Super thrilled and honored to be reviewed by Cyrus of Father Geek!



If Sims were self-aware: A conversation between Mortimer Goth and Bob Newbie.

"You know how many friends you gotta maintain to be a good politician?"



Written and directed by Alex Coulombe for Slacktory; starring TJ Clark as Mortimer and Michael Finn as Bob. Full credits here.

Filmed this in February (see post), promised I’d have it done before The Sims 4 came out, procrastinated for a couple months, heard in June the release date would be September 2nd, panicked, had a way-too-busy summer, started working on it properly in early August, finished today. 

I hope you like it!

This is the first filmy thing I’ve ever made. What it lacks in production quality, I hope it makes up for in awesome video game inside-jokes. Enjoy!!

September 3, 2014 - And So it Begins… Again!



From Brooklyn…


…to Garrison!

September 3,2014- Commute Day 150!!

Holy cow folks, it actually happened. I started this blog at the beginning of 2014 in anticipation of buying a house up north and watching my commute drastically shift, and by golly today was the first day of that new commute. Darn tootin’.

It was a lovely weekend of family and moving stuff to and from Brooklyn at 5 AM in the morning, complete with way-too-nice neighbors stopping by Friday morning to help us get everything out of our classy Nancy Kennedy moving truck so Liz could rush back to Brooklyn to clean our apartment in probably-all-for-naught anticipation of getting our security deposit back. Anyway, for at least today, Thursday and Friday, I want to be super detailed about this commute. So here we go:

07:30 AM - woke up with my alarm. I went to bed at 2:50 AM (still working on my Sims short film). 

07:55 - After confirming my latest rough cut rendered overnight and loading it onto a USB key, I’m ready to go. Liz is super sick though and delayed.

08:07 - We actually leave the house. I figure we’re going to miss the 8:18 Peekskill train, so consider trying to catch the one in Cortlandt (the next stop). 

08:23 - Liz is super sick though, and Google Maps takes us on a weird route that basically just takes us back to the Peekskill station, so I say screw it and have her drop me off there. I spend my wait time trying to figure out how the monthly MetroNorth passes work. Unlike the MTA passes, they aren’t valid 30 days from purchase, but literally follow a month-to-month pass cycle making it harder to time strategic gaps in passes. 

08:43 - The train comes. I get a seat in the second car (assuming I want to be near the front). I sit down with my work laptop and take notes on the latest cut of my Sims film. After Effects renders transparency incorrectly in Premiere 

09:43 - Wow! Exactly one hour to Grand Central. I do get off near the front of the train and open right into Grand Central Station. I buy a monthly pass for Peekskill (I’ll investigate Cortlandt, Garrison, and Croton-Harmon stop options more thoroughly later), then try to exit but realize my orientation is off by 180 degrees. Once I have my bearings I walk to the 6 train. 

09:56 - After waiting for about 4 minutes, the 6 train arrives. I use this time to catch up on 326 feedly news items.

10:01 - The train arrives at 23rd Street. I get out and again my orientation is off by 180 degrees. For a split second I thought the big clock in Union Square was the Metlife building. Anyway, I continue my feedly check while walking to 19th street and 5th. 

10:11 - My elevator commute time was about 1.3 minutes, then I arrived in my office. Weee! Can’t believe I’m not more tired.

So my departure and arrival times for today are in bold. That’s a commute time of 2 hours and 4 minutes, but hey, there were delays. Also, summer Fridays are over which means work five days a week, but also work not starting until 9:30 (if I’m on time :/ )

Let’s look at the things that probably won’t change so much: 12 minutes to get to the train, one hour on the train, and let’s say about 20 minutes to get from GCT to my office. That’s about an hour thirty, and I can totally handle that (if that’s what it ends up being— we need more data!) Let’s recall my Brooklyn commute used to take 35-45 minutes each way, but it was standing most of the time. At least now I’m pretty much guaranteed a seat and can get some focused work done. There’s something kind of cool about the train ride being exactly an hour… I think my friend Danton Spina is likely to appreciate such a precise chunk of time. Then the non-train stuff can be my typical podcast/audio bluetooth headphone setup. I think it can work!

Stuff that remains to be figured out:

1) Which monthly train pass will give me the best bang for my buck? Obviously if we drive further south to Cortlandt or Croton-Harmon, the monthly pass is less expensive, but then we also spend more on gas.The Peekskill pass I bought today was $345 for the month of September, so about 3 times the cost of a subway pass. But again, there’s the gas cost, the car insurance cost, and the fact that I can’t really game the system by timing my monthly purchases to end and begin right before and after long weekends. 

2) Which trains should I take to get to and leave work? There’s something interesting about the fact that leaving late would actually give me an off-peak rate, but that’s negated by the fact that I would never want to leave work at the off-peak time (it’s something like 8:30 PM). Plus there’s no off-peak monthly pass. To get to most daylight I can, I would like to get to work early and leave early. But actually, I would really like to just not have to commute 5 days a week. We’ll tackle that at my annual review in October.

3) Do I continue to buy a monthly MetroCard, do I pay by the ride, or do I try to not use the subway at all? For less than the cost of a monthly metrocard I could get a year of Citi Bike. Or I could get a folding bike, but that’s more money up front. As soon as Liz gets a job, maybe I’ll go in for the Citi Bike annual pass and see if I can ever get a bike anywhere near Grand Central. Should be fun…

That’s it for now! More tomorrow…

August 12, 2014 - Housey Housowitz


August 12, 2014 - Day 139
Yesterday we closed on our house! Here’s part of the backyard with our black dog running through it. I could say a lot about the house-buying experience and the closing process and all that crazy stuff, but this is a blog about commuting, so let’s stay on topic. We finished all our paperwork yesterday at about noon, did a bunch of DMV and car repair stuff, then went to the house. We stayed the night and left about 7:30 this morning to go to work. My wife dropped me off at 145th street to take the 3 to the 1, while she drove back to Bed-Stuy to go to her job there. Taking advantage of summer fridays, our plan is to go up there every Thursday evening and stay until Sunday night. So I won’t really start taking the train in until September. So the commute itself today isn’t of particular interest… unless you count that it took us about an hour to get to 145th street from the house. Oh, and the dirt road driveway is currently a nightmare. Hope we figure out a solution to that.

watching on Kindle Fire: SimStory— I’d like to do some minor edits then send it off! Pacing wise, I think it’s doing pretty good, but we can certainly eliminate the ‘criminal mastermind gets his ass stolen from’ story if we want to tighten things up. We’ll see how that goes. 


Show gifs!


Our first full cast rehearsal, playing some of our favorite improv games: freeze and bus stop!


Some Dystopiapiapia rehearsal gifs.

My last session with the DK1. Photo for Opera America magazine, coming soon to a something near you.

My last session with the DK1. Photo for Opera America magazine, coming soon to a something near you.


Before and after the end of the competition. Harry Potter style.

More autoawesomes because why not?