flail doyou ?

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Monday, December 29, 2003

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I wasn't too impressed with Big Fish, which is sad, because it tried very hard to impress me. In fact, that's why I wasn't impressed - every scene seemed to shout, "LOOK AT THIS IMPRESSIVE SCENE!" Then, when it was over, it seemed to whisper, "See, wasn't that impressive?"

If I hadn't known going into it that it was a Tim Burton movie with a Danny Elfman score, I would have figured it out in 10 minutes, and I never would have questioned that conclusion. I want to watch Edward Scissorhands again, now, just to reassure myself that it wasn't that similar. I found that a bit disappointing, especially because the movie's style didn't seem to integrate well with its theme. I could have lived with it, though. I also could have lived with the overwhelming number of Dramatic Cuts and Important Fades - they seemed to be saying quite loudly, "Did you notice that this is an instant classic?" but they clicked as often as not.

The real problem I had with it was that, in all its surreal loop-de-loops, it never managed to encompass the audience. It was like the brooding outcast at prom who's very obviously secretly hoping that someone will ask him to dance, but when someone does he chickens out and shrugs them off. It wanted to be emotionally gripping, but it was too busy astounding us. It wanted to astound us, but it never sucked us in enough for us to care.

It wasn't awful, and a lot of people are probably going to find it enchanting. That's fine; there wasn't anything really wrong with it, and maybe nobody else will find it as distant as I did. Heck, maybe that distance is the point; it would dovetail nicely with the theme.

One thing I did notice is that although I find Helena Bonham Carter somewhat ugly, I also find myself very attracted to her. Not sure what's up with that at all.

Oh, and was anyone else reminded of A Boy and His Dog? It was kind of disturbing; I have a hard time imagining it wasn't a deliberate allusion.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?
Raise a puppy.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I kept a single one. I don't even remember what year I made them; I'll keep recycling them until I knock at least one off the list, I suppose.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I think my cousin's second child was born this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
I sure hope not.

5. What countries did you visit?
I failed to escape the United States for the 26th time.

6. What would you like to have in 2004 that you lacked in 2003?
Willpower and/or self-control.

7. What date from 2003 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Hm. I guess the best candidate is December 4, 2003, since I'll see it every time I look at my car loan for the next 5 years.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making it through a semester of law school.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not working on the comic.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I passed out after getting blood drawn, resulting in a concussion, a middle ear filled with blood, and a messed up back. Everything except the back seems to be close to normal again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A puppy, although it depresses me to think of her as a purchase.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The aforementioned puppy. She's a genius!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Elected representatives.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, car, school.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
School, cars.

16. What song will always remind you of 2003?
Don't think anything will qualify for that.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier. And much happier than I was at the actual end of the year.

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?
More stuff, more debt; poorer, I guess.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Work on the comic, exercise.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Pass out, eat, buy stuff.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Eating food with family.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?
Yes - see #11.

23. How many one-night stands?
I'm not sure I've had one of those in my life, actually.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
The only first-run show I made an effort to watch was American Idol. For precisely that reason, I'm going to say I didn't have a favorite TV program.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I can only think of one person I really honestly hate, and I've hated him since he was elected governor.

26. What was the best book you read?
Geez, I think I only finished three books this year, and since two of them were "How to Succeed in Law School" type books, I guess that leaves One L.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I think the closest I came to a musical discovery was buying A3's new album.

28. What did you want and get?
A Honda S2000.

29. What did you want and not get?
A Lotus Elise.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
You know what? The Hulk was bad enough that I feel no compulsion to answer this question.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I probably ate a thing somewhere with some people. I was 28.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Knowing my grade in Property.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I never thought I'd have a hard time answering a question like this one. I guess Mira Sorvino still wins, even though I didn't really see her in anything this year.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I dunno, I've been pretty stirred all year long. I guess the most stirring thing is what I see as the continued erosion of any meaningful difference between our parties.

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?
What an odd thing to say. I like "best" even less than "favorite" in this context. At any rate.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003?
Lay down for 10 minutes after someone sticks a needle in your arm.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I know it's not the right thing
and I know it's not the good thing
but kinda I want to

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Well, this started out as a Mashup, but I sure did wander far afield. Anyway, here's what got me going:
In honor of that New Zealand flick I?ve been reading about in all the popular newsmagazines, we?ll mashup The Hobbit today. It?ll be kind of a relief to do a story that has something that more or less resembles the typical adventuring party for once. It?s one of those big adventuring parties I remember from massive sprawling college AD&D games, but it?s still an adventuring party.

I'm going to put The Hobbit in the world of Shadowrun.* The PCs will constitute The Party. Some sort of retro anti-network martial arts sect took up residence, some time ago, out in the wilderness. They're not anti-computer or anti-technology; they'll have lots of implants and guns, they just really loathe the network and those who jack into it. Unfortunately, a massive dragon has begun terrorizing the countryside at their mountain retreat. Attempts to confront him in the open result in charred martial artists. They've tried to locate his lair, but although they've seen him disappear into the massive network of caves in the mountainside, they've never managed to find his nest.

Fortunately, a grizzled old wizard appeared after the dragon's reign of terror began. He hooks up with the sect and informs them that the entrance to the dragon's lair is sealed behind a great wall of stone which only opens at the dragon's command. The weak point in the dragon's hideout is that the wall itself is controlled by the dragon's computer network - by gaining access to this network, they can open the wall and at last surprise the dragon in his lair. (The sect may wonder why a dragon even has a computer, and how he got it set up in the middle of nowhere, but it's not exactly their area of expertise - the wizard should eventually sway them.)

So, of course, in order to crack into the network, the sect is going to need the services of a decker. Fortunately, the wizard knows just the detestable fellow they need, and is more than happy to lead them to him. The decker is another PC, a down-on-his luck decker living in the slums of the big city who can eventually be badgered into joining the adventure. Although the travel to the big city was fairly simple, the return trip will be fraught with great peril as the martial artists struggle to keep the decker from accidentally engineering his own demise. Eventually, they will manage to infiltrate the decker into the dragon's server room, and plug him in.

While the wizard leads the rest of the party to the great wall, the decker deals with a network unlike any he's ever experienced. Naturally, he stumbles across a mysterious program which he acquires for himself, and ends up in a fierce battle of wits with some otherworldly creature - definitely not human, or anything like it, but definitely not purely software either. Eventually, he manages to penetrate the system's defenses, but he'll find himself trapped into destroying the system wholesale before it kills him.

The punchline to the whole story is that the wizard is himself an agent of the dragon, and that the computer system was a sort of invisible fence set up to confine the dragon to this remote area. The great wall the party is waiting at is merely a dead end, and the dragon is at this very moment erupting from the mountain to conquer Cleveland.

* Actually, although the setting is Shadowrun-inspired, I'd be tempted to graft the parts of the Shadowrun setting I like into a system I like better - you could do interesting things with elves, dragons, and the Net in any of Cyberpunk, Gamma World or Paranoia. At any rate - it's got to be a world where a real, live dragon is out-of-the-ordinary but not unheard of; where there's a fair chunk of people with jacks in their heads; and where no one is surprised to be sent on a quest by an ancient, bearded wizard.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Friday, December 19, 2003

More lame cuisine:
Chef Boyardee Cheesy Nacho Twistaroni is fairly serviceable if you happen to be in the mood for pasta with nacho cheese sauce.* Dumping in a can of RO*TEL Extra Hot actually turns it into a fairly entertaining dish, though.

*I have no idea why any human would be in that mood, but there it is.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Friday, December 12, 2003

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Well. 2 exams down, 1 to go. And apparently this next will be the hardest of the bunch. It's also got the most memorization.

I would KILL for some feedback on the first two exams before I go into this one. Psy.

This last exam (torts) had one of those multiple choice questions that just totally ruins your day, where there's an answer that LOOKS like it's supposed to be the right answer, but there's a word that's the wrong word, and you don't know if it's that way because it's the wrong answer, or because it's the right answer typed wrong. And then there's another answer that's not as good as what you wish the other answer was, but it's still better than what the other answer actually says. Like this:

The best way to check to see if pasta is done is:
a) time it according to the package
b) pull out a piece, let it cool, and bite it - if it's mushy, it's done!
c) it's done when you can squidge it in half with your fingers
d) throw it at the wall and see if it sticks

So, of course, b) wants to be the right answer, because biting it is proper. But it gives the wrong test - mushy = overdone. So of the answers as written, d) is the best. Maybe. I mean, it's almost as believable that maybe the professor LIKES mushy pasta as it is that he would deliberately make the answer that is always the "wrong" answer be the "best" answer.

Yeah. Very frustrating. I ended up choosing the "wrong" answer, instead of the "maybe I'm misreading it" answer.

The actual question, I don't remember too well. I think it was a contributory negligence / negligence per se issue, and the question was "What will happen if P sues D for negligence?" when A had violated a statute but may have had a good reason for doing so. And the answer I think was incorrect was "A finding of negligence, unless P had a good excuse." I may be misremembering it. But I mean, it just didn't make any sense. If it said "A finding of contributory negligence, unless P had a good excuse" it would have been the right answer. But the question specifically was asking about P's negligence. The answer I ended up choosing, I don't remember at all.

I had planned to go back and take another look at it to try to remember the question, but I ended up taking forever on the essay question - I got bogged down in something that was probably worth very, very few points. Psy. I hate hate hate not knowing how I did on these things for another month, yet.


Monday, December 01, 2003

copyright 2003

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