Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Woo-hoo! The interview went really well! Now, I just have to wait for all my references to clear and for the HR department to decide.

The interview lady was extremely nice, and she was impressed with how patient I was when she had a few computer problems that kept me waiting. *shrugs* I'm a patient person. She also said when the interview was over that, on a personal note, it was a pleasure to meet me, which made me feel damn good. Heh.

*grins*

Hopefully, I'll hear by the weekend. Until then...here's another character letter!







Bryn Scott / Na'saki

For the longest time, I didn't know who I was.

Oh, sure, I knew my name. I knew my adopted family and how I fit with them. I knew my job, my best friend, my home. But I didn't know who I was without those things, those people.

Then, Jita and Taro showed up, and my whole world turned ninety degrees to the left. They are aliens, and when they showed up on my porch less than a month ago, they casually informed me that I'm an alien, too.

I don't need to tell you how I reacted to that. Suffice it to say that, after the initial "the hell you say" phase had passed, I realized that what had never been right about me in my entire life as a human was perfect for my life as an Ino-din. And I am an Ino-din. The last female of my kind.

Which, of course, leads to a whole new set of problems. As the last, it's my duty -- sometimes a privilege, sometimes a burden -- to bring forth more pure-blooded Ino-din. That means, of course, that for the last month, I've been...mating with...both the two remaining full-blooded Ino-din males.

That's a trial in and of itself. Add in that I have only the vaguest idea of what it means to be Ino-din, and you have an idea of how...interesting...my life has been lately.

And then...there's Duji. Duji is the half-Ino-din, half-human son of my mate, Taro. I may straddle the line between human and Ino-din, as I was born one and raised the other, but poor Duji is stretched between the two. Stronger than a human but weaker than an Ino-din, he has the ability and understanding of more, but too many limitations to fully succeed.

This makes for a serious problem between the two of us. Add in that he's supposed to see me -- someone totally new who is far stronger even now than he'll ever be, but who has no idea of the extent of her abilities -- as a mother figure, stir rapidly, and then stand back and watch the explosion.

And now, I stand here -- tied by both duty and by heart to this child who claims to hate me -- and shake with mother-bear rage as a stranger...as an alien holds a vicious-looking talon to Duji's tiny, vulnerable throat. I see the fear he tries to hide as that alien freak lifts him by his hair and holds him like a shield before its chest.

He sees me, and he utters the word that will change my life forever, that will awaken the Ino-din rage that I have never understood and couldn't imagine buried within myself. His blue, blue eyes -- no Ino-din eyes, those -- light up with hope and salvation, and he speaks, and Bryn Scott is lost in the burning, loving fury of a mother whose child is threatened -- of Na'saki, mate of the Ino-din Prince and mate to his Guard.

"Mama!"


I am Ino-din, and my race is borne of war. And now, it's time to prove it.


© Copyright 2005, Molly Burkhart

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Happy Sidebar:

I have an interview at Freeman Hospital tomorrow!

*does a little dance*

Wish me luck?

Dear Charlie:

Another player in my gallery of main characters. These letters are fun!







Ha'jita

I am the Prince of the Ino-din. For centuries, we Ino-din have stood as indomitable warriors. We have conquered worlds, brought entire galaxies to their knees. Of course, we did not keep those worlds for ourselves. We had no designs on the universe, as we enjoyed the art of warfare too much to bother with ruling.

No, we conquered, and then we sold -- either to the highest bidder or to whomever contracted our unique services. Our race was strong, rich, independent. We bowed to no one. We feared no enemy.

But now, it may have come to an end.

I left my kingdom burning at the hands of unknown invaders whose strength should not have been possible. They knew where and when to attack. They practically danced into the palace, to the very Throne itself.

We, the conquerors, became the conquered.

I would have stayed, would have fought until the bitter end, but the Regent left me with no choice. In less than two years, I would have handed him his ass for daring to order me, but I am still in my minority, still more than a year from the Throne. He ordered me to leave, to preserve the royal line in case some dregs of the Ino-din survived the purge.

He ordered me to take his infant daughter and run. Even then, even with enemies tumbling the very walls around us and with his life running down by the second, he knew.

At any rate, it hardly matters. I ran, feeling more like a coward with every light year I traveled. I ran with the infant to the one other Ino-din whose location I could never forget.

I ran to Taro.

He was not pleased to see me. He feared that I had come to purge his new planet, that I would harm his Ea-din mate. We fought, and -- while I had trained and purged every day of the ten years since I saw him last -- he thrashed me to a draw. And then, bloody and broken and exhausted beyond ability to even argue, he listened as I told him what had happened. I informed him of his duty to accompany me back to Ino to retake the Throne.

He refused.

He had a new planet, a new home, a new mate. He had a new life, and he had no use for the race that had stripped him of all he held dear, had reviled him, had exiled him to a weak planet to live out his pitiful existence in shame and disgrace.

I convinced him to return with me, but only by hinting that whoever had invaded Ino might well trace me here, to his beloved new home. The threat to his home and mate proved effective.

We left the infant with his Ea-din female and left Ea far behind. I knew we might never return. Taro knew we might never return. I think even the infant knew, for she fussed in my arms the entire time Taro said his lengthy and unnecessary goodbyes to his mate.

This trip has been full of silence, full of things unsaid, full of bitterness. I care not. All I care for is my kingdom, the fires I left burning, the Throne I left empty and broken. I will right things with Taro later. For now, I must right things with my birthright.

And, as we land on our home planet -- which our approach scans claim is void of Ino-din life -- I feel the rage building. I feel the fury of our race speeding my blood, filling my body with energy and strength, honing my senses until the pilot controls stand forward with cutting clarity and the hum and tick of the cooling engines are deafening.

Taro stands beside me as the hatch drops. The acrid bite of ash hits us first. The silence hits us next.

We stand in the blood-scented twilight, staring like bewildered children at the tangle of blackened jungle in which we chose to hide our presence. Ino had always been a veritable paradise -- lush and green in the soft semi-darkness, smelling of life and prey, of flowers and fruit. But now...oh, now....

The walk to the cliff overlooking the palace is something out of a nightmare. I barely register the decaying bodies -- not all Ino-din, I do manage to note -- for the sheer destruction of what I had, as a child, considered immutable. If this small part of my kingdom represents the entirety of Ino....

But here is the cliff. Here is the moment I have both burned for and dreaded. Here, those of us who survived the initial invasion will have gathered to fight as the unstoppable army we are. A seige at the palace could last for years with the proper food supply.

At first, I do not understand what I am seeing. Taro drops to his knees beside me, making a strange noise in his throat. I stare across a vast, smoking plain of blackened rubble. We are in the wrong place. That is the only explanation. My palace is indestructible. Even the most advanced weaponry we have found barely marked the outer wall.

But...but I can see the tower's top from here, lying on its side in the rubble. Impossible to mistake that deceptively delicate spire, even from this distance. I see the palace gates in a twisted ruin in what should be the courtyard. I smell rotting bodies and old blood. I hear nothing but the breeze and the rhythmic ting, ting, ting of metal tapping metal.

This is my palace. This is my home, my future. This charred, broken ruin is my birthright.

This is all I have left.

A sound leaves me, and I realize that I am weeping. I hear Taro weeping, as well.

Taro...and a child...a female child....

Perhaps all is not lost.


© Copyright 2005, Molly Burkhart

Monday, June 27, 2005

Dear Charlie:

As I am currently rewriting my trilogy, I've been delving into my characters' heads. I decided to take a page from my beloved sister's manual and wrote letters from the characters about their defining moments. Over the next few days, I'll be posting them -- maybe even having conversations with my characters, heh. Good stuff.

'S good to be in the writing biz again!




Ja'taro / Gabin Suut

My father is dead.

Everyone seems to have forgotten that. They are more concerned that the King is dead. Even Ha'jita -- nearly as close as a brother, though he is my Prince -- has forgotten my father in his grief and rage over his own.

No one cares that the King's Personal Guard is just as dead as the great King Ha'jiro. All they care for is my father's failure in his sole duty.

The King is dead.

I stand before the Council, hands bound before me and any decoration of my status as the Prince's Personal Guard removed. My father failed to preserve the King's life, and so our entire line is punished. I am my father's son, after all.

They want to take my tail. They want to brand me as the worst kind of traitor for all time. They want to execute me for the crime of being my father's son. My father, the failure.

They don't care that he was poisoned and doomed to impotently watch as the also-poisoned King's throat was cut. They don't care that the King was nearly family to us and that my father could only watch as assassins slit our liege from throat to groin and cut out his heart, his lungs, his entrails. They don't care that my father and the King died staring at each other, neither able to do anything to save themselves, for hours until death took them both.

They simply don't care.

I stand before them and find that I have no energy with which to hate them. They will kill me for my father's failure, and I still cannot bring myself to feel anything. Just get it over with.

The doors open with enough force to chip the walls they crash into, and Ha'jita strides through. Though as pale as death and only ten years old, my Prince still carries himself with innate command, with the pride of our entire race. I cannot help but raise my head and smile a hard, little smile as he takes instant charge of the room.

"You cannot mean to execute this child."

He has been as a brother to me. We have shared every moment since our births -- on the same day, no less. There is a wall between us, of course, but Ha'jita rarely enforces it. He is...far more to me than a personage to guard. I would give my life for him if he so much as requested it.

"My Prince, you are not in a frame of mind to decide in this matter."

"My frame of mind is none of your concern, Lord Regent. I will not allow this child to be executed for his father's crime. His family is dishonored and his father dead. The rest of his punishment is mine to declare and mine to carry out."

"My Prince--"

"He will be exiled to a planet of my choosing. He is dishonored and stripped of all rank. He will live out the rest of his disgraceful life with weaklings and cowards as constant reminders of his shame. Or, he can rise up and conquer them as he chooses. Either way, he will never return to Ino on threat of his very life."

I cannot speak. For a moment, I had thought....

He turns to me, his black eyes burning feverishly in his pale face. "I will not intercede on his behalf twice."

The Council murmurs, but Ha'jita is the Prince...will be King when he reaches his majority. The Chamberlain --no, the Regent, now that the King is dead -- stands and bows.

"Very well, my Prince. Your will be done. The boy will be shorn of his tail and exiled--"

"You will not touch his tail."

My Prince. He will be a fine ruler. He will be a King of legend, one they will write songs about throughout history.

"My Prince--"

"He has committed no treason. Why should his tail be removed?"

"His family has committed the gravest act of treason our society can conceive."

"His family is duly shamed. Ja'taro has not personally committed any crime. His tail remains, and I will have the tail of anyone who disobeys me in this." Standing tall, Ha'jita takes me by the arm and leads me to the doors. "This Council is dismissed. I will exile this da'mire personally."

I am numb. Even Ha'jita has turned against me. I am dishonored, disowned, orphaned, exiled.

I am completely undone. I would rather be dead.

"My Prince, I would rather be executed than exiled and disgraced."

He neither falters in his pace nor turns to face me. "I am no longer your prince, da'mire. Address me appropriately as Prince of Ino, or I will knock you to the floor."

I cannot take this. I cannot live like this. It is too cruel a fate.

"You have no choice in the matter. You will live."

He stops finally before a one-man star scouter and turns to face me. His eyes -- eyes that I have seen lit with both laughter and fury, with excitement of the kill and with joy in the hunt -- are shadowed with loss and the evidence of the many sleepless nights since our fathers' murders. He takes me by the shoulders, and I am helpless to look away.

"You will live...Ja'taro."

A fierce, burning ache fills me at the sound of my title on my Prince's lips. I have been simply Taro or the da'mire since the moment of the King's death. I have no honor, no pride.

...Except the one utterance from the one I can no longer claim as my Prince.

He does not wave as my scouter launches, and the planet recedes too quickly for me to truly say goodbye. I will never again run the twilit jungle. I will never again taste our fabled wine. I will never hunt another Eso-din in the doubled moonlight.

I will never see my father or Ha'jita again. I wish I were dead. What can life possibly hold for me now?


© Copyright 2005, Molly Burkhart

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sidebar:

Allow me to be the first -- I hope -- to publicly wish my excellent friend, BG, a happy birthday!

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, dear BG
Happy birthday to you!

Gonna get some tonight
Gonna get some tonight
Gonna get some...cake and ice cream!
Heh....
Gonna get some tonight!

You're a good man, Charlie Brown, and I hope you have a wonderful, poker-lucky, and kick-ass birthday. Kudos on another year on the planet, and kudos for the year to come!

Of course, if I were a really good friend, I'd have overnighted you some cookies and bon-bons, but...I'm a retarded monkey, and Sarge is gonna revoke my weapons privileges.

...

That's Red vs Blue, in case any of you were wondering...heh....

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Woo-hoo!

I just finished a short story. I wanted to write a better story to send to Xodtica -- a more representative one. The editor wanted a story to put up for free reading on the website. A story to bring more people into the fold, so to speak. A teaser for the rest of the magazine.

After two weeks of trying to make a so-so idea work and getting pissed at my stubborn, obnoxiously independent characters, I caved and sent said editor a story I'd written a while back for a specific e-zine that I think went under. "Tourist Season". It's a good story, and it does have erotic elements, but....

But it's not really an erotica story. The more I thought about it -- after I sent it, of course...*facepalms* -- the more I didn't like the idea of it representing the magazine. The sex is central to the story, of course, but....

But....

Anyway, so I was lying in bed Wednesday night, thinking of this and that, and in popped this idea. It was one of those "Oh, and then...!" ideas that I knew could go all the way. It wasn't an "I think I can make this work" idea. It was fully developed and self-contained.

It took me less than two days (probably 10-12 hours in total) to write, and I really, really like it. I think it'll work much better. It's an erotica story, but it's...a little more romantic. It has more heart. It's not as hard-logic as "Tourist Season".

"Sundown".

I like it.

So, as soon as I get an okay from the editor, I'll send it off. Can I get some fingers crossing?

Woo-hoo!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Helluva day, here.

I try not to get my hopes up about new job opportunities, but I can't really help it. *sighs* Edy and I drove around today and grabbed applications. We also filled out applications at the hospital. One of the positions I applied for required a typing test.

Now, I know I type pretty well, but I have no idea how I type under pressure.

That's not precisely true. When I have a deadline, I can type damn fast and damn accurate. I'm talking if it's trial time and I need to get 3 monster deposition abstracted in a week. I can do that (though not all the time -- that's saved purely for trial time).

However, for a test? Naw. Never tried one.

So I had no idea how I'd do. This test was timed and had two parts -- typing a narrative, then filling out a computer form in alphanumeric. It has been a damn long time since I've done 10-key, as my laptop doesn't have it and my work rarely required such use.

So, when the HR lady's eyes popped wide when my results printed out, I automatically assumed I'd screwed up royally.

Then, she said she'd never seen anyone type so fast and still be so accurate. She honestly looked shocked. She said I will definitely qualify for my application going in on both jobs, even if it never gets past that part.

*snorts*

Apparently, fast typing makes me worthy of consideration, if nothing else. It's like that "Woo-hoo! You can type!" faint praise, ne, Sis?

Heh.

Anyway, then Edy and I went back to his and Pesh's house and watched movies. Hitch was pretty damn funny, though I didn't think the chick deserved Will Smith after what she did to him. But Alone in the Dark?

Now, I'm always more than willing to give a bad movie a chance. I can usually find SOMETHING amusing, something well done in even the worst flicks. I own some travesties that I still love.

This one? Oh, God.

Luckily, everyone else hated it, too. I checked some reviews a moment ago, and the vast majority of "grades" are 1 out of 5. Ouch. It really is that terrible.

It was pretty fun to torch it, though. Pesh and I had a great time. Edy might well want to strangle us both, but even he had to admit that it was badbadbad.

*shrugs*

Duly noted.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Dear Charlie:

The drive home from my beloved sister's house tonight was absolutely gorgeous!

The moon is full (or close enough for government work) and the skies are relatively clear, so I almost felt like I could drive without my headlights. Didn't try it, of course. Heh. Anyway, in the valleys, mist clung to the trees and drifted across the highway in reaching fingers, and it gleamed brilliant white in the moonlight. It was amazing.

*happy sigh*

Of course, the night's beauty might have something to do with the fact that no one else was on the road. Heh.

So, I decided to come home and blog about it while watching The Mummy, which I haven't watched in probably a year. *grins* Good times.

On the way to Joely's house this morning, I caught myself thinking of cornfield mazes. I know there's one around here somewhere come Halloween, but...wouldn't it be cool if I could do my own? I'd even have free admission, if I had the coin to buy the land and the seed and the farm equipment and stuff....

Oh, yeah. *snickers* Just keep holdin' your breath on that one, folks. I'll get riiiiight on it.

*thumbs up*

Yeah. I really do think about this stuff while I'm driving. 'S a good thing I can do like ten things at once, ne?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Special Update:

My dad is one of the most amazing buildy-types of all time.

This man can take a bunch of rusty, uncut pipe and, within a day, can weld together and concrete in a set of monkey bars. He can buy a bunch of lumber, take a few measurements, bring a few tools, move some stairs, and -- also within a day -- build a second deck flush against an above ground pool. This second deck looks way better (and is quite a bit sturdier) than the one the professionals who built the house put together.

He's amazing. It's like second nature to him.

My dad's a construction worker, usually a foreman. He could be a supervisor, of course, but he doesn't like not being hands-on. He built a lot of the bridges around our home territory and worked on countless buildings in Kansas City. He's built skyscrapers and theaters and car factories in several other states. Right now, he's working in Mexico.

He's a big guy. Dave -- a big, YOUNG guy -- is sometimes afraid to shake his hand for fear of that big ol' sausage-fingered paw maybe breaking his own. He's on the shady side of fifty, but he thinks nothing of climbing around like a monkey on a ten-storey building frame with a heavy toolbelt weighing him down and with nothing more than a rope and harness to anchor him.

He owns a nice chunk of acreage in the country with horses and dogs. He brush-hogs and fixes fence and builds his own entryways and works the horses and pulls stumps and picks rocks. He keeps busy because he doesn't know how to sit down without falling asleep.

He plays with my nieces for hours on end without ever getting tired of their chatter, their squeals, their questions, or their bickering. He listens to me and my beloved sister blabber about our books and about our characters and about our work frustrations and our respective social lives with a grin and a word of encouragement. He helps with home improvements and usually mows my lawn -- against my will, of course -- when he comes to see me. Heh.

He helped me with my living room. Without him, it'd still be splotched with those many layers of old wallpaper instead of being the smooth, inviting, roomy, off-white wonder-room it is today. He bought me a home theater surround sound system for my birthday a couple of years back, which is still one of my favorite, most useful, most incredible gifts ever.

He's my dad, and no matter what he's ever been or done, I love him.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I'll see you soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Okay, I think I'm officially a Christian Bale fan now.

See, I wasn't before. I mean, I knew who he was. I admired his acting in Reign of Fire (though I gotta say that Matthew McConaughey totally stole the show on that one, what with that build, that personality, and that tattoo!), but I hadn't really noticed him in anything else.

Of course, Pesh -- who absolutely loves Mr. Bale and opined that she should probably bring a spare pair of panties to Batman Begins, heh -- tried to remedy that by bringing over Equilibrium last weekend. *grins* Martial arts gun-fighting. Now THAT is entertainment!

At any rate, I knew who he was, but I wasn't convinced. I am now.

Christian Bale is Batman.

*pauses to reminisce with a satisfied, happy grin*

See, I'd thought his chin a little too pointy for the Batman look. In the comics and cartoons, Batman has that manly square jaw. Very strong. Very stern. Mr. Bale can do stern, but I wasn't sure about that jaw.

Psssh. Once he gets that Batsuit on, who cares about his frickin jaw?? He EMBODIES the part! The man can ACT! And that voice he gets when behind the suit....

*applauds*

And the movie itself was excellent. Better still...it left it open-ended.

See, that was my one real gripe about the first Batman movie. I love Tim Burton, and I liked the dark Gotham he created, but...he killed the Joker. You can't kill the Joker. The Joker is Batman's opposite member, the one he's always after, the one often caught, but never done away with for good.

The Joker...is supposed to be in Arkham Asylum. Heh.

But, this movie left people at large, left people in the asylum, left people seemingly in death's clutches where you know/hope they escaped to cause trouble another day. Sure, they go off to lick their wounds, to plan their strategies, to train themselves, but they'll be back. Oh, yes.

God, I dunno if I can speak intelligently about this flick yet. I'm still too impressed with that first viewing. I wanna get past that "Wowie!" moment to the actual meat of it, as I usually do before I post, but....

Wow-wee!

Okay, so the fight scenes were cut a little too close and choppy for you to really see what was going on, but they gave you the general idea of whose ass was getting kicked...and by whom. Plus, the movie wasn't about the fighting, like a lot of "martial arts" movies are these days. [Not that I'm complaining! I love martial arts flicks!] No, this movie used the fighting for what it's supposed to -- to elevate and further the plot, not to BE the plot.

Kudos, guys. I'm seriously.

As for the plot? Kudos there, too. I like the little flashes of the past. It's never more than you need to know for what you're supposed to get from it. The scenes are never too sappy or too preachy. They're exactly right, and they don't in any way take away from the present. They are simply...memories. Poignant, sometimes painful, but used to grow from, not to dwell in. To dwell on, yes. But not to dwell in.

And the villains were cool. *snerks* One critic (and I don't remember who, or I'd link to him) said something about Scarecrow's low-budget mask thing, but I thought it was awesome! It wasn't the mask that made...well...shoot.

Can't talk about it without giving stuff away.

Hn.

At any rate, this was a true comic book movie. It had the elements we love from comics -- the development of the hero, those that help behind the scenes, those that screw it up inside the scenes, the action, the plot, the amazing characters -- and the elements we love from movies -- the emotions, the movement, the scenery that tells as much about the flick as the narrative, the narrative itself, the actors, the special effects. All elements are combined extremely well, at least at first viewing, and I'm still thinking about them and about the movie as a whole, which is a good sign.

This isn't one you'll have forgotten about on the way to the parking lot.

*snerks* Drunk Billionaire Burns Own House Down....*falls over laughing*

In fact, me, Dave, Edy, Pesh, and the other Dave stood around in front of the theater talking about it last night for a good little bit. If we hadn't all been too financially tapped to go out to eat, I have no doubt we'd have still been at IHOP at midnight, discussing plot, discussing the characters, comparing our favorite Batman movies (and thankfully forgetting to mention those infamous two from ol' Schumacher) and laughing our asses off at our ridiculous quotations from it.

Heh.

You know, I think a good movie is one you simply enjoy. You can't always put your finger on why, but you most certainly enjoy it.

And I think that's why most critics can't enjoy movies anymore; they can't put their finger on what they like, so they can't explain it to you, so they figure there must not have been anything to enjoy.

Thank God I'm not a critic, ne? *laughs* I have no qualms telling you that I simply loved it, hands down. I enjoyed everything from the dark, creepy undertones to Michael Caine's charmingly perfect portrayal of Alfred to Morgan Freeman's snarky Lucius Fox. I can only whine that Ken Watanabe -- a man I absolutely ADORE -- wasn't in the whole flick.

And yes, I did love Christian Bale. *grins* I'm not head over heels, of course -- I've saved that dubious honor for Vin Diesel and Luther Reigns, heh -- but I can honestly say that he has my utmost respect and admiration for bringing credibility back to my favorite superhero.

*bows*

Many, many kudos and many, many thanks to you, Mr. Bale.

[Heh, said as if he actually reads my blog....]

Friday, June 17, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Situation Normal: All Fucked Up.

That's right, folks. I gotta SNAFU here.

My connection speed is currently 14.4 Kbps. Yup. That's as opposed to the usual 44, give or take. It's KILLING me.

See, we had some pretty hectic storms in this area last weekend and early in the week. I called the phone company because I was hearing static, a loud hum, continual modem handshakes, and...entire conversations on my phone lines while trying to call about a job. Needless to say, I could barely focus on what I was supposed to be listening to, what with all the crap in the background.

I called them Tuesday. They said it'd be fixed no later than...NEXT Tuesday.

*facepalms*

So, all this noisy crap in the background not only keeps my dial-up connection to a snail's crawl, but it also kicks me off roughly every 10 minutes. So....

As it'll boot me any minute now, I'd better run for the "publish post" button!

I just wanted everyone to know that I might skip posting for a while (except maybe for a Batman Begins review) because it's a pain in the ass to wait for this monstrosity to...you know...DO anything.

*grins* Have a lovely day, all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Oh, I so hate to displace my entry about the counterfeit MINI Coopers, but...but....

But it's BATMAN!

Okay, so I haven't seen it yet. I didn't plan to read any reviews about it before I saw it, but I crumbled like a milk-sodden cookie when I found an article on MSN about how this film measures up to the others. I couldn't help hitting my favorite review collection -- www.mrqe.com -- and checking out the field.

And I came across THIS.

Now, this guy seems to not only like movies but the actual Batman comics, which tend to get thrown to the wayside when it comes to putting the Dark Knight on film.

*eyes Joel Schumacher with thinly-veiled disgust*

Something about this guy's critique gives me hope that Batman Begins will be incredible, even above what he says. I mean, I'm obviously easily amused, so I have no doubt I'll like it. Even Ebert, whom I'd determined to boycott after his mean-spirited review of The Longest Yard, had little but good to say about the flick. So it's gotta be pretty good, at least.

But...I had hesitated to get truly hyped about this one. I just didn't want to get my hopes up. You see, Batman has always been my favorite comic hero. Yes, I adore Wolverine. Yes, I adore Gambit -- anyone who can power up a playing card to explode...hell, anyone who can make anything explode...is cool in my book. Yes, I can dig Superman and know entirely too much about him.

But Batman....

And I've been watching a lot of the Justice League Unlimited cartoons lately, thanks to Pesh and Edy, and they do Batman to the NINES! I mean, between the snark and the constant focus on getting the job done and avoiding the lovely Wonder Woman (who's had the hots for him forever) and whoever does his voice...they just get it RIGHT.

I'm thinking of the episode where all adults are banished to a shadow realm, and the sorceress has to turn them into kids so they can fight the little bastard responsible. See, while the Green Lantern is too excited about what he can do to actually do much of anything and while Superman is too thrilled with flying and being the strongest kid on the block to do more than pose and Wonder Woman is too busy being bossy and flirting with Batman to win...Batman really doesn't change much.

Sure, he gets a little embarrassed at Wonder Woman's obvious attentions. Sure, he mutters that it's not a race when Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman all fly off ahead of him, then speeds up as if to silently admit that even if it isn't a race, he won't be left behind. Sure, he smirkingly refers to Mordred as Precious, just to piss the little guy off.

But even as a child, he focuses on the task at hand and figures out how to get 'er done.

Heh, picture this:


WW: You and John should go make a distraction while Clark and I get the medallion.

BM: Whatever.

WW: Or maybe...I should go with Bruce. *glomps his arm*

BM: What-EVER. *stalks off*

SM: What's with them?

GL: Man, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you are so blind. *flies off*

SM: ...Whaa-aat?


*falls over laughing* It's just priceless! Everyone else is all distracted with whatever, but Batman is just ON IT. *cracks up* He even says, when they've been returned to their natural states and everyone's marveling at how fun it had been to be a kid again, that he hasn't been a kid since he was 8 years old.

Now THAT'S the Dark Knight.

And that's what I hope for from this newest Batman flick. I hope for a guy who can be serious in all the comedy without being untouched by it. Who can be melancholy without being cruel. Who knows quite well that his entire being changed at age 8. Who can trade a one-liner with the best of them but all without cracking more than a slanted smirk.

*crosses fingers*

I hope for BATMAN.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hilarious Sidebar:

Oh. My. God.

This...is hilarious. I actually stumbled across this as an insert in a magazine, but I went to the site and looked around, and it's pretty damn funny, too.

My favorite part is the fine-print on the insert:

If we had our way, the penalty for manufacturing or trafficking counterfeit MINI Coopers would be the 100-arm bad dream spanking machine.

*falls over laughing*

Oh...my...GOD!!

What the HELL is the 100-arm bad dream spanking machine???

*cracks the hell up*

*dies laughing*

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Work with me here, folks.

Do you ever mentally tag features you see in other people's houses that you want to have in your own dream home someday? Then, do you go home and draw it out as close to scale as you can, fiddle around with it until it's perfect for what you want, then try to fit it into the overall design of your dream house -- being mindful of plumbing and venting concerns, of course -- that you've been doodling and expanding on for...oh...nearly ten years?

...

You don't?

...

Oh.

Well, I do. I'm kind of an architecture buff -- though I don't know many architects except Elliott, who RULES, and I don't gab about famous ones -- and I study rooms. Even on TV. In movies. In pictures of homes.

One of these days, I'll have the design of a perfect house. Hopefully, by then I'll have won the PowerBall jackpot or fallen into some equally lucrative and sudden a windfall of cashola, and I'll be able to afford to take that sketch to an architect and say, Make this work, 'kay? Money is noooo object.

One of these days....

Until then, I'll just have little bits of paper with kitchen designs, with mud room dimensions, with tile patterns and wall architecture and bathroom sketches--

OH! The bathroom sketches!

See, the first thing I look at after the kitchen -- I'm a baker at heart, and I love to cook, too, so a big, roomy, storage-spacey, counter-spacey kitchen is a MUST -- is the bathroom. I love, almost more than anything else, to read in the bathtub. Tiny tub? No way. Weird-shaped tub? Hell no.

My dream is to have one of those jacuzzi-sized tubs with the jets with like three tiled steps leading up into it and lots of little shelves in the walls for candles and soaps and shower gels and shampoos and...and....

Okay. So I AM a girl. Who knew?

Heh.

OH! And after the bathroom? The LIBRARY! Oh, man, I wanna have a study kind of room where the walls are just LINED with bookshelves. I'd have room for all my books -- I have three boxes of books that I haven't unpacked in like five years because I only have one set of bookshelves -- and for the ceramics I paint and for all my pottery and trinkets and other artsy-fartsy stuff.

*drools*

Errr...anyway....

At any rate, I just saw like the most perfect entertainment room ever. To be honest, it was just a gussied-up two-car garage, a plain rectangle, but the size was perfect for one big entertainment center and couch-chair-TV nook, a pool/air hockey table, some shelves for an extensive VHS/DVD collection, and lots of nifty paintings on the walls. Plus, it was kinda lower than the rest of the house with a couple of steps leading down into it. I dunno why, but I fell instantly in love with it. It was sweeeeet.

Thanks, Scott and Alaina, for your housewarming party, because I loved that room! It'll definitely be added to my list of perfect rooms for the perfect house. Super sweet.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Heheheh....

Okay, so Dave's trying to put some flea stuff on Clarice. She's neurotic as all hell, and the last time we put that stuff on the back of her neck, she went NUTS trying to lick/scratch it off. She scratched a hole in the back of her neck trying to get that stiff cat hair soft again.

So he's trying to sneak up on her. He waits until she's asleep, creeps over on the couch, and starts to squeeze....

And she wakes up. And he all puts his hand behind his head and looks the other way, trying to play all smooth.

*facepalms*

SHE'S A CAT. He's playin smooth to a CAT. As if she has ANY earthly idea what that gesture means!

*cracks up*

God, this place cracks me up!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Okay. I said I would write my thoughts on Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. I've put it off a bit, but I always keep my promises. I was just...mulling.

I've learned more in the last two weeks about the Star Wars books and the cartoon episodes that expand on the plots and give a better idea of actual Jedi and Sith abilities, etc., than in my entire life previous. Most of that has been complaints from afficionados about how Lucas screwed up, how he totally robbed the Jedi, how the man just needs to have let someone else do it, yada-yada.

I have weighed my own impressions of the film -- I intentionally only watched the movies, wanting to keep my experience of the format pure -- with word from friends who faithfully read each new book and watched each new cartoon series, and I've finally come to a decision.

I really do like it. In fact, I love it.

Better still, I know why.

My affection for Episode III stems from the lovely sense of nostalgia I felt as everything slowly came full circle. Do a little math with me: I was born in 1977, not quite four months before Star Wars was originally released. The Revenge of the Sith was released just weeks ago. In other words, the Star Wars epic has encompassed my life up 'til now.

It started 28 years ago, just like me.

While I didn't see A New Hope in 1977, obviously, and didn't even see The Empire Strikes Back when it came out, I had seen them all by the time the third [errr...sixth?] installment came out, and I watched The Return of the Jedi in the theater, just like everyone else I knew. I understood, even that young, that I was seeing something astonishing, something amazing, something unbelievable.

No other series has ever been quite like it. Nothing else ever will.

But why am I suddenly ready to talk about Episode III when I wasn't ready before? Simple: I had a Star Wars day. I watched all three of the original trilogy films, then watched the bonus materials DVD. Back to back. With many bathroom breaks and three phone conversations with Edy, Pesh's husband.

*big grin* He's one of those afficionados who wants to know what I think of it, having only watched the movies.

In other words, I went back and thrilled to what originally moved me about this...this...this EPIC. I went back to the space opera, the classic group of characters, the amazing and ground-breaking effects combined with the sounds and sights and...and just the awe I used to feel every time I watched one. And then it hit me....

THIS is why I loved Episode III when everyone else around me was grumbling about how caught off-guard the Jedi were and how iffy the acting was and how awful the battle between Master Windu and Darth Sidious was and...and...andandand.

I love it because it reminds me of the wonder. It reminds me of the classic story-telling. It reminds me that no one watching The Empire Strikes Back knew that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's father. It reminds me, and I was and am grateful for that nostalgia.

Everything from the opening sequence with the multi-colored lasers in that sweeping galactic battle to the Emperial uniforms at the end while Darth Vader and the Emperor stand side by side made me feel like coming home. And when Darth Vader finally appeared in all his scuba-gear-breathing, shiny-black-helmeted, long-cloaked glory?

Well, the Heartless Wonder here just about felt her heart leap from her chest.

I enjoyed Episode I. Except for Jar-Jar, who annoyed the living piss out of me. *grumbles* I enjoyed Episode II. I didn't have the same problems with them as my friends did. I enjoyed them as a movie-goer, not as a Star Wars fanatic.

However, I adored Episode III...and I adored it as a Star Wars fanatic -- ironically enough, probably for the same reasons the Star Wars fanatics hated it.

It made me want to go home and immediately watch the original trilogy. It made me want to talk about it. It made me ask Edy if we could watch his cartoon versions of the between-the-flicks happenings. It made me ask what happened in the books.

Hell, it just plain made me happy.

And, really...isn't that what a movie is all about?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Sidebar:

Dammit, Sis! *heavy sigh* I swore I wouldn't do these things here, but...

Rules are:

Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog's name in the #5 spot. You need to... actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme-age to kick in.

1. third world county
2. BTW
3. Soliloquy
4. Joely Sue Burkhart
5. GutterBall

Next, select four unsuspecting victims, list and link to them.

1. BG
2. BrewNerd
3. Michelle Bailey
4. Lizard Queen (though she's not blogging at the moment)

Now the subject of "This Detestable Meme" is Five Things I Miss From My Childhood:

1. Hanging upside down. A lot. My ADHD penchant for continual motion made me something of a monkey, and upside down was how I spent over half of my play time. Hell, I was still hanging upside down well into junior high, and I'm pretty sure up into high school.

2. Lying in the middle of a secluded, quiet pasture and looking up at the stars. We used to live in the boonies, and I would occasionally camp out with my brother. Not TERRIBLY often, mind you, but the times I remember were so damn tranquil and peaceful. I hate living in a city, even as small a city as Joplin, and I fondly remember it being so quiet.

3. Weenie roasts. *laughs* No, not making fun of wusses. I'm talking gathering together a big pile of branches and brush, lighting it up, poking hotdogs and marshmallows on the end of sticks, and weenie-roasting. Can't burn a big pile of brush in town -- at least not with a cop living right across the street. Grilling them comes close, but there's nothing like leaning back against a stump in the drawing-down-dark and watching a marshmallow catch fire on the end of your stick while laughing with friends or family and telling ghost stories.

4. That big stack of Christmas albums on the record-player spindle. We'd deck the tree with that familiar old music playing in the background, and Mom would make apple tarts while telling us we'd put too many red ones here and too many icicles there. While Willie Nelson sung Pretty Paper or Bing Crosby crooned White Christmas, we'd sit back, turn on the lights, and eat hot apple tarts with whipped topping. Very nice.

5. Taking an all-day walk. In summer, if we weren't at the pool or in vacation bible school, we were outside running around on our 100 acres. We'd play in a creek or sit in a tree reading or look for mushrooms or just wander around all day. So nice. I really, really miss that. I feel almost claustrophobic in Joplin because I don't feel comfortable just going out and walking, what with all the houses and cars and people. It's like living in an ant hive.

Oi.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so I can't tell if Dave's outside cat, Gabriel, is incredibly smart or just has a terrible sense of humor.

Gabe...is a bird murderer. I mean this little bugger is stone cold. *laughs* He's VICIOUS.

*beams*

And he's outside, which means that he's, like, the best cat ever. Heh.

So he catches and eats birds all the time. This isn't a surprise. However, last week, he left us a little present on the porch -- a dead bird.

This didn't bother me, as I figured he'd eat it sooner or later, so I just walked right by. I didn't freak out when Clarice left a flap of mouse ass complete with tail on the living room floor. I surely won't freak out at a broken-neck bird under the porch swing.

Dave, however, didn't like it. So, he kicked it off the porch and told Gabriel to clean up after himself -- in other words, not to hunt for sport. Heh.

Gabe brought it back in less than half an hour.

Dave kicked it off again.

Gabe brought it back and dropped it in his food bowl.

*falls over laughing*

It's as if he was saying, "Look, Dad, this thing is FOOD. Quit moving my FOOD."

*cracks the hell up*

Dave wasn't sure if he should be amused or pissed, but he still didn't want a dead bird on the porch. His reasoning was sound. If Gabe didn't eat it in a day or two, it would reek to high heaven and draw flies and such. However, I think Gabe was saying that he WOULD eat it if everyone would just leave it alone.

We'll never know.

Dave dumped it off the porch again, and Gabe -- wily little bugger that he is -- brought it back up on the far side of the porch in the night. At this point, I asked Dave to just leave it there -- for his own sanity if nothing else. Gabe nibbled at it, but I think it had already passed it's prime, and by the next morning, flies had already facilitated the rotting process.

This time, when I personally kicked it off, it stayed. *grins*

Little bird-murdering ninja kitty. *laughs* The boy's got SKILLS.