Category Archives: Heathen Events

#310 – List Format for Internet Articles

Nowadays, if you want someone to view your website, it better be full of gifs, pictures, and minimal reading to truly get a legitimate following. But if you insist on actually getting your readers to, you know, read, it all comes down to breaking your article down into a numbered list. No one is going to read a piece entitled “Assad air force back in action in Damascus, hitting rebels.” But re-name the piece “13 Quick and Easy Ways Assad Is Fighting Back That You Won’t Believe Exist (With Pictures)”, and you have yourself an instant hit! Lists have bastardized the writing process and have turned readers into absent-minded skimmers and scrollers. The list format has truly earned its spot in the top 21 ways the internet has epically dumbed us all down. And surprisingly, it also made the cut as one of 12 Reasons Why Sam The Cat With Eyebrows Should Be Your New Favorite Cat.

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#309 – Passwords

I have the mental capacity of remembering no more than two versions of the same password I’ve had since I was 12. So if any devious hackers wanted to access my information, they could easily get a hold of any of the various accounts I have made in the past 10 years. Midnight AIM chats from 2003 with awkward teenage boys? Revealed. Overpriced textbook purchases from Amazon? Exposed. Obscene credit card debt on my bank account? Well, you’re free to go ahead and check that one out, hackers. I personally don’t view that account all that often because something tells me that if I don’t look at it, it’ll go away. Because that’s how that works.  That aside, I’m at a clear security risk, which is why I’m so glad new password settings require passwords to be 8 letters long, at least three of which must be uppercase, and also contain 4 non-numeric symbols, 2 Chinese characters, a hieroglyph, and can’t contain the most ingenious password word ever, “password”. It’s a solid guarantee that it will keep hackers, identity thieves, and myself from accessing any of my accounts ever again. What a load off my mind.

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#306 – College Apartment Living

dishesCollege life is not complete without frat parties, all-nighters, and a shitty apartment to spend the aftermath of those experiences in.  Apartments around universities are a cesspool of smelly ethnic cuisine and crammed quarters full of students looking to save money by sharing a 1 bedroom apartment with 4 other people. Bunk beds stop being a way to make space “for more activities” and instead turn into something more like an accidental and unethical psychology experiment. As close in proximity as you’ll feel to your roommates, it pales in comparison to your blossoming relationship with your neighbors. There’s nothing quite like being able to hear someone clipping their nails at the apartment next door so loud it feels like a stray nail clipping might fly through your window at any given moment. You’ll become an involuntary audience to your upper-level neighbors’ 3am heart-to-hearts, and the victim of harassment by broomstick by your downstairs neighbors for shuffling your feet in your slippers too loudly. This unstable yet symbiotic relationship is at the core of college life. Good thing there’s always some reason to protest on campus so you can channel, vent, and release all of your warranted frustrations. So get out there with your megaphone and fight the good fight. And take out the trash while you’re at it, you filthy animal.

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#304 – Writing a Paper

How to write a paper:

Step 1. Do not start paper until the day before it’s due. This will ruin the creative process.

Step 2. Copy-paste mounds of information into one Word document, not citing where anything is from. Just lump it all in there, you’ll surely remember where it’s all from later so you can give appropriate credit where credit is due. Right.

Step 3. Aimlessly scroll up and down said Word document. Marvel at all the work you’ve done. You. Are. Amazing.

Step 4. This warrants a break. Reddit, food, Facebook, Twitter, snack, Reddit, coffee, Facebook, refresh, refresh, refresh.

Step 5. Check the clock. Panic.

Step 6. Find a way to put a paper together in less than an hour. Make sure you save the proofreading for the professor. That way he can see the raw product in its most natural form. Don’t want to deprive him of that.

Step 7. Paper? What paper? Your winter break officially started the second you turned it in. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and promise you’ll never leave anything for the last minute again.

Step 8. Rinse and repeat next semester.

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#303 – The Morning Coffee Run

It’s not bad enough that morning people have to exist; they also have an incessant need to impose their love of the morning onto everyone around them. Walk into any Starbucks at 6am on your way to whatever job is sucking your life dry and just try to order a cup of coffee without being forced to smile and politely respond to inane questions. How’s my day going, you ask? Well, I did just wake up all of 10 minutes ago and somehow drove to this god forsaken coffee shop with half-shut eyes and half-brushed hair just to get some caffeine in my system to get some semblance of brain activity going before I trudge off to that lovely place where I’m both underpaid and underappreciated. But since you so sincerely asked, my day is going swell. Just swell. I think the coffee shop experience can be best summed up by the quote by Albert Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” No disrespect, Al, but I think I’ve stumbled upon a more accurate definition. Insanity is frequenting the same coffee shop at the same exact time every morning and somehow getting called every possible variation of four-letter names beginning with the letter L–well, every variation except for Lara. Getting my actual name right would go against some unbreakable law of physics, I’m sure.Image

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#302 – Traffic

When you live in Los Angeles, there are some things you come to accept. Parking tickets, hipsters in fedoras, and self-entitled “mixologists” all become commonplace. But LA traffic is in a league of its own. Anyone who has sat on the 405 with their parking brake on knows what it means to cycle through a flurry of emotions, most of which can get you a standing prescription for Zoloft. Just put the gun down and try not to kill yourself long enough to read through this post. Here are the stages that all traffic victims go through:

Denial: “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.” FYI, it is. It’s really happening. Prepare to spend the next two hours of your life trapped in a car listening to hyped up overly-processed music to pump you up for your 3 mph drive home.

Anger: “Who the hell drops a Christmas tree on the freeway in the middle of March?” This feeling is also known as “road rage,” only swerving and honking is replaced by alternating between frustrated crying and banging your head on the steering wheel.

Bargaining: “Are you there, God? It’s me, Lara. God, if you get me out of this, I promise I’ll be a better person. Ok, I’ll start to be a better person. Or I’ll start to try to be a better person. Fuck it. I’m a terrible person and I’m never going to change, am I? Yup, sounds about right. Sorry to bother you, God. You can go back to chilling on clouds and playing the harp or whatever it is you do up there.”

Depression: “No – fucking – way.” What was supposed to be rush hour has now become rush HOURS. Just sink back into your seat and do some finger stretching and wrist turning, because that’s about as mobile as you can be at this point, both as a car and as a person.

Acceptance: Eerily similar to a zombie-like state, this is when you come to terms with the fact that the next few hours of your life are going to be spent sitting in a virtual parking lot with a Doritos truck to your left and a chain smoker to your right. But it’s going to be okay. It’s almost over. You only have to deal with this tomorrow morning. And tomorrow night. And for the other four days of the week. And for the rest of your life.

These stages may sound similar to you. That’s because they’re the same as the five stages of dying. Coincidence? I think not. Unless you have some affiliation to a copyright, in which case… Coincidence? I think so. Happy driving!

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#301 – Inspirational Quotes

The purpose of inspirational quotes should be just that–to inspire. What they inspire me to do is wish for the day when teenagers would still write in private diaries instead of googling quotes to post on their MySpace/Facebook pages. Let’s work our way down the list of the top 5 most uninspiring inspirational quotes you’ll see:

#5 It’s really not all that inspiring to realize that 2 Egg McMuffins and a family-size bag of Doritos later, you’re definitely worse off today than you were yesterday. When your comparison rating has a steeper downward slope than the Dow Jones, it’s time to just call it a day, every day.

#4 Einstein has forever given high school dropouts an excuse to act like there’s still hope for them to prove their genius. But unless one of them is going to discover some hybrid material between paper and plastic (plaper©), I’m pretty sure Einstein was more the exception than the rule. He may have been “passionately curious”, but so is my 2-year-old cousin, and all he’s discovered is how to break anything worth owning within a five mile radius.

 #3 “Those who matter” usually fall in the category of your professors, your boss, and pretty much anyone else in a position of authority, and there usually isn’t an open stage set up for you to air out your true feelings there. Also, I mind and I matter. Theory debunked. Try again, Dr. Seuss.

#2 If you shoot for the theoretical moon, you won’t land among the stars; you’ll land among all the other people who tried and failed to do the same thing you’re trying to do because they’re the same degenerates who believe in quotes like this.

#1 And rounding off the top 5 is a classic by the always overrated Marilyn Monroe. Yes, everyone has their ups and downs, their bests and their worsts. But seeing as how you were a basketcase, a drug addict, and apparently suicidal, your worst doesn’t seem worth handling. Turns out even you couldn’t handle your worst. Now your best is being tattooed on Megan Fox’s forearm and being quoted by 14-year-old girls everywhere. A true inspiration.

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#299 – Cursive

Life takes a pretty big turn in the 3rd grade. One minute everything’s all gummy worms and Pringles, and the next thing you know Ms. Buzzkill drops a bombshell–you’re going to be learning cursive. But what’s sold as classy and useful is really the biggest waste of time since that Intro to Basketweaving course you took in community college. Cursive is a skill reserved for calligraphists and grandmas, and I’m willing to accept that. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that my signature on all of my important documents will look as though an 8-year-old is trying to forge their parent’s signature to skip P.E. Needless to say, I never got to skip P.E.

 

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#297 – The GRE

You know when you used to be in your 8th grade math class and think “When will I ever need to know this?” Well, the GRE is your answer. Every vague and useless topic that you struggled with all those years ago manages to sneak back into your life in this 4-hour-long test.

The way it goes is that after a hasty set of essays, you begin the quantitative section which covers everything from quadrants and slopes to polynomials and nightmares. A typical GRE word problem reads as follows: If Train A is heading west at 90 miles an hour and Train B is heading north at 70 miles an hour, how long until someone on the BART gets into a fight? Answer: C) 2 minutes. And then there are the probability questions. You’ll soon figure out that marbles were only put on this earth to be used in proportion problems and as choking hazards. So if you have 3 blue marbles, 2 red marbles, and 1 green marble, what are the chances that you will not pick a purple marble? I’m not sure, but I do know that if you’re playing with marbles, there is a 3:1 chance that you have no friends.

The verbal section has a feckless role of its own. You can be an assiduous student and try your very hardest to commit vocab words to memory, and maybe you’ll actually learn a couple hundred. However, your felicity over your monumental feat will be ephemeral once you discern that for every one word you do comprehend, there will be a whole slew of words you won’t. But not to worry–the words you do learn will come in handy in a plethora of situations: 1) when you want to sound like an ass, 2) when you’re taking the GRE, 3) if you ever run into Keith Olbermann, and 4) when you want to sound like an ass.

Studying for the GRE is a long and arduous process, but here’s a big tip to help you along the way: the answer that your gut tells you is definitely right is definitely wrong. And the obviously wrong answer is actually the second best answer. Through a process of elimination, that leaves the right answer to be….C. Always go with C. Even with all these tips and tons of studying, your gut may still tell you that you’re definitely going to bomb the GRE–which by the aforementioned rule means you’re definitely going to do well, right? Wrong. The correct answer is C. Aren’t you paying attention?

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#294 – Navigation Systems

If I wanted to get lost, I would just follow my instincts. But for some reason, I rely on technology to get me lost instead. Navigation systems consistently lead you onto unpaved roads and through abandoned shantytowns, all in the name of being the shortest route to your destination. But honestly speaking, I would appreciate an “Avoid Ghetto” option a lot more than the 3 minutes I would save by driving through a crime scene. In the end, all navigation systems should be able to boast of is somehow getting a robot to speak in both self-assured and condescending tones at the same time, and that’s only good news for Stephen Hawking’s Donald Trump impression. All I’m asking for is some honesty and maybe a “please” every now and then. Because being told to “Please make a sharp turn into that lake” is much more pleasant to the ear than “Turn left.”

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