Friday, January 19, 2007

Now Playing: Thank You For Smoking

About 10 minutes into Jason Reitman's brilliant Thank You For Smoking I was gasping for air on account of how hard I was laughing. After seeing this I've become even more disenchanted with the usual bluster of awards talk because none of the Best Actor discussions I've seen have brought in Aaron Eckhart for his potrayal of Nick Naylor. Per the norm, at least several brilliant performances go ignored by the Academy and I could see the Oscars completely passing Eckhart over and that is a huge mistake.

Simply put, the man is brilliant as Naylor, a genuine snake who is the point man for all PR the tobacco industry puts out. Naylor is front and center and as he points out about 30 seconds into the film, when you think of all the people and industries that hate and actively seek the destruction of the tobacco industry, they all have to go through him first. What makes him so delicious a character is the way nothing sticks to him in the slightest. He's so slick he makes oil seem dry, and Eckhart is hilarious as he navigates Naylor through one awful situation after another.

Oddly enough, some of his best scenes are with a kid actor who up to now has been nothing but a blank for me. Cameron Bright was the creepy empty-space kid in Birth and X-Men 3 so him showing not only life but actual pleasure at being a kid was sort of weird for me as a viewer. His scenes with his dad Nick are terrific because, much to his mother's chagrin, he is his father's son and seeing him learn from the master is pure comedy gold.

On a related note, Katie Holmes again shows a the complete lack of gravitas that caused her to be the lone sore spot in Batman Begins. She plays a reporter who hooks up with Nick for the sake of a story and while I'll grant she delivers on the knock-out line of the film (regarding Nick and his segment on tv) she never comes off as the hard-boiled investigator her character so clearly is meant to be. Maybe it's for the best that Looney Tom and his cult have her locked away in a dungeon somewhere. At least she won't screw up the The Dark Knight when it hits next year.

I could go on and on about the performances with special accolades to William H. Macy as an activist senator and Maria Bello and David Koechner as Nick's compatriots in arms. But for me the buck stops with the great J.K. Simmons who simply demolishes everyone and everything in his path to get to the funny. Just as he does in the Spider-Man films, Simmons fires words out of his mouth so fast you'd think they'd come from a machine gun. Everything the man says in Thank You For Smoking had me in hysterics and for that reason alone I'd recommend the film.

But there is so much more going on here that this demands repeat viewing. What elevates the film considerably is how it doesn't obviously take sides in the issue, as surprising as that may sound. Oh sure, you get a lot of positives and negatives on both sides of the tobacco issue pretty much start to finish and by no means does the industry come out clean. But in the end the film tries to hammer home one fact above all and that is this is a free country and we should enjoy those freedoms to our hearts' content.

Try Thank You For Smoking and I can guarantee that you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ice, Ice, Baby '07 Ed.

So the other day a few storms blew threw north Texas and brought with them a 30+ degree drop in temperatures across the state. The meteorologists were jockeying for position on top of the pile to claim that it was the worst disaster to hit the metroplex in forever. If there was ever any doubt that the media at large thrives on bad news (the more horrific the better) then please bear witness to the way these witless wonders react when a rogue flurry hits their collective windshield.

My Fair Lady and I went to another showing of the particular house we have our eyes on Saturday afternoon during a slight pause in the cold rain. When we returned we spent some time packing our place up in anticipation of selling it within the next few months. After that we took a nap and when I woke up I went downstairs and flipped over to Channel 8 news. The first thing I did was laugh at the cute news chick who was dressed as a matador. The second thing I did was laugh harder at the proclamation that the weather guys had been there since 4 a.m. that morning chronicling the storm systems moving into the area.

Guys, there was a lot of cold rain outside but not any ice as far as I could see. Of course, the section of Dallas I live in may as well be a black hole as far as Mother Nature is concerned. Very rarely does a storm system hit the city and not go completely around us so my objectivity is somewhat tempered by this fact. North and south of us was apparently covered in a sheet of ice yet we were left out of it. What little ice we saw was mainly on my car the next morning which gave me a nice workout as I tried to get it all off.

Of course, My Fair Lady gets to her office downtown and four other people are there. The firm she works for is, shall we say, a little larger than that so when she called me I had to laugh at her expense.
"You'll never guess who's here today," she said.

"Uh, the Pope."

"No, His Holiness apparently has the day off along with all the partners and the support staff. Me, Other Guy, and Secretary #45 are the only ones here. What do you think I should do?"

"Leave." I was really into this conversation right from the start.

"I can't just go home early, even though I should."

"What are you talking about? It's not like anyone is going to stop you. If the security guards have taken the day off too then there's no one left to stop you. Go out to your car and go home."

"I'm thinking about it. But what about you?"

"Well, by this point everyone's made it in so I'm stuck. But you go have fun!"
Just to clarify, by no means was I trying to be a martyr. Everyone who works in my office had arrived by this point (late morning around lunch time) so it would have been physically impossible for me to split without being noticed. My Fair Lady figured that she may as well stay and knock out some contract work she had on her plate.

In the meantime, I fired off some e-mails and burned through the first disc of "Samurai Jack Season 3" which is exactly what I would have done were I at the house.

Was I working from home or relaxing from work?

You decide.

In the meantime, the ice burned off by noon and the weather forecasters were all in shock over how narrowly we averted disaster. Guys, by noon on Sunday, THE DAY OF THE STORM, your estimates of 3/4 to 1 full inch of ice had been scaled back to barely a quarter inch of ice and even that was just a possible. I get that this is Texas where shouting "flurries" has the same impact as screaming "FIRE!" in a crowded theater, but you people need to lighten up a bit.

If for no other reason, when disaster does strike in the future I won't be so focused on whether or not the news chick's co-anchor is going to step off camera then return dressed as Zorro.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Now Playing: Invincible

One thing we all know about the "inspirational sports film" is exactly how things will play out. Start to finish we know the hero will face adversity, join something he/she believes in, will find themselves beaten down some more, then will find a way to win when they need it the most thus inspiring not only themselves but also their friends and family.

Absolutely nothing is different about Invincible which is sort of the point. Either you dig flicks like this or you snear at 'em.

Personally, I look at them to see how well they use the formula and to its credit Invincible does an extremely good job at entertaining without preaching. This isn't the story of a young American hockey team standing up for US pride by defeating the fearsome Russians. It's about an average guy (Vince Papale) in Philly with above-average athletic ability who tried out for the Eagles on an "open call" figuring he had nothing to lose. Then a funny thing happened.

The new head coach, Dick Vermiel, asked Vince to join the Eagles on special teams. It's a heck of a story and considering today's NFL it's probably the last time something like this would happen. Since this is based on the real life Vince Papale who really was a part-time bartender in Philly during the extremely hard '70's, we know he's going to suffer before becoming a winner and suffer he does. In the behind the scenes material (which is a goldmine on the real Papale who consulted on the film), we learn that one of the NFL players mis-timed his hit on star Mark Wahlberg and the result was everyone behind the camera afraid he'd been killed. On screen, the hit looks bad but nothing serious however Wahlberg is rather slow getting up.

The best way I could describe Invincible would be to call it comfort food. You know what you're going to get, you know the beats start to finish, but it's still a fun ride made all the more enjoyable by a personable lead in Wahlberg and a solid turn by Greg Kinnear as coach Vermiel. There's nothing Oscar-worthy anywhere, but it's a fun movie that ends right as it seems to be gearing up.

Oh, and the final scene incorporates the actual play Papale made and seeing what actually happened, and Papale's reaction to it, make the movie all by itself.

Now Playing: Layer Cake

One of these days I'm going to stop leaving Netflix discs laying around on my shelf for a month gathering dust. I really am. Honestly. Cross my heart and the whole bit. My reasoning is I'm now two-for-two on friggin' awesome movies that have sat unattended to on my shelf for far too long all the while a host of other gems piled up in my Netflix queue.

Some might not consider Virgins From Hell a gem but those people are merely uninformed.

As for Layer Cake, I was just blown away by Matthew Vaughn's sure-handed direction and Daniel Craig's star making performance. I understand now why the Bond producers thought of him for the role after seeing this because even though the character he plays isn't a badass by any stretch of the imagination, he captures the suave, sophisticated and know-it-all seen-it-all essence that is the very soul of James Bond.

Little wonder then why I fell head over heels in love with Casino Royale, in large part due to Craig's performance.

Both Craig and Vaughn prove themselves the real deal right from the start in Layer Cake as Craig's narration sets up his character the world of drug dealers he inhabits. His character, never referred to by name, runs a small travel business as a front for narcotics traffic in the greater London area. He has three other members on his team and does his primary business with a big boss named Jimmy. Jimmy's right hand man is played by the always awesome Colm Meany whose cherubic face hides a hard-boiled menace that is just wicked to watch unleashed. Meany was easily my favorite character on Deep Space Nine and I normally enjoy a movie more by a factor of 50 if he's in it.

The opening 10 minutes sets the stage in grand fashion and it's to Vaughn's credit that he does more with less than Martin Scorsese did with the entire first hour of Casino which did much the same thing. It spelled out how things work in the business while at the same time introducing all of the majority players. While that sequence was easily the best part of Casino, Vaughn reigns things in and gets down to business quickly. Once the stakes, the world, and the players involved are all laid out, it's time to screw everything up and when things go wrong they go completely off the deep end.

I think I spent the better part of Layer Cake with my jaw on the ground at the sheer awesomeness of it all. Coming off of Brick presented me with the challenge of comparing American crime noir to that of Britain and between the two I preferred Layer Cake. It remembers to entertain instead of wallowing in how clever its screenplay is and while I think the final few double-crosses mute the power of one of the endings, the film nevertheless is a strong and bold announcement of major talent coming into their own.

I realize now what a shame it was that 20th Century Fox and Vaughn couldn't come to an arrangement for Vaughn to direct X-Men 3 as he was originally slated to, but at least he was responsible for Kelsey Grammer as Beast which was a brilliant bit of casting. As for Craig, I think his work here and in Infamous will define him as an actor moreso than the flashier Bond series will. But what I was most surprised by with Casino Royale was in just how good he was with the darker and more emotional side of Bond. He may look like more of a bruiser and less a suave elitist, but he was so good that I can only hope the next few Bond films are as good as Casino Royale was.

This is all a long way of saying that Layer Cake is an excellent flick that will be enjoyed by anyone who digs crime films. Oh, and the love scene with Sienna Miller has one of the best uses of a song I've seen in forever.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

An Op-Ed on the Next-Gen Console War

As you can see from the title, this will be a gaming-related article so if you're not interested then skip on to something else.

According to VG Charts, Nintendo's Wii is smacking the crap out of both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. How do I arrive at such a conclusion considering the 360 has double the sales numbers of the Wii? Simple.

The Wii has been out for roughly six weeks.

Now, will the Wii continue to dominate through the course of this generation? It's hard to say considering Nintendo's track record of putting out first party gems every nine months or so with a whole lotta "meh" filler in between. I may give Sony a hard time on the PS3 (deservedly so) but by all accounts it is a solid piece of engineering and Sony does not skimp on the games. From the looks of things, their slate of titles this year will be impressive provided they all ship on schedule. Microsoft falls somewhere in the middle which is a position they should, frankly, get used to. I honestly think for all their bluster, Microsoft is going to have to settle for being the Number Two Man through this generation and possibly the next one as well.

Practically everyone under the sun has weighed in with their opinions on all three consoles and where things are headed, and every one of them (read: us in the gaming press) are talking out of their butts because we've never seen anything like this. By "this" I mean a seismic shift in the gaming demographic which happened virtually overnight as well as skyrocketing development costs by the Powers That Be, micro-transactions that allow the Powers That Be to nickle-and-dime us for things already in the game (read: Viva Pinata), and EA's staunch refusal to do anything about the problems in Madden.

Gaming has now entered the big time, and for the record I believe this generation of consoles will be the one that sets the standard for all that will come down the line. Prior to now, the term "gamers" was aimed squarely at the cliche of angst-ridden teenage boys sitting in their parents' basement playing video games with their friends until 2 a.m. surrounded by empty cans of Mountain Dew. This misconception was recently shattered and at the heart of it all is Nintendo's little console that could.

Take a look at your Xbox and Playstation controllers. Pick them up, weigh them, then examine how many buttons are on each one. Do the same with your PC's keyboard and mouse then recall when we all played flight sims (both on earth and in space) back in the day where we'd use almost every button on the keyboard. Now ask yourself this question: Were we working or were we playing?

Bill Harris made this same point the other day and he's right. What Nintendo has done with the Wii is strip away the complexity inherent to video gaming and made it so accessible to the mainstream that now a grandmother can roll 185 on Wii Sports Bowling with her grandchildren who are used to rolling aliens with heavy weapons in Gears of War on the 360.

Which game can justifiably be accused of bringing the room together?

Almost instantly, the gaming universe shifted. Every woman I've talked with who previously regarding gaming as "that thing my boyfriend/husband/ex does in the living room" is fascinated by the Wii. They all want one of their own because they want to dance around while they play instead of sit on the couch. The question is, how long will it last?

As noted, Nintendo tends to drag their feet on getting quality material for their consoles into our hands in a timely fashion and they have a real chance to storm the beaches and take a commanding lead with the Wii. Head over to and run a search for Hot Items and see what pulls up. Without question, the Wii will be sold out regardless of zip code. Compare that to the PS3 which will absolutely be in stock everywhere. What the hell?

Simple - it boils down to "fun." Every one of us at E3 last year came out saying that "fun" was what it felt like to play the Wii. It was pure "fun" in a way many of us were unfamiliar with except on a primal level. For the past 20+ years, we've been conditioned to think that the more complex a console was the better it was by default. Sony's entire marketing campaign for the PS3 has been about the awesome fury it would unleash on every household in the world, but not one time did they ever mention how much fun their games would be.

Exactly five seconds after picking up the Wii controller and actually using it results in a euphoric high no other console has matched, ever. The closest approximation is Guitar Hero because it also taps into that same primal level. All of us have played air guitar at some point in our lives, and every single one of us wanted to be a rock god for at least a fleeting moment when we were kids. Then Guitar Hero hit and not only provided an excellent gaming experience by itself, but also captured the essence of "fun" that comes from flailing around like an idiot to your favorite song when no one else is looking.

Now take that very same essence and inject it into a console and the potential you're looking at is limited only by a developer's imagination. There will be plenty of junk released to be sure, but the titles devoted solely to the Wii's control scheme that maintain the essence of "fun" will score and score big.

So what of the other two consoles? I have a few thoughts on each so bear with me just a bit longer.

Sony's mistakes this past year have been so numerous it is literally impossible to count that high. The only thing they should have done is shut up and put out the console. Oh, and slash that damn price tag by $150 at least and then they'll get some better press and attention. Their laughable attempt to force mass acceptance of Blu-Ray technology was boneheaded to say the least because the tech is at least two years away from being properly pushed by the software. Anyone that claims either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD are better than the other haven't seen anything yet from either format because they're still just ramping up. Show me Lawrence of Arabia completely restored in both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray side-by-side and I'll be far more eager to proclaim a victor.

In short, I'll wait a few more years for the kinks to work themselves out so I'll let the early adopters drool all over themselves in the meantime. For me, DVD wasn't worth paying attention to from a consumer point of view until roughly 1999 which was two years after the first players hit. I knew immediately that it was the future and was genuinely excited about it, but with technology following Moore's Law (more or less) it was smarter to hold off then and I'll do the same with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD now.

That's a long way of saying Sony shot themselves in the foot by forcing something on the market that 95 percent of consumers are in no way either informed enough about or ready to commit to. With the requisite hardware costing probably north of $1000 per console, Sony cannot commit to a price cut this soon and John and Jane Doe in Middle Of Nowhere, Nebraska, aren't about to buy one of those beasts for Little Jimmy when his perfectly good PS2 is sitting in the family room surrounded by quality games. This leads to point #2 about Sony - they are their own worst enemy.

The PS2 may not be as strong hardware-wise as the Xbox but it sure has a vastly superior games library, and this looks to continue well into next year. Microsoft has abandoned the Xbox in favor of the newer and shinier 360 (more on that in a second) but Sony still has a viable cashcow with the PS2 and intends to milk the hell out of it for as long as it can. I'm fine with that because since I don't own an HDTV then buying either a PS3 or 360 right this second isn't as much of a priority to me as enjoying the games on the current consoles. With games like Final Fantasy XII and God of War 2 hitting at the end of the generation, I believe the console is better equipped now to maintain a steady pace of solid titles for the next year (or even two).

By contrast, Microsoft has dumped development for the original Xbox completely and this just pisses me off to no end. Their view of hardware is the same as their software - we should upgrade when they say so. Well, sorry Redmond, but that just ain't the case and you can screw off for thinking so. Plenty of millions world wide are lapping up the 360 but more than a few of them have had to send them in for repairs due to faulty hardware. Microsoft's stance of "be gentle with it" and "keep it well ventilated" and "we'll make as much first-gen software backwards compatible as we can whenever we get around to it" is utter hogwash. All of it. This is a gaming console that was the first in a long while that had a viable chance to stab Sony in the heart and take its lunch money at the same time.

Instead, Microsoft let Sony pretty much do that to itself.

Now, here's where I give Microsoft a ton of grief - backwards compatible is important regardless of what people say. The majority of us who have neither the room nor the intention to have multiple big-ass consoles in our living room will need to remove the old and replace it with the new. If the new cannot play the games from the old, and offers very little in the way of attractive new software, then the new console will remain un-purchased. But there's one more kicker Microsoft more or less announced just recently:

Within the next 6-9 months, version 2.0 of the Xbox 360 will be released. It'll use a better chipset (65nm) which means it will be better engineered and quieter, and in theory shouldn't require a power brick to juice it up. Oh, and it should be far more stable than the first-gen Xbox 360's are.

This revelation should effectively kill 360 sales between now and then. It won't, but it should hurt sales among the more "plugged-in" among gamers. Certainly those of us currently on the fence will wait for version 2.0 before committing, and since there's exactly one game between now and then Microsoft is releasing (Crackdown) then I feel even better about the wait. Microsoft's attitude this generation seems to be only slightly less arrogant than Sony's and that just rubs me the wrong way. It's like both companies feel we should be grateful to them for putting out these consoles when in fact I find nothing to sell me on either system.


In the end, it all comes down to the games and only Resistance: Fall of Man on the PS3 and Dead Rising on the 360 are the ones that grabbed my attention. The 400th interation of Madden or NBA Live can both kiss off because neither are inventive or push the genre forward. To be sure, I hate sports games exactly for their lack of innovation and nothing those fools at EA say will change my mind short of actually practicing what they preach. They've been going on for a year now about how they were going to work harder to promote new titles and new franchises but all I've seen is the same old thing of pushing graphics at the expense of gameplay. Maybe it's because I've been doing this for 20+ years now but I'm frankly sick of graphics replacing gameplay. For example, while I respect the heck out of how Crysis looks, if it's as boring and empty as Far Cry was then I won't care that it can bring my PC's graphics card to its knees. Fortunately, Nintendo took a "graphics don't matter" approach and focused on the "fun" aspect of gaming and wound up knocking it so far out of the park even they were surprised.

Both Microsoft and Sony were blindsided by the Wii and the rapidity with which it sold and continues to sell, and they must be scrambling internally to figure out what they can do to counter it. Every single Wii Nintendo can make will sell, and neither of its competitors can accurately claim the same thing. When they each decided Nintendo was a non-threat and decided to focus solely on each other they left the door wide open for Nintendo to walk in and steal their thunder.

If Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo can actually follow through on the promise of their consoles then gaming as a whole will benefit from this generation. When companies are forced to dig in and compete with one another then the best all sides have to offer come out. Sure, there's a bloodbath left over but we the consumer reap the benefits. Xbox Live as a service forced Sony to work more on its online service which, to date, has monumentally sucked. Nintendo has uniformly ignored the online marketplace but have embraced it with the Wii and while their service might be a little rough compared to Microsoft's, both have pros and cons that each will learn from and improve on over the next year.

My predictions for where everything will end up depends heavily on the next 12 months. Until Christmas 2007 is over it is too early to call this war and anyone that says otherwise isn't looking at the big picture. Should all three companies crank out software that fully utilizes the strengths of each console then I think the Wii could be numero uno with Microsoft number two and Sony number three. I think the gap between Sony and Microsoft will narrow considerably once Sony drops that price by ~$100 and will continue to narrow when the Sony-exclusive titles keep hitting. Right now though, they're priced out of the mass market but I think they may wise up sooner rather than later. Microsoft needs to focus on getting games to market faster than they have been, and those games ALL need to be triple-A titles to have enough of an impact to keep Sony down.

This is where the playing field stands as 2007 begins. How this field will look when the year comes to a close is anyone's guess. Fortunately, there is plenty of time between now and then for all three parties to work their butts off to impress us with shiny new games. And who knows?

Maybe some of them might even be system sellers.

Now Playing: 24 Season 5

Previously on 24...

Jack Bauer fought valiantly against evil terrorists led by the charismatic Habib Marwan (Arnold Vosloo) and encountered/defeated many foes, including a cameo by Naked Mandy. Yet it all came down to the newly sworn in President Logan's right hand man Walt Cummings who sent a loyalist Secret Service agent into CTU to bring in Bauer. Of course by "bring in" I mean "kill the hell out of" and so Jack faked his death and fled Los Angeles. The only ones who knew he was still alive were ex-President David Palmer, Tony Almeida, Michelle Dessler, and Chloe O' Brian which meant Bauer's lover Audrey Rains was left on the floor of CTU crying her eyes out in anguish as Jack walked off into the sunset leaving his world behind.

The following takes place between 7 a.m. and 7 a.m. tomorrow...

As much of a reboot as Season Four was, Season Five levels the playing field with a wrecking ball. Over the course of 24 episodes, practically the entire original cast is permanently removed from the series so much so I'm convinced that if a character's name isn't "Jack Bauer" in the credits then it is only a matter of time. My main fear going into each season of 24 is how much of it will get derailed by a useless subplot that drags down the whole enterprise.

I need not have worried because there is not a single moment wasted in the entirety of this season. There were a few times when my "Useless Subplot" alarm started going off, but within the span of an episode the new plot development would sort itself out and make sense. What does that mean?

No Kim Bauer screwing things up.

No stupid psycho daughter killing herself for attention.

No cougars anywhere.

No amnesia anywhere.

In short, this is Jack Bauer set on "Pure" and it is a wicked kick to the adrenaline gland. The show just builds and builds to the point where it's almost impossible to take and then it goes deliriously over the edge and keeps the suspense high while racing to the finish. Everything that's worked before is cranked up to an 11 and everything that failed before is thankfully tossed aside. Bauer is pure righteous fury from beginning to end as he tries to sort out who would want him and his friends dead, and who has the means to accomplish it.

President Logan (Gregory Itzin) is a brilliant creation, all twitches and tics and insecurities that is somehow perfectly matched by his wife Martha (Jean Smart). The ways Itzin and Smart play off one another are wonderful because they nail the shorthand couples develop over 30+ years of marriage. They say more to one another in a look or a gesture than others could in a speech. Smart has the trickier role at first because Martha has a history of paranoid delusions and clinical treatment, and as the events unfold she starts seeing through the cracks but no one will help her. Without spoiling anything further, I'll say that everything for her changes slowly as the day moves on and by the end of it she's gone through a personal hell.

The secondary roles are again filled out by the characters we've come to know and love over the last few years. Mike Novick returns at Logan's chief of staff and he's again perfectly played. When the facts are brought to bear on him towards the end he leaps at the chance to do the right thing because of his failings in season two. Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce returns and is surprisingly given far more to do this year than in seasons past.

Also, Pierce gets the best line of the entire season during a confrontation towards the end. All of Jack Bauer's many, many throwdowns pale to the amount of genuine fury and rage that Pierce puts into one line. He's been heartbroken by what he's seen and when placed in front of the source of the day's problems, Pierce looks the villain square in the eye and just throws down. I cheered too because as great as Jack's similar confrontation in the final episode is, Pierce delivered his stinging rebuke with a wounded dignity Jack is physically incapable of managing.

In short, it was the stand out moment in a season of such moments.

If you have never seen 24 and want to know where to start, then I'd recommend picking up season four then five. Season four was more of a reboot of the series than anything else, and since they cover most of the backstory with throwaway bits of dialogue you should be good to go. Season five is worth it though because it is damn near flawless from the brutal beginning to the cliffhanger ending.


Over the Christmas season, My Fair Lady ran short of hose and dispatched me forthwith to yon Macy's. Women's undergarments do not normally faze me, yet standing in the middle of an open room surrounded by them while two women stood behind me in line I started mentally humming a song from "Sesame Street":

Which of these things is not like the other....

Word of advice to all men everywhere - when the woman in your life requests you perform this task, do so without comment unless you bring the funny. It is part of the give and take relationship. Besides, will she know if you grabbed a Cinabun on the way out the door?

I think not.