Friday, July 29, 2005

Caffeine the fourth

I drank an Americano (non-iced) from Starbucks this morning, figuring that despite the continuing heat, a cold tea-based beverage wasn't going to cut it. The resulting trip to the key-coded men's room got me thinking about my button fly. Because the pants I'm wearing today have one. A button fly is kind of like an old-fashioned radiator in an apartment you're looking at -- if you decide you like the pants/apartment, you find the button fly/radiator cool and interesting instead of stupid and old-fashioned and annoying.

Button flies are also like chopsticks because they continue to survive amid the presence of more advanced technology like the zipper. I don't use chopsticks for the most part, because when I eat my kung pao tofu I'm enjoying it way too much to mess with a couple of blunt wooden sticks in an effort to get the food to my mouth. The button fly, I can deal with. It has its advantages. If a shift in your sitting position happens to cause the flap down there to lift up, the only view to onlookers is that of a fashionable and color-matched series of buttons, instead of an ugly bunch of metal teeth. And since a zipper takes about a half-second to secure, it's a lot easier to forget to do it than it is to forget an arudous 15-to-30 second endeavor like buttoning.

(On the other hand, if you actually do neglect to button, you're royally fucked. You can forget about the little "pretend I dropped something behind me and use that brief diversion to take care of my fly situation" trick. There's really nothing to do at that point but pray for a time machine to whisk you back to that strange period in the 80's when open flies were hip.)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The further adventures of caffeine

I should probably start a caffeine blog, except that it would be boring. Even writing about it on this one isn't all that fascinating, but it'll have to suffice.

So this morning I did feel the yen to go to Starbucks, probably because my inflatable mattress fell on me at 2:30 this morning and it was one of those things that freaked me out gradually rather than immediately, since at first I wasn't conscious enough to register a sufficient amount of terror. My thought process went something like this.

1. Oh, I woke up.
2. I woke up for a reason, right?
3. Yes, I woke up because I heard something.
4. I guess something fell over.
5. What fell over? And why would it fall?
6. Yeah, what the hell was that? My feet can't reach far enough to knock anything over.
7. I better look up.
8. Holy shit, what's that on the edge of my bed? I can't tell what it is but it's big.
9. Oh, it's the inflatable mattress I propped up against the closet door last night.
10. That was pretty weird. I should go back to sleep.

So there was that. And at Starbucks this morning I got an iced green tea with lemonade, because it's so freaking hot out that the thought of any kind of coffee-related beverage, even in iced form, is somewhat of a turn-off. Besides, green tea has anti-oxidants. In Scientology terms, oxidants are like thetans. You want to get rid of them. Except you only have to pay like $2 for green tea, instead of like $20,000 for the Scientology counseling sessions that get rid of your thetans. But I think it's desirable to hold onto at least a few oxidants, because if you drink too much green tea and get rid of all of them you just might end up jumping up and down on Oprah's couch.

Anyway, after lunch I decided that there probably wasn't all that much caffeine in the green tea/lemonade thing so I opted for a Pepsi Edge, the recipe for which is: Take one regular Pepsi, remove half the sugar, replace with Splenda. It's exactly half, too. Was that a coincidence? Because they claim it's "full flavor" (which it's not, really, but who cares), and it just seems a little odd that 50% was the magic amount of Splenda they could substitute without ruining the taste. Did they try 51% and decide that was too much? At 49% there was still room for improvement? I think it would have been much more interesting if they'd been perfectly honest and said something like, "56.72% less sugar, 86% of the flavor, but 76% of survey recipients say they don't miss that other 14% and besides, among the subgroup who did miss the flavor, 24% voted for a write-in candidate in the 2004 election and what kind of normal person does that anyway?"

But that's just the tip of the iceberg of how things would be different if I ran the soft drink industry.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Chemical dependency update

I really needed a Diet Pepsi a few minutes ago. So I drank one. And now I feel better.

But an afternoon caffeine addiction (or caffeine-and-nutrasweet addiction, perhaps) isn't what I was looking for. On the other hand, it may be more interesting. I mean, shit, the whole "I'm not alive in the morning until I've had my coffee" is so fucking cliche anyway. I don't need to be in that herd of 2-cups-before-breakfast sheep. I'll blaze my own trail: no cups before breakfast, or after breakfast, or any time before 1:30 or so, but limbs will be lost if anyone keeps me from my 20 ounces of aspartame heaven in the afternoon.

Hey, the bottle says "store in a cool place." Well, I just poured the contents into my body, so I think I followed the directions pretty nicely.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I ain't no caff-fiend

It's time for me to accept reality and move on. I'm never going to be a caffeine addict, no matter how hard I try.

I used to be scared of becoming one, so I'd avoid drinking coffee on consecutive days in a row. After a while I figured, the hell with it, and drank it whenever I felt like it. By now, I end up going to Starbucks most mornings by about 10 or so. You'd think I'd be addicted. I'm not. I had a grande iced latte almost three hours ago, and I'm still jittery from it. I might as well have done a line of coke. [BLOGGER.COM DISCLAIMER: Stay in school.] Seriously, I don't want the rush. I just want to feel dopey in the morning, have my $3 drink, and feel normal again.

But I don't think it's going to happen. Maybe if I start drinking it at home, first thing in the morning, every morning, that would put me over the edge. But who wants to make coffee at home? Isn't that why Starbucks and Coffee Bean do more business in L.A. than all the kabbalah centers put together?

Anyway, I guess this means all the office pools for "Actually Complains About Failure To Develop a Chemical Dependency" are over now. Collect your winnings, anyone who picked July 13.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

New decree

I propose the following punishment for people who leave cell phones unattended on their desk, at full volume, and then get all kinds of people to call them while they're away.

1. Consume one jar of vegemite. May not drink or eat anything else until the jar is empty. Any vomit produced must be swallowed.

2. Watch 50 episodes of Charmed with no fast-forwarding or bathroom breaks. Snide remarks about acting or storylines must be kept to oneself. Last sentence of item #1 applies as well.

3. For one month straight, drive from LAX to Pasadena every day at 4:00 P.M, taking only freeways and staying in the far-right line. No radio, phone calls, or air conditioning allowed.

4. Read Paradise Lost cover-to-cover in one sitting, followed by The Odyssey. 20-page single-spaced paper comparing the depiction of the underworld in each work is due the next day.

5. One more jar of vegemite.

6. Cold-call 300 senior citizens throughout Iowa and South Dakota to gauge their support for stem-cell research. Explain the difference between existing cell lines and new lines.

7. Swim naked in Boston Harbor for 3 hours a day for one month.

8. Listen to every spoken-word album ever produced.

9. Eat every meal for the rest of your life with a group of people who go "ahhhhh" every time they take a sip of anything.

10. Hear your own annoying ringtone every time you turn on any radio, TV, automobile, dishwasher, or electric toothbrush.

11. Four words: Sixty-four ounce Vegemite smoothie.