Sunday, February 28, 2010

When in Baltimore

Yesterday, I bought one of the coolest baseball caps I know:

Now, I know that you say, "Jeremy---you grew up two hours south of Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout and sixth and seventh no-hitters; there is only one 'Pudge' in your vocabulary; you believe strongly in waiting till next year; Rickey Henderson is your favorite player of all time."  Yes, that is all true.

But I also hate the Yankees.*  And I live in Baltimore.  And I love Camden Yards.

*Few cities have a greater claim for hating the Yankees than Baltimore.  Now that I think about it, Baltimoreans have been abandoned in three of the four major North American sports.  The Colts left in the middle of the night in March 1984, and the Wiz left town in 1973.  Interesting question: Have any other cities been abandoned at least 3 times?  Does a Baltimore-to-Washington move count as "abandonment"?  Post may follow.

Sports are about uniting friends and neighbors against a common enemy, so it doesn't make sense for me to cling exclusively to my Rangers fandom.*  It's OK for me to put on an O's cap when I'm in Baltimore and an A's cap when I'm in Oakland and an R's cap when I'm in Dallas.**  I know the time will come when I can't have it all three ways, and I will be forced to decide.

*Especially since August 22, 2007.  Oh no he didn't.  Yes he did, Peter!  Yes he did!  I just saw him!

**Why don't any National League teams inspire loyalty in me?

But let's face it: October 2010 will not be that time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why the Sky is Blue

Why I think a lot about chemistry:
Chemistry has the power to explain everything in this world, from the ordinary to the bizarre. . . . Understanding chemistry is the key to understanding the world as we know it.
That's also why I think a lot about jurisprudence.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Adventureland: 4/5

For all of my readers out there with a spec script for a rom-com, this is a key ingredient you must have in your script:
[Y]ou can totally see why James would subject himself to the things that he does in pursuit of Stewart’s Em.
There should be reasons for Guy and Girl to get together.  Don't expect your audience to just buy into the old syllogism:

+ Guy is Lead Actor
+ Girl is Lead Actress
> Guy and Girl should fall in love

Life doesn't work that way, and neither should your plot.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Representative from California

I am tired of hearing "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "When September Ends" and acting like they're anything but boring songs I've heard too many times.  AltNation should play lots and lots more "Jesus of Suburbia."  Or at least "Basketcase."  Sheesh o meesh.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pirate Latitudes: 3/5

Pirate Latitudes Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Michael Crichton writes three kinds of books: (1) thrilling blockbusters (or at least wannabe blockbusters), like Jurassic Park or Sphere; (2) contemplations on science and the human condition, like State of Fear or The Lost World; and (3) simply fun historical novels, like The Great Train Robbery, Eaters of the Dead, and, now, Pirate Latitudes. So if you only like Crichton for his Jurassic Park-like thrillers, stay away. If you only like Crichton for his Prey-like contemplations, stay away. But if you like lightweight, easy reading that's fun, give it a chance. It's not his best work, but it's not his worst either. (Sphere and Congo, respectively, get my votes.)

Maybe the best I can do is quote Robert Louis Stevenson's prologue to Treasure Island:

If sailor tales to sailor tunes,
Storm and adventure, heat and cold,
If schooners, islands, and maroons,
And buccaneers, and buried gold,
And all the old romance, retold
Exactly in the ancient way,
Can please, as me they pleased of old,
The wiser youngsters of today:
--So be it, and fall on! If not,
If studious youth no longer crave,
His ancient appetites forgot,
Kingston, or Ballantyne the brave,
Or Cooper of the wood and wave:
So be it, also! And may I
And all my pirates share the grave
Where these and their creations lie!

To paraphrase: If you think boats/pirates/sea adventure are cool, you'll probably like this book. If not, you probably won't.

Friday, February 19, 2010

First Law Job

Because I want to shout it from the rooftops, I'll post it on my blog.

As of this morning, I accepted a position with The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos.  I'll be doing my part to make the world safe to drink groundwater in.

Thank you and good night.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eye Spy

Have you ever noticed how you can tell a person's gender by just their voice?  And it's not just pitch.  When you listen to the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince, you never think "Is that a fello or a fella?"*

*I guess I should admit that Coheed and Cambria always throw me for a loop.

But here's something interesting: you can usually pick a girl out by her eyes, even if she's trying to look masculine.  Case in point:


No matter how you try to disguise yourself as a manly giant-radioactive-ant-fighting entomologist, Ms. Weldon, we can see the truth in your eyes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Moon: 4.5/5

I don't often get excited about movies, but two movies in the past year have gotten me really excited.  (2009 was an exciting year for movies.)  I haven't seen one yet (Sherlock Holmes), and I just saw one last night (Moon).  I've seen a lot of movies in the past 12 months, but these are the only two I've been really excited about.


I loved Moon; The Missus hated it.  To be fair, this is not the kind of movie you can half-watch and enjoy.  Rather, it's the kind of movie where you immerse yourself, float around in it for a while, and never really get your bearings but never really get bored either.  (Think: 2001.)  Some things can be more important than plot.

Maybe that's what I love about science fiction.  One of my favorite reviewers described it this way:
[Science fiction] geeks love clockwork stories full of hidden messages and structural tricks, so much so that the puzzle-solving nature of the narrative is as much a draw as the subject or ideas.
For my money, the plot of Moon (how Sam escapes) is less intriguing than the clockwork nature of the story, its hidden messages, or its structural tricks.  Tack on brilliant acting by Sam Rockwell, a phenomenally atmospheric score, beautiful story-reinforcing imagery,* and an interesting play on the how-far-is-too-far theme, and you've got a movie well worth your rental.

*One of my favorite tricks/imagery: the base seems decently roomy, but Sam sleeps in a cramped twin-size bed.  That, my friends, is showing-not-telling.

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should disclose two things.  First, the Moon is my favorite celestial object.  Second, I guessed the twist around the 1:07 mark, and you know you always like a movie better when you guess the twist.

By the way, Sherlock Holmes is in my queue for delivery as soon as it comes out on DVD.  If you feel bad for me, please donate $20 so The Missus and I can make a date to see it in the comfort of a dark theater.