Saturday Report from the Rocket Cat

Three nearly identically dressed thin twenty-something guys with brown hair. They are all wearing hoodies, jeans, and sneakers--one with a black knit cap tight against his head. All are artistic and by "artistic" I mean effeminate (cross their legs, gesture with their hands, speak with a certain drawl). We also have a husband and wife and their blue jumper clad eight month old--a bald headed baby boy (also wearing a hoodie) who is behaving pretty well aside from his persistent "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"-ing. Seems like everyone knows everyone here--how do they meet? Should I introduce myself loudly to the room? "Hey, guys, I live just down the street and I like interesting things and will wear quirky clothes on occasion."

I could brag about my recent publishing accomplishments even though they are not based on anything I did really recently. Philadelphia Stories is republishing "Wonderful Girl" in their first anthology and I just got an acceptance for another story in Cimarron Review. The CR story is one I wrote for the summer fiction class--so that makes that entire experience worthwhile. If I were a really nice person, I would email the teacher and tell her and thank her personally for her suggestions for revisions. I plan on taking advancing fiction with the visiting writer whose grad class I tried to sit in on this fall--she said I could take this course and it's on Main Campus once a week at a great time--4:40-7:00, so I can easily go there without having too much of the work day. I'm excited. In the meantime, I need to keep writing at least something or revising the other story I wrote that summer.

But more importantly, I introduced my friend Amanda to Sims II by bringing my laptop to work yesterday. I felt a little bad about it--not about loading a PC game at work--but at giving her a taste of Sims. It's like I just introduced her to crack so I could have another buddy to smoke with. She liked it immediately. She seemed to get the game much faster than I did and then asked a bunch of questions about it and was amazed with every answer. We created the "Proulx" family so she could see that process--a teenage girl and her single dad, a fat black cat named Iggy, and a super unattractive and mean love interest/roomie--I forget what we named her. I usually don't make unattractive or hard to deal with characters because it makes the game less harmonious, but it was fun to do the opposite of what I normally do--to make the character's nose really big, her eyes tiny, her lips protruding, her stomach a big beach ball, and an ass to match. We dressed her in terrible clothes all around, including a gigantic bra and granny underpants and gave her a personality that when illustrated on the screen, showed her beating up a teddy bear (she's not very nice). Amanda then wanted to come up with a back story--another thing I seldom do (you can write their bios on the page; you can also keep a running story line going on by writing in each family's journal. Why do I never do this?). We decided that the dad, Billy, was attracted to this horrible woman because she had red hair and green eyes, just like his wife, who died five years before. The teen daughter and this lady will fight all the time because the daughter, Megan, resents her. I can't wait to move them in and try something different with the Sims--something with a narrative.

Amanda called last night and said it was taking everything in her power not to rush over to my house to play. Meanwhile, I played for a couple of hours until one of my Sims caught fire grilling hot dogs and burned to death and then I had to close the game without saving or else she'd be dead forever. A tragedy.