Friday, October 26, 2012

The Bride of Frankenstorm

To celebrate Brian's birthday, we had dinner with Nichole and Emily at Tucanos Brazilian Grill.  It was a nice night out.  The food was of course delicious and left me feeling so stuffed that I swore never to eat again.  That's pretty typical of the place.  I eat so much meat that I start to consider vegetarianism... and if you know me, you know that ain't ever gonna happen.  But still the thought creeps in there and just settles unpleasantly on my stomach until all the buttons on my shirt pop off.

Anyway, feeling like a Brazilian heifer we said goodbye to the ladies and met up with Michelle and Wes at the movie theater for a special screening of Halloween (1978).  Although I've seen the movie multiple times (and somewhat recently), it was the first time seeing it on the big screen.  Pretty fun.  The day before a bunch of us went to see Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) which were being presented as a double-feature in theaters for one night only.  I had never seen either movie before and I really enjoyed them.  Boris Karloff is legendary for his portrayal of Frankenstein's monster and I was pretty impressed with the special effects of the 30s.  They weren't really that scary to me, as a modern viewer, but they were sure entertaining.  And although sequels usually suck, I'd have to say the second one was my favorite... even if the "Bride" only shows up at the end!

But do you want to know something that really does scare me?  More than monster movies or overeating?  The thought that I might not make it to New York City to get married!  Right now a terrible storm is brewing on the east coast and it's supposed to strike New York City before Halloween.  It's a combination of Hurricane Sandy which is heading north from Haiti and Cuba and some smaller winter storms coming from the west and down south from Canada.  Weather forecasters are calling this combination "Frankenstorm" and it's supposed to bring high winds, heavy rain and extreme tides.  As of right now, JetBlue is cancelling flights for Monday the 29th and Tuesday the 30th.  We're supposed to fly out on Halloween, late at night, and we just hope to God that weather permits!  Because if we can't make it out to New York City to get hitched, I'm going to turn into something far scarier than the Bride of Frankenstein!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

25 Reasons We LOVE Brian!

1.  “Brian’s very enthusiastic and passionate about things he loves.  He refuses to go through life complacent.”—Wes King

2.  “My favorite thing about Brian is his kindness.  He’s always welcomed me into his home and made me feel comfortable.  He never makes me feel stupid even when I disagree with him or am not very knowledgeable on a subject.  And he shares his amazing cooking with me!  He’s just a nice guy!  My second favorite thing is this incredible potato dish he makes!  It’s so yummy!  Like a foodgasm!”—Michelle Stokes
3.  “Brian makes me wish I liked politics.  Oh!  And he’s the shit!”—Mineh Palacios

4.  “He’s passionate.”—Jenny Kesler

5.  “Brian has this unparalleled ability to express very fairly and evenly his opinion but without watering it down—he is honest and straightforward and always worthy of respect.  Also he has a great sense of humor.”—Hannah Wheelwright

6.  “His food is scrumdiliumcious and I love all his interesting movie facts!”—Courtney Kesler

7.  “Brian is the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.”—Emily Mattson

8.  “I think Brian has the nicest sexy man bum out there.”—Nichole Christensen

9.  “Brian is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met.  I met and talked to him for a brief time at a meeting once, and from then on he has been a huge help to me—even though he hardly knows me!  He is supportive and funny and clever and oh so classy!  I'm grateful to know him!”—Annette Harris

10.  “I think Brian is an outstanding gentleman.  I don’t think he realizes it, but he is a near daily influence on my life.  He is a great example of what it means to be a mature, thoughtful and genuine man.”—Brett Kesler

11.  “When I think of the two most important decisions I’ve made, coming out and going to Europe, I realize Brian was influential in helping me do both.  I look up to him as a musician, intellectual, and a human being.  I hope the utmost happiness for him in his life.”—Patrick Barrus

12.  “Brian is a caring and giving man.  I have always felt welcomed by and warmth from him.  I am happy to know him!”—Krystal Olsen

13.  “He’s pretty, with a cute laugh!  Plus I like how he’s not afraid to express his opinions.”—Renee Garcia

14.  “To Brian—the guy who introduced Jack to politics and good cooking!”—Jack Garcia (my father)

15.  “Brian is one of the most passionate people I've ever met! He really stands up for what he believes in, from music, theater and cinema to politics.”—Rebecca Hackett Lisor

16.  “Brian is the most honest person I know, and I value that most.”—Brandon James

17.  “Brian has a passion for life and movies—and anything he's interested in, for that matter—that is inspiring.  My best memories of him were sitting in the attic of his parents’ house and learning how to defeat Ganondorf and navigate safely through all the temples of Zelda.  I still think of him when I play through Ocarina of Time.”—Freddy Kesler

18.  “Brain has been an awesome friend for me all of my life.  Brian has always been very creative.  I think it was fourth grade when we would walk around the playground after every lunch for probably several weeks in a row and discus our great ideas for movies.  We had come up with a very sad story about a poor orphan puppy with 3 legs and a bitten-off ear.  We wanted to send it into Disney, sure that they would make a movie of it for us because it was just SO wonderful. Another great quality about Brian is that he is very honest and well informed to this day and that is something that I admire very much about him.  I feel so blessed to still be his friend.”—Candace Bonsteel

19.  “Dear Brian, Thanks to me you’re a better person.”—Nick Frandsen

20.  “He’s a classy guy.  And interesting.  I like that we’re both into old school things like old Hollywood-type stuff.  I haven’t met anyone like that so I would say he’s an old soul.”—Ana Frutos

21.  “Brian is my favorite brother.  I’ve always looked up to him and wanted to be just like him.  I remember when I was in junior high I would go see him in shows and that was the only reason I ever wanted to do shows—because he did!  Oh, and he is just like amazing at everything he does.”—Amy Kesler

22.  “Brian’s cooking puts Julia Child to shame, he has a wit sharper than a razor and has a heart bigger than the sky!  How could you not love this wonderful guy?”—Kelsey Roberts

23.  “He is a great cook and is extremely funny when he makes fun of movies.”—Daniel Garcia

24.  “He’s kind.  Always has been to me.  For that I am eternally grateful.”—Rafael Butron

25.  “When I first met Brian we just instantly clicked.  As cheesy as it sounds, I knew that he was the one for me and I decided then and there to do everything in my power to keep him!  I love him so much.  He’s adorable, funny, intelligent, creative, helpful and an all-around good guy who makes me happy.  I honestly don’t know what I would ever do without him.  Just shrivel up and die somewhere I guess…”—Jack Garcia (me, the future husband)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ask Joaquin: Will You Be Taking Brian's Last Name?

I answered some marriage-related questions on the 11th, but more and more just keep coming!

From Kathi (my mom):  So are you changing your name to Kesler?  *Note, this question is one of the most frequently asked.

That's a very good question.  In a traditional heterosexual marriage (in our particular culture, that is) the woman takes on the last name of her husband, but in our situation neither one of us is the blushing bride.  In fact, we even know some straight couples where the woman has kept her name. Early on in our engagement, Brian and I had discussed the possibility of changing both our surnames to Kesler-Garcia, to reflect our union, but I would cease to be Jack John Garcia III, and what a shame it would be to lose my suffix!  Besides, name-changing is a hassle.  So, no, Mom, I will still bear the name you and my father had given me from the start.  However, any future children we hope to adopt will be given the name Kesler-Garcia.

From Anonymous:  Which one of you is the "man" and which is the "woman"?  or... Which one of you is wearing the dress?

As stated in response to the above question, neither one of us is the bride.  Perhaps in other same-sex couples this question is applicable (I won't try to speak for gays everywhere), but in our case, neither one of us is a cross-dresser or transvestite, so no wedding dress will be worn.  For those going to our reception, expect to see us in nice suits.  And as far as our relationship goes, neither one of us can be categorized as the "man" 100% of the time nor the "woman" 100% of the time.  I won't even begin to say how incredibly sexist this question is...  Just know that Brian and I function as equals.  We both have jobs, we both go to school, and we both take care of the house when we have time.  Brian enjoys cooking more, so he does all the cooking.  I'm more of a neat-freak, so I do most of the cleaning.  We have a good balance that way, and it has nothing to do with preconceived gender roles.

From Katherine (Brian's mom):  Will you be in New York City long enough to get everything done?  Won't you need a blood test?

Actually, a blood test is not a requirement for a marriage license in the state of New York.  In fact, the whole process is relatively simple.  Almost shockingly so.  According to the website for the City Clerk's Office in NYC, all we need to do is fill out an application (which we have already done online), pay the fee, and present our social security number and driver's license to obtain a marriage license.  We must then wait at least 24 hours to have the wedding ceremony which will also take place in the City Clerk's Office.  For that we will need the marriage license (obviously), another fee payment, and a witness (thankfully Brian's cousin Patrick has agreed to fly out to NYC to fill that role).  So to sum it all up, on Thursday, November 1st we will take care of the marriage license stuff and then on Friday, November 2nd (our four-year anniversary) we will seal the deal with a court ceremony and start a new chapter in our lives as newlyweds!

From Emily:  What kind of wedding gift do I give a gay couple?  I've never done this before!

Well, thanks for your concern, but we're really not all that different.  We homosexuals enjoy many of the same household items that you do and they don't even have to be rainbow-colored or covered in glitter.  So you know that toaster you always buy for your straight friends who tie the knot?  That would work for us too!  (Although, in all seriousness, we already have a toaster so thanks but no thanks).  If gift-giving is really hard for you, you can always stick to our registry or just give money.  Because gay or straight, money makes everybody happy!

From Brett:  Will there be drinking at your reception?

Sorry to disappoint those desperately in search of an open bar, but our reception will be a dry one.  I know, we're totally lame.  One reason is that alcohol is really expensive and it's just not within our budget.  Also, we're really grateful some of our LDS friends and relatives are coming at all and we didn't want to make them any more uncomfortable by throwing champagne into the mix.  But mostly there will be no drinking because the venue doesn't allow it.  "Curse those pesky contracts!"

But what you can expect is a whole lot of sober fun!  The tentative schedule goes something like this:  Meet and greet for the first 45 minutes or so followed by a special video presentation and the couple's first dance.  Live music by Van Lady Love (featuring an old mission buddy as the lead singer) will continue from about 8 to 9, so prepare to be entertained.  The cake will then be cut and served (don't worry, we'll have various cheesecakes available all throughout the night as well) and a dance party will commence for the remaining hour.  So.  Much.  Fun.

Of course you can come and go as you please, but seriously, you'll want to stay for all the awesomeness.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Brian's Pumpkin Soup

Brian's sister Amy has started to come over one night a week to cook with him.  They get to have a little brother/sister bonding moment and Amy gets to learn a thing or two about cooking.  Oh, and I get to eat delicious home-cooked meals so really it's a win-win for all.

The first thing the duo prepared was a delicious pumpkin soup which really put me in the fall mood.  I've been so kind as to relay Brian's recipe here for you all to try and enjoy.  If you're too lazy to make it yourself, just knock on our door sometime and have Brian whip some up for you.

Brian's Pumpkin Soup
Yields enough for 2-4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 bundle of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 star anise
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cream
  • Golden Delicious apple (optional)
  • dried cranberries (optional)

1.  Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add vegetables and all the herbs and spices.  Cook for five to seven minutes until onions are translucent and slightly brown.

2.  Add the flour.  Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

3.  Whisk in the milk and chicken stock.  Turn the heat to high and, whisking frequently, allow it to come to a boil.  Once it reaches a boil, turn it to medium heat and let it cook for five minutes until thickened.

4.  Pull out the rosemary, thyme and star anise and discard.

5.  Remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender or an electric stand blender.

6.  Return to heat and whisk in the pumpkin puree, cooking for five minutes over medium heat.

7.  Remove from heat and blend the soup again until very smooth.

8.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with a dollop of cream.  For an additional garnish, add dried cranberries and chopped apple.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ask Joaquin: Why Are You Getting Married?

With all the wedding planning, we've been getting a lot of questions about our marriage.  Due to the sensitive nature of most of them, I've referred to those asking as "anonymous."

From Anonymous:  Why are you getting married if it's not even legal in Utah?

Ever since I was a kid I was taught that when two people loved each other they got married.  Sure, the "two people" were probably explained to me as "a man and a woman," but that didn't stop me from making the blonde Ken doll and the brunette Ken doll ditch Barbie and go marry each other.  So when I grew up years later and realized I was gay, that notion of marrying the one I love didn't go away.  And when Brian asked me to marry him some three years ago, I said "yes."  It just seemed to be the natural progression of things.  You meet, you fall in love, you get married.

And although same-sex marriage is legal in the state of New York, where Brian and I are tying the knot, I am well aware that our marriage license won't mean anything in the state of Utah.  So why bother?  Well, because it means something to us.  It means a lifelong commitment.  It means the start of a family.  It means all of the things that marriage means to straight couples.  Nobody goes into marriage saying, "I'm only doing this for tax purposes and hospital visitation rights."  No, they do it for love.  And while those are the sorts of benefits that will go unrecognized here in Utah, Brian and I will still know in our hearts that we are married.

Besides, we don't plan on living in Utah forever and we will most likely find ourselves in one of the six states that does recognize same-sex marriage someday.  And as the fight for marriage equality continues, I am optimistic that more and more states will embrace it in the future.  The world is changing.  France is on the brink of legalizing same-sex marriage within the next few weeks and not long ago Mexico did the same, joining Canada and ten other countries.

From Anonymous:  Is your marriage some kind of political statement?

Considering it's an election season and Brian's Facebook statuses are hyper-political as of late, I can see where one might get that idea.  However, this is nothing of the sort.  As I stated in the answer above, Brian and I are getting married because we love each other and that's what people in love do!  Far from trying to stir up controversy, I would say our desire to be married is probably the most conservative and traditional thing about us.

From Anonymous:  I love you guys, but my religious views are in opposition to same-sex marriage.  How do I reconcile this?

I'm going to answer this question with a bit of a story.  There's a member of Brian's extended family that expressed a similar sentiment.  She said she loved us and enjoyed our visits to her home, but at the same time worried that by attending our wedding reception she was condoning same-sex marriage which she finds contrary to her religious beliefs.  She took her concerns to the Lord in prayer, and came to the conclusion that Jesus would have gone if he were in her shoes.  We were happy to hear she was able to find a way to reconcile her desire to be supportive with her belief system.

But as much as I would love everyone to take that route, I understand that not everyone will come to the same conclusion.  It's heartbreaking that such a joyous and happy day in my life can bring about negativity... but it has to some degree.  Feeling a little down, my sister sent a text message reassuring me that no matter who may or may not be in attendance, "God sure will be."


Related Posts with Thumbnails