Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What sort of protiens would they serve at such a place?

Do you ever get really irritated by something you enjoy? That's how I am with Top Chef. I love this show, but it really does drive me crazy pretty often. It's not like Idol, because I can't truly judge the contestants, because I'm not eating the dishes. However, whenever someone gets kicked off like Radhika did last week for something to do with personality instead of food, it's bullshit. Just, bullshit. Also, I have eaten at Craft and I'm not so sure that Colicchio should always be mouthing off about improperly seasoned food, so that bugs. And some of the challenges are just...dumb. But, you know, they find great personalities each year to keep me watching.

This year? How can you NOT love Stefan and his ego and his wild crush on lesbian Jaime? And then there's new-age, hippy-dippy Carla, sending all kinds of love with her flaky crusts and even flakier hootie-who calls and hilarious asides. And don't geet me stahted on thee luhv for Fabio! But now, this week, with Jeff biting the dust, one of my favorite, stupid little moments each week is lost. When the contestant is speaking in a confessional and they flash their name, city, and restaurant, I misread his joint's name the first week as "The Dildo Beach Club." I was scandalized. I then, of course, realized on subsequent episodes that it's actually "Dilido". Didn't matter. It still scans in my brain as Dildo Beach Club and I get a cheap giggle out of it. And now that's over. But shit, at least we've still got Carla, Stefan, and Fahbeeo!

Yummy and Cuddly

One of the best perks of being a "creative" kind of person is that you'll end up with other creative people as your friends. And creative people aren't always focused in one area. You know, like Tony Bennett is a great painter as well as a singer. Like that. So a lot of my writer friends dabble -- and excel -- in other areas, and this can produce some lovely enjoyments. Two such instances:

Donna George Storey is also an accomplished cook and is currently one of the erotica writers involved in a Progressive Blog Dinner. Each writer/blogger is hosting a different course each day. Donna's day is on Saturday with a vegetarian course, but you can find the entire schedule on her blog and catch up and enjoy and maybe get yourself some new recipes.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a multi-talented woman, and I just received the most lovely and adorable hand-sewn teddy bear from her. It's truly beautiful, and I think she's starting up a bear business, so I'll keep you updated about that. Thanks, Gwen!

Now if I could just make friends with Tony Bennett to get myself a new painting or private serenade, I'd truly have the best of everything.

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Fuck With Him, You Fuckin' With the Best!

When I started this series of posts about my favorite actors/movie stars, I told you then that I definitely have a type. Tall, dark, and hawk-faced is pretty much a sure winner with me. But, well, when you've got the dark and dago, apparently height isn't a deal-breaker, cause my all-time favorite guy proves that size isn't everything. So, say hello to my little friend!

The smoke-ravaged voice. The owl eyes. The ability to turn a tirade into a mini-opera. Inexplicable charisma. And not one, but two of the most enduring and definitive gangster roles ever. His onscreen personas have become so integral a part of the culture that even his real name has become a synonym (and sometimes satire) for defining bad ass.

Al Pacino's start in the movie business was shaky, to say the least. Everyone wanted the part of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. And the studio most definitely didn't want the short, unknown, and untested guy. But Francis Ford Coppola did want him, and he fought for him. And the rest is cinema history.

Only thirty-two years old at the time, Al's youthful face already showcased his trademark, deep, dark bedroom eyes. I firmly believe it's because of The Godfather that the common phrase -- appropriately useful when an onscreen hottie is engaged in a fistfight -- "not the face!" was coined. But even with a busted cheek, he was still hot. But even though he was hot, his screen persona, Michael Corleone, would come to bring new shades of definition to cool. Calm and calculating, Michael Corleone embodies the challenge of taking nothing personal while rising to take control of his family business, and all the while, the audience watches as he sinks, unwittingly, into damnation.

Though Michael Corleone's spiritual fall from grace is the climax of the film, The Godfather was one of the first major gangster-crime films released after the lifting of the Hollywood Production code. In that previous era, it was mandatory that villains got their due at the end of movies. And that meant jail or justice by the gun. This symbolic, soul destruction shit would not have played in the old days when it was flesh for flesh justice. But in the modern era, Corleone not only got away with it, he got an Oscar nod and a smash-hit sequel. And the first step in Al Pacino's path to stardom was set.

There were other notable steps along the path to building the perfect gangster-psycho -- some of them unexpected, and some with better results than others -- but then, in 1983, Al sealed his fate to become the single most revered icon not only among wannabe screen thugs, but real-life ones alike. He took on a Spanish accent (and an entire army) as the polar opposite of Michael Corleone -- the brash and fiery Tony Montana, better known simply as Scarface.

Not only did Al as Montana set the bar for balls, he was one hell of a fashion statement of excess. Believe me, I am a world-class aficionado of the tacky and gaudy, and holy balls did Brian De Palma's Scarface bring it. Though it's a shameful admission, I will confess that I still harbor an Extreme Home Makeover fantasy about someday having Tony Montana's home. Or even just his office. Or just that "The World Is Yours" awful statue-fountain. It is, undoubtedly, as much because of the tremendous, lascivious excess in Montana's tastes in clothes and home and women as because of his brutal, balls-to-the-walls attitude that makes him a touchstone. This guy, he lived large. But the opulence of his home still manages to be dwarfed by the beauty of De Palma's film and Oliver Stone's script.

Scarface is a tough movie to talk about seriously, because of all the baggage it's acquired and what it's come to inspire. People then, and today, write it off as a piece of trash -- pulp fiction on the screen. Gory and gratifying at a base level. They're right, of course. It was, and still is, vulgar and violent. But that doesn't mean it should be dismissed as nothing more. It doesn't have the classy cache of The Godfather, and for that it pays a dear price. De Palma is, unquestionably, a master of homage, and his Scarface is even dedicated to the creators of the original, director Howard Hawks and screenwriter Ben Hecht. But with Scarface, De Palma didn't just jump into their genre, he refined and elevated it, and, for those who really watch it, created a full-blown modern tragedy. And in the middle of this marvelous madness stood Al Pacino, giving the performance of his life.

Tony Montana was not a simple thug. He'd escaped Cuba to find a better life in America and ended up destroying not just himself and his entire family, but, essentially, the American dream. It would be easy to paint him as a vile little creature, but, like most of us, he wasn't that easily summed up. But it's also difficult to keep the audience on a kind of teeter-totter with an over-the-top character like Montana. But it was exactly Pacino's crazy onscreen chemistry and charm that pulls the character in and out of focus. He is tacky and gruff and way out of line in his pursuit of Michelle Pfeiffer's Elvira. And yet, when he slides next to her in a booth or sits by her poolside, we already know she's his for the taking. And as for that relationship with his sister? Well. Uh. Yeah.

Tony Montana boldly breaks all the rules, even the artistic ones. Michael Corleone remained convinced he was doing the right things for his family. Tony Montana, however, acknowledges his own villain status, even if it is with a glib irony. And though his tragic flaw is most certainly his cocksure confidence-turned-arrogance, the catalyst for his inevitable unraveling was a moment of clear morality. Clouded in defiance and overly enamored with his own power, he still makes a choice to not kill a man's family, which brings the wrath of an entire Bolivian cartel raining on his head. And Al sells it all.

Many of his lines are so often repeated, and much of his demeanor is now routinely caricatured. But if you ever actually watch the movie, it is an outlandish indulgence, but it's not nearly the cartoon that pop-culture has turned it into. It is a true classic whose legacy is tainted by its own cult-popularity. And Al has never been better. He was magnetic in this role, fascinating, even, as he somehow crosses the line back and forth and portrays both a human being and a larger-than-life character. And that's why this is his defining role. Because, as Tony himself said, it's the last time you gonna see a bad guy like that again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stone Cold Killer

I'm getting near the end of my favorite actors list here, with my penultimate pick. Given who this is, you can probably guess who number one will be. Although they rarely work in tandem, with only three shared pictures to their credit, and only two of those pictures actually containing any interaction between the two, they are often considered bookends, and rarely is one spoken about without the other. That said, that's the reason I arranged them in this order to present them, even though my love for one (the other one, actually) eclipses my love for the other. But this guy deserves his due, and it's true, I will, and always do, watch any movie that he's in.

If I had to sum up Robert De Niro and his acting style in one word, it would have to be intimidating. Obviously, I like the "tough" guys. But De Niro has routinely taken this tough guy thing way beyond levels that could've ever been imagined by prototype Edward G. Robinson (an actor I loathe, by the way.) Possibly what's so frightening about De Niro's portrayals is not his vicious outbursts of violence, but, rather, it is in his quiet, simmering moments, when the violence isn't yet even a whisper of a threat. There is a stillness, a calm before the storm with him when the power is coiled, as a snake before striking, which can incite a dread, because you know you've passed the warning stages, and the rest is inevitable, but that cold, calm, twitchless, intimidating menace is nearly palpable through the screen. It's kind of, frankly, a bit psycho, and it's what he's been able to parlay for laughs or turn inside out in his later career to great success.

There have been numerous actor-director collaborations that have repeatedly struck artistic (and financial) gold in Hollywood and set a virtual template and gold standard for their respective genres. Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon. John Huston and Humphrey Bogart. Howard Hawks and Cary Grant. Howard Hawks and John Wayne, for that matter. But I'm not sure there's ever been one quite like Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. It was Scorsese who gave De Niro his first big break as the loose cannon Johnny Boy in Mean Streets. After that, he landed the role of young Vito Corleone in The Godfather II, a role which brought him his first Oscar and major star status. From there, De Niro always gravitated back into Scorsese's orbit over the years, but if you look closely at his body of work, it's almost a sin to brush him with the one-note stroke of "tough guy" considering the roles he successfully tackled. He has, without question, stretched himself and taken on romantic and comedic roles. But I guess the thing is, even when the roles were light, such as in one of my favorite comedies, Midnight Run, De Niro was still kind of thugish. And for as physically good looking as he was in his younger days -- and I do think he was formidably handsome -- I can never get fully behind him in romantic mode as there still seems to be that slight coldness about him. Not quite detachment, but a lack of passion with his leading ladies.

And so it remains that he still becomes most identified with the hood persona. It was Scorsese's Raging Bull that brought him his second Oscar as volatile Jake La Motta, and Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver remains a benchmark for aspiring psychos. Personally, I love his performance as the calculating casino ruler in Casino. But that movie is often (unfairly) blown off, as it's considered an inferior bookend to what may forever remain Scorsese's masterpiece -- GoodFellas.

There's not much that needs to be said about GoodFellas. It was the movie that Scorsese was always meant to make, and a role that De Niro born for. As Jimmy "The Gent" Conway, De Niro brought everything together into one of the most complex, cohesive characterizations he's ever put on screen, and yet he made it seem deceptively easy and routine. Summed up, as Ray Liotta's character told us, De Niro's character was the kind of guy who liked to root for bad guys in the movies. And that translated into this -- De Niro's character was the kind of bad guy we wanted to root for in that movie. At first. Before the repulsion set in. He was calm and slick, clever and shady, all with a thick patina of charm. At first. When things went well. But this character was almost a bookend to Vito Corleone, the man who said "never let them know what you're thinking." That's what's so riveting and engaging about De Niro's acting. He understands that people aren't always showing their emotions. Most of the time, most of us, when in pressure situations, expend a lot of energy to disguise our emotions. And that's where De Niro's gift lies. It's in that calmness, and seemingly resolute veneer which has only the subtlest of movements. We see him hiding, and yet we detect what's lurking. So, later, when the paranoia sets in and De Niro as Jimmy The Gent had to go on the offensive, it became chilling to watch him calmly try to coax Lorraine Bracco's character into a darkened warehouse.

And talk about controlled, cold violence? The famous foot kicking sequence, where he helps nearly stomp to death a guy who made a tasteless joke about shoe shine boxes is a quick, celluloid capture of De Niro's frightening essence onscreen. It was brutal and ugly, lacking any remorse, but also completely devoid of enjoyment. The only detectable emotion is that of slight annoyance at the hassle of having to kick the guy while he bleeds on his shoes. It's this exact scene that personifies what people so often quip about the man as actor. Yeah, he's great at playing a killer. But part of the reason he's so intimidating is because he's so adept at conveying someone who's seemingly dead inside.

Tomorrow -- reading for X

I wanted to return the favor for Donna hosting such a fun interview with me, but since I lack the imagination necessary to come up with great questions, I'm pinching her official interview that she did for X: The Erotic Treasury.

This is a great collection, and we both have stories in it. Donna's is the sultry "Yes" and she'll be out doing readings in support of the collection, along with editor Susie Bright and a few other contributors. Here are the dates you can check them out.

Diesel, A Bookstore
January 22
Greta Christina
Donna George Storey
Pam Ward
Susie Bright

Books Inc.
16th and Market St., San Francisco
January 29
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Greta Christina
Donna George Storey
Susie Hara
Susie Bright

And here's Donna's thoroughly charming interview (it's both smart and sexy, just like Donna, and her writing) with Susie Bright regarding her smart and sexy story in the collection, "Yes."

Susie Bright: Have you ever won an awards for your talents?

I like to think I do it all for love, no reward required, but I’ll admit I enjoy a little recognition now and then.

A few years back Sunset Magazine gave me a “Good Cook” award for my recipe for Bavarian Mousse Rice Pudding. That creation has gotten me some of the best in-person reviews of my career—who can resist a rich, fluffy pudding spiked with rum?

I also managed to snag a special mention in Pushcart Prize Stories 2004 for one of my more restrained stories about sex and Japan, but frankly I prefer no-hold-barred sex stories such as “Ukiyo” in Best American Erotica 2006, which is the prettiest jewel in my tiara!

Tell me how you would cast the film version of your story...

I would love to cast Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as the narrator who pushes his lover on to ever-edgier adventures. I love how his hair gets all mussed in those scenes of illicit, untrammeled sex.

For the lover who is sweet and proper on the outside, but wild and experimental (even pit bull-like?) in private, well, someone dared me to suggest Sarah Palin. While she seems willing to give in to the whims of her political party, I doubt she’d sleep with her mate’s best friend just because he ordered her to do it. So let’s go with Liv Tyler—lovely and elegant, but that sensual mouth suggests an intriguing sensuality we all want to see more of.

How would you describe yourself in a phrase, school-wise?

An apparently minor incident in my junior year English class may be responsible for my career as an erotica writer. One morning, I overheard a boy behind me say to his friend “Donna George is cute. I’d go out with her if she wasn’t so smart.”

I blushed and pretended not to hear, but I heard all too well. He’d summed up a well-accepted dilemma in our society, bookish women (and men) are not considered sexy. I think I decided then on some level that I would prove smart and sexy DO go together. And so I went on to assemble a date-defying list of academic credentials.

I’m a Phi Beta Kappa Princeton graduate with a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Stanford. I know, you wanted to fuck me— but now you have second thoughts?

Fortunately, somewhere along the way men did consent to sleep with me, thus giving me plenty of material for my erotic writing. My readers may not know it, but every time one of my stories makes them spring a boner or get nice and wet down there, it’s a victory for girls-who-wear-glasses everywhere!

Any interesting felonies or misdemeanors you'd like to mention?

Not quite to that level. But I prevented a miscarriage of criminal justice. I once spent a summer working at the IRS, copying the tax returns of British rock stars about their US income—and I saved The Moody Blues from an audit.

Today was a good day.

Welcome to office, President Obama. Glad to have you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Storey Interview

My friend, the talented writer Donna George Storey, has posted an embarrassingly kind review of my book, American Cool on her blog. She also took the time to interview me. Mostly, I hate interviews, as I'm both boring and uncomfortable in the spotlight. But, she asked some great questions about things I just love to babble about. So if you're inclined, you can check it out right here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sometimes Nothing Can Be a Real Cool Hand

If Hollywood has ever produced a more beautiful man, on the inside and outside, than Paul Newman, then I certainly wish someone would turn me on to him, cause I can't even imagine that it's possible. Probably because Paul Newman was almost impossible to believe. His looks are damn near mesmerising -- transcending even personal tastes. He was effortlessly cool, still able to pull off the double-gun-with-a-wink greeting even late in life. And yet his cool wasn't cloaked in thugishness or machismo -- he was pure class, all the way. And to top it off, he could act his ass off.

If Bogart was the guy who pulled cinema thugs and anti-heroes from the one-dimentional thirties into an updated and nuanced forties and fifties audience, Newman was the guy who took that rebellious, anti-hero characterization and bridged that gap right into the modern day, starting back in the '50s, and bringing his naturalistic approach -- lacking in ticks, tricks, and distractions -- into the quote/unquote modern stage of film and movies.

Newman already made a splash as Rocky Graziano in 1956's Somebody Up There Likes Me. But the '60s were to be Newman's decade. He kicked it off in '61 with The Hustler, where he first played Fast Eddie Felson, the arrogant up-and-coming pool shark with a wicked self destructive streak. (25 years later, under the direction of Martin Scorsese, that same character -- older and weary, he gets a dose of his own medicine when he takes a piece-of-work protege under his tutelage -- finally brought home the elusive Best Actor Oscar. After that, the Academy decided that they reallyreally liked him a lot and gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Humanitarian Award.) And then he closed out the '60s with the wildly popular and entertaining Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

But it was sandwiched between these flicks, in 1967, that he made my favorite Paul flick -- Cool Hand Luke. Newman's Luke Jackson is a guy who just won't give up the fight. Not any kind of fight. He can't give it up, because, fair or not, life just never seems to deal him a decent hand and he's got no choice. It's either fight to the last breath, and end up living like the dead. But instead of self-loathing or pity, Luke has a wry humor about it all, a sense of fun in his rebellion and moral and spiritual victory, even in his most brutal defeats. It's the kind of character we'd see a lot of in the counter-culture '60s -- the archetype that Jack Nicholson rode to superstardom with Cuckoo's Nest. (It's also the kind of character and role and movie that nearly got completely snuffed out once we entered the super-conservative '80s.) But Newman's portrayal remains the landmark.

He was the quintessential lone rebel, lashing out against the oppressive, unjust system. What they had was a failure to communicate, alright. But his connection with audience is nearly palpable. Charm oozes out of him, even when he's on a chain gang, for Christ's sakes. And there's more than a glint of devilish mischief -- and ultimate grace and nobility -- even as he takes his beatings and losses. Luke and his kind may never end up winning. And Newman, in this role, just couldn't lose. It was truly a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Serial Story

Here's a cool thing from one of my publishers, Zumaya Publications. On their Myspace page, they're offering a serialization of one of their novels. They just started posting chapters at the start of the year, so it's a great time to catch up and then get hooked for the updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The novel currently being featured is R.J. Leahy's sci-fi thrillerTigra, the sequel for which should also be released for sale shortly. You can check out Zumaya and catch up on Tigra right here.

Also keep in mind that the iPhone is fully functional for reading e-books, and that includes all of Zumaya's titles. They're all easily available in the proper format through Fictionwise. And that does, of course, include my book, 24/7. Yes, that was blatant and tacky self-promotion. Nevertheless. It's a good, addictive read during a commute, perfect for your fancy phone, especially if you made a resolution to read more.

Cops & Crooks

Well, I've suffered a terribly sad setback in my movie viewing routine. The theatre near my house closed just a couple days before Christmas. It wasn't a multiplex, which is one of the reasons it closed, and one of the reasons I loved it. They didn't have ten movies to choose from, but they had an enormous screen and awesome popcorn and although quite often they'd never get in the major release I wanted to see, they sometimes got in little quirky flicks that were just as enjoyable. Now, I'm pretty much relegated to DVDs. Of course, it sucks even worse for the owners of the theatre, but they'd struggled for a long time to keep up with the multiplex across town and finally succumbed.

So, speaking of struggling, lesser known, but just as charming entities, I figured I'd devote this post to a couple of my favorite actors who might make you go who? when I mention their names, but I'm willing to bet that you'll recognize their faces. And I hope that in 2009 they keep getting quality work and maybe even breakout roles. I mean, it's not impossible. My man Bogart struggled with bit parts and second or third fiddle roles for twenty years before establishing himself as a viable lead. And these guys, just like the big stars I've been blogging about here, I'll watch them in pretty much anything.

The first one hit my radar about a decade ago when a cop show called Third Watch came on the air. When this show premiered, it was an embarrassment of hot guys. All the chicks in my office watched this show, and for several of us, the hottest of the formidable bunch was Bobby Cannavale. In fact, we didn't even call the show by its title. We just called it Hot Bobby's Show.

When it started, it was a decent show with potential, but rapidly declined, and when they made the horrible error in judgment of killing off Cannavale's character, I wouldn't be surprised if they lost a major chunk of viewers. They lost me, and it went off the air, I think, shortly after.

Since then, I've always been on the lookout for Hot Bobby. For a time, it looked like he was destined for his big break at any second as he popped up in a plethora of places. He was funky spunk guy on SATC, he was Will's impossibly cute boyfriend on Will & Grace. But in 2003, he landed a juicy role in the Sundance sweetheart hit, The Station Agent as a happy-go-lucky guy who through sheer force of his friendliness insinuates himself into the lives of a couple of lonely people. It's a charming movie, elevated even more by the performance of the always lovely and captivating (and also underrated) Patricia Clarkson and a steady performance by Peter Dinklage.

But although the film won over indie audiences everywhere, for some reason, it still didn't push Cannavale into the limelight. I don't get it. He's absolutely gorgeous. He's got a natural style and has an easy confidence that suits him for comedy and isn't overwrought in dramatic roles. He keeps working, thankfully. And a lot of the pictures and roles he picks are really juicy even though they're not leads, but they're also often in indies. Can't someone with a good major release pick this guy up for a good role in wide distribution? Favreau? Someone? So far, The Station Agent remains the pinnacle of his career.

Now, speaking of niche roles in quirky shows, that brings me to Dean Winters. 2008 was kind to Dean as he reprised his role as Liz Lemmon's foil boyfriend Dennis Duffy on 30 Rock and he also held down a plum role in a couple eps of Life on Mars. It's not hard to shine on 30 Rock given the material, but it is tough to steal the spotlight from Alec or Tina. But Dean consistently did it with his uber-obnoxious, sluggish thinking and loud-snorting unlovable/lovable beeper salesman. And on Life on Mars, he had to make us love him before he could show his truly villainous self.

But, good as these roles were, they still can't touch what was indisputably a role of lifetime. The time was 1997. The place was HBO. This was the pre-Sopranos era, when HBO had built a credible-if-spotty list of comedies, but had yet to unveil a killer drama. In walked Tom Fontana, already highly pedigreed in very serious, quality episodic television. Suddenly, the inmates were running the asylum, or, more accurately, the correctional facility. And that facility was the brutal, sometimes wrenching, often shocking series Oz. In its first year, Oz was Emmy-worthy quality television. As it aged, it evolved (or devolved) into a lurid soap opera, which, of course, was even more addictive.

Girls and gays loved it for its full frontal nudity and steamy shower scenes, mixed with what quite possibly remains the most blatant and highest quantity of "red-shirt" characters to ever appear. Yeah, the red-shirts came and went, but the core cast was, among "character" actors and second-fiddle indie stars, legendary. The indomitable JK Simmons was the Nazi Schillinger. Before they got Lost, Harold Perrineau was do-gooder, Greek chorus narrator Augustus, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was animalistic perfection as Adebisi. Before she served crown roast to Tony Soprano, Edie Falco helped keep control as guard Diane. One of my other favorite hotties, Kirk Acevedo showed skin as disturbed Alvarez. Chris Meloni was a psycho-supreme who just loved too much. Even Rita Moreno did time at Oz.

But out of all the inmates who came, went, or got executed, one master manipulator rose the ranks and became the Iago of the incarcerated. That was Ryan O'Reily, and he was played with squinty-eyed, sexy machination by Dean Winters. I don't see how he possibly could ever top this role, because I'm not sure a better one could be written. Winters as O'Reily was a perfect marriage of bullshit Irish charm, dangerous and sultry survival instinct, and a gritty and quiet, if still smug, satisfaction at the success of all his most nasty plans realized. You know those villains you just have to root for? That was him.

Another reason I like him? He's half dago and speaks fluent Italian. Also?

And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

I don't know if he'll ever escape Oz and O'Reily, but I do hope he still keeps getting juicy roles, because he's just got that spark that pulls you onto his side when you watch him. And no one's been as good at the squint since Clint Eastwood. So I hope 2009 lands him some movies, even if I won't be able to go see them.