Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let's Yes!

I come from the future to give you good people of 2008 this message: I've changed the new blog from yesdefinitely.blogspot.com to letsyes.blogspot.com.

Forgiveness please for the trouble this may have caused for you, but you can read all about my exploits over at 2009: Let's Yes!

Please say yes and change all your readers and etc. accordingly. And I promise you, this will never happen again.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

And here's the link...


Yes2009 was taken. YesForever? Ruined by some dizzy schoolgirl who clearly doesn't take the word "forever" to heart. And while I liked the Japanese style "Let's Yes," the URL's lack of an apostrophe made me squeamish.

So I went with the best answer from my Magic Eight Ball. Somewhere I have (had?) a Magic Eight Ball that actually works. It's got a huge crack in it that I tried to repair with this white plaster (?). The water has faded to a dull yellow and a lot of it has evaporated, but damned if it doesn't/didn't answer every question accurately.

When I think of real-life magic items (magic items being the best part of Dungeons and Dragons), it's fitting and accurate and kind of cool that the only one I've ever come across is that old Eight Ball.

That story has nothing to do with anything Yes-related, though.

Anyway, if you would like to continue reading the blog (and I certainly hope you do), please update your RSS feeds or Google Reader or whatever it is that you do, and I'll see you over there.

As for now, I'm gonna start the New Year off right by getting a cheezburger.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Look Back...

First I just wanna say someone already claimed yes2009.blogspot.com, but it's been removed by the site and the URL is unavailable. THANKS A LOT, BUDDY! When I come up with a good alternative URL, I'll post the link. And if anyone has some suggestions, please send 'em my way.

But for now, let's travel back in time through the year that was 2008, and how all that Yes fun turned out.

Bought an acoustic guitar. Remember that? Well, I don't. I did not keep up with playing, sadly, and gave up about February. But I have a lot of good excuses! Namely, that I can only practice when no one is home, and that's a rarity in this day and age. Also: busy. Also: lazy.

BUT... now that I'm unemployed, I might take it up again. Maybe switch off every other day between guitar and Wii Fit. I actually did play for a bit two days ago, but that might just have been in preparation of this blog post.

Hey, and this was when I first started watching LOST, one of the best decisions I made all year. What a great show! I can't wait till it comes back, Wednesdays at 9 on ABC! (Note: I don't actually know if that's the right time.)

Whoa, a sleep regimen where I would go to sleep by midnight? What was I thinking?

That didn't pan out.

However, my current goal right now is to not go back to sleep when Sarah leaves for work (at 8:50 a.m.). This is Day Two of that plan, we'll see how that turns out.

I will say, though, that lately my sleep patterns have been pretty good, but, again, having no day job and the opportunity for naps makes that a lot easier. I should note that the above goal does not allow naps. I didn't take one yesterday!

Ah, March, the month of St. Patrick's Day and The Song of the Irish Peddler. I'm very glad I did that show, though it was a pain in the butt lugging around a 3,000-lb. accordion to the rehearsals and shows.

But, hey, how many other Asian-Italians can say they were part of an Irish folk band?

(Photo by Keith Huang)

Lousy Smarch weather.

April and May
Ah, the months where I tried to be healthy in my eating and by signing up for Yoga classes but then not going to them. Yoga was a definite fail.

In an ideal world, 2009 would include some new physical classes, but since I'm now on a budget instead of Rich Uncle Pennybags, who knows if that will happen?

June spoon, to the moon! From where I'm from (Canada), that little rhyme is usually reserved for contemptuous feelings for something, but June was actually a fun month. It was my first trip to Maine, which is quite pretty during that time of year.

Also, I briefly changed my hairstyle. That didn't last long, either.

July held what was probably the best Yes decision I made all year, which was to go to Dragon*Con even after learning that I'd be losing my job soon. To be fair, I had already purchased the plane tickets, so it wasn't a real Year of Yes moment, but I stuck with the trip, and the world is a better place for it.

Dragon*Con! Oh, what a lovely time. I think about it when times are difficult, much like Bilbo Baggins would think of cakes and bacon when he was miserable and dreary. You guys remember that part, right?

August was an awesome month, since it also included a second trip to Maine and Terry Jinn's Enormous Television.

(Photo by Ari Scott)

All months should be like this: two vacations and a concert. And I usually hate August! It's the hottest month, and the summer heat turns me into a monster, but I also bought a portable air conditioner this year (this must have been one of those situations that were too personal to blog about), so it was pretty good.

Got my wisdom teeth removed. That sucked massive, but it could've sucked worse. At least, as my doctor pointed out, I didn't die. Sometimes the Year of Yes means you gotta do what you gotta do, and at least I got those bastards out of me before my insurance ended, unlike some other, more horrible things.

This got downplayed a little in the blog, but whoa, I moved into an awesome, huge apartment! October was easy, since it just involved watching movers move my crap, but September sucked, because adding on to my medical pain and penicillin allergies was the hassle of looking for an apartment, and I gotta tell you, I earned this one.

Almost every other NYC apartment I've found through good fortune - a friend of a friend knew about it, and voila - but, like in finding a job or landing a big score, you don't get the lucky break until you put in the work for it. And this year, damn, I worked for it. Usually while on Vicodin or something.

I must've looked at 3,000 apartments (all in Astoria), and then suddenly found two nice places. One was really nice, right down the street from my old place, but was more expensive and a hassle to apply for. This one, the guy was like, "Just give me the deposit, it's a done deal," since his dad runs/owns the building, and kaboom, the search was over.

But October, yeah, a good time. I braved ZombieCon by myself, and I got to play a comatose psychic during that live-action gaming event on Halloween, which was a good Yes. It was a very unique way to spend the holiday, and I'm grateful for the opportunity. I was drooling uncontrollably while strapped to a wheelchair!

Sure, this was the month where I started my novel and we threw that housewarming party, but really, all that matters is this:

Directed Lynn and Betsy's show... Wrestled at (but did not blog about) Hanukkaos: The Festival of Fights... Hated (or didn't hate?) Christmas... Spent the month writing... Grew a beard... Got new glasses that look a lot like my old ones but are slightly different and a lot more fancy-ass...

Not a bad way to end the year, I guess.

And Beyond!
Some previews for what's to come in 2009: Finally wear my gnome costume. Go back to Dragon*Con (those two aren't necessarily inclusive). Get into some new TV show. Finish this scarf I've been knitting for three years. Finish and post up my novel. Run a few more scenarios of Disney Zombies as an RPG. Keep playing the guitar. Outer space, maybe?! And fight a shark.

Happy New Year, everyone! See you in the new blog... and the future.

Monday, December 29, 2008

End of the Year... End of the Blog?

So 2008 is coming to a close. Will this be the end of the Year of Yes?

I'm still undecided.

On the one hand, did this blog actually accomplish anything? It forced me to write more, which is a good thing, though it was a time-eater, and I could've used that time on more creative endeavors or wasted it on nonsense. And I need a serious amount of nonsense in my life or I fade away.

But did I inspire other people to get psyched and say Yes (one of my original goals of the blog)? And more importantly, my point of view about life change for the better? I don't think so. I continue to be like this dog...

...in the sense that I'm wearing my wonderful pink bunny rabbit suit and no one appreciates it properly, and I'm like, "What the heck is wrong with the world? I hate everything... and I'm thirsty."

Also, for every event I wrote about, there were probably two or three that I didn't mention, for whatever reason. Sometimes I'd forget. Sometimes I'd think, "Well, I don't wanna blog about something until it happens," but then once it did happen, I'd think, "It's old news by now, who cares?"

That's a pretty weak reason, though. Over the past 12 months, I'd learned that the best way to blog is to write before the event (to get psyched), and to recap afterward. Even if it sucked, it's enough to say, "It was sort of sucky."

But the main reason I omitted certain events are because I'm an incredibly private person, and I have no desire to talk about my medical misadventures or personal tragedies with my friends and family, let alone the Faceless Internet. Even blogging about my wisdom teeth was a struggle. For a long time, I didn't include my real name and picture until I realized it's pretty easy to find me, so why bother hiding?

Other Reasons to Stop: Laziness. Saying "No" to things is easier. That Yes Man movie kind of killed it for me.

And, to be honest, I don't take great joy in blogging. I've never felt like "WHOA MAMA I CAN'T WAIT TO WRITE ABOUT THIS!" with the exception of Disney World.

Finally, the year is written in the URL. Isn't that passe? Wouldn't I have to change it and deal with all the crap that such an effort would entail? 2008 is the past, man, I gotta quit living in the past! But I don't wanna start over on a brand-new blog, want to keep all these posts and stuff. Maybe I can just change the title or something. Is that legal?

Reasons to Keep on Bloggin': On the other hand, being responsible for the Year of Yes ensured that stuff would get done. I wouldn't waste all my time on nonsense, I'd go out and do things that aren't usual for me. Or I'd do easy Yes things (Friend: Want to eat this cheezburger with me? Kirk: OK.) and get an easy sense of accomplishment.

And (is this one lame?) I like having a record of my year. Even though I don't like blogging, I like having a blog. I can look back on past months and be like, "Oh, yeah, I did that!" instead of forgetting the mundane pleasantries of, say, eating a cheezburger with a friend.

In the past, I'd categorize each year by a month-spanning project: My Wife, the Ghost one year, Cakey! The Cake From Outer Space the next, then a Halloween karaoke musical. This year, I didn't do anything creative other than this blog. And that's OK, 'cause it was also a little personal project, too.

So will I continue it? I guess it'd be the ultimate No to be like, "And that's 365 days, I'm out, suckers!" However, it would be kind of funny.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry (Belated) Blechmas

You'd be surprised to hear it, but I'm not a big fan of Christmas. I mean, I like the idea of Christmas, and I often wear an Elf hat and excitedly shout "Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!" in the hopes that I'll get psyched, but at the end of the season, I'm as far from psyched as one can get.

I'm not into gifts, and that's really the reason for the season, isn't it? Just watch any Family Matters Christmas special (and I did, courtesy of Nick at Nite), and it always ends with them opening a mountain of presents. Eddie got that new boom box he wanted! It just adds up to too much clutter, and really, is that the payoff to 20 minutes of Christmas spirit? Presents?

I hate giving gifts! It's hard to figure out what to get people that isn't teh suck. One of my friends told me her family gave up on the act of gift-giving because it's basically "giving garbage to each other." And I agree! So much of the time, it's giving something people don't want or need. Maybe that's just my experience... or I'm terrible at giving gifts.

Buying gifts stresses me out so much, probably brought on by a lifetime of watching Christmas specials and being told it's very important to get the perfect thing, and I can never figure it out.

Then I thought about it, like, "What does Sarah really like?" and I got this very cool (to me) piece of gerbil artwork:

But let me tell you the ordeal it took to get this damn thing. First off, it was on eBay, but I couldn't Buy It Now, then it came in from France, and there was this huge self-induced stress of "Will it get here in time?" (since we both left town for the holidays), then I had to try and get the damn thing framed, and the whole thing was a nightmare.

Then I felt a little guilty because she got me a present I really liked, seriously, one of my favorite presents of all time: Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii. I've rarely gotten good gifts in my life, so it was a nice surprise. It perfectly fit my definition of a good gift - it's something I want (I really, really, really love this game) but would never buy for myself.

Most years, I try and alleviate this holiday hatred by taking part in the New York Cares Winter Wishes campaign. One would think making poor kids happy would make me feel better (and that's a selfish reason to take part in a charity, isn't it?), but no! All I remember from years past is how difficult and crappy it was finding and sending these gifts, and always being late about it, and feeling bad.

And yet, I enjoy those bad memories in the same way Oscar the Grouch enjoys hating the world. Ask me about how I had to deliver a very heavy wagon (admittedly, a really cool gift, I'm glad that today's youth still appreciate the classics) during the MTA transit strike a few years ago. I almost died.

Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown, but on that note, even though I subjugated Sarah to hours of Christmas specials and I watch them in the hopes of finding spiritual fulfillment, they still piss me off. They're too trite and easy and never delve into a deeper meaning of the holidays.

Even friggin' Charlie Brown, especially Charlie Brown - they just decide to make the tree look pretty and then sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and that's the ending? That solves all his problems? I highly doubt it. He's going to kill himself come February.

Or the Grinch - I love the (almost) ending! The Whos sing without presents. Christmas doesn't come from a store after all! But then what does the Grinch do? That idiot brings 'em all back so everyone gets their material rewards. It undercuts the entire message! Eff that ess. I wish he would've burned it all and been like, "I'm sorry. I ruined Christmas. I'm an ass," and then the Whos would say, "It's OK. We forgive you," and that'd be it. No Christmas miracle, no appearance of Santa, just them singing without presents of foods.

Maybe I'm a misanthrope, but I prefer reading the Charles Ludlam (one of my favorite playwrights) adaptation of A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge realizes, bit by bit, that it's all about kindness. It doesn't cost anything, doesn't hurt anyone, and it makes it a difference. When he talks about how much he appreciated Fezziwig's parties, and they didn't cost hardly anything... isn't that what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown?

One final rant: Man, was church lame! I like my religion the way I like my coffee: full of mysticism and ritual and singing and weirdness. That makes it fun. And it's such a letdown when the priest just tells an amusing anecdote for his homily (Really? That's all you got? It's just the Birth of your Savior, padre, you couldn't mention that a bit?), everyone's shuffling their feet so they can go home, there's just no real joy or zest, just bored obligation, and there are at least three kids playing with their Game Boys. That part just killed me... parents really let kids bring video games to church nowadays?

Even the Christmas music was sang in a boring way, and that just boggles the mind. Christmas music should be the best, most-psyched music ever. And I listen to EPCOT's Candlelight Processional (of which I had the honor of being a part of, many years ago) and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" on constant repeat during the entire month of December. I'm not kidding. To see that music fail to get people psyched... at a church... on Christmas Eve... it made me want to give up on everything.

And now for the topper: I had a pretty good Christmas this year! Both of my flights had zero problems, I got to go home for a longer amount of time (usually I just get to visit for a day or two), got to see most of my family, went swimming on Christmas Day, got a lot of writing done, played with the dog (at one point, I took a sword and knighted her Sir Stupid. I thought that was the most hilarious thing ever. Am I right, people? That's really funny, right? To knight a dog while she smiles a dopey smile and doesn't understand what's going on? And to use the name Sir Stupid for a female dog?), and had a good time.

So what the heck am I complaining about?

PS: I'm very proud of this post title. Let's all try to use the word "blech" a little more in 2009, shall we? 2009: The Year of Blech.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I've got a lot of writing going on. Always do. And now I've got some more.

I recently found out that Figment Theatre is running a contest for people to write a one-act play that involves classical movie monsters.

(Unfortunately, registration is now closed. I wish I could've posted about it earlier, but I found out about this less than an hour before the deadline.)

Sounds like fun, but here's a good reason why I shouldn't enter: I'm trying to finish the first draft of this novel, hopefully by the end of the year, so I can start putting it up on the blog beginning in January. Now that I'm unemployed, it's not that hard to get down 2,000 words a day, but I don't need any distractions.

Here's a bunch of reasons why I should enter: It's the Year of Yes. I like classical movie monsters. I like distractions. It seems like fun. It's due in 30 days, so this won't consume my entire life and creative self. I've got an idea that I've wanted to do for ages, but never did because while it's easy to write a script, producing and putting together a film shoot is a huge, huge hassle. And most important, because I want to.

So I signed up. Whee!

I might have bragged before that I have a somewhat easy time writing dialogue. At least, that's been my experience, because then you have actors to give it life and a director to make sense of it all, and you can always rewrite things if they don't flow.

Working on this novel has been a lot harder. It's a lot more final than any script. Scripts are joint efforts, this one is all on me. And that's scary because I don't have any decent amount of experience writing prose, I don't how to do it, and all my sentences start with a character's name or "The [something-something]."

It's weird doing something you're not good at and then putting it out there on display to be judged and critiqued and given cease-and-desist orders from corporate lawyers.

I saw an excerpt from a zombie novel that was posted online, and you better believe I judged it (it was pretty horrible!). What if people think that about my story? Man, that would suck.

Also, I'm fully aware that this probably falls in the realms of "fan fiction," and all the stigma that entails. Part of me doesn't care about that, and yet, I just thought about the Prologue, which features Rafiki (from The Lion King) reading the entrails of a sacrifice and being bothered by what he sees.

That's ridiculous. I know it is. I'm taking talking animals and putting them into a grim scenario that's already overdone (zombies are everywhere, even at the Bust Craft Fair, where I bought a nifty ring... but that's another story).

People are going to think that's stupid. So half of me is like "I don't want people to think I'm stupid!" while the other half is like, "Eff 'em. They don't have to read it. And really, the title should give them fair warning about what I'm going for, here."

Beh. For now, I'm just ignoring all the self-doubts and plowing through. Editing will take place in the second draft (I haven't read over anything yet, so maybe it's better than I'm remembering. Or worse.), the first is just to get the words (all the words - good and bad) onto the paper.

But writing a play that's got a monster in it? Man, that practically writes itself! How could you go wrong?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Post-Disney Interview with Sarah (Part IV)

And so we reach the final, long-awaited chapter in our Disney Adventure: Animal Kingdom.

K: We started out at the Rainforest Cafe for lunch. You'd never heard of this place, but I'm very familiar with it - we had one at Sawgrass Mills. What'd you think?

S: I made friends with an elephant.

K: This place must be a lot of fun for kids, but so annoying for everyone else. Every 15 minutes, the animals come to life, and every 20 minutes, there's a thunderstorm.

S: Actually, the kids didn't seem to be having a lot of fun.

K: Did you like it, though?

S: It was OK. It was funny. They had the best stuff in the gift shop, it was ridiculous.

K: And then we went into the park itself. First stop: Dinosaur!

S: That was cool.

K: Why?

S: Dinosaurs!

K: So you liked this ride?

S: Yeah.

K: It wasn't too scary?

S: No, you said it was going to be scary. And I did see a little kid crying on their way out.

K: But sometimes it moves fast, that's what I'm talking about.

S: I thought it was exciting, actually, unlike most of them. They used the effects to make it exciting, but not scary.

K: So then we went to the Asia animal trail. It was nice! It's very zoo-like there, and zoos are fun.

S: True.

K: This is where we saw tigers and bats.

S: We saw some ridiculous tourists. The "Nowhere Butt Hawaii" guy [he was wearing a t-shirt featuring airbrushed bikini babes in thongs] who kept on saying all the animals were "good eatin'."

K: They probably were. But what about the tigers and bats? Any comment?

S: I liked them. And they had a mouse that was pretty cool.

K: All right. After that we went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris, featuring the most sarcastic tour guide ever.

S: Yeah, he was sarcastic.

K: But good! It was a lot of fun, and we sat in the front row!

S: Yep. We were the only people in the front row. It was fun. I thought we were gonna be better friends with the people at the end, but we all just went our separate ways.

K: What?

S: Remember the rapport we all had?

K: Oh, right. Some of those people were very chatty and jokey.

S: Actually, they were kind of obnoxious.

K: But we got really close to a rhino! And some deer or I don't know what they are.

S: That rhino is awesome. It was coming up to us. And it was big and cool. I like animals.

K: I like turtles.

K: And then we went to the Africa animal trail, where we saw that deer get on its hind legs.

S: That was adorable. Wait, that's where that ["Nowhere Butt Hawaii"] man was. Because he said that about the deer and some birds that we saw after that.

K: Right, that's right. And they had some gorillas, which I don't think I'd seen before, but it was pretty amazing.

S: I think people who don't love animals like I do get a kick out of gorillas, because they seem like people, only, you know, bigger and different. To me, we're all part of a global community...

(I give her a weird look.)

S: Hey, I'm trying to sound good for once. I liked the mouse, and I liked the gorillas.

K: I liked 'em, too! They were really big, and their faces are creepily expressive.

S: Mm-hmm, their eyes.

K: And in this week's episode of Survivor: Gabon, they went to Africa's Eden, a gorilla sanctuary. It was pretty impressive. You decided not to go on Expedition Everest.

S: Yeah, I watched about 12 of those cars go down the mountain, and I decided to not risk throwing up.

K: It wasn't that bad. I don't think the drop was as bad as Splash Mountain.

S: Really?

K: Yeah.

S: But it goes right into a turn afterward. That was the part I was worried about.

K: I didn't think it was that bad.

S: Plus, I didn't want to experience the fear of waiting in line and knowing I can't get off the ride, like I did on Splash Mountain.

K: With our FastPasses, I just waited like seven minutes each time. It was neat!

S: I would rather you have a good time twice than have you have a good time once with me possibly not.

K: That's very nice of you. That was about all we did, really. It was mostly a relaxing day in a zoo, with some rides. But I really liked Animal Kingdom! Anything else you want to say?

S: We didn't do anything else?

K: No, we just walked the animal trails. Oh, but we never talked about Downtown Disney!

S: True.

K: Downtown Disney had Earl of Sandwich...

S: Which was the highlight of your trip.

K: That was the best damn sandwich I've ever had in my life. It was the Holiday Special, with turkey and gravy and stuffing and cranberry sauce. I wish to God I had taken a picture of it. I am not kidding when I say it was one of the finest meals I've ever had.

S: I actually enjoyed Downtown Disney, 'cause I like stores. And they had some pretty weird stuff.

K: Like what? The Ariel doll?

S: That was weird. It was weird that someone had, well, you know... undressed it.

K: And weirder still was that just one of the many baby Ariel dolls appeared to be anatomically correct. The Little Mermaid vagina. I just typed that so weirdos can find us on Google. Here's a pic!

S: Also, it was pretty cute watching the kids play in the fountain.

K: I ran through it! Remember? And I didn't get wet. Also, they had a Lego store.

S: Yeah, if I recall, you got scared in that store. You got scared a lot at Downtown Disney.

K: I sure did. It was weird and different. And nighttime.

S: And at Downtown Disney, I got to see my only triple [meaning a Disney character dressed up as something else as something else]. Well, some kind of merchandise representing three different...

K: Incongruous things?

S: Yeah. Like, I saw a lot of, you know, Holiday Mickey, or Pirate Mickey, but no Holiday Pirate Mickey.

K: I wanted to see Minnie Mouse as the Virgin Mary giving birth to Pluto, but that didn't exist. However, we did get the triple...

K: It's Disney characters as Tower of Terror characters and they're also sort of Clue characters.

S: Better than nothing.

K: I don't understand why they used Pete instead of Pluto.

S: He's a dog. Dogs can't be...

K: Pluto could've been the bellhop, instead.

S: Dogs can't be bellhops.

K: Pluto would make a better bellhop than Goofy. Goofy, as that kid said, is a weirdo. I also would've liked to have seen...

S: You wanted to see Kermit Mickey.

K: That would have been the stuff of nightmares. Anyway, that was our trip! Any final thoughts on the complete package that is Walt Disney World?

S: At least I know what you're talking about now.

K: Do you miss it?

S: Actually, I was thinking about it earlier today.

K: Oh?

S: I was thinking about what a good time you had, and how it was nice to watch you have fun. I guess now I know what it's like to have a kid.

K: I'm a big boy. Do you want to go again next year?

S: No.

K: Too bad. I'm taking you there for your birthday.

Oh, Disney World! I miss you already! I wish I was there right now. But we'll always have this flickr set to remember the good times. I'll close with a picture of all we could see during the parade at Animal Kingdom.

The End.