Sunday, December 28, 2008

yes I said yes I will Yes

... as Joyce wrote in the last line of Ulysses.

Last evening after work I went to see Yes Man, the new Jim Carrey movie. I've never been a big fan of Carrey, because like the early Robin Williams he's never seemed to be able to turn it off. I always have found him very funny for about five minutes, then I want to lie down. But this movie looked a bit more restrained, and it is. It's also aroused great interest here because Carl, Carrey's character, learns Korean. (Say that five times fast.)

Just getting to the movie was an adventure. The ticket, of course, is all in Korean; the sign had the movie listed in theater three, so I hopped into a crowded elevator as the doors closed and tried to hit the "3" button, but there wasn't one, and I had to ride to the 14th floor. On the way back down, a woman with excellent English explained that the elevator didn't go to the lower floors so I'd have to take the escalator. So I did, only to find little shops, no theater. I went back down to the first floor and asked someone who had very little English where the right theater was and he said it was on the fifth floor. I rode the elevator up, bought some popcorn and Coke, and couldn't find the screening room, just seats, a concession stand, and a clothing store. I asked the concession attendant where to go and she told me the ninth floor. I went up the stairs to nine and found a lot of people sitting in the lobby watching trailers on a monitor, in front of two doors marked "1" and "2". The doors to "2" opened and I went in, caught the end credits of something, and the attendant looked at my ticket and said "up". I went back out to the lobby (in front of all those people staring at the crazy American) and saw stairs up to the second floor of the ninth floor. (Yeah, doesn't make a lot of sense to me, either.)

But my point, and I do have one (to quote Ellen deGeneres) has to do with the movie. It's certainly no classic; it's not hilarious and it is a fairly predictable romantic comedy. (It's not as much like Liar Liar as the commercials make it seem.) But I genuinely enjoyed it, I developed a healthy crush on Zooey Deschanel, and it really spoke to me. I've said "no" so many times to different things, scary things, exciting things, everything. I remember repeatedly turning down a chance to go to the lake with friends of the family when I was eight or so; I told my mom, "I'm shy.") Shy of life.

In the movie, Carrey goes to a seminar and decides to say "yes" to every single opportunity he's presented with: do a bungee jump, learn Korean, take flying lessons, fall in love.

I said yes to being here, dangling off the edge of Asia. This is the most amazing reversal of form in my life.

I said yes to free tickets to a drum concert by a famous Korean percussion group and four of us teachers are going tonight (assuming we can figure out where the theater is).

I said "yes" to adopting the cats. (They're fine, by the way.)

Luke and I had considered going out for a drink when I got out of the movie, but I'd said probably not, don't wanna spend the money. After the movie, I had to say yes, and we had a good time, though 24,000 Won for a bottle of Australian blueberry-vodka mixer and a big plate of fries seemed a bit steep. (I guess they charged me for the full appetizer, even then I told them to hold the squid. [I am not kidding.])

I said yes to hiking up Palgongsan (repeatedly) and yes to coaching Anna in running a 5K and yes to the Christmas buffet, hoping to meet a lot of strangers. I didn't meet any, but it was worth it.

Oh, and no to doing the Sky Jump off Woobang Tower.

yes I said yes I will Yes. Mostly.

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