Layout back (mostly)

My friend Matt (who happens to be the Columbia webmaster) recovered most of my templates, but I had to build my links list again from memory. If your blog was on there before and I’ve excised it, please email me and I’ll put it back up. The removal was due to my terrible memory rather than any personal dislike.


I started playing one of the two games I got with my Christmas money (the other being Stubbs the Zombie). Molyneux’s The Movies feels like a well-made sim game so far—not that different than Zoo Tycoon. It has lots of good humor, though, and I can see that the sandbox mode is going to be mucho fun.

I’ve noticed two things that interest me about the game so far. The first is the intellectual property component of the TOS. As expected, there’s a clause saying that everything in the game or produced by the game is the sole property of Activision. Expected, but annoying when the game specifically says you can make your own movies with it. Then the next clause says elements created by individuals for the game remain copyrighted by the creator. So if I make a cool movie using in-game elements, I still own copyright. Cool. But here’s the real kicker—I’m prohibited from selling any movies I make (though I can redistribute them) and Activision has the right to take/use/redistribute anything I distribute that I make with the game. It’s an interesting line to try to reason out. Nonetheless, I can tell I am going to enjoy the game.

The second thing I noticed is the humor throughout the game. At one point, my screenwriter is in the bathroom and his bubble says he’s ‘pinching one off.’ Yikes. Later, I read some reviews of my studio–Ivory Tower films. I’ll admit up front that I’m not so good at selecting the best spots for my buildings, but was this necessary?


I hire good janitors, though.

Coming Ashore

During Avery’s midnight feeding last night, I watched the most recent episode of Boston Legal. Mmmm. It seems like someone said “It’s been a while since we’ve been reminded how awesome Alan Shore is.” Thus, the most recent episode.

What interests me about the episode though, is one line from the end. When Alan joins Denny on the balcony to smoke cigars and drink brandy, he does so for the first time in the episode (rather than the second, third, or even fourth time as often happens in any given installment of BL). When he arrives, he says:

How are you? I haven’t seen you much this episode.

As Moe Sizlack might say: WHAAA? Boston Legal, while filled with the usual David Kelly nuttiness, has never nodded toward anything like self-referentiality. And Shore’s comment goes un-remarked-upon as he and Denny chat. There’s no sly look to the camera, no nothing. He just said “episode” instead of “week”. I’d like to imagine a Purple Rose of Cairo kind of deal, where Alan is getting tired of dancing around on the screen and is readying to leap into the real world: he’s testing the waters.

Metapost: funky layout

In a recent hardware upgrade at columbia, the blogs got moved to a different machine and somewhere in the background something broke. We’re working on it, but for now you’ll have to read an antiseptically clean Digital Sextant.

Media, Babies, and other stuff

  1. Johnny Cash: American 4: The Man Comes Around.

    I bought this CD for the “Hurt” cover, but found the song that arrests me the most is “The Man Comes Around”. I suspect the evangelical Cash would be a bit disturbed by the reason the song affects me so much. As was probably his intent, the song gives me chills and makes me a-feared for Armageddon. The reason it gets my boots quakin, though, is because the song features prominently in the urban apocalypse scenes at the beginning of the remade Dawn of the Dead, which I found far scarier than I like to admit. Cash’s deep voice brings to mind the scenes of uprest and zombies that give me chills. I guess I am afraid of the white horse and its rider, as long as the rider’s a zombie.

  2. I bought Stubbs the Zombie but haven’t played it yet. The humor looks a bit more sophomoric than I originally expected, but that’s fine.
  3. I’ve grown fond of the American The Office, despite my love of the British one too. As I predicted when I watched the first couple episodes of the American one, it works best when it got away from copying the jokes from the other show and introducing its own. Carrel’s character is less likeable than the forty-year-old virgin, but there are moments of tenderness, as when he goes home to his empty apartment, only to answer the door for the trick-or-treaters.
  4. When do babies start learning words? I hope it’s not at six weeks, because during my shift tonight, I’ve been watching Glengarry GlenRoss. Let’s hope Avery’s first word doesn’t come from that film.


I’m hoping to do some big “I’m back” post to assuage the withdrawal you’re all feeling, but I can’t do that now. Instead, I’ll urge any
of you who live in or near Houston Texas to go see a play written by my good friend Andrew:

Waiting for Engines.

Here are the details..
The play runs Jan. 20, 21, 27, 28 at 7:30 & 9:30pm, and Jan. 22, 29 at 7:30pm