Saturday, August 16, 2008

And... we're off!

It's 8:30am on a Saturday and I'm almost tired enough to reconsider this whole thing. But... the show must go on. I'll be gone for 15 days, probably not updating during that time so that I can pay attention to these places:

Wordpress
Twitter
Youtube

Have fun with Josh!

First stop... Cleveland.

-Jess

Friday, August 15, 2008

Whew

I'll definitely be updating more once I'm settled into my apartment, but until then, well...that's the thing. I'm moving. I know that thousands of people have moved thousands of times before, but seriously, I feel like I am under more stress than anyone has ever had to endure ever. I'll spare you the whining and the complaining and the "fuck-it-I'm-moving-back-to-the-dorms" bullshit and just come back in a couple days when I'm actually living in my room, which will be air conditioned and hopefully lovely. Until then, WHY DOESN'T MY BUILDING HAVE AN ELEVATOR I WILL BUILD IT WITH MY OWN TWO HAAAANDS.

-Josh

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Random Updates

So this is like my 10th post for today. I'm trying to make up for the recent lull.

I'm currently reading The Night of the Gun by David Carr and it makes me wonder: do you think people ever purposefully charge full force into addiction so that they can eventually sober up and cash in on a memoir about their experiences? I don't think Carr did that here, but it's interesting to think about. How much are some people willing to throw away to get a book deal? I think all book deals should warrant some amount of blood, sweat and tears, but I'm seriously curious if anyone ever purposefully fucked up or did something strange and shocking so that they could later be paid to write about it.

So the road trip begins Saturday with a (short) 7 hour trek to Cleveland. I probably won't be able to update J&J much so you will be in the shockingly bony yet able clutches of one Joshua Becker for about two weeks. I will, however, be updating the road trip blog.

In other news, Michael Phelps looks like a Ken doll:
-Jess

Tropic Thunder: Funny or Racist?

I feel guilty laughing at previews for the movie Tropic Thunder. There's something about Robert Downey Jr. in blackface that makes me really fucking uncomfortable. So I randomly called my Stepdad, who is African American, to see if he had anything to say about the movie. I wanted to get his opinion on it from a personal standpoint, but also to see if he could attempt to gauge the local black community's beliefs about this movie as extrapolated from the opinions of him/some of his friends.

His basic reaction was that the movie is not offensive, but instead looks "hilarious," and that he will be going to see it ASAP.

I told him that I felt uncomfortable about it; he responded, "I think, honestly, that 'good' white people feel guilty about slavery so they're overly sensitive about anything pertaining to race: kind of like a guy who's a feminist and refuses to laugh when girls call each other 'sluts.'"

He said that a lot of his black friends are also excited to see it, while his white ones seem ambivalent. He continued, "I'm sure there are some black people who think it's offensive and I'm like: Dude, shut up! First of all, it's a movie, and second of all, that's how we sometimes act. It's only offensive if it's not true... so I think it's going be hilarious."

Then he continued, "Now, can you laugh at it? Hmmm... I don't know. Maybe with a black guy on your arm."

So what do you think? Offensive or no? I fully admit I'm overly sensitive about race issues (ahem, okay, ALL issues) but that is probably because my Stepdad and Stepbrother are black and I feel like I have to defend them when people are being even slightly racist, though feeling guilty about slavery is probably something ingrained in us in grade school and not necessarily a bad thing.

If I laugh at the preview, am I just appreciating something that is funny and, as my Stepdad says, 'true?' Or am I helping to support and perpetuate stereotypes that are societally harmful?

-Jess

Breaking: Unicorns are better dates than boys even if they sometimes forget to hold doors for you

They forgot to mention that unicorns can take you on rides throughout space!

-Jess

"Last night I fell asleep in front of my computer while thinking about Tumblr" - H.W.

One of the strange things about the internet is that I believe a lot of times people, anonymously or not, write things or make comments that they assume others won't read. Technorati consistently brings me to random blogs from the outer reaches of the internet that talk about me, or Josh, or both of us, in a way that assumes we'll never read it. But if you link to this blog, we will! Which is fine and good since making communication fast and easy is more or less the goal of the internet; and sometimes if you're PMSing or haven't had coffee yet or our internet personas rub you the wrong way (which is certainly fair) and you shoot off something vitriolic... our feelings will be hurt, but we'll get over it, because we're both learning to take ourselves less seriously, but um, as NYU students, perhaps that is harder than we thought.

But it's odd. When Josh and I first started J&J we certainly boldly wrote about people whom we assumed would never read our drivel. Certain early posts, while we were still yearning for a specific voice, probably read like dorky kids talking about popular kids at a lunch table on the shitty side of the cafeteria. Only, if by accident you spill your milk carton on one of the popular kid's American Eagle polos, then you are on their radar and they might overhear something you say about them to a fellow dork while walking by said shitty lunch table to grab another Uncrustable. And you will get your head punched in... or how much you suck will just be constantly re-blogged on Tumblr. Forever. Into eternity.

Oh, the glory of the interwebs!

Bad metaphors aside, I think there's an important lesson in there that I'm trying to remember now: if you put it on the internet, anyone can read it. It's an obvious sentiment, but it's one that is often overlooked because the internet is just so daunting and huge and the chances of stumbling across something related to you on a random site are pretty slim.

Then again, if you are writing about us - either in a positive or negative way - and you are fully aware we may be reading it and just politely making it sound like we aren't self-conscious, insecure, mildly self-obsessed 20 year olds who will see our names on your blog... then, heh, joke's on me. And of course if you are able to say things about people without caring that they might read it then you are most definitely a stronger person than I.

I guess what I'm trying to say, dear readers, is that you yourself could some day suddenly be swept up into a media mess that you accidentally (YES, accidentally, or at least unwittingly) created and then you'll feel weird about assuming no one reads what you write. Luckily Josh and I kept our writing about random people we could feasibly run into to a fair minimum, but god help me if I ever run into Dina Lohan, right? (Not going to happen)

Anyway, I'm trying to learn how to own my words. It's hard because I'm still trying to figure out what I want to say. I'm unfurling self-discovery and career desires and insecurities in a public forum, which was initially my fault but now is somewhat out of my hands. If I knew who I was it'd be easy to say "fuck the haters" and keep on keepin on. Or I could stop being so oversharey on this here blog. (I probably have a better chance of quitting smoking.)

But I've admitted to my confusion and penchant for existential crises before, and thus it is no big secret that I am this fuck up writing about being a fuck up and then other people write about how I'm a fuck up and so on and so forth. This is the condition of the millennial: learning how to learn about yourself in a space where the private is now public, while simultaneously figuring out how to balance both criticism and compliments without either killing yourself or becoming an insufferable douchebag.

I'm thinking the dead center between those two options is probably this thing they call "happiness," or, at the very least, "self-satisfaction."

-Jess

More Road Trip News

Check out the sweet flier/business card I made. In Paint. Because 3 years without it has most certainly not been kind to my Photoshop skillz.-Jess

Quick! Bolt to your TV!

VH1 is rerunning a marathon of Laguna Beach. Lauren has horrible highlights and baby fat, and I just witnessed a conversation between Kristen and Jessica that went like this:

(At the grocery store)
Jessica: We should make a salad with Feta cheese in it!
Kristen: Do boys know what Feta cheese is?
Jessica: Oh, for sure!

(5 minutes later, while making dinner for Stephan and Deiter)
Deiter: What is... fay-tah cheese? I don't want any fay-tah cheese on my pasta!

One of the best things about Laguna Beach is clearly the fact that it makes me feel smart, if only for a little while.

-Jess

"The new millennial version of Radiohead would be called iTuneshead"

Radiohead was amazing, but that's probably not news. Nor is it that traffic on the Ben Franklin Bridge blows when everyone in the right two lanes is trying to get to the newly-named Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden without getting shot, but eating a Wawa sandwich while on that bridge is decidedly much easier if the traffic isn't moving. As is rolling J's, or at least I'm assuming, as it was not me who was doing so.

But yes, Thom Yorke's whale-like wails and writhing moves were just as awe-inspiring in person. And the crowd was much better than the Kanye fiasco, considering everyone was around my age or older. And had beards. And glasses. And were therefore kind of "my type," but I was too, um, out of it, to care and I just wanted to listen to the music and also stargaze on the lawn hopefully not in a pile of puke leftover from the DMB show.

They opened with "Bodysnatchers" and closed with "Everything in Its Right Place" and were totally loyal to the Radiohead mantra of robots taking over: that is to say, the light show was fucking awesome.

Having to pee while stuck in traffic on level 4 of a parking garage? Not so much. Does it make me an Old that I would prefer to just watch them perform live on TV from the comfort of my living room while sipping Sleepytime tea and nodding off? Survey says: yes.

-Jess

And while we're at it, an iPod playlist is not a DJ set

I have been waiting for someone to write this article. This is a phenomenon I've grown increasingly aghast by. I see these people in my classes and at bars and buying clothes from the front of Urban Outfitters (who the FUCK can afford the clothes in the front?!) and it really baffles me. I don't want to get too far into it because I could certainly say a lot more, but I'm so happy someone took the time to write about this, even if it is, as one commenter put, "not real culture."

-Jess

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One Quiz Cosmo Won't Print: What does the Surgeon General's warning on cigarettes say about YOU?

I was hanging out with an unusual group of people I went to high school with the other night when one of them relayed a theory I consider to be pure genius. I have no idea if this has ever been purported or is even proven, but he contends that the Surgeon General's warning on cigarette packs relates directly to the demographic those cigarettes are targeted at.

His example was convincing: he smoked Marlboro Menthols, which are so Pennsylvania, and also, as he called them, "the pregnant woman's cigarette." Sure enough, the warning on the side read, "Smoking can increase the risk of birth defects."

I smoke Marlboro Lights and though the warning is not as trite and pretentious as me and my fellow ML smokers, it doesn't mention pregnancy but instead just tells us we are going to die soon, which is probably true. I'm assuming recessed filter Parliaments tell you that cocaine is bad for you and the Newports warning says, "Get a job." (Joke!)

It'd be awesome if you guys could comment with the brand of cigarettes you smoke, what the warning is, and how you think that relates to your demographic. Now I'm totally interested in proving this kid's theory right.

-Jess
Earlier: A Tribute to Cigarettes

On the Road with JAK

Get it? Our initials almost spell JACK like the author of that one really famous book about driving crosscountry.

Our blog for the trip is here, and our Twitter is here.

Josh and I are reuniting tonight for the first time in two weeks to see RADIOHEAD at the hellish Tweeter Center in beautifully scenic Camden, NJ. Expect a review tomorrow.

-Jess

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Favorite Screengrab of the Week


LOL. Nice work, Mal.

"Fuck Jeff Goldblum"

I was going to do a review of Pineapple Express, but then I realized that anyone who can actually remember the movie, let alone review it, didn't actually appreciate it in the manner it was supposed to be appreciated in. That said: go see it. I believe it's worth the $12 + munchies. Also James Franco is in it:

-Jess

This is what it's like to be young and living in America. And by "America" we mean "suburban hell."

You know when something happens and you're fairly sure it will never happen again? Last weekend I went to a party thrown by an ultimate frisbee team in Fairmount Park in Philly. The team is sponsored by Victory beer so there were free kegs and a plethora of bros. Some people were playing beer pong. I felt like I was in 10th grade all over again. It was a fun night, but I was pretty sure I'd never be back.

Then a few nights ago I met a cute guy in Rittenhouse and we hung out and ended up spending the night making out in that park in Center City with the chess pieces and getting yelled at by the security guard of some government building for doing so. I kind of thought I'd never see him again even though we exchanged phone numbers. (This should demonstrate the faith I currently have in the male gender)

Well, last night both of these things happened again: cute boy met us at another party at the frisbee field. It was a strange combination of bizarre and familiar and uniquely suburban. I felt like I was watching a movie the entire time, particularly when:

1) Some guys found a razer you use to shave people's heads and tried to shave one boy's head. Then that boy got mad and slashed some guy above the eyebrow and in the stomach with the razer. There was blood and also flashbacks to 8th grade.

2) A guy with a barcode tattoo on his neck and approximately half of the teeth he should have had told me a story about how he once "smacked the shit" out of a cashier while fucked up on Xanax and whiskey because he attempted to use his scanner to scan the guy's barcode tattoo. (LOL) He then asked for a cigarette and when I gave it to him he literally said five times: "Thank you so much, sweetheart. Thanks hun." If you are not over 60 I honestly kind of take offense to strange men calling me sweetheart. Condescending much?

3) A guy named "Marcus" or "Travis" or something equally douchey kept hitting on us. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt and kept trying to get people to do kegstands. When we left he made us promise to come to the final tournament the next day and to be sure to wear bathing suits because there will be a Slip n Slide.

Also this is probably disgustingly Freudian but make out boy's name is Joe and he is half Irish, a quarter French and a quarter Italian... just like my Dad.

-Jess