Lara Craft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

deus ex machina
1. a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty
2. a weapon more powerful than you could ever imagine

Whenever ancient markings stump Lara, she tells her two manservants to figure them out for her offscreen, and sure enough, they always come through. Lara crashes a plane in rural China and conveniently lands near an old Asian lady friend who supplies her with firearms and motorcycles. The bad guy conveniently has a machine designed to decode an orb that's been lost for centuries. Sheridan needs someone to fly a helicopter and Bryce conveniently knows how to fly one from playing video games.

Does the screenwriter think I'm stupid?

WWE Vengeance

Vince went over a kid with one leg, and then half the crowd booed the cripple.


Senior year of high school, I vowed never to step foot in the state of Michigan.

Recently, I visited Michigan for the fourth time in less than a year.

Everything I say is bullshit. Do not listen to me.


It was 4:30 AM Saturday.

Tony, Jord, Eric and I were hanging around in Tony's room, waiting for the "behind the scenes" trailer for Pauly Shore's new movie to load. In the meantime, I visited thehebrewhammer.com to see if any screenings of the movie in the greater Los Angeles area had been added. No screenings had been added since the last time I checked, but listings showed that the movie would be screening that weekend at a comedy festival in Montreal.

I wanted to see the movie. Jord wanted to see the movie. Tony wanted to see the movie.

—Let's go to Montreal, said Jord.
—Are you serious?
—Yeah. The movie's showing today at 7:15 PM. If we leave now, we can make it. Road trip to Montreal!

Total Distance: 571.53 miles
Total Estimated Time: 9 hours, 26 minutes

Thirty minutes later, we were on our way to Canada — no passports, no birth certificates, no sleep, no knowledge of whether tickets for the movie were still available.

Eric, unfortunately, could not join us because he actually has parents, and they wanted at least two hours notice before any impulsive road trips out of the country.


Tony asked me to get him a bottle of water.

I rummaged through a paper bag full of hastily-packed food and handed him one.

—You brought Pepto-Bismol? I asked.
—Yeah. Just in case.
—In case of… All right…


We stopped at a Tim Hortons (the Canadian equivalent of Dunkin' Donuts) for breakfast. Tim Hortons and Wendy's franchises are everywhere in Ontario. I've never seen a Wendy's in California.

I bought an iced cappuccino and donut holes. The food was awful, real bland.


About two-thirds of the way to Montreal, we stopped to get gas. I peed, Tony bought a postcard. As soon as we left the gas station, my stomach became upset.

Shit, I thought.

—Jord, I need to go to the bathroom.
—What? But we were just at a rest area…
—Well, I didn't need to go then!

Jord got off the highway at the next exit and stopped at some podunk gas station wherein I unloaded my wares.

Splish. Splash.

Fuckin' Tim Hortons, I thought. The previous day, I had only eaten two slices of bread and three slices of cheese pizza. It had to be what I had from Tim Hortons that morning.

Fortunately, there was some Pepto-Bismol in the car.


When diarrhea strikes, aftershocks always ensue.

—Jord, heh, I need to go the bathroom again.
—I can hold it though. I'll wait until we get to Cornwall.
—Are you sure?

As much as Tony and Jord claim that they would've been more than happy to stop any time my bowels needed attention, I didn't want to be a nuisance. Hey, Tony gets annoyed easily. I didn't want this road trip to become that commercial for Imodium AD in which a father makes frequent stops at public restrooms on a family trip. Less is more, right? I could endure abdominal pain for an hour, I thought.

Just outside Cornwall, however, I tapped.

Upon exiting the highway, Jord drove for an excruciating three minutes through countryside before arriving at a Subway, where he took his merry time parking. Then, Tony got out of the car in slow motion and pulled the passenger seat forward to let me out.

As I was charging into the Subway, I sensed some premature evacuation in my pants.

Inside the restroom, my worst fears were confirmed.

Call it "over-excitement."

I have this theory that when you desperately need to defecate, your control over your anus is inversely proportional to your distance from a toilet — that is, the closer you are to a toilet, the less you're able to stop traffic.

Still leaking, I sat down on the toilet to finish the job. My ass cheeks smeared watery feces all over the toilet seat. I tried to salvage my pants, cupping the cotton bowl of poop fondue between my ankles with my left hand in an effort to stave off any further interaction between my boxers and my pants. Meanwhile, my other hand busily mopped my ass.

Someone knocked on the door.

—Hold on!

I carefully took off my shoes, socks and pants and threw my soggy underwear in the small trash can under the sink. My lower body was plastered in excrement. I wanted to shower; I settled for paper towels.

More knocking.

—One minute!

I washed my hands thoroughly and made sure I had adequately cleaned up the restroom before leaving. A pudgy old man greeted me at the door. Poor fellow.

—I…shit my pants.
—Did you shit your pants in the car? Jord inquired, nonchalantly.
—No. It happened on my way in.

I expected more of a reaction. The two Wankers acted like people shit their pants all the time around them.

In retrospect, maybe I should have shit in the car.


My tentative schedule for Fall Quarter 2003:
English 172A American Literature 1912-1945
English 173B American Fiction 1900-1945
English 173C American Fiction since 1945

Basically, I'm enrolled in three variations of the same class. The English department at my school doesn't exactly have a very deep pool of elective classes to choose from.

I desperately want to replace one of my classes with English 180X.2 The Art of the Interview.

How to prepare to talk with people; learning to listen; knowing when to encourage, to probe, to change subjects. Analyzing what celebrities and writers have to say. Structuring a conversation for publication. Understanding the nature of freelancing. Studying magazines for content, poetry for inspiration, books for resource. Straight talk from publishers and editors. Class will include interviewing celebrity guests.

Last year's guests included: actors Al Pacino, Djimon Hounsou, Diane Keaton, and Elliott Gould; journalist/producer Lawrence Schiller; Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis; Woman Boxing Champion Lucia Rijker; novelist Jonathan Safran Foer.

How cool is this?

The class is limited to 15 students and admission is by instructor permission only based on an essay application. I submitted my essay in June and recently received this e-mail from the professor:

"As of now you are on the Waiting List for the Fall Art of Interview class. I have to go to New York for a few weeks, so I won't be back until the first week in August. There are some people I accepted last year, who were on the waiting list and I promised them they could join the class in the fall. I haven't heard back from one or two of them, so there may be openings….but they also may be on vacation and aren't responding to their e-mails. To be fair to them, I feel I must wait a while."

*crosses fingers*


Jerry Bruckheimer is the most successful producer in film history, with over $12.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts. In addition, he is on his way to becoming the most successful producer in the history of television. He's the first to have three shows hit the Top 10 simultaneously: CBS's CSI, CSI: Miami and Without a Trace.

This past weekend, Bruckheimer's Bad Boys II and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were number one and number two, respectively, on the American box office charts.

People may accuse him of perpetuating the decline of western cinema, but he's clearly doing something right.

Bad Boys II (or as they call it in Ann Arbor: B22)

The title credits say "additional music by Dr. Dre." The end credits say "additional Dr. Dre music by Mike Elizondo."

The bad guy actually says "I will sever your head off."

Apparently, the screenwriters thought it'd be funny if Martin Lawrence said "I smell dead people." Maybe in their next screenplay they can get some Monica jokes in there, possibly an "is that your final answer?"

He has a brother hooked up with the underground in Cuba. How convenient.

I always cringe when I see movies that destroy perfectly good cars and buildings for the sake of destroying cars and buildings. Yes, destruction is impressive to behold, but it's also a terrible waste of natural resources. The whole part of the movie set in Cuba is basically an excuse to destroy shit, as if enough shit hasn't been destroyed by then.

I was in line for the movie and a woman walked up to me and asked if I could save a place for her in line.

I was the only person in line at the time.

I felt like Ben Stiller in the airport gate scene in Meet the Parents.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Dirty Pretty Things

Unconventional casting for an English-speaking movie.

"I bit." Haha.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The Anarchist Cookbook

This is one of the worst movies I've seen this year. With The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I could at least entertain myself making fun of how bad it was. The Anarchist Cookbook was just plain unpleasant to sit through.


Previously on Adam Riff™:

20th Century Fox decided to add Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray and Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer to the "LXG" [ugh] in its film adaptation in order to generate more appeal in the poorly-educated American market.

Here we see Shane West as "Detective" Tom Sawyer and what appears to be the barrel of a rifle.

I can't believe this. This is a travesty to literature. First Fox adds an American to a team of Brits and then they give him the only fucking gun in England!

"Basically, I'm the American," explains Shane West, who plays Tom Sawyer, now a grown-up Secret Service agent. "They added me into the script because there were no Americans in the comic book."

Furthermore, West says the sequel will center on his character. "Tom's a young kid compared to the rest of the crew, but I end up kind of being the leader."

Words cannot express my outrage.


07.05 @ 4:30 AM
Jon: [sigh] We must have thrown out at least half of what we bought.

07.04 @ 7:30 PM
Elizabeth: How am I supposed to eat a burger without buns?

07.04 @ 7:00 PM
Ganesh: Where's the trash can?
Rory: Over there. Why?
Ganesh: These buns smell like diesel.

07.04 @ 6:00 PM
Anthony: You should have saved the watermelon. We could have set it on fire!

07.04 @ 5:30 PM
Jon: Dude, this watermelon tastes like diesel.

07.04 @ 4:30 PM
Jon: I hope we bought enough food.

07.04 @ 4:00 PM
Brodie: You guys owe me.

07.03 @ 10:30 PM
Rory: So I talked to Brodie and he's going to leave San Diego early and get the food for us on his way up.

07.03 @ 10:00 PM
Jon: We all set for the cookou…er…in?
Rory: Yee.
Rory: Oh fuck.
Jon: What?
Rory: I left the food in the trunk of my car and my car's in Bellflower.
Jon: WHAT?

07.02 @ 10:00 PM
Rory: Hey…uh…I thought my apartment complex had a barbecue grill…but it doesn't.
Jon: Dammit, Hornblower…
Rory: Adam showed me how to simulate a barbecue grill inside an oven though.
Jon: An oven?
Rory: We can make it an indoor barbecue.
Jon: Fine. Indoor barbecue. Whatever…

07.01 @ 7:00 PM
Jon: Jesus. $135. I hope this event's worth it.

07.01 @ 5:30 PM
Rory: Yo.
Jon: Hey.
Rory: Sorry about the smell. Sometime last week, the spare fuel tank in my trunk spilled open and completely doused my trunk with gasoline. The whole car reeks of that shit now.
Jon: Sucks. Is it safe for you to be driving this?
Rory: I don't know. Fuck public transportation. I'm bringing my car down to my dad's friend's shop tomorrow to replace the head gasket and I'm going to ask the people who work there if they can also do something about my trunk.
Jon: Ah.
Rory: So how do I get to Costco?

07.01 @ 5:20 PM
Jon: Hey, I just got out of class.
Rory: All right. I'll meet you at the Ackerman turnaround in a couple of minutes.

06.21 @ 10:00 PM
Jon: We should throw a barbecue on Independence Day.
Rory: Sounds good.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

How irresponsible is this veterinarian who makes his assistant wake up at 4:30 AM to deal with an animal emergency?

Talk to the hand? 'Negger please…

If all it took to kill Sarah Connor was leukemia, the machines should have sent a bunch of white blood cells to 1984.

Kate knows how to fly a plane. How convenient.

T-X looks like Green Goblin.

Looks like Gray Davis is next in line to be terminated. Judgment Day is four months from now.