Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How To Tell That You Are Stressed Out

1. When you hug yourself you cry a little. 
In my acting class, every day we do a warm up which involves various embarrassing vocal exercises and stretches. It culminates into a final portion where we shimmy around the room shouting "zibbity-bibbity" sixteen times. Strangely enough, this warm up really allows me to release (I am often a little too enthusiastic with the vocal warm-ups, because I want to scream... all the time) and by the end of it our teacher asks us to hug ourselves, which is ultimately what I need the most. So I cry a little every time this happens.

One love. 
Intermission 
Why am I stressed? It's the end of the semester! And all the projects I started are supposed to come to an end, and it's up to me to end them. 
Here are some things I need to get done: 
  • Try and win a business idea competition on Thursday. 
  • Perform a mythology rap for one of my grad-student friends at his class's end of the year shindig. 
  • Assemble a poster project about evolution and memory.
  • Finish a sizeable chunk of my young-adult novel. 
  • Finish writing my memory research conference project. 
2. You splash your pool mates. 
Every Tuesday I swim with some of my friends. It's a health thing. Swimming is the most convenient kind of exercise for me because all I need to do is to change into swim trunks to do it. If I want to do anything else, I have to change my shoes, put on gym clothes UGH it's the worst and it takes to long. Pants off, trunks on BOOM, instant workout. 
My workout regimen is to swim for about forty five minutes, taking breaks when I am exhausted. I will do 25 or 50 yards and then catch my breath, then go at it again. Sometimes, when I do 50 yard stretches or more, I get very angry, and when I reach the other end of the pool I slap my hands on the water like Michael Phelps.

This week I did this and splashed my friend in the lane next to me. He flinched and wiped the water from his face and I apologized profusely. 

"I'm so sorry! I just swim until I get angry and then I slap the water," I told him. 

"That's good. Use that anger. Beast mode," he replied. 

3. For the first time ever in your life you crave cigarettes. 
I can't even spell cigarettes. I am using autocorrect to help me out with this. I know, I know, everyone back home is going to read this and yell at me, but understand it's a craving and not a life decision. I am not going to smoke. I need the lung capacity to swim and splash people. 

However, this does not stop me from leaning back in my swivel chair in the computer lab and thinking "UGH I WANT A TOBACCO STICK." 

I caved. I smoked one. One of my friends had a pack and I felt strange about it so we went behind the library and did it where no one would see us. 

My friend, Chicago, also is unfamiliar with smoking cigarettes. 

"Am I cool yet?" he kept asking. "How about if I hold it like this? Do I look cool? How many of these do I have to smoke to get addicted?" 

I didn't notice any stress alleviation, but for the rest of the evening I smelled like smoke. It was weird, and I don't think I'm going to do it again. 

4. You resort to caffeine. 
I used to pride myself in the fact that I didn't do caffeine. I still don't. I don't use regularly, but in my moments of weakness I will buy a Red Bull to pull myself through some reading. Red Bulls are incredible. They taste like magic. My typical routine is to drink one while listening to white noise (http://simplynoise.com/) in my room and getting whatever I need done DONE. 

However, my caffeine use makes me sad for two reasons. 1) I wanted to be proof that a caffeine-free kid could succeed in a caffeine-driven world. I still strive to do that, but for now I need the help. 2) the caffeine come-down ravages my emotional homeostasis, and so often when it wears off, I go to my room and cry. 

5. You have dreams in which all of your loved ones die. 
Okay, they're nightmares. I keep a dream log sometimes, and the stuff that is going on in my subconscious is pretty off the chain. Like getting in a car with my parents and realizing we are driving on a road of baby corpses. This was an actual dream I had. 

To add to the ridiculousness, when I wake up from these nightmares, I look around the room wildly and I see that my DOOR IS OPEN? WHY? It's four in the morning, I just had a dream where I fell off a mossy cliff and DIED, and then the door to my dorm room in AJAR? It's really the worst. 

My door opens on its own sometimes. 
HOW WILL CONNOR COPE WITH ALL HIS STRESS? 
  1. Make manageable to-do lists. I am incredibly proud of my ability to make calendars and schedules of what I am going to do and when. This will ultimately pull me through this trying time of my life. 
  2. Swim. The ultimate release. 
  3. Get enough sleep. Which hasn't really been a problem. Last night I slept from 8pm to 8am, so I mean, not bad. 
  4. Blog.
Everything is going to be all right! 

Right? 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Two Lists

Currently chillin' in a friend's room, recalling all of this from memory. The following is a list of some of the major items one could find inside of my dorm room.
  • Two large, circular signs from the Pub that smell like poisonous plastic. 
  • A small plastic box of Q-tips
  • Six juggling clubs, five leather juggling balls, two contact juggling balls. 
  • Stacks of books including (but not limited to): 
    • Brief Interviews With Hideous Men - David Foster Wallace
    • The Naked Brain - Richard Restak
    • The Actor, Image, and Action: Acting and Cognitive Neuroscience - Rhonda Blair
    • An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
  • Garbage can (contents below): 
    • Empty Cheerio box. 
    • Empty Red Bull cans. 
    • Lots of tissues. 
  • 2013 Calendar of Runners, running in particularly picturesque places in the world. 
  • Kid Cudi poster 
  • Printed color 8.5x11 photo of Rick Ross. 
  • One fridge (currently empty) 
  • One cardboard box filled with bags of Cheerios, bananas, and apples. 
  • Boxes full of completed class readings. 
  • One nostalgia box (contents includes, but is not limited to:) 
    • Program for "The Testament of Mary" 
    • Big Sean ticket stub 
    • Programs for SLC plays. 
    • Program for "Seminar" 
    • Valentines
    • Letters from my family. 
    • Greeting card from my grandmother.
  • Toe nail clippers. 
  • Boyfriend pillow (I hate the name of this, it's actually just a pillow shaped like a chair so you can sit up in your bed. Everyone says it's called a boyfriend pillow but I disagree. It's a chair-pillow). 
  • Two removable wall-hooks. 
  • Fitness stick (inherited) 
  • Broom (but funnily enough, no dustpan) 
  • Colored pencils. 
  • Colored markers.
And now, a brief description of my friend's room: 

Homework?
  • One Scott Pilgrim poster. 
  • One music festival poster
  • Three Scott Pilgrim books. 
  • One pack of Marlboro cigarettes. 
  • iMac computer. 
  • Half-consumed bottle of Welch's grape soda. 
  • One fridge: Full of stuff. 
  • An electric pencil sharpener (what? Who uses these anymore?)
  • Coffee mug full of pens and pencils. 
  • Audio recording device. 
  • Bilbo Baggins poster (not on the wall, but on his bed).
  • Highlighted, photocopied pages of a script.
  • Guitar clamp. 
  • Maple syrup. 
  • One microwave. 
  • One map of Sarah Lawrence College taped to the wall. 
  • Bottle of Advil. 
  • Miscellaneous pieces of change. 
  • Tackle box (contents unknown)
***

HAIKU:

Biology is 
a mysterious magic 
found in thick textbooks

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fame, Sort of Fame, and Infame

SLC Speaks, Sarah Lawrence's independent online news website did an interview with me about the Pub Secret Menu! Check it out here: http://slcspeaks.com/slcspeaks-grills-pub-secret-menu/

The old Pub signs! 
Got my new juggling clubs in the mail today! I now have SIX juggling clubs, which means I can teach people how to juggle clubs and eventually pass clubs with them. I spent about an hour juggling today (5pm-6pm) working on tricks that I am currently not very good at, but eventually I will be.

The most common question people ask me is "How did you start juggling?"

Basically, throughout high school I had a 5pm curfew and a 30 minute allowance of internet per day. So I had to find other ways to occupy myself. I kept a journal, started writing rap, and somewhere along the line picked up juggling. This involved a lot of YouTube tutorials and a lot of messing up in my backyard.

In essence, this is what juggling is: Looking really dumb for about a couple months. So I did this in my backyard (often wearing nothing but boxers) and now I have an expensive hobby*.

*However, I am told that juggling is the most economical of hobbies, because although the equipment is pricey at first, you get an incredible amount of use out of what you buy, so you might as well buy quality.

Some other juggling advice I got today: "You're doing your crotch throws like chops. Do them slower, like back throws. Or go on YouTube and look for crotch throw tutorials."

Top result for crotch throw: http://youtu.be/TrdP7KuLk8A?t=53s

ALSO, I put a Google Form in an earlier post where people could ask questions. "Assimilator" asked:
"Do you have a birthmark?" 
I do! I am told that birthmarks are indicators of how you died in a previous life, and I am pretty sure some Boromir shit went down.



However, notice how if I was truly Boromir in a past life, my birth mark would probably be on my chest because I kept fighting and used myself essentially as a human shield. But, since my birthmark was on my shoulder, I probably was running away in fear. 

Oh well. 

***

Two truths and a lie: 
- I am out of allergy medicine! 
- My bio teacher complimented me on my critical thinking today and it put a spring in my step! 
- Wiz Khalifa rolled onto into the Pub and ordered a "Voldemort!" 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The "Side Hustle"

Self-made breakfast packs. 
Today I learned the importance of having a "side hustle". A side hustle is a business or project that you have on the side of your job or your schooling, just to make sure that you are doing things that you care about. I have several side-hustles going on. They include:
  • Swing dancing lessons on weekends! 
  • Juggling before dinner almost every day! 
  • Filing and doing taxes for people in Yonkers! 
Marcus Mayo from IncubateNYC came to Sarah Lawrence today to talk about entrepreneurship, and along with telling us to side-hustle, he told us the most important thing is to just keep on doing things you are passionate about, because in the end that's all that matters, and that's what's ultimately going to be a marketable skill. 

This got me really excited. He inspired me so much I ran back to my room and put up a Facebook status saying "HEY IF YOU WANT ME TO CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM OR MAKE A CALENDAR FOR YOU I WILL DO IT FOR MONEY." 

And boom, I already have a customer. Side-hustlin', All day. 

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY NEXT POINT: 


Juggling lessons! I've been juggling pretty regularly out on the North Lawn this past week, and like ten people expressed interest in learning how to juggle. So naturally, I spent a good portion of my paycheck on buying juggling clubs to teach people, because a) I like teaching people how to juggle and b) I want to have friends I can pass clubs with. I'm going to be doing this for free, but if any of my students want to donate to my cause, I am not going to refuse. Because I really want to buy a duffel bag and more equipment so I can

JOIN JUGGLING CLUBS IN NEW YORK CITY!

I'm going to be staying in the city over the summer working office jobs, and there are a BUNCH of juggling groups that meet every week, and I am 100% going to join. It will be great. I am pumped.

And to conclude, three haikus about love:

My first-year roommates
Are really incredible
sophomore year, still friends.

Rhonda Blair writes books
on acting and neuro-psych
that speak to my soul.

I am happy/sad
When women I admire
have the best husbands.

Cheers. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Cran-Grape

There are signs all around the computer lab that say "No Food or Drink Is Permitted in the Computer Lab" and all I see are people who sincerely do not care.

1) I look insane 2) The person next to me is not amused.
Happy Monday everyone!

I bought the New York Times yesterday because I realized "I should really be reading the news if I ever a) want to have a conversation with someone b) start a profitable business and c) look classy as I eat Cheerios from a bag every morning.

Today I read this article about Jenna Marbles, internet sensation, who uploaded a video three years ago titled "How To Trick People Into Thinking You Are Attractive" and now she is making six figures for continuing to make videos like this.

I am not jealous, but it did inspire me to blog tonight.


SO, it's time to get serious about blogging.

How does one do this?

I am not sure. But it will come to me.

I am going to be sitting in my biology class tomorrow, taking our exam, and I am suddenly going to start vomiting with excitement.
I'm an artist
So sit tight. In the mean time, I am getting ready for my fiction class tomorrow, in which I am going to read some angsty young-adult novel I am working on. The premise: A girl named Zoe discovers that she is AN ALIEN! Spoiler alert: It has no effect on her life whatsoever, it just makes her incredibly depressed as she waits to get abducted to go back home, but it never happens.

:(

That's it.

Also, this is new. Submit a question!



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is an excellent pastime. I highly recommend that people take up the hobby of looking people up on Wikipedia because you really learn a lot. Here are some things I have been Wikipedia-ing lately: 

WILL SMITH
Will Smith is an incredible human being. I realized this one day when my friend Zac told me this Will Smith quote at breakfast. 

"The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there's two things: You're getting off first, or I'm going to die."  - Will Smith 

It should be noted that Zac and I have been eating breakfast together since the beginning of the semester. It was cool at first, we talked about our lives and our families until there was nothing else to talk about. Wanting to continue our friendship, I decided that we should probably find something else to talk about, so we decided to become entrepreneurs and every morning we discuss business (this is a whole different story that will be noted in another blog post). This is a very competitive field, so we often try to find quotes to motivate ourselves when Zac stumbled across this little gem. It's terrifying, motivating, and an incredibly masculine quote from Will Smith that I hold near and dear to my heart.

This lead me to the Will Smith  Wikipedia page, which I recommend to everyone. Another highlight was a good solid paragraph on Will Smith's views on Scientology. I quote:
Smith has said he has studied multiple religions, including Scientology, and he has said many complimentary things about Scientology and other faiths. Despite his praise of Scientology, Smith said "I just think a lot of the ideas in Scientology are brilliant and revolutionary and non-religious"[34][35] and "Ninety-eight percent of the principles in Scientology are identical to the principles of the Bible.... I don't think that because the word someone uses for spirit is 'thetan' that the definition becomes any different."[36] He has denied having joined the Church of Scientology, saying "I am a Christian. I am a student of all religions, and I respect all people and all paths." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Smith)
This paragraph is ONE QUATER of the "Personal Life" section of Will Smith's Wikipedia Page. ONE FOURTH. I will summarize each paragraph to give you an idea of how Wikipedia decides to summarize Will Smith's personal life:

  1. Will Smith and his beautiful family life.
  2. Will Smith's wealth and philanthropy. 
  3. Will Smith's studies of religion, including Scientology. 
  4. More philanthropy. 
I really have no comments on this, but I mean... One fourth of his personal life. 

KEANU REEVES 
I may be late on this one (Sad Keanu meme reported existed in 2010) but another friend mentioned over breakfast "If you are ever feeling sad, read Keanu Reeves's Wikipedia page. It will put things into perspective." Keanu Reeve's Wikipedia page is incredibly sad (particularly the "Early Life" and "Personal Life" sections). I highly recommend checking it out. 


WIKIPEDIA RACES 
This isn't really something you can check out on Wikipedia, but it's a fun game for a Friday night (if you are a loser/have nothing else to do).

Materials: 
  • Two or more friends.
  • Laptops.
How To Play: 
  • One friend picks two unrelated pages on Wikipedia (e.g. "Uganda" and "Ralph Polo Lauren").
  • Each player opens their web browser and opens up one of those pages. (e.g. I pick "Uganda").
  • Someone yells "GO!" and each player has to try to get to the other Wikipedia page by only clicking blue links within the articles. (e.g. I have to click "Ugandan Fashion" and then "shirts" and then "shirt brands" and then "Ralph Polo Lauren". [Sidenote, it may not be that easy]). 
  • Whoever successfully reaches the opposing page first wins! 
The game can easily be made interesting with betting or some other creative consequence. I'm pretty darn good at it, but I think it's because I spend WAAY too much time on Wikipedia. 

That's it. I'm done. Go forth! Explore and learn. And if you so desire, die on a treadmill. 

Unrelated product placement!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Things That Kinda Bug Me

  • Not having a kitchen.
  • Not having a kitchen. 
  • Not having a kitchen. 
  • ... not having a kitchen. 
#1 On The List of Things That Bug Me: Not Having a Kitchen
If I had a kitchen... I would
  1. Save money. I currently spend an average of $3.50 a day at the Pub on breakfast alone. Granted, I've been doing a little bit better by buying my own milk and cereal on the weekends, but in order to eat breakfast with my friends, I have to bring little baggies of cereal and milk to the Pub and bring my own bowls. 
  2. Save the Earth. Because I have no means to wash dishes, I typically use disposable bowls, plates, and cutlery. Mother Nature is crying. 
  3. Eat better. I am not sure exactly which nutrients I am missing out on, but I am sure they are vital. I get this weird empty feeling after eating for two hours in Bates, like I have put an enormous amount of food in my system, but it is doing nothing for my general health. 
  4. Become an excellent cook. Which is definitely something I want to add to my spousal resume. 
#2 On The List of Things That Bug Me: Homework During Beautiful Weather
The weather at Sarah Lawrence currently is beautiful. Which is great. But it makes it really difficult to do homework. Right now it's nighttime but I could walk around in my t-shirt and feel comfortable. WHO IS GOING TO SIT INSIDE AND READ ABOUT THE EXCRETORY SYSTEM (this is literally what my homework is). There really is no contest at all. I am currently sitting in my room, in my underwear, listening to Trinidad James and feeling a little bit guilty. 

Let's explore the mammalian excretory system. 
#3 On The List of Things That Bug Me: Lists That Are Less Than Three Things
I really have nothing else to complain about. My life isn't too bad, but it'd sort of be a pathetic blog post if I just had two things. So, in general: 
  • The way my hands smell after handling coins. 
  • Socks that don't dry all the way in the laundry. 
  • Adjusting your posture and then suddenly needing to poop. 
  • People mentioning how they never use their kitchens. 
  • The little bacteria-pool that we keep the Bates ice-cream scoopers in.
That is all. Homework tonight really seems impossible. I'll do some mindless data-entry work and then chill out and read books that I found in the library, none of which apply to my conference work. 
  • Going to the library to get a book for your conference work, and coming out with something else that you'd much rather read. 
***

Unrelated Sidenote: I'm trying to figure out a clever way to put a little widget on my blog that shows the Song of The Day. This is a real thing that happens every morning when I wake up. My alarm goes off at 7:50am, I stare at the ceiling until 8:00am, and then I turn on my computer and play the song of the day while I get dressed. It really sets the mood for my day, and strangely enough I am able to hear it at full volume in my mind whenever I am having a dull moment. This is probably because my iPod broke. 

But, until I figure out how to do this creatively, the song of the day TODAY (4/9/13) is "Female$ Welcomed" by Trinidad James.


This video is all about summer weather. There are some songs that you just need to listen to when it is hot outside, and this is definitely the best song for that. Also, when the beat drops near the end of the song (in the music video it's when nighttime comes) my life changes a little bit.

Fun fact about Trinidad James, he started rapping one year ago. ONE YEAR. He is a legend.

Things I Am Thankful For (in no particular order)



  • Tupperware full of Bates food in my fridge. 
  • Spotify (the greatest invention of all mankind) 
  • My dad, and how he wrote me a letter that was one of the realest pieces of literature I have ever read. 
  • My mom, and how she is kicking ass at her computer science class. 
  • My sister, who is thriving in college and doing amazing entrepreneurial things always.
  • CAJAGMO (Connor and Julia Are Gonna Make Out)! The play Julia and I wrote and performed. 
  • Ned, who helped me roll in the big, greasy Pub signs into my room. 
  • The Campbell Sports Center swimming pool. 
  • My wireless mouse. 
  • Biology class. 
  • My memory research seminar class. 
  • Acting class. 
  • Unlimited texting. 
  • The SLC library. 
  • Bagels And More! Sunday breakfast and I love it. 
  • The vending machine on campus that gives you two of everything. 
  • Murda Bizness - by Iggy Azalea (link here)
  • The refurbished speakers I found on Amazon. 
  • Swing dancing on Sundays.
  • Inspirational writing quotes online.
  • Google Reader. 
  • Derrick Brown (http://www.brownpoetry.com/)
  • My summer job, working as an RA at Sarah Lawrence. 
  • Visiting Erin at Syracuse. 
  • Seeing Big Sean at Syracuse! 
  • Friends loaning me $7 so I can see The Testament of Mary this Friday. (WHAT) 
  • MACE (even though I barely see them any more, when I do they hug me) 
  • The gift aid I currently have that allows me to go to college here at SLC. 
  • Q-tips. 
  • Dove soap. 
  • Cheddar cheese. 
  • The internet. 
  • Wikipedia. 
  • Online banking. 
  • Direct deposit. 
  • Clean towels. 
  • Clean socks. 
  • Lars Von Trier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lars_von_Trier)
  • Hot, intelligent teachers. 
  • Juggling in the sun. Being able to pass clubs with people who know how to juggle. People who want to learn how to juggle. 
  • Power strips. 
  • Hand lotion. 
  • Pesto. 
  • Pinole, California. 
  • Pinole Valley High School. 
  • Buffalo Floor Hockey (the theater troupe, not the sport)
  • Oakland, California
  • Berkeley, California
  • The entire East Bay
  • RAP MUSIC. HIP HOP TIL I DIE.
  • Pinole Community Theater 
  • Basically, everything that happened in high school. 
  • And elementary school. 
  • My life. 
  • Public transportation. 
  • Sushi. 
  • Rice. 
  • Composition notebooks. 
  • My general health. 
  • My SLC tour guiding job. 
  • My SLC office assistant job. 
  • My single dorm room (no roommates). 
  • My former roommates who still hook me up with excellent things, like jobs and dance moves.
  • Tourettes Without Regrets (http://www.yelp.com/biz/tourettes-without-regrets-oakland)