Want to lose weight this New Year? Introducing the new calorie-free diet

Do you want to succeed in your New Year’s resolution of losing weight? Look no further than the calorie-free diet. Forget keto and intermittent fasting. Calorie-free dieting is the fastest way to lose lots of weight and keep it off. What’s more, the diet is naturally free of sodium, sugar, fat, artificial flavors or colors, and other toxic substances! There’s no catch. The calorie-free diet will make you happy and healthy.

The best part about this diet is that you don’t have to exercise and you can eat whatever you want. Want to watch Netflix all day and eat only chocolate cake? Go ahead! We won’t judge. We’ll join you.

What to do

Calorie-free dieting is super easy. Just set the table like you usually do; play a recording of clinking silverware, chewing, and muffled conversation (available for download on our website); and imagine eating whatever you want by reading a detailed description of the experience (found in our cookbook).

Our cookbook, The Calorie-Free Lifestyle for the Trendy, is stuffed with delicious recipes for our signature calorie-free food. We’ve included an exclusive excerpt here.

The Apple

Your teeth skate against the waxy surface of the apple before finding purchase and breaking the skin with a mild popping sensation. You savor the resistance from the fruit as your teeth move through the flesh. With a sudden release of pressure, the bite is in your mouth and no longer attached to the fruit. You use your tongue to push the bite to the left side of your mouth and secure it between your teeth. As your teeth come together, you can feel the fruit collapse beneath the force, condensing. The apple bleeds. It tastes sweet and tart. You pulverize the bite and drink the juice, then swallow the fruit. You can feel it slide down your throat.

You take a second bite. It doesn’t taste as interesting, the memory of the last bite still fresh in your mouth. It becomes less of a pleasure and more of a way to satisfy your hunger. You rotate the apple and chew around it counter-clockwise. When you are left with only the core, you turn it so the bottom faces you and bite into it. It’s wasteful to not eat the core. You reach the center of the core; it’s studded with seeds. After a moment of deliberation, you bite into it. The seeds are hard pellets in your mouth. The contrast between the texture of the seeds and the fruit interests you. You are not bothered enough to spit out the seeds. You crush them between your teeth and a bitter, fruity taste coats your mouth. It is not entirely unpleasant. You quite enjoy it. You think about the amygdalin in the seeds turning into cyanide inside your body. You wonder how many seeds you’d need to eat for it to kill you. You reach the stem of the apple. You look at it for a moment then put it in your mouth. You chew vigorously but fail to break the rubbery stem. You spit it out and put it in the pile of chewed apple stems in the corner that you’ve been meaning to clean out.

Warning: The calorie-free diet may lead to malnutrition, starvation, and death.


Connect with me on Twitter @arachnid_weaver


Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

The Aftermath of Midterm Exams

Midterms are finally, finally over. I am so glad they are gone. I don’t particularly mind taking midterms, but I despise the preparation. It saps time and leaves little room for anything else.

I’ve had a few days off after midterms, thanks to the snow, and I was so confused. It was like “What is this? Free time? I haven’t seen this in so long I’ve forgotten what it looks like. What happens if I poke it? What do I do now? Whaaaa. It’s eating me.”

As much as I beg and plead with the universe for free time, it only scared me when the universe plopped almost three days in my lap. It was so new, so different. I yelped and threw it into the fireplace. Sorry, it was a reflex.

I tried to have fun. I read a lot. I wrote. I drew. Sitting back at my computer to write was an interesting experience. After so long away from my stories, my fingers were like baby birds and they had to relearn their way around the keyboard. I’d forgotten the feel of the keys.

But it’s like I’d been trained to do nothing but homework. I wasn’t prepared to do anything else. And so I ended up studying, despite having no homework. I read ahead in Chemistry and studied for Science Olympiad.

So in conclusion, I am unable to have fun.

School has started again in earnest and I am being pummeled with homework. It’s like standing in a hailstorm of golfball-sized ice bricks, except each golfball/ice brick is a pocket of homework. Eventually, these homework pockets will melt and you will drown, but you won’t even notice because you were so busy attempting to duel the homework pockets. You may win a battle, maybe even numerous battles, but the homework will always win the war. Because you have only yourself: mortal and easily fatigable. Homework, on the other hand, does not fear death and has an infinite army raining from the sky. Defeat is inevitable. It’s only a question of how long you can hold your breath.

So what have I been doing these many, many nightmarish days that I have been absent from the blogosphere? Not much, really. Mostly studying. I’ve been studying nonstop since Christmas. My brain has been mushed thoroughly. You could probably be sneaky and serve my brain instead of mashed potatoes at your next dinner party and no one would even notice until you surprised them at the end of the night with this delightful little piece of trivia. You’d cackle with glee as your guests process your wonderful trick.

Many things have happened since Christmas. I aced my exams. I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped on English, but it didn’t affect my overall grade at all, so *shrugs*. I’m sure I’ll accept it eventually. I did very, very well in AP Chemistry, however. But as I am only me, I will spend my time thinking about the perceived English failure (which wasn’t really even a failure) instead of the unexpected success in Chem.

I’m glad that the sacrifice of my morale was worth it.

We had a Science Olympiad Invitational that our team did very well in. I saw a friend from middle school. I said “hi”. It took her a moment to recognize me. (I had an epiphany. I finally understand what people mean when they say you can read eyes. I probably wouldn’t have recognized her out-of-the-blue either. It’s been years and we both look very different. I only identified her because she wears the same style of sweaters now that she did then.) Then she waved. Then we studiously avoided each other.

I entered a piece to an art contest. Predictably, nothing came of it. But I’m glad I entered, as it motivated me to finish the drawing, which I will give to my grandma for her upcoming birthday.

I also entered two short stories in a writing contest last November. Surprisingly, I got an Honorable Mention for one of them. So YAY.

What if the Day Were Eight Hours Longer?

Time is, unfortunately, limited. There is only so much you can have. It is also elusive. The slippery thing always seems to slip through your slippery fingers, doesn’t it? There never seems to be enough to go around.

They say you can make time, but can you, really? You can only rearrange time, redistribute it. Imagine that time is a carrot cake. You can give adequate slices to some, slivers to the undesirables, and crumbs to the vermin, but you still only have one cake, or twenty-four hours, to give away. If you need more time for something, you have to cut the time from something else. And unfortunately, things must be prioritized and it’s usually the things you enjoy that you find yourself having no time for.

But what if you could make more time? What if you could bake another cake? What if some gifted magician out there concentrated really hard and snapped his fingers and the day was suddenly, magically, twelve hours longer?

I was listening to a podcast, Ear Biscuits, the other day that posed this question. What if the day had an extra twelve hours? There are some stipulations: You wouldn’t need to sleep any longer and you wouldn’t have to work more. So if you truly had extra time, what would you do?

First of all, even though we don’t have to, I’d sleep more. Because couldn’t we all use some more sleep? The world would be a much happier place if only we weren’t all sleep deprived.

Second, though, I have no idea. There’s a difference between what I’d probably do and what I want to do.

In all honesty, if I had extra time, I’d most likely just work more. I’m like a goldfish, the amount of work I do expands with available time. (Note: The things about goldfish expanding with available space is a myth, but let’s just go with it because I like the analogy.) Even if I ran out of work, I’d probably find more. There’s an endless list of things I could do in order to be more productive. I could double-check my assignments, I could do the next day’s homework, I could study for the test in three weeks, I could read ahead, etc. That’s just how I roll.

However, since this is a purely hypothetical situation that can’t actually happen, let’s talk about the things I’d want to do. I’d probably just do more of the things I already do in my (rare) free time. Ergo, I’d read, write, blog, and draw more. I might even spend time with actual, real-life human beings instead of conversing with my textbooks. (I wouldn’t recommend them as partners in conversation. They’re very dull, very dry, they have poor taste in humor, and they only talk obsessively about one topic.) I might take up a new hobby, go on an adventure, who knows? I’d really like to have time to just sit and think (aka daydream) and people watch. (People can be really entertaining.)

So, in conclusion, this year, I’m going to try to be more efficient at doing my homework and I’m going to attempt to not go overboard with the amount I work, all in order to create free time. Think of it like I’m concentrating my work into a smaller sliver of time, without diluting the quality, somehow. (Except it’s not really true that it’s my New Year’s Resolution. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I think if you have a goal or some plan for self-improvement, you shouldn’t wait for the New Year as an excuse to start. That seems a bit like procrastinating. Make your goal happen now. And besides, New Year’s Resolutions are notorious for never being kept anyway. My goal isn’t really a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a goal I’ve had since October, but one I’ve utterly failed at. I just thought I should tie in this post to the New Year somehow because I didn’t want yet another holiday to pass by without acknowledgement.)

And what would you do, dear nonexistent reader, if you suddenly found twelve extra hours plopped into your hands?

Where did you go?

Greetings, peoples of the blogosphere!

It’s been a rather long while, hasn’t it? But don’t worry about me; I haven’t spontaneously combusted or anything, in case you were wondering. Instead, I’ve been slowly drowning in an expansive ocean of homework, from which I couldn’t reach my laptop in order to ensure you that I was, in fact, alive. I did, however, possess an abundance of paper and various writing utensils, so I attempted to write you a letter notifying you that I remained in existence, as I’d hate to worry you. But you know the unreliability of leaving notes in bottles. *Shrugs*.

But while you need not worry about the state of my aliveness, I’m afraid you must fear for my humanity, as recently I’ve felt as though I’m simply a homework robot.

With the semester ending, school has gotten very intense, and unfortunately, when you never seem to have enough time, it’s the things you enjoy doing that must be cut out. I’m afraid that school will not be getting any mellower with midterms approaching, so expect sporadic, unpredictable, and unanticipatable blogging. (Apologies for using three adjectives in a row that mean the same thing. It usually annoys me, but I couldn’t help but highlight the delightful contradiction of expecting the unexpected. It makes me simply giddy.)

I’m planning to post once a week for a while. Probably until mid-January. Most likely on Mondays.

So, that’s it for this mishmash of a post summarizing the last 27 days without you peeps (A Summary of a Summary: homework.).

In conclusion, abrupt goodbyes.

The Nightmare of Dentistry

I went to the dentist today. I despise the dentist.

But I have no cavities! Aren’t you so EXCITED that I have no cavities?! *Jazz hands*

I dislike the dentist so much because of the way they put their fingers in your mouth. Yes, they wear gloves, but still.

It’s also really wet. Yes, that drool sliding down your chin is yours, but it’s still spit. And it belongs in your mouth. And what about that suspicious clear liquid on the dentist’s glove? Is it water, or is it SPIT? My spit, but STILL!

Even more than doctorism, dentistry is one job I could never do. Day in and day out, you’re just sticking your hands in people’s mouths. So applause to all the dentists of the world for risking their sanity in order to keep people’s mouths cavity, pain, and dirt-free. *Claps*

ALSO. If there are any dentist out there reading this, please educate me on the rules of dentist-appointment etiquette. What the heck are you supposed to do with your tongue?!

  • Put it at the bottom of your mouth?
  • The roof of your mouth?
  • Follow the fingers/tools? This is what I tend to do. I try not to, but it’s not a conscious thing. Sometimes I remember not to, sometimes I don’t. But if I were the dentist and the patient were doing this…
    • Arachnid the Dentist (screams): AHHH! THE TONGUE IS ATTACKING ME!!! (Runs out of the office, leaving the patient strapped to the chair with multiple sharp objects in their mouth.)
  • Curl it up at the back of your mouth?
  • Lick the dentist’s tools?

When I’m at the dentist, I feel like a puppet. A very stressed puppet. Because here I am at the dentist’s mercy (I mean, if they wanted to, they could stab your mouth with those pointy tools) with sweat dripping down my back and the bright lights glaring at my eyes, masked dentists leaning above me with sharp tools at their disposal, thinking about all the other mouths these tools have touched (It’s the same principle as using a fork a restaurant), while the dentists are conversing with each other like normal human beings, occasionally asking you to tilt your head or open your mouth wider.

Why Diversity is Important in Media

I am an Indian human (technically Bangladeshi—but is that nationality? (Is it even my nationality since I was born in Canada? What IS a nationality? (I think my nationality is either Canadian or American and my ethnicity is Bangladeshi, but that is probably incorrect)). What even is the actual term for my race [I just did some minor Googling and I couldn’t find anything. There are multiple races from Bangladesh] I always just went with Indian (Bangladesh is on the Indian subcontinent) or generic brown).

So I have the average black hair, black eyes, and brown skin combo. But when I was a kid, I thought I was blond with blue eyes.

Seriously.

This wasn’t a color identification issue. If you gave me paint swatches, I could tell you black, brown, yellow, smaragdine, blue, etc.

This was because I had no idea what being blond with blue eyes actually meant. (Or what an Indian person was.) I thought it was a unanimous characteristic for hair and eyes. All hair is stringy, and all hair is blond. All eyeballs are round, and all eyeballs are blue. I watched a LOT of Barbie movies (and Dora the Explorer) and Barbie is blond with blue eyes. Therefore, all humans are blond with blue eyes (or they’re talking animals [thanks Dora]).

Person trying to teach me colors: What color are your hair and eyes?

Mini Arachnid: Blond and blue. (Note that Mini Arachnid has a giant mass of tangled black hair and giant, unblinking black eyes.)

I remember in kindergarten we had to fill out a questionnaire with our eye colors. I don’t quite remember what purpose this served. The options were brown, blue, and green. I chose blue.

When my parents corrected me…

Mini Arachnid (jaw drops): WHAAAAT?

So I asked them what their eye colors are, and they said black. This ensued in another round of dramatic gasping because black wasn’t on the list of options. But their drivers’ licenses listed their eye colors as black. So clearly someone was lying.

So, in conclusion, diversity is important because it prevents confusion among young children.

 

The Horrors of Highschool Homecoming

It was really loopy.

I mean loopy in all ways possible. It’s probably the only word I can use other than the ambiguous “fun”.

My friend, LeRain and I walked around from the gym to the cafeteria for the first hour, talking to her band friends while I regretted my class decisions. (I didn’t take band because I’m trash at ze flute and drawing interested me more.)

It was kind of boring at that point and the only thing that saved it from being that way was the yummy ice cones and this physical Angry Birds game. So the game basically went like this: step on the wooden thing and try desperately to knock down a tower of plastic bricks. Easy, right?

Wrong. It was so hard for me, even with my eight-inch heels (that’s a story for another post) to get the bird to hit the building. I knocked down the tower once in the twentyish tries I had. At times like this, I question why angry birds don’t have wings.   

After that, I met up with my other friend, Ash. She was dancing with her friend, Zip and introduced her to me. We danced a bit in the gym then went to the cafeteria since we were a bit tired. This was when the loopiness began.

Since the Gatorade was an odd grey color, we joked around that it was laced with illegal substances. We laughed so much that Ash spilled some of her drink on her dress. A guy passed by and said that it looked like a private part of the human body and snickered.

In an attempt to cover it up I gave her my Spanish crossword (which was due the next day) and tucked it under her dress so it looked like a bib. We walked out of the lunchroom then, Ash looking magnificent.

Outside the cafeteria, I saw a girl who had THE SAME EXACT dress as me and I just started laughing so much because of all the odd events that were somehow circulating around me. The girl probably thought I laced my own Gatorade with illegal substances because that’s what I sounded like at the time. I managed to say “Nice dress,” before promptly making my exit from her glaring radius.

Later, Ash, Zip, LeRain and I all went to the gym and played a game similar to Mad Libs. We danced more afterward, joining a dancing circle of freshmen doing stupid dances. Once in the middle, Ash danced like a goddess, but then was suddenly bombarded by two girls doing a sickening butt-slapping dance. Luckily, all was back to normal when this person went in the middle and started to do the chicken dance with incredible finesse. I think now I fully understand why people call highschoolers “weird”.

Lastly, LeRain and I did a slow dance to “A Thousand Years” since we were both third wheels to a couple. The song was a nice end to the rather loopy event.

I Accidentally Dented My Wall… With a Comb

This week has been a long series of mishaps and general clumsiness. But after I got over the sheer mortification, it’s actually kinda funny.

So. STORY TIME.


How I Dented the Wall With a Comb

I was doing my homework this weekend, and a comb was on my desk. Now, this was a rather hefty comb. And I got very annoyed at this comb for being on my desk. (I know, I know. The comb’s only fault was existing. It didn’t deserve its fate.) So, I did the only rational thing and decided to get it out of my sight and into the closet. But… I decided to throw it into the closet instead of calmly walking it to the closet. Cuz, yeah. Maybe I was a bit frustrated. And true, I wasn’t frustrated at the comb. I was angry at my homework, but I couldn’t very well rip up my homework. So I threw the comb at the closet. And I’m not particularly athletic, and I don’t have particularly good aim nor descent hand-eye coordination. So, I completely missed the pile of clothes at the bottom of my closet and instead hit the wall. And I kinda sorta made a dent.

BUT.

At least it’s not a hole.


How I Nearly Killed a Flute With My Clumsiness

And a few days before that, I was in band class, sitting between the people who sit to my left and right. We will call them Leftie and Rightie for simplicity. So I turned my stand and knocked Leftie’s flute OFF OF HER STAND.

Leftie, unlike me, has very good reflexes and lovely hand-eye coordination, so she somehow, like a SUPERHERO, managed to catch her flute MIDAIR, while I was shouting “ohmygodI’msosorry.”

BUT.

Five minutes later…

I knocked my stand over and Leftie AGAIN manages to catch it in midair.

AND.

Half an hour later…

I knocked my flute into Rightie’s stand and dented it. (The flute, not the stand. Which is unfortunate because I’d rather the stand was the dented one.)


How I Burned a Bunch of Rubber in a Botched Chemistry Lab

In Chemistry, we’ve been doing a lab. Lovely, lovely, lovely lab.

Yesterday we didn’t finish the first trial and today we didn’t finish the second. But that’s not the point.

After heating a crucible, we set said very hot crucible down right next to the rubber tube that feeds the gas into the bunsen burner. And then the rubber melted.

LOVELY.

The end.


So. School’s started, and I’m doing homework almost every waking minute.

My schedule:

  • 6 am: Wake up.
  • 6:30 am: Go to school.
  • 2:30 pm: Come home.
  • 3 pm: Start homework.
  • 9 pm: Hopefully finish homework.
  • 10 pm: Go to sleep and start this whole horrid cycle all over again.

So. The blog’s been a bit neglected, unfortunately. I’m hoping that I figure out the secret key to doing homework faster (Do any of you guys know?). In the meantime, my plan is to schedule posts ahead on the weekends (but to do that, I’d need a weekend that’s not packed).

How to Get Out of a Pickle (ex: How to Open a Jar)

Are you stuck in a sticky situation? Well, Auntie Spin’s here to help you!

First, try to identify ze problem. Say the lid is stuck on a jar. What’s the problem? Is it the jar or the sticky lid? Also, make sure you identify the scent of the problem as well. If you don’t have a strong nose or for some mysterious reason don’t have one, you can always turn off the lights and find the little pickled demons hiding out. They usually are fluorescent purple.

Once you identified the problem which is (spoilers) obviously the jar, eliminate it. Destroy it. LET IT DIE. Don’t let it stay in your consciousness to rot and throw it away.

At the end of this step the jar should be broken or in other words, the pickle should explode.

Also, after you work your way through the first problem of a jar being rebellious, shards of glass may litter the floor. Practice your problem-solving skills and pick up the glass, or even better, smash it into smaller pieces.

At this point, your hands might be covered in blood. But look at it positively! Use it as an opportunity to redo the second step; elimination. Wash your hands thoroughly with lots of soap and keep on doing so even if it stings.

After this, you just may feel a sharp sensation under your feet. This is the perfect opportunity to identify the problem! Turn off the lights and look for the pickled demons. If they turn up, try using a conveniently placed missile to take it down.

Your house may come down with it, but at least you solved the problem, right?

The Passing of a Beloved Pet

Greetings, dear nonexistent readers,

Last night, Sergeant Spike died. It was a horribly sad occasion and I will miss him terribly. I was more attached to Spike than many humans in my life.

cactus

There was a horrible accident that he never managed to recover from.

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But he will be remembered for bringing me endless joy. For being the first plant I could keep alive for a significant amount of time. For being the mascot for this blog and for being with it since its beginning. He even wrote a post once. He was planning to do another one, but he never got the chance.

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There were many who loved him dearly. Me, Bob Ross, Sentinel Succulent, Captain Cactus, our new cactus Colonel Camilla, Scorpion, and I hope you, dear readers.

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Because of Spike, whenever asked if I had any pets, I would always answer, “I have a cactus.” That may not be true in life anymore, but it will always be true in my heart. Spike was my pet and a part of my family.

 

Accidental Shoe Thievery

After reading this post, I was reminded of a story from years ago that I completely forgot about.

Years ago, Spinette, some mutual friends, and I went to the temple for some celebration/holiday or something or the other. In temples, it’s customary to take off your shoes before you enter. I really hate doing this because sometimes the floors are wet with mystery liquids, but that’s beside the point. So everyone leaves their shoes in this big, communal pile of shoes outside of the door. It’s common for your shoes to be stepped on, be buried underneath piles of stranger’s shoes that you then have to dig through to find your shoes, or other shoe-related horrors.

Anyway, after the celebration/holiday thingie, Spinette and I were planning to go to our mutual friends’ house. They’re a family of three sisters, Leaf, Leafie, and Leafster, the oldest of whom is two years younger than Spinette.

The Leaf Family and my family left to go to their house before Spinette and her family did, so we were at the house for a while when Spinette entered.

 

When Spinette was leaving the temple, she discovered that I’d left my shoes in the communal shoe pile, so she, like any well-meaning, helpful friend, brought them with her.

 

So when they opened the door, Spinette was holding a pair of blue sandals similar to the ones that I was wearing.

Spinette: You forgot your shoes!

Arachnid: … Those aren’t mine …

 

Spinette’s dad went back to the temple to return the shoes to the communal shoe pile.

Partying in New York and Other Social Struggles (and a rant about school)

Hello, nonexistent peeps!

So as you may know, I recently went to my cousin’s wedding in New York. The wedding was really different from my other cousin’s wedding in Bangladesh. While the Bangladesh wedding was strictly traditional and tedious, the New York one consisted of three straight days of partying with much alcohol involved. While I don’t enjoy parties (or people in general) I did have fun discovering a new version of people-watching: Drunk people-watching.

The drunken peoples did many, many idiotic things. It was hilarious.

One dude was very, very drunk and he was dancing flopping like a fish out of water. At one point he fell asleep on my cousin’s shoulder, and my cousin just let him stay there. After that, he fell asleep on the floor for a bit before finally sleeping on one of the tables at the banquet hall.

The drunk peoples also wriggled around on the floor doing a “snake dance”.

Before people got overly drunk, there were some social struggles. I was wearing an off-the-shoulder dress at the party, and an older lady touched my shoulder and asked if it was the style or if it was ripped. I usually keep my sarcasm inside my head with strangers, but I was annoyed, so it kinda slipped out and with a little extra bite. I said, “No, it ripped” with an unspoken Of course it’s the style. This is obvious. And it’s rude to ask people if their clothing is torn. *Shrugs* I was feeling mean. And then EVERYONE within earshot gasped. My mom tried to play it off because I had, in fact, just ripped my skirt.

Soon after, I was retrieving my food from the buffet and I was trying to pick up the naan, but I dropped the tongs on the floor. I tried to get the waiter’s attention while the line was growing behind me. The lady behind me told me to just put it on the table. As soon as I exited the line, a new waiter arrived and put the tongs BACK IN THE FOOD.

and I didn’t say anything.

At the actual wedding, I wore a dress that weighed a LOT. I’m certain that if someone weight trained with it, they would grow some serious muscles. (Is that the proper terminology?!) My mom said that I could change out of the dress after a couple hours, but then she accidentally left the normal dress in the car, which was driven away by a valet-dude. But I convinced my mom to let me wear my sneakers with the dress. So people were drunk. Other people got married. One of my cousins asked his wife who she was. One cousin tried to give away his credit card. One person I don’t know was feeding people desserts from a communal spoon. Etc. Many cousins wriggled on the floor pretending to be snakes.

There was also this priest-dude. In the middle of a ceremony, he got a phone call. He talked for fiveish minutes, in the middle of the ceremony. “Yep. Hi. Sup. Yeah, I’m marrying some peeps right now.” And then after the phone call, he started the ceremony over again.


Bonus: A Random, Unrelated Rant.

So yesterday, we got our schedules for school and mine was pretty messed up. They kicked me out of the honors math program and put me in precalculus instead of honors precalculus. This is because I’m doing the class as a tenth grader with eleventh graders and the upperclassmen get priority for honors. Because I’m in regular precalculus, all the honors precalculus homework that I spent the summer doing is now obsolete and the year after, I’ll have to do Calculus AB instead of Calculus BC like the honors kids.

On top of that, instead of a biology class I REALLY wanted, I got health and architectural design, which a super bummer because no one likes health (which I’d planned to do over the summer) and I’m not interested in architecture. So instead of the biology class, which is full, I asked for Physics, but that’s full, too. So then I asked for Spanish 3, but that doesn’t work either. My friends who also wanted the biology class all ended up with Physics. This is awful because I wanted more science.

I am like cookie monster. I want math/science.

GIVE ME.

I’m upset.

Short People Problems

Clocking in at 5’2″, I’m generally regarded as a short person. I’m shorter than most people, so I have to look up when I’m talking to them (but I usually just end up talking to their chins) and I have trouble reading menus or watching plays over people’s heads. You know, the usual slew of short-people problems. (Not that tall people don’t have problems, too.)

In elementary school, whenever we had assemblies, the fifth graders would sit on chairs in the back and everyone else would sit in neat rows on the floor in front of them in descending order of grade with the kindergarteners in the front row. In theory, this is a good idea because older people are taller, right? So, hypothetically, if the older kids sit in the back, they’ll be able to see over everyone else’s heads because everyone else is younger. For me, at least, this didn’t really work out. After kindergarten, I was always seated behind taller, but younger, students, so I never got to see anything. (Another flaw in this plan: those freakishly tall kindergarteners that make me jealous of their height.)

Being short my entire life, I’d come to accept that this is the way it will be forever, no matter how much I hope and wish and stretch and dream.

Until I went to Bangladesh.

It turns out that Bangladeshi people just happen to generally be even shorter than me, and for the first time in my life, I got to experience being tall. I got to look over people’s heads, I got to look straight at (or down at) people when I was talking at them. I got a taste of being tall, all 5’2″ of me.

And I never wanted to go back (to being short). But I’m back in America, the land of tall people, and here we are again, short.

But this isn’t the shortest I’ve ever felt. When I lived in Kentucky, the general population seemed to be significantly taller than the general population of Michigan. When I walked through the hallways, I was stuck staring at people’s shoulder blades instead of the backs of their heads. I had trouble finding my classes because I couldn’t see anything except humans. Whenever I talked to sixth graders, they were always shocked that I was in the eighth grade. Every single one asked me twice to double check and when I assured them that, yes, I am, in fact, an eighth grader, they always responded with a “but you’re so short!” In Michigan, while I am on the shorter side of average, my grade is never questioned.

Warning: This following segment will feel contradictory to the rest of the post.

While I’ve always felt short, I’ve never felt extremely short. As I said, I’m on the shorter side of average.

Mare Barrow from Red Queen, as I recently learned, is a fellow 5’2″.

Mare Barrow, as it states over and over over the course of the four-book series, is extremely short. She barely makes it to the shoulders of most of her acquaintances.

Which begs the question, “How ridiculously tall is the general population of Red Queen?!” and “Was this entire series developed to make me feel bad about my height?”

10 Things You Need to Know About Feminism

An awesome post from Sophia.

Sophia Ismaa

Feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” However, for a movement that seeks to create a better world for both men and women, it has received a significantly terrible reputation. Be it calling us “feminazi’s”, man-haters, bra-burners or even simply misunderstanding what feminism means. I’m here to clarify some basic misconceptions about feminism, so keep reading!

new girl

  1. You can be a feminist and be a homemaker. In fact, being a homemaker can be your actual profession. How you choose to live your life is up to you and all that matters is that your profession doesn’t harm others and that you are happy. You cannot complain about a woman not having a “real job” when it doesn’t affect you. If your values centre around being a particular kind of working woman, then do you. They are not obliged to live…

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“Where Babies Come From” According to Mini Arachnid

Before my brother was born, I thought that babies were things that people just had or didn’t have. Like hair.

I guess I just never stopped to consider, hey, where did this baby come from? just like I never stopped to consider, hey, where did this couch come from?

When my mom was pregnant with my brother, my parents told me that this future person was inside my mother. *Explosions of insanity* Like, did she eat him? Is that ethically correct? I don’t think I fully comprehended this until she gave birth, though.

I remember the day before my brother was due, my mother was basically a hot air balloon. If the baby is that big, then how does it even get out?

So I asked my mother, “How does the baby get out?”

And my mother and my cousin shared this look and neither of them answered. So I started guessing. “Does it come out of your mouth? That’d be so uncomfortable. Would you be able to breathe? Does it come out of your butt? Is poop a baby?”

At this point, to stop me from going any further, my mom said, “They’re going to cut it out of my stomach.”

This, obviously, horrified me. I imagined some evil cartoonish surgeon taking a huge, rusty knife to my mother and then stitching her back up like a zombie.

I mean, this was kinda true because she had a c-section.

So then four-year-old me kept thinking. Because that’s healthy. What triggers a pregnancy? I decided that it happens spontaneously. Like you’re just eating breakfast one day and bam you’re pregnant and you instantly become a human blimp. But then what’s stopping my mom from having another kid? I was not happy with the first one; a second would be a nightmare.

Little Arachnid: “Mom, what’s stopping you from getting pregnant again?”

Arachnid’s Mom: They gave me an injection so I won’t have any more kids.

Well, okay. Good enough for now.

Until people started asking if Scorpion got his nose from his dad and his eyes from his mom. I understood how Scorpion would get his eyes from his mom because I mean, he was inside her. But how would he get anything from his dad? My dad wasn’t pregnant. Maybe it’s from kissing. Like, in all that icky salival exchange noses are transferred to babies. But no. Then they wouldn’t have actors kissing each other on Good Luck, Charlie because then they’d all have kids! It’s all probably transferred through the air. Because after they get married, the dad and the mom live together, so then air particles are transferred and that’s where Scorpion gets his nose.

 

This explanation worked for me for years until we got back from a baby shower and I started thinking again.

If babies have to be surgically removed from their mothers, what did cavemen and dolphins do? Because they don’t have hospitals.

Babies must come out of their mother’s belly buttons! What else would belly buttons be used for? Right? Right?

Solving All Your Stupid Problems Part 2

You are a cheese hater of the greatest proportion. Excluding lactose-intolerant people, you must hate cheese more than anyone else in the human population. Your twin brother, on the other hand, loves cheese more than anyone else in the human population. Over the years, your extremely differing views on cheese have led to a growing rift between you and your twin and you are now feuding, as you have been for the last 3¾ years. One night, you go to sleep peacefully, safe in the knowledge that your loyal guard of 3½ years is protecting you and preventing anyone from entering your room while you lay vulnerable and unconscious in your bed. But, beyond the boundary of your knowledge, your brother infiltrated your circle of guards three-and-a-half years ago with his trusted friend, Kevin, and tonight is the night that they plan to act and finally end this feud.

When you are sleeping deeply and snoring loud enough to cover any sound a squeaky wheelbarrow may make, Kevin quietly opens the previously-oiled door and rolls in a rusty, squeaky wheelbarrow full of cheese. He surreptitiously pours the cheese over you like Mount Vesuvius surreptitiously poured ashes over Pompeii and Kevin tiptoes out of the room, leaving the wheelbarrow.

You, being a deep sleeper, don’t wake because of the cheese. But you do wake up because you had an unsettling nightmare of being buried alive in bat guano.

There is no simple solution to this simple problem. But, some (not your brother) would say “fortunately”, there is a complicated one. Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult if you hold tight to your wits. This is assuming you had any wits in the first place, of course.

I suppose one could simply dig through cheese, but there’s no thrill in that.

  • Using cheddar, provolone, and your nightcap, create a time-traveling device.
    • If you aren’t of the scientific prowess to achieve this, use pale-colored cheese to create a genie lamp. Rub the lamp and ask the genie for a time-travel device. This should result in the same results, but it’s not preferable because no one likes to deal with fussy cheese genies.
  • Use the time-travel device, however obtained, to travel back in time to when Kevin had just finished putting the cheese in the wheelbarrow.
  • Dispose of the traitor Kevin however you wish, but do it quietly, for word cannot get back to your brother that his plan has been foiled.
  • Dispose of the monstrous cheese as well. I recommend throwing it into a volcano. Cheese deserves no better.
  • Dispose of your monstrous, cheese-loving brother. I recommend throwing him into a volcano.

You are a brand new lifeguard, fresh from the assembly line. You’re not yet familiar with the tricks of the trade, but you make up what you lack with enthusiasm. Life has not yet had a chance to bring you down. You meticulously scan the beach for trouble, hoping in a place dark place of your mind you’d rather not acknowledge that something goes wrong and you can be a hero. With all your attention focused on the water, you don’t notice the curious seagull pecking around your lifeguard chair. Well, at least you don’t notice the seagull until it’s too late.

The seagull leaps into your lap in a flurry of feathers. You, in a state of shock, scream at a high frequency, scaring the seagull, who squawks back at you, frazzled, and scares you further, increasing the pitch of your scream.

The seagull finally gets fed up and hops off of your lap, but he takes your megaphone with him in his beak. The seagull waddles down the beach, the megaphone in tow. About ten yards down the beach from you, he stops and starts squawking into the megaphone. Everyone on the beach covers their ears, protecting themselves from the seagull’s horrible yodeling. You are at a loss of what to do. You’re somewhat terrified of birds, but you’d never admit it, so you need someone to help you. Someone who can either be trusted with your secret or is so oblivious to the world that they’d never figure out your secret without being explicitly told. You decide to go with the latter option and you call your cousin, a professional fisher who lives twenty minutes away.

  • Call your cousin, who happens to be a professional fisher and lives nearby.
  • Wait for your cousin to arrive. Warily watch the seagull while doing so.
  • Order your cousin to catch a fish. This shouldn’t take long as she’s a professional, right?

2 HOURS LATER

  • Most of the beach-goers have left the beach due to the incessant squawking. Your cousin finally catches a fish.
  • Take the fish from your cousin.
  • Dangling the fish on the fishing rod, lure the seagull away from the beach so the beach-goers can return.
  • Make a deal with the human-language speaking seagull to trade the fish for the megaphone.

Assuming the seagull agrees to your fair deal, your problem is solved! If the seagull has become too attached to the megaphone and refuses to trade it, I’m afraid I can’t help you.


Read more: Solving all Your Stupid Problems Part 1

How to make a paper swan

1. Get a square piece of paper

2. Fold the paper in half 4 ways along the lines

3. Pinch two of the sides together making a triangle.

4. Now for a hard part. Push the top crease to the middle to form a diamond type shape.

5. Do the same with the bottom crease. You should end up with a diamond shape, kind of like the diamond when folding an origami boat.

6. Fold the left and right corners to the middle crease.

7. Turn it over and do the same on the other side.

8. Fold the top flap down.

9. Unfold everything to get to the diamond shape again. There should be creases where it’s marked.

10. From there, take the bottom flap, where the three creases meet and prop it up. It should stay on its own.

11. Fold from where the creases are to the middle.

12. Turn it over and do the same to the other side to get elongated diamond shape.

13. Fold the diamond in half vertically on both sides, but in different directions.

14. Fold the bottom corners up on both side. How high or low depends on how big or small you want the wings to be.

15. Pat down one of the things sticking up and refine the wings.

You have now completed your swan. Good luck taking care of it!

The Wrong Way to Wave

There is only one successful way to wave. You wave at Target Person and Target Person waves back. Your mission is complete. Congratulations.

Unfortunately, there are a lot more ways to fail spectacularly at waving. Fortunately, these failures are often quite amusing (for unattached observers. Definitely not amusing for all parties involved. Mortifying for them).

  1. When you think someone’s waving at you, but they’re actually waving at the person behind you.
    • You were having an awful day (You spilled orange juice all over your jeans, and no matter where you go, people kept asking if you peed your pants), but the cheerful wave from your acquaintance turned your day around. At least someone is happy to see you. You excitedly start to wave back when you notice that your acquaintance is looking at their friend, who is behind you and waving nonchalantly. They also have dry pants. You awkwardly put your hand in your hair like that’s what you meant to do the entire time.
  2. When you think that someone is waving at the person behind you, but they are actually waving at you.
    • You are walking down the hall, deep in thought, when you see an acquaintance of yours in your peripheral vision waving vigorously. As you have low self-esteem, you conclude that no sane person would purposefully wave at you and they must be waving at the person behind you. Having reached this conclusion, you dutifully ignore you acquaintance, allowing the person behind you freely wave without a doubt as to whether they are being waved at. As you continue down the hall, you see your acquaintance’s face fall and they burst into tears. You surreptitiously glance behind you. Did the Target Person not see you acquaintance waving? The hallway is empty. They were waving at you. They are now weeping excessively because of you and now you are weeping excessively because of how guilty you are.
  3. When you wave at someone, but the person behind them waves at you.
    • You are walking down the hall when you see one of your friends. You wave enthusiastically, but they are reading and walking (which is inadvisable) and they don’t see you. A distant acquaintance (you went to kindergarten together, but you haven’t spoken since, although you do acknowledge each other’s existence occasionally), on the other hand, does see you and is waving back at you. Instinctively, you awkwardly wave again, a grimace on your face because of your hand’s betrayal.
  4. When you wave at someone, but they don’t see you.
    • You are walking down the hall when you see one of your friends. You wave enthusiastically, but they are reading and walking (which is inadvisable) and they don’t see you. You awkwardly put your hand in your hair like that’s what you meant to do the entire time.
  5. When you pretend to wave at someone so people don’t think you’re lonely.
    • This one really doesn’t need an explanation.

Cactus Sitting

Arachnid… I have something to tell you.

My dad dropped one of your cacti. The captain, I think.

I’m so sorry.

Luckily, the cactus is still well after my amazing mother resurrected it from the bowels of death and ants. I was reading The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, to them earlier to further soothe the captain into his new orange pot (the other one broke). He’s still getting used to it, but he’s getting there.

Also, your cacti seem to enjoy romance novels. They always huddle close and blush whenever a romantic moment spikes up in the story. It’s kind of cute in a way. They like action too, but they don’t really seem to get the concept of “moving around” all that much.

One of the hardest things of cactus-sitting is finding a way to embrace the cactus without getting hurt or hurting them. I usually resort to a gentle pat, like I do when my friends and loved ones get angry, but the urge to hug them is very strong. They are so well behaved! Although Sargent Spike likes to get into some trouble with the windowsill.

I can’t decide on a favorite, but any good cactus-sitter knows that favorites make the other cacti sharply jealous, so I’ll avoid the subject with this post.

Weirdly, I found myself confiding my feelings with them today. They listen so well. (Let’s just say something very bad happened and end it there).

Anyway, I love these adorable cacti! They are so cute, not exactly cuddly and so awesome. You have raised your cacti well, Arachnid.

Ways to fill up sketchbook pages

Sketchbooks are so difficult to fill up.

For me, on average a sketchbook takes about a year to completely fill up. If I’m stuck in my room drawing all day and all night it takes at least a month.

My most recent sketchbook is almost out of pages and I’ve been getting creative with filling it so I can finish it soon. I want to get a head start with drawing in the sketchbook Arachnid gave me, so I don’t forget about it. *looks guiltily at piles and piles of unfinished sketchbooks*

The one good thing that has come out of speed-completing my sketchbook is that I’m now constantly pulling new ideas from my head. (Even if they don’t work out as expected; those are best drawings)

Here are some things you can fill a sketchbook with:

1. Sketches that take up the whole page with no spaces

I know this takes a long time, but it’s fun to do. You can fill the page up with zentangles, random shapes, puppies, doodles, feet–you name it. Usually, I enjoy making these with the adorable versions of things.

2. Cut doodles out from school notebooks or other things

I do this A LOT. Not as much as I do regular drawings, but still it is very normal for me. Plus, it is a very easy and effective way to fill up those very last pages of a sketchbook if countered with artist’s block.

3. Draw the things you are bad at drawing

Hands. Make a page dedicated to hands. Remember that no one will see your sketchbook except you. (Unless you are like me and have societal pressures for you to expose these private treasures.) Even if someone will see your sketchbook, working on the things you are bad at will improve your drawing skills.

4. Drawings inspired by music

I love to listen to music while drawing. Music takes me to another world. Some people think it’s a distraction, but I believe it’s a tool that helps me think of ideas.

5. Write/Paint

Who says that you have to draw in a sketchbook? Writing is a cool way to put ideas down that you can’t exactly draw yet. Painting and coloring can bring a splash of color into it too.

6. Pen Drawings with sticky notes

You might be asking: why sticky notes? I answer with because they are colorful ways to cover up your mistakes. Don’t use them too much or else the point of creating pen drawings is lost.

7. Create comics or short stories with pictures

I used to do this all the time in my old sketchbook. The whole thing was basically a yellow book with maybe ten pages of normal drawings and the rest being comics about a very gassy ninja.

8. Redraw old drawings

I don’t do this that often, but it’s good to do when you are running out of ideas. Generally, I draw sketches from a long long time ago.

9. Page fillers

When there are blank spaces on a page, I resort to page fillers. Those are basically simple, small and easy to draw doodles. Page fillers for me usually include: Exclamations, cats, roses, triangles, circles, squares, rainbows, koi fish and chibi characters.

10. Scribbles

Try scribbling and making stuff out of the scribbles. It’s simple enough.