Coming Soon to a Campus Near You

Galleons, the following is a theory I made up two or three years ago, at the height of my Left 4 Dead career (and before the second one came out). I think it’s about time I fleshed it out and wrote it down here, for your reading pleasure.

***

Shelley: Ames, there are legions of the risen undead on our heels. These aren’t frat boys, they’re zombies. Animated corpses that would rather suck out your cerebellum than peek at your knickers.

Amy: Oh, fine. Last week it’s “I wish I could find a boy who was interested in my brain and not my body” and now you’re all “Aaaugh zombies!” Seriously, Shel. Make up your damn mind.

Though our generation seems a bit zombie obsessed these last few years, we aren’t so much spending our time trying to create the t-virus (except as a cocktail), learning to shoot a variety of firearms, or stockpiling for the apocalypse we all claim to desire… instead, we’re playing copious amounts of zombie games and discussing increasingly ridiculous plans for how our badass selves will fight off the undead swarm come doomsday.

While I have long since come to terms with the fact that I’m going to die a horrible death come the zombie apocalypse (see this post for more on that), some people are just now beginning to realize that their intensive gaming will not enable them to survive a brain-loving horde. There aren’t going to be ammo piles stashed in office buildings and random sheds. Pistols don’t have unlimited ammo. There isn’t going to be a musical cue signaling the arrival of a mass of zombies. There’s no guarantee zombies won’t be able to open doors. Wrapping a bandage around your leg won’t cure a broken bone or an infected zombie bite. You aren’t going to die and then respawn in a closet a few hundred feet away.

However, I think there is an aspect of the ZA that Valve got right in their Left 4 Dead series: the special infected.

Don’t believe me? I’m about to show you that every special infected from the first game can be found at your typical college party.

Lock and load, galleons.

***

The Tank

This is the guy you cannot fucking miss at the party. He kicks the door open, loudly announcing his presence, and slamming two fifths (Jäger and Jim Beam or Maker’s Mark) down on the table, which will be all-but-drained by the end of the night, leaving the party-goers who manage to maintain their mental faculties while imbibing alcohol wondering just how the hell that son-of-a-bitch isn’t in the hospital with alcohol poisoning.

Probably something to do with weight ratios or BMI or something.

Regardless, the Tank (it’s highly likely that pre-ZA, he already had this nickname) is a booze-consuming machine. He’s loud, he’s huge, and he’s always fucking drinking. He brought his own beer bong. By the end of the night, his shirt is getting so soaked with beer and liquor that he will likely end up ripping it off (literally… that shirt’s seams will leap apart like two positive magnetic poles or high school kids when a cop comes up to the car they are making out in and bangs his flashlight on the fogged up window).

Here we see a herd of Tanks at a watering trough:

And this is when his naturally loud, aggressive personality combines with the pints of alcohol churning in his stomach to make him into a drunk, hulking rage machine. Remember, this is the guy who probably peaked in high school. He was on the football team, and in his hometown, he was like a bulky god. But he didn’t get onto a college team, and now his body is going to seed due to the amount of beer he downs every weekend and he overcompensates for his sports failures by being too loud and too in-your-face and willing to fight every man that so much as blinks at him.

Yes, he wants to fight you. Did you accidentally bump him while threading your way through the crowd to the bathroom? Did you grab the last beer out of the fridge? Did you beat him in beer pong? Did you start making out with a girl who may or may not have made eye contact with him at one point during the night when she was trying to find the rest of her ladypack? Did you make the mistake of breathing near him?

Prepare yourself- you’re about to be on the receiving end of some full-on Tank rage.

So, when the ZA rolls around, our Tanks just become stronger and meaner. As if you dumped steroids and three handles of Wild Turkey into their undead bellies, all you have is one pissed off, flesh-eating monstrosity. You no longer have to do anything to become the sorry sack he’s going to turn his blood-drunk anger on- you’re fucked if you are within his line of sight. Announcing his presence with a load roar (which is about the same as when he was alive, actually), he’s upgraded from chair-tossing to rock-hurtling. Still, he’s not much different than he was in life- you’re still trying to avoid him, running if he targets you and hoping some other sorry bastard manages to catch his eye.

***

The Smoker

Oh, you know this douchebag. Him and his cronies are the ones you have to fight through to get into the party, moving through a haze of cigarette smoke and inane conversation. He’s the one who, when inside, nods to several cohorts scattered throughout the party, and stands up. As if of one mind, 1/3 of the party-goers suddenly stand up, ambling toward the door as they make their way outside to inhale that sweet, sweet cancer.

Wait… where the fuck did my conversation partner just go? Oh, that’s right- the fucking smokers have snagged them and dragged them outside. They are now spending their time with the hipsters, the wanna-be academics, the assholes who have spent their time in the classroom learning nothing except how to parrot the ideas of their professors. They’ve read one article regarding a current political situation, so they decide to spend thirty minutes arrogantly expounding on the socioeconomic issues currently in play, all the while not really understanding the situation and knowing nothing about the region, the culture, or economics in general.

Smokers are complete cocks. Not only are they incredible windbags, making your brains pour out your ears in a painful stream, but they spend half the night conning cigarettes off anyone and everyone in the immediate vicinity, citing the Smoker’s Code (bum generously and ye shall be bummed to during your own time of need… cancerous karma at its finest) and making promises of repayment they’ll never honor.

So when the ZA rolls around, these guys are fucked. Still hooked on their deathstick habit, they don’t have cigarettes or conversation partners anymore. Those tongues that they used to flap so wantonly on porches and balconies they must now use to ensnare survivors, hoping for one more smoke or someone to listen to their opinions on Derrida.

Come on, buddy. I promise I’ll pay you back when the cure’s found.

After years of useless chatter and chainsmoking, all they are composed of is hot air and smoke. When shot, they explode into their base constituents, desperately sucking in one last lungful of their own filth in an attempt to get another nicotine high.

***

The Boomer

Nobody likes this guy.

This guy wishes he was the Tank. Maybe he played the sports in high school, too. It’s more likely he played the tuba in the band. Or held dungeon delves in his mom’s basement. Whatever his origins, the fact remains that he is now a large, squishy ball of danger. He shows up to the party and proceeds to immediately start the drinking games. Beer Pong. Flip Cup. Quarters. Ride the Bus. Kings (or Waterfall or whatever the fuck you call that dumbshit game). He’s got a case of the cheapest beer he could find, and he’s in it for the long haul. He is always playing a game, always downing a beer. Less aggressive than the Tank, he tends to be quieter, though he’s still actively keeping the beer-based games alive.

Mostly because he’s incapable of any other form of party socialization.

Besides being slightly annoying (one can only be asked to join his Flip Cup team so many times before irritation sets in), this guy really isn’t anything to worry about. For the bulk of the night.

But the more booze that pours into him, the more dangerous he gets. He’s like a time bomb, and it’s only a matter of when this fucker’s gonna blow. And oh, how he’ll blow. The vomit will spew from him like a mighty cannon. A chunky, soupy fountain of vomit will arc through the air, and for just a moment, you’ll almost be impressed.

Until you get hit by the spray.

A serial projectile vomiter, all anyone can really hope for is that the alcohol incapacitates him enough before he lets loose that all he manages to do is soak himself in his shame.

And after the ZA, these poor slobs, their sensitive stomachs full of zombie bile, can do nothing but resort to old habits. Whether the horde is drawn to the scent of the bile or the smell of your humiliation as you wipe the Boomer’s vomit from out of your eyes is up for debate.

***

The Hunter

You see that kid along the wall there? Yeah, I missed him the first time I looked over as well. Dressed mostly in black, his hair a jagged swoop over his eyes, he’s doing his damnedest to not actually interact with anyone at the gathering. His phone may be in his hand, but he’s not actually texting anyone- he’s just updating his Twitter about how lame everyone is and possibly blogging about the futility of trying to socialize with people who just don’t understand what he’s going through.

Oh, emo boy in the corner. You are such a cocksucker.

With his hood up over his head, he’s completely isolating himself from everyone around him, though at the end of the night, he’ll tell his friends about how awful the party was. How the hell would you know, emo kid? You weren’t really there. You were the scenery, not a party-goer.

Every so often, someone will approach this guy. They’ll make an effort to include him. He’ll respond by viciously tearing them apart with his sarcasm and angst-ridden fuckery. Bitchy, the other person will leave, and the emo kid will roll his eyes, certain that this was proof that everyone at the party is a mindless idiot and he’s better off not even trying to engage people this vapid.

He never ends up in the actual party photographs as he prowls around the fringes of the gathering, avoiding the flashing cameras and phones with a sneer of derision. Nobody will notice, but for twenty minutes or so, he will vanish into the bathroom, taking his own photos of the party…

127 stupid

Fucking

Ridiculously angled

Self-portraits

…Often in mirrors.

When the ZA hits, he has to give up his sharp tongue for a set of wicked sharp claws, but it’s about the same. He prowls around the edges of the mobs, pouncing on some poor sap and ripping them apart.

And he never gives up the hoodie.

***

The Witch


Some of you might be surprised that I feel the Witch is not the emo kid of the ZA. And while a fairly strong case can be made for the whiny bitch being super emo, I say there’s a better explanation.

Galleons, meet the party’s drunk crying chick.

There’s always one. One female that gets too drunk off her wine coolers and the 2 shots of coconut rum she giggled her way through. She doesn’t have the courtesy to just sleep with some random guy or quietly vomit in the bathroom.

Oh fuck no.

Already an emotional basketcase (due to her unfortunate condition of possessing a vagina), this bitch decides to just let loose with the waterworks in the middle of the festivities. Her wailing, ragged sobbing causes everyone to turn slowly, knowing exactly what they’re going to see slumped on the floor of the kitchen. Her hair is disheveled, her makeup running down her face in watery black trails. Clutching her hands to her rapidly reddening face, she starts warbling about being unattractive and how nobody likes her and what an asshole that Mark boy is and how she can’t believe she’s single and how all her friends really hate her… It’s a torrent of unwarranted bitching.

She’s not an emo kid, she’s an attention whore. She needs to be reassured that she’s pretty and fuckable and interesting and that people like her and that Mark is going to call her and if he doesn’t he can just go to hell because she’s an amazing person and he should be honored she’d even consider going out with a guy like that…

Of course, she’s not going to believe a goddamn word that’s said to her, but she’s also not going to shut up until some unfortunate soul gets close enough to try to calm her down. And when they do, she’s going to lash out, physically and verbally, screaming at them and clawing at them to get their goddamn hands off her, she doesn’t need their pity, they don’t understand, just leave her the fuck alone. Somebody is going to be stuck with the unsavory task of pinning her arms to her sides in a half-hug while attempting to soothingly rub her back while she flails like a fish and yells watery obscenities. Eventually, she’ll give in and finish it all with a truly spectacular flood of eye water and I’m so ugly and you’re my best friend and I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Nobody wants that fucking job.

Instead of leaping to crying chick’s side, everyone is going to shuffle their feet, nervously glance around, and try to turn their backs to her and begin a stilted resumption of their previous conversations. People who need to piss walk carefully past her, tip toeing their way around the sobbing female and rushing to the safety of the bathroom. Make no sudden movements. Do not attract her attention. You don’t want to be the one stuck consoling her for an hour and a half.

The ZA happens, and she’s basically the exact same. Only now, instead of just slapping at you, she tears your face off with her terrifying claws.

Bitch be crazy.

***

And really, if you think about it, the rest of the party goers are the same kind of single-minded rabble as a regular ol’ zombie horde. You have to fight your way through them to get anywhere.

It seems parties are probably the best preparation for the ZA. If ever there was an excuse to attend them, dear galleons, I think this is it.

Cessation

So…

I have decided to quit smoking.

I know I’ve said it before. You probably don’t believe me. But, I am. For a few reasons. I don’t enjoy it anymore. It’s expensive as hell. And, oh yeah, it’s a disgusting fucking habit.

Regardless, I have to say that the comments you get when you decide to quit smoking are some of the most irritating fucking things in the world.

There are three primary camps:

  1. The nonsmokers- They don’t smoke. They never smoked. They don’t approve of smoking. They look upon smokers with disdain. And when they catch wind that someone is trying to kick the habit, they swoop down upon them like Christian biddies on a recovering crack addict. With near religious zeal, they proclaim that you are making the healthy and smart choice, say hallelujah. Basically, they are condescending assholes with a stick of nicotine-free piety shoved up their asses.
  2. The asshole smokers- You’ve been sharing ashtrays for some time now. They know you. You know them. And when they hear you are quitting, they play at being supportive. “Hey, good for you.” But then they start up. “It’s going to be hard, you know. Don’t quit cold turkey- you’re more likely to relapse. I know, I’ve done it.” And every time they see you, they ask you how you’re doing. “Have you caved yet? No? Wow, good for you!” Basically, they are all sitting around, placing bets on when you’re going to rejoin the cancerous fold.
  3. The complete-and-total-fucking-douchebag smokers- They never even pretend to support your decision. “Why would you quit smoking? What’s wrong with you?” or “You’ll never make it.” All the time. Every time they see you, they offer you a smoke. Say they’re trying to help you out.

I just want to stab them all.

In Which I Get Bored and Read the Montana Newspaper, Which Proves a Delightful Diversion

While idly perusing the Billings paper during my lunch hour last night, I happened upon the following piece. I couldn’t stop laughing while reading it. Maybe it’s because I studied English and have a thing for words, but this is just brilliant (particularly the quotes). It’s an AP story out of Detroit, and I’m going to share the entirety of it here, for your enjoyment:

It’s official: Viral went viral, and now it’s been virtually vaporized.

Michigan’s Lake Superior State University [AN: Four years of living in Michigan and I never once heard of that school…] features the term linked to popular online video clips in its annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. The 2011 list, compiled by the university from nominations submitted from across North America throughout the year, was released Friday.

Nominators did more than vanquish “viral.” They also repudiated Sarah Palin’s “repudiate,” flunked “fail” and weren’t at all wowed by “wow factor.”

The call to banish viral was vociferous, garnering more nominations than any other.

“This linguistic disease of a term must be quarantined,” Kuahmel Allah of Los Angeles wrote in his submission. “If one more thing goes viral, I’m buying a Hazmat suit and moving into a clean-room.”

Lake Superior State spokesman Tom Pink said viral’s death spiral mirrors the trajectory of the typical YouTube clip that becomes a momentary sensation and thus goes viral.

“It starts out small, then grows and people get sick of it because they start hearing it everywhere,” Pink said.

He said it’s among the few entries on the list sentenced to the dialectical dungeon that “have to do with the way we communicate these days.” Another: Facebook or Google used as a verb.

Other entries showed people’s apparent aversion to simple language, hence the call to “live life to the fullest” when they could just live, promoting every foible or stumble to “fail,” or super-sizing every reasonably good time to an “epic” event.

“Standards for using ‘epic’ are so low, even ‘awesome’ is embarrassed,” said Mike of Kettering, Ohio, whose submission came with no last name.

Appropriately, Pink stopped short of describing this year’s batch of submissions as “epic.” Rather, he viewed it as solid and typical- based on more than 1,000 nominations, once he and his colleagues sorted out phrased previously banned in the list’s 36-year history.

For all the words coming in for a “shellacking,” he was surprised President Barack Obama’s endlessly dissected term to describe his party’s performance in November’s midterm elections didn’t merit one vote.

Still, Washington-speak made an appearance. Several American people vetoed the phrase “The American people.”

“No one in Washington can pontificate for more than two sentences without using it,” wrote Dick Hilker of Loveland, Colo. “Beyond overuse, these people imply that ‘The American people’ want/expect/demand all the same things. They don’t.”

Not all phrases must go viral to be reviled. “I’m just sayin'” festered for a while in the lexicon before coming up for banishment this year.

“Obviously you are saying it- you just said it!” wrote Catherine Wilson of Granger, Ind.

Of course, the fun didn’t stop there, galleons. After chuckling my way through the previous, another tiny snippet caught my eye. Behold, yet another example of sheer stupidity, coming to us from New Haven, CT:

A Connecticut smoker who won $8 million against a tobacco company in May, the first such jury award in New England, has been awarded $4 million in punitive damages and stands to get millions more in interest.

Barbara Izzarelli, a Norwich resident who developed larynx cancer, won the jury award against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. after a two-week trial, but the Bridgeport panel left the amount of punitive damages up to the judge.

Judge Stefan Underhill on Thursday ordered punitive damages of $3.97 million, bringing Izzarelli’s total award to nearly $12 million. The punitive damages will cover attorney fees and other legal costs.

Really? You got cancer from smoking? Sweet jeebus, say it isn’t so!

It says a lot about our justice system that a case this fucking ridiculous can come down in favor of the plaintiff.

Famous Blue Raincoat

This song has been stuck in my head all day today:

And I listened to it when I went out for a walk in the rain this evening (it was the third time it had rained today… the weather has been unusually [but not unwelcomely] wet this year). Except I didn’t actually listen to that version. I listened to this one:

I know, I know- I listen to too much Jonathan Coulton (I have a hard time calling him JoCo, even though that’s his nickname, because I know a guy [a much prettier musician man] who also has that nickname).

Anyway, that’s all you get tonight. I broke my brain when I was walking because I smoked too many cigarettes because I was feeling moody and melancholy and that’s what moody/melancholy folks do- smoke. I kind of made myself sick and spent an hour and a half just lying in bed, hoping the world would stop spinning and that I wouldn’t throw up (if you are not an idiot and do not smoke, smoking too much too fast feels like all the worst parts of being drunk). And now I have a headache and feel nothing but the righteous shame of being a filthy smoker (and of being really bad at being a smoker, despite nearly three years of experience) and I’m just going to keep reading the archives of Scary Go Round to refresh myself on what happened in that most delightful of British webcomics before I start reading the spin off that I didn’t know existed until today (it was a very British-y day, between this and getting Kate Nash’s latest album).

ALSO, my desk lamp just died. Right now. I went to turn it on and it blinked on, yelled “FUCK YOU” like an angry, drunken sorostitute, then just… died. I’ve had this lamp three years. I was attached to it. *sniff* Now I have to buy a new one that I will love less.

Moral of this story: Don’t smoke, galleons.

Happy as a Bird With a French Fry

Song of the moment: Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby Counting Crows

Faithful readers… you know, I want to give you all a nickname. I’m having a hard time coming up with something, though. It’s easier coming up with a nickname for an individual, because they have vim and vigor and personality and defining features and such. But you are just my anonymous handful of readers…

Hello my little Spanish galleons! (Got a problem with that?)

In lieu of the post I planned for tonight (it’s a fun one, but I’ll save it for tomorrow), I’m going to tell you about the phenomenal day I had. Because it was a day full of joy for me.

I may just be in a good mood.

Started the day off right, though. I fell in love again. His name is Danny, and he’s fucking adorable. He wrote and performed the little musical number for the Spitzer space telescope’s “podcast” (more like video channel) called IRrelevant Astronomy (FYI, Felicia Day starred in an earlier one that I really enjoyed).

I mean, just look at him in this video. His facial expressions are cute as shit:

Anyway, my faux love life aside, I got to spend today in Cody. Greybull may be the town I graduated from, but Cody has always felt more like home to me. I lived there for 7 years before I was transplanted to the hellhole. Cody is a cute town, just big enough that there’s plenty to do but not terribly large. It’s home to a surprisingly interesting museum (the BBHC), a movie theater, Wal-Mart (hey, that’s a big deal in these parts), and a wide variety of quaint little shops.

It’s these we will focus on today.

My favorite bookstore of all-time is located in Cody. I worked there the summer of my sophomore year of high school, and I would go there every time I came back from Michigan. It’s a small thing that’s disturbingly well-hidden, but you can’t let that fool you. There are more books stuffed in there than you would easily believe. The shelves are packed so tight together that there’s just barely enough room for one person to maneuver. And, while there’s a disgustingly large romance section (…and western section… and western romance section), this bookstore hides some real gems.

Not for collectors, mind you. But for readers, it’s a wonderful place.

Well, I have more credit there than I can easily spend (due to years of bringing in old books that I didn’t want to keep in my personal library), so I pay pennies for already cheap books. It’s fantastic.

Today, I walked out of there with three amazing finds. First, a lovely old copy of Doctor Zhivago, to continue my Russian literature kick. I saw the Keira Knightley television version a while back (a long while back), but I don’t remember much of it. The thing that actually made me pick it up was a memory of Ben describing a scene to me where a man kills his family and then vanishes into the wilderness. It’s something that’s stuck with me (and is currently written in my ye olde storie ideas document), so I figured I’d give the whole text a shot. Though the other thing I remember is the goddamn complex web of characters/character interactions he showed me… but shit, I read Tolkien. I can handle anything after that.

I also found a copy of The Historian. When I was but a wee freshman lass and in the ROIAL class (fuck you WRA, I never had to take you), we had a visiting artist by the name of Jane Congdon come in. She had just spent a bunch of time over in Europe, researching for her own Dracula novel. Her appearance in our class coincided with the Dracula ballet the Wharton Center put on (that was a very odd show, by the by). I’ve seen this book sitting on the shelf of Barnes and Noble for years, but I’ve never bought it. So when I saw it today, I felt compelled to pick it up. This isn’t Congdon’s book (I really don’t know what hers is titled), but she did mention it to us as a hell of a read. So I figured I’d pick up a vampire novel again, if only to remind myself that not all authors think vampires sparkle in the fucking sunlight.

And finally, tucked in the oddest place in the store, I discovered a pristine copy of The Devil in the White City. Now here’s another book that I see every time I’m in a bookstore. And I pick it up. And I think, “I really want to read this.” And I put it back and say, “I’ll get it next time.” Except I never actually do. Well, time to break the cycle. History and serial killing. Delicious.

I also ventured into a game store that recently opened downtown. Mr. Bob’s Game Shop. The name alone made me laugh, but I couldn’t help but feel my heart skip a beat when I saw it. Is this a real comic and game shop? Can this replace 21st Century for me? Because I really need a place to get my nerd fix on.

It was even better than I thought. Half arcade, half game shop. No comics, sadly, but plenty of D&D stuff and Magic cards and expansions for Settlers of Catan. They even had a Cthulhu edition of Munchkin!

When I walked in, there were three younger guys playing Magic, and the store owner behind the counter. All four looked up when I walked in. Oh yes, it was the stereotypical “girl in a game store” moment. I laughed. Out loud. Then I greeted them heartily and asked which expansion of Magic they were playing.

I was accepted with open arms. The shop owner started babbling 90 miles a minute, telling me about what they carry and what they can get. Telling me about their Magic nights on Fridays and D&D campaigns on Wednesdays. I geeked out, babbling right back about my desire to play D&D, especially after recently ceasing to play WoW. We chatted about the new Magic expansion coming out, I confessed I haven’t played since high school, and he told me to come in and watch so that I could get the hang of the new cards and rules.

So yeah… I’m currently researching Pathfinder and hoping to join their D&D campaign in the next two weeks. And maybe the Magic tourneys, too.

I’m such a fucking nerd. But I was so goddamn happy to find like-minded people around here.

I left the magical little store and wandered downtown for a bit. Decided to pop into a smoke shop. Sean told me last time we talked that he found kreteks in Florida (even though they are supposed to be illegal now), so I figured it was worth a shot to check this place out. Found a pack of Djarum Blacks… but they weren’t cigs. They were cigars. They look like a cig and taste just like regular Blacks, they’re just a bit stronger (and shorter and thicker… more like a regular cig). I’ve decided they are acceptable.

Then I found the cutest fucking store I’ve ever seen. They carry books by contemporary authors (rare in this area) and really unique hats and home decor. It was adorable, and I plan on frequenting it all the time.

Imagine Urban Outfitters minus the douchebaggery and with the personality that only comes with an independent shop. Fantastic.

After my shopping escapades, it was time for a big family dinner for my grandfather’s birthday. While at dinner, my aunt commented on the fact that I was eating more vegetables than anything else.

Lisa: You just keep eating carrots, Sam. You’re like a rabbit.

Me: Don’t you dare call me a rabbit.

My Mother: Don’t get her started.

Lisa: Well, it’s true!

Me: *haughty sniff* I’m more like a cat than a rabbit.

Lisa: Oh please! You hate fish!

Me: No, I don’t.

My Mother: Yeah, she made fish for me the other day. She makes all kinds of stuff. Tacos, pasta, salads, soups…

Lisa: Okay Sam, right now. Tacos or fish? Make your choice.

Me: *pause* Can I have a fish taco?

At this point, Frank (my gay uncle) snorts with laughter. I just grin. The whole goddamn table then proceeds to barrage us with questions about what was so funny. Frank and I high-five and never tell them.

I love my uncle.

***

Finally, you may have noticed some recent changes to this site. I finally settled on a proper name for this little blog. “Goes Ding When There’s Stuff” was always a placeholder- I just happened to be watching Doctor Who when I created this thing. But I figured it was high time I decided on something real.

Naturally, I picked Latin.

And what do you all think of the new layout? I’m sorry I’ve been changing it so frequently lately, but all the free layouts for WordPress have something that drives me crazy. I’ve been tweaking this one a bit, and it’s grown on me. It’s tidier than many of the others I’ve tried (links don’t bleed out of their boxes, Twitter updates don’t look crammed together, I can actually distinguish the hyperlinks among the regular text), plus I like the color scheme.

Thoughts?

I Guess This is My Stop… Goodbye, Wagon

Song of the moment: Brown Eyes Lady Gaga

So, I had a cigarette today. And, in order to have said cigarette, I bought a pack. Awesome, right? I’m so fucking good at this. But I couldn’t handle what it was doing to me emotionally. And no matter how many times I told myself it was just the chemicals in my brain whining for nicotine, and that if I just gave it some time I would be fine… Well, I’m weak. What I do and what logic tells me I should do often do not correspond. Thus my rampant self-loathing. [ADDENDUM: Upon trying this whole smoking thing again, I find the taste even more repugnant than I did before. So, I can’t smoke. I’ll just suffer through this depressing withdrawal bullshit until my dopamine levels normalize again. Also, I’m sitting on a pack of smokes I now have to pawn off on someone.]

Speaking of self-loathing, I’m full of confusion and disgust with myself as of late. I don’t feel I need to elaborate on the why- I know why. Suffice to say, I’m gearing toward the same type of fuckeroo I’m known for.

Fucking awesome.

I need a word stronger than “fuck” to describe how I feel right now. Anybody have any suggestions? Maybe another language has something that sums everything up for me…

Not that I would know it, because I suck at languages.

I haven’t had the most spectacular of weeks. I’ve been working my ass off in my free time (i.e. time I’m not sleeping or in class or in meetings) to get all my papers and shit done that are due this week and next week. Thankfully, I only have two actual finals (history and German), so I’ll be done with everything by Wednesday. Anyway, like I said, been working my ass off so that I’d be able to take a few hours Monday night and Tuesday night to hang with people. Nothing too intensive. But they all bailed at the last minute, so that was just disappointing.

Hell, I ended up spending Tuesday night helping Stauff with his stupid paper. Well, when I wasn’t threatening to break bottles over Ben’s head. The latter was certainly the more entertaining part of my evening (and, sadly enough, the interaction this week that’s kept me from falling deep into a state of depression). I hate helping Stauff with his papers- he writes in the most maddening fashion, absolutely cannot do the most basic things, and spends hours on something that should take 15 minutes. He’s a prime example of someone who shouldn’t be an English major… so why is that his major?

Speaking of English majors, I’m so sick of my major. I want to throw Ruth Mowry and the rest of the department through a window. She is the worst advisor known to man. She’s flighty, forgetful, and extremely unhelpful. How many times should I have to contact an advisor in order to make an appointment? Isn’t that her fucking job? But no, she’s out of town or just MIA. Or she just doesn’t respond to any of your messages for weeks. And good luck trying to find her at office hours. When Sean and I talk about going down there and devoting the extent of her office hours to camping out until she sees us, we’re not joking. I have literally waited hours to see her. Bullshit.

And don’t get me started on the fuckers in my courses. And my professors. Analyzing literature is one thing. But there comes a point when you are beating a dead horse, and English classes breeze past said line into the realm of pulpy, beaten horse bits. When you leave class for the day, you are covered in sticky red pieces of equine insides. It’s awful. If you let them, they will analyze down to the word each and every phrase in whatever piece we happen to be working on. I hate them. I hate them so hard.

Maybe it’s because English is a bullshit major, and they really don’t have anything else to fill their hours and hours of class time with.

In a complete segue, I have recently felt an overwhelming sadness in relation to how disconnected I have become from some of my high school friends. Were there many of them I really liked? No, there weren’t. But… god, I miss my best friend, Rachel. She was so goofy and weird. She never made fun of how strange I was, because she was strange, too. Neither of us made sense in Greybull, and we banded together to tell everyone else to fuck off. The fact that I so callously stopped attempting to keep the lines of communication open after HS in my attempt to distance myself from everything that was the state/people I hated… that was one of the biggest regrets of my life. And only recently am I starting to realize this.

Gah.

Another random segue, on the topic of friends… I have discovered, as of late, that I really, really want a friends-with-benefits relationship with someone. I have always thought they were perfectly fine, and that I would be able to handle one without getting emotionally attached (it’s just sex, for crying out loud), but I’ve never really wanted one. Till now. I think it’s because I know a few guys who I really don’t want to date (I think that type of relationship would probably be detrimental to both of us), but would really like to fuck. Friends-with-benefits would solve this. I wonder if I can convince one of them to go along with this idea of mine…

Bonus link of the day: For all you Twilight fans out there. Enjoy.

Official Declaration

I am quitting smoking.

I felt the need to state this, all on its own, because it’s a pretty big decision for me. I’ve been smoking for the better part of 2 1/2 years, and it’s become a big part of my life and routine.

Why am I doing this, might you ask? Well, obvious health benefits aside (because, frankly, that didn’t factor in at all), I’m mostly doing it because I’m just sick of it. I haven’t enjoyed smoking as of late. It doesn’t taste good, I’m doing it too often on my own (instead of socially), and it’s expensive. Plus, I’m getting sick of my stuff smelling like smoke.

…I also hate being addicted to something. Being addicted means I am not in control of my habit. And I can’t handle something controlling me. So, I’m going to show this “nicotine habit” who’s boss, dammit.

So, dear readers, that’s what’s going on in my life. I’m giving up the fags (I just really wanted to type that). It’s probably going to be hard as balls, but I figure this is as good a time as any.

Even if it is a week and a half before finals.