Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top Ten Blog Posts of 2010

So it's the end of the year and as I look back at my blog so far, I must say that I'm pretty disappointed with myself.  Sorry I'm so lame, guys.  Wow.  What a lame blog.

But yet people have been reading it.  Somewhere.  Somehow.  For some strange reason.  Here are the ten most popular posts of Joaquin the Chihuahua:

10.  Happy Birthday, Brian!
Maybe it's the adorable cartoons of Brian or the heartfelt quotes from his friends and family, but plenty of people have read this one.  Maybe they were the same people who supplied the quotes...
9.  The Gleek Critique:  "Grilled Cheesus" Episode
My commentaries of the Fox show Glee are always pretty popular, but this one tackling religion and faith was probably my favorite of the second season so far.  Chris Colfer singing The Beatles... what could be better?
8.  Burlesque and Other Drugs
These weren't my favorite movies, but this pair of movie reviews was the favorite of you guys, the readers.  Maybe people perked up when they saw "drugs" in the title.  You know you can't get high by reading this, right?
7.  Another Exclamation Point Update (And Possibly the Last)
It's nice to know that people are interested in me and my professional life.  And by "professional life" I mean my crazy crackpot dreams.
6.  The Gleek Critique:  "A Very Glee Christmas" Episode
Another Glee episode.  I'm guessing people were just starved for something Christmasy.  They needed to get their holiday fix anywhere they could.
5.  The Gleek Critique:  "Never Been Kissed" Episode
I told you people read these Glee reviews.  There was a shocking gay kiss in that episode... maybe that's why people were so interested?  Actually, it's more likely that those reading my blog just aren't doing any kissing of their own... losers.
4.  Harry Potter is My Big Gay Hero!
Gotta' love a catchy title!  I'm sure I hoodwinked people into thinking that I was publicly outing Daniel Radcliffe.  Ha ha ha.  Fooled you all.
3.  Wizard Week:  'Harry Potter' Was Almost a Cartoon!
This was the most popular of all my many Wizard Week postings in November.  I attribute its success to the fan art.  Pretty cool stuff, huh?
2.  My Apology to the LDS Faith
I'm pretty sure this one was only popular because of this next one...
1.  Top Ten Reasons I'm NOT Attending This Weekend's LDS General Conference in Salt Lake City
Unfortunately, this was the blog post with the most page views.  People always love a good controversy I guess.  Now here's the real question:  Who's more controversial, me or the LDS Church?

Chihuahua Comics: You Get Cat Piss, I Get California

Now cats will pee all over you, Veronica.  Just like they've peed on this comic I drew.  Stupid, dumb cats.  
(In case you're confused, Veronica is at Brian's family's house in Orem, along with half of our possessions.  We just didn't have enough room in our car for everything.)  Sorry, Veronica.  Don't be a jealous diva, even if cats are peeing on you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

It's finally here!  Christmas is here!  Sweet baby Jesus, Christmas is here!

For the third year in a row now, I spent Christmas with Brian's family.  The first time we had only been dating about a month, and our relationship wasn't spoken of.  I was simply a friend of Brian's.  I didn't really know his sisters that well, his quiet dad made me nervous, and it was just awkward all around.

But the following year, I had gotten to know everybody really well and had lots more fun.  And this year... this year I'm family.  The Kesler traditions have become my traditions.

Every Christmas Eve we do the following:
  • Brian and I arrive, and everybody complains that we are late and that they've been starving while waiting for us.
  • A prayer is said, and we dive into the party food.  Heaven forbid deviled eggs are forgotten.  They are a must!
  • We watch Brian's mom's favorite Christmas movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (where she always makes the argument that Rudolph being a "misfit" is an analogy of him being gay), followed by How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • On a more spiritual note, we always sit around their German nativity set and read the story of Christ's birth.  We sing Silent Night in both English and German and then write down a resolution (or gift to the baby Jesus) and put it into a special stocking.  It's neat to see what we promised the previous year.
  • Then there are presents to be opened.  But only certain ones:  the gift from the grandparents, the gift from your assigned sibling, and one gift from the parents.  The last one is always a new set of pajamas, that you must wear to sleep that night.  Ours were gray and blue this year.

This was the first Christmas Day that I've really spent with them.  Normally we have to wake up really early to quickly unwrap presents before Brian has to get to work.  He always worked on Christmas Day because of the holiday pay.  But this year, we didn't have to be anywhere, so we slept in later, unwrapped the remaining presents at around nine o'clock (starting with the stockings, then the Santa gifts, then the rest) and had some pancakes.  The rest of the day was spent lounging around watching movies and eating junk, before heading out to their Aunt Deb's house for dinner.  While there we played a rousing game of Apples to Apples, although I don't think that's necessarily a tradition.  The open-faced crab sandwiches we ate are, however, tradition.  And a much-anticipated one at that.

What's more Christmasy than crab?

That's me wearing as many Christmas gifts as I could.  I've got my new pajamas on underneath my new pants and shirt.  I'm also wearing some new gloves, a new watch, and holding my new flashlight.  Draped over me like a magnificent cape is a new blanket, and dangling from each ear you will find candy canes from my stocking.

Friday, December 24, 2010

1 Day: Thrifty Christmas Episode on YouTube!

The last few days have been crazy hectic as you can imagine.  Working in retail means that this is the only time of year when the hours are plentiful, which means I've been scheduled a lot, which means that I haven't had much time for anything else.

On top of work, we had our friend Kelsey over for dinner one night, Brian's family came up to decorate cookies with us and see the Christmas lights at Temple Square another night, and we've been packing and/or selling our possessions at a much more intensified rate pretty much every night.

So I haven't had much time to blog.  Our cable and internet has already been canceled, so we've been going to the library to use the free wi-fi.  Brian more so than I (because of all the work; see above).

And on top of all that, I decided a few days ago to make a Christmas short called "Thrifty Christmas."  Watch it on YouTube here:
Or watch it right here!

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Days: Caroling, Candy and Early Christmas

Can you believe it?  Just 5 more days until Christmas!!

This past Thursday, Brian and I got up early and drove the four and a half hours to Boise, Idaho.  It was the first time I had been to Boise to see my mom since she moved there with Jim a couple years back.  Since her marriage, I’ve seen her three other times:  twice here in Utah and once in Colorado for my brother’s high school graduation.  So it was exciting to finally visit her in her natural habitat.

Daniel and Renee had been there before and they both told me that it was a mansion, so I was expecting it to be towering up on a hill, overlooking the Suburban sprawl below it.  Sorta’ like Edward Scissorhand’s mansion, only prettier.  But it was a normal house like all the rest of the houses on its street.  A bit of a letdown.  Sure it has six bedrooms and even more TVs than that (much bigger and grander than any hovel we ever lived in growing up), but no butler to greet us at the door or anything.  Just my mom and her smiling face.

During our stay, we did lots of fun things.  We went bowling, and I totally kicked everybody’s trash!  Okay, my whopping score of like 120 is hardly anything to brag about, but I did score higher than both my mom and Brian.  We were all pretty bad.  I started and ended with horrible beyond horrible frames, but in the middle I had two strikes, a spare, and another strike all in a row.  My luck was slow to come and quick to leave!

We also went to the nursing home where my mom works to check out her hall’s awesome decorations.  They did up the whole place to look like Whoville and my mom was pretty proud of it.  Turned out they won the decorating contest, which made her even happier.  We also met some of her coworkers and the people she cares for.  Everybody seems to love her.  And why wouldn’t they?  My mom is amazing.

Before we left, Brian and my mom did an impromptu Christmas concert in the dining hall for all the residents to enjoy.  My mom played some Christmas carols, and Brian sang.  They both did a great job, and I was really happy that they did it.  The residents were grateful as well.  One woman in particular couldn’t stop praising Brian, and was very disappointed when he stopped singing.

Later that night Jim’s daughter Joyce came over with her partner Brandi and her son Nick.  It was nice to be able to meet them.  While they were at the house, we helped my mom make some Christmas candy.  My favorites were the chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love love love love love peanut butter.  So I was a very happy boy, indeed!

The next morning Jim came back from his business trip in Hawaii and the four of us exchanged our Christmas gifts.  Brian and I got my mom a nice pair of earrings from Banana Republic, and we got Jim a C.O. Bigelow cologne from Bath and Body Works.  They gave us a bread machine, and we couldn’t have been happier!

The only downside is it’s one more thing to pack into our car when we move…

We don't look anything alike, do we?  (I don't think I'm really hers...)
What can it be??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Costco Shampoo Workout

Have you ever tried to use the shampoo bottles you get from Costco?  When I saw my mother pull the new shampoo and conditioner out of her storage cupboard my jaw fell to the floor like an old Hugh Harman cartoon.  They were the size of a small child!  Each had to weigh a good ten pounds.  More maybe.  Like fifteen hundred or twenty thousand.

My mom is a tiny woman, but freakishly strong.  You would be surprised to know that she frequently lifts up 150-pound elderly people and places them onto their beds, or their toilets, or wherever else the elderly need to be placed.  Into their coffins?  Hmm…  So it goes without saying that my mother handled these shampoo and conditioner bottles with ease. 

And when I took them from her, I was not expecting them to be as heavy as they were.  I didn’t have my guns prepared.  My knees weren’t bent in anticipation of the heavy lifting.  In other words, my arms fell downwards as soon as I had the bottles in my grip, pulling me down as well, colliding with the floor in an explosion of pearly, lightly fragranced foam.

After a few slips, and leaving many shampoo footprints, handprints, and buttprints on her hardwood floors, I managed to make it to the stairs leading up to the guest bathroom where my shower was to commence.  The whole while I had been cursing my flabby, weak body for not being as toned and strong as any self-respecting gay man’s should be.  That’s when I had my glorious idea!  I had come up with the greatest at-home workout routine.  All you need is a Costco membership.

With some handy Costco duct tape (be careful, they come in tire-sized rolls), I taped the shampoo bottle to my left leg and the conditioner bottle to my right leg and slowly lunged up the stairs.  I could really feel the burn in my calves and thighs.  Then I lifted a bottle over my head and did a few jogging laps around the east wing of my mother’s house.  It was a great workout.  We used to do that in P.E. as a kid, only running with a basketball instead of a shampoo bottle.  And just like when I was a kid, all the running made me throw-up.  I felt good though.  I felt like a man.

By this point I was very sweaty and stinky and I remembered that I was supposed to be showering anyway.  So after a few minutes of tinkering with the shower, then finally calling for my mom to come show me how to work it (the thing had more bells and whistles than a Swiss Army knife) I took my shower.  That’s when I realized just how impractical that shampoo bottle really was.

Hoisting it up, and then trying to turn it over, proved to be almost impossible to do.  Prying the cap open was a job for the can opener, I discovered, and then came the challenge of holding the bottle with one hand while squeezing the shampoo into the other.  You just can’t hold that bottle with one hand.  Unless you have mammoth-sized hands that can palm a basketball, there’s just no way you can single-handedly hold the bottle.  I ended up laying it on its side and catching the gushing shampoo with my little, cupped hands, wasting more than half of it down the drain. 

Now I know why the bottle says “rinse and repeat.”  Like any good workout, you need to do it in reps.  I washed my hair ten times.  Rested a moment.  Washed it ten more times.  My biceps, triceps, forearms, shoulders, everything all benefited greatly from my Costco Shampoo Workout.

Call 1-800-SHAMPOO to order your DVD today!  Just $19.99!

Friday, December 17, 2010

8 Days: Christmas Cheer in My Mailbox!

Does anyone remember the days when you would open your mailbox and have a letter from a loved one?  Maybe a postcard from a friend on vacation.  A note from your pen pal.  Care package.  Thank you card.

Nowadays it's more likely that you'll get a greeting via text.  thnx 4 ur gift.  happy bday.  i mis u. Or maybe a generic shout out online.  A status update.  A poke.  A tweet.

Don't get me wrong.  I love me some technology.  But there's just something special about getting mail that isn't a bill, a credit card offer, or a grocery store ad.  You know, something personal.  Something to smile about.

"I'm going to go check the mail, Brian," I said, putting on my coat.

Brian looked up with a puzzled expression. "But Jack, we already got this week's ads.  They come on Tuesdays."

"I know.  Call me crazy, but I'm still holding out that maybe I'll get a Christmas card in the mail or something," knowing full well that there wouldn't be anything in there but junk.  Or nothing at all.

After trucking through the snow, I discovered that I did have mail.  I was sent a... travel magazine.  Great.  Where am I going to travel?  Hawaii?  In my dreams...  But just as I was about to shut the mail box door I saw it.  Pushed way back.  A handwritten envelope.  It was a Christmas card, I could tell.

I ran back in, all smiles, and said, "Brian!  I got what I wanted!  I got what I wanted!"  You would have thought I had gotten a check in the mail for a million dollars the way I was celebrating.  Instead it was a Christmas card from my Aunt Karen and her family.  Hopefully it's the first of many.

Yay for Christmas cheer in my mailbox!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 Days: Post Office

The other night I was watching the local news, and I was impressed with the hard-hitting investigation they were doing.  The reporter was live on the scene with one of the most timely stories one can imagine.  It's been on everybody's minds lately, and this reporter was ready to find out the cold hard truth from the officials who would know best. 

"This is news," I thought, "This is NEWS!"  I was on the edge of my seat as the reporter broke through the crowd, found the man of the hour, and asked him the all-important question: "Is it too late for our packages to arrive before Christmas?"

Wow.  Oh my gosh, wow.

The postal worker smiled at the camera, and said reassuringly, "You still have plenty of time all this week to mail your packages."  But he did have a word of warning:  "Obviously, the sooner the better."

Brilliant journalism.  Just brilliant.

So today Brian and I went to the post office and mailed the box of presents for my dad, stepmom, sister and brother.  Just one box to mail this year.  Not too bad.  We also bought some more stamps so that we can mail out our Christmas cards.  Oh, and the line at the post office wasn't even that bad.  We were in and out in maybe fifteen minutes, which surprisingly, was shorter than that news segment even.  Almost twenty minutes spent interviewing a postal worker, can you believe it?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thai Food and Chick Flicks

Tonight Brian and I went on a double date with our good friend Katie and her boyfriend Paul.  They decided on a restaurant called Thai Siam and it was delicious.  I had the yellow curry with pork and Brian had some honey ginger duck.  Katie and Paul, being the adorable lovey-dovey couple that they are, shared a plate of Pad Thai.  Maybe if Bri and I shared a plate we could be as skinny as them, but we were just lucky the chairs were made of reinforced steel.

After dinner we headed to a movie, and this time without the benefit of Brian's free movie privileges.  We paid for the tickets! Why you ask?  Brian is no longer working at a movie theater.  He has quit for the second time, thanks to his stupid douche bag manager.  Congratulations, sir, you are an idiot.

The movie we went to see was Morning Glory, which actually came out some time ago.  Brian had already seen it, but the rest of us had not.  Katie picked.  And it was pretty cute.  Not as cute as Katie and Paul though...

I wish we were cute.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days: Christmas Party Recap

A Fancy Schmancy Christmas! was a huge success Saturday night.  I was lucky enough to get out of work earlier than I thought that day, so I was able to help Brian out with the rest of the appetizers and the cleaning of the apartment.  We even had time to run to the store and get Brian a new Christmas sweater because shrunk the other one the night before...  Don't laugh at me.

Brian was getting the stuffed mushrooms in the oven and I was washing some dishes when our first guest arrived.  Not the best way to greet our guest, but in our defense, she was ten minutes early!  But by seven o'clock, as more of our friends arrived, we were ready and raring to go.

In addition to the food we provided, some of our friends contributed to the spread as well.  Our roommate Mesun made some pigs in a blanket and really cute little tea sandwiches.  Katie and Tori brought wine, while our friend Kelsey came with some liver paté and her bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.  Then Wendy showed up later with a tray of mini cupcakes.  The food at this party was really exceptional!

But the party benefited from more than food.  I'm happy to say that we have some really fun friends.  Not everyone knew one another, but the mingling and conversing went really well.  Everyone was laughing and chatting and having a gay ol' time (some gayer than others).  At one point we played some party games like Crazy Quandaries and Kiss the Pig (or Kiss the Donald Duck doll in our case) which led to some pretty hilarious scenarios.

And all the while we were passing around my digital camera...


Friday, December 10, 2010

15 Days: Baking Cookies

Christmas means cookies.  Well, it also means presents.  And Jesus.  But mostly presents and cookies.  I love cookies.  Brian calls me a cookie monster because I can eat cookies all day.  Sometimes our roommate Mesun will bring home a box of cookies from her job at Bear Country Cookies, and I always end up eating the majority.  Brian will nibble at  half a cookie while I've downed at least three with a glass of milk!

Our Christmas party is tomorrow, and my contribution is the cookie baking.  Since I have work all day tomorrow, I had to make all of the cookies tonight.  So as soon as I got home at around 8:00 PM, I got to work making ten dozen cookies!

Mint Sandwich Cookies

  • 1 can of vanilla frosting (16 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
  • 3-5 drops of green food coloring
  • 1 box of Ritz crackers
  • 1 pound of chocolate candy coating
  • 1 box of candy canes (12)
  1. In a bowl, combine the frosting, extract, and food coloring.
  2. Spread the frosting onto a cracker, then place another cracker on top.  You're making a little sandwich.  I just keep going until I run out of frosting, which will use almost all of the crackers in the box.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate.  The package will have instructions on how best to melt it.
  4. Crush up the candy canes.
  5. Dip the cracker sandwiches into the chocolate (I use tongs) and sprinkle them with the crushed candy canes and let them set on some wax paper.d
Yield: 4 dozen

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and both sugars.
  4. Add the eggs.
  5. Add the flour mixture.
  6. Add the chocolate chips.  Just dump the whole bag in.  The more the merrier.
  7. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.
Yield: 4 dozen 

I also made the peanut butter cookies I love so much.  Brian will be doing the gingerbread cookies tomorrow along with all of his appetizers.  Luckily he has the day off to prepare for A Fancy Schmancy Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Gleek Critique: "A Very Glee Christmas" Episode

New Directions singing "We Need a Little Christmas" to a classroom of underwhelmed students.  Image property of Fox.
It's Christmas at McKinley High!  The teachers are doing a Secret Santa amongst the staff, and Will draw's Sue's name out of the jar.  Oh boy.  What to get his enemy?  A robot dog?  A soul?  He decides on a fur-lined track suit, only to discover he isn't the only teacher to have drawn Sue's name.  Turns out Sue rigged the whole thing.  She hates Christmas, but loves presents.  When everyone tries to take their gifts back, she becomes a very literal Grinch and steals Christmas.

Meanwhile, to raise money for a charity, the glee kids go classroom to classroom singing Christmas carols.  They get a shoe thrown at them, so they give up pretty quickly.  Besides, they have more important issues to deal with.  Like the fact that Brittany still believes in Santa.  Artie doesn't want to tell her otherwise, and encourages the other club members to play along.  But when Brittany asks the mall Santa to make Artie walk, everyone realizes that "playing along" might be harder than they all expected.

However, all ends well.  Sue's heart grows three sizes, Will doesn't spend Christmas alone, and Artie walks... sorta.  It's a Christmas miracle!

The Pros:
  • Black Santa.  Awesome.
  • "Baby, It's Cold Outside" sung by Blaine and Kurt.  Adorable.  Can't these two fall in love already?  And I love how Kurt explains their relationship:  "We're just friends.  I'm in love with him but at least he's gay.  I call that progress."
  • Sue Sylvester dressed up as the Grinch, while stealing all the presents and destroying the decorations at school was just spot-on hilarious.  Having Brittany enter dressed like Cindy Lou Who and catch "Sue the Grinch" in the act was also very funny.  Thank you, Dr. Seuss.
  • Beiste's scene with Brittany was tender and sweet.  Dressed as Santa, Beiste let Brittany know that sometimes we can't get exactly what we ask for.  Sometimes we get patience instead.
The Cons:
  • With Jewish students like Rachel and Puck I feel that they could have incorporated some Hanukkah into the episode.  Just saying.
  • Everyone still hates the glee kids.  What's annoying, is that I don't exactly buy it.  I think high school kids would love having class interrupted for any reason at all, even if it's a choir singing Christmas songs.  It's not like the kids sound bad.  Geeks or not, their voices are impressive.  When will the other students recognize that?
  • No more Glee until February...  :(

18 Days: Christmas Cards

Do you know those cheesy Christmas cards that people like to send to friends and family?  Surely you know what I'm talking about.  The family posed around the fireplace, dressed in matching sweaters and beaming with pride.  The dog's wearing reindeer antlers and the baby is lying cutely in a manger with a photoshopped halo over its head.  Scrawled in flowery print is "Merry Christmas from the Smith Family" or, in order to not offend non-Christians, something generic like "Season's Greetings". 

The only thing worse is wedding announcements.  Matching denim.  Bales of hay.

So what did Brian and I do?  We had Christmas cards made of course!  Seriously, who is cheesier than Brian and me?  Come on.  Name one person.  You can't, can you?  Well, "Happy Holidays," folks!

A few days ago we got all dressed up in our new festive outfits (which we bought to wear at our Christmas party... see?  cheesy) and posed in front of our Christmas tree.  We pretended like Brian was unwrapping a gift I had given him.  Gotta' love props!  Then we edited the photo using, and today I created the card at  Thirty cards for just nine dollars.

Doesn't it just make you jolly?

Monday, December 6, 2010

19 Days: Food Plan For Our Christmas Party

This coming Saturday is the greatest event of the holiday season:  A Fancy Schmancy Christmas Party!  Get excited, people, because it will be the best shindig you have ever attended in all your life.  If you're not invited, it may be due to a number of reasons:
  • I don't actually know you.  You're some stranger stalking me online.
  • I do actually know you, but I just don't like you very much. 
  • I do actually know you, and may actually like you (possibly a lot, even) but you simply live too far away.
  • You're Jewish
Today Brian and I figured out the menu for our party.  The hard part was restraining Brian.  That boy loves to cook, but I don't want him in the kitchen all night when he should be out enjoying people's company.  So we're sticking to some simple appetizers, cookies, and drinks.  Would you like to know what's being served?

The appetizers include:
  • Spanakopita
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Homemade Potato Chips w/ Garlic Dipping Sauce
  • Brie w/ Bread
  • Tuna Salad in Endive Leaves
  • Cheese Ball w/ Crackers
The cookies include:
  • Gingerbread Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Mint Sandwich Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
The beverages include:
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Sparkling Cider
  • Pomegranate Soda
  • Eggnog

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Movie Reviews: Burlesque and Other Drugs

Burlesque movie poster, property of Screen Gems.
Love & Other Drugs movie poster, property of 20th Century Fox.
Within the past week Brian and I were able to make it to the movies twice.  We finally got to see two of the Thanksgiving Weekend movies we had been wanting to see:  Burlesque and Love & Other Drugs

Burlesque AWFUL

Let's start with Burlesque.  It's the tale of a small town girl named Ali (Christina Aguilera) who quits her job at the local diner and takes the bus to Los Angeles where she hopes all her dreams will come true.  Oddly enough this is the same thing Brian and I are doing, only I doubt we'll end up singing in a burlesque nightclub like she does.  After a slew of failed auditions, she stumbles into the club and falls instantly in love with it.  She becomes a waitress, then a dancer, and then finally the star of the show once everyone realizes that she has a big voice!

And Christina really does have some pipes on her!  The musical numbers are beyond amazing, featuring both Christina and the legendary Cher who plays the club's owner Tess.  Sexy choreography, jazzy tunes, and fabulous costumes all completely razzle-dazzled me.  Who wouldn't want front row tickets to a Cher and Christina concert?  However, the rest of the movie was a bit underwhelming.

Not a lot happens in the movie plot-wise.  In fact, there was a part in the middle where Brian turned to me and said, "I'm bored."  There's an uninteresting love triangle between Ali, the bartender Jack (Cam Gigandet), and the rich guy Marcus (Eric Dane) who wants to buy the club.  The threat of losing the club is the only real conflict in the movie, and it never really feels like that big a deal.  Mostly Cher worries about it and her friend and stage manager Sean (Stanley Tucci) comforts her.  There's also a "mean" diva named Nikki (Kristin Bell) who doesn't like Ali and cries and whines a lot. 

Love and Other Drugs ADMIRABLE

Then there's Love & Other Drugs which is about a guy named Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) whose only talent in life is seducing and bedding women.  When he becomes a drug rep for Pfizer, he uses those skills to make friends with the receptionists, who in turn, help him to get to the doctors who will buy the pills he's peddling.  At the office of his friend Dr. Knight (Hank Azaria) he meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway) who he's instantly attracted to.  They begin a crazy no-strings-attached love affair with lots and lots of sex.

But Maggie has Parkinson's Disease, and although now she's only in the first stage, she knows that it will just get worse.  For this, she doesn't want to have a real relationship, thinking that it's unfair to burden another with her illness.  Jamie's never had a real relationship in his life.  He's not even close to his family.  In fact, just having his brother Josh (Josh Gad) crashing on his couch is enough to make him angry.  So it seems like they are the perfect match -- each unable to love.  They are wrong, however, and falling in love is inevitable. 

I liked this movie more than Burlesque, mostly because there was a lot more depth to its plot.  Maggie's a complicated character, pushing people away and battling with a very serious illness.  Jamie's trying to decide what his own priorities in life are, while selling the new and instantly profitable drug Viagra (the movie is set in 1997).  The themes are all layered employing both comedy and drama, and I found myself laughing and crying in equal measures.

I will say, if you are opposed to nudity, you might want to skip Love & Other Drugs, because there is plenty of it!  I'd say a dozen or so nudie shots compared to Burlesque's one.

Love movies?  Check out my Movie Page?

Chihuahua Comics: For Sale

Friday, December 3, 2010

22 Days: Christmas List

Brian's mom is one of those super-women.  You know who I'm talking about.  Those women who have the halls decked, the trees trimmed and the gifts bought long before December even hits.  I wouldn't be surprised if she was done with her Christmas shopping back in October.  She's just that good!

Me, on the other hand...  Sigh.  I'm not Wonder Woman quite yet.  I'm not even the guy bringing her coffee.

I'm just now finalizing the Christmas list.  And it's a lot harder than it should be.  Why can't people just say what they want?  "Surprise me!" is a stupid answer if you actually want a gift you will enjoy.  Surprise me?  Here's a bucket of warm spit, are you surprised?!  I bet you weren't expecting that!

Unless you're my ex-step-father Steve.  Every birthday and Christmas he would say "a bucket of warm spit" whenever you asked him what he wanted.  So people either say to surprise them or they give you some smart-ass response.  My brother wants his own private island for Christmas.  And my dad thinks he's funny too, saying, "My two front teeth."  Then he adds, "Make it a bling bling grill."

Everyone's a comedian.  Why can't people be more like me?  I let people know what I want.  I want money.  Yep.  That's it.  Money.  You can write me a check or give it to me in cold, hard cash.  I'm dreaming of a green Christmas and I don't mean eco-friendly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chihuahua Comics: Jack Frost

That's me waiting for the train on my way to work.  And if anyone cares, this is the first time my cartoon self has had short hair.  I buried it under snow so you wouldn't notice...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Gleek Critique: "Special Education" Episode

New Directions performing together at Sectionals, even though they all hate each other.  Image property of Fox.

When Ms. Pilsbury suggests to Mr. Schuester that he utilize some of the less-noticed glee club members, he decides that Rachel and Finn will not get any solos at the competition.  They will feature Brittany and Mike's dance moves, and give solos to Quinn and Sam instead.  Rachel, of course, is scandalized.

Kurt has his own troubles getting a solo with the Warblers.  Even with Rachel's help, he doesn't get it.  Blaine tells him he's trying to hard to stand out, when he needs to be fitting in.  Seems like this new school isn't as great as Kurt thought it would be.

To add to the drama, Santana decides to spill the beans about her and Finn, and now Rachel is madder than ever.  To get back at him, she makes out with Puck, and Finn breaks up with her.  No more star couple.  And the infidelity doesn't stop there.  Apparently Mike and Brittany are doing a little more than rehearsing together... leaving poor Tina and Artie heartbroken.  Or were they? And speaking of doomed relationships, Will's love for Emma will be forever unrequited.  She and Dr. Carl got married in Vegas!

The Pros:
  • Rachel walking in with tape over her mouth.  Ha ha.  What a way to protest her lack of a solo...
  • "I gotta say.  She kinda' rocked my world." 
  • I loved when Blaine and the Warblers sang Train's "Hey, Soul Sister."  So so so so good!
  • I finally like the Artie/Brittany relationship.  At first I didn't get it (and also doubted it would last more than an episode) but they were really cute together tonight.
  • I enjoyed New Directions' performance of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life"/"Valerie".  Sam, Quinn, and Santana rocked it!  And speaking of awesome solos from the supporting cast, I'm glad Tina got featured heavily in "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine.  She hardly ever gets a solo and this one made me quite happy!
The Cons:
  • Old people singing is just... weird.  I didn't enjoy that at all.
  • Sue was absent this episode, and an episode without Sue Sylvester never really seems complete.  I need to hear her crazy rants!
  • Oh, and a three-way tie?  That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard!  So mad about that.  I guess I should be happy that New Directions is going to compete at the next level... but come on?  A three-way tie?  Does that actually happen?  Ever?


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