Saturday, March 28, 2009

Car Crashes

My little sister got into a pretty serious car accident last night. She is injury-free and I'm not allowed to blog about any of the details (familial obligation!), but I'm kind of freaking out a little bit. This was one of my worst nightmares; she just turned 17 and is 5 feet tall and I always worry about her driving because I still see her as my baby sister, and the idea of her maneuvering a vehicle still weirds me out. I dread getting phone calls where my Dad's voice goes all low and somber. I've gotten a couple in my time, believe me, and they never bode well. Luckily everyone is safe and unharmed, just shaken up and with expensive car bills to pay.

My biggest fear is losing someone close to me: when and if it ever happens, I will probably just up and run away and not speak to anyone for awhile, as that is the mature way I handle most of my problems. Perhaps I should take P Diddy's Tweets to heart and learn to better prioritize my life.

Also I just got a text from my sister that my Dad got into a car accident today. WTF? WTF, Roy family? Can we learn how to drive, please? He is also fine but now both of our cars are fucked up. And great, we prob can't afford to fix them cuz of the recession. THANKS, LIFE. My sister adds, "I don't know what's going on but we don't have luck!" Actually we do. Our cars may be broken but our hearts are intact. (Fade out)

-Jess

Backless Dresses are Back (Ha)

There is something about backless dresses I find incredibly sexy. I'm not one for showing a ton of skin, though my penchant for shirts-as-dresses has become somewhat of a Jessica Roy staple and if it's below the knee I probably won't wear it. But backless clothes are a simple, easy way to feel sexy. Today after running around SoHo/the East Village with Josh and Sam, I came home and decided to browse my favorite online boutiques instead of spending money I don't have. Here are my favorite backless items:





Being a Dick on the Internet is so 2003

The funny thing about the internet is I can see what you Twitter about me. I'm not sure what the deal is but people really don't realize that the internet isn't a private conversation. It's highly public. And there are these things called "search engines" and one of your friends might jokingly type your name into one and then, mortifyingly enough, all the sites that have mentioned your name will appear. It's soooo weird, you guys, you should try it. Case and point: Twitter Search. It's this cool little device and it'll show you who's talking about you! And like, who's talking about you might be some absolutely obnoxious girl from Texas whom you've never met or spoken to or even heard of in your entire life, but who has decided to post a tweet about you anyway because of something she read on a gossip site like, 8 months ago. LOLZ.

I'm really, really tired of this. I'm serious. For some reason this has gotten me way more angry this morning than any of the other shit ever written about me, potentially because this random girl was unfairly critiquing something I worked incredibly hard on and was very proud of, but also because it's just gotten so fucking old. The internet has been around for awhile now, folks. Can't we figure out how to use it for good instead of evil? Can't our moral backbones catch up with our technological necessity? I don't think I'll ever get the whole "I'm going to be mean on the internet just because I can" movement, and besides, how middle school/2003 is it anyway?

Why can't the internet just be a beautiful place where we send each other e-cards (someecards, even!) and tag pictures on Facebook of us drinking and having a lovely time, and post videos of giggling babies on YouTube*, and people can blog their little hearts out and if you don't have something nice to say, JUST LIKE IN REAL LIFE, you don't say anything at all? Because at this point, with adults spending 8 hours in front of a screen each day, the internet basically is real life, so maybe, just maybe, if you consider yourself a good person in real life, you should stop acting like a complete asshole on the internet. It's not that hard, people!

I've written about this before (also here, here, and here) and so have millions of other people so I really don't need to rehash it any further, but seriously, how much longer will it take for people to realize that it's not cool to shit all over other people via HTML???

-Jess

*Laughing babies:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Okay I Can't Stay That Depressed On Such a Nice Day

Therefore:



I am drinking Naked juice, by the way. And it is indeed making me better feeling in this hot, stuffy office.

-Josh

Squeeze Play

I am afflicted with that most awful of mental conditions: self-loathing. On top of all the stress and guilt that comes with forcing your mom to give you what little money she can every week--still, still too spoiled for my own good, still not ready for authentic independence--because I can't find a job, I have a habit of magnifying the bad things in my life while ignoring the good.

My high school psychology teacher said this is a normal thing for people to do: according to him, Kristi Yamaguchi once said she could perform nine perfect routines and screw up once, but all she'd remember afterwards was the one low score, the one missed turn, the one slip on the ice because she didn't bend her knees before the salchow jump. I guess I'm a lot like Kristi Yamaguchi that way.

Because you know that when I bitch about something, I'm leaving things out; it's nothing intentional, but since all I see in myself is room for improvement, I focus on what needed improvement, on what went wrong. It's like constantly adjusting the picture on the wall, trying to get it level. It always looks a little crooked.

The picture: a hip party in Chinatown. It's a "gay party," so I already feel inadequate. I've always felt inadequate around my gay friends, who dress better, who tell stories funnier, who date men and give perfect blow jobs and can manage to do their hair in the morning even when they're hungover. And the ones who "aren't like that" just seem so happy with themselves for being exceptions to the rule that heteronormative men bequeathed the gay community after they learned they had to tolerate everyone; it's my legacy to wear skinny jeans, because I'm different, the legacy that maybe left the stage after the AIDS crisis and Rent brought gayness to the straight world's attention, the legacy that despite having left sticks to me anyway like flypaper.

And all the people at this party--all the guys, anyway--are exactly what you'd expect them to be. Perfect. Popular, fashionable, confident, and all of a sudden I feel like I'm back in high school, secretly praying for some stranger's admiration but really just trying not to get laughed at, and the drinks were too expensive and the music was a little too twee and the two friends with whom I'd arrived are having a great time and man, am I bringing them down. I drag them to a booth in the back. I shouldn't drink so much while taking antidepressants, my psychiatrist tells me, and I don't believe her until I start to feel sad--really sad--way sadder than is called for, even at the most tragic of parties. And I'm sad and stirring my drink with the slice of lime and playing with my phone and wishing I'd stayed home and I keep hearing: "What's wrong? Are you okay?" Those are the worst questions to hear when something's actually wrong, because how can I tell my friends what I'm feeling, everything, that I feel like my history is slithering up my body like a snake and it's going to poison my smile with the kind of sadness usually reserved for old people who've lost something, like a loved one in a war.

I excuse myself; I have to use the bathroom, yes, right now; I walk to the first deserted hallway I find and cry, not even tear up but actually start sobbing like they do in romance novels, because I'm a broken little toy whose owner never cared enough to fix him, which is what I feel like every time I say something wrong, I trip over a crack in the sidewalk, I hurt my friend's feelings, I'm ignored by stupid guys at a dumb party that I've placed on a pedestal because if I can't compare myself with anyone then I can't feel inferior, and feeling inferior is what I'm all about, man, and as long as I can keep feeling inferior and keep trying to improve myself then I won't have to reach...wholeness, which frightens me with its finality and resolution more than any growling bouncer ever could.

Did you know I used to have social anxiety? Yes, of course you knew that, you have to have known, and maybe it was just too much time stuffed in the closet or being the only kid in my sixth-grade class who gave a fuck about the presidents or the chemicals in my brain knocking against themselves like bumper cars, little electric shocks bouncing off my nerves and making my limbs move towards the corner of the room, the exit door, my bed where I can masturbate and feel in control of my idealized love life, which has always just been in my head anyway.

When I say anxiety, I mean the kind of thing for which they give medication, and the fact that I never took pills for my issues as a kid is either a sad testament to my weakening spirit or evidence of the increasing influence of the pharmaceutical industry. I remember being at my aunt's house in Florida and sitting at a long table in her backyard and the air felt like syrup and I was sweating so much beneath my cargo shorts and I kept squeezing my aunt's hand under the table because she knew how uncomfortable I felt. There was nothing she could do but keep squeezing my hand and asking me if I was feeling better, which only made things worse, and when dinner was over I ran into the room I was staying in to play with my Game Boy and pretend I'd won everyone over with my charisma--me, in my ridiculous Abercrombie t-shirt that I'd picked out specially for the occasion and cargo shorts and sneakers with mismatching socks--and nothing's ever changed, not a damn thing, because I still rely on my family members to squeeze my hand and give me money and argue with me so I have something to be mad about, and on the walk home from the sad tragic hip party I could have sworn I'd been noticed and liked even though I was never technically invited in the first place.

As we were leaving I made eye contact with a Facebook friend. You know the deal, we saw each other, meekly waved, we'd never met in real life, he'd friended me, and it was a nice moment because that probably means he has a crush on me until I realized: he was sitting in a booth with a bunch of friends, and I was leaving while trying to keep my head down so nobody could see my tear-stained eyes. I'd wanted to leave a while before but my friends would've left with me because they're too nice and I didn't want to ruin anyone's good time more than I'd probably already had so I just stayed and sat there and drank too much and took off my jacket dramatically--as if to say, hello party, I have arrived--and then I started wondering who the hell these people thought they were anyway, because that's the path: insecurity, sadness, anger, a path I've tread so often that they've practically named it after me by now. Who the hell are these people and why do I want to impress them so badly? It's so difficult for me to feel grateful for the amazing friends I have, friends who are more perfect than the most handsomely dressed boy's shoeshine eyes and ironed shirt, perfect not because they're perfect people--nobody's perfect, in case you didn't know--but because they allow me to keep coming back to them even after I fuck up over and over and over again, and all I want to do is apologize, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry Sam and Dhani if I brought down your mood at the party, I'm sorry Jason for ignoring all your offers for dates because my standards are too high, I'm sorry Stephanie that I stopped talking to you in high school after prom and I told you I didn't want to be your friend anymore in a letter written with a mechanical pencil, I'm sorry Allison who was a fairy in our senior play that I allowed my friends to cut you out of our lives even though I always really liked you, I'm sorry Marc that I made you uncomfortable all those years by copping occasional feels and staring at you too long when we were in our swimsuits but you have to understand that I was just so desperate and lonely and didn't know how to handle my homosexuality as a child, I'm sorry Zach for not being a better brother when I lived at home, and I'm sorry Aunt Mady for squeezing your hand so hard.

-Josh

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Josh and I Have Been Reading Too Much Hipster Runoff

Convo via text:

JOSH: dont u hate when ur reading something on a laptop for so long that yr eyes start 2 hurt
JESS: h8 it srsly. need 2 figure out how 2 adjust our eyez 2 changing technology. just want 2 have eyes that can constantly absorb memes/tweets/drunk msgs from ex-bfs
JOSH: need 2 drop owt of sk00l & bcum a meme factory on utube
JESS: need 2 get glasses that reflect our changing times
JOSH: need 2 get shutter shadez so i can be on vice.com as a "do"
JESS: <3 u vice.com, h8 u old school eyes
JOSH: i wish my synapses in my brain had wifi so i could tweet my dreamz
JESS: miss u twitter when i lay my head 2 rest

GOD. Why is it not Friday?

-Jess

Gettin literary

Sam lent me Tao Lin's book, Bed, and I found this passage particularly moving:

Though probably it was not even love that Sean dreamed of, but some sleight of love, some trick of crush or inwardly thwarted desire, like a chemical seed; or else some boldly fraudulent expectation--an expectation that leads a fantasy out into the real world, gets it an apartment, and, illegally, a job-- as Sean had probably never been in love. He'd once told a girlfriend that he loved her,but had then felt suddenly vanquished, as if in swift and arrow-y battle, on some nighttime field; as if the world, in that moment, had thought of him, and mastered him; memorized and set him aside, like a learned thing. The world was maybe finished with Sean. And yet-- he remained. Alive, doing things (eating, writing a novel, moving to Manhattan), as there was still, and always, the feeling--the suspicion-- that the world knew him, and loved him, that the world was trying hard to convey this, was forming itself a language, progressing gradually, thoughtwardly, and slowly, along. Which was, perhaps, the sensation of being alive--the reason why Sean existed, kept going-- the waiting of that, the faith in it, that there was a big thing of love out there, a mansion of it, and that the world, however incompetent, was trying every day to get Sean there, was thinking of where he should go, and how.


-Jess

"Ryan has too many friends"


While potentially true, I was shocked when I went to add the love of my life-- Ryan Conklin, from this season's Real World Brooklyn, on Facebook. There's an "error" because he has "too many friends." Didn't realize this was possible on Facebook. Think he just blocked people from friending him to keep away all the e-stalkers like myself? Potentially, but we have 3 mutual friends, presumably all people who were doing the same creepy thing as me and blindly friending him after seeing how hot he is on MTV. Boo Facebook.

-Jess

The Chinese Are Taking Over

The Freedom Tower, a symbol of American resilience and unrelenting patriotism in the face of tragedy and strife, built on the former site of the World Trade Center, controlled by that tri-state bulwark called the Port Authority, has found its first tenant! And it's...a Chinese real estate company.

Look, internationalism is wonderful, we love everybody, we should not mock the Chinese people, true true true. But come on. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if the first tenants of the Freedom Tower, thereby serving as a symbol of American rebirth, came from...America? I'm not saying "white," I'm saying a company based in the United States. Oh well. Maybe I'm just a wee bit red-state that way.

-Josh

JSF Interview

Here you are!

-Jess

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Do you only listen to music that Pitchfork gave an 8.3? Did your haircut come with these albums?"



This video is fucking hilarious, and perpetuates my already well-established crush on Gizmodo hottie Adam Frucci.

-Jess

Awesomeness

Hey, guess what? Today I got to walk around the Village, groping my newly-purchased reporter's recorder, chattin' about writing with my favorite contemporary author of all time. Uh-huh, just a regular day, ya know, discussing the writing process, books, literary feuds, etc with Jonathan Safran Foer. Ain't no thang.

(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Interview up on NYU Local tomorrow morning, blog post to follow on J&J.

-Jess
P.S. Thank god Blogger doesn't have a "moods" indicator like Livejournal does (heh just rememberin' this from HS, ok? Ok.) because right now I'd be restraining myself from putting "giddy."

Tweet of the Day


C/o my friend Luvina. SO TRUE. (and let's pretend she spelled site right)

-Jess

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Curioser and Curioser

Hm look at that the Tumblr just seemed to update itself how did that happen? Since you can't comment on it I guess you should just reply to it here, on this post. Hm.

-Josh

Craigslist is a Sad Place, Part 1

On today's installment of Josh Mocks the Jobs He Can't Get, we'll take a look at an ad that ignores the children, a desperate role reversal, and old people trying to use the Internet. As usual, click screen grabs for bigger.

1.Okay welcome to the Bronx! I mean, whatever school posted this ad is clearly in need of an educated teacher because Jesus Christ what is going on with this grammar. More importantly, what kind of experience are they looking for? "Professional" ones. So if I say that I taught my kids back at summer camp how to get on a teenager's nerves in under a minute--at a professional job that paid professional money--would I be a candidate? Who knows! Also, the contact email for this job is in the UK. Sounds totally legit!

2. This dude will pay you 500 bucks if you help him get a job. In fairness, I understand his desperation (I love my internship, but stipend money ain't cutting it). What's great though is that this guy tarnishes his endearing vulnerability with demands. A lot of demands! A lot of demands for someone who's just placed a Craigslist ad looking for a job. He wants to be a "concept artist." He also wants to be a full-time artist; in other words, "no temp job, part time, paid internships, or contract work." Even though all those jobs he just listed pay money, which he clearly lacks. After that he's doing okay, he's saying how he wants someone else to open up the doors and let him into the fantasy magical backroom of graphic design where heaps of artsy jobs are just waiting for the right sad lonely Connecticut college graduate, and then...oh look he got trashy. "If this works, this would solve the first and most obvious bind of being unemployed, so if you help me get out of this it's more than likely I'll feel good enough to throw in something a little extra...." Of course. Of fucking course.

3.
Are you an old person, also called a baby boomer? Then you should check out the Internet! This is a "REAL" job for which "you will utilize Face book and Twitter and other social media to reach out to our target audience." If you use the Facebook and look at weblogs and you also enjoy heavy-handed sailing metaphors, then this is the perfect unpaid internship for you, middle-aged person who should be too old to have an internship! "You must be a creative writer with the brain of a salesperson and the soul of an explorer. Chart new territory, learn to think on your feet, be captain of your own ship..." and float with them, dangling from a single wooden plank, through the cyber seas until you reach the Elysian shores of relevancy, where you will all tweet about how great Bruce Springsteen is and worry about immigration. Ahoy!

-Josh

Soledad O'Brien and JSF

I saw Soledad O'Brien speak last night at Kimmel; here's the article.

Also, if all goes according to plan, I will finally be interviewing Jonathan Safran-Foer tomorrow, and I couldn't possibly be more excited.

-Jess

Twouble with Twitter

Awesome Event at The New School

CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH WITH THE NEW SCHOOL'S GENDER STUDIES PROGRAM


GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS: GIRLHOOD IN AMERICA

THURSDAY, MARCH 26TH, 6-9 PM66 W. 11TH ST., WOLLMAN HALL (5TH FLOOR)

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED

A PANEL DISCUSSION WITH:


FELICE BELLE Poet, Playwright, & Former Curator of the Friday Night Slam Series at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe

KATHLEEN HANNA Original Riot Grrrl; Frontwoman of Bikini Kill & Le Tigre; Feminist Activist

CLEOPATRA LAMOTHE Youth Development Coordinator, Bushwick Community High School; Advocate for LGBTQ High School Students

COURTNEY E. MARTIN Editor, Feministing.com; Senior Correspondent, The American Prospect; Feminist Writer & Lecturer KATHLEEN SWEENEY Award-winning Video Artist and Author with a Focus on Pop Culture, Gender, & Iconography

MCKENZIE WARK Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at The New School; Courses Include The Girl as Media Image. The panel will be moderated by ANN SNITOW, Chair of the Gender Studies Program.


This looks like my dream panel. I'll cover it for J&J/potentially NYU Local and I'm trying to get Selena to go with me since it seems to be right up her alley. Let me know if you want to join!


-Jess

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things Worth Reading

Check em out:

1. Hillary Clinton to speak at NYU Class of 2009's commencement. (via NYULocal)
2. How to handle the Facebook redesign revolt. (via Mashable)
3. How different generations use social media (via Marketing Pilgrim)
4. Does Twitter have a business model? (via Mashable)
5. Twitter's past, present and future (via CNet)*
6. Growing up on Facebook (via the NYT Mag-- from 2 weeks ago, so a little dated but it takes me awhile to wade through the endless amount of shit on their website to get to the good stuff)

*"It is indeed a read-write generation that is coming of age in the wake of an all-dominant present, with no particular loyalty to the past and maybe not even an interest in the future." (What do you guys think of this? Read-write generation = good, right?)

-Jess

P.S. Sorry for the Twitter-heavy links. I was interviewed today by someone from CNN.com for a trend piece he's working on about Twitter so I had all the cultural shifts/tech shit on my mind. Ohhhh tech dork. And I will link to the article when it's up!

We All Have ADD

I have a short attention span, you have a short attention span, we all have short attention spans! So thank the journalism gods for Newser, which cuts down top stories from all over the internet to concise, 1-3 paragraph blurbs. As a budding journalist I'm torn about this: I'm grateful because I want to know what's going on in the world but don't have enough time/patience to wade through my Google Reader (which I NEVER use). But I'm also pissed because um, I want people to read what I write, not just go over to Newser and pick out the boring, dry bones of the story. What's the point of being a good writer if everyone's just going to read the essentially bullet-pointed facts of your piece? LAME. Whatever I'll still use it for all those stories about Michelle Obama's upper arms.

-Jess

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Away to Old Biscayne

I wrote this poem in high school for some creative writing class. Don't know which grade, but as you'll see, I wrote it before coming out of the closet. I know, lol. All punctuation and footnotes have been left as they were. I can't remember if it was supposed to be funny at the time, but it's pretty damn hilarious now.

I went away to old Biscayne
To find m lover true;
I went away to spend my days
In yearning, feeling blue. (But I never bid adieu!)

I went away to old Biscayne;
I hoped 'twas not in vain,
Bus as the months and years did pass,
My hope began to wane. (I almost went insane.)

But then one day I saw my love
Reposing on a hill,
And as my heart began to start,
I knew I'd lover her still. (I'll get her, yes I will!)

She said that day her name was Faye:
"Oh Josh, the pleasure's mine."
I told her she was beautiful;
I'd love her for all time. (Her breath was sweet as thyme.)

And autumn came and autumn went;
And winter's fury fired.
Our love continued in full force;
It never stopped or tired. (We had all that we desired.)

The snowflakes formed a mountain that
Surrounded our abode;
It blocked the veins of men, it seems;
It also blocked the road. (Oh, fate it seems I owed!)

And my love coughed and my love sneezed
And came down with a cold;
Her feet were clay, her eyes were shut,
She said that she felt old. (Oh the pain of which she told!)

Her cold grew worse, her coughs became
The source of violent bile
That rushed out of her stomach like
An inundation vile. (Though her eyes could still beguile.)

My love was not quite good enough,
For medicine she needed;
She needed an infirmary,
For doctors she'd have heeded. (If only we'd succeeded!)

And finally her eyes closed shut
And outward her lungs heaved;
It was her final sigh on earth,
The last time that she breathed. (I was suddenly bereaved!)

The winter passed and summer came
To melt the snow away,
But it could not erase the tears
I shed for my lost Faye. (How sad--she went away.)

But then fair Faye rose from the ground,
A corpse with rotting skin.
Her eyes held fire, her feet were cloven,
And quite broken in. (You may cue the violin.)

And then she gasped and choked back tears
As, from her fattened womb,
A demon child with bloody spittle
Sent her to the tomb. (It was truly her doom.)

(And then her face went boom.)

Then something flew across the air
And hit me in the back;
I turned to see what left ts mark--
'Twas the amniotic sac! (Oh Lord, cut me some slack.)

My heart a-thumping, thumping loud
Within my blighted breast,
I picked up the membranous pouch
And held it 'gainst mt chest. ('Twas as rough as orange zest*.)

The putrid corpse lunged for my feet
As though to muck me up;
I managed, though, to dart away
Fast as a collie pup. (Oh, where's that damned prenup?)

And finally she grabbed the child
And stuck her tongue at me,
And twirled around and then trudged off
In deathly misery. (And that's my tale, you see.)

I went away to old Biscayne
But I was led astray.
My lover's corpse tried to murder me,
Much to my dismay. (And I've nothing more to say.)

*Orange zest Tiny bits of orange peel.

-Josh