A Pristine Home

I saw some pictures of a relative’s home and it looks incredible.  It’s sparkling clean and part of the reason is she’s getting ready to sell it.  I’m told with 3 kids they still keep everything neat and tidy.  It looks so pristine and could probably be on the cover of some home decor magazine.

Which brings me to my condo which is ahem… the opposite.  It’s not a slum but I won’t exactly call it guest ready.  If you want to stress me out, just tell me you’re in the neighbourhood and would love to drop in.  The other day I had a video call.  I cleaned up up my place the night before so it won’t look too bad.  I even checked to see what my laptop’s camera could see.  Whew…. close call.

I think if I won the lottery, I would buy a second home.  One for the sloppy me and one when I need to entertain.  I think I need counseling.  Or a maid.

Lunch with another ex Xangan

I had lunch with Gary and his friend Will when they were visiting Toronto this past week.  Gary used to blog on Xanga (CurryPuffy).  I don’t remember exactly when I subscribed to him on Xanga – likely late 2000s.  His blogs were usually a lot of travel and food posts.  He would usually start each paragraph with a small Snoopy GIF.   I always had the impression he was a classy, soft spoken kinda guy.  He was always helpful and polite when I emailed him looking for travel tips.

We met at the lobby of the hotel where he was staying.  He still looks the same as his Xanga profile pic from years ago.  We walked to a nearby restaurant.  I usually worry about what to talk about or if I talk too much or too little.  Chatting with both of them was easy even if I did blabber on a bit too much.  We chatted about the people we knew on Xanga, where they visited, who picks the places to eat (for this trip – Will picked the restaurants), what’s going on in our lives and traveling in general.  Both of them were very easy to talk to. It’s interesting when you “know” someone but haven’t met them in person.  After lunch we walked back to their hotel and got some pics of each other.  I hope to see them again.  Both Gary and Will are really nice gentlemen.

 

Here’s what I ate.

The lunch was pretty good.  The restaurant (Luma) was offering a fixed priced lunch menu as part of Summerlicious.

Strawberry feta salad (romaine, toasted almonds and champagne vinaigrette)IMG_5861

Peameal Bacon BLT (vine-ripened tomatoes, basil aïoli, arugula, kettle chips).  The bacon was nice and I was so stuffed I couldn’t finish all the chips.

IMG_5863

Coconut cream + pineapple tart – this was very nice.  IMG_5864

 

Packing Heavy

The moments before I leave on any trip is always a bit stressful for me.  I don’t know how to pack light.  When I traveled on business, I always made sure I had an extra shirt, socks, tie, tshirt and underwear just in case.  Maybe the years of working in IT always made me plan for the worse.  I even carried a small clothes steamer to get the wrinkles out of my suit(s).

For this upcoming trip, I’ve got some warm clothes even though I’m going to Asia because the AC in the hotel rooms can be pretty cold.  It’ll also be cold when I return.  I packed enough for about 5 to 6 days without doing laundry.  I’ll see if I can slim this down a bit more.  I don’t remember how I managed to fit everything into a backpack before.  As long as I have the mandatory things like my meds, eye glass, money, phone, passport, tickets, basic toiletries – I should be fine.  I can always buy clothes if I forget something.

I guess I don’t need to pack my rice cooker.

img_4039

p.s. I have never tried updating using the WordPress app on my phone.  I’m going to try doing it when I travel.

Boys Will Be Boys

J’s nephews from out of town were visiting this week and I got a chance to play with them.  Most of the time, they are engrossed on games on their phones.  But J got them some nerf guns and they decided to gang up on me.  I grabbed the smallest kid from behind, pointed his gun at his brothers while using him as a shield.  It worked for awhile until he squirmed away while screaming at the top of his lungs.

I found out that it was easy to just pull those “bullets” which they said was cheating.  I also hid them only to be labeled a “stealer”.  I invented time outs (“you can’t call time outs!). J declared a safe zone in the dining room and kitchen which is where I hid.  I stole their guns when they weren’t looking.  They retaliated by pulling the sleeves of my polo shirt until it drooped down to my forearms.

When the play shifted to J’s bedroom, I grabbed a sock from the laundry hamper and shoved it on one of their nose.  The stinky socks ruse didn’t work for long.  The smallest one kept trying to kick me in the nuts while another one kept slapping my butt.  I found out that they hesitated to shoot me if I wore my glasses.  They asked me several times to take it off because they didn’t want to damage my glasses.  I kept them on.  Eventually I started to play mind games with them by trying to get them to turn on each other. I pretended that one of them was my partner while he would would deny it.  I stood beside him in fake solidarity while he insisted to his brothers that he wasn’t my partner.  I told them that I gave the “traitor” some money and now he is on my side.

Alas, it was soon dinner time.  The guns were put away and replaced with chopsticks and rice bowls.  They are good kids who say please and thank you all the time.  They don’t seem to have a problem sharing with each other too which was nice to see.  But next time they visit, I’m getting the biggest nerf gun I can find.

Fast Cars…

I attended a free day at Toronto’s Honda Indy last Friday.  It’s an Indy Car race on a temporary street circuit.  I’ve never attended this race before and Friday was a practice session.  I think they started doing the free day a few years ago to rebuild the fan base after a few years of decline.  The downtown location is convenient for the fans, racers and sponsors.  All the restaurants, bars and nightlife are very close by.

One of the best spots to watch the race is at the corner of Lakeshore Blvd and Ontario Drive, just on the western edge of Ontario Place.   It’s the famous turn 3 where cars have to slow down after long straightaway in order to make a hard right turn.   The practice sessions for the various races were well underway by the time I made my way down to the stand at turn 3.

1.  Stadium Super Trucks – their course included several ramps and it was amazing watching them jump.

IMG_2318

2.  Cooper Tires USF2000 – this is a training ground series of races  for young drivers.  The cars are all powered by Mazda engines.  I think the car #92 (at the top) is driven by Cameron Das and the #9 car (on the bottom) is driven by Victor Franzoni.  I didn’t expect to see anyone overtake under braking during the practice session but #9 managed to do this.

IMG_2432

3.1   Verizon Indy Car Series  driver:  Scott Dixon IMG_2741

3.2   Takuma Sato entering into turn 3.

IMG_2943

3.3  Driver: Canada’s James HincliffeIMG_2886

4.  Indy Lights presented by Cooper TiresDriver: Dean Stoneman

love the front tire locking up under hard braking…

IMG_3191

There were a couple more practice sessions after this but I was getting tired from sitting in the sun for a few hours.  But I love the roar of the engines and even the smell of the exhaust.  I didn’t buy the paddock pass for $40.  I’m still a little gun shy about spending money.  But it looks interesting from what I could see.   I hope to be back next year.

Joel Kim Booster

This is the first time I’ve seen his work and I really enjoyed it.  Take a break for about 6 minutes and enjoy.  I think I need to spend more time on the internet to keep up with things.

Joel Kim Booster – Conan Set from Omnipop Talent Group on Vimeo.

This is from his blog.

“First off, thank you (again) to everyone who has posted the set or reached out to say all those nice things about my set, my arms and/or my skin (the latter of which is now completely destroyed, btw). It was a completely amazing, surreal experience and one I have not quite convinced myself I deserved. Since I found out I’d be doing it, I’ve cried several places (bunk beds, hotel rooms, airports) not out of happiness, but out of complete and utter fear. Fear that I wasn’t ready, fear that everyone would be mad at me and most of all fear that I did not deserve this immense five minute honor. What a fucking idiot.

I hate to use that sticky internet phrase “imposter syndrome,” because it’s the kind of reference I would normally invoke ironically in that sort of post-comedy, new-Millennial way that is so pervasive on my social media accounts. But this whole week, I did truly feel like an imposter.

And of course I work my ass off. I’ve worked my ass off to get where I am, I’m a funny boy whose charisma on stage makes up for those few holes in my set that are more about personality than joke writing and I know all that, I don’t need any back patting here to assure me that all those thoughts are insane. But my lizard brain keeps whispering, “you are not white, you are not straight, you were not forged in the fires of Chicago open mics for ten years before the industry took notice of you, in fact they only want you because you’re a minority, not because you’re funny or original or groundbreaking or alt or cool.”

(as though any of those things are mutually exclusive, but whatever).

It’s not as though those dark thoughts sprung up out of nowhere either, versions of that little subconscious speech have been spoken aloud by plenty of people to or around me, sometimes even by people I respect! But you know, like everyone else who’s heard a different version of the “you only got that because you’re [gay]” speech, you either quit or say “fuck you I’m here, I’m [queer], not a single person is owed anything by this industry, no one ‘deserves’ shit, we all just work and work and fucking work and if it works out it does and if not you decide if you want to keep working, it’s all random and meaningless and the only thing that matters is the work, get used to it.”

That’s the funny thing too. I’ve spent my entire career trying to prove that I’m funny despite being gay. Running full speed away from the “gay comic” label because I was afraid if people said that about me it somehow ghettoized me away from the regular comics and the kinds of opportunities they got. That it would always hang over accomplishments like this.

But, at the risk of sounding -very- self congratulatory here, I am a gay comic and being on late night television, doing my gay fucking bits was a big fucking deal to a lot of people who don’t get to see faggots like me talk about faggoty shit on tv since Looking went off the air (oops there were no asian fags on that show, but I don’t have time). People like Matteo and Guy and Solomon and Gabe and John and James (all of us VERY different I might add) and everyone else who’s ever gotten on TV and had the chance to have an audience of thousands, that’s fucking cool and important to kids like me who grew up in Plainfield IL and didn’t see gay people on TV. So yeah, I’m going to own that and I’m going to take pride in that. And if you think I got there BECAUSE of that, well ok that’s fine, I still got paid, I’m still on TV and I’m sure whatever you’re doing is pretty cool too, but you sound like a miserable fuck.

This is already insanely long and like, how obnoxious of me to think anyone wants to hear me dump all the emotions I’ve been feeling over the last few days onto the internet, but at this point I feel like you know what you’re getting by being here.

Anyway, I’m mostly posting this version of the clip because it has the intro and outro and all these fucking Youtube commenters (don’t tell me not to read them like you wouldn’t) are saying shit like “notice Conan didn’t give him a handshake at the end… hmmmmm” like they’ve cracked some fucking code and realized jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams and not that they possibly had to edit it for time.

Ok bye!!”