Friday, March 13, 2009

Off to DC

While Josh is soaking up some (much-needed) rays in the M-I-A, I'm off for a 3 day mini-vaca with my roommate to good ol' Washington DC. Kind of a random place to spend break but we're suckers for hot politicos in suits, and my faux-uncle is in Colorado for the week and graciously lent us his townhouse near the Eastern Market to crash at. If you're from DC, or know of any cool places to go in the area, leave a comment! Not sure how much I'll be blogging, but I have the trusty Bberry in tow which means Twittering (I am a TOTAL convert. I will post on this later) and 24/7 e-mail access. God, three full days without school or work. I'm jumping out of my skin. This was sooooo needed. Have a great weekend everyone!

-Jess

Thursday, March 12, 2009

NYU Local Stuff

I edit NYU Local on Thursdays so generally all my blogging goes on over there instead of here on Thursdays. Here are some of the pieces:

- Beloved Underage Drinking Mecca to Reopen

- Newspapers and Social Media Can be BFFs Afterall

- "Fuck new media," says Columbia J-School Professor

-Jess

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Parting Gift

Tomorrow is gonna be a pretty crazy day for me, and then Friday I'm off to Florida! I'll be back Monday night (really, Tuesday morning). I will have my computer with me and I'll try to blog from Miami, but in case I can't, here you go. You're welcome.




-Josh

Collectively Giggling at The Collective

My friend Will over at The Spurnalist made this video summing up the List of Demands created by NYU's newest student protest group, The Collective. It's fucking hilarious.



-Jess

Psst

New media is winning.

;)

-Jess

Yay

http://thejournalista.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/valerie.jpg

Obama set up a women's issue panel, to be chaired by Valerie Jarrett. Perhaps it's not the sweeping measure women's issues proponents were pining for, but I think it's a huge step forward. Women and girls are minorities with their own sets of problems and issues that deserve to be voiced and discussed. A whole smattering comes to mind right away: body image/eating disorders, sexism in the work place, rape, abuse, etc. While he may have pulled that whole "JK about the birth control" thing with the stimulus package, it's good to know our pres is looking out for the interests of women.

-Jess

Yes.

"The word “newspaper” will take on a different meaning, like “record album,” or “TV show.” It won’t go away, and it will continue to describe some of the most hallowed brand names in the world. Social media will play a big part in that transformation. As the dynamics of our society change, as institutions go public or private, or disappear entirely, the need to report these events in a responsible manner will be even more critical. Social journalism is more than a buzzword, it’s the way social media will save the industry."

-Woody Lewis, "10 Ways Newspapers are Using Social Media to Save the Industry"

What We Talk About When We Talk About Queefing

AIM IM with ******** 3/11/09 12:10 PM

"Someone" is at work.

Josh Becker
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AsxC4OdxquW3DT8LUR5r68LZxQt.;_ylv=3?qid=20090308204705AAwAMF1&show=3

Josh Becker
wait

Josh Becker
NSFW

Josh Becker
lol sorry

Someone
noooooo

Josh Becker

i forgot

Someone

now that's in my history

Someone

hahaha

Josh Becker

LOL

Josh Becker

that being said i wonder why steam would come out of your vagina

12:26 PM
Someone
yeah

Someone

somethings probably not right

Josh Becker

unless she's just queefing

Josh Becker

but idk if that releases any gases or if it's just like pfffft

Someone

but like...steam

Someone

queefs are just like air

Someone

god i shouldn't be typing this

Josh Becker

LOL how often do you queef

Josh Becker

are u proud when u do it?

Josh Becker

is it like how bros have farting contests?

Josh Becker

is queefing cathartic?

Josh Becker

"to queef or not to queef, that is the pfffft"

Someone

hahahah

Someone

i mean it's like an inevitability of sex

Josh Becker

well i'm not exactly a maestro with the vagina so i'd have no idea

Josh Becker

i just like

Someone

hahah

Josh Becker

ok.

Someone

its just when air gets pushed in or out or something

Someone

i don't knowww ok i should stop talking bout this right now

Josh Becker

"I queef, therefore I am"

Someone

and delete these logs

Josh Becker

LOL i'm blogging this

Josh Becker

is it okay if i call you *real name*

Josh Becker

or just "someone"

Josh Becker

"sir queefs a lot," if u will

Someone

i'd prefer "someone"

-Josh

WTF INTERNET

I can't believe this happened. I'm very close to shutting down my Twitter. Ew ew ew.

-Jess

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LolSam Waxes Philosophic on Friends in the Internet Age

Very interesting little think piece. Check it out.

-Jess

American Bitch

(As always, click for bigger.)

So I was looking over which classes I still need to take to fulfill my English major. One of them is a Critical Theory class, which, ew. Another one is American Literature, which I've put off for the past three years because the only thing I hate more than colonial-era American literature is the idea of going to class at 9:30 am to listen to someone lecture about colonial-era American literature.

But I'm just gonna have to suck it up and take the class and do my best to not fail out, because that's the way the world works. When I register for classes in a few weeks--on 4/20, actually--I will have to sign myself up for not only The Worst Class Ever but also a recitation. And hey, look at that, all the recitations are on Friday. Hooray! This class gets better and better.

-Josh

P.S. If you are a TA for this class or even the professor, don't hate me. It's not you, it's Walt fucking Whitman.

Squarepusher

This is a fun little game upon which I Stumbled. It takes a few tries to get the hang of it, but it's addictive. My personal best (so far) is a little over thirteen seconds.

-Josh

"You will damage your credibility and reduce your chances of getting to where you want to go (and should go) based on your great talents." - My Father

I got an interesting e-mail from my father this morning. It was peppered with many “I love you’s” and “You are so talented,” but its main message was a warning: I’m not going to get a job if I continue to blog about vibrators, sex, etc.

My automatic knee-jerk reaction was to scream at him (via CAPS!) for reading my blog when he is (as per our agreement) not supposed to, then claim that I do not want to work for any company that finds discussing something as natural as sex disturbing. But I guess the truth is that the world is more prudish than those I’m surrounded by in this liberal little Manhattan enclave lead me to believe, and there is some legitimacy to his concerns.

Self-censoring has always been one of those things I’ve grappled with. People who interview Josh and I frequently ask, “How do you know where the line is between sharing and TMI?” We never have a good answer to that question, and in fact generally mumble something about just “intrinsically” knowing. The truth is that we’re still learning. Most of us are. This is the first time anyone has ever had to deal with a situation like this. In 20 years I’m sure it’ll be nearly impossible to refuse to hire someone who has disclosed personal details about their lives online, as by 2030 I’m assuming everyone will just post naked pictures of themselves with captions like “What I’m wearing today!—Nothing ;)” and then link to them on TwitterSpaceBook.

I believe my Dad has always entertained fantasies of me parlaying my writing into some sort of political journalism career that will allow him to attend the White House press banquet or get him his much-wanted in with pundits like Chris Matthews. But the truth is, I’d rather talk about things like sex, things that are very relatable on a human level—but also hilarious, because I mean, Walgreens selling vibrators is pretty hilarious, right?—than I would talking about say, public policy. Part of me doesn't understand what's so wrong with writing about sex, but the other part knows that the "wrongness" of it simply originates from the way our society works. I can rage and rage and say women should be as sexually free as men, but it doesn't mean anything in the context of societal norms except that I am probably setting myself up to be screwed come hiring time. (What a sad, unfortunate fact)

I guess I’m trying to navigate what is appropriate and what is inappropriate. Before, at 19, I would have claimed that nothing is inappropriate and I am only being honest. But I guess my parents are trying to teach me that there is a limit to the amount of honesty you should put out there. I’m conflicted over this. My desire to write has always stemmed from a place of wanting to communicate the ways in which the world impacts me from an incredibly forthright and honest standpoint. I don’t want to self-censor myself, but I don’t want to fuck up opportunities that could arise. It’s a slippery slope.

I also received another interesting e-mail from a friend asking if he could give certain details of my personal life to some of his editors. My answer was, verbatim:“If you do this, I will destroy you.”

It’s a control thing. I can write about vibrators, and I feel comfortable doing so because I’m not actually talking about my sex life; I’m talking about sex in general. I have never mentioned the names of people I’ve been with, or specific things I’ve done, because those, I know, are private. There is a definitive line there, and I want to be able to monitor the kind of information concerning my personal life that gets disseminated. As the internet continues to become a veritable wild west free for all, that monitoring becomes more difficult. I guess I just don’t want to contribute to the potential pot of slanderous material that could be published about me. I don’t want people to be able to Google me and find out who I was dating. God, why would people even care about something like that? I am fucking boring. But unfortunately (and here comes the feminism), there is a tendency in the media to focus primarily on a woman's sexuality than there is on her actual talent. Yeah yeah, no blowjobs for bylines: I want to be judged by whatever talent I have and not for who I’ve slept with. Unfortunately I think that’s kind of a difficult thing to escape in some ways when looking to work in the media world. Somehow (a.k.a. via the internet) everything has become everyone’s business. Culture blogs with writer personality like J&J contribute to this bevy of personal factoids that stir the pot. But at least within the confines of these pages we have the ability to control what you know and what you don’t know about us.

These are the kinds of issues millennials will have to grapple with and navigate as we graduate and look for serious careers. My father was right in many regards, and frankly I’m proud of myself for not just ignoring his advice and shooting back a “Screw you for reading my blog when you’re not supposed to!” e-mail. God, I am growing up. I mean, isn’t that what this is all about? I don’t have the same license to casually fuck up anymore. If I want to be taken seriously as a writer, I have to market my brand in the way I want it to be consumed. It’s a terrifying thought, and one that I’m sure many young bloggers are struggling with. Will our oversharing bite us in the ass, or will it serve to showcase our writing in an honest and relatable way? Only time will tell, I guess. But a little self-censoring might not be such a bad thing from now on.

-Jess

This is a Video of My NYU Local Editor Playing the Ukulele



-Josh

Monday, March 9, 2009

DREAM COURSE

Media Technology and Society
An inquiry into the interplay of technology and contemporary society. Examines the ways in which technologies-mechanical, electronic, analog, and digital-have shaped and complicated our culture and society.

Though I'm sure as with most NYU classes it'll sound good on paper and then you'll get there and the professor will be a total douchebag, or you'll learn about applications you've been using since the 7th grade, or your ex-boyfriend will be sitting next to you. Whatevs.

-Jess

Sorry, no Plan B... but here! Have this pocket rocket!

So I'm all for a good sex toy, but wtf is Walgreens doing selling vibrators? I'm so confused. This is the pharmacy I try to avoid because they treat customers in need of Plan B so obnoxiously, and in some cases, refuse to sell it even though it's a legal and necessary over the counter drug (as I'm sure many of us girls can unfortunately attest to.) But now they decide all of a sudden they're down with sexual health and masturbation, despite the fact that their attitudes around the sale of Plan B stem from a highly religious (read: Christian) place? Isn't, um, masturbation a sin? Especially with the freakin Rabbit??

Props to Walgreens, I guess, for finding a PR-friendly way to discard their puritanism. It would be nice to have a 24 hour sex toy distributor for those horrible and ill-timed occasions your vib decides to murmur its final, pathetic bzzzzzz.

It is kind of hypocritical, though, since both masturbation and Plan B keep you from getting pregnant. If the outcome's the same, what's the real difference anyway? I mean, isn't jerking off into a tissue killing potential babies too? Alright I'll stop there.

-Jess

Letters and Numbers and Caffeine

Hello readers!

I have not been updating the blog as of late; Jess and I have both been supremely busy, more so than usual, and she knows how to manage her time better than I do.

But I've been doing well. My new internship keeps me busy both at the office and throughout the rest of the week, but it's all about blog research and digital marketing and new media and all that good stuff. One day the machines will enslave the human race and take over the world, but until that day comes, it's fun to do Official Office Research on Myspace. What can I say.

Also, um, midterms hit me like a truck, like a truck filled with the syllabi I've ignored for the past two months. All I have left to do is finish reading The Mixquiahuala Letters, a wonderful epistolary novel, the kind of book in which I'd underline every other sentence, if I did that sort of thing. Well, there's also this really important paper due on Thursday, which I have not started thinking about. Time management!

In case you read NYU Local and wonder where the hell I've been, well, blame a mix of lazy journalism (my fault) and editorial miscommunication (not entirely my fault), but I'll be back to a regular posting schedule this week. And then I go to Miami for a four-day fin de semana with my lovely Aunt Mady, who has a Facebook and looks fifteen years less than her actual age.

All of which is to say: don't cry for me, Jess & Josh fans--the truth is I never left you. Except I kind of did. And I'll only be posting sporadically, probably until I return from Florida.

Go to sleep or I'll kill you.

-Josh

Alexander McQueen for Target: Meh


One of the only downsides of living in Manhattan is that there is no Target in close-range to hit up; trips to the megastore are one of the few pleasures reserved for suburban homecoming. As a broke college student, I voraciously consume the affordable GO International designer lines the discount store runs. My favorite so far was probably the Erin Fetherston one, but the Rogan Gregory one was um, awful. Alexander McQueen recently launched a line, and to be honest, I'm really not that impressed. The only thing I would consider purchasing is this (pictured above), but with a price tag of $44.95, I will probably stick to scouring ShopBop for real designer finds at lesser prices.

-Jess

Ultimate Gossip Girl Summit

Lily Q, Will, Jacob and I attended the Ultimate Gossip Girl Summit on Saturday night. Here's the article I wrote about it for NYU Local. We met Dorota!

-Jess

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blackberries Are Amazing

When I got a Blackberry I became terrified that I would become one of those people with one foot permanently planted in the real world and the other firmly in Blackberry world. That is true. That is so, so fucking true. My friends complain that I am not "there" when I am there because physically my body and my voice and my presence exist, but my fingers are furiously givin' the old BB a good working over. It's obnoxious. I'm trying to wean myself off of it, ok? I'm sorry, ok? Ok.

But last night I was drunk on my roof with some lovely folks and I accidentally um, dropped my Blackberry off the roof and it fell two stories and smashed into 3 pieces? After squealing and fighting back tears and breaking out onto the precipice of Impending Hyperventilation, I climbed down the ladder, reassembled it, turned it on and waited for a breathless 5 minutes to discover if I was going to have to create one of those incredibly obnoxious "lolz i need ur #s" Facebook Groups.

BUT O-M-G. I dropped my Blackberry probably about 25 feet onto a hard surface and it... survived. It's not even cracked or scratched. And it wasn't in a case. This is a goddamn miracle. GET A BBERRY THEY ARE SO DURABLE, much moreso than the iPhone which is admittedly cooler than a Bberry in every other regard. Ha now that I typed this I'm kind of assuring an ex post facto malfunction but whatevs.

-Jess

Words to Make You Feel Sad/Happy/Nostalgic Because It's Sunday

On my previous post about the internet and poetry, J&J reader Sharon Clark gave me the heads-up on some new poets whose work I should check out. I perused them, but none gripped my rib cage and made me go "oooohhhh" quite like Jenny Boully. Click the link for a number of poems that will give you fever; they are so lovely.

-Jess

I Am Here, Or Am I?

http://www.google.com/latitude/intro.html#dc=gh0sla&utm_campaign=en&utm_source=gh0sla&utm_medium=ha&utm_term=latitude


I know that I originally said I would never get Twitter, that it was too narcissistic and self-indulgent and immediate. So I buckled, but whatever, I never claimed to have these sturdy moral values. What I'm trying to say is that the cell phone application Google Latitudes, along with the slew of other location-aware software available, freaks me the fuck out.

I frequently lie about my whereabouts, perhaps out of habit developed in high school. I would never, ever want to voluntarily implement GPS on my phone so that my friends could know where I am. And that's only if I used it honestly. You can also change your location so that you'll show up on the map in a place you actually aren't. Bizarre? Yeah. But think of the possibilities that crop up for law enforcement with all these newfangled gadgetywhatsits. Luckily Google has decided to not have your locations stored, and instead to have each new one overwrite the last. That way the police can't subpeona your phone records and find out if you're lying about your whereabouts when interrogating you for a crime.

Having Latitudes would have been a veritable nightmare in high school, though I suppose if you learned how to manipulate it you could always have that little red dot above the library while you were, say, fucking your high school boyfriend in the back of your parents' car? (ahem)

-Jess