You find yourself in a maze filled with edible orbs, and you are not alone. Monsters lurk in this place, is it a dungeon? Is it a castle? Is it a level of HELL? You must run from these evil things — oh! You catch a glimpse! They’re g-g-ghosts! Vengeful, doomed spirits chase you, wishing to devour your soul. So you run. You dodge them by darting into unused corridors! Oh god but there are more! Mindlessly being forced to eat orbs as you run in terror, you stumble upon one that causes the ghosts to flee from YOU. Ha ha! Who’s chasing whom NOW, you fiends?! You gobble them up for a few seconds, not nearly enough seconds. Then their fear is over. You didn’t kill any of them. You do not kill ghosts. The chase is on again, and again, and again until you somehow eat all of the orbs. Then it all starts over.

No, I didn’t write out an entry from my Terrible Dreams journal. I just described the basic plot of Pac Man, an early video game from the otherwise glorious 1980s. It was released on this date in 1980, and I was never the same again.

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You might see these around sometimes in old people’s homes, on the street, or under the bed of some guy you met at the bar. They’re usually black circular thin discs, sometimes with a sticker label with nonsense words. But what are they?

they have music on them

Originally created as a sort-of frisbee, they did not catch on much. The strange method of production however, resulted in millions and millions being pressed. Many records (heh heh heh) of what was done with them since then have vanished but we can find some clues in the haphazard piles people leave behind. From what we can tell, these were once available from places called Urban Outfitters and a place called CBGBs. The last remaining mention of CBGBs indicates it was an eatery at Newark Airport.

 

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Facebook Groups are weird. You may or may not get a lot of invitations to them, depending on your friends on there. But if you do get a lot, we think you’ll recognize some of these kinds of groups. They’re usually strange, confusing, or a sales attempt. The titles are either vague or infuriating. And, worst of all, nobody ever stops talking.

join everything

We haven’t seen any that we’re likely to join, lately. But we can only imagine the groups that would actually tempt us into clicking that Accept button. Wait, is that how you join a group? Anyway, here are some we might consider.

 

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You can feel it in the air, can’t you? The tension. The nervousness. The sheer pinkness of it, reaching for you. Yes, another Valentine’s day has come for us poor wretches.

really really real

VD is a complete train wreck of a holiday. It seeks to make us insecure about ourselves, our significant others, and the validity of our own emotions. This is, in part, because love is a nebulous and confusing thing. Everyone wants it, but few people ever really get it, because no one has any idea what they’re looking for. What do you think of when you think of “love?” Several images probably flashed through your mind; many of them no doubt scenes from romantic movies. And if any of those scenes involved Meg Ryan, just go kill yourself now and spare yourself some bitter disappointment.

 

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It’s so damn hot, you guys. It’s like, really hot. I’m not saying that it’s never been hot before, and I’m not even saying it’s never been THIS hot before, but what I certainly am saying is that right now: it is really hot. Did somebody accidentally bump the sun a little closer to us on the last trip round? I’m looking at you Jupiter, you stupid piece of goddamn shit.

poor juper

I’m.. I’m sorry, Jupiter, and fans of Jupiter. I didn’t mean to have an outburst. It’s just, you guys… it’s really hot right now. It’s like I’m playing the maracas underwater and every time I shake my maracas, the water gets hotter. And everybody wants to do the samba, and also everyone else has maracas too, and also everyone has a serious tremor in both hands AND ALSO the song we are all playing is “Johnny Fast-Hands Plays The Maracas Faster Than Usual.” Additionally, instead of a pool it’s a furnace fill with water, and instead of that water, there’s fire, and no maracas, and Johnny Fast-Hands’ fast hands are fused together, pock-marked by the embers and pitch black like your grandparents’ souls.

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I intend to begin a series of games articles today, with or without the help of my trusty sidekick, cchris, that take a look at the games out there in the world that are meant for girls to play. Even though I write tons of gaming articles (even though these are generally hardly even to be considered games), I am really not a “gamer.” I am dimly aware that there is a whole Girl Gamer Culture out there, and that there are politics and strife and some kind of women’s liberation movement screaming for equal rights and respect while playing various games, because not only are games a serious part of life, but opposition to women doing anything or having any fun is everywhere at all times. But I am not here to fumble around with explanations about topics I know next to nothing about. WAIT YES I AM. But the topic I choose to fumble with is games, not with complicated social issues.

Hasbro has a bunch of little games on its website, but I haven’t bothered to explore them. Really, I wouldn’t even know that Baby Alive exists at all except that one day cchris linked me to this one, thinking that it would stir up my maternity instincts or foul-mouthed rage – one or the other. He has his own reasons for experimenting on his friends and they are not reasons I bother to question. The only thing I am left questioning, actually, is why I click any link he offers me.

But I do, and I did, and I was immediately disgusted by what I saw before me. Truth be told, as soon as I realized what I was seeing and hearing, I complained to him and threatened to turn it off. Then of course, I proceeded to play the game.

gross

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gift card

There are some who say that gift-giving is a dying art. There was a time once when gift selection was a thoughtful process of deciding upon a gift that reflects both the giver and its recipient, when the giver sought something that the recipient would want but would be unlikely to buy himself.

There was also a time when we lived in caves and drew stick figures on the walls.

Yes, now we live in what historians will one day call Modern Times, what with the cable TV and the “World Wide Internet” and the spray cheese and the downsizing and the Taco Bell and the one hit wonder and the female impersonators and the Lincoln Town Cars and the Wal-Marts and the African skin cults and the Bimini Road and the wild packs of Mole People from Far Ends of Time now roaming the earth. We don’t have time to give that much thought to others; we have a hair appointment at four o’clock!

 

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amanda wood masterpiece

Human babies are not pretty things. Ever. They dribble, goo, spit up, stink outrageously, and make ear-shattering screech-noises at all hours of the day. Their heads are enormous for their body sizes, and they don’t appear to have teeth or anything. They can’t even form words! Instead, they make nonsense gurgle sounds which, quite frankly, terrify me. Some babies don’t have any hair, and some unfortunate babies have far too much hair. Exceptionally ugly babies already have a unibrow. I have seen a few of them, mostly in photographs. I avoid babies as much as humanly possible, and yet, even I have been faced with the question, “Awww, isn’t he or she just the cutest thing?” Of course, it is not.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am not an expert on human infants. But I know enough to allow me to get along with my friends, relatives, or acquaintances who have decided not to terminate certain pregnancies. Lunatics though they may be, it is not my place to alienate them beyond my wildest dreams. Instead, probably because I’m a coward who doesn’t want anyone to be angry with me, I use my cunning skills of tact and deception to fool them. And when those techniques are also used in combination with the deft use of the subject change, a situation first thought to be a hopeless trainwreck will instead turn into a delightful conversation about how nice the kitchen would look if it were a lively peach color, or how we would benefit as a society if we all stopped drinking carbonated soda pops for several years, or even the possible ramifications one would experience from having made a robot that could think, act, and love just like a human. Or at least think, act, and love just like a human dog.

It is easy to see why new parents find cute in their own baby or, in the unholy event of twins or more, babies. If the baby or babies did not weave some sort of evil magical spell over their caregivers, the adults would smother them with a pillow by Day Two of the never-ending screaming, messing, eating, and screaming. Even if the parents outlasted my two day estimation, there would come a day when they would realize that that baby hadn’t stopped screaming, eating, and eliminating their foulness since birth, and it would not stop for many years yet. Eugh. I refuse to dwell any more on the horror of childbirth and human infancy, as it is making me feel too queasy. It isn’t really the new parents’ fault for shoving their baby in your face and asking you to validate whether or not it is cute. It reassures them and keeps them from some sort of soul-sucking depression and subsequent jail time. And I hear the fellas down at the state prison aren’t too friendly with baby killers. You don’t want your friends in jail, they are already paying for their birth decision enough with the actual baby itself. That is why I am here to help you out by giving you ten easy ways to avoid telling those unfortunate souls how ugly and horrible their baby actually is.

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