September 2005 Archives
I landed myself a U.S. District Court clerkship today. I won't say which judge (at least not on the blorg), since I feel like I shouldn't for some reason. But in any case, it's pretty cool. Not least because it means that I can cancel the last interview I had scheduled and take my suit in to be drycleaned sooner rather than later, making my closet that much less stinky.
I had a sizeable force of loyal supporters helping me through this process, not least my fabulous wife who's been dealing with my hemming and hawing about clerkships since 1L year. I also had help from current and former clerks and no less than five professors. They know who they are, and that they are awesome. I also got to sit down and chat with a handful of federal judges, which was itself a nice experience despite the rejections that some of them produced. You meet someone whose job security is protected by Article III of the dang Constitution and it kind of tweaks your outlook on life.
What this means for Meli and me is that we'll be moving three times in the next two years or so. Next weekend we move to Palo Alto, so I can lawyer in Menlo Park and Meli can hellishly commute to help The Children in Oakland. Next Fall we move to Rockridge, so I can clerk in San Francisco and Meli can (hopefully) continue to help The Children, with a commute that's more purgatorial than hellish. The following Fall we'll move back to the Penisula(sic), where I will resume my lawyering indefinitely and Meli will begin her life as a fully formed doctor-of-the-mind.
So, apart from the moving expenses, everything is coming up more or less Milhouse.
I've expressed one of the Hawaii disasters in comic strip form, which can be viewed here with the help of a little scrolling. I'm playing around with some possible changes to the way I do things around here, so you'll notice that the strip has some differentnesses from those that came before it. You can tell me what you like and dislike. Also, if there are any differences that you don't notice, let me know about those, too.
(1) I will never forgive whoever came up with the "got milk?" commercials for causing the plague of anti-creative "got _____?" sloganry and merchandise that has irreversibly overtaken the world. However, the latest "got milk?" ad, with the Russian family and the Pillsbury Doughboy, is fucking awesome.
(2) Mylanta has become the latest company to advertise with a song that says the opposite of what it appears to say. The new Mylanta spot has a guy looking forlornly into a pizza restaurant because he can't eat pizza anymore because of heartburn, and then he discovers Mylanta and is able to eat pizza again. As he enjoys his pizza (in a way that makes this viewer sort of uncomfortable), the theme from Welcome Back, Kotter plays, including the line "Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out." The whole point of that song was that Kotter doesn't necessarily want to come back, so the song is sarcastically making fun of him. Mylanta is idiots.
(3) I just saw a Circuit City commercial in which the spokesman was unmistakably Mikey from Parker Lewis Can't Lose. A few years ago Mikey did a beer commercial in which he was making out with a hot girl on his couch and his phone rings, leading to an audible message from a sexy-voiced woman who says something along the lines of "Hey, sweetie, I'll be over at around eight o'clock." Upon hearing this the hot girl slaps Mikey and huffily leaves the apartment. The next thing we see is a frumpy old maid cleaning Mikey's apartment as Mikey sips a beer on the couch. The maid says to him, in the sexy voice from the answering machine, "Move your feet, sweetie." Hurr! Anyway, Mikey has gone from young-guy-making-out-with-and-possibly-cheating-on-hot-girl to overwhelmed-imbecile-husband-who-can't-figure-out-all-this-newfangled-television-technology. And yet he's still wearing the flannel. In any case he doesn't appear to have aged well.
The Webcomic battling got off to a bad start. Just a Little Prick lasted a respectable two days before going down in its third round. Four other strips crashed and burned on the first day. Out of respect for the strips' families I won't link to them (think math, the new twenty, man boobs, and 1L tips).
The four current contenders are faring slightly better. They're each ahead by a few votes in their respective battles. Webcomic Battle doesn't provide direct links to battle pages, which is good since it keeps things more democratic (i.e., idiots like me can't use their blogs to plead for votes -- at least not successfully). Perhaps the comic world isn't ready for self-indulgent law school-based humor after all.
Also, our friends Jim and Katie got back from a wedding planning trip to New Jersey last night, and in appreciation for us keeping their cats from starving to death they brought us an artsy picture of New Jersey annnnd... TAFFY! Molly hates taffy. She also hates my Kenneth Cole tie that everyone else loves. Me, I love taffy. In fact, I identify heavily with Dave Attel's one-toothed bus station denizen who, when asked for directions, can provide nothing more enlightening than "Taffy is delicious. I love taffy. I've discovered more than four hundred different kinds of taffy."
Finally, I'm watching Mornings on 2 (making the most of my time off before the firm lifestyle gets going), and they had this segment about a 13-year-old boy and his 14-year-old sister who just started as juniors at Cal. They transferred from Contra Costa Community College. So to all you sixteen-year-old freshmen out there, and you know who you are: You ain't shit.
I've entered IFTL in Web Comic Battle, so if you feel like playing at pugilistic democracy feel free to head on over and cast your vote. When I voted just now my strip was beating its opponent, but I also noticed that Perry Bible Fellowship has been entered so in any case my strip won't last long.
IFTL thanks you for your support.
I was reading a newspaper yesterday (which is rare enough itself) and I noticed that "Non Sequitur" and "Pearls Before Swine" both contained the same random and not terribly funny joke as their punchline:
This is really strange. Editorial cartoonists use the same or similar jokes all the time, but that's to be expected. The fact that both cartoonists not only came up with the "bird up for bail" joke, but came up with it at the same time, makes me think that there's some underlying truth to the universe that I'm not seeing.
I should also note that I'm a fan of "Pearls" and I HATE "Non Sequitur." I'm resisting the urge to accuse Wiley Miller, as hackneyed and uncreative as he is, of somehow gaining access to Stephan Pastis' secret unpublished archives and lifting the joke. I'm not saying it didn't happen, I'm just saying I'm not saying it did happen. See?
As promised, here's the first arguably respectable high school comic strip that I've unearthed from my vast archives. Long before Michael Powell, the PTC, and Janet Jackson's boobie, I was taking a stand against media hysteria.
I also find this strip encouraging, since it resembles a lot of the crap that shows up in newspapers these days. Not only is it extremely heavy-handed, but it's twice as long as it needs to be.
I don't know who's in charge of the Squelch these days, but I have the following things in my apartment that won't be making the trip to Palo Alto. I'll either donate them to the magazine if someone pipes up or I'll shit-can them:
(1) A copy of the October 14, 1999 issue of Rolling Stone magazine wherein squelched.com is named as one of the "best student websites."
(2) A horseload of back issues from my tumultuous year as EIC.
(3) A relatively unused set of dominoes (anyone can have these, not just the Squelch, but I thought I'd use them to round out the list).
Speak up, you band of wastrels!
(During my interview today:)
"Admiralty law is really interesting. It's funny to think that there's all this separate federal common law floating around out there."
I'm standing here in the Market Street CompUSA's "Surf, shuffle, and chill" lounge (greetings, by the way, from the Market Street CompUSA's "Surf, shuffle, and chill" lounge) killing time before a clerkship interview that I have in about an hour. Just now, a young Asian woman starting looking around the lounge as if she had lost something. Finally she caught my attention and said, "Excuse me, I want to take a picture of not always so with your tie." I wasn't sure what she meant by this, but I'm in an agreeable mood and I like having my picture taken so I agreed.
I noticed that she was carrying a large piece of posterboard with "Not always so" written on it, and I wondered how that was going to fit in front of my tie. Before I had the chance to ask, she pulled a smaller version of the poster board out of a bag, handed it to me, and told me to hold it in front of my tie. I smiled as she got her camera out, but she said "I won't shoot your face." Hrmph.
I asked her what all this was for after she took the picture and she said (as if I couldn't have guessed) "An art project." So, if you're at a museum or gallery or whatever in the future and see an exhibit called "Not Always So," look for the picture with the freckly hand and the blue and silver tie. Because that's me!
Exciting publishing news this afternoon. I've come up with tentative cover designs for my future multi-volume memoir: Boring Stories About Myself. Take a look!
Since we're moving in a little over a month I've been going through all my crap, and I just found a box of cartoons that I drew when I was in high school and middle school. Perusing these things has led me to the following conclusions:
(1) I can't draw any better now than I could nine years ago. In fact, my drawing seems to have gotten worse.
(2) While my drawing abilities haven't improved, I'm at least funnier now than I was as a teenager. But not by much.
(3) The characters of Kam and Claudio have always been with me, and I'm realizing now that they're basically elaborate rip-offs of Calvin and Hobbes.
I'll scan a few of the more bearable works in the coming weeks. In addition to the usual sequential humor I also found a handful of biting political cartoons that I drew for my high school newspaper. There are also a few Archie-style comic books based on my family, which will not have a second life in the digital realm because they are (1) drawn in light, faded pencil and (2) really, really bad.