Mr. Bill George Presents

Author Archive

Selling Out

In Business, Society on September 21, 2009 at 12:29 AM

“Oh, to be employed,” I thought to myself as sat in my bed for nearly three months of this past summer doing absolutely nothing.

Well, absolutely nothing in between the many festivals and shows and Phish concerts I attended with the help of my graduation money.

Cursing my dwindling bank account, but reveling in the freedom of my schedule, I wonder if maybe I am destined to a life of hippie-dom, floating from show to show, bumming off of my parents, and scraping by in life just enough to enjoy myself, but not enough to feel like I am actually contributing to society.

Then I got a job.

For the first week I hold onto my pre-working lifestyle tightly. The night before my first day I stay up late out of protest. I watch Larry King’s senile ass like I had been for the entire summer, even though he is on at 3 a.m. and I need to be up for 8 o’ clock the next morning. The next day I nearly fall asleep during my training, and instead of going to bed earlier that night, I drink double the coffee at work the following day.

I come home for my hour lunch break. And despite my every instinct I blaze with my sister during that hour. I go back to work paranoid, out of it, and just generally dumb, but it’s worth it because I prove to the world that I’m not going to give up my life for a stupid job. I tell myself that, OK, maybe toking isn’t the best course of action when you’re trying to learn two intensive computer programs, but I still smoke two more lunch breaks after that before I finally give it up. Actually, I run out of weed.

A couple more days go by. I find myself making promises to myself that I know I wont keep. I refuse to let my newfound schedule hinder me from working out, and despite my early evening tiredness I still drag ass to the gym and do 50 minutes of cardio (plus weight training) five times a week. I look forward to my post-workout glass of wine (make that two) and a few episodes of me and my mother’s favorite show, In Treatment. Or, depending on the Netflix delivery schedule, I pour that glass of wine and curl up in bed.

I sit down at my computer, “Ah, tonight’s the night I will write that piece about working for This Is A Weblog. Right after I smoke this customary peace pipe for inspiration.”

I get to feelin’ pretty inspired, and at this point I have already drank 2/3rds of the glass of wine, so I decide to play a little Tetris before I write. I wake up with my laptop hot on my thighs. It is 3 a.m. I finish the wine and blink and it’s 8 a.m. I’m awoken not by my alarm clock, but by the sound of me yelling “noooo” at my alarm clock. I tell myself I will go to bed earlier that night, that sometimes we have to compromise our ideal lifestyle for work. That’s why it’s called work.

After a few more weeks of this, my 8 a.m. alarm turns into my 8:17 alarm. My Larry King Live appointment turns into YouTube clips of Charlie Rose; I can watch those at anytime, and besides Larry sucks now. My midday blaze session turns into my nightcap. My bedtime glass of wine turns into the “Can I finish this glass of wine before I pass out?” game. My weekends are no longer for partying, but for catching up on sleep. I start to see the barefoot and free version of myself from the summer slipping away. I wonder what I am becoming.

A month goes by and I get my first paycheck. I grimace when I see the hunk of taxes taken out, but grin when I take another hunk of cash out and put it toward my car savings. I buy a Man Man ticket as soon as it goes onsale without hesitation. I charge $114 on my American Eagle credit card. I even overdraft my checking account just because I want to buy a good bottle of wine. I look at myself in the mirror, adnored with a new blouse, pair of pants and red-stained teeth, and I know that I have become a corporate whore.

Advertisements

(Real) Life On The Farm

In Video Games on July 27, 2009 at 11:34 PM

These days it seems like every new video game on the market is playing a game of “can you top this,” with a million possible story lines and insanely realistic graphics. Sure, for uber nerds gamers that want to devote the time, these developments in gaming technology are fantastic.

But what about the regular people who don’t feel like scouring the internet to discover the correct code to unlock Vault 9 in such-and-such game? (OK, Fallout.) I don’t need to see a character’s pumping veins or the gruesome details of a chemical spill to be impressed by the “realness” of a game. You want to see real? I suggest you pick up a Game Boy Advance SP and play a little Harvest Moon.

Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town was developed in 2005 by Natsume Inc., and is one of many versions of the RPG. While each model of Harvest Moon is slightly different, the premise of the story remains the same: Your character inherits a farm for X amount of time, and must make it profitable while also building a life for his or herself.

In the 2005 version the lead character is female (a blonde which I have some issues with), but there’s certainly no gender discrimination in Mineral Town. Clearing land, tilling, planting and harvesting crops are all a must to survive in the game, and, if you want to survive past your first winter, you’ll need to purchase livestock, learn how to fish, and collect logs to make home improvements with. If you can find any free time in between all that intensive labor than you’d better take a walk through the neighborhood, because in this game you’re also expected to socialize with the residents of Mineral Town (something that may be traumatic for the agoraphobic gamers out there).

Me, or my character Angie-Poo, has been living on Jaded Field Farm (I started playing the game after a breakup) for almost a year, and I have three chickens (all named Minski), one cow and one sheep. And a horse that was given to me by the mayor, but I think he might be lame because he’s legitimately been with me for a ten months and hasn’t grown at all, or maybe I should remember to feed him more. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so distracted if one of the game’s biggest features wasn’t to get married and have kids. That’s right folks, just like life, if you don’t get a mate during your time on the farm everyone in the town will think you’re a big fat loser, and you’ll probably die alone while everybody else couples off and then you’ll be the only person in North Adams– uhh, I mean Mineral Town, to not have a boyfriend.

Read the rest of this entry »