Mar 192016

The intrawebz is an interesting place.

Not because everything is literally here—well except good taste—but because of the bizarre and unusual and compelling stuff that constantly gets shifted to the front, sort of belched up into our consciousness for all of us to admire for a few moments before dissipating back into the morass.

It’s also an incredibly dangerous place. No, not because of the predators and conspiracy nuts and crazees who make this happen. Or the wingnuts who come up with crap like this—


(And yes the red text is not a formatting accident … thanks for noticing … I’ll explain in a bit)

No, this is a dangerous place because it can easily suck those precious allotted hours of your life away in a painless manner. Some days, opening your browser is like settling into a warm tub, slitting your wrists and slowly bleeding out while your consciousness drifts away …

Okay, maybe too dramatic there. But I can’t count the days where I’ve thought, “Oh look, I have a half hour before I have to go to work and I have an idea that might be amusing, maybe I can write a little something,” and I jump to my computer (not quite like Batman sliding down the Batpole, but I’m okay with the bataphor) and open my browser to get to the back-end tool (*insert Butthead like chortle here* “You said, ‘back end tool’ … heh heh*) that I use for this site and … “Oh hey look, I got an email. Oh look, I got a Facebook notification. Gee, I wonder what the Jets are up too? Hey, that looks like it’s going to hurt …”

… and then that precious 30 minutes of the one life I will ever have on this planet and that I will never get back is gone. Just. like. that.

(If you’re checking your watch, you’ve already lost about 8 minutes here depending on how much you clicked. Thanks for staying if you’re still here.)

But this isn’t new ground, right? “Down the rabbit hole” they call it, in honor of Alice in Wonderland (and if you choose to read a book rather than this right now, yay!) Let me enthusiastically suggest this one:


Last season on South Park also addressed this too, where characters were trying to solve a mystery about internet ads becoming self-aware. They would go online to look for clues to solve the crime and then see an ad for 10 celebrities who use kale as an exfoliant, and then 15 minutes later, “regain consciousness” at the mall, where they would be buying sneakers and eating chicken nuggets, duped by the intrawebz.

Oh speaking of new sneakers, did you see that Inov8 has—

Damn! And nary a chicken nugget …

Okay, the funny part here is that I’ve written the entire first draft of this post in about 15 minutes on a morning before work—which is some sort of accomplishment/personal-record-that-no-one-in-their-right-mind-would-keep-but-we-all-do-like-how-we-all-know-the-day-we-got-to-work-the-quickest-or-took-the-biggest-dump. And it happened because I did NOT open my web browser to look for any of the examples, images, etc. that you’ve been reading that are in red. I went back and added all that later, and oddly enough, that took 68 minutes. (And in the original draft of this, I just wrote “xx time” and clocked it later.)

I guess my point here, if I have one, is that we’re all drifting into the Matrix, living vicariously living and defining our lives by how much social media, celebrity gossip, YouTube clips and other distractions we can find [*insert something worthless here—yes, that’s what I originally wrote in my first draft, and I wrote this too—it sort of feels like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure where they’re like, “Oh, and then later, we’ll use the time machine to get my father’s keys and put them … HERE!”*]. Okay here’s one of my favorite time-sucking distractions. (Okay, actually just wasted 12 minutes here … but got a all-time best high score of 2,562 feet!)

Oh wait, you want the creamy and sweet intrawebz fluff that we all now need to consume on a daily basis—here, try this:

6 Things To Do Rather Than Mindlessly Consume Online Content

1. Live in the real world.

2. Do something stupid with your kids.

3. Do something stupid with your parents.

4. Do something stupid with your kids and parents, although I don’t recommend “Cards Against Humanity” because it will scar you, mainly because your 14-year-old son keeps bringing up the phrase “Grandma’s Anal Beads.”

5. Dust your house because the universe hates you. Seriously, dust—and having to address it—may be the most insidious thing on the planet. How else do you explain being penalized for having done absolutely nothing at all. I mean, vacuuming, I get: you walk on the floor, you get dirt in the house, it needs to be cleaned. But that top book shelf? I have done nothing about it for the past year, haven’t even looked at it, but now I have to clean it simply because it exists. Somewhere, The Lethargians weep.

6. Run, walk, sit in the sun like a lizard or DO SOMETHING LIKE CHURN OUT A BLOG POST IN UNDER 30 MINUTES. Or as I now call it: soaking up a little of what’s left of your precious time by creating not consuming.

Because, you know, life.

Jun 172013

Here, let me set this out here to start … feel free to hit play while reading …

Okay, I completely and openly acknowledge that being somewhat enamored of Coca-Cola—and the sweet, sweet caffeine therein—comes nowhere near the true addiction that cripples those enslaved to drugs, alcohol or licking cats (and that’s *not* an euphemism). I also realize that the size of my monkey is relatively modest: I would say that it’s more of a pesky, poop-flinging capuchin rather than an orangutan that when angered can literally tear my arms off and eat my face. So there’s that.

Still, I do have a problem in that over 157 years I have trained my body to rely on receiving caffeine every single day, and even though that they say the first step in getting help is admitting you have a problem, it’s not helping any.

Let me try to explain it: Something happens in my very blood every day around 2 p.m. when I decide to open that icy can of high fructose corn syrup that masquerades as a beverage—and it’s got to be a 12-once can; for some reason, the mix in bottles never seems to taste (or burn my eyes and back of my throat) the same as what comes out of the can. I only assume that it tastes better because of the tiny pieces of aluminum that I’m also ingesting, you know, which has also been thought to cause Alzheimer’s Disease, although no indisputable evidence has been produced to prove that hey did I tell you about the time I saw Sally Jessie Raphael picking her nose while sitting in her red BMW at an intersection in New Haven? Yeah, good times …

Anyway, when I hear that boisterous c-r-a-c-k as I pop that can open …. it’s a rush. I can feel my physiology changing even before the liquid touches my lips or the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar reaches my heart, a psychosomatic reaction to be sure, but nonetheless real. And then as it does get into my system and that weariness washes away, I feel like I’m finally coming to life …

It’s not a habit, it’s cool, I feel alive …

I used to also drink a Coke every morning at 9 a.m. as a wake-me-up, but at a certain point I realized that I was going to be awake and stay awake no matter how tired I was, so I was able to cut that one out of my diet. But cutting down isn’t cutting out, right?

Recently, I’ve been thinking about those spoonfuls of sugar as well as all the other facts that prove it’s really, really bad to drink even one can of soda a day. (Don’t click link unless you want to crush any fantasy that you have sort of healthy lifestyle that allows even one can a day.)

Despite all the health risks, I find that I do need—and desperately want, or absolutely crave—that jolt of energy every day. I don’t drink coffee (yes, I have issues), so to get that caffeine, I have decided to try an alternative.

When we were at Pax East back in March, we got a few samples of 5-Hour Energy, and I spent the last few months trying to convince myself to try one. I mean, it promises “long lasting energy with no sugar and zero net carbs.” Sounds perfect, right? Plus it’s got like vitamins, amino acids and tiger blood or something. (I may not have read the entire label, or any of it, really.) What could possibly go wrong?

So about a week or two ago, I put one in my lunch in place of my beloved Coke, and at 2 p.m., pulled it out. I eyed the small bottle dubiously—how could a 2-ounce shot pack as much kick as a 12-ounce can? I opened the top; it was “berry” flavor, which smelled vaguely sweet and looked something like Garotade.

I shrugged and then …

I held my nose, I closed my eyes … I took a drink …

Okay, I still knew that it was day and not night, and I hardly started kissing everything in sight, but at first I didn’t notice anything really all that different. I was thrown off that it went down so quick—I usually enjoy lingering over my Coke. And at first, nothing seemed all that out-of-the-ordinary, so I went back to work.

But then I felt it slowly kicking in. As I posted on my Facebook that afternoon: “I think it’s working—my pulse is racing and I’m having an aneurysm. That’s supposed to happen, right?”

Okay, it wasn’t quite that extreme, but I was definitely feeling more … *energetic*! And by “energetic,” I do mean that my pulse was a bit elevated and my hands were shaking. A little.

Actually, I started freaking out that I maybe somehow had overdosed—and then I quickly reminded myself that there’s been no actual stories of anyone ODing on an energy drink. Well, okay they’ve been linked to heart disease, but that’s slow death, right? You know, up to the point where your heart suddenly stops altogether.

Anyway, I figured that maybe I needed to work off some of my new-found energy, so when I got home, I decided that I needed to do my usual 3.5-mile run. I chose to run at the track I normally run at, mainly because if my heart or brain did in fact explode, there’d be lots of kids playing soccer and their parents to notice, so they’d be available to get me medical attention, if necessary. That or they’d have stories to tell, so it wouldn’t all be in vain.

The good news is that neither my heart or my brain exploded, nor did any of my delicate vital organs, and truth be told, I actually sort of tore around the track at a clip that I’d have to classify as “more sprightly than usual.”

I also didn’t fall asleep until closer to midnight that night (my normal bedtime is closer to 10), but hey, at least I wasn’t dead! Well, not yet.

Anyway, since then I’ve had another 5-Hour Energy or two, and seem to be surviving, even if I do go running. But by the same token, I also haven’t been able to give up my Coke yet … . I’ve been sort going between the two because that’s how you ween yourself, right?

Or is that how you just substitute one addiction for another?

It’s not a habit, it’s cool, I feel alive
If you don’t have it you’re on the other side
I’m not an addict (maybe that’s a lie)…