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2009 into 2010

This is going to be fun, trying to remember all the shit that happened the last few days. But guess what? I probably can't.

12.31.09, Tara and I took off again for the usual New Year's Eve bash in New Jersey. This time around, the crew was planning a second evening since this was all falling on a weekend, but Tara and I long elected to go back home by the end of the day. This year's NYE bash had the biggest compliment of people in attendance: about two dozen, and there were only three new faces, two of whom were significant others of regulars and a third of whom was the friend of a regular's girlfriend (who herself is a regular). The punchline was, the two-room suite rented for the evening (same hotel as two years ago) seemed to be a bit smaller than before. Hm. No matter - a good time was still had by all. One of the regulars, Britney, brought an acoustic guitar (I didn't even know she played!), and after the countdown, a bunch of people went into one of the rooms for a bit of a singalong, mostly on Evanescence songs and whatever else people could think of. I came in a couple of songs into it. One of the other regulars was looking up tabs for Britney on a laptop; I forget what song it was, but when she looked over the tab and saw an "A5" chord she wasn't sure what that was so I showed her real quick. A couple of songs later, "Going Under" was suggested and she almost backed out, so I offered to play. It went well. They brought up tab to another Ev song (an album track whose name escapes me, and I don't feel like pulling up the albums in iTunes to look) that I managed to bluff my way through.

Around 2ish Tara and I called it an evening and we went back to our own room. It's been awhile since we shared a room together, so we have to get over a few two-of-us-in-the-same-bed issues by the time/once we're married - like my apparent and unconscious tendency to bogart the covers. I told her that she should have woken me and told me, but she was reluctant to given how she's aware of how I am in the mornings before having coffee... in other words, I apparently make Anton LaVey look like the Dhali Lama! After a morning of togetherness we met up with everyone and headed for a diner for a mass breakfast/lunch, then reconvened at the "party room" to plan for the rest of the day. We went to the Palisades Center in West Nyack, NY, with the main intention being to have some fun at Dave & Busters. Parking turned out to be a clusterfuck and it took a little while before everyone that was going met up, but we eventually made our way there, after a few other minor diversions. Some of the peeps immediately hit Hot Topic for whatever reason, then on the way over to D&B I catch wind of a Japanese bookstore called Books Kinokuniya, so of course, I have to stop. Tara elects to wait for me outside D&B so that I can check it out quick. Not that quick apparently, as this is a pretty big store - I am just overwhelmed (in a good way) by this place. I come across the CD/DVD section and have to stop; after several minutes I left after buying Tommy Heavenly6's most recent album I Kill My Heart and Koda Kumi's Out Songs & Collaborations compilation CD.

I meet up with Tara and the rest of the gang at D&B and we proceed to turn loose on the machines. I spend most of my time at the machines I usually play at D&B - ones that cause coin avalanches and thus dispense X amount of tickets per coin that falls. I proceed to end up with a veritable bouquet of tickets (causing some patrons to gawk from a short distance as they see these tickets billow out of the cup), call it an evening around 6:30 and turn in my tickets, getting about 5500-plus points to "spend" in their prize store. All I got this time was a Beatles Monopoly game for 4500 points - one hell of a prize, I say. We will definitely have to visit this mall again when we have more time - it looks like a great place but we didn't see enough of it!

We head for home, stopping a couple of times for dinner, a gas stop, and a drink stop, and not arriving back in town until 10:30 or thereabouts (probably later than that, I can't remember offhand). Weatherwise, it looked scarier than it really was - the roads were clear enough, but we were literally driving into snow flurries at one point while still in New Jersey. They weren't sticking to the ground, it seemed to me, but the wind probably didn't help!

This morning (1.2.10) I woke up wishing Tara was lying next to me on the other side of the bed. Soon enough, that'll be a reality.

Thinking about last year... part of it, quite frankly sucked! I wanted to be out of the jewelry store by the end of the year (didn't happen), wanted to get the manuscript for Here Is The Wonderland finished (I didn't, but I almost am), didn't get any other writing other than stuff for TGML finished, and I missed out on seeing Morning Musume's American debut performance! Considering that the year pretty much started with Ron Asheton dying, that should have been a sign right there!

This year, on top of the forthcoming nuptials, I have the following goals:
  • Finishing the manuscript's first draft.
  • Knocking out the second draft in a miniscule fraction of the the time I spent writing the first draft!
  • Getting some other serious writing out of me and getting stories sent out and published.
  • Getting an agent and, subsequently, getting a deal for this damn novel.
  • A strong option: A non-fiction project that I was originally going to do in 2008, only I'm going to look for a more established and appropriate publisher rather than risk it with a start-up.
  • Posting on TGML much more often than I did last year. I need to keep my name out there as a writer, and that's one of the reasons why I have the fucking blog in the first place.
  • This is a more personal one: Improving my guitar skills - specifically my lead guitar skills, as that's where I am at my absolute weakest. I need to get a whole bunch of different songs under my belt along these lines as well.

That, in a nutshell, is what I need to accomplish this year, for myself and for my soon-to-be-wife.

Enough of my yakking though. I should get ready to call it an evening.


Reina Tanaka 'Hello Internet!'
CJ Marsicano (CJマルシカノ)

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