If I were more creative, this would be a very clever and/or witty joke!

And this would be an unnecesssary explanation of said clever and/or witty joke!

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
Terrific. Jim's other, previously acceptable sister, and their dad, both just badmouthed me at length over that job interview thing. So, yes. Pretty much Jim's entire family is now driving me to suicide.

Thanks a fucking lot, everyone who pushed me into this move. Thanks. A. Fucking. Lot.

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
Time for a recent story I've been too lazy to post thus far, until now!

Last Wednesday, after an entirely too long wait, I finally got my second job interview! Or, um, I was supposed to. I didn't manage to get to bed until 5am the night before. (Nerves, not irresponsibility, I assure you - I was trying to sleep for several hours prior.) I still thought I'd be in good shape. Until shortly after 7:30 in the morning - Jim's mom left, the rest of the house was empty, and so her dog panicked. And whined. And howled. Right outside my door. So obviously I could not sleep any longer. I tried letting the dog in, so she wouldn't be alone, though this offer was refused, because apparently she has some sort of door-related paranoia. I tried coming out into the living room and sleeping on the couch, though she still whined, right in my ear, unless I was petting her. In other words, it was impossible for me to sleep any longer.

My interview was at 2:30pm. I left an hour early, in the hopes that this would give me time to get there. Of course, by that point, I'd been up for six hours on little sleep. There was also plenty of natural interview-related stress on top of that anyway. Also, stress related to being awake for six hours with no human contact of any sort. And once I left, on top of this, we were able to add the stress of some dude behind me hammering on his car's horn, repeatedly, the very instant the light turned green - as if I was supposed to clairvoyantly know when the light would turn green, and start going a bit before it turned green? Despite that being obviously illegal, even moreso if my prediction was sorely wrong. At any rate, all these elements came together and drove Jesse to a bit of a major breakdown, while driving! This made it pretty much impossible for me to navigate! I was late! I was, therefore, turned away the moment I stumbled in once I finally made it, 15 minutes late!

Jim's mom was, of course, not understanding. "He should just be able to pull the covers up over his head and go back to sleep," she says. "He has a bed. I have to sleep on the couch!" This is one of several reasons I do not like her. Meh. If going through a divorce makes people this thoroughly intolerable, then I thank you, United States Government, for denying me by rights!

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
Did you know? There still isn't terribly much to talk about! Vaguely newish things since last time:
- Jim's mother is now staying here at the house with us. As someone who typically stays up really late, it's been hard to get used to. But on the bright side, um, occasional free popcorn? Um, assistance in cutting down on my excessive computer time, since it's not fun around her? Um, free alarm clock in the form of her dog that always starts whining, and howling, when she goes somewhere without it, forcing its care onto people who never really signed up for dog ownership? Something?
- Apparently I'm actually slightly losing weight, somehow! At this rate, I will be physically attractive sometime in 2037!

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
Did you know? Jesse's birthday is coming up! I will soon be 20 years of age! You know what this means, right? I will finally be old enough to be one year too young to buy alcohol! I will finally be old enough to celebrate the second anniversary of being able to legally watch all that fantastic gay homosexual pornography! I will be divisible by 10 again! This is completely a big deal!

But, yes, it's this Wednesday. And I still don't know what I'm doing for it. Any suggestions of fun and/or amusing, and preferably quite cheap, things, that I could do?

Cedar Point: An Unfocused Recap in A Minor
jess_teh_skox
Yep! That was Monday. Definitely one of the most interesting days I've had in a long time. When it was fun, it was really fun. When it wasn't, it was torture!

I haven't actually been on a roller coaster since I was 6, so Disaster Transport honestly kinda scared the crap out of me. Whereas my final proper ride of the day was in the front seat of the Top Thrill Dragster, which somehow scared me less by that point! My only other two coasters of the day were Iron Dragon and Gemini (a physically painful ride, wood clearly has no place in the roller coaster world anymore), which were both also more terrifying to me than the Dragster! I suppose it was that nagging thought that "it only gets worse from here" that freaked me out on the first three rides, which obviously I did not have on the Dragster. And if I can do it, you can do it too! It's only seventeen seconds. You can endure anything for seventeen seconds. Go do it! Now!

Yes, I realize, that's not many rides. Well, while I did also partake of Cedar Downs, and some water ride, and the bumper cars, an even larger chunk of my day was spent blindly wandering around, sans cell phone, nearly collapsing from a blood sugar crash (side note: the four-dollar white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are also quite tasty!), and having Jim bordering on hyperventilation. Always nice to go places with groups that don't really give a shit. :\

And perhaps that's the nagging thought that ruined so much of the day for me, the realization that we were pretty much the least important people to the rest of this group. We don't enjoy aimless rap/metal songs whose only lyrical content is smoking weed, and fucking*; this is why we are literally the only people who are not allowed to request the volume turned down, or perhaps to play our own music. (Oh, "The Salmon Dance", thank you for providing me a brief moment of respite, by being about fish, who thankfully don't smoke weed or fuck at all, ever, for it is physically impossible!)

*Not topics that automatically mean something is irredeemable. Just, when combined with songwriters with literally no artistic talent...

Jesse's Occasional Thing Review: Super Mario 64!
jess_teh_skox
Remember 1996? The third dimension was still new and exciting! Nowadays, we've become so bored with it that we have to spruce it up with tinty glasses, and special super-expensive televisions, and other 3D marital aids. But in 1996, everything that was in 3D was blindly praised, endlessly! And few have been blindly praised quite as endlessly as that pioneering 3D platformer, Super Mario 64.

Super Low-Poly Mario is on his way to Peach's Castle, as he has been promised a cake, via letter because obviously the Mushroom Kingdomites are far too moral to use the devil's technology, like telephones. But Mario arrives at the castle to encounter not a cake - "The cake is a lie", quips every single goddamn person on the Internets, long after this has ceased to be funny, at all - but Bowser's booming voice, announcing this month's sinister plan to kidnap Princess Peach, and have absolute power that is severely hampered by the fact that he stays cooped up in his lair all day! And so, Mario sets out to save the day, by doing what would become the general modus operandi of 3D platformers - collecting a whole bunch of shiny shit.

One of the game's fundamental problems is the manner in which said shiny shit is collected. Much has been made, in badly spelled message board posts typed up self-important thirteen-year-olds, about the grand debate of open-ended exploration vs. linearity, many of them preferring Mario 64 because of the supposed open-ended nature of its courses. Except, the thing is, they really aren't. Technically, yes, you can go anywhere on any stage at any time. But, in practice, once one gets done dicking around, most stages only really have one path that takes you anywhere. This amounts to each level consisting of having to take the exact same path six or seven times, only doing something slightly different at the end to obtain a different Power Star. Is this honestly any better than Galaxy's linearity? At least that game doesn't try to fool anybody.

And even if one didn't have to re-traverse each course's main path so often, a significant portion of the level designs here are just awkward, no doubt because no standard of 3D level design had really been designed yet. Some of the course designs work beautifully: the slides are somehow always fun despite their simplicity, Shifting Sand Land's pyramid is both cool and sizable enough that it could've been an entire level in itself, and Tick Tock Clock makes the most of its weird concept, with some well-done platforming challenges and a genuinely interesting central gimmick. Others, however, aren't so lucky - Lethal Lava Land springs to mind as an awful stage that confuses straight-up incoherency for "non-linearity". And good luck actually being able to remember the difference between Jolly Roger Bay and Dire Dire Docks.

At least it's a decidedly fun game to listen to. Although stuck, in terms of sound quality, in an awkward spot directly between delightful old-school chiptune and modern music-ish music, Koji Kondo's compositions themselves nonetheless manage to shine through. The new overworld and "athletic" themes fit right in with his prior compositions. The amazing water theme, peaceful but with a sense of mystery, can almost manage to make you forget how bland the water levels themselves actually are here. And, well, there's a reason that the theme from the Bowser levels seems to be remixed so unhealthily often on the interwebs.

But, typically catchy Kondo soundtrack aside, does Mario 64 still deserve its continued accolades? It single-handedly created a new breed of 3D platformers, but can its many flaws simply be ignored just because it was blindly pioneering this new territory? Can we ignore that this is a game that asks the player to wall jump up discordantly uneven cliffsides using camera angles that remarkably never manage to be straight-on? Can we ignore that this was the game to introduce the ludicrous control stick spinning technique, which would later destroy countless hands across the globe when the nefarious al-Qaeda terrorists over at Hudson deployed it in the seemingly innocuous Mario Party? Miyamoto's original blind exploration of the multi-screen platformer, Super Mario Bros., still manages to hold up excellently today; even the very birth of the platformer as a commercially viable genre, Donkey Kong, holds a unique appeal. (And it features a half-constructed pie factory, for the first and last time in video gaming! Half-constructed, but already producing pies!) Considering this, it only seems fair for Mario 64 to be weighed on its modern-day merits of amusement.

Mario 64 is an interesting historical relic, nobody will deny this. It paved the way for countless 3D platformers to come. Many of them were, of course, awful copycats, but some managed to become classics of a sort; however, the only way they could manage this was by fixing the barrage of flaws deeply ingrained in Mario 64's formula. The fondly remembered Banjo-Kazooie achieved this by allowing one to thoroughly scour a level to attempt find everything in one run, as opposed to the mandatory separate runs for each star here. (Also helpful: jumping mechanics that seem to take the non-precision of that era's 3D graphics technology into consideration.) Later 3D Mario platformers would, similarly, find their own focus to rise above the ambitious aimlessness found here. Super Mario 64 deserves its place in history. But, in 2010, where our continued lack of the flying cars and hoverboards and capsule-based meals we were promised us forces us to cynically bitch about the past, it just isn't amazing. Behind its veils of exciting newness (in 1996) and rabid mouth-foaming nostalgia (in 2010), the truth is that this game actually seems to be little more than a decent platformer, hardly Best Game Ever material.

So, I giveth it a 7/10.

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
What's up! I haven't been particularly bloggy lately, I know. What's new in my life? Pretty much nothing. Still unemployed. So, still not doing much. I will be experiencing the thrilling thrills of Cedar Point on the 28th, which is exciting, at least! I look forward to rambling about that excessively when the time comes.

Until then....................................

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
Well, looks like it's depressingly official. I'm going to have to settle for a shitty fast food job. I'm trying not to worry myself sick over this development.

So many things concern me, though. Everyone's telling me it's supposed to be "easy" work, but will I be able to work quickly enough anywhere where speed is such a priority? That's a large part of the reason why the Subway thing didn't really work out, by the way. (It can take me 2-3 minutes just to prepare myself a very basic ham sandwich, outside of a restaurant scenario, with no distractions.) I never really learned how to make everything click into place at Subway, so I have reasonable reasons to doubt I'll manage anywhere else. Far more minor, surprisingly, are the usual social anxieties, which I think my new situation has helped considerably with.

My situation really shouldn't be as bad as it is, either. Beyond the simple social anxiety disorder, I have no idea what the hell is wrong with me, though my money's on autism of some sort. Whatever it is, the point is that I should know what it is. I should have known, for a long time. My mother should've at least tried to get me some sort of help, instead of just trying to smack me into being functional. The closest she came was taking me to the doctor's office in Absarokee in second grade, wherein someone who had not technically even achieved doctor level (I don't remember the exact circumstances behind this - might've been a Physician's Assistant or some such) gave me the absolute minimal amount of analysis before slapping me with a prescription for Paxil. (I didn't react well, and the meds caused me to become suicidal. IN THE SECOND FUCKING GRADE.) So, thanks to her medical neglect, here I am. Still completely unable to handle the world. And with no sympathy from anyone, because it's not a physical handicap, so it's "all in your head, Jesse, just suck it up and stop being such a pussy".

Obviously, I am not optimistic tonight.

Jesse's Occasional Thing Review: The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour
jess_teh_skox
So, like, I saw Conan O'Brien live last night. And stuff.

Yes, somehow I managed to go weeks without mentioning this impending event here, and I really don't know how. Blame it on the despair, I guess, which I think I'm recovering from, which is great.

But anyway! Conan! He's legally prohibited from being funny on television and, as such, has gone on tour, and I was able to witness one night of this, for the low low price of $35! And it was worth every penny, and would've been worth several more pennies, too!

Granted, the night didn't get off to the best start, as Conan's opening act was a man named Reggie Watts, who is not funny, at all. Whatever interestingness his basic setup might have - constructing a one-man rhythm section by gradually layering a capella loops recorded live is sort of a cool idea, from a musical standpoint - was completely nullified by his actual material. Watts is a man who thinks the words "shit" and "fuck" are inherently funny, and essentially uses them as the entire setup, and punchline, of each alleged joke. And shit.

Conan, however, was excellent. Simply due to the nature of this tour vs. a nightly television show - i.e. the audience is different each night, so sketches have time to be honed via repeated use, as opposed to television where each new show has to be, well, "new" - most of the bits were pretty well-polished by this point. And, yes, it might lose a little bit of that awkward barely-held-together charm O'Brien has on television (that I do miss, but will get ample doses of come November), this format definitely works better for something I'm expected to pay for. The assorted musical numbers - including topically relyricked renditions of "On the Road Again" and "I Will Survive" - probably benefited the most from this, seeming noticeably more polished than the early versions I've viewed using the YouTube. (Luckily, I didn't spoil all the musical festivities - the delightfully odd "half-complete" ballad, "The Girl Who Looks Like Conrad Bain", was at the very least new to me.)

Not all the musicality was good, though, as the special guest du jour was "Michigan's own" Kid Rock, who is a moron. Most of the college audience ate up his performance - a ditty about Mr. Ritchie's hypothetical stint as President of the United States, wherein he mentioned the consumption of beer every couple sentences, as is his wont - but I wasn't particularly amused. For the reasons he intended, anyway, though in retrospect I find amusement in just how much he does not understand what the President can and cannot do. Like, um, wholesale firing Congress. Maybe President Barack Obama isn't that bad...

Did you know? Andy Richter is capable of doing more than starring in mediocre, quickly canned sitcoms and, as career-related desperation sets in, resorting to be the guest murderer of the week on Monk. He's also capable of reading off a series of one-liners, making only a couple of mistakes! :D Of course, I kid the Richter, who is a definitely underrated personality, and pretty much the best sidekick Conan could ask for. I loved the banter, and was thrilled to see him even get to do a couple solo segments: a backhanded advertisement for some local bar, and the aforementioned series of goofy one-liners, "What I've Learned". ("Lions sleep for 20 hours a day....and no one divorces them.")

Other highlights include an intimate conversation with the audience, which is awkwardly forced to attempt to read off a teleprompter, in unison ("Kiss La Bamba!"); and shameless renaming of classic bits to get around this "intellectual property" nonsense. Introducing the Self-Pleasuring Panda and the Chuck Norris Rural Policeman Handle! Honestly, though, even segments featuring some of the worst elements of the Conan canon - Triumph the Insult-Comic Dog and Tonight Show writer Deon Cole - were somehow made amusing here, which is baffling, but in a nice way.

Am I forgetting anything amusing, Jim? It is late, after all.

But, yes. A fantastic show, totally worth the money, and perfectly timed, for an occasion when I clearly need to laugh the anxiety away. Certainly more exciting than, say, motorcycle lessons, or urine-related diaper hijinx. :)

(no subject)
jess_teh_skox
So, I got the car stuff taken care of. And for a lot less than everyone insisted it would be. Hooray for being able to drive and having extra money left over for food!

....so, yes. Theoretically the stress and anxiety should be gone. It's not. If anything, it's still worsening. So, um. Yeah. Really wish I could do something about that. But there's nothing I can do. So....that's dominating my thoughts, and so I can't really think of anything else. Hence the fact that I've pretty much given up blogging for the moment.

Some nights, I honestly wish I could go back home.

?

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