Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Which came first, the internet or my intimacy issues?"*

One of the reasons I went home this weekend was so that I could see my therapist and he could refill my prescription for antidepressants. Unfortunately our little chat turned into him convincing me it's time to wean myself off of them- not really a suggestion I wanted to hear considering I'm currently freaking out about my life's trajectory.

I've been taking antidepressants for 3 years; long enough to be completely adjusted to (and perhaps reliant upon) them, but short enough for me to remember what a complete terror I was off of them. Blackout crying fits, uncontrollable anxiety and OCD, frequent lashing out. I was literally a completely different person. I started taking them when I was 18, so who knows how much of my poor behavior back then stemmed from pure teenage angst. But it was awful enough that I would not willingly return to that place. It's not even for myself: I could NOT put my friends and family through that again. And no one at college knew me before I went on them, so I think it would be difficult and strange for them to have to go through that harsh period of adjustment I'd undoubtedly have to endure.

When I was 18 I didn't really consider the repercussions going on antidepressants at such a young age might reap. I was just so... blank. I couldn't stop doing all of my little rituals, I couldn't stop crying for no reason other than pure frustration over minuscule things like being unable to find a lost sweater at 7am before school. Everyone knew I was kind of fucking crazy but I didn't talk to anyone about it, because I have this wall up, and ugh my therapist totally was all, "you know that wall relates to everything in your life?" like how I'd prefer to type all this into an unemotional little white box instead of confide in someone personally about it, or how I date assholes instead of nice guys because I'm afraid of actually *liking* someone and having that turn into something real, and how I completely shut down when anyone in my family attempts to discuss something serious. I have been like this my entire life, using the pen and the fucking keyboard to keep everyone at a safe enough distance. Try talking to me about any of this in real life and I will probably RUN from you, like, physically ESCAPE. (No but seriously please don't try talking to me about this IRL)

Soooo my therapist wants me to work through all of this shit, and he thinks I need to do it not on antidepressants. I've tried to go off of them before and let's just say that did not go well. I'm putting it off until the summer so that I won't have school to worry about, but I'm already incredibly anxious about it. When I went on them I was a robot for three months but I eventually adjusted and learned how to write on them and how to feel a relatively wide breadth of emotion. I guess I always thought I'd take them my entire life, but the truth is that they're so new that no one in the world has really been on them for a long enough time for doctors to say what long-term use will do to me.

I just know I'm terrified of losing everything I've built by going off of them, things that I would never have been able to accomplish had I not had a little chemical help. I find myself swinging into these terrifying lows even on them, where I strangely regret attempting to regulate something so fluid and natural as emotion. When it comes down to it, my brain is diseased! But doesn't that kind of seem like a cop out?

Whatever I guess I'm just trying to say: worst spring break ever. LET'S DRINK.

-Jess

*For the record I posed this question in jest: as in, I asked if I could set up my next appointment via e-mail so I wouldn't have to go through awkward phone appointment-making, and then he tied even THAT into my fear of human connection, and so I asked, jokingly, "Which came first, the internet or my intimacy issues?" and he responded "I think we know the answer to that." But like, I don't. I have no fucking idea. And who even cares???

Natasha Richardson Didn't Wear a Helmet

Obviously it's a tragedy that she died, I truly hope her family makes it through this traumatic time together, she was a talented actress whose loss will be felt by everyone in the theatrical community, true true true. But come on. She couldn't pay ten dollars for a helmet? Especially since she was a beginner? She took that increased risk of injury when she chose to decline protective headgear.

Helmets aren't totally protective, obviously; if you're going fast enough, they won't protect the contents of your skull too well anyway, and many skiers also note that helmets decrease peripheral vision and have the potential to create false senses of security that lead to potentially dangerous accelerations. All of which is true, but as this Time article points out:

Those claims may well have some truth, but seat belts too may create a false sense of security, yet few people argue the wisdom of wearing them. Helmets may not provide the same level of protection as a seat belt, but in some cases, even inconsistent protection may make all the difference.

All I'm saying is that when you decline a helmet, you decline a safety tool. Richardson should have been better persuaded to wear one, both by those around her as well as by her internal sense of reason. I hope that what happened to Richardson at least serves as both a warning and a reminder to others that, regardless of how dorky it looks, you should always wear a helmet--even if you're just riding your BMX to the library or hopping on a skateboard in Union Square.

-Josh

Friday, March 20, 2009

What Am I Going To Do With My Life?*

*Because I'm home for a few days surrounded by the relics of my long-forgotten childhood, I'm taking the time to of course expound upon the future and self-induce a mini panic attack when I realize that I have to get a real job and start the rest of my life in a year and I don't want to, I don't want to at all, I want to stay in the comfy lap of academia FOREVER.
But here are the options.

1. J-School: I really want to go to J-School. I know it's pretty pointless, and the programs I would consider entering (Berkeley or Columbia, maybe even NYU again) aren't new media savvy enough to satisfy me. Plus even if it was new media centric it would be boring and a repeat of what I already teach myself by reading Mashable. And I don't want to take the two years off they recommend. I kind of just want to keep studying and being at school. I'm a dork and I'm also terrified of this scary thing called the "Real World" as emphasized by recent activities like me having to pay the ConEd and TimeWarner bills, and changing the lightbulbs in my bathroom while standing on a swivel chair, and breaking up with people who treat me like a blowjob machine.

2. Working: This is terrifying to me because by "work" I don't mean "score a totally awesome job writing about tech and social media and life." I mean like, "working at Duane Reade while I try to make enough money to support my freelance career" or "commit inappropriate acts because I was young and needed the money" (c/o emarevee). Not only does the economy blow right now, but Web 2.0 is about to explode in our faces and journalism just had its last, rattling gasp. The irrelevancy of my $200,000 NYU education is just startling.

3. Moving back into my parents' house and helping my sister compose text messages to her crush who has both of his ears pierced and goes to some all-boys Catholic school, while watching my 14 year old dog/love of my life slowly prattle on towards puppy heaven, and then stealing some Klonopin from the bathroom cabinet and falling asleep watching "Jon and Kate Plus Eight."

Wait, all of these options suck.

Ok now I'm freaking out. Help. Please help.

-Jess

Whew; Now Here's a Music Review

I actually have a brief break at work. Who knows how long this will last, but in the meantime, a brief music review:

Living Thing, the new Peter Bjorn and John album, is really good. Well, some of the songs are really good. "Stay This Way" is a terrific song, the kind of song with whose lyrics I immediately identify (romantic anxiety? Self-doubt? Cheesy lovey-dovey lines that make me swoon in spit of myself? Check, check, for the love of Bjorn, check!) I found myself getting bored at time with the drumbeats-and-vocals pattern they seem to have acquired, but maybe that's your cup of tea. There's still fun to be had on this album; check out "I Want You!" and "Last Night" if you're looking for melody. "All that I want is no more falling," Peter (or whoever sings these songs) moans on the latter track, and the piano background is appreciated if for no other reason than distracting us from the fact that he's sad.

Because here's the thing: Living Thing is not Writer's Block. There's no "Young Folks" here; the band seems to be heading in a darker, sparser, almost hip-hoppy direction (or just plain ol' psychadelia, as in "I'm Losing My Mind"), drifting away from the twee dance-pop that made their previous efforts so enjoyable. Which isn't to say you won't enjoy this record; it just means you'll enjoy it if you enjoy brooding, and there maybe won't be five thousand hipster remixes of any of the tracks. Except maybe the lead single. It's a little "D.A.N.C.E."-y, yes, but it also gets the job done in terms of catchiness and accessibility.

So there you go. Peter Bjorn and John are depressed. Join the club! (Ha.)

-Josh

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just Chuggin' Along



-Josh (and special guest not to be confused with Miss Crackle-ackle)

It's Still Spring Break

Even though I'm at work, and the antidepressants I started taking haven't really kicked in yet (they're to be given another week, or something), and it's raining outside, and I just remembered that I actually have quite a bit of homework to do for next week...it's technically spring break, and I'm taking a break from both NYU Local and, um, blogging in general. Sorry.

-Josh

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be Mine

(Screenshots via Revolve Clothing)
Lusting hardcore after this BOULEE dress. The color, the lowcut back! Oh, Revolve Clothing, what you do to my heart, wallet...

-Jess

Geeking Out

(Image via Mashable)
Mashable pointed me (via Twitter!) this morning to a new Blackberry application I have been desiring for quite some time. Pandora for Blackberry is finally available!

Pandora has been a successful app on the iPhone for awhile now, but us second-tier Bberry users have kind of been getting shafted in the applications department. (I'm sorry, I don't want to lose my Verizon network!) But Pandora for Bberry is amazing.

All you need to do is navigate to http://www.pandora.com/blackberry from your phone, and then download the application. It takes less than a minute. If you already have an account with Pandora, sign in and all of your stations will appear immediately. The sound quality is good (considering you're playing music from your phone), the application is fast-running and the interface is clean and classy.

I listen to Pandora obsessively, particularly at work, so this is kind of a life-changing event for me. It's great for when you're sick of all the music on your iPod, or if you want to just listen to a specific type of music without having to create a playlist. Ok I am a major dork but you guys should check it out.

-Jess

I Wonder Who's Poked Him

I know it's Wednesday, but it feels like a Monday to me since I was away Monday and home Tuesday (to be fair, I landed at one in the morning). That has nothing to do with anything, except for that I need a pick-me-up. I love Facebook parodies, especially when they're done cleverly, and this one hits the mark. (Best part: "daguerreotypes".)

-Josh

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meeamee

Palm trees, warm weather, Burger King: these are a few of my favorite things...
Well, Florida was wonderful. If you see me in the next couple days, you'll notice that I got pretty sunburned on my nose (and, should things get steamy, a good portion of my midsection).

My aunt lives in Coral Springs: thirty minutes from the beach, about an hour to Miami. We drank daiquiris by the shore and ate on Ocean Drive, right in the middle of Ghetto Spring Break (I think I saw a longtime bouncer at Ruff Club waddlin' down 12th Street, in fact.) But it was sunny and in the mid-seventies every day, and my Aunt Mady is gorgeous so all the guys kept hitting on her and I felt like they were hitting on me, too, by association. And it felt nice.

Anyway, I don't have much else to report because not much else happened. It was very relaxing and needed. Now I'm back in the city and have work tomorrow. Ah, memories!

-Josh

Whitney Port: Independent Woman

Whitney did something on The City last night that no girl star of a shitty reality show on MTV has done before: she turned down a gorgeous Australian after he muttered those three poignant, empty words-- I love you.


Ms. Port may have caught some major flack for agreeing to her own spinoff set in our beloved New York Shitty, but let us not forget that she was always the most tolerable Hills star, graduated from an elite university, and more or less kept her private life absolutely private up until The City premiered. She may not be THE role model, but she is definitely less hollow and more emotionally resilient than the other vacuous bobbleheads that lithely tap dance across the screen during these godforsaken scripted reality TV dramz that I cannot stop watching.

Let us consider Audrina, Heidi and Lauren (and by consider I mean go read those posts I linked to as they discuss each woman in a feminist context). And now, here is Whitterz, turning down the hottest guy to ever grace The Hills/The City so that she can concentrate on her job, on her life in New York, on not being shamed on national television.

"I lost myself in us," she stated. Her eyes big, wet saucers, her mouth curved in hard determination. And haven't we all felt that way at some point? I mean, honestly, all sarcasm aside: I can't relate to anything on this show and I live in New York. I can't afford to go to the places they go to, I can't afford their outfits or their "jobs." And while there are a bevy of assholey male models, as far as I know there aren't too many good-looking Australians roaming this city. But along, finally, comes relevancy in the final episode: we have all felt the struggle between school/career and man (or, at least, have felt the repercussions of staying up all night, naked, smoking cigarettes in bed with some guy, when you have 9am class the next day), and we have all probably wished we made the decision Whitney did. Because let's face it, if she threw her arms up and said, "You know what, Jay. I do love you. I love you so much that I'm going to quit DvF and go with you on tour" we probably would have all gone, "Ehhh... that's uncomfortably realistic."

But in true "absolutely nothing about this show is real" fashion, Whitney broke out of that pathetic girl mode and proclaimed her independence! She is fierce, she is free, she is unshackled by the bonds of male commitment. She unknowingly became a little feminist-- at least in the context of The City-- and girls everywhere considered quitting their dead-end relationships via AIM.

And then Allie took Adam back and killed it all.

-Jess

Sunday, March 15, 2009

God Fucking Damn It Stupid Comedic Movies Disappointment Me More Than Even The Most Heartbreaking Guys

Real post from Miami on the way, obviously, but I had to let you know--right now!--that Step Brothers, that 2008 Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly actin' doofy screwball flick, fucking sucked. The trailers made it look hysterical! Ferrell and Reilly are both talented, funny dudes. But I don't know, man, I was stoned so this movie really had everything going for it, but it blew. Reilly and Ferrell aren't spoiled forty somethings; they're middle-aged men with development problems, because they act like retarded orphans. That's the movie. "John C. Reilly is a retarded orphan who wears American Apparel briefs everywhere." The film has its moments, as you'd expect it would, but I was expecting near-Love Guru*-type levels of hilarity...damn. Adam McKay, I hoped for more from you than this. I guess I hoped wrong. What would Pearl have to say about this sad sack of shit you called a movie? Probably "Jldajofejaguhagtfkdsadja," which would be the sound of her vomiting up all her childhood wonder. Step Brothers: wasting my time, ruining children's lives. Nice work, fellas.

-Josh

*Pre-actually seeing the movie, when it still looked like the last beacon of comedy to me and Jess.

Born an Adult

I hate going out. Anyone who knows me understands that it's a huge feat for me to leave the house after 11pm, because I generally don't have fun/get overwhelmed in large groups and I have this thing where I feel incredibly guilty if I'm awake really late because I know I'm wasting a huge portion of the next day. I thought turning 21 would force me to go out more, and while I suppose it has to some extent, I still pretty much despise it. It's gotten to the point where I will literally get dressed up and start drinking, then decide I'm tired and would rather stay home and read. Even last night, on our vaca in DC, my roommate and I took two metros to go to Adams Morgan, then decided we were tired and after getting hardcore hit on by a southern boy from Mississippi, decided it was time to hit the sack instead. Why am I a 40 year old in a 21 year old's body? It's bizarre.

Actually, I'll tell you why. It's because I used to go out. A lot. At 18 I did the New York club circuit- the music, the drugs, the kissing ass of wannabe NYLON employees. Freshmen year was not your typical college experience: there were no dorm parties, no frat parties, no traditional "let's throw a dinner party" parties. Freshmen year was me and my friends, on a shitton of drugs, going out to exclusive 21+ places until 6 in the morning. It was staying until the club closed and then taking the subway to Brooklyn to continue partying until brunch time. It was adderall and never sleeping and missing class and getting shitty grades and dating a slew of unacceptable men too old and too immature for me. Freshmen year is a blur because all of my friends-- incredibly wonderful and responsible and intelligent people-- all went crazy. Things got completely out of control. Some of us dropped out, some of us took a semester off, some of us learned that we couldn't continue at that rate and slowly adjusted to the idea that college is not all about getting as fucked up as possible. We were young and immature and ridiculous. We had come from the suburbs and we took New York by the neck and we didn't want to let go, no matter what, because we were in this wonderful city and we could, for the first time in our lives, do whatever we wanted. And so we did, we did whatever we wanted for an entire year. We fucked and fucked up and drank and fought and got in trouble and redeemed ourselves.

It was tumultuous but it was also beautiful, for what it was, because we were too naive and young to understand the implications of it all.

And I wouldn't trade it in, but now I'm kind of suffering the consequences of peaking too early. Instead of having a seamless ascent into grownup life where going out is a privilege and not a 4 out of 7 days a week activity, I now kind of see going out as a chore. It used to be see and be seen, drink and get drunk. Now, at 21, the first time I can legally doing all of these things, I'm just completely uninterested.

I'm not sure if this is a bad or a good thing. On the one hand, I'd rather be realizing this now instead of at age 30. But on the other hand, it'd be nice to recapture that carefree attitude I toted freshmen year, so I wouldn't always have to feel like such an old, boring person.

I really should have just made the body of this post "Wow I am lame."

-Jess