Monday, February 28, 2011

10 Things I Love About Myself

10.  My name is Jack, which is undeniably the coolest name in all of the world. 
9.  I have never broken a bone or gotten stitches in my entire life.  I'm really good at avoiding serious injury.  My secret is not doing anything.  Ever.
8.  I can hear, smell, taste, feel and see.  I don't need eyeglasses or hearing aids or anything.
7.  I look younger than I am, which I feel will really come in handy when I'm older!
6.  At times I joke that I would fix my nose if I could afford plastic surgery, and I often complain about my giant eyes or my smile... but honestly, I like my face the way it is.  I might look like an anime character, but that's just the way I like it! 
5.  I find myself to be really funny.  I just sit and laugh at my own jokes all day.  Ha ha ha!
4.  I'm part of an amazing family that loves me.
3.  Something I've learned in Chile is that I have a great capacity for empathy and love for my fellow man.  I'm very friendly and loyal, even with people I have just met.
2.  I have more talents than I am sometimes aware of.  Right now I am focused on improving and utilizing my artistic skills, but I also have talents for singing and writing and making a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
1.  I have big dreams!  Pursuing them might be a struggle, but I'm determined to get where I want to be.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Post-Oscar Opinions

The Oscars Ceremony has concluded, and Brian and I would have lost a lot of money had we bet on our predictions.  We are definitely not fortune-tellers (although the "real" fortune-teller they showed during the pre-Oscar stuff got a lot wrong as well) so maybe we should leave the predicting to the experts.  Whatever, it's still fun.

Here are the ones we got wrong:
  • Art Direction and Costume Design both went to Alice in Wonderland which we never saw coming.  We did love the costumes in that movie (and nothing else), but we figured the Academy would go with a period piece.  We were wrong. 
  • Cinematography went to Inception.  We're not mad about that.  It's a great movie.
  • Animated Short went to The Lost Thing which we haven't seen so we didn't pick it!  Would love to check it out.
  • Original Song went to Toy Story 3 which we wanted to win, but it's not the one we predicted to win.  We shouldn't have doubted our heart of hearts.
  • Directing went to The King's Speech.  We wanted Black Swan and were expecting The Social Network... so we were just way off.
So of the 19 we ventured to guess, we missed 6.   That's a 68% which, judging by our high school grades, would have been totally acceptable for Brian and a death sentence for me.  We did really good on the obvious ones though!  Everybody was expecting The King's Speech to win Best Picture, Natalie Portman to win Best Actress, and Colin Firth to win Best Actor so no surprises there.  I'm sure most people watching at home guessed those ones right.

As far as the ceremony goes, we were a little bit let down by Anne Hathaway and James Franco.  As much as we admire them as actors, they were not the greatest to ever host the Academy Awards.  To be nice, Anne had several funny moments when not overtaken by nervous giggling, but James was just kind of boring.  Some of the funnier bits were thanks to the pre-recorded clips like their opening spoof on the Best Picture nominees and the pretend musical numbers from Harry Potter and such.  Very funny watching Ron sing about the little ball of light in his heart!

JoaquiNews: Sheen is Fired in 140 Characters or Less

Charlie Sheen's most recent tweet.
A recent news story of a homeless man reuniting with his daughter through Twitter has swept the nation, bringing tears to many and boosting sales of Kleenex by more than 200%.  What an inspirational story!  Or was it?  Our team of reporters here at JoaquiNews has discovered the unsettling truth of the matter.  Although the man indeed appeared to be homeless—he was dirty, unkempt, and shouting obscenities into the street—in reality, he was no other than celebrity Charlie Sheen, star of the CBS television show Two and a Half Men.  And the reported daughter?  Turned out to be one of Sheen’s many underaged prostitutes.

Charlie Sheen’s unraveling has been something of a joke for some time now.  He recently went on a public rant saying things like, “I am special, and I will never be one of you! I have a disease? Bulls**t! I cured it with my brain, with my mind.” 

His newly developed mind-controlling powers are a result of his recent practice of voodoo and black magic.  Unlike other celebrities, who turn to reasonable expressions of spirituality such as Scientology, Sheen fancies himself a voodoo priest.  In a recent sex ceremony—the result of the famed Twitter hook-up—Charlie Sheen tripped over a candle and caused an entire Brooklyn apartment building to go up in flames.  Twenty firefighters were injured and an elderly woman died.

The elderly woman was the grandmother of Chuck Lorre, the creator of Two and a Half Men.  Of the incident Lorre tweeted, “Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and inexcusable blowtorching of my dear granny, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of Two and a Half Men for the remainder of the season.”

Looks like Sheen can say goodbye to his $1.2 million per episode salary.

Although loosely based on real news stories (click the links), this article is FAKE.

Octopus

Octopus Japanese Restaurant: 729 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA
Although I am not a fan, I couldn't deny Brian the happiness I knew it would bring him when our friends Jordon and Laurel suggested we go out for some sushi in downtown Los Angeles.  We had met up with Laurel for lunch about a month back, but we hadn't gotten together with Jordon yet at all, so we definitely needed to do something.  Both Jordon and Laurel are people we knew from Utah.  Laurel has directed Brian in various shows throughout his teenage years and Jordon is a fellow actor.

It was realized yesterday that none of us had any plans for our Saturday night, so we figured we should go out on the town.  "Paint the town red!" as Laurel joked.  Or maybe just go out for sushi at eleven o'clock at night.  That works too!  Jordon picked the spot, which was a swanky sushi place called Octopus.  We came at the right time, because all of the prices were drastically slashed for what they call "Reverse Happy Hour." 

I wasn't very hungry and, like I said, not a fan of sushi so I just ordered some Tempura Red Bean Ice Cream which was so delicious!  Seriously, there is nothing more beautiful than a man's relationship with his deep-fried ice cream.  Brian ordered a California Roll, Rainbow Roll, and Sashimi.  He liked them all very much, but his favorite was probably the roll Jordon ordered which had Jalapeños in it.  It was like two of Brian's favorite things in one.

We have decided that the four of us should get together more often.  Laurel and I are thinking we need to start a game night.  I'm just happy for anything that doesn't involve sushi or the use of chopsticks... that's a game in itself for me!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pre-Oscar Predictions

For movie-lovers like Brian and I, the presentation of the Academy Awards is an important event.  It's like a high holy day.  Like Passover.  Except we would never want to pass over the chance to watch the Oscars on television... especially when two of our favorite actors are hosting.  We love Anne Hathaway and James Franco!

So before the Oscars air tomorrow night on ABC, we wanted to make our predictions.  If you go to the official website, you can sign up for what they call "My Oscars" to get your own invitation, watch Oscar-related videos, and pick who you think will win.  Fun stuff, so check it out some time.

We now present to you our official predictions!  Predictions don't necessarily imply that we want them to win, so alongside, in parentheses, we will let you know who we would rather have win.
  • Best Picture:  The King's Speech (Black Swan)
  • Actor in a Leading Role:  Colin Firth
  • Actor in a Supporting Role:  Christian Bale (Geoffrey Rush)
  • Actress in a Leading Role:  Natalie Portman
  • Actress in a Supporting Role:  Melissa Leo
  • Animated Feature Film:  Toy Story 3
  • Art Direction:  Inception (Harry Potter)
  • Cinematography:  Black Swan
  • Costume Design: The King's Speech
  • Directing:  The Social Network (Black Swan)
  • Film Editing:  The Social Network (Black Swan)
  • Music (Original Score):  The Social Network (Inception)
  • Music (Original Song):  127 Hours (Toy Story 3)
  • Short Film (Animated):  Day & Night
  • Sound Editing:  Inception
  • Sound Mixing:  Inception
  • Visual Effects:  Inception (Harry Potter)
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay):  The Social Network
  • Writing (Original Screenplay):  The King's Speech
We didn't make predictions for Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Makeup,or Short Film (Live Action) because we were unfamiliar with the nominees.  We can't really choose for films we haven't seen!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Chihuahua Comics: La Cucaracha

Most comics are based on our lives, but this one is probably one of the most literal translations.  Brian saw a cockroach on the ground in the bathroom, attempted to flush it down the toilet, and it just crawled right back out afterward.  It was funny.  The only part that was fictionalized is the talking cockroach at the end.  We haven't quite become Joe's Apartment... yet.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

10 Things I Love About My Dad

10.  My dad, Jack, has a sweet tooth as bad as mine!  He taught me how to dunk Oreos into milk.  He also got me addicted to Coca-Cola.
9.  He has a great love for opera and music and theater.  I'm pretty sure he's a big reason for why I ever got into musical theater as a kid.
8.  And boy can he sing!  I love his voice!  He's the most amazing tenor.
7.  He makes really awesome potato burritos.  And he'll get mad if I ever fold a burrito any other way than the way he taught me!
6.  My father can be incredibly goofy which makes him a lot of fun to be around.
5.  Everybody loves him.  He's very charismatic and outgoing.  Seriously, he can make friends with almost anyone.
4.  His ability to own up to his mistakes is very admirable.  It's hard to say "I'm sorry."
3.  I would say he gives the best hugs out of anyone I know.  Hands down.
2.  He's filled with a very Christlike love.  He does amazing things for those he works with at the Colorado Springs Rescue Mission.
1.  He has always expressed his love for me, and I know not a lot of dads do.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Space

I have some exciting news to report on Brian's quest to make it big in Hollywood!  He has found himself an acting teacher... and a good one at that.  Her name is Marjorie Ballentine and she has taught some awesome actors, including none other than Gary Oldman (aka Sirius Black for you Potter nerds out there).  On her site, Oldman is quoted saying, “Marjorie has helped me enormously … renewed in me a passion for the work. She’s honest, wise, insightful, and caring – and the closest thing to Adler out there.”  He's referring to the late Stella Adler, of course, the famous stage actress who introduced America to the Konstantin Stanislavski method of acting.

Brian went to his first class on Monday at a place called "The Space," just as an observer, and he liked what he saw. "I was itching to act," he said, "to start working as an actor."  I hope she can help him scratch that itch!  They spoke at the break, and all the details of payment and whatnot were hammered out.  He's supposed to have a monologue ready for class next week.  He's been working on one from a play called The Author's Voice and he sounds amazing!  She also challenged the class to read some Arthur Miller plays so Brian and I did some reading at a Barnes & Noble today.  I started reading After the Fall and he began with Death of a Salesman.  We'll switch when we are done.

It was also great for Brian to meet some fellow actors.  He ran into a guy who said that he recognized Brian.  Surprising since we just moved here!  But after talking a bit it was revealed that the guy was from Utah, and both he and Brian had auditioned for the same role once at the Egyptian Theater in Park City.  The other kid got the part, but he remembered Brian's audition and the fact that Brian had played Tobias in Sweeney Todd at the same theater.  Pretty cool coincidence, huh?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Gleek Critique: "Blame It on the Alcohol" Episode

Brittany and the glee club sing "Tik Tok" at a school assembly.  Image property of Fox.
One of the benefits of living in a hotel is the free cable!  I can watch Glee on Tuesday nights again!  Yay!

So surprise, surprise, high schoolers drink, and Principal Figgins is not having it.  He's asked Mr. Schuester to have the glee club perform an anti-alcohol number at a school assembly.  The problem?  To start with, Mr. Schuester himself is a drinker.  In order to unwind from the stress of being a divorced man in love with a married woman constantly threatened by his nemesis Sue Sylvester, he has to knock back a beer or two.  Or he'd explode.  His pal Coach Bieste takes him out to a local honky tonk bar, Rosalita's Roadhouse, where they both get really crazy.  Drunk off his butt he returns home and drunk-dials Emma.  His message is self-destructive enough, even without accidentally sending it to Sue Sylvester.  Of course, she can't keep something like that to herself.

The other problem?  The glee club kids are underage drinkers!  They are hardly in a place to promote abstinence from alcohol... especially after the crazy party that ensues at Rachel Berry's house while her dads are away.  And, oh, the things one will do when a little more than tipsy!  Brittany's running around half-naked, Santana and Sam are making out in the corner, and a little game of "Spin the Bottle" leads Blaine to make out with Rachel, causing him to question his sexuality.  Maybe he's straight?  Rachel sure wants him to be, and Kurt doesn't believe it.  Luckily in the end Blaine realizes that he doesn't have feelings for Rachel.  He is most definitely gay.  So that kiss?  You can blame it on the alcohol.

Pros:  

  • Finn's explanation of the different kinds of drunk girls made me smile.  Very true.  We find out that Santana is a "weepy" drunk, Lauren and Quinn are "mean" drunks, Brittany's a "stripper" drunk, Mercedes and Tina are "laughing" drunks, and Rachel is a "needy" drunk.
  • When Rachel kissed Blaine the music playing in the background was The Go-Go's "Johnny Are You Queer?" which is a totally awesome song.
  • Lots of fun songs this week.  I loved Blaine and Rachel's duet of Human League's "Don't You Want Me" and I also really liked Brittany's performance of "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha... even if it did end in vomiting.  And we got to hear Coach Bieste sing for the first time in "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" along with Mr. Schue.
  • I laughed every time Principal Figgins said Ke$ha's name as "Ke Dollar Sign Ha."
  • Other funny lines included Brittany saying "Why is she so racist?" after Quinn referencing the phrase "like the pot calling the kettle black."  Ha ha.  Or when Coach Bieste said, "You ain't lived til you've seen me in a cowboy hat!"  It was the way she said it.  You have to say "cowboy hat" in high pitch.  And hold out the "hat" a little bit... hee hee.
  • Gotta' love all the smooching!
Cons:
  • What in the hell was Rachel wearing at her party?  She looked like Melissa Gilbert in Little House on the Prairie... if she were a polygamist.
  • The first original song to ever be sung on Glee was called "My Headband."  How sad is that...
  • I was gonna put "Oh no!  Blaine is confused!"  but in the end everything worked out so it's okay.  I still feel bad for poor Kurt though.  Rachel got to kiss the man of his dreams before he did.
  • When Will's drunk voicemail to Emma (mistakenly sent to Sue) was played over the school intercom I felt soooooooo uncomfortable for him.  How embarrassing...  He really needs to get his love life under control.  He's so pathetic.
  • No Glee next week.  Sad face.

Chum Chat: Madison and Romania

I now present to you the second interview in the “Chum Chat” series!  A friend of mine named Madison Price is currently in Romania, and I think what she is doing out there is pretty amazing.  Just read the following interview to see for yourself.

JOAQUIN:  So Madison, what made you decide to go to Romania?

MADISON:  Well, even before I knew what major I wanted to go into, I knew I wanted to be an adoption social worker when I was older.  So when I heard about an opportunity to work in a placement center in Romania, I thought it would look good on a resume, and give me experience!

J:  So how did you hear about this opportunity?

M:  I had spoken to my sister's friend Shannon about wanting to work at Heritage School here in Utah. She didn't think I was quite mature enough to be able to uh… emotionally deal with such a rough set of kids. Haha.  Something about me looking too innocent and the kids not taking me seriously.  Anyway, she told me about the Romanian internship, which she had been on before, and said that it would be a good growing experience for me that would help get me ready.  Besides, my major has a required internship credit... so I
figured I would kill a few birds with one stone.

J:  Sounds perfect!

M:  Plus I LOVE traveling! Different cultures make me so happy! I just get bored with Americans!

J:  Ha ha.  Who doesn’t?  Americans are so lame.  So I’m guessing this internship is with Brigham Young University… was it difficult to get into?

M:  Shannon just pointed me in the right direction and then I went to different meetings and interviews! It was kind of scary.

J:  Okay, so now you are in Romania getting school credit and everything… so what are you doing?

M:  Well, right now I'm sitting on my bed in my pajamas after being on a train for over twelve hours... haha!

J:  You are such a brat.  I don’t mean right this minute, I mean…

M:  I know what you meant!  Let’s see, there are five of us here right now—one of the smallest groups they've ever had.  I think that's because it's winter and cold...   Who in their right mind wants to go to Romania during the winter?  This crazy girl!  That's who!  Sorry, I'm getting off topic!

J:  A little…

M:  What we do here…  Right... Well, in the morning we go and work at the Special Needs Placement Center.  Basically it's an orphanage for mentally and physically handicapped children. We spend the morning playing with the kids, trying to do, like... long term positive learning activities... or... how to explain?  For kids that can't talk, you speak simple Romanian words and try to get them to say babbling words. For kids that can't walk and just lay in a wheelchair or in a bed, I play with them on a mat and try to stretch out their arms and legs while giving them a massage.... It's to help keep their muscles from freezing, and to give them more mobility... oh, I'm not explaining this well... We just try to stimulate the kids and help them develop.

J:  I think you’re explaining things just fine!  So do you work alongside the Romanian workers?

M:  Yeah.  The workers are really awesome and really love the kids, but they are really busy with mundane everyday things, like making sure everyone is dressed, making sure the room is clean, getting the kids to masa on time…

J:  What’s masa?

M:  Sorry, masa is what they call snack and meal times here.  Anyways, they are really busy and have a hard time giving each of the kids individual love time, so we come to play with the kids, help them learn skills, and give their little brains something to do.

J:  So you just play with babies all day?

M:  We also head over to the hospital! We try to get to every floor and ask the nurses Aveţi copii fără mama?”  which means, ”Do you have children without mothers?”  Then we are taken to any sick children who don't have parents, and we spend about a half an hour with them, playing games, reading...

J:  Like I said, playing with babies all day!

M:   We change a LOT of diapers and rock the babies to sleep. 

J:  Okay so the diaper part doesn’t sound too fun... yuck!  So how long have you been out for already?  I can’t believe you are in Romania.  How much longer do you have left?

M:  Um.. I think I've been here for just over a month right now... and I stay until the middle of April.  So in total three months and one week.  I think.  I suck at math.

J:  Me too.  Math is dumb.  So where are you living exactly?

M:  We are living in this cool city called Laşi! It's one of the biggest cities in Romania... or the biggest, can't quite remember... And there are these big apartment buildings everywhere that we call “The Blocks” because they are so blocky... haha. But they were originally built during communism, because the guy in charge then wanted his people to live in cities so he had them thrown up all over the place. They're pretty small, and ours smells a little like mold in the one bathroom all the time.  It's gross, but they are fairly nice!  A lot nicer then I was expecting honestly.

J:  That’s good.  So did you have to pay for this trip yourself?

M:  I'm actually REALLY lucky! My parents did this really awesome thing.  As soon as they knew they were pregnant with me they started saving money for my college fund every month! So I actually don't have to worry about money while I'm here.  

J:  Must be nice… I hate worrying about money.  So it seems like you are enjoying it.

M:  I really am. I mean, sometimes it's really really hard.  I miss my family and friends a lot.  And milk… Oh my word, I miss milk!

J:  They don’t have milk?

M:  They have milk here, but it's in boxes and sits on shelves. There are so many preservatives in it that they can sit on shelves for several months without going bad... and they taste really funny.  All I crave these days is a nice, tall glass of cold skim milk!

J:  Ha ha.  They had milk like that in Chile, too.  Where I served my mission.

M:  It's also really emotionally exhausting. You get really very attached to the kids you work with, and it makes you so sad when you remember that they don't have a mom or dad... you just want to adopt them yourself... but it's against the law for anyone to adopt from Romania right now, so even if I was old enough and was financially able to, I still couldn't adopt any of these kids. 

J:  Wow.  I had no idea adoption was illegal.  Those poor little orphans!  But are you glad you did it?

M:  It's not actually that it's illegal to adopt in Romania... it's that it's illegal for OTHER countries to adopt from Romania.  And yes, I'm glad I did it.  Besides the occasional sad thought, it's fantastic here! How can you not love it? One of my kids at the Placement Center, who is almost 13 and can't talk, started making babbling noises at me the other day! I almost screamed from excitement! And a lot of the kids just want to be loved, so you always get lots of hugs from them. I love hugs! Cuddle time is the best!  And at the hospital, there was one little child we have been seeing.  A burn victim, so they've been in a bed the whole time, but the other day we saw them walking around the hospital! It put the biggest smile on my face when they ran over to give us a hug. Even just that makes it all worth it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chihuahua Comics: President's Day Sale

President's Day is probably the most pointless holiday ever.  Nobody celebrates it.  Stores have sales and banks close.  That's about it.

Sketchbook: My Feet '08

Here are some more sketches from the old sketchbook I kept while attending Brigham Young University in the fall of 2008.  These ones are of feet, which I know are really gross to look at.  Sorry.  It's even grosser because they are my feet!  But I had to do it!  My instructor Kelly Loosli made me do it!  Maybe he has a foot fetish?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's Raining, It's Pouring, My Life is Just Boring

So the sky seems to be angry with us here in Los Angeles.  It just keeps raining.  And the forecast for next weekend is rainy as well.  I don't know about you, but rain just dampens my spirits.  I really find it hard to sing in the rain like Gene Kelly does.  With or without Rhianna's umbrella.  It just depresses me.

I had a friend once who would always rewatch movies over and over.  But he wouldn't watch them all the way through.  He would fast forward to the good parts.  I kinda want to do that right now.  Not with a movie, but with my life.  I want to fast forward through all this rain and get to the sunshine.

I apologize if my movie-watching and weather metaphors are getting a bit muddled.

Right now Brian and I are in the boring and downright unwatchable part of our life.  It's not terribly well-written, well-acted, or well-shot.  The pacing is really slow, and most of what is happening doesn't really pertain to the plot.  Or at least the current events don't fit in with the ending I'm hoping to achieve.  You know?  Success.  Happiness.  Sunshine.  Those things.  I want my happy ending now!

JoaquiNews: Banned Milk in Wisconsin

Union workers and teachers demand milk in Wisconsin.
First lady Michelle Obama recently celebrated the first year anniversary of her “Let’s Move” campaign fighting childhood obesity.  As part of her campaign, she has demanded that all babies be breastfed.  She recently told a reporter, “Because it's important to prevent obesity early, we're also working to promote breast-feeding… we know that babies that are breast-fed are less likely to be obese as children.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker—father of no less than thirteen morbidly obese children under the age of five—has taken Obama’s words to heart.  Wisconsin is now the first state in the U.S. to ban any milk that doesn’t come from a female human.  Anyone caught drinking or selling cow’s milk (or goat’s, donkey’s, sheep’s, or elephant’s milk) will be sentenced to a life in prison.  On top of that, they will have to wear a fat suit while imprisoned to feel the literal weight of their bad choices.

Fourteen state senators love milk so much that they have fled the state in order to drink it freely.  The people of the state are also outraged.  Most of the state’s money comes from dairy farms, and now the state is completely broke.  In order to cut the state’s budget, a bill is being proposed to cut union benefits.  Union workers—including teachers—are now camped out around the Wisconsin State Capitol with protest signs saying “Got Milk?”  The answer, of course, is no.  Nobody has milk, and that is the problem.

Tea Party activists are now getting involved as well.  “We teabaggers are obsessed with drinking tea.  We drink more tea than the Queen Mum and the Mad Hatter combined.  We love it.  And we demand milk in our tea!  We demand it!  Things are going to get really ugly here if something doesn’t change quick.”

Let’s hope Michelle Obama can produce enough breast milk to feed over five million Wisconsinites.

Although loosely based on real news stories (click the links), this article is FAKE.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Things I Love About My Mom

10.  My mom, Kathi, can sure rock out!  She really loves her classic rock and even gets into a lot of new bands.  She prides herself on being "cool."
9.  She gave me my love for Scrabble and other word games, although I will never be as good as her.  Not ever!
8.  Her beautiful red hair!  It's the perfect shade of red, too.  It isn't too orange or bright or anything.
7.  She hums almost constantly.  Even while chewing.  I'm not even sure if she's aware that she's humming!
6.  My mom bakes the most delicious desserts.  To this day I use her recipe for peanut butter cookies.  They are simply the best!
5.  She was always the best at keeping secrets!  Like all those speeding tickets I got.  I don't think my stepdad ever found out about those... until now maybe.  Shh!
4.  We can joke and laugh about almost anything.  We have a great rapport together.
3.  She is always willing to help me out.  In school it was homework and now it's with emergency money!  Thanks, mom!
2.  My mother taught me good work ethic by example.  She goes above and beyond for the nursing home patients she cares for.  They really love her over there.
1.  She loves me unconditionally, and I love her right back.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chihuahua Comics: Home Sweet Home

Brian and I have gotten a brand new L.A. home!  Isn't it just wonderful?  All these luxury amenities for a mere $750/month!  It's a steal!  I'd invite you to come visit us, but we're not allowed to have any visitors.  Or dogs.  Cockroaches, mice, and STDs are all fine... but not dogs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Veronica's Valentine

My mother, being the sweet soul that she is, sent me a valentine saying, "This too shall pass!  Hang in there, I know things will straighten out soon.  Remember you are loved dearly."

My dad, being a religious man, sent me a valentine saying, "Jesus' love is unfathomable, bigger than we can ever imagine, and I wonder how many of us love others with such a love.  On this day when we celebrate romantic love, I just wanted to share with you the love of one who loves us more than we can ever imagine.  I love you, Jack.  Be blessed!"

Brian's family, equally as wonderful as mine, sent us a valentine saying, "We all love you and miss you a lot.  Hope you have a great Valentine's Day!"

We love our families very much, but the greatest valentine we've ever received didn't come from any of them.  It came from our dearest and most missed friend back home.  The headless, armless, legless statue Veronica!  Look at that sexy vixen!

Tears Explained

First off, I want to apologize for being so melodramatic and over-the-top at times.  I was in a really strange place last night, and I couldn't quite focus while typing I guess.  Looking back at the post I wrote, I can see that it is really vague!

Secondly, I want to apologize for underestimating how much you readers out there care for me.  It seems that I have worried you all into a frenzy!  I went to bed almost immediately after writing that post, and while I was sleeping it got an obscene amount of hits and a few concerned comments.  I missed distressed text messages and phone calls as well, since my phone is always on silent.  Some of you seemed to understand that I was referring to our dog Buster, but it seems I led some of you to believe that Brian and I had broken up. Or that some family member had died or something.  Let me assure you that Brian and I will never separate and that if something as tragic as a death had occurred, I'd probably be too depressed to write anything at all...  So if I ever stop blogging for say a week or more, then maybe you should start to worry!

In case you haven't figured this out by now, things in the Palmdale/Littlerock area have not been progressing so well.  We can't stop thinking that it isn't where we are supposed to be.  So Brian and I have decided together that maybe we should move on, and try again what our original plan was:  move to Los Angeles.

We found a few hotels listed in Los Angeles that offer a low monthly rate.  The plan now is to move into one of these places on a month-to-month basis until we obtain steady enough work to apply for an apartment.  The temp agencies that Brian and I are with service an area called Santa Clarita (where my aunt works) which is actually much closer to Los Angeles than it is to Palmdale or Littlerock, so this move won't affect any job leads we might get through them.  It will also put Brian much closer to auditions and I will be much closer to my school when I start in April.  The only downside to this new plan (besides moving away from Tia Loca and my cousins) is that we can't have a dog in the hotel.

We've looked and looked, but the only monthly hotels that allow pets are far out of our price range.  We can't exactly budget $2,000+ for a hotel room right now.  And besides that, seeing as we can barely take care of ourselves at this point, falling in love with a stray dog was never a good idea.  We sure did love our Buster though.  We really did.  Brian sobbed all through the night last night.  "We abandoned our baby" he would say, "He's probably so scared... and so sad..."  I kept telling him, "Then let's go back to the animal shelter and get him back."  But we both knew that as much as we missed Buster, we just can't give him what he needs right now.

I still have a dirty paw print on my jeans from where Buster would jump up on my leg and wag his tail...  I can still smell traces of him where he would sleep...  And we still have his collar and his leash... I just can't bear to get rid of any of it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tears

I'm sitting here at a loss for what to say.  All I know is I haven't cried this long or this hard in a very long time.  Sure I'll shed a tear or two during a really sappy movie (I'm a big baby and usually if I see someone crying I automatically cry too) but this is the first time in months and months that I've shed a tear for something that's happened in my own life.  And I sure did cry a lot. 

Now I'm crying again.

I think I'll talk about this more later.  Just know that it was difficult to say goodbye.  I guess I knew it was coming.  And I'm sure it's for the better.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.  Trying not to regret our decision...

The Gleek Critique: "Comeback" Episode

Yup.  Glee has caught "Bieber Fever."  Image property of Fox.
Last night's episode began with a sue-icide note from one Sue Sylvester.  Turns out her defeat at the big cheerleading competition has really gotten her down.  Luckily (or unluckily) she doesn't actually kill herself, but in order to make her a bit happier Mr. Schue decides that Sue needs some music in her life.  Music makes everyone happier, right?  So he makes her join the glee club and even takes her to sing with children at a hospital.  Turns out Sue has a love for music.  Good news?  Nope.  At the end of the episode she becomes the new director for one of New Directions rivals:  Aural Intensity.  Oh no!

Sam, trying to give Quinn more reasons to stay with him, decides to start a one-man band called The Justin Bieber Experience.  Soon all the other boys join (except Finn who's way too cool for all that) and they woo every girl in the club.  But by the end of the episode, Sam realizes that Quinn really did make out with Finn last episode so he dumps her and hooks up with Santana pretty much instantly.  This was all according to Santana's plan, of course, seeing as she's almost as devious as Sue.

Rachel is trying to be popular by starting a new fashion trend (librarian chic) but of course that doesn't really work out for her.  Her look does become quite popular though, thanks to Brittany who ends up getting all the credit as the trendsetter.  But by the end of the episode she comes up with a new project:  she's going to write an original song for the glee club to perform at Regionals.

The Pros:
  • Sue called Mr. Schue "SpongeHair SquareChin."  That's a good'un.
  • Lauren sang her very first solo "I Know What Boys Like" by The Waitresses!  And in order to have the nerve to sing in public, she had to picture everyone in their underwear... which provided us with some fun eye candy!  Some of those guys look pretty impressive in their skivvies.
  • Rachel and Mercedes sang "Take Me or Leave Me" from the musical Rent and it was awesome.  I think this was the first duet between these two amazing vocalists and it was sheer power!  Those girls have some pipes!
The Cons:
  • I don't have "Bieber Fever" so I wasn't exactly thrilled with "Baby" or "Somebody to Love."  The Biebs didn't even win a grammy on Sunday...
  • There wasn't any Kurt or Blaine this episode.  None.  At.  All.  I probably wouldn't have minded some Justin Bieber tunes if The Warblers had sung them.  I love everything they sing.  Why didn't they sing this episode?!
  • I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this episode.  It was kind of lame.  However, next week's looks like a lot of crazy drunken fun...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sketchbook: My Hands '08

Here are some photos from my sketchbook.  I thought maybe it would be fun to share some of these every once in a while.  I drew these while I was a pre-animation student at Brigham Young University in 2008.  Kelly Loosli was my instructor, and he had assigned us to draw seven sketches of our hands (one for every day of the week).  Here are the seven I drew:

Ask Joaquin: Why is Cupid a Fat, Flying Baby?

From Rebecca:  Why the hell is Cupid a fat, flying baby with a bow and arrow?  And why does he ignore awesome people?

Thanks for this post-Valentine’s Day question, Rebecca!  I shall do my very best to answer your query thoroughly.  In fact, I’ll break it down into parts.

 For starters, let’s focus on the word fat.  Seeing as he’s a baby, it’s probably better that he is a bit on the chubby side.  A skinny baby is usually a sickly baby.  Besides, this is America, and we like things to be fat.  Look at Santa!  We love him all fat and jolly.  We can identify with that.  A skinny cupid would be like a skinny Santa.  It’s just un-American.

Why does he fly?  That’s a little trickier.  I looked into the Roman myth of Cupid (or Eros in Greek mythology).  Did you know he’s the son of Venus and Mars?  Yup.  His name even means “Desire.”  However, I’m not really sure as to why he has wings.  Maybe to represent his deity, but I don’t think Venus is depicted with wings, is she?  Or Mars?  So why does Cupid have wings?  I’m not sure.  But winged things are really cool aren’t they?  Like angels.  And dragons.  And maxi pads.

The baby part is also kind of a weird issue.  In lots of old paintings and sculptures he’s depicted as a little naked winged boy.  Not an infant.  However, nowadays, he’s always a baby.  Sometimes in diapers.  The diaper addition is understandable.  Americans these days are prude and really terrified of nudity.  Even baby nudity, so obviously he has to have a diaper.  But that’s just a tangent.  The myth says Cupid falls in love with Psyche, and I just can’t picture a baby (or even a small boy) falling in love with anybody.  Really makes no sense at all.

The bow and arrow also comes from the myth.  He has a gold arrow to make people fall in love, and a lead arrow to make people hate each other.  That’s perfectly logical, right?  Nothing weird about that.  Besides, do you have a different weapon suggestion for him?  I’m sorry, but I do not want my Valentine’s Day card to feature a machine-gun-toting cherub.  That’s a little too violent for my taste.

And then you wonder why he ignores awesome people.  My poor friend, Rebecca.  I hate to be the one to say it, but he doesn’t ignore awesome people.  I’m the most awesome person I know, and Cupid has definitely shot me with his golden arrow.  Shot through the heart.  So if you are implying that Cupid hasn’t gotten you a date, then maybe you aren’t awesome.

Ouch.  That was mean.  Maybe you are awesome, but Cupid’s just operating on a different schedule.  Or maybe he’s got a painful diaper rash right now and you’re just not at the top of his priority list.  My advice?  Send him some Calmoseptine for that rash and I’m sure he’ll get to your love life sooner rather than later. 

Have a question?  Ask Joaquin!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chihuahua Comics: Puppy Love

I hope everyone out there enjoys the holiday!  Brian has a job interview today and I hope it goes well for him.  Later we're looking forward to a romantic day spent together (although he will probably give Buster more love and affection).  And for those of you bitter cupid-haters out there, I hope your day sucks.  That's right.  You will get no love from me.

10 Things I Love About Brian

10.  Brian gives a thumbs up whenever he says “awesome.”  It’s cute.  Even when he’s talking to someone on the phone he’ll do it.  Like they can see.
9.  We read books out loud together before going to bed or while driving in the car.
8.  He’s so talented!  He can act, sing, play piano, write, and cook!  Seriously, there is nothing he can’t do.  He’s even better than me at all the games on my phone.  He tops all my high scores!
7.  Whenever he makes anything to eat, he always serves me first.   I guess it just makes me feel special.
6.  He’s my personal chauffer.  It’s like Driving Miss Daisy!
5.  He’s really good with our dog, Buster.  I know he’s going to be a good father someday.
4.  Brian can always make me laugh!  He is so funny!  And I love when he sings in the car… so fun.  Sometimes we make up silly lyrics to songs we know.
3.  He rubs my shoulders while I’m washing the dishes.  Or sometimes he’ll kiss my shoulder.
2.  Basically he’s the best kisser ever.  Yup.  It’s true.
1.  He loves me day in, day out.  When I’m grumpy.  When I’m mean.  When I really need his shoulder to cry on.  No matter what.

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