Decor is Very Important: Action Figures

All right, nerds. I’mma have to be real with you.

You need to stop with the packaged action figures. It’s sending all the wrong signals.

I see a lot of “nerd” rooms that have action figures, still in their boxes, on display like they were cherished tchotchkes. It is my assumption that aside from declaring loudly and proudly that you like nerdy shit, the intention behind this is to convey a sense of fun and childlike whimsy to your visitors. Because who but a fun person would collect Legends of the WWF toys or obscure DC superhero action figures?

But “fun” is not what piles upon piles of toys you cannot play with suggests.

Read On…

Decor is Very Important: Eclecticism (Like on Friends)

Let’s talk about that respite from brokeness, limited options, and fear of commitment to a style: eclectic decor.

It’s been around forever, I’m sure, but the most famous and popularizing example of it is probably Monica Geller’s apartment in the TV show, Friends. Monica’s home is full of mismatched furniture, different wood grains and stains, and knickknacks everywhere. It’s busy as hell and there’s shit every way you look.

Monica Geller's living room from the television show 'Friends'.

Monica Geller’s living room from the television show “Friends”.

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Anatomy of an Update: Lessons from Robotic Boogaloo on Community Updates

It’s been a good long while since Robotic Boogaloo, the first (and thus far only) community-created update, and I’ve been thinking about it lately. The update never sat well with me and even if we don’t all agree that the update wasn’t that great, we should all acknowledge it wasn’t well-received. But I don’t feel that should be the end of community-created updates. I think the TF2 community can and does do better. If we want community updates to be a thing that people celebrate on the same level as normal Valve updates, though, they need to BE on the same level as a Valve update, as opposed to being a thing of people seeing one is out and thinking “Aw fuck, hat glurge”. The next one, if there is a next one, is gonna have to really knock it out of the park to prove this is a thing worth doing on the regular.

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Launching Games with Unusual Formats (including DOSBox and Other Studios’ Knock-Off Clients) in Steam

So maybe you are like me and you have 50+ games on your Steam account and you are using the rest of Steam’s functionality enough that you want to launch all of your games from Steam’s neatly organized and alphabetized library. Or maybe (also like me) you just think it’s fun to let your friends know when you’re playing 5 Days a Fuckfest or Tales of Game’s Studios Presents Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up & Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa.

It’s easy as hell if your game launches with an .exe file, as most games these days do. But what about older shit? Or ROM dumps? Steam doesn’t permit importing of most proprietary formats just by the usual way, nor links to webpages. As such, how to launch browser games or anything in an emulator, especially the clusterfucks that are DOS-based games, is not something readily obvious in Steam.

But you can do it and here is how.

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Baby, It’s Slut-Shamey Outside

It’s that time of year again, when all the new SJ warriors “discover” that Baby, It’s Cold Outside is about date rape. This is, of course, based solely on one innocuous line of the lyrics – “Say, what’s in this drink?” – and further conjecture based on the (usually) male singer’s pushiness.

Allow me to, if I may, offer a different yet equally modern interpretation.

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Being Big

My stats tell me that someone recently did a search on my site for an essay on Lloyd from Phonogram: The Singles Club. I’m not sure what specifically you were hoping to learn about him, but I do have thots on him, so whoever you are, hopefully you will be back.

When The Singles Club was first coming out, trickling out really, the character I most related to was Emily. Emily is the leader of her own coven of Phonomancers which is what other indie music scenesters know her for, but her defining character trait is that she has completely and consciously reinvented herself. Much of her story is about her old self occasionally peeking through and her current one trying to squash the other out. So long as she doesn’t feel like gloating to her own reflection anyway.

A lot of the reason why I liked her story was because I felt I couldn’t be who I really wanted to be at the time. I’m sure your own home is probably not unlike mine, in that you cannot really do anything new or different without people making something of it. I am shy in a lot of ways, and sensitive to that kind of thing. I wanted to change myself, but I wanted people to treat it as if I was always like that and there was nothing funny or stupid about any change I had made. Emily’s transition into her new self was very enviable. (The Immaterial Girl may reveal otherwise.)

Now that I live by myself and am free to pursue being who I really want to be, I find that nowadays Lloyd’s conflict most resonates with me.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Barbie and the Rockers Fashions, Part 2: Center of the Universe

So the first three minutes and change of this movie is a mixture “look at this concert and our visual effects skills” and a montage of magazine covers, quick scenes, and global concert footage establishing that Barbie (and to a lesser extent, the Rockers) are the hottest shit that ever shat.

Barbie, alone, on the cover of Barbie Magazine, wearing a pink and black dress.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Barbie and the Rockers Fashions, Part 1: Concerted Individuality

Talk about dated movies.

Released in 1987, most people who have anything to say about Barbie and the Rockers recall it only as Mattel’s half-hearted stab at the market that Hasbro was capitalizing on with their Jem and the Holograms cartoon and line of fashion dolls. Unfortunately, because Jem had been cancelled by ’88, but Barbie and the Rockers were on VHS, I had never heard of the former and instead watched the living shit out of this.

Watching it now, you can definitely tell when it was made. But that’s part of the fun, ain’t it?

The biggest tell is not the soundtrack which, though very synthpop, is half-comprised of cover songs. This is probably why the movie has never seen an American DVD release, getting the rights to all the covers again. These screenshots come from the Italian DVD release, which seem not to include the second half of the movie where they go back in time to 1959 (the year Barbie was introduced). Which is a shame because if you like this article, you’d love (as Salmon put it when she watched it with me) “oh lord, the 50’s according to the 80’s”.

But no, it is the undeniably the outfits, of which there are many, that plant this cartoon squarely in the “this is from the 80’s” camp.

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Miranda Priestly and the Clackers: Being Heard and Seen

Almost all of my shoes have heels. Three inches minimum. I had wanted to wear them since I was a little girl. They made you look taller and undeniably more mature. But the best part about them, thought I at age five, was the sound they made.

It’s a sound, I later learned, that some people think ought to be suppressed. In the film The Devil Wears Prada, Andrea complains about her job and mentions a group of women she calls Clackers, because of the sound their stiletto heels make on the marble lobby of her office building. “They worship her”, she says of Miranda Priestly, Andrea’s boss and the editor in chief of Runway, the fashion magazine they both work for.

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