September 2004 Archives

Awful Indeed


I just registered an account over at Somethwing Awful, hoping to participate in the weekly Photoshop Phriday competitions. I'm beginning to think this was a mistake. First off, seeing the things people post to the forums that don't make the weekly cut isn't a very rewarding experience, and sticking with the filtered version is probably the best bet. Also, I'm lame at Photoshop.

To wit (or is it whit?), here's my entry for the "Video game mix-ups" category.


Another bundled strip posting. I figure the less of my jabberjaw the better. I'm also lazy, as I repeatedly point out. Lazily.

First, there's this. Although the word "embezzlement" is pretty funny objectively, its underlying meaning is, as the strip suggests, no laughing matter. And in my continuing quest to be inappropriate I've decided to make light of the very, very real fact that the small law office I worked for during the year between college and law school has filed a very, very real lawsuit against my former supervisor claiming that she embezzled somewhere around $200,000 from the company. I had no involvement in the nefarious activity, which is exactly what I'll tell any law enforcement personnel or deposing attorneys that happen to come calling. I guess I won't be listing my supervisor as a reference on my moral character application after all.

On to lighter news. Power failures! And Holohan learns a new Photoshop function. Last week we enjoyed a good old Boalt Hall power failure, and by "we" I mean the people hanging out in the BTLJ office going about our business. When the lights went out and the computer had been working on blinked off my thoughts immediately turned to the large vat of potato salad in the refrigerator. And so I bounded toward the powerles appliance, grabbed the carton, and immediately began distributing paper plates and plastic spoons. Unfortunately the power came back while I was halfway through my first helping, so my anticipated potato salad party was cut short. But still, potato salad.

Pepe's Second Halloween



Meli and I just made this makeshift Halloween card following a protracted process of trying to get Pepe into a respectable pose with the miniature pumpkin. I now leave it open to my loyal readers to (a) supply a funnier caption than "Happy Halloween" and (b) supply a funnier background than the Photoshop gray gradient. Graydient. Nyuk.

Strips are on the way, I promise.

Another Irrelevant Post About The Apprentice


First of all, vanilla toothpaste? Last week we got donut ice cream. This week they didn't just travel to the opposite end of the flavor spectrum. They breached the flavor-time continuum and travelled to an entirely different flavor universe. Bad move, Proctor & Gamble. Or, should I say, that's one gamble that won't pay off! Hoo!

Anyway, there was a soft spot in my heart for Maria by the end of the episode because of the whole printer fiasco. Anyone who's ever worked in student publishing knows what it's like to get fucked by a printer, and that's basically what happened here. Of course, instead of whining about it and crying "rape" (literally), Maria and Ivana could have said something along the lines of "You can bill us whatever you want, but we agreed on $1,800 and that's what we're paying you." They made a similar mistake last week with the hot dog vendor on Times Square. Instead of fleeing across the street they may have said, "When a police officer comes and tells us we need a permit we'll move. Until then, we're staying." I'm pretty sure that's what Mosaic would have done, not because they're more business savvy, but because they're a group of macho assholes who aren't about to let some little foreign man make them lose to a bunch of girls.

As for the actual projects, it could be because I'm not a sports fan, or because I'm a misogynist, but I thought the Apex promotion was extremely lame. Mike Piazza couldn't have looked more uncomfortable, even before they made him brush his teeth in front of a bunch of screaming yokels. And the big payoff was allowing a small number of fans get their overpriced Crest flyers autographed by someone from New York's "other" baseball team. Lame, I say. I'm not a big fan of fire eaters or stilts, but at least the Mosaic promotion was more like a legitimate street fair instead of a horde of starfuckers clamoring for a glimpse of a baseball player. Plus, I guarantee that the combined salaries of all of those street performers was less than a quarter of what Apex paid Piazza.

And now, a word about promo editing. Last week I predicted that the doom scenario in the preview didn't necessarily apply to Mosaic, and I was partially right. The "no backup plan" comment was Pamela, but it was something she said during the planning stages rather than during the collapse of the project. And she was wrong. There was a backup plan, and it worked perfectly. The ominous spreadsheet (which I don't think we ever actually saw in he episode) no doubt belonged to Apex (not Mosaic) since they're the ones that went over budget. The grimaces were indeed very dramatic. As soon as that Harvard prick pitched that retarded insurance idea I knew it wouldn't work. What did we learn from this? Insurance lawyers ruin everything.

As for next week's episode, the promo is trying to tell us that the teams are self-destructing and the boardroom will be "explosive." What do we see? (1) A mildly aggressive comment from Raj to an offscreen Mosaic colleague, and (2) Jenn C (my favorite Apexer, by the way) eavesdropping on some of the other women and surreptitiously giving them the finger. Holohan's ignorant prediction: (1) the split in Mosaic is not nearly as pronounced as they're making it out to be - they're coming off of two pretty good weeks, their team doesn't have the interpersonal drama that Apex has, and the couldn't even come up with a really good zinger for the promo; and (2) Apex loses next week. If you look closely at the bird-flipping scene, the non-Jenn C women are hanging out in the suite and (presumably) bitching about Jenn C. It's unlikely that they'd be hanging around complaining about each other during the project, so the scene probably happens either at the very beginning or the very end of the episode. Jenn C didn't do anything this week to warrant a conspiracy against her, so the discussion is probably a post-mortem about next week's project during which they're deciding who should be fired.

Of course, I'm wrong all the time, so I'm prepared to eat those words. But I will point out that Stacie, who just got fired, is a restauranteur, and next week's project is opening a restaurant.

Cat Sitting and Thanksgiving


M and I will spend Thanksgiving in Alameda, then drive down to SoCal on Friday, watch USC play American foot-ball against the hated Catholics of Notre Dame, and drive back up Sunday. Soooo...

(1) If anyone else has no Thanksgiving plans and would like to come over to Alameda and help us cook and eat, that would be splendid. Otherwise it'll just be the two of us, and I don't think anyone wants that.

(2) If anyone will be in the Bay Yarea for Thanksgiving weekend and would like to come to Alameda once a day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to feed and possibly play with the two adorable creatures pictured above, please let me know. You will be paid for your troubles in actual U.S. currency rather than in illusory promises of drinks and balls-viewings.



My Estates & Trusts professor appears to subscribe to the Dan Melia method of instruction: Entertain students with amusing anecdotes that have little if anything to do with what they actually need to know for the class. I'm not sure, however, that my E&T professor has ever won the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Anyway, because the 2.5-hour lectures tend to be taken up by (1) these anecdotes, (2) thinly-veiled "hypothetical" questions from students about what's going to happen when their parents die, and (3) frantic questions about math, I find myself doodling. A lot. And in my continuing quest to irritate Alfred Moore, I've decided to upload some of these very doodles.


When you try to draw caricatures of Supreme Court Justices, you're forced to find ways to differentiate bald(ing) old white guys. Clearly it's a skill I'm still working on.


These are a bunch of heads and a Mexican ad for bowling. And a robot.


After watching my cartooning technique slowly evolve over the past two years I'm toying with the idea of applying some punctuated equilibrium. My main goals are (1) lose the Garfield eyes and (2) make Ellen hot.


Meli: Do you want my ass to be half as wide as my shoulders?
Me: Yes.
Actually, I ran out of room at the bottom of the page. Otherwise Ellen would obviously have the long, luxurious legs she deserves. As it stands she looks like a fucking olympic gymnast.


I'm not sure what's going on with Kam's pose here. I also didn't set out to make him look like an elf.


This drawing of Ted is kind of like those giant Go-Bot figures they used to sell. No less shitty than the standard version, just larger and more detailed.

First, some apologism. I generally stand in solidarity with my aspiring screen/television-writer friends against the miserable fad of reality telvision, but I think my fascination with The Apprentice is somewhat excusable. First off, it's much more intelligent than your run of the mill reality pap. Watching a group of people try to make a business venture work in less than two days is much more engaging than seeing who can eat the most ground beetles. Also, as a young (soon to be) professional, I can justify watching The Apprentice to see what it'll be like in a few years when I'm surrounded by assholes. Plus, I need to work on my cattiness.

That being said, on to last night's episode. The big controversy was that Bradford gave up his immunity and was consequently fired. Trump repeatedly emphasized that Bradford's decision to give up his exemption was "stupid," but only noted that it was "impulsive" in passing. But the impulsivity was the real crime. What Bradford should have said was "Mr. Trump, I realize that I'm exempt from being fired this evening, but to show solidarity with my team I'm willing to waive my exemption and take whatever responsibility the team wants to give me for our failure." Had he done that, Trump may still have said it was a stupid move, but may not have accepted the waiver right away. Or, he would have accepted the waiver but not fired him (especially considering that there were two other perfectly acceptable firing candidates to choose from). But what Bradford did was suddenly throw away his immunity while talking about what a great job he did. That came off as cocky and impulsive and Trump killed him for it.

The firing of Bradford creates an interesting dynamic for the Apex team next week, which is pretty much embodied in Ivana's reaction to the ordeal. In addition to the "ohmygodohmygodohmygod," she almost has trouble standing and very nearly falls over while pushing her chair back in. In the end she can only stare at Jenn C in horror as Bradford and Stacie leave the room. Ivana had the perfect chance to get rid of Apex's worst player (Stacie) and instead got rid of one of their strongest (Trump acknowledged that Bradford was the best person of the four potential firees in the room, right before firing him). So, of the eight remaining Apex players, one is universally despised, and another has established herself as a disastrous leader. Holohan's ignorant prediction is that the other six Apex members will consolidate against Stacie and Ivana - the next Apex PM to lose a challenge will bring them both into the Board Room. Ivana may be able to work herself back into the team's good graces (depending on what Jenn C tells them coming out of the Board Room). Stacie's smartest move would be to approach the team, apologize profusely, point out that Mosaic is united and energized and that Apex stands no chance unless they pull together, and try to be accepted back into the team. But given her defiantness (and batshit insanity) she's more likely to continue to do her own thing and focus on proving to Trump that she doesn't deserve to be fired, rather than proving to the team that she's a valuable player.

Finally, I'd like to comment on some reality show editing. There are numerous points during the Board Room scenes when Trump is laying into someone and we see that person scowling and shaking her head. I find it extremely unlikely that any of the players is ballsy enough to do something like that. What likely happened is that they spliced some tape of unrelated scowling/head shaking against the audio of Trump's insults to make it seem more tense. I'm wondering if similar trickery is at hand in the commercials for next week's episode. We're clearly meant to believe that Mosaic encounters disaster, but all we really get is (1) an ominous Excel spreadsheet, (2) two or three Mosaic people grimacing in despair, and (3) a woman's voice saying "We have no back-up plan." It's not entirely clear that the woman's voice is Pamela's. But I guess we'll have to see.

But more importantly, Mosaic made donut ice cream!!! DONUT FUCKING ICE CREAM!!! There's a place in San Francisco that carries it, supposably. I'm going to need a bigger freezer.

Records of Fidelity and Trustworthiness


Here's another new strip, as promised. Unfortunately my problems with the Application for the Determination of Moral Character have nothing to do with any specific scandalous happenstances (my 25th birthday notwithstanding), it's just a giant pain in the ass.

My beefs with the moral character application are many. To begin with, it's 27 pages long and asks for a lot of information that's either completely unnecessary or ferociously inappropriate. After listing every address I've lived at for the past eight years and every job I've held since I turned 18 (I'm still working on tracking down my supervisor from the failed dotcom I worked at in college), I began marking "No" to a long series of questions about my sordid past. Some of the questions are arguably important, asking about any criminal convictions, losses of professional licenses, or fraud actions. Others are on the fringe - You need to indicate whether you've ever discharged a debt or defaulted on a loan. And then there's the question that asks if you've ever been diagnosed with a medically recognized mental illness. While I agree that being crazy may (just may) impair your ability to law talk, couching the inquiry under the heading of MORAL CHARACTER adds a stigma to mental health that just doesn't need to be there.

Also obnoxious is the personal references section. You need no less than five "reputable and responisble persons who know you well." Setting aside the fact that I don't know that many reputable and responsible persons in the first place, there are further restrictions. They can't be people you've worked for/with, only one can be a professor, they can't be related by blood or marriage (which means that Molly could be my reference if we were just shacking up, but not now since we've committed the immoral act of matrimony), and at least one must be a member of a U.S. or foreign bar. At this point since I've got my references lined up I'm objecting on purely philosophical grounds, but it still pisses me off.

Many thanks to the people who agreed to be my vouchers, by the way. Now let's just remember not to mention our trip to Encinada and my evening with "Maria."

Moving beyond the four corners of the application for a moment, I'll point out that the MCA is one of THREE morality filters the Bar places between law students and the legal profession. Assuming, arguendo, that the Bar has any business imposing ethical or moral requirements on attorneys in the first place (a proposition that the libertarian in me finds questionable at best), is the MCA really necessary given the fact that every ABA-accredited law school (except Stanford) has a required course in legal ethics? Not to mention the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, a licensure requirement that, rumor has it, has shifted from perfunctory to difficult this year. Any one of these three things, it seems to me, would more than adequately instill the requisite ethical values upon future lawyers.

But my biggest problem with the MCA is the fact that, at 27 pages, $363, and numerous unnecessary and intrusive questions, it's a shining metaphor for the Bar itself. When it comes to ethical standards, the Bar is all hat and no cattle. They make a huge deal about the sanctity of the legal profession and ethics and morals and responsibility and blah blah blah, but once you're in, well, you're pretty much in. The rules are almost never enforced. If there's one thing I learned in Norman Spaulding's Legal Profession course it's that attorneys can get away with anything and avoid professional sanctions (though not necessarily malpractice). Even if by some satanic miracle you find yourself "disbarred," chances are you can get back in after a few years. So I'd much rather take this $363 I'm about to send to the California Bar and spend it at the kind of California bar that will render me chemically unable to practice law for a brief period of time. Either way the money is going down the drain, but I'd at least like to enjoy the ride.

And that's my story.

Ted's In Love With A Robot


I'm filling the gaps in my weekly schedule slowly but surely. This stupid thing commemorates the fact that I beat Chrono Trigger this weekend, and I decided to do a strip about it since I probably won't, in fact, go back in search of the lesbian cave girl ending. It's not inked because Molly liked the way the time-traveling aeroplane looked in pencil form, and I knew that inking it would only fuck it up. Also, I'm lazy. Though the drawing of the ship is done by me, the design is proudly horked from the instruction booklet that came with the game, the graphics from which are posted at various fansites. So there you have it. An unfinished, self-indulgent strip about a 16-bit RPG that came out in 1996. No doubt exactly what you're looking for in your webcomic experience.

Slightly more effort went into strip number two, which documents my frustration with a few of my more math-anxious classmates. I understand that not everyone took two years of calculus, but come on. Just multiply the goddamn denominators already.

Some later day of this week will feature a more self-effacing strip about my upcoming struggle with the State Bar of California.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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