Tag Archives: college

whatever you do, don’t panic

i need to say something: all the energy drinks and “shots” on the market these days are scaring the hell outta me. i mean, how tired and strung-out and overworked are we as a society if you can’t even walk into bed, bath & beyond w/out running into some weirdo twisted energy concoction at the cash register? (true story; totally saw 5-Hour Energy “shots” there last week. they probably tasted like candles, i.e. the way my clothes, hair and skin smell after five minutes there)

i mean, i can’t imagine downing one of those things. not even a red bull. not a monster drink or whatever they’re called. nothing. i remember my freshman year of college (shoutout umcp! holla!), student housing or some such organization sent out these little packages full of samples to all the kids in the dorm. “helpful” things like, oh i don’t know, deodorant, painkillers and No-Doz. b/c college students don’t already have enough issues w/out free, scary pills that make your heart beat fast.

 anyone out there remember No-Doz?? No-Doz was the go-to college all-nighter stuff long before red bull and the 5-Hour shots. little white caffeine bombs. and to 17-year-old fresh-outta-jersey me–that hadn’t discovered the joys of coffee yet–full-on panic pills.

why i decided to take them, i have no idea. i took them in the morning (morning? on an empty stomach, probably) and before long, my heart started pounding out of my chest.

“jess!” i whisper-yelled to my sleeping roommate, yanking her covers. “i…i took No-Doz! i’m…i’m freaking out! i can’t, i can’t breathe! i think i’m having a heart attack!”

she, of course, mumbled something about calming down, patted my shoulder and went back to sleep, leaving me to fend for myself. who knows how the hell i talked myself out of that one, but i did. this was the first and last time i took “energy” pills.

why did i tell you that supremely dorky story? i told it…well i told it to make you laugh. also to prove a point. that sh*t is scary! and now sophisticated commercial chemists are mixing caffeine with, like, panic-inducing jungle roots. plus they make it taste like soda or candy or both.

i’ll tell you what tho: the marketing folks at 5-Hour Energy (or whomever they hire to do their advertising) are brilliant. you’ve probably seen the 5-Hour Energy commercial, right? that “2:30 feeling”? after working in quite a few boring offices, i am quite familiar with that 2:30 feeling. especially after a sizable lunch burrito when you’re sitting in a warm conference room w/annoying ppl discussing crap you don’t care about. (wow! i think i actually fell asleep for a nanosecond while writing that!)

have any of you drank this stuff? were you whirling like a tornado til 7:30pm or did you pull a jessica circa ’96, fall to your knees and weep to your cubicle mate that you were having a heart attack? i hope you whirled b/c, trust me, if you have a panic attack at 2:30 in the afternoon on the floor of your office you will never live it down.

here’s how you know technology has gotten to you, part 2

uhh...where's the save on this thing?? (a not-too-distant cousin of my brother word processor. wherever you are: thanks for deleting my jewish studies paper. i really enjoyed rewriting it. really. i did.)

 back in may, i posted an entry about calling junk mail–as in the actual paper mail that’s delivered to your house “spam.”  this, to me, was what my mom and i might call “a doozy” with regards to technology infiltrating your brain to the point where you’re confusing the tangible (uh, mail, paper mail) with the intangible [“spam” in your inbox (vs. you know, the jiggly canned meat byproduct)].

the other day i hit a new low w/regards to technological confusion. we were driving somewhere, maybe to visit holly’s family in pee-ay, i don’t remember. definitely somewhere far enough away that i broke out one of my many notebooks and started writing (and by “writing” i mean using the sad excuse for handwriting that is my lefty chicken scratch) .

before i continue, some background:

i am a saver. as in: when i’m writing something in microsoft word, i’m constantly saving. i’ve been a perpetual saver since the one time (omg knock wood) my computer actually deleted something–a term paper, i think, for my jewish studies class my sophomore year of college. granted, i was working on a brother word processor (omG remember those?! that thing was a BEAST!) but regardless, one minute my paper was there, the next minute it was GONE. i had to write the whole damn thing over.

never again, i promised myself. never. again.

ever since i learned keyboard shortcuts, i’m all about “control S.” meaning: you hold the control (“Ctrl”) button and the “S” button down at the same time–a shortcut that saves your document. i swear i do this every five minutes when i’m writing. every two minutes. (maybe even after every sentence.) my computer must hate me and tell all the other computers i have ocd. but what do i care? i am not losing another document.

so back to the story. we’re driving along the highway and i’m writing away. after i write a significant amount, i look up and realize i’ve got my left pinky (“Ctrl”) and my left index finger (“S”) poised to hit the damn control S combo. i am in the CAR, mind you. we are on the HIGHWAY. i am writing in a NOTEBOOK with a PEN. and i’m sitting there like an idiot with my fingers poised to hit an imaginary key combination on my imaginary keyboard for my imaginary computer that is actually my notebook and pen.

“well this is special,” i thought, staring down at my hand, which, in all honesty, looked as if it was ready to be placed on a piano keyboard to hit some kind of lady gaga/elton john chord.

i made a mental note to share this with you in the name of entertainment, but also in order to feel less crazy.  in other words: please share similar stories. do you txt when you mean to tweet? do you talk in emails? do you email in IMs? would you rather have a typewriter (or better yet: a brother word processor), rotary phone and answering machine and be done w/all this? discuss.

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