Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

Last night I drove down to Orem, Utah to watch Brian's youngest sister perform in her middle school production of Beauty and the Beast Jr.  Brian, of course, couldn't see it as he is still performing nightly in Pirates of Penzance.  I felt like I was sorta filling in for him.  An understudy, if you will, to the Big Brother role.

The show itself was what you would expect from a young group of kids.  Some kids have talent, others don't.  But they all try and we all clap for them anyway.  Brian's sister did amazing, by the way!  She played one of the Silly Girls (you know, the ones that drool over Gaston all the time) and she was so fun to watch.  Always full of energy, yet never over the top.  Just spot on.

But the show itself really wasn't what made the night enjoyable.  I loved spending some time with her before hand, and then giving her a big hug and a flower afterwards.  Especially with my own brother and sister living so far away from me, it's nice to feel like part of their family.

Chihuahua Comics: Brian's Indoor/Outdoor Hair

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chihuahua Comics: Mesun's Indoor/Outdoor Hair

Perverts in Public

While at work yesterday, one of my coworkers had an awkward and disgusting conversation with one of our customers.  She was showing the man some different lotions, and eventually had him try some on his hands, to which he says, "Oh, that feels real nice.  That would feel so good rubbed all over my nuts."

Of course my sweet, innocent coworker had no idea what to say to that.  So she just walked away from him and let me take over.  Later that day when some other employees showed up for their shifts, we retold the tale which proved to be the pebble needed to start the ripples in the pond.  By ripples I'm referring to the many similar (but far worse) experiences the other workers had to share. 

One girl answered the phone here at work only to have a man whisper, "Hey are you listening?" and she soon discovered that the man was masturbating over the phone.  Another girl was on her way to work one night, riding on the Trax, when she noticed the man in front of her was staring.  She busied herself with her phone to avoid his gaze, but happened to glance up to see him masturbating in full view of her.  Another gal I work with, remembered being in second grade where the man who delivered the school's milk would stand in the doorway to the boys' restroom and masturbate plain as day.  All the kids would see him as they made their way to the cafeteria.  Years later she discovered a man on a parked motorcycle masturbating to a nearby woman using the Red Box outside of a gas station.  In defense of this poor, unsuspecting woman, my coworker stepped out of her car and yelled, "YOU PUT THAT AWAY!"

I was shocked by these stories, as I imagine you are too.  These men are disgusting!  So ladies out there, my suggestion to you is to always carry a pair of scissors, so that when a situation like this arises, you can nip it in the bud!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Movie Review: Nothing Like a Boy and His Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon movie poster, image property of Dreamworks Animation.
How to Train Your Dragon AWESOME!

Last night Brian and I went to see Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon and we both loved it to death!  You must know that Brian and I are huge Pixar fans and esteem them to be the greatest in computer animated storytelling.  Wall-E is one of my favorite movies of all time (animated or live-action), and last year's Up was a brilliant beyond brilliant film and well-deserving of its nomination for Best Picture at the Oscars.  So when we watch a computer animated film from any other studio, we always find ourselves comparing it to Pixar.  Dragon was the first one--in our humble opinion--to measure up to our idol Pixar.

The story is of a young Viking named Hiccup who is an embarrassment to his village because he's scrawny and clumsy and spends more time tinkering with inventions than killing dragons.  And of course nobody is around to notice when one of his machines actually strikes down a Night Fury (only the scariest and most mysterious of all dragons, don't ya know).  They only see him as a dumb kid always in the way.  Later he finds the fallen dragon, ready to slay it and prove once and for all that he's a Viking like all the rest, but instead spares the dragon's life, and creates a bond of friendship that proves to be life-saving.

This film was very heartfelt, warm, and sincere.  The relationship between Hiccup and the dragon (cheekily named Toothless) is very believable and endearing to watch.  The relationship between Hiccup and his father is also handled beautifully, and the movie achieves a perfect balance of humor, drama, and action.

That being said, I just wanted to point out that there seems to be a lot of computer animated movies with heroes who spend all their time making inventions that nobody understands.  Inventions that often wreak havoc towards the beginning, but yet become all-too-important in the end, bringing the character from a zero to a hero.  For example, Pixar's A Bug's Life tells of an ant named Flik who creates inventions to aid in food gathering, which accidentally causes them to lose all the food they've collected, before Flik and his intuitiveness come in to save the day.  Twentieth Century Fox did Robots where the main character Rodney Copperbottom takes his invention to Robot City to show the inventor Bigweld, Disney's Meet the Robinsons is about an orphan named Lewis who's science fair project goes awry altering the future as he knows it, and Sony Pictures recently came out with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs where young inventor Flint Lockwood creates an invention that makes food rain from the sky!

See?  Everyone's an inventor nowadays!  But not everyone's a dragon tamer and that's why How to Train Your Dragon trumps all!

Love movies?  Check out my Movie Page!

Pilot Webisode now available!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prayers of a Gay Man

I just spent hours and hours writing a new post, just to have it get lost forever!  I clicked Publish Post, which had me sign in again, which then said, "Sorry, but we were unable to process your request," or something like that.  It's not saved on here anywhere.  How tragic!

Okay, so "hours and hours" probably refers to like a half hour of time wasted, but still!  I had written a literary masterpiece here!  Oh well, it's probably for the best since it was becoming increasingly more mopey and sad.

You see, I'm troubled by how all of my LDS friends, old missionary companions, relatives, etc. now all hate me.  It's puzzling to me, that while I was a phony and a fake they all adored me, and now that I feel like I'm a much more honest and true individual they want nothing to do with me.  They don't speak to me (although I'm sure they all speak of me) and could really care less whether I lived or died.  It's a shame that religious people are often the least compassionate.  I feel that I've become much more Christlike outside of the Church than I ever was in the Church. 

I have two old friends that are currently serving LDS missions, and although I've written letters of encouragement to them, they probably don't even read them.  They've never written me back, and I feel hurt that my words mean nothing to them just because I'm gay.  Just because I've fallen from the pedestal they once placed me on, and I've revealed myself to be human.  I guess now they are on the path towards Godhood--yes, Mormons believe they will be gods some day--and simply being human is probably the worst crime in their eyes.  Being a gay human is even worse.  I don't pretend to know all the answers, but I do believe that we should love our neighbor as ourself.  I do believe a certain Jesus Christ had that to say.

Today I got an email from my missionary friend's mother.  He is sick and if things don't get better he'll be sent home.  She's requesting our prayers.  Even my prayers.  Me, a gay man who is unfit to speak to her or write to her son, yet still able to speak to God.  I ask this:  If God will always hear me, why can't they?

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #1: Nudity

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #2: Cute, Furry Animals

Pirates of Penzance

Last night my friend Jenna came with me to see my boyfriend Brian in a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it's completely campy and ridiculous.  It was written forever ago in the operetta style, so there's hardly any spoken dialogue just silly song after silly song.  The story is basically of a young man named Fred who was accidentally apprenticed to a pirate (instead of a pilot, as you see, the words sound so similar).  However, the show starts on his 21st birthday where he is now free of his duty and can now seek out a wife.  Luckily, a Major General and his beautiful daughters happen to be on the same island as the pirate lair, and of course he falls in love with one of them.  The pirates and the girls have a confrontation, but the Pirates of Penzance are such soft-hearted little sissies that they won't harm anybody if they are an orphan.  So the Major General claims to be an orphan and the pirates leave him in peace... until the find out that he is lying... and then they find out that Fred was born on a leap year and thus still a pirate...and then the police get involved...and somehow in the end it is revealed that the pirates are all noblemen so they are free to do whatever they like, so they marry all the daughters and everyone is happy.

Oh, and if you go to see the performance that I saw at the Prospector Conference Center in Park City, Utah, you will find that the show also entails bits from MacBeth and Hamlet, the theme music to The Pirates of the Carribean films, and of course zombies dancing to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

I know.  I didn't believe it either until I saw it.

Brian got sucked into all of this because he happens to be a long-time friend of the director, Pam Lockwood.  The actor playing the police sargeant in the second act decided to quit a week before opening night, so Brian was begged and begged to step in as a favor.  He went to just a handful of rehearsals, then one of the pirates quit, and he found himself playing a pirate in the first act.

So Jenna and I went out to see him and we really had a fun time.  Sure it was stupid and very "amateur" for a show charging $15 a ticket, but it was quick-paced and highly amusing.  We found ourselves laughing the whole night through, and Brian, I must say, did a terrific job.  Watching him doing those choreographed dances and singing his solos perfectly, one would never suspect that he hadn't been there from the start.  He's truly a natural and is amazing to watch.

So if you live in or near Park City, Utah, and want to just laugh stupidly for a few hours, go check out Pirates of Penzance.  It runs through April 3rd, except Sundays, and starts at 7:30 PM.  You can go to piratesofpenzance2010.eventbrite.com for more details.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dining Room

Brian loves to cook, so we often have friends over for dinner.  In our first apartment we only had a small table, pushed against a wall, with 3 chairs at it.  We didn't get to entertain as much as we would have liked.  Now, however, we have seating for 6!  It's great!

Today we had our friend Kelsey come with her husband Robert.  They are always so much fun.  We played a game of farkle, while the turkey was finishing up in the oven, and then the feast was served.  Brian and I don't much believe in the notion that one should only eat a meal like this at Thanksgiving.  I'll eat a bird whenever I feel, thank you very much!  So today, at 1:00, the four of us sat down to turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes, and to top it all off, Kelsey brought a homemade apple pie!  Yum! Yes, world, it was a lunch on a Wednesday!  No special occassion.  Nobody got a promotion.  It wasn't somebody's birthday.  We were just celebrating being alive and being friends!  A long time ago I heard someone say that we shouldn't save our good china for special occassions because it infers that today isn't special.  Every day should be special!

Now with that being said, I must confess that I fall into the gay stereotype of loving to decorate.  I really do.  Even as a kid, I took great pride in cleaning my room and arranging things a certain way.  My locker was decorated with photos and whatnot all through school.  I love for my space to reflect me, even if it is temporary.  Now that I'm all grown up with my own apartment, I can't help but want to decorate.  Unfortunately, Brian and I aren't the wealthiest of people.  We don't exactly have a lot of extra money to be spending on furniture and nick nacks.  But I feel that if one is creative and thrifty, a beautiful room doesn't have to break the bank.

To illustrate this point, I'd like to share a photo of our dining room.  This is where all our dinner parties are hosted and in my opinion it's the most "complete" room we have (there are still a few more things I'd like to get in the other rooms before I'd cross them off my list).  So check it out!

I know.  It's breathtaking.  I'll allow you a few minutes to let it all soak in.  Yes, yes, that's it.  Take a deep breath.  It is beautiful, isn't it?  Now let me tell you how inexpensive this was:

Table: $10, and that's just for paint.  The table belonged to our roommate, so it was free, we just updated it.
Chairs: $20 each from Ikea
Placemats: $1.50 each from Walmart
Plates: $2 each from Target (we also have them in red, not pictured)
Glasses: free, they were a gift from Brian's mother
Utensils: $1.00 for four from Walmart
Centerpiece: $15 from Pier1 Imports, because we had a giftcard from my mother.
Mobile: free, it once had orange hanging butterflies in it as a prop from my store, but I glued construction paper circles over them.  It's my substitution for a chandelier!
Wall art: $5 for each big frame and $1 or less for each of the smaller ones, all purchased at Deseret Industries.  We spent an additional $1.50 each on acrylic craft paint in charcoal and red.

So for about $200, I created a dining room that we all enjoy.  I hope you can go out and do the same!

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #3: Gourmet Cooking

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #4: Movies

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #5: High Fashion

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #6: Workplace Drama

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #7: Health Tips

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #8: Show Stopping Musical Numbers

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #9: City Living

Chihuahua Comics: 10 Reasons to Obsess Over "Veronica and Friends" #10: Wizarding Magic

Mestizo Coffeehouse

As we recently upgraded to a larger apartment with a higher monthly rent, Brian and I decided to cancel our Comcast subscription which provided us with both cable and internet. Without cable, I've noticed that we are much more productive with our time and much more creative when it comes to seeking out entertainment. We work more on our personal projects. We play more board games and read more books. So as far as I'm concerned, losing cable wasn't that big of a deal.

However, I do miss having internet. A lot of the times we are lucky and can manage to get ourselves connected to our poor, unsuspecting neighbors who should really think about getting passwords for their wireless internet. It doesn't always work out though, so a lot of the times we come downstairs to Mestizo Coffeehouse. It's a vibrant, cultural place with empanadas and mate on the menu, beautiful artwork by Mexican artists all over the walls and in the adjoining gallery, and plenty of warm, Spanish-speaking people. It truly has a great vibe. On occassion they feature poets or musicians, and many different groups use this location to hold weekly meetings.

I just come here for the free internet mostly. That and the food. So here I am, on my laptop, eating a steak quesadilla with homemade salsa and a glass bottle of Coca-Cola imported from Mexico. It's terrific. Yet while I'm here, I feel very aware of how white I am. Like I've mentioned before, it's only on my dad's side that I'm latino at all, yet my father has always been accused of "acting white." I didn't grow up in a home that spoke Spanish or made homemade tortillas or any of the things that the other patrons identify with. To me, my ethnicity has never felt like it was important. Nor has the ethnicity of others been that important to me. Brian's best friend is black, our roommate is Korean, yet both of those traits seem just as trivial as saying someone's eyes are blue or that they're tall.

Yet here at Mestizo Coffeehouse, I'm introduced to a group of people that take such pride in their heritage. People that truly identify with the trials and tribulations of their forefathers. Who make their identity known through their ethnicity. It's all very fascinating to me. In many ways I'm envious of them. They know who they are, where they came from, and where they're going.

But me? I hesitate before checking that hispanic box on forms. Not because I'm somehow ashamed, but because I doubt that such a strong, proud people would recognize me as one of their own.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brian's Smile

Your smile.
My mind's eye has like a sponge soaked it in
like a camera captured it
like a treasure chest guarded it close
for the times when you are not near.
I recall upon that cherished image
and giddy contentment envelops me
warms me
comforts me
and can you blame me?
Any child would shout with glee to see a shooting star
streaming across a majestic sky
that white brilliance that sparks the imagination
brings about inspiration
The goodness and loveliness and sexiness of you
made manifest in one simple token.
A heavenly display that gleams in the moment
flashing at me like that moving star
arousing within me the purest feelings of joy
Your smile.

This was a poem I wrote for my boyfriend Brian just weeks after I met him. I know, I get really cheesy really fast, but it was honestly one of those "love at first sight" moments you see in romcoms and chick flicks galore.

So if you haven't gathered that I'm gay by now, don't feel slow because it took me years to figure it out myself. And once I did figure it out (somewhere in middle school I cottoned on) it took me many more years before I was able to be open about it.

Most of my life was spent living the life others wanted me to live. Growing up LDS doesn't give you much choice. You can either live life as you would want and disappoint everyone, or you can force yourself into the cookie cutter and make your family proud. I've always been a people pleaser, so I plowed along. I advanced in the Priesthood, graduated seminary, served a 2-year mission in Concepcion, Chile (now destroyed by earthquakes) and even attended Brigham Young University for a semester. All to appear to be something I felt I needed to be...and also as a naive attempt to "get rid of the gay."

But while I was at BYU and dating a girl who I didn't have feelings for at all, I somehow stumbled upon a gay dating site. Without even realizing, my fingers were typing away and I had created a profile, I was searching local men, and I found Brian. He was the first one that I messaged, the first phone number I got, and then my first ever gay date. It was November 2 and we went to see Rocknrolla. Afterwards we talked for hours and hours at a nearby Village Inn and driving home that night I couldn't stop from giggling and smiling the whole way. Really, if you had seen me, you would have been embarrassed!

The rest is history really. I knew I had found my perfect mate, and I realized then and there that I couldn't throw that away. I had found true love, gosh darn it! So I talked to my bishop, called my family, and left BYU. Now Brian and I are happily engaged (rings and all) and we now live in the much more diverse Salt Lake City. We love our life together, even with the crappy jobs, money worries, and all the bad stuff that comes with being alive.

I wake up every day just to see his smile.

Wishing I Was Unemployed

So it is 1:00 in the morning as I begin writing this. Today (I'm referring to Sunday here, my mind doesn't register a new day until it goes to sleep...) was a very long, tiring day. It didn't begin all that early I suppose. I woke up at 10:00, and didn't have to be at work until noon. But it's the fact that I had to be at work, that makes my day feel so long and tiring. Even short shifts feel long. Even tiny, measly, hardly-making-money 3-hour shifts can drag on and on and wear me down until I am nothing. And today was a ten-hour shift.

Okay, so it didn't start out as a ten-hour shift. I was scheduled 12-7, which always means 12-6:30 because we count those registers and sweep up as quickly as possible. Who doesn't want to get home faster, even if it means losing the $5 one could have made working an extra half hour? But today was not one of those clock-out-quickly days for me.

You see, I sell lotion all day. Lotion and hand soap. Well, lotion, and hand soap, and candles. And PedEggs. Also the occassional rubber duck, but you get my drift. I work at a store in the mall that sells girly things for your body and your home. I'm pretty sure I'd get fired if I mentioned the name of said store (not that being fired isn't something I often dream of as a day of liberation), so I'll just let your mind envision me working in the store of your choice.

So I was there all day, smiling and talking out my ass, counting down the hours until 6 o'clock when we lock the doors. Tonight was a little different, because we were doing what we call a floorset, which is when we bring out new products, set up the tables differently, and change all the marketing to go with whatever new theme the corporate office has concocted. So after we closed, the store began to fill up with employees. I didn't have to work it, obviously, since I had already been there all day. However, I soon discovered that my roommate Mesun was scheduled to work it, yet no one had let her know, and she is currently enjoying spring break in New York City. So, seeing as I'm the responsible, jump-up-to-the-plate member of the management team, I said, "Don't worry, I'll stay and cover for her!"

I'll stay and cover for her? Did those words really come out of my mouth?

But those words did come out of my mouth and stay I did. So it wasn't until 10:30 p.m. that I clocked out and came home and here I've been for the last 3 hours too tired and sore to move. You're probably wondering why I just don't go to sleep, but I've come home to an empty apartment and I'm waiting for my boyfriend to come home from work. Poor kid had to work later than me. He works at a movie theater, isn't that thrilling? Sigh. We both have really poopy jobs that we hate.

Hmm... If I get fired for mentioning my place of employment in a blog, can I qualify for unemployment?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cookies and Clouds

Hey world! So I figured I should talk a little bit about my passion for animating. I'm not a "real" animator in the sense that I don't use the same methods as say Disney or Pixar (both whom I love dearly), but I've sort of developed my own method and style.

It's funny how it started though. I didn't always want to be an animator. In fact, this dream is only 2 years old. It was early 2008 when I finally got my first computer. Before that I had just used the family computer, then I ran away to Chile for two years, and when I came back I finally saved up some money to buy a computer. I went to our local Walmart (because where I'm from, that's all there is) and I bought a Toshiba laptop.

At once I started playing around with it and discovered that it came with Windows MovieMaker. While I was in Chile, I had used the program once to create a sort of music video to a song sung by a bunch of LDS missionaries. It had been fun, so I thought, "Hey, I should make some kind of movie!" So I went out with my Kodak EasyShare camera and began filming. I soon realized that my Kodak camera did video in QuickTime format, and that MovieMaker doesn't recognize it. Only Windows Media files. Alas! My plan to make a movie had failed!

But then it came to me, like a pillar of light directly over my head, a sign from God, my manifest destiny... I could do stop-motion. Yeah, I could just take a series of photos, and put them all together in MovieMaker like a slide-show but faster. So I looked around the tiny little house I was sharing with two friends, and I found a Chips Ahoy cookie and made a little short called Cookies and Milk.

Then another glorious revelation came to me! What if instead of photographing objects, I photographed drawings. What if I drew a series of pictures, photographed them, and then put them into MovieMaker? It would be just like a cartoon! Hallelujah! Cheese and Rice!

An old high school classmate of mine, Jeremy Ashida, had suddenly gone from football jock to aspiring musician, and I happened to have his CD (21 songs for $10, how could I resist?). He had a song on there called "May I Fly?" and it was about a little cloud who wanted to fly like an airplane. I could immediately envision this cute little cloud so I began drawing. I didn't have a lot of money, so using brown paper bags and black Sharpies, I created the music video May I Fly? and I've been animating ever since.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Why Chihuahua? Why Joaquin?

As you can see this post is being written in English, so if you latinos out there got all excited because of the spanish in my blog's title, lo siento. I do speak Spanish (albeit poorly) but only because I learned it later in life. Although my last name is Garcia, I'm about as gringo as you can get. My whole life people would say to me, "You have a Spanish last name, why don't you speak Spanish?" I never knew quite what to say to that. I'd get that comment a lot from a family I knew growing up. The Mayhoffers. Do you suppose any of them spoke German? No. "But why not? You have a German last name but you don't speak German?"

Oh well. Garcia's almost as American as apple pie now-a-days. Did you know that Garcia is the 8th most common last name in America? Yep. It's a white name now. Ha ha. I'm sure a lot of people just got offended by that. Don't be. I don't think race --I'm sorry, ethnicity-- should matter all that much, and besides this first post, I doubt it'll be brought back up again. I'm just trying to explain my blog's name.

Yeah, that's where I'm going with all this. This rambling is leading up to the reason behind my blog name.

So you see, my mother is white and my dad is latino, hence the Garcia last name. My Grandpa Garcia claims to be Spanish, but he doesn't remember the actual relative who came from Spain. As far back as he can remember, his ancestors have all lived in Denver, Colorado. However, if you look at my Grandma Garcia's side, you'll find that her mother was born in Chihuahua, Mexico.

I said it, CHIHUAHUA! So, I have a great grandmother from Chihuahua and now you can say "Huh.. I get it." But that's not all. That's merely a factor. I also feel that if my looks were compared to an animal, they would most closely match the features of a chihuahua. Think small stature, tiny little feet, big eyes and ears, and... let's be honest here...ugliness. Got that image in your mind? Well it's me!

Oh, and the Joaquin part can be explained easily. I'm in love with Joaquin Phoenix... No, I'm just kidding! My name is Jack which equals Joaquin in Spanish. So while I am Jack the human being, I feel that I am also Joaquin the chihuahua at heart.


Related Posts with Thumbnails