Saturday, November 22, 2008

Surrealist Sims


Ah, The Sims. I used to love this game, back when I'd play it on my parents' PC. For a sheltered little gay boy like me, it was not only a fun time-waster but also a chance to live a "correct" life; I could remake myself, fashion me a beautiful wife (always with ridiculously large breasts, a virtue for which I thank/blame my father), and give myself normal, man-and-woman-in-bed-produced kids. For a while, this is how I Simmed, living out a life I would never know.

Then I got bored of that and started killing off my Sims, each scheme more sadistic than the last. I eventually killed off an entire family by trapping them in the living room with only an armchair and a fireplace; once the father was the last survivor, I gave him a fully-furnished home but kept the gravestones, a daily reminder of his grief.

Last night, taking another trip down Nostalgia Lane while recovering from a bad bout of food poisoning on Thursday, I decided to see what my fellow YouTubers had done with their Sims. And it should not have surprised me that some of their Simulations were fantastic, hilarious, and weird. Nothing, however, was more surreal than this little gem:



I (knock on wood) feel better today, and I think this video is somehow part of the reason why.

-Josh

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Empl-OY-ment

Thank God I still have one more year of college to go.

Not that the economy will fix itself in a year, or that the job market by 2010 will be accessible and inclusive and wonderful and I'll make my first million by 25, or that living in New York will be any cheaper (probably the opposite, in fact.)

But I hope the dust settles by the May after next, and people are no longer getting laid off, both for their sake and mine. I can't imagine what seniors are going through right now. It is so scary knowing that I'll be entering this job market. Like it won't be hard enough competing for work with a thousand other English majors from this school, now there will be like three jobs for all of us to go after.

I know how hard unemployment can be. My dad didn't have a job for over two years; during that time, the way I saw money and budgeted myself forever changed. I suppose you don't really learn the value of a dollar until you don't have it anymore. This doesn't stop me from occasionally being an idiot and spending 18 dollars on a tiny glass of dessert wine at the Bowery Hotel, but I'm not running to the ATM every three seconds like I did during, say, freshman year.

What really scares me about the current job market is that we really don't know when it will be better. I'm used to reading about this sort of thing in history textbooks, in which I can flip through the pages until things got better, and there's a timeline and a solution. But how can we study this?

I really need to civil-union rich.

-Josh

Stumbling Towards Equality

Stumble! was down last night. It was a rough period. But it came back this morning, and made up for it with this, and I couldn't agree more (obviously.) Good to know we're getting the meme-makers' support!

-Josh

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friends (Not Quite) Forever

One of my good friends, also a junior, recently told me that she was going to move away after college. We've had some really great times in New York together, and it saddened me to learn that I'll (probably) be living here while she won't.

But now things are weird. Why? Well, remember that early Sex and the City episode where Big tells Carrie that he doesn't want to get married again? And she talks about how she wasn't even thinking marriage until he refuted it? And then she questioned whether you can date someone who doesn't want to get married because it ruins the idealism of a new relationship that you two will be together forever?

It's the same way with friends. That's why the summer after my senior year of high school--my last in East Brunswick--was so weird. Sure, I was seeing my friends and going to goodbye parties (okay, like, two, but still) and promising to keep in touch and all that. But we all knew that this was the end of the road, that we wouldn't be seeing each other anymore, except maybe on holidays and during breaks. The knowledge of a future apart casts a pretty somber shadow over a current relationship, doesn't it?

So now I don't know what to do about my friend. I know I should just hang out with her like usual, go to dinner and see movies and drink cheap vodka and all that, but after she told me she'd be gone in a year and a half, I don't know. It's changed things, at least from my end. Our time together doesn't have the same meaning anymore. Granted, I probably won't stay besties 4evr with most of the people I count as friends now, but that's an unspoken reality that I largely ignore in favor of the pleasant fantasy that yes, twenty years from now we will still get together and drink merlot and watch old movies and take strolls around Central Park and talk about our husbands and all the stupid things they do. When I lose that, I lose some of my motivation, and the friendship loses its spark.

Or am I just being petty and neurotic? (Wouldn't surprise me.)

-Josh

Why Should Dan Humphrey Doubt His Ability to Get Into Yale?

Because a screenshot of the story his author mentor raved about concerning the Basses reveals that he actually, in fact, cannot write:




The text reads:

His hand held a firm grip around the glass Scotch. It was like the glass was a part of him and if he let it go he'd lose a piece of himself. He took one long gulp and finished off the glass.

"Keep them coming, Joe," hes poke across the bar. The surly bartender poured some more of the brown liquid into his glass. He titled it towards Joe and took a sip. As it hit his mouth, his lips curled and he swallowed. The glass was still clutched in his hand.

Charlie Trout had spent every Birthday at this bar since he was thirteen years old, and this year was no exception. Charlie sat ont he exact same stool, drank the exact same brand of Scotch and ordered from the exact same bartender year after year. One would think Charlie Trouts Birthday party would be full of friends, sex women and located at an exclusive Manhattan club. But that was not the case. Charlie's Birthday was always just a part of one. Or two, if you count Joe the bartender.

RIVETING.

-Jess

A Film Accurately Disses Jess Even Better Than Gawker Commenters

"She's one of those third year girls who gripe my liver...You know, American college kids. They come over here to take their third year and lap up a little culture...They're officious and dull. They're always making profound observations they've overheard."
- An American in Paris

TOMORROW = SMOKING WEED LEGALLY

-Jess

Maturity

David visited me last weekend. We were bored and wanted to prank call someone. We thought we found Obama's phone number but it turned out to be the phone number of the Party for Socialism and Liberation in San Francisco. We called my stepbrother instead. We got my mom to tell us what he was wearing, where he was coming from and what he was doing: luckily for us he had just exited the bathroom.

Enjoy my hacking cough at the end. Somehow I am always sick.

Perpetuating Stereotypes

http://www.winterwomen.org/optimized/rosie01.jpg

Girl in my Expatriate Literature class explaining how she knew the 2nd narrator in DeBeauvoir's The Mandarins was a woman:

"I don't know, the writer just liked, seemed really insecure and unsure of themself, so I figured it was a girl."

I almost stabbed her with a highlighter.

-Jess

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Like a Britney

Circus is really good. It has the technological wizardry of Blackout, but more, ya know, melody.

But as Sam and I discussed at lunch today (because we're gay), "Trouble" is pretty much Madonna's "Get Together" slowed down and with an 8-Bit effect going on (those who use GarageBand will get that reference.) Listen for yourself (and if you go to the YouTube page, look at the comment. I wonder if that's what Britney's Bitch was thinking about as well):




-Josh

Oh My God

It's cold.

Yup, that's all I wanted to say. You know I can't resist a moment to bitch.

By the way, let's add "gloves" to the List of Things Josh Loses Every Couple of Months, a list that already includes:

1) Socks
2) Earphones 
3) Sunglasses (when they haven't broken from being squashed in my bag)
4) Pens, index cards, notebook paper
5) My NYUCard
6) The syllabus for any given class I'm in
7) MY MIND (oh snap)
9) Myself, in the music and the moment
11) Really nice lighters

-Josh

Watch the Hole Thing

Watch this short but awesome video. Ignore the dumbass comments and appreciate it for the few minutes of entertainment it provides--and the visuals ain't half bad, either.

-Josh

(P.S. As you might have guessed, I solved my second-biggest problem.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pie Charts, Prose, Same Difference


-Josh

It's Getting Colder

Winter's coming. It's been cooler in the city recently, but until today it had been a mild chill, a taste of things to come, winter's way of warming up. But it was absolutely freezing today, and it won't be long before I bust out my marshmallow jacket. It's big and beige and puffy and when you squeeze it, your fingers leave indentations that take a while to pop back to the surface. It is ridiculous and cozy.

Meanwhile, I just registered for Spring classes. It's really strange to think about Spring 2009 when we've just barely seen Winter 2008 rise its angry head. And, of course, I've been planning for Summer 2009, because I don't want to just go back to Jersey for three months but I don't think I can do another summer in New York. I'm thinking Berkeley or Boston. Any suggestions?

Well, the point is, I'm on a really weird internal clock right now. It keeps zooming forward and then hustling back and then slowing down to interminable minutes, seconds, tick, tock, waiting for that call back, registering for classes, academic articles far above my head stretched out like rubber over pages and pages, hours stoned on my bed, trying to write but paralyzed by the fear that these will prove to be the most exciting years of my life. Right now I'm in class and I swear the clock is broken.

Oh, and, last night I saw Synecdoche, New York. I walked out a little after halfway through. Hoffman was great, of course, but the movie just thought it was so clever when it was really just Eternal Sunshine for pessimists. If you liked it, that's great, more power to you, but you won't convince me it was anything more than Charlie Kaufman masturbating on a screen for two hours.

I can't wait to go home for Thanksgiving. I get a half day at work on Wednesday and then Friday off, so I'll actually get to spend some quality time with my family. My freshman self would never believe I'd say those words, but, you know, things change.

Of course, my allergies are getting bad again and I haven't come up with a title for my final workshop story this semester and I've started saying "L-O-L!" even though it's really obnoxious and I'm reminded how little some things change at all.

-Josh

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Magical WiFi

I woke up yesterday to free WiFi in my apartment. I don't know how it happened but there is now an open WiFi network with a very strong signal, and I'm not paying for it. I am currently typing this from my bed; blogging from bed! Something I used to do all the time and yet as of today had not done in months.

The trouble is I haven't really moved since I woke up two hours ago, because I watched an episode of The Hills and I read some blogs and I searched for (and coveted) Marni dresses on Ebay and I caught up on email. And now I'm supposed to meet this French guy Xavier at a tea house at 5pm and I haven't showered yet and I haven't done any of my homework and I haven't done the dishes or my laundry. I think I kind of liked not having the internet better.

Did you ever realize that the internet is its own tense? It is not the future or the past, and it is somehow not the present because you're not actually living your life or in the real world when you're on the internet. You enter a whole different stratosphere, and suddenly hours go by and you haven't spent them in the present or the past or the future; you've spent them in internet tense, and by the end of it you still probably only got one email.

There's no way I am finishing The Mandarins now.

-Jess