42 Roads


I've been re-reading the "Hitchhiker's Guide" series recently, as well as musing about the future in general. On a walk today, I drew an interesting connection. In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," we learn that the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42. That's a piece of nerd culture that's fairly well-known and appreciated by those who've read the books.

But then what is the Ultimate Question? Well, we don't ever find that out, but a suggestion is made:

How many roads must a man walk down?
So as I walked down Gayley, I thought about the other, more abstract roads I've walked in my life:

Some roads I've walked, in no particular order:

  • Child

  • Brother

  • Soccer player

  • Student

  • Football player

  • Taekwondo student

  • Taekwondo instructor

  • Writer

  • A different road for every girl I've dated

  • Computer Science major

  • Math major

  • Resident Assistant

  • Tutor

  • Web marketer

  • Roommate

  • UCLA Bruin

There are more of course, but these are just the ones that came to me immediately. But I do know I have yet to walk my 42 roads - there are many more to come. I may never again walk some of the ones above, yet there are others I'll constantly return to (and indeed, some I'll never leave).

Of course, the book is just a work of fiction (albeit a VERY good one), but I still like the general idea that you must walk 42 roads in your life (though I suppose more is perfectly acceptable). It just brings me comfort to look at that list above, and know that I have many more roads, many more journeys, many more experiences left.

I plan to walk my 42 roads. I hope everybody else does the same.

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I finally went to Comic-Con. Friends of mine have gone in the past, and I've always wanted to see what it's all about. And when some of my friends found out that there'd be a Twilight panel, well, that was that. They were going, and I decided to tag along. I'm going to write up some impressions of the various panels and stuff later, but this is just a general recap.

We drove down to San Diego on Wednesday around 2pm. Once we arrived, we realized that we had a problem... parking at Petco Park (where they directed us) was $20/day, and NO overnight parking. Fortunately, we got some street parking for overnight, and proceeded to set up camp in the Twilight line. It was crazy and tiring, and Twilight fans are NUTS. But whatever... passed out around midnight, and woke up around 6am Thursday morning.

In the morning, we used the Hilton across the street to clean up a bit, moved our cars to all day parking at the Hilton, and got our badges. Speaking of badges, the pickup process was the smoothest thing in the world. Walked in, they scanned my ticket, printed out a badge, and sent me on my way. Efficient to the max. Then, I left the girls in line, and went to the convention floor. The place was madness, but I saw some cool stuff as I was wandering around - some Brutal Legend gameplay, some ODST gameplay, and lots of neat stuff. And then I found a line.

The WB booth (my destination) was giving out free bags, and there were people everywhere. It was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. But I hopped in line, because I couldn't figure out any other way into the booth, and got my bag. Then I picked up my VIP All Access pass (thank you, Twitter!), and got to play some Lego Rock Band. Also played a little Scribblenauts (which was every bit as cool as I'd imagined), and some Batman: Arkham Asylum. Then I had to run back to meet the girls for the panels.

But here's where I ran into a problem. They started moving the line in fairly early. And since we'd camped out, we had a really good spot in line, and they were already inside when I got back to that part of the convention center. And with there being so many people, they weren't about to just let me jump in. Took me about six or seven tries before I found somebody who bought my story of getting separated from my group, and how they had a seat for me, and all that jazz, and somebody FINALLY let me through. Of course, it was looking like I wasn't going to make it, so my seat had been given up, so I sat behind the girls, in between some people from "Twilighters Anonymous" (who get the award for the most failed slow claps ever).

So we sat through about 3 hours of panels - the first two were 3D panels, where we saw stuff for "A Christmas Carol" with Jim Carey, Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland", and the new Tron movie. Also had stuff from "The Final Destination: 3D", "The Hole", and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". Then came the Summit Entertainment panel, where they gave fleeting mention to "Astro Boy" and "Sorority Row", then proceeded to drive about 6000 girls absolutely insane with their "Twilight Saga: New Moon" panel.

I'll have thoughts about all these panels up later, but the one thing I did notice was how much of a logistic nightmare this was. They don't clear the auditorium between panels, so the only way to really get in for the Summit Entertainment panel (essentially, the Twilight panel) was to go 2 hours early for the 3D panels. Not that those were bad, but I can't help but feel that some people who actually WANTED to see those got screwed by all the people just taking up seats for 3 hours. But there's no real other way to do it either... clearing the auditorium is unfair in that nobody would be able to do BOTH panels (because the line was too long).

I honestly think they should have STARTED with the Summit Panel, so that nobody else got screwed (since that was the HUGE draw of the morning). But they didn't, and there's nothing we can do about it now.

Once the Twilight thing was done, Vicki, Angie, Caity and I booked it to the room where they were having a "Psych" panel. The line was crazy and stressful, and it looked for a bit like we may not make it, but we did, got seats near the back, and had a thoroughly good time there. It was great, and that's another one I'll have a separate post for.

After that panel, we looked around the convention floor some more, then called it quits. Caity, Angie, and I got gas, and headed home, calling my family to help us locate an In 'n' Out on the way. I passed out shortly thereafter, and when we got back to LA, I went straight to bed.

Overall, a very, very fun two-day adventure. But it was extremely exhausting, and definitely tried my patience a few times. There wasn't a lot of stuff that I wanted to buy (though in retrospect, I do wish I'd tried to find a "Watchmen" comic), so the crowds in the convention floor were more of a nuisance than anything else. I couldn't fully appreciate it. If I go again, I'll know to spend more time in the video game area, checking out the upcoming games, and getting more hands-on time with them.

Still, all things considered, very successful first Comic-Con for me.

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Skills for Men


A while back, I found an article online titled "The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master". I bookmarked it because I really liked it, and I just rediscovered it today while looking for something else. I reread it, and realized that I'm almost halfway through this list (I can confidently check off about 30 of these). You can read the whole list at the link above, but what follows are some of my favorites (regardless of if I've accomplished them or not), and a bonus one that's not on the list, but that I feel should be.

  • Give advice that matters in one sentence.

  • Name a book that matters. (My suggestion? Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Seriously. Also, I disagree with the assertion that Catcher in the Rye doesn't count - any book can matter, so long as you can argue why it does.)

  • Show respect without being a suck-up.

  • Throw a punch.

  • Make one drink, in large batches, very well.

  • Approach a woman out of his league.

  • Be loyal.

  • Play Go Fish with a kid.

  • Speak to an eight-year-old so he will hear. (This one, and the previous one, are absolutely important - you need to be able to work with kids.)

  • Break another man's grip on his wrist. (Everybody, man or woman, should know how to do this.)

  • Break up a fight.

  • Shake hands. (I learned how to do this properly in 5th grade, and I've never forgotten.)

  • Iron a shirt.

And my bonus one (inspired by a few on the list):

  • Cook a handful of meals well. (Being able to cook for other people is an important thing, and you need to have a few different options at your disposal. I'm still working on this one, though I did add Fish Tacos to my repertoire recently.)

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