Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lead Fingers

I woke up this morning to find my fingers had turned to lead.  I stared at them, tapped the wall with them, rubbed them on my face, and stuck them in my mouth.  I was then forced to conclude that my fingers had indeed turned into lead.
But even girls with lead fingers have to go to class.  Packing my books took a little longer than usual because I had to deal with my new fingers, but I was eventually on my way.  I spent most of psychology staring sadly at my highlighter and wishing I could use it, but I was unable to grasp it in my hand.  In English I didn’t see the point in even trying so I stared at the ceiling while my teacher droned on about grammar and explained how to find symbolism in music videos.  I spent my next two classes examining my fingers and thinking Why me?  WHY ME?!?!?!?
Okay, okay, my fingers didn’t really turn into lead.  But they felt as if they turned into lead so it comes to the same thing, really.  And if I don’t feel like highlighting my textbook I don’t see why I should have to. 
I felt like my fingers were made of lead because bananas are yellow, but also because I was tired.  Being tired should be a good enough reason to skip school.  The only thing worse than being tired is being dead, and people miss school for that, so it follows that tired people should miss school, too.
I wouldn’t have to miss school for being tired if there was anywhere on campus that sells caffeine.  The way kids stay awake here is by slipping an ice cube down their backs and jumping around until it melts.  This is neither as satisfying nor as delicious as Dr. Pepper.  Don’t expect recovery when you won’t provide the medicine, campus officials.  Sheesh. 
I think I’ll write a professional letter with spray paint on the side of the building about this “no caffeine” issue, but it will have to wait for tomorrow because I need to shake out my fingers, comb my hair 100 times, ignore my messy room once again, and collapse into bed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Study Process

Everyone has different ways to study for tests.  Some people make study schedules and read their textbooks when they are supposed to.  Some people make hundreds of little flashcards.  Still others read their textbooks at the speed of light and use time travel to take their tests multiple times until they get a perfect score (how else could anyone ever get a perfect score?).  My method, like my asparagus breakfast cereal, is unique.  I have a special process that has taken years to perfect.  It goes like this:
To begin my study session, I carefully arrange my room to provide maximum concentration power.  To an outside observer, my room might just look messy, but the clothes on my floor and the trash on my desk are there for a reason.  Really.  So get off my back, I’ll clean when I’m done!  Sheesh. 
When my room is ready, I put in my ear buds and listen to Broadway show tunes on my iPod while I wave my hands around as if I were a windmill.  This physically prepares me for my studying.  It also gives me a chance to pretend I live the actor’s life or that I’m fighting off Don Quixote.  Recently, however, I have been forced to imagine acting like a buffoon in my head because I don’t want my roommate to hang me for witchcraft, which is how any sane person would react to my tomfoolery.
After my imagined dancing, I usually like to pace and mutter to myself.  Sometimes I wring my hands or gnaw on my fingernails.  I’ve heard that this is not an acceptable way to behave in public so I never study in the library if I can help it because I’ll never be able to give up pacing.  When I eventually fulfill my dream of building my pyramid-house, I plan on putting in a special room just for pacing.  I’ll put it next to the room where I’ll keep my inflatable footbath collection.
After a considerable amount of time has passed, I take a break from my pacing and collapse in my chair. I chomp on fistfuls of pretzels while I skim my textbook.  After a few pages, I realize I should probably highlight important information and I have to start over.  I read half the chapter, and then I decide to make flashcards as I go along, too.  So I start over again.  At this point, I am almost an expert on everything at the beginning of the chapter.  The reading/highlighting/flashcard-making is going splendidly, but my hands become so occupied that it becomes increasingly difficult to eat my pretzels. 
I can’t possibly study without eating pretzels, so I take a break from studying to construct a hand-free pretzel eating device made out of rubber bands and packing foam.  This takes several hours, and by the time I finish it is time for me to go to bed.  I have affectively learned half of my material and I need to know the whole chapter by the next day.  I convince myself that I will wake up early to finish, even though I know I won’t, and then I drift off into a contented sleep.
And that is how I study.  Hey, buddy, at least I have a process.  Don’t judge.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TA's, Praying Mantises, and Stroganoff

It is important to make sure the TAs know you, or at least know your name.  Any publicity is good publicity with those people.  That’s why I called them all together for a meeting.  I planned the time and location, but I couldn’t think of anything to talk about, so I settled for tripping when I entered the room to get their attention.  I had it all figured out:  I would carry a huge stack of multi-colored flyers and dramatically fling them into the air as I pretended to trip.  They would never forget me.  The only problem was, nobody showed up to the meeting.  Weird.
I had to think of an alternative way to make them notice me.  After much deliberation, I decided to send them an obnoxious email asking an obvious question.  I asked them when the testing center closes.  I already know it closes at midnight ten, and even if I didn’t I’d know where to look it up.  Faking ignorance was all part of my plan.
The venture was not as successful as I would have hoped.  One of them snapped at me for emailing them before noon, one of them thought the testing center closed at eleven, and four of them didn’t even bother answering.  I’ve never felt so anonymous, except for that time when I went to the Common Names Convention.  I had no idea so many people were trying to impersonate me!  Luckily I happened to have my pepper spray and thumbscrew keychain and I took care of the knaves pretty quickly.
I will have to think of another way to be noticed and remembered by my TA’s.  Maybe I could knit them personalized ascots, or name my pet praying mantises after them.  I’ll think of something epic.
By the way, why are praying mantises called praying mantises?  They don’t look like they are praying to me.  They look like they are obsessively rubbing their hands together like an evil scientist or a super-villain.  Probably some old grandmother named them that when her grandson came to her in tears because a mantis had eaten his pet pill-bug.  She probably drew him close and said, “Mantises aren’t so bad.  Look, that one’s saying a prayer before she eats her mate.  Let’s call them praying mantises.”  She would have smiled benignly, and the little boy would have been haunted for years by nightmares about being eaten by his wife.
I need to go to bed, but I’m kind of afraid I’ll have nightmares where I’m eaten by my future spouse.  I’ll have to be sure to find a man who at least has the decency to pray before he makes me into delicious stroganoff.  That would be a comfort to me.       

Monday, September 27, 2010

People Who Waste Their Time Studying Grow up to be Serial Killers

If someone tells you that tests are fun, run away screaming because that person is a filthy, stinking liar.  You should also run away screaming if a person points out that your shoes are untied, because they are probably a part of the infamous shoelace gang and are sworn to kill anyone who doesn’t tie their shoes or properly respect aglets.
But people who say tests are fun are the worst.  Tests are not fun.  They may have been fun in kindergarten because you were tested on play-dough sculpting abilities, but now tests are the bane of humanity (I always want to spell “kindergarten” like this: kid-nergarten.  The word “kid” should be a part of “kindergarten.”  I’m just saying…).  Now that I’m an “adult”, I have to actually study for tests.  I spend hours sitting on the couch and reading textbooks, and it’s killing me.  KILLING ME!  Between studying and watching my daily TV show and napping, my schedule is packed.  How am I supposed to keep my precious play-dough sculpting skills up?  Where can I possibly find the time to roll down grassy hills?  When can I ever terrorize twelve – year – olds if I can’t even spare a minute to change into my Lindsey Lohan costume?  Why must I suffer so much? 
It isn’t all bad, though.  Whenever I have to waste my time pouring over textbooks, I am able to console myself with Disney music and buckets of potato chips.  I can also usually find time to make play-dough statues in my honor and chase small children over the weekend.  But it is hard to give up my nobler pursuits in favor of measly academics.
It probably won’t be so difficult when I become more organized.  I’ll have to make a color-coded schedule.  It will take time to coordinate my different duties, partially because I can’t do certain things at certain times of day.  For instance, I can’t eat dinner at one in the morning (that’s when I eat lunch) and I can’t dress up as Lindsey Lohan during the day, because everyone knows she shrivels up in the sunlight.  Still, I’m well on my way.  I’m a little hung up on the colors, though.  I don’t want to end up with boring ones like forest-green or burgundy.  I’d much rather have interesting colors like macaroni-beige or puce.  Maybe then I won’t fall asleep while I try to organize my time.
According to the first draft of my non-color-coded schedule, study time is over!  The next item on my agenda is my pre-lunch sculpting project.  Maybe a tribute to me wearing a moustache made out of a delicious sandwich.  Or how I would look as a rainbow-parrot-unicorn.  The world is my sculpt-able oyster!  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Twinkies and Annoying French Sounds

People define happiness in all sorts of different ways.  To some, happiness is a warm puppy, but to others, it’s waiting in line for four hours to see the Harry Potter premier at midnight.  Today I found happiness in a box of Oreos (no, it wasn’t a cool prize, it was just Oreos).  I ate the cookies in a matter of minutes, but I quickly learned that happiness can turn into pain when it hits the stomach.  Why didn’t I eat broccoli instead?  WHY!?!
I realized that I need to make some serious changes to my diet.  I started by buying some hot pockets with something green in them; a definite step in the right direction.  Maybe tomorrow I could order a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomatoes.  And then I’ll graduate from cheeseburgers to bacon sandwiches with wheat bread and then to trail mix with only some M&Ms.  Eventually I’ll be eating spinach leaves with nothing on them and nibbling croutons for dessert.  I’ll supplement this diet with magic health pills, which will probably be invented by the time I stop eating fast food.
But if my plan succeeds, how will I ever be happy again?  I’m a huge fan of food, and as any football or dungeons and dragons fan will tell you, a fan is happiest when they are with whatever it is they are fans of.  I suppose I could still be with unhealthy food without eating it.  I could keep a box of Twinkies by my bed, and every morning I could smell them and confide in them and love them as if they were my children.  I hear Twinkies are so full of preservatives that they never go bad, so this plan is foolproof.  I could even wait for one of them to harden and wear it like an amulet around my neck.  Then I would never have to be separated from my idol and the Twinkie would probably protect me from rogue unicorns and other dangerous mythical beasts.  Flies could be a problem, though.  I would have to buy a fly-warding amulet.  But those usually clash with my eyes, so I would have to get some sort of anti-clash charm…
This could be more complicated than I thought.  Maybe I should just get a warm puppy.  I could make it sleep on an electric blanket to guarantee maximum warmth.  But electric blankets are expensive, and I am a financial slave to my costly school fees.  Maybe I could afford a candle warmer, or I could heat the puppy up in the microwave every day.  That would work, right?
I’m not sure where happiness is, and frankly, finding happiness sounds kinda hard.  Like, I might have to put some actual effort into it.  Is that even legal?  Shouldn’t happiness be handed to me on a silver platter?  I’d even settle for a wooden platter. 
This is the part where I say something ambiguous and general about happiness, like how maybe I’ll find it someday and we should never give up, blah blah blah.  An ending like this would be boring and probably stupid, so I choose to end with a haughty French noise.  P-fuit!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Black Turtlenecks and Me

Today I wanted to become more cultured.  I hear that a cultured person is viewed by society as super-smart, and that it is perfectly acceptable for cultured people to wear black turtlenecks and berets.  I was kind of hoping the culture fairy would come and zap me with her Cultured Staff of Wisdom, but the vending machines were out of fairy pizza, so I had to become cultured in other ways.  I had a few options available to me:
1)      Move to France – This worked in Sabrina, so I don’t see why it couldn’t work for me.  I would have to live there for at least a couple weeks, but when I returned to America I would be totally cultured and probably ten times more fashionable.  Unfortunately, I am much too broke to attempt such a trip.  What I really need is a culture sponsor. 
2)      Acquire a Taste for Jazz Music – Enjoying Jazz music makes you cultured.  I have no idea why, but it does.
3)      Attend Poetry Readings – Although I enjoy poetry, this would not be an option for me because I can’t snap.  Sometimes I can fake a snap by moving my hand really fast and slapping a table at the same time, but I think I would be facing some serious snap scrutiny if I went to one of these shindigs. 
4)      Read Dante’s Inferno – I seriously considered this one, but I think it only works if you can talk about it using only four-syllable words, and I have to speak in mostly single-syllable words or my head explodes.
As I fingered the spine of a copy of Dante’s Inferno, I remembered a fifth way to become cultured:
5)      Watch a Foreign Film – You know, the kind where they have to put subtitles on the bottom.
All I had to do was sit in a dark room for 96 minutes.  This was almost as good as the culture fairy, and definitely cheaper than a trip to France.  So I went to a foreign film theater and watched Russian Ark.  It’s too bad I know almost nothing about Russian history except that Joseph Stalin was self-conscious about his height (a plight with which I can truly empathize).  I only understood two historical events, and was surprised when the main character realized he had been on a giant boat the entire time.  Or a giant ark.  Whatever.  Confused at the meaning, I consulted the stars, and when that didn’t work I turned to my old pal, Wikipedia.
It turned out to have something to do with preserving Russian history and (that’s right, you guessed it) CULTURE!  In your face, France!  I don’t need your culture enlightenment or your incredible makeovers!
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to buy a black turtleneck and a beret.     

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First of all, let me say that the extent of my blogging knowledge comes from the movie Julie and Julia and perusing some random peoples’ blogs.  So yes, I do know what I’m doing.  (It has something to do with cooking, right?)
I’m not sure this is the best time to start a blog, though.  I’m terrible at cooking and I’m not passing through any kind of catalyst in my life.  This is more of an excuse to not do my psychology homework.  Why do I do this to myself?  I’ll have to study eventually and I know that by not doing it now I’ll be missing out Prime Sleep Time, not to mention my subconscious’ interpretation of what I did that day.  (It tripped out a pretty good dream last night about a buffalo eating ho ho’s.  Could be a biblical reference to Joseph’s dream, which probably means I will be undergoing a serious ho ho famine for the next few years.  I’d better stock up…)
But procrastinating is part of who I am.  I don’t think I can change my basic nature.  I am unable to focus on anything except literature for any length of time.  Starting this blog was probably a mistake because I doubt it will have more than two entries:  This one, and something about the new Harry Potter movie and how it didn’t live up to my expectations, which have risen so high they’ve been launched into orbit.  My faithful followers (my parents and my dog) will be bummed at my inability show any signs of consistency, and I will be bummed that I squandered such a brilliant homework-avoidance mechanism.  Ah, well.
My tentative goal is to write a little every day.  Even if it is the equivalent of sending a letter that is really a piece of used gum folded up in a napkin, I will write something.  It could be like keeping a diary, except less private and more inconvenient. 
Here’s a shout out to my siblings, who probably don’t have time to read this, and to anyone who has pinkeye.  I feel your pain.  Also to anyone who has ever tripped on the same object/ledge/crack twice in the same day.  And to people who have barely written to their missionary cousins.  (Cousins are supposed to love you anyway, right?  RIGHT?!?) 
Advice of the day:  Stock up on ho ho’s.  I have a bad feeling about that buffalo thing…