Ugh. In the last couple weeks, I’ve ruined two pairs of suede shoes for stupidly sporting them during our annual Isla Vista showers and learned that not one Santa Barbara retail store sells an acceptable pair of rain boots at a reasonable price. Most of my textbooks are swollen, heavily logged with water and molding in my still-damp backpack. The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter. My bike lock is rusted. The upstairs plumbing of my studio apartment is leaking onto the direct center of my living room, and I just discovered I don’t have a heater. Campus paths are still flooded. Nicoletti’s increased its prices. And what’s worse: Midterms attack this week.

Cranky yet? It’s okay to admit it – I’m only planning on wearing grumpy pants this week.

Faced with the choice of joining our collective campus whine – or maintaining a “proactive” attitude, so as to not drown the few of you out there who muster enough energy to read these Monday columns, I’ve decided to forego the carping for a few minutes in order to blow-dry some happiness into the upcoming week. I was going to look up the weather report so I could make up another clever quip about Isla Vista floods… but, of course, my Internet now refuses to connect.

So! How to get through the impending midterm doom? Food. Always food. After spending hours in an overcrowded library – trying to hunt down a computer that won’t just read Microsoft Word, but OPEN the program as well – treat your starved-student stomach to a fourth meal at one of the newest Isla Vista eateries. If you want your insides to match your outsides – read: cold – stop by Berrilicious, located next to S.O.S Liquor, and purchase yourself a relatively healthy frozen yogurt. If “obese” is your frame of mind, feed your hungry soul a Western Steak Burger at Fresh Wok – located on Trigo Road. Order a good ol’ patriotic burger, get a heaping side of Americanized Chinese Chicken to replace those freedom fries, and relinquish your Body Mass Index to the gods of fast food. Stay away from Albertsons until April, though. Construction has begun and the chain grocery store is being remodeled back into a Lucky’s. Trust me, you’ll care when you stumble into the store right before midnight, looking for a deal on that new and oh-so-glamorous Firestone Pale Ale and realize the phrase “under construction” really means, “detour through the Gerber baby food aisle to get to your beer, you fucking lush.”

Food not enough to lift your soggy spirits? Then think Spring Break 2008! Try planning for a trip or activity months in advance. There’s nothing better to take your mind off the present than planning for the future. We’re halfway done with the quarter, so don’t think it’s not too early to be stalking those Internet deals discounting trips to Cancun and Vegas. Skip Travelocity and Expedia if you’re really looking for a good deal, and surf straight onto those hotel Web sites. Oftentimes when trying to fill rooms last minute, hotels will offer a nightly rate that is ridiculously lower than even those offered on online travel sites. Start collecting those cans and bottles to translate into gambling money. Since it’s not REAL money, you won’t feel bad when you lose it, right? Of course, you good-hearted types might do the “mission in Mexico” thing, which is fine, but I don’t want to hear about it afterward. Wikipedia told me that a good deed is undone if recounted to me for a period longer than five minutes.

Too poor to plan for trips or food? It’s OK… me too. Just bear in mind that midterms are fleeting, Santa Barbara County needs rain, Nicoletti’s still has its “Big Wednesday Special” – any size coffee and a bagel for only $2 – and there are still plenty of those “Campus Special” coupon books flying around campus. You know, the one with the glossy hundred-dollar bill printed on its cover? Rip those deals out and “buy one get one free” till the quarter’s end. Be good to yourselves, chillunz. Don’t procrastinate too much, and despite the fact it’s going to rain all week, just remember: This too shall pass…