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Secret Pleasures #26: The Sims

19 Aug

It’s really had to believe it has taken me so long to write about this.  Especially considering that this summer the Sims has periodically taken over my life: it is a brilliant game.  In general I’m not a computer game person.  I prefer a good card or board game.  Then again, Sims isn’t just a game, it’s a life.

Sims is like playing God.  You have complete control over everything.  You can create look-a-likes of yourself and live out fantasies you’d never be able to in real like.  You can become a doctor, astronaut, or a thief in a mater of hours.  You get to practice interior design skills and build a dream house.  You also have endless options of clothes to wear.  I’m serious: endless.  In Sims 3 you can pictures from hundreds of styles of clothes and then you can pick out hundreds of patterns, then you can change it to thousands of colors.  It’s absolutely incredible – and wickedly fun.

My newest entertainment comes from a few eugenics experiments.  My Sim had a son with a South Korean who had a daughter with Sailor Pluto (a Plutonian?) who is about to have a children with the black, adopted son of my gay best friend and his partner.  I’m so excited about how it will turn out.  What does a quarter a half black, quarter Plutonion, eighth Korean, and eighth me look like?  The best part is that if I don’t like how they look, I put in a simple cheat and can edit my great grandchild.

After I have my great granchild I’m going to have another kid with my husband (or maybe a new love interest) and started a different long experiment.  This is super easy to do because I’m technically still a ‘young adult’.  My Sim has been around so long that I’ve maxed out all the skills and am working on the special challenges now.


In sum, my secret please is literally participating in a world where I have complete control and can do practically anything I want.

 

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Secret Pleasures #25: First Toilet Use

25 Jul

Clean toilets…of course everyone likes that!  If you didn’t I would immediately cross you off my list of friends.  However, there are very few things better in life (at least of the mundane things) than to walk into a restroom and see the toilet lid up – not because of some icky boy (no offense) – because the toilet has just been scrubbed.  Seriously, I can’t even put into words how happy it makes me feel.

Even if you cover the toilet seat with liners or toilet paper it never seems clean.  But, when using a toilet for the first time since its cleaning going to the bathroom becomes so easy.  No stressing about contracting a bacterial STD or any other unfortunate disease; you can pee in relative safety.

The feeling of a dirty toilet…

The feeling of a clean toilet.

Getting to a toilet first is a very hard thing.  I suppose if you clean your own bathroom daily you can experience that feeling over and over again, but most of us aren’t that dedicated.  To get to a public restroom first requires waking up super early in the morning…yeah, most people aren’t dedicated enough to do that either.

This summer I am working on my university campus.  While there are a bunch of camps here, the kids don’t know where all the secret restrooms are.  Thus, I’m finding clean toilets all the time.  It’s absolute bliss!  I don’t know how I’ll be able to transition back into normal, dirty toilet, life.

My Secret Pleasure: BEING CLEAN!

Do you have other bathroom and cleanliness related issues?  Check out these other posts about hair clogs, toothpaste in the sink, ice in urinals, unflushed toilets, shower hair, perfecting the shower temperature, and warm shower/cold bathroom issues.  Wow, I guess we write about bathroom related stuff a lot on this site.

Secret Pleasures #24: Reality TV

9 Jul

I am a television addict. 

I will watch just about anything and my favorite shows are all vastly different from each other.  But, this post isn’t about TV in general (I could rant about that for ages) it is about the entertainment of reality TV.

My first taste of Reality TV goes back to the first season of Survivor.  The contestants were real people doing fantastic things.  Then came The Amazing Race.  I might not be able to live on an island for 30 days but I could certainly race around the world.  It would be such a rush. 

And don’t forget about Say Yes to the Dress!  TLC is like a drug in my college suite.  No one can resist the power of fashion, gypsies, or polygamists. 

And History Chanel reality shows!  First off, I don’t think reality shows should be on the History Chanel.  I wish they’d go back to their documentaries and etc.  Nonetheless, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars are so exciting!  The creators deserve a gold star!

My summer reality TV addictions: America’s Got Talent and The Glee Project.  I’ve ragged on Glee a lot before because I find the show unrealistic and corny, but I do like the music.  Thus, The Glee Project retains the musical edge but has real (though highly edited) people competing for their dreams.  There’s something about people reaching for and achieving their dreams that makes me happy.

Besides dreams and money, reality TV shows the ability of man.  How far will someone push themselves to accomplish a goal?  How does someone act under pressure?  How do people manipulate each other? I love it! I love it! I love it! 

Reality TV is like people-watching in extreme.  It’s super voyeuristic, but completely acceptable.  People sign up for others to watch them.   We psychoanalyze, we judge, and we criticize.  We, the viewers, are given permission to do what we are discouraged from doing in real life.  That’s why I love reality TV. 

Now, reality TV isn’t always good.  Want to feel depressed and rot your brain?  Then watch Teen Mom.  Nothing exciting ever happens.  The mom cries and the dad leaves her.  I could get a crappy camera and follow some people around and get almost the same results.  Reality TV isn’t just about videotaping random people.  There has to be a good idea, a good frame work for the show, and a REALLY good editing team.  Only then will you get good (and respectable) results.

My Secret Pleasure: Being encouraged to watch and judge others.

Secret Pleasures #23: Watermelon

18 Jun

This is not a secret.  This is a straight up public pleasure. 

 Watermelon: For bible lovers it’s God’s gift to man. To scientists, it’s the result of hundreds of thousands of years of natural selection and genetic mutation.  To both it is perfection.

Some people love chocolate.  Some people love cake.  I love watermelon.

Watermelon is not only delicious, it’s versitile.  Watermelon salsa (watermelon replaces the tomatoes) may very well be better than the original.  Watermelon salads are devine.  Ummm, ever heard of vodermelon?  I personally am not a fan of vodka but if it’s with watermelon sure, bring it on. 

Vodermelon!

Watermelon is also a work of art.  Look at these creations and I’ll eat myself if you don’t think they’re awesome.

 

Click here OR here for more awesome pictures.  Or just google it. I’d show more amazing pictures but my lousy computer at work does not want to let me show them…boo. 

Anyways…other cool things about watermelon: you can grow them in a box or pryrimid.  Yes, the Japanese have done it again.  They’ve made watermelon more compactible!

Watermelon artificial flavoring is good, too!  It’s not as great as real watermelond but compared to the other imitation flavors it’s wonderful.  Popsicles, Slurpees, Jolly Ranchers: All great!

Grilled Watermelon!  Dried watermelon covered in chile powder! Sorbet! Gelato!

Did I mention that watermelon can prevent cancer?  Well, it can!  Wahoo!  I’ll probably never get cancer considering how much I eat…right?

To all you watermelon haters out there, you’re stupid.  Watermelon is simply the best! End of discussion.

Oh, and cats love watermelon, too.

So cute!!!

Click here for an entire blog about Cats and Watermelon: my two favorite things!

Secret Pleasures #22: Dolls

17 May

I pride myself on being a pretty tough person.  And nothing can discredit my toughness.  Not even my love for dolls.

Yes, DOLLS!

My inspiration for this post comes from a lovely trip to the Disney store where my friends and I fell in love with the Disney Animator’s Collection Dolls.

They are just so damn cute!  As a lover of all things Disney (except the corruption within the business and the fact that they’re taking over the world) I couldn’t help but fall in love.  My friends and I just stared at the dolls analyzing their expressions.

We’ve been doing a lot of ranting lately about which princess fits our personality (I’m Tiana, of course).  We wanted to buy our doll!

Dolls are pretty awesome.  Fun to play with and yet so beautiful inside a box.  Few little girls can claim they’ve never owned a Barbie. But, not all dolls are created equal.  Um, anyone remember Bratz?  They were encouraging children to become prissy shop-o-holic sluts.  Their movies were awful, too.  (I did not watch these of my own accord – babysitting)

Nonetheless, dolls are important because they require imagination and creativity.  They’re perfect for children (girls and boys: C’mon action figures are dolls, too).  Thus, my secret pleasure is…imagination.

 

***Side note: ever hear about the X-men debate? Marvel’s toy company tried to convince the US government that X-men characters were toys not dolls (aka: they weren’t human) so that they didn’t have to pay as much import tax.  It’s pretty screwed up.

“Studying” in New Zealand

12 Jan

New Zealand.  Home to hobbits, kiwis, and HBO’s Flight of the Concords.  Just looking at their calendar will have you pining for a vacation, and I was self loving enough to indulge in that vacation.  There was a façade that I would be studying for five months but that is hardly the truth.

Even the clouds are prettier there.

When people ask me about New Zealand I describe it as a painting.  Almost every place you go the landscape is unbelievably gorgeous.  I’ve looked out at miles of endless hills and thought, “This can’t be real.”  When I look at my pictures I wonder if someone sneaked onto my computer and photoshopped them.  It’s truly breathtaking and sometimes even I can’t believe it.

More specifically I think New Zealand is a surrealist painting.  Not only is the landscape “unreal” but so is everything else.  Let’s be honest here, and I hope I don’t offend any kiwis, New Zealand doesn’t exactly hold any major international importance.  They’re a peaceful, tree-hugging, and sheep shearing bunch of folks.  I’ve looked at plenty of maps where the makers forget to add the islands at all. Therefore, when I was in New Zealand it felt like a break from the harsh reality and constant worries I feel in the US.  My world was completely tweaked – in a good way.

Even parliament seemed like the wacky imagination of an artist.  Who would have thought that grown men and women would behave like a bunch of kindergardeners fighting over the last cookie.  There was even name calling, forced apologies, and threats to remove the politicians from the building.  In the end, I can’t really take New Zealand seriously but living in a painting is a great experience especially when studying abroad.

The lack of reality in New Zealand let me ease up on my usual tenaciousness.  I consistently got more than five hours of sleep every night of the week; that hasn’t happened to me for the last three years.  I was almost always relaxed and planning my next adventure.

This trip holds a hilarious story, but Rayce had forbidden me to tell it...he'll change his mind in 20 years.

Through my studying abroad program I went wine tasting (twice!), ATVing, white water rafting, ate tons of great food, and went to a Maori meeting house.  With other friends I went canoeing for three days straight barely seeing a dozen people total; it was a true scene out of Lord of the Rings or Jurassic Park.  I rented cars and drove across the islands.  I saw wild and rare penguins while kayaking.  I went on four hour tramps (hikes) and slept in tiny huts.  I saw the gaseous Milky Way Galaxy from a totally different perspective.  I got a sore fanny from biking around a lake.

Most memorable of all, I got a flat tire and had to wait nearly five hours for rescue.  But, with a good friend at my side and the car conveniently breaking down next to a lake with a picnic table, I have no complaints.

This is the lake where our car broke down. It's also the place where I got attacked by several angry birds.

I admit studying abroad didn’t consist of a whole lot of academic studying; it also set me a little behind towards my biochemistry major (Yay science!).  However, what I got from New Zealand was a whole new perspective about life.  Before going to New Zealand I had never once thought of myself as patriotic.  Now, due to simply living abroad and taking an International Politics class I’m actually proud to be an American.

My suggestion for those of you considering studying abroad is just do it!  It may not be for those stubborn students who are completely stuck in their ways and hate change, but for the majority of people it will be a major turning point in your life.  Go into a new country with a sense of adventure and openness to other cultures…oh, and don’t forget to have fun!

This entry was originally written for my friend Rayce’s new blog called Found in Translation.  You should go check it out!

1000 Things We Hate #215: Dirty Glasses

3 Jan

Preview a new 1000 Things We Hate post – Dirty Glasses!

Less than half of you readers will be able to relate to this, but that doesn’t matter.  Those who have glasses have more than enough hate to cover the entire world population.   Dirty glasses suck.

Maybe the Chinese will come up with a solution.

Perhaps you, the glasses wearers, are super obsessive or paranoid like me.  Obsessive because I always have to have clean glasses.  Paranoid because I’m always afraid of eye gunk and wipe my eyes causing glass smudges.  The combination is a vicious cycle between beauty and vision.  However, even if I stopped wiping my eyes I’d still have dirty glasses.  Why?

To view the whole post, jump on over to 1000 Things We Hate and read about Dirty Glasses!