Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear Charlie:

So I have a lot of nicknames. Some are funny. Some are sentimental. Some are just plain dumb.

One is...odd.

I donate plasma twice a week at BioLife Plasma Services. I've been donating for over two years now, seeing phlebotomists come and go, getting to know the phlebs who stick around, even buddying up with some of the regular donors who go at the same time as I do. Remember Tim?

Turning Japanese, my ass. Hn.

Anyway, it's always kind of like Norm on Cheers when I come in, but for the last probably six months, the greeting hasn't been "Mols!" so much as..."JuJu!"

Like bad JuJu.

Go figure.

See, I don't usually have problems donating. "Problems" with donating can range from irritating to fairly severe. The most common is a bad reaction to the solutions which causes nausea, dizziness, etc., even up to passing out. It's usually caught before it gets serious and is over quickly enough, but definitely disconcerting.

Other problems are hematomas (painful, and they can keep you from donating for weeks at a time), cell loss (if something goes wrong with the machine's tube set and they can't return your red blood cells, you can be excluded from donating for eight weeks straight), discomfort and bruising at the puncture site, etc. Sometimes, they might have to adjust the stick if your pressures drop or your vein is spasming. Other times, they might have to switch from one arm to the other to make sure you get your red cells back and prevent that daunting eight-week deferral.

But I don't usually have those problems. Once in a great while, yeah, but I could count all the "serious" problems on one hand without using all the fingers, and that's not bad for twice a week for two years.

Unfortunately, it seems that, while I don't have problems, other people in whatever section I happen to be stuck

At first, it was amusing. Someone right next to me would have a reaction and throw up or overheat, and the tech would help them while joking with me that it was my fault. Then, two people would get sick. Then three people would get sick, one person would need a needle adjustment, and two more had air bubbles in the line (again, not serious because the machine shuts down and sounds an alarm; all the phleb has to do is push a button to purge the line, but the phleb does have to, ya know, be available). Always in whatever section I was in.

So one of the phlebs started calling me JuJu. It was still a joke, and very amusing, but it held the slightly uncomfortable ring of truth. And it spread.

Another phleb had several problems one evening while I was in his section. He took up the nickname, laughing all the while while he hurried to grab a trash can for this one to puke in and called for another phleb to help disconnect that one and the nurse to write up the reaction report. He took it up with a smile. And then another phleb. And another.

By now, it's almost to the point that the poor phlebs see me coming and groan, even while they're grinning and relieved that they got an easy stick in me.

Because I don't usually have problems, see?


But the real kicker is that, now, some of the regular donors are taking up the chant. Holy crap! Three of the twelve in the section I walked into tonight saw me coming and went, "Oh, man! It's JuJu, and I still have 200 to go!"


Matt, of course, laughed. He's the one who started it. Jerk. Oh, and he laughed because he was safely in another section and thus outside my karmic, chaotic influence on his donors.

Luckily, I still bring them cookies every now and then and never give them any grief, be it bad stick or bruising or lengthy donating time or set failure. These things aren't their fault, and I refuse to take any frustration I might feel out on them. They're just doing their jobs, and the vast majority of them are fun and overworked and smart and just wanting to get through the day, so why make it harder on them?

I like to think they like me because of that. But it's probably the cookies. Heh.

Anyway, in my hour-long stay in the blue/yellow section tonight, there was one restick (switch from one arm to the other), four separate air bubbles on two separate people, a SPE-only (quarterly blood test to make sure your protein levels and such are still healthy) that needed to be restuck because the tiny little disposable needle used for that procedure was mysteriously clogged, a machine quirk that required a donor be disconnected immediately with a cell loss and a no-take (when you donate less than 100ml of plasma), and two tube sets that absolutely refused to pass and had to be thrown away.

That's a bit much, even for me. My JuJu was in full swing, man.

However, it's still pretty funny. If nothing else, it gives the phlebs someone to blame when everything seems to be going wrong, and it has the added benefit of making a joke out of the whole mess. They need that, I think. It's a lot of responsibility, stabbing a needle into someone over and over all day without screwing up once in a while, knowing that every screw-up will either hurt someone or cost your company a no-take (which doesn't come out of your pay but is definitely recorded on your record).

And yet, they're still friendly, still willing to joke and talk about movies and show you pictures of their kids or look at pictures of yours. They still greet their regulars by name (though they require the full name and last four digits of your social security number, whether they "know" you or not, before they'll stick you) and remember preferences and the best places to stick this arm or that arm. They're friendly, but professional. They're good people.

And I'm all their bad JuJu. *snerk*

I've been called worse.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Okee doke. I don't usually review books like I do movies -- there are simply too many I'd like to say stuff about, but most of them would be Stephen King's work and such reviews would quickly become tiresome for anyone but me -- but after plowing through three books (each of which was at least 600 pages) in three days, I think I might owe Brent Weeks something of a comment, at the least.

If you haven't read The Night Angel Trilogy, I beg you to read no further. I'm seriously. I'm gonna spoiler the hell out of it, and if you haven't read it, the entire house of cards built therein will fall flat on its ace-high ass.


I'm seriously.


Dude, not kidding.


Don't read any further. Seriously.


Still reading? Your funeral.

I have a thing for assassins. Or maybe I should say that I used to have a thing for assassins...until I met a wetboy.

No, that doesn't mean something dirty.

An assassin has targets. A wetboy has deaders. The difference? You can miss a target. A deader is just dead, from the moment the wetboy takes the contract.

Enter Durzo Blint. The best wetboy who has ever lived.

While all the characters in this trilogy are fascinating with histories and motivations more than some authors give even their main characters -- and oh, these characters should collectively be called Legion, for their personal demons are many -- I think Blint may well be my favorite character of all time.

Keep in mind that this could be because I've just spent most of the last three days with him, even though he's not the "main" character of the trilogy.

Don't get me wrong; Kylar Stern is the main character, and he is both awesome and awe-inspiring. But Durzo Blint....

At first glance, he's a badass. Upon further acquaintance, he's the deadliest badass of them all, cocky to the point of insufferable arrogance (though that's tempered into fabulousness by his wit and blistering sense of humor), and unbreakably staunch in his routines.

A little probing reveals the funnest truth of them all, which doesn't exactly make sense at first: Durzo Blint is not just a wetboy. He's not even just the best wetboy the world of Midcyru has ever known.

Durzo Blint is an obsessive-compulsive wetboy.

How hilarious is that?

But seriously, all his mannerisms are those repetitions that OCD sufferers use to defray their anxiety. Turning the lock three times. Popping garlic cloves -- not because he likes them, but because the aromatic bite soothes him and because the gesture of reaching into the little bag, tossing one in, and chewing it down is such an ingrained habit. The checking and rechecking of all the traps on his safe houses.

Total OCD.

But the more you think about it, the more you read about him and realize how long and tortured an existence he's had and how dedicated he is to his path, the more that OCD becomes less like a quirky character trait and more like a necessity for his own mental survival.

If you're reading this, you'd damn well better have already read the book, so you know that he's 700 years old and that every time he's "died" and come back, someone has died in his place. There's no way to cheat death, even with Brent-Weeks-immortality. It's the oldest rule in the universe (even the fantasy one): when someone dies, a life is owed, whether it's yours or not.

If you'd lived long enough to understand that ratio and realize that the life taken when yours returned was someone you'd start to be a little more careful. If every mistake you made -- every fatal one, and in a wetboy's line of work, even the smallest mistake can be fatal -- cost you your best friend or your wife or one of your children, you'd do everything you could to not make a mistake.

Like checking your lock three times. Or rechecking all the traps you'd just set around your safe house.

And you'd do whatever brought you comfort, even if it's just chawing on garlic cloves until the taste becomes relief and the gestures become a soothing ritual.

Of all the characters in Brent Weeks' world, Durzo Blint is hands-down my favorite. I can't think, right off-hand, of a literary character I've enjoyed more or that brought me so much fascination. But again, that could be because I've spent the better part of the last 72 hours blasting through about 2,000 pages.

Little tired.

But still capable of relatively rational thought. Any writer's goal -- hell, that's too weak a word. Any writers reason for writing is to create characters whose personalities walk right off the page. Whose failures feel like the reader's own and whose victories lift the reader's heart. Who isn't necessarily perfect, but is as close to living as you can get without the Power of Creation.

And part of writing a successful character in that vein is giving them traits that effect their Journeys, reflect their pasts, and both sully and aid their plots. Like an obsessive-compulsive wetboy.

Think about it: those little mental tics that were developed in their own way to keep his loved ones safe are just as harmful to him as they are a boon. Admittedly, Blint has enough strength of will to not have to lock, unlock, and relock his door...but it makes him feel better to do it. Safer.

Put that in a crisis situation and see what happens. Or, worse yet, put that in a betrayal situation. You know, one of those few times where he's allowed himself to trust someone with that part of his personality and watch when they sell that secret to someone who can use it against him.

It's a mentally-bouying strength, but it's also a devastating weakness. Or could be.

Which leads me to the other reason Durzo Blint is at the forefront of my list of favorite-characters-I-can-think-of-right-now.

He's done everything he can to never love anyone.

Notice that I didn't say he succeeded. Heh. But it's a trait I admire because of my own opinions of the usual selfishness and greed of love. Long story, and I won't go into it now.

At any rate, here again, his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. He protects himself (and, thus, those who he might come to care for and possibly lose in future) by refusing to get close to anyone, by keeping himself solitary and safely alone. It makes him stronger and better at his craft than anyone else ever could be.

But because he eventually succeeds too well and cuts off not only love but hope, the very source of his power eschews him for another. His ka'kari leaves him for Kylar. Blint's very reason for (continued) existence abandons him because of his detachment toward the rest of the world.


Now, my beloved sister didn't particularly like the last book of the trilogy, and I've yet to talk to her about why (just finished the books, darn it! cut me some slack!). At the moment, I'm both still too stuck in the story to really tell how I feel about it as a whole and too infatuated with the fascinating mysteries that still remain about the incredible Durzo Blint to really attack the ending and discover for myself what turned her off of it. Pesh loves the whole thing through and through, so it may well just be a difference of opinion.

To be honest, I was too busy putting together all the pieces of this particular jigsaw puzzle of a plot to get distracted by certain elements -- okay, so I've never been a romantic and the love aspects are darn near lost on me, other than how they are manipulated into how the plot unfolds. Those things, I'll think about during the week.

Right now, I feel like a schizophrenic staring at the magnificent paranoia board I've created in a vast, abandoned warehouse. Various colors of yarn are stretched in a thousand different ways, tacked to this fact on this wall and that hint on that wall and twisted around that line of influence from the ceiling and bent out of true by that tangle of converging knots of intrigue bundled in the corner. I feel like I'm standing in the midst of a completed masterpiece where I don't think I've dropped any of the threads and where everything seems to be connected correctly and I can see everything I should have received from the information provided.


And it's still not enough. Heh. Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment.

See, part of the attraction for these books (for me, anyway) is that they made me feel smart. Part of the reason I wanted to bull right through them is because every time I read far enough to find that a deduction I'd made from this seemingly-offhand comment was correct or combined that bit of exposition properly with that hint of history or even just correctly guessed what a "fantasy" word meant by syntax, by context, and by guaging one part of the word's meaning from another one that's already been "translated"...well, I just wanted to keep all that fresh in my head. To keep that gigantic paranoia board going without losing any strings.

To keep feeling smart. To keep feeling like I was cracking the code. To keep guessing right not because certain plot twists were obvious but because I love worrying over those seemingly innocent puzzle pieces thrown out until they start to fit together.

As best I can tell at going-on-one-in-the-morning after this much information download, the story itself is fascinating, well-told, and intricately woven. There's a little too much "love will save the world!" gushiness for my taste in some parts, but that's tempered with the bloodshed and sacrifice required throughout (something I actually thought Sis would appreciate).

In short -- I know; too late -- I like it.

And I can't believe I read the Whole Thing.

And I have to go to bed now because it's entirely too close to the time I have to get up and go to work tomorrow, and that sucks donkey balls. Big, hairy ones.

G'night, all, and I may mull this over more when I've had time to percolate on it and talk to both Sis and Pesh on their various points of view. I just kinda wanted to get my unfettered thoughts out before I went there. Fresh from the firing line, so to speak.


And Durzo Blint rules. Ha!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Is it weird to have fun at the dentist's office?

I just had to have my last baby tooth pulled during my lunch hour today. Yes, I'm 32 years old. I've taken good care of it.

But no matter how well you take care of a baby tooth -- it didn't have a permanent tooth under it to wear down the roots and push it out, so it just stayed, and no, that's not terribly rare -- it eventually wears out. This one chipped while I was munching a jelly bean. Yes, a jelly bean. I broke a tooth on a jelly bean.

Stop looking at me like that.

Anyway, since it was chipped/cracked, I figured it was finally time to go. I tried to wiggle it loose, but it just stayed put. Didn't hurt, which was good, but it wasn't coming out on its own. I was tempted to take a pair of pliers to it to save myself the bill, but hey. If anyone could screw up a simple tooth-pulling, it's me.

After all...I broke a tooth on a jelly bean. Let's not forget.

So I went, and me and the dentist and his assistant all got to joking around about it being the last baby tooth. The assistant was all, "You're a big girl now!" and the dentist was all, "If you're brave, you can have a SpongeBob tattoo when we're done!" and I couldn't help but pout and ask, "Why can't I have a sucker?"

Laughing, he numbed and yanked, and I thanked him kindly around a mouthful of gauze and a dead upper lip, and the assistant put the tooth (which had one wicked-long root still there, which is what was holding it in so firmly; that thing wouldn't have come out until Judgment Day if he hadn't yanked it) in a little wooden box shaped like a tooth and told me to put it under my pillow. I wondered how much the Tooth Fairy paid out for 32-year-old baby teeth. A fortune? Or a kick in the tail?

Heheh. it weird to have that much fun at the dentist's office? I'll let you be the judge.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Ever watch a movie where one of the minor characters really annoys the hell out of you? Well, I'm watching Killshot, and the little hyper guy is driving me bugshit. I can't help it. I like the actor well enough, but in this one, he's being criminally stupid.

No, that's not a pun, though he is a criminal.

In fact, lots of people in this flick are criminally stupid. Thomas Jane has thus far been cool and resourceful, but Hyper Guy's girlfriend -- played by Rosario Dawson, who's definitely had better roles -- might well be mentally challenged in her Elvis fixation and lunatic loyalty to Hyper Guy. Lordy.

Mickey Rourke does a passable Blackbird, though only his hair looks Indian. Diane Lane does a passable wants-to-leave wife who isn't sure she really wants to leave, although her dithering is getting old. Honestly, at this point, I'm really only watching for Mr. Jane. Even the cops are being criminally stupid.

I mean, you find two dead bodies in a burned-out car, and you assume they're the ones you're looking for and send your only two eye-witnesses back into danger? I can only hope they're using the unhappy couple as bait because otherwise...yeah. Criminally stupid.

Oh, well. I'm only an hour or so in. Could get better. And hey, it's Thomas Jane.

Oh! And my new phone is awesome. I even have Goku -- the anime one, not the *coughchoke* live action...thing -- as the wallpaper. With an orange background. Heheh.

I'm such a dork.

[EDIT: Nope, the cops were criminally stupid. Hopeful Hubby and Dithering Damsel-in-Distress had to save themselves because the cops apparently had their thumbs up their collective butts. Oi.

Admittedly, by all accounts, this flick was butchered by rewrites, reshoots, and revisioning all over the place, which is why it didn't get a wide release. The original product was probably at least marginally better. Oh, well. Thomas Jane looked great in it. Heh.]

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dear Charlie:

So after several years of not having cell reception (or at most, a roving signal that would dissipate as soon as I tried to answer a call) in my own home, I finally struck the motherlode. Five bars, baby.

All it took was a different service provider and a brand-spankin' new phone. Dad wanted to upgrade his service (he couldn't get service in his house, either, but that was because he lives in the boonies) and maybe add a friend to his package, so he just did it all in one fell swoop and woot!

Five bars.

And most important of all? That's right. Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting. That's my ringtone. I always said I'd get it, but I tried just about everything with the old phone and kept coming up empty. New problem.

Okay, so it's not orange, but lime green works just as well. It's very shiny. It slides to reveal a full texting keyboard, which I'm loving. I never thought I'd be a texter, but I like communicating by text more than by phone, ironically enough. So this is INFINITELY better.

Awesome sauce. Color me stoked, people.

Oh, and call me! I never get tired of that song. Ha!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dear Charlie:

So Thursday night, instead of baking cookies (an idea I briefly toyed with and that would have been heartily endorsed by the folks at work; apparently it's been too long since I appropriately stuffed the masses), I scraped down another wall in my bedroom. You may or may not remember me attacking the first wall's wallpaper backing years ago and having the very devil of a time with it.

I. Will. Never. Forget.

But I finally felt the urge again (oi, am I getting tired of having so much unfinished stuff around my beloved house!) and apparently lost the rest of my sanity, so I gamely mixed up some fabric softener water and hosed a section down. Imagine my surprise when it wasn't as bad as I remembered. My putty knife didn't scrimp and gouge for each little inch of removed backing but plowed off the paper in sheaves and ribbons. Amazing.

I dunno if being exposed to the air for so long somehow made the glue not be such a bitchkitty, if I used more (or less) fabric softener, if I just hosed it down better or what, but it only took 2 1/2 hours to do that whole wall section and about a fifth of the next wall (probably 15 feet overall), where it took a good 5 hours and all of my most creative cursing to do maybe 8 feet of wall the last time. improvement.

So I'll hopefully get a third wall done tomorrow around noonish, let that wall dry while I spackle the other two, then spackle the third wall while the quick-dry spackle dries on the other two, then sand the other two while the spackle dries on the third...and then maybe paint all three. Dunno if I'll get that far. At least not tomorrow.

But what I'm hoping is to get the three "easy" walls done all at once so I can pull out the bed and nightstand from the fourth wall and do it all by itself so I only have to move the bed once. It's not big (just a double) or even terribly heavy, but the carpet is just plushy enough that the wheels on the hollywood frame have settled appreciably into the pile, making it hard to jerk it out of its accustomed place without jacking with the headboard and ripping it right off.

Conversely, those veritable holes in the carpet make it easier to get the bed right back where it's supposed to be. Heheh.

In other news, I went down to Mom's this weekend for...errrr...Mother's Day. Yes, I know it's June. Yes, I know it's practically Father's Day already. But hey. Between her and Mac (her husband) being sick and me being brought low with allergies (thanks to the ginormous wind storm that knocked out the power for a week blowing all possible spores/pollen/dust/whatnot into the air for we tortured few to merrily inhale), I just didn't get down there until now.

Anyway, it's always good to get out of town and into the great spaces of the country. To see more grass than concrete. More trees than shrubs. More cornfields than parking lots. Good times. It's always so quiet out in the boonies. I love it.

One of these days, man.


Shyeah. Maybe when I win the PowerBall jackpot, right?

So anyway, for tonight, it's Thomas Jane movies and a bottle of Miller Genuine Draft (usually, I'm a Bud Lite or Bud Select girl, but sometimes, you want something a little...richer) and maybe some creamy tomato soup in a half hour or so. Tomorrow, it's more wallpaper scraping and at least some spackling.

After that...the world.




Okay, after that is work. But hey. I can dream.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dear Charlie:

I think today should be National Rey Mysterio Day. If you don't know why, you've never seen his signature move. Or you don't know today's date. Or you simply don't watch wrestling. You wouldn't be the only one.

I miss wrestling. I can't find it on the local stations anymore. Woe is me.


On good advice, I rented a couple of movies this weekend, and since I was finally well enough (been sick, but who hasn't?) to watch and actually enjoy, I figured I'd talk about them a little. Not quite "reviews", like I'd link to in the sidebar there, but just...ya know...kinda blab.

First, Taken.

Nothing terribly surprising in this film, but it's a helluva good time for all of that. Liam Neeson is stellar. Not that this is surprising, of course, but seriously. For this part, he gives up the wisened, patient master he picked up for Qui-Gon Jinn and melts himself into a loving, if absent, father. He'd give up the world for his daughter -- and has -- though he's too late to save his marriage.

He's not above admitting that the ex-wife's new husband is disgustingly perfect (if only because he did the background check himself) or that, while his former career was imminently worthwhile, he perhaps shouldn't have done it for so long or so well because of everything he lost to do it. It's not that he's filled with regret. It's that...well...he only has a certain amount of time with his daughter, and he's already missed most of it.

He's...I dunno...trying to win back her trust. Yeah, that's it. Not her love, because he basically has that, but her trust. He wants her to be able to depend on him, that he'll be there for her, and not only when she needs him.

But he still feels the need to protect her as he did for all those years (though she doesn't know that), so when she wants to go to Paris with a friend, he first balks entirely and then gives in...with a few iron-clad ground rules.

Which she, of course, breaks. To her credit, she doesn't do so intentionally.

The only thing I find unbelievable about this flick -- hey, the poor guy even gets shot, so it's not like he's the invincible SuperDad who plows through the underground flesh trade like a nuke-powered Death's sickle -- is that the makers expect us to believe that there's not only one 17-year-old virgin...but several.

Of course, the 19-year-old wasn't one. So that's probably all right. Heh, sorry.

Anyway, this is all set-up for an old-fashioned revenge flick with the added attraction of a possible rescue. There's the friend-who-double-deals (or at least doesn't help as he could). There's the Bad Guy Who Got What He Was Promised (heh, never happily translate something you've said to a pissed-off father in haste and have since forgotten). There's the slog through how disgusting men can be (and no, I'm not a man-hater; some of my best friends are men) when it comes to the flesh trade...and the price they pay to be such utter shits.

All good fun.

But mostly, there's just Liam Neeson, who proves that you don't have to be a member of the Under Fifty Crowd to kick ass in an action movie. I mean, seriously. He took his licks, but he dealt it back out in spades. In spades to the Nth Degree.

Not necessarily the best movie in the world, but definitely entertainment, and that's all a girl can ask for. I am satisfied.

Second, The Spirit.

I missed this one in the theater, mostly because -- while I love this filmmaking style, the graphic novel look and feel -- I didn't know anything about the storyline looked a little...woman-heavy. Look, I know the source material. Graphic novels are sexy-chick candy, and that's all well and good. But I don't necessarily want to see it come to life.

Plus, I was out of town when the group of friends went, and it was one of those movies that would probably be better in a like-minded crowd.

Anyway, I kept meaning to rent it and just never got around to it, but I finally picked it up. And until the Octopus said, "Come on, toilets are always funny!", I honestly didn't know what to think. The cheese was almost too much...until then.

At that point, I realized that, yeah, it's supposed to be funny. And it was. But they advertised it as more of a cop drama, a serious flick. I didn't expect cheese.

Of course, I'm glad I got it. Along with all the eggs.

If you've watched it, you'll get that. Heh.

But it gets me thinking. When I saw the trailer for Drag Me to Hell, I was all, "Meh, another PG-13 horror movie; I'll pass". We're all well aware of my opinion of dumbing something down for a PG-13 rating.

But when I happened upon a couple of reviews on the flick, imagine my surprise. It's Sam Raimi, for one thing. And it's apparently the Second Coming of the Evil Dead, for another. Why didn't they advertise that? Why didn't they say it was cheesy horror of the best sort? Why didn't they put that in the trailer, instead of making like it was a serious horror flick that would probably fail miserably because it took itself too seriously for the subject matter?

Dude, if not for the reviews, I'd have never stepped foot in that theater (and still haven't, but I might remedy that this weekend, and I'll definitely see it sometime). The trailer gave me absolutely nothing.

My point is this: if you know your movie's selling points, why not put them in the trailer? I understand not wanting to give away the good parts, but seriously. If you're banking the movie on cheese, why not slice a little off the block for the trailer so people know what they're in for?

If I didn't like cheese and I'd gone to either The Spirit or Drag Me to Hell based on the trailer, I'd have been pissed. As it is, I seriously almost missed out on excellent entertainment because what was in the trailer wasn't what I wanted to see.

Mind you, I got no love for Denny Colt, AKA The Spirit. Pick a woman, for the love of God. And what's with all these women? Don't they see that he'll never love any of them any more than any of the rest? That his roving eye will never settle? That, in his own words, he has no room in his heart for any woman that isn't his city?

Geez, mon.

But the movie itself is a riot. The Octopus is priceless. It's good to see a villain who truly enjoys his villainy. He's not so focused on his wicked goals that he's above having a little fun with his adversary. Heh, and he's absolutely right: toilets are always funny.

But Silken Floss, his lovely henchwoman, is equally priceless. Between the two of them, they have more costumes than a Vegas showgirl -- there's a joke in there somewhere, but I'm not sure where. And she loves her job. Nothing better than a job you love.

And she's not one of The Spirit's girls. She's resistant to his charms. Gotta love that kind of spunk in a henchwoman.

Once I realized it wasn't taking itself seriously, this flick began to really shine. It's slapstick, but it's artistic slapstick. Every gag is lovingly played. Every one-liner is tossed off with just the right amount of glee. And every hard-boiled cop line comes out with a little bit of the bullet caught between the teeth.

Beautiful stuff.

But it should've been advertised better. Or at least differently.

In a way, I feel the same way about Watchmen. I can understand why those not in the know were irritated at the flick. From the trailer, you'd think it was a ripping good action flick, but anyone who knew the graphic novel knew it was more of a drama, more a cop thriller than a bunch of superheroes racing after the bad guys and blowing stuff up left and right.

You don't get that from the trailer. And that's a shame.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just being picky. I'm always wary of a comedy that looked hilarious from the trailer because I'm afraid the trailer's given away the only funny parts, so maybe I should be glad that studios seem to be playing it closer to the vest. But it seems to me that if you're gonna have cheese, you oughtta know you're getting cheese from the get-go.

Or maybe that's just me.


Dude. These kinda ended up being reviews after all. Didn't mean for that to happen.