Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My life is meaningless without the Internet!!! (What???)

It's funny how much we take the Internet for granted these days, isn't it? You don't even really realize how much it means to your everyday life until you find yourself without it for a week. And suddenly, it feels like the world is shattering down around you.

Needless to say, this recently happened to me. I just moved, and my new roommate was gone for the week. And there was a password on her Internet wireless connection, and she didn't know it off-hand. And I found myself Internet-less.

I was actually pretty amazed at how lost I felt! No email readily available. No blog readily available to ooze thoughts into at random. No way to easily check how to get places by bus/T from my new apartment to the rest of Boston (I had to find and rely on those little bus schedule pamphlet thingies...*gasp*). No way to check the temp outside or the weather for the week. No access to info about the upcoming dance event I'm going to.

And I began to realize just how much my days are structured around using the Internet. I always check the weather each morning. I generally use MBTA in some capacity about 3-4 times a week to figure out how to get somewhere. I communicate mostly through email - especially with friends across the country. I generally expect one to two business items in my inbox that I have to act on in addition to friend correspondence. When I get bored, Yahoo! solitaire is where you're sure to find me. I read an online comic 3 times a week.

And on top of all the daily/weekly uses, here's the big thing that hindered my ability to lead a normal life last week: no Google to check up on the random things one finds oneself in need of checking from time to time! A word I needed to look up - sure, I have a real dictionary...but it's packed somewhere, and dictionary.com is so much faster anyway. Finding out about the show schedule of my favorite music group - yeah, had to put that off 'til this week. I wrote my last post in Word then pasted it and retroactively posted it (changed the date to the past) to make it an accurate account of my thoughts.

I mentioned in the beginning of this post that this is pretty funny. And it is. I find it all highly amusing. Why? Because 5 years ago this would not have been an issue for me. Well, okay, that's a lie. I'm older...maybe 10 years ago at this point. [Dammit, I am old! Where did all that time go???]

Point is: it's amusing to me because I can remember what it was like not to have this wonderfully useful and fantastically convenient Internet at my fingertips. I remember when it was all slow and rather useless and when it wasn't capitalized (internet vs. Internet). It was easier to look at the thermometer outside for the temp. Or call because not everyone had an email address. Or *gasp* use a real dictionary to look up a word I wasn't familiar with.

Funny how quickly the Internet crept into our lives and in some ways took over...

And funny how relieved I feel this week now that I have my email, blog, temperature, online solitaire and web comic right at my fingertips again.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Caffeine effects...

So, I’m sitting here, at 11:23 pm on a Friday evening getting slowly groggier and groggier due to my sipping on a glass of Coke.

Yes, that’s right, you read that correctly. I’m getting groggy because I’m drinking Coca-Cola. The caffeinated kind, yes [because we know that was your next question].

Caffeine does not make me jittery, suddenly awake, wired, or alert. It actually does the exact opposite. It literally puts me to sleep. I don’t often buy Coke, I never drink coffee, and I can’t really drink caffeinated tea either. You can be sure that if I’m cracking open a can of caffeinated anything, I’ll be sleeping or zombie-like within the hour.

I’m not really sure why either. I certainly haven’t always been this way. In high school, I loved Mountain Dew. Coke was an okay alternative (though Pepsi was nasty…I didn’t touch that stuff). I also got into Surge and Kick when those came out in the late nineties. Lots of caffeine. But somewhere between then and the end of my undergrad years in college created this complete reversal in the effects of caffeine on my system. It no longer gets the jump-start; instead it merely starts going into sleep-mode.

What’s funny is that this post is actually written in two segments – not a common occurrence for me. I usually will write a post all at once, since I generally post in a sort of free-flow, train-of-thought sort of style. [At least, that’s the goal most of the time.] But I couldn’t finish it…my eyes kept drooping to the closing point, my head kept nodding to the side, and my brain got foggier and foggier to the point were I couldn’t string together sentences because I couldn’t keep thoughts straight in my head. It’s so weird – such a strange sensation compared to what one would expect from caffeine. It’s like I took a sleeping pill and it’s slowly but steadily taking effect. Except that it’s not a sleeping pill…it’s Coca-Cola…the king of caffeine!

I’ve been told that this reaction to caffeine could be explained as an immediate high followed almost instantly by a huge crash from the after-effects of the caffeine. I guess that could be true…and yet it doesn’t make sense in my head because I don’t feel any high when I first take a sip of my Coke (or whatever caffeinated thing I’m drinking). But then, perhaps the crash is so instantaneous that I don’t consciously notice the initial high. Who knows?

Just another one of those oddities about life, huh? Indeed…

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