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Alcohol, Shirt & Kiss (finished 28 October 2011)
Well, I can’t complain about two guys kissing each other, but I tend to like more explicit yaoi manga. The interaction between the two main characters isn’t too realistic, I don’t think—it is erotica, after all—but suspending my disbelief wasn’t a problem. The short at the end, “Moon Kiss”, was cute and ended unexpectedly. Kind of nice to be pleasantly surprised, you know?

Ai no Exorcist (viewed at home as it aired online April-Ocober 2011)
An anime that doesn’t really do anything new but held my interest long enough for me to watch all 25 episodes. I thought, by the end, that perhaps the younger brother (Yukio) had been the protagonist all along, even though much of the story centered on the elder brother (Rin). I think my favorite characters were Shiro (the brothers’ adoptive father)—even though he’s barely in it—and Mephisto (the school’s headmaster/chairman).

Garbo’s Cuban Lover (viewed at Macha Theatre 08 October 2011)
Went to see this stage play in West Hollywood with a friend, Joyce. Really enjoyed it, even though we got lost on the way there. ^_^;; Notes: two restrooms (one unisex, the other women only), no outside food or drink allowed, a can of Coke at the bar costs $2, one glass of White Zinfandel costs $10 (reason #837259 I don’t drink). The theatre is smaller than I was expecting (makes for an intimate experience, at least, right?), but the play itself wholly made up for that. Well written, well staged, and well acted. Also, lesbians kissing/being frisky/sexin’ it up, and who doesn’t like watching that? Would definitely see it again (after reading up on Mercedes de Acosta and Greta Garbo), if I could afford it. T_T See also.

The PhD Movie (viewed at Caltech‘s Beckman Auditorium 22 September 2011)
We meant to see the first showing (we didn’t know there would be another showing after the first), but the auditorium was full up right as we reached the steps up to the door. Saw this with Dad (his suggestion), sister, Mom, and Grandma. It’s really funny in an “ouch, that’s actually true” kind of way. If you haven’t read the comic, start here. Highly recommended for anyone who has worked toward a degree in higher learning, and for everyone who’s thought about it! Brother will be seeing it on his campus in November!

Seven Days in Utopia (viewed in theaters 04 September 2011)
It was (I think) Dad’s idea to see this movie, so the whole family (Dad, Mom, me, Bunny, and Grandma; not Johnny since he’s out of state) piled into the car and then piled into the theater. For a movie about golf, it was… okay. My mom really likes Robert Redford Duvall (Redford, too, probably), so she thought it was pretty good. It pretty spectacularly failed the Bechdel Test (no surprise there), but I was pleasantly surprised when the lady love interest told the main character, “No. It’s too soon” when he tried to kiss her. And then he didn’t pressure her. The sports commentators at the end were really, really irritating (all the talking over the action is about half the reason I dislike watching sports in the first place), but overall I didn’t mind sitting there watching it, even if the entire film turned out to be, as my sister said, “the longest, most elaborate website advertizement I’ve ever seen.” Like I said, meh. It wasn’t great. It wasn’t absolutely terrible.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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