Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Seven Reasons Why Newsies is Better

Photo courtesy of

When people find out Brian and I are going to New York, this is a typical conversation that comes about:
"New York! How cool! Are you going to see Book of Mormon?"
"No, we are going to see Newsies instead."
*Weird face and awkward pause.*

I was eating lunch with a friend the other day and I brought up my concern about why people look at me so strangely when I tell them we are going to see Newsies. "When you tell people you are going to see Newsies, it's like telling them you are going to go see One Direction in concert." he said.

Yes, I get it. Newsies is a Disney production, thus it is guaranteed to be more "kid friendly." One Direction can be considered wholesome for kids, too, what with their youthful image and positive messages. But why is it people associate  "kid friendly" with "not so fun for grownups."

In response, I decided to create a slew of reasons why the 2012 Tony winner for "Best Musical", Newsies, is a much more preferable option  than the 2011 "Best Musical" winner, Book of Mormon. Of course, this is from the perspective of someone who has seen neither production, but has listened to the soundtrack of each repeatedly. And I admit that all of these reasons are completely and totally subjective. I also reserve the right to change my stance if I ever happen to see both productions. :-)

So here are the seven reason why I would boff Elder Price and marry Jack Kelly:

1. It's easy to make kiddie entertainment. It's also easy to make adult potty humor and mature themed jokes. Want to know what's not easy? Creating entertainment that is suitable for children while at the same time making it fun for adults. 

2. Corey Cott as Jack Kelly will be amazing. Yeah, I know the original Jack Kelly, Jeremy Jordan, is no longer is in the show. He's onto bigger and better things now with the TV show Smash. But how could you say no to Corey Cott? He just has that "Darren Criss Appeal" about him:
Photo courtesy of

3. We don't have to sit there uncomfortably listening to a song that repeatedly says "$#*& you, God!" in Ugandan. Go ahead and call me a prude. I have listened to all of the other songs in Book of Mormon more than a dozen times each, I have probably only listened to this one once. Maybe it's my religious influence kicking in, but I just don't like it. Why pay such a high price for a show you already know you will not be able to completely enjoy?

5. Speaking of which, have you looked at the ticket prices for Book of Mormon? Please. And I'm not going to pay amounts that outrageous when the original cast members are not even performing anymore. Sorry. Perhaps I'll just go see it later this year when it comes to Houston.

6. The story is more applicable to our times. Sure, Book of Mormon actually has a shockingly decent moral message on what faith means. But Newsies is more of a David vs. Goliath story. Stand your ground! Fight for what's right! Stick it to the man! And do handsprings and cartwheels in the process!

7. Speaking of which, Newsies has super fit boys doing handsprings and cartwheels. Duh.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Is It Like to Be a Part-time Parent?

What is it like to be a part-time parent?

I can't answer that in one entry. In fact, if someone really wants to know the answer to that question, they'll have to keep following this blog or maybe get to know me preferably in a non-stalkerish way offline.

Like I said in my first post, Brian has two boys from his previous marriage. When I first found that out, I knew I wanted to date Brian. There's a lot to be said about a dad who has a great relationship with his kids. It's evidence of responsibility, commitment, and that he knows where his priorities should be. I knew I had to at least give him a chance. Obviously, I made the right decision. :-)

On the flip side, I was far more apprehensive about meeting Brian's kids than any of his friends or his ex-wife or his parents. In fact, I did not meet them until I had dated Brian for over six months. I felt like before meeting the most important two people in his life, I needed to make sure my relationship with Brian was solid; I needed to make sure he was the "real deal." I also realized that if my relationship with Brian was serious, my relationship with these two boys as a possible "step-dad" (a term I am not fond of) was just as important. Initially, I often worried that my relationship with Brian would be short and that the boys would get to know me for just a few months before I disappeared off the radar.

But what is it like to help raise these boys? Yeah, they are young, but I am twenty-five! Most of my friends either have no kids or kids who are just a couple of years old. Is it weird for me?

The quick answer is no, I don't feel weird or awkward around them. We love having them over. We love spending afternoons at the park or the museum. We love battling round after round in Mario Kart or seeing how tall we can get the Jenga tower before it crumbles to the ground. We love having milkshakes and a movie with them on the Friday nights we do have them.  I love helping them with their homework while Brian puts together dinner. And we love giving them responsibility by assigning them chores to do while staying with us. Their room better be clean before we have to take them back to Suburbia!

But despite only having the kids every Wednesday and every other weekend, I really underestimated how much personal free time I would be losing once I became included in their lives. If we have the kids on a weeknight or on a weekend, I officially declare that period of time in my mind as booked. "Family-friendly" entertainment is the only kind of entertainment allowed. Unless it's Chinese buffet, we rarely eat out with them. No shopping, unless we can separate the boys. No going out with friends either. On top of the days we have them over, there are also the activities the kids are involved in which require us to make regular trips to Suburbia: Little League, basketball, school functions, and more. I feel like I can now look at full-time moms and full-time dads with much greater appreciation. And although I have always been impressed with my parents for raising ten children, I now feel like I don't know how they managed to raise those ten kids without going bonkers.

I know. Full-time parents probably feel no pity for me and my part-time duties. But being a part-time parent kind of sucks, too. Sometimes I wonder how much of an impact we have with what goes on in their lives. I do get a little frustrated that I do not get as much of a say in what goes on. Not only am I (basically) their step-dad, but between their mom, their dad, and their other step-dad, I am the one that sees them the least, thus I am the one that often feels least involved. Ultimately, they always go back to their Suburbia home where they live by the rules of that house. Daily decisions and discipline are given by their parents there for at least two-thirds of the month.

The worst part of our days is the awkward silence of having no children in the house after we have taken them back to Suburbia. No yelling. No one running around. No one asking me for pretzel Goldfish. No one to clean up after and no one to play Clue with. Just silence. Brian and I sometimes talk about the possibility of us adopting or fostering another kid. I do not doubt that we would raise a child well with all of this part-time experience we are getting. But even the thought of having a child on a full-time basis brings about a bajillion other questions I could write multiple entries on.

Maybe just a dog to make some noise will be our only option if adoption is not in the cards for us.

Edit: I should point out that when I say "part-time" parent, I know some people might cringe. So I should clarify that although I do not see the boys on a full-time basis, my love for them is still full. I want to see them be happy and I want to witness their successes in life. When I say "part-time", it should be interpreted in a physical sense.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When Introducing Yourself...

One of the most daunting tasks for me to perform is initiating conversation. I just don't know how. How do I just go up to someone, say "hi", and then follow up with just some random question? What if I come off as weird or what if I choke in the process? I hate the anxiety I get when meeting new people. I hate that I so easily forget people's names because I am so busy making sure I don't look like a doofus when first introducing myself.

And like first conversations, I am not sure what exactly to share in the first post of my new blog. So I guess I'll start off with a basic introduction.

Hi! I'm Evan. I'm a mid-twenty-something year who is employed on the IT staff at a local university. I have lived in Texas forever and really don't ever plan on moving away for the sake of being relatively close to family and due to both mine and my fiance's career track. There's a lot of little things about me that make me unique. I am definitely a bit of a nerd. I own all three major consoles. I sometimes get these month long bursts where I become intensely interested in creating Android mobile applications. I think those bursts re-appear when I watch or read something along the lines of that film "The Social Network." The idea of developing something independently without restrictions and corporate money just seems a little bit of a thrill to me.  Right now mobile application development is on a hiatus because of the work required to create this blog.

I was raised Mormon and still have a level of respect for how I was raised and the history of my faith. I sometimes go on these stints where I meet with other disaffected Mormons about what it was like growing up that way. Never have I ever experienced a prolonged sense of being a TBM (True Blue Mormon? True Blood Mormon? True Believing Mormon? I still am not totally sure what that acronym means in Mormon circles). I still have my Book of Mormon (the actual book, not the musical) sitting on my shelf. I drink coffee every now and then, but only if it doesn't taste like dirt. Except for the few accidental moments, I have never tasted alcohol and don't ever plan to consume it unless someone happens to hand me an appletini while I'm watching a pride parade go by in Salt Lake City.

Like I said, I have a fiance named Brian. And he's a man... and yes, we are both gay. Kind of like Kurt and Blaine from Glee. Does that make you cringe? If so, just imagine us like you do your parents and don't worry about what goes on in the bedroom. Maybe that will help. We have been engaged for sixteen months and are planning on having a legal wedding ceremony in New York City this March.

Brian has also lived in Texas since the day of his birth, but has been even more limited to have only lived in the Houston area. He is on the IT staff of a fancy pants research center in the Medical Center. Brian is a nerd on a different front. He doesn't really care for video games, but loves science fiction movies.  He wants to have our entire home completely automated via his iPad and iPhone. I like to say that he is practically an Apple fanboy even though he still hasn't done his yearly iPhone upgrade. He also comes up with some of the most creative and interesting house projects... stuff I could never ever think up. Like what he did to our shower:

Brian used to be married to a woman who is now a wonderful ally and supporter of us. We both have a great relationship with her and her husband. Out of Brian's last marriage came two boys who are eight and nine. They primarily live out in the suburbs with their mom and step-dad, but we have the pleasure of having them over Wednesdays and every other weekend.

We all live in the massive Houston area and outside of the politics, we really do like living here. Most people in Houston seem to be very accepting of us. We love our friends. We like being close to Brian's parents and it's not absurdly far to see my parents on long weekends. We like the stable career environment we have here and find it unlikely that we will ever actually move away.

So that's an intro to who I am and a few of the important people in my life. Not too awkward, right?