Update: Three Weeks into the Academic Quarter… What the Hell Am I Doing?

My eyes feel like they’ve been run over by a Mack truck carrying a trailer full of elephants covered in wet laundry. But god, life is good.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s sprinkling – not that I can really see it from my window at 1:30 in the morning. If I focus hard enough, the streetlamp in the courtyard becomes blurred behind the sheer veneer of rain. The sliding door across the room is ajar, letting the cold in just the way I like it. The summer was too hot for this Portlander. Now, we’re in the season oft symbolic for change.

The last time I posted was toward the end of June – shortly after my final exams and shortly before I flitted into the woods to rejoin a surrogate family. Since then, I’ve traveled across state lines, grappled with the usual “what the Hell am I doing” angst, moved into a new apartment, started working again, started school again… and have returned to grappling the “what the Hell am I doing angst.” Isn’t it lovely when it comes full circle?

As I said in this interview with A.A. Forringer (thanks again, A.A.), there’s only so many ways I can talk about how fun/stressful/delightful/terrible college is. Adding in a Monty Python post or reference can only last for so long *nudge nudge wink wink*. This is one of the reasons I’ve been devoting a little more effort into my other blog, The Big Blog of All the S#!t I Knowunder the name BBK with my partner Moose. It’s a different sort of outlet, where I’ve been ranting about different aspects of my worldview pertaining to subjects such as sustainability (not just recycling, but true paradigmatic attitude shift), feminism and gender, and a bit deeper emotional ruminations. So it’s the same sense of humor… just smeared with s#!t.

And as much as I have shifted my energies into that blog, I can’t bring myself to drop Stressing Out College completely. It is my first baby and as long as I’m actually still in college, I still have plenty to write about. Heck, I don’t even write about college most of the time anyway. You know I’m flat out awful with resolutions and I’m terrible with pinky swears, so there will be none of those. I’ll simply end with this:

I have missed you, Lovely Readers. And I hope to read more of y’all’s blogs as I get back into writing.

Cheers,
SOS

Seattle Center International Fountain  | Stressing Out College

101 Damnations: 101 Stressed Out Ramblings

Because I, like every neurotic narcissistic individual on the Internet, enjoy celebrating mundane trivialities.

Here on Stressing Out College, we kicked off the new year a week late with post No. 100, appropriately about my love of new years resolutions. 100, a round number, aesthetically pleasing, easy to work with in math. Who cares- I’m just making up a reason to post and liven up this place a little bit.

A lot of my previous ideas on this blog lost steam with me and I’ve been having issues rediscovering my inspiration. There’s only so many ways I can say that college and life stresses me out and that some people or institutions are stupid. The only recurring segment that I’ve been keeping up with is the Scrap Paper Poetry, which I’ve actually been rather happy about. A series that I did way back in the third age of this blog was Transportation Tuesday, which I’ll be bringing back. Don’t know why I ever stopped it. Public transportation is loaded with comedic material. And I’ll be starting a monthly series in February reading and reviewing a book from my neglected book shelf, so… we’ll see how that pans out.

But to cut to the real meat of these cojones, what I really wanted to do was plug my other blog: The Big Blog of All the S#!t I KnowWhy everyone should be following me around and listening to what I have to say.

Big Blog of All the Shit I Know Logo

Shameless self-promotion time: While I rant on Stressing Out College about random topics loosely related to school or Monty Python or whatever it is that I tend to write about on here, The Big Blog of All the S#!t I Know is where I share my thoughts on society, civilization, organic relationships, and universal ecology. A bit heavier topics, but not without the sarcastic lightness you’ve come to know and love from me. ((Insert cheesy smile here)) Plus, I tend to swear more there. And they have cookies*. So please go check it out!

And finally, I would just like to say thank you to all my readers (yes, all five of you). Without you folks, I’d just be that crazy-haired chick at your local street corner constantly muttering to herself about how awesome Oscar Wilde and Monty Python are and wouldn’t it be great if education wasn’t so frustrating…

So thank you and let’s make this year even more stressful than the last.

Cheers,

SOS

*Just Internet cookies. Sorry, not sorry.

The Obligatory NaNoWriMo Announcement Blog Post Thingy

If you’ve been even remotely near any writerly circles on the Interwebs (which you likely have since you’re on a WordPress site), you know what this post is going to be about. No M. Night Shyamalan twist. No revolutionary authorial innovation. As of the publishing of this article, it is October 31st, what most consider to be date of All Hallow’s Eve, but what amateur writers know to be as…

THE DAY BEFORE NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH.

(Also known as “The Last Day of Restful Sleep,” “The Beginning of the Great Annual November Coffee Flood,” “Descent into Insanity,” and “The Day of Slamming Doors into Trick-or-Treaters’ Faces in Favor of Last Minute Plotstorming” – among others.)

If you are indeed reading this on Halloween Day, this means there is less than 24 hours before the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those in the kNoW (See what I did there?… Oh God, the descent has already started.)

For those of you not cool enough to have known about this, here is a rundown of what exactly NaNo is:

  • Goal: Write a story at least 50,000 words long by the end of November – this amounts to at least 1,667 words a day on average
  • No starting before November and you lose if you don’t finish by November 30, 11:59:59 pm
  • Just kidding, this isn’t the writers’ Hunger Games
  • Kiss your bed goodbye for the next month
  • Stock up on coffee and trail mix
  • If you’re a student (like me), your grades will suffer
  • The point is to leave your perfectionism at the door and simply writeyou can edit it it all in December when you’re done
  • Sign up on the official website to meet fellow NaNo-ers, read and contribute great advice, and just have a ton of fun. Writing nerds unite!
  • Also, it’s NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) – self-explanatory. Those attempting to do both NaNo and NaBlo at the same time should be committed to a mental asylum.

I’ve attempted the NaNo shenanigans a couple of times – did not meet the goal either times. What I found was my greatest problem was a lack of purpose or end goal. I recently spoke to a friend of mine and he gave me the most mindblowingly simple, yet extraordinary advice I had ever heard pertaining to writing: start with your ending.

*head explodes*

Perhaps you’ve thought of this before and you systematically do this when writing long stories, but I had never thought to do this before. This was perfect! Create your ending, so that you have a target to aim at whilst furiously scribbling/typing away. It doesn’t matter where your tangentify your story off to, you can always bring it back around to where you wanted it to end. And of course, the end can evolve as you delve further into your story, and the evolution is made that much easier because you had a place to start. While you are the author, you’re still not some god – you cannot make something come from absolutely nothing.

With this advice in mind… I still have no idea what the hell I have to write about. Oh well, I still have *glances at clock*…

Sonofabitch.

NaNoWriMo Participant Cover

Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? How did it go? Will you be participating this year? If you’re a fellow student, how are you going to balance school work, NaNo and procrasterbation time? How many gallons of caffeination will you drink this month? Good luck!

I’ve registered on the site as stressingoutstudent, so feel free to add me as a writing buddy!

Pep talks, funnies, and more NaNo info:

Very Inspiring Blogger Award: Frankly, My Dear…

Shut your Southern drawling trap, Rhett Butler, because I do give a damn.

A Mr. pikeknight has been kind enough to nominate me and 14 other bloggers for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

According to the powers that be, in accepting this award, I must:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
6. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.
7. Realize there is no #4 on the list. And no, this is not part of the actual requirements. I’m just kind of an ass. And desperate to be creative. So someone please stop me while I’m ahead or else I’ll keep rambling vainly and endlessly about how wonderfully witty and sarcastic I am and…

Did someone mentally slap me in the face? Thank you. Now moving on from the above shenanigans:

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thank you, Mr. pikeknight, for the nomination. I feel it would be too histrionic and eye-roll-worthy if I were to break out into a Sally Fields Oscar-winning moment, so I’ll just let a hearty “thank you” suffice. So- here are 7 things about my fascinating self and the awesome bloggers that deserve this award (Note: The words following “fascinating self” in that sentence are not sarcastic. I promise. These bloggers really are awesome and you need to check them out).

1. Starting off with something basic: My favorite book is The Picture of Dorian Gray by [King of the Aesthetes and witty comebacks] Oscar Wilde. Poetic, dark, and ever-so-quotable.

2. Something nostalgic: I sucked on my thumb until I was 7 years old. My parents tried rubbing lemon on my stubby digit as a deterrent. It worked – for a little while. Today, I like eating lemons as if they’re oranges.

3. Something wishful: I love to travel. My grandparents took my sister and I on great road trips cross country and out of the country. I’d like to see and explore as much of this wide world as I can before age catches up to me.

4. Something musical: I like music, but I’m terrible with lyrics, titles, and artist names. If you want to know if I’ve heard a song, you’ll have to hum the chorus to me.

5. Something scary: Even though my ancestry (as far as I know) is Chinese, I was born in the U.S. And even though I learned Mandarin before I learned English, my Mandarin is now worse than that of a Chinese 101 student.

6. Something whimsical: My favorite sound in the world is the laughter of little children. (That sounded less creepy in my head).

7. Something I live by: Moderation is key. Logic is good. However, everything in moderation – even moderation. And never let Logic make you forget that you’re a fleshy, feeling human being.

Very Inspiring Bloggers (in no particular order)

  1. Perfect Toadstool
  2. Mightier Than the Pen
  3. Wary. Contrary. And No Virgin Mary!
  4. Not a Tourist. An Explorer.
  5. Geeky Book Snob
  6. Consider the Tea Cosy
  7. Sardonically Sunny
  8. Anonymous Tales in Montreal
  9. Things I Learned Out of the Classroom
  10. Minor Problems
  11. Realistic Optimism
  12. Kate Cracking Up
  13. NailsBails
  14. Cartoons & Creative Writing
  15. Whoa, Molly

So keep blogging, reading, commenting – and have a happy holidays, folks!

-Stressed Out Student