Every so often, after tiring of my usual Internet hotspots — PerezHilton.com, the Drudge Report and Digg — I surf the Daily Nexus Web site hoping to stumble across something — anything — to briefly entertain me. Luckily for the procrastinator in me, this past Sunday morning, I was greeted with an advertisement for “The 2008 Daily Nexus Readers’ Poll: The Best of Santa Barbara.”

Despite the poll being replete with typos, I filled in my choices for 43 categories, ranging from “Best Place to Break-Up with Someone” to “Best Place to Get a Going-Out Outfit.” Mostly, I was excited for my 1-in-24,000 odds of becoming one of the three randomly selected survey-takers awarded between 50 and a 100 dollars. Unfortunately, Daily Nexus staff members aren’t actually supposed to take part in the survey and are not eligible for the prizes. That said, I present to you: The 2008 Daily Nexus Columnists’ Poll.

Most of you will probably choose Freebirds for “Best Mexican Food,” or In-N-Out for “Best Burgers” … but don’t forget it encompasses ALL of the greater Santa Barbara area. Sharkeez downtown sells the best array of Mexican cuisine for less than an arm and a leg. Plus there are a million flat screens lining the walls of the restaurant, a great girly drink menu and a free salsa and chips bar. Know where the best burgers really are sold? At the Santa Barbara Brewing Company. Not only is the food well-priced and of excellent quality, but the restaurant brews its own beer and cider. For his 21st birthday, I treated my boyfriend to a meal and the restaurant’s beer sampler. The best part of the restaurant is it bottles and sells you any brew that tickles your beer-buds.

A non-category important to include is the “Best Place to Get Hard-to-Find Beer.” International Market sells six-packs of some of Isla Vista’s rarest, including the ever-elusive Sierra Nevada Summerfest lager. The nomination for “Most Disgusting Campus Structure” goes to that green pool thing in Storke Plaza. Why is that there? What possible purpose does a smelly, dirty, algae-filled pool serve? We already have the lagoon — why surround us with more bacterial breeding cesspools?

The nomination for “Oldest, Most Decrepit Building” goes to Girvetz Hall. As one of the oldest buildings on campus, it’s time for the rundown shack to go in for a facelift. Or retire. The classrooms are suffocating and the windows, more often than not, are stuck or broken or too old to open and shut. The entire building permeates a mustiness I’ve only ever found at old people homes. Has anyone noticed the rusty lockers on the second floor? Who uses lockers anymore? I didn’t even use my locker in high school as anything else than a coffin for my homecoming invitation roses. Somebody botox this bitch.

The “Best Place to Fall Off Your Bike” award goes to the bike path in front of the Military Science Building. It’s bumpy and curvy and cracked. ‘Nuff said. The light on the bike path right before the Thunderdome sweeps up the nomination for the “Most Poorly Placed Traffic Light.” Has there ever been a more ridiculous place to expect bikers to brake… or slow… or even stop?

Between the Art Building and the lagoon is a lonely staircase, which captures the part of “Least Embarrassing Place to Weep Openly.” We all have bad days. Just move it from the UCen down to a place where people don’t have to wonder if they’re obligated to help somehow. And if you get off on getting on the woe-is-me bandwagon, the whimsical view of the sulfuric lagoon will help feed into that self-pity. Steer clear from the library’s parking lot, because it wins the nomination for “Most Inconvenient Parking,” though the dirt parking spots in front of Psych Building came in at a close second. As we can’t park there during the day, we students are stuck with those stupid 40-minute maximum parking meters. That’s not even a full class. Guess the school doesn’t give us much precedence.

Lucky for you guys, the Daily Nexus does care about your opinions. Cast your ballot in for the 2008 Daily Nexus Readers’ Poll at http://www.dailynexus.com/bestofsurvey.php. Unlike A.S., we promise to put those surveys to good use… sort of.