April 2005 Archives


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I realize that the blogosphere will be brimming this morning with reviews of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but I'm going to share my thoughts anyway. I'll do my best not to give away anything important, but if you haven't seen it yet and want to go in fresh your time may better be spent looking at pr0n or something.

I saw it yesterday with Meli and four of my geekier law school friends, and it got a universally positive reaction from all six of us. The key thing to note is that, yes, the story gets changed around quite a bit -- there's a whole new plot line thrown in, and the ending is significantly different -- but supposedly every new element originated with Douglas Adams, so that lends some legitimacy to the whole affair. Also, many of the changes were necessary for the purposes of making the book into a watchable movie. Finally, the changes are all pretty cool, particularly the new plot line. The creators have made it clear that the film is simply one more "version" of H2G2, so just as the book wasn't a direct adaptation of the radio series, the movie isn't a direct adaptation of the book.

The casting couldn't have been better. I know people are antsy about Mos Def playing Ford, but it really works. He comes off as much more "alien" than he did in the books or the radio series, where he was just another Englishman who happened to be from another planet. Sam Rockwell was fabulous as Zaphod. The two-head gimmick (having his second head hiding in his shirt for the most part and representing the more aggressive parts of his personality) worked very well, and effectively avoided the awkwardness of having a single character with two heads on his shoulders. The actress playing Trillian was good, though in some shots vaguely resembles the hated and not-hot Reese Witherspoon. Marvin, bodied by Warwick Davis and voiced by Alan Rickman, was well-portrayed, even though he was too short. And Arthur Dent, the hapless, overwhelmed everyman, was perfect.

One thing I noticed is that the movie doesn't lampoon philosophy nearly as much as the books. This is a little distracting, since it was such a major driving force behind the books. The meaning of life stuff is still there, obviously, but a lot of the direct attacks on philosophy [SPOILER!!!!] such as the Majikthise and Vroomfondel sequence [/SPOILER] are conspicuously absent. Admittedly, it's hard to make fun of philosophy in a movie, but that was one thing I noticed.

A final point is that, if you haven't read the books, you'll have a tough time with the movie. A lot is left out and glossed over. Scenes and concepts are heavily condensed. If you didn't develop an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire trilogy in junior high and/or high school like most Hitchhiker's fans, you may have trouble filling in the blanks. But it's still a fun film to watch (if only for the completely ridiculous opening sequence), and if you see it with one of your geeky friends you can go out for coffee afterwards and have him/her explain everything you missed.

Prolonging the Magic


Oh snap! Take that, Haas! I straight called you savages!

Yes, this week we have all the trappings of a crappy comic strip. The tie-in to an abandoned storyline from a few weeks ago, the outdated expression creating the heavy-handed set up, the unjustified dig at Berkeley's "other" professional school, and even an awkward imported embossed graphic. And I also made Kam's pants the wrong color. As I said before, I'll never be a newspaper cartoonist.

Funny story, though. I was sitting in my Crim Pro classroom about twenty minutes before the start of class, inking the very strip linked above, when the professor showed up for his usual pre-class millabout. Without seeing the strip he asked if I was a 3L or a 2L, and when I told him I was a 3L he asked, "So, are you getting out of here after graduation or are you going to try to find a way to stay in school?" And that's the tooth.

I actually wouldn't mind having an M.B.A. Or at least being in an M.B.A. program. I've certainly had a lot of practice railing against the Chicago School as a law student and I imagine business school would present the opportunity for much more focused attacks. Plus, I feel that I'm at the point in my career where adding more letters after my name will help me rather than hurt me. So who knows. I may prove to be a Haashole yet.

CNN.com Does It Again


Fun with Myspace


You know, the whole online networking phenomenon is pretty cool. I'm a little tired of Friendster throwing a new obnoxious feature at me every week, and everyone knows The Facebook has lost its panache by expanding to low-end schools, but there are certain things that these online utilities remain useful for. For example, MySpace, that elaborate online prostitution ring, has finally forced me to come to terms with the fact that, yeah, okay, I kinda look like my brother (he's the one in the middle making the monkey face):

Just the Two of Us


Continuing the moral decline from last week's spat of needless sex and violence, I bring you steamy wet naked dudes. Gene, prepare for the comment filter to 'splode.

I've gotten to the point where I enjoy showering at the gym. I'm not uncomfortable with the nakedness of myself or the sagging gray-haired men who populate the locker room at the RSF. What I object to is the fact that urinal etiquette -- the innate knowledge shared by every man, that you must always select the urinal farthest away from any other urinal currently in use -- doesn't seem to have transferred to gym shower rooms. Numerous times I've been the victim of someone inappropriately choosing a nearby shower when other, fully functional, and much farther away showers are readily available. And what's the result? Standing near another naked man, to be sure, but more importantly, splashing. Yes, millions of little water droplets, being deflected off another man, picking up some of his man filth along the way, and landing on my body, which I'm diligently trying to clean as quickly as possible. It's a bad scene, my friends.

So, if any of the geriatric early morning RSF patrons who insist on inflicting their used shower water upon me happen to read this, stop it, or I'll start breaking hips.

Firm Lovin'


UPDATE: View this entry in strip form.

My law firm just sent me a big box of junk food for finals. It arrived unexpectedly via FedEx yesterday with a suspicious-sounding return address "Big Frey Promotional Product," Elk Grove Village, Illinois, so I thought it was a bomb. I shook it and pointed it away from myself as I opened it, before finding that it was a much slower means of death - heavy doses of trans-fatty acids!

Here's what will be fueling my disastrous slide into finals despair for the next two and a half weeks:

One bag Lay's potato chips
One bag Doritos Nacho Cheesier! tortilla chips
Two number two pencils(!)
One six-pack of Oreo cookies
Two Snickers Bars (rrrrr!)
One Twix Bar (score!)
One bag M&Ms (Molly and I were thinking of serving M&Ms at our wedding, actually. I thought it would be funny to serve Skittles instead and the motion died in committee)
One bag Zoo Animal Crackers
One raspberry Tootsie Pop
One bag Snyder's of Hanover mini pretzels
One Quaker Chewy chocolate chip granola bar
One pink "Longest Lasting*" hi-liter
One package microwave popping corn
One Rice Krispies treat
Five Twizzlers

This is a strategic move on their part. If I experience a sugar crash in the middle of my Antitrust final and send my GPA down the turlet, I'll lose all lateral mobility and be stuck at my firm forever. Forever! Curse you and your secuctive refined sugars and fats! Curse you, I say!

Last night my journal's outgoing Executive Board all went out for a little Outback action in Pinole. The evening was filled with oversized meats and oversized beers, served by a regular-sized waitress who was four days off her training. But she was prompt and gracious, even at the end of the evening when Joe and Brian decided to try and guess which Asian country her people were from. Meli and I dutifully avoided the fried onions and fried fries, though my choice of entree (the Drover Platter: A barbecued chicken breast on top of a rack of ribs served with cinnaomon apples and a potato), left just enough room for a sundae with no nuts for dessert. I also had two of the aforementioned giant beers toward the beginning of the evening.

On the way back into Berkeley we found ourselves pyloned into a single lane on University Avenue and surrounded by police cars and a large mangled non-police car in a big glass tank that said "MAAD" on it. Sobriety check! I was seen to by a large and friendly police officer whose name I didn't get, but it may have rhymed with "Roughkins." I was maximally perky in answering his questions, and was truthful when he asked if I had had anything to drink. I pointed out that the extent of my drinking was two beers three hours earlier, but neglected to mention the ginormity of said beers (or, for that matter, my inhuman metabolism rate when it comes to fermented sugars). Anyway, he was visibly irritated by my truthful response but retained his pleasant demeanor, joking: "Don't you know you're supposed to lie?" He had me follow his finger with my eyes for a few seconds and then sent me on my way.

On the way back we were discussing various alternative possible responses to the officer's question. Brian came up with, "Why no, Mr. Big Purple Rabbit, why do you ask?" I recounted a stand-up comedy routine I had seen in my youth where the comedian said the correct answer to that question is always "No," even if it comes out "Nnnn-nnnn-nnnnnoooooooooo."

Anyway, we closed up the evening at the home of Brian and his wife, where we met their ridiculous cat, Shao Bai Shiu:

His name means "little white pig" in Chinese. At first we didn't see him, since he was artfully disguised as a fluffy white couch cushion. When, like a singing Christmas tree, he opened his eyes and sprang to life, we nearly wet each other with surprise.

On the way out their building I managed to miss a step in the dark and nearly break my goddamned ankle. It's hurty today but not swollen, so I figure as long as I don't go to the gym for the next two months I should heal up well.

And today, the digestion.

Apartment 205 Awards!


Hello. This entry isn't here anymore. Mayhaps you'd enjoy checking out more recent entries by going to this blog's home page.

New Pope!


And a German at that. Italy fails to regain the Holy See, and the fastest-growing and most devout Catholic populations in the world still don't get a leader that looks like them. Oh well.



I'm still a few weeks behind on the strips proper but I went ahead and added a new section to the main IFTL site -- The Notebook. It contains a few dozen rough sketches from my lecture notes that you may or may not be interested in. There are also some hints in there about the post-J.D. future of the strip.

Negative Space

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I'd like to apologize in advance to all fans of Frank Miller and pretty much anyone else who decides to read my latest strip. I've been experimenting with new drawring styles much in the same way that an eight-year-old experiments with different ways to kill flies, and I decided to try my hand at a little sequential art noir action, since I liked Sin City so much.

No, really. I did like it. So did Molly. So did John, who has the combined cred of being a huge Miller fan and a massive film geek (his film geekdom having the additional built-in cred of a degree in film). The three of us liked it for different reasons, and I imagine that Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson figured more prominently into my score card than they did on either of theirs. I was also pleased to see that Endless Mike is still getting work.

So in conclusion, I don't like babies. Goodnight everybody.

Matt's Drunken Photography

I mean, classy images of sophisticated people having a good time.

I'm never planning another goddamned party for as long as I live.

Trend Victim


My brand new iPod, in conjunction with iTunes, just irretrievably deleted half the mp3s from my hard drive. I'm sure this is my fault somehow.

Sucked In


Meli and I found ourselves watching Event Horizon on SciFi the other night. Meli and I never watch SciFi, so I don't know how that happened. Anyway, after the movie I went off on a drunken rage about how the physics didn't make any sense, the ending was retarded, and it was basically just a movie about a haunted house in space, and when I woke up this morning the cats were missing and this image was on my computer. My apologies to everyone.

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