Tag Archives: nerd

How do you say “I know that feeling” in Simlish?

24 Jun

Two weeks ago, I put my ghetto pink laptop from college to rest. After dropping it once (okay, three times), forgetting to ever clean the screen and letting it overheat on my bed for five years, it was starting to fail at performing basic tasks, such as opening a browser in less than a minute or properly playing my Sims game.

Let me start by saying that I am totally 100% okay with the fact that I am addicted to the Sims. Perhaps it’s because I’m a control freak or because somewhere deep down I enjoy manipulating people, but I find the notion of creating a family, watching it grow and letting them live out their ambitions to be rewarding, challenging and extremely fun. The Sims 3 came out a few years ago, and I’ve been dying to have it ever since I heard about all the exciting features: the seamless game play (no loading screens except for the beginning), focused more on achieving goals than guiding your Sim to the bathroom every five minutes, the  crazy awesome expansion packs… I wanted it all. Now that I have my new laptop and have installed the Sims 3, I’ve found that Will Wright may know me a little too well. It appears that he designed this game to perfectly reflect several aspects in my life.

proposing in the sims 3

Lucky betch.

I have absolutely no idea how to properly hook Sims up anymore. While it was relatively simple to do in previous versions, I have struggled to even have my Sims go on a successful date. I seriously had a Sim say, “That was boring…maybe we can go out on an exciting date next time?” after taking the couple to a movie and an art gallery. What the heck is considered more exciting than that? Skydiving?

When I first tried the game out, I created a relatively good-looking girl with high ambition and commitment issues. I figured that I would have this Sim avoid dating, level up in her career and then maybe adopt a kid after a while. My Sim goes to work, however, and finds herself attracted to a man in the office and immediately wants to date him. Flash forward a few minutes hours, and I’ve taken this Sim out on nine dates with nothing happening… not even a kiss or a hint of wanting a relationship. My Sim ends up reaching her career goals and living her life out alone.

When the grim reaper came and her frail little elderly Sim body was taken to the local cemetery, I paused my game in disgust as I realized that the Sim I had created — the Sim that was so adament to achieve success that she didn’t know what the hell to do in her love life — was ME. Off in the distance, I swear I could almost hear Sims developers laughing as yet another hopeless nerd fell into the trap of playing their tragic life out through what can only be described as a high-tech adult version of a dollhouse. What I’ve worried about most has finally been confirmed: dating in this age is extremely difficult, even in the Sims.

I feel like my attempt at finding someone special has been so depressingly close to what my first Sim experienced: I meet someone who I feel would be great for me, and then one of two things happen — I run away the moment I find out that they have feelings for me too, or I somehow mess everything up. I have placed being on my own, not having any attachment and focusing on my career far higher than finding love, and I worry now that I am doomed to meet the same fate as my poor Sim.

Just like in real life, helping out a person in the Sims has many challenges. Unexpected things happen: You fall in love with someone who you know isn’t really right for you, you try to figure out where your skills lie and how you’re going to use them to make a living, you try to make friendships with individuals that can add happiness and fulfilment to your life and, in between all of that, you are struggling just to pay bills and get by. No matter which way you play it, though, the end result is always the same: death, darkness, game over. Perhaps it’s time that I take a step back and think about why I, like my Sim, have chosen to let the fear of commitment and vulnerability rule my life. Hopefully my Sims and I can find love and happiness. Maybe the answer is staring me right in the face — flailing its arms around on the computer screen.

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The Corporate World, the Retail World, and Why I’m Turning into Liz Lemon

6 Feb

When I told my retail co-workers that I was going to have to severely cut down my hours in order to work at a company temporarily to gain some field experience for my major, I received a mixture of shock and praise. One of my co-workers, a 40 year-old surfer dude who has sympathized with me in the fact that I sometimes want to run away to Vancouver and just become a waitress and people-watch for the rest of my life, seemed to be the most shocked. “I just can’t picture you going over to the dark side,” he said while shaking his long hair, which has more highlights in it than my own, from side to side. Another co-worker told me that she admired the fact that I was trying to get out into the real world and away from constantly juggling twenty things at once, helping customers “shop” (in other words, going to fetch items for them while they stand there), and dealing with women who are obsessed with gingerbread houses.

The thing is, the corporate world is vastly different from retail. You certainly have less crazy people to deal with, you don’t have to worry about overexerting yourself physically because you sit at a desk all day, and you don’t have to wear a polyester-blend shirt in unattractive colors (well, unless you have bad fashion sense…then it’s your own damn fault).  Most importantly, it isn’t as newsworthy–coming home from a day at a retail job, for example, might invoke more interesting stories than coming home from a normal job. I can list at least ten crazy things that happened the last time I worked at my store off the top of my head (one involving a dog chilling out in our stock room), and the only thing I can think of that’s even slightly crazy about my “big girl” job is that I discovered that Mac computers don’t have a “print screen” button. I guess Steve Jobs is just too good for that. I also find that I have more to talk about with my retail co-workers: they share my love for Watchmen, Xbox 360, and obscure alternative folk music. I realized, therefore, that a good happy medium would be to apply for a job that embraces my inner geek, which is why I applied to the associate brand manager job listed for the card game Dungeons & Dragons. I think that I will probably always be involved in retail or some way or the other, but my heart is set on finding a nerdy company to work for who will welcome me with open arms.

Speaking of nerdy, I’ve recently realized, after discovering the amazing show 30 Rock, that I am slowly turning into Tina Fey‘s character of Liz Lemon and I actually don’t mind. As I approach the age of 22 being single, constantly slaving away to either school or work, and binging on unhealthy junk food, I see that my future of becoming a Liz Lemon is imminent: living alone in an apartment, putting credit card collectors on speaker phone while eating dinner just to pretend I have company over, and trying to tape together a bra because I am too busy fighting off people to get the last hot dog at the hot dog stand to go out and buy a new one. I will have gone through five short-lived relationships with men who don’t understand my quirks, sarcasm, or preference for nachos and beer over a five-course meal. And you know what? I’m okay with that. The thing is, Liz is kind of stuck between the personalities of the retail and corporate world too: she has to do her job and act responsible, but at the end of the day all she wants to really do is make fun of people and talk about Star Wars (or in my case, Battlestar Galatica). Either way, as I begin my slow approach towards a new  career, I can only hope that I am able to balance the constant tug-of-war between my inner nerd and the stuffy corporate world as much as Liz Lemon does.

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