February 2005 Archives

Conversations with My Wife


Meli: I love anemones. The plant and the animal.
Matt: I thought they were the same thing.
Meli: How can something be both a plant and an animal?
Matt: I don't know, they've got all kinds of freaky shit at the bottom of the ocean.

Matt walks in giggling.
Meli: What's so funny?
Matt: Nothing, I was just thinking about farts.

Matt and Meli have just finished watching the extended DVD of The Return of the King.
Matt: I still don't get the whole Grey Havens thing.
Meli: Can't we just enjoy the ending of the movie?
Matt: So is it just like White flight?
Meli: Matt!

Matt: If I were on The Apprentice, and I was going to the boardroom, I'd take a crap, and hide it somewhere in the suite. And if I didn't get fired, I'd come back and clean it up before anyone noticed. But if I did get fired, then there'd be a crap hidden in the suite, and it would stink up the place and someone else would have to clean it up. I'd do the same thing if I were on Survivor.
Meli: Apparently the people on Survivor don't go to the bathroom a lot, since they aren't eating that much. And when they do it's mostly pee.
Matt: Ah. So I'd have to bring the crap.

Hot Diggity Damn



While I generally disapprove of the American media's fascination with "Al Gore Has a Beard!"-type stories, I do think it's newsworthy that, for the first time, a U.S. Secretary of State is walking around in F.M. boots.

Terrier-faced reactionary warmongers aren't usually my type, but damn...

Fun Assassin


Since I missed out on such games in high school and college, I've joined a law school game of Squirt Gun Assassins, organized by The OC at Boalt. The OC at Boalt as an extremely silly club dedicated to a primetime soap opera which in its first year of operation established a fellowship that was presented by Peter Gallagher himself. All proceeds from the assassin game go to said fellowship. It's unclear whether Peter will return to present the award to its next recipient.

After a week of stalking and evading I'm still alive and have killed one person. The person who was hunting me made the extremely subtle move of coming by the BTLJ office -- three times -- and claiming to be delivering a package to me from my friend "Mary." Yes, because everyone gets packages at law school. Apparently this guy has since been killed, and a new unidentified person is watching my every move, waiting for me to reveal a weak spot. As for my current target, I had the perfect opportunity to nail her on Thursday, except that I had forgotten my gun at home that day. So far I've staked out a Women's Law Journal meeting and an Evidence class. My target skipped the former and the latter was canceled. Meanwhile my sidearm is significantly worse for wear, leaking all over my pocket and shooting about 45 degrees to the right. Perhaps I've been sabotaged by the horrible White people of The OC.

In closing I'd like to call everyone's attention to the fact that the title of this strip/post is not only the second They Might Be Giants reference but also the first to contain two occurrences of the word "ass."

I should also point out that I saw Sean perform his stand-up humorousness last night, and he rocked the muthafuckin' house.

Thinking Outside the Box about Boxes

I normally refrain from scraping, but when such an important development in strip-club creativity presents itself I feel an obligation to share it with as many people as possible. And so, via Cynthia:

Gentleman's Club Challenges Nude Ordinance

Damaged by a Disk Error


Two new strips! One's about sunshine and popcorn, the other is about sorrow and misery. The funked-upedness of the second strip was pure accident, though cosmically appropriate. Having colored the strip, including all the little nooks and crannies in Ellen's newly detailed hair, I entered the command to shrink it to 25%, whereupon my laptop bluescreened and came back a few minutes later with what you see before you. Proving, lest any doubt remained, that while I can keep spyware at bay with open-source cleaning software, at the end of the day I still have a fucking Sony Vaio.

Spyware has actually been an ambivalent experience for me. On the one hand, it forced me to switch from IE to Firefox, which is infinitely better. On the other hand, my copy of Notepad somehow became corrupted, forcing me to switch to VI, which is almost unusable. I still don't know the proper way to tell it that I want to type something. When I open a file and position my cursor, it refuses to put any letters down until I randomly dance all over the keyboard. In addition, in HTML documents it insists on tagging everything with pretty colors and unwanted indents, which is profoundly distracting to a Plain-Jane editor like me. So until I get a new laptop or break down and run system recovery (again), I'll have one more reason to shirk on updating comic strips.

Finally, speaking of spyware, my law journal is hosting a symposium on the subject in a few months along with BCLT. As Senior Executive Editor this event technically falls under my Umbrella of Responsibilities, by this year's Symposium Editors have been so rad that I haven't had to do all that much. Which is good in its own way.



On Sunday night I discovered an odd discoloration beneath the nail of my left pinky. On Monday morning I noticed a similar discoloration on the right pinky. They look like the kind of thing that would show up if I banged my fingers in something, but I don't remember doing that. Also, it seems unlikely that I would bruise both fingers in exactly the same place, but nowhere else on either hand. Though I was, of course, playing a lot of drunken pool this weekend. My best guess is that I somehow got myself a case of mild frostbite from handling the snow cock (as opposed to building the snow cock, since I wore gloves during construction). The discolorations appear to be subsiding, but if I end up losing my pinkies I'm suing the hell out of BTLJ.



Today was vet day for Ruby and Pepe, hopefully for the last time in many years. The City of Alameda requires licenses for cats, which means seven dollars a year plus an up-to-date rabies certificate. These licenses are very real, and are not simply dog licenses with "cat" written in in crayon. In any case, we had to take the cats to get sticked today. Given the fact that Meli's mom's cat recently developed spinal sarcoma from the vaccinations she received years ago Meli and I are looking forward to relocating to a locale that has more modern and less cancerous policies regarding feline vaccinations.

In addition to the usual vet shenanigans we learned the following things today:

Pepe is still approximately 150% as big as his twin sister. A year ago Ruby was 7 pounds and Pepe was 11 pounds; today Ruby is 11 pounds and Pepe and his fat ass are 16 pounds. To be fair, Pepe also has a much larger frame. He can reach the doorknob when fully extended and often tries to tackle me by attacking my leg with his massive girth. To date he has yet to open the door or successfully bring me down. Large frame notwithstanding, Meli and I were chided for feeding them too much.

The goddamn cats have gingivitis. This means that Meli and I have to brush their teeth three times a week. A cat toothbrush is a long rubbery thimble kind of thing with tiny bristles on it that a dedicated cat owner slips onto his or her finger. After applying special (I shit you not) poultry-flavored toothpaste to the tiny bristles, you do your best to simultaneously immobilize the cat, pull up its lips, and scrub its tiny pointy teeth until it won't let you anymore. Ruby put of a ferocious fight, but Pepe was surprisingly receptive. I'm sure Pepe will have the last laugh years from now when he still has all his teeth and Ruby is sipping strained chicken from a water bottle.

Because this is National Dental Month (not to mention Black History Month and Month-Before-Girls' History Month), the vet also gave us special tooth-cleaning cat treats, presumably poultry-flavored as well, that are designed to get stuck in between cats' teeth and, well, clean things I guess. They're shaped like little Vienna sausages but have the consistency of wood, at least before finding their way into a cat's jaws. Again, Pepe was much more interested in oral hygiene than Ruby. He at least chewed it into pieces and let it fall out of his mouth a la Cookie Monster, whereas Ruby wouldn't give the things the time of day.

It remains to be seen whether we remain dedicated to our cats' toothal health. In the meantime we'll keep the poultry paste around in anticipation of an evening where someone is too drunk to find the human toothpaste.

Grover Cleveland is Two Presidents


I generally refer to our current President as "Bush II" or "Bush the Younger." My Admin Law professor insists on referring to him as "Bush 43," since he's apparently the 43rd President. So today, when she started talking about something and explicitly told us not to write it down, I thought it would be fun to see if I could think of all 43 presidents, and began the task of writing them in the margin of my notebook. I shot out Bush II through McKinley in reverse chronological order rather quickly, then started writing the names of all the 19th Century Presidents I could think of in no particular order, before stopping briefly with Jefferson, Adams, and Washington. I added Taylor, J.Q. Adams, and Hayes, bringing my total up to 34.

I explained to the woman next to me that I was trying to remember all the Presidents, and she told me I was a nerd. Since she's generally smarter than I am I started asking her for help. I couldn't remember if Hamilton, Madison, and Monroe were presidents. She and the guy next to her helped me reach No, Yes, and Yes. I then began thinking of the section of San Francisco where all the streets are named after inconsequential U.S. Presidents, allowing me to add Fillmore and Van Buren to the list. I racked my brain for presidential trivia. Who was the only unmarried President? Buchanan! I tried to remember conversations with Steve, and realized that I had overlooked Chester Arthur despite the whole Lowenthal facial hair fiasco at UCLA.

Soon I was up to 41, and I began wondering if Cleveland counted as one or two. Sure, he was just one guy, but he had two non-consecutive terms, so technically he was the nth and the (n + 2)th President. Assuming I was right about Cleveland, I left campus with a single President missing from my list. And I was sad. The list, as it stood as of 3:10 p.m., was:

Bush II
Bush I
L. Johnson
A. Johnson
W.H. Harrison
B. Harrison
J.Q. Adams
Van Buren

Only during the ride home did I realize who I had forgotten, an omission rendered all the more intolerable by the central role that cartoons have always played in my life. And so as I cruised down the 880 I shouted in exasperated triumph:

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