Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dear Charlie:

You know, I might finally be getting a feel for this holiday. Usually, I watch zombie movies on Christmas. So I got to thinking...why not combine the two a little more fully?

Thus was born my fabulous new Undead Christmas. I even have carols. It should be pretty easy to figure out which words go with which well-known Christmas classic. the Best. Holiday. EVER.


Zombies roasting on an open fire
Undead nipping at your toes
Ghoulies moan with their eyes all a-glow
Happy hunting
Haaaappy hunting
Haaaaaappy hunting...toooooo...yooooouuuu


We wish you a loaded shotgun
We wish you a loaded shotgun
We wish you a loaded shotgun
And a whole case of beer

Good hunting we hope
For you and your kin
Good hunting of zombies
And American beer

We wish you some high explosive
We wish you a bag of ANFO
We wish you a brick of C4
And a full keg of beeeeerrrrr!


New and improved with even more undead-seasonal goodness!

Dashing through the streets
With undead at my back
I fear I won't survive
This first zombie attack

I can't stop to reload
My shotgun's blown its wad
I'm fresh out of explosives and
My machete's whopper-jawed


Rotting corpse
Rotting corpse
Undead on the way
Oh, what fun it is to shoot
A zombie from a sleigh, hey!

Rotting corpse
Rotting corpse
Ghoulies in the snow
One looks just like Auntie Ruth
And one like Uncle Joe

I headed for the church
Dropping weapons as I ran
And just when all was lost
I saw a speeding van

It was my best friend, Dave
As drunk as hell and pissed
He plowed down twenty ghouls, then cried
"I can't believe I missed!"


Rotting corpse
Rotting corpse
Undead on the way
Oh, what fun it is to shoot
A zombie from a sleigh, hey!

Rotting corpse
Rotting corpse
Ghoulies in the snow
One looks just like Auntie Ruth
And one like Uncle Joe


Rockin around the zombie pyre
At the undead roasting fest
Zombies as far as you can see
Hope you wore your orange vest

Rockin around the zombie pyre
Pile 'em high as you can throw
Later we'll have a keg of beer
'N piss our names into the snow


And my personal opus, you might say....


Zombies moaning
Undead groaning
It's the end of the world
In the air there's a smell of flesh burning

People screaming
Zombies teeming
It's a meat smorgasbord
And from every street corner we shout

Kill 'em all
Kill 'em all
It's hunting time 'cross the nation
Shoot 'em down
Salt the ground
Soon they will stay in their graves


See? Even an old Grinch like me can still get into the holiday spirit. It just takes that special spark, that little something extra to shoe-horn me into it.

Have a very Merry Undead Christmas, and may Santa bring you all the ammo you can carry.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Dearest Charles:

I am so excited. I'm not even kidding. And I should probably be so ashamed of my reason for being so excited, but I just can't bring myself not to be thrilled.

Carl Peterson just resigned. Woo-hoo!

No offense to the man, but he hasn't been good for much of anything since Marty Shottenheimer vamoosed. He trades away good players and keeps has-beens and never-wases. He flubs draft picks. He pretty much drives Chiefs fans insane.

But he had a pretty good run in the '90s, so the Hunt family kept him around. That's fine, I guess, but people (me included) have pretty much been calling for his head these last few years. Okay, this last decade.

Now, if we could just jettison Herm Edwards, too...and maybe sweet talk Bill Cowher into head coaching...and keep those good young players while instilling more discipline and playing a full game instead of just two or three quarters....

On a less chipper note, I'm gonna miss Tony Gonzales next year. I can't imagine that he'll stay, and he's a real class act. And an excellent player, as he's proven this year. Even after announcing the desire to be traded mid-year and having that deal blow up, he didn't pout (like, oh, TO or Randy Moss would have) and refuse to play well. Nope, he's gone all out and is having one of the best years of his life.

He's definitely neither a quitter nor a whiner.

I do hope we keep Tyler Thigpen, too. He has more than earned the chance to lead an up-and-coming organization, and it's not fair to judge him on a 2-12 record that was not of his making. For crying out loud, he was a third-string bench-warmer at the beginning of the year, and he has orchestrated dozens of excellent, hard-hitting, even high-flying scoring drives. He's the kind of rookie we've been looking for at QB, and I hope he gets to stay.

I get tired of watching our best players do really well somewhere else. Guh.

But yeah, so long, Carl. And no offense to Herm, who really is good with developing young players, but he really shouldn't be a head coach. He is infamous for losing games in the last quarter, and that's what he's done all year this year and most of the year last year.

I'm thinking that next year is finally looking up. Woot!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear Charlie:

So I'm reading The Zombie Survival Guide and thinking what an excellent Christmas gift it would be for just that special someone in your life. Seriously. What better way to say you care than literally giving the gift of continued existence against the legions of the undead?

Well, other than wrapping up a few extra boxes of ammo, of course.

Anyway, there's this section on how a zombie's moaning is basically the most perfect psychological weapon, and while I agree that it would be harrowing after hearing it for weeks on end, I think there's one thing in Nature that has it beat.


See, for the last two years, my area has been devastated by December-ish ice storms. Power out for weeks. No hot water (or even running water at all, in some places). Streets slick as snot. Trees pulled into kindling by the encasing weight. Expensive damage to homes and property.

And it's sleeting outside right now. And I can't help but think about that sound and how it's just...demoralizing. It's not just the constant staticky-sizzly sound of it but the knowledge that the longer it goes on, the more likely we'll all have that much more property damage this year.

I hate that sound.

This little spate probably won't be bad enough to even keep people home from work tomorrow, but it's still just depressing. If I could have just one boon from Nature, it would be more snow, less ice. Snow, we can work around. Ice just sucks.

And my poor boys lost again. Again in the last few plays of the game. Again by just one point. *sigh* At least our draft pick is secure. Guh.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dear Charlie

I may have to take back some of the things I said about FOX. Some. Definitely not all. Because they've apparently relented on us poor fans a little. A very little.

So, between the baking for tomorrow's office Christmas party -- red velvet cake, chocolate chip cookies, and bonbons -- I decided I'd better slap something up here, since I haven't posted anything since the elves gobsmacked me, and The Trailer came out yesterday.

But I have a slight problem. I...don't know what to say.

I just can't help it. I've seen the new DragonBall movie's trailer, and I'm debating what I want to say about it. That I have an opinion is a given. That it's one I care to share with my tiny readership...not so much.

Here, maybe you should just see it for yourself first.

Now, because I know you all really did click that link and watch the trailer before reading any further, like the good little students you are, here's my problem. And it's not a small problem, though I keep trying to make it such.

I want to like this movie. I want to have good things to say about it. I want the trailer to psyche me up.

But I don't, I can't, and it doesn't.

Maybe that's not FOX's fault. While I'm not terribly picky about movies in general, I admit that I want this one to be right. It wouldn't be that hard to get it right. There are over a hundred volumes of manga as source material. There are over five hundred episodes to glean from. There are I-don't-know-how-many websites devoted to dissecting each and every panel and scene from both manga and anime, respectively. in the world did the line, "I'm not ready for this", squeak out of Goku's mouth?

I know, I know. It's one line out of thousands, and it may not even make the final cut of the movie. It's such a small thing.

But it's not.

It's not just a line but an attitude. The Goku that Akira Toriyama created and TOEI brought to the screen wouldn't say that. That Goku would maybe say, "I dunno if I can win, but I'm gonna fight until my body gives out." He'd say, "Wow! This is the strongest opponent I've ever faced! Awesome!" He might even say, as he did to Cell, "Yup, I'm satisfied that I can't beat you."

But never "I'm not ready for this". Because Goku was always ready to fight. Unless he was hungry.

I don't blame Justin Chatwin for this line, mind you. It's not that he doesn't deliver it well. It's just that it should have never been written.

The story of DragonBall was never about a Chosen One. It was never about fulfilling a prophecy. It was about a weird kid with creepy strength and a tail who grew up with only his grandfather for company. This weird kid turned into a rampaging beast with the full moon, and during one of these rampages, he stepped on his grandfather and was suddenly all alone in the world. Luckily, it's a long time before he realizes that he's the one who orphaned himself.

After that, he grew up alone. And after a while, another odd kid -- this one a teenaged girl with an insane IQ -- showed up and exposed him to the rest of the world. Or exposed the rest of the world to him. Not sure which is worse, but it did make for a lot of good fun.

And much, much later, all of that turned on its head when DragonBall Z revealed that Goku wasn't just a weird kid with a tail but an alien sent to destroy the human race so his own race could sell the planet to the highest bidder. Awesome.

Anyway...I guess part of the problem I have with the tidbits of plot given away in the trailer is that they basically just trashed all of that. They put Goku in high school, which makes him a teenager. His grandfather is still alive (though he dies during the film...not by Goku's hand), but worse, they put him in high school. Let's just make this an angst-fest, shall we?

And his future wife, ChiChi, isn't a rural princess who's both flirty-shy and bad-ass, but the popular girl in school who's dating a jock. Huh?

Oh, well. I could do this all day. The point is that it all stems from the attitude. Not the movie-Goku's attitude, but the filmmakers' attitude toward the material. Why make a DragonBall movie and not keep the things that made it awesome? Why call the character Goku and then have him talk like an angsty teen who's being forced into some prophetical corner? Why not just start from scratch?

Wouldn't that be easier? And less likely to piss off an entire planet's worth of fans?

But hey, put that aside for a second. I'm trying to, anyway. Let's be reasonable.

The action looks pretty good. There should be lots of fighting, most of which will be martial arts style, which is usually great in my book. Visually, the film looks well-made, for the most part. The effects will be neat on the big screen.

I'll even go so far as to say that Piccolo looks better than we were led to believe. The greener he gets, the better. He doesn't seem to have antennae, but hey. At this point, that's like shooting fish that are already dead.

Oops. It slipped. Honestly.

But, according to interviews, James Marsters fought pretty hard for elements he thought were crucial to his character, and he'd actually watched the show before being signed to it, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He's well aware of how severely the fandom can sway majority opinion.

I mean, seriously. He was in Joss Whedon's better-known creation, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I didn't watch much of it, but it was hugely loved by fans all over, and I did love Firefly, which was awesome sauce with a dash of kick-ass for seasoning. And both shows were swept along by the fandom -- Firefly even to the big screen by the Joss himself, and all because the fans rallied behind it.

So, I'm pretty much okay with Piccolo. For now. He's got the deep sensei voice, the alien look. And fangs. And maybe there are little antennae flopping around in there that I just can't see. I can always hope.

See? I can say nice things, too. I don't outright hate it.

I'm just...disappointed. Bothered. Even irritated. I mean, seriously. If not for the dragonballs themselves (and the freeze frames with the characters' names, for God's sake), this could be just any martial arts fantasy/sci-fi flick. And they've even somehow messed with how the dragonballs themselves came about (though they can easily retcon that if they do a sequel; hell, they even did that from DB to DBZ, so I guess anyone can get away with that much).

So...what was the point? Why do a DragonBall movie and just...not bother with DragonBall? I know, I know. There's a lot of money to be made on it. DB/DBZ merchandise is still some of the strongest-selling fandom stuff out there, and anyone in their right mind would want to cash in on it. Fine.

But make a quality product.

Guh. Now, I'm debating whether to post this or not. Maybe I should stick with football and movies that I've actually seen. I probably shoulda written up Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, which kicked so much ass that I can't stop watching it. Or I could write about how much I'm enjoying The Zombie Survival Guide, which I picked up at Books-a-Million last weekend. Or I could even talk about the stack of sudoku books the caseworkers from the office gave me today because they found them in a box of activities and figured they were a little much for our kids to deal with (most of them are ADHD, for cryin' out loud).



At least there's for sure a kamehameha wave. I mean, you hear Goku hollering it toward the end, there. And it's rumored that both Oozaru and Shenron will make an appearance, though I'm looking forward more to the Eternal Dragon than to the Great Ape (because I hear they've monkeyed with Oozaru's design, to coin a phrase).


Sorry. I can't help it. I'll go frost the cake now.

Friday, December 05, 2008

My Dearest Charles:

Darn you, Sis! I decided to poke around my images archive and had a really hard time finding people. I mean, I have pictures of the niece-monsters. I have TONS of DBZ pics. Some hilarious Looking for Group demotivators that I made lo, those eons ago.

But very few people.

So...I had to make do with Adam Baldwin (as Firefly's Jayne), Vin Diesel, Luther Reigns (from WWE!), Jason Statham in shades, and Justin Chatwin (the actor playing my favorite character in the upcoming live-action DB fiasco...I mean movie), who's making a weird face. And, surprisingly, looking more like Goku than he does in costume. Heh. Go figure.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

I mean, Horshu is reeeeally gettin down. Who knew he could Charleston? *snerk* You'll never see that on WWE RAW!

[Edited to add: I'll probably delete it from here pretty quick because it's throwing off my sidebar. I can edit the play-screen down by tweaking the width numbers, but the player itself has its own dimensions that I can't mess with. *sigh* Oh, well. I'll always have it on my hard drive!

Re-edited to add: Never mind. I played around with my margins and, while the rounded corners are compromised for the nonce, the sidebar's back where it's supposed to be. When this post gets archived, I'll put the margins back the way they were. Yes, I wrote them down. Heh.]

And edited again to add that, dammit, once again, disco is king! HA!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dear Charlie:

Couple things. Okay, a few.

First: my beloved sister is trying to kill me. With no warnings whatsoever, she dared to post these...things...on her blog. If I'd been eating Smarties while I laughed that hard, I could have died. Seriously.

I haven't seen The Rock having that much fun since playing a wee bit lavender in Be Cool. God.

Second: apparently FOX is pushing back the DragonBall movie trailer. Again. Yes, again. I can't wait to hear that they've pushed back the movie itself. Again.

Look. We all know that I have serious doubts about this flick. A live action adaptation of a manga-based anime is a tricky proposition all around. I still say CGI would have been better, even with the cost.

However, I'm willing to give it the slimmest of chances. I'll go see it. It'll probably be a decent action flick, at least, and that'll be fine for most viewers -- non-fans, you know -- but the long-time fans will likely be disappointed, at the very least. Some of them (some of us) might even be furious by the time it's all said and done.

But one thing that all fans, both the excited and the dolorous, can agree on is this: it sucks donkey balls that FOX isn't taking this movie seriously enough to put out even a teaser trailer yet to keep us loyalites on the hook.

Let's be honest. At this point, a trailer wouldn't be for non-fans, and I'm sure that's what FOX is thinking. I mean, they don't need to promote to us DB/DBZ-ers because we'll either go or not go on our own value systems anyway. The trailer, whenever/if ever it comes out, will be aimed toward non-fans, and it'll be waaaaay closer to the release date to catch that short attention span movie-goer who would be bowled over by the special effects and fight scenes in a flashy, well-made grab-bag-type of trailer.

It's actually kind of brilliant.

So, no. A trailer now wouldn't be a marketing strategy. It would be a reward for those fans still nibbling around the edges of this travesty of a flick. A pat on the head for still having even the slightest hope that they haven't pissed all over our beloved characters. A sign of faith that they even give a rat's ass what the dozens of millions of us spanning the globe think about what they've done to our favorite show(s). Geez. It's not that hard to figure out.

But, no trailer. Reeeeal nice, FOX.

Meh, what do I care? I'm watching this thing more as a train wreck than as a wide-eyed optimist, anyway. However, it does lead me to...

Third: I had a hilarious conversation with the pizza delivery guy last night. About the DragonBall movie.

See, I have the weirdest tendency to get into fascinating conversations with total strangers. Sometimes, that gets me into mild trouble. I get hit on a lot, even though I don't usually notice until it's pointed out to me (usually by someone who's having great fun at my expense because I'm frigging clueless about flirting and come-ons and such), at which point I get all flustered and tongue-tied. Seriously.

So anyway, Edy sent me a link to a hilarious fan-made "movie". A live-action movie of DragonBall Z. I'm soooo seriously. About ten minutes of two guys (dressed as Goku and Frieza) and home-made special effects -- don't get me wrong; they did a pretty damn good job for just a couple of guys with a computer and a digital camera -- and some seriously WTF? dialogue and lots of shouting.

I laughed. Really hard.

And about five minutes into this hilarity, the pizza guy shows up with my order. I didn't hear him coming up the steps (probably because I was laughing so hard), so he surprised me enough that I jumped up and forgot to hit pause on my way to the door. Thus, as I was signing the credit card slip, the cosplayers (I hesitate to use the word "actors") started screaming at each other, powering up. Heheh.

We both shot a glance at the noise, and when I turned back to the guy, he had a really weird look on his face. I go, "Um...if you're wondering why people are screaming in my house, it's because a friend sent me a link to a DBZ video and I didn't hit pause."

The guy brightened up. "Dude, is it the trailer for the movie??"

That's all it took. Instant twenty-minute conversation about the delays, the doubts, and the doldrums on the road to live-action production of our favorite show. It was awesome. Until I realized it was frigging cold outside and that my food was probably cold, too, and he realized he was still on the clock. Ha!

I hope he didn't get into trouble. That would suck.

But it just goes to show that FOX is either certifiably nuts for not bothering to put out a quality product or stand behind it with savvy marketing, promotion, and a frackin trailer, thus pissing off the core fans, or friggin BRILLIANT for letting said core fans do our own promotion by just talking about the damn thing all the time with everyone we come across, fan or not.

I mean, I'm doing it right now. I did it at work today. I'll probably do it tomorrow, even though it's all encapsulated in my doubts about and irritations with what they've done to the plot. After all, in show business, there's no such thing as bad press.