Saturday, December 20, 2008

Au Revoir Bitches

My roommate and I just got into one of those ridiculous, stress-induced fights where she inevitably gives me a casual order while cleaning up for our apartment walk-through and I blow up at her because I have been harboring resentment about her negativity the past few days and then we both slam doors and storm about and I stay on the balcony smoking cigarettes and she stays in the bathroom applying makeup and we both don’t speak.

Case and point: moving to another country is hard.

We’ve been here for four months and it feels like years, albeit wonderfully robust years full of wine and some dark beauty. The first month was hell. We couldn’t get our heads on straight, yeah there was no fucking soy milk to be found, and we moved again from the 13th arrondissement to the 6th. Finally, once settled in this tiny loft, we adjusted to not having the internet and to thinking in French and to having a 45 minute metro ride to school every morning and to infrequently talking to our friends back home. We carved out a niche in our neighborhood: I buy my cigarettes at the Rue de Fleurus cafe and do homework at Starbucks on Montparnasse and eat crepes on Boulevard Raspails. For three months this was our home and we made the walks in the rain to the Notre Dame Des Champs metro stop every morning and we found soy milk at Naturalia and we bought clothes at the H&M on Rue de Rennes and we read in the Luxembourg Gardens. As excited as we are to get back to America -- and to the internet, and cell phones that aren’t shitty Nokia ones the US stopped making 3 years ago, and TOFU -- I think we’re also having a little bit of pre-separation anxiety from this gorgeous city we have called home since September. We will have reverse culture shock going back to the US: we will probably stay in front of our computers in bed for at least 48 hours, allowing our parents to dote over us. According to the NYU offices, we will stand frozen in the grocery store cereal aisle attempting to re-adapt to the fact that the only cereals in the world aren’t Special K and Cheerios. We will be those annoying assholes who speak FrEnglish and I will certainly smoke more cigarettes than I did when I left.

But luckily it is Christmas, so all of this can be put off until the New Year, at which point I will be in New York and probably too stoned to care.

I fly to New York TOMORROW, and then I’m spending a few days with my family in Philadelphia for the holidays. See you soon!

- Jess

Friday, December 19, 2008

Penning Down My Thoughts

I'm sitting in my friend's bedroom at a UPenn frat house. (A...coed frat house.) And I'm on the Internet! I'm so cool.

I love going to traditional college campuses, and not in a haughty "Oh these non-New Yorkers are trying their best!" kind of way, either. The concept of the college town, a cluster of businesses and services specifically catering to students, a centralized port of call for the thousands of students at your given American university, fascinates me. I sometimes wish I had something like that, a place that felt like a home for me as a student instead of a premature careerist.

My friend said I just "jumped the hipster shark," so in an effort to salvage whatever's left of my dignity, I'm gonna go talk about...whatever it is the rest of the people here are talking about. I have trouble connect to people IRL! I'm going to a frat-ish party later; we'll see how that goes.

-Josh

18 is Just Too Fucking Many

http://www.dlisted.com/node/29834


I think this should be illegal. I mean, how SELFISH can these people be? We live on an overpopulated planet tipping forever more quickly towards extinction. The US, and now the world, is facing the biggest economic crisis it has ever seen, but these ASSHOLES who refuse to use BIRTH CONTROL have to keep popping out babies (18 in 20 years!). What are they trying to do, build some kind of self-sustaining Utopian farm where their kids can reproduce with each other and create something akin to the world after Jesus' second coming? I mean, I would say this is none of my business, but the fact that they're splashed all over newspapers and giving interviews every time the mother gives birth from her tragically elastic one-size-fits-all vag MAKES it my business. I think they should be prosecuted for reckless endangerment and child labor, because they made these poor kids build the house they live in with their own tiny, delicate hands.

I mean, I don't think we should cap the number of babies at 3, but good God, isn't 10 more than enough???

-Jess

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Most Of Us Are Happy I Think"

My friend goes to The New School, where a massive student protest is happening. She was studying inside a campus building.

AIM IM with friend.
11:35 PM
friend: 5th ave is apparently is shut down in front of school
Joshua Becker: omgg
friend: like 100 cuny kids shows up outside
friend: and started to chant
Joshua Becker: LOL (Yes, I'm immature.)
friend: and kids inside 65 5th were debating whether to set off the fire alarms to let people in though a back door
Joshua Becker: kumbayaaaaaaa
Joshua Becker: are u even doing work
friend: not now
friend: i am too distracted
friend: i might head over around midnight
friend: or when i am closer to being done
friend: because i wont be able to come back in
Joshua Becker: wait how long is this supposed to last
11:40 PM
friend: however long it takes
Joshua Becker: to accomplish what
Joshua Becker: making kerrey resign?
friend: maybe
friend: there is a list of things they want
friend: ughh i wish i was done with this shit
Joshua Becker: what else
Joshua Becker: and do you want them?
friend: like choose provost
friend: i forgot the whole list (It's here.)
friend: yeah i do
Joshua Becker: what do you think about all this
Joshua Becker: like...why now
friend: well like finally we are getting our voices heard
Joshua Becker: actually can i put this convo on the blog
friend: like we established a student senate to have a better communication with the university
friend: and basically the university ignores everything
Joshua Becker: are classes suffering for that ignoring?
friend: in a way yeah
friend: becuase they are larger
friend: and we dont have the proper facilities
friend: i mean theyve raised tuiton like $3200 in the past 2 years
friend: but we arent reaping in any of the benefits
friend: all of our tuiton is basically going to build some new fancy 14 story building at 65 5th avenue
Joshua Becker: but aren't large class sizes and rising tuition a problem everywhere in nyc schools? it's a problem here at nyu too
friend: the school literally does not have the space
friend: yeah
friend: and kerreys paycheck is larger than most school presidents
friend: like we are talking john sexton status paycheck
friend: and the whole university is what, like the size of the freshman class at nyu
Joshua Becker: good point.
friend: i think it was the no confidence vote that was the straw that broke the camels back
Joshua Becker: does the administration (or the students for that matter) show any sign of caving?
friend: yeah
friend: people are complaining that they cant leave to go get coffee or wahtever
friend: and some think its stupid
friend: but i actually am really impressed that the students are taking the steps to create change
Joshua Becker: yeah
Joshua Becker: how exactly
friend: these are problems that i have even had with the university as a freshman
Joshua Becker: did the students take over the buildin
friend: i dont know exactly
11:50 PM
friend: they just all came toegther at like 8 pm last night i think
friend: and it kept growing and growing
Joshua Becker: and broke into the graduate studies building?
Joshua Becker: or is this a school-wide thing now
friend: no they didnt break in
friend: like it is called the graduate building
friend: but all schools have classes there
Joshua Becker: so they just didn't leave
Joshua Becker: once inside?
friend: there is a reading room, a lecture hall, cafeteria, admissions office, registrars plus 2 floors of classrooms
friend: i think that is how it worked, like i said, i am not entirely sure of how everything happened
Joshua Becker: are students joyful or unhappy right now?
friend: most of us are happy i think
Joshua Becker: like are their physical efforts catching up with them?
friend: what do you mean their physical efforts?
Joshua Becker: like
Joshua Becker: i imagine this is a taxing, tiring process
Joshua Becker: i guess you just have to have the spirit to keep up the effort
friend: yeah
friend: i heard that once student had full control over the building
friend: they started to blast music
friend: everyone is working together
friend: it is a really uniting thing
friend: i mean, there is kind of like a divide between the schools within the new school
friend: and this whole thing is bringing all of the schools together
friend: so that is a nice outcome
Joshua Becker: that's awesome, i can't imagine something like that happening at nyu
Joshua Becker: well
friend: that could be because nyu is soo large (I was more talking about unity between the vastly disparate schools at all, but my friend makes a good point.)
Joshua Becker: this'll conclude the interview, unless you have any last words for our readers.
friend: haha no i do not ill let you know if i hear things though
Joshua Becker: okay stay strong!

-Josh

P.S. I don't hate the New School. I think this protest proves my point, at least partially; there was a huge lack of communication between the administration and the students, and things need to change. I understand how important this is, but a little humor never hurt anyone. With that said, if you have any other information, please leave a comment!

UPDATE: A student sent a picture of the "occupied" building, taken from across the street (click for bigger):

Sparks-Breaker, You Got the Best of Me


Well there goes my nighttime energy source. A bunch of lawyers from across the country got MillerCoors to stop selling Sparks and other caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Which sucks, because they were convenient and effective and not nearly as disgusting as Gawker makes them out to seem.

And I'm pissed. If Sparks were actually proven to be dangerous, and lots of people were dying or being sent to the hospital from drinking them, it would make sense to pull them from the shelves. But the concern here is that by infusing these malt beverages with caffeine, MillerCoors is encouraging underage people to drink. But here's a secret, US Law: Teenagers will always find a way to get alcohol. Putting caffeine in these drinks didn't make them more appealing to kids; putting alcohol in them did.

And on whose behalf was this lawsuit filed, anyway? Who actually sued Sparks? And why not just fund better, more responsible alcohol education for minors? Lawyers made tobacco companies stop running TV ads--they didn't tell them to stop selling cigarettes. Maybe the tobacco people just have better lobbyists or something, but cigarettes are way more dangerous than caffeine drinks that are six- or seven-percent alcohol.

A consumer advocacy group leading the fight against Sparks claims that they "encourage binge drinking, injury and sexual assault amongst young people. Because, you know, regular alcohol doesn't lead to any of these things.

Have any more people died from overdosing on Sparks than from noncaffeinated alcoholic beverages? Until someone answers this question, I don't see how this lawsuit makes much sense.

-Josh

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long. And I have a hunch this'll be the first Facebook group of its kind to reach its goal. (Click for bigger.)

Love Shaq

I kind of really love Shaquille O'Neal's Twitter, even though we all know Twittering sucks. But there's only so much I can take of that site; what else can Shaq to do keep the LOLz rolling?




What do you know? 'Shaqtus.'

-Josh

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prenatal Twittering, or, Why the Internet Sucks

I hate everything about our culture because of shit like this. Some NYU grad student--a male grad student, because no woman would ever be this stupid or masochistic--came up with a device that transmits "small but detectable voltages" whenever the fetus in his wife's uterus kicks. Because what all pregnant women really want is an electronic device strapped around her stomachs! Why not stop there? Why not let the baby blog from inside the fucking womb?

He says he chose Twitter because not only is it easy to initiate an SMS message to any mobile phone, but it also acts as a data log.

Goddammit.

-Josh

Tick Tock

Hey guys guess what I'm exhausted and feeling pretty crazy HA HA HA HA HEEEEEE.

Why? Because I don't sleep anymore!

Yup, my body apparently decided that it doesn't have to, ya know, go unconscious or anything when I'm lying in bed with my eyes closed. No, NyQuil does not help (any longer.) Nor does weed, because I inevitably stay awake the entire time I'm high (stupid funny things never stop amusing me, in case you couldn't tell), and then I get some sort of second wind and can't fall asleep. Over the past three nights I've probably gotten as many hours of shut-eye. And I'm traveling this weekend (to Pennsylvania, but still) so I need some energy! Does anyone have any suggestions? Chamomile tea doesn't work either, because it just makes me have to get up and pee every hour, because I have the bladder of a 70-year-old.

If you don't have suggestions, can you at least offer me some sympathy? Because that is truly the greatest gift of all. Besides cash. I'm broke. And rambling. HEH HEH HEEEE.

-Josh

WORST NEWS EVER


Noooooo! :(

-Jess

Yes, Yes You Are

Ah, young, gay, in-the-closet love. "Hot In My Parts" should totally be Nelly's comeback single.

Sorry I've been AWOL lately. Finals are making me care about school again--crazy, I know!

-Josh

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Je pense que c'est vrai

http://secretum.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/louis_garrel.jpg


The #1 reason I will be sad to leave France is here.

;)

Thanks to Sam for the link.

-Jess

Monday, December 15, 2008

People I Want to Get Married


http://www.daemonstv.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/go107_266b-bd4a4d22-t3.thumbnail.jpg


http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2007/features/30secpoll/071029/jody_brody300.jpg


-Jess

Something to Make You Laugh This Soul-Crushing Exam Season


Peter Griffin winking at a jailed and cracked out Jesus.

That is all.

Journalism is not dead!

In fact, it just got a whole lot more fucking awesome.

Sadly, due to lack of internet/the fact that I live in fucking Lalaland aka France, I was told of the fact that President Bush got attacked by an Iraqi journalist hurling his own two shoes by the security guard at my school building.

Best. Fucking. Thing. Ever.

Video below.



-Jess

Ready, Set, PANIC

I wrote this last night and then I did not go to sleep for the entire night. Not even one of those prototypical Sunday sleeplessness experiences where you feel like you did not sleep even though you did, but whereupon I actually did not ever fall asleep and spent six hours staring at the wall and listening to white noise:

I’m having one of those incredibly ironic panic attacks where I need my Xanax really badly but my panicking was actually spurred on by the fact that I somehow lost my Xanax. I think I accidentally left it in the pocket of the chair in front of me on the plane home from Prague. I was so sure I had stowed it away safely in my purse just before getting off the plane but I cannot find it on my desk or in my piles of clothes or in my suitcase. It is definitely lost and the fact that I can’t freak out because I do not have a medical safety net is causing me to motherfucking freak out.

I couldn’t fall asleep earlier tonight because I was thinking about my flight home on Sunday and how scared I am to spend 8 hours suspended mid-air above the Atlantic Ocean. Then my brain wouldn’t turn off so I went searching for my Xanax and thus realized I could not find it. I could not be more serious when saying this: I need my fucking meds to fly. I am fundamentally immune to Tylenol PM and Nyquil because I’ve basically been taking them at least once a week since I was 12. There is nothing in the store strong enough to quell my anxiety the second that plane starts down the runway. I usually take two Xanax and drink a glass of wine and I’m still crying and perpetually on the verge of a full-blown hyperventilation and limited circulation panic attack. Oh! Kind of like now!

I will have to call the French doctor and see if he can somehow prescribe me a controlled substance just because I asked for it. In American-accented French. On the phone. Or I will have to find some way to get my parents to send me a controlled substance through the incredibly slow and unreliable international mail and have it magically on my doorstep by Sunday morning. Or I will be prostituting myself so I can raise money to book a ticket on a transatlantic ship, in which case haha jk about that New York New Years party see you guys in February.

-Jess

The Worst Facebook Status in the World

Keep in mind that it's 3am. And that he uploaded this from his phone.

This is why New York sucks.

-Josh

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Once Last Look at the Election



Change! Well, at least they wore different ties.

-Josh

P.S. I know this is a relatively old video but I just came across it, and I think it's very indicative of our media culture. Maybe this is why print (and, to a lesser extent, televised) journalism is in trouble! Because people are realizing that all the different news outlets essentially say the same thing.

Embarrassing High School Diary Entries #3

From Sam:

I feel like my life is one big ellipsoid these days, and I keep swinging around and around it. An ellipsoid being the locus of all points in space for which the distance from one point is equal to something minus the distance from another point. Or something like that, I don't even remember that from precal. But what exactly is the equation of the tangent to my ellipsoid at the point (now, f(now))? Deep thoughts from someone who hasn't done a bit of calc studying this weekend :-/

No, Sam, there is no I in your English teacher's email saying to remember "a couple of pens" for tomorrow's exam. You dirty boy. Oh, fuck. Tomorrow's exam. AaaaaaaaaahI'mactingmorenervousthanIreallyambecauseI'mtryingtodistractmyselffrom
Tuesday'sexamsheeheeitsayssex.

From Anonymous:

My party..nicole told me I was having a surprise party..great surprise. They dont wnat me to invite grace wtf obviously I have to and now i have the whole inviting stpeh and laura situation it’s just so hard and nicole’s been pissing me off and she always is asking grace what is wrong and now she denies it w/e omg and she always goes and pretends she’s margaret on her sn its so annoying!!!!!!!!

Tonight margot and I are going bak to the bowling alley..caffeine pills and bacardi baby its going to fun i hope!

True Millennialism

Know how I knew my friend Michelle was in the same Starbucks as me, even though it's huge and crowded?

Because her name showed up on my iTunes under Shared Music.

Creeeeeeepy.

-Jess

Happy Fucking Holidays

My mom and I had one of those awkward conversations last night where I could tell she was already in a bad mood and I had smoked too much hash to truly discuss anything of serious weight but I was intent on doing so anyway because goddamn do I love to philosophize after smoking. She started complaining about how my little sister Ali was upset that our Stepmom had gone with she and our Dad to get the Christmas tree this year because that was "their thing" and she felt like some special holiday tradition was somehow being infringed upon. My mom had no patience for this observation and fired something back to the effect of, "Dad and Anmarie have been married for almost four years now, when are you going to get used to it?"

The answer to that question is: never. Or, at least not until Ali moves out and lives on her own away from the constant reminders that our family is the 21st century version of "normal" in that we have four parents and a stepbrother and a large extended family that buys us holiday gifts but doesn't know our middle names. My mother retorted by saying, "What did your father and I ever do to you girls? It was a life change and we were all equally impacted by it." I dropped the second spliff I was rolling and I said this to my mother, and perhaps it is unfair -- in fact I am well aware that it is completely unfair but the entire situation is unfair, and guess what, as my Dad likes to say, "LIFE isn't fair," so I said something to the extent of: "Mother, it is your fault, because Ali and I didn't divorce you guys-- you divorced each other. So forever, until we are all dead, Ali and I will be the victims of this situation. And we are allowed to feel however unfairly we want to about it because it was an unfair situation. YOU did this to US and we try our best to not remind you of it frequently but sometimes, especially around the holidays, we are all reminded, and it is unpleasant, because nobody likes to feel guilty but sometimes that's just what happens."

And my mother said, "But what did we do to you? Life changed! It could be so much worse. You are so lucky it was as amicable as it was."

Sure, but everything is relative. I am well aware that I am luckier than roughly 80% of the world, though it is those other 20% that I frequently rub up against at NYU. I can't help but feel completely incredulously about my mother's attitude, because it was awhile ago, but these feelings don't ebb easily, and it was a life change, but it was one they actively pursued and thus exacted upon their children. It's obvious that things would have been easier if the divorce had never happened, if my mom had taken the necessary medications earlier on that wouldn't make me so perfectly attuned to her perilously shifting moods, if my father wasn't working all the time. So part of it isn't their fault, but a grand portion of it is, and just because it's been six years doesn't mean that blame goes away. I don't think it ever truly does. It feels softer after you move out and you forge your own life and you understand that adult relationships are complicated and divorce basically inevitable. You forgive but you don't forget and it doesn't go away. And that's something that we all have to live with.

-Jess

Lily Allen Covers "Womanizer"

http://buzzworthy.mtv.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/lily-allen-gq-03.jpg

And I like her version better than the original. Click "File" and then "Save As" if you want to save it into your iTunes.

-Jess