Answers served with a surprising number of question marks
(Always trust the wisdom of a small child wielding a futuristic whisk with impunity.)
Kathryn searched: What is the significance of the three fleur-di-lis on your college seal?
First of all, congratulations on being more observant than I am. My first reaction to this question was: What fleur-di-lis? But that’s all right… I only walked past the seal on the chapel arch every day for four years.
The specific reason that my university chose them, is likely due to their tradition in coat of arms. There are many crests and seals across the country that include them simply as an allusion to past sensibilities. They make our new things look distinguished, and they’re pretty.
On coat of arms, fleur-di-lis were a symbol for purity, light, the French in general, and sixth sons. My school is pure nothing, a mix of wild academics and wilder adventurers. It can be light, if you’re talking about sunshine, and not talking about the course load, which would be better represented by a herd of stampeding rhinos. The name of the university often makes people believe that I attend school in Holland, and there are absolutely no sons – first, sixth, or eight hundredth – allowed in class.
I’ll stick with my tradition theory on this one.
DJ Matticus searched: When will we finally do away with daylight savings time?
Tomorrow, after I finish my door-to-door proselytization of the ridiculousness of forcing our internal clocks to adjust to arbitrary hours, inciting riots, and grump-ifying the entire nation’s population twice a year. Tomorrow, I should have enough signatures…
Flip the Otter searched: If smell is the sense most connected to memory, what is the sense of touch most connected to?
Danger perception and assessment. There is nothing more accurate to gauge heat, force, closeness, coarseness, sharpness, roughness, toothy-ness, spikey-ness, claws-like-a-velociraptor-ness. No other sense will so quickly force your brain to admit that it is time to run, or that it might have been time to run five minutes ago.
Kate Kearney searched: Should I change my shoes?
Have you been wearing those shoes all day in a work capacity?
Have you just gone running?
Have you just been out in the rain, or stepped in a rain puddle voluntarily or involuntarily?
Have you just been out in a snow storm, built a snowman, built a snow fort, fallen waist-deep in a snow drift, or participated in a snowball fight?
Have you just been out in a tornado, and landed in a strangely bright town, where you twice the height of every citizen?
Have you just trekked through the mud?
Have you just hiked the tallest mountain in your country (measured accurately, or by your extreme displeasure at the steep climb)?
Have you just walked through, or worked in, a Fresh Paint Zone?
Have you just stepped in bubblegum, bananas, or any of the other unmentionable things that juvenile television might use for humor?
Have you recently twisted, broken, or dislocated your ankle while wearing those shoes?
Do your shoes clash with your purse or wallet?
Do you want to?
If you have given a positive answer to any of the questions above, you should change your shoes immediately.
DJ Matticus searched: Where have all the heroes gone?
What? Whoops. Sorry.
I invited them all over for a barbeque, because they looked like they could use a break. They’ve been so stressed lately, with the resurgence of credible villains. I mean, that one guy, with the horns, telling everybody to kneel? He was scary. And the guy who really, really, really wanted to give Earth a make-over so it would look like his home planet? And that guy who misses his bird? Don’t even get me started on that guy with the pencil trick, or Trevor. [shakes head]
So I bought some burgers, and fired up the grill, and rented a cotton candy machine. I’ve never seen so many happy people in spandex.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to steal them all for the day. But now, I’m not sure how to get them to leave…
You have asked your one hundredth question here on Gwendoogle. You are truly a Master Query Poser.
To commend you in this new honor, I have the following answer for you:
Is it exploding? No? Good.
Does it smell really bad? Is it supposed to smell really bad? Good. (I guess.)
Are you putting good effort into doing it correctly? Good.
Are you ready, able, and willing to do it over if it turns out you did it incorrectly, or otherwise to make up for your mistake? Good.
Do you understand that your failure or success in this one task, does not have enough weight to alter the fact that you, as a person, are awesome? Excellent.
You’re doing it right.
Kate Kearney searched: Why is my hair hiding secrets again?
There is a shocking lack of people graduating from college with degrees in Secret Keeping. As the number of secrets is not diminishing, this creates a gap between secrets and keepers. The only solution has been to make an appeal to inanimate objects to undertake the task, in the hopes that they can pick up the slack.
Your hair has just re-enrolled in the program. It apologizes for the clumsy way that the secrets keep knocking against your ears, neck, shoulders, and skull. It apologizes for any frustrating pieces of the secrets that you accidentally overhear. Your hair doesn’t have thumbs, so it can’t hold onto them very well, and it’s doing the best it’s able.
Flip the Otter searched: What are the three rules of NaNoWriMo?
The first three rules of National Novel Writing Month (there are approximately 50,002 in total) are:
1) Write like a mad person – specifically, like the kind of mad person who believes that it is possible to write 50,000 words in a single month, believes that they can have fun writing 50,000 words in a month, believes that they have neglected to write 50,000 words in a month too many times before, believes that there is no time like the present to do things they’ve always wanted to do, and on Wednesday mornings wakes up believing that eating asparagus wrapped in bacon might give them the ability to read cat’s minds. Write like that kind of mad person.
2) Don’t read your own work – Some pieces you will be happy with. Some pieces you won’t be. You will remember the pieces you were unhappy with three times as often as the pieces you actually loved. That nagging feeling that you could have done better will never inspire you to push forward with the kind of grand exuberance that you need to complete this project. Save your reading for later, when you’re wielding the Grand Red Stylus of Editing, instead of the Great Black Blade of First Drafts.
3) Eat and sleep, at least for the first two weeks – Don’t push yourself to the limit at the beginning. A strong beginning feels good, but if you exhaust yourself on the way to the halfway point, the finish line will seem so very far away. Eat, sleep, talk to your friends, watch your favorite television show when it airs, write like crazy in between, but don’t give up any of the necessities until at least week three.
Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.
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