This is my blog, and it is dangerous. Do you think I want to die like this?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Across the Universe

The first time I watched this film years ago, I very nearly sent the disk back to Netflix in pieces. Yes, it's going to be one of those reviews - and yes, I know a lot of people just loved this movie.

As I sit staring at the movie poster, I find myself desperately wishing the plot of Across the Universe was literally about a young couple trapped inside of an inter-planetary strawberry in the vacuum of space. But alas, the movie I watched - both grueling times - isn't about space berries at all. It's about love.  Which - if you're over the age of twenty-five - means it's about absolutely fucking nothing.

Set in the 1960s, this film clobbers you with every single thing that ever happened during that decade. You would think that the story actually spans the entire decade, but no - it just strawberry-picks the quintessence of the 60s to serve you up a nostaljuice you've definitely already had before if you've ever watched The Wonder Years.

But hey, it's set to a soundtrack of Beatles songs and that's great, right?  I love The Beatles!  According to my research, there are at least thirty Beatles songs in this movie. Seriously think about that number for a moment.  Think about putting thirty great things into yourself - like thirty donut holes, for example.  They don't cease being great just because they are inside of you - but did you become thirty donut holes greater?  No.  You're still a moron and now you disgust me.

Let's get down to business anyway.
Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) is an idealistic, pretty young woman with a boyfriend who's just entered the military.  I didn't bother telling you his name, as he is killed almost immediately.  Vietnam sucked, who knew?
Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a young, artistic man who left Liverpool to find his real father in the States.  Once he gets to Princeton, he learns that his father is not a professor as he'd assumed, but a lowly janitor.  Good thing that random student Jude bumped into just happened to keep track of the names of the maintenance staff.  Unfortunately, dear old dad's not warming up to the idea of giving him the room over the garage, so Jude just finds a place to stay on campus, like you know, under a building or whatever.  It's the 60s - you can just live at Princeton University without being a student and as long as your hot plate doesn't start a fire nobody'll fuss.

Through circumstances I couldn't be paid to recall, Jude meets Max (Joe Anderson), a student at the University - who just so happens to be Lucy's brother - and they become fast friends, mucking around campus, smoking invisible joints and just generally engaging in the type of skylarking that only happens in college.  But what's this?  Max has decided that the cushy Ivy League life is not for him and he'd much rather grow two feet of pork.

Wait, that can't be right.  He probably wants to go see New York.  It's so easy to let your mind wander when you can't give a shit about what's happening.
So, Max and Jude go to New York City and move into a massive apartment with crazy lady Sadie (Dana Fuchs), some other people and a cat.  It doesn't take long before Jo-Jo (Martin Luther) shows up, because we gotta have a Jimi Hendrix type, or it's just not the 60s ... and of course, Lucy comes tumbling after.
It's at this point that I start praying for someone to garrote me, because this movie is well over two hours long, just getting started, and when you've got the whole Beatles catalog to choose from, just try getting getting out your front door without bursting into a god damned song.  Hell, if you're Prudence (T.V. Carpio) you can just lock yourself in a closet and have everyone else serenade you with your own name.
One thing that can be said for this film is that the songs are sung quite well - even if they are deliberately and unnaturally forced into the plot.  Imagine, if you would, a beautiful white dove humping your hand.  Certainly you'd appreciate how lovely the bird is, but you would still also remember that it just raped your hand and think, "Not cool, dude."
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Facebook Ads

You know those little ads on Facebook that you largely ignore?  Well, I can't ignore them, because they're insane - so I started collecting them.  I don't know a damned thing about the algorithms involved in how they pop up on my page - if you tried to explain them, please believe that I wouldn't understand a word you were saying and it would only end in me squeezing my eyes shut and calling you Mark Fuckerberg until you just stopped trying.  

So. I'm going to show some of these ads to you and then say things about them.  Simple enough, yes?

The first thing I started to notice is that Facebook is obsessed with birds.  It can't shut up about them.  I don't know why, because I don't own a bird, nor am I a parrot.

That last one's less of an advertisement, more of a Mad Lib.  "I Love my Parrot.  It's not a... felony, is it?"  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Here you've got your strange dwelling/bucket list - because before you die, you definitely gotta live in a watermelon or house that's been through a catastrophic calamity.

They're talking about the town in which I reside - I can't tell you where that is, but I can tell that there are definitely no mountains or majestic water falls.  Which really bums me out.  Show me something cute, me.

Mmm ... delicious, mouth-watering, pygmy marmosets. 

The one on the left would only happen over my dead body, and whatever is going on with the right kinda looks like it's growing on a dead body.  So ... it a no for both, Facebook ads.

Here again, Facebook ads take the inexplicable route.  I would definitely need the help of peyote to explain the ad on the left and uh, hey - I do not fish, I am not fish, my name's not fish, I have not fish.

Along the same vein of hard to explain, the first ad seems to be a conversation already in progress.  For the ad on the right, my reply is that I can fill a table full of unrelated and useless crap all by my lonesome, no problemo.

Ah, babies - who doesn't love 'em?  Although I think these could do with some better wording.  I'm pretty sure I'd end up disappointed when clicking the first ad didn't result in a pregnant baby bag in my mailbox.  Also, as interesting as I might be in becoming a surrogate mothers, I don't think a Facebook page is where I'd get my information.

Now, these are much better ads involving babies.  I can tell you from experience that you always, always want to get samples before making a final decision on a baby.  As for becoming a social worker in only one short year - I figure if a baby can do it, I've definitely got a shot.

These two ads right here basically rest my case for why I never leave my apartment unless absolutely necessary.  I don't don't need to run into this shit, my dreams are already wrong enough.

How. Ever.  I would most fucking definitely leave my house to see the fat kid riding the snail.  Are you kidding me?  Also, if you don't know why the first ad is awesome, you are not.

Okay.  I like bargains as much as the next blogger, but Staff Member has got to be the worst video game ever.  Walmart, however, is getting my respect on this one for truth in advertising - because every fucking sticky, feral kid I run into in their store looks exactly like that.

I'm still collecting Facebook ads.  We'll see what happens.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

I play Sims (part18)

Before we get to the Sims story update, I wanted to talk about how completely awful it is.  Since I mentioned in my last update that I was keeping track of exactly how long it took* - from gameplay to story writing - to get one of these things put together, I felt it was necessary to explain that this one is basically a shit sausage.  I honestly feel it's the worst one I've ever done - but since I've already invested so much time in it, and I can't just leave a gaping plot hole or delay posting it any longer - here's me, phoning it in. 

*Twenty-four solid hours - which, when you consider the amount of time most people working in offices spend dicking around on Facebook and Farmville, that's basically a full week of work.

My only explanation is that right before I started the joke-writing portion of the story, the internet spewed forth the demon child that is Rebecca Black, who forcibly inserted Friday into my brain - and trying to stop the almost constant paroxysms of incredulity is taking up a lot of my synaptic energy.  If you are one of the lucky few who've yet to be infected, suffice to say that it makes the lyrics of Christina Perri's Jar of Hearts sound like fucking Shakespeare.

Without further procrastination...

Shang Simla, China is a lot like the other destinations Rachel has visited.  There's an adventure board:
There's some collecting to do:
There's a lot of people to talk to:

Sometimes, you end up just standing in an awkward cluster, for no apparent reason:

Of course, there's always those times you have to pause at the entrance of a tomb, looking fretful and then exquisitely determined, while framed by the landscape:
You know - the usual vacation/adventuring bullshit.  There's also a lot of running around, something Rachel doesn't mind bringing up with her point person, quite dramatically.
So, one of the first things Rachel has to do is go talk to the dude in the brown Hoodiesweater.

Unfortunately, the conversation with Hoodiesweater went from wtf? to worse fairly quickly, so Rachel excused herself as abruptly as possible to meet back up with her point person, who could not have been more excited to see her again.

Rachel's next assignment involves another typical vacation activity: tomb raiding - which tends to include the same elements no matter which tomb you're in.  It all runs together, anyway - at 3am, when you've taken an extra painkiller.

You've got your dive wells:
Conversations with the dead:
Opening a sarcophagus or two:

Pushing statues:

and whatever this is:
Hang on, what's happening now?

At least there's a treasure at the end.
Her mission accomplished, Rachel reports in.
Right after she gets her next assignment, Rachel's point person favors her with her best Gene Simmons impression:
Rachel is not thrilled to realize she's been sent back to Hoodiesweater's place again.

This time, he invites Rachel inside - fearfully, she accepts the invitation.  It wasn't her best idea.
Yeah.  You saw that right.  The first thing Hoodiesweater does is pick up a handful of dirt and eat it.

Hoodiesweater's response is ... inscrutable.

I Play Sims (part19)

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Posting Posters & Creating the Sims Stories

I'm only about 13-1/2 hours of work into my next Sims update, which means I've just barely started the photo editing.  As I've explained to my adorable and terrifying baby sister, I don't just shit those things out on a leisurely Friday afternoon. 

When I first started them, they took significantly less time, but the story has grown and become more complicated - and I am by nature an unrepentant anal-retentive.  I took over 200 pictures in-game for this recent update, and will probably only have about 20 photos in the story.  When you have 200 pictures named "Screenshot-xxx" you have to rename them, or you will go insane trying to keep them organized.  At least, that's what the voices tell me.

Then I have to edit the photos into a general storyline, which is my least favorite part.  That's right - I'd rather re-name 200 pictures than create a loose outline for the story.  The next step is the actual writing, which is a whirlwind of me vacillating between being sure I'm brilliant, and being absolutely certain there's a reason almost nobody reads my blog.  I show it to my husband and he either laughs his butt off, or stares blankly - it really depends on how many Tim and Eric references I make.

Now I'm finally one of those assholes I hate who just explained their "process".  To reward you for reading, and to tide you over while I'm still writing, I offer to you these stupid motivational posters I made.  I hope they're a smack in your lazy bone.

P.S. Happy Birthday (again) Zaggy

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