5/30/07 "Birthday Surprise"

Bonus: Alternate Ending!!

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So Jeff turned 23 on May 29th. Good for him, better for me, because I got to shove an entire buffet down my throat in celebration. Nick and Logan also accompanied us as we went gallivanting and gambling. It was a fun day, but we're about to participate in an extended celebration day when we go see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End later tonight. We were all pretty disappointed with Dead Man's Chest, so hopefully this third installment will be as good as the first movie was.

 So I was almost halfway through A Game of Thrones, the first part of George R. R. Martin's fantastic A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, when the library contacted me and let me know that a book I had requested was in. The book was Next, Michael Crichton's latest work. Crichton is the man who really got me into reading. I believe Congo was the first book of his that I read. I loved it and immediately went into a Crichton frenzy, reading Jurassic Park, Lost World, Sphere (which I regard as his best work), Timeline, Prey, and Rising Sun. I've since grown beyond Crichton, but I was still anticipating his latest book. I figured that if nothing else, cracking open one of his "techno-thrillers" would be a nice stroll down memory lane. I was wrong, and my childhood has been ruined.

 Next deals with genetics, more specifically the issues of human-animal hybrids and patenting genes. The whole book reads like a series of essays, all connected through weak and sometimes laughable storylines. The main storylines didn't really seem to converge until the last 100 or so pages, and even then they didn't seem to go anywhere. The book then wrapped up with a three page rant on owning and patenting genes, all in the form of a judge's ruling. Michael Crichton, you wasted my time.

 Jeff and I felt that my reading (and hatred) of Next was relevant to today's comic, as they both feature a monkey throwing his own poo.