Welcome to 2008

Happy New Year!

We are officially back from the year-ending honeymoon, and I gotta say that being on your honeymoon in New Zealand is a great way to end any year. Lots of good stuff happened in ’07, and I’m very excited to see what happens in 2008.

We’re working hard on priority goals 1 and 2: pick out all the wedding pictures and get them printed & published to the web; and pick out all the honeymoon pictures and get them published to the web & share them with everyone. Other than that, all the wedding/honeymoon hoopla is officially over… which is definitely a sad truth, but a bit of a relief as well. Time to turn our attention to the rest of our lives.

First on my list is training for the marathon. If you read the last post below, you saw that I registered for the BSIM on April 26th. Since that post and this one, my dear friend Choi has decided to pick that exact same day for his wedding reception. (He’s getting married in March, in Seoul, Korea, but having a reception for his gaijin friends that can’t make it to the land of fermented cabbage.) He’s lucky that I love him like a brother, because I was very excited about & already committed to this marathon… but the right thing to do, in spite of the fact that the marathon was booked first, is to go to his reception and forfeit my registration. Though apparently I may be able to sell my number on eBay – anyone ever sold or bought a race registration from someone else? So while I may not be training for Big Sur at the end of April, I’m still going to train and will book one in the same basic timeframe very soon.

Runner-up to that is to keep going with Improv stuff. Roadblock there is that BATS isn’t offering the next class in the series until April (at the earliest)… so that means I gotta go find another school or another pursuit and jump in just to keep momentum going. I’m kinda okay with that though – as much as I love what I’ve been doing at BATS, some of it isn’t indigenous to their school or their way of doing things. I’ve actually had two out of three of my classes disappoint me in some way or another, and have noticed that their crew’s performances (the long-form ones I’ve seen) are not what I really want to do. Those particular performances I saw, and what they seem to preach through their classes, purport that improv is funny by way of being improv… meaning that the funny bits are pleasant by-products of improvisation. I’m starting to think that my preferred method of doing this would actually be to marry the two together. IMPROVISE FUNNY STUFF. Obviously you can’t be funny all the time, especially when it’s completely spontaneous, but … for me, the whole point of this is to get the laugh; that’s why I do it.

BATS is typically not about the laugh… or at least the teachers I’ve had thus far don’t emphasize it at all; indeed they sometimes dragged me away from the laughs, kicking & screaming. And okay, I understand that improvisational acting is more than improvisational comedy, and that the skills involved in the first certainly augment your endeavors of the second but not necessarily vice-versa… but that’s not really what I want to do with my time or money right now. I want to be funny, and I want people to want me to be funny, and then I want to learn about how to be funnier. So I’ll shove off to find a way to do that very soon and will update you accordingly.

R, on the other hand, is about to kick off her first knitting class at Atelier Yarns over on Divis. She put that on her Xmas list, and ’twas a gift certificate that she received from my wonderful parents that paid for it & her supplies. She starts Monday & is very excited. It’s also something that’s going to help her keep one of her resolutions: to make/take more time for herself. Work has been summarily taking advantage of her for a few months now, and she’s had enough and is committed to getting her time back. Let’s all help her keep that one, okay? She’s excited for learning a new hobby, and she’s hoping it’ll turn out to be a therapeutic one – one that will calm her down as opposed to giving her more fodder for her task lists and the cute little heart attack that she knows she’s got half-baked in the bottom of her ventricles.

I’m all for a relaxing hobby, because, love her as I do, I still can’t keep her from being this big ball of stress for a larger-than-fun portion of time. I may still have a talent for talking her out of a complete frenzy like no one else could, but it’s akin to saving someone from drowning but still being stuck in the middle of the ocean – I can swim for both of us only so many miles, and then we both have to figure out how the hell to make it to dry land for beer and crab cakes. (I would only ever get stuck in the ocean in an area where the coast would supply both of these things a-plenty.)

The honeymoon was great for letting both of us totally forget about anything other than being married, being in New Zealand, and being twentysomethings with respectable salaries and slightly modest tastes for food & wine. We had a great time – I’d write a full post about it, but I still haven’t finished the Wedding post, and feel obligated to finish that one first – and now we’re back, trying not to get stressed out by America, by corporations, by what little obligations we do have.

But we’re trying not to think of 2008 as another year of obligations to things that don’t make us better or make the world better… I’m trying to make sure that I invest my time better in ’08. I even toyed with the idea of resolving not to watch ‘Friends’ any more. The amount of time I spend in front of the TV is easily 30-40% consumed by re-runs of episodes I own on DVD. So not only is it not productive time, it’s a REPEAT of a non-productive time. (In my defense, it’s a great show that won Emmys for a reason… but that is not excuse enough.)

I want to invest in this year so that ’09 is easier for both of us. More time out of the apartment, more time taking advantage of living on the West Coast, more time exploring new restaurants/activities/creative pursuits… do away with the days that go by because we’re too busy planning other things. And if we make the effort to take time for doing & enjoying new things, I’m less likely to need that time in front of the TV, laughing at lines that haven’t been said yet but that I know are coming. (There’s nothing inherently wrong with that at certain points in your life, but I’m past that point for now.)

One thing I’m definitely looking forward to doing is finding some open mic nights. Gonna start spectating a few first, build up the ol’ confidence, work on my own material, and eventually make a debut. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I want people I know to be at my first one or not… I’d love to think I’d be funny enough to have my friends & family laugh at me out of getting my jokes instead of loyalty, but am worried about being able to tell the difference. And if I DO bomb, I certainly don’t want everyone I know there to see it or to try and make me feel better about it… If they come and help me feel great my first time, when I go out again & less of them are there, I could bomb & not have that salve of loving ego-strokes with which to dress my wounds. But rest assured, I’ll blog about it either way.

There are LOTS of other things that should happen in ’08, but it’s 6:30 on Saturday night and I’m going to head out to catch I Am Legend at 7:30. (R doesn’t particularly want to go, so I get to go and drink all the soda & eat all the snacks I’ll pick up from BevMo! on the way.) So for now, I will leave you… and I promise I’ll be back in less than the 4 weeks it’s been since my last post. Plus I just bought us a new laptop yesterday and am happy to have a second tool so we can both be productive while at home.

Did learn a lesson though: make sure to ask R before any final decisions on large purchases. Both my Dad AND hers have a tendency to get single-minded on these types of purchases (computers, cars, TVs, dogs, cable packages), and they sometimes neglect to ensure the whole family is included in the decisions… it’s got a lot to do with the way women communicate their apathy about technology or TVs or whatever, but even if they don’t care to know an LCD from a labrador, it doesn’t mean that leaving them out of any decision that affects them is an okay thing. I’m sure this won’t be the last time something like that comes up, but I’m still ruminating on my response/philosophy related to it, so I’ll just let it go at that for now.

PS, thanks to those that have been commenting. I’m trying to respond in the comment threads more quickly than I can post, so if you’re looking for shoutouts or thank-yous, be sure to go back through the comment threads too, kay?