Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Return of the Ex

     For those of you who haven't been watching Brothers and Sisters all the way through ever since they put all five seasons on Netflix, here's some brief background so you will understand what I am talking about. The Walker family from Pasadena experience things in their lives over five years that would literally cause most people to take a long walk off a short pier. One of the most common occurrences in this show is the fact that every season, at least two or three times, some ex-whatever of one of the Walkers comes barreling back into their lives for no good reason trying to either get back into the family or royally screw everything up.

     So we get the theme of this post: Unwanted guests. What is it about people that we don't want to see ever again making sure that one way or another they will always come back into your life at the most inopportune moment. These people always seem to manage to make themselves known when there is something going on where them being there is just wildly inconvenient.

But, even when it seems like everything is going wrong because they are back, we learn something about ourselves. These people, for good or ill, are part of who we are. They make up the base foundation of the lessons learned during our time with them. So when they come back into our lives we get scared. Scared of who we once were and scared that we might become that person again.

My advice for this? Embrace it. Don't be scared of who you once were but acknowledge the fact that without them you wouldn't be the person that you are today. I know that it sucks and I know that the last thing that we might want is to be reminded of the mistakes that all we want to do is leave behind but at the end of the day what has past has past and once we can accept that, once we can truly realize that the person we once were is gone and we are better for it life just doesn't seem so scary.

I'm out!

Twitter: @BettencourtP

Yeah this happened. Don't judge me.

Ok so I'm sitting here working over my second $1.59 PBR tall can from Safeway following a night of mangoritas with my girl Victoria and felt the sudden urge to put some works on a page. We decided to watch some shitty movies and drink some even shittier drinks and thus landed ourselves on 13 Going On 30. No night of fun times is complete without some shitty Jennifer Garner movie times. Because of my intoxication and lack of real thinking I have for you a sweet photo set of some of my personal fave insane fashions from the recent London Fall Fashion Week. Comment as you feel needed.

Well that's all for now. Comment what you want to see in the next couple of days and I'll do it!

I'm out!

Twitter: @BettencourtP

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Money Can't Buy Happiness, But it Can Keep You Alive

So I sit here looking at my week ahead and I come to the harsh and yet totally normal reality that despite everything I find myself working almost every single day this week. Today is coaching. Thursday, Friday, Saturday is Urban Outfitters. And I can pretty much guarantee you that I will be working again on Sunday. And what is it all for? For the minimum wage pay that barely covers rent and food not to mention the gas getting from place to place, the utility bills to pay, being forced to eat out several times a week because I have a break from work and need food. So if money can’t buy you happiness, then why is it so damn important to live?

I decided, for laughs, to sit down and figure out how much I actually work a week when you factor in travel time and divide that by how much I make before taxes. I work approximate 37 hours a week if you factor in travel time. I get paid, however, monthly and so if you figure that we are looking at more like 148 hours of work/driving a month. And so, all in all, once it is all factored up I make approximately $7.80 an hour working.

For some out there, that might seem like a good amount of money especially if you live in a state where a living wage is $7 an hour because the cost of living is so cheap. I live in California, however, where the cost of living is so high that in our major cities we have a required $10 an hour minimum wage for within city limits to make up for the fact that rent to live there is so damn expensive. It would only figure to make sense then that in a city with such high rent and thus high wage that all other expenses, from groceries to gas, would be so highly inflated.

So why do I work so much in a city like Santa Cruz where everything is insanely expensive and nothing is free only to find money slipping out of my hands faster than I can bring it in? What’s the point? The point is that money, in life, is everything. Our entire society is built on the idea that you have to have money in some amount in order to live. Even the homeless, living on the streets, need to beg for enough money to buy food because without cash there would be no meal and without meals they were eventually die. And so while it may be said that money can’t buy happiness, it sure as hell will at least keep you alive.

I'm Out!

Twitter: @BettencourtP

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top 5 Movies I Would Die Without

Every once in a while I like to delve into the lower side of writing and produce what I like to refer to as “ranty lists”. Basic principle is that some comes up with a comical (or what they feel is a comical) list of things that annoy/surprise/excite them. And so, with that, here is what I have come up with, in no particular order: My Top 5 Movies I Would Die Without.

1. Sweet Home Alabama (2002):

     So I know I may get some flak for this one but honestly this movie is incredible. You have Reese Witherspoon in her natural habitat as a down to earth Southern girl and Josh Lucas looking fine as hell as the hilarity ensues. The shining gem in this piece absolutely has to be Candice Bergen playing the cantankerous and overbearing mother-of-the-bride/New York City Mayor. Her classic one-liners and just overall nasty tone never fails to put a smile on my face.

2. Sex and the City (2008):

     Fashion, fun, flirt. This movie has everything a total spacey chick flick needs for a fabulously good time. Forget about the fact that this movie may or may not be considered and actually “good” film, it is definitely one that I know that if I sat down with a cosmo and a good grilled cheese I would be able to sit through the whole thing from start to finish (as yes, I have done this). The shining gem: naked Frenchmen. Yum.

3. Mean Girls (2004):

     Do I even need to list why I love this movie? Hands down the most quotable film ever made and I guarantee that I can recite the entire thing from beginning to end without even missing a step. Lindsey Lohan? Flawless. Rachel McAdams? Total bitch and great at it. Amanda Seyfried? No one can play stupid like she can. I would mention Gretchen Weiners but I don’t even know that actresses name. Womp womp. And none for Gretchen Weiners BYE! The shining gem: My favorite moment is when Gretchen kicks the stereo and it flies into the crowd and hits Jason in the face at an alarming speed.

4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003):

     Definitely the most insanely amazing (and insanely long) movie trilogies ever made, Peter Jackson has taken one the most iconic books ever written and created an almost 10 hour masterpiece. If you ever have the chance to watch all three extendeds back-to-back DO IT. I know that it seems wildly different than the three I already listed but It is actually really incredible. The shining gem: the amazing comedic timing that takes a long fantasy epic and turns it into a perfectly paced film series.

5. Monsters Inc. (2001):

     Absolutely adorable and makes my boyfriend cry literally every time we watch it. Monsters Inc. takes everything that we were afraid of as kids and shows it in a lighthearted and fun way. Entertaining for adults and brilliant fun for kids, this movie makes me feel good every single time that I watch it and my life would not be the same without it. The shining gem: The Medusa haired Celia Mae inserting her own brand of crazy chick comedy into this wildly male dominated film.

Well folks, there it is. I know it’s not exactly ground breaking and I assure you that something else will come out any day now with some real substance. Until then…

I’m out!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

DOMA is Doomed

Spending my day off obsessively watching episode after episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” on Netflix of course has me thinking about the idea of marriage. Why do it? What’s the benefit? Is it worth the money? And, of course, the last one brings us to a much more serious point: Why, as a gay man, am I not allowed? With the decision coming down the pipe from the US Supreme Court on not only the constitutionality of DOMA but also on California’s Prop 8 the whole nation is bracing, for good or ill, for a momentous change. As this is happening though conservative are, of course, letting their voices be heard by announcing a pledge that they will defy any decision toward marriage equality with signers ranging from religious figures to political leaders. Before we cast stones at these zealots, let’s take a look at the facts.

On the table we have two different decisions: DOMA and Prop 8. The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, decision will determine whether or not barring same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits as a married couple is constitutionally allowed. While this benefit would do nothing for couples who are not living in states that recognize same-sex marriage, those living in the handful of states that do will finally receive benefits from the feds if it is overturned. Prop 8 on the other hand is a little trickier here. We got options. Prop 8 could be overturned on the ground of federal constitutionality and thus overturn all gay marriage bans in the United States leading to full legalization. More likely the Supreme Court will say that it is unconstitutional IN CALIFORNIA ONLY and allow gay marriage there. The case could even be thrown out altogether leading to, again, gay marriage in California. So what is this pledge thingy?

Banning together under the veil of religious expression, hundreds of religious Americans have signed onto a pledge that they would ignore any decision passed down from the Supreme Court that would spell marriage equality. Using key buzz words and phrases such as “freedom”, “society”, and “faith”, the two page letter creates a nation that is apparently being overrun by the power of the judicial branch which, in their mind, should not have any power at all. As they put it, “Unlike the Legislative Branch that has the power of the purse and the Executive Branch which has the figurative power of the sword, the Judicial Branch has neither”. So for them this decision is one that in going against their religious freedoms from a branch of government that they see as being powerless. But, if one actually reads the document, what is very obviously lacking is any sort of plan of what to do. It reads more like a tantrum from a snotty toddler than a document with weight and purpose.

Photo - Rep. Sally Kern - AP Photo
So what can these individuals even do? Considering the list of individuals signed on board with this pledge I am going to say not very much. Out of the hundred some odd people who have given their names for this, there is only one person who currently holds a seat in a United States government position and that is Rep. Sally Kern of Oklahoma’s 84th House District who is, unsurprisingly, a Republican and who could be shocked to read this when this is the same woman with such famous statements as “We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school?” and that women earn less than men because they don't work as hard and have less initiative. So it’s not like her inclusion onto this pledge comes as any kind of surprise. From there we ramble onto a list of various figured ranging from Peter La Barbera, the Preside of “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality” to Dr. Warren Guy, a pediatric dentist. Seems to me like this list is missing the key political weight it needs to even matter.

Look, the fact of the matter is that this is going to happen. Gay marriage, one way or another, is going to be legalized. The cards are falling into place now and finally we are closer than ever and these religious yahoos and simply using it as an excuse to try to stay relevant but it is obviously not going to work. The biggest knock here is the fact that they couldn’t even get big name Republicans to sign on. Where are the Rush Limbaughs and Sarah Palins of the world? Not here because even they are realizing that in order to keep their jobs they have to stay on the right side of history and calm it down a little. This letter is nothing more than a piece of paper trying to stop a rolling boulder. Sorry Dr. Guy. Go back to the spit bowl. I’m gonna get all kinds of gay married.

I’m out!

Twitter: @BettencourtP

Works Referenced:
-"Sally Kern." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.
-Rayfield, Jillian. "Oklahoma GOPer: It’s A Fact That ‘Blacks’ Don’t Work As Hard." TPM. N.p., 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 22 June 2013.
-McNutt, Michael. "Kern Apologizes for Comments on Minorities and Women; NAACP Says It's Not Enough." NewsOK. N.p., 29 Apr. 2011. Web. 22 June 2013.
-Gates, Sara. "Conservatives Pledge To Defy Any Marriage Equality Ruling The Supreme Court Reaches." Huffington Post. N.p., 22 June 2013. Web. 22 June 2013.
-Bloomfield, Aubrey. "Supreme Court DOMA: The Anachronistic Law Must Be Struck Down." Policy Mic. N.p., 22 June 2013. Web. 22 June 2013.
-Phillip, Abby D. "Supreme Court DOMA Ruling Looms Over Immigration Overhaul." ABC News. N.p., 17 June 2013. Web. 22 June 2013.

-Freedom Federation. "We Stand in Solidarity to Defend Marriageand the Family and Society Founded Upon Them." Scribd. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Been a While

It’s been a while since I have felt compelled to write anything on here. I guess the trend has been that when I am feeling down or I feel as if there is no other outlet in my life I just log on, spew some words, and feel a tiny bit better. I mean, no one wants to hear about someone’s joy when they can make themselves feel better by reading about another’s misery. There is nothing that makes me feel better than to know that someone else has it shittier than I do. Schadenfeuder or whatever, right? What show is that from? Avenue Q? God I’m gay.

Ok so then what is the reason for me being here today? I am not particularly sad right now. Garrett is going through a lot in his life and it is putting him pretty hardly on edge but I do what I can to try to alleviate the stress level. Valentine’s Day will definitely help out a ton. I have a pretty fantastical surprise prepared for him that will hopefully melt his worries off his body. Not exactly the easiest thing to do but I think I can manage. He likes booze and smelling type thingies (candles, incense, etc.) I think I can definitely manage this. I love that boy.

I guess things are kind of going pretty well. My loan stuff is FINALLY all done for school so going into week 5 of 10 I finally have managed to find a way to pay for my tuition. I really don’t understand why I am paying so much for this education I am receiving. I love my classes and my professors but for serious it is pretty ridiculous these days. I could buy a pretty decent car with the amount of money that I took out and that was only for one quarter. I have to find a way to pay for five more. I sure do love being in debt. That is the bestest.

Alright, I know this was dull. I just felt compelled to write something since it had been FOREVER. I promise to have better things to write about soon.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Twihard or Go Home

      So yesterday I was downtown with Garrett and our friend Chelsea and we were accosted by the posters up to announce the latest Twilight abomination so of course we had to go. I had honestly forgotten it was coming up because, really, who cares? Twilight is really just a woman trying to recreate the magic of Harry Potter with the prose of a child. It is a weak imitation of the young adult classics that have come out lately. Luckily for her that it is just bad enough that people can still tolerate it and find it fun and campy. So obviously, being a huge fan of all things campy, I needed to see it.

Ok so when we finally got to the theater I don’t think I have ever been more embarrassed to be anywhere and I make a living teach high school girls how to dance. Holding my head low and keeping my voice down, I walked in with Garrett and Chelsea while they were hamming it up and having a grand ol’ time. Sorry I’m not a twelve year old girl and thus I’m not Team Jacob or Team Edward. Everything was confirmed to me when I went in to the actual screening and it was a pretty even blend of drunk college kids who were there for an evening of fun and high school couples consisting of skinny little girls and their equally skinny skater boyfriend who were not all too pleased to be there. What is it about this movie and underage couples? Side note: remember the days when the only place you could go to make out was the movies? Yeah. That has not changed apparently.

As the movie begins the very very apparent problem is the fact that Edward looks WAYY older than when this saga began. Ok I understand. It is impossible to make a five movie series without there being some aging as we go along but COME ON. He is a vampire ergo should not age, right? Well apparently, wrong. Apparently he started out 17 and ended 25. Cause vampires do that, right. I am just saying that if these people have ability to make Taylor Lautner turn from a human to a “giant dog” then can’t they do some kind of CGI magic to make this man child look like a teenager? Guess not.

As this crazy little show continued we got introduced to Renesmee for the first time. I almost pooped my pants. In an effort to make sure that the baby actually looks like it could be the child of Edward and Bella the director decided that as opposed to using an actual child he would insert a CGI baby into Bella’s arms. This is the worst bit of computer work in the entire film. This child looked like something that was cut and pasted out the Sims. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying I can do any better but considering the fact that this is one the largest film franchises in recent history then they certainly can.

As this joy ride keeps trucking along we get introduced to a plethora of new vampires to serve as witnesses to convince the Vultori that Renesmee isn’t an immortal child (a baby who was turned into a vampire) cause those are apparently illegal. This new group of vamps, as they are assembled, resembled more and more like a really bad re-make of X-Men. As they go from person to person showing their skills (one can cause hallucinations and another can produce electricity) I couldn’t help but sit there and give them their new super hero names. The one that really killed me was the fact that Bella, conveniently has the ability to block everyone’s powers because she is a “shield”. I mean COME ON. As they go into a fight with the Vultori who came to power because of these skills that they have of course the good guys are going to have someone who can block those powers. What a cop out.

We finally get to the epic finale when the Vultori come forward to confront the Cullen and Friends and I was of course expecting some kind of huge let down ending where everyone became friends and there was a potluck but I was dead wrong. To those who have not seen it and want to: DO NOT CONTINUE. That being said, Stephanie Meyer envisioned one hell of an ending for this flick. Just after Alice is done showing he Vultori what would happen to the future of vampires, she turned to Bella and goes, “Now”. Chaos. Alice does an illusion kick and hits the head Vultori in the face sending him flying. Jasper gets hs head ripped from his body. Carlise goes flying forward and gets his head ripped off. Esmee goes batshit cray and all of the Cullen and Friends go flying forward and the battle begins. Heads are flying, people are being burned, Dakota Fanning gets eaten by a wolf. I would pay another ten dollar just to see this fifteen minute sequence of total badassery. I laughed, I cried, I wet myself (a little). Just as Bella has beheaded the leader of the Vultori and is about to set him on fire *SNAP* we are pulled back and we find out that the whole thing was just Alice’s vision of what would happen. Instead the Vultori walk away with their tails between their legs and everyone lives. My mind was blown.

And with that the only thing left was to bring this whole thing to a close. As expected, the Cullens are able to stay in Forks, Jacob is crowned a hero, and all is right in the vampy world. Just like in the book it ends with Bella and Edward chillin in a meadow being all cutesy and stuff. In one last tear jerking move, Bella extends her shield power (which now has memory recollection) to show Edward all her favorite memories from the previous four movies. Really, it was cute. Don’t judge me.

      Ok so I know that it is Twilight and people should morally hate it just because it is so terrible but I am going to stick my neck out and say I liked it. It was cheesy, it was campy, but in the end it was also totally badass. The jokes were better, the acting was MUCH better, and it was truly entertaining. And the battle in the end was completely insane. I never thought that Twilight would ever go there but it did. It went all the way there. And more.