Dear AJ, why does this time of year have to be called “fall”? What is falling? I can’t get over this, I am begging you for help. 

Hello, my lovely, amazing, incredibly sexy fan. I am so glad you asked about the origins of fall because, boy, do I have some info for you. We all love the fall season. This is not simply conjecture or an assumption — I state it as a fact. Fall is one of the best seasons and general times of the year. The sun finally fucks off, the wind gives you organic main character moments on the daily and the trees literally change color?? Not to mention that Halloween is, on all counts, better than sex. 

Fall is, in fact, the designated season for virgins to feel less alone, when they can cuddle up in a warm blanket and pretend it’s the loving embrace of a significant other. A hot cup of pumpkin spice latte in place of the warmth of someone’s hands over your own, the roaring fire drowning out the unbearable silence and the subtle scent of pumpkin to forget the terrible sensation that you will never find your other half in this world. 

Fall is a magical land of Dollar Tree decor, pets in costumes and “Lo-fi for Ghosts (Only).” If you disagree, you are wrong. My condolences, but I do make the rules here and this is one of them. 

My dear reader, what isn’t falling? The economy, your grades, attention spans, expectations, me into your arms. Definitely not leaves, that would be stupid. 

Next time, beloved reader, ask not what fall can do for you but what you can do for fall. 


Dear AJ, I feel like the weather app has been lying to me. Every morning it says it won’t go over 65 F, but by the time I get to campus, I’m dripping in sweat and mildly sunburnt. How am I supposed to live like this?

Sitting in The Arbor in my long-sleeve shirt and shorts, this one hits a little close to home, reader. I may or may not have glanced around a couple of times because I could literally feel your eyes on me. I’m going to be vulnerable and dangerously honest for a moment and admit to you, dear reader, that I have no fucking clue how we are supposed to live like this. Nothing shrinks my libido for life like 80-degree weather. 

To this dilemma, some people may tell you to layer, and to them, I simply smile and nod. I know that logically they are right, but for some inexplicable reason, layering quite literally inflicts pain upon me. Something about lugging around half of my clothes for a good part of the day absolutely irks me. I commit to my fit, even if I am dripping sweat in my leggings and sweatshirt under the blazing sun. I may die of heatstroke, but at least I’ll die stubborn and honest. 

A totally reasonable alternative to layering is to leave multiple jackets hidden in secret spots on campus for emergency use. Some hiding spots I recommend are the library’s egg chairs, the Daily Nexus office or simply entrusting them to the roided-up koi fish in Storke Plaza’s pond. That way, if you end up shivering on campus after the sun sets and it’s suddenly 12 F or the wind kicks up and your T-shirt and shorts aren’t cutting it anymore, your plethora of emergency jackets will always be there to warm you up. 

Alright, fine, it’s genuine advice time: I suggest adding 10 hypothetical degrees to the temperature your lying little device tells you and dress for success. Indeed, the big shirt/little pants versus the big pants/little shirt movement was created precisely for fall weather. Pick a side, switch it up — whatever floats your boat. This is all I can offer; I hope your fall fits flourish and the weather chills the hell out soon. 


I cannot escape from the god-forsaken “pumpkin spice latte” scene from “Scream Queens” (I know you know the one). Can you save me from “Señorita Awesome” before I literally blow my brains out?

Unfortunately, I do know the video you speak of. In fact, it haunts me and other lives forever in the back of my brain, waiting for the perfect moment to induce a full-body cringe usually in the middle of a lecture that I’m supposed to be paying attention to. “Señorita Awesome,” in all of her pick-me-girl energy, has waged war on fall. 

You know by now how I feel about the autumnal season in that I am inextricably in love with it. I want to take Fall out to a fancy dinner and kiss it chastely on the lips out of pure respect and the highest possible regard. Señorita Sucky is trying her absolute best to insert some “ick” into fall and I hate her guts for it.

I’ll say it, I love a pumpkin spice latte, better known as a PSL. With its warm blend of sweet and spice paired with its consistent ability to make me nearly shit myself, a PSL embodies everything good about the fall season. That’s right, I suppose I am the basic white girl who Señorita Stupid so viciously scoffs at. But I have yet to order a single PSL this season, and I choose to believe that it is purely because I can see her condescending smirk in my mind every time I get close to the Starbucks counter. 

Honestly, I’m a tad offended that you think that I, even in all of my infinite wisdom, could possibly save you from Señorita Stinky. I am already at war with her and I am losing. Save yourself.


Is Chancellor Yang a vampire? If so, advise me on how to take him out. 

Really, my dear reader, you should know that I don’t deal in gossip. Instead, I shall lay out the bare-neck facts and allow you to draw your own conclusions. 

In full autumnal tradition, as the weather gets colder, necklines get conveniently higher and higher. Turtlenecks, sweaters and longer hair are all in vogue, disguising something — Chancellor Yang’s unquenchable thirst for blood, perhaps. Or perhaps simply a change out of atmospheric necessity.  

But don’t get caught up in such a reductionist definition of a vampire. As we all know, traditional media portrays rather a multitude of vampiric stereotypes — everything from sparkling skin to gleaming canines to gothic castles and crimson cloaks.

However, à la FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows,” a vampire is one who sucks — blood, emotions … you name it. And, honestly, attending UCSB, I feel drained. Not of blood, necessarily, but of money, time, energy, motivation, overall passion and joie de vivre. 

So, I suppose the real question is: What is a vampire, truly? And how much garlic can you buy from Albertsons at once without getting weird stares? 

Stay safe. Don’t let people suck you, silly. Unless that’s what you’re into. 

Do you have questions for AJ? Submit them to

A version of this article appeared on p. 16 of the October 7th, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.