It’s Summer; Sleep In Until Bedtime

A 'math' equation about sleepNow, if you think about it, sleep is pretty awesome. For one thing, you can’t do homework (not good) while asleep. You can’t do chores (also not a good thing to do) while asleep. If you’re asleep, you’re not dead (another thing it’s generally terrible to be), unless, of course, you are using the word sleep as euphemism*.

*And that’s just not right. Are you sure you’re a teen? How do you even know that word?

But some people aren’t so gung-ho about sleep. You probably don’t even do those people the justice of calling them human; you probably call them parents.

Now it’s not as if all parents are against sleep. No, they want us to get sleep. However, they want us to get sleep when they say so. This, dear readers, is a problem.

When to Be Awake

Ideally, you’d be awake from the hours of 7:00 PM through to 6:00 AM. We all know that those are the best hours. First of all, the fact that it is summer means the sun is out a lot. If you are outside during the day, you might get sunburnt. Worse, there is a 100% chance that you’ll maybe probably get skin cancer. That’s awful.

But if you’re out and about from 7:00 PM-6:00 AM, it is unlikely you’ll get skin cancer. The sun will be setting and rising, not directly above you.

There are other benefits to these hours as well. For example, food. Breakfast is by far the best meal of the day; it is the meal where you can basically eat just dessert. You can choose from sugary cereals, pancakes and syrup, waffles and syrup, oatmeal and brown sugar, orange juice that was ‘naturally’ sweetened, toast and cinnamon-sugar, fresh fruit and syrup, syrup and sugar, and, best of all, sugary cereal and syrup with a light dash of sugar.

So, let’s say you get up at the nice ripe time of 7:00 PM. You should have breakfast, because you just woke up. Then, you might have a snack, which, by definition, should be junk food or leftover breakfast. By 12:00 AM you’re ready for lunch, and, oh, would you look at that, it’s the AM again, so you should have breakfast food. Then, at 5:00 AM, you should eat a dinner, but who eats steak or pasta at 5:00 AM? That’s just weird. So, you should have breakfast foods again.

Why There is No Problem Here

I’m positive that, as a teen, you agree with ninety percent of what I just said, and didn’t understand the other ten percent. However, your parents are a different story; they may be convinced that the above reasoning is lunacy.*

*Like euphemism, you should not know what this word means. Move along.

So, I’ll explain the arguments to you, so you can thus explain it to your parents.

To start, you are still getting plenty of sleep. Do the math, and you’ll see that you’re getting a good strong 13 hours of sleep. It’s not the most possible sleep, but it is hopefully enough to survive. Putting that into perspective for your parents, it is known that the Koala bear sleeps around 22 hours every day. And here you are asking for only 13. Totally reasonable.

Furthermore, who says that your parents are right? Why are humans supposed to be awake during the day, and asleep during the night? Now that we have electricity, anything’s possible. Putting aside that convincing skin cancer argument, just look at what your parents are supporting.

In the last hundred years of sleeping at night and getting up early, we’ve been through 2 World Wars, created global warming, come close to all-out nuclear war, have had numerous years of bad economies, and have watched Justin Bieber rise to fame. What if the cause of all these awful things is the fact that people have been awake when they were really supposed to be asleep, making them less rational, alert, and content? Prove it wasn’t.

Finally, sleeping in as often and as late as you want is good for security reasons. If you’re up during the night, then you’ll be more likely to warn of or fend off a surprise night attack by the Russian Mafia, Italian Mob, or Door-to-Door Landscaping Service Salesmen.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” may still be true. But we’re teens. We don’t care about our health, wealth, or wisdom. We care abou-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Last year at this time, we brought you a couple of vacation topic-centered posts, including “How to Get to the Airport on Time,” “What can You Learn from Hotel Amenities?“, and, highlighting a popular vacation destination, “The Big Apple: Is There a Worse Name?

10 More Things You Absolutely Have to do This Summer

Just a picture of a squash gameI’m sure we’ve all heard the famous saying that goes something like, “Live as if you’ll die tomorrow, learn as if you’ll live forev-ackchk! Unnnnhhhh….”

As that saying so aptly illustrates, nobody lives forever. Which means you will eventually die. Which means you won’t be alive. Which means you will only have a limited number of summer vacations to enjoy, not to mention summer vacations during your teen years. (If this were a DirecTV commercial, the next sentence would be: “Don’t eventually die. Ditch cable and become immortal. Also buy DirecTV.”).

Being a blog run by teens who have your best interests at heart*, we’re going to make sure you make the most of your summer by giving you a checklist of 10 things you have to do. (For last year’s ever-popular list, click here).

*Or at least we would, if teen brains could handle using a heart to both pump blood and be compassionate at the same time.

1) TP a Toilet Paper Company

First, let me set the record straight: this blog does not encourage illegal activities. However, we can tell you to ‘tee-pee’ a toilet paper company for a few reasons.

For one thing, the irony of it is strong enough that no court of law would be able to remain orderly long enough to prosecute you. Secondly, nobody actually knows where to find toilet paper companies. I mean, when’s the last time you were driving through an industrial district and saw a factory belching black smoke into the air while thinking: “Hey, I bet all that black smoke is a byproduct of toilet paper manufacturing.” And, finally, most toilet paper companies are guarded by their mascots, so unless you plan on taking on a few full-grown Charmin grizzly bears, you won’t even get close.

2) Learn to Play Squash

I don’t have any idea what country you come from, so maybe you already know how to play squash. If so, what kind of freak are you? Just kidding. You can stop reading this section and move on to number three. (Now that all the squash players are no longer reading this: thank god we got rid of those squash-playing freaks for a few seconds).

Chances are, though, that you don’t have any idea how to play squash. Summer is the optimal time to learn. I have absolutely no idea how squash is played, although I assume it involves a squash and possibly a legume or leafy-green as well. Regardless, I’m sure it’s fun, healthy, and well worth your time. Besides, you’ll become a great comedian: you can walk into a party, declare that, “I’m a squash player,” and watch everyone break out laughing.

3) Travel to an Unknown Land

Yes, that sounds quite mysterious. And quite awesome. Whether your unknown land is the forest behind your house, your attic, your bedroom closet, or the forest growing in the attic of your bedroom closet, unknown lands contain hours of entertainment. And, as the documentary Avatar showed us, unknown lands also often contain 10 foot-tall blue people who would be great to have on your team in a street basketball game.

4) Start a Sign-Making Business

Chances are, if you are now in high school or have already graduated, you once learned cursive in elementary school. Now, I have no idea why they decided to teach us cursive (or script); I only know that I really wish I hadn’t spent hours of my life slaving away at my capital G’s, which looked more like a small boat than a ‘G.’

However, I’ve got good news! I’ll bet that now that I’ve reminded you, you are the only one in your entire town who knows that you know cursive. Sure, other people may have learned, but they have wiped those painful memories from their minds. This means that you can open up a sign-making business without competition and make MILLIONS! Of Chilean Pesos! Some people may pay you in dollar bills, but it’ll add up to MILLIONS! Of Chilean Pesos!

5) Do Art

The nice thing about this is, you can do pretty much anything and call it art, thus making yourself feel more sophisticated than you actually are. That recycling bin you just compacted? That’s now a piece of art. The way you just got a triple-head-shot-nuke-bonus-multiplier-boost-powerup in that really popular nonviolent* video game? That was a beautiful piece of performance art.

*Nonviolent meaning nobody who plays the video game dies. Trust me, some games are violent. Take that “Cooking Mama: Cook Off” game, for example. The rivalry that game creates between the two players has lead to multiple assault crimes being committed.

6) Try a New Food

I know this will be hard for us teen boys – we’ve probably already tried most foods that exist, including moldy cake (‘cause cake doesn’t go bad) and earthworm. However, new experiences are always enlightening, so strive to find a food you have yet to eat. Personally, I’d recommend you check out your vegetable garden. After all, I’ll bet you’ve never had a banana-slug split (that’s no BS. That’s BSS – banana-slug split. Okay, put the baseball bat – or BSBB – away, I’ll stop, I’ll stop.).

7) Attend a Convention

For some reasons, conventions are a big deal amongst adults. To teens, though, it’s basically like willingly paying to attend school after you’ve graduated from college.

However, conventions do have their positives. For one, they often have a lot of free stuff handed out by people who think that giving you free stuff will make you want to buy more of their stuff…even though they are handing it out for free. Also, conventions allow you to keep your rubber-band shooting skills sharp over the summer.

8) Make A Modern Lemonade Stand

This is actually pretty easy to do. You just need a table, a tablecloth, and some cups. Lemonade is a bonus, but that’s really just for show. You see, thanks to modern advertising guidelines, you can say whatever you want as long as you make it true with an “*”.

So, have a sign that says “LEMONADE STAND: 25¢ a cup*,” and then just add this, in really small print (or better yet, cursive, because nobody remembers how to read that anymore either), “*cup does not have lemonade in it.”

9) Invent a New Pool Dive

The swan. The cannonball. The belly flop. The movie hero stunt double. What do these all have in common? They’re all unoriginal ways to dive into a pool.

Chances are, you’ll be swimming at some point this summer, unless you are too busy playing squash (although I bet you can play squash, like basketball, in a pool). In that case, you will need an original way to dive into the pool. Some places to start could be the “rhinoceros,” the “trash compactor,” the “killer duck,” and the “vice principal.”

10) Visit Your State Capitol

The nice thing about summer is that you have a few months off from school. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. No, it could be a few years off from school, or even a few millennia.

So, if you live close by, are going to drive by, or plan to hijack a delivery van, you should visit your state capitol. See if you can persuade the lawmakers to extend summer vacation, using your high school persuasive techniques like bribes (“I’ll give you gum”), threats (“I’ll never give you gum again”), and peer pressure (have everyone angrily chew gum and stare at the person to intimidate them).

11) The All-In-One Fun

Yes, I know I said ten. But this isn’t really an eleventh idea; it is only a solution to having a fulfilling summer for those of you too busy doing nothing to take the time and do everything on this list separately.

First, you need to drive by your supermarket and pick up a squash. Chances are, since it’s a vegetable, you’ve never tried it before, so it’s a new food. Then, use the squash rinds and the squash that you spit out/vomited to play some form of a sport. After that, travel to the unknown depths of a craft store, watching out for serial crafters who would willingly kidnap you so they could force you to admire their crafting ability, and pick up some pens and cardboard.

Then, make a sign outside your state capitol building for a lemonade stand offering free cups(*, of course) to any legislator willing to extend summer vacation. Celebrate your inevitable victory against school re-starting by traveling to a Toilet Paper company with your state-legislator groupies and TP’ing it. Take a bunch of photos of your work when it’s finished; this is probably some new genre of modern art.

Next, when the state legislators realize that these photos are probably going to ruin their political career and attempt to grab your camera, push them into a nearby pool and invent the “floundering government official” pool dive. Finally, attend a convention on how to avoid being convicted for crimes by a grand jury.

10 things. More than ten days of summer. You should be able to procrastinate and still do them all. If you are really good at cramming, you might even repeat some of last year’s list of 10 Things You Absolutely Have to Do this Summer. Me, well, I’m busy warming up my toilet paper-throwing/squash-playing arm.

Every Argument (Ever) Against Finals

This one is not a masterpiece, so don't feel too bad that you can't see itWhat do smoking cigarettes and finals have in common, you ask? (Well, maybe I put the words in your mouth, but you asked it. Trust me on that).

The answer is: a lot of things. They both have dangerous health effects. They are both widespread epidemics across the world. And it doesn’t make sense to relate either finals or cigarettes to camels.

However, the most obvious thing in common is: people used to think that they were good for you. If you’ve ever watched “The King’s Speech,” a movie, if I remember correctly, about the famous “I have a dream” speech, you know that the doctor tells the king to smoke, because it will supposedly relax his lungs.

Now, I can’t tell you why people would think finals are good for teens, but they must have thought so at one point. I mean, society has never gone out of its way to make our lives miserable before*.

*For those geniuses* who missed it, that was sarcasm. Society hates us juvenile delinquents/juvenile delinquents in training/future juvenile delinquents in training.

*Also sarcasm.

However, this is no longer the case. In my unbiased and expert opinion, finals are nothing but a bad experience that you must try to pretend never happened (in doing so, ignore the scarring in your brain).

We Don’t Learn Anything

By definition, final exams are tests. They test our knowledge, which means that we must have already learned the material.

In fact, it’s the studying for finals that is when the real learning happens. So, all the teachers need to do is tell the students to study their notes for many hours each night to the point where they get very little/no/negative amounts of sleep, and the problem’s solved. Of course teens will do this simply because their teacher asked.

The Stress is Stressful

Finals are more stressful than, say, fighting he-who-must-not-be-named or competing in a hunger games. At least in those, you know it will end happily for you if you’re the main character.

This is not true for finals. There has been many a main character who has not survived finals, and thus did not get to star in the required subsequent sequel/trilogy/eighty thousand book series.

Just take William Jones, for example. I bet you’ve never heard of him before (and not because I just made him up*). That’s because, instead of killing the antagonist and getting the girl, he perished on page 36 of his novel (entitled “The Murder of the Gatekeeper of the Cave of Attractive Dragon Vampires on Planet Zorkylv” to encompass all possible customer demographics) after he was unable to answer the question “What is the standard deviation of the derived slopes of the equation 45×2+y3+13=z1423 on the domain of the dates of the birthdays of the students in the class?” during his math final.

*Which doesn’t mean that I didn’t just make him up.

Therefore, you get stressed when finals comes around (for example…). This stress causes more stress, because then you study for your health final and stress about the negative effects of stress. And then you go back to stressing about finals and then stress about the fact that you will never stop stressing about finals and thus start stressing about your stress and it’s health effects until you combust in a brilliant fireball of stress. Which will not even get you excused from taking your finals.

Finals Waste Resources

When you study for finals, you stay up all night. Thus, you use electricity all night. And you eat, all night. Not to mention, you probably use the bathroom a few times as well. All these actions waste resources.

Furthermore, the finals are usually on some sort of paper. More wasted resources. The paper was created using an industrial process, which has deadly pollutants that the company dumps in a national park. Even more waste.

The finals take the teacher time to grade. The teacher stays up late grading. More electricity use.

The finals keep the school open one extra week. More resource use.

Clearly, finals are basically single-handedly causing global warming. Which is quite a convenient truth for those who don’t like finals.

You’ve experienced ‘em. You’ve hopefully/probably/not really/haven’t/definitely haven’t/okay who are you kidding survived your finals. And now, you need to take on your finals. Obviously, finals are terrible for society. And I’m not just saying that as a finals-taking juvenile delinquent. I’m saying that as a finals-taking juvenile delinquent who hates studying for finals.

Last year, we brought you a fully interactive (meaning yes, it is coded and it works) quiz entitled “How Many Hours would you last during High School Finals?” It’s pretty awesome, and you should definitely take it if you have not already.

The Complete Guide to Signing Yearbooks

a funny yearbook cover

(Click to make larger)

Let’s talk high school social norms. I’m sure you already know that to be popular you need to be smart, kind, charitable, friendly, inclusive, and honest.

Oh, wait, sorry, I got mixed up; that’s how to be popular in the real world. In high school, you just need to be willing to compromise every moral you’ve ever been taught by anyone (including that talking fish-on-a-board thing where you press a button and it sings a song to you).

But I’m sure you already knew that. If you didn’t, well, spoiler alert. I’ve just laid humanity naked before your eyes–no, don’t try and picture that.

However, even for teens, it can be hard to predict the social guidelines for once-a-year experiences (such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or the End of the World!!!!!). That’s why I’m here. Actually, I’m here to eat, chew gum, procrastinate, make life difficult for anybody who’s not a teen, and maybe sleep once in a while, but don’t worry about that.

Instead, you need to be worrying about yearbook signing. Let’s put this into perspective using two scenarios:

  • Scenario A: You are walking up the stairs one day when you trip and fall. A few people see you, and by the end of the day this story is all over school.
  • Scenario B: You are signing yearbooks, and you write something stupid. Nobody reads it until school is out.

Now, initially, which do you think is a worse situation? If you said A, you’re incorrect (and also probably, um, ‘superbly terrific at understanding presented ideas directly,’ or STUPID, for short. Did you even read the title?).

Here’s why: after fifteen years, no one will remember you fell going up the stairs unless you broke your nose and it is now crooked and/or missing. But after fifteen years, your yearbook note will be so overanalyzed and well-known that you can’t walk into a job interview without the interviewer saying, “Hey, aren’t you that guy who wrote ‘I’m not sure if I like you or not, and you sort of smell like burning rubber,’ inside that one yearbook back in 2012?’ And you misspelled like?!” Then, they will proceed to reject your application and set your car tires on fire.

So, this brings up the first two rules of signing yearbooks:


Now, ideally, you want to believe what people write in your yearbook. Thankfully, your ego will ignore the fact that your brain knows the majority of the statements are lies. Being teens, most of us despise 80% of the people we meet, unless we live in New York, in which case it is okay to despise 95% of all people we’ve met.

However, you can’t let this on in your writing. So, instead of saying what you really think, say something nice. Compliment the person on their hair (“I like that you have hair”). Their shoes (“Your shoes compliment your hair”). Or even their eyes (“I look into your eyes and I know that my hair will never be as attractive as your shoes”). Really, as long as you use the word hair, you can’t go wrong*.

*This is because, in twenty years, due to the scientific fact that everything will cause dangerous health effects if you test it on rats enough times, we’ll all be bald from overexposure to cellphones/facebook/bottled water, and no one will remember anyone’s hair anyways.

Don’t Misspell Anything

While it’s definitely okay to write with worse grammar than a concussed pigeon when texting or writing your college application, the yearbook is an exception. You don’t want to be the kid who forgot how to spell ‘summer,’ or, worse yet, the kid who misspells ‘like’ (as in, “I lick your awesome personality, we should hang out this sumar.” Unless, of course, you are a dog and plan to hang out in the Iranian district of Sumar, in which case, write that all you want).

Don’t Be Stupid

Yes. I know. At first glance, this seems impossible; your hormones, combined with the peer pressure of millions of other hormones (especially that one hormone down the block whom I like to call Gerald), will keep you forever stupid, as a teen. However, when I mean don’t be stupid, I mean it literally.

You do not want to write in the yearbook anything that makes you seem remotely less intelligent than your peers. In ten years, being stupid will have gone from “therefore I’m super popular,” to “therefore I’m not smart.” Don’t write, for example, “Haha dude ‘member that time when I drank that raw egg after I failed out of P. E. and then threw up on the shoes of the varsity football captain? Hahaha…”

But that’s not even the worst of it. No, if you want to be stupid and ironic at the same time, write “Your so smart” and then sign it. If you can’t figure that one out, then this blog post has probably offended you. Sorry.

Of course, at the end of whatever you do write, you will want to sign your name. Chances are, it’s probably illegible. Therefore, you should just write “visit” instead, because it’s not like they would have been able to read your signature. After all, looking at this valuable and groundbreaking life advice I’ve just given you (Lie, Don’t Misspell Anything, and Don’t Be Stupid), it’s the least you can do.

Last year, we brought you “Returning One’s Textbooks gives the Same Benefits as Dead Fish.” Since you probably have no idea what that means, you should just head over and check it out.