Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Well, I've officially had my first "Holy @#$(&%-in $%*&!" moment of the Spring.

I was just washing my hands last night. Innocent enough, right? Yeah. So I washed my hands. And then I went to dry them. And there, ladies and gents, is where I went wrong. As I scrubbed my poor, defenseless hands on my favorite -- read: old and scruffy -- towel, I happened to glance down, and...less than two inches from my vulnerable digits...crouched a monster.

Have you ever noticed that you won't see any little spiders for a long time, and then all of a sudden, there's the grandaddy of them all? It's because that grandaddy has been feasting on all the little ones, growing fat and malignant in the shadows until he's at that particular Holy @#$(&%-in $%*&! size. Then, he crouches inside your bath towel so you can't see him until you're close enough to scare the hell out of.

But I'm proud of myself. I didn't scream like a girl. I didn't throw the towel across the room and run. I simply dropped the damn thing, still on the hook -- though my hands were definitely shaking from the close call -- walked calmly to the living room for the can of Instant Spider Death that I hadn't had to use since last Fall, walked calmly back into the bathroom, and murderized the little son of a bitch.

Needless to say, I immediately washed the towel. Guh. *shudder* Twice.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Okay, I admit it. I sometimes don't notice when a guy is hitting on me.

...

Okay, it's a little worse than that. I am woefully oblivious. Seriously. I'm sure my beloved sister is snorting at me right about now. I simply don't expect that kind of attention from the opposite sex because I don't approach every conversation with that in mind. I talk to anyone. Equal opportunity, you know.

So, when the guy I was chatting amiably with about movies Wednesday evening just stared at me, eyes wide and forehead creased in a frown, it took me a minute to realize that he was just as perplexed as I was, but for different reasons.

The prior conversation had gone a little something like this:

Him: See, I guess I'm just picky about my entertainment. I want a movie to feel real. I want to not notice the mistakes, to not be taken out of the moment. That's why I couldn't stand 300.

Me: Oh, man, I loved that movie! It was amazing!

Him: *groans, rolls eyes* It was so ridiculous! Monsters and over-dramatized acting. And the color was weird and it just didn't look realistic.

Me: But that was the point! It was stylized. It's a graphic novel come to life, and every detail enhanced that impression.

Him: Nope. Give me Troy any day.

Me: Oh, God. I hated that movie.

Him: What?! But it was great!

Me: *groans, rolls eyes* So boring! I mean, that one good fight at the end between Achilles and what's-his-name was good, but the whole rest of it...who cares? And the "history" behind it wasn't any more real than that behind 300.

Him: But it felt more real.

Me: Whatever. Pass.

Him: What kind of movie do you like, then?

Me: *woefully oblivious* Oh, comedy, action, martial arts, horror -- especially horror!

Him: *shakes head* Oh, damn. I guess I shouldn't ask you to go see The Hoax, huh?

Me: *blank stare*

This is about the point where the perplexed stares came in. My perplexed stare is probably obvious. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. We obviously have polar-opposite tastes in movies. Why would he want to see one with me?

His perplexed stare? Well, I finally figured it out. See, he's a pretty good-looking guy. A little short for my tastes, but well-proportioned for all that and still taller than I am, which is a plus. Nice smile. Intelligent. Nice eyes. He's probably used to girls pretending to like whatever he likes so they can spend time with him. So he'll ask them out.

I did no such thing. *snerk* Even if I had been thinking about him being good-looking, which I only realized in the vaguest of ways and only AFTER the hour-long conversation, I still would've been confused as to why he'd want to try to find a mutually agreeable movie that wouldn't bore the shit out of both of us. I mean, why bother?

When I finally...finally!...realized what was going on, I colored up and coughed and tried to squirm my way out of any assumptions that I was aiming for a date. No offense to him -- like I said, he's a good-looking, intelligent guy -- but I don't date. Everyone who knows me knows this. I think I may have cleared up the misunderstanding without accidentally insulting him, but who knows?

God, I have got to get a frickin clue. Situations like that are just...embarrassing!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dear Charlie:

Well, I think I may have finally vanquished Teh Evol Creeping Brain Sludge of Doom. Maybe. I'm still coughing a lot deep in my chest, but I have my voice back and I don't seem to be dying.

I think I'd know, although my last encounter with a blood pressure cuff left me with some doubt. And some marks. Stupid thing seemed to think that "low cuff pressure" was why it couldn't find a heartbeat. I'm pretty sure it was because it had squeezed my arm completely in half.

>.<

At any rate, it's been a lovely week for all the Brain Sludge. Of course, like most of the fun, exciting, and utterly fabulous things that happen in my life, I can't just blab about it. Heh. Weird, ain't it? Like my password. A few months ago, I came up with a perfect, brilliant, alpha-numeric password. It is me. I'll never be able to forget it. I very much doubt anyone could ever just guess it.

Perfect.

And I can't tell anyone what it is! Waah!

Just like what was left in my door Thursday night. Something that I didn't even know was possible until it just magically appeared, thanks to fabulous -- if sneaky -- friends. I was over the moon when I finally realized what it was.

And I can't tell anyone what it is! Waaaaah!!

But thanks were tendered, and I am muchas gracias for the gift. Woot!

And now, I'm gonna sit back and stare droolingly at my new desktop wallpaper. God, I could look at Kratos all day. If I weren't reading a book, I'd seriously have to put down a tarp over my laptop so all the drool wouldn't kill the keyboard.

Ain't he pretty??

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sidebar:

Teh Evol Allergies of Doom have finally attacked and left me voiceless and feeling like a mowed-over dog turd.

Yes, it's 7:00 in the morning. Yes, I have no voice. Yes, I'm up and wandering around anyway.

NO, I'm NOT going to work.

You know, I thought I was doing so well this year. April already and no sign of allergies. No sniffles, no dry eyes, no coughing/sneezing. And then...the weather crapped on us.

Seriously. While it was warm, I had no troubles. Then a sudden cold snap -- I got snow two days in a row after 80 degree temperatures the day before -- and I am positively struck down with Teh Evol Allergies.

Oh, well. I'll get to read at least one of the books my beloved sister sent me home with yesterday, at least. And I'll be going in to work for the late shift, since no one else in the whole friggin company seems capable of working it.

My only worry is...*insert terrifying, dramatic theme music here*...I might run out of kleenexes! NOOOOOOO!!!

Oh, the humanity!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My Dearest Charles:

I'm so excited! I got to catch my food on fire today!

No, it wasn't an accident. Yes, it was part of the recipe.

But seriously! Ever since I ate Bourbon Shrimp at Cheddar's a few weeks ago, I've been searching for THE bourbon sauce recipe. I finally started my experiments this week by buying a fifth of bourbon Wednesday and trying a bourbon steak recipe. Tasty, but not the right sauce. So today, I moved on to a bourbon chicken recipe.

And it required...ignition. Is there a sweeter, more fascinating word?

*happy sigh*

So I gleefully lit my chicken on fire. It was a thrilling moment. Intentional fire. Good times, all. Good times.

Okay, back to cooking. Rice don't cook itself, ya know.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Amusing Sidebar:

Okay, so it's snowing. Day before yesterday, I honestly broke into a sweat just bringing in the groceries, and today it's snowing. Not a little snow, either. If the ground had frozen last night, this might actually accumulate.

But it didn't, so it won't. Whew.

Yesterday morning, I was out at 7:00 cutting garden phlox to take to work and I would have sworn that my fingers were growing frost bite. Seriously. Sun shining, birds chirping, and frost bite. Now, I know you can get frost bite in April, but while picking flowers??

God love Missouri, 'cause we all know Mother Nature don't.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sidebar:

You know, it's hard to make myself displace a post that begins with a mayfly orgy, but I can't seem to stop plotting this post out in my head. Might as well get it out on paper, so to speak.

See, this weekend, Pesh came over and brought The Prestige.

Now, anything that has Michael Caine in it will get my notice. That man is...just...damn. My admiration runneth over, there. So it's already up one in my book. Add Hugh Jackman in period clothes and Christian Bale? Yeah. I'm watching that. It's just too fascinating a cast to pass up.

To Pesh's credit, she didn't give me any hints or lead me in any way as I watched. I spit out a few surmises as the film rolled, as she'd already seen it, but she didn't betray it in any way. Thus, I will try not to do so here. It will be tricky -- heh, no pun intended -- but I'll do my best.

My instinct, as I watched, was to root for Jackman's character, Angier. After all, he lost first. Some would say that he lost worst, too, but that depends on how you rate loss. Love...fingers...it's all relative. You can always love again, but you can also learn to work without those digits. Either way, you'll never be the same.

Which is the whole friggin point, I think.

It's not so much what you'll give up to feed your obsession as how that obsession changes you. How much you will allow yourself to change. And why your obsession takes you. I think those things are at the heart of this complexly time-lined flick.

Of course, what did we expect, coming from the same guy who directed Memento?

Jackman as Angier is...simply stunning. He gets to display a range of emotion and character arc that we've never seen before. Sure, he can do studly as Wolverine. Sure, he can do sensitive in Kate and Leopold. Yes, I've watched it. Shutcher yap. And sure, he can do smart-assed and a little dark, like in Swordfish.

But Angier is something else. He is everything, all the time.

And then there's Bale as Bolden. And Fallon. But that's another story. I didn't want to root for him. I didn't want to hate him, of course, but I didn't want to love him, either. His hard-hearted nature pissed me off. His nonchalant treatment of his wife on those occasions when she knew he was lying about loving her -- and oh, wasn't that a crucial hint! -- left me cold even as it made me smirk. But his obsession equalled Angiers, and I could argue that his ingenuity beat Angier's all to hell.

Angier may have been a better showman, but Bolden sure as hell managed to show him up at his own game. Oh, well played, old man!

In a way, this movie is like a series of hazardous pranks between the two. The traps they set for each other are childish, but the results therein are dangerous not only to them but to the audience. Broken fingers, missing fingers, a broken leg, being buried alive, and actual death...pssh. All in a day's work for these two. If their little games weren't so damn deadly, I'd say they declared April Fool's Day all year.

It's actually kinda funny. I spent a good chunk of the movie wondering who would do what to whom next. *grin* Then again, I'm sick like that.

But in the end, I admitted freely to Pesh that it was Mr. Caine's character, Cutter, that I was rooting for. The poor guy hadn't a clue what was going on, and I felt for him. I had a decent idea. The twist wasn't surprising so much as ghastly good fun. But I still felt for poor Cutter, who had somehow raised heathens from the gentle flock. He warned each about their obsessions, about going overboard in their need to best the other, but neither listened. He was a one-man Greek chorus.

And in a very large way, he was the only one to come out alive. Does that make sense?

It may not, even if you'd watched the flick. Heheh, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

Admittedly, it's not for everyone. There are slowish places -- though, omigod, was that David Bowie as Nikola Tesla?? -- and some of the time leaps give you pause. If you aren't paying attention, you'll get lost.

Luckily, I was spellbound, so that wasn't a problem for me. Fascinating cast, fascinating plot. Just fascinating. That one will be added to my collection, though it will require rearranging a whole shelf of DVDs.

*sigh*

I guess it's worth it, though. Did I manage to confuse the hell out of anyone? See how hard it is to talk about this movie with any sense without giving anything away?? It's like trying to explain a magic trick without telling how you did it!

Which is, of course, why it's called The Prestige. The whole movie is a magic trick. Heh, but it's up to you to decide which part of it is the prestige. I could tell you, but....