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Monday, November 15, 2010

What I Learned in College: A List

1) Procrastination is HIGHLY underrated. As in, very few people truly appreciate how little you have to do to pass things. I spent the first year and a half of my college existence busting my behind to get every homework assignment, test, quiz, reading assignment, and random question in class completely RIGHT. Little did I know, only about 10% of the those things actually matter.

2) Reading assignments are never, ever a part of that 10%. Ever.

3) Unless you learn by hearing (which I don't -- I learn through experiencing and/or teaching myself), lectures are pointless.

4) Don't be fooled by the cleverly placed "20% of your grade will be based on attendance." It is code for "Bring your laptop to class so you can get other work done during the hour and a half I waste babbling to you about stuff I also give to you on PowerPoint slides and detailed handouts."

5) New editions of textbooks are lies. Vicious, vicious lies. Save yourself about $500 a semester by buying last year's editions of textbooks. Same content, slightly less-shiny cover. Yeah, it is TOTALLY worth the $250 price tag to buy a book with a holographic cover when I could spend $50 on a not-quite-as-impressive version. LIES.

6) I will probably get pelted by angry blog trolls for saying this (*puts on helmet*), but unless you have a career goal that requires specialized knowledge and/or skills (medical doctor, teacher, engineer, scientist), college really...isn't...necessary. The job I have now I got because of my writing credentials. And if you look at most job descriptions, they ask for "3-5 years of experience." Translation: "We magically want you to accumulate 4 years of full-time experience while taking 20 credit hours a semester, but since all you have is a degree, well, we'll consider you, but this guy over here who doesn't have a degree but has 4 years of high-stress managerial experience got hired before he even said his name." In other words: experience trumps degree. Sorry, college-lovers.

7) For freshmen: every single freshman on campus is just as scared as you. Promise. Even that really big drunk guy.

8) Another reason procrastinating is so, so vital to college: in all my time at all my various colleges, I don't remember any specific studying time that sticks out to me as the BEST DAY EVER OMG. I do, however, have plenty of friend-hanging-out-times that stick out to me as some of the BEST DAYS EVER OMG. I wish I'd realized the value of procrastination and made more fun memories.

9) Lots of people will try to freak you out about a lot of things. Facebook privacy OMG. Drinking OMG. Not letting anyone use your swipey card to get into buildings OMG. Just don't do anything stupid (ie: common sense FTW) and you'll be fine.

10) Professors don't know everything. No matter how much they SWEAR they do.

11) The professors who think they know everything are REALLY fun to piss off. Trust me.

12) Taco Bell is only delicious past 3AM.

13) Don't take it too seriously. Remember: it's only one paper, or one test, or one quiz. The end of the world it is not. And no matter what happens, you will graduate with the same degree as everyone else. They don't put a gold sticker on your diploma for getting an A on every single quiz.

Thus begins my last finals' week EVER.

*raises glass of champagne* Cheers, all.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

ISPAW -- The Final Party Extravaganza

Well, "extravaganza" isn't really the right word. I've decided to make this party more like a small gathering of close friends and family. Something simple yet elegant; sophisticated yet understated; suave yet glam. I don't even know if that last one is possible.


Today is the final ISPAW celebration. Seeing as yesterday was STREAM PIRATE's "actual" birthday (hey, moms have birthday parties for their kids on the wrong days ALL THE TIME.), I have in store for you some simple delicacies to whet any lingering pirate desires.

Lu: That sounded dirty.

Please, Lu. There are guests present.

Lu: They were thinking it. I just said it.

Since I revealed to all ya'll the official stream pirate flag a few days ago, I figured the only way to top such a revelation of visual excellence would be to offer up a newly revised product of my Massively Insane STREAM PIRATE Revisions of 2010 (working title). It does, I must say, kick butt.

Arachne: It'd kick more butt if I was in it. But no. You just HAVE to show a scene without me.

Yazoo: Go make me a net, Arachne.

Arachne: I'll make you something...

Lu: Was that supposed to be a threat? Are you THREATENING my MAN? Oh, it is SO on.

Arachne: On like the River Long.

Lu: Cleverness will not save you!

Arachne: But running will.

*Arachne dives out a side window*

Lu: You were saying, Sara?

You're not going after her?

Lu: Why?

Good point. Now. The excerpt! This introduces you to a character previously unmentioned -- the incomparable Lord Milo Vesic, court playboy and all-around bad boy of Radial Stream. It's an excerpt from chapter one, so you shouldn't be too lost.

Alluvium and I lingered by the staircase until Dad had led our guests out of the reception hall. Once they had been fully swallowed by the violins, my brother groaned.

“Sweet sediment, did that boy eat the suitor who was supposed to come?”

I smiled. “He isn’t that large.”

Alluvium puckered his lips as if in deep thought. “They’re getting fatter. You should stop seeing them. Now. Before one sinks a steamboat.”

“That’d be a lovely story for the grandbabies,” I said. “Grandpap and I were married on a warm fall day shortly after he recovered from his tragic steamboat-destruction incident–”

A shadow slid down the staircase, a mesh of black from head to toe with no regard or desire to be anything but dark. I flicked my attention away from Alluvium and fought a shiver. The shadow, seeing my attention on him, shot upright, smiling like my presence was the most refreshing thing in the world. Believing that smile had been the downfall of many.

“Princess,” Lord Milo Vesic purred, coming the rest of the way down the staircase.

Alluvium spun on him, voice squeaking like he’d been caught in some naughty act. “Lord Vesic.”

My eyebrows shot up, but neither of them seemed to think Alluvium’s embarrassed reaction to Milo was weird. Milo took my hand and pressed a kiss into it, lingering a bit too long. I jerked away.

“Lord Vesic.” I nodded. “I was under the impression you wouldn’t be attending this year’s ball.”

Milo straightened and swept the hair off his copper forehead, adding the wink and genteel smile that had seduced at least thirty known courtier women and two known courtier men. “And miss seeing you? I couldn’t resist.”

I tightened my lips into a scowl. “Flattering. Save it for someone with bigger endowments.”

Milo’s face flashed with amusement. At least he fought dropping his eyes to my chest. “Noted, milady. I heard the ball has begun?”

Thanks for celebrating ISPAW again this year! On behalf of my unruly cast of characters, I salute you. *salutes*

Friday, November 5, 2010

ISPAW Days 3 & 4

Lu has something to show all of you. She's VERY excited by it, mainly because she knows just how much it will piss off Arachne.

Lu: Show it! Show it!

Why do you like pissing off Arachne so much?

Lu: Don't even pretend you don't. I have a list of scenes that would be much, much less funny if Arachne wasn't pissed off.

Touche. Onward!

Lu found this video on YouTube. Behold:

Lu: *giggles*

Arachne: That is NO LAUGHING MATTER, Alluvial. I'd expect you of all people to know just how unfunny that is.

Lu: *snorts*

Arachne: It's dangerous! The threat is real! Aside from the CTD, the only thing more dangerous is--

*window creaks*

Arachne: What was that?

Lu: If the voices in your head start telling you to hurt people--

Arachne: Dam it up, Lulu. I will stab you with my weaving needles!

Lu: Bring it, weaver-girl!

*Arachne lunges at Lu*

*window creaks again*

*Arachne stops*

Arachne: Seriously...I don't feel right...

Ninja: At last. We meet.

Arachne: HOLY EROSION! Run, Lu! Run!

Lu: But...he's short. And he's wearing a-- bathrobe?

Ninja: It's a gi. Get it right.

Lu: Looks like a bathrobe to me. And slippers?

Ninja: I will kill you slowly.

Lu: Don't overexert yourself. Hate for you to rip your nighties.

Arachne: You're not making this any better, Lu. Ninjas and pirates have been enemies since--

Lu: Since the pirates interrupted the ninjas' beauty sleep?

Ninja: Ninjas don't get beauty sleep.

Lu: Obviously.

Arachne: Lu!

Lu: You gonna fight him or what?

Arachne: It'd be my pleasure. I have looked forward to the day when I could cross blades with a ninja.

Ninja: Blades? Um. I only brought throwing stars.

Arachne: What?

Ninja: Hard to sneak in through window with a sword. Um. Give me ten minutes.

*Ninja runs out the door*

Arachne: ...

Lu: One more time!

Arachne: I'll let him kill you.

Lu: He's probably taking a nap.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

BLAST -- Days 1 & 2

I am a HORRIBLE book-mom.

I mean, really -- what kind of book-mom forgets her own book's BIRTHDAY? In my defense, I forgot it was November. I've been BUSY. I graduate in TWO WEEKS. Get OFF ME.

But I still have 2 days to redeem myself. 2 days. Gotta make them ROCK. Why, you may ask?

Because I have to fit an entire ISPAW into those 2 days.

That's right, folks -- it's that time of year again. The time when tiny children's heads fill with sparkling dreams of river-rerouting. The time when parents max out their credit cards on steamboats, dynamite, and nets. The time when the CTD cries themselves to sleep on nightmares of global stream pirate takeover. That's right -- International Stream Pirate Appreciation Week.

Thus, I will be squishing Days 1 & 2 into today's post, Days 3 & 4 into tomorrow's post, and the grand finale on STREAM PIRATE's actual birthday, November 6th.

(I've lost most of you. Wait! Come back! I made brownies! *wafts brownie smell toward readers*

Now here -- eat a brownie and read this post. Seriously. I'll wait.


*eats brownie*

*waits more*

Did you read it? Are you all caught up? Awesome. Let the festivities BEGIN!)

Day 1: What is Stream Piracy?

I'm glad you asked.

Seeing as last year I introduced my characters (well, the ones who would cooperate. I'm looking at you, Peat), I figured it'd be a good start to this year's ISPAW to tell you what the heck I'm talking about when I say "stream piracy." Because while I'm sure my little pirate-antics are side-splittingly entertaining--

Lu: Snort.

--most of you probably just laugh out of the kindness of your hearts.

Lu: Hey, she's not as dumb as she looks.


Lu: You wrote me this way. You have no one to blame for my snarky remarks but yourself.


Yazoo: Yeah, thanks for that.

You didn't have to fall in love with her, Yaz.

Yazoo: Have you seen her when she gets angry? Yeah, I kind of did.

Lu: Careful. I'll sick Arachne on you.

Arachne: I resent that. It's like I'm just a piece of violent meat to you guys.

Yazoo: Wait -- you're not a piece of meat?

Arachne: Lu, sick me on Yazoo.

Okay then. Back to what I was saying. Stream piracy--

Arachne: Is a really quick way to simultaneously see the world and drive a dynamite-sized wedge between you and "respected society."

Lu: Hey! I'm still respected society.

Arachne: Guess my wedge isn't big enough.

Lu: I know where you sleep.

Arachne: And I know what you mumble about Yazoo in your sleep. 'Oh Yazzie, my love, my--'

Lu: You were saying, Sara?

Right. Ahem. Stream piracy is a--

Yazoo: Wait -- why are you telling them? Are we sure they can be trusted?

Lu: Yaz! Don't be rude!

Yazoo: I'm not. I just think some of them look like CTD sailors. Especially that one in the back. With the uniform that says 'CTD.'

Lu: Oh, dam.

Wait! No! Come back! ISPAW only just started!

Arachne: Sorry, author -- we'll be back when the CTD isn't chasing us.

Yazoo: So...never.

Lu: Oh, the life we lead.

*door slams*

So. Um. Well, those are my main characters. Awesome, don't you think? Eh, you can stop being polite. They're gone now.

What was I saying? Oh, right. Stream piracy--

*CTD sailor runs through crowd*

Sailor: I saw them! Yazoo Oxbow was here, wasn't he?

What? Um...no.

Sailor: Do you have any idea of the consequences for harboring a known stream pirate? I should haul you off to jail this instant!

*picks up plate* Brownie?

Sailor: Oh. Why thank you; don't mind if I do.

*sneaks toward door*

And that concludes Days 1 & 2 of ISPAW. Tune in tomorrow for Days 3 & 4.

Sailor: Wait. That was only Day 1!

*slams door*

Sailor: You took the brownies! Halt! IN THE NAME OF THE KING!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


*points up*

Click on the "Stream Pirate" link.

That, my friends, is the official (as declared by me) Stream Pirate Flag. Thus, if you would like to be a stream pirate, simply fly this flag over your steamboat and do your best to avoid getting caught by the CTD. Be sure to plant a stick of dynamite or two to make it official.

Most of you have no idea what I'm talking about. But trust me. You want to be a stream pirate.