10 Books You Should Have Read in High School, But Didn't

04/03/2012 14:03


Tired of looking completely clueless in your college English classes because you didn’t read a single book in High School? Here’s a bare-bones rundown of what you missed:



Top Ten Books You Should Have Read in High School, But Didn’t


1.  Animal Farm

Don’t let the title fool you, this book isn’t really about a farm. Sure, there are animals, but they represent people suffering under a totalitarian society (about Soviet Union after WWII). Spoiler alert: the pigs are the bullies.


2.  The Great Gatsby

Flappers, parties, and rich people living it up in the jazz age. This book is really just a tale about yuppies in the 1920’s, and the realization that money can’t buy happiness. Just throw around the names Tom and Daisy Buchanan and people will think you know what you’re talking about.


3. The Catcher in the Rye

This is a story of teenage angst and rebellion, and it actually has some bad words and sex in it, so you might like it. The main character’s name is Holden Caulfield, and he is telling the readers about a crazy two days he had wandering around the city after getting expelled from prep school (before finding himself in a mental hospital).


4. Great Expectations

This is one of those books where you follow the main character throughout his whole life just hoping he has a happy ending. In this story, the character is named Pip, he’s an orphan, stuff happens to him, and he gets the girl in the end.


5.  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Teachers make you read this book to learn about life in the South during the 1830’s. It’s all seen through the eyes of Huckleberry Finn who has many adventures while floating down the Mississippi with an escaped slave.  


6. Of Mice and Men

You guessed it, this is not about mice. It is, however, about men; they are migrant ranch workers trying to find work during the Great Depression. All in all, it’s rather depressing. George and Lennie are BFFs and in the end George shoots Lennie in the head (out of love).


7. The Scarlet Letter

This is the book that will make you glad you didn’t grow up in 17th century Boston. The Puritans were ruling with an iron fist and brandishing all adulterers with the letter “A.” This was even before the whole witch trial thing… it seems the Massachusetts people had a lot of crazy to get out of their system.


8. Little Women

The story of a bunch of sisters (Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth) and their mom living in a house together (the dad is off with the Union army). They are kind of like the Spice Girls in that they all have their own defining characteristic, but instead of being sporty or scary there is a teacher, a nice one, a show-off, and a tomboy.


9. Lord of the Flies

Ever wonder what happens when boys are left to their own devises after their plane crashes on a deserted island? Well, it ain’t pretty. With no laws and not a single police officer they end up going totally savage and even end up killing one of their own. The moral: society can unravel really quickly.


10. To Kill a Mockingbird

This is another book about the South (only it’s about 100 years later than Huckleberry Finn), and racial tensions are still high. Slavery is gone but there still isn’t equality, and a black man is wrongly accused of rape and murder. A brave, white dude is his lawyer.

Reasons to Stay Fat

03/25/2012 22:17

Fat Kitty


While everyone is struggling to slim-down before bathing suit season, does part of you just want to say, “forget it!” and embrace your fatness? Do you want to simply laugh in the face of your nutritionist, nurse, and physician and throw all concerns of health to the wind? If so, this is the list for you:


Top 5 Reasons to Keep Your Spare Tire (the one around your gut)


1. Able to wear shorts year round

You ever notice how fatties are perfectly comfortable wearing shorts in any type of weather (mostly guys). No matter if it’s 100 degrees or 20 degrees, the chunky feel just right in knee-length shorts.


2. Keep stuff in your rolls

Dang! You want to listen to music, but don’t have any pockets for your iPod? Don’t worry, you can just stuff that puppy in one of your belly rolls and get on with your business. Walk, clean house, jog (scratch that --you don’t jog) and your iPod will stay secure.


3. Portable table

Eating dinner while watching TV is great, but skinny folks and their inadequate laps are always struggling with where to put their plates. Ha! You have an instant plate wherever you go; just sit down and your magic stomach-table appears. Cut steak, dress a fajita, whatever… it works.


4. Get your money’s worth at buffets

A good buffet can be expensive and the squishy are able to enjoy every course (maybe two of every course) while laughing in the faces of their thin friends who are full after the salad. Suckers! They just paid $35 for a salad.


5. Always get first dibs on the aisle seat

Perhaps it’s the ability to make a quick getaway or having an armrest all to yourself, but whatever it is, people love having the aisle seat. When you’re chubby people automatically give it to you because they think you need it (you do), and because they don’t want to be smushed between you and someone else. So, whether it’s an airplane, movie theater, or classroom you get the prime chair.


See, being plump isn’t all bad. What other reasons keep you lovin’ your flabbiness? 

Let's Play, Guess that GOP Candidate

03/08/2012 22:47











Mitt Romney.jpg              Newt Gingrich by Gage Skidmore 6.jpg            


Romney                                        Gingrich


Rick Santorum by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg            Ron Paul by Gage Skidmore 3 crop.jpg

  Santorum                                 Paul



Have you been paying attention to the republican primaries? Well, you need to since a lot of things hang in the balance during this election year … health care, the economy, education (just to name a few). And for purely selfish reasons, knowing what’s going on will make you appear smarter to your friends, impress your professors, and make you look less like a typical, self-absorbed college student (even if you really are one).


At the very least, you can check out the Daily Show or The Colbert Report on a nightly basis. They actually do a pretty good job of keeping their viewers current on the most important happenings – and they are hilarious.


But, for those of you who have been paying attention, I thought it would be fun to play a little game called, “Guess that GOP Candidate.” It’s really simple to play; all you have to do is read the quotes below, try to guess which remaining GOP candidate made that statement, and then hover your mouse over "WHO SAID THIS" to see if you are right.


Guess that GOP Candidate!


1."PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air."   
WHO SAID THIS? ROMNEY -in response to putting dog on roof
2. "A mere forty years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about." 
3. “Satan has his sights on the United States of America!”
4. “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be." 
5. “ One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s OK; contraception is OK. It’s not OK. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” 


6. “It would help the poor people who need jobs. Minimum wage is a mandate. We’re against mandates so why should we have it? It would be very beneficial.” 


7 "Go get a job after you take a bath."  


8. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." 


9. “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!” 


10. "I love this state. The trees are the right height." 


11. "I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much." 


12. "You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe." 



So how’d you do? And for those of you who’ve never heard these quotes before -- I know what you’re thinking, but no, I did not makes this stuff up (follow the links in the answers if you don’t believe me). This is really what we’re dealing with here, and come November one of these braniacs will have a 50/50 chance at being the next commander and chief … scary thought.




















Laundry 101

03/04/2012 14:04

Cats in clean laundry



Are clothes the thorn in your side that are slowing you down every morning and making you late for class – not because they don’t fit or they are out of style, but because you never seem to have anything clean to wear? Getting to class on time is hard enough, but things get even more harried when you’re knee-deep in dirty laundry frantically searching for something that’s acceptable enough to wear in public.  

Unless you have a maid or are incredibly disciplined, then you’ve likely been in this position a time or two. You know what I’m talking about: You’ve got ten minutes to get out the door. You’re rooting through mounds of laundry looking for the least stinky pair of socks (at this point, they don’t even have to match) while trying to rub the wrinkles out of your jeans and scrape a ketchup stain off an otherwise clean looking shirt. Overall, it’s a pain, and frankly, a filthy way to live. If your mornings are like that more often than not, then you need some laundry 101.


Step 1: Get some hampers

If you have a bunch of clothes then you can probably benefit from several hampers (one for each wash type: whites, lights, darks), but you should at least get one (and use it!)

Step 2: Start a Wash Routine

As humdrum as it sounds, a routine is the best way to get into the habit of doing anything. Pick one day out of the week to do your laundry and then stick with the plan. I prefer to do laundry on Mondays because Mondays are typically crappy anyway, so I don’t feel as bad about clouding this day with one of my least favorite chores.

Step 3: Fold and Put Away

I find this is the step where many college students go astray. It’s tempting to just take the clothes out of the dryer and chuck them on your bed, table, or chair, but this only gets the clothes wrinkly and makes you look like a slob. Plus, most of the clothes end up falling on the floor or getting shed on by your cat and end up dirty before you’ve even had a chance to wear them – a big waste of time.  


Even if you’re attending the University of Phoenix or some other online college, eventually you’re going to have to leave the house, and I know it sounds simple, but these 3 simple steps will keep the laundry beast under control. To make the whole process less painful, find something entertaining to do at the same time. Most college students wash clothes at some type of laundromat, which is a great place to socialize. Plan to get together with some of your friends there or use it as an opportunity to meet new people. You can also do homework, watch TV, or play on a gadget. Instead of thinking of it as a chore, consider it a forced break with a little washing mixed in.



How to Survive a Hangover

02/26/2012 19:19

Hangover (autoportrait)


I realized today that in my attempt to show you "how to successfully do just about anything in college" I have one glaring omission -- how to get rid of a hangover.

There are tons of old wives' tales and a lot "dude, I'll tell ya what'll get rid it it…" type of suggestions. But, when you're feeling like you just landed face first into a speeding tractor trailer, and you only have minutes until an 8 AM exam, is there really any antidote? Sadly, probably not.

There's a bunch of stuff online about what you should do before going to a party if you want to avoid a hangover.  Most of the suggestions are things like drink plenty of water and eat fatty foods beforehand, but who really puts that much forethought into their drunkedness? And if you do, isn't that a good sign you have a problem -- I'm just sayin.

The recommendations of things to do the morning after the party (the day of the hangover) are typically things you do whenever you don't feel good -- take an Aspirin and drink a lot of liquids. We all know those types of remedies take time to go into effect. So, maybe if you are dealing with a 10 AM exam you might be feeling halfway human by then.

The bottom line is, if you get drunk (and are prone to hangovers) expect to feel like crap the next day. And if you don't want to flunk out of school, keep your partying to the weekends.

Okay, okay, I know you're looking for some real answers about how to cure a hangover, so here's my five-step guide. I'm not saying these things will make you feel good as new, but they'll get you back out in public.

Step 1: Take an Aspirin

You want to get the medicine flowing early, so it can reach your head as quickly as possible.

Step 2: Take a Shower

There's no telling what type of muck and fluids are covering you after a long night of partying and a shower will refresh you and make you feel less like a bum.

Step 3: Start Drinking

No, not more alcohol; now is the time to start chugging the water and sports drinks. These will rehydrate your body and replenish your electrolytes.

Step 4: Eat Bland Foods

Plain toast, cracker, dry cereal and the like will balance out your belly and help you to feel less nauseas. Avoid anything rich unless you want to be back in the bathroom.

Step 5: Get to Bed Early

After a day of self-medication and a solid night of sleepy your hangover will be just a distant memory. 





Student Loans: Yes or No?

02/19/2012 13:45


Considering the current state of the economy, the rising costs of tuition, and after the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, you may be wondering if student loans are really worth it.


The premise seems simple enough: borrow some money for school, graduate, get a good job, and then pay off the loan with all the mad cash your making from your new career. However, in reality, it doesn’t work out that way for many people. The jobs simply aren’t as plentiful, and even if you’re lucky enough to find a job right away, tuition debt has become so high that the payments are a struggle for those who are supposedly making an above-average wage.


Plus, just being weighed down with $30,000 of unsecured debt (yes, the average student loan debt is near $30,000) is enough to cause a large amount of stress and anxiety in your life. College Humor has a good video that sums up the feeling….




Most loan companies make you go through some type of pre-loan counseling (which is a joke) to supposedly make sure you understand what you’re undertaking. But, young people with little life experience and no history with debt can’t fully comprehend the impact this obligation will have on their future lives. Still, the student loan companies continue to provide students with easy access to thousands and thousands of dollars. Doesn’t it seem strange most student credit cards won’t offer more than $500  to $1000 worth of credit, but these same students can go strap themselves with $30,000 worth of debt… something is not right here.


Adding insult to injury, unlike other debts, there is virtually no amount of misfortune that can get you out of your loan. Filed for bankruptcy? Too bad – student loans aren’t included. Have you had the debt for more than 20 years? It doesn’t matter – there’s no statute of limitations on this type of debt. There was an article on (of all places) describing how “Draconian” the laws are regarding student loans. According to the article, the only way you can get a reprieve is:


1. Prove that based on your current income, you have absolutely no money left after paying for bare necessities such as food, housing, etc. 

2. Demonstrate that your financial situation is never going to improve for the rest of your life. “You can’t be temporarily down-and-out and get rid of your student loans,” says Brewer.

3. Made a good faith effort to repay the money. Unfortunately, the minute you fall into default, you are no long considered to be acting in “good faith.”


The article goes on to describe a situation where a 67-year-old woman was still struggling with $116,000 worth of student loan debt. She was earning $26,000 per year at a clerical job and receiving $250 per month for social security. Her home state of Virginia released her from the loan; however, the federal government appealed the decision saying the loan could not be forgiven. Oh well…


My advice: If you’re not lucky enough to have rich parents or a full scholarship, save up enough to pay for the majority of your tuition with cash and attend a cheap college. Take summer jobs and don’t be afraid to skip a semester if you don’t have enough money to pay. Just don’t get distracted from your main goal – earning a degree – and you’ll feel so much better when you graduate debt free.

Surviving Valentine's Day

02/12/2012 14:39



Valentine’s Day is a tricky, tricky holiday, and being in college doesn’t make it any easier. No matter if you’re single, in a relationship, or somewhere in-between, the following tips will ensure you survive the day with as little discomfort as possible.

New Relationship

If you’re in a new relationship, there’s always that question of how big of a deal you should make the night. The main problem comes with the gift and knowing how much to spend. After all, you don’t want to look like a cheapskate, but if you buy something expensive the other person may think you’re taking things too seriously. Or, you both may feel really awkward if one person’s gift is obviously more extravagant than the others.

Solution: In a budding relationship, the best gifts are those which aren’t too expensive (less than $50), but come from the heart. For instance, you could find something that reminds the person of an inside joke the two of you share, a trinket reminiscent of your first date, or something reflective of your girl/boyfriend’s personality. These types of things say, “I understand you” and are much more meaningful than a generic gift.

What not to do: Unless you want to scare the other person off, steer clear of jewelry or overly sappy love letters. Keep it simple – let them know you care and are glad you are together, but avoid talk of lifelong commitments.

Long-Term Relationship

If you’re in a long term relationship, then you know the biggest problem you face is lack of effort. After so many years of being together, couples have done all the typical Valentine’s Day stuff, and face the temptation to treat it as just another day – don’t do this. Even if you both agree to “not do anything special,” this plan never works out quite right. Once the day actually arrives, one of the two of you will notice the flowers and chocolates other people are getting, hear of other’s dinner plans, and secretly wish you were doing something special too.

Solution: The good thing about long-term relationships is almost anything goes. Spend as much or as little as you want and say what’s really in your heart. The most important thing is to make the other person feel special and let them know, after all this time, you still love being with them.

What not to do: Simply buy a store bought card and sign your name.


If you’re single, have no worries. Don’t let the day of romance get you down or make you wish you had a significant other. Feel grateful you don’t have to worry about giving gifts or trying to please someone else. If you want a box of chocolates then go buy some and feel happy you don’t have to share. Go out with other single friends, or stay in; it really doesn’t matter. The great thing about being single is you’re FREE, so relish in this and make yourself happy!

Solution: There’s really no problem here unless you’re feeling down. In that case, find some buddies and go have a good time.

What not to do: Watch a marathon of romantic comedies and wish you could find your happily-ever-after (FYI, it doesn’t exist in real life).

Have a Crush

If you’ve been crushing on someone, and haven’t done anything about it, you’re undoubtedly wondering if you should make your move on V-Day. It sounds romantic, but do you really want to have your first date on such a pressure-filled day?

Solution: Wait! By all means, do not make February 14th the day you ask someone on a first date. Doing so is willingly playing in a field of romantic land mines. Dinner, gifts, flowers, love, sentiments, ahhh!! … it’s all too much for people trying to get to know each other.

What not to do: Again, DO NOT ask your crush out for a date on Valentine’s Day. If you’ve waited this long then you can wait a few more days.


If you’ve had any catastrophic V-Day’s, let others revel in your misery learn from your mistakes by sharing your experiences below. 




Super Bowl Party Guests

02/04/2012 20:46


Ahh… the Super Bowl. What was once a celebrated day for only football fans has somehow turned into a veritable national holiday. Whether you’re a sports nut, housewife, or something in between, you’re expected to participate in this day of violence, gluttony, and consumerism (I know, I’m such a downer).  But really, if you’ve been to one Super Bowl party haven’t you been to them all? In my experience, even if the faces are different, the characters remain the same. You have:


1. The Human Sports Encyclopedia

This guy knows every sports fact since the 1930’s, and loves to “impress” people with his knowledge. He can tell you the name, number, and stats of every player on the field, yet he’s totally mystified when you ask him to name the vice president of the United States. Saying something like, “Uhh… isn’t it that white haired dude… ya know, Joe McCain or something.” I guess there’s no room in the brain for things that matter when it’s crammed full of sports trivia.


2. The Wannabe Fan

There’s a lot of wannabe fans, but the worst offenders are usually female. They love participating in banter about how badly your team sucks (assuming your rooting for the opposing side) and how THEIR team is “gonna kick your butt.” Truthfully, they have no idea what’s going on and just chose to cheer for the team with the cutest mascot (although they’re kinda out luck this year… a Giant and a Patriot… not cute at all).


3. The Snacker

The snacker is at the party for only one reason… the food. He eats continuously throughout the pregame, game, and postgame, with each plate stacked a little higher than the last. Anything happening on screen is secondary to meeting his goal of the perfect 15 course meal consisting entirely of appetizers. At half-time, he decides the top button on his pants isn’t really necessary, and by the end of the game, he walks out with chicken wing stained fingers and a zipper that’s falling dangerously low. You’re just glad he got out of there before his arteries completely hardened and someone had to call a medical assistant.


4. The Bored One

This person is only there because she (sometimes it’s a guy, but usually not) is tagging along with her boyfriend or husband. She has no interest in the game, but didn’t want to feel left out. Every 20 minutes or so she’ll say, “jeez a minute in football is equal to like a half hour in regular time,” or, “why do they stop the clock so much… does it keep running during the commercials?” It’s obvious to everyone she just wants the darn thing to be over with, and everyone wonders why she came at all.


5. The Drunk Guy

Amazingly, the drunk guys seems to make it to ever party (Super Bowl) or otherwise. He’s just glad someone else is providing the brewskis , and he keeps downing them like he doesn’t have to go to school/work the next morning. In his eyes, every half-time show is “the best ever,” although not as great as the time Janet Jackson showed her nipple. At the end of the night he can’t go home until he’s given everybody a hug and a good whiff of his breath. Hey, at least he’s a happy drunk.


I apologize if I’ve made a mockery of your special day. For some reason I always feel the need to rebel against anything that the general population seems to enjoy (which is why I’ve never seen Twilight and quit watching American Idol after season 1). I know, it’s a sickness…oh well. 

Let Cover Songs Inspire You

01/26/2012 22:23

Adam Sandler from the Wedding Singer


Do you ever hear a cover song and think, “hey, this is way better than the original.” That happened to me the other day when I heard the song 99 Problems by Hugo. No disrespect to the Jay Z version, but I’m feeling this one much more.


So, I got to thinking about other cover songs that outshone the original. After some thought and poking around on the net, I came up with a few more examples:


1. Man Who Sold the World by Nirvana

I bet a lot of people don’t even realize Nirvana borrowed this song from David Bowie.


2. Twist and Shout by the Beatles

The Top Notes who? Yeah, that’s what I thought when I found out Twist and Shout wasn’t the brainchild of the Beatles. Apparently, some band named The Top Notes wrote the first version and are seemingly only famous for writing a song  the Beatles covered.


3. Faith by Limp Bizkit

True, it’s kind of hard to compare Fred Durst and George Michaels when they are in two totally different genres. But, Durst’s rendition has the sing-a-long factor at the beginning and the rockin’ elements at the end – it’s just better.


4. Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson

The Eurythmics sang the first, more mentally stable sounding, version of this song. The original is good, but again, if you want less pop and a little more rock then you’ve got to go with the Manson adaptation.


5. Respect  by Aretha Franklin

The first singer of Respect was Otis Redding, and while Aretha didn’t alter the lyrics very much, the two were asking for two entirely different types of respect. Aretha, of course, wanted her man to show her some respect (in the traditional sense of the word), and Otis used the word as a euphemism for something else … if you know what I mean.


Really, this list could go on and on. Once you start digging, you find there are a lot of famous songs that first belonged to somebody else. It’s actually pretty interesting.


But, what’s all of this have to do with surviving college? Well, I’ll tell you…

Choosing a major and deciding what you want to do with your life can be hard and sometimes stifling (I’ve discussed this issue about choosing majors before), and this fear can compound if you have dreams of entrepreneurship. You may wonder, what can I do that hasn’t already been done?  Or, like the guy from a Beautiful Mind you might be on the hopeless search for a “truly original idea.”


But, as these cover songs can attest, you don’t have to come up with something totally unique (I’m not sure if there is anything). You just have to find something you like and do it better than everyone else around you.


Bottom line: Do what they did, but do it better.





Wonderfully Bad Movies

01/22/2012 12:51


At the end of a long week of classes, everyone has the need for a little theatrical entertainment, but after studying, listening to lectures, and taking tests, who has the mental energy left for paying attention to a serious movie?

For real, if your brain isn't 100% alert, don't even try to watch something like Syriana, The Good Shepherd, or worse, a supposedly "deep" independent film in subtitlesOtherwise, you will wind up being the annoying person who's constantly asking questions like, "Is that the same guy as before, why is she doing that, is he a bad guy?" When it's all over with, you'll have no idea what you just watched, and will have the uncontrollable urge to show the TV your middle finger.

Luckily, if you have one of Netflix's instant subscriptions, there is a wealth of mindless movies right at your fingertips.  In fact, Netflix has made quite a name for itself by providing crappy movies. Remember this ShitFlix spoof from College Humor…

Sure, these movies are terrible, but you can watch them instantly and no brain power is required. I say embrace the cheesiness. Some of it is so bad you have to watch it just so you can tell your friends how ridiculous it was.

I was going to give you a list and descriptions of horribly-fantastic movies  available on Netflix that all have a good dose of stupid one-liners, predictable plot lines, and gratuitous violence and nudity, but alas, someone has already done that (I guess there really aren't any more truly original ideas).

The funny part is, the name of the website is The movies are categorized and explained far better than what I could do in this little post, so I didn't even try. To get an idea of what you can find, some of the most recently highlighted movies are:

Zombie Strippers

The Dungeonmaster

Killing 4 Dummys


And conveniently, many of the movie descriptions also include drinking games …. how thoughtful. Whether you're into vampires, slashers, hip hop, horror movies with ill-advised forensic science, or anything else weird, you will find it here.

So, check out the site and see if you can find something awful to watch this weekend. Some of my personal recommendations which I didn't see mentioned on Shitflix are:

Nude for Satan

Vicious Lips

The Immortalizer




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