Saturday, December 27, 2014

Helping Friends Move

Today I spent the day helping my friends TJ & Denise move into their new apartment. Started around 9:00am, picked some breakfast before heading to the Uhaul to pick up his their truck and pack up the truck with the pod that they sent from the east coast. We then headed out to their storage unit about 20 miles away. Two other friends joined us there (Andrew and Mo) and we then started to unload their storage space. They intentionally had a 26' truck but though that it would be to large to maneuver in their new place so they opted for a 17' truck. This truck filled up fast and with half the storage unit packed in the truck they decided that there was no way we'd get this done in one move so we filled the truck and headed back to their apartment. We unloaded the truck and grabbed some lunch before heading back to pack up the rest of their stuff. For a moment I didn't think we'd get everything in this second trip but with some fancy packing we managed to get it all in and secure. We made out final trip back to their place and unloaded. We then had some tasty BBQ for dinner before calling it a night around 9pm

It was a long day of moving, I didn't expect it to last 12 hours but I was happy that I was able to help out my friends... building up some good karma :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Please Like Me - My Review

Between Christmas Specials I was trying to catch up on my blogging and when I was blogging about HBO's Looking I went looking for pictures for the blog and found an ad for something called Please Like Me. It peaked my interest so I goggled it. Please Like Me is an Australian television comedy drama series starring Josh Thomas. The series premiered on 28 February 2013 on ABC2 in Australia.

Here's a synopsis for the first episode. As his 21st birthday approaches, Josh has an eventful 24 hours. First he is dumped by his girlfriend, which leads to his realization that he may be gay. After that shocker, he moves back into his family home to help care for his mother, who recently attempted suicide. With his life in disarray, big challenges await Josh in his immediate future, which is especially difficult for someone like him who has a natural aversion to drama and emotion. So he can deal with it all -- only in his own awkward, self-centered way.

I acquired all six episode from season one and watched them back to back to back, it does help that they are only 30 minute episodes. I was hooked with the first scene from the first episode. It's hard to put into words why I loved this series but something about it just clicked with me. It's quirky, bizarre, funny, sad, serious and honest all roll into a quick 30 minutes. It is a show with both awkward and relatable comedy that is realistic and natural. Maybe that's why I enjoy it so much as I don't feel like the actors were acting, it feels real, like we're bystanders just watching these people interact.

Another thing I really like about the show is the entertaining title credits and song, I just want to dance when I hear it. I liked Josh's (main characters) parents and their interaction with him and each other. 

There is already a season two (10 episodes) that came out in 2014 which I will be "acquiring" very soon and it was also picked up for third season (10 episodes) that will air sometime in 2015. 

I'm so happy I found this fun and unique dramedy. If you get a chance give it a watch. I can even upload the episodes to my FTP site where you can download both season 1 and 2 for your enjoyment, just let me know.

Christmas Specials: Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife & Doctor Who

Today I got to catch up on all the Christmas specials that aired yesterday.

(Downton Abbey S5 doesn't air here in the US until Jan, so be warned spoilers)

First up was Downton Abbey S5 Christmas Special. It's the early autumn of 1924 and Rose's father-in-law Lord Sinderby has rented Brancaster Castle in Northumberland and invited the Crawleys to a grouse-shooting party. However, the Sinderbys' butler Stowell has an axe to grind and a scandalous secret threatens to derail the holiday. Back at Downton, the servants hold the fort and unlikely later-life romances abound, while Bates takes drastic measures to clear Anna's name as she faces an uncertain future behind bars. The seasons change and another Christmas is enjoyed at the Abbey, where a heartbreaking farewell and a joyful reunion take place

I really enjoyed this Christmas special. This entire season has been pretty awesome. I wish that Bates and Anna can live happily every after. I liked the romantic possibilities for both Edith and Mary in this episode and it brought me to tears when Carson asked Mrs Hughes to marry him. It's been a long time coming. I'll be sad to see Branson go but I guess he can also come back since he's just going to the Chicago. I now have to wait until the Autumn of 2015 for the sixth season to begin... so far away!!

Next I watched Call the Midwife S3 Christmas Special. As the nurses prepare for their 1959 Christmas show Patsy and Chummy escort two pregnant teen-agers, confident Avril and nervous Denise, to a home for expectant mothers run by the unfeeling and drunken Sister Maltby. When Denise falls ill and is denied medical treatment Avril reports Maltby and Chummy and Patsy temporarily run the home, making huge improvements for the better with help from Avril, whose baby they deliver on Christmas Eve. Shelagh goes to the aid of down-trodden epileptic Victor when he has a fit in the market - which leads to the discovery that he and his girlfriend Nancy are living in squalor. Nancy, who believes she is pregnant, fears the baby will be taken from her on the discovery that she met Victor in a mental hospital, from which they have been released with no after-care, but Dr Turner and Cynthia realize that , due to operations carried out on her in the hospital, she can never conceive. They nonetheless encourage the couple to be strong and care for each other. With Christmas over Cynthia leaves to become a nun whilst Peter Noakes is promoted to sergeant. 

I've missed Call the Midwife and was really looking forward to this special. This was the first episode without the main lead character Jenny, who left the show at the end of season 3. What makes it strange is that we are seeing this world through her eyes as an older version of herself as the narrator so I was interested in seeing how they worked around that. I actually liked what they did. Vanessa Redgrave does the voiceover of the older Jenny so they opened and closed the episode with Vanessa playing the older Jenny on screen. It was nice way to keep Jenny around. I really enjoyed this episode but I've enjoyed all the episodes, they really know how to pull on the heart strings. Like with Downton Abbey I can't get enough of these amazing British series.

The final Christmas special that I watched was Doctor Who "The Last Christmas". The Doctor and Clara face their Last Christmas. Trapped on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!

This was an interesting Doctor Who episode, more horror with a touch of Christmas. It reminded me of Alien and what it funny one of the characters in the show even makes a reference to Alien and Facehuggers. It was kind of like Who Inception. A dream within a dream within a dream. 

I was bummed to hear the rumor that Jenna (Clara) was leaving at the end of this Christmas special but as this aired news broke that she is definitely coming back for another season. Now I didn't enjoy Clara with Matt Smith's Doctor but I'm loving her with Peter Capaldi's Doctor and I look forward to many more adventures.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day with Family

Merry Christmas... I spent the night at my brother's house last night so I could be there when the kiddos opened up their gifts. Kenobi was up at 7 and ready to open gifts but Molly was still sleeping and would be cranky if we woke her up so we opened our stockings.

Molly woke up around 8:30 and my mom and step-dad Chuck arrived around 9. We started opening gifts and it took a while as the kids got quite a bit. We finished around 11 and I started to make Christmas dinner.. Lora, Mike and the kids went over to Lora's brothers house to exchange gifts. While they were gone I was home alone so I decided to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. I've only seen it a few times at the movie so was looking forward to watching it.

I remember loving this movie but man I really enjoyed watching it again. It's definitely one of the best films of 2014.

Everyone was home around 3 and dinner was ready so we all enjoyed a very tasty Turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

When we were done with dinner we watched a screener that had brought, Big Hero Six. I had seen it but the family had not. It was so much fun watching this movie with Kenobi and Molly. They loved every minute of it. Laughed out loud many times and mimicked the characters.

When the movie was over I said my goodbye and headed home. Traffic was horrible and it took me nearly two hours to get home but I finally got home around 9pm and called it a night. I had a great time with the family this Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve With Family

Going to spend Christmas day with my brother's family so I decided to head over to there place tonight so I can be there when my niece and nephew wake up Christmas morning. Another reason to go over the night before is I get to help be Santa. I help finish wrapping presents and then once they put the kids down to bed Lora, Michal and I start to bring down all of "Santa's" gifts. They really made out this year. My brother and sister-in-law are always very generous during the holidays. They know they spoil the kids but then can, so they do. The kids are still young Kenobi is age 5 and Molly age 3 but I'm sure as they get older they'll learn to appreciate their good fortune. We all went to bed around midnight and I predicted that they kids would be up around 7 but Mike and Lora said it would be later.. guess will find out tomorrow morning. Merry Christmas Eve you all...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

An Unexpected Party

I had planned to head over to my brother's tonight and spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with them but around 3pm I got an unexpected invite to a last minute Christmas party. It was my friends America and Dove. I haven't seen these guys in a while (and it wasn't from a lack of trying to get together) so of course I was going to go.

It started at 7 and of course I got there at 7 and was the first to arrive. Besides America and Dove, I got to meet America's mother who was also visiting for the holidays. I'm glad I got there early as I got to catch up a bit with America and Dove before more guest arrived. Half hour after I arrived more guests started to arrive including my friends Jes and Eric. There was a total of about 12 people. We had some tasty foods, chatted and then played several rounds of Charades. The dinner party lasted until around midnight when we said our goodbyes, Dove lite another Chanukah candle and we headed home.

It was a fun night and I got to meet several very cool and interesting people, but then again I would expect America and Dove's friends to be awesome... and they were. Thanks guys for the invite.

Freedom to Marry - This Past Year

Saw this on Twitter and had to share with everyone. It's two maps of the United States one marked 2013 and the other 2014. Each one has indications of marriage equality per state. The 2013 map looks okay, especially since gay marriage wasn't even around 10 years ago and slowly but surely it started to spread across the states, but in 2014 the numbers of states have doubled in one year that's thanks to the Supreme Court ruling. We still have a good chuck of states in the middle that need to come out of the stone age and allow marriage equality for all but I have to say this past year has been an amazing year for the gay community.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Table Top Goodies, Hobbit Holes & Marvel Vs DC

Today I got some of my "perks" for donating to season three of Wil Wheaton's Table Top. I got S1 & 2 on DVD as well as a t-shirt, button, sticker, dice & Cards Against Humanity Table Top cards.

My friend Amy wrote this cool article about this amazing Hobbit hole that you could rent and if it wasn't in Thailand I'd go stay there from time to time. This is one of the best looking above ground "real" Hobbit holes that I've seen in a long while. You can read Amy's article HERE.

I came across this pretty cool fan made video for what would be a very epic movie Marvel Vs. DC. This is very well edited and I could imagine it would take quite a while to make.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Once Upon A Time & HBO's Looking

I was finally able to catch up on the current season of Once Upon a Time. I was about six episodes behind. I've been enjoying the "Frozen" theme they have been doing for the first half of this new season. I continued to enjoy the story up to it's conclusion. I liked the conclusion to the Snow Queen's storyline, in the end she redeems herself, I always felt bad for her as all she ever wanted was to be loved. I mean she went about getting it the wrong way, but still a sympathetic character. Unlike Rumple who is just evil. And I'm loving what they have done with Regina and her relationship with Emma.

There were a few things that bothered me but the biggest one was the fact that there is a door to Arendale (Frozen land) which is just a quick boat ride away from The Enchanted Forrest. If folks in Storybrooke want to go home then why can't they just walk through the door. But then again I don't even know if the folks in Storybrooke want to get back to the Enchanted Forrest.

The mid season finale lead us into the next storyline for the second half of the season titled Heroes Vs. Villains. I was a bit confused as we see Maleficent again (but this time the Angelina Jolie movie version) but in Season 1 & 2 we saw Maleficent and in season 2 she was stuck as a Dragon underneath Storybrooke and Emma killed her, so what's up with 2 different Malficents. And then at the very end Rumple (who is now banished from Storybrooke) is in New York and goes to an Aquarium to find Ursala (but how did she get to this world). Maybe they'll explain all in the second half of the season.. guess we gotta wait until early next year to see it.

I also watched a series called Looking. I had never heard of the series and no wonder it's an HBO series and I don't have HBO. But I ran across a poster and thought to myself.. oh look a new gay themed tv series. Come to find out that it's not actually new, it's been out since January of 2014 and ran eight episodes. It did well enough that they picked it up for a second season which begins in January of 2015.

Here's there very complex synopsis of the series: Three friends explore the fun and nearly limitless options available to a new generation of gay men in San Fransisco.

I watched all eight half hour episodes back to back to back. So I guess you can say that I enjoyed the series. I liked this series because it had a very diverse group of gay men and the majority of them weren't your typical "flaming" gay men, they seemed like everyday joes, which I can relate to. The main star of the show is Jonathan Groff (he was in Glee for a bit and he voiced Kristoff in Frozen).

The other actors I didn't really know anything about with exception to Russell Tovey, who I have seen here and there on some BBC stuff (Being Human & Sherlock). I've always found him attractive but I have to say I fell in love with him and his character on this series, he's just simply adorable. He was a reoccurring character in season one but is a main character in the up coming season two... and I can't wait.

This series has a Queer as Folk vibe, but with so much less drama. The episodes being a half hour, they really do fly by. I never feel bored with what's happening. Since this is the first season they are slowly building up the relationships and friendship of the guys as well as their back stories. Only downside to this series that I saw is the guys doing drugs (well pot). If your to believe the majority of gay themed TV and movies, all gay men do drugs and believe it not that's not true.

Anyways I'm looking forward to season two in January and more Russel Tovey :)