Saturday, February 24, 2007


I am nothing if not a follower of the latest trends. Remember when all the parent-bloggers (and the Today Show) were obsessed with drunken debauchery at play dates? I wasn't above cashing in on... err... I mean, I felt it was important for me to add my own well researched and carefully constructed opinion to the debate. Remember when all the daddy blogs were either posting from Blogher or whining about not being invited? Yeah, I remember that too. I didn't post, but I remember it. Remember when parachute pants were all the rage and everyone was poppin' and snappin'? Yeah, okay, so I sat that one out too, but in my heart, I knew I wanted to spin around on flattened cardboard like the rest of them.

The latest trend seems to be daddy-bloggers talking about their vasectomies. Mitch McDad certainly wins the prize for the most wincingly funny post. P-man at Mother-Woman also writes a hilarious account of his preparations for his adventures in seedlessness. Do a search on "blog" and "vasectomy" and you're liable to end up with thousands of stories, each one more horrific and more hilarious than the last.

I, too, have my own story. Yes, like millions of men so depressed from their sudden burst of responsibility following the birth of their child, I have had myself "fixed." I'll spare you a play-by-play, because frankly, there are some things that we shouldn't be sharing with each other. You know, like when you tried to tell me about that time you got really drunk and your neighbor tried to kiss you? Yeah. This is just like that, except this time, we're talking about my testicles.

Instead of writing a fully formed post on the topic, discussing the moral and emotional issues that went into the decision to have the procedure done, I'll share a few of the highlights. If my vasectomy had a blooper reel, this would be it...

In the "pre-op" interview...

"Are you sure you want to do this?" the doctor asked, turning to my wife.

While actually having the procedure done...

"Hey, doc, what's that smell?"

"I'm cauterizing your vas deferens."

"So, basically, that smell is my own burning flesh?"

"Yeah, pretty much."

"Okay. Thanks."

Comment made by a coworker when I returned to work after taking some "personal time" and only telling my boss what was going on...

"So, how are they hanging?"

Dropping off a package at the lab...

"Can I help you?"

"I need to drop off a sample."

Holds up paper bag.

"Okay. What is it?"

"A sample."

"A sample of what?"

"I was told I needed to drop this off following my... procedure."

Taps bag for effect.

"What kind of sample is it, sir?"

Looks around the waiting room, sheepishly making eye contact with at least half of the old ladies in the city.

"Oh, crap, it's SEMEN... okay? Everybody hear that? What about you, over there? Turn up your hearing aid, lady! I'm dropping off some SEMEN here! My semen! And, I'll give you all three guesses as to how, exactly, it ended up in this bag!"

Opens the bag and holds up the specimen cup for everyone to see.

"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you lower your voice."

"She started it! Why does a clinic have security anyway? That's stupid. Hey... let me go! Stop it! Oww, that hurts!"


The thing that shocked me the most about the procedure was how long I was still of the baby-makin' persuasion. The doctor explained that it would be a month or two and forty ejaculations before everything was okay to use with wild abandon. FORTY?!? That'll take us about seven or eight years, doctor! We're parents! It was literally five months and many sample deliveries later before my sperm count dropped into the single digits. Although I was sternly lectured that I was still fertile, my wife and I threw caution to the wind and called it "done."

I was also surprised by how wildly different everyone's vasectomies seemed to be. Mitch McDad claims he got a valium. I just got a shot of Novocain to the dangly bits. My brother-in-law was sent home with this very complicated set of instructions on how to build up to having sex again, instructions with included, of all things, cuddling, then nothing but manual manipulation a week after the cuddling phase, and then... eww. That stuff is with my sister, dude. I don't want to hear any more. Most of the guys telling their stories mentioned getting shaved during the ordeal. I was asked to show up ready for the event, having done the shearing on my own.

All in all, the experience of getting the vasectomy wasn't too bad. The pain was much easier to take than the two days of laying around with my la-las elevated to help with the swelling. The monthly deposits to the lab were probably the worst part, so if you're a guy and you're considering having this done, it's really not as horrible as it sounds. Sure, there are complications that get mentioned during the whole "planning phase," but I've never known anyone who would admit to suffering from any of them.

I haven't returned to posting my "Better Daddying" pieces since returning to blogging, but if I can get on my soapbox for a moment, guys... this is your duty. Getting a vasectomy isn't exactly a ride on Space Mountain, but your wife GAVE BIRTH. Suck it up and do this for her. If you're done having kids, this is the obvious solution to the issue of birth control. Chances are it has been your wife's responsibility for years, so its time to return the favor.

More New To The Blogroll

I'm adding a couple of blogs, new to me, to my blogroll. They are my official new blog-crushes. Yes, it's appropriate to send them condolences notes and offer a supportive shoulder.

Bradstein Household
How About Two?
Just Eat Your Cupcake
Radioactive girl
Suburban Kamikaze

The more you blog, the more blogs you find, it seems. People wander in, post a comment, and suddenly you've found three new blogs that you love. So, for everyone that's dropped in and offered up their opinions about my ramblings, I appreciate it. Thanks for the paths into new ideas, thoughts, and other touchy-feely stuff us manly guys aren't supposed to care about (but secretly do).

There are a few people who've wandered in with comments that might not be on the blogroll. Don't be offended. Since this is a parenting blog, I try to limit my blogroll to parenting blogs. When/if I start that Denver Dork blog and start posting about e-mail message filters, DIY audio equipment, and videogames, you'll be on that blogroll! I still care. I'm just trying to be careful to avoid that whole Seinfeld gang/Bizarro World Seinfeld gang awkwardness.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When Does Daddyblogging End?

I haven't been parent-blogging for very long. I'm more of a bandwagon-er than a pioneer in that respect, so I'm still learning the ropes about this strange phenomenon and community. So far, I've learned a lot, and I've also laughed a lot. If Dateline would do stories about "Internet Awesomeness" instead of just "Internet Prediators" I think I'd watch their show a lot more often. Plus, I think it would be a more accurate look at what goes on at all of the rest stops along the Information Superhighway. There really is a lot of awesomeness out there.

What's interesting about the parent-blogging phenomenon is the ages of the kids enshrined on all of these various blogs are pretty close. Using a very scientific polling method (i.e. pulling wild guesses out of my butt), most children discussed on parent blogs are between one and three years of age. In multiple children families, there is usually at least one child within that age range, with others being as old as... let's say twelve... and others sometimes being brand spankin' new infants. Most of the bloggers, like most people, live in major cities, and none of them are happy with the weirdos that live in their neighborhoods or attend their playgroups. Please don't try to debate my research. As I said, it's all very scientific (again, its been pulled straight outta my rear).

What I've been thinking about lately is when does this all end? At what age does daddy-blogging stop being cute and start getting creepy? When my son is in junior high school? College? Starting his own family? Not returning my calls any longer? When will I finally stop blogging about being a parent?

I present to you Blogs From The Future (insert Flash Gordon music here). Yes, I will be sharing a few of the blog posts you'll find on Denver Dad in a few decades....

Monday, February 5, 2018

Like most of you, Chunk and I watched Superbowl XLIX yesterday. Man, those Oklahoma City Ethnically and Politically Neutrals sure owned the field. Denver Mom is still pissed about that new ball and the rotating goal posts, but I think it makes the game more interesting. It's too bad I lost all that money betting on the Dallas Cowpersons.

How many more years am I going to have to wait for the Minnesota People-Of-Northern-Decent make it into another Superbowl?

Saturday, June 12, 2032

Chunk is getting married today. I know! I can't believe it either! I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't really sure about P'llla'bop and her family, but it's just like we were taught in school, color is only skin deep... and purple is just like any other color. I mean, a lot of people have problems with Alpha Centurians, but if Chunk loves her, that's all I need to welcome her into our family. I'm still not sure I understand the ins-and-outs of the "Centurian Gill Ceremony" they'll be doing during their vows, but I hear its beautiful. I'll give you all a detailed report tomorrow!

Oh... one last thing... if the father of your future daughter-in-law asks you to play Centurian golf, say no. Talk about boring! And, I don't care how advanced your civilization is, that's still no way to treat a potato.

Wednesday, December 23, 2037

Well, Hurricane Home Depot wasn't nearly as bad as they predicted it would be, but it seems like hurricane season just keeps getting longer and longer! I hope we still have time to get all of our Christmas shopping done! It must be nice to live in a doomed city like Miami or Des Moines. I mean, sure, they're a mile underwater and don't get a lot of natural sunlight, but at least they don't have to worry about super hurricanes or ion particle storms.

I know they've been doing it for a while now, but I'm still not crazy about corporations buying naming rights for hurricanes. Its especially tacky for a home maintenance store to do it. Still, you can't bet their prices on insta-wall foam.

Friday, December 25, 2037

Well, it's official. I'm going to have to change the name of this blog to Denver GrandDad. Chunk and P'llla'bop are pregnant and in just seven months, they will have a bouncing baby omnipod. They announced it during Christmas dinner. P'llla'bop is just glowing. Literally. You could read in the dark with her around, but I have no doubts she'll be a great mom.

According to Centurian tradition, I'm supposed to cut the tentacle when the little pod emerges from the egg sack, but I feel like that's something Chunk should do. I know Chunk is supposed to step up when the tail falls off during the tadpole phase, but he should be there to enjoy all of those little parts of fatherhood, tradition be damned.

Kerpday, August 1, 2040

What the hell was wrong with the old days of the week? Yeah, the leap year thing got a little confusing sometimes, but adding Kerpday into the calendar isn't going to make things any easier. We should have just called it Saturday and a Half. People could at least understand that. Those snotty Mayans and their new calendar. Just because they have a time machine doesn't mean they're smarter than the rest of us!

Tuesday, February 12, 2088

This new robot body is great! I feel like I'm twenty again! You should have heard Denver Mom whistle at me when I came out of surgery. She was shouting, "Hey, baby, nice pistons!" It was hilarious! Even the doctor laughed, and I have to say, my new pistons are kind of nice.

I'm Not Weird... You Just Don't Understand Me

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Rob at How About Two? asked that I tell the world five odd things about me. Here's my list:

1. When I was a child, I lived on a tiny island in the south Pacific called Kwajalein, located in the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands. When I say the island was small, I mean it was really small. It was usually possible to see both lagoon-side and ocean-side water at all times, just by turning your head. It was cool. I wouldn't want to go back, though. Despite the amazing weather and unlimited access to some of the most beautiful water on the planet, Kwajalein was a little too small.

2. I am very distantly related to a former pro-wrestler. He's like a cousin's uncle or something. Like I said, it's a very distant relation and technically doesn't even count as an actual relation, but I've seen him at enough family events that I feel like that's official enough for me. Despite what you might think, Sgt. Slaughter is actually a kind, very soft spoken guy, who should have a blog of his own. He's a heck of a dad. Or, at least, he was... I haven't seen him in years. Oh... and for the record... pro wrestling is completely real. Completely real.

3. I create ambient music on my laptop. You know that kind of music that makes you think, "Who the hell listens to this garbage? It sounds like a seashell in coma, for cryin' out loud?!" Yeah, that's the stuff I do. Please, I beg of you, think more Tangerine Dream than Josh Tesh. That's "new age" and a totally different thing. I am not a Yanni of the mountains. As much as I'd like to be, I'm not a Brian Eno of the foothills either. It's just a hobby.

4. My nickname in high school was "Friar," thanks to a cult that a friend of mine and I dreamt up in study hall. Cults, we decided, was where the money was, but I never got paid for my duties as high priest, just an odd nickname.

5. I was adopted... sort of. My aunt and uncle took me in when my biological mother (my uncle's sister) was going through a rough time and the rough time never really ended until she died of cancer last year. So, my mom and dad are really my aunt and uncle, my sisters are really my cousins, and I was the only kid in my kindergarten class who knew how to roll a joint. Most of my extended family assume I'm the family Jim Morrison, thanks to some guilt by biological association, but I'm actually pretty well adjusted and haven't had much need for a stay in a treatment center. I don't even own any cool leather pants.

Unofficial 6th Item: Like a lot of people who've been doing these lists, I make it a point to be on-time. If we're having a meeting, I'm usually there early and have to wait around until its time for the meeting to start. If we're just getting together to have a friendly meal, I'm usually in the car, listening to my iPod for a while, until the agreed upon time rolls around. I don't really consider this strange. I consider it POLITE. Being punctual isn't a character flaw, people. Honest! Stop feeling bad about it!

I think I'm supposed to "tag" other people. Most of the blogs I read pretty faithfully have already done this, so I'm going to pick on a fellow Denver dad, Mitch at Mitch McDad's World, and one of my new blog crushes... Maria at just eat your cupcake, you're up!

On The Mend and Over The Bend

I feel like I just won the lotto, went on a date with Salma Hayek, and came up with a solution for global warming, all on the same day! Yes, my friends, the fevers are gone, the snot river has stopped flowing, and I have my charming little boy back. Plus, as an added bonus, which I guess would be the "date with Salma" part, he slept through the night for the first time in weeks.

How am I? Well, I was awoken by a sneezing fit, have my own snot river to deal with, and have had a weird, obnoxiously unpleasant taste in my throat for two days now... but who cares? My son is feeling better and all is right with the world.

Its strange how the powerlessness of being the parent of a sick child can completely level you, but being sick yourself is nothing at all when you put the two in comparison. And, this was only after off-and-on again three weeks, hardly even worth mentioning to parents who are struggling with children who are truly sick, but there it is. Like I said, my son is feeling better and all is right with the world.

Or, is it?

I heard on the radio the other day that a mom bit her infant on the cheek, because it wouldn't stop crying. Then, she just dropped the baby off at the hospital, saying she couldn't handle it any more, and left. The news story was just a small piece of a drive-time news update, so there weren't many more details reported. I don't know if this happened in Denver or some other city, but I think the story says a lot.

Clearly, the mom was overwhelmed. She may have been dealing with some postpartum depression. She might be very young and inexperienced with children. Or, maybe it was just an unfortunate alignment of planets and foul backstory that led up to a tragic, unbearable day with a toddler. We could sit around and devise thousands of possible situations that lead to the biting and abandonment.

I can certainly understand her frustration. A crying baby is hard to deal with on a number of levels. Although I haven't chewed on my son, aside from the occasional "monster chomp" on his ears during a wrestling session, I understand that the line between irritated and irrational can be a fuzzy one, especially when you're alone and help is hours away. Thankfully, I've been able to muster the sense needed to put him in his crib and give myself a time out when I've been really frustrated. Just a few minutes is all it takes to get your bearings again and you can approach things a little better.

This woman who bit her child? Did she lack that sense? Or, was she simply pushed too hard, too fast? Can any of us truly say that we haven't also been pushed, once or twice, beyond where we feel truly in control?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that we're all just five seconds from flesh-eating monsters, but I do think that the cheek-chewing is closer than most of us would feel comfortable admitting. Being a parent is stressful. It's hard work. And, yes, sometimes its ugly.

When I heard this story on the radio I was shocked. The more I thought about it, I was saddened. In this woman's darkest time, no one was there for her. I don't condone her behavior, but I see how its possible. A lot of parents don't get the support they need, and yet this damn moms-pulling-out-the-wine-glasses story won't go away. What's worse? A woman having a drink at a social gathering of parents? Or, a woman who feels so alone and unsupported that she has to resort to biting and abandoning her child?

Up Next: Something far less serious! Rob from How About Two? tagged me with a "5 odd things about you" assignment. I'll try to keep it to just five things, but honestly, I could rename this blog "Odd Things About Denver Dad" and have up a new post every day for years.

Monday, February 12, 2007


There are a lot of tangible milestones that your child reaches as they grow. First steps. First words. First visit with a probation officer. You could build a scrapbook around just these things and have a wonderful document of your child's early years. But, what about the less tangible things? The things that kind of sneak up on you when you're not looking and just become a part of who your child is?

I might have mentioned it before, but Chunk is the world's greatest Superman fan. His little plastic Superman, which is carried with him everywhere, is so "loved" that Chunk has managed to wear off the paint on his head, giving Superman something like male pattern baldness, as well as a disturbing amount of wear on his elbows, knees and chest, that make him look more Man of Leprosy than Man of Steel. Of course, in that great way that children are, Chunk doesn't mind a bit. All he cares about is that he has his Superman with him and he has parents that are willing to listen to his explanations that Superman can "fly fast!" over and over again, complete with "sonic-boom" style sound effects.

His status as a Superfan is just one of those things that have snuck up on us. It's just one of those things that you accept, because it just becomes a part of your child's personality.

Another thing that has just become a part of Chunk, coincidentally related to his love of Superman, is his constant use of self-generated theme music. I should explain that one. Every time Chunk takes off his coat, and I mean every time, he rips it off like he has a big, yellow S on underneath it. And, with an equally dramatic flourish, he yells "da-daaaa-daaah!" And, any spare scrap of fabric he can find is instantly labeled a cape, which he then uses to fly around the room, "fast!"

What about your child? What little things have they started to do that have just become a part of their personality?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jesus Doesn't Like Your Automobile Choices

While leaving the office early this morning, I passed one of the scientists who works in the building, who was on his way in.

"You know that the Reverend Billy Graham says when the Rapture comes, no one who drives a Subaru gets to come along, right?" he asked me, scowling at the Denvermobile, while simultaneously smirking at me.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but although I work for a non-profit organization, our office is in a medical research building/lab, because of the nature of the condition that affects the families we serve. There are mice in the basement, building security about on par with NORAD, and I'm one of the few people who works in the building that cannot accurately be called "doctor." It's a strange place and the people in our building are even stranger. This particular scientist chastising me about our vehicle choices, is one of my favorites and one of the strangest.

"Wait, I don't get included in the Rapture?" I ask. I'm a little confused.

"It's even worse if you drive one of those ridiculous wagons," he argues. "Subarus are the new Volvos, you know. Remember in the 80s when everyone who was an uptight, leftist snob drove a Volvo? Those same people are driving Subarus now."

"So, what you're telling me is that our Subaru* is a first class ticket to Yuppie Hell?" I ask.

He laughs, nods, and continues on his way, shouting "Later, Rabbi**!"

A lot of my days are like this, but usually he doesn't start in on me until he's stealing candy out of my office and lecturing me about the evils of science.

* It should also be pointed out that Subarus are basically standard issue in Colorado. There are more of them sold here than any other place in the world. As a matter of fact, the Subaru love is so extreme here that if you are caught driving another type of car, they take away your fleece, your lift ticket, and make you cheer for the Chiefs during home games.

** This same scientist, who loves The Rocky Horror Pictures Show enough that he dressed up as Janet for Halloween, has taken to calling me "Rabbi." If I explained why, it probably still wouldn't make much sense.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's an all update post!

All updates, all the time! Get 'em while they're hot!

• Crouton Boy (of Cheeky's Hideaway) was right about the contacts. They (the doctor and his evil henchmen... er... women... henchpersons) switched me to a set that is more gas permeable and contains less water... at least, I think that's what they said. Anyway, the difference is night and day... or oil and water... or paper and plastic... or salt n' pepa. Something like that. The point is that they're much better, and ironically, now that my contacts are the most comfortable they've been since I started wearing them two months ago, I've been wearing my glasses more than ever. My theory is that I'm just lazy, except in cases where I am able to complain, in which case I'll jump over tanks filled with piranhas and electric eels, on a moped, and on fire, if it means I can whine about it later.

• I got a Wii! I wasn't going to tell anyone, because even after posting a Photoshopped picture of my son holding a lightsaber (it was actually a small branch when I took the picture), I thought some of you might still believe I was vaguely cool, in that fleece-wearing, granola-eating, ski-bumming, birkenstocks-buying Colorado way, but... dude... I GOT A WII! Yes, I had to wait in line, in the snow, with thirty or so other people who desperately want the rest of the world to think they're cool when they really aren't, but I got one. The motion-sensing controller is a lot more precise than I thought it would be and if I can drop into true nerd speak for a moment, makes it much less of a gimmick and more a legitimate new way to play. It's very neat. I can't really speak on what games are good, because I haven't played any beyond Wii Sports (included with the Wii), but I'm excited about the future. I like twelve-button controllers as much as the next guy (I'm looking at you, Xbox 360), but sometimes its fun just to play. As an added bonus, my son loves it. He's lousy, but loves it.

• The dark shadow of RSV is shrinking, destined to soon become a period of time that is referred to in the same way you talk about particularly nasty blizzards, storms, and afternoons with extended family. "Remember back during the RSV of 2007?" That sort of thing. Chunk and I are doing better, even though his version has transformed into a croup-like cough in the mornings and mine has gone all germy chrysalis and become a runny nose. I consider this good news, however, as any time I don't feel like trying to figure out a way to run myself over with the car is a good thing.

• Speaking of blizzards, Denver is setting new records for low temperatures. According to my little weather widget, it is currently -15 degrees outside. I can't wait to go out into it and go to work today. It'll be just like my youth spent in Minnesota, minus all the Nina tapes, Flocks of Seagulls, and moon boots. You know, as dorky as they were, moon boots were warm.

• Chunk has figured out how to work Photo-Booth on my computer and takes picture after picture of himself. The picture above is one of his masterpiece self-portraits. He's planning on having a one-man show later in the year, but is concerned about the age old problem of selling art versus selling out. That kid. He sure gets lofty and philosophical at times. The worst part is that damn soul patch he's trying to grow.

Update Update:

I'm not crazy about this new, Google-flavored Blogger. The software I've been using to write and publish my posts (the excellent Journeler) doesn't work any longer and the "shortcuts" don't work either, since they trigger Safari shortcuts, instead of Blogger shortcuts. Oh well. As mentioned numerous times in this blog, I am a nerd, so I know enough html to get by, it's just a pain.