Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Dearest Charles:

Well, folks, it's official. My short story, "Fair Play", will be published in The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica, an anthology from Cleis Press due to hit the shelves this October.

*does a little dance*

I just got confirmation a little while ago and spent a good half-hour brushing up my bio. Okay, lemme put that a little more honestly. Making up my bio. The last non-query one I had to come up with was, oh, four years ago? And I really had no idea what I was doing then.

Heh, like I do now. Oi.


Equally cool is that my excellent friend Anna Black is also in this anthology. She's an astonishingly good writer who has several drool-worthy stories already in print for your reading pleasure. Give her a look up between now and October. She's awesome.

And now, my friends, it is SO time for bed. I only hope I can sleep with news like this so fresh in my head. Woo-hoo!

[EDIT: Holy crap! You can even pre-order it here! Wicked cool, man. Wicked cool.]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dear Charlie:

I can sometimes be a bit ambivalent about my neighbors. Most of the time, I think they're pretty decent people genuinely trying to be helpful, but other times, they're a dight too nosey for my piece of mind. I was raised in the country, see -- the closest "neighbor" was probably a mile away in any given direction -- so I'm not real patient with busybody lookie-loo rubberneckers who have nothing better to do than stick their faces in other people's business just by looking out their windows or sitting on their porches.

Not that I have any secrets, mind you. Friends will tell you that I'm an open book. I just think the world would be a lot better place if people didn't focus so much on other people's lives. Mind your own, and maybe you won't have time to meddle with others, right?

But today, I find myself in genuine charity with my neighbors. You see, the folks directly to my right installed a big ol' flagpole last fall, but I was beginning to think they weren't planning to do anything with it. Until today.

Today, just as I was sitting down with a fresh soft pretzel (I made a batch yesterday and quickly discerned that six wasn't enough to take to work tomorrow...especially since I'd eaten two and was down to four) and a Bud Lite and happened to look outside and there...oh, there....

My neighbors are Old. Now, I'm 32, so I'm stepping up to the Old plate, but they're Retired Old. Probably in their late sixties or early seventies. Still young enough to be feisty (and nosey, of course), but old enough to not have much to do but mow their yards and watch their youngish, single neighbor chick come and go with occasional disapproval.

They really don't like that I'm single and pretty much refuse to date. Thankfully, none of them have actually tried to set me up with anyone, but I'm sure the idea has crossed their long-married minds. Heh.

But today, they and the also-elderly couple across the street -- the old guy likes to yell at people who drive through the neighborhood too fast for his sensibilities, and his idea of "too fast" is anyone going more than, say, walking speed -- are hanging up a beautifully weathered Old Glory and raising it up the flagpole. They're being careful to see that it doesn't touch the ground in any way, which is why all four of them are in on it.

I can't help myself. I was brought up right. I stepped out onto my porch and saluted the Colors as they were raised.

The little old lady from across the street sees me and gives me a rare smile (I think she's the one most bothered by my determinedly single state).

"God bless America," she says, loud enough for probably the whole neighborhood to hear.

"Amen," I reply, equally loud.

The men saluted and we women put our hands over our hearts as the breeze caught the flag at the top. I felt like belting out the national anthem, I tell you.

"That's my father's flag," the guy next door murmurs softly as he stares up. This is the man who hasn't said more than two words to me that weren't about me mowing my lawn. "The one they sent us from off his grave."

"It's beautiful," I say, and I mean it. He gives me a quick look to be sure, but I definitely mean it.


"Don't mention it."

We watch the flag flap a little, getting that good feeling deep in our chests, and then we go our separate ways. I can't help taking little peeks out the door every now and then, though, to watch that flag fly. It's a good flag. Every feature has a meaning. And I think of my neighbor's father, a man I never met and never will but a man I feel grateful to, nonetheless.

And I feel a little closer to my sometimes troublesome neighbors, to the crotchety old guy who sometimes hollers that hoarse old-man shout at people driving up and down our street, to the other crotchety old guy who reminds me every chance he gets that if I need help starting the old lawn mower, just give him a shout -- hint, hint, it's time to mow your lawn, youngish single chick, before a cow could hide in it without crouching down.

And then I came back inside and drank my American beer and ate my Bavarian soft pretzel and thought about finishing mowing the back half of my lawn when it cools off later. I probably will. I had a migraine Friday and yesterday, but it's down to a dull roar today. I can probably do it without too much ringing in the ol' ears.

And every now and then, while I'm mowing, I'll look up at that beautiful old flag and smile, no matter how sweaty and out-of-breath I get shoving around the rackety old lawn mower. Because no matter how bad things get, I'm proud to live in a country where I can choose to be a youngish single chick and still be a property owner. Proud to live among people who are still proud of our heritage. Proud to be an American.

Just like in that old Lee Greenwood song.


Oh, yeah. And the pretzels are frackin fantastic. Better than anything you could buy at the mall. Follow the directions exactly, and you absolutely cannot fail to drool helplessly at the scent and sight as they come out of the oven. And then, of course, at the taste. Amazingly good recipe.

I may have to have another. With another beer, because the tastes are so complimentary. I mean, I'm probably mowing the lawn this evening, so it's not like I won't work it off.

*drools helplessly*

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dear Charlie:

So I now have two small, discreet dragonflies on the backseat windows of the new ride. They're just simple line decorations, white to match the paint job, and they stick on the outside of the windows, but I think they really add a touch, thanks to Jody.

Nothing fancy, which is right up my alley. I don't do fancy.

Still haven't named the poor thing, though. I've put over a thousand miles on it, and I'm still mulling it over.

I dithered long and hard over naming it Charlie, like WrittenWyrdd suggested, because Charlie is, obviously, a very important name in my life. Heh.

Unfortunately, I figure every time I post a blog entry, I'll feel like I'm writing to my car. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not really what I'm going for.

Plus, it's an Avenger. Like "avenging angel". Do I really want an avenging angel named Charlie? Charlie's Angels anyone? Not so much.

So it's still up in the air.

Heh, on a side note, it was kind of blackly amusing mowing the lawn tonight and trying everything I could think of to prevent kicking a rock out of the mower. I was so afraid that, though I mowed with the blower away from the car while I was close to it, something would pop out at a distance with enough velocity to chip the paint job or even a window. Though that's never happened in the 8 years I've been mowing the damn lawn with the same mower.


But I got out of this one without a scratch. I'll finish the backyard tomorrow. It's just too big a job for one session with an old, rickety push mower. Heh. I keep telling myself to just break down and get someone's old, falling apart riding lawnmower at a yard sale or something so I won't have any excuse to stop mowing come the dog days of August, but meh.

Riding lawnmowers are for wusses. And smart people.

And I don't think a one of you would accuse me of being a wuss or a smart person.

Oh, and on another sidebar, it is with mixed feelings that I draw attention to Kansas City trading the infinitely talented Tony Gonzales to the Atlanta Falcons today. I didn't hold any grudges against him last year for asking to be traded mid-year. He's been a powerhouse in the NFL for twelve years, but -- like Dan Marino -- he had to be feeling the "I gotta get that ring" jones, and any idiot could see that my beloved Chiefs weren't gonna get him there with Peterson and Edwards at the helm.

I wished him well then, and I still do now. He's too much a class act to ever ascribe any ill feeling to him.

However, I'd kinda hoped that with a fresh GM and an even fresher head coach, he might stick around to see how things go this year. I don't blame him for not doing so -- Atlanta's really liking their QB these days, especially since there's not so much as a whiff of the kennel about him, doh! -- but oh, how I'd have liked to see him get that sparkly SuperBowl ring here.

But what held true last year holds true now -- he ain't gettin any younger, and while he's been remarkably healthy for a remarkably long time, all those shots he takes in double and triple coverage are gonna pile up someday. If he's gonna take a bash at the Bowl, he's gotta do it while he's still young enough to enjoy the trip. It'd be a cryin' shame to get us over this first hurdle of a year only to get injured and have to sit out for the hypothetical playoffs and part of the next season, then try to come back as strong as ever.

So, no, I don't hold a grudge for him going, but, oh, I wish he could stay.

Goodbye, #88. You have carved your name in the Chiefs' family tree, and you'll always be a Chief to me, man. May your receptions be easy and your touchdowns be plentiful (so long as they're not against us).

You will be missed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Odd Sidebar:

Sorry, but I'm kind of on a Thomas Jane kick at the moment, so here's yet another post mentioning him. Now, I haven't seen everything he's been in by a long shot. Some of his movies, I'm just not interested in. Others, haven't had a chance yet. But no, I haven't seen everything.

However, I've noticed a few things about the ones I have seen, and one of them sort of disturbs me. He's played suicidal at least three times. And I have to wonder about the mentality required to willingly put a gun to the ol' head while remembering that there's no such thing as an unloaded gun. Just ask Brandon Lee.

Oh, yeah -- here, there be spoilers. Just an FYI for if you haven't seen the example flicks. I can only be so vague, ya know.

In The Mist, David Drayton isn't suicidal until the end, when he had to make such a horrible choice and was stuck living with the results of that choice. While still screaming about what he's done in the name of cold, hard mercy, he puts the revolver into his mouth and pulls the trigger over and over, hoping for just one more bullet. Hard to watch, because you, The Viewer, are sort of hoping for it with him.

In The Punisher, after his "work" is done, Frank Castle just wants to rejoin his family or, at the very least, end his own suffering. He doesn't want the memories anymore, doesn't want the creeping guilt, the blistering, hopeless, futile fury. He just wants peace, and he knows there will be no peace for him as long as he can remember. So he puts the gun under the shelf of his chin and damn near pulls the trigger. You, The Viewer, don't know if you should root for him or reach out and take the gun away from him and hand him another bottle o' sauce.

And in Dreamcatcher -- admittedly not the best movie in his repertoire by a long, long shot, but one of the relatively few I've seen -- Dr. Henry Devlin is suicidal from the start and puts a revolver (gotta love those six-shooters; I discovered just this weekend that I can load and cock one without even looking at it*) to his temple in one of the very first scenes. You, The Viewer, don't know why he's suicidal (unless you've read the book, which is infinitely better), so you don't know whether or not you should root for him. Unfortunately, the scene really doesn't have any impact because of this lack of build-up (which is definitely there in the book), but hey. It introduces the character. Of course, a phone call from a friend stops him, but still...gun to the head. And this one actually goes off, though not into his noggin.

No, this one goes off into his psychiatry degree. Ironic, that. A little heavy-handed, but still kind of amusing. The shrink is suicidal. Har-de-har-har.


I guess my point is that I wonder how, for an actor, it feels to put a gun -- even an empty one or one loaded with blanks (which can still hurt like a bitch or even severely injure) -- to your head? Is an actor so immersed in the character that he only thinks what the character thinks and doesn't question whether or not the unloaded gun is unloaded, if the props crew has done their job right? Or is there a clamoring voice in the back of their mind yammering that Brandon Lee was just supposed to get squibbed, and look what happened to him, idiot, he caught a bad case of dead so put the gun down?

Or is there a little capering demon deep down inside whispering to go ahead and do it, hotshot, pull the trigger and play a little hide-the-bullet, play a little catch-some-dead, play a little Chicken, pull it pull it pull it?

Does his life flash before his eyes as his finger settles on the trigger? Does he have to be just the slightest bit tempted to bring himself to raise the gun in the first place? Does he feel that oh-so-human impulse to lean just a little further over the dropoff, to sniff the noxious fumes, to stop treading water and just sink, to stare down that barrel's cold, unblinking eye?

Meh, it's probably nothing. Probably none of those things. Playing suicidal in a movie is probably as thrilling and dangerous as paying your taxes or brushing your teeth. But it does give me pause. So many people in Hollywood end up pulling their own plugs. I have to wonder....

Heh, kinda makes me want to go for a master's (or hell, go whole hog and shoot for the ol' doctorate) in psychology just so I can use it as my thesis (or dissertation).

Oi. I guess that makes me as mercenary as they are suicidal. Heheh. I really am a cold bitch.

Surprise, surprise. Heh.

* Okay, so it was a toy six-shooter and the "bullets" were foam with suction cups on one end, but it was still a little disturbing how easily and rotely I loaded it up for the kid and cocked it back for him while carrying on a conversation and not even really looking. It's not like it's something I do everyday. Oi.

[EDIT: Oh, and speaking of loading guns for kids, ha ha, the reason I was doing so was because I went to the ol' hometown to see Kristi's newest set of twins. They are suitably precious. I suppose they'll have to do. And while they are identical, I can already tell which one's Willow and which one's Scarlett. And, miraculously, neither of them urked on me.

Thus, I count the weekend a success.]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Okay, remember a couple of posts back when I said that watching Thomas Jane in Deep Blue Sea made me want to watch The Punisher again? Yeah, well, I did it.

You know, it had been years since I last popped that one into the ol' DVD player. I remember thinking that John Travolta hadn't really nailed the "bad guy" part, which left the rest of the otherwise enjoyable movie feeling a little bland. So I just didn't watch it again. No other reason, really, because I remember getting a kick out of most of it.

What a shame. I could have watched this like twenty times since then. Oh, well.

Or maybe this is one of those flicks that kinda grows on you. Have you ever had one of those? One where the first time you watch it, you're like, meh. Then someone makes you watch it again, and it's not as bad as you thought. And then you watch it again by chance and are surprised at how entertaining it is. And then you watch it again on purpose because it's awesome?

Or maybe that's just me.

Anyway, part of my enjoyment of The Punisher is simply that it's a dark, R-rated comic book movie. I love dark, R-rated comic book movies, and we so rarely get them. Usually, Hollywood assumes that only 13-year-old boys like comic books and thus try to dumb everything down and take out some gore and cussing and make everything PG-13. I think everyone here is well aware of my opinion on PG-13-ing everything.

But most of the comic books they're now making into movies were intended for 13-year-old boys from 15-20 years ago. Those 13-year-olds are now my age. Or I was 13 back then, too. Whichever works for you. So if they're trying to bring that comic book awesomeness to live action, why aren't they aiming it not at the "target" audience but at the audience that so desperately wants to see their heroes on-screen??

I know. That makes too much sense. We can't have that.

But, back to the point...if nothing else, The Punisher is almost exactly what those grown-up 13-year-olds would want. It's got blood and cheese. Fights and laughs. Explosions and alcohol. I can't, for the life of me, figure out what's not to like here, other than the aforementioned bad Travolta acting.

Let's dig a little deeper here. Some critics have blasted it for not being able to pick between camp and dark violence. I think they're stuck on two scenes: the faux torture and the fight with the Russian. So, let's look at those scenes.

The faux torture. Honestly, this scene is some of the most priceless interrogation I have ever seen. Frank Castle strings up a mob peon, Mickey, by his feet, pulls on some welding goggles, and lights the welding torch. Tells the guy that he won't feel the pain at first because the torch burns too hot. It'll sear the nerve endings, killing them, so he'll hear the sizzle and then just feel cold. He'll smell burning meat and then...oh, then he'll feel the pain.

Then, Castle walks behind him, turns the flame on a steak in a pan, and jabs the poor guy with a popsicle. Heh. Heheh. It's beautiful, I tell you. Works like a charm. Admittedly, it'd probably only work with a coward, but you gotta give Castle credit for knowing his mark. Mickey is most definitely a coward.

But it's not campy; it's practical. Castle knows he's gonna need an insider to really get into Howard Saint's mind and make the punishment fit the crime. So, he gets the information he needs by terrorizing the guy, then lets him down to see what he's done and asks Mickey if he wants to work for the Saints forever or step up and take a chance at freedom.


Now, the fight with the Russian. Hands down, this is one of the best fight scenes I have ever seen, and not just because it's Kevin Nash -- God, I love wrestling! -- or because Thomas Jane does the vast majority of it himself so you actually see him getting pummelled. No, it's one of the best because it's not a bunch of jerky camera work or a million cuts or so dark you can't see what's happening or either too long or too short. No CGI (although I'm the last to complain about that, usually). No wire-work (although, again, I rarely complain, there). Just careful stunting, excellent acting, and Thomas Jane's facial expressions, which are priceless.

I mean, seriously. When the Russian bats the grenade back in through the bathroom window and it hits the floor not three feet from Castle's face, the "Aw, gimme a frickin BREAK!" look on his poor, dismayed face is just...priceless. There's no other word. It cracks me up.

Again, not campy. It's just the kind of oh-crap-what-the-hell bitter amusement of a man who can barely do damage with four solid hits on a man that can knock him down with one. If you were outmatched that bad and still had to win, where would you go mentally? It's that spark of acid humor that keeps Castle crawling for a weapon while the Russian just beats the crap out of him. It keeps him scooting, keeps him kicking and hitting and throwing things. What's wrong with that?

Hell, it's what makes comic books great. Why is it not cool in a movie? Geez, man.

And I love how Nash's character is called the Russian...but he never speaks a word or has a name. No accent, no antecedents. How the hell do we know he's Russian? Ha! Crack me up. If that ain't comic book, I don't know what is.

However, Travolta as Howard Saint is still just bad. Can't get around that. I think the character is a great idea. I mean, seriously. The best bad guys are the ones who don't think they're bad. Every great bad guy thinks he's the hero, and as far as Howard Saint is concerned, he's just getting revenge for his son's death.

Of course, he's forgetting that he's a criminal and that he's raised his sons to be criminals, which is why his innocent, helpless, pitiful baby boy was in position to be shot by cops/agents/everyone else in the first place.

See, that's the thing: Castle didn't actually kill the kid. He was just in charge of the operation that ended in the kid's death. A very thin line, I'll grant, but he didn't pull the trigger. No triggers were supposed to be pulled at all.

But Howard Saint doesn't give a fart in the wind about that. And I can dig that. But Travolta comes across as whiny and impotent and gullible instead of driven and evil and twisted. Like in the atrociously godawfully bad Battlefield Earth, Travolta is just...lame. I think he might be confused as whether his character should be campy or cruel, so he never quite manages either.

But if you can kind of ignore him -- and it's fairly easy to do, what with his right-hand man, Mr. Glass, fairly oozing competence and malevolence -- the rest of the movie is a righteously entertaining good time. Sure, it has its plot missteps. But what movie these days doesn't?

I mean, seriously. If you realize that your arch enemy isn't as dead as your henchmen told you he was, would you really let your wife go to about her set-in-stone routine alone and unguarded? Especially if you just so happened to have let said henchmen run over said arch enemy's wife and kid with a big ol' truck?

And why would any woman, no matter how rich and brainless, leave an expensive pair of sparkly diamond earrings in the box from the store in her purse in the car?? What the hell? Who does that? Why wasn't she wearing them? Or why hadn't she put them with all the rest of her glitzy-pricey trinkets in the house? Why carry them around for just anyone to steal right out of the ol' purse?

But the quibbles are small things, overall. Frank Castle as a character is awesome to watch. Thomas Jane as an actor doesn't miss a cue, and his every expression is spot-on. He acts as much with his eyes as with his words, and not everyone can do that. The fights are fun and high energy (and high impact...and high explosive).

And I absolutely love Harry Heck. Mark Collie isn't necessarily a great actor, but the scene where he walks into the restaurant where Castle's eating breakfast, pulls out his guitar, and sings a little tune is just quirky enough to be right up my alley. Here you are, expecting him to pull out a gun instead of a guitar, or to pull a gun out from behind it as soon as he's done playing, or something. But he just gets up, says he wrote that song to play at Castle's funeral, and walks out.

And then beats up that beautiful hunk of gravel-throated GTO and says one of the more amusing lines of the flick: "You are one dumb sum-bitch. Bringin a knife to a gunfight."

Pssh. As if Frank Castle could ever be caught so flat-footed. By anyone but the Russian, I mean.

Seriously, this is a guy who can pop the blade off a papercutter, sling it over his shoulder while beat to a pulp, and still look damn cool, like he's got it all planned. Beautiful.

Anyway, I guess I kinda got off point there for a while -- yeah, yeah, I know; biiiig surprise -- but the point is this: it's a comic book movie, and it's a damn good one of its kind. Rather than dumbing down a dark, vengeance-minded comic about a man trying to make something right out of something so terribly wrong -- to make accounts balance, if you will -- these guys made this. And it works.

At least, it works for us former 13-year-olds who used to read comics. And who still do, on occasion.


Okay, so I was never a 13-year-old boy, but you get the idea. Geez. Quibble a little more, why don'cha?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Charlie:

I am such a geek.

Now, I'm a geek in lots of ways, heheh, but I just keep being surprised by the depth and magnitude. See, I just figured out that the license plate Carter wrangles from the tiger shark's teeth at the beginning of Deep Blue Sea is a tribute to Jaws, when Hooper hacks open the tiger shark's stomach to see if the kid's remains are in there and prove that the caught shark isn't the one that's been rampaging.

Louisiana plate number 007 981.

I love it.

See, I hadn't watched Jaws since I was a kid, and I got to thinking I should. So, I rented it, and when Hooper tosses that license plate at Chief Brody, I got to thinking about Carter's BS explanation about how a shark with a Louisiana license plate in its mouth ended up in Aquatica's range. The little wheels in my dedicated geek's brain started turning, and I put DBS back in and, viola.

Louisiana plate number 007 981.

Hey, at least I'm willing to admit to my nerdishness. Some people refuse to acknowledge it and use it as a strength. Heh.

In other news, I was supposed to go to my beloved sister's house today for a yummy prime rib Easter dinner, but...well...I slept in. Not my fault. I set the alarm for 10:00, but there must have been a power blip sometime in the night (it's been raining since midnight or so). I didn't see the clock numbers flashing because I make it a point to ignore the clock when I'm trying to sleep in. I figured when the alarm went off was time enough to get up.

But it didn't go off. And so every time I drowsed awake (that's my version of sleeping in), I just drowsed back off, figuring it wasn't time to get up yet. When I finally guessed that something might be wrong and rolled over to see the numbers flashing, it was after noon. Whoops!

See, it takes an hour and a half to get to Joely's house, and they were gonna eat at 1:00-ish. If I'd left at noon-thirty or so (and yes, even getting up after noon, I can be out the door, fully dressed and teeth brushed, in ten minutes or so) I probably still wouldn't be there now.

Thus, I'd have only gotten a few hours with Joely (and those divided between everyone else there) before having to turn around and come right back. I can afford the gas, but I still would rather maximize my time with her by going up on a less busy weekend and spending the better part of a day than by rushing up, chitchatting for an hour or two, then rushing back.

Darn it.

At least it gave me time to check out my license plate theory. *snerk* But I totally missed out on prime rib. Double darn it.

I guess I'll just have to settle for looking at Thomas Jane in orange swim trunks again. You know, before I have to take it back and all. Triple darn it!

Oh, and the DragonBall Evolution movie came out this weekend. That's a quadruple, quintuple, and sextuple darn it, all in one. Good God.

There are no words.

Thomas Jane in orange swim trunks, here I come. Ay carumba.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Dearest Charles:

As of 11:00-ish p.m. night before last, Kristi had her twins. Now, in addition to her fraternal twins, Ava and Cannon, she has two beautiful little identical twin girls, Scarlett and Willow. Over six pounds each, I'm sure the mama is ecstatic to have them out where she can put them down when she needs to, heh.

Welcome to the world, my lovelies. We'll try to keep it well-swept, if not particularly tidy, until you're old enough to enjoy it.


Then, it's your turn, kiddos. I'm just sayin'.

And for everyone else? Welcome to the weekend!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Dear Charlie:

You know, sometimes nothing satisfies like a good ol'-fashioned creature feature. A few months back, I watched a Korean flick called The Host. While packed tight with social and political commentary, The Host was also an enjoyable monster movie. Highly entertaining. Funny in the good way instead of the "Dear God, did they think that would work??" way.

On the other end of that spectrum is Deep Blue Sea, which I just finished watching for like the 10th time. One of Dave's favorites, I first made its acquaintance many moons ago, but hadn't seen it since he took it with him a few years back. However, every now and then, I think about that flick, about how they took the tried-and-true creature feature credo and kicked it up a notch by making the bad guy something that actually exists.

After all, what is a shark but God's oldest and most perfect killing machine?

All they did to these sharks was genetically tamper with their brain size to make them as smart as a smart human, then throw in a hurricane to muck up the gears. And viola. Creature feature extraordinaire.

However, the creatures weren't my main interest in this particular feature. Nope, the parts I remembered long after the last time I watched were thus:

Carter to Preacher: "Forty-five foot shark, and you hit me?"


Preacher's legacy: the perfect omelette. Two eggs instead of three. And the happy smile on his face as he starts to explain why amateurs using milk for density is a mistake.


Preacher making it all the way to the end. Face it, folks. When he says that brothas never make it out of situations like this, he ain't just whistlin' Dixie. The token black guy might as well have a target on his back in any type of horror-fest or thriller. Heh.

Anyway, just to re-jibe with such fun memories of a more-than-tolerably-good-flick, I decided to rent it again this weekend. I'd watched Mindhunters again last weekend and wanted to see another LL Cool J flick. He's just so much fun.

And this time, I noticed a couple of other things about this flick that make it memorable. Things I don't usually notice about a flick.

1. Thomas Jane looks nice in a wetsuit. Who knew??

2. Though the science is a little whonky, it's actually relatively plausible. Not bad, guys.

3. Samuel L. Jackson has this awesome line about the avalanche his character survived that I somehow missed before and can never forget now: "You think water's fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder."

4. Thomas Jane looks even better in trunks. I mean, seriously. I've never thought him the end-all-be-all of looks, though he's an impressive actor and is in several of my more high-ranked flicks, but...geez. Put the man in nothing but orange trunks and a pair of flippers, and he has my attention.


Kinda makes me want to pop in The Punisher. Or The Mist. Oh, The Mist.

Now that is some mind-boggling acting, there. He is excellent in that one. His screams at the end as he wishes with everything in him for just one more bullet, as he fruitlessly pulls the trigger again and again....

Yeah. Shivers.

But LL is still my favorite character. He's just hysterical. And he's also the first one to kill one of the sharks. Yup, the measely ex-alky cook. You can bet he's cookin' with gas.

Stephen Seagal, eat your heart out. Pssh.

[EDIT: Just saw a trailer for The Mutant Chronicles, and I'm thinking I have to see that one. I mean, besides having Thomas Jane, it has Ron Perlman. I think anyone who's read more than 5 posts on this blog knows that I absolutely adore and admire Ron Perlman. I even suffered through In the Name of the King for him. And for Jason Statham, but that's a different story. So, yeah.]

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Though I've received several noteworthy name suggestions for the new wheels, I have yet to pick a name that fits. Stay tuned.

In other news, I apparently have a new diagnosis at work. Yes, since we deal with mental health issues day in and day out, we absolutely love to diagnose each other. Especially with made-up shit.

Like Missi, the MOSS (medical office support specialist, AKA secretary). She suffers from compulsive honesty, among other things. Heheh. She can't help but tell you if she's done something goofy or wrong or just plain fracked up. No one would ever know, but she just has to tell you. It's hilarious. It's like she thinks she's lying if she doesn't tell you.

Anyway, my new diagnosis? Passive-aggressive masochism.

Say that three times without hurting yourself. I dare you.

Apparently, because I subject myself to bad movies all the time, I'm basically a self-harmer who doesn't really want to self-harm, so I just force myself to suffer through crap films. Instead of cutting or head-bashing or hitting myself, I wince and squirm through inconceivable plots, atrocious acting, and godawful editing choices. Guh.

Passive-aggressive masochism. You can blame that mouthful on Jon and Darcalus. It's all their fault.

I'll tell you why the subject came up in a couple of weeks. Yes, it's because I made myself watch the entirety of a very bad movie. I mean horrible. Indescribably awful. Painfully terrible.


And no, I'm not saying which one. You'd know it if you saw it.

No, it wasn't Watchmen. Haven't seen it yet.

But on to better movies, I had occasion to revisit Little Monsters, an old monster comedy from the '80s starring none other than Mr. Deal-or-No-Deal himself, Howie Mandel, and a fresh-faced Fred Savage. No, he wasn't the Mole. Not yet, anyway. Heh.

Now, this isn't a particularly great movie, but it's so much fun. Watching Mandel jump all over the screen as the ever-childish Maurice, making puns left and playing pranks right, is a riot. Seeing the obligatory '80s-style montage of Savage rigging his little brother's bed to collapse as soon as he's sure the monster is in the room while driving synthesizer music wails in the background is hilarious.

But better still are all the goofy monster effects. Boy is actively creepy, while Snik is the protypical school bully given monstrous powers and near-invincibility. And Mandel is a riot. Did I say that already?

So no, not the best movie. The viewer is subjected to quite a bit of bad acting, but none of it on Mandel's part and surprisingly little from Savage. Savage's mother is convincing, and Daniel Stern as Savage's dad is a riot. No bad acting from either of them.

But it is basically a kids' movie, and it is almost entirely populated by kids, so you're gonna get some missed cues and some monotone lines.

And all the '80s-style electronics-rigging-to-aerobic-video-music you can take. Heh.

My favorite lines from this cheese-o-rific classic of my youth? From Mandel's character, of course.

We take the shit. We smash the shit. And then we put the shit back! It's called monster ball.

We do the bashin'. You get the thrashin'!


Oh, and I totally faked at least 6 people out today by telling them that I'd wrecked my new car. Totalled it. Ran it into a telephone pole...after swerving to miss a midget crossing the road.

Great safety features, though. The car was totalled, but I only got a little rug burn from the airbag.

You'd be amazed how many people believed me. Even throwing in the midget. Heh. Happy April Fool's Day, everyone!


Speaking of, what do you call a midget psychic on the run?


...Wait for it....


A small medium at large.