that's the term they use. They also use the term "persuade." Gynocological terminology is very picturesque.

Forty years ago, I'd be pacing a waiting room, a cigarette butt dangling from my lips, and countless others filling the ashtray, one eye on the door from which the nurse will emerge and declare that it's a boy or girl, the other on the pay phone I'll use to notify the handful of people who constitute the beginning of the telephone chain that will inform the world that my family has increased by one. I'd be disconnected from the details of the event, but it will be all I'm thinking about.

Today, I'm sitting next to my wife, no cigarettes in sight (not even in my coat), and I've got a wi-fi connection that lets me tell you all of this now, rather than reconstructing these thoughts in a few days, and replaces the telephone chain to boot. I'm completely connected to the details (hello ripening cervix), unlike my 1966 doppelganger, but on the other hand, I booked my flight to Boise just minutes before I started typing this.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, I'm also wearing a silver jumpsuit and a jet-pack. I love the future.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Welcome to mattfugate.com, Mach III. I decided to remove the family pictures I had on the old site. I know there has always been a contingent of visitors to my site that fall under the "friends and family" category, and I regret that this distancing is necessary, but don't fret -- I'm too freaking narcissistic to not keep you up to date. There just won't be any pictures of my family, just stories. Want pictures of my wife & kids? Send me an email and if I know you, I'll be more than happy to send you more than you could possibly want.

As I looked at the task of de-familifying the site, I realized that the family pictures were pretty well entwined with the rest of the stuff in the old site, like dandelion roots in the earth. So, rather than attempt to ease the references out individually, I decided to give it all one good yank and toss it all, dirt clods and all. If you've ever seen nastiness that is the root structure of a dandelion, you'll realize that this is not the most charitable description of my old site.

Regardless, for better or for worse, the old site is gone gone gone. mattfugate.com Mach III is smoother and simpler. It puts the standup on equal footing with the blogging, where it belongs. The old site was great if you wanted to read about me and my kids and about once a month see a new logo incorporating some seasonal image (I always enjoyed that), but if you were a booker or potential corporate client, it had unprofessional written all over it.

Don't fret, I'll still be blogging. As a matter of fact, I've taken this opportunity to finally employ a Web-based blog editor. Theoretically, this will result in more posting.

Keep your fingers crossed on that.