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Chris Listens: Psycho Exes, BFFs in Sweden, and a Mini-Novel That Everyone Should Read

By Chris_DikenJune 12, 2009
Welcome to another installment of Chris Listens. The questions have been pouring in from all quarters of the Interwebz, and I’ve got my special listening devices cranked up to Super-Ultra-Mega Sensitive. I would typically write some jokes here, but I have a feeling this post ... More  →

Guide to Summer Concerts, Part III

By Chris_DikenJune 12, 2009
Summer concerts can be amazing. There’s the fresh air. The spontaneous friendships that blossom between gyrating fans. And the music can be pretty decent, too. But like other summer-specific activities, they can be annoying if you’re not prepared. If you freak out near large numbers of ... More  →

The SparkNotes Guide to Teacher Appreciation Gifts

By Chris_DikenJune 9, 2009
Your teachers gave you a lot this year: knowledge, encouragement, and occasionally detention. In return, you doled out frustration, heartburn, and occasionally a modicum of effort. Now that the educational battle has wound down, you have the chance to give back something more meaningful: a ... More  →

Chris Listens: Relationships, Puppies, Cheating, and More Relationships

By Chris_DikenJune 8, 2009
Today we continue with Part II of this last week’s Chris Listens. As you may recall, we received many heartfelt questions from SparkNotes readers, so we’re holding off on making fun of rock bands and iPhone apps in order to address the various concerns weighing heavily ... More  →

Chris Listens: Rude Ex-BFs, Older Guys, Promzilla, and Pizza-Flavored Perfume

By Chris_DikenJune 3, 2009
Well Sparklers, you really brought out the big guns this week. I received the usual spate of inquiries re: sandwiches and silly TV ads, but it seems you predominantly want to know how to handle huge, difficult, complex life issues, the kind of questions that ... More  →

How to Ace (Or at Least Not Bomb) Your Final Exams

By Chris_DikenJune 3, 2009
In some parts of the country, students are already basking in the freedom of summer vacation. This post is not for them. It’s for those who are still knee-deep in the dregs of the school year, when it’s hot, motivation is scarce, and brains are ... More  →

The Stuff You Really, Really Want

By Chris_DikenMay 29, 2009
We all want stuff. Shiny stuff, stuff that lights up, stuff that makes noise, and stuff that, regardless of what it does, makes us look cool. While the very subtle tactics of the advertising industry stoke these desires, our fiercest cravings occur when we see ... More  →

Chris Listens: Life, Love, Bathtubs, and Sandwiches

By Chris_DikenMay 27, 2009
Welcome back to Chris Listens. It’s been a week since this column debuted, and the response has been overwhelming. (Who knew that you can put a question mark at the end of almost any sentence?) Your excellent inquiries ran the gamut from superficially insightful to deeply penetrating, ... More  →

Last Minute Topics for Term Paper Procrastinators

By Chris_DikenMay 26, 2009
Your laptop is fired up, you’ve got a sleeve of Fig Newtons for emergency brain fuel, and your cell ringtone is set to a jaunty new tune called “Deafening Silence.” You are totally prepared to compose the living daylights out of your big final term ... More  →

Five End-of-the-Year Anthems to Help You Celebrate

By Chris_DikenMay 22, 2009
If you shade your eyes and squint, you can make it out in the distance: it’s a finish line, a metaphorical one, marking the end of another school year. In a few weeks (or days, if you're lucky), you'll cross it, and time will slow ... More  →