Monday, June 22, 2015

The Appointment...

So I went to the Kaiser in San Francisco today to meet up with a Cardiologist that was recommended to me by a past cardiologist that I trusted. Since the past cardiologist isn't with Kaiser, he recommended that I go to the SF office.

So all my life I've known at some point in my life that I would need surgery to replace a valve. I have what is called a "Bicuspid Aortic Valve" - it has something that has been monitored all my life and the question has always been "When will I need the surgery?"

My doctor today is going to do a few more studies and talking with colleagues before we come up with a plan on how to proceed.

Within the next two weeks, I will need to get an MRI to see how bad of a leak my valve might have. I will also be taking an exercise test.

If the results of the MRI show the leak not be that bad then it is possible that I may not need surgery right away. However, the valve is quite narrowed which makes the heart's job of pumping blood to the rest of my body much tougher. So if surgery isn't needed right away, then the other option would be a catheder. The catheder would then be inserted thru my groin (ouch) and then with the catheder they would then open of the narrow valve. Now, the catheder method won't prevent me from ever needing surgery but it could delay the surgery about 10 years if successful. That would be nice. The catheder method would be an overnight stay whereas surgery would be 5 nights.

In the meantime, I am to avoid fast food and red meats and keep exercising as much as possible... as it can only help.

Assuming I don't need surgery anytime soon, you can catch me performing at these places soon...

June 30th - Spice N Ice - Gilroy, CA - 8pm

July 9th - Blue Lagoon - Santa Cruz, CA - 8:30pm

July 15th - San Jose Improv - San Jose, CA - 8pm

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Talking Redwood Comedy Festival and more...

On Friday, June 13th, I left home at 7:30am for Fortuna, CA and my buddy Brian went along to keep me company. Fortuna was holding the 2nd Annual Redwood Comedy Festival which took place June 13th and 14th. I was fortunate enough to participate the first year of the festival and was glad to be invited back for a second time.

I arrived in Fortuna around 1:30pm and grabbed some lunch. I was so hungry that I couldn't wait for the planned dinner for comedians later in the afternoon. After lunch, I went to check into the hotel that they booked for me. The hotel had two beds. If it didn't, then Brian probably wouldn't have tagged along. 

At 3pm, I went to the River Lodge Conference center to check-in with the other comedians and go through the details of what would happen with the Event Organizer. I then ended up finding myself sticking around for dinner and eating again. Free Lasagna!! How do I say no?! I'm actually glad I stuck around for dinner as I ended up sitting at a table full of comedians mostly from Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.. There was Billy Anderson, Anica Cihla, Bri Pruett, and Nariko Ott to name a few,  I didn't talk too much at the table but just listened to the conversations that they were having. The main conversation that Billy brought up was if there was a funnier dog breed name than "Malamute." It seemed that everyone agreed that there wasn't a funnier name as "Shitzu" was just an easy way for people to make a joke. 

On Friday night, there were 6 different venues and 8 comedians performed at each of them. I performed at the Funky Monkey, which I had heard was like an adult Chuck E. Cheese. I was splitting the Hosting duties for the night with Mitch Mitchell, who is from Seattle.  Also performing at the Funky Monkey on Friday night were Joe Taylor, Ruby Gill, Josh Barnes, Chris Mejia, Danny Minch, and Krista Fatka.

The staff at Funky Monkey were really nice and they definitely made sure the comedians were getting enough to drink! We ended up performing two different shows, One was scheduled for 8pm-10pm then another for 10:30pm-12:30pm. The idea was that the audience members could take the shuttles to the 5 other venues during the half-hour break. 

Mitch Mitchell was the Host for the first part of the first show then I took over for her halfway thru. Overall, I feel that everyone did solid in the first show and we had a pretty decent crowd. The set-up was a little funky (ha) and there wasn't even a mic stand until Danny Minch stepped up and brought in one of his own.
A monkey on the wall inside Funky Monkey

Then it was time for the second show which I had the pleasure of Hosting for the first half. I was getting pretty drunk by this point and struggled thru some jokes - mostly different jokes than I did in the first half though. There weren't many people at our show at this point though. There were maybe 4 to 5 non-comedians in the audience total. I was excited when it was time to bring Mitch back up to host the second half of the show. Mitch was drunk just like me by this point. She eventually would take a slice of pizza from one of the audience member's tables. We ended the 2nd show early at midnight and a lot of us just hung out for a while. I ended up buying a Bacon Cheeseburger as I needed to eat something. 

Around 1 in the morning, Brian and I head back to our hotel which luckily was only one parking lot away from The Funky Monkey. 

Then around 2:30am as I'm sleeping in my bed, I hear a knock on the door. I turn over to see if Brian heard it too. He didn't wake up so I just assumed it was someone knocking on the wrong hotel door. Then the room phone rang. What the hell?! I say "Brian?! Brian?! Wake up." He doesn't wake up. Then shortly after again there is knocking on the door. So I finally have had enough and I get up to open the door very slowly. It is fuckin' Brian. "Dude, it's me," he says. Then he runs inside. Oh, and he is wearing nothing but his boxers!! I'm like "when the hell did you go outside?" He said, "I don't know." Apparently a security guard found him standing in his boxers by a vending machine. Brian tells me later that the security guard probably found him peeing there too. I'm still not sure how he ended up outside. He didn't seem more drunk than me... he started to think maybe he got roofied when at a different venue but we'll never really know. 

Surprisingly, I wake up Saturday with only a little headache. After some morning Starbucks then the headache is gone. Brian and I check out Downtown Fortuna a bit and also catch a movie at the old Fortuna Theater. 

At 4pm, it was time to check in for the big Saturday night show at the River Lodge Conference Center. We then had a Pizza Dinner at 5pm and again I sat with the Seattle and Portland comedians. They were probably wondering "Why the hell does this guy keep sitting with us?" We look over the evening's schedule and we know we are in for a long night.

The actual comedy show started at 8pm and it was supposed to end around 12:30am....but it did not.  I went on around 11:00pm. Dave Bressoud had an amazing set. I also thought Mitch Mitchell did a great job too. In fact, she is probably my favorite new (to me) comic that I met. Her set reminded me a bit of Maria Bamford in terms of style- and I don't think that is a bad thing at all. I tried to stay thru the entire show but I got so tired that I left before the last two comedians of the night performed. I'm sorry I didn't stay to watch you two. 

I slept better on Saturday night and had no weird people knocking on the door. After some Sunday morning Starbucks, it was back to San Jose for me (or Portland if that's where I'm from). 

In other news, on Monday the 22nd, I am going to Kaiser Permanente in SF to see a Heart Doctor for a 2nd opinion. So not long after Monday I should know whether I will need valve replacement surgery soon or not. Again, this is something I've known I'd need at some point in my life, it is just a matter of when. The operation would have me in the hospital for about 5 days and the recovery time would be 2 months. On the plus side, that would be a lot of down time for writing material.