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Archive for April, 2010

Death by Finals.... from http://themarcottes.com/

It’s the week before finals here, meaning that people have set-up camp at the library. Being the only place on campus open 24 hours, it’s become the place to be whether or not you actually have work to do.

There are four types of library dwellers: herders, wanderers, foreign settlers, and loners. Herders are 3 or more people, generally friends or group members, who come to the library to distract everyone else. They come in and out with large styrofoam Ma’s Donuts’ coffee cups and occasionally Taco Bell. They get absolutely no work done, but complain continuously about how much they have to get done and how unreasonable their professors are. They almost always agree to pull an all-nighter, but typically work on and complete their projects between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and complain to everyone about how long it took.

Then there’s wanderers. If any herd is actually able to get work started, a wanderer is sure to stop them. These are the kid’s who don’t really have any reason to be at the library but are there anyways. Their sole purpose is to distract anyone attempting to work. They see their freshman-year roommate’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s cousin’s ex-girlfriend who they sat behind in Politics before they dropped it after four days and they have to say hello; it’d be rude not to. Yes, we all know one. We may even like one. But if you want to get to bed before 4 a.m., avoid them at all costs until finals are over.

 Foreign settlers are the kids who want to get work done but have  no one to do it with. They’re either not quite secure enough to be loners or they can’t find a single seat, so they join a herd that’s already formed. The only problem is, these kids have nothing to do with the herd. They’re not in the group, or even in the class, yet they try to make it work. They sit their awkwardly, trying to join the group conversation but have no idea about what’s actually going on. Foreign settlers tend to have the same effect on groups as wanderers except that they don’t leave. Ever. Then they’ll typically ask for a ride home.

Then there’s the loner kids. They hate their roommates; they hate their classes; but most of all they hate everyone else in the library. They are on the brink of a nervous breakdown. They just want to study, but cannot think over the sound of the herders and they keep getting distracted by wanderers. No, they don’t want a coffee and they don’t want to help you edit your religion essay. They just want to do work and you just won’t let them. They will kill you. They might be the nicest people in the world any other time. But we’re talking about finals here and if you ask them one more question, you’re dead.

It’s 2 weeks of dark circles, caffeine, and distractions.

Happy Finals!

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Taking-a-picture-in-the-bathroom-mirror-so-that-everyone-can-be-in-it awesomeness

 

I apparently describe things as “alright” and “okay”  too much. And apparently these are not appropriate adjectives to describe how something is if I enjoy it (i.e. I saw the Blue Man Group with SLJ, she asked me if I like it, I did and I said it was alright, and she got annoyed). She told me that I “live a life of mediocrity.” So I thought about it and have come up with a list of things that are so amazingly, outstandingly, spectacularly, magnificently, mind-blowingly, wonderfully, unbelievably, overwhelmingly,  marvelously, wondrously awesome that I cannot even use enough adverbs to describe how chock full of awesomeness these things are.  

20. Nana’s house– childhood memories awesomeness
19. Milk chocolate– melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness
18. Unicorns– Pets-you-wish-you-had-when-you-were-a-five-year-old-girl awesomeness
17. Tie-dye– multi-colored, psychedelic awesomeness
16. Green Mountain Coffee– fair-trade awesomeness
15. David Sedaris’s “The Santa Land Diaries”- best-Christmas-story-ever-told-since-the-first-Christmas  awesomeness
14. Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup– OMG-that-might-be-the-greatest-thing-ever-to-be-poured-from-a-ladle awesomeness
13. Laundry right out of the dryer– warm-and-cuddly awesomeness
12. Wrinkle-free shirts– never-have-to-burn-yourself-on-a-hot-iron-again awesomeness
11. Ben & Jerry’s– delicious, high-fat, environmentally-friendly awesomeness
10. Stephen Colbert– Nerdy wit awesomeness
9. Bubbles– popable awesome
8. Daffodils– first-sign-of-spring awesomeness
7. Sundresses– comfy-yet-dressy awesomeness
6. Oatmeal– good-for-you-breakfast awesomeness
5. Sales– Can’t-believe-this-is-85%-off-and-in-my-size awesomness
4. The Rocket Summer– happiness-through-the-headphones awesomeness
3. Shooting stars– Close-your-eyes-and-make-a-wish awesomeness
2.  UNICEF– saving-the-children-of-the-world awesomeness
1. My friends– delightfully awkward, ridiculously dependable awesomeness  

So there you go, things that make my life more than mediocre.

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Your contributions to global warming.... from inhabitat.com

Let’s face it, we could all be a little greener. I know that even though I try to be eco-responsible, I still find myself creating more waste than necessary. I could use environmentally friendly laundry detergent or reusable tampons, but those are changes I’ve yet to make (and as far the tampons are concerned, I never will). There just hasn’t been any real, driving force telling me to change. And generally speaking, that driving force I’m talking about is guilt. When I gave up purchasing bottled water 4 years ago, it was guilt that got me to clean up my carbon footprint. I figured out that I went though over 20 bottles of water a week, that’s more than 80 a month, and that if you do the math, it’s pushing close to 1,000 a year. The more I thought about it, the more I realized all the wasteful things I do that are essentially killing the planet.

So I’m working on it. Eileen, however, just recently got guilted. An organization at the university recently put up a displayof water bottles with a sign thats says, if everyone here drinks 1 bottle of water a day, 2,000 bottles would be wasted. And that’s the moment she got guilted. She thought of how many bottles she actually goes through in a day and realized that she was part of the problem. She’s also working on lessons to teach kids how to recycle and care for the planet (mild hypocricy guilt?). So her first step: she’s going to buy a reusable water bottle. So maybe the guilt is good.

In one of my classes, we talked about doing the right thing because it’s morally and ethically right or doing the right thing for any other reason (fame, recognition, guilt) and discussed if it really mattered the reason as long as you did the right thing. I used to think the morals behind it mattered, but if ethically you can’t convince yourself to do something, maybe guilt is good enough.

If you want to feel guilty, click here to find out what your carbon footprint is. The average American’s footprint in 20.40. The last time I calculated, I was about an 18.20. If everyone lived like me, we’d need four planets to sustain us. That means that I am not only hurting the planet, but hurting my fellow human beings as well because they get less when I use more. And there’s the guilt.

Happy Earth Day!

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Seal of Awesomeness from raspberryrunner.files.wordpress.com

A few weeks back I wrote a post entitled “Reality Bites” which was pretty much an abridged version of how my life was spiraling down the toilet. I am happy to say that since then, I am no longer sleeping on my parents’ couch; my future roommate and I have secured housing for next month; and I even have a job offer (ok, so it’s a part-time, close to minimum wage deal, but it seems like a pretty nice set-up and I’m not going to lie, I’m excited about it).

Moreover, that group project that was giving me legit nightmares (cold-sweat, wake-up-in-a-panic, oh-my-Lord-where-is-the-light-switch-I-think-I’m-awake-but-the-evil-is-still-here nightmares) is almost over. This Friday, it gets copied and sent out to the judges. Next week, we’ll present and then done. So the fear is subsiding and I’m feeling good about the rest of the semester.

Plus, I’ve had like three hot chai teas today. So life is pretty magical right about now.

P.S. If you know where the title of this post is stolen from, you deserve an official seal of awesomeness.

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Have you ever noticed how sometime aspects of your life start to have parallel story lines? (No? Just me? Okay.)

Anyway, SLJ is taking a sign course, which is pretty much the coolest thing in the world and I am infinitely jealous. For one of her projects, she needed to learn to sign a song, and happened to stumble upon this guy on YouTube. Needless to say, we’re both a little in love (with both the guy and the language). So we’ve been signing around the house, looking up signs on-line, and this has become kind of a little hobby of ours.

So the other day at work, my supervisor started signing, mostly swears because that’s all he’s learned (my high school Italian teach always said swears come easiest to us in any language; I guess he was right). So I started signing back (specifically xylophone, galaxy, fireflies, destroy, dog, and Korea). Then one of the girls we work with happened to take the sign language course last semester and started signing with us. Turns out we all kind of have an interest in learning the language, so we’ve made it a goal to teach one another a few signs every week.

I’ll admit, as far as the language is concerned, I am pretty much below basic. But who knows, maybe someday I’ll be able to rock it like CaptainValor here (the facial expressions are priceless).

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There’s been a lot of hype around this new book- The Book of Awesome– based on the blog 1000 Awesome Things. And as the name suggests, it’s pretty darn awesome. If you’re unfamiliar to the site, it’s an amazing collection of awesomeness, from “Elementary school science fairs (#544) to “When you’re being chased by zombies and suddenly find a hidden stash of guns and ammo” (#536) to  “Broccoflower” – a broccoli/cauliflower mutant (#1000).

The other day in one of my classes, we discussed how there are a lot of people who just aren’t happy. A study done a few years back by Italy’s Siena University showed that Americans are not as happy today as they were 30 years ago, in spite of living longer and being wealthier.  The cause has to do with longer work days and poor relationships, but I think we’ve also forgotten how awesome life is. We’re a society set on getting things done, and once a job is complete, we start the next task. We don’t know how to relax and enjoy things anymore, and the things we do enjoy collectively tend to be high-tech gadgets or expensive vacations. But how awesome is your favorite old, comfy T-shirt (awesome thing #803)? If we just take a second to think of all the awesomeness that exists, I think we could be a lot happier.

Anyway, the trailer made me smile, so as you take a break from your work and are looking for a little stress relief, I hope it makes you smile too. Because smiling is…

AWESOME!

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You know when you look up into the clouds and you can see a thousand different things that are constantly hifting and creating new things? Well this is sort of the same thing, but rather than being made of condensed water vapor, this cloud is made of words. This  word cloud was created by Wordle. The site takes the most popular words in your blog or on your Website (or you can just type in a bunch of words you like) and creates cool little word clouds (listen here for more info). 

So anyway, I gave Wordle a try and made this cloud for the blog. As I followed the words, they started to make little poems, like the sort you’d make with magnetic poetry. Let’s ignore grammar and punctuation for a moment… (I can feel English teachers everywhere cringe at the thought).

Here are some of my favorites:

Kid decided know little else looked maybe graduate

Tried going venue bad neon

Maybe roommate dresses behind hysteria

Never right school write story

Found artist think much get life

Two mother actual older adult just home

Summer inside rip around parents tonight

Already telling right school write story

Fight fact never dumb

Decide yes almost wearing love

Leave a comment with your favorite; maybe you can see something I didn’t. If you’re having trouble reading the words, you can click the image to enlarge it. By the way, I didn’t want to mention this, but if you read this and don’t comment, a unicorn will die.

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