Blog Party

Where: My House

When: Wednesday, August 2nd @ 10:00 p.m.

What: Drinking [virgin] pina coladas

Why: I'm a [virgin] soon-to-be graduate and likely moving away

Who: You. If you know my first name and last name, that is. And if you're on my blog sidebar, I especially expect you. No expectations of the out-of-towners.

If you need to know where I live, please email me at [firstname].[lastname]

Not cool. Definitetly not cooler.

When I came home from California on Monday, the Megetable (alternative name for Redras) had the swamp cooler running. The apartment was nice and cool. Unfortunately, lately the swamp cooler has been spitting our brown, dirty swamp water. It's also been spitting dirty flecks of what looks like paint chips into the room.

But I think later Monday night, at one point we turned the swamp cooler off and then on again. Suddenly the house filled with this strong, strong smell of burning rubber. I immediately turned the thing off and called the landlord.

The landlord had the neighbors (who receive a rent deduction to take care of household things) look at it. The neighbor guy said he figured he knew what the problem was and got the parts he needed to have it fixed. I was at work, but the Megetable said that it worked for about twenty minutes and then began to emit the stench of burning rubber. (It's so bad, by the way, that you have to air out the whole house after it runs for about 10 seconds. I only wish I were exaggerating.)

So a professional guy (friend of our landlord's?) came to fix it yesterday. He seemed pretty competant and confident. When he was done, he said he needed a part and would come back the next day to fix the rest.

He came back today and got it all fixed. I waited till he was done to take my nap. When he left, I set it on low and went to sleep to the sweet, sweet humming of cool air.

And woke up in a pool of my own sweat, hearing no humming at all. Yes, my friends. The swamp cooler is still broken.

Traffic Stopper

I need a car.

This morning I had a job interview. The job is in Provo, but it is a few miles down Canyon Road. I needed a ride to my job interview because I couldn't walk because I would have shown up a sweaty, unkempt mess. I borrowed Redras's car. I said a lot of ums and ahs during my interview.

Still, they called me back for a second interview not half an hour after the first interview ended. We set up an appointment for 4:30.

Which was great except that I couldn't borrow Redras's car because she'd need it for work. So I got a coworker to drive me there.

After my job interview [insert lack of details here because I don't want to talk about it right now], the plan was that I'd call Limon and he'd come pick me up. I got out of the interview at 5:00. Limon's shift ends at 5:00. I called Limon's phone and got his voice mail. I started walking down Canyon Road.

I eventually realized that Limon might actually be working late. It took me ten full minutes to come to this conclusion. We don't get cell reception in our cement bunker. So I called my private line at work. Limon eventually answered. I asked him to come pick me up, but I knew it would take him at least twenty minutes to get to me.

I didn't mind because I'm training for a half marathon and my training today was "walk 30-40 minutes."

I continued walking down Canyon Road in my business best: a knee-length pencil skirt, a summer sweater, nylons, and nice shoes. And a briefcase.

I brought out a sweat rag because I am a head sweater (I called my mom this morning when I was getting ready for my interview and threatened to sue her for giving me the head-sweating genes). I occasionally (every twenty seconds) mopped my face and neck.

And before Limon could come get me, two cars pulled U-turns to ask if they could give me a ride. Actually, maybe I don't need a car. Perhaps if I add a limp to my sweat-mopping, I'll receive more solicitations to give me rides... Anyone want to walk with me to Salt Lake City?

Trip Highlights

The Beach

Although I put a lot of time and effort in putting together my beach outfit (I had to actually go and buy a bathing suit for the first time in years), I clearly am not a beach girl after all.
  • I put out my towel on the sand beside Switchback's. Hers was easily twice the size of mine. I had assumed that because my towel had blue stripes, it was a beach towel. My towel was not a beach towel.
  • I was smearing sun screen on Switchback's back and she started yelling at me for standing on her towel, telling me that not standing on someone else's towel is the number one rule of beach etiquette.
  • I brought a book that Redras had lent me and left it spine-open in the sun when I went into the water. When I came back, the glue had melted and the pages from the first part of the book had come completely loose.
  • I brought way too much stuff to the beach. I didn't use half of it.

One of the advantages of an unplanned trip is that you get to make it up as you go along. After the beach on Saturday we were discussing what we could do. I mentioned that I'd never been to Mexico. So we drove to the border, parked the car, and walked to Mexico. I loved the fact that there was no checking of documents on one's way INTO Mexico, but there was a big line to get OUT of Mexico. Tijuana was dirty, just as I expected. But the dirty men who solicit you are strangely good for the self esteem. When I'm feeling down, I'll always remember that dirty old men in Mexico will always want me. The number one priority in Mexico was to get a gift for a friend of mine who asked me to pick him up something expensive in Mexico. I got him a Mexican wrestling mask like Strong Bad wears.


There's this beach in San Diego that was made for humans but that seals found and claimed for themselves. So now, there's a beach in San Diego where humans can go to stare at seals. There's a line drawn in the sand that you're not supposed to cross. Switchback tells me that sometimes old men drag their barbecues across the line to protest the seal's claim on the beach. Then the PETA people get angry. The old men believe that humans, not seals, should have the beach.


I rode back to Utah with Captains Fabuloso and Mom. On our way through Nevada, we stopped at Primm, an outlet shopping center. Immediately before you reach Primm, there is a stretch of desert that is sand only. We could see the area as we were driving towards it because we were coming from a higher elevation---we could see the sandy area and Primm very clearly. But as we got closer and lower in elevation, I saw that there was a giant lake in front of Primm. I thought that was funny because I hadn't seen a lake when we were looking down on the area, but the lake was clearly there. You could even see the reflections of the buildings in the water. And at this point, I started to recall something about mirages being an actual physical phenomenon. I suppose I had always assumed that they were more a mental delusion than a physical phenomenon. Only I knew that I wasn't delusional and I wasn't even thirsty. Captains Fabuloso and Mom discussed the "lake" with me and we all determined that as real as it looked to all of us, it must be a mirage. And sure enough, the closer we drove to Primm, the smaller the lake got until it eventually turned to dust. Which was so cool but would have been so depressing if we had actually been thirsty, dying wanderers.

Quick Trip

When I talked about almost buying an Accent, I mentioned that Nemesis and I took a quick trip to California. About four years ago, I showed up to work one day and Nemesis said, "Want to go to California? We're leaving tomorrow." I called my mom to tell her that I was going to California. She was not pleased. I guess she wasn't really pleased because I called to tell her that I was going to California, not to ask her if I could go to California. I figured that because I was a college student, I didn't have to ask permission to go on trips anymore. My mom was seriously displeased. She asked who I was going with (I told her that Nemesis was my boss and the other girl was going to be in charge of fifty second-graders in a month, so my road trip mates were definitely responsible). She asked when we were leaving. How long we were going to be there. How we were traveling.

She was not pleased. She mentioned that if I went and died, she'd never forgive herself for letting me go. I pointed out that now, if I stayed in Provo for the weekend and died, she'd also never forgive herself for not letting me go. So either way, if I died that weekend, she'd never forgive herself. She also added, "I haven't even talked to your father about this, you know."

We talked about an hour later, after she had talked to my father. She thought he'd be even more reluctant to let me go than she was. Instead, he reminded her that I was an adult and she needed to let me grow up. (I should point out that at the time, I was already older than my mother was when she got married.) So she let me grow up, but reminded me that I was not a big city girl.

We went and met up with Amy Jane in California and had a great weekend. Oh, and I didn't die.

Well, on Wednesday, I got a random text message from Switchback that said, "Are you coming this weekend?" I was confused because I didn't know why she would even wonder if I was coming to San Diego this weekend. I thought maybe she read my blog about cars and assumed that I already had a car and would therefore immediately drive out to see her. No, she hadn't read my blog. She just figured it was a good idea for me to go to San Diego for the weekend. I patiently reminded her of all the reasons I could not go to San Diego (no money, no car, no air miles, no money, no car).

And yet, I started thinking about how I could possibly make it out to San Diego. And suddenly this morning, things came together when I found out that Kit was making a trip to southern California tomorrow and Captains Fabuloso and Mom were making their trip home from southern California on Monday.

So to you all, I say, "See you later, suckas. I'm going to California!"

BYU HonorColorado

I got an odd phone call today at work. The phone rang and Limon picked it up. He immediately shoved the phone to my ear and I listened to the garbled sounds of a recorded message. I didn't get the first part of the message and I had no idea why he was making me listen to it. I couldn't really figure out exactly what it was saying. When the message ended, I hung up and asked Limon why he'd given me the phone. "It said your name," he said, "and that it was a warning."

Soon after we hung up the phone, it rang again. Same number. I picked it up this time. The message said, "[Cicada--it used my first and last name]. This is a warning from the BYU HonorColorado. This is a demo. To remove your number from this list, press 3." I pressed 3, but nothing happened. I was just really confused. The BYU HonorColorado? An automated message? A warning? What could it mean?

Limon looked suspicious but maintained that it wasn't a joke he was playing on me. He openly acknowledged that he was looking and acting suspiciously but that was only because he was enjoying my confusion way too much. I explained to him that I'd given my work phone number to three people: Redras, Viper, and the car dealership I went to yesterday.

Limon and I checked out the phone number that the calls were coming from. It was an on-campus number, so I called it. The number belonged to someone in the Physical Science department (and I am enrolled in a PS class right now...) but it still didn't account for the fact that only three people had my work phone number. The call went through to voice mail.

About an hour later, the phone rang again. It was the same number. "Cicada. This is a warning from the BYU HonorColorado." A coworker who sits behind us started getting involved and I reminded him that I was at his house after midnight last night, so if I was getting in trouble with the BYU HonorColorado, I was going to get him in trouble with the BYU HonorColorado, too. Whatever the BYU HonorColorado is.

I talked to the secretary about it and she had no clue what it might be. Eventually, I called the BYU operator to explain what was going on and ask if they'd received similar reports. After talking to her supervisor, my operator told me that so far I'd done everything right (I'd called the number of origin and I'd called the BYU operator) and the next step was to call the campus police. She offered to connect me but I told her that I'd rather make sure that someone wasn't playing a prank on me before calling the police.

After hanging up the phone, I announced fairly loudly that the next step was calling the police, expecting some coworker to come forward and confess. But nothing happened. Limon told me that of all the people who could be pranking me, it was most likely a former coworker who we'll call Bengay. Recently, Bengay left our place of employment, but he was still on our work IM list. I sent him a message and asked him what he knew about the "BYU HonorColorado." He played dumb for a bit and then confessed that it was, in fact, him who was pranking me. But I couldn't believe his confession, either; I thought that he was joking again and I really didn't know what to believe. So I told him to prove it if it was really him. To make the phone ring and the message come back. He said, "Okay, but put it on speakerphone when it rings."

The phone rang.

I put it on speakerphone.

And a robotic, automated voice filled the whole office:

"Cicada. We have the results of your pregnancy test. It's a boy. Congratulations."

Sometimes you should settle.

About five or six years ago, I took a trip to California with Nemesis in her Hyundai Accent. And after learning a little more about Hyundai Accents and their incredible warranty, I decided that I would like to own one. I mean, the car fits me perfectly. It's small, it has great mileage, and it does have that incredible warranty. And so I started to dream about owning a Hyundai Accent.

I'd like to just pause to point out what a realistic dream this was. I wasn't dreaming about owning a Hummer or a Lamborghini or an El Camino. I was dreaming of owning a Hyundai Accent, one of the least expensive entry-level cars in existence.

I'm graduating in a month and I've decided it's time for me to own a car. I'll need a car to get around to job interviews and I'll need a car when my parents come to SLC to visit for two weeks and I'm the only child in Provo (so I'll have to commute to SLC to see them). And I'll need a car when my bus pass runs out. I set a cap of $5000 and took the bus to a car dealership yesterday morning.

And I found a cute little baby blue Accent. It was a 2004 with only 27,000 miles. And it had no price sticker. So when the dealer came to talk to me about it, I told him that I was thinking of spending about $5000 but I would be very interested in learning a little more about the 2004 Accent for sale. We took it for a test drive. And I knew that he wasn't really talking about price because he wanted to get me hooked before I actually committed to anything. But after a test drive, he and his boss sat me down and started saying stuff like "Six or seven thousand dollars instead of eleven thousand if you buy it today." I kept insisting that I have El Senor's approval before I made any decision about the car, and they offered to let me have the car for the day, go to work, take my test on campus, and drive to SLC to show the car to El Senor. The funny thing is that the better they made the offer, the more nervous I got.

But I took the car and started thinking that it was The One. I mean, come on. It was baby blue for heavens' sakes! I really fell in love. And while I took the day to think about it and spent a lot of time with El Senor on Google Talk discussing my options, Captain Fabuloso and Captain Mom (I need to change Peaches Mom's name to Captain Mom on my side bar) let me know that they were ready to sell me Clicky for substantially less than $6,000.

Clicky is Captain Fabuloso's '93 Honda Accord that used to smell like laundry detergent. He's called Clicky because for who knows how long, the turn signal was broken in the car and it made a non-stop clicking noise (seriously, I think that Captain Fabuloso waited over a year to get that thing fixed). Although Clicky is not as flashy and new as the little Accent, it's a reliable car and is financially the wiser choice. So I will soon have a car of my own. Sometimes it's okay to settle. And in the meantime, I can plan to purchase one of those incredibly cheap entry-level vehicles in a few years...

If I die before I wake...

My house has had a spider problem lately. If Redras is around, I make her kill the spiders I find. Or if I man is around, I make him do his manly duty. But honestly, this is getting out of control.

Yesterday, without necessarily setting out on a "spider hunt," I managed to kill six spiders. And it was the sixth spider that concerns me the most. You see, I found spider number five as I was going to bed. It was a small black spider on the wall at the head of my bed---approximately one inch away from where my head would be if I had lain down. But I didn't. I immediately went and got tissue paper, smashed it, and flushed it. And I shudder still just to think about it.

Many of you may know that it's been hot here in Provo lately. I put a box fan in my window and during the night I turn it on and it blows the cool night air into my room. Since the cool night air hasn't been as cool lately, I've been forced to sleep upsidedown in my bed, which allows my body to benefit more greatly from the blowing of the fan (which according to some cultures is not a good thing). I did actually wonder about spiders when I was going to sleep. Killing five spiders in one's house during a day tends to do that to one. So every little tickle I felt I swore was a spider and sortof freaked out. Until I eventually calmed myself and allowed myself to go to sleep.

Only I woke up at one point and my finger was itching. And I scratched it and thought, "That's funny... it feels like a mosquito bite but I didn't hear any mosquitos... the fun must have drowned out the..." ---and I didn't finish that thought because I fell back asleep. Until I woke up what I imagine was about thirty seconds later and felt my other hand itching. At that point, I thought, "It's a spider! I know I'm being eaten by a spider! If it was a mosquito I would have heard it the second time because my brain would have been prepared to hear it!" And really, in the back of my mind, I was thinking that I was overreacting and it was not really a spider. But I flipped on the lamp beside my bed and witnessed a spider running across my pillow case---where my hands had been. I ran to the bathroom and got tissue paper and killed it and flushed it down the drain.

And then I was awake for the next hour or so, researching Utah spiders on the Internet. Ugh. At least Nemesis was there (God bless time zones!) and able to provide me comfort.

I have drawn a picture in Paint of how I was sleeping so that you can appreciate how close the spider was to my head. For your benefit, I have pretended that I was wearing pajamas at the time, which, of course, I was not. What bothers me the most is why the thing bit me! I can understand why mosquitos would bite, but what did a spider have to benefit by biting me while I was sleeping? Do they suck blood? I don't think so? Do they feast on rotting corpses? Maybe, but I certainly wasn't there yet. Do they avenge the deaths of their spider brothers? Probably. Probably, my friends.

Vending Machine Bandits

During my freshman year, I met my next-door neighbor, Magoo. It seemed that we were destined to be friends. And we were destined to get in trouble. (For other Magoo stories, see The Springboard Diving Fiasco and Police Beat.) Her nickname was Magoo and my nickname was Magoo, and our third friend's nickname was Dirtbag. (For other Dirtbag stories, see Things That Made Me Laugh Today and Phone Anxiety.)

One day Dirtbag and Magoo invited me to go and rip off vending machines with them. They explained that it wasn't actually ripping off the machines---it was just liquidating our Dining Plus money. If you're not familiar with Dining Plus, let me explain. At the beginning of the year, a freshman's parents pay for a meal plan that lasts the whole year. This meal plan put $9/day on your Signature Card (a card that is swiped like a credit card). You could use this money in any of the cafeterias, or at any of the restaurants on campus, or on any of the vending machines. You could not take money off your card, however. It had to be used for food. So sometimes, you'd build up an excess, and that would be a good time to start eating at the MOA cafe or the Skyroom.

Unless you found a way to liquidate your Dining Plus funds...

I believe that the same fat friend who could springboard dive perfectly was the one to tell Magoo how to rip off the BYU vending machines. And now I'll write this on the Internet with the disclaimer that I am not responsible for anyone who uses this information to perform illegal actions.

The three of us (Magoo, Dirtbag, and I) went out one evening to liquidate our Dining Plus funds. The procedure worked like this:

1. Choose a vending machine that has expensive and cheap items in it.
2. Swipe Signature Card. You will have over $2 of credit.
3. Unplug the phone cord around the back of the vending machine.
4. Buy the cheapest item---usually a brownie or Rice Krispie treat.
5. The vending machine will give you the treat plus change from the $2+ credit you had.

We did this all night. By the end, we each had about $20. We figured we'd made out pretty well, and really it wasn't stealing at all because we were just liquidating the money our parents had already put on our cards. Really, it was just like a bank transaction.

The next morning when I got home from class, Magoo was waiting outside my room. She said, "Magoo. Check your phone messages."

I did. There was one that said, "Yes, this is Jim from the Signature Card office. We have some questions about the vending machines in U-Hall, so if you could call me when you get this, I'd appreciate that." Magoo had the same message. We waited till Dirtbag came home and then discovered that her message was slightly different. It said, "Yes, this is Brother So-and-So [from her bishopric]. You have some explaining to do."

We decided together that we would all go to the Signature Card office together and offer back all the money we'd made from the U-Hall vending machines---not the other vending machines. Magoo was particularly worried because she'd been in to the Honor Code Office just the week before (because of the mooning incident described in Police Beat). I got all of my change from the U-Hall vending machine and waited in Magoo's car while Magoo and Dirtbag were getting their change.

And that gave me time to worry. I started worrying about what would happen if they took us in separate rooms and questioned us. Would our stories match up? What if we got there and offered them the money from the U-Hall vending machines, and they said, "Well, it seems that you also hit up several other vending machines on campus last night..." Would we say, "Yeah, well... actually, we thought you were too stupid to figure those ones out too and thought that we could get away with keeping the money. Guess we were wrong. Give us a few minutes to go home and get that money too, okay?"

By the time Magoo and Dirtbag came down to the car, I was a basket case. They got in the car and Magoo said, "Let's go to the Creamery for some ice cream." Dirtbag said, "Yeah, but let's swing by my place first to get film that I need to drop off to be developed." I started yelling at both of them: "WE NEED TO GO TO THE SIGNATURE CARD OFFICE! HOW CAN YOU THINK OF GETTING ICE CREAM RIGHT NOW! WE HAVE TO TURN OURSELVES IN! WE HAVE TO CONFESS TO EVERYTHING!"

Magoo said, "Yeah, Dirtbag, we can pick up your film."

Dirtbag said, "I love Creamery ice cream!"

At this point, I was probably foaming at the mouth or something, and Magoo and Dirtbag confessed. While I was waiting in the car, they decided to just call Jim from the Signature Card Office. After all, Dirtbag knew him. And Jim had told them that we could keep the money, just that we shouldn't ever do that again.

AND THAT GOES FOR YOU, TOO, READER. Although I have given you the know-how to liquidate your Dining Plus funds, you too are under the responsibility to not repeat our actions. Remember that we were caught and you will be caught, too.

Utah Missionaries

I'm in a cranky, ranty mood today, so I may as well post one of my favorite rants---about the foreign perception of Utah missionaries.

On my mission in Italy, few things bothered me more than to hear the Italian members voice their disrespect for Utah missionaries. I was talking to Redras about this and she said the French were the same. I imagine that it is common to many (but hopefully not all) missions.

When you first come to an area, the members immediately want to know where you're from. I had the good fortune of being from Canada, which was enough of a novelty to gain everyone's respect. The members say, "Oh! Canada! That's wonderful!" Then they tell me about the last missionary they knew from Canada. And they introduce me to other members and announce to everyone that I'm from Canada. Utah missionaries have a different experience altogether. They mention they're from Utah, and the members immediately say, "Oh. Utah." And if the missionary is lucky, that's it. Otherwise, the members might say, "Not another Utah missionary," or some-such crap. They complain about Utah missionaries and they compare the Utah missionaries to "stereotypical" Utah missionaries.

One day, I was with my companion and an Italian sister missionary and her companion. The thing is, I really loved this Italian sister, and she was one of the nicest people I've ever known. But when we were all talking about where we were from, her companion mentioned some state and then added, "But my family moved to Utah a couple years ago." Her sweet Italian companion spun around on her and shouted, "You're a Utah missionary! You're from Utah. This is the first time I have ever heard you mention it. All you Utah missionaries are always trying to say you're from anywhere but Utah. You're always trying to hide the fact that you're actually from Utah! I had another companion who always told everyone she was from Maryland, but then I later found out that she was born in Utah! You'll use any excuse to get out of admitting you're from Utah."

(Let's pause for a moment to realize what she was saying---she was saying that this sister whose family moved to Utah for the last two years of her life was supposed to claim Utah as her home state, while her other companion who had spent the first six months of her life in Utah was also supposed to claim Utah as her home state, and both these sisters were guilty of covering up the fact that they were both actually from Utah... Not very sound logic.)

And at this point, I couldn't hold in my anger anymore and I let her have my rant. I said that it's no wonder that any Utah missionary would want to find another state to claim as home (even though neither of these sisters was wrong in not claiming Utah) considering the reception they're given by the Italian members. Missionaries from anywhere else in the world are appreciated and applauded by the Italians, but the moment a missionary mentions he or she comes from Utah, they are treated as "less" of a missionary by the members. They are not celebrated at all. But the fact is that Utah missionaries make the exact same sacrifice that all other missionaries are making. They are also giving up 18-24 months of their lives to go and serve. They or their families or their wards are also paying to be able to do this. And the Utah missionaries are just as good as all the other missionaries who are serving in the field. From what I saw, there was no difference between the average Utah missionary and the average non-Utah missionary. And the fact is that the Church in Italy is there because of the service of Utah missionaries (who provide at least half of the mission force). Were it not for Utah missionaries, it is likely that most of the members complaining about Utah missionaries wouldn't even be in the Church at all. And for their efforts and for their service, they are rewarded with derision.

For what it's worth, Utah missionaries, I applaud you.

I can tell it's gonna be a good one...

So for those of you who are interested, I did actually take the PS100 exemption exam on Monday. Not because I thought I was going to pass it but because I thought I'd like to know where I stood in my PS100 knowledge and because it would give me an idea of what to expect on the final exam I'll take in a month or so. I got 40 percent. What bothers me about that is that I know that if I had actually followed through with my scientific experiment, I would have had at least 60 percent. But I'm not going to think about that too much. The point is, I'm enrolled in the class and I'm just going to have to deal with it. And I'm going to have to improve my final exam score, because apparently 50 percent is a "pass" for PS100.

Today was my first midterm. Yes, I'm lazy and I didn't study for it. I figured if I got 40 percent on the exemption exam and if I got 70 percent on this section's pretest, then I could pass this test just fine. I walked into the testing center at 4:15 and started to walk up the steps and stopped a moment to look at the testing center hours. Huh. Apparently on Fridays, they're only open till 5:00. And they don't hand any tests out after 4:00.

Yeah. So I got a 0 percent on my first test. Nice.

At least I know that if the grade on my final exam is higher than the other grades (homework, quizzes, and tests) then that's the grade I get for the class. So this means that I have to work extra hard this term to make sure that I pass that freaking final. Because, you know, I'd kindof like to graduate.

Cicada's Famous Fake Frappucinos

Pursuant to a request for my frappucino recipe:

The summer after my freshman year, I went home to Canada and saw Tim Hortons advertising their frappucinos everywhere. Although I have never drunk coffee, I love the smell of it and I love anything coffee-flavored (and yes, for the record, I do eat coffee ice cream). But I really couldn't bring myself to buy a Tim Hortons frappucino when it clearly would be made by adding milk and ice and ice cream to coffee itself.

In Canada, we have Caf Lib, which is a burnt chicory coffee substitute. So one day, I became a genius and made my own frappucino with coffee substitute. What I learned after I returned to the States, however, is that Tim Hortons's frappuccino was actually fake and made only with coffee flavoring, not with actual coffee. Still, I am glad that I learned to make them for myself. And so is Redras. We are glad together.

Cicada's Famous Fake Frappuccinos

  • Scoop several scoops of vanilla ice cream into a blender. (Use low-fat ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt to cut calories and fat.)
  • Pour a bunch of milk into the blender.
  • Throw several ice cubes into the blender.
  • Dump some coffee substitute (like Pero) into the blender.
  • Squeeze a lot of chocolate syrup into the blender.
  • Blend.
  • Taste.
  • Add any of the above ingredients you feel is necessary to improve taste. Blend till perfection.
  • Rejoice.

How to Cut 600 Calories from Your Diet

1. Wake up and weigh yourself. Find out that you weigh about 2 pounds less than you expected to weigh. Rejoice.

2. Pack sensible snacks to take to classes. Plan on buying a sensible lunch on campus.

3. Eat sensible snacks in classes. Start getting hungry.

4. Go to the Twilight Zone. Grab a bagel. Be seduced by the barbeque chicken with cheese sandwich. Buy both the barbeque chicken with cheese sandwich and the bagel.

5. Run for the bus because holy crap, you're gonna miss it!

6. Hop on the bus just in time.

7. Read a book on the bus while anticipating your wonderful lunch.

8. Get off the bus. Leave your lunch on the bus seat.

9. Run after the bus as it pulls away.

10. Rush immediately to the vending machine at work.

11. Discover that the vending machine has been taken away.

12. Be really cranky the rest of the afternoon.

**The 600 calories are from the food you forgot on the bus, but don't forget that you actually burn calories while running to the bus and running after the bus and rushing to the vending machine.

Whenever you see an arrow, think of Coca-Cola.*

On the subject of scientific experiments (and by the way, if you're still waiting for the results of my last scientific experiment, I kindly refer you to the post called "results"), I'd like to share a rather embarrassing experiment I conducted a long time ago.

You see, I became a Coke drinker once I left home. Growing up, caffeinated beverages were basically as evil as beer and so it was a little rebellious of me to start drinking Coke after leaving the nest. And I have continued to drink Coke for the past several years. I am in no way addicted and also, unfortunately, I am in no way affected by the caffeine (not that I notice, anyway, though even still, I'll grab a Coke when I need extra energy to finish a school assignment... and then I'll immediately fall asleep on the couch).

I love Coke and I despise Pepsi. In fact, if I'm in a restaurant and ask for a Coke, and if the server tells me they serve Pepsi products, I tell the server very clearly (and icily) that I will have a water instead.

And rationally, I know that my dislike of Pepsi is unfounded. Still, I can't bring myself to drink the stuff. But my dislike is unfounded, you see, because I don't think I have a discriminating taste. I don't think that I have the best-developed taste buds in the world. But I needed to test myself to know for sure.

So I set up a time with friends a few years ago while we were on a weekend trip to St. George. We didn't have any glasses, so we took a can of Pepsi and a can of Coke and my friends blindfolded me. They gave me the first to test. I tested it and thought deeply about whether or not it had a good taste. They gave me the second to test. I tested it and pronounced immediately and emphatically, "The first one. Definitely the first one."

And suddenly the room filled with mean, terrible, horrific, boisterous laughter. I quickly removed the blindfold to watch my friends laughing at me---one of them was literally on the floor.

You see... my "friends" had given me the Pepsi can twice. So when I declared emphatically, "The first one, definitely the first one" I really was saying, "My first sip of Pepsi was noticeably different and better than the second sip of Pepsi."

You can imagine that my pride didn't allow me to ultimately go through with the rest of the experiment and to this day, I don't know if I can actually tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

*This is the Coca-Cola slogan from 1909. For all Coca-Cola slogans, see Wikipedia.