Friday, April 23, 2010

Dateline Vegas: Comedy, Sleep, and Burlesque Ninjas

So I’m mostly through my week in Vegas already. I feel great. I really do. Yesterday I took a four hour nap. I didn’t want to, I just laid down for a moment and forgot to fight how exhausted I am all the time.

It’s been rough with the kids lately, especially since one has decided that sleeping really isn’t for him. We’re just trying to get through until September when they both start school. Or maybe we’ll find them jobs to tire them out, I don’t know.

So when the Improv offered me a week in Vegas I jumped at the chance. At this point, to sleep late five days in a row I would have paid them. Please don’t tell them I said that.

I drove here Tuesday, did my shows and promptly collapsed into my bed until around 5:30 am the next morning. I then MADE myself go back to sleep. No way I was getting up yet. So I did go back to sleep. Then I slept so much I had trouble getting up. Luckily the phone rang and that roused me out of my sleep coma.

But I felt better within 24 hours and I realized that there was an obvious reason my wife and I were feeling not so great all the time. We simply were not getting two things we need, especially when we get a little… more mature. Sleep and Exercise. I haven’t been eating that great since I’ve been here. This whole city is deep fried so you really have to go out of your way to find something healthy. But it didn’t matter. Two days of sleeping and exercise and it made a difference. I felt... human again. By the way, if you ever want to get away from the crowds in Las Vegas, just go to your hotel’s gym. No one will bother you there.

Then the fun began. Always an adventure here in Vegas. I went to a live presentation of a show trying to be sold. All the hotel executives were invited and if felt very… hollywoody and not in a good way. So the show premise was… burlesque ninjas. Yes. And yes, if there was a show in Vegas I would indeed be interested in seeing, it would be this one. That’s what’s really missing from Vegas. Why hasn’t anyone brought these two great things together before? Blue Man Group? No ninjas. Celine Dion? No swords. Cirque Du Soleil? Too many clowns.

So the show started in a stage that was much too small for the show. I really thought the burlesque ninjas were going to accidently stab each other with their swords they were so close. But, I have to say, these burlesque ninjas were quite professional. No Kill Bill style accidents occurred.

It wasn’t a full show so they went right to the finale. A husband and wife team did tricks with crossbows. Their names are Mr. and Mrs. G and they’ve been on Conan O’ Brien. Shooting through a playing card the other was holding, etc. Once they dude even turned around and shot at his wife using a mirror. It was amazing.

Then they pointed the crossbows at each other and did their finale which was to shoot slightly above the other’s head. I have to say I cringed. No matter how good my wife’s eyesight is, I pretty sure I wouldn’t let her point a crossbow at me. Granted, we never had that specific discussion, but I’m pretty sure I’d stick to my guns on that one. No honey, we’re not playing William Tell tonight.

So Vegas is still Vegas. It’s always fun for a few days. Of course I’m here for a week so by day six you’re pretty much ready to get the hell out of there. But I am enjoying myself and my quiet time. Yes, my quiet time in Las Vegas with the comedians, gamblers, and a crossbow wielding married couple. Good, quiet times. But most of my time has been in the hotel room. I’m the only one who comes to Vegas to get some sleep.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The People That You Meet When You're Walking Down the Street...

The People that you meet each day. Well, living in LA it’s always an adventure on who or even what you’re going to see on a daily basis. Sometimes you think “Well, that can’t be real” and then it goes and pulls it’s Prius into the Trader Joe’s parking lot. Here are a few of the things I’ve observed. At least I think I have. Sometimes the brain can’t quite process what you’re looking at.

I shop at Whole Foods a lot, because we like being poor but well fed. That’s kind of ground zero for hippies, stars and weirdos. Of course the fact that I’m there a lot doesn’t mean anything. It’s all the OTHER people who are weird.

Occasionally I see comedian Charles Fleischer there. He was the voice of Roger Rabbit and was on Welcome Back, Kotter. I’ve opened for him on the road a few times. He’s a really nice guy and when I run into him he entertains my kids for a few minutes with cartoon voices which is frankly, really helpful.

One day I saw the girl from Scrubs there, and then I saw an African Witch Doctor get out of a jeep and walk towards the Whole Foods. I’m not even kidding. I’m HOPING it was someone who just came from a movie or TV set. Otherwise, again, brain can’t process. It was the whole nine yards too. This guy had a cloak, no shoes, lots of bracelets around his ankles and various piercings on his face. He was driving, so he didn’t fear technology. Although I can’t imagine teaching an on the road driving school and having him next to you and trying to explain parallel parking in a click language. I would have loved to have gotten that whole story but sometimes I think it’s best that you don’t know.

I saw Eric Idle (one of my heroes from Monty Python) at a small comedy show in Hollywood as an unannounced guest performer. I didn’t get to meet him, unfortunately.

I saw Scott Baio at a different supermarket before his resurgence as a reality show star.
When I was hiking with my five year old last weekend a guy was hiking the other way with a parrot on his shoulder. Need attention, much, Johnnie Needy?

Audge and I were having dinner and as we were walking out of the restaurant two guys drove by in a Rocket Car. That’s right, a rocket car. It was a car in the shape of a rocket. Audge and I just burst out laughing. How often do you get to see a rocket car?

Months later, I saw a boat car drive by. Yes, it was a car in the shape of a boat and I could have SWORN it was the same guy driving. Like the dude was freaking building crazy cars in his garage and driving them around. But then again, if you COULD build a rocket car in your garage, why wouldn’t you?

I suppose it’s one of those things that keeps LA exciting, like the traffic, smog, earthquakes and slim chances of finding employment. I can’t really say that I LOVE LA, but I do like Southern California and anyplace that I can occasionally see a rocket car is OK with me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Random Stuff and Guest Blogging

Hello everyone.

I have been busy over at Here's my article on MY LIFE WITH VIDEO GAMES.

Also, they did a very nice review of my book:

Also, I finished DRAGON AGE on the PS3. It was a pretty amazing game, I have to say. It was a cool mix of retro Dungeons and Dragons with a hard edged, morally ambiguous story. Like you're an adult but really it's your inner teenager playing in the basement listening to Def Leppard while reading the Dungeon Master's Guide before your other lonely friends come over for a gaming session. Anyway, Dragon Age has sex, violence, betrayal, and dragon slaying! And that's just some of the stuff you can do...

Me:"Are you still taking the kids to Costco?"
Wife:"Yes, why did you need anything?"
Me:"Yes, I need you to take the kids to Costco"

I love my iphone, but I don't see the point of the iPad. I really don't. It does less for more! The whole point of technology is to replace and combine stuff. I don't need something extra. Of course, when the REAL one comes out six to eight months from now we'll see...

Still really enjoying the fact that I didn't need surgery again. Thank you to everyone who e-mailed and posted comments. It really made my day.

This bears repeating: To truly appreciate Death Cab for Cutie you have to hate them first and then let them slowly win you over.

I am still really enjoying LOST, even though it often makes no sense. I think that's a compliment.

Not sure what's going on with movies right now: Hot Tub Time Machine, How to Train Your Dragon, and Ghost Writer were all GOOD. Food Inc is a MUST SEE on DVD. Spoiler alert: Corn is in everything.

21 month old slept until 5:00 am which was unusual. We're having trouble with our sleepless toddler. Anyone have any advice for us with a toddler who only sleeps 7-8 hours a night and is not tired? Of course, he's not tired but it's killing us... We're going through the suggested list of remedies and we're about ready to add a few of our own involving ether. Anyone experience this and how did you solve it? Is it even solvable? Maybe our robobaby just doesn't need sleep...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Unexpected Ear Surgery, Part III (conclusion)

I should be at the hospital getting my ear surgery about now. But I’m not. I’m sitting here at home typing this post. No, I didn’t chicken out. I received the medical equivalent of “Bank Error in Your Favor” and I did indeed jump back and almost lost my top hat.

The doctor called me and said he had finally heard back from the lead pathologist and melanoma expert at UCLA. This opinion apparently trumped the opinions of the regular pathologist and a dermatologist. I’m not really sure what the doctor pecking order is, and I don’t care. But I think they use some type of Rock/Paper/Scissors system. I’m just happy not to have to be put under and have a knife stuck in my ear again.

The lead pathologist thought the surgery was unnecessary at this time and thought careful clinical follow up will suffice for now. The growth was benign and didn’t even show signs of melanoma, so there was nothing to be concerned about at this time. Woo-hoo!

I felt my whole body relax. Wow. No more of Michael Jackson’s favorite anesthesia. No more of the doctors and nurses mentioning that it was his favorite. No skin graft. No tube in my ear for a week. But no getting out of childcare for a few days. Oh well, it’s a fair exchange.

The call came right after my wife had rearranged her entire work schedule around my surgery and recovery. She then proceeded to call everyone back. I’m not sure if her boss thought she made the whole thing up or not, but that’s her problem.

So I have to go to the ear doctor every three months to be monitored. No problem.

Truth be told, I’m not really sure what freaked me out more. The anesthesia was something I was a bit frightened and anxious about. Visions of everything from complications and alien abductions to the ending of The Sixth Sense all had me quite uneasy.

But was that really it? Probably not. The real uneasiness was feeling my sense of mortality. I’ve felt it before, and I don’t like it. It sobers you, makes you think and makes you realize your time on this planet is finite. It’s like getting a reminder card from the Grim Reaper.

But come on, only old people have surgeries. They’re not for people like us, right? People who use the internet don’t have surgeries. We’re too young, hip, and on the cutting edge… I have an iPhone! But after the denial wore off I just wanted it over with. Again. For the third time. Luckily there was no third time. I can now go back to my regularly scheduled blissful, ignorant denial of my mortal coil. Who’s with me?

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